Chipping Norton - Drumming up Lido support

ROCKERS Status Quo will be drumming up interest in an auction of promises in aid of Chipping Norton Lido.

The legendary band has donated tickets, along with a chance to meet them backstage, for the auction at Chipping Norton Town Hall at 7.30pm on Friday, May 18.

Another starry lot has come from Star Trek captain Jean Luc Picard - actor Patrick Stewart has offered tickets to see him play Malvolio in Twelfth Night at the Chichester Festival and a chance to meet him for a glass of wine after the show.

Also up for auction is an advanced performance driving experience offered by Aston Martin including a half-day of instruction from a professional driver and an opportunity to drive the DB9.

The auction, with Top Gear presenter and local resident Jeremy Clarkson wielding the hammer, is a vital source of income for the Lido, which was saved from closure by the local community when West Oxfordshire District Council pulled out in 2005. It is now run by charity Chipping Norton Lido Ltd.

Last year's auction raised £22,000.

"Promises are getting more and more interesting and unusual," said Lido trustee Claire Jarvis. "It's absolutely vital for us as we don't receive any public funding except for a £2,000 grant from Chipping Norton Town Council."

Lots also include a weekend break in the Scilly Isles and holidays in Cannes, Spain and Scotland.

Chipping Norton MP and Lido patron David Cameron has donated an autographed book and a couple of signed bottles of whisky.

More down to earth items include a tonne of compost, an MoT by G&M Autos, and meals out at The Chequers at Chipping Norton, The Mill House in Kingham, and The Lords of The Manor in Lower Slaughter.

Details of all the lots can be found at www.chippylido.co.uk Tickets for the event cost £12.50 including wine and nibbles and are on sale at Jaffé & Neale Bookshop and Café in Chipping Norton.

The Lido opened for the 2007 season on Saturday.

Among the improvements carried out over the winter have been new coping around the pool, and revamped changing rooms with new tiling.

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