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Didcot Diary Winter 2018

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Didcot Town Council

Didcot Diary— Winter 2018 NEWS Here’s to a Happy Christmas and New Year for all our residents in Didcot. With winter approaching we have had a lot of events over the last few months (see below). Past Events Remembrance Parade 11th November 2018 Mayors Charity Dinner ‘Murder Mystery’ Evening, 10th November 2018 Remembrance Concert, Sunday 11th November 2018 Town Carol Concert, Wednesday 12th December 2018 Upcoming Events Mayors Civic Service, Sunday 24th March 2019 Mayors Charity Ball, Saturday 13th April 2019

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council Mayor’s Charity ‘Murder Mystery’ Dinner On Saturday 10th November 2018 the Mayor, Cllr Bill Service held a Charity Murder Mystery Dinner to raise funds for the Mayor’s Charities. The event was set during the First World War, and many people attending dressed up for the event. During the evening a commemorative stained glass window, commissioned by the Mayor, Cllr Bill Service was unveiled by The Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Mrs Elizabeth Paris dedicated to those who served in the First World War.

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council

Remembrance Parade 2018 On Sunday 11th November 2018 a special Remembrance Parade took place along the Broadway to commemorate the centenary of the cessation of hostilities in World War 1. Following the parade a service was held at the war memorial in Smallbones Rec at 3pm. Rev Hugh Boorman lead the service with Padre Kevin Jones. The Caledonian Pipe Band led the parade, followed by 11 EOD Regiment along with Ed Vaisey MP, Didcot Town Mayor, Bill Service Didcot Town Council, and members of the Royal British Legion. These were followed by the Army Cadets, Air Training Cadets, Scouts, Girl Guides, Secondary Schools. Other clubs and societies also took part in the parade. Abbey Brass Band played and Didcot Choral Society sang. Mrs Elizabeth Paris, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, led the wreath laying followed by the Mayor with the Town’s wreath. After the service refreshments were served at the Civic Hall.

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council A Concert of Remembrance On Sunday 11th November 2018 a Concert of Remembrance was held at the Civic Hall to commemorate the centenary of the end of the first World War. The concert was jointly held by Abbey Brass Band and Didcot Choral Society. All proceeds from the concert were donated to Didcot Royal British Legion. This event was grant funded by the Didcot Town Council.

Didcot Town Carol Concert 2019 On Wednesday 12th December 2018 a Carol Concert was held at The Civic Hall. The concert was performed by the Didcot Choral Society and children from local schools also took part. A collection was made for the Mayors charities. Thank you to all who attended. Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council Didcot Town Awards Evening 2018 On Friday 19th November 2018 Didcot Town Council held the annual Town Awards Evening to celebrate the local heroes that deserve a thank you for their contribution to our community. Now in its 26th year it was bigger and better than ever with lots of new award categories to reflect the breadth of contributions that are made by residents across the town. On arrival the 150 or so invited guests were offered a welcome ‘Bucks Fizz’ and took their seats. The evening commenced with the Didcot Rock Choir rocking the Civic Hall with some uplifting songs. The choir were exceptional and everybody agreed that they were a fantastic way to open the evening. The new Community Awards were first to be presented by the Mayor, Cllr Bill Service and his Army Cadet Eloise Hollinshood, followed by the allotment awards and the John Eldridge Award for Voluntary Service. Also invited to the evening were representatives from various groups that were awarded Grant Aid during the last year as a thank you for the work they do. After all the awards were presented a buffet was available for those who wished to stay. Please find below list of the winners and nomination’s on the night: Community Awards (names in bold are the winners) Artistic / Cultural Award Nominees Andrew Walker – Over 30 years’ service at St Birinus School in the Music Department and arranging lots of concerts and inspiring new musicians Viv O’Gara – for teaching children the art of Irish Dancing Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council Sporting Achievement Award Jack Cummings - for representing the UK in the Invictus Games 2017 and winning a bronze in swimming Sherryl Blowfield – for running 10 x 10 k marathons in 10 days Didcot Parkrun – for arranging the weekly park event for runners of all ages/abilities Young Volunteer / Charity Fundraiser Award Jaymie Betteridge - for shaving her hair off for charity and raising £4700 Emily Smith & Saffron Simpson – Presidents of the Didcot Girls School Interact club that arrange charity fundraising events Service with a Smile Award Lorraine Turner - for her friendly and caring manner when dealing with a loved ones funeral Kay Gee – for always being helpful and friendly to all his customers Lifetime Achievement Award Lyn Moore - 30 years’ service at Stephen Freeman School and her support for the Royal British Legion Andrew Walker – for arranging concerts at the school and for encouraging young new musicians Unsung Hero Award Simon Hart - 19 years volunteering and running a football team at an after school club

