U  From the editor

Our sympathies go out to all those who have been affected by the floods in recent weeks, but especially those in our parish (see page 7). Not a good start to the new year, let us hope it gets better.

Meanwhile we have a chance to cheer ourselves up with a comedy show in the Village Hall on 8 February (see page 6), a Skittles and Supper evening on 22 February (see page 9), a Tea Dance on 23 February (see page 11) and a quiz night on 1 March (see page 10)

Something to suit everyone!



Do you think we need affordable housing in Tiddington?

Affordable housing surveys for the young village people who cannot afford to buy or rent private houses, is now being undertaken.

Many of our village youngsters have had to leave the area because of the increase in house prices.

Oxfordshire Rural Community Council is asking Parish Councils with other groups to try and promote the scheme in villages.

If needs are identified they will try and find suitable sites, usually on the edge of a village, to be developed with no more than ten houses.

The Parish Council would be interested to hear your views on this subject.

Ken Field


Parish Council Elections

On 1 May the present Council resigns and a new Council is elected. At least one of the six existing Councillors is not expected to seek



Will you stand?


Nominations have to be submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council between

 24 March and 1 April.

Details of the procedures for election and an explanation of what is involved in being a councillor will be given at the Parish Council meeting on Monday, 3 March at 8.00pm,

 and you can also see the Council at work.

Alternatively contact any of the serving Councillors or the Clerk (names and telephone numbers on page 2)


Please think it over.


John Nowell-Smith

Parish Council Chairman



               Advertising                                        16-23

               Church Services                                5

               Council News                                     2

               Cricket Club                                       10

               Diary Dates                                        back page

               Information                                       14-15

               Newsletter deadline                          15

               UNIT                                                  13

               Village Hall                                         8

               W.I.                                                    12

Parish Council News


Financial matters – a precept of £8,600.00 has been agreed for the year 2003/04.

It was also agreed to raise the charges for advertising in the newsletter (see separate advert on page 17).

The audit for 2001/02 has been completed.


Planning – brief details of any planning applications received will in future be posted on the notice board. This will be in addition to the usual notices which are placed close to the properties concerned.

Thelma Cottage and  Honeysuckle House have been converted into one property and will be known as Thelma Cottage.


Police news – Sergeant Ian Brown attended the January meeting with Constable Richard Pribyl, the Area Beat Officer, and outlined the local arrangements for contacting the police. Thame Station is open from 9.00am to 7.00pm. At other times there will be an answerphone. The telephone number is 264920. Constable Pribyl can be contacted at Wheatley (01865 875568). Both officers urged the public to report anything suspicious to them.




Tiddington with Albury Parish Council Members


Chairman          John Nowell-Smith        339650


Vice Chairman   William Tremayne         279797

                       Public transport,planning

Councillor         Ken Field                     339671


Councillor         Ian Malin                     338126

                       Health & safety,crime

Councillor         Gerald Morrish             339409


Councillor         Alan Stratton              339430


Clerk               Zena Knight                 339340

                       24 Albury View, Tiddington


Bus service 280 – there will be only minor changes to the new timetable from 16 February.


Flooding – the problems experienced in recent weeks have highlighted the need to keep the ditches clear. For the second time of asking, please make sure no rubbish is dumped in ditches. The landowners have a thankless task removing other people’s rubbish.


M40 Junction signing – the County Council is to erect a further sign at the M40/A418 roundabout which it is hoped will stop the heavy lorries taking the wrong exit and turning round in the village. This Council hopes the problem of these dangerous manoeuvres will soon be resolved.


Thame Area Forum – Councillor Gerald Morrish again represented the Council at the latest Forum held at Watlington Primary School on 13 January. News was received that Oxfordshire County Council and other local groups had been unsuccessful in their efforts to retain Thame Magistrates Court. The Court has now closed and cases are dealt with in Oxford.

