Thursday, 24 April 2014

Celebrating St Georges Day, The Patron Saint of England

A Celebratory Flag and Reenactment of  St George on Horseback

Should you happen to take a drive around the Villages of South Buckinghamshire on 23rd April it would not surprise you to see the buildings festooned with Flags and Bunting sporting the Red Cross of St George and England, all ready to celebrate St Georges Day.

A Chilterns Village with Flags Out.

In my home town of Beaconsfield, in one of the wealthiest areas in the country, nothing is ever done to indicate it is St Georges Day, other than the Flag of St George is flown from The Town Hall Flag Pole, just for that day. 

Beaconsfield Town Hall, (Drab at the best of times.)

In 2013 this piece below was posted in the local press.

SAINT George’s Day could receive its own special celebration in Beaconsfield each year if the town council agree on the details.
The Community Safety Committee last week discussed the possibility of holding an evening of events on April 23 to coincide with the day dedicated to England’s patron saint.
It is hoped that Beaconsfield residents can embrace the celebrations in a similar spirit seen for the Queen’s Jubilee and Olympics last year.
However, Cllr Philip Bastiman stressed the importance that any festivities must be coordinated through the church to avoid being seen as a nationalistic "rallying cry".
The Town Hall already flies the St George flag each year on April 23 to mark the occasion.
In actuality, nothing was done in 2013 and this year the council published a statement to the effect the there would be no celebration this year 'due to lack of interest. 
To say that 'festivities' must be 'coordinated through the church to avoid being seen as a nationalistic "rallying cry".' is to my mind, tosh, and just another 'Do Nothing' Council cop out. 
We who are English are proud to be 'English' as are the Scots, Welsh, Irish and Cornish, who are each proud of their heritage and their National Flag and are not 'scared' to go out and celebrate it.
Most Church of England Churches in Beaconsfield and elsewhere already fly the Flag of St George every day of the year. Many Scout and Guide Troops hold a St Georges Day Service in their local churches.
Cub Scouts celebrating St Georges Day
With all of this local intransigence, I decided to combine my Personal Celebration and low key protest by holding a Help for Heroes Fund Raising Day in front of the Town Hall on St Georges Day. 
While standing there, I do not expect people to donate and I enjoy it when passers by stop and chat about the car and anything else without feeling the need to donate. 
I found it amusing as often, people would deliberately change their direction of travel just to avoid making contact with me, including one of our Locally Based County Councillors, who is known to me, but obviously not me to him as I have soon been forgotten, until The County Elections time comes around again.
The Green Goddess decked out in my St Georges Day Flags.
The first lady donator to speak to me actually stopped her car and came over, proud to sport her Large Silk Red Rose of England on her lapel.  Her opinion of the 'Do Nothing' Council was akin to mine and when I pointed out that even the Flag was wrapped around the pole so that it was difficult to see, she gave out a hearty laugh.   
Our Current Prime Minister and Mayor of London wearing their Rose of England with Pride.
Mayor of London with Flag of St George of England.
Back to My Fund Raising Day. 

On Sunday May 25th, Members of the Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 Register are holding our Bi Annual 'All Morgan' Day Car Rally at Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. and this fund raising day was to help promote this day.

 One of the Posters on my car window.

Our Advertisement as it appeared in some Morgan Magazines

To help enhance our Fund Raising Total, I try and do at least one Street Collection so this year I was able to get the Prime Position in Town on St Georges Day - Perfect!
 Finally the Breeze catches my Pole Flags to good effect.

The 'Back Stage' view, showing the Flower Stems from The Beech Tree which were also filling the car during the day (A good Vacuum Cleaning is needed after this) 

With our Olympic 'Mandeville' statue still in situ, I needed to involve it in my Fund Raising showing off well, my Double Tin Baton made for me by my good friend Jim West.

I fund raised for six hours and collected a Magnificent £173.00 from the generous people passing by.

In the evening I was invited by Amanda Baker to continue fund raising by attending the St Georges Day Celebrations at the Pub in one of the nearby Villages. The Jolly Cricketers at Seer Green.

Mine Hosts at the Jolly Cricketers, Chris Lillitou and Amanda Baker

The evening involved me parking the Dressed Up Mog outside and enjoy the Morris Dancing and the speciality of the evening - Pie and Mash

I got in quickly and ordered my Pie and a Pint of St Georges Day Beer to be ready for the Morris Dancing at 8pm..

