Monthly Archives: September 2016


September 28, 2016

The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford is mounting an exhibition of photographs taken in Central Asia and the Middle East by Blewbury’s very own Sheila Paine.

The exhibition, in the Museum’s Long Gallery, runs from November 1st 2016 to April 30th 2017 and will feature people and landscapes that caught Sheila’s eye over many years of travelling in that part of the world. The images range from individual portraits such as the Yemeni woman printed in the Bulletin, through to beautiful local architecture and a shot of Soviet armoured forces in Afghanistan.


September 27, 2016

Blewbury has no shortage of notable people, but the History Group thought it was time to talk about some less well known women who have achieved remarkable things.

On Sunday October 9th we shall take a walk round the village pointing out the houses that some of them lived in and talking about their lives and achievements. Audrey will have the able assistance of Jane Gibson to bring the characters to life. Come along and be inspired by the achievements that deserve to be celebrated. The walk starts at the Village Hall at and should take about two hours. We have to limit the number of people so please contact Audrey either at or at 850427 with your name and how many will be coming.


The Style Acre Tea Room needs your help!

The Style Acre Tea Room at Savages in Blewbury is looking for volunteers to join our friendly team.

Our tea room provides work experience for people with learning disabilities, helping them develop important work skills. Our volunteers play a vital role in helping us keep the tea room running, serving customers and preparing food.

It offers an opportunity to meet new people, in a friendly but fast paced environment. Current volunteers call it a ‘rewarding experience’, as they see the effect of their help, as the people we support learn new skills and increase confidence thanks to their help.

The team is currently looking for help on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday, although we would be delighted with help any day of the week. If you feel you can support us please contact our Volunteer Officer, Chris via email: or telephone: 01491 827593.

Blewbury Local History Group

Our next meeting is on October 11th at 8pm as per usual at our Parsonage Lane room.

Anyone is welcome to attend. We are planning our talks for 2017, two speakers have already been booked and we are seeking more. Do you know of any that might be suitable? There are a number of items we are to cover this meeting and new members are always welcome to assist with our projects. Did you know we have this year cleaned the Knight and wife effigy in the Churchyard and also commissioned a study of its origins and how we might preserve it? Lots of things happen behind the scenes and our group has access to many artefacts, books, articles and photographs relating to the village. For details contact either Audrey Long on or Mark via email


News from Blewbury School

A new year at Blewbury School brings new children and new parents. We easily forget how this can be an exciting time, and also one which causes some nervousness from children and nail-biting from parents, so I am pleased to report that the foundation class students are settling in nicely and getting stuck in to the curriculum already. Their teacher, Becky Clarke, has been using the story of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to make leaves, masks, fruit salads and even a counting caterpillar to help with maths!

Again there is a theme throughout the school, this term it is “Explorers”, and whilst Class 1 have been looking at the world through a wonderful story, Key Stage Two have been studying the workings of the brain. From axons to neurons, it is certainly getting their own grey matter working. (A special thanks to Savages for supplying brain-like cauliflowers to demonstrate the physical properties!).

A very warm welcome goes to Miss Sequeros, and we wish her well in the year she will spend with us at the school. During her five year Teaching Degree from Madrid University, Miss Sequeros has spent time gaining teaching experience at a school in Chicago as well as within Spain and now comes to join us in Blewbury as Class 4’s teacher. Already, there is a Spanish after-school club, and class 4 are quickly picking up words, phrases and sentences.

We are really excited to have been given the status of ‘Global Learning Expert Centre’, part of our role will be to provide training to teachers in other schools. We have also been awarded a European Erasmus Project – we are linked with Finland, Spain and Germany. There will be opportunity for pupils in Year 5 or 6 this year to travel to Finland and those in Year 5 and 6 next year to travel to Spain and Germany. Teachers and students from these schools will be hosted by Blewbury in the spring and we will be looking for between 9 and 12 families to host children in pairs.

As mentioned in the last Bulletin we are still interested in seeking support from volunteers to join us in our enhanced scheme where we are encouraging people to give up some time to individual students.

If you are interested, or have a skill you would like to pass on then we can promise that you will be well supported by class teachers who will talk to you about what you can offer and match you up with specific pupils.

Another busy term at Blewbury School!     Mike Evans – Class 6 Link Governor


Goodbye to the Mobile Library

On Monday 5th September the Mobile Library paid its last visit to Blewbury and a group of us gathered to say thanks and farewell to Kate Ball, our very friendly and helpful librarian.

