News index


Christmas Trees at St Mary's

Just a reminder that there are still trees available to sponsor for our ever popular Christmas Tree Festival in aid of St Mary's Church. This will take place from Thursday 9 December continuing through to Monday 27 December. There will be events running in the Church over the first weekend and the decorated trees will remain lit up each day until just after Christmas. Do join in the fun by clicking on the booking form below.

Elisabeth Partington · Sun 31 Oct 2021, 17:38 · Link

Peter Bridgman

Yesterday, a small group from the Charlbury Garden Society gathered to dedicate a plaque to Peter Bridgman. Do visit the newly planted border at the Corner House to see it. 

Alison Derham · Sun 31 Oct 2021, 08:55 · Link

Derek Wilson

Friends of Derek, Jean and Mike Wilson will be sad to hear of Derek’s death on 21 October at home in Spelsbury after a period of failing health.

Derek spent his childhood at Cornbury, as his father was a chauffeur there. Derek was well-known in Charlbury, where Jean also grew up, and spent most of his career working for what was then the Southern Electricity Board. Long-standing residents may have met Derek when he called to deal with their meter. Derek will be remembered and missed for his friendliness and humour.

Derek’s funeral will be on Monday, 8 November at 1.00 p.m. at the Banbury Crematorium and will also be available to be viewed via webcast. All friends welcome to attend.

Meryl Smith · Sat 30 Oct 2021, 14:11 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ... the growth of the town

Articles about Charlbury are nearly always illustrated with pictures of the centre of the town with its historic stone buildings. And yet it is overwhelmingly a modern town, with a huge increase in housing taking place in the 20th and into the 21st century.

In the first half of the last century houses were built along Enstone Road, Woodstock Road, and Hundley Way. At the end of WW2 there was a great need for improved housing stock. In 1947 the Town &Country Planning Act came into force, replacing all previous legislation. The same year a survey of Charlbury houses with a rateable value under £20pa found that 58 houses depended on external taps for their water, 33 houses depended on external wells and 4 had no water at all within a reasonable distance. 145 had no toilets, relying on pail or chemical closets. Mr Hughes came round with his trailer collecting the contents of the closets, along with rubbish and ashes, and took it all to the dump near the quarry.

New housing was needed to improve living conditions. This started in 1947 with housing along one side of Sturt Road, followed in the 50s by more building along the other side, and the construction of houses and bungalows to form Hughes Close and Sturt Close. Housing also went up along Nine Acres Lane, which until then had been a narrow lane with high walls. One of the first residents to move into Nine Acres Lane remembers what it was like after living in a small cottage on Market Street. “[There] we had a closet across the yard at the back and water which had to be pumped from the well. The new house was light and spacious, with a flush toilet and water taps inside. It changed our whole way of living.” (Anon)

Walking round the streets of the town today it is evident how much Charlbury expanded in the 1960s and 70s with the development of The Green, Woodfield Drive and surrounding streets, Lees Heights & Close, Little Lees and Sandford Park and Sandford Rise. It brought huge change to the town. Smaller additions and some infilling happened in the 1980s and then the next sizeable development was Ticknell Piece in the 1990s. Infilling also became more common with new houses built in the centre of town. Through all this change, the older street pattern remained little altered although The Slade was widened to become the major through road that it is today. Long-time resident Mr. Wootton who lived in Crawborough always referred to it as “the bypass”.  

Thursday 4th November Charlbury Society members talk on Zoom 7.50 for 8pm

Rod Evans: A whistle-stop tour of the planning system.

Rod will explain how development is controlled and enforced and give an insight into how planning policy is formulated.  Full details on Events page.

To join the Society email

Judy Dod · Fri 29 Oct 2021, 19:59 · Link

Show Your Stripes: Charlbury Quakers display climate heating banners

Charlbury Quakers will display two banners on their wall in Market Street from mid-October. Please come and look at them.

One banner shows 170 vertical coloured bars, showing the progressive heating of our planet in a single, striking image. These show clearly and vividly how global average temperatures have risen over nearly two centuries.

