Cookham community news (August 15): Sir Stanley Spencer trail leads to book

George Roberts

COOKHAM 131695-3

Peter Driver with his new book - A Walk for Stanley

Sir Stanley Spencer trail leads to book

An artist has written a book based on a walk inspired by Sir Stanley Spencer.

Last year, Peter Driver, who works as an artist and art teacher, walked 39 miles along footpaths, starting from the Stanley Spencer Gallery and finishing at the Sandham Memorial Chapel near Newbury, which accommodate’s a series of Spencer’s paintings.

Over the three days, Peter stopped every two miles to draw the scenery, as well as taking various photographs, writing poems and reflections and recording the birds he saw along the way.

His book, A Walk for Stanley, published by Ascot-based Peculiarity Press, is out now.

Peter said: “This is something I do quite often, I go for a walk doing drawings and that generates other artwork like woodcut prints and some poetry and other reflections that got woven together.

“Stanley Spencer was influential in me in returning to making art.”

“I went to art school as a young man and drifted away from it and it was going to the Stanley Spencer Gallery that made me think I want to start painting again. It was partly about marking that relationship with him and his work.”

Before setting off on his journey, Peter filled a canteen with water from the Thames in Cookham and carried it with him to Sandham Memorial Chapel.

When he arrived, he watered one of the apple trees there with it, dubbing it the ‘kiss of Cookham’.

A limited number of copies of A Walk for Stanley are available for £20 at the Stanley Spencer Gallery, and more are on sale online at www.peculiarity

Regatta to feature events on land and in the water

A boating extravaganza which can be traced back to the 19th century will return in September.

Entries are open for the Cookham Regatta, taking place on the River Thames by Marsh Meadow on Saturday, September 7, featuring a brass band, classic cars and, naturally, weird and wonderful boat races.

The event itself can be traced back to 1882, and in the 1890s the regatta was so popular special trains would be scheduled from London.

More popular events at Molesey and Henley led to a decline in entries, and the Cookham Regatta was discontinued in 1930.

But in 1988 the regatta was revived, and today it is run by the Cookham Bridge and Marlow Rotary Clubs.

Races will include the canoe cats – two Canadian canoes joined together to form a catamaran – and dragon boat racing.

Land-based events will include volleyball, the ‘funny-walk’ and tug of war.

To request an entry form email

Time nearing for Millenium Clock repairs

A village clock that has been broken for more than two years may soon be fixed.

At a parish council meeting last week, councillors chose a contractor, Time Assured, to repair the Millennium Clock located on the wall of Cookham Station.

The clock was installed by Smith of Derby in 1999 but the council had been unable to negotiate repairs with the company.

Time Assured has quoted a cost of about £890.

The parish council and clock restorer must now seek permission from Network Rail, which owns the land the clock is built on, to carry out repairs.

A date for the works will not be set until permission is secured.

Hub talk on help for female prisoners

A former prisoner who founded a company helping female prisoners find work will speak in the village.

Barbara Burton – who came up with the idea of BehindBras while behind bars – will be the guest speaker at the next Cookham Media Hub.

After spending a year in jail for fraud, she struggled to find work and set up the fashion-based social enterprise.

BehindBras is designed to give women who leave prison jobs, training and personal development.

At the Media Hub’s 6th birthday meeting, Barbara will be interviewed by former BBC reporter Philippa Budgen.

The Media Hub will take place at Bel and the Dragon in High Street on Thursday, September 12 at 7.30pm.

For tickets email

Dancing dogs and classic cars at village fete

Vintage cars, dancing dogs and a ukulele band will light up the village next month.

Cookham Dean Village Fete will take place on the Cricket Common on Saturday, September 14 from 1pm to 5pm.

The fete will raise money for a variety of charities, including Driven Forward, and the Dash Charity.

Entertainment will include a craft village, stalls and games, a dog show, silent auction and tombola.

Follow the trail, find the loot

A treasure hunt will be held by the Cherry Pickers of Cookham Dean.

Adventurers can start from the Jolly Farmer any time between 9am-11.30am on Sunday.

Lasting about an hour, each team must include an adult as it navigates the trail and answers 30 questions to get the loot.


Saturday: Coffee Morning for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) at Cookham Rise Methodist Church, Lower Road. 10am-11.30am.

Monday: New art exhibit opens at Elizabeth House, Station Hill. 10am.

Diddy Disco at Cookham Rise Methodist Church, Lower Road. 9.30am-11.30am.

Yoga at Cookham Rise Methodist Church, Lower Road. 7pm-8.30pm.

Tuesday: Dance class at Cookham Rise Methodist Church, Lower Road. 4pm-5pm.

Big Band Practice at Cookham Rise Methodist Church, Lower Road. 7.30pm-9.30pm.

Wednesday: These Mums Can fitness class with creche at Cookham Rise Methodist Church, Lower Road. 10am-11am.

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