Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
21 April 1926 to 8 September 2022
Monday 19th September 2022
Today was the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Eleven days after she died, a Queen who served the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the World was laid to rest. Her state funeral and the procession were screened at The Oakridge Village Hall on the first-class audio visual system. Outside, the Union Jack flown at half- mast was blowing in the wind, on a grey September morning. Inside about forty local people gathered to witness this historic event.
A portrait of The Queen found in a back cupboard, a prop from the Oakridge Players’ production of Fawlty Towers, was propped up on the piano at the front of the hall with candles on either side. On the card tables covered with table clothes were small vases of country flowers, each one with a sprig of rosemary for remembrance. There were also plates of biscuits, a small candle and printed orders of service.
Whilst tea and coffee was served from ten o’clock onwards people chatted, sharing memories of The Queen and exchanging village news and then at about ten to eleven, ten minutes before the service started everyone took their seats, including the servers behind the tea hatch. And the hall hushed as the royal family processed to their seats and The Queen’s coffin was hoisted onto the pallbearers’ shoulders and carried into Westminster Abbey.
For the service, the coffin draped in the red, yellow and blue Royal Standard stood alone on the plinth. The flowers on her coffin included dark pink roses, oak leaves and rosemary, like the flowers on our tables that came from our gardens, The Queen’s flowers came from her own garden at Buckingham Palace.
The beautiful music soared in Westminster Abbey and on the big screen in the Oakridge Hall it felt as if we were there. But we also had the benefit of a bird’s eye view of the proceedings inside and outside of the abbey, and tender close- up images of the choir and those reading. When the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke of The Queen’s service he said, ‘Her Majesty famously declared in a 21st birthday broadcast that her whole life be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth. Rarely has such a promise been so well kept. Few leaders receive the out-pouring of love we have seen’ And a little voice in the hall asked ‘Why is he speaking so loud?’
In a moment of silence, the cameras showed people gathering together around the country, in parks and town squares, doing what we were doing, watching on big screens the outstanding spectacle of thousands of people working together to remember an outstanding monarch; Belfast, Wolverhampton, Edinburgh and Oakridge Lynch.
When The National Anthem started with the still unfamiliar first line of ‘God Save our Gracious King’, the assembled people movingly stood up, right through to the end of a more unfamiliar second verse.
Delicious cucumber sandwiches, with the crusts cut off, were handed round after the service. And the people sat fast on their chairs as the coffin was taken out of Westminster Abbey into the autumn sunshine and carefully placed back on the gun carriage which was to be pulled by 98 Royal Navy Sailors to the hearse at Wellington Arch. It was compelling viewing as the sailors in faultless formation marched through the narrow Horse Guards Arch leading onto the parade ground and round bends to rhythmic sound of marching boots, drums and the mournful music from the marching band. Behind the coffin, walked King Charles III, The Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince William and Prince Harry amongst others, accompanying the Queen for the last time past Buckingham Palace where the palace staff lined the pavement.
Just before 2 o’clock the Queen’s coffin was safely delivered to the next part of her final journey and the people in the hall started to stir. As the clearing up was done talk changed from the sombre to the positive. Justin Welby’s last words in his sermon were ‘We will meet again,’ and behind the hatch in the village hall the talk turned to planning a party for Charles III’s coronation.
Have You Lost a Ginger Kitten?
This young ginger kitten seems to have lost it's owner. It's in the care of Margaret Kington from ALFIG. Please contact email@example.com if you think he may be yours!
Oakridge Village Show! - Thank You!
A massive thank you to everyone who helped make the Show the success it was, from all the helpers setting up and taking down, to the volunteers who ran the stalls on the day, and of course all those who came along to spend some money: it really was an amazing day. The sum of £2,450 was raised, of which £1,500 was donated to Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and £500 towards the refurbishment of the Church gates.
The day was admirably compered by Charlie Wise, with the ever popular book stall and dog show among others drawing people in, yummy cakes served up with the teas and coffees, and the lovely WI jams and preserves adding to the atmosphere. The Wine Club ran a fabulous bar, and BBQ food was on offer. And with the entertaining Mary Lou Revue returning once again, and a fantastic dancing display from Ballyhoo, there was plenty to keep visitors busy. Thanks go also to all who kindly donated prizes or items for stalls.
Entries to the Flower and Vegetable Show were considerably reduced on previous years but we still had more than enough to fill the hall and it looked great! This despite another difficult growing season that may have affected produce availability. Childrens’ entries though were again low (none at all in the under 4 year old groups) – if anyone has suggestions as to how to make these classes more attractive to potential entrants, please do get in touch. The quality of entries throughout was of an excellent standard – very well done to all trophy winners below, and huge thanks to the judges.
