(Updated on Thursday 26th July 2018 07:38am)

30th September 2018 2:08pm

GardenHeronSomeone looking for his Sunday lunch - not much luck in our pond as there are no fish in the shallow waters.

18th September 2018 4:24pm

After enjoying a walking holiday in Japan three years ago organised by Walk Japan, we decided to return to Japan this year on a new Walk Japan adventure, but this time sampling the wildlife and excellent cuisine on the north island, Hokkaido. We traveled to Tokyo a week before the tour and spent the time exploring on our own, finishing up in Sapporo to wait for the tour to start.

On the morning when we were due to take the train to Kushiro on the east of the island where our tour was to start, the Hokkaido earthquake struck. We were awoken at 3 am by a severe shaking in our seventh floor hotel bedroom. The next few days is summed up very well by a Japanese English newspaper 'The Asahi Shimbun'...


 

After quake, Sapporo forced to live without daily comforts

earthquake

SAPPORO—The lives of residents in this city of 2 million were thrown into turmoil by the unfamiliar experience of life without electricity, passable roads and readily available food and supplies.

The earthquake on Sept. 6 not only knocked out power across the northern island, but it also caused soil liquefaction that destroyed many roads in the Hokkaido capital and covered them with mud.

Food and other supplies at convenience stores and supermarkets were quickly hoarded by residents fearing a prolonged shutdown of services in the aftermath of the magnitude-6.7 earthquake that struck at 3:08 a.m. in southwestern Hokkaido.

With the water supply cut off in her neighborhood, a 23-year-old woman holding her 6-month-old baby expressed fears for her family.

“There is no water coming from the tap,” she said. “I am worried that milk and diapers might soon run out.”

A 37-year-old man living in Sapporo’s Kiyota Ward was about to make a run for supplies when he was stunned by the damage caused by the quake.

Several houses were tilted. And the liquefaction had also buckled roads, leaving gaping cracks and extremely uneven surfaces. Some manhole covers jutted up from collapsed roads.

“When I was about to go out to buy something at a convenience store around 4:20 a.m., the area was already devastated like this,” the man said. “I was just so surprised because I’ve never experienced (such a powerful quake).”

Hordes of people lined up at Seven-Eleven Japan Co.’s dimly-lit Maruyama-koen Station outlet in Sapporo’s Chuo Ward before it opened at 8 a.m. on Sept. 7.

A notice at the store said: “Only products in stock inside the store. We have no plans to receive deliveries of water and other liquid items.”

The store received a delivery of 30 pieces of bread at 7:30 a.m. and limited purchases to two per customer. They were gone almost immediately, according to the store.

“Frozen foods will be discarded because they melted in the power outage,” said the 54-year-old manager of the store.

At 1:40 p.m., more than 10 hours after the earthquake struck with an intensity of a maximum 7 on the Japanese seismic scale, a rescue operation was under way in Sapporo’s Kiyota Ward.

Shortly after noon that day, Yasutaka Ichinose, 60, arrived at his company’s parking lot and discovered a man and a woman stuck in mud that had gushed up from the ground as a result of soil liquefaction.

Ichinose said he himself became trapped in the waist-deep mud when he tried to save the couple.

“I got stuck because the mud became heavier,” Ichinose said.

It took about three hours to pull Ichinose from the mud.

Only a few traffic signals in Sapporo were working properly on Sept. 6 because of the power outage.

At one intersection in the city, a police officer directed traffic with his arms and a whistle.

Bus operators said they had suspended operations until all traffic lights were working again.

The power outage also affected medical institutions.

Early on Sept. 6, hospitals without power started asking Sapporo City General Hospital to accept some of their patients.

Sapporo City General, which was running on an emergency power supply, eventually received five patients who were using dialysis machines or artificial ventilators.

Transportation networks were also in shambles.

Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido) suspended all operations on Sept. 6, and passengers packed a muggy JR Sapporo Station in the afternoon, waiting for a resumption of services.

Many people sat on the floor near the ticket gates, collecting information on their smartphones.

