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SANDFORD ON THAMES
VILLAGE MAGAZINE
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THE LINK

  SPRING 1998   ISSUE 69  



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 Spring 1998 Issue 69
The Link Magazine COPYRIGHT © 1998 by The Link Committee. Reproduced with permission.
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The Link
SPRING 1998             Issue 69



Mothering sunday service
Sunday
March 22nd
11.15 a.m.

all welcome

For other Holy Week and Easter services, see p.3



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CHURCH NEWS

Ministry team:
Robert Morgan (Lower Farm, 748848) - priest-in-charge.
Mary Parsons (763909) - associate priest.
Brian Andrews (777011) - lay reader.
Liz Shatford (772598) - pastoral assistant.
Mrs Marjorie Harris (24 Henley Road) and Stan Cotton - Church Wardens:
Mike Dixon - treasurer; Martin Pitson - director of music.


Sunday services:
8.00 a.m. (First Sunday of the month)     Holy Communion BCP
10.00 a.m. (Weekly) Parish Communion
11.15 a.m. (Last Sunday of the month
from April 26th)
Family service
6.30 p.m. (Weekly) Evening prayer



Election of Wardens and AGM
will take place on Sunday 19th April at 11.15 in church. New secretary to PCC and deanery reps also due to be elected. Proposals for PCC membership to Brian Andrews please.


Meeting point
on the 2nd Friday of the month at 12.30 in the Village Hall: 13th March, 8th May, 12th June. No meeting point in April as it will be Good Friday (meeting in church instead). All welcome. Good food and company.


Lilies Easter lilies
for remembrance.
Contact Mrs Harris.



ST BIRINUS' PILGRIMAGE

If you are feeling energetic you could take part with friends or family in this year's pilgrimage - combining walking and local history, and ending, if you wish, with an inspiring service in Dorchester Abbey and barbecue supper in the Presbytery Garden. Sunday 12th July, leaving Blewbury at 1.30 (12 miles) and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell (5 miles) at 3.30. Further details from Canon John Crowe (340007) or Dorothy Godfrey (340044).


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Lent, Holy Week and Easter

Bible studies Mondays in March 7.30 p.m. in Parish Room
Compline - Thursdays 9.0 p.m. in church during Lent

Palm Sunday 5th April
Distribution of Palm Crosses at 10 a.m. service


THE CROSS OF CHRIST

will be sung by the choir in St Andrew's church
at 6.30 p.m. on Palm Sunday 5th April
All welcome.


Maundy Thursday 9th April Last Supper
Lord's Supper 7.30p.m. in church


crucifiction Good Friday 10th April
Silent meditation in church from
12.0-3.0 - opportunity to drop in.
Service of Devotions 2.15 p.m.


Easter Eve 11th April
8.0 p.m. Confirmation in Littlemore church -
Easter Vigil led by the Bishop of Oxford


empty cave Easter Sunday The Lord is risen.
8.0 a.m. Holy Communion
10.0 a.m. Parish Communion
6.30 p.m. Evening prayer


Low Sunday 19th April
Annual Meeting 11.15 a.m. in church



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The Third Stage of Life

It's a theme we constantly return to in church by singing 'Lord of all hopefulness' - with the four parts of the day illuminating the four stages of life. I think of 25 year slots (most of us don't complete 100 years but I believe we carry on afterwards in a way; and anything over 100 years is bonus). The first 25 years are formation growth, education, training and many of us now wish we had done it more seriously. The next is the stage (25-50) that covers most of our working life, and bringing up kids etc; it's often pressured, and we don't have the time to do all we'd like to. The third is maturity we feel ourselves slowing down, and time goes faster. The fourth is old age, and maybe wisdom, certainly experience, but all the complications of having the end in our sights whether or not we believe the journey continues in some mysterious way totally outside our present experience.

