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Gossip - November

Courtesy of SCAN magazine

A little bird tells me that......

We called in to The White Hart this week following reports that the old place was about to re-open and we found plenty going on too. Answering the call to 'Come in', we stumbled over barrows and building stone, bricks, mortar and 'what have you' and, having gained admission, met our new Landlady and joint propietor, Mrs Pat Aisthorpe, who, with her husband, Nigel, and family, Lucy 19, Sophie 15 and Giles aged 20 are hard at work reshaping the interior to meet their own requirements. They also have three other hard-working helpers and, with their own deadline to meet, they didn't need the likes of us to impede the work but Pat was kind enough to fill us in with a few details. The family previously ran a pub near Arlesey, Bedford and have had some years of experience in that line of business. They intend running The White Hart as a Free House. (No, that does not mean free beer) and, should all go according to plan, they will open about the third week in November. They are looking forward immensely to joining the community of Sherington and, on behalf of SCAN readers, we bid them welcome and may all go well with them.

The Thumbstick Walkers went to Castlethorpe Mill, Lincoln Lodge, Pindon Manor and Bozenham Mill last time out and much enjoyed the new hunting ground. Next walk will be 'Searchlight Walk' and we have again been invited to join our Emberton friends upon finishing the walk, to take refreshment at West Lane House, the home of Edward and Caroline Ellis. 'Tis a lovely gesture and a most welcome one. But be warned to place £1.50 in your pocket because we are privy to the fact that, on that morning, they are holding their Marmalade Sale and we wouldn't want you to miss anything. Please meet on The Knoll at 7.30 on Sunday, November 30th and, of course, please drive down and no dogs please.

Had a posh Volvo pull up in the lane last month on a quiet Sunday afternoon - one of those lovely summer ones - and saw someone alight from the rear seat and we at once recognised Mrs Pam Carvill, formerly Pam Keech, one time of this village. Then we saw that her brother, Ron, was the driver. Now, we hadn't seen Ron Keech for a long time but his interest in the village is no less and very soon he was bringing up the names of his schooltime friends. He now lives near Coalville, Leicester, in a small village called Ravenstone where he and his wife, Heather, own and run a Petrol Station, Shop and a Motor Testing Station. We had a good ole chin wag and Ron sends his good wishes to all his old school friends and others who remember the Charlie and Ethel Keech family living up 'The Jitty' (Hills Yard).

We hear that our former school caretaker, Mrs Vicky Brown of Park Road, has retired from that post after many years of loyal service. We wish her happy days in her new environment and add our thanks for a job well done. Thank you, Vicky.

St Lauds Choirmistress, Mrs Jill Burgess, last week informed SCAN Choir that they are under invitation to sing in Kings College, Cambridge, in March 1998, where the Royal School of Church Music is giving a performance of Stainers 'Crucifixion'. More of that nearer the date.

'Twas a dreadful night weather-wise on the night of the SHEFCO Show and the football was on too, thus the numbers in attendance were down but we still had a lovely evening and Peter put on the Feast film again. A much enjoyed get-together with no one in a hurry to go home.

Now, in spite of a celebration on another date, we are reliably informed that Mr Archie Whatton celebrates his 80th birthday on Wednesday, November 12th and we offer him our heartiest congratulations on this achievement.

Doesn't it make you want to spit?! Everybody out in the sticks has a Petrol Can. Think about it. How many times have you used those two words in your life? Not petrol bottle or bucket, but CAN. We have had the same five gallon petrol can for years, nay, generations. With Haynes no longer selling petrol in the village we have to go out of town and take the petrol can. Have you tried it lately? If you want petrol don't take a can because they won't serve you. Oh, no. You have got to have a plastic vessel now. It is, all at once, safer to have this highly inflammable liquid in a plastic container than in a metal can, can you believe, and the colour of the container has to be relative to the colour coding of the grade of petrol so you can't put 4 star red in a green container. Where are we going? Does anybody know?

It is noticed that our old friends, the barrels and pallets, have turned up again on top of Chicheley Hill. I remind the Unitary Authority that if anyone else deposited such as that without permission they would be hauled before the law. How much longer are we to tolerate this untidy vandalism along our roadside whilst over the hedge is an acre of so called 'storage area' never used. For far too long now the finest view across the Ouse Valley has been desecrated by the local authority without one jot of consideration for our village and it is time to put a stop to it once and for all.

