Five things from Oxfordshire


Here are five stories from Oxfordshire which have been attracting attention this week.

1. Chief constable first on scene of crash

image copyrightThames Valley Police
image captionChief Constable Francis Habgood said the driver was "walking wounded"

The chief constable of Thames Valley Police was first to respond to a rush hour collision near Oxford that flipped a car upside down.

Francis Habgood climbed into the overturned car and supported the driver until other emergency services arrived.

Police were called to Middle Street, Islip, near Kidlington, at about 07:50 GMT on Monday.

2. 'I give them a hug and something to eat'

media captionIcolyn "Ma" Smith started the Oxford Community Soup Kitchen in 1990

The founder of an Oxford soup kitchen has received a Pride of Britain award for 28 years of feeding the homeless.

Icolyn "Ma" Smith, 87, started the Oxford Community Soup Kitchen in 1990 after she saw a young man eating from a bin.

3. Hidden rooms of history revealed at Blenheim Palace

image copyrightBlenheim Palace
image captionMore than 30 rooms were flooded when the gardens were re-landscaped

A series of mysterious rooms have been revealed after lakes at Blenheim Palace were drained in a bid to save a bridge.

The stately home needs to remove 400,000 tonnes of silt to protect the Grade I-listed Grand Bridge.

The bridge contains more than 30 rooms that were flooded when Lancelot "Capability" Brown created lakes on the estate in the 1760s.

4. Horspath World War One memorial 'half-baked'

image copyrightKeith Brooks
image captionThe stone monument has been installed in Horspath at a cost of £15,500

A man who spent four years campaigning for a war memorial in his village has said he is "ashamed" of the finished article.

The 1.8m-high [6ft] stone monument has been installed in Horspath, near Oxford, at a cost of £15,500.

Horspath Parish Council said it would look "outstanding".

5. Music stars rally behind 'important' venue

image copyrightThe Cellar
image captionGaz Coombes said losing The Cellar would be 'disastrous'

Singer Gaz Coombes and Radiohead drummer Phil Selway have backed a bid to save an "important" music venue.

The Cellar in Oxford can only sell 60 tickets per show after inspectors ruled its fire escape was 12in too short.

Campaigners launched the #CellarForever bid to raise £80,000 for a new fire exit, modernisation work, and to cover the costs of its temporary closure.

More on this story