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AUGUST 2018 |


Ripe & ready

Our food & drink guide for a refreshing summer

Alex James Q&A • Summer days out • What’s on Local life • Home improvement tips • Christine Wallace Win! £150 of jewellery • Wine tasting & stay • Royal Berkshire Show


Changing Perceptions for the Better Take a look around Richmond Witney Care Home and prepare to have your preconceptions of a care home changed for the better. SERV IC ES & FAC ILITIE S IN C L U D E NURSING CARE | DEMENTIA CARE | RESPITE & CONVALESCENT CARE • Nursing & residential care

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Contents AUGUST 2018 | Vol. 6 | No. 8

5 Disjointed Ramblings

23 Summer days out

8 Alex James Q&A

25 Christine Wallace

11 Food glorious food

27 Competitions

18 Home improvements

28 Classified

Local news and charity events

Musician turned cheese maker

Dine & drink locally


Star baker rises to the challenge


Free to enter online

Your essential services

roofl ine



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con se




Tips for inside & out

Vale spots to enjoy

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Witney R&A | 3

Who we are

The monthly magazine delivered to homes by The Royal Mail across Oxon, Berks, Bucks, Glos, Hants, London, Surrey & W Sussex

THIS EDITION IS DELIVERED TO ALL 22,007 HOMES IN OX28/29 P­­ ublisher: Chris Savage Editor: Liz Nicholls

email: Ramblings Editor: Peter Savage Digital Content Editor: Rachel Wakefield Sales Director: Luke Maitland Advertising Manager: Katie Williamson Display Advertising: Steve Warner, Sam Gillespie, Amelia Neat, Simon Johnson, Jennifer Sanders Classified Sales Manager: Kay Andrews Classified Advertising: Emma Bird email: Accounts: Vicki Charles, Stephen Clapton Production Manager: Cherry Butler

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August 2018

Ramblings Local news & events

Promoting your event in Ramblings is FREE

My family and I have just been talking about how we would most like spend our last week of the month together.

d Max 150 words. We cannot guarantee all entries will be published.

Vicky Clark

your RamblER...


e decided we’d definitely go away and we each chose a destination. My daughter chose the Amazon and my son chose Brentford. Neither of those was going to happen, for obvious and different reasons. In the end, my choice of Cornwall was the winner. And, as I write this, my husband is searching for a suitable place to stay. No pressure. I just want something amazing and affordable for three days. Which, of course, leaves another 28 days in August for fun around here. We will no doubt be at some of the following fantastic local events... ˜˜˜ Firstly, and if you want to have your say on a proposed garden village set to be built to the north of the A40 near Eynsham, you’ve only got a few days to do so. A consultation on the proposal runs until Friday, 3rd August, and views submitted will be taken into account as the proposals are worked up in more detail ahead of further consultation in autumn. Visit ˜˜˜ Also on early this month is an event in which you can learn all about bumble bees! The Wychwood Project

is organising the session on Saturday, 4th August, at 11am in Chipping Norton led by Craig Blackwell, the former county ecologist. People should meet at Applegarth Garden Centre to see its bee patch and bee-friendly plants, then there will be a walk to look for bees at the meadow at Chipping Norton Medical Centre. The suggested donation is £2. Booking is recommended – email ˜˜˜ From bees to books, and if you’re looking for ways to keep the kids busy while they’re off school, why not pop down to Witney Library and sign them up for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge? This year’s challenge, in which children need to read six library books of their choice over the summer holidays, is called Mischief Makers and features comic book characters from The Beano, including Dennis, Gnasher, Bananaman and friends. Visit or visit your local library, where you can also pick up details of how adults and young adults can take part in Oxfordshire Reads – a summer celebration of books and reading!

d...Continued on page 6.

Witney R&A | 5


What a summer it’s been. The World Cup. The weather. Harry and Meghan’s wedding. Other stuff beginning with ‘w’. And it is not over yet...

If you’re holding a charity event, fete, fair or anything of a non-commercial nature email it in by the 1st of the month prior to publication to

ramblings ˜˜˜

á ...Continued from page 5.


˜˜˜ There’s loads on at The Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock over the summer hols, including a series of Peter Rabbit-themed family fun drop-in sessions, which start on Thursday, 2nd August, when you can make your own model of Peter Rabbit and create a colourful garden for him to hide in. Visit uk/oxfordshiremuseum. Next door, at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, there are family open afternoons every Wednesday during the school holidays, 2-4pm, plus the weekly holiday kids’ club on Friday mornings, which you need to book. Visit

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˜˜˜ Witney U3A has a couple of talks on this month. The first, on Thursday, 2nd August, is about T.E.Lawrence and the Arab Revolt and will be given by Bjorn Watson, and on Thursday 16th Martin Lloyd will give a talk called Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies. Both take place at the High Street Methodist Church at 2pm. Visit www.

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˜˜˜ Police services and the work of Trading Standards are the topics of talks being given at the next meeting of Witney Macular Group at Witney’s High Street Methodist Church from 1.30pm on Wednesday, 22nd August. The meeting fee is £3. Call Sarah on 01993 771828. ˜˜˜ The WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) have asked us to let you know they’re running a new ten-week course starting next month entitled Madness as Metaphor: Exploring Representations of Insanity in Fiction. The sessions are on Thursdays from 10am until noon from 20th September at the Corn Exchange in Market Square, Witney, and the cost is £86. Writers to be studied include Edgar Allen Poe, Wilkie Collins, Jean Rhys, Sylvia Plath and Margaret Attwood. No experience or qualifications are needed to join this friendly, welcoming group. Visit www. or contact local rep Bee on 07528 638787. ˜˜˜ Great news:, a Witney-based organisation which co-ordinates volunteers to help with a range of community services has received a welcome £10,000 funding boost. Volunteer Link-Up will use the West Oxfordshire District Council grant to support its Good Neighbour scheme which helps residents continue to live independently. Manager Pat Chirgwin says: “Without us, a lot of people would end up in care homes as they can’t

Established for over ten years and led by a qualified nurse and experienced management team, we were awarded an ‘Outstanding’ rating following our most recent CQC inspection. Our carers are guided by individual care plans and they call upon their diverse experience and training to deliver exceptional care in the home.

