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Archive - Thursday, 24 July 2008

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On this day:

  • Mourners to honour Justin

    A man has died after spending six weeks fighting for his life following a car crash in Malaysia. read more

  • RACING: Channon baning on Youmzain's pace

    West Ilsley trainer Mick Channon is banking on a good pace for Youmzain to upset Duke Of Marmalade in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, writes Russell Smith. read more

  • CRICKET: Harrison fighting to be fit for derby clash

    JasonHarrison, the captain of title-chasing Oxford, is fighting to be fit for their crunch Diviison 1 derby clash away to Banbury tomorrow. read more

  • CRICKET: Oxon Over 50s top group

    Oxfordshire Over 50s finished their group games with a nine-wicket win against Shropshire at Whitchurch on Wednesday. read more

  • ROWING: Holden lead City's golden day

    Pride of place this week goes to City of Oxford, who collected six medals - three of them gold - at the three-day National Championships in Nottinghham, writes Mike Rosewell. read more

  • Beaujolais case £88

    The Beaujolais case costs £88 and includes three bottles each of Beaujolais 2007, Loron et Fils; Beaujolais-Villages 2006, Domaine du Tracot; Morgon 2006, Domaine de Robert; and Regnie 2006, Domaine du Tracot. read more

  • Local share prices

    24/07/2008pm AEA Technology 49 BMW 2411 Electrocomponents 162 Nationwide Accident Repair 119.5 Oxford Biomedica 10 Oxford Catalyst 168.5 Oxford Instruments 223.75 REED 550.25 RM 191.25 RPS Group 298.5 Courtesy Redmayne Bentley read more

  • Park wins national award

    A corner of Oxford has been honoured in a nationwide scheme to recognise Britain's best parks and green spaces. read more

  • City gets good housing report

    Oxford City Council delivers good' strategic housing services with excellent prospects for improvement', according to a report published by the Audit Commission. read more

  • Reading the future

    An espresso machine is on its way to a bookshop near you. But forget coffee - what this machine makes is instant books. Oxford bookseller Blackwell's is to install the UK's first on-demand printer to supply customers with titles not on the bookshop shelves - titles which would normally need ordering specially from the publisher. read more

  • New airport terminal launched

    Builders Wates Construction handed over a new £2.5m Oxfordjet building to the management of Oxford Airport, watched by invited guests, including private aircraft owners and operators of business charter jets. read more

  • Sex, art and mystery

    Elizabeth Lowry wanted to write the sort of book that she would like to read. Her aim was to create characters whose personalities were exposed gradually and who proved so intriguing they compelled readers to continue turning the pages. This is exactly what she has done. read more

  • Paperback round-up

    Agatha Christie Laura Thompson (Headline Review, £8.99) The life of the great detective story writer, told in the style of one of her mysteries. Thompson had access to family archives, and uses it to create a vivid portrait of Christie. The sections on her later life at Winterbrook, near Wallingford, where she moved with her second husband, the archaeologist Max Malloran, are particularly interesting for Oxfordshire readers, as is the revelation that Barbara Malloran - whom Max married shortly after Christie's death - continued to live in Wallingford until her own death in 1993. read more

  • Monument to a hero

    Is Blenheim Palace primarily a private home or a public monument to a national hero? That is a question that dogged its architect, Sir John Vanbrugh, and was at the root of his quarrel with Sarah, the first Duchess of Marlborough. read more

  • History of a decade

    THE 60S UNPLUGGED: A KALEIDOSCOPIC HISTORY OF A DISORDERLY DECADE Gerard DeGroot (Macmillan, £20)Born in 1965, I am rather proud of my earliest dateable memory - a somewhat traumatic first day at school in swinging, erm, Birmingham, in September 1969. In other words, I remember the sixties - I was there'. read more

  • Inspiration for holidays at home

    The Cotswolds and Shakespeare Country (VisitBritain, £6.99)Because the Cotswolds are on our doorstep, we tend to take them for granted. The Cotswolds and Shakespeare Country (£6.99) is a superb little book, compiled as part of VisitBritain's short break series, which reminds us of amazing places we can visit without having to spend hours at an overcrowded airport waiting for a flight which will take us away from it all. read more

  • Local share prices

    24/07/2008 AEA Technology 49 BMW 2517 Electrocomponents 164.5 Nationwide Accident Repair 119.5 Oxford Biomedica 10.25 Oxford Catalyst 168.5 Oxford Instruments 222.5 REED 550.25 RM 189.25 RPS Group 298.5 read more

