Cultural discovery at Cornerstone Arts Centre

Round & About


Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot, unveils a summer of self-discovery and cultural revelations with its latest exhibitions

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All summer long there’s the chance to immerse yourself in a tapestry of artistic expressions, delving into themes of self-discovery, social commentary, and community heritage.

You may be lucky enough to catch the closing few days of Eden Silver-Myer’s Befriending My Brain. A vibrant display of colours and textures, Eden invites viewers to delve into the depths of neurodiversity and personal acceptance. “Befriending my Brain is,” Eden says, “about feeling like I finally have started to understand my mind after 33 years of feeling like a square peg in round hole after round hole.”

Among the exhibitions not to be missed is Shouting Quietly by Clive Wright, featuring over 500 captivating paintings. From 5th June to 27th July, Wright presents a curated selection that delves into the complexities of human existence, exploring everyday encounters and global phenomena. Each canvas resonates with layers of meaning, inviting viewers to decipher the hidden narratives beneath the surface.


He often paints up to half a dozen pictures on a common theme. Here, single pictures have been selected to represent groups of related canvases.

The ordinary events that he sees often become the subject of Clives’ work, such as people that he has observed in a coffee shop, or someone receiving a covid jab.

Didcot Dairy Story, curated by Dr Leah Hewerdine and Ruby Livesey, is at Cornerstone from 31st July to 31st August and is a must-see for anyone interested in Didcot’s history. This exhibition showcases the legacy of the iconic Didcot Dairy through an engaging display of artefacts, photographs, and cherished memories.

Visitors can soak up the nostalgia while supporting Sobell House Hospice and other local causes as part of this exhibition. If you have a Didcot Dairy Story to share, or would like to support the project, don’t bottle it up! Please do get in touch with the team via email at: [email protected]

from intimate reflections to thought-provoking narratives, each exhibition promises to inspire, enlighten, and enrich the summer season at Cornerstone.

The gallery area is free for all visitors to view at the centre during its opening hours.

Cllr Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing at South Oxfordshire District Council said: “I love that we can display these exhibitions for free to the public and they can experience such a wide range of art and artists at Cornerstone.

“I’d encourage anyone coming along to Cornerstone whether it’s to see a show or to enjoy some refreshments at Café Nourish to pop into the gallery and view the art on display this summer.”


Learn more about the topics discussed in this article. Read on…


Neurodiversity and Personal Acceptance

Eden Silver-Myer’s “Befriending My Brain”

Neurodiversity refers to the concept that neurological differences are to be recognised and respected as any other human variation. This includes conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other cognitive differences.

Art Therapy is a therapeutic technique rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being. This exhibition aligns with such therapeutic practices, using art to explore and understand personal cognitive experiences.

Personal Acceptance in the context of neurodiversity emphasises the journey towards self-understanding and embracing one’s unique neurological makeup. This is crucial for mental health and well-being, often discussed in psychological and social frameworks.

Human Existence and Everyday Encounters

Clive Wright’s “Shouting Quietly”

Social Realism in Art is a genre that focuses on depicting everyday activities and experiences, often with a focus on the working class and the ordinary events of daily life. Wright’s work resonates with this genre by capturing mundane yet significant moments.

Global Phenomena through Art involve artists interpreting and reflecting on global issues such as pandemics, climate change, and social justice movements. Wright’s inclusion of themes like COVID-19 vaccinations ties local experiences to broader global contexts.

Narrative Art involves artworks that tell a story, inviting viewers to delve into the narrative layers. Each of Wright’s paintings, as described, has hidden stories that viewers are encouraged to uncover, making the viewing experience interactive and reflective.

Community Heritage and Local History

Didcot Dairy Story

Community Curated Exhibitions involve members of the community in the curation process, ensuring that local stories and histories are accurately represented. This can enhance community engagement and ownership of cultural heritage.

Local History Projects like the Didcot Dairy Story preserve and celebrate the unique histories of specific locales. These projects often involve collecting oral histories, photographs, and artifacts from community members.

Nostalgia in Heritage Projects taps into the emotional connection people have with their past, fostering a sense of belonging and continuity. The Didcot Dairy Story aims to evoke such nostalgia, linking past and present through shared memories.

Public Art Accessibility

Free Public Art Spaces democratise access to art, allowing individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds to experience and engage with artistic expressions. This aligns with broader cultural policies aimed at inclusivity and community well-being.

Community Well-being through Arts emphasises the role of cultural activities in enhancing the overall quality of life. Engaging with art can provide emotional and mental health benefits, foster social connections, and create a vibrant community atmosphere.

