Fond farewell to Molly Watkins

Over £800 has been raised in memory of Wisbech character Molly Watkins, who was laid to rest on Monday.

Around 60 people attended Mount Pleasant Cemetery to pay their respects to the elderly woman after it became known that she was going to be buried in a pauper’s grave.

Molly Watkins being buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech

Molly Watkins being buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech

Floral tributes were left and humanist Mark Tyack led the service as people came out to say goodbye to one of the town’s figures.

Molly, who was 87 when she died, was best known for frequenting St Peter’s Church gardens. Described as a “gentle woman”, she used to push a pram or pushchair, often with a doll inside.

There was an outcry online when people found out she was not going to have a funeral, as she has no family left or estate. Donations came flooding in and enough money has now been raised to get a memorial.

A decision on what to have has not been finalised, but businessman Simon Ward, who is collecting the money, said they have enough to buy a bench and someone has offered to make a plaque.

Molly Watkins being buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech

Molly Watkins being buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech

During the service, Mr Tyack said: “I have been told that Molly had a great love for animals and children and that tells me all I need to know about someone. She had a very warm welcome and an even warmer smile.”

Mr Tyack gave two readings – The Tree of Life by Herbert Read and Death is Nothing At All by Canon Henry Scott Holland – and Karen Gathercole gave a Bible reading and led a prayer for Molly.

People who attended the funeral shared their memories of Molly and said she would have enjoyed seeing everyone there.

Molly used to live with her sister Gladys, who died several years ago. She also had a brother Billy. In recent years, she lived at Orchard House Care Home.

Molly Watkins being buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech

Molly Watkins being buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Wisbech

• Cash donations can be made at Anglia Locksmiths until Friday.