Charlie & Alan
The following two reflections on Mandy’s life were read by Reverend Canon Stephen Batty at her funeral on the 9th of April 2017. By her children Paige, Robyn and Lloyd:
She was known to many people as Mandy but to us she was always Mum. Not only was she Mum, she was also our best friend. As far as Mums go we got pretty lucky. Whether it was taking us to football or work, or picking us up from Weymouth at 4am she would always be there. If she was on time or not was a different story. To carry on tradition all three of us went to Thorner's school as Mum did. In fact most people know that she never really left. She had many roles at Thorner's be it a student, parent, fundraiser or beloved member of staff. It always held a very special place in her heart. For many children growing up in the middle of nowhere, we imagine summer holidays could have been slightly dull, but not us! Mum was always just as excited for the summer holidays as we were. She was the only parent we ever heard wishing the holidays lasted 12 weeks instead of 6. We always loved our days out, especially the times Mum, Dad and Nan would take us to the amusements we always knew as "Granny's". Still to this day we're not sure why. Mum was never much of a gambler, but she wouldn't think twice about changing up a week's wages into 2p's just to get her hands on that last "Hello Kitty Keyring". It was the simple things in life Mum loved the most. A day spent with her husband, children and parents couldn't have made her any happier. She had many loves, animals being one. There wasn't any time in our childhood that we remember not having a household pet. Dad unfortunately was allergic to cats, so this limited us to only having two at a time. Even as a Mum she never lost her mischievous side. Everyone and everything had a nickname, whether it was a "Badger named Brian" or a sister named "DW". She herself had the nick name "Bonzo", unfortunately for most there was no escape. She always loved driving, especially her Discoveries. Although, to Dad’s despair, there would always be new scratches that she wouldn't know anything about apart from that one time the hedge jumped out at her. Despite this she still managed to teach us all how to drive and pass first time. Well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad! For Mum family holidays were a must. She always said "I refuse to work hard all year without a holiday at the end of it" and we couldn't have agreed more. Our holidays, however, always seemed to result in a scene from one of Mum’s favourite shows, Benidorm. For starters Dad made sure we got to the airport 6 hours early so not to be at the back of the check-in queue. to this day we've still never been seated together. This was merely a taster of what was to come. Some of our fondest memories are of being on holiday be it Portugal, Canary Islands or Mum’s personal favourite Cyprus. Cyprus is full of some of our best memories. Mum would always partake in what any country would have to offer be it drinking cocktails, cheap fags, swimming, banana boats or learning the local language. Unsurprisingly she would never like to travel around on a conventional mode of transport, camels, horses, quad bikes, tuk tuk's just to name a few. On one of our most recent holidays she decided that Segways would be a good way to see the sights. This was a disaster waiting to happen. 5 people with no balance what-so-ever was only going to end one way. Things got off to a shaky start when one of us crashed into a parked van and so the tour was almost cut short. Mum, as she always did, took charge and led the group. Confidence began to grow quite quickly, certainly in some more than others (Dad). Unfortunately this would be short lived as a steep slope and a busy cafe now stood in our way. Nearly all at the top, we started to grind to a halt. Mum looked behind her to check we were all safe and sound. Unfortunately Dad hadn't quite mastered reverse. The sight that followed was Dad being run over by his own Segway then chasing after it until it crashed into a wall. Meanwhile, without warning, Mum tried to step off with too much force, sending the Segway straight into the tour guide and the busy cafe, causing the chef to recook many dishes. Needless to say our deposits were not returned. Most people grow out of family holidays with their parents but not us. There was nothing more we enjoyed than our yearly holidays and we’re sure you can all see why. If you were to ask Mum for her biggest achievement in life, she would have said her children. For us she couldn't have picked a better thing to focus on. Her family really was her life. She was the most loving, caring and beautiful woman imaginable. She couldn't have done any more for us. Even towards the end, when she became ill, she was always trying to look after us and make sure that we were happy. She will be forever missed but will live on through her family. We love you Mum and we'll see you again one day. Paige, Robyn and Lloyd
