News index



Are you under 25, living in Charlbury, with a place at university or college or an apprenticeship?

If so, you may be eligible for a grant from the Charlbury Exhibition Foundation:

 Even if you have received a grant in a previous year, you may qualify for another, so do apply again.

Apply by 30 September 2021 to:

Please include the following details:

-        Name and date of birth;

-        Home address in Charlbury;

-        Schools you have attended;

-        For students:

o  The name of the university or college,

o  The title and level of your course
(for example: BA Hons in European History),

o  The year of study
(for example: first year, second year, …);

-        For apprentices:

o  The name of your employer,

o  The type of apprenticeship and level;

-          Outline information on the costs involved in the course or apprenticeship.

William Robinson · Tue 31 Aug 2021, 16:35 · 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.

  • 2 Valley Cottages Fishers Lane Charlbury
    Replace existing porch with exactly the same size/shape build but with two changes: The right side wall will be brick.The old (internal) front door to the kitchen will be removed and the porch door will become the front door
    WODC reference: 21/02802/HHD - Mon 23 Aug 2021 - Under consideration

Mon 30 Aug 2021, 06:15 · Link

The History of Charbury through ... its first bank

Barbara Allison and Janet Jeffs for Charlbury Museum

Many people can remember when Charlbury had two banks –a branch of Barclays and one of the Midland –both now long gone, like bank branches in many towns and cities. But when did banks first appear in our town? We have found out a bit about the history of the Midland Bank here, which goes all the way back to 1853.

Our first bank was a small branch of the Stourbridge and Kidderminster Bank, one of numerous banks set up by the 1830s, usually founded by local people and serving just their local area. This small bank only had 10 branches, one of which was here and another in Chipping Norton. Charlbury’s branch opened in 1853 and was in Church Street, in John Marshall Albright’s grocers and drapers premises, using the back parlour behind the shop. It may have been accessed by a passageway at the side. (now Little Monkeys and The Heat Store). A report in a local newspaper said it had been opened for ‘the convenience of dealers, farmers and the public generally, which afforded great convenience to the town’

These small banks were often taken over. By 1893, Charlbury’s bank was part of the Metropolitan Bank (of England and Wales), It was still in the same shop, the premises now owned and run by the Smith family –Thackwell and his son Thackwell Gillett Smith. Have a look at the photo of the shop - the bank’s sign is above the shop front. The young man standing in the doorway may have been William Wilson, the grocer’s foreman. He was 26 years old and lived above the shop with the Smith family in 1901.

There were more takeovers, and by 1914, our bank was part of the London and City & Midland Bank. In a photo from the early 1920s, you can just make out the sign on the façade of a building in Market Street (now Oxford House). Around 1918, the bank had moved from Church Street to its new site, and by 1923, it had shortened its name to the Midland Bank. So that’s how Charlbury got a branch of the Midland Bank.

And William Wilson? In 1939, he had moved banks, and was a bank clerk in Barclays Bank, also in Market Street. The Midland bank sub-manager was Cyril Wadley, who had worked in banking for many years.

Judy Dod · Sun 29 Aug 2021, 09:20 · Link

Charlbury Library - Open Access from 6th September

Customers of Charlbury Library will be pleased to know that open access will return from Monday 6th September. No barriers will be in place and you will be able to browse, borrow and return items via the self-service machine, as before. Please remember to bring your library card with you if you wish to borrow or renew items.

The red crates just inside the Community Centre doors for returning items into will no longer be in place from that date, but you will be able to return items directly through the self-service kiosk. The Community Centre currently opens at 9am and closes at 5pm each weekday evening and 4pm at weekends, so the library cannot be accessed outside of these times.

In line with all other Oxfordshire libraries, the self-service kiosk will not accept payment, either in cash or by card. Instead, you may pay charges online with your library card and PIN number or directly with a member of staff. The staffed hours will remain the same during September (Mondays 10am-1pm, Wednesdays 2-5pm & Fridays 2-5pm) with changes due to be made in October.

You will be welcome to collect your Reserved items from the Reservation Shelf and borrow them via the self-service kiosk even when no library staff are present. However, items are charged at £1.30 per reserved item and the self-service kiosk will not issue books when more than £5.00 is owing on a customer’s account.

The photocopier and public computers/printer will remain unavailable unless staff are present.

A gentle reminder…please wipe or remove muddy shoes before entering the library space, no eating or drinking and please supervise your children at all times to keep the space welcoming and tidy for all.  Thank you.

