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With our Professional Copywriting Techniques Masterclass being held next week on  the 26th May, we are giving away a free place to a charity.

This would be ideal for someone who works in a charity’s fundraising or marketing department.  Attendance at our half-day Masterclass will benefit someone who has to write appeal letters, website copy and other promotional material.

The half-day Masterclass will be held at Bloxham Mill Business Centre, Bloxham, near Banbury, on Thursday 26th May between 9.15am and 12.30pm.  Full details can be found on our website.

What’s the catch?  There isn’t one!  We have a couple of places spare and decided there are plenty of worthwhile causes which could benefit from coming along free of charge.  Apart from that … we need someone to help eat the Danish pastries mid-morning!

If your charity would benefit from some free copywriting training, please send us an email and give us a little information about the work you do.

Blog post by Joy McCarthy

Sainsburys Chipping Norton - opening day

Sainsburys Chipping Norton - opening day

One of the most frequent searches which brings people to this blog is ‘Sainsburys Chipping Norton opening hours’.  This is because WORD-right blogged about the opening of the new store (previously Somerfield) in the spring of 2009.

So for all those local shoppers in search of information, Sainsbury’s Chipping Norton opening times are:

  • Monday to Saturday – 7am – 9pm
  • Sunday  –  10.30am – 4.30pm

This does conflicts with the information online, which states the opening hours are 7am – 11pm.  But having just visited the Chippy store, a huge banner in the car park advertises the opening hours, as above.

If you want to look at the Sainsbury’s online information, first you’ll have to visit the main website and insert the postcode in the store location finder.  From there you’ll have to follow a link for more information.

Sainsbury’s kindly tells us it has an ATM (cashpoint), the number of spaces in the car park, and what it sells … all useful stuff … but when is the store open?  Oh yes!  Cunningly hidden on the bottom left  under the title ‘Main’ (main what?), you’ll find the list of opening times!

It would seem Chipping Norton isn’t buzzing with activity late at night.  A fact, I imagine which prompted the change in opening times.

But of course, as we live and work in the beautiful Oxfordshire town of Chipping Norton,  we’re delighted to help our fellow residents where we can, and hope this information is useful!

Laying Dura-Base mats

Laying Dura-Base mats

Managing Director of Robertson Envirosystems Limited, Hugh Robertson, is urging UK farmers to protect their land from damage and erosion by using Dura-Base temporary roadway matting.  Where access is needed across farmland, for example under a Way Leave agreement with electricity or telecom providers, Dura-Base mats are proven to reduce the impact on soil and grassland. 

Farmers now have a legal obligation to protect their land and, under the Cross Compliance Single Payment Scheme, must produce annual soil protection reviews.  This legislation is designed to not only protect the environment and sustainable methods of farming, but also to conserve the UK’s historic heritage by safeguarding archaeological remains. 

The increase in extreme weather events means soil is at risk of becoming compacted, particularly over areas accessed by heavy plant and machinery.  Wet soil is more easily damaged and the resulting compaction adds to run off and soil erosion. 

Using an alternative temporary roadway systems such as Dura-Base instead of aluminium panels, considerably reduces the damage to farmland.   Reinstatement of the land is virtually nil and Dura-Base will protect even the most sensitive of surfaces.  Because the Dura-Base mats are interlocking, they follow the contours of the landscape, making it suitable for use even on high-risk areas.  The interlocking system also prevents seepage of mud onto the surface.  This reduces the risk of spreading soil-borne diseases to other parts of the farm.  In addition, it reduces the risk of soil being deposited on public highway, which in itself can result in prosecution.   

Hugh Robertson strongly recommends that farmers include the use of Dura-Base matting in their soil management plans.  He is urging them to insist that utility companies using farmland under Way Leave-type agreements, must use Dura-Base matting.  He said, “A large number of UK companies, including the Electricity Alliance, are now using Dura-Base.  As well as protecting the land, Dura-Base has another significant benefit.  Unlike aluminium panels, it has no scrap value, so all security risks are eliminated.  Callous thieves will stop at nothing to get their hands on aluminium panels.  They’re known to leave a trail of devastation in their wake, and ultimately it’s the farmer who is responsible for this damage too.”

For more information on Dura-Base temporary roadway systems, contact Hugh Robertson on 01235 868835 or visit

Sainsbury's Opening in Chipping Norton

Sainsbury's Opening in Chipping Norton

This is something of a red letter day for Chipping Norton … after 2 months of work, Sainbury’s has just opened its new store.  Chippy  had only two small supermarkets, Somerfield and the Co-op, to serve its thriving local community.  In April, the  Somerfield store closed as a result of the take-over by the Co-op in 2008.   For residents of Chipping Norton, the Gateway to the Cotswolds, visiting the nearest super-store involves a round trip of 20 miles or more.

Amidst much speculation, the news finally broke: Somerfield was out and Sainsbury’s was coming to town.  While the 2 month-long refit was underway, the Co-op had the monopoly on the small town shoppers.  But at 9am today (9th June 09), the new Sainsbury’s opened its doors for the first time in Chipping Norton. 

Like any small town, Chipping Norton is a hot-bed of gossip.  Locals were fully expecting celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, to be putting in an appearance, and there was talk the new store was to be extended upstairs.  These rumours proved to be unfounded, of course.  But as a nice touch, the Sainsbury’s powers-that-be decided to have the store opened by a member of staff who has worked in the store (under different ownerships) for ‘more years than she cared to remember’. 

This sort of thing is important to a small community.  Let’s hope that in coming to Chipping Norton, Sainsbury’s takes its responsibilities to the town seriously.  With one of the area’s biggest fundraising events only a month away ( it would be great to see Sainsbury’s pledging some support to this. 

And finally … let’s hope the management realise their mistake in tucking their ‘Chippy News Honesty Box’ away in a corner.  The Chippy News is one of the cornerstones of the community.  The monthly publication, run and managed by volunteers, is probably one of the best-selling papers in the town.  It’s so popular, copies have even been offered for sale on eBay! 

So come on Sainsbury’s … we’ve welcomed you to our community … now it’s your turn.  Get those copies of the Chippy News where we can find them … the Co-op does!

 I’ve just come across some information about a new mentoring service available in Oxfordshire.  Free mentoring and counselling is available to anyone wanting to start their own business or for existing small businesses which are looking to expand.  It’s being offered by TBAC, Thames Business Advice Centre.  More information can be found at

 The Federation for Small Businesses’ chairman John Wright, in his New Year message, said we small business owners are going to be the people to pull the country through this economic crisis.  It sounds to me like we’d better all get to work!  Mind you, in the Federation’s magazine it also says 68% of us work more than 46 hours a week.  So perhaps with a bit of free mentoring help, we can cut back the hours we work and save the economy at the same time.  No pressure then?

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