OUR FAMILY STORY
The Family of William Bishop, circa 1550.
Anthony Armitage Bishop. July 2011.
Anthony died in 2017.
Walter Bishop came to England from Gascony with Henry II about 1154. He inherited through his wife…., who she was or what he inherited is not yet certain. His motto was “Pro deo at reclesia.” This means For God and church.
There is a 600 year gap to my 3x great grandfather William Bishop, who is thought to be descended through 3 generations from another William Bishop, who married Alice Joanes in Bath Abbey on 25th June 1632.
Our William lost his first wife Fanny Dore and remarried on 9th June 1805 in Bath Abbey. This time his bride was Diana Harwood who had been born in 1777 in Hurst in Berkshire. At that time he was stated to be an inn keeper in Stall Street in Bath. It seems the inn was the Angel or the White Heart, both owned by Eleazer Pickwick, grandson of the Mr (Moses) Pickwick immortalised in “Pickwick Papers”. Mr. Pickwick was very successful in business, running coaches between Bath and London.
William and Diana Bishop had 15 children. Several girls died young, and are buried with their parents in Bathwick cemetery (14BAW). William died in 1861 leaving £45,000, so he too was successful.
There were 4 boys.
The eldest son was William, born in 1817; he emigrated to New Zealand and was on one of the first 8 immigrants. He arrived there in 1842 and set up in Wellington as a chemist at the junction of Ingestre and Cuba Streets. (Ingestre St. is now called Vivian St). He married Ann Fyfe in Nelson in 1844. They had 7 sons, (the second son Henry James died in infancy in Sydney Australia), William was a shipping agent and George was a solicitor. There were 4 more which you will find on the website. They also had 4 daughters. William and Ann are buried in Bolton St. cemetery; their grave escaped the bulldozers when a motorway was built right through there.
The second son James, born in 1819 appears to have been a bit of a spendthrift, as his father stated in his will, “He has lost all value of money”. He married Harriett Honey and became a grocer in London.
The third son John born 1821 went to St. Ives in Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire) with his two eldest sisters. He became an ironmonger, and the girls both married ironmongers in that town, named John and Thomas Ulph and raised large families. John left there in 1846, married Anne Frances Clabburn and became a partner with Charles Barnard in the iron foundry in Norwich, which became famous for its wrought iron work and for inventing wire netting. They gave a set of wrought iron gates to Edward VII, which hang at the entrance of Sandringham in Norfolk
The youngest son was my great great grandfather George, born in 1822. He also went to Norwich, where he met Frances Havers, who with her elder sister ran a drapers shop at 5 The Haymarket. The fine carved fireplace from this address is now in the Brideswell Museum with samples of ironwork from Barnard and Bishops iron foundry. They married in 1851 in St. Peter Mancroft Norwich and had 8 children.
Frances was one of a well known Norwich family, in the ironmongery trade. Another line of her family descends to Sir Michael Havers, and you will have seen his grandson Nigel on TV. There are 92 trees in the Havers family (wood!)
George and Frances’ eldest son was Charles Edward who was born in 1852. He entered holy orders and became curate to Rev George Robinson at St Augustines Liverpool. He married his vicar’s second daughter, Henrietta Octavia in 1884 at Bilton in Yorkshire (her Brother Arthur’s parish) He later had his own parish at St. John’s Everton, Liverpool where my father was born on 22nd May 1887.
My father was the eldest son in a family of 4 sons and 6 daughters (2 of which died young). His brother Hugh was a teacher and lost a leg in the First World War, he had one daughter Pat, now a widowed grandmother living at Banstead in Surrey. Arthur the next brother was killed in World War 1.Forbes the youngest was too young even to volunteer. He became a Cowley Father and spent most of his life as a missionary at Bombay in India, looking after children of leper parents. He returned to England after handing over the mission to Indians. He died at St. Johns House in Oxford, where he was ministering to others at the age of 88 on a Zimmer frame. He was my Godfather.
Now the girls – May stayed at home, helping with parish work and later to look after her parents, both of whom went blind, and lived to about 90.Grace trained as a dispenser and married Victor Dow who was a school master and took holy orders late in life. They had 2 sons and one daughter. The boys served in the merchant navy and were torpedoed and taken prisoner in the war. (Details of their families are in the Dow tree).
Next was Mary who was a physiotherapist at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Last was Clare, who helped my father when he was in need. Despite the break in her career, she became one of the senior sister tutors in the country and a national examiner working at the Royal Northern Hospital. (Claire Rainer was one of her students). She lived with us for about 3 years at Perranporth before ending her days in St. John’s Oxford with her brother Forbes.
