First of all I must say how fortunate I feel to have
been able to make the journey from
Although I have been to the
On Friday 20 June, the first day of the
Gathering, I made my way to the Baptist Chapel at Meeting House Hill about to be warmly welcomed by Chris Farrow. Whilst
registering, I met Chris’s wife, Hilary, as well as a lady councillor from the
North Norfolk Council who welcomed me to the district. Chris then showed me the
massive family tree going around the walls of the Chapel and pointed out the
Henry Barcham section for me to study.
After being introduced to other family members and having a welcome ‘cuppa’
I was able to go upstairs to see the Worstead Weavers
at their looms and look at their work. I now have a lovely rose pink and cream
runner on my bedroom chest of drawers as a reminder of them. Later in the
afternoon we all climbed into cars to be taken to the various places frequented
by our ancestors: All Saints’ Church at Edingthorpe, a beautiful old church
standing by itself in the middle of green countryside where William Barcham (b.1717
d.1782) is buried; St Margaret’s Church at Paston;
and then on to Barcham’s Farm at Edingthorpe where
Brian Durrant, the current owner, showed us around
and we saw the sheep, geese and cattle. Lastly we drove to All Saints’ Church
at Mundesley where we walked
among the graves of our ancestors. This church stands high on the clifftop and has a commanding view of the
Saturday dawned bright and warm for our
second day. I was able to look at various family exhibits before attending a
presentation given by Elizabeth Scott-Taggart on Henry Barcham, my
great-grandfather, who started the Australian branch of the family in
The Chapel supplied a buffet lunch for
us and then we went on our various trips around the countryside. I followed the
trail of Benjamin Barcham, seventh child of William Barcham and Sarah (née Dyball), and their descendants with Peter and Margaret Jarrold. Our journey
took us to
On Sunday I decided to worship at the Worstead Baptist Chapel mainly due to the fact that my
grandfather, William Henry Barcham, was a leading figure in the
For over two hundred years history has stood still
Until the Barchams came back to Meeting Hill
If only their ancestors could see how great they number
From their lonely graves, wherever they slumber.
At this point I have to say how impressed I was with the interest and hospitality afforded us by the Worstead Baptist Chapel, North Norfolk District Council and other members of the community. Thank you all so very much as it made our visit all the more special.
After lunch Chris called us all for the commemorative tree-planting of a young fig tree from Barcham’s Farm, Edingthorpe Green. As I had journeyed the furthest I had the honour of planting the tree. A plaque is now on the wall near the planted tree titled Barcham’s Tree and tells everyone that this tree commemorates the first re-union of the descendants of William and Sarah Barcham of Church Farm. After the ceremony we gradually said our adieus with everyone voting the Barcham Family Gathering a great success.
Thank you Chris Farrow for your passion and obsession with the Barcham Family and for wanting to find your roots because you were able to give us an experience that not many other people have had.
REFLECTIONS ACROSS THE WATER
The Barcham Family Gathering was the highlight of my
In the early 1960s when I worked in
London for a year I followed up on the few names and approximate dates I had
about my grandfather, Fred, and discovered relatives I hadn’t even known
existed; for instance, my now deceased great-aunt and great-uncle, as well as
several cousins whom I have visited over the years and most of whom were at the
Gathering. I was very surprised during the first hours of mingling to hear
people who looked at my name tag, exclaim: ‘Your name is actually Barcham!
As Chris pointed out since, many of the men emigrated, including my
grandfather, and the women who stayed, married; hence losing the name Barcham.
I am very thankful that my great-aunt and great-uncle and their children stayed
Although I didn’t necessarily feel that I was related to anyone except my cousins, I found everyone to be extremely friendly. I hope to keep in touch with some of them and would like to have met more of them. I wish I could have had time to find everyone there on the tree, to see the connections. However, that is something I can do at home from the trees done by Chris Farrow, Carol Woodcock, Norman Barcham, and Mary Rix. What a huge task you each undertook. Thank you!
Never having been to a family reunion –
there are so few of us in
My late father, Reginald, who died about
18 months ago, would have loved the Gathering, as he valued family and always
looked forward to meeting his English relatives on his several visits to
I enjoyed meeting Heather Barcham from
I loved the setting for the Gathering – the tiny church set on country roads – and the flow of the weekend, starting for many on Friday with tours to villages, the fish and chip supper, and ending appropriately on Sunday with the tree planting to commemorate the occasion – one I will never forget. Congratulations again to all who were involved in the creative, thoughtful, planning and smooth carrying out of the Barcham Family Gathering!
Judith Constantine, Committee Member for the Barcham Family Gathering
You may be thinking ‘what does a family gathering have to do with computers’? In this case a great deal, as without computers an international gathering would have been very difficult to organize and our mailing and printing costs would have been astronomical.
In January 2002 a
distant relation, who lives in
Over the course of the next 18 months, hundreds of e-mails were exchanged as arrangements progressed. Various software proved to be generally useful such as spreadsheets for the accounts, databases for keeping records of the registrations, invitation lists and so on. A domain name was purchased and a website www.barcham.org.uk set up with news and local links.
We were lucky that one of the committee members is a computer expert who specializes in software for family historians (www.twrcomputing.co.uk). He and his wife compiled a ginormous family tree, using Family Tree Maker, covering most branches from 1600 to the present day. When printed out for the gathering, it was about 15 metres long and 1.5 metres high! Using a ‘gedcom’ format this tree was mailed to me and downloaded in just a few minutes – it was then a simple matter to open the file using my Family Tree Maker. This proved invaluable for reference purposes while I was editing the family history book.
As the ‘publications and communications’ person, my tasks were to write a press release (easy using Word 2000), prepare and arrange printing for a new edition of a booklet first published in 1857, emulating the typefaces used in the original (Word 2000 again, but much more complex), and not least design and print a book and several other publications. A menu and an invitation card were not too difficult to design and print myself using Serif PagePlus, but the real challenge was to design a 12-page souvenir programme and edit and produce a 136-page book, both A4 format, which had to be printed professionally. Putting these publications together (Serif PagePlus), improving old photos (Corel Photo House), writing background articles, commissioning others, keeping the ‘boss’ in Canada in order(!), and finally interfacing my files with a digital printer has been hard work, but an interesting and enjoyable experience.
[reproduced from The Link, newsletter of the Blackbourne U3A Computer Study Group]