Past events in Water Stratford
Here we are recording events in the life of the village as they have occurred since this site
opened in July 2013, together with a few major occasions that we recall from before then.
9th April 2017: The churchyard is always a magical place in spring, with aconites and snowdrops being succeeded by hosts of wild daffodils, then primroses, bluebells and celandines. This year the primroses are sensational. This spring has also seen two surprise ornithological appearances in the parish, a raven and an egret.
8th April 2017: Despite mild weather meaning Spring came early to gardens this year, green-fingered exhibitors at the Society’s annual Spring Show still managed to enter a good variety of daffodils, tulips, planting, pansies, hellebores, flower arrangements and decorated Easter bonnets. Altogether it was a very colourful display. Local school children produced around seventy amazing paintings and drawings of an Easter egg whilst photographers displayed almost sixty beautiful images of landscapes, weather, spring time, sunsets and sunrises. Visitors to the Show were also able to peruse stalls, have a go on the raffle and enjoy a refreshing cup of tea and homemade cakes. Many thanks must go to all the judges and to everyone who gave their time to help on the day. Cups and certificates were presented to the winners of the various classes by the Society President. Winners in the junior classes received medals on ribbons. (Thanks to Barbara for report & photo.)
31st March 2017: Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society's cheese and wine evening held in Tingewick Village Hall was very well attended, with a local wine expert giving a talk on eight wines, a France accompanied by matching cheeses. Everyone had a wonderful time getting a few tips and sampling the produce. Each wine selected for its particular characteristics, sweetness, acidity and texture from the great wine growing regions of France such as the Loire Valley, Bordeaux and so on was matched carefully with French hard and soft cheeses from floury goats, soft and pungent Camembert to strong Roquefort blue. (Thanks to Barbara for report & photo.)
26th March 2017: The number of children in the village has started to revive after a long decline and we were pleased that several of them played a part in our well-attended Mothering Sunday service, the text of which can be found here. Sarah had made beautiful posies for all the mothers present and Mike gave a talk on one particular Water Stratford mother, Ethel Frances West (née Goddard).
17th March 2017: The Old School once again became the Water Stratford Arms, but this time with an Irish accent to befit St Patrick's Day.
18th/25th December 2016: Christmas 2016 was well celebrated at St Giles: both the Carol Service on the preceding Sunday evening and the Christmas morning service were well attended, enabling good singing and a festive atmosphere. The Carol Service was as usual a happy village get-together, extended by refreshments afterwards, while on Christmas Day we were delighted to welcome numerous visitors to swell our congregation. People gave generously to the Christmas collections, as a result of which a donation was sent to Crisis at Christmas, the remainder being needed to keep the church running.
9th December 2016: Twenty-six people enjoyed the Horticultural Society’s Christmas Decoration Workshop. As in previous years Elaine Rigg, the regular tutor, demonstrated how to make a Christmas (Thanks to Barbara for report & photo.)
13th November 2016: Our Remembrance Service drew a record congregation for recent years, with twenty-one adults and five children. After the traditional Act of Remembrance for the six men on our war memorial, we heard readings about the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme. In our prayers we particularly remembered the people of Aleppo and Mosul. The text of the service is shown here.
16th October 2016: This year's harvest thanksgiving was notable for being the first occasion that our 'new' organ was played in a service, thanks to Sara. Sixteen adults and four children heard a sermon and prayers based on the rainbow accompanied by Revd Liz's impressive visual aids.
24th September 2016: The Horticultural Society's Gardeners Swap Day was once again a great
18th September 2016: Our service of Holy Communion saw several innovations. It commenced with two dedications: a replacement organ (the previous one had been making very odd noises) and a harvest-themed quilted panel above it. The organ was kindly given by Lenborough benefice (it had languished in Hillesden church for many years) and the panel was made and donated by someone who lived here as a child and whose grandmother used to be our organist and churchwarden. Then our final hymn was the first performance here of the hymn to St Giles written by Sara in 2014.
