Easter Holiday closure dates

The Foodbank will be closed on Good Friday (29 March) and Easter Monday (1 April).

Jane’s Walk 2022 – Day 1

Well, here we are again, exactly a year since our last walk from Cheltenham, to Oxford, via Stratford, Northampton Aylesbury, in a big circle. This year we decided to jettison the ad hoc footpaths, often totally overgrown, and the dubious ‘rat run’ B roads, which are highly dangerous. And no endless ploughed fields that are difficult to walk on. This year we have taken the easier option of walking the Thames path.

A bit of me rather misses the adventure of getting lost, facing difficult obstacles and arguing routes with our fellow walkers. I feel this is going to be a bit too easy, but I know in my heart it is the right decision. Tom turned eighty this month, and neither of us are spring chickens! At least it will be difficult to get lost if the river is flowing towards London.

We start off in Cricklade and are joined by our daughter Milly and her lovely dog Koru, who is best friends to Moses. Also, our good friend Charles who has joined us many times in our last two walks. Sure enough, the route is extremely well marked with the acorn sign of the Thames path. We are about 10 miles from the real source of the Thames, and at this stage, the river is small, lined with reeds and Giant Knot Weed and very low due to the lack of rain. We see a very disconsolate swan standing in the middle of the river, with insufficient water to swim in. The countryside is very brown and parched looking. I wonder how the poor farmers are managing to feed their livestock in fields without a single blade of green grass in sight. Autumn is definitely coming early this year; many leaves on the trees are turning brown and dropping off, that way conserving water.

We pass through the pretty village of Castle Eaton, which is holding a scarecrow competition, with a difference. 28 excellently made and highly competitive scarecrows stood outside many of the houses, and there was a competition for children to name them individually. We met a Polish mother with three little girls deeply involved with the task. We were able to help them identify some of our well-known nursery rhymes unknown in their Polish culture. We particularly liked a brilliant ‘Stick Man’, the Queen having tea with Paddington bear and the Iron Lady.
We were joined at our lunch stop by our good friend Anthony and then to our end point at Inglesham. We enjoyed looking around its ancient church, which has retained its box pews, those nearest the altar more enclosed than those at the back. I presume these were mainly used by the smarter and richer members of the community so as not to be seen by the peasantry behind them.

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Patrons: The Rt Revd Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford and The Revd Canon Geoff Baylis, Vicar of St James and St Francis Churches, Oxford