• Minister: Brookes is vision of future

    UNIVERSITIES minister David Willetts praised Oxford Brookes University as a “vision” of what universities could do in the future as he made his first ministerial keynote speech. Mr Willetts spent about half an hour touring the motorsports school at the

  • Park's new arrivals walk tall

    The Cotswold Wildlife Park’s first giraffes are settling in to their new home. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the park already has animals ranging from rhinos to lions, but this is the first time giraffes have had a home in the Cotswolds

  • Police hunt missing teen

    POLICE are trying to trace a teenage girl missing from Oxford. Sarah Spence, 18, from Watermill Way, Headington was last seen at 9am yesterday when she left her grandmother’s house in Elton Crescent, Wheatley. She is white, 5ft tall, thin, with medium-length

  • England flag removed at BMW plant

    BOSSES at the Mini car factory in Cowley removed an England flag put up by workers in the assembly facility on health and safety grounds. The company said workers could display smaller flags, instead of the 15ft-wide flag, during the World Cup. BMW

  • City roadworks hit trade

    A TRADER in the centre of Oxford is struggling to cope with gas works outside his city centre café. Contractors working for Southern Gas Networks have started to replace gas pipes in George Street, near the junction with Worcester Street. Aminul Islam

  • Hundreds pay tribute to Afghan fallen

    HUNDREDS of Royal British Legion members, soldiers and members of the public lined Headley Way, in Headington, today as the bodies of four soldiers killed in Afghanistan returned to Britain. The bodies of Marine Anthony Hotine, 21, Cpl Terry Webster,

  • Park's new arrivals walk tall

    THE Cotswold Wildlife Park’s first giraffes are settling in to their new home. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the park already has animals ranging from rhinos to lions, but this is the first time giraffes have had a home in the Cotswolds

  • Sporting chance in school contest

    AS THE world awaits the opening games of football’s 2010 World Cup today, the Oxford Mail is offering schoolchildren the chance to live out their own sporting dreams. The paper has teamed up with Abingdon-based construction company Leadbitter for a second

  • Scientists close to advance in autism

    OXFORD scientists say they are on the brink of developing a blood test to help diagnose autism. The test, which would use a few drops of blood to allow doctors to analyse a patient’s DNA, has been proposed by genetics experts at Oxford University and

  • Sainsbury bid for out-of-town Carterton store rejected

    A CONTROVERSIAL plan for an out-of-town supermarket in Carterton has been rejected. Sainsbury wanted to build a 26,000 sq ft food store in the empty West Oxfordshire Business Park, in Upavon Way. But on the advice of planning officers, West Oxfordshire

  • Get set to enjoy Barton's big Bash

    ORGANISERS of this year’s Barton Bash have been working flat out to ensure all is well for Saturday’s big event. The annual celebration will be held outside the Neighbourhood Centre in Underhill Circus. Face painting, fun inflatables

  • Vandals attack Banbury mosque

    Police are appealing for witnesses after damage was caused to a mosque in Banbury. Stones were thrown at the window of the Banbury Mosque in Merton Street, Banbury, smashing one of the windows and causing damage to one of the outer doors. The attack

  • Local shares (PM)

    AEA Technology 17.5 BMW 3339 Electrocomponents 217.25 Nationwide Accident Repair 80.5 Oxford Biomedica 9.8 Oxford Catalysts 82.75 Oxford Instruments 264 Reed Elsevier 486.1 RM 173.75 RPS Group 189.4 Courtesy of

  • CRICKET: Shahbaz back in for Banbury

    Oxfordshire batsman Shahbaz Ali makes his first appearance of the season when Banbury visit Henley in the Home Counties Premier League Division 1 tomorrow. Despite playing regularly for the county last campaign, Shahbaz has so far been confined

  • Ugly bridge

    Thank heavens work is at long last finished on the Wolvercote viaduct. Of course, with a proper workforce labouring at weekends and overnight, it would have been completed months ago. But my main concern is how ugly the steel and concrete barriers are

