Mar 14

Seven Stars 1st Birthday – March 30th 2014

2014-03-26 - front door of the StarsSo, here we are, exactly one year on from the Opening Day of the Seven Stars under Community ownership.

And what a year it has been… one that has seen huge efforts from the whole village and further afield to buy the pub in the first place, to contribute hard labour to get it open and finally in ensuring its success by frequenting it on a regular basis!!

Everyone can be incredibly proud of the contributions they have made…long may it continue!

As part of the celebrations we have produced a small booklet that tries to tell the story of this momentous year…enjoy.

I have also made the photographs used in the booklet available for you to download separately if you so wish. Katia Vastiau very kindly kept a photographic record during the initial refurbishment, Ric Mellis came along to take photos on Opening Day and the remainder are from Matts ongoing collection.

3 links for you…

Matts 1st Birthday Party
And don’t forget later today Matt is holding his first birthday party at the pub….well not his actually, but the pub!! You know what I mean!!??

4.00 p.m. is the time…face painting for the kids, a band in the garden, some great local beers and a hog roast are all on the agenda…enjoy!!

On this occasion I won’t be able to join you…enjoy the festivities, I am very jealous!!



Jan 14

New Open Share Offer

It is now almost a year since we launched the initial Share Offer to the Village Community that enabled us all to buy the Seven Stars property and begin the journey…

Since then we have…

  • Completely refurbished the pub ready for opening
  • Appointed Matt Ford as the Landlord
  • Rebuilt and opened the Barn as a Dining Area

Seven Stars BarnAs a result we now all have a thriving local pub that has quickly become the focus of our Community and continues to go from strength to strength delivering against the Village requirements.

Launch of a New Open Share Offer

The Baldons and Nuneham Community Society is now in a position where we can launch a new Open Share Offer. Funds raise will enable us to continue developing the property to deliver that Village vision.

This means that anyone can invest at any time. The rate of interest is the same, ie 1.5% over base.

If you would like to invest a little more, or know anyone else who would like to invest, you can obtain a copy as follows:

  • From the pub. Matt has copies.
  • From the website: www.savethesevenstars.com – the document can be found under “Key Documents” either in the top menu or in the key documents menu in the right sidebar…. or please click here to be taken direct to the Offer Document
  • We will be emailing everyone on our email list.
  • From any member of the committee: Laurence Attewill , Phil Collins, Phil Gardner, Dave Greenaway, Liz Jones, Jacquie Lake, Tom Saw, John Simpson, Sonja Van Dijk.
  • By calling Liz Jones on 01865 343465 or 07967 977035.

We are hoping to raise at least £15,000 so don’t be shy!

Dec 13

A Pub Update…

A Pub Update…

Well, the Barn opened on time and everyone seems really pleased with the ambience that is created in there….it has a warm and cosy feel in winter…and I am sure that come summer, with the French doors thrown open, it will be an equally welcoming place for dinner!!

So what next? Well that's the purpose of this newsletter…

Pub Update Meeting

Friday 27th December 2013

The Seven Stars Barn – 6pm

One of the most successful meetings we had prior to buying the pub was the one twixt Christmas and New Year 2012…

We thought we would repeat the formula this year and gather for some bubbles and mince pies!!

The agenda will be something like this:

  • What's next on the building front?
  • The launch of the new “Open Share Offer”
  • Long term plans

Lots to talk about with immediate plans well advanced for additional building.

And for those new to the village or who didn't subscribe for shares last time …or even want to increase their shareholding further…there will be all the detail you need in the new Share Offer.

So…pop the date in the diary and come down to the pub at 6pm…I suspect there may be quite a few stay on for drinks and dinner so make sure you call Matt to book your table…

01865 343337

Nov 13

The Dining Barn is Opening!!

Well, it’s taken a bit of time but we now have a time and a date for the opening…

Tuesday 19th November at 6.30pm

The Barn looks fantastic with the new French doors opening onto the garden and providing lots of light and a feeling of space in the Barn itself!!

The Vice Chairman of the Council, Cllr Ann Midwinter and her husband David Midwinter, will be on hand to perform the official duties…everybody is of course welcome to come along to the opening…. even more importantly enjoy a drink and perhaps book your first meal in the Barn!!

