The Society heralded the summer, though you wouldn't have thought so given the weather, by hosting a tea party to thank those brave souls we have interviewed for our HLF “All Our Stories” project.
The venue was the School House, which some remembered from their school days before it closed in 1963. Unfortunately we could not make use of the lovely gardens as originally planned, so after much work by a small band of helpers, furniture was moved around the house and three large tables and 30 chairs set up inside; luckily there was just enough room for it to be cosy and inviting rather than cramped.
More volunteers then arrived with more than enough food for the soon to be assembled masses. Special thanks must go to Jan Carter for the beautifully presented sandwich platters, Sue Horsley for the professional standard cakes and buns, and Jill Duffy for her lovely scones and continuous gallons of freshly brewed tea - we were all in for a right royal treat.
Somehow we resisted the temptation to set our recorders running again, but it was great seeing old friends and neighbours from years past catching up on fondly recalled times; the village truly must have been a brilliant place to grow up in as a child / young adult, as we believe it remains so today. It was also lovely to see how much attention our interviewees gave to the many enlarged photos of village outings and events from long ago that we had laid out for viewing. We hoped to identify many unknown faces and gratifyingly a substantial number of names were recalled, though interestingly one current resident who shall remain nameless didn't recognise his own grandfather! This newly acquired knowledge will greatly assist our research efforts.
One interviewee who had turned 80 the previous day was presented with a superb birthday cake (thank you again Sue) and all present broke into a pretty good rendition of “Happy Birthday”; unfortunately for Beryl, this was a bittersweet moment as her sister Pearl, who we had also interviewed, had returned home earlier in the day and, we subsequently learned, later transferred to hospital. Get well soon Pearl.
The party was scheduled to run from 3.00 to 5.30, but given the last person didn't leave until 7.00, it is fair to presume that a good time was had by all our guests; the trustees also had a most enjoyable time.
It is with great memories of a wonderful event that I sign off until next time. Andy Sheppard
Please refer to the blog pages for more information on this exciting project.