News Update no 111, March 3rd


Once again there are a number of new items of interest in this news update, but first an iPhone earpod (L) has been found on the path down by the pond. If you have lost such an item please get in touch with the person who found it

Parish Council Response to Padbury Brook Solar Farm Planning Application 22/03873/F
The Parish Council has submitted its formal objection to Cherwell District Council and this will in due course be posted on their website. To view it now click on this link

Having looked at the comments posted as of today I am encouraged to see that the number has shot up over the last week from a mere 20 to over 70 individual comments. The vast majority of the more recent ones are against the development (48) and demonstrate that people have put thought into their responses. On the other hand whilst there are some 23 in favour, only three of these are from residents. The others are all identical copies of each other with only a name change and none of the people including the two from the owner of the land,  live in the Parish.

I believe this level of reaction by the community substantiates the PC view that whilst we all are in favour of new forms of energy such as solar, for a multitude of reasons headed up by the fact that this is arable land that will be taken out of use for generations to come, the use of the designated fields is totally inappropriate.

Whilst the time for leaving comments on the site has now passed, we understand the planning officer shown on the portal will continue to accept comments by email:

Separately, as you know Ronan Goss has been carrying out an independent survey for his university dissertation and this will be published in due course. However the top line is that out of 70 respondents, 50% were against and 36% in favour with 20% being niether. When probed as to whether they had changed their mind over the course of the consultation more had switch from being in favour to opposing it.

Annual Meeting of the Parish, 19th April 
This is the annual meeting of the Parish which is hosted by the Parish Council. It is not to be confused with the Annual Parish Council meeting which takes place earlier in the month. The meeting is being organised for Wednesday 19th April in the Church from 7pm to 9pm. Please put the date in your diary now.
The PC provides a framework agenda for the evening with a review of activities over the year and a number of current topics likely to be of interest, such as ideas for community funding and the Kings Coronation. But essentially it is a meeting for residents  to get together and raise any matters relevant to the community.

Kings Coronation Street Party Sunday 7th May
Only a few people have come forward to express interest in holding a street party and helping to organise it. We know that many people will help on the day but can’t commit right now and it also seems that others are away on holiday or have made separate arrangements for the weekend.
It has therefore been agreed to plan for a smaller gathering centred around the pub, where residents can congregate and bring their own food and other items.We are exploring the idea of some live music and a PC contribution to fund some of this. Closer to time it will be clearer as to the level of interest. Thank you to those of you who have shown interest and offered to help.

News From the Red Lion
The Following is from Dillie:
“As many of you may already know, I’m going to be giving back the keys of the pub as soon as John’s Probate is granted.  It’s been fun, but I didn’t ever plan to start a brand new career at the age of 70!  So I have to run down the food stocks as much as possible, and therefore I must ask you all to book ahead where possible.  01869-277225

SUNDAY LUNCH as usual.   
MOTHER’S DAY – Sunday roast with yummy puddings and a glass of Prosecco.
WEDNESDAY LUNCH – to minimise waste, I’ll be charging £10 for coffee morning and lunch, but only for those who book ahead.  Otherwise, £2.50 for coffee morning only. lunch as usual”.

Stratton Audley Barn
The following is from Richard, Sara and the team:
“There’s a delightful range of Easter stock just in, from paint your own Easter eggs to cute little Easter bunnies and chicks galore! For Mothers day, we have a lovely selection of cards for Mum & plenty of little treats from our ladies boutique to choose a lovely little gift to spoil her with.

In our Cafe, back by popular demand are our Mothers day afternoon teas, slots available 11:30-1:30pm or 2-4pm on Saturday 28th March, limited availability, call us to book you table on 01869 278184. Gift Vouchers available to enjoy another day too.

Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm. Hope to see you soon”.

Stratton Audley Church
The Following is from Beckie Adams:
Getting Ready for Mothers’ DayOn Sunday 12th March (2-4pm). Everyone is invited along to the church for crafts, snacks, prayer and praise in preparation for Mothers’ Day the following Sunday. Make some special things for Mum! And have a good time with other families from the village. We will provide everything you need – just come along and join in

Please check the Shelswell website for details of services on other Sundays and in other parishes in the benefice

‘Little Lambs’ baby and toddler group continues on Wednesdays in term time in Stratton Audley Church, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 11am. Just turn up or for more information contact Alice  at

Foodbank Donations Still Required
“The food bank donation point in the church porch in support of ‘Help For the Hunry’ is very much still happening.Thank you very much to all those who have dropped donations into the box -please keep them coming! Urgently needed are tinned tomatoes, tinned fish, rice pudding, tinned meat, tinned fruit, and juice/squash. Additionally dried goods & plus toiletries. Please note that the Rector, Alice Goodall is now a ‘Local Referrer’ and can refer refer anyone who in need to the Bicester Foodbank. Contact: Alice Goodall, The Rectory, Finmere   01280 848192 “

Bicester Heritage April 23rd Scramble
Sale of tickets for the April 23rd Scramble are still available and once again, local residents can buy discounted tickets at 50% off. The promo code is: BristolBoxkite
Just click on this link
Also worth noting is that they have a dedicated local community email inbox: which should be used to respond and address any questions or concerns.