A presentation was made by the Principal of Rycotewood College, outlining the proposal to move the College to a new site at Bicester. The specialist subjects taught will be retained but the new college will have a broader curriculum base to make it more financially viable. The Rycotewood site will then be sold.

The head of the Cultural Services Department of OCC outlined the cultural strategy for the future and explained the bid for Oxford to become the capital City of Culture.

The next Forum will be held on 3 March at 7.00pm in Thame Town Hall.


Payments – A donation has been made to Thame Citizens Advice Bureau and membership of the Society of Local Council Clerks has been renewed.


From our County Councillor

The flooding in early January is the most serious event that has happened recently, and your District Councillor, Chris Neail, and I are working together with the County Council and SODC to sort out the problems. We are concerned that we get action on this as soon as possible, since we could have quite a lot of rainy months ahead.

Sandy Lane ought to be a lovely country lane to enjoy on foot or bicycle. Instead it is one that many local users fear even in a car because of speeding traffic. The County Council should be coming up with some plans for work to improve safety on this road soon. I am sure we all hope to see something that will really have an effect.

The large articulated lorries that have been doing a U-turn on the main road have been a cause for concern for some months now, and despite many attempts of your Parish Council (backed by me) no-one seemed prepared to look at the probable cause – the signing at the double roundabout. However, at last this has been taken seriously and new signs have been ordered, with a promise that the issue can be looked at again if this new signing does not stop lorries making this difficult and dangerous manoeuvre.

Councillor Anne Purse

Tel: 01865 351404


Refuse skips

Wed 5 February 8.00-9.50 Three Pigeons

Wed 5 February 10.20-12.10 Station Approach

Sat 15 March 9.40-11.00 Station Approach


For dates of skips in neighbouring villages

please see the Parish notice board


2      News from Sandy Lane Farm

About 80 years ago, a man called Albert Howard was sent to India to advise them on ways to make their agriculture more efficient. He was able to teach them very little, but was able to learn from them so very much more. His book became the basis for the Soil Association which has since become a major player in the task of reconnecting man to his natural heritage of sustainable living, honest food and social well-being. One man’s refusal to accept the prevailing wisdom has now become a serious focus for those attempting to change farming methods for the better. It takes a few radicals to initiate changes.

I attended a three- day conference at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, entitled “Trading Fairly from Plough to Plate.” It was very inspiring to hear of so much going on in organic farming worldwide. Sustainable farming is not just a niche market, which may well follow economic ups and downs, but an attitude and a way of life.

So I returned in buoyant mood only to find my potato store flooded with a foot of water. If the water had come through the roof, the insurance would have coughed up, but not if it comes through the door! Of course a lot of so-called acts of God are exacerbated by acts of man: the building on flood plains, deforestation and field drainage for example.

I will conclude by assuming that my articles are printed on recycled paper and read by avid purchasers of local organic food, who are all bent on solving the world’s problems – or Tiddington’s at least.


Charles Bennett



Poppy Collection November 2002

As in previous years, every house in the village is visited but this year we couldn’t go back again to the people who were out, so please accept our apologies. There were collecting boxes at The Garage, The Fox and Centre Caravans.  Collectively the total for Tiddington with Albury amounted to £271.80.

Thanks to all.

Pam Byrne, Joan Manning and Freda Brown

From the Vicar

It’s the last letter. I can write anything because I won’t be here when you read this. Well actually I will, but only for a few more days.

It seems no time since the eclipse of ’99, when removers bumped furniture up the stairs and we got some excellent restoration to our favourite chest of drawers. But in the 3½ years since we scanned the sky with special glasses much has happened.

If there are memories and impressions to take to the inner city they include the myth of the “Rural Idyll.” Someone said to me in our first year here, “If you want to see Waterstock busy come at 7.00 in the morning, everyone’s driving off.”

The traditional pattern of vicars’ lives used to mean visiting in the afternoon. The trouble is that no one’s at home in the afternoon – well not many, and in the evening, either the folk who went off to work at 7.00 don’t want the Vicar calling round at dinner time, or the vicar’s got a particularly important rehearsal, or exciting concert, and they too are work, honest.

