Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Musket enthusiasts mark Maze re-opening with a bang

A MUSKET salute was fired to mark the re-opening of the Whitchurch maze.

A MUSKET salute was fired to mark the re-opening of the Whitchurch maze.

More than 50 people attended the ceremony at the site off Hardwick Road on Sunday despite heavy rain.

Nine members of the Muzzle Loaders Association’s Thames Valley branch fired their muskets twice.Among them was Peter Woolhouse, who lives in the village and helped to organise the event.

Mr Woolhouse invited parish councillor Jim Donahue, who led the maze restoration, to take a shot in his place. County councillor Kevin Bulmer then declared the maze open.

The maze was designed by author and photographer Nick Brazil, who lives in the village, and opened in 2004. It has sundial markings around the outside, allowing people to stand in the middle and tell the time from their own shadow.

It is made up of more than 2,500 bricks, about 330 of which were originally engraved with the names of sponsors. Many of these had been damaged and had started to crack or become illegible, so Cllr Donahue “sold” 160 new concrete bricks to sponsors for £20 each. He was helped by the Whitchurch Society, the Whitchurch Habitat Study Group and resident Stephen Trinder. There are plans to add picnic tables and plant wild flowers at the maze next year.

The ceremony was part of an apple day organised by the Pangbourne and Whitchurch Sustainability Group.

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