Didcot dig: MP Ed Vaizey supports history trail plans

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Culture Minister Ed Vaizey is supporting a campaign for a history trail through a new housing estate.

Archaeologists discovered hunter-gatherers lived on the site of the Great Western Park development in Didcot, Oxfordshire, 9,000 years ago.

About 3,300 homes, schools and shops are being built on the 180-hectare site east of the town.

A petition in favour of installing a history trail has been signed by nearly 1,100 people.

Timeline of finds at the site

The Neolithic bowl found
  • Mesolithic - 10,000 to 4,000 BC: Flint implements from hunter-gatherers
  • Neolithic - 4,000 to 2,000 BC: A ceramic bowl
  • Bronze Age - 2,000 to 800 BC: A pond barrow burial mound used for mortuary ceremonies and three roundhouses within a ditched enclosure
  • Iron Age - 800 BC to 43 AD: A large settlement with up to 60 roundhouses, animal enclosures, trackway and grain storage pits also used for human burials
  • Roman - 43 to 410 AD: A hoard of 400 coins, a Roman villa with bathhouse, human burials and corn drying ovens

The Didcot Dogmile group wants the archaeology found at the site marked and displayed through a trail with information boards and a reconstruction of an Iron Age roundhouse.

Karen Waggott, from the group, said: "This community petition asks that this story is not buried in a report and under housing."

The petition has been submitted to Oxfordshire County Council.

Mr Vaizey said: "We have been contacted about this, and we are, in turn, contacting the developers and English Heritage to see if we can help.

"In principle I am very much in favour of a history trail."

Among other discoveries made by archaeologists during 2010-13 excavations were a rare and complete neolithic bowl dating from about 3,600 BC, a Bronze Age burial mound, 60 Iron Age roundhouses and up to 50 burials.

A Roman farmstead was also discovered.

The history trail plan is backed by Didcot Town Council.

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    Tonight's TV 17:55: BBC South Today

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    Learners face driving test delay 17:33: BBC Radio Oxford

    BBC Radio Oxford can reveal people are waiting over three months to take their driving test in Oxford.

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    Roadwork delays 17:25: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

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    The A40 Oxford Ring Road Northern Bypass is heavy from Marston to the Cutteslowe roundabout Westbound, and Marston to the Headington roundabout eastbound.

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    Bungling burglars 17:20: Oxford Times

    Burglars were left empty-handed after breaking into a supermarket yesterday.

    Thames Valley Police is appealing for information after a group of three men targeted Cholsey's Tesco Express, in Ilges Lane.

    Police described the men as white and around 6ft (1.8 metres) tall. The men wore balaclavas and used an old shape Subaru Forrester.

    Drug dealers jailed 17:11:

    Two drug dealers have been imprisoned after pleading guilty to drug offences at Oxford Crown Court on Friday.

    Callum Spencer and Yusto Otunnu

    Callum Spencer, 22, received a sentence of four years and Yusto Otunnu, 32, was sentenced to seven and a half years.

    Drugs worth around £80,000 were found in the pair's possession in July.

    News on the hour 16:58: Phil Mercer Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Two men from Oxford have been found guilty of possession with intent to supply thousands of pounds worth of Class A drugs.

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    Wallingford school extension 16:42: Wallingford Herald

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    Sharon Corr 'super proud' 16:31: Kat Orman Afternoon presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Sharon Corr was a guest on the Kat Orman show this afternoon, ahead of her show tonight in Oxford.

    Sharon Corr and Kat Orman

    Sharon told Kat she was supported by her family to pursue a musical calling, along with her siblings in The Corrs, but was now excited to be pursuing a solo career.

    She said: "I'm super proud of what we achieved but I have never honestly been more fulfilled than right now, because I'm taking stuff uniquely down my own road."

    Plain sailing 16:18: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    No problems reported on the M40, A40 or A34.

    A clear drive across the Oxford ring road and good service on public transport this afternoon.

    Male portraits replaced 16:07: Linda Serck BBC News

    An Oxford University college has replaced an all-male portrait gallery with an all-female one to mark its 40th anniversary of coeducation.

    Hertford College hall

    Hertford College has removed paintings of luminaries including John Donne and William Tyndale from its dining hall.

    In their place is a photographic collection of female fellows and alumni from philosopher Baroness Warnock to world champion rower Stephanie Cullen.

