PEOPLE

Cathy Anholt

‘I have an unusual, and possibly rather annoying gift known as ‘total recall’. This means that I can remember virtually every detail of my life, beginning with a vivid recollection of being swaddled in a tight blanket in my pram. The pram was parked under an apple tree in the garden of our family cottage, where I was born in 1958, the third of eight siblings in an Irish Catholic family. If this all sounds a bit ‘Cider with Rosie’, that’s because we lived just a few miles from Laurie Lee’s ...

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Philip Browne

‘I grew up in Sligo in the west of Ireland, the eldest of three children, two boys and a girl. I was one of a small percentage of Protestants in the town where my Dad was the Church of Ireland clergyman. Sligo is about the same size as Dorchester. We lived in a big eighteenth-century rectory, which had nearly three acres of garden. It was huge and surrounded by a ten-foot wall. As the only Protestant kid in that part of town and living behind these huge walls it was ...

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Anna Ledgard

‘I grew up in Yorkshire where my father was a vicar in a small market town. Vicarage children learn early on that you share your parents, they are not your own because your house is open to everybody day and night. I particularly loved the monthly visits of 12 local clergy, all dressed in long black cassocks, who would come to cooked breakfast before morning communion. Another abiding memory was playing with friends from primary school in the graveyard, we’d bring the dead alive making up their life stories, taking ...

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Paddy Magrane

‘Until I moved to East Devon with my wife and two daughters in 2006, I’d been a bit of a wanderer. I think this restless nature stemmed from being an army child. I was born in 1968 in Bahrain, and moved every two years from then on. We lived in Germany, Northern Ireland, London and Yorkshire, where I went to school. It’s fair to say my A Levels didn’t go quite to plan and, as a result, the university course in history that I’d applied for fell through. As luck would ...

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Alex Beer

‘From quite a young age, and throughout growing up, my Mum has always been a big influence on my view of life, particularly with regard to health and nutrition. I suffered badly from eczema as a child, and Mum would take me to a masseuse for treatment with all sorts of lotions and potions, so from the age of 6 I was introduced to the world of alternative and holistic treatments. I loved it, and more to the point, it worked. Ours was a slightly mad household, with 4 young children. ...

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