The 25th Anniversary Celebration in 1998
by David Horne, one of our founding members, who walked from London for the event
...So we came into Clovelly the next brilliantly sunny morning, and to the end of our walking: we had run out of days, had to reach Keveral the next day. For the day following was the twenty-fifth of July, the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration.
That turned out to be a peerless, glittering jewel of a day. Being back in that beloved place, with its swallows and more martins than ever, and a gathering of people greater than I'd known, and there being evidently skills enough, had the feeling that our Herculean labours all those years back were fruitful. It was a powerful feeling and one that can bias an assessment of a day. The seven of us, and a couple of children besides, walked down that beautiful lane to the little bay, we swam in the level sea and ate a picnic. We climbed back to the valley field, now a site for tents in an orchard. I was squinting up incredulous at the fine-fibred scarves and lacework shawls of high cloud, when I saw right over us a bright rainbow in the vapour. "A sign, a sign" cried the people in the field. "A rainbow on a twenty-fifth anniversary betokens another twenty five years of fruitful unrelenting hard labour, digging and delving, growing, dancing to the seasons drum".
A flute called down from the yard, calling us with rapid gutturals and shrills away from our little fire, where Oak had cooked a welcoming meal the evening before. We went up to the farm, took some food up to The Mound (diggings from the cellerage of the Tudor manor house may have topped a prehistoric burial mound!) and watched the sun set. Down in the darkening yard there was a bonfire, and hundreds of people, and a band playing. Then came fire-juggling on the natural stage of the hillside above the yard, loops and wheels and figures of flame, leading to a sustained display of fireworks building an aerial wall of sparks and tracers of burning colour and domes of light-drops opening over us, and taking us in. The climax left the letters spelling Keveral burning against the dark, and at this an ecstatic cheering broke from the crowd. Oh, Keveral, what a celebration!