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talking points
november 2007

December Folly - 30/11/07
To inform readers of Talking Points that the December edition of the Faringdon Folly came out on Friday 30 November.
In case anyone isn't aware it generally comes out on the Friday closest to the first of the month.

In this edition there are close to 100 local stories and identifiable photos of almost 300 local people - and a few French visitors from Le Mele.

Top story is the Operation Christmas Child and a chance for the local organisers to respond to the criticisms of the charity, there's news of the 'Ban the Bag' campaign coming soon and a plea for help from 18 year old Philippa Hunt for help with her trip to India to teach in an orphan school in her gap year.

Otherwise there's a feature on the Swindon and Cricklade Heritage Railway and descriptions of Faringdon's Christmas shop windows written in 1926, as well as news from nearby villages and two pages of local sports reports and much more besides,

The Folly is available in newsagents and selected shops in the area, price 60p.
Al Cane
Faringdons Carbon Footprint - 30/11/07
Just a quick response to Citizen Smiths ignorant rant.

Firstly, nobody actually said Faringdons Carbon footprint is too high. Although you have to be a complete idiot if you actually believe that it is not a good thing to reduce it, whatever the science.

Secondly, if you got rid of those 150w lightbulbs you love so much, you would be able to save up enough money to buy something you want.

I dont usually enter into person insults, but someone here is doing something worthwhile and benefical, and indeed saving the old folk some much needed cash.
I personally applaud the gesture.
Devils Advocate
Carol Singing in the Square - 30/11/07
Some of the Singing for Pleasure group will be singing carols from about 10.30, this Saturday(1st)
We'll be collecting for Riding for the Disabled and Helen House Hospice.

Do walk by!
Gene Webb
Re: Reducing Faringdon's carbon footprint - 29/11/07

We are ever so grateful for the lightbulb gifts to the people of Faringdon, and I am not going to be rude and tell you where I think you should put them, but does anybody actually have any statistics that says that Faringdon's Carbon footprint is too high??

Secondly, more and more people around the world (including top scientists) are now beginning to realise that climate change is a natural phenomena and is being used by governments to tax them more by stealth means and use it to dictate and control the masses. I am not making this up, do your own research.

On dark nights like these, you just can't beat a 150 watt traditional lightbulb.

Citizen Smith

Congratulations Fernham - 29/11/07
Congratulations to Fernham's Project Inspire for winning the People's Millions - I was so delighted to hear the news today!
All credit to those volunteers involved for their strength, determination, dedication and incredibly hard work!!

Good luck with the rest of the project - I can't wait to see the end result!
Anna Marlow
Fernham's Project Inspire have won £90000 - 29/11/07
Many, many thanks for your votes for Fernham/Project Inspire!
We were told this lunchtime that we've won Wednesday's Central East competition for The People's Millions, so we will now receive £90,000 in funding.

A group of us gathered at the church in Fernham at 3pm today for the Central cameras to cheer and thank TV viewers and supporters.

It was all down to your support, so again, thank you so very, very much!

In case you haven't seen the ITV Central East film that was broadcast yesterday evening, you can view it here: http://www.itvlocal.com/central/news/?player=CEN_News_26&void=123932
Jayne Rice
Project Inspire Fernham, Oxfordshire
A local person who cares much about the environment has generously donated money for the purchase of a large number of low energy light bulbs.

These bulbs will reduce the carbon footprint of the town, and will also reduce the recipients electricity bills. The Light bulbs are to be given to local OAP's, especially the house-bound, as Christmas gifts. .

For more information , please telephone Ian on 10367 240405
A full working demonstration of the different kinds of bulbs and the savings each bulb can make will be at the Faringdon Area Project Evening at the Corn Exchange 14th December 6.00pm onwards.
Use Everyclick and raise money - 29/11/07
Have you seen our websites?
www.africanchildrensfund.org help raise some money for us to
Use Everyclick.com as your search engine.
Every time you click on you can raise money for the African Children's Fund and it doesn't cost you a penny, but it can help give a child an education.
Alison Moore
Parking at Budgens - 29/11/07
In response to MGH 'urgent shopping items'. Perhaps under such circumstances car owners could simple put a note in the car stating 'I'm only getting a single urgent shopping item so don't give me a ticket'.

Of course if it transpired after investigation they lied and they purchased two items or they took a little longer than a minute then they should be dealt with.
Perhaps there should be a graded payment scheme 1 item free parking, 2 items pay a little, 3 - 5 pay a bit more etc.

Of course we have to account for variables. If at the time of parking the intention was only to buy one item then no fee should be made and if a bargain was identified and a second item purchased this should not result in a fine aganist the individual. It must be bourn in mind of course that it will be for the driver to prove that
1. The second item concerned was never intended to be purchased at the time of parking the car and;
2. It was a bargain and not a regularly priced item.

The other factor to consider is that shoplifters park for free as they don't buy anything - this defence will only be available for bona fide shoplifters (3 convictions in the last 12 months will have to be shown)and not those that shoplift simply to avoid carparking payments.

There it's all so easy when you think about it.
Seamus O'Hodge
Ministry of Prattle
Coloured Pigeons - 28/11/07
Colouring pigeons/doves may make them easier to spot as targets for people with shot guns but I think may work as camoflage too as far as local cats are concerned.

The logic behind this argument is that back in the mid 1980's when the coloured birds were around, my cat never caught one. But as soon as the dove's dye died out and they returned to white - whammo - he snared two in a week.

