Guest Memory Four: Geoff Glover

IMG_3359On the eve of Ken’s memorial services, I wanted to share this guest memory from Ken’s cousin Geoff Glover. Geoff and his wife Chris live in Ailsworth, not far from where Ken’s childhood home once stood. In 2015, my husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Geoff and Chris and experiencing their wonderful hospitality. They showed us Ken’s father’s home in Sutton, the quaint church in Sutton where Ken’s parents were married in 1921, and the lovely, small cemetery in Sutton where Ken’s grandparents David and Harriet, his uncle WP Glover, his aunt Mabel, and his father David were buried. We also visited Castor Church where Ken was Christened, toured around Peterborough, and even made a stop at Peterborough Milton Golf Club. Geoff and Chris, with the help of this blog, gave me a priceless glimpse into my own family history. Geoff wrote me the note below upon hearing about Ken’s passing.

Thank  you so much for letting us know, through the Texas Limey Blog, that Ken, sadly, has died.  I had suspected, when you took over the blog, that perhaps Ken was unwell, and it is sad to have that confirmed.

As I think you know, Ken was part of my youth and, indeed, childhood, although the age difference meant that we were never very close.  My mother, however, was his Godmother and always very fond of him and, therefore, often talked about him when I was young.  And she made sure that I recognised him as a ‘role-model’.  To some extent, that worked as I am the only other one of the cousins (see below) to go to university.  He sort of walked out of my life, however, when he and Doris emigrated to Canada in 1954 when I was 18, and possibly at an age when we might have forged a closer relationship.  In more recent years, we have corresponded via email but, unfortunately, were unable to meet either here in Ailsworth or in Houston.  Encroaching age does impose limitations on one’s life.

As you also know, Ken’s father, my uncle Reg, was one of a family of ten.  Three of them never had any children but the remaining seven, between them, spawned a large number of cousins in Ken’s and my generation.  There were fifteen of us, including one in Australia who none of us ever met.  With Ken’s parting, I believe, I am the only one left.  I think this might have annoyed Ken who, I believe, always hoped he would outlive us all.  (His friends will recognise his competitiveness).  But I am 9 years his junior, so the odds were always against him, I’m afraid.

My most vivid memory of Ken dates back to 1939 in the Summer before World War 2 broke out.  I was only about three and a half while Ken would have been about 12.  My parents, my baby brother and I, together with Ken, and cousins Margaret and Kathleen, and possibly others I have forgotten, went on holiday to Hunstanton, about 50 miles from Ailsworth.

Hunstanton is a small coastal resort on the East coast of England although, due to the shape of the coastline, it faces West and enjoys lovely sunsets over the sea. (You might like to check the map)  We stayed in a static ‘caravan’ on a sight close to the Gasworks.  (Long gone as we no longer produce gas from coal!).  I remember it as an idyllic week.  It was my first sight of sea and sand, and my first experience of building sandcastles.  I remember that I had a lovely time and I hope Ken and the other cousins, who were much closer to his age, did too.  I also recall the never-to-be forgotten and all-pervading smell of the Gasworks !!

I share your grief and would be grateful if you would please pass on my love and sincere condolences to Doris.

Geoff, thank you for your memories and your condolences. You will be here with us in spirit as we celebrate Ken’s life.


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