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Memorable Things from My Time as Radley Parish Clerk by Sally Raven (Parish Clerk 1974-2010)




I was paid £100 when I started!!! I was appointed on the basis that there would be twelve meetings plus the Annual Parish Meeting – but this had to be changed straightaway because decisions had to be made on Planning Applications within a 21 day period and we then met three weekly (as explained above).

We used to meet in a wooden village hall just by the Lower Radley Caravan Park – We had some really bad gales during one period, even travelling to Radley along the Oxford Road was full of danger because of falling trees and I know on one occasion I thought the hall was going to blow away!! This was the only meeting place at that time, but I was involved in discussions with Radley College very early on in my appointment about the new village hall (although I know that Alan Clark and David Buckle were the lead Parish Councillors in this discussion and I was very much the “new girl on the block”.) Denis Silk, the Warden at the time, was in regular contact with the Parish Council during the time he was Warden and we had regular meetings at his home.
Parish Council meetings were held in the bar area at the new village hall for a time but we transferred to the Church Room shortly after it opened – mainly I think because we had to compete with the WI and their rendition of Jerusalem!!
Peachcroft Estate was being developed and from October 1974 to the mid-1980s we had numerous plans for the development of this estate and for the other estates which bordered on Radley. I cannot remember off hand when the periphery road was built and the boundary of Peachcroft Estate moved into Abingdon – I know that we had discussions with Abingdon Town Council about staggered payments from the Town Council to off-set the reduction in precept.


New play area (I remember it well as I had chickenpox when it was being delivered and installed!!)

Dare I say it – 1981/1982 public meeting with National Power regarding filling the gravel pits with PFA and agreement to this at a public meeting held in the village. I have been involved in regular meetings with the Power Station staff ever since then – except for the recent break.
We have had highway problems throughout – the County Engineer when I started was Roy Churchman, and I think this was really the most productive time. He was always willing to come and walk around areas of Radley, and certainly things got done.


First Village Plan

Allotments – requested by Mr Saunders, Spinneys Close. We leased the site from DC in 1985, and then purchased it around the time we were dealing with the sports pavilion, additional playing field, new cemetery and the lease for the car park!!!

During the 1980s we had the two brick bus shelters built – by the Bowyers Arms and at Pebble Hill

During the 1990s:

(a)   Bylaws for playing field – dogs/dangerous sports – 1993

(b)   Provision of new sports pavilion and lease on second field – this was a real headache project. The football clubs had started it – both boys and men – but Dick Crabb did not get the support he needed and the PC took over the project. It then had to work out a plan to raise money and it managed to do this by breaking it down into about four parts. So we were fund raising for about four years and having elongated very unhappy discussions with the football clubs during that time because they felt the PC was dragging its heels. The sports pavilion opened in 1999.

(c)   The Council also purchased land for the new cemetery by the car park, and took out a lease for the car park etc.

(d)   the Council purchased the allotment land from the District Council in 1995 (for £2,500 plus legal costs)

(e)   Start of annual Garden Competition – 2010 will be the fourteenth.

(f)   Celebration of 25 years as Clerk – surprise gathering at Radley College



Millennium “Time Capsule” buried in the new Burial Grounds – can be dug up for examination of its contents in the Year 2101.



(a)   Village Shop set up – after public meeting held by Parish Council. Brian Mott was the one who pressurised the Parish Council on this – he tried all sorts of alternatives before the Parish Council agreed to hold a public meeting to see if there was any interest, and now the village has a very successful village shop.

(b)   Car Park resurfaced



Radley Lakes: A very memorable three/four year fight to save the remaining lake, Thrupp Lake.



(a)   Provision/possibility of New Village Hall – a very memorable public meeting.

(b)   Following a public meeting, Friends of Radley Station was set up.




(a)   The Radley Lakes Judicial Review was halted, and an agreement between RWE npower and the Northmoor Trust has led to active planning for a wildlife area around Thrupp Lake .

(b)   Village Pond fencing (at last!)

(c)   Following two public meetings called by the Parish Council, a community group has been set up to see whether a new Parish Plan can be produced.

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