Celebrate summer with a trip from Buckingham to Neverland

Buckingham Town Council have arranged for an outdoor performance of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie to be presented on the Green next to St Peter and St Paul’s Church this summer. The award-winning Illyria Outdoor Theatre is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. To mark this milestone, they are re-staging popular shows from their back catalogue, including Peter Pan.

This will be the first time Illyria has entertained audiences in Buckingham. “Over the last thirty years, we have performed top-notch outdoor theatre to over a million people across the country,” said Artistic Director Oliver Gray. “It’s a great chance for everyone to come together, enjoy the British summertime and be entertained.”

Peter Pan Outdoor Theatre event poster for Buckingham 2022

Buckingham Town Council are pleased to be part of Illyria’s 30th anniversary celebrations. “Especially after the success of last year’s outdoor theatre show and the pleasure it brought people by bringing families together in a shared activity,” said Cllr Robin Stuchbury, Chair of Town Centre, and Events Committee.

Robin continued, “we are only able to do these events because of the work of our members of staff within the events team do to help facilitate initiatives like the outdoor theatre. Whoever you are, a show like Peter Pan by J.M Barrie is a fantastic event for your calendar, it will be filled with magic and mischief. And, for the first time ever in outdoor touring theatre, it features real flying! It promises to be a fantastic opportunity for Buckingham.”

The event will take place on the Green by St Peter and St Paul’s Church on Wednesday August 3rd, 2022. There will be an afternoon show at 2.30pm and another at 6pm. Peter Pan is presented by arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd. www.concordtheatricals.co.uk

Tickets are on sale now, buy online at www.illyria.co.uk

 

 

Buckingham Fringe Week to celebrate local artists, culture and outdoor summer fun

A fantastic lineup of arts and culture events will come to Buckingham as part of this years Fringe Week from 16th to 23rd July.

Saturday 16th July:

Market Entertainment

St Mary & St Giles band perform classical music at the ancient Cattle Pens flea market area, while stilt walkers will be entertaining visitors in Market Hill outside the Old Gaol.

Inspiration Art Trail Map launch

Take a tour of Buckingham from artist Cathy Read’s perspective. See the inspiration behind the art by following the map around Buckingham and the surrounding area. Plus: chance to win a Cathy Read print.

Skatepark Contest & Event

King Ramps are bringing profession skateboarders and a BMX display to Buckingham Skate Park. Come along with your own board or bike and get tips from the professionals through a workshop and open practice session, and rounded off with a community contest – free to enter, maximum bragging rights for the winner.

Sunday 17th July:

Family Fun Day

An afternoon of family fun at Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre, including bouncy castle, food, stalls and more.

Tuesday 19th July:

The Oxford Fiddle Group

Returning to the Radcliffe Centre, the Oxford Fiddle Group perform songs from England, Scotland, Ireland and the USA. Tickets £6 each and available from the Tourist Information Centre in the Old Gaol.

Wednesday 19th July

Fringe Week Quiz

Join Mikey at The Woolpack for an extra special Fringe week quiz – don’t forget to brush up on your local knowledge for this years special round!

Thursday 21st July

Art in the Market

Pop along to Art in the Market to witness professional and amateur artists creating art, learn about their work and have a go at creating your own masterpiece. Meanwhile, Buckingham’s first Giant Art Attack will take place outside the Old Gaol.

Saturday 23rd July:

Market Entertainment

Local resident and member of Buckingham Acoustic Club, Udo Dolz, will be playing acoustic fingerstyle and classical guitar at the Flea market, while Simon Says Magic will be putting on a fantastic show for children outside the Old Gaol.

The BFG

Family friendly music event The BFG joins the Fringe this year, from Moretonville FC in Gawcott. The BFG featuring Alvin as Elvis and 2Tone featuring Dave Mason and Ryan Chandler, licensed bar, food, bouncy castles, craft stalls and lots more.