Re the statistics about parking behind Budgen's, surely these show that people are becoming increasingly hacked off my the ridiculous procedure of having to enter your registration no to get a ticket, even staying just for a minute or so to pick up a single urgent shopping item or a prescription, for instance.

signed MGH
All you need to do is:

Phone from somewhere in the UK
Phone any time between 9am and midnight
Phone 10 times from every phone you have: work, mobile, home
Pass the word on to friends, family, work colleagues - everyone!!
Your votes could make all the difference!

Want to see us in action? We're on You Tube!
Just click on this link:
Many, many thanks!

Calls cost 10p and you can phone up tO 10 times from one phone.

Until midnight on WEDNESDAY 28th NOVEMBER
Jayne Rice
Project Inspire
Fernham, Oxfordshire
Measure your carbon footprint. - 26/11/07
Most interesting. It seems as though I must give up my job because I drive too far, move from a listed building so I can have a windmill, double glazing etc. But best of all -- I must change my digital radio for an analogue one, now this will definitely save energy as they will soon be turning off the analogue signal!
Mike Perks
Christmas Variety Show - 25/11/07
Wantage Stage Musical Company is bringing its christmas variety show and panto to Faringdon at the Junior School Hall on Friday 30 November at 7.30pm.

Tickets £8 and £5 and available in Faringdon from The Nut Tree.
Hamish Millar
350th Anniversary of the Baptist Church - 25/11/07
December 8th - 9th
Faringdon Baptist Church are beginning a year of celebrations to commemorate their 350th Anniversary.

Our activities begin on Saturday 8th . Bromsgrove Chapel will be open to visitors to view an exhibition of the history of the Baptist church from 10.30am - 12 noon . After this, there will be a walk from Buckland Baptist Chapel to Faringdon Baptist Chapel, starting at 2pm in Buckland, retracing the footsteps of those that established the first Baptist fellowship in Faringdon in 1657.
This will be followed by a Dinner and Barn dance in Corn Exchange from 6pm.

Sunday 9th - Thanksgiving and celebration service 10:30am at Faringdon Junior School. Everyone is welcome to join us.
Bromsgrove Chapel will again be open to visitors to view the exhibition of the history of the Baptist church in Faringdon from 12-1.30pm and 2.30 - 4.30pm that day.
Tim Gerry
Faringdon's Kind of Hush - Update - 25/11/07
359 tickets have now been reserved.

I'll announce the first few acts soon, but as the announcement will go further afield, demand for tickets is likely to jump significantly, so I'm just waiting to give Faringdonians the chance to reserve the first 500 tickets cheap before the first announcement and price rise.

To answer a FAQ, you can reserve as many tickets as you'd like for you and your friends, but once the tickets are available you'll have to pay for them within 2 weeks. If at that point you find that you want fewer than you have reserved, that's fine but any reserved tickets that are not paid for within 2 weeks will be offered to the next people on the list.

The next ticket release will be more expensive.

At this rate the first 500 will have gone very soon, so put your reservations in quick, and let all you friends know!

Your money is fully refundable if the event does not go ahead.

Emails please to PortwellBar@aol.com, stating how many tickets you'd like to reserve, and whether or not camping.
There are now only 141 tickets available at £20 (£30 if camping).

Martin Phillips
Books of Poetry by Local poets, for sale- 24/11/07
There are 60 poems in it, all written by local people who entered the Faringdon Online Poetry Competition
You can buy them from either the the White Horse Bookshop or the Library.
They are really nicely presented - good enough to give as a present
Gene Webb
Car Parking in Faringdon - 24/11/07
Did you know that:-
In the twelve months commencing April 2004, a total of 166,163 vehicles paid to park in the car park behind Budgens.
In 2005/6 the figure reduced to 146,549.
By 2006/7 the number had dropped to 135559

And the downward trend continues this year and is estimated to be about 120,000.

There could be a number of explanations for this, but if you have any theories I would be interested to hear them.
Jane Haynes
Measure your carbon footprint - 24/11/07
You can calculate your carbon footprint on the directgov website
At the end it will also give you some suggestions how to reduce it
Gene Webb
Faringdon Online Poetry Competition - Prize giving - 23/11/07
The Crown, 7pm, Friday 23rd November

Hear the winning poems
Buy a book of poems by local poets who entered the competition. Only £4
Anyone can come.
Hilary Taylor
Festive Faringdon @ the Crown. - 23/11/07
A stunning line-up of Blues/Rock music for the Jam Club @Christmas.
Rockin the Blues with "Storm Warning" with guest the sensational singer guitarist, "Lewis Cohen"

There will also be a blues cd store with some fantastic bargains . 22Dec from 7pm. Entance a mere snip @£5.

Join a Free blues Jam session on Sat 29th Dec from 4pm-8pm,Players get in touch with Sam either via www.maddfaringdon.co.uk or 01367-243806.
Following the jam session is the wonderful Pete Boss and the Bluehearts. Entrance for the Bluehearts is £5.
Sam Prince
Faringdon's Kind of Hush! - 21/11/07
I'm organising a live music event in Faringdon over the weekend of 26th July 2008. The venue is some fields on the edge of town, with camping facilities from Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th.

The ultimate aim is to have live music on a full stage on Friday 25th from 5.30pm to 11.00pm, and Saturday 26th from 10.00am to 11.00pm, with some big (household) names headlining, supported by a showcase of our own Faringdon talent. We have rich talent in this town, so let's show it off and sing about it.