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council Allotment Awards Best Plot Turnaround Mr Harris – New Road Mr Bradley – Mereland Road Mr Ramaj – Broadway Mr Giares – Mereland Road Community Contribution Ms Fradgley – New Road Mr Tilley – Mereland Road Fastest Learner Mr Snape – New Road Mrs Stocks & Mrs Ramsbottom – New Road Mrs Chesterman & Mr Gill - Mereland Road Happiest Animal Ms Bracken – New Road Best Plot (Winners) Mrs Holt – Broadway Mrs Dowsing – Cockcroft Mr Quinton – Mereland Road Ms Hunter – New Road Mr West – Wantage Road Best Overall Allotment Winner Mr West – Wantage Road Best Overall Allotment Site Wantage Road Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council

The John Eldridge Award for Voluntary Service James Nesbit - for the many events he holds for disabled children, especially the Footsteps Foundation Charity Sherryl Blowfield – for the money she raises for the Freddie Perry Foundation charity through her marathons Andrew Baker – for setting up and Play2Give Charity and arranging many charity events Courtney Hughes – for setting up the Secret Santa Charity and now a befriending service We hope everybody who attended the evening enjoyed it and we look forward to next year. If you would like to make a nomination for next year see the Didcot Town Council Website.

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council Word from the allotments The Town Council provides over 400 allotments across five sites in the town. In what will be a regular feature, we have asked allotment holders to share what is happening on the allotments. Contributing to this edition we have:

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council Didcot Mayors Charity Ball 2019 Save the Date—the Mayors Charity Dinner will be on Saturday 23rd March 2019 the theme is Masquerade Ball. All proceeds will go to the Mayors Charities: Didcot Volunteer Centre—who help people who are unable to use public transport or live in rural areas where public transport is not available, taking them to appointments at hospitals, health centres and other activities. SSAFA—which is a UK Charity providing welfare & support for those serving in the armed forces, veterans and armed forces families. They support the Army, Royal Air Force and the Navy.

Mayors Civic Service 2019 The Mayors Civic Service will take place on Sunday 24th March 2019 at the Civic Hall, Didcot. Times to be confirmed.

Litterpick 2019 We will be having another Litterpick in 2019 . This will be late March—watch our facebook page for more information. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the Town Council either by phone (see below) or via email: events@didcot.gov.uk. A hot drink and doughnut will be your reward for helping out!

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council News from South Oxfordshire District Council Oxford to Cambridge Expressway You may have already seen in the news that the government recently announced that 'Corridor B' is their preferred option for the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway - a new road designed to take 40 minutes off the journey between the A34 and M1. This preferred route states that the road will either go to the north-west or southeast of Oxford to Bicester then onto Cambridge. The south-east route will have a significant impact on our district. SODC have called on the government to confirm their intentions as soon as possible so that they can provide clarity and certainty for SODC residents and their plans for the future. We will keep you informed on the government's announcements on the expressway through press releases, social media and this newsletter. Recycle your used cooking oil South Oxfordshire can now take care of your old cooking oil as part of the weekly food waste collection. All you need to do is to wait to the oil has cooled, put it into a plastic bottle no bigger than one litre and place it into your kerbside food waste caddy along with your other food waste. The waste oil and food is used to produce electricity at the food waste recycling plant and the plastic bottle will be taken to the recycling centre ready to be reprocessed. One litre of cooking oil can generate enough electricity to make 240 cups of tea! For those not wishing to use a plastic bottle, oil can also be poured straight into the caddy along with your other food waste.

