In the Botton Weavery, Lucinda has a beautiful new loom. "It's really nice. I really like it", she says. "To start with, I'll be making oven gloves." She only came to live in Botton last year and everything about her new life pleases her. ‘I can walk from my home to work without any social worker helping me. I feel more independent."
On the loom is a shiny brass plaque. It bears the name of someone Lucinda never had a chance to meet: Beryl Manners. But many in Botton knew Beryl, and were saddened to hear of her death in April this year. This loom is here in her memory, thanks to the gifts people gave in lieu of flowers at her funeral.
"It was 20 or more years ago that we fell in love with Botton Village", recalls David, Beryl's husband. Having received an invitation to Open Day, they had driven over from their home in Wakefield. "It was so lovely the way the residents greeted and chatted with us. We were hooked. Beryl loved that, every time we visited."
They became two of Botton’s most ardent supporters. David gave talks about the village which raised an enormous amount of awareness and support. On discovering that many in Botton enjoy jigsaw puzzles, he and Beryl ‘put out the call’ to friends and acquaintances. Over the years they’d pop into the fundraising office bearing armloads of donated jigsaws, and stop for a cup of tea and a catch up.
A lasting connection
They also brought donated wool for the Weavery. "Beryl was artistic and was very interested in the weaving. She and I were connected with Botton a long time", David reflects. "It’s been a joyful connection too. It’s been rather wonderful."
Should you ever visit the Weavery, do pause for a moment to find Beryl’s loom – and reflect, too, on the lasting joy of friendship.