Elvyn Pinkney (1929 – 2019)
A countryman from the tip of his distinguishing head of hair to the very soles of his boots, Elvyn cut a striking and instantly identifiable figure around the villages. Pinkney’s Elm Farm, was where he was born and grew up with brother Mansel. Elvyn had lived in Cookley for all his life, and had no desire to be anywhere else, although there was a short spell, when he lived and worked at Ibstock Farm, Bramfield. It was here he married and lived with Sheila whilst working as a herdsman. In the late 60's they relocated back to Cookley and settled at Shady Nook. Remarkably Elvyn’s smallholding still remains in the family to this day, and its boundaries continue to offer first-class cover for the game birds of Cookley.
A life-long ‘gun man’, Elvyn was a staunch supporter of the Westleton Gun Club where he could be found on alternate Sundays, setting up the clay shoot for the other members. Never seen without a pair of Labradors at his heels (mostly!), he was also a great amateur ornithologist, although he would probably have preferred the more modest title of ‘bird man’. His regular nature notes in the Cookpole News were compulsory reading for anyone interested in the surrounding wildlife, often highlighting – unintentionally - how unobservant most of us really are.
Elvyn served on the Parish Council, where his local knowledge was always highly valued, but it seems that he was happiest being out-and-about with his gun and his dogs, tinkering in his barns or reducing the largest dead trees imaginable to lengths of firewood, with the old, grey Cookley/Simpson Massey Ferguson being deployed to cart it all back home later in the day. Elvyn was just five days short of his 90th birthday when he passed away on January 19th. One of the last of the Cookley ‘old timers’, this father, grandfather, friend, neighbour… and countryman, will be greatly missed.
written by Julia Crabb, Elvyn’s daughter, and Rob Chase of Cookley.