Julie Ward · Fri 27 Aug 2021, 18:45 · Link

Mrs A. M. Jenkins

Dear Charlbury,

Gareth and I are sad to announce that we recently lost our lovely mum. Her funeral will take place at St Mary’s Church on Friday 10th September at 3pm. 

We moved to Charlbury in 1971 and had the best ever childhood growing up, surrounded by lovely people in a lovely town. Mum spent many, many happy years teaching at the Primary School and as such we wanted to let people know, in case anyone wants to join us in celebrating her life.

Amanda Jenkins · Fri 27 Aug 2021, 12:52 · Link

Town Council Community Grants

The Town Council can award grants to local groups or organisations for the benefit of the community. These grants are typically between £100 and £1000 in value, though larger grants can be made in some circumstances. The deadline for grant applications is 31 October, for more information please see our website where a form is available for download:

Claire Wilding · Fri 27 Aug 2021, 10:12 · Link

42 years of unbroken service to the community....

Roger Clarke, Charlbury Town Council's town clerk, has finally decided to put down his pen and take a well-deserved retirement.  He has been in post since - yes - April 1979!  Councillors have appreciated Roger's always sound advice and hard work for both the council and the community and we will be providing an opportunity for all of us to show our thanks and gratitude before he steps down.  The council hopes to appoint Roger's replacement in time for them to take over on 1 November.

Liz Reason · Thu 26 Aug 2021, 20:43 · Link


A big thank you to everyone who has given to and taken from the Cornerstone food hub in August – we have received and given away lots of courgettes, cucumbers, marrows, beans and tomatoes, and we have had chutneys, lavender and quails’ eggs to take. 

If you are in need of school uniform items, now that the school year begins next week, we still have lots available in all age groups, all free to take.

For our ‘back room’, we would still like to gratefully receive:

• Good condition school uniform items

• Children’s books, puzzles and games

We are not able to use anything else unfortunately, including:

• School shoes

• Children’s toys

• Baby equipment and nappies (the Chippy Larder, however, is currently asking for donations of this kind for Oxford Afghan Aid

Finally, please note we are closed on bank holiday Monday, the 30 August.

Helene Provstgaard

The Cornerstone is open Monday to Saturday, 10am-1pm.

Cornerstone · Thu 26 Aug 2021, 14:33 · Link

Bookings and accounts for the Corner House, Memorial Hall

The Corner House and Memorial Hall is seeking an accounts manager to take charge of booking arrangements and the accounts. This could mostly be done from home, and is estimated to involve about 8 hours per week which could be paid for. If this is something you can do and would like to be considered for the post, please email your CV to

Roy Scott · Sat 21 Aug 2021, 10:09 · Link


A big thank you from Charlbury Museum to Jane and Ian Parsons, who are retiring on 31st August after care-taking at the Corner House and War Memorial Hall for 17 years. Their background knowledge and help with our activities has been very much appreciated. Like many Charlbury organisations, we at the Museum shall miss them and we wish them a very happy retirement."

Janet Jeffs · Fri 20 Aug 2021, 18:31 · Link

Charlbury Street Fair Scarecrows

This year theme is  Fantastic Stories.

For more details, please see the poster. 

Rachael Lunney · Wed 18 Aug 2021, 07:40 · Link

Charlbury Town Football and Sports Club AGM

Charlbury Town Football and Sports Club’s AGM

Is on Monday 23rd of August. 7.30pm for 8pm start.  
We will be looking for a new Chairman and  treasurer as well as new committee members to join the club.

Mandy cooper · Tue 17 Aug 2021, 10:06 · 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.

  • 14 Hill Close Charlbury
    Installation of an electric car charging unit.
    WODC reference: 21/02736/HHD - Thu 12 Aug 2021 - Under consideration
  • The Willows Church Lane Charlbury
    Restoration, including raising of roof height, of outbuilding to form workshop.
    WODC reference: 21/02720/HHD - Mon 09 Aug 2021 - Under consideration
  • The Willows Church Lane Charlbury
    Internal and external alterations, including raising of roof height, to restore outbuilding to form workshop.
    WODC reference: 21/02746/LBC - Mon 09 Aug 2021 - Under consideration

Mon 16 Aug 2021, 06:15 · Link

Does your group need volunteers?

The Town Council plans to start a volunteer hub to connect local groups with people who would like to volunteer. We would like to kick this off at Street Fair by publicising some of the brilliant local groups in our community who need volunteers, we will also be creating a page on our new website. 

