Sally Dugan - Born 25 January 1954 - Died 18 June 2018, aged 64.
Dugan was a founding member of the web group and Editor of the
Brightwell-cum-Sotwell website since it began in 2003. She lived in the
village with her family for 38 years. Having grown up in another
Oxfordshire village, Steeple Aston, she had a strong sense of village
community spirit and became involved in many activities.
anyone attending the village fete, she will be known as the secretary of
the Flower and Produce Show, encouraging young and old to enter as many
different categories as possible. She liked gardening and ran the
allotments for several years. Her classic cottage garden in front of The
Woodman and Old Bakery on Brightwell Street stopped many passers-by in
Sally was a strong advocate of the village Primary
School, becoming a governor and then chairman of the governors. At St
Agatha’s Church she was a sidesman and organised the church rota. For
many years she was a keen bell-ringer, having learned to ring bells as a
Sally used her skills as a writer and editor in many
village roles. None was more testing than the first Parish Plan fourteen
years ago. She navigated the many conflicting interests and raised
voices – into a coherent document. It was held up across Oxfordshire as a
model of what Village Plans should be.
In recent years, she was
a founding trustee member of Brightwell Supporting Refugees and went on
the fact-finding mission to Jordan. This led her to volunteer in Oxford
for Asylum Welcome, teaching refugees who were learning English.
Sally moved to the village with David in 1980, she was Woman’s Editor
of the Oxford Times. Later she taught English at Wychwood School in
Oxford; and after obtaining her PhD, taught English Literature at Oxford
Brookes. She wrote articles for The Times and Radio Times; and wrote
several books including one based on her thesis on Baroness Orczy and
the Scarlet Pimpernel.
Sally and David’s two children,
Christopher and Emily both went to the village primary school in the
1980’s. Sally loved Brightwell and was delighted to take her
two-year-old granddaughter, Matilda, to play on the swings and seesaw in
the recreation ground, just as she did over three decades before with
Chris and Em.
Her passion for the village is best summed up in her own words on the back of the 2004 Parish Plan:“To
the passer-by, Brightwell-cum-Sotwell is simply a rather odd name on
some signs between Didcot and Wallingford. The village itself is well
hidden from the road, and may attract little more than a casual glance.
However, to its inhabitants – and to the many people who visit to enjoy
its pub, footpaths, and green open spaces – the parish of
Brightwell-Cum-Sotwell is special. It is an attempt to define this
‘specialness’ that is the driving force behind this Parish Plan. For,
all too often, people only realise something is special when it is
This sentiment applies as much now as it did in 2004.
A service to celebrate her life will be held at St Agatha’s Church, Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, on Friday 29 June at 2pm.