Bisham Life
The online newsletter for Bisham Parish for January and February 2021
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School Updates
You may have seen the builders; read inside to find out what they have been doing, and more updates from the school.
Parish Council News
Be on the lookout — for thieves as well as online Parish Council meetings!
Ozymandias
Do you recognise Ozymandias because of Shelly’s poem or because of Breaking Bad ?
Also in this issue
The Vicar Writes
In My Minds Eye — Memories of Bisham School in WWII
Puzzle Time
The Vicar Writes
Dear All, Happy New Year! Well, I hope it will be. I ended my 2019 Christmas letter by saying I was looking forward to 2020 being a better year than the one we had had as a family in 2019- that proved to be “famous last words”, as they say. 2020 for all of us, and some more than others, turned out to be a very difficult year, and ended with a heart-breaking Christmas being separated from family and friends.
So I wonder how you feel about 2021? Are you looking forward to the new year, and hopeful that with progress on vaccines etc. we will be able to do again those things we have missed in 2020? Or are you feeling concerned that the pandemic will continue and life will still be very disrupted? Probably most of us feel a bit of both.
Do you see the new year as a time to set yourself some goals to achieve to make the most of the opportunities that hopefully will open up? To make best use of the life you have? Or are you feeling so battered and bruised by 2020 that just having made it through is an achievement in itself and you need some time to recover and to be gentle with yourself?
It seems to me that a bit of both these responses might be healthy. Perhaps one of the things 2020 has taught us is to appreciate the people in our lives and the things we are able to do and life itself. To be intentional about what we do in 2021 rather than just let it drift past might be a good idea.  For example, I am trying to see ways of celebrating and enjoying life and relationships and taking chances to be a bit adventurous. But having goals doesn’t mean putting ourselves under pressure to achieve a whole list of objectives that is stressful and puts us under pressure. It needs to be positive and life enhancing.
Because it is also true that just simply surviving 2020 and keeping going has been an achievement. We have all coped with so much and it has left many feeling exhausted and wounded. Plus we are not through it yet, there are still challenges ahead in 2021. So we need to acknowledge that, give ourselves time to rest and recuperate, to build up our reserves. One of our goals might be to make time for the activities and relationships in our lives that are healing and therapeutic.
I have also through 2020 reflected on what a healthy a pattern of work and rest might be and want to hold on to some of the routines that I’ve established in lockdown, such as going for a short walk round the block at the end of a morning in front of the computer which helps to give me some mental and physical space.
What might be your goals for 2021?
How can you give yourself the opportunity to recover from 2020 and keep going?
I pray we will see a better year in 2021 and for all of you that you know God’s healing and equipping through his Holy Spirit. I am always willing to talk with folk and reflect on what has come out of 2020 for you so do get in touch if I can help.
God bless and take care,
Sarah
Historic Year at Bisham C of E Academy
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2020 has been a historic and busy year at Bisham C of E Academy. In addition to navigating the maze of COVID rules and regulations needed to keep the children safe, we have invested a significant amount of money in improving the school.
Over the summer we had three new learning spaces created and also replaced the dated toilet blocks. We have converted the downstairs of the Headmaster’s house into a fantastic Foundation classroom and adapted the garden into their outdoor area. The children love the space both inside and out. We were also successful in our bid for additional capital expenditure to replace the leaking roof and this project is now well under way.
Whilst there was significant building work taking place, we took the opportunity to update the Wi-fi connectivity in the school and also replaced our laptops and ipads so that the children can make the most of modern technology in their learning.
The children returned in September really keen to learn and excited to see their friends again. The staff worked hard to provide online learning during lockdown but were also delighted to have the children back in school for face-to-face learning.
Our topic across the whole school this term was disasters, including floods, earthquakes and volcanoes. We were disappointed not to be able to take the children to visit the Natural History Museum as part of the topic but created the awe and wonder through a Virtual Reality experience. Using the VR headsets the children were able to experience what they might see when visiting a volcano including what they would see from the inside!
As we have moved to the end of term, we have tried to maintain as many of the traditional activities as possible for the children. The Foundation children have performed a wonderful nativity, this year without the support of Key Stage 1 as we could not mix the bubbles that we have kept the children in. Whilst we were not able to invite the parents into school to watch, we have provided a secure link for parents to watch the video.  This technology has also allowed us to make the Christingle and Christmas services available so that children still have the opportunity to perform for their parents.
