Friends of Cockasnook

Rene Maycock :

The cover design of Irene Remembers is based on an original painting of a contemporary Cheshire scene by Rene Maycock which is intensely evocative of Irene’s memories of those times. However, though the trees may well be beeches they are not Irene’s beeches, which were at a crossroads facing her house, and though the atmosphere is certainly that of the lake at Sixes’ Hole, we cannot claim it to be Sixes’ Hole which, in contrast to much of the surrounding landscape, is to be found in a ravine and is believed to be very deep (on account of subsidence resulting from the extraction of salt in the area). The painting is almost certainly imaginary.

‘A Cheshire Scene’ by Rene Maycock

Rene Maycock is the naïve child who, when visiting the Boyd sisters at The Beeches, commented to the crippled Irene, “Don’t you get ever get tired of sitting in that chair all day?” How cruel is fate. With what supreme irony did Rene herself come to be disabled as a result of poliomyelitis, contracted, she told friends, from taking a drink of unclean water from a trough at Bawsgate Farm, Cinder Hill, Whitegate. Whatever the cause, her main escape from this plight had to be her imagination and her painting.
Rene wore irons on her legs for the rest of her life, though it is said she was able to drive and had a car, and worked as a shorthand typist at the ICI. Neither she nor her brother Hugh — who went to Canada — had any children.
Rene’s mother Florence, a teacher at Whitegate School, was by all reports a very beautiful woman who was persuaded into marriage several times, in the course of the book to the ill-fated Harcourt Bevin and later, after the close of Irene’s narrative, to the very Mr Bennet whom Irene had secretly adored. Rene and her mother are now buried together in a family grave in the churchyard at Whitegate almost adjacent to that of the Boyds.

Artwork of Rene Maycock