Don’t give a dog a bad name!

We’d just like you to know that almost all the fouling on our village streets comes from wild animals. After all, we do live in the country! We’ve investigated this issue thoroughly with the help of Cherwell Council’s dog warden. So, please, don’t always blame the dogs and dog walkers in the village. It’s probably not them messing up our streets. It’s most likely foxes. Or maybe badgers or muntjac.

What should you do if you see some poo?
Please just pick it up in a suitable plastic bag and pop it in a street-side bin or a green bin. Bags are available free from the Village Shop. Dog walkers often pick up scat that their dogs are not responsible for. Give them a hand. You will be helping to keep the village clean and you may stop someone putting their foot in it.

And if you do see a dog walker not picking up?
We think this is unlikely, but if you do … report it to the dog warden at or on 01295 227007. He will take action against anyone found not picking up.
Thank you.

Steeple Aston Parish Council

VE Day 75 Update

It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing a revised article on our VE Day 75 weekend plans to the one I had written last week which was full of exciting news.

Since that time, after much discussion with all of those helping with the organisation of the event, we have had to take the difficult decision that, in light of the current Coronavirus situation, we are not able to go ahead with the planned events. This means that both the Street Party on Friday 8th and ‘We’ll Meet Again’ sing-a-long on Saturday 9th will not take place.

The health & safety of our community has to be our primary concern and organising an event which actively seeks to bring the community together, seems completely at odds with this.

Whilst we appreciate that, at the time of writing this (Sunday 15th March), the Government have not yet put in place active restrictions around social mobility, we know that these are coming and that by 8th/9th May it is highly likely that, at the very least, restrictions around the social mobility of our over 70s population will have been put in place, as well as those around ‘mass gatherings’.

We appreciate that this news is disappointing and we have been looking at options for other dates, but until we know more, it is difficult to judge when would be a good time and, in any case, the date of the anniversary will have passed.

All this said, there are things we can still do to recognise and commemorate this important date:

  • Bedeck your house and/or garden with bunting, union jacks and anything else fitting you can lay your hands on! – not only a great way to commemorate the 75th Anniversary, but a brilliant way to brighten things up during challenging times and bring us all a bit of cheer!
  • Join in with the Nation’s Toast – whether in the privacy of your own home, or on your doorstep as a distanced, but collective act of remembrance. At 3pm on Friday 8th May, charge your glasses and make the following toast: “To those who gave so much. We thank You”.

Perhaps later in the year, when things have settled down, we can have some form of alternative celebration!

Thanks for your understanding.

Amanda Rodgers

March’s Crafternoon Tea & Pop Up Café – the first of many!

We had a great time at the first Sustainable Steeple Crafternoon Tea on Sunday 8th March. Held in conjunction with the new monthly Pop Up Café, run by the Village Hall Committee, there was crafting and cake galore!

I’m not sure whether it was the lure of Daphne’s cakes or the chance to get creative with our collaging and decoupage frames but had plenty of visitors across the afternoon and Christopher’s book stall added a further level of interest.

Several of us had brought our own projects, but much of the fun was provided by our younger crafters (and visiting Texan) who wonderfully embellished old picture frames (previously destined for the tip) with decoupage and turned old wood off cuts into pieces of collage art. As you’ll see from the pictures, we had some budding artists in our midst.

Those who didn’t craft, enjoyed great conversation and even better cake!

We were intending to meet again on 5th April and then 3rd May, however,  we have taken the difficult decision not to go ahead with either Crafternoon Tea or the Pop Up Café on these dates, due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation. However, we will be back in the summer!

In the meantime, watch this space for an imminent Sustainable Steeple announcement regarding the first project we’ll be funding with the near £2000 that we have raised so far. Thanks again to everyone who has donated items for up-cycling so far!

For more information, please contact Amanda Rodgers on 07793 553150 or

Potholes Reminder

Just a reminder that Steeple Aston has a FixMyStreet SuperUser. This means we have a fast track method of getting potholes filled as long as they meet the relevant criteria in terms of size, depth etc., and they are within the 30 mile an hour limit.

If you report a pothole direct to the Parish Clerk ( or 01869 347000), she will pass on the details to our SuperUser, who can contact the Highways contractors, without going through FixMyStreet. The system has been in place for a while now and works well.

The Parish Council

Road Closures – Heyford Road, Rousham crossroads and B4030

Heyford Road in Steeple Aston (known as The Beeches) will be closed for drainage works from Monday, 13th April until Friday, 24th April.

The alternative route for traffic affected by the closure as shown on this map is via the B4030, the A4260 and South Side and vice versa.

NB you may need to right click and rotate this map counterclockwise.

