And that’s a wrap – Hungerford Summer Festival concludes for 2019

This year’s Hungerford Summer Festival has come to an end after a truly eclectic range of events packed into its two-week programme.

The Hungerford Summer Festival (formerly HADCAF) concluded on Sunday night with the Hungerford Town Band performing Movie Magic at the Corn Exchange.

The town has enjoyed a wide range of performances over the past two weeks, including singer-songwriter Boo Hewerdine, Ada Campe, Vanessa Kisuule, The Red Stripe Band, Opus2 Choir, Guy Masterson, Uncovered, The Derek Paravicini Quartet, Adam Winslet and the Magnificent Seven, Phoenix Brass, the Kennet Accordion Orchestra and the Hungerford Town Band.

Nick Lumley at Hungerford SUmmer Festival launch.jpgConstable of the Town and Manor Nick Lumley introduces the festival

There have been much-acclaimed theatrical performances from the Community of Hungerford Theatre Company plus their Children’s Theatre and Youth Theatres, as well as free events, workshops, walks and the opportunity to view a showcase of local art at the Hungerford Summer Festival exhibition at the Hungerford Hub and Library.

Hungerford Summer Festival chairman Fiona Poole said: “What a busy couple of weeks it’s been! We’ve had a fantastic festival this year which is due to everyone who supports us from all of our sponsors, to performers to our wonderful volunteers, the superb venues around the town and of course the audiences who come out and participate.

“We’d love to hear your feedback on the events of 2019 as we’re already planning next year’s festival!”

www.hungerfordsummerfestival.com

PR for beginners – Hungerford workshop 12th Sep

back to school pr workshop 12th sepI’m so excited to hold a “Back to School” workshop in September for any small business who’d like to know more about how to get started with PR.

It’s being held at the Hungerford Hub and Library and attendees will be able to ask questions on how to make the most of the story-telling opportunities in their business, know which publications to approach and how to speak to a busy journalist.

Just £22 on Thursday, 12th September:

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/back-to-school-pr-for-beginners-workshop-tickets-64656754092

Boo! Boo Hewerdine coming to the Hungerford Summer Festival Wed 3 July

Boo Hewerdine – Hungerford Summer Festival on Wednesday 3rd July

Boo Hewerdine.jpgThe Croft Hall Hungerford

Tickets £10

Pre-show supper option £9

Boo Hewerdine’s forthcoming album, set for release in September, does not contain a single guitar.

The Ivor Novello award-winning singer-songwriter has been collecting unusual instruments ranging from a Dulcitone to an Indian harmonium and a Vibraphone, and combined them with an old piano to create a sound that his record company considers to be the best thing he’s done in years.

Hewerdine is widely considered to be one of the best songwriters in the business and has written songs for kd lang, Mel C, Marti Pellow and perhaps most famously – Eddi Reader from Fairground Attraction.

However, Hewerdine’s gig at the Croft Hall, Hungerford, as part of the Hungerford Summer Festival, will see him perform solo with his guitar.

“I was going to struggle to get the harmonium on the train,” he jokes. “So it’s just me and my guitar on my own which is my favourite type of gig. The Hungerford audience can expect lots of chat and stories.

“I’ve got a new album out in September so there will be some songs from that and favourites from the past 30 years, but I can’t tell you what I’ll play as I like to react to the space and the people and let that influence what songs I play. Sometimes you look down at the set list and think that the next song isn’t quite right for the atmosphere so it’s good to respond to the room. While it can add a little bit of extra pressure, it feels really good when you pull it off.”

When Hewerdine arrives in Hungerford, it will be part of his fifth consecutive tour of 2019. His busy schedule has seen him in this week alone in Cornwall, Scotland, Yorkshire and London, combining a tour with Darden Smith with teaching the art of song-writing through his unique workshops.

The pair’s album Evidence was released 30 years ago and they’ve marked the occasion with an anniversary tour.

He said: “We didn’t know if anyone would remember this old album from 30 years ago, but we put on a couple of gigs and they kept selling out. It’s been mindblowing.”

Boo Hewerdine plays Hungerford Summer Festival on Wednesday, 3rd July at 8pm.

www.hungerfordsummerfestival.com

 

Mr Shaha’s recipes of wonder: adventures in science around the kitchen table

We all know that we should read to our young children to help them with their literacy. But what about science? How can you help your child to gain an understanding of the world around them?

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We went to a terrific talk thanks to Newbury Talks at the weekend – one of their regular free talks on interesting topics – by Alom Shaha who has written this Mr Shaha’s Recipes of Wonder to help parents get their children asking the right questions.

He is a physics teacher with a background in TV production, which was evident from his entertaining demonstrations. Small son and I have emulated his demo and worked out way through even more teabags than usual!

