Village News – December 2017

On Sunday, 3 December at 6pm we are again holding an Advent Carol Service at St James’ Church at Kingston. It was a lovely service last year with over 70 people attending and we would like to make this year’s service even better attended. The service is led by Becca Charron and has Advent readings, carols and wonderful music and it is an inspiring way to start the Christmas celebrations. So please come along and join us – we would love to see you. The service is followed by mulled wine and mince pies for everyone to enjoy.

On a more sober note you will no doubt have heard that last month someone stole our ornate lion’s head door handle from St James’! This caused great upset and some inconvenience as we were unable to open the main door. We have since removed the other door handle until we can source a replacement for the stolen one which will be extremely expensive to replace. Two “utility” door handles have been fitted for the time being. How sad that someone could stoop so low as to steal from a church that is left open for the public to enjoy its peaceful, spiritual and uplifting atmosphere.

We would like to wish all attendees of the Church, residents of Kingston and the Benefice as a whole a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the blessings of Christmas be with you all.

Doreen Farr

Christingle at Kingston

This year’s Christingle Service at Kingston is on 24 December at the usual time of six o’clock. Please let me know if you would like a Christingle orange – by emailing me on susie2ireland@yahoo.

Sue Ireland

1943: We’ve never found anywhere like it on earth

Gerald C. White served in Italy during World War 2 and while there he composed a poem about Kingston and the surrounding area.

We are grateful to his daughter Margaret King neé White for giving us permission to reproduce it below.

O peaceful hamlet nestling there
Under the crest of yonder hill,
What memories dear you bring to me’
Sweet memories that linger still.

I think, maybe, of lofty Swyre,
With its purple patch of heather bright,
And its glorious view of land and sea,
From Portland Bill to the Isle of Wight.

Of Kimmeridge Bay with its squat watch tower,
With Gad Cliff beyond, in the shimmering haze,
And Smedmore hiding ‘mong the trees there,
Where I’ve spent many pleasant Saturdays.

Then, gazing eastward t’ward the vale,
Of Encombe, lying far below,
The tree-cald slopes and meadows green,
What a peaceful scene in these days of woe.

Then beyond again, where the Egmont Cliffs,
Reach out to meet the Channel tide,
And the craggy height of St Albans Head,
Standing strong and bold on the other side.

Of Chapman’s Pool, just beyond our view,
Where we spent pour childhood holidays,
Of the rock-strewn shore so deserted now,
But alive with vivid yesterdays.

Further still, the spire of Worth’s ancient church,
And the tiny village of Purbeck stone,
With the snow-white cliffs of Ballard Down,
Where “Old Harry” keeps his watch alone.

Then, turning north east I can plainly see,
The beginning of Branksome’s lovely chine,
Then the Isle of Brownsea in the harbour of Poole,
Where B. P. And his scouts camped the very first time.

The line of the Purbecks runs straight ‘cross my view,
From Ballard and Nine Barrow Down to the east,
To Corfe’s ruined Castle, where an ancient Brave Dame
Fought bravely, till gunpowder ended the siege.

Then westward again where the Barrow of Creech
Has the village of Knowle nestling under its breast,
And beyond,in the distance, where Flower Barrow’s tip
Looks on Lulworth, whose cove is the nicest and best.

Strolling back along the hillside,
And into the road at London Doors,
Now bereft of tourist traffic,
Till blessed peace comes to our shores.

Leaving Orchard Hill behind us,
Through field of corn, or furrowed earth,
Thence thro’ wood of elm and ash trees,
And so the village of my birth.

As I walk through the clean and tidy streets,
What memories dear are here portrayed,
With school chums trundling iron hoops,
From the blacksmith’s shop where they were made.

Mem’ries of Guy Fawkes night returning,
The “Cross” with a bonfire blazing high,
While children’s laughter still re-echoes,
Thro’s the crimson flow of the evening sky.

The old village pump still stands alone,
In the midst of the quiet village street,
It was our mainstay in days of drought,
And where, as lads, we used to meet.

I gaze on the church’s beautiful tower,
And hear, in my dreams, its lovely bells,
Ringing out their message of gladness,
To Purbeck folk o’er hills and vales.

