A HAMPSHIRE-based children’s author and the mastermind behind Romsey’s Hat Stand drama company has died.

Angela Sewell, who moved from Winchester to Romsey in 1988, passed away after a short illness aged 84.

She was passionate about amateur dramatics and she wrote a trio of melodramas, The Perils of Pansy which were broadcast on Channel 4 in the 1990s.

Production crews filmed Hat Stand’s actors in action at the late Peter Minns home at Fishlake in the town.

Some of her plays were also broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and she chaired Hat Stand when it was formed in 1991.

The company had a dozen players and a portable hat stand as its only prop which was used to carry accessories. Angela also wrote the children’s fairytale the Enchanted Egg which was published in 1982.

A keen astronomer, Angela – who played table tennis with the late Lord Mountbatten while she was out in Malta – was a familiar sight among stargazers at the Toothill Observatory in Rownhams.

Close friend and her former neighbour Aidan Cooper said Angela was a character who will be very much missed in Romsey.

“She was a gifted and amazing woman. I lived next door to her in Middlebridge Street. She was diagnosed with dementia in April 2012 but she didn’t let that stop her going to the Arctic Circle on her own last August. It shows her determination and that dementia need not close doors. If you are determined to do the things you want, the world remains your oyster.”

A thanksgiving service will be held at Romsey Abbey next Wednesday, January 9, at 11am.