www.tiddingtonoxon.co.uk                              APRIL/MAY 2004


U  From the editor


Spring – it’s official! We have all those Bank Holidays to look forward to in the next two months.

I chose 28 January (see Weather Statistics on page 8) to collect the last Newsletter from the printers and deliver to my distributors. Collecting early in the day was OK but later I started off in Milton Common in rain. By the other end of Sandy Lane in Tiddington I was in thick snow! Needless to say the remaining deliveries were delayed for a day or two!

A very Happy Easter to everyone.


Zena Knight



Car Service for appointments at hospitals and with doctors


We are hoping to start a car service for anyone in the village who has difficulty in arranging transport to get to appointments with their doctor or at the local hospitals.

As soon as you have details of your appointment, please get in touch with

Thelma Blake on 01844 279567

so that suitable transport arrangements may be made

Fleur Hughes

01844 338254




Don’t Miss Out on Council Tax or Housing Benefit

Did you know?


·          More than 1.4 million pensioners are losing out on Council Tax Benefit


·          Up to 860,000 households are failing to claim £960 million in Housing Benefit.

·          Up to 2 million households are failing to claim £860 million in Council Tax Benefit.


For further information please contact Benefits on 01491 823579 or e-mail benefitssodcuk@liberata.com Alternatively write to:


South Oxfordshire District Council, Benefits Service

Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford OX10 8NX







Yvonne Cartwright’s

Fitness and Yoga Classes

This class runs on a regular basis every

Thursday at 10.30am


 Tiddington Village Hall


Parish Council News


North Close parking – further reports of inconsiderate parking had been received and it was agreed that the Police would be informed if the situation did not improve. 


Milton Common notice board – erection has been delayed due to a query which has now been resolved. Notices allowed in the locked cabinet will mirror those on the notice board in Tiddington and include Parish Council information, items of local interest from the District and County Councils and selected local community events.


Concessionary fares tokens – the Parish Council agreed to leave the parish contribution at £13.00 per person for the year 2004/05.


Street lighting on A418 – consideration is being given to the installation of a street light in the vicinity of the bus stops on the A418. On the recommendation of the County Council, it is proposed to erect a lamp standard on the north side of the A418 to throw light down on to both bus shelters. Light would be shielded from the properties on the north side of the A418. OCC has been asked to give a quote for



Tiddington with Albury Parish Council Members

Chairman          John Nowell-Smith        339650

                       Econ.development, businesses

Vice Chairman   William Tremayne         279797

                       Public transport, planning, highways,

                       footpaths, street furniture

Councillor         Roy Boughton                339497

                       Health and safety

Councillor         Ken Field                     339671

                       Housing, planning, building & controls

Councillor         Alan Stratton              339430

                       Sport, recreation, arts, tourism, grants,

                       awards, lottery

Councillor         Janet Willis                339415

                       Environment, conservation, recycling,


Clerk               Zena Knight                 339340

                       24 Albury View, Tiddington

the work with a view to acceptance, but if there are any objections to the installation from residents, please let the Clerk or a Councillor know.


BT Phone Books – the recent changes to format and coverage of the local phone book have led to complaints from residents because the parish is on the border with Oxford but only receives the Aylesbury book. Following a letter to BT, one of many apparently received, residents may request the phone book covering the Oxford area to be delivered free of charge by calling the freephone customer services number on 0800 833 400, selecting option 1.


Village website – the website has been up and running for a while now and ideas would be welcome from residents for its continued improvement and development. Please let Alan Stratton know (Tel: 339430) if you can help.


Community waste service – from 1 April, the skip service implemented last year will be continued but there will be no skip lorries for garden waste provided to the local villages. Please see separate notice for details of locations and times.


Thame Area Forum – the next forum will be held on 18 May at 7.00pm in Chinnor Village Centre. Subjects for discussion will be put on the notice boards, but all residents are welcome to attend and raise any issues about the services that the County and District Councils provide.


