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Lives Remembered

Jane Brierley

From Jim Brierley: Jane left this life on Thursday last, surrounded by her family. Please feel free to add your memories of Jane and her life, they will be treasured by us all, and we will gain comfort from them... 2 May 2021

From Linda Carter: Your lovely cards! Great nights of music at yours, many music nights here at mine, sleep well. 2 May 2021

From Lynda Potts: Remembering; charity shop crawls, sitting in the launderette eating Waites steak pie, dancing at the Trades, Jane being brave and getting on a train with me (she was frightened there might be zombies), doing Riverside, Jane teaching me batik and felting and giving me a love of textiles, sitting in her studio drinking coffee and doing creative stuff, taking our GCSE maths and passing, spending New years eve with Jane and Jim, Jane's Yorkshire sense of humour, sharing a scratch card and making the fun last, just to mention a few memories among many. Eventually we moved quite a way from each other, but all these lovely memories remain close. 2 May 2021

From Sylvie Bellet You were a friend but deep in my heart you were a sister, one rare person with whom I felt totally free to be me because of your acceptance of others as they were. Another thing I admired in you was your love for your family and your dedication to the community; I have met very little people with such a sense of the common good. I am grateful today to have memories of precious moments spent with you, Jim's birthday in Le Theil with you two and Pam and Malcolm, fish and ships and music in Orne, our common passion for creation and your expression about your love of crochet. "I eat wool" you said; an afternoon with you and Brigitte by a very cold winter day and you tasting very politely the biscuits I had made, hard as stones; I still remember the concentration on your face as you were obviously wondering what to say about them not to hurt me and how it all ended in uncontrollable laughter.

I remember too your love of your garden and the hundreds of daffodils and all the trees you planted in your garden in Le Theil. Brigitte has had an idea you would love: she and I are going to plant an apple tree in her garden for you. These are just some of the memories I have with you, there are many more, and I feel rich to have them. Thank you my very dear Jane.  3 May 2021

From Dorothy Pearson Remember Jane in her youthful years, visiting Canley College to spend time with her then boyfriend Jim Brierley. Jim and Jane, were as well matched to one another as the ease of saying their names. A perfect match indeed.

They both were great friends to me, who you could relax, and spend time with. Very genuine people. Love them both to pieces.

Those early years Jane and I would attend Jim's gigs, and would take an active role in getting people up to dance, we also spent time around the pin ball machine and table football.

I remember once visiting Jane's parents home, which was absolutely amazing and immaculate. Jane didn't seem to feel too comfortable there, preferring a more relaxed way of life. I can see her now sneaking a smoke on the patio, and then wafting away the evidence just like most young people do.

She was lovely, and inspiring always following some artistic project or another.

She took this artistic flair with her setting up home for them both in Hebden Bridge where she gave birth to 2 lovely daughters, who we met when visiting with our baby son.

Latterly, Jane and Jim moved to France when Victoria and Catherine were grown up. I never did get to see their pad in France, but do hope they enjoyed those years.I can't imagine anything else for them since they were a perfect match.

Jane, I know you are going to be badly missed, but I believe we will all meet again someday.

Love and God bless,

Dorothy (Dot Bates)   3 May 2021

From Julie Ordish Lovely lady, who didn't suffer fools gladly. Always made you feel good. I have a lovely memory of Jane, getting up and singing Echo Beach with me at a friend's birthday party, saying to me she doesn't often get up and sing, and we did the swinging arms as we sang. My thoughts are with you all at this sad time xxx 3 May 2021

From Hayley Shaw Very fond memories of Jane, being on the Outazeds bus, her reading bed time stories to my children, learning how to take cuttings, and make curry, sitting around a bonfire together, dancing at parties/ bars/ places. All my love to you all xxxxx 3 May 2021

From Allan Martin I moved to Hebden Bridge in 1992 primarily to join a band. Jim was recruited as the drummer shortly afterwards and we formed a good, tight rhythm section immediately and became good friends too. Jim and Jane came very much as a pair and I grew close to them both, just as likely to find myself in hysterics over something daft with Jane or a deep musical conversation with Jim. They became like family to me, big brother and sister if you will.

So many happy memories of the Riverside festivals, drinks in The Nutty, parties at The Trades, gigs, jam sessions and rehearsals and always a warm welcome at their home (so long as you didn’t interrupt Casualty) along with Catherine and Vicky and Mitzy and Rosie. Jane was a great friend, always supportive and real but I also got to witness what a terrific wife and mother she was too.

My very sincere condolences to all the family. Rest in peace, Jane. 4 May 2021

From Jenny Hopper (new Poole) I remember Jane first at Canley teacher training college where she used to come over from Rugby to see Jim. They were more of my boyfriend's (later to become my husband) friends but we caught up again when they came to live in Long Eaton where we I got to know Jane a lot more. They were very supportive when Alan left me. Jane didn't stand for any nonsense but was very caring and stood up for what she believed was fair and right. I loved how she shared her babies and even when they left for Hebden Bridge I was made very welcome especially for the girls birthdays in January. 

