A WOMAN whose early experimentation in growing garlic led to the creation of The Garlic Farm, Norah Boswell, has died at the age of 93.

Born in Bromley in 1925 to a London tug-owning family, Norah was raised in a country house hotel. At school she developed a lifelong love of theatre.

In 1943 she joined the Wrens and spent two years as part of the Bletchley Park enigma operation. She always claimed this had nothing to do with her intellectual capacity and all to do with being tall, strong, and trustworthy and someone who could reach up to change the different cogs on the code breaking machine.

She signed the Official Secrets Act and said nothing to anyone, including her husband, for 30 years.

After the war she joined the stage management team of the London Young Vic theatre company, touring the country with some of the leading actors of the time.

She had a great sense of independence and adventure, answering an advert in The Lady in 1948 for a goatherd in Kent on her future mother in law’s farm. There she met Martin, who had returned from the war, determined to develop his farming skills.

They married in 1950 and from the start they shared a vision to create a farming business based on innovation and hard work. Initially farming in Kent, they moved to Newchurch in 1958 with three young children, Colin, Sheila and Jenny, with Richard following in 1961. They successfully pioneered the growing and marketing of sweetcorn.

Norah was a strong and indefatigable force both beside Martin and in all she did. Sensitive to the role of women in the farming community, she helped form the IW Farm Women’s Club, pioneering visits to French farmers’ wives in Normandy. Her early experimentation in the growing of garlic in the kitchen garden, later developed by her son Colin, was to evolve into The Garlic Farm.

She worked in the central London office of the Samaritans, as she saw the need to reach out to young people in crisis, and was instrumental in setting up and running a mobile unit to offer the Samaritans services at music festivals.

In later years she found great companionship amongst the IW Foot Beagles. Always supportive of village life, she took an increasing interest in projects to help local people. Most recently she took a lead in providing a footpath and planned footbridge for the safety of pedestrians in Newchurch by creating it on her own land.

Norah, a great-grandmother, remained active, mentally alert and purposeful to the end.