Another packed newsletter covering local matters and several pieces on crime which are particularly relevant at this time of year.
As you are probably aware, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), was selected to be amongst the first to administer the new Covid-19 vaccine and this is being carried out at the Churchill Hospital. People aged 80 and over who are in hospital already, as well as care home workers and residents, are amongst the first receiving the jab, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk. Those in the community who are over 80 or in an ‘at risk’ category will then be next and should receive a letter inviting them to take the jab.
Follow the link below to see what our local MP Victoria Prentis recently said about Oxfordshire being in tier 2:
For full details on the rules and regulations visit:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know#high-alert
Christmas Services in the Church
As you will see from the Shelswell magazine, the Christmas Service in Stratton will be Family Communion at 10am (and 11.15am in Godington) on Christmas Day. There won’t be a ‘live’ Carol Service as people aren’t allowed to sing, but an online Carol Service for the Benefice will be put out at 6pm on Sunday 20th December (via Shelswell News Facebook Group and the Shelswell Parishes YouTube Channel) This will have been recorded in advance in Stratton Audley Church.
For full guidelines, together with details of when our churches are open for private prayer, can be found on the website: www.shelswellparishes.info
Bicester Heritage January Scramble Discount Code
The return of the Bicester Heritage Scramble takes place on the weekend of 9th/10thJanuary. Due to COVID guidelines, this will be a compliant event with limited capacities and regulations in place for all those attending.
As always they are offering local residents a discount. The new code is FlyingBrevets and when entered into the Eventbrite site will give a 50% discount on the purchase price of each ticket – £7 instead of £14.
In order to access these discounted passes, this code will need to be inputted at the top of the tickets page https://bicesterheritage.co.uk/whaton/januaryscramble/ which will unlock the promo code.
The general Scramble passes for Sunday are sold out. However there are a limited number of local residents passes still available for Saturday.
Crime at Christmas
This time of year is a bumper one for criminals so we all need to be extra vigilant. There have recently been a number of breaks-ins in various villages targeting caravans and motor homes, and one where a navy blue and silver horsebox was stolen from a livery stables in Launton Road on 6th Dec from behind locked gates. On a more minor level, an attractively decorated door wreath was stolen which was upsetting for the residents new to the village, so the message here is to make sure you secure your decorations as securely as you can.
As previously reported, the local police are increasing their village patrols and already making their presence felt. This is going to be a more regular feature and most welcome.
Police warn about ‘Royal Mail post’ and ‘DPD delivery’ scam
POLICE have warned about another ‘Royal Mail’ and ‘DPD’ delivery scam.
Fraudsters are sending emails and texts saying they tried to deliver a parcel, but nobody was home and there wasn’t a safe place to leave it.
Under no circumstances should you click on the link.
If you receive an unexpected email check the sender’s email address – they can look genuine so look for minor details like an extra letter, number or full stop.
Forward any emails you’re not quite sure about to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): firstname.lastname@example.org
To repeat from last week, for non-urgent matters phone 101 or visit the website https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us/
The rural policing team can also be contacted via emailing at email@example.com .
For those wishing to remain anonymous, there is Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 and also the website https://crimestoppers-uk.org/
Obviously in the event of an emergency or where you believe a rapid response is necessary, you should phone 999 without hesitation.
Church Clock Tower Scaffolding
As most of you will know scaffolding has been put up on the church tower and this is just to ask you to keep a watchful eye out for anything that looks suspicious. The ladder to the roof is being removed and placed inside the locked church each afternoon around 4pm so there is no easy access to the church tower. A chain and padlock has also been put on the gate for further security.
Village Bus Service
Stagecoach are making changes to the S5 service which runs through Launton and this has a knock-on effect to the once-a-day (weekday) service that runs through Stratton Audley. We may lose this service, although in order to preserve some form of public connectivity, one option under consideration at OCC is to provide a Comet community transport service which is bookable in advance.
Would everyone who uses the bus to travel into Bicester please make themselves known directly to me so the requirement can be assessed. We know of a couple of people in Cherry Close who use it and are not on email, but if you know someone else please let us know.