Maybe it's autobiography, but it's the third stage that interests me especially the mid-life transition into it, that Jung talks about. In a healthy society clergy have most to do with the first stage - helping people lay moral and spiritual foundations for their life - but that only happens in Britain where there is political will for it, and at present that is missing as in Britain we prefer still to celebrate our partial freedoms than to learn what it means to live well. By the time we enter the third stage, however, some do get a sense of what is missing in our busy life and want to pause, and consider, and perhaps begin an inner journey of exploration or new ventures in social commitment. It's that borderland of prayer, political action and personal identity that religions help define. It's worth thinking about, and even learning to practice, but the codes take some deciphering, so many prefer something less demanding.

The Vicar



Rest in peace

MRS ANNIE KENNETT died 27th February 1998
Annie was a recent arrival at Elmslea, corning in November last year following a long spell in hospital. Annie settled in very well and came to the Advent service at St Andrews, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She had made friends with some of the residents and appeared to enjoy the company. Unfortunately she was readmitted to


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hospital in January and again in February with a recurrence of her illness. Although often in pain and discomfort Annie never complained but continued to try to participate in the daily activities of the home.



MRS ELLA TAYLOR
Mrs Taylor died suddenly at home on 21st January, aged 86. She had lived all her life in Sandford, half in the mill cottages (River View) and half in Henley Road. She went to school here, married Horace here in 1949, brought up her daughters Pam and Megan here, and was buried in the new cemetery in view of her front door, where in recent years she could often be seen, though virtually housebound by agoraphobia. In earlier years she was an active church member and helped look after the old Reading Room, and old friends kept in touch. Her gentleness and love of birds and flowers were remembered at her funeral, at which Gina Ashburner read the lesson. Ella was nee Leach, an old Sandford family, and many of the old village gathered to say their farewells. Our warmest sympathies and support to Horace and all the family. St Andrew's Church thanks God for Ella's faithful life and also thanks her friends and family for donations made in her memory.



MRS DOROTHY QUARTERMAINE died 25th January 1998
Dorothy (or Dot, as she preferred) had been living at Elmslea for three years when she died at the end of January. At 89 years old she left her London home to come to us to be nearer her family in Abingdon. We soon realised that she was a 'character'. A determined and strong willed person, Dot could be exasperating but was also very affectionate towards everyone. She was 'homely', liked to help around the house, walk around the garden and cuddle the cats. One of Dot's joys was music, and one of our last memories will be of the evening just before Christmas when the church choir came to sing carols. Dot appeared to be asleep and oblivious to the event, but she squeezed my hand, opened her eyes and with a lovely smile said 'it's wonderful'.


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CONGRATULATIONS

to Sian and Peter Shackleday of Henley Road on the birth of a daughter Eleanor, a sister for Arron and Jamie and Hannah
to Christine and Andrew Macarthy of Henley Road on the birth of a son Cameron Luke, a brother for Daniel and Amy
to Debbie Jackson of Henley Road on the birth of Elizabeth Helen Rose on the 3rd March
to Mandy and Adrian Matthews of Keene Close on the birth of Jamie Christopher on 16th January, a brother to Shannon and Daniel
to Maria and John Griffin of Rock Farm Lane on the birth of Aoife Marie on 23rd January, a sister for Blaine, Shannon and Erin



FAREWELL

Next month the Charltons return to Australia. In their five years in Church Road they have made their mark and we shall miss them. The Youth Club committee want first to express huge appreciation to Vicky for serving as leader for nearly three years and to Scott and Adam for helping her as necessary. And thanks for arranging the village Christmas party last December. Those are the visible things, but the Link reporters have noticed more important things done in a quiet way which neither they nor those who have benefited from their hospitality and social concern would want publicized. It hasn't always been a hunch of roses either. This would not have been possible without the solidity and support of Keith, who has himself made his mark on many bad backs in the parish - always cheerfully, and generously too. He hands on the house and the chiro-practice to another Antipodean whom we look forward to welcoming with his wife and baby. The struggling (sinking) new Sandford cricket club will miss its brilliant strike bowler Scott and reliable all-rounder Adam. How Michael's sporting life develops remains to be seen, but the precedents are good. Thank you all Charltons for your many and varied gifts, including your bits in the church and in the Link - we shall remember you and trust you will visit the old country again one day.


