I was very sad to hear that Connie Gorry had died this week, albeit at the grand age of 94 years. I liked Connie a lot she was fun to talk to and a mine of information about old Chitterne, which is not surprising given her own history.
She was born Constance Hilda Grant, a descendant of the John Grant, described as ‘a poor shepherd’ who first turned up in Chitterne about 1700, having been born in about 1660. This John Grant was Connie’s 6 x great grandfather, so her ancestors had lived in Chitterne for over 300 years.
Connie’s father was Ernest Frank Grant of Chitterne and her mother was Minnie Found. They married in Southampton in 1927, where Connie was born. Minnie died in 1933, and Connie remained in Southampton until the second World War when she came to live in Chitterne for safety, and stayed. She married Brian Gorry in 1952 and the couple lodged with the Poolmans at the Round House until 1954 when they moved into Robin’s Rest, 29 Chitterne. Connie spent over 60 years in Chitterne, finally selling 29 in 2015.
I always thought it was fitting that Connie lived in that particular house associated with shepherds in days gone by. Perhaps her own ancestor had lived there when large flocks of sheep were the mainstay of the rural economy; perhaps that’s why John Grant fetched up in Chitterne in the first place.