• Tea dances prove a hit

    INSPIRED by the TV show Strictly Come Dancing, Woodstock residents are strutting their stuff at a weekly tea dance. Gwen Morris, who organises the sessions at Woodstock Social Club in Oxford Street, said: “When we started it seven years ago, Strictly

  • Society celebrates historic landmark

    PEOPLE will be given an insight into Bicester’s fascinating history when a major exhibition opens. Roman artefacts, Saxon skeletons and a recently renovated Georgian Fire Pump will be on show at Bicester Methodist Church Hall in Sheep Street

  • Head praised as Cowley primary comes out of special measures

    GOVERNMENT inspectors said a previously failing Cowley primary school deserves “great credit” for turning itself around. Ofsted confirmed that St Christopher’s C of E Primary School, in Temple Road, has been taken out of special measures, and praised

  • Foodie festival aims to put town on the tourist map

    A FOOD festival is to be launched in Wallingford in a bid to attract more tourists. At present, the town is best known for its ninth century origins, its links with crime writer and former resident Agatha Christie, and as a fil location for TV detective

  • Picture Perfect

    MARC EVANS finds delights for his eyes and his belly on a trip to London, plus a hotel with a difference. PHEW! Thanks goodness the Royal Wedding is over – now it’s safe to go back to London. Nothing against the happy couple, but the thought

  • Ready to To Get Hitched?

    Starting on Sunday, the Oxford Mail and Phoenix Picturehouse are once again staging their annual film festival, which this year will be presenting the greatest films of Alfred Hitchcock. Over the six-day salute to the world’s number one scare-meister

  • Jumbo Appeal

    WATER FOR ELEPHANTS (12A). Drama/Romance. Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz, Hal Holbrook, Paul Schneider. Director: Francis Lawrence. Twilight pin-up Robert Pattinson puts a little colour in his cheeks in

  • Tokyo Nights

    RACHAEL O’CONNOR samples the splendour of Roppongi in Oxford’s George Street. The recent burst of heat and sun we’ve been experiencing has no doubt injected a spring in your step for hitting the town. If you like R’n’B stompers, in an accessible

  • Bourne To Dance

    Matthew Bourne is the most famous choreographer of his time, and his name alone sells out his ballet tours. But if you thought the all-male Swan Lake was controversial, try his interpretation of Cinderella – set in the Blitz. Katherine MACAlister gets

  • Jam Jars

    KATHERINE MACALISTER rues the day she decided to eat out with the groovy people at Oxford’s Jam Factory. In hindsight, a main course would have been a good idea. Before a pub crawl that is. But then if the food had been any good at The

  • Rock'N'Roll Caricature

    POOR old Peter Doherty has had a bad press. Constantly at the centre of a media maelstrom, the former Libertines and Babyshambles star, right, has been bombarded with allegations, accusations, invasions and intrusions. But this ‘rock and roll badboy

  • Night At The Museum

    THE ASHMOLEAN Museum is no stranger to treasures. Among the startling displays in this world-class institution’s galleries are precious items from the four corners of the world. But tomorrow, Oxford’s – and indeed Britain’s – oldest public museum

  • Miles Ahead

    Former Rascal Miles Kane has emerged from the shadows, and, says Tim Hughes, is out to prove he’s a natural frontman. AFTER playing second fiddle to Arctic Monkey Alex Turner and former Oasis star Liam Gallagher, Miles Kane is ready to take

  • All Aboard The UB40

    I GOT you babe! Ah, UB40. There are few people who grew up in the 80s who don’t have a soft spot for these Brit ska popsters (or so I’m told, cough!). Best remembered not for their mainstream chart fare but for their work in spreading UK reggae to the

  • GREYHOUNDS: Friday's Oxford BAGS runners

    11.03: Rapid George 2, PRIMO TAO, Dysert Ishma, Abelia, Meenala Harry, Squashedtomatoes 3. 11.19: Royal Rumble, Pennys Lexi 3, Keeperhill Tom 2, Here He Goes, Broadacres Kev, LOUGHBEAG HALL. 11.34: Leetial 2, Power Phil, YO PEDRO, Annacurra Pride 3,

