Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Audrey Winter 1932 - 2020

From the Parish News – October 2020

The funeral and Memorial Service for Audrey Winter was held at St Mary's Church Denton on 26th August under the direction of Rev. Chris Hutton. Simon and Christopher Winter gave the Eulogy, Audrey's sister Glenda and her son Tom Crask gave the readings and Emily Winter played Gershwin's “Summertime” as a saxophone solo. Jason Collins accompanied the Service. Owing to Corvid-19 restrictions the congregation was limited to thirty, but many villagers and friends lined the route as the cortège drove from Darrow Green Farm to the Church - this was very much appreciated by the family.

Audrey's parents, Simon James (Jim) and Gladys Brooks came to Denton soon after their marriage to take the tenancy of “Street Farm”, approximately 35 acres, in 1930 where Audrey was born in 1932. Jim soon became a popular character in the village - it is said the lads would congregate in the cowshed at milking time and with a bit of banter going on would have milk squirted into their mouths as Jim was hand milking. To supplement his income Jim started a Fish Round, and would go to Lowestoft before morning milking to purchase the fish. Audrey had memories of sitting in the back of the “Model T” Ford munching prawns on the way home, and Gladys boiling the crabs in the copper. In 1939 Jim was offered the tenancy of “Hall Farm” in Middle Road, which was a slightly larger acreage, and the family had to move as landlord Alfred Todd would not allow Jim to have both farms.

Audrey started at Denton School with Mrs. Hilson, and moved on to the “Sir John Leman” school in Beccles when she was eleven - she had to cycle to Wash corner on the A143 to catch the bus each day. At this time there was no petrol available for cars owing to the wartime rationing. On leaving school she decided to continue to help her parents on the farm, tending to the livestock on her own when they had brief holidays around the North Norfolk coast. While in her teens her father had a win on the Derby and bought her a riding horse with the proceeds. They later bred several of the farm-horses to the thoroughbred stallions which were available at the time, the horses became very much part of her life. She was active in the village activities, including the Church Choir, Denton WI, and particularly the “Denton Players”. She was also very active with the Harleston Young Farmers Club.

In 1952 Audrey was very thrilled when her Mother gave birth to Glenda, at nineteen years old she had a sister at last! This caused her some amusement as she took Glenda for walks in the pram with no ring on her finger!! How society has changed.

In 1957 I, Edwin Winter, (Eddie), was fortunate to come to Denton after purchasing Darrow Green Farm. It was not long before I was even more fortunate to meet this charming young lady at Hall Farm. We married in October 1959 (of course seven year old Glenda was Chief Bridesmaid) and Audrey moved to Darrow Green Farm, her third residence in Denton. In 1960 Audrey gave birth to Simon, after which things took a turn for the worse as Jane, born in 1962 , mentally retarded, died at three years old and Andrew born 1964, damaged at birth, died at 9 months. It was decided to adopt a child and two year old Sharon came to the farm In 1968 Audrey gave birth to twins. Though, following birthing problems, Helen was still born and Elizabeth died at eight months. So it was decided to adopt again and Christopher, 4 years, and Louise, 2 years came, to complete the family. The house was always alive with pets and animals, dogs, cats, a rescued hare and hedgehogs, never a dull moment, Trips to the coast were frequent in the summertime and we managed occasional holidays.

As the family grew and there were several early teenage children in the village, so Audrey with Marjory Sullivan and Phil Staley started a Youth Club. This ran for several years, the highlights of which were the Harleston “Its a Knockout” and the annual sports competitions in Long Stratton.

In the year 2000, we moved to the cottage Darrow Mount, Audrey's fourth Denton home, by this time Audrey was beginning to suffer from arthritis and life was becoming curtailed. Following a heart operation in 2010, and the onset of cancer in 2017 her final three years were spent in Culrose House Care Home in Dickleburgh.

Audrey was always thoughtful for others and the love and care she gave to all her family: children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, her sister Glenda, nephews, nieces and not least her husband, will live in our memories for ever.

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