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In The Vale


Volume 3 Issue 1 August 2009 to homes in Faringdon, Wantage, Grove &villages Longcot Faringdon, Longcot and surrounding Local news, eventsDelivered and featuresFREE for Wantage, Grove,

In The Vale this month: Visiting Great Coxwell Barn Top tips for the barbecue Local news and events And lots more ...

E IN AZ p! AG u M e EE k m FR Pic

Good news for Stanford in the Vale! COMMUNITY PHARMACY Full range of pharmacy services available including: ♦ ♦ ♦

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Easy access to advice from a pharmacist NHS & Private prescription dispensing Repeat prescription collection from local GP surgeries Medicines Use Reviews Residential & Nursing Homes Service Full range of over the counter medicines and products

Vale Pharmacy 25 High Street, Stanford in the Vale

01367 718721 Registered no. 1490025 Registered office: 6 Newbury Street, Wantage, Oxon OX12 8BS

For advertising call 01367 888229




Contents Local News ……………...……………...4 Ed Vaizey…………….………………... 9 10 Local Events …………………………... Arts news …………………………….. 12 Vale & Downland Museum column ….14 16 Visiting ………………………………….. Good Food …….……………………….18 Ancestry part 5 ………………………..20 Your Pets with Robert Elliott …………26 Voice of the People …………………. 28 Longcot School news ………………...30 Gardening……………………………...33 Puzzles ……………..……. …………..34 Health and beauty …………………….35 Grumpy Old Men ……………………...36 The Small Ads …………………………37 Index of advertisers …………………...39

… In The Vale Hello, Welcome to a new look for the magazine formerly known as Community Times In The Vale. We’ve had a few contractual issues lately which meant I had to scrap the July issue but we’re back with a new name and a slightly different look - but all the same local news, events and features. Though this is issue 1 of the “new” In The Vale magazine we’ve been around for two years now. Thanks to everyone who has supported me, it’s been great having you along for the ride. I’m hoping to make the magazine bigger and better over the coming months and will be recruiting readers and advertisers to help out - watch this space! This month we have some great articles including top tips for the barbecue from our resident foodie Suzanne Crafer and the final part of our Ancestry series. Martin Spackman has been visiting Great Coxwell Barn, and there are all the usual columns. Make sure you read the news section for details of Faringdon’s Community Awards, a fantastic initiative which will honour the business, group and individual judged to have done most for the local community. Voting is only open till 7th August! Our cover photo is by Dr John Forster of Longcot and signifies the battle between the spirits of winter and summer … looks like summer is just about winning at the moment!

12th August

If you want to contact me please make a note of the new email address: . A new website will be coming soon.

Email ads and editorial to:

I’ll be back next month and I hope you will be too. Have a great August.

Deadline for September issue: We can’t guarantee to publish everything received.

Alison Alison Neale Editor, In The Vale magazine

In The Vale magazine, 9 Cromwell Close, Faringdon SN7 7BQ Tel: 01367 888229 Mobile: 07927 330293 Fax: 01367 700207 Email: Website: Edited by Alison Neale Contributors: Monika Becker, Suzanne Crafer, David P Eliot, Craig Hart, Jo Walsh, Faringdon TIC, Dr John Forster, Longcot & Fernham Primary School, Robert Elliott, Martin Spackman, Ed Vaizey MP. Publisher: Proof Fairy Publishing Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. In The Vale magazine does not officially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without prior permission of the publisher.



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Local News Vote for Faringdon’s Best Nomination are open for your vote for the best of Faringdon in the Town Council’s Community Awards for 2009. Faringdon Town Council hopes these awards will raise public morale and help to foster a good community spirit, as well as celebrating some of the very positive aspects of the Faringdon community. There are three community awards – all given for services to the community. Community Hero Award – Sponsored by Faringdon Town Council An individual award to be given to a member of the community who has made a difference to the lives of others, going above and beyond the call of duty in any way. There will be a cash prize plus various other vouchers including a Barnes Coach Travel Voucher. Group Award – Sponsored by RH Transport This award is open to nominations for any Faringdon-based group – sporting, hobby, religious, educational or indeed any group of people who meet on a regular basis - that enriches and improves the lives of their members or the wider community. There will be a cash award and RH transport has donated the use of one of their coaches for a day trip for the winning group. Business Award – Sponsored by Faringdon Chamber of Commerce Any business in Faringdon is eligible for nomination. Nominated businesses should have made a contribution to the community in some way that shows commitment to the town and its residents – perhaps this could be financial support of the town, a fantastic level of service, environmental awareness or something else that has in any way enriched the lives of Faringdon residents. The prize for the winning business will be free advertising and editorial coverage in several local publications including Cotswold/Oxfordshire Life, Faringdon Folly, CT in the Vale and Round and About. Nominations can be made by letter, email or using one of the forms available from the TIC, Council Offices or Library. Please state the reasons why you are nominating the person, business or group (or all three!) and also include YOUR name and contact details (these will not be disclosed). All nominations will be considered by a selection panel and a shortlist of three finalists in each category will be chosen for public vote in September/October, with the winners announced in November. The deadline for nominations is Friday 7th August and they should be sent to: Sally Thurston, Faringdon Community and Tourist Information Centre, The Pump House, 5 Market Place, Faringdon, SN7 7HL; or email For more information or to offer sponsorship of the awards contact Sally Thurston on 01367 242191.

Win £20 in Spot the Horse!

Shrivenham Farmers' Market

Spot the small horse hidden in an advert in this month’s magazine and you could be the lucky winner of a crisp £20 note!

It is with great regret that the producers and organiser of Shrivenham Farmers' Market held their last Farmers' Market on July 3rd.

Simply send your name, address and the name of the advert where the horse is hidden to: Spot the Horse August, In The Vale magazine, 9 Cromwell Close, Faringdon SN7 7BQ or email your details including your address to . Closing date is 31st August.

"We'd like to thank all of our many loyal customers who have supported us for the past 3½ years, but sadly the footfall has declined so dramatically over the past 18 months that it is no longer viable for our producers to come along", says Suzie Crafer, the Market Manager. "It is still a very fragile balance for local producers, and they need our support," she continues. "I will continue to maintain information on the website for anyone looking for our producers, and am happy to take any calls or emails."

Congratulations to Sarah Gibbons of Faringdon who was May’s winner. CT

For advertising call 01367 888229



… In The Vale Superstar Ray’s Quadruple Triathlon for Helen & Douglas House Every year Ray Collins, from Springfield Road in Wantage, sets himself a personal gym challenge to raise money for his chosen charity. Last year he completed a 24 hour workout at TFD raising £3,000 for new gym equipment for Fitzwaryn School, Wantage. This year Ray wanted to top the bill and set a challenge to cover distance within a timescale, just to put himself under a little more pressure! At 8am on Wednesday 3rd June Ray set off on the first of his four indoor triathlons at TFD, each to include a 10km run, 6km row and 40km cycle. Ray stopped only for trips to the men’s room and refuelled during the cycle part of each triathlon. Throughout the day Ray was joined by members of TFD and PB Ledbury, where Ray works, offering words of encouragement and motivational support. The gym was decorated with banners and balloons from Helen & Douglas House by Liz Vokins and Barbara Cooper, and TFD member Marie Watts joined Ray on his first run. As he completed the final 40km cycle there was a huge applause at the gym by members and supporters. Andrew Ledbury, owner of PB Ledbury in Wantage said, “Ray is an inspiration to us all. He sets himself a challenge and never gives up. Thank you to all our customers who have sponsored Ray over the past four months and in previous years. We look forward to having Ray back in the shop next week after he’s had time to recover.” After four months of putting endless effort into fundraising and fitness training at TFD on Grove Technology Park, Ray has personally raised a massive £3,300 which will be presented to the founder of Helen & Douglas House, Sister Frances Dominica, at the Grand Event on the Park in August. (More details in Local Events)

New Water Feature Makes a Splash in Wantage

Swimming Gala at St Andrew’s School

Children can now enjoy a new interactive water feature which was unveiled in June in Wantage’s Memorial Park. The new attraction, which is similar to one already used by many Vale residents in Abingdon’s Abbey Meadows, replaces the former paddling pool at the Manor Road site.

