Open Churches Week 2nd - 10th August


Open Churches Week saw the unveiling of the first of the displays about wartime Ryburgh and the soldiers whose names are inscribed on the "Think and Thank" screen.   

The exhibition included detailed research about the soldiers and their families as well as information about what the soldiers took to war in the way of equipment and mementos.

The display about wartime food revealed how conditions changed between 1914 and 1918.

Wartime food display

Children enjoyed the stone rubbing activity as well as the I-spy game based on the "Think and Thank" screen

 Angel detail on the screen

 What has the angel got in her hands?     Where else in the church are there angels?    

A demonstration of fine embroidery launched the strand of the HLF project dedicated to the recreation of WW1 silk embroidered cards.

Silk embroidered cards

On Sunday, 3rd August the St. Andrew's Singers sang Evensong at a special service taken by The Revd. Roger Hawkins and attended by the descendants of William Barker.                  

St. Andrew's Singers

The following day, the centenary of the outbreak of war, four candles were lit  as we remembered the countries north, east, south and west who were affected by the First World War. One by one the candles were extinguished, leaving the church in total darkness. "The lamps are going out all over Europe." (Edward Grey)

Candles in the darkness

At the end of Open Churches Week the tone changed from one of solemnity to thinking about how those in wartime Ryburgh and elsewhere would have kept up their spirits when times were difficult.

On the Saturday  Open Tower Morning  saw some 25 prospective bellringers gathering  in the tower to discover what ringing is all about. How encouraging for the ringers to see young talent!


On the Saturday evening some 60 people attended the "Pack up your Troubles" evening which was generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The event began with a wartime meal: beef stew and traditional puddings.

Serving the WW1 meal

Diners were issued with a "mess tin" and a spoon, this being a treasured item for the soldiers of the First World War and generally marked with their regimental number.

Enjoying a WW1 meal

The puddings included traditional fare such as treacle tart, trifle, rice pudding and apple tart, all of which featured in the cook books of the war years.

Serving puddings

Then there was the singing,  led by David Saunders of Wells. "Pack up your Troubles" was just one of the many First World War songs that were sung that evening.

Pianist and singers in the pews

Singers in the pews

One person who knew all the words of the songs without having to look at the sheet was Mrs. Ruby Ford, niece of Stanley Curson and now aged 101 years. It was such a privilege to have her with us for our special WW1 commemorative event.

Mrs Ruby Ford aged 101

Stanley Curson's name is inscribed on the WW1 memorial screen that is soon to be conserved with funds made available to us by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Stanley was born in Great Ryburgh in 1897, joined the Norfolk Regiment in 1916 and was killed in Palestine in 1917 when Ruby was aged 4 years.

We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for helping our village to play an active part in the country's national World War 1 commemorations. Many thanks too to the researchers, flower arrangers, bell ringers, musicians, cooks and so many others who made Open Churches Week such a memorable occasion this year. We now look forward to 2015 when the screen will have been conserved and we will welcome everyone back to see the "Think and Thank" screen with 100 years rolled away!

Flowers in the porch


2nd – 10th AUGUST        

Free entry     10 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. every day 


WW1 displays, local history,  activities & light meals. 

See our collection of silk embroidered cards and stitch one!

I-spy and stone rubbing for children.




                     Sunday 3rd:     6 p.m. Sung Evensong


          Monday, 4th:    Church open until 9.45 p.m. for quiet reflection



            Saturday, 9th: 10 a.m.   Open Tower Morning

                                  – discover  what bell ringing is all about!

                   Silk embroidered card

            Sat. 9th: 6 pm “Pack up your Troubles”

                   An evening of WW1 song with WW1 style meal

                   Song sheets will be provided!

                        Tickets: £5 from 01328 829413 or the Ryburgh Shop

                      Heritage Lottery Fund


Page last updated: Sunday 14th September 2014 1:51 PM
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