If you are a local group looking for new volunteers and you would like to be publicised on our street fair stall and/or website, please message me via this site with the following information:

-Group name

-What your group does

-Volunteers you are looking for, what they would do and whether it's a regular commitment or occasional

Many thanks.

Claire Wilding · Sat 14 Aug 2021, 16:46 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ... a photo and a court case

Ann Lovett for Charlbury Museum

In the Museum, amongst the display of the Fire Brigade, is a photo of General Sir Redvers Buller V.C. Sir Redvers was a British Army officer who had received the Victoria Cross for bravery under fire, by rescuing fellow soldiers, during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. He later served in the 1st Boer Wars. He seems to have been popular with the troops and the public. In 1896 he was made a full General. Then, in 1899, aged 60 and after several years not seeing active service, he was sent as commander in chief on the outbreak of the 2nd Boer war. When this War did not go well Sir Redvers was sacked. He returned home to his family estate near Crediton in Devon. He died in 1908.

So why, you might ask, is there a photograph of him in the Museum?

It seems he was a friend of Vernon Watney, who had moved to Cornbury Park in 1902. Vernon Watney’s wife was from an estate in Devon, not far from Crediton. Some years later Sir Redvers’ nephew Mowbray Buller, married Vernon Watney’s daughter Silvia.

In 1902 the Watneys had a shooting party, to which Sir Redvers and his wife were invited. He was given a public welcome by local inhabitants, including the Fire Brigade, formed in 1881 by Captain John Waller of Lee Place, which formed a guard of honour and escorted him to Cornbury. Sir Redvers had spoken to Captain Waller of the good impression the Fire Brigade had made on him. Afterwards Lady Buller sent Captain Waller a signed photo of Sir Redvers as a memento of the visit. Captain Waller had this framed and hung in the Engine House.

Later, in 1926, the Fire Brigade, after raising the money, had acquired a motorised engine and moved to larger premises, forming a new Brigade. Captain Waller, now of the Priory, wanted the photo, and a certificate the brigade won in a tournament in 1895 at Blenheim, returned to him, and sued the present brigade for them through their Chief Officer, Mr B Luker. There was a counterclaim asking for the return of a silver cup presented by Capt Waller’s daughter, Ida, and a bugle which Capt Waller had presented to the Brigade.

So, on the 24th June 1932, the case came to be heard at Chipping Norton County Court. The Oxford Times reported on the proceedings. After a hearing of almost five hours, with claims and counterclaims, judgement was given that the Brigade would continue to hold the photo and certificate, whilst Capt Waller retained the silver cup and bugle.

The photo was given to the Museum, along with other Fire Brigade mementos, when the move was made to the current Fire Station.

Captain Waller died in 1934 aged 94.

Judy Dod · Fri 13 Aug 2021, 21:11 · Link

Glamping site

Hello everybody, my name is Graeme, my family and I have lived in Charlbury for over 50 years. I have recently set up a boutique glamping site of 10 bell tents in the woods bordering Spelsbury Road. I am keen for this site to be as environmentally friendly as possible and to this end have installed composting toilets and solar power. We have placed the tents within the wood, rather than on the field, so as not to distract from the beautiful landscape and to make the site as unobtrusive as possible. Whilst preparing for this I have spent many months managing the woodland which was in a poor state and requiring a lot of attention. I plan to continue to do this over the coming months and years. To enable this I have re-established and improved an existing entry to the wood from Spelsbury road. This is for forestry and agriculture vehicles so they don't have to always use the access from the field, that is shared with the footpaths. These vehicles are large and we will need to access both sides of the wood. I have tried to ensure the re-established entrance does not detract from the area and have thus used local stone over the pre-existing hardcore to make it more attractive. This entrance will not be used as part of the glamping site.

I enjoy the fact that so many people, myself included,  get to use the two well marked footpaths that go through the field that borders the woodland. I politely ask that as far as possible walkers remain on these footpaths.

Having been part of the community for such a long time I am keen to add to it and put down even deeper roots for my young family so they can experience what I did growing up here. I hope the site, rather than detracting from the area, will help support the local economy and introduce people to the wonderful community of Charlbury and its surroundings. 

GRAEME WIDDOWS · Fri 13 Aug 2021, 09:58 · Link

Pre-School Spaces Available for September

We have a few spaces available for September and would love for your child to join us.

