News index


West Oxfordshire Community Infrastructure Levy - have your say!

West Oxfordshire is holding a public examination of the council's proposals for the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).  CIL is a means of ensuring that property developers make a financial contribution towards local amenities, and is payable as soon as they are granted planning permission. The CIL would go alongside the existing Section 106 money which is paid by developers after houses are built, and which must be used on projects specific to the new development.  The public are invited to have their say on this and can submit comments by email till August 21st.

All the information you need can be found here:

Liz Leffman · Wed 15 Jul, 11:31 · Link

Wychwood Press redivivus

We're very pleased to announce that most of the remaindered stock of Wychwood Press publications is now available for purchase again, including Lois Hey's History of Charlbury.  All brand-new stock, at 90% or less of original selling price with profits shared between CRAG and the Corner House.

Details of how to order are on the Wychwood Press thread on the Forum.

John Partington · Tue 14 Jul, 15:25 · Link

Fed up with being stuck indoors?

Although there seems to be a light at the end of the lockdown tunnel with talk to leisure centres and gyms soon to be opening, playing a sport outdoors is still far safer and certainly more enjoyable in warmer weather as well as being good for both your physical and mental well being.

But what if you're not an avid sports person/athlete or maybe you were at one point but no longer feel you can play at that level. 

Well, why not come along and join in with friendly, easy going locals to play some table tennis or Pickleball. We play outdoors with plenty of precautions in place to ensure a safe environment for everyone there. 

Pickleball on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Table Tennis on Tuesdays and Thursdays (weather permitting).

If you're interested or would like some more information, please feel free to contact Vijay on 01993 891 043 or email

Vijay Desor · Sat 11 Jul, 13:26 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ... an 1817 embroidered map

Stitches in Time : Embroidered Map by Mary Albright, 1817

Embroidery has made its mark throughout history, offering an intimate glimpse of life in past times. From the seventeenth century until the early twentieth century the embroidered sampler was an integral part of female education; though rarer, samplers were also stitched by boys.

In the museum, hanging close to her silhouette portrait, is an embroidered map sampler worked by Mary Albright, signed with her name and dated 1817. Mary, born in Charlbury in 1803 was the oldest of six children. Her parents William and Rachel Albright (nee Tanner), were a prominent , prosperous Quaker family whose Church Street shop (now the Heat Store) sold groceries and pharmaceuticals. Mary’s silhouette profile (see photo) is displayed surrounded by Albright family silhouettes

Between 1790 and 1820 there was a fashion for stitching needlework maps, many embroidered by school girls, like Mary Albright. Whether Mary went away to a Quaker School or studied at home is not known (it was later, in1844 that Elizabeth Gregg opened a Quaker girls school in ‘Egypt’ on The Playing Close). In the late 1700s geography was the first science to be included in the schoolgirl curriculum; the era reflected major changes in female education where academic studies were open to girls as well as boys. A girl’s horizons broadened, geography opened a wider world for study. Map publishers, Laurie and Whittle of Fleet Street in London advertised in 1798: ‘Map of the World for Ladies Needlework and Young Students in Geography’.

Mary’s meticulous stitches trace European cities in silk threads, highlighting the printed letters with precision. She learned the unfamiliar names as she sewed: Weliki Luki , Niznoi Norogorod…, explored unknown territories and seas: Little Tartary, Gulf of Sidra, Mouth of the Nile…. her dexterous needle texturing borders and coastlines with silken stitches. A monochrome masterpiece of disciplined concentration - geography learnt in 1817!

For nearly two centuries Mary Albright’s map quietly resided in her Church Street homes: Gothic House (after marriage to William Pollard in 1849) and in Albright House. On 12th September 2014, it entered the frenzy of Mallams saleroom in Oxford, and following a successful bid by Ron Prew (on behalf of the museum), it was returned home to Charlbury.

Mary (Albright) Pollard died in 1876, she is buried in the Quaker Meeting House graveyard.

Sue Rangeley for Charlbury Museum

Charlbury Museum is grateful to donations made by Charlbury Town Council and funds raised by Ron Prew in December 2014 towards the purchase of the map and silhouettes.