In addition there will be a one-night closure at Rousham crossroads for 10 hours only from 8.00pm on Monday, 6th April until 6.00am on Tuesday, 7th April.  This is for carriageway resurfacing work.

The suggested alternative routes as shown on this map are:

– via a combination of Heyford Road – South Side – Oxford Road (A4260) – Banbury Road – Unnamed Road (towards Heyford Road) and vice-versa.

– or via a combination of: Banbury Road (B4260) – B4027 – A4095 – Oxford Road (B430) – Lower Heyford Road (B4030) – Station Road and vice-versa.

In addition part of the B4030 from Lower Heyford to  Caulcott will be closed to traffic for  resurfacing works in two phases. The first phase will be from 22nd to 24th April, and the second phase will be from 27th to 28th April. On each day the road will be closed from 4.00am until 6.00pm.

The alternative routes for traffic are via a combination of B4030 – Unnamed Road towards Camp Road (Heyford Park) – Camp Road – Station Road – B4030 and vice-versa.

For further information, contact Oxfordshire County Council on 0345 310 11 11.

An invitation to a Pop-up Meal in Somerton 

People from Steeple Aston and other villages are invited to join locals in Somerton Village Hall for a meal. The Pop-up restaurant has been running there for about a year offering a regular Veggie Thursday every month. Now there will be quarterly three course meals including meat on offer starting on Mother’s Day.

Alisa Stef, the organiser, says: “This is about getting community together over food, drinks and music (at times live music, as we always have an instrument and a mic available) 

“I love cooking all sorts of dishes. With the veggie Thursday though, I want to encourage people to eat at least one vegetarian meal a week or a month. This is a great way of doing that by showing people that a veggie meal is way more cheaper and as delicious. Plus in the summer people tend to give me their allotment surplus. 

“It’s been working very well and the turnout is around 30 people on the night, mostly regulars from Somerton. 

“The new Pop-ups that also have meat on the menu are starting this year on Mother’s Day and I’m planning to host it on a quarterly basis. This is mostly a response to people wanting the meat dishes as well. We would love to invite people from other villages and expand our community.”

Here are further details including dates, prices and menus for Veggie Thursdays and Mother’s Day lunch plus three-course dinners later in the year.


Come and play badminton on a Thursday night

Calling all those talented photographers in the village!

For all the keen and enthusiastic photographers in the Village win up to a £1000 for your Village Hall and £500 for the photographer! Submit your entry and vote for others. Open to all rural UK Village and Community Halls. Entry is FREE. No purchase necessary.

PLEASE NOTE: The competition will not focus on ‘pretty, pretty’ villages
but will celebrate village life and the role of village halls in their
communities. Judges will be looking for photos that encapsulate the sense of village community. Good luck to all who enter. ENDS 15TH MARCH 2020.

Highways update from the Parish Council

The Parish Council is very aware that there are currently two significant issues with the roads in the village: one on The  Beeches, the other on Northside, both involving surface water. We would like to assure villagers that we are doing everything possible to badger the appropriate authorities into recognising their responsibilities and resolving these problems. We have been in discussion with Oxfordshire County Council Highways Department for most of the year regarding the Beeches. The Northside situation arose more recently but we have already been in contact with both OCC Highways and Thames Water. We are currently waiting for updates from Highways.

The considerable amount of surface water in both places will make them very dangerous when temperatures drop below zero. If there is ice, please take great care when using these roads, perhaps even avoid them altogether. We know that some people already drive to Rousham Bridge via Sixtyfoot and Hopcroft’s Holt in order to avoid the Beeches.

On the subject of potholes generally, we have had some success in getting them promptly filled, and we continue to monitor the situation on a regular basis.

Steeple Aston Parish Council

Calling all model railway fans

Graham Porcas

After the article in last month’s Steeple Aston Life about Graham Porcas and his passion for model railways, he has heard from several other like-minded enthusiasts in the village.

Graham says: “I have had a lot of interest from various people expressing interest in model railways in Steeple Aston.  Several people have approached me to ask if they could come and see what I do which I am happy to arrange.

“Although my main passion is larger scale as shown in the photo I also enjoy the smaller scales; G1, 00, etc. and gather there may be quite a few other enthusiasts in the village who might like to make contact. We could maybe start by setting up a WhatsApp group.”

The photo above is of Graham playing on a train (not his) at his favourite track, Gilling Miniature Railway in Yorkshire, ‘a really fantastic place’ he says.

If you’re interested, please contact Graham by email at

A Big Thank You from the Valentine Club

A huge thank you to all those wonderful people who kindly supported the Valentine’s Annual Jumble Sale on Saturday 12th October. I don’t think I have ever seen so much stuff piled so high on the Village Hall tables in my life. The pictures below show the scene before and after the sale opened.