I've just remembered her dressed up on the narrowboat to take grockles to Walkley Clogs.

We haven't seen them much in later years but we did managed to see her and Jim in France once when my daughter was young and they came to see my morris team when we were dancing near them.

I remember her at the end of February trying to work out how many actual birthdays she would have had (her birthday being 29th) and I would look forward to her homemade Xmas card. I also think of her when I look at the back of tapestry on kneeling cushions in a church to see if they came from Hebden Bridge and I wonder if she'd designed the patterns.
Love to all her family. 4 May 2021

From Lynda Gardner Gentle but Strong that’s who I remember Jane as. Admiration and adoration for her husband and daughters and beautiful grandchildren. Non judgmental Jane could hold a conversation with anyone and make them feel better. Creating something from thin air with beautiful results and Would always have A craft project going on.

The last time we saw Jane and Jim, Jane gave us the most beautiful gift. She had made a duvet cover from all of our children’s clothing she had collected while they were young and outgrown them. They are all adults now and our granddaughters sleep under this special gift when they stay.It means so much more now .

You never did get to teach me how to make that great curry Jane, but we had many laughs and sometimes tears, many good memories to hold close and be thankful for 
RIP Jane Xxxxx 4 May 2021

From Andy and Teresa I have many happy memories of band practice at Jane and Jims place in France. The highlight was always the break for 'eats'. Whether it was a home made curry, pizza or a cup of tea and cake we were all very glad to have whatever Jane had cooked for us.

For the band she was our number one dancer. Always the first to get up and boogie (and very often the only one!!) However, she was also our number one critic and one look or comment from her we knew that we should never play that particular song again!

I only knew Jane and Jim from living in France and I know that they had a large and varied group of friends over there and Jane will be missed by all of them. We had a lot of fun over the years and we  have some very happy memories that we should cling onto and not forget.
Love to all the family xx

From Chris and John Elliott We first met Jane (and Jim) in Normandy, France through a mutual friend called Aileen. We were all addicted to finding and selling treasures, and boot sales were our meeting places! We moved south and Jim helped us with our settling in. We aways called in to Vide Fleure en-route to UK and and always had a great time. Those times were missed when they moved back to UK to be with the family. A few years later that is exactly what we have done too, both realising the importance of family. Our thoughts and love go out to Jim and all the family. Sending love.

From Brian Evans: Hi There, Jim should remember this one well. One evening at at a certain address at Newcombe Road in Coventry, Jane got severely pissed off at Urco (guitarist at the time) and ended up going outside into the garden and putting a beer crate straight through the window onto the back of his head!

Poor old Urco didnt know what had happened as he sat there with a crate on his head and glass everywhere. You had to be there. We all just pissed ourselves laughing. These are the sort of things Jane got up to in her twenties!

If I can find an early photo i'll upload it as and when. Jane will be severly missed as she was definitely one of a kind and a great fun person. 14 May 2021

From Julie Cockburn: My strongest memory of Jane is arriving at their place in France and being welcomed on the big south facing doorstep by Jane, a pile of hens, cats, one very fierce one, and dogs. 

This was Jane in her element. They moved to France after coming over to Montamy for my 50th where Jim played the drums. They then bought their house near Vassey, and moved over from Unity street in Hebden. 

Unfortunately shortly after they lost their roof along with the rest of the region in a huge storm, at the turn of the millennium. Nothing daunted them and with the support of local friends they moved into the annexe and eventually got their roof repaired.

When it was all sorted it was with Jane's quirky design and input throughout. Jane started trading treasures they found at the Vide grenier (empty your barn). And Emmaus. Which later turned into Jane's business of selling collectables and antiques back in England. 

I like to picture them both at the house in France with the orchard mowed, a full veg patch, the animals, and the house all complete. 14 May 2021

From Ann Marie Wallbank: We are both deeply saddened to learn of Jane's death.  Our thoughts are with Jim and the family.  

Although we haven't seen each other for many years, we kept in touch with Christmas cards (loved the home made ones!) and occasional letters and emails, so there was always a thought that perhaps we would meet up again sometime. 

A few weeks ago, Dave and I drove through Stretton under Fosse and passed the entrance to Newbold Revel for the first time in years. It reminded us of those halcyon days in the seventies and we laughed about some of the things we did back  then.  I vividly remember meeting Jane on our first day in that place, and we were pretty much inseparable for the next few years.  She was a good friend and an easy person to get on with and you always knew exactly what she thought about everything. She hated any kind of pretentiousness. In those days, she was a massive Elvis Presley fan and his music would often fill the corridors near her room whenever she was in. She was devastated when he died in August 1977. But she enjoyed the music of many other artists as well.  I can never listen to “The Way We Were” by Barbra Streisand without thinking of Jane.  I hope that the “Memories” will be of comfort to Jim.  