Fun for the whole family during the Easter Break!
The Tuff Nutterz Obstacle course will be making its debut at Bicester Heritage in the Hangar during the Easter Break, from 9am until 5pm daily from the 1st to the 10th of April.
Measuring 300 metres long, this supersize inflatable maze is packed with 30 fun and challenging obstacles to complete, including huge slides, climbing walls, hanging rails, balance balls and more!
Local residents are entitled to a 30% discount price, the code is: BICESTER30 – which can be booked via the below link.

Flywheel Returns to Celebrate Bicester Heritages’ 10th Anniversary
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary since the arrival of Bicester Heritage, the highly popular Flywheel is returning. Tickets can be purchased by clicking on this link The event is on the weekend of the 17th and 18th of June from 9am until 6pm.
Once again local residents can take advantage of a 30% discount. All you have to do is enter the code: BristolBlenheim when you visit the website.
It’s a celebration of wings wheels and motion featuring demonstrations on the Experience Track,  Fly-ins from vintage aircraft, and themed displays curated around the site.

And a few previous items that are still relevant:

Stratton Audley Local History Society
A meeting of the above society has been arranged for Sunday March 19th at 3pm in Stratton Audley Church.   This will be an “Open Meeting” to which any villagers who would like to know more about the history of the village are invited to attend.
The society started in 2005 and has undertaken research into many aspects of the history of this location and has also undertaken many visits to local areas of historic interest.   However it is possible that newer members of the community would like to know more about this area, particularly as activities were unable to continue as a result of the lockdown 3 years ago.   For all people attending there will be an opportunity to learn more about (or refresh your memory about):
the time-line of the village from the time of Wigod of Wallingford (prior to the Norman Conquest),
the many Lords of the Manor on that time-line, some more notorious than others,
the effects of the Civil War on the village, with a Civil War cannonball available for inspection,
George Washington’s antecedents having come from the Audley’s of Stratton Audley,
photographs of the village from 1900/30,
information on the second World War, SOE, listening stations in this area.
There will also be an opportunity to review the display boards which were used at the Shelswell History Festival, the “ pop-up” model of the Church and a model of the castle of the 12th/13th century, the foundations and moat of which can still be seen in the field beyond the Pound.
Although the date chosen is Mothering Sunday it is possible that younger villagers would relish seeing this before enjoying a slap-up meal with their parents/grandparents.

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.

Village Improvement Ideas 
An enquiry was made recently as to whether there was anything left in the village improvement fund that was created out of the Street Festivals in 2016 and 2018. When the last analysis was made available in 2019 there was some £1600 remaining, although this figure was depleted further and as a result the Parish Council agreed to allocate a further £5000 to this fund. Please see the latest PC Minutes for further information.

At every Annual Meeting of the Parish, people are reminded to come forward with ideas, hopefully ones that they can help implement, whether it is for something physical to improve the look of the village, organising an event  or the setting up of a service for residents. All you have to do is attend a Parish Council meeting and put forward your idea.

Historical Village Information on Display in the Church
The following information has been kindly provided by Dorothy Howarth:
“The Shelswell History Festival in July took as its theme Trade and Transport and, although this seemed to have little to do with this village, the Local History Group produced information about the blacksmiths which were in Cherry Street (named after the blacksmith’s family) the start of the postal service in this area (which was down to the Stevens family) and the existence of 33 lacemakers in the village in 1851, at a time when there were “12 Paupers receiving Parish Relief” – which is probably not unrelated.
In terms of “Transport”, Stratton Audley is somewhat unique in being shown on a map of England of around 1690, amidst mainly large towns and cities, and it is believed that this may have been due to the existence of the Manor House where there could have been accommodation.   This map is the first of the whole country and is based on the strip-maps of John Ogilby and, without a map such as this, it would be difficult to think in terms of “transport”, hence a tenuous link to the festival’s theme.
More information on these topics and the amazing life of John Ogilby are to be seen on the display boards which were used for the Festival and are still on display in the Church.   It had been intended to take them down and put them into storage but the Church Warden is of the opinion that many people have taken an interest in them and suggested that they should be left on display for a little longer.   If you know of someone who would be interested please let them know before they are put back into storage.”

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 | (