By Ralph Warburton - 25th August 2005 11:31am
Over the past ten years or so the activity in and around the village has accelerated considerably — and this from an already active base.
From a fairly quiet base of the Barn Dances etc, there has been an explosion of input by a very small group of keen volunteers.
From the year 2000, we had the Millennium Celebrations — an organised series of events encompassing many of the groups active here in the area in presenting a range of varied happenings to mark the arrival of the year 2000AD. The most physical of these is the Mill Wheel in the Square marking the spot where we planted the Millennium capsule for future generations.
A Millennium Bonfire Night gave rise to the thought of presenting more happenings for the benefit and entertainment of the residents of the whole district — and the idea of a Proms Concert here was born. After trying unsuccessfully to get the BBC to relay the Proms in Hyde Park to our Playing field, we determined to set up our own event. This has grown in reputation and has become one of the major highlights in South Cheshire.
At the same time the Festival of Transport was born and presented as the Millennium Festival. This has grown and now is a fixed date for many wonderful classic cars and vehicles — having established itself as a high quality event with very professional organisation.
Bonfire Night and the Firework Spectacular is also now a regular date attracting thousands to a very safe and controlled night with Fun Fair etc.
Alongside this activity, the long established ADAS committee — set up in 1969 with the prime aim of making the District a wonderful place in which to live and to visit — has become far more active and has in recent years established an annual Open Garden Weekend.
This is now extremely popular and attracts many to visit the area. The willingness of residents to open their gardens to the public is a prime example of the strong community sense we have — and by so doing they help us raise much needed funds, enabling ADAS to do more for the district.
A Scarecrow event and a Silent Auction now run alongside the Open Garden Event and these are very popular with those who attend and take part. Plus there is a massive effort in making extra floral displays and a wonderful Christmas display for the village.
The School children are brought into the events by being part of the Annual Painting for the May Festival and in growing a plant each year in a competition.
The Christmas Carol Service around the best Big Tree in South Cheshire is a lovely occasion for families and is now a long established happening.
Since 2000AD we now have a final Firework display to mark the arrival of the New Year at Midnight in the Square and the sight of some 500 folks gathered there to wish all a Happy New Year is remarkable and heart warming.
This year was exceptional in that a committee was set up to coordinate the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of Victory in Europe and the Far East and the wondrous displays in the Halls by all groups involved was again a prime example of the tremendous community spirit we have here.
The culmination of the two weeks, with the lovely Sunday remembering all those locals who gave their lives for us, was very moving and beautifully presented with authentic uniforms and then the Open Air Joint Churches Service marked a fitting end to the timetable we had set.
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Tuesday 25th Feb
Monday 24th Feb
Methodist Meeting Rooms
Audlem Methodist Church
Scout & Guide Hall