News index


Brians Barbers

Brian is reopening on Saturday the 4th July. 

He will be working 7am to 4pm on that Saturday, then working his normal hours the following week. 

He will be following all the guide line and is only allowed two people in the shop at any one time. 

You can now pay by card or cash. 


Michael Butler 16 · Mon 29 Jun 2020, 12:22 · Link

New visiting rules at the Oxford University Hospitals (the John Radcliffe, Churchill, Horton and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre).

 If you want to visit a patient at any of the above hospitals, please note the following.

From Monday 29 June , the hospitals will be following the ‘rule of one’ – one visitor per patient for one hour per day.

Visitors will be able to visit one ward and must use designated entrances at the hospitals, and face coverings must be worn at all times in line with Government guidance.

One hour slots will be booked in advance by staff on the ward, who will contact patients’ next of kin to arrange the appointment

For women who are giving birth, they can still have one birth partner only. Other areas in maternity should follow the one hour rule.

For child patients (up to 17 years old) – one parent or guardian for as long as required, but no siblings - as previously.

Patients with learning disabilities are allowed, as before, to have a carer to support them.

For patients at the end of life – arrangements as agreed with the ward manager or nurse.

Intensive care units - arrangements as agreed with the ward manager or nurse.

Visiting is not allowed in the following areas :

Outpatient departments;

Wards where they are treating patients with COVID-19;

Emergency Departments and Emergency Assessment Units.

Exceptional circumstances will require case-by-case assessment, including child patients, patients with learning disabilities, designated carers, and people who can’t make decisions for themselves. These will be considered on an individual basis. For other guidance please find some frequently asked questions at

The system will be for a trial period to assess the benefits and demands, and will be reviewed regularly. As soon as anything changes, we will be informed.

Nikki Rycroft · Mon 29 Jun 2020, 09:24 · 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.

Mon 29 Jun 2020, 06:15 · Link

Mingus Tree playing live now

on the Playing Close

Maureen Sparling · Sun 28 Jun 2020, 18:10 · Link

Come join a collaborative art project!

Charlbury Arts Society are running a collaborative sketchbook project would you like to join in? The aim is to enjoy and explore creativity through filling sketchbooks on different themes, passing around to a different member each month. You will get 'your' sketchbook back at the end, filled with different artistic responses - a poem, a sketch, a collage; the possibilities are endless.

You don't have to be an 'artist', it is open to all but we would ask you to join the society, only £10, to receive your sketchbook and participate (as well as all the other benefits of being a member of the Art Society).

For further details please contact Jody O'Reilly on

Jody O'Reilly · Sun 28 Jun 2020, 09:32 · Link

The History of Charlbury through .... a pint of warm ale

This Saturday should have seen crowds flocking to Charlbury’s 23rd Beer Festival, sadly cancelled this year because of Covid. So it seems fitting this week to look at an object related to beer and how it was drunk in the past. I was intrigued by an object looking like an oddly shaped metal boot on display near the kitchen range in the museum. It turned out to be an ale warmer, used for warming beer and ale before they were drunk.

Warm ale was popular as a winter drink when heated on its own or mulled with spice and sugar. The drink could be warmed by using a hot poker from the fire, thrust into the tankard of ale. But this could taint the liquor and two styles of ale warmer developed, probably in the 18th century. One was the boot-style that we have, where the long ‘toe’ was pushed into the embers of the fire so that the heat spread to the ale inside. The other style was a simple cone, also thrust into the fire. They could be made of tinplate, as in our example, or of more expensive copper which lasted longer and had better heat-conducting properties.

Many people thought that ale or beer was healthier drunk warm. A Treatise on Warm Beer published in 1641 stated: “….when I did always drink cold beer…I was often troubled with exceeding pain in the head….also with stomach-ache, tooth-ache, cough, cold, and many other rheumatic diseases…But since my drinking my beer (small or strong) actually as hot as blood, I have never been troubled with any of the former diseases, but have always continued in very good health constantly…”

All ale or beer was healthier than drinking water, which was often contaminated and spread diseases. Ale was made of malted barley, flavoured with herbs and spices, but in the late 14th century hops were introduced from the Continent and hopped beer began to be brewed alongside traditional ale. Occasionally beer was attacked as an alien drink not fit for ale-drinking Englishmen! Sadly we don’t know who our ale warmer belonged to but it would be good to imagine it being used in one of the many pubs and inns around Charlbury.

