MICE = Miltonians In Community Events

The St Blaise Church Community Space Project

• Our chosen contractor – Hillsdon Construction Ltd from Wantage, start work on 20 February 2017
• MEPC have donated £2500, and will assist us when approaching companies on the Park, and further grant applications are being made.

Below is the ‘thermometer’ showing our funding situation. We would hope to avoid using all our church reserves, and we have a gap of £43,000 at this time.

Our Action Group 'in action’ +


Serious fundraising is now vital, to ensure the completion of the project in a tasteful and respectful manner, essential to take our beautiful Church forward into the future.


Funding Is Progressing - But We Still Urgently Need Donations

Help us with Fundraising:
Join the St Blaise Community Space 100 Club

The purpose of the St Blaise Community Space Project is to change the interior layout of the church to create an open space with kitchen and toilet facilities for use by the wider community. Proposed activities in the redesigned church include a craft fair, concerts, exercise classes, quizzes, a choir and a youth group.


The Community Space Project Team are working hard to raise funds to enable this conversion to take place. We are setting up a 100 Club and by joining you can help create a new community space for Milton village, as well as having a chance to win a cash prize every month! Here’s how it works…


• Numbers cost £2 each. Complete and sign the membership form and return this with a cheque for £24 (£2 per month for a year) per number – you can buy as many numbers as you want.
The membership form is available to download from www.stblaise.org.uk/100club or you can pick up a flyer from the church. Alternatively, please contact Rebecca Thomas on 07717 693724 or at 100club@stblaise.org.uk to be sent a copy by email or post.
• We will allocate your membership number(s) and enter you into a monthly draw. The draw will take place at St Blaise Church on the last Sunday of each month.
• The total prize money will be 50% of the membership fee taken that month. This amount is divided between three winners. If we have 100 members, the monthly income will be £200, with £100 being used for prizes: 1st prize will be £50, 2nd prize will be £30 and 3rd prize will be £20.
• The remaining 50% will go into the St Blaise Community Space Project fund.
• If you win a prize, a cheque will be posted to the address provided on the membership form. The name of the winner will be published on the village Facebook page, the St Blaise website (www.stblaise.org.uk/100club/winners), the St Blaise noticeboard and in Milton Matters.
Any queries, please contact Rebecca Thomas on 07717 693724 or at 100club@stblaise.org.uk

Milton Fireworks Display

“Remember, remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder treason and plot! We see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot”

This year’s display was exceptionally well attended, with something over 300 spectators who were treated to an excellent display.


There was a splendid turn out for the Guy competition, and the lucky winner (left) was presented with her prize. The guys were then ‘mounted’ on the bonfire and the conflagration commenced at 5.45pm!


The ‘Pyro’ team, who expertly launched the first rockets at dead on 6.00pm, were very ably supported by the ‘Hot Soup’ catering team and the ’Collection Bucket’ team.


Donation bucket collections more than covered the cost of the fireworks and the surplus will be put towards future events in the Parish.


A great big thank you is due to all those who volunteered their time and efforts to make Milton Fireworks 2016 a smouldering success!

The Didcot Pheonix Drama Group Present Murder Afoot

The St Blaise Church Community Space Project

st blaise church miltonThe action group for this project has been meeting throughout this year, following the resounding support from Milton residents in the Community Led Plan questionnaire to make changes within our parish church to create community space in St Blaise as we have no village hall this side of the A34.

The changes involve installing kitchen and toilet facilities, relaying a new limestone tile floor with underfloor background heating and removing some pews. This will create a village space enabling wider use for our community.


Serious fund raising is now vital, to ensure the completion of the project in a tasteful and respectful manner, essential to take our beautiful Church forward into the future.


The project is now on the starting grid!

• Permissions have been received, and some grant monies awarded, see ‘thermometer’. Further grants applications are in hand, but not yet secured.
• A contractor is soon to be offered the contract following a tendering process.
• Work should start early February, and be finished by July 2017

The estimated cost of the project is approximately £160,000


What happens next?

We anticipate we will need another £40k and we sincerely
hope individuals, and the village, as a whole, will get behind this project to help us raise this shortfall.
Support can be given in any number of ways such as:

• Attending fund raising events (See Murder Mystery Night article)
• Suggesting new fund raising ideas
• Personal donations
• Buying a floor tile
• Purchasing a pew
• Sponsoring a chair

For further details see: www.stblaise.org.uk or email community.space@stblaise.org.uk

MICE AGM On 4 September

Getting on for 10 years ago, a small number of Milton residents formed an informal association to organise community events in our parish. We thought we should give ourselves a name, and the best we could come up with was MICE = Miltonians In Community Events. Since that time our numbers have grown into a fantastic band of volunteers who organise several annual events including the Duck race, The Tadpole Feast and the Firework Display.