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star Q&A

Feast of fun Liz Nicholls chats to musician, cheese maker and dad Alex James, 49, ahead of The Big Feastival which takes place 24th-26th August, in the Cotswolds


How do you start planning each new Big Feastival? “The first thing we do is invite The Cuban Brothers and Justin Fletcher; then we’ve got a party. Justin turns up and marches on stage with his little red nose on to sing One Man Went To Mow and brings the house down, without fail, every year. As time goes on it gets easier to attract the big stars. I’m delighted Marco [Pierre White] is involved this year; the whole British food revival started with him. Raymond Blanc and Pierre Koffmann complete the trio of culinary granddaddies.” Q. Do you love the local food scene? “Totally. We’re lucky with such a brilliant culture of food, starting with Daylesford just up the road and that’s drawn loads of brilliant chefs to the area. I love all the great pop-ups, farmers, producers...” Q. Do you get to enjoy the festival once all the hard prep work is done? “Yes; it takes all my charms and the odd cheese parcel, as well as loads of hard work. But when the sun’s shining and everyone’s jumping up and down, having a good time, it’s worth it. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun as this – it’s an absolute scream. I get the whole family involved; everyone’s got a role.” Q. You make parenting look easy, with your big brood! “Haha! Yeah but I do get stressed too, man. Having a big family teaches you to roll with the punches, focus on the horizon, keep pushing.” 8 | R&A Witney

Q. You seem very productive? “I’ve made five children, six cheeses and seven records. That’s the only reason I can do a food, music and family festival. You’ve got to care to make it happen.” Q. How do you stay so svelte, making so much cheese!? “Thanks for saying; I don’t feel it! I’ve got two new cheeses out this year so each one is quite a bit of time in the gym. It’s difficult not to invent cheese without eating loads of f***ing cheese!” Q. Where do you want to travel next? “Marco and I were talking about this the other day – he wants to go round Europe. South America, for me, is mind-blowing. The last time I was in Chile with the band I had a great meal and there wasn’t one ingredient I recognised. There’s interest in doing a festival down there, actually. I love travelling as a family; it’s so easy to travel in the 21st century.”

Q. Do you still love astronomy? “Yeah; I watch lots of videos on YouTube; science, physics. It’s a good way to zone out at the end of a long day. Since the kids arrived I’ve got more down-toearth concerns but my love of astronomy has gone into a more abstract realm of higher maths.” Q. Who’s your favourite author? “I like to re-read those books I’ve always loved, especially Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson.” ● Visit August 2018

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food & drink Our beautiful part of the world is full of fantastic food & drink producers. We uncork some of our favourites to enjoy this summer...

Quench marks I

f summer joy could be encapsulated in a sound, surely it would be the “pop” of a perfectly chilled bottle? And when you’re uncorking the fruits of your own labours, success is sweet indeed... “This land is a b***** to cultivate,” says Henry Laithwaite as he stands on the undulating Chiltern slopes alongside his wife Kaye. “It’s so flinty that the harrow kept breaking when we started working the soil, which inspired our name. But it is a very special spot.” Indeed, this beautiful Thames Valley terroir is one of the many magical ingredients (along with lots of hard work) which have helped conjure up the lush velvety blushing fizz we uncork and sample in Harrow & Hope’s adjoining state-ofthe-art winery. This non-vintage brut rosé, made exclusively from pinot noir grapes, won a gold medal in the Sommelier Wine Awards. Produced using traditional methods and the precious fruit from these relatively young vines, Harrow & Hope’s sparkling wines are flying the flag for the Great British food and drink revolution. Here at Round & About we are passionate (not to mention greedy and thirsty) supporters of

Tours & tasting sessions. Visit www. harrowand

local pubs, restaurants and producers. After all, anyone working in the food & drink industry will know all too well that it takes a lot of hard graft to create the perfect recipe for punters to enjoy.

Gin has seen a surge in popularity and there are some interesting local producers in this spirited part of the world. Chalgrove Artisan Distillery use juniper berries, coriander seed, angelica root, cardamon and black peppercorns, honed in an alembic copper still, to create their OX44 Gin; visit Did you know gin started out as a medicine (it was thought to cure gout and indigestion)? In the 18th century, alcohol was safer to drink than water and gin was cheaper than beer; it was untaxed until the government cottoned on, sparking hooch production. Much of the gin was drunk by women (with historians blaming it for child neglect and citing wet nurses giving gin to babies to quieten them), landing many in debtors’ prisons or the gallows, or driving them to madness, suicide and death (hence the term Mother’s Ruin). However, these days it’s a more joyful summer spirit, and can even be considered a beauty tonic...


food & drink Young In Spirit is the world’s first company which combines spirits with pure collagen. Oxford “gintrepreneurs” Camilla Brown and Liz Beswick have earned attention from Vogue and The Daily Mail, among others for their Collagin; www.collagin. The artisans at Toad in Oxford craft gin, absinthe, vodka and rye whiskey worth a shot – and there’s a new cocktail bar at Bicester village; www. And Mr Hobbs Gin, part of the Hobbs of Henley Experience, has launched two new fruit flavoured gin liqueurs; Rhubarb & Ginger and Raspberry & Elderflower Is beer your tipple? Hoppy bunnies are spoilt for choice. For tours, tastings and hearty ales, check out Witney’s wondrous Wychwood Brewery ( Cirencester’s Corinium Ales (, Chipping Norton’s Hook Norton Brewery www.hooky. A passion for good beer and social justice fuel Botley’s Tap Social, where the team offer live music and street food every Friday and Saturday in August as well as the monthly comedy night and reggae night. www.tapsocialmovement. com. Ciderniks near Kintbury has been making natural ciders, pure apple juice Visit and cider vinegar since 2003; www.ciderniks. www.round com and

