From The Parish Registers At St. Martin's Desford

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FUNERALS - EDITH WILKES (5th February  2018)

Edith Wilkes was born in Stafford on 23rd July 1921, the second daughter of Emily & Frank Bate. The family, consisting of Winnie, Edie, Bet, Frank and Gwen, as they were affectionately known, moved to Peckleton. Edie left school at the age of 14 and worked in a factory at Earl Shilton, making stockings, turning and folding them, and she told her children how this would make her fingers sore and her arms bleed.
Edith was a very shy and private girl, but when a newcomer came to live in the village, life changed for her. Joseph was that man. He was mother’s first and only love, her soul mate.  She and Joseph came into this Church 75 years ago, where they married.  Only six people and the vicar attended that day, they had so very little.  But they had each other.
Edith worked so very hard; she took a job at “The Tubes” in Desford as a cook. Home was a warm and welcoming place, always filled with love and care, not goods or money. 
Edith loved nature; she loved to see the flowers grow, to hear the birds singing. But she never liked to have flowers in the house and she would always say that flowers should be allowed to grow and bloom as God intended.
When she was in her fifties, she worked as a deputy warden in a care home at Market Bosworth, where her daughter Jill was the warden and together they made many people’s lives easier.

EILEEN MAY CHAMBERS (9th February 2018) 

These are an edited version of the tribute given by her daughter Gina.
 We’re not sure anyone really knew our Mum Eileen; not even us. She was complex and had a depth of character that she chose not to fully reveal to anyone.
Born into a humble household in the Humberstone area of Leicester in 1931, Mum was a bright girl who was offered a sponsored place at Grammar School, but decided instead to follow her sister into the hosiery trade. It was probably from here that she gained her keen sense of style.
A glamorous young woman, she counted amongst her suitors one of the Chipperfield circus family and an international speedway rider. She chose the latter and married our Dad, Derrick in 1955. Daughters Gina and Vanessa arrived in 1958 and 1960.  Sadly, the marriage was not a good one and during the early ‘70s Mum took the difficult decision to leave.
The experience defined Mum from then on and it is not surprising that she suffered so badly from anxiety and depression all her life. It further enhanced her natural trait for privacy and self-reliance. She spoke very little of these difficulties, but we both greatly appreciate what she did for us.
Mum finally found love, happiness and contentment when she met Geoff Chambers in the late 1970s and married in 1985, settling in Desford. Geoff’s very laid back and jolly character complimented Mum perfectly. She also developed a close and special relationship with Geoff’s daughter Pat.
Mum read avidly, from the Readers Digest and novels, to following the lives of celebrities in Hello magazine.  Mum also loved the sun and she and Geoff shared many happy holidays in Spain.
Sadly, after nearly 30 years together Geoff died suddenly in 2005. Mum initially managed well on her own, but she gradually relied on the family more and more for support. This level of support would not have been possible without Gina’s husband Graham, “The 4th Emergency Service”.
 As a family, the 4 of us, enjoyed a few short breaks together in France before the onset of the balance problems she developed; much later diagnosed as Parkinson’s. In the following years she would fall many times, leading to several stays in hospital, although she showed an inner strength and determination to bounce back.
In time Mum, very reluctantly, accepted carers coming into the home to help her and she benefitted from the social interaction and reassurance this offered. She would keenly watch her garden birds even giving up her cake for her favourite blackbird.
This new phase in her life was further enhanced with the help of her cleaner Bev, gardener Toni and hairdresser Jo, who did so much more for Mum than their specific jobs. Along with Pat, they became an integral and much appreciated part of Mum’s support and social network.
In July 2016 Mum finally had to move to Nightingales Nursing Home in Wigston. We both took her on regular trips into Wigston in the wheelchair where she enjoyed coffee and cake and a walk through the park.
Although she was a reluctant resident, she eventually settled and made friends and even played dominoes, a skill she had picked up watching Geoff in the pub. She was well liked and never lost the personal traits that made her who she was – spirited and straight talking!
Latterly Mum could only communicate by hand signals and a ‘thumbs up’ became one of her favourites.
We loved you very much Mum, so finally, we would just like to say a big ‘thumbs up’ to you!
Gina Handsworth


