Monthly Archives: November 2016

Cat on a Cold Tile Roof

Kip the cat was first heard pathetically meowing early one morning and we think he may have been chased up a very steep roof of a house at the top end of Dibleys and been up there all night.

Poor Kip, very small and very young, was being swooped on by magpies and kites and was obviously terrified and very hungry – but even a dish of tuna could not persuade him to attempt the climb down.

Just after 4pm, the Fire Brigade took pity and turned up and with the aid of several ladders, a kindly fireman climbed up onto the ridge of the roof and tempted Kip into a special bag and carried him down to safety and his plate of tuna. The firemen were wonderful and the whole exercise was watched by a very appreciative crowd who gave a huge cheer and round of applause for the Fire crew.

A group of small children were then allowed to have a closer look at the fire engine so the story has a very happy ending.

Pat Mattimore

Photo: Bernard Mattimore

Honouring the Fallen

The Remembrance Day service took place at St Michaels at 10.45am on Sunday the 13th November 2016, led by the Reverend Louise Butler.

Afterwards the congregation walked to the memorial stone at the junction of London Road and Nottingham Fee. Members of the Royal British Legion were in attendance and musicians from the Blewbury Brass Band played both at the church and at the memorial stone. Following the Last Post, attendees observed the traditional two-minute silence.

Thanks to Jim Gooding for the photographs.

Village Hall refurbishment

We have had an encouraging response to the latest questionnaire, with 95% of people saying they completely or broadly supported the proposed refurbishment.

There was also a wide range of comments and suggestions which will help to finalise the design. As this Bulletin is published, we will be evaluating the tender response from builders. This will determine what we think we’ll be able to afford overall and exactly what we can do in phase 1. Clearly, this will also depend on the money we raise. We have had a contribution of £433 from the Women’s Institute and, as a result of a very successful Bonfire Night, the BVS has decided to donate another £1000 towards the project. We are grateful for these contributions which are very welcome. Following the publication of the pamphlet and promotional film, both of which can be viewed on the project’s pages on the village website, we have also now received donations from individuals amounting to £11,600, which with the Gift Aid top-up is worth £14,300. In total, the village has now raised over £45,000 through fund-raising events and personal donations. We are grateful for every donation, no matter how small. If we can maintain momentum, there is no reason why we can’t raise at least as much again.

We have also had a number of offers of help in kind, which are also appreciated. If you haven’t already done so, please do consider donating to the project, bearing in mind that for higher rate taxpayers the donation will be set off against your higher rate tax. You can find out how to donate in the pamphlet or on the website or ask me.

Thanks also to all of you who voted for the project’s entry for an Aviva Community Award. We are waiting to hear if we have made it to the final.  Steve White


Santa Fun Run

Santa Fun Run (approx. 3 miles) or the Reindeer Trot (obstacle course for the under 5’s) – Sunday December 11th at 2 pm

Starts and ends at Blewbury School, Westbrook Street, Blewbury, OX11 9QB

  • Adults £10 including a Free Santa Suit
  • Kids (under 16) £6 including a Free Santa Suit
  • Under 5’s £5 including Free Reindeer Antlers

To enter please use the entry form in this Bulletin or email

Mulled wine / mince pies & refreshments

All profits to Blewbury School

Sustainable Blewbury

Village Leaf Clearance: This year it is on Sunday afternoon, 27th November. Please meet us on the Play Close at 2 pm. We are running it with the help of the BVS and Parish Council. We all use the footpaths so please help us clear them of slippery leaves. Bring rakes and barrows if you have them, or you can borrow ours. There will be tea/coffee/juice and cake for volunteers afterwards at The Blueberry (who are kindly sponsoring the event).

Blewbury Garden Market Extra: A quick reminder that you can buy locally made bread and cakes for the weekend at the Post Office on Saturday mornings from 9.30 am – so call in before doing your weekly shop! Any unsold bread is put in the freezer so is available during the week as well. If you feel like occupying a couple of hours with baking on a Friday, bring your efforts along and we will sell them for you (10% retained, split between PO and SB). We also sell preserves and occasional produce (such as Jerusalem artichokes) all week.

