Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Sunday 5th September

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*available until 0600hrs 12/09/10

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Sunday 29th August

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Saturday, 28 August 2010

Saturday August 28

As I move on to pastures new (weekdays 4-7 pm if you haven't heard) we signed off with a show packed full of fun.
Making Waves
We spoke to Jubilee Sailing Trust sailor, David Sage who was setting off for a 100 mile row down the river Thames in order to raise funds for the sailing charity. The five day row is in memory of David's godson, Lieutenant Dougie Dalzell who was sadly killed in combat on his 27th birthday in February this year. Dougie's Sergeant, John Amer, was also killed by another explosion and three other members of Dougie's platoon were badly injured, including loss of limbs as a result of the same explosion.
To sponsor this exciting and worthy challenge please visit:

Engine Cleaning
We also caught up with Steve Atkins who is also doing his bit for charity.
But he's not rowing down the Thames, walking the Ridgeway or swimming the channel. He's cleaning...a TRAIN, well, an engine, at Didcot.
And it's going to take him up to a week...
For more information visit:

Dorchester Crafts
Professional crafts people are showing off their skills at Dorchester Abbey over the next three days.
It follows a very successful event two years ago -- but this one is bigger.
The crafts being featured this year are carving, lettering, building and restoring in stone; woodworking and furniture making; stained glass; lime-wash, plastering and wattle and daub; lead working; blacksmithing; calligraphy; illumination; bookbinding; wall painting and embroidery.
Sue Nixon told listeners all about the event.

Uffington White Horse Show
If you fancy getting out into the countryside tomorrow or on Monday - you might like to visit the Uffington show - which is in its 39th year.
This two day show has lots of new attractions including racing pigs and a lurcher display as well as a vulcan bomber, and their traditional Sunday service, in a picturesque spot.
It's very much a community based event, and money raised goes back into projects for the villages of Uffington, Baulking and Woolstone.
Organisor Mike Thomas joined us to explain all about what's going on.
For more details visit:

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Sunday 22nd August

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Saturday, 14 August 2010

Saturday August 14th

Cropredy weekend
It's Cropredy festival weekend and surprise surprise the rain gathers over the county.
However, the weather hasn't dampened the spirits as a host of performers spoke to us about what it means to perform at the country's premier folk festival.

Get hooked on fishing
Want to try your hand at fly fishing? Then you can get a free lesson today at Farmoor Reservoir.
There's a day of activities, hosted by the Environment Agency in conjunction with Thames Water, Oxfordshire Association of Young People and the Angling Development Board, will allow the whole family to have a go at fly fishing.
It's for complete beginners or for those that already know a thing or two and want to improve their fishing skills.
Environment Agency Fisheries Officer Tom Sherwood joined us to explain all.

If i said Livestock Festival to you -- you might start thinking pigs and sheep.
But no -- the village of Stratton Audley in Bicester has set up its own music festival, which it describes as "putting the boot into boutique".
So it might not atrract a hundred and seventy thousand crowd like Glastonbury -- but it's got some trully international music and a family friendly day tomorrow.
And it's supporting a great charity -- the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Malachy O'Neill is one of the organisers and he told our listeners all about what's happening.

Getting extreme
Carterton will be alive with skating and BMX competitions today .
Their Extreme Wheels day has become an annual party event -- and it's very much organised by local people.
Adrian Coomber helped put the event together and explained all about the event.

With a host of big acts performing at the festival, we scooped up a handful of them to tell us all about their Cropredy experience so far.
Among those we chatted to were Big Feet, Mabon and Ahab.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Sunday 8th August

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Sunday, 1 August 2010

Sunday 1st August

A field fire caused trouble at this years Oxfordshire and Thame County Show. I was there and took the following videos:

No one was hurt, but over 20 cars were caught up in it!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Saturday July 31

Heading to the Oxfordshire County & Thame Show
As Phil and a clutch of BBC Oxford presenters head to the Thame Festival later today - we caught-up with another set of great guests to start your weekend off with.

Last night at the proms
After wowing audiences in Spain, the Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra return to Oxford to play its last concert of the summer.
Tony Mealings Head of Music Service at the County Council, joined us to explain all about the tour and how orchestra will be playing its last concert of the season at Oxford Town Hall tonight.
Super Gran
Having scaled the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square last year, 85-year-old Gwyneth Peddler decided to celebrate her latest birthday by again hitting new heights - this time climbing the rigging of a tall ship.
She told listeners all about her latest endeavours and about planning something out of reach for her next birthday.

Castle scoops green award
A local beauty spot, Wallingford Castle Meadows - and a partnership between South Oxfordshire District Council and local charity, the Northmoor Trust, has scooped the Green Flag Award for the third year running.

Alexis Pim, Director of Land, Learning and Engagement at Northmoor Trust, joined us in the studio to explain how protecting wildlife, excavating and volunteer support helped them continue their award winning success.

For more information visit:

On the trail
The Cherwell Food and Drink Trail, new guides for discovering artisan food producers, farm shops and farmers' markets, is being launched today at the Oxfordshire County & Thame Show today.
Emma Hamer, is the owner of Meadowsweet Farm in Horley near Banbury, which is on the trail,
joined us to explain all about it.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Sunday 25th July

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Get Active Walk Photos

We've started a Flickr group for photo's from our walks. If you come along and take some nice picks, or want to see what it's like, have a look:

Direct link to the Get Active Walk Flickr Group:

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Saturday July 24

Get active, love parks
The breakfast show encourages listeners to enjoy the great outdoors today as we set-off on the Get Active walk in Henley from 10.45-11am at the car park between Hambledon and Mill End.

