Posts by Pam

Lo, the Angels . . .

With only a few days to go before Christmas, I felt a little light relief might be welcome amongst all the hustle and bustle. I will be putting a humorous post up each day until the 24th December.  Some will be long, others short. Some modern and a few with a nostalgic look back at simpler times.

My first, though, will be seasonal, and here I must say quite clearly that the school that is mentioned is NOT Geddington’s school, not even based on it, although some of the thoughts and actions may be familiar to its teachers . . .  But I think it only fitting to dedicate this story to all the teaching staff, and those who help, not only at Geddington’s Primary School, but those in the Nursery Schools and Pre-schools.

So, with that proviso, here goes:

Lo, the Angels . . .

Other people have Christmas. Village schoolteachers have nativity plays. From early November and through to the late, dark days of December, the village schoolteacher feels that this year’s nativity play is possibly the most unholy thing to be conceived and produced; that parents normally indulgent of the efforts of their offspring will not be able to ignore this year’s fiasco; that they will see it as an open invitation to turn to another religion in disgust; that this is the very last nativity play she will attempt, that she is in the wrong profession altogether and next July she will  leave and be a shorthand typist. (Forgot to mention that this isn’t a 21st century story!)

However, the term progresses inexorably. As December begins, the clothes horses are brought out from the headmistress’s adjoining house and the, by now, traditional scenery is touched up and pinned onto them. No one thinks of asking the headmistress how she airs her clothes during December – village headmistresses bear their discomforts with seemly stoicism. An incredible sardonic donkey peers over the scenery at a tomato box on legs, complete with 15-year old straw, but as yet no inhabitant. The dressing-up box is opened, the giggling angels are fitted with grubby robes and they take them home for Mother to add a little biological whiteness to the biblical scene. The shepherds tighten their dressing gown cords and wince as the hand towels are bound around their heads with a vicious pull.

The three wise men empty their mothers’ tea caddies for gold, frankincense and the vicar is approached once again for his ebony box for the myrrh. Their crowns are made from old jewellery and copious gold paint. A huge spangled star is made which, Lo! They will behold in the East. Well, at least one will point and say ‘Lo’. The others will be grinning vacantly at the front seats. The angel Gabriel is bigger than the other angels and, therefore, of a different breed, she feels. She has to be dressed in the redoubtable school cleaner’s nightie, which is of nuns veiling ‘and made when people knew how to run and fell’ as she observed tartly. Fresh tinsel is bought from the Christmas-orientated shops in the outside world; last year’s is tarnished and would be bad for angelic image . . .

Rehearsals move slowly. Joseph is often away at the speech clinic and has a script cunningly composed of words without the letter ‘s’. The angel Gabriel herself is away with what is reported as a ‘bladder complaint’ despite her superiority. The little shepherds cannot manage their crooks, everyone catches cold; even the little girl who is playing Mary sniffs and claps a hanky to her nose as she is asked to lean solicitously over the tomato box.

Dawn breaks on the last Thursday before the Christmas holidays. Night must fall, the teacher tells herself comfortingly, and the shorthand is coming on well.

After lunch, the boys put out the chairs in rows for their mothers, aunties, grannies and for the whole tribe of Israel to sit on. The baby doll is laid in the straw for the first time. Everyone is ordered to the outside lavatories, for the last time, as they are warned severely.  The whole cast is lined up at the door ready to file into what is inevitably termed a tableau. The teacher surveys the squirming line and cannot remember ever seeing such a motley bunch of shepherds, such a shifty-eyed pair of inn-keepers, such a miserable Madonna, surely the most retarded of Wise Men . . . this moment is the nadir of the school teacher’s year.

But now the headmistress starts to play a well-loved carol at the piano for the audience to sing together quietly. This announces the start of the proceedings and muffles the sounds of the said tableau forming. As the music begins, the angel Gabriel is allowed up to the lavatories by special dispensation owing to the nature of her ‘complaint’. A glimpse of grey stockings is seen as she hauls the nuns veiling round her knees. The teacher, by now anaesthetised to anachronisms and the like, merely breathes a sigh of relief as a flash of tinsel past a back window denotes mission accomplished and a speedy return.