Apple juicing: Sincere thanks to everyone who came along with their buckets of apples and saved this wonderful resource from being wasted by turning it into delicious juice! Thanks also to our team of volunteers, who spent many hours cleaning and preparing apples for the shredder and washing down the equipment afterwards. If you still have apples on your trees, you can hire our equipment for £10 – contact

Thermal imaging of houses: We will again be borrowing the Vale’s thermal camera in January in order to help people improve their home’s insulation. This can make it warmer, save money and reduce carbon emissions – a triple win. We image your house and provide a report free of charge. If you would like your house imaged, or re‑imaged to check improvements, please email us at or phone Jo Lakeland (850490) or Eric Eisenhandler (850558).

Community Orchard: See separate item elsewhere in this Bulletin.



Gate leg folding veneered wooden table 30″ wide, 13″ folded depth, 60″ fully extended.

Ann Dendy


Kenwood Multi Pro food processor with cutters etc.  Hardly used.

5 pairs of professionally made long (82-84″) triple lined heavy duty curtains with pencil pleats and ties, Beige background blue/grey motifs and thin brick red stripes.

1 pair professionally made lined curtains (61″ x 55″) Pale Blue print on cream background, blue lining pencil pleats and ties.

1 pair lined lighter weight curtains (45″x52″) Red/orange with cream and green pattern.

Tall stainless steel patio heater in working order.  Gas bottle NOT included.

Margaret Cooper



Metal shelf system suitable for garden shed, 1.5m high, 4 shelves 75cms x 30cms including nuts and bolts

Pair of wall-mounted cottage-style pine corner shelves – H 82 cms, cross section 56 x 40 x 40cms

Ellen Bramhill


Fridja clothes steamer

Sony Playstation

2 x acoustic guitars

Squire Fender electric guitar

Yamaha electric guitar

Marshall amplifier (45w)

Amstrad CD player

John Lewis Scroll Wall light fitting with glass shade – NEW

Dunelm Chrome Band Wall 2 light fitting – NEW

Chris and Jane Buss


Old ‘stone’ sink 18x30x6 (inches)

Books: ‘The Original Water-Color Paintings of John James Audubon for The Birds of America’ 431 Exact Reproductions from the Original Collection

Canada/A Year of the Land produced by the National Film Board of Canada

Mark Vaughn


Metal Xmas tree stand for use on the floor – quite long legs, very stable.

Assorted ceramic flower/cachepots

Lyn Blackie

About 100 bricks for hardcore, soak-away, etc.

Peter Saunders

To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (

We welcome new members. If you would like to become involved in Sustainable Blewbury, or to receive our free Newsletter, please contact us at:


 – Your local village gardening club

Don’t forget our final event for this year is our ANNUAL SOCIAL which takes place on SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER AT UPTON VILLAGE HALL – it will be a Mexican Evening! Food, Drink and Fun & Games. Tickets are £9 per head and on sale at Blewbury Post Office and from Maggie Maytham at Upton.

Provisional plans have been made for 2017 VPA calendar and full details will be available in the next issue of the Blewbury Bulletin and Upton News. This is what we hope to be offering, provided we have sufficient support.

2nd March – Meeting with three committee members each giving a ‘20 minute talk’.

? June – Visit to Gardener’s World at the NEC, Birmingham (date to be confirmed)

8th July – ANNUAL SHOW

? August – Visit to Kew Gardens, London (date to be confirmed)

22nd October – Cake & Plant Sale at the Apple Day

1st November – Annual General Meeting

2nd December – Annual Social

From the VPA Committee, Season’s Greetings and we look forward to seeing you at our Social on the 3rd December.

