Well, we’ve survived 2016 and have another year to look forward to (thank goodness!) Hopefully you enjoyed the Christmas and New Year break and celebrations, and are ready for more Brexit !
As far as the History Group is concerned, we are certainly looking forward to the coming year and our forthcoming Open Meetings. But first I must mention our Christmas Social Evening, which as I said in our last Report could not be reported on at that time because of the earlier date of the Evening and the date of the Magazine going to press. Well, as expected, the songs and humour of our Guest Maggie Duffy and her rapport with her audience was first-class. Our “Marldon” quiz, raffles and of course the mulled wine and mince pies also went down well. Having said that, our Committee was disappointed that our audience was not larger. Our membership is 85 and although 60 tickets were sold, our audience numbered only 30! Looking on the bright side, however, we did gain two new Members and a few non-Member guests on the night.
As mentioned, the Group is looking forward to our programme of Open Meetings in 2017, and I will list them here so that you can make a note on your calendar!
I have mentioned before the increasing difficulty which the Group has (in common with most other similar organisations) in booking Guest Speakers who we have not had before, due to the decreasing number of suitable Speakers generally and their consequent availability. Most Speakers nowadays are booked up for at least 12 months (or even longer) in advance, and in the circumstances I am pleased to be able to say that our Secretary, Derek Hore, has succeeded in booking Speakers for the whole of this year, and our programme is therefore as follows:-
Friday 10th March 2017
“Kents Cavern and the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark”. You may remember the publicity given on TV and in the press last Summer to the UNESCO Conference held at the Riviera Centre in Torquay to an audience of 700 plus UNESCO delegates from all over the world. Our Speaker will be Nick Powe, who is the 5th generation custodian of Kents Cavern and also Chair of the Geopark management organisation. His illustrated talk will cover 400 million years of history, including the “show cave” we see today. Not to be missed !!!
Friday 9th June
“Maritime Shortcuts” is the intriguing title of Colin Vosper’s illustrated talk about Canals, firstly in the West Country and the attempts of Victorian canal builders to build canal routes across the SW peninsular, including the Grand Western and the Bude Canals, and secondly about the world famous Suez and Panama Canals, which this year celebrate the opening of extensive improvements of widening and deepening of these already impressive and world-wide famous waterways. Colin’s illustrated talk will include a stunning 4 minute time-lapse journey through one of them - but which one ? Come along and find out !
Friday 8th September (also our AGM).
“Hairy Hands, Devils and Black Dogs” - We welcome back Paul Rendell, acknowledged expert on all aspects of Dartmoor, to mystify us with this illustrated presentation about the witches, devils, hairy hands and wild animals that are both legends and folklore on our mysterious Dartmoor. This is the closest date we could get to Halloween, so don’t come alone - bring a friend !
Friday 08th December
“Christmas Social” - Details to be confirmed
We are sure you will agree that this is a most promising list of illustrated talks, and we look forward to seeing you at all of them - don’t forget that all our Quarterly Open Meetings are open to Members (admission free) AND non-members (admission £2) and include coffee/tea and biscuits ! We look forward to seeing you in the coming year, and hopefully also those former Members who, for whatever reason, did not renew their membership at our AGM in September. And of course we always welcome new Members - our annual subscription is still only £5, which entitles you to free admission to all our Open Meetings.
As you will have seen from the announcement on page 3 of last month’s Magazine, there has been a change of Editorship of the Magazine, and our Group sends the new Editor, John Arscott, our very best wishes and good luck in his new venture. He can rely on our support. Also (from this month) there is to be a change in the deadline date for items to be included in the Magazine. There will no doubt be a suitable announcement by the new Editor elsewhere in this edition.
The new deadline date means that I cannot tell you about how our March Open Meeting went, but it does mean that I can give you all the details shortly before the event, which means you will have less of an excuse for not joining us on the night!
