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Wantage (not just) Betjeman Literary Festival - 20th to 28th October

on Fri, 20/10/2017 - 11:07am

John Betjeman was an English poet, writer, and broadcaster who described himself in Who's Who as a "poet and hack". He was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1972 until his death in 1984.

He had a long association with the Wantage area and the Festival celebrates both his work and that of contemporary writers and poets.

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Wantage (not just) Betjeman Literary Festival!

Main Festival Box Offices:-

  • The Madhatter Bookshop, Mill Street, Wantage  Telephone: 01235 763215
  • The Festival Stall at the Beacon, Portway, Wantage ( Saturday mornings only 10am – noon)

Tickets also available from:-

  • The Vale & Downland Museum , Church Street, Wantage

Find out more here:-

Free electric blanket testing - book your appointment - Friday, 20th October

on Fri, 20/10/2017 - 3:19pm

If you use an electric blanket to help you keep warm during the colder months then it's important you get it checked each year to make sure it's safe.

Free electric blanket testing takes place at:

  • Wantage Fire Station on 20 October

The testing is provided by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue with support from Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards with Vale of White Horse District Council.  

All appointments must be pre-booked.  From mid-August you can book a free electric blanket test by calling 01865 898642 or email Oxfordshire County Council.

White Horse Hill to Ashdown guided walk - Sunday, 22nd October, 9.30am - 3pm

on Sun, 22/10/2017 - 9:30am

You'll be following in the footsteps of the ancients on this bracing 8-mile guided tramp with our ranger across the Berkshire Downs. Learn of legends, burial chambers, romance and more...

Uncover the fascinating history of this ancient landscape on a guided 8 mile circular walk with our ranger between White Horse Hill at Uffington and the Ashdown Estate. All this as well as seeing the signs of spring, superb views and glorious countryside.

More information:-

  • Booking essential
  • Adult £5, Child £2.50
  • 01793 762209
  • White Horse Hill, Uffington. B4507 Ashbury to Wantage road Oxfordshire SN7 7QJ.


  • Children over eight welcome
  • Dogs on leads are welcome.

Meeting point

  • Meet at the White Horse Hill Car Park

What to bring and wear

  • Sturdy footwear. Dress appropriately for weather conditions. Bring drinks and snacks and a packed lunch or pre-order soup and crusty bread when you book (£3 additional charge)


  • 8 miles. Mostly flat but one demanding climb included.

Please note: There are no toilets or facilities on this site. There's a charge to park in our car park at White Horse Hill. National Trust members park free.

Holiday activity ideas for children and families

on Mon, 23/10/2017 - 10:00am

Some web links with ideas for holiday activities for children and families (in alphabetical order):-

Let me know if you know of any more - use the 'Feedback' tab on the left.

Mindfulness - next on Tuesday, 24th October, 7-9.30pm

on Tue, 24/10/2017 - 7:00pm

Cornerstone Film Club "Things to Come" - Weds, 25th October, 8pm

on Wed, 25/10/2017 - 8:00pm

The next Didcot Cornerstone Film Club film is "Things to Come" - Weds, 25th October at 8pm.



The Didcot Cornerstone Film Club meets monthly, usually on the last Wednesday of the month at 8pm (plus some Saturday Matinees). Films are shown on a large screen in the main hall and there's a bar afterwards.

Annual membership costs £5 and is available from Cornerstone or Didcot Civic Hall. Please fill in & bring a membership form with you if you're not already a member (click <here> for the form).
Tickets for members and their guest are now £6 and members can buy up to 2 tickets for each film (so no need for couples to both join). Tickets for non-members are £8. Tickets are available through the normal Cornerstone booking procedures: on-line, by phone or in person at the box office.

  • Admission is £6-8 per person
  • 8pm start (Each film follows a short introduction)
  • Unreserved seating

Forthcoming screenings:-

  • "Things to Come" - Weds, 25th October
  • "The Graduate" - Weds, 29th November

The Cornerstone Film Club shows the sort of films you probably won't see in mainstream cinemas:-

  • Hollywood Classics
  • Foreign Language
  • New British Independents

For further information, see the Didcot Cornerstone Film Club's own page in 'Groups':-

Crochet for Beginners - Thursday, 26th October, 7-9pm

on Thu, 26/10/2017 - 7:00pm

Comedy - Rich Hall's Hoedown - Friday, 27th October at 8.00pm

on Fri, 27/10/2017 - 7:36pm

Friday 27 October | 8.00pm | Bar open 7.00pm
Tickets: £17
Running Time: 2 hours (including interval)
Age Suitability: 14+ (parental guidance - likely to be swearing and adult content)

Rich Hall’s critically acclaimed new show begins its second leg of touring. There has never been a better time to be an American comedian in the UK. Hall’s precision in dismantling the tenuous relationship between two countries is as freewheeling and deadly accurate as ever. His BBC Four documentaries, most recently Rich Hall’s Countrier Than You and Rich Hall’s Presidential Grudge Match and BBC Radio 4 series Rich Hall’s (US Election) Breakdown, have built him a new legion of followers, as have appearances on Have I Got News For You and QI. If you only know Rich Hall from his radio and television programmes, you’ve short-changed yourself.