Payments – a donation has been made to the Oxfordshire Association for the Blind.


Reusable shopping bags from OCC

Request a Waste Reduction Pack and receive a voucher for a free calico shopping bag.

Telephone: 01865 816070 or

Email:  waste.management@oxfordshire.gov.uk

From a Parish Councillor


My first year on the Parish Council. . .

“Me, become a Parish Councillor – no way!”

Well, that was my first reaction and that was after trying to chat husband, John, into taking it on. I do also feel that Wendy next door should take some of the blame. She also thought it was a good idea and didn’t think for one minute I wouldn’t be any good at it!

I have to be honest and say I probably joined because of the flooding at New Year 2003 and thought, possibly, that was all the Parish Council did – sort out people’s complaints and arrange to cut the grass each summer. How wrong I was! The agenda each month is full of various topics ranging from Planning, Highways, Rights of Way, Trees, Telephone Directories, Bus Fares, Parking, Street Lights, Bus Shelters, etc.

We meet on the first Monday of each month at 8.00pm and the meeting finishes between 10.15 and 10.30. Anne Purse, our County Councillor joins us most months. As you can imagine with six of us (Roy Boughton was co-opted a few months after the May election) we are not always in agreement and some things take a while to resolve!

I attended my first meeting armed with agenda, pen and notebook, not knowing quite what to expect. My fellow Councillors, Chairman John and Zena, our Parish Clerk were sat at the ready. Alan and Ken I knew already (who doesn’t?). It just remained for me to meet William, so first hurdle over already.

The meeting consisted of a wide range of topics, but the things that puzzled me most were all the abbreviations – SODC, CPRE, OALC, DEFRA, CAG (what?) and people’s first names were used (so who was head or in charge of what?) Everyone else seemed to know “who’s who”. Still, this would come in the fullness of time (estimate the next 5-10 years or so!)

My prime responsibility was to be for recycling, which I do feel passionately about. OCC seems to be very well organised in this area. They do have special projects which I hope to be able to inform you about from time to time via this Newsletter.

I was recently asked to be a “stand-in” for Gerry, who regularly empties the rubbish bins in the children’s play area. I was most surprised to see syringes! Whilst I appreciate that we do not provide bins for the exclusive use of dog fouling, these items were placed in the rubbish bins (given that this was wrapped in plastic bags and although it was only February, the smell was extremely offensive). The cost of providing a bin for dogs is nearly £200 plus a weekly charge for collection, all of which the Parish Council feels is a high cost to be taken from the parish funding. Please remember this is a children’s playing area for the use of our children and grandchildren. It is up to us to keep it a healthy environment.

I am very pleased to be able to be part of the Parish Council. My only regret is we do not have many members of the public attending our meetings. As an “outsider” I find it difficult to understand why. You have such a lively village, which remains alive and vibrant, but it can only remain so with your help. Do try and come along and support us. We would be pleased to hear your comments – whether they are good or bad! I know you have been at work all day and it is a big effort to come out again – I felt exactly the same – but your village needs your input to go on into the future with the same sparkle as it has now.

Janet Willis

Parish Councillor


Refuse skips

Skips are available every Saturday at:

Wheatley Primary School, Littleworth Rd

8.00 – 12.00

1st & 3rd Saturday for garden waste

2nd & 4th Saturday for non-recyclables

Thame Cattlemarket

8.00 – 12.00 or until full

From your County Councillor


There are a number of reasons to be concerned about the transport system in Oxfordshire. Many of us get held up at Green Road roundabout; we frequently hear of slow moving traffic on the A34. There are more and heavier vehicles on the smaller roads, and everything seems to go increasingly fast and furious.

Are there any solutions? Some people advocate building new roads to accommodate the traffic, but very few people want those roads near them, or near the countryside they love. Also, there is a well-known effect that extra traffic soon appears to fill up the new roads, so the benefit is not long lasting. In addition, there are always knock on effects. The bypass that eased traffic around Newbury encouraged extra traffic through the “two lane only” bottleneck at Botley, where widening is unlikely because of the closeness of houses to the road.

