Friday 31 March 2023

Fenny Poppers

Fenny poppers is a calendar custom which celebrates the building of St Martin's, the parish church (1730), and takes place at Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire, every 11 November. The money for the church was raised and donated by the then Lord of the Manor, Dr Browne Willis, and he also left money for an annual feast and the firing of the Fenny Popper. These Poppers are six cast-iron cannonlike objects which are filled with gunpowder and set off with a long red-hot iron rod, with deafening effect. The event takes place in the recreation ground (having been moved from the churchyard), and the Poppers are fired three times (noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.), by the vicar, the verger, and the churchwardens.

Alex Fox

Friday 24 March 2023

Camphill Craft Fair

These are some photographs of Camphill Milton Keynes having a craft fair.

A craft fair is an event at which people sell goods they have made.

Alex Fox

Friday 17 March 2023

Trip to Royal Air Force Museum

As the London Aerodome, the RAF Museum's London site was the birthplace of aviation in the UK: the first airmail, parachute jump and aerial defence of a city all took place there.

It was a major centre of First world War aircraft production and later became RAF Hendon, playing a key role in the Battle of Britain.

Alex Fox

Friday 10 March 2023

Pancake Day

These are photographs of staff and residents of Camphill Milton Keynes celebrating Pancake Day by doing Pancake races on Tuesday 21nd February..

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – was traditionally a time of fasting and on Shrove Tuesday, Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were “shriven” (absolved from their sins). A bell would be rung to call people to confession. This came to be called the “Pancake Bell” and is still rung today.
Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between February 3 and March 9. In 2019 Shrove Tuesday fell on March 5th.
Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients.
A pancake is a thin, flat cake, made of batter and fried in a frying pan. A traditional English pancake is very thin and is served immediately. Golden syrup or lemon juice and caster sugar are the usual toppings for pancakes.

Alex Fox

Friday 3 March 2023

Driver 308’s Commonwealth Games Adventure - Day 17

Day 17 July 20th  2022

Today I was joined by Deanna and Andreas, as Ally had to return home for the day as her mother was unwell. The original plan was for use to give Ally a lift to Stafford station so she could catch a train to Birmingham New Street.  However, Birmingham New Street has closed due to electrical problems and no trains were running between Stafford and Birmingham, Ally was driven to Birmingham by one of the spare drivers. As an organisation the Commonwealth Games/QBR took good care of its staff.

It was an unexpected pleasure to be working with Deanna again. She and I had both been volunteers on the 2014 QBR in Scotland, Host and Driver respectively and had worked together on a couple of days. Neither of us, in 2014, could have expected to work together again 8 years later on another QBR. Andreas was with us as chaperone for the underage BB that we had today.

We left Yarnfield Park around 9:30 and headed for Stafford to refuel, After the previous problems with the Shell fuel card, knowing that it worked at Shell filling stations and Stafford had the nearest Shell site on our route.  The Shell site post code was entered into the Sat Nav, once again it didn’t disappoint us and set us off on a route that, at times, was quite narrow but fortunately we never encountered any oncoming traffic. As the following video shows.

Whilst it seemed a rather muddled route at the time, consultation with a map later revealed that the Sat Nav had done its best to make as direct a route as possible.

After refuelling it was a straight run done the M6 towards Cannock and Chasewater Park. We had been told to avoid the M6 Toll as this is quite expensive. We disobeyed the Sta Nav and stayed on the M6 when it told us to go on the M6 Toll, then blindly followed the Sat Nav’s directions as it took us 10 miles down to the next M6 junction at Walsall, turned us round and took us 10 miles back up the M6 to the junction with the M6 Toll – so we didn’t avoid the toll. We should have looked at a paper map. We arrived at Chasewater in plenty of time and were able to have a snack and coffee in the cafe with the other QBR crew that arrived a little before us.

The Baton was going to do a circuit of the park and then be carried by a wake border on the lake. This looked as though it might be rather hairy so Andreas spent some time with the 12 yr old BB who was to handover the baton to the wakeboarder, which required the young BB to walk 50 m along a flexible jetty comprising small floating plastic tiles - each tile  roughly the size of a front door mat.

Everything went very smoothly, the young BB walked down the jetty handed over the Baton to the wakeboarder who then performed some amazing tricks whilst carrying the baton including turning somersaults in the air, the first of which didn’t quite work resulting in both wakeboarder and baton being completely submerged.

It was time to leave Chasewater and make our way to the next location, Tamworth. Realising we’d not had any lunch, it was gone 3pm and shouldn’t take long to get to the next collection point, we decided to stop at the first Greggs, Costa, Starbucks, KFC, Burger King or McDonalds that we came across. We reached Tamworth and our collection point without seeing any of the fast-food outlets. So widened our search to include BP and Shell garages as they often had M&S or Morrisions attached that sold sandwiches – we were getting desperate.! A BP garage was spotted and it had an on-site Subway – so Subways all round!

The Relay route was around rather than through Tamworth, consequently involved three shuttle buses of BBs. All the roads were closed so there was no possibility to leave the convoy having dropped off our BBs. As we approached the final roundabout before the event outside the fire station Deanna spotted that the council were opening up the road behind us, I was able to continue around the roundabout and we made our exit.! As we had picked up one BB needing a ride back, we returned to the collection point before heading for tonights hotel – the Village at Solihull.