The Courier - April 2008
Please note that any views expressed in these reports are those of the
Copy date for Summer Issue: Saturday 28th June, 2008
All contributions for Courier to Jem Packford, Lower Woolstone, 01367 820631
UFFINGTON POST OFFICE
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
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:
Yvonne Constance, District Councillor
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
Please do contact me either by email
email@example.com or telephone 01367 710719 or
write to Hatford House, Hatford, Faringdon, Oxfordshire SN7 8JF.
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
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.
PC Simon Jenkin Mobile (when on duty) - 07971
150961; E mail -
PCSO Maralyn Pack Mobile (when on duty) - 07779 586392; EMail -
Thames Valley Police Non Emergency - 08458 505 505; Emergency - 999
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Thursday 4th December TRUG MAKING Demonstration by Carl Sadler on
how these useful items are made. Plus mega quick AGM!
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
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
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
"- 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.
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
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'.
White Horse Show Trust - Newsletter
The White Horse Show Trustees hold quarterly meetings to consider
applications from Village Organisations for funding/financial
Funding has been allocated to the following applications:
Uffington Primary School - Training for
THMHaII - electrical installation new hot
Village Notice Board for internal use, held
Jubilee Field new skate board ramp.
Uffington Sports Club - kitchen flooring.
Uffington Sports Club - Football strip
Uffington Dragons Short Mat Bowls Club - new
Uffington Parish Council - flood prevention
Uffington Parish Council - Jubilee Field
Uffington Afternoon Club - Programme
Uffington Primary School - Buildings
St. Mary's Church - Paths
Uffington Sports Club - Fireworks
Uffington Youth Club - Laser Quest visit
St. Mary's Church - New Vestry project (Total
Village Christmas Tree and Wantage Silver
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,
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
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
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
Result of the draw taken on Wednesday 19th March 2008 at a Lent Lunch
at Uffington Vicarage
Frank Brooks, Fernham
Mike Thomas, Uffington
Mr RJ and Mrs VM Russ, Baulking
LDE Hollingworth, Woolstone
Fiona Kennedy, Shellingford
Wyard Family, Uffington
Miss SM Matthews, Uffington
Alice & Lucy Matthews, Faringdon
Ivor Richings, Uffington
Mr N Bird, Baulking
Clive Avenell, Woolstone
Mr J Maryon, Grove
Robert Green, Meysey Hampton
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
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
Once again, many thanks for your support and encouragement
David and Rose Holborow