  • Juicy titbits from the world of books

    My copy of Jeremy Lewis's entertaining 1996 memoir Kindred Spirits carries a hand-written dedication from its author. I won't reveal the name of the dedicatee, lest it cause any bad blood between him/her and Jeremy, the book having found its way to a second-hand shop in Oxford. 'Jezza' - as he is known to colleagues at The Oldie, where he is commissioning editor - has many friends in this city. He lived here for some years in the 1970s, having moved from London to join the staff of the Oxford University Press under Hugo Brunner, with whom he later worked in London for Chatto & Windus. (This column's congratulations to Hugo, incidentally, on his recent knighthood.) I feel pretty certain I must have met him at the time, since we were both regulars at the same pub, the Gardener's Arms, in Plantation Road. read more

  • Stage is set for unruly herd of political animals

    Animal Farm by Creation Theatre can be seen at the Oxford Castle this summer and NICK UTECHIN talks to Ian Wooldridge about his own adaptation of Orwell's story for the stage The Creation Theatre Company has been busy this summer: having already mounted three productions at various Oxford locales, along comes the fourth, and possibly most challenging. Previewing this week at Oxford Castle has been Animal Farm, which was successfully adapted for the stage some 25 years ago by theatre director Ian Wooldridge. And the six performers had better be on their mettle, for Wooldridge himself is here in Oxford, at the moment, overseeing a summer course organised by the British American Drama Academy, of which he is dean. read more

  • Atoms are smashing

    Some of today's most exciting research comes to Science Oxford, writes ANNE LECHELLE What links blinking, the Big Bang, and the brain, with planets orbiting distant stars and atoms trapped in carbon cages? The answer is that they are all featured in The Cutting Edge, a snapshot of the most fascinating science and engineering research taking place in the UK and Europe. read more

  • Pet therapy companions are 'unsung heroes'

    Pets As Therapy, the largest charity of its kind in Europe, continues to bring comfort, companionship and healing to more than 100,000 patients every week. However, it could not do this without the help of registered volunteers and their pets. read more

  • Giving credit where credit is not due

    A new bout of Brideshead mania seems set to engulf the nation with the imminent release of a big-budget film version of Evelyn Waugh's classic novel. Before it does, one matter needs to be settled very firmly. read more

  • Teddy Bears' Picnic

    Children who bring their teddy bears to Cogges Farm in Witney tomorrow will be allowed in free as part of the museum's Traditional Toy Weekend. read more

  • Unlikely 'greening' of an oil baron

    How big is a barrel? Wikipedia says that an oil barrel contains 42 US gallons or 34.972 imperial gallons, but I find it hard to visualise such measurements. Burn Up (BBC2) was a drama in which businessmen spoke about barrels of oil as if they knew what they were talking about. Like most businessmen in dramas, they talked very quickly, alluding to things we ordinary mortals know nothing about. Yet these oilmen seemed unaware of controversies about global warming until the subject was explained to them in supposedly elementary terms. Even this explanation included such unhelpful statistics as the prediction of a 78cm. rise in sea levels by the end of the century (how high is 78 centimetres?). Oh, and methane gas is 23 times more devastating than carbon dioxide (so what's all the fuss about CO2?). read more

  • The family 'shame' of the first Sir Winston

    CHRIS KOENIG tells the less well known story of the grandsons of the first Churchill, a West Country squire The first Sir Winston Churchill, a West Country squire, was the father of the great Duke of Marlborough of Blenheim Palace. Less widely known is the fact that he was also grandfather of two other dukes - of sorts. read more

  • The Fleece, Church Green, Witney

    By an odd coincidence, the chefs at the Peach Pub Company's two Oxfordshire operations find themselves staring at each other today from opposite pages of The Oxford Times. Alistair Barlow takes a bow as commander of the kitchens at this week's restaurant under review, The Fleece, in Witney, while the facing page features the award-winning Corin Earland of The Fishes, in North Hinksey. read more

  • This poultry affair

    VAL BOURNE says she really can give up her chickens - but not just yet In a recent poll, chickens were one of the five most desirable additions to a garden and this makes me happy. I feel some satisfaction because I left my established plant-packed garden in Hook Norton primarily because I wanted to keep chickens again. read more

