Cuddington | Buckinghamshire

Ten Years Ago

On this page, with the kind co-operation of Village Voice, we look back at the issues and stories that were making news in the village exactly ten years ago.




Ten Years Ago – July 2007

The main story on the front page of the July 2007 edition of Village Voice provided details of the forthcoming Fête, described in the article as “the Fête that nearly didn’t take place.”  David Speer was constructing a large Humpty Dumpty to reflect the Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales theme, and children were invited to dress up as their favourite character.

A Family Service was to take place that month at various points around the village, beginning and ending in the Church.  VV also reported that around 400 people had come to the Open Gardens event in the village to enjoy the gardens of Dadbrook House, The Old Stables and Tyringham Hall.

Inside the issue, a long article explained the need for “affordable housing” in Cuddington and described how such schemes work.  Another long article described Cuddington’s strong links with the Jenny and Jessy primary school in Kampala, Uganda.  Graham and Fiona Carr had established the association with the school’s founder, Julius Magezi, several years ago.  Julius seeks to provide free schooling and accommodation to as many children as possible (about a third of the children are orphans and/or refugees).

A further article explained how in 1643 Nicholas Almond had provided some six acres of land called the Poor’s Moor, the money from the renting of which was to be used to help poor children.  Today, the Nicholas Almond Charity provides financial assistance to young Cuddington residents who are going on to further education or training.


June 2007

Following the recent Parish Council elections, the June 2007 edition of Village Voice expressed gratitude to the previous Council, chaired by Ken Birkby, and congratulated the newly-elected Councillors.  Sherry Scott and Frank Crowdy had been elected Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively.  Inside the issue, a letter from Myles Saker paid tribute to Ken Birkby and Jim Hayward as hardworking and effective previous chairmen.

The front page of Village Voice also reported that the 2007 Fête, with its theme of Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales, would be opened by a penguin.  Every child taking part in the fancy dress competition would receive a memento of the day, and Tyringham Hall would be transformed into the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for the occasion.

The Bernard Hall announced that it had been awarded a grant of £4,800 by the Awards for All programme of the National Lottery.  The money would be used to buy new stage lighting equipment.  The successful outcome was the result of months of patient work and research by the Bernard Hall Committee chairman and secretary Markus Bolton and Rachel McLoughlin.  The money available would be boosted to £5,800 through donations of £500 each from the Fête Committee and Cuddington Youth Drama.

The Bring and Buy Sale at Skittle Green Cottage in May had raised £278 for Christian Aid, while the Witchert Chorale concert and supper had raised over £1,000 for the same cause.  Meanwhile the Witchert Chorale, as usual, had begun singing from the top of the church tower on May Day morning, but sadly rain forced them to move back down into the church after just two songs.

VV carried a full report on the 2007 Annual Parish Meeting.  Topics raised included traffic calming, footpaths, the village website, the children’s playground and affordable housing.  BCC and AVDC Councillor Michael Edmonds announced that a Community Grant of £1,000 had been allocated to the village, and Frank Crowdy advised that the grant would be used to replace the showers in the Playing Fields Clubhouse.


May 2007

The front page of the May 2007 edition of Village Voice provided news of the village’s events to mark Christian Aid Week.  There was to be a special morning service at St. Nicholas’; a coffee evening with bring and buy stalls, hosted by Caroline Thompson; and a concert by the Witchert Chorale, followed by supper and more singing, in the Bernard Hall.

The front page also carried the news that Cuddington and Dinton Schools had become federated under a single new governing body on 1st April.  As part of the change, Cuddington’s Headteacher Pam Talbot became Headteacher of Dinton as well.  Chris Blumer and Jean Moore became Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively of the new governing body.

A brief report on the Annual Parish Meeting in April explained that over fifty residents had attended, the key issues for discussion being the imminent installation of vehicle activated signs to slow traffic, the ongoing search for land for affordable housing and the future of the Cuddington website.