A bloke went into Virginia House Stores looking for Sugarsweet Lane, Sherington. He couldn't find it anywhere. It took Alan's ingenuity to discover that he actually wanted the village of Shenington, near Bandbury and not here at all. This has happened several times over the years but then, what's in a name.

We shall be parking the caravan on The Knoll again for the Christmas 'Give a Tin' day to support the local branch of the Salvation Army. Bring what you like in the way of pre-packed food stuffs but tins are much easier and convenient. We will be on The Knoll on Saturday, November 15th, 1997, from 9am until 12.30 and we will be very pleased for you to call and have a word and a sit down.

Nick Leach called in on his way from Jericho to Jerusalem, or was it Johannesburg to Gothenberg, last week and emphasised on behalf of all our readers abroad, how important SCAN is to them. Apparently they read it through - adverts and all. Nick tells us that Birgitte and Stefan are O.K. and that all is well with them in South Africa.

Crossing over the border into 'Bullfinch' territory for a minute we understand that our old friend, Tom Bradshaw, is back in Orchard Way and we say, 'Welcome back home, Tom, and let's see you out and about very soon.'

As we go to press on the eve of the Formula One World Championship in Jerez, we learn that Dave Williams, General Manager of Williams Grand Prix Engineering, is getting towards the edge of his chair. Whichever way it goes it's been a good season and may the best man win on Sunday. Watch out for the Union Jack in Church End.

Our front cover Graphic Artist, Mike Inskipp, who has been so helpful over the years, has changed direction professionally and has had to relinquish his unpaid post as our man 'responsible for art'. Thanks Mike for all your support and good fortune in the future.

Every so often we bump into supporters of SCAN who are very generous towards our cause and we mention that in the light of recent gestures. Thank you indeed.

Mr P E Smith (Tel: 610984) is doing Willen Hospice cards again.

Gossip - October

Courtesy of SCAN magazine

A little bird tells me that......

The Thumbstick Walkers will meet on the Knoll at 7am on Sunday, 5 October 1997 and will you please drive down as it is more than likely that we will walk out of town. Last month the Walkers 'trespassed' into Peter Jeffrey country via the Co-op car park, Broadmead ford, Rookery Farm, Dollars Grove and back via Beryl who was taking breakfast, and there we are. Nice walk, didn't see anyone about, maybe they weren't up?

Had an interesting walk on Saturday 13 September; 45 youngsters from the Deanery camp at Lathbury Park walked from their encampment to Quarry Hall and on to Tyringham Church where they rested awhile before coming past the boathouse and the windmill, along by Cutthroat Spinney and up Water Lane to St Lauds where a short 'Hymn, story and prayer' service was given by Pauline Stanton-Saringer and thus back to Lathbury. Coupled with the historic Bike Ride Day there was considerable toing and froing about St Lauds on the day.

The meeting about the Millennium will doubtless be reported elsewhere in the columns of SCAN, but you should be reminded that there is a suggested campaign afoot to plant 2000 trees in celebration of the event and should anyone feel disposed to subscribe in any way, then please make it known. It looks as if a steering committee will be formed shortly and any promise of support will be welcomed.

Middling year for pears. Last year Ted Pepper had a cart load and a half laying under his tree and there were far more hanging on the bough, and that mind you after most of the village had taken what they wanted, and that isn't anywhere near what Jack Watson had on his tree years ago, but we won't go into that.

Are there some amongst us who never read their SCAN, can't be, can it? Why you couldn't sleep of a night unless you had gleaned every word of this wonderful gossip booklet, could you? Blimey, if Murdoch and Co could get the formula of the success of this local paper then they would be pleased indeed, so to those who ask do you read your SCAN, we shout in a very loud voice on their behalf 'Yes, of course, we do'.

They say there is another telephone mast going up at Chicheley Hill, doubtless to encourage more drivers with their mobile phones to conduct their business whilst negotiating the double roundabout nearby. It won't be long before we have a small cooker on the dash to enable us to cook a bacon sandwich as we hurtle along the by-pass, diary in one hand and the phone in the other.

Immediately we announced the evening of celebration to recognise the 20th anniversary of the Sherington Feast Revival, it was made known to us that we were crossing the path of the North Bucks Deanery Choirs Festival and that some of our best supporters would miss out on the event. Try as we might to find an alternative it can't be done and so we shall have to hold to Saturday, 11 October for the 'Shefco Night'. Watch out for notices in the village. There will be a charge, something quite reasonable. If you want a drink, bring your own and bring the children with you if you so wish.