What’s happening is that rural and urban life and ministry are starting to share similarities. Farms, like supermarket chains, are getting bigger, and fewer. Shops, schools, Post Offices, pubs, banks, buses are disappearing. Small family groups, commuters relying on cars and needing precious time at weekends are living in quiet, “unspoilt” villages and community life is under a genuine threat. And it’s not just in villages. Urban housing is a priority in the centre of Leeds, along with the retail and commercial development. But these developments appear to be of the one or two bedroom executive type, possibly (probably?) attracting commuters relying on cars and needing precious time………..

So I look back at events and worship and activities which have brought our communities together. The Holton Millennium Stone, the Waterstock Stained Glass, the Waterperry party, the Albury Collage. Then there were our first Advent Carol Service, the Nativity and Wall-hanging, the Palm Sunday Procession. 12th Night Revels, the Jubilee Party and Barn Dance and Holton Mini-Marathon (for Goats) all brought people in. And who will forget “Millennium’s End,” “The Story Spinners” – with the most noble of Cockerels, or “Rainbow’s Arc?”

This list reminds us that people being together, working together, eating and drinking together and worshipping together are what makes our communities function. It reminds us too that the distinctions between Villages and Churches are blurred, or if they aren’t they should be.

The week I write this is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. For the Churches it’s a time to work at what we share, and to do it boldly and to do it our way. It can be a time to say to Dioceses and Moderators “we will unite as we see right.” And the same can apply to others.  So, to WIs, to Holton Players, to Parish Councils and PCCs, Table Tennis and Bridge Clubs, Sunday Club, Rainbow’s Arc Community Project, not to mention our Churches, and to all the other groups who have a passion for life and our communities, keep up all you do because our lives depend on it.       

I shall be watching the web-site from Leeds and if any of our talented groups want to come on tour, I can give you a venue with the best acoustic in the city. Fees negotiable (probably very negotiable).

This prayer sums up what we are about, in our small communities, but also in the wider world –


O God, who has bound us together in this bundle of life, give us grace to understand how our lives depend upon the courage, the industry, the honesty and the integrity of our fellow men and women, that we may be mindful of their needs, grateful for their faithfulness, and faithful in our responsibilities to them; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reinhold Niebuhr, 1892—1971

With thanks for the past and every blessing for the future

Chris Taylor


Concert for Peace

The recent concert organised by Janet Kirkley at Holton was a very well presented and thoughtful evening, showing the folly and wickedness of the moves towards war in Iraq. Many thanks to all involved, and especially for your generosity to Oxfam and the World Challenge Group. On the same theme, there is a telling picture of Bishop Richard still strongly opposed to the likely war, in the latest Amnesty International magazine.





Caroline and Chris Taylor will be leaving (officially) after Sunday 9 February

so please come to

Holton Vicarage

Sunday 9 February

from 12.00noon onwards

for drinks, nibbles and goodbyes.


We take our leave and head to the frozen north soon after, and we would like to say goodbye and thank you to as many people as possible

RSVP not necessary – just turn up any time after 12.00noon




Advance Notice

Ash Wednesday, 5th March

There will be a Team Service for Ash Wednesday at St Mary’s, Wheatley. This will be aimed particularly towards Young People. Anyone interested in taking part please let Chris know – quickly!


From the Registers

Christian Funerals             2 January at St Helen’s, Albury             Muriel Prior

                                             14 January at Holton                               Bill Watts

                                             May they rest in peace and rise in glory

                                             We remember their families and friends



Church Services





2 February

Holy Communion


Holy Communion


Holy Communion




9 February


Holy Communion

Combined Service




16 February

Morning Prayer


(or Waterstock)

Morning Prayer



Morning Prayer


(or Albury)

23 February

Holy Communion


Family Service




Holy Communion


2 March


Holy Communion


Holy Communion


Holy Communion




Further Services in March to be arranged

Recent Floods


Just a thank you

Many residents of Tiddington were affected by the floods that occurred in Tiddington on New Year’s Day, especially in Thame Road.

