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The History of Charlbury through ...an old painting

Barbara Allison for Charlbury Museum

We have used this old painting to illustrate several of our weekly posts. This small watercolour hangs above the entrance to our gloving exhibition room. Dated about 1800 to 1805, it is a painting of Charlbury, made 200 or so years ago, and so may well show what the town looked like then.

But there are several unanswered questions. Firstly who painted it and why? Apparently, it was common in the early 19th century for jobbing artists to travel around the country painting local scenes and selling them to whoever would buy. There is a very similar painting of Witney High Street, said to be by S Jones and painted in 1828. It even has a man with wheelbarrow in it! A number of similar paintings of Chipping Norton High Street also survive, but without wheelbarrows.

Secondly when was it painted? The museum has recently acquired a postcard of this painting from the late Margaret King. Caroline Pumphrey wrote on the back of the card on behalf of herself and John Marshall Albright (JMA): “Church St, Charlbury, 100 years ago & as JMA first remembers it. With all good wishes for Christmas 1908”. Both then signed the card. John Albright’s signature is clear but shaky –not very surprising as he was 92 years old then, and died the following year.

So was it painted in 1808? Clearly JMA recognised it as a good picture of the town in his childhood. But he was born in 1816, and so it is far more likely that the painting tied in with his memories in the 1820s when he was a child. It doesn’t get us much further with an accurate date, but it ties in with the date of the painting in Witney

Thirdly, is it an accurate picture of the town all those years ago? A contemporary opinion, like that of JMA, is invaluable. Another bit of contemporary evidence comes from the 1761 map of the town. On the map, half way down Church Street, in the middle of the street, is a small building. The painting also shows a small building, some way down Church Street on the right hand side. Zooming in on the picture shows it is a market shelter very like the one at the top of the Street. But this building does not appear on later maps.         More on this painting in a future posting

1  A copy is in the Oxfordshire History Centre

2  Caroline Pumphrey was a Quaker who lived in Charlbury during the 19th century. She wrote her Reminiscences - ‘Charlbury of our Childhood’. JMA was her uncle.

Judy Dod · Fri 30 Jul, 21:28 · Link


Temporary Emergency Road Closure at Fishers Lane

Oxfordshire County Council has been informed of a temporary emergency road closure on Fishers Lane whilst a leaking water main investigation is carried out for public safety reasons.

More Info

Gary Harrison · Fri 30 Jul, 17:46 · Link


Town traffic survey

Roll up for the town traffic survey!

Traffic crops up far more than any other topic in requests and complaints to the Council. To address issues such as speeding, dangerous junctions, lack of amenity in the town centre, and parking and commuter traffic, the Council needs to have a clear picture of traffic movements within and through the town, including vehicles parking to access shops. To do this, we’re conducting a traffic survey and we're asking for volunteers to help us!

How can I help?

We can use the last three digits of number plates to tag cars and track their movements across the town. You’ll stand at the roadside and make a note of numbers and directions. Then we’ll use a program to input and assess the data.

When is it?

We’re doing two surveys (term time and not): Tuesday 31 August and Tuesday 14 September, probably 07:00–09:00; 12:00–14:00; and 16:30–18:30.

Where would I be standing?

At any of six locations:

• Five Ways

• Enstone Crossroads

• Nine Acres/Thames St corner

• Station roundabout

• Spendlove entrance

• Browns Lane/Church St junction

So if you can spare a couple of hours on either day – or if you can manage all of the slots on both days – message us via the site, or text or call James on 07792 375423.

Thanks!

Organisers: Tony Merry and James Styring (Town Councillors), and Richard Fairhurst

James Styring · Thu 29 Jul, 13:10 · Link


Cornerstone – children’s books

Apart from being a community hub for sharing surplus foods, the Cornerstone also sells books, games and puzzles at 50p each – do come down for a browse!

We would now really like to expand on the children’s books section – our vision is to have several big book cases full of books for children and young people (0-18) and for people to be able to easily and cheaply pick up a fresh supply, whilst perhaps dropping off those no longer needed.

Do you have children’s books you no longer need and could donate to us? We would much appreciate your help. The Cornerstone is open 10am to 1pm, Monday to Saturday.

Helene

cornerstone@charlburychurch.uk

Cornerstone · Thu 29 Jul, 10:34 · Link


Football and Sports Club to re-open

Good news! The Football and Sports Club will open again on Friday 30th July at 4pm.

