Due to the Covid-19 pandemic all our meetings and activities are currently in abeyance until further notice.
We normally meet at 10.00am on the third Wednesday of every month. Group Leader Donna Thynne
Committee members: Judy McGill, Jan Townley, Donna Thynne and Julie Walsh.
Please see our 2020 Programme below:
|December 2019||No meeting|
|15 January 2020||Christmas lunch DT|
|18 February 2020||Visit to Kingston Bagpuize House, please book via Jane Clarke of the Gardening Group NOTE CHANGE OF VISIT AND DATE JC|
|18 March 2020||Quiz (Quiz Master to be selected) DT|
|15 April 2020||Oxford guided tour DT|
|20 May 2020||Visit to Filkins ... possible guided tour DT|
|17 June 2020||Possible visit to Broughton Castle JW|
|15 July 2020||Visit to The Saxon Hall House at Long Wittenham DT|
|19 August 2020||Visit to Cogges Manor Farm and picnic DT|
|16 September 2020||Visit to Rissington with a talk by Mick Walsh on the Souls Brothers - 5 brothers who all died in WW1 JW|
|21 October 2020||Talk on maps by Donna|
|18 November 2020||Visit to Ardley Recycling Centre - NOTE POSTPONED FROM 19TH FEBRUARY JT|
On 20th November 2019 a group member led a discussion about Witney Town Planning.
In the 1960s Witney planners realised that Witney needed some development and expansion. The
Welch Way development of the 1960s, was principally built to provide accommodation for workers
at Smith Industries, but it was seen as not very successful. The most ideal expansion would be to
create a balance between new facilities and retaining the ‘essence’ of Witney as a market town.
Initial planning applications involved large out-of-town shopping centre proposals but these were
not well received by the Council, who thought it would be the death knell of the town centre.
Abingdon was seen as an example of unsympathetic town planning as the old town is isolated in a
one-way road system.
It was decided to create the Woolgate Centre and the new Waitrose store on fields and a disused
mill site between the High Street and the River Windrush. Part of the large back gardens backing
onto the river were compulsory purchased for the development and to allow for the new car park.
Many of the trees in this area had tree preservation orders and so could not be cleared. This
contributed to the riverside walk and the landscaping of the Waitrose car park. The car park is seen
as exceptional example of car park landscaping and has been used an example of how it should be
The planning department’s aim was to create a sympathetic compromise between country (lots of
open spaces), providing new amenities, and the town, and at the same time encouraging and
retaining local long standing family businesses and shops. Important elements of the town, like
Church Green, were preserved.
Ann showed how much energy and commitment it took to work on such a large project (finished in
1978), and how sympathetic planning decisions made a positive contribution to the town’s future