Greetham Great War Concert
It was a remembrance event with a difference. Greetham Village held a concert to remember and honour the sacrifice made by villagers in the Great War. Not only the twelve who lost their lives, but all those forever changed by the experience.
It was a deeply moving performance, staged by a large number of residents with music, readings, singing dancing and sketches which will linger long in the memory of all those who took part.
The difference was that in addition to paying due respect to those that died, it was a joyous celebration of village life. The juxtaposition between the solemnity of the occasion and the joyous community spirit only served to underline the sacrifice that had been made. This was something of which the fallen would have been proud.
The fallen twelve were: Private Henry Bagshaw, Bugler Walter Brown, Private Herbert Carrier, Private Francis Dalby, Private Robert Hack, Private Frederick Holland, Sergeant Robert Kendall, Lance Corporal Edward Mathias, Lance Corporal Robert Mills, Private Ernest Robinson, Chief Petty Officer Charles Throsby, and Private Harry Weston.
These were out of some 60 villagers who joined the armed services from a village population around that time of about 530.
The venue, St Mary’s Church, was decorated and illuminated to recreate the atmosphere of the war years, thanks to handyman and Set Designer Mark Osborn. The church was filled to capacity for the fortunate people who attended the event.
Greetham has always prided itself on its community spirit and the occasion once more demonstrated this in full measure by the number of residents who contributed to the event. 35 people took part in putting on the concert and there were 160 in the audience.
There were fine performances, too many to list here, but included beautiful singing by Rachel Bermingham, Eleanor Bland, and Emma and Jackie Gauntley, and moving readings by a range of villagers of all ages. The talented musicians of Greetham provided suitable accompaniments.
Representatives of the military who live in Greetham added to the poignancy of the occasion.
An unusual addition to such an occasion was the holding of a raffle. In 1917, there was a fund raising raffle to raise funds for the war effort. There were then some 180 prizes donated. In a recreation of this event, a raffle was held with prizes like those in 1917 - including a pig, a hen and an embroidered cushion.
The finale was a loud explosion and a shower of poppy leaves, as a procession of twelve men representing the fallen exited the stage and walked through a Union Jack draped aisle.
The village is very fortunate to have two historian residents and the driving force and inspiration for the event was Paul Bland. Paul worked very closely with Musical Director Bernie Gamble and Production Director Steve Bertuzzi, and Set Designer Mark Osborn to put on the concert. Thank you, Paul and all involved for giving us something to help us understand and put context around the historic event.
The fund raising from the concert will go towards BLESMA – The Limbless Veterans Association, the Church Roof Fund, and the Greetham Original Drama Project.
The concert was generously sponsored by local businesses James Jones Pallets and Packaging Ltd, Timber, Greetham Valley Hotel Golf and Conference Centre, Gates Garden Centre, Exton Estate, and The Grainstore Brewery.
Fix the Roof!
Our fabulous historic church of St Mary's is in urgent need of repair. The roof is leaking and we need to replace it. It's not cheap!
We are looking at costs in the region of £80,000 and it is down to us to raise the funds.
When I say "us", I am looking to the wider village, not just the worshipping congregation as most of us use or appreciate the church at some time.
The church fundraising committee are applying for grants, but many require us to have raised half the money ourselves beforehand, so our first target is £40,000. We have raised £18,000 through events and donations and are confident of further grants or loans, but we would welcome your support.
How can you support us?
By direct donation, gift aided if possible.
By attending or helping with fundraising events, (which will be publicised in this newsletter and on the websites, Facebook and posters.)
By helping the fundraising committee directly.
Simply with your best wishes and prayers.
It seems a daunting task, but together and with God's Blessing, we will get there and will preserve our church for many more years to come.
Jackie Gauntley for Greetham PCC
tel. 01572 868291.
Greetham Women’s’ Institute Report of Meeting held on Monday 12th February 2018
Twenty five members and one guest were present for the meeting. A birth-day posy was presented to Gill Hodson. Our Speaker was Malcolm Britton who entertained us with an interesting, informative and at times humorous account of the history of Brooksby village. It appears that there has been a settlement in Brooksby from pre-historic times. Proof of this was found in the quarry on an archaeological dig. We were then taken through time to a Danish settlement right up to the present day. Brooksby Hall has a very rich history and was owned by the Villiers family from 1278. In 1592 it was owned by the 1st Duke of Buckingham, who it was said had the ear of King James 1st until he met an untimely end when he was murdered. The Villiers family resided in the hall for 500 years until 1711/12 when the line died out with the death of William and Anne Villiers. Malcolm explained to us that the uncertainty of the year was due to the changes made in the calendar at that time. We were also informed that the Villiers had many descendants and can claim 16 British Prime Ministers as descendants. These include Antho-ny Eden, Sir Alec Douglas Hume, Winston Churchill, and David Cameron to name but a few. This impressive heritage did not end there, apparently the Spencer family, Princess Diana, The Queen Mother and consequently our present royal family can all be traced back to the Villiers line. The Hall then became home to various families and it was used a great deal as a hunting lodge. In this period it is claimed that Lord Cardigan of the Charge of the Light Brigade fame resided in the Hall. To be followed in time by “Beatty of Brooksby” (so named by the people) who received the German surrender at the Battle of Jutland and whose flag hangs in Brooksby Church. There is also a bronze bust of him in the church. The Hall had many uses as a hospi-tal, school, and finally as an agricultural college which today has in excess of 600 pupils. Tea Hostesses were Hazel Hinch and Gill Hodson. Vote of Thanks was given by Pat Kenworthy. Our next meeting is on 12th March. Tales of the unexpected by Guy Hodgson. Guests are always welcome.
WI Soups and Sweets
The WI annual Soups and Sweets event went very well this year. Over 90 people attended and there was a selection of 16 soups and 16 puddings all made by the WI members. It was a wonderful occasion enjoyed by all. We look forward to seeing you next year.
A very entertaining night with about 70 people attending. It was great to see the young girls join in. Many thanks to McGoo, who as always were superb.
Gathering donates £2200 to local Air Ambulance
On Wednesday November 8th, some of the Greetham Gathering’s Commit-tee and helpers met Jo Payne from the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rut-land Air Ambulance Service (DLRAA) at the Air Ambulance base at East Midlands Airport to present a cheque in support of the DRLAA. In 2014, the first year of the Greetham Gatherings, the committee were able to present a cheque to the DRLAA for £450. In 2015 the donation was £1500. In 2016 the donation was £2000. In 2017 we hoped to exceed the previous year’s amount, but this has proven to be much more challenging. We had some great sunny days where record attendances were recorded, but in Septem-ber we had dreadful weather and that, understandably, put a dent in our fund raising hopes. However we still had our most successful year yet for the Gatherings, and with all the extra support from the public, the committee were delighted to present a cheque for £2200 to the DLRAA.
The picture (front page) shows Martin Fairbairn, Treasurer for the Greetham Gatherings, with Roly Easson, Lorine Mohamed and Gilbert Thomas pre-senting a cheque for £2200 to the DLRAA, who had the on-duty pilot, para-medic and 2 doctors to accept it.