Lesley Livsey

Lesley Livsey: 1st September 1939 – 30th September 2021

It will always be a source of sadness that Lesley did not live to see Hope Cohousing built and to move into a HCH home.

A member of our group from its inception, Lesley could be depended on for her quiet, measured contribution to discussions. A fiercely independent person, Lesley shared our understanding that a life lived in a senior cohousing community would not limit her freedom but would provide practical and emotional support and companionship into old age.

Over the years Lesley was involved in numerous projects in the local community. She played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Marengo Community Garden, volunteered every week at the over 60s club in the Marengo Community Centre, ran the local Scottish Dancing group for many years, and at any event in the community hall Lesley would be found in the kitchen tackling mountains of dishes with never a word of complaint.

Lesley spent her life helping others. Whether you were in need of advice or just wanted a chat, Lesley’s door was always open – though you would most likely have to look round the garden to find her. You could be assured of a cup of tea, biscuits and interesting conversation. You would never leave empty handed, whether the gift was a book to borrow, an armful of homegrown vegetables, or an item from her fridge which she would assure you was way too much for her to eat on her own. She was a generous, kind person with a huge heart and she is sadly missed by us all.



Thank you to Trish for allowing us to share the following beautifully written tribute to Lesley.

The Marengo Garden has now been going for 25 years and, in all those years, Lesley and I never had a cross word – maybe a battle over who would push an overloaded wheelbarrow and a disagreement over which bulbs would look best where, but we worked in harmony together, mostly in comfortable silence until someone spotted some glorious plant that was just coming through. Tea breaks were for catching up with each other and enjoying the pleasure of just being together in the garden. Lesley was the one who welcomed the visitors, filled them in with the garden’s history, answered questions on the planting and was always friendly and gregarious. How I will miss her.

Without Lesley’s know-how and her experience working in VAO we would not now have a garden. It was she who discovered the small Lottery grants and filled in all the forms for us, and contacted the Beechgrove Garden; she who kept all the tools in shape and organized shed painting and repairs; far more organized than I ever could be.

Our great pleasures of the year were poring over bulb catalogues and trips to garden centres, especially School Ha.

Despite Lesley becoming gradually frailer, every Sunday when I arrived to get her, her garden tools were ready and waiting and we proceeded to the garden to do what she could manage. Eventually it was just a walk around the garden with tea, biscuits and cake on the bench, weather permitting, and a chat to anyone passing through.

We lost dear Lesley on 30th September 2021 after a brave battle with vascular dementia – how we will miss this kind, generous and positive person who was always there for her friends and family and gave so much to her local community.

Trish Spence


updated: January 20, 2022