Leonard Bodily R.I.P.
Len, the oldest man in our
village, died recently. His family has issued the following
statement of thanks: -
' Peter, Carole and the Bodily
family would like to thank the Abthorpe community for the love,
care and friendship that they have shown to Betty and Len. Both in
times of good health and more particularly in recent times of
failing health the community has reciprocated the feelings that
our parents felt for the tight-knit village group. We will always
remember your support throughout and the strong presence at the
funerals. With much gratitude, Peter and Carole.'
Len’s funeral his son Peter delivered an emotional eulogy – a
fitting testimony to his father’s long life. The following is an
edited version: -
Len, was born locally and
lived with his parents and Bet, Billy, Phin, Albert, Frank,
Maggie, Violet, Fred, Kath, and Ivy. Dad was the youngest and the
last surviving of this family group.
Dad started as a farm
labourer. He married Betty in 1949,and shortly after that they
moved to Abthorpe to live with Granny Cann. That was their
cherished home until the very end and the spiritual home to Carole
and I to this very day.
Dad then worked on the presses
at Plessey before moving to Hadsphaltic for a happy, but
hard-working 15 years. He then moved to Atkins and Shaw for 4
years. These were some of the best years of his life, happy at
home, Carole and I growing up and many work friends from Abthorpe
( now nearly all deceased ) working together throughout those
years in the construction industry. Those years were brought to an
end by having a serious operation on his overworked back . He
finished his working days as a quality inspector at British
Timken. He quickly established himself there. When the news of the
birth of his first grandson Sam came through during a board
meeting the Chairman cracked open a bottle of champagne. Such was
the respect for Len.
Our dad was a hard- working,
strong, loyal, and kind man with true working class family values.
He loved his wife, his children, and his wider family. Mum and dad
provided for us to the extent that if needs be they went without
to give us what we needed. Both Carole and I vividly remember
Saturday tea time. Dad insisted on cooking that meal instead of
Mum, always bacon, mushrooms etc…to the accompaniment of Billy
Two Rivers, Jackie Pallo and Mick McManus.
Dad also loved his garden and
his greenhouses, and the garden always looked colourful and
Despite all of this, his
family was what he was most proud and protective of. He and mum,
never failed to support me through university and onwards. Carole
stayed closer to home and she was a constant source of joy for
them. Her children Sam and Alex and her grand-children Jacob
and Zachary were precious to him, especially the little ones
during recent times of illness.
Mum and dad spent much of the
last few years helping and looking after each other. Now I am sure
that they are together again.