Swimmers from 5 to 11 years filled the pool at Wantage Leisure Centre, where the children of St. Andrew’s School took part in a whole school Gala with parents enthusiastically supporting from the gallery.

The feature is made up of individual fountains which are activated by stepping on multicoloured pressure pads nearby and designed so that children of all ages can interact with the water and each other. Funding for the project came from VWH District Council and a grant from The Big Lottery Fund, which awarded £200,000 to the council to support children’s play projects. The funding has also been used for new play areas in North Hinksey and Watchfield. Councillor Jenny Hannaby, who opened the feature along with Joyce Hutchinson, said: “This is part of the council’s ongoing programme to improve our play areas with help from the Big Lottery Fund. This is a lovely feature and we hope that children of all ages will enjoy it.” Visit


Thanks to Audrey Smith and Lisa Groves, who have been coaching the children since September, the standard of swimming was high with the variety of strokes and distances ranging from one width of the pool "any which way you can" by the young non-swimmers to two lengths of front crawl, breast stroke and back stroke by Years 5 and 6. Sporting and competitive spirits combined to ensure an afternoon of swimming that was not only enjoyable but also professional. The final event was the Inter-house Medley Relay - in a close, exciting finish Rutherford House came in first whilst Betjeman House were the competition winners. In The Vale magazine - please mention it to advertisers!

Local News

… In The Vale

Campaigners host Craft Fair in Wantage as FSB urges people to ‘Keep Trade Local’ There was little evidence of the recession in Wantage earlier this month as crowds turned out to see local MP Ed Vaizey open a craft fair organised partly to silence critics. Both chins and spirits have been held high in the town since people took great exception to a story in the Daily Mail which condemned Wantage and reported that recession had brought the community to its knees. Needing a microphone to be heard above the bustling market, Ed Vaizey applauded the efforts of Wantage Rejuvenated, who organised the craft fair. Mr Vaizey also talked about the work of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), who recently launched their campaign to ‘Keep Trade Local’ in Wantage. Business leaders and local residents were outraged by the negative coverage in the Daily Mail and the local Chamber of Commerce launched Wantage Rejuvenated as a subcommittee to campaign for the town, with local retailer Linda Hatter leading the way. Many showed their support by signing up to the ‘Wantage Rejuvenated’ group on the social networking website Facebook, which has over 500 members and continues to grow.

Ed Vaizey MP opens the Wantage Rejuvenated Craft Fair. Also pictured, (from left) is local councillor Jenny Hannaby; Stuart Roper from the FSB, local retailer and the driving force behind Wantage Rejuvenated, Linda Hatter; Wantage Mayor, Patrick O’Leary; Wantage Business Breakfast chair Reg Waite and Wantage Chamber of Commerce Chair Jim Hetherington.

The aims of Wantage Rejuvenated are shared by the FSB who joined in the celebrations at the Craft Fair. Local FSB committee member and Wantage resident, Stuart Roper, said: “The situation was never as grim as the Daily Mail made out, however, Wantage Rejuvenated has reminded people how proud they are of the town and how they should support local business. The Federation of Small Businesses’ Keep Trade Local campaign is all about encouraging people to buy locally, not just when there are events like this, but every day. The campaign also seeks to raise awareness of the importance of small businesses. They are a vital part of the local community, employing local people and spending money locally themselves.” Stuart continued: “This event was really great, but there should be no doubt that in market towns like Wantage, local stores and especially independent shops are under threat and without vibrant local businesses like these, market towns will suffer, so come on and Keep Trade Local.”

Thanks from RyderRyder-Cheshire Volunteers (Vale of White Horse)! Ryder-Cheshire Volunteers (Vale of White Horse) would like to say a big THANK YOU to Waitrose in Wantage and everyone who put a little green token in their slot. Your kindness has meant an award of £308 for the charity. Ryder Cheshire Volunteers aims to give people with physical disabilities the opportunity to pursue a leisure, learning or sporting activity of their own choice, in partnership with a volunteer. However, they aren't about tea and sympathy, more about similarity, and they pair up their volunteers with disabled people who share the shame interests, be it walking, computing, soapstone carving or model glider flying! The Vale of White Horse division currently has 30 members but only 20 volunteers - so they need more! They are looking for people who have a few hours spare each week who would like to share, introduce or maybe learn a hobby along with a physically disabled adult. For more information about the charity and the projects currently available visit the website; or email Carol Johnson, co-ordinator of the VWH section, at . For advertising call 01367 888229



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… In The Vale

Local News

King Alfred’s Morocco Expedition 2009 On Saturday 16th May a group of 24 Year 9 students from King Alfred’s Specialist Sports College, accompanied by 2 staff and 2 expedition leaders, embarked on a 10-day adventure of a lifetime involving 2 treks, one across the Sahara and the other to the Todra Gorge. After a year-long build-up, during which they devised innovative ways to fundraise towards the cost of their trip, the students headed to Heathrow on the first leg of their journey to North Africa. A stringent kit list meant each student had to pack only the bare essentials to complement the specialist equipment required for the trek phases of the trip. Much of this was tested during 2 practice days walking and orienteering on the beautiful Ridgeway trail and footpaths. The students’ personal and group kit had to fit into one large rucksack and one day-sack – quite a feat for some of them!

On the 2-day camel trek in the Sahara Desert.

One key feature of the trip over the years has been the importance of student leadership. Each day a new leader was chosen by the group whose role, amongst others, was to ensure each member took responsibility for a particular role on a day-to-day basis. This could include “accommodation” (usually a mat to sleep on under the stars!), maintaining a tidy environment, group kit and team morale – often a few timely words of encouragement and bag of sweets for when the going got tough in the heat of day! After landing in Marrakesh and an 8-hour minibus ride to Tinerhia to the East of the country, the group split in two for the trek phases of the trip. One group entered the depths of the Sahara on foot and by camel for an unforgettable 2-day taste of the world’s most famous desert. The other set off for Todra Gorge, with its wonderful and breathtaking scenery. This gruelling trek lasted 4 days and included 3 nights’ sleep under the stars in some of the most remote wilderness the students have ever encountered. The teams then swapped over for the remainder of the trip, before One of the groups undertaking the Todra Gorge trek returning to the hubbub of Marrakesh to barter for a few bargains in the bustling array of souks. The trip ended with one final taste of the local tagine cooking and then the students travelled home with memories to last a lifetime. For many students it was a chance to push themselves that little bit harder, outside the comfort zone of everyday life. Overcoming the physical challenge often paves the way for heightened perseverance and determination when faced with future challenges back home. For all the students who were lucky enough to be part of this experience, the aim for them from now on is to take their enhanced sense of responsibility and teamwork skills into their everyday lives, both in College and the wider community. For advertising call 01367 888229



Ed Vaizey on …


There are a number of campaigns running at the moment.

Free Quotation Practical Friendly Advice

At the beginning of June, a number of MPs held a debate in Parliament on the behaviour of HBOS, the high street bank. A number of our constituents have been badly hit financially, and they have blamed the behaviour of the Reading office of HBOS. I was representing Justin Riggs, a farmer in the Vale, and Justin and his family came to London to hear the debate in person. We have already had one offer of compensation, and I hope we will get further after the debate.

• Fruit Tree Pruning • Problem Hedges • Site Clearance • Felling • Green Waste Removal

• Preservation Order Advice • Stump Grinding • Planting of Larger Trees • Crown Reductions • Tree Health Assessment


MPs use debates like this to put pressure on organisations to do the right thing. I have also found myself heading a group of MPs campaigning for compensation for thousands of investors who lost money by buying a financial savings product backed by Lehmans. Although it was guaranteed, when Lehmans went bust, they, including my constituent, lost all their savings. I am hoping to get a debate on this as well.

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I also continue to represent pensioners who lost money in Equitable Life, as well as from the Icelandic banks. A lot of people have been very badly treated.