Thanks to the hard work and commitment of our members and their families who worked tirelessly on the Saturday, we made an astonishing £1,065.40 towards the club’s funds. This in turn will ensure we attract the best possible speakers and entertainers for next year’s programme and of course help towards the cost of our Christmas dinner which is the culmination of another successful year with the club. Thank you everyone who supported us in any way. It is very much appreciated by all our members.

Richard Preston – Valentine Club Organiser



Sustainable Steeple

Thank you!

Thanks to the ‘unwanted’ objects donated by so many people from the village (and beyond), we have raised an initial £1500 which can now be used for local community projects.

Your help

We’d love your ideas on how we might start to put the funds we raise to good use locally. Some ideas that have already been shared with us include:

* Setting up a Library of Things

* Organising regular upcycling/repair workshops

* Wider greening initiatives – tree planting, bat/bee/bird boxes, wilding…

Please email or call on 07793 553150

We’d also love you to keep donating! Old cotton/linen bedding, fabric remnants and wooden items are particularly upcyclable!

What next?

Aside from continuing to trade at local markets, selling upcycled items via various sites and actively applying for wider funding, we are in the process of setting up regular monthly ‘Crafternoon Tea’ sessions – more info coming soon!

January 2020

Established as a Community Interest Company (CIC), Sustainable Steeple is an engagement project with the purpose of ensuring that Steeple Aston is a sustainable community.

Sustainable Community

‘A sustainable community manages its human, natural, and financial capital to meet current needs while ensuring that adequate resources are available for future generations’ and are the ‘foundation of a peaceful and healthy planet’ (Institute for Sustainable Communities­).

We translate this into:

  • Economy
    • supporting and encouraging local business
    • local jobs for local people
    • access to good transport links and communications
  • Environment
    • protection and enhancement of local ecosystems and biodiversity
    • maximum feasible reduction, reuse and recycling of waste
  • Social and cultural
    • broad range of social and cultural activities
    • protection and enhancement of public spaces and historical resources
    • safety from crime
    • respect and tolerance
    • encouraging community spirit and sense of belonging
    • access to quality services; public, private, voluntary and community
  • Housing and built environment
    • sense of place
    • quality design and build
    • affordable and appropriate to residents
  • Leadership, community engagement and responsibility
    • Equal opportunity for all individuals to participate in and influence decisions that affect their lives in the community

With an active Parish Council and many well-established societies/associations, there are a lot of areas where Steeple Aston scores well, but in other areas it feels like there’s more we could do. Our first project, ‘Second Chances’, is about becoming more environmentally conscious and providing practical support for ‘green’ initiatives, as well as creating new social opportunities and the prospect of local employment in the future.

Second Chances is an up-cycling project in which we want to take unwanted/broken items, refresh and re-purpose them before selling them on through a variety of channels to create a fund that is available for community-based projects. Items are sold via: 

  • a regular stall at Deddington Farmer’s Market (4th Saturday of each month);
  • village events such as the Church Fete and the upcoming Horticultural Show;
  • local stores;
  • Facebook Marketplace;
  • our own Facebook page and website

Getting involved

There are lots of ways to get involved. You can donate items for up-cycling, volunteer your time to help up-cycle and/or sell our items, or you can get involved in our upcoming events.

Steeple Aston’s Rubbish Weekend (28th and 29th September)

Marking the end of National Recycling Week, and taking place in and around the Village Hall, there will be:

  • up-cycling workshops for bicycles, clothes, fabric, furniture, jewellery and wood;
  • a repair café, with experts on hand to help you mend your broken items;
  • a swap shop, where you can trade in your clothes, accessories, and shoes for shiny new (for you anyway) ones for nothing;
  • a recycled market, where you can meet a variety of makers who up-cycle everything from glass bottles to old metal grates; a great opportunity to start your Christmas shopping early;
  • a whole host of ‘rubbish’ games for all the family and more

Harvest Supper (28th September)

We’re teaming up with the Church for the annual Harvest Supper to deliver a dinner that celebrates the abundance of harvest by ensuring that none of it goes to waste. The supper will be made from foods that would otherwise have gone to waste (think windfall apples, that one left over potato at the end of the bag…) and any leftovers will be parcelled up and given to those in need.

Keeping up-to-date

We’ll keep you updated as to progress through SAL, the village website and Facebook group and the Sustainable Steeple Facebook page and website which have just launched. Alternatively, you can contact me on 07793 553150 or

Amanda Rodgers

The 128th Annual Flower Show

Richard Preston, Chairman of the Steeple Aston and Middle Aston Horticultural Society reports: 

August Bank Holiday is synonymous with possibly one of the major events in the village’s calendar and this year we celebrated our 128th Annual Show. The first one recorded was in 1869 in The Dew Diaries and I must admit, I feel I have been to most of them!

