Think and Thank project 2014-2016


WW1 screenThe first of the commemorative displays were unveiled during Open Churches Week (2nd - 10th August 2104), a week which began on a reflective note and ended with "Pack up your troubles", an evening of WW1 song with a WW1 style meal when we  remembered with thanks the sacrifice made one hundred years ago by  families in so many different parts of the world. 


Open Churches Week 2014 was planned to be the launch pad for our Heritage Lottery funded activities: we wanted visitors to look at the screen before it was cleaned, to see the display furniture we have bought with the grant and to see the potential in the different strands of the project: research into wartime life, WW1 music, WW1 food and WW1 stitchcraft.  

Since then, Peter, together with Steve Bushby and Steve Tipler and anyone else who wanted  to be involved, have continued  researching the local families affected by WW1 and quarterly workshops have been arranged to look at WW1 food and stitchcraft.  

A large scale  "Think and Thank” event was held on 1st November 2014 when we  welcomed visitors and local residents to St. Andrew's to mark the centenary of the first recorded Ryburgh soldier to fall. A peal was rung to remember John Cremer and a commemorative tree was planted in the Playing Field.

There was another opportunity to look at the exhibition and the silk embroidered cards on Saturday, 6th December 2014 during the morning. Following up the food strand of the project, there were WW1 style sweets and biscuits available for visitors to sample.  

In April 2015  the WW1 memorial screen was painstakingly conserved by Kelvin and Mary Thatcher to remove the incrusted dust, to  restore the screen's bright colours and to bring out the lettering more clearly.

On Sunday, 24th May a half muffled peal was rung to commemorate the life of Ernest Thompson who died at Ypres on 24th May 1915. We were delighted to welcome some of his descendants who came to the church to hear the bells, see the display about their uncle / great uncle and enjoy a WW1 inspired afternoon tea.

The music theme was picked up again on Saturday, 30th May when  Nigel Wickens and Gill Smith performed a series of songs coomposed during the war years by Quilter, Gurney, Butterworth, Britten, Vaughan Williams and others. A WW1 style afternoon tea was served during the interval.

On Thursday, 18th June  at 2 p.m. a peal was rung  in memory of Guy Wade Burtenshaw and on  Thursday, 13th August  the death of  Harold Douglas Palmer Comer was commemorated by a peal of bells. On each occasion the display in the church was updated and visitors were invited to take part in a WW1 inspired tea.

In August 2105, at the end of Open Churches Week, we ran a second evening of song with a  WW1 style meal, this time with an opportunity to look at the cleaned and conserved screen. 

On Thursday, 5th November  a commemorative peal was rung to honour the memory of Frank Noel Tuff and a WW1 tea was served in the church during the ringing.  A similar tea was served the following Sunday after the Remembrance Sunday service.

Laying of wreathOn Christmas Eve a commemorative peal was rung to honour the memory of Edgar Huckins. His descendants came to the church to hear the peal and laid a wreath in St. Thomas's Chapel.

During 2015 the display boards showing the most recent research have been regularly dated, recreated silk embroidered cards have been added to the display case and WW1 inspired food has been available for each of the quarterly markets when visitors have been encouraged to look at the newly cleaned commemorative screen. The furniture bought with the grant money gets very regular use!


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