We look forward to welcoming back all our members and their families. We are conscious of the need to stay Covid safe so please sanitize hands on entry, sign in or use the Q app and wear a mask when ordering at the bar or walking about.

We would like to remind everyone that, as we are a club and not a pub, you should be a paid-up member if you wish to use the clubhouse regularly. Members can of course sign in visitors in the usual way.

Phil Morgan · Wed 28 Jul, 11:35 · Link


West Oxfordshire Leisure Facility Strategy

West Oxfordshire District Council is currently in the process of developing an Indoor Sports Built Facility Strategy. One of the stages in this process is gaining an understanding of the community and place. As part of this stage we are currently undertaking a district wide residents survey, which aims to identify barriers to accessing opportunities, determine who is accessing services and also establishing potential leisure facility improvements.

Please complete the Survey here: https://tinyurl.com/WODCleisuresurvey

Gary Harrison · Mon 26 Jul, 11:18 · 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.

  • Churchill House Wychwood Close Charlbury
    Loft conversion to create additional living space to include insertion of dormer windows and rooflights.
    WODC reference: 21/02540/HHD - Wed 21 Jul 2021 - Under consideration

Mon 26 Jul, 06:15 · Link


The Codfather, Sunday 25th July

An update from The Codfather team that they won't be on site tomorrow, Sunday 25th, so get down tonight for your weekend fish & chips.

Jim Holah · Sat 24 Jul, 16:38 · Link


The History of Charlbury through ... a clean water supply

Judy Dod for Charlbury Musesum

During this week’s heatwave we have depended even more than usual on our water supply – for drinking, showering, and filling paddling pools. It is easy to take clean water for granted but for much of the past there was no reliable supply to the town. People got their water from wells, either their own or from a communal well. Some still exist in the older houses (many of you will know the one in the Rose & Crown), lined with stone and now often dry.

With only limited organised drainage, well water could become contaminated, raising health concerns. Mr Horniblow, who had premises in Sheep Street, complained in 1892 “… there is no properly constructed drainage, owners of premises have been allowed to turn in some instances what sewage matter they like into the surface water drain …. Another mode employed of ridding sewage has been to dig cess pools in the public streets … consequently ... our drinking wells are fouled and the water supply generally is bad”.

Various schemes to improve matters came to nothing until Arthur Albright stepped in. Though no longer living here, he generously subscribed £1,250 to the new town waterworks. A limited liability company was set up and the work was carried out by Mr Baughan. On September 19th 1896 the new waterworks were opened on Wigwell. Water from several springs was collected and pumped into two tanks holding 45,000 gallons of water on land near the Ditchley Road. Stored 100ft above the level of the town, water flowed by gravity along the main streets through earthenware pipes. Nineteen hydrants were placed around town for use of the fire brigade. 

The opening of the waterworks was an occasion for great celebration. The church bells were rung, the fire brigade put on a display, and Mr Albright travelled from Birmingham for a special dinner in his honour. The next day a special ladies breakfast took place, and 300 children attended a tea in the afternoon. The following Monday he invited the workmen, the adult school band, the bellringers and men who hadn’t taken part already to a ‘substantial repast’ in the town hall and the evening was rounded off with a concert. 

Despite the new supply, many wells continued to be used into the 1930s.  In the 1960s water from Oxford replaced the spring water to meet the demands of the growing population, and then in the 1990s Thames Water replaced the earthenware pipes with blue plastic piping. 

Do you have a well on your property?  We would love to hear from you if you do so we can build up a picture of where and how many there were.

Judy Dod · Fri 23 Jul, 23:02 · Link


Cancellation of the 2021 Charlbury Beer Festival

We are sorry to announce that the 2021 Charlbury Beer Festival, which we had already postponed from June to September, will now not take place after all. In view of the continued uncertainty during the pandemic, the directors and committee did not feel confident about staging the event safely, and we were worried about spending money on an event which then might have to be cancelled. Instead we are looking into the possibility of running something a little less ambitious later in the year.

Edward Fenton · Fri 23 Jul, 15:00 · Link


Cornerstone – where does the food come from and is it really free??

The Cornerstone receives food and produce twice a week from regional hubs that distribute surplus foods from supermarkets around the country. This food goes out in food parcels to those who need the support, but also out on the shelves here in the Cornerstone for everyone to take. So do please come down and help yourselves to this food – it really is free, and will be going to waste if we don’t use it! 

