Well, we did do “something” for VJ+75-Day on 15th August, a small service was held around our War Memorial, and we laid a wreath alongside the VE+75 example from 8th May.
The service was sad in a way because it was the last where Rev. Stevie will officiate there for us. Coincidentally at that same ceremony we had to say goodbye to Father James, who is also moving away. This has proved to be a year of great change, and time marches inexorably on.
Speaking of change, our Poppy Appeal often benefits from your small change but not this year. As things stand, we will not be able to collect door to door, or at static collection points. There is also some question about poppy-pots in shops, pubs and other establishments. It looks like we are going to have to rely on old fashioned cheques or new-fangled digital devices to tap you for cash. If you can spare a few bob, please send the former to Alan, at 8 Becketts Close Byfield NN11 6XS, made-out to TRBL Poppy Appeal or the latter, go to: https://donations.britishlegion.org.uk/donation/oneoff where a donation can be made using card or PayPal. As advised in the last Byword, you could also sponsor a wreath but right now, we are unsure if we can obtain a supply. Then there’s The Poppy Shop where all sorts of poppy related goodies are available on line https://www.poppyshop.org.uk/
If you are able to help us on-line, please advise Byfield.MemSecretary@rbl.community so that we can account for your contribution and thank you profusely for it, or just give Alan a call on 260590.
We did manage a get-together for a pub lunch on the last Wednesday of the month in August, where suitably distanced consumption of tasty food, good ale and an exchange of jibber-jabber about nothing in particular was the order of the day. This was our first since February. Since then we have managed a Branch meeting, our first since last winter, in Byfield Rectory’s garden. We hope to continue the same but with Covid restrictions, venues will be a challenge, especially this autumn.
We flew the Red Duster (thanks to Crystl for its loan) on 3rd September, to honour all our Merchant Navy sailors who, not without great sacrifice, kept us fed and fuelled during those many dark days long ago; yet another anniversary that we are committed to preserving.
On the 10th September our War Memorial celebrated its 100th birthday. Our President, John Russell BEM officiated by saying a few words. He asked us to remember the unveiling and dedication of our Memorial on that same date all those years ago and told tales of its subsequent move to the west, because of the then 150-year-old elm’s roots lifting its base. That tree next the old market cross survived another fifty years before it finally succumbed to age and infirmity. Its location was locally known as The Cross Tree, from whence our last remaining pub derives its name.
And then there’s out annual quiz. We have booked the Village Hall for Friday 27th November where we sincerely hope we will be able to welcome all our regulars, and maybe some new faces? It’s always a “good do”, where friendly rivalry gets more enthusiastic as the evening progresses, and the bar remains open. We are looking forward to the possibility of welcoming you there.