Pam Bagguley obituary

My mother, Pam Bagguley, who has died aged 91, was a remarkable and charismatic woman who overcame the untimely death of my father, John, in 1963, and lived a full life taking part in a wide range of activities in and around the New Forest in Hampshire.

Born in Carshalton, Surrey, she was the daughter of William Clayton, head accountant at Southern Railways, and Dorothy (nee Steerman). The family moved to West Sussex during the second world war and Pam attended Hove county grammar school for girls. In 1944 her brother, Rodney, died aged 20 during a wartime RAF training exercise.

After drama school in Brighton, in 1952 Pam joined the repertory company at Worthing’s Connaught theatre. She acted in many plays, notably Noël Coward’s Easy Virtue in 1953, and the same year had a minor part in Personal Affair, a Pinewood Studios film, alongside Glynis Johns and Nanette Newman.

It was at Worthing rep that Pam met her fellow actor John Bagguley. They were married in 1954 and I was born the following year. My brother Mark followed in 1958.

In 1961 John became a presenter on Southern Television’s Day by Day regional evening news programme. My parents acquired North Poulner Farm on the edge of the New Forest, where Pam started a riding school, as well as leading an amateur drama group at the Greyfriars Centre in Ringwood.

However, tragedy struck in 1963 when John was killed in a car accident. Pam, with two young children plus her dogs and horses to care for, did her best to survive with a series of equestrian-based ventures and a colourful cast of visitors.

In 1971 she appeared in a minor role in Ken Russell’s The Music Lovers, a film portrait of the composer Tchaikovsky. Her scene was shot at Wilton House, near Salisbury, Wiltshire.

The following year Pam moved to a smallholding in the New Forest at High Corner, near Linwood. Ever ambitious, and not content with grazing cattle and horses, she enrolled at King Alfred’s teacher training college in Winchester and subsequently became a drama teacher at Redbridge school in Southampton, later teaching at Brockenhurst sixth form college before retiring in 1989.

In her later years Pam took up sculpture, and she rode her horses around the New Forest until she was in her mid-80s.

She is survived by Mark and me, and by three grandchildren, Christian, Edward and William.

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