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Many members were saddened to hear of the death of Dorothy Dent on 22 January [2010], aged 91. Dorothy was responsible for creating the Hotplate at The Questors and running it for a period of over sixteen years, providing a successful meals service for performances in the Playhouse. Dorothy created a team around her so that after Dorothy felt she had to give up, Jenny Beckley ran the Hotplate until it became impossible for a group of volunteers to continue as food regulations became more elaborate.

Dorothy made her career in the Civil Service, but her interests were extremely varied. She loved music, particularly opera, and would trot off at the drop of a hat to festivals around the country. Although her house was crammed with pictures, books, records, and, of course kitchen equipment, she always seemed to know where everything was, and she could prepare a three-course meal for a Hotplate Committee of twelve out of her amazing little kitchen. She was a regular Box Office helper for many years, and a dependable programme seller, but her main attribute was that she was always interested in other people, what they were doing and was a very sociable person.

I last saw her just before Christmas; she was having real trouble walking and, as I left a restaurant in Pitshanger Lane after lunch, I found Dorothy, and two other old friends, also leaving a restaurant after lunch. She did not want to talk about her ailments, but asked after me and my family.

Dorothy's family meant a lot to her, and she was always willing to let you know what her large circle of nephews and nieces was up to, rather than tell you about herself.

She will be much missed at the occasional Hotplate reunion, which is held at one of her favourite Chinese restaurants. When you think of Dorothy, you think of good food, good wine and really good company.

Alec Atchison
[Qnews 31, June 2010]