Miss E M Knight

 

Disposal of Ashes 1999

 

Gene Knight :  instructions to Ralph Windle and Martin Knight, Executors.

 

“One place cannot change – at least till Doomsday, and thereafter “little ’twill matter to one.”  Take us back to the hills!

 

You’ll go by car to the Wyche cutting, and (leaving it there) carry our mingled ashes, divided between you and Martin in some conveniently stout container-bags (they’ll weigh heavy, remember!) up to the indicator on the top of the Worcestershire Beacon before you begin dispersing them.

 

N.B.  Try to make this journey when the weather is set fair.  (Waiting for suitable time and conditions convenient to you both need not matter.)  From the indicator one gets the finest view in all our Midland Shires, and I want you to see what I can see in memory as I sit writing this.  Look Eastward first across Severn plain to the horizon.  The long low line running from North to South is the Ridgeway, our border with Warwickshire and Shakespeare country.  Now come back to middle distance and the tower of Worcester Cathedral beside the Severn.  Further South-east lies Bredon hill* (with or without his hat!), and beyond him “Fish” and the great Cotswold barrier.  As the eye travels westward, this will become hidden from where you stand by the spine of the Malverns, which is – in fact – the boundary between Worcestershire and Herefordshire, and your view is blocked by the British Camp – scene of the last stand of British tribesmen against the Roman legionaries.  All to the Westward is Herefordshire – “Where the apple-woods of Hereford go all the way to Wales”** – and you just might, if you’re lucky, see the Black Mountains in the far distance before you leave the summit.

 

As you walk back to the Wyche, treading the border between the two counties Father and I loved best, scatter our ashes on either side.  Blessings on you.”

 

 

 

 

Ralph at the Beacon.  4 September 1999

 

 

*     “When Bredon Hill puts on his hat, Ye men of the Vale beware of that!

        When Bredon Hill doth clear appear, Ye men of the Vale have nought to fear.”

 

**   “The road the silent saints accord – the road from Heaven to Hereford –

        Where the apple-woods of Hereford go all the way to Wales.”