In 1934 Dr Edward Bach moved to Sotwell and rented Mount Vernon in Bakers Lane. The family who owned Mount Vernon also owned the nearby property of Wellsprings. Perhaps through this connection, Dr Bach got to know a local lady who lived at Wellsprings, Mary Tabor.
Mary soon became part of Dr Bach's small team of assistants, working alongside Nora Weeks, who lived at Mount Vernon, and Victor Bullen, a Cromer man who had rooms in Abingdon. Bach himself saw patients mainly at Mount Vernon, but many of his letters from this period were sent from Wellsprings.
Bach died in 1936. Shortly before that Nora, Victor and Mary wrote separately to his publishers in London to introduce themselves as "Dr Bach's team of workers" who would be continuing things after he died. And in 1938 Mary published a novel with Bach's publishers, based on her memories of Bach and his spiritual beliefs. Called "To Thine Own Self", it included recognisable descriptions of both houses as well as a pub interior that might well be based on the Red Lion or the Bell (once at the end of Bell Lane) - both favourite pubs of Bach's.
But some time during the Second World War, Mary seems to have left the village. By the time the war was over and Nora and Victor were picking up the reins at Mount Vernon, Wellsprings had other tenants and Mary was no longer involved.
We have often wondered what became of her. Do any readers have any memories of a Mary Tabor living in Wellsprings in the 1930s and 1940s? We would love to know.
As for the novel, it was out of print for many years. But earlier this year we prepared a free online edition that can be downloaded from www.bachcentre.com. As a work of fiction, it's very much of its time, but anyone interested in local history might want to browse it and try to work out which local places inspired some of the locations.
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