Our first Open Meeting of 2017 is on FRIDAY MARCH 10 at 7.30pm,and features an illustrated talk about Kents Cavern, one of Devon’s foremost attractions and now a major part of the English Riviera’s UNESCO Global Geopark. The talk will be given by Nick Powe, who is the 5th generation custodian of Kents Cavern, which I am sure you will have heard about, and may also have visited. His talk will cover 400 million years of history, including the “show cave” we see today. But you may not be so aware of the English Riviera Global Geopark, and what it actually is. So this is your opportunity to find out all about the Cavern and the Geopark in the comfort of our own Village Hall. We start at 7.30 pm and admission is free for Members and £2 for non-members. There are posters on all the Village Notice Boards and Members will by now have had a flyer delivered to their door. If you wish to join our Group, the subscription is only £5 per year and admits you to free admission to all our Open Meetings.
Members may recall that the Group has for some time been anxious to find a suitable, permanent and convenient home for our considerable and ever growing Archive. Now, thanks to the generosity of our Village Hall Council, this has been achieved, and a separate space has been created within the Village Hall which is both dry and secure. The Group feels this is the ideal location for such a valuable resource for the Parish, and is indebted and grateful to the Village Hall Council for its support and assistance.
Members may also recall that at recent Open Meetings our Committee’s concerns with regard to the size of our membership and the attendances at our Open Meetings have been expressed, although the Committee is aware of, and appreciates, the reasons for this situation, which has also affected other village groups and organisations, and has in some cases in recent years resulted in the closure of some groups. We would hope that there are many people living in the Parish who have an interest in local history in general and the history of Marldon village and Parish in particular, and we would like to think that they would not hesitate to contact us about any aspect or question they may have about the history of Marldon. May we recommend that you take a look at and browse through our website - marldonhistory.co.uk - which I’m sure you will find interesting and informative.
We look forward to seeing you on March 10th, or perhaps hearing from you. Contact details are on our website. Many thanks.
Marldon, both the village and the Parish, has a long history. Some records of that history relate to our Church, and as so often happens, a snippet of information connected with one person or place leads or gives you the answer to something you had previously not known or had been unable to find.
An example of this happened recently with regard to the former Almshouses opposite the Church. The building is now a single private house, but previously comprised four Almshouses. According to the 1881 British Census they were occupied by 5 elderly Marldon residents aged between 57 years and 79 years, including 2 names - Bridgeman and Harvey - which are amongst the oldest in the village. Indeed, the village had residents of those names until quite recently.
Until recently the only information the Group had about the Almshouses was a Report by the Government of the time dated 1882, and which was the subject of an Inquiry in 1907, after which the Report was published. The Report refers to ….. “almshouses in the village, near the Church, which were rebuilt by Mr. Garrett about 1850 on the site of some old almshouses ….. . The Mr. Garratt referred to would have been Francis Garratt, who at that time owned Compton Castle, and also the “big house” now known as Marldon House, but previously called “Parkfield”. There is a memorial plaque to Francis Garratt in the Church.
Until now, the Group had no information about the previous almshouses built on the site before 1850, or who built them - or so it thought. But, (and this is where one thing leads to another), for many years the Group has had in its Archive a photocopy (together with a transcription) of the Will of Sir Edward Cary, who was born in 1575, the son of John Cary, and the nephew of Sir Edward Cary of Cockington. Edward was knighted by Charles 1 in 1627, and in the latter part of his long life lived at Stantor, then part of the Cockington Estate, and then within Marldon Parish.
Sir Edward died in 1654 aged 80 - a great age in those days. His wife, Margaret, died only 4 days after him, aged 85 ! They are buried together in Marldon Church, and their tombstone can be seen in the floor of the chancel, immediately beyond the right-hand side Choir stall. In his Will (dated 1654), amongst many legacies and bequests, Sir Edward bequeaths “unto the poore of the Parish of Marledon for ever all those fower (ie four) dwelling houses which I built for them neare the Church there” !!
So, the Group had the answer as to who built the original Almshouses in it’s Archive all the time, and it only came to light as a result of my looking for something else, and reading through the copy Will out of curiosity!