Chair of the Town Centre & Events Committee, Cllr. Robin Stuchbury said “this year marks more than 10 years of the Fringe, when we started it many years ago, it was to keep the continuity of council and community events working together. Offer the opportunity for everyone to partake, across a wide spectrum of ages. The committee and officers do a grand job of putting this together. I hope that everyone who takes part this year enjoy it and gets something from the week.”

Interested in hosting your own Fringe Week event? Get in touch with events@buckingham-tc.gov.uk and we’d be delighted to include your event on our website and Fringe promotions.

Mayor of Buckingham awards prizes at Mayor Making Ceremony

Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Margaret Gateley will continue for a second year as Mayor, after her fellow Councillors voted unanimously for her to stay on. Cllr. Margaret Gateley said that: "It is a great honour to be Mayor of Buckingham for a second year. It was fantastic to be able to celebrate Mayor Making with dignitaries and Mayors from around Buckinghamshire and beyond, with fellow Councillors, members of community groups, family and friends. It was special to have the opportunity to recognise the service and contribution of different individuals and groups from our town through our awards and grants. My thanks to everyone who contributed to making this such a lovely evening."

This is the first time in three years that the annual Mayor Making event – a formal ceremony that confirms the Council’s choice as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Town - was able to take place indoors, at Buckingham Community Centre. The Town Council was joined by a number of dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant, Countess Howe, and High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, Debbie Brock. Mayors from neighbouring towns Aylesbury, Leighton-Linslade, Brackley, Towcester and Deputy Mayor of Banbury as well as Lt. Col David Marce from RAF Croughton, who all joined in the celebrations.

Cllr. Anja Schaefer was also appointed Deputy Mayor, Anja has been a Councillor for the last twelve months and is a lecturer at the Open University.

Guests were entertained by Linda Watkins and Mike Moyse and £150 was raised for the Mayor’s Charities 2022 - 2023, which this year are the Jedidiah Project and Buckingham Food Bank.

This year’s community awards were given to:

Honorary Freeman

  • Terry Bloomfield for 20 years of service to the town, as well as being a Councillor for many years, Terry was a key person involved with horticultural shows, managing the community centre and the Old Gaol Trust.

Friend of Buckingham

  • Chris Mullis for all his work in setting up and managing the Buckingham Support Network during lockdown.
  • Mikey Dyson-Smith for his morale-boosting work through the pandemic.
  • Jenny Manning for her work on the Buckingham Railway Walk Volunteers Group.

Bard of Buckingham

  • Dean Jones, the first ever Bard of Buckingham, who carried on the role for two years

Arts and Sports Award

  • Buckingham Ukulele Group in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the local community through enhancing the cultural life in Buckingham.

Natural Environment and Climate Champion Award

  • Railway Walk Conservation Group in recognition of the exceptional and outstanding contribution to the local community through protecting and enhancing the environment.

Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise Award

  • Men in Sheds in recognition of the group’s continued support for men

Cllr. Geraldine Collins was also awarded a rose bowl, as a mark of her service as past Mayor of Buckingham 2020 – 2021.

Cheques were also given out to the Mayor’s Charities for 2021 – 2022: Community Care North Bucks and Project Street Life, who were each awarded £1,785 from fundraising projects and collections at events throughout the last year.

Grants were also awarded to 16 local groups by the Town Council, with members of the groups invited to attend and receive their charity cheques.

Town Council Four-year grants:

Buckingham Fairtrade, Buckingham Old Gaol Trust, Buckingham Summer Festival, Buckingham Tennis Club, Buckingham Youth Club, Citizens Advice Bureau, Chandos Park Bowls Club, Project Street Life

Town Council One-Year Grants

Aspire, Buckingham & District Angling Association, Buckingham Town Cricket Club, Buckingham United FC, Lace Hill Residents Association, St. Peter & St. Paul’s Church, Swan Community Hub, West End Bowls Club.

More details about the grants will be published next month.

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