Those Memories Made on Teardrop Lake – (39) New Blood (Part 01)
Shallowfield’s fortunes had always relied largely upon forestry and agriculture for its survival.
In the post war years with rationing and a shortage of work a lot of people moved away from the area and it only just survived.
And the community around Teardrop Lake faired even worse.
Only a few of the houses around the Lake were thriving, a lot of the houses had been rented out and those that hadn’t were in a poor state of repair, some too such an extent they were little more than ruins.
But by the 70s however things were beginning to change, thanks mainly to tourism as a result of an increase in leisure time.
This trend was reflected by the fact that the previously derelict Shallowfield Lodge, which had been inherited by a young couple from Lincolnshire, Rob and Sheryl Brown, was being turned into a Hotel.
It was 1972 when newlyweds Rob and Sheryl Brown inherited Shallowfield Lodge.
It was in a terribly dilapidated state, there was barely a window that wasn’t smashed, the roof was unsound and there was almost as much flora inside the building as there was outside of it.
But with their joint savings and a sizable bank loan underwritten by their parents they managed to renovate the building and on May 8th 1974 the Shallowfield Lodge Hotel opened for business.
They immediately became part of the community and their kind affability won them a lot of friends.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Brown’s single handedly put Teardrop back on the map.
Many a visitor to the Lodge, because of the friendly treatments by Rob and Sheryl, returned time and time again.
The September of 1974 was the first of the annual wedding Anniversary Party’s to which everyone on the lake was invited and that no one wanted to miss.
The only thing missing from their lives were children but they were not blessed in that way but in every other way than that they were blissfully happy.
Then on the morning of the 8th of January, after 43 years on the Lake and 41 as the friendly face of the Lodge Sheryl Brown suffered a massive heart attack and died in her room at the place where she had been so happy.
Even her final act was done in such a way as not to upset the guests.
Friends immediately rallied around Rob, Penny Pellegrino and India Spreadborough who had both worked for the Brown’s since before they were married stepped in to run things as Rob was unable to function such was his totally devastation at losing his wife, friend and soul mate.
The funeral was arranged for January 10th and friends and family came from far and wide.
The vast number of well-wishers bore testament to her popularity and the level of love people had for her.
Among the family in attendance were Ben and Dorcas Overton who were distant cousins.
Though not strangers, they were distant only in the genealogy sense, Sheryl Brown nee Cush was Ben’s Mum, Eleanor’s, first Cousin.
But though distant in genealogy terms they were very close in actuality.
Ben and his siblings had spent many summer holidays with the Brown’s.
Surrogate children in a sense but both parties loved it.
And there were many other Cush’s and Overton’s among the mourners.
But only Ben and Dorcas stayed on beyond the funeral.
Ben was 33 and Dorcas was 3 years younger, they had been married for four years.
They fell in love at first sight, well almost at first sight.
Because the first time they laid eyes on each it was through a car windscreen of the car Dorcas was driving that had almost run him down.
Ben was on his way to Church where he was to be a Godparent to his sister Helens child, he was daydreaming as he did so and as he quickly crossed Church Lane he was brought rudely to his senses by the blast of a car horn.
He jumped out of the way and reached the safety of the footpath and was braced to launch a tirade of abuse in the direction of the impatient shit on the other end of the car horn, but when he turned to look at his assailant he was greeted by a beautiful smiling brunette, who mouthed the word “sorry” which completely disarmed him.