Great Coxwell Support Group
|Great Coxwell Village Website|
Dearest community groups,
We have an opportunity for your volunteers who would like to earn some additional money at this years elections,
On Thursday 6 May our residents across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse will go to the polls to vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner and Oxfordshire County Council elections. Some areas will also have local by-elections and neighbourhood plan referendums. The various counts will then take place over the course of the following days.
To help ensure the smooth running of this event, we need to recruit as many people as possible.
There’s lots of roles available, paying a flat rate or from £14 per hour, and plans are being put in place to ensure all staff can work in a covid safe environment.
If you are interested in joining us to help out, please visit southoxon.gov.uk/electionjobs / whitehorsedc.gov.uk/electionjobs to find out more and to register your interest, and please also encourage your colleagues, friends and family to consider signing up too.
If you have any questions please email email@example.com.
Finally, thank you, once again, from everyone at South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, for the work and support that you have provided in your communities throughout the last year. Your contribution continues to benefit significant numbers throughout the district and making a real difference to many of our residents’ lives.
The Community Connector Team,
COVID-19 Community Support Programme Team
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils
To find out more information on how we can support you, visit our dedicated South and Vale web pages.
Contact Centre: 01235 422600
There is some useful information in this bulletin sent to our Great Coxwell Support Group on the AstraZeneca Vaccine.
Scroll down to the section entitled "Should we be worried about the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine?"
In short, quote:
"Are UK scientists worried?
No. The overwhelming scientific opinion is that there is no certain link between blood clots and the vaccine, and the reported cases could easily be coincidental."
"What has AstraZeneca said?
The pharmaceutical firm said a 'careful review of all available safety data' of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the EU and UK with the AstraZeneca jab has shown 'no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country'.
Its chief medical officer Dr Ann Taylor said the number of cases of blood clots reported in this group 'is lower than the hundreds of cases that would be expected among the general population'."
Sadly, we are back in lockdown once again. But at least this time we are a little more prepared and we know what to expect. We have grown accustomed to this new way of living and systems are in place to assist us through the next month or so. We just need to observe the new Lockdown 2 Rules until 2nd December and hopefully, we will start to edge through this second wave of Covid infections.
This lockdown is a little less restrictive than the first one. For example, we can get outside and meet one individual from another household, keeping our social distance, in a public place, to exercise, and to have a conversation… But self-isolation isn’t easy, especially if you’re alone, feeling unwell or need help with something. During the first lockdown earlier this year, we had the benefit of evenings getting lighter and improving weather. This time, some may be finding it more difficult as the nights draw in and the weather turns for the worse. Remember, if you live alone or you’re a single parent who lives alone with your children, you can meet with one other household without social distancing. This is called a support bubble.
During this Lockdown, mental health will be a worry for some. There is helpful advice on the NHS Coronavirus (COVID19) website, including 10 tips to help if you are worried about Coronavirus. It’s worth a look, but I have summarised their advice at the bottom of this email.
The established team of volunteers in the village remain in place and are willing to assist those during this second COVID-19 emergency. They were each allocated a cluster of houses throughout the village to establish contact in the first lockdown. Each volunteer has maintained that contact as and when required. If you are new to the village or have not been contacted and would like assistance from a volunteer, please call me, Mandy Burns (contact details below). The village Support Group Volunteers are there to assist with
You may not feel you need help at this stage but if in the future you decide you do, just contact me and let me know.
We have a dedicated volunteer who collects prescriptions each week
Wednesday – Faringdon White Horse Surgery
Thursday – Elm Surgery Shrivenham
I collect the names of those who wish prescriptions to be collected and pass a list each week to the volunteer.
If there is a need for an emergency prescription, we should also be able to respond accordingly.
Please do not hesitate to contact me.
The current volunteers from the village have already agreed that they are willing to carry on in this next lockdown and able to assist where necessary. But we are always looking for more - If you have not already been in contact and are available to assist neighbours in the village who might need help with these things, again please contact me.
Bad weather may present other challenges whilst we are in lockdown. If you are able to assist and respond for snow clearance of paths etc, again please let me know.
Best wishes to everyone during these difficult times.
Please contact MANDY BURNS on 01367 240142 and leave a message, or mail her on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ten tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus.
Tip 1 - Stay connected with people. Maintain healthy relationships with people you trust.
