Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise. It’s Wednesday 29th April and this is Adrian Dale with the daily podcast.

And a happy 21st Birthday to James Blane, Vanessa and Bob’s son. He is reading music at the University of York and completing his dissertation on 20th Century Church music. He had decided to stay up there during the lock down to ensure that he had access to the resources he needed. Of the course the down side is that he can’t celebrate his birthday with his family. All the best with your dissertation James, it will be worth it.

Now The Guardian newspaper or the Groiniad as some people call it is renowned for typographical errors and inaccuracies that they need to correct daily. They even have a whole column devoted to corrections.

So it would seem do I. Each day I have to admit my latest mistake. My only defence is that I don’t have a huge journalistic machine behind me as I put together these podcasts. I am bound to get the wrong end of the stick sometimes.

Yesterday’s mistake was saying that our Commonwealth War Grave belongs to a Canadian. Mark Hunter reminded me that Flight Sergeant Auld was actually American. So as I often have to say “oops” – wrong again.

It was only last year that we received the signage for the Churchyard gates from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, saying that we had the honour of hosting one of the war graves.

As part of the anniversary of the ending of World War II the Commission has arranged for volunteers to visit every war grave in the Country to check that they are being properly looked after. The Church receives £10.00 each year for the maintenance of the grave, to save someone from the War Graves Commission coming out every quarter.

You’ll be pleased to know that we take this responsibility very seriously indeed. The grave is planted with snowdrops, daffodils and tulips. Poppies are placed on it near Remembrance Sunday.

Now, I was in the Churchyard last June when the volunteer from the Commission arrived to do an unannounced spot check on our grave. I found him photographing the grave from all angles and checking it over for signs of algae. Fortunately, Arthur Wright cleans the grave at least once a year. So you’ll be glad to know, we passed with flying colours.

Contrast this with the Cemetery on London Road in Kettering. Helen and I were there just over a year ago and were surprised to find all the war graves in a terrible state. The headstones were dirty and the planting was overgrown. We were incensed, Helen wrote to the War Graves Commission to complain. They responded quickly to say that Kettering Borough Council had delegated responsibility for their maintenance (with a payment for each grave). Kettering Borough Council ignored her messages so she wrote to the local MP to complain. He was initially interested only in whether she was one of his constituents but then common sense kicked in. He is an ex-territorial army man and pressure was clearly applied somewhere. We soon received word that a team of masons and gardeners had been dispatched to Kettering to sort it all out. Quite right too!

In times of national and international crisis some people step up to the mark to serve on behalf of all others. We owe them a permanent debt of gratitude and must never forget their sacrifice.

Yesterday we held a one minute silence to commemorate the deaths of our key workers during the war on the virus. They have thrown themselves into the challenge of saving others, sometimes without the protective equipment they need. We must not forget their sacrifice and must not allow their sacrifice to be in vain.

The Country, the County and the Village are all straining at the leash. We are all desperate for this lock down to end. The level of traffic yesterday was the highest since the lock down began. Even with the bad weather, we had people making non-essential journeys, visiting families and friends.

We have all been lulled into a false sense of security by 2 days of good figures over the weekend. And then today – bam – reality struck back. There were still over 600 deaths recorded in hospitals yesterday. More starkly, the real numbers, including care homes were 50% higher than that.

Please Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise, we are not out of the woods yet. There are still battles to be fought and won – let’s keep the faith until the Government maps a way out of this war.

In this Village, we are still virus free. And no one in our Village has died from the virus . . . yet.

I do not want a Virus War Grave in our Churchyard and I am sure you don’t either. So please stay home and save lives. We are nearly there but must not lose the war at the last moment by letting our guard down for even one day.

Thank you