A little education

In the Summer of 1961 I was working at the Restaurant de la Tour Rouge in Vezelay, France to improve my spoken French before I went to college.

I had to do everything from cleaning the loos, waiting at table, fetching wine from the cellar, doing some of the cooking and ironing the table napkins.

One evening I went to a Son et Lumiere performance in the Abbey. I learned that it was here in 1166 that St. Thomas a Becket, while in exile, preached from the pulpit threatening to excommunicate Henry II of England.

Many years later when living in Penshurst in Kent I discovered that St. Thomas a Becket had installed Wilhelmus as the first priest of St. John the Baptist church when he was staying there two days before his assassination in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170.

Much later, I went to a service in St. Decuman’s church near Watchet and learnt that two of the murderers lived in the nearby parishes of Orchard and Sampford Brett.

Frances Vail