Each stripe represents the average temperature for a single year, relative to the average temperature over the period as a whole. Shades of blue indicate cooler than average years, while red shows years that were hotter than average.

The stark band of deep red stripes on the right-hand side of the banner shows the rapid heating of our planet in recent decades.

The other banner explains this and the goals of the COP 26 conference in November to prevent global warming spiralling out of control.

Each of us can also search our conscience and ask what does this emergency require of us?

Angela Gwatkin · Wed 27 Oct 2021, 16:52 · Link

The many Public Houses of Charlbury

Christmas is coming! Time to think of that all-important present, either for yourself or a friend. Remember all those questions you keep asking about the number of pubs in Charlbury? What were they? Where were they? Who was the landlord? What went on inside? All those questions and many more are answered in my book “The Life and Times of the Inns, Taverns and Beerhouses of Charlbury Oxfordshire”. Order your copy now for £6.40 plus p&p by visiting and searching for Charlbury Pubs. You’ll amaze your friends with your extensive knowledge of Charlbury Pubs and win the pub quiz!

Douglas Rudlin · Mon 25 Oct 2021, 16:49 · Link

Royal British Legion Annual Band Concert - Cancelled

Regretfully, the Annual Band Concert, scheduled to take place on 12th November has been cancelled in light of the ongoing COVID cases in the area.  

The Remembrance Day Service is going ahead as planned on 14th November.  

Jackie Hague · Mon 25 Oct 2021, 16:33 · Link

100th edition of the Chronicle

As the 100th edition of the Chronicle will be coming up soon, I was just wondering if anyone has news or photos going back to 1997 which was when the first Chronicle was published. If you have anything which you think readers may find of interest,  please can you email me at  The deadline date is 1 November! Thanks in anticipation!  Susie Finch 

Susie Finch · Mon 25 Oct 2021, 12:16 · Link

Wildflower Farm, Saturday flower stall

I hope you've enjoyed buying beautiful, locally grown flowers over the last 6 weeks from Wildflower Farm.  Sadly the weather has beaten them this week so they won't be visiting the Community Centre anymore this year.

They plan to be back in the spring & summer next year with more produce.

If you want to keep in touch over the winter you can use either @wildflowerfarm or at

Jim Holah · Fri 22 Oct 2021, 18:09 · Link

Charlbury deli and cafe

Reminder to all our shareholders..

We have a shareholders meeting tonight(22nd) in the Memorial Hall at 6.30pm.

If you would like the accounts before the meeting please call into the deli.

Lynne Stubbles · Fri 22 Oct 2021, 11:23 · Link

CRAG AGM highlights need to protest Nationality & Borders Bill

On Monday 18 October Charlbury Refugee Action Group (CRAG) held their AGM followed by two brilliant speakers - Helena Cullen from Oxford Asylum Welcome and Fran Webber speaking about the Nationality and Borders Bill.

Fran explained that if the Nationality and Borders Bill currently going through Parliament is passed, humanitarian rescuers could face life imprisonment for bringing refugees to safety, while Border Force officials will be immune from prosecution if they drown refugees during pushback operations in the Channel. Refugees arriving without papers, seeking family members here, could be imprisoned for four years, sent to another country, or made homeless and destitute and separated from their loved ones indefinitely.

Here are three things you can do to stop it:

1. Go to a Refugees Welcome Rally! On Wednesday 20th October, at 4.30, asylum rights groups are holding a rally in London’s Parliament Square to say ‘refugees are welcome here!’ A solidarity rally will be held at Carfax Tower in Oxford at 5.15pm.

2. Sign Freedom from Torture’s Official register of support - and get your family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours to sign. Go to now and add your name.

3. Write to your MP or to a Lord, Baroness or Bishop in the House of Lords. Here is a template letter written by Fran that you can adapt. (If you want this document sent in Microsoft Word format please email

You can look on the Parliament website at the House of Lords members list and pick some names at random. It’s best to choose those with their own email addresses.

