to Forces Support, Bereavement and
Veterans charity, visitors to Tower Hill cemetery are now able to take a
seat in the old section of the cemetery while visiting the Commonwealth War
Graves. The cemetery contains around a dozen war graves and the beautiful steel, handmade bench is sited in a section
which contains 4 marked graves and one unmarked. The generous offer of the
bench by Forces Support who have
recently moved their HQ into West Oxfordshire, was made during last year’s WWI centenary
year which saw the war graves covered in blankets of scarlet poppies.
very fitting that the bench which features a poppy and the words ‘Lest We
Forget’ overlooks the single unmarked war grave in the section, which is that
of American, John Christiansen. Christiansen, a
member of the RAF, died thousands of miles from his homeland in an accident at
Witney Aerodrome aged just 28 years old in September1918.
The Witney Gazette report of his funeral states that, ‘In the pretty little cemetery at Witney he
lies and his family can be assured that his last resting place will be
carefully tended by the inhabitants for whom he gave his life.’
One hundred years on the grave is the focus for the new
bench, along with a Centenary Oak tree sapling given by Oxfordshire County
Council, in partnership with The Woodland Trust. Snowdrops surround the bench and make it the
perfect stopping off point for those wishing to pay their respects.
of Witney Cllr Brenda Churchill, thanked Forces Support for their generous gift
‘It’s the perfect bench to have there
among the War Graves, a very thoughtful donation at an appropriate time by
Forces Support and I am sure that it will be appreciated by everyone that
visits. The location of the bench at that particular spot means that the town
of Witney continues to fulfil this most honourable of obligations to Corporal
Christiansen and his family’.
Prohibition of Through Traffic and
Waiting and Temporary Speed Restriction
to 20 MPH
Date of Order: 27 May 2019
Coming into force: 2 June 2019
Order is being introduced because of routine surface dressing works which are
anticipated to start on 2 June 2019 up to and including 8 June 2019
effect of the Order is to temporarily prohibit any vehicle proceeding or waiting
on the A40 between the slip road for A415 to Bernard Gate and slip road for the
unnamed road to South Leigh ,Eastbound and Westbound carriageways.A temporary
speed limit will also be in action during this notice.
5300 metres between A415 Bernard Gate and unnamed Road South Leigh
Appropriate traffic signs will be
displayed to indicate when the measures are in force.
are included for police, fire and ambulance services and for the works and for
access to premises which are only accessible from the closed section of road.
The alternative route for traffic affected by the closure is via A415 –
A4095 – A44 – A40
Order will remain in force for a maximum period of 18 months or until the works
have been completed whichever is the sooner.
Traffic Regulations Team (T6419 / RAG
) for the Director for Infrastructure
Delivery, County Hall, Oxford OX1 1ND. 0345 310 1111.
All our budget information can be found in the latest edition of the Witney Town Council Newsletter which has been delivered to all the homes in Witney. There is also news about the Annual Town meeting and the yearly survey to find out what you think about the Town Council Services and to gather feedback from you about planned projects. If you want to be even more involved there is information about becoming a town councillor.
If you want to read the newsletter online it’s here
And to take our survey you can visit Survey Monkey here
On Friday 1st March Witney Town Council held its annual Civic Reception for specially invited guests at which Mayor, Councillor Brenda Churchill, presented the Citizen of the Year awards. The awards celebrate the shining lights in our community from the past year; those that go above and beyond and give just that little bit more to the benefit of the town. Witney is fortunate to have so many people quietly undertaking all this incredible work. The winners are people that are often so unassuming they seem unaware of the extent of their achievement or the positive impact their actions have on others.
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by 93 year old Dennis, an accomplished amateur pianist who is self taught, having been told by his music teacher that he would never master the piano! Air Cadets from 2120 (Witney) squadron assisted guests and organisers throughout the event to ensure that it all went without a hitch.
Photographs from the evening can be seen on our Facebook page or with each winner’s story below
Here are the details of the winners of this year’s awards
Peter Brading – Outstanding Service to Community Peter founded Witney Talking News, for the visually impaired in 1978 having organised the fundraising of £4,500 to purchase the recording equipment. About to celebrate its 40th anniversary, Peter has served as chairman and volunteer during this time. The weekly service provides an hour of spoken news to 80 people living in and around Witney. Listeners appreciate the familiar voices and the friendly tone and can be assured that if they encounter any problems with the play back equipment Peter will pop in and sort it out for them. It is the unanimous opinion of the committee members of Talking News that Peter’s public spirited devotion, his continued enthusiasm and energy deserves public recognition.