A newer idea is road pricing. This has been effective in Central London, and might be applicable elsewhere, but it would not necessarily be right for Oxfordshire. Some places can achieve extra capacity by using less used routes, but there is no point in pricing cars off major roads in Oxfordshire on to village routes that are already heavily used.

Various ideas are already being considered at different levels. First, at a local level I am still working with the Parish Council to press for something more than just signing for Sandy Lane. I had only one response to my request in this newsletter for more information on accidents or injuries on this road, and would again appeal for any more information that could strengthen our case.

On a higher level, the County Council has come forward with a set of measures that will help the Green Road roundabout. You may have heard of the “hamburger” solution, that would give an extra two lanes of traffic going between the A40 from the Wheatley direction to the north of Oxford via the Ring Road. Some minor work will take place before that, but the main work is not scheduled until 2006/07 – something that I am really concerned about, as I think we need a solution as soon as possible. This roundabout has only become the County’s responsibility in the last couple of years. Previously the Green Road roundabout at Headington was a Central Government responsibility, and they repeatedly turned down the County’s requests to improve the situation. Oxfordshire County Council has recognised the need to act, but I believe that we need to see action as soon as possible at this trouble spot.

Lastly, a new approach to the whole issue of transport in the County is being developed in the Transport Networks Review. That is a piece of work set up to identify the problems that will be facing us up to 2011, and seek solutions. Parish Councils and others have been invited to take part in this work, so that the County Council has a wide spread of information from local people throughout the county.

Although there are no magic solutions, the County Council is working to recognise the problems and to provide appropriate measures where possible. I would be pleased to hear your views on this matter.

Anne Purse, County Councillor

Tel: 01865 351404

Email:  anne.purse@oxfordshire.gov.uk



Wood Recycling

OCC has introduced a Wood Recycling Scheme. Take your new or used wood to a local

 Waste Recycling Centres at

 Redbridge (Oxford) or Oakley Wood (Wallingford)

Other recycling schemes include garden tools, carpentry tools, tins of paint and second-hand furniture.

For further information ring 01865 815796

From your District Councillor


First, the bad news. We are not, under present plans, to get our skip back (see details elsewhere)

Now, the chink of light. The Leader of the District Council is not getting hers either and she does not like it. Representations have been made, particularly criticising the survey methodology on which the decision was based. As a result, the District Council is considering appointing a surveyor of surveys and a review of the skip position is possible.

A great deal of time has been taken up at the Council in connection with its Comprehensive Performance Assessment, which gives it a grade and forms a basis for comparison with other Councils. There are high hopes of moving from Fair to Good, although it is acknowledged that Excellent is probably more than can be expected this time round.

You should all by now have received your Council Tax demands. These are higher than SODC would have liked particularly as it has managed to keep its own rise to 2.7%. It has no control over the County Council or the Police Authority, for which it acts as collecting agent. Similarly it does not control Parish precepts. Tiddington’s remains broadly in line with similar councils.

A new Council year begins in May and will hopefully bring improvements in services which affect this Parish

John Nowell-Smith

Tel: 01844 339650



BT has a trigger level set to 200 for the Ickford exchange.

The current figure registered is 171. We only require 29 more people to register.

Register now at http://www.bt.com/btbroadband/register

Mark Stoker

From the Vicar


This is the first time I have written for this newsletter and I would like to express a warm thank you on behalf of my whole family for the warm welcome we have received from everybody.  We are very pleased to be amongst you and look forward to getting to know you better over the coming weeks and months.


Please feel free to get in touch when you need to. My number is 01865 873451 and my e-mail is caroline.king@virgin.net.  I work part time but I will always return a message as soon as I can.  I am usually available at the Vicarage on Monday mornings. You are especially welcome to call or visit then.

This year Easter is on 11 April. Easter Day is the church’s major feast day and there will be a service at 9.30am in St Helen’s Albury.  I shall be sharing the leading of that service with John Nowell-Smith and I hope to meet a number of you there.

