Tenants at No 31

From Clifford Chambers
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The Misses Padbury lived at No. 31. These were two ‘Victorian’ ladies, Emily and Lizzie. Lizzie, in her black ‘Mary Poppins’ hat perched on top of her hair, her long black coat with its flared skirt and her black buttoned shoes, dashed everywhere – to Stratford and back – to Mickleton and back – shopping, visiting, always busy; always doing everything for Emily, the older sister.

They were both regular attenders at Church, sitting prim and proper in the back seat. One of the Misses Padbury helped at Sunday School, taking the register while someone else did the teaching.

Lizzie’s walks to Stratford were every Friday at a time when she knew people would be leaving in their cars, and she made every attempt to scrounge lifts. Before moving to No. 31, they lived in The Nashes next door to the Pinfolds, and Lizzie was always banging on their door for coal and sticks. There was one day when Mrs. Pinfold attempted to foil her. “I’m afraid,” she replied to Lizzie’s usual request, “I haven’t any coal or sticks – except for that in the grate ready for me to light.” “Ah!” said Lizzie, “You haven’t lit the fire yet, so I’ll take them.” And she did!

Sadly Lizzie died first. Mr. Bevington, delivering bread to them, opened the door as he usually did one tea-time, walked in and placed the bread on the table. He was rather concerned that Miss Lizzie, sitting upright in her chair, did not answer as usual. Miss Emily, sitting opposite, also upright, glanced at him, but there was no movement at all from Miss Lizzie. Her eyes stared straight ahead. She had died! Evidently had been dead for several minutes and her sister, sitting opposite, had no idea.

The Heaths came to live there when the last Padbury left