Chitterne Now and Then
Blog Archive - May 2011

Wednesday 25th May 2011 - Dispelling Myths

I took a gentleman for a history tour of the village yesterday, and had to dispell his notion that there was once a monastery in Garston. I don't know where these rumours are coming from about Chitterne having had a monastery in the past, but several villagers seem to believe this fallacy. I think it must stem from Chitterne having been held by Lacock Abbey and Bradenstoke Priory for 300 years, but I don't think an Abbess or Prior ever lived here permanently. So I've sort of knocked his romantic idea of the field on the head.

He wanted to know how he could get in touch with the person who wrote the 'poetic' language on the Chitterne homepage! Wow, that was me, but poetry? I suppose I did get carried away on a tide of feelings I have for the village when I wrote it. It certainly came from the heart. But he said he particularly liked the bit about the dry grass rippling like a golden sea, which I may have nicked in turn from Candida Lycett Green! Although she alluded to desert not sea I think, and has better poetry connections than me. I told him he could nick any of my words he liked for his new website, the people who run another website nicked my 'nestling in the folds' (the cause of much ribbing by D) for theirs, and I was flattered. Nice of him to ask though.

Saturday 7th May 2011 - Kneeler 9

At the kneeler stitching meeting yesterday we reached the stage where it was time to move the first two frames on the most advanced altar rail kneeler. We have been inching our way towards this goal for weeks, by concentrating on stitching the parts nearest to where these two frames meet. I'd better explain.

Each nine-foot long kneeler canvas is stretched across, and secured by drawing pins, to five separate rectangular wooden frames. The frames are not all the same length; long alternate with short. There are gaps between the frames to allow the canvas to be folded for easy transport. The five frames are supported by two stout lengths of timber, hinged in the middle so they also can be folded to fit in a car. The lengths of timber rest on two metal trestles, one at each end of the kneeler.

So at last we were ready to swop a long frame for its short neighbour. This would allow us to stitch the part that had been between the first two frames. It was quite a milestone moment.

The second altar rail kneeler is coming along too. Note the trestle and timber supports nearest the camera.

Monday 2nd May 2011 - Royal Wedding Party

This was the royal wedding party held last Friday afternoon on the village sportsfield. Great atmosphere, great music, great fun. Yards and yards of home-made bunting draped around the green, the hall, the cut, everywhere, made it feel very festive. The photograph above looking south; below looking north.

More family history visitors. The extra days off and the good weather seems to be bringing them out. Today it was the turn of a family I hadn't come across before as they were in Chitterne too late to have appeared in the released censuses or even Reverend Canner's visiting book of 1925. A mother and her son were living at 19 Townsend in the second World War. The mother gave birth to the son in 1943 in Warminster and the boy's father had died 6 months before the birth. Now, here was the son today, looking up his first home. As so often happens his mother had passed away before he thought to question her about his father, but since 2004 he had unravelled much of the story using the internet and now had come to see number 19 for himself. AF passed him on to PJ who passed him on to me, who sold him two copies of the Chitterne book. I shall have to start paying commission at this rate!

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