News index


A huge thank you to the Football Centre, the CMC staff and the volunteers.

The two flu clinic days have been a resounding success, with very nearly 1000 over 65s immunised, calm and well socially distanced queues, ( apart from a bit of a bottleneck first thing on Tuesday morning) a lovely new spacious environment , a team of very helpful stewards, and of course, fantastic Medical Centre staff. 

Thank you to everyone. 

Nikki Rycroft · Wed 30 Sep 2020, 16:40 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ... the Wychwood Forest

Judy Dod for Charlbury Museum

Today we refer to the area of woodland between Charlbury, Finstock and Leafield as the Wychwood Forest but this is but a small remnant of what was once one of the biggest royal forests in the country. Under William the Conqueror large tracts of land became subject to Forest law which protected the deer and their habitat for the king’s use. Medieval forests were by no means all wooded and included settlements and areas often belonging to landowners other than the king.

Wychwood Forest reached its greatest extent under Henry II in the late 12th century when Charlbury was well within its boundary. The Forest later split into three areas, one of them concentrated around Cornbury, and gradually reduced in size. By the mid-1800s only 10 sq miles of royal forest remained and these were taken out of forest law in 1853 by Act of Parliament. Land was enclosed, cleared and turned over to agriculture.

Caroline Pumphrey, in her memoirs* remembered the disafforesting. “They had some mechanical contrivance by which they pulled up all but very big trees by the roots. There were wild deer in the forest in those days and badgers and otters and such like. There were no roads across the Forest then, only grassy tracks……..In those days [the late 1840s, 1850s] the Park was much more open to the public than of late years…. Old women used to go to the Park to pick up firewood. …. Tea in the Forest was a frequent summer pastime. We used to have it under the tree on the brow of the hill overlooking Newell Pond… We picked up sticks to make a fire and had great fun. The ponies used to be kept very busy going to and fro to bring the party.”

Bill Campbell (b.1905) was brought up in Cornbury where his father was Head Gardener to the Watney family. He recalled that the forest was full of red squirrels, while redstarts nested on the family cottage and swallows, spotted flycatchers, barn owls, snipe and woodcock were regularly seen.

Wychwood today is the largest area of ancient woodland in Oxfordshire. The central part is a National Nature Reserve with over 360 species of flowering plants and ferns, and most of the rest is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

* Caroline Pumphrey: Charlbury of our Childhood. 1990, Sessions Book Trust

See also Discovering Wychwood  Ed.Charles Keighley. 2000, Wychwood Press

Charlbury Society talk on the Wychwood Project Thursday 1st October 8pm
Neil Clennell, CEO of the Wychwood Project will give the season’s first talk via Zoom.

 He will talk about what the project hopes to achieve by encouraging us to understand, conserve and restore the varied landscapes and wildlife habitats of the area. 

Not yet a member of the Society?  Please contact Susan Merry, to join and attend the meeting via Zoom. Annual sub £8.50/£17 single/joint membership 

Judy Dod · Fri 25 Sep 2020, 20:01 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair Auction

We still got three Amazing Auction Prize 

1x Personal Training Session and programme with Jason at Charlbury Community Centre Gym.

Two month gym membership of Charlbury Community Centre Gym

Breakfast for two at Lucy's Tea Room, Stow on the Wold with a trip in a Morgan sports car there and back from Charlbury this will happen in 2021

To Make a bid Please email

Rachael Lunney · Fri 25 Sep 2020, 09:33 · Link

Vaccinations, immunisations, A cold? Flu? Covid-19?

All this and more in the Autumn Newsletter from Charlbury Patient Participation Group:

Flu vaccinations: for people aged 65 and over: on 29 and 30 September between 8am and 4pm. Essential information about the clinics for Charlbury Practice patients.

The childhood immunisation programme. Make sure your child is fully up to date with their immunisations.

Young people going to college and university: Ensure you have had all your jabs and immunisations.

The eradication of polio in the UK. A vaccine success story

Is it a cold?  Is it flu?  Is it Covid-19?  A chart to help tell the difference.

