Metheringham Fayre & Feast 2001

A Report by Metheringham’s Village Correspondent, Dot Howes

medieval lady.
medieval couple.

Sir Thomas Burgh opened Metheringham fayre and feast 2001 with the words “Drink your fill and fill your bellies! Long live King Edward IV” a reference to the fact that he was part of the living history and re-enactment retinue setting the scene for the 1464 medieval theme of this year’s celebrations. Heralded by Town Crier, Terry Stubbings, Sir Thomas was accompanied at the opening ceremony by Lady Margaret Burgh, ladies in waiting and the medieval Bishop of Lincoln, and had come to announce the beheading of Metheringham’s arch enemy five days previously and that he was now acting Lord of the village.

Also present were the 21st century County Council Vice Chairman, Graham Weet, and North Kesteven District Council Chairman Brian Drain; Chairman of Lincolnshire Tourism, Councillor Marion Brighton, County Councillor Patricia Bradwell, District and Parish Councillors and local church leaders. Deputy Chairman of the Parish Council, Councillor Mrs Rosie Creasey thanked all the stallholders, dignitaries and everyone for coming. She especially picked out Mike Credland the Parish Clerk for organising the proceedings for the past fourteen years.

Lord Burgh's Retinue arrives

Lord Burgh's Retinue arrives

Cllr. R Creasey opens the Feast

Cllr. R Creasey opens the Feast

Lord Burgh’s Retinue, including the Bishop, ladies, the Port Officer from Gainsborough, archers, a falconer and members of the household had camped in St Wifrid’s Church and grounds where they displayed their banner and archaic French motto “Ung Roi, Ung Foy, Ung Loy” (one king, one faith, one law) and were demonstrating and practising their everyday skills for passers by - a medieval mint, pottery, cookery, historical carpentry, archery and weaponry of the goriest kind.

The medieval theme was taken up by stallholders and villagers up and down the High Street. The vicar Rev. David Payne began to regret his decision to be abused in the stocks in an attempt to increase funds for the church.

The winners of the best decorated pub, shop or stall were the Star and Garter who had decorated inside and out and prepared a banqueting table as well as putting up shutters and flags and wearing appropriate costume. The Library were runners up. Heather Routledge of the Metheringham History Group was given a gift in appreciation of her help with the historical aspects of the day. Many others had entered into the spirit of the day, notably St Barnabas Hospice Trust, Gypsy Meg and her friends on the WI stall and the Frost girls. Metheringham Methodist Church was acting as host to Cadfael in his herb garden and Martha in the kitchen, two very authentic displays and they also provided much needed refreshment. Stuffed chine, mulled wine, medieval pasties and tarts, ye olde beef burgers and hog roast were some of the appropriate fayre sold around the village.

medieval guy

Entertainment was provided by Lincolnshire’s worst jugglers - the Earthbound Misfits, who provided chaos in the street with a skilled mixture of clowning, juggling, unicycle and music. Metheringham Amateur Dramatics performed a Mummers Play “St George and the Dragon” on the street stage by the Village Cross and in the Churchyard with rousing performances by Jak Deakin, Steve Watters, David Bolton, Paul Barker and Roz Treadwell, written and directed in her garden by Sally Wilson. Other entertainment was provided by the Cabra Choir, Billy J, Sixty Six Steps, Kesteven Morris Dancers and the Higgledy Piggledy Ceilidh Band.

Metheringham Village Hall was home to the usual displays and stalls from organisations like the Metheringham Airfield, MACLA, the Cat Action Trust and the Metheringham History Group who had appropriate costumes on stage and were selling traditional fayre to raise funds for the Old Post Office. The hall committee had a raffle, tombola and refreshments on sale and there were displays of steam engines and memorabilia as well as decoupage, jewellery and other craft stalls. Local charities and organisations joined commercial stalls and the media along the High Street in a riot of colour and laughter with the Sleaford Standard dragon and the Fire Service dog parading the streets to chat to children. Music from the fairground and the street organs went on well in to the evening and the threatened bad weather stayed away!