I first got to know Lynn when she and Simon were at the Eskdale House of the Countrywide Holidays Association [CHA] in the early 1980s. Simon was the resident walking leader during university vacations and Lynn joined him whenever her holidays allowed. Their combined love of the countryside, the Lake District and its mountains was a powerful influence and in working and walking with them, I was soon under the same spell. Along with Andrew and Lesley Morris who were managers at Eskdale CHA, I was present on that memorable day when Lynn and Simon were married at the dale’s tiny church of St Catherine with its backdrop of Scafell Pike. In subsequent years, I have been privileged to spend time in their company, both when they were living in Kent and later in the Northern Fells. Lynn was always an exemplary hostess making sure that a visitor felt welcome and that their needs were met. Steadfast, and occasionally forthright, in her views on many aspects of life including the actions, and sometimes inactions, of people in authority, Lynn had a great concern for the wellbeing of the individual, those she came across in her professional capacity and those she met in her private life. For all of us who knew her, the memory of Lynn will be an inspiration for the remainder of our lives.
Lesley and Andrew
Chris and Al
Emma and Rob
Richard and Louise
Lynn was an avid reader of the Ballet Forum and we would often post our thoughts about performances and the Royal Ballet. For four weeks I didn't post anything but I went to London in early June to let friends know the news and to see an Ashton Triple Bill. I later managed a post and was astonished by the responses it triggered:
The Forum also led Laura to send her message.
I remember meeting Lynn after my Anastasia performance outside the stage door.
She was almost teary in her delivery of the compliments she was giving me. I was truly touched by her emotion and kindness, and I thank her for waiting to let me know how much she had been moved by the show and specially Ben's and my performance.
That memory stayed with me as a truly special moment where I know I have achieved my goal with at least that one person during that show.
To her husband, whom I also met that day, I am sorry for your loss. For us, the ballet dancers, to have such devoted people love what we do and support us constantly is an amazing gift, which I for one, never takes for granted.
Not the same thing at all, but when I lost my father suddenly, a man who loved ballet and classical music, and watching me dance, I found it heartbreaking to perform without him, but I was also lucky to be able to get lost in the performances and channel all that emotion on stage. That day changed me forever as a person and an artist, as it changes all of us, but time does heal, no matter how big and deep the wound is, and after a few years that pain turns into strength and the thought of my father inspires and drives my performances now.
I hope eventually you can find that the ballet and watching all that Lynn loved and supported can be a place where you can feel closer to her and that somewhere she is still enjoying it all through you.
Tonight in my heart I will dedicate my Titania to her and all those who have loved us and our art form and are no longer with us.
My memories of my kind friend and good neighbour Lynn are manifold, but some stand out particularly:
- Lynn's concentration on achieving the perfect flapjack, with our day by day exchange of recipes and views (and consumption of the results!)
- many cups of delicious coffee at both our houses
- a beautiful Christmas bouquet that scented the living room well into January
But, most of all,
- a willingness always to help: from minor minding of the house and cat for us, to major (major!) turning out in the dark with brooms and muscles to try to stem the flood, and from minor sharing of her copies of Cumbrian Life to major lending of her professional expertise to help with dramatic distressing illness.
Thankyou Lynn. We miss you.