Get involved with Visit Banbury

Morning all – and happy February to everyone.

February is a special month to Visit Banbury as effectively it is the anniversary month of Visit Banbury’s public launch in 2015.

This time last year a small group of us had put together the “Be Positive about Banbury” video

Be Positve About Banbury

and we were busy preparing for our first public event the “Banbury Positivity Summit”.
Since then, lots of things have gone on, we have built a presence on various social media platforms, we’ve had a number of events, most significantly for us the “Create a Banbury Dish” competition won by Phil Seal and the fabulous night market in September, working with Banbury Presents.


We have also designed, created and sold a range of merchandise promoting Banbury which has ended up being sent right across the globe.
Some of you may know but we have been taking a little breather over the winter period but now we are ready to start promoting and supporting the positive things about Banbury and organising some positive things of our own!

There are about 15 people involved in Visit Banbury but some of the original team either have decided to step down due to a very busy 2015 or have increased commitments in 2016 and so we need more people to help us be “the glue that sticks together all the good stuff in Banbury”.

We will soon be organising the first team meeting of the year and if you would like to be involved we would love you to join us!

So, if you’re interested in being part of the group, please contact us on or via Facebook or Twitter.


Guest Blog on Visit Banbury 

Are you a Banbury based community group or charity and want to guest blog on Visit Banbury?#VisitBanbury

We are seeing great results from blog posts this week with great reach each time on FB plus good response rates looking at the blog stats.

You write the blog – we’ll review it and reserve the right to tweak it to ensure it complies with Visit Banbury values and then we’ll post it on the blog, our FB page and Twitter feeds.

All free of charge to help local charity & community groups as we want to continue doing good in Banbury.



Geek Con Fast Track Pass Competition

Hi all !

One week to go until Geek Con 2016 happens in Banbury!

Visit Banbury are really excited to be able to offer 2 Fast Track passes in a fun competition so that two lucky people can keep ahead of the crowds and not miss a moment of Geek Heaven!

Banbury presents

This is what the organisers of Geek Con, Banbury Presents, say about the Fast Track Passes:


GEEK CON: Banbury’s 1st Comic Con and is coming to Banbury Town Centre for January 2016 and it’s so much more than the usual comic con.

With so much on at Geek con, you wouldn’t want to miss a minute! So why not treat yourself to our extra special service and get yourself a FAST TRACK PASS. A PASS gets you to the front of the queue in a flash and saves you time so you can get to as much of GEEK CON as you can squeeze into one day.

Yeah, we absolutely LOVE our STAR WARS, but we have so much more in store for you this January at Geek Con.

Geek Con brings together a classic con full of Q&A, signings, cosplay, gaming, showings and screenings, early releases and special appearances together with added features like body art demo, dance performance, circus and contortion, steam punk, modelling, art exhibition, illustration, music, fantasy battles, martial arts and stunt displays, behind the scenes workshops and much more.

Link to FAQ:

What do you need to do to win ?

Simple really – we know how much you all love Cosplay, so we are going to give one Fast Track Pass to what our three judges decide are the best home made costume and the best pro / shop bought outfit.

How you can win?  Meet our three judges at 8.45am on Saturday 30th January outside the entrance to Castle Quay by HMV and Debenhams and we will decide the two best cosplay costumes from the people who are there at 8.45am.

At 9am we will give you a code and go with you to the Geek Con desk so that you can pick up your wristbands which will allow you to have access as a Fast Track Pass holder.

Our judges’ decision will be final.

See you there !

Check out for info about a Wii Mario Kart Tournament for 16-25 year olds on the evening of Geek Con

Visit Banbury on social media:






Across the Miles

When former Town Mayor and fellow weightloss challenger Cllr John Donaldson mentioned to me that he regularly visits the Mayor of Hennef to celebrate carnival with him and his family and the next time would be at the start of February, I was delighted on behalf of Visit Banbury to offer a goody bag of promotional merchandise to send to our German Twin Town.

So, a couple of china mugs, fridge magnets, stylus pens, a tea towel and a couple of packets of Brown’s Banbury Cakes from Banbury Museum all safely stored in a Visit Banbury shopping bag, will be winging their way with Cllr Donaldson to promote our lovely town and to encourage our German cousins to #VisitBanbury.

Here is Cllr Donaldson’s lovely wife, Paula, collecting the goody bag at yesterday’s Volunteering Fair. Let’s just hope the Banbury Cakes survive the journey with John being such a fan of cake and being pretty hungry at the moment……

goody bag for Hennef

Banbury – A Kind and Fair Town

For some time we have been using the hashtag #kindtown to describe Banbury, as day in day out local people are constantly putting themselves out to help others.

A couple of examples of this are the relatively new groups that have been set up to help Flood Victims in the North of England:

“Banbury Flood Friends”

and to help provide support migrants who are stuck in “camps” in Northern France as a result of them fleeing the terrible conditions in their home countries:

CalAid OX15

CalAid OX15

Both are looking for various items to help people who have lost everything and you can make a difference by donating whatever you can to them. Please check out their facebook pages and donate if you possibly can.

However, there is a group in Banbury that has been focusing on fairness and equity for 10 years and that is Banbury’s Fairtrade Action who try to support overseas producers to ensure they receive a fair return on their production.

At the back end of 2015 I met up with the group a couple of times to help them with a discussion on social media and promotion of their group in 2016.

One action that came out was to put a request out for any volunteers who might be interested in helping them run their Facebook and Twitter feeds (

The next 12 months is going to be a busy and interesting time as 2016 sees the 10th anniversary of Banbury as a Fairtrade Town and there will hence be a number of events, activities and competitions which will need to be promoted.

If you are interested, please contact them via the the group’s fb page.

So I guess we need a second hashtag #Fairtradetown to describe Banbury, especially in 2016.

Vive la différence!

One of the great things I have discovered running Visit Banbury is that local people really want to find a community to connect with – but often don’t know how.

One of Visit Banbury’s objectives is to connect people of common interests and to mobilise them to do things around Banbury.

A few short months ago Visit Banbury set up a Facebook group for local French speakers and French natives living in and around the Banbury area.

In a few weeks we got more than 60 members who wanted to connect, socialise and be a community.

After a couple of meet ups at The Coach & Horses for drinks and food where 8-10 people turned up, yesterday afternoon a much larger group (around 45 counting children) came together at the Depuis Centre to enjoy the traditional French Epiphany treat “la Galette des Rois”.

It was wonderful to see how a simple Facebook group can turn into a community coming together and whilst enjoying coffee, cake and cider people talked about how they could get involved in Banbury’s community, how to find out more about what is going on and what are the best places to visit in and around town.

We also did a French book swap and the ones which were left got added to the Banbury Phonebox Library.

Whilst this group is focused on French speakers it is not exclusive as people are looking to offer French tuition to beginners and to start helping groups such as Banbury Community Action Group.

Lots of other common interest groups exist around town who maybe don’t quite connect as they would like – Visit Banbury can help facilitate this and whilst we all enjoy the online connections we make via Facebook these groups become really powerful when they meet up in person.

Interested in getting involved ? Have a common interest group you would like to develop? Email to discuss it further.



BYHP Big Lunch Day

Well – the big day is here – we will blog about the #BYHPBigLunch afterwards but here are a few images to give you a feel for what awaits you at BYHP from 12 to 5 today !  

 If you are coming, please don’t forget to bring a dish of food to share, some non-alcoholic drink, a fold up chair or two, a homemade cake to enter into our BYHP Big Lunch Bake Off competition, a few pounds for raffle tickets as we have a mega list of prizes to be won – and your sunglasses !!