A Small Tribute To Ernest
by Maurice Harvey
On Advent Sunday, at Breedon Priory Church, a stone replica of the "Breedon Angel" was unveiled and dedicated to the memory of Ernest Hodgson.
Ernest was a much-devoted member of the church and he served the Breedon parish in a variety of offices. He was a churchwarden and for many years, the Treasurer responsible for the fabric of the church. In his last few years, he gave much of his time to conducting visitors around the church and telling its history. He also wrote many articles regarding its restoration and he kept a written diary of the many changes that he had experienced through his long association with Breedon Church.
He was a great benefactor also, and when he died it was revealed in his will that many thousands of pounds had been left towards the continual restoration of Breedon Church.
Ernest was a kindly man, quiet and unassuming. In his latter years he lived with his wife, Hilda, at Holly Cottage. Prior to that he had been the landlord of the "Holly Bush" public house and this he had combined with his life's work as a Railway Clerk and Station Master. He was indeed Station Master at Breedon, combined with Tonge and Worthington, and also at Castle Donington. He could recount endless stories of "trouble on't line" and engines.
His great hobby at home was repairing clocks and watches. Indeed he was most skilful in this respect. He had lathes and up to date equipment for the work. Many local folk were grateful for his skills and he would repair articles at reasonable cost.
Ernest enjoyed the simple things in life. He loved his garden and was particularly proud of his peach tree. "Do you know, I had 120 peaches from that tree last year".
He grew fruit and vegetables and gave much of the produce away - particularly to widows and the less fortunate.
Ernest and Hilda were not blessed with children and this was a great disappointment to them both, I suppose, to some extent that is why he devoted his life to the service of others.
He devotedly looked after Hilda until he himself had to be admitted to a nursing home. I was privileged to act for him and Hilda by being given "Power of Attorney". I miss him greatly.
We spend many happy hours together over a "Wee dropee" and my own life has been much enriched by his lovely friendship.