Brize Norton Parish Council Newsletter


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Here is the text from the June 2011 Newsletter Published here with permission of the Parish Council.



June 2011  

Issue no. 129



The return of the repatriation ceremony to RAF Brize Norton is an emotive subject and feelings are running high amongst the local community. Brize Norton Parish Council were invited by Oxfordshire County Council to partake in the consultation process, rather belatedly it would appear. Reproduced below, for your information, is the Brize Norton Parish Council's response to Oxfordshire County Council.

Repatriation Brize Norton

1. Situation

It has been announced that from the 1st of September 2011 the repatriation of service personnel killed in action will revert to RAF Brize Norton. The Highways Authority element of Oxfordshire County Council and the Thames Valley Police are responsible for ensuring a safe route for the cortege to travel from RAF Brize Norton to the John Radcliffe hospital Oxford.

2. The Proposed Route

Uppermost in the thoughts of the Brize Norton Parish Council and the parishioners of the village is to make the start of the final journey as pain free as possible for the relatives of the deceased. It is considered inappropriate to even consider moving the cortege through the narrow road system of the village of Brize Norton.

It is also considered that insufficient consultation with the local population/parish representatives has been carried out to even suggest let alone justify the decision to route the cortege through the village.

3. Comments on the Proposed First Choice Route

The following are considered hazards.

(a) RAF Crash Gate 6, the proposed exit point from RAF Brize Norton is adjacent to a hump backed bridge and a commercial/industrial site frequented by HGV vehicles.

(b) Station Road, which runs through the village, is reduced to single track by parked cars.

(c) A large builder's merchant and timber yard (TIMMS) is situated in the middle of the village there is a continuous stream of vans, Lorries and articulated vehicles entering/leaving the area.

(d) Elderbank Hall Car Park. This is a private car park that is also used by parents delivering/collecting their children from (i) the Pre-School, morning and afternoon sessions and (ii) the Primary School, morning, afternoon and occasional evening functions. This is in addition to functions held in the Elderbank hall (Village Hall) it is essential that the Elderbank Hall car park is kept available for patrons of the village facilities and the village school. If this car park is filled by people wishing to see the cortege the current users of the car park will be forced to park on roads leading to the school and Elderbank hall, Chaos.

(e) The Chequers hotel and the Primary School have regular deliveries by large vehicles. These reduce the road to single track near to a chicane or the very sharp bend by the church. In addition the Chequers Hotel hosts "wakes" following funerals in the village church.

(f) School buses stop in the vicinity of the Chequers. There are usually 2 large coach type vehicles.

(g) The emergency vehicles that use Station road, Police Fire and Ambulance could be seriously delayed by the cortege. In particular the fire vehicles travelling from Bampton to the village or Carterton could be delayed with the most serious consequences.

(h) There will be extra traffic generated travelling from the south i.e. from A420 via the Buckland Road which will require to transit the village to reach the proposed "memorial" site in Norton Way Brize Norton.

(i) Policing. A considerable police presence will be required to ensure traffic flow. In addition how will drivers leaving their houses from driveways exiting onto the main road and the various side roads be managed? All in addition to the through traffic?

(j) Security. Again a heavy presence will be required from Thames Valley Police to carry out even the most basic of security checks. It is suggested that the village of Brize Norton is best described as a soft target for terrorist activity and as a likely target for anti-war demonstrations. Given the fact that the local MP is also the Prime Minister makes this an even more attractive target.

(k) It is suggested that controlling the numbers of people wishing to pay their respects as the cortege passes through the village will be impossible. Local residents and people from outside of the village will gather on the narrow pavements in Brize Norton.

(l) Primary and Nursery Schools. These two schools are located very close to Station Road and there are a considerable number of pupils attending the school who have close connections with the military. The feelings of the children and their parents must be a serious consideration in making a decision to route the cortege so close to a school.

(m) St Britius Church. The village church occupies a commanding position on the junction of Carterton Rd, Manor Rd and Station Road. This church has an active burial ground that is reached by crossing Station Road. In the event of a funeral taking place a considerable number of vehicles will be parked near to the church and there will be increased pedestrian movement in the area. All of this occurring on a 90 degree bend. There are no parking restrictions in the area of the church/burial ground. It is further considered that the churchyard, which is on elevated ground, would provide a "viewing platform" for the cortege leading to a further increase in vehicle/pedestrian movement in the area.

