Blog Archives

This Weekend: Christmas Tree Festival – 9 December 2011

The tinsel is hung and the lights are wired in. Today, 32 local businesses, organisations, and church groups decorated trees for the St Luke’s Christmas Tree Festival, the brainchild of new vicar Sally Lynch. With little over two weeks until Christmas, the event, which will be held this weekend at our north town church, will be run in a similar fashion to September’s Flower Festival.

CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS_The church's Christmas Tree Festival is open this weekend.

Families are welcome to come and look around all weekend, with St Luke’s School’s choir providing musical entertainment at 11:00am tomorrow (Saturday 10 December), and Voices Anon singing at 2:00pm on Sunday (11 December). Both have decorated trees for the festival. Refreshments will be available throughout, from stalls at the back of the building. Attendees can vote for their favourite tree by placing money in the pot in front of each one; the most popular tree’s designers will then have all money put towards their nominated charity.

HAND DECORATED_The Munchkins pre-school tree.

Tonight, a preview event was held for PCC members and those directly involved with the project. The church looked beautiful, with a wide range of designs from a wider range of tree donors. Each one is different, and the Sunday Club and Sparklers ones even feature the faces of its members.

FACE OF CHRISTMAS_Sparklers members' faces on one of the Youth Church trees.

TAKING A LOOK_Invited congregation members inspect the designs at tonight's preview event.

The Christmas Tree Festival is all this weekend at St Luke’s Church, Maidenhead. For more information, visit the church’s website at

Maidenhead Christmas Lights Switch-On – 26 November 2011

Scroll down or click here for my video of the event.

SHOCK AND AWE_Fireworks surprised everyone by being detonated from in front of the Town Hall.

As is traditional in towns and cities across the UK, today saw Maidenhead’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On event take place in front of the Town Hall. At 6:00pm, from the balcony of the Mayor’s parlour, a young girl who won a competition run by the Maidenhead Advertiser flicked the all-important switch. Hundreds of fireworks were detonated, and the High Street’s hanging decorations were illuminated. Mayor Asghar Majeed helped with the proceedings, fresh from carrying out the same duty in Windsor last week.

BEST SEATS IN THE HOUSE_Dignitaries watch from the Mayor's parlour, as the fireworks go up in the air.

BLAZE OF COLOUR_Red fireworks are let off from the roof of a Maidenhead office block.

HANGING LIGHTS_Suspended Christmas lights in the town centre.

STAR ATTRACTION_The giant Christmas tree in Nicholson's Walk.


Below, for your viewing pleasure, my video of today’s switch-on event.

VIDEO_My video of today’s switch-on event.

Maidenhead Combined Charities Fair – 5 November 2011

As usual, the Lions Club of Maidenhead held their annual Combined Charities Fair today, as local good  causes took over the Town Hall to fundraise.

SETTING UP SHOP_The entire floorspace of the Town Hall was taken over by charities at the fair.

Since it began, St Luke’s have set up and manned a stand, and this year was no different. A team of congregation members offered homemade Christmas cakes and jelly, and won one of two awards for ‘best-dressed stall’.

CAN I INTEREST YOU IN THIS_Marion Brookes tempts customers.

SWEET TREATS_Spire Brand jelly, on sale for church funds.

I was delighted to see that Theresa May (Maidenhead‘s MP and, of course, Home Secretary) had come along to support the charities at the fair, and came over to the St Luke’s to buy some of our produce.

PLEASURE DOING BUSINESS_Home Secretary Theresa May buys produce from the St Luke's stall at the fair.

The Charities Fair is a staple fixture for me, and marks the first sign of Christmas. Seeing Win Reynolds, brought along by her daughter, Wendy, brought back fond memories of taking my dear grandfather to the fair every year. It’s just under a year since he died, and in his final years it became a major exercise to get him anywhere, but for the satisfaction of seeing his trademark smile, that early bit of Christmas shopping on the first weekend of November was always worth it.

CHINWAG_Win Reynolds and my mother talk at the fair.

Just as I was about to leave, Mrs May was heading out past the tombola. To her delight, she won the biggest prize there – a giant stuffed toy dog! Although the resulting picture isn’t brilliant photographically, I was there to capture the quite unexpected moment.

SURPRIZE_Theresa May MP wins a giant stuffed toy dog on the tombola!