Yes, we’ve entered Chippy in the Market Town category, and we’re now engaged in a major town and social media campaign to get us short-listed. Check out our news story on how to help us get there, and enjoy a selection of Vines from Chippy residents – talking snapshots of why you love your town.
Get clicking with social media, pay special visits to your wonderful range of local shops, and contact ECN if you can assist our campaign – perhaps delivering leaflets, helping out with our meetings, offering creative talents or becoming a volunteer ambassador to promote the overall health and well-being of Chipping Norton.
Do you want your own seven seconds of #GBHighSt fame?
Do you know how to make your own Vine? Need some help? Just ask us if you want some assistance in making your own seven-second ‘talkie’ to add to our growing digital gallery. It’s easier than you think! We just need you to tell us – in the tiniest nutshell – what you love about your town, or why you think Chippy should be Market Town of the Year.
What’s our #GBHighSt Yarnbomber been up to now?
There’s no stopping her, you know. She’s been out and about in the wee small hours, leaving her friendly ‘bombs’ around the town. Knitted purple hearts are popping up in all sorts of places (this one above left on the Albion Gallery door handle), and ECN Minions have invaded too – check out the unlikely fellow we found tied to a lamp-post (above)! Our yarnbomber is determined to help us shine in the #GBHighSt awards, so watch out for a range of offerings which will be appearing around Chippy this September– just when you least expect it . . .
We’ve also done a Q&A with our mysterious yarnbomber, if you want to know what makes her tick.
Who’s popping up in our brand new #GBHighSt Chippy video?
Hot off the presses, our terrific new #GBHighSt video is ready to go, taking pride of place on our website home page and showing exactly why our town is such a happening corner of the Cotswolds.
Thanks to all local residents, businesses, community groups, celebrities and dignitaries who helped make the video so special, and particular thanks to the guys who put it together – clever and hard-working team members Matt and Liam from Chipping Norton TV, Rob and Ian from The Hall and Gary Creese.
How can #LoveChippy help our #GBHighSt campaign?
September is Animal Magic month at #LoveChippy, so get snapping and enter your best animal photos – domestic, wild, furred, feathered or reptilian – to win the pet hamper kindly donated by Harper’s store. Harper’s will tailor it to your pet, or offer other suitable goodies if you’re pet-free!
Osca the prize pooch is heading our campaign to score 1000 Likes for the ECN Facebook page, and we’re almost there – so get everyone you know to Like our page and help us win the #GBHighSt award for best market town too.
Why not let an elephant jog your #ChippyHour memory?
Come on, don’t miss out – there’s heaps going on in the #ChippyHour channel every Wednesday between 8 and 9pm! Check out our #ChippyHour web page to find out what it’s all about . . . then type the hashtag into Twitter at 8pm on Wednesday to join Chippy’s innovative businesses in an hour of sharing, comparing and spreading the word about new business products, services and ventures in and around town.
Everyone is welcome to join the conversation, so will we see you there next week?
How can a bumblebee help save our rural heritage?
ECN is part of a major push to conserve and manage the precious commons, woodlands and pastures surrounding our town. Building on the existing work of Chipping Norton’s dedicated Green Gym, we’re working alongside a conservation expert to help halt the decline of the iconic bumblebee.
Craig Blackwell, former Conservation Officer for Oxfordshire County Council, is on a mission to recruit local businesses, farmers, landowners and volunteers in a bid to mark out suitable green spaces in and around Chipping Norton as bumblebee foraging sites.
ECN is delighted to welcome Craig to the September public meeting, where he will explain more about the bumblebee’s vital role in protecting our countryside heritage.
Let’s celebrate our public meetings
Our monthly public meetings are going from strength to strength, with August’s meeting at WineBear launching our #GBHighSt campaign. Our elusive yarnbomber slipped in with a basket of crocheted purple hearts, the perfect way for everyone to show their affection for their market town.
September’s meeting, scheduled for Number 24 café at 6pm on Thursday 24th, will feature conservation and bee expert Craig Blackwell who’s got more than a bee in his bonnet about conservation of Chippy’s ancient landscapes. Join us there to find out how it can be done. Open to everyone, you’re more than welcome!
A mean line in ECN merchandise
The above wordle, with words contributed by Chippy residents describing their town, kicked off our ideas for a special line of ECN merchandise. Talented local artist Denise Mansbridge is hard at work on various several designs. More soon!
Walk your way through Autumn
There’s no excuse now – why are you still sitting in your chair? Catch the Indian Summer with our exciting new walking app, free from HandHeld Tours and downloadable through our website.
Explore a range of local shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants featured along the mile-long route which also stars our magnificent Town Hall, Guildhall, Almshouses on the way to the Norman Castle banks. But that’s just the start. Stay awhile to sample the many other walking opportunities – through town, village, field, woodland and famous Cotswold Hills.
The new High Street is virtual . . . .
There’s no escaping it. The High Street of the future is virtual. Lucky for us that the technology is not only available, but bang in the middle of Chipping Norton.
