8th June 2016
3rd June 2016
The Other Side of Life
This is the sequel to The Children of Yester, Victoria Fletcher’s memoir of her grandparent’s historic home in East Lothian. The Other Side of Life paints a very different picture to the sheltered idyll of her childhood.
When her parents divorced in 1974, Victoria’s mother took her and her brother Hugo to live on a farm in Somerset. Thereafter, it was an itinerant existence with her mother teaching riding in Berkshire, cooking in a restaurant in London, then as a secretary to the poet Alfred Noyes on the Isle of White.
At first, Victoria was sent to a private boarding school in Essex, but everything changed again when her mother re-married. Returning to Scotland in 1957, she was enrolled at a co-educational day school in Duns.
In 1960, she became a physiotherapy student in London and through aristocratic connections entered a social whirl. But whilst “Coming Out”, Victoria was also working hard at college and gaining experience at a series of hospitals including Hammersmith and Great Ormond Street.
The Other Side of Life provides a fascinating insight into the author’s ability to adapt to circumstances.
The book priced £7.50 is available from:
Kesley’s Book Shop
63 Market Street
Tel: 01620 826 725
5 Brewery Court
Tel: 01620 825350
Also available from libraries.
6th April 2016
The Clan Hay Society has lost a valued and long standing supporter with the death on 4th April of Lady Venetia Davies, at the age of 86.
She was born Venetia Constance Kathleen Luz Hay in 1929, the eldest (and last survivor) of the 14th Earl of Kinnoull’s three children by his second wife, Mary Meyrick. Orphaned at the age of nine with the premature deaths, within three months, of both her parents, the Kinnoull children were brought up by her mother’s sister, Lady de Clifford, in Gloucestershire. Through her mother she was the granddaughter of Kate Meyrick, the Irish night club owner who was the notorious proprietor of the 43 Club in London’s Soho during the years after the First World War. She told fascinating stories of her spirited grandmother, who was incarcerated in Holloway Prison no fewer than five times for blatantly disregarding the licensing laws.
She married Major J.T. Davies in 1953 and they went on to have two daughters, Nicola and Sally, who survive her. They settled in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire and became enthusiastic members of the Clan Hay Society, regular attenders at our annual gathering at the Aboyne Games from its inception in 1982. After Joe’s death from cancer she moved to Folkestone to be nearer her family and spent her last years with her daughter Sally at her home in Gloucestershire, where she had spent much of her childhood. She continued to support Clan Hay Society events in London and South East England well into her declining years.
Venetia will be remembered at a funeral service on 15th April in Gloucestershire, where lessons will be read by the Chief, the Earl of Erroll, and her nephew, the Earl of Kinnoull.
We send our sympathy to Nicola, Sally and her grandchildren.