Lady Henry Somerset was the main landowner here in Reigate in 1895. She also owned Eastnor Castle in Ledbury, Herefordshire, from where she wrote the following letter that has just turned up. It was the occasion of the retirement of the Pastor of the old Congregational Church in the High Street - ah, those were the days. Nowadays it's a Marks and Spencer's.
"It would be impossible for any inhabitant of Reigate to fail to appreciate the services of Mr Adeney - his venerable presence and his uplifting influence have made their mark on the town, and I am glad to think that many will assemble to tell him all the glad things that are in their hearts. It is well when we are ready to speak words of cheer to the ears that are still quick to listen, and to grasp living hands with warm congratulation while yet the heart is able to respond, instead of waiting to lay our tribute on cold stone, and when the soul has gone beyond the power of earthly voices.
"For this reason I hope I may add my word of hearty appreciation for the life and services of your revered Pastor."
Isabel Somerset, 16/9/95.
It is nice to see a letter of appreciation. Many thanks to Mr David Blunkett for sending one on the occasion of my own retirement a century later.