My father was educated in Liverpool. His mother and all his sisters were educated at Casterton School for daughters of the clergy in Westmoreland. His Mother was there with the Bronte sisters. My father was a doctor/GP. He was part of a medical practice in Melton Mowbray, with three separate surgeries. He practised with Dr. Tibbles in Nottingham Street, but actually lived a few miles away in the village of Asfordby. Here he set up home with his first wife Dorothy Hurton, whom he married in St. Georges, Hanover Square in London in 1916.
Dorothy’s father was my grandfather’s organist at St. Johns Everton in Liverpool. This marriage was a chapter of disasters. They had three boys, twins who both died at or near birth, and another that also died during the Spanish flu epidemic in 1914-18. Dorothy also died.
My father served in Flanders with the R A M C during the 1914/18 war. Being a doctor he had the choice of either wearing the Red Cross on his arm or carrying a pistol. He chose the latter, and used it on only one occasion to kill a rat that had crawled on to a soldiers sleeping body during the night, and had a firm grip on the poor fellow’s nose.
My father was invalided out of the trenches with double pneumonia, and spent his convalescence with his uncle, Rev Armitage Robinson who was at that time Dean of Westminster. In Westminster Abbey near the Unknown Soldier’s tomb, there is a little pew high up on the wall, with direct access to the deanery. That is where he worshipped for several weeks.
His uncle was Lord High Almoner to King George V, the person in charge of the Maundy Money, which the sovereign distributes to the poor on Maundy Thursday each year. One “purse” or set of silver coins 1, 2, 3 & 4p is minted for each year of the sovereign’s age, but in 1931 my birth year, an extra set was minted and I still have it.
He eventually returned to Dr. Tibble’s practice at Melton Mowbray. His great interest was surgery, so he practised by day and studied by night on a correspondence course with the Royal College of Surgeons at Edinburgh, where he gained his fellowship.
He was a widower for about ten years. He married my mother, Phyllis Marianne Willis at St. Mary’s Bromley in November 1928, with Malcolm Sergeant at the organ. She was a real “copper top”, but suddenly became snow white at the age of 30, before she married him. She was born in the same year as him 1887. His birthday was in May and hers in August, so they were upset when people said he was marrying someone a lot older than himself. They were so happy, that she told one of her sisters “it is too good to last”. How true it was.
I was born in the War Memorial Hospital at Melton on Friday 13th March 1931, and she was soon diagnosed as having cancer of the gallbladder, and she was dead by August. It was a merciful release, because she had been out of her mind with pain for the last two months. Her body lies in Thorpe Rd Cemetery, Melton Mowbray. Dorothy’s grave is in Asfordby, but is unmarked as my father at that time could not afford to do so. I suspect that the tree boys are there somewhere, but they are not recorded in the parish records. This time having a little baby, my father was in difficulty, until his sister Clare gave up her position as Theatre Sister at Leicester Royal Infirmary, and came to look after us. This she did for just over two years.
On September 6th 1933, my father married Hilda Mary Davies at Wistanstow, they honeymooned in North Wales. They were very happy together for 22 years. We used to holiday each year at Cromer in Norfolk and were called back from there, on the outbreak of the Second World War. During the war the three old doctors Fagg, Dixon and my father carried on the practice, which normally had six partners and a student.
He worked long hours and seldom had a day off, but occasionally escaped to play a round of golf.
This he found a great relaxation but as in most things he had to excel. He normally played off a handicap in single figures. He also loved singing. He had a great bass voice and always took the bass lead in all the amateur Gilbert and Sullivan shows which were directed by Sir Malcolm Sergeant who was at that time the youngest choirmaster in England. He sang in the church choir and was a founder member of Toch H with Rev Tuby Clayton. He was an examiner for St. John’s Ambulance and Trustee of Melton Mowbray Town Estate.
When the Health Service was proposed he went on a course to find out all about it for the practice, of which he was by now senior partner. The sleeping arrangements were far from ideal; he caught a bad attack of bronchitis. When he came home he carried on working. During one night he had a bad coughing spell, and snapped two ribs. Still he worked on; until he was in such pain he literally crawled upstairs to bed. Later he went up to London for an operation to remove the ends of the broken ribs from his left lung.As time went on it was apparent that he had Padgett’s disease (brittle bones) and his partners advised him to retire.
