From building bridges to pianist wanted: volunteering in Buckingham

Interested in helping your community? There's a huge number of community groups in Buckingham - each one powered by a small army of volunteers.

Whether you want to help build literal bridges, provide fun and support for young carers, play the piano for a panto, greet museum visitors, or be a projectionist at the cinema there's a community group in Buckingham that would love to have your help!

At this year’s Celebrate Buckingham Day, Buckingham Town Council filmed interviews with eight different community groups about their opportunities to volunteer in Buckingham and shared the results on their YouTube channel.

The video makes up part of our fantastic new web page promoting and supporting local community groups – offering them opportunities to recruit volunteers for free, share what they’re doing and apply for grants.

Chair of the Communications Strategy Working Group Cllr. Jon Harvey said that: “Volunteering is the lifeblood of our town. This has been even more apparent during the last few months when many, many people stepped forward to help their neighbours, strangers and the wider community as we all faced extraordinary and difficult times together.

Your Town Council is committed to doing all that we can to nurture, support and develop volunteering in our town. We keep track of local organisations that need volunteers and endeavour to connect people’s desires to ‘do something for others’ with those organisations that need willing volunteers.

Don’t forget research shows that volunteering has a positive effect on our mental health and wellbeing. Volunteering is good for everyone: the volunteers, the people benefitting from the work and our whole community!"

Residents turn out to Celebrate Buckingham

Following the delay in lifting Covid regulations until 19th July, Buckingham Town Council decided to postpone Celebrate Buckingham which was originally due to take place in July, until Saturday 4th September.

Organised by Buckingham Town Council and the Buckingham Society the event was arranged to celebrate the range of voluntary organisations who are serving the town, and to enable local groups to raise funds and recruit volunteers and to bring residents together.  The day also included the Buckingham Society’s annual Civic Day event and award giving.

This was the first time the event had been held – the overwhelming feedback to the Town Council has been that another event should be planned for next year!  The Council are currently making plans for events in 2022, and would be happy to hear any suggestions, and particularly from any groups or individuals who are interested in holding events next year.

The event took place under blue skies in the paddock in Bourton Park.  Members of the public where given the opportunity to see Buckingham’s new Mayor Cllr Margaret Gateley formally robed for the first time.   There was also the presentation of civic awards and the Town Council awards which were presented by The Buckingham Civic Society and Mayor Cllr Margaret Gateley.  Hundreds of people attended the event.  Entertainment was provided by the Winslow Concert Band and the ever enthusiastic Buckingham Ukulele group.  The Council arranged for bouncy castles and food vans to ensure there were plenty of reasons for residents to stay and enjoy the day.

Community groups

Organisations that took part in the event included Bux & Oxon 4 x 4 Response Group (BORG) worked hard all day escorting vehicles safely through the park. Every organisation provided an activity.  The Angling Association held a maggot racing competition.  The Buckingham Society ran a bowling for the pig stall (actually, bowling for butcher’s or supermarket voucher) and the Buckingham Pantomime Group offered pantomime characters in stocks for children to throw wet sponges at.  There were opportunities to splat rats, find treasure and try the lucky dip.  There were 24 stalls in all, each of which were busy all day.

Several groups were not able to attend either because they are still regrouping after Covid, or some members were Covid positive on the day.  So it is hoped that future events will be bigger and better!

Mayor Making

Mayor Making is normally held in the Buckingham Community Centre in the presence of distinguished, invited guests.  This was not possible this year due to Covid restrictions.  So the Council decided to hold the event in the open air for the first time at the beginning of the Celebrate Buckingham event.  The Mayor, Town Clerk and Mace Bearer formally processed the town’s mace across the field to begin proceedings.  Councillor Martin Try explained the history of the elements of the Mayor’s regalia.  The ceremony was watched by more people than is normally possible, and enabled the town’s historic assets to be enjoyed in a more open and inclusive event than is normally possible.

Councillor Gateley said, “It is a great honour to have been chosen as the 256th Mayor of Buckingham. It was wonderful to be part of the amazing celebration on Saturday in Bourton Park, a fantastic setting for the event. I was delighted to be able to present awards to some of our community’s outstanding volunteers, who have made such a difference over the last difficult year. My thanks go to them, and to all the voluntary groups represented. The day was also enhanced by the music provided by the Winslow Concert Band and Buckingham Ukulele Group. Thanks to everyone who came and to the Town Council teams who made all the arrangements."