Love Parks Week
Hug a tree or stroke a flower as today kicks-off Love Parks Week.
Emma Williams from the Botanic Gardens, who explained how they are holding a Great Plant Picnic.
She said how the public can enjoy a trail around the Garden. Bring a picnic, relax and enjoy live music, family cooking and flower themed stories.
For more information and to find out about other places getting involved

Idle Motion
In a couple of weeks time the Edinburgh Fringe gets underway and it's always surprising who takes part. Returning again this year is our very own physical theatre company Idle Motion!
They have a new production called The Vanishing Horizon and to explain all, company manager Grace Chapman and Ellie Simpson came in to the studio.
They explained how the show is improvised and created from workshops.
For more information about the tour visit:

Samaritans Get Motoring
One organisation that you can count on to be there when times are tough is of course The Samaritans. They are a round-the-clock service and are running a campaign to remind us of that. It's called 24:7 and oddly, it involved driving a little green smart car.
Helen and Matthew from the organisation popped in to tell listeners all about the initiative.
For more information about the Samaritans visit:

Kidney Care Project
A pioneering new project designed to help young adults with long term kidney conditions, has been launched at the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Dan Lonsdale has first hand experience of how a centre could make a difference, as last year he gave his kidney to his brother Jamie.
He told listeners all about this and how his brother went on to win Gold at the Transplant Games in China.

Free London 2012
To mark the two year countdown to the London Olympics, Oxford leisure centres are opening their doors to all comers with a weekend of free activities and celebration challenges.
Paul Williams is a fitness instructor and is challenging people to get rowing and the Ferry Leisure centre.
He joined us in the studio to explain all about the initiative.

Get Active Walk - July 2010

The weather was very hot and sunny for the last walk. Fortunately it was shady in quite a few places. It was a lovely walk in a beautifully quiet part of Oxfordshire. The site of the Roman Villa near East End served as a very interesting place to have lunch. A couple of our walkers decided to take advantage of a particularly shady spot a little before the end and wait there to be picked up by their chauffeur. Thankfully everybody arrived back at the car park safe and sound.
Use the link below to look at the photos from the last walk and to see the friendly people who take part.

You can also use the link to view galleries from earlier walks.

The next walk is on Saturday 24th July in the Henley-on-Thames area. We'll meet in the car park between Hambledon and Mill End at 10.45 am to start at 11.00am. You'll find Mill End on the river North of Henley. Use this link to get an OS map (ignore the red circle):,-0.86938154&dp=os&bd=useful_information&loc=%20:51.5562:-0.8693:11mill%20end,%20henleyMill%20End,%20Berkshire,%20England

The route goes over Hambledon Lock to Aston, up hill slightly for a short distance to cut across to Remenham Church Lane and down towards the river. We touch the outskirts of Henley, walk along the west bank of the river and back over Hambledon Lock to return to the car park. The walk is about 6 miles long and includes tracks, footpaths and quiet roads. There's a very short section of pavement walking as we approach the bridge at Henley before getting on to the riverside path. It shouldn't be muddy but boots or sturdy shoes are still recommended because the ground can be uneven in places. As usual well behaved dogs are welcome and the walk will be led at a pace to suit everybody.
As it is still summer we thought we'd stop for a picnic somewhere near the river. We were lucky last time no reason why we shouldn't be again! Make sure you remember to bring your picnic with you.
Everyone should sign the disclaimer and if new people wouldn't mind completing a monitoring form that would be great. Please make sure you sign the disclaimer every time you come on a walk.
So, whether you've joined us before or not, and feel that you can manage this walk put the date in your diary and come with us.
The weather of course is unpredictable and unknown at this stage. We'll walk in all but the worst conditions but if you're in any doubt about whether the walk is going ahead listen to Phil Mercer's show on the Saturday morning between 6am and 9am.
Many charities encourage walking as a way of raising money. So before the start of the walk we are asking for a donation of £1 for a chosen charity. So far we have raised nearly £1,300 for both local and national charities. Before the walk this month we'll make a collection for Oxfordshire Mind which provides help, support and information for people who are experiencing a mental health problem.
For more details about the walk contact BBC Oxford Action Desk 08459 311 222 or email before Wednesday 21st July.
We look forward to seeing you on the next walk.
Best wishes,
CSV Action Desk
Proposed dates for future walks: Sunday 22nd August, Saturdays 25th Sept and 23rd October.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Sunday 18th July

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*available until 0600hrs 25/07/10

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Saturday July 17

Vuvuzelas in Bicester
Don't be alarmed if you hear the invasive drone of the vuvuzela across Bicester this morning.
It's not the return of the World Cup - but a rallying call from campaigners wanting a new community hospital in the town.
Some residents believe the wait has gone on too long and are voicing their concerns outside the NHS Oxfordshire offices this morning.
Leader of the Save Our Community Hospital Campaign is Cllr. Les Sibley joined us to explain all about it.

Songs for the wildwoods
A Witney choir is helping to raise £70,000 to buy woodland for the villlagers of Wychwood.
'Voice Box' are performing a concert at the New Beaconsfield Hall tonight - and all moneys raised will go to the Wychwood Wild Garden Appeal.
Their chairman Mike Watson told us all about the concert.
If you would like to donate to this great cause please visit: or you can call 0845 8056804

Big lunch
If you missed breakfast don't worry, the big lunch takes place tomorrow and breakfast show regular Simon Kenton (from CAG) and Tim Nicholson (from lcon) came into the studios to explain all.
If you want to pop down to one of the lunches visit: for more details.
For more info about the Low Carbon North Oxford initiative visit:

Tim and Simon

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Sunday 11th July

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*available until 0600hrs 18/07/10

The programme features a live twenty-minute interview with Oxford-based best-selling author Philip Pullman.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

My first Tomato

Here is the first Tomato to appear on my plants. Fingers crossed there are more to come!

Saturday July 10

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The programme is available until 0900hrs 17/07/2010

Bumper weekend
After the action-packed weekend last Saturday, the fun continues as we countdown to this Sunday's British Grand Prix.

Wallingford dig
Archaeologists from across the country are descending on Wallingford for the next fortnight as they try to uncover what lies beneath the town's surface.
We spoke to Wallingford Museum curator Judy Dewey who explained all about the project (in its third year)and this year's main excavation site, which will be in Queen's Arbour,(part of Castle Meadows), where an interesting feature revealed by geophysical surveys will be investigated.

Mountain trek
From reviewing the papers for us last week, former rally driver Penny Mallory
is now attempting to scale Mount Elbrus in Russia - Europe's highest mountain.
She told listeners all about the trek, in aid of the charity, which is an international children's charity that uses sport and play programmes to improve health, develop life skills and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.

