• Pupils' message: Have a sober summer

    PUPILS turned into stars of the screen to bring the message to their peers that they do not need to hit the booze to have a good time this summer. Ten friends from Gosford Hill School, Kidlington, made a two-minute film Not A Good Look with the help

  • Game Fair may bring in £13m to local economy

    THE CLA Game Fair will give a £13m boost to Oxfordshire’s economy, it has been estimated. The fair takes place at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, from July 22 to 24 and features exhibitions and displays of countryside activities.About 140,000 people

  • Cornbury Festival @Great Tew

    AFTER going through “financial meltdown” many feared that the Cornbury Festival was gone for good. But that was to underestimate Hugh Phillimore’s fanatical commitment to “his baby,” which in its eighth year was transplanted down the road to

  • Potter stars take to the red carpet

    The sun came out for the final installment of the Harry Potter series as the film’s stars arrived for its world premiere last night. And causing the most excitement on the red carpet was former Headington School pupil Emma Watson - better known

  • RAF man's aerial attack... by a bird

    DURING his RAF training, Jim ‘Izzy’ Izzard has learned about all kinds of air assaults. But the RAF reservist found himself under a different type of aerial attack during a recent trip through the Oxfordshire countryside. The 50-year-old was left bleeding

  • Residents angry over Brookes library plan

    OXFORD Brookes University’s plans to put a maintenance unit on its £132m library and teaching building have reignited a bitter dispute with its neighbours. Brookes wants to put the unit, pictured, on the top of the building at its main Gipsy

  • School's new piano is just grand

    THE sound of a top-of-the-range grand piano rang out at Cheney School’s Summer Concert. The concert, at the school in Cheney Lane, Oxford, saw the premiere of the school’s new £9,000 Wendl & Lung grand piano – bought after a four-year fundraising campaign

  • Richard Webster: Author who got to heart of issues

    AN author who challenged the work of Sigmund Freud and analysed the fallout from Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses has died. Richard Webster was found dead at his home in Hayfield Road, North Oxford, on Friday. The 60-year-old, who had heart

  • Walter Holland: Optician and key figure in weightlifting

    THE co-founder of a chain of Oxfordshire opticians, Walter ‘Wally’ Holland, has died aged 93. Mr Holland, from Iffley, started the Robert Stanley Opticians business in Cowley Road in 1953. When he and his partner Donald Salmon sold the

  • Local shares (PM)

    AEA Technology 3.45 BMW 6154 Electrocomponents 258.4 Nationwide Accident Repair 95.5 Oxford Biomedica 6.5 Oxford Catalysts 80 Oxford Instruments 974 Reed Elsevier 578.25 RM 151 RPS Group 246.1 Courtesy of Redmayne Bentley

  • College's new library bears famous name

    THE great and the good of Ruskin College gathered outside their new building in Headington to lay its foundation stone. In a ceremony attended by students and academics, the stone was laid by Joe Callaghan, a student at the Oxford college and grandson

  • Tom Jones @ The Henley Festival

    CLIFF Richard may have broken records spanning the decades but even the Peter Pan of Pop can’t match the pull of one of his contemporaries these days. Tom Jones sold out the Henley Festival within days of him being signed up proving that, even

  • Heroes visit school to thank pupils for support

    SERVICEMEN dropped in to thank Oxford schoolchildren for their fundraising efforts for Help for Heroes. Pupils at Headington Preparatory School raised £6,000 for the charity through events including a sponsored swim and selling friendship bracelets

  • Town pulls out of national Bloom contest

    FLOWER fans have been left disappointed after Abingdon Town Council pulled out of this year’s Britain in Bloom competition. The town has entered the national contest every year for more than 16 years. It won a silver award last year. But the new Conservative-controlled

  • Club's bowling for Oxford in Bloom honours

    TIME is running out for gardeners to put themselves forward for this year’s Oxford in Bloom contest. The deadline for entries for the Oxford Mail-backed competition is Sunday. As well as categories for everything from large gardens and containers, to

  • BOWLS: Captain Nick is Headington's hero

    Headington A powered back to the top of the table with a comprehensive victory over Witney Mills in Division 1 of the Oxford & District Bowls League, sponsored by Yarnton Nurseries. The champions recorded not only the highest score in the league this

  • Lots of ambition to become a vet

    HANNAH Halford is still battling the knock-on effects of a debilitating condition more than a decade after it first struck. Although she has not suffered from ME since she was 15, it has still prevented her from doing what she loves.