Janet Currah – Valued Contribution to Education Janet and Jacqueline have been nominated together for contributions ‘well beyond the school walls’ alongside excelling in their professional roles. Janet spent a good number of years at Henry Box responsible for the liaison with primary schools ensuring that transition from primary to secondary education for every child was safe and secure. She demonstrated great understanding of the needs of everyone. A sponsor said, ‘It is said that by the time a child started at Henry Box School, they could be sure that at least one teacher knew their name and face, their family and their history- and that is Ms Currah!’ Janet has also helped generations of teachers in her role as a specialist in behavioural support. She is rightly regarded as a model of good teaching and high professionalism across the town.
Jacqueline Mainwaring – Valued Contribution to Education
Janet and Jacqueline have been nominated together for contributions ‘well beyond the school walls’ alongside excelling in their professional roles. Jacqueline’s efforts alongside colleagues and a supportive head were instrumental in turning Henry Box School into a successful Languages Specialist school. Not only did she achieve tremendous results with her students there but she also provided language lessons in primary schools and in the wider community. Her passion for languages was infectious. Her version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar in French was a particular favourite with many children. A sponsor remarked that ‘ she is without doubt one of the most inspirational and enthusiastic teachers I have had the pleasure to observe in action’.
Dianne Parkes – Mayor’s Special Award
Dianne, along with her husband Nigel is a founding trustee of the charity Joss Searchlight. Set up, following the tragic loss of their son to cancer in 2011, the charity has helped countless other children and their families, offering physical and emotional support while also devising an education programme in schools to ease the return of young cancer patients to the classroom.
In 2018 Dianne organised the first ever 6 week long Witney Wonderland festival which raised money for the charity and St Mary’s church. The event brought the community together to enjoy a number of festive elements including a Christmas Tree festival, gin and wine bars, a photograph exhibition, live music and celebrity poetry and of course, Father Christmas. We hear plans are already underway for this year’s Wonderland.
Windrush Bike Project – Outstanding Commitment to Community
This community project helps volunteers gain skills and confidence through rescuing and refurbishing abandoned bikes alongside trained mechanics. The social enterprise has taught hundreds of schoolchildren and disadvantaged young adults in West Oxfordshire since forming in March 2017. Many of the repaired cycles are offered for sale to fund the workshop sessions. Others are donated to low income families. The project offers membership to people from all walks of life. The group of volunteers are passionate about the role of cycling in helping to clean up air pollution and give their time willingly to inspire others to indulge in some healthy cycling. One sponsor said, ‘The stringent safeguarding and friendly inclusivity is very reassuring for those of us with vulnerable family members.
YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR 2018 Yasmin Digweed
As chair of the Witney Youth Council Yasmin has demonstrated great enthusiasm in establishing the group despite the obvious difficulty in getting groups of young people together at the same time with their rather busy timetables and social lives!
During her tenure she has provided a mature and calm presence and successfully steered the group meetings. She has applied continuity through agenda items and followed up on actions and decisions taken at meetings.
The Youth Council undertook a successful consultation and fundraising exercise at Witney Town Carnival, led by Yasmin and has identified a number of different projects and activities for the town that the group would like to fund from their small budget.
Yasmin has recruited new members and continued to promote membership of the Youth Council as a positive and worthwhile experience and works hard to ensure that things move forward. She is a great advocate for young democracy.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR 2018 Linda & Graeme Young
This year’s Citizen of the Year Award is actually a joint award. It goes to a husband and wife team who have demonstrated the qualities of drive and determination combined with what has been described as endless commitment and enthusiasm.
Linda & Graeme founded Witney Day Centre which caters for people over the age of 60. Every Thursday up to 40 members attend and are treated to a seated exercise session by Linda, a two course lunch and entertainment including arts & crafts sessions and live music. Singing and dancing is encouraged and inclusivity being the aim, even those with disability walker frames are enabled to join in with the aid of volunteer helpers gently ensuring they are confident and safe. Not only do Linda and Graeme ensure that each member is well cared for and entertained while attending but they also support, encourage and offer guidance to their volunteers to help them achieve new goals.