As we went to press last month we heard the sad news of the passing of Mrs Nora Bearman, wife of our former Rector, the Rev Leslie Bearman. This village owes a great deal to the Rev and Mrs Bearman because they took over the place though 'the cupboard was bare' and lesser incumbents would have packed their bags and moved on, but these two were made of stronger stuff and from the basic pillars of St Lauds turned the place, in the main, as you see it today. Behind every successful man stands a woman we are told, that was certainly the case with the Bearmans and we send our condolence to the Rev Leslie Bearman and his family, Michael, Hilary and Pauline.

Older villagers will remember with fond and cheerful affection Mrs Charlie West who lived in Rose Cottage, next to the Post office, and of her children Eileen, Nina, Ken, Pat, David and Bob. Many years ago Pat went out to Queensland, Australia and in recent times we heard the news that she was suffering a terminal illness and last month that she had passed away in her mid-sixties. Sherington was represented by Frank and Eunice Sweet and Brian and Susan Sweet and some others who had village connections. So in far away Queensland Pat was cremated and may her soul rest in peace. Our sympathy goes to her husband, John, and her daughter, Janice, along with the rest of the family.

And finally we report the passing of Trevor Bennett, lately of Olney, but one of our village lads and son of Bill Bennett and the late Mrs Bennett of Church Road. His untimely death in his mid-fifties was brought about by a terminal illness that was borne with great courage and endurance. Experience will tell us that it is not easy when the children pass on whilst the aged parents survive and our sympathy goes out to Bill Bennett and Trevor's family in their sad loss.

Gossip - September

Courtesy of SCAN magazine

A little bird tells me that......

Within the last two weeks John and Kerry Kitchen, with their two little girls, Amy and Jo, have moved into the former home of John's parents,(the late John and June) and we bid them a special welcome back to Church Road. John and June's ever-open door was a considerable pleasure to many in the village and while it is not intended to suggest that John Jr. and Kerry try to emulate that, it is good to see the old house 'alive' again.

Many are the visitors and friends and relations who have paid us a call during the summer, among them Mrs Susan Kirby and her husband, Roger, who are here from Mackay, Australia, (somewhere near the Great Barrier Reef we are told). They are here for five weeks. Susan, formerly Susan Keech, daughter of Stan and Bing, tells us that she has spent more years there than here but are enjoying 'The Old Country'. Roger is a native of Olney so he hasn't far to go to see his 'ain folk'. It was lovely to see them again albeit a bit of Aussie had crept into their North Bucks accent.

As we write (August 20th) the gathering of the harvest is going full strength and Messrs Cook, with three of the biggest combines you ever saw, are just over half way through. What on earth our forebears would have said about these giants we know not but a field of 50/60 acres is swallowed up in no time. However one loves the sentiment of last month's SCAN cover with 3 horses abreast pulling the binder, equally we must marvel at modern science and all that it brings. And that includes no stubble burning! Moving along the road a little bit further we see that Russell has also got most of his harvest in and the scuffle has been at work on the hills. 'All this world is God's own field'.

And now will you join in the chorus of 'Happy Birthday' to Jean Haynes who has now retired from full-time work having reached her ---? birthday. With time on her hands, she recently entered a flower arranging competition organised by a leading seed merchant and held at their company headquarters in Ipswich. Jean's entry was a hanging bag made up of petunias and such was her talent that she got through to the finals. It was an enjoyable weekend and she had great satisfaction from the whole competition. 'Well done!' we say.

The Thumbstick walkers will meet on The Knoll on Sunday, September 7th at 7am and will you please drive down. Everyone is welcome but no dogs please.

Thank you all, everyone of you, for the wonderful support you gave to the Myrtle Peach Auction held on the Swan car park in July. Thank you, Trevor, Eleanor and Trudy for yet again allowing us to do as we liked in arranging things the way we wanted them. That you all brought goods and merchandise after 4pm to sell at 7pm and raise 732 by 9.30pm is quite staggering! Derek Ferris F.O.C. is worthy of special mention and clearly is without compare in the role of auctioneer.

