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 www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/new-homes/didcot/valley-park to find out more about the plans and register their interest in a new home.

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Salisbury Cathedral: Threads Through Creation

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Threads Through Creation. Photographer: Ash Mills

Creating the world in eight million stitches… On Tuesday 17 August Threads Through Creation, a magnificent embroidery display created by textile artist Jacqui Parkinson will go on show at Salisbury Cathedral. Twelve enormous panels, some 8ft by 11ft, will be displayed in the medieval interior until 26 September.  

The exhibition took Jacqui Parkinson three years to prepare – a vibrant combination of eight million stitches and layers of silk, using quilting, applique, and specially dyed fabric to tell stories from the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.  

Jacqui’s magnificent re-creation of the Creation story features all the familiar figures and animals from the serpent in the garden of Eden, to Adam and Eve, who were asked to leave the garden because they ate the forbidden apple. Each work is accompanied by a reading from the relevant excerpt of the bible, accessible by QR code. A visual and poetic feast that is not to be missed. 

Threads Through Creation comes free with Cathedral entrance, which can be booked by individuals online – or if you are coming with a group contact either   or phone 01722 512156. 

Supporting the exhibition are a special Children’s Trail and family weaving workshops in the Cloisters. The workshops can be tailored to suit all ages, and children can choose which design they want to make from a range including flowers, turtles and butterflies. Workshop tables cost £6 with space for six (must include one adult) and the sessions run hourly from 10am-2pm (finishing at 3pm) on Wednesday 18 August and Wednesday 25 August. 

Threads Through Creation. Photographer: Ash Mills

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UCA photography

Karen Neville

exhibition

Photo in image: From the series La Frontera © Harriet Brookes

Students from the University for the Creative Arts are showcasing some of their work in the latest exhibition at The Lightbox. 

UCA in Farnham has a reputation for educating some of the most innovative photographers of the time and the exhibition will offer visitors an opportunity to explore their work.

The students have captured a variety of themes in their photography to explore contemporary issues, some of which are deeply personal.

Among those whose work is on show include documentary photographer Harriet Brookes whose project La Frontera examines the problems faced by people in Gibraltar during the Brexit negotiations.

Using a series of black and white portraits, Sian Hayden’s photography engages with the uncanny and the male gaze while Neve Marinou explores issues surrounding harassment and the Me Too movement.

UCA Farnham MFA Photography Show is on at The Lightbox, Woking, until 2nd February. Entry to the exhibition is free.

More info

Wallingford Art Club

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With the dark nights here, Wallingford Art Club’s November demonstration evening is very appropriate.

Melanie Cambridge’s demonstration on 19th November (7.30pm) titled Capturing Night Scenes uses oils and will offer some invaluable hints and tips.
A future date to put in your diary is the club’s Christmas Exhibition on 30th November and 1st December which coincides with Wallingford Christmas Festival and the Santa Dash.

This is always great fun and a chance to buy original art for presents, or treat yourself, all at reasonable prices. The venue will be in the centre of town, so look out for our posters and notices in November. The exhibition will be open 10am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 4.30pm on Sunday.
IN addition to all the extra events, Tuesday morning fee paying tutored classes continue and these are proving very popular, the afternoon classes have finished for now but will start again with a new tutor in December/January, more details to follow.

The Tuesday evening club painting sessions start as usual at 7.30pm. If you would like to paint or draw then go along and join them.

Non members are very welcome to attend these evenings and the demonstrators for a cost of £3. We cover all mediums throughout the year so there is always a subject to tempt you, or perhaps to try something new.

All events apart from the exhibitions are held at Centre 70, Kinecroft, Goldsmith Lane, Wallingford.

More info

Further information can be obtained on the website Wallingford Art Club or call David on 01491 681400.

SOFO exhibition

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Photo: Laurie Weeden Glider Pilot Regiment

Honouring and remembering at new Second World War exhibition at Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum

As Remembrance nears, there’s a very timely new exhibition of photographic portraits on display at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock.

The exhibition, titled 3945 Portraits, is the work of award-winning photographer Glyn Dewis and features portraits of Second World War veterans.

Glyn is leading an ongoing project to photograph Second World War veterans from all branches of the armed forces, and from a wide range of different regiments and corps, including the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

The portraits are on display until 5th January alongside recorded interviews with the featured veterans, recounting their wartime experiences, as well as a number of drawings produced by children as a ‘thank you’ to them.

The project, and the exhibition itself, is designed to “remember, honour and educate”. Glyn said he intends to “honour and remember our surviving World War Two veterans by photographing as many of them as possible in order to provide both them and their families with classic, timeless portraits they treasure and can remain in their families for generations to come” and “to sensitively educate the current and future younger generations about the events of World War Two and of those who served, survived and were lost”.

