Sibford Scene Archive

Sibford Scene 384 August 2016

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A group of people in a hall

The Queen's 90th birthday

The rain couldn’t dampen spirits when the villages celebrated the Queen’s 90th birthday with a series of events over the weekend of 11 & 12 June. Here, Maureen Hicks reflects on the weekend’s events:

I WAS SAD … when:

  • The weather prevented us from holding our celebration service out of doors
  • The weather prevented us from holding our Street Party in Acre Ditch

But, I WAS GLAD … when:

  • Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh et al. posing for the cameraWe formed a Steering Group for a village party to celebrate the Queen’s special birthday
  • Cherwell District Council, Sibford Gower and Ferris Parish Councils and the Town Estate Charity agreed to support our programme with some grant funding
  • Worcester College Chapel Choir agreed to sing for us – how their wonderful singing lifted our spirits to match the soaring heights of their voices especially in Hubert Parry’s ‘I was glad …
  • So many joined us for our Service of Celebration
  • The sun came out for our family fun and activities on the field
  • We managed to sit everyone down to tea – undercover! – and then the heavens opened
  • We had so many offers of help with so many different jobs to make the party happen
  • We saw so many happy faces joining together in our village-style celebration
  • So many people just joined in with all the clearing up

Thank you to all who continued Sibford’s tradition of celebrating Royal occasions in style. A few commemorative mugs are still available – £2.50 on a first come, first served basis.

Maureen Hicks

A group of people sitting at a tableThank you – As a member of the steering committee for the Queen’s 90th birthday, I would like to thank all who helped with the catering, making sandwiches (30 loaves of bread), and also to Diana Thompson and all who made cakes and helped with tea with a good community spirit, hopefully enjoyed by all.

Gilian Soden

Public Meeting Report

The Bishop Blaize – The former public house the Bishop Blaize has been listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). On 17 June the two Sibfords and Burdrop held a packed public meeting in the Village Hall to discuss the implications.

Although it is no longer for sale, and currently trading under a different name, the meeting agreed without dissent that we would wish to invoke the rights of the village communities to bid for the pub if it were ever on the market. In the meantime the existence of the ACV means there can be no change of use in planning terms.

We discussed the organisation needed for a future bid, together with possible uses for the public house: a successful community purchase may use the Bishop Blaize not necessarily or wholly as a pub, as long as it is “a non-ancillary use of the Asset which will further (whether or not in the same way) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community”. Various uses were suggested, including a coffee shop, clubhouse, parcel collection service, facility for the elderly, centre for youth work, art centre, micro-brewery, bakery, hub for holiday activities such as biking, pony trekking, holiday lets. It was agreed to protect the existing interests of village institutions (Village Hall, Fielding Centre, village shop, Wykham Arms), and volunteers were called for to establish a planning group to explore the options. This group will begin meeting in the autumn; meanwhile anyone who has ideas or wishes to join is asked to contact the chairmen of Sibford Gower and Sibford Ferris Parish Councils.

The meeting ended with a presentation of the work of the Plunkett Foundation of Woodstock in helping to organise community ventures of this type.

Above, you may see one or two items of historical interest from this edition. To see the whole edition, click on the front-page image to download it as a pdf.