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Five Parishes Magazine


Five Parishes magazineThis magazine is published monthly and is distributed free to every household in the Five Parishes.
For editorial and advertisement sales in the Five Parishes Magazine contact Mrs Angela Harbottle, 8 St Edmunds Croft, Dunmow, CM6 3AZ on 01371 876707 or via Email.

The latest edition of The Five Parishes Magazine contains the following editorial content.  For various reasons we are unable to publish the names, telephone numbers etc of private individuals.  However if you require further information about any of the events mentioned, the Editor, Angela, will be happy to help you.  Contributions for the Magazine should reach her by latest 10th of the month prior to month of publication.


Priest-in-Charge: Revd Tim Goodbody writes from The Vicarage, 7 Ruffels Place, Stebbing, CM6 3TJ
Telephone 01371 856080 /
07708 660162 Email
Curate: Revd Janet Parker

Dear Friends

Happy New Year!  I trust that you have all enjoyed the festivities of the Christmas season and will be enjoying the benefit of your New Year detox when this magazine arrives on your doormat.

2018 is sure to be a year of anniversaries – 100 years since the end of the First World War (and the accompanying Spanish flu outbreak), 50 years since the student revolutions of 1968, the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King and the Tet offensive of the Vietnam War, and it is also the 250th anniversary of the first edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

In years like this, we are so often invited to look back that it is hard to focus on the present, let alone the future.  However, especially this close to Christmas and New Year (with their traditions so central to our culture), it would be unwise of me to criticise such a retrospective viewpoint.  Tradition is sometimes used in a negative sense, and indeed in my younger days I probably did think negatively of things that were called traditional.  With a few more years under my belt I now tend to agree with whoever said, “Tradition is the handing down of the flame, and not the worshipping of ashes”.

Traditions are literally the things we hand down, hand over, to the next generation.  In the church, these can be simple trivial things like how we do the Christmas decorations or where the coffee is kept, but they are also often important spiritual truths about how we understand our identities in relationship with God, and how we understand the world in the light of that relationship.

2018 also marks the 20th anniversary of my ordination, so if I have a New Year’s resolution for this year it is probably to continue passing on the flame of the gospel to the generations to come.  What about you?

With best wishes


PS for those who are wondering, the “We need to talk about ...” series of letters returns in our next edition.




The Salings

(GS: Great

and LS: Little)


7th January Epiphany

9.30am Holy Communion

11am Morning Prayer @ GS

11am Morning Prayer
4pm Christingle

14th January Epiphany 2

9.30am Morning Prayer

11am Morning Prayer @ LS

11am Holy Communion

21st January Epiphany 3

9.30am Holy Communion

11am Holy Communion @ GS

8am BCP Holy Communion
11am Informal

28th January Candlemas

9.30am Morning Prayer

9.30am Holy Communion @ LS

11am Holy Communion

4th February
2nd before Lent

9.30am Holy Communion

11am Morning Prayer @ GS

11am Morning Prayer


Usual Collection Day

New Collection Day


Tuesday 26th December

Wednesday 27th December



and food

waste caddy

Wednesday 27th December

Thursday 28th December

Thursday 28th December

Friday 29th December

Friday 29th December

Saturday 30th December

Collections return to normal on Tuesday 2nd January 2018 with collection of black bin and food waste caddy


Saturday 6th January 2018 - Chequers Lane car park, Great Dunmow, 9am-3pm

Sunday 7th January 2018 - Village Hall car park, Great Easton, 2.30pm-3.30pm, Margaret Street car park, Thaxted, 8am-11am



Following the publication of new Government figures, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) have called into question claims by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) that Stansted airport’s growth potential over the next decade is being severely limited by the present cap on numbers at 35 million passengers per annum (mppa).

MAG predict that Stansted will be bursting at the seams by 2023 and needs an increase in permitted numbers to be able to accommodate 43 million passengers in 2028.  However SSE claim the long-awaited UK Aviation Forecasts, published by the Government at the end of October, reveal this to be a gross misrepresentation of the reality.

