Cookham community news (July 4)

George Roberts

Cookham community news (July 4)

Novel tells tale of artist's great loves

A novelist who wrote a book about Stanley Spencer from the perspective of his housemaid spoke in the village last week.

Nicola Upson, author of Stanley and Elsie, was at the Stanley Spencer Gallery on June 26 for a question and answer session with gallery archivist Ann Danks.

She discussed her novel, which explores the relationships the artist had with his wife Hilda and muse Patricia Preece.

Speaking last week, Nicola said: “It’s been a joy writing this book, which has finally emerged more than 10 years since I first saw a painting of Elsie in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

“My research in Cookham and many other places has been a delight.

“I have loved walking where people walked and touching what people have touched.”

Spencer’s daughter Shirin, who is now 94, had a close relationship with Elsie.

Speaking at the session herself, Shirin said: “I owe so much to Elsie.

“Elsie saved whatever reason I had at that time.”

The fictional story is based on known truths about the relationships Spencer had with the women in his life.

The 48-year-old author conducted extensive research to try and create a convincing but faithful story.

Nicola herself was born in Suffolk, read English at Cambridge University and has worked in theatre and as a freelance journalist.

Paintings and drawings of Hilda, Patricia, Elsie and Spencer himself are to be found at the gallery as part of its Counterpoint exhibition.

Stanley and Elsie is on sale at the gallery for £10.99.

Fountevraud Abbey visit for twinning group

The Cookham Twinning group will visit the monastery where Richard the Lionheart is buried on their autumn trip to France.

The group of Cookham residents will visit twin village St Benoit from Saturday, October 26 to Tuesday, October 29.

As well as visiting the Fontevraud Abbey, the group will also have a reception with the mayor of St Benoit.

To join the group email

Village turns Monopoly board for cubs

A troop of cubs travelled around the village in a game inspired by Monopoly.

The boys and girls of 1st Cookham Cub pack went on their Cookham Monopoly Run on June 27, taking selfies at all the major destinations in and around the village.

The group were inspired by their older counterparts, Maidenhead District Explorer Scouts, who go to London every year visiting the different locations on the Monopoly board and taking selfies there.

The cubs created their own Cookham board and visited places ranging from the post office in Lower Road to Winter Hill Golf Club, as well as the churches and schools across the village.

The winning team was Green Six, who took selfies at £6,785 worth of properties.


Monday: Give Blood at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 12.45pm-3.30pm and 5pm to 7.30pm.

Tuesday: Rachel’s Zumba Fitness at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 9.30am-10.30am.

Sweaty Mama at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 10.30am.

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