Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Hungerford Arcade BBC Wildlife Producer's Expertise

A gentleman with his wife came to the desk and said that his son was looking at a bronze fish. Their son happened to be BBC Wildlife Producer, Adam White.  Adam has been making Wildlife films at the BBC for almost 20 years and it was fascinating talking with him.  You must watch Wild Brazil and his other films, they are amazing programmes, showing on BBC2 and probably Discovery.  I am sure you can watch them on iPlayer if you missed them.  It is best if Adam tells you about his work himself but what you are seeing below, is but a small fraction of what he does.

I have been making wildlife films at the BBC for almost 20 years.
I have worked with Sir David Attenborough, Chris Packham & Steve Backshall, on series like Life of BirdsLife in Cold Blood and Secrets of our Living Planet. I joined Wild Brazil as one of the series producers, and spent a lot of time in 2013 on location.
No-one could believe what we had witnessed
Adam White
Filming wild jaguars was a real highlight, as for so much of my career they were viewed as un-filmable. Although they didn’t give up their secrets easily, we had to spend 9 weeks on location, and search around 10,000 miles of riverbank to find them.
But my favourite part probably has to be following the capuchin courtship story. There was one breath-taking moment when after four days of this poor female trying to persuade the male to mate with her, they looked at each other and kissed. No-one could believe what we had witnessed.
Now, back to the bronze fish.  I thought it was a trout or a carp when in fact, as was pointed out by Adam, it is a rare fish called an Arowana.  The Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus) is a freshwater fish indigenous to South-East Asia where it inhabits slow moving waters, rivers and streams.  Entirely carnivorous, it has become an icon of cultural significance for its grace, longevity, incredible colour and stature and has earned the name Dragon Fish, referencing the Chinese Dragon.  Currently, as an endangered species, it is bred under licence and close monitoring by the Asian agricultural authorities and each fish exported outside of Asia is microchipped, certified and licensed for transport.

Beautiful Arowana

Thank you Adam for all the valuable information you have given to us on this marvellous fish.

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Hungerford Arcade Wishing You All A Very Happy New Year 2015

Hungerford Arcade owners, managers, staff and stallholders wish all our customers, readers of our Newsletter, Blogs on Facebook, Google+,Twitter and Pinterest all around the world a very...

Hungerford Arcade will be open on New Years Day, from 9.15 to 5.30.  We look forward to seeing you.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Hungerford Arcade: Merry Christmas

Adrian, Hazel, Managers, Staff and Stallholders at Hungerford Arcade, wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Hungerford Arcade Mary Hare School For The Deaf

Hungerford Arcade
Carol Singing
Sunday, 21st December 2014

The staff and stallholders of Hungerford Arcade will be Carol Singing on Sunday, 21st December at 2.30 p.m. raising money for the Mary Hare School for the Deaf. Do come along and support this wonderful school. You can even join in with the singing if you would like to.

Reg Charity No. 1048386

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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Hungerford Arcade Carol Singing

LtoR: Adrian Gilmour, Choir leader Alan Bartter 
and wife Jennifer, James Hill, Ann Parker, 
Rose Newbury and her
business partner
There is a real Christmas atmosphere here at Hungerford Arcade.  Co-owner, Adrian Gilmour, staff and stallholders gathered inside the Arcade at 2.30 for our annual Christmas Carol event, raising money for charity. We started by singing in the big square then moved down to the Christmas tree at the front by the counter.  We all sang Christmas Carols, lead by stallholder, Alan Bartter. Customers stopped to listen and gave generously to our sponsored charity, Walking With The Wounded for which we are extremely grateful.  Thank you very much. 

We will be having another Christmas Carol event next Sunday, 21st December at 2.30.   If you would like to come along and listen or even join in, please do, it would be lovely to see you.

Lovely stallholder, Ann Parker
In a Festive mood

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

Hungerford Arcade: Victorian Extravaganza

The Victorian Extravaganza had been building up all day.  The funfair arrived with the Big Wheel, Helter-Skelter, cup and saucer roundabout, candy floss, shoot the target and lots more all right outside Hungerford Arcade.  There was the most beautiful steam engine powering the lights and rides and an amazing old fairground organ.  There was plenty to eat with hotdog and burger stands, roasted chestnuts and a red hot atmosphere.  The Arcade was packed with people - we were still open at 9.30 pm and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

By 5 o'clock the High Street was packed with people, many dressed as Victorians and looked fabulous. The children were all excited waiting for the arrival of Father Christmas!  In the meantime, they enjoyed the fairground rides and amusements and of course, candy floss.  A jolly stilt walker 'The Professor', dressed in his very smart, colourful clothes, stopped to have a laugh and a chat with everyone.  He was so tall, it made your neck ache looking up at him.