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BUS TOKENS
The BLUE 20p tokens will become invalid from the end
of March, so if you have any hidden away in your treasure chest,
dig them out and use them NOW.
There will be an allocation of the current 1 tokens for 1998/9
in a few months time; more details in the next issue of the Link,
and in the bus shelters.



English School Do you hate ironing? Give yourself a break contact the Sandford ironing service by ringing Pauline on 718865.


Sandford Bridge Club meets Mondays 7.30 - 9.30. Enquiries to Sophie (748134) or Pam (777011).


Parish refuse skips: a skip will be provided for the exclusive use of village residents for the disposal of domestic and garden rubbish only, on April 15th, located at Park Homes estate and June 2nd, located at Village Hall car park. More details of the operation of the Village Skip scheme and allocated dates will be given in the next Link.


Orchard House re-opening
The re-opening of Orchard House is, we understand, scheduled for April 22nd, which will be a happy day for both staff and residents.
Welcome back to Sandford, folks, we wish you well.


Free solicitors service
The Imperial Cancer Research Fund is organising a free solicitors service which is available until the 24th April and allows anyone to have their will made or changed at an independent local solicitors free of charge. There are no strings. For details of participating solicitors in Oxfordshire contact Roseann Wilson, at Imperial Cancer Research Fund, 61 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX or call 017-269-3730.


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Warmer horizons
Pays away from December the 21st,
a planet earth cloud burst.
Blizzards,
Snow,
Everything hanging in white,
helping make the night light.
The next morning cold torrential rain,
water on the brain.
Under a tree,
flowering yellow winter Aconites,
like many miniature warm suns,
towards them the winter season runs.
The Fox Pub

Coming Down
Creatures all at a stir,
at the beginning of a new year.
Pays a little longer,
soon the sun will be stronger.
Spring flowers pushing out of the earth,
at this year birth.
New beginnings coming down,
life all around.
Creatures all at a stir,
at the beginning of a new year.

Roger Phipps
Volunteers



The Link
Contributors invited. Deadline for copy to
Lower Farm, Sandford-on-Thames, OX4 4YR
(748848)
Last day of February, May, August, November.



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Important diary dates
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
will be held on Monday 11th May
in the Village Hall.

Keep an eye on the notice boards for further details.

This is YOUR opportunity to have your say.

SANDFORD RIVER RUN
Saturday 20th June at 5.0 p.m.

PARISH FETE & FLOWER FESTIVAL
Saturday/Sunday 27th/28th June
Offers of help gratefully received on 748848



NATIONAL SPRING CLEAN lst-20th April

Last year 3 million people joined in the National Spring Clean by If you register you will receive a free clean-up kit - are there any bits of Sandford you feel could do with a spring clean? If so, get together with your friends and register by ringing 0990-885577.


SUNDAY CLUB
every Sunday in the welch room
(next to church tower)
4-8 yr olds welcome from 10.0 - 11.0



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WELCOME, harry Castle and Wendy Skelcher, to The Crescent.


Lawn cutting: Volunteers are invited to help occasionally with cutting grass in the churchyard and also the new cemetery adjacent to it (the part consecrated in 1986) and already in use. Please contact vicar or Warden (Mrs Harris) if you may be able to help. More hands - light work...


A new kitchen for the Village Hall
All users and visitors to Sandford-on-Thames village hall will be delighted to see the super new kitchen which has recently keen opened. The work involved was part of the overall project to extend and refurbish the Hall, but had to be brought forward to meet Health and Safety regulations, and has keen funded by the Parish Council on your behalf out of money you pay through the Council Tax. The Village Hall Committee work hard to maintain this most important facility for the village, and look forward to your continuing support.
Hire rates are currently 5 per hour for Sandford residents and organisations, and 10 for others. Bookings: Sharon Fenn, 3 Henley Road (716597).



