• School gardens get mobile

    SCHOOLCHILDREN are competing to see who can create the best garden in a wheelbarrow. Youngsters from St Christopher’s CofE Primary School in Cowley are among those taking part in the Wheel to Oxford Castle contest. The castle has teamed

  • Oxford Spires Academy gets glowing report

    INSPECTORS say the four-month-old Oxford Spires Academy has made “outstanding progress” in improving pupils’ behaviour and attendance. The school, which opened on the site of Oxford School in January, was visited by its school improvement partner, Peter

  • COMMENT: Results speak for themselves

    THE continuing signals are that Oxford Spires Academy, created so controversially from the ashes of Oxford School just four months ago, is indeed achieving education bosses’ aims. The academy has previously painted a rosy outlook but today we report

  • Wimp Less Limp

    DIARY OF A WIMPY KID 2: RODRICK RULES (U). Children/Comedy/Romance. Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Steve Zahn, Rachael Harris, Robert Capron, Peyton List, Connor Fielding, Owen Fielding, Laine MacNeil, Grayson Russell, Karan Brar. Director:

  • Brawn to Entertain

    Since winning last year’s Britain’s Got Talent, Adam Buckingham’s life has been transformed. But fame aside, the 22-year-old is just delighted Spelbound’s win means he can take up his hobby full-time, with his sights now set on the Olympics.

  • Secret Service

    KATHERINE MACALISTER enjoys the thrill and the gastonomic delights on offer at her first secret supper. I went to a secret supper on Friday night at a pop-up restaurant in someone’s house! Invited by a friend, we paid £25 a head up front

  • Knight Life

    CHRIS WALKER discovers there’s much more to Edinburgh than historic buildings. Of all the irritating buzzwords to have poisoned popular parlance in recent years ‘staycation’ has to rank as one of the worst. Not just because the word spread

  • Chronic Pain

    THE HANGOVER PART II (15). Comedy/Romance. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Mason Lee, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Paul Giamatti, Jamie Chung, Sasha Barrese, Gillian Vigman. Director: Todd Phillips. Todd Phillips’

  • Blake's Heaven

    SARAH MAYHEW visits an exhibition at a small Oxfordshire gallery that’s making a big noise in the art world Creative Gallery in Woodstock has done it again. Tucked away around the corner of the busy town centre this gallery is redirecting

  • Show Peace

    Take a workforce of 400, 137 new costumes, one-year-old twins and a circus adaption of Tolstoy’s Russian epic War and Peace and you get a broad idea of what Nell Gifford is up against this year to get the show on the road. But with everything going according

  • New Zeal

    TIM HUGHES talks to New Zealand band The Phoenix Foundation about their new tour. AH! New Zealand… land of sheep, kiwis and hobbits. But new music? Something interesting is stirring Down Under, with the land of the Maori showing it’s about

  • Wyching Hour

    TIM HUGHES finds out what’s afoot at the family-orientated Wychwood Festival. IF YOU could invent your own fantasy music festival, it would probably look something like Wychwood. One of the earliest gatherings of the summer – only Wood

  • Mum recounts tragedy of baby's death

    “There will be part of me that will always be sad because this isn’t how it was supposed to be.” Those were the words of seven-month pregnant mother Laura Wood, who lost her second child Stanley when he was just 11 days old. Mrs Wood had a dream pregnancy

  • Shaping up to say thank you to charity

    MUM Debbie Jones staged two yoga sessions to raise more than £600 for a charity supporting brain cancer sufferers. Mrs Jones, 46, a swimming teacher at Oxford Swim School, which uses the pool at Oxford High School in Belbroughton Road, North Oxford,

  • Paddling up to an award

    THREE watersports clubs in Oxford are making a splash after gaining prestigious Clubmark status. Isis Canoe Club, Falcon Rowing and Canoe Club and the Oxford Canoe and Kayak Club (OCKC), all based at Donnington Bridge, are now accredited by Sport England

  • Local shares (PM)

    AEA Technology 4.1 BMW 5184 Electrocomponents 284.8 Nationwide Accident Repair 94 Oxford Biomedica 5.85 Oxford Catalysts 91.5 Oxford Instruments 736.75 Reed Elsevier 547.75 RM 148 RPS Group 245.75 Courtesy of Redmayne Bentley, Abingdon

