1925 - 2003
Elsa Mary Marie-Therese Scammell MA
Life President Harlow Liberal Democrats
Elsa Scammell, our President and former Chair, who was born
on the 11th January 1925, died at home in Waterlooville,
Hampshire on the evening of 29th September 2003. She had
suffered from ill health for many years, but had long outlived
both her and her doctors predictions of early demise. We
had begun to hope she would go on forever.
Elsa has been a stalwart supporter of the Party in Harlow
for many years. She had stood as council candidate, and was elected
Chair in 1986, (following on from John Lee). She was the last
Chair of Harlow Liberals, and the first Chair of Harlow Liberal
Democrats in 1988. She was a key player in the changes locally
from the LiberalSDP Alliance to the new merged party, and
most of the initial (sometimes difficult) meetings took place
in her house. She also wrote the Members Newsletter at that time.
Her husband Rodney had organised the Liberal News distribution
in Harlow for several years.
Elsa was born in London, an adopted child who never knew her
family. She worked as an English Teacher (Robert Thurston was
one of her pupils). Rodney, her husband for 40 years, was a Science
Teacher. Sadly, he died some twenty-five years ago.
Elsa retired from teaching early due to ill-health. In her
seventies she developed further health problems. Despite this
she attended the Annual Conferences in Harrogate and Torquay
in the early 90s. Although confined to a hotel room on
both occasions, she savoured the conference atmosphere and was
able to meet up with old friends.
Elsa left Harlow some time after Rodney died, going to live
in Waterlooville in Hampshire to be near Rodneys relatives.
She regretted the move, but was unable to return to Harlow because
of house prices and her increasing inability to travel. However
she continued to support us morally and with generous donations,
and retained her membership in Harlow. She was elected President
of Harlow Liberal Democrats after she ceased to be Chair, and
has held that post ever since.
Although practically housebound for most of the last 20 years,
Elsa had many friends around the world. She had always shared
Rodneys love of technology, if not his full understanding
of it, and found the Internet invaluable. She used it to keep
in touch with friends and to help with her research, initially
through CIX and the rec.music.early
news group, and later through various Yahoo e-groups.. She also
had her own Home
Page on the web, (which will be kept online, though it
may have to change address). She was proud of the fact that one
year she was voted one of the "weirdest posters on CIX",
a tribute to her true uniqueness.
One of Elsas many interests was the history of Music.
Having produced some notes for a long playing record featuring
the voice of Vatican singer Alessandro Moreschi, she was approached
by Duckworths to write a book on the Castrati, entitled
"Angel Voices". Her self-taught knowledge of languages
(especially Italian) helped in her research. She was still working
on this at the time of her death. Her book will now be completed
by her friend Dr. Peter Giles. For more details, see her web site.
Elsa loved cats and found them great company. Her two remaining
cats, Jasper and Tosca (who is very old now 25) have been
adopted by Elsas sister-in-law.
By her request, Elsa's remains were cremated, quietly and
with "no ceremony and no fuss". Her ashes were sent
to Harlow, and interred at Parndon Wood Crematorium, in the same
area as her husband Rodney's ashes. In Elsas will she asked
that a plaque, giving her name and dates, inscribed 'The Lord
hath brought me home again' be placed in Parndon Wood Crematorium,
Harlow. We shall make sure that happens.
We have received tributes to Elsa from peole we knew, and
those we did not. Some are shown here
Harlow Liberal Democrat leader Lorna Spenceley said,
"Those who knew her will miss her more than she would have
Her Hampshire friend Philippa Gray said
"Although she had become quite frail recently so in some
ways her death was expected, her spirit was never diminished
by her illnesses and the reality of her death has come as a great
shock. She overcame so many problems I felt, deep down, that
she would continue to do so and would always be around to inspire
and brighten my life."
From email@example.com Fri
Oct 3 23:01:54 2003
Dear Harlow LibDems,
I write to offer you my condolences on the loss of your friend
and Life President, Elsa Scammell. I never met Elsa face to face
- only through the Internet. As you probably know, Elsa was an
expert on the Castrati, the high male voices of Baroque (C17-C18)
music, and many Baroque music lovers all over the world corresponded
with Elsa through Internet Baroque music groups. She helped many
of us to understand better the history of the music we love,
and will be remembered with great affection by a great number
of people whom she advised with kindness and helped with her
knowledge. She particularly encouraged some young and aspiring
classical singers of my acquaintance. She will be sadly missed.
I understand Elsa had no family, so I write to you because I
wanted to express my appreciation of Elsa to some people who
May she rest in peace.
With kind regards,
Moderator, the Andreas Scholl Society www.andreasschollsociety.scholl.com
Designed by David Wright
| Printed by OA5, 5 Red Lion, Much Hadham Herts. Published & promoted
by David Wright on behalf of the Liberal Democrats
all at 55 Old Road, HARLOW, Essex UK
| Web site provided by OA5, www.oa5.com
| Copyright ©2011 Harlow Liberal Democrats |
Last modified 21-Jan-2008