DREAM WRITE UP: Jean Clegg-Beniston

A Walk Down Memory Lane

The word Cancer strikes fear into us all, but sometimes it can be key to hold close the memories you cherish and what is most important to you, family. The below is a Dream that supported a local family in their quest to continue to create new memories, while at the same time sharing the memories of youth and their past. This beautiful story is about Jean Clasper and written by her sister Joanne:

“In September 2021 my sister Jean (Shelly) was diagnosed with incurable cancer which had spread from her breast to her lungs and bones. Since being diagnosed she has gone through some turbulent times fighting for everything from basic equipment to PIP payments and most of all medication, enduring pain we cannot imagine. Although many tears have been shed, new memories have been made in these difficult times. Jean has been so brave and gets out when she can use a wheelchair. She loves going to her caravan at Chapel St Leonards.

 Eve’s Trust have been so brilliant and organised a day out with a difference for her, all in the spirit as I said above, making new memories. So, on the 16th of June this year they organised an afternoon tea, but it wasn’t a normal afternoon tea, this include a day out on a canal boat. The ultimate aim was to bring back some childhood memories as most of our 6-week school holidays, when we were younger, were spent by the canal, listening to her favourite band WHAM. Man, she loved George Michael.

We were greeted in the morning at Thorne boat yard by Baileigh and Andy from Eves Trust, here we were then met by some members of the Ethel Trust that ran the boat up and down the canal for us.

We (Shelly, myself and our children Jodie, Nicola, Adam and Ryan) had a wonderful fun filled day travelling up and down the canal creating lots of lovely memories and conversations to last a lifetime talking about our childhood and the hours we spent at the canal during our 6-week school holidays. We saw areas of the canal that we will probably not get to see in the future and shared stories with our children about the antics we used to get up to as children ourselves. We told stories they have never heard us talk about before, so that was nice for them to know what our childhood was like. Also, our children enjoyed having a go at steering the boat and operating the locks, a memory they will cherish forever.

As the weather was so hot, we stopped off at the New Inn in Stainforth, a little local inn at the side of the canal, a place we all visit from time to time during the summer and had a quick drink and then it was back aboard and up towards Kirk Bramwith and over the viaduct. There was plenty of wildlife around that day (a heron in flight, ducks with their ducklings even dragonflies by the plenty) things that sound day to day but you don’t always get the time to look and appreciate the beauty of things. As it was a warm day we also saw quite a few boats and fishermen around, who waved to us as we passed, which was quite nice.

Shelly also got to remember when our children were little and how in their 6 weeks holidays, she would take them up the canal and to Fishlake with picnics for days out as we had done. Beauty memories that I think we will all cherish for the years to come.

As a family we would like to send a special thanks to Baileigh, who we feel is a wonderful person for organising the whole day for us. We would also like to send a big thank you to Andy who spent the day photographing all these memories for us. Another thank you would be to John and the amazing staff at The Ethels Trust who allowed us to use their boat for the day.

Without people like these, magic moments like ours would not happen. My final thanks as a big sister is to my little sister Shelly, with whom I have spent 50+ years. We have had our differences over the years, like I’m sure most families, but we have known that we would always be there for each other.”

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