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Children’s Christmas Craft Party

I have finally emerged from the fug of Christmas, and am fully into the swing of the New Year!  The festivities of 2013 seem like a distant memory, the ones to come mere dots on the horizon… thank goodness.

Christmas is somewhat of a phenomenon – managing to be (first and foremost) a sacred religious holiday, and a worldwide commercial extravaganza at the same time.    Popular customs include going to church to celebrate the birth of Jesus, giving and receiving presents, decorating trees, eating lots of roast turkey (or beef in our house) and of course, waiting for Father Christmas to arrive.  I did some research and discovered that in Europe, December was considered the prime time for celebration. Cattle went off to the abattoir (to save winter feed bills), thus providing a good supply of fresh meat, and most of the wine and beer made during the year was fermented and ready to drink!  With these two popular commodities in abundance, who wouldn’t crack on with some festive frolicking?   I’m glad I found this out.  The knowledge somehow sanctions my family’s over-indulgence.

There is no-one better to share Christmas with than children!  Their manic excitement and whole-hearted belief that Father Christmas will come up trumps is heart-warming.  So, amidst last minute panic-buying and endless hours of present wrapping, Ludgershall found time to squeeze in a children’s Christmas Craft Party at the Bull & Butcher.  Pat agreed to host, which amazed us given the mess we made of her floor when apple bobbing at Halloween.  Pam Lawson and Sharon Evans laid on some fantastic Christmas crafts and all the kids were kept busy creating their very own festive masterpieces.  Huge thanks must go to these ladies, as without their fun ideas and expertise, our children would have surely turned feral waiting for the big man himself to arrive!  Sausages in buns and chocolate cake were demolished in seconds, and just in time!  Santa Claus arrived with a present for everyone and the evening was complete.  We were worried that he wouldn’t have time to stop off at our little gathering, given the time constraints he operates under at that time of year, but we all agreed that swapping out his reindeer and sleigh for a Land Rover Discovery was a genius time-saving idea ☺

In Europe, in the early 17th century, a tidal wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated, and when Oliver Cromwell took over, his Parliament set about trying to rid England of its decadence and cancelled Christmas. I’d like to think that 17th century Ludgershall residents (adults and children alike) would have taken no notice and carried on eveling!   It is, after all, what we’re best at down here!  And judging by the rosy cheeks and smiling faces of the children at our party, I’d say they agree!

Happy New Year to you all!

Emily Davis

fireplace fiends

Halloween in Ludgershall – ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night!

On October 31st, millions around the world celebrated Halloween with evenings of parties, costumes and candy. In the UK, it’s the third busiest party day of the year, lurking ghoulishly in the shadow of Christmas and Easter.  Halloween was originally an ancient Druid festival (Samhain) when the dead were believed to return and mingle among the living – or maybe that’s just how I felt, clearing up after the Ludgershall celebrations!

Nineteen devilish little demons (and three teenaged ones), descended on the Bull & Butcher for games (apple bobbing in a bucket full of fake blood went down a storm), hotdogs and Halloween cupcakes, baked especially by one of our Parish Councillors.  Hot chocolate topped with marshmallows fuelled up our blood-thirsty little blighters just enough for a spot of trick-or-treating.  Armed with plastic severed hands, fake blood, werewolf masks and some spectacular Halloween contact lenses from the teenage contingent, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Ludgershall was filming a re-make of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.  Enough Halloween candy was collected to last them all until the Christmas selection boxes are cracked open, so thank you to all the villagers who got involved.  There’s an unwritten rule in Ludgershall – if there’s a pumpkin outside your house, you’re fair game!  I know that some houses, who were expecting a motley crew of marauding monsters to turn up at their door, were disappointed – we’ll try harder next year to get around to everyone.  Thanks must go to Pat and Richard for allowing their pub to be ‘possessed’ for the evening, and to all the families who supported the event – we’re hoping to make this a village tradition!

Emily Davis

Ludgershall Progressive Supper

Once again the amazing Estelle Fisher organised and co- ordinated 62 hungry villagers on Saturday 21st ~ a lovely warm September evening for the progressive supper. This year we started at the home of Stan and Hilary Cook with a big welcome for us all with nibbles and lots of wine. As we progressed around our courses we passed each other in the dark, some of us covering longer distances than others, but all merry and eager to know where we had each been.

We finished at Chimneys, Duck Lane where our hosts were Naomi and Paul Thomas who served cheese and biscuits, coffee, tea, chocolates, ice cream and of course wine. I am not sure how many of us had any room left to eat anything further. A big thank you to all for a thoroughly lovely evening that doesn’t happen without everyone working together to produce so much lovely food and of course to also eat it. Not all of the money has been collected yet, but we should have raised around £1100 for the church tower restoration.