Just like the Church Fete, we experienced record temperatures on Robinson’s Close and this meant that the ice-cream van actually sold out before leaving the field. As always, hundreds (estimated 800) of visitors came to see the amazing produce, cookery, photographs and handicraft in the marquee and not forgetting the numerous entries from the children who never cease to amaze us all with their craft skills and enthusiasm.

This year entries were around 850, which is close to a record and well above the average with what the judges described as ‘exceptional’ quality exhibits throughout the show.  On the field were various stalls and attractions and the Fun Dog Show which this year was managed by Dogs for Good who did an amazing job considering the intense heat. We are very grateful to Harts Veterinary Centre for their continued sponsorship of the Fun Dog Show. Teas in the Village Hall were as busy as ever providing visitors with much needed refreshment after the hustle and bustle of the marquee.

The show is the culmination of some hard work by a very small and slightly older age group than might be expected, and without them there would be no show. Also, our most enormous thanks go out to the families that simply turn up on the day and help us out by stewarding or manning the gate or stalls during the afternoon.

But even more importantly, there would be no show without the exhibitors who support this age-old tradition and keep the village alive. I must add at this point that there were many new exhibitors making this one of the best supported shows in recent years. There are, as always, winners of trophies and prize money and well deserved they are, but the real winners are the people who support the show every year by entering something or simply coming along to the show in the afternoon. 

Show Champion Daphne Preston receives a third cup from Edwina Kinch

We, the committee, are desperate for new committee members and our AGM (it only last about 30 minutes) is in the Village Hall Committee Room on Wednesday 11th September at 7.30pm. There are never more than four meetings a year!  Steeple and Middle Aston undoubtedly produce the biggest and best traditional flower show to be found in North Oxfordshire and probably further afield and it is down in no small amount to the fact that we try to keep abreast of the changing times and interests within our community. To do this we need and will always listen, to new ideas from people who are as keen as the existing committee to ensure this show carries on for another 128 years. If you feel you can join our committee or contribute ideas or help on the day of the show, please let me or any committee member know or simply turn up at the AGM.

Thank you everyone for your support at this year’s show.

To see the full show results, please click here.

Thank you to Mick Bonwick and Catherine Crook who took lot of lovely photos. To see them, please click here.  

Steeple Aston Church Fete Report

Fete organiser Martin Dale reports:

Our stalwart committee has worked tirelessly throughout the year to produce a fete that truly reflects the expansive nature of our thinking. Last year’s fete was a great success and we realised that the potential for an even bigger and better fete was still there.

Thus it was that two of us: Bridget Lewis and I found ourselves at 6.20am on the great day carefully marking out two arenas and the places round the field where the stalls and games would go. This sounds a simple task but all of us had worked a great deal to encourage an expansion in the number of stall holders so that both church and village were represented as one community without treading on each other’s toes!

By 9.30am through the good offices of Lawrence White and his band of helpers and Graham Clifton the field was already looking like a fete. Our idea this year was to place all the stalls and games in a large oval round the field so that the public would be encouraged to walk all round and thus see every stall. In principle this worked but it proved quite a hike in what turned out to be just about the hottest day of the year! Even whilst we were clearing away at 5.00pm the temperature was 35 degrees!

2.00pm saw Rev Marcus Green open the fete and folk started to enjoy the event. As ever we had asked the Oxford Jubilee Brass (pictured above) to entertain us which they did brilliantly .This was followed by a new venture – a demonstration by a Tai Chi group led by Martin Edwards. It proved very popular and a number of us thoroughly enjoyed having a go at it ourselves. Tai Chi has properties which are health giving.

Our other Arena was supposed to house community style events such as Children’s races , manfully organised by Anna Thatcher who normally runs the Whit Races. However, the heat beat us. Not only was Anna suffering from heat stroke even before she arrived, and wisely decided she could not carry on but also none of the children approached felt that they could cope with energetic things that day. Very understandable I think!

Ted Atkins humorous PA announcements led us round the fields and so…

By contrast the ice creams and the beer tent were doing a roaring trade. I myself was more than grateful for my pint of Hookey halfway through the afternoon. The bottle stall/ tombola looked like an off license (see above) and I won a bottle for the first time I can remember! Our gifts stall was very colourful and did well; I was persuaded to have some Candy Floss (first one in fifty years!); Aunt Sally; Bowling; and Coconut Shy were as popular as ever.