Tip2 - Talk about your worries. Its Ok to share your concerns with those you trust.
Tip 3 - Support and help others. Helping someone else can benefit you as well as them.
Tip 4 - Feel prepared. It can help to think through a typical week how will you continue to be affected and what will you do to solve any problems.
Tip 5 - Look after your body. Our physical health can have a big impact on how we feel.
Tip 6 - Stick to the facts. Find a credible source you can trust like GOV.UK or the NHS website.
Tip 7 - Stay on top of difficult feelings. Try to focus on the things you can control.
Tip 8 - Do things you enjoy. Focusing on your favourite hobby, relaxing or connecting with others can help with anxious thoughts and feelings.
Tip 9 - Focus on the present. Focusing on the present, rather than worrying about the future, can help with difficult emotions.
Tip 10 - Look after your sleep. Good quality sleep makes a big difference.
As you may remember, the Great Coxwell Support Group was established back in March at the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic, to provide support to those households in the village who needed a bit of help in these difficult times. The Group comprises volunteers from across the village. I have been acting as co-ordinator and a point of contact. Each Volunteer has been allocated one or more households to keep in touch and offer support where needed.
If you are new to the village and are not sure how to reach out to a volunteer, please contact me and I will connect you. Every household has a volunteer allocated – even the volunteers! Equally, if you would like to volunteer in some way please let me know using the contact details below.
Although lockdown eased for a while over the summer months, we agreed to keep our village volunteer network in place. That has proved to be prudent as the second wave of the pandemic has kicked in. If national or local lockdown measures tighten further, and as a result, you feel you need some help, please don’t hesitate to ask your volunteer in the first instance, or myself.
One of our volunteers is Jonny Farrow. He has been an absolute stalwart and has continued to provide a prescription service throughout the summer. The Village Community Fund presented Jonny with a voucher from John Lewis and some of his favourite tipple in acknowledgement and thanks of all the time and work he has given in collecting/delivering prescriptions to the village since the commencement of Lockdown in March. Jonny has also undertaken other tasks such as taking post to the Post Office and even hearing aids to be mended. Many of those he has supported have expressed their gratitude and asked me to pass on their thanks to him.
The team of village volunteers are helping where asked and much praise has been passed on to me by those who have and are continuing to be supported. A BIG THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU. Thank you so much for being part of the Volunteer Group and undertaking to support others in difficult times.
Jonny Farrow has very kindly volunteered to continue collecting prescriptions on a Wednesday and Thursday of each week. It may be that the day/time is flexible as he may have other commitments, but we will endeavour to collect on the designated day for each Surgery.
Wednesday – White Horse Surgery, Faringdon
Thursday – Elm Surgery, Shrivenham
I compile the list for Jonny each week and if he is unable to go, I will do so.
Please email me on email@example.com or telephone on 01367240142.
(NB - currently my landline number is out of order and being worked on by BT. Please use my email address or my mobile – mobile number is 07968439408.
Best regards and stay safe,
Ps. The Village Community Fund also presented a lovely outside plant to me too. Thank you everyone!
One of our oldest residents, Marian Czerwinski, died suddenly at home on Friday 28th August at the age of 94.
Marian Czerwinski was born on 21st January 1926 in a remote village near Alexandrov, Eastern Poland. The son of a farmer, his childhood there was changed forever on 1st September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, followed fifteen days later by the Russian invasion of Eastern Poland. In early 1942, after two and a half years of occupation, Marian was plucked from his family, bundled onto a train heading West and interned into a forced labour camp by the Nazis. He was 16 years old and was never to see his parents again.
Marian spent the rest of the war working in forced labour camps across Germany. Polish labour was employed in SS owned enterprises such as the German Armament Works (Deutsche Ausristungs Werke (DAW)) and also in privately owned factories such as Junkers, Messerschmitt and Siemens. Under the ‘Polish decrees’, Poles were required to wear identifying purple ‘P’s on their clothing. They were subject to curfews, banned from using public transport and housed in segregated barracks behind barbed wire.
Marian’s routine was punishing. It involved hard labour 12 hours a day for 6 days a week making war munitions for the Axis effort. His diet would have been very poor and he would have faced brutal punishment for disobedience or poor performance. For a time, Marian was working in a factory in Karlsruhe, near Stuttgart, and he recalled that the Polish shifts were at night during Allied air raids, whilst other workers covered the safer daytime shifts. He learnt very quickly that to survive in such circumstances, he had to work hard, never complain and keep out of trouble.