You all know the number now…but just in case…!!

Seven Stars Pub – 01865 343337

See you there on Tuesday.

Share Offer

We have mentioned before that we will shortly be publishing a new share offer.

A number of people have moved into the village and interest has been expressed by these and others in becoming members and subscribers to BNCS Ltd.

As soon as we have finalised the offer we will publish details here. If anyone knows people who have expressed an interest in investing please let me have their email address.

Many thanks and look forward to seeing you in Tuesday evening.

Aug 13

Village Hall Meeting on Friday at 6.30pm

A Gentle Reminder….

Don’t forget this Friday!! We are holding an update meeting in the Village Hall at 6.30 pm.

Hopefully only an hour and everyone is welcome. We intend to update you on the various plans for the development of the pub.

It will also be your opportunity to ask questions and input your thoughts and ideas.

Look forward to seeing you all there.

Village Hall – 6.30pm – Friday 9th August

Jul 13

The great glass sale!!

The great glass sale

Need some new glasses? Drinking glasses that is!! Well, we’ve got lots!!

Next Saturday, 20th July from 11am, Dave and Sandy Greenaway will be setting up shop in the car park to sell excess items from the pub!!

In clearing out the barn ready for construction work to start in August we have found lots of excess items…Glasses, kitchen paraphernalia, pictures and all sorts of other goodies will be available to buy.

Remember the half pint pots from the 2012 Beer Festival…well, buy some of the other stuff and Dave has promised a free one of those for you as well!!

So…get yourselves to the pub next Saturday morning…you never know what you might find!!

Village Hall Meeting – Friday August 9th

Don’t forget to pop this date in your diary…6.30pm is the time.

Hopefully we can keep it to an hour and intend updating everyone on the various building phases.

Look forward to seeing you then.

Jun 13

Its been a long time!!

So whats happening on the pub front?

Its been a while since I last emailed everyone and summer seems to have come and gone…yes, I know its the longest day today and therefore officially the middle of summer…but where is the accompanying weather??!!

Still, given its been a long time guess what?? Yes…this is going to a long email…so, grab a cup of coffee and settle back. I’ll try and keep it interesting! And if I see you in the pub I’ll be asking questions!!

The Pub

The bright spot in all of this dreary weather has been the pub…every time I visit it seems to be doing a thriving trade and the comments from people both in the village and from visitors all appear positive.

Two warm Bank Holidays have certainly helped and although swamped on the first, they have managed to cope admirably. In fact, rumour has it that the Chair of BNCS, a certain Liz Jones, was seen donning her pinny and returning to her student days as a silver service waitress in the garden on that day!!

Matt has settled well and is enjoying himself. He has said, “The support of the village has been fantastic and we have had a great start”

“We will continue to try and deliver a quality food and drink offer that represents great value and have lots more events planned for the forthcoming months”.

Expect to see the Seven Stars on The Green website running properly shortly with more information on these events.

Baldons & Nuneham Community Society Ltd

Your Committee has also been hard at work on the next stages of the property development and I thought it worth a few minutes explaining where we are on this…

The Phases

When we originally looked at the development we split it down into a number of phases and earmarked monies for each phase.

  • Phase 1 – Completing the necessary immediate repairs and getting the pub open
  • Phase 2 – Developing and opening the dining room
  • Phase 3 – Development of toilet facilities and improving the kitchen facilities and services
  • Phase 4 – Development of the outside space

Clearly in order to complete all of this work we need additional funds and so we have spent time researching and applying for “matched funding” grants.

If we are successful in our quest to obtain these then it means we can spread our initial funds further and complete all 4 phases.

So where are we now?

Phase 2 – Dining Room

As you all know this was priority number 1 and prior to opening we created an opening into the planned new dining room which has been masterfully covered by Caddie Attiwells Trompe d’Oeil.

The delay in getting going with this work has been twofold…applying for some significant grant monies and ensuring that Planning and Building Inspectors are all onside with what we are trying to do.

