Tuesday, 31 December 2013


Love from Morag


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

BFP to set up Bullying Helpline

Following a spate of unpleasant incidents in their online newspaper, the BFP is to set up a Bullying Helpline.  Comments are not actively moderated on the local newspaper, which means that some unpleasant individuals are free to abuse whoever has caught their eye on the days that they got out of the wrong side of bed.  As many of these characters are not very bright and unable to learn from their mistakes, this can often be as many as seven days a week.  They fall into two categories: those that like to be offensive about certain sections of the community and those that prefer to pick on individuals for a more targeted approach.

The Editor says: “We have to rely on the good sense of the public, and we respond to any complaints we receive.”

 “We react to reader complaints – and we then base our decisions on our T&Cs.”

“There is a clear line of abuse that shouldn’t be crossed. I bet all of you who post on here know exactly where that line is”.

“There’s no problem with honestly criticising someone or something; but there is an issue when it descends to vicious name-calling, open abuse and defamation.”

Unfortunately, it rapidly became clear that approach wasn’t working. As no-one could agree what was “vicious”, “abuse” or how to define “defamation”, the comments section descended into unseemly squabbling and outright lies in an attempt to shout the loudest. After several lengthy dissertations it became clear that the Editor had in fact left the building and couldn’t even be found in his usual spot on Twitter telling awful jokes and discussing sport.

It became clear that one group of posters were more fortunate than others. Those who were insensitive to other peoples’ feelings are less likely to suffer as they have no idea of the harm they are causing and have an unwavering conviction that they are in the right.

In an attempt to salvage the situation, the Editor contacted his staff from his remote hideaway location. Student journalists on work placements during their summer breaks have been instructed to set up the Bullying Helpline. Anyone who feels they have been abused or bullied, or know someone that they think has, can now ring the Bucks Free Press offices and talk to an untrained counsellor.

A spokesman says “It’s a win win situation”. Anyone with an axe to grind can still comment online without fear of censure. This will upset a lot of people and create a lot of online traffic for us and believe me, local newspapers are struggling to stay afloat at the moment. This sort of controversy is very good for us and it keeps the advertisers very happy. Meanwhile, anyone who is upset and needs to complain can rest assured that we are listening. Well, the unpaid staff will be listening. It is an excellent opportunity for them and gives them insight into the moral dilemma created by giving everyone freedom of speech. Meanwhile, our journalists are free to get on with the job in hand. Whatever that is.”

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Editor's Throne


Dear Steve,

I have read and re-read this article several times and I still don’t understand what you are trying to say. As far as I can understand, you are saying that because we know who you are and we “know” your remarks are genuine, then that is Ok because you can defend those comments if called to do so.

Equally, you claim that “we” know who Ivor is, that he is genuine and thus accountable. No, “we” do not know who Ivor is and he goes to great lengths to hide his true identity. Nor do I understand how he is accountable, because as far as I can tell you always respond to any complaints about him with the stock answer “I love freedom of speech”.

However, you then go on to complain about “other faceless contributors” that would never want anyone “including me” to know their identity. Whereas I do agree with you about mad obsessed trolls (See Bucks Freedom Press Blogs “the BFP Zoo” and “Rehab for Keyboard Warriors”), I don’t agree that it is just because they can remain anonymous i.e. they don’t publish their real name. We all know of one particular “contributor” to the Bucks Free Press who has used his real name in the past, but loves to ridicule nearly everyone who crosses his path. Especially women.

It is also because there is no physical contact with the person they are insulting. They never expect to meet them and would probably run a mile if that situation arose. That person who continually insults me if I dare to comment on the Bucks Free Press is so far off the mark it can be quite funny. I am 90% certain he would not speak like that to my face.

The Bucks Free Press asks “Please be fair, courteous and respectful to the views of others so we can build a vibrant community in a safe online environment. You are personal (sic) liable for your comments and action will be taken against anyone who offends, ridicules or posts malicious and damaging views.”

However, as the Editor is so strongly in favour of freedom of speech, this isn’t actually true. Action will only be taken if he considers comments to be obscene or there is a danger of the Bucks Free Press being sued.

