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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006
    Blood and spirit connections
    To be in a place where all around you there are signs of your family name: on plenty of tombstones, on shop fronts, along the side of delivery vans and works vehicles, on war memorials and in local newspaper columns. That's a portion we city-dwellers don't taste very often. Not unless our surname is McDonald. In other words, not in the same, rooted, way.

    Uncle Lance would have lived each day with that sensation, because as the eulogising minister at Tarporley Baptist Church said today, though he loved his travels Lance even more loved coming home. Home, where most people knew his name. And quite a few actually shared it. After the service, as I crossed the High Street to retrieve flowers from the car for my grandmothers grave, a white van sped past, bass box booming - LEDWARD LIGHT HAULAGE LTD.

    Lancel Ledward dying breaks our last living links with one side of our family which was always special and important to us - (what I regard as) my best blog entry is an exploration in that. That's a big bereavement. It breaks our links with a place very different from our home, but vigorous with memories and associations for us all.

    Sad to say goodbye to a man who went suddenly before any goodbyes could be shared. Good, though, to meet Ledwards we'd never met before, to make connections, swop addresses: things which will keep the associations alive. Lancel always encouraged me to take an interest in family history - and on the day I was ordained he invested me with the responsibility of looking after the Ledward family bible. All those names - which connect me, in blood and spirit - to a small town in mid-Cheshire forever.