  • CRICKET: Thame to learn from penalty

    Thame Town will look to bounce back at Harefield on Saturday after a “silly penalty” cost them top spot in Home Counties Premier League Division 2 West. Sam Lachlan’s second-placed side received a 14-run penalty for running on the pitch in

  • CABBAGES & KINGS: Farewell to a precious child

    OLIVIA’S large and beautiful eyes were the bluest I have ever seen. One glance and they nailed you to the nearest wall. Her smile completed the process of captivation as it turned your legs to jelly. You were a prisoner – and a willing prisoner at that

  • Jewellery stolen in Witney burglary

    Police are appealing for witnesses after a burglary in Witney on Tuesday. Some time between 8.15am and 5.30pm, burglars broke into into the property in Curbridge Road and stolen various items of jewellery, including gold bracelets, diamond earrings

  • Pool consultation is total shambles

    ON attending the consultation meeting in Temple Cowley about the future of pool provision in Oxford, I was dismayed by the chaotic atmosphere. By the time the meeting opened there was standing room only for late-comers. The very lengthy presentation

  • Maintain the status quo

    I am appalled and amazed at what little consultation the council is allowing in connection with the future of Temple Cowley Pool. Moreover, it seems that to refurbish the pools would cost about the same as moving them to Blackbird Leys, the gym to Barton

  • Chain reaction

    I THOUGHT your article in yesterday’s Oxford Mail about stealing a push bike nine times was a bit unfair on Thames Valley Police. How do you expect anyone in the police force to notice this, when there are no officers actually on the streets? Please

  • Police worried about missing Oxford teenager

    Police are appealing for help to trace a missing teenager from Oxford. Sarah Spence, 18, of Watermill Way, Barton, was last seen at 9am yesterday when she left her grandmother’s house in Elton Crescent, Wheatley. Sarah is white, approximately

  • Foxy issue

    I WAS very intrigued by the letters by Mick Heavey and G Husband concerning foxes in Wednesday’s Oxford Mail. Why not widen the spectrum and eliminate those other pests we have in plentiful supply around here – namely squirrels and magpies. We get a

  • Vulpine hysteria

    Mass hysteria seems to have set in after an alleged attack by a fox on on two babies in East London. There are already calls for culls on urban foxes, because of this extremely rare occurrence, but as far as I’m aware the last time an incident happened

  • After-school club to appeal over Ofsted criticism

    AN after-school club is appealing after being told to improve by inspectors. The club at Windmill Primary School, in Headington, Oxford, was rated inadequate by the education watchdog Ofsted. It was given a so-called ‘notice to improve’ because it

  • Thief jailed for £8,000 petrol station ramraid

    A MAN used a stolen Porsche to ramraid a petrol station and steal £8,000-worth of cigarettes. Dylan Taylor, 25, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after being traced in an investigation by both Thames Valley and Gloucestershire police forces.

  • Free conservatory offer

    A free conservatory worth £10,000 is on offer to anyone who buys a house in the Oakley Meadows development in Chinnor. Linden Homes, which has six of the 18 properties still remaining, has teamed up with Aylesbury-based builder Radley to run the promotion

  • FIXTURES: June 11

    SATURDAY. CRICKET. SERIOUS CRICKET HOME COUNTIES PREMIER LEAGUE. Div 1: Henley v Banbury, Oxford v Harpenden, Radlett v Aston Rowant. Div 2 West: Harefield v Thame Tn. MP SPORTS CHERWELL LEAGUE. Div 1: Bletchley Tn v Cumnor, Bourton Vale v Great

  • SHOOTING: Skipper Dan's golden shot

    Dan Rivers, from Wantage Target Shooting Club, collected an amazing haul of ten gold medals at the South African National Sch-ools Shooting Union’s air rifle and small bore championships. The captain of the Great Britain junior squad, Rivers also collected

  • BADMINTON: Bicester's best

    Lisa Turner and George Beegoo were the respective women’s and men’s winners at Bicester Badminton Club’s closed tournament. The event’s rules involve a mixed doubles pair playing against all the other pairs, both with and against their main