So, to get back to what I think was your point. It is fine for you or Ivor to publish your forthright views because you are “accountable”. None of us like ‘trolls’ who think it is their democratic right to be viciously rude to anyone they want. However, you love freedom of speech so you won’t do anything to stop them. You hate getting anonymous letters that you can’t reply to because you always like to respond even though you rarely believe a complaint is justified.


Sunday, 22 July 2012

News 19th July 2012

NEWS     + Send us your news, pictures and videos so we don't have to bother to leave the office  

For more details of our headline story go to:

Old Library Building to become Homeless Shelter

Old Library Building

In an innovative new scheme, Wycombe District Council is planning to offer homeless people employment making sandwiches for important council meetings. The work will be unpaid but councillors have pledged to open up the old library building as a homeless shelter in reward for their efforts.

The Council has spent nearly £30,000 over three years on sandwiches, snacks and drinks.  All the money saved from the "Refreshments" budget will be ploughed into maintaining the building just across the road from their offices. However, they have agreed to forgo the usual red tape and a spokesman for WDC said "Never mind Health & Safety, Rules & Regulations. What is important is that these poor, unfortunate people have a roof over their heads. Who wants to be outside in this terrible weather? We must get everyone inside and out of the rain".

The old library building has been standing empty for some time now, although the gardens are well maintained. It is hoped that local supermarkets and restaurants will donate food to feed the homeless and the councillors. Local businesses are being approached to donate surplus furniture. 

Homelessness is especially bad at this time due to unemployment, a shortage of housing and changes to the benefits system.

The Wycombe Homeless Connection runs a Winter Night Shelter between November and March, rotating between seven churches in the centre of Wycombe. However, there is no permanent year round Shelter at present.  The WHC organises drop-in sessions all year, with the help of over 250 volunteers. If you would like to help, go to http://www.wyhoc.org.uk/volunteer/opportunities for further details. Numbers referred to Wycombe Winter Night Shelter and individuals attending the drop-in sessions have both reached an all-time high.

The charity also welcomes donations, including clothing, food, bedding and household items. Check the list here http://www.wyhoc.org.uk/donations/kind to see if you can assist in any way.

What do YOU think about this plan? Do you have a better idea? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

 Councils work together to remove facilities

Wycombe District Council Offices

Following complaints about noise and anti-social behaviour, Chepping Wycombe Parish Council has taken the decision to remove skate ramps from the Recreation Ground at Flackwell Heath. Wycombe District Council played a big part in this success by undertaking a noise survey at the site. Encouraged by the positive impact of the survey results, WDC are identifying other areas where they can assist with the withdrawal of facilities.  They already have an impressive track record in this field but hope to improve upon it. It plans to focus on facilities which have been funded by members of the local community. 

What do YOU think?  Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Wycombe Shaft

X marks the spot in Frogmoor where
 the Shaft will be erected,
giving magnificent aerial views
of the town
Further to the article published in the Bucks Freedom Press on 17th May, a sizeable anonymous donation has been made towards the erection of a monument dedicated to our very own local hero, Ivor Bigun. The original plan, to create a statue of the blogger from recycled rubbish, has now been extended to include a viewing tower inspired by the London Shard. At £12 per adult ticket, the View from the Shaft attraction will take in all the highlights of High Wycombe, including the Shopping Complex, the Bus Station, Desborough Avenue, the Churchyard and the High Street.

There will be a takeaway outlet in the foyer serving proper English food.

The statue itself will feature Mr Bigun reclining on  a bench next to a water feature. 

When contacted for his opinion, Clive the Pigeon said, "This is just what the town needs. People will come from miles around for the new Wycombe experience. We should all be grateful to Ivor for making our lives better. I will ask my mate @PigeonJon to Tweet
about it.

Will you be visiting the Wycombe Shaft? Do you think Ivor is deserving of his memorial? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. 

Summer Holiday Fun 


 If you are looking for somewhere to take the kids this summer, why not pop along to Odds Farm Park at Wooburn Common? Come along to their special "Build an Ark" sessions and learn new skills including carpentry and animal husbandry. Set your little ones up for life in these uncertain days of Climate Change! Adults welcome to join in the fun.

