Dear Feltwell Family Member,
June was a most eventful month. The A&H held its annual Patronal Service at St Nicholas Church on the 23rd and the choir sang for the first time under its new Choirmaster Brenda Bingham. Rev. David Kightley had arranged the service around the theme of life in Feltwell and the combination of hymns and readings went down very well with the congregation. It is always nice to attend a service in this lovely old building and your next opportunity will be in December for the Carol Service.
On Friday 21st June the monthly A&H meeting was addressed by a Mr Meadows who is i/c of the Ely Cathedral archive at the University of Cambridge. He gave a talk on the life of the Rev Sparke with particular reference to Ely Cathedral, a topic he has been researching for some time and which will eventually be published. I had not quite realised just how much nepotism and favour was involved in allocating parish livings nor how much some of them were worth back in the eighteen hundreds. A really fascinating talk and made all the more relevant by the presence in the audience of one of the descendents of Rev Sparke, Terry Blackmore, who was there representing his cousin John Sparks. A tale of coincidence lies behind this speaker as follows. Once or twice a year the Ely Diocese holds an Etheldreda Day at the Cathedral. The last one happened to occur shortly after the rediscovery of Rev Sparke's letters concerning the new stained glass windows in St Mary's (serialised in the magazine and now on the website). At some time during the day Rev Kightley got talking to Mr Meadow. As usually happens on such occasions, details of each others work crop up in conversation and the coincidence of the Sparke family was realised. When David mentioned the letters in the St Mary's archive you can probably imagine the response! An arrangement was made and the presentation date set. We have always said the stained glass in St Mary's is amongst the best in the area and following the talk we know it to be better than an awful lot in Ely Cathedral itself. I hope to be able to include elements of Mr Meadows' presentation on the website at some future date but copyright issues may prevent it.
On the weekend of the 29/30 Maureen Reid came up from Dorset to continue her research on the Palmer family. Her cousin came with her and she brought some old photographs along, several of which we had never seen before. By coincidence, when they were in the museum, Chris Cock popped in. As you all know Chris has been collecting old photographs of the village for many years. I can only imagine that he must have been salivating like one of Pavlov's dogs when he saw some of these! Maureen and I arranged to meet and her cousin kindly let me borrow the photos overnight so that I could scan them for use on the website. (Maureen, it was good to meet you all. Let me know if you ever get your family linked in with Sharon Mountford's).
July began with a week of rain apart from the 4th and the USAF kindly allowed us Brits to attend their Independence Day celebrations on Feltwell Base. Security, as you can probably imagine, was high but the event went off without any problems (as far as we know). These celebrations have become an integral part of life in Feltwell and they help our two communities grow closer together. On behalf of the village I want to thank the American Military Authorities for allowing us on, it would have been so easy to have made the event ID holders only.
My summer break is fast approaching (thankfully) and I'm planning to finish website 3 and get all the cross-links between it and site 1 in place. By the way, as none of you have commented negatively I assume the cosmetic changes to the homepages of sites 1 and 2 met with your general approval.
Site additions this month mainly affect site 3 where I added photographs of our St Nicholas estate (Munsons Lane, Rawlins Way, etc). The site is now nearly 3/4 complete.
Emails of interest this month. First from Maureen Rust.
"I have just read Don Stubbing's story. He relates about a man called Funnicarno who came in a pony and cart and paid a good price for horsehair and rabbit skins. He was always whistling. This man I am certain was Henry Carnell, whose nickname was Funny (hence funnycarnell). He was my father-in-law's uncle." (A tiny jigsaw piece but isn't it nice to get them?)
Charleen wants information on her relative Sergeant Jack Bunce who died 27th February 1943 and may have been stationed at Feltwell. How can she do this?
Kay Williams is tracing John HARRISON m1806 Maria SHINKFIELD at Northwold NOR. Their eldest daughter Elizabeth was b1809 Feltwell, the rest of their children at Cockley Cley. Any help?
Paul Garside has discovered that his 5th G/Grandparents, Frances Drake came from Feltwell and he is seeking additional information.
And finally, on a sad note, Brenda Gallagher writes to tell us that Feltwellian Jane Carroll died on the 24th April. On behalf of the Feltwell Family I send our sympathies to Ralph and family.