  • TENNIS: Gosling retains crown

    Bobby Gosling, from the host club. retained the under 16 title when Woodstock Bowls and Tennis Club hosted their five-day Bank Holiday Week junior tournament, sponsored by Henmans Solictors. About 100 juniors from nine counties across the south

  • Sky's the limit

    If the England squad bring home the World Cup in July, everyone living in Oxford will receive a £5,000 voucher towards a new Taylor Wimpey home. And every purchaser who reserves a property on the day of any of the first-round England matches

  • Burford bus link to railway on the cards

    PROPOSALS to give Burford a direct bus connection to the railway network have won the backing of the town’s mayor. In conjunction with the project to reinstate double track on the Cotswold Line, due for completion next year, train operator

  • Volunteer for the art of entertaining

    ARTISTS, performers and entertainers are urged to showcase their skills at an open mic event at Modern Art Oxford tomorrow night. The free event is part of artist Maria Pask’s current exhibition Deja Vu, which was inspired by old copies of

  • Lady Driver

    BY and large it’s true what they say about boys and their toys. They really do just get bigger and more expensive the older they get. Over the years I have accumulated a random and fascinating collection of men who consider fast cars, motorbikes and

  • Toyota RAV4 XT-R 2.0L CVT

    DO cars age faster than people? When the Toyota RAV4 was launched it was a light, spritely, happy, little car with a fun-loving spring in its step. Sixteen years on, it’s into its third generation and the grandparent of the original has grown into a

  • The car's the star

    According to Wikipedia, the Reliant Regal was a small three-wheeled car manufactured by the Reliant Motor Company in Tamworth (come on, would you actually want anyone to know you were interested in this car? Better to just stick to the Internet in this

  • The worst cars evah! The G-Wiz

    Electric cars are the future, or so we are constantly being been told. The idea that we can simply plug in and glide away silently without making so much as a sparrow sniff is appealing to a growing minority, particularly in cities.

  • Thief steals £5,000 mountain bike

    Police are appealing for witnesses after a burglary in Henley where a £5,000 mountain bike was stolen. Burglars entered into the garage of a property in Boathouse Reach and stole a black Trek 9.9 mountain bike. The burglary happened some time

  • Swan Lake, English National Ballet: The Royal Albert Hall

    Sir Derek Deane’s massive, spectacular Swan Lake is back at the Royal Albert Hall. With well over 60 swans (three times the normal number for a big company), jugglers, acrobats and throngs of courtiers, it’s a feast for the eye. Spectacle yes,

  • Carrie On Cocktails

    KATHERINE MACALISTER finds a trio of reliable venues to ease her cinematic disappointment. The best thing about Sex and the City 2? The end. The worst thing? Spending 2.5 hours watching something so utterly banal and shallow that Emily Pankhurst

  • Love Hurts

    Newscaster John Suchet’s moving account of his wife’s dementia was meant to be cathartic. Instead, his grief is as raw as ever. Just eight months ago, veteran newscaster John Suchet made the agonising decision to put his wife Bonnie,

  • Almida: Garsington Opera, Garsington Manor

    ‘Write me something meaty and dramatic:” you can imagine soprano Isabella Colbran demanding it from her lover, and later husband, Rossini. The composer duly obliged with the title role in Armida. Armida is a sorceress, and plainly accustomed to getting

  • Stiff Stiller

    GREENBERG (15). Comedy. Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Chris Messina, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Director: Noah Baumbach. Misery loves company – our company – in writer-director Noah Baumbach’s deeply depressing character study, based

  • Distraction burglar targets 86-year-old

    AN 86-year-old woman lost £200, her purse and pension card following a distraction burglary in West Oxfordshire. At about 10am on Tuesday a man entered the woman’s home in Parkside, North Leigh. The man told the woman that he required further payment

  • An art deco gem at old water works

    A contemporary Cotswold stone house has been converted from a former water works, showcasing the stylish looks of the original art deco building. Number 2 Riverbank Studios is one of seven houses in the old Witney Water Works, built in 1936. The entrance

