Remember When: School's 'royal wedding' ahead of Charles and Diana's big day

This week's Remember When features the British Grand Prix-winning 1957 Vanwall, a 'royal wedding' ahead of Prince Charles and Diana's big day and the discover of a priest hole in Cookham.

1971: Car enthusiasts attending the British Grand Prix at Silverstone had the chance to see a parade of some of the cars that had won before at the famous race.

They included the 1957 model of the Vanwall, originating at Vandervell Products in Norden Road.

Len Butler, a mechanic in Vanwall’s heydey who had since become superintendent of the firm’s engine test laboratory, took the car out for a 100-mph warm-up at White Waltham Airfield in preparation for Silverstone.


1971: Fifty of the pupils at All Saints Junior School received awards at its annual prize day.


1981: Youngsters at Woodlands Park Primary School prepared for Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding by staging their very own ‘royal wedding’.

Young actors and actresses played roles including The Queen and Prince Philip, with a seven-year-old Archbishop of Canterbury (Jason Blackall) officiating.

Keith Court and Karen McKenzie played the bride and groom.


1991: Waltham St Lawrence Village Show was an outstanding success, with a record total 573 entries.

The pride and produce of the village was on display in Neville Hall for the show.

The children’s eight years and under category was fiercely contested. Bryony Vallis and Helen Jeffery competed against each other in every classs, finishing first or second in each.


1991: Restorers working at an ancient medieval building by the gate of Cookham’s church made a suprise discovery – a hidden priest hole.

The cunningly concealed hiding place was found by chance when carpenters took up floorboards in a room at Churchgate House.

Records show there were a number of prominent Roman Catholic families in Cookham who were fined heavily in the 17th century for their refusal to accept the Protestant Church of England and Oliver Cromwell’s form of worship.

Roman Catholic priests were smuggled from safehouse to safehouse, hiding in priest holes to escape persecution if they were discovered.


1996: Young members of Le Club Francais, based at St Joseph’s Church, chose sides and became aristocrats and revolutionaries to mark Bastille Day.

The group re-enacted events from the French Revolution and also marked the occasion with French songs and dances.

A specially-built guillotine claimed centre stage in the day’s celebrations.

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