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Friday, July 08, 2016

The Kidlington mystery

Kidlington is England's largest village sandwiched between the River Cherwell and the Oxford Canal. It has a population accroding to the 2011 census of 13,723. To all intents and purposes it is an unremarkable settlement.

That judgement however is not one shared by others. According to the Metro, it has become a tourist hotspot. They say that in a bizarre twist to an already bizarre story police have been called as clueless residents have been left baffled following an influx of 'sight-seeing' foreign tourists arriving by the coachload - for no apparent reason:

Stunned locals say hoards of Chinese and Japanese holidaymakers began arriving in Kidlington, Oxon., on tour buses three weeks ago. The camera-totting tourists have been wandering around the rural village in groups of up to 40 at a time - taking photos of houses and gardens. Tourists have even knocked on doors along 'unremarkable' Benmead Road and The Moors road and asked for pictures of locals - before taking selfies with them.

Maurice Billington, from the parish council, said people were concerned by the tourists going into their gardens, looking through their windows and taking pictures on their doorsteps.

He has spoken to Thames Valley Police – whose HQ is in Kidlington – over what locals have called an ‘invasion of privacy’.

Some residents of Benmead Road and The Moors said that the tourists have been picking their flowers and wander into their gardens without permission.

Mr Billington said: ‘We are happy for them to come here but we do not want them going into people’s gardens to take pictures.’

Images posted to social media show groups of tourists posing in roads and by garden hedges while others, armed with umbrellas, braved the rain to get their coveted snaps.

There are many explanations as to why Kidlington has been the target of so much interest over the last three weeks. These include rumours of Harry Potter and Inspector Morse being filmed on location and links to Sir Richard Branson.

It has been suggested that the village is a convenient stop-off for those heading to Bicester Village, a nearby designer shopping outlet, while others believe the area is popular because it is a “normal village”.

But my favourite is that the tourists are time-travellers, wishing to glimpse a thriving English village before it meets its demise when the UK leaves the European Union.
There is a large number of software development companies in Kidlington, including some cutting-edge ones. Perhaps the Chinese are spies, masquerading as tourists?

My nephew's wedding reception was held in Birbury near Cheltnhaym.It was full of Japanese tourists because Emperor Hiririto had visited before the war. William Morris called it the prettiest village in England a d he may well haveben right.

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