There will be a range of displays and demonstrations at the festival, including:
The Benson Veteran Cycle Club; Buckingham Old Gaol Museum; Save Finmere Control Tower; Holy Trinity, Hethe; National Trust Stowe; Stowe House Preservation Trust; The Shelswell Benefice; Then and Now in the Bicester Area Team Ministry; Vintage Vehicles and Classic Cars; Drop in knitting workshop; The D-Day War Diaries; WW2 artefacts……
The Benson Veteran Cycle Club
The Benson Veteran Cycle Club was founded by Ned Passey in 1960, who sadly passed away in 2018.
About two or three years before we started the rally, my father owned a penny farthing and was taking it from his house to the scrapyard.
It had been stored in an outbuilding, the roof had collapsed, and it was going out with a lot of other stuff as scrap.
I rescued it, restored it, and rode it in a rally in Ripley (in Surrey). My friends wanted to ride as well, so we decided to set a rally up here.
It has just gone on and on. I never ever thought it would last for so many years.
The club hold various events throughout the year combining static displays and rides.
Buckingham Old Gaol Museum
Buckingham Old Gaol was built in 1748 by Richard Grenville Temple, Lord Viscount of Cobham. It was enlarged by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1839.
Prisoners were incarcerated in damp cells with no heating, lights or toilets and fed on bread, water, soup and gruel. They exercised in the courtyard and often spent time in the stocks for various misdemeanours. 3 people died in the gaol, one prisoner escaped over the wall and another walked out when the gaoler went home and forgot to lock the door.
Buckingham Old Gaol Trust is currently in the process of assembling some incredible stories specific to the lives and tales of the prisoners and those who worked within Buckingham Old Gaol, which will be exhibited in the coming months.
More recently, the building has been a police station, a fire station, an air-raid shelter and an ammunition store. In 1984, following threat of demolition, the building was brought by a charitable trust and saved for the town. If you visit the museum, you can walk through thousands of years of Buckingham history, from the prehistoric to the Second World War. You can view some of the coins from the Lenborough Hoard – more than 5,000 silver coins, minted during the reigns of Saxon Kings Ethelred the Unready and Canute, the hoard was carefully concealed in a lead casket and buried, only to be discovered in 2014 near Buckingham. And you can see the Flora Thompson Collection.
Flora Thompson wrote the semi-autobiographical trilogy, ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’, an evocative tale of life as a child growing up in the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire countryside in the late nineteenth century. The exhibition is the only permanent, viewable exhibition of Flora Thompson memorabilia in the world.
Come and find out what Buckingham Old Gaol Trust has on display at the Shelswell History Festival!
Save Finmere Control Tower
The Society has been involved in the remembrance of aircrews and aircraft preservation for 50 years. Our current project is to try and save the Airfield Control Tower at Finmere as a permanent memorial to fallen airmen in Buckinghamshire
The Aircrew Remembrance Society is seeking to preserve the Finmere control tower as a living memorial to the thousands of airmen lost during training in Buckinghamshire and surrounding counties.
Whilst there are memorials to those lost serving with Bomber Command and Fighter Command, there is currently no fitting memorial to the thousands of unknown who died in Operational Training units, operating from airfields in Buckinghamshire and the surrounding counties. Many of those died locally and are buried in local cemeteries close to the airfields.
Like P/O Karol Jan POLANIN (pilot) PAF killed in the crash of Mosquito DZ291, 13 O.T.U. His plane dived into ground near Twyford Bucks on 16.3.1945.
Finmere Tower could become a lasting memorial to these forgotten boys, and could house the extensive historical archives, research material and artefacts collected over six decades, a garden of remembrance.
For more information, contact David King (Chairman Aircrew Remembrance Society) Phone: 01296 711177. Aircrewremembrancesociety3.com
Holy Trinity, Hethe
The Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity in Hethe was built in 1832.
It owes its existence largely to the long presence of the Catholic Fermor family in the area, first at Somerton, and from 1642 at Tusmore, where a free-standing chapel was built. The servants and tenants on the Tusmore estate were largely Catholic, and the area was known for having many Catholic inhabitants. In addition to the chapel at Tusmore, a place of worship was provided during the 18th century in the neighbouring Hardwick manor house, also belonging to the Fermor family.
The Second Catholic Relief Act of 1791 had allowed the building of Catholic chapels, and the 1829 Act of Emancipation removed many other obstructions. The establishment of a chapel to serve the spiritual needs of the many Catholics who remained in the Hethe area was undertaken by Father Alfred Maguire in 1831, who was charged with providing a building to hold 300. The cost of £800 was raised partly from local people; Maguire also made an appeal in the Catholic Directory, explaining that the death of the local squire had left his people ‘destitute of a place where they may be enabled to be present at the adorable sacrifice of the Mass’. The new church opened on 22 May 1832.
