Friday, 30 October 2009

That's Sutton in the ELMS, you know

Back to the blog after a few weeks of other vacation, etc.

So... I went out to check on the chestnut question again, though I was pretty sure I knew the answer.

Sure enough, all the nuts had been shed, the tree was bare of fruit and, for the second year, there was no chestnut crop. The lovely warm, gentle Autumn came too late to overcome another cold, wet Summer.

As the clouds gathered, I made my way back towards home with Molly, the Spaniel.

A few days earlier, there had been a number of stakes hammered in along the grass verges. In this village, people are rather suspicious of things like that; we're always a bit concerned about unwanted development. While being ignored can, and does, have its compensations, it can also mean not having a say in planning matters. Imagine our pleasure when we discovered that the Elm trees which give Sutton in the Elms its name and which were all lost to Dutch Elm Disease, were about to be replaced.

The work has gone ahead and 14 trees have been planted with the 15th being planted ceremoniously this Saturday in the grounds of the Victorian Baptist Chapel.

The non-conformist history of the village is tied up with the elm trees, not just in the name, but because in 1650 the Baptists from nearby villages met secretly, in fear of persecution because of their non-conformity, in the shadow of the elms at Sutton, forming the Baptist Chapel - the oldest in Leicestershire and the mother of subsequent Chapels in Leicester and elsewhere.

The Quakers also began in Sutton in the Elms. George Fox, founder of the Quakers, addressed his first open air meeting outside the 'steeple house' in 1647 and the Quaker Cottage at Sutton stands today.

1 comment:

  1. Have to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Feels like a mini-visit to England every time I read it. Thank you!