Thankful Villages Sportive
The Thankful Villages event is cycling sportive in aid of Service Charities.
Cycling sportives are non-competitive cycling events. They cater for a wide range of cycling abilities by offering riders a choice of courses over multiple distances.
The Thankful Villages events are themed cycling supportives. They are designed to both commemorate the sacrifice of soldiers who served in the Great War (and the Second World War that followed) and offer riders an opportunity to support today's veterans.
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A 'Thankful Village' is one in which all the inhabitants who went off to war in 1914-1918 returned; if not unscathed at least alive. (A Doubly Thankful Village is one which repeated this experience after 1939-1945.) There are 41 Thankful Villages in England and Wales; of which four are in Nottinghamshire (Cromwell, Maplebeck, Wigsley, and Wysall).
The smallest of a trio of settlements, Wigsley; along with Thorney and Harby, form a small enclave in Nottinghamshire that juts out into its neighbouring county, Lincolnshire.
Wigsley’s recent history holds points of interest which relates both World Wars of the previous. The village had the good fortune of not losing a single man to the devastating conflict of the First World War and is now classed as a Thankful Village, a term first coined by the writer Arthur Mee in 1936. During the Second World War the construction of the RAF Wigsley Aerodrome was undertaken, donning its uniquely designed three-story control tower, which still survives to this day. Next
Cromwell is situated on the old Great North Road, 130 miles North of London between the market towns of Newark and Retford in Nottinghamshire, this little village was known to the Romans who built a villa here close to their two major highways, the ‘Fosse Way’ and ‘Watling Street’. Domesday Book (1086) recorded it as Crunwelle meaning 'Crooked Stream' from the Old English words Crumb and Wella.
There are no records of how many of Cromwell's men went to the Great War of 1914 – 1918, but we do know that all of them made their way back up the Great North Road to their home, making Cromwell one of the four 'Thankful Villages' in the County of Nottinghamshire. Next
Maplebeck sent two of its sons to the Great War: William Henfrey and Percy Whitworth. Their service in the Army illustrates that chance and random luck determined whether this village would be a "Thankful" one or not.
Henfrey came through unharmed and returned to Maplebeck, taking up the trade of butcher. Whitworth's photograph, which was reproduced in "Maplebeck - Continuity and Change" by Rachel Gardner, (Nottinghamshire Living History Archive, 2002), shows a cap badge, which looked at through a magnifying glass, depicts that of the West Yorkshire Regiment. Gardner suggests Whitworth was wounded twice. The first was a minor injury when a bullet hit his cigarette case and the second time he was wounded by shrapnel. He was left in the field for five days before being picked up by a German patrol. If the patrol had not noticed that this English soldier was injured, not dead, Percy would have been left there instead of being rescued as a prisoner of war and thus Maplebeck would not be a Thankful Village. Next
Wysall is a small village in Nottinghamshire, steeped in history and heritage and situated in beautiful countryside just eleven miles south of Nottingham. The 2001 census suggests it had a population of three hundred and twenty one.
Twelve men from Wysall served in the Great War, and they all came home again. In celebration of their safe return, a clock was installed in the church tower, with a brass plaque dedicated to them just inside the south door. As they did not suffer any fatilities they became one of four ‘Thankful Villages’ in Nottinghamshire. Back to Start
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