Death of a well-known Chrishall personality
It is with sincere regret that we record the death of Mr Thomas Charles Harvey, of High Street, Chrishall at the age of 82. Mr Harvey was blessed with a phenomenal memory and the stories he could tell of Chrishall and Chrishall worthies of yesteryear were legion. He was a raconteur par excellence, and it was an enthralling experience, and a privilege to listen to him.
In his younger days, Mr Harvey had participated in all the local activities. He was a keen campanologist, and besides ringing the church bells he took an active part in raising funds to buy a sixth bell for the peal, collecting sixpences weekly from dedicated donors. He also supported the formation of a team of handbell ringers. For a number of years he was sexton at Holy Trinty Church, and made a deep study of the history of the lovely old building.
In village cricket he made his mark, and he was known far beyond the confines of the village in which he lived and played, as a fast bowler of no mean stature. As a member of the late Mr Crossman’s XI he had played at Cokenach for the Gentlemen of Essex. Youngsters were always encouraged by his quietly proferred advice and many ‘oldsters’ remember with gratitude and affection, this gentle Man of Cricket.
When, towards the end of his “innings” and no longer able to connect willow to leather, he was regularly to be seen, seated in this chair beneath the gnarled old elm tree at the edge of the outfield, watching every stroke and every delivery with the knowledgeable eye of a past master. Cricket has lost a devotee, and the village a sterling character.
Mr Harvey had been in failing health for some time, but his death on Monday, December 23rd, was a great shock to the village, and the deepest sympathy is extended to his wife and son.
The funeral took place at Holy Trinity Church on Saturday and was conducted by the Vicar, the Rev W H Taylor, with Mrs Taylor at the organ. During the service the hymn “Jesus lives” was sung and the 23rd psalm recited.
Mr Harvey’s body was laid to rest in the shadow of the strong grey tower of the church he had served for many years.
Immediate mourners were – Mr George Harvey, son; Mr Timothy Harvey and Mr William Harvey, brothers: Mr W Thompson, brother-in-law; Mr and Mrs J Skinner, Mrs Brown, Mr and Mrs Wedd, Messrs Reuben, Gordon and David Harvey, Mr Nigel Skinner, nephews and nieces. Mrs Harvey widow, and Mrs Thompson, sister were unable through in-disposition, to attend. There was a large number of friends present in the church.
Funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr R Easy of Great Chishill. There were a number of lovely floral tributes.
This obituary was found in the back of Irene Cranwell’s copy of the parish registers. It has all the hallmarks of being written by her and she was the correspondent for the local papers for many years – but it is unnamed and unfortunately also undated. The photograph above of Tom standing in George Harvey’s garden with the old school in the background is part of the Harvey photo collection which can be seen at the Archive in the Pavilion on request.