Visit the newly launched "Cotswold Room" at Ollie's Shop for a fantastic range of lovingly made local products and unique gifts from the Cotswolds such as scrumptious smoked fish from reknown Severn and Wye smokery, award winning jams and sauces, curious meats and Cotswold chorizos, Stroud handmade candles and Cotswold lavender lotions and much, much more!"
Oakridge Village Shop and Post Office carries an extensive range of products from household essentials to award-winning organic foods and the very best local delicacies from all over the Cotswolds. Off road parking and a weekly order service and delivery are also available. Open 7 days a week.
John Bailey Open Studio in Aid of Cancer Research
Having been unable to exhibit any of my work for two years, I thought I would write to let you know about my Open Studio this year, 27th Nov to 5th Dec.
During the lock down and in recent months, I have done many new paintings, mainly of this area, in watercolours, oils and acrylics. I hope you will find these inspiring and a celebration of the beauty and colour of our area. As you know, I also pot, and have introduced new styles into my range of Studio Pottery, including hand moulded bowls and jars with new, colourful designs.
There will also be what I hope people will find a treasure trove, of ceramic jewellery and figures, cards and "carnets paintings", in my recently acquired "Gypsy Caravan", together with examples of what my students have done on my recent painting course.
Although we cannot hold a preview in the current circumstances, all are welcome and social distancing measures will apply.
This is what I hope you will find as an opportunity to share the beauty and colour of our area, but also to purchase paintings, prints, cards and pots for Xmas and to support Cancer Research.
I look forward to seeing you!
More on John's page here
Oakridge Players - Fawlty Towers POSTPONED to 31 March
The cast and some of the Management Committee have decided to postpone Fawlty Towers until next year. The production will take place from Thursday 31 March to Saturday 2 April. This is largely due to concern over Covid19 isolation among some of the cast and and a number of our regular audience being anxious about gathering in the Village Hall in a large group.
Be assured that The Players will be back on the Village Hall stage with a pitch perfect Fawlty Towers in March 2022.
The Queen's Green Canopy
Plant a tree for the Jubilee!
This is a National scheme encouraging the planting of millions of trees to enhance the environment and mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
It will run from this October to the end of the Jubilee Year in 2022. However the best planting time is between now and the end of March.
The Oakridge Ward of the Parish Council is opening a consultation on the best way the village can participate.
This will need to cover:
There is already a project being explored to randomly plant thirty trees on the road to Waterlane stretching from the Burial Ground to Battledown Farm. This has Council approval.
The Parish Council will provide the bulk of the funding covering tree planting, but private donations to the cost would be helpful. Some parishioners may welcome the opportunity to donate a tree in memory of loved ones.
If further information is required please contact Gill Wimperis Tel 760528 or Alex Davis Tel 760354 Email email@example.com
Feedback would be appreciated to ensure the best approach to this significant occasion. Responses preferably by e-mail please or in a mail box in the shop. Thank you
Roger Budgeon Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) Update
THE STEERING GROUP OF THE NDP ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS who are interested in getting involved with the development of this important local plan. We are planning a series of Focus Groups to meet for 4 sessions (each of about 1½ - 2 hours) in November covering 6 topic areas where we want ANY resident with an interest to get involved and help to develop draft policies for YOUR NDP.
The topics if you are interested in taking part are:
Housing – Tony Martin - email@example.com
Nature and Wildlife – Lesley Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy and Employment – Roger Budgeon - email@example.com
Communications and Transport – Martin Brown - firstname.lastname@example.org
Landscape and Environment – Jenny Exley - email@example.com
Please email the contact people to let them know you want to be included
Oakridge Show a Great Success!
Well over 350 people joined together on a warm sunny Saturday to enjoy the return of the Oakridge Show. Although slightly reduced in scale this year, there was plenty to see and do, with the ever popular book stall, bottle tombola and dog show among others drawing people in. Delicious cakes served up with the teas and coffees were a hit, as were the lovely WI jams and preserves. And more than one person was seen tapping a toe to the entertaining Mary Lou Revue!
Entries to the Flower and Vegetable Show were understandably somewhat down on previous years but we still had more than enough to fill the hall and it looked great! This despite a difficult growing season that may have affected produce availability. Children's entries though were especially low – 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, and huge thanks to the judges.
Trophy winners were:
Flowers – Sara Barnes
Vegetables – Peter Davie
Garden (misc) – Susie Trotter
Flower Arrangements – Gill Wimperis
Baking & Preserves – Ali Mills
Handicrafts – Katie Miles
Photography – Sue Korda
Children aged 8-11 – Oliver Skelton
Children aged 12+ – Dylan McCarthy & Joly Craine
Best in Show – Peter Davie
Thanks go also to all who ran stalls, or provided prizes or items for sale, and to the Butchers Arms; the Green Shop; Giffords Circus and Stroud Brewery for raffle prizes kindly donated. Special thanks to Lyndsey Barnett, who has donated 4 gazebos for village use, in memory of her father Jack Smale, who always loved to come along and enjoy the day.
The sum of £1,000 has been raised towards funds for the continued improvement of the Village Hall for the benefit of the community.