A 47-year-old man who came to Sapporo from Obihiro, also in Hokkaido, on business was worried about money because he usually used credit cards and didn’t carry cash.

“Shutting down the ATMs is fatal for me,” he said. “I learned firsthand how difficult it is to live without power.”

SHELTERS FOR FOREIGN TOURISTS

Many foreign visitors, including tourists, had nowhere to go after checking out of their hotels in Sapporo on Sept. 6.

The Sapporo economy and tourism bureau offered them temporary shelter on the first and second floors of the Sapporo Sosei Square complex in Chuo Ward.

About 540 foreigners were seen recharging their smartphones and other gadgets while watching TV for updates on the disaster.

The quake also showed how cellphone-dependent society has become.

Many people were having trouble with their phones because of the power outage.

Mobile phone network operators set up battery-charging facilities and public wireless LAN services free of charge.

Early on Sept. 7, a long line formed at a lobby of a city government office building that was offering a free battery-charging service.

The service started at 7:45 a.m., but by 9:30 a.m., phone users had to wait in line for three hours to get their batteries charged.

They were each given 30 minutes to charge their batteries.

A 21-year-old university student from Okayama Prefecture had lined up at 8 a.m.

“I feel a bit relieved,” she said after receiving her charged mobile phone around 9:40 a.m.


 

We were unable to leave Sapporo until at least the following Tuesday as there were no trains, buses of planes for several days and all flights were fully booked with people trying the 'escape'. The loss of power meant that no restaurants were open and all the supermarkets quickly ran out of food. We had little to eat for two days!

We decided to stay the week in Sapporo and change our holiday to an extended 'city break' instead of the walking tour - NOT THE HOLIDAY WE PLANNED!

 

23rd August 2018 2:29pm

Today a visiting group of six ringers from Worcester visited Beckford Church to ring a peal on the bells. The peal lasted just under three hours when a beautiful sound rang out over Beckford. We hope all the residents enjoyed listening as much as the ringers enjoyed ringing!
Click on the title above for a 3 minute video

3rd July 2018 11:04pm

While on holiday in Austria, we visited the Grassmayr Bell Foundry in Innsbruck. Together with the associated museum it was a great day out in the rain. They have the ability to cast very large bells. This video (unfortunately it is entirely in German) was broadcast on ZDF in January as a documentary about the Grassmayr family who have been running the foundry since the early 17th century. The video shows the process they went through to cast one of the biggest bells they have ever made at the foundry.

Innsbruck Bell Foundry

30th April 2018 4:01pm

This weekend we visited the Wartime Emergency Event at Toddington Station. A very well organised event and great fun, especially as so many of the visitors dressed up in 1940 gear. Take a look at the video by clicking on the title above.

22nd January 2018 2:29pm

Game & Wildlife Conservation TrustThe Game and Wildlife Trust, in conjunction with other charities including the RSPB are conducting a Farmland Bird Count between 9th and 18th February 2018. Overbury Farms are participating in this activity and invite people to take 30 minutes of their time during this period to count the birds they see on their land. This is very similar to the Garden Bird Watch organised by the RSPB. Details of how you can help can be found on the Game and Wildlife Trust website.

   You can also contact Overbury Farms directly from their website.

10th December 2017 8:49am

Winter has finally come to Beckford...

8th October 2017 11:15pm

websiteI have recently changed my hosting package for this website and been making a few minor changes to the menu structure. Most of the menu items are still there, but maybe in a different location. You may need to rummage around a little to find what you want. 

You will also notice that the whole website is now a secure website (the little padlock shows up in your browser window). There may still be a few bugs in the system as I get used to the new hosting company. Please let me know if you find anything. Thanks.

1st June 2017 4:33pm

 

28th November 2016 2:07pm

Just a quick tidy up of various links within the website, to make the site more useful. Some out-of-date links have been updated, especially in the local information section together with the crimewatch section - now you can view the Wychavon and Gloucester police Facebook feeds directly on the same page. Some of the information on the tourist page has also been brought up-to-date.

