Sibford Scene Archive

Sibford Scene 453 May 2023

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Text, calendar

Cotswold Close Play Area

Some updates for you. The new fencing has now been erected and looks superb. It complies with all the latest Health and Safety Recommendations and should last for years, as the posts have a protective sleeve on to prevent rot under ground.

The Baby Swing seat is on order so will be up soon.

The Parish Council are looking for funding to help replace the bigger wooden walkway. There are some smaller projects to provide too, such as a new bench , a round swing and new “Springers”.

If anyone in the villages would like to sponsor an item of play equipment then please contact our Parish Clerk , Kirsty Buttle by email to

Ginny Bennett
Parish Councillor

A Greener Sibford Community

Blessed as we are to live in this beautiful area, we’ve been thinking about how together we could help make the Sibfords an even better, greener and more sustainable community. If you feel the same way, we would welcome your response and support, even in the smallest way.

You probably know that some years ago Hook Norton set up their own voluntary organisation to help residents to use electric vehicles, advise on domestic heating and insulation, and encourage the building of zero-carbon homes. It is a very practical approach which seems a good model to us. Legislation and taxation already means that In the next few years, most of us will want to make optimum decisions about replacing our cars, oil and gas boilers, and other means to cut energy costs. Some within the community have gone further with solar installations and net zero energy housing. Many have experience with suppliers and heat pump installations for example.

We think that if we could share the expertise we already have, and develop a shared knowledge base about the pros and cons of particular solutions and the best technologies and deals around, everyone could gain some benefit.

We invite you to think about whether you have professional or user experience in this area which you could share, and whether you would be prepared to spend a little of your time with us to develop a community approach in an area of common benefit.

At the moment this is not a Parish Council initiative, but we will of course keep both the Sibford Ferris and Sibford Gower Parish councils up to date with our plans and seek their help and support where appropriate.

If you can, please drop us a line by email to and let us know what experience you have, what are the most pressing issues for you, or how you might be willing to contribute. Our first step would then be to bring people together to discuss how to take this forward.

Stephen Gomersall, Tom Dyson, John Wass, Stewart Roussel

Coronation Celebrations

Please come and make this a day for everybody in Sibford to remember!

Come and join us on Sunday the 7th of May for a day of celebration, beginning with a Church Service at 12.15 followed by THE BIG LUNCH Qr codePARTY on Acre Ditch at 1.30. Bring your own lunch and join in the fun. Already over 100 people have put their names down and we need many more!

Book your families/group of friends free seats at the table by emailing or by scanning the QR code. WE HAVE LOTS OF SEATS, SO GET SCANNING/EMAILING!!!!!

We will provide complimentary cake and you can enjoy an afternoon of fun from 3-5 which includes:

Cash/card bar
Country Dancing for everyone to join in
Bouncy castle & inflatable slide
Delicious Ice Cream
Tea and coffee

There will be a Royal fancy dress parade organised by Clemmie Broom before lunch. There will also be a prize in the Village Hall at 3.30 for the school class prize making the best crown.

There will be limited parking in the village hall and surrounding streets so please consider lift share, drop off or walking. There will be a car park at the Village Hall where we are also having a bouncy castle and a slide for children.

If anyone would like to volunteer with setting up or clearing please contact:

We ask that you please take your rubbish home.

Did You Know? - Sibford Gower Village Pond 

A path with buildings on the side of a riverThis month’s calendar photograph showing the pond in Sibford Gower was taken by Colin Lamb. Historically, and at the heart of the village, the pond has been a feature in our village for hundreds of years attracting generations of families to enjoy it. 

Various springs arising from the bank below Elmridge Farmhouse come together forming a pool, which until 1885 constantly flowed across the village track making a swampy area below Pond Cottage. In the late 1800’s A group of people in a forestwork was undertaken to kerb it and an entry in Rev E Stevens diary for 7 September 1885 recorded that, ‘The pond at Sibford Gower is now finished and considerably improved; but I fear it is done in such a manner that the improvement will not be very permanent, though Adkins has done all he undertook to do for £9. I think that if the first plan had been carried out, the estimate for which was £16 it would have been better, would have looked better, and would have been a great and permanent improvement. The area appears too large for the supply of water which leaks away all round the pond.’ 

Since it was formed in 1894, the Gower Parish Council has spent much time discussing pond matters – ownership (which has never been established), ducks, fish, frogs, newts, emptying and cleaning and traffic matters. In recent years, and for various reasons, the water table has dropped significantly especially during the summer months. The water has become very shallow reducing oxygen levels making it unsustainable for the shadow carp which used to be seen in its clear waters. It is said that you are not a true Sibfordian until you have fallen into the village pond! 

In 1887 an oak tree was planted by the pond to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Sadly, the tree did not thrive. On October 22, 1887 Joseph John Lamb, met his end by falling from a chestnut tree in the garden of his home, West Town House in Sibford Ferris. He was killed instantly while knocking down the ripe fruit for his son Theodore. The chestnut tree now growing by the pond in Sibford Gower was raised from a nut picked up by Theodore, from the side of his father’s dead body. This childhood trauma may have led to Theodore Lamb later living as a hermit on Sibford Heath.

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.