We also gratefully receive donated fruit, vegetables, baked goods and dry foods from the good people of Charlbury’s gardens and cupboards – this week we have had lots of rhubarb, parsley, kale, and even some delicious home made scones! Thank you so much for these donations, they are what makes the Cornerstone a really worthwhile activity.

So please do think of us if you have spare produce to share and when you’re here, pick up some items for yourself!

Helene

Cornerstone · Thu 22 Jul, 12:37 · Link


Wilderness requirements for entry to festival

Wilderness is now asking for the following for entry to the festival.

Proof of full vaccination – both doses received (with the second at least 14 days prior to the festival) or

Proof of a negative NHS Lateral Flow Test taken prior to travel on the day of arrival at the festival or

Proof of natural immunity based upon a positive PCR test within 180 days of the festival (including 10 days self-isolation following the result).

 This is for entry for anyone 11 years old and upwards so do make sure you follow the link to make sure you you have the correct documentation or you could  get refused entry.

https://www.wildernessfestival.com/wilderness-covid-19-entry-requirements/?utm_campaign=wild21&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=36www.wildernessfestival.com/wilderness-covid-19-entry-requirements/?utm_campaign=wild21&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=36

Tim at Cotswold Frames · Wed 21 Jul, 12:01 · Link


Met Office Warnings of Open Water Swimming

A teenage girl was pulled out of Ducklington Lake on Sunday afternoon but later died in hospital. This is public information provided by a link on the Met Office site. Please warn anyone you know who is doing open water swimming in this heat.

Rosemary Bennett · Tue 20 Jul, 15:47 · Link


St Mary's Christmas Tree Festival

Advance notice of the 3rd Charlbury Christmas Tree Festival which will open on Thursday 9 December, with events and a café over that weekend, and continue until after Christmas.

50 rooted and potted trees will be available for groups or businesses to sponsor - so get your thinking caps on now!

The Best Tree Competition will be judged by the public and announced at the end of the first weekend.

Booking forms and more information will be available in September but if you have any questions now please contact hilli.waller@gmail.com

Maureen Sparling · Mon 19 Jul, 14:19 · 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 19 Jul, 06:15 · Link


In memory of Izaak Chaab-Styles

The family and friends of Isaak Chaab-Styles, aged 20, from Charlbury, who tragically died following a road traffic collision on the A40 on Tuesday (13/7), have released tributes to him.

You can read the tributes on the Thames Valley Police website.

Sun 18 Jul, 11:48 · Link


Message from Chief Medical Officer: Oxford University Hospitals

I am sure you are aware that the government have announced relaxations of the COVID-19 rules in England from Monday 19 July, but I want to make you aware that this relaxation does not apply to our hospital sites where, to keep ourselves and our patients safe, we must not relax our guard.

As you may also be aware, case rates of COVID-19 locally in Oxford are very high - among the worst in the country currently.

It is in that context that I wish to remind you that the guidance in our hospitals has not changed and that mask wearing and social distancing remain in place on all our hospital sites.

Thank you for your support for our patients, visitors and staff.

Kind regards

Meghana Pandit

Chief Medical Officer.  Oxford University Hospitals

Nikki Rycroft · Sat 17 Jul, 13:44 · Link


Corner House Roof

The rear of the Corner House has been clad in scaffolding for a few weeks. The roof here has needed significant repair to stop leakage. Lead guttering and flashing needed replacement and rotten wood beams were repaired. All stone tiles were removed, repaired and relaid. Under the tiles there is now a new layer of felt. The dormer window has been painted.

The total cost was over £31,000. Good workmanship on a period property is not cheap. The final result looks excellent. Go and have a look. Whilst there, also see the lovely garden planted by the Garden Society.

Paddy Gallagher.

Patrick Gallagher · Fri 16 Jul, 13:51 · Link


Nutmeg & Thyme, Saturday morning food stall

Unfortunately, Nutmeg & Thyme won't be able to visit Charlbury on either Saturday 17th or Saturday 24th July.  They will be back on Saturday 31st July with another exciting menu.

Jim Holah · Thu 15 Jul, 18:00 · Link


Rubbish dumped in Hanover Close

On behalf of the residents at Hanover Close they have witnessed recently some large items of furniture being dumped on the estate at the corner of the estate as it borders the road. This has not been items left by the residents for a bulky waste pick up and they are unsure if it is possibly someone in the town arranging for it to be done. Although one would think that this would be put on their drive or kerbside outside their property.  Please can someone take it away - this could the thin edge of the matter and more would think this behaviour is ok!