  • Jobs at risk as Focus DIY collapses

    More than 80 jobs in the Oxfordshire branches of a major DIY chain are under threat after the business collapsed. Adminstrators Ernst & Young were called into Focus DIY and have launched a hunt for a buyer for its stores including those in Didcot, Wantage

  • Torex trio charged

    Three former executives at a collapsed software firm have been charged with conspiracy to defraud. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigators have been probing the finances of Torex Retail which was based in Witney until it went into administration

  • Di Resta flattered by Mercedes link

    Paul di Resta has admitted speculation about a potential drive with the Brackley-based Mercedes team next season is "a positive." Di Resta's performances after just three grands prix on his Formula One debut campaign with Silverstone-based Force India

  • Local shares (PM)

    AEA Technology 4.3 BMW 5452 Electrocomponents 273.5 Nationwide Accident Repair 102 Oxford Biomedica 5.85 Oxford Catalysts 95.75 Oxford Instruments 745.5 Reed Elsevier 537.25 RM 142.75 RPS Group 226.7 Courtesy of Redmayne Bentley,

  • Music festival ends on a high note

    AFTER almost two weeks of live music, Witney Music Festival has come to an end. The festival featured 150 artists, including jazz, rock, gospel and folk bands, playing in 40 events. And on Monday night the festivities ended with a show

  • £900k community hall to open at last

    A £900,000 Witney community hall hit by a dispute with contractors will finally open after town councillors said they sacked the builders and changed the locks. Madley Park Hall, in Northfields Farm Lane, will open on June 6, six months after

  • Get out and go wild

    With record-breaking temperatures this spring I wasn’t the only one to enjoy a spell of sunbathing. Many of our native woodland plants were taking full advantage of the balmy weather by flowering early, including the ever-popular bluebell.

  • My Primrose Hill is a haze of blue

    Bumblebees, it appears, come in many shapes, sizes and colours. By now, I was hoping to be able to sound very knowledgeable about them, but, alas, I am becoming more and more confused. Maggie, being a bee keeper, points out the differences between honey

  • Distinguished RAF service

    A FORMER station commander of RAF Brize Norton has died, aged 87. Group Captain (retired) John Richardson, of Woodcroft, Kennington, commanded the Carterton base in the early 1970s. He died on March 25 after a short illness. Known to his friends as

  • Friends vie for Town & Gown honours

    BEST mates Robbie Kerr and Ben Cross will be leaving their friendship at the start line in this year’s Town and Gown race, as they go head to head to reach the winning tape first. The runners, both architecture students at Oxford Brookes University,

  • A gent who loved ale and Charlbury

    A DIRECTOR at Blackwell’s book sellers who loved Charlbury and immersed himself in its life and culture has died. John Merriman, 81, passed away on April 19 at his home in the town after a battle with cancer. He worked at Blackwell’s

  • AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Saints fall to defeat

    Oxford Saints crashed to a 26-0 reverse at the hands of BAFA Community League Division 1 title favourites Leicester Falcons. The injury-ravaged Saints were still in contention until midway through the third quarter, before Falcons surged clear

  • Town toasts £1m pubs boost

    WANTAGE is brimming with vitality after seeing more than £1m invested in pubs and bars. Landlords say the town is becoming a destination for drinkers after major revamps at the Shoulder of Mutton and The Bear Hotel. They also hope late-night

  • Council staff go on £1,860 away day

    A SERVICE which helps Oxford’s most vulnerable people was closed for 24 hours so staff could go on an away day at a four-star hotel and take a boat trip down the Thames. Oxford City Council’s housing needs team, which supplies frontline help

  • BAR BILLIARDS: Oxford hold advantage

    Oxford C took a huge step towards reaching the next round of the Inter-Area Knockout Cup after beating Portsmouth 4-1 in their first-leg clash, writes PETE EWINS. Sid Ponting and Adam Thorn put the hosts 2-0 ahead, only for Barry Radford to reduce the

  • BAR BILLIARDS: Central sent spinning

    Former winners Banbury Central A crashed to a shock 73-60 defeat against Woodstock in the Oxford & District League Cup second round. Central had already been shaken up in the first round of the competition, which is sponsored by S&J Timms Cleaning Services

