Branscombe Project © 2009-2024

The Branscombe Project

Remembering Elsie Mayo

Elsie Mayo died peacefully 20 September 2014 at her home. She was 90 years old.

Everyone in the village knew Elsie and everyone liked her. That was because she liked people; liked sitting with them and talking with them. She made no distinctions, and people liked that. Everyone will have different memories, but many people will remember her sitting in the village hall during one of the Project exhibitions surrounded by the Parish photo albums. The books were spread out across the table, the photos annotated in her most distinctive neat hand-writing, and Elsie sat there helping you find the one you were looking for, or talking about one you’d just come across. She was the ‘Keeper of the Photos’ or, perhaps, ‘The Keeper of Memories.’ We’ve digitised the photos now and it’s nice to view them on a screen. But it’s not at all the same as sitting with Elsie in the Village Hall.

People on the Branscombe Project Committee will remember her always coming to the meetings, and usually adding a wise or amusing thought to the proceedings. We remember her working on the Footpaths project, and on the Field Names. And so, when her daughter Veronica said she was going to read Elsie’s Field Name poem at her funeral, we felt it would be nice to print it in this Newsletter:

Elsie’s Field Name Poem

“We just call it Field behind the house"

So I dutifully note it.

But what about Sausage? Humpty Dumpty?

And my favourite, Yellowsies.

Yellowsies ? Why? Well , it has all these flowers,

Yellow they are, called charlock. Of course.

Hithere Long, and Hithere Bracker, Furze and Farthing,

Dawes and Hen Hayes, Grammar and Stocking --

But Champagne! Oh what fun they must

Have had in that field!

Barbara Farquharson (for the Branscombe Project)