Molly Brett was born in Croydon in 1902 and by 1911 had moved to Maybury, where she lived until moving to Horsell in 1947. Her mother, Mary Gould Brett, a well-respected animal painter, kept a variety of animals and from them taught Molly drawing.

Following a correspondence course in illustration, Molly studied at Guildford School of Art and worked as a freelance illustrator. One of her earliest commissions was to illustrate works by Enid Blyton. She went on to write and illustrate 21 children’s books as well as many greetings cards and stationery items, all published by the Medici Society, who hold her archive.

Over the years her subject matter of anthropomorphic animals in rural settings has gone out of fashion, but retains a charm of its own. Some of her scenes can be recognised as places in Horsell, particularly St Mary’s Church, where she was a regular worshipper. Her scroll of the fallen of the two world wars and the welcome notice by the church porch are both original works by her.

She was a shy and yet determined lady, a keen hockey player in her youth, and an active member of local arts organisations and the Women’s Institute. She died on 17 April 1990 and her funeral was held at Horsell Church six days later.

The Lightbox has been given these items found in her house by a later owner. The notebook, made while waiting at a hospital, shows some uncharacteristic and spirited drawings of people.

You can discover the display outside Woking's Story.