Alice's Day
It's Alice's Day today and to celebrate, there's a whole host of events, which bring all of Lewis Carroll's fantastical characters to life.
Esther Browning from The Story Museum joined us to explain what's going on.
For more details

World cup success?
After the football team's lacklustre display and Andy Murray falling at the semi-final at Wimbledon, sports fans finally have something to cheer about at the rowing world cup.
We spoke to Henley rower Anna Watkins, who has already won two golds and a silver medal, and is hoping to make it a hat-trick this weekend in Lucerne.

British Grand Prix
As Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton do battle at Silverstone this weekend, we spoke to one of the unsung heroes who help make the event run smoothly.
We spoke to Peter Greenhaulgh,Deputy Chief Incident Officer, who works in race control - in charge of all the marshals.
We also caught up with BBC Oxford's Ross Heaton who gave us a run down of how things are shaping up in qualifying.

Warborough Festival
Elvis tribute acts, exotic belly dancers, saucy satirical singers - oh and racing camels - might not be everyone's idea of a country show - but then the Warborough & Shillingford Festival isn't your average village affair.
In fact the ingenuity and diversity of the festival's acts has made it one of the most anticipated events on the Oxfordshire calendar.
We spoke to Wilf Eaton - Warborough Festival Co-ordinator and performer Dillie Keene about how the concept was bourne and what people can expect.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Sunday 4th July

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*available until 0600hrs 11/07/10

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Saturday July 3rd

Festival Fever
As Phil Mercer enjoys all the fun of Cornbury Festival, Joel Hammer took the reins of the Saturday Breakfast Show.
The first weekend of July sees a host of weird and wonderful festivals going on and we caught up with a few of the people involved.

Giddy up!
First up we spoke to Verner Wass who is organising the Banbury Hobby Horse Festival running over the weekend.
She told listeners all about the performers including:the Sailors Horse from Minehead in Devon, one of the great traditional groups, and bringing things more up to date will be the performance artist Matthew Cowan and his hilarious 'Four Hobby Horses of the Apocalypse'.
For more details visit:

From Horses to rugby (not wigs!) as we spoke to husband and wife Kate and Andrew Stinchcombe-Gillies, about this year's Rugfest in Wallingford.
The event is organised by Wallingford Rugby Club as a club fundraiser and as a family centric community event. Largely promoting local bands and local breweries with local sponsors for local people; this year's event introduces a Friday night session to kick start proceedings.
The fabled Scotsman, Jackie Leven, will headline a mellow acoustic evening on Friday followed by a lively day of activities and performances on Saturday - jam packed with local bands such as Quadrophobe, Spring Offensive and Jessie Grace.
For more info visit:

Cowley Road Carnival
Cowley Road Carnival is back.... for the whole weekend.
There's a Fiesta in the Park (open air concert not small car) today, followed by a carnival proper tomorrow.
Joining us in the studio was Stuart from Horns of Plenty, which are taking part in the parade, and the Chair of trustees Paul Wolf.

Oxford United Fun Day
Kelvin Thomas, Chairman of the newly promoted U's, joined us to tell us all about the great activities and events going on at the fun day at Kassam Stadium today.
Joining in on all the fun will be BBC Oxford's own Jerome Sale.

Sunday, 27 June 2010


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Football Fever

In anticipation of England's World Cup knock out match with Germany, Phil talked to our reporter out in South Africa, David Garrido. He was able to give us a real sense of the building atmosphere for this crunch match between two arch rivals where the stakes couldn't be higher.

Volunteering and Faith in the Community

Phil spoke with Bishop Colin Fletcher and Alison Baxter from Oxfordshire Community Voluntary Action (OCVA) in the studio and they were able to give us an insight into the integral contribution that faith groups make to the voluntary sector across Oxfordshire. We also spoke to street pastor David Law who volunteers every Friday in Wantage and twice a month in the Grove area.

Sunday Papers

Our paper reviewer this morning was Catherine Shock from the Oxford Jewish community.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Saturday June 26

Get Active Weekend
As we hit the hottest days of the year so far.... this weekend is packed full of sporty and outdoor activities.
We spoke to Wimbledon correspondent Jamie Broughton and our man in South Africa Matt Cole, who gave us the lowdown on England's big game against the Germans this Sunday.

Hit for six!
With the current high temperatures it seems a like a distant memory since the county was hit by mass floods three years ago.
We caught up with Charlbury Cricket Club's Chairman Malcolm Harper whose ground was wrecked by the rain.
He explained why the clean-up process has taken so long and how they're ready to play again with a special match involving former Zimbabwe pace bowler Henry Olonga.

Oxfordshire Youth Games
Keeping on the sport tip - Margaret Jones, project manager for Oxfordshire Youth Games 2010,
joined us to explain all about the games. She explained how it's a mini olympics with various sports and activities taking place.
It all happens this Sunday at the University Sports Complex on Iffley Road and The School of St Gregory the Great in Cricket Road.
For more information visit:

Earth Mission

Tom Berry from Earthwatch popped in to the studios to tell listeners all about how he is looking to recruit volunteers for their next big project.
Volunteers are needed to join the Climate Change in Wytham Woods expedition. Based at Earthwatch's Europe Regional Climate Centre in the beautiful, ancient Wytham Woods, volunteers will have an exciting opportunity to contribute to forest research which is assessing the impacts of climate change on forests worldwide. As an Earthwatch volunteer, you'll learn the many field techniques essential to capturing accurate data, and will work closely with both scientists and fellow volunteers.
For more information visit:

Climate challenge
Oxfordshire schoolchildren challenged BBC Oxford, and its listeners to take climate change seriously - and prove it.
Dashwood Community School in Banbury has been working with the Museum of Natural History and the Botanic Garden as part of the Ark Project.
We spoke to some of the children involved and are offering listeners the chance to do their bit for the environment and plant their own seeds.
To pick-up your free packet of seeds email Phil at

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Grow-your-own Challenge

Today should be fun.

I'm off on my way down to the Ark that is sat outside the Oxford Museum of Natural History to meet the children from Dashwood Community School. They are going to challenge the listeners of BBC Oxford to grow-your-own!

