Aynho Long Walk, 31 December 2015

Five of us set off today in glorious sunshine. We took the Charlton Road and then the path up to Rainsborough Camp. Once of the road the path was a continuum of soft mud and puddles. A horse and rider preceded us and churned up more mud for us to traverse. From the camp we took the path that leads diagonally down the far side of the ridge to Lower Walton Grounds and we continued on to the cherry tree lane and out to the lay-by.  Dog walkers and fathers with children were taking advantage of the weather by parking in the lay-by and enjoying themselves. We crossed the B4100 to the bridleway round to Station Road, and again it was composed of vast stretches of mud and water. This slowed us down and at Station Road we decided to cut short our walk at just over four miles and join the medium walkers in the Cartwright Hotel bar for coffee. It was a very enjoyable walk in the sunshine but treacherous underfoot.

shadows 350w ……..  and the sun shone!

History Society Programme of Events 2016


Wednesday 30th November An update of local Archeological digs by Stephen Wass and AGM.
Wednesday 26th October The epic search for the North West Passage.This lecture is also recommended for geographers, travellers and sailors.  The speaker is Mr Keith Ramsay.

History Society Meetings 2016

Minutes of meetings held in 2016.

January A History of Oxford University. [prettyfilelist type=”pdf,xls,doc,zip,ppt,img,mp3″ filestoshow=”4618,” hidefilter=”true” hidesort=”true” hidesearch=”true” filesPerPage=”3″]
February The 1948 London Olympics, its impact then and now.  [prettyfilelist type=”pdf,xls,doc,zip,ppt,img,mp3″ filestoshow=”4771,” hidefilter=”true” hidesort=”true” hidesearch=”true” filesPerPage=”3″]
March “Out of Tragedy came forth liberation”, evacuations during WW2  [prettyfilelist type=”pdf,xls,doc,zip,ppt,img,mp3″ filestoshow=”4957,” hidefilter=”true” hidesort=”true” hidesearch=”true” filesPerPage=”3″]
April The Mary Rose, a window into Tudor life at sea.  [prettyfilelist type=”pdf,xls,doc,zip,ppt,img,mp3″ filestoshow=”5028,” hidefilter=”true” hidesort=”true” hidesearch=”true” filesPerPage=”3″]
May Recusant Papists of the Aynho District: The secret survival of clandestine Catholics in the C16th-C18th.  [prettyfilelist type=”pdf,xls,doc,zip,ppt,img,mp3″ filestoshow=”5140,” hidefilter=”true” hidesort=”true” hidesearch=”true” filesPerPage=”3″]
June Beer, Sausages and Marmalade – a history of Oxford foods.  [prettyfilelist type=”pdf,xls,doc,zip,ppt,img,mp3″ filestoshow=”5219,” hidefilter=”true” hidesort=”true” hidesearch=”true” filesPerPage=”3″]
September Meeting at Aynhoe Park – a guided tour by James Perkins.
October The epic search for the North West Passage.  [prettyfilelist type=”pdf,xls,doc,zip,ppt,img,mp3″ filestoshow=”5716,” hidefilter=”true” hidesort=”true” hidesearch=”true” filesPerPage=”3″]
November An update of local Archeological digs by Stephen Wass and AGM.  [prettyfilelist type=”pdf,xls,doc,zip,ppt,img,mp3″ filestoshow=”6003,” hidefilter=”true” hidesort=”true” hidesearch=”true” filesPerPage=”3″]

Recorded Music Society: December Meeting

ARMS (Aynho Recorded Music Society)

A splendid and highly individualistic “Douglas” presentation. The Rachmaninov “Piano Concerto No.” was followed by a collection of carls under the heading “Gabriel’s Message”. A Bach cello performance, “Gavottes 1 & 2” was followed by a collection of songs under the heading “Instante D’more”. A charming sonata by Ries and a Plain song performance by Fraternities Jerusalem, gave way to Purcell’s suites and thence to the interval, during which a tribute was paid by the committee to Doris who has diligently operated the music equipment from the very beginning of A.R.M.S in 2001.   The second half was a DVD performance of anthems sung by the Holland Boys Choir backed by the Dutch Baroque Collegiate Choir, conducted by David Willocks.   A thoroughly enjoyable item with “Zadok the Priest” being a major theme.       Excellent  value Douglas                                                                                                               To join us or for more information:                                 Contact: Bob Mann 810264


Sports & Recreation: Park Club Draw

Our draw collectors will be out in early January. We hope that you will continue to help the funds of the sports field and pavilion by having a draw number. Unfortunately the brand new window will cost just slightly more than the insurance excess to repair so this money will undoubtedly have to come out of ASRA funds. We have made improvements to the pavilion recently with new kitchen and toilet flooring, new cupboard doors, lights, shelving and heating but if you would like to help us continue with this please feel free to have an additional draw number or make a one off donation.

