The British Horological Institute, based at Upton Hall, is looking to make some exciting changes, and they want to find out what readers think about their plans.

Upton Hall could be described as one of the county's hidden gems. It's a nineteenth century building set in a formal garden, all within the conservation area of the village of Upton. Since 1972, the hall has been the home of the British Horological Institute and its collection of over 4000 clocks and watches, the oldest of which dates from the 1640s. The Institute also runs courses in clock and watch making and a new café has recently opened on the site. However, the rest of the building and the museum aren't open to the public at present.

The BHI is committed to staying at Upton Hall, but with maintenance and repair costs increasing they can only afford to do so by making the hall, the grounds and the Institute sustainable into the future. Plans are still in the early stages, but could potentially include a new museum based around clocks, watches and time keeping, a children's play area, an extension to the café, a wedding and events venue to generate income, and a new training facility for horology students. There might even be a village shop on the site.

Before any work is done, the BHI is carrying out some consultation, and is very keen to consult with people from the local area. You can find the online survey to add you views at : www.surveymonkey.com/s/BHI2

All respondents will be entered into a prize draw and one lucky winner will receive a free breakfast or lunch for two people at the Clock House Café at Upton Hall to the value of £25. Surveys should be completed by Monday 7th July.

Fancy doing something different this summer? How about hiring a motorhome?

Located on Crew Lane in Southwell, O.C.T. Motorhomes has a great range of vehicles for hire. Escape for the weekend, week or even a month or more.

Owned and managed by Michael & Michelle Bishop since 1998, O.C.T.Motorhomes is committed to supplying quality motorhomes at very affordable prices.

HIRE Prices start from JUST £550 per week. For more details please visit www.campersrus.co.uk

OCT also supply quality used motorhomes for purchase. No matter whether you are hiring or purchasing a motorhome from OCT you can be assured of exactly the same high standard of service. Every motorhome sold comes with an unrivalled package, including a meaningful warranty, free RFL, free Breakdown & Recovery and an ACOPS Gas Certificate. Plus 7 day a week after sales service.

Why not visit us at Crew Lane to find out more. We are open 7 days a week, 9am - 5pm.

To view current motorhomes for sale visit www.oct-motorhomes.co.uk

Already a motorhome owner?

Get your motorhome, campervan or caravan ready for summer with OCT's habitation service.

This comprehensive 70 point check includes checking and servicing of appliances, Gas system with Gas Certificate supplied, body mountings, windows, chassis, exterior bodywork, internal equipment, elevating roof, water system and electrics and a full Damp Check with written report.

"We understand how important it is to maintain your motorhome, campervan or caravan and these comprehensive checks will offer you peace of mind," explained Michael. "We can also undertake any necessary repairs at a competitive price and a collection service is also available."

The Habitation Service costs £100 per campervan, £150 per motorhome, £175 per single axle caravan or £195 twin axle, including VAT. For more details tel. 0845 3903903.

Farnsfield recently got its first taste of this year's Farnstock experience. Organisers of the event, in partnership with The Co-operative, Farnsfield, provided live music, cakes and a real festival feel to the sunny Saturday morning.

Residents of Farnsfield were treated to an acoustic sampling of the 2014 Farnstock line-up, courtesy of The Wild Man of Europe's Alec David Bowman, and Cannon Bone's Rich Park. Little Farnstockers brought their kazoos to add to the mix.

Taking place on Saturday 19th July, midday to midnight, this will be Farnstock's second year. Building on the incredible success of last year's sell-out event, there will be a fantastic line-up of bands and loads of great activities for all the family.

In the afternoon Jonny and the Raindrops headline the kids' stage, with loads of free, family friendly activities to keep kids of all ages entertained. In the evening, it's a decidedly grown up affair, continuing the amazing line-up of bands including Natalie Duncan, Lorna, and a yet-to-be-announced headline act.
With a variety of great festival foods, a bar and (definitely) sunshine booked, Farnstock 14 is shaping up to be even better than last year. Tickets for Farnstock are selling fast and tickets on the door cannot be guaranteed, so don't leave it too long to get yours.