Awards

A number of awards were made to individuals and group who have made a significant contribution to Buckingham. Full details are available on our awards announcement.

Celebrate Buckingham: Awards

The Mayor of Buckingham Cllr. Margaret Gateley was delighted to be formally 'robed' at the first ever Celebrate Buckingham Day.

Margaret went on to award the following individuals in groups with prizes for their exceptional contribution to the town.

Freewomen of Buckingham

The Honorary Freemen/women Award was presented to previous councillors, Ruth Newell and Christine Strain-Clark for their valuable and dedicated service over their 30 and 26 years as Town Councillors. These awards are one of the most prestigious awards which a council can bestow upon a valued member of the community, or upon a visiting celebrity or dignitary. It arises from the medieval practice of granting respected citizens freedom from serfdom.

Friend of Buckingham

Friend of Buckingham is awarded to individuals who have shown exceptional and outstanding contribution to the local community. This years awards were given to:

  • Dr. Roger Harrington for his work with the Buckingham Alms-house charity and the Buckingham Hospital League of Friends
  • Right Hon. Jon Bercow in recognition of his time as Member of Parliament for Buckingham.
  • Beverly Stockill for her work with the Buckingham Community Food Bank

Special Town council Awards

  • Sports & Arts Award: Lace Hill Association
  • Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Organisation of the Year: Buckingham Rotary Club and all the volunteers that supported the Covid-19 and Flu vaccination programmes.
  • Natural Environment and Climate Champion: Stowe Sub Aqua Club for their continued support of the River Rinses.
  • Mayor's Prize for Outstanding Young Person: Sulayman for his exemplary and inspirational management of the Buckingham Free School Meals programme.

The Buckingham Society awarded their annual Trader of the Year award to all the traders of Buckingham in recognition of the difficult times they have been going through. Mary Simonds, of the Traders Association, accepted the award on all traders behalf.

The Buckingham Rotary Club awarded Young Citizen of the Year to Sulayman for his management of the Buckingham Free School Meals Programme and Citizen of the Year to Janet Knicks.

Fun Fact Friday: What Goes Into Our Events?

Most residents will be aware of the range of events that the Town Council either arranges itself, or supports when arranged by others. But even those arranged by others need considerable background work by the Town Council and particularly Amanda, our Events Co-ordinator, who runs most of the Town Councils regular events including this year’s brand new event Celebrate Buckingham Day.

This year we have run many additional bounce back events, to support the town and local businesses as they recover from covid-19 closures. These events involved many additional staff including (but not limited to) Sam, the Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre Manager (who also runs annual events based at Lace Hill), Emma the Town Centre Manager and Russell our Markets Manager. These projects included the Otter Trail, outdoor theatre performances of Alice in Wonderland and many weeks of varied Market Entertainment.

Some events are “outsourced” but still require our involvement. Others involve third-party contractors for specialist work. For example, although the Charter Fair is organised by the Showmen’s Guild, we still have to arrange the road closure (in this case, a complicated “rolling road-closure”) which requires a small army of marshals. Similarly, the Christmas Parade is run by the Christmas Parade Committee, but it is the Town Council, who have the trained personnel and requisite signage, that is responsible for the road closure. Music in the Market is run by the Buckingham Acoustic Club, and BandJam is run by the organisation of that name – but we still look after the road closures and arrange first aid, refreshment vendors, security etc.

Even the Town Council’s own events often require specialist inputs, such as the staging, lighting and sound at the Christmas Lights switch-on, the bonfire building and barriers putting out for the Bonfire & Fireworks – plus heaps of meetings, telephone calls and emails until all the ducks are in line. As you can imagine, lots of events in quick succession, like the Fringe Week, take masses of organising.

On top of all that, all of our social media and posters are designed and produced in house and displayed – and cleared away after events. For the Fringe Week an entire booklet is designed working with our newsletter designer.

We also assist with events put on by others, such as the Remembrance Parade and the Scout Parade scheduled for this year, by sorting out and marshalling the road closures.

