April & May 2020
Tackley Covid Assistance
The evolving COVID-19 outbreak is a source of anxiety for all of us, not least those who live
alone or perhaps care for dependents.
If you’re self-isolating, we are a group of Tackley residents who may be able to help you:
- Deliver groceries or prescriptions
- Walk your dog
- Post mail
- Pick up urgent supplies
- Check in via a friendly email or phone call
- Set up Skype or similar video calling or messaging software
- Find educational resources and ways to stay entertained and keep busy while
We have also put together a list of useful resources, including educational and boredom-busting
websites that you can find on the
To order groceries or to arrange prescription delivery please call Tackley Village Shop
on (01869) 331807. For all other requests email
Please contact us via email wherever possible! The address will be checked regularly by a group
If you have no access to email you can text or phone:
- We are not an emergency service, nor are we able to provide medical advice or
- Items will be collected/delivered to doorsteps only to avoid further spread of COVID-19
- Please be careful when handling money or goods and wash your hands before and after wherever
- Advice regarding useful resources will be given remotely e.g. via phone or email
- Payment for groceries ordered from Tackley Village Shop will be dealt with by the shop and
should be discussed when you order
If you’d like to volunteer with this group please email
The Harrison family
The Harrison family would like to thank everyone who came to Anita’s funeral. We raised £592
which was split between Cancer Research UK and the RSPCA.
The village website has had a much-needed complete redesign. This was necessary because the
software I was using had been out of service for years and we needed to bring things up to date.
My husband Mark did the majority of this work for me, so huge thanks to him for all the time he
spent on it!
If you previously added specific pages as bookmarks or favourites in your browser, these will
no longer work. You will need to add new bookmarks for your commonly-used pages.
A rocky path to a smoother road
Following months of negotiations, compliance and training, the final hurdles are in sight and
Tackley Road Wardens will begin a two-pronged approach to improving the roads and pavements
within the village.
A village representative will be appointed as a FixMyStreet Superuser able to report
‘category 2’ potholes, and the ability to approve and organise the repair of larger road defects
directly to the council’s contractors Skanska, speeding up considerably the response time.
Additionally, Deb Ollman will be repairing small areas of road damage – up to 40mm deep and up
to 150mm long – with cold-fill tarmac to prevent them developing into something more
The programme is due to get underway in March/April and we are now looking to recruit further
volunteers to assist in improving the condition of our roads and footpaths. Please contact Robin
on (01869) 331697.
Thanks to Tackley Parish Council, Oxfordshire County Council volunteer coordinator and
Oxfordshire County Council leaders community fund for their support for this groundbreaking and
Door-to-door sellers and charity workers
On Monday, 27 January, two agents representing the British Heart Foundation were going door to
door in the village trying to get people to sign up to a fundraising lottery. One of them was
very pushy and tried to pressure me into signing up. He talked about how generous people in the
village had already been, and he then named names of some people who had signed up. This is a
clear breach of GDPR regulations. I also found out that one of the villagers who had signed up
had only done so because the agents had managed to talk their way into their house and they felt
pressured to hand over their bank details in order to get the men to leave. I heard from other
people in the village that they too had found this particular agent to be extremely pushy. So I
contacted the British Heart Foundation to make a complaint about their conduct.
They did investigate this and took the matter very seriously. They identified the agency worker
responsible and took him off door-to-door duties until he had been retrained. They also reminded
the other agency workers of the severity of disclosing personal data.
I wanted to share this information to reiterate the message that you should be extremely
cautious about dealing with people on the doorstep. Even though this agency worker was
legitimate, he was extremely unprofessional and didn’t seem to care about protecting personal
information. If you want to support a particular charity, it is best to donate directly to
ensure the safety of your bank details.
I have now purchased a sticker for the front door that says ‘Warning: No Cold Callers’ which
cost less than £2 from Amazon. I believe Age UK, Neighbourhood Watch etc. may have some they
hand out for free, and there are countless examples online which you can print yourself. People
who ignore the sign and still knock on your door may be committing a criminal offence, so it
will deter cold callers and Nottingham Knockers. Please encourage your elderly or vulnerable
neighbours to display one of these stickers to help protect them from fraud.
Cardboard recycling bins
When putting cardboard boxes in the recycling bins by the playing field, please flatten them.