On another front, I am working with other Oxfordshire MPs to get the local Health Trust to change its rules on IVF assisted pregnancy. At the moment, only women aged 35-38 can get the treatment, although national guidelines recommend from the age of 23. As a father of two young children, I know how important children are. In fact my first (successful) case as a candidate was helping a young couple in Grove adopt a baby. I very much hope we can persuade the Trust to change its guidelines to help more childless couples in Oxfordshire. I recently visited the St John Ambulance in Kidlington to undertake a first aid course. I am campaigning with Beth Chesney Evans, who lost her son in a motor bike accident, to get first aid made compulsory in schools. I learned a lot, it is very straightforward stuff but it does need to be taught, and it could save lots of lives in future. Finally in Parliament I sat on the committee of a small but important Bill, which will allow our national museums to give back art that was looted by the Nazis. At the moment, the museums’ rules prevent them disposing of any object even if they know it was taken unlawfully. This is a small but very helpful change in the law which will right some wrongs.

Ed Vaizey, MP

As usual, I can be contacted in the House of Commons, SW 1A 0A A , or on 020 72 1 9 6 35 0 or Surgeries restart on September 25th in Wantage, Civic Hall. Visit


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Local Events Young musicians’ platform concert at Kelmscott Manor The historic barn at Kelmscott Manor, near Lechlade, is venue for another in the popular series of Young Musicians’ Platform Concerts, on Saturday 22nd August. The summer home of William Morris - poet, designer, craftsman and socialist - Kelmscott Manor provides a beautiful backdrop to this concert by Castle Brass, a quintet from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Winners of the 2009 Brass Chamber Prize at the RWCMD, this talented ensemble is offering a mouthwatering programme, embracing Quintets by Malcolm Arnold and Victor Ewald, Gustav Holst’s 2nd Suite, various arrangements from West Side Story, one of Chris Hazell’s ‘Brass Cats Series’ and much more. As well as receiving individual tuition from principals of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Castle Brass enjoys collective schooling from Christoher Mowat, former trombonist with the Phillip Jones Brass Ensemble. Castle Brass recently worked with Christopher to produce a concert of Handel’s music at St Hilary’s Church, Cowbridge. “The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 for adults and £6 for children and students in full time education, the price including a free glass of wine or juice. Advance booking is recommended, telephone 01367 253348 or email The venue has no heating, so you may wish to bring an extra jumper – and a cushion! The Manor house will not be open for viewing coinciding with this event.

A Picnic and a Story in Oxford! If you have always wanted to visit the Botanic Gardens in Oxford, here's a wonderful opportunity! For the last two years, the Garden has organised a series of picnics with a theme, and for this third year the theme is inspired by gardens in literature. There will be stories, trails, tours, music and family activities as follows: 1st August: James & the Giant Peach 15th August: A Philip Pullman theme 5th September: The Hungry Caterpillar The events run from 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm and adults are £3.00, children free. Our resident recipe contributor, Suzanne from Tasty Morsels, runs the food activity at the picnics as well are providing the refreshments. The Great Story Picnic Season at the Botanic Gardens in Oxford:

Faringdon Folly There are two opportunities to climb Faringdon Folly in August. It’s open for its usual “first Sunday of the month” on the 2nd, but visitors can also admire the view on the Bank Holiday (Monday 31st August). Adults £1, Children 11-16 20p, Under 11s free.

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Grove Horticultural Society Grove Horticultural Society's next meeting will be on Wednesday 26th August at 7.45pm in Grove Village Hall. The talk will be about Apples and Pears, the history and varieties. Gillian Franklin from Cross Lanes Fruit Farm, Mapledurham will give the talk and bring a selection of fruit and honey for sale. Refreshments and a raffle available and visitors are welcome. Now is the time to be preparing for the Grove Horticultural Society's Summer Show. The Summer Show will be held on Saturday 5th September in Old Mill Hall at 2.00pm. Remember our motto 'Show what you grow, not grow to show'. All classes are open for everyone to enter. As well as the horticultural display itself this year there will be a children's flower arranging activity, which is free of choice and all participants can take home their creations! Heirloom Toys will be displaying their popular wooden toys which will be available to purchase. There will also be stalls by the WI, who will be selling their delicious cakes and chutneys etc., and a display of work by Grove Art Group , with pieces also available to purchase. Refreshments and cakes will also be available. Show schedules are available from Grove Library and committee members. If you need further information or have any queries on either the show or the regular monthly meeting please contact or the show secretary on 01235 764795.



… In The Vale Charity Grand Event at Grove Technology Park: Calling all runners and funfun-seekers! Entry lists are now open for the two high-profile competitive activities being staged at the ‘Grand Event’ at Grove Technology Park (GTP) on Sunday 30th August: a 5K Family Fun Run in the morning and the teambased It’s A Knockout competition during the early afternoon. “We are calling all runners and fun-seekers in Oxfordshire looking for some new and worthwhile challenges to come to Grove on August Bank Holiday Sunday in aid of charity,” says organiser Lisa Auchinvole of TFD Health & Fitness at Grove Technology Park. The 5K Family Fun Run will be held on a multi-terrain track around Grove, mostly flat, and mainly on private land, starting at 9am. Age qualification is minimum 10 yrs and all under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. The entry fee is £5 and all participants receive a goodie bag and a medal. It’s A Knockout, for teams of up to 10 people, involves a series of games and evolutions that are designed to be fun or even hilarious – a balance between Relay and Team, all with enterprise, fun and an element of luck involved. Entry is £10 per nominated person in each team. Points are awarded for each activity and one team will collect the top prize. Entry forms for both events are available at Reception at Grove Business Centre (01235 772992) and at TFD Health & Fitness (01235 772995) at GTP or can be downloaded from their website: .

U3A Faringdon & District Thursday 27th August: Annual Summer Lunch for all members. 12.30pm at Steve & Jenny Braithwaites’ home, 19 Coxwell Road, Faringdon. Cold Meat & Quiches provided, bring plated salads/puddings to share. The weather WILL be good !!! Further information from Ian Clarkson (Chairman) 01793 782836

U3A Wantage & Grove

“The Grand Event on the Park on 30th August is in aid of the Helen & Douglas House Hospice. Your individual or team participation in these two events will help make a significant contribution to the day and to the charity,” says Lisa. Supporting activities include a rowing challenge, children’s assault course and quad bikes, climbing wall, racing car display, classic car parade, live music and food and drink stalls. The Army’s ‘Red Devils’ parachute team will free-fall on the Park and the day will culminate with a display by a WWII Supermarine Spitfire. Grand Event opens at 10 am, closes at 5 pm. Entry is £1 per person, no charge for children aged 15 and under accompanied by an adult.

Our programme for August in Grove Village Hall (Main Street) starting at 2pm is: Tuesday 4th August: The Great American Song Book – Presentation (with live music) by Ken Fitt Tuesday 18th August: Social Afternoon. Play reading by the Literature Group. Visitors are welcome to attend main meetings for a fee of £1.50. Contact Chairman Thia Brereton (01235 764779) or Secretary Linda Thompson (01235 768701) for more information on the talks or other group activities. Visit

Date for your diary Faringdon Heritage Day Sunday 13th September will be an exciting day as Faringdon celebrates its history during Heritage Day. Local buildings including the Folly, Pump House, Corn Exchange, Council Chambers, Old Town Hall and the churches will be open to the public, and there will also be a full day of activities including a farmers’ market, charity stalls, walking tours, treasure trail, Aunt Sally Tournament, Deputy Town Crier competition, displays of local history, trips to the Folly and fossil site and more. More details and full programme next month!


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Arts Focus

… In The Vale

People of the Thames: a photographic journey The barn at Kelmscott Manor, summer home of Victorian designer and poet William Morris, near Lechlade, is venue for a photography exhibition for two weeks, from Saturday 1st August. ”People of the Thames – a photographic journey” is the third show in a series, covering different lengths of the river, by photographer Jil Orpen. This latest exhibition features eight people interviewed and photographed on the stretch of river between the Thames Head and Radcot, which was described by Morris as “a place to replenish the soul”. The display combines the use of stunning pictures and text to illustrate how the River Thames influences these people whose lives are closely associated with it, and how the river is itself affected in return. Subjects include Keith Webb, resident lockkeeper at Grafton Lock and avid wildlife enthusiast; Jane and Roy Darke, who are volunteers at Kelmscott Manor and keen walkers of the Thames path; and John Willmer OBE, conservationist and farmer at Clanfield. The exhibition is open on Saturday 1st and Wednesdays 5th and 12th August, 11am to 5pm and on Thursdays 6th and 13th, 2pm to 5pm. Admission to the exhibition and Kelmscott Manor grounds costs £2. See or phone 01367 252486 for details of house opening times.

