News from the villages: Dinton

The roundup of Dinton news includes a memory of Shirley Wallace and a look back to the Queen’s Golden Jubilee

SHIRLEY WALLACE, who was born in Grapevine Cottage, Dinton, and lived in Dinton all her life, died on Monday, June 27, and her funeral took place at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Dinton, on July 8.

She was buried in Dinton Churchyard. Shirley, whose middle name was Freda, and her husband, Fred, who still lives at their home in New Road, first got together in 1956. Their four children are all living locally in Aylesbury or Haddenham, and are working in the building trade in villages nearby or in a canteen at Upper Heyford.

Fortunately Fred is surrounded by his very good neighbours on either side of him in New Road and in other parts of the village.

Shirley was often seen about the village, usually carrying a basket, and she is much missed by not only by Fred and their now-grown up sons and daughter, but by other members of her family and friends locally.

Fred used to be a driver who was often seen around here at the wheel of a car transporter which sometimes used to be parked overnight on the corner by the Parish Field.

He has worked and helped out on many farms in the parish, including more recently, Starveall Farm, where every Christmas for the last few years he has helped farmer, Pat Lambert, producing Starveall turkeys and distributing them far and wide, but mainly to local customers.

I am grateful to Fred for talking to me for so long on the telephone one evening recently, to his friends, the Selwyn-Willams family, at Kinsale Farm, and to his neighbour, Mary Goddard, for telling me about Shirley and the rest of their family.

Mary has had her brother and his wife who live in Perth in Australia, staying with her, and has given me lots of news about other members of the Wallace family, all of whom have had long associations with Dinton, and their many friends. Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time. More about the former Good Neighbours and the late-lamented W.I. in future columns.

TEN YEARS AGO this week, many things were happening in Dinton. The then chairman of Chearsley Parish Council, Seamus Bestic, had lunch with a former chairman of Dinton with Ford & Upton Parish Council at the Bottle & Glass in Gibraltar.

They discussed lots of things that had happened in their respective parishes including the fight to save their village schools, their experiences of attending many meetings about all sorts of things in Chearsley and Dinton Village Halls, and in particular, one meeting that took place first of all the three meetings of the then Falling Rolls Panel in Chearsley, Cuddington and Dinton.

That meeting which ended in bad news for Chearsley when the decision to close their school was later announced by the education authority, Bucks County Council.

That very same week, a meeting of Stone, Bishopstone & Hartwell Parish Council had taken place on Monday, August 6 in Stone Village Hall. On the morning of Thursday, August 9, the then chairman of Aylesbury Vale District Council appeared in Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court in Walton Street, Aylesbury, when she applied for a licence because, as chairman, she was holding a barbecue at Starveall Farm, attended by many local people, friends, colleagues and family members who supported the chairman’s charities, Relate, Aylesbury Talking Newspaper, St John Ambulance and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Emma Busby, who at that time lived with her family in Upton, who attended Dinton and Stone C of E Schools and the Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School in Aylesbury, and now lives in Slovakia, made a memorable appearance at the barbecue on Friday, August 10.

She was a waitress, having spent much of the day helping to prepare salads etc. More about Emma’s most recent achievements in a future column.

Katherine Stevens, who is now a pupil at Aylesbury High School, but who was a pupil at the then Dinton C of E First School, celebrated her fifth birthday on August 14, 2001.

Her brother Tom, at present a pupil at Aylesbury Grammar School, who also went to Dinton School and, like Katherine, to school in Haddenham, is awaiting some exam results in the next few days, so happy birthday to Katherine and good luck to Tom, both of whom will no doubt cringe with embarrassment when they realise that once again their names are appearing in this column.

DINTON CRICKET CLUB What’s going on at Dinton Cricket Club ? Lots of things, not just cricket matches. There are lots of Colts training sessions and other social events etc. taking place throughout the summer and leading into the autumn.

It is hard to believe that the football season started last Saturday, June 6, with many matches going on in villages nearby. At one stage in the past 40 years, Dinton Football Club used to play and train on Dinton Cricket Ground. It is hard to imagine that now, but it certainly did happen.

If you want to know more about what’s happening at Dinton Cricket Club, then either wander up to the cricket ground and/or cycle up there along the A418 Oxford Road, Dinton which for many people is the quickest way to get to the club, telephone the Club on 01296 or log onto the website.

STRAWBERRY TEA AT FORD As readers may have seen in a recent Ford & Upton column written by Monica Dunton, who lives in Ford, and for many years has reported on meetings of Dinton with Ford & Upton Parish Council, an account of a strawberry tea held at Moat Farm, Ford in aid of PACE, which is a registered charity based in Aylesbury.

It was held at Moat Farm, by kind permission of the Bergqvists who live there and to whom PACE is very grateful. PACE used to be in the Cuddington Road, Dinton, at both Springhill and Cowley Farms. Francesca Wall, Events Manager for PACE, described the tea as being an extremely happy and relaxed event.

“The weather was kind,” she added afterwards, “though we were a bit worried at the beginning, when raindrops started to fall. Everyone enjoyed a delicious tea, and an amazing profit of over £1,500 was made which will help children who have celebral palsy and other similar problems to help others in their situation.”

Another garden will be open for PACE from 2pm-6pm on Saturday, September 3, in nearby Bledlow, when Lord Carrington opens Manor Farm garden. There will be a brass band, many sculptures and secret gardens to enjoy that afternoon. For more information about that, please contact Francesca otherwise known as Mrs.Christopher Wall, on 01494 562220, or by email Other things are taking place that day and in that week in September in both Dinton and Chearsley which you will be able to read about they appear in both in the Chearsley column and this one.

SCARECROW FESTIVAL There will be a festival of scarecrows at the Church of St Peter & St Paul, Dinton, on Saturday, September 10. More details about that and other things happening in Dinton Church later in the summer will be in next week’s column. There will also be news of the Young family who used to live in Dinton and of the Gregory family who have lived in Dinton for many years.

DO YOU REMEMBER what you were doing on Friday, May 10, 2002, over nine years ago, when Her Majesty The Queen came to the Vale of Aylesbury as part of her Golden Jubilee Tour ?

Many Dinton residents, including pupils and staff at Dinton C of E First School who were standing on the steps of the crown court, and others who were elsewhere in Aylesbury Market Square, and Kingsbury were excitedly waiting to see Her Majesty and enjoyed a memorable and historic Royal Visit to Aylesbury.

Flags were waved, cheers rang out and many, many people will never forget that day for the rest of their lives. If you can remember where you were on that morning and you wouldn’t mind telling me about it, wherever you were living or working at the time, but you have connections with Dinton, Ford and Upton, please email me at or telephone 01296 748221.

Please leave a message if I do not answer the phone and I will eventually call you back. I would particularly like to hear from anyone involved at the time with Dinton C of E First School as it was then called.