Rolleston on Dove Special Events Committee (RODSEC)
News 2005


Ann Burston

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Ann Burston, Chairman of RODSEC, who died on Monday 7 November 2005. A full tribute can be read here.

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RODSEC - Winter 2005 News 
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Winter 2005 issue of the Rollestonian)

Trafalgar Day Celebrated

23rd October was the day that RODSEC and Rolleston Club celebrated Nelson’s victory over the French at Cape Trafalgar 200 years ago. The successful evening was opened by the raising of the ensign by officers and a cadet from Burton Sea Cadets, (Messrs Bunce, Jones and Jackson). The décor of Union Jacks was arranged by Jim Toon who also had Nelson’ message to the fleet on display - ‘England expects etc…’

Arnold Burston presided over the evening, which began with the ‘Guisers Play’, (last put on in the village in 1908). The players, drawn from the Mummers group, were dressed in traditional paper costumes and performed with great gusto much to the audience’s delight. Two attractive ladies in costume, (Katie and Vanessa), performed music hall songs, with audience joining in. enthusiastically. ‘ How it was’ during and after the Trafalgar was illustrated by readings from letters and journals from that time, (Messrs Carwright and Phillips).. The Barton Fiddle Folk gave the audience the chance to join in with a programme of well-known folksongs and they were also the backing for a rendition of sea shanties by Messrs Partington, Green, Barker and Watson, with the audience singing heartily as well. An hilarious sketch (Messrs Burston and Barker) about Health and Safety Regulations being applied to Trafalgar received tremendous applause..

The splendid buffet provided by Beryl Toon and the puddings provided by many volunteers were very much appreciated.

After the raffle (run by Helen and Peter Barnett) the evening ended with a toast to the Immortal Memory of Lord Nelson and Trafalgar, drunk appropriately with a tot of rum. The evening closed with a prayer, written by Lord Nelson, read by the Rev. Ian Whitehead and the flag was lowered. But finally, finally the audience, led by Jim Toon, sang Land of Hope and Glory vociferously several times.

That this evening was a great success was due largely to Ann Burston who was very active in leading the arranging and planning the evening’s entertainment, even during the later stages of her illness. We shall remember her with great gratitude and affection.

(Further details and pictures can be seen here.)

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60th Anniversary Commemoration of V E Day

On Sunday 8 May 2005, it was exactly 60 years since the Victory in Europe. In support of a Commemoration Parade Service at St. Mary's Church, and events at Rolleston Club, the Rolleston on Dove Special Events Committee (RODSEC) organised a free exhibition in the Old Grammar School from 6th – 8th May. Exhibits included World War II artifacts, such as uniforms and other wartime clothing, kitchen and other household equipment, recipes and souvenirs, and personal stories. Further details and pictures of the various events can be found here.

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RODSEC - Summer 2005 News 
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Summer 2005 issue of the Rollestonian)

V E Day Commemoration

When Rolleston Club proposed commemorating VE Day with a Church parade, service and special evening’s entertainment the member organisations of RODSEC wished to support this initiative, which expanded into a weekend of village activities.

Commemoration events were opened at noon on Friday 6th May by Mr Leslie Carvell, a Rollestonian who served in Europe and the Far East throughout World War II, at an informal ceremony in front of the well dressings on the Almshouses lawn.

Introducing the commemoration, Mrs Burston, Chairman of RODSEC, noted – “When Mr Colin Brodie designed this year’s well dressing he had four thoughts in mind – One was the Victory in Europe, declared on 8th May 1945, this is depicted in the top panel with the Allied flags. Then there was the joy, the street parties and the dancing, depicted in the two side panels. The bottom panel reminds us of the sacrifice made by so many thousands of people, the fact that the war against Japan was not over and the horror of the death camps like Auschwitz. The centre panel shows a soldier and his girl looking towards the future with hope of better things to come, with the thatched cottage and the dove of peace. Better times did indeed come and we are now able to enjoy the freedom for which so many people gave so much. Let us not forget.”

Opening the events, Mr Carvell, replied – “Dear Friends, Welcome to this Opening Ceremony for the 60th anniversary of VE Day. The War was over, and we were at peace after six long years. How wonderful it was for us who had survived to come back home while remembering the deaths of so many gallant comrades who had failed to return. It gives me great pleasure and indeed an honour to be invited to open this historic event. I hope that you all have a good day and enjoy yourselves, thank you for your support. I declare this celebration of VE Day well and truly open.”

RODSEC has been delighted with the wide support for the weekend and the compliments received. The major criticism appears to have been the short time that the displays were available!

It is very pleasing to see that a well dressing group is now established and coordinated by Mrs Angie Gillespie. The additional contribution by Rolleston Guides and Brownies, under the guidance of Mrs Delia Wyers, and depicting children’s games during the war was a great effort. Please see Mr John Underhill’s separate note on the boats on the brook.

