Pauline Baines Obituary

She was a stalwart! She came to Advanced French till a few years ago when only a fracture and the impossibility of leaving her lovely top floor flat made it a step too far.

With the French group she read her way through Proust and was in her nineties part of a celebratory expedition to visit Combray. She went to Advanced Italian too, and it’s not many years since she went alone to visit friends in Italy and also had a holiday in Crete from where she returned enthused by Cretan cooking and its wildflowers and history, particularly that of the 20th century. She had been an editor for Thames & Hudson and was knowledgeable about art, architecture and sculpture. During an earlier spell with a broken limb she hadn’t minded being confined to her flat since she had her radio and books.

Her wide ranging interests led to her involvement with many Primrose Hill groups, the Community Centre Management Committee, the CAAC, the  reading group, the school, Camden Civic Society and the Labour Party. She had many skills and interests, she was a fine cook and often brought her delicious cheese biscuits to PHCA committee meetings and made lovely nibbles for French group parties. Able with a needle, in these later years she repaired garments and sewed buttons on for those less able; with the same kind thoughtfulness she read aloud to blind Jean Rossiter every late Friday afternoon into early evening , working their way through many books, after which they had dinner together. 

Like many others of that early Primrose Hill group of women, now sadly no longer with us, she was determined, positive, responsive to need where she saw it. Pauline was intelligent, sensitive to literature of all kinds, to art in all its forms, and keen to learn new things, determinedly keeping going often to the surprise of others. At the same time as enjoying those things she personally found life enhancing she had a deep sense of responsibility to contribute to the good of others, helping from the start to build the Community Association, determined that it should include the full range of people of all backgrounds and economic circumstances who lived in Primrose Hill, not wanting it to become a middle class centre, but rather keen to ensure all were not just welcome there but involved in its running.

In later years trapped inside her top floor flat reached by a winding wooden staircase which many younger could no longer manage when she still could, she still lived positively. She was a fascinating, modest unassuming person to whom many in Primrose Hill, both individually and as a community owe much. 

Last Updated on 24th October 2020 by Jason