A popular teacher and stalwart of Evesham Operatic and Dramatic Society (EODS) has died aged 88.

Marion McGowan (nee Hancox) taught infants at Bretforton school in the late 1950s, at Bengeworth School during the 60s and 70s and at Badsey First School until the mid 90s.

She was one of the leading actresses at EODS in the 1960s and early 1970s and continued her involvement with the society well into her seventies as an accompanist at countless rehearsals and then in ‘the pit’ during more than 100 performances. 

Brought up in Honeybourne and Offenham, Marion was a well-known figure around the Vale and known for her sense of humour and ready laugh.

Her children, Kay and Alistair remember her daily tea-time stories and impersonations of her fellow teachers, parents and even pupils. 

Her son, TV star Alistair McGowan, said his mother’s love of performing and impersonation led to him embarking on his own theatrical career, which included starring in his own BAFTA-winning Television series on BBC One.

Evesham Journal: Marion McGowan was a star actress for EODS in the 60s and 70sMarion McGowan was a star actress for EODS in the 60s and 70s

Marion, herself, was seen on screen in Alistair’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ and in ‘My Life On A Plate’ in which chef Brian Turner tried to recreate one of the dishes she made for Alistair and Kay in their youth. 

Her husband George, known to everyone as Mac, was also a teacher at Hampton, Badsey and Swan Lane schools in the 60s before becoming deputy head at Inkberrow and then headmaster of Broadway First School until retiring in 1983.

A keen sportsman and long-time member of the tennis and squash sections of Evesham Rowing Club, he died in 2003.

He always kept quiet about his Anglo-Indian heritage but would have been thrilled to see his son, Alistair, discovering and revealing the McGowan family history on the BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ in 2007.


Marion’s later years were dogged by severe mental health issues and her children Evesham Journal: Marion McGowan with Badsey school staff in 1983Marion McGowan with Badsey school staff in 1983 are immensely grateful to Worcestershire’s mental health team for their attempts to help her and to all the staff at Cedar Lodge Care Home in Offenham, who were incredibly patient and dedicated to their mother’s care until the end. 

A funeral will take place at Fladbury Crematorium on April 25 at 11am with a wake at the BBC club from 11.45am.

Donations in Marion’s memory may be made to Cedar Lodge or to EODS.