The Government’s central forecast for Stansted is that it should expect to handle just 31 million passengers annually by 2030, and 35 million by 2033 rather than the figures claimed by the airport this year ahead of its application for planning permission from Uttlesford District Council in early 2018.  See



We used to measure time by the rising and setting of the sun and by the cycle of the moon.  All this was apparent to the naked eye and needed little additional calculation.  We called these days and months.

Then we observed the movement of the sun, and added years: and then, at some point, hours and minutes; and then named the days and months and numbered the years; and then clocks and calendars and, eventually, the pulsating throb of the mobile phone in your pocket telling you your next appointment is due and mapping all that you will do today, tomorrow and until you are no more.  No wonder a wise African bishop asked why it is that we in the west have all the clocks, but they in Africa have all the time.  We have become imprisoned by precision.  Every moment is accounted for.

So Happy New Year!  Happy new turning of the chapter from last year to this year.  In one sense it is just another rising of the sun; but it is also an invitation to reflect.

How will I measure this New Year?  How will I measure my life?  Will it be by days and months?  Or will it be by what I do in them and what I achieve?  Or will it be by the love and generosity with which I do these things and inhabit these days?

So this is my prayer for the New Year: O Lord, teach me to measure my life in something other than years.  Amen.

Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell

Bishop of Chelmsford


Warwick Newbury writes:  A very big thank you from the churches of Little Easton, Great Easton, Broxted and Tilty for another fantastic contribution of £9,000 for each of the four churches.  This wonderful result is entirely due to all the hard work of the Countess of Warwick Committee and helpers, as well as the generosity of our splendid sponsors resulting in a near record year for the Countess of Warwick Show in 2017.

As we shiver in the January weather we can cheer ourselves by remembering the two glorious days of sunshine for the Show last year which brought in record crowds.  Whilst it is very hard work to put on such a huge country show, it is also fun, so do please get in touch if you would like to take an active part in future shows.

The August Bank Holiday may seem a long way ahead but the Committee will be meeting in January under Tim Turner’s leadership to start planning the 2018 Show.  Please save the dates – Sunday/Bank Holiday Monday 26th and 27th August 2018.

Happy New Year,  Warwick


Warwick Newbury and everyone on the Executive Committee of The Friends wish everyone a happy, peaceful and healthy 2018 and send their appreciation for the support received during the past year. 


Cork No. 81 was pulled out of the bag at great Easton Church on Sunday 26th November and the prize of £60 went to John Lewis who was the lucky winner.

It is still not too late to join the 50% Club.  A cheque for £9 will buy a subscription to be included in the monthly draw for the next nine months.  Please send your cheque made payable to ‘The Friends of the Five Parishes’, to Brian Miller, Treasurer, Springate Cottage, Radleys End, Duton Hill, Dunmow, Essex.CM6 3PT.


From the Committee:  A happy and healthy New Year to all our members at the Eastons & Tilty WI.  We meet again on Thursday 11th January in Great Easton Village Hall at 2.15pm for 2.30pm.  Our speaker that day will be Keith Lovell and his talk is entitled History through Essex Foods.  If you need more information, please contact either our President, Doreen Hart, on 01371 870830 or our Secretary, Christine Chalkley, on 01371 852180.  We look forward to seeing you all and anyone who would like to come along and meet us.


Jill Goldsmith writes:  Winter came quite early to the Gardens and we are hoping for a nice crisp and cold January too so that our snowdrops stay snug and are at their best for our snowdrop Open Days on 18th and 25th February!

Our marker for winter is the first snow at the Gardens and we worked in driving snow as we raked up the leaves at the end of November.  Unfortunately we had not yet made a start on the closed season work in the walled garden, so that has had to wait till the ground softens!  But we had completed the viewing platform at the bottom of the Glade – see for yourself by looking at our Garden News on the website.

We are very much looking forward to our snowdrop Open Days.  In 2017 the snowdrops (and aconites) were looking fabulous at the end of February and we had great weather and record numbers of visitors.  We are keeping our fingers crossed for beautiful sunny days and hope to see you all there.  We will make lots of soup, pick up enormous amounts of bacon from our local supplier (Priors Hall Farm), and bake even more cakes than usual!

