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Leicestershire LE19 4NJ
In loving memory of Hazel Anne Edwards who passed away on 15th May 2016, aged 32 years.
Hazel was born on a cold January afternoon in 1984, in the maternity ward of Leicester Royal Infirmary. She was the most beautiful baby who rarely cried, smiled readily and for her first year at our home in Fleckney, she sang to us, (her mum and dad), from her cot. Aged 2 we moved to Broughton Astley, across the road from Sally and Kate, who became her best friends and partners in crime. Hazel and Sally being the same age, attended Narborough Nursery School – which they loved and due in no small way to Mrs Rose.
Hazel then moved on to Old Mill Primary, then Hallbrook Primary, followed by Thomas Estley and John Cleveland College. Hazel always loved school and parents’ evenings were always a joy. She participated in everything – including playing the Flute in the Brass Band.
Animals were always a passion – she had “My Little Ponies”, Sylvanian Families and her own hamster called Toffee. When she was five, she started riding at Leire Equestrian Centre – the nearest riding school to us – and owned (although we had no idea), by the late Ken Clawson, who trained the British Olympic Team. Every year when asked what she wanted for birthdays or Christmas the answer was always the same: “I want a pony”.
When Hazel was 5 she was joined by a little brother Robert, she became like a second mum to him and they have always been close.
When Hazel was 11 we all moved to Peckleton – a place where as a family, we have very fond memories. This particular year, Hazel had received grooming kit for Christmas, mainly for use at Leire Riding School - where she spent every spare moment – accompanied by her partners in crime – Sally and Kate. We remember regularly picking her up as the sun went down, finding her sitting on a hay bale with a kitten on her knee – or berating “Henry” for not standing still. (Henry was a white pony with a very cheeky character – a favourite of Hazel’s).
In Peckleton there was a field of donkeys – a magnet for Hazel who used to climb on the gate and stroke them. One day, she plucked up courage to approach the lady – Celia Graff-Baker - who owned the donkeys to see if she could groom them. Celia agreed, so Hazel spent many a happy hour with (if I remember their names): Jacob, Anna, Dorcas – and others.
Eventually, when we felt she was old enough, she acquired her first horse – “Lady Cover Girl” – or Betty as we all called her. Every morning, snow, rain, hail, fog – or occasionally shine – Hazel would take care of her beloved Betty. This included poo picking the field and hauling great bales of hay, grooming a walloping great horse and then hacking out around the beautiful village of Peckleton. It also involved her father in towing a horse box backwards and forwards to shows – and when she left for University, backwards and forwards between Leicester and Aberystwyth.
As you might expect, Hazel studied Animal Science – and we heard great tales of her sawing off cow’s horns and spending all night in the lambing shed.
After University she went to work for British Gas – a job she enjoyed immensely – and we take our hats off to them – they have been very supportive throughout Hazel’s illness.
Sadly, in April 2014 Hazel was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme, the worst kind of brain tumour. Throughout the treatments and therapies Hazel never complained, never felt sorry for herself and conducted herself with great dignity. This tumour took everything from her – and then took her away from us. We were all at her bedside when she passed away gently.