Sibford Scene Archive

Sibford Scene 225 July 2000

Click on the cover image to download the complete edition


Book review - "The Sibford Millennium Panels"

This book, published by Andrew and Martin Gordon in memory of their mother Peggy, a former village resident, is both an intriguing snapshot of the Sibfords for turn-of-the-millennium villagers and a potentially valuable historical record for future generations.

Mollie Picken’s heroic achievement in galvanising 66 villagers of hugely varying experience into action with dye and thread is most appropriately celebrated through the medium of Andrew’s excellent photographs. The 36 pages are divided into two sections, separated by a map showing the locations of the buildings featured.

The book’s first half shows the panels as they appear on display, allowing one to follow the historical work at the bottom in chronological order. Two pages are devoted to each panel, with a guide giving numbers for each piece of work. These relate – not quite infallibly – to the central map. There’s also a page number for houses which appear the second half. The tall format of the book, matching the format of the panels, enables the detail of each picture to be easily distinguished.

The second part shows individual pieces of work enlarged to varying degrees, with much interesting information about the buildings’ background, researched and written by Andrew. I was fascinated by the history and trust that current residents will not mind their names appearing: they will, after all, themselves be history. The ‘Directory of Artists’ at the end must be used in connection with the numbered panel guides at the front, from which you can go to the individual houses in the second half. The system takes a little getting used to.

The book, which is designed by Nigel Fletcher, is a pleasure to look at and to handle. I thought it a wonderful way to remember Sibford’s contributions to the year 2000, including the panels’ connection with the Pageant, which Andrew mentions in his helpful introduction. Sibford has not-been so celebrated in print since Leslie Baily’s From Romans to Rock ’n Roll in 1960, and, as Andrew says, it would be nice to think that someone “at home with their demesnes and their heriots” might be inspired by the work to produce a really detailed history.


Goodbye Sibford Brownies

As you may know Vivienne and Isobel alias Brown Owl and Tawny Owl, are finishing running brownies after many years. Sadly this is resulting in the closure of the Sibford Brownies.

There is a collection going on. to present them with gifts on their leaving. If any ex brownies or their parents would like to contribute please contact their helpers – Kate Lewis 788xxx or Kayleigh Gilkes 788xxx A.S.A.P.

It is very sad to see another long established part of Village life, the Brownies, closing. In the same week as the Pageant reminds us of our villages history and of the time when there were 3 bands in the village to play at the Club Days, it is a sad reflection of what village life has become over the years when there is no one in our community who can find the time to help keep the Brownies running. Ed.

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.

Above, you may see one or two items of historical interest from this edition. To see the whole edition, click on the front-page image to download it as a pdf.