We are often asked to consider new events. We constantly review all of them to see what improvements might be made, and this year we will continue to review them all in detail to ensure that they remain financially viable, well supported, and in keeping with our wider aspirations. After all, arranging entertainments is not a primary role of Town Councils, and we want to ensure that as many as possible enjoy the events put on at their cost.

Interested in our Autumn and Winter 2021 events? You can find out more on our events calendar.

But what do you think? We always welcome your views.

This blog post originally appeared in the Spring 2017 Buckingham Town Matters Newsletter and has been updated.

Fun Fact Friday: Regalia

The most historic item of Buckingham’s regalia is the Mace, made in the Commonwealth period under Oliver Cromwell and re-converted during the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.

It has a plain silver gilt shaft with three knobs and a spreading base. Three brackets support the head, with three compartments displaying a swan, a harp and a rose. Three feathers support a cushion bearing a crown.

The crown was awarded by King Charles II in recognition of the Borough’s support of his father Charles I. It bears the Royal Stuart Coat of Arms and is inscribed “In the 12th year of the reign of our sovereign Lord King Charles II by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland 1660”. Only eleven such crowns are thought to exist.

The Mayor’s Chain of Office, like the Mace, is of silver gilt. Presented in 1884 by the Verneys of Claydon House, it consists of 81 quatrefoil links, each enclosing a Tudor rose. The Mayor’s badge shows the Borough Arms and the Verney Coat of Arms. The chain is worn on all civic, ceremonial and other occasions where the Mayor officiates.

In 1924 no Councillor wanted to be Mayor, and a ‘fine’ was imposed on the next to refuse, Councillor Corbett Roper.  He duly paid up £10.00 in silver three-penny pieces, 43 of which, with a face value of 10s 9d old money, were made into a chain to be worn by the Mayoress or Mayor’s Consort.

The Buckingham Advertiser (April 1924) reported ‘Councillor Harrison remarked … that it seemed rather significant that the gift should be made in the first year in which there was a lady member of the Council… (Councillor Mrs Stacey)’ ‘ “One thing rather puzzles me” concluded Cllr Harrison “I am trying to think, in the event of a lady being our Mayor, who will wear this chain?”  (Laughter). The Mayor replied “Her husband.” (Renewed laughter )’.

The Mayor’s Consort Badge was provided in 2001 as an alternative to the Mayoress’s Chain. It is of gold-plated sterling silver and enamel on a ribbon collarette. There have been 8 female Mayors now, but no male consort has worn the Mayoress’s chain. As the Mayor of 1924 might have said, “Why not?”

This blog post was written by previous Councillor Mike Smith and originally appeared in the Autumn 2018 Buckingham Town Matters Newsletter.

Buckingham’s River Great Ouse is on the way to Recovery Thanks to Regular Monitoring

The river Great Ouse running through Buckingham’s town centre is showing very promising signs of recovery, thanks to regular river invertebrate (riverfly) monitoring, now taking place by local River Wardens!

The River Warden group (initially formed in late 2019), in response to the devastating pollution incident in 2018 with the support from Buckingham Town Council and the Environment Agency, have now been trained to take monthly samples of the river. The training occurred on 18th July 2021, by an accredited Riverfly Training Instructor:

“It was brilliant to deliver a Riverfly Partnership Workshop in Chandos Park on Sunday and to be able to support the hugely valuable River warden scheme following your devastating pollution incident, the interest in the river and awareness of the park visitors was really inspiring.” - Ian Hawkins, East Anglian Riverfly Hub Coordinator

This training as part of the Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) which is hosted by the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA), allows these newly trained Riverfly Monitors to score the health of the river, based on the presence and abundance of specific riverfly target groups. This ultimately aims to improve existing river monitoring in the local area and help detect and deter future pollution incidents.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Riverfly monitoring training session, after studying the theory it was lovely to put it into practice.  The session involved taking samples from the river, identifying and separating the indicator species and finally counting them before returning them to the river." – Ruth Newell (River Warden)

 Riverflies consist of caddisflies, stoneflies and mayflies which live most of their lives as larvae on the bed of rivers, emerging as short-lived adult flies. Acting as a biological indicators of river health, and being very sensitive or even intolerant of pollution, these invertebrates respond very quickly to pollution. Through this regular monitoring, trigger levels can be set, so that if they were to fall below the set threshold for this site, it would raise the alert of poor water quality.

