Islands Pay Tribute To Lesley Hopkins

Bryher All Saints Church

All Saints Church on Bryher will be packed this afternoon as islanders and visitors pay tribute to a popular resident.

Lesley Hopkins passed away last week.

Born in Bromley in Kent, Lesley came the islands with her husband Chris to run the New Inn on Tresco. The couple applied for the position thinking it would be their only chance to get a free helicopter trip.

Lesley was surprised to learn that the interviews would be held in Plymouth.

They stayed at the New Inn for 13 years and then moved to Bryher where she helped Chris create Fraggle Rock after the former Harbour View Cafe was hit by a gale in 1989.

The cafe opened in 1991 and later became a pub.

Lesley’s passion for education began while she was a Governor at Tresco School. She started helping out there and later began tutoring local kids in maths.

She loved numbers and decided to take her interest further with an Open University course in the subject.

After beating breast cancer in 2000, Lesley decided to pursue her passion for education and became the driver for the Council’s Lifelong Learning initiative.

She saw the department grow as manager until her retirement last year.

Her daughter Naomi told us that Lesley will be remembered today for her lively, bubbly and larger-than-life personality.

Naomi said she had become a second mum to so many islanders.

Lesley worked hard to raise funds for Bryher Church and to buy the keyboard that she played, as a self-taught pianist, during Sunday services.

She’ll be remembered there today at 2pm.