Having holidayed at Newquay since the war, my parents decided to go there to live. By now I was a farm pupil, so I followed. When my father was 68 he had a coronary thrombosis and the damage to his left lung proved too much for his heart. He died on the day we moved into Marazanvose Farm. He was proud of his first grandson Michael born just eight months before, and he enjoyed bouncing him on his lap in bed.
My father had studied general medicine at Liverpool, and whilst there he used to be friendly with the holder of the world grass track cycle record, and was only a very close second. He also was hooker in the university rugby team. More detail of his family follows later. His first and third wives both knew my mother, she and Hilda were student nurses at the London Hospital, where he met them.
I know very little about the Hurton family except that Dorothy had a brother, Dick who took us around London at night to see the lights. This was during a visit to London to celebrate my 21st birthday.
His third wife, Hilda Mary Davies, had a younger sister and 4 brothers. Their parents farmed at Church House Wistanstow, Nr Craven Arms. Cyril was eldest son, his wife was Helen. They had a son Geoff who married Mary; they had 2 daughters and lived in Esher in Surrey. Geoff had twin sisters, Helen and Honour, both emigrated to marry Rhodesians. (Rhodesia is now Zimbabwe). They both had families out there. Geoff and Helen have since died.
Bernard was next He married Dorothy Galloway who inherited a string of grocery shops in Birmingham. He was a farmer at Chadwich Manor near Bromsgrove, now right beside the M5. He lost his shorthorn dairy herd twice was next. due to foot and mouth eradication. He helped found Worcester Farmers, and became its managing director (for no pay so that he wouldn’t have to take orders!) He was a keen member of the National Farmers Union, becoming Worcestershire county chairman. Their first son John married Marjorie and had one son Peter. After farming they retired to Ludlow. John and Marjorie have since died.
Uncle Bernard’s other son was Kenneth, who married Janet Penlington. They live just outside Ledbury where Kenneth is on the local council, and has been mayor twice. He runs a farming consultancy and accounting business. They also have some lovely Swedish chalets which let through Haven Holidays. They have a son Roger and two daughters, Emma and Helen. Uncle Jack was next, he was killed in world war one.
The last brother was Roy who married Joan Edmonds. They had one son Allan. He farmed at High Edsar Farm Ewhurst in Surrey. Roy caught polio and died, Allan carried on the farm for a while later taking Milland Farm near Liphook, selling milk from his Guernsey herd on his retail milk round. Later he moved to Lifton in Devon, and went in for landscape gardening. He died of a heart attack at work. His widow Sue and his twin children Hannah and Paul (from his first marriage) all live in the Surrey region.
Hilda’s sister was Doris; she married Tom Watkins a Welsh hill farmer who like many of his kinfolk had a lovely top tenor voice. They moved to Broadward Hall near Clungunford. This is a Welsh border property with battlements, but not really a fortress. Dick their son farmed there running store cattle and sheep with his son Richard. Dick has since died.
Dick had one sister, Dorothy; she married Noel Blair who was in confectionery. He is retired and they live at Says Farm near Churchill a few miles south of Bristol. They had two sons, David who was killed in a motor accident and Michael, who was his own business near London. Dorothy was a keen horsewoman.
My granny, Edith Davies, was still playing the piano at the age of 92 even though blind. She could play all morning without repeating herself. She often played to the “old people” as she called them, at St. Johns Ambulance day centre in St. Michaels Rd. Newquay. She was the oldest person in the room!
Before marrying “Grampy” as we called him, she was Edith Poole. One of her brothers was the Poole in the auctioning firm Morris Barker and Poole and another brother, Geoff, was a chemist in Birmingham, who paid to replace Uncle Bernard’s second herd lost to foot and mouth. A third brother Tom was an ironmonger near Craven Arms market. Her two unmarried sisters Emma and Kate lived at “the Cedars” at Felhampton near Craven Arms.
You will have noticed that I have said nothing yet about my Mother’s family. Her maiden name was Phyllis Marion Willis. Her father Walter was a rep for a brewery in Essex, later becoming manager. He died quite young leaving her mother with a boy and four girls and virtually no income. Several of the children had to go into a children’s home.
Her grandfather, Dan Willis farmed Home Farm, Theydon Garnon, Essex, near to where the M25 and M11 cross today. I have traced the family in Essex back to 1746. They worked their way up from agricultural labourers to farmers over several generations. Dan’s wife Caroline Cooper was born in the Whitechapel area in London. Her father was a pawnbroker.