Click on the PDF below to read the latest  newsletter from Charlbury Patient Participation Group.

susan smith · Thu 24 Sep 2020, 12:14 · Link

CRAG publishes a new digital recipe book

CRAG's new digital recipe booklet Cracking Cakes and Brilliant Bakes features 23 recipes for the mouth-watering teatime treats enjoyed by so many at our concerts, cafés, and tea parties.

It includes maple nut cake, toll house cookies, macaroons, cheese scones, orange and almond cake, Earl Grey and raspberry cake, honey almond cake and much more.

All donations will be used to support charities working on Lesvos who are helping homeless refugees after the Moria camp burnt down earlier this month. 

To find out how to get a copy (we're suggesting a minimum donation of £5) please email - thank you!

Vicky Buser · Wed 23 Sep 2020, 17:49 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair Children's Art Winners

A big thank you to all who submitted their paintings for the Superhero Art Competition.

The winning entries can be seen in Cotswold Frames window.  Judging was certainly not easy but here they are:

1st - Positivity Girl by Bailey Burroughs aged 10

2nd - Captain Adorable  by Jem Hosking aged 4

Joint 3rds - Riley Burroughs aged 8 and Violet Sharpe aged 5

Highly commended - Leo Hosking aged 8 and Harrison Houzet aged 10

Maureen Sparling · Mon 21 Sep 2020, 09:39 · 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.

  • 5 Cotswold View Charlbury
    Alterations to increase size of garage and new pitched roof.
    WODC reference: 20/02208/HHD - Fri 21 Aug 2020 - Under consideration
  • Crantock Hixet Wood Charlbury
    Erection of a two storey rear and single storey side extension. Conversion of roof space to create extra living space.
    WODC reference: 20/02467/HHD - Tue 18 Aug 2020 - Under consideration
  • Melody House Hixet Wood Charlbury
    Works to include alterations to widen existing vehicular access, provision of off-street car parking and the installation of entrance gates. Construction of covered bin store.
    WODC reference: 20/02058/HHD - Mon 14 Sep 2020 - Under consideration

Mon 21 Sep 2020, 06:15 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair Superhero Winners

Charlbury Street Fair Superhero ( Scarecrow) Winners

First we like to say a big thank you for all the entries to the first Superhero (Scarecrow) Competition, it was a very tough to judge and pick winners as they all very good but we have finally managed to pick.

1st Captain Tom

We picked this one as it looked amazing and life like. Also, we think he was a Superhero. The Family has Kindly donated the £50 prize money back to Street Fair.

2nd Little Monkeys

We Picked this one as they were made by children of Key workers and they made us to think.

Little Monkey has Kindly donated there £30 Prize money back to Street Fair.

3nd WI Sally the Domestic Superhero

We choose this one as the WI Ladies have been working hard making Scrubs for NHS Workers.  The WI have also kindly donated their winnings back to Street Fair.

Thanks again and we are planning to do it again next year and the possible theme will be Olympic and Paralympic Stars.

Rachael Lunney · Sun 20 Sep 2020, 18:55 · Link

The History of Charlbury through .... the beginnings of the Street Fair

Janet Jeffs for Charlbury Museum

Fund-raising had begun before 1945 for the war memorial tablet in St Mary's Church and a War Memorial Hall. So when the Corner House was presented to the town in 1949, its garden was chosen as the ideal site for the Hall. A committee set up in accordance with the Corner House trust deed included representatives from the Parish Council, Red Triangle Club, St John’s Ambulance Brigade, the five Churches, the Dramatic Society, British Legion, Tennis Club, Old Time Dance Club, Charlbury Charity Cup and the Choral Society. They all set about raising money through brains trusts, bazaars, quizzes, keep fit classes, spelling bees, and a house to house collection.