By her sister Sandra: Mandy was born at Bridgewater hospital on the 20th May 1962, the first-born child to Ray and Beryl Peach and the first grandchild to arrive for the Peach and Gaines families. When Mandy was born she was baptised immediately as she was very poorly and not expected to live but, because of her strength, courage and determination, she survived. Mandy grew into a bright, healthy and very happy child. She loved being around her family, helping her mother and father. Mandy particularly enjoyed spending time with her Auntie Janet and Uncle John and enjoyed going on holidays with them. In her later life Mandy, Richard and the rest of the family would spend wonderful holidays with her Uncle Bob in Cyprus. Mandy spent many a good time with her much loved Nanny Peach, Uncle Ivor and Auntie Gerry at their Melbury Osmond ‘Walnut Cottage’. Playing in the park, using old push chairs to wheel her younger siblings and cousins Alison, Rachel and Rebeca down though the winding hills, then back to Nanny Peach’s for a bath in front of the fire in a big copper tub. This would be finished off with a delicious piece of homemade cake and a special seat in Nanny’s best lounge to stare in awe at (but not to touch) Grandad Peach’s great dome clock. That beautiful dome clock never failed to amaze Mandy and the rest of us. We would all sit transfixed by the way it would sway and rotate. Mandy attended Thorner’s Primary School where she was a good student and loved her sports and art. She also attended the village Sunday school which she very much loved. Older sister to Sandra and Andrew, (DW and Snorkey as she fondly called them), she had nicknames for most of us, some of us not being aware, Snake, Tina Teaspoon and Phillip Pheasant just to name a few. Sandra and Andrew always looked up to Mandy and she often put both of them in their places, but she was very protective of both of them and they both loved her very much. Many good days as children were spent blackberry picking, searching for mushrooms and paddling in the village stream on a warm summer’s afternoon looking to tickle the trout, provided that the silence wasn't broken by the terrified screams coming from the mouths of Mandy and Sandra as their younger brother Andrew chased them down stream with a bag of live eels (presumably that he had mischievously caught as his two older sisters had their backs turned). It wouldn't be uncommon for days like these to be finished off with some scrumping. To all of you this is a term meaning to help yourself to someone else's fruit, that’s if you are able to climb a tree or two. This was something Mandy prided herself in being the best at although, if you asked her brother Andrew, he would be likely to disagree. Mandy brought much laughter and fun into our lives every day, usually accompanied by cousins David, Stuart and Nicola and, of course, she was very fond of their father Uncle Roger. Mandy grew into a beautiful and talented young woman. She then attended the Sir John Colfox School in Bridport. This was something Mandy had little time for as she had more important things to attend to but, in between studying and giving the boys in her year a good hiding, she managed to achieve many ‘O’ levels. She particularly shone in art and cookery. Mandy was a strong character in mind and body. She was loyal and trustworthy. Tell her a secret and it would never be told. She was always ready to back you up and support you in every way. Her mother was her best friend and her father was her hero. She always looked up to them and loved us all. Speaking of love, Richard, the first and only love of Mandy's life, loved Mandy from the first day they met. She loved him even though he was always in trouble with Mandy, always taking the blame for everything even if he was not there, but Richard took it in his stride. Mandy’s greatest success was her three beautiful children Lloyd, Robyn and Paige. She was so proud of them all and, in later years, granddaughter Isla, first born child to Lloyd and Leonine. What more can any of us ask for? They were her life and her world, she needed no more. Now our love, sorry you had to leave so soon. Please don't wait, just be waiting when we come to look for you. For now go on as we will follow, but just not yet. Shine your light and we will find you. On earth there was no tree too tall for you to climb, no river to wide for you to flame too dim to burn for you, go on. Sandra
RAY PEACH 1941-2020