for our full guide, reviews Q&As with star chefs and more

ariety is the spice of life and there are so many restaurants to enjoy this summer. Michelin-starred Atul Kochhar (the father of Benares in London and Sindhu in Marlow) hosts Indian nights in August at his divine Hawkyns in Amersham; www.hawkynsrestaurant. The Bottle & Glass Inn in Binfield has made a splash, gaining a nod from Harden’s Guide and a Michelin Plate; For summer dining in style, check out The French Horn in Sonning (www., The Crooked Billet in Stoke Row ( and The Nelson in Brightwell Baldwin Feast on fresh Lebanese and Middle Eastern delicacies (many vegan or veggie) including colourful salads and wraps at Comptoir Libanais in Oxford’s Westgate; We also love the rustic summer vibes of The Highwayman ( Cheers!



We chat to the star chef of The Crooked Billet and London Street Brasserie...


What’s your favourite kitchen gadget? “ My Vogue Speed Peeler, for planing Reggiano curls from a parmesan wedge. It produces perfect courgette, daikon and carrot ribbons and peels a waxy charlotte in seconds... I could even shave my legs with it.” Q. What are your favourite al fresco summer dishes? “Shaved courgette and parmesan dressed with thick green olive oil. Or else rotisserie spitroast chicken, loads

of herbs, garlic and lemon. I’m also partial to a Mr Whippy with local raspberries and monkey blood.” Q. Which are your favourite local suppliers, producers or farm shop? “Blue Tin Farm Shop at Keepers Cottage in Ipsden. Great produce, a great smoke house, great providence and I fancy the farmer’s wife...” Q. What’s your favourite summer veg, fruit and drink? “Runner beans, tomatoes and Barbara Laithwaites’ Stoke Row English sparkling wine. I also love an ice-cold Dandelion & Burdock.” August 2018

Zest for life Y

asemen Kaner-White is the Windsorbased award-winning author of Lemon Compendium which features lemon recipes and tips from around the world (and won the heart of Nigella Lawson).

Q. What’s your favourite kitchen gadget? “Has to be my lemon juicer; a glass Victorian one which belonged to my grandmother. I squeeze one whole lemon a day into tepid water, then drink it through a straw; preserving my teeth from the acid but gaining all the nutrients, namely the vitamin C.” Q. What’s your favourite al fresco dish? “A huge salad, always including avocado. One of my favourites is salmon fillet on top of greens, cubed fresh mango, fresh mint, coriander and basil, avocado, tomato, fennel, with a sprinkling of olive oil and of course a big squeeze of lemon juice.” Q. What’s your favourite summer produce and drink? “I love fresh rhubarb, picked from the garden and cooked up with some honey, a dollop of coconut yogurt on top, or on porridge is wonderful. Drink? I’d have to be boring and say water, particularly where I live, it doesn’t need filtering, tastes good as it is. I travel a lot for work, so really appreciate that we can just turn on our kitchen tap and drink the water, unlike so many other countries around the world.” Q. Where are your favourite summer spots? “I love to sit and have a cup of tea overlooking the river at Sir Christopher Wren Hotel in Windsor. The Organic Bread Shop in Windsor is fabulous for coffee, bread and unusual local products.” @YasemenKW

What’s your favourite pub, restaurant or producer? Vote & win prizes online!

How many

MACARONS? Guess correctly and you could win four tickets to the all-star Didcot Food Festival!


ctober 27th serves up the third glorious helping of foodie & community fun, courtesy of Christine Wallace and Jeanette Howse of Well Preserved and the founder of the annual street fair. Christine says: “Of all the good things that have come out of appearing on one of the most successful programmes of all time, Great British Bake Off, becoming so involved with my home town is one of the best. We formed Didcot Events and one of these events is this wonderful festival which is my particular ‘baby’.” Benoit Blin from Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons will open the event, 10am-4pm, which also offers mouth-watering street food, live music, a vintage café, local food and drink producers, lots of fun for the whole family and the chefs’ theatre. Among the stars cooking up a storm will be Nick Bennett and Andrew Scott of the acclaimed Restaurant 56 at Sudbury House Hotel in Faringdon. Andrew says: “I look forward to Didcot Food Festival every autumn for its great food producers and excellent demo kitchen.” Nick adds: “At Didcot last year we had a great time demoing our dishes, and interacting with the audience. Make sure you come this year!” ● Christine has created this wondrous tower of sweet treats. Can you guess how many macarons (including spares and breakages) it took Christine to build it (FYI the “macaron” is the whole cake with the filling)? Please email lnicholls@ (subject line “Macaron tower”) before 1st September and the person whose guess is closest will win four tickets to Didcot Food Festival.

ramblings ˜˜˜

á ...Continued from page 7.

manage to do little things such as changing a light bulb or mowing the lawn themselves. By using volunteers we can save the public purse a lot of money.” The Good Neighbour Scheme also involves volunteers giving lifts to residents for shopping or medical appointments. Volunteer Link-Up also operates a befriending scheme and sources volunteers to help other West Oxfordshire charities. Earlier this summer Volunteer Link-Up was voted Best Group in West Oxfordshire at the Oxfordshire Charity and Volunteer Awards. Visit

Oxford-based education charity Quest for Learning (formerly Reading Quest) is launching Quest 5000 – a campaign to trace some of the 5,000 young people it has helped with literacy since it started 22 years ago. Director Jayne Lacny says: “We’d love to find out if the help we gave those children all those years ago has made a difference in secondary school or in the world of work beyond. The children who first benefitted from the scheme will be well into their twenties now, and we would love to hear from them.” Were you lucky enough to get help from a Reading Quest tutor? If so, send an email to The charity is launching a fundraising campaign to help the next 5,000 children. Its aim is to raise £50,000. Donations can be made via the website at ˜˜˜

