THE former housekeeper of an Abergavenny farm who died aged 104 has been called a ‘wonderful character’ by all who knew her.

Tributes have been paid to Hilda Messenger, the former housekeeper at Parsonage Farm, at Kemeys Commander, who died on March 8.

Miss Messenger was born at New Inn, Pontypool, on February 22, 1910 and was an organist at three parishes including Kemeys Commander Church as a teen.

She never married and worked as a housekeeper at Parsonage Farm from more than 50 years, starting in 1924 at the age of 14.

A keen Women’s Institute member (WI) Miss Messenger’s parents kept the Bridge Inn at Kemeys Commander where she lived before working on the farm.

Life-long friend Ellen Downey said she knew Miss Messenger since she was a “tiny child”.

“She was a champion cheese maker,” she said.

“She was an excellent cook and she won the champion for Farmers’ Weekly.

“She made the most wonderful recipe for raisin and whiskey cake.

“She retired to Abergavenny and used to arrange the flowers in the church.

“She was a member of the Abergavenny Flower Club.

“She was a stalwart of many things – a wonderful lady.”

In her later years Miss Messenger was a resident at Mardy Park Home in Abergavenny and had recently celebrated her 104th birthday at the home.

“I have known her for so many years,” Mrs Downey continued.

“She was just good fun.

“If you went to visit her, she would always make you laugh.

“She was interested in everything.”

Her niece Angela Beere, said Miss Messenger’s her life was devoted to community pursuits.

“She was a keen flower arranger and had a great sense of humour that she retained for all of her life,” she said.

“She was aware of things and her life revolved around the family.”

Her funeral will be held tomorrow at St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny at 2.30pm.