"The culmination of three to four years research and a year in the planning ..." These crucial words were spoken after the highpoint of Jackie Scully's [now Lanaway] successful completion of her work for the Forncett History Group's major Great War Project. What greater climax could there have been: a Service of Dedication of the Forncett Book of Remembrance by the Bishop of Norwich in the ancient parish church of St Peter on Remembrance Sunday.
In the last year work has been particularly intense for Jackie and myself, checking texts and planning the layout and overall design, and the assistance of two other members, Susie Rohde and Graham Prior. Our printer, Mike Dawson at Swallowtail Print, was also understanding and helpful. Various technical issues had to be resolved and numerous drafts before the final version was delivered. We feel the final product has done justice to the men we honour now one hundred years on.
The service of dedication was very well attended and relatives of some of the families of the men commemorated were present to see the poignant images of the men projected on the screen in the church to the evocative strains of Elgar's 'Nimrod'. Adrian Cooke is to be complimented on his skilful handling of the technical presentation. Visuals also enhanced other moments in the service: Nick Champion reading the full poem by Laurence Binyon, 'The Fallen', containing those immortal words: 'They shall not grow old ...', and Graham Prior reading an unpublished poem by a wounded soldier being cared for by his attentive nurse in the American Hospital in Paignton.
Four major bound copies have been produced: one for each church, Forncett St Mary and Forncett St Peter, one for Forncett Archive and one was presented to Bishop Graham. The bound volumes will eventually be housed in display units in the churches, but there will also be reference copies permanently available for visitors to the churches to consult.
The reference (otherwise known as 'handling copies') have been produced in limp binding ; a number of these will be despatched to official bodies and the remainder will be available for purchase - below cost - from the Forncett Archive c/o John Webster [£15 + £2.50 p&p if required] on this website. Order forms are available and if there is a demand a second printing may be arranged. FHG members will have an opportunity to see a copy at the next meeting (19 Nov).
We are most grateful for funding for the project, which has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Norfolk Community Foundation and South Norfolk Council.
A selection of comments from those present at the Dedication Service underlines the impact of the occasion:
Writing as a non-parishioner, the Remembrance Sunday event at Forncett St Peter's was a very moving and wonderful service. Very professionally organised and with nothing announced, the service flowed seamlessly. Personally, I felt very honoured to be a participant.
A very moving service, I felt, with the Bishop using the analogy of the song 'Turn, turn, turn' from the Byrds and the pictures of the Forncett men lost in the war providing particularly memorable moments.
It was a beautiful Service and very poignant from the first toll of the bell to the last Amen.
Update 6th November 2014
Following a fantastic response to the appeal for funds to provide a defibrillator, the target has now been reached (with the 'match funding' contribution from the Parish Council). The process of ordering the defibrillator and installation (in the old phone box at the bottom of Mill Road near the Church and School) is underway. However, additional contributions will still be welcome to ensure that there are sufficient funds for installation, maintenance. training etc in the future, and to that end there will be an information session / fund raiser at the school in late November and a coffee morning at Claire and Mike Jordan's on 4th December.
The Parish Council has discussed the possible installation of a defibrillator in Forncett several times in the last year and now a group of volunteers led by Julia Hill and Keith Fromings have taken on the task of investigating and coordinating the project. The following article is based largely on recent entries in 'The Forncett Flyer' (with the Editor's permission!), Parish Council minutes and other messages which have been circulated. It will be updated as the project progresses. It starts with the latest news and progresses to earlier articles.
Click this link to read an article about the use of Community Defibrillators.
Any donations in the form of cheques should be now be made payable to 'Forncett Parish Council', as the Council will maintain a fund to pay for anything which might be needed in the future for installation, maintenance, training etc (earmarked for the Defibrillator project).
Around 100 visitors came to Forncett Steam Museum on Saturday 18th October, for the 3rd Forncett Craft Fair, this year not able to take place in St. Mary's church due to on-going restoration work. Stalls included wrought iron work, wood turning, garden decorations,, hand made cushions, toys ,cards, watercolours, and stained glass items. There were tempting home-made cakes on offer for refreshments, also warming soup and a roll. Museum owners Rowan and Jane Francis kept a jolly atmosphere by starting up the pianola situated on the ground floor of the museum, and many visitors were fascinated by the engines, although on this occasion they were not running. Plant doctor Robert Maidstone had several enquiries about pruning fruit trees, how to plant hedging, and garden pests.
Thanks to everyone who helped organise and run the event, and to Rowan and Jane for the use of the museum.
- Another Footpath Cleared!
- Timeline for the Great War launched
- The Forncett Flyers are the Champions 2014
- Forncett Fete 2014
- Dolce Choir
- St Mary's Church this summer
- Forncett Diggers & Dibblers Garden Club show
- The Forncett Flyers soar into silver position
- Open Gardens: The Forncetts - July 7th 2013
- East Ruston Old Vicarage Trip – Tuesday 25th June 2013