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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

 

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Kate Tryon – Aldbourne & Upper Upham

Finally found time to think about Kate Tryon.  We spotted her painting of Aldbourne ages ago on a visit to the Richard Jefferies Museum at Coate Water and it’s taken this long to add her to the blog!  In the intervening time, the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery have conserved the Tryon collection, and by chance used the Aldbourne painting to illustrate a  fab open access conservation session on their website in October 2016.  I must go back to see if the painting is back on display again at Coate.

You can find out more about Kate Tryon in this article by Barry Leighton (Swindon Advertiser)

Kate Tryon SMandAG

 

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.

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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