Inside the issue, an article focussed on the vehicle activated signs in more detail.  The Transport Research Laboratory had found that such signs reduced traffic speeds by between 1 and 14 miles per hour.  BCC had finally agreed for the signs to be installed, but only on the basis that Cuddington would pay all costs involved.  Prudently, the Parish Council had, over the years, set aside a reserve of funds for this.  One of three possible contenders had been awarded the contract to deliver the signs, which would be powered by means of solar panels and small wind turbine generators.

Tribute was paid to William Stonham, Harry Giles and Matthew Lawson, who had all achieved distinction in their recent Victoria College of Music and Drama examinations.  The boys had been taught by Mary Pritchard in Haddenham.


April 2007

The lead story on the front page of the April 2007 edition of Village Voice was the news that there would be a Fête in 2007 after all (see February 2007 below).  A new Fête Committee had been appointed at a meeting in Tyringham Hall in March, with Sherry Scott as Chairman, Michael Straiton as Vice Chairman, Maggie Waters as Secretary and Phil Johnson as Secretary.  The theme of the 2007 Fête was to be Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales.

Also on the front page, the Traffic Action Group reported that the design and locations of the vehicle activated signs had been finalised, and final approval for ordering the signs would be put to the Parish Council at the April meeting.

Inside the issue, Cuddington Youth Drama reported that their Music Quiz Night in March had raised over £550, which would be put towards their forthcoming production of Return to the Forbidden Planet.  A piano recital in the Bernard Hall in March by Ivan Kiwuwa, a former pupil of Fiona Carr, had raised £1,100 in aid of the Jenny and Jessy school in Kampala.  Fiona’s piano had been temporarily wheeled to the Hall for the occasion.

The Bernard Hall Annual General Meeting reported a busy year with bookings increasing by one third.  Major items of maintenance during the past year had been new rear doors, electrical work, repair of brickwork at the front of the Hall and an enhanced heating control system.

The theme of the March meeting of the Cuddington Gardening Club was “Beating the Ban”, a strategy for coping with less water for the garden, given the forecasts of hotter, drier summers in years to come.


March 2007

The headline article on the front page of the March 2007 Village Voice edition announced that the young Ugandan musician Ivan Kiwuwa would be giving a piano recital in the Bernard Hall later that month.  Ivan had first taken piano lessons with Fiona Carr in her house in Uganda at the age of 13, and after a move to this country in 2000 had maintained close links with the Carrs.

Proceeds from the recital would be going to the Jenny and Jessy School in Kampala, and a separate article on the front page described the school in detail.  Of the 150 boys and girls at this special primary school, some 40 were orphans and/or refugees.  The school was founded by Julius Magezi, who had been a friend of the Carrs since attending Graham’s Sunday school class in the early 1960s.

Inside the issue, the Cricket Club reported a very respectable 2006 season, having won six of their nine matches played including away games at Dinton, Chearsley and Haddenham.  Meanwhile the Tennis Club were celebrating their recently-installed floodlights, making tennis in Cuddington a year-round activity.

An article paid tribute to Edna Reardon who had recently died unexpectedly.  Edna and her husband John had moved to the village in the 1960s.  For several years she had helped Stella, the wife of her cousin Jack, by working in their shop’s Post Office.  Edna had also taken a keen interest in the Sunshine Club and was a very active member of the Bernard Hall Management Committee for many years.

A further article paid tribute to Muriel “Toogie” Corby who had died in December 2006.  Toogie had worked at Bletchley Park during the war and she moved to Cuddington with her mother and twin sisters in the 1960s.  She was an active member of the Sunshine Club and supported many other village societies.


February 2007

Headline news in the February 2007 edition of Village Voice was the concern that there might be no Village Fête in 2007.  This was because most members of the Fête Committee had decided to step down and no new people had come forward to replace them.  Villagers were invited to put forward their views and to attend a meeting the following month to discuss the matter.