BINGO EVERY THURSDAY, 7.0 P.M. FOR 8.0,
RAISES FUNDS FOR THE VILLAGE HALL.



Election unopposed:
Congratulations to Mick Darcy of Heyford Hill Lane on his election to the Parish Council. Mick is a senior manager (nursing) at Littlemore Hospital and a long term resident of Heyford Hill Lane, so well versed in the concerns of that end of the village. His input will be valued.


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THE NEW SERVICE
11.15 a.m. last Sunday of month
On request and suggestion from a few in the village
St Andrew's church is following the lead of many churches
and introducing an extra service for people less at home
with the traditional patterns.
It will be on the last Sunday of each month at 11.15 a.m.,
with a chance to meet over coffee at 11.0,
beginning on 27th April (since March 22nd is the
Mothering Sunday special service, also at 11.15).
The usual Parish Communion at 10.0 will end a bit early,
and anyone with suggestions about music,
hymns etc. is invited to join the planning committee
or tell the vicar.



Millennium preparations

People keep asking what the Village is doing about the Millennium. Enquiries (and suggestions?) to the Parish Council, please, to the clerk. Since the Millennium marks the anniversary (a bit late?) of the birth of Christ the churches are also thinking about this and we expect a few bells at midnight and a service at an appropriate time. Most parishes with a graveyard will also plant a commemorative yew tree, as we did 200 years ago and hope to do again.
The Vicar



toddler MOTHERS AND TODDLERS
FRIDAYS 9.30 - 11.0 A.M. IN
VILLAGE HALL IN SCHOOL TERM.
ENQUIRIES TO MANDY AT 712526.



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Youth Club red alert

The departure of Vicky Chariton puts the Management Committee on red alert to find a new leader and helpers. Alice Daglish has kindly agreed to hold the fort pro tern but badly needs helpers. Offers of help on temporary or permanent basis, weekly, monthly, or 3-monthly basis, please contact vicar (or Vicky, or Alice). Meanwhile thanks again to all helpers past and present who keep this important bit of the village operating.


Quiz Night

This took place as usual in February, this year on the 14th so St Valentine took some away on alternative revelling. But the hall seemed full and Tim James was in his usual magisterial form as omniscient Quiz Master, and his helpers had everything like clockwork. Thanks to Maurice Earp for loudspeakers, Nigel and Claire for bar and profits, Gina and Val for food, Lin for scoring incorruptibly (even without usual assistants), Helen and Yvonne for waitressing, and to all who donated raffle prizes and contributed to the auction. A bottle of vintage port was produced by Maurice and presented to Timmy in appreciation of his work for this event over many years and Maurice also made the auction into a kind of church collection to ensure that the cherry brandy went to the St Andrew's Liver Fund.

Moral winners were the Full Monty because they were only two thirds of a team, but actual winners were Old and New (led by Mike and Joan Inston - not really old - and Lisa and Paul - new in Sandford - with a bit of help from the ministry team. The Squad was dissolved after too many victories and Andy Middleton transferred to St Val's massacre.

Scores as follows: Full Monty (4 only) 81 (2nd); Jock Strap 57 (7th); Lynch Mob 42 (11th); 1901 56 (8th); River Rats 75 (3rd); Rudburners 38 (13th); Rock Farm Follies 61(6th); Valentine Taz 43 (9th); Old and New 83 (1st); St Vals Massacre 71 (4th); Hopefuls 43 (9th); Emmerdale Lock 65 (5th); Bar Staff 42 (11th).

Money raised for local organizations - so thanks to everyone for generosity. 290 was raised: 100 for Youth Club, 100 for Toddlers (mainly rental), and 90 for meals prepared in Village Hall for various groups.


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Are you a carer?

