News index


Charlbury resident knighted

Charlbury resident Stephen Bubb has received a knighthood in the New Year's Honours List. Chief Executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, his house is on Thames Street. He is one of a select band of Charlbury bloggers.

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 31 Dec 2010, 00:48 · Link

We've moved!

The Charlbury Website is now hosted on a new, much better, much more reliable server.

The site should be the same to all intents and purposes: it's still at and the links still all do the same.

That said, the new server doesn't work in exactly the same way as the old one so there might be a couple of teething problems. We've tried to keep everything the same as before, but if you encounter any unexpected problems, please do send an e-mail to explaining the problem and we'll try and look at it.

(Technical details follow for those with an interest...)

Up until now we've been hosted on a "personal hosting" account at Unfortunately 34sp's servers have been repeatedly hacked, seemingly because of the large number of off-the-shelf PHP applications (Wordpress, phpBB etc.) which people install on their shared hosting accounts. The Charlbury Website is written entirely in bespoke Perl and it's getting quite annoying to suffer downtime and various inconveniences (e.g. FTP locks) because other users on the same server have more easily exploitable code.

34sp also recently migrated our account to a new server and that caused any number of problems: MySQL field type incompatibilities, uninstalled Perl modules, reset permissions, and so on. This took the best part of a day to sort out, and even a month later the server logs still weren't working. The most recent 34sp hack (29 Dec) was the final straw.

So we've now moved to a Bytemark virtual machine - like having our own server, but scaled to fit. This is much more flexible: for example, I've been able to install the excellent Perl Imager library for image resizing (for news/events/ad postings), rather than relying on the common but slow ImageMagick library.

In the coming weeks I hope to remove the tedious redirect to the index page and use mod_rewrite to abbreviate URLs for individual items. We might be able to add live train departures, weather information, and much more to the homepage - there's a lot more open to us now. The new server is more expensive (£160pa rather than £30) but should prove worth it.

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 31 Dec 2010, 00:26 · Link

Refuse collections

Bins will be emptied on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 29th (instead of Tuesday 28th)
  • Thursday 6th (instead of Tuesday 4th)
  • Wednesday 12th (instead of Tuesday 11th)

Back to normal Tuesday collections on January 18th.

Richard Fairhurst · Tue 28 Dec 2010, 11:28 · Link

Successful Boxing Day Walk!

The Charlbury Society's Annual Boxing Day Walk went ahead as planned on Sunday. Four walkers enjoyed completing the 'traditional' circuit. The snow covered landscape was an interesting change from what we are used to but the snow was mostly firm underfoot. Walking was not at all difficult but I couldn't but feel pangs of envy for the skier whose trasks were evident thoroughout most of the route once we left Woody Lane!
(The picture shows three members of the party at the entrance to Ditchley Park Farm)

Sun 26 Dec 2010, 18:31 · Link

Request for help - snowed in, Hughes Close

After having phoned Highways myself 3 times this week as most of us feel trapped in Hughes Close (unless have suitable cars which I'm afraid we don't) I begged them please to send someone to clear bulk snow on the Estate to no avail, there is no way it will go anywhere because of the freezing temperatures. There are several people on the Estate that have to have carers and quite a few elderly people ( daren't risk walking and breaking bones.So if there are any Tractors helping please come to Hughes Close, Sturt Close,Ticknell Piece that I know of who would be very grateful.

Pearl Manners

Fri 24 Dec 2010, 10:13 · Link

Christmas post (updated Thursday morning)

Thursday latest: Mail is now coming in and going out from Charlbury. Today is the last day for sending post by Special Delivery BUT the Royal Mail is not guaranteeing next day delivery.

Monday was officially the last posting day for First Class mail to arrive by Christmas.

Thu 23 Dec 2010, 09:25 · Link

Snow update (Friday evening)


First Great Western is winding down for the evening. There are no trains on Christmas Day or Boxing Day (see separate item on train times over Christmas).

Check the live departure board, the FGW website, and the FGW JourneyCheck site listing cancellations before travelling. Please double-check in case of conflicting information.


All roads out of Charlbury are passable with great care. Driving in central Charlbury is however still difficult as of Christmas Eve.

West Oxfordshire District Council staff have been out in central Charlbury gritting the roads. "We have teams working in Charlbury, Chipping Norton and Witney to help clear the snow and put down salt. We are also supporting the emergency services by providing 4x4 lifts to essential care workers enabling them to get to vulnerable patients."


No buses over the weekend. (Stagecoach updates page for the future: .)

RH Transport says: "X9 operating between Charlbury and Witney at normal times, Chipping Norton not able to be served due to dangerous Road Conditions. The last bus will depart Witney for Charlbury at 17:00 today (Friday)."

Refuse collection

WODC posted this on the evening of Thursday 23rd:

"We are now carrying out as many scheduled waste collections as possible, however crews are sticking to main routes and roads that are passable and safe. Crews are also working to catch up with collections that had to be cancelled due to the weather and road conditions earlier in the week. Residents are asked to continue leaving out their bins and boxes until the evening of the 24th December.

"To assist with any extra waste you may have due to the delays please put excess rubbish out in black bags next to your rubbish bin. Extra recycling can be put out in clear sacks or open bags next to your recycling box (one material per opened bag). If your bins/boxes are not collected please put them back out next week on your scheduled collection day."

Other events

Expect very very low temperatures on Friday and Saturday evenings (BBC Weather, Metcheck, Met Office Invent).

Please keep checking the forum for updates, and help to share your information with others. Please keep an eye out for old and infirm neighbours.

Richard Fairhurst · Mon 20 Dec 2010, 16:14 · Link

Christmas bus and train information


There will be no RH buses on Dec 25, 26, 27, 28, or on Jan 1, 2, 3. A normal service will operate on Christmas Eve, except there will be no late buses.

On Dec 29, 30, 31 RH will operate a Saturday timetable but without the late buses.

Stagecoach will run a Saturday service on the S3 to/from Oxford from Monday 27 to Friday 31. The S3 will not run to or from Charlbury on Jan 1, 2, or 3. Stagecoach post snow updates here.

This information is taken from the companies' websites using the links given. Please check for yourself before travelling!


Christmas Eve
Normal weekday service but services end by 21.00.

Christmas Day (Saturday 25 December)
The only National Rail services that are expected to run will be between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport, and between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport.

Boxing Day (Sunday 26 December)
With the exception of some trains in the South East of England and in Scotland, no National Rail services will operate.

Major engineering work will be taking place in the Reading area from Monday 27 December 2010 to Monday 3 January 2011. All First Great Western routes will be affected during this period with longer journey times and possible changes to bus and train services. Click here for more information and to plan your journey.

On New Year's Day services will begin later than usual and an amended Saturday service will operate. On Sunday January 2 an amended Sunday service will operate on the FGW network from 12.00. On Bank Holiday Monday Jan 3 an amended weekday service will operate from 12.00

More details of rail services nationwide are here.

Update to FGW Xmas Timetable Books
Services between Kingham and Hanborough
(page 11, all timetable books)

Monday 27 to Thursday 30 December 30 2010
0718 Kingham to Handborough bus service; Does not run on Monday 27 December
1645 Kingham to Charlbury bus service; Runs Monday 27 to Thursday 30 December

Jon Carpenter · Mon 20 Dec 2010, 12:05 · Link

Town Council snow update - help from farmers requested

The Town Council has been in touch with Oxfordshire County Council Highways department. They are doing their best to get to us, but are very stretched at present. We have been advised that any farmers who have suitable equipment and who would be willing to help clear the snow from the town and surrounding roads should contact OCC on 0845 3101111 for further advice and instructions. Some reimbursement may be available.

Thanks to those who have provided information on road and rail conditions and to all who have helped by clearing snow from their own pavements.

Gareth Miller (Town Council)

Mon 20 Dec 2010, 11:12 · Link

Get fit in the New Year with GO Active!

GO Active is working with local instructors to bring you more chances to start your New Year's resolutions off in the right way!

Just Jog- a jogging group especially for beginners starts on the 15th January 2011 and runs every Saturday at 10.15am for 10 weeks. We will meet in the Spendlove car park before heading out for our exercise.

The course costs just £20 and week by week you'll be working on your fitness and jogging technique with the qualified instructor who will help motivate you to get you your results!

Beginners Circuits Class- this circuit class is suitable for anyone who wants to work on their fitness using a variety of different exercises. It is a great all over body workout as you will be working at stations with different exercises that you can do at your own intensity.

This class starts on the 12th of January and runs 7.40pm - 8.40pm in the Memorial Hall every Wednesday night. The first class (12th Jan) is free, after that each session costs just £4.

Zumba, the dance fitness class, will also return in the New Year, starting on the 5th January and will run every Wednesday night in the Memorial Hall 6.30pm - 7.30pm. The class costs £4.