Inside the issue, it was reported that the Governing Bodies of both Cuddington and Dinton C of E Schools had elected to continue the process of achieving federation, with the ultimate aim of merging the schools into a combined primary school.

VV also reported that, after four months of the new Youth Club, membership now stood at sixteen.  A Bingo Evening at the Clubhouse had raised over £200, which would be put towards future events.

At the Annual Meeting of the W.I. in December, Helen Griffin retired after many years as a committee officer including five years as President.  Helen was thanked for all her hard work and Anne Holland was elected President in her place.


December/January 2006/2007

Much of the front page of the December 2006 edition of Village Voice was given over to the forthcoming Christmas celebrations in the village.  These included special services and two performances of the School’s Christmas play in the church; carol singing around the village; and a Christmas tree on the Upper Green kindly donated by Millie Soames.  This was only the third year that a Christmas tree was erected on the Green.

At the Annual General Meeting of the village Fête Committee in November, over £4,500 had been distributed to village organisations.  On a less happy note, however, it was reported that the Fête was under threat because most Committee members had decided to stand down and there were no nominations for the forthcoming year.

Inside the issue, VV carried a detailed report of November’s very moving Remembrance Day service, led by the Rev. Canon Keith Weston, in which he spoke of the casualties of British servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The previous month, Cuddington had held its first fireworks party for over ten years, with hundreds turning up on the night.  Thanks were due, among many others, to Olivia Boon for spearheading the event and to Karl Hine for donating half the fireworks.  The event raised £390 which was distributed to the Bernard Hall, the Sunshine Club and the Cricket Club.

The Traffic Action Group reported a frustrating delay in the installation of Vehicle Activated Signs because of further interference by Bucks County Council.  Meanwhile the Bernard Hall Management Committee reported that an improved heating control system had been installed in the hall.


November 2006

Two important stories occupied the front page of the November 2006 issue of Village Voice.  Firstly, at a Special Meeting of the Governors of Cuddington C of E School, it had been unanimously agreed to pursue a merger with Dinton C of E School creating a combined school from September 2008.  Meanwhile, a Federation of the two schools would be formed as early as 2007, with a single Governing Body for the two schools and Mrs Pam Talbot as the head teacher for both schools.

The second story concerned fears that Cuddington Post Office might be one of the thousand that the Government had in mind to close.  Postmaster Les Brown reported that the average number of transactions at our Post Office was just 180 per week.

VV reported a very full attendance at all three Harvest Festival services in the Church, which had been beautifully decorated with dahlias given by the prize-winning dahlia grower Kevin Bennets.  The Harvest Supper in the Bernard Hall had been enjoyed by a record number of over 90 people.  The evening had begun with a the singing of the Lord’s Prayer by Elaine English’s Cuddington Youth Drama, who provided further singing, dancing and sketches later in the evening.  Chris Luckett concluded the entertainment with an impeccably-timed comic poem.

The Traffic Action group reported delays in the negotiations with Bucks County Council over the installation of vehicle-activated signs at the entrances to the village.  BCC had announced a policy whereby they would decide on the signs’ specifications and choose the supplier, charging Cuddington £8,000 per sign with further charges over the next ten years.  However, following strenuous objections by TAG, this policy had been reversed and Cuddington would now deal directly with the suppliers and arrange for the signs’ installation and maintenance.  It was hoped that the signs would be in place by the end of the year.


October 2006

The front page of the October 2006 issue of Village Voice provided details of the various Harvest services in the Church, as well as the Harvest Suppers in the Playing Fields Clubhouse and the Bernard Hall.  Church collections and the proceeds from the suppers would be sent to Christian Aid.

The front page also carried news that Cuddington had won a Silver Gilt Award in the Thames and Chiltern in Bloom competition.  The judges praised the village gardens, school, village hall and churchyard, and also complimented “the indefatigable Jim Hayward, a real gem for Cuddington and a Britain in Bloom enthusiast/worker/coordinator over many years”.  Jessica Bolton was presented with a Young People’s Award for her help in producing a portfolio illustrating the village scene throughout the year.

