In 1870 a young lady, known to Spotlight only as Eliza, recorded in her diary that she had received a Valentine Card, the verse from which is reproduced on the cover of this magazine. In her writings she refers to the pleasures enjoyed from sending and receiving such cards and no doubt many people have enjoyed similar pleasures from Valentine Cards for the following 134 years. At the time of Eliza's cards they tended to be serious and covered with sentimental pictures and verses. Today there is an emphasis on humour.
Spotlight was unable to discover much about St. Valentine. As we understand it, in the third century A.D. there were at least two men with this name. One reference book refers to the man who was a priest in the early Christian Church and who was beheaded on the Flaminian Way in Rome on February 14th, 270 A.D.
Saints and Martyrs are a bit like buses, you don't get one and then they all seem to come at once. There was another saint and martyr called St. Valentine a little later in church history. He was the Bishop of Terni and was martyred in Rome with his remains being returned later to Terni. Some scholars have suggested that both accounts refer to the same martyr but there is no historical evidence to suggest that this is the case. At least one reference book suggests that one of them may have been martyred by mistake.
Why then is St. Valentine the patron saint of lovers? St. Valentine would have preached the Christian message which is a message of love. This would not have been compatible with the Roman doctrine and as a consequence, St. Valentine was executed on the orders of Emperor Claudius II. February 14th was the Roman and fertility festival of Lupercalia which was also the day in Spring when, traditionally, birds were thought to begin their courtship. Hence, the perceived connection with St. Valentine and lovers.
Spotlight is not aware of the date when people began exchanging valentine cards but believes it to be a nice practice which hopefully will continue.
Arthur, Julie and David would like to thank everyone who sent cards and messages of sympathy at the sad loss of Phyliss and to thank Mrs. Pam Muller for a lovely service.
In December the members attended a carol service at St. Michael's Church in Melksham and a Christmas afternoon in Keevil.
The Mothers' Union will start the New Year with the A.G.M. in January and the first meeting will be on the 18th February at 2.30p.m. in the W..I. Hall, Rusty Lane, Seend. The speaker will be the Revd. Derek Frost who will tell us about Altar Frontals and Vestments.
Members will be running the Raffle and providing refreshments at the Village Pantomime on Saturday, 21st February for our branch funds.
I would imagine I speak on behalf of a lot of people who attended Seend School before Christmas on the occasion of the Annual Concert. Teachers, pupils and parents are to be congratulated on their efforts.
The infants Party was so moving, proud families were close to tears. Little did we know what was to follow from the Juniors. The singing and production of "OLIVER" was incredible. It had to be seen to be believed. It deserved a larger audience. The Pupils, Teachers and parents should be proud of a superb performance. Well done, and thank you
Edward Bradby's history of the Village has chapter head illustrations by James Lynch. The original ink drawings are on offer for sale - proceeds to the Trust's small investment fund. Sealed bids to the Treasurer, Philip Wood at 7, Seend Cleeve are invited by the 1st March.
At the meeting on the 10th December Mr. Girvan gave us a "Victorian Lantern Show" and explained the workings of the lantern which in its day must have been very clever. He showed many slides - a great many being entertaining and humorous. He was thanked for an interesting evening by Mrs. Pam Hillier. The competition, an "Old Fashioned Greetings Card" was won by Mrs. Meriel Taylor.
At the meeting on the 14th January Mr. Don Ellis gave a talk on the R.N.L.I. and also brought along some gifts for sale. The competition was a "Photograph of the Sea" or a model of a small boat or ornament.
The meeting on the 11th February will be a talk on Tea given by Mr. lan Green. The competition will be a "Teapot" and there will be a Bring & Buy stall.
We shall be following a course "The Teaching of Jesus" during Lent and these meetings will take place on Thursdays 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th March and 1st April. The rendezvous to be announced, There will be a Bible Study at the home of Miss Anne Salter, Bakery Cottage, Seend at 7.30p.m.
There was a good response to the two crossword competitions and the quiz that appeared in the last edition of Spotlight. Thanks go to all who entered. The winners were: Mrs. Sylvia Ewin (Box of chocolates) with bottles of wine going to Mrs. Vera Smith and to Mrs. Mary Wanrren.
For those who came to Inspector Bowerbank's talk on the 7th October last year, you will recall that he talked about the Wiltshire Emergency Services and on the leaflet enclosed there is also useful information the use of '999' calls.
