Menu
 
Home | News | Charming and popular lady
 
News | 14th May 2021
 

Charming and popular lady

 
 
Elizabeth Calvert (94 years old) at her home in Windsor, Berkshire. Picture by Steve Reigate 15/4/2021
 

Elizabeth Calvert,

By her son, Robert Calvert

ELIZABETH Calvert was born in April 1926 to Isabel, from a farming family in Oxfordshire, and John, a Scots Presbyterian, who had moved south for work.

She enjoyed a happy childhood in the south of England, the memory of which was always firmly etched in her mind.

After she had worked for a short time with Unilever, she studied economics and social psychology and served at St Mary’s Hospital, London.

Elizabeth was good at tennis, having been coached with sisters, Marjorie and Barbara, by her father and she was invited to play for the prestigious Aldershot United Services Club.

It was in Aldershot that she first met her husband, Tom, through St Andrews Scottish Soldiers Club.

He had been a minister of the Church of Scotland in the Braes of Rannoch in the Highlands and Waterside in Ayrshire.

He became an army chaplain with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers, serving in Dunkirk, Northern Ireland and Cyrenaica.

In Aldershot they became good friends and were married. moving to Portsmouth where Tom became minister of St Andrews Church for six years.

Robert was born there before they moved to Blackburn in Lancashire where William and Hugh were born.

After just three years at St George’s Church, they moved to Langholm, not far from Tom’s family farm in Cumberland.

The Old Manse in Langholm was huge, having been built in the 1600s and extended in the next century.

The drawing room was added in the 1800s and badly in need of repair.

It was also very cold and one winter one of the radiators burst with the swelling of ice.

The installation of storage heaters made little impression and the family became dependent on coal fires and a big old Rayburn in the kitchen for warmth and cooking.

Elizabeth reflected that “they were good days in Langholm, the boys growing up with freedom among the lovely hills and rivers”.

It was a great place to grow up for the boys who often only saw their mum at meal-times between playing football and on the river below the house.

Elizabeth made many friends in Langholm and was asked by the headmaster of the school to go in and help out as a teacher.

After some temporary experience, she trained at Moray House in Edinburgh and took a full-time job in Langholm for 23 years until she retired.

As a minister’s wife, she showed courage in establishing her own identity when her husband was consumed with parish work.

She said: “Tom was in his element, in ‘kent’ country, among farming people and also reared a few sheep on the 14-acre glebe land around the manse.

“I remember going into the field with him one cold dark night and hearing the bleat of our own first new born lamb.”

There was much humour in the farming community as they brought up sheep, cows and hens on the glebe.

When Tom retired in 1975, they moved further up the hill looking over the Lockerbie road at Becks Knowe which was on half an acre of glebe land the church allowed them to buy.

Elizabeth was a very outgoing person and always took people as she found them.

In her reflections upon life, she said: “We have to go where people are, to be seen to be relevant to their lives, their work, their interests and, of course, there are so many places which rise magnificently to the challenge but, wherever we are, whatever we try to do, as Tiny Tim observed in Dickens’ Christmas Carol ‘God bless us everyone’.”

Sadly, Hugh’s untimely death hit her very hard. It is always cruel for a parent to outlive their children and there is a tendency to blame ourselves.

After Tom died in 1983, she lived on her own and kept up with many friends in Langholm.

It was only after she suffered a spell of poor health, which no-one knew about, that she moved south to Windsor to be near William and his family.

Typically, she quickly made many friends in her little street near Windsor town centre.

She supported the new Windsor & Eton Brewery where she became its archivist and spoke at the launch of its new reception area.

She loved her little cottage in Spinner’s Walk, receiving many visitors, lunching at Monty’s round the corner and was always the glue of a family growing in numbers and around the world.

 
 
Would you like to support us?

The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is our community owned local newspaper and even in today’s troubled times, we aim to bring you local news and articles in an impartial, responsible and factual way.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this free article but we need your support so we can keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent and keeps you up to date with what is happening in Eskdale and Liddesdale.

Every reader’s contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to us.
 