Flowers: Ali Mills
Vegetables: Mike Dolman
Longest Runner Bean: Ali Mills
Miscellaneous Garden: Susie Trotter
Flower Arrangements: Gaza Westfall
Baking & Preserves: Susan Hemming
Handicrafts: Helen Scott
Photography: Sue Korda
Children aged 5,6 & 7: Anya Tillman
Children aged 8-11: Alma Tillman
Children 12 yrs upwards: Mia Gal
Best in Show: Gaza Westfall
As a final note, the Village Show would not be possible without the enormous work of the committee. This year we say goodbye and extend HUGE thanks to Mark and Lyndsey Barnett, and Caroline Priestley for all their incredible hard work over many years. That means we have spaces on the committee for people who would like to be involved in taking the Show forward for future years – if you are interested, please contact Vicky Beard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Michael Scott: OAKRIDGE SHOW 3RD SEPTEMBER – THANK YOU!
Our Village Show was a great success, thanks to a small but dedicated band of organisers and helpers. The occupants of the 66 vintage and classic cars and motor cycles love coming to Oakridge, many returning year after year. On their behalf, can I say a big “thank you” to all those who gave the motorists such an enjoyable afternoon: first, a very small organising group, namely Caroline and Tom Priestley, Mark Barnett, Victoria Beard, John Loosley and Andrew (Andrew alone organised the Village Hall exhibition): next, the welcome group which energetically erected the tents on Friday and took them down again late on Saturday: third, those who worked so hard to give us lunches, teas, wines and beer: last, but certainly not least, those who set up and ran all the popular and successful stalls and attractions for us to enjoy.
As they left the field, many of the car owners told me “See you next year”. But perhaps they hadn’t appreciated just how much work must be done before Oakridge Show 2023 can take place – it will rely on the active participation of our local folk. I do hope anyone interested in helping with this task will contact the organisers to ensure our long running Village Show tradition continues.
Meanwhile, thanks again, everyone!
Oakridge Players - Next Production!
The Oakridge Players are now planning their next production which is a cowboy pantomime (yee-haa!), scheduled to run at the end of January. More to follow, but in the meantime if you are interested in joining the Players in any capacity (on stage, back stage or front of house) please contact Steve (07768 466821, email@example.com) or Pauline (07802 613965, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Players are also running an informal acting workshop towards the end of October and would welcome potential new members at the workshop to have a bit of fun. If you are interested, again please contact Steve or Pauline.
Oakridge Cricket Coaching
Cricket coaching for girls and boys aged 5-8 (All Stars) and 8-11 (Dynamos) is starting soon at Oakridge Cricket Club.... details below!
Lunch Club - BACK
Lunch Club is held at the Village Hall on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, at a price of £8 per head.
All welcome, arrive from 12 noon, to sit for 12.30. A wonderful chance to catch up with friends, or meet new. If you would like to come but haven’t already put your name on the list the previous month, or need to cancel your place, please leave a message for Ali Mills on 01285 760568. This must be done by the Friday before the Lunch Club at the latest, to allow for food ordering and preparation.
Please note, the September lunch will be a week early, on 14th September
Oscar and I are super excited to bring you a sneak peek at our “Delicias de España” section. A selection of the very best products directly sourced from Spain: from staples from my mother’s kitchen when I was growing up (including the best rice from Valencia - essential to make a good paella) to award winning delicacies currently being served only at Michelin star restaurants around the world: award winning Manchego cheese, crisp and bright Albariño wine, hand carved ibérico ham, premium olive oil, delicious olives from the best regions of Spain and even octopus (for the very best Pulpo a la Gallega you can have without leaving your home), …. just to name a few. We will be bringing more every week as well as adding new goodies so stop by to see what’s in store and give your taste buds a well deserved trip to Spain, right here in Oakridge. Buen provecho!
Do you have some time spare to help the Church in Oakridge stay open?
The village Church has a special role in an English Village community and Oakridge is no exception.
The Church in Oakridge, St Bartholomew’s, has a special place in the life of the village. It is used by Oakridge School on a regular basis and at special times of the year, such as Easter, Harvest and Christmas. It is a place of quiet and contemplation for many people in the village and a welcome resting place for walkers and visitors.
The Church in Oakridge also features at important stages in all our life journeys such as when new life arrives in our families, when relationships are blessed and when we have to say goodbye to loved ones.
Our Church in Oakridge, however, can’t continue to maintain its special place in our village without your help! We are looking for volunteers to clean and help maintain the Church through the year, to help with arranging flowers to welcome visitors and to take responsibility for coordinating the maintenance and security of the building.