SEEND GARDENING CLUB:
We shall have a local resident as our speaker in February, so welcome Richard Whitehead to talk to us on "Pesticides in Perspective", This will be on Tuesday. 10th February, 2004 at 7.30p.m. in the Pavilion. The competition will be for an indoor plant and we shall also have a display of your photographs on this evening. So please bring along some of your photos taken during the Club's visit to Devon last summer. Don't have too much supper before you come, as we shall be providing Cider and Pasties this evening! (there will be tea and coffee for those who would prefer it).
Club Stay Away: The Club is aiming to have a trip away from Monday, 23rd August to Wednesday. 25th August centred in Norwich. Lists will be out for the names of anyone interested in going at the meeting or 'phone Tony Hill (828397). Advance notice for your diaries - the Club Day Out will be on Saturday, 26th June.
We would be pleased if members will kindly return the Questionnaire regarding future Gardening Club visits to the next meeting on 10th February or by the end of February. Thank you.
Our Festive meal at Franco's in Devizes went extremely well (only one heart-stopping moment when we got the drinks bill - it was for the next table ... Phew) but it got Christmas off to a really good start.
The Burn's Night on 28th January should also start the New Year off nicely:
Haggis, neeps and tatties with some tasty extras also a sweet. Time to forget those New Year resolutions ladies, tuck in and enjoy. Please bring a bottle and a raffle prize.
The February meeting on the 25th we are keeping as a surprise, so satisfy your curiosity by coming along, we shall be delighted to see you. Happy New Year everyone.
Keevil and District W.I.:
Keevil & District's Christmas Party was a great success - lots of super food as always, and a happy time was had by all.
14th January started the year off with Mr. Raymond Guy and "Devon Tales". February brings something rather different, Group Captain David Greenaway takes us "Flying with the Royals". This will be at the Village Hall at 7.30p.m. on the 11th February.
Bulkington Firework Display:
Many thanks to all those who attended and contributed to our firework display this year. On a cold and windy' evening the exciting firework display and excellent refreshments brought a glow to everyone's cheeks.
My thanks go to the members of the Playing Field Committee and friends who helped out on the evening, and particularly to Bob who visited every house in the Village to raise funds. We almost broke even but were consoled by the fact that all who turned up had a good time. Here's to next year!
P.S: We hope to revisit the idea of a sponsored firewalk in the first quarter of 2004 which we were unable to hold on the firework day as planned.
Bulkington Playing Field - Plans for 2004:
It was appropriate in the second half of 2003 to curtail some of the fund raising activities whilst the Village concentrated on restoring the Village Hall. However, we were successful in obtaining a grant towards fencing the outer boundaries of the field and enclosing the Under 12s play area. Once we can obtain the planning permission to put the fence up, we will be planning some fundraising events for the summer, to fund the entire sum.
A new notice board is finally planned to go up in January, and we plan to replace the football goals in the first quarter.
The recent ROSPA Health and Safety inspection has created some work for us in preventative maintenance which the committee will be working on.
We than plan to incorporate the input from members of the Village regarding preferences for the use of the playing field into the work that the Parish Council is undertaking for Village planning. It is becoming apparent that without complete and fall consultation of all the Village any changes or purchases for the playing field are inappropriate - so that is what we will do! In the meantime, if you have any feedback on the playing field or discover any Health and Safety issues, please contact me or any members of the Committee (details on the notice board),
Broadband in Bulkington:
For all users of the web please note that Broadband was available from the end of December. If you're not sure who to use them visit the following web site for a list of current suppliers and costs: www.broadbandsupp
Bulkington Welcome Pack:
All Bulkington residents should have now received the new Welcome Pack. This was a team effort and grateful thanks are due to those who contributed.
In particular Rob Thornton provided all of the raw materials and time for the printing and we are very grateful for this support. If you have any changes or additions to make, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a note through the letter box at 18 High Street. Revisions will be issued every six months.
The Mothers Union:
Ash Wednesday Lunch, 25th February, 11.00a.m. in Keevil Village Hall. with Guest Speaker Canon John McNiesh followed by a hot lunch. Everyone most welcome.
February - Mrs. Webb.
Scarecrow Trail 2004:
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the garden, Scarecrows 2004 ("More Rhymes and Pantomimes") is set to invade the Village of Bulkington on the weekend of Saturday, 3rd & Sunday 4th July.
The "S" Team is already busy at the Saturday workshop, and we could do with your help with various items to complete the characters. If you have any bubble-wrap, shredded paper, wigs, hats (not baseball) satin shoes, feathers, belts and buckles, etc. please bring them to the Village Hall between 10.30a.m. and noon on Saturday mornings. Also we would like to invite you to take part in designing "Decoy" scarecrows.