2017 Below

FUNERAL– Penny Ellway 
Penny’s funeral took place on 28th September and Peter & James have given us permission to print her eulogy
Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.
When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.
Those are words from a film that were very special to Penny and they are words that sum up how she felt about life. Whatever was going on in the world, whatever heartache her friends, family or neighbours were going through, she was always there, spreading love to anyone who needed it. Although SHE didn't see it that way. I don't think Penny was ever aware of the effect her kindness had on people. That was just her being her.
Penny lived her life to the full. She did more in her 38 years than many of us will ever do.
She travelled. Australia, New Zealand, America, you name it. She spent time, money and energy looking after orphan babies in Romania and if she could’ve brought them home with her, she would have done.
Despite her travels, Penny was a home bird. She loved Desford, and she loved the people there. She dedicated so much time to the local church and the choir, she made breakfasts at the pigeon shoot and she kept The Blue Bell in business for years.
Her family meant the world to her, as did her Godchildren and her many, many, friends. And her cats of course.
Penny had no fear. Not content with jumping out of an aeroplane once, she did it many times, even qualifying to jump solo. She climbed Everest, and she ran a marathon. She played a gorilla in a pantomime.
And that was just Penny. She was never too embarrassed to get dressed up, and never took herself seriously.
We would often joke that her life resembled a sitcom because at times, it was so random. One minute she’d be pulling pints behind a bar, the next she’d be advising someone on a mortgage before looking after kids in a nursery and then she’d be interviewing a celebrity for her radio show. And that would all be within one day.
She worked hard and not because she wanted to fuel a materialistic lifestyle. In fact, many of us will know just how frugal she was. She’d rather eat dry pasta for dinner and drink blue nun if it meant she could save her money to go and visit friends at the weekend. That was just Penny. She always put everybody else first. Always.
And that didn’t stop at her family and friends. She was passionate about charities, and did everything from Hospital Radio to collecting bottle tops to enable others to benefit. I remember telling her I was going to do a sky dive for the Roy Castle Cancer Charity and recall her saying, That’s lovely Simon, but the bloody cats need it more!
There is much we can learn from Penny. Her qualities as a friend were exceptional. She would give anyone the time of day, she never judged, she never said no, she never put herself first. She’d never forget anyone’s birthday and she would always be on the end of the phone or ready to pop round for a chat. Armed with a bottle of wine and her slippers of course.
Having known Penny for some 30 years, I and many of us here will have recognised a change in her in more recent years. We all know that when her favourite cadet James came back into her life, she had never been happier. She slowed down and she cherished every single moment of being a wife. She even moved out of Desford, albeit on the condition that James would always have to be the designated driver.
There is much we can learn from Penny and the way she embraced life and treated other people.
In so many ways, Penny has not left us. Her humour, her confidence and her passion for life will live on through all of us sat here today. Also, for the million and one reasons she gave on Facebook, it is essential that we are all here for James and not just during the next week or so.
Penny was a real one off and she was taken from us far too soon. But, she did NOT lose a battle. She absolutely won the game of life.

FUNERAL - Marilyn (Lynn) Angelinetta died on 27th July after battling a very rare form of cancer. A young 72, sporty and popular, her funeral service on August 8th was a well-attended event, at which a good friend Roy Bunting gave a moving tribute.

Lynn grew up in Cheadle, Staffordshire, an only child. She went to Uttoxeter Girls High School and later trained as a PE teacher in Derby. Amongst other teaching posts she had a long spell at Ibstock Community College. With her first husband Tony she had a son and daughter, Tim and Sally. Later she was married to Paul Angelinetta for 24 years.

She enjoyed tennis, cycling and golf and was an active member at the Forest Hill Club. Retirement in 2005 was followed by Paul’s retirement in 2008 which allowed time for themselves, including regular trips to Bradenton on the beautiful west coast of Florida.

She was taken ill in Florida last November and despite creative and intensive treatment she declined and passed away. Her son Tim read the words of WH Davies at her service …

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Funeral : Hazel Jean Mottram: 8th May

While talking with the family, I discovered that Hazel has always been a local girl: born in Desford and living locally all her life. Hazel was married to husband Les for 53 years, having originally met at Newbold club, where I am told she was dancing “the Twist”. She was someone who enjoyed life, but not in any extravagant way. She was happy with the simple pleasures of life. The pleasure of going to her sisters on a Sunday for a cup of tea, of holidays in Scarborough and Paignton, of trips to the theatre while away on holiday and of being with her family. She enjoyed trips to places like Wolverhampton races and the famous trip to the zoo, when she was followed around by a peacock. She was someone who didn’t like to be inactive and enjoyed supervising Les whilst he did the garden.

I am told she was a kind hearted and generous person, especially borne out in her work as a dinner lady in the locally academy, when she was generous with the portions she gave out.

The thing that came through to me while meeting the family in everything I heard, is the very deep love that everybody had for Hazel, and that she had for all those around her.

