Oxhill News

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South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

July 2015

This months News




It has come to mind since reading of the death of Grenville’s father that in a little over a year we have also ‘lost’ a larger number than usual of the ‘older rocks’ on which the modern village was founded. (Notwithstanding that there were Normans, Tudors and Victorians before this time!) So I thought that this was an appropriate way to pay tribute to them by writing a little about them for readers of the Oxhill News.

Some older residents have died, as we know, but a number have gone from us having found it increasingly difficult to manage to cope in their own well-loved homes. All contributed greatly to the enhancement of village life and should be remembered with gratitude by us all.

Those who have died are maybe better known as there have been recent Funerals in the Church and Crematorium:

Bert Norton, Grenville has written about his father so all I have to add is that he was very well respected when he was landlord of the Peacock for 20 years.

Jessie Sinclair, Burland Farm, before Springfield, Main Street, where she not only raised eight children by managed to help on the farm, be Chair of the WI and be a very faithful member of the Catholic Church.

Bill Day, The Old Post Office (an original Crook House), was Postmaster for many years before the office moved over the road to Binswood Cottage and later closed for good.

Maurice Illston, Late of the Sett. Sadly I knew little of him except when seeing him struggle about in the village on two sticks.

Nancy Parker Smith, Whitehill House, was, with her husband Parker (retired Chairman of HP Sauce) simply the best and most generous, Oxhill has ever produced. Can anyone forget Parker as Father Christmas, and how anonymously he provided the wine for many village events?

And those who have left us to be cared for elsewhere. Many nearer family members.

David Whaley, The Old Rectory. A retired aeronautical engineer – involved in the early days of the jet engine, was a churchwarden and for many years chairman of the Village Hall committee.

Marianne Swann, Cornerways. Widow of an eminent obstetrician, who on the death of her first husband, and also a fiancé in the RAF, joined the VAD to drive an ambulance in the London Blitz. She always opened her lovely garden for village charities and made her drive and kitchen available for all events requiring ‘teas’.

Gwen Hyatt, 1 The Leys, was clever enough (along with two of her sisters) to attain the splendid landmark of 100 years (and now more) before she left us. Her trips up and down the lane with a succession of tiny dogs will be well remembered by many.

Doris Roll, The Bungalow. She and her husband, Reg, had their house built and she was active in a number of ways until extreme deafness made life difficult for her. I often wondered if driving a crane to demolish bombed buildings in Birmingham during the war, contributed to her deafness!

Tom Fox, Kirby Farm. A really well-known character to us all is now in The Manor, Kineton. Who could ever forget his performance as a fairy in the Oxhill Pantomime, of many years ago? (Why is this no more?) Not able any longer to help with the pig roasts, I am sure he would appreciate visits to add to those of his very caring family.

Doreen Neal, Forge Bungalow. Las, but far from very least. I write with a heavy heart to say that all too recently, as Doreen was having increasing difficulty coping, she has gone to live near Andrew, her son, in Dorset. After farms in Chesterton and Whatcote, she and Tom moved to the Hollies and then to the Forge Bungalow. Doreen loved everybody and everybody loved her. What better tribute can I give? She is already sorely missed.

It is no good leaving this page without mentioning two much younger residents who left us far too prematurely this last year although this is primarily to record the ‘Golden Oldies’.

Ruth Gibson, who died just a year ago tomorrow, as I write on June 17th, and Joyce McKail. Much was written about them at the time, but I hope I can add on a personal note to say Ruth was simply the best friend and neighbour for 30 years anyone could have, and Joyce a true five-star friend. Rest in peace both of you.

Myrtle Knight
PS: Please forgive any errors, I am very far from infallible

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Last modified: June 29, 2015