Thunder, lightning and torrential rain did not deter visitors to Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society’s 92nd Annual Summer Show. With many new exhibitors this year there (Thanks to Barbara for report & photo.)
19th June 2016: Our June service always coincides with Fathers Day and is close to Midsummer Day so this year we held a Pimms and Hymns service in the churchyard. We sang five hymns, heard several poems and psalms, and gave thanks for the natural world and the joys of summer. The Pimms tasted all the better for the sun which just about kept shining until the end.
17th June 2016: 24 villagers gathered at the Old School racecourse to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday with a race night. Ascot hats, Union Jack bunting, plus the most stunning collection of copies of original paintings of the Royal family and racehorses decorated the room. The names of the four races had royal connections, and names of members of the Royal family were used for all the horses, such as Philip out of Big Mouth by Gaffes Galore and Kate out of Beauty by Commoner. In the Old Monarchs' handicap race we had Henry VIII out of Sheer Exhaustion by Six Wives and Victoria out of Desperately depressed by Death of Albert! The horses were auctioned off and jockeys appointed by the owners, while the punters headed to the tote. Following the throwing of two dice to indicate which horse and how many squares it could move, the jockeys holding their wooden horse set off down the track, cheered on by the people in the stands! Someone likened the races to human snakes and ladders! The lucky owner of the winning horse received a prize and the successful punters collected their winnings. The evening raised £520.45 for Old School funds. (Thanks to Sarah for report.)
20th May 2016: The Old School became the Water Stratford Arms for the evening, with around forty people, half the village, coming together to drink and chat. Despite it being billed as a drop-in event, many stayed until 'closing time', showing our community's enthusiasm for meeting their neighbours - and for alcohol!
15th May 2016: Our annual Rogation walk drew thirteen adults, four children and four dogs. In addition to hymns, bible readings and prayers, we heard poems by Alice Crosland, Thomas Hardy and W H Davies. Chris planned and led the service and read his newly-written poem The Rectory Oak next to that magnificent tree, which is at least 435 years old.
24th April 2016: Congratulations to Guy, our churchwarden, who ran his first London Marathon in 4 hours 17 minutes. He ran in aid of The Puzzle Centre, a local pre-school for children with autism.
9th April 2016: Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society’s 12th Annual Spring Show produced a kaleidoscope of colour with a lovely display of spring flowers. Despite the recent cold spell exhibitors entered a dazzling array of daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, primulas, pansies and hellebores. Florists showed their skills with arrangements suitable to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday and others in the shape of a cake. Those who enjoy getting behind the camera lens entered over fifty exhibits in the photographic classes whilst local school children produced almost seventy exhibits including paintings of a spring garden, decorated paper plates and face masks all with a flower design. Those children coming 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the junior classes were awarded medals on ribbons. Visitors to the show were able to purchase plants, cards, books and handicrafts from the various stalls, take part in a raffle and finish off with a relaxing cup of tea and delicious homemade cakes. Many thanks must go to all the judges, helpers and exhibitors without whom the Show would not be possible. (Thanks to Barbara for report & photo.)
17th March 2016: We learned of the death of Paul Daniels, magician and quiz-show host, who owned a house here in the 1970s and 80s. He opened our village fete in 1984 and judged its children's fancy-dress competition.
2nd March 2016: The village was temporarily cut off at its southern end in spectacular fashion when a tree was blown over and blocked the road (the church is visible through the trees). (Thanks to Teresa for the photo.)