What was great about this talk (and this book), is that science isn’t all about white coats, beakers and chemical formulae.  And that is is OK not to know the answers; but to prompt your child to work out how they could do an experiment or know how to find the answer to their questions.

His great advice includes encouraging children to take an interest in the world and see things around you. Be positive, don’t say how much you hated science at school. Ask questions – what would happen if you changed things? What might happen if I make this shorter/add liquid/move it? 

Play around with the parameters and take activities and make them into science experiments.  If you’re doing something, related to something else, reinforce those ideas. 

Right, off to grab some wine glasses as a science experiment 😀

 

Le Navet Bete’s – Three Musketeers

“It’s like a giant Rubik’s Cube that we have to solve live in front of an audience.”

This is how Nick Bunt from Le Navet Bete describes The Three Musketeers: A Comedy Adventure which the madcap group (whose name translates to The Stupid Turnip) will be bringing to the Corn Exchange, Newbury, from 12th to 14th June.

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Le Navet Bete- pic by Mark Dawson

 

Fans of the hilarious West Country troupe will agree that a Rubik’s Cube is a fitting analogy for the colourful and multi-faceted performances that Le Navet Bete are well-known for. Combine all that with clever set design that the actors carry out themselves, along with physical comedy, deliberate errors plus multiple costume changes, and you’ll be excited to see what they’ll do with the Alexandré Dumas classic.

Le Navet Bete comprises four actors – Nick Bunt, Matt Freeman, Al Dunn and Dan Bianchi – plus Alex ‘Wheaty’ Best who is the production manager. The fivesome met at the University of Plymouth on a theatre and performance course ten years ago where they realised they had the same comedic taste and love of physical theatre and clowning. They started working together, took a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and have toured extensively, building up a loyal fanbase along the way.

Since then, they’ve tackled everything from The Jungle Book to Aladdin to Dick Tracy. Two years ago, they set their sights on Alexandre Dumas’ historical adventure story and their intensive writing process has culminated in this show which recently premiered at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter.

Nick Bunt, who plays Cardinal Richelieu, Aramis, and at least seven other parts is excited to be returning to West Berkshire.

He said: “We make shows for literally anyone to come and enjoy from ages 4 to 104. It’s pure escapism, it’s fun, it’s joyous, always a twinkle in our eyes and a strong connection with the audience. Audiences are why we do this job and we want to make them feel comfortable right from the start. It’s two hours of sheer madness and engaging storytelling.

“We have been coming to Newbury for about five years now with various shows, firstly at New Greenham Arts Centre and now at the Corn Exchange. Over this time, we’ve steadily built up a brilliant loyal fan base who keep coming back for more. The audiences in Newbury are always so up for a laugh and this is why we keep coming back!”

“We’ve taken Alexandre Dumas’ classic story – that’s 700 pages of epic adventure – and condensed it into just two hours of high energy, fun and hugely entertaining theatre for absolutely anyone and everyone to enjoy.”

True to form, swords seem to have been replaced with baguettes, horses with bikes and the four actors play a grand total of 41 characters between them. Not only are there 50 outfits and 112 costume changes, but the group has decided for the first time that it might be fun to carry out the costume changes on stage, in front of the audience.

“It’s a story that’s been told a thousand times but we’ve put a fun twist on it, remembering childhood days of playing dress-up in dens and treehouses. It’s a great way to let the story play out and audiences have been loving it,” he adds. “It’s absolutely the most ambitious piece of work we’ve ever made, and we cannot wait to share it!”

Interview first appeared in the Newbury Weekly News..

https://cornexchangenew.com/event/the-three-musketeers-a-comedy-adventure

Double Celebrations as National Fudge Day Takes Place on Father’s Day (Sunday, 16th June)

Dads have double cause to celebrate this year as National Fudge Day this year lands on the same dayas Father’s Day (Sunday, 16th June).

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It makes sense then to reward the special father figure in your life with a lovely gift of Buttermilk’s Cornish Fudge.

For anyone looking for a delicious gift on a pocket money budget, supermarkets across the UK stock Buttermilk sharing boxes in the confectionery aisle in a range of flavours and all under a fiver:

·         Caramel Sea Salt £3.99 (Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Amazon)

Infused with tiny flakes of sea salt, our buttery Caramel Sea Salt fudge crumbles and melts in the mouth, for delicious little bursts of salt and intense caramel sweetness. This award-winning fudge is Buttermilk’s bestseller.

·         Vanilla Fudge £3.99 (Sainsbury’s, Amazon)

Wonderfully moreish and generously flavoured with natural vanilla, our award-winning, all-butter Vanillafudge is the ultimate sweet treat.

