8th September 1930 – 16th April 2021
Service of thanksgiving 4th May 2021
On 4th May, limited by Covid rules, family and friends gathered to say farewell to a dear and loyal member of Ashley Methodist Church. Jean Salt was one of our longest serving members. She was born in Butterton in September 1930, later moving to Dimsdale, and educated at Ellison Street Primary and Brownhills Grammar Schools. With her School Certificate she went on to Underwood Typing School in 1946. Evening classes at the Elms Catering College established a lifelong love and great skill for baking, much appreciated by all.
After working in the National Coal Board offices in Stoke in 1952 she married Percy who farmed at Cherry Tree Farm, Lordsley. After a short spell in a caravan they moved into the farmhouse and Jean devoted herself to being a farmer’s wife and then mother to Jenny and Dave. She established a very productive vegetable plot and glorious garden. The Salts forged lifelong friendships with local farmers. Percy was a good friend and neighbour, ready to help out at stressful times often before he was asked. Their kitchen, always open to hospitality, is remembered especially for their famous Pancake Day parties and hasty meals at haymaking time.
As her children grew more independent Jean started to work at local primary schools where she developed a talent for encouraging reluctant pupils and her musical skills were an added dimension. Later she was a receptionist at our local GP surgery particularly enjoying the baby clinics.
Music was an important part of life for Percy and Jean. Percy had a rich bass voice. They participated in many concerts with Ashley Voices and Music. Jean played the piano and organ regularly in chapel and later for very popular singalongs at Luncheon Club and Befrienders.
They gave so much of their time and talents to our church. Jean served for many years as a Junior Church teacher and accompanist. As a church steward many have commented on the warmth and sincerity of Percy’s welcome to newcomers which directly influenced several members to join our church. The Salt’s home regularly hosted social gatherings after evening service. During the fundraising campaign to develop our premises their farm was the venue for an It’s a Knockout day, attended by many from the Newcastle circuit as well as locals including players and their families from Stoke City FC. Jean’s renowned cakes and pies also contributed to the fund and continued to provide delight at social functions and after services almost to the end of her life.
On retirement they moved to Loggerheads where Jean developed another beautiful garden. By this time they were adored and very involved grandparents. At Percy’s funeral in 2000 the church was packed. Valiantly Jean continued to work for those around her. Her raffles and cake stalls helped to raise funds for a bus for the Luncheon Club. She found joy in her great grandchildren and a big adventure was a visit with her sister to relatives in New Zealand.
Jean rarely missed a service at Wesleyan Road until infirmity prevented her. We miss her very much; her sense of humour, modesty, clear thinking and practical, caring efficiency. Our church would be a very different place without the contribution that she and Percy made over the years. We remember them with great affection, thankful that they are now together with the Lord they served so diligently.