Rev’d Rob Marsh

Funeral : Clarence Petcher4th May

Clal to some in the family and Petch to others at work, died suddenly on April 12th at the age of 88. Despite some health issues he had continued active and out of doors and was a familiar figure in Manor Road, walking Tula the dog and catching up with passers-by.

He was married in St Martin’s Church in March 1954 and had just marked 63 years of marriage to Nora, his beloved wife. He spent 35 years working at Desford Tubes, where he was known for his easy going, warm hearted and generous nature.

He was most at home in the out of doors, setting vegetables in the garden, harvesting the produce and he enjoyed giving the best of it away. Sloes and blackberries were gathered for sloe gin and blackberry brandy. He enjoyed all living things, and was once adopted by a very trusting wood pigeon, that settled on his head and so journeyed home with him … this unexpected lodger then took some dislodging as it was encouraged – at first unsuccessfully – to move on!

He had a love both of history and of holidays, and was able to combine the two with trips to the battleground sites of France. Other holidays were taken on the East Coast in a caravan, with his family and also with his daughter in law’s family from Bradford.

His love of the horses led to him organising annual trips to the races around the country for 20 years for a group of family and friends.

A good number of people joined his wife Nora, brothers Derek and Harold, sons Paul and Les, with Tula the dog at St Martin’s church to remember him and entrust him to God – and at the point of the Commendation, having been silent throughout, Tula gave two quick barks with a perfect sense of timing, marking her own farewell.

