Wednesday 28th December at the Cage Pond seating area – organised by Shenley Parish Council

The annual lighting of the Chanukah candles was held on the evening of Wednesday 28th December at the Cage Pond seating area.   The area glittered owing to the pretty lights in the bench tree and around the railings all reflecting on the pond beautifully.   Many locals braved the cold to join in the celebrations.  We were delighted to have Hertsmere Borough Council Mayor Cllr. Peter Rutledge and his partner Cllr. Jane West as guests of honour.  The candle lighting service was led by Rabbi Alan Garber in conjunction with the Shenley United Jewish Community.  Music was provided by Jacqueline Curzon playing the accordion to which everyone sang beautifully.   Before the lighting and afterwards those present were offered doughnuts, dreidels, light sticks and chocolate coins courtesy of the Parish Council.

Special thanks go to Bob and Fay Gough for coming early to sort out the electrics and arrange the Christmas lights.  They also helped clear up after the event.   Thanks to Guy Beaton for setting up the sound system and helping to take photos.  Cllr. Anthony Spencer collected the doughnuts earlier in the day and helped hand them out, thank you.   Amanda Leboff’s organisation was superb as always.  Cllr. William Susman was unable to attend but that morning he put up the barriers which protected the flower beds and took them down the next day!    As with any event there is always a lot that goes on behind the scenes!

For those who do not know much about Chanukah, as I didn’t,  it is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights” or “Feast of Dedication”, celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods.  The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication” and it is so named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple.  You will also have seen it spelled Hanukkah or variations of that spelling.    In the second century 164 BCE, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks) who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observation and belief in G-d.  Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth at that time and drove the Greeks from the land so reclaiming the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G-d.

When they sought to light the Temple’s Menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil had escaped contamination by the Greeks.  Miraculously, they lit the menorah and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be prepared.

Chanukah is observed for 8 nights and days starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.

Thanks to all helpers and everyone who supported the event.    HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Cllr. Nicky Beaton






Organised by Shenley Parish Council

 Santa riding round the Village

A Santa Day in Shenley!  The day kicked off at around 11am on Sunday morning with Santa (Steve Bury) arriving at the Pond followed by Rudolf (Guy Beaton), who met children waiting to see them off on their ride round the Village. The newly revamped Santa’s carriage arrived driven by Chief Elf, Maureen Keegan with her assistant Elf Peter Buttle and Mrs Santa (Susan), and pulled by the lovely Dolly who was on her best behaviour throughout the morning.

At 11.30am cheered by a crowd of children and parents the Christmas party set off down London Road towards the Post Office. Going down as many roads as possible they then made their way back down London Road and onto Porter’s Park Drive where they again visited as many side roads as possible.  Everyone gave Santa and his team a great welcome. Dolly is getting very experienced pulling Father Christmas’ carriage so this year Santa had a smoother ride. Drivers were also very considerate when passing and gave us lots of waves!    Rudolf’s journey was more precarious as he had to stand up and wave through the sunroof of the Christmas car.  The big moose head meant Guy had to leave the photography to Nicky this year, hopefully it is ok!   The ride ended at Orchard Tea Rooms with Santa distributing sweets to children then Dolly went off home to have some well earned carrots.


Christmas at the Cage

5.30 – 6.30pm

Sunday evening at 5.30pm was another opportunity for the children (and adults) of Shenley to meet Father Christmas - this time inside the Cage. Santa (William Susman) chatted with the children and parents and assisted by Rudolf (still Guy!) gave the children presents. His evening Elf assistant (new Councillor Helen Hussain) chatted with the children and parents as they waited to see Santa and collected money for the Hertfordshire Air Ambulance – Thank you to all who made donations.

No Christmas event would be complete without Christmas Carols and St. Martin’s Church Choir kindly came along this year to sing for us, which brought a very Christmassy atmosphere to the gathering.

At a table next to the Pond railing children could busy themselves writing letters to Santa, or make Christmas cards and Christmas labels using tons of glitter!   I am sure lots ended up on their clothes and maybe on the pond ducks later.