Eulogy given by Bob Peach 10 th February 2020: As Ray's brother, I recognised three big aspects of Ray: First - Ray the family man Family was all and everything to Ray. His family came first. He loved being in a family; his parents' family, Beryl's family and his own close, Litton Cheney, family. Second - Ray the Dorset man Ray the rural man. In all his years he never lived in a town. He lived almost all his life in this part of Dorset. Like a stick of rock, Ray had "Dorset" running through him. Third - Ray's skills and personality He could turn his hand to anything and, goodness knows, he was a personality. That saintly smile. His skills with kids – I know my three children so loved their Uncle Raymond - he was full of clever “nonsense”. Ray was born in Melbury Osmond, just a dozen miles from here, the third child of Bert and Kath Peach. He had a brother Ivor and sister Janet. In the first five years of his life a million Americans left the south of England bound for the Continent. Many were based in and around Melbury Osmond and Melbury Park. His smiles gained him a lot of American cookies and candy. I was born when Ray was four, a home birth. When the midwife announced my arrival Ray expressed his disappointment by saying "I wanted a Jeep". Dad and school Our dad, Bert, was well known in the area. He was a carpenter; a sawsmith and mender of watches and clocks. Of the four of us Ray was the only one to inherit Bert's ability to make and mend things. Dad was a hero to Ray. They even looked alike. Initially Ray attended the village school in Melbury then, at age 11, moved on to the school in Evershot. After a spell working on a farm Ray was apprenticed as a welder in far off Sherborne. This was his introduction to motor bikes. So many motorcycle stories could be told! Late one night a police car arrived at our house. Minutes afterwards Ray arrived, freewheeling his motor bike, no engine noise. The police knocked on the door; Mother was raised from her bed. She was less than amused at the policeman even suggesting that Ray had been riding a motor-cycle, no L-plates, lights missing, not taxed and not in a road-worthy condition. She told the police Ray was in bed, wrapped up and warm, she had no intention to wake him. He had been there for hours. The police left. He was indeed in bed, still wearing a large coat and a crash helmet, but he was in bed. I was watching from the next bed, amazed. He had got away with things again! He smiled at me, pulled his goggles down over his eyes and pretended to go to sleep. The marriage At age 20 Ray married Miss Beryl Gaines, from the village of Aller, Langport, Somerset. Beryl - the love of his life. After a short courtship Ray and Beryl were married and stayed together for 59 years. Mum and Dad came to love Beryl a lot - she was welcomed into their family. This was ultra-important to Ray - Family again. Of course Ray also joined the Gaines family and stayed close to them to his end. Apart from her parents, Beryl had nine siblings. Many a story can be told of Raymond and the Gaines family - especially with Roger who moved to Dorset to be near his sister. Ray and Roger once rather famously got lost at sea - but that's a story for another time. The wedding The wedding reception was in a public house in Langport. My memory includes the landlord drinking more than all the guest put together. He did a drunken monologue - all about Gran's yellow hat and how, in his opinion, she thought she was the Queen Mother. Dear Gran was not amused, but Ray had his arm around her saying, "don't listen to him Gran - it's a lovely, lovely hat". Ray always had a way with the ladies. All was well. It was a very memorable wedding. The first child Then the arrival of Miss Mandy Peach – the first grandchild on either side of the family. What an event - four dotting grandparents and twelve aunts and uncles. Mandy was not too well when she arrived and whole family held their breath for several days until finally the all-clear was sounded. Ray was the proudest and happiest dad. Litton Cheney After a while of living and working in Aller, Ray joined his brother, Ivor, working as an artificial inseminator for the Milk Marketing Board. Ray was based in Bridport; Ivor was at the main centre in Sturminster Newton. Some good fortune smiled on Ray when he met Major Golding, a farmer in Litton. The major offered some part-time work together with a house Ray and his family could rent. Ray, Beryl and Mandy moved into School Lane, Litton Cheney, in 1964. Mandy eventually being joined by Sandra and Andrew. Later they bought the house from the Major. Ray and his family lived there for 56 years, raising a family in that happy house. Of course things didn't stop there and over the years Ray's family grew by