Aynho Long Walk 30th April 2015

We had seventeen walkers again today including Andrew from Kings Sutton, who had long promised to join us.  The weather was bright and sunny but the wind was strong and cold.  We were interested to see if the swing bridge over the Oxford Canal by Souldern Grounds was back in use, so we set off down  The Portway and across to Souldern. From there we took Wharf Lane for a short distance before taking the footpath on the left across to the lane down to Souldern Grounds and the viaduct across the valley. The track continued to drop down to the Oxford line railway bridge and then to the canal where the swing bridge stood.  It was in working order so with a heave we had it down across the canal and we all walked safely across before restoring it to its original position.  From the swing bridge it was a lovely walk along the towpath to Souldern Wharf and the up Wharf Lane a short distance. We took the footpath off the lane to the left, quite steeply down to the path along the valley and under the motorway. The ford was dry so we crossed it easily enough and continued up to the village. The trench being dug last week was all filled in and the wall almost completely restored.  We reached the Pavilion after two and a quarter hours and certainly enjoyed the refreshments after our seven miles.

New Book Club

Would you like to have a book club in Aynho?  I am thinking of starting one so if you are interested and would like more details please contact me on 01869 811056. 

Thank you Ann Rickard


Church: Christian Aid Week

Christian Aid Week  10th-16th May

From 10-16 May, churches the length and breadth of Britain and Ireland will come together to pray, campaign and raise money to improve the lives of people in need all over the world.  Aid is given to people of all faiths and those of none. Every year, 100,000 volunteers demonstrate God’s love for the poor by  taking part in house-to-house collections for Christian Aid.  This fantastic witness is a chance to take the mission of the church into your community.

Christian Aid collecting Envelopes are available in your local church.  Please take enough for you to give out and collect around your neighbours.  Envelopes and donations will be collected on Sunday 17th May at St. Michael Aynho when Bishop Donald joins us for our worship.

Why Christian Aid?

We know Jesus challenges us to love our neighbour. At Christian Aid, we believe he meant our global neighbour too.

Because of God’s commitment to justice and  love for the poor, we can’t sit back and allow poverty to thrive. So together,  as thousands of Christian Aid churches, supporters, partners and staff, we work hard to save lives now and inspire lasting hope for the future.

We each bring what we have – our energy, our voices, our influence, our money, our time, our talents, our prayer and our worship – and use them to work towards a world that looks more like God’s Kingdom. Coming together really works.

We continually witness how giving, acting and praying brings about great transformation in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and Latin America and the Caribbean.   In emergency situations and committed, long-term development, we tackle the causes and the symptoms of poverty across the globe.

We choose our partners on the ground carefully, working with all kinds of local groups who see great need, and are innovative and effective in helping communities to change their situations.

How we spend every pound.

For every pound we raise, we put 86p directly into fighting poverty. Another 13p goes back into fundraising, so we can raise the next pound. The last penny pays for our governance costs, associated with the general running of the charity, ensuring we can keep going to help more people out of poverty for good.


History Society: The Magna Carta at Aynho Fete!

                                       Magna Carta – The Aynho Connection

You’ve probably heard that it will be the 800th anniversary of King John putting his seal on the Magna Carta at Runnymead on 15th June this year.  What you may not know is that the Lord of the Manor of Aynho from 1212 to 1242, John FitzRobert, was chosen as one of the 25 barons to go to Runnymead to witness this event.  The original Magna Cara is written in Medieval Latin, so vitually no one today can understand it. Aynho History Society has a copy of the whole document written in English.  Please come to the Church Fete on Saturday 13th June on the Sports Field 1.0-4.0pm just two days before this anniversary. The document will be freely available for you to look at in the History Society’s display.

.   Contacts:   Rupert Clark: Tel:810603 ru.clark@btinternet.com                Peter Cole:      Tel:811261

Recorded Music Society: April Meeting

Robert presented a highly varied programme with emphasis on serious and captivating modern interjections. Elgar’s “Pomp & Circumstance” started the mood of straight backs and good posture! This was followed by Scott Joplin with his “Elite Syncopation”, Chris Barber’s “Petite Fleur” and Acker Bilk with “Strangers of the Shore” which dispelled all seriousness only to be resumed by two organ pieces by Bach. The first half was brought to a conclusion with hits from the film “High Society”.  The send half commenced with the amazing “Schergo” of Henry Litoff,  Bizet’s “Pearl Fishers” and Saint-Saens Organ Symphony preceeded the delightful Flanders & Swann’s “The Hippopotamus” and the “Song of the Gnu”.         Thank you very much Robert for a most entertaining programme.

.                                                                                               Contact:  Bob Mann 810264

Aynho Long Walk 23rd April 2015

Our new Walk leader, David, took charge today and welcomed two new walkers bringing today’s group to 17. The sky was overcast when we set off along the Black Path and through School End to Little Lane and across to Station Road. Both the stone wall collapses were under repair and the Gigaclear trench was being dug out.  The normal quiet of the countryside was restored once we were in MillersLane.  We soon reached the Mill and tackled the long climb up to Souldern Village. Once at the top we regrouped before walking a short distance down Wharf Lane and taking a path off to the left to bring us round to the far side of the village. The track up to Nancy Bowles Wood was dry and dusty for once and as we took the path to the left there were two llamas, one horse and one sheep all grazing in the field nearby. We were soon back in Souldern Village and took our usual route across to the Portway path and back to the pavilion where we sat outside with refreshments and a chat.