The exhibition opened on Saturday, 19th October with a number of the featured veterans present, and a surprise medal presentation for one of them. Two members of the Glider Pilot Regiment who were good friends during their service but had not seen each other since the end of the war, were also reunited during the launch, having both had their portraits taken by Glyn.

Glyn will also be running two 3945 Portraits project workshops on the 9th November and 7th December between 11am and 2pm. These will demonstrate how the portraits were taken using minimal kit and often in very limited space, showing how we can all create classic portraits without the need for all the latest and greatest equipment. Spaces can be booked on the SOFO Museum website.

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum is open from Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 11am-5pm and Sunday 2pm-5pm. The county’s only military history museum is located in the grounds of the Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock.

For information

To find out about visiting the museum head to SOFO and for details about the portraits project, click below

Animals exhibition

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An exciting new exhibition has launched at Reading Museum offering an extraordinary glimpse of art work inspired by the animal kingdom.

ANIMAL: World Art Journeys delivers a visual treat inspired by the animal world, from lobsters and lions, to donkeys with dragons, and fabulous birds & beasties!

The free exhibition runs until 18th April 2020 in the John Madejski Art Gallery.

Drawn from across the collections of Reading Museum, the Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL) and Reading people, this is a show with something for everyone – from families to art lovers alike.

Visitors will be able to journey through time and around the world, where great art meets great craft. See how artists have transformed the animal world into stunning stylised forms such as Peruvian weavings and Javanese batiks. Enjoy the work of artists from as far afield as ancient Egypt or 19th century Asia to contemporary Britain.

Star objects include a breath-taking 19th Century Chinese court robe and the acclaimed 19th Century artist Charles Burton Barbar’s stunning Gelert – which illustrates the legendary story of the faithful dog who protected the Welsh King Llywelyn’s infant son from a wolf.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an exciting activity and events programme including an ‘animal’ themed half term for children at Reading Museum, as well as talks and events at The MERL. There may even be animals who escape into the town…

More info

Find out more at Reading Museum or

Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s lead member for culture, heritage and recreation, said: “The exhibition offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy art from both Reading Museum and The MERL’s collections.

“There will also be lots of animal themed fun activities available for children over the half term to look forward to, as well as lots of interactive activities in the exhibition itself.

“We are delighted to be drawing on the strength of combined collections and shared expertise to showcase a very special exhibition in the town centre.”

Kate Arnold-Forster, director of the Museum of English Rural Life said: “This is the second exhibition supported by Museums Partnership Reading  where Arts Council England is helping create exciting new collaborative programming for our visitors.”

Interiors: Decorex

Liz Nicholls

exhibition

Liz Nicholls looks forward to another Decorex International at Kensington’s Olympia London between 6th and 9th October…

Lush forest green tones, warm metal accents and a fresh, geometric take on more than 50 shades of grey….

These are just some of the home trends of note visitors can absorb at this year’s Decorex International. If you’ve never been, and love interiors, I recommend you visit – it’s like a giant, interactive Pinterest board, all abuzz with creative people and interiors ideas.

You can gain insight into the craft behind a piece of bespoke furniture or decoration as designers transform areas of the show floor into live workshops. In the Future Heritage zone, talented young names in British craft are given a platform to distill their aesthetic into a finished piece of fine craft.

Europe’s leading event for interior design professionals, Decorex has taken place in and around London every year since 1978.

One of the local creatives who exhibited last year (and provided the awesome inspo for my under-the-sea themed bathroom redseign!) is Chelsea-based contemporary fabric and home accessory designer Sarah Fortescue. Read Sarah’s blog and admire her gorgeous wares.

The leading designer and producer of Portuguese tapestry rugs in the UK, Putney-based Atlantico Rugs will return to show their new collection of elegant designs complementing current styles, trends and colours.

And Pooky, based in the kooky design quarter of Lots Road, is sure to bring a stand that will be another wonderland of colour & creative use of light.

Anyone who’s peeked inside the Fiona McDonald showroom in Fulham will be impressed by the custom-made bespoke furniture, lighting, mirrors and seating. Visit her stand for more inspiration on this stylish midcentury vibe!

Decorex

Follow @Decorex_Intl and visit Decorex for tickets, details and updates.

Full of pride

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There’s extra reason to take pride in the Royal Borough as The Lions of Windsor & Maidenhead 2019 sculptures go on display for the next three months.

