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Home > Noticeboard > Courier0408


                                          The Courier - April 2008


Parish Council News


District Council


County Council


Neighbourhood Watch


Tom Brown's School Museum


Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall


White Horse Garden Club


Afternoon Club


Uffington School




Elm Tree Surgery


Benefice 200 Club


Partnership Foundation Stage Unit


Post Office Stores


                                   Please note that any views expressed in these reports are those of the contributors.

                                                       Copy date for Summer Issue: Saturday 28th June, 2008

                                  All contributions for Courier to Jem Packford, Lower Woolstone, 01367 820631 (jem_packford@lineone.net)

Parish Council


The Parish Council would like to acknowledge the good news that our village post office is not being closed. Thank you to everyone for using the post office and please, continue to support it!


LITTER BLITZ - SATURDAY 19th APRIL 2008 - 10am to 12pm

Everyone welcome, meet at Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall please.



All Dog owners please note that it is an offence for you to let your dog foul on public land, footpaths etc without clearing up after it. This is a very anti-social action and a health hazard, particularly in areas where children play, e.g. outside the school, Jubilee Field. Indeed, if anyone has ever trodden in dog waste, they will know how unpleasant it is to clear away. Therefore, please clear up after your dog and use the bins provided.



Once again, can we remind everyone to keep any ditches clear of fallen leaves, branches etc to try to minimise any flooding.


Brona Jones, Assistant Clerk



District Council

2008 has been really busy so far, with vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the village, floods again in January and early March, and the VWHDC budget to set for 2008/09 in a lively evening at Wantage Civic hall just before the three by-elections in Wantage called after the untimely death of Cllr. Jim Moley, who was sitting as a County Cllr, District Cllr, and Town ClIr.


VANDALISM and ANTI-SOCIAL behaviour has been quietly tackled by the agencies involved. I am informed that some 'behaviour contracts' were drawn up with the best-known trouble-makers, and it is believed they made some impact. The police have been active in following up the shop and neighbouring burglaries in February, and have good evidence to have arrested at least one person so far. But the police and agencies involved MUST have reports from residents in the village when there is any trouble. Without reports they cannot build up the evidence they need to act against any wrong doing, so be sure to report to police (Maralyn Pack, the PCSO in Uffngton is on 07779 586 392) and to VWHDC AntiSocial Behaviour officer, Richard Baker (direct line 01235 554 783) who has reminded me that with only occasional reports he cannot make the case for constant attention for the village, or build the case for anti­social behaviour orders.


FLOODING has again twice cut off the village but I have no reports of homes being soaked again, and hope the improvements and better preparedness after last July's surprise has made everyone safer. And I wish you a happy warm dry spring this year!


VWHDC has overspent again, and will have to make savings in the access to the Civic Hall and sports facilities (in Abingdon at least) as well as the cuts already announced to the free travel pass for pensioners. And we Council tax payers were lucky that the VWH was 'capped' and prevented from a tax rise greater than 4.99%. Perhaps that is partly why Conservatives won 2 of the 3 by-elections in mid-March (for District and Towns councils) and Wantage is no longer a Conservative-free zone!


Meanwhile Swindon Council progresses towards presenting its Preferred Options for the huge development of up to 16,000 houses on its eastern flank in the next decade. The Western Vale Villages have been very active and attentive in raising questions about every issue from flood risk, to traffic congestion (which will impact the villages on our western boundary) and made very important submissions to the Environment Impact inquiry. I have tried to keep up with them, and maintain a watching brief along with Ed Vaizey MP, who has written on their behalf to SoS to try to be sure our rural 'buffer' is not swallowed up in Swindon. It is becoming an issue of real importance west of Longcot and may make an impact in Uffington too. If you wish to be informed Swindon Council's web-site Is at: http://www.swindon.gov.uk/environment/environment-forward/environment­forward-localdevelopmentframework/corestrategy.htm


Yvonne Constance, District Councillor




County Council

Although it is now supposed to be Spring, it really does not feel like It. At the point-to-point at Lockinge on Easter Monday, we all experienced the full range of March weather: rain, cold, sunshine (10 minutes), wind and hail. Luckily Tim (husband) and I were fortified with honey liqueur which our Polish friends from Shrivenham had the forethought to bring with them. Each year we sponsor an overseas student enrolled on the joint staff course at Shrivenham and find it a rewarding experience - rewarding as we make new friends, rewarding learning about different cultures and not the least sampling their native cuisine. Conversely, we hope that they gain an insight into our British way of life - hence a picnic in the wind and cold while watching horses racing around a hillside.