I'm (rather ambitiously!) hoping to attract a crowd of a few thousand, with significant media coverage.

Depending upon the big names, yet to be announced, tickets for the weekend could be as much as £100 each. However, I want to give local people priority opportunity, and so will be releasing tickets in limited numbers at reduced rates available to local people only.

The first 500 tickets only will be available at the absolute bargain price of £20 each (£30 with camping) within the next couple of weeks.

As with all "too good to be true" offers, there is a catch, but in this case only a very small one. Initially I can only offer a whole day's live music on the Saturday. The acts will all be from in and around Faringdon and have already been booked, with the exception of one "surprise" act headlining. If ticket sales are insufficient, and the event has to be cancelled, full refunds will be given.

However, if this first batch of tickets is all taken up quickly then I'll book more big names for the stage and extend the music to include Friday night as well. I'll even take a poll from the first batch ticket holders to see if I can get some of the big name acts you'd like to see. I'll then release more tickets at a higher price to a wider audience.

The best thing is you won't have to pay a penny more for your tickets, and you'll still get to see all the big name acts.
Can you let me know as soon as possible (by email to PortwellBar@aol.com) if you'd like to reserve tickets, and if so, how many and whether or not camping. Reservations are strictly on a first come first served basis. Once the tickets are available you will need to pay within 2 weeks, otherwise I'll have to offer them to the next people on the list.
I'll post regular updates on here as progress develops.

So, whisper the word to your friends and see how many would like to come. The first 500 will only have to part with £20 (£30 if camping) each for the whole weekend, which is fully refundable if it's cancelled, and stand an excellent chance of seeing a few big names live here in Faringdon at a bargain price.

Trade stands/stalls/pitches etc. will also be available to local traders first at reduced rates, before being offered further afield at higher rates. Please therefore email me stating your product/service if you are a local trader and would be interested in a pitch at the event.

After all, this is Faringdon so we really should keep quiet about this! ;-)
Martin Philli[ps
Operation Christmas Child - 20/11/07
As a volunteer "box-checker", I wish to reassure people that the intention of the shoeboxes is simply that of goodwill. That in itself may be a Christian value, but I should like to think it is one of humanity too. All boxes are carefully checked and sealed before they leave us and contain nothing forcing religion onto anyone.

I defy anyone to see footage of the distribution of these boxes and not be moved by the genuine gratitude shown by these poor children.

Surely everyone wants to see happiness brought into their desperate lives?
Name and address supplied.
People's Millions update: - 20/11/07
A film crew visited Fernham yesterday morning!

The Central TV film crew spent 2 hours with us on Monday, 19 November, filming our case for People's Millions funding of £90,000. The footage will be edited down to a 2-minute film which will be televised on Central East on Wednesday, 28 November, at 6pm.

We think the filming went very well, and we certainly had a great turnout of villagers of all ages - including our very youngest resident (all of 10 days old!). Please remember to vote for us 10 times from each of your telephones, any time from 9am to midnight, on 28 November.

We are the underdogs in our 'head to head' competition for 2 reasons:
1. We're up against a charity in Stamford, Lincs., which has a population of 18,000. We're a village of about 200 people.
2. Central have placed us in the Central East competition, which means many of our supporters (including Fernham villagers!) won't see the 2-minute film. Central have admitted that this was a mistake, but it's too late to change it now. So it's even more important to pass on the word - and this email! - to anyone you know who could be willing to vote for us on the day.

You don't have to have seen the film to vote. Anyone in the UK is eligible to vote.

I will email you the phone number on 28 November, when it's released.
Many thanks in advance for your support!
View from a touring musician. 17th Nov 2007 - 20/11/07
'The Jam Blues Club,Old Crown Inn, Faringdon.
This was always going to be an interesting one.Faringdon nr Oxford. Google said it was a historic market town that retains all of its "charm and ways of life". The Old Crown Inn was said to be "an old coach house that has preserved all of its olde English appeal". So with all this tranquility on offer, why then is the venue website called maddfaringdon.co.uk??there was only one way to find out....

The Blues Factory brand is not exactly celebrated with English sporting success!! So - as true English football fans - it was somewhat unnerving for the band to learn that the crucial Israel-v-Russia fixture was due to start a couple of hours before the gig with us kicking off just as the final whistle blew. Shades of the Rugby World Cup dawned...Well our jinx was finally lifted by an Omar Golan injury time winner for Israel and,as the band wiped their brow, the local mood heightened and the cheers could be heard all around as Faringdon went...ahem...Madd...

Now Faringdon may be a small town,but don't ever underestimate its musical passion. Amongst others, there were no fewer than three "grown up" paid entry gigs listed on the local website and the quality was right up there. As we kicked off, a handful of local blues enthusiasts looking for a proper American Blues experience were in and ready. Cover charges,hat passing,general humor and intimacy is the name of the game and that is exactly how the gig began. By the end of the night however, it was heaving and the Madd ones had probably, seen the best performance the Blues Factory has ever put on.

Thanks to Faringdon and thanks to Sam prince for booking us. You are both Gems at the heart of Oxfordshire and we had a truly Madd night!!
looking foward to doing it all again next year.
the blues Factory. '
Sam Prince
Vocalist Required. - 19/11/07
Acoustic Witney/Faringdon based band (3 members) Guitars/Banjo's/Bass doing Covers - Alt.country, Bluegrass, Bluesy folk, Skiffle/Rockabilly. Think (or See YouTube) Old Crow Medicine Show, Steve Earle, Bob Dylan, Springsteen (Seeger sessions). Members are sound musicians with varying experience of other Bands but need singer to move forward, must be able to sing but enthusiasm and commitment are just as important.