I am delighted with the resilience that the children have shown since September and the great progress that they have made since their extended break from school, which is a result of the support that they have received both from their parents at home, and the fantastic staff team at Bisham.
We hope you all had a happy and healthy Christmas and we wish you a safe 2021
Laura Morell
In My Minds Eye — Memories of Bisham School in WWII
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When war was declared on 2nd Sept 1939, I was 9 years of age, and had been a pupil at Bisham School from the age of 5. Our teachers were Miss Keeley for Infants, Miss Wise for Intermediate and Mr and Mrs Jones for the top class; Mr Jones being the headmaster.  
Early bombing of London was anticipated, and within days of the outbreak of war, thousands of children were evacuated from the city into the country for safety.  Bisham and the surrounding area received a considerable number to accommodate so the school expanded with a large influx of new pupils that it was ill equipped to cope with.  Two teachers accompanied the children from London, they were Mr and Mrs Carrington who lodged in the school house with Mr and Mrs Jones. This eased the situation.  However as an emergency measure, it was decided to utilise the Bisham Village Institute as temporary classroom cover, with the local children and evacuees sharing the venues alternately.  Not an ideal arrangement but in the interests of all children, who were kept in education.  The emergency arrangements were not long lasting however, as when the anticipated bombing raids did not occur immediately, many children returned to their homes.
Subsequent to the Dunkirk rescue of thousands of our troops in 1940, almost overnight, the area surrounding Bisham became one very large army camp. Quarry Wood, Temple Wood, Temple Park and all the fields were full of tents and army vehicles.  It was very exciting for us children but no doubt an anxious time for our teachers and parents.  Our teachers kept everything as normal as possible and apart from being reminded to carry our gas masks at all times, routines were maintained
Changes in school life were gradual but affected us all in different ways; fathers, brothers, sisters and other relatives left the village to join the services. At the end of the war many of them married elsewhere and never returned.
During the war years many ex-pupils visited the school to talk to us about their experiences.  These visits were a source of much excitement. One I remember was a submariner who had been awarded a bravery medal.  Photos of all these heroes were displayed on the classroom wall.  Mrs Jones was a skilled needlewoman and our sewing lessons soon included ‘make and mend’, we were taught how to make a replacement shirt collar out of the tail. We also made pinafores, baby and toddler items as well as cutting and darning. The boys did gardening on the patch of land outside the school.
Helping the war effort became the order of the day and the school was used as a collection point for the children’s recycling. We collected paper, anything metal and conkers. One year, after a particularly heavy yield of conkers, I can remember many sacks piled high along the schoolroom wall. I am sure that to satisfy us we were told they were used in the manufacture of explosives.  We also collected rosehips for baby rosehip syrup.
I left Bisham School at 14, as we all did then, and went to work in Maidenhead at Biggs the jeweller. I used to cycle to Bisham (from Temple) and leave my bike at Mr Shaw’s and get the bus from the Bull to Maidenhead.
Margery Beaton nee Lambourne
Parish Council Updates
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The saga of the uncollected dustbins continues .....  although collection in some areas of the Borough has at last improved there are other areas, which has included Bisham Village, where a collection has not been made or where the collection day seems to have been delayed.  If this is still a problem where you live, do please inform our Clerk at clerk@bishamparishcouncil.org.uk  or telephone 7751 141223 , and we will contact the Borough council.
Work on clearing and improving Bisham Brook is progressing well ... there have now been two more work days and the improved flow of the stream can already been seen.  Thanks are due to all the people who are working so hard.  Although the current restrictions may mean that further work is delayed for a while, the project will continue to move forward as quickly as possible. Don’t forget that you can join the work party if you would like to do so and you can contact our Clerk for information about this.
The parish council is aware that the gate into The Orchard on the Marlow Road has a post that needs to be replaced and this will be done as soon as possible, so that the gate can be properly opened and closed again.  If you notice any other situations like this around the parish, do please report it to our Clerk.  We often get very helpful information from residents that we might well not have known about without  their contact. The Orchard and the Playground remain open.
