Monday, 30 June 2014

The Universe: Official meteor watch day!

Today is official meteor watch day... although despite creating the day, I think the weather will be the biggest factor on whether it's successful or not (also depending on where you happen to live!) That being said, it's also a great opportunity to learn a little bit more about our surroundings, space and the universe...

A meteor, or shooting star, is the visible streak of light from a heated and glowing meteoroid falling through the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of over 20 km/s, so pretty fast! Around 15,000 tonnes of meteoroids and other space dust enter the Earth's atmosphere each year, and when they reach the ground they become known as meteorites...which means if we're on the lookout often enough there must be plenty of shooting stars to be seen! 

An interesting way of getting an idea of where we stand in relation to the universe is through this interactive scale of the universe. It allows you to zoom in and out to find where and how we as humans fit into the Universe. Follow the link above and have a play, and don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for some shooting stars on the next clear night!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Pimms anyone?

Wimbledon is here! It kicked off last Monday, and is now in full swing. If you're a tennis fan and have been watching the games so far, whether on the screens or at the courts if you've been lucky enough to get tickets, you'll no doubt have seen numerous people there eating that famous Wimbledon speciality of strawberries and cream, and sipping glasses of Pimms and champagne. The question we want to know, is just how much do they get through each year?

Strawberries and cream

Last year, around 8615 punnets of strawberries, which contain at least 10 strawberries each, were sold each day of the competition, and over 7,000 litres of fresh cream were served with them. That's a total of around 28,000kg of strawberries, around 112,000 punnets across the whole event! Last year, the cost of one of these punnets was £2.50, and while a bit pricey, they are all picked the night before and arrive at Wimbledon at 5.30am to be expected and then sold that day, so are sure to be the freshest possible!


Possibly the most famous trademark drink of Wimbledon, Pimms can always been seen being sipped by the fans. Last year, around 200,000 glasses of Pimms were drunk, and around 20,000 bottles of champagne consumed... that's a fair bit of bubbly!!

Here are some of the other catering statistics for you from last year's event...
  • 300,000 cups of tea and coffee
  • 250,000 bottles of water
  • 207,000 meals served
  • 200,000 glasses of Pimm's
  • 190,000 sandwiches
  • 150,000 bath buns, scones, pasties and doughnuts
  • 135,000 ice creams
  • 130,000 lunches are served
  • 100,000 pints of draught beer and lager
  • 60,000 Dutchees
  • 40,000 char-grilled meals served
  • 32,000 portions of fish and chips
  • 30,000 litres of milk
  • 28,000 kg (112,000 punnets) of English strawberries
  • 25,000 bottles of champagne
  • 15,000 bananas
  • 20,000 portions of frozen yoghurt
  • 12,000 kg of poached salmon and smoked salmon
  • 7,000 litres of dairy cream
  • 6,000 stone baked pizzas
  • ...There's something different for you to think about as you watch the games! Enjoy the Wimbledon season!

    Saturday, 28 June 2014

    Sainsbury's in Olney?!

    The recent consultations regarding a Sainsbury's potentially being built in Olney has caused quite a mixed reaction. Whether the news has left you eager to get shopping or ready to wage war, your view is likely to be shared by many in Olney.

    So what are the proposals? Well Sainsbury's want to build a 22,000 square foot supermarket at Warrington Road and Lavendon Road, and would include a petrol station. The store would create 160 jobs, an obvious positive, as well as a more convenient shopping location for Olney residents. On the other hand, a large store would inevitably create yet more traffic through the already busy town, and could possibly take customers away from some of the local stores which have been running for years. However, are people more concerned with keeping tradition and preventing busy roads, or would most rest in favour of having a local supermarket in a convenient location?

    If you have a view to share or questions to be asked, make sure you get along to the public consultation at the Olney Centre on Friday 4th July from 2-7pm, and Saturday 5th July 10am-2pm, where members of Sainsbury's development team will be discussing the proposals and answering questions. Comments forms will be available for visitors to leave feedback.

    Research which Sainsbury's are using as one of the needs for the store include figures showing that 73% of people currently leave Olney to do the majority of their shopping. Is this a valid reason do you think? Do you find you have to do your shopping elsewhere if you live in Olney? Maybe that's what you prefer to do?! We'd love to hear your views, please comment below or send us an email:

    Friday, 27 June 2014

    What else is on this weekend?

    We've already mentioned the Olney Cherry Fair, but what else is there to entertain you this weekend around the area?... Well, the Phonebox Magazine have found quite a lot of events for you to get involved with, and as summer becomes more of a reality for us, there seem to be a lot of seasonal fetes and fairs around, so take your pick!


