Meet Richard Coates


For the last fourteen years I have lived in Dubai, though Louise and I still have our main home in Bath where we were married. And yet, all these years later, Stoke Ferry is still an important part of my life. I spent my childhood and adolescence in the village and still regard Norfolk as home. While my parents were still alive I visited frequently. Doris, died in 1998 and George in 2002: they are buried in the Cemetery just inside the gate.

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Life is hectic at present, with the move to Worcestershire upon us. The other day, a removal van arrived for the first tranche of the process. I am convinced that the lorry was bigger than our new house. It swallowed up all of our furniture and much of our crockery, etc before spending ten minutes running its engine to “inflate its air” before trundling off. They met us at the new house next day and I was relieved that the contents fitted into the house which is now full of massive boxes of stuff which will need a serious “sort out”. Many people have told me that, when moving, they took all their “stuff”and then threw a lot away after arrival in the new property. Determined not to make this error, we have taken all our stuff and will throw it away after the move! It is 40 years and 5 months since the move to Feltwell to take over the practice and we have been accumulating stuff ever since. In truth, much has been thrown away, but not nearly enough!
We shall be camping in The Old House for a month before we undertake the second and final tranche of the move – all the books, kitchen equipment, garden furniture and the contents of my workshop, etc. This is a time of seriously conflicting emotions – overwhelming sadness at leaving all our patients, most of whom have been great friends along the way, tempered by happy anticipation of being near so many of our children and grandchildren.
Of course, we shall have to change our doctors. It will be a great sadness to say goodbye to our lovely friends and doctors at the surgery, all of whom have been absolutely brilliant, We are apprehensive about throwing ourselves at the mercy of the unknown doctors in Hagley. All the residents of our new estate have set up a WhatsApp communication system so I shall tap into that, asking for opinions about the local practices before we venture into a surgery.

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Minutes of the meeting held on January 3rd 2018
Mrs Armsby welcomed 16 members, and wished everyone a happy new year.
APOLOGIES were received from Mavis Smith, Marjorie Stevens, Audrey Hudson & Gypsie Duncan.
A report from the Christmas meeting was read & signed.
Arising……Members agreed that our meal at the Foldgate Inn was very good, & everyone had an enjoyable evening.
Mrs Horgen had forgotten to bring the birthday cards, so will post them instead. Members decided to continue with the cards rather than posies, and Mrs Horgen said that she will carry on purchasing them.
Mrs Elsey said that she is collecting subs, which will be £15.00 for the year.
Mrs Armsby thanked Janet Cooper for compiling the new programme, and asked her to thank her husband Mike for printing, and making it so colourful and attractive.
Mrs Cooper also said that she will definitely be retiring as programme secretary at the end of the year, which will give members time to think of new ideas & perhaps take on the job.
Feb meeting will be Annette Croote showing us another of her treks in aid of Macmillan.
Teas…Janet Cooper & Anita Horgen
Door & raffle…Yvonne Self & Jean carter
VOT….Gillian Smith
Mrs Armsby then handed over to Yvonne Self, who needed no formal introduction, as she has been a club member for many years. She has been flower arranging for more than 35 years & ran the local flower club in Stoke Ferry. On this occasion Yvonne showed us a lovely table arrangement using just one bunch of yellow roses, & assorted greenery from her garden, showing that you needn’t spend a fortune to create a lovely display. She then donated it as a raffle prize. She was thanked by Mrs Armsby.
Members had all brought a wrapped parcel for the raffle, so everyone won a prize.
The meeting ended at 9pm.
Claire Lankfer ( secretary )