Wedding of the Year!

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Everybody agreed that the wedding of James and Tracy was “just perfect”. It was a joyous occasion blessed with sunshine and laughter. The church was packed with smiling guests and some happy tears were shed, as they tied the knot. The roar from the congregation when Rev Tom Benson asked whether family and friends would “support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come” raised the roof. After the lovely service, the champagne flowed and all enjoyed the sunshine outside the church. All then repaired to the Tally and merry-making continued far into the evening. Best wishes for the future from all in Littlehempston!

Help! Littlehempston Fete needs a new home.

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There’s an emergency meeting at the Tally on Wednesday October 12th at 6.30pm to help choose a new home for our wonderful Littlehempston Fete. It is with sadness and much gratitude that the Fete says a fond farewell to its Gatcombe site. Please join us in giving warm thanks to the Brown family and the Beaumont family for being such generous hosts and for contributing so much to the enjoyment of the fete over the years. Time moves on, our hosts have other plans for their land, and so the baton is ready to be passed on to another to host the event.

Please let us know if you own or know of a new site, so that our wonderful village fete can continue in 2017.  Better still, come along with suggestions to the emergency meeting. The site owner will need to do very little, as the Fete Committee organise the whole event from start to finish. Our current hosts would be happy to share their experiences and (hopefully) give gleaming references! It’s an early evening event (4pm to 9pm) with no raucous or late night music and all will be left clean and tidy. The event is fully insured. Ideally the site would have:

  • cosy sunny location
  • good access
  • flat terrain
  • ideally water and electrical supply (though a bowser and generator are possible)
  • plentiful parking nearby

Every June, Littlehempston Fete brings the local community together for a day of enjoyment and fun! Much effort is put into the event and standards are high. It has a solid reputation for being an unmissable family event with a mix of traditional and whimsical attractions. All the stalls are run by local people and profits are ploughed back into the village, through events and supporting the Church and Community Space.

If you have suggestions or want to get involved but can’t make the meeting, please contact Nicky Oldridge, Sue Wellum or Ali Taylor.

Hugh Galton-Fenzi hits the jackpot!

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First prize in the Littlehempston Lottery drawn in September at the Pig & Whistle was won by Hugh Galton-Fenzi. who receives a cheque for £136. The next ball out of the barrel was Mike Wellum’s, who won the second prize of £34. As you may remember, Mike won first prize in the last draw, but a suggestion that the ball should be put back to give somebody else a go was firmly rejected by organiser, Ken Wood, who presented Jill Todd with a most welcome cheque for £170 for the Community Space. The draws are quarterly and the next one is at the Tally Ho on Villagers’ Night on Wednesday December 14th. If you’d like to join in with the last draw of the year, just send your application and a cheque for £10 to Ken Wood. Full details on our lottery page All profits go to promoting village activities in the Community Space, so it’s a great way of supporting local life as well as enjoying a flutter.

Murder mystery solved

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The murder mystery dinner Incident at Littlehempston with the Moonstone Theatre Company proved a smash hit. All tickets were sold and those lucky enough to get a ticket enjoyed an evening of high drama, debate about whodunnit and great food, enhanced by seeing ones neighbours dolled up in 1920’s style. The “incident” was set in 1928, a period described thus by Jenny Galton-Fenzi: “The Duke of Bolton, who used to own most of the village, has decided to cash in on rising land prices after the war, and many properties – including Hampstead Farm, Court Farm, the Post Office and the Bolton Arms pub, now belong to the former tenants. Our School closed in 1920, and the building is now a Parish Room. This year we have had 1 burial, 2 weddings and five boys born in the village, one of whom is John, the son of Frank Evans, who continues to run the successful family cider business from Ivy Cottage, next to the church. We have a new Rector, the Rev Hugh Grismond Phillips, who couldn’t be here, as he has a cold. The harvest is in, everything continues peacefully as it always has done – for, as everyone knows, nothing ever happens in Littlehempston!”  By the end of the evening, a lot had happened – we had solved two murders and raised an amazing £650 that will help keep our precious Space and Church open for all. A huge thank you to all involved, but especially Lesley Colley (pictured here flanked by Sue Wellum and Ali Taylor) who planned the meal, beautiful table decorations and menus.