New stalls were welcomed : Office Fairy; Sustainable Steeple and Indian Block printing (fascinating – if you missed it do go to the Old Poultry Farm Middle Aston and Visit the Arty craft Studio there). Our lovely stalls of Jewellery; Children’s games; and the Brownies were very popular, and where would we be without the second hand Book Stall run, as ever, and throughout the year both in the Red Lion and at Deddington Market, by Christopher Compston. Continuing round the field brought us to a great display of working with wild honey bees and Paul Honigman; Tiddly Pommes Apple juice – all single variety juices collected locally; and Clare McLusky’s  Mindfulness tent which was a new a interesting venture – every time I passed it there were plenty of folk inside.

But for me, one of the joys of the day was to welcome our very own Scout Troop who offered a marvellous event, namely archery using fabulous bows, which they set up in the cricket nets with much extra padding. I’m proud to say that, having been shown what to do by Torquil McLusky I even managed to hit the target (not a bulls eye – but hey!) And then on to another skilful occupation namely the Air Rifle range, something that defines our fete.  It’s always there and there are always queues at Graham Clifton’s carefully set up area.

Finally – where would we be without the display of classic and vintage cars , which I noticed many more people than usual really inspecting. Lovely iconic machines much loved by their owners and really appreciated by us – thank you. And at the end – a trip in the super old vintage car of Michael Elder – a famous family name in the field.

My thanks as ever go to the team which ran the raffle so successfully led by Shirley Palmer, the also stalwart Lindy and Colin Woodhouse for manfully organising the Gate. Pop across the car park and , not only could you visit the SAVA History room but also, and very importantly on such a hot day enter the coolness of the Village Hall and enjoy Teas, Sandwiches and Cakes arranged by ace cake maker Eileen Baglin Jones and Caroline Compston – then because they’re so delicious buy a cake to take home from Jean Atkins and Ruth Dale’s cake stall. My heartfelt thanks as always go out to the team which worked with me throughout the year: and all the super people who helped on the day!

Bridget Lewis; Shirley Palmer; Mary Williams; Rachel Marsden; Graham Clifton; Ray Clarke; Gareth John and Lawrence White.

For lots more photos taken on the day by Catherine Crook, please click here.

Local lottery to support Valentine Club

Steeple Aston’s Valentine Club is one of the good causes to be supported by a new lottery launched by Cherwell District Council. The Valentine Club, for the over 60s, has been around since the 1950s and is one of the most popular and successful clubs in the village.

Tickets for the lottery cost £1 per week. Each ticket has a 1 in 50 chance to win a prize each week, with a top prize of £25,000! The council says that’s a better chance of winning than the National Lottery or the Health Lottery.

Each ticket will consist of 6 numbers and each number will be between 0 and 9. There will be a draw every Saturday night when a 6 digit winning combination will be picked. Prizes will be given to players with tickets that match the first or last 2-6 numbers from the winning combination. Match all 6 and you win the JACKPOT!

The lottery will benefit local residents with 50p per ticket going to the chosen good cause and another 10p to other local good causes.

Valentine Club Chairman Richard Preston says, “This will be a wonderful way of raising much needed funds for our village group.”

To find out more about the lottery and to buy a ticket to support the Valentine Club, please click here.

To find out more about the Valentine Club and see its programme for the coming months, please click here.

Katharine House Hospice – Open Gardens

Richard Preston who, with his wife Daphne, opened Primrose Garden, pictured here, writes: “On behalf of the gardeners of Kralingen, The Longbyre, Cedar Cottage and Primrose Garden, thank you to those who braved the inclement weather on Sunday, 16th June to help raise £350 for Katharine House Hospice Charity.  Also, many thanks to Barbara and all her helpers who contributed to the funds with their efforts In providing superb, homemade teas.

“It was a little disappointing as we had hoped to raise considerably more, but Open Gardens may not appeal to all and our truly British summer played a poor hand on the day.”

Pictured below is Hanny and Roderick Nicholson’s garden at Kralingen which was also open.


Tony Cross Memorial Football Match

Passing on a huge THANK YOU to everybody associated with making Tony’s Memorial match such a special day. There are too many people to thank individually but rest assured everybody’s kindness and generosity has been extraordinary.

I know Tony would have been super proud and full of emotion seeing everybody coming together in the village, enjoying themselves, having a drink and raising money for such a worthy cause.

So far we’ve collectively raised £1,000 for Katharine House Hospice.

Once again thanks to every single one of you.

Best wishes

The Cross & Brewer family

Potholes – a message from the Parish Council

The potholes in the Beeches have been the subject of considerable discussion between Steeple Aston Parish Council and Oxfordshire County Council Highways Department over recent weeks. The Parish Council is pressing for a long term solution to the problem.

