Synopsis of Parish Council Meetings  1894 - 1988


The first Parish meeting was held on 4th December 1894 under the new Parish Council’s Act. It was held in the School Room at Horton at 6 o’clock PM. Those present were:

Mr Chitty, Mr J Cox, Mr Jas Green, Mr O S Coles, Mr J Cooper, Mr G Auger, Mr T Warland, Mr Wakelin, Mr Sims, Mr A Gomm, Mr Jos Hicks, Mr Amos Jones, Mr John Stanton, Mr Watts and Rev Auchmuty. The minutes are short:
“1. Mr Benjamin Coles opened the proceedings by explaining the objects of the meeting, it’s duties on this and it’s probable duties on future occasions.
2. Mr Thos. Warland proposed and Mr Thos Wakelin seconded the election of the Rev Auchmuty, vicar, to the office of Chairman. The proposition was carried, and the vicar after thanking the meeting for their confidence assumed the Chair.
3. The Vicar was proposed and seconded for the office of District Councillor, but a feeling  of being generally expressed that he could not at the same time hold the office of Chairman, Mr Auchmuty vacated the chair in favour of Mr John Cox who was elected to fill that position – The Vicar was then duly nominated District Councillor.”
The minutes were signed by Forbes Auchmuty on 25th March 1895 at the next Parish Meeting.
The second Parish Meeting was even shorter.  It was held in the school hall in what is now Mill Lane and present were:
Mr John Cox (Chairman), Mr James Green, Mr George Auger and Rev F Auchmuty.
Mr John Cox stood down as Chairman and Rev Auchmuty was elected Chairman. 
The next meeting was on 25th March 1895.  Present were Rev Auchmuty, G Auger, A Powell, Jas Green and J Bradbury.
“1. The minutes of the last two meetings were read and confirmed.

2. Mr James Green and Mr Thomas Cooper were duly appointed to the office of Overseers of the poor of the Parish for the ensuing year: the notification of their appointment to the Board of Guardians of the Headington Union being signed by the Chairman and by Messrs Alfred Powell and George Auger.

3. Mr James Green was re-elected Collector and it was agreed that he should receive the sum of £5 per annum to be paid by a Voluntary Rate.
4. Mr Alfred Powell was appointed Way Warden in the rooms? Of Mr A Stemner who had left the Parish.
5. The Parish property in Otmoor was let to Hon T L Bertie for the Annual Rent of ten shillings.

Signed Forbes Auchnuty, March 23 1896.”

The next meeting was 23 March 1896 in the School Room. The Rev Auchmuty is still chairman and present were Mr Thomas Cooper, Mr James Green, Mr Thomas Morris and Mr Thomas Warland

James Green and Alfred Powell were again elected as Overseer of the poor with Mr John Higgins and Arthur Cleaver as additional overseers in waiting.

James Green was re-elected as Collector but the rent to Hon T L Bertie had gone up to one pound ten shillings.

There were two meetings in 1897. The first on 26th March repeated the two previous meetings.  The second on 20th July was well attended by Mr Turner Henderson, Mr Alfred Powell, Mr Thomas Cooper, Mr John Higgins, Mr Thomas Green, Mr George Auger, Mr Thomas Wakelin, Mr Albert Gomm, Mr Thomas Warland, Mr Benjamin Hicks, Mr Benjamin Coles who had agreed to act as chairman as Rev Auchmuty had left the village.

The main aim was to elect a new District Councillor and Mr Turner Henderson from Studley Priory, was duly elected. It says that the mark made by James Green was witnessed by George Auger and the mark made by John Higgins was made by Alfred Powell. The minutes do not say where the marks and signatures were made but possibly on the nomination pares for District Councillor.

There were three meetings in 1898. 16th March, 24th March and 26th April. The first was for the re-election of Mr Turner Henderson as District Councillor and on 24th March the Overseers of Poor became James Green and Thomas Cooper and the collector Mr James Green.  The 26th April meeting was “for the appointment of John Thompson of Woodperry House, Oxford, Esquire, JP as a trustee to Sir George Croke’s Charity.  No objections to the commissioners were made.”

The last meeting of the century was held on 13th April 1899.  Those attending were: Benjamin Coles, Chairman, James Green, Alfred Powell, George Auger and Frederick Kirby. The items were the same as for previous years.

The first Parish Meeting of the 20th century was held on 2nd April 1900. Present Benjamin Coles and James Green only that confirmed the appointments of Overseers of the Poor and confirmed the rent to Hon L Bertie as one pound ten shillings. The next meeting was on 6th March 1901  when W Kirby was elected as District Councillor.  The Chairman, Mr Benjamin Coles was absent due to illness and Mr J Henderson took the Chair.

At the 1902 Meeting Benjamin Coles had stood down due to ill health and the vicar Rev William Cooke was elected as Chairman.  The Overseers of the Poor became Messrs Cleaver and Badger and Jas Green was re appointed as collector of the rates. His salary was increased to £10 per annum.

The first time that the Parish meeting discusses anything new was in 1905 when the following resolution was proposed and carried unanimously: “That this Parish Meeting desires to record it’s disapproval of the greatly increasing County Expenditure & correspondingly high rates, from which this meeting fails to see what the County Districts reap any commensurate advantage & hope that the County Council will give strict attention to the need for retrenchment & economy in it’s expenditure. The Chairman (Rev William Cooke) was instructed to forward this resolution to the County Council Member & also to the Chairman of the County Council.”

There were a number of allotments for the use of residents in the 19th and into the 20th centuries.  One was at the bottom of Ragnall’s Lane in the area of Otmoor Farm with 17 strips.  Another was between Church Lane and the Straight Mile accessible from the lane opposite the church and there were further allotments at Horton Common (now Corner Farm).

The subject of Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1907 caused a small stir in the village.  A Parish Meeting was called on 16th November 1907 chaired by Rev William Cook.  The meeting appointed a committee of seven: Rev William Cooke, Messrs Gomm, J Stanton, Wakelin, Robbins, E Auger, J Haynes. It was decided that the committee should interview the Landlords and see on what terms Horton Common and Mills Ground could be obtained by the Parishioners as allotments. There is a letter held by the Parish Council dated February 18th 1908 from Turner Henderson explaining the view of his mother Mrs Henderson.  The letter states:

“She wishes me to inform you that as the matter appears to be one that concerns the welfare of the Cottagers, genuinely intending to work more lands that they have at present, she has decided not to make the question of the rent for the allotments a money questions at all, but to let the whole of the arable land at this Common (about 40 acres) as allotments at a nominal rent of 25/- per acre per annum i.e 12/6 per allotment of ½ acre. The terms to be as follows-

The land to be let as allotments of half an acre each allotment and to be numbered . Rent to be 12/6d each allotment.

II Not more than five acres of this land to be let to any one tenant at this rate unless it should be that the allotments are not taken up.

III Preference will be given to villagers who are tenants upon this estate and inhabitants of this Parish before inhabitants of another Parish.

IV Each allotment tenant to pay his own rates as occupier.

V Each allotment tenant to keep his piece of ditch clean and his drains open.

VI Each tenant to leave a six months agreement to this effect.

VII The rent to be paid half yearly upon Michaelmas and Ladyday , and failure to pay upon Michaelmas & Lady to be taken as notice to give up the allotment.

VIII The reduced rent of 25/- per acre to commence at Michaelmas 1908 and this offer to be held good for five years until Michaelmas 1913.”

The Parish Meeting of Saturday 29th February 1908 endorsed these proposals:

The following applications were received for allotments:

Charles Merry 5 Acres, Jonas Honour 4 ½ acres, William Busby 1 ½ acres, Walter Green 1 acre, William Robbins ½ acre, Levi Jones 2 acres, Ellis Parker 5 acres, William Walker 4 acres, Amos Green 5 acres, Herbert Jones 1 acre, Robert Kirtland ? 1 acre, Percival Walker 5 acres, John Stanton 5 acres, George Robbins 1 acre, James Brooks 5 acres, James Honour 1 acre, Tom Stanton 5 acres, James Haynes 1 acre, William Stanton 2 acres.  Below the hill Thomas Wakelin 1 acre.  The committee were instructed to try and obtain Mills Ground at 15/0 an acre & to supply straight to Sir Francis Bertie himself.

In 1909 The Charity Commission announced that the Trustees of the Sir George Croke’s Charity at Studley had appointed Robert Ronald Henderson of Studley Priory, Oxford a Captain in his Majesty’s Army and Herbert John Parsons, of Elsfield Manor Oxford, Esquire as to fill the vacancies of trustees.


The meeting of 14th March 1910 appointed Mr Green as manager of the school.  At the same meeting an item states,  “The proposed Basic or standard for fair and equal County rate for the administrative County of Oxford was considered & no objection was raised. It was as follows:

Name of Parish      Rateable Value on    ditto on Buildings    Total        Assessable

Agricultural Land                                                    Value      

Horton cum Studley    £823    £599                £1422  £1010

Studley                                    £422    £228                £650    £439

Presumably Studley is the area of the village on the Brill Road beyond Studley farm that was once Studley Buckinghamshire.

At the same meeting the following Overseers of the Poor were elected as Horton: Mr Henry Badger, Mr Ernest Auger.  Studley Mr Frederick James Kirby and Mrs Emma Walker.

The Parish Meetings considered the same subjects up to 10th March 1919 when the subject of extra housing, sewage and water to the village was raised.

The Chairman was then Rev J Kinchin Smith but only says that 21 persons were present.  They discussed the erection of 6 new cottages in Horton and 4 in Studley proposed by Mr Coles.

To ask for the increase in cubic area of certain cottages.  Proposed by Mr A Jones.

To ask for the attention of R W’s Sanitary Officer to the deficiency of the present water supply and to urge the council take over this supply for the whole Parish.  Proposed by Mr Cawley.

To ask for the attention of the R W Sanitary Officer to the very defective drainage of existing cottages.  Proposed by Mr Coles, seconded by Mr Kirtland.

The Parish Meeting of 23rd June 1919 was called again to discuss water supplies.  Mr Mallam reported that Lord Bertie having given the water supply to the cottages in the ??? of the Parish, the RDC had in hand (writing impossible to decipher) it then talks about another meeting.  [In fact Lord Bertie had piped the water from Beckley, to a tap opposite the church where villagers could fill their utensils.]

The meeting attracted a lot of attention and was attended by about 25 people:

Mrs Henderson, Miss Henderson, Captain Henderson, Mr T Henderson, Rev and Mrs Kinchin Smith, Mr & Mrs Hawes, Mr & Mrs Kirk, Mr & Mrs Badger, Mr E Auger, Mr F Coles, Mr Lawley, Mr Haynes, Mr O W Stanton, Mr Hirns, Mr A Merry, Mr A Panaman?, Mr O Jones, Mr L Robbins, Mr G Jones jun, Mr W Green, Mr F Hicks, Mrs Budd, Mr Walker, Mr Jos Hicks.  This is the first time that women had attended a Parish Meeting.

There was yet another meeting on 7th July 1919 to re-allocate allotments:

A Merry 1 acre, P Jones 1 acre, O Jones 1 acre, S Jones 1 acre, G Jones 1 acre, A Panaman 1 acre and small holdings to J Stanton 15 acres (5 arable, 10 grass), W Biscoe 20 acres (part arable, part grass), F Coles 5 acres (grass).  The minutes are confusing as they then go on to say “The existing allotments were declined by the above and “ The rest is unreadable. The above allocations were probably to new land.

The subject of a War Memorial was discussed and it was agreed that it be erected on Horton Hill.  (This the first reference to the road ‘Horton Hill’.)

The Parish Records has a letter dated 16th April 1921 from Headington Rural District Council, saying I am writing to ask that in view of the danger of dislocation of the local Transport Facilities, your parish meeting will be good enough to make arrangements if necessary for the transport of supplies to your village, among the owners of transport within the Village, and when this has been arranged please inform the Clerk of this Council at the above address signed Mark Weyland, Chairman of Headington RDC. This may be following a threat of strike action by drivers.

The Parish Meeting of 19th March 1923 agreed that the RDC should be requested to put the Otmoor Road, the footpath by Ragnell Cottages and the water pipes by the church in a proper state of repair, also that a public telephone be applied for.

In 1924 and 1925 the meeting yet again agreed to ask the HRDC to put the Ragnall footpath in a better state of repair.

The telephone finally came to the village in 1925.  A letter from the District Manager of Post Office Telephones dated 19th November 1923 states


Post Office Telephones

Telephone Buildings

Minister Street


19th November 1923


Telephone facilities at Horton cum Studley

With reference to your letter of the 23rd March last on the subject named above, I am directed by the Postmaster General to express regret that, in view of the small amount of the prospective receipts from a Call Office he would not be ,justified in providing and maintaining such a service except under a guarantee for seven years.

If the necessary, wayleaves for the construction of the portion of new line between Beckley and Horton cum Studley were not withheld‘ when applied for by the Postmaster General, the annual expense involved in this extension would be £35. and the, liability of the Guarantors would be limited to this amount .

