New signs celebrate Buckingham’s friendship with France and German towns

Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Margaret Gateley and Stephanie Scrase, Chair of Buckingham Twinning Association met recently to inspect the new ‘finger post’ sign that directs Buckingham visitors 405 miles away to Neukirchen-Vluyn, in Germany. Neukirchen-Vluyn joins Mouvaux, 252 miles away in France, as a twin town of Buckingham with officials and community groups working together in all three countries to make positive connections between the three towns.

As well as the new fingerpost signage, the Welcome to Buckingham signs have also been updated to include Neukirchen-Vluyn, and a new display added to the Council Chamber window with items donated from the Twinning Association and the Town Council archives. These include guide books, visit accounts, photographs, a boules set and a french ‘cheese’ a hollow wooden block used to bang the gavel against during Council meetings.

Stephanie Scrase, Chair of Buckingham Twinning Association said that: “These new signs are a testimony of an incredible and friendly town who has worked hard to promote friendship to its neighbouring countries.

It gives me a warm feeling every time I see the signs linking my home town of Mouvaux and Neukirchen–Vluyn with Buckingham. These three towns are firmly linked on many levels, so many friendships and exchanges have developed over the past 20 years thanks to twinning, long may it last.

The association is run for the benefit of all, to form new friendships or to know more about twinning, please come and join us.”

The new signs were erected ahead of a weekend of celebration including Twinning in the Market on Saturday 19th March - a celebration of our twin towns through music and dance surrounded by Buckingham's fantastic local market traders.

Year of Joy from Buckingham Town Council

Buckingham Town Council are looking forward to their first full year of events programming after the covid-19 pandemic.

If you are interested in attending any of these events as a trader, get in touch.

Date Day Start Time Event Venue
22/2/22 Tuesday 11:00 Pancake Race Church Green
26/2/22 Saturday 10:00 Food Fair Community Centre
19/3/22 Saturday 10:00 Twinning in the Market – music and entertainment Outside Old Gaol
19/3/22 Saturday 12:00 Twinning Celebration Community Centre
24/3/22 Thursday 19:00 Annual Town Meeting Community Centre
10/4/22 Sunday 10:00 Lace Hill Easter Bazaar Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre
24/4/22 Sunday 10:00 Green Spring Fair Cattle Pens
24/4/22 Sunday 15:00 Scout Parade from Bull Ring
3/5/22 Tuesday 11:00 May Day Church Green
2/6/22 Thursday 11:00 Celebrate Buckingham Day Bourton Park
3/6/22 Friday 14:00 Music in the Market Town Centre
4/6/22 Saturday 11:00 Picnic on the Pitch Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre
5/6/22 Sunday 11:00 Civic Service for the Jubilee Parish Church
10/6/22 Friday 19:00 Mayor Making Community Centre
16/7/22 Saturday FRINGE WEEK Buckingham
17/7/22 Sunday 11:00 FRINGE Lace Hill Fun Day Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre
19/7/22 Tuesday 19:00 FRINGE Musical Group Radcliffe Centre
22/7/22 Friday 12:00 FRINGE Launch of Swan Community Sculpture Trail Town Centre
23/7/22 Saturday FRINGE Skate Park event Skate Park
24/7/22 Sunday FRINGE Comedy Night TBC
1/8/22 Monday Date TBA Basketball Chandos Park & Bourton Park
1/8/22 Monday Date TBA 3 x Play Around the Parishes Chandos Park
3/8/22 Wednesday 14:00 Outdoor Theatre Church Green
28/8/22 Sunday 12:00 Bandjam Bull Ring
11/9/22 Sunday 10:30 Dog Show Bourton Park
25/9/22 Sunday 10:00 River Rinse 1 TBA
4/10/22 Tuesday 19:00 Bardic Trial TBA
9/10/22 Sunday 10:00 River Rinse 2 TBA
14/10/22 Friday 11:00 Local Democracy Week event
15/10/22 Saturday 13:00 Charter Fair 1 Town Centre
22/10/22 Saturday 11:00 Charter Fair 2 Town Centre
28/10/22 Friday 18:00 Lace Hill Halloween event Lace Hill Centre
5/11/22 Saturday 18:00 Bonfire and Fireworks Bourton Park
13/11/22 Sunday 10:30 Remembrance Parade Town Centre
20/11/22 Sunday 11:00 Winter Fair Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre
26/11/22 Saturday 18:00 Christmas Light Switch On Town Centre
10/12/22 Saturday 10:30 Christmas Parade Town Centre
10/12/22 Saturday 12:00 Community Fair Community Centre