You may only be able to commit to an hour or two per week for a month in the year. This would help enormously with the cleaning or arranging flowers.
If you feel able to commit to more responsibility to ensure the continued service the Church in Oakridge provides to the village community this would be wonderful. If you would like to explore any way you can be involved, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the following...
John Mason - 01285 760465
Linda Reardon - 07794 425 915
Peter Scott -01452 770382
Oakridge Village Hall - Please Sign Up to Amazon Smile!
The Village Hall continues to be regularly used by the Ballyhoo Dance School, and by many fitness groups and the Choir, among others.
Don’t forget that the Bookings Calendar is available online - www.oakridgevillage.org/village-hall.html
A year or so of supporters using Amazon Smile has shown it can generate useful funding for the Hall - please think about signing up to give a 0.5% donation to OVHT at no extra cost. It is very simple - when using Amazon just switch to smile.amazon.co.uk and search for Oakridge Village Hall Trust as your desired charity. You only have to do that once but can switch to another charity when you wish.
Gigaclear Broadband Access – open to all users of the Hall – help us to keep the service available by signing up.
Network: Oakridge Village Hall Gigaclear
(No password required)
For more, see the village hall page.
Booking enquiries: email email@example.com
The Butchers Arms
Please see our facebook page and new website for the latest opening hours, or call for the latest menu.
Cinema comes to Oakridge! - Next screening on 5 October
The second Film Night was supported by over 50 people coming to enjoy Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren in The Duke, a ‘ridiculously charming’ British true life comedy drama.
The next events will be on Wednesday 5th October, doors and bar open from 6.45pm, film at 7.30pm; Wednesday 2nd November and Wednesday 30th November.
Using the new 3.5m big screen, state of the art projector and Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound system at Oakridge Village Hall we are now starting a program of film that we hope will have broad appeal. A cash only bar will be available before and after the film. For licensing reasons we are not able to advertise the name of each film publicly, but the good news is that as a member of the What's On Mailing List you can find out now, and continue to be notified in advance of the film title whenever a film night is planned.
Sign up to the mailing list now at www.oakridgevillage.org/mailinglist for advance notice of these events and others!
Doors open at 1845 for a 1930 start. Tickets are just £5 (cash only) on the door including light snacks. To help the team plan for numbers, please visit our box office to reserve a seat but remember to pay £5 cash on arrival - www.oakridgevillage.org/boxoffice
We were sorry to have to cancel our August meeting. The speaker was in hospital and, not surprisingly, forgot all about her talk on poisonous plants that she was booked to give us. Maybe another year.
The Village Show was the next club event at which we always sell bulbs. It is often a concern as to whether they arrive in time, we have to bag them up and get them labelled. Some did not come this year, so members, please bring some change with you to our next meeting as they will be on sale again. I was sorry not to be home for the Show; it’s always a fun event and made even more this year.
Our October meeting will be interesting as she is an amusing and excellent speaker telling us all about being an editor of a gardening magazine. There will also be garden tools on sale if anyone is thinking of early Christmas presents.
Please all make a note that our winter social is NOT on Tuesday 6th December as our card tells us, but on Friday 16th. This is because we cannot get into the Hall to set up tables and start to cook until too late on the Tuesday. It will be an excellent meal, as we have our own Mary Berry of Oakridge cooking for us. There will be the usual raffle and a cash bar on that evening.
I hope you have all had a good Autumn with some lovely days full of dew and dahlias. My apple crop has been, and still is, amazing.
Oakridge Village Hall - into the digital world...
The Trustees of Oakridge Village Hall are pleased to announce completion of a state of the art digital audio/visual installation. This includes:
- 6000 lumens WUXGA laser digital projector
- 3.5m wide motorised screen
- New up-to-date sound system
- Blu-ray player
- Chromecast and Apple TV
- 900 Mbps high speed broadband
- Wireless operation
The installation is designed to support many cultural activities such as showing/streaming films, presentations, dances, concerts and theatre. The Trustees plan to launch the facility soon with a village open day when its capability will be demonstrated.
First an apology for giving the incorrect date for the September meeting at which Liz Davenport was speaking on “Woodchester Mansion, an unfinished masterpiece”. We look forward to a stimulating beginning to this year’s programme.
