Clubs and Community

Towcester's last Roman Chris Juris with U3A chairman Chris Lofts
Towcester's last Roman Chris Juris with U3A chairman Chris Lofts

Buckingham Railway Walk Conservation Group

Volunteers will be in action along the Railway Walk Buckingham on Saturday, June 4. In an effort to improve the water course leading to the pond we will be digging in the mud this month.

Water from a spring slowly wends its way along the old track bed before eventually draining into the pond. The route has become silted up with organic matter in the form of decaying leaves and fallen branches, so manual removal of this debris is required to help the flow of water. We will also be tidying up the area which will include litter picking.

As usual we will be meeting at 10am in the University Car Park at the top of Station Road Buckingham.

Tools, safety equipment and light refreshments are provided. Volunteers are advised to wear old outdoor clothing and wellies or boots.

Everyone works at their own pace, and we aim to finish by 2pm at the latest. For further information please contact Jenny Manning on 01280 815223 or railwaywalk@hotmail.co.uk

Inner Wheel of Buckingham

Gerry Bluck, President of the club welcomed our guest speaker, Ruth Humphreys to the May dinner meeting. After an enjoyable meal, Ruth, who now lives in Padbury, spoke to us about how she was rescued from Czechoslovakia during the second world war.

Ruth who was 10, along with her sister Hannah, 14, were transported from a very happy life with their parents in Czechoslovakia to England in 1939 in an operation later known as Czech Kindertransport. Ruth emotionally described to us the events that led up to the evacuation and the terrifying journey she travelled along with 688 Jewish children to safety in England.

Ruth explained that she owes her life to the man who organised the rescue, Sir Nicholas Winton, a former pupil at Stowe school. Ruth described the frightening journey that the children had to endure without food and drink in order to escape the camps like Auschwitz where many of the children’s parents died.

She bravely enlightened us of some of the atrocities which occurred in the camps of which her uncle, who survived the concentration camps ,had informed her when they finally met years later in Austria. Ruth was taken in by a family in Birmingham and had to then endure air raids and separation from her sister.

Despite such a traumatic start to her young life Ruth has such a positive outlook on life and through her experience of being helped has been and continues to be committed to helping others by way of volunteering at the Willen Hospice shop amongst other activities.

The business meeting then followed during which Gerry informed the club members which charities she would like to support with donations of money that have been raised this year through our various events.

The Film Place

The Film Place will also be holding a fundraising Garden Party. Come and enjoy a June evening in this beautiful garden with a glass of Pimms, taste a delicious pate and have fun guessing cinema’s pin-up stars in an informal quiz.

Tickets cost £7.50 each from The Box Office (film nights only), The Old Gaol, or from Kathy Robins, Walnut Yard, Church Street, Buckingham, or email kathyrobins@walnutyard.co.uk or 01280 813967.

Blue Valentine (15) will be showing on Friday, June 3 at 8pm and Saturday, June 4 from 6-8pm.

And next week Archipelago (15) will show on Friday, June 10 at 8pm and West Is West (15) on Saturday, June 11 at 7.30pm.

Blue Valentine tells the story of Dean and Cindy’s marriage. They have a lovely daughter, Frankie and a home in rural Pennsylvania but they have grown apart in the intervening years and neither know nor understand how to rekindle that spark.

Archipelago is set on the island of Tresco, the heart of the Scilly Isles offering a haven for holidaymakers. At least that is what distressed mother Patricia hopes for when bringing her disparate family together for a relaxing holiday on the eve of son Edward’s departure for Africa. She hires a cook, Rose to take care of the domestic chores and introduces her painter teacher Christopher into the household to tease out the tangled tensions that have grown between them. Will it work?

West is West is the hilarious follow-up to multicultural hit East to East, revisiting the Khan family in mid-1970s Salford.

Towcester Choral Society

Towcester Choral Society presents ‘Spring into Summer’ in Towcester Town Hall on Tuesday,June 7 at 7.30pm. The concert will include a selection of popular, well known songs, as well as some new items especially chosen by the society’s new musical director Helen Swift.

Tickets are priced at £7 for adults and £3 for under16s and are available by telephoning 01604 859645. Price includes wine/soft drinks.

Bicester Univeristy of the Third Age

At our meeting on Thursday, May 26, the chairman reminded members to make sure of a place on our 25th Anniversary Event on Friday, September 16 at the House of Commons by paying their deposit by the end of June. We will be having a guided tour of the building, followed by Afternoon Tea on the terrace with Toby Baldry MP.

She then introduced Matthew Richardson who talked on Analytical Hypnotherapy. He was an excellent speaker. Our next special event is a Cream Tea Quiz on June 16 at Wendlebury Village Hall. Tickets are £2.50 and need to be ordered by June 10 at the latest. Then on Thursday, June 23, our next regular meeting will feature a talk by Simon Gilbert on Opera to the Musicals – A Singers Approach. For details on meetings and membership ring Christine Cox on 01869 601798 or visit www.u3asites.org.uk/bicester.

