The Author

Dedicating a book is a very personal thing. For me the choice seemed obvious: the most important little girl in my life, my granddaughter, Martha. This is the two of us together with the dolls' house she has just opened on her 5th birthday.

Mickie Wynne-Davies

BORN: Michèle Frances Stephens on 15 February 1943 - in Watford

FAMILY: Father, an accountant, mother, clerical worker turned full-time housewife. One sister (born 1946) and brother (1947). Of these, only her sister, Nina, is still alive.

EARLY LIFE: Brought up in Hemel Hempstead, where she attended primary and junior schools; then was awarded a scholarship at 11+ to public school, Berkhamsted School for Girls.

TRAINING: Her aptitude in French led her to enrol at the secretarial college of the Lycée Français de Londres, for a 2 year course.

CAREER: Several interesting and responsible secretarial positions, including one spent working partly 'in the field' with a team of valuers in Algeria in 1966. Whilst working as PA to the Principal of Ashridge Management College in Hertfordshire, she developed a further useful skill - that of proof-reading.

FAMILY LIFE: In 1975 she met Colin Wynne-Davies while on holiday in Spain, but it was nearly a year before he persuaded her to go out with him! They became engaged in October 1976, shortly after her father's death at a premature 64, and married in December 1977. They have two sons, Geraint (a good Welsh name!) and Howard. Geraint married Amelia in 1998, and the marriage produced two sons, Thomas and Dylan, and then, in 2006, a gorgeous granddaughter, Martha. Unfortunately, Geraint's and Amelia's marriage ended in divorce, but everyone has remained civilised and amicable.


Gardening - Mickie has inherited green fingers from both sides of her family: her father and her maternal grandmother. Never happier than when up to her armpits in potting compost, or browsing round a plant fair.

Acting - a lifelong hobby which started even before she was born: her parents met when they both joined the local am-dram group, Hemel Hempstead Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (now Hemel Hempstead Theatre Company,

Over the years she has also been a member of SEDOS (Stock Exchange Dramatic & Operatic Society), Croydon Stagers, and the Miller Centre, Caterham. She couldn't begin to list here the various roles she has played over the years.

After becoming involved with fund-raising for the Orpheus Centre, she hit on the idea that money could be made by presenting good amateur performances by a selected group of players, alongside Orpheus Trust founder, Richard Stilgoe. He wholeheartedly embraced the idea and so The Orpheus Players were born. Their first production, a 'promenade' performance of 'Under Milk Wood' in 1997 in the barn theatre of the Orpheus Centre was an instant success, followed in subsequent years by a Christmas show, which continued annually (missing only 2 years) until 2009, raising in the region of £30,000 for the Centre.

Opera, ballet and theatre - mainly because of having been involved in the theatre herself, Mickie is a very keen theatregoer. Husband Colin usually comes along too! Luckily they mostly share the same tastes, especially in opera.

Crafts - Mickie has an artistic gene which manifests itself in a variety of ways. At school she hated needlework - principally due to being left-handed, and the lack of an inspiring teacher; but once she acquired a sewing machine (in her 40s) and was shown how to use it, she discovered an untapped talent for creating stage costumes. Now she concentrates on less ambitious projects.

Mickie also enjoys painting, and has tried most mediums, although acknowledges that she still has much to learn. She's recently learnt how to paint on glass, with paints which can be baked on permanently, and has decorated bottles and other containers as gifts for friends.

Cooking - not so much an interest, more a necessity of life! Sometimes the chore of planning and devising daily menus can be tiresome, but on the whole Mickie still enjoys the creative aspects of cooking and is of a generation which regards ready meals as a lazy option.

She particularly enjoys making preserves, ranging from chutneys of all kinds to anything involving the bumper crop of lemons produced every year by the tree in the French garden.

© Mickie Wynne-Davies 2012