Seeing Dalma, one of our craft producers zooming round the corner of The Old Barn Hall the other Friday on her cycle it seemed an obvious opportunity for a Bulletin article. Although she was born in Ewell Dalma soon moved to Ashtead in 1946 when her father bought Ken Hewlett’s, the cycle shop which I’m sure is a familiar name to many. Dalma helped in the shop on Saturdays and during the school holidays. It was many years later that Dalma’s husband Chris, an electronics engineer decided that a change of direction was in order and he and Dalma opened a cycle shop in Ewell. During the next eighteen years they catered for the cycling needs of local families and Dalma trained many children in schools in Epsom and Ewell in cycling proficiency. After retiring from the cycling business Dalma and Chris found ideal job opportunities in Ashtead Hospital opposite their home. Dalma enjoyed the interaction with patients helping them choose from menus and delivering meals while Chris had the interesting task of sourcing the surgeons’ operational requirements from the stores. Meanwhile Dalma’s brother had taken over Ken Hewlett’s and her son has continued the family tradition by opening a cycle business in Hove an area rich in cycle paths. He has recently started adding electric motors to cycles which is proving very popular. Dalma’s husband hadn’t cycled for five years because of health issues but a cycle conversion has opened up so many opportunities.
Dalma has been a member of Bookham Country Market for seven years. On moving to Bookham she joined the Friday Art Group in the Harrison Room at the Barn Hall and met Rosemary Cattel who was such a delightful character producing numerous hand crafted items and helping regularly on Friday mornings. Rosemary suggested that the Market was a great place to meet new people. Dalma was well prepared for baking having already taken her Hygiene Certificate at Ashtead Hospital so she was soon producing a range of cakes.
She had been horse mad since the age of five riding and enjoying working with horses. Her daughter rode and her two granddaughters now have ponies. They ride at Bookham Riding Club competing successfully in dressage, cross-country and jumping. They belong to the Pony Club and take part in Inter- Schools competitions. For thirty years Dalma’s enthusiasm for horses has led to helping with Epsom Riding for the Disabled but eventually these horse activities took up more of her time so baking ceased. A change of direction meant using her artistic skills to create greetings cards from her paintings, jewellery and a range of fridge magnets, coasters and bottle openers using photographs of local landmarks. Dalma is now usually found behind the Craft Counter having helped mount the display for the Friday Market.
If you are new to Bookham you might also find this a good opportunity to meet new people. We were delighted to see some new faces on Good Friday and we will be at Village Day and Open Gardens Day in June.