Short Walk 10th September 2019

Thirteen members met up at the factory shop car park from where we made our way to the recreation ground car park at Bampton , there we were joined by Hazel and Theresa.  After the obligatory start photo we set off in bright sunshine with a large cock pheasant pointing the way, He obviously came to see Pam?

We circled Bampton;  at one point we sighted RAF Brize Norton perimeter. 

Ninety minutes and 3.75 miles later we arrived back at the start car park.

After a shoe change we adjourned to Bampton garden centre for coffee and cake.

Another very enjoyable walk amiable company

Thank you Pat and Mike for taking the register. Thank you Mal for the photographs. Thank you Hazel for leading the walk. Thank you to the car driver.

You looked after the group excellently. Pam

Cycle Ride on 3rd September 2019

Three of us set off on a lovely sunny day and decided to go to the usual venue of Bampton garden centre . It was a bit windy so challenging in parts but we all managed it!
Lots of Autumn colours, blackberries and  berries so September bringing a changing of the seasons. 
Our new member Mal said he thoroughly enjoyed it so we look forward to October when hopefully everyone back! 
Janet Worth

Outing to Croome Court (National Trust) 30th August 2019

Our coach arrived early so we are able to board as we arrived at the meeting place.  It was a lovely morning and members were looking forward to the visit. On arrival at Croome we were met and welcomed by 2 members of staff.  After receiving maps and directions to the facilities and told where best to start our visit from we went our separate ways.  Croome Court which is the focus of the vast estate and parkland was approx 1/2 mile walk from reception.  For those that have difficulty walking a buggy ride can be taken both ways.  Croome has been the seat of the Coventry family since 1592.  The 6th Earl of Coventry worked with Capability Brown to design the landscape and remodel the old family home.  In 2016 major construction work was completed and now there is a long term programme of repair and restoration to the Court.  The house holds many contemporary exhibitions.  On the ground floor the exhibitions include watercolours of local buildings; a Tapestry of the epic Battle of Britain; Treasures of Croome; ceramic landscapes; steel and plastic chairs, are but to name a few. 

At the entrance to Croome there is another captivating period of history to explore; the restored wartime buildings of the secret airbase of RAF Defford which are now the Visitor Centre and Museum.  It was at Defford that Airborne Radar was tested, developed and proven. Airborne Radar provided a decisive factor in Victory for the Allies.

For a small fee a Walled Garden can be visited. In here talented and creative artists show off their talents and provide an inspiration for garden and art lovers.  There was plenty of space for a picnic and two cafes provided hot and cold drinks and food.

It was a beautiful day with lots of fresh air and sunshine and a relaxing good journey home.


Linear Walk Black Bourton to Brize Norton 20th August 2019 – 6 Miles

Our numbers were depleted this morning for one reason or another. 7 members only for the walk (1 thorn amongst 6 roses, these turned into sunny sunflowers later in the walk).
As the walk was linear and with so few car drivers it took some planning to leave a car at the end of the walk and still be able to transport everyone to the beginning ; It all worked out well eventually. Thank you to the car drivers Alan, Ann and Janice, also to Jane for coming to the end of the walk to help with transport.
The walk started from Black Bourton towards Bampton, and then via an incline over Lew Hill and afterwards downhill to Brize Norton. There was a small section of road walking but mostly over fields. The paths had been marked through the crops some of which had been harvested and some still waiting to be cut.
From the top of Lew Bank the panoramic views were picturesque.
It will be a walk which will be repeated in the future.
Our next long walk is on 17th September, the 2nd leg of the Wychwood Way, from Stonesfield to Lidstone. Pam

4 Mile circular walk 13th August 2019 – Eastleach Turville and Eastleach Martin

An attractive circular walk starting from the twin villages of Eastleach Turville and Eastleach Martin and continuing through the surrounding Cotswold countryside.  Each has a parish church although one is now redundant.  The churches face each other across the narrow River Leach.  We did take a very short cut at the beginning of the walk which officially starts by the memorial cross in Eastleach Turville and runs beside the river and over a clapper bridge into the church yard at Eastleach Martin.  From here there was a short section of road walking and then it was over open fields by streams, a short section through a wood and a narrow valley.  We passed by another clapper bridge over a stream which joins the two villages together. It was quite an undulating walk and cows  grazed in two fields.  The walk finished near to the Victoria Inn where some stopped for a coffee or cold drink before driving back to Carterton.  17 members turned out for this walk.  Thank you to the car drivers. The next short will be at Bampton on 10th September and Hazel will be leading this.  Pam

Cycle Ride 6th August 2019

There were 5 of us for this ride; was it a thorn between the roses? It was a dull but dry morning with rain threatened for about midday. Our chosen route was to leave Carterton via the Alvescot Road, through Kencot and then across the gated road to Clanfield. We cycled to Blakes café where they bake the most delicious cinnamon bun. Only our growing young man ate one and two took one home to savour later. It was a steady ride back home via Alvescot which we managed before the rain came. Our next ride will be on 3rd September 0930 from the normal car park. Pam

Gardening Group visit to “Green and Gorgeous” and details of August visit

24 of us enjoyed a really good visit in July to Green and Gorgeous which was exactly that! Our host deals with growing flowers for cutting and the making of arrangements and bouquets. A large part of her work is dealing with wedding flowers. and the 4 acre plot was full of amazing plants and flowers in wonderful colours as shown by the photographs.  There were some plants that our members had not seen before so this was very interesting. Our host recommended Chilton Seeds and I thinks some of us will  be perusing this catalogue for future plantings.We were given refreshments after the tour and were able to sit outside in the sunshine for this.  There were plants for sale and quite a few were bought. I cant wait to see how the dahlia I bought turns out.

