Midsummer Festival

Click or tap here to see full programme

All Saints Church has stood at the centre of the Village since Saxon times and has been the focus for celebrations of all kinds since – sometimes of a specifically Christian nature, sometimes because it was the biggest building in the village and good for meetings, and sometimes celebrations that brought together both secular and sacred in one great celebration.  The Midsummer Festival of 2009 was one such.  It was the brainchild of Rod Petty, later Churchwarden Emeritus, and despite much apprehension by the then Priest-in-Charge (who wrote this piece!), he persisted to look ahead with optimism – and he was right, it was a huge success! More than twenty village societies and organisations took part – and there were also individual arrangements – as well as a huge cast of musicians, caterers, history buffs and general workers. There were events for the children and a special Festival Songs of Praise to end the event on Sunday evening.  It was a real ‘Village Event’.

The programme, featured below, is an excellent record of what happened and who took part.  The photographs evoke the atmosphere of a village working and celebrating together.

Friday 12th June 2009.  ‘Getting Ready’

The Church was a hive of activity on Friday 12th June

It necessitated great discussions between the Emeritus Churchwarden, Len Savage, and the then Head of the Flower Team, Anne Claypole White.

And between Len and the then Priest-in-Charge, Jo Spray


Meanwhile, TATS (Turvey Amateur Theatre Society) were hard at work on the chancel steps, before Eileen Moulang sprayed their display to keep it fresh

Fortunately, just missing the jesters on and behind the lectern!


Turvey Reminiscence Group made sure they had another memory for the archive – featuring L-R – Ann Smith, Peggy Spencer, Ruth Hogg, Sheila Hope, Nancy Waters and Pam Carlton. The photographer is Jenny Ford, who convened and led the group discussions and the publication of their book.


‘Little Lights’, the pre-school church children’s group, showed off the oak trees they had planted some years earlier with John Niles.

Then cleared up after themselves.


‘The Maybees’ think maybe their exhibit is just right.


Whilst the Gardening Club, represented here by Marie Heath and John Warwick, brought in their exhibit by the truck load

No wonder they needed space to rest afterwards.


Then there were those who had time to tell – or listen to – a good story.  Jo Spray with Johnny Day.

Saturday 13th June

By Saturday morning the exhibits were all in place – visitors were directed by a strangely familiar figure! It was made by Dave Hilson, an experienced scarecrow builder, and long-term resident of Turvey.


A good crowd gathered, both inside

and out


Come with us for a tour round most of the exhibits.  (The numbers refer to the numbers printed in the official programme)

  1. The Credit Crunch, Dig for Victory, by the Gardening Club

  1. 1921 – 2009, The Royal British Legion

  1. Nell’s Well, Sue Kilpin with carpentry by Dave Hilson.

  1. Bowls, Bowls Club


  1. Living according to the Rule of St Benedict, Benedictine Communities, Turvey

  1. A picnic in days gone by, Lynne Phillips & family

  1. The Ins and Outs of Turvey Village Hall Life, Village Hall

  1. How could you use Chellington, Chellington Group

  1. Learning to grow, Turvey Pre-School

  1. Into the Future, Turvey Lower School

  1. Memories, Turvey Reminiscence Group

  1. All Saints Choir

  1. ‘Moonlight and Roses’ Tribute to Enid Wadsworth, Win Waller

  1. The Performing Years, TATS

16a.       Arts and Crafts at Home, The Maybees

16b.       ‘Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.’, Little Lights & Bright Sparks

  1. Summer Glory, Art Group

  1. Ring Out Ye Bells, All Saints Bell Ringers

  1. Anyone for Tennis? Turvey Tennis club

  1. ‘The Wednesday Girls’, The Wednesday Group

23 Turvey Brownies

Other displays, in the porch and at the altar and on the pillars were done by three of the regular Flower Arranging Team, Pam Cowley, Celia Hanbury and Anne Claypole White.


The Teddy Jump

A hugely popular feature of the Festival was the ‘Teddy Jump’.  Whose favourite soft toy was courageous enough to parachute from the top of the church tower?

Rosemary Gentry had the enormous responsibility of fixing the parachute harnesses,

Before Rod Petty loaded the Teddy (or in this case Pengey) safely into the basket for the trip up the tower

It is a long way up!

Then came the descent

and the landing

before Pengey could claim his certificate from the Revd Jo Spray

and be returned to his proud owner.

Roger Eaton, then Churchwarden, was on hand at the top of the tower to give the Teddies a helping hand,

whilst Rob Spray and Rod Petty admired his bravery!

Oh dear! Disaster has struck and Roger needs to make an emergency ‘dash’ to rescue a teddy blown off course onto the vestry roof

Thank goodness Teddy made a safe landing in the end and Roger also climbed safely back onto the tower

Bells and History

There were other delights to discover, like the foundations of the tower, originally built in Saxon times.

The workings of the tower clock, with David Nightingale on hand to explain

And the bells

Despite the difficult access, there was a great deal of interest.

Dr Ruth Reardon makes the climb

As do Br Herbert and Br John from Turvey Abbey

Andy Vaughan-Jones (second left) explained the intricacies of bell ringing

Meanwhile, in church, Len Savage explained the intricacies and time scale of building the church from its Saxon beginning to its Victorian restoration

Then it was time for tea

And a well-earned rest for Sr Benedict (left) from Turvey Abbey, who took many of the photographs.

Sunday 13th June

After the Festival Eucharist on Sunday morning, fresh treats were in store when the Brackley Morris Men arrived,

With their fool

Who soon led us all in the dancing.

Comments about this page

  • Thank you Jenny, glad you enjoyed it.
    Sara Jenkins
    Chair, Turvey History Society

    By Sara Jenkins (08/05/2023)
  • A most delightful review of the Midsummer Flower Festival created by the community of Turvey, for everyone’s enjoyment. Happy memories. Thank you Jo.

    By Jenny Ford (05/05/2023)

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