The potholes seem to be largely caused by water that wells up from the road and runs down it. Any repair is soon washed away or, if it holds, a new pothole appears nearby. Obviously the continual repair work has left the road in a bumpy state but there is little point in a complete resurfacing until the underlying problem has been dealt with. In the meantime, we may have to continue with temporary repairs to keep the road usable.

Highways have already agreed to flush out and inspect the current drainage system along the road. This will be a first step to assessing what further work may need to be done to divert the water away from or under the road and thus stop new potholes developing. Any work scheduled here will take time so please be patient.

Potholes here and anywhere else in the parish can now be reported directly to the Parish Council by emailing One of our councillors is fully trained to inspect and report on potholes. He has direct access into the FixMyStreet system and potholes reported by him will be dealt more quickly. You may already have noticed improvements in a number of places in the village: Fir Lane, for example.

There are regular updates on the situation at meetings of the Parish Council. These are held on the third Monday of every month (except in August and December) at 7.30 p.m. in the Committee Room of the Village Hall. Members of the public are always welcome.

April 2019

Village Hall AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Steeple Aston Village Hall management committee was held on the 13th May 2019. There were no members of the public in attendance. The full committee is listed below, showing which group they represent.

  • Barbara Brewer Tuesday Badminton   (Chair)
  • Margaret Bulleyment Choral society            (Secretary)
  • John White (Treasurer)
  • Janine Beckwith Thursday Badminton
  • Deborah Morris Village Rep
  • Margaret Mason Arts Programme Co-ordinator
  • Esther Brown         WI
  • Torquil McLusky Scouts / Cubs / Beavers
  • Amanda Rodgers Village Rep
  • Chris Clarke PCC
  • Martin Lipson Archive
  • Richard Preston Valentine Club
  • Cathy Fleet Parish Council
  • Rose McCready Garden Club

In the next few months the committee will be deciding on a programme of events for the forthcoming year. If there is a specific event you would like to see in the programme or if you have any new ideas, please contact me or any committee member.

Barbara Brewer, Chair


New website for local villages

A new website has been launched to promote local community events and local businesses into neighbouring villages. It’s called ‘Village Voice UK’.

The intention of Village Voice UK is to enable a ripple of local notices to extend outside the immediate boundaries of each village – more easily to inform neighbouring villagers of neighbouring events. It currently covers the villages of Eynsham, Islip, Kidlington, Kirtlington, Tackley and Steeple Aston.

It is free of charge to advertise any upcoming community event taking place in Steeple or Middle Aston to which it may be appropriate to attract further attendance from neighbouring villages. Such neighbouring events can be included in the site’s What’s On calendar for 2019 and also in the Poster Parade, which advertises specific events.

Local businesses may publicise their services on Village Voice UK and local companies should contact the organiser directly to arrange their advertisement.

The website is

The organiser Louise Lloyd can be contacted on

Update from Bicester Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team – December 2018

Between the 12th and 26th November for Op Ranger, a rural crime initiative, the rural team have been visiting local businesses and farms to offer crime prevention advice and provide a visible presence.

Now we are creeping into the winter months, it is time to review the security of your property. Things to do include; fitting lighting in dark or hidden entrances and outdoor areas. Use timer lights indoors when you are out. Lock everything that you possibly can and don’t leave bins near fences or gates.  Don’t keep valuable items near windows, make a list of these and take photos of them.

Please remember that if you see absolutely anything suspicious, please call us. The police will really appreciate your call. Look out for car registration numbers, person descriptions, direction of travel and anything else that you think may be relevant. Your call may help prevent a crime taking place. Call 101 if it isn’t an emergency and 999 if there is a threat to life or a crime in progress.

There have recently been reports of rogue traders carrying out garden maintenance and roof repairs etc. Please be vigilant and look out for yourself and neighbours. If you are concerned then please call us.

Courier fraud is also on the increase at the moment, this is when you’re called by someone pretending to be from your bank or building society and convinced to tell them your card details over the phone. They arrange for a courier to pick up your card to take it away for evidence or to have it destroyed. In reality, the card is collected by the fraudsters to withdraw money from your account. If you receive a call like this then call action fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Please sign up to Thames Valley Alert. This will enable you to receive emails from the police with crime updates, witness appeals and crime prevention advice. The link is

The next Rural Community Forum is on 20th February 2019 at Fringford Village Hall from 7.00pm.


Help for victims of crime or abuse

Being a victim or a witness of a crime can be an emotional and difficult time.

Victims First provides free emotional and practical support to all victims and witnesses of crime or abuse, as well as family members of victims. It is available across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.

