In 1986 Judy Ramsell Howard, now Director of the Bach Centre, wrote a short book about the Centre and its history. The Story of Mount Vernon
has been in print ever since, and is now in its eighth edition. Anybody
interested in village life will find it a fascinating read.
The Story of Mount Vernon starts in 1934, when Dr Bach found
himself in Wallingford, visiting a patient. He liked the look of the
area and asked his assistant Nora Weeks to find a cottage where he could
settle down. Nora arrived the next day and set out on her search.
Walking out of Wallingford she came to Brightwell-cum-Sotwell and asked
at the village shop if there were any cottages that might be available
to rent. The girl in the shop told her there was an empty house in
Bakers Lane. Nora went to see the landlord, and soon – after the
cleaners had gone over the house, which had been empty for some time –
Dr Bach and Nora Weeks moved in.
Mount Vernon was Dr Bach’s first proper home in four years, as he had been travelling since leaving London in 1930. The Story of Mount Vernon
tells how he threw himself into digging and weeding, and building
garden paths from the broken slates and stones he salvaged. Life early
on at Mount Vernon was rather primitive. As in many of
Brightwell-cum-Sotwell’s cottages at the time, there was no running
water. They only had a couple of deckchairs and iron bedsteads for
furniture. Later Dr Bach turned his hand to building his own armchairs,
tables and desks, and he enjoyed boiling the copper for his tin bath.
After Dr Bach’s death Nora Weeks lived on at Mount Vernon until her
death in 1978. In those years the Bach remedies became much better
known, and along the way supporters of Dr Bach’s work raised the money
to allow Nora to purchase the house. That was in 1958, and the trust set
up for the purpose – The Dr Edward Bach Healing Trust, now a registered
charity – still owns the house today.
The normal retail price of The Story of Mount Vernon is £3.95, but from now until the end of the year readers of The Villager can get a copy for only £2. Just bring your copy of The Villager to the Centre with you and ask for the discount.