Godmanchester Cambridgeshire Community Association Online

David & Shona Comben

David, a former Parish Councillor, and his wife Shona died in a car accident in 2005. These two tributes are from former Earning Street residents where David and Shona lived with their family for many years. 

David helped to inspire and gave his services in the re-instatement of the large area of railings and three sets of gates to the large churchyard. This was a task in which his energy and vision greatly helped the Town Council who undertook the work (the railings had been removed during the war). David also designed and supervised the re-designing of the Garden of Rest at the London Road Cemetery and the memorial garden, formerly the Chapel Burial Ground in Cambridge Street. 

He landscaped with trees Buttermel Meadow off London Road. I remember with gratitude David and Shona's warm hospitality at 26 Earning Street - despite commuting to his London office five days a week - their frequent and most 

welcome suppers and David's willingness to meet with the Town Council sub-committees and working parties which met sometimes in his sitting room and at which he was always an active member. He also, until pressure of work caused him to retire, a committee member of the Civic Society. 

Rosemary Austen, friend and neighbour I first met Shona when she moved into the cottage opposite us. According to Shona I turned up at her gate dressed in shorts and Wellington boots conveying a wheelbarrow full of clean, wet washing - no explanation on my part - and welcomed her to the neighbourhood. Shona, fresh from the London scene, thought she had heard of the 'funny fens' and hey, there was an example living directly opposite; moreover a family who kept a goat as a family pet. In a very short space of time, Shona became not only my very dear friend but a confidante to my teenage daughters, mender of broken hearts, an absolute whiz at the crucial hair fixing whilst they consumed vast quantities of delicious home-made cakes, flapjacks, biscuits and cookies and downing many cups of tea over the kitchen table. 

My father became a frequent visitor to our house after the death of my mother and he, of course, fell in love with Shona. The fact that he was approaching 92 did not seem to him to be an insuperable problem and Shona would give up her precious day off to take him out for coffee. If she was away when he visited he would sulk all week! David and Shona also visited our house when my husband became ill and would give up their Saturday evening  to share a meal, drink and laughter, always laughter with us. Shona and I would walk our dogs every weekday morning at 7.15am regardless of weather and however dismal the day and however weary we were, I always ended up hooting with laughter. Laughing with Shona is and will be an enduring memory. I miss you Shona my witty, beautiful and sparkly friend.

Written by Tony Sursham, former Mayor of Godmanchester

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