A number of events are planned including the tasty delights of the Food Fair, back in February, to a green-themed Spring Fair and local favourite Bonfire and Fireworks. The Council will continue to support a number of community events with help with road closures and funding from all day music festivals to Scout, Remembrance and Christmas parades.

A new event, Picnic on the Pitch, will be launched as part of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Saturday 4th June at Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre, alongside Celebrate Buckingham Day on 2nd June and Music In The Market on 3rd June.

Any local business or community group who would like to trade at or sponsor a Town Council event this year is encouraged to contact the Town Council Office to take part.

Chair of the Town Centre & Events Committee, Cllr. Robin Stuchbury, said: “I think we can safely say that the Town Centre & Events committee and the officers who support the events have put forward a full calendar which tries to be as inclusive and as broad as possible so that everyone can take part. Funding has been agreed to secure these activities and I look forward to seeing as many people at the events as possible, creating a great ambience in the town as we move to normality. If you need any further information through the year don’t hesitate to contact the office.”

Buckingham to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

The four-day Jubilee weekend in June, to celebrate the Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, will see Buckingham jam-packed with festivities for everyone to enjoy.
Alongside the 250 trees already planted, as part of the Queen’s Canopy project, the Council are celebrating the Jubilee with three large celebration events and are supporting several more including a Jubilee beacon that will be lit at the historic St Peter & St Paul’s Church.

The Council is also encouraging residents to get involved by hosting their own street parties as part of the Big Jubilee Lunch. There’s no fee for temporary road closures; contact Buckinghamshire Council for details.

Celebrate Buckingham was held for the first-time last year and was a great success. This year the event will again be held in Bourton Park to celebrate the range of voluntary organisations who are serving the town and enable local groups to raise funds and recruit volunteers. This year, the council are inviting all local community and voluntary and groups to take part by booking a stall. As before, we are asking each stall to provide some form of activity because experience has shown that this encourages people to take more time to engage with stalls. Please contact the Town Council office for details.

Platinum Jubilee Events:

Thursday 2nd June

  • Celebrate Buckingham Day:
      • Returns to Bourton Park
      • Jubilee fancy dress contest
      • Awarding of Trader of the Year prize by the Buckingham Society
      • Chance to view the Council’s robes and mace
      • Local community, voluntary and social enterprise group stalls and free fun activities for all
      • Reading of the proclamation by the Town Crier
      • Bouncy castles and entertainment
      • Food stall
    • Lighting of the Jubilee Beacon
      • At 9.45pm at St Peter & St Paul’s church, part-funded by the Town Council.

Friday 3rd June

  • Music in the Market
    • Returns to Buckingham’s Market Square this year, with live music and tasty food. Organised by Buckingham Acoustic Club, this family-friendly music festival is a firm favourite of many.

Saturday 4th June

  • Picnic on the Pitch
    • Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre will host a huge outdoor picnic, with a fantastic lively atmosphere including entertainment, bouncy castle and more.

Sunday 5th June

  • Platinum Jubilee Civic Servive
    • St Peter and St Paul’s church will host this civic celebration of the Queen.
  • The Big Jubilee Lunch
    • Residents are encouraged to host street parties.

