WITH strict restrictions on how many mourners can attend funerals, families are having to find other ways to say goodbye to their loved ones.

This was the case as friends and family of Rene Lockley, who died just three months short of her 100th birthday, gathered outside the Georgian House Hotel in Haslemere High Street last Thursday to pay their respects as her coffin left for Guildford Crematorium.

The guard of honour was organised by Rene’s niece Beverly Marden, and featured bunting made up of many of Rene’s famous Christmas stockings (and their owners) to say a final goodbye.

Rene was born in Portsmouth in July 1920, but had lived in High Lane, Haslemere, since 1949. She married Tony in December 1945 and was happily married for 68 years, having four children together, and later sharing six grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and 22 nieces and nephews.

Tony passed away in 2013 and then sadly and suddenly their youngest son Neil passed in 2015.

Rene was well-known for her knitting, and not only knitted many baby garments for the family but also for the Bliss baby charity – probably best known for her beautiful shawls and the now famous Christmas stocking!

She was the matriarch of a large close extended family, who got together every Christmas at Shottermill Club for a party.

"If it hadn’t been for this horrific virus we all would be celebrating," said Rene’s daughter Janette Lown.

"But my mum had a good life, enjoying bingo and having her hair done once a week until the lockdown, and lived independently until the end at High Lane where she had lived since 1949.

"My mum was loved by many and so far family and friends have raised nearly £900 for her two charities, Bliss and British Heart Foundation."