16th June 2016 8:37am

DeerWe woke up this morning to find a visitor in our garden...

25th April 2016 8:04am

PoliceCommissionerFor those of you who are interested in choosing a decent new Police Commissioner on May 5th you may like to view a summary of what all the candidates have to say. Just click on the picture, or if you click on the title above you can go to the national site and enter your post code for more information.

26th October 2015 7:55pm

JubileeStonePostcardTwoFollowing the great evening of nostalgia and fund raising event at the Village Hall last Saturday, you may find the 'history' page on this website interesting. The title of this news item links to the 'memories' page where you will find Pete White's talk about his memories of living in Beckford for over 70 years. Under the local history top-bar menu you will also find some of the photos that were on show during the evening and also more information about some events in Beckford from days gone by. You can also view the short wartime video that was shown.

23rd July 2015 6:10pm

thebeckfordAfter the pre-opening session last Thursday (it seemed like the whole village turned out), we thought we would try out a meal last night at the Beckford Inn. The place was busy, even at 6:00pm, with many villagers taking advantage of the Fish and Chips evening. We tried one of the other al-la-carte items, which proved to be excellent. Why not give it a try!

21st June 2015 9:03pm

Today we spend a pleasant afternoon attending a service in St. Peter's Church, Stanway to re-dedicate the bells in the church. Over the past few years the four old bells have been removed and the tower strengthened with new steel girders to support a new frame for the bells. A new bell was cast by Whitechapel's of London and the old bells were re-furbished and re-tuned. The church now has five nice sounding bells. As I had helped with the tower work I and Marion were invited to the service. IMG_0533After the service, we had a chance to ring the bells. The service (and ringing) was followed by tea in the Great Hall of Stanway House (used for some scenes from the TV drama Wolf Hall) and the famous Stanway fountain was turned on for the pleasure of those attending the service. We have added a short video of the Stanway Fountain - just go the video clips page on this website.

21st March 2015 3:33pm

eclipseAlthough it was partially cloudy in Beckford, the effects of the solar eclipse on electricity generated by our solar panels was very marked. The nice parabolic dip in the power output is clearly visible.

2nd January 2015 10:04pm

After the opening of the new store at Teddington Hands roundabout just before Christmas, The Teddington Stores will be holding a Producers Day on Saturday 31st January 2014, when customers will be able to meet the producers and sample their products. Why not drop in - and have a cup of coffee at the same time.

13th April 2014 12:55pm

Last Thursday evening we spend an enjoyable few hours at Toff Milways Conderton Pottery, enjoying a glass of wine and nibbles - and a try at making our own bowl on his potters wheel! We are looking forward to seeing the results, when they have been fired. The evening was organised to raise funds for equipment to go into the new extension to Overbury First School. Have a quick look at our new video (activities/video clips).

17th February 2014 6:07pm

A day of unbroken sunshine yesterday saw the end to our longest spell of days with rain since (our) records began. Up until 15th February we had 49 days of rain - sometime only a little, but nevertheless a very long wet period. However, no flooding in Beckford, thanks to the past efforts of the now extinct flood group.

15th February 2014 1:35pm

Last night we recorded the highest gust of wind we have ever had since we have had our weather station. At around midnight on Valentines day we recorded a gust of 53mph. It brought to mind a very appropriate poem by the late Spike Milligan...





Granny
Through every nook and every cranny
The wind blew in on poor old Granny
Around her knees, into each ear
(And up her nose as well, I fear)

All through the night the wind grew worse
It nearly made the vicar curse
The top had fallen off the steeple
Just missing him (and other people)

It blew on man, it blew on beast
It blew on nun, it blew on priest
It blew the wig off Auntie Fanny-
But most of all, it blew on Granny!



Picture of high winds in the lake district courtesy of the Guardian.

23rd July 2013 10:19am

After 19 days without rain and very high temperatures we finally had rain - and not just a little! Our weather station reported its raining cats and dogs (see picture). We had about 26mm of rain in less than an hour and a record 230mm per hour rain rate! Things have calmed down now.