The final activity of the 2021/22 season was in August when Carol Maxwell led a group of us round Painswick, looking not only at the obvious landmarks such as the church, the stocks, the R.C. church and various substantial vicarages, but also at the less obvious - the historic bowls club (one of the oldest in the country apparently) and a somewhat mysterious tower adjacent to a 1926 house by Sidney Barnsley thought to be possibly a drying tower for the wool industry. We saw the changes in streets where rows of tiny cottages inhabited by families of the poorest mill workers once faced grand houses of the mill owners. Now the cottages have been knocked through and transformed into big houses themselves, owned by an entirely different class of residents. We were very fortunate to be invited on the spur of the moment by the owner into one of the oldest houses in Painswick to see part of the 16th century interior. It was a fascinating evening.
Our meeting on October 26th will be a talk by Chas Townley on “The rise and fall of the Bisley Path from Gloucester to Cirencester” and the following meeting will be 23rd November, exploring and sorting the Oakridge historical archives.
Check out our new Village Gallery!
With thanks to Beth Hughes for this fabulous collection of local photographs, head over to the gallery....
Sapperton Railway Tunnel
It is interesting to speculate on the effect the construction of the railway tunnel had on the local community. In 1837 Charles Richardson, Brunel’s engineer, began surveying the line of the proposed tunnel by sinking trial shafts and erecting large staffs to assist the surveying on the surface. It was on the 27 April that the people became fully aware of the surveying activity as a large staff was raised. This is described in Richardson’s journal.
“Got hauling pegs &c driven – got large sheer legs up and had some difficulty to get the hauling parts in the right place. The Staff had a violent shake when first lifted off the props. Raised it easily, steadily and without the slightest accident – large crowd of spectators many of whom lent a hand. Tried several ways of getting up the Staff but was forced to climb up by the main hauling rope. Tightened cross tree gyes and plumbed the head of the Staff thereby. Cast hauling tackle adrift and was lowered down. Tightened the gyes but was forced to put a sheepshank, about a yard long, in each.”
The construction of the tunnel commenced in 1838 and was completed in 1845. A series of shafts were excavated, and miners were lowered down these shafts to dig out the tunnel and the spoil was hauled up these shafts.
These railway miners came from all over the country and the 1841 census records many lodging at Sapperton, Frampton Mansell, Daneway, Far Oakridge and Oakridge Lynch. There was a total of 48 recorded and some miners had families with them, and they rented cottages. This activity must have brought in welcome business to the area where there was high unemployment due to the collapse of the woollen cloth industry in Chalford.
Although, no doubt, many locals obtained casual labouring jobs, few were employed as miners but Amnon Bishop of The Frith the son of a local weaver is described in the census as a miner and brothers James and Henry Hayden of Oakridge became tunnel miners later working in many parts of England and Scotland.
Following the opening of the railway many Oakridge men went to work on the railway both on track maintenance and on the trains. This of course was not the first time that “foreign” miners had come to the area as in 1784 work commenced on the Sapperton canal tunnel which was completed in 1789. Most of these miners were accommodated at Daneway and, according to Norman Jewson, in barracks on the road from Sapperton to Frampton Mansell.
Head on over to the Oakridge History Website for more... Start here for more on transport services...
Dame Margaret Weston
Dame Margaret Weston, born in Oakridge in 1926, the daughter of Mr Weston, headteacher at Oakridge School in the 1940s (and remembered in several of the recent ‘Memories’ articles), has recently passed away at the age of 94. Following education at Stroud High School and Birmingham Municipal Technical School, she was one of only 3 women alongside 300 men, selected for a student apprenticeship at The General Electric Company, where she became a Chartered Electrical Engineer. Following qualification, she joined the Science Museum in London in 1955, rising to become the first female director of a national museum in 1973. Her aim there was to make the Science Museum more fun, more accessible to children, and more various in its contents, including making its galleries more interactive. She was also instrumental in creating a network of museums extending outside London, the nationwide Science Museum Group.
Appointed a Dame in 1979, she retired in 1986 and spent her last years back in Stroud, where she helped set up the Museum in the Park, and was a patron of the Stroudwater Textile Trust and Cotswold Canal Trust.
Bisley-With-Lypiatt Parish Council
Please see the Parish Council website for Ward information and minutes of Council meetings. www.bisley-with-lypiatt.gov.uk.
The Parish Council (PC) is busy with the project to develop a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) as an addition to Stroud District Council’s Local Plan to plan how the area will progress over the next 10 years.
Consultations are under way with Village Hall meetings in the 3 constituent Wards to canvas opinion with ALL residents – so any ideas you have on the way YOU want YOUR area to develop would be happily received.
Feel free to contact us if you want to share ideas about our future in Oakridge Ward.