As the music dies away, the screens are removed by two stalwart boys who have been standing behind them waiting for the countdown. The clear voice of one of the bigger girls hangs on the air of the unusually quiet schoolroom. ‘And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth . . . ‘ The words of the Authorised Bible, so maligned and meaningless over the past few weeks, ring out again this time clearly and truly, subtly enhanced by the soft local accent. A metamorphosis begins and takes shape under is own slow impetus. the schoolteacher feels a relaxation in her heart and she knows at a certain moment every year, that this will be the fitting climax to the whole year. These children are probably the best she has had, she thinks proudly and it is a privilege to be able to work with them for a short part of their lives.

‘And lo the angel of the Lord came upon them . . .’ Enter the grey socks bearing the star, which, Lo, they are all looking at. The screens are drawn together for the last time and the miracle, which happens every year, has taken place once more. The moment is crystallised into a private significance for each person watching.

Yes, privilege is not too strong a word, thinks the teacher proudly. Moments like these are possibly not experienced by shorthand typists.

1st Geddington Scouts Christmas Post 2017

Let the Scouts deliver your Christmas cards!

Post your cards from 27 November to 13 December.

Cost per card is 30pscoutpost-1

Scoutboxes can be found:
Near the Cross
Skeffington Close
Near the Post Office
Geddington School
Newton &
Weekley

Cards are delivered to:  Barton Seagrave    Braybrooke    Broughton    Burton Latimer    Cranford    Cransley    Desborough    Geddington    Grafton Underwood    Isham    Kettering    Little Cransley    Loddington    Mawsley    Newton    Old    Orton    Pytchley    Rothwell    Rushton    Warkton    Walgrave  and  Weekley.

scout-post-areaPlease do not post cards for places not on this list, or outside the red line on this map, as the Scouts are unable to deliver them.

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Click on image to enlarge.

 

Address cards with:
Recipient’s name
Number of house
Name of street
Town
Postcode

Local Identified Priorities Survey

Northamptonshire Police Survey

I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to take part in the Local Identified priorities survey that we take part in, in conjunction with other partners.
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This is a short survey and will only take a maximum of 10 minutes. The more responses the more directed and targeted our service can be.
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TPS 783 Robert Offord
Kettering & Rural Neighbourhood Policing
Northamptonshire Police.
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Community Arts Festival 22.10.17

Geddington Brickyard Garden is hosting a

Community Arts Festival

Sunday 22nd October 2017

10.45am – 4.45pm

BIG DRAW 2017 – LIVING LINES

All are welcome to this exciting community art event – so come and have a go!
No art experience required!
This will be a fun day for family and friends – all ages are welcome.

NOT TOO LATE TO BOOK! There are still a few places left on each workshop that run throughout the day. Emma has described each workshop in detail AND you can book directly on Eventbrite at this address: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-draw-living-lines-tickets-38341559637.

Geddington Brickyard Garden crew (Lynette, Ian, Brenda) are so happy to host this event and grateful to Emma for all her hard work to bring it about. We are all ‘breaking new ground’!

Lynette Litman

Uncovered History

Are you interested in history?

Are you interested in Geddington’s history?

It would appear that many of you are, according to out ‘hit’ reader.
So here’s a chance to find out more of our 12th century history.

It’s all about the Magna Carta king, King John, who made Geddington, at the centre of England, a much more important place than ever before, or since!

You won’t find the detail of this fascinating king and his 17year reign in any educational history books: it has taken a local historian, and his interest in Geddington, to piece together an enormous quantity of documentation to reveal the story.

Many of you will have seen Vic Crouse’s exhibition of the story he uncovered. Many will have bought his book, ‘The Magna Carta King in Geddington’, however, Vic has not stopped researching and has uncovered much, much more!

To find out just how much more, come along to his light-hearted review with

‘An Evening with King John’

on Friday 20 October at 7.30pm.

Geddington Village Hall Lounge

Tickets: apply to editor@geddington.net or
Pam Hopkins, 9 Grafton Road

Free admission, but by ticket only, so that we know how many biscuits to buy and coffee and tea to serve!

