The Grapevine story

For over 17 years the editorial team in Ascott has enjoyed producing The Grapevine magazine and hope that our readers also enjoy the fruits of our efforts. For ten years previously Anne Braithwaite made a sterling job of producing the first forty issues, solely on her own. But something of which you are probably unaware is that The Grapevine has a much longer pedigree and for the beginning of the story we have to go back 143 years to 1878.

The then vicars, Rev. S. Yorke of Ascott and Rev. T Lee of Leafield were friends and sometime during 1877 they must have discussed the possibility of producing a combined parish magazine. In January 1878, the first issue of the Leafield and Ascott under Wychwood Parish Magazine was published, price 2d. Whilst acting as Parish Clerk several years ago, I found copies of these magazines in the parish cupboard, but only covering three years. Rev. Yorke explains the reason why. In the inaugural copy of the Chipping Norton Deanery Magazine he wrote, “Our parish magazine has assumed a new aspect and formed a new alliance. It has been wooed and won by the Rural Deanery Combination.” The Deanery Magazine then went on to cover over 30 local villages and continued for over 100 years, recording various happenings and events, births, deaths and marriages throughout the Chipping Norton Deanery.

When its publishing finally ceased, Anne Braithwaite took on the task of keeping the village informed by production of The Grapevine until finally handing over the task to the members of the editorial team.

So Ascott’s parish magazine has a great deal more provenance than anyone would have believed and has indeed come back to its roots.

The present editorial team of Stuart Fox, Elaine Byles, Keith Ravenhill and Wendy Pearse welcomes contributions to the magazine. The Grapevine is delivered free and so all donations are also truly welcome. They will help the magazine to go forward into the future.

Wendy Pearse 

October-November 2021