  • Great tit has smokers in a flap

    OFFICE workers in Abingdon got a shock after a great tit decided to nest and lay eggs in their cigarette bin. Debbie Survell, a sales worker at Nuffield Press in Nuffield Way, Abingdon, said the nest appeared last week and there were now five eggs in

  • Rape accused slept in air vent

    A MAN accused of raping a student at the John Radcliffe Hospital was found sleeping in an air vent the night before. Ian Joseph, of no fixed abode, denies raping the woman in a unisex toilet in the West Wing on October 30 last year. The 44-year-old

  • 'Tarnished' lecturer loses tribunal appeal

    A WOMAN who claimed her promotion at Oxford University was hampered after she sued for sexual discrimination has lost her legal battle against the institution and one of its professors. Cecile Deer lost a February 2010 employment tribunal which alleged

  • GOLF: Results round-up

    SHAW GIBBS OXFORDSHIRE FOURSOMES LEAGUE Section 2 Carswell 0 (0pts), Buckingham 3 (4) (Carswell first): L Carroll & D Keylock lost to S Clarke & W Hearne 4&2, A McAllister & C Howe lost to M Pennell & T Spur 3&1, T Smith & E Bradley lost to M Scofield

  • County still has plenty of water

    WATER levels in Oxfordshire are fine despite one of the driest Aprils on record. Thames Water said last night reservoirs in the county are 95 per cent full and levels are normal for the time of year. But the company urged people not to waste water because

  • 'Model's TV seance in church dead wrong'

    A TV show including model Katie Price has been criticised for holding a seance in a Great Tew church. The seance took place at St Michael and All Angels, in New Road, as part of the TV show Ghosthunting with Katie, Alex and Friends. But church leaders

  • Ex-marine jailed after bungling shotgun suicide bid

    A FORMER Marine who took two loaded shotguns to a railway line to commit suicide accidentally shot himself in the hand. Colin Blake, who had been discharged from the armed forces, took the sawn-off weapons to land near Didcot, at about 3.30am

  • POINT-TO-POINT: Hillman gets off mark on Moscow

    JULIE Hillman posted her first winner with victory aboard Moscow Court in an incident-packed contest at the Warwickshire Hunt meeting at Ashorne, near Warwick, writes RUSSELL SMITH. Hillman, who hails from Witney, piloted the 13-year-old home by a length

  • GOLF: Champ in squad

    OXFORDSHIRE champion Katherine O’Connor heads their squad for Midlands South County Match Week at The Worcestershire in June. She is one of ten players in named by captain Annie Gowing for matches against Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Northants, Warwickshire

  • RUGBY UNION: Matadors take Littlemore title

    THE MATATDORS claimed their first Littlemore Tens title in four attempts after defeating holders Bootleggers. Capatined by Rupert Try, Matadors (pictured) featured several Oxford University players, who showed their class on a hot day. Princes Risborough

  • CRICKET: Cherwell chief Ricks eyes a bright future

    Few chairman have trod a rockier road to power than MP Sports Cherwell League chief Clive Ricks. Having been voted in by the clubs at November’s annual meeting, the 55-year-old Ricks soon found he was virtually friendless on the executive,

  • SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL: Mid Oxon at Kassam

    Mid Oxon Schools will take on Dacorum in the ESFA Under 15 Trophy final at Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium on Thursday, May 19 (6.30pm). Mid Oxon reached the final of schoolboy football’s most prestigious competition with a dramatic 2-1 win after extra

  • Students prove a hit on Britain's Got Talent

    A GROUP of singing students from Oxford were delighted to get three passes through to the next round of ITV’s show Britain’s Got Talent. Out Of The Blue are 15 students from Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University. They have performed at Oxford

  • COMMENT: Fair punishment?

    COLIN BLAKE was obviously a disturbed man. Yes he illegally held firearms and a judge questions his honesty. But he was intending to kill himself, so is such a lengthy jail sentence really proportionate when it appears he needs help?

