On Saturday 14th January, Burtle village residents and friends gathered in the village hall, briefly in the dark and silence, to surprise Richard & Josie with a farewell party in their honour. An event to show gratitude to this special couple, and to wish them well in their new life in Weston Super Mare.
When the lights went on they were amazed to see about 200 neighbours, friends and family in the hall, and spent the next 3 hours reminiscing. Ken gave a very amusing speech as only he can, remembering events over the years, and presented them with a picture of the church, flowers and a cash gift collected around the village. Steve Allen presented them with a plaque from the Harvest Home committee, and Dunelm Vouchers from the Village Hall committee. Chris Lush spoke of memories of a friendship that has lasted 42 years.
Richard & Josie have lived in Burtle for over 40 years and had brought up their children, Peter, Wendy and Antony here.
There are many individuals who are grateful for their kindness and thoughtfulness, and they are also thanked for helping with Church, Village Hall, Garden club and Harvest Home functions, besides a few others. Richard was part of the village hall committee for many years and was Bar Manager for the last 5 years. He has kept the churchyard mown and tidy, and among other talents he has regularly taken 2 or 3 gentlemen out on a Tuesday morning for a drive and a coffee – for which their wives are very grateful!
Josie has served the church in our village in different roles over the years, and is currently churchwarden, which she has promised to continue until her office ends in May. She has been our Church Synod representative, and our Women’s World Day of Prayer committee president. Josie was always, even as a busy young mother, someone who wanted to be involved. She helped run the Polden Hills Brownie Pack as Tawny Owl and was on the Catcott School PTA for many years.
Richard and Josie were particularly good friends to Eileen Bate, helping her daily towards the end, and did all her shopping and hospital and optician visits. Josie also did shopping for several other neighbours. Josie was always willing and cheerful, and very rarely said she was unable to help.
Her motto was “No problem”
We wish Richard and Josie health and happiness in their new home with their daughter Wendy, her partner and their son in Weston super Mare.
We will miss them as good friends and neighbours and will always welcome them back to events here in Burtle, as well as being delighted to see them at any time. As someone said “They will be on a piece of elastic”. We certainly hope so.
Our loss is Weston’s gain.
Text courtesy of the February 2017 Burtle Church Newsletter