I’m starting to think November is the new December... Back in the day, the Christmas festivities didn’t get into full swing until the first chocolate from the advent calendar had been wolfed down. Now, as this month’s Ramblings will testify, it seems the run-up starts as soon as the Guy Fawkes Night bonfires have gone out. Talking of getting ahead of ourselves, I couldn’t believe Valentine’s Day cards were on sale in my local shop the other day. Now, I like to plan ahead, but surely that’s going too far? In case I forget, Happy Easter!
Talking of getting ahead of ourselves, I couldn’t believe Valentine’s Day cards were on sale in my local shop the other day. Now, I like to plan ahead, but surely that’s going too far? In case I forget, Happy Easter!
It’s a great month for music, with some of the area’s fine choral societies in action. Firstly, Cirencester Choral Society is giving its autumn concert on Saturday 21st in Cirencester Parish Church. The concert, on the eve of St Cecilia’s Day, the patron saint of musicians, will feature Purcell’s Ode on St Cecilia’s Day 1692: Hail! Bright Cecilia and Handel’s Chandos Anthem No 9, from 1718. It will feature soloists specialising in works of this period, Hannah Davey, Ben Sawyer, Andrew Hayman and David Le Prevost, and Andrew Court will lead the Corinium Camerata. The concert, which starts at 7.30pm, will be conducted by Carleton Etherington. Tickets cost £12.50, or £6 for students and £3 for children, and are available from the Visitor Information Centre at the Corinium Museum or by calling 01285 654180.
Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle is the work of choice being performed by Fairford and District Choral Society at its autumn concert. It will take place on Saturday 28th at St Mary’s Church, Fairford at 7.30pm. Tickets, costing £10, or £5 for under-18s, are available from Blenheim Antiques, by calling 01285 713681 or visit www.fairford.org/choralsociety
There will be an evening of music and entertainment at Cirencester Library on Wednesday 11th to help commemorate World War One. Music company Trenchfoot Troubadours will perform a medley of songs from World War One, which will be followed by Spaniel in Works Theatre Company’s performance of Tommy Atkins and the Canary Girl, which focuses on the lives and experiences of workers at the Gloucester munitions factory and local soldiers during the First World War. The event will run from 7.30pm until 9.30pm. Admission is free, and tickets are available from the library.
The history of allotments in Gloucestershire is the topic being explored by Cirencester Archaeological and Historical Society at its next meeting on Wednesday 25th. Well-known local historian John Loosley will give the talk at the Ashcroft Centre, Ashcroft Road, Cirencester, which starts at 7.30pm. The lecture is free to members and those in full-time education, and guests may attend for £3.
Cirencester’s rich Roman history will be the focus of a Corinium Museum talk on Thursday 12th. Dr Alison Brookes will speak about recent excavations in Cirencester, including the discoveries unearthed from the former Bridges Garage. The talk starts at 2.30pm and will cost £6 per adult and £5 for season-ticket holders. To book your ticket call the museum on 01285 655611.
Cirencester Civic Society will hear a talk about The Gordon Russell Museum in Broadway at its meeting on Monday 16th. Martin Blakeman is the guest speaker for the night at the society’s meeting at the Parish Centre, Gosditch Street, Cirencester at 7.30pm. It will cost visitors £3 to attend. For more information about the society see www.ccsoc.org.uk
The Cotswold Decorative and Fine Arts Society will be learning about art and the Napoleonic Wars on Wednesday 11th. The lecture, by Lois Oliver, will take place at Bradwell Village Hall, near Burford, at 11am with coffee and tea available from 10.15am. Visitors are welcome toattend and will be asked to make a suggested donation of £8. For more information see www.cotswolddfas.org.uk
Good news if you follow Lechlade Cricket Club! The club has announced it has signed a deal that will see its young South African star Brad Dial return to the club next season. Brad will spearhead the club’s attempt to gain promotion to the top flight of the newly restructured West of England Premier League.
Treat yourself to an evening of pampering – and it’s all for a good cause. Paternoster House on Watermoor Road, Cirencester is holding a pamper and craft evening on Friday 27th from 6pm until 9.30pm. Indulge in a relaxing treatment or browse the many stalls and pick up some Christmas gifts. Admission is £2 which includes a glass of wine and nibbles. All money raised will provide extra activities and outings for the house’s residents.
