Harvest celebration at Shobrooke raised more than £3,000

By Sue Read   |   Senior Reporter   |
Monday 27th September 2021 5:00 am
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Emily Meldon, 13 who lives in Shobrooke, showing her teddy bear before he went down the zip wire. SR 4336

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TEDDY bears whizzing down a zip wire from the church tower and a shower of rose petals were part of a double celebration at Shobrooke Parish Church over the weekend of September 18 and 19.

The Friends of Shobrooke Church had organised a pared down Harvest celebration, usually it is two days but this year just the one day with the opening service at the Holy Well down the road from the church. It raised more than £3,000 and the rain held off until the end of the celebrations.

Refreshments were served by members of the Hampson family. Tables, with tablecloths, and chairs had been set up outside among the tomb stones. Tents and gazebos sheltered various stalls outside while a well laden cake stall did a roaring trade in the church. With the home made cakes were home made preserves, the marmalade selling out very quickly.

As with the teas, all the cakes, buns, flapjacks and more had been made and donated by local people.

There was a display by Shobrooke Local History Group which included photographs of earlier harvests and harvest festivals, of the Queen of the Bells and village fetes.

There was a request for more photographs of old Shobrooke that could be copied and a copy of the 1841 tithe map to ponder over.

Phil Keen, who used to live in Shobrooke and is now at Topsham, had used his skills as a graphic artist last year to write “The Lock Down Fox”, a book for children which had sold out. He was on the local history stand.

This year he wrote “1963, Diary of a Farmer’s Son” using notes from his own diary, going to school at Chulmleigh where the family farmed.

“It was an eventful year,” said Phil. “We had the big snow, getting to school in the snow, opening of the school swimming pool in the summer and other events.”

There are also photos of people in the area, of his family such as his great grandmother Mary Pickard of Bow and of haymaking at Appledore Farm near Bow.

This book is available through Amazon. “When the Devil Came to Topsham”, another children’s book which came out earlier this year is available through Topsham Museum with proceeds going to the Museum fund.

The Harvest Celebration weekend each year is the main money raiser for the Friends of Shobrooke Church’s contribution towards maintenance of the church.

Covid restrictions stopped it last year and reduced it this year. People do not need to be a church goer to become a Friend. Find out more on the St Swithun’s Church website.

A Songs of Praise service was held in the church on Sunday evening. There was no Harvest Supper this year but it is hoped there can be a Bring and Share meal in the spring.

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