Iron Casting in the Vale of the White Horse In the 1800s, the iron casting industry was thriving in the Vale of White Horse. The specialist craft of agricultural iron casting died out in this area as it did throughout the country... and yet over the past three years, artists in Stanford in the Vale have revived the craft by hosting metal casting sculpture courses at The Bullpen Foundry. Since being awarded substantial grant funding by Arts Council England, The Bullpen is able to offer creative practitioners and visiting community groups the opportunity to make cast iron sculpture this summer. During July artists attended a 9-day workshop where they created sand moulds for their sculpture and prepared the cupola furnace for 'Pour Day' when their sculptures will take form. The Bullpen re-uses scrap iron for this work - (broken up old farm machinery parts, old fireplaces and baths) along with coke and forced air to fuel the furnace, which will then melt enough iron, continuously, to fill the artists' moulds of their sculpture. Professor Daniel Hunt from Kansas State University will be teaching alongside Wesley Jacobs, director of The Bullpen Foundry. The 'Pour Day' is a performance in itself, and well worth coming to watch - there is nothing like it in this area! Visitors welcome on 1st August at approximately 3pm. Interested visitors should contact Helen Jacobs before arriving for the pour as delays are possible. There will be a hog roast and local ale to enjoy while you watch; it’s also Open Weekend at Mill Farm, where The Bullpen is situated. Talk to the farmer about his future projects, visit the animals and see contemporary sculpture in the making. Contact Helen Jacobs on 01367 718722 for more information. The Bullpen is on the A417 just outside Stanford in the Vale.

Faringdon Art Focus for August: Felicity Cormack Felicity Cormack lives in the ‘tourist’ area of central Faringdon and you will find in her exhibition drawings, prints and paintings of her favourite spots here. After working as a musician and teacher in Oxfordshire since 1975 she took time off from 1991 to 1995 to undertake a Foundation Course at Oxford Brookes and a BA in Fine Art in Cheltenham. She’s mainly concentrated on allegorical still life and figure compositions but wanted to get together some work about Faringdon before it changes a lot with the probably inevitable arrival of Tesco. However, Felicity admits she has found myself choosing the few practically unchanging subjects in the area! See her work on display in Faringdon TIC at the Pump Room throughout August. For advertising call 01367 888229



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Vale & Downland Museum

… In The Vale

The Mill in Wantage Wantage is host to a well known, busy flour mill which produces flour from wheat grown by the farms in the surrounding areas with the end product being used by over 150 craft bakers, available to the public through 500+ farm shops, specialist food shops and independent food stores. What is probably not so well known is that a mill was listed in the Domesday Book in the proximity of where the Old Mill now stands. The Domesday Book was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066. The first draft was completed in August 1086 and contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties south of the rivers Ribble and Tees (the border with Scotland at the time). Until late in the 19th century the Town Mill, as it was called then, was water-driven from the Letcombe Brook. The flour was stone ground on large slow running stones. In those days only wholemeal flour was produced. The Wantage Tramway, which ran from the Great Western line at Grove, ended at the mill and imported wheat from Canada was delivered to the mill by a separate truck. Once the flour was produced the Wantage Tramway was used for the return journey to deliver the finished product. The tramway also carried passengers to the main railway line at Grove and when the tramway office in Mill Street closed after the 1914-18 war the passenger tickets were issued from the mill office. The mill got a passing mention in Thomas Hardy’s “Jude the Obscure” when Jude used the tramway to visit Wantage. In those days the town ended at the mill. Mr Clark who owned the mill, built and lived in the house now called The Knoll and could see the mill from his house. It was reported that he would use a pair of binoculars to see what was happening in the mill yard.

Clark. Their own mill at Osney had been destroyed by fire and was thought uneconomic to rebuild. Round about 1920 a new building was built adjacent to The Old Mill and this was originally used as an office and store for the operational mill on the brook. A new roller plant was installed in 1978 in the ‘new mill building’; electrically driven and using between 400 – 500 horsepower, the mill no longer relied upon the Letcombe Brook which could only produce 15 horsepower. The ‘Old Mill’ over the brook was converted into residential apartments. Very few independent mills have survived the rationalisation that has taken place within the milling industry since the Second World War. Oxfordshire boasts two mills, most counties have none. The other Oxfordshire mill is F.W.P. Matthews of Shipton -under-Wychwood. This alone speaks volumes for the way in which the Wessex Flour Mill has been run by the Munsey family and dedicated employees. The mill is presently being run by Paul Munsey, a fourth generation miller with sons to provide a 5th generation miller thereby giving ‘The Mill in Wantage’ a long successful future.

Shortly after the 1939-45 war, the Munsey family from Osney, Oxford, purchased the mill from Mr

Craig Hart, Vale and Downland Museum

Vale & Downland Museum Church Street Wantage Tel: (01235) 771447 Website: For advertising call 01367 888229


Opening hours: Monday - Saturday 10.00am to 4.00pm Closed Bank Holidays


What’s On at the Vale & Downland Museum August 2009 Open: 10am-4pm Mondays - Saturdays Closed Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays

EXHIBITIONS Upper Gallery 21st July—1st Aug Paintings from the Ridgeway Recent landscape paintings by artist and teacher, Robert W Strange Squires Room 21st July-5th September Sweet Wrappers Unwrapped See a small selection of Robert W Strange’s extraordinary historical collection of 3,000 sweet wrappers!

GALLERY TALKS Free but space limited. Advanced reservation essential. Tel: 01235 771447

Friday 24th July, 2pm Digging for a Roman Villa and Finding Bron Iris Lloyd relates how helping on a small archaeological dig in Berkshire inspired her to write and publish a novel. Artefacts from the dig will also be on display.

FAMILY FRIENDLY SCHOOL HOLIDAY DROP-IN ACTIVITIES Thursdays 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th August, 10.30am-12.30pm Have a go at Weaving Weave a braid on a peg loom (50p), with local weaver Angela Pawlyn, in the museum foyer. Suitable for everyone aged 5 and over and fun for adults too. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Planning a visit to the museum galleries in the school holidays? Then don’t forget that The Vale and Downland Museum is taking part in the “Explorer Passport” as seen in Primary Times. Journey to the seven continents of the world by visiting museums, galleries and gardens in Oxfordshire, and collect stamps on your passport when you visit participating venues. • Collect four stamps from different continents and claim a free gift. • Collect seven stamps and enter your passport for the Explorer’s Treasure Chest of prizes!

REGULAR FOYER EVENTS Fridays 24th & 31st July and 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th Aug, 9.30am-10.45am Country Market Thursdays 30th July and 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th August Wantage Health Walks - Meet 10am Saturday 8th August, 10.30am-12noon Wantage & Grove District Arts Guild (WAG) For more information, telephone the museum: 01235 771447 or email:

VALE & DOWNLAND MUSEUM, Church Street, Wantage Tel: 01235 771447 Website: Visit


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Visiting Great Coxwell Barn Often referred to, perhaps erroneously, as a ‘tithe barn’, the Great Coxwell Barn formed part of a monastic grange or farm that provided income (probably from 100% of the farm’s crops, rather than a 10% tithe!) to the Cistercian order at Beaulieu Abbey in the New Forest, previously sited in the royal manor of Faringdon - a gift from King John in 1203. Built in the early years of the 14th century, Coxwell’s great barn is the one surviving example of five barns that once served the manor of Faringdon. Buried remains of a further two barns have been found to the north of Faringdon at what is thought to be the site of the lost village of Wyke, centre of the manor. These barns were the warehouses of the middleages, storing vast quantities of food.

… In The Vale - with Martin Spackman (purely on an amateur DIY level!) so was particularly interested during my visit to note the intricacy of the design, jointing techniques, and the precision carpentry involved in creating such a heavy loadbearing structure. The excellent guide to the barn, written by Julian Munby for the National Trust and available on-site for 50p, includes sketches of the timber framework and the joints employed. On entering the barn, one’s eyes are immediately drawn to the twelve ‘kingposts’ that stand on stone plinths and rise to the roof at half-pitch height. Here they are mortised and pegged to cross beams that, in turn, carry the horizontal roof plates, or purlins, that support the rafters. These kingposts create aisles that are cathedral-like in their visual impact. The view down the length of the building to the light thrown by the gable-end door is truly inspiring – like some Gothic film set! The barn looks somewhat lost in its present day setting. Surrounded by carefully tended lawns and an attractive, bush-lined pond, one can only imagine the bustling farmyard, mill and local industries that would have been served by the great barn during its working life.

