Yelling: Strong community spirit in tiny village with big heart
- Credit: Sanchia Ascroft
The village has a strong community spirit and the lockdown has brought people even closer together.
There is an active WI group, best-kept garden competition and a flower festival, which villagers hope will take place on the August Bank Holiday this year. The Yelling Beer Festival takes place on the first May bank holiday and is always well attended by locals and visitors.This is run by Yelling Social Club, which and in normal times is open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
"During pandemic, over the last 11 months, the Yelling Social Club has organised take-away beer and raised more than £3,000 for charities including the East Anglia Air Ambulance, Magpas and the village church, to name a few," said Sanchia Ascroft who lives in Yelling.
"Our close-knit community has really pulled together. We have an extremely active Whatsapp group and people have shown kindness and generosity - everything from bags of flour to wardrobes have been given away to help neighbours."
Annual litter picks also take place. These were started in 2008 by John Peal, the then parish council chairman. A socially distanced event was held in 2020, which meant no coffee and cake afterwards.
Litter pickers have found a bedstead, a dead sheep, a television, complete with remote control and a set of six teacups over the years, as well as your average litter.
Village Notes: volunteers made scrubs
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A group of volunteers in Yelling used their time during the first lockdown to make scrubs for Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
Linda Oliver told The Hunts Post she had been sewing all her life and she set up the group after making contact with the Trust that runs the hospital to check the exact specifications for scrubs.
She experienced some issues with a pattern, but these were printed by Hallmark Equipment, in Great Gransden, which agreed to supply them for free.
Initially, Linda self-funded the project, but she also received funs from the parish council, the WI and individuals in the village to make more.
“We had to make sure the specification was correct and using quality, robust fabric and industrial thread was essential. Once we had all that in place, off we went.”
Village Notes 2: The village cricket team
The Yelling Cricket Club was formed in the early 1900s and continues to thrive even though it is one of the smallest villages that competes in the local league.
It originally played at Hill Top Farm, moved to High Close and finally in 1950 it moved to The Cricket Field, by kind permission of its owners, which is situated opposite the chapel and affords fantastic views across the Yelling countryside. John Tack, and more recently his son Steve, religiously tend to the ground and have done so for the last four decades.