A Memory of Ethel May Edmonds

Ethel was the youngest of three children and is the last of her generation. She was born at Elstree, but at a very young age the family moved to Ivinghoe.

She first worked at Mursley Nursing Home, cycling there on a Monday morning and returning on a Friday evening for a short weekend break.

As she got older and more interested in boys she met and married Cyril Edmund ( always known as Tubby) and they moved to Wilstone where she lived all her life. Ethel always loved little children and although not blessed with children of their own she and Tubby loved her sisters children like their own. Paul Miles, one of her nephews, remembers that on birthdays rather than only the birthday boy or girl receiving a present, a sixpence would be wrapped up for each of the other children in the family so they didn’t feel left out. They used to go round to see Ethel and Tubby and her arms would go out and she had the largest smile on her face.

They didn’t have a car for years, but after a couple of used classic motorbikes they bought a beautiful brand new Red Triumph Speed twin motorbike which Ethel loved.

Ethel went to work at the Egg Packing Station in Gubblecote, but that big warm personality soon took her into the family home to help look after my mother and me. Mother never had good health so Ethel soon became indispensable to us and ran the home like clockwork, nothing was too much trouble for her. My school uniform was always washed and pressed ready for the day ahead.

Probably one of the more challenging tasks was helping me with my homework. The teachers became very impressed with my marks, which unfortunately never matched up with my school work!!! She was also very good at understanding that on some days I was not well enough to go to school, particularly on the cross country run days!

She was a great help to dad (Len Dean) when he started running Bingo at Long Marston Village Hall on Friday evenings. The proceeds from Bingo was the seed corn for the purchase of the Cricket ground and was very popular. Dad and Ethel used to go down to Thame in the week and choose the prizes. Warm fluffy blankets, beautiful sheets and pillow cases, cushions, rugs etc., all finishing up on the stage in the Victory hall, waiting to be won by that lucky person shouting BINGO first.

When sadly mother died and I went into the business, Ethel moved on to pastures new and worked in the village shop which she loved. Out early delivering milk and papers, that beaming smile never left her She also took up tennis and when Tubby took up bowls at Tring she soon joined him and became very good at it, they made her an honorary member which not many players achieved.

After a long life together Tubby became ill, and suffered a long term illness which Ethel nursed him through to the end, but Ethel never really got over his dying and towards her latter years suffered from her own ailments.

Walter Bradington became a very good friend to Ethel helping her with gardening and jobs around the house and taking her out for coffee. When he took her shopping she would always say ”we better have something to eat after didn’t we duck?” the menu never varied, always spare ribs or fish & chips.

The tea parties at Puttenham were a special outing for her, and on her birthdays Christine always made her a birthday cake so she could blow out the candles and we all sang Happy Birthday to her which she loved.

A beautiful warm personality with a great heart, Wilstone will miss her.

By Peter Dean

This article is an extract from previous issue of the Village News. Any mention to events in the article have probably long since passed and are for information only.

Village News September 2020

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