We will all miss her – she was very special and seemed to know which books we would enjoy. Although we all look very cheerful we were, in fact, very sad that this service has been discontinued. It has been a valuable village amenity for more than 40 years and will be a great loss. Kate has given details of the Home Library Service to people who would find it difficult to get to Didcot Library. Kate is taking this opportunity to do some travelling and we wish her Bon Voyage! PM

Green Recycling Bin:

If waste crews can’t see what’s in it, they won’t empty it

From November, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils will only empty green wheelie bins if the recycling in them is loose or in clear sacks. Despite a recent campaign to raise awareness of the issue, some people are still putting in things like food waste and dirty nappies, contaminating whole truckloads of recycling – when these things are put into recycling bins in black or coloured sacks they’re not spotted until it’s too late. So if there’s a sack in a recycling bin and the waste crews can’t see what’s in it, they’ll have to assume it contains contamination and won’t empty it. Take a look at this video that shows how bad the problem is when people use black or coloured sacks –

Councillor Tony Harbour, cabinet member for waste at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Contaminated recycling has become a real issue that we have to tackle. Insisting on loose recycling or clear sacks is a simple change that will make a big difference – and most people won’t be affected. If you do want to use bin-bags in your green bin, you can use clear ones, which are available from most large supermarkets and hardware stores.  In most cases, clear sacks work out cheaper than black ones.”

Councillor Charlotte Dickson, cabinet member for waste at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Throughout October we’ll leave a note on any bins with the wrong colour sack in it to explain the problem – we’ll empty the bin on that occasion, but from November we’ll then have to start leaving them unemptied to help us protect everybody else’s recycling from getting contaminated.”

An invite from Blewbury Bell Ringers

Looking for a new hobby this autumn?

Wanting to meet new people in Blewbury and the surrounding villages? Like doing something with gentle physical and mental exercise in a fun and social environment? Enjoy doing something worthwhile for the village community? If any of these apply, then bellringing could be for you! A recent BBC news item highlighted the modern day challenges of attracting people to take up this rewarding pastime (visit Blewbury is no exception to this and although we currently have an enthusiastic team, we really do need to encourage more people to learn to ring and help us to maintain the tradition of village bellringing for the future.

Come to a taster evening on Tuesday 4th October and meet some of the ringers, see up close how a bell works, have an assisted go at ringing a bell and enjoy a chat over a cuppa. Come along anytime between 7.30 – 9.00pm to St Michaels church on 4th October. If you are unable to make it on 4th, you will be welcome to join us on any Friday practice evening. For further information contact Richard Loyd 07767 463285 or Chris Cook 07786 635062

Blewbury Footpaths

One of the joys of living in Blewbury is the ability to navigate the village and its environs through the network of footpaths, bridleways and byways, commonly known as public rights of way.

Gone are the days when the paths were kept clear by flocks of sheep and labourers who worked for local landowners. In these times the maintenance of footpaths has to be planned and paid for.

The Parish Council regularly receives complaints/comments about the state of the footpaths and we act where we can. However we would like to clarify some rights and responsibilities.

The duty to maintain public rights of way rests with the Highway Authority, in our case Oxfordshire County Council through their Countryside Access Team. The Oxfordshire Parish Guide to Countryside Access reads as follows: ‘the County Council has a duty to maintain the surface of rights of way. It must be recognised that they are essentially countryside paths, usually with an earth surface, and so, depending on the type of soil, some mud should be expected, particularly during winter months. The County Council will seek to maintain rights of way in a condition suitable for their use by the public, i.e. a footpath in a condition for use by walkers. In this it is assumed that the user will wear appropriate clothing and footwear (for example walking boots, or wellingtons in the winter’.

Parish Councils have a right to maintain public rights of way and Blewbury, in common with many other villages, has undertaken the maintenance of footpaths within the built area of the village. This work is carried out by our lengthman, with the assistance of volunteers and Council members on some occasions, and paid for through the parish precept element of the council tax. The amount of time and money we have available for this work is finite.

Responsibility for vegetation along the side of footpaths and roads in the village lies with the residents whose boundary lies along the public right of way. Many of our residents keep these boundaries well trimmed back – others are not so conscientious.

At the moment OCC has limited resources as does the PC. Grass cutting by the local authority has been reduced to a minimum and the PC is reviewing how to continue the previous level of maintenance as parishioners have complained about unkempt undergrowth.

It would be most beneficial if all residents would pay attention to the land, paths, pavements and verges outside their homes. Clearing leaves, cutting grass or just clearing litter from a small area would help enormously. Two Village Clear Up days a year are scheduled and organised between Sustainable Blewbury and the Parish Council – more volunteers to clear leaves and occasionally help spread gravel on these days would be very helpful. We are well aware that many parishioners already do their bit to maintain and improve the village and that pressures on people’s time have never been greater. But most of us love what Blewbury is – a charming, vibrant village. It will not stay that way if we don’t collectively make an effort to maintain the features that make our village unique.