Finally, we are always looking for extra volunteers to help us on Open Days.  If you like baking, working in a busy café environment, doing craft activities with children, greeting visitors or car park assisting amongst other things, come and join us.  There is information about volunteering on our website or call 01371 876979.


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforcement commences on 28th May 2018. To avoid penalties for non-compliance, both The Five Parishes and The Friends of the Five Parishes must ensure that those concerned are aware that in certain functions names and addresses are stored, generally for the purpose of printing labels.  Activities concerned are administration of the Electoral Roll, donors of gift aided donations for The Five Parishes and postal copies of the magazine and membership records for The Friends of the Five Parishes.  If you do not want your details stored, please contact a churchwarden or the editor.


Contactless card fraud has become a major risk, particularly when we are close to others in a crowd.  Personal information can be stolen by scanning data transmitted by these cards, the details being read at a distance of up to 3 metres, even when inside a pocket or handbag.  In addition cybercriminals can now scan, read and copy passports.  Protection against card skimmers is available from ‘first-generation’ RFID wallets or ‘second-generation’ technology generating a 90mm-deep protective e-field which blocks and scrambles any incoming signals.  Search the web for examples available.


General meetings are held on the last Wednesday afternoon of each month at E T Foakes Hall at 2pm.  Most U3A activity comes from groups sharing interests, for example, walking, languages, board games, bridge, history, ancestry, books, creative writing, cycling and line dancing.  The following is from a report by a new member of the third art group (the first two are full).

“I am a complete novice, having given up art at age 14 at school because I was so bad at it but always promised myself to try again when I retired.  The art group consists of quite good painters, average ones and novices like me, so we learn from each other.  Our facilitator, John Quinton, has already introduced me to drawing with perspective, water colour painting and ink line drawing.  He gives us a theme and suggests a method; then we all do our own thing.  Our most recent project was drawing birds.  I am getting more confident and more satisfied with my efforts, but I fnd the most interesting thing is how much more closely I look at everything now, noting shadows and perspectives and thinking ‘how on earth would I draw that?’.  It is truly a great thing to be able to learn a completely new skill at the age of 70 and this is what U3A offers.”


Festive Pie

After Christmas and Boxing Day, inevitably there will be some left-overs.  This recipe uses some of them up in a quick and easy dish, perfect for those post Christmas days.

Serves 4-6

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

680g (1lb 8oz) left-over cooked turkey and ham

6 tomatoes, seeds removed, diced

150 ml chicken stock

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

225g (8oz) diced left-over vegetables (carrots, parsnips and sprouts)

115g (4oz) frozen peas

450g (1lb) left-over roast potatoes

Salt and pepper

25g (1oz) melted butter

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and chopped garlic.  Cook until softened.  Add chopped turkey and ham and cook until lightly coloured.  Add the tomatoes, pour in the stock and Worcestershire sauce and bring to the boil.  Simmer until it starts to thicken, then add diced vegetables and peas and bring up to the boil.  Season with salt and pepper and pour into a large pie dish.  Allow to cool.  Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.  Slice the roast potatoes and lay on top of the turkey mixture.  Brush with melted butter and bake until piping hot and the potatoes are coloured, about 30minutes.

If you have left-over hard cheese, grate and sprinkle over the potatoes before cooking, for a crisper topping.

If you have a favourite recipe, seasonal or otherwise, which you would like to share, please send it to Gill Willoughby at


Firstly, on behalf of all the governors, children and staff at Great Easton Primary School may I wish all readers of the magazine a happy and healthy 2018.

As you know we always start a new term with a special day, called ‘house team’ days because the children will work in their house teams.  This means reception to year 6 work with their house team and make new friends and have the chance to work with children of all ages.