Have you ever followed a slow moving farm tractor along the main road and seethed at the farmer and everyone else and asked 'Why the hell don't they take these things off the public highway?'. Well, we have news for you. That's what our local farming company has done. For centuries, down the ages, Quarry Hall Farm at Lathbury and Bottom Farm in Water Lane, Sherington have been linked through common ownership or tenancy and through all that time vehicles and personnel have had to journey along the main road from Tyringham direction to Woad corner, along Sherington Road, into Sherington, down Water Lane to finish up at Bottom Farm which is less than a mile as the crow flies from where they started, but 5 tedious miles along the aforesaid route. But all that is about to change. Last Thursday,August 14th, following months of planning and careful study, a steel girder bridge some 100 feet long and capable of carrying twenty-five tons, was placed over the river Great Ouse at the point where the old railway embankment was, and indeed, still is.

The bridge has to be 1/2 a metre (20 inches) above the highest recorded flood level and so the whole construction may look somewhat high at present but, given time will be O.K. The bridge was manufactured by Messrs. C.A.E.C. Howard of Bedford under the personal supervision of Mr Brian Howard. Privately owned, there is no public right of usage, but, when completed and the trees are planted, any resident of Sherington Parish will be welcome to use it - on foot.

That lady keeps putting her plate up wanting to be called a Sheringtonian - after only having been here for 22 years! What on earth next?! Did you realise that it is 20 years this year since the first revived feast? And don't you think that a drink all round is called for on account of that? O.K. then, we'll have one. Are you a member of SHEFCO or were you associated in any way with helping with that first feast? All right, whether you were or not, would you support a get-together in the Village Hall on Saturday, October 11th at 7.30pm? And would you bring your own drink and join in a sing-song and have a glimpse of a film of the 1977 feast and listen to some bore sing 'The Farmer's Boy' and all the rest of it? Then ring 610984 and don't leave it too long because, make no mistake, this one will be a sell out. Bring the kids if you like but book early if you want to get in. Ring 610984 now.

We attended a very enjoyable barbecue last week and in the programme of events was a 'walk round the village quiz'. Taking part were people who had been born in Sherington and it was expected that they would win comprehensively. Not on your life - one came 4th and the other last. Couple that with its forerunner a week or so earlier when Tony Parkinson of Carters Close held his event and The Village Elder got 2 out of 29 questions right. Moral of the story:don't enter quizzes by either John Cook or Tony because you'll lose - that is if you were born here.

And so begins a new Academic Year and we certainly wish well all those who are starting school and donning their school uniform for the first time, Equally there are some who have come to the end of their University course and have gained their degree. Following is a poem written by the Mother of one such. Methinks that it expresses the feelings of many of us who are proud of our children's accomplishments.


Dear Liz, we're very proud of you
For gaining your degree.
It comes as no surprise to us,
The reason's plain to see.
Determination is the key,
And that you have in plenty,
For perseverance, too, we give you
Twenty out of twenty.

We know you had misgivings
When you started on the course,
But overcame these worries
With great courage and resource.
And though, at times, you found the work
Formidable and tough,
You never thought to give it up
And say 'I've had enough!'

So finally the day has come
To see your graduation:
The day we've all looked forward to
With great anticipation.
They'll hand you your diploma
And we'll all applaud and say...
'Well done! Congratulations!'
To Elizabeth, M.A.

Gossip - July/August

Courtesy of SCAN magazine

A little bird tells me that......

"Spring's a little late this year" so the old song goes, but who cares now that the spring clean, so long promised, has eventually arrived. The Council has given us a polish and gritted the roads throughout the village making us look tidier than we have for a long time. Chicheley Hill is the exception, of course, but even here we are given to understand that things are looking brighter and we could see some progress later on this year. Our councillors, all of them - Parish, Borough and County, have kept up a goodish pressure to bring this about and good on 'em!

Whilst "on the prowl" round Manor Farm recently we noticed David oiling the chains and sharpening the cutters and doing the routine maintenance that is so vital to the farming industry. On this particular day he was working on the combine and we remarked that it was only Haytime yet - not Harvest - but he gently reminded us that in another four weeks they will be combining according to form and soon after that it will be apple picking time and so it goes on apace.

While walking in Lakes Lane last week who should come biking along but Eric Chappill (who kept The Swan at Sherington for 18 years). Now in his mid-eighties he tells us that he and his wife, Edna, have been married for 60 years and although she is now somewhat housebound, she still keeps up with the news. Eric was telling us of when he played cricket for Sherington, (they played in the Leys in those days) and one man would always drive his car as near to the pitch as possible. Despite several warnings he wouldn't move back with the inevitable result that Eric, a renowned batsman, put one down to the boundary and in so doing shattered the windscreen of the Jaguar much to Bernard Hedges anguish and cost.