So to get things started: I've planted some Tomatoes and Chard. Lets see how long they last!

If you want to join in, email me your pictures, plus a name a location and I'll pop them here on the blog!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Sunday 20th June

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*available until 0600hrs 27/06/10

Saying "Sorry" - Healing and Forgiveness

In the week that the Saville Report into the events of Bloody Sunday was published, and in which the Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for what happened, we looked into the process of healing and forgiveness.

Phil spoke to the Right Reverend Ken Good, the Bishop of Derry and Rafoe, as well as the Right Reverend John Pritchard, the Bishop of Oxford. It was a thought-provoking discussion.

Blow the Whistle

We spoke to Jonny Goodchild from an organisation named Open Doors, which is asking people from around the world to "Blow The Whistle" on the suffering of Christians in some of the nations participating in the World Cup.

Sunday Papers

Our paper reviewer this morning was Leo Bowder, from the Oxford Unitarians.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Saturday June 19

Augmented Reality
We kicked off the weekend with a science lesson from BBC Focus Magazine's Jheni Osmond.
She gave listeners the lowdown on augmented reality and fear.

Mock Mayor
We spoke to Tony Legge about the Mock Mayor election in Abingdon today.
He explained how by ancient tradition, a "mock mayor" the mayor of ock street (abingdon), is elected each year to tell the civic mayor where he/she's going wrong in the way that court jesters criticised the king.
The event starts from 10am at the Brewery Tap pub and the new mayor will be announced at 4pm.

Woodstock Carnival
Woodstock's annual carnival takes place today and Dennis Allen chairman of the Woodstock charity carnival joined us. He explained how this year's carnival is part of the wider celebration to commemorate the building of the wall around the park, which was called The Royal Park of Woodstock, and we now know as Blenheim Park.
Woodstock will be alive with stalls, street entertainment, drummers and live music, as well as the grand parade from 5pm.

It's a dogs life

Champion dog handler Hollie Kavanagh joined us with her doberman Seamus to tell listeners how she will be heading to Denmark to represent the UK in the world dog handling competition. The 15-year-old explained how she has been working with dogs since she was seven and how excited she is to be representing the country.
We will catch up with Hollie next week to see how she fares.

Ciao Ark
Paula Clark from the Children's International Arts Organisation (CIAO) joined us to tell listeners all about an exciting new project celebrating the arts and environmental science.
The festival includes a host of art workshops and kids will get the opportunity to help build an Ark on the lawn of the Oxford University Museum.

For more information, visit:

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Sunday 13th June

Listen Again
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*available until 0600hrs 20/06/10

Open Farm Sunday

Phil was joined in the studio by Tom Allen-Stevens (above), owner of Faringdon's Wicklesham Farm and the National Co-Ordinator of Open Farm Sunday - a very special event in which more than four hundred farms nationwide open to the public with the aim of increasing understanding of what happens on farms as well as what they produce.

Oxford Friendship Walk

Ahead of tomorrow's Friendship Walk, we were joined by Fazal Hussain, Chairman of the Oxford Central Mosque Society, Adele Moss from the Oxford Jewish Community and Rev. Bob Wilkes Vicar of St Michael's on the Cornmarket and City Rector.

Our paper reviewer this morning was Andy McCulloch, from Adventure Plus in Witney.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Saturday 12th June

World cup fever

As the England get set for their opening game of the world cup we get in the party mood with a host of interesting guests.

Flying high

Next month sees the annual Air Tattoo in Fairford.
We caught up with Tim Prince, chief executive of the International Air Tattoo and also in charge of the charity that runs it.
He gave listeners a rundown of what's on offer and how it has become the biggest event of its kind in the world.

Bio detection dogs

You may have heard of the marvellous work that dogs can do to help people - like detecting cancers and warning people that they are going to have an epileptic seizure. We caught up with Claire Guess from charity Hypo Alert Dogs to give listeners a rundown of how they train the pooches.
For more information or to get involved you can visit:

Pride festival

Rainbow flags at the ready as Oxford gets set for the annual Gay Pride Festival.
Helen Charlesworth (above) joined us to tell us all about the parade and the spectacular party in the park.
The parade begins at noon from St Michael's Church, at the corner of Clarendon Street and Ship Street, with the party taking place at Oxpens Field.
Awards will be handed out for best dressed and there will be a host of live entertainment.
For more information visit:

Crying for England

All the talk has been of the football World Cup but we had a potential world champion in the studios, crying his heart out.
The Town Crier World Championships are taking place in Chester and we caught up with Oxford's leading contender Anthony Church (below).

He explained how he fell into the profession and gave listeners an earful of what he will be bellowing at the championships.

Head in the clouds

If you can't wait for next month's Air Tattoo then don't worry because there will be 30 aircraft flying over the county today as part of the Queen's birthday celebration.
It'll be a stunning display of military aircraft - and three of the largest, the VC10s and a Tristar are flying out from RAF Brize Norton.
We caught up with one of the pilots from Brize, Wing Commander Al Green, and asked him all about it.
So: if you are at a loose end this afternoon you can catch the procession from around 1.10pm.

Keith Chegwin

Legendary presenter Keith Chegwin joined us to tell listeners how he is heading a star-studded line-up for the annual Make-a-Wish Ball at Blenheim Palace today.

Keith, a patron for the charity, explained all about the event including a celebrity auction.
To find out more about Make-A-Wish or to refer a child for a special wish, visit:

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Sunday 6th June

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*available until 0600hrs 13/06/10

Beyond Football in South Africa
Phil was joined in the studio by the Rev. Charlotte Bannister-Parker (right, above) and Kathryn Ellis (left, above). Charlotte is the Bishop of Oxford's Advisor for Overseas Programmes, and Kathryn has organised a charity called Fund a Football, which aims to raise money and then provide footballs for South African parishes that they both visited recently. The parishes are in the Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman in South Africa.

We also heard from Andy Drake from Christian Vision for Men, as well as Deacon David Bright from Wallingford Baptist Church. Andy spoke about how some churches are trying to get more men visiting by screening world cup matches. Wallingford Baptist Church is one church that will be doing this.