A Victims First Officer can discuss any emotional or practical needs you may have and work with you to put a tailored support plan in place. This could involve referring you to a specialist service such as services for victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse.

The type of assistance available includes telephone and face to face support, advocacy including help to access other services such as sexual health clinics, drug and alcohol services and legal services, support through the criminal justice system (if you have reported the crime to the police) and therapeutic counselling.

A Young Victims Service is also available to anyone under 18 and works with young people to help them cope with the effects of crime.

To speak to a Victims First Officer about any of the services and to receive support please call 0300 1234 148.

You can also find more information or make a referral for support online at

Live Well in Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire County Council has an online directory of over 2,000 (and growing) support services across the county to help residents live better.

Live Well Oxfordshire has been developed by Oxfordshire County Council in partnership with Age UK Oxfordshire and Affinity Works. The directory has been designed to bring together information about groups and organisations offering services for adults with a variety of needs in one place.

It includes categories such as looking after someone, keeping fit and well, finding a care home, help with life events and many more.

To go to the directory, please click here.

Speed monitoring and parking

The Parish Council has received several complaints about both speeding and bad parking near the school, the pre-school and in the rest of the village.

If you have concerns about speeding in the village, would like to nominate any locations for a Speedwatch Survey or would be prepared to help carry one out, please contact Charlotte Bartlett (01869 347347 or

Please always park considerately. You should not park partially or wholly on pavements or yellow lines and zigzags, as this can be extremely dangerous.  Thames Valley Police will be informed of persistent offenders.

The Parish Council


News from the Sports & Rec

Not everyone in Steeple Aston knows what the building next to the Village Hall and the Pre-school is… This is the Sports and Recreation Trust: we look after the changing rooms and the meeting hall and are also responsible for the Recreation Field.

The Field is where the football pitch and cricket nets are and where last month we all enjoyed the fantastic firework display. As well as sports, the field is also used for many of those annual events that really bring the village together like the Horticultural Show, Church Fete, and Whit Races.  The meeting hall is where many clubs and societies meet every week.  We work closely with the Village Hall, Parish Council and Church but have very much our own identity.  In particular we try to concentrate on helping sports related groups and those that focus on young people.

The Sports & Rec has things happening most days but it is a smaller and less formal space than the Village Hall so well suited to children’s parties and smaller events up to 30 people and has a kitchen and a licenced bar. We can also work with the Village Hall to host joint events for 100 or so people.

We have the following regular groups, as well as parties and other events:

  • Monday morning 10am (every other week) – Home Education Group
  • Tuesday morning, 10am, Mindfulness
  • Tuesday night, 7pm Scouts (and we are hoping to start Cubs again soon)
  • Wednesday night, 6pm, Brownies
  • Thursday morning, 9am, Baby and Toddler group (term times)
  • Most Saturday afternoons in season, Steeple Aston Football Club
  • Most Sunday afternoons in season Junior Football.

The Sports & Rec is a busy place but we do have slots available and are happy to look at special rates for village groups. Please contact Katie Rushworth (Booking Agent) on 01869 340196.

You can find contact details for all the clubs and societies in the Clubs and Societies section section or contact Torquil McLusky, Chairman, (347914) or Chris Cooper, Treasurer, (347173).

Your village needs you!

Do you have some time to spare to help our community? We are looking for people to help out with repairs and maintenance of amenities in the village, particularly around the play facilities at Robinson’s Close.

The next things on the list are yellow line repainting and mending a wooden bench in the pagoda. If you think you can help out, now or in future, please contact the Parish Clerk, myself or any member of the Parish Council.

Thank you,

Charlotte Clarke on behalf of Steeple Aston Parish Council

Community First Responders needed

Alan Brewer, Community First Responder writes:

Community responders are trained, equipped volunteers that answer emergency medical calls in their local communities and initiate treatment while the ambulance is on route. We are not a substitute for the ambulance but a complement to it,we also provide reassurance – the sight of the hi-viz jacket lets them know that help is near and often reduces stress.

It was discovered that if a series of events took place in a set sequence, a heart attack victim has a greater chance of survival.

Early access – this is getting to the patient as quickly as possible (to get help).

Early resuscitation – starting CPR to those patients who require it (to buy time).

Early Defibrillation – delivering an electric shock with a defibrillator to those patients in cardiac arrest (to restart heart).

Early advanced life support – the skills that Paramedics and Doctors have (to stabilise).

Over 350,000 people in the UK suffer heart attacks each year.

160,000 people die as a result of heart attacks each year.

Eighty-five per cent of victims have the potential to survive. The chances of survival decrease by ten per cent for every minute that treatment is delayed.