Judy Dod for Charlbury Museum 

Judy Dod · Fri 26 Jun 2020, 22:35 · Link

Local Pop-up Cinema company launches mini Drive-in

Charlbury based Portable Pictures has launched a bijoux Drive-in cinema package offering a Covid 19 safe party method even for the most vulnerable to enjoy! This bespoke set-up for up to 6 cars will allow you to have fun outside whilst keeping cosy and dry all year round. It’s also neighbour friendly as the sound is kept to a minimum by being kept inside the cars. We’ve had lots of fun trialling it and love the film bubble it creates – it’s quite addictive.

"We've lots of interest in our mobile cinema hire for outdoor parties now that people can meet up again , but we hope this provides a unique and thoughtful socialising environment for those wanting more safety." Brek Taylor, co-owner of Portable Pictures. 

To help launch the service and spread the word of what we’re doing the first 5 bookings will receive a 50% discount so why not email us at to find out if you’re eligible?! More information is available at

Film ideas could include: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! Any Bond film, Ghostbusters, Back to the future, Baby Driver, Thelma and Louise, Rush, Cars...

Brek Taylor · Thu 25 Jun 2020, 14:26 · Link

New mural in Chipping Norton

A beautiful new mural has been painted in the windows of the former Beale's store in Chipping Norton. From the Oxford Mail: 

A GRAPHIC artist who has previously worked for Nike has created a mural in his home town.

Luke Embden, 38, has been working on the piece from inside Beales since Thursday.

He said: “The idea stems from the pandemic situation, as I came back from Berlin to Chippy for my dad’s birthday, and then should’ve gone to Amsterdam for work but ended up getting trapped back here.

“Being born and raised here, I wanted to give something back to the community. I reached out and Georgia Mazower has been very supportive in making this happen.

“The idea then grew from the store being vacant, it had been here years and was iconic. I wanted to create a piece of work that tells the story of Chippy and the iconic buildings. Hopefully it will lift morale and community spirit.

“People can walk past as I’m on the inside, painting to the outside, so we’re able to conform to social distancing. Hopefully this will be a push for other creatives to use these empty shops windows.”

To see more of Mr Embden’s work, please visit:

Jonathan Mazower · Wed 24 Jun 2020, 17:14 · Link

Bus times update

Pulhams’ X9 bus to Chipping Norton and Witney is now running its regular timetable once again. You can see the timetable here.

The Stagecoach S3 (and 7) to Oxford are running a near-normal service on weekdays. On Saturdays, a shuttle bus will operate between Charlbury and Woodstock. Passengers can change in Woodstock for the connecting bus to Oxford. Full timetable here.

Richard Fairhurst · Tue 23 Jun 2020, 16:47 · Link

Railway line closures on Sunday 28 June

GWR and Network Rail have announced a series of line closures for track renewal work:

  • Sunday 28 June (until 1450): Buses will replace all rail services through Charlbury, between Oxford and Moreton-in-Marsh.
  • Sunday 19, 26 July and 2 August: Though all trains will run through Charlbury as per normal, westbound trains will terminate at Worcestershire Parkway and not continue through Worcester.

Richard Fairhurst · Tue 23 Jun 2020, 11:45 · Link

210-Mile Chase The Sun Charity Cycle Completed

Dear Charlbury 

As many of you are aware I completed my 210-mile Chase The Sun cycle challenge in aid of the NSPCC on Saturday. A massive thank you to all who came out to support me by the Rose & Crown throughout the day and especially to those of you who donated. 
I have raised £1,774 so far via online, contactless and cash donations, but am still £326 short of my £2,100 target.

I am leaving my JustGiving page up until the end of June so whether you have or haven’t donated already PLEASE give whatever you can to a fantastic charity here:

Every pound counts. If you want to give cash please give it to Tim at Cotswold Frames to pass on to me.

...and finally some public thank yous. To my wonderful wife, Olivia, for running our booth on the day and for putting up with my endless absence from home whilst on training rides; to Tim’s wife, Amelia, for being a mega training partner over hundreds of miles and for riding the final 70 miles with me and finally to Tom, Nikki and James at the Rosie for all their support and letting us base ourselves at their door for the day.

Thank you Charlbury, it was epic.

Best wishes 

Jos x

Jos Foulston (CBY Music Club)

Jos Foulston · Mon 22 Jun 2020, 18:49 · Link

Feeling Isolated?

Then team up with another household or friends for the St Mary's Zoom Quiz 2.0 this Friday (26 June) at 8pm (see attached).

Just let me know who you want to team up with, and I will make sure you and they are put into a video “breakout room” at the appropriate times during the quiz.

