Report on Tilney All Saints AGM 2014AGM2014a

Tilney All Saints History Group held their eighth Annual General Meeting on 10 May 2014.  The venue was the ancient parish church which was particularly appropriate this year on two accounts, firstly the launch of their new booklet Tilney All Saints Parish Church A New History, and secondly, the speakers' topic concerning the history of music in the Church.

About thirty five members, friends and visitors attended including East Marshland Benefice vicar, Revd Martin Dale, and associate priest Revd Barbara Pearman. The West Norfolk Community and Voluntary Action was represented by Jackie Lawrence, also with a display from East Anglia Water; and the Wisbech and Fenland Museum by Trustee - Mr Bill Knowles.  The Chairman - Ian Mitchell, Treasure - Robert Sloan, and Secretary - June Mitchell, presented reports.  With the executive willing to stand for a further year, and no new nominations, the executive were re-elected unanimously by a yes/no vote.  The Officers are: Anne Savage, Frank Hurst, Glenys Benson and Roger Collison.

The new booklet was launched by Revd Christopher Mallett, vicar at Hethersett, with his own personal memories of growing up in the village.  Revd Mallett's brother, Farmer Ernest Mallett, made the generous donation which funded the publication.  Proceeds from sales will help with the church funds.  The original All Saints' Church in the Village of Tilney All Saints - A Short Account was written by the notable Norfolk academic and rector, C.L.S. Linnell in 1963, and although a few reprints with minor additions have been produced since then, the 'New History' is the first attempt since at a completely new history.  It is not surprising then that while researching and collecting information for the booklet, June Mitchell found there was a lot of new material on specific topics – too much to include, but too precious to ignore, the result being, that four further smaller booklets were born, on the topics of the music, the nave roof (with its double hammer beams and fifteenth century carvings), some notable twentieth century vicars and a list of all the clergy from 1272, with some notes on many.

The speakers, Martin Renshaw and Dr Vicki Harding explained their research into the music and organs of the churches in the middle ages, with special reference to Tilney All Saints' Church.  Through their study of Tilney All Saints Churchwardens' Accounts 1443-1589 (which is mostly in Latin) they have discovered there was an organ in the Church since at least 1451.  The description of the sheer size and magnificence of such an instrument placed high up in the chancel, and the music that featured in the Church in the fourteenth, fifteenth and early sixteenth century was an eye-opener to all (including the present clergy) and several joined the researchers, after refreshments, for further discussion and tour.

The History Group values the opportunity to use the Church for such events, as well as the use of display boards and table for permanent displays.  For the AGM there were additional displays, demonstrating the new venture of the Group into archaeology during the lovely summer of 2013 with photographs and samples from the digs.  This new research took off in a big way with fourteen test pits – and lots of learning.  A number of books and booklets previously published by the Group on various research topics were also on view.

The bookstall was manned by History Group treasurer, Robert Sloan, and committee member, Glenys Benson, and proved popular.  The new booklets were on sale as well as a few previously published books.  Refreshments with delicious home-made cakes and cookies were served by Audrey Wootton and Pat Wragg, and friendly conversations ensued.

The Group expresses a huge thank you to all who contributed or helped, and to all who attended this extremely interesting AGM.

If you have any views or comments that you would like to share with us, it would be much appreciated.