Happy New Year and thank you for the numerous messages of support received with regard to this newsletter. Over the months I have been surprised by the number of people who say they appreciate the details provided and enjoy reading the updates. The Newsletter aims to provide information that has come from others and apologies if occasionally there has been too much detail.
With the commencement of a new year it is perhaps useful to reflect on the purpose of the newsletter. It started with the arrival of Coronavirus, outlining our emergency plans and actions to be taken and was a substitute for the Parish Council’s usual method of door-drop leaflet communication. It is intended to be helpful and supportive to the community, to provide information on relevant local services and outline issues that affect us locally. Each service, whether commercial or otherwise, is assessed by the Parish Council prior to its inclusion bearing in mind the degree to which it is of benefit to residents particularly in these exceptional times.
With regard to Coronavirus, many people watch the news and take on board all the relevant points but others don’t, and continue to say that they rely on the newsletter for their Covid updates and guidance. Going forward less needs to be said.
The newsletter remains our best way of keeping in touch but not everyone is on the mailing list. So if you come across someone who would like their name added please let me know. Equally, anyone who does not wish to receive the newsletter anymore should email me to be deleted.
Local COVID-19 Update
Rates continue to rise in the area and are still well above the average for England. In Cherwell for the seven days to 2nd January, the total number of recorded cases was 1369, up from 666 (93%) from the previous week.
For those who are interested in more precise information on infections, area by area, the link below is useful:
For full details on the rules and regulations visit:
On a positive note, the new vaccine centre at Bicester Motion is fully functional and a number of residents from Stratton have already received their first jab.
Covid-19 Volunteer List
Although everyone is supporting and keeping an eye out for each other, attached once again is the list of volunteers prepared early last year detailing those throughout the parish who are prepared to help.
In the last newsletter reference was made to information supplied by the Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils regarding outside recreation centres stating: ‘Parks, public open spaces etc. stay open for exercise (not recreation) this includes playgrounds but outdoor sports such as tennis, golf and swimming pools etc. are to close, as should outdoor gyms’. One or two people asked for clarification on what ‘not recreation’ meant and whether our playground would remain open.
The answer is that our playground is and will remain open whilst it is safe to do so. Having double checked with OALC, it means what it indicates. That playgrounds should be used for the exercise of children (which is acceptable) and not to have a social gathering with others adults or children, and that the rule of no more than two people exercising together applies unless they are part of your bubble.
The Parish Council has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that our playground complies with national guidelines with signage reminding users to maintain social distancing and also providing hand sanitizer for all to use. As an unsupervised area it is for all users to consider the risks associated with using the facilities in the playground.
Live Streaming Only of Church Services
Under the new lockdown, the advice from the Diocese at this time is that whilst churches continue to be open, live streaming of services is to be encouraged. Alice has therefore confirmed that the service for this Sunday will be live streamed only. It will go out live at 10 am on Sunday on Facebook – Shelswell News group page – and you can join it then or at any time after. It will then be uploaded to YouTube – Shelswell Parishes, and it should be available by 12 noon at the latest.
Also, please note that the short reflective service on Monday has been moved back to 12 noon – Thursday. This also goes out on Facebook – Shelswell News group.
On behalf of the Church, Alex Smith would like to thank all those that hung baubles and decorations in the church porch. There were some lovely designs and messages. These have been taken down before twelfth night, but will be left in the porch until Monday 11th to allow for keepsakes to be taken as desired. If children/parents do not want them back, they will be safely stored for likely use next year.
Advent Window Competition Answers
There was no-one who managed to get all the answers correct, but well done to the Goss Family who got the most right!
|1st||The Old Dairy, Launton Road||Joy to the World|
|2nd||The Red Lion||Once in Royal David’s City|
|3rd||10 The Manor (Manor grounds)||While Shepherds watched|
|4th||The Plough House||I saw three ships|
|5th||Manor Farm Cottage, Mill Road||Hark the herald angels sing|
|7th||Greystones, Mill Road||Ding, dong merrily on high|
|9th||Manor Cottage, Mill Road||Good King Wenceslas|
|11th||Bay Tree House, Mill Road||O Little Town of Bethlehem|
|13th||The Corner House,1 Cavendish Pl||In the bleak mid winter|
|15th||Elm Farm||The First Noel|
|17th||2 Cavendish Place||O Little Town of Bethlehem|
|19th||5 Cavendish Place||Deck the Halls|
|20th||14 Cavendish Place||O Come all ye faithful|
|21st||Forge Cottage, Cherry Street||Little Donkey|
|22nd||9 Glen Close||The Holly and the Ivy|
|23rd||Stratton House||We Three Kings|
|24th||The Parish Church||Away in a Manger|
Stratton Audley Barn
Richard and Sarah have decided that with the present situation in the country, they feel it is not the right time to open the takeaway café and so it will remain closed until further notice.
Village Bus Service
As previously advised there is no longer to be a once-a-day bus service through Stratton Audley into Bicester. Under discussion for when lockdown is lifted is the introduction of a once-a-week Mini Bus scheduled service operated by Comet.
In the meantime Comet operate a dial-a-ride service for those that require transport for medical or essential shopping. There is a cost of 75p per mile which works out at under £5 for a round trip into Bicester, which is cheaper than a taxi both ways. The service operates Monday to Friday between the hours of 10am and 2pm. Should anyone require further information or wish to make a booking please contact the Comet team on 01865 323201.
Will Lambourne and his wife Abi who run Townsend Farm in Marsh Gibbon (4th generation), have recently started a business selling fresh organic milk direct from their farm. Called The Milk Churn and situated just inside the farm gates in the village, there are two self-service vending machines, one dispensing one litre of organic milk and another allowing people to buy a one litre reusable glass bottle. They also have 12 flavoured milkshake syrups available some include chocolate, strawberry and butterscotch.
They are open 7 days a week; from 7am to 7pm. Both cash and contactless card payment is available. Their location is Townsend Farm, Townsend, Marsh Gibbon OX27 0EY. For more details see their Facebook Page ‘The Milk Churn’ or call them on 07369 236928.
Another company that delivers milk to your door that you might want to check out, is Milk & More : www.milkandmore.co.uk They offer a convenient service and already have several customers in the village.
Giving a Helping Hand to Spread Grit in the village
Three yellow grit bins are located in the village, as shown below. These are not locked and are there to be used by residents as required. OCC does send a gritter lorry in severe weather conditions but it prioritises main routes so our roads can remain treacherous for longer. The Parish Council are keen to encourage everyone who is able to take a shovel and spread grit on the pavements or roads nearby or wherever you see slippery conditions. Every little bit helps and everyone will benefit.
EWR Local Disruption
Just another reminder that the road that leads to Marsh Gibbon beyond the crossroads remains closed until 15th January. And Station Road from the same point is also subject to some disruption, so best to avoid if you can.
The County Council are carrying out a road safety audit with EWR at the junction of the SA Park Road with the A4421, this Monday 9th January, to address safety concerns raised by residents, and outcomes will be published.
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 email@example.com
Thanks for the Christmas lights
Thanks to the Hill family at Pound House for providing power to light up the tree in The Pound and to the Papenfus family at The Green for electricity to light the village Christmas tree. Also thanks to Jeremy Adams for putting the tree up with help from Richard Howson and then adding the lights.