These columns come around faster than storm Eunice! I hope you’re all well and that the recent howling weather has been merciful to your garden fences, bins, roofs and toupees. I watched a video of St. Thomas’s church spire in Wells come crashing down in the extreme winds, a sobering reminder of mother nature’s power and that the stay-at-home warnings aren’t just for giggles.
At the time of writing this the tension in Ukraine is extremely high, I’ve been keeping an eye on the escalations and updates with a very keen eye since this began and it’s troubling to say the very least. I know that Frome is home to Ukrainians and people with family and friends in Ukraine (Russia too) and I sincerely hope that all whom you love and care for are safe, secure and out of potential harm’s way, on both sides of the borders. It’s an anxious time and I join you in that.
I also visited Vallis youth club recently which is run by the YMCA to spend an evening chatting to the staff and getting involved with the activities. It’s always great to spend time where you can get to know people a little bit and have some meaningful conversations. I enjoyed listening to Grime, playing pool, watching dance routines and checking out some great arty projects. The work being done at Vallis on a social, educational, emotional and pastoral level is invaluable, this facility and organisation is beyond monetary value. As an atheist I don’t use expressions of God and faith in my everyday tongue often, but they really are doing God’s work I have to say. Some of the teenagers who access this resource are in need of various support networks and guidance and the crew up there are like an extended family to them and honestly, they all deserve trips to the palace and medals, fantastic work. I’m looking forward to returning for another evening with The High Sheriff soon because I’m just so proud that this happens in Frome.
Just before I sign off on this week’s column, I wanted to take a moment to mention that my great-Aunt, Delia Symes has passed away at the ripe old age of 91. Delia was one of 4 siblings, they were evacuated from London during the Second World War to this area, Delia was separated from the others for period and lived in Cornwall but made her way back up to these parts to start a family. Delia lived an incredibly full life and experienced all there was to offer. Having five children, two of whom she outlived and sadly lost two husbands. Despite these heart-breaking losses Delia kept a positive and fun spirit, enjoying the love and adoration of her children and over twenty grandchildren. Aunt D was a matriarchal figure but never ruled the roost, she was always welcome, always adding something special to the atmosphere and didn’t seem to buy a dud scratch card ever. I can say this with great confidence as I’ve lost count the number of times a fiver was stuffed into my hand on the sly! During the war, my grandmother and her siblings were lucky to have each other and lucky to be together and I’m sure they lent on one another a lot during those times for support and comfort, a bond I’m sure was very deep. So, my thoughts have been with my Grandmother Jill Wrintmore lately who has now lost her last surviving sibling. I can’t imagine the sense of loss and the space Delia’s passing has created but I know one thing…. We were all very lucky to have had such a wonderful woman in our family for 91 years.
Requiescet in pace.