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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Summer 2019 issue

Margot Farrell 27 September 1934 - 12 May 2019

Mum grew up in Belfast and during WW2 was bombed out of her home as a young girl. It is coincidence that we are here while the World looks at the beaches of Normandy and Mum would have been Serafina’s age, 9,  75 years ago.

Time moves on and after the Second World War, the Branagh family moved to Johannesburg in South Africa for a year or so. This is not somewhere that suited  Grandma Branagh so they returned to Belfast where, some time later Mum met Dad, who was a teacher in a local school. They were married in 1961 and moved to Germany where my sister Trish and I were born. We had a great time in Germany with our dogs Hansel and Gretel although I was at boarding school and remember Mum’s face when saying good bye to me at the beginning of each term. Always much better to return for the holidays.

Mum enjoyed the work as a librarian in the army camp (where Dad worked) but that ended when we moved back here in 1977. This is when Mum took over the role as the main breadwinner to ensure Trish and I made it through School and College, then became a carer for the latter years of my Dad's life.

In spite of her workload, Mum's life was full of activity with yoga, Scottish dancing, the Church, the St George’s Market and of course making celebration cakes.

Mum was famous for her wonderful cakes but Mum did miss out on her big screen debut when the Scottish dance group Mum danced with was chosen to perform in a little film called Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mum was just unavailable that weekend and was not to know how big a film it would become.

My mother worked hard to raise our family and was always there for us when we needed her. When we were younger I wasn't able to comprehend how much time and care she put into the family.

My mother taught me a lot of skills that I will always cherish, most of all how to be more compassionate. However, she also taught me about cooking and baking. When I was younger I would help my Mum in the kitchen and my sister and I would wait for the “Lickies”, which are the cake mix remaining in the bowl after mixing. Whenever I would visit home my Mum would be in the kitchen cooking or baking something for the St George’s Market we, ignorantly, called the WI Market. Mum never had any formal training, but Mum could have written a cookbook. You would swear that she was a trained chef as Mum loved to entertain so it was win-win for everyone. While undergoing Officer training I invited some of the Muslim trainees to see true British hospitality by inviting them home to a traditional meal, we had a wonderful time that I am sure they remember to this day.

Mum always encouraged my sister and me to go and live our lives, Mum's greatest wish for us both was to be inquisitive, try new things, visit wonderful lands and be adventurous.

I feel like I could stand up here all day speaking about my Mum who was an amazing woman who taught me a lot. The most important lessons were not always verbal; they were in her actions. Mum always worked hard, never complained and was there when you needed her. Mum was our mother and everyone's friend and I will miss her and her cheeky smile, a smile that was “one in a million”.

This Eulogy was delivered by Margot’s son Nicholas Farrell, at the funeral service which took place in St George’s Church on Thursday 6th June 2019.


I am sure you will all agree Margot Farrell was One in a Million.

As an engineer you can look at Mum’s demise numerically, as there are about 56 million deaths a year, of those 500,000 in the UK which is about 1,370 a day, but that is just a statistic, Mum was so much more than a statistic. To everyone assembled Mum was a very special lady.

My Mum was the most wonderful woman who always had a smile on her face and embodied all of the attributes of a perfect mother. Mum was caring, thoughtful, hardworking, compassionate, loving and so much more. It was so difficult to think of all of the words that described my Mum as a person and how much she meant to me, my sister, niece, cousins, and everyone that met Margot. I am sure this applies to you and your mothers because we all have a mother who cradled us when at our most vulnerable, allowing us to grow and develop into the fully rounded individuals we have become, or are becoming.