As I write the latest update to all our Friends and Supporters I am keenly aware of what a very different year this is for everyone.

Sunday, April 26th, should have been our Annual Lunch at the West Retford Hotel  – so a date for your 2021 diaries – please save the 25th April for the Friends Lunch. Our guest was to be Rob Smith, an historian whose specialism is the 1820 Nottinghamshire Settlers. They founded the village of “Clumber” in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, two hundred years ago on 25th July 1820. Our link to this southern hemisphere Clumber is the 4th Duke. Henry sponsored the “Nottingham party” who sailed from Liverpool on board the “Albury” on 13th February 1820. The Albury  arrived in Simon’s Bay (Cape Town) 2 hundred years ago today – 1st May. Sailing on to  Algoa Bay (Port Elizabeth) the Settler’s then trekked inland towards Grahamstown and founded Clumber village nearby. Rob has agreed to come along to next year’s lunch and tell us more of the story!

Our open season was set to begin on Sunday, 3rd May. Along with all CCT churches, the door to Milton Mausoleum is firmly locked and no visitors are allowed in until further notice.

The AGM will not be held at the beginning of June and the current committee will continue until June 2021. I hope no-one has any objections, given the present crisis. We will be looking for new members to join the committee, so don’t be shy, think about what you could offer to the team.

At this stage it is highly unlikely our Summer Music event will take place on 25th July. This date was chosen to coincidence with the day of celebration to be held at Clumber Church, South Africa. We are planning instead for 2021.

However there is good news and light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel! We have electricity! The installation was carried out by Steve Wade (Milton) just before the lock-down, with Steve very generously donating his labour. Along with all of you, our very generous supporters, we have achieved a significant milestone in the life of Milton Mausoleum. The celebratory “switch-on” will have to wait a while – I hope not as long as until our Winter Music (December 5th) – but who knows!

Thank you for your continued support. We will breathe life back into our beloved building and there will be great celebration when we meet again.

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