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council District Council Christmas Refuse Collections Normal collection day

Revised collection day

Which bin

Friday 28th December 2018

Monday 31st December 2018 Grey & food

Friday 4th January 2019

Monday 7th January 2019

Green & food (no garden waste)

Friday 11th January 2019

Saturday 12th January 2019

Grey & food (early collection)

Assisted Collections If you have difficulties putting out your rubbish and recycling for collection due to a disability, illness or infirmity, and there is no one else to put it out, South Oxfordshire District Council may be able to provide an assisted collection. Please contact SODC either by phone 01235 422406 or email: waste.team@southandvale.gov.uk or by writing to: The Waste Team 135 Eastern Avenue Milton Park Milton OX14 4SB

Christmas Tree Recycling If you have a Christmas Tree (live) that needs taking away, South Oxfordshire District Council can take it away with your brown bin collection. If the tree is more than 6ft tall please cut into smaller sections. Just leave the old tree next to your brown bin and it will be collected, after the end of January it will have to be disposed of by another means.

Extra Recycling If you have extra recycling waste and your bin is full you can just pop the extra items either in a box or clear sack next to your green bin. Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council Grant Aid Reports Each year Didcot Town Council makes grants available to local organisations who support people in Didcot. These are recent reports of how they have used that money. If you would like to apply for grant funding from the Town Council please visit www.didcot.gov.uk/Grant-Aid for more details. Report—Stretch Didcot’s First Didcot and Greek Roman Festival—Saturday 7th July 2018 Thank you First, very many thanks for your financial support, enabling Stretch Didcot to put on Didcot’s first Greek and Roman festival. We received a great many positive comments from both participants and visitors. Objective The objective of our group is to organise fun and educational events for the local community. We had some home educators and their children attend the event. They were very enthusiastic. Other adults told me that they hadn’t learned so much in such a short period of time and they were particularly effusive about our blacksmith, the soldiers, slingers and the mosaicist. Our photographs and comments show the enjoyment of our visitors. Number of Visitors The festival happened to be held on Saturday 7 th July, when England played in the World Cup semi-final. The also weather put some people off; it was 31 degrees, some people didn’t leave their homes. Nonetheless, we had 160 visitors and made £565.00 profit. This profit will enable us to hire the Civic Hall in Didcot for our next festival, which will cost £400.00 for the day.

The Argo from Jason and the Argonauts

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council Community Engagement We attempted to engage the community in a number of ways. The most obvious was through schools, both primary and secondary. We wrote to all seven primary schools in the town and all primary schools in the villages around Didcot as well as some further afield. We did this at numerous points throughout the year, from July until May. One reason for doing so was to avoid clashed of dates – so that our festival would not fall on the date of a school fate. Despite our consideration, this was not reciprocated. Each time we contacted them we emphasised that we didn’t require the help of teachers and that they did not need to do anything other than what they already do in their history lessons, where both the Ancient Greeks and Romans are taught. Having taught in primary and secondary schools, our Chair was alive to the fact that pupils often write outstanding stories and make Greek and Roman temples, for example, for homework. It was extremely disappointing to be ignored by schools because our aim is in alignment with theirs. We can only conclude that the focus of Ofsted Inspections is their prime concern and that events in the community are not thought to be important. However, unlike primary schools, the town’s secondary schools did retweet Tweets about the mythological competition. We intend to remedy this by speaking directly to Head Teachers next year. We wanted to provide an opportunity for as many children to get free entry as possible. Children could post/ deliver a picture of a deer, which could be coloured in or decorated. This was advertised on social media and was taken up by many children. We also had a couple of articles written for our local ‘Round and About’ magazine which publicises local events and writes about local issues. The reporter studied Classics and so was particularly keen to write about us. Additionally, we emailed every archaeological and history group and museum in Oxfordshire, as well as societies, and posted to as many of their Facebook groups as we could find. Our Chair contacted the curator at Wallingford Museum who was kind enough to loan us a bag of small finds, which we mixed with some glass gems in a small finds box of sand that children were welcome to take home. The small finds included Roman coins. This was to engage even the smallest children. The objective of our mythology competition was to engage as many young people as possible before the event, but also so we could extend the pleasure after the festival, by giving prizes to the winners. Here is a Thank You note we received after the event:

