Tomorrow is St George’s Day so flags will be flying for England!
The date marks the day when the saint died in 303AD. Although he is usually depicted in popular culture as a knight in shining armour, he was more likely to have been an officer in the Roman army.
St George rose to the position of the primary patron saint of England during the English Reformation. At this time, all religious flags were abolished, including all saints’ banners except for his. His popularity grew during the crusades, although the St George cross was not used to represent England until the reign of Henry VIII.
An interesting fact that you may not know is that he is also the patron saint of Ethiopia, Portugal and Georgia, as well as a number of cities including Freiburg and Beirut.
Bicester Heritage Scramble Weekend
Just to remind everyone that there is a Scramble event on this weekend (both Saturday and Sunday) at Bicester Motion and this will inevitably lead to some traffic congestion in the area. Therefore, it will be best to try and avoid the obviously busiest times. I have been sent an email with details of the enhanced traffic management system that has been put in place for the weekend together with additional signage in key areas. The event organisers are keen to avoid the problems experienced earlier in the year but with the weather looking fair and tickets sold out, it is inevitably going to be a busy weekend.
Whilst on this subject we have been given advanced notice of the next Scramble event that is set to be held on 19th June. Tickets go on sale on Monday the 25thApril from 1pm. Once again, local residents have discounted tickets allocated to them at 50% off, accessible via the sales agents https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/
The local Promo code is: BristolBoxkite
News from the Red Lion
The following information is from Dillie:
“Wednesday coffee mornings with lunch continues. Our excellent Sunday lunches also continue!
This Saturday, April 23rd is St George’s Day and super-generous new resident, Monkey, is organising an extravaganza involving pie and mash, jellied eels and possibly community singing.
The final sum raised for the DEC Ukraine appeal £5,339 – thank you so much to all.
The riddle of Jennifer continues. Guess her previous occupation – £1 per guess, 50% goes to the winner, and the rest to the upkeep of our lovely local church. The truth will be revealed at the end of the month.
The giant jar of Cadbury’s Creme eggs was won by Dylan Jones who spent a year’s pocket money on tickets.
Our next quiz will be on Thursday 28th April. It’s the Will ’n’ Dill Brainteaser – compiled by Will Jones and Dillie Keane, and delivered by Will”.
News from Stratton Audley Church
The follow information is from Becky Adams on behalf of the Shelswell Benefice:
“This coming Sunday (24th April) there will be a service of Holy Communion at 9.15am in Stratton Audley Church – all are welcome, as ever.
Please check our website for details of services elsewhere in the benefice http://www.shelswellparishes.info/services.php “
‘Little Lambs’ baby and toddler group is back next Wednesday (27th April) in Stratton Audley Church, starting at the new time of 9.30am”.
Additionally, this is just a reminder that the Joint Annual Meeting for the Shelswell group of parishes takes place next Wednesday evening (27th April) at 7.30pm in Stratton Audley Church. All are welcome to attend.
Stratton Audley Barn
The following is from Richard, Sara and the Barn team:
“The Cafe is bustling with new and exciting delights; Our homemade Ice Cream is now in full swing with lots of new flavours!! Andy our new chef is creating lots of delicious lunchtime specials alongside the regular menu and we are now finally back to our lunchtime menu on Sundays😊 Follow us on Facebook for regular updates & call us to book your table for lunch! Open Tuesday to Sunday 10-4pm – Last orders in Cafe 3.30pm
The Shop news – Now filling up with spring/summer collections, stock arriving daily with lots of gift ideas, home goods and some fabulous new furniture! See you at the Barn”.
Queens Platinum Jubilee Celebration 5th June
The next committee meeting is this coming Thursday 28th April at The Stone House, Cherry Close, the home of Anthony Flack. Please feel free to email Abbey for more information Abbey.Short@olympia.london and come along if you want to get involved prior to the day.
Bicester and Islip Deanery Pilgrim Paths Project – Launch event
Sunday 1st May, at 2pm
You are warmly invited to the launch of the Bicester and Islip Deanery’s first Pilgrim Path circular walk from Hethe via Hardwick and Cottisford. Starting from St Edmund and St George, Hethe at 2pm.
Tea at Hethe Village Hall at around 4.30pm, followed by a short service in St Edmund and St George. If you’re not very mobile then you might like to join the tea and the service and celebrate the work that has gone into establishing these ‘Pilgrim Path’ walks.
Parking is available at Hethe Village Hall, Hardwick Road (OX27 8EY). All welcome.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Village Road Sweep 10th May
Advanced Warning that the next village road sweep by Cherwell District Council has been arranged for Tuesday 10th May from 8am in the morning.
As usual it makes the job so much easier and more effective if cars can be removed from the streets prior to or when you hear the road sweep lorry outside your residence. It makes a number of passes along each of the roads so there is usually time to move your vehicles.
Donations of goods can still be made in Bicester. In the main they need toiletries, food with a long shelf life, First Aid and children’s items. See details below.
100 Club Draw
The winners in the 100 Club draw for the month of April 2022 are:
£30 Malachy O’Neill (128)
£20 Fran Hill (44)
£10 Moroney Family (39)
£10 Phoebe & Tom Lowe (159)
Defibrillator Training – Date to be confirmed
Sorry to say we are still waiting to get some dates for this to happen from South Central Ambulance who will run the training session.