While in the breakout room, you and they will be able to see and speak to each other privately until you are brought back to the main group.

I can also play matchmaker and connect you with someone else looking for teammate.

And don't miss out on the fantastic pizza from The Bull on the night.

Spread the word.



dine glasgow · Mon 22 Jun 2020, 15:42 · 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.

  • Unit 3 The Stable Block Cornbury Park Charlbury
    Discharge of Condition 4 (Materials) of planning permission 17/00775/FUL
    WODC reference: 20/01487/CND - Tue 16 Jun 2020 - Under consideration
  • Doggetts Thames Street Charlbury
    Internal and external alterations to include replacement single storey rear extension insertion of a window and changes to internal layout and construction of a low level infill garden wall
    WODC reference: 20/01200/LBC - Thu 11 Jun 2020 - Under consideration
  • Doggetts Thames Street Charlbury
    Replacement single storey rear extension.
    WODC reference: 20/01199/HHD - Thu 11 Jun 2020 - Under consideration

Mon 22 Jun 2020, 06:15 · Link

Deli extending opening hours on Monday, June 22

The Deli's kept open throughout the lockdown, selling the Cotswolds' most scrumptious bread, full-cream milk, wine, cheese, fruit& veg, homemade cakes and freshly brewed coffee till 2 pm Mon-Sat. And the day's papers

Not to mention Charlbury-cured bacon and the most delicious basic groceries for miles around.

On Monday, June 22 we'll be staying open till late afternoon. Stocking a few more basic products we wouldn't normally sell, and upping our stocks of everything from papers to locally-baked sourdough. 

Michael Flanagan · Sun 21 Jun 2020, 20:57 · Link

Death of Sybil Ranger 20.06.20

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sybil Ranger has passed away on Saturday Morning. She died peacefully in her own home. There will be a limited funeral in the current circumstances. If you wish for more details please contact Jane (

Jane Tyrwhitt Jones · Sun 21 Jun 2020, 12:34 · Link

Co op refit

Don’t forget  the co op will close on Sunday 21st at 8pm 

And will reopen on Tuesday 23rd at 10am 

Sorry for any inconvenience caused. 

Mandy cooper · Sat 20 Jun 2020, 23:18 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ..... the Playing Close Fountain

The Fountain on the Playing Close is a familiar landmark in Charlbury, and the Museum holds the original plans for its design. Its little plaque which states that the fountain was designed by our local stonemason needs correction: he built it but he did not design it.

Queen Victoria was to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, and there was discussion in Charlbury about how to mark the occasion. A drinking fountain was suggested, and people were invited to subscribe. Then Mr Harvey Du Cros, the owner of Cornbury at the time, offered to pay for the whole thing, and a committee went ahead to plan it. At a public meeting in 1898, the Playing Close was chosen as the site by 68 votes to 27.

The committee decided to choose a design by open competition, and there were so many replies from architects that the return postage of the rejected designs amounted to £2 14s. The design of Mr A H Gough of Bristol was unanimously accepted, and Mr John Kibble, the Charlbury stonemason whose design had been rejected, was invited to build his rival's design. The fountain was described as "a handsome carved octagonal structure in Bath stone, with six arches and drinking cups, and drinking places for dogs round the massive base, the whole surmounted by a handsome lamp". The total cost was £193 16s 11d.

This was quite a bargain, as the fountain commemorates three events: the brief visit of Queen Victoria to Charlbury in November 1886 when she paid a visit of condolence to Lady Churchill at Cornbury; the provision of a water supply for the town in 1896; and the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen's accession on 28th June 1897.

The formal opening of the fountain took place in August 1900. In honour of the event the church bells rang, the town was dressed with flags, and the town band paraded the streets. The Fire Brigade in uniform formed a guard of honour, and most of the Parish Council were present. Mr Du Cros presented the keys to Mr Gillett Smith, Chairman of the Parish Council, and the ceremony ended with cheers and the national anthem.

Janet Jeffs

Judy Dod · Fri 19 Jun 2020, 23:01 · Link

Sudden death of Jennifer Bartlett 17.6.20

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Jennifer Bartlett passed away on Wednesday evening at the John Radcliffe Hospital. She suffered a stroke at the weekend having been well and independent at home to that point. Jennifer was born in Charlbury on 17th June, 1935 and had many interests and connections here. There will be a limited funeral in the current circumstances.

Frances Bartlett · Fri 19 Jun 2020, 17:10 · Link

Gigaclear work in Charlbury

Richard Fairhurst (for Charlbury Town Council) and Liz Leffman (county & district councillor) met – electronically – with broadband company Gigaclear to find out what their upcoming street works will involve. The following notes were written up by Richard after the meeting on 18th June.

What is it? Gigaclear is a company that provides ‘Fibre to the Premises’ (FTTP) broadband - i.e. where the fibre-optic cable continues into your house. Existing broadband in Charlbury is ‘Fibre to the Cabinet’, where the fibre-optic cable goes to a cabinet on the street, but the connection to your house is via the standard copper phone cable. In theory, FTTP can be up to 15 times faster than the broadband currently available in Charlbury.

Why Charlbury? Gigaclear has a subsidised contract with West Oxfordshire District Council to provide broadband to rural areas that would not otherwise get it. However, the Charlbury work is not part of this. Instead, Gigaclear are installing their cables as a commercial, unsubsidised project in Charlbury, believing that there’s enough demand in the town to make it worthwhile.

What are they installing? Gigaclear will be installing three “access cabinets” at locations around Charlbury (Five Ways, the town end of DItchley Road, and Grammar School Hill). These are the main hubs for the broadband. They then install a number of smaller “customer cabinets” (or CDC cabinets) around the town, which take the connection closer to people’s homes. Gigaclear say they aim not to obstruct footpaths, views or driveways with these. Finally, “points of termination” are installed underground outside those houses which sign up for the broadband.

Does this mean digging up roads? Yes – roads, pavements and (by preference) verges. This will mean road closures as the work progresses; these will be organised through the County Council’s standard Temporary Traffic Regulation Order process. Access for residents will be maintained during road closures. Gigaclear say they aim to notify affected residents five days before work starts on a particular road.

Will they be digging up private land too? In some places, Gigaclear will be writing to a small number of private landowners asking for permission to run cables under their land, where they think this offers a better route than the highway. They will ask the landowner to sign a permission form called a ‘Network Access Agreement’.

How long will the work last? The work is due to start in July, and finish in December with all roads and pavements put back in good order. Verges may be reinstated later, in the spring, due to the challenges of working in rainy weather. Gigaclear say that work will be completed “to Highways Authorities and Utilities Committee standards”. Once the cables are installed, they have a projected lifespan of at least 50 years. The ducting being installed by Gigaclear includes several empty channels to enable future cables to be installed without digging up the roads again.

How much will the broadband cost? Gigaclear say they currently offer monthly tariffs of between £39 and £79 depending on speed, but that there are also regular special offers. If the house is less than 100m from the main fibre and there are no extra complications, installation is free; otherwise, there may be a charge but this can often be covered by a Government voucher. There is a one-off connection fee of £25.

How can I contact Gigaclear? For issues connected to cable works, you can contact Gigaclear’s Oxford office on 01865 591137, or email Gigaclear will be writing to Charlbury residents this week with more details about their plans; they have already written separately to affected landowners seeking permission to install across their land.

What role does Charlbury Town Council have? We have no statutory control over this, other than one minor case where we own a small plot of land under which Gigaclear want to lay cables. However, we met with Gigaclear in mid-June (town council chairman Richard Fairhurst, together with district & county councillor Liz Leffman) to find out more about their plans.

We have stressed to them the importance of minimising disruption; of reinstating everything in good order; and of not obstructing Charlbury’s narrow pavements with the cabinets. We have asked them to communicate regularly with Charlbury residents; to be receptive to concerns and to actively monitor the community’s views; and to give as much notice as possible of their works.

Richard Fairhurst · Thu 18 Jun 2020, 19:54 · Link

St Marys Church flowers

St Marys Church and All Saints Shorthampton are open for private prayer daily until 4.30pm. We are delighted to have flower arrangements back in the church as well. 

Jo Paton · Wed 17 Jun 2020, 13:56 · Link

NHS Test and Trace scams:

The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.

What you need to know:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

Contact tracers will:

· ask for full name and date of birth to confirm identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating

· ask about the coronavirus symptoms

· ask people to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone they have had close contact with in the two days prior to symptoms starting

· ask if anyone they have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09)

ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind

ask for any details about your bank account

ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts

ask you for any passwords or PINs, or to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone

ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else

ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Nikki Rycroft · Wed 17 Jun 2020, 12:35 · Link

Chase The Sun Charity Cycle Challenge - Saturday 20th June

Dear Charlbury 

I’m cycling 208 miles this coming Saturday in aid of raising money for my chosen charity, the NSPCC. I start at sunrise at 04:46 from the Rose & Crown and am aiming to finish there at around 20:15.

My family is supporting me with a stand outside the pub, where you can come and cheer me on as I pass through town throughout the day at the below times and of course make any donations. I’ll be in town at:

04:46 depart

09:30 arrive (75 miles)

10:45 depart 

14:20 arrive (133 miles)

15:30 arrive (150 miles)

16:30 depart 

19:00 arrive (190 miles)

20:15 finish (208 miles)

This is a mega endurance ride to complete in one day and I hope as many of you as possible will come out to support and donate whatever you can. Every pound counts.

If you cannot come out to support, you can donate online at

Thank you all ever so much in advance and I hope to see some of you out in the streets on Saturday.

All my best,

Jos (CBY Music Club)

Jos Foulston · Tue 16 Jun 2020, 20:56 · Link

Coop closed for a refit

Charlbury Coop is closed for refitting/replacing the freezers from Sunday 21st June at 8 p.m. to Tuesday 23rd June at 10 a.m. 

Christine Battersby · Tue 16 Jun 2020, 13:50 · Link

Squirrel Session #6

UPDATE: Sorry this had to be cancelled yesterday at the last minute. I've re-scheduled for Saturday 20th 4 - 4.30pm. The new link to access the gig is

Hope you can make it!


I hope you enjoyed Squirrel Session #5 3 June. I loved it and definitely felt like one of my best yet. We’ve since experimented further with the technical set up and hope to be even better for the next one which brings me to….

The 6th Squirrel Session will be back on Thursday 18th June, 7 – 7.30pm as usual. 

See you on Thursday!


Elena Piras · Tue 16 Jun 2020, 13:27 · Link

Cotswold Frames

We are back open.

We now have face masks and hand sanitizer for sale to help your public transport travels go without a hitch.

Please note there are new shop hours*

Mon -Sat 10am-3pm for general shopping.

Picture framing is by appointment only please call 01608 811805 to book an appointment.

We are closed Tuesdays and Sundays.

*subject to change without notice 

Tim at Cotswold Frames · Mon 15 Jun 2020, 11:43 · Link

Zoom Quiz 2.0 - This Time with Teams!

Join us for a remote quiz on Friday, 26 June at 8 PM to support St Mary’s and its Covid-19 Charlbury initiatives.  

Team up with another household, and we'll enable you to breakout with them electronically to come up with your joint answers. 

Patrick Derham (Head Master, Westminster School) will be back to tickle your memory banks.  Portal opens at 745 pm, and the Quiz will start at 8 pm.

Tickets are £5/individual or £10/household.  Email Dine Glasgow ( to get your Zoom link or ask a question.

dine glasgow · Mon 15 Jun 2020, 11:26 · Link

Rose & Crown new opening hours

 We’ve tweaked our opening hours slightly, so please note from Monday to Wednesday we are open from 3pm-7pm and Thursday to Sunday 4pm-8pm. Please spread the word and hope this is convenient for you all ✌️ Nikki, James & Tom

nikki page · Mon 15 Jun 2020, 09:51 · 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.

  • Fieldmans Farm House Ditchley Road Charlbury
    Installation of BT wooden pole (7.2m above ground) in relation to fixed line broadband electronic communications apparatus.
    WODC reference: 20/01353/PNT - Tue 19 May 2020 - Under consideration

Mon 15 Jun 2020, 06:15 · Link

Face coverings to be worn at all times in Oxford and Banbury Hospitals

Face coverings required in the John Radcliffe, Churchill, Nuffield Orthopaedic and Horton Hospitals from 15 June A message from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

In line with Government guidance, from Monday 15 June 2020 we are asking patients and members of the public to wear a face covering at all times when visiting our hospitals.

Patients and members of the public may wear a face mask if they choose, but a face covering is sufficient.

Wearing a face covering will help to limit the spread of COVID-19, and protect others from the virus.

For the face covering to be effective, please be aware that:

  • it should cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
  • you should wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and taking it off. You should avoid touching the front or the inside of the covering, and handle it by the ear loops or ties
  • when wearing the face covering, you should avoid touching your face at all times.

You should also follow other infection control safety measures when visiting our hospitals, including social distancing and regular hand washing.

susan smith · Sun 14 Jun 2020, 21:17 · Link

New help line for carers and easy to read information about Covid-19

Easy Read guidance on Covid-19:   From the beginning of the pandemic, Oxford Health NHS Trust’s Learning Disability Service has been creating accessible easy read guidance on Covid-19 – collating material from a number of reliable sources.   Everything is now published in one place:

This is written in clear English with good diagrams, including information on all sorts of health issues. 