13th February 2016: A record eighty people attended the Horticultural Society quiz and supper night held at Tingewick Village Hall. Many thanks to Terry and Carole who again acted as quizmasters with questions on a wide variety of subjects. When the correct answers were read out there were whoops of delight and cries of YES from some quarters whilst the sound of groaning could be heard elsewhere. Charles and Sheila did a grand job tending the licensed bar whilst Rosemary and April were kept busy selling tickets for the raffle. Linda and Naina deserve a special mention for slaving over hot stoves to supply an absolutely delicious meal of meat or vegetable lasagne, chicken or vegetable curry, rice and lentils, salad and baguette. With two teams achieving the same marks overall plus the same marks in their Joker rounds it was impossible to split them so for the first time we had joint winners. Each winning team was presented with six bottles of wine. Many thanks to everyone who helped and to all those who attended for making it such a successful evening. (Thanks to Barbara for report.)
20th/25th December 2015: Christmas was celebrated at St Giles with an evening service of lessons and carols on the 20th and village worship on Christmas morning. Both contained interesting The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light was read this year from the entrance to the lit vestry with nothing but candles lighting the rest of the church: this was very effective and could be used more often in future. The collection of £130.86 was sent to Shelter. On Christmas Day we heard part of a Christmas letter from Revd John Hudson who acted as our priest for several years and is still fondly remembered. We sang John Mason’s carol Away, dark thoughts; awake, my joy to the tune of O little town of Bethlehem. It is likely that this was the first time it had been sung for over 300 years and that St Giles is the only church in which it has ever been sung. (Thanks to Revd Liz for photo.)
8th November 2015: At this year’s Remembrance service (the full text of the service is shown here) we marked several anniversaries. It is one hundred years since the deaths of Herbert George Cadd, the first to die of the men listed on our war memorial, and the poet Rupert Brooke. We heard Bert Cadd’s life-story and Brooke’s famous poem, The Soldier. The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain was marked with a poem by John Gillespie Magee, a pilot who died in 1941 aged 19. He had been inspired by Brooke and won a poetry prize at Rugby School that had been won by Brooke 34 years previously.
A reading about Sir Nicholas Winton, one of the first pupils at Stowe School, reminded us of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps, and finally we marked the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. A visitor to last year’s Remembrance Service brought with her service sheets used to celebrate this in 1945, both the official national service and the adaptation used at St Giles. They are fascinating records of the mood at the time and copies of these were available to look at.
10th October 2015: The Horticultural Society held its first Plant & Seed Swap in Tingewick Village Hall. The event was very well supported with many gardeners from the surrounding area bringing a variety of plants, seeds, books, magazines, pots and other gardening related items to swap. Others (Thanks to Barbara for report & photo.)
20th September 2015: Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society members and friends paid a very interesting afternoon visit to Upton House and Gardens near Banbury. To coincide with the 70th Anniversary of VE Day, rooms at Upton House this summer have been set up as they were during the second World War. The owners of Upton House, the Bearsted family, moved out of their country retreat and the family’s merchant bank M. Samuel & Co. moved in for the duration to protect staff and assets from the threat of air raids in London.
Rooms are filled with desks, old style typewriters, telephones and other office equipment used by staff at that time. Gas masks and information on how to use them, plus other wartime notices can be seen. Examples of wartime wedding dresses are on display together with simple ideas on how to make everyday dresses more attractive. Photographs, letters, uniforms and personal mementoes add to the story. Outside is a wartime mobile cinema tent and Anderson Shelter. Visitors can also learn about the war work of Lord and Lady Bearsted. Lord Bearsted’s bank funded all manner of Government projects and Lady Bearsted helped run and finance mobile canteens in the East End of London. Further information explained how valuable paintings from the house were hidden away in a Welsh slate quarry for safe keeping.
After looking around the house a stroll around the gardens followed. The flower and vegetable gardens cannot be seen from the house and it is a lovely surprise on reaching the far end of the lawn to suddenly find still colourful terraced gardens stretching down to the lake below. Before leaving there was time to visit the restaurant where luckily a large notice advised that cakes are no longer rationed! (Thanks to Barbara for report.)
