Background

Willow House: Edith

Posted on 06 November 2012 | Narrative

Willow House: Edith

“We will gather lilacs

In the spring again

And walk together down an English lane

Until our hearts begin to beat again

When you come home once more”

This is Edith’s favourite song, and despite her 92 years (going on 93 on New Year’s Eve), she embraces it in her delicate soprano with evident emotion. Music has always played an important part in her life.

At school in Heslington, singing in the choir was her passion, and during this music workshop at Willow House, it is clear to see that that joy has never left her.

She met her husband, Ted, while working at The Retreat. When asked whether he, too, had a love of music, a girlish giggle escapes her. “Oh, he sung in his own way”, she confides.

Something which they certainly did have in common, however, was going to the York Racecourse at the weekend. Always dressed in the patriotic colours of red, white or blue (in harmony with the Queen, Edith assures me) they would meander to the free stands, where an exciting yet pleasant atmosphere was guaranteed. Despite varying conditions – wind, fog, rain, or sun – the races never disappointed.

Born just outside York, in the village of Heslington, Edith has lived in or just outside the city her entire life. She has been to France once, and trips to Scarborough, the Isle of Man and Bridlington are similar fond memories. But it was always York she wanted to come back to, and it still is York where she is happy.

This story and the others featuring on our website this week (w/c 5th November 2012) have been gathered by volunteers at the University of York.