A churchyard picnic

Churchyard clearance parties take place every now and again, probably in most villages. Certainly one was scheduled for earlier this year, but the appointed day was just awful for weather and, with discretion being the better part of valour, the day was cut short.

It looks as though things turned out better back in 1963. Here we see a working party taking a well-earned rest by the northeast corner of St Mary’s Church.

1963 working party who levelled a part of the churchyard enjoying a well earned picnic when the task was complete - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

The task, on this occasion had been to level a part of the 1862 extension to the churchyard and the volunteers enjoyed this picnic when the work was complete. Mrs Oram entertained the workers by reciting Victorian poems.

The people in this photo are named in museum records. – First we’ll have those sitting or standing in a curve at the back – from left to right –

  • Peggy Gye (Museum founder)
  • Winnie Cooper
  • Theresa Gale
  • Mrs Oram (Theresa Gale’s mother who was 90 then and lived to be 101)
  • Bert Shore (his wife, Flo had been born in the museum building in 1908)
  • Rose Crouch
  • David Hargreaves
  • Canon Lees
  • Jonathan French
  • Johnathan Gye (Peggy Gye’s son)
  • Tom Gye (Peggy Gye’s husband)

And on the grave stone are:-

  • Miss Partridge
  • Mrs Cooper
  • Mrs Lees
  • John French

The photo was taken by Peter Francis.

As usual, we seek information at the museum. Can you tell us anything further about the people in this photo?

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One Response to “A churchyard picnic”

  1. John Burgess Says:

    All that I can add to this photo is that John French purchased number 1 and 2 Coopers in White Street when my Grandmother Daisy Burgess was living at the time.

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