Cookham community news: new chairman of Cookham Festival

George Roberts

Cookham community news: new chairman of Cookham Festival

A new chairman of the Cookham Festival has been appointed.

Derek Bond will replace Malcolm Stork as chair of the village-wide arts event, with the next set to take place in 2021.

The Cookham Festival is a celebration of the arts that takes place every two years, with various events, workshops, concerts and more taking place through the spring.

Mr Bond said: “The Cookham Festival isa cornerstone of our community life here in Cookham and I amvery much lookingforward to helping it grow and prosper in the years to come.”

The new chairmanis a Cookham resident who formerly managed the John Lewis Sir Bernard Miller Centre at the Odney Club.

Mr Bond has 48 years of experience working for John Lewis, 20 of which have been spent in Cookham.

His management experience will come in handy for May 2021’s festival, which will see him lead the team that organises well over 100 different arts events in and around the village.

As a marketing events manager, Mr Bond has run high-profile marketing and hospitality events, including BBC Good Food shows, the Hampton Court Music Festival and Cheltenham Literary Festival.

Mr Bond added: “The next 15 months will be a real challenge but the team organising the festival will do a great job and it’s a privilege to be able to coordinate their efforts to produce a brilliant festival in 2021.”

If you think you can help and would like to be involved, email

Jolly Farmer even jollier after expanding its kitchen

A popular community-owned pub has spent tens of thousands of pounds expanding its kitchen and cooking facilities.

The Jolly Farmer, in Church Road, has been jointly owned by 56 villagers for more than 30 years who, along with the landlady Liya Efremova, have invested more than £70,000 to expand and modernise the facilities.

The new kitchen opened for business on Saturday, November 30, following 10 weeks of building work. During this time, the pub’s old kitchen had to be shut for five weeks.

Liya said: “Despite closing the main kitchen, we have managed to offer food every day by using our wood-fired pizza oven to produce some interesting dishes.

“Our great team are now really excited to start exploring the potential of our new facilities which will allow us to offer some new dishes, as well as making it much easier to deal with larger dining groups and service the growing demand from our lovely beer garden more quickly.”

Build a bird box session set for January

Villagers who hope to coax more wildlife into their garden in the new year have the chance to build their own birdbox.

Ecology group WildCookham is hosting the build-a-box session at Lea Barn, in Winter Hill, on Saturday, January 4 at 10am.

Suitable for all ages, attendees will be able to make the perfect avian home under the guidance of experts from Bisham Nest Box Group.

During the session, the group will be able to make boxes suitable for robins or blue tits.

Box-making and tools will be provided for £10 per person.

To sign up for the event visit

Cherry Pickers put on party for 60 elderly

A Christmas party for senior citizens was attended by more than 60 guests on Saturday.

The Cherry Pickers of Cookham Dean hosted its annual festive bash for pensioners at Cookham Dean Village Hall, in Church Road.

The fundraising group provided a free taxi service for more than 30 attendees to ensure that no one missed out on the fun.

As well as enjoying a Christmas meal, Father Christmas also paid a visit to the guests and handed them all presents to take home.

Food and prizes were provided by Cookham-based businesses including Homesense, Cowdery Butchers, Country Stores, Handmade Cake Company and Copas Turkeys.

Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Day

The village’s unique Christmas Day service will take place as usual this year.

Carols by Candlelight will take place at Holy Trinity Church on Wednesday, December 25 at 6.30pm.

The service will give churchgoers the chance to celebrate with carols, bible readings, poetry and choir carols.

Music will be led by the Boy’s Choir, Girl’s Choir, Men’s Choir and Choristers’ Mums’ Choir.

Collection will be for Alzheimer’s Society.

Debating date for teenagers

The village’s young people will have a chance to discuss and deliberate on a range of issues at a debating group.

The teenagers’ debating group will take place at Pizza Dreams, Lower Road, on Thursday, January 16 at 7pm.

Email revdavidjoynes@

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