Recollections of Pat Moody
By Gill Samuals
I first met Pat when I visited Deal. One never knew quite what age she was. In terms of her style and zest for life she was certainly a lot younger than her chronological age I would say. She was a strong character, she enjoyed life, she wrote quite a lot and was not averse to the odd gin and tonic or glass of wine but not in any kind of obsessive way. I very rarely saw her wearing a skirt it was usually trousers and when she smoked she had a cigarette holder so she was quite stylish and she had, because she lived several lives in one as it were, a fund of stories about life.
She had a fondness for Deal, she said that when she came to Deal, at the age of eight or nine, she didn’t want to be anywhere else. Deal to her was heaven. Heaven was a favourite term of Pat’s it could be heaven could be hell. She enjoyed the diversity of life would be a good way of putting it.
She was very fond of the royal family, especially the Queen Mother, very loyal to the Queen Mother. Every Christmas she would make a special drawing or painting. Always put to create drama, “what was it going to be”. One year she decided she was going to draw Dover Castle. I had a car with a sun roof at that stage so I was commissioned to drive slowly down the road approaching Dover Castle whilst Pat stood suspended through the sun roof taking photographs. A few days later she was on the phone and she said, “bad news, didn’t get the pictures quite right”. And when she showed them to me there was this very small picture of Dover Castle in the distance and in front was everything else. I don’t know how she managed after that but it was typical, you would always have fun if you were doing something with her.
She had a little 1961 frog eyed sprite, she was only it’s second owner and it was her great pride and joy. We would occasionally go out in it and sometimes I would be allowed to drive it. I remember going to collect some large hydrangeas from Walmer nursery one day and I had the roof open and the young man at walmer nursery said, "I’ll carry that to the car for you", and as we approached the car he said, "two old ladies used to drive this”, “yes” I said, “ and I was one of them”. We used to go to the Griffins Head pub where every month they had a meeting of vintage and classic cars. We used to toddle out there and I think that the sprite was probably the smallest car there but it was certainly very well cared for and Pat used to love it when she got the grade.
It must have been something like the 60th anniversary of VE day and I’d invited her round for a drink and we were out in the garden. There was a knock on the door and when I opened it there was Pat in full military kit, water bottle, gas mask, crash hat, everything. Standing at the door she said,, “I’m home darling throw the other buggers out”, and then gave me a passionate kiss. She had a really wonderfully creative sense of humour it was so typical of her. A great friend.