Angela Gwatkin · Wed 20 Oct 2021, 10:15 · Link

Book from Local artist Christopher A Geary

Hi Everyone many of you will know me as have lived in Charlbury  since I was 8. I have always had a passion for drawing and writing. So I have  self published some books. One is a book of poetry called The Tide Of Life, these are drawn from experiences of the past five years. others also take a look at humour and are of local interest. It is also litterred with lovely illustrations.                                                                                                  

 The others are The Colouring Book Of Dogs and The Colouring Book Of Cats. There are 50 designs in each book of different breads. These can be incorporated when coloured to look like your own pets.                                                                                      

 Tim of Cotswold Frames has allowed me to sell these books in his shop. so please go in and take a look. The poetry book retails at £10.99 and the colouring books retail at £6.99.

Christopher Geary · Tue 19 Oct 2021, 10:55 · 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 18 Oct 2021, 06:15 · Link

United Nations flag on church tower

The United Nations flag will be hoisted on the church tower this weekend as it has been flown every year for at least the last 35 years to celebrate UN Day on October 24 and Charlbury’s international connections.

This year, the flag will continue to fly until the UN Cop26 climate conference November 12 to support our prayers that all nations will seriously commit to work together to mitigate the most devastating damage that climate change will otherwise bring upon all the world’s people.

Roy Scott · Sat 16 Oct 2021, 17:54 · Link

Evening train service changes next week

Next week, train services through Charlbury will be disrupted due to engineering work:

  • Monday 18th to Thursday 21st: The 21.50 from Paddington will only run to Didcot. A connecting train will go from Didcot to Oxford, then a bus from Oxford (23.08) to Charlbury (23.53).
  • Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th: The 22.50 from Paddington will terminate at Oxford. A bus will continue from Oxford (00.04) to Charlbury (00.49).
  • Monday 18th to Thursday 21st: The 23.47 from Charlbury to Oxford will be replaced by a bus at 01.19 (no connection through to Paddington).

Please check times before travelling.

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 15 Oct 2021, 09:44 · Link

A Fun Night Out

Feeling nostalgic for the good ol’ days when you could get a delicious dinner and a entertaining quiz in person? Those days are here again … well, at least on Saturday, 30 October anyway!

Come join the fun, where we will wet your whistle, delight your palate, and test your memory. Our quizmaster extraordinaire, Patrick Derham, is rumored to have been asked by Richard Branson to do the first quiz in sub-orbital space. My understanding is that Patrick is holding out for at least an orbital offer.

We will gather at St. Mary’s Church at 7pm. Teams of 6 are preferred. Tickets are £15/person for dinner and the quiz.

Send your payment to

Account Name: Charlbury PCC

Sort Code: 40-52-40

Account Number: 00032374

Reference: Quiz

Proceeds will support St Mary’s and its community initiatives. 

Please contact Dine Glasgow at to book your table or ask any questions.

daniela jenkins · Thu 14 Oct 2021, 12:06 · Link

Charlbury Arts is exhibiting at Wilcote Art Studios

Charlbury Arts is holding its autumn exhibition at Wilcote Art Studios just outside Finstock. The theme for the show is Together and 30 local artists have contributed one or two pieces inspired by this theme. 

 Wilcote Art Studios is home to a group of Oxfordshire artists. They work in studios built at the edge of Topples Wood which is part of the ancient Royal Hunting Forest of Wychwood. 

The exhibition will be in the new gallery space at Wilcote and will include over 50 pieces of work by Charlbury artists. These include painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics and photography. 

Additionally, many of the fifteen Wilcote artists will be showing their work. Since 2015 their community has gradually grown; it now includes painters, sculptors, ceramicists, jewellery makers, makers of sound-art and installation artists. 

The exhibition will be on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th October from 11-5 each day. From the Plough Inn in Finstock follow the road to Wilcote and the entrance is on the left after one kilometre. OX7 3DX There is ample parking.