There are still places available just email ( email@example.com ) if you are interested in this two-hour training session.
Don’t Forget – Fresh Fish every Thursday
Jack from Grimsby continues to come to the village on Thursday’s between 6.30-7pm and parks his van outside the Red Lion. He has a wide selection of fresh fish and shellfish. You can just turn up or place orders in advance by text and his mobile number is 07535 935119.
Fish & Chips Van in the village on Saturdays
For those new in the community, a Howe’s Fish and Chip van comes to the village every Saturday lunchtime from 1.30pm to 2pm. You will hear a bell (like a school bell) and his first stop is in Cherry Street. He then drives along Cavendish Place and stops again at the junction with Mill Road.
Howe & Co was established in 1930 and now has over 100 vans serving villages. You can track each van by going to their website and you need to look for van no 4:
They also have a general number you can call 07809 901761.
And some reminders from the previous newsletters for those who missed them previously:
Village Questionnaire Top Line Results
A PowerPoint presentation of the findings has been created and will be circulated via email and placed on the website. 106 questionnaires were received which is a very good response taking everything into account. It represents a 55% return rate, which coincidentally, is similar to the last survey carried out in 2015.
A significant majority of residents are concerned about speeding and large vehicle numbers in the village and there is overwhelming support for progressing the idea of introducing a 20mph zone within the village. A majority are in favour of electronic speed signs at the entrances to both the Launton and Mill Road. Most people are against any other forms of physical traffic calming solutions although chicanes are approved of by some 40% of respondents. Finally, a massive 84% indicated they would be in favour of reducing the speed limit on the roads in and out of the village to 50mph.
EWR Road Closures
Just to remind everyone that the road that runs from Stratton Audley to Marsh Gibbon from the crossroads intersection with Station Road is closed for the next 3 months until 17th June for the bridge works.
Additionally, and although it doesn’t affect us directly, another reminder that the Bicester Road that connects Bicester to Launton is now also until Friday 27 May 2022, between the hours of 7am and 6pm. Access will be maintained for pedestrians and cyclists.
Hosting Ukrainian Refugees
Understandably, there is a great deal of interest in hosting refugees from Ukraine and you will be aware of delays in getting the scheme functional so here is an update. For those that are interested read on:
Late last Friday, the government published outline guidance for local authorities in England. Although detailed guidance is still being developed, this outline helps to confirm a few key points:
The Homes for Ukraine scheme will support the sponsorship of Ukrainian individuals and families coming to the UK in two phases.
Phase one is where individuals in the UK sponsor named guests to come and live with them in their home. Both the sponsor and guest can use a number of channels to find a match – direct relation, friend, friend of a friend or contact from an NGO, charity or other contact. This is the only official housing scheme currently operational. The only route for people to enter the UK is through a visa process administered by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Home Office. It is this system, and only this system, that will trigger requests to local authorities for support. At this stage our involvement, is linked to the timing of that activation and to those individuals successfully registering through that route.
It is clear that a wide range of services from local government and key partners will be required, including initial checks and visits to sponsor homes, benefits advice and payment, finding school and early years placements and health provision.
The second phase is where the scheme will be expanded to enable organisations and community groups to sponsor multiple guests. This scheme is still being developed by the government. While communities will be key in welcoming and supporting our Ukrainian friends, councils do not have these answers yet. I am sure this will become an equally important route, but for the moment the focus will be on phase 1 and as soon as we know more about phase two, we will be in a better position to answer questions from wider organisations and community groups.
Oxfordshire, has mobilised a system wide team (including county, district and city councils and health partners etc), which builds on the Covid response and mean we are better able to support such initiatives together. You can find more detail here
Shelswell History Festival advance notice Save-the-date
The Shelswell Benefice has decided to once again run the Shelswell History Festival and this is due to take place on Saturday 16th July 2022. They are looking for volunteers to help organise it and especially anyone with marketing expertise. Contact Alice Goodall by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Time to get walking again!
At this time of year we start to think about the mud drying up and getting out to walk in the beautiful English Countryside again, but where to find new and interesting walks?
John Harris has the answers! Walking in Oxfordshire
https://www.walkinginengland.co.uk/oxfordshire has hundreds of walks to download and print, free of charge. It also has books of walks, details of all the walking groups in the county, and much more. Whether you want to walk on your own or with a group, all the information is there in one place.
John Harris (the custodian of the website) said ‘There is so much walking information on the web but it is difficult to find. Walking in Oxfordshire (part of the Walking in England website) has brought it together in one place so whether you are walking from home, or away on holiday, you will be able to find a walk suitable for you’.
With walks from half a mile to twelve miles plus long, and a note of suitability for pushchairs and wheelchairs, everyone can find a walk to enjoy.
So home or away, check out his websites and get walking!
Local Police Bicester and Kidlington Rural Team News
To report a crime or contact the police there are now three options:
· Call 999 if you see a crime being committed or in an emergency
· Call 101 to report anything else to the police – or go online to do so
· And now police are partnering with CrimeStoppers to remind everyone of ‘The 3rd Number – 0800 555 111’ that enables you to report your information totally anonymously if you prefer.
Finally for the latest crime statistics there is a useful national site into which you can put your post code. Click on this link Bicester Rural | Police.uk (www.police.uk)
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