Club news from around the region

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See the latest reports from clubs around the Advertiser and Review region

Hardy Plant Society Bucks and Oxon Group

Tomorrow, Saturday, we will be holding our annual plant sale at 1.30pm.

This will be followed by Matthew Biggs speaking on Plants in Medicine - The Past, The Present, Your Future. Matthew trained at Kew Botanic Gardens and had been involved with many radio and TV programmes. He is a regular on Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question time.

As well as leading gardening tours, he is an author of several books and has written numerous articles.

The meeting will be held at the Winslow Centre, Park Road, and visitors are most welcome (£5 charge for visitors).

Further details from Ann Draycott on 01525 240281.

Winslow and District Art Society

We are pleased to welcome back Jane Rhodes, as our guest demonstrator on Thursday, April 26, for an evening of painting an atmospheric landscape in pastels. Jane is a well known local artist who exhibits regularly in London and Woburn. We look forward to another exciting and informative evening.

The next WADAS outing will be to Wimpole House and Garden in Cambridgeshire on Wednesday, May 23, coach departing Winslow at 9.30am. This is a unique working estate with an impressive mansion at its heart with beautiful Georgian interiors and wonderful gardens. There is a new restaurant plus cafe using produce from the walled garden and Home Farm. Contact the secretary for more details.

Following our successful spring art show in Winslow members are now looking forward to participating in the Bucks Open Studios fortnight in June. Leaflets for this county wide event will shortly be available from libraries.

WADAS welcomes anyone interested in art to our monthly meetings held at the Winslow Centre on the last Thursday of the month from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, visitors £3. To learn more about the society call the secretary on 01280 813733 or visit our website

Brackley and District History Society

The next meeting of the society will be held on Wednesday, May 2, at 7.30pm. Liz Wooley will talk about Child Labour & Education in the 19th/20th Century.

The meeting is held in the Methodist Church, Brackley. Refreshments are served after the talk.

Cost: members free, visitors £2 and are always welcome. The society meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, Brackley.

For further information contact the secretary on 07917 401228 or email

Royal British Legion Buckingham branch

The next meeting of the Buckingham branch of the Royal British Legion will be held at the Buckingham Athletic Football Club on Wednesday, April 25, from 7.30pm. At this meeting, pupils of the Royal Latin School will be giving a talk and presentation on their visits to Ypres and the Somme. Anybody interested is very welcome to come along.

University of the Third Age

The chairman opened the meeting and welcomed everyone, particularly new members.

He said the committee had still to consider whether to continuing to support charities. He would like to hear of members’ nominated charities before a decision is made. He also said the annual lunch for this year lacked support and had to be cancelled. A decision needs to be made for 2013.

The chairman went on to say he would like to hear suggestions in order to assess members commitments. Cost would be about £21. A show of hands gave a good level of interest. He said there were vacancies for two group co-ordinators: French Lunch 2 and Advanced French.

He went on to stress the importance of the group co-ordinators. He also said that distribution of the U3A magazine had been very hit and miss, to overcome this the relaunched magazine would be sent straight to members private addresses, cost is included in members subs.

Val Bradley, group co-ordinator said The Music for Pleasure Group had been reformed, details were on the notice board at the back of the hall. She also said that the croquet group would meet at the Fireside Café on April 4.

In Beryl Carr’s absence, Jane, her shadow, made several announcements in respect of upcoming outings and theatre visits. The chairman expressed concern that support for theatre trips had declined.

The chairman then said it gave him great pleasure to introduce Ruth Humphrey who was to speak about her escape from the Czech Republic. She began by saying she was one of many Jewish children who were saved as a result of action by Nicholas Winton. He was made aware, in the winter of 1938, of the plight of the Jewish children. He gave up his skiing holiday and joined his friend in Prague.

