Monthly Archives: November 2016

Cat on a Cold Tile Roof

November 20, 2016

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

November 22, 2016

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.

Post Office news

November 21, 2016

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

Community Orchard – News from the Coggers

After months of planning and consulting, we are almost ready to start planting!

The first 20 or so trees have been ordered, stakes, labels, tree guards and posts have all been specified and planting will take place in December. It will take a few years for the trees to become established and to bear fruit, but you should then be able to pick a Warwickshire Drooper for your breakfast (it’s a plum) or a Reverend Wilks for your supper (it’s a cooking apple).

A number of people have kindly volunteered to help with the planting. If you would like to add your name to the list then please contact John Ogden ( For those who can help it would be very useful if they could bring along a spade and perhaps a large board or groundsheet – and a wheelbarrow could be useful to help with mulching around the trees. The weekend of the 3rd December is one possible start date but we will be in email contact with all volunteer COGGERS before then.  John Ogden




Last Sunday was a perfect day for putting the allotment to bed, bright sunshine, clear sky, a slight breeze and not at all cold, so I made an early start and managed to do three and a half hours before giving up and going home for lunch.

During that time I dug over two sections, spread some leaf mould and covered one section with black cloth; then emptied both compost bins (and refilled them with new weeds) and had enough reasonable (if a bit twiggy) compost to cover the other section.

Although we have had a considerable amount of rain in the past couple of days, the earth was perfect for digging, with the weeds easy to remove. I gathered up all the beanpoles and netting and stacked them neatly in the corner, and secured some spare netting around the remaining brassicas. Some of the runner bean roots had large stubby roots, so I left them there to break down and release their nitrogen. The remains of the sweetcorn plants which were too fibrous to compost were added to the bonfire pile on the other side of the stream – but it is not going to be lit as there are probably little creatures hibernating in its depths.

I had intended to cut down the autumn raspberries today but ran out of steam, so merely removed a couple that that had strayed onto the path; a job for another day. At this time of year I normally sow some broad beans at the allotment, but I’ve decided to follow Monty’s example and put some in the grow bags in my cold greenhouse at home so they will not be eaten by mice. I should be able to plant out some strong seedlings in early spring.

Compost corner: the leafmould bays need to be cleared before the next leaves arrive in a couple of weeks, so please do take some! The left hand one is nearly empty, but the right hand one is still full and ready to go; it has some apple pomace dug into it so might be on the acidic side until that has all broken down, but it’s good stuff!

I am advised by the Vale that there will not be a compost giveaway this autumn, but there will definitely be one next Spring. Angela Hoy (


November 3, 2016

Time moves on and it barely seems like yesterday that we were welcoming the new starters to Mrs Clarke’s Class 1.

Now approaching their first half term all have settled in well and have had an extremely interesting couple of months at the beginning of their learning journey, which included exploring Africa and India (from the classroom of course), and finding out about their cultures. Luckily, this included making curried flatbreads and mango chutney, Nigerian Puff Puff’s (Google it) and a decent cup of Chai.

Class 1 are really short of spare shorts, shirts, trousers and T-shirts, so if you have any old ones from older siblings, or know anyone who has, we would be grateful for donations.

As you will know from last month’s article, the theme which permeates throughout the School is “Explorers”. Class 4 have been learning about famous explorers and I have first-hand knowledge of their findings from my 8-year-old daughter, who was astonished to find out that my American wife had actually heard of Christopher Columbus. Year 4 have been studying the attitudes and skills of great explorers and working out how these qualities can be used in real life scenarios. Look out for some more commemorative plaques on Blewbury buildings in the future!

Classes 5 and 6 will have some very special dates to look forward to as the School plans a visit for a trip to Germany, Finland and Spain. I will return to this with more information as the plans unfurl, but we will be hosting children in return and will be looking for volunteers from Blewbury residents, particularly those fluent in Finnish.

Finally, a note about the newly formed School Council. Students were asked to give presentations to join the Council and elections were held. The speeches were fantastic (Donald and Hillary take note) and we have some new School Council members. They are – Ruby, Stephanie, Oscar and Charlotte in Class 6, Tabitha, Josh, Libiya and Beatrice in Class 5 and Freddie, Archie and Alice from Class 4. Congratulations to you all.

The first meeting was a great success and the council will be working on improving playtimes and lunch times. They will also be working with the BVS on the Autumn clean-up and will be helping to transform the village into an even lovelier place.  Mike Evans, Link Governor

Post Office News

You will all have seen the new £5 notes by now…

apparently they are able to go through a washing machine, but someone has already tried to put one in a tumble dryer, with sad consequences! (they melt & shrink!) The old ones can be used until May next year and the new £10 will be in circulation by the end of next year.

It’s that time of year again: Christmas stamps go on sale November 8th, (very pretty, with Robins or Snowmen, Christmas puddings or stockings, or a Madonna for the religious alternative). The surface mail deadlines have passed, except for Europe, which is 3rd November, and all the airmail posting dates, which are in December, will be in the next Bulletin.

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

All AIRMAIL post must have an airmail sticker on it, and if “NON EU” must also have a customs label on it, BEFORE you get to the counter.

Last Acceptance Times for post are clearly marked in each Post Office, ours is 4.30pm, except on Wednesdays & Saturdays, which can be as early as 9.45am, but Colin tries to collect as late as possible, so 11.30 am is usually the latest we can accept it! Please don’t rush in at the last minute and expect us to be thrilled that we are once again doing unpaid overtime!

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


There are times when we feel overcome with papers, letters, books, photos. And things.

Even though Blewbury is quite a small village we do seem to generate a lot of records, so we are going to have a real attempt to collect all the stuff we have accumulated over the years and make it more accessible. For example, how many of us know that the Village Hall in 1926 might have been built next to the Load of Mischief? And what were the fashions in the 1930s and 40s? All information somewhere amongst our records. Our next meeting will be a sort-out of some of the boxes here; should be fun, provided we don’t get too sidetracked by interesting items as we do it. We hope all our regular members will come and help, and newcomers are always welcome.

The next meeting is on Nov. 8th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane. Simply turn up, or to find out more, contact Audrey Long, 850427/ or Mark Palethorpe