  • DON WILLIS: Popular Oxford barber

    FORMER Oxford barber Don Willis has died aged 75. He was a popular barber who was well-known in Oxford after working at High Street Barbers and The Market Barber in the Covered Market. Mr Willis, who grew up on the Sandhills estate, went to Sandhills

  • ATHLETICS: Super O'Hara tops rankings

    EMMA O’Hara stormed to the top of the UK under 17 hammer rankings for 2011 with a magnificent personal best in Radley’s Southern Women’s League Premier Division mat-ch at Guildford. With Radley fielding their youngest ever teams for their league double

  • ATHLETICS: Oxford secure honours

    OXFORD City’s men won the latest Veteran’s League West-ern Division match at Tilsley Park. They finished eight points ahead of nearest rivals Abingdon Amblers, with Radley finishing in third spot. In the women’s event, Newbury came out on top, edging

  • ATHLETICS: City celebrate double silver

    Oxford City’s veterans bagged two silver medals in the British Masters Athletic Federation (BMAF) Road Relays at Sutton Park, near Birmingham. City finished second in both the 45-54 and 55-64 age groups after excelling over the hilly three-mile

  • ATHLETICS: Radley are in top form

    Radley won the second match of the McCain National Young Athletes League Midland 1 South East Division at Stourport by almost 100 points. Their top female competitor was under 15 Georgina Sunderland with a throw of 9.80m in the shot and a time of 12.3secs

  • Funding offer to boost rural tourism

    TOURISM businesses have the chance to boost their activities thanks to a funding programme aimed at supporting rural communities. The Southern Oxfordshire Leader programme has funding available to support a wide range of projects, and a number of organisations

  • ‘Step up efforts to assist young entrepreneurs’

    YOUNG entrepreneurs are calling on the Government to help them become the business leaders of the future. Bosses at Young Enterprise, the Oxford-based charity which gives youngsters the chance to run their own businesses, want the Government to put entrepreneurial

  • Shotgun murders: Farm labourer guilty

    A FARM labourer was found guilty today of four brutal shootings in which couples were murdered by point-blank blasts from a sawn-off shotgun. John Cooper, 66, of Letterston, near Fishguard, west Wales, carried out both notorious unsolved double-murders

  • Murder accused faces trial

    The man accused of murdering Sian O'Callaghan and Becky Godden-Edwards is likely to face trial next year, a court heard today. Taxi driver Christopher Halliwell faced Bristol Crown Court today just two days after appearing before magistrates

  • Health charities urge Lib Dems to stop NHS Bill

    HEALTH charities have written to Oxfordshire’s Liberal Democrats, urging them to pressure their party’s MPs to block Government health reforms. Representatives of muscular dystrophy, learning difficulties, autism and diabetes charities are

  • Shirt Race starter pistol confiscated by police

    A HISTORIC race in Bampton will go off with less of a bang this year after police confiscated the starting pistol. The Original Great Shirt Race is run between the village’s pubs and is believed to date back centuries. Traditionally, it was always started

  • GOLF: Results round-up

    SHAW GIBBS OXFORDSHIRE FOURSOMES LEAGUE Section 1 Burford 3 (4pts), Chipping Norton 0 (0) (Burford first): J Wilks & T Dexter bt M Stanton & C Denton 2 holes, B Gaertner & A Salter bt S Kench & A Johnson 8&7, D Summers & S Hopkins bt A Jones & R

  • Men charged with rape bailed

    WITNEY: Two men charged with raping a woman in the town have been bailed. Mark Just, of Sedge Way, Carterton, and Patrick Juste, of Sycamore Drive, Carterton, appeared at Oxford Crown Court on Monday. They are accused of raping a 21-year-old woman in

  • Fallen home

    OXFORD: A repatriation cortege is expected to arrive at the John Radcliffe Hospital tonight at 8pm. Colour Serjeant Kevin Fortuna, 36, from A Company, 1st Battalion The Rifles, died on Monday on patrol in the Saidabad Kalay area of the Nahr-e Saraj (

  • Actress captures detective's creator

    AN ACTRESS who starred in an episode of Inspector Morse has produced a new portrait of the Oxford detective’s creator Colin Dexter. Celia Montague, pictured, who appeared in an episode alongside Sir John Gielgud and Robert Hardy, persuaded the writer

  • Plans will limit student homes

    NEW measures to stop students moving into quiet residential areas of the city have been drawn up by Oxford City Council. The proposals would limit new student accommodation to the city centre and Oxford’s main roads. The Town Hall’s