The summer concert given by the Newport Pagnell Singers was a very successful affair and we are told that the main work, Elgar's "Banner of St George", was enjoyed by audience and performers alike. Our thanks to all who made the thing so enjoyable and maid money for SCAN magazine as well.

And how about that Deanery Service in St Laud's recently!. And the preacher man too. All stirring stuff! "We thought we came to listen to the music, not face it." A lovely service and some fine singing to support it. All worth going to church for.

We are reminded that the Myrtle Peach Auction is arranged for the evening of Saturday, July 19th at 7pm sharp. Seven o'clock sharp. Once more, Trevor, Eleanor and Trudy have invited us to use The Swan car park and so, in accordance with tradition, we shall take the trailer round in the afternoon at 4pm, and from then on someone will be in attendance to receive your gifts and offerings. Now don't let's make any mistake about this. Each and every year we expect you all to support the event by bringing something worthwhile to sell and then, having donated it, we expect you to buy something back. It's quite easy really; you bring and then you buy. Derek Ferris will be your auctioneer and the Myrtle Peach Trust will benefit. Please turn up by the shoal and bring a nice evening weather-wise. See you there. The Myrtle Peach Trust - Seven O'clock sharp - Saturday July 19th.

The front cover of SCAN last month had a middling reception. It was of Lathbury Church and was taken from inside the church facing the Trevor Monument. "A somewhat featureless affair" was the impression we gained from one or two observers. School reports would say "Must try harder". Sorry about that. (I liked it ...SCAN Ed.)

The Thumbstick Club. As we write we are within an ace of the longest day and our early morning walk. Last time we went to Ravenstone Mill, through the "Rec." at Stoke Goldington, over Mount Pleasant and dropped into Ravenstone to take the Mill Road back to our starting point. A lovely walk and good fresh air. Next walk will be on July 27th from the Knoll at 7am. No dogs please.

The Church Confirmation Service on June 20th played to a full house and with the seating arrangements reversed. (That is with the Altar under the west window.) Of the 24 candidates many were from this village and it was comforting to notice that there were, among them, complete family units. 'Twas most enjoyable and the President, the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt. Revd. Richard Harris, gave a fine sermon.

Another great pleasure came our way today and that was speaking by telephone to Mrs Edna White who is now in residence with her daughter, Carol, in the district of Norwich. As is typical of "Ed", she tells us that she cannot do certain things as she used to ans she doesn't remember things quite as well and that maybe she is losing her confidence slightly. Well, all these things may be so but it didn't seem so to us. As far as we were aware she sounded very much the same old Edna and it was sheer delight to try to force a word in edgeways. All joking apart, she is still a very grateful person and we know that she sends her love and best wishes to you all and we certainly return those sentiments. Effectively she has sold her home in Sherington and the new owners are from the village anyway in the name of Trevor and Eleanor Findull of the Swan Inn. And so, after 64 years in Sherington we bid adieu to our old friend, Edna, and wish her Godspeed in all she does.

Sherington lost an old friend recently with the passing of Frederick Percy Lane at the age of 74 years. Fred came here from Ravenstone before the war and he attended school here. The Lane family had moved into Home Farm where Dr and Jenny Skinner now live and it was from there that Fred Lane met and married Audrey Goss, a member of the well-known farming family. They farmed at Stoke Goldington for many years and finally retired to a small holding at Warrington.

We also record the passing of Don Brown, formerly of Sherington Place and latterly of Sharnbrook, Bedford.

Finally, Mrs Phyllis Cook died recently in her home in Thame, Oxford. She and her husband, Ben Crook, built the bungalow in Gun Lane, formerly known as "Coney Grey". What pleasure they had from creating the garden there! Mr Crook was, for many years, the Bucks County Road Surveyor and was a very well known figure hereabouts. Mrs Crook was formerly a Miss Jefferson whose forebears farmed at Home Farm, Chicheley and Mercers Farm in Sherington. This village owed a great deal to them both. Many of the trees, particularly in the Gun Lane area are a lasting tribute to these genuine country lovers.

What's all this?! No SCAN until September?! Eight weeks off? No, not quite. Look out for the "Meantime" next month and let's have your copy for anything worthy of mention. Have a good holiday, all of you.

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Latest update: 3 December 1997

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