Friday, March 1st, 2024

‘There But Not There’ figures on display in Weald during WW1 centenary

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM: Plans are well underway in Weald village to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 – the Great War. In the lead up to the anniversary on Sunday, 11 November, ‘Remembrance Sunday’, the film ‘War Horse’ will be shown in St George’s Church on Monday 5 November at 2.30pm. All our welcome to attend

Then between Tuesday 6 November and Sunday 10 November, an installation called, ‘There But Not There’ will be in place in the church which will be open each day (except Sunday when there is a different programme of events) from 9am – 5.30pm.

Rev. Mandy Carr had first seen the ‘There But Not There’ figures at Penshurst Church and was so touched by the installation that when there was a move to do something similar in local churches St. George’s agreed immediately and became one of the founding partners. ‘Local’ enthusiasm soon became ‘national’ enthusiasm and a charity, ‘Remembered’, was formed. ‘There But Not There’ has spread, not only in this country, but overseas too, with over 2,500 communities becoming involved (For more details of the project see

In addition to the installation, a short film, ‘Distance’, an especially commissioned film based on poems written by Elizabeth Miller, will be shown on Saturday 10 November at 2.30pm and 4.30pm. The film’s Director is the Rev. Mandy Carr and features Matthew Carr as ‘Tom’ and Katie Beddoe as ‘Anne’ his pregnant wife. St George’s Musical Director, Julia Downing, wrote the score. Tea and cake will be available during the afternoon in the Church Rooms.

Rev. Mandy says that what she found particularly difficult in making the film is that the part of ‘Tom’ was played by her son. She had an afternoon of filming him dying on the battlefield and then had to spend hours editing it. As he is the same age of many soldiers who volunteered or who were called up in World War I, including one on Weald’s memorial, she found it very poignant. The film can be watched at and downloaded from Vimeo

On Sunday 11 November the Remembrance Service at St George’s will start at 10.30am with a Church Parade and, at 11pm, a two-minute silence will be held at Weald War Memorial followed by the laying of wreaths. At 3pm there will be another two-minute silence at the flagpole on the Green after which people are invited to an afternoon of reflection in the Memorial Hall featuring an exhibition of memorabilia of the Great War and the installation of a ‘specially designed and stitched fabric commemorative wall hanging. The fabric piece features five strips of ‘medals’ with buttons from the regiments of the men who were killed, alongside their names. The village before the war is represented as well as the effect the war had. The film ‘Distance’ will be shown at 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Afternoon teas will be available all afternoon.

Copies of a new book by Sheila Hocking, ‘Weald and the Great War’, about the villagers who went to war and those who remained behind and what happened to them will be launched and available to purchase. Villagers and visitors are invited to bring along family photos, cards or other items to share.

At 5pm a beacon will be lit on the field at Panthurst on Hubbards Hill, Weald.

WEALD FIREWORKS: On Saturday, 3 November, a torchlight procession will leave the village Memorial Hall carpark at 6.30pm and weave its way down Windmill Road and up Glebe Road to the Scout field. Tickets are £7 for adults and £3 for children. They are on sale at Weald Community Shop or can be bought on the night at the Scout field. Profit from the evening will be split between various groups: Weald Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts, Weald Brownies, Girl Guides, Weald Wolves FC, and Cameo.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS: There have been several annual meetings for local groups recently including for Allotments Association, and the Women of Weald. This month (November) the Weald Horticultural Society will be holding its AGM on Wednesday 7 November at 8pm in the Memorial Hall. The official meeting will be followed by a horticultural question and answer session (with wine and cheese). The Weald History Group will be holding its AGM on Monday, 12 November from 2-4pm in Weald Memorial Hall followed by the opportunity to see the 11/11 exhibition. All welcome.

VILLAGE DESIGN STATEMENT: Residents have been sent an envelope containing the Weald village questionnaire and replies will be included in a Village Design Statement and Parish Plan. These are two important planning documents could decide how Weald will develop in the years ahead. Once adopted by Sevenoaks District Council, the Village Design Statement (VDS) and the Parish Plan (PP) become Supplementary Planning Documents which means that the District Council has to take into account the contents of the VDS and the PP when they are making planning decisions.

The Steering Group met recently to have a preliminary look at the data from the returns so far, as well as the additional comments that many residents have made. The 250 responses received represent a very good statistical sample of village opinion.

DEMENTIA AWARENESS: A dementia awareness training session is being held in St George’s Church rooms on Thursday, 8 November, between 10.45am – noon.

PEDAL POWER: Over the past few months Weald residents Avril and Graham Fenn have been out on their bikes training for the recent annual ‘Palace to Palace’ charity cycle in London in aid of the Princes Trust. After the ride Graham reported: “We got up early to cycle to Sevenoaks station around 6.45am and put our bikes on the train to Victoria. The start was in the Mall and we joined many riders with the same ambition. The fit ones aiming to complete 90 miles, but we opted for the 45-mile course. This took us passed Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, and along the Embankment crossing at Putney Bridge. This led to Richmond Park. We finished in Windsor on the racecourse. This was a most wonderful experience and achievement for both us and to be part of a great charity. We have raised some £345 so far.” If you would like to celebrate Graham and Avril’s achievement and support The Princes Trust, please visit Graham’s Justgiving page.

SAMARA’S AID COLLECTION: A team at St George’s Church was busy again sorting through clothes, shoes and blankets donated to Samara’s Aid. As a result of the generosity of villagers, more than 20 boxes and bags were filled and delivered to the central collection point.

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