Lately there have been a  lot of local burglaries now that the evenings are earlier and darker. Do remember to lock all your outside doors before it gets dark and also lock doors if you are working in your garden.  It only takes an opportunist thief a few moments to enter your home and pick up your bags or valuables.  Also be careful to lock cars during the day or night, even when they are parked on your own land. Many cars nowadays have side mirrors that automatically turn inwards when the car is parked and locked; thieves know this and they will walk down a street looking for cars where the mirrors are not turned in, so they know they have a good chance of being able to get into that car, and in some cases they may even be able to steal the car itself.  Also do not leave coins in a pot in the pocket between the front seats - a thief will break a window just to get your loose change, and those windows cost a surprisingly large amount of money to replace.
Don’t forget that you can join in with a parish council meeting virtually, via Zoom.  If you go to our website, which is bishamparishcouncil.org.uk , and look at the side panel on the Home page, there is a link to our agendas.  The agenda each month has the Zoom link to enable you to join the meeting.
We hope that by the time you read this you will have enjoyed a pleasant Christmas, albeit a rather quiet one and that you will keep well and stay safe;  the Members of the parish council all wish you a very happy New Year.
Mandy Robson Brown
Tea Time Puzzles
Epiphany
The Christmas story carries on into the New Year, with Epiphany and the arrival of the Wise Men on camels, led by the Star in the East. Through the eyes of faith, they saw Messiah in that small baby (Jesus), and worshipped him, giving gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh that foresaw his life and work. New Year is also a time of new beginnings for us – resolutions about diets, running or going to the gym, and paying the bills and doing better at work/study...  Happy New Year!
Can you find 18 words from the above paragraph in the word puzzle?  There is a bous word, if you can find it, that is the name of the person who directed the wise men towards Bethlehem.
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Sodoku — Easy
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Sodoku — Medium
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January Reflections — Pillars and Pedestals
Did you know that this year (2021) is the 200th anniversary of the arrival in Britain of a fragment of Ramesses II’s statue, obtained for the British Museum, from his mortuary temple at Thebes?  Its impending arrival inspired Shelley to write “Ozymandias”. (is there anyone who does not know that Shelley’s wife, Mary, finished writing Frankenstein in West Street, Marlow).
What does “Ozymandias” mean to you?
Are you a poetry scholar who could write a book on the subject, or, perhaps a fan of the TV series “Breaking Bad”, where the 14th episode of the 5th series bears the same name and is the only episode to score a perfect 10.0 on IMDB?
For me, it takes me back to English lessons in secondary school.  I had to learn the poem ‘off by heart’ and be able to speak volumes on the ‘deeper meaning’ of the poem, as it was likely to be examined on (it was!).  The three lines: “And on the pedestal these words appear; ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings; Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’” talk to me of the futility of boasting, as such words and deeds will, in the end, return to dust and be forgotten.
In hindsight, quite apt that when I received a query regarding the final resting place of someone famous, who died less than 20 years ago, I could find no record of Lance Macklin.  No mention in the churchyard’s monumental catalogue, created over several years by the late, and much-missed Patricia Burstall, BEM.  Following some Holmesian detective work on the internet and thanks to Peter Kenyon at Arnold’s, I matched an entry in the register with deciphered words on the internet-identified (findagrave.com) memorial. Lance’s ashes are buried in his uncle’s grave. After more checking, I realised that Lance’s father is also buried in the same grave.  The Ozymandian fate postponed a little longer!
Statues are not the only things put on pedestals: sometimes you find saints on them!
The 5th of January is St Simeon Stylites’ day. He was weird! Dismissed from his first monastery for being crazy, he went onto another and promptly fainted at the end of his first Lenten fast. His bizarre behaviour escalated over many years: from chains to ever higher pillars, because people kept visiting the crazy monk.  St Simeon Stylites spent the last twenty years of his life at the top of a sixty-foot column.  People still came to see him and tried to catch the ‘sacred’ lice that fell off his body. They enjoyed his twice daily exhortations to everyone below.
Whilst it may be OK to visit crazies on high posts, it can be a bad idea to put people on pedestals.  When you put someone on a pedestal, it is all-too-easy to catch the dreaded comparisonitis.  Instead, when you identify someone you admire, be inspired by them for their beliefs or behaviour, rather than idolise them.  
Stewart F-C, Editor and Church Warden
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