˜˜˜ Back to Witney and I think we’ve previously mentioned Witney Town Council’s appeal for handmade poppies for its 2018 commemoration of the end of World War One. The council’s lovely plan is that on Armistice Day a “poppy mile” will follow the route the young men of Witney took as they marched off to war. We spent much of the week that has just gone making a poppy for this as part of my son’s homework. I must say I’m pleased with my – sorry, his – efforts! You can get involved at a poppy mounting session between 6pm and 8.30pm on Tuesday, 7th August, in the Corn Exchange main hall. ˜˜˜ The area’s premier public art trail, in the form of the Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail, is on this month. As in previous years, scores of five-foot spring hare sculptures and leverets sponsored by local businesses, schools and community groups, and decorated by inspired local artists, have sprung up throughout the Cotswolds in a unique art installation. At the end of the trail, the sculptures will be gathered in for a public Farewell to the Hares event, before being auctioned off to raise money for the Caring for the Cotswolds visitor giving scheme and Glorious Cotswold Grasslands. This year’s trail is bigger than ever before, reaching as far as Stratford-upon-Avon and Bath, the Forest of Dean and Oxford, and I have already spotted one in Witney....! Visit

d...Continued on page 20.

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August 2018

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Providing a variety of care services including nursing, residential, respite, dementia, convalescent and palliative care.

Freeland House is situated in the friendly village of Freeland which is 11 miles from the centre of Oxford. We are set on the edge of the Cotswolds within beautiful grounds with views over the stunning Oxfordshire countryside. Freeland House is situated in the friendly village of Freeland which is 11 miles from the centre of Oxford. We are set on the edge of Recently refurbished and modernised, Freeland House aims to meet the individual needs of our residents and our caring support team the Cotswolds within beautiful grounds with views over the stunning Oxfordshire country side. work very hard to ensure that everyone feels at home. Recently refurbished and modernised, Freeland House aims to meet the individual needs of our residents and our caring support • Individually designed person-centred care packages • Freshly prepared home-made cuisine team work very hard to ensure that everyone feels at home. • Comfortable, homely and welcoming atmosphere • Tastefully decorated and furnished bedrooms

• Individually designed person-centred care packages • Comfortable, homely and welcoming atmosphere • Freshly prepared home-made cuisine • Varied social activity calendar and entertainment to suit all tastes

• Tastefully decorated and furnished bedrooms • Newspapers and magazines on request • Hairdresser, chiropodist, physiotherapist, optician, dentist • Internet access for our residents and their families

Come and see for yourself what we have to offer at Freeland House. Simply call 01993 881258 or pop in for a chat with our Home Manager who can help and advise you with your specific care needs. You will be very welcome.

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Billions of PPI will


CCORDING to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as many as 64 million PPI policies were sold in the UK, mostly between 1990 and 2010, but many were sold as far back as the 1970s. In 2017 alone, more than £3.5 billion was refunded to consumers who were mis-sold this product but, despite these enormous sums being paid out, many consumers still haven’t investigated if they are owed anything and many never will. Carol Platt, one of the directors of JMP Partnership, said: “Anyone aged over 35 who has ever had a loan, credit card or mortgage is likely to be affected by this scandal, but the people who are owed the most are those aged over 55.” JMP Partnership has been helping consumers reclaim mis-sold PPI for 11 years and believes almost all the huge refunds are owed to people over 55. Carol said: “Examples are Mrs G from Ryde, who is in her late 70s now — a few years ago we recovered more than £100,000 for her from about a dozen different banks and credit card providers. “Mr G, formerly of Sandown, has now retired to Spain at the age of 65 with a very nice nest egg. He and his wife received refunds totalling more than £48,000. “Mr C from Guildford who has had refunds totalling more than £24,000.” So why are many people — especially those in their 60s and 70s — unlikely to receive the huge sums they are owed? There are several reasons, according to Carol. • INERTIA — many older people simply don’t know what to do to get their

Carol Platt, of JMP Partnership. money back, so they do nothing. • FEAR — they know there are companies out there like JMP Partnership they can turn to for help, but they don’t know who they can trust. • DISBELIEF — they simply don’t believe they are owed anything. • NO PAPERWORK — many people wrongly believe they will have to provide the evidence they were sold this product. • BANKS LIE — many people have already contacted their bank and been told they weren’t sold PPI when that wasn’t true. So why should consumers trust JMP Partnership to manage their claims? JMP Partnership is regulated by the Ministry of Justice’s Claims Management Regulation Unit, soon to be part of the FCA. JMP is a Trading Standards Approved business and has helped almost 11,000 people to reclaim more than £50 million of mis-sold PPI. “We can’t promise to get anyone a refund but as we work on a no win, no fee* basis there is no risk you will be out of pocket if you ask us to

investigate if you are owed a refund,” said Carol. JMP PARTNERSHIP CHARGES 20% + VAT OF THE GROSS SUM REFUNDED. “We don’t need you to provide account numbers or paperwork, but if you have some, we are always happy to receive it. “‘You can visit our website at www. round-and-about/ to send us your details or alternatively, you can call us on 01983 403390 or 01983 640701 and give us your details over the phone. “All we will ask for is your name, address, date of birth and previous address(es) so we can search databases to see what PPI you might have been sold.” “You can also send all your details securely to JMP Partnership via the website: www. do-it-all-online-ppi-claim/ *No win no fee agreements are subject to a cancellation fee.


Isle of Wight

never be reclaimed


Do you trust your bank?

