PDF - Benson Bulletin
Anne Fowler writes...
I hope by the time you read this, St Helen’s
Church is not under several feet of snow as
shown in the cover photo. We have been spoilt
by the mild November, but the winter is not
I have had a number of people calling me about
feeding hedgehogs this late in the year. The
short answer is, if they are taking food, please
keep feeding them. The more weight they can
put on, the more likely they are to survive the
winter. You won’t be preventing them from
hibernating, they will hibernate when they
are ready. My ‘not suitable for release’ garden
hog ‘Benson in Hedges’ is deciding when to
hibernate. Even though I am feeding him, he
is reducing his food intake by himself and
building a hibernaculum. He has not gone
under yet, but he will when he is ready.
Benson has a fantastic community spirit, as
witnessed at the recent excellent FOBL quiz
night, which was a sell-out. So, as the winter
bites, please look out for neighbours who might
need some help.
On behalf of the BB team, I would like to wish
all our readers, advertisers and distributors a
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
For assistance with travel to/from
Office open Mon-Fri 9-11am
Call 01491 825992
to ask for help or to volunteer
Out of hours contact:
Elizabeth 01491 838580
Zoe 01491 612813
email your letters/articles to
or deliver/send them to
Benson Parish Hall
Letters to the Editor ------------------------------- 2
District Councillors Report ----------------------- 6
Parish Councillors Report------------------------- 8
Benson History Group --------------------------- 10
Benson School Runs ----------------------------- 14
St Helen’s Church News ------------------------- 18
Church Times ------------------------------------- 19
B.E.S.T -------------------------------------------- 20
School News - -------------------------------------- 22
Benson Patients’ Panel---------------------------- 26
Pettits of Wallingford & Benson---------------- 28
Local Clubs and Societies---------------------- 30
Classified Ads-------------------------------------- 36
Benson Outreach Post Office
Benson Parish Hall Pavilion
Tuesday 9.30 - 12.30 & 13.00 - 16.00
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 9.30 - 12.30
Benson Library Opening Hours
Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Closed all day
Cover: St Helen’s Church, Benson taken
by Canon George Palmer in the cold winter
of 1962, when he was vicar. By kind
permission of his son, Robert Palmer.
Volume 22 No 4
Benson Bulletin News Association
NP Design & Print Ltd, Wallingford : 01491 824827
Letters to the Editor
I wonder if you would be interested in the
following regarding the War Memorial.
My Grandfather, who lived in a cottage next to
the White Hart, kept the grass tidy and mowed
until he died in 1938. Then my father, Sidney
Hewett, took over until he was called up in
I, Alan Hewett, took over until I was called
up for National Service in 1944. For looking
after the War Memorial I received a sum of
10 shillings per year. The family cottage was
demolished in 1939, but we then lived in Port
Benson Volunteer Helpline
Elizabeth Leppard, writes ...
Benson Volunteer Helpline committee wish
everyone a good Christmas and a healthy
The office will be closed at 11am on Friday
18th December re-opening on Monday
January 4th at 9am.
During the office closure if you have an
emergency for an appointment please
telephone Elizabeth Leppard 01491 838580.
December 2015, the cost will be 25p per card.
To ensure delivery, please address your cards
correctly with the full postal address including
Thank you for supporting your local Scout
Millstream Day Centre
Geraldine Gault, writes ...
Following the success of the Book Sale in
October, plans are afoot for a Carol Singing
Evening just before Christmas. Keep an eye
open for posters with more detail.
Come and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea
on Valentine’s Day – Sunday, February 14,
2016 at Benson Parish Hall. Savour delicious
home-baked cakes to the accompaniment of
the Roke and Benson Brass Band. Tickets
will be on sale at Millstream Day Centre and
Derry’s Den from early January. Look out for
further details on posters in the local area in
the New Year.
Merry Christmas to all our supporters - we
look forward to seeing you at our events in
Women v Cancer
Fun Quiz Night Friday, 26th February.
All proceeds in aid of Women v Cancer.
In November 2016 we will be cycling 450kms
across Vietnam & Cambodia to raise much
Scouts Christmas Post
funds for 3 cancer charities – Breast
Mick Brown, writes ... needed
Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and
The Scouts Christmas Post will commence on Ovarian Cancer Action. With your help we
have already raised 40% of our fundraising
Tuesday 1st December 2015.
1st Benson Scout Group this year will be target and will now be holding a fun quiz
joining with Wallingford & Crowmarsh Scout night on Friday, 26th February at 7.30pm in
Groups delivering Christmas Post to the the Millstream Day Centre,. Tickets will be
£5 per person, with teams of up to 6 players.
Benson, Preston Crowmarsh,
Roke & There will be a licensed bar available serving
Rokemarsh, Berrick Salome, Shillingford, beer, wine and soft drinks. Please come along
Warborough and Ewelme, Wallingford, for a great evening of competition and fun and
help us to raise funds to fight cancer.
Crowmarsh, North Stoke and South Stoke.
Post boxes will be located in Chiltern Produce Merry Christmas to all and hope to see you in
Greengrocers in the High Street, Benson and February.
Tickets are available from Derry’s Den,
the Ewelme Village Store.
The last day for posting will be Friday 18th Benson or by contacting Tina Trythall on
07979694510 or Debbie Blake 0770327695.
Bed and Breakfast
toilets, taps, showers
fully insured • free estimates
for fast friendly reliable service
tel 07981 642688/01491 834484
7 days a week
* 3 large period rooms *
Double occupancy from £80 - £90 per night
including full breakfast
Single occupancy from £60 - £70 per night
including full breakfast
Reduction for room only on request
Self-catering apartment - Price on request
Tel 01491 – 835184 Fax 01491 – 825635
Email [email protected]
General Building Work
Brickwork, Patios and Fencing
Interior & Exterior Decorating
Daytime: 07766 881004
Evening: 01235 819441
S G Locksmith Services
your friendly local locksmith
Lock Opening, Replacement or Repair
Phone: Steve on 07788 595451
Painting, Plastering, Stonework,
Fencing, Patios, Repointing,
Carpentry, Garden Tidying Etc.
NO FUSS•NO MESS•NO PROBLEM
Telephone: 01865 891554
Mobile: 07885 538514
FOBL OCC Consultation
Dave Rushton, writes ...
Hall. In fact that really is the hardest part,
and if you can do that then the programme
of walking and running will be easy part, but
guarantee you’ll be glad you made the effort!
Re: County Council Consultation on library cuts
I am writing to encourage you to respond to
Oxford County Council’s proposal to cut a
further £1 million from the Library Service.
Details of how to respond are given at the end
of this email.
OCC’s proposed cuts include:
a) Reduction to the book fund.
b) Closure of all mobile libraries.
c) Management and staff reorganisation.
d) Retendering of the Library Management
Whilst Friends of Benson Library welcomes
OCC’s statement that all 43 libraries will
remain open, we have a number of concerns
which we have already raised with OCC.
The specific library savings options can be
found at https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/
content/librariescultural-services and I would
very much hope that you will consider and
respond to OCC’s proposed cuts.
Incidentally, a limited number of the printed
consultation documents are in our Library.
To register or find out more information
email [email protected] or take
a look at what some of their members think
of the running club on their blog at http://
Benon Striders Charity Run
Anna Malkin, writes ...
Public Transport Update
David Cook, writes ...
As you may be aware Oxfordshire County
Council , in order to reduce their budget,
has carried out a Consultation Process on
reducing or ending the subsidies given to bus
companies in Oxfordshire.
