Tuesday, 1 April 2008


Stondon Massey
April is a big month for historic Stondon Massey: on TV on 4 April, and ‘Through Changing Scenes’ on 19 April. St Peter and St Paul Church will echo again to the words of their previous Rector and historian, Reverend Edward Henry Lisle Reeve, and will feature music by local Elizabethan composer, William Byrd.

Due to rapid sale of tickets, there will now be two performances: at 7.30pm, as scheduled, and a matinee presentation at 4.00pm.

Comments on ‘Blackmore Area Local History’ are now being received. One response was, “It’s very informative and makes wonderful reading. The Churchwardens references are very helpful and I shall be looking some of them up when next at the Essex Record Office”.
You can now E mail me. Go to 'Profile' on left hand side of this page and click 'E mail'.

Summer is coming
Folks are out and about photographing Blackmore Church (see below for links). Summer opening to visitors begins at the Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore from 22 April. Obviously subject to other needs (e.g. funerals) and the availability of stewards, opening times are Tuesdays to Fridays (Tues & Thurs, 2.00 to 4.30pm, Weds & Fris, 1.00 to 4.00pm) and Sundays (from 4 May), 2.30 to 4.30pm. These opening times will change in early October 2008.

The National Trust
With an early Easter, places of historic interest are re-opening for the summer season. This month I want to sing the praises of The National Trust. I visited Lyme Park, Cheshire, over the holidays and was once again really impressed with the activities laid on for families and children. It’s great to see them there! Sponsored by Cadburys – all chocolate gratefully received for the plug!! – Easter Egg hunts were in full swing as well as an informative ‘round the house’ quiz about pests. Children were told about Dave the Death watch Beetle, Wilma the Woolly Bear, Millie the Clothes Moth, Sammy the Silverfish and Bertie the Bookworm. This is teaching children about conservation in a lively and informative way. Adults too learn from this style of presentation and can discover more through reading the leaflet ‘A Future For The Past’.

Over the weekend I visited Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire – another National Trust property - and spoke to one of the informative stewards who was in the Library. In bookcases from floor to ceiling are 10000 books. But this is not a browsing Library. The books are there for show and must not be touched. The reason is that oil from fingers causes deterioration. So these books have become, understandably, museum pieces. I asked how they were checked for woodworm. Periodically volunteers dress up in white overalls with face-masks and place each book in turn under a “lamp” which detects spores.

Wimpole Hall and Home Farm – it’s lambing time now – is a great place for families, and many with children under eight years’ old were enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon out. When I joined The National Trust several years ago it had a slightly old-fashioned image. That cannot be said now.

In Essex the nearest National Trust properties are in Coggeshall – Paycockes and Grange Barn – and make an enjoyable afternoon out for all ages.

Returning to ‘singing the praises’. Top of the list of recommended links this month has to be the BBC / Open University series, ‘Sacred Music’. Go to:

This month’s links to other sites and blogs:
Unusual picture of bell tower, Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore

Another shot of Blackmore Church: comments about “loving Blackmore” and “Essex with its weather boarded spires”.

Can you help? Ancestor search for Susan Warwick, born Blackmore 1807

Francis Frith collection – includes local memories and things about the past

‘Keldon’ is a busy local historian who gleans a number of items for ‘History House’. I have picked up his latest contribution (http://www.historyhouse.co.uk/history/?p=88)
that refers researchers to a list of resources: http://www.cornucopia.org.uk/search?keywords=essex&search_form_submit=Go

Other blogs covering the ‘Sacred Music’ series theme are:
‘Music for grown ups’ reviews programme two on Palestrina

‘Ikon Arts Management’ provides overview to ‘Sacred Music’ series

The blog spot for the Diocese of Leeds Music Department – ‘Psallite Domino’ - says how wonderful the series is.

Rosie Bell on programme one; ‘The Gothic Revolution’.

No comments: