It is with immense sadness that we share the news of Steven’s death, on the 9th of March, at home here in Litton Cheney surrounded by family. Steven was a pioneer in wine - a visionary who never lost his passion for new projects, new discoveries and the world of wine.He will always be remembered for founding the Académie du Vin, the celebrated Judgement of Paris and in recent years, the Académie du Vin Library and, of course, together with his wife Bella, Bride Valley Vineyard – as well as much else besides. He was also a hugely loved husband, father and grandfather.He will be sorely missed, not just by his immediate family and friends, but by people right across the world of wine. His enthusiasm and love of wine will live on through Bride Valley Vineyard, the Académie du Vin Library, the relaunched Académie du Vin in Canada and through the work of the many wine makers, wine writers and wine educators he championed.Steven Spurrier was born in Cambridge on 5 October 1941. He was educated at Rugby School, before studying at the London School of Economics. His interest in wine was first piqued after drinking 1908 Cockburn's Port when he was 13 years old.He entered the wine trade in 1964 as a trainee with London’s oldest wine merchant Christopher and Co. In 1970 he moved to Paris where he persuaded an elderly lady to sell him her small wine store located in a passageway off the rue Royale. From 1971 he ran the wine shop Les Caves de la Madeleine, where clients were encouraged to taste wines before they bought them, which achieved recognition as a highly regarded specialist wine shop. In 1973 he started L’Academie du Vin, France’s first private wine school.He sold his wine interests in France and returned to the UK in 1988, becoming a wine consultant and journalist. He was director of The Christie’s Wine Course, which he founded with Christie's Education in 1982. He was also a wine consultant to Singapore Airlines, and consultant editor to Decanter. In 2019, he founded the Academie du Vin Library with Simon McMurtrie to publish wine writing. The Library published the latest edition of his memoir in 2020. He received several international awards for wine writing including Le Prix de Champagne Lanson and the Bunch Prize, both for articles published in Decanter. In 2001 he was awarded Le Grand Prix de l’Academie Internationale du Vin and The Maestro Award in honor of Andre Tchelistcheff. In 1988 he was made Le Personalite de l’Annee (Oenology) for his services to French wine. He has also received the Ritz Carlton Millennia Singapore Lifetime Achievement Award and the Prix Louis Marinier. He was a regular judge on the international wine tasting circuit and the chairman of the Japan Wine Challenge and the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Eddy Fry passed away on Saturday, March 20 at the age of 87.Alongside his work with the Duchy of Cornwall to create Poundbury, Eddy was heavily involved in the community - becoming president of Bridport Rotary Club in 1991.He was best known for his work with CG Fry and Son Ltd, the building company founded by his father, Charles.Born in Litton Cheney and schooled in Bridport, Eddie completed an apprenticeship in bricklaying with a Dorchester building company in his youth. After completing his compulsory national service he then came back to join his father’s building and undertaking firm.In 1959 they built their first house together at Litton Cheney, constructed for a chemist from Weymouth. In the same year, Eddy married his wife Sheila, who he had been introduced to by his sister Ruth.As the company grew, Eddy became increasingly involved in the running of the business, overseeing refurbishment work of many large houses in West Dorset, new buildings, and general repairs, eventually taking over the running of the company from his father in the late 1960s.Alongside his son, Philip, Eddy expanded the company in 1991 with award-winning developments in Abbotsbury and Broadwindsor.In 1992 CG Fry and Son began working with the Duchy of Cornwall, overseen by Prince Charles, for the first phase of the Poundbury development, designed to be an extension of Dorchester. The firm has since been responsible for building more than 1,000 new homes, offices and shops at Poundbury, which is currently home to approximately 3,800 people.Eddy officially retired from the company once he reached his late 60s, but he never truly hung up his hard hat, always being on hand to provide guidance and advice.Eddy's son, Philip, said: "My father was one of West Dorset’s characters, he had a wonderful career and achieved a huge amount and has left a fantastic legacy. As well as being a great a family man, was also heavily involved with the community. He had many great friends and had a lot of fun supporting their charitable causes.He was a true west Dorset gentleman with great character and determination and was always willing to help and support people throughout his life. He will be fondly remembered by family, friends and colleagues. He touched many people's lives in a positive way. Most of all he was family man and he will be deeply missed by us all."Eddy leaves behind his loving wife Sheila, who has been by his side faithfully supporting him for 61 years, his two children, Janet and Philip, and his three grandchildren Francesca, Saskia and Ben.Eddy took a great interest in the local community, particularly the Bridport Rotary Club of which he was a longstanding member and a former president. Roger Pollock, president of the Bridport Rotary Club, said: "Eddy Fry was a much loved and valued member of the Rotary Club of Bridport for 36 years. He joined Rotary in 1985 and was elected president in 1991. He was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship award which recognises outstanding service. His enthusiasm for Rotary was evident in his fundraising efforts over the years. Eddy will be sorely missed by all his friends in Bridport and the wider Rotary family”Eddy had a great love of bell ringing and was captain of the bell tower at St Mary’s Church in Litton Cheney - as was his father before him.He had a long-time love of all sport, especially football, following Southampton and Yeovil Town in his later years - where he was often seen with his late friend Jack Wakely, with a scotch in hand.Eddy's funeral will be taking place on Wednesday, March 31. He will be buried in Litton Cheney next to his father.
