by Maurice Harvey
The Amos I knew and admired had no relationship to our biblical prophet Amos. My Amos was a farmer who lived in Breedon. A character of great warmth, interest and respect.
He, his wife and family lived in property which is currently the office quarters of Ennstone Breedon. To accommodate the Limestone Company, Amos was offered Manor Farm to continue his farming business. He was very happy to oblige - a lovely big house, ample out buildings for stock and much more land to farm. The property left behind was then converted to the then headquarters of Breedon and Cloud Hill Lime Works.
Amos lived at Manor Farm with his wife Dorothy, "Doll", and their two sons, John and Alan. Also resident with them was Dorothy's mother, Mrs Forryan.
Mrs Forryan was a delightful lady of strong character. She dressed in long black drapes, was strict and a person of great individuality, forthright and matriarchal. Thus Amos was quite dominated by two very firm ladies. He was very happy though and there was mutual love and affection between them.
During the 1940s Amos was very kind to me and Alan, his younger son. Each Saturday evening, he would take us to see a film at either Melbourne, Long Eaton or Loughborough. This was a lovely treat, especially during the traumatic War Years. He also took us to the local fairs - Ashby Statutes, Melbourne Wakes, Loughborough Fair and Nottingham Goose Fair. On one occasion when we visited Long Eaton pictures, Alan and I each took a bag of peanuts in the shell. As we watched the films, we disposed of the shells by putting then into Amos's cap. When we left the cinema, Amos sprayed several rows of cinemagoers with peanut shells when putting on his cap. Oh dear, trouble! On another occasion at Loughborough Fair, Alan and I managed to escape from Amos for a while. We wanted to see the "Nude Lady" show! It was six old pence to be admitted. Whilst waiting in a queue outside of the tent, Amos came by and saw the two of us. "You young 'b*****s', get out of there". We never did see the nude lady.
Amos was so generous to Alan and I, and he and Dorothy took both of us to Blackpool, for a few days, to see the illuminations - recently renewed after the War Years. Apart from a few niceties, it cost me nothing. He allowed Alan and I so much license to roam Blackpool and we respected him for it.
Amos was once asked by his wife to sell raffle tickets, on behalf of "Dogs for the Blind", in local pubs, Amos would ask, "Who wants a ticket for a Blind Dog?" You can well imagine how much he was teased. No one wanted a blind dog!
On one occasion he asked the local vet to come along and inject his cows against aborting the unborn calf. Amos would hold each cow by the neck, whilst the Vet administered the serum. One cow, being rather upset and lively, suddenly moved wildly just as the vet applied the needle. Instead of going into the cow, the needle missed and went right into Amos' arm. Poor man, he had a swollen arm, in a sling, for weeks. When asked what was wrong, he naturally found it embarrassing to inform folk that he had been injected against abortion.
Amos loved cricket and he often played for the Breedon Saturday XI. He was one of the few players who possessed a car and was readily selected for away matches! I remember calling for him one Saturday. His mother-in-law, Mrs Forryan always used to prepare his cricket bag. Amos was always late getting ready! When I arrived, he appeared, wiping his face from shaving and asked, "Is my bag ready mother?" She replied, "Yes Amos, but I can only find one knee-pad". She was obviously not familiar with cricket boxes!
Amos was a lovely man who had a devoted family and many friends. He was a real gentleman of our community. Roland Coson and his wife Francis will no doubt remember him and "Doll" with much affection.
When first married, Margaret and I lived in the cottage adjoining Ennstone Breedon Offices. The field next door, where now Breedon School is situated, belonged to Amos. Since the land was designated for a new school building, Amos rarely used it and he allowed me to keep hens on the field. He never charged me rent and was of considerable help in enabling me to make a fortune from selling eggs. I do tell lies!
When Amos and his family retired and moved away, it was a sad loss to Breedon and the Parish. Both he and Dorothy are buried on Breedon Hill. In a sense, we still have them with us.