Sadly, the Rain came in with a vengeance but it did not deter the locals who packed the pub before the two teams of Morris Dancers arrived. 

 One Very Wet Morgan at the Jolly Cricketers.

The Male Dancers were from the 
Datchet Border Morris

The Dancers from Datchet

The Musical Accompaniment
The Ladies team were the 
Tæppa's Tump North West Morris Dancers

The Ladies in Clogs from Taeppas Tump

Relaxation Time after the show.

For me the only thing left to do was to organise the Fund Raising. The head man of datch Morris took over the tin before it was left at the pub for a week. We will see how well we didi there later.

It was a great evening which I am pleased i attended, in a lovely pub serving excellent ales and superb food. The Mog had to leave now as it would take me at least an hour to sort out the car when I arrive home. Hang up the wet flags, Chamois off the rain from the hood and the paintwork. 

St Georges Day 2014 for me was a memorable and very productive day. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

2014 Visit to see the Bluebells at Hedgerley

It is Easter Sunday and It is Raining but the Scenery is Blue.

With the fabulous Sunny Weather we have been enjoying in Buckinghamshire recently, the day I choose to take my Camera on a visit to see the Bluebells, and it Rains all day!

The Hedgerley to Hedgerley Green Bridleway

Our chosen rout into the woods is via the Bridleway which passes the Church. As we make our way we pass young children heading home from Church with their Easter Baskets containing gifts of Eggs. 

The Hedgerley Bluebells flowered early this year but the plants are also stronger and the ground coverage is more widespread than it was last year.

The popularity of these Bluebells is noted by the massive increase in Walkers and Families that we meet during our circuit of these woods.  

 Ann & Digby heading along the footpath originally created by Deer.

Immediatly, the Bluebells are visible in areas where, last year, very few were visible. 

 Here, the Deer Path takes us under a very old rotting Fallen Tree. Eventually it will collapse and we will be stepping over it.
 Back on the RSPB waymarked formal footpath. In the background the wide spread of the Blue Hue is visible in the distance.  

Digby, doing what dogs do, aiding the natural fertilisation.  

 This area over the fence in the next area of woodland, at the head of the Natural Spring, forecasts the beauty yet to be revealed further along the tracks.

 In just a few meters, the Spring increases in to a Narrow Brook running over Gravel. Her I have been caught taking a quick snap again. 

 Digby is making his daily paddle along the stream having a drink of the water muddied by himself. On the return walk he travels Up Stream drinking the clean water. He still hasn't worked out what he is doing wrong here.

Looking Left again over the fence, the Bluebells are thickening as we make our way down the hill.

 Last year we originally thought that here, we had found some 'Purple Bluebells' only to discover later that they are in fact Wild Orchids.

 As we near the end of the Woodlands, the intensity of the Bluebells in the Next Woods increases.

 This most intense vista continues into the far distance.

Here and there are patches of Pure White Bells in the distance.  

 As we turn the corner the coverage begins to thin out.

The view down the hill to what I call '  Sequoia Corner ' where Two of the Six Giant Redwoods growing here in these woods are located. 

 Here is 'Yours Truely', failing to avoid a Photo this time, with my trusty 'Excalibur' (Brambles Swisher) in one hand and Morgan Cap in the other.

 Half way down the hill, among the trees, is a large Badger Set and sadly, their nightly play has flattened this whole area of Bells.

Looking back up the same hill past another RSPB Way Marker.

 The scene across the dell past another of the Six Giant Redwoods.

 The RSPB Volunteers cleared this area last year and the Bluebells have taken the opportunity to excel there this year. Sadly the Silver Birch fell across the spot during one of Last Years storms.  

With a shortage of Seating around the woods, Ann & I created this 4 seater early last year out of some logs left lying around. Vandals destroyed it early this year but the logs were still there so we rebuilt it. A Shower Cap, to pop over the seat, needs to be carried to avoid a damp posterior. 

Further up the hill, this little Muntjac Deer spotted us so decided to hide but my limited telephoto just managed to pick him out. Can You?

Then we spotted this patch of not so pure white bells.

The Meadow behind the White Horse Pub contains this little Orchard of Fruit Trees planted by the Conservation Group just over a year ago.

The Village nestling down in the valley.
The same meadow has a large area of Yellow Cowslips which have just come into flow.

The Village Pond in the distance as we head back down the Church Path to the Pub, where their Easter Beer Festival is in Full Swing, but for us it is only our usual coffee and biscuits.

Happy Easter