• Makeover for St Mary's

    IN the city of ‘dreaming spires’, the University Church of St Mary the Virgin can claim the tallest and finest of them all. And a £5m restoration project is underway to ensure it stays that way. First recorded in the Domesday Book in

  • Revamp closes roads in city

    MOTORISTS are being warned of road closures in Headington as part of Oxfordshire County Council’s improvement works to help cyclists and pedestrians. The junction at Lime Walk and All Saints Road was closed on Tuesday for 10 days. The Dene Road

  • Timmy Mallett pledges support for United

    ONE of Oxford United’s most famous fans says he is not deserting the club for a rival team. Radio presenter and TV celebrity Timmy Mallett started supporting the U’s back in the early 1980s and has been a regular at the Manor Ground and Kassam

  • Arabian Nights

    It started with a kiss, or in the case of Ali Baba it ends with a smacker and a lot of blushing. Katherine MacAlister meets Craig Rhys-Barlow on the eve of the Chipping Norton panto to find out what all the fuss is about. We only have to

  • Ballet laugh

    Where do you start with a stout Welsh singer who likes getting up on stage dressed as a Russian ballerina called Madame Galina? I had no idea, but as his/her acid tongue, witty repartee and double entendres are quick enough to strip paint, I was on my

  • Lacking Bite

    THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1 (12A). Romance/Drama/Action. Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Billy Burke, Chaske Spencer

  • Precious Metal

    Ciao bella... TIM HUGHES meets a bunch of stylish Italians who are changing the image of heavy metal. IMAGINE a metal band. What do you see? Probably a bunch of ugly, axe-wielding hairy blokes with questionable personal hygiene. Which makes

  • It's A Wrap

    JEREMY SMITH believes successful Christmas shopping is all about finding shops with the right atmosphere. Why on Earth would anyone go to a shopping mall to do their Christmas shopping when London is just up the road? Seriously, I can never

  • Playing Safe

    JUSTICE (15). Thriller/Action/Romance. Nicolas Cage, Guy Pearce, January Jones, Jennifer Carpenter, Harold Perrineau, Xander Berkeley, Jason Davis. Director: Roger Donaldson. You wait all year for a generic and predictable Nicolas

  • Fork Lift

    KATHERINE MACALISTER pops in to try out a former pop-up restaurant which now has a permanent home in the city. Here’s a good one for you. When is a pop-up restaurant no longer a pop-up? When planning permission for its new premises comes

  • Man On A Mission

    After years of standing up for what he believes, Billy Bragg tells TIM HUGHES its time for a new generation to take over. BILLY Bragg is on a mission. Again.Britain’s pre-eminent political songwriter is annoyed that more people are not making

  • Student flats plan gets new scrutiny

    PARENTS and staff have lobbied councillors into reconsidering plans for 26 student flats overlooking East Oxford Primary School. Mums and dads claim the school is being “invaded” by student accommodation, and say the development could put their children

  • Christ Church conservation work

    WORK on conserving and repairing stonework on the exterior of Christ Church college in Oxford is nearing completion. Craftsmen from construction firm Beard based at Cumnor Hill are carrying out the work on the Deanery and Treasury. As it is a Grade

  • Law firm on the move

    LAW firm Spratt Endicott is set to move into two new buildings in Banbury. The aim is to provide clents with an easier way of contacting solicitors and staff while allowing for future growth. The company is spending a total of £350,000 on the move into

  • Village pub for sale

    A newly-refurbished Cotswold boutique pub and restaurant has been put on the market. The Swan at Ascott-under-Wychwood underwent comprehensive redevelopment in a programme that began in June 2007. But the business closed unexpectedly in June 2010.

  • 3D Print UK

    Mention the term 3D printing to a layman and they will conjure up images of some kind of picture which you run off the office photocopier and look at with special glasses. But if that sounds far-fetched, then it is a practically prehistoric compared

  • Mad Hatter books

    Mad they may be, as they happily admit many of their friends call them, but Richard Kemp and partner Sara Hall reckon that what Burford really needs is a combined book and hat shop. And the Madhatter Bookshop, which opened its doors for business last

  • Engineering the future

    EP Barrus may not be widely known but many of the brands it represents are major international names and leaders in their markets. Today the business is diverse and challenging as Barrus markets and distributes its products across a wide range