The Revenuer which would be credited to the guarantee Recount would consist of:

(1) The whole of the fees charged for calls made to Exchanges within a radius of 72 miles from the Horton cum Studley Post Office These fees are, at the present tariff, 2d. for calls to Exchanges within a radius of 5 miles, and 4d. for calls to Exchanges distant more than 5 miles but not more than 72 miles.

(2) The Call Office fee of 2d. and one‑.half of the trunk fee paid in respect of each call originated at the Call Office and effected over the guaranteed line to an exchange more than 72 miles from the Horton cum Studley Exchanges Post Office.

Should a Call office be opened, it would be possible for a caller to dictate a message from the Call Office to ; a Telegraph Office for onward transmission as a telegram  on payment of the telephone charges in addition to the usual telegraph charges. Only the telephone charges would, however, be credited to the Guarantee Account in respect of such a transaction. Telegrams would continue to be delivered as at present.

In the event of a revision of the charges, the amounts credited to the guarantee account would be revised accordingly.

If the revenue from the sources named did not amount to £85, in any one year, the deficiency would have to be paid by the guarantors at the end of the year. It is not anticipated the receipts would exceed, £25 a year at, the outset.

If you think that the guarantee will be forthcoming, the Postmaster General will be glad to cause a draft agreement to be sent to you. A leaflet showing the powers of local authorities to give a guarantee of this nature is enclosed.

The Call Office would be available during the usual hours of business at the Post Office. Service would be afforded by  means of an open telephone installed in the public office, and as the circuit which it is proposed to extend to Horton cum Studley is unsuitable for use in connection with long trunk lines it would be necessary to restrict communication to the Midlands the South of England generally including London Birmingham, Northampton, Bedford and Salisbury, Bristol and Gloucester. If. the Call Office did not prove remunerative at the end of the seven years’ agreement it would be necessary to con­sider whether it should be closed or continued conditionally upon the renewal of the guarantee.

I am to add that this offer holds good for three months only.

I am, Sir,  Your obedient Servant,


for District Manager.

P. H. Hawes, Esq.,

West Hill Farm, Horton cum Studley,


There appear to have been no Parish Meetings after 1926 until 1932, when the meeting was convened under the Chairmanship of P H Hawes. The meeting was to agree the sale of one wood of 2 acres and 29 perches on Otmoor in the Parish of Fencott and Murcott.  This wood is probably the wood next to Asham meadows currently owned by BBOWT (formerly BBONT).

The next meeting was in April 1935 when the question of a better water supply was discussed, proposed by Mr J Henderson and seconded by Mr H G H Grant. We then jump to 1941 for the next meeting still with Mr Hawes as Chairman.  This time they discussed surface water at the top of the hill near the blacksmiths. The supply of piped water to the village was also discussed.

The next meeting was on 16th November 1944 to discuss post-war housing.  Present were Messrs Saunders, J Badger, E Hawes, G Jones jun, H R Taylor, W J Beckley, Ada Auger, The vicar Rev Newman, ‘Mesdames’ Taylor, West, Newman, G Jones jun, G Jones sen, & T Jones. A secretary was to be elected but Mrs West, Mrs Taylor& Mrs G Jones refused. Mrs Newman was then proposed by Mr Saunders and seconded by Mrs G Jones. The subject housing was then debated and a site opposite the Wakelin’s on Brill Road (opposite Forge Close) and opposite the Kings Arms and was suggested.  Messrs Auger and Beckley said that the latter site was was on very damp ground and that a site on higher ground would be better. A vote agreed to the site opposite the King’s Arms (this is where the Council Houses were eventually built). Mrs West proposed a site on the Oakley Road and this was seconded by G Jones Jnr, as an alternative. The meeting then discussed a proper water supply and the meeting agreed to contact the PRDS (Ploughley Rural District Council) to expedite piped water. Electric light was next discussed with reference to a transformer below the church that went to camp. They also discussed a bus service and the cleaning of the wells that supplied water to the Wakelins and B Hicks.

There was another long meeting on 3rd April 1946 again housing and water supplies were discussed with the erection of standpipes in the village.  There had been correspondence from the Wessex Electric Light Company saying that lighting for the village had been included in the post-war programme, subject to sufficient demand.

The meeting also proposed that a bus should run on a Saturday to Oxford and back in addition to the Wednesday bus.

In 1945 there was correspondence in the Parish Records, applications for housing from soldier wives waiting for their husbands to be de-mobilised including Mrs J E Lee, L West, Eva A Loones (nee Badger).  On 22 August 1946, Mr Newman secretary of


the Parish Meeting wrote to the local MP, Sir Giffard Fox on the subject of housing, water supply and the repair of current houses.

There are no records of Parish Meetings between 1944 and 9th August 1950 when Rev E F Bolus chaired the first meeting of the Parish Council.  However the 9th August minutes states that the minutes of the previous meeting on August 3rd were approved. Those attending were Mr C H Edington, and Mr P Grant.  The items discussed were the fact that Parish and District councils must be consulted before public footpaths are closed.  Another item was the danger to the some twenty children from the new council houses opposite the King’s Arms ‘who have only the road and it is highly dangerous’. The meeting also suggested that a piece of spare ground adjoining the houses be made into a playing field with the addition of a gate.  This Parish Council was held at the vicarage at 9pm.

18th September 1950 - This next meeting was on to discuss a letter from the RDC on the subject of the proposed playing field. The meeting also appointed Lloyds Bank at Headington as bankers and the following were authorised to sign cheques: E J Bolus, A G West, R J Bawtree, M N Grant, C H Edington and D C Badger. D E Badger, Clerk, signed the minutes.  As an after note it was agreed to put a notice in the Post Office so that anyone interested in having an allotment could let the Clerk have his name.  Mr Edington raised the question of warning signs, which were badly needed for the Forge Corner and the top of Horton Hill. The subject of the playing field was again raised at the Parish Meeting on 24th October 1950. A letter was to be sent to the RDC to complain [of inactivity]. A complaint was also to be sent, as the sewage system of the new council houses was not working properly. Finally at this meeting The Chairman Rev Bolus agreed that members should walk the footpaths and that maps should be purchased.  A receipt for £8 would be served on the RDC.

21st November 1950 - The walk took place before this meeting at the vicarage. The vicar was in the chair, and attended by Mr G K Henderson, Mr P H Hawes, Mr C H Edington, Mr R J Bawtree and Mr A G West. The Rights of Way had been inspected by Mr Bawtree, Mr West and the Vicar.  The following were the main points:

1.                  Track from Otmoor Lane to White Cross Green.  This was quite clear of obstruction, the Otmoor Lane end had two gateposts, but no gate, there were two broken hurdles, surrounded by a strand of barb wire which could be unfastened if the sides dismounted, the track itself was ridable.

2.                   The track leading from near Faulkeners house towards Beckley, by 3 fields in this Parish, path in good condition. Handrails were wanted for the small bridges, the continuation of the path to ‘Lower Park Farm’ is obliterated.

3.                  Path leading from the bridge on the straight mile. Stile in order, one field in the Parish.

4.                  Path leading from the hill, below the W I Hall as the council was first newly formed, it would be a great help if the R D Council could state the amount the Parish Council would require in 1951-52 [sic].


The same meeting was informed by Captain Henderson that the Almshouses were having electric lighting, also redecorating & improving would be carried out.

On 27 June 1951 the Parish Council had paid out £5 – 16 10 in cheques and had £2-3-2 in the bank.

27th March 1951 at the vicarage - The RDC had been asked to erect another six houses in the village one reserved for the school teacher and one for the roadman. Under the heading of health, the attention of the RDC was also drawn to the windowless state of the house known as Waterleys Cottage (end of mill lane in the end field) occupied by Levi Honour being in the opinion of the Council, unfit for human habitation. A demolition was later obtained and served on the owner Mr J Badger. [This cottage was demolished and Mr Honour moved to an almshouse.  The cottage was then burned down.]

24th April 1951 - Mr Bawtree proposed that carbon papers be used to make copies of all Parish Council correspondence. In June that year it was proposed that the land opposite the Post Office (now the village green) be obtained as a children’s playground.

Another meeting in 1951 asks the Council to write to Capt Henderson to lop a tree near Lower Farm (now the farm buildings behind the shop at the Mill Lane, Church Lane junction) that was causing the Double Decker bus to swing into the middle of the road.

During 1951 there was concern about Civil Defence and this subject was discussed by the Parish Council An officer of the CD Corps briefed the Parish Council on 19th November. He explained that the CD Corps was divided into 6 sections 1. HQ, 2 Wardens, 3 Welfare, 4 Ambulance, 5 Pioneers, 6 Rescue.

In  January 1952 we again see complaints about the roads and the children playing on the road outside the new council houses. The traffic problems appeared to have been caused by traffic to and from Arncott Camp.  Also it was quoted “ Mr Edington felt that the local traffic was considerable; he also stated that no gravel was put down on the previous Saturday; in consequence the bus passengers had to get out of the bus and walk up the hill.  He did not know why the roadman had not been there to put gravel down … “.  The same meeting named the persons that had put down their names for the new Council Houses:

Mr R Grant, Mr George Jones, Mr & Mrs Falkner, Mr & Mrs Gregory, Mr & Mrs Less and other families.

10th of March 1952 - The meeting discussed the children’s playing field and five and a half pages are taken up in the minutes for the discussion.  When it was pointed out that sewage was buried in the area and that the area was very wet, the enthusiasm of the Council appeared to wane.

13th October 1952 - The Parish Council meeting. The minutes go on for eleven pages.  Present were, Captain Henderson (Chairman), Mr Bawtree (Studley Priory Country Club), Mr Edginton, Mr Robbins and Mr West.

Discussed were the subsidence of the bridge on the Oxford Road (Straight Mile), Council Houses including not using the site below the new Council Houses [presumably where the shop now stands] because of the proximity of the sewage system and the playground as approval had been given by the District Council for the use of the land where the village green is now. There then follows a long discussion about effluent in the area. Mr West then proposed that the whole field be obtained so that a football and cricket pitch [this was probably the field that extended from the road, through the houses that are now The Green to the present playing field. Mr Bawtree suggested that the provision of a playground and playing field should be linked to the Coronation.  A seat at the bus stop had previously been suggested to commemorate the Coronation. The next item was to extend the powers of the Post Office so that Money Orders could be cashed, as currently they were only cashable at Beckley Post Office.  Mr L Beckley said that he was prepared to take on the extra work provided that the Parish Council write to Head Postmaster at St Aldates. Next came the problem of subsidence in the Oakley road near the Brick Kiln. The council then approved a salary for the Clerk of £5 per annum.

Finally Mr West raised the question of the line of Elm Trees on the Horton – Boarstall boundary.  The trees he felt prevented a clean view along the road and the old gatepost prevented cars from passing at the bend.  After the discussion the clerk was asked to write to Captain Hill [Arngrove] and ask if something could be done about the matter.

The minutes of the next meeting on 18th May 1953 at the WI Hall also went on for nearly eleven pages when the Post Office was again discussed.  The Post Master had asked for an estimate of the number of who use Money Orders. Two more Council Houses were to be built probably on the strip of land between Jack Jones cottage and Honours farm. The matter of the Elm Trees was also discussed and as there was some dispute as to whether the boundary trees were owned by Captain Hill or Captain Henderson and the Clerk was directed to look up the Ordnance Survey map in this connection. It was also agreed to write to the District Council asking for the gatepost on the Brill road to be removed.  The problem of Double Decker buses hitting the tree in the lower lane [the corner of Mill Lane and Church lane] and the police had said that it was only dangerous to Double Decker buses. Two accidents had been caused by high-sided vehicles driving in the middle of the road to avoid the branches. The Playground was again discussed and an estimate from Mr Crawford of Murcott for the erection of a see-saw and a double swing on a bed of concrete plus a chain link fence would cost about £60.  It was suggested that money be used from the Coronation funds.  It was then pointed out that two of the fund trustees had died.  There was then much discussion about another parish meeting to discuss the subject of the playground and maybe to come to a decision. Finally, potholes in Horton Hill and the notice board were discussed.

8th June 1954 - The meeting announces that the two new Council Houses are to be built on the Oakley Road, that the Coronation fund was about £5 and that the site opposite the Post Office was not suitable as a playground. The late Mr P Hawes had held the cricket club account that amounted to £3. 13s. 6d.  It was agreed ‘that there should be something set up to commemorate the Coronation.’. It was agreed that a flag pole be erected in the churchyard using the balance of the Coronation fund.  It was also agreed that the present debts of the Youth Club up to a limit of £20 be paid from the ‘Wings for Victory’ fund.

Monday 29th June 1954 - Things had not moved on very much by this next meeting. There were problems of blocked ditches but it was not known exactly where and the members were asked to have a look before the next meeting. It was established that the Elm trees belonged to Captain Hill at New Arngrove and the subject of the tree on the corner that caused buses to pull out was again raised.