(n) Through Traffic. Station Road Brize Norton is used as a "Rat Run" for commuters to Oxford, Abingdon, Didcot and other areas to the south and also in the opposite direction to Carterton. A considerable number of HGV vehicles also transit Brize Norton using the route as a short journey from the A40 to the A420. It is recommended that weight restrictions be put in place to prevent these vehicles using the unclassified Burford Road.

(o) The Parish of Brize Norton is rural. Allowances must be made for the movement of very large tractors, trailers, ploughs and combine harvesters. The fields around Brize Norton are farmed intensively and movement of these vehicles occurs throughout the year. Depending on the crops there can also be movement of cattle (up to 200) across the southern end of Station Road

4. Comments on the Proposed Contingency Route via RAF Brize Norton.

(a) Brize Norton Parish Council considers this route should be the primary/preferred route and are surprised at the intransigent manner of the administration of RAF Brize Norton to accept this fact.

(b) On RAF Brize Norton there is a purpose built road (MT route) for vehicles to travel around the airfield. This road is designed to allow free movement without causing undue disruption to the operational role of the station. The road is adjacent to the new repatriation suite. The road does not impinge on the main aircraft handling areas (ASP) or taxi-ways and provides a route to the two gates (Gates 3 and 4) exiting onto the Carterton Road. The cortege could pass either to the North or South of the very large hangar (Base hangar) to exit at either gate 3 or 4. The time to exit the station from repatriation suite to gate 3 or 4 is estimated at three to five minutes. This was apparent on a recent visit to the station by various stakeholders.

5. What happens next?

Contained in the reference letter is the statement that:-

Repatriation of fallen service personnel will be on the agenda for a public meeting of the Town Council in Carterton on 24th May

Brize Norton Parish Council is curious as to why this public meeting is apparently being staged by Carterton Town Council, are they also to "chair" the meeting. It is expected correct protocol will be followed and request that all note that Carterton Town Council does not speak or make decisions for the parish of Brize Norton.

As the cortege route now appears to be solely through the Parish of Brize Norton, from when it leaves the base until it reaches the A40, Repatriation will also be an agenda item for the Brize Norton Village Annual Assembly which will be held in the Elderbank Hall at 8pm on Wednesday 11th May.

6. Conclusion.

Brize Norton Parish Council wish to see the best route selected to ensure that the interests of the relatives of the fallen are respected and are shown every possible sympathy. The cortege should be allowed to travel in a dignified manner without undue delay. To achieve this aim it is considered that the best route will be through the already secure and more easily controlled area of Royal Air Force Brize Norton.


The church will be open and full of flowers arranged by ladies who are opening their gardens for the NGS Gardens Open Day on Sunday 5 June from 1pm to 6pm. Everyone is also most welcome at our "Songs of Praise" service that closes the day's events at 7 pm. Members of the congregation have chosen the hymns and readings, and there will be refreshments after the service.

At the Horticultural Show and Cricket Festival on August Bank Holiday Monday members of the church will be providing teas and refreshments, and a tombola stall, and the Friends of St Britius hope to be selling hot dogs and burgers all day.

The Friends of St Britius have raised £27,000 which with grants received to date makes a total of £52,000 towards the repairs to the roof. We would like to thank everyone in the village for their fantastic support and the Fund Raising Team for their time and commitment.

Following procedures laid down by English Heritage as a condition of their grant support, our architect, Andrew Townsend has commissioned various investigative studies involving timber experts, etc., to survey the work required to establish precisely what needs to be done to replace the roof. Once this survey is completed and submitted to English Heritage later this year and a faculty for the main work granted, the north roof and the chancel can be re-roofed during 2012. As the English Heritage grant will only cover the north slope and chancel roof we have applied for a grant from WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Limited) towards the cost of replacing the nave roof.

The Race Night in March was a really good social event for all ages in the village and raised the huge sum of £650. The Village Garage Sale on Bank Holiday Monday was also well attended with 24 "stalls", lots of customers and raised £360 for the church roof alone.

