Newest NEWS (Sort of!)
If it's happened, or happening, or going to happen anywhere in The Land of the Twelve Churches...
Tell us about it, and we will post it here to delight the world!
The village pump
Only a few days ago (see story below 18th January) we had three village pumps (left to right above: Alvescot, Broadwell, Langford)...
And now, courtesy of Moray Angus we have four!
Moray writes: "here is a photograph of the only extant pump (minus handle) in Westwell at Parsonage Farm."
Thank you, Moray... And any more pumps in The Land of the Twelve Churches? Do let us know.
25th January 2021
The Fabulous Parsloes of Shilton excelled themselves once again with their Christmas Lights...
... And they raised £730 for the Submarine Charity.
22nd January 2021
The village pump
18th January 2021
Once ubiquitous, now not many left... But here are three village pumps from villages in The Land of the Twelve Churches: (left to right) Langford, Alvescot, and Broadwell
Please email us with pictures and information about other pumps in our villages
Mist in the morning
We have already posted several of Tom Barry's evocative pictures of our patch, and we will soon be launching a whole page of them...
... But in the meanwhile here is one sent by Tom, but actually taken by his friend, Paul Hedges, from his garden.
3rd January 2021
Don't divide us
If you are a bit fed up with the march of identity politics, do have a look at 'Don't Divide Us' for a more positive view of life today.
Don't Divide Us explains:
"We are a wide-range of people who are taking a stand against the divisive obsession with people’s racial identity. We refuse to be divided—by racists or culture warriors—who refuse to see us as individuals beyond our skin colour. We are liberal anti-racists who reject the proposition that the UK is inherently racist in 2020, with racial prejudice embedded into our institutions."
Don't Divide Us takes a rational, caring, grown-up view of a difficult topic, and some of us think it makes a lot of sense. See HERE
2nd January 2021
A quick tour of St George's Church, Kelmscott from Chipper Video
1st January 2021
An end and a beginning
“For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
From 'Little Gidding' TS Eliot
Let's hope so. let's hope so...
31st December 2020
BB Crib service 2020
Neither cold nor Covid could deter St Mary's from hosting the Black Bourton crib service on Christmas Eve. Full marks to Dave Nixon, David Austin, and all involved from the BBVA and the church.
As the BB newsletter puts it: "It was a very special service and so wonderful to gather, all be it socially distanced, as a village community, in spite of these very challenging times."
30th December 2020
Alas, not 'cash in the attic'!
There was a lot of buzzing about at Filkins Village Hall during the summer, and it turned out to be a large wasps' nest.
Nick Herbert 'tired them out', and here is Donald Puffett (illuminated by nephew Harry) shovelling soporific wasps into a large plastic bag. (I say 'soporific', but we were a little cautious about some of the more lively ones!)
Anyway, good job done, and the attic is now empty of flying livestock.
27th December 2020
A first for Shilton?
Tom Barry sent Parish Pump one of his recent photographs of Shilton War Memorial, and we were discussing when it was built. And then, by strange coincidence, a Shiltonite family who inherited a photo album with their house, shared this photograph with Tom... And he with me, and I with you...
If the 1920 date is correct, it is quite an early village memorial.
Does anyone know more, please?
24th December 2020
Do you like doing the washing?
We're not sure if this job is still available, but it's just the ticket if you're into washing:
"A full-time, live-out Laundress/Housekeeper is required to join a fully-staffed household in Westwell. You'll be doing the laundry, and helping with general housekeeping duties within a team of staff. You will be trusted to clean, handle, and maintain all delicate and valuable materials to an exceptional standard. Additionally, you will possess meticulous attention to detail when ironing, maintaining wardrobe and managing occasional repairs.
Hours: Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm
If you are the star candidate we are looking for, please send your cv to us at
22nd December 2020
Yo ho Potato!
Two magnificent(!) Victorian cracker jokes...
What do you call a chap who infiltrates his way into your life at Christmas time, and steals your secrets?
A mean spy
When do you see the time on a vegetable?
When you get a potato clock
(when you get up at eight o'clock...)
15th December 2020
A FoSP Fantasia
As is the way this year, we all stayed in and had a great night out at the St Peter's School, Alvescot Virtual Christmas Party.