It is with regret I have to inform you that
the OCC Cabinet have decided to cease all
subsidies on 118 services throughout the
County as well as the ‘Dial a Ride’ service.
This will have an effect on the 139 service,
Wallingford to Henley via Benson, a service
that is fully subsidised.
May I thank all those who assisted with the
Parish Council approved passenger survey;
Dave Rushton, the Benson Evergreens, Sue
and David Cooper in Ewelme and many
Benson Striders would love your support on
19 December between 10am and 10.30am
when they will be decked out in their festive
attire for a 5k Festive Fun Run around the
village to raise money for the Friends of
Benson Library. You can cheer on the jolly
joggers who will start from the Parish Hall at
10am and run a route around the village which
includes the High Street.
Friends of Benson Library will be selling hot
mince pies at Bob’s Corner opposite the CoOp and maybe some cakes if you’re quick.
And to burn off all those mince pies, Benson
Striders are running their hugely successful
Couch to 5k programme again starting on
9 January for 9 weeks. Anyone can do this,
whether you’ve never run before or want to
get back into it, or try a different sport, all you
need is a little motivation to get you out on
a Saturday morning at 8.15am to the Parish
Every Tuesday in Benson Parish Hall
Do you enjoy a game of Bingo, if
so please come along on Tuesday
evenings in the Parish Hall 7.00pm
Repaint your old furniture with NO preparation!
Full range of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints™
Ever changing choice of painted furniture and mirrors
Seasonal gifts, candles and decorations
ANTIQUE & MODERN
Traditional French Polishing
Spray Finishing/Colour Matching
Custom Made Wardrobes
Bookcases and any other
units made to fit
Any carpentry work
Ring James (Chalgrove)
Tel: 01865 890436
Mob: 07796 966123
District Councillors Report
Cllr Felix Bloomfield, writes ...
Oxfordshire County Council Budget Cuts
We should have news regarding OCC budget
cuts and the results of their public consultation
soon. I know many of you have joined me and
taken the time to take part in the consultation,
voicing your concerns especially regarding
our local waste recycling centre at Oakley
Wood. I believe the Oakley Wood facility is
sustainable and should remain open. I will
give an update on this as soon as I hear from
We are currently knocking on doors to ask
residents to take part in this year’s Residents
Survey. We use the survey to keep track of
what people think of the local area and our
services. The researchers carrying out the
survey all carry ID and an authorisation letter.
If you have doubt about somebody on your
doorstep politely turn them away, close the
door and give us a call - 01235 540614
Christmas Parking Days
We’re offering free parking days to help you
shop locally in the run up to Christmas.
In South Oxfordshire it’s FREE on the
following days in December
Didcot - every Tuesday
Goring - every Saturday
Henley - every Tuesday
Thame - every Saturday
Wallingford - every Thursday
Christmas Waste Collection
The Christmas waste collection calendar can
be found in the latest edition of our residents
newsletter Outlook or on our website and
explains when to put your bins out over the
annual village firework display that literally
costs thousands of pounds to put on.
Pop in to meet Gary and the new team, I’m
sure you’ll be given a warm welcome.
If you have a District matter you would like
help or advice with, please do get in touch.
Email: [email protected]
Enjoy the forthcoming holiday season.
Cholsey & Wallingford Railway
Sherwin Smith, writes ...
The last trains from Wallingford will be the
Santa Specials running on the three weekends
before Christmas. (See the BB Diary page).
After that, no more trains until the spring
when we start again on Mothering Sunday 6th
March, followed by the usual Easter services
at the end of March and that is not all.
2016 will a memorable year for the Cholsey
and Wallingford Railway, which started life
as the Wallingford and Watlington Railway
(WWR). 2016 is the 150th Anniversary of the
first train which steamed out of Wallingford
on a Saturday morning in July 1866.
Sadly, only two months earlier, in May 1866,
the boom ended in the greatest bank crash
before 2008. It became impossible to borrow
money and, by the time that first train ran, the
directors knew that they could never afford
to build the Benson railway bridge over the
river. The WWR would never get to Benson,
let alone Wallingford.
All through summer 2016, we shall be
celebrating our 150th anniversary. Watch the
BB Diary page for details, and join in our
celebrations of the railway which nearly came
The Shepherds Hut PH, Ewelme
A warm welcome goes to Gary Flux the
new Landlord at the Shepherds Hut pub in
Gary takes over from Nigel & Jean who have
run the pub for over six years. I’m sure you’ll
all join me in thanking them for their hard work
running the pub and generosity continuing the
Is a free service for
those who have difficulty reading
Contact Keith Tibbs for more details
Tel: 01491 838689
Local / Long Distance
Airport Transfer Specialists
Call Gavin on 07809 295038
Ballet, Tap & Modern Jazz
classes for Tots to Teens
Medals, Exams &
Classes at YOUTH HALL,
OXFORD ROAD, BENSON
For further information:
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01235 510710 / 07896 321306
Pete Eldridge (Parish Clerk), writes ...
Parish Councillors Report
Cllr Jon Fowler, writes ...
The Parish Council currently has a few
allotments available for rent. If you would
like to start growing your own vegetables
or flowers, please contact the Parish Office
on 01491 825038 or email: bensonparish.
Oxfordshire County Council
Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) decided
to withdraw funding for children’s centres
and all bus subsidies funding, against the
advice of their own scrutiny committee. The
main service this will impact in Benson is the
139. The decision is subject to agreement at a
meeting of OCC in February and a consultation
is currently available for residents to express
their views - https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/
Some of the litter pickers with their haul.
Another group of volunteers gave up a couple
of hours of their Saturday morning to pick up
litter around the village on 17th October. Our
Clerk organised the litter pick and we hope to
repeat the exercise in the Spring.
I have received information that dogs are being
allowed off the lead in allotments and are
running free around them sometimes causing
damage to plants. Also the incidence of dog
fouling at the allotments is on the increase.
Would dog owners please ensure their dogs
are kept on the lead when walking through the
allotments and ensure that any mess is cleared
away in the same way as required for street
The Annual Benson Street Fayre due to be
held on Wednesday 2nd December 2015 has
Nepal Earthquake Update
Eileen Mandeville, writes ...
It is now six months since the Nepal
earthquakes. Emergency workers are
helping the country slowly rebuild.
However Nepal now faces a critical
fuel shortage due to blocked supply
routes and there are fears of another
Meanwhile our school, Traibidya
Shikchhya Sadan (TRISSA), has land
available, but the selling price has yet to
The money you so generously gave to the
cake sale in Benson in June amounted to
£600.This money has been accepted and
adds to the growing fund.
Thank you all once again.
Please see below a letter of appreciation from
the headteacher of Traibidya School:
On behalf of the Parish Council, I would like
to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year.
Millstream Day Centre
Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea
Sunday February 14th
Tel: 01491 638146
Servicing, Repairs and Sales
Washing Machines, Tumble
Electric Hobs and Ovens
and many more...
GARDEN & FARM
Moles. mice, rats, rabbits,
wasps and all other insects
Call Lee Carrington
Tel: 01491 835610
Mobile: 07970 010214
Benon History Group
Peter Clarke, writes ...
There has been so much interest generated
over the “unknown” photos that I think it best
to take stock, tell people what I have been
told, and start with new pictures in February
11. Picture K Is indeed the Crown, with
the then landlord Gerry Arlot with his wife
Dorothy. Third person is their daughter Joy,
who was later Mrs. Bevan.
1. NO information on pictures G and N. Sad
if that detail is lost forever.
