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Waterstock Notes - October 2023

by Janet Shipperley

As I am starting to write this article, I am just back from a lovely Harvest Festival service, followed by tea and cakes at the Old Rectory. A big thank you to Rosalind and Rodney for hosting it and all those that helped to produce the delicious tea and clear up afterwards.

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Two years since the idea first emerged, and thanks to sponsorship from Thames Water, we recently took delivery of three Waterstock Wildlife Boards. Each one is different and depicts just some of the wildlife
that can be seen near that board. Although you may already have spotted them around the village (one at Mill, one at the Oxfordshire Way footpath near the church and one near the War Memorial), there will be an official unveiling and celebration of the extension of the Designated Waterstock Local Wildlife Site on Friday 17 November between 12 – 1 pm. We hope as many of you as possible can come along as we aim to have several important guests - and perhaps the media too..., there will be same fizz (non-alcoholic and alcoholic) and nibbles.

Big thanks are due to Johnny Powell, John Wilkinson and Henry Manisty our resident bird, butterfly and other flora and fauna watchers and to Shona Heron, who spent many hours designing the original template for the boards and Lorna Arthur, who beat the copy into shape. And last but not least to Andy Peters, Geoff and Michael Talbot who have dug holes and positioned the boards successfully.

I am sure that many fellow Waterstockonians will be interested to know some really fascinating information provided by Rob Arthur relating to the history of apples grown on the land at Riverside House. This includes an orchard, previously belonging to Waterstock House, with several quite old apple trees. Rob reported that some years back, after two of these trees had been lost, that the team from Bernwode Plants in Ludgershall visited and took cuttings from the nine remaining trees to graft to new rootstocks. Over the years a few of these new trees have been replanted, replacing others which have died. On the most recent trip to Bernwode Plants, they said they had all nine of the trees DNA tested, to identify the variety of apple. Some were well known, such as Laxton'sSuperb, but other are less well known - Irish Peach, Norfolk Beefing and Hambledon Deux Ans. In addition, one which will have to be carefully protected, as it is unknown on the DNA database.

Well done to Hannah Kane who has been writing a book called 'The Style Thesaurus'. It has recently been published by Laurence King and now available at Waterstones and all good booksellers! It is a guide to almost 100 different aesthetics and suitable for all genders. She has researched their roots in history and culture as well as contemporary interpretations. Hannah lectures in Fashion Marketing at the London College of Fashion and also teaches fashion journalism, media and creative direction at several other universities.

For those of you that don't know, the stile on the footpath from Waterstock (gravel pits) to Ickford Bridge, which has been dilapidated for years, has now been restored with two steps and a hand post. This is all thanks to the Thame and Wheatley Ramblers.

The annual Ride&Stride event to raise money for Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust by seeking sponsorship for the number of churches you ride or stride around took place on Saturday 9th September. I am pleased to report that Waterstock's elderly entrant, who had offered to visit just one church, Waterperry, beat his own target by 100% by visiting two. Nevertheless his efforts were far outshone by his generous sponsors who contributed the magnificent total of £370 (about £450 with Gift Aid). This is
shared 50:50 between our own church and the Historic Churches Trust, who have themselves helped us financially in our current problems with cracking. Meanwhile, alas, although Waterstock Church was open with big welcome signs for Ride&Striders, no-one came all day. We are a bit too much of a detour I suspect for riders trying to do as many churches as possible in the shortest time.

I have been given an update by Henry Manisty on the current situation in relation to the possible development of Waterstock Golf Course. Henry reported that Emma Bowerman, SODC officer in charge of the Greystoke Application to develop the western section of Waterstock Golf Course, has
informed him that she will be recommending that permission be refused. Greystoke is aware of this and have been given two weeks to provide any additional information to address some of the issues identified (having also told Greystoke that whatever information it provides will not alter her recommendation). She says that the overarching shortcomings in their application simply cannot be addressed by them. Subsequently she reported that Greystoke has provided no further information. Accordingly, she will issue a refusal by the Application's target date of 6 November. This means that it is highly unlikely that her recommendation will not be accepted, which is a wonderful result. A big thank you to everyone who has written to object and/or supported the cause in other ways.

Separately, the Environment Agency has also contacted HenryManisty to clarify that it is on the point of making a written submission objecting to the Application. This will add one further reason for SODC to
refuse the Application.

Hostilities could recommence of course, but this is a wonderful battle won so far. However while all of this is positive, we cannot discount an Appeal or a new modified Application, so we cannot yet rest easy on our laurels!

On a much sadder note, Lars Sederholm, previous owner (with his wife Diana) of Waterstock House and Training Centre, died on Thursday 12th October after a long illness. There are only a few left in the village who remember the Waterstock House Training Centre in its hey-day but it was a highly respected and world renowned horse training facility and the achievements of its owner and founder are many. Former consultant trainer for the British Showjumping Association and involved at the highest level in the training of teams from four nations for the Olympic Games, he has trained international
show jumpers, three day eventers, Grand Prix dressage riders and horses, racehorses and judges. He was an exceptionally talented and respected man and will be greatly missed.

On a lighter note, congratulations to Henry and Sarah Manisty who have a lovely new granddaughter.

Last but not least, a date for your diaries. The Christmas Carol Service will this year be on Sunday 17th December at 5.30pm followed by our usual bring and share buffet style supper at Home Farm.