Check out the website: farnstock.com for more details and to buy tickets. Or get in touch via facebook. Tickets are also available at Farnsfield St Michael's School and Allsorts Newsagents in Farnsfield.

Chapter House Theatre Group will be performing a fantastic outdoor theatre production of Jungle Book at Kelham Hall & Country Park on Saturday 2nd August at 6pm.

Refreshments will be available during the performance, which will take place on the hall's exquisite front lawns. Bring-your-own picnics are welcome all afternoon prior to the performance. There will be face painters and fancy dress competitions (with prizes) on the day for the little ones. Free parking.

Tickets are now on sale from Kelham Hall & Country Park, 01636 980 000 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.seetickets.com

To be in with a chance of winning a family ticket (four people) to see this superb performance of the Jungle Book just answer the following question: What affectionate name does Baloo call Mowgli?

a) Little Bear
b) Cubby
c) Little Britches

Please email your answer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before Friday 11th July. Winners will be notified by Kelham Hall.

www.kelham-hall.com

On Sunday 13th July Southwell Racecourse will host their very popular annual Family Fun Day, with FREE children's entertainment throughout the day and exciting jump racing for all to enjoy. This is a great value family day out not to be missed!

Mike the Knight and his wizard-in-training sister Evie will be appearing at intervals throughout the afternoon, along with racecourse mascot Freddie Furlong. For the adults, seven exhilarating jump races are on the agenda, with the first race due off at 2.10pm and the last at 5.15pm. To mark the World Cup Final on the evening of this date Ossie Ardiles will be at the racecourse to meet, with replica football trophies to have your picture taken with.

Don't forget to sign your children up to the racecourse's Young Hooves Club to receive a children's racing goody bag on the day, as well as newsletters, birthday treats and the chances to win some excellent prizes. The Young Hooves ambassadors will be at the racecourse on the day to assist with this, or you can sign them up online now at www.younghooves.co.uk and collect the goody bag on your next visit to the racecourse.

Children are admitted FREE to the enclosures on ALL racedays, including this fantastic Family Fun Day, and adult tickets are available to purchase online or over the phone. For further information on this, and any of our other racedays, please visit www.southwell-racecourse.co.uk or call the racecourse office on 01636 814481.

The memory of last year's inaugural running of the "Southwell Swine" may still be with some of you!

This year's Town Guide is currently being collated. If you would like your organisation to be included please contact us on the email address below.

Book the afternoon of Saturday 21st June to come along to The Burgage for Southwell's annual Family Funday.

Poets Helen Mort and Elaine Feinstein are among the special guests at this year's Southwell Library Poetry Festival.

Lowdham Parish Councillor Alison Glazebrook is currently compiling a book on the World War I soldiers listed on Lowdham's war memorial.

Sunday 8th June  is Open Farm Sunday. Farmeco and the Ecocentre at Screveton, situated between Newark and Nottingham, is once again opening their gates to visitors for what promises to be both a fascinating and enjoyable day out for the whole family. Following the success of last year's event, which proved extremely popular with over 500 members of the public visiting the farm, Farmeco is extending this year's event over the whole weekend to provide a bigger and better experience for everybody - Open Farm Weekend.

Farmeco, is delighted to be joining hundreds of other farms across the country in hosting events to celebrate British farming and food. Open Farm Sunday is an annual nationwide event, organised by LEAF, it's a fantastic opportunity for everyone, young and old, to visit a working farm and talk to the farmers responsible to discover at first-hand what it means to be a farmer and to truly get to know how their food is produced sustainably and how the countryside around them is cared for.