The standard achieved last time was truly amazing and we would really like you to astound us again - we know you can do it! With your help we can look forward to another wonderful weekend.
Thank you to all those who turned out on a cold night to sing carols round the Village and thank you to those who opened their doors and gave so generously. A total of £121.77p. was collected for Dorothy House.
A big 'Thank you' too to John and Joan Champion for their wonderful refreshments. It was very much appreciated.
....and MORE THANKS:
Thanks to the enthusiastic support of our fellow villagers, I am delighted to advise that Bulkington Village Hall is now back in use with a new floor and that our insurance has now been re-instated for public use. Everybody is invited to attend the AGM (and inspect our efforts to date!), have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee at 7.30p.m. on Monday, 1st March, 2004. I would like to thank all our fundraisers, supporters and the public spirited villagers who came along and helped to prepare the 'works' and restore the floor. We still have to refit the internal entrance doors, fit skirting boards and re-decorate the newly plastered walls.
The new floor has been lowered to comply with the "Disability Act" and four new double power points fitted. We expect to be able to commence pointing the exterior walls in the Spring.
Over 150 children took "A Train Ride To see Father Christmas" in December and that raised a further substantial sum for the floor restoration. Additionally nearly £300 was raised with the sale of the Village Xmas Cards. Meanwhile if you wish to hire the hall (perhaps with the GBR for a children's party?) - please 'phone Roger Putter on 828485 or Nev. On 828101.
THE LATE OLIVE BARRETT:
Olive Barrett passed away peacefully on Christmas Day and Jill, Karen and families would like to thank everyone who attended Olive's funeral, for the many cards and messages and also for the donation sent to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Dorothy House. The family would like to express their thanks to the Revd. Derek Frost who conducted the funeral service.
SCOUTS and CUB SCOUTS in SEEND
The Cub Pack in Seend closed in 2001 due to the Leader moving from the Village, the Group was not closed but held dormant. It would be great if in 2004 we could re-open the Pack and also re-start the Scout Troop. I am sure the boys are there, just waiting for Leaders to be found. If you feel you would like to take up this challenge or would like to know more about what is involved, please contact me. The Scout movement is still very active although you don't see or hear much about it in the news. World wide it has 26 million members and still provides a worthwhile training programme for young people, and Leaders get a great deal of satisfaction from their involvement. You do not have to have a child in the movement to become a Leader, we have many single Leaders and many whose children have grown up. If there is a need and with the correct Leadership we may be able to open the Group to girls. Please consider helping the young people in your community in this way.
SEEND SHORT MAT BOWLS CLUB:
The Club is alive and well and still meeting every Wednesday evening for members to enjoy a sociable and amusing couple of hours.
For those interested in the competitive side of things, the Wiltshire Open Fours competition held recently involving 52 teams from 10 different counties (including England International players) was won by one of our Seend teams - we were really chuffed!
Our youngsters excelled themselves on Sunday, 11th January, at the County Under 28's singles - the semi-finals saw all three blue shirted Seend Players (Daniel and Christopher Waylen. plus Luke Ballinger) still in with a shout, with Luke going on to put up a stirring performance in the final, losing by the smallest possible margin to the very experienced Wayne Snook (holder of Wilts junior and senior trophies).
We would welcome anyone who would like to try their hand at the game -it's good fun and very relaxed - come along at 7.30p.m. on Wednesdays at the Irene Usher Pavilion, Rusty Lane, Seend.
SEEND & DISTRICT LINK SCHEME:
Link needs a computer. Do you have one that you don't like any more? If so, would you like to give it away to us please? We shall be happy to give it a good home! If you have updated your computer and not yet thrown it in the bin, we would find it very useful indeed. Thank you in anticipation. Tony Ewin, Chairman. (Tel: 828325).
P.S. A belated but sincere Happy New Year to all our Volunteers and to all those persons we have been privileged to help in the past year. Please remember the Link Scheme is there to help when you need it. Just 'phone 828190.
The organisers of the annual Fete are both upset and disappointed. Last September they had managed, at considerable expense, to book the fabulous Origami Trio for this year's Fete. Well known for their Flashing Scissors Act, they had also promised to perform an act that was new to them, a Fire Walking Act. This is where they would be walking, barefoot, along a trench of burning coals. They have now cancelled the visit and when asked for an explanation, replied that after further consideration about the new act, they now had cold feet over the idea!
"AT THE DROP OF A HIPPOPOTAMUS".