  • Listed manor house

    FORMER village manor Aston House is testament to the changing fashions of architecture, with Jacobean origins hidden behind a Georgian brick facade. Aston Manor House, as it was once known, is in the village of Aston, near Bampton. Grade II-listed, its

  • Hit And Missives

    LETTERS TO JULIET (PG). Romance. Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael Garcia Bernal. Director: Gary Winick. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the flickering of Gary Winick’s winsome romantic

  • New Horizons

    Joseph star Craig Chalmers is moving on, personally and professionally, writes Katherine MacAlister. Craig Chalmers, aka Joseph, is back home in Scotland on his parents’ farm when we speak. “The show is 12 miles from our house in Edinburgh

  • Cole Powered

    Soon-to-be-married Brendan Cole may have thrown off the bad boy image but his lust for dancing is as strong as ever, writes KATHERINE MACALISTER. Brendan Cole laughs when I ask if he minds being known as “the bad boy of ballroom” or “Strictly

  • Voyage of Discovery

    A new exhibition explores our concept of identity, writes SARAH MAYHEW. Who do you think you are? A question that has crossed most of our minds at some point in our lives. A question that has inspired television programmes, books, and hordes

  • On Form 2010, Asthall Manor, near Burford

    The moment you enter the main gates of Asthall Manor, near Burford, passing the two gatepost finials created by sculptor Anthony Turner, you will be aware that you are entering an enchanting world where old and new not only complement each other

  • Modern touches and tradition

    A Grade II-listed thatched cottage believed to date back to the 15th century blends modern luxury with tradition. Jasmine House, in Holton, near Wheatley, retains many period features including stone and inglenook fireplaces, exposed oak beams and stonework

  • Baltic Beauty

    Jeremy Smith has to revise his preconceptions after a stay in Estonia. Will I never learn? Someone says “Tallinn” and I think ex-Soviet nuclear silo. A knee-jerk reaction, to be sure, but that’s no excuse. Which I think explains why, when

  • Electro Dreams

    RICHARD BELL can’t resist the overtures from Ouverture at Baby Love. Amidst the plethora of drum and bass and dubstep nights on offer around the city, sometimes it’s nice to find yourself a good old-fashioned electro night and have a bit

  • Strait Talking

    John Illsley, once the ‘engine room’ of Eighties stadium-fillers Dire Straits, is back in more intimate surroundings, writes TIM HUGHES. AS a founder member of Dire Straits, John Illsley was responsible for one of the biggest bands

  • Horse Play

    Band of Horses are the latest thoroughbreds to emerge from Seattle, writes TIM HUGHES. CORRALLED and broken in on the live scene of the USA’s Emerald City, Seattle stallions Band of Horses serve up lush elevating rock, on the hoof. They

  • Cyclist steals his own bicycle

    A cyclist became so fed up with theft in the city he used boltcutters to steal his own bicycle to see if anyone would notice. And nobody stopped him. Nine times. Chris Graham pedalled to nine spots in the city centre just to prove how

  • Cyclist steals his own bike NINE times

    A CYCLIST became so fed up with theft in the city he used boltcutters to steal his own bike to see if anyone would notice. And nobody stopped him. Nine times. Chris Graham pedalled to nine spots in the city centre just to prove how easy it was for thieves

  • A super Chelsea

    I have just about come down to earth with a bang after the Chelsea Flower Show, which was a glorious affair this year. One of show gardens was inspired by Waddesdon Manor’s ornate Rococo aviary and this Sunday there is a Plant Fair at the garden (see

  • 125 years of Oxford University Dramatic Society

    Hands up anyone who has heard of the Philothespians? I thought not. They were, in fact, the theatrical predecessors of the Oxford University Dramatic Society, before degenerating into a mere student drinking and dining club. But, in 1885

  • Ex-mayor held over Faringdon pillbox blast

    A FORMER mayor of Faringdon has been arrested following an explosion in a Second World War bunker which injured two schoolboys. Retired Colonel John Gillman, 62, was quizzed at his home by detectives investigating the blast, which occurred

