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Flooding in Long Marston, Astrope, Puttenham & Wilstone.

Following the recent flooding in January and February 2014, a number of people have united in an attempt to understand the source of the water entering Long Marston, Astrope, Puttenham and Wilstone and how it might be averted in future.

Following the devastating impact it had to properties in Long Marston, Herts County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) were invited to attend a meeting in the village hall to initiate a full investigation.  We have received a draft scoping document for the investigation which is due to conclude in summer (more details for which can be found on the Forum – see below).

An initial meeting was held with the Canal and River Trust (CRT), following speculation of water being released from the local reservoirs, where they shared with us technical data and information about their water management system.  The CRT do not believe that they were responsible for the rapid flow of water that entered Long Marston via Tring Road, although the release from Wilstone reservoir via Gudgeon Brook is likely to have accounted for the flooding in Astrope.  Discussions are ongoing.

With support from the Parish council, local councillors and our MP, it is hoped that Herts CC Highways will in the interim, look at the more pressing issues of drainage, especially in Chapel Lane / Station Road, Long Marston where the water culminates.

Anyone interested in obtaining further information should register at a forum which has been set up for local residents to share information and pass comment about the flooding.

Article by Peter Myrants.

Pantomime Meeting for Adults

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Sunday 24th November at 7.30pm

Long Marston Village Hall

Would YOU like to be involved in next year’s Pantomime?

(20th, 21st & 22nd February 2014)

We are always in need of more volunteers, so PLEASE come along to this short meeting, during which you can put your name forward to help in any of the following teams: front of house (selling refreshments, raffle tickets, programmes, etc.) costumes, props, scenery painting or construction, backstage crew and make-up.

 Neil will also be casting the Pantomime, so if you are interested in actually appearing on stage, please be brave and come along. After all, if there is not a part suitable for you in this Pantomime, there’s always next year!

 (We don’t start working on the Pantomime until January – only 7 weeks from start to finale – so your Christmas and New Year celebrations will not be affected)


Would you like to help, but can’t attend this meeting?

Contact Vicky Hayes on 07855 369515

Long Marston Pantomime 2014 – Sleeping Beauty




will be held in Long Marston Village Hall

on SUNDAY 24th NOVEMBER at 6.30pm.


Priority will be given to children living within the catchment area of (or attending) Long Marston School.


20th, 21st & 22nd February 2014. (Dress rehearsal: 18th Feb.)

Children’s rehearsals start on Sunday, 5th January 2pm – 5pm and continue

every Sunday until the performances. 

There will be only SIX rehearsals before the Technical and Dress Rehearsals and LOTS of songs & dances to learn, so you must be prepared to work very hard and concentrate during rehearsals.

 ALL children must be able to attend ALL rehearsals 


Be prepared to help with the children during at least 2 rehearsals and 1 performance.

The Dress & Technical rehearsals may finish very late at night. The performances finish 10.30 – 11pm.

For more information, contact Vicky Hayes on 07855 369515

Pre-panto Meeting – Sunday 24th of November.

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We have now heard from our esteemed pantomime creator, Neil Gurney, who has agreed to do it again next year! Neil has been very busy recently and is currently directing a production of ‘Doctor Doolittle’ at the Pendley Theatre in Tring from 13-16th November with Pantomime regular Alan Munt in the title role which I am very much looking forward to seeing. With flower arranging shows in the local area on top, we are very grateful for his time and expertise.

The pre-panto meeting has been set up for Sunday 24th of November in Long Marston village hall where auditions for next year’s chorus will take place at 6:30pm. Neil and the panto team are keen to encourage young talent to take part in the show by joining the chorus so I encourage all would-be James Arthur or Little Mix to come and have a go!

Being involved in panto is hard work but most rewarding. There are a variety of jobs to suit all tastes from selling ice creams to making costumes as well as lots of painting! As we don’t start until the New Year, Christmas Festivities will not be affected and you only have to help us on Sundays that suit you. I would encourage anyone who is interested in helping us come to the hall at 7:30pm to meet the team.

Fireworks Spectacular!

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The month of November is upon us and that gives us the last major public events 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. It is also becoming poignant with the 100th anniversary of the start of the start of the First World War next year.