When: Farmeco Open Farm Show – Saturday 7th June / Farmeco Open Farm Sunday – Sunday 8th June
Where: Home Farm, Screveton, Nr Bingham, Notts NG13 8JL
Time: Saturday 10.30am to 5pm / Sunday 11am to 3pm
Cost: Free entry – small charge for food (various) and trailer rides (£1)
Overview: An educational fun family weekend of sustainable farming and countryside management
Farmeco Barn Dance- Saturday 7th June- 7:30pm- midnight (£12.50 p/p)
All proceeds will go to providing accessibility for schools, care homes and other community groups to visit farm.

David Rose from Farmeco said "There is a lot to celebrate about British farming and food – so do come and join us on Open Farm weekend and find out more! My team and I are really looking forward to welcoming everyone and showing them around the farm."

There will be lots to see and do. On Saturday, Farmeco Open Farm Show, will have farm tours, tractor & trailer rides, see the animals and nature walks, Composting, Bees & honey making, vintage farm machinery, Sheep shearing, demonstrations, Willow weaving, Fire engine- animal rescue, Dowsing, Food from our kitchen cafe and lots more!. On Sunday, Farmeco Open Farm Sunday, will be a relaxing day of nature trail walks, food and drinks from our own Cafe, meet the animals farm tour and trailer rides. During a visit you will be able to:
Discover how we grow Wheat, Oilseed Rape and Oats and meet our sheep and small heard of Saddleback pigs
Walk some of the farms 8 miles of footpaths and tracks that pass through our 20 acres of woodland

See how we incorporate mixed farming techniques to achieve our sustainable farming aims, including, our new experimental orchard / arable strip farming which encourage bio-diversity
Visit our Ecocentre, a purpose-built low impact carbon neutral building designed on sustainable building principles, that provides an aesthetically pleasing eco-education facility with planting orchards and fruit and veg growing areas

Find out about the growing range of activities and projects we deliver, including, an active Health Group, Yoga classes, gardening, cider production and bread making; all aimed at helping the local community in matters of health and well-being and providing a place where people can come together in a spirit of mutual support
Learn about our educational programmes, Including, food miles, habitats, water and Seed to Sandwich, which encourage pupils to grow their own sandwich which can be baked in our class room kitchen

To find out more about Farmeco and Open Farm Weekend call 01949 21261or visit www.eco-centre.org.uk

The Folk Festival (this coming weekend) has let us know that special locals' "Teaser Tickets" are still available at discounted rates.

Local author, Tim Harvey's life passion has always been music. "I have a vast music collection of CDs and vinyl records. They're all catalogued and I have a pathetically encyclopedic knowledge of wide genres of music, bands, albums and record labels," Harvey says.

In his debut novel, "Rollin' Stone" (published by AuthorHouse), Harvey pours his love and knowledge of music into a story of crime and deceit that expertly renders the passion that music inspires.

Set partly in Nottinghamshire, with Thoresby Hall playing a big part, and partly in Scotland, "Rollin' Stone" infuses rock 'n' roll and punk music into the story of two very different men.

Throughout the narrative, sound-tracked by tunes of the period, Harvey adds his own knowledge of music history and songs, creating a style echoing that of Nick Hornby and George Pelecanos. Of his readers, Harvey writes, "I would like people to become inspired to investigate the musicians and songs mentioned in the book - and to go out and buy more music."

"Rollin' Stone" by Tim Harvey is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Treat yourself to a free family day out on Saturday 21st June, 12 noon til 4pm at the Southwell Family Funday on The Burgage.

With May half-term about to begin, National Trust staff and volunteers have picked their favourite of the Trust's '50 things to do before you're 11 ¾' to complete at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire.

The charity's '50 things to do before you're 11 ¾' initiative is a checklist of adventures and experiences for younger visitors (and the young at heart) to complete and have fun outdoors.

"The '50 things' initiative has been very well received, with thousands of children participating," said Harry Bowell, director for the National Trust in the Midlands. "We know that encouraging children to connect with nature benefits both them and the natural environment that the Trust was set up to care for. We also know that children love a challenge: the list of 50 things is a great introduction to outdoor adventures (and not just for those of us over 11 ¾!). We're lucky enough to have some incredible outdoor places on our doorstep in Nottinghamshire look forward to welcoming family visitors throughout the half-term week."