  • Young chef is tipped for a bright future

    Chefs Gary Rhodes, Michael Caines and Marco Pierre White were all nominated for an Acorn Award in their early days before they found fame and fortune. The award is highly prized. They are given annually to people aged 30 and under who have shown commitment and ability in the catering industry and have demonstrated qualities which will make an impact in the future. They are innovators who have already achieved exceptional things and are considered people to watch out for as they are exceptionally talented and deserve recognition at this stage of their career. read more

  • Village's action plan

    Inspired by the Rio summit, Kirtlington villagers set out to maintain biodiversity and have just published a report on their work, writes PETER BARRINGTON Inspired by an international conference on the need to conserve wildlife around the world a group of Oxfordshire villagers agreed to find out just what could be found on their patch. read more

  • Corin Earland's pork paté recipe

    Corin Earland is proud of the recipes he creates for The Fishes' menu. This pork paté appears as one of the many items on the pub's deli boards and for the picnic hampers he prepares to enable customers to enjoy an informal al fresco meal in The Fishes' attractive garden. read more

  • A platform to showcase music

    GILES WOODFORDE talks to Marios Papadopoulos about the International Piano Festival and a Beethoven Festival as part of Oxford Philomusica's tenth anniversary celebrations If it wasn't for the traffic noise, in the next few days you could stand at the junction of Longwall and High Street, and almost hear two different pianists at once, one through each ear. That's because the Oxford Philomusica's tenth International Piano Festival and Summer Academy will be taking place in the Holywell Music Room, and also just across Magdalen Bridge at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building. read more

  • The Dark Knight

    Christopher Nolan's dark, brooding Batman sequel swoops in amid a storm of hype and feverish anticipation. No film could live up to such expectations but The Dark Knight soars tantalisingly close, probing the inner demons of Gotham's favourite crime-fighter as he duels with his most famous adversary. read more

  • Paris, Quiet City, Crazy Love and Out of Shame

    When not teaching cinema, Cédric Klapisch makes engaging ensemble dramas that bear the seemingly incompatible influence of his favourite directors, Woody Allen, Ingmar Bergman, John Cassavetes, Martin Scorsese and Maurice Pialat. Since first making an impact in this country with When the Cats Away (1995), Klapisch has demonstrated a facility for the well-drawn characters, smart dialogue and credible situations that made Un Air de Famille (1996), Pot Luck (2002) and its sequel Russian Dolls (2005) so moreish. read more

  • Vocal riches

    The Folk Singer of the Year, Julie Fowlis, is one of the big draws at next month's Fairport's Cropredy Convention, writes PETER CANN Cuildh is the Gaelic word for treasury and once you hear the voice of Scottish singer Julie Fowlis you wonder at its richness - and its beauty. Cuildh is the title she has adopted for her latest album, which brings the wealth of traditional Gaelic songs from the windswept islands of the Hebrides to a modern audience. Julie, one of the main attractions at next month's Fairport's Cropredy Convention, remains true to her roots of North Uist. She sings in a language only understood by around 60,000 people and can claim a connection to many of the songs recorded as they originate from the island and some were even written by her ancestors. read more

  • Oxford, a centre of wine learning

    If I had a bottle of wine for every time someone told me I had one of the best jobs in the world, I could start having baths in the stuff. People envy the regular wine tastings and who am I to blame them? read more

  • ROMEO AND JULIET: OXFORD UNIVERSITY DRAMATIC SOCIETY, THE QUEEN'S COLLEGE AND TOURING

    The Oxford University Dramatic Society is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its summer tour to Japan with a fine new production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In a signal honour for the company, it has been invited to perform at the prestigious Metropolitan Art Space in Tokyo. Before that, the play is being staged in three London churches, in Stratford-upon-Avon and from next Wednesday to Saturday in the Provost's Garden at The Queen's College, Oxford. read more

  • ART IN ACTION: WATERPERRY HOUSE

    After 31 years, Art in Action is a firm fixture in many people's calendars, and it is easy to see why. The event brings together an almost overwhelming array of arts, crafts, music, dance and performance, from across the world, an array which inspires, excites and, in many cases, offers the opportunity to buy and cherish. The inspiration comes both from the work itself and from the opportunity to talk to artists and crafts people as they demonstrate the techniques they use and explain why they chose their subject and medium. Practical classes allow young and old alike to try their hand. read more

  • IAN MCCLAGAN; TRUCK FESTIVAL

    The last time I saw Ian McLagan perform in the open air, he was sharing a Wembley stage in 1984 with Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Van Morrison in front of 100,000 ecstatic fans. But the former Small Faces keyboards man looked happy enough doing his own roadie work for his late afternoon appearance at the Truck Festival. read more