The Great Coxwell barn is built of Cotswold stone with a Stonesfield slate roof (replaced in 1961/2). The two original doors of the barn were located in the west and east walls; the gable-end doors were added in the 18th century to ease access for larger farm wagons. The west door (far left of the above photo) once housed an upper room for the ‘granger’ who would have kept a careful record of produce entering and leaving the barn. The east door has a dovecote above.

Today, the site is a great place for a family picnic, perhaps after a leisurely walk from Faringdon. There is limited lay-by parking nearby.

An interesting feature of the building is the number of square ’putlog’ holes that penetrate the full width of the walls. These would have supported horizontal scaffolding timbers during the construction of the barn. The holes were left unfilled after construction, probably to aid aeration of the contents.

Open daily, access to the barn and grounds are by payment of the modest fee of 60p to an honesty box placed just inside the south door. Do purchase the excellent guide that gives lots more detail about the origins, history and use of the barn through the ages.

Whilst the external aspect of the barn is truly impressive, for me it is the internal wooden roofsupporting structure that is breath-taking in its scale and construction. I enjoy working with wood myself For advertising call 01367 888229



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Specialising in: • Business plans for new start-ups • VAT registration and returns • Book-keeping • Management accounts • Self-assessment tax returns you do what you’re good at, let me do the numbers! Chartered Management Accountant

t: 01367 241246 e:



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… In The Vale Good Food Dews Meadow Pork Belly on the BBQ We’ve actually had some gorgeous weather which has focused my mind this month on warm evenings around the BBQ! The salad season is well under way now, and our local producers are bringing along wonderful summery treats to markets or have them available in their farm shops. Of course we can enjoy all the wonderful soft fruit as well including the Harwell Cherry which enjoys only a short season, so do get up to Q Gardens at Milton Hill to make the most of them! When we are able to enjoy a good few days of warm, dry weather I’ve been trying to make more use of the BBQ for all my cooking, and one recipe I tried recently was some delicious pork belly from Dews Meadow Farm; Jane and Andy have been producing additive-free pork for over 23 years now, and the flavour is truly succulent. Dews Meadow Pork Belly on the BBQ You could use belly slices, or do as I did and actually put a whole joint on the BBQ. The first time I tried this I pottered around the garden as it cooked – perhaps lingering a little too long over the geraniums as I overcooked the crackling – much to my husband’s dismay! 1 pork belly joint (approx. 450g / 1lb) - scored 1 tsp five spice seasoning

1 tbsp oil Salt

Method Rub the oil over the crackling, and then rub in the salt and spice mixture. Put the joint skin side down for the first 20-30 mins – checking after 20 minutes – it does depend on the thickness of the joint and whether you have a cover for your BBQ – you may be able to leave it a little longer, then flip onto the meat side. Check every 10 minutes or so to baste the meat (not the skin); either use a mix of the oil and spices as above, or add a complimentary BBQ mix. To make sure the meat is cooked through use a meat thermometer (see below). If you have room on the BBQ, pop a pan with some water and boil some new potatoes with a sprig of mint from the garden. For a main meal I’d probably make a ratatouille with fresh tomatoes, courgettes, new season onions and a sprinkling of fresh herbs – delicious. If you do have some meat left over, it is equally delicious cold with potato salad and a peppery watercress and greenleaf salad – or in a sandwich with bread from The Baker’s Basket (who come along to Faringdon Farmers’ Market). Some Tasty Morsel tips: When using a BBQ you obviously don’t have the same temperature “control”, which is where a meat thermometer comes in exceptionally handy and I would recommend its use all during the year. I have a BBQ with a lid, if you just have an open one wrap any joint well in oiled silver foil with a little extra oil and fresh herbs from the garden. If you are using pork belly slices, just poach them for no longer than 20 minutes, and then baste them with a BBQ marinade or sauce – the flavour is fantastic! Dews Meadow Farm is on the A338 at Hanney: or tel: 01235 868634 Thanks to Suzanne Crafer of Tasty Morsels ( for this month’s food column. For advertising call 01367 888229



Looking for Oriental Foods?

NONOY’S ORIENTAL STORE Open Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Church Street, Wantage

Tel: 01235 771570


Nonoy’s Oriental Store is the first oriental food store in Wantage offering a wide variety of rices, noodles, sauces, seafoods, spices and easy to prepare meals at very reasonable prices.

(Formerly Ardington Post Office & Stores)

Whole boneless Peking Duck Vegetable spring rolls Japanese tempura prawns and much more. Range of oriental cooking equipment including chopsticks, bamboo steamers, hotpots on

Wholesale prices for restaurants & caterers 5 pr % of o Other services for Filipino, remittance MLR LIC NO o d f 12268395 - maasahan sa mataas na rate, may 24 ad f th uct i i hrs picks up po tayo. Phone cards worldwide. ve s on rt Mabuhay po tayong lahat!

Open Monday to Saturday

Breakfast Morning Coffee Lunches Afternoon Tea Lunch served from 11.45am

Coleshill Organics Veg box delivery and shop Vegetables fresh from our organic garden, delivered in the Vale.

Lunch parties catered for

Prices from £8.25 or visit our shop in the walled garden.

Smiths High Street Ardington Oxon OX12 8PS T: 01235 833 237

Open Wed pm and all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tel: 01793 861070

E: Visit


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Research your family tree

Get back to your roots


Write your own




eborah Cass has been researching her family tree for over 30 years. An amateur genealogist and author of Writing Your Family History [Crowood, ÂŁ9.99], Cass says the main aim of genealogical research is to keep the story of a family alive. "It's about passing it on to the next generation," she says, "Because while a box of birth certificates may give you facts, the dedicated family historian will want to weave those dates into a living history everyone can appreciate." So rather than simply putting your newly-discovered documents into a scrap book, think about being For advertising call 01367 888229

creative with your research. "If you're anything like me you'll have boxes and bags of the stuff. But unless you're really orderly, where's the story of your family?" she asks. Cass suggests using your source material to write an account of your ancestors' lives. As well as being an excellent way to make sense of your research, it will also protect against loss of material. "If you can write up your family history you can reference the original documents without handling them. And the less they get handled, the more they will be preserved."


Cass explains that it is easy for genealogical information to be forgotten, ignored or lost. "If you write out the transcript of a diary, for instance, your family will have access to the content without your ancestors' diaries being handed around, having things spilt on them, getting ruined or – worse still - going missing." This all sounds great in theory. But turning a mountain of birth certificates into a narrative covering hundreds of years, with no experience of professional writing, might not seem like such an easy task. Email

‌ In The Vale "First, decide where your story will start," says Cass. "You could work backwards or start with your most distant ancestor and work forward. It might also be helpful to make a timeline to map out your history. Start with your first ancestor, add their name and date of birth and carry on from there. Add in significant social and historical events that would have affected their lives, which will help you add colour to your story later on." With so many facts at your disposal, Cass suggests that writing concise character profiles for everyone you want to include could be useful. "The volume of information can be overwhelming, so begin noting down everything you know about each ancestor. Soon you'll start to see them as people, rather than so many pieces of paper."

Once you've completed your timeline and character descriptions, begin your story. And Cass urges the amateur genealogist not to forget about the all-important 'context' which can bring your story to life. "Simple research will tell you what the weather was like on the day of the week someone was born," says Cass. "That could help you introduce a new character in a really interesting way." Or you can go a lot further, she adds. "On my great great grandfather's death certificate, it said that he had drowned. I thought, 'How can I find out more about this?' I searched local newspapers for reports of an inquest and found the account which was full of eyewitness statements. I then checked the paper a few days preceding and found articles about the storm, the report that he was missing and the item saying they'd found his boat and body. So from a death certificate I built up a fascinating story."