Mince pies and sweets were freely available and parents enjoyed the mulled wine as much as ever, as did the helpers! Thanks to Anthony Spencer, Alex and Amanda for serving it.

Surrounding the pond were attractive coloured Christmas lights adding to the festive atmosphere. They reflected beautifully on the pond.

What a wonderful day!





We would like to thank Maureen Keegan and Peter Buttle and their Waverley Driving Group Charity (Riding for the Disabled) for providing the horse and carriage and for dressing up so superbly as Elves and also Steve Bury who made a very authentic Santa.  Also thanks to Roy Monk for repainting Santa’s carriage panels.  The carriage with its new panels and other decorations looked brilliant.

Big thanks too to Bob & Faye Gough for getting the Cage ready and decorating the area. They also helped clear up after the event. They are always so generous with their time, coming from Borehamwood to help at most of our events.

Special thanks go to St. Martin’s Church choir for singing for us again this year- much appreciated.

Alex Black who runs the Orchard Tea rooms kindly provided the mulled wine to help along the festive spirit – thank you very much. Another lovely person who supports many Shenley events.

The day was a big success thanks to all our helpers and I think you will agree it helps to foster a warm village atmosphere and that’s what makes Shenley Village so special.  The more people do to help the better the Village gets.

Finally a huge thank you to Amanda Leboff, our Parish Clerk, who did a great job organising the day.  She is an absolute treasure.

Best wishes from Shenley Parish Council

Cllr Nicky Beaton.





Ben Caplan & William Susman

Ben Caplan & William Susman

On Monday 14th November we held the annual Christmas Lights switch on.  The event was well attended by Shenley residents.  Ben Caplan, our own local celebrity, Sergeant Nokes from BBC’s `Call the Midwife’ kindly came along to press the magic button to turn on the lights after a cheerful countdown by everyone present.  It was very interesting to hear all about Ben’s busy year.  Unfortunately he didn’t get to film in South Africa with his `Call the Midwife’ colleagues for the Christmas special but he has been doing plenty of other great work including a month in the Kinks musical ‘Summer Afternoon’.  The original switch on date had to be changed from the 16th to the 14th as Ben had to fly out to Budapest on the 15th to start work on `Maigret’ with Rowan Atkinson!

The Parish Councillors laid on a delightful free reception of wine, soft drinks and nibbles for all those who came to watch.  Ben and his family stayed and mingled with everyone.  It was another really nice, well supported community gathering.  Special thanks to Amanda for organising everything brilliantly as always and to all helpers.

Please don’t forget to support the events taking place in December.  We hope everyone enjoys the Senior Citizens Christmas outing to `Beautiful’ the Carol King musical and seeing the Christmas lights afterwards on Tuesday 13th December.  In the morning of the 18th December Santa will be riding round the Village, at around 11.30am and in the afternoon between 5.30-6.30pm he will be in the Cage (Santa’s Grotto) at the Pond.  On 24th December the annual lighting of the Chanukah candles will be held at the Cage Pond seating area between 5.30-6.30pm.

Your Parish Council is trying hard to plan events for the whole community to enjoy and your support is appreciated.  If you have any thoughts about other things we could do please let us know.

Cllr Nicky Beaton



Residents enjoying the Switch on

Residents enjoying the Switch on

Resident with Christmas dog!

Resident with Christmas dog!


Volunteering in Shenley Park

Midweek volunteering on Thursday mornings 9.30-12.30.

If you would like to come and join in light gardening duties to help tidy up the Park this could be for you. The basic tasks around the Park would include footpath clearance, weeding, composting around the base of newly planted trees, checking tree ties and light pruning of apple trees. Contact the office for an application pack.

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Action for a Cleaner Shenley

Action for a Cleaner Shenley

The ACS initiative was started in August 2015 to help make our lovely village cleaner and tidier.   Major Hertsmere Borough Council budget cuts have meant that virtually nothing is being done to keep pavements clear or signage clean.  Other areas are suffering and litter clearance has also been affected.   There is a great deal that needs to be done.  Shenley Parish Council is trying to address the problem and ACS is one of the solutions.

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