4th May 2013 5:18pm

Although a little late this year, spring has finally arrived in Bluebell Wood. Why not take some time out and walk up to the wood and enjoy the show.

28th April 2013 9:34am

This morning and yesterday morning we had a visit from a solitary Turtle Dove to the seed feeder in our front garden - a first for us in Beckford Close

28th March 2013 9:00pm

With the continued cold weather, our garden bird feeders are emptying at an alarming rate! We are also seeing a few new visitors to the garden. This week we saw a pair of Nuthatches at the same time on the seed feeder and the Buzzard now perches in the tree at the end of the garden. A male Siskin joined the Glodfinches on the Niger seeds.

12th January 2013 11:54pm

Following the apathetic response from local people, BT did not get anything like the interest from Beckford to consider installing BT Infinity. Therefore we have gone ahead on our own and now enjoy 18Mbps download and 5Mbps upload speeds. This means we can now enjoy high quality BBC IPlayer and very fast file downloads.

26th November 2012 7:44pm

After nearly a month of communications with Oregon about the poor performance of their new weather station (WMR200) I finally gave up and bought a Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station, which is now up and running - far better than the Oregon one. So, hopefully from now on we should have more accurate weather from Beckford Close!

31st October 2012 3:59pm

Our bird feeders and pond regularly attract a wide variety of birds to the garden but during the last couple of weeks we have had a daily visit from the nuthatch and visits from the kestrel, grey wagtail and jay. When January comes and we do the RSPB garden bird watch I expect all we will see is the usual finches, tits etc.

13th October 2012 2:34pm

The new weather station is now fully integrated with this website. Hopefully improved from the last version. Please let me know if you find any bugs or have any comments for improvements.

10th October 2012 12:01am

Having failed to get a replacement rain gauge for our old weather station, we have now purchased a brand new professional Weather Station from Oregon Scientific - a WMR200. Although the station is now up and running at home, we still need to connect it to the computer and website. This may take a few days to get everything up and running correctly - so keep an eye on the news items here to find out when everything is up and running.

19th August 2012 7:34pm

After over 8 years of faithful service the rain gauge on our weather station has finally failed. I have tried in vain to find a source for a replacement gauge, but Oregon Scientific do not supply spares any more and even a search on the internet has failed. Therefore, the rain information on this website is now no longer available (we do make a guess at the rainfall but updating is manual and unreliable). If anyone knows where I can buy a wireless rain gauge for a WMR 928N Oregon Scientific Professional Weather station - please let me know!

2nd August 2012 12:48pm

We have heard through the grapevine that Overbury Estates are looking at a few sites in local villages with the view of future housing development. One of these sites is in Beckford. Provided the site is "the right location" i.e. an integral part of the village with good access and the housing is affordable to first time buyers and young families, we support the idea of Beckford growing. This village needs more young families to keep it alive and vibrant.

27th July 2012 10:29am

At 08:12 this morning we went outside to join in the National Ringing in the 2012 Olympics Games. We were greeted by absolute silence! So we added our contribution to the Cultural Olympics by vigorously ringing our wind chimes and door bell for 3 minutes - we make no apologies for waking sleepy Beckford.

16th July 2012 8:04pm

The Parish Council have now launched their new website - click on the title above to view, or use the top menu item under extras. The new site looks very good, with lots of interesting information and links. Well done!

28th June 2012 8:43am

A new website has been launched to serve the Beckford Nature Reserve. Therefore, the Nature Reserve page on this website now links directly to the new website. Why not try it out by clicking on the title of this news item.

23rd May 2012 9:34pm

Please click on the title of this entry to see information about the latest scam that is going around the country - BEWARE OF ANY SIGHTLY SUSPICIOUS PHONE CALLS SUPPOSEDLY FROM YOUR BANK. Banks rarely make this kind of phone call and if they do, they fully understand if you refuse to give them any information.

