July 2014
Men's Breakfast
Picture, Men at Breakfast
Saturday 26th July saw our latest Men's Breakfast which followed the usual format of 'Full English' fried breakfast, during which we chatted to our immediate neighbours, before we pushed out into a circle to hear from our guest speaker, this month Mr David Sparrey. (Return to top)

David is a trustee of a charity called 'Robocap' - Robotic Cancer Prostrate - which helped purchase an American machine used to remotely perform an operation on the male prostrate on men living in the three counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and South Worcestershire. The machine uses minimum evasion 'keyhole' techniques that reduce the effect on the body and consequent the recovery time. It's not unusual for the patient to leave hospital the day after the operation for the removal of the cancerous prostrate gland. Prostrate cancer is the most common form of cancer found in men. (Return to top)

David told us that Robocap began collecting in 2009 and by 2013 had raised around £500,000 from Freemasons, Rotary and Golf Clubs etc towards the purchase price of the machine of £1.2 million. The Gloucestershire NHS Trust then helped them purchase the machine, which included negotiating £400,000 off the price and providing the rest of the purchase money. (Return to top)

Robocap only needed to give a donation of £300,000 towards the purchase, which is enabling them to go on to fund the purchase of diagnosis equipment etc for satellite hospitals around the three counties to assist with detecting the disease and identifying patients at an early stage for sending to the machine, thus reducing the chances of survival, as well as paying for the training of some support nurses. (Return to top)

Ann Cam End of Term Service
Picture, Award Winners
As usual we were pleased to welcome Ann Cam school into church on 18th July for their end of term Service and prize giving. The event began with the award of badges and merit certificates to pupils from each class that had done something prize-worthy, either academically or by helping others, then years five and six sang the song 'Professor of Rock and Roll' from their recent show 'The Rocky Monster Show' (Return to top)

There followed a focus on the year six school leavers - we all joined in singing the hymn 'Colours of Day' which was chosen by the leavers before the pupils from that year each read out a summary of a class-mate and we all had to guess who it was - most of the school correctly guessed them all. The leavers were then each presented with a 'hoody' in a colour of their own choosing with 'Ann Cam 2014 Leavers' embroidered on the back. (Return to top)

One boy and one girl from year six were presented with a good citizen award before we all sang 'One more step along the world I go, two pupils led us in prayer, followed by projected pictures supplied by the parents of the leavers embarrassingly from a baby to date.' (Return to top)
Family Service - 'Songs of Praise'
Picture, Hymn Chooser
Sunday 13th July saw this month's Family Service which followed our usual informal 'All-Age' format but had extra hymns, all of which were chosen by a member of the congregation who explained the reason for their choice before the hymn was sung. (Return to top)

Hymns were chosen by three adults and three young people and included the traditional and recent:
In Christ there is no east or west; Jesus, lover of my soul; Over the mountains and the sea, Be bold, be Strong; Be still, for the presence of he Lord sung sitting as part of our prayers and Colours of day to inspire as we went out. (Return to top)

Bob May, our organist and choirmaster, gave a short explanation of hymns down the ages and in his sermon our Rector, Tony Lomas, described the use of hymns for different purposes as described in the Bible. (Return to top)
'Dymock 1914 Remembered' Festival
Festival - Poetry Reading
Picture, Poets Reading
On Friday Evening, 11th July, we began our Festival of Commemoration of the start of the First World War with a poetry reading, as we were also remembering the centenary of the 'Dymock Poets' and that seemed a good way to combine both events. We were lucky to have the event included as part of the annual Ledbury Poetry Festival. The nearby market town of Ledbury has a long association with poets, including Elizabeth Barret-Browning, and John Masefield - a previous Poet Laureate - who both lived in the area. (Return to top)

'The Poetry Trio' (Christine Adams, Sandra Appleton and Wyn Hobson) are a group of poetry lovers who travel the country giving poetry readings, and they came to our church to give a very moving continuous reading of extracts from 40 poems written by both men and women who were involved in the first world war, including some by the 'Dymock Poets', which told of the experiences and feelings of the authors. The Trio's programme notes explained that they meet every year in January to review their anthologies of poems and decide a theme, and this year the First World War seemed an obvious choice. The poems chosen including two of the most famous from that time - 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooks and 'In Flanders Fields' by John McCrae. (Return to top)
Festival - Exhibition
Picture, Exhibition General View
Saturday 12th July first saw the inauguration of a new 'Poet's Walk' around the cottages in the Dymock Area where the 'Dymock Poets' lived during their brief sojourn in the area. However, from 12 Noon there was an exhibition in Dymock Parish Hall of memorabilia offered by residents of Dymock, recalling life and times in the village around the First World War. (Return to top)

