100th Anniversary of the end of WW1

Remembrance 100th anniversatu
Event Poppies 

Event poppies

As part of its commemoration of the 100th. anniversary of the end of WWI, the Barnack & District Branch of the Royal British Legion will be putting large Event Poppies outside the former homes of the WWI casualties listed on the Barnack War Memorial, which covers not only Barnack itself, but also Pilsgate, Ufford, Southorpe and Bainton.  Helpston, closely associated with the Barnack Branch, will also be displaying Event poppies. 

Read more: 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1


On Saturday at 10:50 a short commemoration for Armistice Day was held at Barnack War Memorial, where the Garden of Remembrance had been laid out a few days previously. An introduction to the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae was given and then the poem was read. This was followed by the remembrance of Rifleman Eli Alfred Hensby of the Rifle Brigade as part of the Royal British Legion’s “Every One Remembered” project, then the Legion Exhortation, Last Post, 2 minutes’ silence and Reveille.

The Remembrance Sunday commemoration began at 0945 with a service in Barnack Church, conducted by Branch Chaplain the Rev. Dave Maylor, during which the Branch Standards and that of the Stamford Endowed Schools CCF were presented to the Altar and a wreath was laid on behalf of the Royal British Legion. At 10:40 the congregation moved to the War Memorial in bright sunshine (and a rather cold wind!) to join many others already there - attendance this year was close to a record. 

The names of those to be remembered from Barnack and the surrounding villages were read out, CCF cadets read the Exhortation and the Kohima Epitaph, Last Post and Reveille were played either side of the two minutes’ silence and wreaths were laid on behalf of the Royal British Legion, RAF Wittering, Barnack Parish Council, the Stamford Endowed Schools and the Falklands Islands Association. In addition, there was one personal wreath laid. 

Thanks to the generosity of the congregation, the Church collection raised £250 for Legion funds.

One feature of both days was that Branch Trumpeter Lawrence Hayes (of Stamford School CCF) used a bugle presented to our late chairman Charles Clark when he was an OTC cadet at Warwick school, which Charles’ son Jonathan presented to Lawrence after the memorial service earlier this year. 


Obituary - Charles Clark

Charles Clark (1 APR 1929 – 22 MAY 2017)

Charles was born in 1929 in Selly Oak, West Midlands, the only child of Donald, a former Airship crewman and travelling salesman in the family jewellery business and Grace, a Secretary from the same firm.

From an early age Charles’ taste for adventure and excitement was evident - he burnt down a haystack at the tender age of three and in his youth was struck by lightning while out walking with his mother.  He attended the local Baddesley Clinton Village School where he was to meet his future wife Margaret. Charles would wait outside in the school porch after church just to be able to spend some time with her.

Read more: Obituary - Charles Clark 

Help the NHS - buy these cheaper medicines yourself

The Re-opening of Ufford Church

At 11.00 on Sunday 5 July a well-attended informal ceremony was held to mark the re-opening of St.Andrew’s, Ufford. Canon Haydn Smart - who coincidentally had officiated at the last service before closure  welcomed everyone to the church. He recalled that at the end of the last service he had told the congregation to view the church as resting for a time rather than being lost forever. And now here we all are at the re-opening. After a prayer there was a rousing rendition of the hymn “Let all the world in every corner sing” accompanied by Jack Spires on the the newly-tuned Tickell organ.

Peter Aiers, the Churches Conservation Trust’s (CCT) Regional Director for the South East Region, then welcomed everyone on behalf of the Trust. He outlined the nature and role of the Trust and then summarised  the restoration project at St.Andrew’s which is the 346th church it has adopted. He expressed his gratitude for the help of those involved in Ufford and said how much he had enjoyed the project, not least because it had enabled new restoration techniques to be implemented.  

Keith Lievesley then reminded the audience that on October 3, on the occasion of the transfer of keys from the Church Commissioners/Diocese to the CCT, he had commented that, for those who had been members of the Parochial Church Council that had taken the fateful decision to close the church back in 2010, the transfer was a day of quiet satisfaction. So now, to see the church in its best condition for a century or so, was an occasion of great joy. On behalf of the surviving members of the PCC and, indeed, of the village as a whole, he thanked the CCT for its adoption of St.Andrew’s and its commitment of substantial resources to its conservation and restoration.  After the transfer in October the builders began in November so the project has occurred at a remarkable speed and with amazing results.

The project has involved complete renewal of the Collyweston slates on the chancel and re-leading of the north and south aisles. The tower and window surrounds and other stonework has been pointed/replaced. The porch has been re-plastered, re-painted and provided with a new gate. The rainwater goods have been renewed. The aisle windows have been removed and restored. The memorial tablets have been conserved and the Carre Memorial has been partially dismantled and secured. The Decalogue, George III coat of arms and the Duke of Rutland’s hatchments have been cleaned and conserved. The church has been re-wired, heaters placed under the seats, the lights cleaned and re-painted and spotlights placed in the chancel. Panelling in the north and south aisles – where dampness was discovered to be a problem – has been partially replaced as has that in the vestry. The clock has been restored as have the bells which rang out as people entered the church.

Whilst there were minor repairs in the 1940’s and 1970’s this is the first major work since the mid-C19th and early 20th. In the 1850’s the rood screen was removed together with the box pews and the double-decker pulpit. In 1883 the C13th chancel, the oldest part of the church, was re-roofed, the east wall was re-built and the floor was lowered. In the early C20th the Lowndes windows were inserted. So what has occurred in the last 6 months is not an everyday occurrence.

