SPAB TRAINED SHOCK TROOPS STORM MELBURY CHURCHES

To round-off the year (or perhaps launch the silly season) we are delighted to have a guest post from one of our (anonymous) volunteers, about his recent experience with the Melbury Team Maintenance Project in Dorset. All views are his own.

Intelligence operatives monitoring SPAB activities recently identified further incursions into the South West with temporary training camps established in Cattistock and Rampisham.  It came as little surprise that a co-ordinated assault on Wraxall Chapel and Chilfrome Church soon followed.   Reliable sources have identified that MTMP, a little known group closely linked to SPAB, was responsible for these well co-ordinated and highly effective actions. Unnamed sources state that the operations were so fast and clinically executed that few local people were even aware of what occurred in the heart of their communities.

The same sources confidently state that the recent action against relatively low profile targets was a pre-cursor to more ambitious co-ordinated actions involving as many as 16 Melbury places of Christian worship.  A shadowy MTMP spokesman, known only as GP, made it clear that MTMP is confident it has sufficient grass root support to fulfil strategic activity for many years.

Research reveals a surprising amount about SPAB.  Funded by both governmental and individual means it operates largely from premises in the dubious area of Spital Square, London ensuring manoeuvrability by establishing mobile outstations in selected locations throughout the country.  It appears that a battle hardened SPAB operative, believed to be Colm O’Kelly, is operating in the Somerset and Dorset area and masterminding its growth in the South West.  Of interest to the Intelligence community, the recent 8 man hit group of mainly local men included Tony Winlow who is thought to have recently slipped away from  London and is now holed up just over the Devon border.  His role remains the subject of intense speculation.

An Intelligence spokesman stated that even the most close-knit of groups are known to drop their guard and MTMP proved no exception.  Having successfully extracted themselves from Chilfrome, loose talk overheard at a Cattistock R&R facility revealed the staggering extent of their ambition.

The Chimes believes it is in the community’s wider interest that MTMP’s plans are placed on the public record and has no hesitation in unilaterally doing so.  Now read on …….

SPAB is the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.  MTMP is the Melbury Team Maintenance Project, a joint venture supporting all 16 of our churches and chapels.  Led by Lawrie Goff (Maiden Newton) and Sean Lavan (Cattistock) the Project comprises a group of volunteers whose function is to help ensure the fabric and longevity of our wonderful buildings by identifying and undertaking those basic maintenance functions that, if left undone, have such a debilitating impact.  From Baseline Surveys, to gutter and gully cleaning (as happened at Wraxall and Chilfrome), to more complex tasks, the Group will work for us all.   It is a collective:  we jointly blitz the work.  It is fun (yes, really):   because we meet, work and banter with people outside our own Parish.  And it’s satisfying:  because we know we’ve done something really worthwhile, and, most importantly, because we invariably retire to a suitable hostelry on completion.

Before the gutters were cleared....

Before the gutters were cleared….

The Melbury Team clearing gutters, November 2014

The Melbury Team clearing gutters, November 2014

The team gets to work

The team gets to work

Colm O'Kelly checks those gutters

Colm O’Kelly checks those gutters

If you’re interested in getting involved in a Maintenance Co-op in Dorset or Somerset, contact Colm O’Kelly, our Regional Project Officer for the area, on colm.okelly@spab.org.uk  

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