Denise Hall-Wilton (1943-2017)


October 2017

The RFA is sad to announce the death of Denise Hall-Wilton, following a short illness caused by a brain tumour.

A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Denise Hall-Wilton was held in Bradfield College Chapel on Saturday, 10th March 2018. Many fives players and friends came to celebrate her life, recognising her immense contribution to the game of Fives.

David Barnes mounted a photographic tribute to Denise to be viewed by those attending the Reception held in Big School (see photos below).

The Winchester Fives Doubles tournament was held at Bradfield the following day, giving Old Bradfieldian fives players in particular the chance to make a weekend of it by coming to play.

Denise was particularly associated with Bradfield College for the simple reason that she worked there from 1961 until 2002, working initially for both the Bursar and the Headmaster, and from 1965 as Assistant Secretary to the Headmaster. In 1971 she was appointed secretary to the Bursar and in her time at the College served four bursars.

Denise was a pillar of the College community. She was a great supporter of the College’s cultural life, singing in the madrigal group and the Choral Society, performing in opera and attending events arranged by the Concert Club and the Arts Film Society.  She was also a champion of those at Bradfield College whose contribution sometimes seemed to be taken for granted. One of her initiatives was to arrange an annual dinner for all the matrons, lab technicians and others who were not entertained in the normal course of events so that they could meet each other on a social basis.

The RFA will remember her as many things: the person who initiated girls’ fives at Bradfield; the organiser, with Paula Smith, of the Bradfield Ladies Club; the driving force behind the emergence of ladies’ tournaments in Rugby and Winchester fives; an ever-present photographer at all tournaments — notably the President’s Cup where she diligently collected a contribution towards the day’s catering — without whose photographs the RFA’s annual publication would have been much the poorer; as a long-time RFA Club Secretary working with Tom Wood and as the  Club Manager who supplied all match managers with details of the fixture for which they were responsible and sent them a postcard on which to return details of the match; as the lone female member of the RFA Committee until Alexandra Steel joined her on that body.

2018 Winchester Doubles Denise display 1
2018 Winchester Doubles Denise display 2