News index


ChOC announces biggest programme ever

This autumn's programme of films and live entertainment is ChOC's most ambitious season yet.

And ChOC events can now be booked online: go to for more information, ticketing, reviews, photographs and trailers. (Online booking for live events will be available from late August. All films can be booked online now.)



A dedicated committee coordinated by Jackie Hague (810713 is choosing acts and performers to bring a diverse programme to Charlbury; opera, folk, jazz, musical comedy, string quartets, poetry recitals, drama and so on' - something for everyone.

The first two ChOCLive events are:

Sunday October 30 at 6.00pm: Shoestring Opera will be performing one of Mozart's best loved operas, Cosi fan tutte at the Memorial Hall.

It's not often that Charlbury hosts a classic opera, so Shoestring and ChOC hope to see a big turnout. The opera, fully staged and costumed, will play for one night only. Arranged for 10-piece orchestra by Jonathan Burton and Shoestring's conductor, Chris Davey, it will be sung in the original Italian. The company will have honed its skills first in a private open-air theatre not far from Arezzo.

The story is both spicy and salutary! A cynical old philosopher bets his two young soldier friends that he can get their fiancées to be unfaithful to them within 24 hours - but only if they do exactly as he instructs them. He enlists the help of the girls' maid; the lads act up, the girls (and their maid) are taken in, and much confusion, emotional upset and - for the audience - humour follow.

Directing the opera, and playing the scheming philosopher Don Alfonso, is Charlbury resident Giles Dawson, who writes: 'We have been having a wonderful time preparing this amazing work. The company is a happy blend of experienced performers and budding professionals: Dorabella and Fiordiligi (Victoria Jess and Hannah Davey) have both recently graduated from music college and are making their way as full-time singers; Ferrando and Guglielmo (Hugo Tucker and Peter Brown) bring fine voices and a wealth of experience to their roles; and Despina (Kipper Chipperfield) contributes set design and costumes to the enterprise, as well as her characterful playing of the pivotal part of the maid.'

Friday November 4 at 7.45pm: Madame Galina, Forces Sweetheart, a show that Madame Galina has performed for the military in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as for the royal family!

"Hilarious and touching stories - his singing makes me cry every time. Tutuboy rocks!" Joanna Lumley

Tickets for the opera (£15, £12 for children and full-time students) and for Mme Galina (£8) will be available from Evenlode Books and Charlbury Post Office towards the end of August.



For our autumn films we're choosing quality of film over size of Hollywood budget. These films have proved very popular in independent cinemas and have received glowing reviews in the national press. There's lots of detail on our website.

Sunday September 11: The Kids Are All Right (cert 15)

'A light, lovingly handled tale about the difficulties of staying in love.' (Film4)

Friday September 23: Submarine (cert 15)

Fifteen-year-old Welsh teenager Oliver Tate has two big ambitions: to save his parents' marriage via carefully plotted intervention and to lose his virginity before his next birthday.

Sunday October 9: Of Gods and Men (cert 15)

A crew of foreign workers is massacred by Islamic fundamentalists in the Algerian mountains. The army offers protection to a Christian monastery, but the monks slowly realise that they have no choice but to stay... come what may. Loosely based on real-life events in the 1990s.

Sunday November 13: Oranges and Sunshine (cert 15)

The true story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker from Nottingham, who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals of recent times; the mass deportation of children from the United Kingdom to Australia. "A powerful, deeply moving, understated account." (The Observer)

Fri December 2: Benda Bilili! (cert PG)

A wonderfully upbeat, rewarding and entertaining film. "Benda Bilili is a band made up largely of paraplegics from the streets of run-down Kinshasa... [The film] records their heroic struggles to support their families through music reflecting the hopes and sadness of their everyday lives... We see and hear their music getting steadily more confident over the years." (The Guardian)

Sunday December 11: Potiche (cert 15)

Laugh-out-loud comedy and social and political satire make up this extremely popular French film starring Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve. Deneuve is a submissive, housebound 'trophy housewife' (or 'potiche') who steps in to manage the factory run by her wealthy and tyrannical husband after the workers go on strike and take him hostage. When her husband returns from a restful cruise in top form, things get complicated. Depardieu is the union leader and her former lover...

Find all you need to know about Charlbury's most exciting programme of entertainment ever at

Jon Carpenter · Sat 30 Jul 2011, 13:53 · Link

How can we improve your quality of life in Charlbury?

The Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) is a resident led problem-solving group that works with key agencies to tackle top priorities identified by the local community. Every autumn, the NAG, the Chipping Norton Neighbourhood Police Team and the West Oxfordshire Community Safety Partnership conduct a community engagement survey to find out where they should focus their attention and resources. We want to know how we could improve your quality of life in Charlbury. Is your bug bear speeding cars, poor parking, use of mobile phones while driving, dog fouling, littering, noise, vandalism, etc.? Do tell us by completing this very short and sharp survey:
- Online at
- Or contact your local PCSO Wesley Smith on 0845 8 505505, or Valou Pakenham-Walsh on 01608 811338
Thank you for helping the Neighbourhood Action Group!

Valou Pakenham-Walsh · Thu 28 Jul 2011, 10:10 · Link

Campaigners say "keep Dean Pit - not Greystones"

Charlbury's District Councillor Glena Chadwick writes:

"As you may know, Liz Leffman and I presented the petition to keep Dean Pit open to the county council on Tuesday. At 9.30 on Wednesday morning all district councillors received notice from a WODC officer that that afternoon the cabinet would be discussing a proposal to look at the feasibility of opening a waste recycling centre to replace Dean Pit at a site just outside Chipping Norton on the A361.

"We are, of course, very pleased that this shows that WODC has acknowledged the strength of local feeling about the closure of Dean Pit and this is why they are looking into an alterantive possibility. However, we are concerned about the fact that there will be a significant cost involved in the closure of Dean Pit - we have heard that it will cost as much as £1 million - and there will obviously be a cost in building and running a new facility. We are concerned about what seems to be a complete waste of taxpayers' money. We want and need a local facilty but we already have one - Dean Pit. Why spend money moving to a new location?"

Sun 24 Jul 2011, 11:33 · Link

Radon testing

Most of you will have received letters from the Council regarding radon levels in Charlbury. Please go to the Town Council website ( to find out further information and who to contact for queries.

Susie Finch · Thu 21 Jul 2011, 11:32 · Link

Community Solar PV Buying Group launching

ORCC and Community Buying unLimited are just launching a Community Solar PV Buying Group. If you have a south facing roof you might already have been thinking of installing solar PV - but time is running out before the reduction in the Feed-in Tariff which occurs for any new installations after 31 March 2012. Uniquely, they have an insurance policy to give 25 year warranty on the panels AND the inverter.

They are also offering a matching service to enable people with the cash to invest on other people's roofs and where both parties can benefit from the FITs.

To express an interest in this new scheme and to find out more, please email or contact me.

Christine Elliott · Wed 20 Jul 2011, 15:37 · Link

Dean Pit petition presented with 2000 signatures!

Liz Leffman, Cllr Glena Chadwick and Chipping Norton councillor Eve Coles presented the Dean Pit petition to Oxfordshire County Council this afternoon (July 18th. We collected nearly 2000 signatures from Charlbury, Chipping Norton, and many of the nearby villages. Many people sent letters and e mails in support of the petition, including our county councillor, Neil Owen, and David Cameron. We have given the council a short paper outlining the case for keeping Dean Pit open, and a copy has been sent to our MP. Thank you to everyone who signed, or sent letters and e mails. We wait now to hear the council's response.

Liz Leffman · Tue 19 Jul 2011, 20:15 · Link

Anyone for fishing?

If you'd like to fish in Charlbury, do take a look at the newly updated pages on the Cornbury Park website which will tell you how you can get involved. Just click on this link:

Alison Wright · Mon 18 Jul 2011, 10:58 · Link

CSA Tea Tent, Cornbury Festival - Our 8th Year!

This year Cornbury Festival was held on the Great Tew Estate from the 1st to 3rd July The CSA tea tent operated on all three days of the festival - from early morning until after the last act had finished. We served up cakes, teas, coffees as well as soup and rolls. We had plenty of customers, some of which have been eating our cakes for eight years now!

Julie & Matt Ward organised the event for us again this year with fabulous success! Many thanks to you both from all of the CSA . Thanks must also go to all of those who baked cakes, donated ingredients, ran freezers, lent & moved equipment and helped out over the weekend. It would not have been possible without your support. Helping out is great opportunity to meet other parents and some of the teachers 'and have some fun!

We are incredibly pleased to announce that all our efforts resulted in a fundraising total of £3836. This is a fabulous amount considering the increased number of food outlets within the festival site and our current economic climate.

Some comments from our customers for those who didn't get a chance to experience the tea tent this year'

'The cakes were lovely - thank you :-)'

'I can still taste the chocolate cake..............YUMMMMMM'

'You kept us alive for 3 days. Best tea on the site. Well done and thank you.'

