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Waterstock Notes - March 2024

by Keith Ashby

The main news which has been affecting us all in February was the closure of the Ickford Road in Tiddington adjacent the Fox & Goat by Thames Water, which significantly increased the amount of traffic coming through the village to access the Ickford Road houses , Ickford itself and beyond.

This has caused severe damage to the roadside grass verges particularly between Home Farm and the Ickford Turn and noticeably between the church and the Pump House. Trying to take a stroll along the roads was a challenge involving having to regularly jump onto what was left of the grass verges to avoid being run down or splattered with mud.

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The situation wasn’t helped with the advent of prolonged rain resulting in flooding of the roads around Shabbington and Worminghall rendering alternative routes unavailable, which in turn meant even more traffic coming through the village.

Apparently at least one car had to be taken away by a tow truck having burst a tyre in a pot hole in the village and on another occasion a lorry driver having successfully negotiated Ickford Bridges tried to come down the lane to Waterstock but got stuck on a muddy verge attempting to avoid oncoming traffic. He was rescued by Richard Ilbury from Draycott with a tractor and with some hassle turned around and sent back the way he had come.

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Some effort had been made to contact both Thames Water and Oxfordshire Highways Department and at the time of writing this article the former had agreed to come out and inspect the roads to see what could be done to alleviate the problem. Work was due to be completed in Tiddington by the 16th March so one hopes that when you read this things will have got back to normal.

At the end of the day it is a public road so there is little we can do to stop this sort of thing happening but I wonder how much of that extra traffic adhered to the 20mph speed limit.

On a lighter note, Sini has asked me to include the following request:

As some of you might already know, there is a small group of villagers who are taking turns to open and close the church so anyone can visit it during the day. There are many walkers and cyclists who like to have a look inside and of course it is nice for us in the village to be able to access it freely.

We have a weekly rota and currently there are ten of us on a schedule which means each of us has approximately 5 weeks in a year. Although we are more than happy to participate in the rota in order to keep the church open, it would be great if we had more volunteers to reduce the number of weeks allocated to each of us.

Please, if anyone is willing and able, even if it is only one or two weeks in the year, let me know either via email,, or text/whatsapp on 07710380 632. The rota is very flexible and if we cannot do one specific day or one of our original weeks there is always someone who is happy to cover or exchange. We have a quick communication system in place via our 'Church Key Rota' Whatsapp group.

Whilst on the subject of the church Carole is compiling the churchyard mowing rota for the coming season and would like to thank all those who volunteered last year and remind you that there are still some spaces going for this years rota.