Well that’s the end of the history lesson for this month (!), so on to more mundane business. At our Open Meeting on 11th March, our audience was able to enjoy a very interesting and informative talk, illustrated by more than 100 slides, on “Devon’s Railway Heritage”, by our Guest Speaker Robert Hesketh. Robert certainly knows his subject, and gave us much information not only about the history of the railway in Devon, but how many survive as “heritage railways”, giving us all a chance to see and ride on a steam train, and enjoy the surviving stations and other buildings, machines and equipment. Everyone in the audience learned something about heritage railways in our County, and about many places to take the children and grandchildren !
We also had a display of old photographs which we had not had on display before, and a large selection of books (mostly of local interest) from the Group’s growing collection (which are available to Members to borrow). I am pleased to say that only this last week or so we have had donated to us several Elizabeth Goudge paperbacks to add to our already large collection of books by this lady author, who lived in Marldon for 10 years or more before, during and after the War.
The only downside to the evening was the attendance- only 40-odd from a membership of more than 70. Never mind, perhaps at our next Open Meeting in June, when the days will be longer (and hopefully warmer !), we shall have a larger audience. Our Speaker then will be Paul Rendell, whose “specialist subject” is Dartmoor and all its aspects. Paul’s talk is called “Princetown and its Prison” and will as usual be illustrated by many slides. This will be on Friday 3rd June, and you will be reminded again before then in the usual ways. In the meantime, keep well, and we look forward to seeing you again.
Last month’s Magazine had what some might call an excess of material from the Group, consisting of a longer than usual Report and an additional two pages about what was a unique event for Marldon - the appointment of a Parish resident as High Sheriff of Devon. The remark “follow that !” was in my mind as I sat down at the PC, realising that this was one of those quiet months between our Open Meetings. So this Report is back to its’ usual length, I’m afraid.
The next event on the horizon is our optimistically called “Summer” Open Meeting, which is on Friday 3rd June.Please note that this is a week earlier than usual, as our Open Meetings are usually held on the second Friday of the appropriate month.The reason for the change is that suitable Speakers, especially Speakers we have not had before or too often, are much in demand and consequently are getting booked up well in advance. In fact, Friday 3rd was the only Friday this year that our Speaker was not booked, and the Group have had to make a similar arrangement for our Christmas Social Evening, which will now be on Friday 2nd December.
Our Speaker for our June Open Meeting will be Paul Rendell, whose specialist subject is Dartmoor, and his talk, illustrated with many slides, is called “Princetown and its Prison”. Princetown is the highest village on Dartmoor, and his talk will feature the history of the village, the prison of course, and the little known railway. If you watch the popular “Countryfile” programme on BBC TV at the weekends, you may have seen Dartmoor featured a few weeks ago, showing its wildlife and its environmental aspects, including the well known annual burning of the heather and gorse (swaling).
So make a note on your calendar please for Friday 3rd June, 7.30 pm in the Village Hall as usual. Admission is free for Members and £2 for non-members. Also watch out nearer the date for the posters on the Notice Boards - Members will be notified direct as usual.
Our Open Meeting this month took place on Friday 3rd June, not leaving enough time for this Monthly Report to make any reference to our guest speaker Paul Rendell and what undoubtedly was another interesting and intriguing talk on “Princetown and its Prison”.
Not to worry - I’m sure that we will all survive not having read about our June Meeting, and it means there is something else to look forward to as well as the E.U referendum and the Apple Pie Fair! As usual, the Apple Pie Fair Committee will need all the help they can get, especially as there is a new Committee this year. So if you can help before or on the day, please get in touch. Contact details were in last month’s Parish Magazine, and may even be in the June edition as well.
I regularly mention the Group’s Archive, and how we always welcome offers of new material. We have been fortunate in recent months, with donations of several Elizabeth Goudge books (all paperback editions, but very welcome nevertheless). There is a full list of her books and other books which the Group has been able to collect over the years, on our website - www.marldonhistory.co.uk - which are available for Members onlyto borrow. We have also acquired a Scrapbook compiled by the Marldon Committee for the celebrations and events organised in the Parish for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. This comes at an appropriate time in this year of the Queen’s 90th Birthday, and it and a Minute Book kept by the Committee will be on display at our next Open Meeting. It appears that there was no shortage of ideas and helpers for those celebrations. We have also had donated to us a number of large photo albums devoted to Marldon Spurs F.C dating from the early 1960’s, and these will also be on display.
