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Meeting Report - May 2016

The Annual General Meeting of the Romsley and Hunnington History Society took place on 24th May, 2016. Paul Share, the Chairman, opened the meeting on a sad note, as June Humphreys, our secretary for 23 years, passed away recently and we stood for a minute's silence in her memory. June was a lovely lady, who will be remembered for her quietly efficient organising ability, her skilful art of gentle persuasion and especially her kindness. She will be sadly missed.

It is partly through her work over the years that the RHHS is in the position it is today. We have 60 members, a healthy bank balance and a very promising programme of speakers for the next year. The formal part of the meeting was quickly concluded, as we were all looking forward to the presentation which was to follow.

This year the RHHS is 50 years old. In order to celebrate this event, Julian Hunt and Ruth Harper organised a very original evening. 1966 was the 100th anniversary of the Parish of Romsley. The Rev. David Copley, the Rector of St Kenelm's Church, and Mr. Joe Hunt decided to put on a pageant depicting, "The Legend of St. Kenelm". Not many villages can boast of a legend depicting greed, murder and retribution and a play was written by Geoffrey Pearson. This was performed in the Church, which was transformed for the occasion, much to the disapproval of some of the congregation. The play was produced by George Street, and was a great success. The actors, both children and adults, were all local people and there were performances every night for a week.

We still have a record of this event, as Mr. Alan Harper took many photographic slides. Julian Hunt and Ruth Harper had the clever idea to use the slides and some of the original cast and present members of the society, to retell the story and reminisce about their experiences of 1966. It was fascinating to see St. Kenelm, alias David Tromans, barely recognisable as the shy little boy king, taking the same roll today!

Now, 50 years on, we all enjoyed being reminded of the story, although there are still some unanswered questions. Was it a white cow or a red cow? We still don't know! However the audience of 70 people, which included some of the original cast, really enjoyed the evening, a blend of old and new, with a touch of nostalgia, thanks to the hard work put in by the performers. Ruth Harper hazarded a guess that it was the pageant of 1966 which gave Rev. David Copley and Joe Hunt the idea of instigating a History Society in the village. Little did they realise that their children, Ruth and Julian, would carry on the tradition of a History Society in 2016.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, 28th June, when Julian Hunt will give a talk on "Dayhouse Bank." On Sunday, July 3rd, "The Ballad of St. Kenelm", an afternoon of lovely music, verse and entertainment, will be performed in St. Kenelm's School at 2.30pm. Tickets, priced at £10.00, are now on sale from Paul Share, tel. 01562 710197.

Pat Evans

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Some contents of this website are taken from the book Romsley and Hunnington, a Millennium History,
written by Joe Hunt and Julian Hunt and published by the Parish Councils of Romsley and Hunnington, in association with the RHHS.

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