Caught by the River

Thankful Villages Vol. 3 #15 and #16

Darren Hayman | 3rd February 2021

As we near the finishing line on Darren Hayman’s gargantuan series, another twofer; the fifteenth village from Thankful Villages Vol. 3 is Teigh, Rutland and the sixteenth is Saxby, Leicestershire.

Right at the start of this project there was a story in Teigh that leapt out of the research. The Reverend Henry Stanley Tibbs was jailed during World War II for being a Nazi sympathizer, as was his son.

The story was compelling but I didn’t know how it would fit in my collection of small and grateful tales.

Sally Beers is the granddaughter of Henry Tibbs and proved hard to track down. She arrives at the Holy Trinity Church in Teigh with her dog Leanne. Leanne curls up on the altar and twitches in her sleep with her eyes open.

Sally has only recently found out about her grandfather herself. She tells the story with wit and warmth and a small amount of confusion.

Audrey and George Morley are residents in Teigh and complete the story.

They have photos of Sally’s family that she has never seen before.

Saxby is in walking distance from Teigh and it’s the first village I arrive in by foot.

Tor from the rectory in Teigh made me a packed lunch. I search in vain for the old railway station, but as I suspected it was flattened a few years earlier.

I am on my own again but my rucksack is full of friends. I write a song about it.

I meet Angie who is keen to help me a put a show on in Saxby. I save my song to play live at the show a few months later.

Angie and Pudsey decorate a dutch barn in orange and I play for the village with my friend Dan. Audrey and George arrive from Teigh, villagers come from East Norton.

I play them the sound of a steam train coming in to Saxby in 1957. The sun opens up and I play them a song about their village.

Thankful Villages Vols. 1 & 2 are out now on Rivertones. You can buy physical copies here, or listen on Spotify. Thankful Villages Volume 3 is also now available here.