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What's on today (Saturday)

Proms, police and charity events all going on

John Herring



01635 886633

Pomp and splendour of Battle Proms returns to Highclere Castle

Football, battles and the police are at the forefront of today's events.

A 24-HOUR football match will be played at Park House School, Newbury to raise money for a five-year-old boy who is suffering from an incurable genetic disorder.

People have already signed up to play between one and six hours of football for Awstin Lewis, a Newbury schoolboy who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy – a genetic disorder characterised by progressive muscle degeneration.

Match organiser Gary Heimsoth, a friend of the family, said: “The reason I care about this is because the whole family are amazing.

“They are strong and they are trying to move forward with their lives and create a comfortable living space for their son to give him the most out of life.”

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood.

It results in progressive loss of strength which leads to serious medical problems, particularly relating to the heart and lungs.

At present there is no cure.

To donate, go to or 

Another event being held today is the Tour de Berkshire, which sets off from the Cottage Inn, Bucklebury at 11am.

Cyclists take in West Berkshire's leafy lanes for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. 

The event was inaugurated seven years ago by Ross and Nikki Green after their daughter Tilly was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

The life-limiting condition is caused by a faulty gene, leading to mucus gathering in the lungs and digestive system. There is currently no cure, although there are ways to treat the condition.

The couple, from Bradfield Southend, have raised more than £50,000 since the event started.

Over the county border the Battle Proms return to Highclere Castle – with all the pomp and pageantry you would expect. 

The gates open at 4pm and visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy the entertainment laid on throughout the afternoon before the Proms start in the evening.

The entertainment begins with a Napoleonic cavalry display, followed by the Jazz Spivs, a 1920s-themed band to get the crowd’s toes tapping.

Just before the evening musical programme starts, there will be a gun salute to commemorate 100 years since the Battle of Passchendaele, with a fly-over by Caroline Grace in her Grace Spitfire. 

At 7.30pm the music starts, including the ground-shaking drama of more than 200 replica Napoleonic cannons set to music of the era.

This will include Beethoven’s Battle Symphony as he intended it to be played, with the full complement of 193 cannons, musket fire and fireworks. 

The evening will finish in true British style with a sing-a-long to Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory while waving the obligatory Union flags.

Motorists are advised to allow extra time for journeys in the surrounding area, due to heavy traffic, especially when the event ends at approximately 10pm.

Elsewhere, Thames Valley Police (TVP) will be opening its doors to host its open day.

The event is being hosted at the TVP Training Centre in Sulhamstead and will be open between 10am and 4pm.

Organisers say the open day, which has been running for 11 years, promises to be even bigger and better than before.

Some of the highlights throughout a jam-packed day include arena displays showcasing the specialist dog, horse and public order teams.

For the first time, visitors will be able to become a detective for the day.

Working with the Forensic Investigation Unit, they will solve various clues to reveal how Mr Money Bags met his unfortunate demise.

Children are also encouraged to come dressed in a police-themed costume, with a parade at noon and a prize up for grabs. 

The theme this year is Children and Young People and there will be a dedicated Kids Zone featuring cadets and mini police recruits.

TVP will also be supporting SAFE, a charity that helps people aged between eight and 18, who have been affected by crime within the Thames Valley.

There will also be an opportunity to see the force helicopter up close, meet some of the pilots and listen to expert talks about tactical armed policing, the dangers of sexting and how organised crime is being tackled within the Thames Valley.

Other highlights will be the chance to sample some mouth-watering delights in the Fun Food Kitchen, a ‘name the police dog’ competition and an opportunity to visit the on-site TVP museum to learn about some of the most notorious cases.

Describing the event, Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell, said: “I am looking forward to welcoming the families and residents from across Thames Valley to our 11th annual open day.”

Dcc Campbell went on to say: “This is a great opportunity to come and see the diverse range of policing services we deliver, in collaboration with our partners, to keep the region safe and secure.

“With more than 40 exhibitors on-site ranging from Crimestoppers to the South Central Ambulance Service, there is something for everyone.”

Limited parking is available and will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Dogs are not permitted (except for assistance dogs) and must not be left in vehicles.   

The open day will close at 4pm with the last entry at 3.30pm.

Also today: 

Newbury International Antiques and Collectors Fair 9.30am-4pm Newbury Showground More info 01636 702326

Textile Exhibition: Folk tales by Anne Kelly  10am-4pm Old Chapel Textile Centre, Greenham Business Park  Tuesday to Thursday and first Saturday of the month.

Mind Body Spirit Fayre at Hungerford Town Hall 10.00-17.00

Burghclere and Newtown Horticultural Society Summer Flower Show 2pm The Portal Hall, Burghclere.

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