Tony Lloyd · Wed 13 Oct 2021, 08:06 · Link

Booster Vaccination Clinic.


From CMC's website:

"We will shortly be starting our COVID-19 vaccine booster programme. Please do not be in touch with the surgery as we will contact you. We are not able to invite you until at least 180 days have passed since your second Covid-19 vaccine. Please note that all boosters will be with the Pfizer vaccine irrespective of whether you had Pfizer or Astra Zeneca for your first two doses unless there is a specific reason you cannot have Pfizer."

Please do not turn up at a clinic in the hope of receiving the booster vaccine. Only people who have been invited to receive the booster will be vaccinated tomorrow.

Thank you everybody.

susan smith · Tue 12 Oct 2021, 11:02 · Link

Traders at the Community Centre this week.

The Bread Shed is taking a break this week but returns next Tuesday 19th October.

The Codfather is also having a day off next Sunday 17th October but is still visiting on 16th October as usual.

Jim Holah · Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:02 · 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.

  • 37 Ticknell Piece Road Charlbury
    Insertion of two dormers in rear of roof and two roof lights in front roof
    WODC reference: 21/03259/HHD - Mon 04 Oct 2021 - Under consideration
  • Land South Of Forest Road Charlbury Oxfordshire
    Discharge of conditions 3 (specification details), 6 (construction traffic management plan), 7 (surface water drainage scheme), 8 (construction management plan), 12 (scheme of hard and soft landscaping) and 13 (trees in relation to design, demolition and construction) of planning permission 15/03099/FUL
    WODC reference: 21/03266/CND - Mon 04 Oct 2021 - Under consideration
  • Charlbury House 66 High Street Witney Oxfordshire OX28 6HJ
    Discharge of condition 6 of planning permission 20/01152/FUL (Archeological watching brief).
    WODC reference: 21/03216/CND - Tue 28 Sep 2021 - Under consideration

Mon 11 Oct 2021, 06:15 · Link

A quiz (no matter what)

In person, remote? Masked or un-masked? It doesn’t matter, we’ve got you covered!

Plan to join us on Saturday evening, 30 October for dinner and a quiz to support St. Mary’s and its community initiatives.

Current guidance allows us to meet in person, and that is our plan. However, if things change, we will adapt accordingly.

If you would prefer to participate remotely, please let us know.

Start time is 7pm. Teams of six players each. £15 per person including meal. Please contact Dine Glasgow to reserve your place.

daniela jenkins · Fri 8 Oct 2021, 10:25 · Link

Garden Society Plant Swop of 2nd October - THANK YOU!

Many thanks to all who supported the Plant Swop and Coffee Morning last Saturday. An incredible £403.21 was raised which will help the Garden Society thrive and will also support various 'greening' projects around the town.

And a huge Thank You to Frances Short for donating so many wonderful plants. It is lovely to think that her garden will live on in Charlbury.

Geneviève Hug · Thu 7 Oct 2021, 17:42 · Link

Air Pollution Measurement - PM10 - in Market Street

DustScanAQ are measuring PM10 outside our office in Market St, using our new DS Cloud monitor. We will publish the data. We would like someone from the town council to pass on traffic survey data to us if they can.

Gordon Allison · Thu 7 Oct 2021, 15:08 · Link

Nine Acres Works

Please note that in  an attempt to improve the quality of the football pitches, the whole grass areas are having fertilizer applied tomorrow during the day. It is perfectly safe to use the play area but please refrain from going onto the football pitches including the top area (known as the hockey pitch) until at least Friday afternoon. Thank you

Paul D Jenkins · Wed 6 Oct 2021, 14:45 · Link

Ms Grierson and Mrs Moss are running for Charlbury School Association!

Oxford Half Marathon

Jennie Grierson and Teresa Moss are running in the Oxford Half Marathon on the 17th October and are hoping to raise some much needed funds for the Charlbury School Association so that they can put the money towards more books and resources for the children at school. They would be very grateful for any sponsorship you are willing to give, via their gofundme page on the link below.

