In the Pink in Aldbourne

Pinks Feast Aldbourne 1792

Reading Mercury – Monday 11 June 1792 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

With less than two weeks to go until the Aldbourne Produce & Craft Show (Sunday 8 July) I thought it appropriate to explore just how long flower shows have been a feature of our lovely village.  The earliest reference I have found so far is a notice for a SUBSCRIPTION PINK FEAST at the Crown on 26 June 1792; the prize was a ‘handsome piece of plate … to him that exhibits the six best whole-blown PINKS of six different sorts’.

I’ve learned that the carnation is said to have been brought to Britain by the Romans.  The smallest member of genus dianthus is the pink; there’s also Sweet William.  Thomas Fairchild, born in Aldbourne in 1667, cross pollinated two of the genus to produce the hybrid Fairchild’s Mule. Two of Fairchild’s mules have survived in the herbaria of Oxford University and the Natural History Museum, London.

I can recommend a lovely book printed in 1969 called Shakespeare’s Flowers, by Jessica Kerr ( beautifully illustrated by Anne Ophelia Dowden).

Shakespeare’s plays are full of references to plants and flowers, he wrote in The Winter’s Tale much about gardens, flowers, trees and about their care and cultivation.

Sir, the year growing ancient,
Not yet on summer’s death, nor on the birth
Of trembling winter, the fairest flower o’ the season
Are our carnations, and streak’d gillyvors

‘Streak’d gillvors’ would be a fine example of Picotee – worthy of winning the Crown Picotee Cup – first presented in 2017.  Find out more about the Aldbourne Produce Show and the many and varies classes you can enter at St Michael’s Church on Sunday 8 July 2018 www.whittonways.org.uk

Some links in praise of pinks!

http://herbaria.plants.ox.ac.uk/bol/plants400/profiles/CD/Dianthus

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/flowershows/2009/06/gillyflowers.html

http://thegardenstrustblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/thomas-fairchild

http://www.thompson-morgan.com/pinks-evocation-of-the-past

http://www.monticello.org/site/house-and-gardens/pinks-gilliflowers-carnations-exalted-flowers

 

Our Anniversary Day R C Barrett #RAF100

Ronald Charles Barrett

Sergeant 106 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Died 9th July 1943 aged 21

From a collection of poems written between 1935, when the author was 12 years old, and 1941.  Commissioned by the Aldbourne Memorial Hall Management Committee as a Tribute to the Service Men of this village who died in the 1939-45 War, and reproduced by Aldbourne Business Services, with the kind permission of Mr & Mrs L Mildenhall

Ronald Charles Barrett

Percy Veitch – RFC/RAF

As the RAF celebrates it’s 100th birthday I thought you would like to know that Aldbourne was part of it.  My Uncle Percy was transferred from the RFC (which he joined in 1913, an “Old Contemptible”) to the newly formed RAF.  His complete service number was 635 (ie the 635th person to be enlisted in the RAF). Attached record shows the date of transfer 17/03/18 from RFC to RAF The date 1/3/13 was his last promotion Pay 6 shillings a day. OE is the term of enlistment which I assume means “Open ended”
John Brown March 2018
It was an absolute delight to hear from John Brown in the days leading up to #RAF100 with details of his uncle Percy.  Photos from www.pastcaring.com a family history prepared by John’s son, Paul.  Percy’s father and brother, both John, are remembered on the Aldbourne War Memorial Hall.
 

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Royal Flying Corps/RAF

With my thanks to Phil Comley for providing names for this list.  Any and all information about those named very welcome!

Daniel Edgar Cook – born in 1900 and believed to be with the training wing in Crystal Palace when the war ended.
William Culley –  2nd class aircraft mechanic.  Served in 211 and 92 Sqn.
Lt Col Spencer Bertram Horne – 85 and 60 Sqn. Lived in Beech Knoll. Died 1969.
George Gulliver Jerram – 1st class aircraft mechanic. 25 Sqn. He was a carpenter by trade so he was almost certainly a ‘rigger’ who built the wooden frames. He was serving when it was the RFC
Reginald Mildenhall – another ‘Rigger’.
Richard Alexander Moulding – 1st class aircraft mechanic. 102 Sqn.
Frederick Henry Sheppard – ‘Rigger’ who walked to Marlborough to enlist.
Harold Smith – no service details.
George Lambert Usher – born in Plymouth, buried in Aldbourne Churchyard.

Hungerford Virtual Museum

Pembroke Dabchick February 2016

Dabchick: January 2016

An early morning visit to the excellent Hungerford Virtual Museum, to re-visit connections to Aldbourne and in particular the War Memorial Hall.

So much of interest on the site, including the history of St Lawrence Church:

In Edward VI’s time the church had three bells and a sanctus bell, and this was the situation when the tower started to collapse in 1811.

As plans were made to re-build the tower, an order for a peal of five bells was made to James Wells in the nearby village of Aldbourne. This small village produced two notable dynasties of bell-founders—the Corrs, who started in 1696, and the Wells.

They were asked to recast the four old bells into a new ring of six bells, with a tenor of 15cwt. Evidently the bell frame was not suitable for these, and required modification. The new bells were cast in 1816 and were hung in the new tower in two tiers. Mr Well’s estimate of 1812 and all fittings amounted to £251 0s 0d.

In Prehistoric Hungerford

Undy’s Farm in 1988-89 revealed what was possibly Berkshire’s only example of a Bronze Age ceremonial site. The seven metre diameter site had seven pits around a large central hearth. The pits held posts which had burned down and been replaced on several occasions. In association with this find was a probable fragment of an “Aldbourne cup”. These small vessels are normally associated with Early Bronze Age (Wessex II) inhumation burials. Its discovery here was considered “most unusual”, but confirms the area was occupied in the Bronze Age.

Links:

Hungerford Virtual Museum

Hungerford Virtual Museum on Facebook

Hungerford Historical Association