Bulmer memories of Coral Burgess nee Dixey.

The following article has been compiled from emails as a result of Coral contacting the website because the date of death of her Grandmothers was incorrectly shown as 1911 instead of 1941 in the list of headstones. Our thanks to Coral for allowing her memories to be published.


Clara Emily Dixey nee Frost was born in Marylebone London 1st August 1895 and died on 31st March 1941 in Halstead Essex. She had three children in 1925 1928 and 1935 my mum Gladys Ann Dixey my auntie Margaret Dixey and uncle John.

I never met my grandparents as Clara passed away in 1941 when mum was a child of six and her husband Frederick Dixey passed away 13th May 1943 in London in the Whittington hospital on my mother's eighth birthday.

I remember she told me that she had tried to visit her on the day that he later died just to be turned away by the ward sister as she was an unaccompanied child and her Aunt Ethel (Frederick's sister ) was busy running her shop in Paddington.

That was her last chance to connect with her father.

He was buried in Highgate cemetery near to the grave of Karl Marx as I remember going there as a child when mum travelled to London from Bulmer when we were children.

Her remaining family her Aunt Ethel, Uncle George and Uncle Harry Dixey all lived in Highgate during the sixties.

The Frosts and the Dixey's are both Bulmer families though they obviously both had connections with London as Clara was born there.

I feel you never forget the country you are raised in especially if the memories are good and there is a great feeling of kinship as both families came from Bulmer and surrounding area and my uncle John Dixey formerly of Anvil cottage Blacksmith lane was a great historian and compiled records of the Dixey and Frost back to the 10th century.

I spent my childhood growing up on my Uncle Georges farm in the Slade Bulmer Tye

My great grandmother Emily Eliza Frost was buried with my grandmother Clara and my aunty Jessie's ashes are interred into their graves too.

I have a picture of my great grandparents on their bicycles going up the Halstead road, seen top right.

I also knew Mrs Matilda Bunn who passed in the sixties. She was a very old lady and a friend of great granny Emily Frost. Unfortunately Mrs Bunn lost a husband in the first world war and a son in the second world war.

She was not very fond of children and she made a point of visiting Emily Frost every morning when I was there. Mother would drop me off when she took my sister Sylvette to school

Mrs Bunn would make sure to visit my great grandmother at that time and when Great grans back was turned she would wave her stick at me and threaten to lock me up in Great grans cellar. I was only four and terrified of her. I used to hide under the table when she arrived.

In the end mum had to ask Great gran to stop allowing Mrs Bunn to visit as it was giving me nightmares and I was not wanting to visit my great grandmother who was a kind dear soul and had no idea what her neighbour was doing. Mrs Bunn was always dressed in black with a crooked back and dark spindly little legs.

By comparison her next door neighbour was a Miss Caldwell and was a deeply Christian lady. I remember her telling my mother whilst we were standing near Aunty Connie's house waiting for a bus into Sudbury that man's best friend was God, but also if you inverted the word God you got Dog who was also man’s best friend!! She was a delight to talk to.

Two neighbours side by side but as different as chalk and cheese.

I remember the Blacksmith forge becoming a post office.

I have actually a photo in my possession (seen on the right) which shows the post office with Bulmer post office written above door. My great grandmother is in front of the gate with her three daughters including my grandmother.

My uncle Charlie is not there so presumably was taking the picture.

I no longer live in the area but still visit from time to time as mum lived in Great Cornard until 2019 and is now in Great Cornard cemetery where Dad was buried in 1997.

Both of their funerals were conducted in Bulmer church yard as that was where they worshiped in the fifties and sixties.

Mum was in the choir there in the early sixties when father Howard was the reverend. I was at Bulmer school from 1961 through 1968 when our parents moved to Harrow in London.

I live in West Wales now and have been living here since 2000. Not the extensive agricultural land farming of South  East England where its corn , wheat and barley and I think rapeseed now too. And of course pig farming and dairy farming.