Eric Handley Beech has died. He was 93 years old. He was our Dad. He was born at Brown Heath Farm on 26th March 1917 and died at Birch Heath Lodge on 18th December 2010. He lived all his life in Christleton.
Eric’s grandmother had moved from Nantwich to Christleton with her four sons in 1896 to take up a farming tenancy. She farmed the land between Christleton and Waverton. The farm buildings at the time were in the middle of the village, a few yards from Birch Heath Lodge. The village pump provided the farm water supply. Eric’s father George inherited the farm tenancy in 1913 and married Edith Handley, daughter of a faming family from a farm where Vicars Cross Golf Club House now stands.
Eric wished to join the RAF, but his parents thought otherwise and he followed them into farming. In 1940 he married Phyllis Johnson, a farmer’s daughter from Staffordshire, and took over the farm tenancy. Eric was a determined character and shrewd businessman and through his hard work, he was able to purchase the farm of about 75 acres. It developed into a successful enterprise which he was able to hand on to his eldest son, Bryan in 1968. Bryan continues farming there today.
Eric’s other main focus in life was the Methodist Chapel in Christleton. His grandparents had been early members and Eric continued the association, a period of more than 110 years. Eric was a chapel steward and his sister Ivy and wife Phyll. were joint organists at the chapel for nearly 60 years. At the age of 65, Eric joined a weekly snooker group at the Village Institute and for 25 years enjoyed the companionship of fellow players. A break of 35 was the pinnacle of his snooker career!
On Eric’s 90th birthday, a celebration was held at the Cheshire View. An opportunity for Eric to regale the gathered assembly with the somewhat ‘corny’ jokes, for which he had a reputation. All of his direct descendants were present.
Eric is survived by his three children, fifteen grandchildren and nineteen great grandchildren.