Jan Marshall, of the South and Vale Carers Centre, can visit you at home, listen to your particular concerns and link you with the services available. An Advocacy worker can help if you need to make a formal case, and a Young Carers worker spends time with children affected by disability in the family. Do get in touch if you think they might help you ring 01235-510212.

DOUBLE THE LINK?

The Council met in committee on 2nd Feb. to discuss communications in the village, and invited the Link committee to attend.
At present the Link is published quarterly, in March, June, September and December, and is able to cover all events that ask to be covered in a village where (for obvious reasons of size, no school, edge of city, social mobility etc.) not very much happens in public. It functions as a village magazine and also a church magazine and tries to foster a sense of local community.
Some of the Council wondered whether a quarterly magazine was enough, and wanted it to appear more often. Since the existing Committee can manage only four issues per year the question was raised whether the Council clerk could produce extra issues.
The Council asked the Link to report on its meeting and invite applicants from among its readers to produce four extra issues a year (or fewer). The Council would see to funding and distribution and contribute lots of extra news and notices.

As for the existing Link, the Council agreed to consider the Link committee's suggestion that communications in the village might be better served if one of the Councillors joined the committee and produced up-todate reports on the Council's activities instead of the minutes that are at present often out-of-date.

The Council noted the work of the present editor over several years and expressed appreciation, In turn the Link representatives present thanked Mrs Shepherd for inviting them to the meeting, Mr Inston for his helpful and constructive paper on communications in the village, and Mrs Hutton, Mr Norton and Ms Smithson (Councillors), also present, for their support of the Link committee over the past few years and assurances about the future.


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YOUR PARISH COUNCIL MARCH 1998

Mrs Janet Shepherd (Chairman) 20 Kiln Close, Park Homes
Mr Michael Norton (Vice-Chairman)   Lynwood, Henley Road
Mrs Hazel Hutton 1a Main Avenue, Park Homes
Ms Jacqueline Smithson 103 Church Road
Mr Michael Inston 49 Church Road
Mr Michael D'arcy 20 Heyford Hill Lane
Clerk: Mrs Carole Leary 16 River View

There is still one vacancy on the Parish Council, so please ask the Clerk for a nomination form if you can give one Monday evening each month, and would like to contribute to Council discussions and decision-making.

Communications in the community: The Link committee and members of the Parish Council have recently held a joint meeting to discuss ways and means of letting people in the village know more quickly what is going on in their village, and on the Parish Council, and how they may be affected. At a subsequent meeting of the PC the following points were agreed:

  1. An additional Council noticeboard will be put up on Heyford Hill Lane once the Westbury Homes development is completed.
  2. The Link will continue in its present format and be issued four times a year as now.
  3. The Council will nominate a member to join the Link Committee, to act in liaison between the two bodies. For the immediate future, Mr.M.Inston will act in this capacity.
  4. Council matters of particular interest to the village will be the subject of short articles in the Link submitted by individual members of the Council. This format will, for an experimental period, replace the publishing of verbatim minutes. Please let the Editor know how you like this change, which is a reversion to an earlier style.
  5. The Council would like to publish a Link supplement four times a year, between issues of the Link proper, so that current news can reach you more quickly. It is envisaged that the supplement would not exceed four pages. The Link editor cannot take on this extra work herself, but could give advice.
Is there anyone out there
willing and able to edit the Supplement?
Contact the Editor (748848) or Mike Inston (715788) to discuss.



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Some items from recent minutes of the Council

The Clerk to the Parish Council, Carole Leary, has been unwell over the last few months, and her duties have been carried on by her husband, Michael, the former Chairman of the Council, for which the Council are very grateful. Happily, Carole has now resumed her duties.

Westbury Homes development - Heyford Hill Lane
Agreement having been made to secure the rights and status of existing residents of ex-Hospital houses, permission was granted for this development, and work has started.