We would like to invite all residents of the Parish to our next AGM on Sunday 4th September 2016 4.00pm in St Blaise Church. It would be great to have as many people attending as we can, particularly the new residents in the parish. As in all community groups, it is essential that new helpers come forward with new ideas and enthusiasm.


Tea & Cake will be available and the gathering will provide an ideal opportunity to meet and chat with fellow parishioners.

For further information, please email mice@villageofmilton.co.uk

Milton Tadpole Feast Update

The 2016 village fete was very well attended, despite the weather being somewhat variable during the afternoon. Sadly, a nearby thunder storm caused the cancellation of the maypole dancing by the pupils of St Blaise Primary school, and also curtailed the Tug-of-War challenge, but a number of sack races were run and were much enjoyed. The barn dance in the evening was once again a real success and has become a regular feature of the fete.


The Men’s Bake-Off competition, introduced in 2015, attracted fewer entries than last year, but the quality was of a very high standard. The lucky winner being Richard Watson of School Lane who retains the much coveted Milton Bake-Off Trophy!


Milton village fete is the result of an immense amount of hard work by a great number of volunteers who regularly give up their time and effort to make this a great day for the community, and our thanks go out to all those who helped out in whatever capacity.

The fete organising group are very pleased to announce that we made a total of £1390 and have also been promised a donation towards the costs of the event from Milton Park, which we look forward to receiving.
Best Wishes, and looking forward to 2017
The Fete Organising Group


Cameras at the Ready!
New for next year’s Tadpole Feast – a photographic competition.
Preliminary details are:
3 classes – Under 10s
Under 16s
16s – 116s
2 categories – A village scene
Village people

All photographs must be taken within the Parish of Milton
There will be prizes for the winner and runner up in each group

More details from Mark Kelly, Stepstone Cottage, Old Moor (820925)

Milton Tadpole Feast 2016

The weather was not kind to us this year, but the Parishioners of Milton still showed up in their 100’s on Saturday 25 June to enjoy the annual village fete.


All the traditional entertainments were on offer, as well as a few new ones, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.


It was sad to have to cancel the Maypole Dancing display by the pupils of St Blaise School, but there was thunder & lightning about and the maypole was made of metal!


It was too wet to have the adults Tug-o-War competition but the children were game for a quick tug as well as a great many sack races!


Very many thanks to all the helpers and especially to the organising group.
If you would like to contribute to Fete 2017 in any way, please make yourself known by emailing mice@villageofmilton.co.uk


Editor's Note - This was the first time I had ventured to a Milton Fete since Majorie Mockler held them at the manor. I have to say it was an excellent couple of hours, and great to see the local kid's (of all ages!) enjoying themselves. I will be uploading images provided during the next week.

Milton Tadpole Feast 2016 – The mysterious case of the disappearing posters!

Milton Tadpole Feast (aka the village fete) happens every year in late June, and will have probably come & gone by the time you read this article. To advertise the fete, we erect two banners in the High Street and one up on the Heights.

In addition, we ‘reserve’ the front page of June’s edition of Milton Matters (which is published in late May) and put up A4 posters on poles & posts around the village. Recently, these posters were all mysteriously removed, and now their replacements have also suffered the same fate!


I know that we seem to have a lot of posters in the village, what with one thing and another. However, the fete posters are put up by volunteers about 2-3 weeks before the fete, and removed quickly afterwards. I am puzzled as to their disappearance and would like to invite the person responsible to contact me to give him/her the opportunity to explain the reasons for doing so?

Paul Browning
For the Fete Committee
01235 834869

6 June - Village Fete . . .19 Days & Counting

With less than three weeks to go until our village Fete (yes the year really has flown by fast!) and the time has come to ask for your generosity once again in donating any items you can for our Stalls. 
Now for the fun bit... here's an update on the BIG day & where to drop off any donations:

Fete: Milton Tadpole Feast (affectionately known as the village Fete) will be held at The Squire Barrett playing field on Saturday 25th June from 2.30-5.00pm. All fete stalls are run by village volunteers ("virtual pats on the back to you all") the prizes, cakes in the Tea Tent and plants on the Plant Stall are generous donations from villagers - we really couldn't do this summer event without you. Remember, entrance to the Fete is FREE and its a great family day out with stalls such as BBQ, Tea Tent, Hook-a-duck, cross bows, Pony rides, tug o war, sack races and many, many more.