We ask for your support for the following events: Foxbury Farm Open Day on Sunday 12th June from 10 am when Colin & Di Dawes are very generously donating half the gate money for "Stop the Drips at St Brit's".

This is followed by St Brits Ball on Friday 17th June at Witney Lakes. It will be black tie, dancing to a live band "Breeze" and includes a two course hot meal. Tickets are £35 available from Tammy Howard (846123). We would like to thank all the local businesses sponsoring the tables at the Ball. Their names are on the posters and tickets for this great event. Do come.


Brize Norton is opening its gardens once again this year for the National Gardens Scheme, this Sunday 5th June, from 1.00 - 6.00 p.m.. This year 12 gardens open to raise money for the National Gardens Scheme as well as supporting our own local charities. We are expecting visitors from far and wide this year, with a coach of visitors from a gardening club in Bristol, as well as many local visitors and we look forward to welcoming our Brize Norton neighbours to our gardens.

We would like to invite anyone in the village to join the Open Gardens of Brize Norton and if you would like to open your garden in 2012 please let me know. We have to advise the NGS by the end of August of our gardens for 2012. We have around 17 gardens that open in the village at some time, with gardens dropping in and out as they are changed so the more we have on our list to open the better. This way we have different gardens from one year to the next which keeps it fresh for our many visitors.


This year is the 38th Year of the Horticultural Show and we would like to encourage more of you to enter this year. The theme this year is Nursery Rhymes.

Not only are there vegetables to show, but cakes, preserves, flowers, flower arranging and handicraft. There must be many of you in the village and also allotment holders who have come along on the Monday and said to yourself - well my carrots are as good as those, or I didn't think my produce was good enough - well this year why not try for yourself and enter one or more of our classes. You don't have to enter everything (you can if you want to) just have a go. The more entries we have the more interesting it is for people to look at.

This year we are going to make a couple of changes to the schedule. We are going to add red onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes and also long shallots to the vegetable section. To the
cakes and preserve section we are going to add Jar of Homemade Chutney or Pickle and also a class for Home Made Wine.

Each year we also have a children's section, which is free to enter. It would be lovely to see more children's entries this year.

A schedule and entry form are available from Judy Gush, Painswick House, Carterton Road,
(846730), Bev Tyrell, 91 Station Road (843450) or from the Post Office in the Pavillion.

We look forward to another successful year.


This term the children have been learning new topics including: coasts and mountains, life on the farm, seaside holidays now and then and river processes. As part of our creative curriculum our themes cover many subject areas. This term Class 3 has visited a local river at Coleshill and Class 4 are preparing for their residential trip to Swanage after half term.

In May our Year 6 children completed their end of Key Stage assessments and we are very proud of the hard work and motivation they have shown over the year. Over the next term they begin to prepare for their transition to Burford School with day visits and small projects planned. As we say goodbye to one group of children, we will be joined by fifteen new four year olds. Over the coming weeks we have planned many transition events to welcome the new children and families to our school.

As write this report, I am in Gradignon, Bordeaux, with a group of children as part of our Comenius project. This year our partnership with schools in Spain, Poland, Germany and France has grown and we have visited the school to take part in a partnership festival over five days. The children from each school have come together to enjoy sports activities, singing, dancing and trips out to learn from each other and together.

This year we have established a new partnership with Church Cowley St James CE Primary School, Oxford. The school councils from each school have visited each other and have begun to plan activities that we can share in.

Before Easter we received good news from Ofsted. The school inspection team had carried out an interim inspection of our school and looking at our previous inspection report, our high results and local authority evaluations decided that the school have sustained the quality of its provision and outcomes and that they would not need to inspect the school until after the summer of 2012.

Our school association continue to work hard to provide activities for children and families, while raising important funds for the school. Forthcoming events include our Summer Fete on Friday 24th June 5.30 - 7.30pm on the school playground and recreation ground. Come and along and join us for a BBQ tea, a chance to win on our grand raffle and a ride on the rodeo bull!


We would be very grateful for donations for our plant and produce stall at our summer fete. Any donations can be given to Lindsay Meeks on allotment plot 6B or can be handed directly to the school.

Please see enclosed leaflet for full details of the summer fete.


