What’s On


Tuesday, May 2nd: Oxfordshire Water-Blitz

Volunteers needed for one day only! Check the water quality of your local stream, pond or river and help build a water quality picture for Oxfordshire.

Wild Oxfordshire is spear-heading a campaign to get volunteers to collect water samples from the many hundreds of freshwater-bodies across Oxfordshire on one day.

For your free sampling pack and easy to use app register today by emailing hilary@wildoxfordshire.org.uk and join in on Tuesday, May 2nd.

For more information about Wild Oxfordshire and to subscribe to their fortnightly bulletin, go to https://www.wildoxfordshire.org.uk/

Saturday, May 6th: Plant Sale

A Plant Sale will be held at Paynes Hill House on Saturday, May 6th from 10.30am to 1.00pm.

There will be a wide variety of plants on sale including sweet peas, tobacco plants, cleomes, morning glory, amni and other unusual annuals to fill up borders or to flower in pots. There will also be dahlias, grasses and various perennials plus a selection of vegetables.

All proceeds to Médicins Sans Frontières and Steeple Aston Church.

Monday, May 8th: Village Hall Committee AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Steeple Aston Management committee will take place on May 8th at 8.00pm in the Committee Room. The AGM lasts approximately 30 minutes and is followed by the monthly village hall committee meeting.

Members of the public are very welcome to attend the meeting and if anyone feels they would like to join the committee we would like to see them. If interested, telephone the Chair Barbara Brewer on 01869 340423 for further details.

Saturday to Sunday, May 13th – 21st: North Oxfordshire Artweek

You may notice throughout April and May, little blue Artweeks signs springing up around the county. It’s an annual opportunity to visit the studios of working artists and see what they’ve been inspired to create.

The 2017 Oxfordshire Artweeks May festival will take place from 6th-29th May, with each of the three weeks having a different regional focus. (South Oxfordshire 6th-14nd May and North Oxfordshire 13th-21st May, Oxford City 20th-29th May).

There’s a wide variety of artists exhibiting nearby as part of the North Oxfordshire week. They include ‘Art More Lovely’, an informal collective of Artists and Designers who will exhibit at Heyford House in Lower Heyford. This exhibition will be open from 11.00am until 6.00pm from 13th to 21st May.

Local artist and photographer Clifford Reeves will be exhibiting at St James Church Somerton. You can find out more at http://cliffordreeves.co.uk.  Michelle Davies will be exhibiting her landscapes at Fat Bird Studio, Horseshoe Cottage, 44-46 North Street in Middle Barton. Her website is http://michelledaviesart.com

In Bicester you will find a unique studio where a group of sculptors work at the Old Vicarage in Church Street. The group was the inspiration of George Muller, an artist who worked on notable commissions in cathedrals as well as private houses. He built the studio in the 1990s with the vision of creating a space for sculptors to work together in a shared, creative environment, and his legacy continues today with 24 artists working in stone, wood, metal, clay and other media.

Bicester Sculpture Group will open their studio and the garden from 13th to 21st May between 11am and 4.00 pm. You will be able to talk to the artists about their work and maybe find inspiration in what you see. For more information, go to their website sculptureatbicester.org.uk

For details of lots more artists opening their doors nearby and all over Oxfordshire during May, go to the Artweeks website www.artweeks.org/festival

Sunday, May 14th:  NGS Open Gardens

Five gardens will open in Steeple Aston this year on Sunday, May 14 under the National Garden Scheme. They are:

Canterbury House

Combe Pyne


The Longbyre

Primrose Gardens

The gardens will be open from 2.00 – 6.00pm. Combined admission costs £6.00, children free. Home-made teas will be served in the Village Hall.

Wednesday, May 17th: Public Meeting of Neighbourhood Plan Forum

The Mid-Cherwell Neighbourhood Plan Forum is the body representing all the 13 participating organisations that are preparing your community plan.

It meets every other month to discuss and agree policy and next steps. In May it will be meeting for the first time in public. You are invited to come along, listen, ask questions, or take part in the discussion if you wish.

It will be held on Wednesday, May 17th at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

Another attraction outside the Village Hall – Wednesday is our visiting fish and chips van day!

Friday, May 26th: SAWG’s Bloxham walk

Members of Steeple Aston Walking Group are meeting this month on Friday, May 26th for a circular walk from Bloxham.

Walk organiser Leonard Leigh says of it: “The walk itself is about 5 to 5.5 miles long, with some cinder tracks, but for the most part across fields, not hilly and not too much mud.  There are stiles, most of which are dog friendly.  Some fields have sheep and lambs and so there will be stretches where dogs will have to be on leads. The route goes from The Ridgeway to a water tower, then down to Milton, across to Adderbury, up to Bloxham Grove and across field to Bloxham and the pub.  There are no main roads to cross.”

Details of the walk are as follows:

Date: Friday, 26th May 2017
Walk location: Bloxham, Milton, Adderbury circular
Walk leader: Leonard Leigh
Starting point:  Car Park of Joiner’s Arms, Old Bridge Rd, Bloxham
Nearest postcode: OX15 4LY
Meeting time: 9.50am
Walk start time: 10.00am
Distance: 5.5 miles (around 3hrs at SAWG pace)
Grade: Easy

Refreshment/lunch after walk: Joiner’s Arms. The Joiners Arms is easy to find and you can park there, approximately 100 yards north of the Church on a slip road on the east side of the road (A361).

For contact details and more information about SAWG, please click here.

Monday, May 29th: Whit Races & Fancy Dress Parade

NB this is on Monday 29th, not 30th as in some leaflets

Steeple Aston’s annual Whit Races will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, May 29th on Robinsons Close in Fir Lane. Registration starts at 11.15am for an 11.45am start.