The annual budget for the County is always set at the County Council meeting in February. However, many months of work previously has gone into this process and obviously there is a constant and tight monitoring of the budget throughout the year in each department. This year the OCC share of increase in council tax for 2008/09 has been kept below 4% and it is envisaged that this low percentage increase can be maintained in further years; although one cannot predict any changes in central government grants which could affect the amount of funding needed to be raised locally.


I understand that there are to be some very minor changes to the timings of the mobile libraries. These changes are not due to take place until June and the crews of all the mobile libraries will alert users well beforehand. As far as Uffington is concerned, the days and scheduled stops will remain the same. Everyone recently wrote letters to Postwatch etc. protesting at the proposed closures of rural post offices. Luckily, Uffington was not on the list of closures but Childrey and Ardington were. All the Oxfordshire MPs voted against any closures. A six week consultation period was not very long and this did not give time for alternative measures to be explored.


Please do contact me either by email anda.fltzgerald@oxfordshire.gov.uk or telephone 01367 710719 or write to Hatford House, Hatford, Faringdon, Oxfordshire SN7 8JF.


Cllr Anda Fitzgerald-O'Connor



Neighbourhood Watch

We were very pleased to welcome our Police Community Support Officer - Maralyn Pack - at our meeting of Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators on Thursday evening 27 March when crime in the Watch area was discussed. There are two main points to note.


On the night of 6 February last there were two burglaries in the village, at the Post Office Stores and at a house in Broad Street. The PCSO reported that a suspect had been arrested in connection with both those burglaries. That is good news and a success by the Police.


Other offences reported have included criminal damage and anti-social behaviour - particularly vandalism at the Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall and the destruction of the Tennis Club pavilion on the sports field. The Police fully recognise the annoyance and distress which these incidents cause the public, especially when village facilities which many people work hard to keep going are damaged. Thames Valley Police are increasing their efforts to stop these offences, but without eye witness reports and identifications their job is made much more difficult. They do most strongly urge anyone with information to report It immediately with as much detail as possible. Even what may seem to be trivial could be the vital link in an on-going investigation.


Useful numbers:

PC Simon Jenkin  Mobile (when on duty) - 07971 150961; E mail - Simon.Jenkin@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

PCSO Maralyn Pack Mobile (when on duty) - 07779 586392; EMail - Maralyn.Pack@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Thames Valley Police Non Emergency - 08458 505 505; Emergency - 999


Peter Rosser



Tom Brown's School Museum

Do come and visit our exhibition this year - "A Village Year in Photographs" - Jo Marshall took photographs of many of the events that happened in the village during 2007 and the results can be seen on display in the museum. To accompany the exhibition we are holding a Photo Competition - open to all residents of Baulking, Woolstone and Uffington, pupils at Uffington Primary School and Friends of the Museum. The title is 'My Village' to be illustrated in any way you choose. Prints, from either digital or conventional cameras, max size 5x7 inches, up to 3 prints per entrant, to be with Jane Cooper or Sharon Smith by 30th June, 2008. The prints will be judged by a member of the Wantage Camera Club and the winners will be exhibited at the White Horse Show on the Museum Stand.


The story-telling project 'Waylands Awake!' will be performed near the car park on the White Horse Hill in May - dates are yet to be finalised but will probably be 24/25 May. Look out for publicity and come alongl


The Museum is open from Saturday, 22 March to Sunday, 26 October on week-end and Bank Holiday afternoons from 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. Entry is free.


Sharon Smith



Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall


Events at THMH

Oxfordshire Touring Theatre Company returned to the Hall on Friday 21st December, performing "The Delicious revenge of Princess Ruby Slippers". We had 109 in the audience, which was wonderful support. Moms and Dads who wanted a drink could "bring their own". Because of the licensing regulations, this option avoids using up a Temporary Events Notice.


As I write this, our supporters are busy selling raffle tickets for our annual lottery, The Grand National Draw. Good luck with your tickets. On behalf of the Hall, I would like to thank Jackie Wyard for organising this fundraising event.


Dates for your diary at THMH

Publicity is now out for "Watermill Theatre Company on Tour", who we have been fortunate to secure again to appear on Friday 25th April. This is an opportunity to see professional theatre on your doorstep; so do come along. They are performing a musical comedy, which is a diametric theme change from previous productions of theirs at the Hall. See theme notes below.


