Ethel Ormerod (neé Talbot) 1920-2012

Ethel Ormerod, 10.1.20 – 21.11.12

I don’t use this Blog for personal stuff and this article, on a non-biking topic and very personal, is very much the exception.

But my Mum suddenly became ill and died recently, which is why the Blog has been neglected, and  I wrote a eulogy for her funeral, and putting it on the internet for all to see somehow seems right.  I’ll get back to normal biking stuff as soon as practical but in the meantime my Mum was quite a lady, even if I only got her on my bike once and for only 200 yards, so here is what I wrote about her.

Ethel Ormerod’s Eulogy

Mum’s passing was a mercy because she endured a short illness and relatively little distress – and she had lived until the age of 92, had been a widow for 28 years and had become quite frail and limited in what she could manage on her own.  She had enjoyed a happy morning at the Church Fayre with daughter Christine and greatgranddaughter Lucy before having her Stroke and although unable to summon help after it, was only on her own for a couple of hours or so before help arrived. She developed pneumonia and despite treatment died peacefully five days later.  It was a dignified end and the hospital staff were wonderful.  Mum’s wishes were undoubtedly fulfilled.

But losing Mum is hard for us to bear and we will miss her – so please forgive us if we shed the occasional tear as we also celebrate her life. continues………

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This poem was written by a Canadian soldier/doctor, John McCrae, in Flanders in May 1915 on the day after he had buried a friend.

Spud’s Last Ride

Jeremy Edwards, known since childhood as Spud, was escorted by Winger friends from Thames Valley Wings on his last journey yesterday and his sister Caroline rode on a Wing behind him to the Crematorium.

Rock-n-roll-loving Jeremy, only 52 years old, was once a roadie for the Nags Head DJ and that’s how he met partner of 31 years, Kim.  But he entered the Chapel to the theme tune of  Only Fools and Horses, his favourite TV programme, and a couple of his favourite numbers featured in proceedings later on.  Poems written by his partner Kim and his little sister Caroline were read out and the Winger tribute was led by Phil Ireland.

Spud came off his bike in early October after contact with a concrete block in the roadway, in connection with which a young man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and bailed until mid-January.

Alan Smith

Alan & Joyce in happier times

Alan Smith, a member of Goldwing’s North Wales, passed away recently after an illness which lasted almost 12 months.  He lived with his Partner Joyce at their home in Upton on the Wirral, from where his funeral cortage will depart at 11am on May 14th.

Alan specifically requested shortly before he died that Goldwings should be present at his funeral and so any Goldwing riders who are available on that day will be most welcome.

Dave Crowley has arranged a rendezvous at the Little Chef on the A41 Hooton Wirral M53 J5, from where the bikes will leave at 10.15am to ride the 8 miles or so to Alan & Joyce’s home.

Dave will call at The Seven Styles pub car park,  340 Upton Road, Upton, Wirral,  Merseyside, CH43 9RW, which is close to Alan & Joyce’s home at about 10.40am should anyone prefer to meet up there. The funeral cortage will depart from there for Landican Cemetery at 11am.

The photo of Alan with his partner, Joyce Wilkins, was taken last April when they kindly invited Wingers attending the Wirral Egg Run to their home for bacon butties.   Alan worked on the oil rigs off Scotland and was also a volunteer at Hoylake Coastguard Station.

This second photo was taken as Wingers and Members of the Coastguard assembled outside Alan & Joyce’s home.

Sunset Vigil

I chose this poem, written by a serving soldier only a couple of years ago, because it reminds us that members of our Armed Services are still putting their lives on the line in the service of their Country.  Remembrance Day isn’t just about what happened in the two World Wars.

The news is spread far and wide
Another comrade has sadly died
A sunset vigil upon the sand
As a soldier leaves this foreign land

We stand alone, and yet as one
In the fading light of a setting sun
We’ve all gathered to say goodbye
To our fallen comrade who’s set to fly

The eulogy’s read about their life
Sometimes with words from pals or wife
We all know when the CO’s done
What kind of soldier they’d become

The padre then calls us all to pray
The bugler has Last Post to play
The cannon roars and belches flame
We will recall, with pride, their name

A minute’s silence stood in place
As tears roll down the hardest face
deafening silence fills the air
With each of us in personal prayer

Reveille sounds and the parade is done
The hero remembered, forgotten by none
They leave to start the journey back
In a coffin draped in the Union Jack

Sgt Andy McFarlane, 2009.

Remembrance Day 2010

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae


John McCrae was a Canadian doctor who served in Flanders during the First World War.  He wrote this poem in 1915 after the funeral of a friend; the poem quickly became famous and this led to the adoption of the Flanders Poppy as a symbol of Remembrance as used by the Royal British Legion and across the whole Commonwealth. He died in Flanders in January 1918.