Monthly update from Boughton
Easter celebrations: Once again we had the Easter vigil service as our Easter celebration. The service started without candles or frontal on the altar, with the church looking bare and solemn. The choir had practised the responses and led the congregation as they heard the readings and psalms. Then everyone went outside while the church was darkened. The men had prepared the Easter fire outside and the Pasqual candle was lit from it - not without some technical difficulty. Then it was taken into the darkened church while the 'Christ is risen' was chanted. Everyone lit candles from it, the altar candles had reappeared and they were lit, and the white celebratory frontal was revealed. The service of joyful thanksgiving continued with a renewal of baptismal vows and holy communion. Thanks to Brian Hullah and Ted Smith, bellringers, it was possible for Frank to ring our bells again and proclaim that Easter was here! Thanks to Robin for organising such a lovely service. There were services in all the other churches in the benefice the following morning, with good congregations, and we thank the retired priests and the lay readers who made it possible for us to do this. Their help during the interregnum is much appreciated.
Flower Festival: Just a reminder that the flower festival will be taking place in Boughton church from 1at - 3rd May. The theme is 'All the Saints' and we hope as many people as possible from Boughton will attend and bring their friends and family. It is important in the church's year and brings many people together. We also need the money to effect maintenance and repairs. This year we need to have work done on the East window, as well as minor building repairs. (Over the same weekend you might also like to visit Fincham's flower festival. )
Boughton Church Bells
As a member of the Ely Diocesan bellringing association, with a small role for maintenance issues, I sometimes get called upon to effect repairs at towers where the bells are not rung full circle. Recently, Pam asked if the chiming cords could be mended at Boughton - a task which a fellow ringer and I duly effected. I thought that readers may be interested to know a little of the history of the three ancient bells hanging in All Saints' tower.
The bells were originally rung for swinging in the uniquely English manner but the wheels and other fitments are now largely derelict. Cords have been fitted to the clappers and directed to levers at the foot of the tower to enable the bells to be sounded. Despite only being three in number, the bells [and their ancient oak frame] are among the oldest man-made artefacts in the village. They bear the following inscriptions:
No 1 (treble): JOHN DRAPER MADE ME 1627 (diameter 24 1/2 inches, weight about 3 1/2 cwt)
No 2: JOHN DRAPER MADE ME 1627 [diameter 27 inches, weight about 4 1/2 cwt]
No 3 ( tenor) THOMAS WOODS CHURCHWARDEN 1807 [diameter 30 inches, weight about 5 1/4 cwt]
The Drapers operated a bell-foundry in Thetford from 1574 until 1644, John ( and two brothers) having inherited the business in 1598. Their father, Thomas, was an eminent citizen of Thetford in the late 16th century, serving a term as Mayor from 1592. Their foundry was very successful and they provided bells for many churches in Norfolk and Suffolk, usually of good tone and still in use. The two smallest bells at Boughton still hang from their original headstocks and are suspended by iron straps with keyed metal wedges ( nuts and bolts were not widely used until the early 1700s). John Draper also ran a temporary foundry in Cambridge for a year or so around 1618 before returning to Thetford. His work prospered at a period when English change-ringing was in its infancy and many churches were renewing or increasing their peals of bells.
Although there is no founder's name on the largest bell, the style of lettering shows that it was most probably cast by William Dobson of Downham Market. His grandfather, Thomas Osborn, had established the foundry in 1790 and William continued the business from 1806 until he sold out to the Whitechapel founders in 1835. The Downham foundry - at the rear of the Swan Inn ( NB Sounding Alley) - supplied excellent bells all over Britain and the Boughton tenor bell is one of them. Long may these historic instruments continue to proclaim the Good News.
Brian Hullah, Shouldham
Speedwatch The Team has been out and about the village recently and almost without exception has received the 'thumbs-up' and a cheery wave from drivers. As yet we have not had to record any instances of speeding, which, in our view, is exactly what we want. The signs we put out at each end of the village when we are 'on duty' may be enough to get drivers to adhere to the speed limit. More next month.
Ditch Improvements.You may have noticed that the ditch down the left sideof Stoke Road when leaving the village has been improved recently. Thanks to Highways are due for this important piece of work. We hope that most of the water and ice problems experienced through the winter may be a thing of the past. You may have also noticed that the road appears a little narrower down the hill, this we believe, may be due to the adverse camber at the road edge which means water going down the hill wants to cross the road, rather than go in the dicth. Please therefore exercise care when leaving the village.Boughton Parish Council
All Saints Community Project We have moved on with the challenging task of choosing the chair style and will be updating you all in due course of the type and style to be purchased.On the fund raising front we have received very positive news from two organisations to whom we made grant applications and, once finalised, shall be in a postion to tell you how far along the fund raising trail we have progressed.One fund raiser we shall be promoting is a Grand Draw in the final quarter of the year which we hope will excite you all with the prizes on offer. Details of prizes and tickets will be released after which we hope you will all join in by both buying for yourselves and selling, to friends family and work colleagues, as many tickets as possible.Watch this space!All Saints Community Project Committee
Parish Council: The AGM will be held on Friday May 7th at ??/ pm in the church.
The Easter Bunny Visits Boughton
The annual Boughton Easter Egg hunt had a different twist this year. Children and parents gathered at the village notice board and then walked to the Enchanted Wood, located on Paul Coulten's land (thanks very much Paul for the use). Here, more than 30 children hunted for eggs to place in their baskets and having found the required number they had to complete a mini assault course before being rewarded with chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny. Hot chocolate was available for the assembled crowd to help warm cold hands and feet!
Simnel Cake was also delivered to some of the senior residents of the village on behalf of the Boughton Village Caravan.
Many thanks to all those who helped leading up to and on the day, and particularly to RAF Marham for the use of the assault course......and of course a big thank you to the Easter Bunny for coming along.
co-ordinated by Pam Wakeling