Easter is a wonderful time, and nature echoes the theme of new life as the blossom comes out, the trees become green and the spring flowers continue to bloom.  It is the good news of Easter that gives life depth and meaning; it shows to us that suffering and evil can never have the final word.

As I write this letter, I am only too aware of the evil things that happen in this world. The Madrid bombings were only last week and the Spanish people are struggling to uphold democracy amidst the carnage that was unleashed upon them.  How do we respond to such atrocities?

I firmly believe that for Christians we must hold on to the message of Easter.  Jesus died a real and mortal death on the cross, the victim of human cruelty.  But the story did not end there. If it had Jesus would have been a good man who died on a cross, the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice.

Yet three days after his death a strange thing happened - people claimed to have met Jesus.  Mary Magdalene in the garden of Gethsemane was the first person to meet Jesus.  At first she didn’t recognise him, but her grief was transformed and she took the news of the risen Christ to the disciples who met Jesus first in the upper room and then on the road to Emmaus.  They believed because they met the risen Christ and he transformed their lives; where there was despair there was hope once again. 

For Christians the message of Easter is not only history. The risen Christ is present in this


world today and seeks to transform our lives with his message of love and hope, an assurance that God’s final word will not be the victory of evil, but that evil will be conquered by the gentle transforming love of the risen Jesus.    The message of Easter is really a message of hope and joy.  This Easter I pray that we may experience and know something of God’s risen power in our own lives.


With best wishes for a very happy Easter




Church Services

St Helen’s Church, Albury (unless otherwise stated)

4 April

Palm Sunday

9.30am Walk from Waterstock to Waterperry with Eucharist at Waterperry

Holy Week


Mon to Thu


8.15pm Compline will be said in St Bartholomew’s, Holton

7.30am Prayer breakfasts held at URC, Wheatley

8 April

Maundy Thursday

9.30am Holy Communion at St Leonard’s, Waterstock

9 April

Good Friday

9.30am Walk of Witness in Wheatley starting at Our Lady of Lourdes

12.00noon Service at Waterperry

11 April

Easter Sunday

9.30am Holy Communion with Caroline King and John Nowell-Smith


18 April

9.30am Holy Communion with Caroline King

25 April

8.00am Holy Communion (BCP) with Caroline King

2 May

9.30am Holy Communion

9 May

9.30am Matins with John Nowell-Smith

16 May

9.30am Morning Prayer

23 May

8.00am Holy Communion (BCP)

30 May

10.00am Cluster Service at Holton for Pentecost


Young People in the Wheatley Team

Thank you to all who helped to make Ash Wednesday so special.


Party Time! Party Time! Party Time!

On Sunday, 25 April there will be a

Party for Young People

At Angela’s home in Purley-on-Thames

For further information please contact Angela Butler on 0118 942 2055


Catherine Bibikoff - 1935 to 2003


Catherine was born in Wallasey, Cheshire in 1935, to parents who came from a Russian aristocratic family, whose documented family tree goes back to the year AD 536. Catherine’s generation were the first in line since that date not to use their titles.

Catherine’s father, Captain Liakhoff was a cavalry officer and ADC to General Wrangel in the white army, and having worked with guide dog training in Switzerland was recommended to join the fledgling organisation in the UK. He arrived in England in October 1933 and was to serve the Association as trainer, director of training, and finally as consultant until his death in 1962.

Her mother was Princess Ourousoff, who was a nurse during the Russian Revolution and later worked for the British Government in Salonika. Both she and Captain Liakhoff had escaped Russia during the revolution and met in Odessa.

Catherine and her sister were brought up in Wallasey and Leamington Spa Guide Dog Centres and were the first fundraisers and puppy walkers, later working closely with their father who was assistant director of training. In the early 1950’s Catherine and her husband, a biologist and entomologist took the Guide Dog movement to South Africa, where they set up the country’s first Guide Dog Centre.

