Oggie Arathoon 1926-2022

Preserver of Shipton Court

Oggie, who has recently died, was a Shipton character for more than 70 years. Her background and life in Shipton was described in some detail at the time of her 90th birthday in 2016 (see December 2016 issue in the archives at www. thewychwood.co.uk).

Her father was a successful parfumier who unfortunately died young in the 1930s leaving his French widow and four daughters living in Croydon. This house was destroyed by a flying bomb in 1944. Her sister Adrienne saw that Shipton Court was up for sale in 1947 and, after something of a struggle, they bought it to serve as a hotel. For many years Oggie and her mother lived alone at the Court and rented out accommodation. In the 1960s, after the death of her mother, she was approached by a developer to whom she sold the Court with the proviso that it would not be knocked down. When she learned that this developer intended to basically destroy the building, she pursued him in the courts and regained the ownership. She never made the same mistake again.

With the help of her sister Helen who lived with her until 2012, she restructured the interior of the Court, splitting off the front and creating a number of self-contained flats but all done so that the whole could be restored easily if needed.

Without her intervention, Shipton Court would by now be either housing or would have disappeared altogether. We owe her a great debt for preserving what is now regarded as one of the best preserved Jacobean houses in the country.

Alan Vickers

April – May 2022