Finally, a reminder that we always welcome new Members - our annual subscription is only £5, and this entitles you to free admission to all our Quarterly Open Meetings, at which we have a Speaker on subjects of local and other interest (except our Christmas Social Evening for which there is a nominal charge). As mentioned above, you will also be able to borrow from our large collection of books, large and small, old and new, which are all about or refer to Marldon or Devon generally.
Admission to our Open Meetings for non-members is £2, so why not come along before making your mind up. We look forward to seeing you.
In last month’s Report I mentioned that our readers would be able to look forward to reading about our last Open Meeting in this month’s Magazine, as well as looking forward (?) to the EU Referendum. Well, if we thought that the Referendum would quickly fade from the news once the result was announced, then we were sadly mistaken ! On the assumption that you really have heard and seen enough about the EU, I will mention it no more, except to categorically state that leaving the EU will have absolutely NO effect on the Marldon Local History Group - your subscription will still be in Pounds Sterling and any increase in the future will NOT be due to our leaving or staying in the Single Market. (To put your mind at rest, no increase is planned or anticipated for the foreseeable future !).
At our last Open Meeting (on the 3rd June), our Speaker was Paul Rendell, an authority on all aspects of Dartmoor, who gave a very interesting and informative talk, illustrated by more than 100 slides, about Princetown, the highest village on the Moor, and its famous Prison. Included in our audience of about 50, we were pleased to see some non-members and to welcome a few new and renewing Members. Nevertheless, we would like to see larger audiences, and we hope that our forthcoming programme will have the desired effect.
It is quite a stretch now to our next Open Meeting - on Friday 9th September - when our Speaker will be talking about the Wartime tragedy on Slapton Sands, when so many American lives were lost. Our Speaker will be Robbie Robinson, and we hope that his subject will be of great interest to a wide age-range. This Meeting will also be our AGM, and we look forward to seeing you there.
Well, that’s another year and another Apple Pie Fair to take it’s place in the history of Marldon - at least as far as photographs and other memorabilia being put in our Archive is concerned. We hope you were able to get to the Fair and enjoyed it, and you may have even seen our Group’s small selection of past Apple Pie Fair photographs in the Main Hall and learned a little about it’s history and it’s beginnings in 1888, and it’s popularity since it’s revival in 1958. We hope that the many photographs of celebrity Guest Openers stirred memories for “people of a certain age”. Sadly, such personalities are no longer as readily available since the demise of the Summer variety shows at the theatres in Paignton and Torquay.
Certainly our Group was pleased with the interest shown in our little display, which is only a small part of the memorabilia we have of the Fair and it’s predecessors. We were also pleased with the interest shown in our DVD “The story of Marldon” and our little booklet about Marldon during the second World War, with copies of both being sold on the day. It was especially pleasing to meet so many people who actually featured in our photographs on display, including some ex-Apple Pie Queens - they haven’t changed a bit!
Our next Open Meeting is a “biggie” because it is also our AGM, which is the time to renew your subscription or, if you’re not a Member, to join us. Our Annual Subscription is only £5, which entitles you to free admission to our Quarterly Open Meetings (except Christmas, for which there is a small charge). And talking of Christmas, our Guest on Friday 2nd December will be Maggie Duffy who will entertain us with her “Songs, Fun & Frolics”. Tickets will be available for our Christmas Social Evening at the AGM, and Members will be able to purchase tickets for their spouse, partner or a friend. Look out for the posters on the Village Notice Boards and the flyer through your letterbox (Members only).
We do hope that Members will renew their subscriptions, and would welcome new Members. We can tell you that our list of Speakers has now been arranged until the end of next year - details will be revealed in due course, but we have some very interesting subjects lined up.
We look forward to seeing you at the next Open Meeting/AGM on FRIDAY 9th SEPTEMBER, 7.30 pm in the Village Hall as usual. Our Speaker will be Robbie Robinson who will be telling us “What really happened on Exercise Tiger on 28th April 1944”. This refers of course to the wartime tragedy which took place at Slapton resulting in the loss of so many lives.
