News index


Charlbury relief effort for Calais and Dunkirk refugees

Charlbury Refugee Action Group filled our car (very) full of tinned food and sorted warm winter clothing, plus about ten pairs of walking boots, a couple of tents and a few sleeping bags all donated by Charlbury people, and on Christmas Eve we took them to Vanessa in Hook Norton, who has also been collecting in her home village. She is leaving her family today for a couple of days so she can drive it all to the distribution warehouse in Calais.

A thousand thanks to all of you who made this possible. Please see the Events listing for the next CRAG fundraiser on January 9, where we can turn your surplus (unwanted?) Christmas presents into funds to support more relief work.

If you would like to help by driving donated items to Calais on a future occasion, or to a collection point In the UK, please let us know and we can put you in touch with the right people and sources of information.

The first link below is to an article that explains why all this is necessary.

Virtually all the help given to refugees in Calais, and also Dunkirk where conditions are actually far worse, is done by volunteers. The NGOs and big charities are simply not there, except for Medecins Sans Frontieres. The British and French governments are doing nothing either.

More specifically, on Dunkirk:

Jon Carpenter · Sat 26 Dec 2015, 11:30 · Link


The volunteer cooks and helpers for Meals on Wheels prepared and delivered 29 Christmas meals to residents of Charlbury, Chadlington and Stonesfield. The meals were paid for again this year as a holiday gift from a generous local resident.

Volunteer help is needed in 2016. Please contact Margie Glasgow or Jan Griffiths


daniela jenkins · Wed 23 Dec 2015, 20:57 · Link

Wilderness Festival Public Meetings at The Bell on 12th January 2016

Wilderness Festival would like to invite local residents to a public meeting at The Bell Inn, Charlbury on Tuesday 12th January 2016.

To try and ensure as many people as possible can attend there will be two meetings, one from Midday to 14:00 and one from 18:00 - 19:30.

During these meetings they would love to hear feedback on Wilderness 2015, following the changes in operations made in response to feedback from 2014; whether these changes were considered a success or whether they require further attention, as well as suggestions based on experiences in 2015 and any concerns about the operation of the event.

Wilderness would like to discuss local tickets, volumes, access and distribution methods. They will give a general overview of intentions for the 2016 show including entrances, size, and sound. And they would welcome discussions about other opportunities and ideas about the festival.

If there are any specific topics you would to see covered, please send them for the attention of Rufus Lawrence at

Alison Wright · Tue 22 Dec 2015, 15:06 · Link

Latest planning applications to West Oxfordshire District Council

The following planning applications have recently been lodged. Click on the address to see full details at the WODC website.

Mon 21 Dec 2015, 07:05 · Link


WREN Award and Other Generous Grants to New Centre

We are extremely pleased to have been awarded a sizeable grant from WREN Community Fund which, together with some matching finance from a local foundation, allows us to access another £50,000 towards the Centre. In addition £5,500 has been generously donated by Charlbury Beer Festival and £5,000 from TOE2 (Trust for Oxfordshire Environment). Grant donations have also been gratefully received from Bartlett Taylor Charitable Trust in Witney, Doris Field Charitable Organisation, PYE Charitable Settlement and PF Charitable Trust. In addition, the Charlbury Community Centre Appeal has now raised an amazing £207,000 through various events as well as the popular 'Buy-a-Brick' scheme - currently suggesting you might like to give 'a token brick' as an unusual Christmas present!

We are hugely appreciative of all donations as we near the start of building our new Community Centre. The Trustees of the Thomas Gifford Trust are expecting to sign a fixed price 'Design & Build' Contract in Spring 2016 and construction work will hopefully start on site in May. All going well, the Centre will be 'open for business' in Spring 2017. In the meantime, if you can help in any way, please do get in touch with Marjorie Glasgow ( or Tanya Stevenson ( ).

daniela jenkins · Fri 18 Dec 2015, 16:41 · Link

Food and warm clothes collection for refugee camps

Charlbury Refugee Action Group is collecting the following items. They are to be taken to the refugee camps at Calais and Dunkirk immediately after Christmas by our friend Vanessa from Hook Norton.

If you have things you can contribute, please phone Angela or Jon on 811378 and we will explain where you can bring them in Charlbury. If necessary we can collect from you.

Last day for collections/deliveries is Christmas Eve.

All contributions gratefully received!

Sleeping Bags

Bags of Rice
Cans of Pulses
Cans of FIsh
Cans of Tomatoes
Cans of Fruit
Cans of Veg

Warm Coats
Walking Boots / Waterproof Trainers
Warm Socks

Thank you!

