TIME AWAY: We were away last week, firstly to Stafford whose National Memorial Arboretum is amazing. The Arboretum is not only a serene place to contemplate the futility of war but covers a whole lot more for people who have lost loved ones under a whole range of circumstances. Amazingly it’s free to enter but they obviously rely on donations. What a fantastic place. Another place worth visiting is Lichfield Cathedral whose architecture is fantastic. We then went on to Chester Zoo, having watched the programme on Chanel 4 since the series began three years ago. It was an animal delight. Very clean and the presentation of information was very good. We spoke to one of the keepers from the TV programme who told us it was originally only going to be one series and now they are just starting the fourth! The programme had brought an even larger number of visitors from around the country so it has obviously done its job. Chester city has a unique shopping area and another fantastic cathedral sits in the centre. Two very long, tiring, wonderful days and well worth the trip. Visited a couple of National Trust houses on the way home around Oxford, one being Greys Court. The Tudor house is beautiful with a unique piano which we were lucky enough to hear being played. Exquisite sound.

RIVERSIDE CLUB OUTING: The week before we went away, we had our second coach outing. At Runnymede we boarded our boat and cruised the river for two and a half hours up to Windsor and back with lunch onboard and a bar. We were incredibly lucky to have a beautiful Red Kite fly low past the boat, almost as if it was doing a display for us and a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher. Then we went on to the peaceful Savill Gardens which are part of Windsor Great Park for a few hours with afternoon cream tea. A lovely relaxing day.

NEVILL GOOD NEIGHBOURS: This scheme has been up and running for over a year now. How do you get to appointments at your local hospital if you can’t walk very far, have given up driving, and have no family in the area? Taxi firms have school run contracts for morning and afternoon and their standing charges are difficult if you are on a pension. One satisfied resident writes: ‘Since asking for help from the service I have met volunteers from the Nevill Estate and I cannot praise them enough. One volunteer even moves my wheelie bin to the road for me.’ Don’t be shy; all volunteers are checked and very discreet. Simply call 07548069063.

CHRIST CHURCH: There is no Christ Church Tots session this week as it is half term week . Instead, there is a Messy Church for everyone from 10.30am to 1pm with craft activities, worship and lunch .We have two services on Sunday. In the morning we have worship at 10.30am and in the evening, at 6.30pm, there is a Music and Prayer service.

SPORTS DAY: I have been writing the odd bits of history on the sports day which has been held on Nevill Green for the last 70 years. I found that the Sale Cup (for senior boys cross country) in 1980 was won by Andrew Brown, The Victor Ludorum was won by Leslie Davey and Victrix Ludorum by Helen Reed for the third time. The Awning used for the refreshment (I’m not sure if it still is) was purchased for £97.90 in 1971 as well as high jump equipment at £21.88. I seem to remember the Sale cup was replaced by the Bodle cup after this.

ST MARY’S SUPPORTERS CLUB: Club members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting which will be held on June 4 at 7.30pm. Come along and support your club and have your say. Bingo Friday June 8, cash prizes and raffle, eyes down at 8.30pm. Everyone welcome. Saturday June 9 there is an opportunity for non members both adults and children to come along and see what the club has to offer. Pop in for a chat and a drink. There will be Indoor skittles, pool and toads available. Why not look on our website, to see what events are being held and how to make a booking.

GARDENING CLUB: The speaker at the meeting of St Mary’s Gardening Club on Monday will be Clive Gravett whose talk is titled The Invention of the Lawn and the Lawnmower. He has had a varied career and in recent years he has established the Budding Foundation which helps young people as well as setting up a Museum of Gardening at the South Downs Nursery. It promises to be an interesting evening. The competition is a rose or spray of roses. There will be refreshments as well as a bookstall and raffle. The club welcomes visitors (£2).