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Article for the Village News – December 2012.

After the Fabulous Fireworks display (Thanks David!) at the start of the month, one’s mind turns to the Christmas season and the Horti’s annual ‘Carols round the tree’ evening on Tuesday 18th December. Once again we will have a live band playing the carols and a visit from Santa with presents for the children as well as free mulled wine and mince pies to help you join in the singing! I would however like to encourage anybody from the villages who plays an instrument, preferably brass, to join in with the band. If you are interested, you must call Toby Davidson on 07970 636168 at least a week before the event.

With no village magazine in January, the Horti are once again looking for volunteers to help us put on our annual pantomime. Our production for 2013 will be ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ and will be performed during the February half term holiday (21st–23rd). However, this is a huge undertaking for a dedicated body of people who need your help.  As is the case in all walks of life, our core of helpers is getting no younger and we are seeking some fresh blood to help us continue putting on all our village activities during the year. Although grateful for people who can commit more of their time, volunteering to help us need not be the commitment you may think. For example, maybe you could help by making one set of uniforms for the chorus – or come over to Wilstone for one Sunday in January to help paint the scenery and props. There is also ample opportunity to display your acting skills by becoming an actor.

I am not asking for you to make yourself available over a long period, just offer us a few hours of your time to help during the post-Christmas period. If you can offer us any help, please contact either Vicky Hayes on 01296 661586 or Toby Davidson on 07970 636168 or preferably come to our pre-panto meeting at Long Marston Victory Hall on Sunday 2nd December at 5pm.

Article for the Village News – November 2012.

The month of November is upon us and that gives us the last major public landmarks before Christmas! I for one have already got my poppy in support of those who died in the two world wars and beyond – something that should be marked with dignity. However, the main focus of our group will be the Village Hall’s annual fireworks display on the 3rd. We are blessed in the village with a complete pyromaniac whose displays over the years have been nothing short of brilliant every time and then combine that with a large bonfire and a full concessions stall offering burgers, sweets and the obligatory mulled wine. This year we are once again setting up on Old Tom’s field on the edge of Long Marston (heading towards Wingrave) and hope for a dry evening and a good turnout from the local area. Please however remember that there is no parking on the field (bar yellow badge holders)

We have also heard from our esteemed pantomime creator, Neil Gurney, who has agreed to doing it again next year! Neil has been very busy recently and is currently directing a production of ‘Half a sixpence’ at the Pendley Theatre in Tring from 20-24th November which I am very much looking forward to seeing. With 2 flower arranging shows in Aylesbury on top, we are very grateful for his time and expertise. The pre-panto meeting has been set up for Sunday 2nd of December in Long Marston village hall where auditions for next year’s chorus will take place at 3:30pm. Being involved in panto is hard work but most rewarding. I would encourage any child with an interest in singing and dancing to give it a try and anyone who is interested in helping us come at 5:00 to meet the team.

Article for the Village News – September 2012.

What a superb summer of sport we have had this year! The Olympics were superb and I thoroughly enjoyed my day out at the Olympic Park. By all accounts, everyone also enjoyed their day out at this year’s village show with all the stalls doing well and the children’s games in full swing once again.

The Horti now has a well-earned break between events after spending a lot of hours putting the show together, but we continue to focus on our future activities. In support of the Victory Hall committee, our next major joint event is the annual fireworks display. This year, we will once again be at Old Tom’s Field on the edge of the village on Saturday 3rd September. The Bonfire will be lit at 6.30 and the fireworks start at 7.00. Tickets remain at £6 adults and £2 children, but they can be bought at a discount (£5 / £1.50) from the Queens Head or direct from David Severs on 01296 661021.

The Hall itself will be hosting a special Halloween disco on Saturday 27th October at 8pm. This is a ‘bring your own booze’ event with a door charge of £5 and promises to be a good night out.

My personal favourite event each year is the annual ‘Carols round the Tree’ this year being staged on Tuesday 18th December. We are so fortunate to have the services of a small band that makes the evening so more enjoyable whilst trying to raise a lot of money for Help for Heroes and really brings home the spirit of Christmas. The free mince pies and mulled wine help as well!

November will also see the auditions being staged for next year’s pantomime, so let’s hope we get a good turnout, but more details will be available next month.