Friday, 2 December 2011

The Keppels of Old Buckenham

Golden wedding in 1914
The pictures above appeared in the magazine of the Keppel Association and one of them was used on the front cover of the December edition of the Old Buckenham village newsletter. These pictures and the following description are reproduced by kind permission of the Keppel Association secretary Miranda Villiers.
“The pages pictured are from the book presented to Major and Mrs William George Keppel of the Grange, Old Buckenham on the occasion of their Golden Wedding on 6 December 1914. The illuminations are beautifully done, as befits a presentation to a man who was a considerable craftsman himself. Major William George was the eldest son of the Rev Thomas Robert Keppel, the Rector of North Creake, and was a more than usually skilful amateur carver in wood; samples of his work can be seen on the organ case at Quidenham church and on the pulpit and lectern at Old Buckenham. The historian Brian Turner writes: "It is perhaps disappointing that Pevsner makes no mention of the pulpit, for .... it is a piece of superb craftsmanship". It was carved by Major William George Keppel who, with his wife, worshipped in the church for sixty years. Each panel is signed on the reverse with the stamp 'W G Keppel 1900' and shows a different type of vegetation. The central panel of the cross is adorned with a profusion of twining passion flowers. "The panel showing cereal crops is unusual in that maize takes a prominent place beside the more traditional wheat, oats and barley .... the lectern, bearing a motif of grapes and vine leaves, is also by this talented amateur craftsman".
The book was presented to the Keppel Association in 2008 by Olive Schickle.
The War Memorial at Old Buckenham records the names of thirty-seven residents who lost their lives in the First World War, and it is a sad thought that many of those recorded in this book were lost in the conflict, which in December 1914 had just broken out.”

These last comments are particularly apposite following the recent Remembrance Sunday service at the war memorial. And you may wish to pop into All Saints church (it is open every day) to see this wonderful wood carving at close quarters.

[just click on the images to see them in their full glory]

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