The week of the Welbourn Horkey was finally upon us! My week however started with the beginning of community outreach in North Hykeham, the second target village of the project. Myself, the project lead and historian Dave Reeves attended a local soup lunch. We intended to introduce ourselves and to inspire people to volunteer to be interviewed for some oral history collection at later sessions. An element of Dave’s research is to also collect and record anecdotal history from the area and, especially, to document the change from village to town that North Hykeham has undergone. As the town is attached to the city of Lincoln, I asked people whether they felt Hykeham had its own community, separate from Lincoln. While many were depressed and visibly against the expansion of the town, some were positive and did say that North Hykeham has kept some of its traditional identity, and that due to separate institutions such as social clubs, scouts and WI from those in Lincoln, it has retained an independent community.
The first event leading up to the Horkey was a pub quiz on local historical knowledge in the local pub, The Joiner’s Arms. Questions and answers were compiled by Dave and a local historian Bill Goodhand, they tested the villagers on previous economic trades in the village, other historical ‘did you know’ facts, and contained a separate section of local dialect words and phrases from the area. Many people were very enthusiastic about the dialect section, with a (slightly heated) debate taking place between a farmer and a local on what word meant heavier rain: ‘siling’ or ‘kelting’.
On the day before the Horkey, the team assembled in Welbourn to begin preparations. Many people started setting up the decorations in the village hall, however myself and the two artists Lyndall Phelps and Miranda Sharpe started transforming St. Chad’s church into a gallery showcasing the artwork of the Wellingore scouts and Lyndall’s own work. She had used the agricultural heritage of the village as inspiration and created some beautiful works.
We then went to the local primary school and I led a procession (with my accordion) of the primary school children who transported their artworks, made in the workshops led by Lyndall and Miranda, to the church. The children had a harvest service in which we attended. They ended the service with a ‘harvest salsa’ which was… interesting. On the way back to the village hall I had learnt the salsa on my accordion and annoyed the rest of the artsNK team by reminding them of the earworm of a tune.