Monday 31 July 2023

Gilly Travers

Many in our community were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Gilly Travers.

Gilly died recently after a short illness. Details of her funeral arrangements will be available shortly.

Gilly was a wonderful, often outrageous character, who brought sparkle and fun to all the company she kept.

Our heartfelt condolences go to her family – husband, Mark, son Marcus and his partner, Anna, who are due to be married this Saturday,

We are indebted to Mark who, at this sad time, has been able to share with us some of the many highlights of his beloved Gilly’s life.

“Gilly was born in Taplow, Buckinghamshire in March 1960 and lived her early years in Maidenhead and later Marlow.

Following her school years, she read Classics at Royal Holloway College, where she graduated.

Her working career began with a job in high fashion, working with the likes of Jasper Conran and Georgina Godley in Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, then becoming a director of a company with diverse interests, including managing the UK’s first certified organic farm which she visited (in heels rather than wellies!).

I met Gilly in 1992 when she started a job at the BBC in Oxford, where I was chief engineer. Her early role was covering for the administrator while she was attached to BBC at Caversham Park in Berkshire.

We then married and our son Marcus soon arrived.

Gilly then got a job in a finance role for BBC Daytime TV, where her inventiveness enabled programmes such as ‘Doctors’ to be commissioned on a very limited budget. Her commute required a move of house and I found a lovely cottage (The Thatches), which became our home in Chearsley.

She then moved on to BBC Entertainment as an Executive Producer and Commissioning Editor. She began to commission programmes that included the likes of ‘Three Men in a Boat’, ‘Only Connect’, ‘Frost on Sketch Shows,’ ‘Come Fly with Me’, ‘Frank Skinner on George Formby’, ‘Schools Out’, ’The Vera Lynn Story’ and ‘Dave Allen - Gods Own Comedian’.

She also produced numerous longstanding programmes ,such as ‘Would I Lie to You’, ‘Mock the Week’, ‘University Challenge,’ Have I got News for You’,’ Master Chef’ and many more.

Sadly the BBC, in its wisdom felt people no longer needed to be entertained and made Gilly redundant.

In latter years, Gilly turned her hand to writing and wrote a book on Roman cookery called ‘Italian and Roman Feasts’, with many illustrations by Alicia Howard, followed by a novel, ‘The Unforgettable Affair’.

Sadly, she recently became unwell and was admitted to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where she died in my arms on Sunday 23rd of July.”

In 2009, Gilly joined with a number of her girlfriends (a.k.a. ‘Chearsley Calendar Girls’) to produce a now legendary calendar ‘Chearsley Uncovered’, to help raise charitable funds in memory of a dear friend, Jacqui Brown, who had recently passed away.

Rest in peace ‘Miss March’.

Thursday 27 July 2023