The subject of the village notice board was also discussed and it was suggested that it be placed in the churchyard facing the Post Office. It was pointed out that there may be a charge for rent [of the land on which it is erected] as much as £2. The Clerk was directed to write to the RDC and if rent was to be charged then to the Ecclesiastical authorities via the vicar. In December the same subjects are on the agenda.  Road ditches and culverts, the branches of the tree that diverted the buses and the notice board. Complaints had been received about bus overcrowding; especially on the early return bus from Oxford. 

The bus service was again discussed in January 1955 with the overcrowding on the 4.0pm bus from Oxford to Horton on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  The bus service had been improved and Mr Shurrock of the bus company had proposed a twice-weekly bus service to Bicester.  The next meeting in June discussed whether the public should be admitted to Parish Council meetings.  Having consulted ‘Constitution and Powers of Parish Councils’ it was noted that the public were entitled to be present.

The biggest event of the century was probably the sale of the Studley Priory Estate.

A Parish Council meeting was held on 11th July 1955 to hear an account of the outline plans by Mr Creswell for the development of land owned by the company in the village. He pointed out that they could either build houses on various suitable sites in the village.  Houses that would be designed to fit into the landscape or they could sell the sites separately ‘and let people erect any house they liked regardless of the appearance of the village. The latter would probably be more profitable for the company.’

Plans were shown to the Council.  After Mr Creswell had left, a resolution was passed by three votes to one that a letter should be sent to Mr Creswell, expressing the Council’s approval in principle of his plans. By 25th July 1955 meeting the notice board was ready except for fitting of the glass and painting.  The colour it was decided should be green. The overhanging tree was yet again discussed but it was decided to suspend a decision until the sale of the property was completed.  On 29th August 1955, it was announced that the two new council houses in Oakley Road were under construction. At the same meeting it was agreed to fill in the pond at Blacksmith’s Corner using rubbish from Horton Hill to fill in the pond.  It was also decided to ask the RDC to remove the bend on Horton Hill and to lay down a footpath. Mr Cresswell was anxious to have the councils views on the elm trees between Asham Cottage and Blacksmith’s corner. It was agreed that any dangerous trees should be removed. The same meeting The Chairman Mr L A Thompson had written to Mr Bowring Chairman of the Board of Beckley School asking if Horton could have a representative on the Board.

3rd October 1955 – The new aluminium village signboard was to cost £5. 10s 0d, notice board is ready for erection

14 November 1955 – RDC meeting in December will decide if the village sign can be erected. Widening Horton Hill and filling in of Blacksmith’s pond. New notice board in location.  Rabbit clearance. Dissatisfaction of roadman’s unsatisfactory work.

9th January 1956 – Village sign still nor resolved. Filling in of village pond – notice to be put on the new notice board. Dangerous potholes.  Replacement roadman.

16 January 1956 special meeting to discuss the bus service.

12 March 1956 – bus questionnaires received from 26 people. Village sign agreed. Fitting of glass into notice board. Provision of telephone kiosk.  The matter of the Nissen Hut [The Youth Club Nissen hut was where Forge Close is now located]

9th April 1956 – Introduction of a speed limit. Village pond fill in to make a pull-in for the bus. Provision of bus shelter, Blacksmith’s shop where there any deeds?

28th May 1956 – ‘Drive Slowly’ notice discussed. Blacksmith’s pond – left until the opinion of the village received.  Blacksmith’s Shop owned by Ashdale Land & Property Ltd (Mr Cresswell)

11th June 1956 – Ditches and culverts, Youth Club Nissen hut to be removed. Erection of traffic control signs. Wings for Victory money – use it for a bus shelter at the top of the village.

10th September 1956 – Delays in finishing the Council Houses. Youth Club, proposal for a telephone kiosk at Blacksmith’s corner, Ordering of a 30ft flagpole. Development map [from Mr Creswell?]. Gravel path up the hill.

2nd October 1956 at 8pm in the WI Hall an extraordinary meeting to discuss the map for building in Horton cum Studley under the Oxford Green Belt Plan. The council was told that the final meeting on the Green Belt was to be held in Oxford on Friday 5th October and Miss Neate, from the Town and Country Planning came to give assistance.

‘Mr Best asserted that:

1.                  In the eyes of all old parishioners the village proper ended at Lower Warren Farm and not at Studley farm.

2.                  Some of the finest building land well drained and high was between Studley and Lower Warren Farms.

3.                  The red outline had included almost exclusively building sites belonging to one party, namely Ashdale Land & Property Company and that they had been allowed to build on agricultural land and that people could not buy sites from the Company because of the architectural instructions on building.

Mrs Green stated that in her opinion anyone should be free to build anywhere.

Mr Ellis and Mr Bawtree both thought that the red line gave sufficient scope in building and that the Green Belt Plan in restructuring of the villages was a good one.

Mr Best proposed that the red line be extended to the west side of the village….

Monday 8th October 1956 – Gravel on Horton Hill and no bricks to be stacked on the footpath. Youth Club hut – sale of the hut.  Putting the development on the notice board. Letter to be sent to the Planning Authority saying that only houses that are in accordance with the character of the village should be accepted.  Waste of water from burst water pipe outside the Austin’s house. Complaint as to the position of the notice board.  It should be by the telephone kiosk by the Post Office.

Monday 26th November 1956 8.30 pm in the Women’s Institute. Mr Thomason in the chair present Mr Bartree, Mr Ellis, Mr West.  Apologies from Mr Green.The Parish Council had been told by Alderman Wise of the PRDC that the housing would never be settled till there was a stronger Parish Council. The Parish Council in turn blamed the RDC. Mr G Jones, Mr Faulkener and Mr Townsend handed in their names saying that they had been waiting 14 years, six years and two years respectively. [Presumably for Council Houses].  Mrs Green resigned as Clerk due to ill health Mr Jack Badger was then elected as Clerk. The hut was again discussed in detail.  ‘Mr Bawtree produced copies of the bank statements relating to Horton cum Studley Men’s Club.  He drew attention to two sums of £80 and £6.5.0 respectively paid to Mr Burt relating to the purchase of the hut and of the paving stones.  There was also an item of 10 gns architects fee.   It was decided to make another attempt to trace the missing cash books and receipts and the Clerk was to try in writing to the Mr H Bowler? C/O Personnel Officer at Pressed Steel….’

Monday 7th January 1957 – Telegraph Pole at Blacksmiths Corner to be re-positioned.  Youth Club hut selling contents by public auction.  Mr Thompson agreed to take the stuff into an Oxford auction house for 15/-. Tender to go in the press for the hut as soon as possible. More Council Houses. Blocked drains. Common land and Blacksmith’s pond.

Monday 18th February 1957 – telegraph pole and Blacksmith’s pond. Water supply. Ditches and Youth Club hut – the contents sold for £10.19s.6d.  Three tenders had been received for the hut ranging from £20 to £30.  Council Houses more delays. Footpath – map available in Studley Priory. The flagpole had arrived and Ben Coles had agreed to make the concrete base. Danger of old wells on the roadside verge.

Monday 25th March 1957 – Hut still there but should be gone by the end of the week. Flagpole still not up. Concrete covers for the wells. Upkeep of footpaths.  Mr Hawes applies to have footpath No. 3 though West Hill Farm land closed

Monday 8th April 1957 Parish Meeting – Outline of the past year by Mr Thompson the chairman.  The balance from the hut was £32.9s.8d.  It was agreed to send this amount to Mr Bolus. Other items: Victory Fund trustees. Flag pole to be up by Easter.  Ditches on Otmoor Lane by Mr Dobson’s farm need attention.

A new volume of the Parish Minutes started with the meeting of 20th May 1957. The following was discussed: Housing sending another letter tp PRDC. Wells still no covers. [bus] shelters likely to be agreed by PRDC for Blacksmith’s corner. Agreed to contact the Garrison Commander to get a permanent restriction on the speed of army vehicles.

25th November 1957 – Housing no change, shelters no action as yet. Poor state of roads. Again well covers.

13th January 1958 – Latter received from PRDC offering to build old peoples bungalows on Asdale land.  Well covers in place.  Flooding on Straight Mile, the ditch had been blocked when timber was extracted from Studley Wood. Gully outside the King’s Arms was flooding due to water coming down Horton Hill.

24th February 1958 – means testing for old people to live in proposed homes. Dangerous trees along the roadside in the Priory grounds; it was decided to inspect them. Wooden [bus] shelter to cost £53.10s.0d against £76 for a brick shelter. Monday 24th March 1958, present Major Miles, Mr Saunders, Mr West and Mr Thompson in the chair. Discussed were ditches.  Mr Cresswell had telephoned to say that when he went to check the ditch between the Priory Fence and Blacksmith’s corner there did not appear to be any ditch. The council agreed but said that there had always been a ditch there… The Clerk was directed to write again to Mr Cresswell about it. The Clerk reported that nine trees were marked for felling on advice of Major Miles, Mr West et al. seven were in the Priory grounds.

31st December 1958 in the Women’s Institute – wells have been covered; no change on housing. Site of the Youth Club hut to be offered as a site for the old peoples bungalows.  Ditches on the Straight Mile problems.  The shelter was discussed in detail and new site outside the King’s Arms or on the council owned land opposite the King’s Arms. The Victory Bank book showed a balance of £63 odd [sic] and where was the balance to come from.

27th April 1958 – suggestion that the balance of the football and cricket club accounts are used to pay the balance of the shelter cost. This idea appears to have been rejected. More complaints abourt sewage overflow from the Council Houses. The telephone kiosk should have a separate line to the one at the garage for privacy reasons and that one had to wait for the garage private use to end.

 Monday 1st June 1958 – The RDC had emptied the Council House sewage tank. Ditches discuss again. Flag needed to go onto flagpole.  How to raise money to pay for the shelter.

21st July 1958 – more about ditches.  Telephone kiosk; the Clerk reported that the telephone authorities had said that a representative would call but no call had been received. Footpath to Warren Farm.

25th August 1958 – more discussion on sewage and it was agreed that with more houses being built that main sewage system should be installed. Mr Badger should ask the roadman not to put hedge clippings in the ditches. Mr Beckley now had a separate number for the garage.

24th November 1958 – sewage was the main item but a mains system was low on the District Council’s priority list. More on ditches.  More talk on the shelter.

2nd February 1959 – Full Meeting of the Parish Council – Discussion on ditches and waste water. Flooding at the end of Straight Mile.  Col Thomson had not been able to purchase the woods due to delays at the office of the Official Receivers of the bankrupt estate.  Nothing could be done until after the sale.

Monday 2nd March 1959 – Two lengths of pipe had been put in the Warren Lane, one opposite Evelyn’s Farm and one near Studley Farm corner. More on sewage and ditches.

Monday 6th April 1959 – Mr L Beckley reported that the footpath across to the church past Len Gomm’s cottage was frequently under water. Mr Hawes agreed to clean out the ditch from Ragnall Pond to his farm. Shelter delayed due to non arrival of elm boards. Charity Commission was proposing to take over responsibility for the almshouses. Blacksmith’s Corner ditch delays.

Monday 4th May 1959 – more about ditches; a new flag had been purchased, why had the village never been entered in the ‘Best Village’ competition. Almshouses, two new trustees were appointed; several of the almshouses were standing empty. 5/- a week was paid to each of the occupants. Levi Honour was not eligible. Mr Shirley was coming back in a month to look over the shelters and creosote them and put the guttering up.

6th July 1959 – The shelter money was made up of:

Collected from villagers:            £9.7.3

Collected at priory                    £1.10.0

Donation from Mr Creswell      £3.10.0

Donation from Mr Gaden          10/-

Extra from Mr Thomson           3/6


Balance withdrawn from PO Bank £16.18.0

Extra money held by Mr Wearing          4/3

Cash held                                 £32.3.0

The bill was £33.16.3 leaving £1.13.3d outstanding

The question of a replacement to the late Mr Saunders as a councillor and the meeting felt that Major Miles was the most suitable candidate. A pair of bungalows are to be built by the District Council on the area between the Council Houses and the Post Office. Mr Thompson announced his resignation from the council due to pressure of work 

10th August 1959 – Due to the resignation of Mr Thompson there was no chairman so Mr J Badger, the Clerk, took the chair.  Major Miles and Mr Wearing proposed and seconded that Mr J Badger becomes Chairman and being no other nominations, Mr Badger took the chair. Items discussed included : increasing the number of Parish Councillors from five to seven.  Replacing Mr Thompson Mr Mattingly and Mr Jocelyn’s names were put forward but as Mr Mattingly won the vote as he had been a long term resident in the village. ’The chairman raised the question namely that one member of the council should be investigated by two other members before any action was taken’.  It is not very clear as to whom this refers to, but it could be that Mr Thompson resigned not through pressure of work, but because of unknown accusations. The next items were: dangerous hedge above Studley Farm gate and lorry drivers tipping gravel on Horton Hill.

