Aynho Long Walk 27 August 2015

Thirteen of us set off down Green Lane as the sun came out.  After the recent rain the sloping tracks were slippery but fortunately no one fell over.  We passed the farm buildings at Lower Walton Grounds and crossed the well concealed footbridge over the stream.  Round at the road we paused to ensure everyone found the gap for the footpath alongside the cottage garden and into the fields across to Kings Sutton.  The cornfields had been harvested and the path through the stubble was very clear.  Once through the copse at the top of the ridge, however we entered a newly ploughed field and had to guess the route. Fortunately the soil was not clingy like clay so our boots did not put on weight. At College Lane the horse in the field seemed unperturbed by our presence. A mere glance and it returned to its enjoyment of the freshly watered grass.  We crossed the green, followed the path round the back of the village and through the two new built areas to emerge near the station.  Swallows swooped and sped across the field in an impressive aerobatic display.  On the way back we passed through several blackened rapeseed fields, were hit by a light shower and finally completed the six miles in sunshine and enjoyed the usual refreshments at the pavilion.

WI: Circular Walk at Kirtlington

25th August 2015

An approximately 4½ mile circular walk  Kirtlington – Enlsow  – Kirtlington.
We parked in Mill Lane, Kirtlington, walked along it passed the Kirtlington Quarry Nature Reserve to Pigeon Lock, so named after the public house that was once there but is now a private dwelling.  Here we joined the tow path alongside the Oxford Canal which was amazingly dry underfoot considering the amount of rain which had fallen the previous day.  Beyond Kirtlington Golf Club we stopped to read a Waterways information board giving walkers information about the small, rare and vulnerable habitat of the Enslow Marsh Sedgebed we were passing.   Further along we stopped to chat to a lady feeding a family of swans from her doorway which opened straight onto the canal.  There was a timely reminder here not to throw our rubbish into the canal as she said the swan family had only just been returned from Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital after someone had thrown a tin of blue paint into the canal and the family had been covered – the remains can still be seen on the adult male!  Walking on we passed Kingsground Marina, Enslow where a variety of narrow boats were moored and shortly after this we left the canal, walked along the busy A4095 for a short distance before leaving it to join a bridleway heading back towards Kirtlington.  This last part of the walk was very attractive with huge willow trees as well as apple, damsen and even a walnut tree growing alongside the footpath.  This then led us back to Pigeon Lock from where we retraced our steps to Mill Lane and the cars.  A very enjoyable walk with plenty to see.

Swans 350 Willows 350

Church: Harvest Festival

On SUNDAY 27th SEPTEMBER 2015 at 11.00am
We will be celebrating
The fruit, vegetables, harvest produce and gifts will go to The Katharine House Hospice
and the cash collection will be donated to Seth Children’s Home in Kenya.

The Service will be followed by a
in the Village Hall

Everyone is Welcome
Please bring a dish of food (savoury or sweet) which will be put on the table for others to share.  Also please bring your plates and cutlery, and your own drink too!
It would help if we had an idea of numbers – so please let Annabel Bellamy know if you are joining us.

 If you have any questions, please ring on 01869 810847 or 07825 090111.

Ride and Stride


GET ON YOUR BIKE!Are you interested in cycling or walking??       Would you like to raise some funds for the local church while doing so?? If so please get in touch with me.     Shemil cycling

I invite you to participate in a bike riding/walking fundraiser event called Ride and Stride. see       http://www.rideandstrideuk.org/ for more details.

As you can see from the link Ride and Stride raises funds for a national charity that helps to look after the historical churches we have. Churches in our benefice recently received grants from them for the maintenance of the buildings. This year Ride and Stride happens nationally on Saturday 12.th September between 10.00am and 6.00pm. You may choose to ride between and visit as may or as little number of churches as you can and are able to.

Churches in our benefice and others will be open during these times to welcome you. If you are interested in doing such a sponsored walk or cycle please get in touch and we can provide all the details and may be even be able to organise a time to do some of it together as a group.

