Hacheston: Traditional song and story event in aid of church

Andrew Stannard at Hacheston Church

Andrew Stannard at Hacheston Church - Credit: Archant

A SUFFOLK folk singer and storyteller is set to make a “grit owd swo’nd” in aid of repairs to the church that hosted his wedding.

Andrew Stannard, who is one half of traditional music act The Bumpstead Boys, will be performing at Hacheston village hall, just yards from All Saints Church, where he married Lil last September.

The ceremony came little over a year after lead thieves caused £28,000 worth of damage to the roof, meaning the exposed church organ had to be covered in a huge plastic tarpaulin.

Mr Stannard said: “It was a lovely occasion but slightly marred by the fact that the organ was covered with a green tarpaulin to match the one on the roof where some low life individuals had taken the lead.

Mr Stannard, who played his wife down the aisle on his own accordion, will be performing an evening of Wit, Squit and Banter in Song and Story on Friday, May 10.

He will be joined by fellow Bumpstead Boy, Neil Lanham, with whom he has penned a new song called The Nine Taylors, based on the old tradition of announcing a death on a church bell.

Mr Stannard learned of the tradition from bell tower captain David Clough, who helped raise funds to restore the derelict bells in 2000.

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“David asked me if I would be prepared to give an evening of Suffolk entertainment in the village hall to help with the fundraising for the repairs,” said Mr Stannard, who was born in the village and christened at the church.

“We are now hoping to raise awareness of the state of our poor old church roof.”

Michael Dawe, secretary of the parochial church council, said the latest lead theft, in August 2011, was the third time the church had been targeted in recent years. He added: “When the roof started leaking the organ was at risk so had been covered with a tarpaulin.

“We’re making progress but have some way to go with fundraising.”

The event will begin at 7.30pm at Hacheston village hall. There will also a be a bar with nibbles and a raffle. Tickets are £7 and available on 01728 746441 or on the door, subject to availability.