  • Diners delight at bold menu choice

    It is, once again, the day after the night before and I feel — in the spirit of complete honesty — replete! Yesterday was, of course, The Oxford Times Wine Club Dinner at the Cherwell Boathouse which showcased the wines of South Africa’s Vergelegen. It

  • The History Boys: Oxford Playhouse

    It is safe to say that Alan Bennett’s The History Boys is already a classic, although it premiered relatively recently, in 2004. Multiple runs in London, a successful tour to the Far East and a residency on Broadway have made it one of Bennett’s most

  • ‘I’ll carry on’ says children's hospital fundraiser

    AN inspirational fundraiser who is battling an undiagnosed brain condition has vowed to resume his charity work as soon as he is fit. Andrew Baker, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday, has raised more than £20,000 for Oxford Children’s Hospital

  • Regional Spain, £80

    Regional Spain produces a wide range of highly drinkable wines of real character, which all have very different personalities. The aspect that they have in common though is their refreshing clean qualities for the whites and rich soft fruit and their

  • 'Wonderwoman' protest at crown court

    A woman chained herself to the door handle at Oxford Crown Court this morning. Teresa Haynes, from Cumnor, a mother-of-eight, said she was staging the protest in support of a relative. The 35-year-old was dressed as Wonderwoman and holding


    DIPLOMATIC INCIDENTS Cherry Denman (John Murray, £16.99)‘Abroad is bloody.’ So said George VI, and, if left to herself, Cherry Denman would have thought the same. However, she married a diplomat, and for the past 25 years has been living in all sorts

  • Local author

    Architect Nabeel Hamdi, who founded Oxford Brookes University’s masters in development practice, pioneered the idea that people, not professionals, should build communities. His latest book, The Placemaker’s Guide To Building Community (Earthscan, £19.99

  • Chicken Coops for the Soul

    Julia Hollander became a chicken keeper on a whim. By contrast, I’m still agonising over whether to take the plunge and can’t honestly say whether herpleasingly written and charmingly illustrated book has swayed me for or against, In Chicken Coops for

  • Books choice

    The Allotment Chef Paul Merrett (Collins, £12.99) Despite the celebrity author (Merrett is a Michelin-starred chef and presents a BBC2 programme called Economy Gastronomy), this is well written, with plenty of funny bits. It tells the story of his

  • The Selfish Society

    Sue Gerhardt’s latest book The Selfish Society is tagged ‘popular psychology’ on its back cover, but her publishers might well have added ‘polemic’. The Oxford-based psychotherapist argues that current society has got itself into a moral pickle

  • PM urged to save £88m traffic plan

    A PERSONAL appeal has been made to David Cameron to allow Oxfordshire to keep £88m for road and rail improvements promised under Labour. The Access to Oxford money was to fund major ring road and transport schemes, including a contribution

  • Fathers 4 Justice protest at crown court

    A woman has chained herself to the door handle at Oxford Crown Court this morning. Teresa Haynes, from Cumnor, a mother-of-eight, said she was staging the protest in support of a relative. The 35-year-old was dressed as Wonderwoman and holding a purple

  • Call over taxpayers' degree costs

    Universities Minister David Willetts has said that the cost to the taxpayer of degree courses had to be tackled, in what is seen as a sign that students may have to pay higher fees. Speaking to The Guardian, he said that the current system

  • Oxford United see off Luton to snap up Heslop

    Oxford United have bolstered their squad further ahead of their return to the Football League with midfielder Simon Heslop joining on a three-year deal from Barnsley. The 23-year-old, who had previously played under boss Chris Wilder at Halifax, had

  • Parky at the Pictures (DVD 10/6/2010)

    Although he is now a pillar of the British cinematic establishment, Ken Loach endured an indifferent patch in the middle of his career, making only one feature film between the landmark Kes (1969) and his adaptation of Leon Garfield's children's

  • Parky at the Pictures (In Cinemas 10/6/2010)

    Several artists have turned to film-making in recent times and the results have been decidedly mixed. Now, in the wake of Steve McQueen's Hunger (2008), Sam Taylor-Wood's Nowhere Boy (2009) and Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010), comes exiled