My mother’s only brother, Stanley, emigrated to New Zealand and married a New Zealand girl called Rhoda Redwood. They had two sons and one daughter. The older son Alex was killed in a flying accident in Canada when serving in the New Zealand Air Force during the Second World War.
Walter, the second son, served for 5 years in the New Zealand Navy and stayed in that service until 1968, when he went to University to train as a town planner. He worked in that profession for 20 years. Whilst in Britain, he married a British WREN officer, Doreen Wilson, in 1948. They have 2 sons. Simon is a deep sea yachtsman and has a sail making business in the Bay of Islands. Richard is a vet in Cambridge, New Zealand. He has 2 daughters Sarah and Louise and a son Thomas.
Their sister Gwen married a sheep farmer, Ian Mc Phee, now deceased, who had a large ranch near Hastings on the North Island, which is now run by his son John. Gwen was killed by a hit and run driver taking their children to visit her parents in 1966.Grace was my mother’s only sister to marry. Gwen and Ethel the other 2 sisters, lived with their mother in Bromley. Grace died in 1933. She had married Bob Ward-Jones, a chemist in 1911. They had one daughter Margaret. She married Arthur Townend in 1941 and they had a son John who is an accountant. He has married and has a son.
COLLARD & DENNE
My mother’s mother, Gertrude Collard, was a farmer’s daughter from Upper Garrington (opposite Hewlett’s Zoo near Canterbury in Kent). The Collard family farmed large farms near Canterbury. I was lucky in contacting a man in Chislet parish who had a copy of the Collard family tree, going back to the early 1600s at St. Nicholas at Wade in Kent.
John Collard, an early member of the family distinguished himself when fighting against the Moors in Spain, by being the first to scale the ladder when storming their castle. This explains the crest of a lion climbing a ladder above a shield bearing the heads of 3 Moors that he killed.
Collard and Denne were two of the larger families in Kent and are very intertwined on our website. There is still a lot of debate going on regarding the older sections of both families where accurate records are elusive.
MY OWN HISTORY
Without boring you I hope, I feel I should add a little about myself. After my mother’s death, I was looked after by a nurse for a while until my Auntie Clare came to keep house for us.
When I was considered old enough, I had a governess (Miss Hodgetts). I took great joy in plaiting her hair, which reached nearly to her waist. One maid I remember well was Ella Ploughman, the daughter of patients at Asfordby, she and I were great pals. Two other pals were the 2 Sealyhams dogs, Pogo and Trixi, whose portraits still hang in my son Philip’s home. Pogo eventually went blind, and we had to keep furniture in the same position or he would collide with it. When he was younger he always kept guard under my cot. You could only approach if he approved.
Later I was sent to the junior house at Oakham School in Rutland, under a giant of a housemaster, Mr. Milligan. He was 6ft 7ins. I can still remember my father coming to school to see me swim my first length of the school outdoor baths. It was at Oakham that I first heard the bagpipes. What a glorious sound as the piper practised in the school playing field across the lane. I forget now why, but I was not very happy there, may be because I was disobedient and often got the cane! I tried another school, Trent College at Long Eaton. To my father’s disappointment I was no sportsman except at Rugby, where I had to play in the same position my father held in Liverpool University team, hooker. I joined the Officer Training Corps, and enjoyed rifle shooting. My favourite pastime was naming trees. Trent has over 400 different varieties of trees and shrubs. I got up to 250 names and then ran into trouble when there were only Latin names left.
I sat the Oxford & Cambridge Certificate (the equivalent of the CSE), passing History, Chemistry, Physics, Maths & Metal Work and amazed everyone by getting credits in both English Literature & Language, because I am still hopeless at spelling today.I was fond of singing in the choir. I was fortunate to be at school with boys who had been head choristers in Kings College Cambridge, St. George’s Chapel Windsor, St. Paul’s Cathedral London, and Chester Cathedral. What a choir!
When I left school I went as a farm pupil to Mr. Charles Whalley at Top Farm, Bearston near Market Drayton. This farm carried a large pedigree Friesian dairy herd. When my father retired I moved down to Altarnun near Launceston. There I looked after an Ayrshire dairy herd until they had to be sold due to the owner’s bad health. This time I moved to Coswarth just outside Newquay, a completely different farm with a lot of arable land with some cattle and a large flock of sheep.