Many an hour I have spent in that tower,
And looked from the top on the view far and near,
And have sat in the belfry watching the ringers,
On the eve and dawn of another New Year.

Sweet memories too of the lofty chancel,
Of friends in the choir stalls at morning and night,
Of the happy hours I’ve spent by the organ,
List’ning to music, forever so bright.

Mem’ries of my happy wedding,
And of my bride in radiant white,
And the christ’ning of our baby daughter,
On a cold day in Spring, the dear little mite.

Then the old village school where I learnt as a youngster,
With “Awlward” beyond where we played in the hay,
Where we jumped and races and scrambled for biscuits,
And the village turned out on our annual Treat Day.

When the old village Band played at night for the dancing,
On the lawn in the twilight and out in the Square,
Now popping inside the “Scott Arms” for a “bitter”,
Till merriment rose on the sweet summer air.

Mem’ries still green of the old Recreation Room,
Keen games of billiards, snooker, and darts,
With the pals that are now scattered over the Universe,
Some day we’ll meet again, joy in our hearts.

Now my thoughts still stray on, up the steep “Knapp of Matthe”,
To the turf of the sports ground on the hill top at “Drawn”’
Where we fought many “battles of cricket and football,
And have made many friends in the Pavilion.

Of the old village shop where I bought my first “sweeties”,
And fetched jugs of milk for the family store,
Thoughts of choristers’ suppers and Sunday school parties,
With a Christmas tree later and crackers galore.

And memories, too, of the “Hall” on the turnpike,
Converted, for social events manifold,
Thoughts of Whist Drives and Dances and Amateur Drama,
And the broadcast of Hardy’s “Three Strangers of Old”.

Of rambles to Bradle and Orchard and Willwood,
Of that dear little cottage in which I was born,
Of the blackberries, hazelnuts, chestnuts and flowers,
Which we sought for, and found, in this valley of our’n.

I think of my home, in the Lane round the corner,
Of think of my wife who’s waiting so bravely for me,
And my mother who’s thinking forever about me,
And my five year old daughter just chuckling with glee.

These are some of my thoughts, and the thoughts too of others,
Not so far away from the place of our birth,
But, wherever we’ve travelled, through Afric’ or Europe,
We’ve never found anywhere like it on earth.

G. C. White

Village News – November 2017

Most will know that there is to be a further development in the way the two benefices of the Purbeck Hills and the Corfe Valley are organised and work together.

As well as being neighbours we have been, what is technically known as, a group ministry since the late 1970s. This permits incumbents to minister in each of the benefices. The nature of this has varied over the years. lf you speak to people who were around in the 1980s, they will tell you about several joint ventures – a joint mission lead by the Franciscans from Hillfield, for example. lf you dig around in some of our vestry cupboards you will find copies of leaflet about the St. Aldhelm Group; that was the name chosen for the Group. In more recent times, we have worked together in a more background way. I have myself valued working with both Judith and Gaynor and getting to know the churches, both buildings and congregations, of the Purbeck hills.

At the moment formal consultations are taking place about the proposed changes and it is important we allow space for that to happen. All our PCCs, the patrons of the parishes and I are involved as well as others in the deanery and diocese being notified. As you know the proposal is that we become one benefice and so there will be an incumbent based at Corfe Castle and a ‘house for duty’ priest based at Langton looking after the respective parishes as organised at present but working together. An appointment to the post based in the Purbeck Hills’ parishes will be made as soon as possible; although, we cannot at the moment say when this will be.

It is difficult to explain everything in a short article. Do speak to the Churchwardens and PCC members in the Benefice if you have questions and pass on any thoughts or suggestions. Obviously it is a time of change and some uncertainty. However, it is most encouraging that there is a very positive approach in the Purbeck Hills’ parishes.

I hope we can continue with a glass half full (rather than half empty) approach. Whether or not we have ‘Rev’ in front of our name, we all have a part to play. Above all, seeking to be open to God and supporting each other, we can trust God that the life and witness of our Christian communities will continue and flourish.

