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Library built in Brian's memory

By Folkestone Herald  |  Posted: January 25, 2013

  • "HAPPY DISPOSITION": Brian Uden, who died last year

  • LEGACY: Youngsters at the Achungo Children's Centre

  • MISSION: Madeline Uden with her husband Brian

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WELL-KNOWN lifetime Hythe resident, Brian Uden, passed away on November 6, aged 74, and is interred in Spring Lane Cemetery in Seabrook.

There is a bench in his memory at the top of Ormonde Road on the seafront, where Brian spent many happy hours. His two sons and three grandchildren still live in England.

Brian was born on October 19, 1937, and attended the Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone. On leaving school. He served an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic at Folkestone Motor Cab Company and he cycled to and from work every day regardless of the weather.

After his apprenticeship, Brian did two years' National Service in the REME (Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers). He had various postings including Aden, before resuming civilian life, where he worked for the Royal Mail until retirement.

Brian was a keen football player in his younger years, and could often be found at the Hythe Albion Club in Albert Lane. He was a member of the Seabrook Sea Anglers Association, where he won many of the club trophies.

Brian was among the last group to do national service. During basic training, he was stationed in Hampshire which made it difficult to get home whenever he got a 48-hour pass, as he had no vehicle and only his national service pay. He had to hitchhike from Hampshire to Kent, but Brian's ready smile and happy disposition helped him make friends easily, so he always made it home.

Through his brother Barry, who has been living in California for the past 12 years, Brian met his partner Madeline Cowden from California. Brian and Madeline travelled extensively, and lived in both California and Hythe for the last 10 years of his life. Brian and Madeline were avid bridge players, and members of the Wednesday Wanderers Bridge Club in the Hythe-Folkestone area. Brian also enjoyed playing cribbage.

He was much loved by all his friends in California, and their hearts are broken with his loss.

Madeline has been involved in a mission project to provide education and financial aid for an orphanage in Kenya that supports almost 200 children. The Achungo Children's Centre was recently built to provide a safe haven and a good education for orphans, and exists solely on donations.

The year the school was founded, it had just one book, which the teachers read over and over to the children. In memory of Brian, Madeline funded the building of a library for the orphanage school, and dedicated the Brian Uden Library in October. Although he was not able to visit Achungo, Madeline is sure that if he could be there, Brian would love to play football with the orphans and teach them to read. In his stead, Brian's library will help educate generations of African children.

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