Ollie's Shop - Survey
Please may I ask you to fill out our Village Shop Survey? Your feedback will help us better understand the needs and preferences of our community. Whether you're a regular customer or haven't visited us for a while, your insights are valuable and much appreciated. Please feel free to share. Any questions or issues please let me know. Thank you very much in advance 🙏
Coach House Tutors
Your Church Needs You!
The Future of the Church in Oakridge
The Church in Oakridge is likely to close within the next few years without help from those living within the village.
Since 1837 the Church has played an important part within the Parish of Oakridge. This includes Oakridge Lynch, Far Oakridge, Tunley, Waterlane and Bournes Green. The Church is important to many living in our village, whether you attend Church services and activities; or you use it as a quiet space, for weddings, baptisms, funerals and special occasions; or as a link with the past and with the School. All of this will end if the church closes.
The church has too few members who actively support it by attending services and making financial donations. The annual cost of running the Church is over £22,000. This covers the running costs for the building and the contribution we make to central finds for the cost of ministry including your vicar. Our income from donations is around £20,000. We do not receive any support from elsewhere. So there is a shortfall in income of around £2,000. Other Churches in the Benefice are facing similar issues. The future for Christ Church in Chalford is under review. Many of you will know that Eastcombe Church has already closed, and the building sold.
What are the PCC doing about this?
We continue to engage within Oakridge. For the wider community there are Mothering Sunday services, Harvest Festival, Easter and Christmas services and activities, Remembrance Services and Open the Book – (dramatised bible story telling for the School), the church café and a House Group. We are discussing with other churches in the benefice whether we should close some churches and consolidate into a smaller number of buildings. Oakridge church is at risk.
What can you do? Do you want your village church to remain open? Churches are a feature of an English village and in the past have been greatly valued. Once they are lost they do not re-open.
If you would like to help your village church
- make suggestions on what we can do to keep the Church going
- by joining us at one or more of our services
- with cleaning, flower arranging, providing music
- with the maintenance and upkeep of the building
- with publicity, notices and meetings
- by joining our mailing list, so you receive details of services events and other news
- with financial help, The primary need is for regular income. The Diocese runs a Parish Giving Scheme which anyone can join. All donations, both large and small, are gratefully received
Contact details –
For regular giving and donations please contact John Rhodes our Treasurer – phone no 01285 760264 email@example.com
For other ways of helping please contact Linda Reardon 07794 425915 – Linda_adam2000@yahoo.co.uk
Thank you for reading this, and for your interest in the Church in Oakridge. We look forward to hearing from you.
The Future of "What's On"
To those individuals and village groups who kindly made generous donations to What’s On funds – a huge thank you. These, together with the Parish Council grant, will ensure that this printed version will continue into 2024 (and hopefully beyond). After investigation, it is more cost effective to outsource the printing of each edition, which averages around £130 per print run. One positive of this form of printing will be that photos/images can be included, where space permits of course, so please do bear that in mind when submitting articles for publication.
I would be interested to receive any comments or suggestions, or can provide banking details for anyone wishing to make a donation – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01285 760339.
If you’d like a free digital copy direct to your email inbox, please sign up here.
We have recently said a sad farewell to two prominent members of our community, Richard Mackie and Bob Gardiner. Bob’s memories of growing up in Oakridge were featured in the October/November 2020 edition, and Bizzie White adds her tribute to Richard below.
Richard was a true gentleman, so wise, so interested and involved in Oakridge and its environs. He was special, so much part of the community and loved by all. His devotion to his family and they to him was heart-warming for all of us.” It is impossible to think of a more perfect memorial to someone much loved.
Many wrote of his enthusiasm for wildlife which was inspirational and sprang from a profound understanding of the natural world and of birds in particular. Happiness shone out of him in the dawn chorus walks. The walks finished very satisfactorily with breakfast at the Old Cottage organised by Judy and Sylvia White.
He was, of course, very hands on with helping clear scrub from Strawberry Banks, Three Groves Wood and Siccaridge Wood. Sue Dodds remembers Richard in his element “Bounding down the steep slopes like a mountain goat, while I trailed cautiously behind him. One day we were taking a ladder down to Three Groves Wood to put up bird boxes. A passer-by asked why were we carrying a ladder in the wood? Richard replied, “to clean windows.” Ask a silly question of a schoolmaster…….
Ann Fry from Far Oakridge remembers Richard when he was a pupil at Kelly College. Who would have thought a Devon lass and a Devon lad would meet up again about 50 years later in a small Cotswold village? Richard much enjoyed her very special cinnamon buns.
Richard’s connexion with St Bartholomew’s was long and deep. He was for many years churchwarden with Meryl Short. They worked so well together that I’m not entirely sure I believed him when he said he was very much in awe of her. He loved being in the choir, front row of course, and he also sang with Geraldine’s choir in Nailsworth. Music was such a great part of his being.