Ian Jackson
Revd. Ian Jackson, Parish of Corfe Castle

Your Messages: The Sansom Family

I have just found this by accident, some I already knew but lovely to see photos. We used to visit relatives in Kingston, my father, George Henry Nelson Hirst, was the son of Alice and grew up at Berea Down. I have inherited a clock which was an engagement present from Henry to Eliza?

Thank you to all who have contributed to this, I don’t have much to add but will try to find out more.

I still like to visit Kingston and did so only a month ago with my son and took him on a mini tour pointing out to him where Alice and Wink, Rene, Hilda & Henry all lived all those years ago.

Gina Benson (nee Hirst)

Village News – October 2017

We are having a ‘Spring cleaning morning’ in Kingston church on Monday 3 October starting at 10am, if anyone is interested in coming to help us. Coffee, cake and a warm welcome will be supplied if you wish to join us to polish brass and give the church a bit of TLC. Any help will be much appreciated.

Just reminding you all that our Harvest Service is on Sunday 8 October at 11.15am followed by our Harvest Lunch in the Church. This will be soup and a ploughmans. Please ring me on 480837 if you would like to come. I have had a couple of people telephone but would love to have more.

Looking forward to seeing you on 3 or 8 October or maybe both!

Doreen Farr

Concert News – September 2017

Americans in harmony in this day and age? Can it be? Yes it can!

Showing exactly how it can be done in St James’ Church, Kingston, at 7pm on Thursday, 28 September, will be 16 talented young singers from Vermont in the USA. Called Northern Harmony, they comprise the top performing group under the umbrella of the world music organisation Village Harmony, which sponsors singing camps and workshops in New England and in many other parts of the world. Now making its 18th tour of Europe since it began in 1993, the choir has won an enviable reputation for its exceptional command of singing styles from around the globe. Hence its intriguing programme ranges from the rich sounds and syncopated rhythms of South Africa to American shape-note singing derived from the community singing schools of 18th Century New England to the ancient threepart harmony singing tradition of Georgia and its darkly sonorous tones. Most of the singers have studied these and other folk traditions in their countries of origin and bring to their performances all the enthusiasm generated by the joy of discovery and understanding. Many of the songs are accompanied by dance and by instruments whether it be the fiddle, oboe, drum or tambura, a kind of long-necked lute originating in Mesopotamia but now widely played elsewhere. Admission to the concert in Kingston church will be free but there will be a retiring collection in aid of both the church and the choir. Refreshments will be offered in the interval.

Robin Stringer

Village News – September 2017


I missed last month’s Dubber to thank everyone who helped with the Church stalls at the Air Ambulance Fete at Kingston Courtyard. We had a very successful day and raised £180 for Church funds. Thank you to Judy Forgan for her plants and for her help and also to Peter and Cynthia Buckle and Judy Robson for their help on the day. Thank you to everyone who came to our stalls on the day and also a big thank you to Alan and Anne Fry for having our stalls at the fete.

Harvest Service

Advance notice of our Harvest Service which is on Sunday, 8 October at 11.15am at St James’ Church. We are going to have a Harvest Lunch after the service instead of a Harvest Supper. Everyone is welcome and if you are intending to come it would be helpful if you could let us know so we can cater accordingly. Please telephone Doreen on 480837. There is an answerphone if I am unavailable. We look forward to seeing you there.

We are also looking for someone from Kingston to write a piece in the Dubber in place of Gaynor’s column in rotation with someone from Langton and Worth. If anyone out there would like to do this please contact Katie at the office or Doreen on the above phone number.

Doreen Farr

Concert News – August 2017

Kingston Concerts

Music of high quality but of very different kinds returns to St James Church, Kingston, next month (September) in two separate concerts.

The first at 11.30am on Sunday, 3 September, brings back the internationally renowned cellist Natalie Clein and a bunch of friends, all outstanding musicians in their own right, to give the closing concert of her annual and expanding Purbeck International Chamber Music Festival. On offer to the Kingston audience will be two lesser known works, Passacaglia and Fugue (1944) for string trio by the Czech composer Hans Krasa and Morning Blues by Per Arne Glorvigen, a Norwegian composer who is also a master of the bandoneon, that essential ingredient of the tango. The concert will end with the richly melodic String Sextet in A major Op. 48 by Dvorak, whose music forms one of the themes of the festival.

