A tribute to Pam Hopcraft (1930-2017)

OxVeg supporter and committee member Pam Hopcraft passed away on 28 November 2017, aged 87.  Pam was a lifelong campaigner for peace and environmental issues: she was a founder member of Oxford Friends of the Earth and OxFoE Reclaim, and a leading figure in Campaign Atom, the forerunner to Oxford CND, attending several major anti-nuclear weapons demonstrations in the 1970s and 80s.  In the last decade of her life Pam served on the OxVeg committee and was a regular helper on the OxVeg stall at events such as the Oxford Green Fair, selling home made jams and chutneys and her ever-popular Sosmix rolls.

I attended the memorial service for Pam held at Oxford Crematorium on 12 December 2017 where I learned much more about her remarkable life.         Born in Grove near Wantage in 1930, Pam married in 1949 and raised five children, including the current OxVeg secretary David Huish. Her love of gardening led her to join the Henry Doubleday Association, now known as Garden Organic. Pam followed a wholefood diet long before she became a vegan, baking her own bread and using home grown fruit and vegetables grown on her allotment. Indeed, I first met her selling wholefoods from a stall at the Oxford Green Fair. In later life Pam joined Ruskin College in Oxford as a mature student to further her interests in photography and creative writing. She wrote poetry and had a large collection of books covering a wide range of subjects. At Ruskin College, Pam became a member of the Agewell group, once arranging for me to give a talk on vegetarianism to the group. She worked in the Earth ‘n Wear shop in Cowley Road, Oxford, and later helped at the volunteer-run village shop in her home village of Radley.

Pam’s determination and steadfast principles were an inspiration to the many people who knew her.  She supported many charities and good causes including the RSPB (birdwatching was a particular passion of her’s), UNICEF, NSPCC, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Free Tibet and the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. A collection at her memorial service raised more than £100 for two of Pam’s favourite campaign groups: Amnesty UK and Viva!

Paul Appleby

(The picture below shows Pam on the OxVeg stall at the Elder Stubbs Festival, Rymers Lane, Oxford, in August 2007.  She made the cotton carrier bags for resale shown at front right of the stall.)



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