For some of the members this is the only social contact and companionship they may have on a weekly basis and is crucial in combatting feelings of loneliness and isolation. Having identified the need for provision of this kind of service, Linda and Graeme found and secured the venue and then negotiated donations of furniture and food. Finally, along with the help of some special volunteers they were able to get the service up and running.
Many members are delivered by family or taxi but there are those for whom attending would not be possible without transport specially laid on. This comes via a minibus that was purchased as the result of some intensive fund raising all of which is incredibly time intensive. Graeme drives the minibus all around Witney, sometimes making two journeys to ensure that all who want to attend are able to get there. The minibus is also used to take members on occasional outings to events such as Remembrance Day and Christmas Lights switch on.
Although the centre is open between 10am and 3pm, the time devoted to the day to day business of running it extends far beyond this and Linda and Graeme certainly put in the hours collecting food from the supermarket donations organising entertainment and even visiting members who are unwell in their homes or in hospital.
The service is just over a year old now and we hope that it will continue to thrive and provide such a welcoming and nurturing service.
Posted on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council Highways department Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 Temporary Road Closure & “No Waiting” Restriction at Witney, Lower Road
A request has been received from Amberon for a temporary road closure and “No Waiting” restriction to apply to a section of Lower Road from the junction of Fenlock Road to the junction of Church Road as described above, whilst essential repairs to the rail brickwork structure are carried out.
A temporary Notice is being made by Oxfordshire County Council to implement the temporary restriction and will operate from 01 April 2019 to 06 April 2019 for 5 Nights (Between 22:00 – 06:00 hours).
Please note that Notices for urgent works can last up to 5 consecutive days only.
A copy of the drawing showing the extent of the closure and the alternative routes for traffic is attached.
Further information regarding the works may be obtained by contacting Amberon.
Quick update from the Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley Local
Resilience Forum teleconferences held this morning, the latest update from the
Met office below.
The main headlines are:
Weather: The Amber weather warning issued at 0408 was lifted earlier than
predicted, however there will still be persistent snow across Oxfordshire and
especially on the higher ground. Our main concern for the next 48 hours will be
very cold temperatures and ice on untreated roads & pavements.
Incidents: currently there are no incidents in
Oxfordshire / Thames valley requiring a coordinated response, there are several
power outages but these are being restored as we speak.
Schools: only a small handful of schools are open today, school closure
web page fully up to date.
Transport & Road network: As expected there is some
impact locally, but the main road network is running well with no report of
serious delay. Local bus services are running a reduced service in areas, but
as the day progress’s and gritters start to cover these secondary routes, it is
hoped buses will be back to normal service.
Health: No concerns from any of the health departments, South Central
Ambulance are providing an expected service.
Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following ten burglaries in Witney and the surrounding areas.
The incidents, which are all believed to be linked, all took place between Monday 14 January and Sunday 20 January.
All incidents involved the offenders gaining entry to properties by smashing a window or door. Cash, jewellery and vehicles have been stolen during the burglaries.
The first incident occurred on West End, Kingham sometime between Monday 14 January and Sunday (20/1). It is currently not known what has been stolen.
The second incident occurred on Fawler Road, Charlbury between 12pm on Thursday (17/1) and 5pm on Sunday (20/1). Window smashed at the rear of the property. Jewellery and cash stolen.
The third incident occurred on Main Street, Over Norton between 10am on Friday (18/1) and 7pm on Saturday (19/1). Window smashed at the rear of the property. Jewellery stolen.
The fourth incident occurred on Bicester Road, Enstone between 4.30pm and 4.50pm on Saturday (19/1). Window smashed at the rear of the property. It is currently not known what has been stolen.
The fifth incident occurred on Enstone Road, Charlbury between 3.30pm and 4.10pm on Saturday (19/1). Side window smashed and jewellery and cash stolen.
The sixth incident occurred on Mill Street, Witney between 7.30pm and 9.45pm on Saturday (19/1). Rear door smashed. Audi stolen from property.
The seventh incident occurred on Chestnut Close, Witney between 11.30am and 10.40pm on Saturday (19/1). Window smashed at the rear of the property. Jewellery and cash stolen.
