Christine Hipwell 1924 – 2003
From the Parish News – August 20035th June 1924 - 25th June 2003
Once again St Mary's Church, Denton was filled by many family friends and local parishioners who attended the service of Thanksgiving for the life of Christine. The service which was lead by our Rector Ian Bentley, assisted by Barry Cramp followed the cremation service which had been held earlier and attended by close family members. The Service reflected her warm love and her devoted life as a wife, mother and teacher. The lesson "Love" was read by her daughter Janet and die prayer "Do not stand at my grave and weep," by her son Adrian.
Christine's parents, Howard and Alice Cant lived in Wiltshire where her father was employed as a shepherd. In 1930 the family emigrated to Canada to farm, but returned two years later in the years of the depression. Her father later became manager of a farm in Tytherington, Wiltshire and Christine became a primary school teacher. It was here that she was later to meet her future husband Peter, who after serving in the RAF as a Flight Engineer on Liberators during the campaign in S. Italy, and later in Palestine, returned to continue his career in agriculture. He took a "farm improvers" course, which lead him to do part of his training on the farm at Tytherington where he eventually discovered his Manager had a daughter! On a farm outing to Swanage in 1947 they became acquainted, were engaged the following September and married on the 14th February 1948. Peter took a post on a farm at Stockton, Wiltshire where their twins Janet and John were born. In 1954 Peter was offered the tenancy of a farm at Stanningfield near Bury St. Edmunds where their two younger sons, Adrian and Martin, were born. Christine continued teaching as well as helping on the farm and became Deputy Head at Thurston Primary school, Suffolk.
In 1970 Peter was successful in applying for the tenancy of Park Farm, Earsham, of 900 acres. The large house needed considerable renovation, but Christine took this in her stride, and as well as rearing calves for their beef enterprise, took a part time teaching post at All Hallows School. They retired from farming in 1987 and bought a house in Ditchingham. However they soon decided to look for smaller accommodation and moved to Denton eight years ago. In Denton Christine was able to pursue her favourite hobbies of gardening and needlework, demonstrating her skill by making the St. Augustine banner in the Chapel. She also joined the WI and the Bowls Club and for several years organised the bookings for the DVC productions. In 1999 she survived surgery for a new heart valve, but in October cancer was diagnosed which proved incurable. She lost her battle at the Priscilla Bacon Lodge in the arms of her loving husband who had cared for her throughout her illness.