In 1955 the Leaflet announced a Street Fair in Church Street in aid of the War Memorial Hall, on Saturday 24th September 1955. The Fair raised £140, and the proceeds increased every year, rising to £10,000 in more recent years. Eventually the Foundation Stone was laid by Mrs Watney of Cornbury on 21st April 1956, and the Opening Ceremony was held on 1st December 1956, chaired by Mr Watney who had contributed generously to the Hall fund. Street Fair proceeds still make a major contribution to the maintenance and improvement of both the Corner House and the Hall.

Charlbury Street Fairs bring people back home to meet old friends and family. Photos over the years illustrate Charlbury people's love of fancy dress, the children's processions in the afternoon, and (in the past) the long evening processions of floats from the Scout Hut round to Church Street. There was fierce rivalry between local groups about the design of floats for the evening procession. Intensely secret preparations took place in various barns, and the Cricket Club could always be relied on to spray water on the crowd. Regular dressers-up in included Mrs Claridge, Sam Godden, the Kearseys, Baldwins and generations of children. Do you remember hoop-la, dances in the street, huge steam organs playing loudly, vintage cars, cuckoos in the nest in shop windows, wheelbarrow, pram and slow bicycle races, bowling for the pig, hot dogs from the butchers, fish and chips from Market Street, egg throwing, and the odd celebrities to open the Fair?

It has taken a global pandemic to halt the 2020 Street Fair, despite all the careful preparation by the committee. Let's hope that 2021 will bring better news for us all.

Judy Dod · Fri 18 Sep 2020, 19:43 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair Draw tickets on sale

This weekend is the last chance you have to buy Charlbury Street Fair Draw tickets.

We be outside the Corner House on Friday morning and then on Saturday, which would have been Street Fair Day itself, we be outside the Corner House and by the Playing Close selling draw tickets from 10am till 2pm and in the Museum garden from 2pm to 3.30pm

Some great prizes,  . 

Rachael Lunney · Thu 17 Sep 2020, 09:33 · Link

Charlbury Primary School - new website

Charlbury Primary School has a brand new website! It is just up and running in a functional format, and will be added to with pictures and more information shortly.  The new address is:

Catriona Pitt · Thu 17 Sep 2020, 09:26 · Link

CRAG: Response to the refugee crisis in Greece

Thanks to all our supporters, CRAG (Charlbury Refugee Action Group) has raised over £17,000 over the last 12 months for refugee relief. All the money we have raised has been sent to organisations dedicated to alleviating conditions for refugees in Europe.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made the plight of refugees throughout the world even more drastic.

In particular, there is a desperate need of support on the island of Lesvos after the fires in the overcrowded Moria camp last week, leaving 13,000 people homeless.

The fires started hours after reports that 35 people had tested positive for Covid-19 at the camp. Since fleeing the blaze on Wednesday 9th September families have been sleeping in the fields and on the roads.

By making a donation via CRAG you can be sure that your money will be used carefully and wisely to support charities working on Lesvos such as Attika and Help Refugees.

Now is the time to act.

Ways you can support CRAG so we can help refugees in Greece:

1. You can set up a monthly standing order to Charlbury Refugee Action Group - Sort code: 089299, Account no: 65789036 - and email to let us know. A regular donation ensures that we can always send money to the charities working in areas of greatest need, which will vary from month to month.

2. You can go to our JustGiving page at and click on the ‘Donate’ button.

3. You can make a donation here: and be given a link to our virtual tea concert.

4. You can donate or buy secondhand books. Please email for details.

Thank you so much for your continued support in such challenging times.

You can find out more about CRAG at

Vicky Buser · Wed 16 Sep 2020, 21:12 · Link

New item for the Charlbury Street Fair Auction

A delightful print of the Egg Throwing competition on Church Street kindly donated by Jody O'Reilly. Size 10x15cm (4x6"), and supplied in a frame has been added to the list of items up for Auction. People may recall that, last year, Jody provided a wonderful print commemorating the three hundred year anniversary of he birth of Larcum Kendall, and it proved to be extremely hot property.

To make a bid Please email with your highest bid. The current deadline for bids is 6pm on Saturday 19th September, although there is the possibility this might be extended for some items.

A list of the items can be found on the news page of the Street Fair website.

