Brize Norton Parish Council Newsletter


You are here: Community > Brize Norton > Parish Council Newsletter 

Please note that this might not be the latest issue of the Parish Newsletter. 
For a full listing and to find the latest issue click here.

Here is the text from the June - August 2020  Newsletter Published here with permission of the Parish Council.



June - August 2020

Issue no. 165



Right now we are living in a period where our normal daily lives are restricted and the rules and instructions we are been asked to adhere to mean that they are having a profound impact on all our lives but it is essential that we continue to follow these rules.

At the beginning of Lockdown a group of volunteers was formed, The Brize Norton Parish Community Assistance Group. They split the village into areas that each volunteer would be responsible for and they put a card through every door with their contact details on should anyone who was self-isolating needed any help with shopping, needed urgent medical supplies or just a chat. A Facebook page was set up as well and many Brize residents signed up and have shared photos, poems, recipes, shout outs for help and many more topics besides.

I think everyone would agree that this Group has been invaluable and I and the other Councillors would like to say a big THANK YOU to you all for everything you have done and will be continuing to do so. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU and invite you to do the same, to all the Key Workers: those working in the NHS and other care settings, teachers and school staff, our posties and council workers, staff working in the supermarkets and other essential food shops and the delivery workers.

When the Government finally gives instruction that we are able to move around freely I would like to propose that we hold a “Reunion on the Rec”, in the form of a Picnic in the Park where families bring a picnic and games along to the recreation field and we can come together as a village and celebrate being able to get together at long last. Watch the noticeboards, the various Facebook pages and village websites for more details in the future.


Unfortunately, Lockdown has meant that the Annual Parish Meeting that was due to be held on Tuesday, 19th May has been postponed until May 2021, but the Parish Council is planning to hold a community meeting later this year, subject to Government Guidelines. Lockdown has also meant that the Council has not yet been able to recruit a new Councillor. However, I hope this will be resolved in the not too distant future.


Please continue to respect the two-metre distancing and share a smile and a friendly hello when walking through Brize. Sometimes, you may be the only form of communication that person has had all day. Stop and have a brief conversation if at all possible


Wendy Way



The Annual Parish Meeting, due to be held on Tuesday 19th May has had to be post-poned due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Council intend to hold a community update later on during the year when social gathering is permitted again and it is safe to do so.
Our next annual Parish Meeting will be held on Tuesday 18th May 2021



None of us could have foretold that 2020 would have such serious repercussions on all of our lives. For those of us in lockdown, although we have had more time to spend in our gardens, unfortunately due to the pandemic crisis the National Garden Scheme (NGS) charitable garden events have had to be suspended until further notice. Therefore, the Brize Norton Open Garden Event that was due to take place this year on Sunday 9th June has had to be cancelled.


However, you can still view the photos of all of our gardens on the Brize Norton Open Gardens Web Site at: https://www.bncommunity.org/ngs.  Also, those of you that are interested in still seeing beautiful gardens can view video footage of gardens submitted by the owners onto the NGS Web Site at: https://ngs.org.uk  There you will also be able to view video footage of Alan Titchmarsh’s own personal garden.


One of the main contributions from the NGS charitable fund goes to support our nursing fraternity. So due to loss of income from the Open Garden Events being suspended this year, they are receptive to any donations from the garden loving general public, so that they can continue their good work to support these nurses in these difficult times. If you are able to make a donation, having viewed the videos of the owners’ gardens on the NGS Web Site.

Hopefully, next year things will get back to normal and it will be business as usual for everyone and we will be able to allow the public to view all of our wonderful gardens once again. So thank you all for your support of this event over the years and we look forward to seeing you again in 2021.

Jean Butcher, NGS Open Gardens Group


Do you follow us on Social Media? Keep up-to-date through photos, history, in-formation, questions and events
Join us @brizenortonvillage @BrizeNorton




It is with great disappointment that this years Village Bash is cancelled.


The due date was 5 July 2020 but with a combination of the Government’s guidelines and the actual time allowed for the committee to organise the attractions etc plus the health and safety of the villagers, it seems the sensible decision to make.
It was going to a colourful ‘Disney’ themed event this year, with Disney themed ‘Scarecrows’ and fancy-dress costumes, plus lots of displays and stalls, games and re-freshments. Disney can keep until next year which give us all plenty of time to think about the scarecrows and customs’…


We will be back next year – hopefully bigger and better!

Thank you for your continuing support. Keep safe and well

Tim Gush
On behalf of the Bash Committee



Parish Council meetings are held on the 1st Monday of each month. Meetings are held in the Brize Norton Sports and Social Club, opposite the Elder Bank Hall.


The next meetings are:

Monday 1st June 7:30pm

Monday 6th July 7:30pm

Monday 3rd August 7:30pm

Monday 7th September 7:30pm

If you wish to bring an item to the Council’s attention at a meeting, please contact the Clerk at least one week prior to the meeting in order for the Council to discuss the matter brought before them.


Members of the public are welcome to attend council meetings. Due to the current situation and following Government guidelines, the Council is now currently holding meetings through a virtual platform. Members of the public are still invited to attend and should contact the clerk before the meeting to state your interest and receive an invitation to join.



Hello Brize Norton families! We really miss you all but keep smiling and stay safe until we meet again.

This is the message on the little video our staff have made, for all our children at home. There is a link to it from the front page of our school website www.brizeprimary.org, and please do look.


The website also gives a snapshot of just some of the things we are doing during the lockdown. The teachers are working very hard planning learning for the children to do at home, and supporting parents. It is clear that different families have different amounts of time for home-schooling,; we know we will have to work with individuals when we get back to school to help them catch up. However, I have been very im-pressed by the amount of learning many children are able to do during this time, thanks to their parents’ determination and hard work. Thank you and well done.

Of course we are not completely closed. Every day, school is open for children who need to be in school, especially the children of key workers. Staff are going in on a rota; I really look forward to my days! The children are learning in one class, with all ages together, and we have developed a lovely family feel. It is also lovely to be able to welcome Brize Norton Pre-School to our Foundation Stage classroom and get to know them better.

There are plenty of other things going on: organising food parcels for families entitled to free school meals; staff using the time to brush up on their training; setting the budget for next year. We are still hopeful that our new classroom will be in place for the Autumn term, and my planned parachute jump to raise money for the new room has been merely postponed.

For now, we carry on. I really hope to welcome our children, safely, back to school soon.

Anna Fairhurst (Headteacher)



VE Day - Remembering the Brize Norton Villagers who served during World War 2 I have made progress on the second of two books about Brize Norton, This specifically looks at World War Two . My earlier book covers Brize Norton in WW1, Both can be found on the community website at www.bncommunity.org. My wife and I created a display for VE Day with a selection information taken from the book. This was erected at the base of the war memorial. Two villagers, Corporal David Edmund Price and Flying Officer John Edward Millis died serving our country. A number of others served including Mary Ellis (nee Wilkins) a spitfire girl - one of the world's greatest female ATA Ferry pilots.

The book provides information drawn from Brize Norton School's Admission Register, a list of residents compiled around 1928 and the 1939 Register taken by the UK Government in September 1939. It paints a picture of village life during WW2 showing the age structure and employment. This illustrates how many villagers served on the land or in other "reserved" occupations. The book discussed who was eligible to serve in the armed forces and begins to list those known to have served. I am grateful for those who responded to my request for names of those who served. I would love to hear of any others who served. My studies have been hindered by the absence of records unlike those kept in WW1.

I welcome feedback and any additional information to enhance the book. Dr Phil Holmes p.holmes@brizenorton.org



The Parish Council publish this newsletter, which is distributed around Brize Norton village at the beginning of March, June, September and December. If you wish to submit an entry the deadlines are the 15th August, 15th November and 15th January



An email with photos about the clock on the pavilion from Stuart Finlayson, his posting of pics from the tea party and a reference to Eric Brown living in Squires Farm suggested that there is a lot more village history to uncover. Clearly a revisit of the Millenium History of Brize Norton that I compiled is warranted (visit https://www.bncommunity.org/brize_norton/millenium_history.pdf ).



So please give some thought to bits of Brize's history that could be written up. The origins and history of village organisations come to mind (WI, Over 60's, Dance Club etc). The bridleways through Brize and their origins (Ting Tang Lane, etc). The farms around the village shown on early maps (Squires Farm and Moat Farm are two examples). I already have a piece on the village beer, but what about the shops, village blacksmith, etc.


So if you have any topics to consider and information and input please let me know by emailing me at p.holmes@brizenorton.org I have already had an offer for a piece regarding the football club! Many thanks in anticipation of others


Dr Phil Holmes p.holmes@brizenorton.org



(1917 – 2018)


Brize Norton Parish Council was asked if they would like to provide road names for the new development in Brize Norton, which was also named by the Council and is known as Brize Meadow. The Council agreed to this initiative and proposed using the names of the 19 Brize Norton men and boys who gave their lives in WW1. The men’s names are identi-fied on the village war memorial as well as a plaque which is mounted on a Cotswold stone plinth adjacent to 19 memorial trees in the local recreation ground.


It was whilst discussing the use of Albert Wilkin’s name with his relatives, that the Council discovered that their aunt (Charles’s daughter) was a lady named Mary Wilkins (she was Albert’s niece). When she married, her name changed to Mary Ellis, the lady famously known as ‘A Spitfire Girl’. What is remarkable, and probably Brize Norton’s ‘best kept secret’, is that Mary, aged 12, moved to Brize Norton in 1928 with her mother and father and lived in The Manor until she left in 1949, aged 32.


It was in 1925, at the age of eight, that Mary’s father treated her to a ’joy flight’ in a De Haviland Moth which ignited her passion for flying. When she was 16 and living at The Manor, she was allowed time off school to take flying lessons at Witney aerodrome. By 1939, at the age of 22, she had gained her coveted pilots’ licence. – a rare achievement for a young woman at that time. In October 1941 she was accepted to serve in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) and was known as Second Officer Mary Wilkins No.56. During her war service, she flew 76 different types of aircraft, ranging from Spitfires to Lancaster Bombers. In the summer of 1945, First Officer Mary Wilkins as she was now known, be-came one of only two ATA women to fly the RAF’s first jet, the Gloster Meteor, ferrying it from the factory at Moreton Valance to 222 Squadron at RAF Exeter. She said that she had no special training except a warning to “watch the fuel gauges, because it goes from full to empty in 40 minutes”.


From 1949 she was fortunate to continue her flying career as a personal pilot for a wealthy businessman. Then, in 1950, her employer purchased Sandown Airfield on the Isle of Wight and she was offered the role of Managing Director. From 1950 to 1970 she built up the popularity of the airfield, helping develop it as a commercial airport for pas-senger flights, including to and from Europe and became Managing Director of the charter company ‘Bees Flight Ltd’. Mary went on to become Europe’s first ever female Air Commandant.

On many occasions, when visiting her parents at The Manor, she would land her plane in the field opposite on the west side Manor Road, which was known as ‘Gossons’.

Whilst living on the Isle of Wight, she met former Fleet Air Arm Pilot Donald Ellis, who she married in the Autumn of 1961.
Mary Ellis appears in the book ‘Bomber Girls – In It Together’ written by M J Foreman, ‘The Female Few’ written by Jacky Hyams and ‘The Hurri-cane Girls’ written by Jo Wheeler but arguably, she is best known from her biography written by Melody Foreman called ‘A Spitfire Girl’.

Mary also loved driving and won several awards rallying her Allard motor car.


Mary’s action-packed career spanned almost a century of aviation. From Tiger Moths to Hurricanes and Spitfires, from Wellington Bombers to post war jets, Mary’s desire to take to the skies, even in her 100’s, never faltered.

To quote Mary:


“I am passionate for anything fast and furious. I always have been since the age of three and I always knew I would fly. The day I stepped into a Spitfire was a complete joy and it was the most natural thing in the world for me.”

