Day 63 of (un?) Lockdown – the Old Church edition

Tower of JewelsDay 63 of (un?) Lockdown

The main news item for day 63 is an update on the Old Church renovations followed by a few updates from our government, and some fun at the end.  But first, we have a tall story from Annie Neish.

For those of you who are unable to cruise the village she thought you would like to see the Echium Pininana Tower of Jewels flowering beside the fence of the allotment on New Church Road.  Several years ago John had one on the plot next to her so she knew it might be possible.

A quick search on Wikipedia reveals this plant is native to La Palma in the Canaries where it is endangered due to habitat loss (Laurel forests).  Fortunately, it is being cultivated quite widely in the British Isles and Northern California so should have some resilience.

St Mary’s Old Church

Agreement about the best way forward following the discovery of the wall paintings was reached just as the Coronavirus put us all into lockdown. The work can now continue.

Update of Redecoration Work at St. Mary’s Old Church

We are pleased to announce that Bakers of Danbury are resuming redecoration of the old church on Tuesday 26th May. They are putting in place hygiene and social distancing measures in accordance with the Government’s guidelines. They anticipate that the work will take approximately two months to complete. We are looking forward to reclaiming our church. However, at some point in the future, the wall paintings that were discovered at the start of the redecoration work, will need to be conserved. We hope to have more details to share with you later.

Restorations Then & Now

The first photo below shows the church in a very sorry state.  It states on the front ‘Parish Church’.  We know from church records that the bell-turret was repaired in 1882/3 so this photo must pre-date the repairs. By 1900 the graveyard at the old church was full and there was nowhere to bury the dead. A site in a more central position in the village was consecrated for burials in 1902 and the new church followed and was consecrated on 4 August 1904.

Old Church circa 1880

The second photo was taken from the same position in the churchyard a few days ago by Jane Lloyd. Many of the gravestones are evident in both photographs. However, the large tree to the right of Jane’s photo was not there in the old photo whereas, the big tree on the south side of the church has gone. This is not surprising since about one hundred and forty years span the time between the two photographs.

Old Church May 2020

Government Announcements

There are 4 of many published over the weekend that might be relevant or of interest:

Online Educational Resources

We have brought together these lists of online educational resources to support children’s education at home while they may not be attending their normal education setting.

This list includes subject-specific resources for:

Individual resources cannot replace a school’s properly planned curriculum, and the resources in this list are not intended to do so. Schools may wish to explore this list of resources as they consider how they continue to support children’s education.

We have assessed these resources with the support of subject experts to make sure they are:

  • high quality
  • appropriate for the students they are aimed at

The resources were also assessed to ensure they meet a number of technical requirements.  They may be useful for parents in considering how they could support their children’s education, but they should not be used in place of existing resources which schools may be using as part of their continued provision for pupils’ education at this time.

This list of resources is not exhaustive and there are many other resources available to schools. We will update this list in the future to reflect additional applications from suppliers.


Before using these resources, you should refer to the guidance on safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers during the coronavirus outbreak, which has further information on how to keep children safe online.

You should take care to ensure that that all activities, especially practical and physical activities, are undertaken safely and with due regard for the abilities of the pupil.

Teachers and parents/carers should check that activities are appropriate for the intended user and that they can be carried out safely in the home environment.

Consultation on additional GCSE, AS & A-Level exams in Autumn

HMG are consulting on proposed arrangements for an additional GCSE, AS and A level exam series to take place in autumn 2020. The government announced the exceptional exam series when it cancelled the summer 2020 exam series as part of its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. They also set out proposed arrangements for Extended Project Qualifications and the Advanced Extension Award.

Staying Safe outside your home – updated guidance


  1. Keep your distance from people outside your household.
  2. Keep your hands and face as clean as possible.
  3. Work from home if you can.
  4. Avoid being face-to-face with people if they are outside your household.
  5. Reduce the number of people you spend time within a work setting.
  6. Avoid crowds.
  7. If you have to travel (for example, to work or school), think about how and when you travel.
  8. Wash your clothes regularly.
  9. Keep indoor places well ventilated.
  10. Face coverings.
  11. When at work, follow the advice given to you by your employer.

Link to full advice.

Staying Alert & Safe for Young People

Summary of topics:

  1. Protecting different groups of people.
  2. Staying at home.
  3. Travelling.
  4. Visiting public places.
  5. Businesses and venues.
  6. Going to other people’s houses.
  7. Meeting in groups.
  8. Going to work, education or childcare.
  9. Advice for young carers.
  10. Getting the care that you need.
  11. Enforcing the law.
  12. Communicating with the public.

Link to full advice.

Goodness Gracious Me

Top Gear, Asian style: