Ishbel Beatty – 1927-2023
Former East Hatley resident, poetess and historian
It is with sadness we report the death on the 5th May of Ishbel Beatty, aged 96.
Ishbel lived at ‘The Palace’ in East Hatley for over 40 years until moving to Nottinghamshire with Simon Keith, her beloved partner, in late 2018.
She will be remembered by many in Hatley and Gamlingay as a poetess and historian – she was one of the original members of the Gamlingay & District History Society when it was founded in 1992, and its chairman for several years from 1995.
Ishbel did much meticulous historical research on the local area and several of her articles, originally published in the Gamlingay Gazette, can be found on this website together with some of her poems – type ‘Beatty’ into the search box at the top of the page.
She was by profession a psychiatric social worker – she touched with wisdom and tenderness the lives of many in this country and elsewhere. She was also a £10 ‘pom’ emigrant to Australia, but returned because she missed her English family.
Ishbel was loved and will be dearly missed by the Keith family, her sisters, nephews, nieces and many others whom she quietly supported.
Although born and brought up in London, she became a countrywoman. She loved the fields and woods of this part of Cambridgeshire. This love is recorded by her in very many poems, which will, in due course, be published. This was written in March 1997:
By Ishbel Beatty
Towards the rising sun I pace,
Light-dazzled, little can I see,
The level vale before me lies,
Mist-veils obscure both hedge and tree.
I turn right-shouldered to the sun
And colour leaps to stain the scene,
The light strikes pale from puddled rain,
Hedge-berries red and grasses green.
The path now hardens underfoot,
Red brick, white chalk, grey stone I tread,
Brown branches fringe the naked field,
Brown earth fills all the view ahead.
I turn again, and breast the rise,
The ditch beside runs straight and neat
The wind behind my back now drives
My steady pace and homeward feet.
This rhythm of my morning walk
Beats in my blood and stirs my mind;
The wind of inspiration breathes,
And leaves this trail of rhymes behind.
Her funeral is this Thursday, 25th May, at Memoria Barnby Moor Crematorium, Diggles Lodge, Ranby, Retford, DN22 8FL at 2.00pm. No flowers by request.
It will also be broadcast via a webcast:
- Username: wuba7326
- Password: 302200
Her ashes will be interred in St Denis’ churchyard in East Hatley at mid-day on 24th June, followed by a gathering in Hatley village hall – all are welcome.
Post created 23rd May 2023.