Jane and Jim were very much an item back then and it was clear that she was the biggest fan of Jim’s music at that time.

We didn’t get to see him perform but Jane’s glowing descriptions of his drumming kept us up to speed with it all.

He often came over from Canley to be with her  (She probably spent even more time visiting him since our college was not much of a social destination!)  We spent many hours with them both, putting the world to rights, or examining Jim’s latest mode of transport, which often needed fixing!  The green Mini sticks in my mind, because Dave had one too. One evening, there was a challenge between them to see who could get from the college to the pub first in the Minis. I seem to recall that the shortest route, according to the map, involved a track through a field which definitely didn’t do the car much good and, unfortunately, the gate at the far side was locked so, after an extremely bumpy ride, it was necessary to turn back and go by road after all.  Jane was always happy to enter into the spirit of whatever was going on.  I remember a charity event that required fancy dress.  I am not sure which us decided that it would be a good idea to enter jointly as a spider,  but we duly donned black tights and long sleeved black tops and wrapped ourselves together in black bin sacks.  Our helpers made sure that the plastic was well taped up so  that it wouldn’t fall apart.  By the time they finished, we couldn't  actually move, so we probably didn’t complete the course but we laughed a lot. Meals were provided at college but, if we fancied something a bit more exotic, there were always Vesta curries available in the college shop!!  Of course these bore absolutely no resemblance to the imaginative curries that Jane and Jim created once they got their own kitchen, but they went down well enough with a few beers or a cup of Camp Coffee.  I don't think that Jane was exactly thrilled by the whole college experience, but she was always dedicated to her creative and artistic pursuits and spent many hours in the weaving room, creating amazing wall hangings and other lovely things.  

On several occasions I stayed with Jane at her parents house during the holidays.  For some reason, I was trusted to drive her mother's Skoda, a somewhat dubious honour for me!  In spite of being a relatively new car, it was everything that the old jokes told us about Skodas in the 1970s! I recall being reprimanded by her father for driving with the lights on during a torrential rainstorm.  He said I needed to conserve the battery!!!  Whilst I was staying, Jane was doing some kind of work experience, so I was sometimes left in the house on my own, with instructions to take Jasper, the Staffie, for a walk.  I think that Jasper was probably more enthusiastic about this than I was.  I remember being dragged around Batley at some pace on the end of his lead! Jane was fond of that dog, maybe because he was a strong character, just like her. Jane also visited my family home from time to time.  She recalled in an email many years later how my mother would rope her in to make teddy bears and other items for a charity bazaar stall or costumes for one of the pantomimes that she was organising. Jane always got stuck in to these activities with good humour.

After we left college, we continued to see each other and eventually became bridesmaids at each other's weddings.  I had made all the dresses for my wedding and Jane was always around for a fitting, but when she came to get married, I was 125 miles away, so a parcel of peach coloured floral chiffon fabric (not sure that Jane actually chose this!!!) was sent to me on a bus with a sketch of the intended style.  I remember retrieving the parcel from the bus depot in town, and spending a long time trying to fathom how I could match the design in the sketch with the available material.  I eventually managed it with only slight modifications, although the sash was an intricate patchwork of all the scraps leftover from the cutting out. As the wedding was in the middle of winter, the flimsy fabric was no protection against the weather but when I arrived, I was relieved to be given a thick shawl to wear.  I still have the dress and the shawl although neither has ever been worn since.

I also remember driving to Derby and Long Eaton to visit Jane. In those days, it was an easy drive up the M1 first from where we were living. Jane and Jim would sometimes turn up at our house in yet another of his old, not quite classic, cars.  A year after her wedding, I sat with her as she nursed the newly born Catherine. Exactly a year later, Vicky came along.  Jane seemed completely unfazed by this massive change in her life. She took motherhood in her stride and got on with it.  By the time my firstborn arrived, the following year, she was already an old hand, and I recall her down to earth view of my son's early experience of solid food - just give him everything....he'll get used to it!

Once she moved to Hebden (about 1984, I think), we saw less of each other but somehow, we remained in touch. Later, Jane kept us updated about her time in France and we always imagined that we would eventually get to see the place but we never did. We compared notes on fruit crops and ride on lawnmowers, among other things. The years rolled by but every conversation with Jane was as if we were continuing a chat we had yesterday.  Last year, we compared notes on the lockdown experience and Jane sounded quite philosophical about the impact that it had had.  The final words that she wrote to me were “Let’s hope we all stay well”.

I used to tease her about her Leap Day birthday but, in my mind, Jane will be forever young, a teenage rebel and pusher of boundaries, a talented and creative artist and, above all, a kind and wonderful friend.  The world is a poorer place without her in it!

Rest in Peace, Jane. Xxx     24 May 2021

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