DITTISHAM VILLAGE VOICE FEB 19 2010
Our Town Crier, Les Ellis, needs new kit. The history of the ‘bellringer’ is interesting so let’s start there. The position dates back to medieval times when people could neither read nor write hence the need for broadcasting news. The crier was protected by the ruling monarch and ‘should not be hindered or heckled whilst performing his duty’. Particularly important when announcing bad news such as a rise in business tax rates. Ho hum. The cry ‘oyez oyez’ comes from the anglo norman and means ‘hear ye’ or in modern parlance ‘hey, listen up’. The Town crier would read a proclamation then nail it to the doorpost of a building or inn. The tradition has resulted in the expression "posting a notice" and the naming of newspapers as ‘The Post. The style of the uniform we know the red and gold robe, white breeches, tricorne hat, buckled shoes only dates back to the 18th century. The cost for the kit is an amazing £1500. There are reasons for this. The material has to be a very good quality wool mix to stand up to all weathers; snow, frost, horizontal rain, penetrating damp and heat. Les, who many of you will know as Lez the Fez, our local clown/magician to be seen at so many village events is a large man. I would guess his chest measures 50 inches? He has already raised almost half the amount. If you feel like helping out please contact him on 01803 845 501 or contact Tessa De-Galliani at the Dartmouth Chamber of Commerce. Alternatively, you could become his personal trainer and he would save money on the material? By the time this is published I will be in Tanzania staying with a daughter who is working with a HIV AIDS programme so there will be no village voice until mid March. Life at St George’s Church will carry on despite having no vicar. There will be a Mothering Sunday service on March 14 at 9.15am. Easter Services will be listed on the church notice board. A must for the diary is the annual St George's Day concert on Friday, April 23rd at 7.30pm Tom Leeman is again master minding the event and there are plans to have a larger involvement from local children not only in song but in art and poetry. Jonathan Watts will be at the organ. Over the last year he has overhauled and replaced many of the organ pipes to give the instrument a rounder and fuller sound so we look forward to hearing this. There will be performances in word and song drawn from the rich talent of locals and a Diva is coming to Dittisham! Ms Alison Pearce from Convent Garden will be joining us for this special day. She will be staying in the village and amongst other engagements will be officially opening the newly renovated Anchor Stone Cafe on Sunday ,25 April at 12.30 pm.