Thursday 16 November 2000

Breakfast at The Bell...

Dawn breaks, and the maitre d' prepares for the day.

Judging by the straight backs, this was obviously taken early on in the proceedings.

All nationalities are represented - an early Viking (nearly from the Isle of Man?) shares a joke.

John Miles, the thinking woman's Des Lynam, tells the one about the Kiwi and the call-girl.

Och, there's some wi' hair and some wi' nowt.

Sue Grimsdell deals with a troublemaker with a swift right uppercut.

Revellers, aghast at the lack of entertainment, attempt to start a game of 1 potato, 2 potato...

Julie is held upright by friendly staff as Sue keeps her glass the right way up.

Legend has it that 'Bunny' Mitchener was convinced he was photographing a mirror.

Wednesday 25 October 2000

P.. P.. P.. Pick up a Pumpkin...

Weighing in at a monster 135lbs, the winning pumpkin in the annual Snowy Young Pumpkin Competition was grown by Maurice 'Rip' Ripley. Second place went to eleven times winner Archie Blake with a commendable 99lbs, with third place going to the 95lb combined efforts of Robert, Katie, Angie and Royston. The all-time record for the competition - first held in 1980 - remains at 171lbs, set two years ago.

The traditional fundraising which accompanies the competition raised £157.50 for the Lymphona Association. Alongside the customary cakes and wine to be won, an auction was held for Wembley Stadium memorabilia. £60 was paid by Chris Bottomley and Simon Baker for a corner flag, programme and piece of turf - all from the last England match against Germany. (Suggestions for preserving the turf would be gratefully received!) Thanks, as ever, to Sue and Peter Grimsdell for hosting the event - along with belated congratulations for recently collecting the AVDC Best Village Pub Award for the second time.

Wednesday 20 September 2000

Cheggers plays Chearsley!

Former Swap Shop and Big Breakfast presenter Keith Chegwin (sans pith helmet and decently attired) points to the reason for his visit to The Bell - helping count the contents of the charity bottle.
The Oxford Animal Sanctuary benefited from £663.25 and the next collection is off to a storming start after Ruth Holland generously donated her sweepstake winnings from making the closest guess to the total count.

Saturday 8 July 2000

Eric To Star In West End?

News reaches our celebrity desk of the likelihood that local thespian Eric Carte is to be offered the part of Willy Banbury in the classic Noël Coward play, Fallen Angels. Co-stars of the revival include Frances de la Tour and Felicity Kendall who are reported as being 'absolutely delighted' at the possibility of treading the boards with the MC of our recent Chearsley Carnival. Eric is no stranger to appearances alongside such glamorous actresses. In 1976 he starred alongside non other that Joanna Lumley in an episode of The New Avengers. Our research also reveals filmed appearances in a variety of roles in productions ranging from 'Poirot' and The Woman In White' to 'Space 1999' and 'The Beast Must Die'.

Fallen Angels was first performed in 1925 and the comedy tells of two married girlfriends awaiting the arrival of the man with whom they are both having an affair. Fans of Eric should be able to catch him at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, between September 4th to 23rd, after which the production goes on a three week UK tour. From October 16th, performances will be in London's West End - the exact venue as yet to be announced.
Interviewed on Friday night, Eric intoned "The part is mine, dear boy!"

Saturday 1 July 2000

Cynthia Loses Her Rug!

Search of area reveals no clues!

News has reached us that young mother of one, Cynthia Siddal, left her picnic rug on The Green late on the afternoon of Carnival Day. A passing villager, Nick Fogden, later carefully folded the rug and placed it on the bench in the middle of The Green but shortly after that it disappeared. The rug, described as 'green' and 'waterproofed on one side', was a prized possession and its loss puts in jeopardy future family picnics.
(Photo-fit picture)

Husband Charles, consoling his devastated wife at The Bell, made no comment but we believe an alcohol-based reward may be offered for the rug's safe return. Their young son, Harrison, has not been told of the news. This is the second blow to hit the family this week - irreplaceable photographs were lost when Cynthia's last photographic endeavours were subject to an accidental Hot Wash cycle.

In depth investigation has revealed the rug to be of a 'tartan' style and using the most up-to-date technology, the above illustration has been produced in the hope that it will trigger someone's memory.
Speculative rumours that the rug may have been used in a satanic ritual under the Carnival Stones has been dismissed as 'pure speculation'.

Have you seen this rug? E-mail RugStoppers now at

Monday 26 June 2000

Chearsley Carnival 2000

These Foolish Things....

Tuesday 20 June 2000

Chearsley Stones Restored!

From our own correspondent.
Saturday June 17th marks the dawn of a new era as the Stones of Chearsley, until recently lying undiscovered in one of Ted's barns, are moved to The Green in preparation for the Chearsley Carnival - Saturday June 24th.

A team of youthful locals resisted all temptations offered by the local hostelry and manhandled these monoliths with the precision and workmanship that has become a byword in the village. Indeed, as the pictures show, most wore the traditional shorts and short sleeves for what may well have been the first day of summer.

June 19th: Phil Holland has electrified some of the trees enabling 'Night-time Illumination'. Unfortunately, a shortness in cable necessitated use of the nearest socket and we are therefore all grateful to Sue of The Bell for foregoing the use of her hair-dryer for the next week.

Sunday 18 June 2000

Five Go To Brighton!

Local heroes Dave, Angie, Mike, Richard and Peter defied all the odds, battling against warm weather and even uphill cycling, to complete this year's London-Brighton Cycle Run on June 18th.

"It was fantastic", said Peter on his return to the bosom of the few regulars who had waited until nearly 11:00pm for his return to The Bell. Obviously unfazed by the enormous physical stress he had just endured, he managed to walk unaided from the support car and announced his intention to organise a pub team for next year.

(Photo: Sue Grimsdell)

Saturday 17 June 2000

Raising the Stones - June 17th, 2000

The committee stage

The stones are maneuvered into position.

A pair of craftsmen 'do their bit' inside one of the stones.

Work is temporarily delayed after someone drops a 20p piece.

The stones are lifted with ease.

Sorry ladies, but these fine legs are already spoken for.

The secrets of the stones' construction is quickly disguised.

Precision spacing ensures even those endowed with the most ample girth can saunter between the stones in complete safety.