Boughton Church Window Gary Trouton


September 2009

The conculding part of Doris Clarke's story

As part of an occasional series we will to be publishing stories about Boughton residents both past and, hopefully, present we conclude the story of Doris Clarke.

DORIS CLARKE - A LIFE. 1924 - 2008 - Part 2

The response to the first part of Doris's life has been encouraging, with one or two people offering some clarifications. These will be included in the full story to be added to the Group 4 website in due course.

We left the story with Doris having left school in 1941. Earlier, the outset of War in 1939, Doris received a British Red Cross Society certificate in 'Home Nursing' and after the War she was awarded a certificate for her voluntary work at the 'Services Canteen' in Stoke Ferry. The Methodist Church ran this and Doris was a keen churchgoer throughout her life. Richard recalls during his younger life attending the Wesleyan Chapel, which stands next to the Old Post Office, where Doris played the organ. The family always sat in the same pew, third from the front.

Life at the Post Office from the late 1940's for Doris was getting up at 4.30a.m. cycling to Wereham to collect the post (delivered from Kings Lynn). Until sometime during the 1970's she also went off at 4.30pm to collect and deliver the second delivery. Now that is a postal service! Opening hours, by today's standards, were strange, 8.15 - 8.30, 9.00-1.00 and 3.30-6.00.

Holidays did not play a big part in Doris's life, although she did attend some group 'Fellowship' holidays as a young woman. An infrequent caravan holiday in Hunstanton also. Occasionally Doris would catch the once-a-week bus, at 2pm on Saturday, to Kings Lynn, and latterly to Downham, perhaps to buy clothes, which Richard recalls were always nice.

Doris's mother passed away in 1977, and although retired Doris's father occasionally helped with the deliveries, though Doris ran the household. She eventually retired in 1984, which gave her more time for caring duties. A cruel twist of fate was that she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis soon after her father's death, which caused her much suffering.

Below is a picture of Doris with Greta circa 1985.

Tragically it was whilst Doris was in hospital in 2008 that she decided she could not return to the house, and then suffered a stroke that proved fatal.

Richard recalls that throughout her life Doris was a committed Methodist, and helped with Lay Preachers and floral arrangements on the Circuit. Also that she was helped by people in a village that had changed completely from a mixed farming community to a dormitory village. One such individual was 'Horry' Stannard who was helpful across many years.

Doris told Richard, shortly before her death, that she had led 'a quiet life' and her ashes are interred in All Saints Churchyard, with her parents. A commemorative bench is to be placed around Boughton pond, a fitting memorial to a steadfast resident of Boughton throughout her lifetime.

Abridged from 'Doris Clarke, a Life' by Richard Clarke. April 2009.

My thanks once again to Richard Clarke for sharing Doris's life with us. .

Peter Agate

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