John Capstack

27/04/32 – 15/01/17 It is a great privilege for me to stand before you now and reflect on the life of my father, John Capstack.
Everyone will have their own memories of dad- whether as a colleague, friend, grandfather, father or husband- and I want to spend a few minutes remembering not just his life but also those things which defined his character and made him such a special part of our lives.
Dad was born on 27th April 1932, in Burton upon Trent to Robert and Annie Capstack. Robert, my grandfather, had moved from Lancashire to take up the position of factory manager at Eatoughs, the shoe manufacturer. I mention this because we are all, to some extent, reflections of our parents, and the spirit that drove Robert to seek new opportunities and strive for the best for his family was also a defining characteristic of dad.
Dad was an only child and expectations were high. At school dad proved to be a fine scholar: diligent and hardworking, he seized the opportunities that Burton Grammar School offered him and made the most of them. He excelled in all areas- maths, science, art and literature. This was recognised when, in 1947, dad was presented with the mayor’s prize for best school report by the mayor of Burton.
Dad’s love of mathematics, science and poetry stayed with him for the rest of his live, however on leaving school dad went to work at Eatoughs in the design department- for which his artistic and creative skills would stand him in good stead.
Before long, dad, like the majority of his generation, was called up for National Service, eventually completing two years in the RAF. Again, dad embraced this opportunity.
Dad spent his time at Clee Hill, near Ludlow, as a radar operator. His grandchildren could have been forgiven for thinking that, during this time, dad was an ace spitfire pilot- an assumption he did little to encourage, and even less to correct. Here he met and made friends with people from a wide range of backgrounds, and it was whilst serving here that dad discovered his love of opera, which stayed with him for the rest of his life.
The end of National Service meant a return to Burton and to Eatoughs. It also led to dad meeting my mum and a whole new chapter of his life.
Mum tells of how dad would wait outside Darley’s bookshop (where she worked) in an attempt to ask her out- and how she exited by a different door to avoid him! Showing the sort of tenacity for which he was renowned, dad contrived to meet mum by following her on to the bus when she was returning from the cinema one evening and asked if he could escort her home. Romance followed.
They married on 5th April 1958 (probably for tax reasons, knowing dad), settling in a flat in Burton whilst their new house, 123 Forrest Road, Shobnall, was being built. On moving in they were joined by Alison in 1961, then me and then Val.
In 1968 dad moved to work in the Earl Shilton factory and we all moved to Desford where Lindsey was born. I remember the first time we went to view 10 Cottage Lane- and we all loved it. Dad loved the house and the garden and the opportunities it afforded. The house and garden were to become his passion for the rest of his life. 
Looking back I am struck by the heroic scale of some of the home improvements that dad undertook. He seemed to make it a point of honour that he would not have the right tools for the job.
 I once remember him demolishing part of a chimney breast equipped only with a sledgehammer head, attached to an old coffee table leg, and a broken cold chisel in order to make a hole for a book case. On another occasion I remember the pervading sense of tension as dad papered the sitting room ceiling with only two croquet mallets to aid him. There was nothing dad could not turn his hand to. He built furniture, demolished outbuildings, built tree and Wendy houses, papered walls and remodelled the garden- every task being carried out with meticulous care and to superb effect. 
This can do attitude also meant that he could not abide his children sitting around doing nothing. Many was the time that we would be sitting watching TV when there would be a terse rap on the window followed by dad entreating us to get up and do something productive.
Dad not only believed in an active body but also an active mind. Talking to my sisters’ one of the things that stood out about dad was that he was always encouraging us to challenge our own opinions. Dad was not much of a small talker but he was an excellent debater and loved serious discussion. Many times, at the dinner table, one of us would voice an opinion that dad would proceed to forensically analyse- challenging us to support our often callow opinion by ruthlessly playing devil’s advocate. He nearly always won and- though maddening at the time-it had lasting effects on all of us. 
As we grew up dad continued to dedicate himself to his work. Eatoughs was a big part of his life- and ours. He travelled extensively- and the names Milan, Florence, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf were not strange to us. He also travelled to New York on two occasions. When he came home he would invariably bring us some reminder of his travels. 
Dad devoted 40 years of his life to Eatoughs and, when this eventually came to an end, he sought new challenges. He had the opportunity to work in India. He loved this experience- though I think he was shocked by some of the conditions he encountered- and it gave him the opportunity to travel and visit some wonderful sites.
When retirement finally came dad still did not rest and he threw himself into the house and garden with even more vigour. He also worked on various artistic projects that interested him. One of these was Celtic art. As a child dad had been excellent at fretwork and Celtic knot work may have appealed to him for this reason. In any event, he produced beautiful work, casting some of it into garden ornaments. The garden, of course was his major passion and he loved opening his garden up to the public on open garden days- his efforts being rewarded by universal praise.
Dad was a wonderful provider and always wanted the best for his family. He loved his family deeply and would always support us. He was also proud of us- something he told us more and more in later life. Looking back, having four children when you yourself were an only child must have proved quite a challenge- noisy family holidays must have tested him to the limit (although we were always complimented on our impeccable behaviour when out in public!). 
Once we were all married and had children of our own dad had to get used to even more noise, as he was blessed with ten Grandchildren. He loved all his grandchildren dearly- and if it was a bit of an ordeal when we all turned up on his doorstep he had the good taste to disguise it as best he could. 
Grandchildren gave a new lease to dad’s creativity: he built a huge Christmas cracker from which he would distribute presents and he put his artistic talents to use designing beautiful sets for school nativity plays.
Over the last few years frailty began to set in- but he was able to remain relatively active until recently. Sadly for such a wonderfully intelligent and creative man, that last year or so saw a gradual decline in his mental faculties- although he never lost them entirely. Dad had a wicked sense of humour- he wasn’t a joke teller, but he was very witty. This could be seen even in the last few days when he would tease his carers. He was still able to recognise us all right up to his last few hours- and he died as he would have wished: in his own home and surrounded by those he loved.
I have spoken of dad’s wit, intellect, drive, integrity, sense of duty and love of family. One word that I have not used yet is “Gentleman”.
When I started thinking about this eulogy I wanted to avoid trite phrases. Every male funeral I have ever attended usually refers at some point to the fact that the deceased was “a real gentleman”. This was usually evidenced by the fact that the said gentleman always wore a tie and was polite in the presence of women! The word “gentleman” somehow seemed to me to be a lazy shorthand to sum up my father. However it is also the word that, since his passing, I have heard used more than any other- it just kept cropping up.
So I now make no apologies for saying of dad: “he was a true gentleman”. Yes, he was cultured, intelligent, witty and talented but he was also kind, generous, honourable, supportive and driven to do the best for his family. He was a loving husband and proud father and grandfather.
For that, dad we thank you and we are all grateful. Your work is done. God bless.
Janet and the Family would like to thank everyone who attended John’s Funeral Service on Thursday 26th January and for the beautiful cards, messages and prayers received in our sad loss.
John would have been amazed and not a little embarrassed to know he was so well regarded. 
We miss him.   Thank you all so much.

