/ Patricia Catchpole 'Catchy'

ID: CHY_101 / Cynthia Mottershaw / Jill Keene
TitlePatricia Catchpole 'Catchy'
AbstractMiss Patricia Catchpole by Cynthia Mottershaw

Affectionately known to all on the Island as 'Catchy', she was the daughter of a Suffolk farmer who also bred Suffolk horses. Born in Darsham, Suffolk, Catchy moved to West Mersea in 1932.

Her first love was always horses, and 1949-1972, she ran a very successful riding school. Catchy taught hundreds of children and adults to ride and many of her pupils went on to make careers with horses. As a Pony Club instructor and local judge, she was always ready and willing to share her great knowledge and experience with others.

Catchy was also involved with many local societies including the Friends of Mersea, St. John Ambulance, PAT [ ProActive Therapy ] Dog Visiting Scheme and the Dramatic Club. She also tended the flower beds at East Mersea Church where she was a deputy Church Warden.

With Lisa, a stray dog from Battersea Dogs' Home, Catchy won a number of awards for obedience training throughout Essex and Suffolk.

Catchy loved simple things in life and I think she was at her happiest just walking her jogs round Cudmore Grove, watching the bird life around her.

She will be sadly missed by her many friends, and the Island community has suffered a sad loss.
Cynthia Mottershaw.


Remembering "Catchy" by Jill Keene

My earliest memories of Catchy are when, as a child, I heard the story of how she saved my brother's pony from certain pneumonia! The pony had managed to buck Barry off, and would not be caught in any circumstances. It was winter, with, ice, snow and bitter winds, and the pony was running loose in a field by the sea wall. Having tried buckets of feed and apples to no avail, it was decided to send for Catchy... the pony was still wearing his flapping saddle and bridle.

Catchy soon arrived with the answer - one of her prettiest mares! Very soon Catchy had him safely back in his stable, and said that the saddle had helped to ward off pneumonia.

Catchy would never be beaten. She said, "If you say you can't, you won't - say you can, and you will", and "Throw your heart over the jump first -you'll follow". How often I have heard these' ... and how true they were!

I can recall many happy days spent at her riding stables - first as a pupil, and then as a pony owner when she turned to livery in the seventies. Catchy had never-ending enthusiasm for her job, and really inspired us young ones to work well for her in our weekends.

Often, I'm sure, we drove her mad, especially when caught using her beautiful, expensive haystack as an 'assault course' - and we were heartily told off for it! Now, I can understand just how she felt, and I am much stricter with my helpers! We used to start work at 7.15 and leave about 4 pm. - filthy, exhausted, but happy. For this we earned a much-prized extra lesson later in the week.

Catchy also had incredible energy; rarely ill, she was first at work in the morning, and was often there doing the late feed as well.

On leaving school I went as a working pupil at the stables - £5 a week plus lessons - and I was over the moon. It was very tiring at first, and a day-off was treasured.

One day Catchy was carted off to sea on a very strong young horse ... she took it all in her stride, although she could not swim!

Leading such a hectic life, and also having her mother and her elderly companion to care for, Catchy was the first to admit that she was forgetful. The funniest incident was when she turned up at a hunt meeting with a horse box full of horses and ponies. She safely mounted all her pupils and then found that she had left her own horse behind. The horse was most upset as she was all tacked up and still in her stable at home!

Countless people owe Catchy so much for starting them in their careers, and giving them the know-how to get so much pleasure from their horses and riding. I, for one, am greatly indebted.

(Jill Keene, B.H.S.A.I [British Horse Society Assistant Instructor] must be one of many hundreds who are indebted to Catchy.)


Patricia came to Mersea when she was 11 - she was born in 1921 and brought up in Suffolk - the daughter of Raymond and Phyllis Catchpole, farmers at Darsham Hall. She had an older brother Stewart and a younger brother Kenneth who died young. Her father Raymond and his brother were enthusiastic breeders of Suffolk Punch horse and this gave Catchy her grounding in horses.

With the depression, the farm all had to be sold and the family moved to Mersea, to 'Mondamin' on East Road. Nurse Gladys 'Nan' Peaceful joined them and was to remain with the family. Patricia became maid of all trades at the local private school, either known as the Tin Lizzie or St. Michael's. Miss Francis was the Headmistress. For 10 shillings a week, she would teach, sweep up, cut the grass etc. Patricia was a pupil teacher during the War (which was a reserved occupation).

She met Mr Neil and they started a Riding School at Garden Farm. This did not work long, but Patricia moved on to stables in the Hall Barn - until it became a Country Club. As compensation, Bert Carter put up a building for her, which became the East Road Riding School. Patricia retired in January 1983 and died in 1989.

St. Michael's School, Melrose Road c1936.
Patricia is a pupil at this time - back row, centre of the picture. The school was run by Miss Francis, who is on the right.

Patricia Catchpole on Patsy at Garden Farm c1946

Hall Barn Riding Stables

Mondamin on East Road, West Mersea with the stables next door. View looking northeast

Patricia Catchpole's stables on East Road, West Mersea c1960

More
Catchy talking to Dennis Chatters in 1984 (Audio)

Last Sunday at Riding Stables (Video - no sound)

More Patricia Catchpole images

Thanks to
Mary Felgate
Mary Sparks
Anne Watson
Carol Wyatt

AuthorCynthia Mottershaw / Jill Keene
SourceMersea Museum
IDCHY_101
Related Images:
 Patricia Catchpole's stables on East Road, West Mersea  AWA_019
ImageID:   AWA_019
Title: Patricia Catchpole's stables on East Road, West Mersea
Date:c1960
Source:Mersea Museum / Anne Watson
 Catchy - Patricia Catchpole

</p>  CHY_011
ImageID:   CHY_011
Title: "Catchy" - Patricia Catchpole

Source:Mersea Museum
 Raymond Jones Catchpole. Born October 1886 to William John Catchpole 1848-1920 and Emily Jones 1852-1933. The badge he is wearing is the Royal Army Medical Corps.
 25 Nov 1914 to be Second Lieutenant, 6th (Cyclist) Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment.
 15 April 1915 temporary Lieutenant, Suffolk Regiment.
 Sep 1916 Raymond married Phyllis M. Evans 1893-1980. They had 3 children - Stewart 1918-1994, Patricia 1921-1989 and Kenneth R. 1926-1929.
 1933 Raymond was a farmer in Suffolk
 1936 Raymond and Phyllis living at Mondamin, East Road, West Mersea.
 31 August 1939, Captain - draft conducting duty.
 Raymond died at West Mersea 1 February 1955. He was found shot dead behind the doctor's surgery in Melrose Road. He had taken his own life.
</p><p>Photo by Adolphus Tear, Ipswich - in 2016 this was found in the loft of Mondamin in East Road by the present owner. The Catchpoles had owned Mondamin for many years.  CHY_RJC_001
ImageID:   CHY_RJC_001
Title: Raymond Jones Catchpole. Born October 1886 to William John Catchpole 1848-1920 and Emily Jones 1852-1933. The badge he is wearing is the Royal Army Medical Corps.
25 Nov 1914 to be Second Lieutenant, 6th (Cyclist) Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment.
15 April 1915 temporary Lieutenant, Suffolk Regiment.
Sep 1916 Raymond married Phyllis M. Evans 1893-1980. They had 3 children - Stewart 1918-1994, Patricia 1921-1989 and Kenneth R. 1926-1929.
1933 Raymond was a farmer in Suffolk
1936 Raymond and Phyllis living at Mondamin, East Road, West Mersea.
31 August 1939, Captain - draft conducting duty.
Raymond died at West Mersea 1 February 1955. He was found shot dead behind the doctor's surgery in Melrose Road. He had taken his own life.

Photo by Adolphus Tear, Ipswich - in 2016 this was found in the loft of Mondamin in East Road by the present owner. The Catchpoles had owned Mondamin for many years.

Date:c1914
Source:Mersea Museum / Jane Morgan
 Catchy - Patricia Catchpole - pupil teacher at the Tin Lizzie School, with pupils.  CHY_SCH_001
ImageID:   CHY_SCH_001
Title: Catchy - Patricia Catchpole - pupil teacher at the Tin Lizzie School, with pupils.
Date:c1939
Source:Mersea Museum / Mary Sparks
 Pat Catchpole, Hall Barn Riding Stables.  CW2_STA_005
ImageID:   CW2_STA_005
Title: Pat Catchpole, Hall Barn Riding Stables.
Source:Mersea Museum / Carol Wyatt Collection
 Patricia Catchpole's Riding School on West Mersea beach.
</p><p>A similar picture appeared in Essex County Standard:
 A picturesque part of the West Mersea scene since 1948 has been the string of horses from Miss Patricia Catchpole's riding school seen here cantering along the beach. From a modest start with two ponies bought for £50 the school now has 22 horses and caters for over 400 pupils a year. Although the popularity of riding is growing rapidly, costs are also going up steeply an in Miss Catchpole's experience are now over four times what they were when she started. A sign of affluence is that the young pupils now come from very type of background.
</p><p>
Anne Watson says: Riding next to Catchy who is on Russet is Beverley Ransome on Helga, which belonged to Mary Jones, Firs Road. Maddy Candy on Flicka, then right to left, Simon Moore Brown on Jester, Seaview Ave, Lofty but not sure of rider, Michele Burton on Micky. 
 
Flicka went on to spend her later years with Louis Dawson, East Mersea Road and lived to a great age. Beverley and Maddy came every week during the summer months, I think their parents had caravans somewhere.  PC02_020_007
ImageID:   PC02_020_007
Title: Patricia Catchpole's Riding School on West Mersea beach.

A similar picture appeared in Essex County Standard:
"A picturesque part of the West Mersea scene since 1948 has been the string of horses from Miss Patricia Catchpole's riding school seen here cantering along the beach. From a modest start with two ponies bought for £50 the school now has 22 horses and caters for over 400 pupils a year. Although the popularity of riding is growing rapidly, costs are also going up steeply an in Miss Catchpole's experience are now over four times what they were when she started. A sign of affluence is that the young pupils now come from very type of background.

Anne Watson says: "Riding next to Catchy who is on Russet is Beverley Ransome on Helga, which belonged to Mary Jones, Firs Road. Maddy Candy on Flicka, then right to left, Simon Moore Brown on Jester, Seaview Ave, Lofty but not sure of rider, Michele Burton on Micky.
Flicka went on to spend her later years with Louis Dawson, East Mersea Road and lived to a great age. Beverley and Maddy came every week during the summer months, I think their parents had caravans somewhere.

Date:cSeptember 1967
Source:Mersea Museum / Patricia Catchpole
 Patricia Catchpole on Patsy at Garden Farm, with the barn in the background
 The Riding School was at Garden Farm in its early days, when Ronald and Sheila Harrison lived there.  PC07_025
ImageID:   PC07_025
Title: Patricia Catchpole on Patsy at Garden Farm, with the barn in the background
The Riding School was at Garden Farm in its early days, when Ronald and Sheila Harrison lived there.
Date:c1946
Source:Mersea Museum / Patricia Catchpole