    Newport Pagnell Summer Fete @ The Parish Church, High Street, Newport Pagnell 
    This is a family event which will have the usual mix of stalls, including crafts, puzzles, bric-a-brac, toys, tombola and raffle. The cake stall will be filled with yummy treats, and there will be the ever popular second hand book stall for you to browse and buy. Pop in on your way up the high street, any time between 10am and 2pm.

    MK RSPCA Summer Fair @ Memorial Hall, Great Linford
    Raising funds for the local RSPCA, the event will include a great variety. From unique and handmade gifts to raffles, tombolas, plants, bric-a-brac and jewellery, there's something to interest everyone. Refreshments will include homemade cakes, cream teas and a bar. Admission is free and parking will be available. Pop in anytime between 2 and 4.30pm this Saturday

    Danesborough Chorus Summer Concert @ St. Mary's Church, Woburn 
    An exciting summer concert, local choir Danesborough Chorus will be performing Howard Goodall's: Eternal Light, a Requiem, with Howard Goodall himself conducting. The event kicks off at 7.30pm. Tickets cost between £20 and £10, call the box office on 01908 583460 for more information.

    ...And as we've already mentioned but it's worth a reminder; the Olney Cherry Fair from 1pm @ Glebe Field, Church Street Olney and is well worth a visit!


    Churches together in Harrold and Carlton: Harrold Open Gardens
    Come along between 1.30 and 6pm, start at Harrold Village Green to enjoy the many open gardens to view and enjoy. There's also a vintage and classic car display, ukulele band, cake stall, tea and coffee, homemade cakes and more. Admission costs £3 for adults, £2.50 for concessions and £1 for children over 12. All proceeds go to local charities.

    Newport Pagnell Historical Society Musueum Opening @ Chandos Hall, Silver Street
    Exhibition marking the centenary of the outbreak of WW1. Also, come along and see our recreation of a Victorian kitchen. books, maps, photographs and other items of general local interest on sale. Admission is free.

    Free Fun Day raising funds for the Olney Town Colts @ Olney Recreation Ground
    Come along from midday- 5pm and enjoy a free fun day with stalls, bouncy castles, food, a licensed bar and ice cream. The Ian Bufton big band will be playing throughout the afternoon. Bring a picnic and come and enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon.

    Holistic Pamper Day in aid of Willen Hospice @ The Well in Willen, Newport Road, MK15 9AA
    Get pampered and raise money for charity at the same time. Local therapists are holding a pamper day to support Willen Hospice. Reflexology, manicures, swedish massage, gong sessions, Reiki and angel cards re just some of the treatments on offer at the Well in Willen. Treatments are offered at reduced rates; most are £15 for 30 minutes, and all proceeds go to Willen Hospice. Booking isn't required so feel free to pop by anytime between 10am and 5pm, cakes and other refreshments are also available.

    Olney Cherry Fair 2014

    The traditional Olney Cherry Fair is back again this Saturday, with a host of attractions to keep you entertained all day. The idea of the 'cherry fair' originated many years ago, in times where the town of Olney produced a large crop of cherries which were sold off at the end of harvest, and the town celebrated with a holiday. An event which is now organised by the Parish church, it's always a great day, and this weekend is set to be a success as ever.

    There's a fun dog show, open gardens, games and side shows, bouncy castles, organ recitals and choirs in the church, bell tower tours, tug 'o war, children's games, alpacas and a demonstration form MK cheerleading academy, to name a few!

    Of course, there will be cherries on offer, as well as many other refreshments including teas, coffees, cakes and a BBQ: braai with real boerewors (South African cuisine)

    As you can tell, the day is set to be full of fun and variety, gates open at 1pm with the official opening at 1.15pm. The event will be held at Glebe field, Church Street, Olney, and parking will be limited so parking a little further out and walking in may be advised. The event costs just £1 for adults, and children are free. 

    It's a great event and a tradition of Olney, so definitely one not to be missed!

    Thursday, 26 June 2014

    Booze on the Ouse

    The highly anticipated weekend is (almost) here! Booze on the Ouse is the main fundraiser for the Olney Town Colts football club, which enables around 300 local children to play football. Starting tomorrow, Booze on the Ouse combines live music and a great selection of beer and food in an atmosphere like no other. Tickets for the Saturday are now sold out, but there are still some available for the Friday night so grab them quick before they're gone!

    What's in store? 