Another fantastic Bike Night, thanks to everyone involved and thanks to the weather for staying dry, one of the best turn out for years!

IMG_3099 IMG_3100

Ludgershall Village Fete 2013 – full report in the St Mary’s Church section of the website

fete 5 fete 4 fete 3 fete 2 fete 1

Have pity— Attila the Hun was roofless

—as our unfortunate church St Mary’s has been. “Oh, wait a minute,” said our Bishop, Rt Rev John Pritchard, “that’s wrong, he was ruthless!” Bishop John was visiting our church to bless the splendid restored roof (the first visit by a diocesan Bishop for maybe 30 years). Only a month ago many of us had seen it in pieces and could only wonder how the jigsaw of craggy old beams and skilfully carved new repairs could be reassembled in time. But there we were, worshipping and sharing communion together under our new roof under the leadership of this man of transparent and infectious spirituality.

We speak of raising the roof, having a roof over our heads but Bishop John reminded us of the special importance of this roof. It provides us with shelter, creating a haven where all the village can gather to celebrate special occasions such as marriages and baptisms, or to support each other in mourning when remembering loved ones. So the roof symbolises the caring of the community by the church (its people) for so many generations. And now this tremendous effort has ensured a shelter, a place of peace and safety, for generations to come.

Special thanks were given to Alistair Thompson, Wardens Jean and Wade and the PCC for their remarkable (but not yet completed!) work in raising such enormous funds. In turn the congregation were grateful for the wonderful drinks and nibbles that encouraged so much happy conversation after the service. Now we prepare ourselves for the next phase of restoration, dealing with water and repairing stonework. I wonder what illustrations Bishop John would prize out of them?

church dedication 3 church dedication 1 church dedication 2

IMG_2056 IMG_2054Planting of the Oak Tree

There was a great turn out for the planting of the Jubilee Oak tree donated by AVDC to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on Sunday 25th November. Many thanks to Clifford East at 90 years old, braving the weather to plant the tree and enjoying a glass of bubbly afterwards. Clifford is a former chairman of the Parish Council and has done a huge amount for the village over the years. The tree was planted on the green outside the Old Post Office where we hope it will flourish in the years to come.

Ludgershall Parish Council

St Mary’s Church Roof Progress Update

Roof progress is really good and we can now see the results of the timber work restoration.

By the time you read this the second open morning will have taken place on Saturday 27th October. This will have provided us with the opportunity to inspect the roof structure before we begin the next task of boarding the roof, laying felt and then fixing the slates.

Following recent progress meetings with Ward and Co we can report that we are on track for completion of this phase by the end of November; and as importantly we are on budget!

The internal scaffold is due to be taken down by hopefully the 23rd November thereby allowing us time to clean the church before the special service on Sunday 2nd December — see other notices.

We have also received news form English Heritage that our second application for funding has passed the first review. We now have the patient wait until late December to find out how much grant we will be given for Phase 2.

Alistair

Ludgershall Jubilee Celebrations – Sunday 3rd June 2012

A good time was had by all who attended the village Jubilee Celebrations on the rather damp Sunday afternoon/evening. The jubilee committee would like to thank the Brilltones for braving the weather to entertain us all in the evening and a special thanks to Jim Goss who despite the rain did several circuits of the village on his tractor and trailer which was filled every time, the children didn’t want him to stop! Thanks to Ronnie and Merv for also holding the Aunt Sally Comp which was concluded on the Tuesday in a nail biting throw off, well done Robin for winning. Also thank you to Ian Coster for the history board that was on display in the hall. I have a few items of clothing left behind if anyone is missing anything, although a little covered in straw, who knew how much a few bales of straw could entertain the children for so long!!!

Karen Wagland would like to thank everyone who purchased a cake from her stall in the village hall, which raised a total of £60 for Cancer Research. The best crown comp was judged by Celia Auger and was won by Georgina Burchell, with her sister Libby a close second and third prize was won by Molly Reading.

Happy Birthday Hilda!!! 100 years Old!!

Planting of the Jubilee Tree!

The planting of the Jubilee Tree was on Easter Monday and was well attended, thank you to Hilda Wallington for coming out on such a cold rainy day to plant the tree and thank you to Harman Bolster for making the excellent stand for the plaque at rather short notice and thanks to Ronnie Jones for digging the hole and now looking after the tree. We will also be planting an Oak tree that will arrive in the autumn/winter of this year and we hope that Hilda will be able to also plant this tree. The trees will be added to the Royal Record that has been created to mark the Diamond Jubilee where the Woodland Trust hopes that 6 million trees will be planted in 2012.

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