Laing's development Heyford Hill
The Parish Council has formally taken over responsibility for the open areas created through this development, and will receive a commuted sum to cover future maintenance.

Oxford Park Homes
Following discussions with the Site Owner involving Cllr Mrs Hazel Hutton, District Cllr Mr John Stimson, and District Council officers, progress is being made with the upgrading of the site, aiming towards 'Model Standard' conditions.

Henley Road Site re-development
The re-development of the site of 7A Henley Road has now been given Planning Approval, following the rejection of several applications which received objections. The site now provides for only two dwellings.

Tree Preservation orders
A survey of trees of significance in the village is being carried out by Cllr Ms Jacqueline Smithson, so as to ensure that any that may be threatened can have Tree Preservation Orders applied. Jacqui will appreciate any help from residents that may be forthcoming to enable her to complete this task.

Roadside maintenance
One of the services which will be reduced as a result of budget cuts imposed on the District Council is roadside maintenance, e.g. grass-cutting. The Parish Council is looking at ways in which it can itself enhance the environment from available funds.

Budget 1998/9
The Parish Council has decided that the Precept for the Village for the coming year will be maintained at the same level as for 1997/8, thus imposing no increased burden on the Council Tax.


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The new burial ground
Following a very useful meeting between the Parochial Church Council and the Parish Council, and with expert advice on hand, the recent misunderstandings regarding the new Burial Ground have been resolved, and the ongoing situation is as follows:
1. The whole of the land encompassing the Burial Ground is in the ownership of the Parish Council on behalf of the village. The present extent of the new consecrated Burial Ground, to the west of the public footpath, will be fenced off, and the remaining part will remain for the time-being as open land. Access to the Burial Ground will be only via the old Churchyard.
2. It is to be suggested that the Burial Authority responsibilities be vested in the Parochial Church Council and the incumbent, to whom all enquiries regarding Funerals, Interment, and Monuments should be addressed.
Cllr. M. Inston



Parish councils, churches and burials

The new Council Chairman, Mrs Janet Shepherd, moved swiftly to sort out some confusions and invited the vicar and Church Council to its meeting on 9th February in order for the Council to decide who would administer the Council's land, and who could be buried in it. The vicar thanked her for the invitation. The Chairman of funeral directors was also invited along, and explained what was easiest for his members in the short time available following a bereavement. The Council also invited the Chief Executive of SODC to attend - and its own solicitor, to say what is legal and what is not. No serious problems or conflicts of interest were identified for the future. The main decision for the Council was whether it wished to set itself up as a new burial authority, or to license the vicar and PCC to act on its behalf. Contrary to a previous plan it preferred the latter. Since then there has been no official word, but informally Councillors see no problem.

The vicar appreciated the Councillors' recognition of his own pastoral responsibilities following a bereavement, and was glad the Council wished to be supportive. He was also keen that the Council and the village understood that the church congregation had to raise money


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voluntarily whereas a 18,000 p.a. precept is paid to the Council. St Andrew's congregation pays its 'parish share' to the diocese (about 6,000 and rising) to pay for clergy training, national pay and pensions, etc., and also has local responsibilities for the church building, including insurance. In Sandford we have good voluntary help and some support from individuals who are not regular congregation but see themselves as part of the C of E, or wish it to remain part of the culture. The continuation of a separate church in Sandford after we are administratively linked with Littlemore will be a decision based on the extent of wider village support, not merely the regulars, who pay the church tax and running expenses but look to the wider village for help with the buildings and churchyard which are historically a village asset.

In a search for indications of local feelings the vicar
    i) invites all non-church-going residents who are willing, to become 'Friends of St Andrews', and so to contribute financially to the Building fund (as many do anonymously through donations, and the church bottle in the Fox, and the Fete, River Run and Quiz Night) and
   ii) has invited the Council to agree with him that areas where the Church serves the whole village (e.g. burial ground and Link magazine) are a possible charge on the precept - as has legally been permitted since 1974 and happens elsewhere. This is already reflected in the contribution made by the Council to the printing of the Link and has subsequently been expressed in a contribution of 200 towards the surgery on the ash tree in the churchyard, which is a beautiful village landmark, and fencing around the new Garden of Remembrance. The sums involved are small, but can be seen as identifying areas of co- operation between Church and Council to the benefit of all. We were pleased that by inviting the Church Council to a meeting the Council Chairman signalled her willingness to allow a proper conversation over matters that concern us all.