The Chair of the Town Centre & Events Committee, Cllr. Robin Stuchbury, said “Councillors have been considering the Jubilee for some time, working with officers to best support the community in their activities and creating a shared experience. We’ve moved events and shared budgets to enhance the weekend and create a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate the long period of the monarch’s rule. We look forward to seeing people, not only at Town Council events but also having their own special celebrations including gathering to light the beacon which is part-funded by the Town Council.

Buckingham has always been supportive of the monarch, as our two Royal Charters testify. We look forward to the Queen being fit and well and would welcome her to visit Buckingham at any time – the last time she visited and met the residents was when my late friend Cllr. Isham, greeted her in 1996 on behalf of the community, as Mayor of Buckingham.”

The Buckingham Otters Auction

After a Summer of Otter Spotting, the Buckingham Otters Bidding Extravaganza Begins

Did you fall in love with the otters? Would you like to become the proud owner of one? Our final key event of the project, the Buckingham Otter Auction is here and bidding opens this Friday 24th September 2021!

The Buckingham Otter Trail was a temporary feel-good public art installation featuring ten 3ft tall sized otter sculptures. Sponsored by local businesses and organisations, the otters were decorated by professional artists, school children and community groups which brought much excitement to the town over summer.

Photograph of painted otter sculptures

Following the removal of the otter-tastic sculptures at the end of the trail and their appearance at the first-ever Celebrate Buckingham event, Buckingham Town Council will now say their final farewells to the beloved otters as they swim away to their new forever homes.

Chairman of the Town Centre Events Committee Cllr Robin Stuchbury said “After a summer of giving so many people pleasure the otters are going up for auction, if you’ve enjoyed seeing the otters this is your opportunity to purchase one and by doing so you’ll be contributing to the Mayor’s charities and benefiting our local community, in the very same way the otters have throughout the summer. So please don’t miss this one off opportunity of owning your own Buckingham otter and by doing so you’ll be helping others”.

The bidding will be taking place online using social media and the Town Council website. Each week one otter will be added to the auction, you will have nearly two weeks to make your highest bid.  The otter being auctioned will be on display at the Tourist Information Centre. Bids may be submitted through the Town Council website and by telephone.

The online event will see our large sculptures auctioned, with profits to be split equally between the Mayor’s Charities and a future similar event next summer. The Mayor’s Charities are Project Street Life and Community Care North Bucks, which includes YC2 Buckingham & Winslow Young Carers, North Bucks Carers, Open House and the Hospital Car Service. We could not be more delighted to raise money for these worthy causes, pouring funds straight back into supporting the community and making another sculpture trail next summer for everyone to enjoy.

If you wish to find out more information about the auction or one or more of the otter sculptures, please visit www.buckingham-tc.gov.uk

We’ll be sad to wave goodbye to our otters but we’re sure there are wonderful things on the horizon for them in their new homes!

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!"

Wildflower Art Contest Winners

Buckingham’s first wildflower art contest has been a great success, with a truly wonderful variety of flowers chosen for the entries.

Local artist, Fiona Hancock took on the role of judge after creating watercolour illustrations for Buckingham wildflower information boards (now on display in Bourton Park.)

Selecting winners was a tough task. Fiona told us that “The variety and quality of the work submitted was outstanding. It was difficult to choose winners but the ones chosen reflect the wildflower theme and high level of art entered. All entries clearly enjoyed creating their pieces and it was a pleasure to view them all.”

The adult winners were:

  • Carmen Carreira, with a watercolour of Buckinghamshire and Chiltern Gentian
  • Laura Bentley with a freehand machine embroidery and appliqué Moon [Ox-eye] Daisy.
  • Highly commended was Amy Godfrey with a bold and colourful digital art wildflower posey with cow parsley at its centre.

Carmen’s detailed painting will be printed on the cover of the Summer 2021 edition of Buckingham Town Matters. Laura told us “I am really overwhelmed to be one of the ones chosen. I love where we live and this is nice way to celebrate it.”