  • Alfa Romeo

    T here are some cars which, when you hear their name, cause a flicker of excitement for enthusiasts. Aston Martin, Jaguar and Bentley are among them but they do not have to be supercars to fit into this bracket. For me, Alfa Romeo is synonymous with

  • Roads too ‘open’ for new limits

    A COUNCIL leader has hit out at his own authority for cutting speed limits on a key route into Banbury. Oxfordshire County Council leader Keith Mitchell said two 30mph zones in Adderbury mean drivers are being fined because they are not aware of the

  • My Little Wrapper Chocolate Bars

    Inspiration for a new business can come at any time and it happened to Ally Jones when she was attending a wedding. Mrs Jones was enjoying the normal light-hearted chat with other guests when discussion turned to the ordinary and the not-so-ordinary

  • Oxfordshire Shooting School

    Most entrepreneurs dream of their businesses going with a bang. But at the Oxfordshire Shooting School, there are several bangs a minute when it is busy – and that is the case most of the time. Fortunately, the noise levels aren’t likely to upset the

  • 'Nifty fifty' warning

    I read a briefing note written by Merrill Lynch recently which suggested investors could be approaching an “attractive entry point” for equities and other risk assets following the recent sell off. It said: “Over the medium-term, we continue to recommend

  • Hairdresser Anne Veck

    What was your first job and what did your responsibilities include? I was a trainee in a small salon in Tours, France. I had to start at 8.30am on my own and my colleagues would arrive 30 minutes later. I had to clean the whole salon by myself, and the

  • Intelligent Ultrasound

    Ultrasound is so named because it is beyond the limits of normal human hearing and so is inaudible. Medical scanning and diagnosis with ultrasound — ultrasonography — has been employed for many years, particularly to produce a scan of a womb and foetus

  • Local share prices (PM)

    AEA Technology 0.31 BMW 4716 Electrocomponents 206.8 Nationwide Accident Repair 89.5 Oxford Biomedica 5.15 Oxford Catalysts 51.25 Oxford Instruments 1002 Reed Elsevier 518.75 RM 73.25 RPS Group 182.8 Courtesy of Redmayne

  • Waste not want not for food

    WASTE not want not – that is the message from a climate change action group who set up a community kitchen in Oxford. The community kitchen was established in the city centre on Sunday by Community Action Groups (CAG). This is a network of groups across

  • Instrumental success

    Whatever fears may prevail about the future, one publicly quoted firm is a continuing a bright spot on the Oxfordshire economic scene. Oxford Instruments, which 51 years ago was the first technology company to spin out from Oxford University, this week

  • County revs up for Children in Need

    ACROSS the county people are preparing to wax, spin, gurn, run and dance. And it’s all in aid of the same cause – tomorrow’s BBC Children in Need. The annual charity appeal has been running for 31 years, raising millions for disadvantaged youngsters

  • Surnames, DNA and Family History

    SURNAMES, DNA AND FAMILY HISTORY by Redmonds, King and Hey (Oxford University Press, £20)The notion of a surname appears to have come here with a few of the Normans. If you could call having a surname a fashion, then it took a long time to catch on

  • Pemberley by P D James

    Pemberley by P D James Because Jane Austen is so wildly popular, several writers (though few as distinguished as P D James) have fallen in love with her characters and continued their stories. Some of these sequels and spin-offs are good, and some

  • Interview with Helen Rappaport

    Oxford historian Helen Rappaport’s latest book Magnificent Obsession “breathes fresh life into English history's most famous widowhood”, according to Earl Spencer. The endorsement by Princess Diana’s brother is significant because Diana’s death is the

  • The Thread by Victoria Hislop

    The Thread Victoria Hislop (Headline, £18.99) Victoria Hislop writes enthralling novels about southern Europe which retell modern history from the ordinary person’s point of view, especially the ordinary woman. In this story, a young 21st-century

  • Biomedica lab on track

    GENE therapy company Oxford Biomedica expects five clinical trials to be under way by the end of this year. The firm, an Oxford University spin-out based at Oxford Science Park, said work on its new £2.2m laboratory in Cowley, was on track to

  • The Wine of Solitude

    The Wine of Solitude Irene Nemirovsky trs Sandra Smith (Chatto and Windus, £14.99) Irene Nemirovsky (1903-42) was a Russian-French novelist who died in the Holocaust; her work was almost forgotten for many years but is now being retrieved and

  • Plan for hall divides town

    A ROW has broken out in the idyllic Cotswold town of Burford over plans to transform a run-down community hall. St John the Baptist Church, known as Burford Church, has submitted plans to expand nearby Warwick Hall, Church Lane, to build a “heart” for

  • Flasher targeting women in city

    A FLASHER has been targeting women in Summertown in Oxford. The man struck more than two weeks ago, but police have not released any details until today. The first incident took place on Friday, October 28 when a woman aged 44 was walking along Banbury

  • MICHAEL OLIVE: Accountant played for United

    WELL-known city accountant and one time Headington United player Michael ‘Mick’ Olive has died aged 82. Mr Olive, the youngest of six children, was born in Alexander Road, Botley, to Daisy and Victor Olive. The family moved to Churchill Road, Cowley

  • Hi-tech firm is all set to grow

    A HI-TECH engineering firm which has doubled in size in the last five years is on track for another period of rapid growth, bosses have predicted. Latest figures show pre-tax profits at Oxford Instruments have risen by 76 per cent to £18.7m for the six

  • Friends aim to shake up the cocktail world

    AN OXFORD business is offering a taste of the high life to those who can’t wait for the next James Bond film – sophisticated cocktails, served by an expert. Oxford Brookes University graduate Tom Abrams runs Shaken and Stirred, offering mobile cocktail

  • DR JOE WESTON: Lecturer led M40 protest

    UNIVERSITY lecturer and environmental campaigner Dr Joe Weston has died at the age of 58. He collapsed and died from a heart attack shortly after setting off fireworks at a party he was hosting for neighbours at his home in Forest Hill, near Oxford,

  • Borton on board

    Ross Borton has been promoted to head of sales at printing firm BGP. Mr Borton joined the firm in 2009 as sales director, having previously worked with Prinovis and Southernprint. In his new role, which is also a board position, Mr Borton will be responsible

  • Scales of Justice

    Julio Dos Santos, 27, of Littlebrook Avenue, Slough, admitted possessing cannabis (Class B) in Oxford on September 1. Given a 12-month conditional discharge and told to pay £50 costs. Matthew Webb, 30, of Hamble Road, Didcot, admitted shoplifting

  • Fine send-off for steam enthusiast

    IT WAS a send-off like no other. On Friday, Bob Markham, of Charlton-on-Otmoor, was carried off for the final time in a fitting manner. The body of the well-known steam engine expert, who died at the age of 90 on Monday, October 31,

  • East Oxford food and craft stalls up for national BBC award

    ONE of Oxford’s most popular markets has been named amongst the cream of the crop. East Oxford Farmers’ Market has been held off Cowley Road every Saturday since August 2006. It has now been named as a finalists in the BBC’s Food and Farming Awards

  • Finally a ‘Brit’ after 23 years

    OXFORD author, illustrator and campaigner Ted Dewan is officially “British” 23 years after he first emigrated. Boston-born Mr Dewan, from Beech Croft Road, North Oxford, decided to apply for citizenship after getting involved in local politics. A desire

  • ATHLETICS: City's Bellinger bags sixth at Watford

    Darrell Bellinger was the leading local performer in the Apex Sports Chiltern Cross Country League meeting at Watford. The Oxford City athlete completed the course, which was lengthened due to wind-damaged trees, in sixth place, clocking 32mins 33secs

  • Virgin Money buys Northern Rock

    Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Money organisation is to buy nationalised lender Northern Rock in a £747m deal, the Treasury has announced. The Kidlington-based tycoon intends to keep all the bank’s 75 branches open including the outlet in High Street,

  • Tenant was abused by homophobic agent

    A LANDLORD'S agent has been given a suspended sentence after unlawfully evicting a tenant following ‘a long campaign of homophobic abuse’. John Johnson-Bowler of Magdalen Road, Oxford, pleaded guilty to evicting a tenant from the property they

  • Extradition on hold for Oxford mum

    A MUM who fled to Britain with her children to escape a failed marriage has made a last-ditch bid against extradition to stand trial for kidnap in the US. Eileen Clark, 53 of West Way, Botley, Oxford, quit the home she shared with husband, John Clark

  • City folk opt to rent rather than buy second homes

    City-dwellers planning an escape to the country are increasingly opting to rent, instead of buy, a second home. George Stevens, of agents Oliver James, said: “Many people don’t want to tie their money up long-term by buying a second home, so would rather

