Quote of the week

Life isn't about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself'

George Bernard Shaw
If you cannot mould yourself entirely as you would wish, how can you expect other people to be entirely to your liking?
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/wish.html

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Naked truth?

Blessed Maxim, a 14th century holy fool

'Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away..

Teresa May’s comments about Jeremy Corbyn’s metaphorical state of undress in the face of Brexit negotiations means that there is a lot in the press and on the wires today about nakedness.  I am indebted to today’s tweet from Archbishop Cranmer for a reminder of the quotation from the Book of Job above.

Travellers over the years have been impressed by nakedness encountered on their travels.  Elizabeth the First’s envoy to Russia, Giles Fletcher, was moved to comment on the naked ‘holy fools’ that he encountered in Moscow.

Besides monks they have certain eremites (whom they call holy men).....They used to go stark naked save a clout about their middle with their hair hanging long and wildly about their shoulders, and many of them with an iron collar, or chain about their necks or middles, even in the very extremity of winter.  These they take as prophets, and men of great holiness, giving them a liberty to speak what they list, without any controlment, though it may be to the very highest himself…
Of this kind there are not many, because it is a very hard and cold profession to go naked in Russia, specially in winter.’

I will be expanding on the idea of holy fools. both naked and clothed, and, indeed, other picturesque Russian characters, in a talk at Gainsborough’s House this autumn.

St Basil, a bas relief from St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

Highly recommended Charity Concert.

Some of our most talented local musicians, including Great Waldingfield's own Elaine Henson, will be appearing in a concert in Sudbury on Saturday June 24th. Proceeds will go to Suffolk Children's Hospices.

Highly recommended!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Peanut thief

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A visit to Cockfield

St Peter's Church, Cockfield.
My son Matthew has been staying with us this weekend, and yesterday we decided to visit the art event that continues today and tomorrow in Cockfield.

Before the visit we had a substantial lunch at the Horseshoes, an ancient inn on the Lavenham/Bury Road, which is always atmospheric, cool on a warm day,  and welcoming both to dogs and to humans.

We enjoyed the Art Show.  It was good to be able to catch up with some friends from the village and surrounding area, and there was a lot of art on display. I particularly liked the crafts section and was pleased to find a glass pendant to replace a favourite one, recently shattered.

Later we took the dog for a walk via the impressive building that is St Peter's Church.  We very much admired the adjacent former church house, an Elizabethan forerunner of the village hall, in which parish events were held following 16th century edicts against 'feasting in the church'.  The Church itself a fine 14th century tower from which apparently a rector in the 18th centuryused to use a telescope to view the night sky.  The gargoyles on the exterior depict ferocious devils.   Inside the church offers much of interest with decorated windows to the north aisle and perpendicular to the south.  There is a fine tie beam roof dating from the 15th century.

On the way home we dropped into the much smaller Church of St Mary at Thorpe Morieux.  In an attractive rural setting this dates from the late 13th Century.  Little sign of this period remains however, apart from one lancet window in the north aisle and an unusual font which stands on five columns.  This lovely thing is pictured below; I am not so sure about the wooden font cover.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Art week at Great Waldingfield CEVC Primary School

This week is Art Week at Great Waldingfield School.  I spent a happy hour at the school yesterday afternoon watching some of the sessions and admiring work done earlier in the week.

The whole school was involved in a series of projects, some relating to other subjects such as ‘art through maths’.   Each class spent one session in the church, and children were also involved with creating pop art and tie-dyeing with natural dyes.  The results of the latter activity were clearly visible hanging in colourful lines outside the school.   A Year 2 child told me that she was ‘really looking forward to using her tie-dyed pillow case’.  She assured me that the dye would not come off!

Visiting teachers from Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard led workshops on ‘chalk and charcoal’ and ‘creating wax resist pictures’.  I watched two year groups, including Early Years, enjoying the not inconsiderable challenges of  wax resistance, I was also fascinated by a session led by Deputy Head David Sandford in which the children were guided in creating drawings of Japanese Manga characters.   This last activity would be a great springboard for acquiring more advanced drawing techniques and I am going to have a go myself!

Manga Eyes
It was great to see the children enjoying being creative, and the wide range of different sessions offered meant that all would have found something at which to excel!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Like Jazz or folk music? Just the evening for you



Thursday 8 June
at 7.30pm

St. Lawrence Church
Little Waldingfield

Northumbrian based song-writing duo LANDERMASON are
Fiona Lander (vocals, piano, whistles, saxophones, clarinet, recorder) and Paul Mason (guitar, vocals).  Together they have developed a unique sound which combines both traditional and contemporary folk with jazz and other styles.

Nancy Roser (01787) 882897
M 07792 299618
Vicky Nicholls (01787) 249741
or at the door

Bar and Raffle

“Lander showed impressive command of multiple instruments, whilst Mason’s jazz-tinged folk guitar playing was exceptional.”
Edinburgh Fringe

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mark Bills on Gainborough and Gainsborough's House at Little Waldingfield History Society

Mark Bills
 Mark Bills, art historian and the esteemed Director of Gainsborough's House in Sudbury, was the guest speaker at Little Waldingfield History Society last week.

Andy Sheppard has, as usual, provided a comprehensive account of Mark's talk which can be found under the 'Gainsborough' tab above.

In addition to talking about Thomas Gainsborough's life, Mark took the opportunity to discuss the exciting £8m capital project that the museum is currently planning, and was able to show an architect's impression of what the new gallery might look like (see below).  (I say might since the final plans are not yet completed).

The next LWHS event will be at 7.30 in The Parish Room. Little Waldingfield, on 14th June, when Joy Bounds, a local writer on women’s issues and history, will tell the Society all about the life and times of Joan of Arc - Maid of Orleans and a true French Heroine.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rare WW2 photos at Sudbury Heritage Centre

This mass farewell on the Sudbury airfield gives some idea of the strength of the 486th  presence which was more than 3,000 men at any one time. The event is not dated but the flag is flying at half mast.

 From Monday 22nd May, for just one week, images will be on display that give new insights into life of the 486th US Bomb Squadron that was stationed at Chilton Airfield, north of Sudbury, during the latter years of World War ll.

Many of the photographs have never been seen in public before.  They show images of operational scenes, crashes and a massed farewell  ceremony.  The pictures come from the private collection of the late Roley Andrews of Sudbury , who, as a schoolboy made friends with the airmen stationed close to the town and spent his life collecting photographs and reports from official US military sources.

The exhibition is timed to follow this weekend’s commemoration in Lavenham of the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first US Army Air Force (USAAF) units in East Anglia to join the war effort.

The Sudbury Heritage Centre has a permanent display relating to the 485th squadron which includes a narrative history, suspended models of the bombers and a display of memorabilia.  The Heritage Centre’s website tells their story at http://americans.sudburysuffolk.co.uk/

Ground crew pictured with a wheel indicates the scale of the B-17 Flying Fortress bombers which flew missions into Occupied Europe.
Photographs from Roley Andrew’s collection will be on display from Monday 22nd May.  The Heritage Centre is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and for this week only will also open on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The entrance is at the side of the Town Hall and entry is free.