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Local actor and historian Robert Hardy to talk in Charlbury.

While many will know Robert Hardy for his numerous film and television roles, including Winston Churchill, Siegfried Farnon and more recently as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter films, he is also the acknowledged expert on the 'longbow' - a formidable weapon of war.

He is a consultant to The Mary Rose Trust and The Royal Armouries and he speaks on his subject with great authority and eloquence.

He will give an illustrated talk at the Memorial Hall on Saturday 17th June at 2.30 pm. with proceeds to the Charlbury Community Centre Appeal

Tickets £5 Adult/£2.50 child from News & Things and Vincent's Pharmacy

Brian Murray · Sat 27 May 2006, 19:23 · Link


First Great Western promises to focus on reliability

Richard Rowland, general manager of the Thames area for First Great Western, told the Cotswold Line Promotion Group's AGM in Moreton (on Saturday 20th) that the 0754 from Charlbury (the halts service, starting at Worcester at 0650) had been the worst performing service within the company at one point. "The two months prior to Christmas were pretty awful," he said. However, it has greatly improved since - and from June this service will no longer stop at Honeybourne, which should make it more reliable again.

Overall, he said that First's priority for the Cotswold line for the next few years is "reliability and performance", partly to act as a buffer for delays that might be caused by engineering work between Paddington and Reading over the next four years.

He also told the meeting that First had adopted most of the suggestions made by CLPG about the major timetable changes due to start this December. Except for the halts services, the line will use only revamped '125' high-speed trains, with new engines and revamped interiors. "They will be pretty much new trains," he said. They will be fitted with selective door opening by the end of next year, enabling them to stop at shorter stations such as Hanborough.

In response to a question, Mr Rowland also said that the 10-year-old customer information system on the Cotswold line will be replaced over the first two years of the franchise, which started in April. This is currently unreliable, as it records the progress of trains at only a few stations. The new version is likely to use GPS satellite positioning to provide up-to-date information on the progress of trains, and will be available through station screens and online.

Conductors will also be given ticket machines which produce standard card tickets, allowing use of the automated barriers at Oxford and Paddington, "soon", he said.

(Thanks to Steven Mathieson for the report.)

Richard Fairhurst · Sun 21 May 2006, 18:44 · Link


Festival to raise money for Mali wells

All is hustle and bustle in St Mary's Church as everybody gets on with their preparation for the Arts and Flowers exhibition this weekend.

There are quilts and tapestries as well as paintings, ceramics and flowers. All the effort is aimed at raising enough money to allow wells to be bored in Mali. These wells cost £850 each, fully lined and equipped, and we are hoping to provide funds for as many as we can - our target is 10 - but we wait and see.

Food will be provided both Saturday and Sunday - morning coffee, lunch and afternoon teas on Saturday, and afternoon teas on Sunday. In addition, there is an official 'launch' between 7pm and 9pm on Friday evening, with a short entertainment (music and drama) at 8pm. Do come and look at our show and support this worthy cause.

More details and photos at www.charlburychurch.co.uk .

Richard Fairhurst · Thu 18 May 2006, 22:45 · Link


Riverside Festival interview

The BBC Radio Oxford item about the cancellation of the Riverside Festival has been posted as a permanent item on their website.

There's also now a forum on the Riverside Festival website.

Richard Fairhurst · Tue 16 May 2006, 22:27 · Link


"Benefit cheat sentenced" - WODC

From a WODC press release:

"West Oxfordshire District Council has successfully prosecuted a Charlbury man for failing to notify a relevant change in his circumstances in order to obtain benefits.

"Kevin Knight, aged 24 of 115 Ticknell Piece Road, Charlbury, pleaded guilty at Bicester Magistrates Court on 26th April for fraudulently obtaining Housing and Council Tax benefit totalling £504.69. He was given a £220.00 fine and ordered to pay £75.00 in costs. The Council will be seeking to recover the full amount of benefit which has been fraudulently obtained.

"Jon Dearing Head of Revenues at West Oxfordshire District Council said, 'Benefit Fraud is a crime against every resident of West Oxfordshire. If you know someone who is committing benefit fraud please contact the Benefit Fraud HOTLINE on 01993 861234 or contact can be made through the council website: www.westoxon.gov.uk. We treat all calls and correspondence in confidence.'"

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 5 May 2006, 11:28 · Link


Wanted.........

We need the following items for the Annual Pre-School Summer Fair on 1St July, Unwanted gifts, bottles - preferably full!, tins, packets, plants, books and second hand toys in good working order.

If you can donate any of these items please contact Marie Thornton on 06108 811851.
Thank you for your support.

Alison Cherry · Tue 2 May 2006, 16:09 · Link


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