Kathleen Mary Taylor of St. Martin's Drive,

Desford, died on January 17th, aged 101.  She was born in the Blue Bell, Desford on Monday September 26th, 1915; one of six children of Walter and Laura Starbuck.  She was educated in the local school in Main Street, where, much later, she would serve as School Clerk.  She married her late husband Bill in 1936 and moved to Enfield, London, from where they returned to Desford, to live in a cottage behind the pub (since demolished) when their London home was bombed.  They had two sons, Stuart, and Malcolm who pre-deceased her.  There are four grandchildren, seven great grand-children and two great great grandchildren.
 Twenty years ago, she set down her memories of her childhood and upbringing in the village, entitled "A Desford Childhood-A Publican's daughter remembers the twenties". Sadly, this slim volume, co-authored with Mrs Caroline Wessel and with a forward by the late Mrs Betty Dickson, is currently out of print.  Her memory was keen and full, describing simple pleasures and pastimes and the great influence of her Christian and public-spirited parents.  She was taken into the church at the age of three (when her father returned from W.W.1) and was still attending into her eighties, riding on her bicycle. Thereafter, she received the Sacrament at home; remaining a generous giver, which included a Home Communion Set for the benefit of those who, like her, could not get out much.
Her memories of the village, its houses, topography, personalities and shops were committed to tape as an oral history.
Her memoir includes a detailed description of the Blue Bell; how its composition and interior reflected the make-up of village society, from "those whose behaviour was quite rough; who would swear, drink strong beer and spit into spittoons; who would smoke a coarse old twist tobacco.  Many of the miners with bad chests, would cough incessantly".  At the other end was "the Snug...a small and select room, where a man could bring his wife for a smart evening out".  She has left a treasure trove of photographs.
Mrs. Taylor was much-travelled.  She had been to the Kremlin, to the White House, down the Hudson River, to Venice and to Athens. She met Senator Barry Goldwater and danced with Cliff Richard.
Her family was close and family gatherings with Nana K very important.  Her centenary was marked in the Blue Bell, but she was beginning to fail physically.  Her sight had been poor for years and she once gave the Rector a cup of coffee, made of gravy granules!  Her death was peaceful.  Her funeral was held at Nuneaton Crematorium on Friday February 3rd.  The sixty attendees included those from Dubai, the Isle of Man and the north of England. The cortege set off from the Blue Bell and family and friends returned to the Blue Bell for the reception.  She had outlived all her contemporaries but the memory of her life and of the village is not lost, because of who she was and what she recorded.
It now remains to be seen whether, with funding and some imagination, her legacy can be presented in written/visual form, with commentary, to a wider audience.

Jean Liddington of Main Street, Peckleton,

died on New Year's Day, aged 90.  She came to the village in infancy and had lived there ever since.  She attended the Village School (now the Village Hall) and completed her education at South Charnwood School.  She was married to Walter, who pre-deceased her twenty years ago.  Jean joined the Peckleton P.C.C. at the age of 17 and served as Churchwarden for over 50 years.  A wide network of friends and contacts reflected her many interests including Mothers' Union, W.I. , Endeavour Club, Scrabble, home Bible Study and Deanery Synod.  She was a faithful worshipper and tireless worker for Peckleton Church.  She had faced ill health and personal loss.  As increasing immobility restricted her, she made good use of her pen and telephone, to complete repairs, building projects and improvements.  She had a sense of humour, loved company and was rarely short of things to say or comments to make.  Her mind was keen until the end.  Her funeral was held in the church on Friday January 27th, followed by a committal at Nuneaton Crematorium and a Reception in the Village Hall.  Former Rector David Senior paid tribute to her friendship and vision for the local church.  Jean is survived by her daughter Dawn.

ROBERT (BOB) GREEN 13th December 2016
These words were shared by his daughter at the funeral

Bob was a kind, caring, honest and gentle husband, Dad, Grandad, Brother, Cousin and Friend. 
Jackie and I are both extremely proud to have called him our Dad and we both loved him very much. 
 Bob had many joys, hobbies and loves in his life, which I am sure many of you have your own memories of, he loved, The great outdoors, His garden and lawns, Woodworking , Shooting, His Super rocket motorbike , Wales
His cats, Minnie Twinkle and Billy,His family.
However the greatest and most precious love of his life was my mum for whom he loved and was totally devoted to. 
God looked around his garden
And He found an empty place.
And then He looked down upon the earth,
And saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you,
And lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful,
He always takes the best.
It broke our hearts to lose you.
But you didn't go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

Holy Baptism 2017

Brooke Page daughter of Chris and Helen Page at Peckleton Church.  Chris and Helen were wedded in Peckleton and were pleased to baptise their first daughter in this church

On Sunday 13th August, we were pleased to welcome Matt, Emma and baby Ivy into St. Martin’s along with their family and friends for the baptism of Ivy. We look forward to welcoming Ivy into the family of the Church at one of our family services and when she is a little older, to welcoming her to Messy Church

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