The next meetings will be at 8pm on Monday 8th July and 'provisionally' Tuesday 6th August at the Stonewater Common Room. All residents welcome (but please let us know ahead of the date if you're coming)!!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

A 'ruff' deal

My name is Korky, I'm a 2 year old Labrador / Golden Retriever cross Guide Dog.  I live with my owner on the Ladygrove estate.  When I'm not working I love to have my harness off and run free and play like all you pet dogs do.  I don't always come back when my owner blows his whistle because I am easily distracted by all the wonderful smells and any passing dogs I can play with and follow.  I think I'm having fun but my owner doesn't and says he worries he won't be able to find me.  He then puts my harness back on and I sulk all the way whilst slooooowly (my protest speed) guiding him back home.

I am appealing to all you friendly medium / large sized pet dogs out there who would volunteer to play and run free with me, two or three times a week.  You will need to bring your owner with you, just in case I'm still being naughty.  They would then be able to help my owner look for me.  Ask them to pick up the old 'dog and bone' and call my owner on 01235-520188.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Post Box Collection Time

The collection time for the afternoon post from the post box on the corner of Tennyson and Wordsworth will change on the 16th March from 5.30pm to 4.45pm.

Mill Road / The Mill

by Tony Godfrey

In Abingdon we are lucky because the countryside is so easy to reach on foot.  In a car you find contrasting scenery within a 30 minute drive -the Cotswolds with gentle rolling hills and honey coloured cottages, empty sweeping downland with its huge fields and big skies and, nearer home, the lush watery Thames valley.

Mill Road which separates Tithe Farm and Ladygrove is unusual in that it changes from a pleasant suburban street into a narrow country lane with an old mill house at the end.  The mill has now been changed into a country home but you can still hear the roar of water from the mill race as you stroll past reminding you of its original function.

Mills are interesting.  They are one of the earliest forms of technology, using the power of channelled water to activate the wheel which will turn the millstone to grind the grain into flour.  In all probability the mill was the property of Abingdon Abbey which dominated everything.  The corn which was taxed from the local farmers would be taken from the tithe barn and ground into flour for the monks to use and to sell. Individuals could bring grain too.  The millers themselves often had a bad reputation for dishonesty exploiting their customers’ ignorance of weights and measures.

There are lots of mills in this area because there is plenty of water around and there are still a few small working mills to show how the process works.  There is one by the Thames in Mapledurham near Reading which might be a pleasant outing in the summer.  However, if you want a bag of flour urgently it’s easier to nip into Tesco’s!

Easter and May Bank Holidays Rubbish Collections

Abbey Meadows

The Vale Council are suggesting 3 options for the future of the Abbey Meadows area - pick up a booklet in town for details (at Added Ingredients, Mostly Books or the Council Offices) or see 'News' on the Council's website.  Their deadline for responses is 7th April.

Abingdon Hydro

A member of the Abingdon Hydro committee writes 'people look at the Thames weir and wonder how that flow might be put to good use.  Abingdon Hydro was set up to use water power to generate 100kW electrical power by raising monies to construct two Archimedes screws - highly visible renewable energy and to benefit the community.  If you want to know more about this project, go to'

Plant Swap

For all Tithe Farm and Ladygrove gardeners!!  There will be a Plant Swap on Saturday 16th May on the driveway at 39 Masefield Crescent between 3pm and 5pm, come rain or shine.  Bring along your extra plants, surplus seedlings or spare cuttings and be ready to 'swap' ..... all for FREE!!

Calling all young gardeners - get ready for the children's summer sunflower competition.  Details will be in the June newsletter, but get those seeds planted soon to see who can grow the tallest sunflower!