12th October 1959 - Mr J Badger in the chair. Items included the Studley Farm gate hedge that needs cutting back, the outstanding balance of £1.17.3d for the bus shelter, the almshouses nd the future of Mr Walker, a form relating to thatched houses was filled in and sent to PRDC, footpath discussions, litter bins in the bus shelter and having the notice board moved to be fixed to the end of the bus shelter.

18th January 1960 at 7pm in the Women’s Institute (Old Village Hall) - PRDC had confirmed that the Chairman had a vote like every other member not just a casting vote.  Litter bins, the council would provide 5 gallon drums to be delivered to Major Miles who would paint them black. Other items included a bus to take people to and from work in Oxford the provision of lavatory and baths in the almshouses at a total cost of about £300, £100 to be paid by the Association and the remainder over a 20 year period at 10/- weekly rent.   There was a yearly income of £90 with £25 needed for repairs.  The matter was to be kept confidential until ‘things were sufficiently settled’. The notice board had been successfully moved by Mr Hicks. Next was discussion about the poor state of the Straight Mile after the Ventfield farm ditchers had been at work.

Tuesday 19th April 1960. Almshouses. Report by Major Miles he reported that £1000 would come from a government grant leaving only £100 from rent at about £80 per year. Other items included danger signs on the road at Blacksmith’s Corner; effluent from Mr Stearns and Mr Cooper’s houses, surface of the road between the village and the White House; litter bins now in situ.

2nd May 1960.  The meeting discussed: Go Slow signs, the effluent from Mr Stearns and Mr Cooper’s houses; surface of the road between the village and The White House. A Parish Meeting immediately followed thecouncil meeting.  An account was given of the year activities.  The deficit on the bus shelter costs had been made up with a house-to-house collection and by individual subscriptions and a whip round of members of the council. The village entry to the ‘Best Kept Village’ competition to be delayed until building work had been finished. There were problems of cars parking on the verge and footpath by the Priory gate. Mr Gresswell to become a trustee of the almshouses in place of Captain Henderson. Major Miles reported on the almshouses: ‘It had taken from May to November, with legal assistance to extract the accounts etc from Captain Henderson and when they were finally to hand they were found to be very incomplete and there was no money left at all.  The new Trustees had joined the “National Association of Almshouses”; this had displayed great interest in the almshouses here & had said that a 1639 building must certainly be preserved.’….. Tax refunds had not been reclaimed in a great many years.  The present trustees had back claimed for six years which was the maximum back claim allowed and the Charity Commissioners are trying to get a refund further back still. …’ The last sentence and the next two pages have been deleted for the minutes.. . The report concludes with the trustees plan to pay £200 to an architect to draw up plans for improvements to the almshouses. Occupants will have to be charged 10/- a week rent to pay for the balance of the improvements.

Monday 29th August 1960 – Discussions were on the almshouses.  There had been a delay as the architect Mr Rayson had not produced the plans. Maj Miles announced that he was leaving the village and that he had handed over the trusteeship to Mr Humphreys, at present resident at the Priory. Two more Council Houses required; more complaints about the drains and effluent; complaints about the breaking of the arch at the entry to the Nissen Hut site. Mr Badger agreed to speak to Mr Whyte about it; roads and danger signs; shared line between telephone kiosk and shop; bad state of the Priory hedge.

Monday 5th December 1960, attendance Mr Badger (Chairman), Mr Mattingley, Mr Wearing.  Mr Hicks was at the meeting of Beckley School Committee and was unable to attend. Matters discussed: almshouses, no developments; Council bungalows under construction; still no road sign at Blacksmith’s corner; problems over ditches: Mr Hicks and Mr Alden had inspected all the ditches without consulting the Council.  This was incorrect procedure and as Mr Hicks was not present it was not possible to report on the outcome. The Post Office had informed that the Kiosk in sharing a line with the Post Office was normal procedure and it was not economic to have separate lines. Mr A W Humphries was co-opted to replace Major Miles. The Clerk also reminded the Council that she would be leaving the village and said that Mrs Humphries might take it on.

Monday 20th February 1961 – The Council discussed drains and roads.  The almshouses improvements were now to cost £4000, £100 from the Pilgrim Trust, £100 from PRDC who would also be prepared to loan another £1000. The subject traffic turning down Church Lane when they meant to go up the main road up the hill.  A sign was discussed indicating the route of the main road. The Clerk’s replacement was discussed.  Mr Humphries pointed out that his wife would help when necessary while Mr Wearing said that his wife was already giving up her time as secretary to the WI. Mrs Humphries was duly elected. Beckley School: Mr Hicks said that as children from the village were now going to Sandhills School there was no point in him remaining on the Beckley school Committee, but that he should be the village representative on the Sandhills school Committee. As this move was only temporary until alterations to Beckley school had taken place, then it was agreed that Mr Hicks should remain on the Beckley committee.

Mr Mattingly reported that rubbish was being dumped behind the top bus shelter [in the pond at Blacksmith’s Corner] the Council agreed to a notice prohibiting the dumping of rubbish.  The Council also wanted to remind Mr Alden of his promise to pipe [drain] the pond site so that shrubs might be grown. Finally, money for the almshouses had been obtained.

Tuesday 16th May 1961 in the WI Hall. A Meeting of the new Parish Council.  Those present were Mr Hicks, Mr Humphries, Mr Stearns, Mr Wearing and Mr Weir.  Mr Humphries was elected chairman.  Discussed was the leaking roof in the bus shelter, Mr Gayden saying that he was ploughing up the footpath through his field; proposed development of the village; ownership of the pond behind the Smithy as it could be a possible site for new village hall. Mr Alden [the roadman?] had been asked to cut down the cow parsley on the dangerous corners of the village.

Friday 16th June 1961 – Discussed: railings at the corner opposite the garage [opposite where is now No 10 Mill Lane], children still going to Sandhills school.  Pond at Blacksmith’s corner partly drained. An architect had inspected the WI Hall and reported that it was not worth repairing. A joint committee was proposed with the WI to see what could be done. More sewage problems; proposed a letter to Miss Hessey for her work as Clerk to the Council.

11 November 1961 in the WI Hall. Problems with the bus shelters further repair work needed; dangerous trees at Blacksmith’s corner; dangerous corner opposite the garage [corner Mill Lane, Church Lane and Horton Hill]; letter to Mrs Henderson about the WI Hall and the possibilities of having the lease in the name of the Parish Council, thus being able to obtain grants for the repair of the hall.

1961 saw the building of what is now the village shop by Mr L Beckley and was opened  as a shop and Post Office in the same year.

19th January 1962 – Present Mr Humphries (chair), Mr Hicks, Mr Wearing and Mr Weir. Discussed: Corner by the garage, County Surveyor had seen the site and had agreed to changes to the signs plus a white line in the middle of road at the corner. Also Oxford City council be asked to put a sign to the village at the Headington roundabout. The council also agreed that the blacksmith should be approached to make a “Horton-cum-Studley” sign. The question of a new hall was discussed. The Clerk was to receive a salary of £5 per annum.

17th March 1962 - Mr Humphries (chair, lived at Asham Cottage) Mr Stearns, Mr Wearing, Mr Weir (lived at Christmas Cottage). Discussed signposts.  The blacksmith said that a sign from him would be too expensive, but suggested that ironworks in Chipping Norton. Mr Stewart had left the village and it was necessary to appoint a new representative on Sandhills school committee.  Calling a village meeting to discuss the new village hall.

Friday 30th March 1962, Parish Meeting WI Hall – Discussed: road widening of the corner below the King’s Arms; sign posts; Sandhills school; mains sewage not yet; closure of Oxford to Prince Risborough train service; village name signs; general untidy state of the village and road verges; formation of a Horton-cum-Studley society, there was clearly some concern about development. Finally discussed was a new village hall. An estimate was given as £3,500 for a brick built hall to £2000 or less for a wooden one.

Monday 16th April 1962 – Discussed were: City surveyor said it was not possible to have a HCS sign at Headington roundabout; hedge cutting; verge cutting; display of a footpath plan at the village shop; Mr Stearns to get an estimate for a new parish notice board. Mr Humphries read a letter from the Charity Commissioners regarding a new scheme for the almshouses.  The minutes do not say what the letter said but that the running of the almshouses should be at the discretion of the Trustees ‘and not limited to two days and asked if the 15/- included the old 5/- payment to inmates.’ It was agreed to support the formation of a Horton cum Studley society and that an open parish meeting be held on

Friday 4th May at 8pm. This meeting was not included in the meetings of the parish council.  However a press cutting gives a report on the meeting.

It was clear that the villagers were unhappy the way that the village was developing.  A number of old houses had been demolished after the sale of the Priory estate and been replaced by modern houses out of keeping with the rest of the village.  Council houses and old peoples homes had been built opposite the King’s Arms and 12 to 17 separate other developments were planned. In reply to Mr Mullen from Mr J Badger said that it was uncalled for “for a newcomer to the village to tell us what to do” .

24th May 1962 in the WI Hall. This meeting discussed, again ditches, widening of the corner below the King’s Arms, Only Oxfordshire CC can agree to an increase in the number of councillors, therefore no further action;  that the village meeting, held on 4th May, to form a Horton-cum-Studley society had voted against the idea by 48 votes to 36.

31st August 1962 – Matters discussed included: Proposed road widening by the King’s Arms; the blacksmith’s shop proposed extension; reconditioning of the almshouses; Mr Stearns and Mr Hicks were thanked for re-erecting the notice board by the shop; the bus shelter had been repaired; the proposed plans for developing the site of the old blacksmith’s house were considered and not seen as suitable; a cheque was signed for 10/-, fee to the Oxfordshire Association of Parish Councils and 25/- for the hire of the WI Hall to the Women’s Institute.

Monday 12th November 1962 – present Mr Hicks, Mr Stearns, Mr Wearing, Mr Weir. The following matters were discussed: Mr Cresswell was present and said reference to the road widening that 200 feet shall be taken off the corner and that some of the trees should be cut down. 

He said that he would do this if it were the wish of the Parish Council.  The Council agreed that the first priority was to cut the hedge first before any trees are cut down and that they would write to Mr Alden (OCC ) accordingly.

The next item was the blacksmith’s shop; plans were produced for the extension. The council felt that these were too much of a permanent nature and the first step was to find out the exact ownership of the land.

Enquiries had been made and the land either belonged to the Parish Council or the Lord of the Manor. Mr Stearns reported that the Parish Hall committee had not completed their report. Finally Blacksmith’s Corner site was discussed with Mr Creswell.  Although the number [of houses] had been reduced from four to two the Council unanimously agreed that the houses shown were unsuitable for this particular site.  Mr Cresswell agreed to produce a new plan showing houses of a more traditional nature.

1st January 1963 at 7pm in the WI Hall – The following matters were discussed: The corner by the garage, Mr Alden from the County Council had written to say that they would be unwilling to provide a fence unless it was erected on a line catering for correct vision improvement. The Council said that they would not agree to this… ; Blacksmith’s site. A new elevation for the houses on the site was considered. They were agreed as long as the houses were set back further than the old cottages if possible  [these are the houses between Asham Cottage and Cobweb Cottage.]

18th March 1963 – Ownership of the land [at Blacksmith’s Corner] at the pond site, a site plan required from Mr Cresswell for the next meeting; Mrs Woodham invited to become next Parish Clerk, Mr Dobson to take over from Mr Humphries on the Council; more discussion as to whether the twice weekly bus service was adequate; entry forms had been received for the ‘Best Kept Village’ competition; Parish Councils residential conference at St Edmund Hall 20-21st April; sewage disposal for the proposed new houses; almshouses drainage; write to the RDC about main drainage.

8th April 1963 Annual Parish Meeting in the WI Hall. Discussed were sign posts; the garage corner, Sandhills School; a letter from the Clerk of Ploughley RDC stated that a survey for mains sewage would commence in the summer; Princess Risborough train service had ceased. The main discussion was on the new village hall project.  Mr Stearns said that the committee had considered four possibilities:

1 Modernising the present village hall [WI Hall]

2. Providing a permanent building of brick or wood.

3. Providing a prefabricated building on land leased that would last 30/30 years.

4. Putting up a cedar wood building on site for 20/30 years.

Mr Stearns stated that a new building would cost the village £5 per week to pay for a new building  and this would be very difficult to raise on current bookings. Mr Stearns said that the most economic way was to produce a cedar wood building.  He knew of a five-year-old building that could be dismantled and which would cost about £400.  The site suggested for the new hall, was the bottom cross roads.  It was agreed that an extraordinary meeting of parishioners be held in the future to decide. Two houses were to be built at the Blacksmith’s site; application to build 13 homes on ten acres on the Brill Road; Mr Guy Webster, architect, had been co-opted onto the council until 1964 elections.

Monday 8th April 1963.  Present Mr Weir (Chair), Mr G Webster, Mr B Sterns [sic], Mr Wearing and Mr Hicks.  Mrs Woodham agreed to become the Clerk on a temporary capacity.  Mr Young had submitted his proposals to build 13 houses in ten acres on the Brill Road.

