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Windsor’s Autumn Delights
Windsor Festival runs from 17 September for a fortnight’s celebration of the arts, genuinely offering ‘something for everyone’ and with many events taking place in iconic settings, including some not normally open to the public, such as The Royal Chapel in Windsor Great Park.
Whether your interest is music, books, poetry, the secrets uncovered in local walks, or the art treasures of Eton College, the programme throws up a host of tempting dates. While some events are sold out, you may still get tickets to highly entertaining or thought-provoking events. Guest speakers include renowned humanitarian Terry Waite on 23 September talking about Surviving in Solitude, while on 18 September author Jeffrey Archer will reveal some secrets to writing a bestseller during an afternoon event at Cowarth Park, Ascot.
Musical highlights include Hackney Colliery Band; The Simon Spillett Quartet at Windsor & Eton Brewery; and Nathan Meltzer with the Philharmonia Orchestra in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle. Windsor and Eton Choral Society will perform Haydn’s Creation at Eton on 30 September.
Some events are free and the launch of the festival is particularly enjoyable – head to The Bandstand in Alexandra Gardens on Sunday, 17 September, where from 2pm The Band of the Household Cavalry will give a concert.
The walks programme is, as usual, intriguing with a varied choice of outings led by knowledgeable guides. Whether your interest is Georgian history, the town’s pubs, the beauty of Savill Garden or even ghosts, there’s an excellent set of options.
Poet Wendy Cope will be at The Guildhall on the afternoon of 19 September, and the literary line-up also includes our former editor Tessa Harris, now an author. She will be discussing The Sixth Victim, the first book in her latest series of historical mysteries, with Dr Rachel Smillie, an expert in crime fiction and Victorian literature. This event is at Cumberland Lodge on the afternoon of 21 September.
A September weekend filled with artistic sights sounds perfect – and that’s what you can enjoy courtesy of The Wokingham Arts Trail, with so many venues close to each other as the artists and makers open their studious or gather at central spots. It all takes place at 11 venues over Saturday and Sunday, 23 and 24 September (10.30am to 5.30pm).
Crowthorne-based Helen Ormerod says: “One fact that we have learned from past visitors is how many people aim to visit every venue over the weekend – a feat made possible by keeping venues in small clusters. The central Wokingham venues are within walking distance of one other, making it easy for people to ‘park and walk’. Two of the new venues include The Hawthorns School, Woosehill, where, alongside artists’ work, art created by the pupils will be on display, and InStitch Textiles who run courses from their Finchampstead studio.”
All the artists will be displaying new work to delight and inspire with demonstrations being shown at many locations. In addition to paintings, original handmade prints, illustrations, ceramics, glass, handmade books, jewellery, sculpture and textiles will be on display and most of them will be for sale. If you like an artists’ work, you can always enquire about a special commission too.
Helen adds: “The quality of work is outstanding and this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to meet their local artists who will be present to talk about their work and inspiration. Some venues will be offering refreshments.”
An exhibition that attempts to capture the nature of faith has been installed at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park, featuring hand embroidery by the artist, poet and lawyer Romola Parish.
‘Crying in the Silicon Wilderness’ features 14 original works, each designed as a contemporary icon, to inspire meditation, prayer or reflection. Together, the works form a sequence or a journey. The exhibition is accompanied by a book teaming each work of art with a poem by the artist, some extended meditations, and information about the embroidery techniques used.
Romola trained at the Royal School of Needlework after completing a Masters degree in Creative Writing, specialising in poetry, at the University of Oxford. She also works in the City as a lawyer. Trained in traditional hand embroidery techniques, including Jacobean crewel-work and Elizabethan gold-work, she uses this rigorous grounding as a starting point but adapts the stitch-work to create specific effects and textures, mixing gold-work with crewel work, and incorporating additional techniques such as raised embroidery, quilting, beadwork and felting.
Romola is also Creative Director of the Creative Arts Retreat Movement (CARM), which pairs up Christian ministers with creative people for retreats, in which they are encouraged to find the time and space to meditate and explore their faith through creative exercises.
Cumberland Lodge is hosting public open mornings for the exhibition on the following Saturdays, from 10am-12pm: 16 September; 7 and 21 October. Admission is free. To find out more, or to arrange a private viewing, contact Emma Albery, our Friends, Alumni and Outlook Officer, at email@example.com or call 01784 497790.
• 2 September, Traditional Village Fete, Beech Hill Memorial Hall, Beech Hill Road, Reading, RG7-2BE
• 2 September, Rotary Cookham Regatta: A Fun Day Out, The Moor, Cookham
• 2-3 September, Refresh Festival, Wellington Country Park, Odiham Road, Riseley, tel: 01189 326444
• 9 September, Broadway Musical Magic, Charvil Village Hall, Park Lane, tel: 01189 340589
• 9 September, Flowers, Foods, Crafts & Music Market, Aldworth Village Hall, Bell Lane, , tel: 01635 578909
3 September, Tea & Jam; 10 September, Wokingham Community Band
Tilehurst Village Hall, Victoria Road, Tilehurst, tel: 01189 433016
8-9 September, Tilehurst Amateur Dramatic Society present: Brief Encounter
The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, RG20 8AE tel: 01635 46044
Until 16 September, A Little Night Music; 18-23 September, The Picture of Dorian Gray; 28 September – 21 October, Loot
The Corn Exchange & New Greenham Arts, Market Place, tel: 08455 218218
6 September, Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders; 7 September, Dust; 8 September, The Bee Gees Story: Nights on Broadway; 9 September, Jon Culshaw Does The Great British Take Off!; 20 September, Jason Manford; 22-24 September, The Gruffalo; 26 September, Sherlock Holmes and The Crimson Cobbles
The Old Bluecoat School, Chapel Street, Thatcham, tel: 01635 292770
3 September, Classical Music Concert; 17 September, Fever: The Music of Peggy Lee
New Era Theatre, St George’s Centre, Wash Common, tel: 07919 916009
7-9 & 12-16 September, Dear Lupin
Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, tel: 01183 788660
7 September, Celebrating Schubert – St John’s Chamber Players with Rebecca van den Berg; 8 September, An Evening with Nik Kershaw; 9 September12 September, As You Like It; 13, 15, 18 September, Dave Gorman; 17 September, Family Concertini: Music from the Movies with the Akina Strings; 17 September, Gabriel Latchin Trio; 21 September, Puccini’s La Boheme; 22 September, James Phelan: Trickster
Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, SL4 1PS, tel: 01753 853888
Until 9 September, How The Other Half Loves; 3 September, Songs of Rod Stewart – Featuring Cregan & Co; 12-23 September, The Best Man; 17 September, Buddy Holly and The Cricketers; 24 September, Bucks Fizz; 26-30 September, House Guest