Cookham community news: Spencer art gallery secures Tate loan

George Roberts

Cookham community news: Spencer art gallery secures Tate loan

Swan Upping at Cookham, 1915-19. Tate Collections © Estate of Stanley Spencer and the Stanley Spencer Gallery Collection

One of Sir Stanley Spencer’s most famous paintings is coming to the village after a loan was secured from the Tate.

Swan Upping at Cookham will be on display at the Stanley Spencer Gallery from 11am on Thursday, November 7 until March 22 as part of a new exhibition, Painting by the Thames: Swan Upping at Cookham.

The exhibition brings together other rarely-seen paintings and drawings focused on one of Spencer’s biggest influences – the River Thames.

A Stanley Spencer Gallery spokesman said: ‘We are delighted to begin our new winter series with this exhibition, and especially grateful for the loan of Swan Upping at Cookham by the Tate.

“The show offers a fascinating glimpse of Spencer’s deep-rooted love for the Thames and the inspiration he derived from his native village.’’

The title work depicts Swan Upping, where mute swans are caught, marked and then released, beneath Cookham Bridge.

Spencer was moved to capture the ceremony on canvas after observing it from Holy Trinity Church.

The artist was fascinated by the river and the activities that took place upon it, and he often saw divine imagery on the waters of the Thames – a theme he explored in many of his best-known works, like the 1959 masterpiece Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta.

The exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the work, which Spencer began painting in 1915 – the same year he left Cookham to fight in the First World War – and completed it upon his return from the front in Macedonia in 1919.

Festival proceeds shared among villages primaries

Hundreds of pounds have been donated to the village’s primary schools after the success of the 2019 Cookham Festival.

A total of £1,500 was donated to Cookham’s three state primary schools – Holy Trinity, Cookham Rise and Cookham Dean – as part of the £13,000 the festival raised for arts-related organisations and enterprises.

On Tuesday, festival chairman Malcolm Stork, who has announced he is stepping down from the role, was at Holy Trinity School to present the three primaries with the money.

He said: “We are so fortunate to live in a village with a strong community spirit and the festival is one means of bringing us all together to celebrate and strengthen that bond.”

Planning for the 2021 festival will start soon and new committee members and a chairperson are needed.

If you would like to help email or call 07770210284.

Share ideas on protecting wildlife

An action plan setting out what needs to be done to protect Cookham’s wildlife will be discussed at a meeting next month.

Ecology group WildCookham will host a discussion at Lea Barn, off Winter Hill, on Wednesday, November 20 at 7.30pm, where the public can discuss what areas of environmental protection should be prioritised.

Led by WildCookham founder Cindy Barnes, it will be an opportunity for people to share their views and ideas on how wildlife habitats can be best protected.

The action plan will then influence how the volunteer group uses its time and resources to help protect the environment and raise awareness.

Devon-based duo set to perform

A Devon-based folk duo is coming to perform at a church in the village.

Husband and wife Harbottle & Jonas, originally from Totnes, will perform at Holy Trinity Church, in Church Gate, on Saturday, November 9 from 7pm to 11pm.

The pair combine traditional folk music with original and contemporary interpretations.

Expect to hear the concertina, harmonium, banjo, stomp box, acoustic guitar and dobra during their set.

They will be followed by another family act – The Steve & Ben Somers Band.

The father and son-led group are known for their traditional country music, cajun country, western swing and Americana.

Tickets cost £14 from

Save date for fireworks and lantern parade

The Cookham Dean Village Club is set to hold its annual bonfire night celebration once again.

A firework display and bonfire will be held on the green opposite Cookham Dean Village Hall on Saturday, November 2 from 5pm to 8pm.

A lantern procession will also take place, starting at 6.30pm. Lanterns will be available for purchase on the night.

The club suggests a £20 donation per family.

Female-focused gardening talk

A female- focused gardening talk will take place in the village.

On Wednesday, October 30, Catherine Horwood will give a talk on Gardening Women for the Cookham and Cookham Dean Horticultural Society.

The £5 talk will take place at Cookham Dean Village Hall at 7.30pm.


TODAY (Thursday): Pinder Hall AGM at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 8pm.

Cookham Book Club at The Old Swan Uppers, The Pound. 8pm-10pm. To register email martin.glenorchy@

Twinning Visit to St Benoit, France. From Saturday to Tuesday.

Sunday: Said Evening Prayer at Holy Trinity Church, Church Gate. 6.30pm.

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

Monday: Cookham Bridge Club at Cookham Reach Sailing Club, Berries Road. 1.45pm and 7.30pm.

Tuesday: Cookham Bridge Club at Cookham Reach Sailing Club, Berries Road. 1.30pm and 7.30pm.

Cookham Parish Council Finance meeting at Cookham Library, High Road. 7.30pm.

Gardening Women talk by Catherine Horwood at Cookham Dean Village Hall, Church Road. 7.30pm.

Badminton at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 8pm-9.30pm.

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