Wednesdays 8-9pm at the Elderbank Hall, all levels welcome.
Steph Hill ( 07970831061)


We meet Thursdays 7.30 to 9.30pm. We dance ballroom, latin and sequence to CDs. Jean and Mable provide tea and biscuits.

Contact Joy Douglas 842373


The club is open to village residents. Meetings are 2.30 till 4.30pm at 4 Squires Close. We have now enjoyed our meal at the golf club and Tom Smith's talk.

Future events are:
May 24th Coffee Morning 10.30 at 4 Squires Close
June 7th Coach trip to The Black Country Museum
June 28th Meeting. Speaker is Jo
July 5th Picnic to Barbury Castle
July 19th Cream tea
August 2nd Visit to Buscot Park

We have a coach holiday at Weymouth October 3rd to 7th.
Thank you to June, Connie and Benita for providing our teas.

Joy Douglas


The WI in Brize Norton meets every second Tuesday of the month at Elderbank Hall from 7.30 p.m. We are a lively and interesting group of women and would like to invite other women in the village to join us. We generally have a talk from a wide range of speakers and this year so far we have had an evening demonstration/talk from a lady who runs a Porridge Club for the street children in Africa, as well as being entertained by a Tommy Cooper impersonator and Irene from the Yellow Hat Tribe Gallery near Stow. Each month we also have a competition and quizzes.

At our June meeting, Tuesday 14th, we are welcoming Philosophy Hairdressers from Witney who are going to give us a demonstration. This would be a perfect opportunity for ladies in the village to come along and see what we are about. The cost is £2 which will also include refreshment and a raffle.

In the coming months we also have a talk by a guy who used to work 'below floors' at Buckingham Palace, Line Dancing, and a Quiz evening, amongst other things.

Brize Norton WI is a very friendly group and we would love to have new members join us. Please come along and try us out. We look forward to welcoming you.

All entries for inclusion in the September issue should be received by the 15th August


Chairman: Keith Glazier (843640) Vice-Chairman: Garry Griffin (841616)

Councillors:  Fred Bellenger, Stuart  Guest, James Gillies, Lindsay Meeks. Laurence Taylor

Clerk to the Council: Jo Webb, 18 Chichester Place, Brize Norton (840890)

Parish Representatives:- 

Oxford County Council: Jim Couchman, Dovecot House, Langford (01367 860289). 

WODC: Verena Hunt, 2 Rocky Banks, Brize Norton (841853) 

Meetings held in the Pavilion, first Tuesday every month at 7.30 pm, all welcome to attend.


OrganisationContactTelephone No.
The ChurchRev James Maddern844175
The SchoolMark Smith (Head)842488
School GovernorsTracy Barnett850471
Football ClubFred Bellenger841189
Ladies FCJenny McDowell07894 495500
Cricket ClubTim Gush846730
Elderbank HallDiane Davies843430
Horticultural ShowJudy Gush846730
Women’s InstituteAnne Hancock842197
Over 60'sJoy Douglas842373
Post 0ffice Sports PavilionTues & Thurs 9:30-12:30 pm
Police (Carterton)Mon-Tue 9.30-12.30 & 13.00-15.30 0845 8 505 505



The following table lists only the regular events.  There will be other bookings and readers should not assume

that the hall is available without reference to Diane Davies (see below)

Pre-school (3-5 years)Mon - Fri9 am - 12 noon Lauren Jacobs841242
Mon & Wed12.00 - 3 pm
BrowniesMondays6 pm - 7.30 pmMrs B Thorne842013
BadmintonMondays8 pm - 10.30 pmMrs Claridge843196
West Oxfordshire Woodturning Assoc1st Tuesday in the month8.00-10.00pmAndrew Tinsley832041
Women's Institute2nd Tuesday in the month7.30 pm - 10 pmAnne Hancock842197
RainbowsWednesday3.30 - 4.30pmMrs B Thorne842013
Dancing ClubThursdays7.30 pm - 9.30 pmJoy Douglas842373
KarateFridays6 pm - 7.30 pmMatt Webb840890
Judo ClubSaturdays9.30 am - 11.30 amJonathan Gerrans01865 884339


The Hall is available for Private Hire Contact:- Diane Davies on 843430



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© Phil Holmes  Updated on Weds 9 December 2009