Entries from young people were judged separately, and a fantastic selection of entries were received. The winners were:

  • Evie Hurman-Ball and Renata Kapinos, both from The Buckingham School with water colour entries. Evelyn’s piece focused on a bee landing on a flower, while Renata chose to paint a small poser of wildflowers including grasses.
  • Highly Commended was Amelie King (The Buckingham School) for her expressive watercolour of poppies and Akanksha Bathula (Royal Latin School) who drew a detailed study of lupins.

All the winning entries received Green Buckingham water bottles, donated by Buckinghamshire Recycles to support projects that encourage recycling and the protection of local green spaces.

Plans are in motion to create a display of the winning entries in Buckingham at the Old Goal Museum and Tourist Information Centre.

Adult Category

Young People Category

Buckingham Otter Trail

The Buckingham Otter Trail 2021 was a temporary feel good public art event featuring ten individually decorated, 3ft sized otter sculptures displayed across town and surrounding green spaces from July 23rd - August 31st.

The trail was a fantastic way for residents and visitors to explore Buckingham and find out more about its businesses, artists and local attractions. Sponsored by local businesses and organisations, the otters were beautifully decorated by professional artists, school children and community groups in all sorts of colours and mediums which brought much excitement to the town over summer.

The free, inclusive public art sculpture trail was the perfect family friendly day out and made many happy memories. All ten otters were together one final time which gave people a chance to say their final farewells at the first ever Celebrate Buckingham Event. If you didn't get a chance to do the the trail you can read all about it below.

The sculptures will now be auctioned off to raise funds for the Mayor's charities and to support a future similar event in 2022.

Otter name: Jeff

Sponsor Logo

Otter name: Canalotto

Artist: Zoe Day

Otter name: Lockii

Artist: Young people at My FutureSelf Matters

Otter name: Prints of the Future

Sponsor Logo

Otter name: Lacey

Sponsor Logo

Otter name: Patchy

Sponsor Logo

Otter name: Olive Otterson

University Logo

 

Otter name: Monty

Sponsor Logo

Otter name: Jimmy Fisher

Artist: YC2/ Buckingham & Winslow Young Carers and designer Kate Lowe

Sponsor: Buckingham Town Council

Otter name: Flo

Artist: Derryn Snowdon and staff at Buckingham Community Hospital

Sponsor: Buckingham Town Council

Buckingham Photography and Art Competition Winners

For the second year in a row, we are pleased to announce that the Buckingham calendar is available to purchase from the Tourist Information Centre in The Old Gaol.

Front and Back covers of the Buckingham 2021 calendar. The front image shows a child with a fishing net standing in the FloshThis year we opened the competition up to artwork as well at photography and we were blown away by the talent that Buckingham has to offer. It was very difficult to choose the 12 winners to be included, but with a good range of images from all the seasons, the calendar would be a great addition to your wall.

Councillor Geraldine Collins – Buckingham Town Mayor – said, “I always look forward to seeing the Buckingham calendar.  This year as always it is a great reflection of our local area. I was thrilled to see the photographs and artwork entries for this year.  thank you to our wonderfully talented community, and to those who work with them to bring this together.”

Discover Buckingham with 12 unique images of the town for £6.00 from the Tourist Information Centre; it’s the perfect present for Christmas.

Thank you to everyone that entered and well done to all the winners.

Here are the winning entries:

  • January – Mike Lake, Canal in the Mist
  • February –  Peter Bowtell, Buckingham Highlights
  • March – Barbara Farmer, Woodland of Western Avenue
  • April – Tamika McCullough, Springtime Bloom
  • May – Irene Schrufer, Precious Purple
  • June – Cathy Read, Buckingham Gaol
  • July – Sandra Windmill, Gone Fishing
  • August – Louise Stubbs, Canal Stories
  • September – Tamika McCullough, Swan Girl
  • October – Mural by Children of Buckingham
  • November – Mike Lake, Radcliffe Centre sunset
  • December – Lynette Dunkley, Winter’s Walk on the Railway Path