In addition to factual records, your relatives may well have given you first hand accounts o f y o u r ancestors' lives. These stories and anecdotes should definitely be included but a l w a y s remember to be sensitive about how you handle the truth. Cass says: "My mother and sisters always remembered their paternal grandfather as a very strict disciplinarian, a deeply religious man who ran a choir and wrote hymns. I was not quite prepared for their reaction when I casually told them that he was illegitimate. They were disbelieving and almost appalled. 'But he was so respectable and strict,' they said. "So I trod more carefully when I discovered that the death certificate of my maternal greatgreat grandmother said she had died from mania exhaustion in the imbecile ward of the local workhouse in 1902. “But luckily my aunts all laughed


when they found out, saying that it explained a lot about the women in our family!" Cass suggests that writers think about how their relatives will react to any new revelations. "Family memories tend towards sentimentality," she explains. "Changing or adding to family myths could potentially cause pain to your relatives. So be sensitive." Cass freely admits that not everyone finds it easy to write their story but explains that first-time writers can get help with their prose.

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Research your family tree "There are so many options," she says. "There are people you can pay to write it for you, you could go to a creative writing course to give you more confidence or you could even collaborate with a family member." But the story doesn't end there. Once you've worked out what you want to record, it's time to consider the format. "Of course you can hand write it, but think about using a computer to really make the most of your work," says Cass. "You could simple type it out and then print out the finished story. Or, if you wanted to be more adventurous, consider creating the story as a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation. By scanning old pictures of your family into the computer, you could combine text, graphics and sound to present your work as a slide show and still have the option of printing off a hard copy. "There are also many software packages which will assemble and display a family tree. But however you decide to use your computer, regularly back up your work." As all keen genealogists will know, the internet is an important tool when researching your family's history. So if you've finished your own family tree, why not offer up your findings for the benefit of others.

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"I wrote my own web page with absolutely no experience," says Cass. "It took me two days using, for a small one-off fee. Look at other websites for ideas. If you want to make it easy to use, keep it simple and don't create pages which will take a long time to load. Some people even choose to get the book professionally published. "Print-on-demand services are now available to those who want to selfpublish," says Cass, "and that way you can make sure your whole family receives a copy under the tree at Christmas!"


‌ In The Vale As well as letting people know about your family, it means they can also get in touch with you. In reality, though, they are strangers with whom you've found a common link so don't tell them too many personal details until you are absolutely sure you are comfortable to do so.


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Your Pets

… In The Vale

Credit Crunching Tips for Animal Health Hello and welcome to this edition, with the warmth of summer sunshine restored after recent heavy rain, and flowering plants in great abundance in garden, meadows and hedgerows. In such difficult economic times, this weather can only cheer! Although we have all been told that, on paper at least, the “recession” has bottomed-out, in real life, I don’t quite think we are there yet, so I’ve put a few ideas together to help primarily to safeguard your pet’s health and welfare as well as your pocket – forewarned is forearmed, and even a gram of prevention will be worth a kilo of cure!

Keep dogs supervised. The safest approach for allowing your dog out is by taking him or her on a lead or long leash! This way you can not only monitor what they are getting into but also watch their urine and bowel movements for abnormalities. The next safest thing for dogs is a fenced-in yard. Monitor the yard and fence frequently for problems such as loose boards, open dustbins and other dangers. Keep pets inside in extreme cold or hot temperatures. Even then, do not abandon them outside, since the risk of your family member being stolen would be one heartache too far.

In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.

Keep jaws and paws inside – any time of the year. Some dogs love to stick their heads out of open car windows but the speeding wind, insects, mud, stone chips and debris in the air can hit your pet at a great relative and damaging speed. If nothing else, the eyes can dry up in the fast stream of air, and the cornea become permanently damaged. Always keep the dog in the boot behind a dog-guard, or better still a made-to-measure cage, but if on the passenger seats, to use one of the easily-bought good-quality car harnesses. Cats should always be in baskets or in a strong harness, secured to the closest seatbelt. Now, about travelling in cars in hot weather – the next article perhaps….?

Edward Hoagland ….and to see the world around like a dog would!! Home risk assessments Many common accidents that veterinary practices see involve very common materials, often overlooked as they’re always “there”. Check your home for possible poisons, including plants that your pet can get access to. The commonest causes include antifreeze, rat or mouse bait, slug bait, human medications (especially non-steroidal analgesics and birth control tablets), uncovered or non-armoured electrical cables and wires, paper shredders and insecticides. It may be prudent to remove access to children's toys, strings or small objects that can be chewed on or swallowed such as packaged meat-covering meshes, hair bands and so on. Collared? If your dog (or cat) wears a collar, check your pet's neck at least weekly to make sure the collar is not too loose or too tight ... and that it's still there! As part of our vet-check and nurse-clinic checks, all microchipped pets are routinely rescanned, as well as new pets seen for the first time. It is also an opportunity to assess any weight loss that may have made the pet’s collar appear loose in the first place. Is your pet identified? Pets can lose their collar and in many cases their "identification" along with it. Tags can fall off – or be removed. We strongly advise nonchipped pets have a microchip placed for permanent identification. A microchip is very important if your dog or cat is injured or runs away and is found by caring passers-by and taken to the nearest veterinary practice, or similar centre, for care. It is the best and fastest way to get you in touch with your pet in the case of an emergency, but you must keep your details updated!

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Above all, know what to do and who you can call. Keep the Practice telephone number available on your mobile or next to the phones at home; the Practice will always have an out-of-hours service available for advice or emergency consultation; you may just need to ring your own practice first to get the current number. Perhaps keep a map handy for someone driving you there who may not know the way. When poisoning could be involved, always try to take the container or box with you. Perhaps also keep an animal first aid kit in the car. Dear Puppy – here’s some advice: Don’t smell crotches, don’t eat houseplants. Don’t steal my chocolate or those underpants. Don’t eat my socks, don’t grab my hair (band) . . . Don’t rip the stuffing from that chair! Don’t eat those raisins (that I didn’t mean to drop)! Don’t touch that brush! Don’t chew my shoes … What IS that mush? Just eat your dog biscuits, just lap your water-drink. Keep out of the toilet! Keep out of the sink!! Oh – and best keep away from those cats!! Adapted from a Post on October 28, 2008 by Rusty (

But, do enjoy the Summer! Thanks for your company, & until next time,

Robert Elliott



Training and socialisation classes for all dogs • Pups under 20 weeks 5:15 or 6:30pm • Dog training classes 7:45 - 8.45pm Kennel Club Good Citizens awards mlloffered

• Classes for unsociable dogs • 1:1 consultations for behavioural and training problems

Booking essential - limited numbers in class. Fun and easy reward based techniques! Sheila McDonald (APDT trainer 00992) 01235 227244


21 - 23 HIGH STREET STANFORD IN THE VALE, OXON SN7 8LH 01367 710595 Website: Email: Owned and Staffed by The Veterinary Surgery of Robert Elliott FELINE ADVISORY BUREAU APPROVED AND LISTED


01367 710595 Website: Email: Socialisation “parties” and free health checks for puppies and kittens, free senior pet clinics, Pet Passport Scheme. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY THE FELINE ADVISORY BUREAU AS A “CAT FRIENDLY PRACTICE”




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Voice of the People

… In The Vale

A new feature for a “new” magazine … a page dedicated to your work! If you have an article, poem, photo or letter you would like published in the magazine, email it to or send it to In The Vale magazine, 9 Cromwell Close, Faringdon SN7 7BQ and we will do our best to publish everything we receive (space allowing).

