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Singing, swimming and dry-slope skiing in Hemel Hempstead

PUBLISHED: 16:53 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:17 20 February 2013

Alan Brown at one of the group's training sessions

Alan Brown at one of the group's training sessions

A nationally-renowned orchestra, swimmers who emulate Olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington, and residents who believe in helping the community - Bushey has a lot to be proud of, as Louise McEvoy learns

Bushey Amateur Swimming Club
DEVELOPING swimmers from the age of five, Bushey Amateur Swimming Club has more than 200 members, with most under the age of 18.
Sessions are held on a Sunday at Bushey Grove Leisure Centre, and the competitive club enters a variety of swimming leagues and other competitions throughout the year, giving many swimmers the opportunity to compete against others.
Member Alan Brown says, 'Bushey Amateur Swimming Club aims to inspire and develop a passion for competitive swimming. We all know that Rebecca Adlington won medals at the Olympics and holds a world record, but what she really achieved is what all of our swimmers achieve on a regular basis - a personal best.'
He adds, 'As well as being a competitive club, we also hold a range of social activities and encourage a team spirit amongst our members.'
For more information, or if you are interested in membership, visit or pop along to the pool after 4pm on a Sunday.

Bushey Symphony Orchestra
IN 1975, the seeds for the Bushey Symphony Orchestra (BSO) were sown by an informal group of local musicians who called themselves the Festival Orchestra.
The group wanted to meet more regularly and grew into the BSO, which gave repeated concerts at St Peter's Church in Bushey Heath until audiences began to increase in numbers in the 1990s and the orchestra relocated to the Bushey Academy in the heart of Bushey village.
With a regular membership of about 35 to 40, the BSO still has a number of members who took part in the very first concert, including the orchestra's leader, Richard Spenceley, and the chairman and sub-leader, Brian McAdam.
George Vass is the orchestra's longest-serving music director, having been appointed since 1985, and says, 'Regarded by many as one of the finest community orchestras in the United Kingdom, the BSO currently performs an average of five concerts per season at Bushey Academy to a large and appreciative audience.'
The next concert will be on Saturday November 14 at 7.30pm, with the orchestra performing pieces composed by Alwyn, Strauss and Elgar. The following concert at the Bushey Academy, on Saturday January 23, will include work by Smetana, Brahms and Schubert.
The orchestra currently has vacancies for string players - particularly violins and violas. If you are interested in joining the orchestra, visit

Bushey and Oxhey Round Table
BUSHEY and Oxhey Round Table (BORT) was chartered on February 27, 1961, and the group is looking forward to celebrating its 50th charter in 2011.
Chairman Jon Morby has been a Tabler since 1992, joining BORT when he moved to the area about eight years ago. He says, 'Being a member of Round Table, I discovered I had a vast number of friends who all shared the same interests and goals, and they helped me settle in to my new home very quickly.'
Speaking about the work of the Round Table, Jon says, 'BORT has a number of local community projects which we get involved in, as well as the usual Santa float collections at Christmas and regular ambulance duty, where we take turns with other local community groups to help the elderly get around and get out of the house. If a cause is worthwhile and will somehow benefit the local community, we are definitely interested in being involved where we can.'
He explains that the old adage 'you get out what you put in' strongly applies to Round Table, and there is the opportunity for members to develop themselves while having fun and helping others. 'We are more than just a bunch of "do gooders", he says. 'We do believe strongly in helping the community, but we also believe we should have a good time doing so!' The group has an active calendar and so far this year it has already included dry-slope skiing, gliding, darts, ten pin bowling and snooker.
BORT meets on alternate Thursdays at The Three Crowns pub in Bushey Heath, and membership is open to men between the ages of 18 and 45, who live or work in the area. 'We invite anyone who is interested in joining to contact us and come along to a meeting to find out more,' says Jon.
For more information about BORT, visit


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