Our  August visit is to Barton Abbey gardens on Wednesday August 28th. at 2pm
Barton Abbey is near Steeple Barton.  The visit costs £10 which includes tour with tea and cake .  The money from this goes to the local Steeple Barton church.  The garden has sweeping lawns with views towards the lake, walled gardens, herbaceous borders, specimen trees, glasshouses and a good display of fruit and veg.  Something for everyone I think.The post code is OX25 4QS  The journey is 35 mins. but as always I can arrange lifts for those who would prefer not to drive.
Please let me know if you are interested in this trip so that I can let our host know how many will be going.

Outing to Little Venice and Camden Lock 17th July 2019

Our full coach made its way cross country due to there having been two major incidents round Oxford and traffic was backed up for miles. We arrived at Little Venice a little later than planned but in time for the arrival of our dedicated boat to take us to Camden.  It was a perfect day for an off the beaten track venture.

Our boat was located at Brownings Pool and the start was from the pretty light blue, wrought iron bridge, overlooking the area where the Grand Union and the Regents Canal meet.  The Grand Union canal runs for 220 kilometres north-north-west of Little Venice until it reaches Birmingham.  Regents Canal is almost 14 kilometres long, linking the Grand Union Canal to the Limehouse Basin in the east, and ultimately, the Thames River.

In years gone by the boats were horse drawn along the towpaths, which are now used by cyclists, walkers, runners and people just enjoying themselves.

The boat took us through Maida Hill Tunnel which is 249 metres long and completely straight, it only took a couple of minutes to travel through. There is no towpath through the tunnel so the art of Legging used to take place. This is the act of moving a narrowboat through a canal tunnel, while lying on your back either atop the boat or—as was most common—on a plank jutting out across its bow at both sides, and walking along the tunnel’s roof or walls. It usually requires two people, one on either side of the boat and each holding onto the plank for stability.

During the journey we passed by London Zoo and several animals could be seen in their compounds.  Expensive mansions sporting large gardens, including the home of the US Ambassador line the banks.  On parts of the canal we understood that some moorings are up to £100,000 pa to moor a boat .

It was easy to tell when we had arrived at Camden with the hive of activity. The end of the journey is indicated by the sight of the Dingwall Building and the double lock system, Camden Lock.  Camden is a lively mix of markets, food stalls, antiques, crafts, pubs, cafes and restaurants.  

After 2 hours of ambling round the markets and trying some of the street food it was time to catch the boat back to Little Venice. We boarded our coach and had a remarkably good journey home considering the time of day.  Pam

History Group Visit to St Mary’s Church Temple Guiting

17 members went to Temple Guiting on what turned out to be a beautiful summer’s day. The church was founded in AD 1170 by the Knights Templar and has many features of interest. Under the roof line, the most ancient and original part of the church has eleven stone corbels staring out over the Windrush valley; beautifully carved figures, beasts and grotesques, designed to ward off evil spirits. Above the 15th century font are three panels of medieval glass. A further nine panels in this set were sold in 1809 for £5.00, and exported to America where they are currently on display in the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York. Above the door is an ornately painted Georgian Decalogue dating from 1746. This had lain hidden until being restored in 2004.

Above the lectern is a most beautiful stained glass window, the work of artist Tom Denny. This illustrates, in vibrant jewel colours, a verse from Psalm 111, and was installed in 2010, in memory of Lord Butterworth, the first vice-chancellor of Warwick University.

The Preceptory of Guiting was founded at the same time as the church. After provision for the maintenance and hospitality, the surplus of income was sent to London, and on to Palestine. After the Knights Templar’s order was destroyed in 1309, John de Coningston, the preceptor of Guiting, was sent to London, and following the trial the Templars agreed to confess to heresy. The property at Guiting was confiscated, and the Templars dispersed to serve in monasteries in the diocese of Worcester on a pension of 4d per day.

We then went to Temple Guiting Pantry, a delightful gift shop and café, in what used to be the village post office, for our afternoon tea and cakes, and we all agreed it had been a lovely visit. Christine

First Stage of The Wychwood Way on 16th July 2019 – 36.4 Miles to complete

At 0930 when we met it was already quite a hot morning.  3 cars had left early to leave 2 cars at the end of the walk and the 3rd car drove the 2 drivers to Woodstock for the start of the walk (complicated).  In all there were 17 of us.  We stopped frequently for drinks, lunch was going to be while the cars were being manoeuvred at the end of the walk.  There was a field of sheep and several birds flying overhead but apart from this very little wild life.

The walk starts from Market Place in Woodstock, Park Street, Chaucer’s Lane, Hoggrove Hill and then into the Blenheim Estate.  The walk directions were easy to follow and for the first 2 miles we walked on a tarmacked road through the Blenheim Estate.  Eventually we joined part of the Oxfordshire Way and Akerman Street; continuing over cultivated fields and through a belt of trees, leaving  the park by climbing a ladder stile onto a pathway and then followed in the same direction to the Stonesfield-Combe Road. Walking for a further 2 fields, passing Baggs Bottom, and  grassy slopes until we came adjacent to a footbridge over the river.  Here we turned up a steep “hollow” way leading onto a gravel path and into Stonesfield. The track turned into a lane, which we followed to The  Ridings. This is where we start from for the 2nd Stage of the walk. The cars, which we had left earlier, were a few hundred yards away; this is where we had lunch whilst waiting for the cars to come from Woodstock to take us home.  An easy and enjoyable first stage of the walk.  It is not easy making sure the cars are in right place at the right time. A very big thank you to the car drivers.  Pam

  • Committee

    Committee meeting was held 8 July.  Minutes will be available, on request, to paid up members after next meeting.

    NEXT MEETING 23 September

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