The Vale – a special place to live My wife and I are local people who have recently returned home from spending our first 5 years of retirement in Spain. It was a decision based on what we thought at the time to be sound judgement and experience of spending many holidaying years in Spain, living in our own property on the Costa Blanca. According to the World Health Organisation’s literature, the Costa Blanca provides one of the healthiest climates on earth. The Spanish proved to be very friendly hospitable people who have successfully preserved their wholesome traditional family values, despite the intrusion of western economic distractions introduced since the end of Franco’s dictatorial regime. Spain has been invaded by many aggressive war mongering cultures throughout its history and has now surrendered in part to a stealthier predator in the guise of northern Europeans that now form part of the E.E.C. The multitude of retired northern European invaders are in my experience a mixture of aggressive, selfish, reckless teenaged pensioners, void of any regard for their pleasing Spanish hospitable hosts. I am of the opinion that the invaders should all be expelled for demonstrating such double standards, in that the vast majority of them have no intentions of integrating into the Spanish way of life, whilst expecting others to integrate into their own native lands. Spain offers weeks of uninterrupted sunshine but when it rains, it pours. The Costa Blanca coast line and beaches are very beautiful for those who crave their recreation but the countryside, although quite mountainous and dramatic in parts, is sadly lacking in diverse fauna and flora with hardly a song-bird to be heard, for once you have seen the Mediterranean pine tree and a few varieties of palm, there is not much else to be seen. “Oh to be in England now that April’s there” was written by Kipling whilst he was in India and after spending 5 years of absence from you all in Spain, I can truly appreciate his words. The Vale of the White Horse is a truly privileged place to live and it took me 5 years of exile to appreciate that. Without wanting to be patronising, you are gentle, kindly, well-mannered friendly people, living in unbelievably beautiful pastoral surrounding that offers so much. Love it, protect it and look after it, but most of all appreciate it with your eyes and ears fully open to warm your heart and stimulate your inner senses. It is simply the best place on Earth.

The Ancient Track Forever onward strides the road A testament to time, Surviving five millennia's load Through countryside sublime. Traversing ancient chalkland downs From Avebury in the West And skirting medieval towns Where weary travellers rest. Here Stone Age man has left his mark, Long barrows can be seen, See Waylands Smithy’s cavern dark ‘Midst lake of emerald green. From Ivinghoe the drovers came And later, Roman legions, Then Vikings, British folk to tame Would pillage Saxon regions. King Alfred many battles fought Along the Wessex borders, High up along The Ridgeway sought To chase away marauders. Up here you really feel the sky, You’re walking now on history, With each, so many memories vie To give an air of mystery.

© Mike Jones

Robert T. Morrison. For advertising call 01367 888229





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Longcot & Fernham School

… In The Vale

Making Science Exciting to All This month at school, the highlight was a Science Day, culminating in a family hands-on Science Evening at Longcot, with keen teacher-demonstrators in every classroom and in the grounds too.

The day kicked off, when parent Mrs Spence showed her collection of mini-beasts. Children wondered and were amazed at the variety of creatures they were able to see and handle: honey bees, stick insects, crickets and giant land snail, not forgetting the giant So here we focus millipede which kept trying to escape. on the fascination of Science, for In the afternoon, pupils, where we took part in the school aims to Great Plant Hunt enrich children's as part of the Darlearning by offer- win 200 celebraing pupils opportu- tions and then put nities to explore our results online. science b y The photo here hands‑on experi- shows 2 young ments relevant to plant hunters, and their world. this image won us a prize for the These memorable school. experiences for the children (and In the evening, budding scien- Science based tists) are only experiments covpossible with strong support from all teachers, en- ered all areas of thused also by the science coordinator Rachel Youd. the wide National Curriculum such as sound, living (Seen above in the volcanic action shot) She put in processes, materials, electricity, light etc. Children oodles of careful planning, preparation and docu- and families really enjoyed making gooey slime using mentation, ably assisted by Siobhan Renfrey, with a a borax solution, doing a bit of chromatography from proactive staff team. coloured chocolate sweets and building molecules with spaghetti bonds. Staff demonstrated amazing experiments: how to extract the DNA from strawberries; find the speed of light using a microwave; create volcanoes from vinegar and bicarbonate of soda; and rockets from coca cola and mints and much more.

Parents reported that their children had never been so excited, as they were before, during and after the big day of science. Children, parents and grandparents alike appeared to have a wonderful interactive time. For advertising call 01367 888229

Everyone went away really keen to get investigating, and newly inspired young scientists will probably evolve. How worthwhile it all was and showed again why we think school and community are great! This month’s two school pages celebrate both Science and Art, shared openly with the Vale Community.





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… In The Vale Gardening Get your Garden Into Shape with Jo Walsh July brings with it home-grown strawberries and cherries that can be popped straight into your mouth (if you can beat the birds to them first) - a blissful sign that summer has arrived. July’s star plants: Verbena bonariensis, purple clusters of colour rising above everything else. Butterflies love them and they sway long into autumn. Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ is an excellent upright grass that animates a border with purple seed heads that change to bronze in the autumn and offer structure all winter. Bugs & Thugs: So you have spent months awaiting a spectacular show from your lilies and what happens, they get covered and slime and look very miserable - why? This is thanks to the lily beetle, a very attractive, bright red bug, hard to eradicate with pest spray. The best control is to squish them, before your plants are ruined. Keep a keen eye open. They live in the soil at the base of the plant but once they have hatched can chomp through a lily in hours. Plant jargon: Garden centres offer a vast array of plants for you to choose from, however not all of them have a label telling you whether they will grow again the next year. This list of terms should help. Perennial: this plant will have a life span of more than 2 years. Annual: This plant will last one growing season only.

Evergreen: this plant will keep its leaves. Deciduous: this plant will lose its leaves.

Biennial: this plant will take 2 years to complete its life cycle, and then usually dies. Never be afraid to ask about a plant if it is not clearly labelled, what type of soil does it require, is it a perennial? Happy Gardening!! Jo Walsh is based in Faringdon and runs her own Garden design business:



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Sudoku 5 9 1


4 9 3 5 7 1 2 8 6 7 2 1 8 4 2 4 5 8 9 1 9 4 7 1 3 5 1 4 3 6 8 3 6 8 9 2 Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. That's all there is to it. It's fun. It's challenging. It's addictive! Solving time is typically from 20 to 45 minutes, depending on your skill and experience.




7. Fail to understand (4,7,2) 8. Chat (8) 9. Unusual (4) 10. Redemption (6) 12. Use (6) 14. Infertile (6) 16. Bawled (6) 18. Unhearing (4) 20. Insecure (8) 22. Strengthening (13)

1. Wide view (8) 2. Works for (6) 3. Indigent (4) 4. Stealing (8) 5. Open (6) 6. Morose (4) 11. Bravely (8) 13. Miss (8) 15. Deny (6) 17. Shed (4-2) 19. Cupid (4)

Across: 7 Make nothing of; 8 Converse; 9 Rare; 10 Ransom; 12 Employ; 14 Barren; 16 Yelled; 18 Deaf; 20 Unstable; 22 Consolidation. Down: 1 Panorama; 2 Serves; 3 Poor; 4 Thievery; 5 Unwrap; 6 Sour; 11 Manfully; 13 Overlook; 15 Refuse; 17 Lean-to; 19 Eros; 21 Side. For advertising call 01367 888229



Health & fitness

… In The Vale

Is Cosmetic Acupuncture Better than Botox? My answer to this question is try it and see!

face seem softer and more refined.

It is, at least, far less risky and definitely the healthier approach to tackle the fine lines and wrinkles life inscribes on our faces. (Not to mention a lot less expensive!)

If it works and I have patients who can attest to its efficacy - then you have achieved your objectives without pain and the potential risks associated with injecting toxins into your face.

Botox is derived from the botulinum toxin which is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This bacterium is considered one of the most poisonous substances in the world. It is mainly found in canned meat products that have not been handled properly during the preservation process. Although the quantities used for injecting the muscles to basically paralyse them are minute and therefore considered to be safe, would you like to be injected with what is basically similar to a rotten sausage?

So, without risk, and at a much lower cost, the chances are good that you can achieve comparable results.

Cosmetic acupuncture is a more gentle approach to relax the muscles of the face and it creates a smoother and more radiant complexion after a few sessions. Already after the first couple of treatments the benefits become obvious – the contours of the

If you would like more information feel free to give me a call to discuss your options. Frowning is to be frowned on, of course! Monika Becker HP – Alternative Health Practitioner

Monika Becker H.P. German-trained complementary therapist Unique holistic treatment method More than 11 years experience

Acupuncture, Psychological Kinesiology, Gentle Spinal (DORN method), Reiki Hypnotherapy/Past Life Regression Now at the Natural Therapy Centre In Wantage on Mondays

Tel: 07742 982757 Web: Boston House, Grove Technology Park OX12 9FF

Clothes Alteration Specialist Specialising in both his and hers…

Wedding Garments Evening Wear Everyday Clothing Helen Pearce Tel: 01235 200771 Mble: 07851 296094 Email: Visit


In The Vale magazine - please mention it to advertisers!

