Chitterne Now and Then
Blog Archive - October 2011

Friday 28th October 2011 - Dire Dictionary

Will someone please tell me why the Oxford English Dictionary* is held in such high esteem? Because I think it's useless. For the first time in 40 years D and I are using a copy of the OED, it was a present, and to be quite frank we are disappointed with it. It's not a patch on our decrepid old copies of Collins' or Chambers' dictionaries and I've lost count of the times we have looked for a word in the new OED and not found it.

End of moan. I had to get that of my chest because it makes me mad when I'm trying to complete the Guardian Cryptic Crossword and the tool to hand is this apology for a dictionary.

* WHOOPS! Made a mistake here, actually the dictionary we are using is the Oxford Dictionary of English, not the Oxford English Dictionary! Sorry for maligning you OED, but who are the people almost using your good name for an inferior product?

Wednesday 19th October 2011 - Returning Names

Another example of an old Chitterne name returning to the village has come to light recently. Just to remind you: I have a theory that Chitterne family names of the past keep coming back, so I am always on the look-out for more examples. This latest name is interesting because it has even returned to the very same house, albeit through marriage.

Now a problem occurs to me. How can I write about the returning name without mentioning it, and thereby mentioning the name of the people concerned! Hum. Those of you who live here will know who I mean if I say Clump House is the house involved. Frederick Lavington's wife is the lady of the same name. The Lavington family farmed here in the 1850's and 1860's and Frederick Lavington was a churchwarden when the new church was consecrated in 1862.

With apologies to the rest of you who must remain in ignorance unless you have the wherewithall to look Frederick's wife up.

Wednesday 12th October 2011 - Kneeler 12

Today I finished the top of my second kneeler. Part of one side I finished a while ago. Now I'm ready to start stitching the dedication to Mandy on the other long side. All the while I'm thinking about my third kneeler. The first idea was to stitch the top with Ela of Salisbury's coat of arms, but it's really her husband's Longespee coat of arms, so that won't do. I found a picture on the internet of what is thought to be Ela's seal when she was Abbess of Lacock. It's quite ornate but an interesting shape and with the expert help of AM I hope to be able to use it for the top of the next kneeler.

Daughter A has been keeping up the family needlecraft tradition by selling her and C's homemade wares at the first Renegade Craft Fair to be held in London last weekend. It was held in the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, East London on Saturday and Sunday. I am in awe of what they have achieved. I tried selling my own homemade goods in the late eighties and early nineties, and it's hard, so their success is very sweet for me.

Wednesday 5th October 2011 - Bits and Pieces

The main thing that has happened to me lately is being asked to write the thumbnail description of Chitterne for the Wiltshire Council's Communities webpages. Little did I know what was coming when we kneeler stitchers spotted HT of the History Centre at Chippenham out and about in the village carrying a camera and a clipboard recently. I half-jokingly said I wonder if she's taking photographs for the Chitterne community page? Only to receive an email a few days later from the very same lady on the very same topic. Being me, I was immediately overcome with feelings of inadequacy. But at least now, being an older me, I knew that those feelings would pass once I had given myself a severe talking-to. And so I have accepted the task, with a certain frisson of excitement it must be said, that I'll be able to use the "nestling in the folds" phrase yet again and so wind up D, who enjoys teasing me about it.

What else? Oh yes, I've updated the Burial Records and St Mary's graveyard plan after a gap of three years. On inspecting recent burials at St Mary's I discovered a new plaque in memory of GF, who died last year in Bristol, but whose name is not in the Burial Register. Back home on checking my notes I found that his ashes were scattered around the village War Memorial, so the memorial plaque is just that, a memorial. Should he be in the Burial Register or not? Technically, nothing, no body or ashes, is buried here but on the other hand a plot must have been bought in the graveyard for the plaque. I'm glad it's not me who has to make a decision.

I have made good progress on my current kneeler lately, spurred on by wanting to stitch a third when this one is finished. It was LS 's idea to dedicate her kneeler to John Wallis Titt, which I thought was an inspired choice, that gave me the idea for another one of my own. We really should have a kneeler dedicated to Ela, Countess of Salisbury, I thought. So that's my plan. Sounds like I'm going to be busy!

Comment: We’re glad to see that you are going to be doing the write-up for the council website on Chitterne – you can do it, Sue, we’re right behind you cheering you on! J & RR

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