Each term we pick a new theme, we have focused on mindfulness, relaxation, friendships, self esteem, growth mind-set, Christian values and many others.  We also dress in various clothes – colourful, sporty or relaxed.  At the start of this term we are focussing on happiness – encouraging children to talk about their feelings so that little feelings don’t turn into really big feelings and cause us worry or stress.  As you know there are a lot of very worrying, and terribly sad, statistics in the news about children’s mental health and emotional well-being.  We are going to approach this subject in a child-friendly and sensitive manner, whilst making sure children recognise the importance of mental health and have strategies to help themselves and friends.  The children will have a really fun day whilst learning a very serious message.

The children return to school on 2nd January and the topics they will be working on in reception and key stage one are Travel and Transport and Let’s go to China.  In key stage two the children will be learning about the Americas and Invaders and Settlers.  Lots of exciting lessons, trips and visitors have already been planned and I will explain some of these in more detail in the coming months.

Once again our school choir will be singing at the O2 later this month as part of the Young Voices choir.  We have been learning the songs and dance moves since September and are raring to go!  There are a variety of songs ranging from classical, rock, contemporary and pop including: Name that Toon (with the likes of Scooby-Doo and Pink Panther soundtracks), Hakuna Matata, You’re in the Band from School of Rock, Africa and – the children’s favourite – a pop medley.  We are very excited to be a part of the largest children’s choir in the world.  Professional singers will sing with us and we’ll dance alongside Urban Strides, an amazing dance company.  Family and friends will be joining in too and cheering us on!

Claire Jackman, Headteacher


Karis Parker writes: Having grown up amongst the leafy lanes of Essex I cannot fail to notice how the speed and volume of traffic has increased.  Owning horses and dogs, it is becoming more and more dangerous to walk and ride on the road.  In recent weeks I’ve resorted to riding in the arena at home and walking the dogs around our own paddocks.  As a member of Essex Bridleways Association who regularly organise off-road hacking, it does mean that at least once a month riders can enjoy hacking on their routes without the fear of being scared.

There are 2.7 million riders in the country and 1 million horses, and this number is increasing.  In the last year alone 38 riders and 22 horses have been killed on the roads with each accident costing the tax payer around £22,000.  Whilst many drivers are considerate to horses, slowing down and allowing plenty of room while passing, there are some who are not, which can lead to confrontations, injuries and even deaths of humans and equines.  Horses are, after all, a flight animal and will run or kick out at frightening objects such as cars or cycles.

The Essex Bridleways Association is working in collaboration with The British Horse Society’s Dead or Dead Slow Campaign to encourage drivers to pass horses safely.  They have identified three main areas to work on:  Safer Drivers, Safer Riders, Safer Horses.

Working with The Department of Transport to educate drivers it is hoped that young drivers will be more aware of horses on the road.  The BHS recommends that drivers: Slow down to 15mph; Be patient, don’t sound your horn or rev your engine; Pass wide (at least a car’s width); Drive slowly away.

The BHS have also offered advice for horse riders:

  • Always wear hi-viz clothing and put hi-viz equipment on your horse – even on bright days, it is surprising how well a horse can be camouflaged against a hedge.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, avoid riding in failing light, fog or darkness or when it is snowing or icy.
  • Show courtesy to drivers.  If you show drivers appreciation of their efforts, then drivers should return the favour – smile and say “thank you”.
  • If you are riding a horse that is not used to roads, make sure you are accompanied by an experienced rider and horse.
  • Concentrate all the time.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.

Finally, The BHS is committed to ensuring safer horses by offering Road Safety Awareness training and desensitising events and to ensure that the horses are calm yet responsive at all times when being ridden on the road.

It is in the interests of us all, car drivers and horse riders, to be considerate, polite, nod and wave and above all BE SAFE.  What will it take? 


Further advice from:, and


Seasonal advice from Stephen Armson-Smith, Essex Police, Braintree & Uttlesford District Crime Prevention Advisor

Over Christmas were you lucky enough to have received some rather nice gifts?  What did you do with the packaging?  Left it by the roadside for the recycling collection?  What better advert to the thief of where to find some new things to steal.  Where possible fold the boxes inside out, or tear them up, or package them in something else, or take them to the recycling centre yourself.

