History in Newsletters

Miss Edith Fyleman often mentions in her reports that she was trying to get funding for the community newsletters, or get someone to print it. Our community here at the Field Farm Estate and the one at Chalgrove was kept informed of what was happening and forthcoming events. Only one of these has been found. This covers the dates from 1st June to 1st October 1956. It describes the refurbishment of the social club; an open air Fete and Jumble Sale; and the highlight of the newsletter - the report on the Œseaside Holiday at Laving, Sussex where a party of 53 (5 fathers, 9 mothers and 39 children) left on two of Mr Surmons coaches.

Social centre

At the Social Centre there were various clubs and activities; Sunday School, on Mondays - Tap Dancing, Junior Club with Roller Skating and a request for more roller skates, on Tuesday, Cubs met with Fred Walls as Assistant Cub Master. The pack was recognised by the district and the first 6 to enrol went to Watlington Camp in July and distinguished themselves by winning the trophy for being the best six! On Tuesdays was also the "Teenager Club". On Wednesday the Brownies met with Mrs Huggins (Tawny Owl). The Brownie Revels were at the Social Centre on the 18th July 1956 where the 1st Field Farm Pack entertained 5 other packs and their leaders. Later on a Wednesday evening the Centre was used for Beetle Drives, which were run by Mrs. Gomm of the Women¹s Fellowship to raise funds for the Centre. There were also competitions, country dancing, talks and hair dressing demonstrations.


The first monthly Community paper was called the "Berinsfield News", started by Captain Eric Shaw (Church Army) in the early 1960's. It covered activities of the Women¹s Fellowship, Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Brownies, Berinsfield Football Teams and other activities and events. In December 1969, to cover the cost of production a charge of 6d per copy and orders could be placed at the Mr. Bradfield¹s, the newsagents.

Village News

We have had a few variations of village newsletter with irregular issues, but in April 1982 saw the start of the "Berinsfield Village News", produced by the Berinsfield Information Centre (BIC). In the July 1982 issue it was "US against those who would try and put us down", where Radio Oxford had commissioned the broadcaster and writer Richard Stanley to carry out a story on this victimisation. Howell Davies - Headmaster of the Primary School was stated as saying that, "Many of the critics have never visited our village!"

War Memorial

The "Journal of the 7th Photo Recon Group" in March 1982 was started in America - its President in 1982 was George Lawson, a former commander of Mount Farm Air Base. The new journal for the 7th Photo Recon Association begins with talk of the 4th reunion at Cincinati Convention & Exposition Center. These were the men who served here during the war and with which Berinsfield (Mount Farm) still have very strong ties with reports of the reunions and the visits to the village. In July 1984 the Americans who had served here during the war came over for the dedication of the new war memorial. The last issue was produced in March 2002, its last President Frank Gaccioni reporting the end of the 7th Photo Recon Association.

Your Paper

The next paper was "YOUR PAPER", which started in the beginning of 1985 and started with the Berinsfield Community Association celebrating "TEN YEARS OF SUCCESS" The March 1985 issue asked the question - Our School to Go? The Headmaster Mr. Connell deciding enough is enough. The issue also reported that a requiem was to be held for Miss Edith Fyleman on the 20th April at Dorchester Abbey.

In the March 1985 issue were the plans for the War Memorial. The Nature Spot - written by Mr. Len Summerfield was a constant feature in all the following village newsletters until January 1997 when Mr. Summerfield passed away. Len not only did the nature spot, but also wrote poems, one of our many poets. "YOUR PAPER" continued until November 1986.


"The New Berinsfield Independent" came into being in October 1986 and was to run alongside the next village paper. The last issue was May 1992 with the title "My Voice" and a promise of the occasional Pictorial version of "The New Berinsfield Independent". An article in the last issue covered the new football pavilion to replace the Green Hut. Village Voice The next paper in the history of our village newsletters was "The Village Voice". The first issue in December 1987 asked for support to "SAVE OUR LAKES" after the Oxfordshire County Council put in an application to use Queensford Pit as a waste disposal site. A milestone reported in "The Village Voice" was the opening of Mount Farm Community Education Centre. By issue 48 Ken Chrisp was the last person on the editorial committee running the community newsletter. In issue 55 the leading story was that the Girl Guides were to end in Berinsfield. In issue 57 (July 1993) the Flower Festival reported a great success with its theme - the village history. Also chairs were dedicated to Fr. John Garvey and the late Mr. Bradfield and his wife. The format was to change with issue 60 as it goes to A5. The first Carnival to be held in the village for over 14 years was reported in issue 67, the first event was the Berinsfield Tinman - a mini triathlon, which was such a success that it was run for the following three years and reported in following issues. The event was supported by village groups and the surplus funds were divided between the groups. The last issue was 87 in July 1996 after a contentious article about "Policing in Berinsfield".