The Farm Park is also looking for a Timber Merchant  to sponsor the project so do get in touch if you think your company can help.

Do YOU think an Ark will be the answer to our problems? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Editor's Opinion

On arriving back in soggy Buckinghamshire from my holidays, I discovered that banners had appeared all over the county, inviting me to "Join in our year of celebration". I must say that it is jolly nice of Bucks County Council to invite me to party with them but I am a bit bemused as to why, how and where? Does anyone know?

The powers that be obviously don't watch the Apprentice, or they would know that nice Sir Alan Sugar always insists his candidates don't get carried away with their marketing tasks and remember to make it clear exactly what it is they are promoting.

The banners arrived after the Jubilee so it can't be that. The Olympics? The main event is in London of course, but maybe it is referring to the Paralympics events at Stoke Mandeville? Could be. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a little more information....

Just what are the banners supposed to achieve? Most importantly, how much did it all cost? I am all for a nice bit of bunting to cheer us all up but not so keen on our money being spent on enigmatic banners which rather make me feel that I am missing out at some giant party to which I have not been officially invited. Not that I would probably go but it would be good to have a proper invitation in the first place.

Monday, 18 June 2012

A - Z Walks in Bucks - C

C is for Cadmore End

On reaching Cadmore End School, via the B482 from Lane End, turn left into the lane leading to the church. Off road parking has been made available along here.
The walk starts from the St. Mary le Moor Church,
Cadmore End 
OS map ref SU784925

Chiltern Society Footpath Map No. 11

Length of full walk: 6.75 miles
Time required:  3.5 to 4 hours
Shorter version: 4.75 miles   

St Mary Le Moor Church, Cadmore End


The Chequers, Fingest

Why not try my recipe
for Chicken & Ham
Picnic Pie
(see separate post)
Bull and Butcher, Turville


Picnic Spot with beautiful views next to Churchfield Wood

A. Go past the church and turn right onto the bridleway. Follow it downhill to Hanger Wood. Continue left on the bridleway through the wood, ignoring a footpath forking off to the right. It soon deepens into a sunken track along the edge of the wood, and you can catch glimpses through the trees of lovely views across the farmland on your left.

There are some very distinct bank and ditches on this route, which are rumoured to be the boundary of a park laid out for the bishop Henry Burghersh in 1341. Unfortunately this took away most of the common land used by villagers and caused tremendous hardship. Go to http://www.strangebritain.co.uk/folklore/fingest.html to read more about the Green Man of Fingest and the ghost of the 14th century bishop.

B. When you draw level with Hanger Farm a footpath joins the bridleway, but carry on down until the track leaves the wood.  Where the track bends left approaching the road, turn right over a stile in the hedge to enter a field.

Follow the left hand hedge to another stile and continue along a narrow fenced path, crossing another stile and eventually reaching the lane at Fingest. 

Look out for wild flowers in the hedgerows and beneath your feet.


Dog Rose




C. Turn left to the Chequers pub, passing St Bartholomew’s church on your right.

St. Bartholomew's Church, Fingest

The huge western Norman tower was built early in the 12th century and has unusual twin gables - it is believed that only one other similar construction exists in the country. It is a Grade 1 listed building, which means the church is of exceptional interest.  http://www.hambleden-valley-churches.org.uk/FINhistory.htm

Turn right along the road, passing the bus stops, then take a right hand footpath (the Chiltern Way)  next to the 30mph road sign. This path can be muddy and overgrown with nettles so take care.  Look out for Periwinkle growing beneath the wall. 

Vinca major var. oxyloba
  Greater Periwinkle

Chiltern Way

Follow the path all the way to another road, ignoring a right hand fork on entering a wood.

Cross the road and continue on the Chiltern Way to Turville, going through two kissing gates en route and turning left to the road when you meet the path leading up to Cobstone Mill.

Cobstone Mill


Cobstone Mill is a smock mill (so called because it looks like a farm worker's smock) which was in use until 1873. It fell into disrepair until 1967 when it was cosmetically restored for the filming of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In 1971 it was bought by actress Hayley Mills, who lived there with her husband Ray Boulting.
They carried out extensive renovations. 