21st May 2012 10:56pm

Finally, after three years of persuasion, we finally have a Blackbird nesting in our log-hole on the shelf that I designed specifically to stop them from nesting on my ladder. Hopefully, the next generation will learn from its parents!
What a wonderful sight on Sunday afternoon - a flash of brilliant blue along the Carrant Brook as a Kingfisher flew by. Too fast for any photos.

4th May 2012 12:20pm

Firstly, between 1400hrs on Weds 2nd May and 1530hrs on Weds 2nd May there was a burglary at an address on Waterloo Way, Bredon. It is believed that unknown person(s) entered the property whilst the owner was at home. A number of items were stolen, including cash from a handbag and jewellery.
Incident ref 137-N-020512.

Secondly, between 1455hrs on Weds 2nd May and 1510hrs on Weds 2nd May there was a burglary at an address on Queensmead, Bredon. The resident was in their front garden mowing and noticed that a male was hanging around infront of the property. Upon asking him what he was doing, a second male was seen to come out of the residents property. The males explained they had lost a cat and were looking for it. It was later noticed that cash had been stolen from a handbag.
The description of the two males. Male 1: Fair hair, round face, approx 5ft6 in height between 16 and 18 y ears of age wearing light coloured clothing, had no hat and was not carrying anything. Male 2 - Possibly younger than male one, dark hair possibly black, narrow, pointed face and slender build, thinner and shorter than male 1, wearing bright coloured top colour unknown, possibly navy blue trousers. No car was seen. They left on foot towards Kemerton Road.
Incident ref 129-S-030512.

If you see these men or see anything suspicious please report to the police call centre, via the switchboard, on the non-emergency number, 101 or click on the title link to reply on the Police website.

1st May 2012 11:04am

We now have (on the menu to the left) a weather summary data for Beckford, giving you a host of information about the recent weather in Beckford. This is automatically updated.

28th April 2012 9:34am

With the recent rainfall levels and the forecast for heavy rain on Sunday, Wychavon DC have issued a flood warning for the region - advising residents to take any precautions they may have to protect their property.

23rd April 2012 12:27am

Having spent a great day at the International Bird of Prey Centre near Newent, we came home to find a kestrel enjoying his afternoon tea of a small dunnock on our front lawn!

17th April 2012 6:01pm

Having had a reply from the Graffiti developers, I have tried once more to have the book reviews feed through to Facebook and it seems to be improving - so I will keep trying!

17th April 2012 12:35pm

Due to the poor functionality offered by Facebook - they do not want people to automatically update their pages from other websites - I have decided not to post our book reviews directly to our Facebook page. Just follow the link on the notification about this page (on this feed as well) if you wish to see the latest book reviews. This is a backward step by the Facebook organisers as many companies would like this functionality. There are other APPS which profess to offer this feature, but after many days of trying, even these apps fall short of being able to post a decent feed because they do not comply with the RSS standards.

14th April 2012 10:26pm

We have now added a book review page under activities. It is designed for those interested in reading either ebooks or hard copy books. All visitors to this website are invited to add their own reviews of books they have read that they feel will be of interest to others. Click on the link above or use the top menu item - activities/book review to learn more and see the latest reviews. The book reviews will be added to our Facebook page automatically (that is, when I get the function working!)

5th April 2012 11:46pm

Did you know that although we might think this years March weather has been exceptionally hot, if you look back to last year the maximum and minimum temperatures for March were very similar? Of course we did have a longer period of warm weather this year. Click on the link above to visit our weather page - if you follow the link to Weather Underground you will see all the historical data from the weather station at 3 Beckford Close.

29th February 2012 5:45pm

While walking today we spotted the first bluebell in flower in Beckford Copse - Spring is on its way!

27th February 2012 11:50pm

Check out a new interesting article on the crimewatch page about PEDLARS

27th February 2012 10:48pm

A great new website has emerged that offers a service for all villages around Bredon Hill. Obviously much thought has gone into producing a fantastic focus for promoting the activities and attractions of our local environment. It is good to see that all the material has been collated and suitably presented before going live. Lets hope that this enterprise succeeds and shows the people around the hill what can be achieved with a little forethought and planning - unlike some other websites that have appeared recently. A common website for all the villages is by far the best way to get more recognition for our area.