Steve Jones · Wed 16 Sep 2020, 12:00 · Link

Fire at Spelsbury Road campsite

From the Oxford Mail:

“A PAINTERS' workshop was badly damaged after a fire that started in a bin quickly spread. Firefighters from Witney, Chipping Norton and Kidlington were called to the blaze in Cotswolds Caravan & Camping Site in Charlbury... The flames were quickly extinguished and it is believed the fire started from hot ashes from either a BBQ or a fire pit.”

(Link to the full article.)

Wed 16 Sep 2020, 10:15 · Link

Flu Vaccinations: A message from the Charlbury Medical Centre

I've been asked by the Charlbury Medical Centre to let people who are due to have a flu jab this month know what the procedure will be, as it is different from previous years due to the need to protect everyone from Covid. This message is for anyone who has received a letter inviting them to come and get their jab on September 29th or 30th.  If you have not received a letter asking you to come on these dates please do not come along expecting to get a vaccination as you will not be given one.

The flu jabs will be administered by the staff of the medical centre at the new Football Club premises behind the Community Centre.  There will be volunteer stewards outside the building to direct you.  Please make sure that you bring your letter with you and wear a mask as you will not be allowed in without these.  The jab will be given at the top of your arm, so please make sure that you are wearing sleeves that can be rolled right up. It will save a lot of time if you can do that without having to take your top off.

If you know someone over 65 who has had one of these letters but who may not have read this message, please can you pass this information on to them.

The Medical Centre would like to thank the Football Club for allowing their new building to be used for this purpose, which will ensure that people are kept as safe as possible.

Liz Leffman · Tue 15 Sep 2020, 15:41 · 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.

  • Broadstone Farm Ditchley Road Charlbury
    Discharge of Condition 4 (Surface Water Drainage Scheme) of planning permission 19/03329/HHD
    WODC reference: 20/02407/CND - Thu 10 Sep 2020 - Under consideration

Mon 14 Sep 2020, 06:15 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ... the mill stream

Barbara Allison for Charlbury Museum

When we consider the oldest structures in Charlbury, we probably think of St Mary’s Church, or perhaps an ancient house like the Old Talbot. But the Mill Stream has a claim to be one. Two mills were recorded here as early as 1269: one of those was Fawler Mill, and the other very likely to have been the mill at the end of Mill Lane (now demolished). These mills used water power, Charlbury’s mill being described as a water mill in 1363, and the water flow was managed by making a ‘leat’ away from the river to provide enough power to turn a water wheel.

The earliest documentary evidence of the Mill Stream itself is on a sketch map of 1674. This map was made by George Tennant ‘Mr George Tennant the Elder’ on April 23rd 1674, and was done to estimate the size of the close attached to the Mill. His sketch, while rough and ready, is still a good match to the present day Mill Field as shown on our modern maps. The Mill Stream is shown as a smooth curve, which is an indication that it is not the river, but a man-made structure.

Charlbury Mill, its closes and its mill stream were owned by Lincoln College from about 1590 and leased out to a succession of millers. George Tennant probably drew the sketch for the College following the death of a miller, though we can’t be certain which one it was. We get a glimpse of the Mill Stream in 1684. The miller, Robert Gladwin, had died. He owned ‘One Old Boat’ and the ‘Grasse of the Mill Ham, worth £2 2s 6d –a lot in those days. His widow had to pay several men 12s 6d ‘for mending the banks’ –presumably of the Mill Stream.

There were mills at most of the settlements along the Evenlode: at Pudlicote, Ascott and Lyneham for example going west, and at Fawler and Ashford going east. If you look at maps of this area, you can clearly see the course of some of their mill streams. But not all of them survive. For example, Pudlicote Mill can be dated back to 1272, when ‘Phillip at the Mill of Pudlicote’ was imprisoned for stealing deer. But its mill stream has gone, only hinted at by the long causeway across the river and the vegetation along its possible route.

Happily, Charlbury has managed to preserve and care for its own Mill Stream.