12. Picture L See page 12. The location,
Robert Palmer tells me, is a campsite near
Pagham in Sussex in 1949. The choir had
taken a holiday with another choir from St
Agnes Church, Reading, hence the unknown
2. Picture A. Location is where the estate
agent is now. Franklin was the brother of Jack
Franklin who farmed College Farm (where
our shops are now). Linda Taylor tells me that
in 1962 her parents took it over and ran it as a
chemist and hairdressers until 1985.
13. Pictures M Dated in the early 50s.
Location was the rear of Clifton Terrace (off
Brook St, demolished in the mid 60s.). Top
lady is Beth Cooper with Valerie Cook and
Diane Lloyd. Bottom picture is Tony Cook,
probably talking to Amy Cook.
3. Picture B 17 year old Vera Passey in Brook
Street shortly before she married Dougie
5. Picture D See page 12.
14. Picture O Jenny Busby (born Gable) tells
me the fancy dress party was on their way to
be judged. She is the girl in the dark cardigan
walking behind the two little cowboys Peter
and Terry Dean, the girl by her side was Ann
Tuppy (later Madden ). The boy behind her in
the chef’s hat was Roger Parks. Leading the
horse and cart is Frank Tuppy, and his wife
Nancy precedes him. The accordionist is
almost certainly Rupert Fitch.
6. Picture E Striking, not so much for all
that 1947 snow, as the complete absence of
any housing on the east of Chapel Lane.
15. Picture P Don Adby, still living in
Ewelme, visited me to tell me tales of his
military career, 1944 to 1974.
7. Picture F An own goal! I’d written about
this in “Benson, A Century of Change” page 64.
8. Picture H Bride Adelene Howse, widow
of Kenneth Howse who died in India in
WW2 (see War Memorial Book) Groom
Rupert Fitch holding Addy and Kenneth’s
son, Terence, (moved eventually to Australia)
The wedding was probably 1945. Addie and
Rupert had a son in 1946 called David, who
sadly died on the bypass when aged about 13.
16. Picture Q The font was moved as part of
the re-ordering of the church in about 1972. It
was previously (but not originally) located by
the south door in a rather inconvenient position
and was moved onto the newly built platform
at the east end of the north aisle, to be a focal
point in view of the congregation at a baptism
service. The person crouching is Charles
Cane. In the white shirt is Ken Saunders,
and behind him is the Revd. Markham, whilst
the hand on the left belongs to Revd. Barton!
How about that!
4. Picture C Bert’s little stallion was called
Joey. It accompanied him everywhere.
The truck is still owned by his grandson
9. Picture I Taken about 2008, Monarch’s
Close has been built!
10. Picture J If someone could discover a
date when road was Macadamised it would
help to date the photograph.
I have to thank all concerned for these answers.
They came not just from “us of a certain age”
but it was a truly multi-generation response.
Watch out for February next!
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 07823 386704
2b Honey Lane
Cabinet Maker & Joiner
Purpose made Joinery
Wardrobes & Cupboards
Also Wall & Floor Tiling
Telephone: 01491 839207
Mobile: 07885 462613
(based in Benson)
Benon School Runs
Tania Hadfield, writes ...
Readers may recall me telling you in the
summer term that the children , staff and parents
of Benson School were to run their very first 5k
Race for Life . Well I am delighted to say that the
event was a huge success for everyone involved
on the day, including many volunteers from the
community who helped marshal the race from
our school across to Warborough and back.
The sea of children and adults in pink T-shirts
as they stretched across the fields was a sight to
behold, with faces of delight and determination
to meet the challenge, from beginning to end! I
recently asked the children now in Year 1, who
were 4 or 5 years old when they ran the race, if
they not only remembered but enjoyed the day.
The answer was a resounding YES, followed
by ‘can we do it again please? ‘ !!
We were so proud of what was achieved that
day, not only from a whole school perspective
but also on a more personal level for so many
children, all ages and all abilities (not forgetting
our great team of staff for whom the day
was equally challenging!). The icing on the
cake for us, was that we managed to raise an
incredible £4,120 (plus Gift Aid ) for the Race
for Life cancer charities! I would like to thank
everybody who helped us with our challenge,
children, staff, parents, members of the RAF,
community volunteers and school governors
for making the day such a memorable and
successful one. The next Race for Life will
be in Summer 2017, as we will be running a
(mere) mile in March 2016 for Sport Relief.
Following on from our Race for Life success,
14 of our children, plus 5 adults, were inspired
to challenge themselves further and take part
in the Oxford Half Marathon in October!
Between July and October we completed 12.1
miles at leisure, running the last mile on the
actual event course on the day of
the Half Marathon. Having seen
off the 7000 runners in the event,
500 school children joined in
to complete their half marathon
before the front runners reached
the race Finish Line. As we
waited alongside the Start Line,
the atmosphere was very exciting,
with the runners encouraging the
children, and the children cheering
on the runners! Running through
the Oxford cobbled streets with
the cheers and support of the
crowd was something we will all
remember, and hopefully those children and
others, will be inspired to carry on running,
competing and enjoying their achievements.
Well done everyone, you are an incredible
bunch of young people!!
Computer Repairs, Virus Removal,
Computer Lessons for Beginners,
Set up Email, Broadband,
Wired & Wireless Networking
Call Russell on –
01491 838727 or 07770 934677
Email: [email protected]
St Helen’s Church Update
Rodney Davis & Barbara Smart, write ...
St Helen’s Parenting Teenagers
Emma Firth, writes ...
October’s Benson Bulletin included an article
about the Revd. Graham Sykes, who has been
seconded to St. Helen’s, Benson, to assist with
services and pastoral care following the sad
death of the Revd. John Burrell last June. A
further update was promised.
The Parenting Teenagers Course is for
parents, step-parents, grandparents or carers
of children aged 11 – 18 years.
The course will run for 5 weeks, on Monday
evenings: 18th, 25th January, 1st, 8th, 22nd
February at 7.30pm in the Canons’ Room at
St Helen’s Church, Benson.
Why do the course?
• Parenting teenagers is harder than ever
for most parents today
• No role we undertake in life is more
important than parenting
We are the main influence on our teenagers’
future. Discovering we are not alone in the
challenges we face and picking up ideas from
other parents can make a huge difference.
Meeting our teenagers’ deepest needs, setting
healthy boundaries, helping to develop their
emotional health and teaching them how to
make good choices takes skill and dedication.
Taking time to reflect on our end goal can help
us to build our relationship with our teenagers
Cost is £10 per person to cover the
accompanying booklet and refreshments.
For more information or to book a place,
please email: e[email protected]
The current situation is that the Bishop
of Dorchester has suspended the right of
the Patron of St. Helen’s (Christ Church)
to “present to the living for a year”, i.e. to
appoint a new Vicar. This decision was taken
by the Bishop primarily to enable Benson and
Ewelme to consider the Diocese’s favoured
option of creating a new united benefice
combining Benson and the existing Ewelme
United Benefice, which comprises Ewelme,
Brightwell Baldwin and Cuxham with
Easington (for shortness referred to here as
In essence, this would mean that a new
role of Vicar (or Rector) of Benson and
Ewelme would be established and the person
appointed would become the “incumbent”
for the whole area. However, Ewelme would
retain a “House for Duty” priest as at present,
although their responsibility as incumbent
would cease, thus freeing up more time for
pastoral work. This proposal is now being
considered by all the Parochial Church
Councils and it is hoped that approval will be
given by all of them in the reasonably near
future. This will mean that Benson can then
start the process of preparing to appoint a
new Vicar, the person selected being required
to accept that once the somewhat drawn-out
legal processes have been completed, they will
become the incumbent of the proposed new
united benefice. Initially, work will need to be
carried out to prepare new Parish Profiles (a
description of the Parishes which will be used
once the vacancy is advertised) and steps have
been taken to initiate this.