You can save our volunteer collectors a trip by paying your subscription directly into our bank account. Its £12 per annum to A/C 00467143 S/C 30-11-08.  Please mail me at kaynho@lineone.net to let me know and remember to put your name as reference please on the payment.

Happy New Year to you all as we welcome in 2016.


Before Christmas, many of us will have written our annual Christmas letter to family and friends, giving an opportunity to look back over the year, when hopefully the good out weighs the bad. Now we look forward to a new year, I hope with eager anticipation.  As we do so then many will be looking at their New Year’s resolutions wondering if they will do any better than the few days they managed last year.

Well that may well depend on you and what your resolution is.  But why do we give up on the things we have started?  Well the Church of England is keen to try and understand why it is that many of our children as they grow up stop attending church. They have commissioned a survey which is in two parts, the first is for those aged 16-30, asking what people of this age like and dislike about the church, its services and people etc.  You don’t have to be a regular attendee, as the answers from those who either don’t come or rarely come are as valid as those who come regularly.  The second half of the survey is for parents who have children aged 11-30, so that I qualify as my children are 25 and 27.

I would ask all who can to take a copy of the survey from church and then

                  return it to me or you can return it to the C of E directly via a FREEPOST address.

Why our children stop coming to church is only one of the many puzzling questions in life.  I am inclined to think that it is often linked with attitudes found at secondary schools towards those of faith, but this is only an opinion.  On the other hand their does appear to be a ground swell of movement against the Christian faith. For example you may well have heard about how the short film showing people saying the Lord’s Prayer was banned from being shown in cinemas.  When a short cartoon about Hindu God’s praying to protect the life of a young child was shown quite happily.

Maybe in 2016 we could all make a resolution to do something to help protect the freedom of people to express their faith. This could be simply a letter or a petition, calling for all faiths to be treated equally, or to allow people to express their faith at work by the wearing of crosses or other religious clothing. May 2016 be a year to make a difference, if only a small one.         Happy New Year        Simon


Lent Bible Studies

With Easter coming early this year, we find Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday 9th February) marking the start of Lent.  This year we will again be holding our Lent Bible Study, Cuppa and Chat, and will be looking for people to host the meetings. If you could host a small group, we will come and lead the chat.  Just let Shemil Mathew (07401 587151) or Simon Dommett (01869 810903 ) know ASAP.              Many thanks.

Christmas Eve Long Walk 2015

Only the Long Walk took place today. Five of us braved the driving rain which turned to hail at times as we headed off along the Charlton Road.  We took the path up to Rainsborough Camp with the wind behind us.  It maybe madness, we thought but it is exhilarating.  It was also cold and wet.  We crossed Camp Farm and took the bridle way up to the lane towards to Croughton. The rain had eased off as we took the path across the fields and emerged by Croughton All Saints School.  As we crossed the churchyard our very own vicar, Revd Simon Dommett, emerged from the church and wished us a Happy Christmas.  The horse in the next field looked rather forlorn in the rain, as we passed through the gate and over the stile to the wooded path and Mill Lane. Horses in the next field were wearing their rain coats and seemed much less concerned.  The path through the woods of Warren Farm and Upper Aynho Grounds were muddy but not swampy as they used to be before the work done last year. As we took the road down to the entrance to Upper Aynho Grounds a line of blue sky appeared and by the time we reached the Portway track we were walking in sunshine. In spite of this we did feel we thoroughly deserved the wonderful spread that Kay had prepared at the Pavilion as we joined the other villagers already enjoying themselves.

What’s The Point of Christmas Trees? by Fiona Gow

This is BBC Radio 4. Now it’s time for the latest in our series “What’s the point of ..?” with Quentin Letts. Over to you, Quentin.

Quentin: Only 13 more days until Christmas and I expect a lot of you have already got your tree home, decorated it – and you may even have managed to get the lights working as well! But I’ve been wondering why on earth we bring trees into the house over Christmas, and cover them with glittery decorations? So my question this week is “What’s the point of Christmas trees?”