We are very hopeful that we will be successful in our application to CIF for grant monies and expect a decision imminently. With the Planning and Building Inspectors on side this work will commence in the second week of August and is expected to take about 11 weeks to complete.

The plan envisages creating a spacious room, enjoying the enhanced ceiling height that the old barn affords, with 2 large french doors to a reconstructed rear patio providing additional dining overlooking the fields at the back. There will also be additional toilets incorporated into the work.

So, we should have a new dining space by early October enabling Matt to better implement his ideas for drinking and eating spaces. Fantastic…look out for the Grand Opening!!

Phase 3 – Upgraded and additional facilties

The Buildings Sub Committee led by Laurence Attewill and aided and abetted by 2 able co-opted assistants in Peter Cave and Ivan Ball have been examining all manner of options for this phase.

Plans are now coming together and they expect to be putting the final touches to things over the next couple of months with a view to obtaining planning permission in the autumn and aiming at starting the development in January / February 2014.

Phase 4 – Outside space

Sarah Marchant and Steve Wardell have also been considering the outside space and are looking at how this will fit with Phase 3.

So, lots going on and we thought that it was about time that we tried to bring it all together for everyone by having a Village Hall Meeting on 9th August at 6.30 pm.

Hopefully no longer than an hour, we will have plans and diagrams illustrating the various phases. Everyone is welcome and we would welcome your input. And then we can all repair to the pub!!

Updated Share Offer

We understand that a number of people have enquired about investing in BANCS Ltd. Over the next couple of months we are intending issuing a new Share Offer document to enable people to do exactly that…watch this space!


Hopefully this email has given you a good feel for where things currently stand…

  • We have got our pub back!!
  • All the reports suggest that it is exactly what people wanted
  • As a result of getting the offer right and the support of the village the pub is trading very well
  • We are now moving on to Phase 2 of the development – opening the new dining room

Onwards and upwards

The Test

And here is the test to check you have read to the end of the email!! 2 huge sporting occasions at the weekend…The Lions play Oz in Brisbane on Saturday and England play India on Sunday in the Champions Trophy at Edgbaston.

So when I see you in the pub and ask my question the answer is Brisbane and Edgbaston – woe betide anyone who doesn’t get it right!! And no, you can’t ask me why…I’m the one writing the email and I can ask what I like!!

You were warned



Apr 13

Wine Sale and Upcoming Events!!

Wine Sale

Need to restock your cellar? Now is your chance… and at hugely reduced prices!!

IMG_0704In order to give Matt a fresh start on his wine list we have bought all the previous stock off him at trade prices and intend selling it at those prices!! 173 bottles of varying grapes and vintages are available.

The Wine list can be found here … and pictures of the wine can be found here.

But hurry – it won’t last long!!

Please contact Linda Simpson on 07973 183684 or lindasimpson99@gmail.com

Upcoming Events at the Stars…

Matt has a couple of events starting next week…

Steak Night

The ever popular steak night starts up again next Tuesday, 16th April where you can eat steak and all the trimmings for just £11.

Book early, I suspect it may be very popular!!

Quiz Night

He is also going to start a regular Quiz Evening beginning on Wednesday 17th April!! Future events will then run 1st May, 15th May, 29th May etc.

Matt promises me that there will be something for everyone in the questions so don’t fear things getting too difficult….I think his comment was something like, “Even you’ll be able to answer some of the questions Phil!!”. Thanks Matt!!

Teams can have up to 6 people and the cost is £2 per person. The winning team takes all and the house is offering a bottle of champagne to the winner.

So gather your friends and call the pub on 01865 343337 to book your spot. Should be a fun night!!

Aunt Sally

Plans are already under way to create an Aunt Sally court (is that the right description??!!) in the garden.

A very popular Oxfordshire game, the intention is to run teams from the pub in one of the local leagues. Now, we may well be too late to join a league this season, but practice makes perfect so Matt will spend this summer educating and training!!!

Watch this space for more information!!

Brunch and Sunday lunch

Remember, the pub is now open all day for food and drink and on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. for brunch as well.

Sunday lunch has also proved great value and as a result very popular…make sure you book as early as possible.

And Finally….