However, the main focus of our group will be assisting the Village Hall committee at their annual fireworks display on the 2nd. We are blessed in the village with a complete pyromaniac whose displays over the years have been nothing short of brilliant every time! 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).

Article by Toby Davidson.

Annual Church Quiz.

This year’s annual quiz raising money for the local churches is on Friday 15th November. This is always very popular not only for the variety of quiz questions as set by our resident bonviveur but also for the superb curry lovingly prepared by our local vicars. Why not come along and sample their delights as you have a chance of winning a bottle of Cava to go with it! Please bring your own drinks and enjoy a fun-filled night out.

For details and to book a table, please contact Carole Harrison (01296 668526).

New Show Committee.

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We had an interesting debriefing session following the Annual Village Show in August, discussing all aspects of the show. It was agreed that a principal aim for the future must be to utilise the arena a lot better. It was also felt that the event could do with some fresh ideas from members of the local community.

We are therefore looking for anybody who would like to see changes to the way the field is run come forward & join a NEW Village Show Organising Committee with new ideas for the future of the our main village event.

This will NOT involve attending endless meetings, more having a couple of informal get-togethers to decide what changes can be made to the field over a couple of beers. You must however be available to help put these ideas into place on the day of the show itself.

Please contact Martin Winship on 01296 662388  or if you are interested.

Article by Toby Davidson.

Long Marston Village Website

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For years, Long Marston has had its own website, supplying information on local activities as well as local history archives.  –

Recently, following local encouragement, the Horti has now created a Facebook page which it is hoped will be used by all village organisations to promote their events. The idea is to ask people to ‘like’ our new page and they will then receive information on all things going on in the village, from fundraising to sporting and leisure activities.

We also need local groups to sign up in order to promote their activities in the village. Please contact Vicky Hayes ( or sign up on our Facebook page –

Article by Toby Davidson.

Long Marston Victory Hall.

Following our meeting this month, the committee are keen to find a new treasurer to stand at our AGM on 28th November. We are also interested to hear from Long Marston residents & regular hall users who would be keen to join the committee and help us in to develop the hall in the future.

Please feel free to contact Mike Tomlinson 01296 661311 or Margaret Kaye 01296 662975

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.


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For years, Long Marston has had its own website, supplying information on local activities as well as local history archives.  –

Recently, following local encouragement, the Horti has now created a Facebook page which it is hoped will be used by all village organisations to promote their events. The idea is to ask people to ‘like’ our new page and they will then receive information on all things going on in the village, from fundraising to sporting and leisure activities.

We also need local groups to sign up in order to promote their activities in the village. Please contact Vicky Hayes ( or sign up on our Facebook page – or find the facebook page under Links.

Could you be the next Horti Show Secretary?

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The Long Marston Village show has been running a flower and produce exhibition since 1936, but is now looking for a new Show Secretary to run the hall.

This a key position in the community and needs someone who is prepared to help set up and run the Village Hall on show day  (the first Saturday in August).

 Any interested parties should contact Martin Winship 01296 662388 or Margaret Kaye 01296 662975.

Village Show Plant Stall.

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 The Village Show is well known locally for its annual plant stall that raises funds for good causes in the area.


All contributions of surplus plants, seedlings, etc can be donated via our chairman, Martin Winship on 662388 /

Huge Tug-of-War Battle at the Village Show.

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This Year’s Long Marston Village Show will involve a huge tug-of-war battle between the Pub side of the village and the School side.

 Why not get a grip and have a go or tie your colours to your side of the village and support your team. 

All age groups and sexes welcome.

100 Years of RHS Chelsea

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Following our latest meeting, the theme for this year’s show has been decided as a celebration of 100 years of the great spring show, more commonly known as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Although originally created in 1862, the show lost its central London home in 1912, but the horticulturalist Sir Harry Veitch, who designed the gardens at Ascott House, Wing, organised it to be moved to the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. Throughout its time, the central core of the show has been the floral exhibitions in the Great Pavilion but is best known for its myriads of show gardens and is now the central floral show of the Royal Horticultural Society.

As usual, there are a variety of classes that people can enter at our annual Flower and Produce Show in August. We will be producing a show programme soon that is delivered free to every home in the area and contains all the details that you need to enter all the different classes, so why not come along and have a go. After judging, the Village Hall becomes an exhibition of produce for all to come and see.

Article by Toby Davidson.