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The Naming of Merlyn’s Copse

Article written by Merlyn Brown, Creech St Michael

The year 2002 saw me coming up to retirement after thirty-nine years of teaching with over twenty-one of them at Creech St. Michael C. of E. Primary School as Deputy Head which also included three stints as Acting Headmaster.

My retirement happened to coincide with two significant events, one national – the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, and the other very local – the naming of a plot of land in the village.

For years this very pleasant plot of land at the north end of the village, which comprises a small woodland, a stream and a public footpath with a bridge over the stream, had always been referred to by the uninspiring and totally inappropriate title of Plot 55X. The Parish Council, in their wisdom, decided that it was high time that Plot 55X was given a proper name more in keeping with its nature and thought that it would be a rather nice idea if the children of Creech School were given the opportunity of naming it.

Accordingly each child was given a letter of explanation to take home and discuss with parents should they so wish. The tear-off reply slips with their suggestions were duly returned to the school to be forwarded to the Parish Council.

A few weeks later I learned that the suggestions had been short-listed to two and that it had become a direct contest between Her Majesty and myself as the other name in contention was ‘Jubilee Wood’. The Parish Council then decided on ‘Merlyn’s Copse’ as they liked the sound of the name and felt also that it was a fitting tribute to all the years of service I had given the school.

I still feel very honoured when I think that of all the names that could have been chosen the one that was settled on was ‘Merlyn’s Copse’ and am grateful both to the children in the school and the Parish Council for this.

Occasionally in my retirement I take a walk through ‘Merlyn’s Copse’ and as I stand on the bridge that goes over the stream listening to the gurgling water and looking at the trees and the ground carpeted with woodland flowers a very warm feeling fills my soul.

Merlyn Brown (Deputy Head, Creech School, January 1981 – August 2002)

Article copyright Merlyn Brown, Creech St Michael, May 2011