Susan Davies was born in Chrishall on the 8th of July 1937. She was christened Jennifer Susan Mary but was always known as Susan, or Sue, leading to some confusion on official documents at times!
Susan had a lovely country childhood and her love of the countryside remained with her all her life. She was born and brought up at Faerie Cottage daughter of Irene and Bernard Cranwell and later with brother Jack. With her cousins Isobel and Chris who lived just over the road, Susan spent many happy hours making play houses and putting together plays which they would perform. She also spent a lot of time with her paternal grandparents, Charles and Ann Cranwell, who lived at Rose Cottage, later Ramblers where Sue lived much of her married life.
In fact apart from a brief sojourn of 10 months in Ashdon when she first married, Susan lived all her life in Chrishall. Susan married Fred Davies from Ashdon at Chrishall Parish Church in 1961. After just 10 months living at Ashdon, they lived at The Cottage at Broad Green, next to Mr and Mrs George Rogers who became life long friends. And then Fred and Susan purchased Ramblers in Crawley End, and did it up completely before moving in in September 1972.
After leaving the Herts and Essex School in Bishop’s Stortford, Susan worked for the Electricity Board, first in Saffron Walden and later in Cambridge. She went on to work as a Sales Representative for Hotpoint and then Creda, and became one of their top Sales Reps in East Anglia. Never one to do things by halves, this didn’t just mean selling appliances in the showroom but extended to doing cookery demonstrations for various groups as well as going out to individual customers at times to help them get the best out of their new purchases.
Outside work Susan was always very creative. She was an excellent flower arranger taking prizes at all the local shows. Rosemarie remembers being sat in the back of the car when she was about five, with a flower arrangement on either side of her and being told “hold that and don’t let it move”. A drive up to Duddenhoe End Village Hall would then ensue at about 5 miles an hour. Trophies brought back at the end of the day would be the reward.
Later on Susan took up drawing after standing at the kitchen window one day and wondering if she could “draw what she saw”. She could. A range of pen and ink drawings of many local village houses and views are testament to this. The drawing led on to painting and then pyrography (burning designs into wood) and painting on glass and pebbles. Inspiration was often gained when walking her West Highland dogs both around the village and along the Suffolk coastline which she loved. Susan designed the Chrishall village sign which can be seen here as well as a first day cover of castles for the Post Office.
Always well-dressed, Susan was delighted to be a runner-up in a national competition run by the Women’s Weekly magazine.
Susan died on 5th June 2012, a very young 74, after a long battle with cancer. Thankfully with her lovely artwork and great sense of humour she has left a host of wonderful memories for her many friends and family.