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
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.
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)
Parish News August 1972
Clifford Brown and ‘the best fish and chips for miles’, with thanks to John and Paul Brown for sharing their family photos and for many entertaining chats via email and the Aldbourne Net Forum
Here’s the amazing ACHG Scarecrow that guarded the Heritage Centre during the Aldbourne Scarecrow Trail last weekend – an ‘Ugly’ bird joining in with the “Fairy Tales & Musicals” theme. A mixed weekend weatherwise, but as ever a fabulous family event organised by the hardworking team at Aldbourne Churches Together – I think there may still be people out there hoping to solve just one more clue!
Link to the Aldbourne page on the Whitton Team Website If you want to see more about the 2017 Scarecrows visit Aldbourne Scarecrow Trail on Facebook
In 2016, the Scarecrow Trail featured “Award Winners” and the ACHG paid homage to this brave Dabchick whose portrait still graces the Officers’ Mess at RAF Odiham. Do you know her name? Find out more about the Aldbourne Community Heritage Group and the Aldbourne Heritage Centre: www.aldbourneheritage.org.uk and on Facebook