This is how many of us in the Gravesend RSPB Local Group remember Cynthia – out birding with her husband Geoff. On this occasion the group had travelled to Ashdown Forest where, as always, Cynthia delighted in seeing the birds and other wildlife. It is with sadness that I have to report that Cynthia died on the 5th April. She died peacefully in her sleep aged 96. Her funeral will take place on the 26th April at Tunbridge Wells.
Cynthia was a founding member of our group. For many years she was the friendly, welcoming face at all of our indoor meetings – as she happily took the admission fee off you as soon as you walked in! Along with Geoff (Group treasurer), their friends David Arnold (Group leader) and his wife, Rosemary (Sales Secretary) and others, she formed part of the foundation of the group. Together they organised field trips, meetings, visits to schools, stalls at village fetes and much more. Most of what the Gravesend Group does today started then. Cynthia should be remembered for the part she played in the promotion of bird conservation and the work of the RSPB.
Cynthia loved being out in the countryside. She and Geoff travelled widely to enjoy watching birds. She was always a great companion to be with out birdwatching. She kept her own bird list and I enjoyed watching the gentle rivalry between her and Geoff as to which of them could see the most birds. I am sure that those who went out with Cynthia will have their own special memories of her. For me, it was a birdwatching trip to Shellness on Sheppey. In winter the site is known for its large roost of waders. Thousands of oystercatchers, godwits, dunlin, knot and other species gather there at high tide. As usual, the conversation turned to how to pick out and identify the knot. Always a challenge. Several of us threw in our thoughts. Then Geoff said ” It’s easy. The knot are the dumpy birds with short, little legs – like Cynthia”. I am not sure what Cynthia said when she got Geoff back home! But since then, whenever I see a knot, I always, always, think of Cynthia – which is nice.
If you wish to attend the funeral please contact Sally or myself, or any of the committee members for more information.