During the training workshops, six of the eight indicator target groups were found in good numbers, demonstrating very promising river health and recovery. These included excellent numbers of olives (Baetidae), which are a family of small fast-swimming mayfly larvae, often called ‘agile darters’, along with abundant Gammarus (freshwater shrimp). There were decent numbers of larger burrowing mayflies (Ephemeridae) which are powerful 3-tailed swimmers that burrow into silt, good numbers of cased caddisfly larvae (Tricoptera), which make tube-like cases from stones, grains and plant material, along with the occasional caseless caddis.

Of greatest interest though were the several blue winged olives found (Ephemerellidae), which are particularly sensitive to pollution, demonstrating that the river health is surprisingly good. A stone loach fish was also recorded which was a species not re-stocked by the Environment Agency since the pollution event.

“This is certainly very encouraging news indeed, that given the chance, the river system can be quite resilient and is able to bounce back to its former health following such a catastrophic pollution incident just three years prior. Presence of all these invertebrates will not only provide food for fish, mammals, birds, and bats, but will also reassure the residents of Buckingham that their local river is healthy and safe.” - River Warden Coordinator, Ruth Coxon from The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).

The Buckingham & Gawcott Charitable Trust have made this training possible, by funding the riverfly training workshops and equipment needed for continued monitoring.

A public presentation of the cheque was made by Trust Chairman Councillor Robin Stuchbury during the morning training session on Sunday 18th July at Chandos Park, which turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year so far.

“It was great to see such interest from the public also enjoying the space at Chandos park with many passers-by, including young children, often showing an interest in the group’s activities, and asking what we were doing. Most were aware of the pollution incident 3 years ago and were pleased to hear that the river was recovering well.” - River Warden Coordinator, Ruth Coxon

Now trained up, the River Warden Group will be able to conduct monthly riverfly monitoring and input the results as publicly accessible data to the Riverfly Partnership’s online database. Monitoring efforts here will hopefully deter future acts of pollution and keep the river clean, healthy and thriving with wildlife for years to come.

“Riverfly sampling is an incredibly important tool in monitoring the river for water quality and in these days when the Environment Agency are under financial pressure with reduced ability to monitor water quality as they would have in the past. It is local volunteers who are needed to fill that space. If anyone is interested in joining I am sure that Ruth Coxon would welcome them and hopefully a number of further sampling sites can be created and monitored along the river to demonstrate the remarkable resilience and recovery of the river and to keep watch and report quickly any future incident of pollution.” Ian Hawkins, East Anglian Riverfly Hub Coordinator.

The River Warden group look forward to seeing how the health of the river improves. For more information about The Conservation Volunteers and the wide range of projects occurring nationally, please visit: https://www.tcv.org.uk.

Follow the Buckingham Otter Trail this Summer!

On Friday 23rd July, residents of Buckingham woke up to a delightful sight as a new family of ten colourful otter sculptures appeared across the town. Organised by Buckingham Town Council, the Buckingham Otter Trail is a free, fun art sculpture event that features 3ft otter sculptures holidaying in shop windows and surrounding green spaces. The public is invited to take part in this family-friendly activity to find all the otters making the perfect day out this summer.

The trail is live now and will continue until Monday 31st August. Buckingham Town Council hopes the art trail will attract both residents and visitors from far and wide to discover and re-discover the town and get Buckingham back to business after lockdown as well as making art accessible to all.

Councillor Margaret Gateley ‘One of my first opportunities as Mayor of Buckingham has been to meet many of the community groups and schools, who have lovingly painted one of the ten otter sculptures, which are part of the Otter Trail. It has been a delight to see their different artistic interpretations and to witness their enthusiasm for their work; this was especially evident when I was able to meet groups of schoolchildren with their own otter. I look forward to walking the trail myself’.

It is easy for people to take part, visitors can pick up a free trail map from the Tourist Information Centre inside the Buckingham Old Gaol, or you can print one yourselves on the link above. The trail is also available to follow on our community heritage exploration app Buxplore. Otter spotters will then be able to pinpoint which otters they want to see, in what order and where in the town they can be found. This also allows visitors to read more about the artists and sponsors behind the project.

