Extracts from previous Newsletters.

Issue 4 - July 1986

The Second Hards Family Reunion was held at Upper Hardres on 19th April when the Hards wild cherry tree was planted in the churchyard. We had arranged the tree-planting just about as late in the season as possible in the hope of fine weather and a good attendance, although as the weeks went by and the date grew nearer without any respite from the cold wet weather of our English Spring, there seemed poor prospects of a fine day. In the event the weather was kind to us: a breezy day with sunny periods and tolerable temperatures - and about fifty members present, some from as far afield as Glasgow and Gwent, Peterborough and Plymouth, Middlesborough and Exeter.

Members arrived from about eleven o'clock onwards and gathered in the church porch, or looked round the church and the Hardres memorials, or strolled round the churchyard outside. The Reunion Register was signed - and tea and coffee were kindly dispensed by Mrs Dorothy Minter. Rev Richard Love of Petham who, now that Rev Burt has retired, is vicar of Upper Hardres as well as several other local parishes, paid us a visit during the morning. We were glad to make his aquaintance and thank him for permission to assemble at his church and plant a tree in the churchyard. Unfortunately he was unable to stay with us for the tree-planting because of other engagements.

Rev John Burt joined us also, and he was able to stay with us until one o'clock when we all gathered round the wild cherry tree (prunus avium) for the planting. Alfred Garbett,unofficial Hards Family photographer, marshalled everyone into the right place for a photograph, and I eased the tree out of it's pot and into the ground. Joanna, helped steady the tree while I splayed out the roots and began to cover them with earth.

Alfred took several photographs of the planting (and these have come out well - clear colour prints as at the First Reunion). the local press had sent along a photographer, and, with Alfred in the picture this time , he also photographed the tree-planting group, which duly appeared across four columns on page 63 of the Kentish Gazette dated 25th April, under the general heading of Village News, with a good write-up of the event.

On the 7th June Joanna and I arranged with Mr and Mrs Minter to revisit Upper Hardres. The tree appeared to have settled in well, and we were told that it had flowered. In the ground in front of the tree we put a plaque which had been made for us. It reads:

Wild Cherry
planted 19 April 1986
The Hards Family Society

(Since this report the plaque has, sadly, been taken by person or persons unknown)

After the planting we all made our way to Bossingham. It was not quite outdoor picnic weather, so some made their way to The Star Inn, while others went direct to the village hall, which we had taken for the afternoon, and ate their packed lunches. In time we were all settled comfortably in the hall, with various family charts set out for inspection, the card index of registered Hards births available for reference, and a continuous buzz of conversation as new contacts were made and old aquantance renewed - for this record must belong to John Hards, from Croydon, and his cousin George Hards , from Sussex, who met that day for the first time in fifty years. Meanwhile Joanna did a brisk trade in the Hards Family Society pin-on badges which she had had made.

As we dispersed once again to various parts of the country, far and near, it was good to feel that the Second Reunion, although it had necessarily been on a smaller scale and at a less popular time of the year than the First Reunion, had been a success, and had strengthened the Hards Family Society, and the contacts already established. We look forward to the Third Reunion.

The Editor