Nothing too serious as we all have family commitments/jobs etc. but looking to gig every 6 weeks or so.

If you fancy a go ring Howard (Witney)07970 863316, or Sean (Faringdon) 07712 530405
Sean Hodgson
Operation Christmas Child - 18/11/07
I have been involved with Operation Christmas Child in collecting shoeboxes for the past 6 years.

After the fall of the Romanian dictator Ceausescu, you may remember the tv coverage of what life was like for some of the unfortunate people who lived there. Dave Cooke who lives in Wrexham hit on the idea of using a shoebox to pack with gifts for Christmas that could be given to children in Romania and he managed to deliver about 500 boxes.
Like most good ideas it grew and several years later it went under the Samaritan's Purse umbrella. Last year 1.24 million boxes went from the UK alone.

As I have been involved for so long, I can state that no leaflets of any kind are added to the boxes and any religious material included in boxes is removed. This year I am fortunate to be chosen to help distribute some of the boxes in Belarus.
I will then be in the best position to clarify what happens as the boxes are given out and I will be very happy to talk to anyone who would like to hear more
Ann Jerome
Plans for New Business Park- exhibition 8/12/07 - 16/11/07
Do visit the exhibition of the proposed plans and designs for the new business park on Saturday 8th December from 9:30 - 2:30 at The Old Town Hall.
Sarah Allen Stevens
Phone 4 Fernham in the People's Millions - 16/11/07
Fernham wants to create a community hall to benefit the village and surrounding communities, and has made it to the National Finals of the People's Millions.

A film about the community hall project will be televised on Central TV at 6pm on Wednesday, 28 November, when Fernham will go 'head to head' against another charity in a competition to win the most telephone votes.

The other charity is based in Stamford, Lincs., which has a population of 18,000 and, as Fernham is a village of only 200 people, your help is urgently needed!! The village stands to win funding of £90,000.

Please phone for Fernham by ringing a national call rate number 10 times from each of your phones from 9am to midnight on 28 November.

Calls cost less than 10p if calling from a BT line.
The phone number will be released on 28 November and will be posted on the Fernham website: http://www.fernham.info.

Thank you!!
Singing Carols for pleasure - 16/11/07
The Tuesday singing group will be singing carols for the next 2 weeks. (20th, 27th)

Come and join us at - we're a group of over 40, so we make a good sound!
United Church Hall, 7pm - 8pm , £2

Suitable for anyone who enjoys singing - whether you think you can or not
Gene Webb
Winter Market in Faringdon- 16/11/07
Thanks to all of you who braved the cold weather last night to support the Chamber of Commerce and the new evening market.

For those of you who were not aware that this was happening you will have 2 more chances on Thursday 20th December and Thursday 17th January.

The market runs from 3pm - 7pm.
The market has locally grown, pork and beef, baked goods, fruit and veg and some beautiful pottery by Ken Mills.

I am hoping to find even more stalls for the next market and if anyone can help with this please let me know.
Jayne Haynes
Thomas the Tank Engine - 15/11/07
Look out for Faringdon & District Rotary with Thomas the Tank Engine & Father Christmas

Monday/Tuesday 3/4 December - Watchfield
Wednesday 5 December - Faringdon: Orchard Hill, Westland Road, The Pines
Thursday 6 December - Stanford-in-the-Vale
Friday 7 December - Southmoor
Saturday 8 December - Lechlade: Loders Field, Moorgate, Gassons areas
Monday 10 December - Uffington
Tuesday 11 December - Shrivenham
Thursday 13 December - Lechlade: The Park, Venymore etc.
Friday 14 December - Clanfield
Saturday 15 December - Faringdon: Goodlake Avenue, Ferndale Street, Berners Way, Tuckers Road, Nursery View
Monday 17 December - Faringdon & Great Coxwell: Coleshill Drive, Fernham Road
Tuesday 18 December - Shrivenham Wednesday 19 December - Faringdon: Volunteer Way, Sandshill Estate, Marlborough Gardens
Faringdon on 19 December: Volunteer Way, Townend Road, Marines Drive, Marlborough Gardens.
Name Supplied
Nice Try HGM - 14/11/07
I'm not going to rise to that one.

All I can say is that I have personally driven a lorry full of the boxes to Romania and helped distribute the boxes. I am not the least interested in religious matters. And yes the childrens faces do light up, and yes I'm sure that you would shed a tear or two like I did, if you gave up your Christmas to do the same thing one year.

Personally I would suggest you look beyond the published rantings of an idiot and religious biggot and actually go and see what happens.
I have.
Devil's Advocate
Window Cleaner recommended - 15/11/07
A question was asked at the beginning of the month about a reliable window cleaner.

I would like to recommend my window cleaner who has cleaned my windows (and many of my neighbours) for the last 18 months. He arrives every 4 weeks without fail. He provides a friendly and efficient service.

His contact details are as follows (I have obtained his permission to provide these):
Matthew Treadwell 16 St Mary's Court Bampton Oxon OX18 2HX Mobile tel no: 07906 266058 Home tel no: 01993 851463

You can call him for a quote.
I hope this information is helpful to the person who asked the original question and also to anyone else who needs a very reliable window cleaner.