It is hard to appreciate the devastating impact of the German occupation on the Polish community. It is estimated that over 6 million of the 26 million population were killed either by the Nazis or by the Russian forces that followed, between 1939 and 1945, 21.4% of the population.
In 1945, having worked in different labour camps across Germany, Marian found himself in Southern Germany close to the Swiss border. As the Third Reich collapsed under Allied advances, the Free Polish Army rescued Poles that had been displaced and led them to safety over the Swiss border, and thence into Italy. Marian thus found himself recruited into a Division of the Free Polish Army based in Northern Italy. From there, he was offered the chance to start a new life in the UK. And so it was that in 1946, he arrived in a refugee camp in Nettlebed, near Henley-on-Thames.
In the late 1940s, Marian received a letter from the Soviet dominated Polish Government of National Unity, inviting him to relinquish all rights to his family’s farm and properties in Poland. It was an offer he was unable to refuse.
Marian’s first employment in the UK was in Reading, rebuilding the war damaged town. His diminutive stature (he was 5 foot 2 inches tall) was put to good use, as he was selected by the Water Board to climb down drainage pipes and weld broken joints. Further work at the Huntley and Palmers biscuit factory followed before he was relocated to the Marine Barracks in Faringdon in 1953.
Marian’s career in agriculture began with a farm labourer’s job for the Williams family. Their farm included the Great Coxwell Tythe Barn, which was used to store the harvest. Indeed, Marian can be seen unloading a haycart in a 1956 film on the British Countryside, narrated by John Betjeman. When the Williams family retired from farming, Marian moved to Colleymore farm to work for George Twine, and later on for Adam. He retired in 1992 after 39 years in the fields.
Marian married Beatrice in 1954 and they had two daughters, Gillian and Angela. One of the longest serving residents of Great Coxwell, the Czerwinskis first lived at Amberley and then later, Hillside, before downsizing to Wrekin Cottage in 1981.
Marian was a character and was liked by everyone who knew him. Whilst his mastery of the English language was only enough to make him understood, it was usually embellished with a rich use of the vernacular! He was a loyal, hard-working and utterly reliable member of the Colleymore Farm team. An avid pigeon-fancier, Marian also enjoyed his garden and his home-grown vegetables. Some may remember that he kept a mynah bird during his early years in Great Coxwell, and taught it how to wolf whistle at passing ladies of the village, much to his amusement…He also operated as chimney sweep for some of the villagers and was the resident pheasant plucker for those who enjoyed the shoot but not the plucking and drawing! Marian's transport was a three-wheeler Robin Reliant, normally accompanied by clouds of smoke.
Sadly, Marian lost his beloved Beatrice 7 months ago. Whilst none of us will ever fully understand the hardship he suffered in his early life, we can take comfort that he found peace in the village which became his home. He will be remembered fondly by many in Great Coxwell. Our thoughts are with Angela, Gillian and their families at this sad and difficult time. Marian is being buried at a private family funeral on Monday 14th September at 1030 in St Giles Church graveyard where Beatrice is waiting for him.
(Robbie Burns, with assistance from Richard Smith and from his family, 11th September 2020)
The Great Coxwell Band will do a short doorstep concert again tomorrow night at 8 pm, for anyone who is in desperate need of live music!
Violin Concerto (first movement) in G maj by Haydn - Katherine
I Can See Clearly Now by Jonny Cash - GCB*
Hey Jude by the Beatles - GCB and anyone who wants to join in!
* Richard (voice) Lynette (keyboard), Russ and Ken (Guitars), Margaret (flute), Katherine (violin) and Oliver (drums)
Hello everyone. I know we will all be welcoming the latest step in relaxing the national lockdown, announced by Government last week. At last, single households are permitted to meet nearest and dearest love ones without social distancing measures. For many in the village, this represents an important step on the road back to normality.