New befriending phone line for family, friends and carers

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust launched a new befriending phone line for carers on Wednesday 3 June. 

Carers can call 01865 901012 at any time and leave their details. A befriender will call back between 11am and 12 noon, Monday to Friday.

The line is not for emergencies. It is purely to support a family member, friend or carer. The person who responds to the call will not have access to any clinical information or be able to answer questions about a patient’s care. The service is being supported by staff and volunteers from Oxford Health.

susan smith · Sun 14 Jun 2020, 20:39 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ...... a robbery at the Pharmacy

We love to receive information from people who can add to our knowledge of the town’s history. Following last week’s piece about the Pharmacy, Andrew Shaw, of Shaw & Co lawyers in Church Street, got in touch. He told us that his father, who already owned a chemist shop in Woodstock, bought the Charlbury business in 1982. Andrew wrote:

“Fred Perkins, a dapper man with a bow tie, actually owned the Chemist shop twice. He retired to Guernsey but discovered that he had retired too early. The business came available again and he purchased it back and returned to Charlbury. In 1981 he approached my father T C Shaw the chemist in Woodstock and asked if he would like to buy the business. My father did and then owned both the Charlbury and Woodstock Chemists from 1982 until he retired and sold both businesses in 1989.”

Andrew also shared his memory of a dramatic robbery at the shop:

“Charlbury Pharmacy hit the national headlines on the BBC during my father’s ownership: the Dispensary was broken into one night by people looking for drugs etc. The controlled drugs safe was forced and cleaned out. Very often controlled substances were (are) passed down by one chemist to another and the Charlbury shop had piles of stuff going back to the 19th Century. There was some strychnine* in a bottle. It was only a very small amount however the BBC journalist got the decimal point in the wrong place and declared that there had been enough strychnine taken from Charlbury to wipe out most of Oxfordshire and beyond!”

Thank you so much Andrew for sharing this wonderful anecdote with us and for adding to our information about the Pharmacy.

* As well as being the drug of choice for Victorian murderers, strychnine was found in stomach remedies and also used as a laxative. It eventually proved ineffective as a medicine and was withdrawn from use. It was known to act as a stimulant and was used as a performance enhancing agent in sport. In the late 1800s cyclists, boxers, swimmers and runners would take strychnine tablets with mixtures of brandy and cocaine as part of their training. (Does that sound vaguely familiar …..?!). 


And check out the museum noticeboard in Market Street:Janet Jeffs has written a piece for the noticeboard about the Durhams and their evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940.  The Durhams were billeted around Charlbury early in the war and many made firm friendships with people in the town.

Judy Dod · Fri 12 Jun 2020, 21:25 · Link

The bench is back!

Charlbury WI is pleased to report that the WI bench has now been returned to the Dyer’s Hill / Church Lane junction. A huge thank you to Andy Faulkner for his sterling work restoring the bench to its former glory.

Jackie Hague · Thu 11 Jun 2020, 21:02 · Link

Private Prayer in church

We are delighted that St Mary’s and All Saints are open for private prayer from Saturday 13th June. Please ensure social distancing and hand hygiene. We will be cleaning St Mary’s each day and All Saints twice a week. The churches will still be closed for public worship. The live streaming of services will continue.

Jo Paton · Thu 11 Jun 2020, 15:27 · Link

Charlbury CC need your help

The club is looking to renovate the cricket nets that are currently in place at the club, which will in turn enhance the offer that the club can provide to the community.   To help us out, all you need to do is follow the link to our page on the Calor Rural Community Fund site and give us a like - each like is the equivalent to one vote.  Thanks for your support in advance!

Charlbury Cricket Club Outdoor Nets Renovation -

A Westbury · Thu 11 Jun 2020, 15:11 · Link

Face coverings needed for Charlbury Medical Centre

Thanks to the efforts of the sewing group in Charlbury, the Practice has been given a small supply of face masks for patients arriving for an appointment without one. They are theirs to keep, to be removed carefully without touching the front if possible, and washed before next use as soon as they get home.

However a continuous small supply is needed, as people forget / loose/ don’t have their mask with them, so any offers to make them, from either a soft cotton scarf, bandana, or spare lined material would be much appreciated by the Practice.

2-3 layers of cotton, ensuring that the covering goes right round the face almost to the ears, and easily covers the entire nose and mouth, with either elastic behind the ears, or ties for the back of the head, is all that is needed, and there are many demonstrations on line if you are not familiar with making them.  Please wash them after completing and then either drop them off at the Practice, or give them to me at the Saturday afternoon Styan veg distribution ensuring they are in a bag.  Thank you !