 The Windmill was interesting but I was far more captivated by the pole dancing !

D. The Bull and Butcher is now on your left. Turn right up the road to the Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
St. Mary the Virgin church,
 This was re-named St. Barnabas Church when the exterior was used for the Vicar of Dibley. Turville is a popular location for filming. In recent years it was used for outside scenes of Goodnight Mr Tom, Bride and Prejudice, Little Britain, Midsomer Murders, Lewis, Marple, Jonathon Creek and The Day of the Triffids.

Distant view of Cobstone Mill
 from the churchyard

The Old Vicarage

E.  Pass the Old Vicarage on your left and look out for the a public footpath on your right. If you do not want to do the full walk it is possible to take a short cut back to Ibstone (G) from here.

If continuing with the longer walk, carry on for approx. 150 yards until you reach a bridleway on your left in some woodland.

Follow the bridleway uphill  to a wood. Go forward over a stile into Churchfield Wood and take the right hand path. Follow this for ½ mile until you reach a crossing track. Turn right and at the bottom of the dip you reach a three way junction. Take the middle footpath (waymarked). This turns into a broad woodland track high up on the steep hillside. 


You eventually come to a waymark and sign for Idlecombe Wood. Turn left here.  Look out for wildlife - we saw a herd of fallow deer several times in this area. Spectacular views now open up across the valley.

Fallow Deer

After approx ¾ mile, where the path narrows, look out for wooden steps on your right. Just before here we spotted orchids on the grassy bank. Descend the steps and continue down to the road.

Common Spotted Orchid

 F.  Cross to the entrance of the Wormsley Estate and turn right into the wood, following a path between two boulders.   After 150 yards take the right fork and after 100 feet take the left fork. These paths are both waymarked I4.

On leaving the wood via a kissing gate, follow the right hand fence uphill. Here we saw lots of Red Kites. These birds were once extinct in England, but were first re-introduced in 1989 by Sir Paul Getty at Wormsley Park, where he lived from 1986 until his death in 2003.

Red Kite
We also encountered some more "wildlife" here!
 Jolly friendly they were too! 

Pass through another kissing gate, continuing up through a field and then alongside a wood until you reach a stile on your right. Cross this to enter the wood. Climb steeply and pass St. Nicholas Church on your right.

There has been a parish church at Ibstone for over a thousand years – at least as long as the great yew tree, 19 feet round, at its north west corner.  It is probable that there was a church here even in Saxon times (c. 800), although the present building is mainly Norman (c. 1200).  http://www.sppchurch.ik.org/p_Ibstone_Church.ikml 

Walk through mixed woodland until you arrive at a waymarked tree. Take the right fork leading to a stile. Enter the field and go straight ahead to another stile by the road. There are now lovely views across the Stokenchurch valley. Cross over the road leading to the church and turn right at the road signposted Fingest and Turville. The short cut comes in through the trees on the right and rejoins the main walk here.

G.  Walk past the walled boundary of Ibstone House and turn left onto the bridleway at the end of the panelled fence

Ibstone House is the former home of Dame Rebecca West. If you fancy buying it, Sun City tycoon Sol Kerzner is now selling it for a mere £15,000,000 http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-   23068668.html/svr/1711;jsessionid=B2A70553F9D04FB590A89F40D92B0858  

Go downhill  to the valley bottom and then turn right. After 100 yards turn left onto the path marked LE46.  Look out for wild flowers at the side of the track.

Ox-Eye Daisies

Bladder Campion

Follow the track up to a pair of field gates on the right. Immediately after there is a well hidden stile in the right hand hedge. Cross over and go half right across the field to a stile by a road.  

We came across this adorable
 little chap with his Mum and Dad


Pale Lemon Iris growing in Pond

H.  Cross the road to the bridleway opposite. Follow it uphill through a wood and then to follow a right hand hedge. Ignore a path off to the left. Near the end of the track follow a waymarked path through some trees which passes a hidden pond.

You emerge onto the lane which leads you back to the church and your starting point.