News index


Charlbury Society Outing to Chavenage

The Charlbury Society spent a wonderful day last Monday at Chavenage House, near Tetbury, which is Trenwith in the Poldark series.  We were given a quite exceptional and fascinating tour by the owner, Caroline Lowesley Williams.

Everyone was absolutely full of praise and many said it was their best tour ever in a long series of historic house visits.

We await the first episode of Poldark in a couple of weeks with excitement and seeing the role this stunning house has in the next series.

Judy Dod · Fri 28 Jun 2019, 22:25 · Link

Charlbury Beer Festival

As you may have seen, Charlbury Beer Festival preparation is well under way, and the weather looks like it is going to be amazing! We have extra shelter tents this year, giving more protection, and if you bring your own gazebos you will be able to put them up in designated areas at the festival. 

There also be a standpipe for fresh drinking water so please bring your reusable water bottles and refill for free.

With wonderful entertainment, delicious food, children's tents and of course over 50 real ales and craft beers, cider, Pimm's, Gin and wine, all is set for a glorious day out. This year we hope to be able to break the £250,000 mark in donations, so we look forward to seeing as many of you down at the Cricket Club tomorrow and wish you all a happy Charlbury Beer Festival.

Tim Crisp · Fri 28 Jun 2019, 09:28 · Link

Vacancy for Charlbury Primary School Chair of the Board of Governors

  • Background

    Charlbury School has 13 members on the Governing Body (including Clerk and Associates) who are drawn from parents, staff members, the local authority and our community. We are diverse in age range, background and skills. Our role is to ensure high standards of achievement for all the children in the school by:

    Setting the school’s vision, ethos and strategic direction;

    Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and the children; and

    Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

  • Vacancy

    At the end of this academic year (July), I complete my 9th year as a governor and the 4th as Chair of Governors and I gave notice last September that it is time for me to move on. Therefore, we have a vacancy arising for someone who is interested in joining the Board as Chair of Governors. In addition to normal governing duties, this role carries with it the responsibility for leading the governing body and being a confidential sounding board for the head teacher. Some experience of leading a Board, whether in the education sector or not, is therefore essential.

  • The time commitment to the school is

  • 5 full governing body meetings per annum, held between 6-8pm on varying weekday evenings

    Attendance at other committee meetings when required which precede the full meetings. The Chair of Governors is not required to chair these committees. Informal meetings with the head teacher on average on a bi-weekly basis.

  • Other ad hoc meetings on matters arising or sub-committees are not unusual.

  • There is an amount of preparation time for all meetings particularly setting the agenda for the Full Governing Body meetings in conjunction with the Governing Body’s clerk.

    You would also be expected to come into school during term-time from time to time on visits in association with your role and to share the joy of the children.

  • In my experience, the time commitment for the Chair of Governors is around ½ day per week during term time but more recently this has increased following our Ofsted report. I would hope and expect the task to return to ‘normal’ within the next year.

  • Applications are welcome from parents and non-parents - we wish to maintain the correct balance on the Governing Body of all stakeholders of our community. I as Chair of Governors and the headteacher, Jane Holt, would be more than happy to discuss the position further with anyone who may be interested in taking up the role.

  • I can be contacted at

    Kaye Leggett

    Chair of Governors, Charlbury Primary School

Catriona Pitt · Mon 24 Jun 2019, 10:23 · Link

Wilderness tickets to auction - last chance!

This week is your last chance to bid for a pair of Adult camping tickets for Wilderness Festival 2019. The auction is in aid of Charlbury Community Centre and bidding ends at noon on Friday, 28th June. Please email your bid to

daniela jenkins · Mon 24 Jun 2019, 10:13 · 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 24 Jun 2019, 06:15 · Link

CBF Culture programme announced

We are pleased to announce the programme for the Culture tent at the Charlbury Beer Festival next weekend, Saturday 29 June. There will be music and drama, and talks on a range of subjects, including the science of de-extinction and the vinyl revival. Full details can be found on the CBF website,

Edward Fenton · Sat 22 Jun 2019, 11:00 · Link


Basil Eastwood has agreed to give his talk again, in the evening, as there was so much interest in what he had to say.  Wednesday 3rd July. Please see events section for details.

Ann Lloyd · Mon 17 Jun 2019, 20:24 · 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.

