The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
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After the war had ended and the survivors had returned, the villagers were keen to celebrate the peace. The day started with a church service followed by a carnival procession around the village. The day ended with a large fête with extensive sports competitions.
This is information gleaned from the 'Ampthill News' for the period of the war. Click title to expand an item.
On receipt of the news of the signing of the armistice and the cessation of hostilities the church bells were rung, and at 7 p.m. A thanks-giving service was held in the Parish Church.
It is proposed to hold an open-air fete to celebrate victory and peace on the 5th August. A representative Committee, with Mr. Tanqueray, of Ivy House, as Chairman, has been appointed to make arrangements, and the Ampthill Town Band has been engaged for the occasion. It is hoped that a jumble sale will be held in June to supplement the funds.
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
Throughout the village on Saturday evening, parishioners and visitors were in a most enthusiastic mood. Banners and flags were hoisted on the Church tower, and on chimney stacks at the principle residences. Rockets and other fireworks made things very lively, and the bells of St. Mary's Church rang out merrily. The report of guns was incessant, and the residents of the main street got little rest until the early hours of the morning. At the morning and evening services at St. Mary's on Sunday, the National Anthem and special hymns of thanksgiving were sung.
The peace Celebrations Committee is working assiduously, and it is proposed to give the juveniles and residents over 60 years of age a free tea, special arrangements being made for ex-soldiers. The Ampthill Brass Band has been engaged, and the sports Committee are arranging an excellent program.
The original Cenotaph.
London became the focus of nationwide Peace Day celebrations. A huge military camp sprang up in Kensington Gardens and thousands of people descended on the capital. Hundreds spent Friday night in parks and streets to secure a good position along the parade route. By eight o'clock on Saturday morning it was almost impossible to cross Trafalgar Square. Nearly 15,000 servicemen took part in the Victory parade, led by the Allied commanders. In Whitehall the parade saluted a temporary wood and plaster monument, the Cenotaph, dedicated to 'The Glorious Dead'. Entertainments and performances continued throughout the day in London's central parks. At 9.45pm, Hyde Park hosted a lavish and spectacular firework display finale.
The whole village was in a state of excitement on Saturday, and every vehicle from motor car to perambulator was utilised. Bedford being the centre of attraction. In the afternoon several ex-soldiers and woodsman from High Town gaily decorated a market gardener's cart, and the stalwarts drew their weaker ones round the village singing the National Anthem and Auld Lang Syne to Mr. Daniel Eddy's cornet accompaniment. The real local festivities have been deferred until the Tuesday after Bank Holiday.
After the judging, "John Bull" leads the procession away from the Causeway past Clophill House. The mill is in the background.
After parading along Back Street the competitors return along Bedford Road.
The decorated cycle class.
The German submarine U-19 which sunk 46 ships totalling 64,816 tons.
Patriotic ladies showing their appreciation.
Footballer, fortune teller and chimney sweep.
On Tuesday Clophill was all astir, for the day of the long anticipated Peace Fete arrived. Never in the remembrance of the oldest parishioners has anything equalled the event. The organisation and arrangements of the Committee under the presidency of Mr. A.H. Tanqueray, J.P., were excellent, and it was fortunate that the weather was favourable. A shower in the afternoon failed to damp the spirits of the large concourse gathered from Clophill and surrounding villages, and the assembly emphasised its presence by its general air of happy expectancy and enjoyment.
A thanksgiving service was held at 9.30 a.m. In the field opposite Ivy House, preceded by a merry peal from the belfry, and was well attended. Three special hymns were sung and prayer offered by Mr. Rose, superintendent of the Wesleyan Chapel, the lesson from Isaiah xxv, read by Mr. James Bone, superintendent of the Primitive Methodist chapel, and the address by the newly-appointed Rector of Clophill, the Rev. H. Wilcox, M.A., Hon. C.F., the service terminating with the National Anthem.
A well-contested cricket match, Married v. Single, was then played in the Rectory field, kindly lent by Mr. W. Taylor, and the former proved victorious.
At noon, the judging of the decorated cycles, prams and horse turnouts took place near the Causeway. Precisely at 1 o'clock the procession, marshalled by Capt. Tanqueray, K.R.R., and Messrs. Manning Robinson, and Attwood, and headed by the Ampthill band, marched from the Mill, via Back-street, Bedford-road, and High-street to the rectory field. Throughout the whole route there was a most effective display of flags, bunting and floral decorations ever seen in the village and fancy walking costumes made a very pretty show, reflecting very great credit on Mr. Manning, of St. Ivel House, and on all the competitors. The procession marched in the following order:- P.c. Gibson, "John Bull" (Mr. George Young) mounted, the Band, veterans (Col-Sergt. Bonness, Sergt. Ashley, Sergt. Shotbolt, and Corpl. Sharman, their scarlet uniforms and decorations glittering in the glorious sunshine, sailors and soldiers (the majority in regimental attire, and commanded by Sergt. Major H. Wootton), Land Girls, Forestry Corps, perambulators, school children Peace Car (extremely beautiful), fancy costumes, Empire Car (Miss Maddams finely representing "Britannia"), decorated cycles, Spanish ???? (loudly applauded), horses and vehicles, "U-Boat".
All the arrangements were carefully made, and the organisers worked together with that enthusiasm and goodwill that have long marked the public enterprises of picturesque Clophill.
The baby show caused the judges considerable anxiety, but eventually the awards were made as follows:- Under 1 year, 1st Myrtle Tiffin, 2nd Kathleen Gibson, 3rd Claud Gobey. Over 1 and under 2 years: 1 John Stewart, 2 Mollie Clark, 3 Doris Odell.