Eddy in front of affordable houses built in Abbotsbury in 1988
Eddy on the Poundbury site in 1994
Eddy with his wife Sheila, and their grandchildren (l to r) Saskia, Ben and Francesca
Devoted husband, Dad, Granpy. Successful, determined, protective, generous, supportive, kind, fun-loving. A family man who adored his grandchildren. Obviously very proud of his son. Remained close to his cousins from Kimmeridge and West Farm. A younger brother to Barbara, a nurse who married Wally, a Royal Marine and had Susan his niece, my cousin and friend!A man who had little time for Health & Safety! He encouraged alcohol to be consumed in the bell chamber – he installed drinks cabinets in the ringing chamber both at St. Mary’s Litton Cheney and at Burton Bradstock – hand made in the joinery shop. He never considered pinning the bells when working in the belfry.The Carol Singers used to be transported around the village on the back of a Fry’s truck. Sid and the organ were up by the cab, 2 rows of seats either side for the ladies in the choir and us girls. All was well until we had to go to The Rectory, accelerating up the slope Sid and his organ would slide down the lorry. Dad, being tone deaf, was given the collecting tin. While we sang from the back of the lorry, Dad went in for a whisky and a warm in most houses.Dad managed to keep bell-ringing well into his 80’s despite being unable to lift his arms, having damaged both his shoulders after falling off a stool trying to put up curtaining, and also falling down a manhole on site.Whilst on holiday in Greece, Mum and I alighted from a dinghy on the harbour steps with grace and ease. Dad fell out backwards, completely submerged – the only sign of him was his Panama hat floating by. Mum and I were creased up laughing, whilst an onlooker eating at one of the harbour-side tavernas was very concerned. Luckily Dad retained his wallet (soggy) and glasses, but did have to change for dinner. Swallowing harbour water had no ill effects.Dad was a great dog lover – a walking companion and friend on site. His first dog, Bingo, used to eat pocket handkerchiefs with great effect. Four other dogs followed. He enjoyed riding Tim the pony when he was young, from West Farm to Mosterton to collect the bread when holidaying there. He was not a lover of cats, squirrels or badgers.Thank you Dad:•For all the family holidays in Cornwall. We went foraging for cockles, mussels and winkles. Mum would boil them up and add vinegar. Having to spend a week on the beach with wadding on your chest because you were looking at a lady in hotpants and not at the cup of tea being delivered to you! We progressed from caravan to apartment, where we crunched around for a week after a well-aimed bag or sugar met its target. Then to a guest house where Mrs “Excuse Me, Thank You” the host, accused Dad of playing footsie with her. After that they went abroad where Dad liked to skinny dip, but wasn’t prepared for spectators!•For teaching me to drive, to speed and ignore rabbits in the road.•For picking me up from Discos all over West Dorset, embarrassing me by getting the DJ to announce “Janet Fry, your father is waiting”•For trying to save me from Hairy Bikers with earrings and failing as you introduced me to Nick, who once was one of them.•For teaching me to bell-ring. I have rung wherever I have lived and also at Bath Abbey – a scary moment. Also for teaching my husbands, thus preventing Sunday lie-ins!You were the best Dad, we will love and remember you forever.
Photo by Claire Moore 3_7_2021
Mary Anderson 1934-2022
Mary Anderson - 20-12-1934 to 27-04-2022 For a woman who was so organised and meticulously planned as Mary, the timing of this would have been as much of a surprise to her, as it has been to us all. Amongst the numerous lists, notes and emails Sally and I have worked our way through I am pleased to say that she did, of course, leave instructions for today. I’ll start with her words to us all: “To my husband Gordon, my children Neal and Sally, my Daughter in Law Kelly, my son in Law Tim, my Grandchildren Sophie, Jordan and Sam, and to my friends… Thank you for giving me such joy and fun throughout the ups and down of life, and I wish you all very well for your futures as I really love you all” Born in Market Drayton in 1934, Mary was always proud to be the daughter of the town butcher, John Mountford. Her mother Eunice passed on a love and skill for arranging church flowers, and she often recounted the fun of playing Hockey for the town in her younger years. She had one brother, Colin, who worked in, and later took over, their fathers Butchers shop. Her organisational abilities, record keeping and skills as an exceptionally fast typist were no doubt honed at secretarial college in Oxford, but it was whilst working in the bank at Market Drayton that one of the most important moments of her life happened. The bank managers son came in one day and asked his father who that attractive new cashier was. Gordon and Mary met. They courted, they danced their way into each other’s hearts, and they married in June 1957. For nearly 65 years they have been by each other’s side. Mary and Gordon set up their first home in St Albans, both working for Marconi at the time. They were adventurous years with trips to North Wales and Scotland to walk and climb. Mum often recounted surviving perilous journeys across mountain ridges, although I’m not sure how many of them she actually did more than once. She did however enjoy talking with legendary climber Hamish McInnes about his work with mountain rescue dogs during a snowy New Years in Glencoe. Dogs have been a constant joy, comfort, and companion throughout her life, from her first, Hettie, to the later dogs Flora, Flo-Jo, Suzie, and Joyce that many of you will know. Sometimes we wondered if dogs were the most important members of the family to her, but I think Gordon had that place secured. After 10 years of adventure together, they moved to Newport South Wales as they started their family. This brought new challenges, opportunities and friendships for Mary and Gordon. Sailing came to the forefront of hobbies and mum was an able crew until I had grown big enough to take over. Sally made an entrance and Mary combined mothering with work at the local technical college. At this time Gordon was working away 3/4 days each week and sometimes for several weeks at a time. Mum perfected the art of always being right and kept us both in line with a combination of firm rules, fun games and lots of trips out based on her love of history. Mary always liked a holiday. Perhaps because she could daydream about upcoming trips with friends or family, perhaps it was having new places to explore, or perhaps it was the opportunity to plan and organise itineraries for others. All I know, is that this is was one of the things that kept her feeling optimistic and brought her joy. She liked to have two, three or four holidays booked to look forward to. She fondly looked back on holidays across Switzerland and Italy with bother Colin and his wife Angela, family adventures across France with Glenda and Ted and their children, and numerous cross channel trips with local friends searching out good food, good wine and good company. Money and time were never seen as a barrier to having some type of holiday. I remember one weekend when she desperately wanted to visit Pompeii but couldn’t afford the trip, she had a Pompeii weekend at home. She ordered history books, tour guides and immersed herself in everything Italian, including a lot of spaghetti bolognaise, for the whole weekend. A move to Puncknowle in 1977, prompted by Gordons job, was to be the springboard for her to find her own professional feet and carve her own career. As town clerk she brought new ideas and traditions to Bridport, establishing the annual Torchlight Procession and expanding the Christmas tree displays throughout the streets. She was Superintendent Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at Bridport for many years. Sally and I have fond memories of Saturday morning trips into town where Mum would conduct a marriage ceremony, Sal would sit patiently at the back, and I would hang out in town with friends. She was never one to stick too carefully to rules, especially if they didn’t align with what she wanted to do, so when Sally asked if she could marry her cat Ozzy, mum duly performed a full ceremony for her. Puncknowle was where Sally and I also remember the birth of the legendary events - “a Mary and Gordon party!” As with most areas of their life, they both contributed two halves of a whole. Always plenty to drink. Always interesting and varied guests. Always quiche. A barbecue with Gordon at the helm. Always a good time. Always plans for the next party. Parties were where I remember the combination of Mary and Gordon at their most welcoming, playful and generous. As youngsters, parties were where Sally and I learned to pass round trays of nibbles and talk to strangers. Sally on vol au