"Micky Solberg's Crystal Ballroom Dance Band written by Ade Morris

It's the early 1950's and the world is changing fast, the Cold War meets warm hearts as Jazz makes way for Rock n' Roll in a time where 'you've never had it so good' was sometimes true, sometimes not. As the Korean War rages and British conscription comes to an end The Crystal Ballroom Dance Band plays, inspired by their charismatic leader Micky Salberg. But how long will the old music last, and what will the new tunes sound like? A heart-warming, heart­breaking new musical comedy from Ads Morris exploring the moment when an era turns, then twists, on the dance floors of Britain".


There will be a bar, doors open at 7:15pm, curtain up 8:00pm. Tickets are £9.00 each, available from the Post Office or from me.


On Saturday 7th June we are holding a "SUMMER BALL". The "Swindon Big Band" has been booked and we are going to have a pig roast, lots of salads and. sweets. Planning is at an early stage yet, but if the weather is kind to us, it should be a great evening. Look out for further publicity, also on www.thomashughesrnemorialhall.co.uk. Why not brush up your dancing skills at the Thursday evening dancing classes in readiness.


Hall Improvements

High efficiency light fittings installed in ladies and gents toilets. New toilet seat In Ladies WC. A programme is being implemented to refurbish the Hall curtains and curtain rails.


Hall Extension

On Monday 2 June, there will be an "open meeting" at the Hall. This is to decide how to take this objective forward in view of the failure to obtain sufficient. grants for the present scheme. A flier with more information is going to be circulated to all households in the three parishes, closer to the date. Please come along and have your say


Vandalism Again

During March there have been a number of incidents of criminal damage inflicted on the Hall. These have included a large sharp instrument taking chunks out of a porch support column and also surrounding trees, numerous daffodil bulbs being uprooted and flowers scattered, oil poured onto the rear patio; further graffiti on escape doors and a drainpipe downcomer removed and taken away. The Police have been advised of these incidents. This is very discouraging and detracts from the external appearance of the Hall. If you have any information on this mindless behaviour, please let PC Simon Jenkins or a member of the management committee know.



if, your association uses the Hall but is not represented on the Council, please nominate a member to attend Council meetings. It only entails attending a maximum of four meeting per year and you have an opportunity to influence the policies for running the Hall. The management committee very much need your support.


Paul Armishaw



White Horse Garden Club

The White Horse Garden Club now meets in the Thomas Hughes Small Hall. Annual Membership is £5 individual and £8 for couples. 50p for non-members to attend a meeting - always welcome.


Below is our meeting schedule for 2008:‑

Thursday 3rd April THE WOW FACTOR IN GARDENS By Rachel Meyers, a garden. designer from Oxford.

Saturday 3rd May PLANT SALE 10.30am 12 noon Bring lots of plants for sale on a 50/50 basis and then bring lots of your friends to buy.

Thursday 5th June CREATE A TROPICAL LOOK IN YOUR GARDEN By Frank Hardy, a writer and Chelsea Garden maker

Thursday 3rd July SUMMER PERENNIALS By Gerald Sinclaire, nurseryman specialising in hardy geraniums and hemerocalis. There will be plants for sale. Thursday 7th August PROPAGATION EVENING Venue: 'Neardown' in Longcot, thanks to Colin and Jan Evins. Bring along cuttings etc to share your tips and problems.

Thursday 4th September BULBS ALL YEAR ROUND By Sue Bedwell. Ranging from the very easy to challenging.

Thursday 2nd October TREES AND SHRUBS IN THE GARDEN By Graham Pattison, well known horticultural expert and plant hunter.

November FUNGUS FORAY Led by Dave Shorten, a local expert. A Saturday morning walk, limited to 20. Date and details to be announced.

Thursday 4th December TRUG MAKING Demonstration by Carl Sadler on how these useful items are made. Plus mega quick AGM!


Pamela Preene




Afternoon Club

At our first meeting of 2008 the speaker was Mrs Hazel Avenell with 'Stanley' her hospital visiting dog. It was amazing to hear what comfort and joy patients at the GW Hospital get from Stanley.


26th January also found us in the village hall for our sale, which although not as profitable as last year, will help us fulfil our proposed programme for 2008. In February, Mr Jim Brown returned with some of his slides of Uffington - we always enjoy Jim's visits.


On a sad note, in February Mr Alf Stickland died peacefully after a short illness. We will miss Alf. Our condolences to his family and friends.