    The new gallery will remain in place for the next 12 months.

    News on the hour 15:54: Phil Mercer Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Oxford's learner drivers are waiting up to three months to get a driving test BBC Radio Oxford has learnt.

    More on that and the other headlines at 16:00.

    Tattoo or not tattoo? 15:39: via Facebook

    Earlier Malcolm Boyden asked his listeners whether it was fair that a girl from the Thames Valley was barred from applying for a job after she revealed she had tattoos on her arms.

    Heavily tattooed man

    You shared your thoughts on Facebook: Linsey Loo Loo Bruno said " It doesnt affect people's ability to work. Like piercings."

    Darren Grant wrote "Depends on the job. Like most things there needs to be a balance, people who have tattoos should consider how it might affect their job opportunities and employers need to be more open minded."

    Sandra Richards said: "If I have a job interview i make sure my piercings are out and my tattoos are covered. That way they are sure to see my BSc, MSc and chartered scientist status and my 3 science awards rather than the fact I am a big Iron Maiden fan"

    Bye bye Bishop 15:27: Oxford Mail

    As the Bishop of Oxford begins to wind down and his retirement draws ever nearer, it is wonderful to see how many turned out to honour him this weekend.

    On air 15:15: Kat Orman Afternoon presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Sharon Corr is joining me on the show this afternoon to talk about her solo career and she'll be performing live.

    Sharon Corr

    As part of her band of siblings, The Corrs, Sharon had platinum records in multiple countries, travelled the world and received an MBE.

    Now taking to the stage as a solo artist, she has been a coach for the Irish Voice and is playing the O2 on the Cowley Road tonight.

    All-star hockey performance 15:05: Robyn Cowen Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Oxford City Stars beat Whitelink Raiders 6-5 in an NIHL Division 1 encounter at Oxford Ice Rink on Sunday.

    The result was the team's first win of the season.

    News on the hour 14:54: Phil Mercer Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    An Oxfordshire-based construction company's been fined £100,000 for safety failings.

    It's after a worker was critically injured when he was run over by a nine tonne dumper truck.

    More details at 15:00.

    Why not volunteer? 14:41:

    Making plans for tomorrow? Why not join in with some conservation work at Bure Park Nature Reserve, Bicester?

    Conservation work

    Run by Bicester Green Gym, it gives you a chance to get outdoors and get fit while improving the environment of the local community.

    'Sorely missed' 14:31: Emma Harrison BBC News Online

    Ann Ducker, the leader of South Oxfordshire District Council has died.

    Ann Ducker

    The Goring councillor, who had served on the council for 32 years, died following a short illness, a statement said.

    Council chair Ann Midwinter called Ms Ducker an "exemplary public servant" adding that she will be sorely missed.

    Slow traffic on A40 14:14:

    The roads are looking pretty good, the only thing to note is slow traffic on the A40 Northern Bypass westbound in Oxford from Marston to Cutteslowe roundabout.

    News on the hour 13:58: Phil Mercer Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue has been called to five separate incidents where hay bales have been set alight.

    The spate of arson attacks took place near Didcot between Wednesday and Thursday last week.

    Join me for more at 14:00.

    Misty morning 13:44: Andrew Humphrey BBC Local Live

    As promised in the weather forecast earlier, it has turned into a generally sunny day, but there was plenty of mist about earlier, as shown in this picture of the Thames near Wallingford this morning, taken by Elizabeth Burnell.

    Mist on the Thames

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    Littlemore minibus accident 13:32: Oxford Times

    A minibus carrying a group of youngsters was involved in a crash with a car on the A4142 Eastern Bypass.

    Three adults, 10 teenagers and a child were involved in the crash.

    Lunchtime TV 13:20: BBC South Today

    Coming up on South Today this lunchtime: Blue badges are supposed to offer disabled drivers easy access to parking.

    Disabled parking card

    But an investigation by BBC South has found that some are being sold on the black market and they are even being used when the owner of the badge is dead. For the full story join Roger Finn at 13:30.

    Didcot hay bale arson 13:06: Oxford Mail

    Thames Valley Police are appealing for information after five arson attacks took place on hay bales across Didcot in one night.

    News on the hour 12:57: Clare Woodling Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    "An outstanding leader."

    That's how the South Oxfordshire District Council leader Ann Ducker will be remembered by Henley MP John Howell.