Since restoration began in November the CCT and Messenger Construction held two open-days in March and May when various craftsmen attended to talk about their skills and what they were contributing to the work.  There was also a very successful visit by children from Barnack School who came to learn about church buildings. From a conservation perspective, Messenger Construction and the CCT ran an all-day seminar for building professionals to demonstrate their new accelerated technique for producing Collyweston slates. St.Andrew’s has been an important demonstration project that will have much wider  implications for the conservation of historic buildings.   

Keith Lievesley said that it was appropriate that those people who have spent all or part of the last 6 to 7 months working on the church should be mentioned:
The CCT’s conservation projects manager  :  GABRIELLA MISURIELLO
Architects  : REES BOLTER
The Messenger Construction team  :
Contracts Manager : BRIAN MORRELL
Site Manager : WAYNE GRAY
Collyweston Slater : DARREN ELLIS
Slater’s Apprentice : SAMUEL HOLMES
Carpenters :
Stonemasons :  
The independent specialist contractors :
Arte Conservation Ltd : restoration of the hatchments and coats of arms
Lincolnshire Stained Glass Studio : restoration of the windows
Skillington Workshop : restoration of the monuments
Matthew Higby and Co. Ltd : restoration of the bells
Gillette and Johnson : restoration of the clock
C.E.L : new leadwork to the north and south aisle roofs
Eviva Services Ltd : electricals
High Wire : Roof security system
PJ Slater : Scaffolding

But the project doesn’t stop here because the aim now is not just to open the church for visitors to admire its beauty but to ensure that it is used.  With regard to religious uses then the transfer to the CCT allows 6 Sunday services and more or less anything else in between. Funeral services can be held again with the Vicar’s consent. Weddings can be held on an individual basis subject to permission from the CCT and the Vicar and the obtaining of a licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury. However,  because of an agreement between the  C of E and the CCT there is a fee of £450. Wedding blessings can also take place in the church. On 15 August there will be a service arranged in co-ordination with the British Legion to commemorate VJ Day. The first “church service” will be on Sunday, 30 August.  Later in the year, on 20 December, there will be a service of Lessons and Carols. 

In order to plan the services and a wider set of activities  - be it concerts, exhibitions or whatever - a Friend’s Group will be established. A model constitution will be adopted and officers appointed.  It is hoped to attract patrons and develop a web-site.  It will also be necessary to establish rotas of  people willing to clean the church, provide flowers when necessary and lock and unlock the church on a daily basis. Sally Hudson has made a splendid start by setting up a new key rota.  A Village Social Committee has been established and the Friends’ activities are being included in the calendar of village social activities for the year. These will also generate essential funds.
At the end of the speeches refreshments were served and the audience invited to look at the work undertaken and, hopefully, to sign up to become a Friend or become a supporter of the Churches Conservation Trust.

If anyone else wishes to become a Friend please contact either:
Keith Lievesley (Tel: 01780-740679)
or Peter and Sally Hudson (01780-740475).

Visit to Belgium and France

My wife and I and two friends recently went on a WW1 battlefields trip.

We went to Belgium first to Ypres . We visited the Menin gate on the first evening at 8pm to pay our respects after the last post was played as it is every evening. We were surprised to see that there were about five hundred people in attendance on a Thursday evening. It was pretty emotional to be there . We went again the next morning to lay a wreath on behalf of the Barnack Royal British Legion Branch. We then visited the Flanders Field Museum which was really interesting.

Read more: Visit to Belgium and France

Theft of heating oil - advice to residents

Location of tank
The position can have a significant effect on its vulnerability.  If it is close to the house and overlooked then the thief may consider the chances of being seen too high.  If close to the road or other access points then it will be as easier target.  Many tanks are hidden behind the garage or other structure but this could be an advantage to the thief.  Therefore the following security measures should be considered:

Padlocks:  closed shackle padlocks offer the most resistance to bolt croppers
Oil level gauges:  consider using oil level gauges alarms; these remote control alarms activate if the tank level suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full. 

Proximity alarms:  battery operated motion sensor alarms can alert designated mobile phones that monitor activity detected around the tank.

Security lighting:  if your tank is visible from your home, this can deter thieves.  Low level ‘dusk to dawn ‘or motion detection lighting can be an effective crime deterrent.

CCTV: This can be set up to watch over an isolated tank and may act as a deterrent to thieves – you need to consider lighting to support the camera – a product such as a security light with a wireless alarm can be purchased online for under £100 and would allow motion across the detection zone with 220 degree detection zone up to 20m range with day and night time motion or heat detection and a wireless audio alarm.

Defensive planting:  the planting of thorny bushes to prevent entry to the tank and the addition of walls, fences or trellis all help to hide the shape or site of a green heating oil tank

Remember to check the oil level in your tank regularly, look for any spilt fuel, marks on locks or anything suspicious.

Please report suspicious activity to the police by dialling 101

Dial 999 when lives are at risk of violence or serious injury, serious crime is happening or a criminal is at a scene or nearby

DOWNLOAD Cambs Constabulary advice leaflet

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Meeting on the Future of Ufford Church 22nd January 2014

Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 Ufford St Andrew  (Diocese of Peterborough)

The Church Commissioners will be publishing a Pastoral (Church Buildings Disposal) Scheme in mid January 2014 to provide for the Churches Conservation Trust to be responsible for the care and maintenance of the closed church building of Ufford St Andrew.

Ufford ChurchKaren Abaka-Wood and representatives of the Diocese of Peterborough will be available to answer questions about these proposals at

Ufford Village Hall
on Wednesday 22nd January 2014
between 3 pm and 6.30 pm.

For details of this process see www.ccpastoral.org (follow links to closed churches/ representations to the Committee) or phone Karen Abaka-Wood on 01727 818117 before 20th December 2013 or after 6th January 2014.


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