Free family adventures in Buckingham with an augmented reality story trail

As part of local plans to give families a summer of fun, from Thursday 21st July to Sunday 4th September 2022, Buckingham Town Council has teamed up with High Street Safari to run a free story trail in Buckingham. This innovative experience lets families choose what happens in the story and enables anyone with a smartphone to take part. Players will not only discover cool characters along the route but also see them burst to life in augmented reality and take selfies with them.

Buckingham Town Council backed the project to promote visits to the fantastic range of shops in Buckingham and give families a unique high street experience with a free, exciting event that gets kids out of the house. Councillor Robin Stuchbury, Chair of the Town Centre and Events Committee said “we hope that families will take full opportunity to engage in this activity. It forms part of the Town Councils’ objectives which is to organise activities for the community while continuing to support the businesses and achieve positive outcomes.”

The Mystery of the Secret Keys is located at ten stops around the Buckingham town centre to visit, starting at Cornwalls Place Kitchen in Cornwalls Meadow and positioned so that families can discover hidden parts of the town. Families will be guided on their trip by The Luminants, an interstellar team of superheroes, on an adventure as they find special keys that release ten gem-eating beasties in augmented reality.

The trail takes about forty-five minutes to complete, it is completely free for families and groups to take part in, and they win a free, digital fun pack at the end. There is no need to download an app or sign up, and the trail works on any smart device. To find out more about the trail, visit the website: www.highstreetsafari.com.

Stilt walkers, skaters and family fun kick-off Buckingham Fringe Week

Buckingham Fringe Week is in full swing, bringing communities back together to celebrate Buckingham’s art, heritage, and culture. There was a whole host of free activities on offer over the weekend including street market entertainment, a skate park event, an art trail, and a family fun day.

Amid the hustle and bustle of excited shoppers at both Saturday street markets, the classical sound of St Mary and St Giles Church band and visually stunning stilt walkers kept residents and visitors to town thoroughly entertained. Russell Cross, Buckingham Town Council Market Manager said “It was a busy day in town. Every trader delighted and so much positive feedback from the public. An incredibly special day and unbelievable atmosphere”.

At 12 noon on Saturday young people turned out in their droves for the skate park event.  Hosted by King Ramps, the UK’s leading wheeled sports event company,  children and young people were able to take part in workshops for skateboarding, BMXing, and scooters.  There were demos by professional skateboarders and BMX riders. The day finished with a skateboard/BMX/scooter community jam (competitions).  Prizes were awarded to the winners.

A new treasure hunt-style art trail designed by local artist Cathy Read also went live on Saturday. Those taking part have a chance to win one of Read’s stunning paintings. The trail runs throughout summer, you can pick up a printed trail map from Buckingham Tourist Information Centre or download one from her website: cathyreadart.com. All of the paintings on the trail are inspired by architecture around Buckingham and the surrounding villages.

Sunday saw around 500 people visit the Lace Hill Sports & Community Centre for the annual Family Fun Day event. There was something for everyone including traditional games, inflatables, craft market stalls, live music and dance performances and water games to keep cool in the sun. Families especially enjoyed meeting a young team of volunteers from the Buckingham St John Ambulance Cadet Unit who took centre stage with tours of a first aid vehicle and a demonstration of lifesaving skills.

The Fringe Week Fun continues this week with a free Augmented Reality Trail, a Tour of St Peter & St Paul’s Church, a pop-up art event, more market entertainment and a Music Festival. Details about these events can be found on the Town Council’s website and social media pages.

Councillor Robin Stuchbury, chair of the Town Centre and Events committee said “It has been rewarding to have such a high turnout at all the events and see residents enjoy the free entertainment and activities that the Buckingham Fringe Festival provides our community”.

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

 

 

Where Angels fear to tread?

A failed road which Buckingham Town Council has been asking the local highway authority to repair for more than five years still awaits repair. Top Angel, one of the industrial estate’s main thoroughfares, between Great Slade and Osier Way, collapsed largely due to heavy vehicles delivering to factories and units.

Despite repeated requests to have this road maintained, still nothing has been done. A spokesman for Transport for Buckinghamshire told BTC in January that two large areas “right outside the entrance to two large industrial parks” need to be reconstructed and this would require a road closure “creating havoc for local businesses”. Suitable timing and availability of funds must be taken into consideration.

Ironically, two days later Buckinghamshire Council’s Strategic Sites planning committee approved outline plans for 420 houses, to which one of the entrances will be off Top Angel.

Town Councillors point out that should a catastrophic incident occur to industrial premises at Osier Way or Great Slade, Top Angel is the only emergency exit from the area. Furthermore, it is at the entrance to neither industrial area, and a temporary closure would be not as disruptive as is alleged by TfB.

