Marjorie, 102, proves age no object with bumper sales of her book on Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 19:18 13 August 2016

Marjorie Hodnett from Abbeyfield Court with her book of poems, 'A sideways Glance at Life Around Sidmouth'. Ref shs 32-16AW 7549. Picture: Alex Walton.

Marjorie Hodnett from Abbeyfield Court with her book of poems, 'A sideways Glance at Life Around Sidmouth'. Ref shs 32-16AW 7549. Picture: Alex Walton.

Alex Walton

Eldest resident at Abbeyfield Court is raising money to transform the garden she loves

Marjorie Hodnett from Abbeyfield Court with her book of poems, 'A sideways Glance at Life Around Sidmouth'. Ref shs 32-16AW 7553. Picture: Alex Walton.Marjorie Hodnett from Abbeyfield Court with her book of poems, 'A sideways Glance at Life Around Sidmouth'. Ref shs 32-16AW 7553. Picture: Alex Walton.

A perceptive 102-year-old Sidmouth poet has used her way with words to reach a wide audience – and raised £895 to transform the garden she loves.

Marjorie Hodnett is not only the eldest resident at Abbeyfield Court, but also a commentator with entrepreneurial nous who seized the opportunity during FolkWeek to sell her newly-printed book to festival-goers.

A Sideways Glance at Life around Sidmouth is a collection of poems penned by Marjorie. The proceeds from the 200 copies sold so far will go towards restoring the garden in front of her Station Road sheltered accommodation.

The former teacher moved to Sidbury in 1956 and worked at All Saint’s Primary School, but it was when she joined the Women’s Institute that she began to write poetry – seeking inspiration from people and places around her.

Marjorie said: “I came [to Abbeyfield Court] nine years ago and found I had time to do things. Looking out of my window, I can see the beach and Jacob’s Ladder and the croquet lawns, so often I find myself versifying on the things I see. Inspiration can come from anything.

“I even wrote a poem in one day because one of the festival-goers gave me a subject and challenged me to write a poem.

“I paid to have this book published at Sidmouth Print, who were very helpful. I want to use the proceeds to sort out the front garden, which was once very nice. It must be looked at by more people than any other garden in Sidmouth. I’m very pleased with how well they have done, because I don’t think much of them myself, but everyone said I should get a book printed.”

Alan Darrant, chairman of Abbeyfield Court house committee, said: “It’s a wonderful book and it’s not just poetry - it shows what a great observer she is of things around her. It’s a book about observation and perception and people.”

A Sideways Glance at Life around Sidmouth is available to buy from Sidmouth Museum and Abbeyfield Court reception for £5.

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