  • Oxford's young beat UK’s unemployment rates

    OXFORD is bucking the trend with the number of young people on the dole falling. While latest national figures show a record 1.2 million 16-24-year-olds out of work, there are 600 young benefit claimants in the city — the lowest figure since

  • Life's a beach with a Hawaiian tiki hut

    It may look pretty ordinary from the front but visitors to the back garden of a Didcot house find themselves in a tropical paradise, complete with Hawaiian-style Tiki hut. Owners Darren Dixey and partner Clare Denton have kitted it out with wooden decking

  • AUNT SALLY: Sheridan makes it six of the best

    Martin Sheridan has won the Abingdon & District Singles crown for the sixth time. Sheridan, who plays for The Fox, Steventon, beat Mick Phillips, from the Spread Eagle to land the title. l ROGER Goodall top-scored with 13 dolls as Gin’ll Fix It secured

  • RUGBY: Dark Blues fail to convince against Stanley's

    Oxford University were far from convincing despite winning their traditional fixture against major Stanley's XV at Iffley Road, writes Ed Mezzetti. There were some strong displays from No 8 Derek Asbun and full back Jon Hudson in the 27-

  • Driver jailed for killing teenager

    A MAN who drove after four pints of beer was speeding as he fatally hit a teenage moped rider. Glen Holburt was jailed for four years at Oxford Crown Court yesterday after earlier admitting causing death by careless driving while over the alcohol limit

  • GOLF: Witney welcomes skippers

    Four new captains have driven in for their year in office at Witney Lakes. Club captain Terry Edmunds was joined by Scot Saunders (juniors), Anna Key (ladies) and Chris Anderson (seniors) for Sunday’s ceremony. The captains will support

  • Home to roost in the country

    A period farmhouse has been restored and extended using a number of reclaimed materials. North Leys Farmhouse in Upper Heyford has many character features including exposed beams and stonework, flagstone floors and fireplaces. It includes

  • CRICKET: Harding leads the way at prize night

    Chadlington's Danny Harding won the Hawthorn Award for the best batsman at the OCA’s annual presentation evening at Drayton Park Golf Club, near Abingdon. The former Banbury wicket-keeper finished top of the tree, scoring 1,324 runs in 21 innings

  • Local share prices (AM)

    AEA Technology 0.3 BMW 4709 Electrocomponents 206.2 Nationwide Accident Repair 89.5 Oxford Biomedica 5.15 Oxford Catalysts 51.25 Oxford Instruments 998.75 Reed Elsevier 520.75 RM 71.5 RPS Group 183.6 Courtesy of Redmayne Bentley, Abingdon

  • Wildlife could halt £130m Oxford train link

    A NEW £130m Rail service from Oxford to London Marylebone is not being approved by a planning inspector because of bats in Wolvercot Tunnel. The risk of harming bats and great crested newts has presented a major obstacle to the Evergreen 3

  • Banbury Cross blends vintage and new looks

    An art deco theme runs through Taylor Wimpey’s new four-bedroom showhome at The Cross in the centre of Banbury. The three-storey house has a black-and-white colour theme on the ground floor and includes a kitchen/diner with French doors to

  • Second man appeared charged with Oxford murder

    A SECOND man appeared before Oxford Magistrates’ Court charged with murdering Denis Witney yesterday. Wayne Cattell, 36, of no fixed abode, was remanded in custody by magistrates during the short hearing as he stood accused of murdering Mr Witney eight

  • COMMENT: Derailed by tunnel bats

    GOOD comedy is all And could there be any better/worse example of the importance of getting this single factor right than the current farce which has erupted over the £260m Oxford-Bicester-London rail link? It was hoped that

  • Should conversations in taxis ever be recorded?