However, at this stage it is not possible to give
any firm indication of the likely timescales
involved in the overall process.
LOCAL GARDENER /
Mature gent with many years
No job too small – competitive rates
Swimming pool maintenance
Call Alvar on
07901 833132 or 01491 836265
N DEVELOPMENTS N
SMALL WORKS & MAINTENANCE DEPT
ALL TYPES OF WORK UNDERTAKEN
i.e. Decor, Gardens, Fencing, Patios,
Walls, Extensions, Repairs
NORMAN 01491 838662 LEE 01235 818850
interior and exterior
phone james (Chalgrove)
01865 890436 / 07796 966123
YOUTH HALL, OXFORD ROAD, BENSON
Performing Arts Classes for children & adults
Summer Workshops, Festivals, Presentations, Annual
Shows, LAMDA, ISTD Dance classes, Dramisco Club mornings
plus Adult Ballet, Jazz, Tap, ZUMBA classes available!
6 weeks trials available in 2016 at all classes in Henley,
Benson, Caversham & Cookham (subject to availability).
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01491 877205
St Helen’s Church Benson
The Revd. Graham Sykes, writes...
Christmas isn’t necessarily ‘happy’ for
everyone. The sudden death of John Burrell,
the Vicar, means that his physical absence at
this great Christian festival will be poignant
for the Church and at times painful. The death,
in Afghanistan, of two RAF Benson officers
and the injury to others has been similarly
traumatic. The families, friends, the whole
community has been deeply affected. Gladly,
for many it will be ‘happy’ celebrating the first
Christmas as married couples, as parents or
grandparents with all the joy that brings.
Some years ago a secondary school performed
a sketch at their carol service in their church.
Children, in pairs, raced about the church with
supermarket trolleys. Each pair stopped and
talked about what Christmas was all about.
The first trolley was loaded with a vast variety
of alcoholic beverages. Christmas was about
getting drunk and ‘having a good time’. The
second trolley had Christmas crackers, turkey,
Christmas pudding, cured hams, and so forth
because Christmas was all about lunch on
Christmas Day. The third trolley was filled
with the latest toys, videos, computer consoles
and computer games because Christmas
is ‘all about the children’. Eventually they
all collided in the centre of the Church.
Discussions about Christmas continued. In
all the noise and hubbub a little voice, a bit
like Charles Dicken’s Oliver, interjected
‘but what about the baby Jesus’, the retort
‘Oh Christ don’t bring him into it’ was
deliberately shocking. Some were offended
but for others it helped them to consider what
Christmas in the absence of Jesus is which is
just another hedonistic and nihilist indulgence
quite contrary to the reason for the festival.
I was disturbed to learn that recent research
shows that 40% of respondents don’t believe
that Jesus existed. However historians tell me
there is more historical documentary evidence
that a real person called Jesus of Nazareth
walked the earth than there is for Henry VIII
or Hitler. I have studied some contemporary
records, such as Josephus the Jewish historian,
and they had no doubt about his existence.
The million dollar question is not whether
Jesus existed as a person; the historical
evidence convinces us, but who is Jesus and
why Jesus? The biblical record is clear that
they believe Jesus to be the promised Messiah
of Jewish faith. Familiarity with the Christmas
readings reveals that he is called ‘Emmanuel’,
which means ‘God with us’, the ‘Government
in our lives’ and the ‘Prince of Peace’ to name
but a few. The implication is that Jesus should
be worshipped and adored as the ‘Son of
The ’why?’ is much deeper. In the beginning,
in the parable of the Garden of Eden, human
beings had a perfect, open (naked in the
best sense of the word), relationship with
God – walking in the cool of the evening
with the creator. But they used their God
given freedom and blew it, choosing their
own way above God’s way. The result was
estrangement between God and humanity.
Jesus, God with us, is the master plan to
reconnect humanity with God and restore that
I can’t imagine Christmas without Jesus. It
is meaningless and the antipathy of what
Christmas is really about. What makes
Christmas is the baby Jesus, the gift of God,
who grew to be a man, recognised as God’s
anointed (The Messiah) who transformed
human thinking. At St Helen’s our Christmas
preparation is that, in addition to our weekly
collection, there will be a retiring collection
on each Sunday of Advent. To reflect our
belief about Christmas, it will be our gift to
support three children at Tiger Kloof School
in South Africa.
I warmly invite you to join the worship and
celebration of the birth of Jesus which will
take place in St Helen’s Church during the
Christmas season and then to raise a glass or
two of wine, give gifts to each other and enjoy
a festive meal in the true spirit of Christmas.
Sunday by Sunday
News & Diary Dates
Available on ‘A Church Near
The Church of England Parish of Benson
St Helen’s Church
Email: [email protected]
Rodney Davis tel: 01491 838494
email: [email protected]
8.30am Holy Communion (BCP)
10.00am Parish Eucharist (Common Worship)
with Children’s Club and Creche
3rd Sunday of the month: Orchestra and a service
for all the Family.
For Baptism and Wedding enquiries, please
contact the church.
The Catholic Parish of St Birinus
Priest: Fr. John Osman, MA., STL.,
Bridge House Presbytery
1 Bridge End, Dorchester-on-Thames
Telephone: 01865 340417
6.30pm Vigil Mass for Sunday
9.30am (Berinsfield Church)
11.00am Solemn Mass
5.45 - 6.15 or upon request
Exposition & Benediction of The Blessed
Sacrament: First Sunday of each Month 5-6pm
Children’s Liturgy of the Word
9.30am during Berinsfield Mass
13 Castle Street, Wallingford
Enquiries to Warden Tel: 01491 837835
Meeting for Worship
Sunday at 10.30am with Children’s Class.
Discussion groups during the week.
Ridgeway Community Church
The Ridgeway Christian Centre
21b/22 St Mary’s Street, Wallingford
Gareth Lloyd-Jones (Senior Pastor)
10.00am Worship & Ministry at Christian
For all other activities see our website
www.ridgeway-church.org.uk or telephone
Church of England Parish of Berrick Salome
St Helen’s Church
Vicar: Canon Ian Cohen
The Vicarage, 58 Brinkinfield Rd, Chalgrove
Email: [email protected]
Churchwardens: Dr. Marian Shaw - 01865 890915
Sunday Services at 11.00am
1st Sunday of Month - Family Service
2nd Sunday - Holy Communion (BCP)
Other Sundays - Family Communion
Baptisms & Weddings to be arranged with the
Wallingford Methodist Church
St Leonards Square, Wallingford
Minister: Rev Katherine Pickering
Tel: 01235 813242
Email: [email protected]
Sunday Services at 10.30am & 6.30pm
Lunch on Tuesdays 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Friendship Group alternate Tuesdays 2.30pm
‘Tots Time’ Wednesday 9.30am - 11.00am
Boys & Girls Brigade Wednesday evenings
Coffee Morning every Thursday 10.30 - 12.00 noon
Barbara Smart tel: 01491 837951
Wallingford Baptist Church
Thames St, Wallingford
Minister: Pastor Simon Hudson
Tel: 01491 839904
Email: [email protected]
All welcome, please contact Katherine for details
Sunday Services at 10.30am & 7.00pm
Holy Communion 3rd Sunday each month
Keith Tibbs, writes...