·         Pink Gin £3.99 (Waitrose)

Buttermilk has partnered with Pinkster to create a sumptuous crumbly fudge infused with British grown, gin-soaked raspberries.  The founder of Pinkster, Stephen Marsh has fond memories of choosing his favourite fudge at Buttermilk’s Padstow shop as a child in the seventies!

Tracy of Buttermilk, said: “We all want to show our appreciation for our dads but they can be so hard to buy for!  Forget the ties and socks this time around though as it makes even more sense this year to buy fudge for the man in your life as by a happy coincidence, National Fudge Day lands on Father’sDay.

“Not only does everyone love a little sweet treat now again, but we often hear that people love receiving Buttermilk sharing boxes as it reminds them of visiting one of our shops on holiday in Cornwall from the 1960s onwards.

“We’ll also be celebrating with a social media competition celebrating special dads and the adventures we share with them. Tweet your best dad-themed photos using the hashtag #Buttermilkadventures and you could be in with a chance of winning a lovely prize”.

As an artisan producer based in Cornwall, Buttermilk celebrates fudge every day, but as the company uses locally-sourced ingredients where possible and makes fudge by hand using a traditional recipe and methods – it is proud to mark National Fudge Day on 16th June every year.

Follow Buttermilk on

FB: www.facebook.com/buttermilkconfectioneryco

Twitter: www.twitter.com/buttermilkfudge

Insta: www.instagram.com/buttermilkconfections

 

Talks at Athena June/July – finance, first aid and more!

 

The Athena Network prepares for the summer season with a series of speakers who will give expert advice on finances, time management and first aid.

The Thatcham meeting takes place at the Regency Park Hotel on Tuesday, 18th June where Fiona Jones of Numberwork Services will be answering on the new requirements for online reporting to HMRC. 

The Newbury Central meeting takes place at Arigato in Northbrook Street on Wednesday, 19th June where Rosie Darbyshire of ISN will be offering advice on time management.

The Newbury West meeting takes place at The Red House, Marsh Benham on Thursday, 11th July where Louise Worsley of Worsley Training who will be teaching basic skills for first aid in the workplace. 

The Hungerford group meeting takes place at Audley Inglewood in Kintbury on Friday, 12th July where the speaker is Virginia Parkes of Hungerford Accounts who will be talking about helping the group make sense of money and tax to ensure maximum profitability.    

Debbie Miles, regional director of the West Berkshire Athena Network said: “Joining an established network of businesses in diverse industries, offers you the opportunity not only to source skills and expertise from a community of familiar, trusted and recommended  professionals, it also enables you to garner support from people who have had similar challenges and experiences.”

All meetings take place from 12pm to 2pm and must be booked in advance.

For more information, click onto www.theathenanetwork.com/debbiemiles/

 

 

 

Hungerford Summer Festival (28th June to 14th July!)

AdaCampe1.jpg

 

 

Back for its 28th year, this year’s programme includes a wide range of live music, rip-roaring comedies, exciting drama, music, art, film and a wide variety of walks, talks and workshops for all ages.

Music includes The Red Stripe Band, The Appel Trio, The Adam Winslet Band, Kennet Opera, Opus2 Choir, Guy Masterson, Uncovered, The Derek Paravicini Quartet, Phoenix Brass, the Kennet Accordion Orchestra and the Hungerford Town Band.

Audiences are invited to make a whole night of it with delicious meals served before performances at The Croft Hall.

There is a fascinating and unique talk by specialist Nigel West about security and intelligence, not to be missed.

There is a variety of workshops which are already booking quickly; art, Qi Gong, tea light making, eco craft, cookery and drumming. There’s a farm visit to Farncombe Farm and a practical guide to honeybees; throughout all the festivities our traditional Summer Festival Art Exhibition will be at Hungerford Hub.

There is lots for children too, especially “Lego, Lego, Lego” for an afternoon of fun. Children aged 8-12 are invited to a ‘kids bake off’ event with Gert Pienaar, head chef at Blandy’s at Inglewood on Saturday, 13th July from 2-4pm at Hungerford Youth and Community Centre while teenagers are invited to a ‘teen cook-off’ with Ollie Hunter, from the Wheatsheaf in Chilton Foliat on Wednesday, 10th July from 5-8pm, also at the Hungerford Youth and Community Centre. Both cost £5 per head including ingredients and utensils and each will see a winning young chef invited to demonstrate at the Hungerford Food Festival on Sunday, 6th October.

Hungerford Summer Festival chairman Fiona Poole said: “In these uncertain times, we need to able to escape to a happy place. The Hungerford Summer Festival will enable you to do just that – whether a walk on the wild side with our very own Hugh and Lois Pihlens, or perusing the pop-up galleries to feast on amazing artworks or learning a new skill at one of our interactive workshops. We think there’s something for everyone – please come and join us!”

