On Wednesday evening myself and Anne went to St Remigius Church, Hethersett, to help Duncan Pigg celebrate his 90th birthday. The words legend and stalwarts are overused (I know that as both have been used to describe me in the past which is absolutely ridiculous). So I try not to use those words, but Duncan has certainly contributed massively to the village and the local community. I have known him since moving to the village way back in the mists of time.
Duncan (pictured above with his wife Jenny) has been involved in so many village events and organisations and in 2013 was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community. It was a lovely evening in the parish church with a concert by the Hellesdon and Sprowston Brass Band, wine, cake and coffee and so many people to chat to. There were over 200 invited guests.
Duncan has been one of the leading lights of the parish church for many years as reader, choirmaster and in many other guises. Annually he has been responsible for reading out the names of the war at the annual Remembrance Sunday service.
In addition Duncan has been closely involved with Hethersett Cricket Club and was the founder and writer of the annual village pantomime for many years. I have tried to reflect his work in an article sent to the local Media and which is on my village web site and will also appear in my village e-magazine in May.
I was very pleased a few months ago when I was asked to this event as I was never technically a member of staff but was a school governor and chair of governors for a number of years. Those present were all at the school when Tim Strugnell was Head Teacher. Tim is pictured in the centre of the photograph at the front. Tim was an exceptionally good Head - loved by all and well known for his kindness, whilst being able to make the right decision on a number of subjects.
A number of people travelled a considerable distance to be there and Sharon Fielding and Anna Hallam who organised the event summed it up by saying how fortunate they felt to have been able to teach hundreds of children. Tim said he had always had very supportive staff and working with them had at times "been a lot of fun." I think that's down to his skill as much as anything.
I like to think that I left a small mark on the school in my time as chair of governors overseeing the demolition of an old asbestos riddled design and technology block, replacing it with a modern pod, and also keeping the school swimming pool open when it was threatened with closure.
I took part in a workshop based around the use of village web sites and magazines. I was asked to speak about my experiences within Hethersett and managed to happily talk for the best part of 15 minutes off the cuff.
Afterwards I was kept busy by people who wanted to chat over lunch, making it a lovely occasion and quite a fruitful one. I take great pleasure when people take what I have written and use it for charitable purposes. It is a great compliment, Hopefully this will now happen with the Wymondham and Attleborough Talking Newspaper using my village stories and information.