Get in the know..

1. When does Eden Silver-Myer’s “Befriending My Brain” exhibition end?
– The exhibition is available for viewing until the end of its run in the summer. Specific dates are not provided, so it’s recommended to visit soon to catch the closing days.

2. What are the dates for Clive Wright’s “Shouting Quietly” exhibition?
– Clive Wright’s exhibition runs from June 5th to July 27th.

3. How can I contribute to the Didcot Dairy Story exhibition?
– You can share your Didcot Dairy story by emailing the team at [email protected].

4. Is there a cost to view the exhibitions at Cornerstone Arts Centre?
– No, the gallery exhibitions are free for all visitors during opening hours.

5. What is the duration of the Didcot Dairy Story exhibition?
– The Didcot Dairy Story exhibition runs from July 31st to August 31st.

6. What themes are explored in Eden Silver-Myer’s “Befriending My Brain”?
– The exhibition explores themes of neurodiversity and personal acceptance, highlighting the artist’s journey towards understanding her mind.

7. What subjects does Clive Wright focus on in his paintings?
– Clive Wright’s paintings often depict ordinary events such as people in coffee shops and individuals receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as broader global phenomena.

8. How many paintings are featured in Clive Wright’s “Shouting Quietly”?
– The exhibition features over 500 captivating paintings by Clive Wright.

9. What can visitors expect from the Didcot Dairy Story exhibition?
– Visitors can expect to see a collection of artifacts, photographs, and cherished memories showcasing the legacy of the iconic Didcot Dairy.

10. How does Cornerstone Arts Centre support community well-being?
– By offering free public access to a wide range of art and exhibitions, Cornerstone Arts Centre promotes cultural engagement and supports community well-being.

Ask Mastermind9, guru Peter Mols

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Local business hero & dad Peter Mols, named the nationwide Networker of the Year and champion of small businesses, answers some questions to help locals in his community

Q. Hi Mastermind9, I’m struggling to generate new leads for my business. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not out of business and I have some very loyal customers. But with the current rate of inflation, and cost of living, my current clients can’t sustain me. And if things carry on this way, I might have no choice but to completely shut down, or find paid employment to subsidise my income.

I’m working hard; I’m active on social media, I have a newsletter and I’m attending networking events, but I haven’t had a single new client in the last 3 months. My pipeline is dry, and I don’t know what to do. Have you got any advice? Sincerely, AE.

A: Hi AE,

Lack of leads is a really common problem affecting most small business owners. You have to keep feeding the pipeline, and you have to find ways to do this constantly. We think one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is to have only a couple of ways to generate leads. That’s just not enough.

“You have to keep feeding the pipeline”

We would take a closer look at your social media, how often you’re posting, what’s the quality of your content. Are you adding real value to your audience? The same goes for your newsletter. What quality are you offering your readers, and how relevant is your content to them? Are you collecting feedback? These are a few questions you need to ask yourself.

And secondly, if you want to keep your pipeline running, don’t just rely on organic social media posts. Success in 2023 will come down to proactivity.

We’d consider the following:

• Get really clear on your customer avatar (here’s how)
• Creating a top 30 (a list of the 30 companies you’d like to work with)
• Getting a Google business profile and working hard to get lots of testimonials.
• Sending prospects in the post
• Creating downloadable content that speaks to your avatars pains or desires
• Create blog posts with Calls to Action
• Asking for referrals from your best customers
• Advertising in places that your avatar hangs out (ahem… such as Round & About)
• Attending trade shows or business expos.
• Doing more networking

We’re sure that by mixing up the different approaches to lead generation, you’re bound to start attracting some new customers.

We hope that this answers your question and gives you some new ideas or inspiration. Onwards and upwards my friend!

Mastermind9 provides mastermind groups for business owners who want to grow. We bring together groups of diverse and skilled business owners under Non disclosure agreement to create powerful trusting and supportive communities. Visit

Show some love for local business!

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Driving Miss Daisy Didcot, in collaboration with, is encouraging people to support their local businesses for Love Local Day on 14th February

Love Local Day 2023 comes at a time when many small independent high street businesses are under immense pressure due to soaring inflation and energy bills, and reduced consumer spend, so this year it’s more important than ever for people to shop local.

Love Local Day is about sharing the love of all things local. Locals are being invited to nominate their favourite local business online by 14th February 2023 and the winners will receive a gift as a token of appreciation from the community.

Nominations can be made at and the nomination deadline is 14th February. Winners will be announced and receive a special gift on 20th February.