Jon Carpenter · Fri 18 Dec 2015, 12:23 · Link

Charlbury Youth Theatre to grow in 2016

Charlbury Youth Theatre is now on Mondays with more opportunities for 8-11 year olds to do storytelling, kite making and drama in a new piece called The Magic Kite.
11-14 year olds undertake a version of Lord of the Flies 6.15--7.30pm and the new senior group 14-18 year olds undertake a musical documentary called Suffragettes.
Saturday for 6-8 year olds continues at the Shed with The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark.
Anyone can join
contact for further details

Andy Graham · Wed 16 Dec 2015, 12:55 · Link

Visiting Ringers

If you are a ringer visiting Charlbury over the Christmas period, you are welcome to join in ringing for services at St Mary's Charlbury. We are particularly short this year, since, out of the dozen or so ringers we can usually call on, many are this year away visiting friends and relatives. This prompted the thought that ringers from elsewhere may be visiting here and would welcome the chance to ring somewhere new. The services we ring for are -
Christmas Eve ring 5.00 - 5:30 candlelit carol services
Christmas Eve ring 11.00 - 11:30 midnight communion
Christmas Morning ring 10:00 - 10:30 Christmas communion
New Year's Eve Ring 11:30 - 12:15 to ring in the New Year
Entry to the belfry is via the wooden staircase in church. Pick your service and join us; you'd be very welcome.
Mike Summers tel: 810639

Mike Summers · Tue 15 Dec 2015, 10:06 · Link

Community Centre Appeal, Christmas Campaign

Are you short of ideas for Christmas gifts?

Why not buy a "Brick" for someone to support the Community Centre this Christmas? It will be a lasting legacy, as their name would be permanently displayed in the lobby once the centre is built. We can supply a certificate to show what you have bought for the recipient of the gift (without a price on), so that you have something to give them. Please use this link and use the form to apply.If you live in Charlbury, you should get a form through your door, as our team has been busy delivering them to all households.

We would like to thank all the people in Charlbury who have bought bricks so far. The scheme has already raised around £4,500; but funds are still needed. So please think about supporting a charity close to home, as well as those very needy ones that are further afield.

Thank you and Happy Christmas from the CCCA committee.

Tanya Stevenson · Mon 14 Dec 2015, 17:28 · Link

Latest planning applications to West Oxfordshire District Council

The following planning applications have recently been lodged. Click on the address to see full details at the WODC website.

  • Old Fire Station Browns Lane Charlbury
    Erection of rear extension incorporating link, rear entrance and stair to upper floor with new dormer window to front elevation and repositioned entrance. The application is a re-submission of 15/01771/HHD
    WODC reference: 15/04335/FUL - Wed 09 Dec 2015 - Under consideration

Mon 14 Dec 2015, 07:05 · Link

Town Christmas Tree

Thanks are due to the Town Council for arranging delivery of the Christmas tree, which has duly been erected by members of the Charlbury Society in the garden of the Museum. We hope you all enjoy it.

Peter Bennett · Sat 12 Dec 2015, 16:18 · Link

Welcome a refugee for Christmas!

Many local people have offered to welcome a refugee or refugee family into their home until they are able to return to their own country, or are housed here. Sadly the government has not allowed this.

So here is the nearest we can get for now...

Charlbury Refugee Action Group invites you to consider making a space at your Christmas festivity for a refugee by leaving an empty chair in which they would be welcome.

Here's how it works:

People who take part leave an empty chair at their Christmas table. If it represents one refugee or asylum seeker, we ask for a minimum contribution of £10 (OK, less if necessary, but we have to have a target!). If your chair represents a family, we ask for a minimum £30 donation. If your Christmas visitors want to contribute too, even better! You could suggest they might like to buy your refugee a drink …

Additionally, you could tell those friends and family whom you won't see at Christmas that you are taking part, and invite them to do the same at their table.

Perhaps email them a nice photo of yourselves, and tell them you are donating £2 to refugee aid instead of buying a card and a stamp?

Exactly how we divide the money will be decided when we know how much we have collected. It is likely to be shared between several groups of volunteers, including some or all of the following:

• The Pikpa camp on Lesvos (which looks after particularly emotionally and physically vulnerable refugees who wash up on the island, as well as delivering hot meals to the other camps there);

• One or more of the volunteer groups on Chios and Leros, two islands often sadly overlooked, yet overwhelmed with boatloads of refugees (those that survive the crossing, anyway);

• The Worldwide Tribe (who are installing wifi throughout The Jungle in Calais, and will do Pikpa next, giving refugees free contact with family back home or still travelling);

• Positive Action in Housing (a charity who fund medical and other work on Lesvos and elsewhere, as well as working with refugees in the UK); and

• Raz Hussain, who runs a crowdfunding site to respond to urgent needs across Europe, from Dunkirk and Germany to the Greek islands.

We will let you know how much we raise, and what you have supported, in the new year. We follow these organisations closely to ensure that your money is spent directly on aid to refugees.

So here's how to make a space at your table …

As soon as you have decided on an amount, email us to say how much you are pledging.

Involve friends and family. If necessary, you can tell us at a later date what additional funds this will raise.

Settle up when you know much you have raised. You can either write a cheque (payable to Charlbury Refugee Action Group) and deliver or post it to either 19 The Green, Charlbury OX7 3QA, or 6 Tanners Court, Charlbury OX7 3RP; or deliver cash to either address.