I think we should talk first to the man who brought Christmas trees to Britain, Prince Albert. I’m told the line is a little faint, but we’ll try our luck … Your Royal Highness, can you hear me?

Prince Albert: Yes, I am here.

Quentin: Now, sir, you were the person to introduce Christmas trees to this country?

Prince Albert: No, that is not right. The British do not check their facts. The person who introduced Christmas trees to Britain was Victoria’s grandmother, Queen Charlotte. Like me, she came from Germany, where we had a long tradition of decorated trees at Christmas. She gave a children’s party at Windsor Castle in 1800 and thought a Christmas tree would be a good idea and it was a great success

Quentin : So why has Queen Charlotte’s contribution been forgotten?

Prince Albert: The Royal family had had a tree every year but this was not generally known about. However in 1848 there was a picture on the front cover of the Illustrated London News of Victoria and me and our children around our tree.   And because I was, if I may say so, something of an innovator in many fields, people jumped to the conclusion that I had introduced the tree as well.

Quentin Well, thank you, Your Highness, for putting the record straight. Now within 10 years of that picture every well-off family had a Christmas tree, but what about the poor? Let’s hear from the Secretary of the Poor Children’s Yuletide Association. When was your organisation formed?

Secretary: It started in 1906. We thought it was a shame that only rich children enjoyed the magic of beautiful trees hung with colourful decorations. Our aim was to ensure that children in London slums who had never seen a Christmas tree before would enjoy one that year. We were delighted that we collected enough money to send 71 trees laden with toys to the poorest parts of London.

Quentin: The most famous Christmas tree in London these days is in Trafalgar Square. I expect most of you know that a tree is still sent every year from the people of Oslo to the people of London, as thanks to Britain for the support she gave to the Norwegian resistance during the Second World War. But you probably don’t know that the city of Bergen still sends a tree to Newcastle upon Tyne in appreciation of the part that soldiers from Newcastle played in liberating Bergen from Nazi occupation

But I’m still not too sure what on earth fir trees have got to do with the birth of Jesus, so I’m going to the highest authority – the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Very Rev. Justin Welby. Justin, can you tell me if the Christmas tree has got any Christian message?

Justin Welby: Yes, Quentin, it certainly has. First the trees are evergreen.   Most trees shed their leaves in winter, but fir trees stay green. It’s a kind of miracle – life goes on – and for a Christian an evergreen tree is a symbol of eternal life.

Next let’s think about the lights. Bright lights against dark leaves, shining light in the darkness of midwinter. Light shines in the darkness, a symbol of hope in dark days.

And what’s on the top of the tree? Sometimes a star, the star which guided the Wise Men to the baby in the stable in Bethlehem, sometimes an angel to remind us of the heavenly host who sang of peace on earth.

Quentin Thank you very much, Archbishop, and thanks to all our contributors. I shall look at our tree at home with even more pleasure now. Long live the Christmas tree!

Christmas Eve at the Pavilion

Pavilion Café 
I will be running the café in the sports pavilion on Christmas Eve from 10.0am-2.0pm and welcome
residents to come and join in with a bit of Christmas cheer and a spot of lunch or just a hot drink and a cake.  Hope to see as many as possible, especially if you are new to the village.

Aynho Long Walk: 17 December 2015

Ten walkers set off today, in brief glimpses of sunshine, through the village via the black path and Little Lane to Station Road and Millers Lane. Once we were off the tar we found the concrete slabs on the track were quite slippery underfoot. Fortunately no one fell as we continued towards Souldern Mill. We skirted round the ford as it was quite deep, and took the path that curved round the fields. We took the tunnel under the motorway and emerged on to Station Road by the railway bridge.  Along the road to the left we passed the Great Western, observed a surveyor on the bridge, and took the track down to the far side of the canal.  The moorings were almost all taken, but there were very few birds on or around the water and no traffic traveling on the  canal. The path was quite muddy but the real mud was waiting in the farm yard at Souldern Wharf where the ripe smell of cow dung added to the atmosphere. It’s a long steady climb up Wharf Lane into Souldern village, but we made good time and took the path opposite the manor. Aynho Park house was barely visible through the mist in the valley. We soon reached the track which crosses the stream into Belcher Brothers’ fields. A flock of sheep eyed us suspiciously from a distance as we crossed their field. From there we climbed the next field, followed the path under the tunnel and were soon back at the pavilion with our refreshments.  6.4 miles in two hours.