  • Ivy House Church Lane Charlbury
    Refurbishment of existing double garage to include formation of pitched roof (to replace existing flat roof) extending to the side creating a covered outdoor dining area with fire place.
    WODC reference: 19/01659/HHD - Fri 07 Jun 2019 - Under consideration
  • Talbot Farm Thames Street Charlbury
    Alterations and erection of single and two storey extensions.
    WODC reference: 19/00589/HHD - Wed 17 Apr 2019 - Under consideration
  • Talbot Farm Thames Street Charlbury
    Internal and external alterations and erection of single and two storey extensions.
    WODC reference: 19/00590/LBC - Wed 17 Apr 2019 - Under consideration

Mon 17 Jun 2019, 06:15 · Link

Wilderness Tickets to Auction

There is still time to make a bid for a pair of Adult Camping Wilderness Tickets in aid of Charlbury Community Centre. To make a bid email - Auction ends midday Friday, 28th June. Thank you for your support.

daniela jenkins · Fri 14 Jun 2019, 10:37 · Link

OVO Women's Tour bike race - TV coverage

Highlights of today’s Women’s Tour cycle race were shown on ITV4 at 8pm on Wednesday. You can watch online at for 30 days. Unfortunately filming the final sprint started just after Charlbury, on the road to Woodstock!

Richard Fairhurst · Wed 12 Jun 2019, 17:38 · Link

We Need to Talk about Islamism

A big apology from the festival team. We did not have a large enough room for Basil Eastwood's lunchtime talk today - there was not even any standing room left. 

The number of people attending festival events has far exceeded our expectations.

Basil has promised to repeat his talk and we will keep you posted on the website and will book a larger room next time.

Tony Lloyd · Wed 12 Jun 2019, 15:15 · Link

OVO Women's Cycle Tour through Charlbury

The race is now behind schedule as a result of crashes and neutralised sections and looks likely to be in Charlbury at 2.30-2.40pm.

The timetable for the whole route is here

Stage 3 starts in Henley-on-Thames and ends at Blenheim at an estimated time of 14.11 - 14.57. The total distance is 90 miles/141 km.

In Charlbury the route is from Burford , Forest Road (passing the railway station), Dyers Hill , Market Street (against usual traffic direction) , Church Street Park Street / Grammar School Hill / Wellington Cottages, Woodstock Road. 

There will be a ‘rolling roadblock’ with roads closed to traffic for 15 minutes before the race arrives. They will reopen once all the riders (and race vehicles) have passed through.

Cars will need to be removed from the roads as per signage.

Christine Battersby · Wed 12 Jun 2019, 09:24 · Link

TE Lawrence's Motorbike Comes to Charlbury

On Saturday Stonesfield Players are bringing their critically acclaimed production Shadow of the Desert to Charlbury.

David Lines' radio play will be performed as if for a live recording.

An exhibition of T. E. Lawrence memorabilia accompanies the show and the centrepiece will be Lawrence's motorbike.

Pictured alongside is the motorbike being ridden by Lawrence and below is Mark Burniston who plays Lawrence in the show.

Doors open at 7.00 to see the exhibition before the curtain rises at 8.00

Tickets from Charlbury Deli and Cafe £10 (cash only) where there are still a few tickets left.

Tony Lloyd · Wed 12 Jun 2019, 08:32 · Link

The Flying Scotsman on Saturday

According to the organisers, the Cotswold Venturer excursion train on Saturday will be stopping in Charlbury so that the engine - the Flying Scotsman - can take on water.  Because of security concerns (people trespassing on the track to get a closer look), they are not publishing an actual arrival or departure time.  However, if you work on the basis that its schedule should be similar to when the Union of South Africa stopped here in February, then the chances are that it should get here around 5.30pm and leave about 20 minutes later.  The train is scheduled to get to Didcot at 6.36, which would tie in with that.

Simon Walker · Tue 11 Jun 2019, 10:39 · Link

School children inspired by OVO Energy Women's Tour

School children across Oxfordshire have been inspired to cycle safety, get healthy, and be creative in readiness for the OVO Energy Women’s Tour coming to Oxfordshire this Wednesday, 12 June.

Year five students at Charlbury Primary School have been inspired by the race coming through their town on Wednesday.

Beatrice Peters, 10, said: “My dad really likes cycling and told me about the race. It is pretty cool and exciting that it is coming to Charlbury.

“It is a really good thing for women’s cycling.”

Ten-year-old Adelaide Butler added: “I really like women’s football and it’s great to see a special women’s cycle race. I can’t wait to see them.”

Pupils at the school recently underwent Bikeability training which helps them cycle safely and with confidence.

School Business Manager, Catriona Pitt, said: “This is a really positive event for the children and sends out a fantastic message to both girls and boys.

“It encourages them to be more active and engaged in cycling and we intend to be really involved on the day.”