To support Fund a Football, you can send a cheque to:

Kidlington PCC, Parish Office, 19 Mill Street, Kidlington OX5 2EE. Marked "Fund A Football".

Conservation and Christianity

Phil spoke to Robert Sluka, who volunteers for A Rocha, which is a Christian conservation organisation.

Origins of Oxford Street Names - Over to You

Following the recent bank holiday show when Anne Spokes Symonds came in to talk about the origins of Oxford's street names, we publish here the list of 28 names whose origins still elude the team. Can you help?

It has to be said at this point that Anne and her collaborator, Nigel Morgan, have discovered the background to 1,500 names, so 28 remaining is really rather impressive. If you can help them close the gap please email any info at all to or write to the team at BBC Oxford, 269 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7DW.

Beechey Avenue Marston
Belvedere Road East Oxford
Binswood Avenue Headington
Cumberland Road East Oxford
The Dale Barton
Everard Close Headington
Faber Close Littlemore
Glanville Road Cowley
Harbord Road Cutteslowe
Haslemere Gardens North Summertown
Hayward Road North Summertown
Hillsborough Close Rose Hill
Larkins Lane Old Headington
Lewell Avenue Marston
Lyndworth Close & Mews Headington
Overbrook Gardens Greater Leys
Purland Close Temple Cowley
Ringwood Road Risinghurst
Roberts Close Sandhills
Sefton Road Headington
Shorte Close Horspath Driftway
Staverton Road North Oxford
Stephen Road Headington
Stewart Street New Hinksey
William Street Marston
Wingate Close Blackbird Leys
Wychwood Lane Risinghurst
York Close

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Saturday June 5

Early birds
The glorious weather has really made Oxfordshire look stunning - especially in the morning.
And the birds have been getting very excited, singing their hearts out at dawn every morning.
Colin Williams, Reserves Ecology Officer for BBOWT, joined us to explain which songs belong to which bird.

Greece lightening
Do you fancy learning Greek in the park?
After last year's successful Latin in the Park project in South Park, the Iris Project has organised a similar initiative this year - learning Greek.
Dr Lorna Robinson, Director of the charity, joined us to tell listeners all about how they can pop down to South Park or Bury Knowle Park to learn their alphas and omegas in the sun!
It starts at 2pm and for more information visit:

Voices of Oxford
Mozart's Requiem is being performed in Oxford's Town Hall this evening, and rehearsals start in just a few hours time!
It's hoped that as many as seven hundred singers will attend the event, which is in aid of MacMillan Cancer support.
Sheridan Edward joined us to explain how he set-up the charity following the death of his mother Gloria from cancer.

Rehearsals begin from 2pm with the final performance starting at 8pm at the Town Hall.
For more information contact Sheridan at:
To hear some of the selected choral movements visit: from Sunday.

Flowers at the Castle
If you didn't manage to get down to see the Chelsea Flower Show this year -- you might like to take a look around Oxford Castle this weekend.
The 900 year old site is going to display all kinds of flowers, plants and fascinating gardening gadgets.
Jean Pierre Morilleau, General Manager of the Oxford Castle, explained all about the festival.

Fire Award
Yesterday the men and women from Hook Norton Fire Station went to Wembley - their station was up for a prestigious national award.
They were nominated for station of the year at the Spirit of Fire Awards.
Stuart Garner told listeners how the station made it a double success for Oxford at Wembley following United's promotion.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Monday 31st May

A very good morning to you.

iCowley - Family History

Carl Boardman came in to the studio to talk with Phil about a new project opening its doors in Cowley this week, to offer a free service helping people to trace their family tree.

It is in the Templars Square Shopping Centre, 39-41 Pound Way, and will be open 1st – 30th June, Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am - 4pm.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Sunday 30th May

Listen Again

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*available until 0600hrs 06/06/10

Good Morning.

Churches and Prostitution

The recent events in Bradford have highlighted the vulnerability of women who work in the sex trade. There are hundreds of church groups working to help these women and these groups have united under the banner of an organisation called Beyond the Streets. Phil spoke its Director, Mark Wakelin. Phil also talked to Kerry Mitchell from the English Collective of Prostitutes.

Peddling Padre

We connected live to an aircraft carrier off the coast of Dunkirk to talk to Father Roger Dawson, who has just completed his charity bicycle ride from Normandy to Dunkirk.

His fundraising site is:


After the woes of following the UK entry's progress, Phil caught up with reporter Alex Grundon to go over the highs and lows of last night's Eurovision Song Contest.

Sunday Papers

Our paper reviewer this morning was Shaunaka Rishi Das, the Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Saturday May 29

Listen again right now on the iPlayer
(until 0900hrs 05/06/2010)
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Bank Holiday Weekend

As the Bank Holiday weekend begins so the weather turns grey!
However, there's still plenty going on and we caught up with a host of people involved in some of the big events this weekend.

Dunkirk Flotilla
British and French veterans gather on the beach of Dunkirk today to remember Britain's biggest rescue operation on its 70th anniversary, we spoke to Commander Tony Long from Iffley, who has been guiding the flotilla.
We also spoke to our reporter Gavin Lee, who is in Dunkirk.
He explained what was happening in Dunkirk including the veteran soldiers returning after evacuating 70 years ago.

Science Saturday
Jheni Osmond from BBC Focus magazine joined us to give us the lowdown on among other things Man Flu!

Golf Marathon
Lucy Eckley and Stella Krajewski from Macmillan Cancer Support urged listeners to get involved in a golf fundraiser next month.

Macmillan have organised a Longest Day Golf Tournament which includes:
300 shots, 72 holes, 20 miles and four golf courses - it's a tough challenge
They explained how Macmillan Cancer Support is looking for teams to enter its Longest Day Golf Tournament on Sunday 20 June, its first ever in Oxfordshire, to help make a difference to people affected by cancer.

Teams can sign up online at or call 01869 322279

The annual pageant of pop and pap is almost upon us. Up to a hundred and fifty MILLION people are expected to watch the Eurovision Song Contest around the world tonight -- and this year it's being hosted by Norway. Our reporter Paul Henley gave us the rundown on who's hot and who's not.

