Beckingham Marshes

Beckingham cum Saundby Marsh Fayre 2014

A weekend of special events by the RSPB, Kismet Theatre Group, Beckingham and Saundby History Group and the Village Hall, took place over the 19th and 20th September, celebrating the Beckingham Marshes project.
On the Friday and Saturday evening Kismet Theatre Group put on a performance in the Village Hall called Marsh Songs. Commissioned by the RSPB to officially launch the Beckingham Marshes project it depicted the history of the local wetlands from Roman times to the present day with drama, music and songs. Some of the scenery and props which included large flowers and butterflies, one of every kind known in the marshes, had been made during craft classes involving the community held in the Recreation Room a few weeks before.
Marsh Songs props
On the Saturday afternoon the Beckingham Marsh Fayre took place, split between the Village Hall and Willow Works. There were many stalls with various crafts and activities taking place, something for the whole family to enjoy.
Inside the village hall there was face painting, didgeridoos, pottery, jewellery stands, Gringley Womenís Institute and the British Legion with poppies, Christmas decorations, cards, textiles and more. Some of the props and scenery from the Marsh Songs production were also on display.

Refreshments of ice creams, tea, coffee and biscuits were also available. Outside there was the chance to try bungee jumping and a fairground ride. The village Bowls Club opened the Bowls Green for people who wished to have a go. Morton & District Art Club had paintings for sale, Breath Easy with respiratory information and a stand all about scouting, past and present. Beckingham School provided small games and Speckled Frogs had a tombola. A fairground stand sold candy floss and other confectionary. Corringham Young Farmers Club supplied burgers, hot dogs and drinks.

fun fair stand
They also entertained with a mini digger challenge and had a tractor full of balloons for visitors to guess the total number inside. Beckingham Gardening Club had a stall and another had honey for sale with lots of free information on bee keeping. There were also several vintage tractors on display. Morris Dancers performed in the Multi Use Games Area and later down at the Willow Works. Bessie, a vintage coach travelled between both venues ferrying people to and fro.
BumbleVee ice cream
Outside the Willow Works there was a traditional Ice Cream trike from BumbleVee of Gringley. The RSPB had a stand giving plenty of information about the Beckingham Marshes and the work they do. They also organised free guided walks around the marshes.
Inside there were several interesting craft demonstrations some giving visitors the opportunity to have a go. These included Muddy Products telling the novel story of a mud man called Bug-a-lugs, based on the Lincolnshire Imp.
Mud Man

The lady who created him has written a book about his exploits, organises courses for children and adults, does parties and travels to schools where children would surely love to play with mud! There was an interesting display and history of medieval pottery made by Shaun Clark, with decorated plates and some working musical instruments including ocarinas (a sort of clay flute).
A willow craft stand gave people the opportunity to make some amazing large willow butterflies to take home. There were some beautifully crafted walking sticks, made by one of our local postmen David Gent, plus cane weaving and rag rug making. The British Trust for Ornithology had a stand full of information about all their work. A group called Sing for Life played music and sang songs mainly from the 60ís and war time era.
willow craft
World War One display
Upstairs Beckingham and Saundby History Group had their displays and also provided refreshments of cream teas, savouries and cakes along with tea and coffee.
Their main display was of World War One information and memorabilia relating to both villages. Much of the information and items on show had been kindly loaned by several village residents, telling their own moving stories. The display boards showed the complete Roll of Honour for both Beckingham and Saundby.
display cabinets of artefacts

The Groupís special glass display cabinets housed all kinds of historical items including miniature willows made by Herbert Gale & Son who ran the Willow Works many years ago when it was a thriving industry. The ever popular research corner gave visitors the opportunity to look through village records, documents and the village website pages. There was also a raffle with several prizes including two large prints one of a steam train going through Beckingham and the other of All Saintís Church.

Visitors also had the chance to view the resident pair of Barn Owls on the CCTV monitor. They successfully raised six chicks this year. The adults use the specially provided box to roost in during the day. A pair of Kestrels had also nested in the box and successfully raised four chicks this year.

The whole community had been encouraged to get involved in and enjoy all the events which were well attended and the weather was good.
enjoying refreshments

The History Group will be holding their annual Open Day next year on 19th September in the Willow Works. The theme will be "Family, Fun and Games".

Click here for History Group History.
Click here for History Group Diary of Events.

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