Dull November days have been brightened up
for B.E.S.T members over several years by
the accomplished and entertaining speakers
we have had from the Centre for Ecology
& Hydrology at Howbery Park. This year
was no exception as we welcomed Dr Tom
August who came to talk to us on the subject
of “Bats” (of the flying kind – not the willow,
obviously). However, I doubt that any of
us could have expected Tom August’s very
particular focus on bat life. He treated us to
an account of the research he undertook for
his doctoral thesis which was intriguingly
entitled “Why don’t bats get freshers’ flu?”
He went on to show how the way in which
bats socialise and the groups and networks
they form serve to protect them from the
spread of life-threatening diseases within bat
This is a gross over-simplification of the
extensive study that was undertaken, but
– unlike Tom - I do not have a PhD in bat
behaviour! What was particularly intriguing
was the way in which he had used studies
of human social groupings and networks
as a basis for the bat study. This included
the groupings and contacts between fresher
students that produces the phenomenon known
as “freshers’ flu”, hence the title of his thesis.
This type of study is also relevant to security
surveillance of terrorist groups, achieved by
analysing networks and connections between
On a more factual level it was surprising to
learn that bats constitute one in five of all
mammal species world-wide and that the
oldest existing bat fossil is 500 million years
old. If anyone is interested in finding out more,
just Google “Why don’t bats get freshers’
flu?” and it will take you to a webpage with a
synopsis of Tom August’s study.
“bring and share” format which means that
everyone brings along more than they can
eat themselves and so there is always loads to
And that brings us to the end of another year.
Therefore we have been busy putting together
a programme of talks and visits for 2016 which
should be available early in the New Year. We
hope that existing members will keep coming
and that those of you who have not been to
B.E.S.T will find something to interest you
and will give it a try. B.E.S.T meetings are well
known for their informality and friendliness.
Until then we wish you a Happy Christmas
and an ecologically interesting New Year.
Tom Stevenson (Chairman) 01491 836888
Keith Tibbs (Secretary) 01491 838689
Email: [email protected]
And so to December and the B.E.S.T annual
general meeting. This will be held on Tuesday
8 December starting at 7.30 pm in the Canons’
Room at St Helen’s church. The brief (we
promise) AGM will be followed by our
traditional Christmas social. It is the usual
To advertise in BB contact Anne Fowler on
01491 201734 or [email protected]
15% Discount for
with this ad
Benson CofE School PGL
Year 6, write ...
Year 6 Benson Primary PGL residential trip
daily blog Term 1 2015
Monday: Hello from a chilly Osmington Bay.
We arrived safely to a warm welcome from our
team leader Isaac. He gave us a tour of the site
before a delicious dinner. Afterwards we wrote
in our diaries, unpacked and headed off for a
game of Ambush (sophisticated hide and seek)
which warmed us all up. We are now counting
down the hours to a certain young ladies
birthday and hope to get a good night’s sleep.
Signing off from Year 6
Tuesday: A beautiful day here at Osmington
Bay, where we’ve been celebrating a special
girl’s birthday. We’re relaxing after lunch and
before our afternoon activities of team games
& Jacob’s ladder. There’s a game of football
taking place for the more energetic (not the
adults!) , girls v boys. There’s a game of “Go
Fish” next to me with Mrs Blunt v some of
the boys! We all successfully climbed Jacob’s
Ladder, followed by a camp fire and some
birthday cake. We are currently enjoying a
dance outside, in our PJs (kids only) to burn
off that sugar before a good sleep! Until
Wednesday: We had a dry start to the day,
which boded well for our Bear Grylls Survival
course, followed by the Giant Swing which
gave us brilliant views over Weymouth Bay,
towards Portland. All children showed fantastic
team building skills whilst constructing shelters
and lighting fires. It was then time to overcome
their fear of heights, including Mrs Mottram,
on the giant swing. After lunch the heavens
opened, but we (the Royal ‘we’!) persevered
and kayaked at the National Sailing Academy
in Portland. It was wet, wet, wet, but we soon
dried off and came back to a warming curry
or roast pork. Finishing the evening off was
a game of million pound drop (quiz). Sweet
dreams to all.........
Thursday: The morning dawned, what a
difference a day makes. A full morning of
archery and outdoor climbing was enjoyed
by all, followed by a ‘build a burger lunch’.
An afternoon of team cooperation followed,
with constructing a raft on the ocean, which
included lots of water games. Despite numerous
reminders, before we left base camp, some
crucial items had been forgotten; resulting in a
young man having to travel back in his towel and
t-shirt! Karaoke night was our entertainment,
with the warm-up performance being: YMCA
- performed by the Royal Three. As we speak,
the children are packing their bags as tomorrow
will be an early start for another morning full of
activities, before we say a sad goodbye to what
has been an ‘epic adventure’.
Friday: Our ETA is 4:30 and the children are
really looking forward to handing over their ‘bin
bags’ of wet clothing when they get home!
Benson CofE School
Helen Crolla (Headteacher), writes ...
November has been a busy month for us, here
at Benson Church of England Primary School.
Leading an assembly to start Anti-Bullying
Week, a group of new Benson Buddies
introduced themselves and explained their new
role. The Buddies, who were interviewed by the
School Council, ensure all children have happy
playtimes. Children sit on our Buddy Bench, to
show that they need a bit of help or a friend
to play with. Buddies have had training from
our Anti-Bullying Co-ordinator, Mrs Catherine
The School Council also proudly took part in
the Remembrance Day parade, laying a wreath
on behalf of the School. Mr Peter Eldridge and
other members of The Royal British Legion
came to lead our own Armistice Day act of
remembrance. This is always an important day
in our school year and the children enjoyed
talking to representatives from the local
The school is now busy preparing for
Christmas, with nativity songs being rehearsed.
Our amazing Friends of Benson School
(FOBS) team are organising a Christmas Disco,
Christmas Shop and orders for Christmas cards.
Such activities generate funds for our children,
which are greatly appreciated. On behalf of the
school, I would like to say a huge thank you
to those FOBS parents, for their energy and
I would like to wish you all a peaceful and
RAF Benson Community
We have had a very busy term with visitors
coming in to see us and helping us with our
learning. We are all buzzing with excitement
as we head towards Christmas and all the
wonderful activities this will bring!
Year 5 spent a day in Ancient Egypt by dressing
up as Egyptians in white togas and learning
about Egyptian artefacts. They enjoyed finding
out about Egyptian hieroglyphs (writing)
and mummification! Meanwhile, Years 2
and 3 learned about drumming with visitors
who taught them about West African drums
– Djembe and Dun Duns – and all enjoyed
drumming on a Djembe. Here are some of the
other activities that have been going on this
term so far:
On 11th November, RAF Benson held a
Remembrance Service in school. We had
to say prayers and answer questions from
Warrant Officer Guppy. We had a two-minute
silence when we remembered those who died
protecting us. We also remembered all those
who have been killed in a foreign country
including the men that tragically died in the
On the 13th of November, Doctor.Ranj from
Cbeebies came in to school to give prizes
to two year 2 children who won a Flu poster
competition. He also talked to us about germs!
We were taught that you must wash your hands
each time you sneeze because germs get on your
hands. When you put your hands on something
and someone touches that object they get the
germs and get a terrible cold or the Flu!
Ethan and Joseph
On Wednesday 4th November, Year 6 went
to Cadbury World and it took 2hrs 30mins to
get there. When we got there we went through
a fake jungle, we had an answer booklet for
information and we had some solid chocolate.
Everyone got three bars of chocolate – a
Crunchie, a Curly Wurly and a Dairy Milk bar.
We also had some molten chocolate with two
toppings. Ethan: “I chose white buttons and
sprinkles.” Joseph: “I chose marshmallows
and white chocolate buttons, yum yum!”