  • FIOA MCCLEAN, VILLAGES, THEATRE, CHIPPING NORTON

    This warm, vibrant exhibition comprises 21 paintings in bold uncompromising colours by artist Fiona McClean. A former Oxfordshire resident, she now lives in the beautiful Drôme region of France. Her work is semi-abstract and through it she records everyday life in her adopted home, resulting in images that could only be drawn from the sun-baked Mediterranean. read more

  • DYLAN HOWE, THE SPIN

    Sitting behind a very unpretentious drum kit, Dylan Howe (pictured) started off the first set at the Spin with a quiet, insistent groove which stilled the chattering of the expectant audience before the rest of the quartet joined in. Only when Mark Hanslip stated the melody was the piece recognisable as Coleman's Broadway Blues, by which time Howe's drumming was cracking and whirring like a sonic acrobat, often falling silent for a couple of beats or suddenly accelerating into double time then pausing and falling back to the original medium swing. The result was playing of great originality, the sinuous, angular lines from the melody being ripped and sharpened by Howe's extraordinarily expressive and attentive drumming to which Oly Hayhurst, on bass, responded with speed and empathy. read more

  • CD REVIEWS — DONNIE MUNRO AND VICTOR UWAIFO

    Donnie Munro, the former frontman with the iconic Scottish band Runrig, continues to forge a solid solo career after a dalliance with politics - he stood for Parliament in Skye, but was narrowly defeated by the erstwhile leader of the Lib-Dems, Charles Kennedy. read more

  • Arson attack at flats

    An arsonist set fire to a chest of drawers in the lobby of a block of flats. read more

  • LA GIOCONDA: HOLLAND PARK OPERA

    Performances of Amilcare Ponchielli's La Gioconda are a rarity in Britain, so Holland Park's decision to stage the work this year is to be applauded. The opera includes stirring music, a number of wonderful arias, and lots of drama. This is a fine production, too, with excellent performances by the principals, chorus and orchestra. read more

  • LEONORA, BAMPTON CLASSICAL OPERA, DEANERY GARENS, BAMPTON

    In his biography of Peter Pears, Christopher Headington recalls how, during a performance of the St Matthew Passion in Ely Cathedral, Pears wore a cricket pullover under his dress shirt - an example of the singer's strategy when faced with a freezing concert venue. Shivering along with the rest of the audience in the gardens at Bampton Deanery on Saturday night I thought of that cricket jumper. read more

  • TREASURE ISLAND: MILTON KEYNES THEATRE

    Bursting with robust utterances of "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum", and equally robust references to "Dirty, treacherous dogs", this is a new Birmingham Stage Company production of R.L.Stevenson's classic tale of pirates and buried treasure. The atmosphere is set as you enter the theatre, with wailing seagulls (a most unusual sound in Milton Keynes) seeming to circle the auditorium, courtesy of a stereophonic soundtrack. On stage, a realistic schooner is ready for departure - Jackie Trousdale's most effective design features a mast made of rope, which will later spin itself out into a ready-made island tree. read more

  • SUNSET BOULEVARD: WATERMILL THEATRE, NEWBURY

    'I am big, it's the pictures that got small," snaps Norma Desmond, as she seeks to explain the collapse of her star status many years ago. But the truth is that Norma fell by the wayside when sound films came in, her voice or acting style judged unsuitable for the new medium. She has retreated to her Hollywood mansion, forgotten and seething with bitterness. Then young scriptwriter Joe Gillis knocks at her door, wanting to use the phone when his car breaks down. Quick as a flash, Norma smells an opportunity, and sinks her scarlet-painted talons into Joe. He must move in immediately, and write the script for Norma's comeback film. read more

  • CIRCUS TATOVSKI: THE THEATRE, CHIPPING NORTON

    Imagine the thrill of the Big Top in an intimate setting. That is what Circus Tatovski achieves in a seemingly effortless stream of cameo performances and acts linked together by insights into the relationships between the five characters that make up the troupe. So, in addition to the drama provided by the acts, there are dramatic stories running between them too. Love requited and unrequited, jealousy and stealing a march, and when it all gets too much for the girls, a good old fashioned cat fight. Ringmaster Igor Tatovski (Tat) tries, not entirely successfully, to manage these relationships as he gruffly introduces artists and acts. read more

  • Swimmers dive in for poor relation

    Swimmers dived in at Hinksey Pool to raise money for Oxford's poorest twin city. read more

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