This year all our local organisations are involved; The Football Club, The Rugby Club, The Cricket Club, Hungerford Allotment Association, The Rose of Hungerford, The Brownies, The Bowls Club, The Tennis Club, The Camera Club, The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers(REME), The British Legion, St Lawrence’s Church, John O’Gaunt School, Rock Choir and many  more.

Many thanks for the support of our fabulous venues at The Hub, The Herongate Club, The Croft Hall, John O’Gaunt School, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Hungerford Youth and Community Centre, The Croft Field and Hungerford Corn Exchange.

Book on-line or get your tickets from Newbury Building Society in Hungerford High Street and programmes are available from most Hungerford shops and businesses.

www.hungerfordsummerfestival.com

 

 

National Hoarding Awareness Week activities in West Berkshire from 20th to 27th May 2019

A West Berkshire-based hoarding and decluttering specialist is striving to remove the stigma of a mental health condition during National Hoarding Awareness Week which takes place from 20th to 27th May.

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Jo Cooke, the founder of Tapioca Tidy and co-founder of Hoarding Disorders UK (a community interest company) is giving a series of talks to the NHS and local charities to help raise awareness of the disorder and to fight prejudice about the stigma of hoarding.

Jo will also be present at the National Hoarding Conference: New Approaches Roadshow in Birmingham which is the official launch of Hoarding Awareness Week. This year’s focus is to raise awareness of the disorder as a mental illness, and not as a lifestyle choice.

Jo estimates that there could be at least 10,000 households in the West Berkshire area who need help and she receives referrals most days. Most hoarders tend to collect newspapers, books, containers, clothes, plastic bags and animals.

Jo and her team lead a free support group meeting which takes place on Thursday, 30th May and on the fourth Thursday of each month from 7pm to 9pm at Broadway House in Newbury. Anyone who is a hoarder or whose life is affected by hoarding is welcome to attend.  Jo has also inspired other support groups around the country to be formed and is instrumental in setting up new groups this year to be launched in Reading, Oxford and Swindon.

Jo said: “We welcome anyone to our support group who would like to discuss hoarding without judgement. We offer a safe place to talk and to reduce the stigma of hoarding. Unfortunately, owing to some television programmes that show the very worst side of hoarding, there’s a perception that hoarders are dirty and smelly which is not the case. We want to treat people with compassion and patience, not punishment.”

One former hoarder who attends the Newbury group said: “I used to have a hoarded house, in which none of the rooms apart from the bathroom were suitable for their original use. It was obvious that something had to be done, and that really it was down to me.

“Having made a good start with support from my family, I joined Jo’s hoarding support group and this has proved very motivational, reassuring and supportive. The group provides a safe and secure place for people with hoarding behaviours, and those supporting them.

“Talks and techniques bring a new perspective to dealing with the items themselves and the feelings and behaviours involved. There are talks from Cruse on bereavement, and talks on mindfulness, fire, health and safety, and stress control. But the most useful parts of the meetings are those when people just talk to each other. Feedback from those who attend indicates that they no longer feel as if it is ‘just them’, that others are in a similar situation. They feel more able to discuss the issues involved, as the people attending really understand what is going on. Ideas and techniques are exchanged and these spark enthusiasm and determination.”

National Hoarding Awareness Week also marks the second anniversary of the launch of Jo’s book “Understanding Hoarding”, an expert guide to helping a hoarder.  She will be giving tips and advice from the book on social media throughout National Hoarding Awareness Week.

 

Six best business books as recommended by West Berkshire SMEs

If you’re on the lookout for some business books, then our recent West Berkshire hour Twitter chat threw up some interesting reading suggestions.

We had a teacher among our participants, so some slightly unusual recommendations:

  1. Drive by Daniel H Pink – “Particularly good if you manage staff…”

drive

2. Linchpin by Seth Godin – “Why it’s so important to make yourself indispensable and put everything you can into your work.”

linchpin

3. For entrepreneurs with big ideas: A travel guide from big idea to business case by John Jukes – “a witty and readable guide for youngsters wondering whether self employment is for them and how to go about it” 

jj

4. Creative Schools: revolutionising education from the ground-up by Sir Ken Robinson  – “A  vision on how schools could be transformed to ensure that all children flourish”

creative

5.  Purple cow – transform your business by being remarkable – Seth Godin

How to stand out from the crowd and make your business truly exceptional

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7. The four hour work week – Tim Ferriss – “an absolute game changer – I realised that for years, I’d been working for years to make someone else rich”

4hour

So, please let us know of any that we missed that should be on the list and let us know what you think of the books here. Also, if you’re local to West Berkshire and want to network without leaving your house, then please come and join us! We chat on Twitter every Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm using the hashtag #wberkshour

 

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