I will be cycling in the afternoon and invite you to join me or sponsor me.

An added incentive is that whatever we raise half will go the local church of your choice and the other half will be given to The National Churches Trust to fund other churches.

God bless and enjoy the summer             Shemil        PH; 07701587151       revshemil@gmail.com

Gardening Club Flower and Vegetable Show 2015

Produce for sale at the end of the show –

‘What will you give me for these fine leeks?’

produce for sale
leeks 350 Auction 1

A hard working Committee ran a very successful Flower and Vegetable show this year with many entries praised by the judges for their high quality.  A lively raffle conducted by Andrew Bellamy followed the presentation of prizes by Chairman Annabel Bellamy. The show was organised by Carol McClellan.

Congratulations to this year’s Prize Winners

Aynho Gardening Club Shield- Robin Cox
The George Ashbrook Trophy  for best flower – Steve Chessum
The Best Vegetable Cup. – Robin Cox
The Homecraft Plate  – Sarah Sharratt
The Royal Horticultural Society’s Banksian Medal – Helen Cox

Aynho Long Walk 20th August 2015

Twelve of us set off today in optimistic mood in view of the weather forecast, and sure enough there was the occasional glimpse of sunshine. We took the Portway path towards Souldern, being careful to skirt the scattered stone from the collapsed wall.  After crossing the two fields and stream into Oxfordshire we bore left,  climbed the hill to the B4100 and crossed into Upper Aynho Grounds. Here ‘A Day in the Country’ was in full swing with hover cars and go-carts chasing around their tracks.  The Red Poll herd grazed on our left and a couple of lively calves sprinted across the field.

The improvement to the path through the woods was very noticeable after the recent rain. it was no longer necessary to find a roundabout route as the water is now efficiently drained and the path free of boggy ground. The scene changed again as we emerged into the barley field of Warren Farm and then to the horse paddock. We reached Mill Lane and walked down to the ford and up to the wooded walk along the back of Croughton village.  By the church yard we checked for the televison in the ancient tree trunk as usual but it had been covered by a bundle of hay.  Once through the churchyard we walked up the lane to the main road through the village, and continued up past the school to the fields beyond and across to the lane linking Croughton and Charlton. At Cut  Throat corner we took the bridleway towards Hinton for short distance before turning left on to the permissive path up to Camp Farm and across to Rainsborough camp. From there we followed the ridge to Green Lane and thence to the pavilion for rest and refreshment. A lovely varied walk of 6.3 miles.

Photographic Society: August 2015 Report

Click here to see the above photograph. Sunrise over Funchal Bay, Madeira by Elaine Argent

In August, member Paul Brewerton gave a presentation on ‘A photographic journey: How the love of the countryside influenced my photography’. Like many others, Paul’s introduction to photography was via the ubiquitous Kodak Box Brownie camera, and he showed a selection of prints taken from his early film cameras and enlargers to later images on digital cameras. His interest is primarily in landscape photography and, as an enthusiastic fell-walker, Paul showed many intriguing and unusual images taken from the more inaccessible parts of the Yorkshire Dales and Cumberland coast. He concluded with some photographs and stories of his various excursions to Switzerland and elsewhere. This was an interesting and wide-ranging presentation, much appreciated by his audience.

There are a number of forthcoming activities by the Society. On 2 September, member Mick Brittain will give a presentation: ‘Art school to the Photographic Society: In search of a personal style’; then, on 16 September, member Simon Lutter will lead a Workshop on Studio Photography, to be followed on 7 October by a presentation by members Richard Broadbent and Philip Le Mare entitled: ‘New Zealand: A tale of two islands’. All three events are at 7.30pm in the Cartwright Hotel, Aynho.

This year’s major event is the Society’s 9th Annual Exhibition of members’ work – first on 26 September, at The Institute, Adderbury from 10.00am – 4.00pm, and on 24th October, in The Living Room, Deddington Parish Church of SS Peter & Paul, 9.30am – 12.30pm.

