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.

Guernsey's gain will be the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham's loss when the Very Revd John Guille retires as Dean of the Minster and returns to his family home in the Channel Islands.

His leaving service is at 3.30pm Evensong on Sunday 18th May and marks his seventh year as Dean.

He says that it will be "an invitation from me (and also from my wife Sue) as we share in this service together for all of us to stop and to count our blessings. It took no time at all to recognise that Southwell Minster is a very special place indeed. This is an extremely friendly County, Diocese and Minster Community. There is much to be thankful for."

The Dean was born in St Peter Port, Guernsey in 1949 with connections to the Anglican Church through his family - his father being a church warden and superintendent of the Sunday School, and his mother a member of the Mothers Union - becoming a chorister in the church choir and later an altar server. His own faith journey began at 12 years of age when the Anglican Churches on the island held a Mission. "I remember asking how one became a parish priest and the rest, as they say, is history, except my Headmaster at the time of my GCE's suggested I took up teacher training as a good foundation for ministry."

Archdeacon of Nottingham, the Venerable Peter Hill paid tribute to the Dean, saying: "One rather old fashioned word that sums him up is 'gumption.' A man with huge gumption - which is about initiative, drive, resourcefulness, courage and guts. Having gumption means you can be a game changer. It is a courteous, Christian gumption. He has renewed and advanced the ministry of our cathedral, and lives a life founded on faith and trust in Jesus Christ."

Retired Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, George Cassidy appointed the Dean in 2007, and will be a guest speaker at the service, as will the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Sir John Peace.

There will also be a combined service in the morning at 10.30am with refreshments afterwards.

The Ford Model Y&C Register Classic Car Club, which covers the 1932 - 1937 period, will take up residence at the Saracen's Head from the night of Sunday 8th June until the morning of Friday 13th June.

There will be 28 cars in the car park each evening. Each day we will be exploring and visiting some of the attractions in the East Midlands - The Eakring Oil Museum, the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, The Southwell Workhouse, The British Horological Institute at Upton, Crich Tramway Village, The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Brocklebys Pork Pie factory in Melton Mowbray (where we will make pork pies), and Taylors Bell Foundry in Loughborough.

Someone will be available each evening to talk to any visitors about the cars should they wish to visit the car park.

www.fordyandcmodelregister.co.uk

Following the annual Fun Run, where runners enjoyed lovely weather, a great route and delicious cakes, a big change is taking place at Southwell Care Project.

Changing the name of a charity is a risky business. However, the team of people, working passionately for the Project believe the present name no longer conveys the extent of the service and misleads people by implying such a limited geography.

As such, the name has been changed to 'Reach Learning Disability' in order to meet the challenges ahead in the coming decades.

Southwell Care Project's original founders have worked tirelessly for 14 years, and created a foundation which is now enhancing the lives of many more users than the 20 or so adults with learning disabilities in and around Southwell.

The vision of Reach is the same as that of Southwell Care Project: A community where adults with learning disabilities can reach beyond expectation and build happier, healthier lives – lives full of meaning, challenge, opportunity and friendship. However, now with over 150 adults with learning disabilities currently accessing services in Mansfield, Newark and Southwell each week, the name needs to reflect this.

According to the BBC one in six UK charities fear that they may have to close due to public spending cuts and falling donations. A charity's brand plays an important role in convincing potential new supporters to part with not only their hard earned cash but also their trust as potential users of the service.

Steve Shatwell Chief Executive of Reach said: "Reach as a new name, signals a new intent: to be more visible and more vocal. With a clearer identity and a stronger presence, we will reinforce our position as the leading learning disabled charity throughout Nottinghamshire."

Upcoming Events (sub title)

Meanwhile, the charity's work goes on. There are still places available on the cycle event, Tonya's Challenge taking place on Sunday 11th May. Starting at 8.30am from the Flower Pod. Riders are encouraged to gain sponsorship and all funds raised will go to Reach. To take part go to www.tonyaschallenge.co.uk

Flowers from the Flower Pod will also be on sale at the Methodist Church's Table Top sale on Saturday 17th May at 10am.

For more information please go to the charity's new website: www.reachuk.org