Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sunday 28th March

For this programme's main BBC page please visit here.

A very good morning to you. Phil is back in the presenter's chair today.

The Jews of Medieval Oxford

We went on a journey to discover the Jewish Community that lived and thrived here in Oxford from their arrival in the country in the eleventh century all the way up to the expulsion of the Jews from England by Edward the First in 1290. Pam Manix (below, right) - an historian and member of the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee, and Evie Kemp (below, left)- the Convenor of the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee came in to the studio to talk to Phil about history and the current work of the Heritage Committee, including the fascinating new heritage website:
Pam also takes guided tours around the city - details can be found on the website.

Wantage Methodist Chapel

Gill and Gordon Skidmore (below) joined Phil in the Studio to talk about the campaign to refurbish the Wantage Methodist Chapel. There will be a fundraising dinner event at Oxford's Randolph Hotel on the 24th April, with Paul Mayhew-Archer (the creator of the Vicar of Dibley) as the speaker. If you would like to support the refurbushment effort in any way then you can call Gill on 01235 766655 or email
Our paper reviewer this morning was Shaunaka Rishi Das (below), who is the Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Saturday March 27

BBOWT Reserve
BBOWT's Chris Hanningdon came in to the studio to tell listeners about the new nature reserve opened in the beautiful village of Letcombe Regis.
Chris also made a plea for volunteers to help run the new wildlife reserve near Wantage.
For details about the reserve and volunteering opportunities visit the BBOWT website:

Spring Open Day at Boundary Brook Nature Park
With guided walks and the chance to try some pond-dipping, visitors may see some early butterflies the Oxford Urban Wildlife Group will be busy this Sunday.

Phil spoke to the man behind a new website that matchmakes businesses in an attempt to reduce waste and cut costs.

Retrader is a new materials exchange website set-up by Oxfordshire Waste Partnership (OWP) that enables businesses to pass on materials they no longer and get pre-used materials from other businesses.
Joining Phil in the studio was Paul Mocroft, the man behind the idea, and Steph Griggs-Travarthen from Oxfam and Dave Beesley from B-Line who have benefitted from the scheme.
For more details you can log-on to

Oxford Literary Festival

Literary festival organisor Sally Dunsmore popped in to tell Phil about the big names attending this year's festival.

This year's line-up includes: David Mitchell, who will be interviewing Wantage MP Ed Vaizey; Joanne Harris, author of the novel Chocolat.

Talent Oxford
The county's undiscovered stars get the opportunity to shine at this year's Talent Oxford event.
Joining Phil in the studio was Talent Oxford's Lydiah Igweh to explain how hopefuls can take part.
The event will take place this May and will include the categories: Best Dance Act, Best Vocal Act, Best Group Act, Most Original Act and Aspiring Star Award.
Judging the winner will be X- Factor finalist Rachel Adedeji.
For more information about the competition visit:

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Sunday 21st March

A very good morning.

Wesley Smith (below - looking very bright at 6.30am!) in for Phil.

The Devotion this morning was read by David Huss (below), the Curate at St. Paul's in Banbury. Some other highlights:


This afternoon there will be special prayers said at the site where Archbishop Thomas Cranmer - who wrote the Church of England's first liturgy - was burnt to death in Oxford's Broad Street. Prudence Dailey - the Chairman of the Prayer Book Society (below) came into the studio to talk to Wes about today's events and the life and work of this Christian Martyr.

Pope Visit

Following the announcement of the Pope's visit to Britain this summer, Wesley spoke to Terry Sanderson from the National Secular Society. The Society has said that the Catholic Church should pick up the bill for the visit instead of the British taxpayer. Expressing some controversial opinions, this was a thought-provoking interview.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Sunday 14th March

Good morning. Wesley Smith in for Phil Mercer today.

Love Bicester

Revd. Chris Boyce (above) from the Emmanuel Church in Bicester came in to the studio to chat with Wes about "Love Bicester", a series of events about to kick off and running 20th - 28th of March. You will hear about robots, avatars and you may even see Phil Mercer in action. See for more information.