English Music Festival
The 4th English Music Festival takes place in and around the Oxfordshire village of Dorchester-on-Thames, over this late Spring Bank Holiday weekend.
Highlights include a lost symphony and 'world premiere' by York Bowen and the rarely heard 1st Piano Concerto by Montague Phillips with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Founder and director of the event Em Marshall explained what the English Music Festival is all about?

For more details about the festival visit:

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Sunday 23rd May

Listen Again

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*available until 0600hrs 30/05/10

John Sentamu

Following his visit to Oxford, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, spoke about Mission in the new century, and the new government of the UK.

Love Oxford
Ahead of today's big event in South Park, we were joined by the organiser of the event, Rev. Charlie Cleverly and also Ellen Harvey (above) who is attending today for the first time.


Phil spoke to Hadani Ditmars, who has written several articles for the New Internationalist magazine, about her travels in Iraq- both before the start of combat operations in 2003, and again recently, seven years on. She is also the author of "Dancing in the No-Fly Zone", all about her Iraqi journeys.

The Peddling Padre

Phil was joined in the studio by Father Roger Dawson, who is about to embark on a very special charity bicycle ride from Normandy to Dunkirk. His sposorship page is here:

Our paper reviewer this morning was Jo Duckles, editor of The Door.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Saturday May 22

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*available until 0600hrs 29/05/10

Booby Birds
As we brace ourselves for the hottest weekend of the year (so far!) we caught up with a group of brave women taking part in a major fundraising event for Breakthrough Breast Cancer today.
They're doing a skydive at Weston on the Green, and raising thousands of pounds for the charity.
One of them is TV and radio presenter, Caroline Feraday who told listeners how she got involved and how being a flying travel reporter will hopefully stand her in good stead.

Building award
As three Oxfordshire buildings were given top awards for their design this week, from the Royal Institute of British Architects, we spoke to their chairman for the southern region, Phillip Waddy about the county's success.
One is a world famous museum, the Ashmolean, another is a performance space, the Auditorium at Corpus Christi College, and the third is the refurbishment of a private house, albeit a rather posh one!

Lawnmower man
As the weather hits high temperatures, we spoke to Don Wales who is attempting to break the lawnmower land speed record. Don, the son of Malcolm Campbell, who broke the land speed record at the seven-mile long beach in 1924, and the nephew of speed hero Donald Campbell, is taking an Oxfordshire built MOWER to the famous Pendine Sands in Wales to try to go faster than any gardener has been before.

Mud house
An enterprising couple from Oxfordshire told listeners all about how they are building a trully eco-friendly house made of mud, clay, straw and sand. Lutvi and Rubi Radwan who live at Willowbrook Farm, Hampton Gay, told us all about what inspired them to make the bold move and how they are running workshops to help others looking to follow suit.

Paper review
Stephen Tall, head of development at the Bodliean Library, was our paper reviewer today and found a host of interesting stories.
Stealing the most column inches was Boyzone's Ronan Keating marriage breakdown.
Also making the news was Nick Clegg's start in the Government, MP's expenses (still making the headlines) and how keeping books at home will increase the chances of youngsters staying in education.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Sunday 16th May

Listen Again

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*available until 0600hrs 23/05/10

A very good morning to you.

Church, Choirs and Technology

Phil was joined in the studio by (from left to right) Rev. Hugh White - the Vicar of Deddington, David Phalatse - Choir Director from the South African parish of Resurrection in Mafikeng, Hans Boeryd - a Priest from Sweden and the Rector from the parish Sofiakyrkan in Jönköping, and David Rogers from Rally FM.

This weekend in Deddington is the Maurice Frost Festival ( ). Choirs from Deddington's link parishes in South Africa and Sweden will be joining the Choir of St George's Windsor for some remarkable, inspiring international music and worship.

The Big Game

Ahead of the big match at Wembley Phil was joined by Oxfordshire author Peter Tickler (above), who wrote "Blood on the Cowley Road", who chose the Kassam Stadium as his Faith Place some ten years ago. Phil also spoke to our own Malcolm Boyden at Wembley.

Our paper reviewer this morning was the Revd. Dr. Gillian Straine, the Curate of Kidlington.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Saturday May 15

U's Mania
This weekend revolved around Oxford United's march to Wembley as they look to gain promotion to league two.
We looked at the build-up to the game as well as a host of events taking place around the county.

Strictly Great Tew
Political editor and strictly star John Sergeant spoke to us about why he feels Great Tew is his iconic place in England.
He explained how growing up in the village during the 1950's as the son of a vicar was an interesting childhood and how the village managed to stave off modern living to uphold its traditional ways.

Identity Project
Dr Daniel Glaser joined us to explain all about The Identity Project happening this weekend in Oxford.
The project is a series of exhibitions, talks and films exploring who we are and what influences our thinking and understanding of human identity and will take place throughout the summer at venues across the city.
Dr Glaser told listeners about a host of events happening in the city including a screening of Nature's Great Experiment - a short film looking at twin studies.
For more information visit:

Levellers Day
Oxfordshire plays host to world experts today to discuss the future global food shortage.
It's happening in Burford on Levellers Day - which commemorates the stand Levellers soldiers took against Oliver Cromwell's supression in the 1600's.
Author Tristram Stuart spoke to us about the event and some of the discussions that will take place. He explained that they will be looking at why are we facing this potential food shortage in the future and how serious the problem could be.

The OSCA's come to Oxford
Eco-guru Simon Kenton from the Community Action Group (CAG) joined us to explain about the new green awards taking place in Oxfordshire.
Oxfordshire County Council will be hosting the Oxfordshire Sustainability and Conservation Awards (OSCA's) in July.
If your local school or community group is currently involved in a project that helps to reduce waste, save energy or increase biodiversity then they want to hear from you!
The top prize for each category is £1,500. For more information and to enter online, visit:
Deadline for entries 16th June 2010.

Paper Review
Mark Mullen, music teacher from Cokethorpe School, reviewed this weekend's papers and all the top stories.
Stories making the headlines included: the fallout from the election, the nurse victimised for whistleblowing abuse at her hospital and England striker Wayne Rooney sporting a big beard.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sunday 9th May 2010

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*available until 0600hrs 16/05/10

For information about the show, please click here.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Saturday May 8th

Listen Again

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*available until 0900hrs 15/05/10

Election 2010

Election fever still lingers as discussions of coalitions and partnerships take place. We gave a comprehensive rundown of who took the seats in our county and spoke to the various leaders.