Fond farewells

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Littlehempston in September saw some sad but fond farewells. Claire Donovan departed the Old Rectory for Oxford and the Bodleian Library, though for the next year will be working in Cambridge. She will be greatly missed by everyone and as Liz Miller put it so well in the Parish News: “She, like Colin, worked quietly in the background, not drawing attention to all she’s been doing, unlike many busy people. No matter how busy she was, she would always find time for her friends, and welcome them. We were very fortunate that she and Colin chose to come and live here”. Good luck for the future, Claire, and come back and visit soon! We are very fortunate to have a lovely family move into the Old Rectory: Suzy and Ben Parker and their children, twins Oscar and Felix, and baby Darcy who has the sweetest smile. Welcome!

A fond goodbye was also said to John, Lawrence and Amanda Joiner at the Murder Mystery dinner – much to their surprise, as they didn’t know they were to be star turns! Before the Moonstone Theatre got underway, Sue Wellum read a touching poem To Unsung Heroes that she had written for Lawrence about his enormous and good hearted contribution to Littlehempston over the years, followed by Liz Miller who paid tribute to John’s many good deeds for the village, in partnership with his wife Corinne who died a while ago. (John’s pictured here with Lawrence ridding the Tally Ho wall of ivy.) The Joiners were then presented amongst much hearty cheering with framed photos of Littlehempston people taken outside the church for the Jubilee. John is now settling not too far away in South Brent, while Lawrence and Amanda are heading for a new life on the Isle of Wight. Bon Voyage, everyone!

To Unsung Heroes

In the days of yore when the world was young
There was many a good deed that went unsung
Because slaying dragons was the only one
Which got itself into the press!
After which there came an age
When rescuing damsels was all the rage
But that took time and time was short
And time is something which can’t be bought.

So life got hard and people found
No time to do the pleasant things
To talk and play and ‘bide a while’
To find the joy that friendship brings
But to our village came a man
With a heart of gold and a big blue van
Who lends a hand if he possibly can
To anyone who needs it.

The values of true friendship
Loom large in this man’s life
He’s done with damsel rescuing.
That damsel’s now his wife!
He works hard for the village
He’s done too much to list
From beacons, fireworks, Christmas lights.
No wonder he’ll be missed.

The Annual Fete won’t be the same
Without him that’s for sure
But still that’s only part of it.
There’s really much, much more.
The many acts of kindness
Which our hero carries out
Are the acts that modern heroism
Is really all about.

He moves sofas out of flooded rooms
Despite the wet and cold
With that lovely smile, the big blue van.
And of course, his heart of gold.
There’s no help that’s been too much to ask
It’s always “Yes I can”
With his cheerful face, his heart of gold
And his big blue van.

So good, kind Lawrence we wish you well
In all you seek to do
In your new life on the Isle of Wight.
How lucky they are to get you!
To Amanda and John, as your life moves on,
Our love and best wishes go too.
Our hero is gone but he’s not been unsung
So we’ll bid you God speed and adieu.

Theft of tools and equipment

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On the night of Wednesday 7th September, there was break-in at Martin Crawford’s Nursery at the top of Parsonage Lane opposite to Buckyette. The break-in was at the secure lock up metal storage facility next to where the new glasshouse is being built. The workmen’s tools were stolen plus Martin’s tools and his trailer. It is possible it was an isolated case but also possible that the burglars are looking for activities in the area where there may be tools and equipment to steal. So if anyone heard or noticed anything suspicious around that time, please contact the police or Parish Councillor Mark Eyers.

And please pass on this information to anybody you might think might be a target for this kind of theft, for example, somebody who is having building works done.