Team member Gary Snyder runs Ocuaris, a Chippy business offering state-of-the-art 3D capture technology which gives a stunning virtual tour of any house, shop, gallery or business premises. You can already take a ‘virtual walk’ around Jaffe & Neale bookshop, MASH Lifestyle and Chipping Norton Health Centre.
Offering tempting discounts for local businesses, Gary plans to work his virtual way through Chippy until we are a town of totally digital traders. In the meantime, he’s contributed free virtual tours for Chipping Norton Town Hall and Theatre – thanks Gary!
Time to get #GBHighSt Trading
It’s all hands on deck for our smart and energetic traders, with Chipping Norton businesses putting their heads together to help our town win the #GBHighSt Market Town accolade.
There’s a flurry of campaign activity in the streets of Chippy, with shops rolling out their #GBHighSt posters, ECN branding and new seasonal offerings. So watch this space for more hot campaign news!
What’s waiting for you on the ECN website?
We’ve been having a real shake-out around the website, and there’s heaps of new stuff to explore including our brand new home page video supporting our #GBHighSt campaign.
Check out our regular updates under News – latest Chippy-based stories featuring our Yarnbomber, visits by Guardian journalists, Dame Edna Everage and Osca the pickled pointer.
We’ve grouped our photo competition, and lots of images – new and historical – under #LoveChippy, along with a new page dedicated to #ChippyHour.
There’s plenty to savour under Enjoy Chippy too – our walking tour app; 25 reasons to visit Chipping Norton; What Our Town Means To Us (quotes from 40 local residents, groups and businesses); Where to Eat, Drink and Stay; and a wealth of material publicising our local attractions, walks, heritage buildings, festivals, town trail and wider Cotswold offerings, including car parking and transport information.
Our social media is soaring
What can we say? A big thanks, firstly, to our digital and social media whizz Shaun Fagan, who is taking our social media to new heights.
Now closing in on 1000 Facebook page Likes, that’s really only the start of it. Our multiple social media channels are busy engaging local people, businesses, groups and charities through use of Tweets, Instagram and Vines – making sharing a staple of Chippy’s life and times.
Let’s give a warm and friendly welcome to FoodFest . . .
All set for 5th December, with former Goodie Graeme Garden signed up as Patron, Chippy’s new ECN-inspired FoodFest is set to enjoy its 2015 launch with a series of Chef demonstrations at the Town Hall, drink demonstrations at WineBear, food writing workshops in conjunction with Jaffe & Neale bookshop, Cotswold artisan food and drink exhibitors and a sumptuous Town Hall banquet crowning the day.
Watch the ECN website over the next month or two for a new FoodFest page, featuring lots of updated info about this exciting event.
All I want for Christmas is . . . a #GBHighSt Award!
I know, it’s scary. Just under four months, and Christmas is on our doorstep. We really hope that a win in the Market Town category of the #GBHighSt Awards is our very early Christmas present.
And then we won’t be asking for anything else from Santa, honest!
So come on, Chippy biz-folk. Work hard, be good, help your fellow traders. And who knows what you might find in your Christmas stocking?
Help the voices of Africa be heard in the streets of Chippy
Chippy is proud to help the disadvantaged youngsters of Kenya, Uganda and Lesotho complete their secondary and university educations through the local Rafiki Thabo Foundation.
Local award-winner Womersley Foods has nominated the Foundation as its official Charity of the Year, while other Chippy eateries are chipping in with the Rafiki Sandwich program, which helps provide school lunches in these struggling countries.
Watch out for updates on Rafiki ventures coming up to Christmas.
A true friend is a Dementia Friend
Chippy is working hard to become a Dementia Friendly town, through local Dementia Champion Clare Sexton. And ECN is hosting a free Dementia Friends information session at The Chequers on 17 September, 6pm.
This session is tailored to businesses and retailers. It’s common for those living with dementia to give up shopping, though this key activity links them to their local community. From being patient with a customer paying at the till, to communicating more clearly and kindly over the phone, you can learn how to do your bit.
Hope to see your there!
Let’s hear it for #ChippyKids!
Plans are afoot to bring children firmly into the ECN fold. #ChippyKids is a new initiative aimed at harnessing all that wonderful ‘kid’ energy, helping Chippy stay clean, tidy, loved and beautiful.
With a special mascot and a page of their own, we hope to engage Chippy children in regular greening and tidy-up schemes – with some super prizes and rewards to ensure it’s fun!
We’re working on it! With the children back at school, we’ll see what can be done . . .
Chippy’s school of life
ECN is working with Chipping Norton School on a range of initiatives aimed at involving the town’s talented and enthusiastic youngsters in local business ventures.
Anticipated schemes include students setting up a #LoveChippy photographic gallery and market stall in conjunction with local town traders and enterprises, with the goal of introducing them to the world of business.
ECN is also introducing a mentorship program, offering sponsorship, guidance and mentoring to young entrepreneurs.