Gareth Epps · Wed 6 Oct 2021, 11:31 · Link

Cornerstone - school uniform, produce and plants

Thanks to the help of our brilliant volunteers, Cornerstone continues to be open Monday - Saturday 10am - 1pm. We will be packing the school uniform away next week so do come down if you could use some spares. After next week let us know what uniform you need and we will have a look for you - email or drop in. 

We have lots of apples in store but some trees haven't produced well this year, according to our local expert, so if you have surplus we would love to have it to share with Charlbury. 

We also have some left over plants from a recent sale - do come and help yourself as we will only keep them for another week. 

Books can be accessed in the Cornerstone rooms, Anne Downer room and upstairs with funds going to Cornerstone and the Corner House. 

Any queries do get in touch on 

Many thanks for your continued support of this community project. 

Jo Paton, Cornerstone Manager

Jo Paton · Wed 6 Oct 2021, 10:34 · Link

Charlbury Community Speedwatch returns

The speed of vehicles through Charlbury continues to be a source of complaint from many residents, pedestrians, cyclists & other drivers.  The Speedwatch project has been collecting data over the last 18 months to prove this & active monitoring & reporting is about to restart.  If you're concerned about the environmental impact on Charlbury, worried for your children or elderly relatives & want to do something you can contact me at or just turn up at one of the following sessions for a taste of what we do.

You'll see us on.....

*The Slade at 9.30 Wednesday 6th October.

 * Enstone Rd at 9.30 on Wednesday 13th & 20th October

* Woodstock Rd at 4 pm on Tuesday 26th October

The Speedwatch project is supported & funded by the Town Council and works in partnership with Thames Valley Police.

If you want to be a part of this, just let me know.

Jim Holah · Tue 5 Oct 2021, 21:17 · Link

Welcoming Little Amal with CRAG

Little Amal, the 12-foot high puppet of a 9-year-old Syrian refugee who is walking from Turkey to Manchester, is coming to Oxford on Tuesday 26th October.

She will be welcomed by a giant Alice in Wonderland at an event organised by The Story Museum - see

CRAG hopes that children of all ages, as well as adults, will come and join in the welcome procession and party.

CRAG is running a workshop to make flowers to welcome Amal, on Tuesday 12th October, from 3.15pm to 4.30pm, at the Methodist Hall, Fishers Lane, Charlbury.

And if there is enough interest, the Story Museum wants to run a workshop in Charlbury to make a welcome banner later in October (for 7+ only). And there’s also the possibility of learning a song of welcome (for all).

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Please email if:

  • you want your child(ren) to come to the flower workshop, or
  • you and/ or your child(ren) are interested in coming to a banner-making workshop;
  • you think you will be able to come to Oxford to welcome Amal on 26 October (in the afternoon) 

Thank you!

Vicky Buser · Tue 5 Oct 2021, 18:32 · Link

Library Swifts

A swoop of mosaic swifts has just appeared on the library wall at the Community Centre. Sixty more swifts have joined the sixty already in the courtyard. This means that a total of 120 people have completed a mosaic. If you have made one of them, do come and see if you can find yours. 

 The project was sponsored by Charlbury Arts with an enthusiastic team led by Patricia Freeman. Patricia said "I am absolutely thrilled to see the result of everybody's creativity. It has far exceeded my expectations and the whole effect is much greater than the sum of the individual parts".

Tony Lloyd · Tue 5 Oct 2021, 15:06 · Link

Reporting HGVs breaching weight restrictions

For clarity about how to report lorries to the County Council for breaching weight restrictions.  Vehicle registration number is essential; an image helpful.

You can report lorries on this page:

Scroll to the bottom of the page.

Gareth Epps · Tue 5 Oct 2021, 09:12 · Link

Sponsor a Christmas Tree!

Quite a few organisations have already sponsored a tree for this year's Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary's. If you haven't got around to it yet, don't be left out of the fun! Click on the booking form link below.