Nikki Rycroft · Tue 9 Jun 2020, 14:23 · Link

Donations in memory of Norma Norman

Douglas Norman would like to thank everyone who gave a donation to the Save The Children charity at Norma Norman’s funeral at St Mary’s on 7th February. A total of £439.90 was raised for the benefit of this good cause.

In appreciation of such generosity Douglas is covering the cost of the lunch being provided for Charlbury Day Centre members on 10 June. Norma very much enjoyed her times at the Day Centre.

Meryl Smith · Mon 8 Jun 2020, 13:58 · 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.

  • Kipkelion Stonesfield Lane Charlbury
    Alterations and erection of single and two storey extensions to include balcony to rear (non-material amendment to allow redesign and repositioning of front door whilst omitting window and allowing alterations to roof, and changes to floor levels).
    WODC reference: 20/01285/NMA - Tue 02 Jun 2020 - Under consideration

Mon 8 Jun 2020, 06:15 · Link

June Farmers Market

The June Farmers Market will take place on the Playing Close on Saturday 13th June. (See the Events Section for more information).

Thames  Valley Farmers Market (TVFM) Co-operative has worked hard throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to support its members, many of whom rely on the markets for their income, and to provide customers with a source of food and drink. TVFM is one of the very few market operators that has been able to continue operating through the lockdown. The continued operation has been, and continues to be,  subject to adherence to a strict Safe and Social Distancing Protocol. This protocol was agreed with Trading Standards, and the landlords of various market sites were also consulted.  Agreeing the protocol and then implementing it "on the day" in markets  has involved an immense amount of work behind the scenes for the Committee and other volunteer members. But this work has allowed the markets to continue as scheduled.  Initially, member attendance at the markets was limited to members selling food and drink, but the recent relaxation of the rules in relation to open air markets has allowed other members to start attending again.   

So Charlbury Farmers Market, an event supported and enjoyed by many, will take place on Saturday 13th June as planned. Members trading will be adhering to the protocol and taking necessary precautions and customers are requested to play their part by observing social distancing, only touching what they are buying and using contactless payment where possible.  

Janet Burroughs · Fri 5 Jun 2020, 21:22 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ...... its druggists & chemists

Apothecary to Pharmacist

The term pharmacist was not in use at the beginning of the 19th century. One was an apothecary, chemist or druggist.

Charlbury had an apothecary in the late 18th century, Edward Lyster, who lived in Gothic House, Church Street. He advertised his isolation house, near Blandford Park (Cornbury), for smallpox vaccinations in Jackson’s Oxford Journal in 1779.

After Lyster’s death in 1804, George Horniblow lived at Gothic House. He was a doctor and surgeon and his son John was a chemist.

From 1858 to the early 20th century Thackwell Smith, and his son Gillett, were grocers in Church Street (now the Heat Store). In the photo in the Museum the sign over the shop reads FAMILY GROCER DRUGGIST PROVISION MERCHANT. At this time anyone could trade as a druggist or chemist.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain was formed in 1841. The Pharmacy Act of 1852 had introduced a register of chemists and druggists but it didn’t stop others dispensing. There was no supply chain other than ingredients and patent cures. The druggist prepared most remedies to their own recipes. The Museum has the scales used for weighing ingredients, the apparatus for pill making and details of some of the remedies.

Albert Jull is in Kelly’s Trade Directory in 1911, as a chemist in Market Street in what is now the Pharmacy. He was still there in the 1939 Register. He was followed by Messrs Perkins, England, France, Vincent and now the Coop. Do let us know if you are aware of any others.

Today a pharmaceutical degree and training are required before a pharmaceutical chemist can be registered to practice. Many of the tablets come in blister packs and sealed bottles. There are many tests and trials that medicines need to pass before they are deemed safe for use.

The Pharmacy has been in its position in Market Street for over a hundred years. Along with the pubs, one of the businesses to occupy the same premises for the longest time in the town.

Ann Lovett

Judy Dod · Fri 5 Jun 2020, 20:49 · Link

Charlbury Beer Festival grants

Over the last year the Charlbury Beer Festival committee has approved over £24,856 of grants, more than any previous year, supporting a total of 17 organisations. There remain funds of £1,757 but due to the unavoidable cancellation of this years Beer Festival the committee and trustees have agreed to suspend any further grants and carry over the balance in order to provide a small fund for next year.