My last move was to join the Eustice family at Trethiggey, near Newquay, which had South Devon cattle. I well remember Ron Eustice, who was disabled, going in between two bulls that were fighting, with a horse whip to part them, a thing I would not have dared to do, and yet none of the family would go near a cow which had new born twins, except on a tractor. They were amazed when I went into the field, put one calf across my shoulders and drove the cow and other calf in with no trouble at all. I was not brave, just foolhardy!
After this I decided to spread my wings, and volunteered to join the RAF. I had several bouts of tonsillitis which culminated in rheumatic fever, which meant a month in Ely Hospital, followed by several months on light duties at RAF Henlow before returning to square bashing. On completing this I studied Ground Radar as a mechanic. When I eventually mastered that, at the second attempt, I was posted to RAF Trerew near Newquay. Whilst I was there I ran the coffee swindle, and went down to Trerew Farm for some milk, where I met Betty Pascoe who became my wife.
I finished my term in the forces and went to work for my brother in law, Dick House, at Trevornick, living in a rented cottage near Zelah. I was on the lookout for a farm of my own; presently a chance came up at Marazanvose, the other side of Zelah. It was only 38 1/2 acres, and I tried a bit of everything, but eventually settled on Friesian cows, rearing what heifers I could.
When my landlord died I was offered the chance to buy the farm. My brother in law Dick lent me cash, a few years later I sold that farm and bought a larger one at Hendra near Rose, between Cubert and Perranporth. Later I bought an adjoining farm bringing my acreage up to 145. I was able to rear all my heifers and grow corn to help feed them.
Michael and Philip were both born whilst we were at Marazanvose. Michael did not want to follow me in farming; he worked at Ladbrokes holiday camp near Perranporth, and ran their fish and chip shop. So I decided to sell the farm and buy the Grantham Astor Hotel, a decision I have never regretted.
We moved in November 1972, and opened for Christmas. Michael went to Camborne catering college for that winter and I joined him until I had to return to see to bookings after Christmas. At that time only 4 bedrooms were ‘ensuite’. We added 6 folding showers and opened again in April 1973, using Smiths Happiways coaches. I had purchased the hotel from Smiths.
The following winter we amalgamated the bar and ballroom to make the highland ballroom. We also had to dig a cellar, as during our first dinner function, I remember us rolling a barrel of beer through the dining room. Michael and I dug the cellar BY HAND. It soon proved too small so was doubled in size. It was doubled yet again in later years to accommodate real ale.
There were constant improvements, including the purchase of the Gables next door, which was joined into the hotel. The first Christmas those rooms were used, the guests had to be issued with umbrellas as we were not allowed to knock through in time.
The old Grantham Astor (once two properties), had 54 bedrooms. The number varied up and down over the years as ensuite facilities were provided and ground floor rooms built.
Other additions to the Grantham Astor included purpose built skittle alley and additional rooms added to the rear of the property. We retired to Perranporth in the late 80’s where we have lived ever since and were always pleased to welcome friends, old and new. Eileen now has Alzheimer’s is in professional care as my health deteriorated. At the time of writing she will be 90 in two weeks.
MY GRANDMOTHERS FAMILY
My grandmother, Henrietta Robinson (born 1862) was the second daughter of my grandfather’s vicar, Rev. George Robinson in Liverpool. They came to Liverpool from Keynsham where most of their 13 children were born. Most of her brothers entered the church, some were missionaries. One, John, wrote the Hausa dictionary and grammar, another was a doctor in South Africa (Frederick Austen). He paid for my father’s education and training in medicine. But for the war we should have gone to join him.
The most famous brother, whom I mentioned earlier, Armitage Robinson, was Dean of Westminster. His butler later became head verger there, for which he got the M.V.O. He organised the Queen’s coronation. Two sisters were deaconess. They originally came across from Hollywood near Belfast in Northern Ireland, where the family had lived for several generations.
Their mother, Henrietta Forbes, was born at Hollywood, Northern Ireland, but 3 of her ancestors had been vicars of Drunconrath for 150 years. Drunconrath is up the river Boyne from Drogheda. The first of those vicars had gone across to Ireland from Aberdeenshire in Scotland. His grandfather was second son of 7th Laird of Tolquhon. This family traces back to Sir John Forbes who died in 1469. From there it gets complicated and a bit mythical.
Near Drunconrath the family lived for generations in a large house called Newstone (twice the size of the church). In the churchyard is the Forbes family vault. Though not visible from the gate, when we visited there, I walked straight to it as though I had been there before.