Clumber Park is running a series of "starter for ten" activities over the bank holiday weekend, inviting visitors to make a start to their list of 50 things to do before they're 11 ¾. Five of the best activities to do at Clumber Park are:

1. Build a den (number 4): the woods are perfect for den-building.

2. Make a grass trumpet (number 25), and not just with grass: lots of other plants make green trumpets creating an amazing botanical band.

3. Hold a scary beast (number 30): Clumber is home to 600 species of spider alone.

4. Create some wild art (number 18): the pinetum has amazing cones to enable children to create an outdoor masterpiece.

5. Hunt for bugs (number 31): the varied habitats at Clumber Park, make it the perfect setting for a bug safari.

The full list of '50 things to do before you're 11 ¾' can be downloaded at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/midlands50things, along with a guide to how many of the 50 things can be completed at Clumber Park.

The Workhouse at Southwell is holding another of its popular volunteer recruitment days on Tuesday 3 June between 10am and 12noon.

The Cranmer Company of Singers, which rehearses in Whatton, is putting on a special concert with The Vanaja Chamber Choir from Finland. This exciting collaboration came about because while living locally and working as an au pair, Taru Perolta sang with the Cranmer Singers. Now Deborah Davies, their Musical Director, is welcoming Ismo Savimake and his choir all the way from Finland to the Vale of Belvoir.

The two choirs will be performing in a unique concert on Saturday 7 June 2014, starting at 7.30pm.

The beautiful parish church of Bottesford will be filled with delightful sounds – a varied programme, mixing sacred and secular, with organ and piano, and likely to include the combined choirs singing firm favourite Zadok the Priest (Handel), and a choral version of Finlandia. Ismo is planning to take the audience on a journey from Finland to Engand through Sweden, Norway and Estonia – rare treats, plus parts of the hauntingly lovely Stabat Mater by Karl Jenkins.

Ticket price: £8 adults, £5 children and those on income related benefits, to include a glass of wine/juice at the interval. It is wise to book in advance by phoning 01949 850364, though they may be available on the door.

This visit was arranged during the deep dark Finnish winter and so sunshine in June is hoped for! Both choirs have about 30 members and have been led by the same director since inception; this year is Vanaja Chamber Choir's 20th Anniversary and Cranmer's is coming up soon. While here the Finnish choir will also sing in Lincoln Cathedral and at Belvoir Castle.

Cranmer Company of Singers have engagements in Winchester, York and Spain this summer as well as being booked to sing at a few local weddings.

The late May bank holiday weekend sees 3 Upton artists inviting the public into their workspaces as part of Open Studios Notts.

Over the three days of 24th - 26th May there is the chance to meet three Upton artists in their studios, along with several guest artists and makers. Painter Susan Isaac's studio is at High Farm with guest ceramicist Carl Gray & woodcrafter Mark Greene (Susan is also part of the Lady Bay Festival on 17-18 May). Painter Jude Rawson is at Rookery Nook (opposite the Cross Keys Inn). Potter Sue Morton is at Meadow View (near Upton church) with guest potter Ann Robbins. Carl Gray and Sue Morton will be demonstrating pot making techniques. All the studios will have simple refreshments, with more substantial fare available at the Clock House Cafe in the grounds of the Horological Institute.

Going a little further afield - in the Newark area there will be 2 weekends of activities by the 'NewWork' collective at Galerie (24-25 May & 31 May – 1 June), together with open studios by photographer Karen Cunningham at New Balderton (31 May – 1 June) and Max Neale at Beckingham (3-5/17-18/24-26 May). At Rufford Craft Centre the OS Notts exhibition, 'Bringing Artists into View', continues to 8 June, highlighting these and other events around Nottinghamshire.

