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Bray community news (November 14): Diwali celebration in Holyport

Lights up on first Tamil celebration

Holyport War Memorial Hall played host to a Diwali celebration on Saturday.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband, Philip, were special guests at the inaugural event for the Maidenhead Tamils – a group established for Tamil families in the area about a year ago.

The Tamil speaking community in India originate from the southern sate of Tamil Nadu.

Made up of people of all religions, the community celebrate a number of festivals including Diwali – the Hindu festival of light, Christmas, Pongal [Harvest Festival], Ramadan and Tamil New Year.

The event on Saturday was organised by six women, including Kasthuri Subramanian, who lives in Maidenhead.

Celebrations included the Tamil Thai song sung by the group’s male choir, followed by a number of cultural events performed by children and women.

There was also lots to eat and a DJ provided the music which kept people on their feet until midnight.

Kasthuri said: “I thought it would be a good idea to get together – for people to celebrate our festival.”

She added: “I was a bit nervous because it was the first event for a new crowd but every single person enjoyed it.”

Kasthuri said Mr and Mrs May seemed to thoroughly enjoy the performances at the hall – which was suggested by a member of the group who lives in village.

Kasthuri said Maidenhead Tamils hope to organise more events and also ‘celebrate the 5,000-year-old Tamil culture and its modern nature of accepting every being as same and equal' in part by contributing to the local charities.

T-shirt design honours friend who died

A university student has raised £1,500 for charity following the death of his friend.

Tarun Puri, of Windsor Road, is studying philosophy at the University of Birmingham.

The money he has collected for Child Bereavement UK comes from the profits of selling ‘Somber’ T-shirts which honour fellow University of Birmingham student, Eddie Fitzgerald, who died in an accident at the end of last year.

The charity supports families and educates professionals when a baby, or child of any age dies or is dying, and when a child is facing bereavement.

Tarun, 20, was moved to raise money for the charity after he ‘couldn't stop thinking about the way Eddie’s parents must have been feeling’.

He said: “I just wanted to show them that we all love them and they have all of our support.”

“That’s when I thought of creating and selling the T-shirt's for charity.”

Aspiring musician Tarun, who describes his friend as ‘such a positive soul’, is also releasing a song in Eddie’s memory called ‘Lightning’.

He said: “I am very fortunate to have any sort of platform, so I feel as if I have a duty to use this platform for love and positivity. I hope we can make Eddie proud.“

To buy a SomberT-shirt go to and to listen to Lightening go to

Hospice's 'Raise the Roof' campaign gets £9k boost

Thames Hospice’s ‘Raise the Roof’ campaign received a £9,000 boost this week.

The fundraising appeal has been launched in a bid to raise the final £3million needed to complete the construction of a £18million hospice at Bray Lake.

Conference Contacts, an event management company based in Maidenhead, raised the £9,000 by holding a charity dinner dance at the Castle Hotel Windsor.

More than 100 guests who attended enjoyed a three course dinner, wine and dancing until the early hours.

Debbie Raven, chief executive of Thames Hospice, said: “Thanks to the incredible support of our community, we have raised more than £500,000 in just a few weeks since September for the new hospice.

“Every corner of our community has got behind our campaign: local schools, shoppers, our fundraising groups, amazing individuals and organisations like Conference Contacts.

“I am deeply humbled by our supporters’ passion for Thames Hospice.”

Club screens Armando Iannucci film

The Death of Stalin will be screened at Holyport War Memorial Hall tomorrow (Friday).

The evening is being hosted by Holyport Cinema Club and all funds raised are on behalf of the Holyport Community Trust for the hall renovations.

Tickets can be bought at for £5 (plus 42p booking fee) or £6 on the door.

A bar will serve beer, wine and snacks.


Thursday: Mother and Baby Group, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 10-11.30am. Call Elizabeth Royds 07747 669769.

Boxing, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 4.30-6.30pm. Call Alexander Campbell-Borland on 07490 182185.

Holyport WI, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 7.45-10.15pm, Contact president, Jennifer Razey 01628 631 059 or secretary, Pauline Libby 01628 625 967

Friday: Pilates keep-fit classes, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 1.35-2.45pm. Contact Tina Berry on 07557 127141.

Monday: Art classes, Braywood Memorial Hall, 10am-noon and 3-5pm.

Tuesday: Gentle Yoga, Holyport Scout HQ, from 9am. Contact Tara Sutthoff Crist at

Tuesday: Whist Club (alternate Tuesdays), Holyport War Memorial Hall, 2-4pm. Contact 01628 621953.

Art classes, Braywood Memorial Hall, 2-4pm and 7-9pm.

Circuit training, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 7-8pm. Call Jennie Saunders on 07766 461242.

Wednesday: Pilates, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 7.30-8.30pm. Call Matt Bryant on 07834 595322.

Smile, chair-based to standing exercise, Holyport War Memorial Hall, 2-4pm. Call Sarah Hill on 07876 586445.

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