(July 2000) The Pageant – A View from the Audience

Like the millennium itself it was strange when it finally came; years of preparation and suddenly it was here. There we were sitting on the hillside, clad in woollies, Waterproofs and wellies it is true, but we were here and it was not raining.

I had watched the building of the set over the past week or two. It looked exciting and l was keen to see it brought to life. And brought to life it was, with an excellent script, enthusiastic actors, attractive costumes and the use of the lovely setting where the hills chop down to the stream.

The history of Sibford from saxon times to World War II unfolded before our eyes. Much of it was fun, but some very sobering, somehow more powerful enacted as it was in the spot near to where it happened. It brought home how many times this little valley has been wracked by war. The reading of the names of the servicemen killed in the two world wars was beautifully done and all the more powerful as so many of the names are still alive in Sibford today and reminded us of the cost to so many local families.

But it was not all doom and gloom. It ended on a wonderful note of hope with an effigy of the world being left in the hands of 2 small children.

It was dusk as we packed up and went home. l couldn’t help wondering what the badgers on the slope above, about to leave their setts for their nights foraging, and who have shared this spot with us for so many generations thought of it all.