Situated in the Church are eight windows designed by Francis Barnett, a stained glass artist from Leith, Scotland. Francis Barnett was a member of a family of stained glass artists who designed many windows for Catholic Churches in England, Scotland and Ireland.
The church is part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, and has a large congregation of regular worshippers from the surrounding villages and towns.
For more information, visit www.immaculate-conception.org.uk/Holy-Trinity/
National Trust Stowe
Stowe House Preservation Trust was created to raise money for the restoration of the lavish Stowe House (now Stowe School), to carry out the restoration and open the house to the public. Come and see the amazing restoration work we’ve done so far
The scale and beauty of Stowe have attracted visitors for over 300 years. Picture-perfect views, winding paths, lakeside walks and temples create a timeless landscape, reflecting the changing seasons. Full of hidden meaning, the gardens were created as an earthly paradise and still cast their spell today.
Eighteenth-century landscape gardens dealt in shades of green. Rolling expanses of grass were framed by artfully placed belts of trees and shrubs and reflected in tranquil stretches of water. Contrasting with these are the temples and monuments that still survive in the gardens today. Paths were used to entice visitors to certain views, only revealed at the last moment.
Its creator, Lord Cobham, designed the gardens around three main paths to reveal his beliefs about the politics and morality of the day. The Path of Vice is located in the garden of love, where temples allude to seductive stories of the past. In contrast, the Path of Virtue winds its way through an area of the gardens that represents heaven on earth. Finally there is the Path of Liberty, representing the political aspirations of Lord Cobham. It’s the longest and hardest of all three walks, showing that navigating politics is never easy.
2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the National Trust taking over custodianship of the gardens at Stowe. In this time, subtle gardening and major restoration works have all helped to transform the gardens back to their original eighteenth century splendour.
Visit the National Trust Stowe display of maps and artefacts, and chat with Assistant Head Gardener Paul Stefanovic and Community Engagement Officer Amy Bellinger about the gardens and their restoration.
Stowe House Preservation Trust
The Shelswell Benefice includes 10 churches in the villages of Cottisford, Hardwick cum Tusmore, Finmere, Fringford, Hethe, Mixbury, Newton Purcell, Stoke Lyne, Stratton Audley & Godington.
Several of our church buildings date back to the 12th and 13th centuries, beautiful buildings with their own intriguing histories. They are still used regularly today for worship and make an important contribution to village life. Visit the display and see if you can learn:
- why Mixbury church has a wooden board just inside the churchyard gate
- what statue can be found in Finmere church above the porch
- what the lion pictured in the window on the south side of the chancel of Stratton Audley church has in its mouth
- what is unusual about the Newton Purcell church clock
- how many wings the two angels in the east window of Hethe church have
- what is over the porch of Cottisford church
- how many iron crosses there are in Fringford churchyard
- what is unusual about the gutters and drainpipes of Hardwick church
- when Godington church was built
- where the gold angels in Stoke Lyne church are
And while you are there, ask about some of the things the churches do – their feasts and festivals, fetes and fayres, the Little Lambs toddler group, Shelswell by the Sea, their support for women in Wulu, South Sudan, and much much more…
For more information, visit www.shelswellparishes.info/
Then and Now in the Bicester Area Team Ministry
St Edburg’s Foundation Heritage Trust aim to sustain the heritage of St Edburg’s Church, Bicester, by holding free community events.
Vintage Vehicles and Classic Cars
Drop in knitting workshop – Doune Wake
Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a lapsed knitter, there will be something for you……
We will supply wool and needles (cost £5.00) and you will go home with a knitted article!
The D-Day War Diaries
2019 – the 75th anniversary after D-Day
All of the books are on the “D” Day landings for the Royal British Legion and Combat Stress:
“The D Day War Diaries” – a Consolidated Book combining the first four books in the series
“Honour them – Bravest of the Brave” – the French Resistance and Special Operations Executive 1940-1944
James Robertshaw, who lives in Witney, was inspired by many discussions with his family on their war experiences and by his own visit to the Normandy beaches in 2014 to find out more about what happened in the D-Day landings. His research led him to write a book on each of the beaches, listing what happened at each bunker, who was involved and what the allies were up against.
The main motivation was to honour the men and women who served there so that they could be properly remembered whilst at the same time raising money for the Royal British Legion and Combat Stress. This would ensure that they should not be forgotten. He felt that books published in the past have not really been a good reference guide for a visit to the Normandy Beaches and James hopes that his material will help act as a guide to the beaches for future generations.
For more information, visit http://www.dday-wardiaries.co.uk/