The Hoedown begins as a withering dissection of Trump’s America, but ends up being a celebration of Americana. There’s stand-up, improvised ballads, cracking good musicianship, and ultimately a hilarious, foot-stomping good time to be had by all. Even if you don’t own a hoe.



Wantage Farmers' Market - Saturday, 28th October from 8.30am

on Sat, 28/10/2017 - 8:30am

#Wantage Farmers Market is in the Market Square, usually on the last Saturday of every month from 8.30am 'til 1pm.

Smaller markets can be found in the same place in Wantage on Wednesdays and Saturdays.


Telephone: 01235 763459

Introduction to Household Plumbing - Saturday, 28th October, 10am-4pm

on Sat, 28/10/2017 - 10:00am

Clocks go back - Sunday, 29th October

on Sun, 29/10/2017 - 9:00am

Don't forget that the clocks go back one hour at 1am on Sunday, 29th October.

Family Theatre "The Hunting of the Snark" - Sunday, 29th October at 1 & 4pm

on Sun, 29/10/2017 - 11:46am

Sunday 29 October | 1.00pm & 4.00pm
Tickets: £12 Standard | £44 Family Ticket for 4
Age Recommendation: 4+

All aboard!  The ship is departing!  All children, animals and silly people welcome!

The impossible voyage of an improbable crew to hunt an imaginary creature is brought magically to life in this sparkling musical comedy adventure for 4 to 94 year olds.  

Enter the imaginative world of Alice in Wonderland creator, Lewis Carroll, in this brand new, highly original, ultra-modern adaptation inspired by his much loved classic poem.

Fresh from London’s West End, this show features five high-energy actors, life-like puppets, fantastical characters, and lashings of daft humour.

A riotous ragtag gang of bold adventurers including the Boy, the Banker, the Butcher, the Baker, the Bellman and the knitting Beaver set off on a quest to catch the mythical Snark… on the journey they encounter the Jub Jub bird, the sly Bandersnatch and the dastardly Boojum… Can a Snark be caught with soap?  Will the Beaver escape the hungry Butcher’s clutches? Will the Baker remember his name?  Does anyone know what a Snark actually looks like?

Side-splittingly funny, joyful, fast-paced and bursting with a soundtrack of witty songs by an award-winning songwriter, The Hunting of the Snark is a tour de force that‘ll delight, excite and entertain.


… a masterclass in witty, engaging imaginative musical theatre for children.”  




A daffy yarn with dash, hilarity and a sweet heart. Gleefully silly.”  




… as an introduction to the magic of theatre, it is hard to beat.”




… an adventure tale that keeps kids entertained from start to finish.”




LOCAL: Halloween Pub Quiz at The Star, Sparsholt - Sunday, 29th October, 8pm

on Sun, 29/10/2017 - 8:00pm

There will be a Halloween Pub Quiz at The Star, Sparsholt on Sunday 29th October at 8:00pm - come and join the fun!

Entry is £1 per person with up to 6 people in a team

For any further details, please contact Graham M on:-


LOCAL: Book Club “Chronicle of a Death Foretold" - Monday, 30th October at 8pm

on Mon, 30/10/2017 - 8:00pm

The next meeting of the book club will be on Monday, 30th October at 8pm.

The book this month is “Chronicle of a Death Foretold" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, available from Amazon (click link to visit Amazon).

Contact Barbara W for further information:-

Submitted by Barbara W.

Free tyre health check - Tuesday, 31st October, Tesco’s Faringdon, 10am–2pm

on Tue, 31/10/2017 - 9:10am

Motorists in Oxfordshire are being offered the chance to have a free tyre health check during the month of October, to ensure tyres are properly inflated and have a safe thread depth.

It’s important to check tyres regularly because the inflation and tread grooves on your tyres influence the way your car accelerates, breaks and corners. Without sufficient tread depth and correct pressure, your tyres may not be able to grip the road properly and you face an increased risk of aquaplaning. More than one in three tyres are being driven below the vehicle manufacturers recommendation pressure – making vehicles more difficult to control and the tyres themselves more vulnerable to wear and tear.

Oxfordshire County Council’s road safety education team and firefighters will be the experts delivering the checks at the following locations with assistance from partner organisations, T Micheldever/Pro Tyre and Merityre.

