What a fantastic turnout for our society’s Christmas lunch and a fitting end to our special 5oth anniversary year! The event was held at the place which has become our favourite, The church Barn, Bishop’s Castle. The barn looked beautifully festive and our meal was wonderful, as always, thanks to our caterer, Wendy Oakley and her hard-working team.
After lunch, chairman Gordon Dickins read evocative wintry passages from Precious Bane. Liz Stamps, vice chair spoke about Mary Webb’s often difficult relationship with her mother, Sarah Alice Meredith. In this poem Mary expresses her delight when entering her mother’s bedroom at Christmas 1920 to see that her mother had kept the home-made presents given to her by her children:
Within the doorway of your room tonight
I stood, and saw your little treasures all
Set out beneath the golden candle-light
While silver chimes haunted the evenfall.
Here was the robin, very round and bright,
Painted by one of us, with fingers small,
And childish presents, bought with grave delight,
For many an ancient Christmas festival.
And while I looked, dear mother, I thought of those
Great dreams that men have dreamed-music like flame,
The lovely works of many a deathless name,
Poetry blooming like a fragrant rose;
And knew God kept them in His house above,
As you our gifts, from the greatness of His love.