N 2015, Lloyds Bank was fined £117 million by the FCA and Clydesdale was fined £21 million for failing to treat their customers fairly when handling PPI complaints. Carol Platt, of JMP Partnership, said: “Dozens of times over the last 11 years we have been instructed by clients who had already been told by their bank they were not sold PPI. “Some people went on to get thousands of pounds back after JMP Partnership got involved. In a few cases, it was tens of thousands. “JMP Partnership has made dozens of complaints to the FCA about inaccurate information being provided to consumers and investigations into some of these cases is still on-going. ELDERLY, INFIRM OR EVEN DECEASED Many people will have elderly parents or relatives who they know are affect-

An HSBC cheque for almost £32,000, which was awarded to a client who was mis-sold PPI.

ed by this. JMP Partnership is happy to speak to anyone who thinks their parents or relative might be affected but for one reason or another may not be able to get in touch. “Just last month we recovered a five-figure sum for the family of a

deceased relative, acting on the instructions of the executor of the estate,” said Carol. “All we need is permission/instructions from the executor, a copy of the death certificate and, if there is one, a copy of the will and the grant of probate.”

Bank said no: JMP said yes


FORMER assistant manager at NatWest bank, who knew he had PPI on his credit card, was surprised when the bank said no, he didn’t. Mr D chose JMP Partnership to investigate his claim from the start and was delighted when they persevered and netted him a refund of almost £32,000. He said: “It was quite an old credit card and I knew I had PPI on it. It took

me a while to get the ball rolling, but as soon as I popped into the Sandown branch of JMP they took care of everything very professionally. “They sent all the enquiries off but NatWest came back and said I didn’t have PPI on that card. “JMP took up the fight and I was absolutely gobsmacked when the bank paid up a few months later. “I’m semi-retired now so I’ve put the money away for a rainy day. “If it hadn’t been for JMP I just

wouldn’t have got the refund. “You can imagine if you process a claim yourself and the bank says no, you’d just accept it. JMP really fight your corner. I’d recommend anyone to ask them to check out whether they are owed a refund. “Don’t sit on the fence — they do all the work for you so it’s very painless. I still can’t quite believe what they’ve done for me.”




Not everyone is on holiday during August... Savvy homeowners will spend some of their summer, and money, making their home and garden beautiful


18 | R&A Witney

aking hay while the sun shines” is a farming expression – but the same can be applied to home improvement. Summer is ideal for painting (call Prep 1st for decorating and renovations on 07767 416166 or 01235 559693) and it’s also best to strike while the sun’s hot to sort gutters, drain pipes and windows. Check out Stratus Guttering (www., Silent View Windows ( and Koncept Home Improvements’ new Wokingham showroom (

industry-leading sheds and timber buildings from Kidby’s (0118 972 3380 / Talk to GreenSpace Conservatory Roofs Ltd whose team can fit a new roof in less than a day to insulate your space in winter and keep it cooler in summer, with minimal disruption and a ten-year guarantee (0800 6525157 / Your patio could be pristine with the help of Patio Black Spot Removal (0800 5003032 / www. Wallingford Glass & Glazing can be trusted with projects of all sizes

If you have a conservatory, now’s the time to give it some attention to remedy the roastingin-summer/ freezing-in-winter dichotomy. Call the trustworthy family team of experts at Rundle and Dorey Ltd (0333 2702008 / www., summer sale is on. Also consult Shuttercraft for superb blinds; call 01491 526300;

As this month is a celebration of food & drink, it’s the perfect time to create your dream cooking/ eating space: try John Lewis of Hungerford; (www., Kitchen Solutions (www. and Ashford Kitchens & Interiors ( For a superb cost-effective makeover, ask Dream Doors for a free consultation;

You’ll get longer-lasting sparkle if you clean your windows now and any building projects that involve laying cement or bricks are much more practical. You’re sure of some serious home inspo from Design Works Studios’ experts’ gorgeous extensions and more; www.designworkstudios. And be inspired by Bathstone Ltd’s garden rooms and outbuildings, from granny annexes to soundproofed music studios (01189 842555 / and the

Plumbing is in safe hands with AGM; (01865 817 611 / and five-star service with small jobs with Taps & Toilets ( Also check out Garolla Roller Shutter Doors (0800 468 1982), the local family team at Regatta Roofing (www. and Bucks-based Trio Flooring (01494 957150 / www.trioflooring. For your dream outdoor space check out August 2018









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á ...Continued from page 14.

˜˜˜ Next, and if you’re looking for a fun way to spend the bank holiday at the end of the month, there’s plenty on locally to choose from, including a couple of great flower shows. Firstly, Bampton Gardening Club holds its annual flower and produce show on Saturday, 25th August, 2-4pm in Bampton Village Hall. Call Richard West on 01993 778414 or email ric77988@gmail com ˜˜˜ And the Bank Holiday Monday 27th sees the 67th staging of the Ducklington Flower Show, 1-5pm, at the village sports ground. Please call Richard West on 01993 778414 or email ˜˜˜ Minster Lovell Beer Festival and Village Day is held on bank holiday Sunday (26th) in a lovely setting on the banks of the beautiful River Windrush. There will be music, children’s rides, duck races and a variety of stalls raising money for village organisations at the event, which is being held at the cricket club. It is a free event and is on from midday until 11pm.

For a weekend of good food and music, you could try The Big Feastival, which runs from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th at Blur bass player Alex James’s farm at Kingham near Burford. On the music front, headline acts ˜˜˜

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include Basement Jaxx on Friday night, Craig David on Saturday and Paloma Faith will top the bill on the Sunday. Other acts appearing include Clean Bandit, Professor Green and James Arthur. On the food side, there will be demonstrations from star chefs Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc. There’s also plenty of entertainment for the kids, including appearances from TV’s Justin Fletcher and Dick and Dom. Visit and read our interview with Alex! ˜˜˜ Or why not host your own event over the bank holiday in aid of a good cause? Forever Hounds Trust, a charity that rescues and rehomes greyhounds, lurchers and other sighthounds in the UK, is appealing for members of the public to get involved in its annual fundraising event The Big Hound Chill Out. This invites supporters to pick their favourite way to relax – be it a family barbecue, pamper evening or maybe something a bit more active like a walk with friends – then invite people along and ask for a donation in return. Email fundraising@ or call 07849 833102. ˜˜˜ A quick reminder that homemade cream teas will be served at the Reading Room on Combe Village Green every Sunday from 2.30pm until 5pm until the end of the month.

