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Waterstock Notes - January 2024

by Helen MacRitchie

I hope this finds you well rested during the Christmas break, refreshed and ready
to begin 2024 with gusto.

Christmas was almost upon us as I wrote this - an abundance of Amazon vehicles, the odd tinsel-clad truck and even the ‘customary’ Thames Water van driving through the village - keeping to our 20mph limit, of course. Thankfully there has been no rendition of Wham’s Last Christmas blaring, just traditional carols as we came together at St Leonard’s for our carol service on Dec 17th. Christmas gifts were presented to Carole Tyce and Sara Manisty for keeping the church cleaned and decorated, and to
Edward for keeping us musically enriched. This writer would also like to acknowledge the additional entertainmentsupplied by younger congregation members, Joss and Bobby, during the service. I would say that Ken was itching for a cuddle but that might be taken the wrong way!

The service was followed by the village ‘bring and share’ supper, ably and generously hosted by Stephen and Janet Shipperley at Home Farm. Our thanks go to you both for making us allso welcome once again.

Earlier in November, Stephen stepped in for Susie Edmondson, making the door to door collections for this year’s poppy appeal. He braved the rain brought by Storm Ciarán that week for which Susie was most grateful. She received official notification from the local British Legion representative that Waterstock raised a whopping £510.20 towards the poppy appeal.

Jane Hanson and Helen MacRitchie were exhibiting their pots and felted textiles respectively, at the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock recently. This was as part of the Oxfordshire Craft Guild Christmas sale held during Dec, and their thanks go to customers in the village who supported them during a particularly busy exhibition. If you missed them in Woodstock (what?!) they’d love to welcome you during May Artweeks in Waterstock – look out for the signs!

At the risk of falling back on the weather for discussion, it has been a mild December, if a touch damp of course, and the risk of flooding remains a distinct possibility in low lying parts of the village. Geoff Talbot was observed to be reliably on the case, however, clearing the ditches towards Home Farm. With farmers trimming the hedges along this stretch of road, the ditches can become quite clogged leading to their overflow and consequent road flooding. Our thanks go to Geoff for his vigilance.

Despite the rain, the number of walkers through the village has remained quite high. As much as we love to see everyone out enjoying the paths through Waterstock, we ask that you please be mindful of clearing up after your dogs, particularly around buildings such as the church.