The second Forbes vicar there married his cousin Anne Armitage, and there must be something about the Irish air, as they had 23 children. We are descended from their second son John. His grandson Arthur also married a cousin, Caroline Armitage, daughter of Whaley Armitage who was agent for Guys Hospital, running their estates in Herefordshire. They built a house for him and his 12 children called Moraston, near Ross on Wye. One of those 23 children was my great-grandmother.
The crest used by the hotel is associated with Edward Haistwell. Elenora his daughter married Whaley Armitage. Whalley Armitage was part of what I call the Irish line. In researching the Armitage family I have discovered 5 distinct lines, some of which used a Y instead of I in their surname.. Some were Quakers and went across the ‘pond’ and are dispersed throughout Canada and U S A
Edward Haistwell traded with Tsar Nicholas of Russia and appears to have been paid in silver with which he made our family silver – hallmarked George IV.
Mainly for the interest of my grandchildren, I have started tracing the family of my first wife Betty Pascoe. So far I have found a direct line through Joseph Wills Pascoe, a farmer at Penpoll in the parish of Phillack near Hayle in West Cornwall, who was born in 1775. He is mentioned in the book “Pascoes all over the world” by Harry Pascoe. I believe his father was James Kempthorne Pascoe who was baptised in Wendron near Helston in 1735. One of his 3 brothers, Erasmus was mentioned in Gilbert’s History of Cornwall. They were all born in Mullion. Most of the family seem to have been farmers all over Cornwall, but there were one or two captains of sailing vessels trading out of Truro and Hayle, both once active ports.
The name Pascoe, (Pascawe, or Paskow) was originally a Christian name. They were very prolific, especially in West Cornwall, where a lot were tin and copper miners, the main occupation in this county years ago. As mining declined here, they spread throughout the world as the book title shows.
Betty’s mother was a Mitchell. This family were farmers and previously miners in the Cubert, Newlyn East, Kenwyn and St. Agnes area. One branch married a Dorothy Webber whose father was a miller at Gwarnick in St. Allen parish. Mitchell and Webber are substantial liquid fuel suppliers today, but I have not established a connection so far.
My elder son Michael’s wife is Pat Saxby. I have traced her father’s family to Battle near Hastings in Sussex, where most were sawyers on a large estate there. Pat’s mother was Rose Brown; her family came from Potterne and West Lavington near Devizes in Wiltshire. I have found a direct line to Stephen Brown born in 1683 who married Susannah Sainsbury. There MIGHT to a connection to the food chain there!
I have much to do before I can offer anything about the family of Philip’s wife, Elaine Lawton. All I can say is that her mother’s side come from Ireland, a difficult area to research due to records being burnt prior to 1901. Her father’s family come from Nottingham and Manchester. I would welcome facts from any readers in this area.
I was divorced in 1974 and Eileen Lewis, one of my first guests came back to help me run the hotel. After a civil ceremony in St Austell Registry Office, we were married in 1980 at St. Columb Minor Church. Afterwards we returned to the hotel for the reception in an open landau. I was married in the Forbes tartan and Sheralyn, Eileen’s grand daughter, was her bridesmaid. Eileen made her bridesmaid’s dress
I retired in 1987 and we moved to Perranporth, where I am involved in the local church. For a while I sold Traidcraft (fairly traded products) in about 15 churches in the neighbourhood and edited the Parish Magazine.
In 1988 Perranporth was flooded and I led the Flood Prevention Committee, which worked to get a relief scheme installed.
Unfortunately in 2003 Eileen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and for the next seven years I was her 24/7 carer. In 2008 I had a heart attack which necessitated a triple bypass. Now as I have developed prostate cancer, Eileen is in a professional care home near here being very well looked after.
Now that I feel very lonely I have taken a position as area rep for Release International, who organise prayer for people in over 30 countries who are persecuted for their faith.
As I write this I am preparing to gather family and friends together to celebrate Eileen’s 90th birthday (14/7/2011).
Unfortunately due to pressure of the Health and Safety requirements, red tape and rapidly increasing utility bills, my boys decided to close the hotel and sell it for development in 2008. They are both letting out houses locally.
Mike has also had a heart attack, but had stents fitted and was home quite soon. He now has 6 very active grandchildren which he dotes on.
Philip took a course in plumbing and is now qualified. This helps with his property maintenance and gives him some employment as well. This will be useful as his daughter Holly hopes to go to university soon.
For those who are interested there are more detailed descriptions of the Armitage, Bishop, Collard, Denne, Forbes, Havers, Pascoe, Robinson and Willis families.