We are often so lucky with the weather in Burstall. Friday 10 October was a gloriously sunny autumn day when a happy band of Burstall past and present residents gathered to decorate the church to illustrate a century of parish history in flowers to coincide with the centenary of the start of World War I. Laughter and conversation echoed round the church as people worked to produce their arrangements spurred on by plenteous cups of coffee and general mutual encouragement. There was an air of enthusiastic enjoyment among all the participants that was truly infectious.
Arrangements illustrated village organisations: playgroups, the Bowls Club, the 93 year-old WI, the Craft Club. Some showed village businesses past and present: the carriers run by the Ling family, the Post Office and farming. There were displays depicting those who had been christened and those who had married in the church and those who had served and died in two world wars. The history of the village was further illustrated by arrangements showing domestic life, Burstall suffragettes (of whom there were several), historic village houses or more general themes of harvest, autumn and the countryside. Sproughton School children contributed to the decoration of the font while garlands of flowers round the porch welcomed the visitors in. There is a wonderful display of photographs of all this on the village web site which is not to be missed.
On Saturday evening the church was full for a concert organised by Jessie Ridley. Jessie (violin), Ian Ray (organ), and his son Oliver (cello), plus Jessie's granddaughters Rosie Greenway (violin) and Eliza Ridley-Johnson (viola), played a varied and interesting programme including works by Mozart, Elgar and Bartok among others finishing with the delightful Cuckoo and the Nightingale Organ Concerto by Handel. The evening ended with glasses of wine.
Throughout the weekend delicious light refreshments were served in the village hall. The whole enterprise made about £1,000 for church funds. On Monday 13 October two inches of rain fell in a few hours - we were lucky.