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In Full . . .

The Herculean task at our churchyard

Posted on April 19 2009 at 1:08:06

As regular worshippers at St Bartholomew’s, Tardebigge, my wife and I read with interest Neville Billington’s account of the death, 100 years ago, of Other Robert, Viscount Windsor (The Village, April 2009).

In his article, historian Mr Billington was saddened to find the site of the young viscount’s grave in what he regarded as a neglected and a “melancholy” place. 

As parishioners we would, of course, wish that weeds were not so persistent and that the passage of time did not inevitably lead to decay. We would not, though, wish readers to be left with an impression that we at St Bartholomew’s do not do our utmost to maintain the dignity and beauty of our churchyard.

Set high on a hill with its magnificent views towards the Malvern Hills it remains a lovely place, though a difficult site to maintain. Not only do we have an historic and inspiring church to care for but an Herculean task is also needed to keep the grass and weeds at bay, in a near eight-acre site.

Neville Billington grieves that at the centenary of Viscount Windsor’s death the anniversary appeared to have gone unnoticed. However, he was not correct in his assumption that the contribution of the Plymouth family of Hewell Grange has entirely slipped from local memory. Though it is now many years since the Hewell estate sale and with it the family’s break with Worcestershire, the Plymouths are still remembered and respected at Tardebigge.

Our churchyard continues to delight our many visitors but we hope that when readers of this magazine visit us they will appreciate just what an effort has to be made to raise the money to care for such a large area. And remember, every penny in the expense of doing so comes from the men, women and children of our congregation. 

Incidentally, the hugely popular Tardebigge show and fete takes place again this year on Saturday, August 1, when readers of The Village will again be welcome to see just how splendid a location the churchyard really is.

Christopher and Mary Watkins, Blackwell


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