Friday 26th April 1963. Present Mr Weir (Chair), Mr Webster, Mr Stearns, Mr Hicks and Mr Wearing. Mrs Woodham appointed Parish Clerk; discussion with reservations about the 13 new houses planned for the Brill Road [to become Forge Close], concern of about road visibility with the entrance where Brill Road bends while an application from Mr J E Ogden to build one house on land belonging to Church Farm was approved. The widening of the bottom corner below the King’s Arms was discussed. Mr Alden, the county surveyor had agreed to pipe and fill in the ditch round the corner if Mr Cresswell could remove the hedge and replace it with an oak rail fence. Mr Cresswell agreed to this. Next was sorting out Lloyds Bank signatures and other bank details. It was agred that there was no urgency for a new village hall and the matter was pended. Finally it was agreed that a letter be sent to Mr J E Alden asking him to write to Mays Motors, Elstead, Surrey, requesting these contractors to direct their lorries on to an alternative route.

Monday 27th May 1963. Present Mr Weir (Chair), Mr Webster, Mr Wearing, Mr Stearns and Mr Hicks. Matters discussed: Ownership of the land where the extension to the Blacksmith’s Shop was proposed over the pond. Letter to be sent to ‘The Forge’ saying that planning permission could not be given until the ownership could be confirmed. Thirteen  new houses, planning permission refused by Oxfordshire County Council. Corner Farm.  The Council was shown a plan for a proposed general purpose building that was approved plus plans for a Woolaway bungalow on the site and there were no objections.  More discussions on the widening of the bottom corner and lorry traffic.  Apparently lorries were ignoring the instructions to use another route. The next was public liability insurance for the Parish Council and a cheque for the £1 premium was signed. Finally there was a report on the investigations at the County Planning Office about recent building etc. that had taken place at Beckley Steel Fabrication [now Mill Lane] to ascertain if planning permission had been sought or granted.

Monday 23rd September 1963 in the WI Hall. – Discussed, ownership of the Blacksmith’s Corner pond site; the PRDC had investigated and the land was awarded to the Lord of The Manor as a watering place for cattle; the Lord of the Manor was Captain John Henderson now of Bagenden House, Cirencester. Corner farm, proposed new Woolway bungalow, problems with sewage disposal. Bottom corner widening work delayed for piping and filling in of ditch. Lorries still coming though the village, council members to take the lorry numbers and report to Mays Motors. Beckley Steel Fabrication had not received planning permission for the recent additions.  Other planning applications: Mr S B Stearns, addition of a study and porch at ‘Whitecroft’; Miss J T Wakeman the building of two dwellings each with garage on the land of the old vicarage.  Both applications were approved. Council budget £25.9.8d in the bank. Col Ashton of Asham Cottage complained of the smell from the discharge into the ditch outside the almshouses. Postman ‘Barry’ retirement - £21 collected from the village and a cheque handed to Postman Barry. Transfer of license at the King’s Arms to Mr G W Scriven noted.  Costs of snow clearance and arrangements were discussed for the coming winter. Concern about Woolaway bungalows. Three were now built and the council should keep a careful look at further planning permission.  Also there was concern at the number of caravans in the village. Footpaths concern that farmer Audley White had bulldozed hedges on his farm at Otmoor [Whitecross Green] making three fields into one and thereby erasing a public carriageway. It was agreed that action should be taken to have this path reinstated.

25th October 1963, 7 pm in the WI Hall – Present Mr Weir (Chair), Mr Stearns, Mr Webster and Mr Hicks (from 8pm).  Discussed, site on Brill Road [presumably the site for 13 houses] the architects were building two houses for their own occupation.  Bottom corner the ditch will be filled in as soon as labour can be spared [by the County Council]. Mays lorries still using the route through the village; the clerk to write to the RDC requesting help.  Sewage disposal - Mr Clayton the public health officer and Mr Welsh from the PRDC had walked the village and inspected the ditches.  They were very sympathetic but said that mains sewage not likely for at least two years. Footpaths County Surveyors will taking up the question of the loss of footpaths to get them reinstated. Planning permission had been received from Mr Keflewski ‘Faraway’ Brill Road; the village boundary had been stated to be at the Old Weir and No 4 The Orchard and building beyond this point was purely for agricultural purposes. Beckley Steel Fabrications had recently erected tall wooden posts along it’s boundary with the Village Stores which was very ugly and created a considerable eyesore at the entrance to the village; clerk to write to the RDC planning department asking them to take action.

9th November 1963 – Present Mr Weir, Mr Hicks and Mr Wearing. Discussions included: Still heavy lorries using the village route. Sewage; footpaths, the District Surveyor was having problems tracing farmer Dudley White.  More discussion on the proliferation of caravans and the requirement for planning permission and illegal erections by Beckley Steel Fabrications. The Council had also received a letter from Strutt & Parker about the Brill Road bus shelter that had been erected on land not owned by the Parish Council.  Mrs P Lofts had written to the council requesting a 30 mph speed limit and about reinstating the footpath from the Blacksmith’s shop to the top of the hill. Finally there was further discussion about the twelve homes proposed to be built on the Brill road and concern about the drainage.

17th February 1964 – Present Mr Weir, Mr Webster, Mr Stearns, Mr Hicks and Mr Wearing. Discussed more about lorries, no further action; footpaths the council had done as much as it could to reinstate paths; Brill Road bus shelter ownership of land still not resolved; Clerk had written to County Surveyor about a 30 mph speed limit and concern about speeding commercial vehicles. The council studied the plans for the twelve house and agreed that twelve was too many for the site and it should be six to eight houses. Mrs Woodham resigned as Clerk and Mr Leonard Perry was suggested as her replacement.  Other subjects discussed were the house for Mr Wilson on Brill Road; care of old people and finally the Clerk reported that she had requested £10 Parish Rate for the year ending 31 March 1965.

11th March 1964 - 7pm in the WI Hall.  The chairman (Mr Weir) reported that the land on Brill Road where the bus shelter is situated had been subject of an enquiry by Captain Henderson to find out what land he owned in the village. The next item was the 30mph speed limit and vehicle travelling at excessive speed followed by an announcement that Mr Perry had agreed to become the Parish Clerk. A new water main was being installed in Oakley Road.  Mr West of Moor’s Farmhouse [now Cobweb Cottage] had applied for planning permission to extend the kitchen and Mr John Richardson had applied to build a new dwelling on the Brill Road. Other items were Civil Defence publicity, almshouses sewage disposal and finally the agenda for the next Parish Meeting was agreed.

20th March 1964 – Annual Parish Meeting, 8pm in the WI Hall. Chairman reported that main drainage within two years. It was agreed to have an open meeting to discuss a new Village Hall and other amenities. Bottom corner site had been improved; eight planning applications received that would add more strain on the overworked sewage system. The Chairman agreed to take steps to have a 30 mph speed limit. The Chairman had attended a meeting to discuss ways of furthering good relations with American servicemen. It was decided that the bus stop on the Brill Road corner was in a dangerous position and improvements to the junctions should be considered. Finally fox hunting was bought up by Mr Mynheer who suggested that as a pet cat had been killed by the South Oxfordshire Hunt, steps should be taken to declare the village a ‘black spot’ from where the Hunt would be banned in the future.  A vote was twelve for and twelve against but the Chairman said that the item had gone beyond the duties of the Parish Council.

28th May 1964.  This was the first meeting for the new Clerk Mr Perry and from now on the minutes were typed and glued into the minutes book. Present were Mr J Badger, Mr E N Hawes, Mr A G Hicks, Mr L A Thompson, Mr R C Weir and the Parish Clerk.

Lloyds Bank was elected as bankers. The bus shelters were actually erected as old peoples shelters and should be referred to as ‘village shelters’.  The matter of shelters was to be referred to the County Education authorities due to dangers to children waiting for buses. Oxford CC had written saying that the 30 mph speed limit on a Class III road could not be agreed due to prohibitive cost!

Other matters discussed were the Brill Road houses; water main in Oakley Road; Mr John Richardson’s application to build a house outside the village limits and the doubts amongst councillors as to where the village limits were located; almshouses drainage; preparation of a definitive map showing public rights of way; planning application for a new house for Mr A P Gaydon at Studley Farm and for six to eight houses on a site adjacent to St Barnabas Church on land formerly owned by Mrs Lissie Ada Auger (deceased). The matter was deferred until mains sewage could be provided. Items under AOB included there was still concern about road safety at Blacksmith’s Corner as a low wall had been built, a tree planted and incorrect pattern reflectors had been placed in the area.; puddles on Brill Road, cow parsley obscuring views along the Straight Mile; the ownership of the Brill Road land had still not been ascertained.

Wednesday 8th July 1964 – Parish Meeting Mr R C Weir in the chair and about 18 parishioners attended. The meeting was to prepare a report for the County Council in connection with the Survey of Rights of Way within the Parish. It was finally agreed, after discussion, that the footpaths as printed should be agreed; except that the Diversion Order as shown from 1959 namely that a footpath shown as crossing West Hill Farm be diverted through Otmoor Lane. The Parish Meeting was then dissolved and the Parish Council then carried on with a Council meeting. The Brill Road land belonged to Captain Henderson according to Ploughley RDC.  Planning application for Mr F J Pettit should be opposed, as it was not village in-filling.

Wednesday 7th October 1964 – Parish Council Meeting in the WI Hall.  Present: Mr R C Weir (Chair), Mr J Badger, Mr E H Hawes, Mr A G Hicks, Mr L A Thompson. It was reported that permission had been given for the building of the 12 houses on the Brill Road but further information was required on sewage disposal. Sewage in general was discussed including drainage from the almshouses. Other matters discussed were; the lack of a map of the village showing the village boundary; ownership of land on Brill Road – no progress; there we no longer had any village allotments; Bucks Water Board considering laying an 8” mains water supply to the village.  Planning applications were received from Dr Marshall for a loose box on his own property, Mr Vines – a dwelling house at ‘Faraway’ and a dwelling house at Oakley Road for Mr Honour. The latter being beyond the village limits was refused. Mr Dawson had complained about the steel structure erected by Mr Beckley and the council agreed to write to the council to find out if any planning permission had been received. Finally more discussion about the dangerous bend on the Brill Road [the narrow part that is still dangerous] and army vehicles in the village.

Tuesday 17th November 1964 – a special meeting to discuss the fact that Captain Henderson had, through his agents, informed the Chairman that he did not propose to extend the lease on the WI Hall. Also that he planned to dispose of the pond site [pond had been filled in] on the Brill Road and the village shelter thereon would have to be removed. The Council asked the Clerk to write to Captain Henderson’s agents to ask him to reconsider.  The Council was also to ask Mr E E Church, a local solicitor, to see if he was willing to help.

Monday 25th January 1965 in the WI Hall at 7pm.  Matters included the twelve dwellings on the Brill Road [to become Forge Close and would eventually have eleven houses and a flat above the garages]. PRDC had written a letter regarding the sewage [ no details].  Letters also received on mains water [again no details].  The widening of the narrow bend on the Brill Road was discussed. Oxon CC had refused to erect a traffic sign. An application had been received to change the licence at the King’s Arms and Mr John Richardson had applied for a licence to sell off-sales beers and wines in the village stores. Planning applications had been received from: Mr R C Weir and Mr W Woodham for an extension to his own properties, Mr W Jones and Mr H Kuflewski for a dwelling houses on the Brill Road, and from Ploughley RDC for a sewage disposal works on the Oakley Road; and finally from Wilsons (Horton) Ltd for a dwelling house on Church Lane. All were agreed.  Mr Honour had appealed about the refusal of planning permsission for his house on the Brill Road. A letter from Mrs Henderson to the Women’s Institute was read out and it was accepted that the WI Hall would be lost when the lease expired. Three sites for a new meeting place were discussed: A site at the Studley Priory Hotel (the Chairman to discuss with Mr Cresswell), the barn by the King’s Arms (the Chairman to discuss with Ind Coope Ltd), or a room for meetings at the King’s Arms (Mr Thomson would discuss with Mr Pope). Finally the Clerk’s salary was raised from £5 to £7.10s.0d per annum.

Tuesday 16th February 1965. Application for off-licence at the shop had been refused as the King’s Arms had applied for an off-licence. WI Hall no progress except that Ind Coope Ltd were planning do demolish the barn to make a car park and to incorporate a dance hall and grill.  Best Kept Village competition, entry should be suspended until building work and mains sewage had been completed. Mr Roger Jones had applied to build a bungalow at Corner Farm.  Routes for the mains sewage had been received. Water possibly sewage was still seeping onto Horton Hill.  Beckley school was being enlarged and that HCS children might be transferred back to Beckley from Sandhills School.

