OVER 320 townsfolk gathered at Pershore Abbey last Monday, 20th March to farewell former midwife Myfanwy 'Myfi' Weaving who died last month at the age of 78. Mrs Weaving, a resident of Roland Rutter Court, Newlands, came to Pershore with her family in 1984 from her native Wales.

She was a much-loved, benevolent figure among the community and local families particularly, thanks to her delivering thousands of the town's babies until her retirement in 1994.

Working for Pershore Surgery under the leadership of brothers Dr David Wilson and the late Dr Marshall Wilson, the congregation at the abbey heard Myfanwy described as a “good soul” by Dr David and as “being very motherly and loved by her patients” by former colleague, retired midwife Mary Darby.

She was particularly remembered for her use of the traditional remedy of frozen cabbage leaves to help alleviate the engorged and sore breasts of new mothers.

Laughter was heard among the pews when former Eckington resident Sonya Brotchie, now of Queensland, Australia was quoted as saying that Myfanwy was “wonderfully caring and experienced. I was so grateful to her for cabbage leaves, but when they warmed up they did smell something awful!”

In later life, Myfanwy swapped her nurse's blues for the uniform and guise of one of Pershore's many hard-working volunteers, rolling up her sleeves to help at the many local charitable organisations, including Pershore Abbey, St Andrew's Centre, Pershore Volunteer Centre and the Royal British Legion.

As a valued member of the volunteer catering team of Pershore Abbey and St Andrew's, Myfanwy would supply endless amounts of tea and Bara Brith cake to visitors attending the town's annual events such as the Plum Fayre and Carnival.

Indeed, she gave out her homemade Welsh spiced cake to all those she wished to thank and remember – even taking it as a gift to the staff who helped her at her local bank branch on Pershore High Street.

As the daughter of a Welsh non-conformist minister of the remote Carmarthenshire village of Llansadwrn, she lived by a strong sense of selfless service.

Brought up with a large dose of self-reliance and respect for others, as a child she was given the responsibility of looking after the family hen house – the eggs from which supplemented her father's meagre minister stipend.

Having been seriously ill for over 12 months, Myfanwy had prepared her funeral service in the weeks before she died. She expressly requested Reverend Claire Lording, priest-in-charge of Pershore Abbey, to lead the service in the church where she had given so much of her time and energy.

She had asked the congregation to wear a daffodil corsage as a nod to her Welsh heritage, and her friends at Kidderminster Male Choir sang the Welsh rugby anthem Calon Lân before finishing with a rousing rendition of the Welsh National Anthem, Land of My Fathers.

With such a strong turnout from her adopted Worcestershire, it certainly was a service to remember and a fitting farewell for this proud daughter of Wales.

Myfanwy leaves behind a son, David and a daughter, Tesni, three step-children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.