As always there will be a Fancy Dress Parade for the coveted Jan Lester George Cup, lots of Children’s Races, a Penalty Shoot Out against the Steeple Aston FC goalkeeper, a tombola, stalls and much more…….

The Cat in a Hat turns 60 this year, so the theme for this year’s Fancy Dress Parade will be a celebration of all things Seuss. Be it the Grinch or Thing 1 & Thing 2, the Lorax or a Who, they’d love to see your interpretation of Dr Seuss’s playful and often meddlesome characters.

Be sure to have a breakfast of Green Eggs & Ham before you come along, although there’ll be plenty of burgers, hotdogs, candy floss and icecream on sale.

To help smooth the entry process please complete the attached entry form and bring it along with you on the day. Entry costs 50p per race per competitor.

For a full list of the races and the printable entry form, please click here.

You can also visit their Facebook page here .

Saturday, June 10th: Fashion Show and Pop Up Shop

Steeple Aston Pre School is holding a Fashion Show and Pop Up Shop on Saturday, June 10th starting at 7.30pm (doors open at 7.00pm). The show will be held in the Village Hall and tickets cost £5.

There will be a charity raffle and lots of clothes to try on and buy. Clothes will be on sale at a 50% discount or more from retailers such as M & S, Next, Top Shop, Wallis, Oasis and New Look.

The show will be run by Colours (Fun)draising Fashion Shows (www.coloursfashionshows.com).  For tickets and more information, contact the Pre School on 01869 340863 or email steepleastonpreschoolfundraising@hotmail.com.

For more information about Steeple Aston Pre School, please click here.

Saturday, June 24th: Church Fete

Steeple Aston Church Fete will be opened this year by local MP Victoria Prentis. It will take place on Robinsons Close on Saturday, June 24th from 2.00 until 4.30pm. It will include a Car Show (including rides in vintage cars and the latest electric car – the Tesla S) and an exhibition of the entries to the Junior Art Competition.

There will be new activities for children including a Bouncy Castle and a  Children’s Corner. For the adults the Golf Club has kindly agreed to run a “Try Your Swing” event. Welly Wopping; coconut shy and skittles will be there plus Graham Clifton and colleagues will direct the Air Gun Target Shooting and jousting.  Ice creams will be available from the Guides in association with North Aston Dairy.

Stalls will include Books & CDs, Cakes, Bottles, Children’s Corner and Games, Recycled Gifts, Vintage (new this year), Jams and Pickles, Jewellery and Plants. And, as always, tea and cakes will be available in the Village Hall.

The organisers are appealing for donations for all these stalls and for helpers on the day. For more information contact the organiser, Shirley Palmer on 01869 347049, or go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Steepleastonchurchfete/


Sunday, June 25th: Fritwell Open Gardens

There will be an Open Gardens Day in Fritwell on Sunday, June 25th. The gardens will be open in aid of St Olave’s Church Fabric Fund.

This is the first open gardens day since 2013, and there will be lots of new gardens to explore. The gardens will be open from 2.00 to 5.00pm and entrance is £5.00 for adults, children free. There will be refreshments and cakes available as well as a plant and book sale.

Sunday, July 2nd: SACS Summer Concert

This summer’s concert from Steeple Aston Choral Society is titled ‘America!!” and includes songs old and new from spirituals to Broadway. Extra items include summertime solos from members plus separate items from the men of the choir singing famous old songs from the Yale Songbook and the ladies giving of their best also in suitable American numbers. As ever there will be wine and refreshments available to help make the evening go with a real swing.

Joint Chairman Martin Dale says, “The choir has as its motto that all our music should be inspiring and fun with, what we also rehearse for, an ever improving quality of singing led by our Director the professional tenor (you should hear him sing!) Paul Badley and our terrific accompanist (also a choir master in his own right) Paul Herrington.”

The concert will take place at 7.00pm on Sunday, July 2nd in the Village Hall. Tickets will be available from 01869 347346 or the village shop price £10 in advance or £12 on the door. Children free.

Saturday, September 16th: ‘The Mikado’  

Opera Anywhere continue their highly successful UK Gilbert & Sullivan Festival on tour of this popular Gilbert & Sullivan masterpiece…

Set in Japan, The Mikado presents a tangled web of love. Nanki-Poo, the son of the Mikado, flees in search of his true love, YumYum, to avoid marrying a much older suitor. Yum-Yum, however, is betrothed to Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, against her will. Things, as you can see, are complicated! But can everything be righted before someone loses their head? Expect high jinks, lots of energy and clever wordplay as all is revealed.

The Mikado will take place in the Village Hall on Saturday, September 16th at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start.

Ticket cost £20, under 18’s £15. The Early Bird price for tickets purchased before July 31st is £15 under 18’s £12.

On line ticket link: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/359133 Telephone orders: 0333 666 3366.

For more information go to www.OperaAnywhere.com

Sunday, October 15th: Sherlock Holmes & The Crimson Cobbles

Chipping Norton Theatre in association with Oxford Theatre Company presents a brand new Sherlock Holmes caper, delivered at breakneck pace in a hilarious, deeply daft theatrical explosion for adults and family audiences. It will take place in the Village Hall on Sunday, October 15th at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start.

In this new Sherlock Holmes caper, Holmes and Watson are called upon to investigate the Whitechapel Murders which have recently sent shockwaves through London. But when the evidence points to only one possible conclusion – that Jack the Ripper is actually Sherlock’s trusted sidekick Dr. Watson – is our super sleuth prepared to believe the unbelievable?

Suitable for ages 12 +     Tickets £10.