  • Tuesday 31st October, Tesco’s car park, Park Road, Faringdon, 10am – 2pm

Andy Ford, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue’s Road Safety Manager, said:

“Your tyres are the only thing connecting your car to the road and good grip is essential especially during the winter weather. If tyres are not properly inflated, then it could affect the performance of the tyre and make it more vulnerable to damage.”

“Each month would encourage all drivers to act on ACT. A is for air pressure; C is for condition and T is for tread. Checking these three things when doing tyre safety checks will keep you safe as well as anyone in your vehicle.”

For more information about the initiative, please visit:-

Halloween no trick or treat poster and advice

on Tue, 31/10/2017 - 3:30pm

For some people, this time of the year can be a bother as your evenings are interrupted with people knocking on your doors for treats. Most of these children or teenagers are just getting involved in the Halloween celebrations and will be friendly.

If you feel unsafe:

  • Don’t open your door if you’re unsure who is there. Use your spyhole, look out of a window and use your door chain if you do decide to open your door.
  • Have a contact number of a close relative or good neighbour to hand by your telephone, just in case you need to phone them.
  • If you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, let your coordinator know that you will be on your own at Halloween. If you are a coordinator, please identity people in your scheme that may be vulnerable and offer them reassurance, you could also help by downloading the poster.

You can download the 'no trick or treat' poster to display on your door here:-

Thames Valley Police will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at any time of the year.

To report anti-social behaviour, call 101, the 24-hour Thames Valley Police non-emergency number. If you feel threatened, if it’s an emergency, or if a crime is in progress, call 999.

Upholstery - next on Wednesday, 1st November, 9.30am - 2.30pm

on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 8:30am

White Horse Gardening Club - Thursday, 2nd November at 7.30pm

on Thu, 02/11/2017 - 6:30pm

Meetings in the Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall, Uffington, Faringdon, SN7 7RA

7.30pm unless otherwise stated. Membership per annum £10. Visitors £2.50.


Thursday 2nd November

  • ‘Digging deeper - a gentle look at garden science as it relates to soil and plant growth’.
  •  A talk by Paul Williams, Head Gardener at Whichford Pottery. 

Thursday 7th December

  • AGM,
  • followed by ‘Gin - distilling and botanicals’, with gins to sample.  
  • A talk by Majestic Wine.    Seasonal refreshments included. Visitors £3.

​Please do come along and bring your friends, neighbours and relatives. Membership cards will be available at this meeting - JOIN US.

To download the 2017 programme, please click link below

White Horse Gardening Club 2017 programme
Adobe Acrobat document [435.9 KB]

Find out more:-

Give Blood - Friday, 3rd November

on Fri, 03/11/2017 - 1:00pm

96% of us rely on the other 4% to give blood - don't leave it to someone else. If you’re generally healthy and aged between 17 and 65, you can probably donate.

The next donation session at The Beacon, Wantage (click <here> for a map) is on Friday, 3rd November between 13.15-15.30 & 16.15-19.15.

Parking at The Beacon, Wantage is free for the first 2 hours (with a free 'pay & display' ticket). For your trouble, you'll enjoy a complimentary cup of tea and selection of biscuits, alongside the satisfaction of knowing that you're actively helping others.

Can you give blood?

Most people can give blood, but before the NHS can accept your blood they need to ensure there's no risk of harming you or the patients who will receive it. Use the below links to the Give Blood website to see if you are eligible to give blood:-

From February 2012, male blood donors can increase frequency of donating to a maximum of 4 times in 12 months at an interval of not less than 12 weeks.

Register as a blood donor:-

Giving blood is quick, easy and most importantly, it saves lives. Simply fill in the form by clicking <here> to register your interest in becoming a blood donor or to come along to a session near you.

Learn more by visiting the Blood Donation service website:-

  • or by calling 0300-123-23-23 (calls are normally charged at your providers (eg BT) local rate).

Are you an existing blood donor?

If so, you can jump to your own secure Blood Donor login page here:-


Childrey Bonfire Night (+ load the bonfire) - Saturday, 4th November from 6.30pm

on Sat, 04/11/2017 - 7:00pm

This year’s Childrey Bonfire Night extravaganza will take place on Saturday, November 4th – fire lighting at 6:30 pm with the firework display at 7 pm. 

Enjoy a fantastic family firework display that helps to raise funds for the on-going running of Childrey playground, pavilion and playing field - facilities which are available to everyone in the local area.

BarBQ, bar and mulled wine – so please come along and support the event in your usual generous way. 

For anyone wishing to drop off material for the fire, the gates to the playing field will be open between 12 and 4 pm on the three preceding Sundays of Oct 15th, 22nd & 29th.  

Please ensure wood and garden waste only for the fire.

Please - only suitable and safe combustible materials - no household rubbish, metal, plastics or rubber please!