As well as some personal memorabilia such as that of Alfred Hodges, there was general items from the First World War era and exhibits with a specific focus - the Railway in Dymock, the Dymock Poets, etc. Click here to see pictures of the exhibits. (Return to top)
Festival - 'Performances'
Picture, Ann Cam School Choir
Ann Cam Choir
Saturday afternoon saw a number of 'Performances' in church including -

A newly composed song collection of poems by Edward Thomas (1878-1917): one of the 'Dymock Poets,' performed by Martin Mason (Piano) and Sophie Baker (soprano) (Return to top)

Music by Frank Bridge (1879-1941): composed for cello and performed by Liz Tremblay (Cello), accompanied by Bob May (Piano) (Return to top)

First World War Songs: performed by Ann Cam School Choir and St Mary's Singers, including established favourites: 'It's a long Way to Tipperary' and 'Pack up Your Troubles', etc (Return to top)

Picture, Workshop
Music Workshop: The Carducci Quartet (See Concert below) had generously offered to conduct a workshop in the late afternoon for young people who are learning instruments. Several of our young people took advantage of their offer and sat alongside a quartet player of the same instrument as they played together excerpts from Elgar, with the Carducci Players stopping from time to time to offer tips to the young people. (Return to top)
Festival - Talk / Concert
Picture, Carducci Quartet
In the evening of Saturday 12th July, the highly professional Carducci Quartet gave a well-received concert in Dymock church comprising three well-known pieces with a war connection:

Ravel String Quartet (1903) with pre-WWI Impressionism
Shostakovich 8th Quartet (1960) dedicated to victims of fascism and war
Beethoven String Quartet No 8 Op 59 No. 2 (Return to top)

Before the concert, they gave a talk about each of the pieces to acquaint the large audience with circumstances of their composition, which made the concert even more interesting. In particular, they mentioned that Beethoven was famously deaf, but it wasn't silence, he had tinnitus - noises in the ear - such that during one raid he put pillows over his ears because he wasn't sure which were bombs and which the ear noises! (Return to top)
Old Folks' Tea Party
Picture, School Tea Party
This term the Ann Cam after-school 'Thursday Club' have been looking at ways in which people serve each other. In June they went to see how volunteer Firefighters serve the community (See June's Reports) and this month they went to 'Riding for the Disabled' (See below). As an example of doing something themselves, they decided to invite the old folk of Dymock to a free Afternoon Tea Party - they defined 'old' as anyone over 40! (Return to top)

Invitations were duly sent out and on Thursday 10th June, some 40 people came to the Parish Hall, where the club served them sandwiches, sausage rolls, cheese on sticks and cakes that they'd made themselves - all washed down with tea or coffee, which helped the children learn the useful lesson that serving others can also be fun. There was a free raffle ticket for everyone, plus people could buy additional tickets to enhance their chances of winning. The raffle made a profit of £55, which was sent to Riding for the Disabled. (Return to top)

By way of entertainment, we showed the film the club members made in April of the story of Easter with a live donkey, plus photos taken during our visits to the Firefighters and RDA. (Return to top)
Thursday Club's Visit To Riding for the Disabled
Picture, Girls with Horse
As part of looking at ways people serve each others, in June the Ann Cam Thursday Club made a visit to the Newent Fire Station to see how the volunteer Firefighters serve the community. On July 3rd they visited the Riding for the Disabled Centre near Hereford to see how they help disabled people. (Return to top)

We were amazed to hear that they don't just help people from 3 months upwards to ride a horse (yes, 3 months!), but the therapy of being with an animal helps all sorts of disabilities. Riding itself helps to exercise the pelvis and hips for those who have limitations there, but working with a horse helps give people confidence who are otherwise lacking it and helps autistic people who don't speak to speak. They even have a person who has trouble concentrating to do their school homework whilst sitting on a horse as it helps their concentration. In the indoor riding school, they have symbols around the wall which they can use to help people learn to count, etc. (Return to top)

They explained that the national RDA centre provides a co-ordination service but all individual branches have to raise their own money themselves from charitable giving, coffee mornings etc. They have space for 13 horses but currently only have 7. One or two of those belong to a family who stable them at their centre and let others use the horse when they're not there. (Return to top)

We met the horses in the stables and saw the Tack Room, etc before everyone in our party had a turn riding on a mechanical horse that exactly mimics the movement of a real horse from a slow trot to a canter. After the visit, we were provided with a soft drink and delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake. (Return to top)