COLUMN: Lyn of Littleport, August 24

Reverend Wendie Perry.

Reverend Wendie Perry. - Credit: Archant

Did you know that from the year 1350 every parish was required to have a set of stocks, for those the landed gentry law-makers called ‘unruly artisans’?

It relied on the rest of the population that weren’t in them to abuse those neighbours restrained, in whichever nasty way took their fancy. But it may well be that a population historically unimpressed by oppressive laws, Littleport slipped the net, as no reference to a set of stocks can be found…

However, there will be some at the Plough and Harrow on Sunday for their ‘fun day’ that starts at 1pm. As well as the stocks there will be face-painting, a bouncy castle, a cake stall and a barbeque, with a disco in the evening that starts at 6pm. Admission is free.

Growing good veg

Been enjoying the fruits of Littleport’s good earth, especially potatoes nearly as good as those flavoursome spuds due to harvest in October from Nigel Garner’s farm down Wisbech Road, as well as neighbours’ caulis, cabbages and more. Our bedraggled cues and toms prove that no matter how nutritious the soil, if you can’t grow veg, you can’t grow veg.

Now my grandad de Swarte, in the London clay of suburban Streatham where I come from, grew prize marrers (marrows to you and me) during the war. He grew excellent runner beans too - except for the year I picked all the heads off to give my gran a bunch of flowers… But back to the marrers. He never told his friends the secret of his success. But he told me. So strictly between you and me, he was keeper of the Anderson Shelter chamber pot, and after every air raid, and when everyone had left their garden, wherein it was sited, he’d empty the contents where they were a-growing.

And not cockney rhyming slang - Rev Wendie Perry, curate of the Littleport Christian Spiritualists, has grown such a glut of apples and pears, that she was giving them away the last I heard. Obviously practicing what she preaches.