Donations: We would like to ask you if you can donate any gifts for our stalls? Anything from plants to books, DVD's, CD's & bottles. In fact any donations you can give will be greatly received! The "Fete 8" volunteers are ready and waiting to receive your goodies at the below addresses:

Plant Stall: Back by popular demand - All you green fingered folk, please pot up some cuttings, have a "root around" and "dig out" those plants (large and small) that perhaps haven't found a place in your garden but would look wonderful in someone else's. Please deliver your donations to Conkers, off School Lane from Saturday 18th June or to the Sue on the Plant Stall on the day. (Plants to be labelled if possible please).

Cakes: Aprons at the ready all you wonderful bakers! Donations of cakes gratefully accepted for the Tea Tent and also the Cake Stall where whole cakes will be sold. Bring to the Tea Tent on the day of the Fete at around 2.00pm.

Bottles (adult bottle tombola!): Dust off those bottles hidden at the back of your cupboards. Especially the ones you keep threatening to get out every Christmas (but don't!) . . . maybe now is the time to let them go! Your generous donations can be delivered to 68 High Street please.

Tombola Prizes: Gifts for all ages and tastes. Donations can range from toys, games, gift sets, candles, toiletries, boxes of chocolates, etc. As they say, "one man's junk is another man's treasure". Donations to be delivered to 66 High Street please.

Men's "Bake Off" competition (judged by our very own Mary Berry & Paul Hollywood!): This year's "Bake Off challenge" is for the MEN of the village (no help from the ladies please!) and the objective is to bake 12 identical items such as tea cakes, biscuits, scones, tarts, in fact anything sweet, not savoury. They must be identical and marks will be accumulated for accuracy, decoration, flavour and uniqueness. Richard Watson was the winner in 2015 and I am sure those of you who lost to him will be out for revenge in what must be regarded as one of the most hotly contested events of the Tadpole Feast . . . Bring your entries to the Competition Stall on the day, judging to take place at 3.30pm.

Book Stall: This year the Book Stall will have a selection of DVD's and CDs as well as books. Anyone wishing to donate any books, DVD's or CD's please take them to the St Blaise Church where they will be stored until the big day. Please bring them in boxes marked with "fete donations" and leave them beside the Font.

Have You Got Your Barn Dance Tickets?: This wonderful family evening event will start at 7.30pm until 10.30pm withmusic, dancing and fun for all the family. Bring your own food & drink and enjoy your very own mini 'party in the park'. Tickets are going fast so book yours now. Price is just £10.00 per person (children under 16 are FREE). To order, click this link, or email mice@villageofmilton.co.uk. Numbers are limited so please book to avoid disappointment!

Pavement Working Party Report 

The CLP Footpaths, Pavements & Bridleways Working Group 'kicked off' with a pavement clearing working party on Sun 15 May. 

10 hardy volunteers met at 10.30am to tackle the section of encroaching vegetation around the bus-stop, opposite School Lane and at the base of the wall bounding the Visto Field. You may have noticed the fruits of their endeavours?


Mandy plum pudding miltonThe weather was lovely and warm and refreshments were kindly provided by Mandy, landlady of The Plum Pudding, who is pictured to the right with her jugs at the ready!

We propose to have another working party to tackle the section of the High Street opposite Millbrook House on Sun 05 June. We would love to have more volunteers to join us, so if you're about on that day please meet outside Millbrook House at 10.30am. 

It would be great if you could bring a spade and a broom, gloves & Hi-Viz jackets will be provided. For further information, please email: miltonclp@hotmail.com
Milton CLP Steering Group

Action Plan Working Groups Update

All residences in the Parish should have received a copy of the plan delivered through their letterbox at the end of March along with the April edition of Milton Matters. Following this, Milton CLP was formally launched on 04 April 2016 with a drop-in information event at the village pub in the afternoon.
Following the CLP questionnaire back in November 2014, over 200 residents of the Parish volunteered their support, in one way or another to help deliver our plan. Since the launch, the CLP Steering Group have endeavoured, with varying degrees of success, to set up initial Working Group (WG) meetings to tackle the various actions identified in the plan and this article is a summary of the progress thus far.


Cycling WG:
The primary action identified here was to explore the possibility of creating safe 'off-road' cycling routes to neighbouring villages. There are already tentative 'proposals' by SUSTRANS to upgrade the cinder track, parallel to the railway, which connects Milton and Steventon. Cycling north out of Milton towards Drayton and onwards to Abingdon currently involves using a bendy dangerous highway. It would be great to have an off-road cycle route from Milton to Peep-o-Day Lane on the Drayton road.

The above topics were to be the main agenda items at the initial WG meeting which was arranged for Tuesday 26 April. There are currently 15 names on the Cycling volunteer email list, all of whom were emailed about the meeting. A total of 3 people replied indicating their willingness to attend but sadly no one (apart from the Steering Group representative) turned up. It is intended to arrange another date and time for the initial meeting.


Roads & Traffic WG:
The primary topics identified for the working group to consider were:
Traffic speed in High Street: Investigate the feasibility and acceptability of some form of traffic speed indicator in High Street. These devices are becoming ever more sophisticated and do not simply indicate vehicle speed but can also record the registration plate for purposes of driver notification. It may even be possible to identify inappropriate (ie too heavy) vehicles using High Street!

Junction Changes: It is suggested that this WG liaise with the Parish Council to consider any future road junction changes which are proposed in the Parish, namely the junction of High Street and Park Drive, and the junctions of both Trenchard Avenue and Milton Hill with the A4130.

Congestion in High Street: Liaise with other villages and Milton Parish Council on any suggestions as to how congestion may be monitored and mitigated.

A relevant additional comment which came out of the CLP launch event was to repaint the 'Slow' signs on the roadways entering the village.

These topics were the main agenda items at the initial WG meeting which was arranged for Thursday 28 April. There are currently 25 names on the Roads & Traffic volunteer email list, all of whom were emailed about the meeting. There were 4 apologies for absence received, and 2 people turned up and so we briefly discussed the above topics but decided to treat the meeting as a rehearsal, and another date and time will be suggested for the initial meeting.


Community Volunteers:
In the questionnaire there was a section offering the opportunity to volunteer for helping people out with, for example, shopping, hospital visits, picking up prescriptions, etc. This was obviously a popular idea as over 60 people signed up. Is this something we would like to offer our neighbours? If so, how can we manage the list, and the needs of the village? Any ideas or comments would be very welcome. Please email joy.browning@gmail.com


Footpaths, Pavements & Bridleways WG:
The primary topics identified for the working group to consider were:
The pavements in High Street are not wide, and are made even less so by encroaching vegetation. This WG could co-ordinate self-help days where sections of vegetation could be easily removed, widening the available foot-way and allowing the state of the tarmac surface to be assessed for repair by the County Council.

The pavement on the east side of High Street virtually disappears beyond Pembroke Lane. This necessitates crossing the road to continue heading south towards Milton Park Stores & The Park and is a tricky manoeuvre, particularly in a mobility scooter. Consider possible ways of 'extending' the footway on that part of High Street.

A relevant additional comment which came out of the CLP launch event was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of a pedestrian crossing in High Street.

The general condition of Footpaths, Pavements & Bridleways in the Parish should be assessed via a Parish Audit, with a view to improving and repairing where possible.

These topics were the main agenda items at the initial WG meeting which was arranged for Tuesday 03 May. There are currently 13 names on the Footpaths, Pavements & Bridleways volunteer email list, all of whom were emailed about the meeting. There were 3 apologies for absence received, and 8 people attended, a good number! The above topics were discussed and it was decided to 'kick off' the with a Pavement Clearing Event on Sunday 15 May (10.30am-12.00noon) to tackle one section of encroaching vegetation in High Street. See article at start of June insert.


Local Directory of Small Business & Tradespeople:
Recent meetings intended to share the information gathered on this topic unfortunately received insufficient attendance, the information has now been passed to the volunteers who expressed their interest when completing the CLP Questionnaire. We look forward to seeing these projects coming to fruition in the near future.


St Blaise Community Space Project WG:
On Sunday 24 April, we had the first gathering of volunteers interested in furthering the idea of creating an open space within St Blaise Church to widen its use beyond a church and to provide a much needed community space. Eleven volunteers attended, and a further 4 sent apologies.

Planning for this project has been in hand for a while, but as there is now approval from the Diocesan Authorities, finer details can be worked on, and input from the wider community is essential for this project to be successful. The CLP results have given a mandate to proceed with this work, as there was strong support for the project.

It was an enthusiastic and lively meeting of questions, and some answers, and it set the scene for how to proceed. There was a good mix of volunteers so the formation of sub-groups for the various tasks can be matched to the skills and interests of the individuals.

If anyone would like know more, there is an information board in St Blaise Church, or to become involved in this project in any capacity please contact: joybrowning@gmail.com