A poor repair job was completed on Rousham Road at the end of last year. June Collier complained to Andy Graham, our county councillor, who has promised that a better job will be done around March time.
Consultants appointed by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) will carry out a water catchment study, which we hope will provide useful information so that future work to alleviate flooding will be effective.
Shop and Village Hall Bins
There has been discussion about where to relocate the shop and village hall bins following the recent fire risk assessment. Wherever they end up, we will have new fencing to contain them and make them less unsightly. Please note that these bins are for shop and village hall use only; they are not to be used by the public.
Woods and Heath
We are starting to think about the health and management of the heath and woods, including what needs doing and how to go about it. The bracken and brambles have been encroaching more and more on the woodland area over the last few years, making the paths throughout the site increasingly hard to pass, so initially this will be the focus. We also need to improve the roadside parking for those who do need to drive to access this wonderful site.
We would like to get a survey done to aid with planning. Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust does this every ten years because the heath is a County Wildlife Site, and while it was last done in 2013, we may be able to bring the next survey forward.
What we would like to do is set up a subcommittee of the parish council – comprising maybe five or six people, including at least one councillor – specifically for the care and maintenance of the whole site, including the pond which is of particular scientific interest.
While we will employ specialists to do some of the work, we will appreciate the help of volunteers, so please do let us know if you are happy to muck in with the practical work.
June Collier writes: Following a recent meeting with Network Rail, we are really no further forward than in November. The underpass will probably not be an option now, so an independent consultancy has to be appointed to reexamine the previous options and come up with a new plan. At the time of the meeting this had not been done, but should be in the near future. They are hopeful that some information will be forthcoming by early summer.
Network Rail is confident that they will, however, paint the temporary bridge. We are not sure when, but again: sometime in the near future! On a positive note, it is safety-checked on a regular basis.
If you have any concerns regarding the station and crossing, please contact our clerk who will forward these to your railway representatives and Network Rail. Alternatively, speak directly to your local councillors or TRAC representative. Equestrians concerned about the bridleway closure should contact the OCC access team and British Horse Society.
Councillor Richard Jackson writes: This year is Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. The weekend of 4, 5 and 6 June will be when villages and towns across the realm give thanks for seventy happy and glorious years.
Tackley has always marked the jubilee, and many villagers will remember 2012, 2002 or even 1977. After the past couple of years, 2022 should be particularly memorable!
A planning committee is being formed to coordinate this year’s events, and we hope to publish our plans in the next newsletter. If you have any suggestions, or would like to volunteer to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Chaundy Road Trees
Tackley Village Shop: Could You Be a Director or Committee Member?
With the festive season behind us, tradition dictates that now is the time we make a few resolutions and perhaps turn our hand to something new. Dry January? Gym membership? Learning to play the drums? All great options. But if you want to do something really worthwhile, why not volunteer as a director or committee member at Tackley Village Shop?
There is now an exciting opportunity for new directors and committee members to shape the shop of the future. I will be stepping down from my director’s role later this year, and others are ready to pass on the baton. It’s time for a new dynamic team!
So, come on! How about it? It’s a great opportunity. You get to put your own stamp on the next phase of the shop’s story — and meet just about everyone in the village.
As many if not all of you know, Tackley Village Shop is owned by the community and is run not for profit but for the collective benefit of everyone in the village. Highly successful and financially sound, it’s also a real social centre; and has certainly proved its worth during the pandemic, attracting heaps of praise. The shop is there for you, but it doesn’t happen by magic…
While the day-to-day activities are the responsibility of the wonderful shop manager and team – supported of course by the superb in-shop volunteers – the limited company that operates the shop needs to be managed by volunteer directors and committee members on behalf of the village (the owner). There are no paid directors or administrators to do these tasks.
So, what’s involved? The directors and committee members are responsible for things like setting the overall direction and ethos, deciding policies and principles, supervising finances, initiating development projects, ensuring legal compliance, and recruiting staff and administering their employment — but not day-to-day matters.
How much time is required? That’s not an easy question. The directors and committee hold monthly meetings. In between, it depends how much responsibility you take on, what is happening, and whether there are any projects running. As a director, you could normally reckon with a couple of hours or so each week to deal with emails and calls. It could be less, or sometimes more. I should add that you do not necessarily need to do a ‘volunteer slot’ in the shop itself – but it helps if you want to understand how the shop ticks.