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ramblings ˜˜˜

á ...Continued from page 20.

˜˜˜ And don’t miss out on your chance to have a wander around Bridewell Organic Gardens’ Walled Garden and Vineyard at Wilcote, which is hosting a community open afternoon on Thursday 16th from 2pm until 4pm. A suggested donation for entry is £4, with children getting in for free. Refreshments and plants will be for sale. Call 01993 864530 or visit ˜˜˜ Now this next one sounds pretty exciting – a 19th-century tightrope walk over the Queen Lake at Blenheim Palace is to be recreated as part of a high-wire weekend on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August. In 1886, renowned tightrope artist Carlos Trower undertook a traverse of the lake on a single wire. His daredevil crossing will be re-enacted by ropewalker Christopher Bullzini, who will try to recreate the original performance, suspended 30 metres above the water. As he attempts the 320 metre-crossing, one of the longest undertaken in the UK, Carlos Trower’s fascinating life story will be narrated to visitors. Visitors will also be entertained by brass band music, Victorian strong man acrobats, jugglers, stilt walkers, Mr Phoebus on his penny farthing and a selection of Victorian fairgrounds rides. High-wire displays will take place at midday and 3pm each day. Each high-wire show will last about 20 to 30 minutes.

˜˜˜ And you can hop on your bike at Blenheim Palace on Sunday 19th for a family cycling day. There is no age restriction for children taking part, but they must wear appropriate safety equipment and be accompanied by adults. There is no need to pre-book and first aid will be located on site. Two routes will be available to take, one around Queen Pool and one around the park perimeter. Extra bike racks will be available for cyclists wishing to make the most of their day to include a visit to the palace. The event will be on from 9am until 5.30pm. ˜˜˜ Just a quick note for the diary for an event on early next month – the Blenheim Palace Classic and Supercar Show is taking place on Sunday 2nd September. This will see more than 1,000 of the world’s greatest classic and supercars on display in the Great Court and adjacent parkland. Volunteers are being sought to act as traffic and crowd marshalls for the anticipated 20,000 visitors likely to attend. All volunteers, who need to be 18 years old or over, will have access to enjoy the event around their shift and will have lunch and plenty of water provided throughout the day. If you are interested in volunteering please email ˜˜˜ Also on right at the start of next month is the annual Hailey Village Show on Saturday 1st September

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August 2018

family fun

High f liers

Kite flying is just one family activity across the Vale of the White Horse this month to enable families to get out and enjoy the summer sun together.


n Tuesday, 14th August, you are encouraged to take your own kites to fly or have a go at orienteering as you discover many centuries of history and occupation.

a chance for a stroll along the River Cole and to river dip under close supervision from the rangers. More information on both events can be found at the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates.

This area not only includes the White Horse, rechalked only last month, but also Uffington Castle and Dragon Hill whose slopes will create plenty of updraughts for your kite. Did you know Dragon Hill, according to legend, is where St George slayed the dragon? Uffington Castle dates back to the Bronze and Iron Ages with this 5th to 6th Century BC earthwork situated at the Southern end of the Ridgeway. For more details visit www.nationaltrust.

For the final Tuesday of August, there’s a chance to go into the woods, and to find out a lot about not what happens in the woodland, but also the many tasks that the National Trust team undertake to conserve the woodland. Plus, like White Horse Hill there is also an Iron Age Fort here and children build their own dens in the wood and learn how to construct woodland trails. For more visit www. Secrets and Spies are the subject on Tuesday, 7th August, and everyone can get a chance to learn how the Coleshill estate helped the war effort. In the kitchen garden, many people were trained here to work for the Resistance. But that is not the only event where detective work is called for, on Tuesday 21st August there is


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ramblings ˜˜˜

á ...Continued from page 22.

in the Village Hall. Among the competitive categories to enter are flowers, fruit and vegetables, cookery, photography and floral arrangement. There are also classes for children to enter. Everyone is welcome to enter. There will also be bric-a-brac and other stalls. Visit www. or call 01993 899125.

˜˜˜ Got a yearning for some learning? Abingdon and Witney College is holding open days in Witney on Saturday 1st September, 10-11.30am and Wednesday 5th, 3.30-7pm. The open days are an ideal chance to meet the tutors, find out about what courses are on offer and to ask any questions you may have. You don’t need to book or register in advance, you can just turn up on the day. ˜˜˜ A great local running event, the Cotswold Classic – a ten-mile road race in and around Witney – is on next month. Organised by Witney Road Runners the race takes place on Saturday, 29th September, starting and finishing at The King’s School, on New Yatt Road. I was considering it until I read that the course is relatively undulating with one particularly long climb known locally as the “hillzakilla”... There is however, a very fast finish with the last mile-and-a-half being more or less downhill. Visit

˜˜˜ The Theatre in Chipping Norton has been in touch to let us know about some of the great live events over the next few months. Among the highlights are appearances by MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace on Friday, 21st September, Marcus Brigstocke on Saturday, 6th October,and Seann Walsh on Saturday, 20th October. It might seem a long way off, but The Theatre’s pantomime is Aladdin and it takes place from 14th November to 13th January; booking is already open. Even further off is an appearance by Britain’s Got Talent winner Lost Voice Guy on Saturday 9th March next year. For these and more, please visit ˜˜˜ Back to this month: Witney Music Festival will stage its fantastic free main event on The Leys, on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th. There will be a wide range of cover bands and tribute acts playing plus, on the Saturday, a BBC Music Introducing stage starring the best unsigned local acts in the area. ˜˜˜ Wychwood Forest Fair – the 19th in modern times – will this year be held at Lodge Farm, Ditchley Estate on Sunday, 2nd September. What’s in store? A fun filled family day-out including rural craft demonstrations, entertainment, music, food, forestry horses, jewellery making workshops and more than 150 stands promoting

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reaching over 545,000 homes every month with 26 area specific magazine titles. Having added 2 new area editions of the magazine to our existing list of 24, we are keen to expand our sales team and need you! Remuneration package up to £24,000 OTE + benefits depending on experience. Available positions are full-time and based from our Wallingford office on Howbery Business Park.

