A SANDON & DISTRICT LEGION TRIBUTE TO
F/L WILLIAM GAVIN CAMPBELL
and the
CREW OF LANCASTER KB879

BILL HILLMAN PHOTO JOURNAL

Day 2 ~ 99.08.24 ~ A Visit to Sandon Hall and Church
Leaving my mother to sleep in and to explore the Crown premises, I accompanied Don on a tour Sandon landmarks... starting with Sandon Hall. After passing through the main gate to the estate [1] and over a livestock grid we drove through flocks of sheep grazing on lush pasture land and along the long winding "lane" to the gates of the stately Sandon Hall [2] [3]. After many more camera stops, during which I dazzled my tour guide with an amazing display of broken field running through pasture obstacles, farm gates and centuries-old headstones, we reached the magnificent Sandon Church [4].

A chance meeting among the church cemetery headstones with the part-time grounds keeper,  Robert Selby, was a special treat [5]. Robert wears many hats -- he is a retired school master, a local historian & writer, and chairman of the Sandon & District Legion. A few short weeks ago, he and Legion secretary, Peter Berrisford, had sent me the formal invitation to the Lancaster Memorial Service -- complete with  map information and full itinerary.

Resuming our tour of the many centuries-old stone church I learned that various incarnations of the church on this site have provided a focal point for local gatherings and  worship since at least 1130 AD. Each stone seemed to have a story to tell and I have stored many of them away with my collection of pictures for future reference.

As I furiously snapped photos, Don supplied me with a wealth of historical facts and vignettes about the church and local area. Indeed, as I stood in the church yard and let my gaze fall across the full 360o panorama, places and events of historical signifigance seemed to spring from every  point of the compass. He, Robert and Peter have written, or are in the process of preparing numerous documents/books/websites on the rich history of this colourful part of England.

The drive from the church took us along a scenic country road heavily canopied with overhanging vegetation [8]. Part way down this road Don pointed out a large building which had been the village school at one time [9]. In fact, the first fear of more than one parent back in April 1945, upon seeing the flames and hearing sounds of the crash, was that the Lancaster had struck the school.

 

[1] Main Gate to the Sandon Hall Estate[2] Sandon Hall
[3] Sandon Hall[4] Sandon All Saints Church
[5] Robert Selby Framed By Church Main Entrance[6] Church Stained Glass Windows
[7] Church Interior
[8] Canopied Country Road Back to Sandon[9] Former Sandon School


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