Your Village Voice

The first issue of "Your Village Voice" was October 1996, the front page article was "SRB - A Brighter Future". The first issue contained items which were to become regular features from the Parish Council, Church, BCA, Mount Farm Community Education Centre and the Berinsfield Information Centre. Also the other features from the Boxing Club, Scouts & Cubs, Brownies, Neighbourhood Watch and a few specials - Berinsfield Gardeners doing well at the Dorchester Flower Show and the Library celebrating its 21st birthday.

The first year of Your Village voice was filled with numerous articles, but some of the highlights in the May 1997 issue the Abbey Site was being developed, in the June issue Berinsfield Primary School FC brought home the Morrell Shield with a 2-1 victory over Goring - goals scored by Thomas Hilsdon and Marc Kenny. The last time this happened was 23 years ago in 1974. The September issue reported that on the 3rd of August 1997 Berinsfield had its burial ground consecrated by the Bishop of Oxford - Revd. Richard Harries. A task, which had taken 33 years for the village to achieve, had finally been accomplished. Also in that issue was the report of a slightly different Harvest Festival, which had an Indian flavour with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Indian Independence, and the money raised went towards projects to strive to combat poverty in India. The issue also reported the obituary of Leslie William Charlton (1915 - 1997) who was one of our accomplished artists. A very special day in our history was captured in issue 16 and reported on the Queen¹s visit to the village on 27th November 1997 and was a special 4-coloured issue. Another important regular feature were the history articles and old photographs. March 1998 saw completion of Abbey Woods Close. A special issue sponsored by ŒThe Reel Thing¹ - Ulric Caramber Coker MD, local lad returning to the village. We were also finding out just how far our village newspaper was going with comments from America, Canada, Sweden and Egypt. The end of 1999 saw the start of the millennium projects with the Millennium Yews being planted in the burial ground and the dedication of the Berinsfield Millennium Quilt at the Harvest Festival. The project co-ordinator, Isobel Hiles had said that 16 women had spent 1,905 hours putting it together.

With the dawn of a new millennium we saw a change to "Your Village Voice". It has a coloured cover. The first of 2000 had a front page headline of a "Yawn of a new Millennium" with a picture of Mitchell Purvis son of Louisa and Simon, the first to be born at home in Oxfordshire on 1st January 2000 at 9.44 am. Also in this issue was the opening of "Solutions" at SOLL¹s Abbey Sports Centre and the proposed boundary changes for the village. Issue 44 The Carnival special was a great day - a little damp at the end as the Lord Lieutenant - Hugo Brunner crowned the Millennium Carnival Queen Lee-Anne Murphy and Prince Consort, Liam Weller. The theme was Berinsfield through the ages, the flowing capes of the Roman Legions of the Thursday and Friday Club, the BCA and Village Inn having very musical themes and the Scouts & Cubs as Saxon's. The winning float was the Primary School. The year 2000 was a busy year of celebrations. Issue 50 showed all the previous front-pages, and a small piece of our history. 2001 was a year of change and preparation - Landscape Designs Associates were employed by South Oxfordshire District Council to identify what we, as a village wanted in the way of environmental improvements. June saw the flats come down, with Mrs. Jean Welford winning the raffle to take the first swing with a crane. The Queen¹s Jubilee Year of 2002 saw new groups - Berinsfield Residents Association, Berinsfield Advisory Group, Berinsfield Community Safety Group, new initiatives with the Berinsfield Community Business and Berinsfield Information Technology continue to be reported in our village newsletter along with support from SOHA Housing, South Oxfordshire District Council, Oxfordshire County Council and Thames Valley Police. The history of our village is still being written, but this history project - A brief history of Berinsfield, "A history we didn¹t know we had" has to finish here!

Almost the last word, but not quite!

We haven't mentioned the history of our clubs, such as the Cubs, Scouts, Brownies, Girl Guides, ACF, ATC, Boxing, Life Saving or Football, nor have we mentioned the active history of over 25 years of the Berinsfield Community Association or the 40 years of the Church - which the village built itself.

The Schools, Playgroups & Nursery all have stories to tell. Things from our past, such as Wg. Cmdr Adrian Warburton and parts of his plane recently being discovered near Munich in Southern Germany, continue to help us produce the history of our village.

If you have any memories, stories or pictures relevant to our history, please drop them into Berinsfield Library.

Sometime in the future, maybe for Berinsfield's 50th Celebration they may become part of a more comprehensive Berinsfield History book.

Copyright: Berinsfield Millenium Committee