Pantos, parties, bazaars, fairs, fetes and fireworks... That pretty much sums up November’s Ramblings! And so begins the flurry of fun in the run-up to Christmas. You either grab it with both hands and get into the festivity, or you channel Scrooge and his ‘bah humbug’ approach.
Ikeep saying every year that we should flee the country and try to forget about the 25th, but that’s just miserable of me, so you’re going to hear nothing but Christmas cheer from here on in.
Faringdon Dramatic Society presents Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious comedy Living Together, at 7.30pm on the 5th, 6th and 7th in Faringdon Junior School. Living Together is one of a trilogy of plays, The Norman Conquests, set one weekend in a large, shabby family home where three siblings and various spouses come to visit their ailing mother. The scene is set for relationships to be tested and home truths to emerge – all thanks to the unintended presence of amorous assistant librarian Norman. Tickets can be bought in Hare in the Woods, Faringdon or at www.faringdondramatic.org.uk
Faringdon and District Branch of the Royal British Legion are holding their fourth Annual Festival Of Remembrance at All Saints’ Church, Faringdon, on the 6th at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 each and available from the T.I.C. Office, Corn Exchange, Faringdon, or J.Blake – call 01367 242277. The evening will consist of music, singing and readings. All proceeds to the Poppy Appeal.
After the spooky goings-on at Grove Library, the Friends of Grove Library (FROGS) is offering the chance to meet Winnie the Witch and her creator. Korky Paul, the well-known writer and illustrator reveals the inspiring inside story of Winnie on Saturday the 14th at 3pm. Tickets are £2.50 from the library.
East and West Hendred WI will meeton the 19th at 7.30pm at Snell’s Hall, East Hendred, to make Christmas wreaths and decorations. For further information contact Anne Pagett on 01235 797405.
It’s Christmas Artweeks in Great Coxwell this month. On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November, 11am to 5pm, go along to the Reading Room to find beautiful handmade Christmas gifts, decorations, cards, cakes and edible goodies. There will be jewellery, pottery, ceramics, stone carving, hand carved and turned wood, cards and prints, handmade books, homemade hand cream and delicious Christmas cakes, jams, sloe gin and puddings. Coffees, lunches and teas are available all day and profits go to the Reading Room, the Park and St. Giles Church. For more information call Annabelle on 01367 242768 or Facebook ‘Great Coxwell Teas’.
Wantage Orchestra is delighted to present their autumn concert on the 15th at 3pm in Wantage Parish Church. The theme is Dvořák in America and the concert features local young professional musician Chris Terepin playing Dvořák’s cello concerto, and Dvořák’s New World Symphony. Tickets are available from orchestra members, from the Tourist Information Point at the museum in Wantage or from the website www.wantageorchestra.org.uk . Adults £8 in advance/£9 at the door, concessions £6 in advance/£7 at the door. Accompanied children in primary/secondary education free. For more information on the orchestra see www.wantageorchestra.org.uk or www.facebook.com/wantageorch
The next NCT Nearly New Sale is on Saturday 21st at Old Mill Hall, School Lane in Grove. Entry is at 9.45am for NCT members and heavily pregnant, 10am until 11am for all other buyers. There’s usually a huge selection of nearly new nursery equipment, toys, books, videos and DVDs for sale, all at great prices. For further details see www.nct.org.uk/branches/wantage-grove
The U3A’s speaker on Thursday 12th is Derek Pooley who travels quite widely around the Thames Valley U3As. He will be talking about Things you didn’t know you didn’t know about Time. Members are always welcome but visitors are required to pay a fee of £1.50. Further details are available on the website www.faringdondistrictu3a.wordpress.com or from the chairman on 01367 241241.
The Christminster Singers return to All Saints Church, Faringdon, on Sunday the 22nd. Oxfordshire’s West Gallery choir will give a concert of their unrestrained harmony singing, in the style that flourished in country churches in the 18th and 19th century, from 4pm to 6pm. Much of the Christminsters’ music is locally sourced and earlier in the afternoon there will be an opportunity to learn a few Oxfordshire carols in a singing workshop led by Dave Townsend. Dave is leader and musical director of the Christminster Singers and a full-time musician, researcher and collector of traditional music. This will be in the Barber Rooms from 2pm until 3.30pm and tickets include refreshment afterwards.The ability to read music would be helpful, but not essential. Visit www.christminster-singers.org.uk to find out more and listen to some of the music. Both events are in aid of the WATSAN project and tickets are available from Mustard Seed in Faringdon, or online at www.ticketsource.co.uk/christminsters . Tickets for each event are £8.