Wednesday 3rd March – Annual Parish Meeting.  The meeting was appraised on road safety and the proposed speed limit, the 14 planning applications received in the last year, mains water and main drainage was being supplied and the Pond Site {Blacksmith’s Corner] ownership complications. The lease on the WI Hall was to end in January 1966. Priory Close development had won a first prize in the Ministry of Housing regional competition. The village hall was then discussed.  Captain Henderson was not prepared to sell the WI Hall and that the hall had a limited life and maintenance costs would be high. Mr Pope was willing to rent a room for meetings from 1 January 1966.  It was agreed that a village amenities fund should be started immediately towards a village hall and playing field. There was to be a house to house collection for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust appeal. There was concern over the felling of elm trees on the Brill Road. One had been accidentally felled by J H White (Builders) Ltd who were engaged in development of the site. Finally the bad condition of the local roads was raised.

Monday 22nd March 1965.  The response to the village amenities fund had been disappointing. The sighting of the sewage works was discussed and the location [on Oakley Road] was accepted. The ditch on Horton Hill had been dug to reduce the sewage leaks. There was another complaint about tree felling and Mr P R Scott of Shanzu, Horton cum Studley had applied for permission to build a cedar conservatory.

Tuesday 18th May 1965. Still no progress on the Pond Site, sewage on Horton Hill as bad as ever, Winston Churchill Appeal had raised £1,200 in the Ploughley RDC area, details of the Local Government Commission on boundary changes had been received. Mr E Mattingly had applied to erect one dwelling house adjoining Corner House and this was agreed as in-filling and Mr L A Thompson wanted to erect a garage. [ Mr L Thompson lived in the bungalow to the left of the King’s Arms and had connections with Dines Haulage of Murton, and serviced their lorries at the site alongside the King’s Arms.]

The land adjoining the church [the old school site off Mill Lane] was discussed.  Mrs Cook was concerned that the future of the land should be safeguarded to prevent it becoming the subject of commercial speculation. [Possibly to be used by Beckley Steel Fabrications.  It appears that Mrs Cook was the claimed owner] She suggested that it be passed to local trustees at a token rental and it might ultimately be the site for the village hall. Mr Hawes mentioned the problem of access. The Chairman said that there was a stipulation that the land should not be used during church services. Advice was needed on legal implications. Finally the poor state of the road between Woodperry House and Beckley Turn needed action [and it still does in 2002].

Monday 13th September 1965 – Pond Site, still no progress. Mr Church [solicitor] had left the village but had promised to return the papers on the pond site and the WI Hall. There were still problems with sewage on Horton Hill, and a water leak at Dormer House.  The Clerk reported on negotiations with Mrs Cook [old school site off Mill Lane] who had offered to lease the site to the village.  The Clerk was to write declining the offer. Plans were in hand for the improvement of the road on Woodperry Hill.  Mr Gaydon [farmer at Whitecross Green] had ploughed up the footpath and the County Surveyor had written to him asking him to reinstate the path. [Probably the path from Mill Lane across to Gardener’s Barn].  The parish had been asked to find someone to become Civil Defence officer. The county were prepared to meet half the costs of footpath signs. Two new houses at Blacksmith’s Corner [Priory Close] had absorbed into their front garden the original road verge and that this would provide difficulties in the future if road widening [or footpaths] were needed. Planning permissions included an extension to Wayside Cottage (Mr J A Price).

Wednesday 9th February 1966 in the WI Hall. [presumably the lease had expired on the hall, but there is no mention of this].  Mr Church had still not returned the documents on the pond site or the WI Hall. Horton Hill sewage situation had improved. It had come to light that the old school site belonged to the Bishop [and not Mrs Cook] and was to be sold to the highest bidder. The road between Woodperry Hill and the Crematorium was in a very bad state of repair.  Mr J Mullen had agreed to become Civil Defence Officer.  The shelters were in a bad state of repair. A letter from Oxford CC had been received on the effect of the village being cut off by snow. The Chairman [Mr Bob Weir] reported on a conversation with Mr Shepherd of Hill Top Cottage.  Captain Henderson had told him that he was prepared to sell him the W I Hall and that Mr Shepherd was planning to incorporate the land in a building development for seven buildings. It was understood that the WI could rent the hall for another year. Mr Thompson, seconded by Mr Badger that the parish should buy the hall at a fair market price.  There had been a further complaint about Beckley Steel Fabrications metal structures and posts erected between the works and the village store.  Mr Mynheer informed the council that there was evidence that the pond site belonged to the parish and that it should be converted into a children’s playground.  There were complaints that lorries visiting Beckley Steel Fabrications were parking in Church Lane and damaging the verges.

Wednesday 9th March 1966 Parish Meeting.  About 40 parishioners attended. The Chairman gave his report and the Village Hall situation was discussed. Colonel Ashton would negotiate with Captain Henderson, and that an offer be made based on the District Valuer’s valuation. It was agreed to reinstate the Village Hall committee under the chairmanship of Mr Bryan Stearns.  The finance was discussed and Mr Wood pointed out that half the proceeds from the Horse Show were for village amenities. Col Aston should be co-opted onto the committee with Mrs Woodham as WI representative, Mr Ogden (architect), Mrs West and Mr Wood also agreed to serve. Further discussion on the state of the road, the pond site ownership was still in dispute and Forge Close was under construction.

Thursday 9th June 1966 – Special meeting to discuss the purchase of the WI Hall. It was valued at £1,500 and that grants should be applied for.

Monday 20th June 1966 – Parish Council.  Mr Church had still not returned the papers. A letter had been received from the County Council with reference to Beckley Steel Fabrications.  This related to past use of the site now being used by the steel company and to the matter of the posts that had been removed.  Other details were not recorded. Captain Henderson had agreed to an extension of the time [to raise the money] but was not prepared to wait for months.

Friday 2nd September 1966 – Still no papers from Mr Church but he had agreed to send them following a phone call from Mr Weir. The shelters would cost £30 to repair. Planning applications were received from Mr Bailey for a new house and garage next to Home Close [Church Lane] and a bungalow and smallholding from Mr Hawes.The latter was turned down as it was outside the confines of the village and on Green Belt land. The Horse Show had paid £159 into the Parish Council, account. The pond site is to be registered on a Registration of Common Land form with a piece of land at Ragnall’s Green [the old village pound site?].

Thursday 17th November 1966 in the WI Hall. Present Mr R C Weir, Mr J Badger, Mr E N Hawes, Mr A G Hicks, Mr L A Thompson. Discussed was the bad state of repair of the Priory entrance a new house for Mr Honour and Mr Perry was resigning as Parish Clerk.  An offer of £1500 had been made for the WI Hall.  The council discussed the almost permanent parking of a car by Mr Whitlock outside the Priory entrance that was a danger to pedestrians.  The Clerk to write a letter to Mr Whitlock. Colonel Hamilton [presumably at the Arncott Barracks] had agreed to cooperate in stopping army vehicles using narrow village roads.  Mrs Henderson had told the Chairman that the pond site unquestionably belonged to her husband.  This was still doubted by the council.

Monday 16th January 1967 – Parish Council; £150 had been deposited in the bank at 5½%. There was discussion on a planning application from Studley Priory to build houses.  A press report had said 12-15 houses but Mr Parke was said to have talked in terms of 3-4 houses. A letter had been received from the RDC asking if the name Forge Close was acceptable for the new  development on the Brill Road. A Parish Meeting should be called to to discuss finance of the purchase of the village hall.

Monday 6th February 1967 – Parish Meeting to discuss the proposed Village Meeting Room (previously referred to as the Village Hall). A 10% deposit was available from the Horse Show with the possibility of a £790 grant from the Department of Education and Science.  In the meantime the council would apply for a loan of £1500 from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

Monday 6th February 1967 – Annual Parish Meeting. 51 parishioners attended. Mr Weir was retiring as Chairman. Mr Stearns had been unable to accept the office Mr G F Solomon agreed to become Chairman and Mr Dawson offered to serve on the committee.  The pond site had been registered under the Common Land Act and as a result Captain Henderson had claimed ownership. Other matters included footpath signs, play area for children, alternative name for Forge Close, mail box on Brill Road, a second telephone kiosk in the village, speed limits tidiness and verges. Safety at Forge Corner [was previously Blacksmith’s Corner] was a matter for concern.  £35 to be spent on repair of the shelters.

Tuesday 25th April 1967 – Parish Council.  Mr R C Weir in the Chair, Mr J Badger, Mr E H Hawes, Mr A G Hicks, Mr L Thompson and Parish Clerk. Discussed : Children’s play area that needs a donation of some land; provision of second telephone kiosk; ditches; safety at Forge Corner; closure of footpath some years ago over West Hill Farm was never recognised by the County Council. Planning applications included extension to Manor Cottage for Mr Badger, erection of a house for Mr H J Honour and extension of Attock house for Mr A H Crane. Consent had been received for the loan of £1,500 over 60 years for the Village Meeting Room. Agreement had been made with Captain Henderson over the pond site [no details].

Wednesday 14th June 1967 – Parish Council Meeting in the WI Hall.  Mr Weir was appointed Chairman. Mr Kirkpatrick had complained about the way the Council had dealt with the proposal for a children’s play area. £204 had been received as a result of the village Horse Show and 4/- had been received from the SEB for way leave rental. There was a proposal for a 11,000 volt overhead line through the village. The Post Office had been temporaly closed [the Post Office incumbent was alleged to have robbed the till]. Lt Col C J Stocker had applied to build a bungalow as an annex at Little Millfield.

Wednesday 28th June 1967 – Special Parish Meeting to elect a management committee for the village hall. About 16 parishioners attended. The elected members were Mr W Kirkpatrick, Dr M L Waltho, Mr Corke and Mr West.  The Clerk was to contact the Rev Benson with a view to obtaining a representative from the Parochial Church Council. The WI President Mrs J Ogden would be the WI representative.

Wednesday 2nd August 1967 – Special Parish Council meeting to discuss the Council’s policy in relation to the refusal to grant planning permission for housing development in the grounds of Studley Priory from Major E E Parke. The house would be backing onto the road in front of the Priory and it was argued that it could be regarded as infilling. No decision appears to have been taken although Mr Hawes appeared to support the application.

Tuesday 26th September 1967 – Parish Council. Matters included clearing of the pond site, no progress; GPO had refused second telephone kiosk; Post Office facilities soon to be restored to the village store.  Planning applications were received from Mr R Jones for the extension of the pig farm; L A W Construction for two houses on land adjacent to ‘Faraway’ Brill Road (council said that it should be restricted to one), and rear porch for Mr West. Village Hall, the first interest payment of £50.11s.9d was due in October. Sewage mains will take six months.

Monday 22 January 1968 – Parish Council. Repair of shelters should wait until after the mains sewage system is complete; enlargement of then Parish Council had been rejected by the County Council; Priory housing plan rejected at appeal by the minister. New heating and lighting in the Village Hall now complete. [As the Parish Council now owned the hall, it was no longer referred to as the WI Hall.] The pond site was again discussed.  Mr Skinner [who worked the forge] had spread his premises onto the land, a tree had been felled by the Electricity Board. Captain Henderson had suggested that the land be divided between the Lord of the Manor and common land. There had been complaints about noise from the radio from Mr Skinner. AOB included the fact that Job’s Dairies milk deliveries were irregular causing much inconvenience. [Mr Skinner was quite a character and a drinker who got stopped from drink driving twice on the same night and was banned for driving for three years and had to use his bike]

Tuesday 19th March 1968 in the Village Hall – Parish Council. Mr R Huse of Church Farm had a planning application for two houses on farmland that was agreed.  Much discussion on Village Hall finance and that the Clerk’s salary should be increased to £15 per annum.

Wednesday 3rd April – Special Parish Meeting to discuss Commons Administration. (Mr C Williams, Assistant Solicitor Oxford County Council attended the meeting). About 60 parishioners attended. At a previous meeting the Chairman had used his casting vote and there was concern about the validation of an under age vote. The main subject was the Forge site and Mr Williams outlined the history of the site. The meeting agreed with Captain Henderson’s offer to move the boundary so that the shelter could remain in situ.

Wednesday 15th May 1968 – Parish Council. Village children’s playground. The Chairman reported that the lease of the land of the village inn expired in 2-3 years time. Mr Peter Cresswell [lived at Stanton St John] was prepared to consider using this land in the development plans. The Village Hall had been registered as a charity. The application to build two houses on Brill Road for LAW Construction had been rejected as the site was outside the village boundary. Dr Roger Clarke had offered the services of pupils from Bicester Grammar School to help clear footpaths. There was more discussion on the bad state of the roads.

29th July 1968 – Parish Council discussed playground, roads, rights of way Village Hall finance and resignation of the Parish Clerk Mr Perry.

Wednesday 13th November 1968 – Parish Council. Planning application from the trustees of the estate of Mrs Auger for the development of about four acres for residential development.  Mr Hawes expressed an interest and withdrew from the meeting. The Clerk said that this application had already been before that planning committee and rejected. [ this was later to become part of the Mill Lane development].  The grant of £781 had been received from the Department of Education and Science for the Village Hall. There was local feeling that the pond site situation should be resolved soon, especially after the death of Mrs Henderson. 