Judy Dod · Fri 11 Sep 2020, 20:46 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair POSTPONED until 2021

Thursday evening I chaired a meeting of the Street Fair Committee, where we discussed the implications of the forthcoming changes in government COVID-19 regulations. Very reluctantly, we came to the unanimous view that, in the light of the changing situation, and the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, that that we will have to "postpone" the Charlbury Street Fair until 2021.

This is a sad day, as it is the first time the event has had to be cancelled in the seventy years since it was started.

We will, however, be continuing with the Children's Art Competition, the judging of the Scarecrow competition, and two late arrivals will be added shortly.

We hope that Charlburians can show their support by buying raffle tickets and bidding for auction prizes. Raffle tickets will be on sale at the Farmers' Market on Saturday and (what was to be) Fair Day, Saturday 19th September.

Please accept the Committee's thanks, to you all, for your support. I personally add my thanks to those who have put a lot of hard work into making the arrangements for the Fair.

Looking forward to September 2021!

John Dora,


Charlbury Street Fair Committee

John Dora · Fri 11 Sep 2020, 17:51 · Link


This Saturday 12 th September, I am being ordained to the Priesthood by the Archbishop of Birmingham in St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, to serve the Catholic parish of St Teresa’s, Charlbury. A group of parishioners and other friends are travelling up and the service is being live-streamed from the Cathedral, starting at noon.
The following day I am offering Holy Mass for the first time at Holy Trinity, Chipping Norton at 10 am.
Many thanks to all our friends  in Charlbury who have been so encouraging and supportive. The decision to move to Charlbury in 2015 remains one of the best we have ever made and I hope that I will be able to serve the Catholic and wider community for many years to come.

Father Clive Dytor 

Father Clive Dytor · Wed 9 Sep 2020, 12:28 · Link

Free produce at Cornerstone at the Corner House

The free produce at the Cornerstone is flourishing. Do come along and help yourself Monday - Saturday 10am -1pm. 

In stock today 5 varieties of eating apples, cooking apples, plums, damsons, courgettes, lavender, kale, chard, carrots and onions. 

Jo Paton · Wed 9 Sep 2020, 11:46 · Link

Brown’s Lane bus stuck

Range Rover parked too far from the edge of the pavement. Does anyone know who it might be?

Liz Reason · Tue 8 Sep 2020, 22:35 · Link

Neighbourhood Plan submitted to West Oxfordshire District Council

Charlbury Town Council have submitted the Submission (Draft) Charlbury Neighbourhood Plan to West Oxfordshire District Council.

The plan is now open for a six week period of consultation running from 8 September to 5pm on 21 October 2020.

You can read the documents, and find out how to submit representations, at .

Tue 8 Sep 2020, 14:50 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair Auction

Charlbury Street Fair Auction 2020

A Pair of Full Weekend Wilderness Tickets for 2021

Ditchley Tour 2021 Tour and tea with the Bursar for a party of up to 6 persons Timing will be from 2.15 pm through to 4 pm.

A one-day printmaking workshop where you can learn about printmaking and make prints. Choose from one of the following - Monotype Printmaking - Relief Printmaking (linocut) - Intaglio Printmaking (engraving and etching) -Lino Etching -Collagraph.  Each workshop will start at 10.00 a.m. with an introduction to the process, and end at around 4.00 p.m. Lunch will be provided as well as tea and coffee during the day. All materials will be included.

1x Personal Training Session and programme with Jason at Charlbury Community Centre Gym.

Two month gym membership of Charlbury Community Centre Gym

Breakfast for two at Lucy's Tea Room, Stow on the Wold with a trip in a Morgan sports car there and back from Charlbury.

A bottle of house of commons wine

To make a bid Please email with your highest bid.

Final Bid by Saturday 19th of September at 6pm

Rachael Lunney · Mon 7 Sep 2020, 09:41 · Link

CHARLBURY Under 14s win WDYL Cup

A full day for Charlbury U13s and U14s at Clanfield, with the U13s coming very close to winning the U13 final but being pipped with almost a last minute goal in extra time losing 4-3 to Tower Hill. The Under 14s also went to extra time in another close game but two cracking strikes from Lewis Pretorius and Billy Sweet saw them go 2/0 up against Ducklington. The result ended up 2-1 but CHARLBURY were deserved winners.