For many years he helped with the bookstall at the village fete and contributed his “Nature Notes” in the village magazine, What’s On.
He loved swimming and friends remember his zest for life as he ran into the waves at Croyde Beach, without wetsuit, surfing on his wooden board. Friends wrote that there are some people who make our lives richer, and one of those, was Richard.
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.
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!
Oakridge Parochial School
The sun shone brightly and the school green was a hive of activity at the annual May Revels, as visitors flocked to the village to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the numerous stalls, activities, food and drink on offer. As ever, masses of hard work went on behind the scenes from our dedicated parents, teachers and pupils, ensuring that the village had another very special day to remember.
Outgoing May Queen Thea Taplin handed over her crown to Eeva Poole, and the schoolchildren put on the now-traditional maypole dance, as well as a special Jamaican dance to reflect the subject of diversity that they have been studying this term. This year, we were also lucky enough to enjoy a number of extra performances from Ballyhoo pupils, who wowed the crowd with their talents.
Food was once again served by Long Table chef Maisie, while Cranham Orchestra provided the wonderful music. At the end of the afternoon the annual tug-o-war was as fiercely fought as ever, this year resulting in a tie!
The parents of Oakridge School Association would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who attended, to those who gave up so much time and energy to help organise the event, and to the local businesses and individuals (including the Green Shop, Jolly Nice, Painswick Rococo Garden, Holbrook Garage, Fox Lane Flowers and Loose) who donated raffle prizes.
With your help, we raised an incredible £3,243, which is amazing in the current climate and will make an enormous difference to our lovely little school.
Claire Robinson, OSA Treasurer.
The Oakridge May Revels
By Iris and Daisy
The Oakridge children and Ballyhoo students danced up a storm in many dances such as maypole and Caribbean. also the OSA raised plenty of money through lots of stalls such as bric a brac, food and books.
Class 1 ...
Class 1 enjoyed the bouncy castle, face painting and many more. They also contributed to many of our wonderful dances.
Class 1 quotes
“I love the may revels” “my favourite was the bouncy castle and the face painting
Class 2 played a large part in both dances thoroughly enjoying themselves. They also helped their parents with many of the stalls including 2 kids from class 2 who raised money for barn owls.
Class 2 quotes
“I loved all the different stalls” “I thought the may pole dance was really fun because we had a laugh” Teachers quotes “I was really proud of all the children” “lovely atmosphere perfect weather and lovely to see everyone smiling”
May day craft …
Cupcake case flowers…
You will need:
• 6 (or more) cupcake cases in colours of your choice
1. layer up your cases.
2. make at least 20 small cuts around the edges of the stack of cases.
3. ruffle your “petals” into the centre of your flower.
4. use them to decorate things in a way that you see fit.
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.
Oakridge Village Hall
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
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
A Crowning Glory
Royalist or Roundhead, wasn’t the King Charles III’s coronation a fabulous affair? I don’t mean in Westminster or Windsor, but in Oakridge Lynch. Saturday 6th May was the day King Charles III was crowned as the 62nd monarch and it was the 3rd royal occasion marked at Oakridge village hall inside a year. So, it’s no wonder that it all went like regimental clockwork. Eventually. There was a flurry of WhatsApp messages about potato salads on the village group two days beforehand. Do you think the Royals were all messaging each other night before to make sure they all had a lift to Westminster Abbey?
The plan was to celebrate the new Carolean age and our village community in pomp and a relaxed style. The hall’s fabulous audio-visual equipment (expertly operated) allowed us to witness the events with BBC’s first-class camera work and commentaries. It might have been a damp day, but the hall gave a street party feel with the protection of a roof. A roof decorated with Union Jack bunting and fairy lights. On the tables were posies of red, white and blue - wild garlic, cow parsley, blue bells and verbena - and on the stage, were flamboyant majestic arrangements.
Before the ceremony began the sound system was ramped up and Holst’s (a Gloucestershire lad), Jupiter Movement (‘I Vow to Thee to My Country’) boomed through the hall, giving the staff in the kitchen a thrill as they divided out the biscuits onto plates. And the South African opera singer, Pretty Yende sang Sacred Fire, everyone titivating the hall, stopped. They were transfixed by her. And throughout it was the music that elevated the ceremony. The music was not only celebrating the crowning of a new King and a new Queen, but the mix of music was being celebrated. There were 11 new commissioned pieces.
As people arrived in the hall and we recognised our neighbours and we nodded to each other, on the screen the international Royals arrived, and the politicians nodded at each other. When the Gatcombe mob arrived in the Abbey, Princess Anne, Zara and Peter, it was like being in the queue at The Jolly Nice Shop.
The village hall might not have the pageantry of a royal coronation, but the rules are just as formal. Whilst the king was taken behind screens to be anointed with sacred oils whilst the choir regaled him with Handel’s, Zadok the Priest, the new staff in kitchen were being gently smoothed into the succession of how the hall is organised. The coronation is the day when the mantel of sovereignty is formally presented to the new monarch along with the symbol of power, the crown, sceptre and orb. And in Oakridge village hall experienced citizens showing newer villagers how the hall is run. The crown might be passed to one man and his wife but our village hall is a team effort.