Otherwise, the bins are filled within days, making it difficult for other people to use them. At
the moment someone very kindly checks the bins and flattens any boxes that are put in whole, but
this shouldn’t be necessary. Please be considerate of other users.
Temporary rail bridge
Matthew Thompson, Network Rail
The new bridge is in place, and the deck will be put in imminently. Over the next couple of
weeks we’ll be installing lighting and CCTV.
As a critical organisation, we are still operating to keep people and goods moving around the
Rail timetable changes
From GWR via Robin Gibbons for Tackley Parish Council
The new rail timetable came into effect on 23 March. There will, however, be temporary changes
to advertised services until further notice.
These will prioritise key routes, essential for those people delivering vital services as the
UK responds to the current situation. We will be operating hourly London services to Bristol
Temple Meads, South Wales, Worcester Shrub Hill and Plymouth where customers will be able to
connect for Cornwall. Customers for the South Cotswolds will be able to connect with a
two-hourly service from Swindon. There will also be significant changes to regional and branch
We are working hard to enter all the changes into online and digital timetables, so that you
can check individual journeys on
our website. See also our
Canon Robin Gibbons
During this time our churches are having to stop services and follow the government
The rector and the Methodist Church will let you know what they are doing and also share the
many resources we have!
My own parish is in London, and for 30 years I have driven or taken the train to be with my
chaplaincy every Sunday, but until further notice I cannot!
So now in part-isolation, I am being a good virtual priest and putting up thoughts and prayers
via my Twitter feed @RobinGibbons2.
Please feel free to follow, but if anybody is worried or needs to speak to me I can be found
via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
– or drop a note through 40 Nethercote Road and we can then arrange to speak. I’m not handing
out my mobile number as it’s needed for the parish!
You are always welcome to drop into St Nicholas’ which will be open for prayer. If you need,
add a prayer petition on our prayer board. Stay safe, wash hands, keep in the social distance
But know that each day, several times a day from my Nethercote Road ‘hermitage’ you are
remembered in my thoughts and in prayer! For those who share my own faith I will, as has been
asked by our Church authorities, celebrate mass on my own at 10 am on Sundays—so join in
thoughts and prayers at this time.
As I’m also Canon of the Cathedral, they too will be praying for our village.
We have a wonderful community. Keep each other in thought, and if a praying person does pray,
blessings on all of us!
Strength out of weakness
Revd Marcus Green sntchurch.com
Christ is risen! From all at St Nicholas’ Church, I would like to wish everyone in the village
a very happy Easter.
Of course, the truth is that following the December general election, January’s Brexit, our
persistently wet and stormy winter, and the onset of this COVID-19 pandemic, Easter 2020 isn’t
now promising to be the happiest of times…
Is there anything we can do to make things better?
On a global scale, it’s hard to see how we can say ‘yes’—but perhaps we have to leave big
answers for others to worry about. Church is about loving God and loving people, however, and
maybe there are some things we can do locally that will help us here and now. Faced with any
situation where the news seems scary and uncertain, all of us have a tendency to think of
ourselves – to wonder if we will be alright – but one of the surest tests of our humanity is to
stop and see if we are thinking about others too.
Easter is a time when Jesus’ nail-pierced hands are pulled wide apart and fixed to a plank of
wood. But the truth is his arms are always wide open and ready to welcome you, me, all of us
with his never-ending love. It’s not nails that keep his embrace so wide—it’s love.
A time when we all face something we have no control over can be truly awful. Some people will
get sick. Some people may have to face the very worst news. For the rest of us, we are given a
chance to put ourselves to one side. We are given a chance to rise up a bit and become our
better selves. To care a little more: not to fear, but to choose to do good.
Good hygiene and washing hands is just the beginning. Then maybe we pick up the phone and check
on someone we haven’t seen for a day or two—are they self-isolating or under the weather? Can we
help get them anything? Can we offer to loan a book or help them find something online that will
make life feel a bit less empty? Can we drop off food or even just send a text regularly?
Fear, isolation, and death are things that rob us of ourselves; of community; of the will to
live. When Jesus died on Good Friday, his family of followers fell apart. And then he rose
again. And the people who had fallen apart rose with him and became unstoppable. This Easter
time perhaps all of us here need to see that story, and find in it a picture of how we as a
community know that all sorts of things face us all the time—and yet God gives us strength, if
we will take it, to live and to love and to offer to each other life and love so that when we
are weak then we are strongest.