Jill Petersen · Thu 12 Aug 2021, 15:50 · Link


Are you under 25, living in Charlbury, with a place at university or college or an apprenticeship?

If so, you may be eligible for a grant from the Charlbury Exhibition Foundation:

Even if you have received a grant in a previous year, you may qualify for another, so do apply again.

Apply by 30 September 2021 to:

Please include the following details:

-        Name and date of birth;

-        Home address in Charlbury;

-        Schools you have attended;

-        For students:

o  The name of the university or college,

o  The title and level of your course
(for example: BA Hons in European History),

o  The year of study
(for example: first year, second year, …);

-        For apprentices:

o  The name of your employer,

o  The type of apprenticeship and level;

-          Outline information on the costs involved in the course or apprenticeship.

William Robinson · Thu 12 Aug 2021, 11:21 · Link

Help needed with town traffic survey

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.


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

James Styring · Tue 10 Aug 2021, 11:26 · Link

Calling all Horse riders

Would you be willing to help OCC Fire & Rescue Service Road Safety Education Team publicise a brand new road sign, which has been produced especially to improve horse and rider safety?

In response to an incident in Oxfordshire where a vehicle hit a horse and rider, OCC Highways colleagues have worked with the British Horse Society to produce some special Warning signs to highlight the issue.

The County Council's Road Safety Education Team, based in Fire & Rescue Service, plan to put out social media to publicise these new signs to the equine community and, to support that, we need photographs to accompany the messages.

Would you be willing to be pictured with your horse - and new sign? If so, please contact me on 07769 915856 or email

Liz Leffman · Tue 10 Aug 2021, 08:35 · 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
    Alterations to include erection of first floor extension above existing kitchen and installation of additional rooflights.
    WODC reference: 21/02652/HHD - Tue 03 Aug 2021 - Under consideration

Mon 9 Aug 2021, 06:15 · Link

Wilderness Sunday Day Tickets for local residents

Wilderness Festival is offering Sunday day tickets for residents, at £60 for adults, £50 for teens, £35 for juniors, £5 for 5 and under. See the forum posting for details.

Sat 7 Aug 2021, 21:45 · Link

The History of Charlbury through ... the sound of church bells

Judy Dod for Charlbury Museum

Wednesday evening this week brought the welcome return of the sound of church bells ringing out across the town. Silent since the start of the pandemic because the ringers could not maintain social distancing, the return of the bells was seen by many as a sign of some normality returning to life.

There is a ring of six bells in St Mary’s church tower, all cast in 1716 by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester. The smallest weighs 5 cwt and the heaviest and largest, the tenor bell tuned to F, weighs in at 14 cwt and is 43 inches in diameter. The bells are supported on oak frames.

Bells were first introduced in Christian churches around 400 AD - church bells were mentioned by Bede in 680AD. A “ring of bells” is the name given to a set of bells hung for English circle ringing. Rings can contain between 3 and 16 bells, but 6 or 8 bells are the most common. The earliest English ring of church bells appeared in the 11th century but bells were not tuned to particular notes until attempts were made to do so in the 16th and 17th centuries.

At a time when few people possessed time pieces, church bells marked the times of church services and were also used to sound the alarm when disaster threatened. In WW2 bell ringing was banned for a time, and bells were only to be rung in the case of invasion.

The phrase “to ring the changes” originates from bell ringing. The bells can be struck in many different orders to produce a different pattern of sound, and each particular pattern is called a change. To “ring the changes” means that the variations of striking pattern are rung in turn, eventually bringing the ring back to its starting point.

Also in the tower is an older, sanctus bell, thought to have been cast around 1599. This was traditionally rung at the consecration of the Eucharist. It has other nicknames too. Mike Summers thinks of it as the “hurry up” bell as it was rung after the big bells were taken down and the service was about to start. In the past it was called the “Yorkshire Pudding Bell”: it chimed at noon at the end of Matins and those housewives not at church knew it was time to cook their puddings. And our bellringers keep up the tradition of tolling the bell at mid-day on Shrove Tuesday – the “Pancake bell”.

The Charlbury tower has about ten active bellringers but new volunteers are always welcome. Please contact the Captain of the Tower, Mike Summers, if you are interested in joining the group.

Judy Dod · Fri 6 Aug 2021, 20:19 · Link

Busiest day ever on the Charlbury website

Thursday 5th August was a new all-time record for the Charlbury website in terms of site visitors.

