Grapevine Stories

A true star has fallen - A tribute to Grapevine member Nell Gifford - founder of The Gifford Circus

I wanted to write a few words about an old friend of mine, Nell Gifford, who tragically died recently. Nell founded and was the heart of The Gifford Circus, which I'm sure many of you have loved.

We Say goodbye to a true shining light.

I felt the need to write something about one of our dear members we have so sadly lost far too soon. 

Yesterday I went to the funeral of Nell Gifford. It was held at the majestic and beautiful Gloucester Cathedral. I really can’t think of a more fitting location to celebrate the life of such a flamboyant and extraordinary person.

The number of family (Gifford Circus family too), friends and supporters that were there was a true testament of what a special lady Nell was.

The service was, I think, one of the most beautiful things I will ever witness. The eulogies gave everyone a real picture of who Nell was - they were just so moving, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the cathedral and no one will ever forget the wonderful words that were spoken.

I only saw Nell on a few occasions in recent years, but I hung out with both her and her sister Clover a lot when we were a lot younger. We were hunting and pony mad. I have some wonderful memories of our day’s hunting together when we were unstoppable and fearless. 

Yesterday’s stormy weather actually really brought back memories of riding back to their family house near Minety in the pouring rain and dimming light, covered in mud and cold but happy and exhilarated from our day of hedge hopping and fun.

There are so many of us who have been lucky enough to attend Nell’s creation, The Gifford Circus. It has provided so much excitement, delight and magic to children and adults far and wide and we thank Nell for that.

I just hope her darling children can one day smile when they remember their mummy who really was a rare treasure - she will be so missed by everyone.

God bless Nell, I‘ve no doubt your circus in the sky will be awesome and something we can all look forward to when our day comes.

If you would like to read a wonderful tribute by Helena Bonham-Carter, please click ‘visit website’ button.

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