Frances Wright

April 2014

Frances Wright, who lived in School Court, died on August 26, 2013, aged 97. She was born Frances Swadling in 1915 in the Oxfordshire village of Burcot and went to school in Clifton Hampden. Aged 14, she went to work in service for a family in Dalcross Castle in Inverness, taking over from her sister. She had never cooked, but her sister said: “I’ve left you the cookbook”.

When she was living in Scotland Frances met Jim Wright from Oxford who was touring with a friend on his motorbike. They were married in 1938 and moved to Oxford, living first in Derwent Avenue, Marston. In 1939, they moved to 8 Jericho Street, renting the house from Burtons Dairies where Jim was working, and started a family – two boys and three girls.

With Jim not earning very much, Frances worked hard all her life. First it was part time for Burton’s milk bar behind the New Theatre, and also for the Town Hall for catering. She also worked as a housekeeper for the Wolverton family, who had a rag-and-bone business. Later she was employed as a cleaner at Lucy’s offices, until she retired aged 69.

In 1977 Frances and Jim moved to Grantham House. Jim died in 1983, and when Grantham House closed in 2008 Frances moved to 10 School Court. In 2013, she became ill and went to Wallingford Hospital where she died.

Frances enjoyed walking and would often take her children to the parks. She also loved knitting clothes for her children and eight grandchildren and, as a legacy of her early years in Scotland, made wonderful cakes that were enjoyed by all the family.

This article appeared in Jericho Echo No 75, July 2014.