Yes, I know everyone is busy and has lots of commitments. Twas ever thus. All I can say to you is that I’ve also had a full-time job for most of my time as a shop director. The role has been tremendously fulfilling, and it’s been thrilling to be part of the venture. It has also brought me contact and friendship with a huge number of people throughout the village, some of whom I might otherwise never have met. You may feel you don’t have a great deal of time — but it can be done, and will give you a great sense of achievement.
What experience is needed? Well, first and foremost, we need your energy, enthusiasm and willingness; if you don’t have any relevant experience, there’s plenty of support available. However, in the case of a replacement for me, we really would like to attract someone able to chair and lead the organisation, so it would be enormously helpful to have a financial background and/or previous business management experience.
Importantly, no one is going to be dropped in at the deep end. The incumbents will be sticking around for some time to show you the ropes, provide input and guidance, and ensure there is an orderly handover over a reasonable period (unless of course we were asked to ride quietly off into the sunset…).
What do you think then? Could you contribute? If you’d like to know more, please do get in touch with me. I’m happy to have a chat on the phone or meet up for a coffee (or something stronger). Come on — let’s hear from you! See my contact details above, or leave a message for me at the shop.
For this issue of the Tackley Newsletter, Sustainable Tackley would like to draw your attention to an organisation that is doing great things for the community and the environment. Its founder Emily sent us the following to share.
Cherwell Collective is a new community interest company serving several local groups, including:
Cherwell Larder, with more than 1,700 registered users.
Harvest @ Home, which helps more than 900 people learn to grow food and supports community gardens.
Oxford Party Library, through which more than 1,500 users share party supplies to keep costs and waste down.
Climatarian Kitchen, a surplus and seasonal cafe in Kidlington.
In 2020, Cherwell Collective saved the carbon equivalent of over 1,500 trees’ lifetimes by reducing food waste, and for our work serving the vulnerable during the Covid lockdown we were awarded the European Economic and Social Committee Civil Solidarity Prize for ‘food supply and assistance to vulnerable groups’. This prize was given for innovation, because we not only provide food but also empower people to grow their own food; and provide meal kits, recipes, and a community cafe to inspire more flexible and less wasteful diets.
Our cafe, Climatarian Kitchen, operates out of Exeter Hall on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We run a seasonal menu, where suggested donations reflect the environmental cost of dietary choices. All of the food is donated surplus from local businesses or our partner Oxford Food Hub, or grown locally in one of Harvest @ Home’s gardens.
We are also the in-house catering unit for Exeter Hall, meaning we provide food for large events — sometimes with hundreds of people. In November, using only surplus and food we had grown, we fed the local Air Cadets, British Royal Legion and other dignitaries at the first of what we hope to make an annual Remembrance lunch. We were honoured to have been asked.
Cherwell Collective is supported by Cherwell District Council, as well as The National Lottery and Oxfordshire County Council. We rely on the generosity of volunteers who share their time, experience, skills and expertise to empower our community. For more information, please visit our website. If you would like to sign up for support you can email us — see details at the top.
We have had a positive return to school after Christmas, and the children have been so enthusiastic about their new learning this term.
Our staff team worked hard, alongside the team from Wootton, on our inset day at the beginning of the term planning out an exciting and aspirational curriculum for our children based around the key ideas of curiosity, creativity and independence.
Our Key Stage 1 class is learning about the countries of the UK this term, and finding out about oceans around the world and their features. We have been amazed already by their knowledge in this area.
Years 3 and 4 are learning about rainforests this term, and using their locational knowledge and understanding to locate rainforests in atlases. Years 5 and 6 are learning about the Mayans: in particular their civilisation, religion and Gods.
We had a great time at our first partnership sporting event for nearly two years. We took twenty children to The Marlborough School in Woodstock to participate in a cross country event, and were delighted that one of our runners from the under-11 team placed 1st. A real accolade for our school!
Parochial Church Council Seeking New Treasurer
Tackley Parochial Church Council (PCC) is responsible for supporting the rector in the running and management of St Nicholas’ Church. We are seeking a new treasurer because the current one will stand down this year.
St Nicholas’ Church is an important part of the village, and the PCC treasurer is a highly-trusted and respected role that requires a certain level of commitment. You don’t have to be a qualified accountant to become treasurer, but some experience of basic financial bookkeeping would be an advantage.
