Memories

In addition to all the amazing tributes that we have received on Facebook and over the internet, we have also received dozens of beautiful letters and cards. We have extracted some of the memories from these, on an anonymous basis, to share the recollections of school friends, teachers and other friends, young and old.

School friends

My first memory of Louise is our first ever ‘mufty’ day at Francis Holland. She was wearing bright green from head to toe and, as an incredibly conservative 11 year old myself, desparate to fit in, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified! Having since matured, I think this decision was always original, always courageous…

… in the annual school drama competition we did an ‘uncut’ version of the fairy tale Rapunzal, in which Louise played a chavy Rapunzal and was, of course, spectacular with her comic timing and amazing acting. She was singled out by the judging panel for a special mention…

… I have never been more astonished than when turning up to my Theatre Studies A Level to find that Louise had gone out the night before…

…What was so special about Louise is that she knew who she was from the very first day she arrived at the school gates. I do not believe that that can be said about many 11 year olds. I wish, even today, that I had even half of Louise’s self assurance. She was truly one of a kind.

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I cannot express my sorrow in words. Louise truly was the most beautiful, energetic, wildly inspirational and compassionate person. She brought light and warmth with her wherever she turned and I will forever feel warm when I think about her exquisite soul. I looked up to Louise at school like she was my personal hero. I never knew someone so effortlessly unique and genuine…

… Louise was the person who taught me how to be confident and made me aspire to her kindness and individuality. I will never forget the time I spent with her.

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Louise was one of the first people I met at Francis Holland. Her easy going nature and the ability she had to talk to anyone never really left her as she grew up. Even after school when we met up for a drink she was still as open and quirky as ever. She was one of those I had made a mental note to keep an eye on since she was leaving school as she was likely to be very successful at whatever she put her mind to.

I remember so well when Louise decided to try her hand at singing in the music practicals, let’s just say that never has anyone who doesn’t get involved in musical activities in the school been held in such high regard by Mrs RS (head of music). I struggled and I went on to do music at uni!

Louise, to me, will always be remembered as a kind, big hearted person. Someone you could have a laugh with but also someone you can trust. She had a ‘get-up-and-go’ personality which, as well as being an attractive quality, drove her throughout her life. I can honestly say I don’t have a single bad memory of her and feel privileged to have known her.

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Your vibrant, craziness and utter confidence have influenced me so much. I was always so jealous of you and I wish I could be as brave and outgoing as you and never miss a single opportunity.

You lived to have fun, the best ethos for life. I am so glad to have had you as a friend at FHS when I was so lacking in confidence you really helped me.

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Lou was the very first person I met before we started at Francis Holland and I remember being immediately drawn to this warm, bubbly, confident and incredibly sincere eleven year old. I literally thought she was fantastic. During the seven years I knew her at school, there was not a day that Lou didn’t exude positivity. As a bit of a panicker myself, she always made me feel calm, putting everything in perspective for me – everything made perfect sense when she described things! I always so admired her forward thinking: half full attitude.
Such a rare quality that Lou possessed was that she had time for everyone. She was probably the only person that had friends in every single year at school – and as for our year, we totally adored her.

I only really got to know Lou well in the sixth form as we did English and Philosophy together. I remember being mesmorised by her academia, but also how she was always so many steps ahead of the rest of us!

I am so very glad she was part of my life. I think of her loads and will miss her terribly. Such a special girl.

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Firstly, thank you so much for giving us all such a truly exceptional soul. The amazing thing is that in her painfully short lifetime she lived more than most people manage in 80 years.

Teachers

I was her Head of Sixth Form at Francis Holland from 2006-8. She was a delightful girl, and I particularly loved seeing what she would come to school wearing each day as she was so full of originality and loved her fashion. One day she came in full Native American dress, complete with head feathers and face paint! She was fun.

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I remember a thoughtful, caring, vibrant young woman – with a real passion for life and interest in people. She was a joy to teach – engaged and interested – a natural philosopher. Louise had such beautiful eyes which really were a window to her soul – eyes that could smile and not many people have that gift. She took risks and challenged boundaries, that was all part of who she was.

As her head of Year I remember long chats about the earring!! Something I “had to do” but secretly supported Louise wanting to show her individuality and her challenge to what had to be or should be, of what really mattered and both she and I knew an earring did not matter.

