Thursday, 14 February 2013

Clarice Howorth (nee Garnett)

Clarice Howorth

I have just been to Clarice Howorth's funeral

What a funeral.
And What a person. - .- The Craven Herald have a nice obituray here 

I paste my obituary/account/memories of Clarice  lower down

As well as our thanksgiving service here on 13th and an upcoming Memorial Service in Settle in March at the Friends Meeting House there are several services taking place in Ghana (Click here) Ghana and one or two memories as here

We saw some pictures of Clarice as a child,  in her school on Ghana, receiving an award from the President of Ghana, at her wedding to Roland.

But what hit sleepy, snowy Rathmell today (13 Feb)(population 269)  was the effect she had had on so many Ghanaian girls over the 30 years she had worked at Wesley Girls High School, Cape Coast, Accra, 10 years as science teacher and 20 years as Headmistress.

About 80 of them arrived for the funeral.

The service was held in the Anglican Church at Rathmell, as the Methodist Church would have been too small.
I had been told a bus load of 40 Ghanaians were coming.
When I arrived I found myself a place in one of the added plastic seats in the aisle and saw at least 40 Ghanaian ladies in the full congregation.

We were shortly told that the bus had phoned to say it was seven miles away - So another 40 people! - They filled the choir seats at the front.

Barbara Bowman says some words

During the service we sang the school hymn. A fifth verse was added that had been written in the bus on the way up

Leaving the church for the Reading Room

Past the Coach

After the service we walked/tottered across the snowy, now turning to slush,road often in our best funeral shoes / boots to Rathmell Reading Room.

I may paste more pictures here sometime - meanwhile you can see them at

To Rathmell Reading Room

Plenty to eat and plenty to catch up on..

After that I gave a lift to one lady to the station. Shortly others arrived by taxi. Soon there must have been about 20 people.  Settle has a lovely warm ticket office room - but the Station closes at 5pm .. and then there is nowhere to shelter. The people were waiting for the 17.57 train. by 5.15 the station staff had locked up so all of us were outside, on the platform with slush and snow on the ground and sleet falling from the sky, and no-where to shelter.  "It is such a shame" I thought.

Most of us set off to Settle - only 4 minutes walk away on a dry day - but today the roads were slush filled. To cut a long story short, I and three ladies landed up at the Quaker Meeting house drinking tea - and Alison (who is warden there) showed us round. Most of the others ended up in the Lion hotel.

When we got back to the station we discovered that those who had remained were in the waiting room - in the dark  - but in the dry and warmth - They had been let in by a kind "out of hours" rail officer (?Les Barlow. (?))who had access to the keys to this room but not to the lights. so we all crammed in - very jolly. A big Thank you to Les Barlow. (?)

We were all in the dark in the picture below..   It is only the flash of may camera that lit the room
(Note the yellow posters on the wall - For The Fair Trade Social on 2 March that I am organising (and Clarice would have been involved with had she been here), the Ingleton Mosses Day  and Craven Speakers Club)

At 3 min to 6 the train arrived and I waved them off - what a journey they had made to honour Clarice.!

I had been to see her just before Christmas at Anley Hall and enjoyed talking to her about Ghanaian music. She was headmistress of Wesley Girls High School in Accra- a prestigious school in Ghana.
See'_High_School for a mention of Clarice (and Barbara Bowman ).

Clarice designed the logo for Craven Conservation Group. (It includes a lapwing.) She wrote an article about Hesley Moss for CCG Newsletter Number 5 - Dec 1984 magazine which I copy and paste here (along with some other souvenirs of Clarice and Hesley Moss)-

I suspect that some of the birch saplings that we missed pulling out then are big trees now. She did
much work encouraging Rathmell Parish Council to look after Hesley Moss (which is now an SSSI)

You can see her second from left at the back on this fungus foray


For many many years she was the main stay of "One World Week" in Settle, sending off for the material, and organising events. We don't do much for One World Week now, but we would have stopped a lot earlier if it had not been for Clarice.   She contributed when we had a "Justice
Peace and Integrity of Creation" Group in Settle.
1996 -  CCG Trip to Brocklands Burial Ground, Rathmell – recently established - Roland and Clarice (in grey-green jacket) in the centre.

She used to tell me how she had relations who used to farm the land that is now covered by the plantation above Stocks Reservoir.

But she was also right into the 21st Century - she and Roland has solar panels put on their roof on the Mill at Rathmell. And she bought a computer so she could keep in touch with people here and in Ghana and send emails and print photos.

The same day as the Funeral /thanksgiving service in Rathmell on 13th I am told there was a service in Ghana at which maybe 500 people would attend.

There will be a thanksgiving "Meeting" at the Quaker Meeting House in March in Settle.

People in Rathmell and Settle, Calirice's sister-in-law Sheila and nephew Peter,  Quakers and Methodists and her friends in Ghana and many others will miss her and are pleased to have known her.

Here is a nice hymn that roland, her husband worte

Here is a hymn written by Roland, Clarice’s husband in c. 2001
When Joseph and Mary so wearily wended 
Their way from their cottage in Nazareth’s street,
Then slept with the oxen in Bethlehem’s stable,
And laid in a manger their Baby so sweet,
Enduring discomfort and squalor and hardship,
Compelled by a merciless tyrant’s decree,
Few were there on earth who in such tribulation
God’s greatness and goodness and glory could see.

God’s glory we see in the sun, moon and planets,
In river and ocean, in mountain and plain, 
In flowers and butterflies, forests and gardens,
In moors with their heather and fields full of grain.
But angels sang “Glory” when in great privation
Our Lord came in Bethlehem’s manger to lie;
For His greatest glory’s the glory of loving,
That led Him to suffer, that led Him to die.

Lord, give us Your glory, the glory of loving,
A love for all people, the great and the small,
For saints and for sinners, for friends and for strangers,
For black folk and white, like Your love for us all,
A love like Your own that for others is ready
To suffer great hardship if that should ensue;
You said that whenever we love other people
We also, in doing so show love to You.

©Roland Howorth.
Rathmell, North Yorkshire

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