Ward Councillors - Tony Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org – 07710 800290), Roger Budgeon, Dennis Robbins Clerk - Debbie Meredith 01452 771089 email@example.com
From The Ground
Oakridge Parochial School Allotment Project
Read The February/March
Update Here ...
OAT (Oakridge Allotment Team)
Tel: 07983 65414 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The John Taylor Foundation
The John Taylor Foundation is a local charity that issues grants to students and apprentices to assist with the cost of tools, books, or equipment.
If you'd like to apply for a grant and you live in the ancient parish of Bisley, and are under 25, please apply in writing to Mrs P Bashford, 37 Windyridge, Bisley, GL6 7DA, stating your name, age, college, course or employer.
Fancy some TaiChi?
Oakridge Parochial School
It has been a super busy term at Oakridge and we still
have two weeks to go!
Recently, the children were invited to take part in a
tree planting event in Chalford, a project which was
conceived by one of our parents Gill Skeffington two
years ago to raise awareness of our village school and
do some wildlife habitat creation at the same time.
Gill has persevered through the pandemic to keep the project going, and with parents’ help, has worked hard to facilitate the practicalities. We are also grateful to Annie Kleiner of Coppice Hill who responded to our appeal for
suitable land to undertake the project, a pocket of scrub linking two areas of woodland close to the Dimmel’s Dale Wildlife Reserve. It was a truly rewarding experience for our children to be involved. Over 100 British native broadleaved trees have been planted this year, by four school groups - Oakridge planted 32 trees. The children are welcome to visit the site and the trees with their families or the school, watch them grow and enjoy the wild space. We are grateful to all who have been involved in this exciting project.
Last week (w/c 14th March) we celebrated STEM with a particular focus on science and DT (design technology). Class 1 children learnt about light and Class 2 forces - linked to our topic. In Class 2 our book ‘The man who walked between the towers ’is an inspiring book about the true experience of Philippe Petit who walked between the two towers of the World Trade Centre in New York in 1974. It provided ample opportunities to explore. In science the children carried out an investigation to find out whose parachute could land the safest and slowest for Philippe the main character in the book. They were also challenged to build the tallest tower using a certain amount of marshmallows and 12 sticks of spaghetti!
In DT both classes focused on mechanisms and mechanical systems; class 1 using levers to create owls for a shadow puppet show and really complex linkages to create a moving picture for the children’s author Charlotte Guillan’s book ’‘The skies above my eyes. ’’The results were incredible! On the other hand, Class 2 designed and made cranes for Philippe to lift him to the top of One World Trade Centre tower. Pulleys were used as the mechanism and some children even used motors!
Finally, our week ended with a visit to We the Curious science museum in Bristol. We had a wonderful day. The weather was gorgeous and, as well as experiencing all that is on offer at the museum (engaging hands-on activities, a light show and a planetarium show), it was the first proper trip we have experienced in the last couple of years. I wonder where we will go next?!
Did You Know?
Siccaridge Wood is one of the few places in the Cotswolds in which the hazel dormouse makes its home, numbers of which are closely monitored as part of a national scheme, while wood ant nests can be found on the ground and silver washed fritillary and comma butterflies flit around the open rides.
The Arts and Crafts Movement
Oakridge was a hub of the Arts and Crafts Movement and famous painters, furniture makers, poets and other interesting people have lived here. Find out more at our Oakridge History Archive.
Just beyond Siccaridge Wood lies Daneway Banks, where the steep sides have almost lunar like bumps made by generations of yellow meadow ants. A classic example of limestone grassland, it is also home to the large blue butterfly which has been recently re-introduced after being extinct in the UK for several decades.
Hire Our Village Hall
Why not hire our Village hall?
Garden Club - Local Links
Oakridge Events Diary
If you would you like us to add an event - please get in touch through the Contact Us page.
Full calendar and "What's On" available here.
Village Hall Bookings Calendar
Please see here for a guide to availability
"What's On" Newsletter
We protect your information and privacy strictly in accordance with all legal requirements and we do not share your personal information with any third party.
What's On Editor: Victoria Beard Tel: 01285 760339 Email: email@example.com
Out and About
Chalford Sports & Social Club
From time to time events and courses at the Chalford Sports & Social Club are included in 'Whats On' which you can download above or visit their website at chalford-ssc.co.uk
Bisley "Well Dressing"
Bisley's famous "Well Dressing" custom, dating from 1863, is held every Ascention day - Find out more.
Artists and Artisans In Residence
Country and Wildlife
Delve into the Archive at oakridgearchives.omeka.net
And buy the Book!
You can buy this beautiful 175 page fully illustrated hardback 'Oakridge a History' for just £12 from Ollie's Shop or by mail from John Loosely, Email :