The eighth incident occurred on Chestnut Close, Witney between 3.45pm and 11.40pm on Saturday (19/1). Offenders entered via top floor window. Jewellery was stolen.
The ninth incident occurred on Wroslyn Road, Freeland between 1.20pm and 3.45pm on Sunday (20/1). Window smashed at the rear of the property. Jewellery and cash stolen.
The tenth incident occurred on Burford Road, Minster Lovell between 1.30pm and 5pm on Sunday (20/1). Window smashed at the side of the property. BMW and jewellery stolen.
There is currently no description of the offenders. However, a dark coloured hatchback, possibly a VW Golf vehicle has been seen near some of the burglaries.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Steven Bates based at Witney police station, said: “I am appealing for any witnesses who were in these areas at the time and may have seen or heard anything unusual.
“Anyone with information, CCTV or dashcam footage that could help our investigation should contact Thames Valley Police either online or call us on 101, quoting reference 43190019771.
“Residents can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of burglary by taking a few simple steps:
When going out, remember to light up your home using timer switches or a TV simulator.
Don’t leave valuables or cash on display and store your house and car keys away from your letterbox.
Move bins away from any side gates to prevent easy access into your property.
Lock any tools away to prevent them being used to break into your home.
Consider fitting a motion activated external light or installing a CCTV system.
Finally, mark your valuables using a UV pen and register them on the national property register at www.immobilise.com.
“If you see a burglary in progress, or a burglary has occurred very recently, you should always report it by calling 999.”
Temporary Road Closure and “No Waiting” restriction at : Witney, Witan Way & Langdale Gate Round-about
In the interests of public safety, it will be necessary for Oxfordshire County Council to close the road and impose a ‘No Waiting’ restriction as detailed above to facilitate Micro-Asphalt Surfacing.
A temporary Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and will operate from 30/03/2019. The anticipated completion date is 31/03/2019. (Each day from 08:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs).
A Temporary Traffic Regulation Notice is being made to implement the temporary closure and restriction and will operate on the days shown above.
Please note that Notices for urgent works can last up to 5 consecutive days only.
Access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for those frontages within the closure area, subject to the progress of the works and liaison with the works supervisor. The “No Waiting” restriction means that wherever there are in place yellow “No Waiting” cones, you will not be able to park vehicles on the highway.
SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: The alternative routes for traffic are Via combination of Witan Way – Welch Way – Ducklington Lane – Station Lane – Witan Way and Vice-versa.
A copy of the drawing showing the extent of the closure and restriction and also the alternative route for traffic is attached.
Further information regarding the works may be obtained by contacting Oxfordshire County Council on 0345 310 11 11.
If you are wondering about the progress of the pavement repairs in Market Square, we have today received an update from Oxfordshire County Council. The delay in finishing is due to a wait for delivery of some bollards and railings. These are to protect pedestrians from the drop, and to guide them to a safer place to cross. The holes in the surface are for the installation of these items and once they are in place the permanent surface will be laid and the whole area will have a satisfactory and tidy appearance. In the meantime the plastic barriers need to remain to guide pedestrians away from the unfinished surface. As and when we hear any more news we will post it in our news feeds for you. Hopefully the required equipment will arrive soon and the work will be completed.
Are you wondering what’s happening with all the rescued poppies from the poppy mile? Here’s one really great idea that we have arranged today with Lorraine. Lorraine makes hats for the Innocent big knit fund raiser. Every hat donated raises 25p for Age UK which is a brilliant new purpose for our poppies! She is also in touch with RBL and will make some for them so that they can be sold to raise money for the poppy appeal. We really love this idea, it’s just one of the ways in which all those magnificent poppies will be recycled to raise money for good causes. If you or an organisation you are part of would like some poppies to help raise funds or to re-use the poppies in a meaningful way please get in touch and let us know all about it. We’d love to hear from you and will be standing by with armfuls of rescue poppies!
Witney Town Council Opening times over the Christmas period are as follows: Monday 24th – Closed Tuesday 25th – Closed Wednesday 26th – Closed Thursday 27th – 8.30-5 Friday 28th – 8.30-4.30 Monday 31st – Closed Tuesday 1st January – Closed Wednesday 2nd January – 8.30-5
we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year.