Boughton church has been fuller than usual over the last few days. On Saturday 3rd we had a marvellous presentation in the evening from Allan Hale on the wildlife of Boughton Fen. ( There had been a coffee morning earlier in the day as well!)There is an amazing selection of birds on the Fen over the course of a year and Allan’s photographs demonstrated this to perfection. I hadn’t realised how tiny a kingfisher is – I’ve only ever seen one!- but such a flash of jewelled blue is fantastic. There is a wide range of flora as well as fauna and a fantastic selection of moths. The work done on the Fen by the Fen committee and their helpers is magnificent and will bear fruit for years to come. The subject and the presenter obviously drew people to come along and we had a near capacity crowd. There must have been sixty people in the church, more than I remember seeing at a non-church event and it was really good to see the new community facilities being used. Congratulations to Sandy and her team for producing some excellent refreshments in quite cramped conditions. We are still learning how to make the best use of the new kitchen and where to set up the serving area. However, they had extra practice three days later on the 6th, when Boughton hosted the second Deanery Lent service of this year’s cycle. Barbara, not fully recovered from treatment to her back, presented the story of Simon of Cyrene in a dramatised reading. It sometimes helps to envisage a character from ‘the Bible’ as an ordinary person like us, instead of the cold and literary statement we see. Barbara had said it was to be a Taize-like service with lots of candles. We like candles at Boughton, but I’ve never seen so many! The entire altar top was covered with nightlights and there were candles all around the church, with the chancel lights half-dimmed. It was very atmospheric and greatly admired. We must have had well over a hundred nightlights alone. I tested my lung capacity at the end by seeing how many I could blow out in one go across the altar! There was a good attendance, with probably about 40 plus people from across the Deanery. Thanks to Tom for playing for us, which freed me to do other things, and to the choir who came and sang in the congregation unrobed to boost the singing. And of course – thanks again to Sandy and her helpers! Thanks also to the lady from another church who asked, very tactfully, if my dogs were alright – they normally go to Lent services but it’s difficult when it’s at our church and I’m busy.
Recent publicity about the film ‘War Horse’ revived an old memory for Ralph Proctor.
Boughton’s ‘War Horse’
‘Bustler’ Clarklived in Jays Cottage, Kettle End. His horses were stabled close by. He used them to deliver wet fish to his customers. He had grasslands down Dublin( past the church) and land down the Barton Road. My husband remembers him from his boyhood and ‘Bustler was sixty. ( Ralph is now ninety-one.) The ‘War Horse’ was one of the few that came back to this country after the first World War came to an end.
Bustler’s wife attended all those who died in the village and the Vicar, Reverend Bellow, tolled the church bell to tell the village population of their passing.
Sid Clark was ‘Bustler’s elder son and he fought in the tank corps in the first World War. Sid and his wife and their daughter Doris lived in and ran Boughton Post Office for many years and Sid rescued a boy from Boughton pond when he and his brothers fell through the ice.
My husband does not remember ever hearing Bustler’s real name.