Although the Support Group remains in place and will continue to provide backup for those that need it, I think it is now timely to cut back the Support Group newsletter from a weekly edition to a monthly update. So, the next newsletter will be distributed in mid-July. In the meantime, a big thank you from me to all the fellow volunteers who continue to give their support, and in particular, to Jonnie Farrow, for his consistent help in providing a weekly prescription collection service for those that need it. This service will continue to operate until restrictions on movement and socialisation are fully lifted. To date, Jonnie has picked up more than 200 prescriptions from Faringdon and Shrivenham surgeries. All have found their way to their rightful recipients!
Lockdown Spotlight. Perhaps appropriately, our final Lockdown Spotlight is on the Webb family, or rather the Webb dynasty! The Webb’s live at the bottom end of the village and comprise Isy, Pete, Nick, Dexter, Lyra, Jez, Lianne, Ollie, Freya and Romey. As many will know, Isy’s husband, John sadly died in 2015. John’s father and mother, Monty and Nelly, bought Pear Tree Cottage back in 1935. John was born two years later in 1937 and his sister, Jane, came along in 1946. Isy and John were married in 1965. She described life in Great Coxwell 55 years ago. Back then, John developed a dairy farm, had a chicken hatchery, sold tractors and trained National Hunt racehorses. Isy recalls 1000s of day-old chicks being taken to Swindon Station for onward delivery to farms across the country, and great race days with successful results on stable favourites including Chartrous, Shillingstone, Dardinelles and Indigo Jones.
The family wood business that has been so successful in recent years came about through tragic circumstances. Their milking herd was infected with brucellosis and had to be slaughtered. The remaining non-milking herd had to be penned in separated stalls as a preventative measure. So, John bought a job lot of plywood to partition his existing cowshed. And he sold off his left-over stock of plywood without any difficulty. The rest, as they say, is history! The wood business moved to Southdown Farm on the A420 in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength under Jez’s leadership.
Jez famously appeared on television back in 1989, on Cilla Black’s show ‘Blind Date’. Jez tells me it was for a bet… He was matched up with a contestant called Samantha, (a hairdresser) and tells me they had a “lorra lorra” laughs, as Cilla would say!
Jez and Lianne married in 2001. Lianne is a former air stewardess and physiotherapist. They live only 30 metres from Mum Isy with their children Frere (16), Ollie (15) and Romey (8). The girls have followed Leanne’s passion for horse riding and are both keen and able showjumpers, whilst Ollie possesses a graceful golf swing, (just like his Dad!) and plays off a handicap of 10.
Pete Webb married his partner, Nick Warr in 2015, although they have lived together in the village for 18 years. They have occupied four different houses in Great Coxwell, but now live right next to Isy, with their two children Dexter, (4) and Lyra (10 months). Nick is both brainy and musically gifted. He is a molecular biologist by profession, based at Harwell, and he is currently involved in a project to understand the genetics of sex determination. (He had lost me at that point in the discussion!) He has played the saxophone for many years, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brian May, the band Faithless and even Dame Vera Lynn!
So, how has Lockdown been for the Webbs? For the most part, it hasn’t been too painful. They all agreed that they are lucky living in such a lovely village. Isy has missed being able to cuddle the kids. Pete and Nick have been doing a lot more cooking with Thai curries their speciality dish. For Jez, although business closed for a week, and some staff had to be put on furlough, May was a very busy month for the business.
Did you know… As gap year students, Jez and his mate, John Flemming, were travelling on a bus in Colombia, when they were kidnapped and taken hostage by the terrorist organisation, FARC. Dragged off the bus at gunpoint, they were held in a safe house for 24 hours. Some quick thinking and fast talking about being on a reconnaissance trip for a big UK charity led to them being released unharmed. Rumour has it that Jez also drove such a hard bargain on the ransom fee, the terrorists just gave up….
As I close this newsletter, I know our thoughts and prayers will be with Betty and Peter Turner at this difficult time for them both. The Turners moved into the village in the mid-1960s. (Peter was a very capable civil engineer and built their house himself during holidays and in the evenings, whilst holding down a full-time job.) Peter was taken into the Great Western hospital last week. The good news is that we understand he has made steady progress in recent days.
Also, to Rory Gillmore, who fell whilst running and has had to undergo an operation on his arm. We all wish him a speedy recovery.
Sadly, we also lost a member of our feline community this week. It is believed “Tiger” was run over and was found at the lower end of the village. Please take great care and encourage all your family and visitors to drive slowly in the village “20 is plenty” and sometimes even that is too fast. We have lots of young children and animals in the village.
That’s all for this week, and this month. Keep safe everyone.
All my love,
While the summer is taking a break, so are we, there will be no doorstep concert this week (11th June 2020).
See you all again for the next one!
Hello everybody. I hope all is going well as some of the lockdown measures are being lifted. The village support group remains in place and is here to help anyone and everyone during these difficult times.
Lockdown Spotlight. This week’s lockdown spotlight falls on a couple who have been at the very heart of village life for the past 26 years, Mike and Pauline Durham. There have been few, if any, community events over the past two decades that have not seen Mike and Pauline heavily involved. Whether it be summer fetes, the Great Coxwell playground or the Lockdown Support Group, they have been central to all that is great about Great Coxwell. In each of these many activities, their quiet (well maybe not in Mike’s case – He has a reputation for a booming voice!) Christian values have shone through.
The Durham’s moved to ‘Spicers’, (bottom left of the village next to Church Lees) in 1994, and then moved round the corner to Oak House in 2007, Oak House sits in the grounds of what was once John Webb’s wood yard. Mike’s association with Great Coxwell began many years before their arrival in the 1990s. He was one of eight siblings, growing up with six sisters and one brother. Five of them were born whilst the family lived in Berry Hill Cottage, not a stone’s throw from the Durhams’ current abode. Indeed, Mike’s father and his uncle used to plough (with horses) the fields on Monty Webb’s farm over 80 years ago. (Monty was Jez and Pete Webb’s grandfather.) So unsurprisingly, Mike has always had a strong attachment to Great Coxwell.
For the record, Mike’s uncle, on his mother’s side, was James Leonard Wearn, a name that appears on the village War Memorial. James was killed during the Salerno landings, Italy, in September 1943.
Mike was Managing Director of SW Group Logistics for many years whilst Pauline completed her teaching career as Deputy Head of Ferndale School, Faringdon. She still works as a volunteer for the National Trust Educational Department, based at the Coleshill Estate. Their kids, Adam and Sophie have flown the nest now. Adam has followed his father’s footsteps into logistics whilst Sophie is Deputy Head of Department at Walthamstow Girls’ School.
Mike served on the Parish Council for 16 years, and was Chairman for 5 of those years. A natural leader, he brought vitality and compassion to the role. The Durhams remain fully involved in the Village, making contributions to Art Weeks, the monthly Cream Teas, the annual Fete, the Christmas Fare and the Park development. Their other passions including their Allotment, where things are now getting very competitive (!), and local walks, which they have explored with worrying enthusiasm during lockdown.
How has lockdown been for you? The Durhams have taken advantage of lockdown to get really fit. They have walked sections of the d’Arcy Dalton Way, during lockdown! Pauline said that they have always walked but that lockdown has given them the chance to explore new walks that they were previously unaware of. Their big concern is that their daughter Sophie’s wedding, due to take place on 24th October, will be able to go ahead.
What’s been the most difficult thing about lockdown? They both agreed that they have missed family very badly – particularly their new grandson, Jackson.
Any tips on lockdown? ‘Get out more, get to know your neighbours better, and bake more cakes!’ said Pauline. She is an avid and excellent cake-maker. She is also a jigsaw puzzler, and has completed six 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles during lockdown. On the other hand, Mike is a quick crossword addict, and is now half-way through his second Daily Telegraph, Quick Crossword book since incarceration in lockdown. Each book consists of over 300 crosswords! His aim is to complete a quick crossword in 7 minutes.
By the way… Did you know that the d’Arcy Dalton Way was named after Colonel d’Arcy Dalton, who was a founder member of the Oxford Field Path Society. The walk was created in his honour and runs for 66 miles from Fenny Compton to Wayland Smithy.
More pictures of Great Coxwell from the past
Here are two more pictures of Great Coxwell from years gone by. The first is a photograph of the junction from the 1960s. The second is a map from 1659 showing the village divided into ownership segments possibly identifying the parcels of land required to make their tythe contributions to the diocese, which were then stored in the Tythe Barn. (with thanks again to Andrew Whiting). Tythes were normally one tenth part of agricultural produce set apart ‘as an offering to God’, regarded as an obligation or tax for the support of the church.
That’s all for this week. Stay safe everyone.
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