    YES: Councillor Colin Cook, Oxford City Council “A TAXI is a public service vehicle, it is not your own front room, or a confessional box, people recognise that their conversations can be overheard by the driver and moderate their conversations


    *PROTECTING children must be a concern for us all, but The Insider is worried at how distorted the fear of child molesters lurking around every corner is becoming. Last week one of my colleagues was tasked with looking for children who turned 11 on Friday

  • RAF reminder

    THIS is a reminder for anyone who served at RAF St Eval, in Cornwall between 1939-1959 as I think there may be many people in your catchment area. All ranks from RAF, WAAF and WRAF, or next of kin, who served at RAF St Eval are invited to join

  • Just being flippant

    OH DEAR, I’ve upset two readers in one go. To Amanda Rogers, I started my letter: “I consider women drivers to be better” and made the observation about “trolleys” as observed in my local store. But, I’ve never seen a man abandon a trolley. Never, ever

  • My war poem

    WE are studying war poets at Gosford Hill School. I have written the following poem. These Hellish Things Who are these? Flesh and corpse, blood and bone, He choked on the mere disgrace Of the propaganda in which he was imprisoned; A lie. A lie

  • My humble thanks

    I would like, humbly, to congratulate all those concerned with the planning, organisation and conduct of the Remembrance Sunday Parade in Oxford on November 13 and also to express my sincere thanks to the people of Oxford for attending the occasion in

  • Student flats bid relaunched as contest

    A NEW bid to build student flats on St Clements car park is being launched with a competition to redesign the controversial East Oxford site. Architects are being asked to come up with fresh plans after a scheme for 141 student bedrooms in three blocks

  • Legal fight looms over recordings

    PLANS to record every word uttered on taxi journeys in Oxford could face a legal challenge. Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith said his office was investigating whether Oxford City Council’s plans for a new security system in the

  • LARGER THAN LIFE: Mystery of the night terror

    HAVE you heard about the unidentified creature prowling the streets of Oxford in the early hours of every morning? Described as – and I’m paraphrasing here – “a big, lurching blob of strange noises” it seems incredible to me that he, or she

  • COMMENT: Not the last of it

    NOT a great surprise that plans to record every word uttered on taxi journeys through Oxford could face a legal challenge. As Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith explains: “The recording day-in, day-out of every conversation in a taxi cab is

  • BAR BILLIARDS: So close for Sheard

    Kennington’s Steven Sheard narrowly missed out on taking the world singles title in Jersey after losing on aggregate to England No 1 Kevin Tunstall, from Sussex, writes Pete Ewins. Sheard took the first leg 9,860-2,850 and looked on course for an upset

  • Bleak for solar power

    IN regard to the Government’s plan to cut solar power subsidies (Oxford Mail, November 10, Solar Power “Eclipse”), I find it incredible that they are going to do so, as they pay subsidies to build useless windmills that will have doubtful benefits. The

  • What's he thinking?

    David Cameron is quoted as saying (November 15) in a speech on schools that: “It is vital to shine a spotlight on secret failure”. This is a puzzling exhortation which seems to suggest that headteachers and their staff in Oxfordshire and beyond are wilfully

  • Loss of language

    I AGREE heartily with everything Edith Parsons says (Oxford Mail, November 14, Our Language Fades Away). The English language is being eroded for the sake of ‘convenience’, known when I was at school as ‘laziness’! So many inaccuracies now appear to

  • All the staff at the JR deserve much praise

    I FEEL that a terrible injustice has been done regarding the John Radcliffe Hospital. I recently spent about five days in the hospital after I had collapsed at home. I am 92 and my wife nearly 90. I could not get up and we called the ambulance which

  • GOLF: Eddie's Alps bid comes up short

    Frilford Heath’s Eddie Pepperell was off the pace in his bid for an Alps Tour place after a frustrating time in final qualifying. The 20-year-old, from Abingdon, shots rounds of 73, 74 and 74 to finish on seven-over-par over two courses in Tuscany, Italy

  • ICE HOCKEY: Injuries hit Stars

    Injury-hit Oxford City Stars endured a disappointing weekend, taking just one point from their two Division 1 South matches. A 10-3 defeat at high-flying Wightlink Raiders was followed by a 2-2 draw at struggling Streatham Redskins. However, with seven

  • OXON AWARDS: County's finest prove big draw

    Only a handful of tickets remain for the 2011 Oxfordshire Sports Awards. The event has once again proved a huge attraction, and organisers have warned that those who have yet to get their tickets, will need to be quick. World Athletics

  • All change at Oxford's 'Great School of China'

    CHILDREN at St Gregory the Great may think they have it tough – until they spent the day yesterday doing the equivalent of a school day in China. As part of a link between St Gregory the Great School, East Oxford, and Changsha Foreign Language School