Year 6 enjoyed visiting Cadbury World on 4th
November. Everyone ate lots of chocolate,
it was amazing! The best bit was when we
went to the chocolate tasting room because
we got a cup of melted chocolate with any
toppings. Most people had white buttons and
marshmallows. We also enjoyed the shop
because the walls were filled with chocolate.
Most people chose the gigantic bars - they were
Hakan and Jake
On the 12th of November 2015, Year 5 went
to Icknield Community College and 7 other
schools were there. They all had different
flags showing who they were. There was Fred,
Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and we were split into
two groups: Scrappy Doo and Scooby Doo. In
the morning, we did a Sherlock Holmes and the
speckled band and a crime scene investigation
of which teacher stole the biscuits. It was Dr
Masters. Then we did orienteering and had
Next time we will be sharing all the news about
the outstanding learning our children have
been experiencing however, in the meantime,
why not have a look at our new school website
www.raf-benson.oxon.sch.uk and see what
we are getting up to during the festive period.
From all at RAF Benson Community Primary
School we wish you a very merry Christmas.
See you next time!
Steph Fawdrey (Headreacher)
Friends of Ewelme Church
Sally Fehr, writes...
In support of the Friends of Ewelme Church
Charity, on Friday 11th December at 7.30pm,
the inimitable ’Three Pressed Men’will present
a programme of the nation’s finest traditional
songs and melodies, with a nod to the Festive
Season. Vocal harmonies, lively dance tunes,
concertinas, rarely seen instruments - including
a smattering of cutlery - all backed up with
a dash of history and a few laughs, in the
splendid surroundings of Ewelme’s beautiful
church. Tickets £10, to include nibbles and a
glass of wine, are available from Derry’s Den
in Benson, from Ewelme Village Store, or by
telephoning 01491 824822.
For A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN
Choose from our wide range of quality garden services:
design and landscaping, plants and maintenance. We
tailor-make our service for you. For a free no-obligation
visit and written estimate from RHS qualified staff,
call 01844 279430, or email
Full details at:
Help shake off the blues!
Any age, any shape, any ability
Learn at your own level.
Thursdays 6.45 - 7.45pm £6
The Dance Studio, Wallingford
School Sports Centre,
St. George’s Road, Wallingford
Call Rachel on
CLIVE THE HANDYMAN
Over 35 years experience
in the Building Trade
Painting & Decorating
Small Plumbing Jobs,
Flat Pack Assembly,
Blinds & Curtain Rails
No Job Too Small
All Work Guaranteed
Give me a ring on
01491 411321 or
Benson Patients’ Panel
Emma Hagues & Áine Lyng , write...
In natural foods sugar usually comes with
fibre, vitamins, minerals and water which
in combination is not harmful and generally
good for us (whole fruit and milk). However,
modern food processing means that it is easy
to extract sugar and add it to food or drink
resulting in many of us consuming too much
sugar which is detrimental to our health.
Sugar and You
A high intake of sugar is damaging to our
health; High sugar foods are low in nutritional
value, high in calories and are digested very
quickly. Sugary drinks are thought to be
the biggest problem as they do not trigger a
feeling of fullness, making them easy to over
consume and may also stimulate appetite
resulting in an increased intake of food.
Eating or drinking an excess amount of sugar
can lead to an increased risk of diabetes,
heart disease, liver disease and makes excess
weight gain more likely. It can also lead to
What counts as high sugar?
The table below details the recommended
maximum daily intake for different age
The names for added sugar can be; sugar,
glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, lactose,
concentrates, molasses, nectars, dextrose,
corn syrup, honey…. To help decode food
labels try the following;
• If any one of the various forms of sugar is
high up on the ingredient list it means it will
be high in sugar
• Look for ‘sugars’ on the nutrition information
panel. If there is more than 22.5g per 100g it is
high in sugar whilst a low sugar food contains
less than 5g per 100g.
• High sugar drinks contain more than 6.3g per
100ml and low sugar drinks less than 2.5g.
It is recommended to keep sugary or acidic
foods and drinks to mealtimes to protect your
teeth. ‘Diet’ soft drinks and sugar free squash
contain little or no sugar but most are still
acidic enough to harm your teeth.
Snacks and drinks in between meals should
be tooth friendly. Water and milk, are the
best choices for a drink whilst fresh fruit or
vegetables, plain rice cakes and plain unsalted
popcorn are healthier snack foods.
Pure fruit juices and smoothies contain a lot
of sugar and as they have less fibre than whole
fruit you can easily consume too much. A
small 150ml glass, once a day with a meal,
Did you know…
• 380ml bottle of energy drink contains 11 ½
teaspoons of sugar
• 330ml can of fizzy drink contains 7 teaspoons
• 288ml carton of Ribena contains 6 teaspoons
• 125g fruit yoghurt contains 4 teaspoons of
If you would like any further information
you can contact Here for Health at the John
Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.
Telephone: 01865 221429
Email: [email protected]
Roke & Benson Brass Band
Natlaie Wyatt, writes...
With the festive season fast approaching I
thought I would tell you about some of the
things the band has planned for Christmas
Christmas Concert, Benson Parish Hall
Saturday 12th December
It seems only five minutes since our last
concert! This year we will be performing many
new pieces and some festive numbers too! We
hope you will be able to join us. Tickets will
be on sale in Derry’s Den from the beginning
of December, priced £3.75.
We will be playing at many other local venues
including Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary
on 17th December, the Home Sweet Home
on Tuesday 22nd December and Benson St
Helen’s Church on Christmas Eve.
We are a non-contesting band. Our main aim is
to play to the best of our ability and have fun,
Kundalini Yoga Classes
FENCING AND GATES
(The Yoga of Awareness)
Involves breath, postures, sound,
hand and arm movements,
mantras, meditation and relaxation.
Mondays 7.15 - 8.45pm £8
Wallingford School Sports Centre,
St. George’s Road, Wallingford OX10 8HH
All types of fencing and gates
supplied and installed
Call Rachel on 07415 355487
EWELME VILLAGE HALL
Available for letting for regular
bookings, meetings, children’s
Anne Critchley — 01491 834403
Please Contact Alan Wallis
for a free quotation
01491 834 886
4 Ewelme Down Farm, Ewelme, OX10 6PQ
Roke & Benson Brass Band (Cont.)
Natlaie Wyatt, writes...
whilst supporting our chosen charities. We are
currently looking for able cornet, baritone and
euphonium players. If you are interested in
joining please get in touch via our website or
Facebook page (see below). We would love to
hear from you!
We are enormously proud of the money we’ve
donated to three charities close to our hearts:
Seesaw; The MS Therapy Centre (Oxford)
Ltd and The Haematology Unit at The
Churchill. So far we have raised over £8,950
For further details on all the above and the
band’s latest news please see our website: www.
rokeandbensonbrassband.org or on Facebook
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank
everyone who has supported the band this year
and to wish you all a very Happy Christmas!
Pettits of Wallingford & Benson
Jane Farqharson & Dave Rushton, write...
Most readers will be familiar with the wellknown store called Pettit’s in Wallingford,
but how many will know of the strong Pettit
connection with Benson?
The store was founded in 1856 by two brothers
– William & Thomas Pettit. Both born in
Newmarket (then in Suffolk), the sons of
Thomas Pettit (a saddle maker), in 1851 they
were both serving apprenticeships in the same
drapers shop in Newmarket. However, within
a very few years they had opened their store in
Wallingford and William had married his first
wife Sophia Arthur of Benson. Sophia was the
daughter of Benjamin Arthur, a coachmaker in
Benson. Married in 1858, the Census of 1861
shows William & Sophia, plus two young
children living on the shop premises in Fish
St, Wallingford – along with brother Thomas
and 10 shop assistants! (Fish Street was later
renamed St Mary’s Street.)
