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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Helen Mitchell

Christine Wilson obituary

Christine Wilson
Christine Wilson, pictured in 2018, spent her early career working for Save the Children in Morocco and the WHO in Burkina Faso Photograph: -

My friend Christine Wilson, who has died aged 78 of a heart attack, was a fellow traveller in setting up one of Norwich’s first park friends’ groups.

Christine was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, to Irene (nee May) and William Wilson, who were both bank clerks. She went to Berkhamsted school for girls and South-West Herts FE College, where she trained as an administrator (1962-63).

A fluent speaker of French and German, she spent her early career in Strasbourg working in administration, either as a personal assistant or admin assistant, for the European Commission of Human Rights (1967-69) before posts with Save the Children in Morocco (1973-74), and the World Health Organization in Burkina Faso (1974-77).

In the late 70s, Christine moved to Norwich to study for a degree in international development at the University of East Anglia, graduating in 1981. She then held a variety of editorial and administrative freelance posts, and worked at Elsevier Geo Abstracts Ltd in Norwich (1984-88), where she became head of the editorial department, and at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical medicine, initially as an administrator (1990-91), then as alumni officer (1992-93).

In 1994, Christine returned to UEA for five years to work at the British Centre for Literary Translation, running bursaries and conferences for visiting translators and editing the Directory of Literary Translators.

Christine was an active member of the Norfolk and Norwich Rouen Friendship Association, the Norwich Cycling Campaign and the Friends of Earlham Library. She loved going to exhibitions, concerts and plays. A talented organic gardener, for many years Christine was secretary for Bluebell South Allotments, a grow-your-own, food-sharing and community group.

In 2007 she joined the committee of the new group Friends of Eaton Park, becoming its chairperson (2009-12) and remaining on the committee until 2018. Eaton Park is Grade-II listed and home to many sports and user groups. Christine threw herself into nurturing the group and, through it, the park, championing its trees, birds and butterflies by organising surveys and events. She set up a website, collected memories, and led guided walks and Heritage Open Day events. Summer brass-band concerts were a favourite of Christine’s, and in 2022 she sponsored one as, because of council cuts, Friends of Eaton Park had taken over organising them.

Christine cycled everywhere in Norwich and in her early 70s bought an electric bike that she was using up until her death. Her much-loved brother, Clive, enjoyed visiting the park when visiting from Bournemouth. He died in 2019 and Christine sponsored a park bench to remember him.

Christine lived for 38 years with her partner, John Horn (also known as John King). She is survived by John and her cousins, William, Jane and Karen.

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