St. David’s Night
Sue & Peter Willis hosted St. David’s Night on March 2nd 2019. The hall was decorated with red and green Welsh bunting, and a tasty supper of Welsh Cawl, Welsh cakes, Bara Brith and fruit was enjoyed. To wash it all down, Kim manned the licensed bar which served Welsh beer (and wines – which probably weren’t Welsh!) Peter provided the words to the Welsh National Anthem – set out phonetically so we could all join in. After supper there was a quiz with a Welsh slant – where the Welsh guests did rather better than the rest of us! St. David’s Night raised a wonderful £605.
On January 26th 2019 we celebrated Burns’ Night – hosted by Kim and Russell Gallagher with the able assistance of the well-practised and efficient catering team in the kitchen. The Haggis was addressed; the traditional supper of Haggis accompanied by neaps and tatties, followed by cranachan was enjoyed. The bar, again courtesy of Horne’s Brewery, was kept busy; the customary toasts were drunk; Burns’ poems were read; stories of his life were told and, as the evening progressed, some slightly naughty songs, re-written by our hosts, were sung. This fabulous night raised £646.
Bah! Humbug! Auction
Our first event of 2019 was the annual Bah! Humbug! Auction. When the January days are dark and cold and we feel a bit ‘down in the dumps’, it’s the perfect time for some ASTRA events to cheer us up! Sometimes Santa gets things wrong and your Christmas presents may not have been quite what you’d hoped for so, on January 19th
Mr Scrooge held the auction where everyone could donate their unwanted gifts. This is always an evening of fun and laughter (and we do our best to make sure the person who gave you that unwanted gift isn’t at the auction!) The gifts you did not want this year raised £363 – so somebody must have liked them!
The final event of 2018 was, as usual, Santa’s visit to Bow Brickhill on Saturday, 8th December. After the traditional parade through the village, Santa held his own Christmas party at the Pavilion, where a most impressive grotto had been created. Wyvale Garden Centre not only loaned us Christmas trees for the display, donating some of them for sale, but even let us borrow the spectacular main reindeer from their own Christmas display to grace Santa’s grotto. Together with the door to door collection by his elves, Santa raised £476 and provided a happy, festive start to the Christmas Season.
ASTRA Annual Curry Buffet at the Jalori
On November 6th 2018 our annual Charity Buffet, which was arranged for us by Alastair & Lisa Brookes at The Jalori Restaurant in Woburn Sands was held, with half the ticket price going to ASTRA. After a sumptuous Indian Buffet, John Woolfe of Woolfe Jewellers in Milton Keynes, donated a beautiful piece of bespoke jewellery to be auctioned and the raffle was drawn. The magnificent total raised on the night was £1,165.00.
All Saints ‘Clean Up’ Day
The next event was spearheaded by ASTRA although it was not a fundraiser but all about the community spirit which thrives in the village. ASTRA was originally formed to save our historic Church Tower, so, on September 8th a group met at the church for a clean-up day when rubbish was removed, interior paint touched up and the churchyard tidied and beautified while tea and snacks kept the workers fortified.
ASTRA Summer Garden Party
On a glorious summer afternoon on June 30th 2018 Kay & Stuart kindly opened up their beautiful garden for an ASTRA Garden Party. Tickets had sold out rapidly and the guests enjoyed an afternoon of musical entertainment from the Woburn Sands Band Quintet; Polymnia; Jon Ginn; David Wales and Keith. The tea tent (a fabulous marquee thoughtfully loaned by Jeremy Stephens from the Film & TV Company) was a hit with delicious cream teas, while Hornes Brewery Bar and the Wine and Pimms bar proved very popular on a hot day. The event raised a wonderful £902 and everybody enjoyed the privilege of being in such a lovely English garden on a dazzling summer’s day.
St. George’s Night
On Saturday, 21st April, Sue invited us to celebrate St. George’s Day in the Church Hall.
During supper a traditional Mummers’ Play was performed and the dragon slain amongst laughter and cheers! Sum Raised £784
St. Patrick’s Night
On Saturday, 17th March, Alan & Joanne Ferguson once again opened ‘ O’Ferguson’s Irish Bar’ in the Church Hall to sup the Guinness, eat traditional food and enjoy the fun and celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
What a brilliant evening with Irish Music and all things Guinness. What’s not to enjoy when blessed with the luck of the Irish!