DID YOU KNOW? The Mulberry Tree is usually the last to come into leaf and traditionally country gardeners took it as a sign that they could not plant out free from the risk of a late frost until the buds of the mulberry had opened. Older gardeners still call the mulberry “the wise tree”.  Happy Gardening  Eileen

Blewbury WI news

Hi All.  Christmas is approaching fast and we shall all be so busy with the preparations and seeing that the letters are sent off to Santa in time!  But we would be pleased to welcome any new Members to join us at the following events.

  • Monday, 5th December 2016 Scrabble at Rosemary’s. 7.30pm.
  • Wednesday, 7th December 2016 Lyn’s walk. Meet at the Village Hall  Route decided on the day.
  • Wednesday, 7th December 2016   Coffee at Style Acre. 10.30am. With Cilla.
  • Friday, 9th December 2016   RAL Harwell Lecture.  Stopping Bad Guys with Lasers. 1.30pm.
  • Monday, 12th December 2016 WI Christmas Lunch at The Blueberry. 12.30pm.

Mah Jong sessions will be held every Monday afternoon at 2.30pm.Venues to be decided.

For more details of any of our events, or if you wish to join us, please ring Karen on 850219 or visit our web page, htpp:// where you will find more information.  Love from Cilla.

Post Office news

We are now getting really busy with Christmas post!

We will have extra collections from early December to help clear our tiny Post Office, otherwise we can’t get to the kettle! We do not have time to stick your stamps on, and  All AIRMAIL post must have an airmail sticker on it, and if “NON EU” must also have a customs label BEFORE you get to the counter, the people behind really appreciate it! We are not being difficult in asking for all post to be in by half an hour before closing, we don’t get paid for overtime, and we have to cash up and dispatch the paperwork before the postie comes in (approx. 15 minutes before closing) & at this time of year, we do at least an extra hour every day!

Last date for Christmas posting 2nd class is Tuesday 20th December & 1st class is Wednesday 21st, Special Delivery Thursday 22nd.

Mon 28th November;  Int standard to operational HM forces

Sat 3rd December; Africa & Middle East

Weds 7th; Cyprus, Asia, Far East & Japan, Eastern Europe

Thur 8th; Caribbean, Central & South America

Sat 10th; Greece, Australia, New Zealand,

Mon 12th; Int Standard to static HM Forces

Weds 14th; Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland

Thur 15th; Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA

Fri 16th; Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland,

Sat 17th; Belguim, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

Please also remember that anything flammable or explosive has restrictions on it. Phones, batteries, perfumes, nail varnish & aerosols have to have special labels on, be securely packed, and have the sender’s address on!

Santa’s address is “Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM45HQ”. Please post early & remember to put a return name & address for a reply! The latest he can reply is usually the first weekend in December, so write in early!

I expect we are having the Scout post again, but I haven’t heard yet! It covers Didcot, Harwell, Upton, Hagbournes & Blewbury & gives the Scouts some much needed funds.   Love from Karen & Angela

Blewbury Local History Group

At our Christmas meeting on Dec 13th we shall be discussing a joint project with the Royal British Legion amongst other things.

The darker nights allow for a little more research to be done, for things to be turned up (or out) and we are pleased that our request that people might donate things of interest to the society has borne fruit. So the members present should have items to sort through for preservation in the records. As it’s Christmas then a tipple is usually in order too. Everyone is welcome.

The next meeting is on Dec. 13th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane. For more details please contact Audrey ( or Mark (

Downland Dance – Tribute to the Late Tracey Harris

Earlier this year two students from Elmhurst School for Dance performed a ‘pas de deux’ from The Nutcracker in Sobell House for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors. The initiative came from Jim, Tracey’s husband, who is on the Board of Governors at the school.

Elmhurst has an outreach programme whereby their dancers visit hospices around the UK and give brief performances. Jim felt he wanted to make this available to Sobell House as a way of repaying the love and kindness shown to Tracey when she was on the ward.
This particular performance was choreographed by Errol Pickford, a teacher at Elmhurst and former Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet. The photograph shows Jim, flanked by the two soloists. Anita Rendel