Azal and Bok return to Devil’s End

Last Sunday an intergalactic peril once again threatened the sleepy village of Aldbourne. However, all was not lost and the planet was saved (again!) by the presence of U.N.I.T and the White Witch of Devil’s End, Olive Hawthorne.

More than forty years ago, Dr Who came to Aldbourne and defeated the Master on the village green. The cast and crew visited again with Reeltime Pictures in 1992 to make the documentary ‘Return to Devil’s End’.

During the summer this year, Reeltime Pictures worked with a supporting cast of locals to film the finishing sequences for ‘The White Witch of Devil’s End’ featuring Damaris Hayman; telling the story of Olive Hawthorne’s long life, and her guardianship of the village against supernatural foes.

The result is the long awaited triple DVD set now available on general release.  Olive Hawthorne’s life-story, the documentary from 1992 and a bonus disk of material gathered at conventions held in Aldbourne.

Damaris Hayman, now 88, was kind enough to endure some chilly weather to meet the brave men and women of U.N.I.T, and spoke kindly to her defeated adversary, the Master – all

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represented on this occasion by Johnny Who Entertainments. Then it was back into the warm at the Crown to meet with and thank locals who had assisted with the filming in the summer.

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John Veitch – Burnham & Aldbourne

During the past two decades I have been privileged to share many family memories.  One of the wonderful things about living in Aldbourne is that so many descendants still reside here.  Through the power of social media it is possible to reach further afield, and sometimes instantly overseas. I’ve also been fortunate to have the support of like-minded individuals and professional library, museum and archive staff who have taken considerable time and trouble to help me tell just a few of Aldbourne’s stories.

Years ago I was given an insight into the Brown and Veitch family history; first via the Aldbourne Community Website Forum and emailing Paul Brown and, then more recently by directly corresponding with John Brown, Paul’s father.  It was great to meet John this year for the first time at the Aldbourne Heritage Centre and chat about John’s father Clifford Brown – but that’s another story … Thanks to all of you for including me in the distribution of family photographs and this wonderful video and song.

For today, I’m thinking about one of the most evocative faces I’ve seen, a face that represents for me a haunting reflection of the generation of young men lost to their families in the 1914-1918 conflict.  This young man is John Veitch, remembered alongside his father on the Aldbourne War Memorial Hall and also commemorated in this beautiful song.  Watch. Listen. Remember.

John Veitch of Burnham-on-Crouch and Aldbourne in Wiltshire was my grandmother’s favourite older brother.  Beautiful and poignant new music written and performed by Mark Hickman and his son Ben which inspired our friend here in France to create the video.
(Paul Brown 11 November 2017)

 

Thomas Fairchild

Finding a peaceful half-hour to think about Thomas Fairchild in the early morning, an Aldbourne garden outside the window looking beautiful. Found this blog, and articles written this year about Thomas Fairchild – born Aldbourne 1667 – and the Vegetable Sermon this year at St Giles, Cripplegate.

Parks and Gardens UK

Thomas Fairchild (c.1667-1729); Department of Plant Sciences; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/thomas-fairchild-c-16671729-220972

Thomas Fairchild was one of the greatest horticulturists of the 18thc. But his contribution was not confined to his own age but extends right up to today. That might sound a bit over the top – and perhaps it is – but as you will soon discover I’m a great fan of this humble Hoxton nurseryman. Professional to his fingertips not only did his tiny nursery ground overflow with unusual plants, he fought to raise the profile and status of horticulture through the Worshipful Company of Gardeners,  was the first person known to have deliberately hybridized plants,  and the first to write about the pleasures and pitfalls of gardening in London in his book, The City Gardener.

Old St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch which would have been the church Fairchild knew. Part of the tower collapsed during a service in 1716 & the church…

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The Vegetable Sermon

Parks and Gardens UK

St Giles Cripplegate
David Marsh, June 2017

Thomas Fairchild, the 18thc London gardener and subject of a recent post, was more than just a great London nurseryman and striver for professional unity and strength, he was also highly  inquisitive – or what his contemporaries would have called “curious”. He combined his intellectual curiosity with a strong religious faith and in his will he bequeathed £25 to the churchwardens of St Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch for an annual lecture to be given on the Tuesday after Pentecost.  He specified two possible subjects:  “The wonderful works of God in Creation” or “On the certainty of the resurrection of the dead, proved by certain changes of the animal and vegetable parts of Creation,” and this has resulted in the event being sometimes nicknamed the “Vegetable Sermon.”

The Arms of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners from the 1616 Charter

After a somewhat chequered history it…

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