We still have a number of tables to sell …we are looking for offers over £75 for the large ones and £50 for the smaller ones. If you go into the pub Matt can show you which are which.

Offers need to be sent to Sonja van Dijk at greenwellies@btinternet.com by 5p.m. next Friday, 19th April 2013. The highest offer (timed) will secure.

Apr 13

What a Top Day!!

seven stars reopens:  Picture: Ric MellisHappy, smiling faces…kids and dogs in abundance…we’ve got our pub back!!!

Matt opened the doors at 10 a.m. on Saturday and everyone rolled in…and I think its fair to say, one or two rolled out again later in the evening!! I can personally attest to the reviving qualities of one or two of the best Bloody Mary’s I have had!!

A wonderful speech by our Chair, Liz Jones (we have to get her a bigger stool to stand on – only joking Liz!!)…the ribbon, held by 2 members of the “grey beards”, Dave and John…the scissors handed over by another of the “grey beards”, Laurence, was cut by James and Rafe accompanied by Dad, David Harding…and the Pub was open!! And who will ever forget Iris Wrights magnificent cake? A momentous occasion!!seven stars reopens:  Picture: Ric Mellis

A word for the Staff

Its well worth giving all of the staff a quick pat on the back.

Led by Matt, they all coped fantastically well. With an incredibly crowded pub and a new till system, they still managed to serve everyone and turn out top quality food… it was an awesome effort.seven stars reopens:  Picture: Ric Mellis

Back to the Bloody Mary’s… I think they may be very popular!! I did notice that we managed to drink the pub out of tomato juice within the first hour and Barry, Matts Dad, was sent out on a mercy mission to stock up on supplies!!

Saturday night was even better…51 covers in for dinner…many more than has ever been managed before; It was a fantastic testament to Alan, the Chef and his kitchen brigade.

Let there be many more occasions like it in the coming months and years!!


Many people were taking pictures…including Andreas, our “ace” village photographer! We are trying to pull a book together that will document the process of getting the pub open so keep an eye out for that over the next couple of months.

Ric Mellis, a freelance photographer, who took the pictures that appeared in the Oxford Mail, was also on hand and I have provided a link to his pictures below.

Click here for Ric’s picures

The Future

seven stars reopens:  Picture: Ric MellisSo the pub is open, but it doesn’t survive without our patronage. As Liz said , everyone in the village has made a fantastic contribution in coming together to ensure we retain the “pub as the hub”… it now needs us all to use it, and frequently!!

Matt has lots of ideas and plans and is only too happy to talk to all of you about thoughts that you may have for future events… there is a Comments book just inside the front door for you to provide your feedback and ideas.

Email addresses

And finally a quick reminder… I will be passing all of the email addresses on this list over to Matt at the end of the week so that he can keep you all up to date with happenings in the pub.

If you don’t want me to do that then please scroll to the bottom of the list and “unsubscribe”.

Thanks to you all for your support over the last 4 months – see you in the Stars for a pint very soon!!

Mar 13

Today is the Day!!

Finally….the pub opens!!
Matt will be opening the doors of the Seven Stars at 10 a.m. today with a semi formal ribbon cutting ceremony at Midday.

Everybody is welcome!!

Opening Hours

Worth reiterating the opening hours for everyone. They are as follows:

  • Mon-Thurs 12am – 11pm
  • Fri-Sat 10am – 1am
  • Sun 10am – 11pm

Matt Ford at the barRemember, on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays Matt is serving a Brunch menu between 10 a.m. and Midday with the full menu from Midday onwards.

Easter Bookings

I know that bookings are full for dinner tonight (Saturday) and getting that way for Easter Sunday lunch too!! However, food is available pretty much all day, everyday, so get yourself a table for lunch or dinner on Easter Monday, or maybe even a walk followed by Brunch on Easter Monday…now there is an idea!!

And remember, this a pub…muddy boots and dogs (as well as their owners!!) are welcome for a pint, a glass of wine, a coffee or whatever takes your fancy!! What about a Bloody Mary to accompany that full English!!

Here’s to the reopening of the Stars!!
Good luck Matt!!