15 September 1950
Carol was born at St Helens, the only child of Kenneth Donnison and Florence Fairhurst.
I know little of this, only what Carol told to me in conversations. Having no siblings her
cousin, Nick Hough, was a surrogate brother. She went to school at
Huyton College, and although a Lancashire
lass, thereby acquired a neutral accent. When she was thirteen her father became the optician/pharmacist
for the Coop at Coventry and they moved there. She attended
Barr's Hill from 1963 to
1968. Her father had a Ford Mark I Console which was called Ollie.
University and early career
She went to St Andrews University, with 6 months at the
Sorbonne, and got an M.A. in French.
She met her first husband at St Andrews. After graduation she got a job teaching French at Sweyne
Rayleigh. When micro computers first started appearing in schools, they got one at Sweyne. Carol got
interested and realised a career change might be a good idea. She applied for and got a place on a
course at Grays Technical College and after a training placement with Ford during the course, applied for and
got a job in the Systems Office at Ford working on the Salary Roll Payroll system. She asked her
supervisor on the first day how many others were working on the team. "Oh, just you", he replied.
This was a rude shock, and she wondered what she had let herself in for. Luckily she had an aptitude for
programming and this was not a problem.
Career at Ford
She remained at Ford, working at Warley, until she retired in 2011. She worked
mainly in Payroll, Software and Equipment Support (later renamed Software and Productivity Support) and Office
Productivity departments. Towards the end of her Ford career she worked partly from home with a concept
called Hot-desking and using the internet with
VPN so that she could access the Ford
central network from home.
We were married in November 1988 at Brentwood, and lived there, opposite Ford Central Office for a
year, but then moved to South Woodham Ferrers. Carol was not keen on moving so far away from work,
"Don't worry", I said, "I'll do the driving". In 2005 I took early retirement and left Carol to
drive herself to work. I was not forgiven for this until she eventually got retirement herself.
She was very much on the Arts side and I was very much on the Science side, but I got her interested
in Science and she got me interested in Arts. We did many Open university courses together and some
different ones. She got a second degree, a BSc, from the OU and covered Philosophy, Psychology, Astro
Physics, Paleantology and Geology, among others. I got her interested in bird watching, taking her to
Minsmere and impressing her by reeling off the names of the different distant specs on the meres. She
later on acquired this skill for herself, but never forgot that first day when she saw the spoonbill and
thought that they were common.
We joined the U3A in 2007, soon after it started in South
Woodham Ferrers and have been members of
many groups. Lately our activity had decreased, but we were still members of the Science and Technology
and Digital Photography groups and Carol taught the French group. Over our eleven years with the U3A we
have made many friends. When we first moved to South Woodham Ferrers we didn't realise that it had so
many interesting people in it.
We were both interested in photography in the film days and had SLRS. When the digital
cameras first came out, Carol, like many of us, saw the benefit of no longer having to worry about how
many images one took. Cost was no longer an issue. Many people looked down on digital as the early
low resolutions were no match for the quality of film. Carol stuck with it though and learnt how to get the
best out of Photoshop as well as the Camera and improve by entering competitions. She took the digital
courses offered by Steve Hedges and the digital photography
group of the U3A also helped thanks to Ken Pratt. She was an acomplished photographer and when I get time
I hope to create an online album of her work.
As Carol had studied French literature during her degree and was also interested in architecture she had a good grasp of European history which she added to on various holidays we took in Europe, mostly in France but also Belgium, Germany and Austria. In 2008 and 2009 we took two trips to America. The first was to San Francisco and a coach trip up the 101 to Vancouver, followed by a cruise to Alaska. The second was a trip to Los Angeles with a circular coach trip via San Diego, Pheonix, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce, Las Vagas, Yosemite and San Francisco. The first trip introduced as to cruising which we had never fancied, "Who wants to be stuck on a ship with nothing to do?" After we discovered that we really enjoyed cruising we have done many trips. The second trip enabled her meet her fourth cousin which she had found via her other interest, Genealogy.
Carol did a lot of research into her family hstory (and quite a bit of mine). She started in the early days before the world wide web became popular using CIX as a knowledge pool and Roots mailing lists for contacts. Big strides were made when the censuses came out and Genes Reunited and later Acestry got well established. Her main Donnison branch is on Ancestry but I will copy it over to Wikitree when I get the time. Her current entry on Wikitree is here.
6th February 2019
She died in Broomfield hospital after a series of strokes. A diary of events is