EWR Local Disruption
Just another reminder that the road that leads to Marsh Gibbon is now closed for road improvements until 15th January and this includes the Christmas period. See map below – Marsh Gibbon being in the right hand bottom corner. However it doesn’t stop there, because a few weeks later there is another closure notice for the same road that runs from 11/02/2021 to 08/04/2021 which is for the bridge works.
The Red Lion
The pub is currently open five nights a week and anyone wanting to have dinner should book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Call Verity on 07713 891619 or for more information visit the website at www.redlionstrattonaudley.co.uk.
Please remember that socialising with people outside your family or your bubble is not permitted inside the pub and in order to be served alcohol you need to order a ‘substantial’ meal and stick within your group.
Take-away Fish & Chips on Friday
A big tick to Verity for her GOURMET homemade beer battered cod and chips (with homemade tartar sauce and mushy peas). Simply the best and long may it continue to be available on a take-away basis on Friday evenings.
To place your order call Verity on 07713 891619 and book your collection time. (from 6pm till 8.30pm on Friday’s).
George outside the Red Lion – again on Tuesday
George with his Nepalese curry and Momo van, will be outside the Red Lion once again on Tuesday from 5pm – 8pm. Pre-orders can be made from 4-5.30pm by phoning 07976 455 654. The Red Lion extends an invitation to come into the pub, to those who want to enjoy their meal inside with a drink.
Stratton Audley Barn Xmas Trees
The Christmas Barn is open from 10am every day until 20th December.
To pre-order a Christmas tree:
Elf Trail Sunday 20 December 2-3.30
Slight change of plans for this trail as a few children have pointed out that Elves cannot be touched by humans as they lose their Elf magic. So instead Sandra Edwards will be producing some laminated pictures of elves to hang/stick around the village. It is possible that one or two Elves may escape outside by themselves, but otherwise most Elves will be attached to gates and trees. The children can tick off what they see as they go round and goody bags will still be packaged and waiting for them in the Pound.
The Elf images will be left up for a few days so any children who are away can do the trail when they come back.
Children may wish to dress up in their Christmas jumpers and hats or anything else they think suitable for a walk around the village. This is a bit of festive fun for young and old so please do join in on Sunday 20th.
Advent Window Trail 2020
7 windows have already been revealed. Have you seen them yet and worked out which Carol theme they each represent?
For those not getting out and about so much on these colder evenings, a photo of each window is being posted on the village Facebook page for all to view.
Free Baubles and Trees for Children to Decorate and Place in the Church Porch
Children in the village are being invited to collect a few cardboard baubles/trees from the church porch, and to decorate them using all their creative imagination.
All completed baubles and trees should be returned to the porch where they can be hung on the string. This will enable them to be seen at any time during the day, but particularly on Christmas Eve when people visit the church to see the last Advent window revealed, in the absence of a Crib Service.
If the baubles or trees are considered to be too small, then feel free to source/make and supply your own. If this proves popular and more are needed, the person who takes the last one should message Alex Smith on 07970 993099 who is organising Sandra’s fun idea.
DIY Church Xmas Tree
Have you gone inside the church yet to see the Christmas tree?
Children have been decorating it, so feel free to join in by using the decorations provided or making your own to place on the tree.
Ringing a bell on Christmas Eve at 6pm
The idea is for everyone to go out on their doorsteps and ring a bell for two minutes to spread the Christmas spirit and help Santa on his way.
Collection Point for disposal of Ink Jet cartridges
Please continue to pop your ink jet cartridges into the basket in the Glen Close bus shelter. Please don’t drop larger toner cartridges off as these are not recycled by the RSPB.
If you are not sure if your cartridges are suitable for recycling you can contact Rachel Dewhurst by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vineworks at Stratton House – Showroom Open for Viewing
To visit the Vineworks studio just call 278 000, drop by or email email@example.com Additionally, at weekends it is open house between 1 & 4pm or when you see the gates are open. Check out the wwebsite at www.vineworks.co.uk
Also available are gift bags of freshly picked & dried local walnuts at £4 per half kilo bag.