Science Saturday

Jheni Osmond from BBC Focus Magazine brought listeners up-to-date with the latest science news from around the world. She explained about how the technology behind the six million dollar man is making it in to reality and even on to the High Street.

Indian Song and Dance
Dr Samuel Rabi joined us in the studio to tell listeners all about a colourful evening of song and dance planned in aid of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance service.
He organised the event to raise money for a charity that does life-saving work day in and day out but rarely gets the kind of publicity or support it deserves.
Held at the Helena Kennedy Student Centre at Oxford Brookes University next Saturday, the evening will include: classical dance from Meera Shah, folk-dancing from students at the Kala-Arpan school of dance and a sumptuous three-course dinner.
For more information and to book tickets you can contact Dr Rabi at

Teddy Bears Picnic
If you go down to the Radcliffe Square today expect to see a furry surprise as teddy bears gather for a picnic this afternoon.

One of the organisors of the event Mary Ann Mackenzie, spoke to Vicky about the picnic in aid of the Oxford Children's Hospital and a new children's book aimed at being polite.

The picnic runs from 1pm-5pm.

Wallingford Car Rally
Car enthusiasts can head to Wallingford this Sunday to see a host of vintage cars including the 1973 Triumph Stag featured in the TV show Ashes to Ashes.

There will be over 150 vehicles of every type, including cars, vans, commercials, military vehicles, fire engines, police cars and Top Fuel Dragsters. There will even be a traction engine, plus a vintage motorcycles and bicycles.

The event will start from 11am- 5pm

For more information visit:

RAF Falcons
Flight Lieutenant Rory Jackson spoke to listeners about the launch of the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team 2010 season. They will be performing one of their world famous, and breath taking, displays over the skies of Oxford.
You will have the opportunity to talk to members of the team about their job, not just as a member of the Display Team, but in the wider context of training personnel in specialised parachuting roles.
The Team have been invited to "drop in" at Oxford Parks at an Event organised by the Rotary Club of Oxford before donning their running shoes to take part in the 5k Oxford Fun Run where they will be running for their chosen charity "Headway".
For more details visit:

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Sunday 2nd May

Listen Again

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*available until 0600hrs 09/05/10

A very good morning to you.

Paul Jenner in for Phil on this wet, wet morning.

Speak No Evil

Following a now notorious incident with a radio microphone in Rochdale this week, Paul spoke to Rabbi Pete Tobias about the power of the tongue, and how the dangers of its misuse were well undertood all the way back to biblical times.

Just Politics
Krish Kandiah (above) from the Evangelical Alliance came into the studio and talked with Paul about the intersection between Christianity and politics. He has written a book called 'No Spin, Sleaze or Scandal... Just Politics.' For the book, Krish spoke to three politicians - a Conservative, a Liberal Democrat and a Labour MP -about their faith and their political life. He believes that Faith and politics are intrinsically connected. Would more politicians acting through their faith mean that there would be less spin and sleaze in our nation's political life?

Our paper reviewer this morning was Imam Monawar Hussein - the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire and the Muslim Tutor at Eton College.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Saturday May 1

Live from Magdalen College
The big May Day celebrations were taking place in the city today and the show came to you from Magdalen College to catch all the action.
Joining us were Daniel Hyde, Michael Duffy and Edmund Smith from the Magdalen choir to tell us all about how they prepared for their early start.
Superintendant Amanda Pearson was also on hand to give listeners a rundown on how many people broke through the barriers to make the jump off Magdalen Bridge.

Discovering Places
Debbie Dance from the Oxford Heritage Trust explained how a new initiative, Discovering Places, aims to get people to visit some of Oxford's less known green spaces.
A series of walks are taking place this weekend to celebrate Oxford's best kept secrets including around Old Headington and Boars Hill.
For more information about the walks visit:

Pole Dancing
Dance tutor Kate Whitely and pupil Nicola Stokes told listeners all about dancing around a different pole.
Kate has set-up a pole dancing class which is used as a way of keeping fit. The pair explained how people can attend a six-week course to learn all the moves to manouvere around a pole.
They will be hosting a show at the Regal tonight in aid of charity Pathways workshop.
If you are interested in attending you can turn up at The Regal tonight where tickets are on sale on the door or for more information visit

History of May Morning
Mark Blanford Baker Head Bursar of Magdalen College gave an insight into the history behind May Day and its celebrations.

Paper Review
Today's guest reviewer was Ann Spokes Simmons who gave a rundown of what is making the news in this weekend's papers.
Hitting the headlines (still) is Gordon Brown's microphone gaffe, the oil spillage in the Gulf of Mexico and the volcanic ash which is still lingering.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Oxford Homeless Pathways

Oxford Homeless Pathways work with users of O'Hanlan House. Here are some of their photographs:

For more information have a look at the Blog for Sunday 25th April.

Sunday 25th April 2010

A new home for Oxfords Sikh Temple
President of the Oxford University Sikh Society, Priya Atwal came into the studio to tell us about the Sikh Community's difficulty finding a permanent place of worship. Currently the 15-20 regular worshippers pray in a Sikh members house. Priya is starting a big campaign to find a new location for a permanent Gurdwara (temple) in Oxfordshire.

Today at St Gregory School on Cricket Road, Cowley the Sikh community will be celebrating Vaisakhi, the birth anniversary of Khalsa, with a procession along the Cowley Road due to start at 11am.

Photography for the homeless
We spoke to Ed Hart who has helped to develop a project with Oxford Homeless Pathways, which encourages Oxfordshire's homeless to pick up a camera and take inspiration from their surroundings. Learning to use digital editing, the project can allow individuals to build their self-confidence and develop some valuable skills.

There will be a small exhibition of work at Fusion on the Cowley Road soon, so we will keep you updated on that. In the meantime you can see some of the groups pictures here.

Paper Review
Kathy Stock, Sculpture Co-ordinator at the Turill Sculpture Garden and member of the Oxford Jewish Community was in this morning to review the weekend papers.