I very much hope, as I write, that all our church Easter services will be happening as planned.
But if events conspire against us this year, then I know that we will do even more glorious
things as we find constant, small ways to show love and care throughout our community and to
bless each other day by day. That may indeed help make this Easter feel like the happiest of
Finally, a note about our Annual Church Meeting on the evening of Sunday, 3 May. Only Church
Electoral Roll members can vote on issues, but everyone is welcome to attend. As Rector I look
forward to our church continuing to grow in faith and love and number, and especially in caring
for others. If that’s something that matters to you, please come and join us.
Update: The archbishops have now called on all Church of England parishes to pause public
worship, so we will not be holding Sunday services.
However, the church building will be open daily for private prayer or reflection or for
folk to come and find a little space with God. A short video resource, ‘Worship at Home’, will
be posted every Sunday on the homepage of our website
In addition, I am sending out regular emails to everyone on our benefice email list. These
have offers of help, a little news of others, and some encouragement, hope and love along the
way. If anyone who isn’t currently on that list would like to be, please let me know:
T.H. Espian Esq, Back Stage, City Varieties Leeds
In January I was at the Leeds City Varieties music hall, a place much connected with the
alliterative Mr Leonard Sachs and The Good Old Days, but there didn’t seem to be much of
one as I caught the train down to Oxford. It rained and the thought of a depressing return to
Tackley in the dark filled me with gloom.
However, as I left Birmingham a pinging text reminded me I had been sent tickets from an
admirer to attend a theatrical entertainment of the music hall kind: Tackley Review 2020, one
which whetted the appetite by hinting at such acts of desperation as music, murder, mayhem and
And so with a sense of delicious anticipation I entered the well-appointed Tackley Village
Memorial Hall and took my place.
What can I say? How to compare it to the City Varieties Leeds? The answer is that by far the
enthusiasm in the village hall surpassed ours!
And what took place—it would be invidious for me to single out any one act above all others,
but I can state that they fell into four main classes.
The musical treats were graciously and merrily performed by the soloists, players and singers
and the groups. You all surpassed yourselves and the audience really enjoyed you. Bravo!
The Tackley Players gave us a meaty murder; did we guess what was going to happen, who was the
murderer? Well my neighbour did, but he got it all wrong, so well done—a real minty
There were the two offerings from village groups: shop and bell ringers. Whoever wrote the
songs should be given a medal for entertainment, and the various cast members applauded for
their versatility, most importantly the younger element that helped with the props and stage
changes that added to the spice. More, please!
Then where would we be in a music hall without the touch of magic? The drama was palpable when
the saw cut into the space beside the willing victim, but as always the magic seemed to turn
out, as it should—so thanks for the tension and awe we experienced.
In all the evening was ever enjoyable. You were all too good to single out, so a big round of
applause from us in an older stuffier music hall!
On a serious note, I can now say we were really fortunate the Review took place when it did.
As we hunker down, each doing our bit to try and defeat the COVID-19 virus, maybe we can all get
inspiration from our memories of those two evenings in February.
Sue Ashton, Secretary
We are very sorry and regret that, due to the situation with the coronavirus, we have decided
to cancel our meetings and talks for March, April and May, including the special talk on the
Cataraqui scheduled for 6 April.
The safety of our members is paramount, and the speakers have all expressed their support and
are happy to reschedule their talks for a future time when things hopefully return to a more
Alex Machin, Horse Show Committee
Very sadly, this year’s show has been cancelled. We would like to thank all those who have
given or offered their time and support. We will return!
The Age UK Oxfordshire Late Spring bereavement group held in Tackley Methodist Church on 2nd
and 4th Thursdays has, as you might suspect, been suspended.
In the meantime, Age UK staff are manning a new helpline on
01865 411288. They may be able to put you in touch with helpful
services going on in your area, or be a listening ear to concerns as we all cope with this
Silver Threads Bingo
Bingo is currently suspended because of COVID-19.
Walking group is currently suspended because of COVID-19.
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But it isn’t just about your social life—we also keep you up to date with reports from the
parish council, planned rail disruptions and local road closures, changes to refuse collections,
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