At 7 o'clock a firework lit up the sky signally the start of the procession which started off from the bottom of the High Street, headed by Scottish bagpipes, stilt walkers and then the man himself, Father Christmas.  The children screamed and called out to him as he was drove passed waving and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  The possession carried on with people dressed up as reindeer, there was a beautiful multi-coloured bus from Thailand and the excitement was there for all to see and here.

Pirate with Arcade co-owner Adrian Gilmour
Arcade Manager, Alex Rogers -
a very handsome Victorian Gentleman

The stilted Professor
Our stunning Arcade window designed and decorated by
our very own Ann Parker (Unit 42P)

Our Judy of Rafters Cafe outside cooking up
fabulous hotdogs

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Hungerford Arcade: H G Wells and the Bridge over the Kennet and Avon Canal

Our wonderful author, Stuart Miller-Osborne has written yet another wonderful article - a piece of Hungerford's history.  Our small market town is steeped in history and thanks to Stuart, it is kept alive.  We all learn a little more about our town with each story Stuart writes and we owe him a great deal of gratitude for keeping the history of Hungerford to the fore. Thank you Stuart.

On page one hundred and twenty four of the H.G.Wells' novel The Secret Places of the Heart published in 1922 there is a rather memorable passage which appears to mention the bridge over the canal in our lovely town. 

It concerns a journey that Sir Richmond and Dr Martineau are making towards Avebury and Stonehenge and although short gives a feel of the area at the time.

“They ran through scattered Twyford with its pleasant looking inns and through the commonplace urbanities of Reading, by Newbury and Hungerford’s pretty bridge and up long wooded slopes to Savernake forest, where they found the road heavy and dusty, still in its war-time state, and so down a steep hill to the wide market street which is Marlborough.”

What interested me was the mention of Hungerford’s pretty bridge. Twyford most probably still has hidden away its pleasant looking inns although I think you would be tasked to find them. Reading’s urbanities have in my view become even duller but thankfully the roads in the forest are better and Marlborough and its wide street may have improved with age. 

But what of the pretty bridge, was Mr Wells considering our canal bridge? Well I hope so, as if you sit down and think about it, there must be upwards of twenty bridges in and around the town if you take the railway bridge on Hungerford Common and the railway bridge that crosses the canal not far from Froxfield as your limits.

For such a small town Hungerford does have a large number of bridges. I wonder if any town of a similar size as Hungerford has as many bridges? It would be interesting to find out.

Before it was replaced in the mid-sixties Hungerford had a fine railway bridge and although the current one is quite grand I do not think that Mr Wells would have referred to either as pretty. 

It might be the sturdy bridge at Eddington but for some reason I think Mr Wells meant our small but memorable canal bridge which carries the road over the Kennet and Avon Canal. 

Quite why Sir Richmond and Dr Martineau would have crossed the canal bridge if they were on their way to Marlborough is open to question as to continue along the Bath Road would have been more sensible. Maybe Mr Wells had enjoyed the hospitality of the town on a previous visit.
The Kennet and Avon Canal was opened in sections and in 1798, the link between Kintbury and Hungerford was opened. The Bath Chronicle reported the following;

On Tuesday the ninth instant, a Barge, having on board a staircase of wrought Portland Stone for J. Pearce, Esq., of Chilton Lodge, several casks of Russian tallow, . . . making in the whole about 40 tons weight, was navigated on the Kennet and Avon Canal from Newbury to Hungerford.''

The section from Hungerford to Great Bedwyn was opened the following year and the navigation of the canal was fully open by 1810.

The bridge over the canal apart from one addition looks very much as it did when it was constructed. It reminds me of the canal bridge near my childhood home in Bradford on Avon and like the Bradford one has its own unique echo (try hearing yourself think if the canal ducks get excited).

In common with the Bradford on Avon bridge, it has had a necessary addition that of a pedestrian footbridge to ensure that one does not get squashed by a lorry. But whereas the footbridge in Hungerford is a thing of beauty, the one over the canal in Bradford is an eyesore and spoils the line of the original bridge.

The Hungerford footbridge which cost some £400,000 was put into place in March 2012 and was opened later that year and is called the Jubilee Footbridge for obvious reasons

Both the newer and the original bridge are well worth a look. 

If you are in Hungerford and have visited the Arcade, then the canal is easy to find. Just turn left out of the Arcade and walk under the railway bridge and follow the road. The canal bridge is not too far in front of you and is clearly visible.

The footbridge is on the Wiltshire side of the bridge and like the bridge itself gives wonderful views of Hungerford Wharf and given the right light can result in memorable photographs especially when the sun is low. 

Even on the newer footbridge you can appreciate the beauty of the original bridge with its subtle curves and its soft worn stone.

