General News

Litter Pickers Ramblings No 3 (I think?)

It’s been about some years since my last ‘Ramble’ and so, as it’s my 25th year as village litter picker (no applause please) I thought I would ‘Ramble Again’!


Yep, 1994 saw the ceremonial handing over of the village “Litter-Picking Stick” from my predecessor, and the start of my weekly round up and down village, usually on a Sunday morning.


Believe it or not, over the past 25 years the amount of litter collected has significantly reduced. In the early days I could nearly fill a couple of plastic sacks each week, but in recent times it has reduced to about half a bag! A ‘back of a fag packet’ calculation, using a conservative estimate of 3kg per week, yields a total of nearly 4 tonnes of litter picked up from the village over 25 years. By the way, I have a counterpart up on The Heights who does and equally splendid job!


Wearing my ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ hat, and based upon first-hand observations, most of the litter I deal with is ‘kerbside’ and is almost certainly ejected from motor vehicles (with clearly a contribution from through traffic). In nature the litter picked up it is primarily ‘food & drink wrappers’ of one kind or another as we seem eat & drink on the move these days!


On a personal level, perhaps we might ask ourselves the question: Do I dispose of the above items responsibly, or am I part of the problem? Just a thought!
Best wishes
Paul Browning.
Milton Village Litter Picker.


DIDCOT DIVAS present CONCERTS in aid of Helen & Douglas House

Songs from the shows – Comedy – Monologues Music fun and laughter for the whole family

Guest Performer BETHAN PITHERS Student of Performing Arts at Abingdon & Witney College

Saturday 6 JULY at 7pm Harwell Village Hall & Saturday 20 JULY at 7pm East Hagbourne Church

Please come along and support this ladies’ choir raise funds for a most deserving cause and exceed the amount the DIVAS made last year - £5000 plus for Sobell House 2018


TICKETS £10 Children/Students £5 concession to book and for further information please contact or telephone 01235 798387


Didcot Divas has been singing for donations since 2012 and has to date collected over £15k for local charities. Last year they successfully sang and raised in excess of £5000 for Sobell House and this year, through the two summer concerts in July, hope to raise a similar amount for Helen and Douglas House hospice for children. Every penny raised goes to the charity every year and the ladies of the choir thoroughly enjoy singing and entertaining with comedy items also for the community. Please come along and support their efforts this year at Harwell Village Hall on July 6th at 7pm or at East Hagbourne Church on July 20th at 7pm. Tickets will cost £10 with concessions for children and students at £5. Fun for the whole family for such a worthy cause. If you would like to join the choir, we rehearse at Harwell on Thursdays at 1.45 where you will be made very welcome.


Premier Inn's Milton Interchange Expansion Bid To Be Decided

A bid by Premier Inn to build an 80-bedroom annexe to its complex at the Milton Interchange in Didcot will be decided next week.

The budget hotel chain lodged the application late last year. The hotel currently has 135 bedrooms. If approved, it would be third time the hotel had been allowed to expand. An extension could also be allowed to its car park, with 39 new spaces added. That would leave it with 205 spaces in total.
Premier Inn was given permission to expand its Bicester branch in November. That opened in 2013 and will have 140 bedrooms once work has been completed.


The chain runs seven hotels across Oxfordshire. Along with its Didcot branch – branded as Oxford South – it also runs hotels in Oxford, at the Oxford Business Park in Garsington Road; in Marcham Road, Abingdon; in Stroud Park in Banbury; in Ducklington Lane in Witney and in Spring Street, Chipping Norton.


Premier Inn’s Didcot branch is close to another hotel, the Marriott Oxford South. That £20m 170-bedroom branch was opened last autumn and was given a licence to play music, despite residents’ worries.


Milton Parish Council said it worried about the impact of noise from the hotel, which was given permission to play music inside until 2am and outside until 10pm every day. The parish council’s chairwoman Zena Hoskins said there were already problems with noise from a nearby train line.

Vale of White Horse District Council's licensing committee ordered Marriott to run a hotline for residents, which they could call if they felt noise at night was unreasonable.


The authority’s planning committee will be asked to approve the Premier Inn expansion at a meeting at the Beacon in Wantage on Wednesday 17 April.



Steventon Branch Of The Royal British Legion

Rather to our surprise, The Steventon & District Branch was given an award for recruiting the largest percentage increase in members in the region last year. There is clearly still life in the old dogs yet!  Well done.


The next committee meeting will be held in the Steventon and Sports Social Club at 7.00pm on Monday 18 March. All members and prospective members are welcome. We will discuss activities for later this year.


This year we remember the outbreak of WW2.  If there are any surviving veterans from that war still living in our villages, we would be glad to know. Also, if there are any people who came as evacuees during the war to our villages and are still living here it would be good to know and learn of their experiences. We know of only one.
Brigadier Nick Thompson  
Hon Chairman 
Tel: 832077