25th February - that's a day to remember for Margie and Derek Johnson of The Owell, in 1958, they were married. So it's 45 years of wonderful cooking for old Derek. Many congratulations to you both.
The Secret Collection.... We (that is Jan and I) cannot believe this wonderful village. A village so full of caring and loving people that it is impossible to take it all in. Twice this little old post office has been violated by thieves and robbers, and twice the village has come up trumps, first with money to cover the amount stolen, and secondly to stump up the money for C.C.T.V. to be installed. You are absolutely fabulous. By the way, the installation of the C.C.T.V. cameras is now just awaiting an electrician.
The village Hall is coming on apace, rising out of the ground like a phoenix, there is hope that it will all be done and dusted by August. There is still some fund raising required, so don't be shy, there is an ongoing raffle at the post office, so pop in a buy a ticket or two!!
Vandalism has, and is at the time of writing, high on the list of topics for discussion in the village. There has been a lot of damage done to cars and property, particularly around the Owell. One car belonging to the Decarteret's had over two hundred pound's worth of damage done. The most disgusting and heartbreaking incidents were in particular the damaging of Freda Shelbourne's hedge, and the damage done to Sid Wales' car when lifting it on to the kerb. The repair bill for Sid's was £140.00. Who in their right mind would want to damage anything of our angel Freda, and as for Sid, as a Paratrooper in the 2nd World War he was dropping behind enemy lines, and as you know is still not one to be trifled with. He said of the damage to his car "If I catch the little b's they will know it". Both Freda and Sid are now in their late eighties.
Neighbourhood Watch has been vigilant during all of this, and has not only collated all the information coming in through its various sources, and passing it on to the Police, but also actively spurring the Police on to take more active involvement in the whole affair. As I write, the problems seem to have died down, let us pray that these are not famous last words.
The Church community room is now finished, really it is unbelievable, to remember what was there and now what has replaced it, a veritable gift from God, praise the Lord. Our gratitude goes to the Christina Martin Trust, their Trustees and their officers and of course our own Keith Boundy and Ian Hooper, who both worked so hard, in conjunction with Tony Redman of Whitworth Co. Partnership to produce a room, balcony and toilets which will stand the good people of Pakenham in good stead, for many, many, many, years to come.
The quality of work done by our builders, Vallients of Barrow, is quite exceptional. We now look forward to using our room as often as we can; monthly coffee mornings will be started soon, and of course the children's pre-school group already there, it all makes for a good start for the use of our wonderful gift. If anyone has the need for the use of a room, please ring either one of the churchwardens or the rector and we will be pleased to accommodate them, literally.
The cleaning of the church, after the building work was completed, looked to be an absolute nightmare. Dust and grime was in places inches thick, on ledges, on floors, on walls, under pews, and the Chancel floor. Well!!! How could we clean it all? It would cost a fortune to bring in specialised cleaners so perhaps we could use lots and lots of people to make short work of it? No, no and no again. But wait, what about, surely? Yes, of course, Ruth Chester! Ruth and Barrie swooped into the church, like Batman and Robin, literally sweeping all before them, they hoovered, they scrubbed, they polished. They lifted, shoved and moved various pieces of furniture. The dust flew, settled and was sucked and dispatched with gusto, never to appear again. If ever we needed a leader, it was now, and Ruth appeared from out of the gloom, as miraculous as a contestant from "Stars in their eyes" to encourage, direct, innovate and persuade us all to throw out the old, and rejoice in the new. If "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" then Ruth and Barrie must be up there with the best.
We are also hoping, at this moment in time, to persuade local historian Martin Harrison to produce for us a new and updated Church Guide, and it is possible that that wonderful presenter of historical facts, Clive Paine, will assist in the writing.
Pakenham's other great writer Miss Beattie Peck, has unfortunately, for reasons of health, moved from her home at in The Owell, to Stowlangtoft Hall, where we are sure she will be happy. Recently we heard, Beattie has begun to write a little again, and if she will permit us, we would like to print her latest about Silvester the cat, in this very publication.
We mourn the death of Peter Jermyn, who from the time I first met him, has always been to me, as most people are, a very underestimated man, some one whom you could easily dismiss, but only at your peril. Peter was all his life a great supporter of the underdog. He had this almost ingrained feeling that he had been hard done by in life, and that his birthright had not given him the privilege that others had and had not particularly earned. Peter to his credit used this to his advantage, and was indeed a very passionate and forthright speaker, notably on politics and politicians. I always admired and respected his views, and we will miss him. - Max