Whilst for most of us the Christmas period is a time for joyful celebration with family and friends there have been those saddened by the loss of a loved one. We send love and condolences to the families of Pat Salter, Charles Gilchrist-Fisher, Cyril Vaughan, Peter Cruwys, Margaret Elworthy and Lilian Fenson and all who have been saddened over past weeks. Pat Salter had lived in and around the Culm Valley for all his life working for Foxes at both Wellington and Coldharbour before becoming a plumber. He was a gentle and witty man - especially popular with the children as he looked and acted just like Father Christmas! Although only moving to Clayhidon 14 months ago he made an impression on all that met him, and will be sorely missed.
Peter, 73 years, was a farmer who retired to Hemyock in 1996 from the Honiton area. Apart from farming his great passion in life was sport but very especially cricket which he was introduced to when a boarder at Wellington School. In farming he had been a keen member of Young Farmers and later with his famous "Sidmouth Herd" won many prizes. He was a lifelong supporter of the Honiton Show and had attended every one since before the 2nd World War. This had seen Peter involved on the show committee, as a judge of cattle and in later years as a steward. A keen sportsman he had played football and skittles winning many trophies but throughout his life local cricket was what Peter loved most and he had been involved with a number of local teams. On moving to Hemyock he became our cricket team's permanent umpire and never missed a match in 12 years. He will be greatly missed not only by his family but by his many friends within the farming and sporting communities.
The family of Margaret Irene Elworthy would like to thank all those who attended her funeral and gave donations in excess of £325 to ITU Musgrove Park Hospital. They would particularly like to thank Rev David Sherwood and Rev Tony Grosse for their kind words and Martin Pring for his patient help and quiet dignity. Brian, Dawn and Avril say that their mother was born and raised at Burnworthy
and her marriage to Clifford ensured her continued life on "top of the hill" involved in farming the land they both loved. Later years saw her greenhouse, garden, family, friends and whist drives occupying most of her time. She was an irreplaceable character who has left a void in the lives of those who knew and loved her.
Lillian will be remembered as the lively, mature lady who captured the heart of David Fenson of Hemyock during a recording of the TV programme "Blind Date" Many will remember their wedding which took place at Tiverton in 1994 followed by a blessing by Rev Tony Grosse at St Mary's. Attended by Cilla Black and her late husband Bobby the day of course was captured on camera by the media and many local people. Being in the choir that day was a joy as we were able to share in the happiness of the couple as well as see a television company at work. Prior to moving to Wellington David and Lillian lived in Hemyock for some years and she was regularly seen at local events raising funds for her favourite charity and they became popular public speakers visiting many organisations both locally and much further afield.
Best wishes are sent to the many people who are unwell or recovering from operations - these include Audrey Lowman, Norman Farley, Margaret and Alan Craig, Phyl Salter and Cliff Bowyer.
The period leading up to Christmas saw some firs wonderfully and imaginatively decorated for the Trees in Advent festival at the parish church. Organisations had given considerable thought to how the decorations would best display their group's interests, for amongst all the twinkling light could be found winning rosettes, premature baby clothes, musical notes, poppies, Christmas cards and Scouting memorabilia to bells, bows, baubles and bottle tops. The festival was also able to include a Dedication Service, village carol singing at the Pump before going into church along the lantern lit path and the Christingle service when the school choir entertained as well as delicious refreshments served by the Friends of St Mary's who idea the event was.
With the decorations left in place the church and school carol services along with those over Christmas itself saw even more people enjoying all the hard work and organisation the festival involved. Hopefully a similar event is something that we shall see again in future years.
Christmas is a particularly busy time for our Clergy and those involved in singing and providing music at services so it is good to be able to thank them for their work amongst us both then and throughout the year and to thank their families for the support they give.
Thanks must also go to the individuals and businesses who took part in the decorated premises competition run by the Parish Council - as always a delight - congratulations to the winners.
"Save Our Footbridge" now seems to be the cry especially after the recent spells of bad flooding. Public opinion saw the kissing gate from Station Road to Culmstock Road preserved and many hope this will now happen to the footbridge. There must be many of our elderly residents who depended on the footbridge to get to and fro work when the St Ivel factory was at the lower end of Station Road and it would be a pity to see it demolished as it is part of our village history. Our Parish Councillors or the Clerk (tel 680918) would welcome your thoughts.
Our very warmest congratulations go to Amie Sellick, age 16, who was presented with two awards in November from the St John Ambulance Cadets. She is a member of Honiton Cadets.
The first one was her Grand Prior Award which was presented during a Dedication Service at Exeter Cathedral. This is the highest award a cadet can gain. She had to pass 24 different proficiencies to a high standard. She has been working towards this for 5 years.
The second award was the St John Young Achievers Award, this was presented by Her Highness the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, at Buckingham Palace. This is an annual event which celebrates the achievements of the young people in the movement. The Princess Royal is the Commandant in Chief of St John Ambulance Cadets. This is an award for young people who have worked hard, achieved beyond there expectations (in Aimee case due to her arthritis) and their dedication to duty. There were only 90 awards presented, this was from all over the UK and Northern Ireland.
Warmest congratulations are sent to Gwen and Ernie Carman of 28 Prowses who will be celebrating 60 years of marriage on Tuesday 25th March. They will be holding an Open House on Saturday 5th April between 10.30 and 12.30 and then 2.30 to 4.30pm when friends are welcomed to visit but the Diamond couple have asked that no presents are given.
We send congratulations go to those who have married recently and also to those who have had babies. As always a fond farewell to those who will be leaving the parish in coming weeks and a warm welcome to those who have chosen to make their home here.
Margaret and Brian Wheaton have held fund raising events in aid of Vranch House, Exeter for many years but their last Coffee Afternoon for the charity will be held on Saturday 23rd February 2pm - 4pm at 20 Holingarth Way. There will be various stalls as well as refreshments. They send an invitation to all and thank all the parishoners who have supported their efforts over many years.
The archive column of the Wellington Weekly News once again mentions Hemyock. It tells us that 100 years ago the Rector, Rev J de Forbes, (after whom the Parish Hall room is named) who had spent several years residing in Russia, gave a talk entitled "Moscow" which was illustrated by "limelight views". I'd love to know why he spent time in Russia - does anyone know?
My book of titbits from the Cullompton Deanery 1908 tells us that the Bishop of Exeter visited Hemyock on Friday 21st February. "In the afternoon the Bishop walked to Culm Davy to inspect the Chapel and meet parishoners and at 7pm. he preached at a service of thanksgiving on the occasion of the re-hanging of the bells in the parish church. This work had been completed by Christmas Eve 1907 and thanks to substituting an iron cage for a wooden one the sound of the bells travelled further than formally. A chiming apparatus had also been affixed and was working admirably" We then read that on 28th December a jumble sale was held and despite snow saw "an excellent attendance" raising £15 13s.
As I write this we are once again seeing another terrific rainstorm with the road flooding. Looking out of a window at the mayhem being caused it is always a wonder to see the delicate heads of snowdrops, pansies, cyclamens and primroses along with daffodil buds nodding in the wind reminding us that Spring is just around the corner and with that comes the celebration of Valentines Day, Mothering Sunday and Easter when once again our local churches will be beautifully decorated by a group of dedicated people.
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