vents, and me encouraged to “go talk to Ralph” - even if there wasn’t a Ralph at the party. It was really a command to go out and meet new people. Don’t stand on the side-lines waiting for the world to come to you, go out and get it. Mum was a lot like that in life - giving orders to help you have a good time. Moaning was never an option and she would often recount her mother saying that “there is never a reason to be bored because no matter where you are or what you are doing, there is always something to look at and be curious about.” It’s something I live by now. Whether welcoming new people to the village, hosting the crafters, the art group, work colleagues, or friends, parties were one of the many ways Mary brought joy to others and the community. One of her most favourite books, The Ascent of Rum Doodle, includes a passage where, to alleviate the difficulty of being stuck in a crevasse for several days, the medic sends for champagne. Mary was also known to do the same, particularly when hosting a planning meeting or an impromptu celebration. The next time you eat quiche or drink a glass of bubbly please raise a glass to Mary, she will be doing the same with you. It was a desire to care for and support others that took her to working for the NHS at Herrison Hospital. At a time when care in the community was being implemented, Mary was at the heart of the approach in West Dorset in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. She was invited to form Dorset Residential Homes and as executive director she oversaw the establishment of over 20 homes across the area providing care for those with mental health, mental illness and learning disability needs. She built many lasting friendships over this time and was the first person to hold a Professional Licentiateship in Care from City and Guilds. She retired in 1997 leaving a legacy which endures to this day of person centred care for those that need it. We found a reminder stuck inside her diary saying “the TV is not a substitute for good care” and I am sure that was why the television was not allowed on in the day at home. I’m also sure it’s why she so consistently kept in touch with many of us all with letters, postcards, phone calls and emails. She truly cared about everyone she knew, and perhaps none more so than her grandchildren, Sophie, Jordan and Sam. As they have all grown she has loved playing games and supporting them with researching, fundraising, listening to recitals and proof reading dissertations. In Sophie’s words: “Some of my fondest memories include visits to the donkey sanctuary, potting up many, many plants and the last Jubilee party at the village hall when Granny was up dancing at the front. I’m going to miss her calls - she’d call most days, just to chat.” Mary was a much loved member of the local community. She was never happier than when organising others and being part of clubs and groups. She played the organ at St Marys Puncknowle for many years, arranged flowers here at Litton, helped out at Fete’s, and was active in Ladybirds, WI, the Art club and the Crafters. She inspired a love of reading in Sally, Sophie, Jordan, Sam and myself and in all the many pupils she encouraged and supported at Thorners School. More recently she raised funds for the bells here at the church. Many of the cards received by Gordon are testament to the love people felt for her, describing her as: “A great friend always with a twinkle in her eye; a privilege to get to know; a cheerful soul; charming and welcoming; an inspiration; someone with kindness, generosity and enthusiasm for all things; vibrant and young at heart.” Following retirement Mary never slowed down and the Bridport Leisure Centre was her next passion. Her cheery smile lit up reception for many years and she made many friends along the way. This is also where her love for fundraising challenges really took hold. She’s helped Jordan to fundraise for an expedition in Ecuador, she’s ‘Walked for Life’ many times, ‘Swam the Channel’ in her own unique way 5 times, and raised thousands for charities, many of them animal rescue. She dreamed of owning some land and eventually got hold of a small patch off White Way and planted it with several hundred trees. But how to manage a growing woodland? Take a course at Kingston Maurward obviously. When the course called for her to gain a chainsaw licence she laughed, and then took on the challenge with her usual confidence. She passed. Nothing held her back once she had set her mind to it. A gardener, a unique artist, a knitter, a good cook, and the most caring mother Sally and I could wish for, the loss of Mary has left a great hole in the community, in the family, and in her lifelong partnership with Gordon. I want to close with a few words from The Ascent of Rum Doodle that we often laughed about together. This abridged passage comes from the early part of the book where Binder, the trip leader, is describing his assembled team: “Tom Burley. Well known for his prodigious feats of endurance. Has been high. Christopher Wish. Excellent on rock. Has been higher than most. Donald Shute. Splendid on ice. Has been as high as most. Humphrey Jungle. Radio expert and route finder. Has been nearly as high as most. Lancelot Constant. Diplomat and linguist. Was expected to go high. Ridley Prone. Doctor to the expedition. Had been high enough.” I’d like to add one more to the expedition team. Mary Anderson. Is now higher than most. Send more Champagne. Neal Anderson 24 May 2022