If you might be interested in taking on this important voluntary role, and would like more information about it, please contact Julian Whitehead on email@example.com or 01869 331252.
Six months before her coronation, the Queen asked the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth to: “Pray that God may give me the wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve him and you, all the days of my life.” As this month sees the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne, I think most of us are agreed that this prayer has indeed been answered.
Her Majesty has been an amazing example and role model all her life, but like all such, sometimes we need to remember one or two important things. It’s right to honour, respect and be thankful for those who shine a light in this life for us. And the Queen certainly has done that for a very long time; as do – in their own way – artists, celebrities, sportspeople, teachers, parents, and all sorts of others.
But all are just people. We should never place too much weight on another; too much expectation; too much demand. No one is perfect. As the Queen said in one of her Christmas broadcasts: “Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves — from our recklessness or our greed.”
It’s okay to be thankful for the example and life of someone who is amazing but not perfect. We don’t have to pretend. We should just be grateful, and recognise that greatness isn’t about being perfect — it’s about being as human as anyone else, and doing good for others even though sometimes others are focussing on our faults.
Her Majesty, living in the spotlight as she does, has found her way of dealing with all that — and it’s a pretty good way. She went on to say in that same Christmas broadcast:
“God sent into the world a unique person — neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships, and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.”
There are times in all our families, friendships and communities that we need such an example; such power; such forgiving love. The Queen is quite right: it does not belong to the Church or to Christians — it is the gift of God. And as we celebrate Her Majesty’s long reign, perhaps too we might open our hearts afresh to the Lord whom she serves, and pray that we too might receive – after her example – such forgiving love for one another.
Our annual general meeting, postponed from January because of the Covid situation, is now scheduled for Tuesday, 15 February. It will include a talk on no-dig gardening, and then time to pay your subs and get your membership and discount card for Yarnton Nurseries. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.
The bulbs are beginning to come through, and spring will soon be here.
Tackley Walking Group is a friendly way to get to know the Oxfordshire countryside better, on its leisurely walks. We meet at the village hall at the times given to arrange transport to the walk start, unless otherwise specified. There is no need to book, but walkers must give their contact details to the walk leader for test and trace. There’s no obligation to car share, but there isn’t always enough parking for each person to drive individually to the start. A face mask is required for car sharing. Distances are approximate, and all walks are at participants’ own risk.
Saturday, 12 February at 9:30 am: Yarnton. Circuit from Stratfield Brake nature reserve to Yarnton via the towpath, tracks and field paths (5 miles).
Wednesday, 23 February at 2 pm: Snowdrop walk. Footpaths around Great Tew, one of the most picturesque villages in Oxfordshire; including the churchyard with its drifts of snowdrops (4 miles).
Saturday, 12 March at 9:30 am: Leafield. Ancient woodlands, green lanes and views to distant hills; taking in part of the Wychwood Way. No stiles (5.5 miles).
Wednesday, 23 March: Heyford to Tackley. Meet at the station to catch the 14:33 train to Heyford; face mask required. Along the canal to Northbrook, then pick up the bridleway via Crecy Hill back to Tackley (3.2 miles).
The latest wave of Covid forced us to move January’s talk by Les Summers from the village hall to online.
We hope to return to talks in person from Monday, 28 February when Rachel Strachan and Neil Wilson revisit the story of the shipwreck of the Cataraqui off the coast of Tasmania, in which 42 impoverished migrants from Tackley lost their lives.
This will be followed on Monday, 28 March by Tim Healey discussing Sex, Drink and Death in the 17th Century; and on Monday, 25 April Julie Ann Godson will talk on Our Boys 1914–1918: The Fallen of One Oxfordshire Valley and How Villages Coped During WWI.
Before Christmas we restarted our project Recording Tackley with the aim of producing a book of photographs and personal accounts of memories of the village. This too has been delayed by Covid, but we aim to resume soon.
We will hold our AGM before the talk on 28 February. If you would like to get more involved in the history group, please contact Sue Ashton on the email address above.
With luck we will resume all our activities as we move into the spring and summer.
All mothers are precious – there isn’t a doubt –
And are one of the people we can’t live without.
They can’t live forever, and this is a shame
Coz when we all lose them life isn’t the same.
They bring us into this world; look after us well;
At times we upset them and put them through hell.
But they’ll always love us, no matter what;
Always in our hearts and never forgot.