I can’t remember when I first met Judith but it was through Chris Tame when he was Director of FOREST. She was a physically unpreposessing person but was one of the most instantly likeable people I have ever met; she was also a veritable dynamo, and made significant contributions to the debate/controversy over smoking, not all of which have yet received the attention they deserve. Unlike Chris, Judith was herself a smoker, and her “vice” doesn’t seem to have done the slightest harm; ironically it was non-smoker and health/fitness fanatic Chris who was struck down with a particularly virulent form of cancer at a much earlier age than the venerable Judith.
Although she was technically a fanatic and even an extremist, Judith was also one of the nicest and kindest people I have ever met. Like myself she was no fan of homosexuality, but once quoted me the maxim that she didn’t care what people got up to with their sexual partners “as long as they don’t do it in the street, and frighten the horses”.
I had little contact with Judith during the last few years of her life; the last time or one of the last times I recall seeing her was at a Libertarian Alliance social event on the Thames Embankment; we left together and she drove me to London Bridge Station; our last conversation was about foxes - a personal favourite of mine - as we sped through the South London night I spotted a fox, and told her they were thick on the ground in my neighbourhood.
Between February 1994 and April 1995, I published no less than four pamphlets Judith had written on smoking/anti-smoking; these are all available on this site.
Judith’s bibliography on this subject is quite extensive; she contributed regularly to FOREST publications, including the 1998 book Murder A Cigarette, which she co-wrote with Lord Harris of High Cross.
Like her friend and colleague Chris Tame, Judith was, and will be, sadly missed.
The article below was published in the May, 1993 issue of PENSIONERS’ VOICE; although it ends with a question mark, I have a feeling it is complete, and that I was asking a rhetorical question. Whether or not this was the case, I no longer have the original copy.
August 3, 2008
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