As well as the Trees we are hosting several events (detailed on the Events page). Tickets will be available in early November from Deli and Cornerstone, but reserve the dates in your diaries now: Jazz and Christmas Trees - Friday 10 December, Charlbury Christmas Cracker - Saturday 11 December and The Countryside at Christmas - Sunday 12 December. 

Maureen Sparling · Mon 4 Oct 2021, 14:54 · 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.

  • Prospect House Church Lane Charlbury
    Internal works to re-plaster stone existing wall in kitchen, and of the chimney breast in study.
    WODC reference: 21/03183/LBC - Mon 27 Sep 2021 - Under consideration

Mon 4 Oct 2021, 06:15 · Link

Flu vaccination clinics for Charlbury Medical Centre patients

Just to confirm that the Charlbury Medical Centre will be holding flu vaccination clinics at the Charlbury Football and Sports Club next to the Community Centre on Tuesday, 5 October, 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 to 4.30 p.m., for the over 65s and Thursday, 7 October, 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 to 4.00 p.m., for the 50 to 64s.

These will be walk-in clinics with no set appointments – delivered on a “first come, first served” basis.

Patients eligible to receive a flu vaccine will be called to their clinic by letter. As there are different vaccines for different age groups, patients will need to attend on their appointed day and will not be able to swap over to the other day

Patients will be asked to wear a mask and must bring their invitation letter with them to their clinic, in order to be confirmed as eligible to receive their vaccine – otherwise they cannot receive their vaccination.

On arrival you will be asked a few questions about recent exposure to CV-19, and whether you have any symptoms of the virus before you enter the building.

Meryl Smith · Sat 2 Oct 2021, 14:24 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ....Cornbury Park & Wychwood

The history of the Wychwood Forest and Cornbury have always been closely entwined. In the middle ages the royal hunting forest of Wychwood occupied much of what is now West Oxfordshire. Cornbury too was once a royal forest but in 1312 was referred to as a park, meaning it had to be enclosed by a wall or fence and ditch. Then in 1337 comes the first mention of a house there – a lodge of stone and timber, paid for by the Royal Exchequer.

Cornbury remained royal property until the 17th century when in 1642 Charles I gave it "for ever" to its then tenant, Henry Danvers, Earl of Danby. (This was the same Earl of Danby who twenty years earlier had given land in Oxford for the creation of a physic garden, now the Oxford Botanic Garden). Danby enlarged the house at Cornbury in the 1630s, building what now forms the south wing of the present house. Following the Restoration the house went to Edward Hyde, who made extensive alterations. In 1663 the large stable facing Charlbury was built, and in 1665/6 the eastern wing of the house, while John Evelyn advised on the planting of the park.

The estate remained in the Hyde family's ownership until 1751, when it was bought by the third Duke of Marlborough and known as Blandford Park. It later passed to the Churchill family on the 4th Duke’s death in 1817. It’s sale by Viscount Churchill in 1896 marked a major break with the past as the estate passed to ‘new money’, rather belatedly mirroring the rise of industrialists in society. It was bought first by Harvey du Cros, who founded Dunlop, and then in 1901 by Vernon Watney, a member of the Watney brewing family. The Watneys made major alterations to the estate, including building the lodges which now flank the main approach to the house. He and his wife Lady Margaret took a great interest in the life of Charlbury, actively supporting many local clubs and societies and hosting large social events at the house, including for the WI, local schoolchildren and tradesmen. In January 1903 about 120 Charlbury tradesmen attended a dance and supper there. The evening was a great success and after a generous supper and a vote of thanks to the Watneys “ dancing was then resumed to the strains of Messrs. Russell’s Band and was kept up with great spirit till about 4.30am”. Oxford Times 7 January 1903

Join the Charlbury Society talk on Thursday 7th October on Zoom to learn more about the history of Cornbury Park and the Forest. Speaker is Dr Simon Townley, editor of the Victoria County History for Oxfordshire. See the Events page for details.

Judy Dod · Fri 1 Oct 2021, 20:22 · Link

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