Sibford Scene Archive

Sibford Scene 397 November 2017

Click on the cover image to download the complete edition

Photo of bartender shaking a cocktail

Arnold Lamb

Arnold lived in Sibford Ferris for more than 80 of his 88 years and contributed the Nature Notes to the Sibford Scene for a couple of issues short of 30 years, having started them in 1987. Arnold and his wife Ina, were instrumental in setting up Sibford Table Tennis Club and ran the junior practise nights until they were both in their 70’s. Having spent his working life at Grounds Farm, well out of the village, he is probably most remembered for, in his retirement, walking around the village always wearing his flat cap.The family would like to give heartfelt thanks for all the lovely memories and tributes they have received.

A poem read out at Arnold’s Memorial Service

The stories and the jokes we heard.
We’d heard them all before
but we will somehow miss them
now they’ll be heard no more

The kindly talk of wildlife,
of creatures great and small,
of fox and stoat and badger.
It’s remembered by us all

His quietness in meeting.
You would not think of him there,
yet his reassuring presence,
helped us with our prayer.

Climbing in the mountains,
walking in the vale
Arnold always loved it,
despite a howling gale

Touring round on tandem,
With Ina in the rear.
Arnold knows which way to go,
So he’s the one to steer

Garden laid out neatly,
carrots in a row.
Arnold’s got green fingers,
So they will surely grow

Tomatoes in the greenhouse,
Strawb’ries on the ground.
Produce, fresh and tasty,
There’s loads to go around

The spinning serve, the backhand flick,
we missed them in our game.
Now that Arnold’s left us,
we’ll miss them once again

So if in Heaven you’re challenged,
by a man with spinning serves.
Just make sure you give him,
the respect that he deserves

David Lamb

The Cistercian Order of Monks

A monastic order, the Cistercians, or White Monks, were to be found for a period of about 150 years (1194-1349) living on the border between Swalcliffe and Sibford Ferris. Holwell Grange, which was a satellite Grange of Bruern Abbey near Shipton-under Wychwood. Holwell Grange comprised a chapel, farm, and living quarters for a small community of monks. A spring gushed from a rocky outcrop on the site and this is the source of the River Stour and was the monks’ water-supply. It fed a large stone-lined pool where the monks bred fish for the kitchen.

In the 14th century, the Cistercians fell on thin times and borrowed money from a landowner at Shipton-under-Wychwood. When the monks failed to repay, the angry moneylender raided the Grange and carried off horses, sheep and cows. In 1349, the country was ravaged by the Black Death and this, and the scarcity of hired labour for farming, led the Cistercians to withdraw from Holwell Grange and to lease out its lands.

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.