Tuesday, 21 April 2020

An Old Buckenham pinder

Jessie Allen
You may not remember Jessie’s name but if you attended a local fete or event in the area between 2005 and 2015 you will probably have bought some of Jessie’s delicious homemade jam, chutney, pies, cakes and sausage rolls. These were all made in her tiny kitchen in her cottage in Fen Street to raise funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance - she raised many thousands of pounds for the charity. 

Jessie moved to Old Buckenham in 1948, first lodging at a house on the Green before moving to Fen Street and buying her cottage in 1955. She had a variety of jobs over the years: she was a cook at Bloom’s restaurant on the Green, had a delivery round for the village shop, was one of the last “pinders” on the green looking after a green rights holder’s cattle. She was nanny to a local doctor’s family and was housekeeper at Besthorpe Hall for many years. She retired aged 74 and then started her fundraising work to keep herself busy.
She was a very shy person who did not enjoy large gatherings but if you called in to see her the coffee pot was always on and there would be a large slice of homemade cake. 

The photograph is Jessie on her way to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party. She didn’t see the need to buy an expensive hat for the occasion – this one came from a charity shop.
Jessie Allen died on 12 April, 2020 after being admitted to hospital after a fall in her care home. 
She was 88. She tested positive for Corona-virus, responded to treatment at first but suddenly went down hill and sadly passed away. 
Jessie was a very good friend and neighbour and will be sadly missed.

Annette and Steve Miller have their own memories:
We have fond memories of Jessie who was our neighbour in Fen Street for 18 years. She was never happier than when she was tending her garden or giving the fruit and flowers she had grown to anyone who passed. She certainly was a character and if ever there was a suspicious looking individual outside she would have pen and paper ready to take details and their car registration number - just in case! She loved her dogs and in the time we knew her she had Timothy, Toby and then Louie - they were all thoroughly spoilt.
Rest in peace Jessie you will be sadly missed.

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