Books referenced: A History of Charlbury by Lois Hey 2001

Charlbury of our Childhood by Caroline Pumphrey 1990

Threads of Life – A history of the world through the eye of a needle by Clare Hunter

Judy Dod · Sat 11 Jul, 13:07 · Link

The Learning Cafe

Charlbury Cornerstone and Community Centre are launching ‘The Learning Café’ – a community-led project to give learning support and help bridge the gap in education levels, designed to help parents and young people prepare for the future.

The Learning Café will be managed through Charlbury Community Centre and run throughout the summer holidays. Learning support will be provided for pupils in Key Stage 2 and secondary school by our YTAs (Youth Teaching Assistants) with advice from professional teachers. For more information or to book learning sessions please email

Suggested donation per session is £3. Homemade refreshments will be available for £1.

We will comply with Covid-19 health & safety measures to facilitate safe learning.

Tanya Stevenson · Fri 10 Jul, 17:32 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair Superhero Competition

First Annual Superhero (Scarecrow) Competition

Display from Friday 28th August to Sunday 20th of September

So, thinking  caps on, prize for the best.

Everyone can take part

Use your Christmas tree brackets. Use windows if they look onto streets

Judging will take place before Street Fair and Winner will be informed on Street Fair Day

Please enter by 10th August. £2 to enter. All money raised goes to the Corner House and Memorial Hall.

Please email to enter

Rachael Lunney · Mon 6 Jul, 12:51 · Link

Delay in treatment for visual defects

As with all other symptoms which concern you, anyone noticing a change in their vision should be seen as soon as possible, and a call made to your Practice for advice on the same day.  Specialist eye units are concerned about the drop in referrals of up to 90% in the early stages of lockdown as people were not presenting with their symptoms. 

The main condition of concern is wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and if this is caught early, it is treatable, but if not, it will result in sight loss. Many other visual conditions should also be seen as soon as possible. 

Nikki Rycroft · Mon 6 Jul, 09:13 · 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 6 Jul, 06:15 · Link

Why Charlbury Deli hasn't re-opened its indoor cafe

In spite of lockdown, Charlbury Deli is currently selling more groceries than this time last year. More and more people have been depending on us for food bigger shops haven't been able to sell, for better food and for more attentive service.

Even without a full cafe operation, our sales on Saturday July 4 were  up on the same day last year - and we had as many customers as on a typical 2020 Saturday before lockdown.

But if just one Covid case were traced back to a contact someone had made in the Deli, we'd have to send staff home for a fortnight. If that happened, we haven't got enough people trained and able to circulate to keep the shop open. 

Mercifully, our customers' loyalty and taxpayers' generosity over the past three months make us financially healthy enough not to be desperate for the extra business a full cafe re-opening might create. 

So right now, we're changing almost nothing about the way we’ve been running the Deli. We’ll still sell the best range of groceries (and greengrocery and wine) for miles around – and over the next few months, we plan to improve that range.

We’ll still sell the best hot coffee (and tea) in the Cotswolds: but for the moment we’d prefer you to drink it at our outside seating or at the Town's public seats. We’d be delighted to sell you one of our famous home-made cakes or quiches, make you a fresh sandwich or offer you something from our range of savouries: but until things get a lot clearer, we won’t be re-instating our full meal menu.

We’ll be reviewing this every week, and at some point we’ll certainly become Charlbury’s buzzing hub again. But we don’t think now is quite the time.

We want to keep seeing our loyal customers and the new visitors this summer's going to attract to Charlbury. We don't want to risk being forced to close. And, from the reaction we've had so far, most Charlburians seem to agree with us

Stay safe


Michael Flanagan · Sat 4 Jul, 06:51 · Link

The History of Charlbury through .....our firemen

There was a large fire at a farm in Bull Lane in the 1870s. A double line of people, mainly women and children, formed from the nearest pump and buckets of water were passed hand to hand along one line to the men at the fire, the empty buckets coming back down the other. Many pumps were used.

The Charlbury Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed in 1881 by Capt Waller, then of Lee Place. The horse-drawn carriage was housed in the old lock-up on the Playing Close. Later a subscription was formed to buy a new improved engine, a Shand-Mason, which was worked by a hand pump. If the fire was out of town it was pulled by horses but if in the town, then the men pulled it.

Originally a bugler ran through the streets alerting the fire brigade (and everyone else) to a fire. Later a fire bell, now in the Museum, was in place in Church Street.