Since April, the artists have been busy decorating the otters into beautiful pieces of art for your enjoyment. The funding for the project came from the underspend following events being cancelled during lockdown, and as part of the Town Centre and Event’s Committee’s work to support businesses and encourage more people to head into town. The project was also kindly supported by local businesses and charities who have sponsored an otter making the trail deeply rooted to Buckingham. Read on to hear from all the artists and sponsors behind this great initiative!

Canalotto is sponsored by the Buckingham Canal Society and painted by Zoe Day.

‘The Buckingham Canal Society are proud to be supporting the Buckingham Otter trail. Our aim is to fully restore the 10 miles of the Buckingham Arm of the Grand Union Canal, from Cosgrove right through to Buckingham. At Bourton Meadow, where our otter is located, you can see a restored ¼ mile stretch of the canal, which is a haven for many species of wildlife and flora, including kingfishers, reed warblers, herons, various butterflies, dragonflies and fish species, water voles, and even grass snakes, which love a swim on a warm day’!

‘We welcome new members and volunteers to join us; membership starts from just £4 per year - and our volunteers need no skills other than a desire to get involved, whether weekly or infrequently. We hold regular work parties at Bourton Meadow, Hyde Lane (2 miles from Buckingham) and Cosgrove, during the week and on weekends, or you can volunteer to help with admin, finance, marketing, grant applications - and much more. You can find out more at www.buckinghamcanal.org.uk 

We would like to give a special thank you to our amazing Otter Artist, Zoe Day, who is from Buckingham who painted the wonderful Canalotto’.

Zoë Day is a professional artist who has lived in and around Buckingham all of her life. Zoë studied art from a young age learning to paint wildlife with her grandmother. She went on to learn techniques and methods from some of the most prestigious art institutions including the Florence Academy, Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art and the Heatherley’s in Chelsea. Zoë set up her own Art School in 2010 and is still passionate about teaching the joy of painting in her weekly classes, while principally engaged in modern landscape painting and exhibition/commission work.

Zoë’s inspiration for this otter comes from her love of the Buckinghamshire landscape and countryside and is a celebration of this amazing project by the Canal Society to transform a disused waterway into a beautiful sanctuary for local wildlife. Try to see how many different creatures you can spot on her design!

Locki the otter is sponsored by MyFutureSelf Matters with support from local residents Charlotte and Justin who wanted to highlight the amazing work Carl was doing with local Buckingham School children. The young people chose the name ‘Locki’ as this is a reflection of the lock and key covering wallpaper and also reflecting MyFutureSelf’s ability to unlock potential in young people. They got their young people to come up with words that related to their lives and that tied in with emotional well-being, these words were then coloured in by some of the young people completing their mentoring programme.

MyFutureSelf is a mentoring service that supports young people in Buckinghamshire with their mental health, lifestyle and wellbeing. They offer 1:1 support in person or online, the age range MyFutureSelf work with is from 10 to 24 years old. MyFutureSelf aims to equip young people with tools and strategies to increase their emotional health, resilience and improve their overall wellbeing.

Patchy the otter is sponsored by Howes The Florist. They have been on Nelson Street in Buckingham for over 70 years, offering flowers for all of life's big occasions and here to celebrate the small joys too. Their hand delivery floral gifts are created by their wonderful team and are available 6 days a week, delivered locally.

‘The otter trail is a wonderful idea and having grown up in this beautiful market town we wanted to be part of raising the profile of our amazing local community. We are fortunate to be among the families benefitting from YC2 (Young Careers Buckingham), Our three children have attended village schools, as have my parents, Grandparents, Aunts and siblings. The pandemic has shown what an amazing community spirit we have in Buckingham and we are so proud to be part of this wonderful town.’

Patchy was decorated by Year 2 children at Maids Moreton C of E School. They chose an Elmer inspired patchwork design for their otter. The whole class took part, with each child designing and painting a section. The children wanted to make his fur appear realistic so opted for tones of brown. They thoroughly enjoyed the design process and were very proud of their finished product.

Prints of the Future is sponsored by Gawcott Fields Community Solar Project CIC who are a not for profit enterprise which owns a community solar array at Gawcott Fields Farm between Gawcott and Buckingham. The 4.17-megawatt solar array is made up of over 16,000 solar panels and is expected to generate over 4 million kWh of renewable electricity each year. That’s equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of around 1,000 homes. Surplus income generated by the solar array (after operating and financing costs) is used to support community projects in the local area.