How many of us have thought about recording the serial numbers or property marking it?  Be it a cycle, electrical goods, garden equipment or mobile phone it may have a serial number.  You can record your serial numbers free or charge at and there are a number of property marking products available like indelible pens, SelectaDNA, SmartWater, CRE Mark by CRE Products to name but a few.

Take photos of jewellery and antiques and include an “Object ID card” or ruler in the photograph to give it a scale.  You can now upload images to Immobilise too. 

Don’t forget to make a note of the IMEI number of a mobile phone.  To find it key in *#06#, and if it’s stolen you can use this to block it.  Many TV’s, mobile phones, computers, music devices and other electronics come pre-loaded with security and/or tracking software.  Make sure that it is activated.  If you are storing valuable work on that nice new laptop don’t forget to back up your work elsewhere just in case you lose the laptop.  You can download an App on mobile phones to find your phone and more importantly wipe the data stored on it.  Check your App store or mobile phone provider.

When texting or talking on phones, or listening to music remain “in touch” with your surroundings.  A number of road accidents, thefts and assaults occur when we fail to note what’s going on around us.  Don’t forget to pass this advice on to children.

Have a look at the webpage for updated crime prevention advice.  Another good source of crime prevention advice is



January                            Brenda Smith

February                          Joan Boulton


January                            Pat Hindley

February                          Carolyn and Frank Bennett


Our correspondent writes:  We were grateful to Babs Staines for hosting our December meeting again.  We were a depleted number as Pam had been taken into hospital and Betty and Evelyn were unwell.  We do thank all members who provided food – scrumptious.  We exchanged gifts and enjoyed a different version of The Twelve Days of Christmas read by Jess.  It had been a good start to everyone’s Christmas activities.  Thanks, Babs, and our best wishes to Pam, Betty and Evelyn.


Percy would like to thank all those who gave so generously when he called on them with poppies this year.  The sum you raised was £315.34, a magnificent result.


This service will be at Butchers Pasture in Little Easton on Fridays 12th and 26th January, arriving at 10.35am, departing at 10.55am.


To hire the hall, contact Jenny Green on 01371 870402. For more details see the hall website at



8.00pm to 10.15pm

Carpet Bowls


10am to 11.30am

Iyengar Yoga Class


10am to 12noon

Art Club



Dog Training


CONGRATULATIONS:  Somewhat belatedly it has been brought to the attention of the Little Easton correspondent that no mention was made in the magazine that Chas and Sue von Baumann recently celebrated thirty two years together by tying the knot in St Lucia.  It is never too late to make amends so we do so by recording our congratulations to them at the start of 2018 and we hope that they will continue to enjoy life together in Little Easton. 

BEST WISHES:  We were very sorry to learn that Pam Smith contracted pneumonia in the early days of December and was admitted to Harlow Hospital for treatment.  As we went to press, the latest report was that she was responding to treatment and feeling slightly better.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Pam and her family at this worrying time and we join them in sending our love and very best wishes for a continuing recovery.

IN SADNESS:  As this issue was being finalised to go to press, we learned the very sad news that Roy Blackwell passed away on 11th December.  A man who has done so much for this community; he will be greatly missed.  We send our sincere condolences to Ruth, Suzanne, Kim and their families.



The Parish Clerk writes: The Parish Council would like to thank P & A Wood for the lighted Christmas tree in the telephone box at the entrance to the village.  I am sure children and adults alike enjoyed seeing it lit up when they returned home during December from work or school.

There was no meeting of the Parish Council during December and the next meeting will be held on Thursday 25th January 2018 at Great Easton Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm.  All residents are warmly invited to attend.  The minutes are placed on the notice boards in Great Easton, Duton Hill and Tilty or can be viewed on our website


We echo the comments from the Parish Council and send congratulations to all those involved with the provision of the Christmas tree on the village green.  Once again a magnificent sight.  This issue of the magazine goes to press before the carol singing event on 22nd December but a report will follow next month.


The Holy Communion Service at The Moat House Residential Care Home will be on Monday 22nd January at 10.30am.