In March we went on a coach trip to The Crown at Cerney Wick for lunch. Future events Include: April 10th a lace making demonstration with a chance to have ago; May 8th a talk on 'A Woman in a Man's World' given by Miss Verity Banks; June 12th a 'Mystery Tour'; September 11th we hope to arrange a day trip to Wickstead Park Pavilion for lunch, a show, tea and a game of Bingo. We need to have 24 or more to be able to do this. If any reader would like to join us please phone me on 820511 for further details


Ann Smith




Uffington School

Congratulations to our Partnership Foundation Stage Unit who had a very good OFSTED report. These are a small sample of the comments made in the report.


"- In the child-friendly playroom children arrive eager to take part in all activities available."

"- The quality of teaching and caring is good - children develop good relationships with peers and adults- Children behave well and are happy"

"- It is a great place for your child to begin their education."


The School Council organised an eventful week to help us celebrate World Book Day. This included a Readathon, a guest author, a book token design competition and finally a chance to dress as a character from a book - a memorable week.


We took part in the Wantage Partnership Maths week in March. The children heard about Maths being used in magic tricks from a Maths Magician and took part in a week long challenge to plan a pirate expedition and locate some treasure. Our V5 maths team came second in the Partnership Challenge held at King Alfred's, winning the silver award and missing the number one spot by one point.


The classes have all been involved in fund raising for Lent to support the St. John's Ambulance trainers In Ghana. Class 1 sold cakes they baked for homework and held a 'Name the Bunny' competition. Class 2 raffled a giant Easter Egg and organised Easter egg hunts. Class 3 organised a Bring and Buy sale and were sponsored to row, run and cycle in The First Drop Leisure Centre in Wantage. The School Council were busy taking part in a car wash for adults in school. The aim was to provide enough funds to buy a training resuscitation pack for the St. John's Trainers to use in their work In Ghana. Everyone had a great time, whilst raising the money and successfully reached the target sum of £300.


Elizabeth Robertson




The New Year was marked by luncheon at the Fox and Hounds, which seemed a splendid way to dispel any lurking January blues, especially following disruptive flooding earlier in the month.


As regards meetings, January's was a casualty of such elements, for the scheduled speaker cancelled at the last minute, and general attendance was low since folk could not get through the floods to U(fington. However two new High Street residents became members, and, notwithstanding all the difficulties, the evening passed with business and a choice of charades or a quiz, the latter being activated.


In February David Lockett addressed members on 'Art History - Giotto to MlchefangeIo'. His wife was in attendance manipulating two projectors, the beautiful slides shown greatly enhancing members' appreciation of the wonderful works of art, mostly from Florence and Venice, which were depicted, along with amazing detail at times. It was a joy to see such notable treasures and to hear a little of them and their creation. (To mention a few artists covered along the way: Botticelli, Ucceifo, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Ghiberti, Donatello, Di Vinci, Raphael, Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and Tintoretto.)


March is traditionally AGM time, so there was no speaker. Normal business was attended to first, before Diana Toiler took the chair temporarily for the election of officers, committee, etc. Reports were given by the President and the Treasurer, and by Hilary Deakin giving a resume of UBW WI's programme over the past year. Gill Wiltshire won the competition challenge cup. After a refreshment break scheduled 'members' time turned in to a beetle drive organised by Ann Kelsey.


Walkers appreciated rambling alongside the River Lambourn to and through Welford Park's well-known carpets of snowdrops (February) and experiencing some of the D'Arcy Dalton Way and the environs of Knighton and Compton Beauchamp (March). [Alas the elements meant cancellation of the January schedule.]


Craft afternoons have been held at 22 Craven Common (January), Orchard House (February) and The Severalls (March). It is fascinating to see the varied tasks members bring to these occasions and their hobbies developing before others' eyes. It is also good to chat over a cuppa in convivial and informal surroundings. Competitions over the past three months have been for 'A bell': winner Jane Cooper, 'Postcard of a Michelangelo masterpiece': Sheila Matthews, and 'A horn': Hilary Deakin.


Some members attended the AGM of OFWI in Oxford's Town Hall on 19 March. After business they were addressed by Jem Green, whose subject was The Secret Life of Auntie May - from mill girl to model.


An interesting new UBW WI programme (effective from May) is being put together for the ensuing year, with Tory Russ and Kate Dunn organising the schedule of speakers and an outing. In addition there are many opportunities before us, some arranged by the Oxfordshire Federation and some nationally. Should anyone be interested in joining UBW WI they would be most welcome. Just turn up at the THMH at 7.15 pm on the third Tuesday of the month (in April this will be on the 15th when there will be a talk on 'Collecting buttons'), or give June Henville a ring on 01 367 820411. April's competition title is 'A button with memories'.