Prints of the Future was painted by Roundwood Primary School. They wanted all the children to be part of the painting so they decided the best way to do that was by decorating the sculpture with fingerprints. They named their otter 'Prints of the Future' as one day, in the not-too-distant future, it will be the hands from these prints that serve our community. The children thoroughly enjoyed decorating with their fingerprints and watching as the number of prints grew with a visit to each year group. They really fell for their otter sculpture and were all sad when it had to be collected but they hope people will enjoy finding it as a part of the trail.

Monty the otter is sponsored by Bucks Radio. Bucks Radio is the new sound of Buckinghamshire, aiming to bring local radio back to the county. They have been overwhelmed by the support they’ve received so far, and are looking forward to becoming a part of Bucks life. Between them, their team have been working, and broadcasting, in the area for over 40 years, so they believe they understand what matters to you.

Right now they’re broadcasting online, via smart speakers and app, meaning you can take them with you wherever you go. They have the latest news, weather and travel, and loads of community information, including a free What's On Guide and features like Charity Friday.

They are supporting local businesses, and have a variety of advertising and sponsorship packages available, and are happy to talk about bespoke competitions and partnerships.

Monty was painted by children attending Bourton Meadow Academy. They were very excited to receive their otter and decisions turned to how it should be decorated. Many suggestions were submitted but they decided to settle on a doodle design in the style of Mr Doodle. They felt this would allow the children maximum range of creativity whilst have a theme running throughout all the designs. They liked the idea of lots of individual ideas being knitted together through the use of simple black lines.

The children were introduced to the work of Mr Doodle and asked to design their own doodle idea to be included on the otter. They wanted the children to be able to express their creativity so left the theme quite open.

Lacey the otter is sponsored by Barratt and David Wilson Homes.

“Our St Rumbold’s Fields development in Buckingham gave us the opportunity to sponsor the Buckingham Otter Trail this year and we are so proud to get behind such a fantastic community event. We want to encourage people to take part, support local businesses and see some brilliant art created by pupils at Lace Hill Academy. We look forward to the event and to continuing to support the Buckingham community.”

Lacey was decorated by reception children at Lace Hill Academy. They were really excited to be part of the community otter project. The first thing we did was to decide if it was a boy or a girl. We put boy and girl written on two pieces of paper and one was pulled out. The idea for the pattern was inspired by the history of the area around Lace Hill and Buckingham. Many of the street names have a lace or sewing source, Catchpin Street, Bobbins Way, Threads Lane and Linen Lane. The children painted the base colour of dark purple and cream for her tummy and then a ‘lacy’ pattern was stencilled on the top with a doily to break up the base colour. They worked in small groups throughout the week to stencil the patterns. The children then wanted to add some bright colours so they decided on yellows for the tummy and tail and pinks for the main body. The children were very proud of the finished result and were sad when Lacey left to get varnished.

Jeff the otter is sponsored by Heritage and Sons Buckingham. Heritage & Sons are proud to serve the wider community in Buckinghamshire and to support the fantastic Buckingham Otter Trail. They are part of CPJ Field, a leading family-run funeral service provider which operates funeral homes across South East England. At CPJ Field we understand that no two lives are the same, which is why every funeral we arrange is completely individual too. Whether you’re making the arrangements for a loved one or prudently planning your own, we’re here for you in every way.

Over the past three centuries, CPJ Field has been actively owned and managed by the Field family through ten generations. It is our solemn promise to help you to make your funeral experience as personal and individual as possible.

Jeff was decorated by Buckingham Primary School children with the help of local artist Clare Tebboth. Their design was inspired by the natural world around Buckingham and wanted it to reflect the animals, birds and insects they have seen on their many walks during lockdown. The design incorporates lots of ideas taken from the year 6 children and discussions they had around the theme. They liked the idea that you could find lots of different creatures hidden around the sculpture and hoped that it would appeal to both young and old, counting the insects, finding the toad or even the hedgehog!

Clare Tebboth is a primary school teacher at Buckingham Primary school specialising in art.  When she is not at school she is an artist exhibiting work in galleries working in predominantly oils and watercolours.  She also teaches adults art at Vitreus Art Gallery, Towcester and has been chair for many years of Buckingham Art for All - a popular local community art group.