More details in the Diary page

John Sutton CBE

John Sutton CBE
9 June 1936 – 3 October 2017

It is with great sadness that the Charity has to report the death of its Chairman, John Sutton. John took over the role of chairman in 1992, at a time when the Charity was in a very poor financial state. For the charity to survive, John understood that we needed capital and that was his aim throughout his stewardship of the Charity and due to his commitment, the Charity is now in a healthy financial position.

John studied Politics and History at Keele University, where he obtained a degree, an MA and a Dip.Ed. He came to the village in 1973 as a Headmaster, whose first task was to cement the amalgamation of four schools in eight years, as well as preside over a succession of name changes – Corby Grammar, Southwood School and then Queen Elizabeth School, Corby. His interest in education lead him to become the County Convenor of the local branch of the Headmasters Association, later to be called the Secondary Heads Association. (SHA). Ten years later his skill and vigour lead him to achieve the position of SHA National President. When the position of General Secretary became vacant, such was his colleagues’ regard that, despite strong competition, John was chosen by a large selection committee.

John was active on the national scene too. His contribution to the improvements in the pay and conditions of heads, input into the plethora of Acts of Parliament in the 1990s and cultivation of influential organisations such as the CBI and political parties, as well as improving relations with the teacher unions, was greatly appreciated by those who knew him. His service to education in the broadest sense was rewarded with a CBE, and by the SHA, which made him a life member on retirement.

The esteem John was held in by ministers and mandarins led to a number of honorary posts: governor of the armed services college at Welbeck, Trustee of the Teaching Awards Trust, council member of the Hansard Society for Parliamentary Government and the Founding Honorary Treasurer, subsequently Chairman and Hon. Fellow, of the Politics Association.

In Geddington, John’s thinly veiled nom-de-plume of Archimedes, resulted in twenty-two brain-teasing cryptic quizzes, which raised valuable funds for the Samuel Lee Charity. Fund-raising was another of his many skills. For the Samuel Lee Charity in 2008, John initiated the Tercentenary Memorial Lunch, which continues to this day as the successful Memorial Lunch. He wrote and published a comprehensive booklet on the history of the Charity. But the Samuel Lee Charity wasn’t the only recipient of his fund-raising skills; he used them for the Geddington Volunteer Fire Brigade, where he served as the first Commanding Officer after the passing of their Chief, Mathew J Harker, and was an active member of the Kettering Huxloe Rotary.

To quote the Samuel Lee Trustees, ‘John was a wonderfully caring and intelligent man who was the lifeblood of the Charity. His life’s work will continue for many more years and he will always be fondly remembered by the Trustees who will continue his dedicated work for the Charity. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.’

Pam Hopkins
Secretary of the Samuel Lee Charity

The funeral will take place on Wednesday 18th October, 2.30pm at St Mary Magdalene Church, Geddington. This will be followed by a private family cremation. Family flowers only and donations to the Samuel Lee Charity. There will also be a collection at the service.

The Magna Carta King strikes again . . .

Geddington.net is combining ancient
(well, mediaeval in this case)
and modern history for this evening event.

Join us for a light-hearted review, following new research, on the life and times of King John, the Magna Carta King.

Our narrator is Vic Crouse and the only thing he is asking, is for you to bring your imagination on

Friday 20th October
at 7.30pm

There is no admission charge, but as we’re meeting in the Village Hall Lounge, where there is limited space, tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Tickets from:
editor@geddington.net or
Pam Hopkins, 9 Grafton Road or
Telephone: 742290
Admission is by ticket only, so don’t forget to bring them.

We will be providing (free) tea, coffee and fancy biscuits

Trundling on

Geddington Cricket Club &
Geddington Volunteer Fire Brigade

held their annual Trundle on Sunday 24 September in brilliant sunshine (those were the days!).

Thanks to Paul Boniface, Geddington.net is able to bring you a picturesque flavour of the day.

And the tug-of-war between North Geddington & South Geddington:

Well done everyone who took part – very brave people,
even if they knew what they were in for,
and especially if they didn’t!

The Autumn Equinox

Water, water everywhere . . .

You’ll never know the worth of water
till your well runs dry.

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