Blog 2016 -2017


The start of another council year with both Oxfordshire and Cherwell councils having the annual meetings on the same day.

5th May Local elections for Cherwell DC. I was re-elected to a three member ward all the Conservatives were re-elected. We then escaped to Bavaria to recover. Flying to Zurich, hiring a car and driving to Lindau on Lake Constance (Bodensee) to stay in the Relais Michelin Star Hotel Villino.



View from our room “Paradiso” and part of the gardens

6-8May visit Lichtenstein via Austria





Lichtenstein – a sneak look into the Prince’s garden. Lindau is near Friedrichshavn where the Zeppelin airships were made and you can take trips from the same airfield.


17th May 2016 – start of council year with Annual Council meetings both at Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council.


Cllr John Sanders puts the chain of office on Cllr Michael Wayne who becomes Chairman for 2016-17

Cllr Chris Heath becomes Chairman for 2016-17 for Cherwell District Council being sworn in by Sue Smith the Chief Executive.

New Cherwell Coat of Arms presented by Sir Tony Baldry former MP.

 19th May – Bicester Garrison to meet new Chief of Staff.

20th May – Lunch with friends from Australia

21st May – Conservative Gala Dinner at Blenheim Palace

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC speaking 

21st – 22nd May friends staying – visit Waddeston Manor

23rd May – Langford Village School 20 year celebration

25th May – London Chelsea Flower Show

26th May -30th May Friends and family staying

2nd June – 8th June Scotland for Army Ornithological Society AGM at Aviemore.

Capercaillie and Red Squirrel in Rothiemurchus forest

Edinburgh Castle

Ponies in friends garden near Edinburgh

8th June Parish Liaison meeting at Cherwell DC

9th June – OCC Group Meeting County Hall

10th – 11th June – London for Theatre visit and staying with friends

See Threepenny Opera at National Theatre and dine at Petite Blanc

15th June – Emergency planning briefing at the Woodeaton bunker

16th June – Wendlebury Parish Council

20th June – Armed Forces Day flag raising at County Hall

20th June – Summer Solstice and Strawberry Moon

23rd June – EU referendum

24th June – Oxfordshire ESU Dinner at Balliol College


Guests enjoying a pre-dinner glass of bubbly Col Bruce Duncan on left a contemporary of mine at Sandhurst                                     Dinner – L R  Frof William Whyte (speaker) Lucia Dumont from Paris – President of International Council, myself, Lady Felicity Blair, Catherine Robson


With Jane Easton ESU DG and Jan with Lord Blair                                                                                                                                            Sample of the excellent dinner.


25th June – ESU Members Conference Malmaison Hotel

Sunday with friends who joined us the  dinner.

26th June Churchill Lodge Summer reception

30th June – Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

1st 3rd July – Visitors for weekend

4th July – Love Labours Lost at Wadham College

5th July – Oxford Buildings Trust visit to Chalgrove Church followed by Board Meeting

6th July ESU AGM

7th July – Audit Briefing OCC

                OCC Group Meeting

8th July –  Members briefing County Hall

To London

9th July – Deep Blue Sea at the National Theatre

10th J July return

12th July – County Council

                Son Andrew and family arrive from Australia

Rare picture of both my sons and grandson – Philip, Finlay (from Australia), Sam from Chesham and Andre from Australia

15th July – son and family leave – Veteran’s Forum Brooke Barracks

16th July – Jan flies to Seattle to stay with family

18th July – Cherwell DC Full Council

20th July – Piddington PC

Walk round Otmoor reserve and saw the rare Bittern now believed to be breeding.

21st July – Ambrosden PC

23rd July – Churchill Lodge cocktail party

26th July – 11th August – holiday with family in Seattle and villa at The Ocean Shores on the Pacific Coast of Washington state.

Cottage on the Ocean Shores of the Pacific

Seattle Market


Spitfire at the Air Show

16th August – Graven Hill Village Holding Company Board Meeting

18th August – Ambrosden PC

20th August – Blue Plaque unveiling  Raymond and Hope ffennell  and their daughter Hazel, Creators of Hill End Centre for outdoor learning and education in 1926  Hill End, Eynsham Road, Farmoor.

