Caring Players stalwart dies age 70

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ICKLESHAM Players stalwart Joan Baker died peacefully at her Icklesham home last Wednesday.

Joan, who played a key part in village life, also devoted many years to working with special needs children.

Joan was born to Albert and Evelyn Bates in Hastings on July 27 1941 and attended Silverhill Primary and Tower Road Secondary schools.

After leaving school she worked as a hairdresser and a bank clerk before finding her niche as a florist in Hastings.

Joan met future husband Derrick at a dance on Hastings Pier and they married in July 1961.

In later years Joan found her vocation working with special needs children, firstly at Hill House School, Rye and later at Glyne Gap.

The Baker family moved to Icklesham in 1980 where Derrick was appointed village policeman, a post he held for 15 years.

On his retirement they continued to live in the village police house, with its new apt name Bobegon.

Joan was passionately involved with Icklesham Players and contributed by acting, co-directing, and with costume and set creation. She was also a member of Icklesham Arts Club and participated in church flower festivals.

Joan tirelessly raised funds for the children she adored at Glyne Gap School as well as for local good causes.

Alongside Derrick, she took a leading role on the annual village fete committee.

Her charity work was reward with an invitation to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Joan leaves children Ivan, Linda, Julie and David and grandchildren Amy, Toby, Lucy Thorne, Matthew, Connie and Ellie.

Joan’s funeral took place yesterday (Thursday) at Hastings Crematorium and the local community then celebrated her life with a Thanksgiving Service at Icklesham Church.