‘The longer it is left, the worse it will get, and shortly it is going to be expected to cope with the estate development traffic,’ says BTC Planning chairman Cllr Mark Cole JP. ’Members want the failed areas dealt with as soon as possible, but even our Shire Councillors are unable to get a positive response.’

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

 

Buckingham Food Fair, Tasty treats, Smoothie bikes and foodie maps

We are pleased to announce the return of the ever-popular Buckingham Food Fair. Organised by Buckingham Town Council, this year will be the 9th annual Food Fair held in Buckingham Community Centre on Saturday 26th February 2022 from 10am till 3pm. Entry to the event is free.

Regulars to the Food Fair, who have supported the event from the beginning and will be attending again this year, include: MKS Food Distribution, selling Turkish Delight, baklava, and nuts. Buckingham Fairtrade, Indian Orchard, with their award-winning handmade Indian chutneys, pickles and vegetable samosas and Reasons To Season, displaying their amazing marinades and sauces.

Other stall holders attending include The Chocolate Mill, Two Spoons Tea, Chafor Wine, Pure Patisserie, Silverstone Brewery, Bucks Recycles, Crumb de la Crème, Patricia O'Keeffe Sweets, Bucks Star Beer, Fudgey Moments, Replete Flatbreads, Devilishly Delicious Food by Emma, Marlow Cheese Co, From Garden to Jar, Chiltern Charcuterie, Stanley’s Homemade Free-From Treats and Friars Farm.

A smoothie bike company will also be at the Food Fair creating beautiful tasting smoothies. All visitors will need to do is ride the static bicycle so it can generate the power needed for the blender to blitz the ingredients! We hope that this free and interactive smoothie bike will keep you entertained.

To celebrate our local food traders and restaurants the event will also be giving away hundreds of Buckingham Foodie maps – these maps show every single food trader in the parish of Buckingham, showcasing the fantastic variety that Buckingham has to offer all year around.

 

Funding for the smoothie bike and foodie maps is being provided by the Government’s ‘Welcome Back Fund’ from Buckinghamshire Council.

Outside the Community Centre will be a range of sensational street food from Mexican to English cuisines provided by Baja Cantina, Good Times Café, Roo's Food and Marks Ice’s.

There will be oodles of different delicious products to try and purchase. Have a special dietary requirement? Many of our local traders also sell a variety of gluten free, vegan and vegetarian products to suit all needs and tastes.

 

Chairman of the Town Centre & Events Committee, Cllr Robin Stuchbury, said “This year it’s more important than ever that we can hold the food fair to stimulate and support our local economy. When we first started this event, we didn’t truly realise how successful it would be but it’s very pleasing to know that it’s been well-received over the years. It’s also fantastic that the Town Centre and Events Committee continues to support this event alongside the dedicated team of Town Council officers. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Buckingham Food Fair, taking advantage of this great community event and supporting local businesses in the way local Buckingham & villages residents always seem to do.

The Government’s ‘Welcome Back Fund’ is European Regional Development Fund money that has been allocated to Buckinghamshire Council. The fund is being used to encourage visitors back to our high streets across Buckinghamshire. The fund runs up to 31 March 2022.

 

Buckingham: shopping all wrapped up in a charming market town

Roll over plans from 2020 are brightening up Buckingham this Christmas, including bunting and a selfie banner funded by Buckinghamshire and Villages Community Board, part of Buckinghamshire Council.

The bunting is being handed by the Town Council out to local shops for free, and celebrates Buckingham as a fantastic place to buy everything you need, #AllWrappedUp, this winter. Buckingham truly does have a fantastic offer from toy and book stores to high quality handmade berets and candles to clothes and tools. Any shop wanting to take part in future campaigns should contact the Town Council office.

Shopping as a group experience is back this year too, and a selfie banner has been installed in the town centre, near the Old Gaol, to capture the moment. The banner celebrates all of Buckingham’s shopping areas, including Cornwalls Meadow, the Industrial Estate, the Hidden Quarter and the Town Centre. Share your festive Buckingham pictures with @buckinghamtc on Twitter and Instagram for a chance to be in our newsletter – circulated to 6,500 homes.

Wherever you’re shopping this winter, make sure you discover Buckingham!

Cllr. Robin Stuchbury, Chair of Buckingham Town Council’s Town Centre & Events Committee, told us: “Buckingham Town Centre and Events Committee have taken the opportunity of using the Community Board funding to put up the bunting and the board to continue the committee’s long term desire to support the local economy. Especially at this important trading time around Christmas.”

