Online auction to raise funds for new community center in East Ilsley which will feature a rare book of poetry

An online auction featuring a rare poetry book as one of its lots is raising money for a new community center to be built in a church.

The East Ilsley Community Project online auction went live last Saturday at 9am and will run until 9pm on Sunday 11th September.

One of the most important items offered for auction is a collection of poems from 1927 titled Berkshire Valley by Wilfrid Howe Nurse and illustrated by Cecil Aldin.

An illustration of ‘Berkshire Vale’

The book contains a poem about the East Ilsley sheep fair, as well as verses about Abingdon, Appleton, White Horse Hill which were all part of Berkshire before 1974.

Other prizes on offer include two tickets to next year’s Truck Festival, a Walters Turkey, a copy of Jim Wilson’s book Photographic Memories of East Ilsleya ride in a combine harvester and more.

To participate in the auction, go to

A poem from the rare poetry book
A poem from the rare poetry book

Auction organizers said: “We are raising money for essential repairs to St Mary’s, our Grade 1 listed parish church, and adapting the interior to include modern fittings and create space.

“It can then be used for a variety of events and activities as well as worship. Concerts, exhibitions, playgroups, fitness classes, table sales, etc.

“It will be accessible to all and will benefit the whole community as we do not have a village hall. Services are infrequent, so let’s keep this beautiful historic building alive.”

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