Tributes to Glyndebourne seamstress from Seaford

A FORMER seamstress at Glyndebourne who dressed world famous opera singers has died.

Ruth Mountford, passed away aged 95 on December 16 at Coppice Court Nursing Home in Eastbourne.

Originally from Staffordshire, she moved to Dane Road in Seaford in 1967 and lived in the town for 44 years.

She trained late in life as a teacher and shortly after moving to Seaford became head of needlework at Tideway School, Newhaven.

During this period, her skills as a teacher, dress designer, dressmaker and fine cook flourished and her numerous friends included various creative local people, such as writers and artists.

After retiring from teaching, she had a second career as a dresser and seamstress at Glyndebourne Opera House where she dressed world famous singers such as the bass, Willard White.

In fact her Seaford home was often full of chorus members escaping from bleak ‘theatrical’ bedsitting rooms.

She worked at Glyndebourne for sixteen years, only retiring when she was 82.

Her family said: “Her small, cheerful figure was well known in the town.

“Throughout her life Ruth had a very youthful outlook - many of her friends were much younger than her.

“She did not want anyone to know her age and was most upset when she received ‘Happy 90th birthday’ cards!

“Although her health had been failing for the past few years, she managed, with some help, to live alone in her own home until July last year when she had to go into care in Eastbourne.”

Ruth leaves two sons, Jim and Peter Martin, and one grand-daughter.

In a statement to the Sussex Express Jim and Peter Martin added: “Our mother was an inspiration to many people both as a teacher and through the way she retained a positive and youthful enthusiasm for people and life.

“Her generous spirit and cheerfulness never failed to brighten the day and her passing leaves a very big gap in the lives of her family and her many friends.”

Her funeral took place on Monday January 9 at St. Leonard’s Church, Seaford, followed by cremation at Eastbourne Crematorium.