Jill Dean
Operation Christmas Child - 14/11/07
From what I can gather from that 'ooh, conspiracy, watch out!' website, the terrible thing that Operation Christmas Child are doing is: putting a leaflet inside every shoebox of goodies. Obviously, said leaflet must have terrible powers, if it scares the writers of the website that much. So much, in fact, that they'd rather children starve than be exposed to organised religion.
The really terrible thing is, there's nothing people like more than something clever-sounding and negative about something good, so this website may well have the desired effect, and stop quite a few children from having a nicer Christmas.
Well done!
Name Supplied
Devil's Advocate from HGM - 14/11/07
Here we go again ! Devil's Advocate's picture of deprived children's faces lighting up when they get their shoebox would grace the front of any Christmas Card. But it is about as realistic as one showing Mr Pickwick on a Stage Coach passing through the centre of a snow covered Faringdon.

About one third of the world's children are 'Christian' and therefore according to Franklin Graham , who is the driving force behind Operation Christmas Child, they are 'Good'. The other two thirds are Non-Christian but they will get a Goodie-Box if they become 'Good' Christians. It's a bit like the saving schemes which give bonuses to new members but ignore the old loyal members. I'm sure that, like most of us, DA donated to the Tsunami appeals but I'm equally sure that he won't have endorsed his cheque with 'Christians Only'

I know that my view will be violently criticised because for once DA has supported the politically correct attitude to any Charity that mentions children. I'm tempted now to avoid this website for the next few days as I anticipate a fair bit of well deserved abuse.but please read the comments about Franklin Graham before you write in.

I believe that he really did say "Islam is a very evil and wicked religion" and yet 20% of the World's Population believe in it.
Merry Christmas. - 14/11/07
The Christmas Lights in London Street looked very nice last night. Presumably this was a test drive.
Let's hope they are just as good in 6 weeks time.

Does anyone have any news about Faringdon's main claim to Christmas Fame the light on the Tower ?
Name Supplied
Just to say it was nice to see half the towns Christmas lights switched on all night on Tuesday evening the 13th November 2007 or am I just getting Deja vu.?
Peter White
Re Land around the Folly - 13/11/07
One additional item regarding the land around the folly tower.

If you have been up to folly tower in the last few days you may have noticed that the brambles have been cut back on perimeter path around the woods of Folly tower.

The farmer has done this upon request of Friends of the Folly.

This will give us (Friends of the Folly) the opportunity to collect the rubbish dropped in the brambles.
Raoul van Eijndhoven
Pigeons - 13/11/07
The odd thing about the thread on pink pigeons and dyed doves is that I had been wondering recently why the doves were not bright colours.
I'm glad they're back.
Does anyone know how long they have been missing?
Stephen Oliver
Ed(GW): Or indeed, why they're back
Operation Christmas Child - 13/11/07
Well I've read the pursestrings website, and am left completely cold. Personally, whatever motivation, even if there was some undercurrent, is irrelevant in my view. If there are poor Kiddies in the world that have just one day on which their eyes light up with pleasure then its worth it.

Also the important lesson taught to my kids, that giving is good, and that there are really poor kiddies elsewhere in the world is invaluable.
Well thats my view for what its worth.
Devil's Advocate
Operation Christmas Child - 13/11/07
I am shocked that people support the organisation samaritianpurse. I am not religious myself but I think to make people convert to Christianity to receive help after they have been in an earthquake is not very Christian!

I think too that its typical of a religious body to ask people to go to the church to find out what 'really goes on behind the scenes'. I get the impression that they'll brush over the bad points and only show what they want you to see.

Operation Christmas child may sound lovely, perhaps because a lot of people have forgotten what Christmas is about, now days it's a holiday and nice presents and not about a religious event, so if you dig around and learn about the organisation behind OCC, who do you really think your helping, the children or a global organisation that takes advantage of dire events around the world for their own good?
Name Supplied
M.A.D.D. Mayfest dates - 13/11/07
The same as the previous 7 years, will run over the first bank holliday in May.(3rd,4th, 5th)
Thank you John I shall be pleased to attend your meeting on the 21st.
Operation Christmas Child - 12/11/07
Regarding the motives of Operation Christmas Child, readers of Talking Points might want to have a look at www.pursestrings.ca to get a different perspective on the operation.

Not everyone thinks it's just a giving thing, that there's also an evangelical crusade behind it.
Read for yourselves and then decide....
Jean Paul
Remembrance Sunday - 12/11/07
My Dog George has a few bad habits one is to refuse to move I call it the lay down protest until I go in the direction he wants to go.

This is normally to pet shop, Crown where he can get treats, the vets, the Bacon Van, the pet market stall, you get the general picture.

Last Sunday I got real surprise he pull me all way to church gates, maybe tyring to tell me something or wanted to pay his respects for remembance day?
Name Supplied
The Folly - 12/11/07
I am very worried to learn that the fields around the folly is not common land with the building of new houses the folly Millenium Park will become more of an estate pond

It seems that there is very little open spaces left for residents of Faringdon.
Kirsty Phillips
In reply to Sam Prince's posting,
The 15th July is not a weekend, but I understand the following events are planned for next summer (please advise if any of these dates are wrong):

28th June - Party in the Park.
5th July - Peace Festival.
5th July - "Big Faringdon Gig" (see What's On on this site).
11th - 13th July - Faringdon Arts Festival.
19th July - Sealed Knot.
25th - 26th July - "Music weekend" as referred below (it will be big, watch this space.).

