Carriage Driving For Disabled Adults In Dorset

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Margaret Anne Newell 1931 - 2007

I first got to know Margaret not too many years ago of her 75 years spent on this earth, while acting as the charity representative for the Household Cavalry Association Dorset. After I retired I visited the centre to make a wish list of items that the association could purchase for the group, I then said, I would like to help short term while Margaret went in hospital for a heart problem and I am still there. I was on probation with Margaret at that time, and still was until the end. We didn’t see eye to eye all of the time but formed a team that stood the test. We produced the horses as required for the work that they had to do with the disabled drivers and riders, when I worked for the cavalry money wasn’t as important as it was at Ash Tree Stables the charity. I soon learned how to save money.

I quickly learned that if it meant saving bedding, you mucked out by hand, with the gloves provided, woe betide you if an unnecessary scrap went out. It was pointed out that Aubious, the bedding material, was £7 a bag - not to be wasted. Every string on the bales of hay had to then and still do, have to be cut close to the knot; this is so you get the maximum length of twine so you can recycle it. It is used for many things. There is a piece in all the carriage spares kits, it is made into loops to tie the horses to, all the hay nets are home produced using baler twine nothing was ever wasted. This skill was taught us by Margaret; Denise and Alex carry it on.

Margaret had the vision of the stable yard as we know it today. John being a builder was able to create it for her; a lot of the materials were given and scrounged, volunteers provided the labour. John was a wonderful partner for Margaret, devoted and loving. As a couple they cared about people, caring and helping many with house and pet sitting while they were away from home. In our latest News Letter I described Margaret as follows; A crusty old horsewoman with a heart of gold, There is the right way, the wrong way, and Margaret’s way and as long as you did it Margaret’s way it was fine, you could say that was because it was the right way.

Remember Margaret, straight, brusk, tough, but kind and caring; a lady with two sides. Margaret and John were not financially rich, but whatever they have they are willing to share, this was shown as recently as Christmas, when they shared their hospitality with someone living on their own. Margaret we will all miss you. With your religious belief; I was always told if you need anything at Ash Tree Stables God will provide it, the gate will open and there it will be, if Margaret gets a place on the right committee in heaven this will be better than ever. I imagine you will be the brightest star in the night sky. Perhaps it was Margaret arriving that caused the eclipse of the moon I watched on the 3rd of March! We promised Margaret three things in Poole Hospital, to look after John, feed the birds and to continue to run the group to the standard she had set. We pledge to do our best, to do that now.

Posted by Wally Pitt (EHDC Group Organiser)


  • I am John Cother's sister, and was fortunate to visit the stables recently, while on vacation in the UK.
    What a wonderful program, I loved the horses and dedication from the workers.
    Marmite is a real character, worth visiting just to meet him.
    Praying that you can continue to keep up the good work
    Bonny Cother

    By Anonymous bonny cother, At 2:43 pm  

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