22nd February 2012 11:17pm

Today we saw one of the first signs of spring in our garden. The surface of the pond was boiling with very active frogs. As usual, they have laid their spawn in the most vulnerable area of the pond - but I am sure some will survive and our frog population will expand yet again. We are anxiously looking out for newt activity!

15th February 2012 9:53pm

Weve just returned from attending the HP Science Lecture in Bristol. A fascinating talk by Jim AL-Khalili entitled Faster than the Speed of Light. After the release of the measurement results last year it was anounced that the apparent speed of neutrinos was faster than the speed of light in a vacuum (by an amount equal to 5 miles per second), Jim promised to eat his boxer shorts in public if the results were to be confirmed! In his lecture he explained some more details about the experiment and also some basic facts about the particles used in the experiment. Until the results are confirmed by several other independent labaoratories Jim said that his boxer shorts are SAFE. He went through a few ideas to explain these bizare observations.

14th February 2012 7:37pm

Fernleigh House was broken into yesterday (Monday) between 08:30 and 13:30. If anyone has any information that may help the ploice in their investigation please use the 101 number or just phone the local police - see the crimwatch page for contact information.

8th February 2012 5:48pm

Observations required please for a dark blue or black Nissan Terrano, registration number MH05EOB. This vehicle may be involved in rural crime in the Cotswolds. If seen in suspicious circumstances, please contact Gloucestershire Police immediately, using the 101 or 999 numbers.

5th February 2012 5:02pm

While out for a walk round the Nature Reserve today we saw two Dabchicks (Little Grebes) in the small area of the lake that was not frozen at the eastern end of the reserve. Our first sighting of these small cute water birds - but not the first in the Nature Reserve.

2nd February 2012 12:19am

The new Beckford Village Hall website is now up and running - we will watch it with interest as it develops.

21st January 2012 1:17pm

A small band of volunteers spent the morning doing some tidying work in the Nature Reserve. A row of hawthorn hedges were planted on the northern boundary; the steps all round the reserve were repaired; the western bank was cleared ready for sowing grass and wld flower seed and various paths were re-stocked with wood chippings.

15th January 2012 3:00pm

A first for us at The Shieling. At 1:50pm today we watched a Red Kite flying over the field behind Beckford Close - being harrassed by the local jackdaws. Although fairly common now around this area, we have never seen one come so close to the house in Beckford.

10th January 2012 12:52pm

There are concerns about the water levels in the Nature Reserve affecting the waterfowl during the breeding season. Click on the subject for more information.

31st December 2011 5:02pm

Andy and Marion wish all our supporters around the world (and those with a genuine interest in our website) a very happy, healthy and trouble-free 2012

22nd December 2011 9:34am

Please be on the look out for cars parked at dusk sitting outside houses with headlights on, it could be someone just waiting whilst a burglary is in progress! Earlier this week between 4pm and 6pm a house in the village was broken into, with silver and jewellery taken. Please make sure you lock back doors, and take keys out of the lock. Report anything suspicious - rogue callers, unusual vehicles directly to the police using the new 101 number.

15th December 2011 6:03pm

Please click on the link in the title to see the changes to waste collections over the Christmas period.

5th December 2011 3:44pm

Please note that there was a car-key burglary at an address on Cheltenham Rd, Beckford, between 2130hrs on Fri 2nd and 0700hrs Sat 3rd December. A large value of silverware was stolen, as were a set of car keys, which were used to take a black Mercedes SLK convertible, reg VK09ENV. Please make your members aware and report any info/sightings of the car to the police control room, via the switchboard, on the non-emergency number, 101, quoting incident ref 160-S-031211.

3rd December 2011 11:56am

Some of the menus on this website are displayed in white. These items require registration to view them. Please register by selecting backchat and filling out the registration form. If you care about what is happening to your village 'behind' closed doors, you may find registering will surprise you.