Perhaps we should all post all events on .org's What's On, then everyone including music organisers can have more information and avoid conflicting events.

When is the mad event next year?
More info on 25th-26th July to follow very soon .. does anyone sense a kind of hush?

Martin Phillips

ED(GW) Good idea Martin . Anyone, please do send us information about your events - we are more than happy to keep a Town Diary of sorts. The events in this post are now in our Whats On - but more detail is needed
Sealed Knot event - 11/11/07
Dear Sam
The dates for the Sealed Knot battle are 19/20 July 2008.

The campsite organised for the battle will then be used for a music event 25, 26 and 27 July using the same camp infrastructure.

If you are interested in helping organise the musical event, which aims to raise money for the Faringdon Area Project, then please join me and the Sealed Knot participants on a site recce, meeting at the Coffee Shop in the Market Place at 1130 a.m. on Wednesday 21st November.

John Gillman
Music event and the Folly - 10/11/07
I see in the land around Faringdon Folly there is mentioned a music and dance weekend proposed for the weekend of July 15th 2008.

As an organizer of music I would like to have more information.

This would help against organizing any conflicting events.
Sam Prince
Thank you for your interest.
I know that there are some articles available on the internet that do not present an accurate account of the work done by the charity Samaritans Purse, of which OCC is a part.

May I suggest that you log on to www.samaritanspurse.uk.com to find out more, and if your queires are still not satisfied, come to Faringdon United Church 9-1 Mon - Fri next week, or 7.30 - 9pm on Weds and ask to discuss with Ann or Kate, and actually see what goes on behind the scenes.

Thank you
Kate Butcher
Folly Paths - Thankyou - 10/11/07
How refreshing that the farming tenant of Folly Hill has posted such an interesting and informative message re. the Folly public footpaths and the land surrounding them.
I would be fascinated to attend a farm walk - who should I contact?

HT(other Ed)
Land around Faringdon Folly - information from the tenant - 10/11/07
Your correspondents are not well informed.
They may not know that all agricultural land is mapped by satellite by Defra, and inspected as to its use, and recorded its planting each and every year. Defra have inspected the Faringdon estate this year, checked the number of trees recorded, its ditch and stream lengths, its management of soils, hedge trimming schedules, its organic status

Defra requires all arable and pasture land to be kept in good agricultural husbandry. Defra have laid down the rules. Four years ago, after the poppies spectacle, when the rabbits ate all the planted wheat, leaving the bitter tasting poppies to flourish, the land was returned to nitrogen fixing deep rooting plants, a mixture of legumes, Alfa-Alfa, vetches, red and white clovers.

During the July floods this year, did anyone appreciate the reason why the town did not have the deluge of sand running off the Folly as has happened before. The deeper roots held the sand.

Before five years have gone by, Defra insists that this land must be returned to arable if it is to retain its status. For one year, the nitrogen in the soil will feed a crop of organic porridge oats ( we hope) which will be harvested July 08. The rotation is planned in advance to balance the grazing and winter feed needs. The Folly lands will then return to a legume/clover mixture as before. Set aside has been disbanded recently by the EU because of the high cereal prices and lack of cereal production. The 20 m circle round the Folly was in set a side.

The Folly Trust is planning to tidy up fallen trees, plant new ones and to make the Folly a nice place to walk. The tenants will help. Hopefully, so will others. If anyone would like to have a farm walk where the tenants will explain why rotations are so necessary to keep the land in good heart, please get in touch.

The land around the Faringdon Folly is part of an agricultural estate. The owners of Faringdon House estate have, over the years generously donated land, such as the Folly, to the townsfolk of Faringdon, and recently, land for an extension to the cemetery. (the tenants purchased and erected the fencing.)

The tenants, who are paying a rent for the farmland have happily allowed Faringdon people to have a big bonfire and fireworks on grazing land on the Lechlade Road each year. There was the Pony Club Championships off the Lechlade Road in July. Next July, 08, the very large gathering of the Sealed Knot will be using the London road fields, and land both down the Radcot and Lechlade roads, so that large crowds can appreciate the spectacle of the Civil war battle renactment. They would like to think this will give Faringdon shops and businesses more trade as the long weekend, and the following weekend of music and dance is enjoyed. Parking and tenting will also be accommodated and as always, cattle will be moved to safer places.

Faringdon residents have enjoyed the well made footpath from the Stanford Road, with vehicle access for the disabled, completed last year. It took five years to get the legal status of the path agreed and the work done. They also use the Church Path Farm paths regularly.

Name Supplied
Ed:(GW) The tenant has said that Hedge cutter has been at the Folly taking brambles back, leaving the path and seating more exposed.
The land will be rolled once oats are planted and it will look a lot better."

SSSI News - 10/11/07
The solicitors to the Town Council are at work on a necessary document which will enable the Faringdon Fossil Trust to apply for charitable status so that we can finally take over the pit in Fernham Rd.
Setting up the trust is taking an inordinate amount of time but it looks as if we are getting near the end at last.