'ate as much cake as we could, its' a dirty job but someone's got to do it!!! Lush cake!'

'I thought that was a fab tent. Really nice to have somewhere to have a sit down and a cup of tea. And the prices were reasonable AND it's helping a great cause. I'm not from the immediate area (I'm in Cheltenham) but I think your school deserves the best if you have people that put that energy into supporting it. Well done. Great to also see what you've bought with the money from previous efforts'

'Beautiful cakes - still enjoying the delicious coffee and walnut cake I bought last thing on Sunday! Thank you!'

'Fantastic cakes, all part of the Cornbury experience, hope to see you next year'

Alex Westbury · Sat 16 Jul 2011, 17:35 · Link

“Stamp Out Rural Crime” - 28th July

The West Oxfordshire Community Safety Partnership is organising a Stamp Out Rural Crime event to encourage farmers and rural businesses to protect their property. It will take place on Thursday 28 July at Elderbank Hall, Station Road, Brize Norton. More details are available on

Susie Finch · Thu 14 Jul 2011, 13:27 · Link

Beer festival makes the front pages

The Charlbury Beer Festival was featured on the front page of today's Observer - showing Prime Minister and local MP David Cameron enjoying a half at yesterday's event. In a photo taken by Barry Clack from Witney and widely published in today's papers, he is shown by the Aunt Sally pitch, where he was the first competitor.

Richard Fairhurst · Sun 10 Jul 2011, 14:10 · Link

World Aunt Sally champion crowned

This year's Charlbury Beer Festival featured the first World Aunt Sally Open Singles championships. The crown was won by Trevor Dyer (of the Churchill Arms, Paxford), the chairman of the Chipping Norton Invitation Aunt Sally League, who beat George Williams in a tense final.

Richard Fairhurst · Sat 9 Jul 2011, 18:10 · Link

New-look Charlbury website

We're delighted to unveil a new look to the Charlbury website.

The website has all the established features, plus a number of new ones such as a site-wide search and a calendar of weekly events - and you'll doubtless find more as you look through the site.

In addition, we've added a large number of new visitor-focused pages, including walks around Charlbury and cycle rides, each with Ordnance Survey mapping.

The changes have been in the offing for over a year now, but there's still much to do. We'll be applying finishing touches in the next week, and you'll see further improvements, and new pages, in the weeks and months to come. As every page has been rejigged, and almost all have moved to different addresses, you might find bugs and missing content here and there. Please let us know at (including the version of your web browser, if you know it) and we'll try and sort it out. Similarly, if you have ideas or would like to contribute, get in touch.

We've made every effort to keep it compatible with all web browsers, but if you're using an old version of Internet Explorer, the site logo won't appear as it should (and you should upgrade anyway!).

Thanks to Dave Murphy for the great pictures and to Alan Sinclair for the aerial view. (For those of a technical bent, we're using the 960 Grid System; the website remains in Perl but with much greater use of mod_rewrite for friendly URLs; the search is powered by KinoSearch, based on Apache Lucene; and are our excellent hosts.)

Finally, the Cotswold Line commuter blog has been retired after the improvement in train services led to a greatly reduced number of posts - but you'll see live train running information, as well as the latest weather forecast, on the front page!

Richard Fairhurst · Sat 9 Jul 2011, 12:59 · Link

Opening of Nine Acres Sports Pavilion

Film of the official opening of Nine Acres Sports Pavilion by David Cameron now up on YouTube. Music from the performance of Voices Unlimited, Charlbury's Community Choir on 14th May. Film shown at ChOC on 12th June.

Christine Elliott · Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:35 · Link

Wilderness video is now online

The organisers of Wilderness have just released a video all about this new multi arts festival taking place in Cornbury Park this August. You can see it here:

Discounted tickets for locals are still available from Charlbury Post Office.

Alison Wright · Tue 5 Jul 2011, 10:23 · Link

Concessionary Fares Application Process

From 1st April 2011 Oxfordshire County Council became responsible for the overall management of the Concessionary Travel Scheme in the county. They are looking at ways to standardise the application and card-issuing process. Any changes to the process would mainly affect those applying for a pass after 1st April 2012, rather than any existing bus pass holders.

Please see the poster here which will also be distributed to libraries, GP surgeries and Community Centres throughout the county, to explain what they are doing and why, plus any contact details to which any questions can be addressed.

Susie Finch · Fri 1 Jul 2011, 13:46 · Link

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