Paul D Jenkins · Sun 6 Sep 2020, 17:32 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ....a tin trunk of treasures

Sue Rangeley for Charlbury Museum

In 2016, Adrian and Andrea Lack donated Henry Allen’s old tin trunk to the museum. Who could have guessed what a treasure trove of ephemera lay inside: a unique archive of ledgers, billheads, letters, trade catalogues. A fascinating insight into the world of a Charlbury draper in the Victorian and Edwardian eras; the trunk’s contents had remained undisturbed for over 100 years in the attic of The Old Drapery, Church Street where the Lacks had been living. These interesting documents inspired two exhibitions in: Charlbury Museum (2017) and The Oxfordshire Museum (2018).

Henry Allen’s association with the drapery trade first appears in the 1851 census, when he was 15. Three generations of his family had been tailors in Charlbury; during the 18th century, his great, grand-father, William worked as a tailor and stay-maker (corset-maker). Henry took over the draper’s shop in Church Street in 1871, after his father died. In 1888, there were major alterations to the premises; by 1894 it was a flourishing emporium on three floors selling garments, shoes, hosiery, hats, fancy trimmings, fabrics, offering bespoke tailoring and mourning attire.

The hundreds of traders’ bill heads reveal the lost world of the great textile warehouses of London, Manchester, the mills of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire. Famous names appear on invoices: Dr.Jaeger (wool -jersey long johns): Horrockses (printed cotton fabrics); Gamages (motoring & cycling clothes); Cash’s of Coventry (ribbons). Henry Allen purchased his stock from all over the country, which arrived at Charlbury Station each week. Local suppliers provided other goods such as blankets (Crawley Mills); work wear: ‘navies vests’, ‘grooms cord trousers’ (Clarkes of Abingdon); fashions from Elliston & Cavell, Oxford.

Some of the most illuminating information is found in the ledgers (1880s), inscribed across the pages are detailed entries of Allen’s customers . Local names from Charlbury’s past : Albright, Gomm, Horniblow, Kench, Kibble, Lainchbury, Price, sit next to shopping lists for Lord and Lady Churchill of Cornbury Park. Local dressmakers bought haberdashery, fabrics and sewing machines. Henry Allen supplied Charlbury with every fashion and household item: from the latest ‘dermathistic corset made to order’ to a humble dish cloth!

To delve into the Henry Allen archive is pure pleasure for a textile enthusiast or historian. One enters a poetic language of long vanished fabrics and fashions: aigrettes, cretonne, dolmans,… plush, polonaise,…..sarsnet, swansdown,.. ulsters , zephyrs. An A –Z of intrigue to inspire!

Judy Dod · Sun 6 Sep 2020, 09:00 · Link

Old school photos. Charlbury Ladies.

Does anyone recognise any of these ladies?  Taken by Frank Packer, photographer, Chipping Norton.

Photograph with the ladies in pinafore dresses noted on the back as Florrie Baldwin, May Alperton, Nellie Kearsey and Grace Barrett.

Sally Callaway · Fri 4 Sep 2020, 13:00 · Link

Live music at the Cricket Club

It looks like a dry night tomorrow, so come down to the Cricket Club for some socially distanced, outdoor music with country music from Dave Oates and Jess Marshall and then blues from the long-awaited debut of Charlbury's latest musical combo, The Vodka Shots. The show starts at 6;30 and the bar will be open!

Dave Oates · Thu 3 Sep 2020, 16:54 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair Superheroes (Scarecrows)

There are 16 Superheroes  (Scarecrows) on display in Charlbury as part of the First Superhero ( Scarecrow) Competition.

Please have a time to walk round, some are so good.

We would like your views on which is the best one.  Please  email

Rachael Lunney · Thu 3 Sep 2020, 13:28 · Link

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