Without a buffet fit for a king, there would have no opportunity for us all to sit with our neighbours and talk not only about what we had witnessed and to share news about our own lives. Whilst King Charles III was surveying his troops in the back garden of Buckingham Palace we were all surveying the tables filled with coronation chicken, ham, salads, trifles and Bakewell tarts. It was washed down with Pimms, Prosecco and beer.
The evening of Sunday 7th brought the second celebration for the coronation in another royal back garden at Windsor. There were the famous stars performing, but more moving was the modern coronation choir which included farmers from Northern Ireland, refugees living in Wales, a fully deaf choir and lifeboat men amongst others. In the hall, there was chatting, dancing and sausages in bread rolls. And when the performers on stage finished the right royal clean up started. Down came the decorations and the kitchen was left as clean as a pin; well that’s what happens when we have BA cabin crew on the job.
It is often said that no country puts on a better show of pageantry that the United Kingdom and it could also be said that nowhere puts on a more heart felt celebration than Oakridge Lynch.
Cinema comes to Oakridge! - Next screening on 4 October
Using the new 3.5m big screen, state of the art projector and Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound system at Oakridge Village Hall we now have a regular and significant audience for our program of film that we hope will have broad appeal. A bar will be available the film and during the interval. 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 OR CARD) 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 OR CARD on arrival - www.oakridgevillage.org/boxoffice
In aid of Oakridge Village Hall
The Club’s big outing was early in the month, a whole day at Stockton Lacy. We were met by the owner, who gave us an interesting introduction to the very old farm that had been, over the centuries, owned by monks. The farmhouse had fallen into ruins and been rebuilt in 1920, but the outhouses and barns and huge old orchard, and also a listed dove cot, were well used and cared for. The gardens were huge and beautiful, and in some places they just let the wild flowers take over; we were amazed at how good a tangle of purple vetch looked. My favourite part was the bee garden; small and secret with bee skips in alcoves in an old wall. A darling summer house with tiled floor and painted panels all around to lean on. We ate a good homemade lunch in the shade, and then explored the sunken garden with a stream winding its way through the primulas and gunera. It had been a long drive, but so well worth it.
Last week we met locally at Througham Court; what an experience. The owner, Dr Christine Facer, was so nice and so welcoming – she is a scientist of renown and has put her ideas and knowledge into her garden. A lovely part was a sweeping meadow with winding paths down to the Holy Brook in the valley below.
Please can members remember the village show, and bring anything to help boost our stand. I am told items can be left at the hall the week before – plants, excess veg, flowers all very acceptable. See you at our next meeting on August 1st .
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.
At our May meeting David Aldred took us on a nostalgic journey along the railways in this area in the early 1960s. It was fascinating to see photos of the many small stations and halts which have disappeared, particularly along the line between Stonehouse and Kemble. Also the stations that have closed in Gloucester, Cirencester and in Cheltenham. David was clearly an avid train- spotter and spent a lot of his teenage years cycling around the area to photograph trains, and thus capturing a way of life where train travel was integral to rural lives.
In June, Pete Moore told an interested audience about Lillyhorn Roman Villa, giving an insight into its place in Gloucestershire during the later part of the Roman occupation in 2nd -4 th centuries BC. The villa, probably functioning as a farm and a centre for the area, was one of the largest in the Cotswolds. Recent research suggests it covered a big area on the top of the hill above Bournes Green and had at least 29 rooms. Although partially excavated in the 19th century by Thomas Baker, who recorded a lot of information, it has been covered and largely ignored until recently when Pete undertook his work.
A visit to the Corinium Museum in July will be the end of the 2022/23 year’s programme. A new programme is now available and will be published on the Oakridge website. It begins on 27th September with “A historical journey along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal”. As always, we hope that members and visitors will come and support a varied and interesting series of talks.
Members and visitors will be most welcome. All talks take place in Oakridge Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.
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...
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 - Helen Jones, Roger Budgeon, Dennis Robbins Clerk - Arlene Deane 01452 771089 firstname.lastname@example.org
The John Taylor Foundation
The John Taylor’s Foundation is a local charity that issues small grants to students going on to Higher Education (excluding A Levels) or those undertaking apprenticeships, to assist with the cost of books, tools or equipment.
If you are aged under 25, and live in the Ancient Parish of Bisley (the area includes all of the civil parish of Bisley with Lypiatt, including Eastcombe and Oakridge, most of Bussage and part of Chalford), please apply in writing to The Trustees at email@example.com stating your full name, age, address, university course or employer.
The Trustees of the John Taylor’s Foundation meet twice a year in March and September when applications will be considered.
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
Fancy some TaiChi?
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 :