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Nominations for the Thomas Chapman Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Villages’

THOMAS CHAPMAN was a gentleman farmer who lived and worked Folly Farm in Potash Lane for most of his life. An upbeat and kindly man he was always generous with both his time and money. For a number of years, he was chairman of the Long Marston & Puttenham Horticultural Society as well as being involved in all aspects of village life.
He particularly loved the Annual Village Show especially the ‘Stepping the Chain’ game for which he would always donate a bottle of whisky as a prize. The Tombola was also a popular draw thanks to his generous patronage. With his philosophy ‘never you mind boy, everything will be alright on the day’ he endeared himself to all aspects of village life.
It was therefore right that the Society decided to create a trophy to honour his memory –

‘in recognition of their outstanding contribution, over many years, to the life of the village communities of Long Marston, Puttenham, Gubblecote and Astrope’.

The trophy chosen was for Outstanding Contribution to the Village and the wording above, used on the certificate being carefully chosen by the society to reflect how the society felt about Tom’s contribution to the village during his lifetime.  The trophy itself is a model of Tom’s old tractor and was made by Tring School.

The first time the award was presented, the Horticultural Society wanted to involve Tom’s family so they asked his son Adrian to come along to the show and he presented the first trophy.  We are sure, knowing Tom, that he would have loved having an award in his name.

The Horticultural Society are now looking for nominations for this year’s award to be presented at the Village Show on 1st August.

If you know of a worthy recipient, please contact the Chairman, Vicky Hayes.  Email:

Previous winners of the Thomas Chapman Award.

2001 Phyllis Proctor
2002 Eunice Hall
2003 Tina Puwar
2004 Brian Prior
2005 Christine Rutter
2006 Carole Harrison
2007 Daphne Bateman
2008 Ken Crawford
2009 John & Margaret Noakes
2010 Colette Bernard
2011 Jean Bygate
2012 Michael Tomlinson
2013 Glenys Jeffrey
2014 Serena Williams

Article by Toby Davidson.

Village News Article – July 2015.

Long Marston & Puttenham Horticultural Show – Saturday 1st August 2015

Do the words ‘village show’ conjure up images of welly wanging, hoopla and coconut shy? Or do they make you think of tug-o-war, tombola and plant stalls? To those involved with the annual Long Marston & Puttenham village show, they mean any and all of these things together with an element of the weird and wacky!

The first show was organised in August 1936 and almost every year since then the show has been held on Long Marston Recreation Ground on the first Saturday in August. This year is no exception. The ‘rec’ will be a hive of activity from 2pm – 5pm, whilst in the Victory Hall there will be the annual Horticultural Exhibition for both adults and children. Entries are welcome from everyone and will be judged strictly, fairly and anonymously; so when the show programme lands on your doormat why not see which classes you could enter and have a go.

The success of the show depends entirely on your support, both in terms of attendance and entries and input from everyone in the community is an intrinsic part of the day. All monies raised on the day are used to support community events during the year for the benefit of everyone, so come along and be part of a traditional, community event.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Article by Sally Smith

Village News Article – July 2015.

Long Marston Horticultural Show.

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There is now a month to go until the annual Long Marston Horticultural Show on the 3rd August. The only potential problem we may have is with the weather! Not on the day, but the problems people have had in recent months trying to grow produce through the coldest spring on record!

A central part of our show is the Flower and Produce Show that takes place every year in the Village Hall itself. Some people who come enjoy the activities on the recreation ground but are unaware of the exhibition going on indoors. Long Marston is one of the only villages locally that runs such an exhibition and it is genuinely open to all. With the development of the Wilstone allotments as well as the Long Marston ones, hopefully green-fingered members of the village community will be entering their fruit and veg at the show and winning the various cups on offer. The event also awards The Worshipful Company of Gardeners Diploma in Horticulture for “Best in Show” in 4 categories. There is also the highly competitive ‘Floral Art’ section under the scrutiny of Neil Gurney.

However, this is not all that goes on in the Hall. For those of you without a clue who to successfully grow plants, like me, the Horti Show also offers classes in a variety of other categories. For all you budding bakers, we have over 20 classes in Domestics, from Cake making to Jams and home-made wine. Why not try to make this year’s speciality cake, Battenburg. You can get the recipe from the Show Schedule which will be posted through your letter box FREE very soon. There are also classes in needlework, jewellery, painting and photography, so you have a wide choice of items you can enter. This does not even include the specialist children’s classes on page 5! 

As is always the case, staging a show of this magnitude involves needing plenty of hands to ensure everything run smoothly. We start in earnest on the Friday morning when the hall is laid out and  mark up the field for the following day. Work starts early on the Saturday as all the stalls need to be set up, including putting up all our gazebos and large party tents. After the show, it all needs to come down again, but we do reward ourselves with a pint or two in the Queens Head ! Anybody who can spare an hour or two would be made most welcome.

Let’s hope the weather holds and we have a sunny day for our biggest event of the year and you are inspired to have a go at some of the classes I have highlighted in the Hall. Don’t forget to put your name down for the big Tug-of-War fight in the afternoon on the field!

Article by Toby Davidson.

The Long Marston Village Show is upon us!

The theme of this year’s show is ‘A Summer of Sport’ which will be reflected in the hall and on the show field.  You will soon have the show schedule posted through your door, detailing a large variety of differing classes that anyone can enter in the Village Hall. A lot of them are horticulturally-based as you would expect, like five onions, six radishes or maybe the obligatory odd-shaped vegetable!  For budding florists, why not enter the single rose category or maybe ,rather than outdoor flowers, you’ve grown a cactus in a pot! However, my recommendation would be to try one of the slightly more quirky classes at the end of your show schedule. I’m sure each household has a keen amateur chef and the show gives you the opportunity to show off your skills. How about having a go at baking this year’s cake, a Victoria Sponge, or maybe a Quiche! There are classes for jams, cakes, and home-made wine. Finally, we move onto the arts and crafts section, full of classes catering for all styles and ability. We cover such items as knitting, photography, and painting. We even have a complete section for children at the end which is free to enter! With such a wide choice, why not pick one and have a go.

On the field, things continue a-pace. We have all the usual stands, like the book stall, coconut shy and skittles. As always the tent will house the bar and afternoon teas and we are also putting the Pimms stall inside with the ice creams. The pony rides are back as well as the ever popular plant stall. However, the stage area could well steal the show this year as not only will we have a live band, but the show will be opened by The Bugles & Drums of the Stedfast Association who will be marching up from the Queens Head and we also have a Jazzersize Exhibition with audience participation! So why not come down and have a go!

On a much more serious note, these events cannot take place without the generous help of those people who give up their time to run stalls and help with stewarding etc to make your day as enjoyable as possible. It’s a mammoth task but one which the horti members thoroughly enjoy (allegedly). We do need to spread the load, though (our members seem to get older every year!) so if you have a little time available on the day and are willing to get involved as a helper – even if it’s only for an hour or so, we’d love to have your support, helping to set up in the morning, or clear up at the end of the day. For example, at the end of the show we auction off all of the items left in the hall. Whilst this is going on you may have noticed the 2/3 men who are trying to clear up the field after the day’s activities. They could really do with your help for an hour and the more people the merrier!  Whether you are participating, watching or helping, please join in and help perpetuate this timeless village event. We look forward to seeing you there.