As 2023 comes to a close, we are looking back on some of the biggest news stories which have taken place this year.

Here, we remember what happened in the first quarter of the year between January and March to kickstart this four-part review. 


Three days into the new year the police were called to the A34 where a 24-year-old sadly died after a crash.

A white Mercedes E63 AMG left the northbound carriageway between the Marcham Interchange and Faringdon Road overbridge and hit the embankment before coming to a stop on the overbridge.

On January 18, A murder investigation was launched into the death of Tyron Jonsyn.

Paramedics from South Central Ambulance Service and police were called after reports of a ‘disturbance’ at a house in Lock Court, on the Brize Meadow newly built estate between Brize Norton and Carterton.

Mr Jonsyn died at the scene, despite the best efforts of the emergency services.

Oxford Mail: Tyron Jonsyn was found dead on January 16His family paid tribute at the time describing him as "unique, kind, loyal and irreplaceable".

Two men, aged 44 and 28, from Carterton and Milton Keynes respectively, were arrested on suspicion of murder at the time but were released on police bail.

And, the cost of living crisis continued to hit as a village pub near Kidlington was one of many establishments forced to shut throughout the year.

Landlords of the Blacks Head Inn in Bletchingdon said when announcing the closure their utility bills had doubled as well as noticing a lack of customers.

Oxford Mail:


On February 3, more than 1,000 striking teachers and lecturers and their supporters marched through Oxford before rallying in Broad Street.

They joined teachers from across the country who walked out in a dispute over pay.

Oxford Mail:

Another protest in the city centre saw thousands taking to the streets on February 18 over the LTNs which were introduced in East Oxford in May 2022.

The LTNs, which restrict access to motorists of residential areas, have been criticised by some motorists and businesses.

And while the East Oxford LTNs were the motivation for many city and Oxfordshire residents to join the march, others were more concerned about a claimed city-wide ‘climate lockdown’ linked to the 15-minute cities town planning concept – which the council has repeatedly lambasted as false and misleading.

Oxford Mail: Oxford LTN Protest .19/02/2023.Picture by Ed Nix.Thames Valley Police estimated around 2,000 people, including Laurence Fox and Right Said Fred, were involved in the main protest, which met on Broad Street and then marched down Cowley Road to Manzil Way.

Despite concerns raised before the protest that ‘neo-Nazi’ group Patriotic Alternative planned to ‘hijack’ the event, it largely passed off peacefully.

There were confrontations between balaclava-clad ‘anti-fascists’, who had joined a counter-protest in Bonn Square, and anti-‘lockdown’ campaigners – including Patriotic Alternative and self-confessed football hooligan Joe Marsh. 

Oxford Mail: Oxford LTN Protest .19/02/2023.Picture by Ed Nix.

In other news, West Oxfordshire District Council hit back at Jeremy Clarkson saying Diddly Squat Farm must be treated like any other.

It came following scenes that featured in season two of the hit series Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime Video that showed the former Top Gear star clashing with the council, especially including plans for a car park.

Oxford Mail: On February 16, people enjoying a night out looked on in alarm as fire ripped through an Oxford takeaway, sending flames into the sky and smoke billowing onto the street.

Cowley Road was closed to traffic as firefighters tackled the blaze at the Chubby Chicken shop at 7.30pm.

Dozens of firefighters from seven crews, joined by police, remained at the scene late into the evening, with one crew staying all night to ensure the scene remained safe.

Oxford Mail:

Elsewhere, an international theme park announced its search for its first UK site looking for a 300 to 400-acre site within a 40-mile radius of Oxford.

Puy du Fou, an award-winning historical-themed attraction currently operates in two locations, Les Epesses in the Pays de la Loire region of western France and Toledo, Spain. 

It it continuing to locate a site within the county.

February also saw Oxford’s historic Covered Market receive a £7million in funding to revitalise the area.

The regeneration aimed to respect the unique character, heritage and history of the Covered Market, which first opened fully in 1774, while securing the long-term future of the Grade II-listed prized council asset.

And at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford United sacked their manager as Karl Robinson was replaced by Liam Manning after a run of results which saw the U’s facing relegation.

Oxford Mail:


A man only just released from prison was knocked down and killed on the A34 on March 13.

Lee Walker, 35, had been seen moments before the fatal crash walking on the road with his middle fingers held to the skies.

Oxford Coroner’s Court has since heard that plans were afoot to recall Mr Walker to prison after his licence was revoked by the authorities.

The court was not told what crime his prison sentence was imposed for. 

On March 26, paramedics rushed to the riverbank to provide care to two rowers who were taken to hospital after collapsing at the end of the men’s Boat Race.

Oxford rower Felix Drinkall was in visible distress as his teams rowed him to the bank of the river to receive medical attention.

Teammate Tassilo Von Meuller had to be reassured on the BBC's live coverage that Drinkall was “recovering”.

Cambridge's celebrations were therefore subdued after they powered to their fourth victory in five Boat Races with a gutsy effort against a resilient Oxford crew in the 168th edition of the race.

Oxford Mail:

In other news, the masterplan for a major development of a former US and RAF airbase was revealed with more than 2,000 homes planned.

The Dorchester group have owned the site at Heyford Park since 2009 and gained initial consent for 1,075 homes.

A need for a masterplan arose after allocation in the Cherwell Local Plan 2011 to 2031, in which the site was allocated for 1,600 additional homes taking to total to 2750.

The masterplan comprises a village green, leisure and retail facilities and a new free school.

Elsewhere, a much-loved village bakery closed its doors on March 27 after more than 50 years of business.

La Patisserie in Fairfax Road in Kidlington opened in 1966 and was one of the oldest businesses in the village.

Oxford Mail: La Patisserie in Fairfax Road in Kidlington closedLa Patisserie in Fairfax Road in Kidlington closed The business had been on the market for over 18 months after 62-year-old owner Gary Johnson decided it was time to retire.

And finally, after nine seasons ITV aired the last episode of Endeavour, which starring Shaun Evans as a young Endeavour Morse and Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday.

The final episode of the show, that started in 2012, was followed by a special documentary, Morse & the last Endeavour.