A very dear and special friend of mine Linda Greaves…

October 31, 2007 in webcams by MrFarmer

A very dear and special friend of mine, Linda Greaves died today. I am going to tell you a little about her, not as an obituary, but because people need to know of special people in this world, like her.

I met Linda many years ago, by our common interest in Horses. Linda when I met her was the Co founder of a Riding for the Disabled Centre in East End of London Docklands area. Linda opened the Centre not for personnel gain, but for her love of Horses and the desire to help the disabled and poor in the East End of London, to give them the opportunity to learn to ride Horses. The Riding Centre started in arches under an old viaduct close by the London Docks, and within what is now the London City Airport. The Horses stables were made of old pallets and abandoned timber. Under Linda’s guidance, many Children, Disabled Adults and Children were taught how to ride and look after the Horses. Although the Riding School was ram shackled, the Horses were looked after and cared for as well as any Horses could be.

When the regeneration of the London Docklands started twenty five plus years ago, Linda was the equestrian advisor for the Developments body, and with her help, guidance and dedicated hard work, she was able to secure for some of the many Horses in the East End, accommodation in purpose built stables. Most of the Horses were working Horses, who previously were stabled in conditions that would have made you want to cry if you had seen them. Nearly fifty Horses were given homes in super high quality stables, with all the facilities, and a live on site Caretaker. Unfortunately over the past few years the Stables have been neglected, by the current undesirable owners of the Horses, and it looks very much like that they will be pulled down, if they haven’t already.

About ten years ago, the ground that the viaduct was built on, that housed the Riding School, that Linda had founded was needed for development, the opportunity came about to get a new Riding School built. With Linda’s dedication and hard work she was able to secure a very large amount of money for the funding of a purpose built Riding Centre for The Newham Riding School and Association. And what a Riding School it is. It has a full size indoor Riding Arena and Sand School, a wonderful American Barn Stable complex for the Horses, a Barn for their hay and straw and in the past couple of years a building has been built for live in Grooms, a Caretaker and a large hall for teaching, all in the middle of the Dockland area. We went there in July 2006 for Linda’s Retirement goodbye. That was the last time that I saw or spoke to Linda, for she made herself a recluse from then on. She told me that she was dieing a few years ago, when she visited us at Denbury for a day. We offered her a cottage, but she would never stay away from her home, if she could return within a day.

I respected Linda’s desire to be reclusive. She would not have wanted pity in her last days. She died a spinster aged only 62. A few years ago she was awarded an MBE for her services for her life longs work, It was presented to her by Princess Ann the Patron of The Riding for the Disabled at Buckingham Palace. If ever a person deserved an award, Linda did. Although I have had no contact with Linda for over a year, it was still a shock to hear that she had died. I have and will miss her for all she has done for me over the years that I have known her. When ever I had problems with Horses my first call would be to Linda, she had forgotten more than I will ever know about Horses. She will be missed.

Linda’s last visit to Denbury was to come and see two Horses that I was to put into syndication for racing. We talked about the names that we may use. Linda suggested a French name, Joie Du Vie, meaning Joy of Life. We gave that name to a Filly, but she never raced. A few weeks back it came important for me to try to get the name back, to be able to name Bliss with. I have been trying ever since to trace the new owner of the named Horse, from a person who knows the owner. Last night I had practically given up. This afternoon I got the call. Strange. Even stranger just before I went to feed the Badgers, I asked if that after Linda’s death should I put the Witches Mask and Hat on when I fed the Badgers. We decided I would, it would have made Linda laugh, we decided. As some of you witnessed, the cameras went down just after.

I hoped that you may of thought that it was Mrs.Farmer who had fed the Badgers tonight. There has also been some strange visitations on the Ghost Cam tonight. Have an interesting Halloween.

Elsie, that was the Ewe Lamb that I had taken out of the fenced area. I have put her back with the rest of the Sheep, to see how she does tonight.