Cookham Community news (April 18)

George Roberts

COOKHAM 131187-4

13-year-old Madeleine Sellman had a starring role in the West End play Violet. Cookham.

Young performer is no shrinking Violet

A 13-year-old girl from Cookham has starred in a West End theatre production.

Madeleine Sellman, who goes to Furze Platt Senior School, played Young Violet in the musical Violet at the Charing Cross Theatre.

The show was on throughout March, and the final performance was on Saturday, April 6.

Madeleine portrays the younger version of the main character and featured heavily throughout.

Describing what it was like to be centre stage in the West End, she said: “It was quite hectic rehearsing in London, but it was so worth it.

“At first it was scary, especially when we were doing the previews.

“The director was changing it every day so we could make it better, that was really scary.

Her mum Rachel added: “It’s been great. It’s quite exciting and quite nerve-racking seeing your daughter on stage.”

The musical was based on a short story, The Ugliest Pilgrim, by Doris Betts.

Set in America in 1964, it follows Violet as she travels across the country and reflects on her childhood.

Madeleine, who has been dancing for almost her whole life, said she hopes to become a professional dancer when she is older.

She said: “Dance is my main thing, I have been doing it since I was two. I’ve also been doing musical theatre since I was six. I love anything in the theatre.”

Rachel added that Furze Platt Senior School has been supportive of Madeleine’s dancing.

She currently dances with the Rhodes Academy of Dance in Dedworth and is set to feature in a number of upcoming dance festivals.

Children bring gifts, cheer and chocolate

A group of children visited elderly members at a Cookham day centre to give them Easter gifts.

The Rotakids club at Cookham Dean Primary School, set up by Cookham Bridge Rotary Club Youth Service, visited members of Elizabeth House in Station Road on Monday, April 1.

The youngsters had lunch with the members before giving them Easter cards and gifts and reading poems.

Since being set up, the Rotakids have done a variety of activities around the village like picking up litter and encouraging their families to donate to food banks.

The aim is to give the children the confidence to become responsible citizens in their community.

Chance to vote for borough and parish councillors

Parish council elections are set to take place in Cookham next month.

On Thursday, May 2 residents will be able to go to the polls and vote for their choices to sit on the parish council.

The elections will take place alongside the Royal Borough elections on the same day.

Candidates in three separate wards – Cookham, Cookham Rise and Cookham Dean - will be vying for seats on the public body.

In Cookham, only two seats are available. In Cookham Rise, nine seats are up for grabs and in Cookham Dean four seats will be contested.

Each ward will also have its own polling station. In Cookham, voters will need to go to Holy Trinity Parish Centre in Church Gate

In Cookham Rise, the electorate should head to Pinder Hall in Lower Road and the Cookham Dean Polling Station is in Cookham Dean Village Hall in Church Road.

To see a full list of candidates visit

Thieves take digger away

A construction vehicle was stolen from a building site over the weekend.

A digger was taken from the site in Terry’s Lane some time between 4pm on Friday, April 12 and 7.50am on Monday, according to Thames Valley Police.

Anyone with information can call 101 or use the police’s online reporting system at www.

Pop choir to sing in support of hospice

A charity choir event will raise money for Thames Hospice.

Pop Goes the Choir will put on a concert at Pinder Hall, Lower Road on Saturday, April 27 at 7.30pm.

For £12 tickets to the pop, swing, country and rock-themed night email

Easter carols add to church's celebrations

An Easter carol service will take place at Holy Trinity Church this weekend.

Easter hymns will accompany Bible and poetry readings at the service on Sunday at the church in Church Gate.

The church’s choir will sing a mixture of traditional carols as well as some less conventional songs.

The Easter carol service, less common than the Christmas equivalent, will provide a chance for spring celebration and contemplation.

Cafe meet-up for au pairs

Au pairs who live in the area have a chance to get together in Cookham.

A welcome coffee for domestic assistants new to the country will be held at Costa Coffee in Lower Road 9.30am tomorrow (Friday).

If you would like to attend email


Today (Thursday): Cookham Book Club at The Old Swan Uppers, The Pound. 8pm. To register email Martin Garrett on

Saturday: Strictly Ballroom Dance at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 7pm-11pm.

Sunday: Vernon Brown Spring Plant Sale at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 8.30am-3.30pm.

Easter Carol Service at Holy Trinity Church, Church Gate. 6.30pm.

Tuesday: Sweaty Mama at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 10.45am-11.45am.

First Cookham Brownies at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 6pm-7.15pm.

Badminton at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 8pm-9pm.

Wednesday: Making the Cut: Growing Cut Flowers for a Living – Cookham and Cookham Dean Horticultural Society talk by Rachel Siegried at Cookham Dean Village Hall, Church Road at 7pm. Tickets cost £5 for non-members.

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