A couple of years or so ago, when the centenary of the start of the First World War was approaching, many memorable national and local commemorations were planned and took place. The Government also announced that, in addition, commemorative events and ceremonies would be allowed to take place within the whole of the four year period of the War, and no doubt there will be national and local events when the centenary of the official end of the War is reached in 2018.
The Group were reminded of this a few weeks ago with the arrival of a letter from the Devonshire and Dorset Regiments announcing an “exciting project” to establish a memorial to the Regiments of our County and Dorset at The National Memorial Arboretum, near Lichfield in Staffordshire. The memorial will be of three bronze, life-sized figures of a Devonshire Regiment soldier of the First World War, a Dorset Regiment soldier of the 2nd World War and a soldier from the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment in Northern Ireland in the 1970’s.
The Memorial will be unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum in the Autumn of next year (2017) at a major ceremony. Many of you will have seen the Arboretum on TV or in the newspapers, but if not you can find out all about it on it’s website - thenma.org.uk. There are several short video films which you can click onto, including a “Short Introduction” and several other on particular aspects of the Arboretum. The Arboretum covers 150 acres containing (at the moment) more than 300 memorials and 30,000 trees in beautiful landscaped grounds. The Group has been sent a supply of illustrated leaflets all about the project, and these will be available at our next Open Meeting on FRIDAY 9th September. Next year, when the final details of the unveiling are available, the Group will consider the feasibility of organising a coach trip to the unveiling.
That brings me nicely to telling you about our next Open Meeting, which is also our AGM, which means it is time to renew your membership (still only £5 per year), which entitles you to admission to all of our Quarterly Open Meetings. Our Speaker on the night will be Robbie Robinson from Brixham, who will be telling us all about “What really happened on Exercise Tiger on 28th April 1944 at Slapton”. A long title but a really interesting and much talked about and tragic incident on Slapton Sands which resulted in the loss of hundreds of American Servicemen training for the D Day landings.
In addition to renewing your membership, or joining if you are not a Member, you will be able to buy or reserve tickets for our Christmas Social Evening on Friday 2nd December, when our Guest will be Maggie Duffy with “Songs, Fun & Frolics”.
Maggie has entertained us before, but is always very popular and in great demand (hence the date for this Evening being brought forward from our usual 2nd Friday of the month). Tickets are only £2.50 and are limited to Members and their spouse or guest.
Look out for the Posters on the Notice Boards, and Members will receive the usual flyer delivered to your door. We look forward to seeing you there.
Our Open Meeting on 9th September was also our 15th AGM, our inaugural Meeting being held on 11th September 2001, to be remembered ever afterwards as “9/11”. Our Guest Speaker on that occasion was Geoffrey Gilbert, from Compton Castle.
Our Guest Speaker this year was Robbie Robinson from Brixham, a World War 2 military historian and a former member of the Royal Army Educational Corps for more than 20 years, and now closely associated with the Brixham Battery Heritage Centre in Battery Gardens, Brixham, which is well worth a visit. Our audience of about 60 Members and non-Members enjoyed an interesting, and very informative, talk about “What really happened on Exercise Tiger on 28th April 1944”. Most of us will be familiar to some extent with the story of how Slapton and the surrounding area of the South Hams was evacuated during World War 2 to allow for training by American Servicemen for the D Day landings which took place shortly afterwards. However, for many of our audience, the impression and generally accepted story of what actually happened, and where, was somewhat different from the account so eloquently given by our Speaker, and caused much discussion afterwards.
For those readers who are not Members of the Group, here is a brief summary of the formalities of the AGM proceedings. The Chairman opened the Meeting by welcoming and thanking everyone for attending. Apologies were received from a number of Members who were unable to attend. Our Guest Speaker was introduced, and thanked for a very interesting and informative talk, as mentioned above. After
Reports from the Secretary and Treasurer, the Chairman gave his Report, and it was announced that our programme of Speakers for the whole of 2017 had been arranged. (Details will be given in our next monthly Report). The Chairman was pleased to announce that all of the material gathered as a result of our participation in the School’s 150th anniversary celebrations had now been added to the Group’s Archive, with other material donated during the year. (The Group is always anxious to acquire new material for our Archive, so if you have anything relating to Marldon which you think might be of interest to us, please let us know). Mention was also made of the Group’s ongoing discussions with the Village Hall Council with regard to the provision of a separate storage space for the Group’s Archive within the Village Hall. The continued success and sales of the Group’s DVD “The Story of Marldon” and also our booklet “Memories of Wartime Marldon” (written by the late David Best) were mentioned, and thanks were given to all who had bought copies, and also to our three village “top shops” for their help in making these items available from their shops.