You can also appreciate both bridges from the adjacent wharf which is a great experience on a warm summer’s day. Or you can walk under the structures and see what I consider to be the darker more mysterious side of the bridge which is not often photographed but shows the detail of its original construction. 

There is also a barge called The Rose which offers leisurely trips along the canal normally to Kintbury and its prices are very reasonable.

Whether H.G.Wells leant over the low wall of the canal bridge and sadly viewed the then derelict canal is open to debate.

But today we can enjoy the restored canal from the vantage of the footbridge or view both the new bridge and its aged parent from the grassy wharf .

Perhaps one might have been lucky enough to have picked up a copy of Mr Wells' novel somewhere in the town. 

Whichever way, the day would have been memorable. 

Stuart Miller-Osborne     

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Hungerford Arcade: Treasure Detective Needs Your Help for West African Ebola Crisis

TV's Treasure Detectives, Curtis Dowling and Andy Smith from CNBC Primes, are preparing to put their lives at risk by travelling to West Africa with a TV crew to raise awareness of the seriousness of Ebola in the region.  They will be holding talks with the Government of Ghana and major health stakeholders on how to liaise with them in terms of managing Ghana and West Africa's response to the Ebola Crisis.  Curtis and Andy have been raising money from the TV, film companies and Antiques shops to enable this important mission to go ahead. Unfortunately, they are £2000 short of the total they need and bearing in mind that they are due to fly out from the UK on 15th December, time is very short.

We at Hungerford Arcade are doing our bit to raise money, but anything you can give would be gratefully appreciated by everyone.

Anything you can give, big or small, you can transfer funds to the following account:

Lloyds TSB, 30 Market Hill, Sudbury Branch, Suffolk, CO10 2EL, England
Account number: 22809260
Sort code: 30-98-31
IBAN: GB96LOYD30983122809260

Curtis Dowling told Modern Ghana in an interview. "With the TV and film community coming together to support the struggle to suppress Ebola in West Africa the hosts of CNBC's/UKTV's Treasure Detectives are travelling to West Africa to raise awareness, get on all the radio and TV channels in the region and a mission to discuss with the President or Vice President of Ghana the distribution of an aid fund they have started to organise. Andy Smith and Curtis Dowling are prepared to put themselves into the lion’s mouth to get the world talking even more,”  He adds that the aim is to raise awareness of the plight of West Africa, medically and economically and to help by showing support in the long term against Ebola.

“Ghana is the perfect venue for a staging post to deliver help and aid to other parts of West Africa who are suffering more. The excellent infrastructure, the forward thinking and the excellent facilities. We believe our voice can be loud due to our position in the media. We can bring the situation to a wider audience and through our own experiences in west Africa report back in a 'none news way' how things are developing and what is being done. Our own project hopefully bringing in more help and more support in many ways to the regions most in need”

A word from Curtis:

Our impending trip to Liberia:

To distribute aid with contributions by a few US companies

To meet with the press (40 interviews planned) to highlight the country crisis after the ebola disease has been contained

To film good work projects by the CDC and Geneva Global in the hope our short films attract more investors

Can you support us? We are short £2000 and any kind of contribution would be fabulous.

So you know who we are, I have added the links below.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Hungerford Arcade: Historic Find of the Original King James Bible

A good friend of Hungerford Arcade and a resident in the village of Hilmarton, has written a wonderful article on the discovery in his local church of the original King James Bible. I am sure you will enjoy reading about this historic find.

 St.Laurence church, Hilmarton, Wiltshire, England

The sad passing of Sir Donald Sinden CBE this September, prompted a repeat of the story of the discovery of an original King James Bible in the local parish church of St Laurence Hilmarton
in Wiltshire.. Sir Donald was a great supporter of The King James Bible not least because of the wonderful language it brought in to influence English Literature. In 1988 he wrote a book and presented a documentary series on BBC TV about his love of ‘The English Country Church’, inspired by his grandfather's architectural drawings and watercolours. He also attended a service of commemoration at Westminster Abbey on 16th November 2011 in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen to acknowledge the 400th Anniversary of the great work, of which more later.  

In the months leading up to the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible, members of St Laurence Church Hilmarton discovered that an old Bible that had rested on a shelf at the back of the church for as many years as anyone can remember, was an original printed in 1611 by the King’s printer Robert Barker. The background is as follows:   

On the west wall above the shelf was an old sign stating that “this fragment of the Holy Scriptures” (the first five chapters of Genesis unfortunately being missing) 
“was found in the Parish Chest, with its chain attached to it and was restored in 1857 and placed in the Church on March 13th, 1858”.  The sign goes on to state that “The carved oak binding was entirely the work of the hands of the Reverend Francis Fisher, Vicar of this Parish, who died in October, 1858.  This Bible is the Second of two impressions printed in 1611.”  A stained glass window on the North Aisle depicting Christ as the Good Shepherd is dedicated to the Revd Fisher.   

