Royston Cave and Caldecote church near Ashwell host events by candlelight

PUBLISHED: 09:58 13 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:03 13 December 2016

People in Royston Cave saw the chamber as it would have been in medieval times.  Picture: R&DLHS

People in Royston Cave saw the chamber as it would have been in medieval times. Picture: R&DLHS

R&DLHS

For those needing an antidote to the manic festivities and bright Christmas lights lining the streets outside, two candlelit events have been held in Royston and the village of Caldecote near Ashwell.

Royston Cave by Candlelight. Picture: P RansonRoyston Cave by Candlelight. Picture: P Ranson

In Royston, keen members of the public started queuing at the Royston Information Centre in the library for tickets to their first Cave by Candlelight event before 9am and more than 150 people had a peek of the cave as it would have been during medieval times over the morning.

Cave manager James Robinson said: “The event was an amazing success and exceeded our wildest expectations.

“People came from far and wide to be part of this, and demand was so great that we regretfully had to turn a lot of people away.

The event was the last in the year for the cave which reopens fully on Saturday, April 15, not before another special opening for the Hertfordshire Big Weekend at the start of April.

Most of the tickets were sold out in July for the Carols by Candlelight event.Most of the tickets were sold out in July for the Carols by Candlelight event.

In the tiny village of Caldecote, a fourth year of Carols by Candlelight took place at the redundant St Mary Magdalene church.

The event proved ‘immensely popular’, so much so that nearly 75 per cent of tickets were already reserved in July.

However, owing to such popular demand, they now hold two sessions each year.

Caldecote Church Friends’ Grazyna Tutak said: “The first service was led by the Reverend Robert Evens from Ashwell. With John Rowlands on a harmonium, we sang carols inculding Oh Come, All Ye Faithful, O Little Town of Bethlehem, God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen, and Good King Wenceslas.

St Mary Magdalene in Caldecote near Ashwell had their fourth Carols by Candlelight service. St Mary Magdalene in Caldecote near Ashwell had their fourth Carols by Candlelight service.

“For those throats a bit rusty since last Christmas there was mulled wine and traditional mince pies and sausage rolls in the interval.

“Carols were interspersed with seasonal readings by invited guests.

“ Mat Jones, our very talented new secretary, presented his personal take on family Christmas in verse, both highly humorous and very accurate!”

The Rev Canon Lindsay Dew, Rector of Dunton with Wrestlingworth and Eyeworth, led the second service, both finished with a short prayer and a blessing.

Mat, deputising for the chairman, Hugh Mulholland, thanked those present and all the Caldecote church friends for their ‘unstinting support of their events and generosity throughout the year’.

“Thanks to which the church has again become the heart of community life and for Christmas comes alive with candlelight, music and carols, just like in the old days and hopefully for many years to come,” Grazyna added.

For more information on next year’s events at the church go to www.caldecotechurchfriends.org.uk.

And for more on the cave to go to www.roystoncave.co.uk and for more on the information centre call James on 01763 878242.

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