IF YOU have news of events in Minchinhampton, Box or Amberley that you would like publicised in this column, do write to me at  minchnewsbox@btinternet.comt This news is published on the last Wednesday of the month, so includes events during the last few days of the current month and the whole of the following month.

On Friday, April 26 at 7.30pm, Minchinhampton Movie Night at the Market House will present Argo, the 2013 Oscar winning thriller starring Ben Affleck. This is based on a true story, set during the Iranian revolution of 1979 when the Shah of Iran was deposed, the US embassy was attacked and hostages taken. Six embassy staff managed to escape and hid in the Canadian Ambassador's residence and a CIA plot was hatched to rescue them. This involved making a phony sci-fi movie on location in Iran as a cover to smuggle them out of the country. This is a film combining humour (the Hollywood bit) and tense drama (the Tehran bit) and thoroughly deserved its Oscar. There is some colourful language (all done in the best possible taste) and surprisingly little violence, considering the heated subject matter.  The second feature will be another short film plucked from the archives, to be announced later.  Tickets are £5 and available from M&B Stores.

The brilliant and internationally renowned Maggini String Quartet will be giving a recital on Sunday, April 28 at 7pm in Holy Trinity Church, Minchinhampton. Their acclaimed recordings have won many international awards and they appear frequently in prestigious concert series at home and abroad, as well as making regular broadcasts. They will be performing beautiful and well-loved works from Mozart and Mendelssohn, as well as Benjamin Britten's last quartet. Reserved seats can be obtained in advance at £10 from 01453 883611, at M & B Stores or from music@minchchurch.org.uk. Tickets on the door are £12, with children free.

The Minchinhampton Royal British Legion has a branch meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday, May 1 at the Cotswold Club, when Ken Bucknell will talk about China.

The first Chalford May Day Craft Fayre will take place on Monday, May 6 from 11am to 4pm at Chalford Village Hall and Christ Church Primary School. This will feature local artists and crafters, home-produced cakes and preserves, books and DVDs, plant stall and much more, not forgetting the refreshments and cream teas. The event is supporting the Children's Hospice South West.

On Thursday, May 9 at 7.45pm, Amberley Gardening Club will welcome Tim Walker, the director of Oxford Botanical Gardens to speak about A Blaze of Glory.  The meeting takes place at the Amberley Parish Rooms.  Visitors welcome (£2).

The Alzheimer Café also meets on Thursday, May 9 from 7pm to 9pm at Horsfall House Day Centre, when there will be a discussion on life changes and acknowledging emotions.  The café is for all persons with concerns about memory problems and any form of dementia, together with their spouses, children, grandchildren, family, friends and care givers. It is also for professionals involved in this specialist area.  For more information, contact Jo Smith on 01453 834714.

Minchinhampton Baptist Church is delighted to announce that it is again running The Alpha Course, commencing on Monday, May 9 at The Hub.   To find out more come along, and bring friends, to an Introduction to Alpha Party at the Hub on the evening of April 25. Further information is available at alphacourse@minchbc.org.uk or from Nigel Stapleton (MBC Community Liaison Officer) - 0776 088 8282.  The Course was first run in London 30 years ago and now has over 54,000 courses being conducted in 111 languages across 160 countries.   It is designed primarily for people who are not churchgoers and is open for anyone interested.  The course runs for 10 weeks with a day or weekend away in the middle. Each session begins with refreshments, then a short talk looking at different aspects of the Christian faith followed by a discussion when guests can ask questions and freely contribute their opinions.

On Sunday, May 12, Horsfall House is organising their second sponsored walk through Gatcombe Woods by popular demand and by kind permission of HRH the Princess Royal. Eddie the Eagle will be launching the walk, which is being held to raise money for the new (free) respite care bed. Registration and sponsorship forms are available from the Horsfall House web site www.horsfallhouse.co.uk/fundraising or by telephoning Horsfall house on 01453 731227. The route will go through Gatcombe Woods, Avening and Cherington and return by Burnt Ash Farm. It will be approximately 10 miles in length but walkers can choose to finish sooner at various checkpoints. Walk leaflets will be available shortly from shops, libraries and pubs and information can be obtained from Horsfall House on 01453 731227 or their website www.horsfallhouse.co.uk

Minchinhampton Country Market is holding a grand plant sale on Saturday, May 18 from 9pm to 12pm under the Market House. On sale will be a huge variety of homegrown bedding and vegetable plants, perennials and shrubs.  The Country Market is always open on Thursday mornings from 8.45pm to 11am at the Market House.  There you will find fresh supplies of new season's marmalade, vegetables and flowers, jewellery and crafts, greeting cards with new local photos, among many other products.

Minchinhampton Gardening Club meets on Monday, May 20 at 7.30pm in the School Hall, when the talk will be All About Allotments, given by Fiona Warin. Visitors are welcome at £3.

A talk entitled Just that little bit extra… (with plants for sale) will be given by Elaine Horton at Box Gardening Club in the Village Hall on Tuesday, May 21 at 7.30pm for 8pm start. Non-members welcome (£5).

On Tuesday, May 21 at 7.30pm in The Hub at Minchinhampton Youth Centre, the Local History Group will be featuring a talk by Ian Mackintosh on the interesting subject of Minchinhampton's Woollen Mills. Visitors are welcome (£2).

An advance notice: Box village will open many of its gardens (at least 12) on Sunday, June 9 from noon to 6pm. There will also be an exhibition and sale of paintings by local artists at the village hall. See www.box-village.com for further details.

The Healthy Living Keep Fit class for the over-50s from 10am to 11am on Tuesday mornings at The Hub, Tobacconist Road, Minchinhampton is suitable both for ladies and men.  The classes are sponsored by the Minchinhampton GPs' Charitable Trust and are led by a qualified teacher.  The classes are usually followed by a social hour with refreshments from 11am to noon. The cost of the class is £3.  For more information, call Claire on 01453 886953.

The Wednesday Walking4Health walks start at the Market House at 2pm. Do call Pam Browne for details on 01453-832907. Many of the walkers call into the Porch room after the walk to enjoy the ‘Wednesday cuppa’ with the locals.

Stroud valley open studios are on the weekends of May 11 to 12th and May 18 to 19 and Amberley is particularly well represented this year with six artists welcoming everyone to come and view their work. Most work is for sale. Alison Vickery and Galina Gardiner are at Morven, St Chloe, Joanna Wyld, Mike Tucker and Robert Lee-Wade are at Littleworth House and Tony Meeuwissen is at The Old House, St Chloe. See the open studio brochure or www.sitefestival.org.uk for further details.