Deliver us from Evil - a light-hearted poem

Letterboxes can leave me in a dither
Approaching each door as I prepare to deliver
With a resounding SNAP!, just like a mousetrap
Pinching my fingers and making me shiver

A gnome eyes me warily, as I creep up the next path
I ease past the prickly bush, and round the birdbath
A dog barks at me, as I tackle a tree
I’ll need a cup of tea after this aftermath

Rat-a-tat-tat, rat-a-tat-tat
The letterbox rattles as the newsletter hits the mat
I gave it a shove, and prayed it wouldn't trap my glove
Or my hand won’t be pounced on by a cat

Red doors, blue doors, some made of wood
So many variations in this neighbourhood

Some boxes I can’t find, in this area I’m assigned
I’d post it, honestly, if only I could

Think of those who deliver to your door
Fighting fierce letterboxes, which I’m sure are carnivore
If you see us about, please wave with a shout
And we’ll wave back with stubby fingers, I’m sure

Monday, 23 March 2015

Bin Request

A request for a bin for Longfellow / Coleridge Green was brought up at the last meeting.  Reply from the Town Council - 'I took your request to our Amenities Meeting last night and they decided after some discussion not to put a bin in the area you requested.  Instead they are going to monitor the area for a few months to see if a bin is required, although no complaints have been received about littler in this area to date'.  If residents are concerned about rubbish on the green, do contact the Town Council on 01235-522642.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Missing Street Signage

The missing street signage at the entrance to Byron Close / Maberley Close will be replaced by the Vale of White Horse District Council.  We understand that several residents have reported this recently - it has been missing for a quite a long time!!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Water Problems

During the recent water problems that occurred recently, Thames Water reported 'that a company selling water filters and systems is taking water samples in the area and talking to our customers.  They are not associated with Thames Water in any way.  Please ask to see an identity badge if you are at all concerned when talking to someone claiming to be a water company representative'.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Partial Eclipse

The partial eclipse of the sun happened on Friday 20th March!!!  Did you see it?  It happened around 9am - 9.30am and at it's height was about 84% of the sun being covered.

If you missed it, the next one in the UK will be in 11 years!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Gardening - The Garden in March - 2015

March is generally considered the start of the gardening year and it can be very busy depending on the weather.  Feed all beds with a general purpose fertilizer to kick start plants into growth.  If you can get garden manure, this is wonderful and improves soil structure as well.

The grass will probably need its first cut.  Keep the mower blades high for the first few trims.

Roses can be pruned now.  Cut out any dead or diseased wood, and any weak stems.  Cut other branches down to a low outward facing bud.  It may seem drastic but they will thank you.  Give them a feed after pruning.

Seeds of hardy annuals can be sown outside now, and half hardy can be sown indoors.  Sow some salad leaves and sow in succession every fortnight to give a supply during the summer.

Winter shrubs that have finished flowering now can be pruned - a general rule of thumb is that shrubs should be pruned, if required, after flowering.

Buy snowdrops "in the green" now - they are available at garden centres and by mail order. they are far more reliable than bulbs.

Daffodils, as they die back, should be dead headed, but allow the foliage to die back naturally, and give them a feed to plump up the bulbs for next year. If any failed to flower, dig them up and plant them deeper.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Science Vale Area Action Plan

The South Oxfordshire Core Strategy and Draft Vale of White Horse Local Plan 2031 have proposed development sites for over 20,000 new homes to support over 20,000 new jobs close to the three centres for science at Harwell Campus, Culham Science Centre and Milton Park, and the main settlements of Didcot, Wantage and Grove within Science Vale.

Given the significant amount of change taking place in Science Vale, the Science Vale Joint Projects Team are producing a Science Vale Area Action Plan.

They are seeking our views!!!

The consultation runs from 27th February until 5pm on 17th April 2015 and consultation documents can be found at public libraries and viewed on websites at or where there is also an online response form.  For general enquiries please contact 01235 540546.

There will also be the following public consultation events:
  • Didcot Railway Station, main entrance - 5th March 4pm to 7pm
  • Didcot Cornerstone - 6th March 10am to 1pm
  • Harwell Village Hall - 16th March 10pm to 1pm
  • Culham Science Centre Gatehouse - 17th March 3.30pm to 7pm
  • Milton Park Innovation Centre - 19th March 4pm to 7pm
  • The Beacon, Wantage - 26th March 2pm to 8pm