Alex Goodman

The Royal Oak

I hope everyone managed to get out and enjoy some good weather over the Bank Holiday weekend. We had our usual Sunday afternoon boules practice in the garden at The Royal Oak and it was so nice to be in the sunshine!

Tonight (Friday) is Irish Music Night at The Royal Oak, talented musicians from all around the South and East will begin a “jamming style” session of traditional Irish tunes from 8.30pm. This is always an amazing evening of live music and provides a unique Friday evening. If you’d like to book a table please call 01424 870492.

Have you read The Red House by Mark Haddon? If so, come along and join The Royal Oak readers that will meet on Tuesday June 4 at 7.30pm at the pub. And if you haven’t read it? Well, come along anyway!

Friday June 7 is our next Film Club meeting, when we will be showing “Argo” in The Barn from 8pm. For details of the Film Club, please contact steve.messages@virgin.net.

The Village Fete is fast approaching, and this is one of the main fundraising events of the year for the Village Hall. The importance of maintaining our Village Hall goes without saying as it is a vital facility that can be used for all manner of meetings and gatherings of local groups and clubs as well as children’s parties. Our traditional village fete is on Saturday 15th June this year and we have more stalls than ever which will need “manning”, so if you would like to help out on the day or if you have raffle prizes you would like to donate, please contact Angie on 01424 870087. There will be games for children (and adults!), coconut shy, crockery smashing, hook the duck, hoopla, a majorette display, vintage car show plus the barbecue and ice-creams.

The latest news from Jeffrey regarding the church restoration is as follows:

The restoration of Whatlington church continues apace, over the coming weeks the insulation for the floor will be laid, followed by the heating pipes and topped by a screed, ready for the final floor finish.

The PCC are currently working with the architect to prepare the application for a Faculty (de facto planning permission from the diocese) for the final phase of the works. This will cover the proposed new pew benches and a new digital organ, replacement needlework as well as other things of lesser note.

Those who know the church may be aware of the set of hand worked tapestry kneelers, completed by local ladies in the 1950s, these were salvaged after the fire and are currently in the process of being mounted on new pads etc.

By the time you read this the new West window should be in place, along with the Nave window to incorporate a Royal Coat of Arms to mark the 2012 Diamond Jubilee.

As far as services are concerned, they continue on the pattern of an 08.30am Parish Communion each Sunday excepting the second of each month, when we have our All Age Worship, held at 10.30am. All services are currently in Whatlington village hall until the church building reopens - hopefully in late September or October, though it may be in a partially usable state earlier, we already have two Christenings lined up for when the church reopens.

If you have any village news or events you would like included in this column, please email me on info@royaloak-whatlington.co.uk