Right then, it’s 6 weeks to go until the start of the Teddington 800 and I have at least two massive pieces of news about it this month, (plus something that will definitely make you laugh).
The first big thing is, that to kick everything off, at 6.30pm on Sunday the 11th June, the current Dean of Westminister Abbey is going to visit us to launch our six-month long 800th anniversary festival. Now, just in case it’s not obvious, in 1217 it was his predecessor, the Abbot of Westminster, who first presented a priest to look after the small village of Teddington, thereby creating a new parish – a community with a church at the heart of it, our wonderful community – the one we’re celebrating. So whether you might normally come to St Mary with St Alban (and for those of you that don’t, it’s the sweet looking church by the traffic lights on the way to The Anglers), or whether you perhaps feel more a sense of tradition or civic pride, do come and meet him (oh and the Mayor) and enjoy what he has to tell us about how our little, now not so little, place was formed way back when.
The second thing I can tell you (with some relief), is that our festival and September history exhibit in particular, has been recognised by the Heritage Lottery Fund as deserving of a small ‘Sharing Heritage’ grant. This together with two more helpful new sponsors this month – The Coop and Quantum Group, means that we can just about cover the costs (though actually not quite yet, so if your business feels like being generous, do, do please let me know)!
You’re probably wondering now what the funny thing is, well, have you seen The Teddington Charity Pram Race before? It takes place on the day of the Teddington Fair (1pm Sun 25th June) and teams dress up in silly costumes and race even sillier modes of transport from The Masons Arms to the Village Fair, raising money for charity and having fun all the way. I can already announce to you the 2017 winners, as the Tedd 800 committee will be entering a team, we’re in serious training and we’re going to be like lighting! I’ve been through the fancy dress box and dusted off an 800 year old medieval dress, the Vicar has started brewing some ‘Teddington 800’ home brew (which may taste like it’s 800 years old, but I am reliably informed will do you no definite harm) and we’ll be pushing our old St Mary’s funeral cart – called a ‘bier’ all around town and handing out samples. So our team will be called ‘Beer on a Bier’ and when I say we’ll be pushing it, I clearly mean I’ll be sitting on it – medieval dresses are not built for speed…
To donate to The Pram Race and local charities including ours please go to:
The other thing that’s been happening is that The Town Sports Day on Sunday the 9th July has been really shaping up. It’ll be held on the pitches in Bushy, thanks to TCC, TTCC and Antlers (not forgetting TAFC and Royal Parks) and as well as the usual egg and spoon races and tug of war for everyone, local sports clubs are invited to field teams in an inter-club competition cup and also hold ‘have a go’ demonstrations, so you can either come and find a new passion, dust off an old one or help your children to discover theirs. Now you just have to wander along to that don’t you!
I think might be enough big news for now, so I’ll  just remind you once more that Teddington 800 is just about to start and it’s going to be a great! Thanks to a lot of local generosity and commitment, we’re going to have around 25 events touching upon all the heritage, interests and heart of this town, which just shows just how much more we can achieve together than separately and just how much fun we can create when we collaborate.
To give you a taster, here is what’s coming up in June and July and a little look further ahead.
10/11th – Teddington in Flower, open gardens, churchyard teas (lots of cake) and flower festival themed as ‘Visions of Teddington’
1-17th – ‘From Every Seed’ art exhibit at the Landmark Arts Centre
22nd Historical ‘Murder Mystery’ at the library.
25th Teddington Fair  – come and join us in medieval costume for ‘A Womens Day in 1217’ or view the NPL timeline of Science.
Also 25th – Pram Race including an 800 team entry ‘Beer on a Bier’ – taste our 800 home brewed ale if you dare!
9th – Join us at the TCC, TTCC and TRFC grounds in Bushy for the 800 Town Sports Day and Inter Club Challenge.
19th – Come and watch a Teddington XI take on a Bishops XI cricket team.
Following that, in August we’ll have children’s activities, September a significant history and art exhibit, a quiz and even a ball, in October we’ll get serious with a science and religion lecture plus a poetry day and in November a play, plus much more like a River blessing, a totally locally event, I could go on…

Look out for flyers and brochures at the beginning of June.

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