Gertrude Stevens in 1932.
Gertrude Stevens was born in Loughton in 1876, in Salisbury House, one of thirteen children.

Her father, George Kitchener, and mother, Susanna, had moved to Salisbury House in Loughton in the early 1870's. They acquired further properties and built up two family businesses. George followed the family tradition and ran a bakery in the Old Bakehouse. His wife ran the Wheatsheaf General Store which had an off-licence and later incorporated the Post Office.

Lena Grace remembers shopping in Mrs Kitchener's general store. Eveline Miller remembers her music lessons with Mrs Stevens.
Click here to find out about the floods in School Lane.
Wheatsheaf General Store.
Salisbury House.
The Old Bakehouse.
Gertrude went to school in Loughton. By 1889 she was a pupil teacher at the same school. In 1899 the school numbers were increasing and Gertrude was employed as the Infant Mistress. This was a position that she held until 1915 when the Loughton School was closed and both teachers and pupils moved over to Shenley School.

In 1900 Gertrude married Archie Stevens, from Shenley. Click here for Archie's story

Gertude and Archie had one son, Maurice, who shortly after he married, emigrated to Australia.

They lived at 25 Pitcher Lane. Gertrude was wellknown in the village for her involvement in many aspects of village life

Click here to find out about local people's memories of Gertrude

She was renowned for reading a newspaper as she walked to school in Shenley (pictured left).

Gertrude was the organist for the services in All Saints Church for 50 years. She was very involved with the church and would decorate the pulpit and altar rails for the harvest services.

Gertrude with her class at Shenley School in 1932.
She took many of the local children for music lessons on the piano in her home, though on occasion she would also give music lessons in the school at Shenley.

She died on October 31st 1941, at the age of 66, and was laid to rest in Loughton Cemetery.

Gertrude is fondly remembered by all who knew her.