  • Driver injured in A34 smash

    Traffic is flowing freely again on the A34 after a driver crashed into the central reservation near Oxford. The accident happened shortly before 9am on the northbound carriageway between the Pear Tree and Botley interchanges. Rebecca

  • BOWLS: County's ladies in the clear

    Oxfordshire Ladies beat Bedfordshire in the Mid England League at Kidlington to go 28 points clear at the top of the table with three fixtures remaining. In a nail-biting encounter, Oxon got home by a single shot 121-120, thanks to rink wins from Pauline

  • Oxford to get its own 'Boris Bikes'

    OXFORD is to trial its own “Boris Bikes” cycle hire scheme in the hope it will be rolled out in a city-wide scheme. Visitors to Thornhill Park and Ride will be able to park up and hire a bicycle under the plans, which mirror a scheme introduced

  • GOLF: Results round-up

    SHAW GIBBS OXFORDSHIRE FOURSOMES LEAGUE Knockout Cup 1st round Badgemore Park 2½, Waterstock ½ (Badgemore Park first): M Brooks & S Austin bt G Lillie & R Unwin 1 hole, M Hawkins & S Pearson halved with S Dawkins & A Bartlett, T Killick & D Haddock

  • COMMENT: Quality essential for Osney Lane building plan

    BUILDING on the near useless patch of railway land between the Thames and Osney Lane can only be positive but it needs to be a quality development in a potentially beautiful corner of the city. We’d hate to see every last square inch squeezed

  • BOWLS: Three in a row for Oxon aces

    Oxfordshire may have missed out on the Middleton Cup this season, but there’s no stopping them in the Home Counties League. They made it three wins from three outings as they beat Berkshire 123-116 at the Three Mile club in Reading, picking up 17 points

  • GOLF: Calnan doubles up

    TOM Calnan bagged a fine double at Oxford City’s club championships. The four-handicapper scooped the gross and nett titles to win the Hall and Southfield Cups respectively. Calnan shot a level-par 70 in his morning round followed by a 71 to finish

  • GOLF: Five in in a row for record-breaker Tite

    OLI Tite broke Witney Lakes’ amateur course record as he won his fifth successive club championship. Tite carded a six-under-par 65 in round two to beat the previous mark by one shot and clinch the Gunpoint-sponsored event by three from Richard Connor

  • Arson victim ‘could have been killed’

    PENSIONER Geoff McCormack said yesterday he was lucky to be alive after arsonists set fire to the porch of his semi-detached house. Mr McCormack, 65, was asleep in his bedroom above the porch when the attack occurred shortly before midnight

  • Husband’s grief after wife dies in crash

    THE husband of a woman who died in a car crash has spoken of his “incalculable” loss. Liz Meechan, 45, died after her silver BMW hit a tree near her home village of Bampton at 2am on Monday. She was returning home after an evening with

  • Ripe for redevelopment

    Recession, what recession? Some might ask that question when they learn that yet another swathe of central Oxford is to come under the hammer. The land earmarked for redevelopment this time is a 7.9-acre site, formerly a goods marshalling yard

  • Public servants aren't special cases

    FOLLOWING the strike action taken recently by civil servants, including teachers, over pensions, there was one question that has not been asked, and that is, what makes civil servants and teachers think that they should retire early and get paid a far

  • Are we going to live in Brookesville?

