Buckingham delights with summer Fringe Week art and culture fun

Architectural tour

Despite the heatwave, a full house enjoyed the cool interior of the parish church during a guided tour by local architect Warren Whyte. He described the relocation of the church onto Castle Hill in 1780 and the structural problems of the 1850s that then led to the full transformation of the Georgian church into the Victorian Gothic church but George Gilbert Scot. The tour included stops in the nave, chancel and tower before concluding with a Q&A over a glass of wine.

Fringe Week Quiz

Residents brushed up on their local knowledge and joined quizmaster Mikey Dyson-Smith in the Woolpack to take on Buckingham Town Council in this extra special quiz to celebrate Buckingham Fringe Week.

Mikey Dyson-Smith said “There were 7 different rounds. Picture Round, General Knowledge, Buckingham, The Knowledge, Sports, Animal Kingdom, Wipeout. There were 14 teams in total with around 85 people taking part. Not an empty seat in the whole pub.”

Art in the Market

Creativity abounded at Art in the Market – a first for Fringe Week, this event brought local artists, professionals and amateurs, together in the ancient cattle pens to unpack their paints and pencils and create works of art. Attendees were inspired by the spaces around them, their memories or worked entirely from their imagination!

Visiting artists included renowned mouth painter Keith Jansz, representative of Buckingham Art for All, Emily Pool and Jonquil Bennet.

On the other side of the Old Gaol, Town Council staff and some passing volunteers created a 4 by 5 metre giant swan, entirely out of rag fabric lent by Florence Nightingale Hospice Vintage Charity Shop. The temporary art piece was inspired by Art Attack and The Flosh in Buckingham.

Over 336,000 tonnes of clothing are thrown away each year, and donating even tired clothes and fabric to Charity Shops is a step toward them being utilised or recycled rather than contributing to landfill. As part of Buckingham’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, the Council encourages residents to find new uses for their waste where possible.

Market Entertainment

Sunshine, magic and music delighted Saturday shoppers in town at the weekend as Fringe Week drew to a close. Children’s magician, Simon Says, kept families thoroughly entertained outside the Old Gaol with lots of fun magic and laughter. While local musician, Udo Dolz serenaded shoppers at the Flea Market with his classical guitar melodies.

Fiddle Group refunds

Tuesday 19th July turned out to be the hottest day on record, with temps reaching 40C.  A decision was taken to postpone the Oxford Fiddle Groups performance which was due to take place that evening.  A refund has been offered to all those that had purchased tickets.  The performance will be re-scheduled for later on in the year.

Councillor Robin Stuchbury, chair of the Town Centre & Events committee said “at the end of the Fringe week it’s always good reflecting back and looking at what we did well. This year my favourite moment was sitting down and painting and drawing with the children and seeing everyone express their artistic flair. New Fringe events add variety to the town council calendar of events throughout the year, and I look forward to seeing what will be included next year.”

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”.

A guided tour of St Peter & St Paul’s led by Warren Whyte RIBA

Hear about how George Gilbert Scott transformed St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, Buckingham on Tuesday 19th July 2022 from 6pm.

Warren Whyte, as church architect for nearly 15 years, has undertaken extensive research on the architecture and history of Buckingham Parish Church including Diocesan records and original drawings from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

He will share the story of the evolution of the 1780 Georgian Church architecture into the George Gilbert Scott church you see today.

The tour will stop at key points in and around the church and then conclude with a Q&A with a glass of wine. Booking essential, tickets for £10 from http://tiny.cc/churchtour.