In the months that followed, although he had no relief agency experience, he worked relentlessly, with others, to rescue as many children as possible and take them to the UK. Under existing policy no child could be admitted without a guarantee of £50 and a home. Ruth continued by saying how Nicholas Winton had save many children’s lives as well as her own. He is now 103 years old and she is still in touch with him. He is also an old boy of Stowe School. Although no direct government help was forthcoming, Winton persisted and obtained sponsorships and homes for a significant number of children. They were to be looked after until they reached 16 or could be returned. On March 14, 1939, the first Czech Kindertransport left Prague. In the following six months, prior to the outbreak of war, 669 children, mainly Jewish, left on eight trains to travel to Britain. Most of the children never saw their parents again. Ruth and her sister found their journey long and hazardous and in constant fear of the Germans.

They were allowed only one small suitcase. When they arrived at Nuremberg, the SS guards came onboard and smashed their modest luggage and took their packed lunches. Ruth herself and her sister arrived at Liverpool Street tired, dirty and hungry. They were sent to Birmingham and placed in the care of a Mr and Mrs Brown. Although the family were extremely kind it took a long time to settle and it was six weeks before she began to eat. She started school after six months.

Her parents were able to write to the Browns to thank them for looking after the sisters. She eventually had a very happy life, marrying and having a family. The US rescued her brother who was dying in a camp and she was able to visit him many years after the war. Before the Czech Railways ceased using steam engines a re-enactment of the Kindertransport took place and Ruth was able to make the trip accompanied by her daughter. They were met at Liverpool Street Station by Nicholas Winton. In 2003, Nicholas Winton was knighted in recognition of the work he did to save the children form the Holocaust. He was also awarded the honour Righteous Among the Nations, only one of three Britons to receive the award. The chairman thanked Ruth and asked if members had any questions. After Ruth responded the chairman then asked the members to give Ruth a vote of thanks, to which they responded enthusiastically.

Brackley Rotary Club

Brackley and district residents are being asked to spring-clean their tool sheds, putting discarded tools to good use.

Brackley Rotary Club is collecting old hand tools to support the Tools for Self Reliance organisation.

The tools may be handed in at Brackley Rotary’s coffee morning at Brackley Town Hall on Friday, April 27, from 10am to noon. The coffee morning and tombola is in support of the local charitable project to bring water to the African village of Mithulini.

Rotarian Ian Watson said: “We need old and new hand tools (carpentry and metal work, but not garden tools). The tools will be serviced and boxed up by disabled people in the Tools for Self Reliance centre in Towcester. The sets will go to the third world for distribution, helping families produce income to support themselves.”

“If you are unable to bring your contribution to the town hall, please email and we will try to make a collection.”

Winslow District Ramblers’ Group

Although the first walk of our March programme was rained off, the remainder of the month gave us an unexpected spell of warm weather and we had an average of 30 members turning up for most of the outings.

On Saturday, March 10, Christine led us on a four-mile ramble from Verney Junction, previously a railway station now a pub/restaurant, across field paths to parts of the Claydons. Our mid-week walk of the month on Wednesday, March 14 was with Cynthia and Eileen who took us around Calverton and the River Ouse, onto Lower and Middle Weald (Anglo-Saxon word for woodland) where there are still lovely views of undulating meadows and medieval ‘ridge and furrow’ markings.

The following Saturday was further south, with Anne and Bill leading a 4.5 mile woodland ramble from Wiggington to Hastoe, via Shrubbs Wood and returning along part of the Ridgeway, the long distance leisure route which comes through to the Chilterns’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

On March 24, Sarah led us on a five-mile ramble from Great Horwood across fields to the pretty village of Adstock, where we sat in the sunshine for our half-way break just outside the Old Thatched Inn, but still counted 33 members for the return journey – well, rambling in sunshine is thirsty work!

Our walks for May (anyone is welcome to come along for a taster):

Saturday, 5th, 2pm, East to Botolph Claydon, five miles, call Val, 01296 670001;

Wednesday, 9th, 10.30am, Whittlebury/Paulerspury, four miles, call Geoff, 01327 855919;

Sunday, 20th, 2pm, Fairford Leys to Stone, five miles, call Rita 01296 433130;

Sunday, 27th, 2pm, Tingewick and Water Stratford, four miles, call Pam, 01908 265182

For more information please see our website

Great Horwood Silver Band

At the Great Horwood Silver Band’s recent meeting, Roy Lack the band’s musical director for many years, returned to playing Euphonium at his own request. Roy has been recording a new CD with the band and will finish the production which is almost complete. Look out for more news of the recording in the near future.

