A review of the Christmas season would point to a success in most departments, the only obstacle being the weather which caused a postponement of the carol singing for a couple of nights, but otherwise, yet again, a very good Christmas. The Workshop and Christingle, the Christmas Bazaar - that went very well this time with plenty of merchandise from which to choose - then, as we got nearer, the School Children's Concert and the Carol Concert in the Church. By now the Tree was up on The Knoll and many of the homes and windows were looking most attractive. Maybe it should have been a white Christmas to set it all off but not everyone wants snow. So, thank you yet again the church flood-lighters, and the Christmas tree erectors and decorators. Thank you once again all of you who have, over the year, provided our services, all of which have been without compare - we mean the Church, the shops, the Post Office, the pubs and Tommy and Nick - all things that make up our daily lives. This doesn't mean you can increase your charges but we want you to accept our thanks.
What a great pleasure to see Mrs Edna White at our Carol Service and looking much better than expected.
There were 34 in number on the Boxing Day walk and we finally got round to walking over the new bridge, by permission of Messrs. J W Cook and Son. 'Snowy' was again in charge of rescue services and gratefully, like the St Bernard dog, he had a large bottle of Bells on his collar and so, on the last mile home, the pace livened up a bit. It was all good fun and as family entertainment it takes some beating.
At the last count of the sales money for cards for Willen Hospice the figure was £274. Our grateful thanks for that. All out of the little box!
The front cover for last month's SCAN was drawn by one of the SCAN Art Project artists.
Watching the waters surging down the river and rolling over the meadows during the recent rains, it can be seen just how much debris or flotsam or jetsam goes sailing by. After the waters have receded there is rare picking for the beachcomber and many a householder from higher up the river must wonder just where he put that spare wheel or that plastic storage box. You can see it all floating down past the first, second or third island. Over the years several boats have been found and many plastic dustbins, etc.
Gerald Stratton's new publication 'Newport in the Fifties' has already stimulated quite an interest and, apart from the town history, he has kindly mentioned many of our village characters, all of whom are remembered with great affection. The book makes good reading as you would expect from a professional journalist. The only trouble is putting the blooming thing down. Anyone interested contact Newport Pagnell Historical Society who are the sponsors of the enterprise.
We had a large number of our young blood visit us over Christmas and we could easily have added a dozen or more to our church choir without reserve. Many of the girls now have their own families, others world-wide travellers. Young men, tall and upright, on level terms with us all. Why, it seems like only yesterday that they were just starting school. It was good to see them all and to know that they have been able to go forward, making their way in the world and enjoying it all. Good luck to them, we say.
Within the last five seconds the telephone rang and it was one of our leading SCAN supporters ringing in to say that there was not much left standing of Carisbrooke House and, by morning, there was no sign of it. So ends the life of a house that was built by the late Charlie Peach, Founder Partner of Sherington Nurseries, well known nursery man and the father of Myrtle, the title holder of the Myrtle Peach Trust. Charlie Peach built the house when he was married and he never did really complete it because he became busy with the greenhouses down the bottom and so they managed as best they could and then, of course, came the War. After the war Charlie found it very difficult to pick up the threads of trading and growing again and gradually he settled more on floral and artistic sales, journeying up to London and buying in from Covent Garden. In post-war times life didn't seem to take the right course at all for Charlie and his life finished somewhat unfulfilled. At his death the house on the top of the hill, as it was known, was put on the market and was taken over by an industrialist who altered it beyond anything hitherto. Old Charlie Peach had a Humber saloon car, a very nice style, very imposing. He was glad he lived at the top of a hill 'cos when it wouldn't start he would let off the brake and away down the 'Lotment Hill and she would cough up by the time he got to the bottom. There was one occasion when it was being difficult and he had to go to Covent Garden early in the morning so he started it in the evening and left it running all night, That had 'er.
Talking to our Chairman of the Millennium Committee, John Cook, last night and he is about ready to launch into big things during 1999. Although you don't see much of it yet a good deal is being done. John Cook will certainly be opening the batting on some of the topics in the next month or so and so watch this space to see what it's about. There is no doubt that it is going to be a busy year not only with the Millennium but with many other subjects too. When enquiring of another source about how much longer our own village motorists are to be queuing from Cross Albans Hill through to Olney, spending an hour waiting to progress two miles, we are told that there are plans afoot to alter this delay to motorists, not by building yet another carriageway but by careful planning and decisions about what is required to alleviate present day traffic conditions and hold ups. It is calling for a thorough examination the outcome of which could surprise us all.
Maybe it's best to have a month off this time around with the Thumbstick Club. We have done well over the years and if you consider it's an association of friends who like walking and talking and simply that then it doesn't need to be all involved. We have all made our points of view as we go along and nothing could be easier. Shall we agree to turn out on 7 February at 7.30 am from The Knoll? Please drive down as we shall probably go out of town. Special notice: Our thanks from the Thumbstick Club to Andrew Finn-Kelcey, Esq. and to Caroline and Edward Ellis for their co-operation in making our Advent walk so enjoyable this year.
And as a seasonal thought we offer our thanks to the Santa Claus who added a little colour to our pastoral scene on The Knoll at Christmas time. Posing with the youngsters in front of his sleigh he brought much happiness and absolutely thrilled our young American guests whose grandparents, Mr and Mrs Peter Hoole, live in the Small House. All the day long Santa was about and we are told many motorists stopped to join in the fun. Thank you, Santa Claus. We know at first hand that you enjoyed the day as much as anyone and that Willen Hospice benefited by over £100. Well done, Sir!
AND A PEACEFUL AND BLESSED NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL.
So many people from our villages are ill at the moment; so many are in hospital. We send our commiseration and best wishes in the fervent hope that 1999 improves raidly for them as it goes on. From the point of view of SCAN magazine, our love and concern goes out to Rhonda. She has been ill since well before Christmas and, early on 3 January was whisked into hospital. Get well soon Rhonda, get well soon, Enid, get well soon everybody.
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Latest update: 31 January 1999
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