TRIBUTES have been paid to an intrepid Silhillian explorer who dedicated her life to travelling the globe and helping others closer to home.
Miss Pam ‘Pipit’ Evans, the Solihull physiotherapist and beloved volunteer, has died aged 86 at Swallows Meadow Court Care Home in Shirley following a short illness leaving behind her nephews Roy and Keith Evans and their families.
Born in The Crescent, Solihull on July 23, 1928, the 86-year-old lived her life to the full – rising through the ranks of the Girl Guides and teaching disabled local children to swim, alongside visiting 48 countries across the world.
Leading the tributes, life-long friend Janet Steele and fellow Solihull resident said: “Pipit was unique – she never wasted a moment of her life, helped so many and was popular and well respected.
“She will be sorely missed by so many people.”
In detailed records and diaries she kept throughout her life, which she passed on to Janet, Pipit gives a glimpse to a Solihull of the the past – recalling paddling in the pool in Malvern Park and trying not to swallow the frogs whilst learning to swim at Solihull Lido in the summertime.
When World War Two broke out, 11-year-old she was evacuated to Pretatyne and was narrowly escaped tragedy when the boat before the one she had booked on to visit an aunt in Canada was sunk by a German U-Boat – forcing her to return home to Coventry in 1941.
It was then that a young Pipet’s passion for Girl Guiding was sparked – helping at the British Restaurant in Mill Lane and acting as a patient for the local Air Raid Practice (ARP) for the remainder of the war.
After attending Olton Convent and Malvern School, she qualified as a physiotherapist and worked at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital before joining the Birmingham School Health Service in the 1950s.
Electing to take early retirement at the age of 56, it was then that Pipit began her travels round the world – including treeking in Nepal, eight visits to the Himalayas, a trip to the Sahara desert and the grueling climb to Everest base camp.
Closer to home, she was a member of the 1st Solihull Girl Guides which she led for 28 years and formed the Guides’ 6th and 9th Solihull branches.
Rising through the ranks, Pipit was promoted to Captain, District Commissioner and Country International Advisor, which saw her join her love of Guiding and travelling to work closely with the International Chalet Centre for Girl Guides in Switzerland.
For 38 years, she was known in the borough for her work with the Seals Handicapped Club helping disabled children to swim alongside being a prominent member of the local University of the Third Age group, organising activities for fellow retired and semi-retired Silhillians.
Pam ‘Pipit’ Evan’s funeral service will be held at Robin Hood Crematorium at 2pm on Wednesday, July 29.
Any donations to the Macular Society, in light of Miss Evans’ failing eyesight in recent years, can be made through the funeral directors – Thomas Bragg & Sons, 562 Stratford Road, Shirley.
Over the years, the Solihull Observer has told the fascinating stories of many of our older residents – some from interviews and others from the memories of family members.
Are you one of them? We would love to hear from any mature Silhillians with a great story from their past to tell. Send an email to [email protected] or call us on 01926 317110.