Stopham’s church window on its way to recovery

Setting off on the tractor ride around Stopham SUS-140809-183238001
Setting off on the tractor ride around Stopham SUS-140809-183238001

THE first event of its kind, the Stopham Wine Festival, turned out to be a huge success.

More than 200 people went along in bright sunshine to enjoy the day.

Put on in aid of the restoration of the medieval painted window in Stopham church, the event raised the commendable total of £3,115.

Sir Brian Bartellot, one of the driving forces behind the weekend, said it was a great success.

“Visitors enjoyed a fascinating explanation of the complex process involved in making Stopham Estate wine by its maker, Simon Woodhead,” Sir Brian said.

“After tasting the wine, they had the opportunity to buy more, by the glass, bottle or case.”

Favourite with the children was farmer Jack Van Driel’s tractor ride to the vineyard, where the process of growing and picking the grapes was explained.

Back in the winery yard were stalls offering food including cheeses, ciabatta bread and cakes, and wood products.

Sir Brian added: “With entertainments for the children and a popular darts challenge, there was something for everyone.

“Happy smiling faces indicated that everyone, including the organisers and stallholders, had had a thoroughly good time.”

Sir Brian’s family plays a large part in shaping the history of the tiny village, which has its own vineyard, where the Stopham Estate wine is produced.

Residents are trying to raise the money needed –estimated at around £15,000 –to restore one of the windows in their church, St Mary the Virgin. The window, which is part painted and part stained, will have to be removed piece by piece and sent to specialist Keith Barley, based in York, who is known for his work at Westminster Abbey.