They used to say that people bought houses for the kitchens and bathrooms, and they now say that it is for the gardens. We bought Ypres Lodge because of the neighbour, Priscilla Ryan.
The footprint of Priscilla’s family was pervasive. Her father built the house, her brother Paul lived in it for many years and, when we look out of the front windows, we see the iconic war memorial designed by her grandfather, Sir Reginald Blomfield.
Good neighbours help make an enjoyable and stimulating life and in that respect we were very privileged. Priscilla was an exceptional person in terms of her energy, her creativity and her continuous search for knowledge and understanding. She had a huge love for her family and was rightly proud of them all.
We were aware that the renovation of Paul’s house caused her much inconvenience and were very grateful that she just accepted it. She would often call up for a chat and they were always enjoyable.
On occasions Madeleine would assist with her care and there was always a card or small gift through the letterbox the next day.
She was passionate about the grass area at the front of the house and it used to upset her when it was covered in vehicles so between us we bought benches and planted flower tubs around the perimeter and like magic it went back to being used by people passing by.
She was also a massive fan of the Rye Arts Festival and all those who work to put it on each year so my involvement in this gave us much to talk about.
Living next to Priscilla has been a joy and we will miss her very much, but we will console ourselves by our many happy memories.
We also would like to recognise the amazing way in which her family, her carers, Debbie, Shireen and others ensured that she could remain in her own home surrounded by all the memories of her life and remain a valued part of the Rye community until she passed away.
Image Credits: Rye News library .