    With the growing influence of the new university on Oxford, is there any truth in the rumour that there is to be a referendum to decide if we are changing the name of this city from Oxford to Brookesville? R SMITH, Chillingworth Crescent

  • Additive may be behind E-coli outbreak

    IN THE furore over various E-Coli outbreaks – with the blame being attached to cucumbers and beansprouts – it has been overlooked that an additive, polysorbate-80 – a fat emulsifier used in processed food – according to Liverpool University, helps the

  • CRICKET: Dark Blues have it all to do

    A poor batting display means Oxford University are on the back foot going into day three of the Varsity Match at Fenner’s. They dismissed Cambridge for 280, but then crashed to 138 all out as medium-pacer Tom Probert claimed 4-20. It left them 142 in

  • Hacking insult to bombing victims

    THE sister of a woman killed in the London bombings six years ago today said reports victim’s mobile phones may have been hacked “heaped insult on top of injury”. Yesterday it emerged staff at the News of the World were accused of being involved in

  • Police headquarters are a bad neighbour

    IN RESPONSE to Mr Billington’s letter “Doing their Duty” (Oxford Mail, June 21), I cannot understand why he is perplexed over my previous letter Unneighbourly Cops (Mail, June 16). Thames Valley Police issued a general invitation to local residents

  • Labour's to blame, Mr Tanner

    I had to point this out before, but John Tanner states in his letter (Oxford Mail, June 29), that the Government wants to tax pension contributions to plug the financial deficit. Does Mr Tanner not mean to write ‘my party’ (Labour) which caused this

  • Furry sorry, but I'm entitled to an opinion

    I AM so sorry, I seem to have upset Penny Little (Oxford Mail letters, June 29). No, I don’t approve of people wearing fur, but I am entitled to have an opinion, as of course are Ms Bradley and Ms Little. Even if I am a pampered human

  • Poliitical parties sucking up

    ALL three main political parties have three things in common: they all suck up to the EU, they all suck up to the US, they all love spending our money in foreign aid – the more the merrier. With them, charity does not start at home. GLYN LIMMER,

  • The Insider

    IT’S not often that we at Insider Towers feel a twinge of sympathy for our MPs, but we couldn’t help but feel sorry for North Oxfordshire parliamentarian Tony Baldry. The Banbury MP was flipping burgers at a barbecue for one of the charities

  • GOLF: O'Connor bags a title barce

    KATHERINE O’Connor won two titles in a week to go second in the Ping Ladies’ Welsh Order of Merit. The 21-year-old Tadmarton Heath member claimed the Pleasington Putter at Pleasington, Lancashire, having earlier scooped the Bridget Jackson Bowl at Handsworth

  • BAR BILLIARDS: Gladiators go clear at the top

    Oxford & District Summer League GLADIATORS A moved clear at the top of Group B after a 4-2 win against clubmates Gladiators B, writes PETE EWINS. Reg Johnson put the B team ahead with a 3,770-1,370 win against Neil Cunliffe. The A team hit back as

  • ATHLETICS: England eyeing sparkling show

    OXFORD City’s 1500m star Hannah England has one major aim at Sunday's Diamond League meeting in Birmingham – to achieve the world championship qualifying time. Fresh off the back of a victory in the Cork City Games on Saturday, the 24-year-old says she

  • ATHLETICS: Young guns on form

    Oxford City’s youngsters were on song at the third round of the Wessex League in Winchester. City’s under 13 girls and under 15 boys won their age groups, while the under 17 boys finished joint-third. One of the highlights of the day came from under

  • Whistleblower tells of 'over taxing'

    A WHISTLEBLOWING tax inspector has told a tribunal how businessmen were being deliberately over-taxed so his colleagues could boost their pay packets. Alun Curtis, right, from Yarnton, said HM Revenue and Customs unfairly charged traders too much tax

  • Byrne joins ex-Oxford United stars for testimonial

    John Byrne, Jamie Brooks and Mark Druce will complete the all-star ex-Oxford United cast who will play in Joey Beauchamp and David Langan’s testimonial match on July 8 (7.30. Former U’s and Republic of Ireland striker Byrne made 63 appearances

  • Ellie's all set for Potter premiere

    THOUSANDS of children have been counting down to today’s release of the final Harry Potter film, but for one schoolgirl it will be even more special. At tonight’s London premiere, Ellie Darcey-Alden, 11, will watch her own big screen debut in the role