  • Fifa pursuit of brewery leaves a nasty taste

    WE WOULD expect Fifa, the world governing body for football, to show some sense of proportion over Hook Norton Brewery’s infringement of its trademark with a beer label. The brewery is in the wrong and Fifa should quite rightly protect its commercial

  • Bike theft stunt makes us all uneasy

    IT would be easy to dismiss student Chris Graham’s experiment as a meaningless stunt, but it should cause a sense of unease amongst us all. Perhaps it was not the most scientific operation, but for someone to go and cut the chain on a bicycle in nine

  • New MP makes her maiden speech

    The county's newest MP used her maiden speech in the House of Commons to highlight domestic abuse and the lack of provision for male victims in Oxfordshire. She also praised a county initiative to make it easier for all victims to access help and

  • Driving growth

    Much good news has come out of the BMW car plant in Cowley over the last week. The plant will be building two new Mini models from next year, and planning has begun for Cowley to accept the next generation of the Mini in 2013. It is great news for the

  • Recycling pays

    We warmly welcome the weekly food waste collection that has been extended to virtually the whole of Oxford this week. The prospect of food waste hanging around for two weeks understandably led to a lot of disquiet about new waste and recycling collections

  • Roman finds boost anti-gravel campaigners

    THE discovery of what look to be two Roman settlements has boosted the campaign to stop increased gravel extraction in South Oxfordshire. Campaigners have warned large areas of countryside would be threatened if big increases in gravel and sand extraction

  • Minister to speak at Brookes

    Universities Minister David Willetts will make his first major speech at Oxford Brookes University today. He is expected to discuss issues including tuition fees and university funding with an invited audience of university vice-chancellors from around

  • County goes to Cameron over cash fears

    A PERSONAL appeal has been made to Prime Minister David Cameron to allow Oxfordshire to keep £88m for road and rail improvements promised under the last Government. The Access to Oxford money was to fund major ringroad and transport schemes

  • Over the top

    Sir – I have been a reader of The Oxford Times for about 65 years and have always found it an entertaining and informative part of Oxford’s culture. Inevitably one doesn’t agree with all the comments in both the editorials or individual articles

  • Fighting prejudice

    Sir – I refer to Anthony Morris’s letter (June 3, Much too PC). I am amazed in this day and age with his prejudice and insulting remarks towards the police and gay people. Does he not realise the Rainbow Flag is an accepted flag for gay people

  • Brooding pile

    Sir – Even Hugh Jaeger’s description of the New Bodleian as ‘an insult to public baths’ (Letters, June 3) by comparison fails to do justice to the full banality of this brooding pile. To my eyes it has always resembled nothing so much as that monument

  • Book fortress

    Sir – How encouraging it is to read that the New Bodleian Library is going to get a revamp. When I moved to Oxford a few years ago I was surprised to see how drab and unwelcoming the famous building looked. Broad Street has some lovely, colourful features

  • Windfall ploy

    Sir – Like Virginia Moffat (Letters, June 3), I am outraged by the city council’s plans to close Temple Cowley Pool and gym (TCP), and the way the council has utterly failed to consult local people about it. East Oxford and Cowley are amongst the

  • Milk production

    Sir – I was interested in your little news item of 75 years ago (May 27) mentioning my grandfather, Mr S. J. Farrant speaking about the limitation of milk production. At that date I was just two months old being the first of his grandchildren. My father

  • Roman finds 'are unique'

    THE discovery of what look to be two Roman settlements have helped the campaign to stop increased gravel extraction in South Oxfordshire. Campaigners have warned large areas of countryside would be threatened if big increases in gravel and sand extraction

  • First view of Garsington's new home

    Garsington Manor has never been in the spotlight as a jewel in the countryside kind of tourist attraction, open to the public. Yet this Tudor manor house, with its beautiful Italian-style gardens, has twice become famous beyond the borders of Oxfordshire

  • Thriving association searches for helpers

    Cutteslowe Community Association (CCA) is a thriving community-focused charity, which seeks to work with local residents, local voluntary and statutory agencies and funding bodies to provide resources, care and support so that the community can