  • GOLF: Heath climb to second

    TADMARTON Heath rose to second in Section 1 of the Shaw Gibbs Oxfordshire Foursomes League after a 3-0 victory over The Oxfordshire. All three matches were tight affairs, with Guy Sambrook and Owen King, Ian Manning and Jon Burman, plus Spencer Hallam

  • BAR BILLIARDS: Sheard's night to remember

    STEVEN Sheard had a night to remember at the league’s finals and presentation evening at Gladiators Club, writes PETE EWINS. The Kennington ace lost his men’s individual crown, but won his other five matches on the night, landing five titles in the process

  • BOWLS: Carterton anniversary

    Carterton BC are holding a bowls gala on Saturday, June 4th to celebrate their 90th anniversary. Members past and present will be present to mark the occasion. The club will be open from 1.30pm, with proceedings getting under way with a commemorative

  • BOWLS: Bicester on the end of a hiding

    CRAIG Nicoll led the way with a 26-shot victory over Martin Workman as Headington A hammered Bicester in Division 1 of the Oxford & District Bowls League, sponsored by Yarnton Nurseries. Further wins for Howard Watts, Mark Charlett and Nick Rae-Welsh

  • BOWLS: Duo get England call

    Katherine Hawes (Oxford City & County) and Carole Galletly (Banbury Central) have earned England call-ups. The duo have been selected to represent Bowls England at the British Isles women’s senior internationals at Llandrindod Wells, Wales, on June 21

  • BOWLS: Sykes shines in victory

    OXFORDSHIRE recorded a convincing 127-105 victory over Gloucestershire in their second Middleton Cup trial match at Roade BC. Having being on the end of a seven-shot defeat against North-amptonshire a week ago, Oxon hit back in style, winning on four

  • £70m town centre revamp on the home straight

    PLANS for a major £70m redevelopment of Bicester’s town centre could get the go-ahead within weeks, the Oxford Mail can reveal. Last week Tesco, one of the final two objectors to the scheme, withdrew its objection to a compulsory purchase order for land

  • Local share prices (AM)

    AEA Technology 4.1 BMW 5195 Electrocomponents 285.25 Nationwide Accident Repair 94 Oxford Biomedica 5.8 Oxford Catalysts 93.5 Oxford Instruments 738.5 Reed Elsevier 550.25 RM 147.5 RPS Group 244.1 Courtesy of Redmayne Bentley

  • A passion for gardening

    Anne Guilhon will return to France after more than a decade in Oxfordshire with something classically English — a passion for gardening. Mme Guilhon and husband Alain swapped their chic Paris apartment for a rambling house and extensive grounds in Burcot

  • RUGBY UNION: Moran quits post

    MARTIN Moran has quit as Wallingford’s director of rugby after one season at the helm. Moran’s side were hit by a raft of injuries during a campaign that saw them relegated from South West 1 East on the final day. He said: “The issue was that I and

  • GOLF: Tadmarton's family affair

    TADMARTON Heath will host the inaugural National Fathers & Daughters Open Foursomes in September. The 27-hole medal, which takes place on Saturday, September 3, will seek to emulate the success of the traditional Mothers & Daughters Open Foursomes at

  • GOLF: Oxford bag county title

    OXFORD Ladies edged out North Oxford to win the Oxfordshire Ladies’ Seniors Alliance Stableford competition at Kirtlington. The trio of Maggie Edwards, Anne Clarke and Judy McCairns carded 78 points, with Margaret Eynon, Janet Clarke and Trish Traynor

  • RUGBY UNION: Merger boost

    RON Macdonald says there has been a positive response to the news that Oxford Harlequins and Oxford will merge. Quins’ chairman Macdonald and his colleagues on the new joint committee are now reviewing suggestions for a new club name. He said: “The

  • AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Saints rue missed chances

    BAFA Community League IT was a tale of missed opportunities for Oxford Saints as they lost 14-12 to Cambridge Cats in a nail-biting thriller that went down to the final kick of the game. Oxford struck first in the opening quarter when quarterback

  • 'My family's quite normal'

    An 11-year-old girl, laden down with shopping bags, wearily lets herself into her house with a key. Her neighbour stops her to complain about her father’s outrageous behaviour and she apologises. “I couldn’t get that scene out of my head and whenever

  • Jobs to go as DIY stores close

    DOZENS of jobs are set to be axed at two Oxfordshire Focus DIY stores after administrators confirmed no buyers had come forward. The stores in Didcot and Wantage are thought to be part of 120 across the UK that will be shut and the stock liquidated with