She also went on to say that:

“Everybody was flabbergasted that a little girl like me could fly these big airplanes all by oneself! Up in the air on your own, you can do whatever you like. I flew 400 Spitfires. Occasionally I would take one up and go and play with the clouds which was so delightful and lovely. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was"



We welcome our new Team Vicar, Reverend Ian Howard. Even in these unprecedented times of self-isolation, Ian’s Licensing Service was conducted by Bishop Colin of Dorchester on Monday 27 April. The service conducted on Zoom was witnessed by over 50 friends, family and congregation and was recorded and has been made available on You Tube if you would like to watch https://youtu.be/RCpcploBcIs . At the same service, Gary Long was also licensed as the Team Family and Children’s Worker. Gary has already started work by setting up a virtual afterschool club on Zoom. If you would like more information or to enrol your children please contact Gary on 07799 968408 or send him an e-mail at gary@stjohnschurchcarterton.org.uk .

In our show of support to our and the wider community and our grateful thanks to the care workers, the church bells are set to chime at 8pm each Thursday night. Thank you to Phil and Mary Holmes for organising this. Also thank you to them for the display at the war me-morial to commemorate VE Day. If you were unable to see the display visit the Friends of St Britius Facebook page to learn more of the villagers who were known to have served in WW2.


While our building remains necessarily closed due to the current pandemic regulations we welcome you to become involved in the regular church services that are being recorded and shared electronically. Reverend Ian records regular messages and sermons that are pub-lished on our website www.bncommunity.org/bnchurch.htm  or on the Friends of St Britius Facebook page. Now that the Church of England have allowed clergy to enter our churches Rev Ian has recorded our first service from within St Britius since March. On Sunday and Thursday mornings at 10.30am you can join with others on St Johns Carterton Facebook page as a watch party. If you are unable to join the services live they are recorded so they can be viewed anytime on St Britius website or St John’s – www.stjohnschurchcarterton.org.uk.

With the pandemic restrictions in place and in common with other charities we are unable to actively raise funds for the church, in particular from our regular collection plate or from serving tea and cakes at the Village bash that was due to be held in July but has had to be cancelled. However, at the successful pancake supper that we were able to hold in February - and we thank all those who took part and the school for the use of the facilities - we did launch the Smartie tube Lent fundraiser. If you were now able to make your donations either by direct bank transfer or delivering your Smartie tubes to Carolyn at 52a Station Road we would be pleased. Please contact Carolyn 01993 844102 if you are able to make your donation.


If you have any queries or need help and support then please do contact a member of the team:
Rector: Rev. Drew Tweedy 07393 182093 revdrew61@gmail.com
Team Vicar: Rev. Ian Howard 07867 784693 ian.barry.howard@gmail.com
Churchwarden: Dr Phil Holmes 01993 843856 p.holmes@brizenorton.org



Daily Hope is a new FREE national phoneline to bring worship and prayers into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of coronavirus. It offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services. The line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044


Press the following numbers or symbol for the menu options:

  • *Full message from Archbishop Justin Welby.
  • 1 Hymns we love - short talks on well-known hymns
  • 2 Hymn line - selection of daily hymns on a loop
  • 3 Prayer line - specific and relevant to the corona-virus pandemic
  • 4 more options available
  • 5 Church of England’s weekly service
  • 6 Join in with traditional morning and evening prayer
  • 7 Listen to latest government coronavirus advice
  • 0 return to the main menu


    Both toning, conditioning and circuits sessions are for any ability with a no pressure atmosphere, £5 per session.
    Contact Tom Wattleworth on 07892945060 or
    TW-FITNESS on Facebook



    We are now on shut down but we are hoping to open the club in September if it is safe to do so. We shall let our members know. If you require more information please ring Joy on 842373.


    We are currently unable to organise the walks but hope to start again when it is safe to do so. For more information ring Joy on 01993 842373.



    The club remains closed but hope to start again in September if it is safe to do so.

    We will start with a cream tea in the Humble Bumble café and other meetings will include a talk by
    Olive on ‘Paris to pigs’, a talk by Martin Way on ‘How Carterton grew’, a coffee morning and a meal at The Chequers – all meetings we have had to cancel recently.

    Best wishes to all our members. I hope you are all keeping safe and
                                                           well and I look forward to seeing you all in the near future.
                                                           For more information, ring Joy on 842373.


    We would love to hear from other students or members of the community, to submit a written piece involving their interests or recent experiences for the next copy of the newsletter. Contact the clerk@brizenortonparishcouncil.co.uk .