Applications will open again in September and all applications received will be considered together within a 3 month period. Please be assured we will manage those funds as equitably as possible, and we would kindly request that all applicants take into account the very limited funds that will be available.

Tim Crisp · Wed 3 Jun 2020, 23:53 · Link

News from Charlbury Medical Centre

The Carterton COVID Hub is now closed due to lack of demand, the Practice are now seeing their own patients with symptoms of coronavirus, there is a special number to phone for advice from the available GP, there are two parking spaces cornered off , patients arrive by arrangement, a GP fully kitted out in PPE goes out to the car, checks the oxygen saturation level and if necessary refers straight to hospital . Or if not in a car, the patient is taken through a back entrance to an isolated room where they are assessed.

If you are unable to get to the surgery, and are feeling unwell with the symptoms of COVID, please phone 111 as previously advised. Details on the Health page.

Smears and routine blood tests have restarted and the backlog is being addressed, but people will shortly be contacted for their reviews in line with their birth date.

For any appointment when you have been asked to come in, ring the bell , you need to wear your face mask to enter. ( There will be a supply of face masks if you do not have one) There is a temperature check as you go in for your test.

People with mobility problems can stay in their car and someone can come out to you.

You should only ever go into the Practice by yourself unless you are unable to.

There have been a number of  requests for blood to be taken for private antibody ( post infection) Covid tests ( home kits bought at pharmacies) The Practice is unable to help with this for the very good reason that the tests are not currently approved by public health and can be unreliable.

Nikki Rycroft · Wed 3 Jun 2020, 15:49 · Link

The Deli's first tentative step to reopening its cafe

After discussions with West Oxfordshire District Council, the Deli will start a trial with limited seating - outdoors only - from this morning, June 3.

It won't be the town's daytime meeting hotspot it was before. Initially, there'll be a few socially-distanced tables in our walled garden and along Market St, a very limited coffee/tea and snacks menu, and disposable cups, plates and crockery only. Please don't bring recyclable cups yet, because we can't fill them.

We'll still offer our phone ordering, home deliveries by our staff or in cooperation with the Community Centre, on-account payment facilities and prebooked personal shopping slots after other customers have gone home.

And we still plan to re-open the cafe indoors under social distancing on Saturday July 4.

In the meantime, visiting our walled garden gives you the chance to see Briony Lawson's sculptures there. They've been waiting for visitors since Lockdown. And our one-way system takes you past her drawings of Charlbury and her native North Devon that have been on sale in our cosy room but haven't had any visitors since we had to close it. 

As lockdown loosens, we're likely to be tweaking our policies a lot to stay safe, obey the rules, and give the town the best social hub - and the best coffee, milk, bread and fresh fruit&veg - in the Cotswolds. 

To stay in touch with those changes, make sure you get our  newsletter. Register at our website  Or mail us

Michael Flanagan · Wed 3 Jun 2020, 07:21 · Link

20 MPH zone signage

Contractors for OCC have today installed the new signs.  Let's hope it has the desired effect.

Jim Holah · Tue 2 Jun 2020, 15:36 · Link

Safe Cancer Care

Oxford University Hospitals need you to be totally re-assured that patients can still receive their care in a safe environment, despite the Covid-19 outbreak.

These include designating the Churchill Hospital as a ‘cold’ site, which means that the presence of Covid-19 is brought down to an absolute minimum.

Dr Nick Maynard, who is the Cancer Lead said “We’ve noticed that people haven’t been attending their appointments and we don’t want people to miss out on cancer care because of fears around Covid-19. Finding and treating cancer early gives us the best chance to cure it – and ignoring potential problems can have serious consequences now or in the future. On-going care and treatment is just as important, as many of these are also curative and control disease long term.”

If you are concerned about symptoms of cancer, then you are asked to contact your GP for advice. Waiting to get help could have serious consequences for patients and put a greater burden on the NHS in the future.

The full article about this is at

Nikki Rycroft · Tue 2 Jun 2020, 08:49 · Link

Squirrel Session #5

Hi there,

I hope the slight relaxing of lockdown rules has been positive for you so far. One thing that isn’t changing any time soon is my bi-weekly Squirrel Session so this is just a short note to remind you that it’s happening this Wednesday (not Thursday as usual) from 7 – 7.30pm.

You can watch below when the time starts or head to Please do subscribe to my channel in the meantime and let me know if you’re watching in the comments – it really means a lot to me when I don’t have any applause to hear!

Looking forward to seeing you there,

Elena x

Elena Piras · Mon 1 Jun 2020, 19:04 · Link

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