Catherine spoke English, French and Russian fluently and wrote three books but never tried to have them published. She attended the University in Lausanne, Switzerland and lived with her aunt Countess Susanett, a great friend of Coco Chanel. She was often invited to dinner parties, where she met the rich and famous of that time.

While in South Africa her marriage broke up and she returned to England with her 2-year old daughter Olga. She struggled to make ends meet and sadly was never able to make a home of her own, something she desperately wanted for her daughter and herself.


Catherine ended up after many moves in a rented cottage in Tiddington, where she lived for nearly 20 years. Catherine was very lonely and unhappy. She was looking forward to being taken to her daughter’s on Christmas Eve for a couple of weeks away from the cottage. However on Christmas Eve she was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital instead.

Everyone that knew her well will remember her sense of humour, her ability to talk and enjoy conversations on current affairs, her love and compassion for animals, her friends and family, the Russian Orthodox Church and at times her outspokenness.



United Neighbours In Tiddington


At our January meeting we were given a very humorous talk and shown some slides on “three weeks in China” by a lady who, despite the food and some aspects of the life there which are so alien to our own, obviously has very fond memories of this country.

This was followed by our AGM and election of the committee members, that this year resulted in little change (full committee list on notice board in the Village Hall).

Our February meeting began with a talk on the statues and interesting sculptures of London, including a little history of each one.

On 20 April we have a talk entitled “Leather Carving” and in May on the 18th we hear about “Oxford: a bus top view”.

Several of us are going to the latest Chinnor Players musical in April, as we have for many years now, and later in the year we are planning a trip to the dogs, a Christmas shopping trip to Cheltenham, a barbecue in August and our usual Dinner Dance on 4 December, amongst other things.

For any other information about our club, please contact Josie Adams, Julie Smith or any committee member.

Pat Wise

Weather statistics


Will be remembered for the snow on the 28th, which arrived in Tiddington at 16.00 hours, and brought chaos on the roads. Most unusual was that it was accompanied by lightning. This was followed by the electricity going off between 17.15 and 23.15 hours. I have not heard the reason why; while the surrounding areas were fine.

We had 16 wet days and 13 days of frost.


Rather a mixed month for weather. The temperature in Gravesend was the highest for the first week of February at 64.2degF (17.9degC). The rain for the western part of the country was exceptional. Snowdonia had 6.48ins of rain in 24 hours and 10.75ins in 3 days. This equals Essex rainfall for the whole of February.

We had 1.35ins for the month, with 17 rain-free days, and 14 days of frost. Our coldest night was on the 25th, when the temperature fell to 19degF (-7degC).

In the last 100 years, 30 February’s were warmer and 70 colder, while 39 have been drier and 61 were wetter.

March up to 18th

So far we have had 6 days of frost with snow on the 12th.

Total rainfall so far is 1.1ins.

Let us hope that we shall be seeing more beautiful Spring days as we had on the 16th.


Glen Evans


Waterstock & Tiddington W.I.


At our Annual Meeting in March, Sue Cox was re-elected President and members were told of the interesting programme of speakers that has been arranged for the new year. We shall also be celebrating the 80th anniversary of the WI, which was formed in October 1924 and at that time included Waterperry.

Plans for the year ahead include a sales table at most monthly meetings. Members will have a chance to sell goods, which might include surplus garden produce, home-made cakes, hand-made items, to name a few. The WI will take 10% commission on the sales. Notice of the sales tables will be shown in the new printed programme, available at the April meeting.

On 8 April, Mary Daniel of Age Concern will give a talk entitled “Add life to years” and there will be a bring and buy stall.

The Resolutions for the National AGM will be discussed on 13 May. There are three subjects - trafficking of women and children, growing of GM crops in the UK and Air Ambulance Service funding. The first of the sales tables will be organised.