    Cllr Ducker died yesterday, after suffering from pancreatic cancer.

    More on this story with me at 13:00.

    Witney Corn Exchange 12:44: Witney Gazette

    The future use of the Corn Exchange will be discussed at a meeting tonight.

    The Grade II-listed Market Square building has been closed since November 2011.

    Oxford Playhouse history 12:30:

    If you missed Will Gompertz on BBC Radio Oxford on Sunday, you can catch the show again on the BBC iPlayer.

    Will Gompertz

    This week he was looking at the history of the Oxford Playhouse, and featured music from OxFactor winner Sarah Fell.

    Shoppers stop thief 12:19: Oxford Times

    Shoppers stopped a would-be thief from escaping from a Wallingford supermarket without paying for a trolley full of goods.

    Tributes for Ann Ducker 12:04: Wallingford Herald

    Tributes have been made to Ann Ducker, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, who has died after a short illness.

    Ann Ducker

    Henley MP John Howell said "she was a very strong character and she will be sorely missed."

    David Buckle, chief executive of the council said "this is a very sad day. Ann was respected and liked by all of the staff."

    News on the hour 11:58: Clare Woodling Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    The Leader of South Oxfordshire District Council has died, after a short illness.

    Councillor Anne Ducker died last night, having had pancreatic cancer.

    More on this story with me at 12:00.

    Bells on Sunday 11:49:

    BBC Radio 4's Bells on Sunday this weekend featured the bells of the Church of St. John the Baptist, Burford.

    Church of St. John the Baptist, Burford, Oxfordshire
    'Oxford stink' returns 11:38: Andrew Humphrey BBC Local Live

    The mysterious "Oxford stink" has returned for a third time according to city residents, and some of the staff here at BBC Oxford.

    Have you noticed a return of the pong this morning? Let me know via email, Facebook or Twitter.

    On air 11:29: Will Wilkin Producer, BBC Radio Oxford

    On Malcolm Boyden this morning we'll be talking to Ross Harrison a young Oxfordshire filmmaker whose new documentary screened for the first time in Oxford on Saturday.

    People from Malaysia's indigenous population

    Sunset Over Selungo follows the life of a tribe deep in the jungle of Borneo. Ross is now working on a campaign to protect the rainforest with a local tribe.

    Ann Ducker dies 11:18: Oxford Mail

    Ann Ducker, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, has died.

    The Goring ward councillor died following a short illness, a council statement said.

    Self-harm rise 11:04: Phil Gayle Breakfast presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Figures obtained by BBC Radio Oxford show a rise of more than 50% over the last four years in the number of under 18-year-olds needing treatment for self-harm.

    Woman with head in her hands

    Niina Tamura spoke to Phil Gayle about her struggle with self-harming as a teenager: "You try to stop and then you count the days that you're clean. Then something upsetting happens or you get worse for some reason and then you start again.

    "And then you do it for a while until you manage to get yourself out of it and you get clean again, but it's a circle."

    News on the hour 10:56: Clare Woodling Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    There's been a 50% rise in the number of children receiving hospital treatment in Oxfordshire for self-harming, in the last four years.

    Over 170 children needed treatment in 2013 after taking deliberately taking an overdose. More on this at 11:00.

    'Miracle' Ollie 10:43: Oxford Times

    A year ago schoolboy Ollie Kirk became one of the first people in the UK to have half of his skull replaced with a ceramic implant.

    Looking at the little lad now, his parents cannot believe how far he's come, calling his recovery "miraculous".

    He is back playing football as though nothing had happened - although he does stay clear of headers.

    A sporting weekend? 10:32: Andrew Humphrey BBC Local Live

    My sporting activity this weekend was limited to watching Lewis Hamilton take the F1 championship lead in Singapore, but did you get out and about to watch any events?

    Or perhaps you scored the winning goal, try, or point for your team?

    Let me know what you got up to, the crucial score, and send me a picture of your sporting triumph or despair! Email, Facebook or Twitter to get in touch.

    London Welsh wait goes on 10:14: BBC Sport

    Sale Sharks secured their first win of the Premiership season with a bonus-point victory over London Welsh, who are still waiting for a first top-flight success this season.

    Sale Sharks' Magnus Lund is tackled by London Welsh's Nic Reynolds and Tristan Roberts (left)
    M40 clear, but... 10:05: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    The A421 at Finmere is partially blocked due to an accident involving a motorbike between the A4421 and Featherbed Lane - the accident is Westbound but it is affecting traffic in both directions.