  • China thrown in if you purchase The Old Chapel

    Call in for a cup of tea at The Old Chapel, Fordwells, near Charlbury, and you may be served from an original china service, created when the chapel was built in the 1860s. The cup and saucer bears the Fordwells Chapel inscription and is one of several

  • Character in a rural setting

    Househunters looking for a property with potential may be tempted by a cottage in a rural setting between Chipping and Hook Norton. Number 1, Walk Farm Cottages, is an end-of-terrace period cottage with views over surrounding countryside. Max Douglas

  • Local author Ben Molyneux

    Ben Molyneux is an Oxford-born writer, artist and photographer who lives in Witney. His debut novel, Arthur Archer and the Time Traveller’s Chronicles (Janus, £8.99) tells of teenage sister and brother Emily and Arthur, who travel through a time portal

  • Far from folly to live with family so you can buy

    The high cost of property in Oxfordshire means many young couples are opting to live with family to save money. Kim Livesey and Tom Kidd moved in with Mr Kidd’s mother in Abingdon for six years before being able to afford their first home together.

  • Books choice

    Oxfordshire Colony by Christopher Sladen (AuthorHouse, £8.30) This is a history of what eventually became known as Turner’s Court, an establishment for young men created high up in the Chilterns near Wallingford in 1911. It was founded by Christian

  • The Absolutist by John Boyne

    THE ABSOLUTIST by John Boyne (Doubleday, £16.99)Many novels, poems and histories of the First World War are dominated by the bravery of the soldiers on the battlefields. Latterly the emphasis has moved to dissent, and John Boyne’s timely novel explores

  • The She-Apostle by Glyn Redworth

    THE SHE-APOSTLE by Glyn Redworth (Oxford, £10.99)This is a highly readable biography of Luisa de Carvajal (1566 – 1614), Spanish aristocrat and would-be martyr to the English Catholic cause, set partly in the turbulence and intrigue of Jacobean London

  • Disability claims increased by a third

    THE number of people claiming disability benefits in Oxfordshire has increased by more than a third in eight years. The figures were released yesterday by the Department for Work and Pensions. They revealed 18,740 residents were claiming Disability

  • Paperwork defeats Barton’s funday

    JULY’s Barton Bash has been called off after the organisers said they were buried by paperwork. The annual event, which last year attracted more than 2,000 people, was due to be held on Saturday July 9 at the Neighbourhood Centre. But

  • RUGBY LEAGUE: Bodinham bags debut treble

    DEBUTANT Ben Bodinham ran in a hat-trick of tries to help Oxford Cavaliers battle back and defeat Swindon St Geo-rge 38-32. Loose forward Bodinham was in fine form, while brothers Johnny and Mario Da Silva bagged try braces in a pulsating Co-operative

  • GOLF: Wootton's joy at biggest win

    ADAM Wootton hailed winning the Berks, Bucks & Oxon PGA Championship as his biggest success since turning professional. Wootton secured the county title following a mammoth seven-hole play-off at his home course of Southfield. The 23-year-old, an Oxford

  • Carnival cancellation result of naivety

    IT was nice to read in the paper that Cowley Road Carnival is off again. It would have been good, as a Cowley Road traders to have been notified by the organisers, but was no surprise really, as they’ve managed to mess it up most years. Even when it

  • Priority is to support local TV news

    James Westerhouse has reacted to dismiss my letter in support of BBC Oxford’s regional TV news and against its closure (Oxford Mail, May 19). He writes that I should be supporting the Oxford Mail instead. But let me say that I support the diversity

  • Universities should cater for an academic elite

    SHOULD all young people aim to go to university?” asks The Issue (Oxford Mail, May 19). Well, ask a silly question, get a silly answer, as they say – and they do not come much more idiotic than that! The real issue should obviously be how we return

  • Issue of decency on mixed wards

    I WRITE on the subject of mixed-sex wards in ORH hospitals. This topic is commented on frequently in your paper (including February and April this year), and I would like to add my own experience of a brief stay in March. There were four women in

  • Gagging for publicity

    THE torturous saga which resulted in an MP naming Ryan Giggs as the footballer at the centre of the Twitter storm over injunctions, has highlighted an important truth. Attempts to stifle allegations, right or wrong, will only result in far

  • Is brown bin charge a stealth tax?