On 21 April, the Group Meeting will be held in Thame Town Hall and men and women from Sulgrave Manor will be dressed in costume depicting Tudor times. A group outing to Sulgrave Manor will follow on 2 July, when a guided tour will be arranged and a buffet lunch provided on a day when the house is not normally open to the public.

Holton WI is organising a bluebell walk on 15 May at 2.00pm from the Village Hall and tea will be provided afterwards.

Members and friends will be taking the coach to the Playhouse to see "Kiss Me Kate” performed by the Oxford Operatic Society on 19 May. This is always enjoyed as the special coach provides a door-to-door service.

Our monthly meetings are held in Tiddington Village Hall on the second Thursday in the month at 7.30pm. Visitors and new members will be made very welcome.

Zena Knight



Refuse collection days will be Tuesdays following the three Bank Holidays coming in April and May

See Dates for your Diary

Tiddington Cricket Club


April is always an exciting time of year as it signifies the start of a new playing season. In preparation for this, pre-season fitness sessions and nets continue on the following dates:

Fitness: Thursday 1 April Ickford Village Hall                                  7.15 – 8.30pm

              Thursday 8 April Ickford Village Hall                                  7.15 – 8.30pm

Nets final session: 4 April Lower School Thame

1- 2pm

We have arranged two work parties on Saturday 3 April and Friday 9 April at 10.00am to prepare for the new season. The pre-season players’ meeting is on 3 April starting at 7.30pm in the Clubhouse. A supper is included at approx £3.

Outdoor nets and coaching for senior players and all players over 13 years old will start on Thursday 15 April. Junior coaching for all children under 13 years (minimum age 7 years) will now take place on Wednesday evenings from 6.30 to 8.00pm starting on 5 May and continuing to the last Wednesday in July.

We will almost certainly have the service of an Australian coach to oversee the above sessions.

Early season fixtures:

Saturday 17 April Home vs. Thame

Sunday 18 April Away vs. Middleton Stoney

The National Village competition for us starts on Sunday 2 May Away vs. Moreton/Baldons followed the day after (Monday Bank Holiday) with the annual match against our President’s eleven.

The winter Aunt Sally League has now finished, with our team doing well to finish in the top three. The outdoor season starts in May with both teams looking forward to the new season.

Hopefully we will know whether we have been awarded a grant towards a new pavilion very soon. A positive result will mean that work starts in the autumn.

As ever we welcome new members and players. Please contact myself or at the Clubhouse bar should you require further information.


Ray Manning


Tiddington Village Hall


The Village Hall was the venue for two more entertaining events. In February we had a group called “Band of Two” perform to an enthusiastic crowd. The evening raised nearly £200 and was well attended. Then last month we had the return of “Instant Wit”, a trio of actors who put on a brilliant performance considering the very poor attendance. Unfortunately, we think the weather was a contributing factor to the small turnout and those who were thinking of coming and didn’t, missed out on a wonderfully funny night.

Please help by supporting the Village Hall events. We are fortunate enough to have a superb facility, which is well maintained and looked after, but we always need help in keeping it going. This year we hope to re-develop the toilets to add disabled facilities and increase the size of the kitchen. This of course will take time and money, so please help in any way you can. After all, it’s your Village Hall!

Alan Stratton





Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Open afternoons 1.30-4.30pm (free)

26 May Instrumentation

Detectors for imaging X-ray emissions from the Sun, capturing spectrum of ultraviolet light, etc

21 July Isis and Particle Physics

World’s most powerful pulsed neutron spallation source

To reserve a place contact Emma Gilgunn-Jones Tel: 01235 445553



There will unfortunately be no storytime during the Easter holidays, but the next one will be on 1 June for 4 – 8 year olds.

FREE tickets must be collected in advance.

Junior Book Sale on 25 May

Half Term – Half Price

Starts 28 May – Junior videos (U, PG, 12).


Exciting news! Wheatley Library is going to be linked to a fully computerised Oxfordshire Library System later this year. So watch this space or pop in to see us. Do not forget, we already have public use terminals for you to e-mail, etc. Free of charge!