It was reassuringly nice to see everyone pulling together to combat the rising level of water, especially those from the top of the village, who themselves were not affected. Angus Palmer, his wife Karen and Mike Robinson spent three very appreciated hours helping to sandbag properties, which undoubtedly saved some from flooding.

The Thame Road residents would like to express their thanks for the unselfish way they helped out, and also to extend our thanks to PC Prybil, who arranged for the road to be closed and spent time helping, and the owner of Stoneworld, who provided sandbags when the council could not be contacted.

Dawn and Brian Price

Tudor Cottage


A letter of thanks

Janet and John wish to express their deep felt gratitude to all the people who came to our assistance during the flooding on New Year’s Day.

Close neighbours, nodding acquaintances, people we had never met before, and the new local “beat bobby” (Richard), all pitched in and surrounded our cottage with sandbags. With their assistance and warm encouragement, the damage was limited to the loss of a study carpet.

Without their assistance we are convinced that the whole of the ground floor would have been flooded. Richard even returned at the end of his shift to ensure that we were both well and as comfortable as could be expected. Our faith in community spirit is completely restored and we cannot thank you wonderful folks enough. In an effort to stop this happening again, we would respectfully request your further help. This time it only affected a few of us, but if nothing is done, it could well involve more homes the next time. Please try and attend the local parish meetings to pursue the matter with the council representatives, or write to the relevant council departments to express your feelings over their lack of concern with a problem that has existed for many years, and will only get worse unless it is attended to.

Once again we thank all of you for your much valued assistance.

Janet and John Willis

Spring Cottage


Weather Statistics

Sandbags in Tiddington


There were two days when it did not rain in Tiddington.

Rainfall for the month was 4.89ins         130mm

Wettest day was the 6th   .6ins

Warmest day was the 2nd  60degF          16degC


24 wet days

Wettest days 21st and 22nd          1.1ins

Frost on 18th and 19th

January up to 13th

Frost from 4th to 13th

Coldest night was 12/13th  22degF          -5degC

2002 has been the second warmest globally since records began in 1860. Nine of the ten warmest years have occurred since 1990, including the warmest in 1998. The global rise was caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

In Britain 2002 was the fourth warmest since records began in 1659. Scientists say that 2003 stands a chance of being as warm as 1998. There is a 50% chance that it will be warmer.

Let us hope that the proposed war on Iraq will have no bearing on it.      

Glen Evans


Digital Photography

If you are interested in learning about Digital Photography, then the SODC Rural Learning Scheme is offering a subsidised 3-hour introduction class to be held at Tiddington Village Hall sometime in March 2003. The session will give you an insight into Digital Photography, and will cover both the cameras and the associated computer software that’s available. You will also get “hands on” experience using a digital camera and laptop computer.

The cost per person will be £12.00 and (subject to numbers) we hope to offer two session times, one in the afternoon and the other in the evening.

If this is something that you would like to attend, then please call Alan Stratton (339430) to register your interest.


BT installation of ADSL


For those people who use the Internet either for browsing or email, the fast method is to have an ADSL. However British Telecom will only enable the local exchange if sufficient people register with them as requiring the service. British Telecom has enabled the Thame exchange but not the local one serving this village and that of Ickford or Milton Common through the Ickford exchange. At the last count only thirty seven people have registered and BT have not even reviewed the installation of ADSL and given a percentage as to total registrations required. If, however, everyone who is interested in having the service, registered with BT, maybe Tiddington and our neighbours will get ADSL within a reasonable period of time. You may register your interest by going to the BT website shown below, which will then guide you through to registration.


