Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Pimms at Little Hampden last week

Barbecue at Great Missenden this Sunday

Friday, 24 June 2011

Thank you reception

I think everyone enjoyed tonight’s reception to thank all who contributed to our Appeal.

And a few fun pics - captions?

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Little Hampden Bell

We had a visit from Matthew Smith on Friday evening. Matthew is a bellringer at kimble but he is currently visiting all the bells in Bucks to collect inscriptions so that he can update the 1897 book “The Church Bells of Buckinghamshire” written by Alfred Cocks.

Our bell at Little Hampden, which is mounted in the first floor of the timber-framed porch, is dated 1791 and was cast by Thomas Mears of London. Matthew reported that this was the year that Thomas took over the foundry from his father so our bell is one of his first. The bell is slung between two wooden beams with no metal bearings. It looks as if the original mounting was nearer the North end of the porch where there are grooves in the beams and another hole for the bellrope in the floor beams. The speculation is that these grooves were wearing too close to the bottom of the beam so rather than repairing them, the bell was simply moved and hung on two new beams. The new beams appear to have been cut with a circular saw whereas the original would have been cut by hand.

Matthew has worked with bells but is currently employed by Smith of Derby - clockmakers. Not watchmakers - but Church and Tower clocks. Have a look at their web site www.smithofderby.com.

Our bell is not very secure and Matthew is going to quote for repairing it so we can ring it at services and weddings. I’ll keep you posted.

Alfred Cocks sounds an interesting character. As well as writing “The Church Bells of Buckinghamshire; Their Inscriptions, Founders, Uses and Traditions, Etc.” to give it it’s full title, he was secretary of the Buckinghamshire Archeological Society. Their history has two interesting references:

Alfred  Cocks  had  published  his  monumental Church Bells of  Buckinghamshire  in  1897, a work of  enduring scholarship, and  his  many contributions  to  Records  ranging  from Great  Marlow Church  in  1866 to  the Penn version  of  the Mummers play forty years  later were always scholarly. On a lighter note his three articles which he called Contributions  to  a  Buckinghamshire Vocabulary (VII. 61 and 284, IX.  124) where he records  local dialect, then rapidly being lost, make almost compulsive reading.
Crabbling:  Noise of a pot boiling
Unmournful:  Very,  'She wus unmournful ugly'
Drotchek: Slut
Cribbling:  Lame  'He goes proper cribbling'
Clats:  Horse droppings
Mizzy-muzzy:  'My  poor  head's all ofu mizzy-muzzy'
1896-1908  ALFRED HENEAGE COCKS  (1864-1928) FSA. He was a meticulous scholar and a distinguished naturalist who contributed much to the Society but was a prickly colleague. His many articles cover a wide field but he is best remembered for the monumental The Church Bells of Buckinghamshire published in 1897 which whilst a work of scrupulous scholarship is not improved by the alarming varieties of typeface which he insisted on using.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

100 years of IBM

IBM is 100 years old today. It  struck me that I worked for IBM for one third of this time! It was a good company to work for and much more than a technology company. The IBM 100 web sites list lots of the company's interesting achievements. As well as lots of technical ones there were many early employment and management innovations that were later adopted by other organisations. IBM employed its first disabled employee in 1914, it had an equal employment opportunity policy from 1953, well before the legislation required it. 

The technical innovations are significant, too: early commercial digital computers, the PC, the floppy disk, the selectric (golfball) typewriter, the term 'word processing', fractal geometry, the scanning tunnelling microscope, laser surgery and the UPC barcode. Have a look at the IBM 100 icons of progress web site

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Jacqui’s new handbag

I’ve been helping Jacqui and Nadine with their web site:

While agreeing the photos for the site this morning, Jacqui’s new handbag arrived. Her expression says it all!

But they did settle down to some work eventually...

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Flower festival

First pictures

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Inspiring youngsters - again

Last Saturday saw the first fundraising event run by our Wyred youth group in support of their plan to visit Africa in the summer of 2012. They organised a dinner in the Oldham Hall - they made no charge but donations were requested. The evening was a great success and the Wyred team were extremely professional - very inspirational.