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council Committee Members Organisationally, our committee has many strengths. We have qualified, experienced and committed members:      

Our Treasurer is a Chartered Accountant and was very prompt at paying bills. Our Secretary is just starting a PhD in involving the public in archaeology and so was keen to involve Oxford Archaeology, her employer. One member is a senior civil servant at Whitehall who has always harboured a desire to be a teacher and so our objectives very much appeal to her, and her planning skills were invaluable. Other members worked for the local council organising very similar events and have been active on school committees, for example. Another is a keen metal detectorist who donated Roman coins he found for our small finds box. He knew one of our experts – Anni Byard – from her work with the Portable Antiquities Scheme. We a recruited more members – one is a marketing specialist, another, an ex-classics teacher – because they approached us on the day asking to be involved.

Building Community Connections Like Cristina, Claudina Mayorga Romero has also not lived in Didcot for long. Originally from Portugal and now living in Didcot, she is the curator of the Ure Museum at the University of Reading. She ran the Ancient Greek wool spinning workshop. We are really pleased to have these European connections because Didcot is growing rapidly. We have residents from all over the world coming to live here and the lack of homogeny presents Didcot to our visitors as welcoming to all. Anni Byard, mentioned above, was in the same tutor group as our Chair when they attended Didcot Girls, our venue. It is very important to our Committee that local connections are forged and used as much as possible. For this reason we were sad that Bill Darley, who found the Aureus Gold Hoard in the grounds of the Great Western housing estate in Didcot, could not attend. Nominations for Awards We were recently informed by Didcot First, an ‘Independent organisation, committed to connecting business and community so that Didcot is a positive place to live, work, invest and grow’, that Stretch Didcot received a nomination for a business and community award and is a finalist. The awards are on Friday 12 th October. We have also been invited to an awards evening, on 19 th October, run by Didcot Town Council, as a recipient of a grant given by them.

Papier mache Medusa head.

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council ‘Networking’ between our experts: In addition to members of the public offering their expertise, links were made between participants. James Lloyd, a Greek music specialist from the University of Reading, was asked by Simon, from the Panoply Project, to attend a future event at Roehampton University. Apparently, there are perhaps four Greek music specialists and we were lucky enough that James agreed to come along. In addition, our Roman slinger, David Hawkins, and our Greek Hoplite warrior forged a great connection and plan to work together when the opportunity arises. Members have since recommended participants for local school workshops. I hope that in addition to having earned their fee at our festival, their skills will be in demand from other organisations. Here is an extract from an email from our Roman slinger: “Do you have the contact details of the fletcher and the blacksmith? It would be good to get in touch with them to see if I can get involved with other Roman events around the country”. Our Experts Lawrence Payne, our mosaicist, was very well received. Lawrence, who came all the way from Bury St Edmonds on the day, does not usually do big workshops, especially involving children, but he said that he had many ideas for future events. Although there are always aspects to improve upon, in any event, we are pleased with the quality and range of experts and we know that our guests both learned a lot an enjoyed the event.

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council Money Raising Opportunities Arising from your financial help: The committee applied for our community group to be a beneficiary of the South Oxfordshire community lottery, in order to help finance next year’s festival. Players of the lottery nominate a community group to benefit from a portion of the money they pay of the local authority. We have decided to use our monthly payments to fund a website that we will use to publicise our next event. They add up to £208.00 a year, at present. We hope we can increase this amount. We were also able to apply for the Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme and local people are currently casting their votes with their tokens. The smallest amount we can be awarded is £1000.00. In addition to the profit we made, we should have £1,565.00 towards our next event. I know that many people are supporting us through this scheme because of your generous contribution this year and the enjoyment they derived from the day. Both of these money raising methods will help to raise the profile of the group. Grants in Total: £3,250 (6 grants)

