History enthusiast played a big role in her community
An active member of the Townwomen's Guild, and co-writer of a book on the history of Combe Down, has died at the age of 96.
Blanche Wilkes, spent part of her life living in Combe Down and played an active part in community life there.
She died at St Philip and St James Residential Home, in Keynsham.
Mrs Wilkes worked as the private secretary to Earl Waldegrave of Chewton Mendip for nearly 50 years, and was a gifted pianist and church organist.
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She was born in Bristol, learnt to drive at the age of 17 and during the war became an ambulance driver.
She met her husband Ted through their mutual love of music at the Folk House Orchestra in Bristol. Mr Wilkes enjoyed playing the violin and Mrs Wilkes the piano, and they were married in 1941 at Henbury Church.
Their son Roger was born in 1942, and their daughter Elaine in 1944.
After the war the family moved to Upper Milton, near Wells in 1950 she started work at the Chewton Farms estate office, but was asked to work at Chewton House as Earl Waldegrave's private secretary.
In 1958 the family moved to Combe Down, where Mrs Wilkes was an active member of the Townwomen's Guild, and co-wrote a book on the history of the area.
In 1968 Mr and Mrs Wilkes moved to Keynsham.
Mrs Wilkes found the time to play the piano for a number of choirs in and around Bristol, in addition to playing the church organ at St John's Church, Keynsham,
In 2005 after the death of her husband she moved into the residential home.
She leaves her children and grandchildren Charlotte and Ol.