September 14, 2009
As the webmaster for the Heavenly Creatures website, I continually receive the most interesting messages from fans of the film. And although the pace of such contacts has slowed over the years, a recent email from Andrew Ayres was most riveting. He wrote to tell me that he was living in a house purchased from Hilary Nathan, the former Pauline Parker - and what's more, her original art was to be found on the walls of the house!
He tells me the story began when he was looking to by a house around 1997, and went for a viewing of a small cottage in the middle of nowhere: “It was completely covered by ivy and no part of the brickwork could be seen. To the side of the house were many homemade stables and out buildings it was quite a mess, to say the least!
“I knocked on the door and it was opened by a very small and skinny lady. When we went in we couldn’t believe how someone lived in the house in such a humble way. In the front room was a workbench along one wall with many dolls on it. The kitchen just had a sink and very basic cooking instruments indeed, there were a couple of tiny dogs running around that kept getting under your feet, but you could tell they were loved and they loved their owner back. The bedroom where she slept was just a mattress chucked in the corner and nothing else, there was just one lump of coal on the coal fire which didn’t even tackle the cold.
“If you were to ask me what I thought of Hilary that would be very simple: she was extremely nice, to the point and maybe a bit eccentric but we connected and things went very easily with the sale. During the sale we had quite a lot of contact and as before I couldn’t have wished for a nicer person.
“It was not until we moved in we found out who Hilary was, and in total fairness it never did and never has changed my opinion of her she was a very nice lady just a little different.
“She was very well known in the area, mostly for what she had done but also for the good she did in the community where she showed many children how to ride horses.”
Check out a Flickr gallery of Pauline Parker's artwork as seen on the walls of her house.
Andrew is planning to sell a few items which belonged to Pauline, and his hope is that they would go to someone who had an interest in and appreciation of the Parker/Hulme case. So if you're interested and would like to know more, please get in touch with him.