For the Love of Eleanor – 1994

Following on from the Post of last week – the 30th Anniversary of the Pageant celebrating 700 years since Queen Eleanor lay in St Mary Magdalene – the village celebrated, in some style, the building of the Eleanor Cross 700 years earlier in 1294. Again, it was the enthusiastic Revd Richard Dorrington who took up the challenge and appealed to the village for help and ideas. Support came in buckets and the first thing they did was to form a committee (of course!), with Richard as Chairman and Angie Cooksley as Secretary.

It’s worth noting here, that the images and documents are of a great variety of sizes and legibility. However, by clicking on each one, it will enlarge, and then clicking on the return arrow, should get you back to this post.


Ideas poured in and eventually a programme of events, covering 6 months, from June to December, was produced, including a walk from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey by the GVFB, but more about that later. The beautiful drawing of Queen Eleanor on the programme, was drawn by Gussie Woods, who was inspired by a visit to the Queen’s tomb in Westminster Abbey.

The celebrations took off on 26 June when the Street party was launched.

30 June saw the Geddington Volunter Fire Brigade start their largest adventure to date, and they had plenty of them in those years. Incredibly well organised by the Adjutant, John Hughes, the members set off from Harby with the Queen Eleanor Fire Engine and two support vehicles, stopping at every place that an Eleanor Cross had been built.  A list of all those who took part is included in the video (see bottom of Post) – I can count 30, plus Richard Dorrington in spirit! No better description can be had than that of John’s report in the 1994 summer issue of The Newsletter, which can be seen below. In addition, we’ve added a poem, written by John Sutton, which has a slightly different take on the Walk.

16-17 July saw the annual Flower Festival, whose theme that year was “Scenes from Village History” – a prelude to the pageant to be held in September.
On the 17th July, an organ recital was held in the church by Paul Knappet ARCO, LTCL on a Copeman Hart Electronic Organ. Paul was organist of Kettering Parish Church. Tickets were £2 including coffee.

24 September and the church held a concert of “700 Years of Music” by The Empty Pocket musicians. Tickets for this were £2.50, also including coffee.

21-22 October brought the “The Spirit of Eleanor” pageant to the church, celebrating 700 years of village history. It was brought to life by Geddington residents and local actor, David Neal.

6 December saw the celebrations come to a close with a Commemoration Service in the church with High Mass on the anniversary of the day that Queen Eleanor’s body lay at rest in Geddington on the way to Westminster Abbey.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
But the duties of the 700 Committee weren’t quite finished yet.

PS As a postscript, you may be interested in the following Historic England’s Inspector’s 1981 report on our National Monument, the Eleanor Cross.

All that remains for me to finish this Post, is to present to you the video of the GVFB Walk from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey. As is commonly said these days – ENJOY – the walkers obviously did!

    3 Comments

    1. Yasmin Bradley

      Thu 17th Dec 2020 at 10:18 am

      Empty Pocket now Frumenty folk group are still going strong. We wrote and performed a song especially for this concert if anyone is interested. I think I have some photos in my scrapbook too. DM if you would like further information. I remember it as being a wonderful weekend!

      Reply
    2. Yasmin Bradley

      Thu 17th Dec 2020 at 10:21 am

      We recorded the song from Lincoln to London with an accompanying poem by Allan Baker on a CD!

      Reply
      • Pam

        Thu 17th Dec 2020 at 10:50 am

        Thank you so much for your comments, how did you find my Post amongst all the Internet stuff? Brilliant work! Pam

        Reply

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