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
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 wide 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
17 of us left Carterton at 10am and drove to Chipping Norton where Mary and Stephen were waiting for us. The weather was ideal for walking. It was an easy 3 mile walk over gradually undulating countryside from the market town of Chipping Norton to Over Norton and back. It was also a pretty going through woods and then open countryside. The grass was sometimes long near to the footpath. Everyone appeared to have enjoyed the “Step into the Cotswolds” walk. Arriving back into Chipping Norton, as per usual, on a short walk we found a café/bakery and sampled their baking. Thank you to the car drivers. Our next short walk is on 13th August, a 4 mile circular at Eastleach. Pam
Photographs to follow
Junes visit to Bledington was a great success and 14 members had a wonderful afternoon visiting an amazing garden. We all took many ideas home with us. We were made most welcome by our hosts and were given the best tea ever! Our men members can vouch for the excellence of the cakes.
We enjoyed this garden so much that we have requested a return visit in April. It will be April 22nd , but more details on that later.
Julys visit is to Green and Gorgeous and as you see we do need at least 20 persons so if you would like to come please let me know ASAP.
Julys visit is on Wednesday 31st to green and gorgeous which is near Wallingford OX10 6AX. This is a six acre flower farm specialising in cut flowers in large beds and polytunnels, also some herbs fruit and vegetables. The flowers are chosen for their scent, novelty, nostalgic and naturalistic style, sounds wonderful. Our Host asks that we arrive at 2.30 for this visit. The price is £10 to include visit , talk and refreshment. There is also the opportunity to buy seeds, plants and cut flowers afterwards. We do need at least 20 persons for this so hopefully it will be well attended as it looks most interesting. Ann
This week the Yang Style 40 form Tai chi’s group is one year old. Our photo’s demonstrate our abilities to do Tai Chi at the retirement age; synchronisations during the first session of the whole sequence and their enthusiasm to this gentle physical exercise. So far the remaining members have reached to a critical phase of the sequence: “Standing on one leg and Kick with the other leg”. We have progressed to 3/4 of the sequence. Minh
3 Chaps and 3 Lasses (No not a new West End musical) rode via Alvescot to Bampton Garden Centre. It was a very pleasant morning and the weather was ideal for cycling. As per normal teas/coffee and scones were consumed. Feeling refreshed we returned to Carterton via Brize Norton. It was a companionable ride without any incidents. Our next ride will be on Tuesday 6th August 0930 from the Factory Shop car park. Pam
We had two birthdays to celebrate this month, Elaine and Jeans, so we had some Champagne and other Sparkling wines before starting the wine group meeting proper. Roll on the next birthdays to celebrate.
11 members visited the Museum in Swindon dedicated to Richard Jefferies, a Victorian author. He was born in 1848 in his family’s farmhouse near Coate Water. He wrote about nature, and published several children’s stories, illustrated by E.H Shepard. He travelled around the south of England with his family, but returned to Swindon shortly before his death at the young age of 38. The farmhouse passed through many hands before being bought by Swindon Borough Council, who in 2011, were persuaded by the newly formed Richard Jefferies Trust to turn it into a museum dedicated to the author.Our tour guide showed us many items belonging to Richard Jefferies including his writing desk, and several original manuscripts. One of their volunteers had come to offer us afternoon tea which we had in the very pleasant garden surrounded by beautiful trees, and flowers, and were entertained by several chickens looking for a snack.A very interesting Museum, and well worth another visit.Christine
Snowshill is quite remote despite its proximity to Broadwell. The village falls prettily down the side of its own valley, with a tiny green beside the church and inn.
The route included the village of Snowshill with its well-known Manor House, a length of the Cotswold Way and the site of the Shenberrow iron age fort.
A large part of the walk was undulating and hilly, and even after all the recent rainfall the terrain was very good underfoot. Most of all the panoramic views over Cleeve Hill and the Malvern Hills were spectacular even without sunshine.
We had a quick lunch stop as the dark clouds were forming and rain had been forecast. After this short stop we were soon back at our cars before it rained. We all went into the Inn and had a well deserved soft drink, partly so, as the landlady had allowed us to use the car park. It did start to rain as we returned to our cars. 17 members enjoyed the walk. Thank you to car drivers. Our next long walk is on 16th July and will be the first stage of The Wychwood Way. Pam
It was an early start, even before the sparrows were up. This did allow us to miss most of the early morning rush hour traffic. We were very fortunate not to get held up on our journey, reaching the RNLI in good time. When we arrived, there was ample time to use their facilities and to sit in the Slipway Bar to enjoy coffee/tea and biscuits which had been ordered in advance. The Bar overlooked the harbour and The Twin Sails lifting bridge which is an amazing piece of engineering, and the first bridge of its type to be built in the world. When the bridge is up, the two lifting leaves symbolise the sails of a yacht and offer different views from every position along the quayside, from a sailing symbol to the spire of a Cathedral.
The RNLI College is at the heart of the RNLI – where lifesaving volunteer crew and lifeguards from around the UK and Ireland are trained. There are over 350 lifeboats in the RNLI fleet based at stations around the UK and Ireland. Between them, RNLI lifeboats cover 19,000 miles of coastline and some busy inland stretches of water. All the RNLI’s boats are built at Poole, and they have an engineering facility where boats from the entire fleet are serviced/repaired as necessary. There are two categories of Lifeboats all-weather and inshore. Two highlights of the tour were to visit the simulator in which we were taken on a lifeboat rescue; and then to the Sea Survival centre which hosts the wave tank; a crew was already receiving a briefing on what to do if their boat capsized. Getting into boat the crew positioned themselves ready for the boat being turned upside; eventually they came from under the boat, one by one, went to the back of the boat and the skipper pulled a rope which inflated the buoyancy chamber and turned the boat the correct way up again, fascinating.
It costs approx £180 Million a year to run the lifesaving service. They rely on donations from the public and revenue from hiring out teaching and conference rooms. A 24 bedroom accommodation block enhances this facility and if not hired out to crews needing to stay for trainings can be hired out to the public. The College can also be used for corporate events and weddings etc.
As you approach the entrance to the RNLI there is a beautiful sculpture which is a tribute to every lifeboat crew member who lost their life while endeavouring to save others at sea
After the visit to the College our coach driver picked us to transport us to Bournemouth where we had approx 3 and a half hours free time, to have lunch, sit or walk by the sea and let the world go by. It was a long day but well worth it. Our journey home was without hold-ups and we arrived back in Carterton approx 6.45pm. Pam