The Committee was active in early 1998 and, up to June 1999, started to implement a program of activities and events which ran through to at least the autumn of 2000.

The following are on the committee:

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Mrs. Pam Dawson
Mrs. Wynne Frankum
Mr. Willie Hartley-Russell
Mr. Phil Laybourne (Chairman)
Mr. Graham Plank
Mr. Gerry Sanderson
Mrs. Elizabeth Still
Mrs. Erica Tipton
Mrs. Viv Ward


Living in Bucklebury at the turn of the third Millennium, it is possible that a few things may not have gone unnoticed......for example, one flower and garden festival, two tombolas, one quiz, one 'Beating the Parish Bounds', a time capsule, a glittering carnival procession, a midsummer picnic, a barn dance, parish photographs, bonfires, a Parish Concert, special edition mugs and T-shirts and not least a commemorative book of Bucklebury told in pictures.
In addition, the community has benefited from individual donations to pay for some of the above events, whilst we are also indebted to Willie Hartley-Russell for providing a new line of oaks at Chapel Row, and to Jack and Catherine Lovell for their donation of a highly stylized octagonal seat to be positioned at Chapel Row near to the line of oaks and lime trees.
Soon, a long standing project to site a small obelisk at Turners Green, sympathetic to the local environment, is to mark the eastern boundary of Bucklebury Common, on the site of the old Turner's Cottage.
Residual monies will be divided out between the Congregational Chapel, the History Society, and the 'Green Team' at Bucklebury Primary School.
From the Chairman's message, extracted from The Oaks.

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Planting the time capsule....

The following was extracted from the Committee's Spring bulletin.


Some little time ago West Berkshire Council published a document showing what other parishes have planned to commemorate the millennium. It was pleasing to see that among all the 32 parishes, Bucklebury was seen to be the most active with an array of symbolic and entertaining events - appealing to all ages.

MILLEFLORA: this exhibition of flower arrangements, set out in the Parish Church of St Mary's, was held on Saturday and Sunday, 18th & 19th June 1999 and marked the start of the Millennium celebrations. The exhibits depicted numerous historical events and activities which have occurred in the Parish over the last 1,000 years and attracted a large number of admiring local and other visitors. The weekend appropriately concluded with a special service of Evening Prayer and hymns, attended by more than 60 parishioners and served to remind us from whose birthday we started numbering the years in the first place!

Given Bucklebury's particular woodland heritage, a commemorative plot of MILLENNIUM OAKS and a PLINTH in Chapel Row will be a fitting start to the 21st century with a planting ceremony schedule planned for October of this year.

It was felt that an official marker or obelisk would be similarly an appropriate way to commemorate the site where George Lailey plied the ancient craft of wood turning at Turners Green.

A TIME CAPSULE reflecting our living age will be sited at the Memorial Hall. The actual items to be sealed inside is still under discussion but will certainly include historical and current information about the parish and its residents.

We are also delighted that a special limited edition BUCKLEBURY MILLENNIUM BOOK will be produced containing a mixture of old and new photographs depicting the history of Bucklebury. With the publication set for October/November 1999, around 1,000 copies will be available and these will be sold at £8.50. We are particularly indebted to the Donnington Trust for sponsoring the book. In addition, limited edition COMMEMORATIVE POSTCARDS are planned for the New Year - and perhaps in time for Christmas with "last of the millennium" seasonal messages from Bucklebury!

ST MARY'S TOWER CLOCK: It has been thought for some time that the weekly winding of our 120 year old Parish clock should, like so many others these days, be electrically automated.. We are now in a position, in conjunction with the Parochial Church Council, to put this into practice as a fitting mark of the Millennium - and in a Church which is itself 1,000 years old. Minor wear & tear repairs are now in hand and the main time-keeping is already operating electrically. The striking section, which has been out of action for some years, should be completed during September, (with night-time silent mode). Meanwhile the hands and face will be re-gilded and the whole completed concurrently. The Millennium committee will be arranging most of the funding with assistance from the PCC and it is hoped to have a ceremonial 'switch-on' sometime in the autumn. This means that 12 midnight will boom out on New Millenium Eve - followed of course by the usual peel of bells!

On Rogation Sunday, 28th May 2000 AD, a 'BEATING THE BOUNDS' walk will take place. This is an 'historic' custom and ritual, originally gong round the parish boundary, and the walk will follow most of the connecting public paths around the perimeter of the parish. Route maps showing the 'circuit' will be publicised nearer the time, together with more details concerning stopping and refreshment places, etc. (See footnote below on further related Church and historic matters.)