At 3.30 a free tea was provided for children attending Clophill Schools, followed at 5 o'clock by a substantial repast for adults. The tables were tastefully decorated by the ladies of the committee, and presented a beautiful appearance on the spacious Rectory lawn. Clophill sailors and soldiers and parishioners over 70 were provided with free tokens.
The Ampthill Band was a great attraction, of course, and rendered a choice selection of good music throughout the day, as well as playing for two hours dancing in the evening, under Mr. Walker, the bandmaster.
At 6 o'clock a very pleasant function took place, when upwards of 100 sailors and soldiers of the parish were the recipients of silver mementoes (medals beautifully inscribed), provided by the parishioners. The presentation was made by Mr. Max Townley, M.P., who came down from London at the invitation of the Committee. Brief and appropriate speeches were made by the Chairman (Mr. A.H. Tanqueray), Mr. Townley, and the Rev. H. Wilcox, the latter stating that he had chosen a most opportune moment to make his first public appearance as their Rector. He was proud to be Rector of a village which had taken so great a part in the war, and was pleased so many had returned to their homes and loved ones. The names of those who had nobly fought and died for King and country would never be forgotten. The village was highly favoured in having a gentleman like Mr. A.H. Tanqueray residing in their midst, one who took so great an interest in their welfare. In proposing a a vote of thanks to the Members of Parliament, he said that he felt sure that Mr. Townley would never forget the people living in a little corner of his Division, namely Clophill. The proposition was suitably seconded by Mr. J. Wootton, followed by three hearty cheers. Cheers were given with enthusiasm for Mr. Tanqueray, the soldiers and assembly heartily singing, "For he's a jolly good fellow."
The sports were witnessed with keen interest and handsome prizes were awarded as follows:- Decorated cycles: 1 Miss M. Izzard, 2 Mrs. Stewart, 3 Mrs. B. Tuffnell, - Decorated pram: 1 Mrs. Stewart, 2 Mrs. Gibson, 3 Mrs. Shotbolt. - Horse turnout: 1 a. Middleton, 2 H. Odell, 3 W. Matthews. - Fancy Dress: 1 Miss B. Cole. 2. Miss Juffs, 3 Mrs. Warwick. - Fancy dress (children) 1 F. Durston and L. Edward, 2 O. Heathfield, 3 E. Briggs. - 50 yards flat race (boys): 1 R. Izzard, 2 E. Roberts, 3 J. Harris; girls, 1 J. Cooper, 2 P. Brown, 3 C. Izzard. - 100 yards (boys): 1 C. Abbott, 2 A. Heathfield, 3 G. Brown; girls, 1 F. Norris, 2 P. Abbott, 3 N. Statton. - 50 yards egg and spoon race (boys): 1 F. Young, 2 N. Cole, 3 H. Glover; girls, 1 E. Lincoln, 2 A. Harris, 3 K. Garner. - 100 yards sack race: 1 R. Burgoine, 2 F. Kelly, 3 W. Nichols. -100 yards flat race (girls) 1 C. Sharman, 2 D. Sharman, 3 O. Heathfield. - Boot race (boys): 1 E. Perkins, 2 W. Nicholls, 3 H. Peat. - Three-legged race (girls): 1 C. Sharman and F. Durston, 2 L. Collis and D. Sharman, 3 E. Lincoln and O. Heathfield. - potato race (men): 1 B. Tuffnell, 2 A. Gobey, 3 G. Daniels. - 50 yards wheelbarrow race: 1 W. Gobey and B. Sharp, 2 R. Jenkins and A. Roberts, 3 C. Roberts and B. Tuffnell.- 150 yards flat race: 1 A. Roberts, 2 C. Roberts, 3 T. Sharman. - 100 yards flat race (girls):1 M. Roberts, 2 L. Wilkin, 3 K. lewis. Quarter mile flat race (men): 1 B. Tuffnell, 2 W. Gobey, 3 A. Roberts. - 100 yards egg and spoon (girls): 1 b. Gudgin, 2 E. West, 3 N. Sharp. - 100 yards sack race (men): 1 C. Jenkins, 2 A. Roberts, 3 W. Gobey. - Tortoise cycle race: 1 R. Cole, 2 B. Sharp, 3 A. Roberts. - 50 yards flat race (men and women from 60 to 65 years): 1 women Mrs. W. Sharman, and 1 men L. Maudlin, 2 H. Ashley. -Obstacle race (open): 1 T. Bottoms, 2 B. Tuffnell, 3 W. Gobey. - Tug of war: 1 Mr. E Harries's team, 2 Mr. T. Burgoine's team. - High jump: 1 J. Faddon, 2 B. Tuffnell. - Throwing cricket ball: 1 E.Cole.
The happy proceedings terminated with a huge bonfire and fireworks on an eminence in Mr. E.W. Appleby's field , when the soldiers and assembly cheered most vociferously for Mr. and Mrs, Tanqueray, Mr and Mrs. Manning, and the committee. In addition to the handsome sum taken by the Spanish gypsy (Mrs. Tuffnell) for fortune telling, over £32 was taken at the gate for admission to outsiders and we are pleased to add that a satisfactory balance has been handed over to the hon. Treasurer.
The several Committees in connection with the Victory Fete met at the Parish Room on Thursday, Mr. A.H. Tanqueray, J.P., presiding, to pass the accounts, audited by the Rector. The balance of £27 12s. 10d. Has. On the proposition of Mr. Burrows, seconded by Mr. James Bone, been deposited in the bank. An oil painting unsold at the jumble sale, and presented by Mr. Phillips, is for sale at St Ivel House, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Manning. The Chairman heartily thanked the Committees for their effort, and special thanks were accorded to Me. W. E. Seabrook for his donation of £5 towards the soldiers' mementoes.