We are pleased to welcome our new musical director, Simon Martin. Simon should not be confused with Simon Martin our Eb bass player with the same name.

Simon was born and brought up in Marple, near Stockport, where he started playing with Marple Junior Band. Simon studied music at Leeds University from 1998 to 2001, and also studied teacher training at Manchester Metropolitan University from 2003 to 2004. He has played trumpet and cornet in many orchestras, bands and ensembles and enjoys a diverse range of music. He lived in Osaka, Japan, where he taught English language.

Simon now lives in Steeple Claydon and is married to Emma, who also plays cornet with us. Emma and Simon are expecting their first child in July. Simon now teaches music at Denbigh School, Milton Keynes, and also plays currently in a big band and a function band.

Len Goodwin, who was unable to attend the meeting because of holidays, was re-elected president in his absence. Bob Hart, Michael Brocklehurst and Ricky Lambert were re-elected vice-presidents.

Roy Lack was re-elected chairman. Daniel Cook was elected by the junior members to represent them on the committee for the next year. Daniel succeeds his sister, Lauren, in the post.

Congratulations to 15-year-old Tom Stoneman who recently obtained grade 7 on trumpet. Well done Tom!

The band’s next engagement will be on Saturday, May 5, on Edlesborough Green from 12.30pm, followed on Saturday, May 19, where they will be playing in the garden of Mr and Mrs Grimditch to raise funds for Saint James Church, Great Horwood. On Monday, June 4 they will be playing again in Great Horwood for the Jubilee celebrations from 3pm. On Saturday June 17, they return to Thornton College to play for their fete.

In 2011 we donated £820 to local and national charities and will be playing to raise funds for several worthy charities this year.

100 Club Winners for March were: Ian Godwin, £12; Graham Saunders, £8.

You can see more about the band and the latest photos on

Maids Moreton Women’s Institute

It is always a pleasure to welcome new members and our numbers have swelled with three new ladies joining in March-April this year. As usual there was plenty of business to to discuss at our meeting on April 11. On Saturday, June 2, we are responsible for providing afternoon tea in the village hall as part of the Jubilee celebrations. Help is required in making cakes and attending on the day. Volunteers are also required to man our stall at Maids Moreton First School fete on July 1.

A trip is being arranged to Coton Manor gardens on June 12. Please contact Enid if you are interested.

We were pleased to be able to congratulate our ‘A’ quiz team for gaining first place in the north Bucks area WI quiz and wish them well for the next round.

Our speaker for the evening was a volunteer from Medical Dogs, which is a new and local charity based in Little Horwood. This charity has set up to train dogs to use their sense of smell in two ways. They are now being used to aid medical clinicians to detect the early signs of cancer by identifying some volatile cells in the urine of some cancer sufferers. This is a research project which could lead to earlier diagnosis in the future.

Secondly, dogs are already being used as medical alert dogs, alerting those with severe diabetes to a change in their sugar levels and fetching their medication for them. These dogs are also helping people with other conditions such as narcolepsy and Addison’s Disease by noting subtle changes in their breath. Having such a valuable dog has increased the confidence and improved the quality of life of about 20 to 25 people so far. Most of the dogs come from rescue centres and money is needed for their upkeep and training so it was satisfying to be able to donate to this worthy cause.

The next meeting is on May 9 and will be the resolution meeting when we will hear details of the proposed resoution on the need for more midwives which is to be discussed at the NFWI annual meeting in May.

The Film Place

This week The Film Place presents The Iron Lady (12A), today, Friday, from 8pm.

Poor Margaret Thatcher, says Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. Her transformation into biopic queen is now complete. Screenwriter Abi Morgan and director Phyllida Lloyd have made a movie about Baroness Thatcher’s flashback-riddled dementia while their subject is still alive. Britain’s most important and controversial postwar prime minister has been recast (rather like Judi Dench’s Iris Murdoch 10 years ago) into a bewildered old lady cherished in dramatic terms for her poignant vulnerability and decline, rather than for her achievements. And, like the screen Iris, she is paired off with kindly Jim Broadbent.

