Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024

Weald History Group visits renovated church in ‘lost’ village wiped out by The Black Death

WEALD HISTORY GROUP visited Dode Church deep in the Kent countryside in Great Buckland near Gravesend recently. It has been renovated by chartered surveyor Douglas Chapman who bought the building after discovering it 650 years after it had been abandoned.

It became derelict when the nearby village – now known as ‘The Lost Village of Dode’ – was wiped out by the Black Death in 1349.

Mr Chapman was the guest speaker at the Weald History Group earlier in the year to talk about the church, how he came to buy it and how it was restored. He and his wife have spent 20 years renovating the church and a change in regulations means they are now able to hold wedding ceremonies there.
Members of the history group enjoyed a picnic in the grounds of the church at the start of their recent visit and then spent some me in the building which can seat about 40 people. It was a calm and tranquil place and none of the group wanted to leave.

READING TIMES: There is a change of time for the mobile library van visiting the village. It will still come fortnightly to the Memorial Hall car park on a Thursday but, during the summer, will be in the village between 11.40am  and 12.25pm.

SCHOOL REFURBISHMENT & FETE:  Mr Pyle, headteacher of Weald C.P. School and his staff opened the school recently to show villagers the additions and improvements that have taken place, including a new servery, additional classroom space, administration offices and the hall with a new floor and decoration. Mr Pyle invited villagers to use the school facilities and hall if they wish, for activities such as yoga etc. saying that the school was ‘ours’ as much as for the children.

Now that building work is complete, the P.T.A. will be raising money to refurbish the play area outside. The fundraising will start at the School Fete on The Green on Saturday afternoon, 30 June between noon and 4pm. There will be a large number of stalls and the theme this year is Alice in Wonderland.

MOVIE STARS:  Weald’s 7-11 film club at St George’s Church is going from strength to strength. Due to overwhelming demand from the children, the next film to be shown (Thursday 28 June) will be ‘The Greatest Showman’. The film is inspired by the story of P. T. Barnum’s creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus and the lives of its star attractions.

As it is a slightly longer movie the doors will open at the earlier time of 4.45pm and the film will start promptly at 5pm. Pick-up will be at the usual time of 6.45pm. As before, there is no charge for attending and every child will receive a free bag of popcorn for which voluntary donations are welcome. To reserve your place please email Julia Baber at julia.baber@gmail.com or text her on 07958 650230

PINS AND NEEDLES:  A new sewing group is being formed in Weald to offer people an opportunity to ‘enjoy an ancient skill’ in a relaxed atmosphere. Organiser Hilary Allen said: “The group will meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 12.30 to 2.30pm. There are no restrictions on what you can stitch working together or alone. If you wish you may embroider, quilt or darn a much loved old jumper!

“We have been given a tailor’s dummy so if you would like to make a garment we will be able to help with fittings. We aim to embrace all level of skills and I’m sure that beginners will get help from someone amongst the group.

If you bring a sewing machine please bring your own extension lead. The only stipulation is that we use only glass or plastic headed pins so that they can be seen easily if they fall on the hall floor!  There will, of course be refreshments. If you are not up to sewing but you might like to knit or just come for a chat please join us! It’s all in the name.’


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