Jennie Bray, one of the earliest members of the former Newbury branch, died at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon, on 31 January 2020 at the age of 81.
Jennie was born and brought up in Derby, and was introduced to beer drinking by her father. After moving to West Berkshire, she and her second husband Jonathan joined CAMRA in 1974. She attracted great attention when serving at the new branch’s first beer tent at Newbury Agricultural Show that September.
She quickly became a member of the branch committee, and served as Social Secretary and later Vice-Chairman. She was also appointed Area Organiser for Berkshire, and once led a party of Newbury branch members down to Marlborough to join Swindon and Reading members in a pub crawl. The Newbury branch newsletter reported that, ‘like every good general, she was first into each objective and last out!’
Jennie was a highly convivial person and enjoyed the good things in life – good ale, good wine, good food, good company – and her attractive looks and personality made her very popular. She also had a broad sense of humour.
In later years Jennie had to give up alcohol for medical reasons, a situation that annoyed her intensely, but she never lost her sunny personality and sense of humour. She is survived by her partner Bob Graves, her daughters Sarah and Emma, and four granddaughters. As a keen environmentalist, she was buried in a Natural Burial Ground on the Berkshire downs near her home.