Sunday, July 23, 2006

Trelystan Church Fete

.......or the most fun you can have standing under a yew in a churchyard. Perhaps.

Somehow or other I got recruited by the indefatigable Lily Richards (Church Warden of this Parish) into running the plant stall - which is how I came to be standing behind a table of miscellaneous plants, seedlings and mis-shapen vegetables. This is rather unfamiliar territory but I arranged my wares as aesthetically as possible and evolved a pricing strategy that I could both remember and add up in my head. And we were off, sales made and coins rattled into my ice-cream-tub-cash-register.

It was a proper country fete - home made cakes, home made games, raffles, draws, bric-a-brac, children's games and generous teas. Young and old got together amongst the tombstones which stud the ground like so many crooked teeth and enjoyed an afternoon of innocent fun in the shade of massive yew trees.

All this in the beautiful setting of Trelystan Church. Now while Trelystan is a parish you wouldn't describe it as a village as such. But it is a community of scattered farms and houses and it does have a church. The Church stands alone at the end of a track on the edge of a wood and is surrounded by fields. The Church itself is half-timbered, black and white, tiny and simply furnished. The floor inside is laid with old tombs, the work, most probably, of some local stonemason. Calligraphically both elegant and unpretentious.
It undoubtedly an ancient site, although the Church's antiquity is masked by Victorian refurbishments. Being in a slight dip the view to the west is not far reaching but to the south and east the vista opens out to the distant hills - the Stiperstones, Corndon and Stapely Common. In fact, looking back from close to Mitchel's Fold on Stapely Common one can just see this little white church nestled against the dark woods. Yesterday we were looking over a parched landscape of green and gold and the hills were in sharp relief - surely a sign of poor weather to come?

And come it did. The heavens opened and torrential rain lashed in from the west, our small valley suddenly wreathed in cloud. Fortunately the fete was in its final stages so stalls were hurriedly packed up and everyone ran for cover. The Grand Draw was squeezed into a hall already bulging with people enjoying their 'Country Teas'. More tea was poured and more sandwiches, scones and cakes heaped onto plates.

The rain was shortlived - perhaps 30 minutes - hardly enough to quench the parched earth.

n.b.The remains of the plant stall will progress to Chirbury Church Fete which takes place next weekend. Without me.

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