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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.

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.

Article for the Village News – April 2013

At our March meeting, we heard extremely favourable comments about the Neil Gurney Pantomime Spectacular the previous month, several people commenting that it was the best ever! The turnout on the Saturday was also full of locals who turned up to say thank you to our long-standing postman, Dave Grove, who came as our special guest. During the audience participation song (where the words got mysteriously lost in the post!), Dave was presented with an engraved tankard with the inscription “Dave the Postie” Best Wishes for A Long & Happy Retirement From your friends in Long Marston.

 Time moves on and the Horti are busy preparing other events that we hope to put on in 2013. Our main event as usual will be the Annual Village Show. Although planning is in its infancy, we are hoping to rearrange the Jazzercise exhibition which went down well last year and the possibility of Morris dancing returning to the arena. The flower and produce show in the Village Hall also goes ahead and we hope to provide guidelines for entry into the show over the coming months.

There is also plans to build on the wonderful Jubilee year of 2012 by holding a Midsummer Picnic on Saturday June 15th. The whole idea of this is to create an informal get-together for all the villagers of Long Marston on the recreation ground behind the Village Hall where everyone can relax, meet new friends and create a sense of community spirit. We hope to put on some games for people to play, including our space hoppers and would be grateful for any ideas on what could be put on.

We are also in the process of working with all the community groups in Long Marston to create a facebook page to run alongside are marvellous website,, to help publicise events taking place during the year. We are also running a competition to win £50! All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is email our chairman, Martin Winship, with your address ( or pop a note through his door (13 Marston Court). Good Luck!

On the subject of sports, the Queens Head Golf Society have just come back from a rain-soaked weekend away which had to be abandoned on the Sunday because of snow! There will also be a football match being played on the recreation ground on Friday 12th April at 6pm between the ‘Pub’ side and the ‘School’ side of the main road, dependant on where you live. All are welcome to come and support on the day with both sides fielding teams with varying ‘football’ abilities!

There is in any community, be they in town or in the countryside, a thriving underbelly of events taking place for those that want to join in. I have however recently noticed an upsurge in events being held to raise money for World Challenge. This is a worthwhile cause for the youngsters who learn valuable life skills whilst learning the value of fundraising in order to realise their goals. I recently attended a delicious pop-up restaurant and played “Rock’N’Roll” Bingo in the pub. Long may these events continue!

Article for the Village News – February 2013.

A very Happy New Year to all our readers from The Long Marston & Puttenham Horticultural Society. Here’s hoping all made it through the festive period and are now looking forward to a successful 2013 and the impending delight that is our annual village Pantomime!

This year we are staging ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ over the February half-term holiday and it is looking like another knockout production from the amazing Neil Gurney. With all the fun of a traditional pantomime, including great song and dance numbers, side-splitting slapstick and of course the obligatory sweets, this must be an essential part of any local’s diary this month. We start on Thursday 21st then Friday 22nd, both at 8pm, followed by 2 performances on Saturday 23rd, at 2pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are available now at the Queens Head in Long Marston and both the Community Shop and Meads Farm Shop in Wilstone. Prices have been held at £6 Adults, £4 Senior Citizens & £3 for Children. For details, Please call 07855 369515.

A major production like this however requires a lot of help putting it all together. We have a hardy band of willing volunteers who help in all aspects from Costumes to Scenery, but we would still welcome anyone who would like to join us. We will be at Wilstone Village Hall for the next two Sundays (3rd & 10th Feb) and then move to Long Marston the following weekend for a week of rehearsals before the opening night on the Thursday. We need people to help with such things as make-up, scenery shifting, or even selling raffle tickets and programmes. If you can help IN ANY WAY, please contact Vicky Hayes on 01296 661586 or Toby Davidson on 07970 636168.

The Horti also have a number of other events planned during the year, including the annual village show and a midsummer picnic on the recreation ground. More details to follow next month.

Article by Toby Davidson.

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.