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Drinkwaters’ Ploughing Match at Charingworth, Ebrington

Events, Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Ploughing. Image (c) National Hedgelaying SocietySunday 18th November 09.30 to 14.00 at Charingworth, Ebrington, Gloucestershire

Andrew Drinkwater is holding another ploughing match at Ebrington by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Grahame Fisher. All proceeds are going to Ebrington Church Organ Fund.

During the first half of the 19th century enormous changes were brought about by the abolition of the open field system and the passing of the Enclosure Acts which made significant alterations to the countryside. Stone walls were built and hedges planted, dividing the land into separate holdings with smaller fields resulting in a more efficient management of farming. At this period agriculture was reacting to the stimulus given to it by the noble gentry and farmers who were endeavouring to improve the performance of every practical part of farming by the spreading of all available information on the subject and also by trying to advance the skills of the labourers. Agricultural meetings and ploughing matches had already done much to further this success.

Chipping Campden followed this trend with their first ploughing match held in 1841 on Mr Hancock’s farm at Old Comb, promoted by the Earl of Gainsborough.

On Tuesday September 7th 1841 the ploughs were scheduled to start at 07.00 for “the Cup and Premiums.” The ploughing was said to be “Not first rate” as the weather was unfavourable and it being the first meeting of its kind the ploughmen were “rather embarrassed and not able to do their best.” Three classes were competed, with sovereigns, half sovereigns and crowns given as prizes and a silver cup being given to the owner of the First Prize Plough.
So, 160 + years on Ebrington are maintaining the long standing tradition of Ploughing Matches in the Chipping Campden Area.

Drinkwaters’ Ploughing Match – for information telephone Andrew Drinkwater 01386 593222
The details of the first Chipping Campden Ploughing Match are taken with permission from “Putting their Hands to the Plough” – a short History of Horse Ploughing Matches in the Chipping Campden Area – written and researched by Margaret Fisher and Pearl Mitchell.

Photo used with kind permission of the National Hedge Laying Society

Festive family fun with ‘Goward the Coward’

Features by Adam No Comments »

Chalemina performing ‘Sir Goward the Coward’Come in from the cold and be warmed by dragons, knights and fair damsels when theatre company Chalemina perform ‘Sir Goward the Coward and the Feasty Beasty’ at the Corinium Museum next month.

The travelling company will show their tale twice on Saturday December 1st, showing a wide range of splendid costumes, as well as dancing, singing and music played on ancient instruments.

This rumbustious tale of old England is especially aimed at 3-10 year olds and their families and makes a great start to the festive season.

There are two performances at the Museum on December 1st; either 11.30am-12.30pm or 2pm-3pm. Booking is essential and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets cost £4.50 for adults and £3.50 for children. To book please contact the museum on 01285 655611 or email:

Chalemina was founded by Sara Stowe and Barbara Segal, and specialises in small scale productions for younger audiences. Chalemina have introduced ‘Sir Goward the Coward’ to rapturous audiences country wide. For more information, contact Helen Arbon at the Corinium Museum on 01285 655611.

Gold hoard comes home to the Cotswolds

Features by Adam No Comments »

Corinium Museum curator John Paddock and the collection of Bronze Age goldA hoard of valuable Bronze Age gold is in the Cotswolds for good after a 3,000 year old collection went on show at the Corinium Museum in September.

The stash had been staying at the British Museum, but will now have a permanent home in Cirencester after the Cotswold District Council-owned museum raised the necessary £20,000 to hang onto the hoard.

The Going for Gold appeal, which was launched in October 2006, was funded by generous public donations of £3,000, and appeal organisers hit the £20,000 total they needed with grant help from the MLA/V&A Purchase Fund, the Headley Trust and the National Art Fund.

The gold was assessed and recorded as treasure at the British Museum, and has spent time in Lincoln for vital conservation work.

The gold – the only collection in the area which is actually from the Cotswolds – was first found by a metal detector enthusiast in Poulton in 2004. The complete hoard was finally unearthed by December 2005.