the addition of two husbands, a wife, eight grandchildren and a great grandchild. Ray and his family in beautiful Dorset. It's impossible to say how much he loved his children and their children. He loved being Dad, Gups and Granddad. Dorset I said at the start how much Dorset featured in Ray's life. I wonder if there's anyone who knows this neck of the woods better than Ray. His exploits on his motor-cycles in his bachelor days. His many years with the MMB driving up every farm track. His days driving a cattle lorry for South-West Farmers (again working with his brother Ivor). His years with his news-agent business, delivering papers all over this part of Dorset, often ably assisted his own children and nephews David and Stuart. Ray the Pied Piper. Happy memories. He spent many years at Bagwell Farm where his ability to do a multitude of tasks made him a holiday park celebrity - many of the regular visitors were charmed by Ray's good humour and his ability to fix anything. The children loved visiting the petting farm with him, marvelling at the donkeys and highland cattle - Ray the Pied Piper again. Added to this he still had his entrepreneurial exploits dehorning, branding, welding and the heating/boiler trade. My memories of Ray in Dorset A battered Land-Rover, Percy the Jack Russell acting as navigator, arm out the window, a cigarette on the go. Ray about as happy as a man can be. Yes - every nook and cranny of this end of Dorset has seen Raymond Peach and all Ray's roads led to Litton Cheney, to his home, to his family. How appropriate that we are gathered here today in Litton where Ray loved to be. His final resting place, close to Mandy, both of them together in peace.
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OUR VILLAGE HISTORIC ARCHIVE a village in the Bride Valley Litton Cheney Dorset
Photo by Claire Moore 3_7_2021
Charlie & Alan
A TRIBUTE TO NICK HORSLEY - Given by Alicen Dines, Celebrant, at his Cremation Service on 4 June, 2020 Nick came into the world two days early, perfectly healthy but classed as premature by the doctor because he weighed in at just 4lbs and 9oz. He took after his mum Jean and it was his sister Gillian who, apparently, got the height. Fast forward many years, when Nick shook hands with Prince Charles who visited the farm he was working on, he noticed that Prince Charles wasn’t very tall either. They both took after their mums! Family was always very important to Nick. He was a caring son to Jean and Peter, and a brother to Stuart and Gillian. When Nick was almost 3 years old, he became a big brother to Stuart in 1960 and then to Gillian in 1964. The family moved to Middle Farm in Long Bredy in 1971. Nick and Stuart went to Colfox and Gillian went to Thorners' school in Litton Cheney. Years passed and they all left school and got jobs. Nick of course chose farming. Later on, Stuart married Helen and Gillian married Gus. Nick became an uncle to Robert, followed by Lee, Kevin, Lloyd and Aaron. Nick insisted that they only ever call him Nick. When Nathan and Chloe got together and had Sam, Nick didn't feel that it was right for him to assume the title of grandad as Sam wasn't a blood relative. He said that Sam could choose what he wanted to call him. From somewhere, Sam chose the name "NeeNee". It caused many a chuckle when Sam shouted it out. Nick was a fun grandad - always up for playing with Lego, hide and seek, football whatever Sam wanted to do. All of Nick’s family had a huge place in his heart. Nick had always wanted to farm from a young age. He loved his work. When he and brother Stuart got together, it was farming talk non-stop. As boys they used to squabble a bit, and his Mum Jean’s approach was to smack them both, so she always knew she’d got the right one that way! That was all forgotten as adults; they were good friends. Nick had a great bond with animals, especially the cows that he worked with. He took a lot of care with them and some would wait around for him to pat them. He was careful too with the farm machinery, treating everything as if it were his own. The times he was most visibly upset was when they lost an animal on the farm, or when there was an accident. There were two accidents in quick succession at one farm he was working at. On separate occasions a lorry drove into a tractor pulling a trailer, and then a machine that Nick was driving. A workmate and a lorry driver were killed and, naturally, Nick was extremely upset. He loved all animals, including their pets but when Jackie moved in, he drew the line at six cats so they agreed on two – plus two guinea pigs. She says he used to pretend he wasn’t as soft-hearted as he was but it was obvious because he couldn’t watch any TV programme that showed animal cruelty – especially Paul O’Grady’s show about rescue dogs. Aged 49, Fate decided that Nick would not be single and ‘married to his work’ (as he used to say) anymore. The day Jackie popped into The White Horse turned out to be a special day for them both. Jean remembers that, true to his character, Nick kept very quiet about meeting Jackie. Jean remembers he never said a lot, even when he was feeling ill. She asked him directly one day whose bike was in the garage. It was ‘a friend’s’, he said. Nick and Jackie were married two years later at Mountfield and have been happily married ever since. Nick enjoyed life at a steady pace, being in the moment, not worrying about the past or the future. He disliked conflict and confrontation: he wanted to get on with everyone. And he did. He was well-liked and had lots of friends – all of whom were important to him. He treated everyone as he would like to be treated himself. He was cheerful and had a good sense of humour. He wasn’t one for many possessions: his one pride and joy was his Lotus Elise. He worked up from owning a moped to a mini, to a sporty Ford Fiesta but the Elise was the peak. And of course, he was passionate about driving a tractor – preferably a John Deere. He and Jackie have had some great road trips, including their honeymoon to Norfolk. A highlight of that trip was a tour of the Lotus Elise factory, which Jackie arranged for Nick’s birthday and which he really loved. Nick was always a home-bird as far as taking holidays were concerned. He always thought that there were loads of places to visit in this country without going abroad, and he always maintained that he would never step foot on an aeroplane. Then he suddenly realised that he could actually leave the country by way of a cruise, and that was the awakening of his adventurous streak. For his 60th birthday in 2017, he decided that he quite fancied a trip to Norway with P&O. He and Jackie sailed on the Arcadia and Nick was like an overgrown child - so excited about the whole experience. They had a balcony cabin and one morning he got up at and went out on the balcony, then came rushing back in to wake Jackie up to see the stunning scenery. It was 3 o'clock in the morning. She is so glad now that she had the opportunity to visit Norway with him, as it went on to be a favourite topic of conversation. They took a second trip in February last year, going right up into the Arctic Circle. Lots of happy memories were made, especially on the first cruise as Nick was so eager to grab every opportunity to see whatever they could and make the most of every moment. Jackie almost had to drag him off the ship when they docked in Southampton. It was certainly money well spent! Nick was very interested in history and he shared his knowledge and passion with Jackie. They both enjoyed holidays and trips visiting castles and museums. In exchange, Jackie shared her love of music with Nick, expanding his horizons quite a bit. He was a Suzi Quatro and Status Quo fan but, in general, he wasn’t keen on loud music in the house. Jackie would turn up the volume a bit when he was out at work. As a reserved kind of man, Nick didn’t like having his photo taken and hated being the centre of attention - so birthdays and Christmas weren’t his favourites. He put the emphasis on other people, to whom he was very caring and generous-hearted. I’m sure everyone can remember something kind he did for them. He bought Nathan his first mopeds and it was his instinct to make sure that everyone was ok – right up to the last. He showed Jackie all the practical things she needed to know in the house. He only gave her one instruction for the future, just a joke really: don’t spend too much money! Most people have been shocked at the speed of Nick’s illness and death. He was very well looked after at the Fortuneswell Unit in Dorchester County Hospital. Nick took the time to tell all his friends individually about his illness. His passing reminds us that we can’t take anything for granted in life, and that we need to treasure our time with family and friends. The family has found it very touching to know that Nick meant so much to so many people. It says so much about what a caring nature he had, and how he drew so many people to him. He will be sadly missed by Jackie, his mum, the wider family, his many friends and workmates over the years and the White Horse family. There will be a special gathering at the pub in his honour as soon as restrictions are lifted – a welcome opportunity to raise a glass to him. Heaven for Nick would definitely mean being out on the land, on a tractor and, maybe, if there’s a good pint of cider and a meet up with his Dad and Jackie’s Dad too, that would be perfect.
Nick aged 10 Nick aged 60