4th September 2015: For one night only, Acqua Stratford Ristorante Italia opened its doors at the Old School to
the village cognoscenti, many of whom were dressed in Italian style, including: mysterious
and glamorous masked Venetians, mafia gangsters, gondoliers, pizza delivery girls, outfits in
the colours of the Italian flag and even the Pope! A three course Italian meal was served
a delicious Lasagne Villagio cooked by the village Signore – special thanks to the team of
Catriona, Louise, Leah, Sara, Liz, Deborah and Judy. The atmosphere buzzed with laughter
and an enjoyable time appeared to be had by all.
A big thank you to everyone who helped out in so many different ways including: art work,
display of a vintage yellow Fiat, procurers of fine Italian wine, drinks waiters, Pat’s IT
services, decorating and clearing up the hall, and an impressive washing-up team who
willingly ‘set to’ on the night. The village were extremely generous, both financially and in
spirit. An amazing £669.25 was raised to support the maintenance and upkeep of the Old
School. (Thanks to Deborah & Pat for report & photo.)
29th August 2015: Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society held its 91st Annual Summer Show. The lovely summer's day encouraged a very high number of visitors to the Show, where flowers, vegetables, fruits, flower arrangements, photographs, handicrafts and domestic produce
17th May 2015: In a record turnout for recent years, eighteen adults, two children and seven dogs took part in our annual Rogation walk, with another four adults joining us in church for the end of the service. This year, instead of a round trip from the church, we started at Huntsmill Farm and followed footpaths and bridleways back to St Giles. On the way we heard poems, bible
and prayers, and Chris added historical and agricultural details concerning the fields that we walked through. Few of us knew, for example, that Bear Brook owes its name to a dancing bear that used to appear at Buckingham Charter Fair and whose owner habitually camped by the brook during the Fair. We also saw the remains of one of the many water-mills that once lined the Great Ouse and heard the poem that it inspired Chris to write. After the service, by kind invitation of Chris and Fiona, we returned to Huntsmill for a delicious tea. (Thanks to Sarah for photo.)
11th April 2015: Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society held its 11th Annual Spring Show in Tingewick Village Hall. The bout of warm weather prior to the Show meant exhibitors were able to
15th March 2015: A rarity in recent years saw two services at St Giles on the same day: the first attended by our youngest village resident at under one year old and the second by our oldest at over ninety. Villagers and friends gathered in the morning to give thanks for mothering and to hold before God its joys and sorrows. Pictures remain in the mind: children and adults in the chancel making posies as the congregation arrived; a two-year-old purposefully walking from front to back of the church clutching a posy to give his mummy; candles flickering after the service in memory of mothers no longer with us but whose love and influence live on.
In the evening we welcomed visitors from across the deanery and beyond, for a Lent Evensong focussing on St Aidan of Lindisfarne. The benefice choir sang an introit and anthem and led the congregation in singing canticles, responses, psalm and rousing hymns. After both services people lingered to enjoy refreshments and each other's company.
28th February 2015: The Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society’s 2015 Quiz & Supper was attended by 68 people. Committee members Linda and Naina provided a superb supper of Lasagne or Rice and Curry with salad and baguette. A licensed bar was available and there was a well supported raffle. The ten quiz rounds on various subjects resulted in whispered discussion, whoops of delight at correct answers, moans at wrong answers and all round good fun. The team in second place was presented with six half bottles of wine whilst the winning team took home six full size bottles. Many thanks to Carol and Terry who ran the quiz for us and to all those who gave us help on the evening. (Thanks to Barbara for report.)
7th/8th February 2015: Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society was invited to have a stand at Buckingham Garden Centre’s Potato Weekend. Naina, the Society Treasurer and a keen cook, produced Potato & Pea Curry, Potato and Pepper Curry and Potato & Cauliflower Curry for visitors to the stand to sample. Copies of the recipes for all the curries were available to take away and comments received confirmed they were all absolutely delicious. There was also a large display of photographs taken at the Society’s 90th Anniversary Gala Dinner the previous September, photograph albums showing some of the many events the Society has organised over the years and information about becoming a member of the Society. Committee members and friends manning the stand were able to recruit some new members and meet representatives of other gardening clubs and organisations. (Thanks to Barbara for report.)