(from an Oxfordshire County Council press release)

Mon 10 Jun 2019, 11:48 · Link

Steamroller Printing

All the prints we made yesterday using the steamroller are on display in the Cornbury Room behind the Bell Inn for the next few days

Tony Lloyd · Sun 9 Jun 2019, 13:20 · Link

Names of Winners of the Photography Competition

The Photography Competition is up and judging has take place 

There is a wonderful selection of 136 entries from the following categories which will be on show throughout the weekend in St Mary’s Church.

Please note prize giving will be at 4.30 on Sunday 9th June. Anyone wishing to collect their photos should do so after prize giving please.

Adult Categories First Prize:

Churches and Buildings: Maggie Collins

‘Red’: Jenny Howe

Doors and Windows: Bill Stevenson

Textures: Linda Mowat

Transport: Linda Monkton

Flowers and Gardens: Lesley Young

Children’s Category ‘My Favourite’ First Prize: Jethro Evanston

Runner-up: Tiye Salgado Swabey

BEST OF BUNCH is Bill Stevenson whose photograph is alongside

There were also a number of highly commended photographs.

Tony Lloyd · Fri 7 Jun 2019, 17:57 · Link

The Secret Exhibition

The Secret Exhibition opens tomorrow (Saturday) at 9.00 with seventy mini masterpieces on show in Charlbury Deli and Cafe

The framed original artwork is on sale for just £20 each (cash sales only). 

The artist will be revealed on purchase. There are paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures.

A big thank you to all the artists who donated their work to raise funds for the Charlbury Festival.

Tony Lloyd · Fri 7 Jun 2019, 16:16 · Link

FREE BALLOONS for the Women's Tour cycle race

If you live on the route of the Women’s Tour cycle race next Wednesday – Dyers Hill, Market Street, Church Street, Park Street / Grammar School Hill / Wellington Cottages, Woodstock Road – we have free balloons for you to put on your house (or shop or other business)!

The balloons are purple and white to match the Charlbury Festival flags.

Come to the Charlbury Deli & Café any time before Wednesday and pick up your balloons – we have lots!

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 7 Jun 2019, 09:49 · Link


In the weeks after the Allied landings in France on D-Day, two Charlbury men were killed in northern France: Bill Parsons and Peter Ryder. Private Bill Parsons aged 22 years in the Airborne Division of Oxfordshire & Bucks Light Infantry died on 20th June 1944. Captain Peter Ryding aged 24 years in the 4th Battalion of the Welch Regiment was presumed killed on 3rd July 1944.  Read more about them inside the Museum.

Earlier that year Charlbury had witnessed the preparations for D-Day at first hand.

"In Cornbury Park the 22nd Vehicle Reserve Depot (one of the largest in England) had been set up in December 1941. The trees afforded good cover from detection by enemy planes. Three thousand vehicles arrived in four weeks: they were of every description, including jeeps, Red Cross ambulances, private cars painted khaki, vehicles needed to equip divisions going abroad... Roads and drives were churned up into a sea of mud, in places so deep that an ATS girl lost a shoe which was never recovered! The Vehicle Depot was in charge of .the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, assisted by a contingent of ATS........The RAOC took over all available accommodation for troops in the town, including the Victory Hall (In 2019 the site holds a private house in Church Street opposite Royal Oak cottage and next door to Baileys.).....

"In a very secluded part of Wychwood Forest, with no house within a mile, a large consignment of high explosives was parked in preparation for our invasion. It was transported and packed by black American soldiers. Shortly before D-day long lines of large bombs were parked on each side of the Burford Road and other munitions along the Enstone Road......"

The Corner House was requisitioned by the Army from 1939. In the Morris Room upstairs a British Restaurant was set up in 1942, and a dumb waiter was installed between the kitchen and the Morris Room "A School Meals service and a mobile canteen were provided, with a voluntary driver and helper, on a round of villages, depositing hot dinners in large thermos containers at small schools. .. From time to time tramping on the stairs warned the helpers of the arrival of soldiers, mostly drivers who had brought convoys of vehicles to Cornbury Park and who always seemed to have had nothing to eat for many hours. In the weeks before D-Day when troop movements mounted to a crescendo, soldiers of all descriptions were liable to appear mysteriously, including several parties of airborne men." In March 1944 the Restaurant sent out 1,581 dinners and 516 teas, plus 2,893 school dinners. Soldiers on convoy, lorry drivers and other travellers were very glad of the service. The red and green folding chairs used in the Restaurant can still be seen in the Museum, and others are stored round the top of the dumb waiter.

With quotations from the Charlbury War Record, a booklet prepared for a Women's Institute County Competition in 1946, in which Charlbury WI won fourth place. June 2019

Janet Jeffs · Wed 5 Jun 2019, 09:01 · Link

WI Bench at Church Lane / Dyers Hill

Charlbury WI has arranged for the bench to be refurbished in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the original Charlbury WI which was formed in 1919.

