Photographs & tales, following a jazz saxophone & piano duo from Scotland, as they tour around the UK and beyond, in their Tour Bus (a converted ambulance). Click on a photo below to read each post.

Oxfordshire, Dorset, Buckinghamshire

April saw us continuing our UK Tour 2019 down in the south of England. Our first stop was the beautiful village of Brill near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. We were treated to a glorious sunset at Brill Windmill.

Click here to see Brill on Google Maps

Brill Windmill at sunset

Brill Windmill in the morning

On the Friday, we headed into Henley-on-Thames for lunch. It was a beautiful day. We even managed to see a little jazz…..!

Click here to see Henley on Google Maps

A “Little Jazz” on the Thames at Henley!

A boat coming out of Marsh Lock at Henley

The River Thames near Henley

Riverside homes

Henley in the distance

Boats moored on The Thames at Henley

“The New Orleans”

Weeping Willow trees

Our first concert was at Frieth. Another beautiful village near Marlow, in the parish of Hambleden. They were filming the television drama “Midsomer Murders” nearby at Fingest as we drove to the gig.

You can read more about Midsomer Murders here

There were Red Kites flying everywhere. I’ve never seen so many! They were as numerous as gulls at the seaside! Aparently, this was where they were re-introduced into the UK. There’s now some 500 or more breeding pairs in the area. They are a beautiful bird. Larger than a buzzard, their bodies are around 60cm long, with a wingspan of 165 cm. The have the distinctive “kite” shaped forked tail which they use like a rudder.

Several Red Kites circling above

A closer view of a Red Kite showing its distinctive tail

A Red Kite flies overhead

We thoroughly enjoyed our gig in Frieth. A very friendly and appreciative audience. An encore was duly supplied!

Click here to see Frieth on Google Maps

A roadside poster in Frieth

Frieth road sign

Frieth Village Hall

photo courtesy of audience member Paul Marston-Weston

photo courtesy of audience member Paul Marston-Weston

The next day we were keen to have a look around the nearby villages of Hambleden and Turville. Both had been used in the filming of the classic children’s film of 1968 “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang“!

Click here to see Hambleden on Google Maps

St Mary the Virgin Church at Hambleden

St Mary the Virgin Church at Hambleden

Hambleden Village centre

Hambleden Village Store (telephone kiosk door!)

Click here to see “Then & Now” YouTube footage of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang locations!

Some scenes from the 1996 film “101 Dalmations” starring Glenn Close were filmed in Hambleden too.

At Turville we saw Cobstone Windmill, the Windmill where the family lived in the film. Here’s a couple of clips from the film showing the windmill:

A clip from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”

Another clip from “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”

Turville with the Cobstone Mill Windmill on the hill above it

…..a closer view

The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang windmill!

Turville is also famous for being the location of the film “Goodnight Mister Tom“. A powerful drama set during WWII starring John Thaw. Click below to see a short trailer of the film showing the village.

A short trailer of the “Goodnight Mister Tom” showing the village

Turville is also famous for being the location of the television comedy series “The Vicar of Dibley” starring Dawn French.

Here’s an episode from “The Vicar of Dibley”

Turville village centre

The local pub in Turville

Turville with iconic red telephone kiosk

The building used as The Vicar of Dibley’s house!

The Vicar of Dibley’s church at Turville

Ian outside The Vicar of Dibley’s church

The Vicar of Dibley’s church

Turville from the windmill

Click here to see Turville on Google Maps

On Saturday we headed up the M40 to Oxfordshire. We saw some interesting vehicles on the way.

A vintage American car

An old Routemaster London bus

Our gig was in Farmoor, just outside Oxford. We received a very warm welcome from the mother, father, son & daughter team who ran the hall. It was a very small hall and felt very busy. Another very friendly and appreciative audience. An encore was duly supplied.

Click here to see Farmoor on Google Maps

Some thatched cottages in the narrow streets of nearby Eynsham

…..a wedding at Eynsham

Farmoor Notice Board

Farmoor Village Hall

On Sunday, we headed down to the Herrison Hall in Charlton Down, near Dorchester in Dorset. The hall is part of a former Mental Hospital, built in Victorian times. Its a vast hall, with unbelievably good acoustics. Such a pleasure to perform in. Playing the saxophone acoustically here, is as if the whole building was your instrument. Quite amazing! Another very friendly and appreciative audience. An encore was duly supplied.

Click here to see Charlton Down on Google Maps

Herrison Hall, Charlton Down

Spring fields with Rapeseed growing

Our last concert in this 4 gig tour was in Padbury near Buckingham. Beforehand, we visited the market town of Brackley where I’d visited several times 20 years or so ago (an ex-girlfriend was brought up there). It was a gloriously sunny and very warm day in the Easter weekend.

Click here to see Brackley on Google Maps

Brackley High Street

The Market Place & Brackley Town Hall

Madgalen College School, Brackley

The Plough, Brackley

Our gig was in the stunningly beautiful village of Padbury. A thatcher’s delight, since so many of the houses there have thatched roofs! The hall was a beautiful building, built in 1840 and was originally the village school.

Click here to see Padbury on Google Maps

Thatched cottage in Padbury

Padbury’s main street

Thatched cottage opposite village hall, Padbury

The view from the hall

Padbury Village Hall

A very full house indeed, and another very friendly and appreciative audience. An encore was duly supplied.

photo courtesy of audience member Ruth Reid

photo courtesy of audience member Ruth Reid

Words and photos by Ian Millar © 2019

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