Diana Meldrum 1928-2016

In Memoriam

Diana Cicely Meldrum (neé Meldrum) past president of National Trust of Guernsey, passed away peacefully in Guernsey, on Monday 4th July 2016, aged 88 years. Diana once said she was Scottish by ancestry, Kentish by birth and Guernsey by adoption. Brought up in Mayfield, Sussex she moved to London after schooling and later Kings Lynn, Norfolk.  After training, she became a Conservative Political Party Agent in Kent, one of 'Maggie Thatcher's girls'. In 1960 she moved to Guernsey with her mother and ran a guest house in Hauteville before buying an empty barn at Le Quanteraine, turning it into the Hotel du Moulin. The hotel brochure says that there are 'two horses kept for use of experienced riders and to give children rides in the meadow.  They can sometimes be seen working in harness'. This love of horses and traps gave Diana an idea and in 1970 she arranged a pageant at the West Show which generated the beginnings of The Guernsey Driving Society, followed by the Guernsey Horse Driving Society, which still exists today. In 1972, Diana Meldrum was proposed for a seat on the West Show committee.  The all male council of the time felt it inappropriate for a woman to be a committee member. Undeterred, she successfully stood again in 1974 and went on to be a West Show council member for many years and an honorary life member. Diana joined the National Trust of Guernsey and became President for the term 1989 – 1992.  She was very involved in the restoration of the water wheel at Le Moulin de Quanteraine and Mrs. Silten's bequest of the hamlet and valley, which remain in the Trust's guardianship.  The Folk Museum at Saumarez Park was also close to her heart. Her many years of service to the parish of St. Pierre-du-Bois are significant.  She instigated The Older Folks Club – specifically named Older, as opposed to Old (Folks Club) – for parishioners, providing a three course lunch for up to 30 older folk, every week for many years. She was elected as one of the first Parish Procurers in 1975, and the first woman Constable, 1976/77, again when the Douzaine was an all male committee.  She was instrumental in the sale of the Old School Building to the then Housing Authority but on condition that it would be converted into apartments for needy, retired people of the parish.  Diana later became Vice Dean, retiring at the end of 2001, however she stayed on for many years as President of the Cemeteries Committee.  She also became Peoples' Warden of her beloved church at St. Pierre-du-Bois. At some time during the 1980’s, Diana Meldrum  joined a gathering of the Meldrum clan, indeed there is a castle in Aberdeenshire called Old Meldrum Castle, now a hotel and golf club.  She met and later married a distant relative, Andrew Meldrum, a distinguished gentleman and retired Chief Inspector of the Scottish Constabulary.  In the late 1980's Andrew moved to Guernsey but died in 1995 and Diana's great happiness was short-lived.  She remained the much loved stepmother of Andrew Meldrum. Diana had not enjoyed the best of health in latter years, but remained resolute to the end. She will be missed greatly and remembered for being most persuasive, quietly leading by example. Martin Ozanne President National Trust of Guernsey