Finally, the Society has been invited to mount a display of photographs in the Meeting Room of the Adderbury Library, which is available now for all to see. Everyone is welcome to any of the above activities, just come along – you can be assured of a warm welcome.

John Branton


Aynho Long Walk 13th August 2015

In spite of the threat of torrential storms eleven daring walkers turned up for the long walk this morning. Fortunately their daring was rewarded by a dry, if humid and overcast, walk was enjoyed.  We set off through the Black path into Butts Close and across the Charlton Road to the path down to Lower Aynho Grounds.  The broad beans were turning black and are almost ready for harvest.  Once past the buildings we took the path towards Kings Sutton. We followed the route up hill to the copse at the top and were momentarily thrown by the fact that the field ahead had just been ploughed and the farmer had not had time to reinstate the path.  However the field edge was broad and easy to walk on so we followed that the the gap into the next field, also recently ploughed. It was the field edge again until the top of the ridge and then the path was clear although overgrown in places.  We reached the disused stone pits and soon entered Charlton almost opposite the village hall. We passed through the village without incident and climbed up to Rainsborough Camp and followed the ridge back to Green lane and thence to the pavilion for the usual refreshments.  Just over five and a half miles in exactly two hours with rain just beginning to fall. Fortunately it did not develop so we were able to get home in the dry.


In 1995 I visited Hong Kong and China. Landing at Hong Kong Kai Tak airport is a hair-raising experience as planes fly between the high-rise buildings of Kowloon and land on a runway that extends into the sea.

Kai Tak Airport A

Immigration at Hong Kong, a British colony, took two hours; entering China at Shenzhen took two minutes. In Hong Kong I applied for my China Visa,which was ready in ninety minutes, did some-sightseeing and took the train to the border where I crossed into Shenzhen. I was met by Thomas Kan, co-owner of the printing company I was visiting. It was late-afternoon as we set off in a Mitsubishi Outlander for the estimated six hour drive to Ganzhou City. After two hours we stopped for a meal at a roadside cafe. It was sparsely furnished with metal tables covered with plastic cloths; I noticed a basket of live chickens outside the door. The food will be fresh I thought; it was excellent.

“We’ll be there by 10.00pm,” said Thomas as we resumed our journey.

We crossed the Pearl River into remote countryside; the roads were narrow and bumpy. After a couple of hours we came to a halt; a lorry had overturned and spilled its load. Thomas and I walked to the upturned vehicle and saw that its load comprised plastic instruments for use in schools. Boxes were scattered around and children had appeared from nowhere to collect them, probably to sell in a local market. If only we had left the restaurant five minutes earlier, I thought. Thomas spoke to one of the traffic policemen. He told him I was a VIP from Western Europe who had come to help develop a factory that wouldcreate employment. I would be meeting Civic and Communist Party officials and couldn’t be delayed; we had an SUV that could be driven onto the embankment alongside the road and be on our way. Money changed hands. The policeman spoke to a senior colleague who refused to cooperate; the money was not returned.

So we waited. The only activity was from local peddlers of food and drink who had a captive market. As the sun set, it cast eerie shadows over the distant mountains; the new moon rose and a multitude of insects created a chirruping chorus that serenaded me to sleep on the back seat of the Outlander. I woke about 6.00am, still feeling tired and grumpy, to a wonderful sunrise. Two hours later a breakdown truck appeared and righted the stricken lorry in about thirty minutes; we resumed our journey, reaching Ganzhou City in mid-afternoon. I had been travelling for forty hours and was very unhappy; I demanded to know why we hadn’t flown from Shenzhen, which was the original travel plan.

“Were you saving money?”

“No. There were flight delays; we thought the road would be more reliable.”

Continuing an argument was pointless. My hosts were hospitable and after a good night’s sleep I felt much better. On reflection, I’d had a wonderful experience of rural China, its sounds, its scents, its flowers and its trees.

What a difference a day makes, I thought.


By Brian Reynolds