Thu 15 Jul, 15:05 · Link


Dean Grove footpath case goes to Inspector

Oxfordshire County Council has referred the proposed change of status of the footpath through Dean Grove back to the Inspector appointed by the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

DEFRA ordered OCC to make the order, which it did in March, meanwhile announcing a consultation. The order has to be confirmed before it comes into effect.

In submitting the consultation responses to DEFRA, OCC says:

“As noted above, Oxfordshire County Council has determined that, as no new, relevant evidence has been adduced that has not previously been considered, that it adopt a neutral stance in respect of the confirmation of this Order and it will be for the Inspector who considers the evidence in this matter to determine whether the Order is confirmed. Comments made on the objections by the County Council are limited to providing clarification where necessary.
“In any event, the Council is of the view that the Order cannot be confirmed as it is, given that any rights for mechanically propelled vehicles that might be shown to exist, would have been extinguished by NERCA 2006 over the section B to C on the Order plan.”

The second paragraph refers to an objection made by Diana Mallinson, of the Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement, who noted that the section over the Coldron Brook bridge was formally part of a different footpath (Spelsbury footpath 19 rather than 44), which for technical reasons is not exempt from the 2006 Act which restricted motor vehicle rights. This objection argues, and OCC agrees, that the section over the bridge cannot be reclassified as a Byway Open to All Traffic and therefore the order, as currently phrased, is not valid.

You can download the full submission, including all responses from local people, at https://consultations.oxfordshire.gov.uk/consult.ti/03092.PI/consultationHome. The full file is 105MB. Diana Mallinson’s objections are considered on p25–27 and p177.

Richard Fairhurst · Thu 15 Jul, 15:04 · Link


The Ditchley team is expanding!

We have a vacancy for a new role as Programme Team Administrative Assistant. This new post will support the existing Programme Team with the delivery of an expanding range of events including virtual, hybrid and in-person.

The role would suit someone who is keen to use their administrative skills in the not for profit sector and within a team which is committed to working with people from across the world to help sustain peace, freedom and order.

A full job description can be found here and the closing date for applications is 10am on Monday 9th August.

Katie Williams · Thu 15 Jul, 13:03 · Link


The Cornerstone Learning Café – looking for volunteers

One of the key activities of the Cornerstone is its Learning Café. The Learning Café is a team of volunteers who work with children from Charlbury Primary School, who may have found home learning particularly challenging during the pandemic, and who now need extra help to catch up with homework and learning. The Learning Café works in collaboration with the school. So far children have really benefited from this one to one support, and while being better prepared for lessons, we are also seeing them growing in confidence and self-belief.

Although the summer holidays are now coming up, and the Learning Café will take a break, we are looking for volunteers to join us in the new school year. There is a particular need for someone who will do maths with the children, but everyone is welcome to contact us. As the team of volunteers grows, we will be able to take on more children.

Commitment would be one hour a week, typically after school hours, 3-4pm; there will be some online safeguarding training to take as well as a DBS check.

If you are interested or just have any questions to start, please do contact Daniela Jenkins danielajenkins@btinternet.com.

Cornerstone · Thu 15 Jul, 12:09 · Link


Charlbury Town Football and Sports Club.

Unfortunately due to being informed today 3 people that were in the club on Sunday evening have today tested positive for covid 19

We would advice anyone that was in the club on Sunday evening to get tested please.

Sorry for the inconvenience but the club will be closed until 4pm Friday afternoon to allow for cleaning. Thank you. Please feel free to let anyone know that was in the club.

Mandy cooper · Wed 14 Jul, 05:01 · Link


More Walk-in Clinics for First Dose Vaccination this Week.

Information is now available on:

https://www.oxfordshireccg.nhs.uk/your-health/walk-in-vaccine-clinics.htm

Walk in clinics for anyone aged 18 and over are available in Oxford this week and in Banbury on Saturday morning. This is for your first dose.

Please attend if you are eligible for vaccination, but have not yet had your vaccine. Or book a vaccination appointment through the national booking service:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

Thank you.

Charlbury Patient Participation Group

susan smith · Tue 13 Jul, 15:05 · Link


Swifts in the Library

Have you seen the beautiful swift mosaics on the wall of the Community Centre by the outdoor seating area? 

Charlbury Arts has been asked to make more swift mosaics to decorate the walls of the library. If you have not yet made a swift you would be very welcome to join one of the workshops this summer. 