Pie Chart showing Sources of income for the Didcot Greek and Roman Festival

Changes to income for next year We plan to sell some merchandise on our website and at the next year’s event. This may include tshirts, mugs and tote bags, printed to order, with our ‘Romans in Didcot’ logo emblazoned on them. Future Events We are planning the next festival for Saturday 14 th September, away from the heat of the summer, the crowded calendar of summer sporting events, school fairs and events competing for the attentions of potential visitors. We would also like to make our next event free. Conclusion It is impossible to accurately assess the qualitative impact of the financial assistance you gave us, other than by relating the experiences that people had, above. We believe that we would have attracted more visitors had the football World Cup not been a factor. The only other alternative would have been to cancel the event, but after months of preparation this was not an option. As it is, we did make enough profit to be less reliant on grants and donations for the next event, and we did raise awareness of our community group. Once again, thank you for your help. Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council

Wallingford Museum Bookshop As usual, Wallingford Museum will close for its winter break (Dec, Jan and Feb) to prepare exciting new exhibitions for next year. The Museum will re-open on 1st March 2019. In the meantime, book-lovers and present-seekers should make a point of visiting Wallingford Museum’s bookstall while the museum is closed for its winter refurbishment. We have an excellent selection of good second-hand books (both fiction and non-fiction) at sensible prices. We’ll be open through December, January and February - every Friday from 10.30 to 3.00, and every Saturday from 10.30 to 1.00. We look forward to seeing you - it's free to browse! www.wallingfordmuseum.org.uk Harry Chapple

‘Women at War’ David Beasley will be returning to The Wallingford Historical and Archaeological Society (TWHAS) to show his 'Women at War' presentation. It will be lavishly illustrated from David's extensive photographic collection, and feature much local interest covering both World Wars, enabling a comparison to be made between the two eras. David lives in Crowmarsh Gifford, is well known throughout southern Oxfordshire, and has an in depth knowledge of the locality. He has written several local history books, all using his own research from photographs and postcards of the past. This talk will be held on Wednesday 9th Jan, 7.45 for 8pm, at St Mary’s Church, Wallingford. Visitors (£4) are most welcome. www.twhas.org.uk

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council

Wallingford Museum – New Visitor Facilities and Archaeological Store Wallingford Museum is extremely pleased and grateful to announce that it has been awarded a grant by the LEADER fund to extend and improve its facilities. The Museum is in great need of additional space, to achieve improved exhibition and archive areas, accommodate group visits and larger school parties, provide a visitor toilet and better access and facilities for disabled visitors. Many of the Museum's resources are currently needing to be stored in unsatisfactorily crowded conditions. To address these issues the Museum received planning permission in December 2017. The work covers proposals to modify the ground floor of the Museum to provide a public disabled WC and create a space that can be used by groups visiting the Museum. Additionally, the works cover the replacement of two timber storage sheds, located in the rear yard of the Museum, with a larger single storey timber unit which will enable purpose-built housing for part of the Museum’s collections and archaeology equipment. Groundworks have commenced, and the building works are planned to be completed during the winter, when the Museum will re-open on 1st March 2019 with a new exhibition, 'Once upon a time .....' - a time-line showing the changing face of Wallingford through photographs. The Museum is run entirely by volunteers who provide a particularly valuable resource for Wallingford's history for local people, schools and visitors. In the future it will contribute more significantly to the tourism attraction of the town. www.wallingfordmuseum.org.uk Steve Capel-Davies

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council

Useful Telephone Numbers

Police (Urgent)

999

Police (non urgent)

101

NHS Out of Hours

111

Powercut Emergency No.

105

Abingdon Community Hospital (minor injuries only)

01865 904346

South Oxfordshire District Council

01235 422422

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk


Didcot Town Council

Council Offices, Britwell Road Didcot Oxon OX11 7HN

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Phone: 01235 812637 Fax: 01235 512837 E-mail: council@didcot.gov.uk www.didcot.gov.uk

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