John Savell, 8 North Close

Tiddington Village Hall


On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank villagers and friends for their support at the Christmas Bingo and New Year's Eve functions. The bingo raised a record breaking £413.00, which will go towards new equipment for the hall, while the New Year's Eve Party raised another £150.00 for Church funds. Thank you to all who gave up their time to help, collect prizes, clear up and all the other things that go on behind the scenes. A special thank you also goes to Stephen Bowley and his family for the very kind donation of the fabulous fireworks we all enjoyed as the clock struck 12.

Piano for sale – we’ve decided that as the piano only gets used once a year (for the carols) and with the cold store cupboard not being the most ideal place to store it, we’d like it to go to a new home. We are open to offers, it is still in good condition and would make a great piece of furniture in someone’s dining room. Please give Joyce a call if you are interested (339430)


Finally, in order to maintain and improve our Village Hall, the committee has decided to increase some of the hiring fees from 1 April 2003. Most remain unchanged, in particular those which apply to village groups.

The main changes are:


Fundraising Events organised

by non-villagers                  £10.00 per hour

Kiddies Parties                   £5.00 per hour

Ad-Hoc hiring                     £10.00 per hour

Non-Village Parties            £120.00

The other change is that the deposit for hiring the hall will increase to £50.00, payable in Cash ONLY


With best wishes for 2003 and we look forward to seeing you at the hall this year.


Alan Stratton


Village Hall Committee

Tiddington Village Hall

Forthcoming events

Instant Wit – live in the Village Hall on Saturday 8 February at 7.30pm

Instant Wit is a quick-fire and highly interactive Comedy Improvisation show, packed full of sketches, gags, songs, bizarre physical positions and surreal situations.

“Conspicuously skilful performers – everyone is exhilarated on stage and off!”  Guardian

“Riotous, interactive and very very clever. How do they do it? Fabulous!”  Anita Roddick

“If you enjoy fast-paced comedy off-the-cuff, Instant Wit have no equal.” Bristol Evening Post

It’s a great live show (suitable for ages 12 and above). Come and enjoy some real live performers in your own village hall. All profits go to the Village Hall Fund.

Tickets from Alan Stratton (339430) priced at £6.00 for adults, £4.50 for OAP’s and children aged 12 to 17.

A FREE Tea Dance in the Village Hall on Sunday 23 February from 2.30pm (see page 11)


Joyce Stratton




Tiddington Cricket Club


Last month’s floods were the worst that anybody can remember. I for one have never ever seen the roadway to the pavilion flooded before. To be met by the sight of the pavilion looking like an island and empty barrels and cans floating towards the brook was an incredible sight, one not to be forgotten. We had, therefore, to be thankful for the cold spell that followed as we had some respite from the rains and the floods had time to recede. Unfortunately, with the ground still saturated, any further rain will only result in further floods.

Despite all of these problems our thoughts and efforts are firmly geared towards our programme for the year ahead.

The cricket fixture list is now complete, having received league fixtures for Saturdays (3 teams) and Sundays. Pre-season nets have already started with further sessions on

           Sunday 23 February  from 2 - 3 pm

           Sunday 30 March from 1 – 3 pm

           Sunday 6 April from 1 – 3 pm

           Sunday 13 April from 1 – 3 pm

all at the Park Sports Centre, Holton.

A trial fitness session has also taken place in Ickford Village Hall and if the response demands it, further sessions will be organised. The session aims to stretch and strengthen muscles that for some have been largely redundant over the winter, and prepare for the rigours of the cricket season.

The players pre-season evening starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 29 March and includes a supper. We welcome new players to any of these events as they provide a good opportunity to meet the players and see the standard at which we play.

Our first fundraising event for the year will be a quiz night to be held in the pavilion on Saturday 1 March starting at 8 pm for teams of four.

The AGM, which in the last newsletter was reported to be held on Sunday 19 January, will now take place on Sunday 2 February at 7.30pm.

Sincere thanks to all who supported the Christmas Draw either through buying tickets or donating prizes.


