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The village and surrounding area has been shocked with the recent tragic deaths of Terry Frost and teenager Laura Persey and through the Pump we send love and condolences to their families and friends. Laura is the third young person connected to the Culm Valley Young Farmers Club to die in recent years through exceptionally sad circumstances and our thoughts are with members of the club.

I have the sometimes difficult task of asking families if they wish to have mentioned on this page a loved one who has recently died - the comments received are often inspiring. In this issue I am one of those having to compile thoughts as no longer with us is my father Arthur Fuller, 87yrs, who passed away on 3rd October. A member of the Burma Star Association he served for 4.5 years overseas with the Royal Artillery seeing action in Burma and India before being stationed in Germany. Whilst in India he was proud to have passed out top of 2000 personnel on a Signals Course. He married a Hemyock girl, Dora Clist, in 1945 and they moved to his home town in Cornwall returning to live in Hemyock in 1955 when he began work at the milk factory.

Whilst serving in India he learnt to play bowls. On being invited to tea by the Governor of Bengal in 1943 he was introduced to the game playing on a rink constructed on a pristine lawn and this led to a lifelong interest. He first played in Hemyock with the late club president Fred Bradbury in 1956. As the longest playing club member of over 50 years Arthur was involved with building the first two solid clubhouses, had served as Club Captain and won many competitions as well as playing against the then world champion David Bryant. In appreciation the Club honoured him by making him a Life Member. In his younger days Arthur was a keen and very successful skittle and darts players as well as a strong supporter of Hemyock Football Club.

Although living in Hemyock for over 50 years anyone who know Arthur was left in no doubt that he came from Padstow and one of his greatest joys was attending the May Day celebrations. In the 1950's he had represented Great Britain at an international dance festival held at the Royal Albert Hall dancing and singing with the Padstow 'Obby 'Oss. It was fitting that 'Trelawny' was played at the end of his funeral service and it was a great joy to hear a quarter peal rung at St Mary's in Dad's memory.

Betty Arnold, sister of the late John Dimmock, writes that John was 6 years old when he came to Devon with his mother and youngest sister as an evacuee from Edmonton,London. They lived at Salters Farm, Castle Hill before moving to South View to live with the Franks family where they stayed until war ended. John loved being in the countryside and after his marriage to Brenda they had many happy holidays at Shuttleton Farm with their two children, Following being made redundant, 25 years ago, the family moved to Hemyock and John worked at Relyon until his retirement. He enjoyed going for long walks, reading and woodwork which he was very good at. Betty says "He just loved Hemyock"

We also send love and condolences to the families of Ann Eastoe and Gerald Chown and to all those who have recently lost a loved one.

Olive Goodman, Maureen Anderson, Mac McDonald, Phyl Salter, Mavis Clist, David Palmer, Margaret and Alan Craig and Emily Cooling are amongst many who have been, or are unwell, and we send everyone who is unwell at this time all good wishes for a speedy recovery. We also remember all those in Care Homes and those who will be spending Christmas alone and send warmest wishes that this will be a peaceful time for them.

Brian Clist must have been truly inspired when about 20 years ago he suggested to our Council that a new Recreation Field could be founded in the area of Station Road. It was a joy to see the official opening of Longmead Field and admire how the hard work and plans of past and present Parish Councils have come to fruition which will enable the village to enjoy excellent sports facilities for many years to come.

Congratulations to Amie Sellick who is off to Buckingham Palace to collect an award. We look forward to reading about it in our next issue 150 people gathered at the parish church to commemorate Remembrance Day with the 2 minute silence held at the War Memorial at 11am. The uniformed youngsters were a credit to their organisations as they walked very quietly through the village. It was also good to see that the stolen flower vase had been found and replaced before this service.

The Common Players and Hemyock Singers have provided a variety of entertainment over recent weeks, although with the Players outside on a dark evening perhaps their audience was not as large as in previous years. It would be good to see them in the summer again next year.

Heading towards Christmas there are bound to be a number of festive activities we can all enjoy - the traditional Fayre to be held at the hall on December 1st, the school carol service, always a joy, carol singing, the beautiful Christingle service on 16th December at 4pm which always attracts a large number of families and individuals, decorated premises competition and this year something that promises to be very special the Festival of Trees in Advent. If this should be your first Christmas in Hemyock please do come along and join in as a warm welcome is assured.

At this time of year warm wishes are sent to all those who no longer live in the area but continue to enjoy catching up with Hemyock news- we hear that issues of the Pump are sent to Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA, Romania, France, Wales, Dorset, and Harrow on the Hill to name but a few!

As always wherever you spend the festive season may it be a time of peace and great joy for you and your loved ones, and may we all remember the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas and a happy, peaceful New Year
Janice Bawler