2013 6-8 December has been a busy weekend in the run-up to Christmas - the seasonal village market with Brownies carol singing on Friday, children’s Christmas party (complete with a visit from Santa) on Saturday and the Christingle service in the church on Sunday. Remembrance was marked twice again this year with the customary services for the village on Sunday 10 November, and by a gathering with Yr 3 from Silchester School on Armistice Day, Monday 11 November. Remember, remember…. Bonfire and fireworks, pumpkins, burgers and mulled wine in the grounds of Silchester House on a very windy Saturday 2 November. A few Halloween sightings around the village. One World Sunday was celebrated at St Mary the Virgin with the aid of Year 6 from Silchester School who gave a presentation on the work of the local food banks. Beer Festival 2013 - another good party in the village hall, welcoming drinkers (and press!) from as far as Basingstoke and Newbury as well as a good local turn-out. An ‘Exhibition of Talents’ held 7/8 September, organised by the Missions and Charities Group demonstrated the great breadth of talents in our community and helped raise some funds towards the repair of the ancient bells in the church tower. Pirates 2013 - the annual dig spectacular! Silchester Fete 2013 - windy but a great day until the skies opened just before closing time! Dog show, children’s races, tug-o-war, teas, cakes, beer, burgers and all the rest - congratulations to Paula and her team for a great event. 11 May 2013 - the annual Fun Run - a perfect day for running and the rain waited until almost all the clearing up was done - four sets of pictures - the organisation and generally of the day, the start and on the course, all the runners at the finish line, and Steve presenting the prizes. Congratulations to all the runners and many thanks to all who helped in so many ways. Fleet Morris and the Shinfield Shamblers entertained outside the pub on Tuesday 7 May on a lovely late-spring evening The Life of a Roman Soldier on Friday 4 May provided a great insight to the village on just how life was in the Roman army, dispelling various myths that have grown up about the early occupants of Calleva. We’ve missed the Reptiles, far too long since their last visit, but the wait proved worth it with a great gig on 27 April raising funds for the redevelopment of the Village Hall. The Reptiles were supported by local band Future who were a hit at the 2009 Music Festival and as “Lauren and the Lads” were past winners of Silchester’s Got Talent! Silchester’s Got Talent 2013 - the annual PTA extravaganza showcasing just how much wonderful ability our youngsters have. The winner will be opening this year’s Silchester Fete on 15 June, make sure it’s in your diaries! Work is underway on an extension to and much needed refurbishment of the pavillion on the common. Timber cladding will also give a more fitting appearance for the rural environment. Berkshire Vintage Motor Cycle Club visited the Calleva on Sunday 21 April during their outing. A group of local youngsters enjoyed a two day Holiday Club gathering over their Easter break from school, looking at ‘Journeys’ and finishing with a recreation of a Passover meal. Palm Sunday was a major contrast from the heat of 2012, bitterly cold with snow on the ground and flooded footpaths providing a major difficulty. Conditions were such that the Roman Legionaries were unable to be with us but Alfie the donkey and Bishop Tim (Rt Revd Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester) were very welcome participants. Visitors from as far afield as Cardiff and London were identified. The amphitheatre was flooded so the service culminating the procession had to be transferred to St Mary’s church where it was standing room only. Youngsters from Silchester school provided a dramatic gospel presentation at a service led by Bishop Tim. Dig Update - Prof Mike Fulford presented his annual archaeological update to the village on 8 February in a packed Village Hall. Education Sunday with Year R from Silchester School helping lead worship in St Mary’s. Burns’ Night - a taste of Scotland with traditional haggis neeps and tatties on the Calleva menu. Happy New Year 2013! Our now-traditional 1 January visit from the Kennet Morris Men enjoyed blue sunny skies for a change. New Year’s Eve in the Calleva was a much quieter affair this year with competition from a 70th birthday bash in Roman’s Field and other events depleting the number at the James Bond gaming tables!