Spirits Having Flown

When Debbie and I got married back in 1990, unfortunately our parents lived a long way away from Feltham, with Debbie’s in South Wales and mine in East Yorkshire.  Luckily Debbie’s Auntie Phyllis and Uncle Tom lived only about a 45 minute drive away in Thame and they always made all five of us welcome on our fairly frequent visits, particularly when the kids were small.

Sadly, neither are still with us, with Tom passing away in 1995 and Phyllis in 2013, but they’re forever in our thoughts.  I’ll post another blog about them both with happier memories after we arrive in Llanfoist.  Tom’s ashes were scattered back in Wales in the “Blue Pool” in Pontsarn, but yesterday we revisited Thame & met up with Vanessa their daughter who still lives there to pay our respects at Auntie Phyll’s churchyard memorial.

Tom was Debbie’s mother’s brother.  He’d married Phyllis when he was posted to an army camp in Thame, that was to become Robin Gibb’s home of Bee Gees fame in later life, called the Prebendal. If you look carefully you can see the blue plaque commemorating his life there in the photo below.  She was working in the local munitions factory and they met at a dance being held at the town hall in Thame.

Just opposite & overlooking the house is Robin’s grave in the Churchyard of St. Mary the Virgin.  The headstone is very ornate and made of Irish stone with the front & rear pictured below, the latter being inscribed with “How deep is your love” (one of our favourite Bee Gees songs) and inscribed in ribbons below is the name of every song he authored.  He died in 2012 aged 62.

Rather less grandiose and rather sad in comparison is a small memorial plaque just behind Robin’s grave, marking his youngest brother Andy Gibb who died aged only 30 years old in 1988.  His actual grave is in Forest Lawn, Hollywood in America.

Andy Gibb
Cousins Vanessa & Debbie
Looking back to the church from Auntie Phyll’s memorial
Auntie Phyll’s memorial overlooks the cricket ground and is in a lovely place on the edge of the graveyard.

All in all it was a very memorable day, we were both glad to pay our respects to a very special lady.

Spirits Having Flown

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