Presentation to Mr Burnley & Tribute to Mrs Burnley

Presentation to Mr Burnley

A cherry tree (Cerasus Rhex 1) and two roses (Golden Showers) were planted in Moorlands garden on November 2nd 1963 to commemorate the gifts and services since 1932 of F J Burnley to Hutton le Hole Village Hall.

F J Burnley retired in 1963 in his 92nd year.

The new Chairman, Group Captain G Shaw DFC, made the presentation on behalf of the Committee and planted the cherry tree.


Tribute to Mrs Enid Burnley

23 September 1968

Mrs Enid Burnley died on the morning of Sunday, 22nd September 1968. She died triumphantly ‘with joy in my heart for Christ is King,’ as she said near the end; and all the trumpets have sounded on the other side.

Valiant for Truth – that indeed was ‘Auntie Enid’ and it made her a most restful person to be with, for truth means freedom and ease. It made her a fascinating talker: enthralling to children, inspiring to their parents, and fortifying to her own generation. You knew precisely where you were with her. ‘Yes’ meant yes, and ‘No’ meant no; she assumed you meant what you said, and in so doing taught you sincerity and integrity. With ‘Uncle Fred’ – who died at 92 in 1964 – she made Hutton le Hole a haven, hideaway, rehabilitation centre, springboard, as we variously needed, for she understood and shared need or sadness. Harmony, intelligence, dignity, all abounded, and thousands are the better for it. Carved in fine letters in stone over her fireplace at Keld Close were the words from Job 5, verse 23, in Latin: “You shall be league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.” That harmony of life we all learnt in her home under the moors.

She married Fred J Burnley (of Holden, Burnley Ltd., Bradford) in 1915, in Kirkbymoorside Methodist Church. They owned Moorlands all their life and when Keld Close became too big and burdensome for them they returned to Moorlands. Uncle Fred was 43 when he married Enid, and they returned to the house of their marriage when he had doubled his age. She was born in 1879 to Mr & Mrs A W Brailsford. Her family had strong connections with St. John’s Methodist Church, Manningham, and after her marriage she lived for some 10 years at 10 North Park Road. In 1930 they left Bradford to live in Hutton le Hole and enlarged the original Keld Close Cottage.

Enid Burnley has been ahead of her time all her life, and her great gifts of memory and narrative have brought alive those early days – sagas indeed that make one feel “what a dull lot we are in comparison”. (She would never have agreed with that for she literally made people interesting – is that not reverence?). She was elected to the Bradford Education Committee in 1913 by a Labour member, and later joined the Labour Party, to which she was loyal to the end. She held meetings for women in her home, organised the home teaching of about 100 children who were unable to go to the Bradford schools, and later she initiated the building of an open-air school for physically handicapped children in Bradford. All this in those days – surely Enid Burnley might well have gone very far if she had entered politics. In 1964 she went to Bradford for the Jubilee of Lister Lane School, and by chance was driven to the school by a taxi man who had been at the school – and how these two enjoyed the journey!

Shortly after settling in Hutton, Enid Burnley became the Honorary Secretary of the East Ryedale Nursing Association, which served eighteen villages in Ryedale. She held this post until the voluntary associations were taken over by the Health Services. In the War years she opened her home to evacuees from Hull, handing over parts of the house to them (and she was then in her mid-60’s), and some have expressed endless gratitude to her.

Mr & Mrs Burnley became actively interested in the building of a Village Hall, and gave the site for it. The Hall was opened in 1939 after six years hard work raising funds. Fred was Chairman, and Enid Secretary of the Hall Committee to the very end – they would not allow her to resign! After the War Fred gave the Playing Field to the village as a memorial to those who served in the 1939 – 45 War in the Services ‘and in the homes and fields and factories’ (a typical addition).

For 21 years from 1941 she organised Arts Council concerts every September in the Village Hall and other entertainments. These concerts were unique and many fine singers and players came. Music lovers, and the Council owe her much, and the Council gave her a souvenir book of memories from nearly all those who had been to sing or play and stay with her. Janet Baker and Millicent Silver are just two names among many who came to Hutton.

A thought she had written down came from T S Elliot, that old people and old institutions must stay on the move. She dearly loved Hutton ‘as it was’ but always saw that it must move on – roads need widening, people will come increasingly, amenities are necessary, houses must be built. Her mind was questing on all the time. She nourished it on many newspapers and weeklies, still writing until a week before her death. She was full of thanks to a lot of people – to her daughter and relations, to the village around her, her world-wide circle of friends, to her doctor and his wife, so kind and skilled, to the nurse and friend who did so much for her in her last months and did it lovingly, to any who served or helped her.

The key to such a woman is her strong faith. She was a life-long Christian, a staunch Methodist who rejoiced in the warm ecumenical climate of today. One of her oldest friends was the great scholar Dr Will Lofthouse, and daily she read a Moffatt translation of the bible given her by Lofthouse. She read Scott Lidgett too and she and Fred were so loyal to the little Methodist Church in Hutton, now closed, where Fred played the harmonium until his 89th year. Prayer, grace at meals, Church going, and bible reading sustained her always, but above all God was near her, real and personal: “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him”. (Though she firmly believed in the RSV version too!).

It was wonderful to be with her towards the end. Half in this world, half beyond, she gave us glimpses of the beyond day by day, and a greater certainty than ever of its reality. She always had a huge sense of humour and this never deserted her. The company beyond surely are rejoicing now. It takes a lifetime to die – she has made a masterpiece of life and death – thanks be to God – her life is His glory.

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