Beguiled by Bibury

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

THE pho­to­graph of Ar­ling­ton Row, Bibury, in your 120th an­niver­sary is­sue (May 31) brought tears to my eyes. My fa­ther was born in Ar­ling­ton Row in 1907 and the lady in the mid­dle ground could well be my grand­mother hold­ing my fa­ther’s younger brother in her arms.

My fa­ther filled my child­hood with tales of Bibury, pre 1914, and they weren’t sto­ries of a bu­colic idyll. He re­mem­bered grind­ing, ru­ral poverty: a vil­lage in which the doc­tor from Bur­ford took three weeks to at­tend his mother af­ter his birth in De­cem­ber. The limpid stream of­ten flooded through the cot­tages. My grand­fa­ther, a val­ued gar­dener at Bibury Court, drank most of his wages in the snug at the Swan Inn, now an ex­pen­sive ho­tel.

How­ever, my fa­ther loved the vil­lage as no other place on Earth and, although he’d moved with his mother and broth­ers to Swin­don by 1918, when he died in 1997, I ful­filled his fi­nal wishes by scat­ter­ing his ashes op­po­site his front door and in the tran­quil stream.

Brenda Davies, Glouces­ter­shire

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