For a review, click HERE
19th December 2020
Kencot War Memorial
12h December 2020
What started at Easter 2018 to fulfil a request by the Parish Meeting to register Kencot War Memorial as a Listed Building ended on 29th October 2020 when the cross, missing for some 87 years, was reinstated to its rightful position on top of the memorial which once again is complete. The cross is a mixture of old and new. The base column and the centre of the cross are original and the arms are new all expertly put together by OG Stonemasonry.
The cost of the memorial in 1920 was £158. However, by 2020 the cost of the cross and fitting was £2,300, the original scale drawing that were required for planning was £256 and planning fees £233, a total of £2,789. The total would have been significantly higher if a village member had not volunteered to pick up the cost of the scaffolding which was required to allow the stonemason access to the top of the monument. Thank you.
In 1920 the money for the memorial was raised locally, as it has been in 2020 for the cross. I would like to thank everyone who has donated towards it, I really do appreciate it. Unfortunately, just like 1920, we have not yet fully covered the costs so donations would still be welcome.
In modern parlance this has been an interesting journey and I and my fellow villagers are delighted with the result. If you are passing, please come and have a look and let me know what you think.
Wally Cox, Chair, Kencot Parish Meeting
Advent window trail
I guess it is not really surprising that Cotswold Woollen Weavers contribution to the excellent St Filica Advent Window Trail embraced sheep and shepherds.
Good to see so many joining in with some great windows around the twin villages of Filkins and Broughton Poggs.
10th December 2020
Lawrence Clarke writes to say that Black Bourton has a sparkly new village website: See it HERE
Most impressive, BB, and well worth looking at.
7th December 2020
Fabulous Raffle in Alvescot
Kath Gamage writes: "This year's St Peter's raffle will be a little different! Instead of paper tickets, we are going virtual. We have some fabulous prizes up for grabs and invite you to participate in a live virtual event on Tuesday 15th December at 7pm to hear if you're a winner (with a few extra special Christmas surprises planned for the event)!"
For full details of the fabulous prizes, and to buy tickets...
Please click HERE
Please support this excellent cause.
4th December 2020
Our place in lockdown
Tom Barry of Shilton writes:
Since we went into Lockdown in March, I've been pretty regular in walking around Shilton nearly every morning.
I take my camera with me and have managed to capture some of the beauty of the fields and paths around us, many which I knew well but some some of which I've never walked before. Who has walked the wonderful path along the emerging Shill Brook between Signet and Holwell? A recent first for me!
I thought you might like to brighten this dark December with a regular picture of our spring and summer months. I'm not sure I have enough to make an Advent Calendar, but I'll see if I can find five or six every week up till Christmas Eve. I hope you enjoy them.I've attached the first one of Burford Bottom from mid April this year.
3rd December 2020
Fun round the table
Margot Hodson shows us how to make an Advent candle.
1st December 2020
A good man remembered
Several times every day, I pass this plaque on the wall at Cotswold Woollen Weavers in Filkins, which dates from the time that Don and Mo Seale moved from Kencot to Lechlade. Don needed a place to register his business in Oxfordshire so that he could continue to represent our villages on the council.
Don was a good man, and a good councillor, and we were happy to help him out. I think of him every time I see his plaque.
30th November 2020
The dogs' dinner
Anne Hichens of Langford writes:
"I love this so much, I'm sending it to everyone... Joy to you."
And who are we to disagree? Bon apetit!
29th November 2020
A Motley Crew!
We're not quite sure what's happening here, but it looks like a happy stop along the Alvescot Scarecrow Trail which took place during the Autumn.
The photograph should have illustrated the News from St Peter's School in the December issue of Parish Pump, but the photograph is not high enough resolution to print.
But not wanting to let the side down, here it is available to an unsuspecting world!
28th November 2020
It's a Sign!
What an opportune moment for Guy Richmond to be at Holy Rood Church in Shilton, and how well he's seized the moment. Thank you, Guy!
24th November 2020
Oh! Tom... Another beauty
Another great photograph from Tom Barry in Shilton. This time looking towards Eastleach from just west of Bimbury Lodge, near Westwell.
Every time I see wide-open views like this, I remember how lucky we are to have spent this Time of Corona here in West Oxfordshire.
21st November 2020
St Christopher's School
Harry MacInnes strutting his stuff to great effect under cover of the excellent outdoor classroom at St Christopher's School, Langford.
And a warm welcome to Rachel Veeder, the new head teacher at St Christopher's School.
17th November 2020