I was hoping to arrange a visit to see the Faringdon Sponge Gravels (in the pit behind Rogers Gardenstones) but the pit will be closed to visitors until early in the New Year . Hopefully we be able to arrange a visit next Spring

Name Supplied
See hygeology.htm for more information about Faringdon Fossils
Faringdon Photo Calendars - 10/11/07
We have Faringdon Photo calendars in the Tourist Information Centre at £5.75 each.
Our winter hours are 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Monday to Saturday, so please feel free to come in for one!
Faringdon TIC
Pink Pigeons - 10/11/07
I believe the dying of pigeons and doves in Faringdon dates back to the time of Sir Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt Wilson or the 14th Lord Berners as he was better known. He was an eccentric artist and composer who shared Farringdon house with Robert Herber-Percy, who had the Folly Tower built for him by Berners to celebrate his twenty first birthday

in 1935. They used to entertain a variety of well known celebrities of the time including Cecil Beaton, John Betjeman and of course, Evelyn Waugh who I think mentions Faringdon House and some 'interesting evenings' in one of his books.

The dying of doves had something to do with Berners surrealist art movement, to enhance and contrast with something he indulged in called monochromatic lunches.

Cynics may naturally assume that apart form being an enormous hoot, dying birds pink or purple gave them higher visibility, making them an easier target for a shot gun after the excessive consumption of Laudanum.

The Mad Hatter
Operation Christmas Child 2007 - 10/11/07
Sounds like, and may well be, a worthwhile cause but articles found by Googling indicate that it may not be all that it seems.
Before I go out and buy some toothpaste I'd like to know more.

Any comments any one ?
Name Supplied
Pigeons - 9/11/07
The rainbow pigeons are probably from Faringdon House.
I know when it was trying to be let a few years ago it mentioned that it had pigeons/ doves and the owners were responsible for dyeing them
Hamish Miller
Once again we are collecting filled shoeboxes to send to eastern European children (leaflets in shops and churches for more info).

Today the first 588 boxes were collected to travel to Ukraine. we will continue to process boxes until Friday 16th to go to Bosnia, Serbia or Romania.

As the boxes are processed for travel, we add any 'missing' items, and we have totally run out of toothpaste and face cloths!

Please, if anyone has any they would be happy to donate, bring to United Church any morning next week, where you will be greeted with a huge smile!
For further info please contact Ann on 241566 or Kate on 241201.
Thank you
Kate Butcher
Desperately Seeking Window Cleaner - 9/11/07
If anyone knows where (a reliable) one may be found, please contact me.

How do you get a pigeon pink? - 8/11/07
Thanks to everyone for their eagle-eyes spotting the pigeons.

What I want to know is how do you get a pigeon to go rainbow colours? and why would you do it?
Is it going to affect their health/ are birds of prey more or less lkely to catch them?
I've tried googling it and all I get is someone suggesting the use of vegetable based hair dye or food colouring.
Sharon Clough
Pigeons - 06/11/07

And.....here they are, courtesy of Adrian Meredith,

thankyou, Adrian

Sharon, I have also seen the pink pigeon (or dove). I saw it sitting at the entrance road towards the church path farm. But this pigeon was not alone, next to it was a purple pigeon. I saw them on Saturday.
As I was in the car, I was not able to take a picture
Raoul van Eijndhoven
Paths around the Folly - 06/11/07

The area around the Folly tower is not common land. The only public rights of way are those on the map marked in green

Below are the rules about ploughing up footpaths

"A right of way which runs across an arable field can legally be ploughed up, but it must be reinstated within 14 days. Arable crops should not be allowed to grow on a right of way or overhang it from the sides.
The minimum width of a cross-field path on arable land should be 1 metre for a footpath and 2 metres for a bridleway.
Paths along the edges of fields should never be ploughed. The minimum widths for field-edge paths are 1.5 metres for a footpath and 3 metres for a bridleway. This should be the usable width of the path, and not include hedgerows, banks or ditches".

For information about public rights of way in Oxfordshire, click here
The person to contact re. problems in Vale of White Horse area (and west of South Oxon) is Mark Sumner.   Phone 01865 810218 or email:   mark.sumner@oxfordshire.gov.uk

map showing Folly footpaths

Re Common Land at Folly Hill - 6/11/07
Common Land is registered with a Registering Authority.

In this case that is Oxfordshire County Council. I therefore e-mailed them to find out if any Common Land was registered at Folly Hill. Their reply was that there is no Common Land registered at Folly Hill. This means thathe only statutory rights of public access are the footpaths.

As I said in a previous post I have contacted the County Council to ask for clarification in relation to those and I am still awaiting a reply.
Name Supplied
I think you will find that this is one of the famous dyed doves from Faringdon House, I recollect seeing as a child
Sally Clarke
Pink and purple pigeons - 5/11/2007
I spotted the pink pigeon and a purple one near the folly on Sunday afternoon.
Name Supplied
Re The Folly and ploughing - 5/11/07
I have contacted the County Council about this and I will post any reply.

If anyone else wants to to contact the County Council the contact for the Vale of White Horse area is Mark Sumner on 01865 810218 or e-mail to mark.sumner@oxfordshire.gov.uk
On Freeview - 5/11/07
I moved to faringdon recently and plugged in my digibox and got nothing.

My house had a sky dish though so I bought a sky digibox and subscribed to sky's Freesat service for a one off fee of £30 and can now get most of the free to air channels and all the radio channels.
They won't get the signal past Folly Hill so this may be the only route to cheap digital for some.
Name Supplied
Noisy barn dance (not) - 5/11/07
We all remember that when we held the meeting in the Corn Exchange to discuss the "noise" problems, the limiter warning light went on every time the audience applauded!
Steve Wright
SPACE - and any other events/campaigns in the area - 5/11/07
I am the editor of Community Times magazine and if I can ever help out by promoting local events or campagins such as SPACE I'd love to do so.