  • Oxford United take a look at new striker

    Matt Paterson has been handed the chance to try to resurrect his career with Oxford United. The Scottish striker, who has fallen out of favour with Southend United after impressing as a youngster with Southampton, is on trial at United, and

  • COMMENT: A positive step forward for transport

    THE £5m transport investment from the Government – including a scheme mirroring London’s ‘Boris Bikes’ – is good news for Oxford. Thornhill Park and Ride desperately needs expanding, as domost of the others. It is the bike scheme – where

  • Two books on Walter Raleigh

    Queen Elizabeth's golden age is also the story of her golden suitors, foremost of them the courtier Raleigh, who finished his life on the block in the reign of James I. Two excellent books have now been written about this proud soldier of fortune, Sir

  • Great Gardens of Britain

    Great Gardens of Britain by Helena Attlee There's no better time of year for British gardens, and this sumptuous new book should tempt you to plan a few outings, writes Maggie Hartford. Attlee has chosen to focus on just 20, and the nearest to Oxford

  • The future of travel?

    Sir – Should we be concerned that your front page headline ‘City launches a transport revolution’ is next to a large photograph of a woman being pushed along in a wheelbarrow? Chris Kenyon, Oxford

  • Grave spelling error

    Sir – I am surprised that in his review of Copa in George Street (Weekend, June 23), Christopher Gray didn’t discuss this establishment’s full name, as displayed prominently outside. Its subtitle appears to be ‘continental biers’. I cannot find that

  • No warning

    Sir – I am appalled with Cherwell District Council as I rarely go into Bicester but wanted to visit Shire Mobility. We went on Monday, June 13, and I did what I have always done by placing my blue card and time etc in front of the windscreen to come

  • Unsocial networking

    Sir – Thank you for your excellent editorial in the June 2011 In Business. Sometimes I feel like a politically incorrect ‘lone’ voice in my desire to keep people doing what they need to do and have been doing for centuries to build a successful business

  • Disappearing money

    Sir – In recent decades successive Governments have taken an increasingly market-driven approach to the provision of public services, which has meant a growing dependence on profit-driven companies rather than on public infrastructures paid for by all

  • MPs fail to show up

    Sir – Do your readers feel that it was a coincidence that the two invited Conservative MPs were unable to attend the public meeting Keep Our NHS Service held on June 16 at Oxford Town Hall? Tony Baldry, MP for Banbury, billed as a speaker, cancelled

  • It used to be easier

    Sir – Revolution? Fresh Era? Not long ago bus services in Oxford were mainly run by one company, so that ticketing problems were non-existent. There was easy interchange between routes, in contrast to the lack of connectivity across the centre

  • Dangerous orchids?

    Sir – The attractive miscellany of wild flowers, including orchids, amongst the grass at the southern end of Oxford’s Abingdon Road has been ruthlessly levelled while the orchids were still in flower. It is difficult to see how wayside vegetation could

  • Wonderful gardeners

    Sir – I would like to thank all the wonderful gardeners that reside on Marston Road, Oxford Road, Marston, and Cherwell Drive. I have been an X13 bus user for the past eight years and the pleasure that the flowers and trees in full bloom give me on my

  • Underspending budget

    Sir – There is an ongoing debate nationally about the rate at which to cut public spending to achieve a more balanced budget. This gets reflected in the allocations central Government give to local councils each year. At the cabinet meeting of Oxfordshire

  • Matter of numbers

    Sir – Recently, BBC TV showed a documentary which should have its influence on the planners of New Barton. It’s a matter of figures. Refugees from the various hells of Libya paid for their escape by boat, taking them to the tiny island of Lampedusa in

  • Spiteful edict

    Sir – You reported a fresh triumph for the forces of negation and joylessness which now occupy the commanding heights of local Government (Report, June 16). This time it is dogs and their owners who are the victims of officialdom’s animus towards individual

  • Cutting carbon

    Sir – May I take the opportunity to use your columns to develop the message of John Tanner (Letters, June 16) in which he describes the work of the city council and others to cut carbon. I very much welcome the work of all the organisations he mentions

  • A growing problem

    Sir – Dick Brown of Wantage (Letters, June 23) is wise to be sceptical about localism, its application to housing requirements and the nature of the putative housing need as defined by council representatives. The Vale of White Horse District Council

  • Why close Oxford?

