Cherry Rising has lived in Thurlow most of her life after arriving here from New Zealand as a young child. In the 1920s her father Charles Rutter bought the bakery (now May Cottage). All the water for the bakery had to be fetched from the village pump (nearly opposite The Cock). Cherry loved helping decorate the Christmas cakes wedding cakes were also made, and on Good Friday a hot cross bun was nailed up on a beam and showed no sign of mould a year later.
When Charles retired the bakery was bought by Mr. Cooper who later transferred his business across the road into the chapel which he had converted into a bakery (which is now Homeview).
Cherry remembers sitting in the balcony for services at the chapel. She was a member of Lt. Thurlow church choir (and still is), played the organ occasionally and for many years played the harmonium at Lt. Bradley church. In Cherry’s younger days Thurlow had a thriving choral society, winning many cups and certificates at the Clare Music Festival. They also had a tennis club which Cherry belonged to and played matches against local villages. The court was behind Hill House, Gt. Thurlow which was later converted into allotments.
Cherry also remembers visiting Alf Rowling, the shoe-maker and mender, whose workshop was beside what is now Larkspur Cottage. Sitting amongst a pile of old boots, his mouth holding the nails, Alf would entertain Cherry with his stories. Cherry remembers dances and concerts held in Mungo Lodge, herself performing as the soloist on one occasion. Mungo Lodge, owned by Mrs. Pemberton Barnes, had a hall on the site of Mill Cottage garden. Its sign was made of lemonade bottle-tops. War time memories include serving tea cakes from the bakery to the members of the London Irish Rifles who were stationed at Mungo Lodge. Her father Charles Rutter did duty as a special constable. She also recalls spending time in the cellar at Red House Gt. Thurlow with neighbours when air raids threatened, and the dug-out which was used just once before it collapsed.
Cherry spends most of her leisure time in her garden, does voluntary work at the Heart Foundation Shop in Haverhill, reads and does crossword puzzles. She is a founder member of Thurlow W.I., a flower arranger, and she still enjoys singing in the church as part of the Village Voices choir.
Cherry regrets there are no specific places for retired people to live and that all the tradesmen have gone from the village; but she loves the surrounding countryside and friendliness of neighbours. She is not keen on hunting, however.