A FAMILY DAY, planned to unite all villagers from the parish, will be held at Bucklebury Farm Park by kind permission of Mr Rupert Hartley-Russell , as the prospective venue for our very own MID-SUMMER MILLENNIUM PICNIC on Saturday 24th June, with activities for young and old, probably including a fancy dress theme, hog roast and the presentation of 'millennium' mugs to all children in the parish. The national beacon-lighting may be at this time as well, as may be the burying of our Time Capsule.

Towards the back end of 2000 a MILLENNIUM CONCERT is scheduled to round off proceedings, but more of this and other plans in forth-coming editions of The Oaks and subsequent bulletins.

May & June


Plans are now well in hand and walk leaders have been selected. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE that the routes selected DO NOT follow footpaths and the walking is rough. Participants should be prepared and dress accordingly. An information pack with full details will be sent to walkers soon. To organise walkers at the respective starting and finishing points requires various forms of transport and anyone with large cars who might be able to help would be appreciated.

Starting from the Memorial Hall, the theme for the floats is of 'Bucklebury Over the Ages'. This will be proceeded by a brief ceremony of burying the Year 2000 Time Capsule at the entrance. In the afternoon you should provide your own food, although the Farm Shop will be open as normal. Please do not bring glasses! The following is the program for the day:

2.00 - Procession of floats. 'Parish Picnic' commences.
3.00 - Floats arrive at Bucklebury Farm Park.
3.30 - Judging of floats. Kennet Steel Band.
4.15 - Village Photographs - Photos of villagers 'by community'. (see availability below.)
5.15 - Presentation of commemorative Millennium mugs to each child. Raffle Draw & fancy dress prizes.
5.45 - Hog Roast commences. More 'live music'.
6.30 - Millennium Barn Dance.....for all ages!

Free entry to all parishioners - Tractor rides, treasure hunts, side stalls and a bar for the evening festivities. Gates close at 9.30pm sharp!!
AVAILABILITY OF PARISH PHOTOGRAPHS: Copies of the Parish and the individual Hamlets photographs taken at the Picnic will be available during September and details will be made available at Peaches (Spar) store. Watch this space!

July - December

MILLENNIUM CONCERT: Saturday 14th October 7.00-8.30. The Parochial Church Council have kindly agreed that St Mary's Church may be used for a music concert to mark the end of the Parish millennium celebrations. The type of music will of course be fitting to the surroundings and will range from High Church and Opera to instrumental, Gospel and Folk songs. Fortunately we have a lot of talent in the Parish and those taking part will vary from Primary School and Prep School through to adult and professional musicians. The following choirs have kindly agreed to contribute: Bucklebury Festival Choir, Bradfield College, Downe House, Brockhurst & Marlston and Bucklebury Primary. Kennet School will be sending an instrumental ensemble and other Bucklebury instrumentalists and singers have been engaged. As the emphasis is on our own talent, would anyone (of whatever age) who might like to perform please contact the organisers as soon as possible. Entry is of course free and all are welcome but the Church (excluding performers) will only hold about 150, so please ring up to book your seat as early as you can or you may find there is no more room. If there are a lot more than 150 advance bookings we may have a matinee as well.

OAK TREES AND BENCH AT CHAPEL ROW: Several Oak trees will be planted at Chapel Row, probably down the road opposite the Bladebone, and a special wooden circular bench will be incorporated. This will probably in November or December. Around the same time.a special plinth will be erected in Turners Green to mark the old turner's cottage. With the exception of private New Year parties etc, these will be the last of the formal Parish millennium events.

Footnote: Rogation Sunday is the 5th Sunday after Easter, which, in 2000AD, is later than usual. Easter Sunday is April 23rd so Rogation Sunday is May 28th. This just happens to be the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. 'Beating the Bounds' is described in Brewer's Phrase & Fable thus: 'an old English custom of going round the parish boundaries on Holy Thursday i.e. Ascension Day [that's in the week before Rogation Sunday and following the actual Rogation Days of the Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday]. The schoolchildren, accompanied by the clergymen and parish officers, walked round the boundaries, which the boys struck with peeled willow-wands. The boys were sometime "whipped" at intervals and water was sometimes poured on them from house windows "to make them remember" the boundaries. In England the day is sometimes called "gang-day".'

Whitsun, the 7th Sunday after Easter, sometimes called Pentecost, falls on 11th June in 2000AD and is the main weekend set aside by the Church of England to celebrate 2,000 years of Christianity. [Actually 'white-Sunday' - commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples in Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost following the crucifixion].