    Sir – Tucked away on page 70 of The Oxford Times on June 23 was a formal notice issued by the county council’s director for environment and economy announcing that an order had been made on June 20 for the closure of virtually the entire city centre on

  • Calming to the soul

    Sir – I would like to add to the discussion regarding the proposal to develop some of the fields belonging to Ruskin College in Headington. Obviously, Oxford is short of affordable housing, I doubt anyone would dispute this, and the development of West

  • A40 will remain dangerous

    Sir – Town planners in the past have regarded Sunderland Avenue in North Oxford, where houses were built on both sides of the road separated only by service roads from the traffic on the A40, as an example of urban sprawl to be avoided, mitigated only

  • Girlguiding UK helps keep tradition alive

    For more than half of women in the UK being a Rainbow, Brownie or a Guide is a rite of passage. For many it forms part of their childhood memories, and is the first chance of being involved in a group as well as starting to fulfil a sense of

  • Interview with Regency romance author Nicola Cornick

    An adventure in the frozen wastes of the Arctic may not seem an obvious fit with a Regency romance but for author Nicola Cornick, the two-week voyage to Spitsbergen, north of Norway, sparked the idea for her novel Whisper of Scandal. Her imagination

  • Ripe for redevelopment

    Recession, what recession? Some might ask that question when they learn that yet another swathe of central Oxford is to come under the hammer. The land earmarked for redevelopment this time is a 7.9-acre site, formerly a goods marshalling yard

  • Blow to car park campaign fight

    A major blow has been delivered to traders and residents fighting plans for student flats on Oxford’s St Clements car park. A planning officers’ report recommends that city councillors approve the scheme when it goes before the west area planning committee

  • Cycling in Oxfordshire

    On Your Bike in Oxfordshire by Ellen Lee & John Broughton (Countryside Books, £8.99) This has some great suggestions for rides — from very short ones for beginners to longer days out. The longest is 29 miles, which is short for ‘serious cyclists’ but

  • Local author Linda Newbery

    Linda Newbery, a former teacher at Wheatley Park, who left teaching in 2000 to write full-time at her home on the Oxfordshire/ Northants border, won the Costa Prize for her young adult novel Set in Stone. Her latest story for younger readers, Lob, is

  • NHS merger with University unveiled

    An historic deal that promises to transform local health care is to be signed by Oxford University and the county’s main hospital trust. A legally-binding agreement is set to put the university at the centre of local NHS hospitals, holding out the promise

  • Parky at the Pictures (In Cinemas 7/7/2011)

    Jean-Luc Godard has hinted that Film Socialisme will be his last feature. A `symphony in three movements', it took four years to compose and makes a fitting companion piece to Éloge de l'amour (2001) and Notre musique (2005). But while his anger at the

  • Parky at the Pictures (DVD 7/7/2011)

    Throughout her Hollywood career, Anna May Wong was overlooked for racial reasons for roles for which she was perfectly suited. She found greater acceptance in Europe, however, and often filmed here between 1928-34. Coming between the dual disappointment

  • Glorious Chardonnay brightens bleak week

    Did anyone read the recent recommendation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists that people over the age of 65 should moderate their alcohol intake to 1.5 units a day? That’s about half a pint of beer or one small (125ml) glass of wine. It is, I will

  • Waste of energy

    Sir – Every time a low-energy light bulb stops working, a conscientious citizen has to take it to Redbridge. I won’t say more. Roger Moreton, Oxford

  • Our grammar are bad

    Sir – Whatever happened to conjugating verbs? Matching the forms of verbs to their subject may be complicated in Latin and many other languages but for most English verbs consists only of distinguishing singular from plural. Yet errors are becoming

  • Rename carnival

    Sir – Everyone who made it to the carnival in South Park on Sunday must have enjoyed the impressive displays of creativity and music that produced such a great parade. But what a shame it can’t be appreciated in its original street setting. The atmosphere

