Buckingham Swan Trail

Buckingham Town Council are excited to introduce the second temporary public art sculpture trail which will run throughout the summer holidays of 2023. The Swan Trail is a family friendly, feel-good project that provides a free community led activity for everyone to enjoy!

Just like the fantastic success of the 2021 Otter Trail, we believe the Swan Trail will attract visitors to the town and help increase footfall to our local shops and businesses. We know from previous trails, that when visitors spend time exploring Buckingham's heritage this also generates positive economic and social benefits for the community. Swan Trail HQ will collaborate with local schools, artists, groups, businesses, and organisations by helping them design, paint and sponsor a swan sculpture.

Councillor Robin Stuchbury, chair of Town Centre and Events committee said “ We are pleased to bring forward the Swan Trail this year knowing how much the 2021 Otter Trail was enjoyed and how many people took part in this community event.  Of course we are only able to run such events through the planning and coordination of our officers and the continued positive support of the committee and council to do everything possible within our limited budget to put on events which makes Buckingham a great place to live, work and visit ”.  

Sponsorship Opportunities

We invite your company to be part of a unique town wide project and sponsor a swan sculpture. With support from the community, sponsorship fees will allow us to part fund the sculpture, plaque, and plinth. Our affordable sponsorship package offers a great platform to promote your business, engage with your workforce, local community, and visitors to the town. More details are provided in the sponsorship pack.

Swan Design Competition

Calling all residents - we need your help! Do you have an idea for a swan design that could be brought to life as part of our 2023 Swan Trail?

This competition is open to anyone over the age of 16 years of age, please use the template as a base for your design brief and we would also love to hear the story behind your swan. The winning artist will have the opportunity to help paint their design and then it will be on display as part of the live trail.

To submit your swan, email a picture of your design to Swan HQ: tic@buckingham-tc.gov.uk. Make sure you include in the email your full contact details and story or statement about your design, the deadline is Friday 10th February 2023.

photo of swan sculpture

The Buckingham Swan Trail event is part funded by Buckinghamshire Council's Buckingham & Villages Community Board.

 

Buckingham Festive Trail

Buckingham Festive Trail

Complete the Buckingham Festive Trail to be in with a chance of winning £100 to spend in a local shop this Christmas!

From November 26th until December 15th, 2022.

Have fun with the whole family this Christmas with an engaging activity to enjoy together, helping to highlight local businesses and what they have to offer. Explore Buckingham’s streets and follow the Festive Trail to find all twelve presents for Santa's list.

All the presents can be purchased from shops in Buckingham Town Centre.  They will be positioned in windows and inside shops to entice people through the doors, engage with shop owners and visit all parts of town they may not usually explore. The presents can be recognised by a 'Buckingham Festive Trail' tag.  The presents will represent something to do with that business, to reinforce the products or services on offer.

Pick up a free trail map from Buckingham Tourist Information Centre or download one here.  Participants will be able to note the name of the present on the trail map.  If you find all the presents, you can enter a prize draw by leaving your completed map at the Tourist Information Centre.

This event is free and open to everyone and has been kindly supported by Buckingham Table.

Show your support and love for local businesses this Christmas, by grabbing a Buckingham Festive Trail map, eating local, and shopping local.

Keep an eye on the Discover Buckingham social media pages for all the news and latest announcements!

T&C's: One correct trail map per household will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win a £100 voucher to spend locally in Buckingham, in a shop of their choice, the shop must be within the town parish boundary. The draw will take place on Friday 16th December and the winner will be notified on that day.

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

 

 

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 #QuickLitterPick station in Chandos Park

Buckingham Town Council has installed a new Quick Litter Pick Station in Chandos Park following the success of the first one which was launched in Bourton Park in 2021.  The Council has joined with many communities and organisations across the UK to work to reduce litter and the impact of single-use plastics. The Council no longer purchases single use plastic items for events and for use within its offices and has implemented a sustainable purchasing policy. As plastics and some other materials do not decompose the Town Council also undertake regular litter picks in an effort to remove risks to wildlife, clean up the town and encourage others to dispose of their rubbish appropriately.

The Quick Litter Pick station Bourton Park in 2021 has made it easier for residents and visitors to help out, even if it’s just for a few minutes in reducing litter levels and protecting the environment.

Buckingham Town Council has received requests from residents and community groups asking how best they can get involved in safely clearing any litter they find while out and about and from there, the Quick Litter Pick initiative was born.

The litter pick stations in Chandos and Bourton Park contain 5 individual litter pickers and a supply of bin liners and can be accessed by anyone with the code for the lock. Anyone who would like the code can call (01280 816426) or email the Town Council Office or Buckingham Tourist Information Centre (01280 823020) during opening hours. The access code is the same for both stations and will remain unchanged. Any collected rubbish bags can be placed in the nearest litter bin or left by the side of bin and the Town Council’s Greenspaces Team will collect during their park inspections.

When you’re dealing with someone else’s rubbish the best way to clear up litter is with litter pickers. Keeping the litter at a distance from your body can protect you from broken edges and any unwanted germs that might be lurking.

Cllr. Warren Whyte, Chair of Environment Committee has already been out to have a go and said: Following the success of the Bourton park Quick Litter Pick Station, I am delighted to help launch the new additional location in Chandos Park to help keep our wonderful parks clean and tidy.”

The new Quick Litter Pick point in Chandos Park is located by the bridge to the University.

The Quick Litter Pick point in Bourton Park can be found near the Bourton Park Car Park and Multi-Use Games Area in Buckingham.

Success! Post box for St Rumbold’s Fields in Buckingham

After an appeal by Buckingham Town Council and numerous calls by residents of the new St. Rumbold’s Fields estate in Buckingham, Royal Mail has agreed to install a post box close to Kings Sutton Square in St Rumbold’s Fields, easily accessible to all 398 homes on the estate.

Initially, Royal Mail declined the Town Council’s request as they said there were existing post-boxes within a half mile of the location suggested. However, to access these required crossing a 50mph limit road, twice, as there is no footpath from the new estate to the Bath Lane post box. There’s also no street lighting, making the journey difficult in winter.

Cllr. Mark Cole JP, Chairman of the Planning Committee, was delighted to receive a letter from Royal Mail saying that a post box would now be installed near Kings Sutton Square in the next 12 – 16 weeks. The letter arrived just a few days after the Town Council highlighted the issue, with support from the local newspaper, the Buckingham Advertiser, BBC 3 Counties Radio and Greatest Hits Radio.

Cllr Mark Cole JP, said: “Common sense has prevailed, and Royal Mail has made a u-turn over its original decision not to give St Rumbold’s Fields residents a postal collection point on the estate, even though it delivers to every house. My thanks to the residents who have fought for this, and to the media for their support in our short but successful campaign. And of course, thanks to Royal Mail for seeing reason, and to our friendly local postmen and postwomen.”

Cllr. Mark Cole holds letters and smiles in Kings Sutton Square.

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.

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!

Quick Litter Pick

We’ve all had moments where we’ve spotted the littered remnants of someone’s night before and wanted to just get stuck in and clear it up. This year has been no different, and Buckingham Town Council has received requests from residents and community groups asking how best they can get involved in safely clearing any litter they find while out and about.

When you’re dealing with someone else’s rubbish the best way to clear up litter is with litter pickers. Keeping the litter at a distance from your body can protect you from broken edges and any unwanted germs that might be lurking.

As only the most dedicated of litter hunters tend to carry around litter pickers at all times, the Town Council has introduced Buckingham’s first #QuickLitterPick point. This covered cage in Bourton Park contains 5 individual litter pickers and a supply of bin liners and can be accessed by anyone with the code for the lock. (Anyone who would like the code can call the Town Council Office or Buckingham Tourist Information Centre during opening hours).

Cllr. Sue Hetherington has already been out to have a go and said: ”The Quick Litter Pick is a great idea, it was easy to use and we had really positive reactions from the people we met while using the litter pickers. Everyone was keen to have a go! This project was originally started with previous Chair of the Environment Committee Ruth Newell, I’d like to send her a big thank you.” The Quick Litter Pick point can be found near the Bourton Park Car Park and Multi-Use Games Area in Buckingham.

This year Buckingham Town Council have taken a multi-pronged approach to getting litter under control, including more regular park bin emptying and raising awareness of the problem, particularly of broken glass which can easily cause harm to children and animals.