In addition, a £50 ShopAppy voucher is up for grabs for customers who share a picture of their favourite local Didcot spot on social media using hashtags #DIDCOT #LoveLocalDay on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook so get snapping to be in with a chance of winning the prize.

Zororo Mubaya, managing director of Driving Miss Daisy Didcot, said: “We are delighted to be joining in the 2023 Love Local Day campaign as it will give us all a chance to show our love for the many local businesses that provide convenience and services locally for us all to enjoy.”

Dr Jackie Mulligan, Founder of ShopAppy who is leading the national Love Local Day campaign, adds: “It has been a challenging last decade none more so than this last year for our town centres and high streets, but we know there is tremendous love for local businesses in our communities. So we need to champion localism. Nominations will highlight the importance and positive impact these businesses have on the life of our communities and commercial hearts and how critical they are to our social and economic lives.”

For more about Driving Miss Daisy Didcot please visit

A future proofed home

Round & About


As we get older, our housing needs change. The family house can suddenly seem too big and expensive to manage, the stairs that bit trickier, and the efforts we have to go to maintain it all leave us little time or energy to do the things we want to spend time doing.

Downsizing for a better quality of life makes sense but bungalows are scarce and command such premium prices you’re unlikely to free up enough money to enjoy that dream retirement. Then there’s stamp duty, fees, the likelihood you’ll have to spend more money on whatever you buy to make it suitable to grow old in – all this means many end-up staying put.

The specialist developer of contemporary retirement properties, Birchgrove, offers modern and spacious apartments in Kent and Surrey. Each apartment is individually designed to maximise space and light and has the Birchgrove trademark of high-quality finishes so that the apartments are distinctly elegant.

All apartments are specifically designed for people in later life, featuring waist height appliances in the fully fitted kitchens for easy access and en-suite showers. All doors and corridors are wheelchair accessible for freedom of movement.

Residents have access to exclusive onsite amenities such as a restaurant, bar, club room, a communal terrace, exercise studio, landscaped gardens and greenhouse. Regular events and activities programme also contribute to the friendly community lifestyle, and for added peace of mind there is a concierge and 24 hour staff presence.

One thing that will strike you when you visit a Birchgrove retirement community, is how friendly the team are. Because the apartments are not for sale, you’ll find that the Advisors are not trying to sell you anything, rather they are there to help you consider your options and act as a guide for you whilst you make your own choices about how and where you want to live.

If you find yourself needing a little extra assistance, our tailored care support is offered through our homecare specialist partners who can personalise a care package for your individual requirements.

In addition, all apartments are fitted with a digital telecare console to offer residents assistance at the touch of a button. Residents can use the console to contact the concierge desk, look up what they want for dinner, book appointments and connect with their family and friends: as well as a discreet 24/7 emergency call service that can call for immediate assistance if needed.

If you would like to find out more about living at a Birchgrove retirement community, contact the team who will happily talk through the options and tailor something that works to support your individual needs. Call 020 3929 5599 or visit

Tell us your local news here

Valerian Court: A home from home

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Valerian Court is a brand-new purpose-built luxury care home set to open its doors to welcome new residents in summer 2022

Offering the very best in person-centred care, Valerian Court will be offering all-inclusive residential, nursing, dementia and respite care, providing support and companionship when needed around the clock.

The care of the residents is of paramount importance and the dedicated and caring team ensure privacy, dignity and respect whilst fostering independence, confidence and wellness of each of the residents.

This elegant home has been designed with the residents in mind with no attention to detail being missed. From luxury en-suite bedrooms that are beautifully decorated to a café and an array of dining rooms where you can enjoy quality home-cooked nutritious food lovingly prepared by the team of resident chefs.

There are lounges available on every floor of the home that provide a perfect haven for some R&R or why not pop into the library or one of the quiet rooms to catch up on the newspaper or to read your favourite book.

Moving into a care home really does not mean that you have to miss out on all of your favourite things and with a hairdresser on site you never need to miss an appointment. There’s a café to enjoy a cup of tea and slice of homemade cake and we provide a warm welcome for your family and friends to come in and join you and to be a part of the Valerian Court community.

If watching movies is your thing then relax with some popcorn in the cinema room or why not join in with the extensive activities programme that offers arts and crafts sessions, exercise classes, music and entertainment to name just a few of the activities.

With balconies and a rooftop garden you can enjoy the summer whilst doing some gardening or why not sit back and watch the comings and goings of the Didcot community.

