Aynho Long Walk 29 Oct 2015

Seventeen walkers set off today in spite of the rain.  In fact there were occasional slight showers when we set off down Green Lane.  The byway was very muddy in the vehicle tracks so we kept to the grass at the side. We passed through Lower Walton Grounds and crossed the footbridge. Once we had crossed the stream our track was completely hidden under a red and gold carpet of maple leaves for about a hundred yards.  At the tarmac road we took the narrow footpath beside a house into the fields beyond. The path up the field towards the copse at the top was lightly ploughed and quite muddy but on the other side of the copse the path was not clear and the ground full of puddles so we walked round the top of the field and down hill towards Kings Sutton keeping to the edge. This led us to rejoin the path through to the village.  We crossed another carpet of leaves on the green and continued down to the path along the far side of the village. At one point we had to scramble though some churned up soil at the edge of the building site, but the builders waved us through. The rain was now continuous and heavier. The wind had picked up and as we began the return we walked directly into it.  We skirted the village next to the railway and crossed the road to the path down to the sewage works. The wind and damp ensured a particularly pungent smell until we were past the source. From there we battled through the rain and up the hill back to the pavilion. It was particularly welcome to shake off the wet and have a warm drink.  The Kings Sutton Loop of 6.25 miles was completed in just over 2 hours.

Halloween ‘Code’

If you are happy for the children to knock on your door “trick-or-treating” could you leave out a Halloween decoration near your front door or a lit-up pumpkin in a window.  If, however, you do not wish to be disturbed then ensure no decorations are visible on the night of 31st October.   Parents please advise your children accordingly.

                       This should ensure no one is hassled or worried.

Village Clean Up

Sunday 22nd November 2.0 – 4.0pm

Please come and help us keep Aynho tidy. Meet at the Sports Field, bags & gloves provided. Tea and cake will be available.

Church: Travelling Crib

Posada or Travelling Cribs  Posada is a Spanish word for ‘inn’.

Posada celebrations originated in Mexico where two young people would be chosen to dress up as Mary and Joseph.  They would travel around their village telling people about the forthcoming arrival of Jesus,  and asking if they would give him a room.

Today we do not send two young children around the village, but we send the nativity figures of the Holy Family to visit your homes, also known as travelling Cribs.  They are looking for somewhere to stay each night in December until Christmas.   If you could give them a home for the night please contact:
Shemil  07401 587151 or  Simon 01869 810903 to book a night’s visit.

Biodiversity Group: The Common Toad

Common toads vary from dark brown, grey and olive green to sandy-coloured. They have broad, squat bodies, a warty skin and tend to walk rather than hop.  They are widespread throughout mainland Britain living in and around damp areas in gardens, parks, scrubby areas, woods, fields and ditches. They are creatures of habit and can often be found in the same place again and again, however, because they blend in with the background and can remain motionless for hours they are difficult to spot. They live solitary lives only coming together for breeding in March when they will frequently walk long distances so they can return to the ponds they developed in themselves.  The female lays double strings of eggs (up to 5,000 of them) which are fertilised by the male as she lays them.  These hatch after about 10 days and the tadpoles then metamorphose into tiny toads (toadlets) over the next 2 months. Toads are nocturnal, foraging for prey at night and spending the day in a small hollow they excavate. They eat flies, insect larvae, ants, spiders, slugs and worms while larger toads may take slow worms, small grass snakes and harvest mice. They do not have teeth so swallow their prey whole.  As a defence against predators toads stretch out their legs and inflate their bodies to make themselves look as large as possible.  Tadpoles, toadlets and toads also produce a toxic, foul tasting substance through their skin which is enough to put most predators off although grass snakes and hedgehogs are not deterred.  Common toads hibernate in October, typically under deep leaf litter or in logs, drainpipes or burrows and occasionally in mud at the bottom of a pond, although they tend to live away from water for most of the year.  Although still common their numbers have recently fallen (it is thought up to 20 tons are killed on the roads every year) and they have been included as a Biodiversity Action Plan priority species.  They can live for up to 40 years.

Did You Know?

  • The colour of the toad varies according to the colour of the soil in its habitat.
  • A toad stalks its prey until it is close enough to shoot its sticky tongue out and catch it.  To help swallow its food, it blinks to push the food down.
  • Male toads croak and produce a high pitched ‘qwark, qwark’ sound when mistaken for a female by another male. Females make no sound at all.
  • A toad sheds its skin regularly and then eats it.
  • Handling toads with bare hands is not recommended.

Writers’ Group: October Meeting

October’s meeting produced some very enjoyable stories of sports cars and other vehicles before a tasty lunch and a fascinating presentation about Oxford Writers with a journey through the city along the Thames. Needless to say Alice in Wonderland featured strongly. This month we hear “two things to do before we die” or “the best thing we have ever done”! We would welcome more members, so feel free to come along and enjoy the stories and decide if you’d like to have a go. Check website for a taster.

 Contact: Keith McClellan 810346


Recorded Music Society: October Meeting

Unfortunately the usual commentator on our music programme was “out of sorts”. However  several  people contributed opinions with the following comments………..

delightful, informative, versatile and imaginative.           The evening started with Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony”, then  a complete change featured The Seekers with three of their well known pieces. Schubert followed with the second movement of “Symphony No.2” and  Mascagni’s “Cavelleria Rusticana” bringing the interval.