(Please note that we are in the process of opening a bank account, and your cheque may not clear until January.)

Finally, please follow our website and Facebook page, both at and stay up to date both with what we are doing, and how you can best help people in desperate need. You will also learn how the refugee crisis is evolving across Europe and beyond, with pictures and reports from the frontline.

If you have questions, please email or phone 01608 811378.

We shall post progress reports on the forum, as well as on our own site.

Jon Carpenter · Thu 10 Dec 2015, 14:57 · Link

Donate your unwanted bikes to Africa

Clearing out at Christmas time? Find a good home for an old, unwanted bike!

The charity 'Re-cycle' takes old bikes to Africa, and teaches people how to mend and maintain them so that they can be used for safe and effective transportation.

We are aiming to collect 100 bikes by the end of January; if we get this many, the charity will come and collect them rather than us having to organise their delivery.

The collection point is the Vicarage in Church Lane - if no one is in, please just leave the bike in the front garden.

Further information about the charity can be found on, or on the noticeboard in the Memorial Chapel in church.

Richard Fairhurst · Thu 10 Dec 2015, 09:36 · Link

Photos of Variety Show

The second Charlbury Variety Show was a huge success on 28th November, with 15 acts performing to a packed Memorial Hall. You can see all the photos on this link:

An amazing £1,640 was raised on the night for the new Community Centre. The Charlbury Community Centre Appeal Committee would like to thank all who came, all who helped and especially all who performed. You were brilliant!

Tanya Stevenson · Wed 9 Dec 2015, 17:18 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair 2016

Public Meeting Monday 18 January 2016

By the time you read this you may well have seen the Street Fair article in the December edition of Charlbury Chronicle. The public meeting for all those who may wish to get involved in Street Fair 2016 will be held on Monday 18 January at a Charlbury venue to be confirmed. We have delayed the meeting from the date suggested in the Chronicle until January because Christmas will be upon us very soon and we hope a "New Year- New Start" will help encourage more volunteers to create Charlbury Street Fair 2016
Find out more, email: , or write to CSF Committee c/o Wallden House, Sheep St., Charlbury OX7 3RR

john hole · Wed 9 Dec 2015, 16:55 · Link


BURGLARY: 52 The Green. Between the 5th 1300hrs and 6th 15:25hrs of December. Offenders unknown have smashed a window at the rear of the house and gained entry to the property and stolen items. Offenders have then exited via the front door. If you have any further information please contact police on 101.

Wesley Smith · Mon 7 Dec 2015, 16:25 · Link

The Bull Inn

Please note due to necessary works the Bull will be closed from 1900 this evening and reopening Tuesday evening at 1900.
We apologise if we have caused any inconvenience.
Best wishes

Dominic Hewitt · Sun 6 Dec 2015, 15:56 · Link

Charlbury Church Clock - Latest

Church clock latest

The generous donations that many people? ?" and particularly the Charlbury Beer Festival Committee - have made to the Town Clock Appeal has allowed work to begin on the major overhaul of the clock on the tower of St Mary's Church.

Steady progress is being made on the repairs to the clock. At the moment the focus is on the clock faces and the drive mechanism to the hands. After taking the hands off, (the reason for the current scaffolding) various problems were discovered including corrosion and bent drive rods. Here are a before and after photo showing the outside end of one of the rods to which the hands are fixed.

All this created stress on the drive mechanism and "floppy" hands. There was even a concern that one of the hands may become loose enough to fall off! Now all four faces have been repaired I can report that the hands move smoothly and rotate with no resistance. Give them a spin and they go round and round for ages! It remains to be seen whether when re-connected to the clock it will run faster and need adjustment to compensate for the lack of friction - we need to ensure that the people of Charlbury can catch their trains from the station on time!

We hope the internal drive train to the faces will be completed in the next two or three weeks, thereby allowing the scaffolding to be removed before Christmas. Thereafter the repairs will be concentrating on the internal workings of the clock where considerable work is still required.

Thank you everyone who contributed. We hope soon to have a reliable and accurate clock for all to see and use.

Mike Summers · Wed 2 Dec 2015, 18:03 · Link

New train timetables from 13th December

GWR have published the Cotswold Line timetable starting on 13th December, which can be downloaded at .

The main changes are in late afternoon:

  • New 15.22 service from London, 16.21 from Oxford, 16.38 arrival at Charlbury. (5 coaches.)
  • 15.52 service from London (16.46 from Oxford) will be 8 coaches (currently 5). Arrives at Charlbury 17.03, terminates at Moreton.
  • 17.25 service from Oxford now starts from London at 16.22. Arrives at Charlbury 17.50. (5 coaches.)

There is also a new Fridays-only late night service, leaving Paddington at 23.18, Oxford at 00.37, and arriving at Charlbury at 00.53.

Richard Fairhurst · Wed 2 Dec 2015, 15:00 · Link

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