Welcome to the September edition of the new CHEQS Magazine! Your community magazine – supported by representatives of the five village communities, Coln St Aldwyns, Hatherop, Quenington, Eastleach and Southrop.
Hello from… Rachel Emmerson
Stuart and I moved to this area 26 years ago, when he came to Swyre Farm with his brother, Anthony. The land has since been divided into two separate farms, with Anthony farming Swyre Barton & Stuart at Merryfield Farm.
We previously lived in South Nottinghamshire and thought we were settled in that area. However, we needed to expand the farm because of our growing families, so along with our three sons and Stuart’s mother we moved to the Cotswolds.
It was hard to leave friends, but we soon made many new ones through village life – and particularly through the churches, both in the local villages and at Fairford United Church where we are actively involved each week. I play the organ on occasion at most of the CHEQS churches, as well as the piano at Fairford, and it has been good to get involved in village events such as carol services and harvest festivals.
Music has always been a big part of my life and when we moved here, I soon found piano pupils – both at home and working at Hatherop Castle and Farmors schools. I enjoy accompanying other musicians, so I play the piano for Coln Choir and also The Hill and
Valley Singers, based at Chedworth.
My leisure activities get rather mixed up with my work as most of my hobbies are music based. I’m learning the cello, but not practising as much as I should (don’t tell my piano pupils!). I also enjoy crosswords and quizzes. I took Classics at university, and although I never pursued a career in this, the knowledge of the make-up of words deriving from Latin and Greek is most useful in solving cryptic crossword clues.
During the lockdowns I felt very privileged to live in a rural area and to be able to walk in such beautiful surroundings. Life on the farm went on nearly as before, and with the benefits of modern technology I was even able to still give piano lessons. Now the situation is hopefully improving it has been a joy to be able to meet with friends for a coffee at our lovely Coln Stores and to join in the activities that are starting up again.
Margaret Stranks – Editor