Clubs and community (including what the Women’s Institute ladies’ threat to chain themselves to trees)

Ukulele players at Sainsbury's
Ukulele players at Sainsbury's

The latest news from clubs and community groups in your area.

Flower fun

Stoneycroft Flower Club (Hemel Hempstead) met at Warners End Community Centre, HP1 3QC, on Wednesday for a demonstration of flower arranging by Susan Tausig with the title ‘Floral Cocktail’.

Susan is a National Association of Flower Arrangers’ demonstrator and has a fund of stories about her six-year career demonstrating in a wide area of the southern counties from here in Hertfordshire to the Sussex coast.

She will be sharing these with her audience as well as producing stunning displays of flowers which will be raffled at the end of the meeting.

Stoneycroft Club is an active local group which, as well as meeting once a month ,also organises outings to flower shows, local gardens and national events, all with an emphasis on flowers.

You can come, as a visitor, to meetings at a cost of £6 per visit, or you may join as a member and enjoy all the benefits of this friendly club. Further information is available by ringing 01442 251986.

Ladies will chain themselves to trees if highway ever threatens their village

At the August meeting retired Chief Superintendent Mervyn Edwards of Thames Valley Police gave a well balanced presentation on all of the many aspects of the policing of the Newbury Bypass environmental protests.

The club learned of the passion and tricks of the protesters and the steps taken to finish the road.

In the hopefully unlikely event of a major highway being threatened through our village the W.I. now know how to build a bender and chain themselves to a prime example of ancient woodland. A fearsome prospect indeed.

The supper club put in an appearance at The Alford Arms. An outing during the month to the home of the great artist, Stanley Spencer was reported upon by organiser Fiona Masters and an upcoming theatre trip and other outings are looked forward to during September.

The next meeting will be Thursday 18th – pottery making, it’s an open meeting and there will be opportunities to throw clay.

Sarratt Horticultural Society Autumn Show

The Society’s Autumn Show took place in the Sarratt Village Hall yesterday.

There will be a wide range of classes at the show from dahlias, roses and other flowers to vegetables and fruit with other classes for flower arranging, cookery, arts and crafts, children and photography.

Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers return!

Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers return in more ways than one, after its summer break, on Monday, September 15. This is when the new 2014-15 seasons commences.

Spokesman Alan French said: “We will also be returning to a former venue, Leverstock Green Community Centre. This means we will be now meeting on the third Monday of each month – 8pm Sharp.

“It is currently planned to select our entries for the annual comedy competition against St Albans Movie Makers. Also, we will be looking at some recent footage for some prospective productions.

“It must be mentioned that some technical problems have recently arose concerning our website These problems should be resolved shortly.”

Flamstead and Trowley W.I.

The Flamstead and Trowley Women’s Institute does not have a regular meeting in August, but enjoy a ‘Midsummer Feast’.

Spokesman Anne Bisson said: “This year we visited the Abbey and the gardens at Woburn.

“We were able to hire the care bus – thanks to our volunteer driver – and enjoyed a lovely afternoon.

“We even escaped the storm, arriving back here as the rain stopped. The house at Woburn was very interesting – too much to take in on one visit.

“We were particularly interested to see the gardens following the talk we had by the Head Gardener of the Estates, Martin Towsey. We had afternoon tea (highly recommended) in the Duchess’s tearooms.

“For several years now, we have had a soft toy tombola stall at the scarecrow festival. This again was very successful. Every ticket wins a soft toy. The look on the faces of the little ones as they are given a teddy makes it very worthwhile. Thanks to all the parents who supported us. We are beginning again to collect soft toys for next year.

“Our next evening meeting will be on Thursday, September 11, at 7.30pm, when our speaker will be Angela Collins. Her talk is entitled ‘A puppet’s tale’. Visitors are always welcome.”

Sainsbury’s Apsley Mills

Sainsbury’s Apsley Mills welcomed its customers in store on Saturday, August 9, to the lively tunes of a ukulele band, launching its year long

charity partnership with local children’s charity Charlie’s Gift.

Shoppers arrived at the store to a musical medley of well-known tunes through the decades, played by the flamboyant 14-piece ukulele band UkieToones. The Totternhoe band had generously given up their time on the day to support Charlie’s Gift in promoting awareness of the recently registered charity.

Charlie’s Gift’ is a Hemel Hempstead-based charity, set up by parents Jason and Nicole Fidler in memory of their young son Charlie who died suddenly in June 2010, aged just eight years from anaphylactic shock.

The charity operates by providing grants of money to children in Herts, Beds and Bucks, who face challenges in life because of health issues, special needs and disability, bereavement or poverty.

Charlie’s mum Nicole said: “We set up Charlie’s Gift to lend a financial helping hand to children whose lives are touched by adversity. Our hope is that the grants of money we provide will help towards making these children’s lives a little happier and easier.”

The ‘Great Place to Work Group’ from the Apsley Mills branch of Sainsbury’s had recently made Charlie’s Gift its local charity partner for 2014-2015, following numerous nominations from the store’s customers.

Sainsbury’s support over the coming months will help to raise the profile of the fledgling charity and help to boost its funds through joint fundraising initiatives over the year.

The Sainsbury’s Great Place to Work Group said: “Our local charity scheme is now in its sixth year and gives customers the chance to vote for their favourite local charity to be considered to receive a year’s worth of support from their Sainsbury’s store.”

“The scheme has raised over £6,000,000 for local charities nationwide since 2009. Sainsbury’s Apsley Mills are delighted to offer our support to Charlie’s Gift over the next year.

“We have already got fundraising off to a great start.”

Sainsbury’s customers showed their appreciation for the musical shopping experience by kindly donating their loose change in the charity buckets out the front of the store. The event was a great success with UkieToones ‘strumming up’ a fantastic £749.30 for the charity.

For further information about Charlie’s Gift, please email Nicole Fidler at