Inside the edition, churchwardens Caroline Stonham and Myles Saker described plans for the Church refurbishment.  The interior would be redecorated and rewired and the lighting would be updated.  The nave floor was to be re-laid in stone and the heating was to be made more energy efficient.

Clive and Sue Anthony, described by VV as “one of Cuddington’s most popular (or should that be notorious?) couples”, had left the village in September to begin a new life in France.  Clive and Sue had been very involved with village affairs such as the Playing Fields Club, Christian Aid Night, quizzes and the Fête, for which they both served on the Committee for many years.

The Bernard Hall Committee announced a Halloween Fireworks Display to take place on the Playing Fields at the end of the month, with half the fireworks kindly being donated by Karl Hine who had won them at the Thame Show.

Congratulations were due to Oliver Harrison in Spurt Street, who had been awarded a first class honours degree in graphic design at Bath Spa University.


August/September 2006

The front page of the August 2006 edition of Village Voice reported that the Fête had raised £7,685, making it one of the most successful to date.  Guest of Honour Bill Heine from BBC Radio Oxford had opened proceedings and Jazmin and Alistair were crowned Fête Prince and Princess after winning the fancy dress competition.

The other main story on the front page concerned the result of the Public Inquiry into the two new houses in Dadbrook, which had been built taller and nearer the boundary than they should have been.  The Inspector had concluded that ‘The development did not materially harm the character of the area [or] the residential amenities of occupiers of Old Stables’ and permitted the houses to remain.  It was also reported that, following a separate hearing, the restrictive covenant on the land off Great Stone was likely to be removed.

Inside the issue, VV reported that Vanda Goddard was planning to start a Youth Club in September at the Playing Fields Clubhouse, catering for 7 to 14 year olds.  Also in September, in common with other churches all over the country, St. Nicholas’ Church would be holding a special “hello again” service for friends who hadn’t been to church for a while.

Cuddington had come joint second with Cheddington in the 2006 Best Kept Village competition.  The Tindal Cup, open only to the previous year’s winners, was won by Weston Underwood in the north of the county.

Hot air balloons were a frequent sight in the skies above the village, and VV published an interesting article by Tim Crowdy explaining how hot air balloons work and describing the main components.

Cuddington Cricket Club reported a successful season, having defeated Chearsley for the first time since 1993 and won all other matches except two.


July 2006

The main story on the front page of the July 2006 edition of Village Voice was the forthcoming village Fête, styled “Cuddington Palace” in recognition of the Queen’s 80th birthday.  Fête committee member Maggie Waters had written to the Queen to invite her to attend, but there was no word as to whether she had replied!

To mark the Queen’s birthday, The Society of Royal Cumberland Youths had rung a full peal of bells and Caroline Stonham, one of St. Nicholas’ churchwardens, had led a short service of thanksgiving.  A short ceremony had been held in June when Myles Saker, the other churchwarden, had proposed a loyal toast.

Chairman of the Cuddington School governors Chris Blumer reported that the school’s governors had unanimously agreed not to pursue the proposal to combine with Dinton School, as a result of “concerted and determined pressure brought to bear by Dinton Parish Council”.

Inside the issue, VV reported that Milly Soames had been investigating the need for Cuddington to have its own website, and that in a recent survey all responses but one had been in favour of this.  As a result, Milly had asked June Jones from Haddenham’s website to start designing one for Cuddington.

The walk up to Winchendon observatory to see the sunrise on midsummer’s day was so badly attended that, reluctantly, the expedition was abandoned.  VV carried a plea to restore the tradition in future years.

St. Nicholas’ Church had held a Bring and Share Lunch to welcome back on leave from China their mission partners, Mike and Tracy Walmsley.  VV also reported John and Joan Underwood’s celebration of their diamond wedding anniversary.  The couple had met when John, as an R.A.F. officer, had been stationed in Haddenham.