In addition as trained volunteers, community responders help patients suffering from breathing problems, severe bleeding, diabetic emergencies and unconscious casualties, all of which will benefit from early treatment.

Our aim is to preserve life, prevent the patient’s condition from worsening and promote recovery.

At present here in Steeple we have five trained Responders and two Defibrillators, this is voluntary, putting in 20 hours a month that suits you. Due to changes in life style, work and other activities three of our responders will be leaving us after many years of serving the community.

You must be able to drive and have your own car, no blue lights I’m afraid, your aim is to get to the patient with in eight minutes of receiving the call from the emergency dispatcher.

Now, if this is something you have been thinking about doing for your community then please get in touch with me on 01869 340423.


Adderbury Community Food Market

The market is held every second Thursday of the month from 6.00pm to 8.00pm at The Institute, The Green, Adderbury OX17 3NE.

You will find a wide range of local producers selling meat, poultry, eggs, savouries, vegetables, cakes & tarts, honey, coffee, gin & liqueurs, preserves and lots more. Guest stalls provide monthly variety. There is a bar and hot food to eat in or take away.

This is a not-for-profit community project. For more information go to

Community Education at the Marlborough School Woodstock

The Marlborough School  offers an extensive programme of courses for adults. There are weekly courses and 1-day and 2-day weekend workshops. Many subjects are available at several levels – beginners, improvers etc.

Subjects range from tai chi, Pilates and yoga to singing, calligraphy and various art, language and computer courses.

To browse the courses available or download the latest brochure, go to

To request a printed brochure and to book a place ring 01993 813592 or email

Essential repairs grant available

Cherwell District Council is offering an essential repairs grant to help vulnerable people, which covers, for example:
. Replacing a defective door or window
. Roof repairs
. Minor electrical works

You may be eligible if you meet the following criteria:
1. You have owned your home for at least three years and
2. You are eligible for a means tested benefit, and /or a tax credit with a household income below a set level and
3. You are over 60 years of age or in receipt of child benefit for a child living with you.

For more details contact:
Private Sector Housing Team
Cherwell District Council
Bodicote House
OX15 4AA
Tel. 01295 227004 or visit


Calling all parents and grandparents

• Are you a good listener?
• Do you enjoy being with young children?
• Could you spare 2 – 3 hours per week?
• Would you be interested in becoming a volunteer with Home-Start?
• Volunteering provides excellent experience for a CV

Home-Start Oxford and Bicester is a local charity which supports families with at least one child under five years of age. They have been doing so for over 20 years and in that time have been a lifeline to thousands of families in need.

Their volunteers offer regular support, friendship and practical help to local families under stress in their own homes, helping to prevent family crisis and breakdown.

For more information please contact Sarah Harvey on 01869 349990, email her on or view their website:

CAB Caseworker Help for disabled & vulnerable

  • Are you living with a hard to manage mental or physical condition?
  • Do you need some help to cope?
  • Our Specialist Caseworker can visit you at home, offer a full welfare benefits eligibility check, and help you to access other relevant support services within your community.

Contact us if you:

  • Are under 60 years old, and
  • Live in Oxfordshire, and
  • Have limited ability to get around on your own, and
  • Need support to continue to live independently

To discuss your requirements in complete confidence, please leave a message with your name and contact number for Lynn on 01608 646990

Have YOU ever thought about FOSTERING?

PACT LogoThere is a recognised shortage of 10,000 Foster Carers in the UK. PACT, founded in 1911, is also known as the Oxford Diocesan Council for Social Work inc. We are a registered charity working to improve life chances for children. The focus of our work is within Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and aims to build and strengthen families.

We are an approved Adoption and Fostering Agency. We have a history of finding safe, loving families for children in care. Here are a few facts about Fostering:

1. Did you know you don’t have to be married to become a Foster Carer?
2. You don’t have to have children already although you do need to have experience of caring for children.
3. Did you know you get paid a Fostering Allowance of £335.70 a week to be a Foster Carer which is tax free and won’t affect any other benefits?
4. Most of the children who need fostering are known as ‘hard to place’ children, they will usually be 8+ years of age.

Fostering is a hard but very rewarding job. If you think you might have what it takes to become a Permanent Foster Carer or you want to find out more then contact PACT now on 0800 731 1845 e-mail

Katherine House Hospice Lottery

Support your local hospice lottery for just £1 a week.

Over £100,000 is raised every year.

Every week there is a first prize of £1,000 plus:
2 x £100 prizes
2 x £50 prizes
5 x £20 prizes
10 x £10 prizes

Fundraising and Lottery Office
Katharine House Hospice
East End
OX17 3NL
Tel: 01295 816484
Email :

Or download an application form from their website:

Registered Charity No. 297099