In conjunction with Hertfordshire’s Year of Culture, we are asking people to describe their family – and a lucky winner will see their words literally come to life.
Over the last 50 years, family dynamics have changed a lot. Now when people talk about their family, they could be referring to their biological or adopted family, a nuclear or blended family, their friends, their community or even their fur babies! For ‘Friends and Family’ month this August, Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020’s latest competition asks residents to share what family means to them in no more than 500 words. As August is traditionally Herts Pride, entries from the LGBTQ+ community on their experiences of family will be particularly welcomed.
Entries will be considered by a panel of judges including award-winning scriptwriter and broadcaster Nicholas McInerny, who was born in Hertfordshire. The winning entry will then be turned into a short animated film that will be published on to the community archive website, Herts Memories, and become part of Hertfordshire’s local historical record.
Hilary Shade, Chair of the Hertfordshire Association of Cultural Officers, who are leading on the HYOC2020 campaign said “The importance of family, whatever that means to us as individuals, has been highlighted over the last few months as we’ve been unable to see our loved ones face to face.
“We want to hear about your experiences of family – that could be new relationships that have developed as a result of the pandemic, what it’s like to be part of your family or memories and experiences from your own past.
“We know that not all families are made up of blood relatives and are particularly keen to hear about these, to capture the reality and diversity of family experiences from across the county”.
Entries can be in the form of short stories, poems, diary entries, or any other form of creative writing and should be submitted using the form below or emailing email@example.com by 31 August.
There are no age restrictions for entrants and the competition is open to anyone living or working in Hertfordshire.
What does family mean to you? A question for Hertfordshire
Horwood House Unveils New Manor Suites In Grade-II Manor House
Once the birthplace of renowned TV gardener Percy Thrower, the historic Grade-II listed Manor House at idyllic countryside hotel Horwood House has unveiled three fully refurbished Manor Suites. The latest milestone in an extensive £6 million, 18-month redevelopment programme, the new look suites draw on the rich horticultural heritage of the 110-year-old property, which is set within 38 acres of stunning gardens and grounds.
Horwood House Histrory
Originally a farmhouse (some 300 years ago), the Manor House was upgraded in the early 1900s by Frederick Denny, and his original commission design played an integral part in the refurbishment. Lovingly restored to showcase and celebrate the building’s original features, the three master suites are all located on the Manor’s top floor. After ascending the original and fully restored feature staircase – complete with a showstopping three-tier custom made chandelier, inspired by the traditional 19th century heritage lighting found in many stately homes.
Guests will be greeted by features from the original Manor House such as reconditioned vaulted ceilings, original stonework and grand bay windows synonymous with the Jacobethan era, which were originally designed by well-known architect Detmar Blow over 100 years ago!
Changes at Horwood House
The Denny family alongside their Head Gardener, (Percy Thrower’s father) took immense pride in rebuilding the gardens to the glorious scenes present today. When designing the rooms, it was of utmost importance that the breath-taking grounds took centre stage, with views of the glorious tree-lined drive and the picturesque lily pond, (created by Percy Thrower himself) forming integral parts of each scheme. Both vistas are lit up at night to ensure views at every time of day.
Carefully decorated to ensure guests enjoy a luxurious yet comfortable stay, the suites have each been individually designed but all feature a lounge, a bathroom and a spacious bedroom with luxury king-size beds complete with Art Deco inspired headboards. Plush bay window seating – a perfect spot to enjoy an hour or two of reading – and richly textured soft furnishings are in a colour-scheme selected to complement the hotel’s horticultural setting and offer serenity to those staying – expect light greys, deep greens, subtle teals and warm terracotta hues.
The bathrooms feature eye-catching grey scallop tiles and either a walk-in rainfall shower or bath with gold accents.No amenity or detail has been overlooked, with each suite also featuring a dining table, mini fridge, air-conditioning throughout, complimentary Wi-Fi and a Nespresso coffee machine.
Throughout the suites and into the ground floor of the Manor House, guests will see artwork that explores 1911, the year in which the Manor House was built and the landmark events that mark the period, such as the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, along with the publication of “The Secret Garden” and works by the celebrated poet, D.H. Lawrence.
And that’s not all – the ground floor bar, lounge and ceremony spaces have also been refurbished and offer the perfect backdrop for an early evening drink, afternoon tea with friends or a lavish dinner party in the private Manor library room with carefully curated menus, full of the finest seasonal ingredients, from the hotel’s Executive Chef Will Dimartino.
Booking Horwood House
Looking for a historic, horticultural stay full of rural opulence? The Manor Suites are available to book now, with room rates starting from £249.50 per person (£499 per room) with breakfast included. To book, visit: https://reservations.horwoodhouse.co.uk.
Directions to Horwood House Hotel
Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project is back for 2022
Returning for the first time since 2019, this year sees the return of Wycombe Swan’s Summer Youth Project. Running since 1993, numerous participants have gone on to have successful careers both on and off stage. Join us on our next adventure! Build confidence, develop skills, have fun, and make long-lasting friendships.
About Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project (SYP)
Over the two-week project, Wycombe Swan comes alive to the sights and sounds of 150 young people doing everything they can to put on a full-scale musical in time for curtain up!
Participants have the option of taking to the stage as a performer, or to make magic happen as part of the Technical Team.
All performances take place on our main stage in the 1,000 seated Wycombe Swan Theatre.
Only those wishing to have a principal/speaking role or be a dance captain need to audition.
Big Fish The Show
This year, the show is BIG FISH. Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton.
AUDITIONS (FOR THOSE WISHING TO HAVE A SPEAKING ROLE): Sunday 22 May
DATES: Mon 15 to Sunday 28 August
AGES: 9-21 (performers). 14-21 (technical team)
It is our wish that no young person misses out due to financial constraints. For this reason, we offer bursaries of up to 100% so that anybody can take part.
TO APPLY, AND FOR MORE INFO: Visit https://wycombeswan.co.uk/Online/summerproject
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday 13 May
The Chequers in Woolmer Green reopens after refurbishment
Wells & Co’s Hertfordshire based pub, The Chequers, is opening its doors after an extensive refurbishment. Completed works include an entirely refreshed bar and dining area, redecorated throughout to create a modern and chic look and feel to the pub located in the civil parish village of Woolmer Green. The cosy interior boasts an intimate lounge area, large dining area and an extensive garden makeover inclusive of heated spaces and high table fire pits, perfect for those late-Summer evenings.
Upstairs has been reconfigured to make room for four en-suite bedrooms for guests to book, as well as a private dining room holding up to 20 people. The new dining room is perfect for all event needs, whether its a private party, private function or even to host a work meeting.
The updated food menu features seasonal and fresh dishes inclusive of much loved pub classics like fish and chips or the ever popular 21-day aged beef burger, where the team will also be donating 25p of every burger sold to local primary school St Michael’s. Aloingside the classics the full dining menu at The Chequers includes more indulgent dishes such as cajun sweet potato, okra, and black-eyed pea gumbo, wild porcini mushroom, truffle and ricotta filled mezzaluna pasta and new daily specials.
There is also a great new range of drinks behind the bar including a range of tasty Brewpoint beers brewed just down the road in Bedford, as well as a full wine and spirits list for guests to enjoy.
Greg Knox, General Manager for the Wells & Co. site said, “The Chequers has, quite simply put, been a transformational refurbishment. The pub is ready, our food is prepped, drinks will be flowing, and our team are on hand to welcome the people of Woolmer Green and beyond, back to their much-loved pub. I can’t wait to personally welcome everyone back.”
To book a room or table at The Chequers visit the website here: https://chequerswoolmergreen.co.uk/