Oxfordshire Devotional
This morning's Oxfordshire Devotional came from Witney, at the High Street Methodist Church led by the Reverend Richard Donoghue.
Faith Place Regent's Park College in Oxford was our faith place this morning. Originally in London, it now trains men and women for the Baptist Ministry here in Oxford. Hedley Feast spoke to the College Chaplain Myra Blythe.

Dorchester Debate
Dorchester Abbey will be opening its doors to the prospective parliamentary candidates in the Henley constituency on Wednesday 28th April. Rector Sue Booys told us that everyone is welcome and it will be a great opportunity to come along and hear the constituents views and ask them questions about issues they are concerned about.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Sunday 18th April

Listen Again
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*available until 0600hrs 25/04/10

A very good morning to you.

Poland's Grief

Phil spoke to Genya Goodall from Banbury's Polish Association about her own and her community's feelings at this difficult time, ahead of a community church service later today in Banbury.

The Science of Volcanos

Phil was joined in the studio by the Oxfordshire-based petrologist (rock expert) Professor Peter Treolar (below), to speak of all things volcano.

Our paper reviewer this morning was Leo Bowder (below), from the Oxford Unitarians.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Saturday April 17

Listen Again

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*available until 0600hrs 24/04/10

Beyond the pole
Helen Baxendale was in town for the premier of her latest project 'Beyond the Pole' directed by her partner David Williams and with a cast including Green Wing's Stephen Mangan and Mark Benton. She told listeners all about how she got involved in the project and her decision to take a back seat from acting in this particular film.

The plot covers a documentary film crew follows the first carbon neutral, organic, vegetarian expedition ever to attempt the North Pole. Simultaneously Saving the Planet and getting into the Guinness Book of Records Brian and Mark hope to kill two birds with one stone. Unfortunately, they have never done anything like this before.

David Williams discussed the challenge facing independent films like this in getting distribution. So give them a hand by asking for it at your local cinema.

How to save a life!

Christine Mitchell came into the studio to tell listeners how being saved from choking by a passer-by while out running led to her becoming a St John Ambulance volunteer.
Christine explained how a couple of years ago, while training for a triathlon, she found herself gasping for breath after taking a drink.
Fortunately, some young people nearby came to her rescue and after performing first aid on her and ultimately saved her life.
Now Christine is urging people to learn first aid through St John Ambulance's 'The Difference' initiative which offers a new range of first aid courses to meet the needs of home or leisure activities.
To get involved and collect a card with basic first aid instructions just simply text LIFE to 85010.

Going green
Jo Hamilton from Climate eXchange popped in to tell us all about the Ideal Green Home Show next Friday and Saturday.
Being held at Oxford Town Hall, the show has a host of experts, architects and renewable energy companies to help you live a greener life.
Visitors to the Green Home Show will be able to find the advice, products and installers to transform their home, including architects, eco-designers, solar hot water and solar photovoltaic installers, grey water and insulation installers, plus suppliers of eco-products, recycled materials and a host of energy saving advice.
The show runs next Friday (4-7 pm) and Saturday (10am-4pm) for more information see or
Keeping on the green trail, Henley resident Dick Fletcher told listeners all about another fascinating green initiative happening in Henley today.
A display of thermal images of four hundred houses in the town will show who is using the right insulation. Organised by a (non-political) group of residents called 'Henley in Transition' which aims to make the town carbon neutral by 2012.
It's on from noon to 3pm today at Henley Town Hall.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Sunday 11th April

For more about this morning's proceedings, do take a look at the programme page: here.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Saturday April 10

Along the Ridgeway

Producer Vicky Parsons and friend Emma Hall kept listeners on track with the second part of their Ridgeway walk series. The durable duo battle the winds as they made their way from Ogbourne St George in Wiltshire, across the M4 and then up to Oxfordshire and the wonderful views on White Horse Hill.

Vicky will give listeners her next instalment of adventures on the Ridgeway in next week's show.

For more information about the walk visit:

Skate Park
From walking to rolling as Berinsfield looked forward to the opening of a new skate park today. With a strong sporting pedigree in the area thanks to a successful boxing club and football team, Berinsfield hopes to farm the next Tony Hawks.
Berinsfield Parish Councillor Ken Hall explained how thanks to a large lottery grant and some money from the parish council, local kids (and young at heart adults) can now practise their half-pipes and ollies.

Framing the future of Wallingford
A visit to Wallingford this Friday was on the cards as big plans and new developments are on the cards. Wallingford Museum are planning to construct a new timber framed building. Museum curator Judy Dewey and Peggy (who knows all there is to know about timber) gave Phil a tour of the site and explained where the wood had come from.

The Shift
Local filmaker David Trumble popped into the studio to tell listeners all about the film premiere of his latest production The Shift.

Thanks to funding from the Oxfordshire Community Fund (OCF) and donations from family and friends, the film is about a paramedic called Damon Yorke. The paramedic, who is struggling with a personal crisis, struggles through a particularly stressful night shift alongside his driver Joe which leads to an inevitable confontation between the two. The busy film-maker has also been busy making another film 'Beyond the Pale' starring A-lister Helen Baxendale, who will be appearing on the Breakfast Show next Saturday.

The OCF is holding the gala premiere of the films on 15 April at the Phoenix Picture House in Walton Street, Oxford.

Love your museum
Christopher Brown, director of the Ashmoleum museum, told listeners how the recently revamped museum was one of eleven across the country taking part in the 'I love my museum' project.
The £100,000 prize is awarded to the museum or gallery for a project completed in the last year, that the Judges deem demonstrates the most originality, imagination and excellence. The Prize, which has been sponsored by the UK’s leading independent art charity, The Art Fund, for three years, aims to increase public appreciation and enjoyment of the UK’s museums and galleries.
The public can vote for their favourite long-listed institution and leave comments for the Judges on the Art Fund Prize website telling the Judges why they should win. The poll results and online comments will be given to the Judges for their consideration when selecting the Short List and Winner. Visitors to the website can enter an exclusive competition to win a limited edition Jonathan Yeo print.

For more information go to: