Articles of Interest 2012

Rearsby diamond Jubilee Celebrations

At a meeting on the 15th March it was agreed that the village hall would play host to the Rearsby Jubilee celebrations on the 5th June 2012.

The meeting, which was attended by local groups from the village agreed to approach other groups and associations around Rearsby and invite them to help arrange and support the day.

Initial plans propose a bring and share lunch starting around 11.30am for members of the local community with a second party starting around 2.30pm through to around 4.30pm for the younger members of the village and parents to join in an afternoon bring and share lunch / tea.

Various suggested activities are being investigated, including fancy dress for the under 12’s on a Royal theme, painting competitions and so on, suggestions for more activities are all welcome and the contribution of prizes always appreciated.

The next stage of the plan is to contact the local groups and committees including Over 70s, Coffee Morning, Leisure Club, WI, Village Hall, History, Rainbows, Guides, Tots & Tinys, Friends of Rearsby, the Art Club, Computer Club, the Convent and the School to name but some, to establish who is interested in supporting the event and forming a small committee of people to co-ordinate the day.

The strange case of the lost Spitfire – the Spitfire is found and recovered.

It started for me when Rosemary Smith telephoned and asked whether I knew of a Spitfire which had crashed between Rearsby and Gaddesby during the Second World War. Her enquiry was prompted by a conversation which she had with Alan Wadd who had been contacted by a Max Elliott of the Yorkshire Aviation Archaeologists Group, an organisation dedicated to the preservation of the history and artefacts of aircraft lost during the war.

I knew nothing of the lost warplane and although it was interesting it went to the back of my mind. However, several days later I had a chance conversation with Betty Woodcock of Rearsby which again sparked my interest. She mentioned that back in the 1940’s a schoolboy, later to become her brother-in-law, David Woodcock and his sister Jane used to talk about going to a crash site after school looking for ammunition and any bits and pieces of aircraft he could find.

The chase as they say was well and truly ‘afoot’. I arranged to see David who was able to recount his memories with remarkable clarity and precision and was even able to show me the approximate location on a map. Even better he was able to tell me who was farming the land at the time – a gentleman called Bernard Palmer. Following up this lead I went to see his son Peter, now into his eighties, who clearly recollected the crash as it happened. It was the 29th December 1942 and he was in the farmyard at the time and remembered hearing a terrible noise which turned out to be the Spitfires engine screaming as it dived uncontrollably towards the ground. As he looked up he saw one of the wings breaking away and within a matter of seconds it hit the ground with tremendous force and exploded on impact. He was kind enough to take me to the field where he remembered the crash happened. Of course after 70 years of cultivation there wasn’t any visible evidence of the crash although he did say that for several years there had been a hollow in the ground.

I then telephoned Alan Wadd who put me in contact with Max Elliott and a few weeks later, at the end of January 2011 Max came down from Rotherham to investigate. We went with Peter to the crash site to see what we could find. Max had brought some equipment and using a metal detector he soon found several small pieces of metal lying over a large area, spread no doubt by the many years of cultivation. But of the larger pieces, for example the engine there was not a trace.

Max however was used to this sort of setback and not to be defeated he brought out an ex-army bomb disposal mine detector which the Archaeological group had purchased, from the army for £5,000. This had the capacity of locating objects much deeper in the ground.

It was a bitterly cold day so Peter and I left poor Max to the elements while we returned to the farmhouse for some well-deserved warmth and sustenance.

Gordon Hallam

A Life On The Land

Peter Palmer was born in the little village of Horninghold which is situated on the Leicestershire / Rutland border next to Hallaton.  The family moved to 350 acre Manor Farm in Rearsby in 1934 / 35.  The milk cows were transported by lorry since they needed to be milked twice a day but Peter’s father walked the store cattle and horses from Horninghold to Rearsby, staying the night with friends in Loddington.

Peter then attended Rearsby school, then Melton Grammar until he was 13.  He passed the Common Entrance exam for Ratcliffe College and stayed there until he was 15 when by then it was wartime, and he went to work on the farm.  It was during this time that Peter witnessed the crash of the Spitfire described in the articles in the Scene.

Peter met his wife, Jean, who also had the surname Palmer, at Young Farmers’ Club in 1947.  They had 5 children, 2 boys and 3 girls.  Timothy now runs Manor Farm, Angela is a teacher, Elizabeth lives in Norfolk and is a physiotherapist, Margaret trained as a  teacher and now runs a  farm with her husband near Limoges in France and Richard is an accountant.  All 3 girls married farmers and Peter has 6 grandchildren.

Glebe Farm on Gaddesby Lane where Peter now lives, was purchased in 1960 and now both farms are run as one.  When the family first came to Manor prior to the war it was a mixed farm like many in Leicestershire. Cows were milked and calves fattened.  There were also sheep and arable land.  Before the war most of Leicestershire was grass, hedges and wire.  The Hunts used to pay for the wire to be taken down during the hunting season in winter.  When war came the government wanted the land to be ploughed to grow grain, potatoes and sugar beet.  This presaged the development of more mechanical farming.  A binder, pulled by 2 or 3 horses produced sheaves of corn.  The sheaves were then led, stacked and thatched down so they could be threshed in the winter.  The area where the school playground now is was full of stacks and the threshing machine was placed in turn between 2 stacks.  It was all very hard work.  The dust was terrific.  The Palmers bought tractors in 1939 which pulled the binders.  Then combined harvesters came in and the corn went into sacks on the combine.  Initially the cutters were 6 feet wide.  Now they are 30 feet. All grain is now hauled in bulk.  The combine tank holds 6 tons which is then decanted into trailers and taken into store.

Peter has also seen many changes in dairy farming.  Initially in Rearsby it was hand milking, the milk being stored in churns.  Then along came milking machines and bulk refrigerated tanks on the farm.  This is picked up daily by road tankers.  Peter’s father gave up milking in 1949 to focus on arable farming.

Peter loves farming.  It gave him enormous satisfaction.  He has lived through the whole process from hand labour to complete mechanisation.

Maggi Litchfield

Rearsby Roses Development. 

Rearsby Parish Council’s opposition to this development in East Goscote contains a number of inaccuracies, as does the ridiculous parody about ‘Gosby’ in February’s issue of Rearsby Scene which paints an exaggerated and bleak view of the future of our Village.   So let’s be clear about some of the facts.

East Goscote does have good transport links, shops and services whether it is a Designated Service Centre or not.

From the plans I have viewed, it is quite apparent that it does maintain a reasonable separation between the two villages and includes a green area at its closest point to Rearsby, also none of the proposed houses extend beyond the existing property line of Broome Lane and are all well within the East Goscote Parish Boundary

It is totally incorrect to suggest that this development will have a negative impact on local shops and businesses ‘as Rearsby PC have stated’ as additional population can only benefit businesses in the area.

With regard to schools and other services, no doubt a contribution would be sought from the Developer if it was considered that these services needed to be expanded.

The issue raised about increased traffic is just not credible now we have the Rearsby By-Pass and the old Melton Road is relatively quiet most of the time.

Furthermore, Rearsby PC have stated on many occasions that they are in favour of Affordable Housing, this development includes 30%

Therefore I cannot see any realistic basis for Rearsby PC’s hysterical opposition, other than their apparent desire to oppose everything and support nothing, with the possible exception of the smallest of developments.

I am sure none of us ‘including myself’ want to see wholesale development of our countryside, but believe the Rearsby Roses site in East Goscote would be a suitable location for new houses as realistically it does not adversely affect Rearsby.

Yours Sincerely

Nigel Richardson

A Day To Remember

Lesley Potter was the lucky person whose name was drawn out of the hat at church to attend the cathedral for the royal Jubilee celebrations.  When she arrived at the cathedral she had to queue for security and show her invitation and proof of identity although some people were patted down.  Stewards escorted people to their seats and told people not to go out again unless it was a dire emergency.  Organ music was played for the wait between 10.30 and 12.15 when the royal party arrived.

The Queen, Duke Of Edinburgh and the Duchess of Cambridge were escorted in by Bishop Tim and the Service began.  It was multicultural in design and there were readers from different faiths.  The hymn “Now thank we all our God” was sung and children from Thurmaston C. of E. primary school sang “Jubilate”.  While prayers were being said dancers performed Indian and Pakistani dances.  The service ended with the Blessing and the National Anthem.

When the 3 entered the Cathedral Lesley was surprised by how tiny the Queen is.  Kate looked tall and beautiful.  When she sang the National Anthem Lesley felt  very emotional.  She didn’t think she would because we’ve all sung it so many times but it was the fact that it had a completely different meaning because the Queen was there.  The singing was rapturous  – it lifted the roof!  Truly a day to remember.

Syston Library celebrated its 50th anniversary on World Book Day

On Thursday 1st March Syston Library offered their visitors cake and refreshments to celebrate 50 years at its current location on Upper Church Street. The library also unveiled a display of local people’s memories of the 1960’s and had some 1960’s objects on loan from the Museums Service for people to look at and handle. Staff added to the festivities by dressing in 1960’s outfits.

The morning was a great success with older customers reminiscing and younger customers learning about life in the 1960’s. The library’s birthday cake was cut by County Councillor Dave Houseman and the library collected some lovely comments from customers. People commented that the best thing about Syston Library was,

“I can get free books and read as many as I want!”

“Lovely staff, always smiley and helpful!”