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Tributes to much-loved Brenda aka Miss Havisham


One of the most colourful characters to grace Rochester's Dickens festivals will take one last tour of her favourite spot this week.

Brenda Gilliam-Hill, who has died aged 78, will be given a full funeral procession on Friday down Rochester High Street, where she regularly dressed as the fearsome spinster Miss Havisham.

She was known for donning ghostly make-up to play the character from Great Expectations, which is set at St James' Church, Cooling, and locations in Rochester.

Her family paid tribute to her this week, saying: "She will leave a large gap in the lives of her daughter Ruth, son Clive and their families, and her many, many friends."

Chatham resident David Gutteridge wrote on our facebook page: "The people who appear as specific costumed characters from the texts rather than as generic Victorians keep our Dickens festivals from becoming just another carnival.

"The contribution made by Brenda and several others by doing so has enriched the enjoyment of so many visitors to Rochester over the years. I hope many of us will remember her with fond gratitude."

Mrs Gilliam-Hill died in her sleep on December 7. The funeral procession will begin at 10.30am on Friday and a service will be held at Medway Crematorium at 11.40am.

Donations to Kent Air Ambulance Trust c/o T Allen Funeral Service, Maidstone Road, Rochester.

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