The find – a total of 67 gold and bronze artifacts – includes a selection of Bronze Age rings, bracelets, an axehead and gold fragments. It is believed to date from between 1300-1100 BC. Dr Alison Brookes, the Corinium Museum’s Collections Management Officer, said: “It is a very positive addition to our collection.”

The hoard is now on permanent display in the Prehistory Gallery of the Museum. In October, Curator Dr John Paddock and Dr Alison Brookes presented a public lecture to give visitors the opportunity to see the material and learn more about the Bronze Age Cotswolds.

The Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and from 2pm-5pm on Sundays

Article included with kind permission of Cotswold District Council -

Related articles:

Make Bronze Age jewellery at Museum session
‘Arty-ology’ event at Cirencester’s Corinium Museum
Master mosaic making at Moreton session

Edward Sheldon Annual Wine Fair 2007 – Shipston-on-Stour

Events, Food and Produce by Tony No Comments »

Friday 9th November 2007 19.00 – 21.15 New Street, Shipston-on-Stour, Warks.

Edward Sheldon Limited are Independent Wine Merchants who have been trading in Shipston-on-Stour since 1842.
On 9th November they are again holding their annual Wine fair on their premises when you will have the opportunity to taste over 50 wines in the relaxed atmosphere of their shop and cellars.

As well as Edward Sheldon showing their full house selection the following suppliers will be in attendance:-
Burridges of Arlington St. – with a range of Spanish Wines
Boutinot UK Ltd – presenting South african and Italian Wines
France Domaines Ltd – showing French wines from the Loire and Rhone Valley
Louis Latour Ltd – Burgundian wines and wines from South Africa and Australia
Vignobles Germain-Saincrit – French wines from the Bordeaux and Loire regions
Paragon Vintners Ltd – showing New World wines plus some Cognac

Edward Sheldon Limited
New Street
CV36 4EN
Telephone 01608 661409
E Mail

Tickets cost £10.00 per person and are redeemable on the evening against orders for six bottles or more

Council cash on offer to nature nurturers

Features, Places by Adam No Comments »

Cotswold Water Park deputy warden Chris WalkerSmall-scale projects to improve nature and landscape in the Cotswold Water Park still have the chance to grab cash grants of up to £500.

The grants, on offer until early 2008, are aimed at community projects which will enhance the already-thriving wildlife and landscape within the Water Park

The funding, administered by Cotswold District Council, comes from a £100,000 pot contributed by Cotswold Four Pillars Ltd as part of a planning agreement, after they were given the green light to build a hotel at Lake 6.

And several projects have already had a share of council cash, including Somerford Keynes Parish Council’s £500 project to build new nesting rafts at Coke’s Pit Local Nature Reserve.

The project will see two new rafts replace existing, run-down ones in early 2008. The rafts – located in the middle of the Coke’s Pit lake – will encourage common terns and black headed gulls, returning from a winter in Africa, to breed.

The two by one metre wooden rafts, coated with a layer of gravel, also have a small fence around them to prevent nosy swans and geese getting on board.

Other projects in line for a grant include a brand new wildlife and sensory garden at South Cerney Playgroup so that the children can enjoy wildlife on their doorstep, improving ponds for newts and dragonflies and helping to support a major project to make Lake 12 (Lakeside) better for both wildlife and people.

To be eligible, projects must help conserve and enhance the wildlife of the Water Park and/or contribute towards the park’s overall management. The deadline for groups to get their bids in is January 21st.

Cotswold District Council’s Portfolio holder for Development Service Cllr John Birch said: “This is a great opportunity for local organisations to get involved in improving and enhancing the special environment of the Water Park. Projects may range from planting a hedgerow around your school field, surveying for water voles in your parish or putting up a bat box on the village hall.”