This service will be at Great Easton Primary School on Tuesdays 9th and 23rd January from 11.15am to 11.45am and then at the Village Hall at 11.50am, departing at 12.15pm.  


To hire the hall, contact David Chalkley on 01371 852180


6.30 to 9.30pm

Dog Training




Keep Fit

Circuit Training


10am to 12 noon

Five Parishes Toddler Group

Thursday (except last in month)



Modern Jive dance class

West Coast Swing dance class


9.30 to 12.30pm


Upholstery class and

except for half term weeks


THANK YOU:  Many thanks must go once again to P & A Wood for the lights in the telephone box at the top of the village.  They are appreciated by us all. 

WELCOME:  Welcome to Claire, Tim, Alice and James who have moved into The Old House.

CONGRATULATIONS:  To Sheila and Steve Smith of Great Easton on the marriage of Sheila’s daughter Suzanne, to Charles von Baumann (both residents in Little Easton), on 10th November in St Lucia.  We wish them all the best for the future.



January                                     Jane Askew and Maggie Stevens


The Group’s AGM will be held on Tuesday 9th January 2018 in The Upstairs Room at The Three Horseshoes, Duton Hill, starting at 7.45pm.  There will also be a presentation by metal detectorists Larry Crane and Steve Taylor, who are both members of the Independent Federation of Detectorists.  They will be giving a talk about what they do, some of the things they’ve found – particularly in the local area – and will also be bringing along some of their finds for people to see. 

The Group had an interesting range of speakers at its general meetings during the year.  Other events included a visit to Hinxton Mill in the spring, and a second Pillbox Walk (led by Alf Wright) in the autumn.  Next year’s programme is currently being finalised, and should be available at the AGM.  Non-members are welcome to attend our meetings (non-member’s fee is £2.50), and we also welcome new members (annual subscription £12.00).  Information about the Group, and about its projects and activities, can be found on its website


This service will be at The Three Horseshoes on Tuesdays 9th and 23rd January from 12.20pm to 12.40pm. 



Festival of Angels

The fourth annual Festival of Angels was the best ever, with more to see and more to do, more visitors and, if possible, even more angels.  With delicious refreshments and an amazing raffle the event raised over £1,200 for the church funds.  The committee would like to thank all those who helped to make the festival such a success.


The next meeting of the Council will be on Thursday 11th January 2018 in the Village Hall at 8pm.  The agenda and minutes of all meetings are posted on the village notice boards, and can be found on the Council’s website at, where you can also find all the other information that the Council is obliged to publish. 

The Parish Council has a quantity of salt for gritting roads and pavements in icy weather.  If you are prepared to look after a dangerous spot near you, please contact the Clerk, Phyllis Clark, on 01279 850638.


Village Coffee Mornings

The December Coffee Morning was very well attended with sixty people and two children enjoying coffee, cakes and fellowship.  The Christmas Hamper raffle turned out to be huge with a total of eight hampers and several other prizes to be won, all thanks to the generous donations that people had brought with them.

To show their appreciation to the organizers, Sarah Cousins and Caroline Barratt, the regulars presented each of them with a small gift.  Sarah has since written ‘Sarah and Caroline both send their sincere thanks to everyone for their Christmas gifts which were entirely unexpected but very much appreciated.’

The January Coffee Morning is on Wednesday 17th January in the Village Hall from 10am to noon.  


Just one quiz this month, on Thursday 18th January in the pub at 8.15pm for an 8.30pm start.  Expect lots of questions about 2017 and anniversaries that will occur in 2018!  It costs just £2 a head and there are cash prizes. You don’t need to arrange a team, just come along with a couple of friends.   If you are planning to eat before the quiz it is best to book a table.  Call Karen or Terry on 01279 850256. 


Many thanks to all those who decorated their homes and gardens during the Christmas period.  They certainly brightened up the long dark evenings of December.  Special thanks to Mr & Mrs Lewell of Church End for their now traditional magnificent display.  As ever, Mr Lewell would be pleased to receive any lights or decorations that you no longer need to add to his extensive display.  Even if they are no longer working he can use the parts for spares and repairs.