Email your cover letter and CV to Don’t be scared to grab our attention! 24 | R&A Witney

August 2018


IN the

mix! Our columnist Christine Wallace looks forward to another fab foodie month

Rural retreat in 18th Century stone cottages, set in 20acres of beautiful, unspoilt South Devon valley in AONB.


his is, of course, a strong holiday month with lots of you away or about to go. I’d love to know if you find some great food abroad and perhaps the odd recipe or two – it’s so good to try something unusual and different. Let me know through my website and maybe we could cook it together!? August offers heat-loving aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes, luxurious lobster, scallops, raspberries, redcurrants, bramley apples, greengages, plums, blackberries. Other lovely fruit and veg include broad beans, broccoli, celery, peas, runner beans (my favourite), salad veg and watercress. Marrow is also coming in. I know a lot of people don’t rate marrow but try peeling and thickly slicing, blanch for three minutes, fill with a rich meat sauce such as Bolognese, cover with white sauce and cheese and bake for about 30 minutes. I guarantee you’ll like it. I have a great recipe for a delicious drink that’s a real deep purple and makes an ideal homemade Christmas present (who said that word… Christmas?) Make this with fresh blackberries…750ml vodka, 450g fresh (or frozen) blackberries, 600g caster sugar, 250ml water. Heat the sugar and water slowly, cool. Pour the vodka into a large, clean glass container or decanter, add sugar syrup and the berries (carefully). Cover with cling film and leave to infuse for at least two weeks, stirring every couple of days, . After two weeks, (or longer if you like) strain into bottles; one large or a couple of small. Resist the temptation to drink it – leave it to sit for another couple of weeks if you can. Lovely with champagne or Prosecco! Makes about a litre. On August Bank Holiday Monday I’ll open the Ewelme Show and on the Sunday I’ll demonstrate at The Great British Food Festival down at Bowood House in Wiltshire. Do enter my macaron competition this month and you could win tickets for four people for the Didcot Food Festival on October 27th. What’s not to like? Good luck! ● Visit and please get in touch!

Just upstream from Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve. Own fenced gardens, log burners, walks from your cottage door. We really welcome dogs and are family friendly, perfect for free range kids. Close to beaches and pretty villages of Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Salcombe and all in between. It’s great for walkers and nature lovers, A real digital detox and off grid holiday. Holidays like they used to be - away from it all .... Open all year, short breaks available.

Phone Jade or Christine on 01803 770219 or see Witney R&A | 25

ramblings ˜˜˜

á ...Continued from page 24.

local products and services. Entry is £7, with under-16s and parking free. All proceeds go to the Wychwood Project, a registered charity that aims to inspire people to conserve and restore our unique local landscapes and habitats. Visit

˜˜˜ As I write this we are basking in the most glorious summer heatwave – I do hope that this is still the case by the time you read this! But the hot weather has prompted a reminder from Oxfordshire’s Fire and Rescue Service to Be Water Aware and stay safe around the county’s rivers and inland waterways this summer. Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the UK and at this time of year, Oxfordshire’s Fire and Rescue Service responds to a big spike in incidents relating to people getting into difficulty in Oxfordshire’s waterways. Knowing what to do when someone gets into trouble in the water could help save someone’s life. The advice is to call 999, tell them to float on their back and throw something that floats. Don’t jump in yourself. Find out more at ˜˜˜ Last but not least, wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling on the public to record sightings of mammals, dead or alive, while driving along Britain’s road network this month and next.

The information gleaned as part of the trust’s annual Mammals on Roads survey will help to spot changing trends in populations and identify where conservation action is needed most. The survey runs from now until Sunday 30th September and you can take part either online at, or via the Mammals on Roads app (available for free from the App Store or Google Play). Alternatively, a printed survey pack can be requested by emailing the charity at ˜˜˜ Supporting those with a terminal illness is important as sadly we will all know someone who will experience cancer on our journey through life. If you want to help please join a Shropshire Trek to raise funds and cheer for Marie Curie. This is a self-funded trip which will cost £240 (twin share) or £315 (single occupancy), which includes four days of walking, accommodation, food and minibus travel. Each participant will also pledge to raise a minimum of £40 for Marie Curie. The walks will cover up to eight miles per day and a good level of fitness is required. For more information please contact Nicky Clargo on 07754 271831 or email her on oxfordshire. You can also visit Oxfordshire-STARS-Walks-Socials-and-CharitableEvents

That’s all this month – see you here in September! VC

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August 2018

To enter all competitions, visit


Closing date for competitions is 12pm on 24th August

Competitions FREE to enter online OR via post (use the address on page 4) * To check results, call 01491 837621 * Winners will be notified * Postal entries are accepted. Please include a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if you wish to opt in or out of marketing communications from the competition supplier and Round & About Publications Ltd. Entries without a name, address or telephone number will not be valid. * STRICTLY ONE ENTRY PER COMPETITION PER HOUSEHOLD

Win! £150 to spend on your choice of beautiful jewellery from Gemondo

Jewellery is an expression of your unique style and individuality that should be celebrated. Gemondo has been bringing the beauty of nature to women worldwide since 2006, celebrating colourful gemstone stories. Each collection is conceived with the aim of providing a wearable expression of personality through a choice of meaningful gems, colours and textures. From concept to creation, every piece of Gemondo jewellery is designed with the greatest care, teaming great prices with quality craftsmanship, offering customers a little luxury for less. Visit to explore a world of colourful and lustrous jewels in sterling silver and gold designs and, to be in with a chance to win, enter as above.