    Tomorrow night presents West End singer Maddie Cole and comedy Store comedian Adam Rowe as headliners for the evening's entertainment. Held at the recreation ground off East Street, Olney, the night kicks off at 7.30pm. Come along to enjoy some top class music and have a good laugh, hot food and a licensed bar with a wide selection of real ales will be available. Tickets for the evening cost £7.50 and are available in advance from Nest@No9, Bacchus and Cafe Rosco.

    Saturday showcases a number of live bands, including Mad Mods, Error 404 and more. Great food, drink and atmosphere are sure to be found!

    Sunday is a FREE fun day, open invite for all, so definitely shouldn't be missed! There'll be more music, more food and more drink, as well as bouncy castles and a selection of stalls for people to enjoy. You're invited to bring a picnic and enjoy the atmosphere.

    Tuesday, 24 June 2014

    Do you love the Royals?

    If you are one of those camped outside the next known location of a royal visit and know the royal news before anyone else seems to, you may well call yourself a royalist. The term ‘royalist’ means to support a particular monarch or head of state, and although Kate Middleton isn’t Queen, many would today state that they are royalists due to being a particular fan of her. Interest and support of the royal family has always been there, but also peaks and dips at certain times. The wedding of Prince William and Kate was one of the more dramatic peaks, and now it seems Kate has her very own following. Her Royal engagements always see her being well received, and her recent visit to Bletchely Park was no exception. Kate was invited to re-open Bletchely Park, following an £8 million renovation project. As always, she greeted the public with smiles, and received flowers from children. Maybe the fact that she is not from royal birth makes her more relatable to the public, or is it actually a misconception that she is more loved by the public than the other royals?  

    Despite this apparent love for Kate, both in the public and in the media, it seems her husband is actually the Nation’s favourite royal. A recent survey of ‘Britain’s favourite faces’ was answered by over 2000 people, and found that 68% of people expressed a ‘favourable’ view of Prince William, coming above the Queen who got 63%. The royal family as a whole came up far above many other faces of Britain, with the closest person to a regal score being Brian Johnson at 41%. So the question is why: do we like the idea of the royal family, or is it what they do that gets our support? Obviously everyone isn’t in the same boat with their support for the royals, but the whole country getting a bank holiday for the royal wedding probably gained them a few more.

    What do you think?... 

    Sunday, 22 June 2014

    Get stuck in with British Mud Week

    Tomorrow sees the start of something new- the first ever British mud week. Sponsored by Nomad Direct, suppliers of the world’s first cordless pressure washer (which you may need if you decide to get involved!), the general idea of the week is to encourage the British public to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Although we have our fingers crossed for good weather this June, we all know you can never be too sure when it comes to the British weather, and so the chances are there'll be plenty of mud around to get involved with!

    People are being encouraged to complete mud-themed challenges for charity and get their families involved in the great outdoors, and schools are also being encouraged to take part, with downloadable packs, full of ideas, being available on their website

    The website also lists a number of ideas of ways you could get involved with mud week, if you work with or have young children, I can only imagine the idea of a week spent rolling in the mud will go down a treat! 

    Friday, 20 June 2014

    Flowers and Lakes! This weekend...

    This weekend the main events seem to be revolving around flowers and lakes. Slightly random you may think, but the events themselves are some pretty good ones!


    Great Linford Waterside Festival  started yesterday and runs through to Sunday. It's a free event with the exception of parking which is £2.50. It's set to be a great event, have a look at the website here. Saturday the opening times are 11.30am-7pm and Sunday 11.45am-5.30pm. 

    St Laud's Church Flower Festival and Open Gardens 'BYGONES', together with Sherington Historical Society Biannual Scarecrow Competition. Come and see the beautiful arrangements in the St Lauds Church and then take time to view the gardens and hunt out the Scarecrows around the village. The festival is open both Saturday and Sunday, from 11am-5pm.

    Woburn Abbey Garden Show is open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm, and has something for everyone to enjoy. In a friendly and accessible environment, you can enjoy an introduction to gardening, the opportunity to improve or learn new gardening skills and purchase wonderful plants and garden items. Live music entertainment. Tickets are £11 adults, £10 seniors and £6 for children. For more information visit their website

    And over to the lakes... There are a couple of events happening over at Willen lake On SUNDAY:

    Peace Pagoda Anniversary, from 10.30am-3.30pm.  
    The programme to commemorate the anniversary will include a Buddhist ceremony, multi-faith peace prayers, speakers on anti-nuclear and non-violent actions, and an afternoon multi-cultural celebration.

    Dragon Boat Festival 

    The Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival takes place in aid of Age UK Milton Keynes. Join in the fun, raise and boat and compete for the title of Dragon Boat champion or cheer on your favourite team from the lakeside. Find out more here.