Spanish Paella Evening
To lift the February winter gloom and raise the community spirits, Sally Pepper and Alistair Twigg invited us to relive those warm summer holidays on the Costas with an evening of authentic Spanish food and music on Saturday 24th February.
A wonderful evening was enjoyed by all and the fantastic sum of over £1,000 was raised!
Bah! Humbug! Auction
With Christmas over and the decorations put away for another year, Mr Scrooge welcomed all those who had received disappointing presents to auction them off for ASTRA. £678.35
2nd December 2017 – Santa Parade
In total, we raised the sum of £364.50. However, the singular aim is to entertain and provide children with a fun non-expensive Santa experience. Made up as follows:
- door to door collection (this is higher than the initial figure I gave because it takes into account late donations) £215.69
- teas and refreshments in the church hall £102.81
- cake raffle in church hall £46
6th November 2017 – Jalori Night Friends of ASTRA
Just a very quick interim report prior to the many notes of thanks I need to write, I thought you would all like to hear we made circa £2,340!
This exceptional amount was obviously made up of a very large donation (received last night) from a friend who felt we needed a lift in the light of the recent disappointments associated with MKC and OUR S106 money being taken away!
None the less, £1,340 on the night from a group of 70 of Alastair’s guests is just fabulous!
We fight on and pin our hopes on a high level S106+ meeting now with MKC supported by our friends; Cllr David Hopkins (Mayor) Cllr Alice Jenkins Cllr Victoria Hopkins and of course our MP Iain Stuart who’s bottle of House of Commons Merlot raised £50 last night!
29th July 2017 – Manx Night
At Manx Night, in the Pavilion, on July 29th, over 60 guests, from both the village and further afield, enjoyed an evening of Manx food and culture.
The Skeddan Garroo musicians and dancers (otherwise known as ‘Old Mother Redcaps’) entertained with traditional Manx dances, with some of the audience bravely joining in.
The ales and cider at the bar and most of the food for the supper had been imported specially from the Isle of Man, thanks to Pam who organised it all and to our villagers who baked traditional Manx Bonnag for dessert!
The entertainment included poems and stories from the island and our special guest, Olie Linsdell, a talented young road racer who lives in Bedfordshire, talked about his experiences racing in the Isle of Man TT.
Marion Cottier, once a Bow Brickhill resident now living on the island, explained her important duties as a TT Marshall during the races.
Alan Ferguson had arranged with the Isle of Man Steam Packet the gift of a ferry crossing to the island to be won in a Grand Draw and the evening concluded with singing the Manx National Anthem. Manx Night raised £1145.12 for ASTRA.
June 17th 2017 – Open Village
We had joy, we had fun, and we raised money in the sun! £1,787 to be exact – what a performance!
As if you didn’t know by now, we opened our village on Saturday, 17th June. In came the visitors as Mother Nature poured glorious sunshine all over our
We had around 180 paying customers (children were free), a quarter from Bow Brickhill and three-quarters from outside, coming to see what we had to offer.
Altogether, we raised £1,787 after expenses towards the replacement of our much loved church/community hall. Just another £158,215 to go!
- Programme sales – £885
- Raffle – £224
- Teas at the Pavilion (donation from pre-school) – £90
- Plant sales: Kay and Stuart Leeming – £137
- Cards and jam sales: Ron and Sylvia Fox £39.50
- Ice cream sales: Kim Gallacher £39.30
- Mr and Mrs Giles – £50.00
- Other – £9.35
Sub total: £1929.65
Less expenses: £143.00
GRAND TOTAL: £1786.65
Well done to everyone involved in this great effort.
March 18th 2017 – St. Patrick’s Night
Alan & Joanne opened O’Ferguson’s Irish Bar in the Church Hall for all the fun and craic associated with St Patrick’s Night.
15th February 2017 – Bah! Humbug!
We raised the sum of £395.15 plus bar takings of £121.16 and Mark’s scrap Metal of £335.00 = £851.31
21st January 2017 – Burns’ Night
Dear Kim, Sue, Mary & Sally
On behalf of ASTRA Community Projects, can I first congratulate you on a fabulous Burn’s Night? Thank you Kim for organising and managing such an amazing event it just gets better every year!
It was just magnificent to see you all in your formal evening wear especially Russel. Please thank all those who read passages and those involved in cooking the beautiful food and decorating the hall. It did all look magical.
Finally thank you for raising a staggering £500 in aid of the ASTRA building fund.
Isn’t it just great that events are now being launched and coordinated by other Friends of ASTRA and we get so much support from the village? What a wonderful community this is!