  • Oxford United boss delighted by Hall's return from West Ham

    Chris Wilder is hoping the return of Rob Hall can inspire his Oxford United side to go on another winning run. The West Ham striker has rejoined the U’s – a fortnight after seeing his loan spell at the club end after being recalled by his parent club

  • Gunpoint raid at Oxford bookmakers

    A BETTING shop worker was threatened at gunpoint by a robber who forced him to hand over cash from the safe at an Oxford bookmakers. The 47-year-old man was targeted as he shut up the Stan James shop in Roundway, Risinghurst, just after 9pm on Tuesday

  • Singer is lighting up lives

    OPERA singer Christopher Purves, right, will be among the stars singing for Helen and Douglas House hospice at St John the Evangelist Church on Saturday. The Oxford baritone will appear alongside Rebecca Stockland, from the English National

  • 'Most schools' to shut because of strike

    TRADE union strikes later this month are set to cause “unprecedented” closures of schools, libraries, council offices and health services. Union leaders last night predicted more than 15,000 Oxfordshire workers could join the mass walkout over

  • Two car crash in village

    FIRE crews were called to a village near Banbury this morning after two vehicles collided. The accident involving a black VW Polo and a silver Audi A6 happened at 6.30am on the B4035 between Tadmarton and Lower Tadmarton. Police have closed the road

  • GMD Manufacturing

    Saving electricity has never been more important, particularly for businesses where lighting is needed 24 hours a day, such as factories and warehouses. This is where GMD Manufacturing can step in. Graeme Denney has been producing industrial lighting

  • Ceramic stoves

    W hen Nick HIlls left the Army at the age of 42, his path in civvy street seemed straightforward. But the economic downturn of the early 1990s forced him to rekindle a warm memory from his Arctic training. Having delivered outward bound training to

  • Interview with Emma Bridgewater

    When Emma Bridgewater was growing up, she loved laying the table at the family home in North Oxford. She said: “The kitchen was the centre of everything and the dresser was covered in mismatched crockery. That was what sparked my interest in china.”

  • Interview with Rob Brighouse

    Rob Brighouse is looking forward to good news soon when Chiltern Railways should get the green light for its next major project — the £130m service from Oxford to London Marylebone. The report by the inspector who conducted the public inquiry into the

  • Get out and go wild

    Sometimes the most fascinating wildlife you can see in Oxfordshire isn’t big or bold but tiny and overlooked. PETER CREED, expert volunteer for the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, tells us about moss — a plant with a low profile A world in

  • 'Bond' adds a twist to cocktails venture

    An Oxford business is offering a taste of the high life to those who can't wait for the next James Bond film — sophisticated cocktails, served by an expert. Oxford Brookes University graduate Tom Abrams runs Shaken and Stirred, offering mobile

  • Hammer attack puts teen behind bars

    A TEENAGER who has terrorised his neighbourhood for two years was finally jailed for 10 months yesterday for a hammer attack. Sandeep Kumar of Saunders Road, East Oxford, appeared before Oxford Youth Court yesterday where he was sentenced for breaching

  • Eastern promise

    GILES WOODFORDE speaks to Sarah Travis, the composer who conjured up the music for Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Is it really panto time? “Oh yes it is!” OK, that’s enough of that routine for now, there’ll be plenty of chances to belt it out in full

  • Kind treatment

    Sir – I am 86 and recently had an operation at the John Radcliffe Hospital on my carotid artery. I can’t praise enough the skill and care that I received from Mr Handa and his team. They were wonderful. Every member of the staff on the ward was helpful

  • Messy ambivalence

    Sir – You reported on the suggestions for a permanent memorial at the roundabout leading to the John Radcliffe Hospital and the suggestion to rename the slip road “Heroes Way”. Those of us who’ve had reservations over the legitimacy of the recent wars

  • Mental stimulation

    Sir – Libraries may be classified as leisure facilities, but they serve fundamentally important purposes. We live in a highly competitive world in a country with few natural resources other than our brains. We need to develop them to our utmost. To

  • Valuable asset

    Sir – I am dismayed to hear of the closure of Witney Corn Exchange, with no guarantee of a future opening date. With the closure of Langdale Hall, this leaves Witney with no public venue for any town events. Surely that cannot be right in a town of this

  • Council cutbacks

    Sir – Alan Hollis (Letters, November 3) has the wrong end of the stick. He complains that several jobs from the council’s strategy team are being advertised at great cost. This is not the case. It is true that there are a number of vacancies in the

  • Hospital debt

    Sir – A few months ago The Oxford Times informed us that the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre was in dire financial straits, doubtless owing to the amount of complex and expensive orthopaedic operations they do there and taking on difficult cases from other

  • Tariff cuts could be costly

    Sir – Your article about the cuts to the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) for new domestic producers of renewable energy failed to make clear the even more draconian cut in FIT imposed on early adopters of the technology by the last Labour government.