All events, the well dressings; the boats on the brook; the exhibition of WW II memorabilia; the Beyne Upbeat jazz concert; the Church parade and service and Rolleston Club’s 1940’s night, were well attended. This was not a money making weekend but the generous donations from so many visitors have provided significant contributions to St Mary’s Fabric Fund, the Royal British Legion and to RODSEC to support future events.

Too many villagers to list here were involved in the preparations, setting up the well dressing, contributing memorabilia and staging the exhibition, village decoration, refreshments, etc. We thank them all and hope that the village atmosphere over the weekend was evidence of the value of their efforts.

We are grateful, yet again, to the Almshouses Trustees and residents; the Rector; and St Mary’s PCC; Rolleston Club and the Parish Council for providing facilities for these events. Also Ian Barker, Butchers; the Starbuck family and Starbuck’s News and Hanson Building Products for their sponsorship.

Boats on the Alderbrook

As this is being written we have just set up the flotilla on the Brook again, this time as part of the VE day celebrations. It is a big fleet and it looks good. 
Thanks to all of you who decorated and brought along one of the boats owned by the numerous village institutions. 

Special thanks to those who made their own family boats from raw materials. All of them from the simple, bright and cheerful little catamaran to the large and pretty authentic replicas were just what I hoped we would have and really demonstrate what can be done.

If you had meant to make a boat but forgot, or having seen them on the Brook, wished you had built your own or made one this time and want another go, don¹t worry I¹m sure we will do it again. So just make a note of your ideas for use later or if you want some help with ideas give me a call. (John Underhill).

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RODSEC - Spring 2005 News 
(Details extracted from article that first appeared in the Spring 2005 issue of the Rollestonian)

V E Day

RODSEC is supporting Rolleston Club and St Mary’s Church in the 60th Anniversary Commemoration of V E Day. They are planning a three day EXHIBITION OF WORLD WAR II MEMORABILIA, on Friday 6th – Sunday 8th May, in The Old Grammar School. They still need display material to fill the hall. Please turn out your attics, look through your old photo albums or just write down your reminiscences to bring back memories for those who remember or educate and entertain those who can’t.

Well Dressings - Friday 6th – Sunday 8th May (Burnside Almshouses Pump)

Rolleston’s first well dressing, last year, was enjoyed by so many people that RODSEC said that they would try again in association with a village event. V E Day seems the ideal opportunity! RODSEC now have a team of volunteers led by Mrs Angie Gillespie with Mr Colin Brodie as “resident designer”. Ian Barker, Butchers, are providing generous sponsorship again.

RODSEC hope that this time they will have a second dressing on the Almshouses lawn, prepared by enthusiastic Guides and Brownies under the supervision of Mrs Delia Wyers. More help will be welcome. The next progress meeting will be held in the Old Grammar School, Monday 14th March 7.30pm. Please come along. You don’t have to be an expert in anything, even making the tea, to assist with the preparations. Contact Angie on 812431 or Delia on 813693.

The Fleet on the Alderbrook

As part of the V E Day celebrations RODSEC are going to have another Regatta on the Alderbrook. Village organisations have been invited to participate again. You probably saw last year’s, which was only a trial and thought “Hey, we could make something like that for family fun” Well, the invitation to take part is open to everyone – so lets get Dad to make a family boat.

It can be any sort of boat, in any sort of material and any size, as long as you can prove that it floats in your own bath (with a bit of splashing about). When you’ve finished, string some paper bunting on it, because it is for V E Day. If you want help on getting started on a hull, or for further details, please contact John Underhill (Tel. 815266).

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"An Evening with Oliver Cromwell" 

In order to raise money to enable RODSEC to put on the free Anniversary of VE Day exhibition in May, "Oliver Cromwell" came to Rolleston to entertain an audience of 100 villagers in the Scout Headquarters on Saturday 5 March 2005. Trevor Crofts (following the pattern of Lesley Smith's very successful appearances in the village as "Gloriana" and "Mary, Queen of Scots"), attended by a modest maiden (Sarah Colella), talked about his life and times. He gave an interesting insight into the man himself (Did you know his ancestors held the surname Williams?), his family, the civil war, famous characters of the time, weaponry and dress (enlisting the help of the Rector, Rev. Ian Whitehead, as a Cromwellian cavalryman, with a plastic chair for his "horse" - causing much amusement), and tried to dispel some of the 'rumours'. He claimed not to have anything to do with the demolition of Tutbury Castle (blaming it mostly on us locals), but was somewhat reluctant to explain his apparent absence whilst the king was executed (could he have been the unnamed executioner?). 

Thankfully such stories didn't put anyone off the wonderful supper of baked potatoes with a variety of fillings and 25 different home-made puddings. After a lot of fun and banter, Trevor was thanked by RODSEC Vice Chairman, Ron Price. Tom Martin organised a very successful raffle, the first prize being won by Winifred "Bin" Styche.

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Last updated: 19 March 2006