We were saddened to hear of the passing of Maggie Ashford yesterday. Maggie was our Pier Mistress for twelve memorable years – 1990 to 2002. Ivor and Maggie Ashford were appointed to run the Pier in 1990 and they spent an amazing decade doing a fantastic job and raising money for the restoration of the pier head buildings. Following Ivor’s death in 2000, Maggie continued the work with undiminished energy and enthusiasm.
In 2008 Maggie published her book Memories of a Piermaster’s Mistress in which she recounted the story of those happy years. During Ivor and Maggie’s time with the Trust, the restoration was completed and the pier was the focus of numerous events and activities including art exhibitions, ship sailings and – on one memorable occasion – a balloon launch.
Simon Talbot-Ponsonby the current Chairman of the Trust said “I was sorry to hear that Maggie is no longer with us. There is no doubt that we would not have achieved as much as we have without her wholehearted commitment for over a decade. We owe Maggie and Ivor an immense amount of gratitude”.
We wish Maggie’s family well at this difficult time and hope that the Ashford connection to the Pier will continue over the coming years as future generations enjoy Maggie and Ivor’s legacy.