I ran a feature in the November magazine which looked at music in the Vale including the 15 Minute Club and The Jam Blues Club, and I'd be happy to promote anything in the future. please call me on 01367 888229 or email info@ctinthevale.co.uk

Alison Neale
Folly ploughed - 4/11/07
The Folly I see it has been ploughed up again.

Yes, I appreciate the farmer wants to have as big a crop as possible but is it too much to ask that a smooth grass area, say about 15-20 foot wide is left at the top ?. Again there is nowhere for people to walk (unless in the mud). The path around the top is barely wide enough for a childs buggy and tricky for two people to pass.

One of the main (if not the main) attractions in our town which we encourage tourists to visit is again pretty much a no-go area.

Surely the Folly Tower was given to the people of Faringdon to enjoy - and that should include part of the land around it which gives it its beauty.

I imagine our local farmers expect local support at markets etc............can something be given back please ?.
Name Supplied
Early saturday morning whilst out for a stroll round town I spotted a bright pink pigeon on church street. It was not painted, and was a flamingo shade of pink.

After deciding that I was not seeing things (was completely sober), I looked it up on the internet and found that they do exist and come from Mauritis!

So what was it doing in Faringdon? Has anyone else seen it? I saw it fly off into Faringdon house direction.

I emailed Bristol Zoo who have a collection of them, to see if any were missing, but they said not.
However they would be very interested to see a photo.

Sharon Clough

Ed: Have a look at http://www.faringdon.org/hyberners.htm - likely to be from Faringdon House
What has happened to the Folly? - 3/11/07
Its been turned into a ploughed field with not even a footpath left to walk around the perimeter, and no sign of the clearly marked public footpath!

I dread to think of what it will be like when it rains.
A real attraction has been spoilt.
Name Supplied
Anniversary - 3/11/07
Not quite the anniversary of the last gig at the corn exchange that was Sat 18 November 2006
Hamish Millar
Window Cleaner wanted - 3/11/07
Can anyone recommend a window cleaner please?
Name Supplied
Why is the Folly fields being ploughed up? - 3/11/07
I was under the impression the fields were part of the common land and as such a public area, why is it being ploughed up and where do we now have to go for our walks etc?
Rudi DuPlessis
Pre By-Pass Faringdon - 03/11/07
My recollection is that there were appalling traffic problems. Because of the heavy goods vehicles using the main road (e.g. London St.) the traffic was frequently gridlocked at the Market Place.

Traffic was often stationary, stretching back towards Oxford every Friday afternoon way past the Stanford Road, and on, beyond what is now Sudbury House Hotel.
London Street and the Market Place stank of car exhaust fumes. Car transporters regularly thundered down the A420 during the night, rattling the houses.

Parking, however was much easier in the main streets because many of the older properties were occupied by older people, who as you say, did not own cars. The area around the Town Hall was reserved for buses, but these were infrequent so cars were often parked there while their owners had business in the town.

The other feature which many people forget is that many of the shops in (the south side of) London Street had rear access and, where necessary, parking and loading bays; now gone as the spaces have all been developed into dwellings.

Not very noisy Barn Dance - 3/11/07
The music at the Barn Dance (Corn Exchange) was loud enough to trigger the sound limiter 3 times last evening. It was a 3 piece band, caller with a mike - and at times lots of laughter.
Didn't seem loud to me at all- you could easily talk with people and be heard
Seems as if the limiter is set quite low
Gene Webb
Faringdon pre-bypass - 2/11/07
Can anyone confirm or correct my memory of the Faringdon road layout before we had the bypass.

The Fernham Rd. led to Fernham and the Stanford Rd. led to Stanford each journey being about 2 miles less than now.
The A420 involved Coxwell Road, Marlborough St. and London St. so Marlborough St. must have been 2 way
Coxwell St. to the Lechlade Rd was via Gravel Walk which was one way
Lechlade Rd. to Coxwell St. must have been via Gloucester St. and Marlborough St.
There were Traffic Lights in the Market Square.
The Market Square prioritised traffic not pedestrians and the space outside the Town Hall was a bus only area.

There were few serious traffic problems for 3 reasons:
1 Most houses with no parking spaces had no cars.
2 Most children, accompanied or not by parents, were not taken to and from school in cars. (And yes they often did get wet but you rarely saw a rusty child )
3 Any traffic problem was quickly sorted by a locally based walking policeman.

I know there will be many quick to tell me where I have got it wrong but is anyone prepared to confirm or add to my version where I have got it right ?
Ed(GW): In my childhood and youth, Gravel Walk, Marlborough St and Gloucester St were 2 way- but that was a long time ago!
Plastic Bag Free Faringdon? - 1/11/07
What about it? We were the first Fair Trade Town in the South East, we have an active environmental group, half the population now seem to have Faringdon's own Bag for Life, if we can get Budgens on board surely the rest of our traders will support it?

Visit http://www.plasticbagfree.com and you'll find a town that looks uncannily like Faringdon (OK, it doesn't have a Folly). Follow the "Why & How To" link before deciding it's unrealistic.

Anyway we're not going to let Thame and Wantage get there before us are we?
Dave Headey
Singing for Fun - 1/11/07
The first session was such fun - and 50 people were there- yes 50!
So if you've been a bit reluctant in case there were only a few people - don't be- come along and join in
United Church Hall, 7pm, Tuesday.

We sounded amazing!

Gene Webb