A newsletter to members of the Beckley & Area Community Benefit Society
Although January is generally a ‘quiet’ month for pubs, our community pub has been a warm, welcoming and vibrant retreat (and treat!) from the cold, grey and wet outdoors. Yes, it has been quiet at some off-times, but through much of January there has been a lovely, warm and sociable atmosphere to match the glow from three stoves, bar and kitchen.
HURRY! Voting for the Sawday's / The Telegraph Pub Awards 2020 closes on 2nd February 2019 - see below.
New bar manager and staff
In the past few weeks, three new permanent staff have joined Aimee’s and Joe’s teams. The new Bar Manager is Sam, who has taken over the front of house reins from Ben. She and Liam are joined by Julie, whose partner Mike has joined Joe’s kitchen team. At a time when many pubs struggle to recruit good staff, The Abingdon Arms is blessed with a very strong, friendly and capable staff team.
At last, the project to construct new, fully accessible toilets is underway. Classic Builders having set up their compound, the last week of January saw the opening of the temporary toilets in the car park and de-commissioning of the pub’s tired old toilet block. Weather conditions permitting, essential infrastructure and foundations will be installed in February. The new block will rise from the metaphorical ashes of the old!
Sawday’s / The Telegraph Pub Awards for 2020
There was great pleasure and excitement when The Abingdon Arms was awarded Alastair Sawday’s ‘Community Pub of the Year’ for 2019. Nominations are now open for Sawday’s / The Telegraph Pub Awards for 2020. Why not vote for The Abingdon Arms again – could we make overall ‘Pub of the Year’ this time? And the organisers will pick four people who nominate their favourite pub to win a £250 stay at a Sawday's Inn. But hurry: voting closes on 2nd February! See - Sawday’s and The Telegraph Pub Awards.
Good Neighbour Scheme
As announced last month, BACBS is planning to build on the volunteer car transport schemes operating already for Noke, Woodeaton and Horton cum Studley to enable residents of all our seven villages to reach The Abingdon Arms for social and ‘More than a Pub’ events to which they might otherwise not have access. We need initially to recruit a volunteer from Elsfield, Stanton St John and Forest Hill to join representatives of the other villages in planning the scheme. Would you join us, even if you may not want to volunteer later as a driver? If you are interested and willing, please contact your BACBS village link person (Peter McCool for Elsfield, Fariba Battye for Stanton St John, Prue Leeding for Forest Hill) or Mike Hobbs at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!
Sam Francis has initiated a community engagement programme with a view to identifying newcomers to our community, and informing them of the role played by The Abingdon Arms as a hub for social and other community activities. Are you new or fairly new to the area? Can you let us know of others who are? Please do contact Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07809 213874.
BACBS has commissioned a small, folding, laminated OS-based map of the Otmoor area with the aim of encouraging residents and visitors alike to walk, cycle and enjoy our lovely countryside and its amenities – pubs, shops, nature reserves and so on. These will be available for sale (probably £4.50) in these pubs and shops. With this attractive resource at hand, we can extend on the monthly weekend round walks from The Abingdon Arms. So we want to recruit more walk leaders, and volunteers to help us devise and map routes in order to produce an on-line manual of local walks and cycle rides. Interested? Please contact Mike Hobbs - email@example.com
The many people who enjoyed Tara Stubbs’ excellent talk about W B Yeats on 27 January, and others who missed it, may be interested in her W B Yeats reading list which is attached.
We have an exciting programme of talks over the next few months, including our own version of “With Great Pleasure” (24 March), talks about local authors R D Blackmore and A E Coppard (12 May), and about the Pre-Raphaelites (30 June). Of course, we are always looking for new subjects for our literary and local interest talks. Do you have a suggestion, or a contact who could give a talk? Please contact Mike Hobbs - firstname.lastname@example.org.
More immediately, in February, The Abingdon Arms will host talks about Beckley and its ‘hinterland’ in medieval times (Elizabeth Gemmill, 10 February) and about the archaeology of Oxford (David Radford, 24 February) - see the February ‘More than a Pub’ programme
February ‘More than a Pub’ programme
In addition to the local interest talks mentioned above, the February programme - see attached - includes the first jazz session to feature a saxophonist (Ollie Weston), our regular favourites (community coffee morning, Beckley lunches, two Kids’ Café sessions, community walk) and our second community afternoon tea. Please do join us!
Beckley and Area Community Benefit Society Ltd
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