We are please to announce that as well as having a great day for the whole village, the organisers raised excess funds and these proceeds, amounting to £763.41 will be donated to the organisers of the annual Pensioners Christmas Party at the Hatton Arms. These parties were started in 1989 by the Gretton Charity Events Fund from the proceeds of the Gretton Horse Race which was held near Kirby Hall.
Did You Know, that Gretton was a one of the communities whose bells in the village church of St James helped celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee with a unique valley long set of peels?
At around 2pm on June 4th 2012, when the Gretton village Jubilee party was in full swing the bells of the Parish church of Saint James joined in with a unique celebratory peel that was echoed by numerous other churches along the length of the scenic Welland Valley in the heart of the East Midlands. Other villages local to Gretton that also took part in the event were Cotingham, Caldecott, Lyddington, Harringworth, Great Easton and Ashley.
Starting at 9am, the sixty five mile length of the valley reverberated to the sound of bells from no less than thirty four church towers, each set of chimes to last for twenty minutes. Starting at Sibbertoft in East Northamptonshire churches all along the valley that crosses five counties such as Northamptonshire plus Leicestershire, Rutland, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire took part. The dioceses of Peterborough, Leicestershire and Lincoln were involved together with no less than seven branches of the Diocesan Guilds of bell ringers.
The last ringing of bells took place in the Parish of Fosdyke at the far eastern end of the Welland Valley and very close to the Wash. Here, the bells were rung sixty times to mark each year of our Queens’s reign and the village’s Diamond Jubilee beacon was lit
What do I remember? There was so much!
Was it the fantastic performance from the young Paige Barber who, together with so many other talented performers from Gretton kept villagers both entertained and amused for hours?
Was it the weather that was so kind after the monsoon of the previous day?
Was it the atmosphere of a community together with just two aims; to enjoy a knees up and to commemorate a unique Jubilee celebration?
Was it the presence of Corby Radio’s ‘Big Black Bus’ as a centrepiece for the day, a superb core for entertainment and broadcast?
Was it the look on Win Fletcher’s face, the first ever Miss Gretton from 1948, when with the original crown, she was crowned ‘Jubilee Queen’ for the day by the 2012 Miss Gretton, her granddaughter Zeenat Britt?
Was it all the stalls set up by village organisations and manned by volunteers along Kirby Road selling all sorts of things from coffee to ice creams, chocolates to tombola tickets, books to face paints and so much more from so many others?
Was it the patience and kindness of so many people, especially the residents of Kirby Road and surrounding roads and lanes who simply accepted that their homes would be effectively cut off for the day? But what the hell! Let’s all have a good time!
Was it the many villagers who spent hours organising the day to make sure it went so well?
There was so much. But, my overriding memory was when everyone gave a massive cheer to her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the second. After all, the celebration of her Diamond Jubilee was the reason why we were all there.
Mel Jarvis, June 8th 2012