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March 2019

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Aylesbury

Detail  Earthly Messenger statue 03

Why is there a sculpture of David Bowie, in Aylesbury under the archway of the old Corn Exchange at the bottom corner of the Market Square?

Not everyone knows that David Bowie had a strong connection with the Friars music club in the Market Square; the world debuts of two albums, Hunky Dory (in September 1971) and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (in January 1972) were both at Friars.

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The Church on the Hill

St Mary's church  Great Brickhill The war memorial and the church of St Mary, Great Brickhill.

Sometimes the memorials to the dead of World War One are dated 1914 to 1919, not 1918. The memorial at Great Brickhill is one of them.

There are various reasons given for this. One is that soldiers were sent to fight the Bolsheviks in Russia until 1919. Another is that the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, and that was the official end of hostilities.

Of course the Armistice was declared in 1918.

Some men stayed in the forces in Europe after 1918 but died after hostilities had ended, and William James Dickens was one of them.

He died on his way home to be demobilised on Sunday, 2nd March 1919, and was buried at the communal cemetery at Theux in Belgium. It’s not a military cemetery, but some of the dead of both world wars are there.

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Out of the Frying Pan…

Headscarf for Pancake Day Race

It was a Shrove Tuesday in the mid 15th Century and an Olney housewife was busy making pancakes.

She knew she had to use up her eggs, butter, and fat, as these foods had to be asbstained from during the fast of Lent, which started the next day. Pancakes were ideal for this.

Absorbed in her work, she didn’t realise how the time had flown, until she heard the bell ring calling the town to the Shriving service.

The housewife had no time to lose. She grabbed her headscarf and ran out the door, with no time to put down her frying pan or whip off her apron.

When she got to the church door the last pancake she’d made was still in the pan.

It’s said that in following years her neighbours started to race her, and it was a matter of who could get to the church first to collect a “Kiss of Peace” from the verger.

So the story goes.

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Missed It!

Disappearing runner  Olney

I thought I had published the previous post on the usual Wednesday morning slot, but I was wrong. I didn't click on the right button, it being late at night. This is what's known in the maintenance game as 'Finger trouble'.

It's been a busy week, and I'm still working on my photos from the Olney Pancake Race, which was of course on Tuesday. Meanwhile, here's one photo I liked from the day, with the runner disappearing out of the frame; they were a bit too fast for me and I was late taking the picture, but the photo works! Possibly my favourite photo from the day. More on the pancake race to come.


Gold award for Stony Flowers

Stony Stratford Library A passer by views the Britain in Bloom Awards. Stony Stratford has been winning Britain in Bloom awards since 2008. These plaques are at the town Library in Church Street.

Stony in Bloom have done it again, with a Gold award from the Britain in Bloom judges.

Remember when I showed you the last watering of the year for Stony Stratford’s flowers? I photographed Alan Box, one of the Stony in Bloom volunteers who work to make Stony Stratford a more beautiful place to live.

They have much more to do more than just water a few plants; the Stony in Bloom folk are working all year round. They plant, weed, prune and tidy, and on the long hot dry days in the middle of the year, they water.

It’s always nice to get official recognition of your efforts, and Stony Stratford’s gardening volunteers have been receiving it since 2008.

Stony in Bloom's library bedFor caption, see the photo below.

Library bedThe sign in the library bed.

Stony Stratford  Britain in Bloom awardJudging day for Britain in Bloom was Monday July 9th, but the town had to wait unti the awards ceremony on September 27th. They had already won the award when I met Alan Box on his watering round in October, but I didn’t see the plaques until last week. Oh well.