Our opening times are as follows:-

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


Tel: 01865 875267

Carole Underwood

Library Manager







The Benson Hot Cross Bun Run

Benson’s first ever 10K Road Race


Sunday 11 April, 10.30am


The race will start and finish in Benson and take in Rokemarsh, Roke and Berrick Salome


For further information contact

Les Bond on 01491 838585











Oxford Touring Opera at Rofford Manor, Little Milton


Bring a picnic    Enjoy the glorious garden   Inside if wet


Friday 18th June at 7.30 pm (gardens open from 6 pm)


Ticket price: £17.50   Tickets on sale from April 1st


Contact: CPRE Branch Office   Tel: 01865 874780

Email: oxoncpre@globalnet.co.uk

Website: www.cpreoxon.org.uk



Mobile phones or similar

 hand-held devices

Under new regulations which came into force on 1 December 2003, it is a specific offence to use a hand-held phone or similar device, when driving. The penalty is a £30 fixed penalty or up to £1,000 on conviction in court (£2,500 for drivers of goods vehicles, buses or coaches). Drivers still risk prosecution (for failure to have proper control) if they use hands-free phones when driving. If there is an incident and the driver is using any phone (hand-held or hands-free) then there is a risk of prosecution for careless or dangerous driving.

The regulations also apply to anyone supervising a learner driver and those held up in traffic jams unless the engine is switched off for any length of time.


Great Haseley and District Horticultural Society


Visits arranged for 2004:

Wednesday, 5 May at 6.30pm

Turn End, Haddenham. This one acre garden has been cleverly designed by its owner Peter Aldington as a series of interconnected and enclosed gardens, to give the impression of a much larger garden. There should be a wonderful display of late bulbs and blossom. Mr Aldington will introduce the garden and describe how it has evolved.

Members £3.50       Non-members £4.50


Wednesday, 23 June at 3.00pm

The Manor House, Bledlow, Bucks. This lovely garden has been designed and recreated over a period of 50 years by Lord and Lady Carrington. It is a large garden and, amongst other things, there is a walled herbaceous and kitchen garden, topiary and sculpture gardens, and a water garden through which runs the River Lyde, a tributary of the River Thame. The Head Gardener will introduce the garden.

Members £4.50       Non-members £5.50


Further information and tickets in advance from: Mary Isaac, Brooks Cottage, Great Haseley. Tel: 01844 279606



What’s on for kids over the Easter holidays with SOLL Leisure

Thame Leisure Centre (01844 215607) Book up for 2 weeks of fun sporting and arty activities including drama workshops, fencing, kite making, swimming lessons and much more.

The Park Sports Centre, Holton (01865 872128). Camp SOLL Easter themed day camps including Easter egg hunts, biscuit designing and arts and crafts. For the more sporty book up for trampoline coaching, gymnastics, dance workshops and SAS Keiser Spin.



Something Unusual from Newington Nurseries


If the spring days are encouraging you to plan a new look for your garden this year, why not go for a Mediterranean feel?  It’s straightforward to achieve in the smallest of spaces, easy to care for, and perfect for our hotter, drier summers. 

The Mediterranean look is simple, stunning and ideal in a courtyard setting.  The key feature is a tree for shade, more than one if you have space, and the older and more gnarled the better.  Fig trees are perfect, or you could choose an olive (hardy in our climate), or an oleander.  All these can be grown in pots and kept small if space is tight.  If it isn’t, try the fast growing eucalyptus, or for something different, the evergreen loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is drought tolerant and very unusual.  It has furry clumps of fragrant white flowers in winter and spring, followed by tasty orange fruit and large brown seeds in summer.  Surround your tree with drought-proof grasses and perennials like low growing rock roses (Cistus) and cape daisies (Osteospermums), alongside colourful cannas, spiky cardoons (Cynara cardunculus) and phormiums.  Place lots of large flat pebbles in between the plants.  These will contrast beautifully with the leaves and flower shapes and provide a mulch.  For more permanent landscaping, you could set the pebbles in concrete. 

