....this unprecedented year - from Margaret Fisher and Pearl Mitchell
As this unprecedented year of 2020 draws to a close, we realise how lucky we are to live in Ebrington where the Community Spirit is very much alive. During lock-down most of us were fortunate enough to have a garden to enjoy and nearby some picturesque country walks if we wanted to stretch our legs. Add to this the random acts of kindness we have received or given which made life a little easier.
Looking back in Ebrington history one of the earliest of these acts of kindness to be recorded was by William Keyt in 1632 when, in his will, he left the milk of 10 'good milch kine' to the poor of Ebrington from May to November 'for ever'. This milk was faithfully distributed right up until the Second World War when rationing restrictions halted it. The Keyt Cow Charity was then commuted to money and continues to this day with a donation to 10 village families at Christmas each year.
Then in 1868 Robert Beavington, the tenant of Ebrington Hall (now called The Manor), gave a Christmas Day dinner at The Hall. Although there is not a written record of the menu, we assume it was traditional and delicious as it was generously provided by Robert and his wife, Mary, for their workers and their families. Seventy-three guests sat down and were meticulously recorded by Robert with their names and ages, this list also included three of his children, Lucy aged 12, Sarah aged 10 and 5-year-old Richard. The oldest employees to sit down were two 78-year-olds, Edward Graves and William Timms and the youngest was 2-year-old Thomas Emms. A truly generous act in the spirit of Christmas.
In 1915, during WW1, horses, although essential for farm work, were requisitioned for the army. When news was received from Ebrington that the Government Horse Buying Men were on their way to Battledene Farm the labourers kindly helped the Clark children hide their favourite riding horse and the best farm carthorse by tunnelling into a hay rick. The horses and children stayed quietly inside until the danger had passed and the requisitioning men had gone.
Another random act of kindness at Battledene Farm, this time in about 1932, involved a little terrier bitch. The Evesham Journal reported that after a day harvesting on the farm this little dog was found in her kennel mothering two wild rabbits about a month old. By the next morning she had added another one from the field to her adopted family. Although said to be a noted ratter and rabitter no doubt the sight of these orphans all alone in their nest had brought out her maternal instinct.
Towards the end of the Second World War American soldiers came to Ebrington when in 1944 they used The Manor as a Red Cross Rest Home. They immediately embraced the community spirit of the village by throwing parties for the parish school children at Christmas and Easter. Those children still remember the special tea with eye-popping treats not usually available due to rationing and the thrill of finding 'real painted eggs' in the Manor garden, something most had never seen during the austere years of the war.
This year everyone has risen to occasion and helped their neighbours by doing shopping, collecting prescriptions, running errands, getting the bins in, walking dogs, a phone call or simply a wave and many other Random Acts of Kindnessthat help to make life a little easier for those self-isolating. Free hot Sunday lunches were delivered thanks to Fiona and Richard with beef from their Rockley Herd, vegetables from Drinkwaters and cooked by Jim, Claire and their Chef at The Ebrington Arms. Some very appreciative diners sent their thanks to them all and to the team of deliverers.
We turn our back on this year now and look forward with hope to the future, secure in the knowledge that the Community Spirit of Ebrington lives on in the Random Acts of Kindness we experience every week.
We send Best Wishes to you all for the coming Christmas Season and hope everyone stays safe and well in the New Year. Margaret and Pearl
Posted: Sat, 12 Dec 2020 21:52 by Daphne Law