  • ATHLETICS: Waknell sets high standards

    SPRINTER Lois Wak-nell cemented her position as the leading under 15 in the United Kingdom when helping Rad-ley to victory in the opening match of the Southern Women’s League Premier Division at Horspath Road. Waknell produced personal bests of 12.39secs

  • Ban on students' cars 'not enforceable' says inspector

    OXFORD City Council said it will have to rely on residents spying on students to stop a parking free-for-all in parts of the city. The admission came after a Government planning inspector said it was not possible to prevent students parking away from

  • New shopping centre needs a roof

    ABINGDON’S proposed new shopping precinct plans do not appear to be user-friendly. As I understand it, there will be no cover over the walkways, and the library and health centre may not be on the ground floors. It has been proposed to turn it into an

  • Blind faith

    Isn’t religion a strange thing? I was reading things about Osama bin Laden’s death on the Internet and it showed me how religions can be so dynamically opposed. To one religion, Bin Laden was a devil and to another he’s a saint. I thought this said it

  • New road surface looks stylish

    The recently repaired surface in London Road, Headington, looks very stylish. The brown stones mixed into the asphalt reflect a lot of light, making the street seem brighter. There is nothing quite so dreary as dark black asphalt. It is not often the

  • ATHLETICS: Chung is on song

    THERE were some encouraging signs as Radley B began their Southern League Division 1 campaign at Horspath. Although Radley finished in fourth place, there were some fine individual displays. Junior Zoe Chung was third in the under 15 girls’ 100m (14.8

  • ATHLETICS: Radley top of the pile after fine victory

    RADLEY’S girls moved to the top of the standings after winning the overall competition in the second round of the Fit 2 Run Oxfordshire Junior League at Horspath. Radley’s team amassed 35 match points across the age groups to leapfrog Banbury to the

  • ATHLETICS: Wright stars in Oxon opener

    TEAM Oxfordshire finished an encouraging third at the inaugural National Junior League meeting in Ware, Hertfordshire. Fielding a team composed of under 20 athletes selected from Abingdon Amblers, Bicester, Goring & Wallingford, Oxford City

  • GOLF: Dusan set for seniors tour debut

    STUDLEY Wood’s Dusan Gavrilovic makes his tour debut in the Senior PGA Professional Championship at Northants County next week. Gavrilovic tees it up in the 144-strong field from May 11-13, hoping this will be the first of many events he plays in. The

  • RUGBY UNION: Chinnor to the fore in line-up

    EIGHT different clubs are represented in my Oxford Mail team of the season, with Chinnor providing four starters. Oxford Harlequins may have underperformed in the league, but they supply three players, with Henley and Alchester offering up

  • County car sharing scheme is not a waste of money

    I wish to clarify a few points in response to your recent article ‘Costly car share scheme hasn’t delivered’ (Oxford Mail, April 18). On the publication date there were in fact 481 members, not the 407 which was quoted from a response to a Freedom of

  • A question of cost

    IN THE light of the deep economic crisis facing the country, where has the Government found the extra cash to bail out Portugal and to bomb Libya? It makes you wonder. JANE REEVE, Cowley Road, Oxford

  • Time to stop moaning about others

    What do you think when someone constantly complains about other people? Does it make you feel that they are planning something nasty or are they just trying to cover up their own inadequacies? The thought occurred to me when listening to a recent party

  • Doing the maths on AV

    In his letter regarding the Alternative Vote system, (Oxford Mail, May 2) John Saunders has the following: First phase: Candidate A = 4,500 votes; Candidate B = 4,000 votes; and Candidate C = 1,500 votes; so A wins with 45 per cent. This is okay so

  • Add your pictures to time capsule

    Last week, the patriotism and excitement surrounding both the Royal Wedding and demand for Olympic tickets provided a welcome boost across the country. The stage is now set for 2012 to usher in even more of a feelgood factor when the Queen’s Diamond

  • Nothing aparthetic about anti-wedding party

    HOW perspicacious of the Oxford Mail, when reporting the “Nevermind the Royal Wedding party” in East Oxford, to put the term ‘indifferent’ in inverted commas. I personally do not believe that the presence, or absence, of the British monarchy is of transcendental

  • Royal wedding was money well spent

    With all the death and destruction throughout the world (mostly man-made) I thought it was wonderful to see millions of smiling faces celebrating the Royal Wedding. All over the country, and the World, people were enjoying the occasion, none more so

  • The Insider - a weekly update from the corridors of power

    Tory Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member Ian Hudspeth seemed to have changed allegiance recently. The true blue from Bladon has backed his “red” rivals in the recent week. But alas, a high profile political defection is not in the offing.