Eyes down in Langford for a night of bingo in aid of the village hall. The fundraiser is on Friday 27th at the hall from 7.30pm. There will be excellent prizes up for grabs and a raffle as well as light refreshments. Donations of prizes would be welcome – if you can help contact Chrissy on 01367 860514 or Tracey on 01367 860721.
Cirencester Lottery will be making its next draw on Monday 30th and, as the saying goes, you need to be in it to win it... The lottery is a non-profit, volunteer-run venture to raise money for and awareness of charities in and around Cirencester. Tickets are £1 each and are available at www.ciren-lottery.wix.com/play . One winner, who is drawn at random, claims the entire prize fund which includes a donation to a local charity of their choice. October’s winner was Geoff C who kindly donated to the volunteer service Corinium Radio.
Indeed there are plenty of chances to start getting organised for Christmas whilst supporting some great local causes. Cirencester Hospital League of Friends is holding a Christmas fayre at Cirencester Corn Hall on Monday 16th, where more than 20 local and national charities will be taking part selling a range of Christmas cards, toys and gifts. The fayre will run from 9.30am until 4pm and entry is free. To find out more call Sheila Rees on 01285 655942.
There is also a combined charities Christmas market in Lechlade on Saturday 7th. The annual event organised by the Lechlade branch of Cancer Research UK will be at Lechlade Memorial Hall from 9.30am until 12.30pm. As always the market will feature a great selection of stalls, with Christmas cards supporting both local and national charities. There will also be plenty of craft stalls, plus fun and games for all the family, and refreshments. Entrance is free and table hire is £10 per table. To find out more call Chris on 01367 252741.
For more present inspiration pop to a craft fayre at Langford Village Hall on Sunday 15th. The fayre runs from 2-4pm, and as well as the craft stalls there will also be a raffle and light refreshments will be available. Tables cost £5 plus a small craft item for the raffle. To reserve a table or find out more call Chrissy on 01367 860514.
Explore the wonders of local art and craft in a Christmas exhibition by the Cotswold Craftsmen going on show at the Corinium Museum on Friday 20th. The Cotswold craftsmen are a group of craftsmen, designers and artists who value the traditions and skills of the past and wish to embrace contemporary techniques and ideas. The selling exhibition is on until Saturday, 5th December and admission is free.
Cirencester will kick off its Christmas celebrations in style at its advent festival on Saturday 28th. The popular annual community event in the Market Place will once again feature a mix of entertainment and festive stalls throughout the day, including a farmers’ market from 8.30am and an advent market 3-7pm. The ceremony to switch on the town’s festive lights will then start from 6.30pm. And don’t forget – the Market Place will be closed to traffic from 9am until 9pm.
Staying seasonal with a talk called The Journey of the Magi: 1700 Years of the Three Kings. Christopher Herbert will give the illustrated lecture to the Corinium Decorative and Fine Arts Society on Wednesday 25th. The society meet at Cirencester Deer Park School and meetings start at 7.30pm. It costs £5 for visitors to attend and there is free parking and refreshments. To find out more about the society see www.coriniumdfas.org.uk
Looking to next month, and the Home-Start Cotswolds charity is holding its Christmas concert on Friday, 11th December. The fundraiser, which will feature Coln Church Choir together with carols and readings, will take place at St Mary’s Church, Bibury, at 7pm. Tickets cost £10, which include drinks and canapes from 6.30pm, and are available from www.home-start-cotswolds.org.uk or by calling 01285 750482.
Another quick heads-up for a Christmas shopping treat coming up next month. The Kelmscott Christmas craft fair will take place on Saturday, 5th December, in the Morris Memorial Hall, Kelmscott from 11am until 3.30pm. There will be a wide range of beautiful products to choose from plus homemade refreshments and both admission and parking are free. As always, proceeds go towards the hall, a registered charity. For more information call 01367 253103 or visit www.kelmscott.org.uk
Help is at hand if you are looking for a gift for a loved one who is experiencing cancer or ill health. Serenity Hampers, set up by cancer patient Alicia Dent, can provide compassionate and practical gifts to help people recover from their treatment and to live life in comfort. It also donates a percentage of all sales to Cancer Research. To find out more see www.serenityhampers.com or contact Alicia on 07985 577550.
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