There is no grass in a Mediterranean garden.  Paving (often terracotta) and gravel is used instead, punctuated with some well chosen plants in pots.  Citrus trees are an obvious choice, or you could try yuccas and palms like the European fan palm (Chamaerops Humilis), or chusan palm (Trachycarpus Fortunei).  Smaller pots can be filled with lavender, rosemary, aloe vera, agaves or even a selection of cacti.  For something a little bit different, why not try a prickly pear (Opuntia).

Finally, what about those finishing touches?  If you have the room, a couple of huge terracotta pots tipped on to their side would complete the look.  If not, a collection of brightly coloured geraniums in pots, ideally fixed to wrought iron wall hangers would do the job just as well.  And don’t forget grapevine, passion flowers or clematis (Montana or Armandii are ideal) to scramble up trellis pagodas for added effect.


Newington Nurseries is on the A329 just outside Stadhampton

Tel:  01865 400 533









Ickford Pre-School                     





Ickford Pre-school offers education and care for children below school age.  We offer children the opportunity to learn through play in a stimulating and nurturing environment. 


Ickford Pre-school also offers the following:

ó       Qualified and enthusiastic staff.

ó       8 allocated places for 2 ½ year olds.

ó       Government funded places for 3-year and 4-year olds.

ó       Termly pre-school sessions five mornings per week.

ó       Pre-school sessions held at Ickford Village Hall, Mondays to Thursdays, 9.15-11.45 am.

ó       Thursday sessions incorporate one hour of Gym Club.

ó       Friday pre-school session held at Ickford School, 9.00-11.45 am, which helps children integrate into school life in readiness for their Reception year.

ó        Registered with OFSTED, Charity Commission and Members of the Pre-school Learning Alliance.

ó       Ickford Pre-school promotes Equal Opportunities at all times.


Baby/Toddler Sessions


«       Our Baby & Toddler sessions are held every Tuesday and Wednesdays during term time at Ickford Village Hall, commencing at 9.15 am and finishing at 10.30 am.  There is a specific craft area for the Babies and Toddlers to enjoy at both sessions. 


«       Toddlers may also use, with parental supervision, the climbing frame/slide, table activities, dressing-up, messy activities, the book corner, or join in with any pre-school activity.  Soft mats and toys are also provided for babies.



Easter Coffee Morning/Raffle


We are holding our  Easter Coffee Fundraising Morning on Wednesday 31st March, 10.30-11.45 am at Ickford Village Hall. 











We look forward to seeing you!


If you wish to find out more about our Pre-School, Baby & Toddler Group, funded place availability, or to put your child's name dawn on our waiting list, please contact

Meryl Munson, Supervisor, on 01844 339608.

Myths and Magic

Recent research by local independent fostering agency, familyplacement.com has revealed that the public still believes many of the negative myths and misconceptions about foster care.

According to the research, a significant proportion of people think that most foster children have extreme behaviour problems, that all of the children come from broken homes, that you have to jump through hoops to be approved to foster and that most foster carers are unpaid work, untrained “mother earth” type volunteers.

The reality is more complex. Although some of the children can be very trying, and applicants do have to complete a robust vetting process, in practice, providing a safe and nurturing home for a child can be a magical experience. There is nothing quite like seeing a child relax, become happier and begin to thrive in your care and knowing you have made a real difference to them.

To help people realise this level of achievement, the agency pays all of its foster carers a significant weekly fee in addition to a maintenance allowance for the child and all carers have access to around the clock support.

If you think you could make a difference for a local child, or would like further information, please telephone

Andy Clipson on 01993 201514 or

Email: info@familyplacement.com



Citizen Advocacy for People of Oxfordshire with Learning Disabilities


Could you help someone with a learning disability to speak up about what they want?


We need volunteers to work with people who need help to make their voice heard.


Volunteers receive free training, expenses, support and advice


For more information contact Helen on 01865 741293