Monday 3rd February 1969 – Parish Council.  Discussed were road repairs that were being carried out; planning application from Mr Shepherd of ‘Hill Top Cottage’ for six flats, which was rejected; Village Hall finance and no candidate had volunteered for Parish Clerk.

Monday 3rd March 1969 – Annual Parish Meeting Mr L A Thomson (Chair), Mr A G Hicks, Mr E N Hawes; Mr J Badger and 22 parishioners. Questions were asked about the Children’s playground and the old school site.  There were complaints about the state of the village shelters. There had been no objection to the common land registration of the [pond site].  New footpath and village signs were being obtained. Water on Woodperry Hill was being dealt with by a ditch. ‘Give Way’ sign needed at the Brill Road, Oakley Road junction.

Wednesday 26th March 1969 – Parish Council. Mr R C Weir announced his resignation as Chairman and hoped that Mr L A Thompson take over.  £1000 had been paid off the loan on the Village Hall and the remainder would be paid at £50 per year. Planning applications from Mr H Shepherd to erect a three storey terrace houses on land at Hill Top Cottage.  There were objections to this.  Mr K L Bartlett of Cobbles, Brill Road applied to add a bedroom and study and Dr H Rang of 4 Ventfield Close also wanted another bedroom and study and finally Mr L J Beckley applied to erect a stable block.  These were agreed.

Wednesday 4th June 1969 – Parish Council.  Present Mr R C Weir (Chair), Mr J Badger, Mr E N Hawes, Mr A G Hicks, Mr L A Thomson and the Clerk. Mr E C Bailey had agreed to accept the position of Clerk. Public Liability Insurance had increased from £1 to £3 per annum. The Council had received 4/- from the SEB for way leave of the pond site. Messrs Feilding & Morrison had applied for permission to build three single dwellings adjacent to Ventfield Cottages.  This was opposed. There was also an application from the Priory for alterations of the outbuildings to provide staff accommodation and from Roger J P Jones for the development of six farm workers cottages on Church Farm land to the west of Studley Wood and for the development of additional buildings within the pig unit and Corner farm, and a new pig unit for Church Farm. There applications would be passed to the Planning Committee with a petition against this.

Monday 28th July 1969 – Parish Council – County Council had given conditional planning permission for the three single family dwellings between Ventfield Farm and The Cottages, but the six farm workers cottages had been refused. New planning permission requested by Mr M B Gover of 2 Ventfield Cottages for an extension; Mr S B Stearns for the erection of a double garage for ‘Whitecroft’; Mr and Mrs C M Cork for the erection of a dwelling at Kimmeridge, Oakley Road. There were no objections.

Monday 6th October 1969 – Parish Council. There was one minutes silence in memory of Mr E N Hawes who had also represented the Council on the RDC. The Chairman gave a short resumė of the Redcliffe-Maud commissions report on Local Government in England.

Monday 24th November 1969 – Parish Council.  Mr R Hawes was coopted to replace Mr E N Hawes. White markings were requested for the road across Church Lane.

Monday 5th January 1970 – Mr Hicks had tendered his resignation. Also discussed: School bus; Elm Trees in the garden of Old Green Council Houses were recently felled.

Monday 16th February 1970 – Parish Council. Matters discussed were earth on the straight mile from Mr Huse farm Church Farm – opposite the church].  There was a feasibility study into a London-Oxford-Birmingham motorway and a consultative committee was to be formed. Telephone work to be carried out in the village. There was a planning application from Mr J Badger for an extension at Cottage on the Oakley Road and from the Priory to increase accommodation by altering the stable block.

Tuesday 24th March 1970 at 1930– Parish Council some minor matters of finance. This was followed by the Annual Parish Meeting at 2000 with 49 parishioners attending. Discussed was the Horton Hill footpath, acquisition of a playing field, village name plate and footpath signs.  After the Chairman’s report the bus survice was discussed with overcrowding on the school bus while the public service to Oxford was only used by a few people. No definite route had been decided for the motorway and the subject of a 30mph limit was again discussed. A request for a footpath along Brill Road was requested. Alderman Cooper, Chairman of the Education Committee addressed the meeting and questions were answered. The £120 increase in teacher salaries was to come from the County Contingency fund.

The increase in the income of villagers has changed the village in the last twenty years.  No longer is the Oxford bus overcrowded as villagers own their own cars and since the selling of the Priory Estate most houses are privately owned by people who can afford to extend the houses and build on the land.  In 1970, the bus is now under used.  With mains sewage and water, the Parish Council minutes no longer reflects problems with sewage in the ditches.

Monday 27th April 1970 – Parish Council. There was concern about a number of abandoned cars on a site adjoining Kiln Cottage, Oakley Road. Footpaths were numbered and signed as necessary.  Letters had been received from the County Council about various modifications to Beckley Steel Fabrications.

Thursday 21st May 1970 – Parish Council. Present Mr R C Weir (Chair), Mr J Badger, Mr R J Hawes, Mrs J Ogden, Mr O W Reid, Mr L A Thompson and the Clerk.  All signed a declaration of acceptance for all elected councillors. Mr Badger proposed Mr Thompson as the new Chairman, this was agreed and Mr Weir stood down and left the meeting. Discussed were white lines on the road, footpaths and signs. A planning application had been received from Mr Alan C Mole for development of an 18 hole golf course at Whitecross Green Farm. There were no objections. The spoil on the straight mile had still not been removed.

Monday 29th June 1970 – Parish Council. Mr Badger pointed out that Mr West’s bungalow had been built on a footpath.  There would need to be a minor diversion. Lorry traffic was discussed and it was agreed that the village roads were not suitable for heavy traffic. Planning application for Mr J H White, to demolish of existing drainage and sewage treatment plant and the construction of one detached dwelling house. This was opposed. Mr R P Jones had applied to use land at Corner Farm to site a caravan. Under AOB, the school bus route was discussed.  It currently turned at Pand Hill junction to pick up children from Mr West’s bungalow then Forge Corner and then the King’s Arms.  The plan discussed not stopping at Forge Corner due to road safety. A footpath was highly desirable for Brill Road.  Trees had died that were screening the sewage plant on the Oakley Road.  Mr Badger pointed out that evergreens had not been planted, as they were dangerous to animals. Mrs Ogden said that Ploughley District Council was budgeting for play areas in villages.  This was to be taken up with PRDC.

Wednesday 2nd September 1970 – Parish Council. No money available from OCC for footpaths along roads. Planning required for the lay-by outside Orchard Close that had appeared for car parking. Parking outside the Village Hall was discussed including increasing the parking space outside the Priory.  It was decided that this was a Village Hall Committee problem.

Wednesday 14th October 1970 – Parish Council. The County Council had turned down application for a 30 mph speed limit. Various planning applications were discussed including a dwelling house in the grounds of Windflower House, Mr Lovegrove’s  application had been refused [no detail] and  ploughing of footpaths.  Another application for houses in the Green Belt on Oakley Road had been refused. Mr Reid reported that villagers had asked for a map showing the location of footpaths. Mr West had put wire across a footpath on this land and a bridge was needed over a small stream.  No land suitable for a playing field had been found.

Wednesday 2nd December 1970 – Parish Council.  Present Mr L A Thompson, Mr J Badger, Mr D W Reid, Mr R J Hawes and the Clerk.  Also attending Mr Clerici OBE and Mr and Mrs Biddiscombe.  Apologies from Mrs J Ogden who was indisposed. It would be a year before a definitive map could be produced showing footpaths. The District Surveyor had agreed to provide the material for a bridge for the footpath on Mr West’s land. The stile alongside Colonel Sticker’s bungalow (footpath No 7) needed repairs.

Mr Clerici asked the Council about lack of toilets at the Village Hall. It would cost £2012 and a grant would be applied for. There was much discussion on the finance. Lay-by needed for the school bus at Forge Corner. Mr P G  Davey of Asham Cottage was granted permission for an extension. Bus shelters need tidying up and repaired.

Wednesday 20th January 1971 – Parish Council. A definitive map of footpaths had been received. A grant of £1006 had been applied for to extend the Village Hall. Further discussion on the pond site, it was noted that Mr L J Sharpe of 4 The Orchard had entered a Commons Registration for the site on 31st July 1970. There was discussion about a third London airport at Cublington; there was complete opposition to the plan. Trees to hide the sewage works were proposed and discussed. Also discussion on repair of shelters and minor planning permissions.

Tuesday 16th February 1971 – Special Public Meeting to discuss the Village Hall extension. The Horse Show had raised £386 for the Village Hall, planning permission had been granted, and much discussion on finance and loans. It was proposed by Mr Tollerton that a loan of £503 be applied for.  This was agreed by 22 votes to nil.

Monday 8th March 1971 – Parish Council. Pond site was again discussed. Captain Henderson had moved to Taunton but was now in Africa and the ownership will be pursued when he returns sometime in April. The bus shelter repairs will cost £28.  There was discussion about tree felling and who gave planning permission. The formation of  a Tree Society to protect the trees was discussed, but not considered a Parish Council matter. Mrs Ogden had drawn a map showing footpaths. Mr Pope of the King’s Arms had complained about the pub car park being used as a public car park.

Wednesday 7th April 1971 – Parish Council. The Council considered a few minor details before the Annual Parish Meeting at 2000 hours. Items discussed were: Progress on the Horton Hill footpath. Playing Field, the Chairman had written to PRDC suggesting the land they owned behind the old peoples bungalow could be used.  The old school site was also discussed but as the Rev Benson was leaving and Rev de Vere arriving the matter was still pending.  Mrs Gover suggested that the land alongside the King’s Arms on Church Corner [now the village Green] should be suitable and should be purchased by compulsory purchase order. The pond site was discussed and the ownership would have to be determined by the Commons Commissioners at some date after 31st July 1972. There was discussion about a small hut that had been erected on the site.  If was also said that the eyesore of Beckley’s corner was worse than the pond site and that the dogs he kept were generally unfriendly. Consideration would be given to entering the Best Kept Village competition next year. There was still concern about the abandoned cars next to Kiln Cottage.

Wednesday 12th May 1971 – Parish Council.  The Chairman had spoken to Captain Henderson about the Pond site who had said that he may offer the site to the village as a playground. A questionnaire had been completed from Sir George Schuster about amenities of village life in the age of increasing motor traffic.  The Public Heatlth inspector had inspected the ditch near Church Farm where there was effluent from the pig farm was discharged.  Mrs Ogden reported that the odour was extremely bad and written and verbal complaints were of no avail.  Mr Thompson agreed to talk to Mr B P Garrett [Health Inspector] about it and report at the next meeting. There was a letter from PRDC advising that there was no plans to use the land behind the old peoples homes owned by the council and that the village could rent it at a nominal rent.

Wednesday 9th June 1971 – Parish Council. Matters discussed: the odour from the Church Farm ditch; bus shelters; the rent to use the area behind the old peoples homes [sometimes called lower green]would be £1 per annum but members of the Playing Fields Committee had expressed views that the land next to the pub would be more suitable and should be compulsorily purchased.

Monday 12th July 1971 – Parish Council. Discussion about the play area behind the old peoples bungalows with reference to fencing, grass cutting and insurance. Other matters discussed were the rerouting of footpath No 3 through West Hill Farm; guard dogs and a letter from the Minister of State at the Home Office via Mr John Hay MP but no details given. There was a planning application from Mr J P Jones to build three farm workers bungalows at Corner Farm and there were no objections. The reorganisation of local government would place Horton cum Studley in the proposed area 33 as a part of Bullingdon R D C. There was to be another attempt to get a 30mph speed limit. The Council agreed to donate £10 to the playing fields committee as after hard work during the summer they deserved some encouragement.

Wednesday 8th December 1971 – Parish Council. Planning application for a playgroup for ten children at ‘Chilston’ for Mrs Pamela Money. Mr Brian W Hall was appealing against the decision to refuse his application to build a dwelling on Oakley Road outside the parish boundary in the Green Belt. A youth club was proposed . It was unanimously agreed not to enforce a compulsory purchase of the 4 acres of land adjacent to the pub. The shelters are still untidy.

Friday 18th February 1972 – Parish Council. Planning included an application from Mr Huse of Church Farm to erect pre-cast R C Portal framed piggery, and from Mr L J Beckley to demolish the existing cottage and to erect a three-bedroom bungalow and garage.  The plans however were for a house and the Council agreed if it was a bungalow in keeping with the rest of the village. The original cottage had been unoccupied for four years. [late Miss Augers shop].

Mr Reid had received a complaint about Mr Beckley’s uncompleted building on Horton Hill.

After this date it is felt that details from Parish Meetings may well be seen infringing on residents privacy so after this meeting only key decisions are recorded.

24th October 1972 – Beckley Parish Council were leading the defence of Otmoor against a proposed reservoir. Planning permission had been applied for housing development at Beckley Steel Fabrications site that included demolition and removal of the existing buildings. [this was to become the ten house development now know as Mill Lane].

17th April 1972 – The new London to Birmingham motorway will come close to the village. Both the District and County Councillors came from the village. [Bob Weir of Christmas Cottage was County Councillor]

11th July 1973 – planning application for the development of Plot 43, the land next to the King’s Arms for eight dwellings as the lease was about to expire. The development is to include a village green.  There was also discussion about leasing the playing field from Mr Cresswell.

24th September 1973 – petition to stop the motorway being routed across Otmoor.

4th December 1973 – Field alongside the church to be sold at auction in February. Planning application required for Mr Beckley’s experimental building frame and that work should be stopped until permission is received. [Green building down Mill Lane]

3rd June 1974 – The Parish Council offers Mr Peter Creswell £2000 for the 3¼ acres that is now the playing fields.

4th July 1974 Mr D Hurd MP, Mr R Weir, Chairman of the County Council and Mr W H P Davidson attended a Parish Public Meeting to discuss the M40 proposals along with about 60 parishioners. A preferred line would be published at the end of 1964.  The main discussion was concerned as to whether the motorway was necessary.

January 1975 – New water main promised this year. Road corner at Studley Farmhouse improved.

April 1975 – Planning permission for the ten houses to replace Beckley Steel Fabrications had been agreed. The footpath is to be left in the same place. There were no traffic or drainage problems envisaged. [this was to become the Mill Lane development]

July 1975 a suggestion the children’s playground could become allotments when it is transferred to the playing fields. Elm trees on the playing fields to be reluctantly cut down due to Dutch elm disease. The partly collapsed barn at the King’s Arms was being re-built but work had stopped over concern about the appearance of the brickwork. Dutch Elm Tree disease was a major problem and 14 trees in the pub field and four trees on Oxford Corner had to be felled.

August 1975.  Mr C J Attley had acquired the King’s Arms and fields and had applied for the barn to be converted into dining rooms with five letting rooms above. Part of OX Plot 43 (Oxford Corner), construction of six houses. [To become Ventfield Close].

A special Parish Meeting was held on 8th October 1975 to discuss Dutch elm disease and their replacement. Mr Geoff Henman outlined the work on the playing field.  A fete had been held raising £213 for the village.

October 1975 – Stoneshire Construction were building “The Green” houses.

November 1775 – Tree planting campaign. The roof of Mr Hawes barn and bungalow had collapsed and there was a planning application to convert the barn and to extend the bungalow.

March 1976 – Water main completed to the village. Building at the King’s Arms in progress to rebuild the barn. Dutch Elm Disease described as catastrophic. Temporary building projected at the playing fields.

May 1976 – Possibility of allotments on the Children’s Play area again discussed. Street lighting discussed.

June 1976 - Applications received for 3 ½ allotments.  Regular complaints about pig farm smells. Mr Richard Hawes becomes Chairman of the Parish Council.


23rd August 1976  – Court Hearing concerning the smell from Church Farm pig farm with fine and court order followed by an appeal.

September 1976 - Group formed to look after farmers interests the wildlife on Otmoor. Another application for a 30mph speed limit. Footpath being constructed opposite the King’s Arms.

November 1976 – More problems for the road at Woodperry Hill; Letter from Thames Water Authority their purchase of  Studley Farm [and other land] with the intention of building a reservoir. A car being driven by Mrs Attlee [sic] of the King’s Arms had severely damaged the bus shelter.

January 1977 – Fence planned to go round new Village Green. Scrub cleared from allotments area behind old peoples bungalows; Thames Water to use the Studley Farm land for sludge spreading; problems with ice on Horton Hill; Parish Meeting held to discuss Jubilee celebrations. Crown coins were suggested as a gift to children.

March 1977 – The naming of the new road; Mill Lane was preferred as found on early maps [it was actually Mills’s Lane on the old maps] since it led to Mill Field. Later it was called School Lane and more recently had been known as Steel Lane.

August 1977 – Discussion about buying 3 ½ acres of the playing field from Mr Cresswell.  £1500 per acre estimated cost. Jubilee Day celebrations had cost £133 but with an income of £152 from the Gymkhana [at old Arngrove Farm of Mr Wally Phipps] and pig roast by Mr T Wakelin. Mr Elkins becomes head of Beckley School. The celebrations were held at Manor Farm using Mr Badger’s barn.

November 1977 – Fencing round the playing field completed.  Footpath from Mill Lane to Ragnall’s Lane blocked by Mr Beckley near the Old Thatch.

Mr Bailey of No 1 New Green objected to the name “New Green” and the Parish Council renamed it “The Green”.  Planning applications included extension and garage for Rose Cottage, Brill Road and new house in Church Lane; three for Mr Ogden, six for Mr Parry and one for Mr Huse; also planning for erection of a pavilion in the playing field.

January 1978 – Footpath to Ragnall’s Lane still blocked. Chief Executive of CDC to be asked to take action. Playground equipment to be erected on playing fields. Extra 0.25 acres to be added to the playing fields for the pavilion.

March – September 1978 – Objections to the M40 across Otmoor and plus petition, and more about dying elm trees and tree planting.  The notice board smashed again. Village Hall thatch needs replacing.

November 1978 – Licence of the King’s Arms from Mr Attley to Mr B K Barnes. Strong objections to some of the houses in Church Lane but were overruled. A proposed gypsy site between Barton and Beckley was received with dismay. Protest group set up in Stanton St John.  Horton cum Studley Parish Council elections to be held every four years. White House corner eyesore complaints. [Mr Barnes was later to pass the licence to Mr Hugh Curran, a former Oxford United and Scottish footballer]

March 1979 – Complaints were received about the Mill Lane to Gardener’s Barn footpath being very muddy.

Thames Water obtained Studley Farm, Gardener’s Barn Farm and Whitecross Green Farms before 1979 with the aim of building a reservoir.  However this project was abandoned and on 3rd October 1979, these farms were sold in 17 lots at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford.  Studley Farm House and buildings with Gardener’s Barn realised £572,700 that included lots 1,2,3,4,10,11,&13 and Moorlands Farm lots 15,15 and 17  realised  £46,500.  Lots 8 & 9 realised £27,000 and a total of 503.867 acres in all.  Whitecross Green farmhouse fetched £36,000. The land in Horton cum Studley, behind the present church realised £22,500 bought by a Mr Taylor.

The sale was conducted by Carter Jonas Chartered Surveyors. The sale realised a total of £571,700 with the land at £1129 per acre.

1979 was the first year of the Otmoor Challenge half marathon. In 1978 Col. Ted Shephard came to live in Horton‑cum‑Studley (Kimmeridge) at a time when he was took up his command of part of the RAOC Depot at Arncott. He soon became involved in village life and joined the Playing Field Committee. He suggested that in order to raise funds, a Half Marathon Run around Otmoor should be organised as a joint venture with the Army.

November 1979 – Proposal to include Whitecross Green and Panshill into Murcott Parish.

April 1980 – Parish Meeting. more complaints about Woodperry Hill water; lorries ignoring three ton limit down Horton Hill.  Councillor David Markham discussed proposed M40 route.

August 1980 – Tenants relinquishing their allotment plots due to poor soil. There were more complaints about local footpaths. Campaign to report overweight lorries using the village to be reported to the police.


1980 was the first year that the playing fields came into use and the first Otmoor Challenge Half Marathon.

May 1981 _ Parish Meeting mostly about the M40 with County Councillor (D Markham) and District Councillor (R Brown) taking part. New route would take the M40 between Warren Farm and Old Arngrove Farm and between the two Panshill farmhouses. Plan to amalgamate Stanton St John and Beckley Schools with Beckley taking the over 9s.There were more complaints about the White House eyesore. [Mostly old cars for breaking].  Temporary planning permission for the playing field pavilion given and this did stipulate the need to include toilet facilities. Local policemen did cycle patrol. Priory hedge was overgrown and scratching cars on Horton Hill.

January 1982 – The new published M40 route crossed the straight mile past West Hill Farm and between Fencott and Murcott. More complaints about Woodperry Hill water and road surface.

March 1982 – problems with power cuts. Planning application received to site a mobile home at seven acres, straight mile by Mr T Lawrence.  There was much feeling against this at that time due to the danger of fast traffic passing the entrance.

April 1982 – Public enquiry into M40 route announced and to start on 14th September. Mrs Betty Roberts was the new District Councillor and had offered her services. There had been vandalism of Pavilion and bus shelter at Forge Corner.  Children caught and reprimanded. Vote of thanks to the farmers who had helped clear the snow during the last winter. Discussion on selling the Village Hall and building elsewhere because of the cost of upkeep. It had suffered severe frost damage.

August 1982 M40 eastern route [roughly as it is now] would be 1¼ miles longer that the route across Otmoor and would cost another £1.9million. The Parish Council expressed the appreciation of the parish for all the work done by Councillor David Markham in his work to get the route moved to the east. The local policeman was then PC Stock. The horse show would be held at Woodperry in 1982 in aid of Beckley and Horton church funds. Planning applications were received for a new dwelling from Mr Gomm at Corner Cottage, Mr Roden of Priory End  and Mr J W Harrison for a bungalow in the garden of Sunnyside. None were agreed.

David Markham was then the Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council Public Transport Committee and a member of the Environmental Committee. He was also the representative for Oxfordshire on the Planning and Transportation Committee of the Association of County Councils. He lives in Oakley Road.

January 1983 – Strong opposition from the village to change the name of Holton Park School to Wheatley Park School. More requests for a 30mph speed limit. Mrs Velda Henman resigns as Parish Clerk as they are moving to Noke and Mrs Gwen Kilpatrick takes over the duties. Planning application from Mr Attley at the King’s Arms for the building of seven motel type bedrooms at the rear of the hotel.

The OCC had asked the opinion of the Parish Council on the classification of Otmoor Lane under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. It was agreed that it should remain a bridleway. Complaints about the Filling Station forecourt surface between there and Mill Lane. A letter would be sent to the owner [of the filling station] Mrs Richardson.

September 1983 – The question of the Fuel Pumps forecourt was again raised.  Neither Mr Hockridge from the shop, nor the County Council knew who owned the triangle of land between the filling station and Mill Lane. A planning application from Mr L Thomson, The Workshop, The Old Green for a haulage depot including service and repair of heavy goods vehicles was opposed although it had been in existence for many years.


November 1983 – Complaints about emptying mini-skips on Corner Farm land also the depositing of foul smelling slurry on the field next to the church. Planning permission for extensions to Camborough, Church Lane (Mr A Parker); Hedgerley, Church Lane (Mr R N Robinson [father of Geoffrey Robinson MP and former minister]); Warren Farm Cottage (Mr K Mitchell) and Alanya, Oakley Road. (Mr W J Kirkpatrick). 

There was now a change in the village.  The new house building had virtually come to an end and people were now extending their existing properties. Bucks Berks and Oxon Naturalist Trust (BBONT) purchasing Whitecross Green Wood. Drainage problems on the playing fields. New person leasing The Forge and welding cars.

April 1984 – Car park provided on playing field with the help of a bulldozer.

May 1984 – M40 enquiry finished and outcome to be announced at the end of the year. Front of the shop tarmaced [sic] by OCHA.

July 1984 – Planning application for the field next to the Church by Mr J Salter for housing development and a new Village Hall free to the village. Land next to Duffryn House, Church Lane being used as a dump.  P C Stock would keep an eye out while the matter is reported to the Council. Planning applications for extra accommodation at the King’s Arms refused.

November 1984 – Sub committee under Mr B Lyster to be formed to run the Otmoor Challenge. The first Chairman to be Mr Oleson.

March 1985 – Mr Cooper agrees to move his effects from the land adjoining Duffryn House.

April 1985 – The M40 would be routed onto the eastern route avoiding Otmoor.

May 1985 – Land next to Duffryn House sold.

October 1985 – Path to playing field completed thanks to Mr R Hawes.

December 1985 – The Postman is retiring after 25 years [no name recorded]

April 1986 – More discussion on selling village hall and building a new one. The Parish Council decided that it would be too costly. Pond site still causing problems over untidiness. Stables erected at Corner Cottage without planning permission. Playing fields tractor had been vandalised.

1987 – Parish Council minutes produced on a word processor. Land at Ragnall’s Lane, the Council investigated the ownership of the land next to Ragnall’s House and to ensure that the footpath was kept open. Yet another attempt to get a 30mph speed limit. There had been a spate of burglaries in the village including the Village Hall. Re-thatching the Village Hall will cost £4850.  Reviving of then tennis club discussed. Mr Miles takes over from Mrs Kilpatrick as Council Clerk. Questionnaires circulated on whether villagers wanted a gas supply. Idea to build a new village hall on the playing field dropped.

1988 – Post Office downgraded to Sub-Post Office. New Shopkeeper Mr Bernard Meek. There were more complaints of smell from the pig farm on the Straight Mile. The Otmoor Challenge Association had £4535 in hand to distribute.  Traffic survey showed a total of 2376 passed the checkpoint over a 13-hour period. Final route of M40 not yet announced.