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Waterstock Notes - June 2023

by Henry Manisty

Where else to start but with the wonderful news that Sini Haines and John Getty have decided they like each other so much that it’s time to tie the knot. Their marriage will take place on 1st July at the Oxford Register Office, attended by their five children and families, including eight grandchildren. Rather than
trying to park in town, the happy couple and guests will catch the Park & Ride which stops outside the Register Office. The party will then return to a private celebratory lunch in the garden of the Old School House prepared by Debbie, who was once chef at the Waterstock equestrian centre and now runs the
Oxford Hog Roast Company. Thankfully, Waterstock will remain the couple’s main residence, with Sini explaining “I love Waterstock where I have lived for 36 years and luckily John loves it too and feels very much part of it! “. We wish Sini and John many years of happiness together.

Intensive wedding planning has not prevented Sini from leading the CPR training, where the first well-attended session took place on 12th May in Tiddington Village Hall. A second one took place on 2nd June .

The CPR training follows on from the recent installation of a defibrillator attached to the Thames Water Pumping Station in the centre of the village, just outside Well Cottage. It is registered with the 999 emergency services – so should anyone need access please call them immediately you have someone
unconscious who may need it. Our defibrillator is a fully automatic version, so is simple to use, but the 999 operator will talk you through how to use it. There is a short note inside the case, which tells you what to do in the event of an emergency.

Big thanks are due to Susie, Janet and the other trustees of the Ambrose Bennet Trust
as well as The National Lottery which donated the funding for the defibrillator, and also to Thames Water who allowed the box to be attached to their pumping station box, paying the electricity costs and carrying out connection and installation. Individual thanks to the Thames Water personnel
who gave up their time to make this happen: Maisie Banks, Chris Hatton, and Lee
Singleton. And huge thanks too to Lorna and Sini for driving the project.

A Parish Meeting was held in the Church on 9th May where the current chair and committee were re-elected. Among points raised was a plea from Rob Arthur for new content to refresh the Waterstock website. And although no one can ever quite replace Linda Martin in the role, Keith Stubbs did his level best with a clear and succinct presentation of the parish accounts—thank you Keith for taking this on.
Also touched on at the Parish Meeting was the threat to develop the Waterstock Golf Course site. SODC’s welcome rejection of the developer’s request late last year to dispense with the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment to accompany its planning application, has prompted a spate of new surveys covering traffic movements, site drainage, noise levels and Great Crested Newts in ponds. These
follow on from earlier surveys on archaeology, birds, reptiles and dormice. Parishioners were asked to report any surveying activity they see.

Unfortunately,we must expect a Planning Application soon.

More cheering news from our two participants in Oxfordshire Art weeks. Helen MacRitchie reports keen interest in her hand felted and embroidered bags and framed felted artworks, all using natural dyes foraged around Waterstock. She is still trying to work out the reason for the unexplained drop off of visitors on Saturday May 6th. Jane Hanson says “it was a hectic few day with people loving my completely overrun weed-filled garden - thank heavens for cow parsley which makes a magnificent show! The moths like it. One visitor said I had a rare coloured Honesty and I should save the seed. Sold a few pots as well.”

The most exciting wildlife news at the Mill is that, for the first time, we have two goosander broods. Waterstock remains the only recorded Oxfordshire breeding area for goosanders.

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And finally, two requests:

1.Waterperry House is hosting another two weeks of sublime opera between 6th-20th August. The organisers are looking for additional accommodation to house the singers and musicians. If anyone is able offer a bedroom or two at that time, could they kindly contact Guy Withers at

2. Anyone for Tennis? The tennis regulars of Gill Spencer, Rodney Portman and Sara
and Henry Manisty are sometimes away, and we are in desperate need of
reinforcements. So, if you would like to play, please contact Rodney at