The public art event will feature a giant pride of super-sized lions displayed from 10th August to 27th October to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and raise funds for local charities.

The colourful individual lions are sponsored by a range of businesses and organisations and have been decorated by leading artists, designers and illustrators. There’s also a mini pride of lion cubs which have been decorated by schools across the area.

The display also has a serious message with the aim of highlighting the plight of lions, which have become endangered with only 15,000 left in the wild.

The pride will go on show on the streets of Windsor, Eton, Ascot, Datchet, Maidenhead and beyond for the duration before being auctioned off for charity.

You’ll be able to ‘go on safari’ and follow the lion trail with maps available from the start of August and take a tour of the borough visiting the noble beasts on the streets.

The lions were created by sculptor Alan Dun who had previously created the Lions of Bath in 2010 and last year’s Owls of Bath.

Having shaped and moulded the original lion, a fibreglass mould was made to create the prototype from which the pride was born.
He also sculpted the lion cub to be decorated by schools, charities and community groups to then display on the trail.

Once the lions are taken off display they will be restored by the artists and then gathered together for one last roar goodbye on 9th and 10th November before the charity auction on 21st November.

All proceeds from the auction will go to local charities – Thames Hospice which provides care for people with life-limiting illnesses in East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire; Windsor Lions Club which helps a wide range of people and organisations in the community; Look Good Feel Better equips people to face cancer with confidence and wildlife charity Tusk.

Lions represent nobility, royalty, strength and stateliness so are the perfect choice for the Royal Borough and to raise awareness of their decline – over the past 50 years, the number of wild lions in Africa have fallen from 200,000 to less than 15,000. Tusk, which is working to highlight the decrease in numbers, has declared 2019 to be the Year of the Lion.

Find out more

Visit the Lions of Windsor site

Normandy 75

Karen Neville

exhibition

A new exhibition marking the 75th anniversary of the Normandy campaign telling the courageous stories of soldiers who fought there and during D-Day, opens today.

Normandy 75: Oxfordshire to the Orne will go on display at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum until 3rd November and will combine a travelling exhibition from the National Army Museum with stories staff at the museum have gathered from around Oxfordshire.

The stories will be told through objects, a map of key locations, quotes from Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire born soldiers who served on D-Day and beyond.

Soldiers from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry were among the first to set foot in Normandy on 6th June 1944 and were instrumental in the capture of Pegasus Bridge in the early hours, before the beach landings.

Visitors can sit inside a life-size reproduction of a Horsa Gilder’s compartment and listen to recorded interviews with D-Day veterans.

The museum’s collections manager Peggy Ainsworth said: “In addition to our own regimental stories, we wanted to use this exhibition as a way to represent the local soldiers who contributed to the Normandy campaign.

“There have been many fascinating stories coming in from the public, which we will be telling through artefacts from our collection and information gained thorough our Stories of Conflict and County campaign launched last year.”

The exhibition of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in the grounds of the Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, will end with a special collecting day on 2nd November. The We’ll Meet Again collections day will encourage the public to bring objects to the museum and tell their stories of Oxfordshire from the Second World War to the 1970s. Items donated or loaned will be used to form the Second World War and Reminiscence displays.

Exhibition

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum is open from Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 11am-5pm and Sunday 2pm-5pm.

For more information

Henley Arts Trail

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How many of the 300 exhibitors will you see and enjoy around Henley?

This year’s Henley Arts Trail is the biggest to date with almost 300 artists and makers at 33 venues covering an area of 50 square miles of countryside.

Taking place over the May bank holiday weekend, 4th to 6th, the trail showcases the vibrant visual arts and crafts scene around Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

The trail attracts around 10,000 visitors across the region taking in Bix, Twyford, Shiplake, Sonning, Hurst and Waltham St Lawrence with work displayed in studios, garden sheds, garages and village halls.

Such is the variety of work in the trail that life-size sculptures sit alongside delicate jewellery and abstract paintings nestle next to detailed nature art.

Many of the venues are dotted in villages along the Thames, offering a great opportunity to enjoy some splendid countryside at the same time. However many venues you are visiting it couldn’t be easier with the help of a map you can download from the website or pick up a leaflet from libraries or in village newsletters.

Organiser, Jo Keiller, says: “The standard of work on show is exceptional. Where else can you see the work of an artist who exhibits internationally, alongside emerging talent taking part in their first show? Talent is often hidden in spare rooms and garages, so the trail gives artists the chance to connect with the public and the public to discover new and exciting makers.”

Many venues offer refreshments and some boast demonstrations or workshops for visitors to get fully immersed in the art trail experience.

Find out more and see the map on the Henley Arts Trail site