The second concert at 7 pm on Thursday, 28 September will mark the return to Kingston of Northern Harmony, a choir of 16 exceptional young American singers steeped in the folksong traditions not only of their home country but also of South Africa and of European countries like Bulgaria, Corsica and Georgia. Their intriguing programme ranges from the rich sounds and syncopated rhythms of South Africa to American shapenote singing derived from the community singing of 18th century New England to the ancient three-part harmony singing tradition of Georgia. Most of the singers have studied these different traditions in their countries of origin and bring to their performances all the enthusiasm generated by the joy of discovery and understanding. Many of the songs are accompanied by dance and by instruments whether it be the fiddle, oboe, drum or tambura, a kind of long-necked lute originating in Mesopotamia but now widely played elsewhere including in Eastern and Central Europe.

Robin Stringer

Village News – August 2017

Kingston Notes

Heavens! Ascot and Wimbledon have been and gone and already I’ve noticed the evenings are dark a little earlier than two or three weeks ago. All through the winter I look forward to the spring and summer and then they are here and then they are gone and it’s back to short dim days and iffy weather. I definitely have a thing about sunlight – or maybe daylight and the lack of it – technically called SAD and standing for seasonal affective disorder it certainly makes me feel sad as soon as autumn approaches. To give autumn its due it does have some good points – the colours of the leaves as they change from greens to red and golds and browns, the smell of bonfires and frosty mornings and so on but as its still just about July I’m not going to think about autumn for at least another month or two and concentrate on what’s left of the summer!

When I was little – and that’s quite a long time ago – Encombe Fête was held every other year. I’m not quite sure why – maybe it was an after the war thing. Anyway, all the village got involved and it was quite an event. Daphne Scott opened the house to visitors and encouraged everyone with their stalls etc. by donating to each one and then on the day going round and buying it all back! It was a lovely happy day in idyllic surroundings and the weather co-operated by always being dry and sunny!

A few years ago, George Pitman told me that he had been reading up on Encombe Fête in the 1920s when Eric Scott lived at Encombe and apparently after the fête the lake was lit up and the villagers danced to the village band. It’s all changed rather a lot over the years and the sale of Encombe House meant that the fête has now ended up as Kingston Fête held around the Church – probably not the best place for a fete! Over the years it has got harder and harder to run as people have moved or died or just got older or lost interest.

We were hoping to hold another fête this year but the lack of support generally is making it quite a difficult task! The future of Kingston Church is quite uncertain at the moment but, whatever happens to it, I am pretty sure the building will still need maintaining and repairing and heating and so on and to do that money has to be found each year from various fund raising events! Whether you are a church goer or not it is quite often a useful building with people round about for weddings funerals and christenings!

There have been two weddings this month in the church and also a funeral. George Pitman who lived with his wife Rosemary at the Old Post Office for many years and who was very much involved with the church – and the village generally, died this month. He was a lovely man who for a long time wrote the Kingston Notes for the Dubber and did them much better than anything I could achieve. He always managed to find some personal bits of news about people living in the village and as he had been a headmaster for many years his notes were very well written indeed. He will be very missed not only by his family but by all the people who knew him and loving thoughts go to Rosemary and the family at such a sad time.

On Sunday, the ladies from NADFAS came to the church to talk about the work they had been doing for some years refurbishing the altar frontals and we served teas and Roderick played some music and although all sorts of other things were going on locally quite a nice few people came into the church to have tea and look at the display. Thank you to everyone who helped.

It’s always interesting talking to visitors to the church – one visitor told me that he lived on the Isle of Wight but that his family – the Grant family – were local to the area – in fact one of them had their name on the role of honour in the church. It is so nice that people can trace their families back like this. And finally thank you to Hubert Beavis who phoned to tell me that he can remember picking butterfly orchids for his mother too – rather proves something doesn’t it – that when we were all picking armfuls of the things back they came every year!

And a final finally – this little poem for all the walkers I see walking along the hills not really looking at the amazing views and looking rather grim. It’s called The Rambler and it goes like this:

See the happy walker – he doesn’t give a damn he’s got his compass and his boots, – he’s never in a jam.