According to the Victoria County History for Wiltshire, “A black letter chained bible, found in the parish chest in 1857, is kept in a glass case in the church”. Of this case there is now no trace, and within living memory, until very recently, the Bible was kept on the open shelf attached to the west wall, where perhaps inevitably it was subjected to minor damage. Could the ‘legend’ be true?

Anniversary Celebrations 

In June 2010 the Parochial Church Council (PCC) consulted the Revd David Smith DD of London, England, owner and curator of one of the most extensive private libraries of English Bibles and ancient religious texts in the world.  The Revd Smith advised that the Bible was an example of the ‘Great She Bible’ so called because of the misprints (Ruth3:15 “and she went into the city”). and “Judas” Bible, (Mat.26:36, “Judas” for “Jesus”). He judged that the chain was most likely to be original, which together with the unique carved binding added greatly to the Bible’s historical interest.  Although lessened by the missing portion and by the trimming of page-ends by the Victorian restorers, the value placed upon the Bible by the Revd Smith was substantial, requiring the PCC to consider most carefully the Bible’s security and preservation for future generations.   

Anniversary Celebrations 

To mark the 400th Anniversary of the 1611 King James Bible, the St Laurence Church Parochial Church Council commissioned a bespoke oak and glass case to allow this rare and historic artifact to be displayed securely and  to be used for at least the next 400 years.   Living within the Benefice was a master artist, designer and woodworker who had built furniture, upward of 20 wooden thrones for visiting Archbishops, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace.  He was asked to design and make a new display case of contemporary design to reflect today’s commemoration of this rare and historical treasure. 

Following a masterful broadcast by CNN's London correspondent Richard Greene, the church was fortunate enough to receive a number of unsolicited donations from well-wishers in the USA, but most of the funds were donated by generous local individuals and businesses and also heritage trusts.  

The CNN broadcast:  

 Here is the finished article.  

Summoned to Westminster Abbey
The congregation of St Laurence Church were honoured to receive an invitation from the King James Bible Trust to take the Bible to Westminster Abbey for a special service on 16th November 2011, to mark the Bible's 400th Anniversary.   

Her Majesty The Queen accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales attended the service of celebration, in association with the King James Bible Trust. The then Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Rowan Williams gave the Address. The St Laurence Bible was one of five placed on the high altar for the service.  

The Church and its Bible are worth a visit and details can be found on the website ‘A Church Near You’ If you want to bring a group, this can be arranged and a short talk on the history of the church and the parish can also be organised given time.  

For those with access to an ‘i pad’ more information on the parish may be found at the ‘APPLE’ store. A Free ‘App’ entitled Hilmarton A Parish Celebration and a brief history also appears below.  

St Laurence  Parish and Church 

St Laurence Church stands at the heart of our parish of Hilmarton in North Wiltshire and dates back to the 12thCentury. The first known Vicar, John Pencoyt became the incumbent in 1297.  Notable features of our church include a nave roof and painted Chancel screen dating from the 15th century, and a pre-reformation door to the Tower which was re-modelled in 1840 and houses a peal of six bells, the oldest dating from 1450 and which are still regularly rung by an enthusiastic team.    

The west window in the north aisle is dedicated to St George and General Gordon, and is the parish War Memorial to those men lost from the parish during the Great War 1914-1918. Brass plaques on each side of the window display the names of the fallen and a plaque below the window contains the names of those lost in World War Two. On the East wall a window above the altar depicts our Patron St. Laurence holding a gridiron (which as you know was the grisly instrument of his martyrdom).

Geoff  Procter

Friday, 14 November 2014

Hungerford Arcade: American Sisters Visit Hungerford Arcade

Suzanne Chenoweth and her sister, Jackie Pierce paid us a wonderful compliment when they visited us.  Jackie said they have come all the way from Birmingham, Alabama, USA and had just landed at Heathrow Airport.  They were so excited about coming to Hungerford Arcade and instead of going straight to their hotel, they rented a car and drove all the way to Hungerford and couldn't get in the door quick enough! Suzanne and Jackie spent many hours with us and loved every second of it.

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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Hungerford Town Christmas Tree Goes Up

A huge lorry pulled up outside the Arcade this morning, with an equally huge tree on the back.  Bystanders watched as the small team of men strapped the tree to the crane and lifted it into place in only a matter of minutes.  At 30 feet tall, the tree will be the centre of attention when the lights up and down the High Street are officially switched on in the evening of the 30th November.  Don't forget to buy tickets for the grand prize draw which helps to pay for Hungerford's fantastic lights.   As always the lights are organised and overseen by Rod Demeules, a real community player and we would like to thank him for all his hard work.
Watch this space for pictures of the switch on!