During the day, had 2,529 site views, 14,428 individual page views, and 1,185 unique visitors – an increase of over 50% compared to the same time two years ago. (A “unique visitor” represents someone visiting the site at least once in that period, so if you visited the site five times in a day, you’d still only count as one.)

In a typical month, the site now consistently attracts 9,500 unique visitors and around 60,000 site visits, all from a town with a population of just 3,000. Although many users read the site without being logged in, over 1,100 users with verified email addresses have logged onto the site in the last six months – over a third of the population of Charlbury.

The site is made up entirely of user contributions – so thank you, as always, to everyone who contributes and makes it what it is.

Richard Fairhurst · Fri 6 Aug 2021, 12:36 · Link

Cornerstone weekly news – thank you for your donations

We at the Cornerstone would like to say thank you very much for the donations of children’s books we have received this week – there are already many more on our shelves now and it looks splendid! We have books for all ages from 0-18. Over time we wish for the children’s section to grow and become a place to come in to browse and have a read or a play. We therefore continue to gratefully receive both children’s books and children’s games and puzzles. It will all be sold for 50p (sometimes less), and the proceeds go towards the expenses of the Cornerstone, such as rent and bills.

We would also like to thank all of the people donating produce and plants from their garden, this week we have seen lots of ridge cucumbers, courgettes, and marrows, we have had some tomatoes and even some fresh eggs. At the moment we have some rhubarb plants here also, and some herbs, including rosemary, bay leaves (fresh and dried) and parsley. Do come in to take any with you that you can use – the taking is as important as the giving for the community sharing hub to work!

So in a few words – please keep donating your surplus produce, it is so appreciated by so many people here in Charlbury, and please keep coming down to have a look for things you can use.

Helene Provstgaard
The Cornerstone is open Monday to Saturday, 10am-1pm.

Cornerstone · Thu 5 Aug 2021, 12:18 · Link

New car parking payment arrangements at the JR and Churchill Hospitals

There is now Automatic Number Plate Recognition in all visitor car parks at these 2 hospitals. There are now no barriers across the entrances or exits to car parks. Instead your car registration number is photographed on entry and exit.

The first 30 minutes in any car park are free. This is to enable visitors time to find a space or wait for one to become free in busy times.

If you need more than 30 minutes, payment is now by debit or credit card only (contactless or chip and PIN). This applies to the car parking payment machines on site and if you opt to pay by phone or after leaving the site (details displayed at the hospitals).

You can pay when you arrive or when you leave – or within 24 hours of leaving.

Parking for Blue Badge holders is free in the usual specially-designated spaces/car parks and by arrangement in other areas.

At the moment there seems to be no change to payment arrangements at the Nuffield and Horton Hospitals.

ATIC has produced an information note giving full details of the new payment arrangements, which it may be helpful to have before setting off for a JR or Churchill visit. This can be viewed on the ATIC page in the Community section of this website (Charity and World) or can be requested by emailing . There are also copies at Cornerstone in the Corner House.

Meryl Smith · Wed 4 Aug 2021, 10:34 · Link

Charlbury Town Football and Sports Club AGM.

Charlbury Town Football and Sports Club will be holding there A.G.M

On Monday 23rd August .730pm for 8pm start. 

Mandy cooper · Tue 3 Aug 2021, 21:48 · Link

Lateral Flow Test Kits at Charlbury Library & Community Centre

From today, all of Oxfordshire’s Libraries are able to give out Lateral Flow Test Kits to anyone wanting a pack. Each pack contains 7 test kits and we are aiming to give no more than 2 packs (of 7 kits) per household at a time. All the instructions are inside the packs and they are free of charge.

As the Community Centre is open to the public far more hours than Charlbury Library at the moment, the Community Centre is also offering the Test Kits. Please see any volunteer/staff member to request your kit(s) so that we can note how many are being taken. We do not need to take any names or personal information.

Julie Ward · Mon 2 Aug 2021, 12:44 · 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.

  • Bell Cottage 2 Church Street Charlbury
    Internal alterations to include changes to floor layouts to create a downstairs WC (along with the insertion of an extraction fan to side elevation) and to enlarge the existing family bathroom along with alterations to existing chimney breast in kitchen.
    WODC reference: 21/02616/LBC - Thu 29 Jul 2021 - Under consideration
  • 23 Ticknell Piece Road Charlbury
    Erection of single storey garden room with attached shed
    WODC reference: 21/01946/HHD - Fri 09 Jul 2021 - Under consideration

Mon 2 Aug 2021, 06:15 · Link

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