Further information and application forms are available on the Cotswold District Council website at or from Sophia Price, Heritage and Design Manager, Cotswold District Council, Trinity Road, Cirencester GL7 1PX, telephone 01285 623000 or email

Cotswold’s plea to PM over plans to move fire staff

Features by Adam No Comments »

Cotswold councillors have called on the Government to abandon plans to move Gloucestershire’s Fire Control staff to Taunton.

A meeting of Cotswold District Council backed a motion resolving to write to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears, strongly urging a review of policy.

The motion, put forward by Cllr Deryck Nash and seconded by Cllr Sue Jepson, called upon all the MPs of the county to sign a petition on the 10 Downing Street website to save the Tri-Service Control at Quedgeley, near Gloucester.

Councillors fear that moving Fire Control staff to Somerset may have a serious impact on the speed and efficiency of emergency response in a rural area such as the Cotswolds.

Council and Conservative Group Leader Cllr Lynden Stowe said: “The impressive response by the emergency services to the July floods shows how essential it is that fire control staff need to be working in close proximity to their police colleagues. This proposal to move them to Somerset simply makes no sense and we urge the Government to think again.”

The motion, which records the Council’s gratitude to all emergency services, military staff and volunteers who played a vital role during the summer floods, noted that the Audit Commission had warned that relocating fire control staff from the Tri-Service Centre would have a ‘major, negative impact.’

Councillor Peter Martin, Leader of the Independent Group, said: “This move may save money – but it will cost lives. It is essential that local knowledge is retained because it speeds up the response times and accuracy with which the emergency services can be directed.”

Cllr Nash, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “I am delighted that the motion received all-party support from District Councillors. Relocating the fire control staff to Taunton would be a major setback to community safety in the Cotswolds.

“I would urge the people of the District to get behind their Council and lobby the Prime Minister by signing the petition on the Number 10 website today.”

The petition may be viewed at and closes on February 9th 2008.

Fosse Gallery – June Redfern, A Major Exhibition of Recent Work

Events, Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

June Redfern, On the West Coast, Watercolour, (c) June RedfernSaturday 10th November to Friday 30th November – Fosse Gallery Fine Art Stow-on-the-Wold

This is June Redfern’s second solo exhibition at the Fosse Gallery Stow-on-the-Wold.

Born in St Andrews, Fife, she studued drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art from 1968 to 1972. Her solo exhibition “Real Lives” in 1981 at the Third Eye Centre Glasgow exhibited realist paintings influenced by her teaching experience in the 1970′s in a school in Leith. She taught at Cardiff College of Art from 1983 to 1985 and later in 1985 she became Artist-in Residence at the National Gallery London where her paintings from this period were exhibited in 1986.
June has work in a number of private collections in Europe, Canada, USA and Ireland. She has also appeared on BBC2′s “Oil on Canvas” series and has exhibited in many major commercial galleries.

The work of this dedicated artist has succeeded in adding another dimension to the phrase “Expressionist Art.” The canvases may be small or large but her ability to install maximum impact remains profound.

Fosse Gallery Fine Art
The Manor House
The Square
GL54 1AF
Telephone 01451 831319
The Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30 to 17.00 or by appointment

Related articles:

Lucy Pratt Exhibition at the Fosse Gallery Stow-on-the-Wold
Re-Aquaintances. The Royal Academy revisit the Fosse Gallery

Make Bronze Age jewellery at Museum session

Events, Features by Adam 2 Comments »

Silver Wrist Workshop (c) Corinium Museum 2007Master the art of Bronze Age metal working at an adult day session being held in Cirencester later this month.

Keen metal workers are invited to the Corinium Museum in Park Street on Saturday November 17th, where they can make a beautiful wrist torque from pure silver, using the same technology used in Bronze Age England.

Metal smiths in the Bronze Age (1000BC) developed a surprisingly high level of skill in bronze and gold working, using twisting and forging methods to make wrist and neck torques. At this workshop, participants will use these same methods to make their own wrought silver wrist torque, complete with twisted body and tapered ends.