That's the intriguing title of our next Rural Arts Wiltshire event, on Saturday, 6th March, 2004 at 8.00p.m. in the Pavilion. A duo from the company "An Infinite Number of Monkeys" will perform a Flanders and Swann repertoire. Tickets £6 (£3 concessions). Refreshments available, or bring your own beer or wine and glasses. Any proceeds go towards the upkeep of the Lye Field and Pavilion.
SEEND POETRY GROUP:
A disappointingly small audience turned out to hear our special guest, Australian poet Mick Leigh, read some of his poems to us. Those of us who were there thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Meetings will start again soon,
SEEND FAWLTY PLAYERS 25th PANTO - PINOCCHIO;
The fun theatrical event of the year takes place on 19th - 21st February in the Social Club. Don't miss it! While basically following the Disney version of the story (the original Italian tale doesn't really lend itself to the Fawlty panto treatment!) we can promise a few daft surprises, as usual. See insert for full details of ticket prices and availability.
Any local businesses who would like to advertise in our programme, for the grand sum of a fiver,
There are still tickets available for the matinee of the Scottish play starring Greg Hicks and Sian Thomas - two excellent Shakespearian actors - at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Saturday, 22nd May. We've got good stall seats (£30) - plus the cost of the Shuttle.
If you are new to the Village and haven't yet received a Welcome Booklet, or if you are about to have new neighbours who should have one –
The Shuttle Committee and regular passengers were very sad to hear of the death of Olive Barrett. She had been a committee member and loyal supporter of the Shuttle until her final illness. Our thoughts go to her family.
Thanks to those who supported the coffee morning back in November. It made around £120.
It looks like the new home for the bus is likely to be The Barge car park - a convenient and easy place to manoeuvre the vehicle. Thanks to mine host for offering the space.
Why not use the Shuttle's scheduled runs now and then, and save yourself the hassle and cost of parking and petrol?
SEEND & DISTRICT RAMBLERS:
The Social Evening, Friday, 21st November, proved a great success, very well supported with our speaker Mr. lain Perry from the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund delivering a most informative talk. Fewer than 650 mountain gorillas are left in the world today - Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo, where their survival is threatened by human encroachment, deforestation and loss of habitat, poaching, illegal game hunting, mineral extraction, human disease and war.
As the result of a very good evening we were able to donate enough money to buy a complete outfit for an Anti Poaching Ranger; enough saplings to replant one acre of forest to increase the Gorilla habitat and a polythene liner to build a Dew Pond next to a school for a small community to get water they need without going into National Parks where the Gorillas live.
Sunday 23rd November:proved to be a really shocking weather day when it rained for the whole duration of the walk which was led by Ron Apted. Ron took a small group of walkers for a circular distance of 6 ½ miles from the lay-by A346 Marlborough/Ogboume Road, walking along the Railway path to Stitchcombe, Mildenhall and back to Ogbourne. Thanks to Ron for leading the walk. To everyone that took up the challenge, you deserve a medal for braving the elements!
Sunday 14th December: 12 walkers completed a distance of 5 miles from Avebury National Trust car park across fields skirting Silbury Hill. Then to West Kennet Long Barrow. Along to East Kennet climbing a slope past the Sanctuary and back along the Ridgeway to Avebury. Grateful thanks to Terry and Sheila Williams who engineered the course.
Saturday 27th December:15 walkers completed a distance of 4 miles starting from the car park at Selwyn Hall, Box and making uphill towards Quarry Woods and Plateau area east of Box, HMS Royal Arthur returning via Wadswick, Chapel Plaister and Hazelbury Manor. The weather was fine and sunny and a very pleasant morning. Thanks to Gerald for organising.
Thursday 1st January: Sue Noad was our leader for the New Year walk commencing Railway Station car park in Bradford on Avon. 19 people turning up for a most refreshing distance of 4 miles from Bradford along canal tow path, up over Fields and woodland, dropping down into Avoncliff. With a short coffee break at Avoncliff, we made our way back to Bradford via the tow path.
Our grateful thanks to Sue for organising the walk on a fine and pleasant morning.
Next Walk is on Sunday 22nd February: Leaders being Penny and Ron England. Please meet in Rusty Lane at 9.30a.m. The walk will commence from the Hope & Anchor Pub in Midford. 4 miles in duration incorporating South Stoke via Tucking Mill. As we will be starting and finishing the walk from the Pub and probably finishing at around 12.30ish, there is a possibility to book a meal. If you should be interested, Penny has a menu at hand, and it would be nice to inform the Landlord should there be a number of us requiring a meal for 1.00p.m. Penny's telephone number is 01380 828949 no later than Saturday. 14th February.