18th January 2015: Motorists driving through Water Stratford may have been surprised to see our robed Rector and her congregation standing at the edge of the churchyard admiring a teleporter, there to be blessed as a representative of all ploughs and farm machinery. Back in church, a bowl of soil was also blessed, as we thought of earth's power to nurture new growth and prayed for a good outcome for the labour of farmers, gardeners and all who work the land. These were part of our Plough Sunday celebration.
21st December 2014: Usually only the Rogation service takes the church around the village but this year we attempted the same with the Carol service. New nativity figures were purchased and distributed to various houses in advance. We started the service at the top of the village and walked down to the church, collecting figures and singing carols en route. On arrival in church the figures were placed in the crib and, after a final carol, we enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies.
Twenty seven ladies went home with beautifully decorated Christmas wreaths following a demonstration and workshop organised by Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society. Mulled wine and homemade mince pies added to the festive occasion which concluded with a raffle. (Thanks to Barbara for report & photo.)
9th November 2014: Church attendances have tended to fall all over the country in recent years and Water Stratford has not escaped that trend, but our village Remembrance Service has been an
exception. Twenty adults and three children joined in remembering the fallen, especially, in this centenary year, the six from our village who died in World War I. During the Act of here.
We have a long tradition of using secular poetry and prose in our services and this year included possibly our longest poetic extract so far. John Masefield's August 1914 expresses so well the impact of the war on the young men of a rural community like ours, most of them agricultural workers who had scarcely left the county before.
13th September 2014: The Parish Meeting committee organised a Treasure Hunt and Hog Roast to raise funds for The Old School, which serves as a village hall. Teams followed clues in the form of rhyming couplets which led them to the locations of fifteen questions about the village and its surroundings. The clues and questions were designed to make people look at places and objects that they may not have studied in detail before. After the marking and debriefing, prizes were awarded to the two top teams, and the raffle was drawn. More people arrived for the excellent hog roast and puddings, and the whole event raised over £400.
6th September 2014: Founded in 1924, the Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary with a 1920s themed Gala Evening. Tingewick Village Hall was transformed with images of flapper girls and gangsters, a Speakeasy and dining tables set up with a black & white
Barbara Prideaux, Chairman, thanked everyone for their support over many years and Will Litt, Vice President, proposed a toast to the continued success of the society. A celebration cake was cut and some superb raffle prizes kindly donated by local businesses were on offer. After the formalities music and dancing continued until midnight. The evening was considered a great success and a wonderful way to celebrate this special anniversary.
(Thanks to Barbara for the report & photo.)
23rd August 2014:
Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society held another successful
ith over 360 exhibits across the various classes plus nearly 100 entries in the junior classes
there was plenty for visitors to the Show to admire. There were some beautiful flowers and amazing
vegetables and the handicraft, domestic and photographic classes were very well supported this year.
Visitors could also see a display of old agricultural equipment, peruse stalls selling plants, second hand
books and local honey and see beautifully decorated cakes. A raffle, tombola and guess the name of the
Teddy competition added to the enjoyment with delicious home-made refreshments also available. (Thanks to Barbara for report & photo.)
18th May 2014: Eleven adults, two children and four dogs ambled around our beautiful village, pausing for a bible reading and prayer at a field, the river, sheep, cows and horses, a tree, a garden,
and the churchyard, where we also gave thanks for the new wall and gate. This was our annual Rogation service and walk, though it is noticeably more of a stroll these days, as some of us are starting to feel our age! Rogation should, strictly speaking,
be celebrated on the Sunday before Ascension Day but, as this depends on the date of Easter, we find it better to standardise on the third Sunday in May when the countryside is at its best and there is a reasonable prospect of good weather. This year the weather was perfect but it is not many years ago that torrential rain forced us to stay inside the church for almost the entire service, thus rather missing its point. (Thanks to Revd Liz for photo.)
