Margaret Tebbutt (1928 – 2001)

Short narrative about Margaret by Ric Coe, the long-term secretary of Liana Board, and his brother Neil.

Margaret Poole was born in the small town of Raunds in Northamptonshire in the English midlands. Her father was a teacher and lay preacher, while her mother was busy with church, community activities and home life. Following her school years she studied Agricultural Economics at the University of Nottingham, where she met and then married Kenneth Coe. They moved to Ghana (then the Gold Coast), where he worked as a geological surveyor for rural water supply; and where they started a family.  After four years in Ghana they moved to Dublin, Ireland for another four years, then to Devon, England, where their four children went to school and grew up. Their marriage did not last. After some years of being a single mother, Margaret married Charles (Teb) Tebbutt and moved to the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England. Teb was an archaeologist and natural historian, and Margaret became fascinated with, and knowledgeable about, the history and wildlife of the area.

Margaret and Teb

Margaret’s interests were broad. She was always intrigued by people which led to her working as a relationship counsellor for a while. It also meant she became involved in the communities where she lived. Over the years this included activities in her church, the village school, the local health centre, and a choir raising funds for lifeboats. In later years she shared her knowledge by volunteering in the Ashdown Forest visitors’ information centre and at the county museum.  These local activities were balanced by international interests, both through her own travels to live in Ghana and later for holidays, which focused on culture and wildlife. As her children moved to work in other countries, she went to experience lives in Kenya, Indonesia and Pakistan. She was a long-term supporter of Amnesty International.

Margaret passed away in December 2001 in East Sussex.

Margaret was our mother and the money used to start the Margaret Tebbutt Foundation was inherited by Ric from her. Liana was established some years after Margaret died, but we feel she would have been pleased that the money is being used in this way. She always encouraged each of us in doing what we felt was important. The values and work of Liana and the Foundation are also aligned with hers – supporting people and the natural world, local action, and volunteering.