Sheila Matthews



White Horse Show Trust - Newsletter

The White Horse Show Trustees hold quarterly meetings to consider applications from Village Organisations for funding/financial support.

Funding has been allocated to the following applications:


Uffington Primary School - Training for Staff.


THMHaII - electrical installation new hot water tank.


Village Notice Board for internal use, held by THMHaII.


Jubilee Field new skate board ramp.


Uffington Sports Club - kitchen flooring.


Uffington Sports Club - Football strip


Uffington Dragons Short Mat Bowls Club - new mat


Uffington Parish Council - flood prevention works.


Uffington Parish Council - Jubilee Field Playground


Uffington Afternoon Club - Programme


Uffington Primary School - Buildings refurbishment


St. Mary's Church - Paths


Uffington Sports Club - Fireworks


Uffington Youth Club - Laser Quest visit


St. Mary's Church - New Vestry project (Total £9,124.14)


Village Christmas Tree and Wantage Silver Band



The Trustees will be pleased to consider applications for financial support from Village Organisations. Future WHS Trust meetings are scheduled for 9 May, 11

July, 10 October 2008 and 9 January 2009.


Please ensure that your application, supported by all relevant financial detail is received 14 days prior to meeting date. All applications should be addressed to Derek Kelsey, 17 Craven Common, Uffington.


Derek Kelsey



White Horse Show - Annual Report & Accounts

The Trust was established on 18 November 1981. The Trust Deed states that the Trustees shall hold the income of The White Horse Show and any other income, or property received, upon Trust for the general charitable purposes for the benefit of the inhabitants of the three villages of Uffington, Woolstone and Baulking.


It is the policy of The Trustees to keep sufficient funds (reserves) in hand, as far as this is possible, to satisfy any urgent applications which may be received. Contributions totalling £28,550.00 were received from The White Horse Show in 2007.


The accounts were prepared on a cash (receipts and payments) basis.


Five grants approved during 2007 but which had not been claimed by 31 December 2007, amounted to £11,482.55 (maximum). Details of these grants are contained in the `Trustees Report". In addition an amount of £219.73 was forfeited during the period under review, being unclaimed by the applicants during the period of award. Details of these unclaimed awards is contained in the "Trustees Report".


(To see the Trustee's Report, click here).


R D Kelsey MBE


16 January 2008


Trustees. C P Avenell. V J Boaler. R D Kelsey MBE. J J Matthews. WWT Mattingley. W H Mitchell.



Elm Tree Surgery

Prescription Collection Service


Will patients ordering repeat prescriptions from the Surgery please note that they should now do so before 12.30 pm on the Monday of the week in which they are needed, earlier orders would of course be welcomed. Prescriptions will then be available in the Post Office on the following Thursday


Col Peter Rosser




Benefice 200 Club

Result of the draw taken on Wednesday 19th March 2008 at a Lent Lunch at Uffington Vicarage


1st Prize


No. 121

Frank Brooks, Fernham

2nd Prize


No. 23

No. 7

No. 26

Mike Thomas, Uffington

Mr RJ and Mrs VM Russ, Baulking

LDE Hollingworth, Woolstone

3rd Prize


No. 62

No. 37

No. 11

No. 113

No. 56

Fiona Kennedy, Shellingford

Wyard Family, Uffington

Miss SM Matthews, Uffington

Alice & Lucy Matthews, Faringdon

J&S McCullough

4th Prize


No. 110

No. 40

No. 128

No. 48

No. 119

Ivor Richings, Uffington

Mr N Bird, Baulking

Clive Avenell, Woolstone

Mr J Maryon, Grove

Robert Green, Meysey Hampton


Bernard Cale




Partnership Foundation Stage Unit

Based at Uffington School, we provide care for 2½ - 5 year olds. Flexible sessions during term time. Great outdoor play area. Funding is available, depending on age. happy caring atmosphere.


For more information call 01367 820415 or www.uffington.oxon.sch.uk.



 Post Office Stores

We wish to express our thanks to everyone for their support and consideration following our recent burglary. As you can imagine it's been a very difficult and trying time.


We also wish to announce that we are now able to supply your Euro currency. Just pop into the Post Office and pick it up instantly, you don't need to place an order - perfect for last-minute or short breaks.


Once again, many thanks for your support and encouragement


David and Rose Holborow