Geddington – A life in words and memories – August

The tradition of the ‘Geddington Feast’ reaches back into history and exists to this day as the ‘Village Show’.

In August 1928 Daisy Holding writes of the excitement and preparations for the Village Feast that run parallel to those she and her sister Carrie are making for family visitors from Wales to the Bungalow. (This was originally an Army Hut that stood on Stamford Road close to where Dallington House still stands)


1st August 1928

The rain came down in torrents.. Let’s hope it will clear up before the end of the week for it is streaming in, in lots of places here. We fall over basins and bowls and are kept employed wringing out towels and floor cloths.

2nd August 1928

A beautiful fresh clear morning after the rain. …Large trusses of scarlet geranium gleam in a clear glass vase. As children we used to love the petals to rub vigorously on our cheeks to make us have a pretty colour when we ‘dressed up’   Happy, happy days!!

Bill, my gardener, showed us proudly round his garden tonight. What a ‘real’ gardener he is! His beet, parsnips, beans, onions and potatoes, parsley, celery and what not are being prepared for the Show. Is it not our Feast next week when we hold that hardy annual, our Flower Show? Bill always carries off the lion’s share of prizes. His chrysanthemums, tiger lilies, salpiglossis*, gladioli and carnations are all of the best.

Everybody is getting ready for the Feast. What bakings will fill the bakehouse tomorrow and Saturday!

The gardens are all tidied, the paths weeded, hedges trimmed up, curtains washed and windows cleaned. My mouth waters when I think of the hams to be boiled; the cheesecakes made; the cowslip wine fetched out from the store cupboard; oh it is a great time!

5th August 1928

Our Feast Sunday dawned warm and bright. The village was looking its best. I think our wee garden too did itself and us credit. Dan, the Duke’s hedge cutter had trimmed the hedge and it was looking so neat and tidy. The flowers were all aglow; jasmine, carnations,and sweet peas, gladioli, chrysanthemums, marigolds, aescholtzia, monbretia, clarkia, chaster daisies and all the lovely summer flowers made a grand riot of colour.

Foresters at Cross
Ancient Order of Foresters, Geddington Chase Branch, No 2356

Then in the afternoon we heard the strains of the village band outside and we knew the procession was assembling… the children kept us informed as to the state of affairs for they were delighted with the idea of attending an open air service at the Cross. First of all, the Friendly Societies, Oddfellows and Foresters all in grand array with their ancient symbols and regalia.

Judging the jams
Judging the jams

Next come the Co-op, Women’s Guild and the Women’s Institute, the Ambulance Men, the Scouts and Guides the C.E.M.S and all the societies we can boast of. They all turn out for our annual Church Parade. By the time we reach the Cross about two hundred are assembled in solemn, hushed array. The church bells are chiming and from the grey old building come in stately procession our choir, all robed, the church officers, our Bishop, attended by the Vicar, looking so regal in his purple and lawn.  How we sing!

The cars passing to and fro cannot quite understand it. Many of them pull up and join us. The Bishop gives us a simple, yet eloquent  address on things old and new. He refers to the beautiful ancient surroundings rubbing shoulders with Electric Light and motor traffic. His sermon ended, the procession is reformed and we wend our way to the memorial cross in the village churchyard . Our gallant dead are not forgotten. We place our floral tributes at the base of the memorial as we sing ‘On the Resurrection Morning’.

In the evening the children and I go for a stroll in the meadows. Meg spellbound when she sees the poppies in the corn. The meadow path to Newton in the Willows is their favourite walk as long as they are here. Bry calls it going ‘up the mountain’.

Feast Monday is a very full day. A car ride in the morning with Father as guide to Boughton House; through the Wilderness to Warkton, a peep at the monuments, onto the Wicksteed Park and home to cold luncheon.

Old vicarageHastily we..are taken in relays to the Flower Show in our Vicarage Garden. Here we scan carefulVillage Show 04ly the exhibits to see if any prizes fall to Father’s lot. Yes; sure enough, he secures two seconds!

Tea is a great meal partaken of in the Dining Room at Dallington House.

Off we go again ..this time to a Liberal Rally** at Deene Hall.

‘There’s lovely your country is’ says Auntie Gwen. She is charmed with everything, even our home made frocks and hats.’You girls are really splendid, you make the best and most of everything. Your home is dainty and lovely;you have made a perfect home out of an impossible Army Hut!! 

Our hearts are warmed and cheered.


*script unclear

** Mr George Holding, Daisy and Carrie’s  father, was an active member of the Liberal Party

Does anyone know who ‘Bill’ was?

The Website Committee is interested in knowing more about the Feast. If you have any stories or mementos of past customs please get in touch using the ‘comments’ option below or the ‘Contact Us’ facility on the home page.

Thank you to all those villagers who, over the years, have kept this event going and ensured it remained in the village calendar as a time to come together and celebrate.