A Personal Recollection of Margaret and John’s contribution to Hepworth village life

As Margaret and John step down from the Recreation Ground Committee I feel this is a perfect opportunity to highlight all the multitude of events and functions that Margaret and John have voluntarily organised over the years that have enriched our village life.

They have been servicing the Pavilion for probably getting on for thirty years with John and fellow members contributing to the everyday maintenance and upkeep, and Margaret on the administration side including taking and organising all the bookings and, at one time, the cleaning of the interior. To help fund the running of the Pavilion they both oversaw the Committee’s regular events such as the weekly Lottery, bingo evenings and caravan camping weekends .

At one time Margaret and John took over the running of the Youth Club, originally started by Linda and Ian Walsh, which was popular with village youngsters but which they eventually had to close due to lack of volunteers to help with its running.

They spearheaded the Social Club for the running of the much loved Over 60s Christmas Luncheon which was mainly funded by their Car Boot sales for which they grew plants, the Christmas Newsletter and raffles they organised, and a contribution from the Parish Council. I know from speaking to people of the gratitude they felt to Margaret and John and their helpers for the fun they had at these festive lunches with being collected and joining in with a wonderful meal and entertainment. For some older people, it was the only outing in the year that they actually had where they could enjoy meeting up with village friends.

John was Editor of the old Four Gazette for some years and they were both active Parish Councillors over a period of years. I remember John taking over ‘Vice’ from me and he oversaw such events such as bulb planting and the Annual Litter Pick (now headed by Garry). I too remember it being his initial suggestion that Hepworth entered the Suffolk Small Village Competition and with the hard work of everybody in the village we actually won and the village still has a certificate to prove it! Well done Hepworth

A long while ago Margaret and I spent a happy day together visiting the Ikea head office Midlands site on behalf of the Parish Council to see the running of their organisation there and its implications on Hepworth when Ikea made its application to take over part of the Shepherds Grove Industrial site. Ultimately, Ikea did decide to withdraw this application which sadly meant that the village then lost the possibility of a path up to the A143, erection of a bus shelter there and a roundabout on that road which were proposals associated with the application

Margaret and John were always involved in the village Jubilee celebrations and the issue of commemorative coasters for the children.

All the above are my own recollections of their voluntary and dedicated work to the enrichment of Hepworth village life and apologies, Margaret and John, if I have forgotten anything.

Finally, I remember some years ago when the Parish Council was invited to nominate two people to represent Hepworth at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party based on service to the village and it was an obvious choice for all of us that it should be Margaret and John that Hepworth should send. I think that beautifully sums up the expression of thanks for their dedication to the village through the years.

Marjorie MacPherson

January 2021