social report jul10

Social report – Summer 2010

The first Sunday in May heralded the annual Beech Village Walk. Sadly, following a terrible (and in the event inaccurate) weather forecast, just 17 adults (plus children and dogs) turned out to tackle the 5.5 mile route and the rhyming clues, both prepared by Charles Cockburn with his usual aplomb. Despite a cold and damp start, the day brightened up considerably, allowing walkers to enjoy the stunning bluebells in Bushey Leaze and the bee repopulation project near Tinkers Lane among other sights before returning to the Hall for tea and cakes (thanks to Louise & Barry Stagg).

Although those who attend this event always enjoy it, turnout has declined dramatically. Five years ago some 80 people participated; last year it was 35 and barely half as many turned up this year. Understandably, given the time involved in preparing the route and writing the clues, Charles is wondering if there is enough interest in the village to keep the event going. As he says “The point of the walks is to show people aspects of the countryside in which they live that they wouldn’t otherwise see in their daily lives. In essence, this is a posthumous thank you to David Essex-Crosby who founded the walks and who showed me what a glorious place we inhabit. As I had only lived in Beech for a couple of years when I went on my first one, the voyage of discovery was particularly entrancing.”

Please do let us know if you think this is a tradition worth continuing. Should we abandon the walks altogether? Should they be held every other year, instead of every year? Should we avoid the Bank Holiday weekend? Please let us know what you think.

There were no such problems for the Village Fete on 19th June. Although falling between two really hot spells, the day was dry and turnout was well up on last year. The hard work and effort put in by the large band of volunteers all helped create a fantastic atmosphere and showed the people of Beech and the surrounding areas what makes Beech such a special place to live – a community spirit second to none!

The decision to reinstate the ‘fun’ classes for the dog show proved a great success, generating the best turnout for years. There were several inspired canine fancy dress entries while ‘musical sits’ proved particularly entertaining! Equally fun to watch were the kids’ races, especially the egg & spoon relay and the jelly-eating race! The Amery Hill School Steel Pan Band provided a most enjoyable musical interlude a hard-fought tug-of-war.

In the evening the Hall was packed for the Hog Roast, with many villagers having invited friends and family to enjoy the fun. Back by popular demand the fantastic Celebration Band filled the dancefloor (or rather, dance marquee!) from almost their first number.

Several of the same musicians returned to Beech on 10th July for the Big Band Picnic. The 17-piece Farnham Big Band, under the leadership of Dr Paul Coker and featuring guest singer Geoff Kaye, kept an audience of all ages entertained with a great play list ranging from classic swing tunes to Latin beats. Always a wonderful evening, this year’s glorious summer weather meant that summer dresses rather than woolly jumpers were the order of the day – a bit of a change from last year!

See pictures from the Fete, Hog Roast and Big Band Picnic here.