Sylvia Bliss

Many of you will have enjoyed reading the memoirs of Mrs Bliss in previous editions of this magazine. You can find them by choosing the history category  or just type ‘Bliss’ into the search box.

We were very saddened to learn of her passing in January.


Sylvia was born on the 17th March 1924 at Canal House, Eastington, an only child to Cyril and Josephine Shill whose generations of families came from Eastington. Her grandmother lived with them and weekends and holidays were spent playing by the canal with lots of cousins.catching the Railcar to School.

Sylvia was a very creative person with music being one of her main passions. She gave many concerts singing either solo or as a duet with Stella Hunt , winning many competitions in the local area

In 1943 Sylvia joined the Land Army, working on local farms. She thoroughly enjoyed her time working outside and this was documented in 2011 in a lovely article in the Stonehouse History Group Magazine.

Sylvia married Clifford Bliss at Eastington Methodist Church in 1946. They stayed at Canal House where Helen was born, until moving in 1951 to Cress Green before having Megan. As a family they all enjoyed walks across the fields and picnics in the Bluebell Woods (then known as the Gullet) where they would watch the Steam Trains.

Over the years Sylvia held positions as Chapel Organist, Treasurer and Trustee at Eastington Methodist Church. After Cliff retired, they began what turned out to be a very successful business of a Cattery. Cliff made all the chalets and Sylvia not only operated it as a commercial venture but also assisted the local RSPCA Inspector, looking after stray cats and kittens.

In 1989 Cliff and Sylvia sold the cattery and retired to Newlyn in Cornwall. Cliff sadly died in 2006 just 3 months short of their Diamond Wedding Anniversary and Sylvia returned to Stonehouse. She joined the Royal British Legion and the Local History Group and was also now able to enjoy the company of her great grandchildren and latterly great great-grandchildren

Sylvia also had a passion for writing and admitted she wished she had entered journalism in her youth. Her letters were often printed in the Western Daily Press and she found there were always plenty of topics to write about! As someone who had been born and brought up in Eastington, Sylvia documented her memories of growing up here – which Megan typed and distributed, and much of which has been printed in this magazine from time to time – something she was very proud of as she felt had become famous at last!

In 2017 when her mobility became an issue, Sylvia moved into the Regency Retirement Home just down the road from where she lived in Stonehouse. She was still able to see all her family and friends on a regular basis as well as being able to colour, knit and do crosswords right up until the week before she died, at the grand age of 95, following a very short illness.

She will be greatly missed by family, friends and the staff and residents of the Regency Retirement Home.