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The Penland Phezants - 7.30pm Friday 5th July, 2019

The local folk/storytelling quartet, the Penland Phezants, will perform an evening of lively musical histories of the 1816 Littleport and Ely Bread Riots, Hereward the Wake, Margery Kempe of Lynn, The English Civil War and most importantly a dramatic musical recreation of the 1819 storm, which killed Sedgeford resident, Susan Nobes.

Earlier in the day at the Ladywell, a private memorial for Susan will be hosted by village historian Tim Snelling. Sedgeford residents poet Gareth Calway and harpist Vanessa Wood-Davies (of the folk/storytelling quartet Penland Phezants) will perform "The Ballad of Susan Nobes" (, 'a dramatic reconstruction of the storm that killed her', along with Gareth's reading of Janet Hammond's verses about the tragedy. (SHARP personnel are invited to this event, which will be filmed.)

Come the evening, folk were going about their daily tasks, working in the fields while birds sweetly sang. The teacher sat in the porch waiting for the schoolmaster to appear before Bible reading class could begin, meanwhile the attending children happily played, running up and down the churchyard, little knowing the impending doom that was to befall them. The schoolmaster duly arrived, readings began and when done was followed with a final hymn, 'Oh let me, heavenly Lord extend, My view to life's approaching end... . (Religious tract 1819, probably by the then Curate of Sedgeford Church.

During the dreadful thunderstorm on the Evening of July 5th the electric fluid struck the top of Sedgeford Church Steeple on the West Side, and precipitated to the ground several stones of considerable magnitude making a breach in the wall of about a yard square. The lightning also passed through the Church entering in at a window near the porch on the South side; and after crossing in a North East direction, it made its escape at two places in an upper window near the Chancel on the North side". (Ipswich Journal, 1819)


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