Celebrating West Lindsey Churches: Fiskerton

IMG_1269
Fiskerton church, dedicated to St. Clement of Rome.

Every May in West Lindsey in northern Lincolnshire, there are nearly a hundred churches open to the public over two weekends.

Of course, you may say that churches are always open – and you would be right. What I mean is, this diverse array of architectural and cultural gems, have items such as exhibitions, old books, games and crafts on display and for sale, plus food and drink of course, the proceeds going to the upkeep of the churches. There will always be a warm welcome too.

Fiskerton’s name means enclosure or farm of fishermen, its name stemming from Anglo-Saxon times. The church is dedicated to St. Clement of Rome, a dedication I do not recall coming across too often, especially not in Lincolnshire.

Like many villages in this area of Lincolnshire, there are strong connections to the RAF, particularly in relation to World War 2.

PHOTO-2019-05-11-16-38-32 (2)

In fact there were remembrance books and links with RAF squadrons in the Lady Chapel, a testimony to the fact that Lincolnshire during World War 2 became essentially ‘Bomber County’, due to the preponderance of bomber squadrons.

Elsewhere in the church there are some notable features, including remaining Norman architecture.

PHOTO-2019-05-11-16-38-32 (3)

The font is especially interesting. Note the markings on the stone and the work on the ornate cover below:

PHOTO-2019-05-11-16-38-32
The font, which looks very old, bearing interesting markings.
PHOTO-2019-05-11-16-38-32 (1)
Painting of Madonna and Child, Fiskerton church.
PHOTO-2019-05-11-16-38-31
Stained glass windows at the east end were particularly beautiful.
IMG_1270
Looking east along the nave.

Once again, the most overriding memory of our visit to this lovely church was the friendliness of everyone, volunteers who seemingly can never do too much for you.

Thank you people of Fiskerton.

Poem ‘Rear Gunner’

I come here most days
after school. Dad says it’s ok, so I
head straight away to my

friends, the chickens; I help them
dig for worms. Sometimes
a school friend drops by too

and we race up the stacked bags
of guano; they’re almost warehouse high, our
voices muffled like we’re in a cave. Later,

when it’s time to go, I sit and wait
for Dad, stare at old pictures
on the wall. A bomber

plane in camouflage, the rows of cheerful
men before it with little to smile
about, Dad said. I can

point to his friend, the rear
gunner who never gets out. I’m stuck in
there, spinning round

and round in the noise, the ground’s
approach quickening— then nothing—
until this awareness

and I am his son

© copyright David F. Barker 2012

*Notes: When I was seven or eight years old, my Dad used to work in a warehouse and I did play with the chickens, climb the bags of guano. There was an office, with a picture of an old British Blenheim bomber, with rows of RAF men lined up in front…

Poem ‘Hurricane’s Grave’

Hurricane’s Grave

A copse can be an intimate
friend. Most days he roamed there, always
finding something to love, a life of
reasonable expectation.
Late winter was a favourite time; tree tops
took on reddish hues and
there were further signs other
than snowdrops
and blue tits’ brighter songs, of the
burgeoning spring

Today was different. Large boots
had been this way,
their wearer, like
a stump line of grey, stood
barely seen by an old fence, through straight
saplings in sunlight.
He approached the figure, which seemed
to dissipate like mist in the sun, something
he’d mistaken for form
and life

But it was more than
a notion that had led him there. The fence
overlooked a rolling field, familiar lumps
and bumps of pasture unchanged
for decades,
where lords in their demesnes might
still rule for all he knew.
He leant on the fence, it
gave way in his hand. A piece of torn
grey cloth freed from a nail, flopped to
the damp ground.
He held it,
felt its old thick weave— like a uniform

He pondered the scene in front
of him, gave space to wartime tales,
the remembered lumps and
bumps which might easily hide a
hurricane’s grave

image and poem © copyright david f. barker 2012

* The Hurricane here, is a British WWII fighter plane