LETTER: Remembering Dolly and Molly

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Following the article which appeared in the Nostalgia section of the Herald, I am writing to let you know that the achievements of Mrs Elizabeth Sedgwick, also known as Dolly Shepherd the Edwardian Lady Parachutist, and her daughter Molly Sedgwick are being celebrated this year in The Helen Garden at Holywell.

Molly Sedgwick died in Eastbourne in 2005. In 2007 a bequest was received from her estate and with further funds donated by the Meads Community Association the decision was made to plant a flower bed in The Helen Garden in memory of Molly and her mother.

Unfortunately, over the years the flower bed did not flourish and by 2016 it was looking decidedly sad. The Friends of Meads Parks and Gardens was launched in 2015 and one of the first things we did was to draw up a strategic plan outlining our short, medium and long term goals for the parks within our remit. Improving this flower bed was first on the list of our short-term goals for the Helen Garden and it was only then that we got to learn about its history.

In 2016 we began discussions with the council and, thanks to Meads councillor Kathy Ballard, funds from the council’s devolved budget were made available to create a more fitting memorial to Dolly and Molly. In January 2017 two Stone Pines were planted in the Helen Garden and a plaque commemorating these two remarkable women will also be installed this year.

Stone Pines are also known as Umbrella Pines because of their habit of forming a full high canopy. Perhaps over time these two beautiful trees will become known by another name: The Parachute Pines.

TERRIE RINTOUL

Chair – The Friends of Meads Parks and Gardens