Leaving Hadley Church

Travelled up to Shropshire of the funeral of another influential person from my youth in Wellington. When I played cricket, my usual position was first slip next to the wicket keeper Colin whose funeral it is today. It was a case of little and large and a lot of banter between the two of us as we whiled away many an afternoon side by side. We also played together many times in one of the Cricket Club’s table tennis teams that were very popular in the winter months.

The journey was nip and tuck. A 15 minute delay on approach to Victoria put my 8.23 departure from Euston in danger. In the event, I boarded with minutes to spare. The London train itself was 7 minutes late giving only a few minutes to get to the Wellington train. Not a relaxing journey.

I met my brother, whom I’d not seen since January, at the station and we walked together to the church, arriving 20 minutes before the service to find the place full and overflowing. A fine tribute to a gentle man.

Colin was interred at Wellington cemetery, which is unusual nowadays, giving us the chance also to visit the graves and headstones of many family members including our father and mother, aunties and uncles, a cousin and our maternal grandparents. Very satisfactory all round.

A pleasant wake at the cricket club, overlooking the Wrekin, adjacent to my parents house, catching up with people, some of whom we haven’t seen since the late 1970s. Sitting on the club balcony, (see extras) it felt that 43 years had passed as if it was yesterday. People I knew as a youth were, like me, old men and women!

Several pints later we both walked back to the station to catch our respective trains, me back to Kent, my brother to Hayfield in High Peak. Here’s hoping the return journey is not so fraught.

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