For many years I have felt regret that I never told Dad how much Singleton meant to me. He knew that I had chosen to go to Exeter University because it was the nearest university to Singleton; he knew I loved going there as a child and as an adult.
Singleton is a place that is important to both me and Adrian: we got engaged there, and Adrian told me that we had to be married in a church because that was what his mother would want. The only place I felt religious was in Cornwall, so we decided on St Minver Parish Church. Luckily the man who married us was happy not to know whether I had been christened; he was a long-time friend of my father who had sat with him and listened to his worries about his wife, who had dementia.
Singleton is also important to our sons, and to friends who have come with us to enjoy it. I know it is a place that holds special significance for many other people; many children have shared the pleasure of going there. One day when I went swimming, my wedding ring fell off; amazingly, the eagle-eyed Rosie, always a winner of cowrie-hunts, found my ring the next morning when the tide was out. Oscar has recently reminded me of this event which he remembers well.
I expect I speak for my brother and sisters when I say that we all thank Lucy and Sandy for taking on the responsibility of running and organising the lets at Singleton, and continuing Mum and Dad’s love and respect for the place; Lucy does what Mum did, and Sandy gets busy like Dad did. It is a fact that all my children as well as my friends’ children feel affection for Singleton, and appreciate the continuity of life there over many years and for many generations of people. As an example of this continuity of life, Lucy has told me that Vanessa and her family also love coming to Singleton; Vanessa’s father, Cyril, once a patient of Dad’s, farmed in North Cornwall. Dad contacted Cyril to enquire whether he knew of a house which might be for sale near a beach and a golf course for him to escape to…
Rock pasties have a meaning for many visitors; they are bought from the Rock Bakery.
An amazingly important thing is that, on the whole, Lucy and Sandy make lets available for people during the school term-times; last year my friend Vivien said her daughter, Kate, was looking for a place to rent to bring her children on holiday, and Vivien could only think of the most perfect place being Singleton. She asked me whether I minded if she asked Lucy if she could rent it. I, of course, was particularly pleased that she wanted to pass this pleasure on to her grandchildren. My grandchildren are being brought to Singleton and are getting to know the delights of the Fairy Pool, climbing up Brea Hill, walking along the cliff-tops to Polzeath, and exploring other special places. I know that Singleton will never lose its appeal to many people.
I never thanked my father for acquiring Singleton; in a way it is not a thing that needs saying: he knew it. I’m sure that Lucy and Sandy know it too.
Mary Smith 12th February 2017