William & Sophia had seven children within
nine years, but sadly Sophia died after giving
birth to the youngest in 1868. By 1871 William
– a widower - had moved to Benson, living
in Oxford Rd with six children (the seventh
was away at boarding school), a housekeeper
and a domestic servant. Brother Thomas had
married, but remained in Wallingford with
wife Caroline and their seven children.
At some time in the 1870’s William moved his
family into a new large house in Littleworth,
a house known as Thames Villa – but now
known as “The Red House” - where they
lived for over twenty years.
William re-married in 1873 to Amelia
Sutherland Jacques, and together they had an
additional four children. Tragically, Amelia
also died after giving birth to the youngest in
1877, so poor William had lost two wives in
just nine years. William did marry again in
1891, his third wife being a Benson widow –
Margaret Alice Maynard (nee Preston).
By 1911 William and family had moved, with
the Census showing William (now aged 78)
& Margaret at “Roselea” in Benson High St,
living with his daughter Esther and Margaret’s
All types of general building work and repair
Renovations to properties including listed buildings
Replacement windows and doors
Repairs from Insurance Claims
Painting and Decorating
Bespoke joinery (windows, doors, etc.)
Roy Passey Builders
High Street Benson Oxon OX10 6RP
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01491 838797
Pettits of Wallingford & Benson (Cont.)
Jane Farqharson & Dave Rushton , write...
Local Clubs & Societies
Clubs Sec: Alice Jones-Evans
daughter Gertrude Maynard.
was recorded as being a school mistress,
presumably in one of the Benson schools.
The Bensington Society
For our October meeting a large number
of Society members and friends heard our
William Pettit died in August 1915 at the age speaker, Andrew Sargent, talk to us about
of 82, and Margaret in 1928 at 84 years old. ‘The History of the River Thames’. Beginning
William had been part of Benson for 40 years with its geology and ancient past, we looked
or more and there were interesting links with at how the life of the nation has been affected
other Benson families. William’s elder sister - by the river and how the river has been
Frances Pettit - married Sophia’s elder brother viewed by those who have lived along its
- Henry Arthur. Even stranger, William’s considerable length. Andrew has worked for
daughter (from his first wife) Caroline married English Heritage for over 20 years and lived
a Baptist minister, William Maynard, who was in Faringdon for nearly 40 years during which
the son of Margaret from her first marriage; time he developed an interest in the Thames,
they married ten weeks before their parents amassing a great deal of knowledge along the
were married in March 1891. Thus William way. The river’s history spans some 500,000
Maynard’s mother and stepmother were years and has played an important role in
one and the same person, whilst Caroline’s the development of Benson. More detail
stepmother was her mother in law!
on the Thames at Benson plus a number of
As for the family business in Wallingford, photographs can be found in the Society’s
it flourished and continued under the same books.
management until 1896, when the two sons The last meeting of the year will be our
of the founders – Henry Pettit and William Christmas party evening on 4th December
Holland Pettit joined their fathers. Pettit’s of when we shall be entertained by the West
Wallingford continued as a family business Gallery style Christminster Singers with a
until 1987 when it was bought by another joyful programme including Oxfordshire
carols. West Gallery Music is a tradition of
local family – the Rowses.
robust harmony singing that flourished in
rural country parishes during the 18th & 19th
Corn Exchange Panto
There will be a festive raffle and the
Carol Evans, writes... centuries.
usual excellent buffet supper will be available
to purchase along with beers and wine from
Sinodun Players’ panto, 15th-30th January the bar. A chance to wish all our friends a
2016. Come and let your hair down at this Merry Christmas.
traditional family panto which is filled to the The Society’s Committee has been busy
brim with colourful characters. Audiences can putting next year’s programme together and
boo, hiss, laugh, sing, clap, sneeze, quack and details of this will be issued to members, along
pat their heads whilst rubbing their tummies at with their Annual Reports, during December.
the antics of witches, silly gnomes, courtiers, Please note that subscriptions will also become
fairies and, of course, the lovely Rapunzel and due on 1st January. On 29th January 2016, the
Annual General Meeting will take place when
her dashing prince.
we shall be able to discuss any issues pertinent
Performances Tuesdays to Saturdays with a to the Society and elect a new Committee.
Saturday matinee. Tickets: Adults £10 (Tues- Following the AGM, the talk will be ‘Thames
Thurs), £12 (Fri & Sat) children £6. On sale Valley Papists’ with Tony Hadland. Details of
NOW from box office (01491 825000) or the Society’s programme will be available on
its website at www.bensington-society.com
and in the Benson Library.
Basket and Patio plants
Hanging Baskets and Tubs
Seasonal Bedding and Vegetable Plants
Perennials and Herbs
Compost, Canes and sundries
Find us at: PYRTON
Local Clubs & Societies (Cont.)
Clubs Sec: Alice Jones-Evans
The Society’s History Group has been working
hard on its research projects and following
the publication of some of its uncaptioned
archive photographs in the past few Bulletins,
has been collating some interesting responses.
On a very wet 5th November afternoon
the Group took members of the Watlington
U3A Heritage Group on a tour of our village
with particular emphasis on the Coaching
Days within Benson. All adjourned to The
Crown for a very welcome pot of tea where
questions were answered by our ‘Century of
Change’ authors Janet Burtt and Peter Clarke
together with our website administrator, Jane
Farquharson. The History Group website can
be seen at www.bensingtonhistory.org
On behalf of the Committee, can I please wish
all our members, friends and the BB Team a
very Happy Christmas and best wishes for
Sue Brown (Publicity) 01491 837885
join us, you will be made most welcome.
For further details please call Lin on 01491
Benson Garden Club
At our November meeting, local author and
editor of Historic Gardens Review magazine,
Gillian Mawrey, gave us a fascinating insight
into some of the gardens which are being
restored and managed by English Heritage.
Her talk was accompanied by lovely photos.
Several are within easy reach, including
Kenilworth Castle which certainly looks
worth a visit. We were pleased to see a number
of visitors, who are always welcome.
Our December meeting will be the AGM
which will be followed by the Christmas Fun
Quiz and social. This is a good opportunity to
get to know other members and enjoy some
festive refreshments. Then on January 7th
2016 our talk will be ‘Planting for Problem
For Further details please call 01865 891208.
October has been a very busy month for the
committee and members of Benson WI. We
held a craft evening which was very well
attended and the more artistic members
amongst us demonstrated their talents and
helped participating members in making
various craft items.
Christine Denton, our WI advisor also joined
us and the evening was a great success.
We provided a hot lunch for the Bullingdon
Area Disabled Club after their AGM at
Benson Parish Hall and the following week it
was our turn to host the Shillingford WI Group
meeting. The evening was well supported
with over 70 members attending. Lively
entertainment was provided by Short Drag
Roger, singing a collection of sea shanties and
this was followed by a hot supper which was
enjoyed by all.
Benson WI meets on the third Wednesday of
the month at Benson Parish Hall at 7.30pm.
Our next meeting will be on 16th December
when Jenni Matthews will be entertaining us
with “Sing Along Show Stoppers”. Please
The Club meeting on 11th November opened
with the Leader announcing the very sad news
of the unexpected sudden death of a long
standing member, Ron Minall. Ron had been
a very loyal member of the Club and always
supported Julia in the various roles she has
had over the years. He will be sadly missed
and we all send our deepest sympathy to Julia
and her family.