The elections of Officers and Committee was the next item on the Agenda, and it was announced that our Treasurer Julie Hore and Committee Member Alan Podger were standing down. Both were thanked for their hard work and time over the past year, and, as there were no volunteers for the post of Treasurer, our Secretary Derek Hore very kindly offered to take on the post in addition to being Treasurer. The remainder of the Committee had agreed to remain in post, and these changes were agreed.
In closing the Meeting, the Chairman repeated his past concerns about falling membership numbers within other groups which had closed in recent times, and hoped our Group would not suffer the same fate.
In closing the Meeting, the Chairman reminded Members that the Group’s Christmas Social Evening had been arranged for Friday 2nd December, when our Guest would be Maggie Duffy with her new programme “Songs, Fun & Frolics”. Tickets are only £2.50 and are available to Members and their spouse/guest.
As there was no other business, the Chairman thanked all those attending, and the Meeting was closed.
We are always looking for new Members, and if you wish to join us (or renew your Membership), or would like tickets for our Christmas Evening, please contact Derek Hore (529859) or Tony Chidlow (521419), who will be pleased to help.
Prior to our AGM in September (reported in last month’s edition of the Parish Magazine), our membership totalled just over 80. Thanks to renewals at the AGM and since, our current membership tally is now nearly 60 - which is very gratifying for the Group - but we remain hopeful that we can catch up with last year’s total and that a number of our regular Members who could not attend the AGM will renew their subscriptions between now and Christmas, and also that we can attract some new Members as well !
Our next quarterly Meeting will in fact be our Christmas Social Evening on Friday 2nd DECEMBER which, by the time you read this, will be even more frighteningly closer than it is at the time of writing ! Our special Guest will be Maggie Duffy, with her new programme “Songs, Fun & Frolics”. Maggie has entertained us before, and is always very popular. In addition there will be mince pies and mulled wine, a Marldon quiz, a bumper raffle with many prizes, and your admission ticket will also be your free ticket to another raffle. As before, admission will be for Members ONLY and their spouse/partner/guest. Tickets are only £2.50, and all you have to do is to ring our Secretary Derek Hore (529859) or Tony Chidlow (521419). If you are not a Member, or have not yet renewed your Membership, you can join or renew at the same time (our annual subscription is only £5).
I have mentioned before the increasing difficulty which the Group has (in common with most similar organisations) in booking Guest Speakers who we have not had before, due to the decreasing number of suitable Speakers generally and their consequent availability. Most Speakers nowadays are booked up for at least 12 months (or even longer) in advance, and in the circumstances I am pleased to be able to say that our Secretary, Derek Hore, has succeeded in booking Speakers for the whole of next year, and our programme is therefore as follows:-
Friday 10th March 2017 “Kents Cavern and the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark”. You may be aware of the publicity given on TV and in the press recently to the UNESCO Conference held at the Riviera Centre in Torquay to an audience of 700 plus UNESCO delegates from all over the world. Our Speaker will be Nick Powe, who is the 5th generation custodian of Kents Cavern and also Chair of the Geopark management organisation. His illustrated talk will cover 400 million years of history, including the “show cave” we see today. Not to be missed !!!
Friday 9th June 2017 “Maritime Shortcuts” is the intriguing title of Colin Vosper’s illustrated talk about Canals, firstly in the West Country and the attempts of Victorian canal builders to build canal routes across the SW peninsular including the Grand Western and the Bude Canals, and secondly about the world famous Suez and Panama Canals, which this year celebrate the opening of extensive improvements of widening and deepening. Colin’s illustrated talk will include a stunning 4 minute time-lapse journey through one of them - but which one ? Come along and find out !