The bench will be removed for about two weeks in order for the work to take place.

Jackie Hague · Wed 5 Jun 2019, 08:10 · Link

Charlbury Library Outstanding Results

Charlbury is showing the highest increase in issues as a percentage of any library in Oxfordshire according to Oxfordshire Library Services. It is convincingly bucking the national trend of a general decline in usage of libraries.

Graham White, Community Involvement Officer for Oxfordshire Libraries, said of these statistics: “Oxfordshire Library Service would like to thank the Charlbury community, Thomas Gifford Trust, the manager Julie Ward, and the volunteers for making such a success of the new library. We normally expect a new or refurbished library to see an increase in use, but the huge success of Charlbury Library since the move to the Community Centre is a real testament to the hard work of all involved, and to the concept of co-locating the library with other local services.”

Charlbury Library’s statistics tell a positive tale. Since moving to Charlbury’s new Community Centre, library issues using the self-service machine have increased by 65%. Much of this is out of hours use, as the library is now accessible for seven days a week. In its first year of operation, 2219 items were issued on Sundays alone and more people are joining the library - new membership applications are up by 44%.

Lending and borrowing statistics are, of course, not the only way to judge the effectiveness of a library. Libraries serve many other functions – a place to study, research, look at maps, journals, local history and reference book and a place to meet. Visitors to the Centre can also make use of the library’s free Wi-Fi service and use the computer and photocopier, making the Centre and library an ideal place to study and work.

daniela jenkins · Tue 4 Jun 2019, 16:10 · Link

Charlbury Festival Countdown

There are just a few days to go until the Charlbury Festival starts this weekend. 

Tickets are selling fast so please do not leave it to the last minute as they may not be available on the door. 

There are four tickets left for the Speakeasy Latin Music Evening.   Brickwork Lizards & The Four Wordsmen (Adrian Lancini, John Lanyon, Ed Fenton and Nick Stepney) is selling out fast. 

At the last festival the Festival Finale was sold out and Shadow of the Desert is proving very popular following its sell out run in Stonesfield. Tickets from Charlbury Deli and Cafe (cash only) 

The first Festival event will be a concert by the Primary School Choir on Friday at 5.00 in St Mary's Church. 

On Saturday morning there will be children's creative activities at the Farmers' Market with Little Wild Things helping with mask making, the Riverside Festival team making stick men and storytelling with Alison and Rachel. 

There will be a masked procession to the Bell Inn at 2.00 led by the steamroller. We will then make giant prints whilst listening to Charlbury Buskers. 

In the evening we will be entertained by Brickwork Lizards & The Four Wordsmen with a Moroccan meal from Fab Cooks. 

All this is followed by another eight days of drama, music, poetry, painting, heritage walks, lectures, storytelling, singing, photography, open gardens, literature, cinema, discussions, local history and sculpture.

Tony Lloyd · Tue 4 Jun 2019, 15:12 · Link

Wilderness Tickets to Auction

As part of its ongoing support of Charlbury Community Centre, the Wilderness Festival has kindly donated two pairs of adult camping tickets, worth £360 per pair, which we are auctioning during June to raise funds for the Centre.

You can place your bids by emailing Bidding ends at 12noon on Friday, 28th June. Thank you for your support.

Thomas Gifford Trust and the Charlbury Community Centre gratefully acknowledge the support of The 2019 Wilderness Festival.

daniela jenkins · Mon 3 Jun 2019, 10:24 · 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.

  • 3 Sturt Road Charlbury
    Erection of single storey front extension.
    WODC reference: 19/01291/HHD - Wed 01 May 2019 - Under consideration

Mon 3 Jun 2019, 06:15 · Link

Climate emergency meeting, May 30th

Thanks to Jon Carpenter, 18 people met at the Friends Meeting House on the 29th May to discuss climate change and the recent actions by Extinction Rebellion (XR). People came from a range of backgrounds – some have been on XR actions, others have been lifelong Green campaigners and others only recently started to get interested in climate change - but all are sufficiently concerned to want to come together to contribute to challenging and changing the desperate situation we are in.

An informal group has now been created to turn this all into action. There are a variety of initiatives already underway that people can support – such as trying to persuade Charlbury Town Council to declare a climate emergency – and establishing an Extinction Rebellion group in Charlbury. The opportunities for involvement are numerous and everyone – young and old is invited to participate. A more detailed report back from the meeting is available on the Forum.

JOHN CHETTLEBOROUGH · Sun 2 Jun 2019, 08:48 · Link

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