St Lukes, West Norwood
|b. 25/4/1927||b. 7/11/1928|
|Packaging engineer/ council leader
See photos and press cuttings
|d. Sept 9, 2009(80)
Alan Brind probably photographed by his dad (pictured right) and as a young man (above).
|Jonathan Edward DNA||Simon Leonard||Amanda Joy||Alan Christopher||Lindsay|
|b. 30/11/1952||b. 4/5/1956||b. 14/7/1958||b. 7/1/1962||b. 19/8/1964|
|=Clare (Kingston)||=Ann (Wilkes)||=Robert Iain Hamilton Cameron|
|Journalist||See name change||Taxi driver|
|d. July 31, 2007(51)|
|Return to index||Skeleton of tree|
|Mum was cremated on 23/Sept/2009 at Harwood Park, Stevenage, Herts. The vicar read out the following poem and Gwen asked for a copy.JEB|
HOW DO YOU LIVE YOUR DASH? by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He told of the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears.
But said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that small line is worth.
It matters not how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know what time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real,
And always try to understand
The way that people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more,
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.
We could treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy's being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Will you be proud of the things they said
About how you spent your dash?
|Merlyn was born to parents Jessie and Edward on the 7th of November 1928, in West Norwood, although she would have said West Dulwich. She was raised in South London and, despite being evacuated during the war as many people were, her natural intellect saw her attend grammar school. It was in her late teens that Merlyn met a young man by the name of Alan in Don's café, West Norwood. The pair began courting and their romance blossomed. At the age of 21 Merlyn became engaged, but their wedding was delayed slightly as Merlyn's charitable nature saw her use her savings to help out a family member who needed assistance. The pair were finally married St Luke's Waterloo Church in March of 1951.
Following their wedding Merlyn and Alan made their home in a small flat again in West Norwood and it was while here that they were blesses with the arrivals of their first two children, Jonathan and Simon. With their own family expanding, Merlyn and Alan made the move to Moreton House, where Merlyn was to become proud mother again to Mandy and Christopher. Bow was to be the next destination for Merlyn, in accommodation provided with Alan's job, before their move to Ware and the completion of their fold with the arrival of Lindsay. In 1965 Merlyn made the move to Welwyn Garden City, where she was to remain and become a second mum to as many of the local children as she possibly could!
As her own children were growing up they remember their mum to be a firm but fair lady. She was a very warm lady and took a great deal of joy from her children. They all had a great deal of respect for her, knew the limits and knew that bending the rules just wouldn't work! In the early days, until her third child, Merlyn would travel around with the family on Alan's motorbike and side car. Once they had a car, Alan and the children fondly recall their camping holidays, everywhere and anywhere around the British Isles, when they would all pile into the car, dogs, cats and hamsters included, and find any camp site possible to pitch their tents. Although Merlyn would still continue her motherly duties of cooking and cleaning, she really just enjoyed spending the quality time with the family she loved so much.
More recently, of course, Merlyn's family duties have been extended to that of grandmother to Andrew, Laura, Gemma, Arthur and Adam, and great grandmother to Luke, Bryn and Caitlin. As each generation arrived, Merlyn became less firm. She was very indulgent with the grandchildren and by the time her great grandchildren arrived she had completely forgotten the word 'no'. I've also been informed that one has inherited her great grandmother's bossiness!
While Merlyn was completely committed and dedicated to the family she loved so much, she also loved all children. She would borrow any children she could. She volunteered in a school for the pleasure of helping children learn to read and Alan would often find her quite literally covered in children when he came to pick her up. All the local children knew exactly which door to knock on in the event of a minor disaster or emergency, and Merlyn was only too pleased to assist
While Merlyn's passions in life were her family and children, she also found time to pursue other interests. She enjoyed her pets throughout her life, particularly her Siamese cats. She amassed an impressive collection of dolls, I'm sure the ones that I saw during my time spent with Alan and the family last week were only the tip of the iceberg. Since her retirement Merlyn and Alan have enjoyed their holidays to Florida and she mastered the arts of shopping and returning with more suitcases than she left with!
Merlyn was understandably devastated by the tragic loss of her son, Simon. She hoped more than anything that they would be reunited one day and I hope now that the pair have found each other, found peace, and are now watching over their special family together.
Merlyn was a strong, independent, intelligent caring lady. Not a person for materialism, but who achieved everything she wanted in life through the creation of her family. A family which is not only her achievement but also her legacy. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, the children of Welwyn both young and old, and all those whose lives she has embraced.