Providing a warm and inviting environment for the residents and their families is what the home prides itself on. Come and discover the lifestyle that Valerian Court has to offer by visiting our Marketing Suite which opens on 18th May.

Find out more at Valerian Court Care Home and email [email protected]

Tell us your local news here

Plans for homes at Valley Park

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Taylor Wimpey is inviting Didcot and Harwell residents to see the latest plans for the first phase of new homes at Valley Park during a public exhibition in November.

Valley Park will comprise up to 4,254 new homes, south of the A4130 and west of Great Western Park. The development will include 1,489 affordable homes as well as community facilities including two new primary schools, a Special Education Needs school, shops, sports facilities, playing fields, allotments and open spaces.

Outline planning permission for Valley Park was granted by the Vale of White Horse District Council in July 2021. The first phase, to be known as Primrose at Valley Park, will comprise 293 homes, of which 103 will be classed as affordable housing.

Taylor Wimpey is holding a public exhibition at the District Community Centre at Great Western Park from 12.30pm to 7.30pm on Friday, 12th November. People will be able to see the latest plans for Primrose ahead of the submission of a reserved matters planning application in the new year.

Gary Needham, Land and Planning Manager for Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire, said: “Valley Park is a major development for the Didcot and Harwell area and we are excited to be able to show off our detailed plans for the first phase of new homes, which will be known as Primrose.

“We’ve seen through our neighbouring Great Western Park development, which is almost sold out, that having a range of great facilities on the doorstep creates a brilliant community, and we know that Valley Park will be no different. We’re eager to meet people in person, talk them through our designs for Primrose and give a real feel for what this new development will be like to live on.”

The public exhibition for Primrose at Valley Park will take place in the Apple Room at the District Community Centre, 1 Gentian Mews, Great Western Park, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 6GR, between 2pm and 7pm on Friday 12th November 2021. People can also visit to find out more about the plans and register their interest in a new home.

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Home help

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Didcot’s own Matt Richardson tells Peter Anderson how much he’s looking forward to his show at the Cornerstone – not least because his mum always helps his home gig sell out!

Matt’s first tour at the tender age of 21 was called Hometown Hero, and now he brings his latest tour Imposter to his home town. With this tour, he’s celebrating a decade delighting audiences, both as a stand-up and as a link on many television shows. When I caught up with the lad from Didcot I found, among other things, his mother is still one of his best, and busiest fans.

“I love the show at The Cornerstone whenever I do it,” says Matt. “It’s full of familiar faces and it’s always a lovely sell-out! My mum basically does all the leg work and promotes it to everyone she knows, so it’s a very stress-free show for the promoter!”

What can the audiences look forward to?” It’s loads of new material, about growing up and settling down with some stories about my slightly unusual life on the fringes of the public eye, with one or two of my old routines thrown in from my previous shows as a slight celebration of my decade in the business!”

Feeling he is an imposter as an adult now 28, what’s Matt favourite age? “About 21 or 22. You’ve broken into the world and feel like everything is in front of you and anything is possible, but a lot of the reality hasn’t set in yet. And your parents are still happy to cover your rent once in a while.”

His career has included television work, does the stand-up experience stand him in good stead? “Yes, I really think it does. I’ve done a lot of shows that require dealing with members of the public, and I think years on stage talking to them really sets you up for that. Live TV is such a different beast to stand-up, but I’ve had to make up 10 minutes of a show after the autocue failed and there was nothing to prompt me. The one thing live TV and stand-up have in common are this – when it’s going badly time slows down to a crawl!”

Is there somewhere he would love to perform? “I’d be quite keen to gig in America. I’ve filmed there lots over the years, but I’d be really interested to see how my act goes down with their comedy club audiences. I’ve got a lot of routines I worry are far too UK centric, and I am planning on world domination (once I can sell out Didcot without my mum, of course).”

More info

Matt is performing on Saturday 15th February; visit the Cornerstone website for ticket information.

Business School

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Make money from your passion at Pop-Up Business School in Didcot 

Have you always wanted to start your own business but don’t really know how or what the next steps are? 

Help is at hand at a Pop-Up Business School in Didcot next week when you’ll be able to get advice on starting a business with no money, marketing, all the legal stuff and much more. 

The five-day course at the Civic Hall will help new and established businesses get going and to  kick start them in the right way. You don’t need to attend every day but the more workshops you can visit the better, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll get out of it. 

The Pop-Up Business School has been running live events for seven years and shows a new way of thinking and practical ways to get your business off the ground. 