    Please be reminded that dogs are NOT allowed on the
    recreation ground under any circumstances.


    Brize Norton Parish Council

    Conservative District Councillor for Brize Norton and Shilton Ward —
    Cllr Alex Postan—
    P: 07885 135000 E: alexander@postan.plus.com
    Conservative County Councillor for Burford and Carterton North East Division — Cllr Nicholas Field –Johnson
    P: (01993) 878309
    E: nick.fieldjohnson@oxfordshire.gov.uk




    For all enquiries please contact The Parish Clerk



    Chairman Wendy Way
    Email: w.way@brizenortonparishcouncil.co.uk
    Tel: 01993 841016
    Responsibilities: Neighbourhood Plan, Website
    Vice Chairman Keith Glazier
    Email: k.glazier@brizenortonparishcouncil.co.uk
    Responsibilities: Allotments, Village Maintenance, Personnel, Water
    Management & Flood Prevention, Bampton & District Flood Prevention Group
    Councillor Pip Squire
    Email: p.squire@brizenortonparishcouncil.co.uk
    Tel: 01993 867666
    Responsibilities: Bloor Homes, Finance & Banking, Legal & Policies, Planning
    Councillor Ben Campion
    Email: b.campion@brizenortonparishcouncil.co.uk
    Tel: 07795 192812
    Responsibilities: Bloor Homes, Finance & Banking
    Councillor Les Goble
    Email: l.goble@brizenortonparishcouncil.co.uk
    Tel: 01993 841016
    Responsibilities: Bloor Homes, Highways, (inc. traffic & footpaths),
    Neighbourhood Plan, Personnel
    Councillor Chris Woodward

    Email: c.woodward@brizenortonparishcouncil.co.uk

    Tel: 07585 703295
    Responsibilities: Elder Bank Hall, Property Maintenance, Pavilion, Sports &
    Social Club
    Clerk Alison Riseley

    Email: clerk@brizenortonparishcouncil.co.uk

    Tel: 01993 846648
    Responsibilities: Communications, Personnel, Finance & Banking, Website ,
    Newsletter & Social Media

    WHO'S WHO?


    Organisation ContactTelephone No.


    Brize Norton Parish CouncilAlison Riseley846648 clerk@brizenortonparishcouncil.co.uk
    The Church Rev Ian Howard (Curate) 07867784693 ian.barry.howard@gmail.com
    Brize Norton Primary SchoolAnna Fairhurst 842488 www.brizeprimary.org
    School Governors Alistair Doran 077883214663 adoran@brize-norton.sch.co.uk
    BNPS HSA Lauren Jacobs 07766521443 laurenfjacobs@gmail.com
    Football ClubSimon Cook 841096/07825 002298  
    BN S&SC/Cricket ClubTim Gush846730 
    Elderbank HallDiane Davies843430 
    Women's Institute      
    Over 60'sJoy Douglas 842373  
    Open GardensJean Butcher 841347 prbutcher@sky.com
    Post 0ffice Sports Pavilion Tues & Thurs 9:30-12:30 pm  

    Police (Witney) 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday (closed weekends)     101

    NHS Helpline (24/7 urgent medical conditions)                                        111


    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 Jackie07769617696
    Mon, Tues & Wed12.00 - 3 pm**
    BrowniesMondays 6.00 - 7.30 pmBarbara Thorne 842013
    West Oxfordshire Woodturning Assoc 1st Tuesday in the month8.00-10.00pm David Spittles776036
    Women's Institute2nd Tuesday in the month 7.30 - 10 pm Janet Albury-Simpson


    Wednesday8.00 - 9.00 pm Steph Hill
    Dancing ClubThursdays 7.30 - 9.30 pmJoy Douglas 842373
    KarateFridays 6.00 - 7.00 pmTracy Haley 700464
    Judo ClubSaturdays 9.30 - 11.30 amJonathan Germans 01865 8843399
    TW Fitness
    HIIT training
    Mondays 7.45 pmTom Wattleworth 078929450060

    ** Pre school opening hours

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

    Home • Contacts • Legal • Copyright • News
    © Phil Holmes  Updated on 6 June 2020