Your completed swift will then proudly join a swoop of fifty others on the library wall. 

These free workshops will be held at the Charlbury Community Centre on the following dates from 2pm to 4pm.  If you would like to make a swift mosaic, please contact joanna@shakir.org.uk to book your place. 

All materials will be provided and help if needed. Wednesdays - 11th, 18th, 25th August, 1st September Saturdays - 14th, 21st, 28th August Please advise us of your available and preferred dates.

Tony Lloyd · Mon 12 Jul, 12:00 · 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 12 Jul, 06:15 · Link


The History of Charlbury through .... the coming of electricity

Ann Lovett for Charlbury Museum

William Henry Baughan was the third member of his family to run the ironmongers on the corner of Sheep Street and Church Street, where Fairfax is now. He had an interest in the use of electricity, and in the 1883 Kelly’s Directory his was the only mention of an electricity related business. He gave talks and demonstrations about electricity and in 1888 gave a display of his electric train set.

He was quite early in adopting the use of electricity. One of the problems was the need for a generator to produce it. There was no standard supply,

In 1891 he had a Gramme Dynamo (invented by Belgian Zenobe Gramme) to produce electricity. WH Baughan’s dynamo was run from a steam engine and produced 14-16000 candlepower, and could be hired for special events, to light ballrooms, bazaars etc. To advertise it, a 2000 candlepower arc lamp was put on every Saturday night to light up the front of the shop. He also sold incandescent lamps, and specialised in electric bell systems, one of which was installed at Lee Place. He installed a fire and burglar alarm at Ditchley.

A few years later Cornbury Park, which was still lit by lamps and candles, had its own dynamo installed, which could provide for 400 lights.

The Parish council had considered changing to electric lighting in 1895, and again in 1912. In 1929 the Western Electricity Supply Company offered a National Electricity Scheme, a forerunner of the National Grid. There was a public meeting, with a unanimous vote to accept, and the company put in a mixture of underground wiring and overhead cables. The overhead wires were not universally popular, with John Kibble calling them an awful fringe of ugliness. The Parish council then installed electric streetlights, with St Mary’s and the Wesleyan Chapel changing to electric lights in 1930.

The first power cut occurred in March 1930 when an underground cable fused. Ironically, a lecture that evening, entitled Electricity and its Uses had to be cancelled.

The Western Electricity Supply Company offered inhabitants 3 lights and a socket. Janet James remembers her parents taking up the offer and having 3 lights downstairs and buying a lamp for the socket, to provide her father with extra light to work by - he was a tailor. Another lady, Eileen Mitchell (nee Sturdy) remembers the 3 lights and 1 socket cost 1s 2d (6p) a week.

Electricity provided lighting that was cleaner and easier to maintain than candles, lamps and gas, though all continued to be used for a while.

Judy Dod · Fri 9 Jul, 21:28 · Link


CANCELLED - WI Coffee Morning in the Memorial Hall 10th July 2021

Due to the current Covid restrictions we are unable to go ahead with the coffee morning.

Miriam Evans · Fri 9 Jul, 15:03 · Link


Cornerstone - sharing surplus food and produce

The Cornerstone, situated in the Jesse Clifford Room in the Corner House, is a community hub for everyone to share surplus food from their garden or larder. It is an expanded give and take (much like the annual apple exchange), sometimes you give something, whether food or other donation, sometimes you take something. All the items here are free for everybody (with the exception of books and games which are 50p). The Cornerstone is also a learning café for children, weekly food assistance for those who need it, and a signposting service for the Citizens Advice, but more about that another time.

Our shelves in the Cornerstone are looking a little sparse at the moment, and we would be so pleased to receive something from your gardens or larders – do you have any broad beans, squash, gooseberries, or rhubarb, for example, which survived the frost and is going spare? Do you have items in your cupboards that are within date but you know no one in your household will eat? Bring it in here and let’s get some more giving and taking going on! It is such a joy to see food being used that would otherwise be going to waste.

We look forward to seeing you, we are here Monday to Saturday, from 10am-1pm.

Helene
cornerstone@charlburychurch.uk

P.S. little plants or flowers, cut or otherwise, are also very welcome!

Cornerstone · Thu 8 Jul, 14:15 · Link


Les Pitt, former joint proprietor of “News and Things”

Longer-standing residents of the town, who remember the days when “News and Things” was owned and run by Les Pitt and Mike Mahoney, will be sad to learn of Les’s death recently in Somerset at the age of 75.