The Vicar



RURAL ISSUES COMMUNITY LUNCH
Wednesday 29th April 12.0 - 2.0 at Benson Parish Hall.
Update on cuts to Social Services, discussion of proposed Regional
Development Areas and of rural issues generally in South Oxon.
All welcome.



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The Peter Pan Tragedy at Sandford Pool

The Oxford Magazine, Thursday, May 26; 1921: Obituaries
CHRIST CHURCH. Accidentally drowned, at Sandford, on
Thursday, May 19th, Rupert Erroll Victor Buxton and Michael
Llewellyn-Davies, Commoners of the House

'The pool under Sandford lasher, just behind the lock, is a very good place to drown yourself in.' Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome, 1889
'To die will be an awfully big adventure.' Peter and Wendy, 1928

The treacherous undercurrents of the Sandford Lasher flooded tragically into the fantasy world of Peter Pan and the Neverland one warm summer's day during Eights Week, 1921, when two young Christchurch students drowned together in the pool. One of the victims was Rupert Buxton; the other was his friend Michael Llewellyn-Davies, the much loved adopted son of the author, J.M. Barrie.

In 1897, Sir James began an intense friendship with Sylvia and Arthur Llewellyn-Davies and their family of five young boys. And as he invented stories to entertain George, Jack, Peter, Michael and Nicholas, the magical character of Peter Pan began to take shape in his mind. Later Barrie was to say that Peter was a composite of all five of the Llewellyn- Davies children.
'I made Peter by rubbing the five of you violently together, as savages with two sticks produce a flame.'
But by 1910, both Arthur and Sylvia were dead, and Sir James, now divorced, had become the children's legal guardian.

In its way, the tale of the boy who wouldn't grow up highlights the tragedy of Barrie's own 'lost boys'. Sir James was devastated when the oldest of the five, George, was killed in Flanders in 1915 aged just 21. But it was Michael, the fourth, who was undoubtedly his favourite. So he was again confronted with grief when, at eleven o'clock on the night of Thursday 19 May 1921, he left his flat in the Adelphi to post his daily letter to Michael. At the entrance he met a reporter, who asked him for more details of the news just received from Oxford about the drowning. Imagine the shock and disbelief- this was the first that Sir James knew of


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Michael's terrible death. The reporter told him the dreadful story. The two bodies had not yet been recovered, but there had been witnesses to the tragedy two men working at the nearby paper mill. Barrie walked back to the lift, returned to his flat and shut the door. He needed no details he knew that Michael could barely swim and that Rupert was his closest friend. He was inconsolable. Michael was not quite 21.

At the inquest the evidence of the two mill workers, Charles Beecham and Matthew Gaskell, was clear. They had been at the weir, regulating the water for the mill, when they heard shouts and saw two men in difficulties in the pool. Unable to swim, they threw in a life-belt, then Beecham ran to Radley College Boathouse to get help before going to the mill to telephone the police. Some students came back with a boat, but it was too late. There was no sign of either Michael or Rupert, and the boys' bodies were not recovered until the following afternoon.

A week later the Oxford Magazine published an eloquent obituary. The sadness of the writer still echoes clearly across the eighty years that separate us from the tragic young deaths:
'Two House men whose loss would have been more widely and more deeply mourned, it would be impossible to find. They were intimate friends, and in their death they were not divided. It is we who must learn to live without them.'
Most of the London newspapers carried the story on their front pages with headlines such as 'The Pool of Ill-Omen' and 'The Tragedy of Peter Pan'. Barrie never fully recovered from Michael's death. 'What happened', he wrote to Michael's tutor a year afterwards, 'was in a way the end of me.' Later a third inscription was added to the base of the obelisk at the Lasher that already carried details of two previous drowning accidents.

