Kay Clay

One Year On


1 March 2008



Dear Friend of Kay,

A year after our mother, Kay Clay, died (on 27 February 2007), at the fine age of 93, we would like to thank you again for the sympathy you expressed at the time, and let you know about some developments since then.

Many of you attended Kay’s funeral at the City of London Cemetery on 16 March. We waited until the end of July, when several absent family members could attend, to scatter her ashes: we did this at Buscot Weir on the Thames (on a beautiful sunny day a week after the floods). We chose the Thames because Richard’s ashes had been scattered on the same river, downstream in London near Tower Bridge.

With good advice from Liz and Jeff Negus, most of Kay’s collection of post-war Italian novels went to Girton College library. Girton also took Kay’s correspondence with the Italian writer Elio Vittorini, and copies of an essay and short stories which she wrote in Sicily after the war. The college’s Annual Review 2007 has published Kay’s obituary.

Some interesting volumes in Arabic including an old edition of the Koran were given to the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. June Farrel took a number of Italian books for use in the U3A class which she teaches. Many more Italian and French books went to Chipping Norton (secondary) School and the Oxford University Extramural Department.

Those of you who visited 38, Regent Square will remember the paintings by Joseph Crawhall which came from Richard’s family. Two of these, closely connected with Richard’s mother, have been kept: the others have been donated to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne.

We have with regret said a final good bye to No. 38, and to the community there with whom Kay and Richard shared their later lives for so long.

with our very best wishes to you all

Rob Gittings,  Penrose, Exton, Exeter, EX3 0PN

John Gittings, The Gatehouse, Shipton Court, Shipton-u-Wychwood, Oxon, OX7 6DG