A personal recollection of Kingsley Lloyd and his family

By Susan Rumbold,on behalf of the Orwell Methodist Church.

The following article first appeared in the March 2004 edition of the Orwell Bulletin

Manor Farm in the fifties was the perfect antidote to London

Whenever my parents told me 'The Lloyds were coming to stay in the caravan by the meadow gate, I looked forward to their visit with excitement. All four of them – Kingsley, Ida, Honor, and Mark – were lively, witty people, endlessly fascinating to a serious 'only child'. I expect Manor Farm in the fifties was the perfect antidote to living in London; they seemed to come down to the country as much as they could in the summertime. It was an adventure for us to travel to London as well, and when they lived in Enfield, we went to stay with them there. The following extract from my father's diary for October 1949 belongs more correctly to his memories of Kingsley, but in truth the train journey is one of my earliest memories. I think it illustrates what good company the Lloyd family was.

Up and breakfast at 9 o/c. Mrs Lloyd and Peggy went to London. A.K.L. took Susan on her first train journey. Took her into Lyons for an ice. A.K.L. went to a sisterhood from 3 to 4. Looked round the books in his study. Tea – pleasant evening around the fire; cross-word, laughs – much talking – bed at midnight. (A.H. Miller, October 1949).

Many such light-hearted hours were passed together over the years, with opportunities to enjoy them extended after Kingsley retired with Ida to the White Hart in 1969.

Photo:Revd Kingsley Lloyd & Katherine at The White Hart 1994

Revd Kingsley Lloyd & Katherine at The White Hart 1994

As time went by we came to know Katherine, Kingsley's second wife, Ida having died shortly after moving to Orwell. When I lived at Maypole Farm, on top of Orwell Hill,

First visitor was Katherine with her wicker basket of home made goodies

my first visitor was Katherine, who had walked up with her wicker basket of home-made goodies. As a couple they became very much a part of Orwell life. There were many enjoyable social occasions at the White Hart; birthday parties and Kingsley and Katherine's silver wedding anniversary (on a perfect summer evening) spring readily to mind.

wine that won him prizes at the horticultural show

Kingsley lived life to the full. He loved to eat the pheasants Chris gave him, to make and drink the wine that won him prizes at the horticultural show and, in his earlier days, to fish in the rivers of the Welsh border country from where his family originated. He was sociable and liked to talk about chapel and gardening with Jim and Doreen, about hymns and music with David; to converse gently with William and Ruth, and sparkle wittily with Dena and Mike. He would have shared theological dialogue with Rudolf, Brian, John, Neil, Sam and Julie, and poetry with Eileen, Katie, Pauline, Kay – and me.

The pain of his loss hurts, but George Herbert makes us 'see, we are flowers that glide; which, when we once can find and prove, Thou hast a garden for us, to bide.' The knowledge of this certainty lessens the pain eventually and 'grief melts away, like snow in May, as if there were no such cold thing (G Herbert – The Flower).

everyone who came to know Kingsley will have reminiscences

These connections are some of the ones I know about, but everyone who came to know Kingsley will have reminiscences of their own. He had 'the common touch' so was friendly, patient and kind and courteous to all, equally. On Christmas Eve 2003 I discovered him reading the Bible, not as I thought, the Christmas story, but from the beginning, Noah and the Flood, from Genesis. He explained that he didn't think he knew it very well.

He baptised three generations of my family

The beginning of life was celebrated by him as well; to hold a new-born baby was a joy to him – Yvonne's Caitlin or my Stan, to name but two. He baptised three generations of my family; myself, my eldest daughter Alison and her son William. When, on his 100th birthday, Kingsley saw eleven-year-old William he said “We go back a long way William”. His phenomenal memory impressed everybody. Realism, humour, curiousity, wisdom and a deep affection and regard for humanity marked his character. Nevertheless, the asset he treasured above all was the love of God; he was always willing to learn more about it.

   'With open eyes I fly to thee...

   thy silk twist let down from heaven to me

   Did both conduct and teach me, bow by it

   To climb to Thee'.

         George Herbert – 'The Pearl'

The recognition of Kingsley's gifts, and his example of using them to the full, enable us to continue working in church and community, to grow in faith and to carry the memory of Kingsley's life forward with us.

In extreme old age, Kingsley was incarcerated in a feeble body as surely as Bunyan was in Bedford Gaol; it often cast him into despondency. Here is an extract from Bunyan's masterpiece, Pilgrim's Progress. Mr Standfast is preparing to 'cross the Jordan', or in other words, to die.

Mr Standfast: 'This river has been a terror to many; yea, the thoughts of it, also, have often frightened me...yet the thoughts of what I am going to do, and of the convoy that wait for me on the other side, lie as a glowing coal at my heart. I see myself now at the end of my journey; my toilsome days are ended.. I have formerly lived by hearsay and faith, but now I go where I shall live by sight and shall be with him in whose company I delight myself... His words I did use to gather for my food and for antidotes against my faintings. He has held me, and hath kept me from mine iniquities; yea, my steps have been strengthened in his way.'

Amen. To the memory of 'Uncle Lloyd', February 2004 from Susan

Please also see Kingsley's Obituary, by following this link

This page was added by Martin Grigor on 28/12/2012.

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