Great Aunt Gertude by Pat Stubbs


My great-aunt Gertrude was one of seven children, born sometime in the 1880’s in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Lancashire. I haven’t any knowledge of her childhood or upbringing as my first encounter with her was when I was nearly six years old. She had been invited to stay with her sister, Julie and brother-in-law Robert (my maternal grandparents) with whom we shared a house in Scotland. She was known by the family as ‘Auntie Ger’ and I remember thinking what fun she was. A small figure with dark eyes and hair parted down the middle, drawn back into a bun. During her visit, she was asked by Julie, my grandmother, if she would clean out the large pond in the garden. My sister and I loved playing imaginary games by this pond. We would kneel by the edge, scoop out handfuls of green mossy weed, and wrap it in newspaper, pretending we were going to sell ‘fish & chips’.   Anyway, on this particular day, Auntie Ger, clad in waders, approached the task with relish and in no time the pond water was clear with not a single piece of weed left floating. My sister and I were playing in another part of the garden, when we heard a clapping of hands, followed by my grandmother shouting ‘Hooray!’ We rushed over to the pond to find out what it was all about and to our horror all the lovely weed (our fish) was no more!   Auntie Ger had certainly excelled herself in my grandmother’s eyes, but, oh no, not in ours!

At the end of the war, we moved to England and lived about 16 miles outside London. During the school holidays we would make the occasional trip to the capital sometimes to purchase school uniform from Debenhams or for a visit to Madame Tussauds. The best times were when we went to have lunch with Auntie Ger at The Sesame Club. Even through my young eyes, this was like stepping back into the past. The very atmosphere seemed steeped in the Arts and Literature. I remember the dark wood panelled rooms, the plush carpets and the heavy wooden doors, and here I quote a description:

‘The hushed atmosphere within the Sesame Club was that of a dignified refuge for the elderly, solicitously served by old retainers. With younger members and club servants away on military duties, it was a backwater harbour for old ladies, a sheltering from the clattering impact of wartime outside. On one occasion, the poet Edith Sitwell entered the dining-room attended by a fireman —–young, tall and handsome, but nevertheless—-a fireman. One could sense the members’ dismay at her social effrontery. Once seated at a table, she gave a brief smothered giggle and peering round, said quietly on a long inhaled breath ‘Ooooh, how I should like to cast Macbeth!’

To return to the late 1940’s and our visit to the Sesame Club, Auntie Ger would greet my mother, my sister and me with a beaming face and arms outstretched, whilst a courteous waiter asked what we would all like to drink. Thinking back to the ‘Great Aunt’ who was standing in the middle of a pond, pulling out the weed, it was hard to recognize her as the same person. Dressed smartly in tweed suit hat and gloves and with make-up, her eyes sparkled more and I knew we were all going to have a wonderful time, apart from the delicious food served at the Sesame!

When lunch was over we would accompany her back to her flat in Egerton Gardens, situated between Knightsbridge and Kensington Gardens. ‘Auntie Ger’ would then make a pot of tea and hand round a box of the most delicious chocolates. Some years later, my mother told me that ‘Ger’ as she called her, would get up at 6.o’clock every morning and do all her housework completely naked, as she believed that exposing her body to the air would be good for it. Evidently, one morning, she had almost finished dusting the furniture when there was a loud knock on the door of her flat .She had to rush to the bedroom and retrieve her dressing gown before answering the caller. It turned out to be a window-cleaner making an early start!

Auntie Ger often visited our home too, in suburban Middlesex. I remember on one occasion we were all in the sitting room, when she opened her handbag and produced a face powder compact. “It’s not loose powder,’ she explained, ‘Max Factor have just brought out this new face powder called a ‘Crème-Puff’. And she dabbed some on her cheeks. ‘It will make your skin look really smooth.’

My sister and I were spellbound. I was about 13 at the time and ‘make-up’ was strictly for the grown-ups. However, if I asked my mother nicely, she might let me buy a ‘Crème-puff’ just to be used for parties or dances. I think Auntie Ger must have been about 70 then, but in a way she was reliving her youth. She had been married, but to a dour Scottish doctor, many years her senior and I imagine her life had been rather dull while he was alive. She did have one child, a daughter Margaret, who enjoyed writing as well as acting in and producing plays. I felt a great affinity to her and our family enjoyed many wonderfully happy visits to her home near Huntingdon. Like her mother, she too was an excellent host and bringer of joy.

Pat Stubbs

WI: Visit to Barn Farm Plants, Wardington

On Tuesday 21st April 15 members of Aynho WI visited Barn Farm Plants at Wardington for a very enjoyable lunch served by the friendly and welcoming staff.   The day was warm and although the wind was a little chilly it did not stop the ladies from indulging in a little retail therapy afterwards, browsing through the plants, garden furniture and gifts as well as the antiques in the Banbury Antique Centre next door.


Aynho Village Meeting on Monday 27-April: Everyone Welcome

Aynho’s Village Meeting 2015 will he held this year on Monday 27-April, starting at 7.30pm, at the Village Hall opposite the Cartwright Arms.

We would encourage all villagers to come along bringing with you a copy of the Village Report, which you can download below and has also been delivered to all households in the past few says

At the meeting you will have the opportunity to see new the Defibrillator and meet representatives of Gigaclear.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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