Jimmy Fisher the otter was sponsored by Buckingham Town Council and lovingly painted by children who attend YC2 Buckingham & Winslow Young Carers with a little bit of help from local designer Kate Lowe.

YC2 enjoyed painting their sculpture at Otter HQ and decided to include their big red balloon logo and thistledown floating in the sky. Designer Kate took all 65 sets of initials of their current register and painted them on in the tiniest lettering meaning Jimmy Fisher will always have a record of each young carer who is a member of YC2 in 2020/21. Further inspiration came and Jimmy has a pretty daisy chain necklace and is holding a large fish that he has just caught and is about to enjoy!

Buckingham and Winslow Young Carers provide regular programmes of activities for children and young people aged 6-18 with significant personal caring responsibilities for one or more family members with physical, mental or learning disabilities an opportunity for rest bite.

Flo the otter was sponsored by Buckingham Town Council and decorated by nurses at Buckingham Community Hospital and water marbling artist Derryn Snowdon.

Derryn took the otter to Buckingham Hospital and the team on duty named her, whilst taking turns to try their hand at water marbling for the very first time which was a very therapeutic artistic day at work. Derryn taught them some of the practices and terms in traditional Turkish marbling and they took to it like ...well as an otter to water! Flo was named after Florence Nightingale, and echo’s the flow in water marbling design and the water where otters live.  Flo represents a journey of exploration for us all. The non-marbled parts provide a neutral background to display the marbled parts. The smudges and incomplete patterns draw you in to complete the pattern in your mind.

Olive Otterson the otter is sponsored by The University of Buckingham and has been decorated by their Students’ Union.

‘The University is delighted to participate in the Otter Trail initiative. Positive relationships with our local community are really important to the university and we love seeing residents enjoying our campus facilities. The University has educated thousands of students from all over the world for almost fifty years and we employ many of our staff from within the community. We hope the Otter Trail and our University Otter will encourage families to make use of the University Bookshop and (if Covid guidelines allow) that you make a visit to the Vinson Building and experience the University Café. We very much look forward to welcoming you.'

For enquiries please contact Paul Hodson at Buckingham Town Council on 01280 816426, office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk.

Let There Be More Light?

Let There Be More Light?

At Environment Committee on the 14th June 2021 Members agreed the following motion:

With regards to people, especially women, feeling safe in our parks and green spaces: to discuss the current provision of street lighting and decide whether to explore putting in extra illumination.

We are seeking feedback from residents to help identify areas in the town and parks that require more illumination. The map showing the location of Buckingham’s current street lights can be accessed via the Fix My Street website, select ‘Street lights’ from the left hand column and then ‘Street Light not working’:

https://www.fixmystreet.buckscc.gov.uk/report/new?longitude=-0.972267&latitude=51.993913#subcategory

We would appreciate residents’ views on whether any additional street lighting is needed within the town and greenspaces and where those extra street lighting columns could be located. Any recommendations for additional LED lighting columns would be recommended to Buckinghamshire Council (Highways), who own the majority of street lighting columns across the town including through Bourton Park.

Please email committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk with any suggestions on the location of additional LED lighting columns.

Streetlighting

Transport for Buckinghamshire’s (TfB) Street Lighting Team looks after the 29,000 streetlights and 6,000 illuminated bollards we rely on across Buckinghamshire to

Street Lighting

illuminate our roads and pathways by night.

During 2018-19, the Street Lighting Team replaced 3,295 ‘old style’ lanterns with LED equipment. These old style lanterns have an orange light, whilst the new lanterns produce a white light. In addition to this, the team has also completely replaced 344 lanterns which were mounted on wooden electricity poles.

If you do spot a damaged or broken street light, please do report it using Fix My Street https://www.fixmystreet.buckscc.gov.uk/

Use the search bar to find the road the street light is on, use the marker to pinpoint the area it is in and select the number of the street light that you are reporting. This should be used for faults that do not present an immediate risk, for example, street lights that aren’t working. In an emergency, please call 01296 382416 to report.

Whose light is it anyway?

Buckinghamshire Council are not the only ones who maintain lights within the town. Buckingham Town Council maintains eight LED streetlights within Chandos Park, updated from the old lantern style luminaire. The LED lights use far less electricity and direct the light down and along the path where required reducing light pollution as opposed to the old style lanterns.