    I would like to bring to the notice of the council tax payers of Oxford, the con by Oxford City Council over the new brown wheelie bins issued for garden waste. I was charged £35 for one, which I reluctantly paid, as, despite being an 80 year-old pensioner

  • Trust is fair game

    Penny Little’s comments, regarding ‘rural vandalism’ (Oxford Mail, May 13) about Larsen traps, appear at odds with the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, which describes itself as “the leading UK charity conducting scientific research to enhance the

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

    FORMER Oxford West & Abingdon MP Dr Evan Harris is always quick to put forward arguments on important issues on Twitter rather than meaningless drivel, but he got rather lost on the moral high ground over the Ryan Giggs furore. He has been pontificating

  • Take your pick of homes with swimming pools

    Tenants who want to splash out on a luxury property with a swimming pool can take their pick this summer. Manor Farm in Wootton, near Boars Hill, is a three-storey period farmhouse with a pool, croquet lawn, tennis court and meadows.

  • SAILING: Sellers to take on the world

    Teenager Ollie Sellers is on the crest of a wave after being selected to represent Great Britain at the World Youth Sailing Championships in San Francisco in August. Sellers, 14, from Kingston Bagpuize, who is a year nine pupil at Matthew Arnold School

  • Developer fined over death in building

    A property developer was fined £100,000 after a father of nine was crushed to death. Nadeem Aftab, 47, of Nuffield Road, Oxford, was also ordered to pay more than £60,000 costs after admitting a breach of health and safety law. Arlindo Visentin, 58,

  • MICHELLE OBAMA: Crowds excited

    FASHION icon and civil rights champion, role model and pin-up: Michelle Obama had lots of reasons to draw the crowds on her brief visit to Oxford. About 1,500 shoppers, tourists and bemused visitors, unsure why they were being watched by rooftop

  • MICHELLE OBAMA: First Lady wows the city

    AMERICA’S First Lady arrived in Oxford yesterday in perhaps the most glamorous visit the city has seen in years. Michelle Obama spent just over an hour at Oxford University, hoping to inspire those from less privileged backgrounds to aim high

  • COMMENT: Powerful weapon

    WHATEVER the pre-Osama grumblings Stateside about President Obama, he has a mightily powerful weapon at his side as he seeks re-election. First Lady Michelle Obama swept into Oxford yesterday (in the midst of a huge security operation) and

  • Oxford United interested in Duberry?

    REPORTS in Scotland claim ex-Chelsea central defender Michael Duberry is a target of Oxford United. Duberry, 35, has been outstanding for St Johnstone over the past 18 months, helping them to two cup semi-finals and eighth place last season in the Clydesdale

  • Two drivers injured in smash

    Two drivers needed hospital treatment following a collision on the A44 near Kidlington this morning. The accident involving two vehicles happened near the Loop Farm roundabout on the northbound carriageway between Yarnton and Kidlington at around 7.15am

  • Parky at the Pictures (In Cinemas 26/5/2011)

    Surely the first film to be inspired by Pythagorean theory, Michelangelo Frammartino's Le Quattro Volte is a minimalist meditation on everyday existence that is simply the most beautiful study of the changing seasons since Georges Rouquier's Farrebique

  • Parky at the Pictures (DVD 26/5/2011)

    Cambridge-educated John Guillermin had a solid directorial career. In later years, he was known for big-budget adventures like The Blue Max (1966), The Bridge at Remagen (1969) and The Towering Inferno (1974), one of the most commercially successful entries

  • Timeless stars

    How many types of butterfly can you name? Go on, have a try — there’s the red admiral for a start, the insect everyone remembers tumbling through the sunny afternoons of their childhood. Then there’s the cabbage white, the eternal scourge of gardens

  • Boxing coach's legacy boosts Leys club

    THE legacy of a former England boxing coach has ensured that youngsters in Blackbird Leys can keep on rolling with the punches. Dave Richards, from Blackbird Leys, passed away earlier this year after a short battle with lung cancer.

  • Charity offers hope to vulnerable children

    Despite global efforts by individuals, charities, churches and governments to improve the lives of vulnerable children around the world, millions continue to go without the most basic things in life, such as food, education and protection. Working to

  • Signal bells toll for end of an era on Cotswold Line

    IT WILL be all change on the Cotswold Line tomorrow night as the next phase of the Oxford to Worcester Rail route’s transformation gets under way. The passage of the last trains of the day will be marked in Ascott-under-Wychwood signalbox by