Win! A luxury wine tasting experience for two

including lunch and overnight stay in Royal Windsor Thames Valley Wine School is offering a full-day wine tasting experience for two people, coupled with an overnight stay at the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel & Spa, Windsor, worth a total of £300 Our winner can enjoy the wine-tasting experience is held between 11am and 4pm on selected Saturdays, when guests are given a tutored tasting of 13 different examples. In addition, there is also a two-course lunch served in the hotel’s esteemed Thames View Restaurant. The prize is an open gift voucher for two, which can be redeemed against either the Introduction to Wine, or ‘The Wines of Italy’ course. For more info, visit

Win! A family ticket to both days of the Royal County of Berkshire Show with overnight accommodation

The Royal County of Berkshire Show is a festival of farming, food and fun for all the family, including dogs this year! Expect big changes and new additions such as Tractor Ted, motorcycle stunt team and a wedding showcase. Visitors can enjoy lots of have-a-go activities, such as feeding baby animals, pond dipping, spinning wool and a sports zone, plus much more across the show ground. Enter for this prize, and your family, can visit both days, 15th and 16th September, with access to the members’ enclosure and food vouchers to spend with the food caterers at the show, plus there is overnight family accommodation reserved for our winner in the Double Tree by Hilton, which is a stone’s throw away from the showground. Enter as above and, for more on the show, visit

Witney R&A | 27

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ACCOMMODATION & HOLIDAYS Phone Jade or Christine on 01803 770219 or see

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Just upstream from Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve. Own fenced gardens, log burners, walks from your cottage door. We really welcome dogs and are family friendly. Close to beaches and pretty villages of Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Salcombe and all in between. It’s great for walkers and nature lovers, A real digital detox -no wifi, mobile or TV and off grid holiday. Holidays like they used to be - away from it all .... Open all year, short breaks available.

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Plumbing & Heating

Tel: 01993 359283 Mobile: 07505065876 Email: All aspects of plumbing and heating oil and Gas Bathrooms | Kitchens | Tiling | Minor Building Works

TO ADVERTISE CALL 01491 822758

MEDICAL St. Luke’s Radiology Latimer Road Headington Oxford, OX3 7PF

Do you have a soft tissue, joint problem or injury? We provide a one stop clinic, often making a diagnosis and starting your treatment on the same day. As Care Quality Commission registered clinicians, our team of Experienced Musculoskeletal Physicians and Consultant Radiologists can help you by providing musculoskeletal ultrasound and ultrasound guided injections. If you are a self-pay patient you may self-refer, speeding up your path to recovery even more. You can also be referred via your consultant or GP. Evening appointments are available, so we can fit around you. Self-pay prices: Ultrasound £150 Ultrasound with guided injection of steroid and local anaesthetic (one area) £190

Telephone: 01865 742949 Email:

Witney R&A | 29

classifieds ˜˜˜ WANTED


Wildlife Trust Charity Fundraiser The Wildlife Trust is seeking independent, friendly and passionate people to join their team of Charity Fundraisers working at local venues; if you have an interest in wildlife conservation and your local environment then we would love to hear from you. • £12.50 p/hr on average earned from commission rates with a guaranteed base rate of £8 p/hr • 3 days a week minimum incl. weekend working • Valid driving licence and own car essential 0333 3207 273


PHOTOGRAPHY & ART KAYS PHOTOGRAPHY! Affordable Rates, Facebook: Kay’s Photography or Call 07870 408949

PAINTING & DECORATING JAMES ROBINSON PAINTING, Decorating and Paper Hanging. References available. Internal and external work undertaken. Benson, Oxon. Tel: 07961510771 or 01491 201186


The 50 plus plus Repair50 & Install - For all your property needs 50 plus Maintain,The

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August 2018


Care to Think Differently Call to book a visit or find out more at NURSING CARE


Chiltern Grange, Ibstone Road, Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire HP14 3GG. Tel 01494 480292 Lincroft Meadow, The Moors, Kidlington, Oxfordshire OX5 2AA. Tel 01865 950591 Penhurst Gardens, New Street, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5ED. Tel 01608 698052


For a Hassle-FREE Immediate Quotation

Call 0800 024 8860

Is your conservatory conservatory...

TOO HOT Call for an immediate solution Beautifully Stylish








After Installation



Rundle and Dorey will insulate your conservatory ceiling without having to replace the existing roof, creating the perfect ‘COOL’ retreat on long hot summer days. Before Up to 90% heat lost After Only 10% heat lost

Before Installation

Premium Plaster

Highly Insulated

********** WE DON’T USE ********** Environmentally unfriendly plastic finish some companies use...

...or the expensive roof replacement systems

Retreat in comfort with year-round climate control, courtesy of Rundle & Dorey’s super insulated conservatory ceiling. Perfectly pairing cool comfort on long summer days, and snug warmth in the depths of winter, an insulated conservatory ceiling will give you back the luxury living space you dreamed of - all year round. You will love the look of your new vaulted ceiling with its’ plastered finish which will beautifully match the ceilings in the rest of your home. Rundle & Dorey are offering a 25% saving to Round & About Readers with Interest-FREE Finance also available - 0% APR representative*, plus a 10 year insurance-backed guarantee. For a free colour brochure, call the team today on 0800 024 8860 Quote Code quoting offer MMAG12 code MMAG12.


25% OFF

FREE No-Obligation Quotations on request. Consumer Protection Association Member No. 3057. *Omni Capital Retails Finance Limited, Oak House, Reeds Crescent, WD24 4QP. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Credit Subject to Status.

When enquiring by phone please quote: MMAG12 or visit:

Round & About Magazine - Witney Edition - August 2018  

Delivered by the Royal Mail to all 22,007 across OX28/29 every month.

Round & About Magazine - Witney Edition - August 2018  

Delivered by the Royal Mail to all 22,007 across OX28/29 every month.