Ernie Roythorne: 1907~2000
Ernie Roythorne died in May, 2000. A wonderful man, he was born in
April 1907, in the village of Langham near Oakham. He was one of
13 brothers and sisters.
Due to illness he missed a lot of schooling and had long stays in
hospital, but eventually he went to work on the land, and whilst at
Freeby he met his beloved Bess. They met at Wyfordby railway crossing
and, because Bess had to be home in Melton by 9pm, Ernie would walk her
home and then bike back to Freeby.
Ernie and Bess married in 1940, at a time when he was working for the
late Lord Gretton of Stapleford Park. They set up home in Wymondham
in a small cottage at the bottom of the village.
He was very proud of his family, and worked hard to support them
nothing stopped him from going to work at Holygate Farm. He would walk
through snowdrifts, dry out in the bothy, and then get on with the
days work. Few people these days would even contemplate a walk from
Wymondham to Stapleford.
Ernie knew of the weather, about animals, the stars, the seasons. He was
a man who could drive tractors, lay hedges and work with horses. He had a
variety of interests, including Cycling (being a member of the Melton
Wheelers); Darts (he played for local teams); Cricket; Bowls; Cribbage;
and Gardening for many years he had an allotment in the village.
One of his passions was working with Lordy (the late Lord
Gretton) on his steam engines both the miniature railway around the
lakes and also the restoration of the real thing.
He thought a lot of this village. He used to mow all the village greens,
and he and Bess were Caretakers of the Village Hall. He chopped sticks,
selling the sacks of firewood in aid of the Welcome Club, in whose
company he enjoyed a game of Whist.
During all of their life together you would not find him far from his
beloved Bess. They were a team. Ernie was proud of his family and loved
his grandchildren. When they asked, Whats for dinner? they
would be told Leg of liver with the bones cut out or Custard Roll!
He loved to know about them and also later his great grandchildren.
Above all, Ernie Roythorne will be remembered as an honest and dependable
man who would help you if he could. He was not a church-going man, but
he lived a full and faithful Christian life.