12th April 2014: Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society’s Spring Show was held in Tingewick Village Hall. (Thanks to Barbara for photos.)
29th September 2013: Wheat sheaves and Michaelmas daisies in the chancel; fruits, seed-heads and colourful Autumn flowers in the nave: Harvest was rightly celebrated in a thankful service at St Giles Church. Members of the congregation presented symbolic gifts at the altar: soil, fruits, seeds, water, bread and wine. The talk, and a selection of short Bible passages incorporated within it, made us think about a bountiful Creator, and how we should respond with generosity towards others.
21st September 2013: Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society had a stand at Buckingham Garden Centre’s Apple and Chilli weekend. Committee member Naina had made six different chutneys which visitors to the stand could taste and buy. Made from Naina’s own recipes, the chutneys – Chilli Beetroot, Chilli, Apple & Ginger, Apple & Onion, Chilli Tomato, Chilli Pineapple and Tomato & Apple – all went down a treat and were totally sold out. Information about the type of events organised by the Society and the discounts available to members was also on hand, together with photo albums showing images of Spring and Summer Shows and other events from bygone days to the present. (Thanks to Barbara for report.)
20th September 2013: The Parish Meeting Committee organised a Quiz Night in the Old School. Nine rounds of questions were tackled by six teams of up to six members whose ages ranged from under 10 to over 90. In the 'Name that tune' round, those who recognised Chattanooga Choo Choo were very glad of the young people's help with Lady Gaga! An excellent fish and chip supper was delivered halfway through, and much of the liquid refreshment was financed by the remains of the village Diamond Jubilee funds. The scores were very close, with a tie-break needed to establish the winners. Well done to the organisers, and to Terry and Carol for running the quiz with humour and efficiency and setting questions that were so well suited to those present.
24th August 2013: Tingewick & Water Stratford Horticultural Society held its 89th Annual Summer Show. With over 30 exhibitors, some showing for the first time, visitors to the Show were able to view over 350 exhibits in the various adult classes plus 40 junior exhibits. There were some impressive displays of flowers particularly in the dahlia classes and the entries in the vegetable classes proved exhibitors really did know their onions. Mouthwatering cakes, quiches, jams and chutneys were entered in the domestic classes whilst the handicraft section allowed exhibitors to show off their skills in patchwork, knitting, crochet and jewellery design.
The flower arranging classes gave people the chance to show their creative side with colourful arrangements in different shapes and sizes and the photography exhibits included some beautiful images. The very well-attended Show also included various stalls, tombola, raffle, guess the name of the Teddy Bear, and refreshments. The Show ended with the presentation of Cups, Medals and Best Exhibit Certificates to the winners by the Society President. (Thanks to Barbara for report & photos.)
16th September 2012: In the Village Duck Race, hundreds of yellow plastic ducks braved the waters of the Great Ouse. There were also children's sports and a tug-of-war across the river. This event has taken place for many years.
4th June 2012: The village celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with lunch in the main street, sports at The Manor, tea at the Old School, and lots of red, white and blue hats! (Thanks to Susan & Barbara for photos.)
5th October 2009: The church was closed for re-roofing and restoration. Services took place in the Old School and the church reopened with the Carol Service on 20th December 2009. Our Carols were accompanied by a wind band comprising the Rector and five villagers.
7th June 2008: The Bishop of Buckingham dedicated a memorial to John Mason on the west wall of the church. About seventy people attended the Commemoration Service, in which they sang three of Mason's hymns and listened to historical information about Mason's life and work and an interesting sermon from Bishop Alan.
3rd June 2002: We celebrated the Queen's Golden Jubilee with a street party.