Each day is split into two sessions and the week starts with help on how to start a business for free and the quickest way to do so. Tuesday is all about sales and marketing before website Wednesday teaches you how to build a website for free and setting up online payments. 

Thursday focuses on social media – where are your customers online and using social media to find them before the week ends with a guide to the legal stuff on Friday. 

In addition to the workshops, Pop Up also provides one-to-one support whenever possible and continuing online support to all participants after the event. 

All sessions are free, but places are limited so booking is essential for the course which runs from 27th to 31st January, 10am to 3pm daily except Friday, 10am to 1pm. 

More info...

To find out more and register for your place to make money from your passion visit

Downland Dance open day

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Have you or your little ones ever wanted to be a ballet dancer? Downland Dance are giving you the opportunity to try out a ballet class for FREE during their open day on Saturday, 2nd November.

During the half-term open day, prospective students are invited to attend a FREE ballet class at one of the studios in Abingdon or Didcot. Meet the teachers to learn more about the different classes offered, and ask any questions you may have. You can sign up for sessions for girls and boys aged 3 to 6 or for the Adult Beginners class (Didcot only).

The free open day classes for boys and girls aged 3-6 are at West Wing Studio, Coxeter House, Abingdon and Didcot Girls School, Manor Crescent from 9am to 9.45am. There is also an adult beginners class (ages 14 upwards) from 10am to 11am in Didcot.

Downland Dance was founded in 1977 and offers a range of ballet classes for children and adults and whether you want to take it for fun and exercise or with a view to taking Royal Academy of Dance ballet and character exams, it’s a great way to improve your body and mind.

Dance can have a positive lasting effect on your co-ordination, fitness and flexibility; enhance your energy levels, confidence and self-confidence; improve posture to help reduce aches and pains; build strength, stamina nad agility and increase general physical and mental wellness.

Open day places are limited so don’t delay, if you are interested go the website and complete the register form. If you have any questions email [email protected].

And if you miss out on this chance to dance, there is another open day planned for Saturday, 22nd February.

Didcot Food Festival

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Enjoy great food & drink, fantastic cookery demos and magic at this year’s Didcot Food Festival on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October.

Didcot Food Festival, now in its fourth year, has proved so popular that this year the event will cover two days. Held in the Didcot Civic Hall, which offers indoor space for over 50 artisan traders, the Kid’s Kooking Zone, Chef’s Theatre and Vintage Tea Room.

The show opens at 10.30 am on the 26th by the time-travelling magical duo Morgan and West who will combine an act of magic and a love of food. Rhys Morgan says: “Our opening at this year’s Didcot Food Festival will be ‘bafflemint’ mixed with a hint of amazement and a generous dollop of laughter. We can’t give away too much; a good magic trick is like a good joke and ruined if you let the punchline out of the bag too early. So, to enjoy our opening act, you will just have to ensure you are part of the crowd and see what it is all about.”

Other Oxfordshire chefs lined up to amaze the audience with their culinary skills are old favourite Nick Bennett who reached the final of MasterChef The Professionals in 2015. Nick has a way of creating fine dining dishes look so simple, but we all know it takes a lot of technical skill to produce the type of food for which Nick is known for. Other chefs include Joe McCarthy from the award-winning Wychwood Inn at Shipton-under-Wychwood. Joe takes simple ingredients and turns them into memorable and very tasty dishes. John Van Nielerk from the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn in Abingdon which will be showcasing something fishy: the hotel’s restaurant has a Mediterranean influenced menu, but John also adds a hint of South African flavours to his food, drawing on dishes from his homeland. We will also gain an insight into some of the food produced by the chefs at The Circle Hospital in Reading.

For lovers of Thai food, Nawamin Pinpathomrat, the post-graduated research doctor who reached the final of the 2018 MasterChef will be cooking a splendid crab dish inspired by flavours from Thailand combined with Cornish crab.

Organiser of the Chef’s Kitchen, former Great British Bake Off quarter finalist Christine Wallace will give a fun demonstration with Howard Middleton who also appeared in Series 4 of GBBO. Together they will show off their baking skills adding a huge amount of laughter and amusement throughout the whole demonstration. Ali Imdad who was on the programme with Christine and Howard will also be showing how he is influenced by flavours from his travels and his culture.

Former That’s Life presenter and now BBC Radio Berkshire presenter Bill Buckley will show his love of cooking once more. Also new for this year will be two masterclasses on butchery skills and chocolate making. Radio presenter Al Ryan will be Master of Ceremonies.


Excited to get cooking? Check out our recipes and get in the foodie spirit