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

 

New snowflake motifs bring snow to Buckingham

Buckingham’s town centre has been lit up with brand new Christmas Motif lights. The silver and gold design features snowflakes – a fitting theme as snowflakes caused by Storm Arwen fell throughout the switch-on weekend, covering Buckingham in a light layer of snow.
The motifs, along with the icicle lights that are installed throughout the town centre, were switched on at 5.30pm on Saturday 27th November. Sadly, the planned Switch On event had to be cancelled, as the high winds forecast meant that the lighting and speakers required to run the entertainment could not be safely erected by the contractor. The planned festive market and entertainments were also cancelled due to safety concerns.
Cllr. Robin Stuchbury, Chair of the Town Centre and Events Committee told us: “The new lights are part of a continuous improvement to the festive lights in the town centre funded by the Town Council, with thanks to the town Council Officers who supported this event.”
Several more festive events are planned to take place in Buckingham, including the Christmas Parade, run by the Christmas Parade Committee and supported, facilitated and funded by the Town Council and the Community Fair on 11th December. Any Community Group wanting a stall at the Community Fair is asked to contact Amanda at the Town Council via email events@buckingham-tc.gov.uk or phone: 01280 816 426.

Old Gaol and Christmas tree
Snowflake motifs outside the Town Hall
Christmas Lights above Binns and Boots
Buckingham Town Centre lit up with Christmas Lights

Buckingham Christmas Cards designed by local children for sale in aid of Mayor’s Charities

Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Margaret Gateley with winners Isabella and Eva outside the Old Gaol Christmas tree
Packs of 6 cards tied with yellow ribbon

Three wonderful Christmas Cards have been designed by Buckingham children, which will be printed and sold to raise money for local charities in the Tourist Information Centre from 25th November. The three designs were designed by Isabella Caswell, age 6, Mere S, age 8 and Eva Whittemore, age 10. The winners were chosen by Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Margaret Gateley.

The cards are being sold in aid of the Mayor’s Charities: Project Street Life and Community Care North Bucks. Community Care North Bucks is run by local volunteers and comprises Adult Carers Support Group, YC2 Young Carers: Buckingham & Winslow, Open House and the Hospital Car Service.

Each pack includes 6 cards, 2 of each design, and costs £4. They can be bought from the Tourist Information Centre, Buckingham Old Gaol.

The competition was kindly sponsored by local businesses BCQ Print, who printed the cards, Black Dog Design, who designed them and the Little Buckingham Clinic which means all of the £4 raised from the sale of each pack will go directly to local charities.

Mayor of Buckingham, Cllr. Margaret Gateley told us: “It was really lovely to choose the winners of this year’s Christmas Card competition. This is a great way to raise money for my chosen charities. It is amazing to see such artistic ability from local children. My thanks go to all who entered the competition and my congratulations go to those who won, whose designs can be seen and purchased at The Old Gaol.”

Christmas Card Winning Design, Isabella Age 6, Church in the snow
Winning Design, Eva, age 10, baubles and stars
Winning Design, Mere, age 8, Christmas tree and gifts in the snow

New Bard of Buckingham chosen by public vote

Poetry fans gathered at the Woolpack on Tuesday 5th October for a close run contest to decide who would be the new Bard of Buckingham. The rules of the Bardic Council were few but precise; both entrants were confirmed to live within a ‘days walk of the Buckingham Old Gaol’.

Two rounds took place – the first allowed the two contestants to read two poems of their own creation to the audience, while after a short break and some challenging audience questions they each read a third poem specifically linked to Buckingham.

The audience wrote the name of their favourite poet on slips of paper for a secret ballot, and after a quick count up Sami SET was declared to be the winner.

Sami was delighted to be chosen and told us that they “can’t wait to give voice to those of Buckingham who may sometimes feel they are not heard both through interaction with those people or by an association of the lived experiences that I will be sharing on stage.”

Alongside the competition was an array of fantastic entertainment including music from Stephen Ferneyhough and Brother Homebrew, Poetry from Dean Jones, the outgoing Bard of Buckingham and Kezzabelle, Bard of Northampton.

Sami has already had their first public appearance as Bard of Buckingham and written their first commissioned poem for the arrival of the Charter Fair in Buckingham.

Fair Fun by Sami SET

 

You really look quite horrible.

Squashed short then stretched out tall.

Laughing as we point

To our reflections in the hall.

 

Lucky ones attend

With their siblings, Dad and Mum

But all are not so fortunate

Not always fair when having fun

 

No one to buy them Candy

No drinks with straws to suck

Not a chance to hook a prize

No one to give a duck

 

No huge cuddles to wish for

As they wander in and out

Making their way past the many rides

Where others scream and shout

 

That’s something they can relate to

Lots of that back home

Usually with tears, not laughter

A whole other vibe and tone

 

So if for you it’s all enjoyment

Don’t feel guilty as you play and eat

Be mindful of your privilege

As you enjoy your fun fair treat

 

Think you see such sadness

Feel you have enough to share?

Then pay forward some love and smiles

Life’s NOT always such Funfair.

 

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