21st  August – Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum – Dad’s Army inspected by Brig Inshaw DL

23rd August – Parish Meeting in Islip

24th August – Regents Park London to see Jesus Christ Super Star

25th August – 30th August – Winchelsea and Rye –Rye Jazz Festival



30th August – 31st August with army friends in Sussex

1st September – Thrupp village meeting to discuss traffic and parking.

6th September – Bicester Town Council

                               Arncott PC

8th September Seniors Forum Bodicote House

Horton cum Studley PC

Charlton PC

13th September – Islip PC (too late!)

                               ESU School Leavers Awards



14th September ESU Committee

16th September – Blue Plaque unveiling

17th September – Concert Dorchester Abbey Brahms Requiem

18th September – Cadet Challenge St George’s Barracks

19th September – Merton Parish Council

20th September – Piddington Parish Council

                               ESU Ditchley Park Visit

21st September – OCC Performance Scrutiny Committee

22nd September – Health Meeting Kassam Stadium

23rd September School Transport Appeals

26th September – VCH Trust meeting

29th September – VCH Volume 18 book launch Rycote Park


30th September – Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

2nd October private lunch party

3rd October – DFAS Mathematical Institute

4th October Bicester area Transport meeting and area locality meeting

5th October – Oxfordshire Provincial Grand Lodge

-          Blue Plaque Board – Oxford Town Hall

6th October – Wendlebury Parish Council8th October Dinner Party Paddock Cottage

7th October Royal Albert Hall concert

10th October – Oxford Buildings Trust Trustees meeting

11th October Islip PC

                               OCC Election selection board

12th October – Appeals Panel County Hall

14th October – Business Rates seminar County Hall

17th October Graven Hill Directors Partnering Board

Cherwell DC Full Council

18th October – A34 review County Hall

19th October – Blue Plaque unveiling.

                To Berlin and Potsdam

The German Parliament building roof where mirrors reflect the light down into the chamber.


Platform 17 (Gleis 17) at Gunewald Station in Berlin where the Jews were loaded on trains for the death camps from 1941 -45.

24th October – Return

25th October ESU Rhodes Scholars Reception – Oriel College

ESU Committee Members with the High Sheriff (Sara Taylor) in the Champney’s Room, Oriel College

27th October – Pensions Committee

-          OCC Group Meeting

28th October – London

29th October – see Amadeus at National Theatre

31st October – Cardiologist appointment

                Cherwell Councillor Forum

1st November OCC Full Council

                               Arncott PC

2nd November JR Liaison Hub

                CDC Group Meeting

                Otmoor Archaeological & Historical Society

3rd November – Schools Firework Poster Competition County Hall

4th  6th November – friends staying

7th -November – Churchill Lodge

8th - November - CDC Full Council

                               Thrupp PC

                               Reserve and Cadets Awards at Pembroke College

9th November – Audit and Governance Committee County Hall

10th November – OCC Group meeting

                               Horton cum Studley Parish Council

12th November – SE Bicester Ring Road consultation

14th November – OCC Appeals Panel

16th November – Piddington PC

17th November – Health Overview Scrutiny Committee

21st November – ESU Committee

22nd November Merton PC

23rd November – Swalcliffe Barn visit with Oxford Buildings Trust

24th November Graven Hill Directors

                               Dinner Leander Club Henley

25th November – National Carers Rights Day Kassam Stadium

26th November – London to see Peter Pan at the National Theatre


27th November – ESU Thanksgiving Lunch at Studley Wood Golf Club

2nd -4th December friends staying for early Christmas get-together.

5th December – Churchill Lodge

6th December – Victoria County History lecture and reception

7th December – Otmoor Archaeological & Historical Society

8th December – visit to army at Bicester Garrison

8-11th December Charlotte aged 2 staying

 12th December – ESU AGM London

                               SERFCA Meeting

13th December OCC Full Council

                               Appeals Committee

14th December Audit & Governance Committee

16th December Graven Hill Village Directors lunch

19th December Cherwell DC Full Council

20th December – supper party with friends

21st December – OCC Leaders Drinks party

28th November – Cherwell DC Group Meeting

-          SOCA Executive Council meeting


-          CDC Group Meeting


Computer hard disk fails so have lost December diary


27th December fly to Seattle

January Seattle, Sydney Australia, New Zealand (both Islands)


14th February return to UK

15th February Oxfordshire County Council Full Council meeting