Working with pure silver rod and artist Neil Burridge, they will explore forging with stone tools, experiment with different twisting techniques and experience common problems found with work-hardening or heat-treating certain metals.

Pure silver is rarely seen today, being much softer to work. As it does not tarnish and always returns to the soft, white colour of the moon, one can understand why some ancient peoples valued it as highly as gold.

The day school will run from 10am-4pm and tickets cost £45 per person, including materials and tea or coffee. Lunch is not included, and booking is essential.

For more details, to book a place, or to find out about other events, please call Helen Arbon on 01285 655611 or email

Related articles:
‘Arty-ology’ event at Cirencester’s Corinium Museum
Master mosaic making at Moreton session

Master mosaic making at Moreton session

Events, Features, Places by Adam 1 Comment »

Mosaic Mirror (c) Debbie Stirling 2007Put your creative skills to the test in Moreton on the Marsh this month when the Moreton Area Centre hosts a mirror-making art event.

The single day session – which takes place on Tuesday November 13th – will allow keen pupils to make their own mosaic mirror using pieces of broken china, porcelain and other materials. To add a personal touch, artists can bring along any special bits and bobs they wish to include in their designs, while local artist Debbie Stirling will be on hand to offer help and advice.

The pupils will also learn how to cut and fix china to create their own personal piece of art work which they can take home with them. The finished mirror could then hang in a favourite room of the house, or perhaps be given as a Christmas present.

The session runs from 10am to 4pm and tickets cost £35 per person, which includes materials and tea or coffee, although lunch is not included. Booking is essential and anyone interested should contact the Moreton Area Centre on 01608 650881.

For more information on this and other events taking place, please contact Helen Arbon at the Corinium Museum on 01285 655611.

Moreton Area Centre – High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0AZ

Northwick Park Camp – new monument dedicated to Polish soldiers and families

Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Mavis Lady Dunrossil, , H.E. Barbara Tuge-Erecińska Polish Amassador, Mr. C. MaryszczakThe Northwick Park Grotto has been restored and a new memorial erected

The camp in Northwick Park, near Blockley in Gloucestershire, was built in 1943 as an American Field Hospital. In 1944 the International Red Cross took over the running of the Station Hospital. After the Second World War the camp was abandoned until 1947-8 when it was handed over by the War Department for occupation by the Polish Resettlement Corps.

Picture 1 above shows Mavis Lady Dunrossil – Chair Gloucestershire CC, H.E. Barbara Tuge-Erecińska Polish Amassador, Children in national costume who presented them with flowers and Mr. C. Maryszczak Chairman of the Polish Ex-Combatants Association. Photo (c)

World War II displaced thousands of people from Eastern Europe. Many Poles made their way to England with General Ander’s army and settled in disused army and air force camps scattered throughout the UK. Northwick Park was one of those Displaced Persons (DP) camps and held over 800 poles.

Northwick Park Grotto (c) Park Memorial (c) Grotto was built in the early 1950′s and was designed by Fr. S. S. Potoczny. It was dedicated to our Lady of Lourdes and was used daily for private contemplation and prayer by the people of the camp.

In the 1950′s General Anders, leader of all Poles in exile, visited all the Polish DP camps in the UK and in July 1952 he visited Northwick Park and over 3000 people, with Poles from other camps – Springhill, Long Marston and Daglingworth – coming to hear him deliver a message of hope and encouragement.

In 1968 Northwick Park was closed and lay neglected for some years before it was resurrected as a business park with many of the old nissen huts homes now becoming business premises.

The Polish Ex-Combatants Association of Cheltenham decided to restore the grotto and dedicate a new memorial as part of Poland’s year dedicated to war hero General Anders.

A special dedication ceremony was held at Northwick Park on Saturday 20th October when the ceremony in English and Polish was carried out by the Polish Ambassador Her Excellency Barbara Tuge-Erecinska. The restored grotto and the new memorial are now called “The Monument”.

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