The Museum of the Book

Wes spoke to Revd. Rob Cotton about a forthcoming exhibition in May at Sandown race course that will show the personal bibles of all sorts of people, from Reggie Kray to Elvis Presley.

Our paper reviewer this morning was Revd. Dr. Gillian Straine (above), Curate of Kidlington.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Sunday 7th March

One Stop Guide to.....Jesus!

Oxfordshire author Mike Beaumont is celebrating selling a hundred and twenty thousand copies of his last book - the "One Stop Guide to Jesus" - which has been printed in fifteen different languages.

Mike Beaumont, from Oxfordshire Community Churches, and presenter of the Journey's series on BBC Oxford, came in to the studio to tell us how much he learnt whilst researching for the book, and ponder how much of his book is lost in translation when it is published in Chinese!

Remembering Haiti

It's only been a couple of months since the devastating earthquake hit Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince and it is so easy to forget about this once the cameras move on, but Oxfam's Ian Bray who recently returned from Haiti came in to highlight the on going dangers that the people of Haiti face.

Ian has worked for Oxfam for more than 10 years, with over 7 years experience as an aid worker in Indonesia and Southern Africa. As the rainy season is threatening to descend on Haiti in April, the makeshift camps which now house many of those who have lost their homes are at risk of floods and the spread of disease. For more information on what you can do to help, visit the Disasters Emergency Committe website at:

Cakes for Haiti

Phil also spoke to Janet Mohapi-Banks who is helping to organise a national cake sale to raise money for Haiti. So if baking is your forte, then find out how you can help at:


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

Making Football History

Clare Marsh is making history today by becoming only the second woman to referee a championship football match. Her brother Chris will also be on the pitch as line's man. If you fancy becoming a referee there is a new course starting soon in Bicester, for more details go to:

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Saturday March 6th

Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT)

Debbie Dance, director of OPT, explained how the trust's annual awards will include a new comunity award. Debbie told us: "The idea of a new award is a recognition of the way in which individual groups and neighbourhoods can make a difference. A place is about its people and this is nowhere more true than Oxford."

Projects nominated must be accessible to the public or seen from a public place.

For more information and a nomination form visit: or email

Oxfordshire Science Festival

Science Oxford's Renee Watson popped into the studio to tell listeners all about the science festival launch this weekend. Renee gave an insight into some of the fun activities happening all over the county including a performance by world street dance champions Step 2 and How to be Super!

The festival runs from March 6 - March 21 for more details visit:

The Big Lunch and Clean-up

Eco-guru Simon Kenton breezed in to tell us about a host of eco-friendly events going on in Oxford over the weekend.

Simon will be urging people to swap their unwanted goods before getting involved in one of many litter-picks happening in the county.

If you want to do your bit for the community details are below.

Sat 6th Low Carbon Headington swap shop, 10-1pm, Gladstone Rd community centre
Sat 6th Dean Court swap shop, 10-12pm, Dean Court social club.
Sat 6th Dean Court litter pick 11-1pm, meet at social club
Sat 6th Waterways litter pick, 2-4pm, meet outside Kids Unlimited, Apsley Rd at 2pm
Sun 7th Waterside litter pick, 2-4pm, meet outside Kids Unlimited, Apsley Rd at 2pm

Holi Mela Festival

Kashmira Patel told us all about the Hindu Festival of Colours - Holi - being celebrated in Headington this weekend.
The Holi Mela is being organised in aid of the Oxford Hindu Temple and Community Centre Project, which is aiming to build a temple here in Oxfordshire.

So, if you fancy adding a splash of colour to your weekend, get down to Headington this Saturday.

The festival takes place at Sandhills School from 12-5.30pm.

Saturday 6th March

Elaine emailed in this picture from last weeks Get Active walk. We are still scratching our head trying to work out if its one tree gone mad or two trees intertwined! Botanists, please help!