  • GOLF: Unlucky break for Sam

    Sam Chick suffered a truly unlucky break while leading Kirtlington Golf Club’s Masters. The 17-year-old shot a fine round of 71 to lead the 36-hole event after the opening day and was confident of clinching the crown 24 hours later. But he then broke

  • NZ earthquake brought on early labour

    HER mother may have been sent into labour during one of the biggest earthquakes to hit New Zealand in the last decade. The family was forced to flee its home in Christchurch after they were left without drinking water for four months and the

  • CHILD HEART SURGERY: JR urged to link with Southampton

    OXFORDSHIRE parents campaigning to save child heart surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital were last night urged to support a link with Southampton to try to keep services in the city. They were told at a packed meeting at the Kassam Stadium that the

  • CCTV crime figure ‘too expensive to find’

    POLICE who battled for years to get CCTV in Oxford’s Cowley Road have refused to say whether the cameras have helped cut crime in the street. The security cameras were installed more than two years ago following a campaign by the police, despite

  • £1m memory

    Amber Phillpott brought great happiness to her family before she lost her life to leukaemia. Her death at 15 months came before a suitable bone marrow donor could be found. Amber’s parents say they will never get over their daughter’s premature death

  • In at deep end

    Credit where it is due, the decision to reopen Magdalen Bridge this year was handled well. It was the first time in six years that the bridge had been opened since 40 people were injured, some seriously, jumping into the River Cherwell. Two lines of

  • Act of kindness

    Sir – I recently used the car park opposite Didcot Parkway railway station, and lost £6 to a faulty ticket machine, leaving me with just three spare £1 coins. The gentleman behind me not only produced the shortfall, but made sure I had my ticket by

  • Have your say

    Week in, week out, these pages invariably contain criticism, and occasionally praise, of our local authorities and the decisions they make. It is easy to get complacent or disillusioned with politics, but it is important that people take just a few minutes

  • Invaluable insight

    Sir – As the fever surrounding social media continues unabated, such as the massive publicity that accompanied Twitter’s fifth anniversary last month, it is great to see that it is not just the trendy ad-agencies in London benefiting from these new communications

  • Where there is a will

    Sir – The media this week reported the plight of Bahraini trainees at the Oxford Academy of Aviation who have been prevented from completing their pilot training because the Bahraini Government has revoked their sponsorship for political reasons. Some

  • Vicious defence

    Sir – I was appalled to find in last week’s The Oxford Times that you had chosen to print several letters in support of the ‘Yes’ campaign and not one in favour of the ‘No’ campaign. This is hardly objective of you and reveals a bias of which you

  • Long overdue

    Sir – You published excellent pro-AV letters last week. Yet wilful distortions from the No campaign continue to confuse the issue. The latest is ‘Defend equal votes: keep one person one vote’, a slogan clearly designed to mislead people into believing

  • Cortege concerns

    Sir – I have a number of concerns about the planned route of the military repatriation corteges through our village. I fear that our village will become a focal point for those people who wish to express their sympathy as the corteges pass through

  • Respect lost

    Sir – David Cameron has for ever lost my respect during the referendum campaign with his arguments for first past the post and against AV. Dane Clouston, Stadhampton

  • Royal rebuke

    Sir – ‘Duke of Cambridge’? What’s going on? Has someone forgotten that Oxford loyally supported the Royalist cause during the Civil War? Whilst Cambridge was a hotbed of Parliamentarianism? And, indeed, the regicide Cromwell attended the Other Place.

  • Street party success

    Sir – Along with a horde of neighbours and, I hope, new friends, we enjoyed the wedding day street party which was held at Howbery Farm. I would like to thank all those who went to such a lot of trouble to organise the event, which was well attended,

  • Never too late

    Sir – We celebrated the wedding of William and Catherine with a street party organised by an enterprising group in North Avenue, West Avenue, Eden Croft and Northfield Road, Abingdon. We didn’t know that street parties were our thing, but in the event

  • Green wedge

    Sir – The Friends of Old Headington applaud Vi Hughes for her very well thought out letter published in The Oxford Times last week about the threat to the conservation area and the impact of the proposed buildings on the fields within the ownership of

  • Sitcom character

    Sir – Your delightful arts columnist Chris Gray asked his readers this week to excuse his inclusion of a photo of a urinal. Perhaps excusing the photo of him in the bath would have been more appropriate, a second instalment in fact, after the previous

  • Students should pay

    Sir – I have long wanted to write to say how absurd it is that students or rather their landlords don’t pay council tax. If the Government wanted to do one fair thing and this would hugely enhance council income in towns like Oxford, they should charge

  • Control your dogs

    Sir – On Good Friday, between 5 and 6pm, there were many people enjoying the sunshine and peace on Port Meadow. Not so the birdlife, which was being repeatedly chased off the full stretch of the standing water for at least 20 minutes by two dogs. It

  • Good Samaritans

    Sir – Last Thursday, I tripped over the low kerb wall in the Summertown car park. I fell flat on my face and was so surprised that I didn’t move. Three youngsters were playing nearby. They asked if I was OK. I thank them for their concern. I then heard

  • Poor acoustics

    Sir – The organisers of the Oxford Jazz Festival took the very logical decision to base one of the main days of the festival in the Town Hall. It is the ideal venue in many ways, it is central, has both large and small performance areas and a further

  • Need for cuts

    Sir – I would add to Mr Horwood’s letter (April 28), that the treatment of visitors is no better than the treatment of Cherwell disabled members of the public. The latest scheme is to charge blue badge holders an additional annual fee of £555

  • Car-making pioneer

    Sir – I was pleased to see the publicity given in last Thursday’s edition of The Oxford Times, to the opening of the former home of Mr William Morris, later Lord Nuffield. For many, he will be remembered for his extraordinary generosity in support of

  • Parky at the Pictures (In Cinemas 5/5/2011)

    Wim Wenders had long planned to make a documentary about the German choreographer Pina Bausch. However, she died in June 2009, just two days before their collaboration could commence. Wenders decided to continue the project, nonetheless, and focus

  • Parky at the Pictures (DVD 5/5/2011)

    From the moment that world-weary actor Stephen Dorff is seen driving his black Ferrari in aimless circles, it's clear that Sofia Coppola's Somewhere is heading nowhere fast. Grist to the mill of those who found Lost in Translation (2003) preening

  • Flower fans discuss pressing matters

    THE art of pressed flowers lured experts to Oxford from across the globe. The Pressed Flower Guild’s Spring Conference was held at the Peartree Holiday Inn Hotel at the weekend. Artists travelled from Japan, Australia and the US to attend the three-day

  • Industrialist's time capsule

    Arriving at Nuffield Place you might imagine the property had once belonged to a well-to-do family doctor or successful lawyer. Inside, on viewing some of the threadbare carpets, it is tempting to think “well, perhaps not so well off”, with one of the

  • ‘For years I haven’t been able to make a meal’

    You have probably heard of ME/CFS ( Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), and you may know someone with it — in Oxfordshire approximately 2,400 people are affected. But do you know what it is really like? ME/CFS is characterised by persistent

  • Council stumps up for summer of fun

    FREE holiday activities for Oxford’s most deprived children are safe from council cuts. A review of the sports and arts sessions provided on city estates since 2006 revealed they are growing in popularity. And Oxford City Council has confirmed the £160,000

  • Fund bid to save village's last pub

    SOUTH Hinksey residents battling to save the community’s last pub from being turned into a house say they could put up their own money to help it reopen. The General Elliot closed in autumn 2008. Its owner, the Vale Brewery, based in Brill, near Bicester

  • Bicester centre revamp is delayed again

    THE redevelopment of Bicester town centre has been delayed by another year after developers failed to reach a deal with firms concerned about the impact of the plan. The £70m project includes a new Sainsbury’s supermarket, cinema, six shops, parking

  • Campaign has momentum

    Exercise classes run by Age UK Oxfordshire are gathering pace across the county. The charity is presently providing 44 classes a week for the elderly, with activities ranging from seated exercise to Tai Chi. The classes are now attracting

  • Faces of Britain

    Sir – Last week, the patriotism and excitement surrounding both the Royal wedding and demand for Olympic tickets provided a welcome boost locally and across the country. The stage is now set for 2012 to usher in even more of a feelgood factor when the