To book onto our classes or for more information then please contact Claire Goodenough on 07813012722 or email

Fri 17 Dec 2010, 14:35 · Link

Cornbury Park newsletter

Cornbury Park has issued its latest newsletter which chronicles activities at the estate and plans including the Wilderness Festival. You can download a copy here.

Mon 13 Dec 2010, 10:13 · Link


Tim & Elaine Newbold are very pleased to announce that they are the new proprietors of Charlbury Post Office .

We are very grateful for Pam Rolls who has been a wonderful support during the last difficult 18 months of change over and uncertainty, and we are very pleased to continue working with her.

We will have an emphasis on selling local products to start with Apple juice from Waterperry, luxury soap from Abingdon and Mustard from Hailey. We will also have a range of sweets, biscuits and drinks We will also re stock on the haberdashery and other basis stationery items .

We would be very grateful for your suggestions or comments on how to improve ie opening hours or products we could stock.(email:


We will be open to 8pm on Thursday 16th with both our shop and Post Office counter open (2nd Class last date is 18th Dec and 1st Class 21 Dec )

We now have a separate till in the front of the shop and look forward to welcoming everyone.

Sat 11 Dec 2010, 23:45 · Link

Date stone fitted to new Pavilion Nine Acres

Robert Caston (chair of Nine Acres recreation committee)gave an opening speech today to thank all involved in the new sports pavilion in Nine Acres. The stone was then set by junior members of the Boys Football team and Tennis Club, the ceremony was attended by around 20 people.

It it hoped to have the new facility up and running by early next year, and provide up to date changing rooms, toilets etc.

Sat 11 Dec 2010, 15:16 · Link

Thanks to Litter Pickers

Many thanks to the noble band of eight who braved the wintry conditions to pick up litter around the town today. Gareth Miller

Wed 8 Dec 2010, 12:32 · Link

Playing Close works

The Thomas Gifford Trust are having the railing and metal work around the Playing Close painted over the next few weeks.

This is being undertaken by members of the Community Payback scheme on Thursdays, until the work is complete.

We would like to advise people that the new paint will be wet, and to ensure that children and pets are kept away during the painting days. We will try to keep the painting outside School pickup and drop off times

We will also put up a notice to warn people when the painting is happening.

russell robson · Wed 8 Dec 2010, 09:08 · Link

Cornbury Festival

Further to last month’s posting on our website,


Cornbury Park Estate, home of Lord and Lady Rotherwick, has announced its intention to continue hosting a summer music festival in the stunning setting of Cornbury Park, near Charlbury, Oxfordshire

The new festival, which will see new backers and management pick up where the previous festival organizers left off, will continue the tradition of being an eclectic family friendly event, with fabulous food and a strong local connection.

New backing will put the festival on a secure financial footing, with levels of investment to promote the event more widely and attract major headline acts.

Lady Rotherwick, says, "We're lucky to have been closely involved with the Cornbury Festival in its wonderful first 7 years. We're delighted that the special setting of Cornbury Park has won a place in the hearts of many festival goers who have returned year after year to camp by the lakes and enjoy the music and unique atmosphere. Going forward, I feel strongly that the new festival should keep its local connections. Fundraising for the local schools through the Charlbury tea tent and the pig roast are as important as ever. "

our license application has now been submitted.

This has caused a great deal of confusion locally and we want to make clear that the only reason for a premises license rather than a festival specific license application is that WODC asked us to do it this way. It is NOT our intention to increase the number of events held at Cornbury.

The running of the festival, which will be called "Wilderness", will pass to the Mama Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of HMV, who have a wealth of experience in running such events.

Dean James, CEO of the MAMA Group, said "If there was a premier league of British festival sites, Cornbury would sit right at the top. We're delighted to be working with Lord and Lady Rotherwick on the festival and we hope to deliver a great show that develops for many years to come."

Tim Harvey, one of the festival organisers, said "We're hoping that the festival will become a real hub for Oxford's creative community and a genuine platform for all types of artisans and community arts organisations."

Lady Rotherwick said "Robin and I are looking forward to working with MAMA and, as in previous years, we are confident that the event will engage with the local community to raise money for both the pre-school and the primary school. To date a significant amount of money has been raised for both schools via the pig roast and the tea tent respectively."

Contact details for the organisers will be available from mid-December onwards via the Cornbury Park website.

Wed 1 Dec 2010, 14:45 · Link

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