Dear Members and Friends,

Kath Welch (1927-2013)

It is with great sadness that we report the death of our very long-standing Member, Kath Welch. Kath and her husband, Roy (died 2009), were loyal members of the North Hertfordshire Archaeological Society from its earliest days, joining at the beginning of the 1960s. For several decades they were amongst our most active and dedicated members, taking part in all fieldwork and other activities, and serving for many years as keen Committee members.

They enthusiastically volunteered on our excavations at Blackhorse Road and Wilbury during the 1960s; Jack’s Hill, Coombe Bottom and the Mile Ditches in the 1970s; and Baldock in the 1980s, to give just a few examples. I believe their last dig was with Heritage Network at the rear of the Fox, Pirton, in 1995. They were regular and interested visitors to the Senuna excavations in Ashwell, 2003-2006. Over that period of 30 plus years, when volunteers were being sought, Kath and Roy were always amongst the most reliable and hard-working. In later years, when their energies were not perhaps what they once were, we could always count on them to help out with practicalities at meetings, such as setting out chairs, serving tea and coffee, and washing-up. They were invaluable.

From this you gather that Kath and Roy came as a team. They were inseparable, having married in 1945. Some years ago, the Society made them both Honorary Members in recognition of their long service and loyalty.

One of the most endearing things about Kath, like Roy, was her quick sense of humour. They could always see the funny side ofany situation. Their innocent humour enlivened many a day’s digging, fieldwalking, potwashing, or outing, and caused both us and them to have a good chuckle as they kept us all amused. They were an excellent tonic for team spirit, for instance, when the digging got difficult or the weather was wet, cold or otherwise inclement. We shall miss her humour, down-to-earth common sense, and kindness, very much indeed.

After Roy died in 2009, Kath continued to live in Sish Lane, Stevenage, in their home since 1947.

Kath died on Wednesday 2nd October and her funeral will be held this Wednesday 16th October in Stevenage (details below). Kath was 86. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go to her family at their sad and great loss.

Kath digging on the Mile Ditches, near Royston, March 1978

Kath at The Tene, Baldock, April 1978

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