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What can I say? It was an enormous privilege to have worked with your wonderful daughter, as an English and Drama teacher. Like you I have precious memories of her as Malvolio (sporting a Trotsky goatee, silver specs and beribboned yellow stockings), of Louise dancing in “The Good Wife” and as a menacing, controlling Angelo in the group’s adaptation of “Measure for Measure”. Louise left a deep impression on all of us at Francis Holland. Her presence gave others permission to be themselves. We will miss her.

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Louise was unique. A pupil who made us all proud to be her teachers – or headmistress. She always seemed to me to be a shining presence in the school: her creativity and intelligence were a joy to all who taught her. As one of her subject teachers said to me yesterday, “above all, Louise was just so nice.” Her kindness, wit and sensitivity were always apparent and we all knew she would have much to contribute to the world.

Friends Young and Old

Louise was special – very special – unique in so many ways – adorable and entrancing. Her 21 years belie her wisdom and spirit and the profound effect she had on people who met her, whatever age or background. Like so many others, I feel privileged to have known her and to have experienced her enthusiasm and infectious joy of life.

She was, and still is, a ray of sunshine, she did light up the room, she was a compassionate friend, and most distinctively, without really knowing, she had created her own living work of art – herself. I loved that about her. Imagination, originality – fabulous.

But Louise’s specialness is not confined to the past. She very much ‘is’ and I know she will continue to light up our lives whenever we think of her. I know she will mine.

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I feel lucky to have known Louise for what feels like her whole life. Though we only ever saw each other intermittently, when we did it was always wonderful to be reminded that in a world where so many toe a dull grey line, there was a girl who refused – flatly but with a grin – to play by anyone’s rules. Her vitality was so forceful, as bright and colourful as her ever-changing hair. It shone out of her, and everyone in its radiance felt warmer and happier for it.

I’ll always remember her for two things, years apart. First, in Champoussin skiing. We were all sharing a chalet. I must have been nine or ten, and Louise just seven or eight. We put on a musical performance in the basement for the grownups. I think it was Aqua’s Doctor Jones – Louise’s famous musical taste had clearly not yet developed. Still, she led the charge. I ought to have been a scary big brother, but she was completely unfazed as she taught me the dance moves and told me not to be shy. I remember being embarrassed by this memory in my teens, but even then there was always solace in thinking that Louise had been there too: non-judgemental, happy, fully enthusiastic.

Second, one cold weekday night last year I was standing in Conduit Street, queuing to get into a fashion party at Sketch. I didn’t know anyone, and was feeling so uncool that I was about to leave even before negotiating with the doormen. Suddenly there was a happy cry from behind me: “Eddieeee!” It was Louise. I hadn’t seen her for maybe two years, but she greeted me like her oldest and best friend. “Come with me” she said at once. She took me under her arm, walked me through the door and introduced me to all her friends. I had a wonderful night.

It is scant consolation for this most brutal of losses, but Louise will remain in all our minds as she lived: joyous, loving, fiercely individual.

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Trying to find words to describe how truly special a person she was to everyone who ever had the pleasure of knowing her is impossible. I met her when she was 16 and instantly thought she was the coolest girl I’d ever met. Over the past few years I’ve come to realise she truly was the inspiring, amazing and loving person you could every wish to meet, her energy and enthusiasm was just so infectious and I loved that, she made everything she did and everyone she knew feel important without even trying. I honestly feel privileged to have known her and so proud to call her one of my friends, and a great friend she was!

It’s hard to imagine never seeing her smiling face, hula hooping with her or talking about her plants ever ever again. But I can honestly say some of the best days I’ve had have been those spent with her and there will not be a day that I won’t miss her – everything about her – she truly was one in a million.

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I’ve been friends with Louise for a number of years and met her through C and other mutual friends. Ever since initially meeting her, I’ve always been inspired by her overwhelming energy and her never ending smile. I know it’s a cliché but she genuinely did light up every room and brought fun everywhere she went. She always had such a unique and confident personality and I’ll always remember her amazing outfits, ever changing hairstyles and great taste in music.

She was a true angel and really did bring a spark to everyone she met. These are all things I’m sure you already know but I hope you will find some comfort in the knowledge of how well she was loved by her friends. Her legacy will always live on and there will be a bright light shining in my heart for Louise.

