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On Saturday 7th July 2018 we had a great fellowship event exploring St Mary's Churchyard; we met our Belvoir Angels and found out about the mysterious Reuben George Brooke. And it was all followed by a traditional afternoon tea in church, hosted by Plumtree WI.
Our Reader, Paul, divided us into three groups and showed us how to clean some of the headstones to make the inscriptions easier to read. The Belvoir Angel headstone dedicated to Mary Rowe was stained with lichen, we gently removed the stain with soapy water and a sponge. Reuben George Brooke's headstone was also stained; we had to use a much gentler cleaning process - soapy water on cotton buds and a water sprayer to avoid damaging the inset letters. Finally, the third group tackled the headstone dedicated to Paul's maternal grandparents (Lily and William Seaton), a more modern stone attacked with a scrubbing brush, soapy water, cider vinegar and much vigour.
After our hard work, we retired to stand under the walnut tree where Paul explained a little about the history behind the Belvoir Angels, Reuben George and his grandparents. He showed us a tie made from the Seaton tartan.
Then, quiz time: Can you find the Portuguese Laurel in the churchyard? What is its link with chillies? Can you find the remains of a medieval wall in the churchyard? What in the churchyard links to the legend of the Holy Grail?
After being amazed by a fly-past from a buzzard, we retired to the church where we were treated to afternoon tea, prepared by the ladies of Plumtree WI. A wonderful end to a fun and fact-filled afternoon.
Here is a selection of photos taken at the event, click on a picture to see a larger version.