Pam Thompson (centre) is pictured at a special unveiling of the blue plaque at Frank Daniell’s former home on East Hill in 2014

THE niece of Colchester's Blue Coat Girl - the subject of a famous painting - has died, aged 89.

Pam Thompson's aunt, Gertrude Cardey, was painted by respected north Essex artist Frank Daniell in 1905.

Daniell is best known as a portrait painter, whose subjects were the celebrities of the day such as mayors and prominent people in Colchester.

He also completed still-life works and travelled abroad to paint church interiors.

The Blue Coat Girl was one of his more notable works and still hangs in the town's Holly Trees Museum.

In May 2014, Mrs Thompson, who was born and educated in Colchester, helped unveil a blue plaque at Mr Daniell's former home on East Hill.

One of her key interests was family history and she was proud of her ancestry, which included her great great grandfather, Moses Cardey, who lived in The Lane, West Mersea.

He achieved formal recognition in the mid-19th century for apprehending smugglers in his role as a "preventive", a forerunner of the coastguard role.

Thanks to Blue Coat Girl research by her nephew, Ian Thompson, a local cousin was discovered and it transpired they both had connections through the Cardey family, who had lived in Middle Mill cottages, in Castle Park.

Mrs Thompson briefly worked in the repertory theatre when she left school and went onto be one of the first female employees at Williams and Griffins.

Many of her experiences have been recorded for Colchester Recalled with the historian Andrew Phillips.

Mrs Thompson, who was widowed five years ago, ran a successful travel agency in Aylsham, Norfolk, but retired in 1996.

She lived in Bradwell, Norfolk, and died on June 17.

Mrs Thompson leaves a daughter and son-in-law, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.