The meeting continued with an informative
introduction to the services offered by
Wiltshire Farm Foods. The firm is based at
Trowbridge, in Wiltshire and distributes a
wide range of ready-meals to a large part
of the country. Wherever possible the food
is sourced locally and caters for all dietary
needs, including pureed food in appetising
forms. Main meal portions can be ordered in
three sizes to cater for differing appetites. We
were offered tasters of three different savoury
dishes and samples of some of their cakes.
There appeared to be a general consensus of
approval for the quality of the food tasted and
Mini Digger / Skip Loader With Operator
Garden Design & Landscaping
We are a friendly club with
• 4 all weather courts
• flood lights
• social & match play
• coaching for all ages
• junior & senior club nights
• great value individual & family
As we are right on your doorstep,
why not come and join us this year?
For more information &
Local Clubs & Societies (Cont.)
Clubs Sec: Alice Jones-Evans
the two representatives of Wiltshire Foods
were thanked for an interesting and enjoyable
afternoon. Surprisingly, the sandwiches and
cakes with our afternoon cup of tea, were also
consumed with the usual pleasure.
The raffle was drawn during tea-time, some
prizes causing amusement around the tables.
The committee do a grand job in distributing
them to the winners and this is much
appreciated by the less mobile members.
Please continue to support the Thursday
Coffee mornings at the Millstream Day Centre
from 9.30 to 11am.
We hope to see members at the Christmas
Party on 9th December but for those who may
not be able to be there, we wish you all a Very
Happy Christmas and look forward to a good
attendance to the meeting on 13th January
when the talk is entitled ‘The History of Royal
Queries to Ros Edwards 01491 837759.
overcome their disabilities and never gave up
on life. At the beginning of her talk, she read
the poem ‘Invictus’ which is read out at the
start of the games. It is very moving. In the
afternoon there were crafts or circle dancing.
We all had a very enjoyable day.
If you would like to join us, contact Jackie
on 839934. We meet at the Millstream Day
Centre on the 3rd Thursday in every month
at 7 30pm.
Our November speaker, Tony King, gave us
a kaleidoscopic history of London’s popular
theatre world, from the 1663 opening of the
Theatre Royal in Drury Lane and the World’s
first circus in 1781 onwards, in an amazing
feast of music and colour. He had rare footage
of Lillian Gish singing “Follow the Van”, of
Little Titch and Ella Shields, pictures and
recordings from the great Music Halls, of the
Hippodromes, Sadlers Wells and theAlhambra.
Then there was the arrival of electricity, and
the coming of the great marbled and gilded
cinemas. There were tough times during the
Benson Trefoil Guild
20th Century with Wars and the Depression
Our meeting was a talk on the Sue Ryder but there was Noel Coward, “Cavalcade”,
home at Nettlebed. The speaker was a Howard Keel and Fred Astaire. Post-War saw
fundraiser for the home. She showed some the arrival of the great American Musicals:
pictures of the home, they were beautiful and Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I,
the gardens were lovely. The nurses seemed through to My Fair Lady, West Side Story and
very dedicated to the patients it looks a lovely Les Miserables. He gave us much more than
peaceful place to be in if you are terminally ill this brief summary suggests and has promised
or are suffering with Motor Neurone Disease. to come back. When he does, don’t miss it.
We are going to have a stall in November at Up and Coming:
their fundraising event. I also have been to Dec 2 Christmas Party: Wine, Music and
their sales, which are held monthly, you can Song with Pandemonium
Not Joanna Lumley. Moscow to
get some lovely bargains. They have to raise Jan 6
a lot of money to keep the home open, so do Vladivostok on the Trans Siberian Express.
attend their sales and shops. She also told us (Catherine and Deirdre)
the story of Sue Ryder and her compassion for Feb 4 AGM then Jim and Pat Fish: Travels
and Wildlife in Tanzania
Eight of our members went to the members Our Meetings are held at 2.00 pm on the first
day at the Mathew Arnold Shool, Oxford. Wednesday of each month at Crowmarsh
We had a great time, our speaker was Sue Village Hall. Visitors are always made
Skelding. She was at the Invictus Games, welcome. For more information visit our
where she met Prince Harry. She showed website: www.u3asites.org.uk/wallingford, or
us the pictures of the soldiers taking part. phone Jill on 01491 835994.
They are such an inspiration, how they have Deirdre Wilson
Tel: 01491 201734
Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning by your local
specialists. Most carpets dry within the hour!
Which Trusted Trader. Quality work at competitive
rates. Call Grimebusters 01491 670013 / 01235
Cleaning Supplies & Machines - Hire - Sales
- Advice - Repairs - Domestic/Industrial. Call
Clean Machine on 01491 825600 or e-mail [email protected]
machinesthatclean.com Find us on Facebook/
Lady Gardener available for general garden
maintenance, also home cleaning. Reasonable
rates. Phone Diana on 07880 691704
The Rubbish Van The simple quick way to clear
all your bulky household / garden waste. Call
Mark 01235 511846 or 07770 862413 (Licensed
Longpine Roofing & Property Maintenance.
Local village family firm. Tel: 01491 652494
Email: [email protected]
Ipsden Private Hire Pre-booked taxi service.
Lady driver. Airports, hospitals etc. Email:
[email protected] or call 07894994047
Film and Video Transfer Service to DVD, LP’s
& 45 Records to CD at sensible prices. For quote
phone 01491 825964 or email:
Yoga Gently and gradually release and relax
body and mind. Become more comfortable in
your body, regain lost mobility and strength.
Classes - Benson –Tuesdays Wendy Perry,
07754 500117 [email protected]
Benson Parish Hall
Benson Parish Office: 01491 825038
Office hours: Mon, Wed, Thu and Fri 0930 am to 1230 pm
Short Mat BowlsMon 1.45-4pm/Wed 7-10pm
Floodlit TennisThurs 7.00pm
BENSON PARISH or YOUTH HALL
TEL/FAX 01491 825038
Benson Youth Hall
Fri 8 - 10pm
email your news to
About Benson Bulletin
The Benson Bulletin is published by Benson Bulletin
News Association, and delivered free to all households
in Benson, RAF Benson, Roke, Rokemarsh, Berrick
Salome and Ewelme. All concerned in its production
and delivery are volunteers. Material published in The
Benson Bulletin is copyright, but the Editor may grant
permission for reproduction upon request. The Editor
and publishers make every effort to ensure the accuracy
of printed information and can accept no responsibility
for either the consequences of errors which may occur
or for any product or services advertised. Neither are the
opinions published in The Benson Bulletin necessarily
those of the Editor or The Benson Bulletin News
Association. The Editor is pleased to receive material
for publication, but reserves the right to shorten, clarify
or reject it at her discretion. Copy may be submitted via
e-mail to [email protected] Typed and handwritten
copy is also acceptable and should be delivered/sent to
Benson Parish Hall before the 12th of the month previous
to publication. All printed photographs will be scanned
Copy: 12th of month previous
Advertising: 12th of month previous
The Benson Bulletin
c/o Benson Parish Hall
Benson, Oxon. OX10 6LZ
Wallingford Country Market
BBNA Committee Members:Chair
Every Friday, Regal Centre,
Treasurer Steve Guppy
Wallingford 8.30 -11.15
Secretary Kate Hart
Fresh Home Baking, Hand Crafted items
Advertising Anne Fowler
Wallingford Local Producers
Clubs’ Sec Alice Jones-Evans07773323090
Distribution Ivor Allen
Every Saturday morning 10am - 1pm
Regal Centre, Wallingford
To advertise in BB contact Anne Fowler on
01491 201734 or [email protected]