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Friday, 27 November 2015

Holding on to Cyril

The prompt this week shows children holding hands in a circle. I don't have any similar family photographs, but like Marilyn, I do have a sweet one of a brother and sister holding hands. In this case my mother-in-law Mary was out walking in the city somewhere with her little brother Cyril, who was some seven years younger than his big sister.

Cyril Olds was born in Hull,Yorkshire in 1932. He enjoyed working outdoors but later joined the Civil Service and became a VAT inspector, although he always said he didn't really like having to tell people of their tax liabilities. He didn't marry until he was 50, at which time he gave up smoking. Cyril always referred to Margaret as his bride. They enjoyed over 30 happy years of married life together but sadly he passed away almost a year ago from lung cancer.

The photo below shows Cyril when we last saw him in 2014, in the spring garden of the family property,Yew Tree Farm in Clehonger near Hereford.  Margaret and her late first husband had been next door neighbours ever since Cyril's parents Frank and Doris Olds bought the farm in 1956. After she was widowed Margaret downsized to a cottage just across the road, and following their marriage in 1984 Cyril moved in there too. He looked after Yew Tree Farm in his spare time, maintaining the cider apple orchard and tending the gardens that he had established, and at various times he raised or agisted sheep, pigs and cattle in the fields.  Cyril and Margaret also ran a nursery business from the greenhouses that Cyril had installed behind the barn. They had no children but always had a dog or two for company.  Here is a photo I've posted previously of Cyril and his mother Doris at work gathering apples when I first met them in 1976. At that time Cyril was a bachelor in his early 40s, and we went with him on a day trip from Hereford up to Hull to 'see a man about a dog'. It wasn't a sightseeing trip.  Cyril drove fast and stuck to the motorways, stopping only once or twice at roadside service centres for sustenance, so we didn't see much of the English countryside at all. When we returned his mother asked how the drive had been, and Cyril assured her in his broad Yorkshire accent that there had not been much traffic, and "what there was, we passed". 

    Cyril. above right, with his wife Margaret, his younger sister Helen and their nephew Roger (son of Mary),  in April 2014.

                               Photo taken from the upstairs bedroom window of the farm.

     Young Cyril has headed home and his tractor now stands idle in the greenhouse. Without him, the future of the farm is uncertain.

May 2015

          Over the years Cyril and Margaret visited Australia several times, staying with big sister Mary in Canberra and exploring parts of the coastline from Queensland down to Sydney.  Helen and Margaret are coming again to spend Christmas with their sister/sister-in-law next month.

                                                 R.I.P. Cyril Walter Olds, 19.10.1932 - 14.12.2014

  The Black Sorrows, Hold on to Me

     To find out who else may be holding hands or playing games for Sepia Saturday #307,
just click here.

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