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Molly   Molly and Buss   Molly

March 24th 2013


Molly Whitlock

Molly, my mother's older sister, a much loved aunt and an exceptional person, died last week and her funeral was held at the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Wells-next-the Sea on Friday two days ago. It was a quite beautiful, moving service at which the love and respect felt for her by all her family and friends was clear to see.

Earlier in the week Mary and I had attended The Passion of our Lord according to St John, sung in German at St Paul's Cathedral in which the arias 'I follow thee gladly' and 'O heart, melt in weeping' were wonderfully sung by Harry and his friend Theo respectively. These uplifting solos, the first upbeat and the second more melancholy, are, I feel, a perfect accompaniment to a selection of pictures of Molly from her early life that I have chosen from my mother's photograph collection.

Martin, Molly's son, wrote a moving eulogy which was printed on the reverse of the Order of Service; I have taken the liberty of including this at the end of the slide show below.




Hampton J16 1st VIII Cox and Stroke
Hampton J16 1st VIII   Hampton J16 1st VIII   Hampton J16 1st VIII
Hampton J16 1st VIII    

March 8th 2013


Those memories keep on coming

What an extraordinary, memorable couple of days. Yesterday, Thursday, was the Schools' Head of the River Race (SHORR) on the Tideway. This is run over the same course as the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race but in the opposite direction from just west of Barnes Bridge down to Putney. Alastair was coxing the Hampton J16 1st VIII and I was very much hoping to be able to get down to Hammersmith Bridge to cheer them on. A last minute delay at work meant that I arrived in time to see them rowing under the bridge – but on their way back having finished the race fifteen minutes previously!

Hampton School Boat Club always hopes to, and generally does, come high up in the medals but this year it surpassed expectations. Out of eight crews entered, six of them came first in their category including Alastair's boat. Unlike a regatta where the result of each heat is known immediately, there is always a delay in a Head Race and it was not until early evening that the times were posted up on the SHORR site. One of the benefits of this delay, at least as far as Alastair was concerned, was that everyone had packed up and gone home by the time that the results were known so that the ritual throwing of the cox into the river by the winning crew could not go ahead. I have a feeling, however, that something may be being planned for after training on Saturday morning!

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one week, today I received a text from the Cathedral to say that Harry would be singing the treble solo part of the Miserere by Gregorio Allegri at Evensong. This has to be one of my favourite pieces and something that Harry has been keen to sing for some time. The service was delightful; the Introit, Psalm, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis were all sung acapella and then it was time for the Miserere – and, for obvious reasons, it was quite the most wonderful performance of it that I have ever heard.



Buss, Ro and James
I'll protect you!   Ro and Ant   Ro
Buss and Ro   Ant and biscuit   Ro and James playing cricket
Ant and Tess   Ro and boats   OJ and James

March 3rd 2013



I have put up another Wesley Roddie letter called 'Roses in December' on the site, which is all about the importance of storing memories for later years. A common theme in many of his letters is the importance of hard work and here he makes the point that this is the basis of ones most treasured memories. The truth of this was brought home to me just yesterday when watching Alastair and Harry.

Alastair's commitment to coxing at Hampton School Boat Club has been recognised and late last week he was asked if he would be free for an early Saturday morning training outing with a senior Molesey eight; which is how he came to be steering a crew at great speed down the Hampton stretch of the Thames consisting of Greg and Jonny Searle, Tom James, Stephen Rowbotham, Martin Cross and Cameron Nichol (Alastair tells me that he was in such awe that he did not manage to get all their names). As they rowed past the Hampton School boathouse these rowing icons were loud in their praise of Alastair's coxing skills with shouts of 'Great coxing AJ', to the astonishment and delight of several of Alastair's school friends who were preparing for their own outing on the landing stage. Tea and croissants with his sporting heroes was followed by a lift to the Hampton Clubhouse by Greg Searle himself. What a day!

I have written before about the extraordinary amount of work that the St Paul's choristers have to put in to produce the effect of seemingly effortless harmony that they delight us all with at every service at which they sing throughout the week. I hope that Harry is able to derive as many treasured memories from these as we do vicariously as a consequence of their labours. Evensong is one of the highlights of my week and I was very pleased to be able to attend yesterday's service at which the dramatic anthem 'For lo, I raise up' by Charles Villiers Stanford was performed; my enjoyment of this lovely piece was enhanced by Harry's short solo.


Wonderful events such as these are great in themselves but, if they are to become memories one has to be able to retain them in the first place, something that becomes more difficult with an aging brain. That I will be able to do so is because of the time and effort that I put in writing them all down for this site – further evidence that Wesley is right that good memories require work!

I have had a great many slides and photographs taken by my parents – and indeed their parents – sitting in the attic for some time waiting to be digitised. These thoughts on memories have encouraged me to get started and the images today are some of those that I have managed to do so far.


  © Copyright Thomas Jackson 2010