Les and Brenda with their young family were active members of the community (Les was also a retained firefighter), before they decided to move to Somerset in the early 1980s to run a village shop and tea room in Stogumber.

For further information or to send a message to the family, please contact Robert Collery at robertcollery@gmail.com.

Meryl Smith · Wed 7 Jul, 09:08 · Link


X9 Saturday service retained

Oxfordshire County Council has been able to continue to support a range of bus services, including our current enhanced X9 service to Chipping Norton and Witney.


Source: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/19423112.12-rural-bus-services-will-continue-run-rural-oxfordshire/

Gareth Epps · Wed 7 Jul, 08:37 · Link


Children's Tennis Camp in Charlbury in August

Faith Heron, who coaches Charlbury Tennis Club is organising  tennis coaching at the Nineacres Courts in August. Details on the poster below.

Nick Johnson · Tue 6 Jul, 15:11 · 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.

  • The Rise Hixet Wood Charlbury
    Discharge of condition 4 (details of integrated bat roosting and nesting opportunities for birds) of planning permission 21/00849/HHD
    WODC reference: 21/02293/CND - Thu 01 Jul 2021 - Under consideration
  • Charlbury Playgroup Park Street Charlbury
    Change of roofing material, from corrugated sheet metal to translucent polycarbonate sheets, on the lean-to shelter at the rear of the building.
    WODC reference: 21/02261/LBC - Fri 25 Jun 2021 - Under consideration
  • Spellwood 4 Spelsbury Villas Spelsbury Road Charlbury
    Demolition of conservatory and first floor over stone building. Erection of carport/garage and additions to existing link building.
    WODC reference: 21/01858/HHD - Wed 19 May 2021 - Under consideration

Mon 5 Jul, 06:15 · Link


The History of Charlbury through ... a love token, three musket balls and a blowtorch!

Judy Dod for Charlbury Museum

Living in Charlbury which has been settled for hundreds of years, you never know what you may unearth when working in your garden or extending your house. Maybe a clay pipe, a metal token, pieces of pottery …. there are endless possibilities. We may turn these up by chance but Neil Pakenham-Walsh has revived a boyhood passion and has taken his metal detector around town seeing what he can find. Several residents have allowed him to explore their gardens and he has made some really interesting finds. Some of these Neil and the homeowners have very generously donated to the museum and are now on display. Though small, they have fascinating stories to tell.

Coins are a fairly common find but this is particularly special. A George III 1818 silver sixpence, it is bent and has initials stamped on it (?I/T), showing it is a love token. In the 1800s it was common for a suitor to give a crooked sixpence to his sweetheart. It’s said that sometimes the suitor would bend the sixpence in front of her to show his strength!

Then there are three musket balls of differing sizes, two white and one darker. Musket balls were in use from about 1550 to 1800. It's not possible to date these, but they may relate to the English Civil War 1642-1651: there were skirmishes all over the country and there was a Civil War battery at Cornbury Park. Whitening of lead occurs due to oxidation, which progresses through time. The dark ball is therefore likely to be more recent than the others. The side of the small white ball is flattened, suggesting impact. The larger ball is likely to have been fired by a musket (a muzzle-loaded long gun), the two smaller balls probably from hand-held pistols.

The last item is a name plate from a blowtorch from the 1880s. It was made in New York and probably had a copper fuel tank with a brass pump, handle and fuel cap, with a cast brass or bronze burner. Interesting that workmen in Victorian Charlbury were using tools imported from America.

These and other local finds are on display in the museum. We reopen from Saturday 3rd July: Saturdays 10.30-12.30, Sundays 2.30-4.30. Covid precautions are in place to ensure your safety and that of our stewards. Please wear a mask when visiting.

With many thanks to Neil and the homeowners on whose property these items were found. Neil is always glad to hear from residents willing to let him look over their property neil@hifa.org

Judy Dod · Fri 2 Jul, 20:21 · Link


DItchley is recruiting!

Ditchley is recruiting to fill two exciting posts: a Ditchley Data and Technology Policy Lead and an Education and Democracy Networks Co-Lead. The successful applicants would be working as part of a small but highly committed team to support Ditchley's mission to work with people from across the world to help sustain peace, freedom and order.

Further details about both vacancies can be found here.

Katie Williams · Fri 2 Jul, 16:15 · Link


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