Only County Council lights currently appear on the Fix My Street website – if there is no light option available on the map for the location that you are trying to report. Note however that you cannot report failed lights that are privately owned, for example in gardens, on driveways or lighting commercial premises. You’ll need to contact the landowner.

Fun Fact Friday: Brackley Road Cemetery

Buckingham has two historic cemeteries. The later was designed by noted architect Samuel Fripp and opened in 1856. The cemetery is sited on Brackley Road, and has provided a burial place for the residents of Buckingham for over 150 years. In 2005 Buckingham Town Council took over responsibility for the management and maintenance of the Cemetery and since have been committed to improving the Cemetery and ensuring that it is a well-maintained and suitable resting place for loved ones.

There are strong associations between the cemetery and the history of the town. There are also connections with members of the community. The cemetery provides an important link with the past and a place for contemplation by the local community.

The Cemetery is located at Brackley Road, Buckingham MK18 1JA, near the edge of the town and opposite Pateman Close. The Cemetery is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk, with access through the main gates. However, the Council reserves the right to close the grounds and limit entry at any time.

There are two gothic chapels at the cemetery, which are the focal points of the original 1850s layout. They are sited towards the centre of their respective parts of the burial ground: the non-conformist side being in the smaller west half and the Anglican chapel in the east half.

A site dossier with information about the history of the site was prepared as part of The Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust (BGT) Research and Recording Project which began in 2014. Brackley Road Cemetery was identified as an important designed landscape by Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) in 1998 to retain evidence of historic interest, as part of the Historic Parks and Gardens Register Review project carried out for Historic England. The list is not definitive and further parks and gardens may be identified as research continues or further information comes to light.

Whilst visiting Brackley Road Cemetery please do:

  • Be aware that funerals may be taking place within the Cemetery
  • Treat other people in the Cemetery with the utmost respect
  • Treat the Cemetery, graves and memorials with respect

For more information on Brackley Road Cemetery, including the fees and burial forms, visit our Cemetery page.

Love Parks Week 23rd July – 1st August 2021

 

Join us in celebrating Love Parks Week from Friday 23 July – Sunday 1 August 2021!

Since the start of the pandemic, more and more people have come to see the benefits of visiting our parks and green spaces. During lockdown, all of Buckingham’s greenspaces remained open to the community for daily exercise, fresh air, peace and quiet and a safe place to meet friends and family under restrictions. For many, our parks and open spaces have become a vital lifeline.

Keep Britain Tidy will be running their annual campaign this summer. This year’s Love Parks Week provides a moment to send a rallying cry; to Love, Respect, and Protect our parks throughout the summer of 2021 and beyond. Be sure to keep up to date with the campaign on social media by following the hashtag #LoveParks

Events during Love Parks Week

Here are just some of the events taking place during the week, we will be adding more to the website soon so make sure to check back nearer the time!

 

Date & Time Event and Location Event Type
28th July 2-3.30pm Chandos Park There will be a free Korfball session held at Chandos Park on Wednesday 28th July at 2-3:30pm for anyone aged between 8 and 14 years old. The session will be lead by Buckingham Royals and will take place on the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA).

 

If you’re interested, email royalkorfball@gmail.com for more information.

28-29th July 10-1pm and dates throughout the summer Action4Youth

Chandos Park

Those that attended our drop in Action4Youth session last year know that the team are excellent at bringing together fantastic activities that young people are keen to try.

 

This year’s offering includes cooking, sports, inflatable obstacle courses, skateboards, parkour, graffitti artists and more!

 

Young people are split into 11 – 14 and 15 – 18 age groups for sessions.

 

Events in Parks this Summer

We are celebrating beyond Love Parks Week in Buckingham’s parks and open spaces this summer! See attached link for a list of upcoming events

https://www.buckingham-tc.gov.uk/fringe-2021/?fbclid=IwAR33d42Uia1El70VXQjn8l0XYObQCIKTpK6fr2sCMeKmHsCD3ZCGya1kH2s

Litter Picking

We have a Volunteer Litter Picking scheme that is situated in Bourton Park and can be conducted across all of Buckingham’s greenspaces. If you would like to help us keep our parks and green spaces beautiful then please visit our Litter Picking page for more information.

https://www.buckingham-tc.gov.uk/quick-litter-pick/