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Waterstock Notes - April 2024

by Keith Stubbs

The wet weather the past month has been atrocious. This, combined with heavy traffic diverted through our village following the road closure at the Ickford/Tiddington junction, has caused large (and some quite dangerous) potholes to develop and left the grass verges badly damaged. Thanks to those that have taken time to lodge these with ‘Fix My Street’ on the Oxfordshire County Council website; we wait to see how long it might take for the council to act.

Rob Arthur informs me that some landowners with land upstream of Waterstock have received letters from the Environment Agency about the Thames Valley Flood Scheme, a project to reduce the flood risk throughout the Thames Valley. The Waterstock area is one of 17 sites being considered for flood storage. Over the next two years the Environment Agency will evaluate the suitability of these sites and plans to engage with local landowners and groups to seek their input and local knowledge. If you want to read more about this scheme, please visit:

In late February, the Arthurs along with John & Sini travelled up to Edinburgh; while the boys went to the Calcutta Cup rugby match at Murrayfield (don’t worry, I won’t remind people the score!), Lorna and Sini visited Linda Martin who moved to Duncrievie from Waterstock just over a year ago. She lives 30 miles further north with amazing views from her house over the countryside and hills. Lorna reports that she is very happy with family close by but misses us all (especially the Talbots) and, with two spare bedrooms, would love to see anyone if they are coming North!

In other news, Caroline from Home Barn Farm reports, “I’ve been wondering why I’ve been getting so much damaged post recently and been blaming pesky rodents. So I was delighted to walk quietly up to my post-box and see a cheeky Blue Tit pecking at the opening. I was hoping she was collecting scraps of bills or bank statements but imagine my surprise to see that my edition of the village newsletter had been ravaged! Usually I am an avid reader of the Waterstock news but it seems so is the Blue Tit. I rather like the idea of Blue Tit chicks starting life in a soft nest of village news!”

And finally, this year in September, I will take part in a four-day, 500km cycle ride from London to Paris, whilst raising important funds for an incredible charity, Myeloma UK. This organization is dedicated to supporting those affected by myeloma, an incurable blood cancer that develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow.

Having spent the last five years working to bring new medicines to patients with myeloma, I feel privileged to be part of this cause. What makes this experience even more remarkable is that many of my fellow cyclists will be individuals who are living with this condition. It will undoubtedly be a humbling and inspiring experience to share this journey with them.

I am not a cyclist. In fact, it will be a completely new challenge for me having not previously owned a bike. However, this opportunity gives me the perfect excuse to join the ranks of the Mamils, or "Middle-aged Men in Lycra." So if you happen to spot me diligently training and racking up the miles, please forgive the sight! I will keep you all updated on my progress, and once I have organized a fundraising page, I would be incredibly grateful if you would support my efforts. Every contribution (no matter how small) will make a difference in advancing the cause and supporting those affected by myeloma. Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you in advance for your support!