Dean Rise WI Monthly Meeting September 2019
Our President Margaret opened the meeting with the usual joke. These are always good and provoke much laughter—where does she find them ? There were a few notices.
The annual Stella Austin Cup, this time making a greeting card using any means by 29th November. Margaret had been to Easthampstead WI tea which was well attended. There had also been an outing to Easthampstead flour mill where they still make their own flour. The takings from the garden meeting in August came to £323—all to be donated to Cookham Dean WI for the repair to roof of the hall. The star of the show, Emily, the much heralded WI doll was produced on stage with all her trappings, including an empty gin bottle. She will go on to another WI next month. Sadly Margaret will be retiring as president after this year but her place will be taken by Judi Touchard, a popular choice, The village fete will be coming up soon and a plea went out for cakemakers.
After the coffee break our speaker Richard Poad was introduced. He is always a great source of local information and his speech was entitled “ Doctor at the Dean”. The doctor in question was Dr Robert Shepard who was the sole village doctor from 1911-1940. He had surgeries at Ferndale in the High Street and later opened a surgery at Lynwood,Cookham Dean ( here we were shown slides of these houses ) Doctor Shepard was born in London in1869 and at the age of 25 he qualified as a doctor. After a spell of a couple of years as a ships doctor, he became a surgeon in the armed forces and then eventually settled in Cookham . In 1924 he married the beautiful Zoe Kennedy who the following year gave birth to a daughter who very sadly died aged none months and was buried in Cookham churchyard where there is a beautiful memorial. At first he used a pony and trap to do his rounds but soon bought a black and yellow two seater, the first of a succession of cars Richard showed slides of invoices front local stores. He was known to be very late in paying his bills. He was fond of gardening particularly growing vegetables and fruit and in 1837 he injured himself gardening and his health then deteriorated. He died aged 74 and all the great and good came to his funeral. His wife lived on for many years in genteel poverty. It would have been interesting to know if he had any more children. The talk finished and the meeting then closed