  • More facts needed

    Sir – Elizabeth Mills urges me to “face the facts” and thinks I am wrong to think that “the residents of East Oxford are practising discrimination against students”. If she reads with more care the letters to which she seems to be replying she will see

  • Science of housing

    Sir – Daniel Scharf made interesting comments (Letters, November 10). It is rather a circular argument to calculate housing need based on a predicted reduced average number of people per home. Could this not encourage exactly that? The average in West

  • Sound investment

    Sir – Thanks to Chris Koenig for highlighting the plight of Oxford’s energy-saving residents and the local solar panel industry (Report, November 10). Just after he became Prime Minister, David Cameron promised his would be “the greenest Government ever

  • Ill-thought out change

    Sir – One aspect of the Government’s recently announced rushed changes to the feed in tariff (FIT) for solar panels that was not covered in Chris Koenig’s informative article (November 10) is the new barriers to participation being proposed. From April

  • Crazy plans

    Sir – The Corn Exchange, Witney, was unexpectedly and hurriedly closed down on November 9. On that same day the council published a press release according to which they have “listened to hall users and are incorporating these views in their plans”. Did

  • Invaluable addition

    Sir – The antics of Mike Pritchard’s Andalucian coachman with his plastic bag (Letters, November 10) amazed me, unless of course he had an ulterior motive. In the London of my childhood, milk and coal were still commonly delivered by horse-drawn vehicles

  • Collective leadership

    Sir – The Prime Minister wonders why not one of the secondaries in his home county does as well as two academies he highlights in central London. No one provides a satisfactory local explanation. The provisional GCSE results are published, showing Oxfordshire

  • Pylon changes needed

    Sir – The visual impact of electricity pylons in any landscape is never neutral. Their imposition can only disfigure any view. Throughout the country redundant power lines have been, and continue to be, removed. They are re-routed along newer lines or

  • Parky at the Pictures (DVD 17/11/2011)

    On 16 July 1942, the Vichy government of Nazi-occupied France acquiesced in the launch of Operation Spring Breeze. Over the next 48 hours, 13,152 Jews (including 4,000 children) across the capital were arrested and detained in either the Vélodrome d'Hiver

  • Parky at the Pictures (In Cinemas 17/11/2011)

    It's been quite a year for Oxfordshire on film. Philip Hind got the ball rolling with his chronicle of cinema on Jeune Street, The Ultimate Survivor, and Tim Plested followed with his profile of the Adderbury Village Morris Men in The Way of the Morris

  • Grapes are a smashing asset to Greece

    As a family we went to Greece a lot when my sister and I were children. It satisfied my mum’s love of the heat and my dad’s fascination for Ancient Greece. I am not sure that we were sufficiently appreciative. I spent the entire two weeks lurking in

  • Unlocking our heritage

    In the city of ‘dreaming spires’, the University Church of St Mary the Virgin can claim the tallest and finest of them all. First recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086, the famous church on the High can also claim to be the first home of the university

  • Community radio station to hit airwaves

    OXFORD’S first permanent community radio station will hit the airwaves after five years of static. OX4 FM, based in Blackbird Leys, has been searching for a permanent home after its successful pilot back in 2006. The station, that will provide a mix

  • School gets its own band aid

    A PRIMARY school left thousands of pounds out of pocket when a festival promoter went into administration has been thrown a lifeline. Kingham Primary School was promised £14,000 after organising the Friday night entertainment at the Alex James presents

  • Helping beat winter fuel bills

    More than 5m households in the UK are living in fuel poverty and almost half of those are people aged over 60. With rising fuel bills and the prospect of another cold winter, more people are at risk than ever before. Oxfordshire Community Foundation

  • Pupils Roman around history

    IT was a case of ‘When in Rome’ for schoolchildren as they dressed and ate like emperors this week. The Year Three youngsters at Benson CofE School held the special dress-up day on Tuesday as part of their study of the historic civilisation. So far