Archive for April, 2009

Green Ballon Day 2009

Green Ballon Day 2009 was a huge success. Members of the road recycled wonderful items, with all remaining useful books and other items going to Oxfam. Dozens had a cup of tea or coffee as usual. This year we also had table tennis (organized by Sam), a treasure hunt (organized by Philippa), and the first ever Victoria Road pet show.

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The winner of the 2009 Victoria Road Pet Show was a bunny, named Blinky (photo below right). Congratulations to all of the entrants and thanks to all of those on the road who took the time to enjoy the day with neighbors.

Blinky

Blinky

Residents of the Road

Residents of the Road

The pet show also had some runner-ups in the pet competition, which was closely fought.

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News from Our Neighborhood Watch Co-ordinator

I am the Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator. I put relevant messages from TVP on the Victoria Road Notice Board. I will try to post messages that are sent to me straight onto this site, so a wider audience can see the messages. I used to put letters through the letter boxes of all the houses but as I do this post as a volunteer it started to get very expensive. I also feel that putting it straight onto this site would be a green way of sending information, instead of using paper. I also feel that people will be able to get hold of me quickly if they need any information. Please use comments to this post if you have questions about neighborhood watch that would be of value to other members of the Road.

Oona Feazey, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator

[SEE COMMENTS FOR FURTHER UP-DATES BY THE WATCH COORDINATOR]

There are 3 messages for your information from Thames Valley Community Messaging:-
THAMES VALLEY COMMUNITY MESSAGING – Oxford – B_03/04/09]

During the last week there has been a spate of thefts from motor vehicles in the North Oxford area. Small items that have been left on display inside parked vehicles have been taken.
Please remember to remove all valuable and attactive items from your vehicle when it is left unattended. If you are able please pass this advice on to your neighbours and friends.
Many thanks for your time.

[THAMES VALLEY COMMUNITY MESSAGING – Oxford – B_05/04/09]

The Home Office has compiled an information pack to help keep homes safe. You can order your pack by phoning 0800 456 1213 and quoting “burglary pack”. If you order this pack you will also receive a discount voucher for home security supplies from a major DIY retailer.
Thank you for your time.

THAMES VALLEY COMMUNITY MESSAGING – Oxford – B_02/04/09]

The Home Office has announced that a National Domestic Burglary Awareness Day of action will take place on Tuesday 7th April. The Neighbourhood Specialist Officers and the Police Community Support Officers will be out in the community to offer information, they will also be handing out leaflets on Crime Prevention, and bike marking etc.
The Three Top Tips from Neighbourhood Watch are;
KEYS
Never leave keys near a window or door (thieves are increasingly stealing car keys so they can take cars, often using a hook or magnet on a stick pushed through the letterbox).
WINDOWS
In just over one third (30%) of burglaries with entry, the thief gained access through an unlocked door or open window. Make sure doors and windows are locked particularly when leaving the house.
GARAGES and SHEDS
Are often left unlocked and may be full of tools ideal for breaking into the rest of the house. Fit sheds and garages with strong padlocks. Always lock ladders in the garage or shed to stop a thief using them.

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Water Over the Road: Where is it coming from?

If the problem of running water reported in the recent newsletter on the north side of Victoria Road were one of run-off it would probably have been sorted long since. Unfortunately, it’s not run-off but groundwater, as can be seen from the fact that water bubbles out of the middle of the road itself even after two weeks without rainfall. It’s not a leaking water main – that’s been tested. It’s a problem that has appeared since the gated housing estate was built behind us on the site of the old laundry, though whether it’s connected with that I don’t know.

Last June I wrote to the county officers about it, enclosing photographs and asking for a drainage channel across the pavement. He visited personally, to avoid having to put anything in writing. The reason for that is that the water authority will not take groundwater, only run-off; so the county highways people aren’t allowed to channel the water into the gutter. All they can do is serve a notice on us to stop the water going across their pavement.

That, however, would be very difficult for us to do. The reason why the water emerges there is that it is where a gravel bed (on which our row of houses sits) meets the top of a clay bed : there is no prospect of us being able to get it to soak away, and no way of stopping it emerging.

We are stuck – vulnerable to prosecution but unable to do anything about it ourselves. The obvious solution is a channel into Thames Water’s system – the flow rate is very small (about 30 litres/hour), but of course enough to create an ice sheet in winter.

Any help that VRG can give that doesn’t end up with us being prosecuted for something we’re powerless to do anything about would be appreciated.
Dick Wolff, No.69
dick@wolffs.info

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