Weekly column by Chris Roberts MBE. 

1. Christmas Day Lunch 

There were over 50 guests and volunteers booked in for the well-established Fairford Christmas Day Lunch, which takes place in Fairford Community and is offered to those individuals and couples in Fairford, Lechlade and surrounding villages who would otherwise be on their own on Christmas Day.

As usual, the event started at 12.30pm with a glass of bubbly, followed by a Christmas lunch of turkey with all the trimmings, wine, Christmas pudding and custard or fruit salad with cream. After lunch, there was tea or coffee, an anagram quiz and a game of ‘pass the parcel’.

Everyone watched the King’s Speech at 3pm on the large screen, after which the guests all went home with a goody bag containing snacks and mince pies for supper at home later that evening.

This annual tradition – now in its eleventh year – attracts an ever-increasing number of people. It is a wonderful opportunity for guests to spend some time on Christmas Day in sociable company.

The very popular community event would not be possible without the unstinting support of a band of volunteers, who cook and serve the lunches, who collect and deliver by car the less-able guests and those who act as welcoming hosts and problem solvers!

Donations are also hugely important and particular thanks are due to the Lechlade & District Lions Club, The Lady Mico Trust, Andrew Butler butcher, The Bull Hotel, Fairford Opticians, Fairford Town Council, Flying Start Nursery and many, many individuals.

For further information, contact Amanda or Mervyn Cully on 01285 712700.

2. Fairford Steam Show

Online ticket sales are open now for the Fairford Steam Show taking place over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday August 17 and 18 at Lady Lamb Farm, Fairford GL7 4BT. To get your tickets, please visit www.fairfordsteamshow.co.uk

3. Prayer and Praise 

Prayer & Praise is held on the first Sunday of the month from 6pm-7pm in St Mary’s Church, Fairford. This is a new contemporary-style service, and everyone is welcome.

It is also a wonderful opportunity to invite family, friends and neighbours to church – those who haven’t been for years or those who have never found a church that feels just right for them. The next Prayer & Praise is on Sunday January 7. For more information, please contact carolinesymcox@googlemail. com or pa.wilkins@hotmail. co.uk.

4. Fairford Town Council meeting

The next full Fairford Town Council meeting will be on Tuesday January 9 starting at 7pm in the Barker Room of Fairford Community Centre.

This is an open meeting and members of the public are welcome to attend. For more information, call the Town Clerk on 01285 712344

5. Fairford Festival 10k

If you would like to take part in the Fairford Festival 10k Road Race that is organised by Running Somewhere Else and takes place on Sunday June 9, booking is open now at https://www.entrycentral.com/ Fairford10K.

6. Mother's Union

The next meeting of the Mother’s Union is on Wednesday January 10 and will be the AGM at 3pm with an optional lunch at 12.30pm. For more information, contact Kathy on 01367 252543, 07508 563905, kathryn8newton@ gmail.com

7. Lechlade Gardening Club

Lechlade Gardening Club’s AGM will be held on Wednesday January 10. Ray Broughton will speak about ‘Topical Tips to Make Gardening Easier’. Ray trained at RHS Wisley and has been teaching a wide range of horticultural subjects for over two decades.

Awarded a fellowship by the Chartered Institute of Horticulture for his service to horticulture, Ray was a Senior Lecturer at Sparsholt College, sharing his passion for his work. Meeting at 7.30pm in Lechlade Memorial Hall. Membership is £5 per person per annum plus £2 to attend each meeting or £3 for visitors. For more information, please contact 01367 253309 or 01367 252286.

8. Travels with my Trowel 

The Arts Society Upper Thames is pleased to invite you to one of their talks. On Thursday January 11, ‘Travels with my Trowel’ with Louise Schofield, Professor of Archaeology at the American University, Rome. Louise Schofield is an archaeologist who was Curator of Greek Bronze Age and Geometric Antiquities at the British Museum from 1987-2000.

In the year 2000, she decided to escape. Given a trowel with a diamond and silver casing in the handle as a leaving present, she set off on a series of extraordinary archaeological adventures.

In this richly illustrated talk, she will take you with her to a mysterious and atmospheric ancient city on the coast of southern Albania, to the banks of the two great rivers of Mesopotamia – the Euphrates and the Tigris – and then to the wild and wonderful mountains of nortern Ethiopia. Starting at 2pm in the Lechlade Memorial Hall. Please prebook by email via www. tasupperthames.org.uk and pay £7.50 on the door.