John Prentice has resigned from the Executive and as Treasurer on health grounds. John has been a tower of strength to us, keeping our finances in good order, reporting monthly on them and generally supporting many Focal activities. We shall miss his wise counsel and support and wish him well in overcoming his present illness.
The post of Secretary has been vacant since Peter Britton moved back to Yorkshire and we have missed his enthusiasm and varied ideas for supporting our aims. Keith R Mitchell is acting as Secretary until a new appointment is made and prepares agendas and minutes for meetings. However, the good news is that Su Bullus has volunteered to take on this role in 2020 when she retires from employment.
Further good news is that Stuart Phipps will take on the roles of Treasurer and of Membership Secretary. Stuart is an IT expert and will be using computer software to maintain financial records and to improve our membership recruitment and retention. He starts from a strong base because John Prentice maintained good records of our finances which he is passing on to Stuart.
The Focal Summer Treasure Hunt raised a good level of interest and curious residents who paid for the question sheet and spent quite some time seeking answers while walking the village.
Originally devised by Nick Allen, one of our patrons and organised by Ann Lyons, our parish council appointed Executive member, the event raised £75.00 on the day and presented a considerable mental challenge to the dozen people who entered.
Congratulations to the winner who persevered and gained the most correct answers.
The Focal event Meet the Painter held on Saturday 22-Jun-19 was a great success. Held at The Manor House by kind permission of Sir Martin and Lady Jacomb, it attracted 30 people to hear George Irvine talk about his life as an artist working in various media.
The weather was kind and the talk was held in the stable block at The Manor with drinks and nibbles to enjoy during the presentation.
Our grateful thanks to George Irvine for the work he put in to preparing and presenting his talk and to his wife who supported him on the overhead projector. Thanks also to Sir Martin and Lady Evelyn for allowing use of their lovely home and to Focal Executive members who helped with preparations and clearing away.
George Irvine runs The Crown at Enstone and we hear this is a must to visit for a delightful venue, excellent food and drink and service.
The event raised £390.00 for Focal funds to keep our library open.
Banbury Cross Players staged a preview showing of their play CONTRACTions for Focal before entering it in two regional festival competitions. In Abingdon, they came second but, in Lighthorn, they were the winners and now go forward to the national finals in Woking.
Pictured above, Chrissie Garrett, who directed CONTRACTions, is handing over a cheque for £200 from Banbury Cross Players to the Focal Chairman, being the proceeds of their preview performance.
Focal thanks Banbury Cross Players for their generosity and wishes them all good luck in the final competition.
Regular library Rhyme Times have been asked to re-brand by the Booktrust for the National Bookstart Week which took place during week commencing 03-Jun-19. The message they were asked to get across was to encourage parents and carers to read and share books with their children at bedtime. They were provided with a large format book and other resources for the bedtime “Pyjamarama” theme.
At Adderbury library, the “Pyjamarama” Rhyme Times were spread over two sessions and a total of 23 children and 23 adults attended.
Chris Peacock, one of the Rhyme Time organisers, said “the parents loved the book and read along with the story telling. The book is sung to the tune of “Baa Baa Black Sheep” so, as well as the parents joining in, they read along with the book at the end with the children watching as I mouthed how to sing the words on the pages to the tune. The children looked at vehicles afterwards and found the pictures in the book. All rhymes on the sheet were acted out and how to sing the words of the book as well as read them. Only two children were dressed in pyjamas but the weather was against us! One child was wearing a moon and stars headband.
“We did lots of counting of vehicles etc and lots of “what can you see?” on certain pages. Linking to vehicles, we found a train in the book and sang “See the little engines standing in a row’ and ‘The Runaway Train’. Finding a bus on the page, we sang ‘The wheels on the bus ….’ We used scarves to reinforce sleeping and linked to the suggested song ‘See the little bunnies’.”
A few days ago, at about 10am, Peter Britton strolled into the main car park at John O’Groats. His virtual walk was over. The original distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats is 811 miles per Google Maps. Somehow, he did 913 miles but he did take several detours, especially around the Yorkshire Dales and The Lake District.
Since the last update, he has covered the distance between Ramscraigs, up to Wick, along the A99 and into John O’Groats.
The purpose of his doing this virtual walk was to try to raise as much money as possible to help fund the running costs of your local library in Adderbury. Focal has the responsibility to raise £10k every year. If they don’t, then the future of the library could be at risk.
We understand people are tired of being asked to sponsor this or donate to that which is why Peter has tried to do something different. Hopefully, in return for a donation from your hard-earned cash, he has given you something in return. The purpose of his weekly blog was hopefully to make you smile while you learnt something new and quirky every time. He also threw in quite a few litter picks around the village while he did his actual walking.
If you have appreciated Peters efforts and you care about your local library, please make a donation now. How to do this is under the Donation link on this website.
Some of you have already pledged money on completion. Can you all now action those pledges, please?
Peter will not personally ask for donations again, so please act now.
Nicola Dixon and Almira Brion in rehearsal for Mike Bartlett’s Contractions
With some 30 guests watching the two actresses unravel their extremely dark story-line, we were all mesmerised, not knowing which way this extraordinary drama would play out! 45 minutes of suspense but with the added bonus that after the closing scene, the audience was able to discuss the play with the cast and director. This came with the idea that the play could be tweaked for the two upcoming festivals and, hopefully, win prizes for their performances.
Superbly, micro-directed by Chrissie Garrett, working on all of those expressions that can really make the story grab your imagination and brilliantly performed by the actresses, we wish Contradictions all the best for their forthcoming events and thank them most sincerely for putting on the performance for us.
Although he has moved back to his beloved Yorkshire, Peter Britton continues his virtual walk to fund raise for Focal and writes as follows:
So, on my virtual walk, having left my last resting place of just north of Carrbridge, I have now reached the dizzy heights of Inverness. And that means I now only have 147 miles to go until I reach John O’ Groats.
On Saturday 27-April-19, Adderbury village was humming with activity with the annual Day of Dance Festival and the Parish Church was also humming with activity. There were thousands of books, sheet music, CDs and DVDs for sale at knock-down prices and the church was crowded with visitors browsing and buying.
The event raised over £1,200 for FOSMA and Focal funds and well done to all who worked very hard to make the day a success. This involved collecting and storing a huge number of books that had been donated for the event and sorting them into catalogued displays on the day. Equally, taking unsold items back into storage at the end of the day.
Thanks to everyone who donated books, sheet music CDs and DVDs for the event. There was certainly a lot to choose from. Thanks also to all who worked before and on the day to make the event a well-organised success. Thanks to Trish Fennell and her team who provided refreshments throughout the day. Above all, thanks to all the villagers and those from further afield who supported the event and took away their own choice of books, sheet music, CDs or DVDs. What was let over will be sold on with the funds going to charity.
The pub quiz at The Bell on Saturday 06-Apl-19 was a succesful event and much enjoyed by the 52 participants.
The winning team was called Flexit and comprised Diane & Rowland Bratt, Diane’s sister, Sally & Martin Taylor, Catherine Drake and Gareth Jones. There was a second team with the same score but they lost out on a tie-break.
There was the usual raffle and the evening was a financial success as well as a most enjoyable one.
Thanks to David & Aline Griffiths for their energy and enthusism in devising the quiz and running the evening. Also to Chris and Sandra Shallis for hosting the event at The Bell.