Countylife - December 2013 Buckinghamshire news

PUBLISHED: 10:23 20 December 2013 | UPDATED: 10:23 20 December 2013

Helen on her way to success with Deep Reflection. (Photo: RTI)

Helen on her way to success with Deep Reflection. (Photo: RTI)

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A round-up of fascinating stories from across our county

On reflection, I’d rather do this…

The term ‘natural show off’ definitely applies to ex-racehorse Deep Reflection as it’s clear he’d much prefers picking up trophies in the ring to facing hurdles on a course.

Deep Reflection carried Helen Newbold to victory in the Horse of the Year Show’s SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Final. Helen and husband Jason run apre-training and breaking yard in Wicken, Milton Keynes.

Jason was assistant to Ben Case, where Deep Reflection was in training before he went to trainer Martin Keighley, and Jason and Helen were delighted to take him on when he finished racing.

Helen says: “He is a diva at home, a show horse that went racing for too long. He loves it in the show ring. He was easy to retrain, he carries himself naturally and is very low maintenance. I hardly have to work him in at a show.”

Bay gelding Deep Reflection is now 13 and earned £25,000 in prize money with six wins and several places over hurdles and fences during his racing career.

Countryside on the page

If you love the local landscape, we highly recommend the latest book by our walks expert Steve Davison, who delights in steering you across Buckinghamshire and Berkshire in each issue.

His ‘The North Wessex Downs’ looks at the beautiful, rolling chalk downlands of West Berkshire. Discover fascinating human history marked by impressive monuments such as Uffington White Horse and the magical Wayland’s Smithy; picture-postcard villages hidden amongst the folded contours of the chalk countryside; and the geology of the open downs that offer breathtaking views stretching over rounded chalk hills, with red kites circling the wide skies above.

And if you’d like to meet Steve, he will be signing copies of his book at Hungerford Bookshop during the Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza between 6.30 and 7.30pm on Friday, 13 December. He won’t take you on a long walk this time! See www.steve-davison.co.uk.

For information about the North Wessex Downs AONB visit www.visitnorthwessexdowns.co.uk

Hedgerley hunts for Great War stories

With the approaching 100th Anniversary Commemorations next year, Hedgerley Historical Society has begun a project on the village during the Great War. In 1914 the population of Hedgerley and Hedgerley Dean was 250, and of these folk, 88 able bodied men left South Bucks to fight for their country. Sadly, 10 were killed in action or died later as a result of their injuries.

A plaque in St Mary’s Church lists their names: William Joseph Birch, William F Boddy, Christopher William Bowden, George Cox, C Harris, Thomas Hearne, J Hobbs, Francis Edmund Piner, George Herbert Stevenson, and PJ Stockwell.

Hedgerley Memorial Hall was built in 1921 as a memorial to their sacrifice and a plaque inside includes the names of all who served. Also in St Mary’s Church there is a memorial to the lost men, and boys from the Court Farm children’s home who died in the conflict.

Society secretary John Lovelock says: “We hope the research will possibly reveal unknown photographs and documents from this period in our history. I would be pleased to hear from readers of Buckinghamshire Life whose ancestors lived in Hedgerley before and during the First World War. We would like to collect stories from this turbulent period and to copy any photographs and letters if possible.”

If you have info that might help build the picture, call 01753 647187, jdlovelock@btinternet.com.

Marlow enjoys a surreal night

From an early age artist Julian Gordon Mitchell was fascinated by the macabre, helped along by a love of Hammer horror films. As he grew up this began to play a major part in his art, particularly as he noted the peculiar interest the English take in the macabre – it seems most of us enjoy being a little frightened now and again!

So there could be no better way to celebrate the launch of his latest work, ‘The Betrothal’ than a Halloween event, complete with fancy dress, at The Assembly Rooms, Marlow.

‘The Betrothal’, a 6’ x 8’ oil on canvas work, took more than a year to complete at his studio in Oxford Road. Reading. It’s a complex composition based on ‘Paranoid Realism’, a label Julian uses to describe his approach to painting. It’s one of those works that unsettles you with its dream-like world, while at the same time luring the viewer back to discover new elements woven into the fantasy.

It won’t let you depart easily, and the evening had plenty of other surprises in store after Marlow’s Mayor Suzanne Brown had opened proceedings. Performances by actors Oliver Dench, Dominic Harrison and James Wilson; singers Sophie Jugé and Raya Sambidge took you into a surreal world, with a recital from Marlowe’s Dr Faustus given by actor Peter Balderstone. Exhibition dancing was provided by Anna Monita and Lloyd Gerald.

Julian will be showing work at South Hill Park until 22 January – so if you enjoy mystery and allowing your imagination to run wild, make sure you visit.

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