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, 31 December 2015

Neighbourhood Watch - Christmas Theft

The Neighbourhood Watch reported that there had sadly been a theft of some exterior decorations from Medlicott Drive over Christmas - sometime between Monday evening 28th December and Tuesday morning 29th December.

He said that residents of the road had been suspicious of a large white transit-type van parked in the road on several occasions before the theft, although they don't know if the two events are linked.  He asks that if other residents see a van of this type, driving slowly or stopped in this area, that they note the registration number and let him know and he will pass it on to the local police.

Neighbourhood Watch number is 07753915437.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Update on the Drayton Road resurfacing

Following our blog post about the resurfacing of the Drayton Road back in September, here's the latest from Fix My Street website:

It has been reported that the Mill Road/Drayton Road roundabout leading into Abingdon is in a poor state with potholes and damaged road surface and that the KEEP CLEAR sign on the road has virtually gone causing difficulty for Tithe Farm residents turning right from the estate which is often blocked by cars queueing.  The roundabout markings have now been added to the OCC Lining Maintenance list for the year beginning April 2016.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Councillors News - New Recycling Services by Chris Palmer

Some new recycling services have been introduced by Vale of White Horse District Council.  From this week you can now recycle:

•  broken or unusable small electrical goods in grey bin week
•  tatty, torn and unusable old clothes and textiles in green bin week

Just put them in a tied carrier bag next to your bin on your normal collection day.

Small electrical items - taken to a specialist site in Newbury for sorting, storing and processing into new gadgets.

Textiles - taken to a sorting warehouse in East London - any cotton and polyester gets cut into industrial rags, and any wool is shredded and made into felt or new yarn.

Also for those of you who have brown bins:

Extra, extra! Extra-large garden waste collections this autumn

Garden waste customers in the Vale of White Horse can put an extra-large collection out during the week of 19th October 2015.  You can put out one extra bins’ worth of garden waste in sacks or reusable bags (but not trade bags) on your usual collection day - you just need to make sure they’re open so the crew can see what’s in there.

See also:

Gardening - The Garden in late Winter - 2015

Not a lot to do at this time of year really, except keep any weeds in check.  These can proliferate in mild wet weather.  If we get snow, it can lay on and break branches, so although it looks lovely, it's a good idea to brush heavy snow off any delicate branches.

Planning is a good thing - there are new seed packets in the garden centres now, so buy now while stocks last.  Also now is a good time to check any garden structures - supports for climbing plants, sheds, fences and greenhouses.  Repair them before new growth starts covering them. 

In late February, you can cut back buddleia hard, to a few inches from the ground, as it flowers on this year's new branches.  This also applies to dogwoods, to produce wonderful red stems.

Trim winter flowering heathers after they have flowered.  As snowdrops start to fade, lift them, split up the bunches, and replant them at the same depth.

Hellebores will start flowering soon - cut back old leaves to allow the new flowers to be seen.

Not a lot to do at this time of year really??  So I was wrong!!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Phone Scams - be Aware

Phone scams seem to be a modern day scourge, affecting most of us.  A new one came to light recently when I was phoned by someone with an Indian accent called 'Alex', claiming to be from Claims Advisory Group, working for the UK Government.  I was informed I was due a cheque for £3,000 for overpaid bank or building society fees and asked me to confirm my name, date of birth and my bank as they wanted to write out a cheque for me, so I gave a false name, birth date and bank name.  He said his Manager would phone me the next day.

True to form, the next day the 'Manager' phoned me, though I'm sure it was 'Alex' who'd spoken to me the day before.  He again asked me to confirm my details, and again I confirmed the false ones.  He said their representative, 'Mr Robinson', was in my area and would call round with my cheque, and though they don't charge for their services, the representative did as he was independent.  His charge would be 10% and as my cheque was now £3600 then I'd need to pay him £360 when he called.

It was then I said I thought it very strange as I'd never had to pay for money that was owing to me, but if they'd kindly like to take the fee off my monies owing to me to save time, they could then post my cheque for £3240 through my letterbox.

'Alex' said 'forget it' ..... and hung up.

People - please be aware of phone calls like this.  Always be aware and never give personal details over the phone.  Genuine callers would never ask for personal details.

