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Remembering... Dave Rawlins

by Michael Ford last modified 18 Feb, 2021 07:16 PM

Dave was a horse drawn Traveller and inspirational Christian.

Last week, our Chaplain to Gypsies and Travellers Jonathan Herbert took the funeral of Dave Rawlins who travelled by horse and waggon throughout the Diocese for over 50 years. Fittingly, Dave’s coffin was pulled into Poundbury Cemetery on a simple flat bed waggon pulled by a single Gypsy Cob horse.

Jonathan says:

"The many floral tributes told his story - the black and white horse pulling a waggon, the floral bike.

"He began travelling after meeting the Hughes Family who were horse drawn Travellers, as he rode past them near Shaftesbury their dog snapped at his ankles, David came off his bike and their daughter Eileen apologised. He was then invited to travel with them and a year later he and Eileen married.

"The mandolin spoke of his love of music, on the road he supplemented his income from clothes peg making by busking with his mandolin. Later in life, his rich baritone voice added much to the singing at Piddlehinton parish church just down from the Piddlehinton Traveller site.

Remembering Dave Rawlins- floral tributes

"A floral cross and Bible spoke of Dave’s devotion to the scriptures and his deep mystical spirituality. When he was baptised at Shaftesbury Christian centre by full immersion, he said how people there singing in tongues reminded him of the time he was trapped in a sandstorm whilst he was in the army in the Egyptian desert when he had heard angels singing.

"I remember him too commenting about a very fundamentalist Christian we both knew who was giving people a hard time, “the trouble with him is he just hasn’t read the Bible enough.”

"Dave was a big inspiration to Roger Redding who revived the Diocesan Chaplaincy to Travellers in the late 1990s. After meeting Dave and Eileen in their waggon on the drove at Alveston above the Chalke Valley, Roger was so inspired by their faith that he determined to start a ministry with Travellers."

Remembering Dave Rawlins- playing the mandolin

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