Dorothy Mayhew 1926 – 2004
From the Parish News – February 2005
11th December 1926 - 12th November 2004
A much loved and respected native of Denton, Dorothy and her husband Reggie were members of two families who had lived in Denton for several generations. Born at Glebe Cottages (site of No 2 Council House, Norwich Road). Dorothy, one of eleven children, was born to George and Edith Sheldrake on 11th December 1926, but the family moved to the Council Houses on Trunch Hill in 1927, which some members still occupy. She was married in 1946 to Reginald Mayhew, who was one of eight children and lived at Grove cottages, Middle Road. They both went to Denton School, worked most of their lives in the village and were residents throughout their married life at Hall Farm Cottages, Middle Road until they moved to Earsham in 1972.
After leaving school, Dorothy worked for two years at Major Wortley's veterinary surgery in Bungay, but left to help look after die family when her mother died. When war broke out she was recruited into the Women's Land Army and worked at Glebe Farm, Denton with the Skinner family. Reg gave up his job as assistant gamekeeper at Earsham Hall when war broke out, to work for Harold Hupton at Beck Farm, Later in 1946 he worked at Grove Farm, Denton, first with Alfred Todd, and later with Richard Alexander until they left Denton to move to Earsham.
Their marriage took place at St Mary's, Denton with Revd John Bligh officiating. During these post-war years they became involved in the social life of the village, helping to run 'socials' at the Village Hall, where Reg would play the accordion and Dot help with refreshments, funds raised from these events were sent to the 'home-coming' fund to help the re-settlement of those returning from the war. At this time Denton fielded an enthusiastic cricket team, and Dot was a willing volunteer in helping to provide teas at the matches. Another recreation at this time was to attend the Saturday night dances at Harleston Corn Hall, also on occasions the local Point to Points which took place in many different locations around the County were an attraction.
In 1948 their first daughter Stella was born, Christine arrived eleven years later, together they brought them much happiness, which was added when Christine gave birth to Adrian and Kelly. Dorothy helped for many years serving dinners at Earsham School until she retired, she was also a great help in looking after Harold Hupton after he lost his wife.
On the 26th October 1996 they celebrated their Golden Wedding at Denton Village Hall with their Denton friends and many relatives, a memorable occasion back in their home village.