Friday 8th September 2017 (also our AGM). “Hairy Hands, Devils and Black Dogs” - We welcome back Paul Rendell, acknowledged expert on all aspects of Dartmoor, to mystify us with this illustrated presentation about the witches, devils, hairy hands and wild animals that are both legends and folklore on our mysterious Dartmoor. This is the closest date we could get to Halloween, so don’t come alone - bring a friend !
Friday 8th December 2017 “Christmas Function” - details to be confirmed
We are sure you will agree that this is a most promising list of illustrated talks, and we look forward to seeing you at all of them - don’t forget that all our Quarterly Open Meetings are open to Members (admission free) and non-members (admission £2) and include coffee/tea and biscuits ! We look forward to seeing you.
This is one of those months where the date of writing my Report comes too soon before the date of our December Open Meeting (2nd December) for it to be published here online, as it also has to coincide with the Parish magazine deadlines where the Editor requires all articles to be with him at least a week before the Magazine is published on the first Sunday of the month).
This is doubly unfortunate as this bumper, two for the price of one, double issue will not include a report on our Christmas Social Evening on Friday 2nd December, which by the time the February 2017 issue appears on 5th February will be a fading memory. Nevertheless, I shall do my best to briefly recall it for the benefit of our readers and Members who could not be there.
Sadly, our Christmas Evening on 2nd December was also the date of the funeral of Jean Rickard, a very well known and liked member of our village community, who passed away on 15th November, at the grand age of 86 years. Jean was a founder Member of the History Group, and until her recent illness regularly attended our Quarterly Open Meetings. She also regularly donated photographs and other memorabilia for our Archive, and her late husband Ernie will be well remembered by older members of the community for his work in connection with many aspects of village life. On a lighter note, various village organisations, including the History Group, took advantage of the use of the small notice board attached to her front fence to display our flyers for village activities ! Hopefully, this may be able to continue.
As a further sad sign of the passing years, I noticed when preparing this Report that in the same December/January issue of the Parish magazine last year, we marked the passing of another long standing Member of our Group, Norman Mortimore, at the age of 87. Like Jean Rickard’s late husband Ernie, Norman was an ardent bell ringer at Marldon Church for many years, and interestingly, the collection at Jean’s funeral was for the benefit of Marldon Bell Ringers and Marldon Church.
Finally then, as this is my last Chairman’s Report for 2016, on behalf of our Committee may I thank all our Members (and non-members) for their support through attending our Open Meetings and donating so many items to our Archive, and wish them all (and all the readers of this Magazine) a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year.
We look forward to your continued support, and to seeing you at our Meetings in the coming year.
There are probably millions of memorials in this country to people who many more millions of other people thought worth remembering, from the humble stones in the smallest of Churchyards to the grand edifices and statuary constructed from marble, granite and metal to honour the great and the good of the nation.
Amongst these millions of almost everlasting memorials there are an incalculable number of memorials which, although of a less enduring nature and material, are nevertheless chosen not only for the same laudable reasons as their grander counterparts, but in many (if not most) cases for more personal and meaningful reasons. The grand monuments of marble and metal may last forever, but the simple headstone or more personal memorial such as a seat or a plaque with a few well chosen words will often inform the passer-by of future years of far more about the person being remembered, and in a more personal and appropriate way, than the grand but ubiquitous monuments which adorn our city centres or other prominent places.
So it was, a few weeks ago, that our Parish, under the auspices of the Village Hall Council, of which Doug Pulle was Chairman for very many years, chose to honour his memory with the planting of an Oak tree on Jubilee Meadow and the hanging of a charming photograph and an appropriate text of tribute in the entrance of the Village Hall. Doug and his family will appreciate the significance of the Oak tree and its acorns, and others who knew him less well will hopefully be informed by the framed text of just a part of the involvement which Doug had over very many years in the community and social life of our Parish, through the various village organisations with which he was involved.
These memorials were chosen from many varied suggestions (and with the help of donations) from Parish residents and organisations, all wanting to contribute to two memorials to a well liked and respected Parishioner, which although small compared with their grander counterparts, will surely last and serve their purpose almost as long.