Margaret Thatcher is here an elderly, lonely widow, being kept under virtual house-arrest at a grand London address. She has secretaries and assistants who maintain a light schedule of appearances and photo-ops. She is attended to by her harassed daughter, Carol (Olivia Colman), but chiefly worries about when and whether to throw away suits belonging to her late husband Denis, who appears to her when she is alone, a cheerful dream-ghost played by Broadbent, Philip to her Elizabeth, telling her to come off it and generally buck up.

News of a terrorist bomb-blast in south Asia triggers memories of the IRA’s 1984 Brighton Grand Hotel attack, and Margaret finds herself carried back into the past: her arrival into the Commons (played as a young woman by Alexandra Roach), becoming leader, the 1979 victory, the Falkands, the miners’ strike, the Ronald Reagan love-in (very brief, this), the City boom and finally the inevitable 1990 leadership crisis with Anthony Head and Richard E Grant playing Howe and Heseltine. Margaret Thatcher’s fear of being ‘swamped by an alien culture’ is very much not mentioned, and neither is her less-than-enthusiastic attitude to Nelson Mandela.

I’ve just been dazzled by Streep, says Robbie Collin in the Telegraph. In a career full of great performances, this is surely one of her greatest: the changes in her voice and posture as she moves from youthful, fire-bellied politician to elderly stateswoman develop so smoothly, you could plot them on a bell curve. As time passes, her voice slows and deepens, the corners of her mouth and eyes turn down, her walk loses speed but not purpose. Extraordinarily, at both screenings of The Iron Lady I’ve attended, an audience member has started heckling Streep as if she actually is Thatcher, and while this says something about the hecklers, it says just as much about the quality and accuracy of her work.

Some viewers may be disappointed this biopic lacks an explicit political agenda, but the film succeeds as a drama for that very reason. Lloyd and Morgan have no intention of immortalising their subject: in fact, they do just the opposite, which those with an axe to grind will find even less palatable. They make her fully human.

Next week’s films will be We Have A Pope (PG), on April 27, from 8pm and another showinig of The Iron Lady, on April 28, from 7.30pm.

Brackley European Association

Following on from our two very successful events during March - the bistro evening and coffee morning at the town hall - we are heading for our April gathering which sees us crossing the ‘ts’ and dotting the ‘is’ of our arrangements for the 40th anniversary of twinning with Pavillons-sous-Bois over the weekend of May 18 to 21.

Brackley European Association is one of the oldest twin town groups in the county and signing a 40-year charter is very rare. A suitable statement of our intent to continue with the arrangement has been prepared for signing by the two mayors who, coincidentally, are the same two gentlemen who signed the 25th anniversary charter in 1997, namely Christopher Cartmell, for Brackley, and Philippe Dallier, for Pavillons-sous-Bois. This will be done in the bowls club at the celebration luncheon on Sunday, May 20, at 3pm and will provide a photo-opportunity.

Thursday, April 26, lower town hall from 8pm is our meeting and we would like to publicly put on record our thanks to mayor Theo Hayward who has been very supportive of our association during her period as mayor. Thank you Theo, you will always be welcome to any of our activities. To find out more about us phone secretary Tony Marks on 01280 703166 or Anita Robbins on 01295 712388.

Buckingham Inner Wheel

Our president Pam Coughlan welcomed 32 members and two potential members to our evening dinner meeting this month.

The speaker was Nick Honor from the Medical Detection Dogs Organisation who gave a very informative talk on how dogs are trained to be able to detect human diseases. Medical alert dogs pick up on scents given off by the human breath and have proved invaluable in helping people with diabetes, asthma, Addison’s Disease and many others.

A small video showed how dogs alerted their owners to the onset of an attack and in many cases bringing their medication kits to them. This also helps to cut down on hospital visits. At the moment there are over 50 people waiting for a dog but this is a self funding organisation and the cost of training a dog is £10,000.

The suprise for the evening was being joined by Lesley Nicole (the cook from Downton Abbey) who is patron to the society. She signed her photographs in return for a small donation for the organisation.