See the happy walker – he’s got his haversack it’s filled with useful odds and ends – hanging on his back.

See the happy walker – he’s out in wind and rain he grits his teeth and marches on – he looks like he’s in pain.

See the happy walker – so keen to ramble on he’s forgotten what he’s walking for – Just going, going, gone!

And that’s just what I’m going to do. Happy August

Susan Ireland

Village News – July 2017

Church Stall

We are having a stall in aid of Kingston Church at the Kingston Country Fair Air Ambulance Fête on Sunday, 9 July and are intending to sell Bric-a-Brac, books, plants, etc. to raise funds. If anyone has anything that might sell and wish to donate please contact either Doreen Farr on 07506235038 or Judy Robson on 07541215500 and we will be happy to collect donations.

Also on Sunday, 16 July we are serving cream teas in the Church with accompanying music. Please come along if you are able to. We look forward to welcoming you to the Church.

Doreen Farr

Kingston Notes

Last month’s Kingston Notes were so late being written that I missed the deadline. So, in an effort to break the habit of a lifetime which is being perpetually late for everything, I thought I’d make a start on this quite early in June – it is now the 21st and the notes are due in on Friday, 23rd – what can possibly go wrong?

A friend once told me that being late is graceless. My excuse is that I was born two weeks late and so have been tarred with that late brush for eternity or at least until I depart my graceless existence.

Anyway, Spring rapidly turned into Summer and my naughty escapologist lady cat unexpectedly gave birth to three kittens two weeks ago – all very sweet and mole-like. Besides that, the hot summer weather resulted in sightings of the great white British male in all his bare-chested and often saggy stomached glory. Next it will be the socks and sandal brigade – the British have such great elan.

On a more serious note – the warm weather has encouraged a few random butterflies into my garden which made me quite excited. Years ago, my parents garden was covered in all types of butterfly but now even seeing one is turning into a rare event. A bit like all the orchids that used to grow abundantly in the woods at Kingston; they are dying out I think. When I was a child, I am afraid to say, my brothers and I used to pick large bunches and take them home for my mother, the butterfly orchids smelt and looked beautiful and despite all our pickings they came back each year even more profusely. Butterfly orchids, bee orchids, those mauve ones and some other green variety – not great with names! Last year I found two butterfly orchids and this year so far I have seen not one. I wonder if it’s the climate, the change in the countryside itself, etc., etc. that has made them virtually die out or just that everyone stopped picking them. Answers on a postcard, please.

Last month’s request for news of the cuckoo resulted in one actual postcard – thank you Mrs Cole – who told me she had heard the cuckoo twice at Arne this year. My request for any bits of Kingston news resulted in nil so consequently I have waffled!

The date for the showing of the refurbished altar frontals is now set for 16 July in the Church with music, by Roderick, and teas and the ladies of NADFAS who undertook the work. They will be bringing some photos to show how the work progressed etc.; it would be lovely if a few people came and looked and chatted with them (I’m not sure of the times but probably about 1pm till 5pm).

Another date for the diary is 2 September when we will be holding a small Fête in the Church grounds to raise funds for the repairs to the Church and for a local charity probably linked to helping people with cancer. You know what is coming next; I will surprise you and leave asking for help until next month and also don’t forget the Air Ambulance Summer Fayre which is on 9 July; The Air Ambulance does such great work so lots of support please from everyone to raise funds for them.

On a more serious note – I am sure you will all have heard by now that Gaynor, our Vicar, will be leaving us to go and work in Wales in August. I am not entirely sure what will happen next but there is a meeting next week and after that we will know a little more. Gaynor arrived just in time to meet my mother a few times before her death and in the space of six years took three funeral services for my family (my mother, father and husband) which she did beautifully. Thank you, Gaynor.

Finally, ‘get well soon’ and a virtual hug from me, for Diane Cole who has been in the wars recently and is feeling a little bit miserable, here is one of my mum’s favourite little poems to cheer you up; it always made her laugh.


He’d paid his debt to society; his sentence was over at last,

He collected his meagre belongings, and said goodbye to his past,

The bars clanged shut behind him as he stepped through the prison door,

“I’m free” he shouted “I’m free” – a little boy said “I’m four”!

Susan Ireland