 
‘Owned by the Community...Published for the Community’
Do you have a story?

Please get in touch if you have a story or article you would like to see published.

Related Articles

‘Blame the Duke’, Loki tells Langholm

By Penny Johnstone Rapper wades into buyout debate in latest…

 

Tub Turnbull’s ‘Ride Oot Bye’

By Gilly Fraser For the first time in three years,…

 

‘My boy is broken-hearted’

Lennon, 12, left devastated after ‘despicable’ thieves target his beloved…

 

Institute raises a cuppa to 100 wonderful years

Retiring president Nancy McLure welcomed members and guests to the…

 

Showing Charolais

By Gilly Fraser “The Royal Highland Show is special for…

 

Drummer Kyle kills it with Brandon & Co

Sheer delight is etched on Kyle Grieve’s face as he…

 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

After torrent floods derelict church, residents unite in campaign to…

 

Leila's a vintage virtuoso!

If vintage clothes make you think of mothballs and third-hand…

 

New owners for town's 20-year Erskine eyesore

But clamour grows to tear down derelict, ‘dangerous’ High Street…

 

The blissful sound of silence

Residents celebrate after church bells are finally silenced

 

Let’s do it for Dylan!

As his mum appeals for a life-changing loo in Langholm,…

 

Pyrotechnics and parties for our marvellous monarch

Locals plan to hold a weekend of right royal celebrations

 

'I'm so glad my dad isn't here to see this'

Local opponents hit back at Tarras Valley plans

 

Ruairi to lead the way as Big Day returns at last

Langholm elects its new Cornet with 1,100 votes cast

 

Male is back as just 19 votes decide council seat

Ron Tait ousted in Ward 12 by returning independent candidate

 

Obituary to well loved lady

Tributes paid to much love

 

Last gasp lifeline for Tarras Valley project

Two month extension agreed for £450,000 needed to secure buyout

 

Butchers facing chop

Refurbishment row leads to couple’s decision to quit

 

Care village moves a step closer

£1.4m footbridge will connect new scheme to town

 

Rail group sends signal to Holyrood

New Waverley route must include Langholm say campaigners

 

Election briefing

Use your vote wisely

 

For whom does the bell actually toll?

Parishioners and minister clash over ‘intrusive’ ringing

 

Buccleuch to put 30 homes on the market

Tenants of Buccleuch Estates say they are shocked and distressed…

 

Bus driver crisis is getting serious

Transport company Borders Buses has introduced an emergency timetable after…

 

Ukrainian Hosts meet wall of silence

Generous residents frustrated with housing delays

 

Janet's in the frame for gallery as Phil steps down

By Nick Brownlee It’s the end of an era at…

 

High Noon for Eskdalemuir Marksmen

Opponents claim elite rifle range could put lives at risk

 

End of an era as Common Riding trio announce retirement

By Nick Brownlee Three stalwarts of Langholm Common Riding say…

 

Butcher's face the cruellest of cuts

Heartbreak for couple faced with closure of their High Street…

 

New lease of life for leisure centre plans

Facility would provide “huge health and wellbeing benefits for area”

 

Local plans drawn up to host Ukrainians

Polish charity will match families with hosts in Eskdale

 

"Pristine" items wanted and calls for cash donations

When the call went out last week for donations of…

 

Proud memories of Langholm's Moon Man

On the 50th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Visit

 

Unmanaged vegetation is potential tinderbox

Heather Trust member expresses his concern over wildfires

 

Favourite local walk is changed forever

Gaskell’s footbridge removed over increasing safety concerns

 

Ill-considered approach

Analogue phone switch-off will leave remote communities vulnerable

 

Objections to four hour online consultation

Residents call for more time to examine rifle range scheme

 

Local Authority plans Council Tax hike of 3%

Very difficult decisions will have to be made

 

Digital donations

Young and old receive new computer equipment

 

Residents worried sick over rising prices

Politicians warn of impending cost of living crisis

 
 
requires mailchimp logins and wired up to a list
Join our mailing list
Keep up to date with all that’s going on at the E&L
This site uses cookies.
Configure
 
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.