Events across the central area of the county are: the Gedling Artists (10-11 May), Patchings Festival (5-8 June), and open studios by Kirkby-in-Ashfield artists Jonathan Annable & Emma Gladwin (17-18 May), and Mansfield artist Betty Ching (24-26 May & 30 May – 1 June).

To the south are the Broxtowe artists (17-18 May & 31 May-1 June), the Lady Bay Arts Festival (17-18 May), the Keyworth Trail (10-11 May) and Radcliffe-on Trent artist Sara Sylvester (thro May/June). To the north, the 'Artempo' artists & Andy Massey (30-31 May) are in Retford. Then there is Chris Campbell & guests at Mattersey plus Richard A Rogers & guests at Sutton-cum-Lound (31 May-1 June & 14-15 June), Polly Warren at Askham, Lee Sinclair at Laneham (25-27 May & 31 May - 1 June) and the Gosh Gallery artists at Tuxford (through May/June). In the Sherwood Forest area, Thoresby Gallery is linked to the events (through May/June), and alongside them the Sherwood Forest Wood-Firing Society has two weekends of kiln firing and raku sessions (17-18 & 31 May – 1 June). Clare Hawley & Victoria Hall are opening their studios in the Sherwood Forest Art & Craft Centre at Edwinstowe (in May) and in Worksop, Georgina Robertson is in her studio on Saturdays through May. The concluding event this year is the Harley Artists Open Studios weekend on 14-15 June with 19 artists taking part, alongside a range of events and activities around the Welbeck estate.

See www.osnotts.co.uk for more details.

Elsa Trueman has been crowned Miss Newark and District 2014 and now has a place in the Miss England semi finals taking pace at Kelham Hall on Monday 19th May.

 Having studied at Southwell Minster School and Newark college, Elsa will graduate from University this year, she said: "I entered the competition after seeing it advertised in the paper, and just thought I would try it to do something different and fun!"

Following auditions, the public were invited to vote for their favourite contestants. Receiving the highest number of votes meant Elsa was one of the final five girls to go on to do an interview and photoshoot modelling dresses by 'A Touch of Sparkle' at Kelham Hall.

As part of the competition the contestants were invited to raise funds for the Miss England charity 'Beauty With A Purpose', and Elsa managed to raise £80 selling her pop art style paintings of dogs.

Elsa expIains: "I didn't expect to win Miss Newark at all, but I'm excited now to be taking part in the Miss England semi finals, and I think the competition is a really good platform for supporting charity work. I am continuing to raise money for Beauty With A Purpose with my paintings, some of which are now on display at Thoresby Gallery as part of their Wide Open exhibition!"

Elsa will be on of 80 beauty queens from around the country descending upon Kelham Hall for the Miss England semi finals. The girls will participate in a catwalk style event showcasing their own Eco creations made from recycled clothing and materials.

The Miss England contestants arrive at 10am on the day to register for the competition followed by a military style boot camp run by Xtreme Boot Camps – where they will be put through their paces by instructors, led by James Evans. The fittest girl will also be fast-tracked through to the national final as the Xtreme Sportswoman winner.

Interviews and a catwalk show will follow at 6pm when the judges who include the current Miss England Kirsty Heslewood will select the final 10 girls to go forward to the national final in Torquay.

Just 10 ladies will go forward to the Miss England grand final from the 80 contestants which is being held in Torquay 14th – 16th June. The lucky ten ladies will stay at the luxury Imperial Hotel Torquay for the duration and have the opportunity to win a luxury holiday to Mauritius and a place in Miss World which has a top prize of $100,000.

Kelham Hall & Country Park is a Victorian stately home and events venue set within 44 acres of parkland. The Miss England semi-finals will run alongside an open wedding evening in the adjourning stately rooms, and the bridal wear set to be modelled by the final 10 contestants will be provided by exhibitors from the wedding event.

http://kelham-hall.com

 

The Corps of the Royal Engineers have undertook a two week job to re-lay the worn stone path leading to the west door of Southwell Minster.