Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Thursday, April 16, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise. It’s Thursday 16th April and this is Adrian Dale with the daily briefing for the Village.

I’ve spoken a lot about the extraordinary acts of kindness and generosity that we have seen in this Village during the emergency so far. And we’ve talked about the Community spirit and the community deeds that have been done.

However, I might have mislead you into thinking that this was only being done as a direct result of the crisis we face now. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although each act is important and unique, they are all part of bigger pattern that has characterised this Village for years, actually no, for generations.

I was reminded of this by an email from Peggy one of our Church Wardens. She enjoyed listening about Noel Morris and was reminded of her experience as a newbie in the Village many years ago. She had stopped to buy runner beans from a stall on the side of the road and met Noel and Janet Morris for the first time. They were so welcoming to her and became an invaluable source of information and assistance for Peggy’s new life as a Villager. Their friendship endured until they died.

But it goes back further than that. In the second world war, we played host to hundreds of American airmen stationed on the air base and the Village took them into our hearts and homes. Horace’s father was steward at the Working Men’s’ Club on Foot Lane and many of the airmen used to drink there. On a Sunday lunch time near closing, Horace (who was just a nipper at the time) was sent to the club to count the number of yanks (and yes they liked that name) who were still drinking. Horace’s mum then plated out a roast dinner for every airman still there. The older kids would carry the plates to the club and the yanks would eat their lunch in the committee room upstairs. For some of those lads, it was the last meal they would ever eat, before flying off to die on our behalf. When you think of it, there was rationing then and yet Horace’s mother was still prepared to share her family’s food.

But it goes back further than that. In 1864, Henry Wise, then Lord of the Manor, provided land and materials to build a new School for the Village and a dwelling for the School Master. You’ll know these buildings as the Village Hall and School House. The school continued to educate the children of the parish until 1969.

But it goes back further than that. In 1760 the sisters of the Lord of the Manor provided an endowment of land to fund a school for the children of the Village. This school was on the Raunds Road where Sean and Janellan’s house is now on Sawyers Crescent. Their Educational Foundation is still in existence today, 260 years later. The Trustees own and maintain the Village Hall and School House and subsidise educational classes and meetings that enrich the lives of residents.

But it goes back even further than that. During their lifetimes in the 1600s, James Sawyer and his son Thomas, erected Alms Houses on the sloping green between Water Lane and Raunds Road, with land that extended into what is now Sawyers Crescent.. These were for widows of the Parishes of Raunds and Chelveston. Their charity still exists today and the trustees quietly support hardship cases in Raunds and Chelveston.

So you see, throughout our long history, good deeds, charitable acts and community giving have been at the heart of who we are as a Village.

But to bring it back to the present day, many of you will remember Michael and Christine Foulger. They moved to the Village in 1968 and spent the next 41 years giving their lives and their money to support the various institutions of the Village, the Village Hall, the Church and the Parish Council. Without them, some of these institutions would have folded. They had no immediate family and during their final illnesses, it was the people of Caldecott that looked after them. When Michael died in 2015, he left the bulk of his estate to this Parish, this was nearly half a million pounds, the biggest act of generosity this Village has seen. Mark Hunter and I were privileged to be the executors of his will. We set up the Michael and Christine Foulger Charitable Trust to ensure that their name lives on for ever. The Trust is setup to fund projects that will enrich the lives of residents for years to come. The Trust paid for the refurbishment of School House to re-create the beautiful setting of our heritage buildings at the entrance to the Village. It paid for one of the mowers that I now used every day to keep the Village tidy. The biggest project was a grant for £40,000 for the new path and driveway for the Church. Michael would have loved that one. For Christine’s funeral I had to push Michael down the driveway in his wheel chair. It was very bumpy and painful for him. He might have once been Church Warden but his voice could be heard by everyone – “Bloody hell that hurts, why doesn’t someone do something about this drive”. Well Michael, you did do something, just five years after you died.

So you see folks, today’s acts of generosity and kindness, today’s charitable and community deeds, are building on the shoulders of giants. They are all part of a very long tradition in this Parish. To see the resurgence again is truly heart warming.

Of course, in doing our good deeds, we must keep one eye on that killer virus out there. Nothing we do should allow it back into the Village.

So keep your wits about you, take no risks and stay safe

Thank you