Two more people who have influenced me

Two more people who have influenced me

On May 23 2021, I blogged on “Eight people who have influenced me”, thinking one day should I get to update my story told in “Outside the Camp”, I would include this, and now it occurs to me that not only do I like round numbers (in this case ten) but there are others worthy of mention. I decided, two qualifications needed that will rule out some, are: firstly, they must be dead; secondly, I had to have known them personally. Two chalk and cheese names that came to mind were Violet Nimmo and Leonard Ladd. Both influenced me in their different, yet positive, ways and have inspired me to do likewise with those I am able to influence.

Violet Nimmo was my godmother. She got the job because she was my mother’s best friend, from childhood until her death. Their friendship was cemented in war time when one of her jobs was operating searchlights for spotting enemy planes coming over to bomb London – an experience that led her never to fly. As a godmother, she ticked most of the boxes, except notably the faith one. But she always was a positive presence for much of her life. We called her Aunty Violet (the only person to qualify who was not blood related), although for some strange reason most people (but not mum) called her Pat. She lived in London, later to move to Kent; we lived in Southend. We looked forward to her visits as children, invariably bearing gifts. Not only was she generous but she was non judgmental, kind and unshockable, with an infectious laugh. She had a can do approach to life (she tackled DIY jobs into her 80’s).

Leonard Ladd was a leading light in and grandson of the founder of the church I was principally associated with for much of my life. My church was strong on sound doctrine and the outward signs of holy living, with an antipathy to what they saw as worldliness, and Mr. Ladd was no exception. But I found as a teenager, when getting involved in the church, it tended toward stuffiness and an obvious disapproval of those who did not share these priorities. This was not the case with Mr Ladd, whose approach to raw with rough edges but potential youngsters like me (and people generally) was winsome, gentle, and gracious, who often made a beeline to give a timely word of encouragement. I should add, he was no mean Bible teacher, whose teaching, e.g. on the Song of Solomon, influences me still.

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