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Magazine agony aunt with independent streak
Published 28/08/12



PEGGY MAKINS, also known as Evelyn Home of Woman magazine, died peacefully on December 8, aged 95.

The funeral has already taken place but on July 31 she was reunited with her beloved husband Arthur at Shiplake Parish Church.

Peggy was a strong and feisty character who always enjoyed a good debate and became a prominent journalist, spending most of her working years as an agony aunt.

She was born in 1916 in Hammersmith. She had two younger brothers, Bun and Tony, who have also passed away. Her parents both died in their forties, leaving Peggy to bring up the boys.

As a child, Peggy hated being a girl and felt unsure of her place in life.


She had always written and at age 15 she decided that she wanted to be a journalist and wrote to many newspapers for a job.

Her first position was in book publishing after which she joined the Reed publishing group and worked for Woman.

At age 21 she was employed as the sub-editor on the agony aunt column. When the columnist left, Peggy was thought to be too young to take it over but this just made her furious and more determined. She asked if she could be given a try and was told to “get on with it”.

She became Evelyn Home, a name that was considered the perfect combination for the readership, combining “Eve” and “home”.

Peggy continued to gain great pleasure from writing her column for the next 40-plus years until she retired.

Her mother had a pub in Henley and it was here that she met her husband Arthur who she would call “Big” after “big-hearted Arthur”. Peggy was fortunate to be fit and healthy throughout her life. In her younger years she would exercise to Eileen Fowler and she always enjoyed swimming.

When she moved to Eastbourne 14 years ago she had a beach hut and would swim regularly in the sea.

Peggy was always keen to have her independence and learned to drive when a young woman, buying her first car for 5. She continued her love of driving, only giving up at the age of 94.

Another of Peggy’s hobbies was bridge, which she played to a very high standard.

Peggy played regularly in Henley and continued following her move to Eastbourne, where she played at the bowls club.

She made new friends and was always happy to give advice and help the other players.

She was, rightly, extremely proud of her work as Evelyn Home. She saw many changes, firstly through the war years when women took on greater responsibility and then in the subsequent decades which saw continuous advances for women in particular, something which pleased her greatly.

Following her retirement Peggy often contributed to Thought For The Day on the Home Service, now BBC Radio 4. In May 1988 she was a guest on Desert Island Discs.

Peggy chose the biggest atlas in the world as her book, a little rosebush as her luxury item and a peal of 12 bells from Canterbury Cathedral for her music. She had a wonderful sense of humour and could always laugh at herself.

She was an independent woman who was practical and organised. She worked hard and coped with every challenge life set her.

Peggy lost Arthur in 1985 and they had no children so her immediate family is small — just two nieces who live in East Africa and her UK family, Sylvia, John and Jean. Peggy moved to Eastbourne to be near them.

John continued to support her after Sylvia and Jean passed away. They were accomplished partners at bridge, which she continued up until the end.

Peggy looked to John for support during her last few years, which he did with the help of his daughter Sue, especially in her declining few months.

Peggy was fiercely independent and loved debate. She was greatly respected and her wisdom and humour will be greatly missed by her family and all who knew her.

Published 28/08/12

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