TWO vicars from churches in Witney went head-to-head in the town’s first tug-of-war match for more than 50 years.

Rev Simon Kirby, from St Mary’s Cogges, and Rev Toby Wright, from St Mary’s Witney, were either side of the Windrush river by Church Lane.

This meant the loser, Mr Kirby, ended up being hoisted into the water, much to the amusement of onlookers.

The overall contest was won by Cogges, thanks to victories in the men’s and mixed team.

That meant a soaking for Mr Wright though too, as the loser had to wade across the river to present the trophy to the winner of the overall contest.

Mr Kirby, 47, said: “I found the trophy which was last presented in 1960, so we’re trying to revive the tradition.

“It was great fun and both churches are committed to doing it again next year so hopefully it will become an annual event.”

Show steams ahead despite rain

Banbury Cake:

  • Willie Tomlins and his son Arnie with their Burrell 8 horse compound from 1913

MORE than 5,000 people turned out despite the wet weather to the West Oxfordshire Steam and Vintage Show in Springhill Farm, Ducklington, last weekend.

Anne Harris, secretary of the Wychwood District Vintage Club which organises the show, said: “It was a bit wet on Saturday but after lunch the crowds came out, and then so many people came on Sunday it made up for the wet weather.

“It’s gone off beautifully, it was a really fantastic show.”

Banbury Cake:

  • Lucy Robey tries out the high striker game

The show had more than 200 engines, including 17 steamers, as well as Morris dancing, children’s games and working exhibits.

Four-year-old Lucy Robey, from Minster Lovell, enjoyed the show, testing her strength at the high striker – strongman – game.

She said: “It was really fun, I liked having my hand stamped and all the games.”

Banbury Cake:

  • Derek Holbrow,  puts his feet up and tackles the crossword during the West Oxfordshire Steam and Vintage Show

Her father Tony said: “She won a little prize of some bubble mix on the game, and she got covered in ice cream later on.”

The lorry driver, 48, added: “We go to all the local shows and things, it was great.”

Time for a good brews story

HUNDREDS of people gathered outside their local newsagent’s to raise a cuppa to their community.

Banbury Cake:

  • Lachhman Singh Daudhar pours a cuppa for Sumitra Bhasin at the community tea party

The tea party was organised by Lachhman Singh Daudhar for the 25th year running.

He has been running Daudhar News in Horspath Road for a quarter of a century and has organised the tea party every year.

The 69-year-old, who lives above his shop, said: “It was very nice and everybody enjoyed themselves.

“I am very glad that people are happy to come and celebrate outside my shop.”

Mr Daudhar said the event, last Friday, was attended by more than 300 people.


FOR some people tea isn’t something they think about much but for Linda Jeffrey it’s serious business.

Banbury Cake:

  • Linda Jeffrey, at back, provides cake for, left to right, Celia Belcher, Tina Slatter and Jane Perella

On Saturday, the Minster Lovell resident held her 10th charity tea to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.

She has been holding the event in St Kenelm’s Hall since 2005 and in that decade has managed to raise £10,000.

This year’s event was attended by more than 100 people and raised £1,308.

The 54-year-old said: “I never thought when I started that I would raise that much money.

Banbury Cake:

  • Linda Jeffrey pours a drink for Lisa Bennett

“I decided I would do it every year and since then it has gone from strength to strength.

“It was only a few weeks ago when I decided to find out how much money I had raised.”