Marion captures Barley in words

Marion Gavin and new book
Marion Gavin and new book

WHEN Marion Gavin was in charge of Manor Court sheltered housing scheme at World’s End in Burgess Hill her dog Barley was a big favourite with residents.

Now retired, Marion has written a book called “Barley Mo” about her cherished Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Barley was a cute pup only six weeks old when he first made his entrance at Manor Court.

While Barley grew in the affections of residents Marion worked there for 11 years until ill-health forced her retirement at 55.

Now she hopes her book will raise plenty of money for St Peter and St James Hospice near Wivelsfield Green.

Marion said: “The book is about Barley’s life and the times he spent with residents, places he visited, people he met and the impact it had on people and the way it changed the lives of older people living in sheltered housing.

“It’s funny as well as tear-jerking.”

Barley developed a heart condition that is not uncommon in cavaliers and he died at the age of 12.

The book captures his character and the reaction of people to his friendly nature.

It can be ordered from Marion, who now lives in Launceston, Cornwall, on 01566 777524.

Spaniels still feature strongly in the life of Marion and her husband and former Sussex policeman Andy, now working for the ambulance service in the West Country.

During Barley’s struggle with heart trouble Marion and Andy bought a black and tan Cavalier called Oliver as a companion to him. Marion said: “After Barley’s death Oliver was devastated and became ill as he was mourning Barley’s loss. So we decided to get another puppy, a Blenheim called Poppy, and they are soul mates.”