The fire station remained on the Playing Close until the 1920s, when, following a large fire on 25th Dec 1925 at Shilson’s Wool Staple Store in Park St, a public meeting was held and another subscription started to buy a new motor vehicle and modern equipment. This Dennis motor arrived in October 1926. The engine cost £785 and the new hose £185. The new engine required larger premises and a new fund was started to provide a new fire station in Browns Lane… The Old Fire Station. Concerts and fetes were held to help raise the money for the new building and for the ongoing costs of the engine.

In 1933 the Fire Brigade Act constituted all councils as the fire authority. Later in 1947 the Fire Services Act made the county councils responsible.

In 1973 the current fire station opened in Sturt Rd ----still manned by volunteers and covering Charlbury and the surrounding area.

Ann Lovett for Charlbury Museum

Judy Dod · Fri 3 Jul, 21:34 · Link

Services at St Mary's Church

We are delighted that from Sunday 5th July St Mary’s Church will be open for public worship. 

Sunday: 8am BCP Holy Communion; 9.45am Parish Communion

Wednesday: 9am Holy Communion.

The numbers allowed in church will be limited to meet safe distance protocols, you will need to use hand sanitiser on the way in to church, masks are not compulsory but can be worn if desired. 

The church building will be closed and cleaned immediately after each service.

For those who are not able to attend a service, the Sunday 9.45 Parish Communion will continue to be livestreamed via our YouTube channel – search St Marys Church Charlbury on YouTube.

For the time being, Sunday Club will continue to meet via Skype. Children are welcome at all our services, but parents are asked to supervise closely the activities of their children, not allowing them to break the safe distancing protocols.


Jo Paton · Fri 3 Jul, 14:07 · Link

Nine Acres Playground - open from Saturday 4th July

We are delighted to confirm that the Nine Acres Playground will be available for use by the public from Saturday 4th July. We are very much relying on everyone using the facilities to adopt a common sense approach to the use of the equipment.

There are some key rules that need to be followed as this is not a manned site

  1. Please clean/wipe-down all equipment before and after use where practical. We are unable to supply cleaning materials so please bring your own sanitizer and towels.
  2. Keep a safe social distance. 2m should be the minimum
  3. Do not bring food or drink
  4. Take all rubbish home with you
  5. Wash your hands as soon a s practical possible after use
  6. Wear a face mask if possible. 

Paul D Jenkins · Fri 3 Jul, 12:55 · Link

Ticknell Piece playground

The new play equipment at Ticknell Piece is mostly complete but requires safety checking and the installation of seating. As such, the Town Council will not be able to open it this weekend but is working towards opening it as soon as possible.

Thank you for your support. Please see the accompanying news item for details about the Nine Acres playground.

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 3 Jul, 12:42 · Link

Community Centre Cafe re-opening for takeaways

From Saturday the 4th July we are re-opening the cafe for takeaways only from 9am-5pm seven days a week. The play park will be open, so it will be nice to be able to get a coffee or an icecream. We are following strict goverment guidelines on safety and we need you to observe social distancing, use hand sanitiser provided and preferably pay by card. The number of people allowed in the building at once will be limited as well, of course.

OCC has decided not to re-open the library yet, so please don't bring back or take any books. Rest assured, there are no fines accruing.

We look forward to being able to re-open the gym and other facilities as soon as it's legal and safe to do so.

We are very grateful to our staff for all they have done and continue to do to keep us all safe and healthy in such difficult circumstances and to the huge team of volunteers who came forward in a crisis to help those in need.

Tanya Stevenson · Thu 2 Jul, 15:06 · Link

Five Ways junction works in July

Oxfordshire County Council is resurfacing the road at Five Ways, the junction between the Woodstock and Fawler (/Witney) roads.

From Tuesday 14 to Friday 17 July, traffic lights will be in operation between 9.30am and 3.30pm each day.

From Monday 20 to Friday 24 July, the junction will be closed overnight each night from 8pm to 6am. The noisiest operations will be completed by 11pm. OCC says “Every effort will be made to accommodate vehicular access to properties and businesses within and adjacent to the works but this may be subject to some delay depending on the activities being carried out on site.”

Richard Fairhurst · Wed 1 Jul, 17:00 · Link

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