Saturday, 21 June 2014

A trip back in time in East Ogwell.

We moved to East Ogwell village in 1988. A long time ago now. Really I was returning to East Ogwell as I had moved to this pretty village first when I was sixteen. The view from the Village Green to Dartmoor still fills me with joy when I have been away. As you turn the corner and arrive at the green the view is stunning.

 

I got married in St Bartholomew's Church in 1976 and then our teaching careers took us to Dorset.

When we were planning our wedding the church bells were not in working order. They needed extensive renovation to bring them back to a full peal. A peal which was rung out all over the village to announce a wedding or a sad toll to call people together to pay their final respect to someone in the village when they had died.

My Mum was determined that the bells should peal out on my wedding day and the vicar at the time must have seen something in her, that up until that point no one else had recognised. Determination, relentless determination and energy to make things happen.

I remember him saying to my Mum, at that point not really a church goer " well if you want the bells to ring you will have to raise the money!

Well to cut a very long story short the bells rung out loud and clear on our wedding day. One of the hottest days in August 1976.

My Mum got the bug! Her list of fund raising activities for the village,local hospitals, the Kidney Unit in Exeter and other charitable institutions became a phenomenon. She actually had a kidney transplant herself but nothing stopped her. I smile when I think of her because people used to almost find it easier to say yes to her requests than no.

When she died my family placed a bench in the village dedicated to her, and my wonderful step dad who was her firmest supporter. The church put a plaque by her seat in the church she came to love.

She died in 2004 and I have missed her ever since. I walk into the church and I see her surrounded by flowers and greenery. The flower festivals she arranged were amazing.

I drive past the village hall and think of the Luncheon Clubs she started and worked tirelessly for.

I drive past the village green and think of her as Chairman of the Parish Council.

I was enormously proud of her but, I also, like many others,dreaded those words. " I just need a little help with ...." It would be the embryo of another scheme.

Of course over the years since her death others have continued her wonderful work in the village. But, I have watched from afar. I knew why. I knew that attending the Village Fair, or Flower Festival or Tennis Club Barbecue would make me miss my Mum even more.

But, this morning my Sister In Law phoned early. She has just moved into the village and her husband is away with work. She asked me to go to the Village Fair because she wanted to enter her little Westie in the Dog show. It would have been mean and churlish of me to say no. So I went for the first time since my Mum died. Ten years.

 

We had to book Archie, her West Highland Terrier in before the Summer Fair began . It was such a beautiful Midsummers Day.

 

Sideshows, games, stalls , exhibitions, barbecues and bands. All were there.


 

There was a super book being sold to raise funds for the a Church.

 

 
A booklet full of information.
Of course I know most of it but I love to read about my village.
My childrens village.
My Mums village.

 

She lived in number 5 Rose Cottages.

 

 
This is the Church she loved so much.
 
 
 
And here is a page all about her .... my Mum!
 
 
And there on a table was a display about women in Ogwell and there right in the middle was a picture of Mum with her beloved little dog Lucy.
Lucy is fifteen now and still alive.
 

 

I did shed a tear. I did not know that she was going to be a part of the display or the book. But, I do know she is still a part of our lives . We will never forget her but I was so proud that so many others have not either.

It was a happy day though and now I think I will be able to go to more Village events. And to end it in the perfect way. Archie came first in his class in the Dog Show. The Veterans Class. Time is passing us by so quickly... Even for little doggies. But he has only just moved to Devon and been honoured already.

 

 

I hope you have had a wonderful Midsummers Day too!

 

10 comments:

  1. How fantastic for your Mum to be honoured and remembered in this way. She was obviously a much loved part of her village. I am so glad that you went to this event, it was obviously meant to be, otherwise you would have missed this. You must be so pleased to know how much your Mum was appreciated and is still so well thought of and that she is still a part of the village history. Well done to Archie too, without him, you might not have gone, so he definitely deserved first prize!! xx

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  2. What a lovely post. My own background is as far from village life as it could be, but your post took me to places I have read about and visited for quaint teas on holidays. Thank you for sharing your memories of your mum, she sounds a formidable woman, one of life's go getters. And she had a dog, can't be bad!

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  3. what a lovely tale, you were mean't to be there and see this I think. I'm so glad Archie won, a good day all in all. Wonderful story about the bells, quite a lady! Heather X

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  4. Wow, Linda.. what a story! I am so happy you went to the fair and saw how much of an impact your mother made in her home town. You should be so proud!! And how delightful that Archie won a ribbon! Just sweet, all of it. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  5. Oh well done Archie and his proud Mum!
    I felt your love and pride as I read your story Linda, and I felt the tear when you came upon your dear Mum's photograph - and understand it. What a wonderful character she must have been and she lives on in your heart: thank you for sharing this with us.
    xoJoy

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  6. Linda! Thanks so much for introducing us to your Mum and your village. Precious memories, and interestingly, for me, your Mum reminded me of mine and her many talents and achievements. You and I have much for which to be grateful. xx

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  7. What a lovely post, I am so glad that you now feel you will be able to go to more of the village events. Your mum sounds like an inspirational woman, no wonder she has been remembered so well by everyone.

    Helenxx

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  8. What a beautiful post!!! I shared a tear with you!!! Glad you went back and hopefully now you'll go back more often!!! Have a great day!!!
    Love
    AMarie xxx

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  9. Such a lovely post. How wonderful to live in a place which has so much history--the village's as well as your family's. It must have been a wonderful, warm and proud feeling to see your Mother's photo in the book and read about her, and know that she lives on the in memory of many.
    Congrats to Archie. May you enjoy many more village activities in future.

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  10. A beautiful post Linda ... I feel a bit choked up now reading this. Your mom sounds like she was a wonderful person, and had her heart in the right place to be remembered so fondly by many others in your village. It looks like the timing was just right for you to go back to join in with things again. Congratulations to little Archie ... he must be so proud ;) Wendy x

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