Oxford

Five things from BBC Oxford

Another week has passed, and with it our news team have reported on the heart-warming, the innovative and the (arguably) irritating.

Here's five things that you might have missed in the first week in August.

1. Heart-warming tribute to cyclist who died fundraising

Image copyright Chard family
Image caption Robin Chard was doing something he loved to raise money, his wife said

A Bicester man who died during a cycling marathon in London raised more than £60,000 for cancer research, after his story touched the hearts of millions of people.

Robin Chard, who survived cancer as a child, died aged 48 from a cardiac arrest while raising money at the RideLondon event on 31 August.

After his death was reported by the BBC, donations to his online fundraising page came pouring in.

His sister Andrea said she was "very touched by the kind messages".

2. Oxford company creates 'glasses for the blind'

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Media captionComputer assistant could revolutionise lives of visually impaired

An Oxford University spinout company has developed 'smart glasses' which could help the blind and visually impaired see again.

The computer assistant enhances any remaining vision, helping to make out shapes and differentiate between light and dark.

They help wearers to find their way around independently, avoid collisions and even see in the dark.

The team at OxSight have set their sights on their next challenge, to next develop a television set for the blind.

3. We sniggered at a huge organ

Image caption The deteriorating organ is the largest in a private house in Europe

If I said someone wanted to restore a "worn out" old organ, what would you think?

Well get your mind out of gutter, because Blenheim Palace are trying to raise £400,000 to restore a concert organ to its former glory.

The country estate is attempting to raise the funds through a set of concerts.

A spokeswoman said the organ had "entertained kings, emperors and wounded World War One soldiers".

4. Hours of delays to Countryfile Live

Image caption Surrounding roads were gridlocked by mid-morning on Thursday

Sticking with Blenheim Palace, wildlife enthusiasts were left angered and frustrated during the first two days of Countryfile Live at the country estate, as queues to get into the venue's car park peaked at two hours.

People travelling to the event, the first of its kind, complained that the queues were worse than Glastonbury.

The estate's chief executive John Hoy apologised for the issues caused, and added: "We know where we can improve, we have made some signage and some routing and some lane changes for this morning, and we are confident things will run much smoother."

Image copyright @loopylox

5. Oxford's expensive... and the Pope's a Catholic

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Media captionWhere is it most expensive to rent a home?

In the words of the late, great Cilla Black: "Surprise, surprise."

Oxford is lampooned once again as being one of the most expensive places to live in the country.

On Friday BBC England's data team found that more than a half of people renting across the country are spending more than 30% -the recommended amount - on rent.

This is nowhere more apparent than Oxford, where house prices are 16 times more the average income, making it the least affordable city in the country.

Freelance musician and composer Matt Winkworth has decided the only way to get on the housing ladder is to take to the seas - or the Grand Union Canal.

He has bought a boat to get on the housing ladder and said: "I've thought about getting a mortgage, but I would have to move out of the area that I work [in], it's impossible to buy anywhere in the South East.

"[Living in the boat] will be the first time I have lived on my own."

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