Michael was buried in Hampstead Churchyard on Monday 23 May, close to the grave of his mother and father. 'Peter Pan' had already become one of the most popular of all children's classics. First performed on 27th December 1904, 'Peter Pan or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up' was such a success that its production became an annual Christmas event. It was published in novel form as 'Peter and Wendy' in 1911 and as a play in 1928. J M Barrie was made a baronet, awarded the Order of Merit and received several honorary degrees. Before his death in 1937, he donated the perpetual rights of his beloved children's story to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London.

Jacqueline Smithson



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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

for Parentline, a phone helpline offering support to parents, which is running a new training course this spring. You need to be able to spare about four hours each week ring 249058.

for Michael Sobell House, who need volunteers to join their team of bereavement support visitors. If you are a warm, empathic person with time to spare and use of a car, you are invited to an introductory evening to find out more - a chance to meet existing volunteers, hear about the comprehensive training they offer, and discover what this rewarding work involves. Ring 225878.

for HOST, a charity which offers friendship to some of the many international students at university in this country, who miss their own families and rarely have a chance to meet, British people at home. The hosts - aged 18 - 50+, single and married, offer a few days of home life, a break from study, a friendly view of Britain, and often gain as much as they give. ring Margaret Stevens on 01793-765213.



The Link magazine is published by the Link Committee
and edited by Prue Sykes, Lower Farm, Sandford-on-Thames (748848).
Articles, letters or news items for inclusion in the next issue
should be sent to Lower Farm.
Whilst the Committee makes every effort to ensure
the accuracy of the material contained no responsibility can be
held for any action arising from this publication.
Printed by Express Printing,
37 Benedict Square, Werrington, Peterborough, PTA 6GD
Tel/Fax: 01733-328327



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Issue 69 Index

Page 1 Front page.
Page 2 Church news.
Election of Wardens and AGM.
Meeting Point.
Easter Lilies.
St Birinus Pilgrimage
Page 3 Lent, Holy Week and Easter.
Page 4 The Third Stage of Life.
Rest In Peace.
Mrs Annie Kennett.
Page 5 Rest In Peace...
Mrs Ella Taylor.
Mrs Dorothy Quartermaine.
Page 6 Congratulations.
Farewell.
Page 7 Bus Tokens.
Do you hate ironing?
Sandford Bridge Club.
Parish refuse skip.
Orchard House re-opening.
Free solicitors service.
Page 8 Warmer Horizons - Roger Phipps.
Coming Down - Roger Phipps.
Volunteers Needed.
The Link, Contributions invited.
Page 9 Important diary dates.
National Spring Clean.
Sunday Club.
Page 10 Welcome.
Lawn Cutting.
A new kitchen for the village hall.
Bingo.
Election unopposed.
Page 11 The new All-Age Service.
Millennium preparations.
Mothers and Toddlers.
Page 12 Youth Club, red alert.
Quiz Night.
Page 13 Double the Link?
Are you a carer?
Page 14 Your Parish Council - March 1998.
Communications in the community.
Link supplement.
Page 15 Parish Council - Highlights from recent meetings.
Page 16 ...Highlights from recent meetings.
Parish councils, churches and burials.
Page 17 ...Parish councils, churches and burials.
Rural issues community lunch
Page 18 The Peter Pan Tragedy at Sandford Pool - Jacqueline Smithson.
Page 19 ...The Peter Pan Tragedy at Sandford Pool.
Page 20 Volunteers Needed.





COPYRIGHT © 1998 by The Link Committee.
Reproduced with permission.





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Last update: 27 December 2003 http://www.sandfordonthames.co.uk/thelink/link69.htm


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