Stay safe.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Street Corner Parking

When parking vehicles on road, do make sure you don't park on, or too near street corners (Highway Code does say not to park opposite or within 10 metres of a junction).  It makes crossing difficult for pedestrians, including our school children, plus it makes sight-lines very difficult for cars and cyclists when pulling out at junctions.  Let's keep all our folk safe.


We held a brief AGM - report below:
  • Chair - Anita
  • Vice-Chair - Maureen
  • Treasurer Val
  • Newsletter Editor - Kay
  • Val reported that we currently have £911.79 in 2 accounts and some cash.
  • When reviewing our year, we agreed that we were fortunate that Councillor Palmer was now joining us on a regular basis as both Councillor and resident.

River Path

Last time we said that the Vale Property team were inspecting the state of the footpath from Ladygrove to Tesco's.  Afterwards, they said that they thought it wasn't in too bad a sate and that a few dips and ruts were to be expected.  We disputed this!  Since then we have had some information from a non Council / Environment Agency source that there is possible work planned for the Ock path and Sanford Brook areas but we have no details or confirmation at the time of writing.  Watch this space!

An Orpwood Road Resident Remembers........

Long before our houses were built, when the main road south out of Abingdon was the Drayton Road, a little girl called Eileen and her brother played in the south Abingdon fields of Tithe Farm and Ladygrove.

Mill Road was only a farm lane then, leading to the Mill itself and the small row of cottages.  Twice a day the cows would be taken out of the fields either side of the lane and moved down to the milking barns and sheds - these were on the other side of the Drayton Road, roughly where Lady Eleanor Court has been built.  The farmhouse was where the low 'odd' numbers of Mill Road are now and Eileen would be sent by her mother to knock at the back door of the farmhouse to buy a jug of milk.  Along with the milk, she was often given a pear or apple for being a helpful girl.  The apples and pears would have come from the orchard on the other side of the lane, now covered by the 'even' numbers of Mill Road and Burton Close.  Best of all in the orchard was the old walnut tree, where Eileen was allowed to pick up the fallen nuts.

Farmer Cox's hens were kept behind the farmhouse - probably now Wordsworth Road area - but were often seen strolling across the lane to peck in the orchard.  We don't see many hens crossing our road now!!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


... not the burger kind (or the gin)! (by Paul Abbot)

I have lived on Masefield Crescent for the last 16 years, however have lived in Abingdon since 1981 as it was my first posting after joining the RAF in 1980.  I served on 99 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton until March of this year when I heard of an opening at The Tower of London as a Yeoman Warder, commonly known as Beefeater.  The criteria is very strict for applicants, you must have held the rank of Warrant Officer in either of the three services, you must have completed at least 22 years service, I had done 35, and you need to have been awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct medal.

34 potential applicants applied which was short listed to 14 for interview, which included your partner as you were joining a village community within The Tower of London and it is important that your wife will embrace the obvious constraints that go with living within a walled community that gets locked up nightly at 10.00pm.

The 14 were reduced to 4 candidates for a second interview resulting in an offer for me to take up the post as of 1st May of this year.  I am now coming to the end of my probation period where I have had to learn the 'Tour' which is a one hour presentation from 1066 to present day, and having dropped History at school, a decision I now regret, I can safely say it has been a very steep learning curve.

We are now looking forward to life together in The Tower while our son Luke will have the run of our 'country Oxfordshire retreat'.

Christmas and New Year Refuse Collection

Fri 25th Dec       Tue 29th Dec     Grey Bin and Food Bin
Fri 1st Jan          Tue 5th Jan        Green Bin and Food Bin (no Garden Waste)
Fri 8th Jan          Mon 11th Jan     Grey Bin and Food Bin
Fri 15th Jan        Sat 16th Jan      Green Bin, Brown Bin and Food Bin

Burton Close / Drayton Road Footpath

In our last newsletter we mentioned that the Residents' Association was contacting Oxfordshire County Council Highways Section about the overgrown state of this short, but much used footpath.  We were pleased to see that the ivy that was badly obstructing the footpath was soon cut back and the cuttings later removed from the adjacent verge.  The other problem was the obstruction of the exit railings by a hedge next to the warehouse.  People have said it is increasingly difficult to get buggies through the gap.  It has taken the Residents' Association nearly three months to get an answer from the County Council about this problem but we have just heard that they have now instructed the warehouse to cut back the hedge.

By the time you read this, the barriers should be clear again - if they aren't, we certainly will be back in touch once more with the Highways Department!