Keith (the Oggy Man’s) story…..
I was born in Penryn, at Bissom on the way to Mylor, born at home. I’m very, very proud, very proud indeed to be Cornish. God’s country I do call it.
We used to go rugby and I always used to do an ‘Oggy Oggy Oggy’ and people said; ‘Oggy man, goin’ to do an Oggy are ee?’ and I’d say ‘yea’. I’ll carry on doing it, I just love doing it and people expect it now, especially at the end of the singing of Trelawney!
My late wife was Margaret, I’ve known her since I was 11, and we had our first official date on 1st May 1955. We went down to Gyllyngvase Beach. I think we just had a wonder across the beach holding hands like you do and suddenly I thought; ‘I’m going to marry you’, and I did. We used to enjoy rugby together and we enjoyed concerts together, we also enjoyed going to church together. She was the nicest person and the bravest person I’ve ever come across to be honest.
Margaret became ill in 2009 and eventually they took her in to Treliske and she had a bone scan and the specialist come in said; ‘I’m very sorry to tell you but she’s got bone cancer’. So we all had a few tears and then Margaret woke up and she could see we were a bit upset. She said; ‘What’s the matter, have I got bone cancer?’ So we said yes, and I said sorry me luvver. ‘Oh’, she said, ‘what’s for tea?’ – that was Margaret for you. And then from there she was taken down to St Julia’s Hospice.
A day or so after she got down there, the Doctor came round and he said; ’Well Margaret now you’re here, how do you feel?’ And she said something that really stuck with me. She said I feel safe. And I must be honest and say St Julia’s was absolutely fantastic. Not only to Margaret, but to the whole family. I mean we could stay down there if we wanted to, it was absolutely brilliant and she was cared for so beautifully, we couldn’t have asked for more. It helped, that kindness and knowing Margaret felt safe and that we could be together in one special place.
She planned all her own funeral. She said; ‘I want What a Friend We Have in Jesus’, I want Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing, I want a Cornish flag on my coffin and I want you to do another thing for me – I want you to do a concert in my memory and all the money is to go to the hospices.’
Well it was a brilliant concert, absolutely brilliant and we raised £3,515.50 – she would have been over the moon, she would have been thrilled to bits. That’s an ‘ansome sum for Cornwall Hospice Care. A big lump comes to my throat, especially when the choir sings ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Miserables, but I’m having that at my funeral as well. Well you’ve got to plan for these things, my kids know exactly what I want.