COWES, ISLE OF WIGHT
Baring Road, Cowes, Retired
THE first and only female commodore of the Island Sailing Club, Eve Woodyear, has died, at the age of 82
Born in Cowes and a lifelong resident, she was the only daughter of Barton Woodyear and his French wife, Paulette, and was the last of the Woodyear family who ran a drapery business in the High Street from 1814. Woodyear and Sons, founded by George Woodyear, passed via his two sons to his grandson, Barton.
Eve was educated at Bedales, Steep, Hampshire, and served for two years in the WRNS. After a year off sailing, she joined her father in the business, which she ran after his death in 1951 until her retirement in the 1970s.
She was an active member of the Island Sailing Club, the real joy of her life, for 64 years, from the age of 18. She and the club were precious to each other; she was without close relatives and the club became her adopted family.
She was immensely proud of becoming its first and still only woman commodore in 1986.
Eve and her boats were familiar to many in the Island sailing fraternity. She was a frequent visitor to Newtown Creek and her last boat, Dormouse, sailed on French canals and various Solent voyages.
In her retirement, Eve travelled the world to see old fortifications, having a particular interest in battlefields and historic places.
She was a skilled needlewoman and dressmaker, as well as a great gardener, photographer and collector of maritime art. She was also an expert on flag etiquette.
Eve was described by friends and relatives as a one-off, distinctive in personality, dress and vocabulary. Strong and independent, she could also, paradoxically for such a public figure, be shy.
She will be hugely missed by the many friends she made and by her distant relations, who say they were lucky to have known her.
Her funeral is taking place today (Friday) at 1.30pm at Holy Trinity Church, Cowes.(County Press Reporter – Friday, November 7, 2008)