Last but definitely not least, the Village Show would not be possible without the enormous work of the committee who source the vendors, put up the tents, set out the tables – and take it all down again! If you’d like to be involved next year, please contact Mark Barnett firstname.lastname@example.org . Look out in February 2022 for the planning meeting for the next show……
A new choir is starting! It will be held in Oakridge Village Hall 11am-12.30pm every Monday. We will be singing uplifting songs in every genre from folk, jazz, pop and world music. No previous experience is required, no auditions or note reading skills needed. Whether you are a confident singer or a shower-only warbler – come and try it out! Men and women of all ages welcome. The emphasis for this choir is on fun and feeling good. The first session is free and then £7 per week after that. No need to book – just come along and see for yourself!
MONDAYS STARTING 13TH SEPTEMBER 11AM-12.30 OAKRIDGE VILLAGE HALL
Contact Biddy on 07814 652735 or via email: email@example.com
Oakridge Village Hall Fully Open
and.... Free Community Use Offer!
The hall is now fully open but the NHS QR poster for track and trace is still in place, and it is recommended that hall hirers keep a list of those attending events. We are providing hand sanitizers and disinfectant cleaning material.
For details of a brand new offer for free community use, and our NEW hall availability calendar, see the village hall page.
Booking enquiries: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fancy some TaiChi?
The Butchers Arms
Please see our facebook page and new website for the latest opening hours, or call for the latest menu.
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.
New Local History Book Published -
"Return to War, Bisley and Chalford Parishes 1939-1945"
Following our book on Chalford Parish in the First World War, a small group has been researching how the Second World War affected local villages – expanding our remit to included not just Chalford, France Lynch, Brownshill and Bussage, but also Bisley, Eastcombe and Oakridge.
Though direct military casualties were fewer, the personal tragedy of each death was as devastating, and each of the war dead is paid tribute in our new book, Return to War: Bisley and Chalford Parishes 1939-1945.
There are also chapters about the Home Front locally – salvage, rationing, POWs (both ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’), evacuees, internees, the Kindertransport refugee at Bakers Mill, civil defence, the American presence, the JU88 crash at Oakridge (pictured in colour on the cover) and much, much more. We consulted, among things, service records, contemporary newspapers, school logbooks, WI minute books and oral history accounts.
The book is copiously illustrated, costs £10 (profits to charity) and is available from local shops including: Green Shop, Oakridge Shop, Eastcombe Stores and Chalford Village Shop
Lunch Club Returns!
The Lunch Club is open again. We all felt very strange starting back again after 18 months.
Thirty members came and it was a huge pleasure to see so many faces back again. We had all the windows open and only sat 6 to each table. Ali Mills cooked us a splendid lunch and the pudding was fit for a queen. With sherry to start and coffee and a sweet to end, we were really spoiled.
We will always be meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. We dish up at 12.30. Anyone wanting to join, please phone me on 760528.
Please note that our new opening hours from Monday to Friday are 9am to 5pm. Weekend hours stay the same (Saturday 9am to 1pm, Sunday 9am to 12pm).
We would like to take this opportunity to send a warm welcome to all the new villagers, it’s lovely to see so many new faces and we hope you are all happy in your new homes in Oakridge.
At our small - but mighty - shop and Post Office, you can find an extensive range of products, from household essentials to the most sought after delicacies from the local area and beyond.
Hobbs House Bakery goodies arrive on Fridays as well as the local butcher’s best cuts; their organic, free range chickens are an Oakridge favourite as are their homemade recipe bacon and sausages. Any orders for Hobbs bread and butcher products are taken by end of day Wednesday. Our free range eggs, fruit and veggies are freshly sourced from the local farm shop, as well as the popular local honey.
And you don’t have to go to London to Harrods or Selfridge’s to find the internationally acclaimed Severn and Wye smoked fish, it can be found right here in Oakridge and at a fraction of their prices! Our wine selection is carefully curated by our knowledgeable supplier and also includes the full range from local super star winery Woodchester Valley. For beer lovers, our extensive Stroud Brewery product range is a local favourite. Godsell’s cheeses and Woodlands Farm yogurts are, we are told, the best ones you can find. Award winning pies from Plenty Pies arrive fresh out of the oven on Thursdays and milk from Cotteswold Dairy is supplied on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
In the cake department, there are never too many options to choose from, either from beloved local Bakehouse bakery whose delicious goodies include a nice range of vegan and gluten free cakes, or the Cotswold Cookie Company whose lemon drizzle cake never fails to sell out.
But we don’t only have plenty in store to tempt your taste buds, our Cotswold room is filled with all sorts of treats and gifts for that special someone or occasion to celebrate, including lovely Cotswold Lavender products, from hand lotion to candles and everything in between, all made in the gorgeous fields in the outskirts of Snowshill. And the room will soon be beaming with Christmas goodies and our popular custom made and one-of-a-kind hampers.
Because at Ollie’s, we are always striving to source the very best for the community as well as providing convenient services such as Dry Cleaning so you don’t have to travel far. Even a fantastic selection of seasonal plants are always on offer from the lovely Spinneywell nursery next door.
But this is not all, come to visit soon and see what’s in store at Ollie’s. We look forward to welcoming you.
All the best, Laura and Oscar
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 (email@example.com – 07710 800290), Roger Budgeon, Dennis Robbins Clerk - Debbie Meredith 01452 771089 firstname.lastname@example.org
From The Ground
Oakridge Parochial School Allotment Project
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.
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 :