“The Litolff Scherzo” livened up the second half and was followed by “The Swan” by Saint-Saens. Scott Joplin gave “The Maple Leaf Rag” an airing and the evening was rounded off by extracts from “High Society”. Well done Robert, aided of course by Doris.                                                                         Contact: Bob Mann 810264

Gigaclear – Almost There? – October Update

Cabinet & Live Date
Work on the Cabinet on Charlton Road is almost complete – Gigaclear are now waiting for Vodafone to install their ‘box of tricks’ and the cabinet should then be live! Gigaclear expect to be able to make the first live connections in November and they are forecasting that the network build will be complete by the end of November.

Road Closure of Blacksmith’s Hill
Gigaclear have applied for a formal road closure to complete the works required at the bottom of Blacksmith’s Hill which has been granted. The works are scheduled to start on 10th November. Please note they may still need to replace the main cable from the top of Blacksmith’s Hill down to where the previous works terminated as the original cable was cut off when the original contractor was removed from the works in June.

Current Work Plans
Works in The Square, Roundtown and Aynho Court are now almost complete. Gigaclear then intend to do the installations for College Fields, Banbury Road and the bottom end of Charlton Road before linking these up with the network in Blacksmith’s Hill. Connections to The Hill will be undertaken during the road closure period.

Household Installations
Once ‘pots’ have been installed at your property’s boundary Boxcom will contact those residents who have placed an order with Gigaclear to arrange individual connections and installation of the router (shown above) if you have opted for a Boxcom installation. Alternatively you can contact Boxcom on 03302 000003. If you have opted for a ‘self-install’ Gigaclear will be in touch to send you the self install kit. If you have not placed an order and would like more information please visit Gigaclear. However, Gigaclear can only start the connection process once they have your Direct Debit details – If they do not have them you will be contacted and a sales team from Gigaclear, led by Garry Brokenshire, is in the village to collect details.

Broadband Vouchers
In an earlier post I mentioned that Business’s could apply for a Broadband Connection Voucher to help with costs up to £3000. It would appear that the scheme has been so successful that the scheme for new applicants has been suspended! See the Connections Vouchers website for more details.

‘Snagging’ List
As the project comes to an end the Parish Council will be raising snagging issues with Gigaclear. If you have any areas of concern on the completed works please do email Sadie and if possible add a photo. (sadie.patamia@aynho.org). The reinstatement works do come with a 2 year warranty.

Photographic Society: October 2015 Report

Click here to see the above photograph.  Castlerigg Stone Circle, Near Keswick  by Paul Brewerton

In October, the Society’s Chairman, Richard Broadbent, gave a presentation entitled  ‘New Zealand: A Tale of Two Islands’.  Unfortunately, his scheduled co-presenter was indisposed, so Richard himself led his audience on a photographic tour of the islands which he and his wife, Janet, visited last year. Starting on the North Island, Richard took the Society through Auckland and the Coromandel peninsula, taking in such features as the Hidden Railway, Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove and the geo-thermal Hidden Valley at Orakei Korako, before crossing the Cook Strait from Wellington to the South Island.

Continuing, Richard’s travels took us on to Nelson, the sea and beach wildlife at Cape Farewell, past the vineyards and mountains to Kaikura and then to Christchurch, where the city centre is still largely unbuilt following the devastating earthquake of three years ago. After visiting the Moeraki Boulders and crossing Manapouri Lake, the journey ended at Te Anau with its nearby dense, moss-draped rainforest. Throughout the presentation, Richard showed a range of unusual and visually striking photographs, complemented by his inimitable description of events. This was a fascinating photographic ‘tour de force,’ that was much appreciated by his audience. The evening concluded with a reprise of photographs from the Society’s first annual exhibition, which was held at Adderbury Institute in September.

The second of the Society’s 9th Annual Exhibition of members’ work will be on 24th October, in The Living Room, Deddington Parish Church of SS Peter & Paul, 9.30am – 2.30pm. Refreshments in the Church. Everyone Welcome!



Aynho Long Walk 8th October 2015

Five new walkers joined us today, boosting our long walk to a record twenty one walkers and they couldn’t have chosen a better day. The weather was perfect, lovely sunshine and warm but not hot. We set off down the Portway path towards Souldern but branched off up to the B4100 and crossed into Upper Aynho Grounds.  The owners had kindly given us special permission to take the track down to the lakes away from the public footpath. Waterbirds abounded, a family of swans stood on the opposite bank eyeing us warily. The autumnal  trees reflected their colours in the still water. We crossed the two bridges to the far side of the lake and followed the track back to the public path. Unfortunately there was a fence which had not been there previously so we had to cross to the path with care. We’ll know in future. We climbed through the woods of Warren Farm and emerged into a recently ploughed field. On the far side, over the gate were a pair of inquisitive horses. We followed the path down to Mill Lane and then back to the ford and through the woodland walk to the back of Croughton Village. The Church was covered in scaffolding as we passed through the churchyard and up into the village. The road by the school led us up to the fields and at the top of the rise the valley and the ridge beyond looked wonderful in the autumn sunshine. We continued out to the lane and then took the path off to the right which led us up to Camp Farm. We skirted below the Camp as the usual route to the ridge is now fenced off. Instead we walked up the far side of the Camp Farm field and then joined the track along the ridge and thence back to the pavilion. The refreshments were particularly welcome as we sat outside in the sunshine after 6.7 miles.