This service will visit Broxted on Tuesdays 9th and 23rd January, arriving at Cranham Road at 1.25pm, departing 1.40pm and arriving at the Prince of Wales at 1.45pm, departing at 2pm.  It will arrive at the site of the old Molehill Green Village Store at 2.05pm and depart at 2.20pm.


To hire the hall, contact 01279 850445



Pilates Class



The Wednesday Walk

Third Wednesday

10am to 12pm

Village Coffee Morning


WITH SYMPATHY:  It is with sadness that we record the death of Albert Reynolds of Cranham Road.  We send our sincere condolences to Doris and the rest of the family, and to his many friends and neighbours.


Barbara passed away on 30th October 2017.  A service to celebrate her life and to say “Au Revoir” was attended by family and friends from near and afar at The Three Counties Crematorium on 24th November.  This is a shortened version of husband Peter’s remarkable eulogy

Born on 5th December 1930, in a wooden bungalow in a canal side village in south Cheshire, Barbara was not expected to live and for her first year was fed by a dropper.  When she was thirteen, she went to live with her aunt, Hilda Griffiths, next door to Peter’s family, to keep Hilda company while her husband spent the war years on motor torpedo boats. 

Hilda had no piano, so Barbara practised at the Street’s.  Peter was fifteen, mad on cricket, rugger and hockey and was regularly heard to say “If that girl is going to keep coming here, I'm going to leave home!”  One Tuesday Hilda asked if Peter would take Barbara, then aged 15, to the Youth Club as Hilda was worried for her safety in the black out.  So began the great and wonderful love affair which, Peter said, will always be there whilst he is alive.

On his return from serving in the RAF, they both went to college and started teaching careers in Stoke-on-Trent primary schools.  It was a great Authority to work for.  Peter recalled having a boot allowance, in case he had children with no shoes.  It did get used.

On Easter Monday 6th April 1953, they were married at their village church and in March 1954 son Michael arrived.  In view of her earlier difficulties, there was concern as to whether Barbara’s body could stand the strain; but all went well.  In 1979 Michael married Sue and they have two daughters, Alison and Julia.  Julia and her husband Tony have two children, Madeleine and Harry.  Michael was followed by daughter Elisabeth.  Married to Andy, they live happily in Dunmow.

In the late fifties the decision was taken for Peter to become Ordained.  This meant going to King’s College, London to read Theology.  They bought a house at Mountnessing, seeing it for the first time when they moved in!  Barbara taught at Warley, Brentwood, and they lived on her earnings until Peter finished his degree and post graduate Theological diploma.  His first post was a curacy in the Birmingham Diocese.  Throughout their lives she lovingly supported all his church work.  Peter’s accidental meeting with the Principal of King’s led to a lecturing post in a College of Education, and in 1970 he become Senior Inspector of Schools in Essex.  For fifteen years Barbara taught at St Mary’s in Dunmow.  She was also secretary of Great Easton Ivy Club for many years.

In 1989 Barbara picked up the E-coli bug on holiday in Yorkshire.  It did considerable damage to her digestive system, destroying her kidneys.  Miraculously, on 6th September 1990, she had a kidney transplant, enabling them for the next twenty seven years to have a wonderful life together, shared with so many friends. 

Barbara had many interests: WEA courses twice a year; her work as a keen member of the History Society, proof reading and helping to compile its publications; listing the acquisitions for the Museum and keeping a photographic record of them; the many holidays they enjoyed.  She greatly enjoyed entertaining friends and annually arranged a neighbours’ lunch for at least twelve.  And through it all her lovely dry sense of humour ran like a gold thread.

Yet the focus of their lives had changed.  Every day if they woke up and felt well, they thanked God for it.  Every day they knew it might be the last, and they prepared for it.  Now that day had come.  By the skill of the surgeons and by God’s good grace they had over ten thousand days, each a new gift.  So Peter asked the congregation not to be surprised when he said that he truly felt happy for her, and immensely grateful for the love of such a woman.

He finished with the words they said to each other every night of the sixty four years of their fantastic marriage: au revoir.