Grumpy Old Men

… In The Vale

Would you ask a burglar.... to choose his punishment? Of course not! So why are we not just telling these MPs to shut up and let the Police investigate now – I am tired of listening to them tell me how the “system” needs to be reformed. Well as Basil Fawlty once said, “Sybil Fawlty, specialist subject, the bleeding obvious!” Set up a specialist group from the Fraud Squad today. Properly fund them and get them to investigate every MPs expense and allowance claim back over 5 years. If they find evidence of fraud assume they have been doing that for the period they have been an MP and surcharge them. This investigation should include the staff of the Fees Office, who appear to have been aiding and abetting these crimes. Don’t let them resign until they have been investigated. If they are found to have committed an offence – prosecute. Make the punishment fit the seriousness of their crime. Community service for minor offences (a nice bit of street cleaning would bring them closer to their constituents.) For more serious offences send them to prison. Once convicted, deselect them, ban them from ever holding public office again, surcharge them to recover the stolen money (sell all their houses if necessary, if they can’t pay declare them bankrupt - after all most of them seem bankrupt of ideas anyway!) All deselected MPs will lose the ridiculous amounts of money they get when they resign at a General Election (which is why they are all hanging on and saying they will not stand again rather than quitting now.) Make every MP stand as an Independent (they can belong to a political party if they wish – but whipping should be outlawed). Most importantly, let ALL MPs then vote for the executive, i.e. Prime Minister, Chancellor, Foreign Secretary etc so we get who our elected representative thought was the right person, regardless of party. Sack 200 of them and pay the remaining 400 or so a proper salary and outlaw everything except the kind of expenses any normal business would consider reasonable. I could go on – but that little lot would do for a start! David P Elliot Sign seen in sweet shop, “No more than 2 MPs allowed in the shop at any one time.”

In The Vale magazine is delivered to thousands of homes around Wantage, Grove, Faringdon and Longcot and is available in shops, health centres, libraries and tourist info points.

Advertise your business from just £40 a month For more details call 01367 888229 or email For advertising call 01367 888229



… In The Vale

The Small Ads

Part Time Deputy Supervisor required for Hendreds Pre-School in East Hendred. Contact Tessa Case for further details. 01235 821276 . Deadline 6 July 2009.

Cars Bought, Sold and Exchanged. Call 07976 919475 (day) or 01367 243454 (eves). First Babies Group, 0 to 15 months old, Grove Parish Church, Mondays, 10.30-12, just come along or call 01235 511152 for more details

Amaliz - Spacious 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom villa in Calis Beach, Fethiye, Turkey is available both as a holiday and long-term rental. It is ideal for multi -generation parties who still like a bit of peace and quiet though the family is "together". With different areas to relax, sunbathe and rest, larger parties can enjoy their holidays! The ground floor is ideal for persons who find stairs difficult or those wheelchair bound, and has sofa beds and a WC/Shower. Swimming pool 1 min away and others close by. A luxurious home from home for all the family. More details at or call Freda on 07834 161858.

Professional Proofreading and Copy-editing at reasonable rates. Call 01367 888229 and ask for The Proof Fairy or visit

MAN WITH VAN Available for Light Haulage, Collections, Deliveries and Small Removals Daytime, Evening & Weekend Work Tel: 01367 710526 Mobile: 07860 656351

D & S Builders Garden Walls, Patios, Fencing, Roofing, General Building Work, Guttering. Aggregates Supplied & Delivered. Extensions, Drainage.

Private Hire Comfortable Car or 6 Seater Available Contracts Welcome - Please Book In Advance

Ring Laraine or Roger

No Job Too Small. Call for a Quote. home/office: (01367) 242755 fax: (01367) 242728 mobile: 07765 010751

Accompanied visits • Shopping Trips Start Your Holiday In Style • Day At The Races Football Matches • That Special Day Out Airport Transfers • Pub Teams • Lady Driver Available

CFJ CARAVAN CARE Servicing, Repairs, Maintenance, Pre Purchase Inspections

CHRIS JAMES - Mobile Service Engineer ACOPS approved Tel: 01235 224517 Mob: 07887 724525 Email: Member of the Mobile Caravan Engineers Association For advertising call 01367 888229


Please mention In The Vale magazine to advertisers!

… In The Vale

The Small Ads Your advert here for just £5 lineage - £10 small box - £20 large box. Call Alison on 01367 888229 for more details or to book, or complete the form on page 44.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure Find new homes for your old stuff, and get stuff for free, at Freecycle.

Singing, Piano and Keyboard Lessons

Airport Transfers

James Mitchell A.R.C.M.

Fully insured and licensed vehicles Wedding and executive cars Business accounts welcome

Gift tokens Available

0845 260 3230 or 07812 162567

Tel. 01235 767975 or email:

Email: Website:

THE SMALL ADS BOOKING FORM Selling your car? Starting a business? Do party plan? Renting out your holiday home? Organising an event? Advertise in in the CT In The Vale Small Ads from just £5 a month. To book send this form, with payment and your advert, to: The Small Ads, CT In The Vale, 9 Cromwell Close, Faringdon SN7 7BQ. Please make cheques payable to Community Times In The Vale. Cut off date: 15th of month preceding publication. Your advert will appear from the next available issue. A copy of our standard Terms & Conditions is available on request.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------I would like to book a:

20 word lineage ad @ £5 40 word lineage ad @ £7.50 Small portrait box @ £10  Small landscape box @ £10 Large business card box @ £20 For a period of  1 month  3 months  6 months  12 months 10% discount for bookings of 6 months or more - please deduct before sending payment I enclose payment of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Name: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Address: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Tel: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Email: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ______ For advertising call 01367 888229



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Index of advertisers Advertisers

… In The Vale



4Networking …………………………………….32 Air Jelly Bouncy Castles …………………….. 7 The Barbers ……………………...……………. 23 Basil Mienie ………………………………..…... 23 Brian’s Hire ……………………………………...38 Brett’s Pharmacy …………………...…………. 2 CFJ Caravan Care ………………..……………37 Coleshill Organics……………….….……...…...19 D & S Builders …………………..…………….. 37 Dolphin Gallery ……………………………….. 17 First Babies Group …………………………... 37 The Happy Computer Company …………….. 17 James Mitchell @ One Voice ……….………. 38 Jenny @ Footnotes …………………………… 25 Live Connections ……………………….……... 7 LJ & CA Cannings …………….………..…….. 33 Magic Wardrobe ……………………………... 36 Man with Van (Rapid Services) ……………… 37 Marketing Lounge ……………………………...13 Martin Green (Health & Safety) ……………… 13 Martin Spackman Accountant ………………. 17 Monika Becker, Alternative Health ………….. 35



Mortgages Made Easy ……………………….. 7 The National Pages ………………………….. 38 Nonoy’s Oriental Store …………………………19 Paul Francis, Renault Specialist ……………. 37 The Proof Fairy ……………………………….. 37 Puppy School ………………………………….. 27 Robert Elliott Vets………………..………….... 27 Russ Gooding Tree Care ……………………. 9 Safeclean ………………………....………….... 27 Sanctuary Care ……………………………….. 25 Segais Hair Design …………………………... 35 Sensaroma …………………………………….. 37 Smiths Restaurant …………………………….. 19 Stylers ………………………..…………………..23 tfd health & fitness………………...……….…….. 40 Totally Cliff …………………………………….. 37 Vale & Downland Museum ……………..…... 15 WA Broda Painting & Decorating ………………. 25 Wantage Chiropractic Clinic……...………...….23 White Cottage Beauty ……………………..…...39 White Horse Hire ………………………….…….. 37 White Horse Show ……………………………. 13


In The Vale magazine - please mention it to advertisers!

For advertising call 01367 888229



In The Vale magazine - August 09 issue  

In The Vale magazine offers a unique mix of news, events and features for Wantage, Grove, Faringdon, Longcot and surrounding villages in sou...

In The Vale magazine - August 09 issue  

In The Vale magazine offers a unique mix of news, events and features for Wantage, Grove, Faringdon, Longcot and surrounding villages in sou...