Royal British Legion, Buckingham

This year is the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Royal British Legion. You are all invited to come along to celebrate this event at a Pig Roast at Akeley Village Hall commencing at 5pm on Saturday, June 11.

Music will be provided by Local Band ‘Rufus Stone’. There will be a bar, tombola and a plant sale. Tickets are £8 each and can be obtained from Brian on 07740582024 or Ray on 07941034075 or Mark on 07836698208. Admission is strictly by ticket only. The event is organised by the Grenville Lodge of Buckingham in support of the Buckingham Branch of the RBL.

Town Twinning Square Dancers

Buckingham’s Share a Square and U3A Squares were privileged to be invited to our Twin Town of Mouvaux, near Lille, to participate in a Gala de Dance.

We were overwhelmed by the reception we received from the audience, foot stamping and cheers, as well as by the hospitality offered by the French Town Twinners and Dancers.

There were two performances over the weekend of May 20-22 and for the rest of the time we were looked after so generously; we didn’t have to spend a cent once we arrived. The theme of the Gala was stamps and the pieces performed by the French dancers were imaginative depictions of the pictures used on their postage stamps.

The Square Dancers used the idea of Love Letters using popular songs from the UK Hit Parade and were thrilled when the audience joined the singing.

Winslow Community Bus

The bus luckily avoided most of the wet and windier weather on it’s days out to Savill Gardens and Banbury last week, so a good time was had by all.

We still have tickets left to visit Wakehurst Place on Thursday, June 9. Known as Kew’s ‘country garden’, it is over 450 acres of country estate in West Sussex, with ornamental gardens, temperate woodlands and an Elizabethan mansion. Travel plus entrance is £18, £6.50 to NT members. Much enjoyed by those who visited last year.

We are also going to Coton Manor House, a peaceful 10-acre garden near Northampton, on Tuesday, June 14. Tickets are £11.50 for travel and entrance. We have tickets left for Midnight Tango at MK Theatre on Wednesday, June 15. If you enjoyed Strictly Come Dancing, this is for you! Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone have created their own live show – it’s had great reviews for the live Argentinean music, the exciting dancing of course and the fabulous costumes. Our tickets are £20 each for ticket and travel.

To book a seat or for more information about the bus please ring Sue: 01296 715786 or Renata on 01296 712568 between June 8 and 28. Our website is www.winslowbus.com

Winslow District Ramblers

Our May programme began with a walk from Hinton in the Hedges, near Brackley, and a Milton Keynes walk from Shenley to Hazeley Wood via Swan’s Way and the North Bucks Way. Then came the highlight of our year, the annual outing, which was a wonderful and well organised ramble at Rutland Water. After morning coffee at the nearby Barnsdale Lodge hotel, our coach dropped us off at the reservoir’s peninsula for a five mile walk of its perimeter. With such stunning scenery all around us, this first walk went surprisingly quickly, and although we didn’t see the famous Ospreys there was a rare sighting of Egyptian Geese and seven goslings.

The afternoon’s two mile route took us to the partially submerged church at Normanton, an amazing sight with its upper part now a museum, and across the top of the reservoir’s dam. Then a brief rest in our coach before arriving at the lovely market town of Stamford where we enjoyed time to wander around the historic buildings, the banks of the river Welland, and to sample a tasty tea shop or two.

We had three more walks to finish the month – around Stone and Eythrope Park, Marsworth and the Grand Union Canal, and a ‘Mursley Mystery Walk’.

Walks planned for July are:

Saturday, June 9 at 2pm in Stratton Audley (four miles): call Brenda on 01869 277774 for details.

Sunday, June 17 at 2pm in West Bletchley (5.5miles): call Irene on 01296 714730.

Saturday, June 23 at 2pm in Bow Brickhill (six miles): call Jill/Geoff on 01327 855919.

Sunday, June 31 at 2pm in North Marston (five miles): call Susan on 07939015050.

For more information visit www.bucksinfo.net/winslow-district-ramblers-group

Towcester University of the Third Age

On Wednesday, May 25, 100 members of Towcester U3A gathered to celebrate their first anniversary.

The master of ceremonies was chairman Chris Lofts. He managed to hold the excitement in check for a while by starting the proceedings with an AGM. The key point was the growth in membership, up from 86 at the first meeting in May 2010 to well over 200 now.

Chris cut the cake made by the members of the Cookery Group. It was in the best ‘birthday cake’ tradition with a model of Towcester’s Bury Mount and Mill Stream on top. The group displays were as varied as the subjects themselves. The Wine Appreciation Group ‘interactive display’, providing members with thimble sized samples of different wines, was particularly popular.

“What about the fancy dress?” you may ask. That was provided by the last member of Towcester’s Roman garrison, Juris Trede, who paraded in the uniform of a senior Roman officer.

Towcester U3A is a self-help organisation run by retired residents in and around Towcester. A monthly talk is normally held in the Town Hall at 2pm on the last Wednesday in each month. For more details, visit www.u3asites.org.uk/towcester or contact Chris Lofts on 01327 354396.