Ray Manning




Phone the OCC Junk Mail Hotline on

01865 816070 to request a solution pack



National Children’s Home

Thank you to all those with home collection boxes who contributed to the 2002 total of £171.50.

The NCH was founded over 130 years ago by Revd Thomas Bowman Stephenson, who provided a safe refuge for orphaned and homeless children in London by renovating a disused stable and establishing the organisation that late became country wide.

The work now covers a wide field including:

§         Fostering and adoption

§         Running small residential homes

§         Family mediation services

§         Respite care and community support for children with physical handicap and learning difficulties

§         Projects for care leavers and homeless young people

§         Support for young carers

The generous support given enables NCH to work locally with vulnerable children

If you would like to know more about the work or would like to have a “Light of Life” home collection box please contact Jennie Sherlock-Williams on 01844 339359



Wheatley Library

Happy New Year from us all at the library. Did you make your Resolution and pay us a visit?

The library is opposite the Church and has car parking. Opening times are:

Tuesday        2.00 – 7.00

Wednesday   9.30 – 1.00    2.00 – 5.00

Thursday      2.00 – 5.00

Friday                       9.30 – 1.00    2.00 – 6.00

Saturday      9.30 – 1.00

Telephone: 01865 875267

As well as a good selection of books, videos and books on cassette, internet and photocopy facilities are available. Watch this space as DVDs are coming!

Carole Underwood

Library Manager

Waterstock & Tiddington W.I.


Our Christmas Dinner at the Clifden Arms, Worminghall in early December was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. We were made most welcome and the food was excellent.

And more delicious food was conjured up by Mrs Barbara Gray at our January meeting. Her “posh puds” looked scrumptious and those who won the desserts in the raffle were certainly in for a treat.

On 13 February, we welcome back Mr P Sheasby to speak on “Spring in South Africa.” No doubt his slides will be a delight as always. At the meeting we have a bring and buy stall and members will also be asked to consider standing for committee.

This is the sign that another busy and interesting year will be coming to a close, and we hold our AGM on 13 March.

Returning to February, we are holding a Skittles Evening on Saturday, 22 February from 7.30pm. Play will begin at 8.00pm and there will be a break for supper during the evening. There will also be a licensed bar. It should be great fun and tickets are £6.00 from Maureen Marchant (339300) or Anne Purnell (279429)

We hold our monthly meetings on the second Thursday in the month in the Village Hall at 7.30pm and visitors are always very welcome.


Zena Knight


Could you spare a couple of hours a week to befriend someone with autism?


No experience is necessary, just a person who is friendly, reliable, willing to learn and sensitive to the needs of others.

For more information contact Rachel Pike,

Family Services Development Officer – Autism

Thomley Hall Centre, Menmarsh Road,

Worminghall, Bucks. HP18 9JZ

Tel/Fax: 01844 338696

Email: rachel@childrenintouch.freeserve.co.uk

United Neighbours In Tiddington


The Dinner Dance was a highly enjoyable evening – good food as usual and brilliant music that we danced to most of the night. This was followed on the next Tuesday by our Christmas meeting, an informal affair as usual, which again was enjoyed by all. Both of these events were a fitting end to the hectic celebrations of our twenty- fifth year.

The post box this year raised more than £40.00 towards our charities this year (Thame Day Centre and Macmillan Nurses) and the total of our donations for 2002 was £400.00.

Please come along to any meeting (dates will be included in the Newsletter Diary) as our guest if you would like to see what we are all about, or for any more information about our club, please contact Josie Adams or myself.

Pat Wise


Oxfordshire Children’s Information Service


Provides information for parents and carers about childcare and leisure activities for children aged 0-16 in Oxfordshire. The service is totally free of charge and includes information on all registered childcare as well as Toddler Groups, Family Centres, Special Needs, Youth Groups and Libraries.


Telephone helpline open 9-5 Mon-Fri:

01993 886933

Email: enquiries@oxoncis.org.uk

Website: www.oxoncis.org.uk