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Louise was a wonderful, beautiful, life-giving person who I was just getting to know. We had a long chat at your party just before Xmas (and also at Art First not long before that). I was very impressed by her indeed. I was telling my own daughter, J, about how Louise had been encouraging me to wear my grandmother’s ocelot fur coat, saying it I didn’t she certainly would! (J is rather squeamish about such matters and had been putting me off..)

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Louise has achieved such a lot in a very short time – such a bright spark. Her huge talent for music showed itself very early too – do you remember coming and staying in Wiltshire? She must have been about five, and the girls have reminded me that even then she took charge of the music (a rather paltry collection) and DJ’d even then, much amazing everyone with her patter. H and O were very impressed – all they knew were The Beatles…

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When I think of Louise I remember my first week on the job when I took her to get her hair cut in Camden. She tricked me by telling me, getting her hair dyed bright hot pink was ok with you. Obviously you knew nothing about it and it was a shock but you always embraced her individuality which turned her into the vibrant girl she was. As a mother now I will always remember that. I learnt a lot from your family. You are wonderful parents.
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3 Responses to Memories

  1. carapark says:

    It is almost a year since I saw you last and there is not an hour that passes that I don’t think of you, wish I could call you, tell you about the funny things that my nephew said or an overheard conversation in the post office. You always ‘got’ me and my jokes. We shared so many things in common in spite of our contrasting backgrounds, I always felt connected to you since we met and in fact, I still do. I will always remember the night we dressed as elves and terrorised people in a club in Piccadilly, the ‘Primrose Hill’ cake you baked me for my 28th birthday, the boiled egg that you covered in hair to make my ‘dream come true’ ( I still have it on my windowsill), the time we secretly ate chips butties in my bedroom and all the little memories in between of just generally mincing about Camden and East London. The last goodye was so innocent and funny- we had been walking around in the wrong direction (typically) and parted at the top of your street after a hour of walking. We hugged and began making animal noises as we parted, somewhere between a cat and a deranged bird, the noises faded gradually as we realised both of us were almost home. I carry that noise with me every day xxxxx

  2. Bobby Needs says:

    Hi. I’ve already shared a little on here but was just speaking to Vicky online & she’s asked me to share a little more about how i met/knew Lou….

    We met many years back when i visited London to see Special Needs (i’d stumbled across them early on & kinda fell in love with them as a band) Anyways, that day i was met by many kisses, handshakes etc from people (including a sweet,wide eyed, pretty young thing who i’m sure you can guess was our Lou) calling me ‘Bobby Needs’ (not my real name) which until then i’d never been known as or really experienced such warmth from people i’d never met so it’s something i’ll always cherish….Anyways, i ended up more or less living there, working with many a band & Lou being Lou was around alot of the time at gigs etc so we became what i’d like to think as good friends….Then, after 4 years my situation changed rather dramatically & i returned home losing touch with many that i’d met/spent time with (This was pre-Facebook) Anyways, on occasions i’d return if only for a day or 2 but as is always the case – you never get to see half the people you want (including Lou)….So, fast forward to 2011 – Special Needs announce their comeback gig at Proud & although a happy time? I’m quite nervous about seeing so many faces i’ve not really seen/heard from in 6+ years…

    The night of the gig was a mix of joy, apprehension & anxiety but minutes before Special Needs went on stage, i was outside having a quick smoke when who jumped into my arms but the one & only Lou – who, didn’t seem to have aged/changed one bit!!! Eventually we went inside & watched Special Needs together, singing side by side & holding each other close as we did (Special Needs meant alot to us both) then shortly after i had to leave, promising Lou & others i’d be back to catch up & reminisce on days
    gone by…Sadly, that was the last time i saw her – speaking to her only briefly via (i think) msn a night or so before she left us.

    In my ‘speech’ i rambled & said i never knew Lou that well which in some ways seems wrong as i did know her & spent a great deal of time in & around her unforgettable presence but on the other hand? I wish i’d known her better as i strongly believe Lou was one of those people you meet once in a lifetime & now she’s gone…but i’m proud to say she touched my life & i’ll never forget her.xxx

  3. robyn says:

    I have been sitting alone in my room for a few days now, but no more! I think I will get up and go join that cabaret…… missing you x

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