Welcome to Brightwell-cum-Sotwell...
Read about BCS Parish Plan Questionnaire at
Talk by gardener who knows his onions: Wallingford Town Hall, 13 March at 7.30 pm more
War exhibition opens summer season at Wallingford Museum more
Oxford auditions for quiz contestants to sit in the Mastermind chair more
You may be an outsider, wanting to know more about the village with the weirdest name in South Oxfordshire, or you may be a resident. In either case, we hope you will find something here to interest you.
Brightwell-cum-Sotwell is a village of picture postcard prettiness. Nestling in a hollow below Wittenham Clumps, it has at its heart the CAMRA award-winning Red Lion pub. Dotted along the narrow streets are picturesque black and white thatched cottages. There is a school and pre-school, four churches, and a village hall which houses a thriving volunteer-run village shop. The parish stretches to the edge of Wallingford, but – as can be seen from the current campaign against plans to extend the town westwards – the village values its separate identity.
In estate agents' jargon, this is a sought after village, but it is much more than a pretty face. People have lived and worked here for over a thousand years. Where our forebears tilled the land, we are now more likely to toil over computers. However, farming still has an important part to play in shaping the landscape, and we remain firmly in touch with our rural roots.
This is an area that has attracted artists, musicians, scientists and visionaries. Visitors come from all over the world to Mount Vernon, home of the celebrated Bach Flower Remedies. Wild flowers grown in the garden of Mount Vernon are still used to make the mother tincture of these homeopathic treatments, and their creator, Dr Edward Bach, is buried in St James's churchyard in Sotwell.
Our top picture, taken by Keith Brooks, shows the revival of the ancient custom of wassailing – toasting the health of the trees. If you'd like to see more, check out the picture gallery. Chris Baines and Eric Dore's photos underneath show the paddling pool around the war memorial at the height of the winter floods. Thanks to all for your contributions.
Feel free to send us your photos, news and dates for the calendar. If you would like to advertise or create a web page for your organisation, we would also love to hear from you. Just click on the Contact link at the top, or get involved through the blog and Facebook pages.