Retro is a 50s, 60s and 70s cover band and they are playing at Hanney Royal British Legion, Mill Orchard, East Hanney, on Saturday the 21st, from 8.30 pm. Entry costs a fiver.
Wantage Choral Society is performing Handel’s Messiah on Saturday the 21st at 7.30 pm in Wantage Parish Church. This is the first time they have sung this most popular choral work for many years and this is the opportunity for lovers of the work to hear it locally as a performance rather than as a Singalong. The Society will be accompanied by Taya Smith –soprano, Cara Curran – alto, Martin Quinn – tenor, Peter Collins – bass and Richard Moore - organ. Tickets are £12 (£10 if purchased in advance, under 16 free) and can be obtained from the Vale and Downland Museum, members of the choral society, on 01235 798349 or at the concert door). This concert will be followed on 12th December by an evening of Readings and Carols at the Parish Church; a new venture for the society.
Freecycle Live is back at Old Mill Hall in Grove on the 14th, 10am to 11am. Everyone’s welcome to this free event, and goods especially welcome are books, CDs, DVDs, toys, small electricals with CE mark, and small household or gardening items. No clothes/anything to large for one person to carry/toxic/hazardous/broken items please. Large items can advertised on a board at the event. Go along to the website for more details at www.sustainablewantage.org.uk
The RSPB Vale of White Horse Local Group will meet on Monday the l6th at 7.30 pm in Didcot Civic Hall for an illustrated talk entitled The Horn of Africa by Richard Pople. Richard will talk about the wildlife of Ethiopia. As of 2002 there were at least 277 species of mammals and 262 species of birds. Also, on Sunday 22nd November, the group will go on a coach outing to Pulborough Brooks, which has a great variety of habitats including wetlands, woodlands, and heathland. In winter the flooded meadows team with ducks, geese and swans. For more information contact Steve Bastow, group leader, on 07900 213698 or visit www.rspb-vwh.org.uk
The Wantage Wildlife, History and Archaeology Group will meet on Friday the 13th at 7.30pm in The Beacon (Civic Hall) Portway, Wantage for an illustrated talk about Wantage Past and Present by David Castle. Visitors and new members welcome. For more call 01235 751646 or 764258.
On Wednesday, 25th November, Grove Horticultural Society is having a presentation by Mr R Cherry entitled The River Thames from Abingdon to the Thames Barrier. This will be in Grove Village Hall (OX12 7JY) at 8pm. Doors open at 7.45pm. Raffle and Refreshments around 9.15pm. It costs just £3 at the door.
Hagbourne CE Primary School’s long-running craft fair will take place on Sunday the 22nd, from 11am to 3.30pm, offering a unique range of high-quality and hand-crafted gifts for the whole family. With more than 50 stalls – including jewellery, toiletries and handbags, home accessories and artworks, toys and cards – plus a crafts room for the children, this is a lovely event to start the Christmas season. Visit Santa in his grotto, listen to carols from the school choir, and enjoy delicious refreshments, served throughout the day. Entry is £1 for adults and free for children.
AmEgos Theatre’s next production is Michael Frayn’s Noises Off – a rip-roaring, door-sticking, whisky-hiding, trouser-dropping, sardine-chasing comedy. I’m not sure what any of that means, probably best to go along to find out from Wednesday, 2nd December to Saturday the 5th. It’s on at King Alfred’s Academy Theatre in Wantage. Tickets cost from £8 to £12 from www.wegottickets.com/AmEgos or locally from Umami Deli (Wantage) and Hare in the Woods Deli (Faringdon).
The Annual Charities Christmas Card Sale runs until Saturday 14th (excluding Sunday), in the Squires Room, Vale and Downland Museum, 9.30am to 4pm daily. The sale of Christmas cards at the museum has been taking place for about 28 years involving approximately nine charities and co-ordinated by the RNLI.
And a bazaar finish… another opportunity to find Christmas gifts at Fernham Christmas Bazaar in St. John’s Church and Fernham Village Hall on Saturday, 14th, 11am to 3pm. There is free entry and off-street parking, plus an interesting mix of stalls selling country crafts and quality Christmas gifts, including paintings, pottery, collectables and curios, festive treats and tasty eats, Phoenix cards and wrapping paper, woollen items, cosmetics, jewellery cleaning, and lots more.
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA