Fairford news with Chris Roberts

THIS year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Fire Fighters’ Charity that supports the mental, physical and social needs of all serving and retired members of the UK’s fire family estimates that it will only be able to raise around 50 per cent of the usual annual fundraising income this year.

However, Fairford’s Firefighters have managed to work some Christmas magic and are pleased to confirm that Santa will be doing his rounds on his sleigh this year to spread some Christmas cheer.

The annual Firefighters Carol float will be heading around the east end of Fairford tonight (December 17) and around the west end of Fairford tomorrow (December 18).

Santa will not be allowed to stop this year and, unfortunately, no sweets will be given out due to Covid-19.

The Fairford Firefighters would also ask that everyone adheres to the obligatory rules attached to the Santa visit: You cannot gather in groups and you must follow Government guidelines.

If you wish to donate, please text FIRE followed by the donation amount to 70660 (e.g. FIRE£5 or FIRE£10 up to a maximum of £30) or make an online donation at www.firefightercharity.org.uk/christmas-donate.

For those unable to donate in these ways, the firefighters will collect cash at social distances.

LOCAL Quenington resident, Dom Morris, is just one of many people in and around Fairford concerned about the alarming amount of sewage allegedly being dumped into the River Coln.

A recent sewage release has prompted Dom, who has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Fairford and Lechlade in next May’s county council elections, to join other local leaders in raising concerns about this apparently increasing trend.

Dom said: “I have lived in Quenington all my life and the River Coln is such a special feature for us all. I have written to the Environment Agency and to Thames Water, filing a Freedom of Information enquiry to get to the bottom of this issue. Once the two agencies have published the discharge data, I hope to convene a meeting with them and local residents to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. If anyone has any evidence or knowledge about sewage dumping, please get in touch with me.”

WANTED – Keen actors or actresses to play characters for St Mary’s Church Nativity on Christmas Eve.

They will need to learn a few lines and would suit secondary school age or young adult.

Please email Janet for more information at meandhim2uk@yahoo.co.uk.

THE Nine Lessons and Carols service at St Mary’s Church, Fairford, that was scheduled for Sunday, December 13, at 6pm has been postponed.

This was due to a very threatening weather forecast of rain and strong winds.

It will now be on Sunday, December 20, at 6pm.

ON Monday, December 21, (the Winter solstice), Jupiter and Saturn will align so closely in the night sky that they will appear to collide.

What will actually happen is they will be so close that they will create a radiant point of light to resemble the Christmas Star or the Star of Bethlehem!

The alignment of these two planets is so rare that the last time it happened was just before dawn on March 4, 1226 i.e. 794 years ago!

To catch a glimpse of this rare phenomenon, you must look towards the southwest on Monday, December 21, about 45 minutes after sunset.

Sunset in the south east Cotswolds area is scheduled for 15.59, so look at anytime roughly between 4pm and 4.45pm.

However, the ‘Christmas Star’ will be visible from anywhere on Earth for about one hour after sunset in the northern hemisphere for the entire fourth week of December.

To see more, visit: chrisrobertsmbe.co.uk.

TAKE part in the Messy Church Sheep Hunt around Fairford.

Have a look around the High Street, London Road and Market Place in Fairford for all the 13 sheep on display.

Each sheep has a letter. Unscramble the letters to spell out a Christmas carol.

When you know what the carol is, please contact Joanne Holden on 07922 083036 or joanneesw@hotmail.co.uk with your answer to be put into a draw to win a festive prize.

The closing date is Sunday, January 3.

THE Fairford Town Council office will be closed over Christmas and New Year from Wednesday, December 23, to Monday, January 4.