    News on the hour 09:58: Clare Woodling Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Police investigating two rapes of teenage women in Oxford early on Saturday have arrested two men.

    A 21-year-old man from Oxford, and a 41-year-old man, have been arrested for the attacks which are not linked.

    More headline with me at 10:00.

    As it happened
    • News, sport, travel, weather for Mon 22 Sep
    • More updates from 08:00 on Tuesday
    • Listen: BBC Radio Oxford
    U's in beaten in five 09:43: Robyn Cowen Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Oxford extended their unbeaten run in League Two to five matches but were left frustrated as Stevenage claimed a goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium.

    Oxford striker Danny Hylton

    Head coach Michael Appleton described their football as "breathtaking".

    He said: "It was really really pleasing performance - we had a mixture of everything in it. First and foremost we kept a clean sheet which was magnificent for us."

    More on the peanut allergy discovery 09:31:

    Roasted peanuts are more likely to trigger an allergic reaction than raw peanuts, according to an Oxford University study, involving mice.

    Scientists are now exploring methods to get rid of the particular chemical changes that may be responsible for kick-starting the immune system.

    According to NHS Choices, nut allergies, including peanuts, are relatively common in both school-aged children and adults.

    And peanuts are one of the most common causes of fatal allergic reactions to food.

    A fete of colour 09:18: Oxford Mail

    Splashes of colour brightened up the streets of Culham at the weekend, with 600 metres of decorations.

    Peanut mystery 09:09: Phil Gayle Breakfast presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    On the show this morning we've been looking at new research which sought to discover why more people are developing peanut allergies.


    Oxford University scientists think they may have an answer, and we spoke to Professor Quentin Sattentau, who led the research.

    He said it comes down to how we prepare our peanuts: "One of the obvious things was that in the West we eat mostly roasted peanuts, and we knew that the chemical reactions that can be brought about from roasting might change the ability of the peanut to trigger the immune system to make allergy.

    "So we did a very simple experiment. We fed mice either roasted peanut or raw peanuts and what we found was that the mice ate the roasted peanuts had symptoms of allergy and those that ate the raw peanuts didn't."

    News on the hour 08:55: Clare Woodling Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    More wartime munitions have been seized by Thames Valley Police, two days after a raid at a property in Bicester.

    Artefacts and munitions were confiscated at a home in Newport Pagnell on Saturday.

    More on this with me at 09:00.

    Rape arrests 08:39: BBC Radio Oxford

    Police investigating two rapes of teenage women in Oxford early on Saturday have arrested two men.

    Brewer Street crime scene

    An 18-year-old woman was attacked in Brewer Street in the city centre, whilst a second woman, 19, was raped after being followed into a flat in Roosevelt Drive, Headington.

    A 21-year-old man from Oxford, and a 41-year-old man, respectively, have been arrested for the attacks which are not linked.

    Oxford admissions 08:26: Sean Coughlan BBC News education correspondent

    Oxford University's entry system has become more transparent, according to the outgoing head of admissions.

    The Bodleian Library in Oxford

    Mike Nicolson said that all candidates go through the same process, but if there is a candidate who has overcome particular challenges that may be taken into account.

    He said that the idea that Oxford admissions is exclusive was "totally at odds with my experience".

    He said: "What we've done is open up the opportunity for more people to apply who in the past might have thought it wasn't for them."

    Sunshine expected 08:12: Holly Green BBC Weather

    It's another nice day with lots of sunshine expected. It is quite chilly out there at first though and we could see a little mist or fog as well.

    Weather graphic

    But once the sunshine gets to work it should feel pretty pleasant, with temperatures reaching 18C (64F). It is not as warm and humid as it has been over some recent days, but it should still feel quite nice.

    M40 accident 08:06: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    On the M40 Southbound, lane three is blocked by an accident involving a van and a car between J5 Stockenchurch and J4 High Wycombe.

    Queues are stretching back to J6 at Watlington.

    Good morning 08:00: Andrew Humphrey BBC Local Live

    Hello, good morning, and welcome to BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire.

    I'll have all the latest news, sport, travel and weather across the county.

    Let us know what's happening where you are by getting in touch via email, Facebook or Twitter.



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