Village Friends

We would like to introduce you to Village Friends. We meet on the first Thursday of each month, except January and February, in Grateley War Memorial Hall. We enjoy various speakers and events organised by the committee using suggestions from our members.

We only charge a very moderate £2 per person for our meetings which pays for the speaker (if appropriate) and refreshments. There is usually a raffle when the meeting takes place in the village hall. The meetings last about two hours depending on the event. Outings are also enjoyed to various places which are heavily subsided for members. In March we enjoyed a delicious fish and chip lunch at The Plough Inn in Grateley and at our April meeting hot cross buns were eaten with relish.

We would be very pleased if you would like to join our happy band and you can be sure of a very warm welcome to our meetings. If you would like an introduction or further information please contact Shirley on 889312 or Peter on 889186 who will arrange for someone to help you to break the ice. We look forward to meeting you.

June Meeting

We try to keep our talks as varied as possible: last month it was on brewing beer and this month about the Mary Rose – fairly different titles! Trevor Sapey gave the talk and he was very good. It could have been a very dry subject (excuse the pun) but he made it light and interesting. We started off with a bit of history which immediately dispensed with one well known fact. I have always thought that the Mary Rose sank on her maiden voyage – wrong. She had been in service for thirty-four years before the disaster, but I think had just had a major refit (which could have been one of the reasons she sank!).

Apparently, no one knows exactly why she capsized, but it could have been for a number of reasons or a combination of them. Many of the crew were of Spanish origin and did not understand the command to close the gun ports when she went about, or the gun ports
themselves were very close to the waterline so would have flooded easily, or maybe the soldiers on board just all went to look at King Henry from one side and unbalanced her.

The bed of the Solent is thick mud and this preserved what we have today. Any exposed bits were quickly attacked by worms and were swept away the strong currents. It was only after some fishermen got their nets caught that it was rediscovered. It was a really hairy operation bringing her to the surface and millions, watching it on TV, saw the support structure partially collapse.

Trevor (dressed in period costume) brought many artefacts and went through most of them, explaining what they were. I had not realised that each cannon ball had to pass through a measuring tool to ensure that it was right for that cannon, nor had I realised that there were stone and iron cannon balls: the iron ones could just make a small hole whereas the stone ones broke up on impact and did much more damage.

Trevor had some interesting tools, especially the medical ones: one in particular made the men in the audience squirm! He also had what we might call a sheaf knife, but it was called a B—-ker and apparently he was giving his talk at a school and said it was a sheaf knife when some lad said ‘no it isn’t it’s a b—-ker’!!
Peter Bye

Programme for 2017

2 March Fish and Chips at the Plough Inn, Grateley, raffle 12.30 p.m.
6 April Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital by Marilyn Korkis, raffle 2 p.m. Village Hall
11 May Betteridges Brewery by Mark Betteridge, raffle 2 p.m. Village Hall
1 June ‘A Sailor’s Life and Death on the Mary Rose’ by Trevor Sapey, raffle 2 p.m. Village Hall
6 July Cream Tea in the village hall 2.30 p.m. Village Hall
3 August Buffet Lunch, raffle 12.30 p.m. Village Hall
7 September Crop Circles by Andy Thomas, raffle 2 p.m. Village Hall
5 October Danebury Hill Fort by the curator, raffle 2 p.m. Village Hall
2 November Canal Boat Painting by Robert Wright, raffle 2 p.m. Village Hall
7 December Christmas Lunch, raffle 12.30 p.m.