  • Little less caring

    Sir – I feel for Cicely Piggott and husband, for the worry that they must have endured, after receiving the parking penalty notice (Letters, June 23). It would seem that the warden was set on catching people to further his allocation or ego maybe. Whist

  • Exceeded expectations

    Sir – In the July copy of the excellent Limited Edition the article about Woodstock contains a major error. The Woodstock Bookshop is everything that Linora Lawrence writes and more. For years Woodstock has lacked a good bookshop and since it arrived

  • Mixed community

    Sir – As a founder member of the recently formed Oxford Cohousing (OCH), I write to suggest that co-housing offers a solution to some of the issues relating to affordable housing and use of city green spaces raised in recent correspondence. The benefits

  • Race disruption

    Sir – As a former runner it always seemed a privilege to be permitted to race through town centres on a Sunday morning and it was an agreeable surprise how often we were well received and supported by the local community. But it was a privilege and not

  • Solar investment

    Sir – On page 4 of last week’s issue, Andrew Smith wrote about our efforts to install solar panels on the roofs of the Cherwell School this summer. The main complaint is that he writes that the minimum for investors is £5,000. On the website (unless

  • Life of a comic legend

    It would be difficult to imagine Russell Brand or Ricky Gervais taking a break from stardom to stand behind the counter of an antiques shop in deepest Oxfordshire. But that’s what comedy legend Ronnie Barker chose to do on deciding that he’d had enough

  • Addressing impact

    Sir – I write in response to the letter from Mr Brown about new homes for Wantage and Grove. I can confirm 285 homes were completed in Wantage and Grove in the three years to April 2011, of which 189 were affordable. This is a higher number than

  • Increase the stalls

    Sir – I would like to say how pleased I am that plans to pedestrianise Kidlington High Street are looking more likely. I am a strong supporter of this idea. However, it would be missing an opportunity not to consider how a newly pedestrianised High

  • Abusive city cyclists

    Sir – I have been cycling around Oxford for the best part of 20 years. I have always been a considerate and law-abiding cyclist and have never been involved in any collisions or accidents. Since the roadworks on the Iffley Road began, I have been shocked

  • Persuasive arguments

    Sir – Mark Barrington-Ward, in commenting on the Barton Area Action Plan, is of course right to say (Letters, June 30) that it would “be better to continue building behind hedges and trees”; and health risks from living cheek-by-jowl with major roads,

  • Tesco 'not needed'

    Sir – I was horrified to hear that the leaseholders of Liscious and The Big Bang in Walton Street, Jericho, have been given a scant few weeks’ notice so that yet another unnecessary branch of Tesco can muscle in on a once character-filled part of our

  • Other end of A40

    Sir – You only need to look at the other (London) end of this road to get an impression of what the proposed ‘boulevard’ would look like . . . Anne Edwards, Oxford

  • Workable balance

    Sir – Nobody can deny that Oxford needs more affordable housing, but that doesn’t mean that every square inch is ripe for development. Building in the wrong way in the wrong place harms communities (both human and other) today and for future generations

  • Good links required

    Sir – Mark Barrington-Ward is stuck in an ancient paradigm, I fear: (Letters, June 30). Mark calls Sunderland Avenue an example of sprawl, a favoured pejorative for housing the expanding population along roads. The idea was strong among some 1930s drivers

  • SOS CONTEST: Sight set on new sandpit

    CHILDREN desperate for a walk-in sandpit at Beckley Primary School are busy collecting tokens to help raise the funds. If the village primary school wins the £7,500 of building work, it wants to create the dream play area for its youngest pupils

  • Litterbugs blamed as 20 fish die

    AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after about 20 dead fish were found in a pond in Blackbird Leys. Experts say Spindleberry Pond has suffered from the hot weather, but residents expressed concern about the amount of rubbish being thrown into

  • SOS CONTEST: Rooting for change

    QUEEN’S DYKE Primary School in Witney is hoping a final push for tokens will help drive it to the top of the School Build SOS leaderboard. Headteacher Carol Camping said: “They are still pouring in. “People tend to bring in a wodge of