Monthly Archives: January 2017

Do you have a cellar in your house?

January 30, 2017

Some members of the History Group have recently discovered that there are cellars in the village.

Of course the pubs have cellars but in view of the level of the water table here, we found the idea of below ground storage places surprising. Does your house have an underground, or partially underground cellar? If it does, we would very much like to record it, and even better have a look at it. We promise not to nick any of your vintage port stored there, or even the stuff you put there 20 years ago and have forgotten about. The site might be a record of earlier water levels which would be interesting.

Contact either Mark Palethorpe( or Audrey Long on 850427.  (Our next meeting is February  14th at 8pm at Robinsons.)

Sustainable Blewbury

Mike Edmunds Community Orchard

News of Blewbury’s plans for a Community Orchard has featured in the Bulletin over the past nine months. The Community Orchard Group (COG) can now report that the orchard is real: 47 trees have been planted towards the south-east corner of Tickers Folly Field, and it is to be known as the Mike Edmunds Community Orchard in recognition of Mike’s huge contribution to our environment and his deep affection for the local orchard tradition.

The orchard is a tribute to the hard work and enthusiastic support of many volunteers. Landscape architecture principles indicate that trees enhance rather than hinder the sense of space and we hope that the whole village will now enjoy this new prospect. Already, surrounding villages have been making enquiries as to how they can follow Blewbury’s example. There is more information, including a full list of trees and a location diagram, on our website at:

The work is not yet complete. We are preparing a signboard that will show the varieties and locations of all the trees that have been planted, and more is still to be done to install nest boxes and ‘bug hotels’ to improve the ecology of the area. And in the late spring or early summer we will organise a picnic party to formally inaugurate the orchard. All will be welcome – it is your orchard!

Blewbury Garden Market Extra: Remember that you can buy local home-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. It’s also marmalade-making season! We have plenty of jam jars at the Post Office if you’re planning to make some, and you can sell any surplus there too!

Bosch Classixx slimline dishwasher. Complete with inlet / dishcharge pipes. Would suit a smaller household.

Sally Wills

Moses basket with rocking stand – in good condition.

Norma Banks

To include your item, send short description, email & phone no. to with subject line ‘Freecycle’

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

WI News

Hi everyone. 2nd February is Candlemas, celebrating the promise of Spring time. The flower associated with Candlemas is the beautiful snowdrop, and already several are peeping up in the Churchyard. Spring  is not far away?  All visitors are very welcome to join us for the forthcoming events.

  • Wednesday, February 1st 2017 Lyn’s Walk.  An urban walk to the North of Didcot, some on paths not trodden by WI before. If you haven’t yet walked on the other side of the tracks, prepare to be surprised. Catch the 94 Bus at 10.14am at The Blewbury. Bring your BUS PASS. We will leave Didcot Parkway at 10.30am. Return to Blewbury by either the 12.35 or 13.35pm Bus. We won’t go if there is heavy rain.
  • Tuesday, February 7th 2017 Coffee at Style Acre.  30am.
  • Tuesday, February 7th 2017 Scrabble at Lyn Page.  30pm.
  • Friday, February 17th 2017  RAL Harwell Lecture. 1.30pm. The Flash Bang Science Show
  • Wednesday, February 22nd 2017 WI Monthly Meeting at  The Manor Barn ( please note the change of venue)    Speaker Nick Channer — From Downton Abbey to Watership Down, how landscape has influenced music, literature, films and television.  30pm.
  • Mah Jong sessions are held every Monday afternoon at 2.30pm.

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.


Your Local Village Gardening Club

The VPA is organising two outings this year. We also have events throughout 2017 which are listed below.

Full details of the outings will be issued in the Blewbury Bulletin and Upton News prior to the event. You will need to register four weeks before the event. If interested, register at the Blewbury Post Office or contact: Margaret Maytham on 01235 850126 or Eileen Bracken on 01235 510095 or contact us on


Watch expert gardeners in action. Enjoy Show Gardens, Floral Marquee and much more…


Kew Gardens houses the “largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world”. Founded in 1840, from the exotic garden at Kew Park, its living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants.


TUESDAY 2nd MARCH VPA “COMMITTEE MEMBERS’ TALKS” at BLEWBURY MANOR BARN – 7.30pm Three short talks on: Chickens on the allotment. How to make great compost. Growing & propogating snowdrops.
SUN. 22nd OCT PLANT & CAKE SALE AT THE RED LION, 1.00pm – 3.00pm with Sustainable Blewbury’s Apple Day
WED. 1st NOV ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – The Vale Room, Blewbury Village Hall – 7.00pm 

We look forward to seeing you on our trips and at our events in the forthcoming months.

DID YOU KNOW? In the late 1700s Napoleon offered a prize of 12,000 francs to anyone who could come up with a method of preserving food. Healthy daily rations were essential to feed a huge army on the march. It was over 10 years before Nicolas Appert, a confectioner known as the ‘father of canning’, scooped the award for his method of preserving food in airtight glass bottles.   Happy Gardening,  Eileen

Post Office News

Building work will hopefully start soon in the Village Hall, so please take extra care in the car park as there will be less space and more traffic! But we have exciting plans for the extra space in our lovely new Post Office!

We have heard a rumour that some banks are changing the way they take cash deposits: they will now use your card, so should be a much faster transaction! Most bank customers can make cash & cheque deposits, and can take money out with us, for no charge!

Did you know you can pay your tax bill, council tax, electricity, gas & telephone bill, housing association rent etc at the Post Office? You can, so save a stamp, or going into town! Pay by cash, card, or cheque to Post Office Ltd.

We will be closed on Thursday 16th February, as I have tickets for a matinee show in London, and Angela is unavailable!   Love from Karen & Angela

Bell ringing news from Blewbury Tower

Thank you to the male bell ringers and helpers who bravely manage to get the Christmas tree on top of the tower, this year saw a resplendent tree complete with new LED lights which withstood all the challenges the weather had to offer.

Christmas saw lots of celebratory ringing both for services and a quarter peal on Boxing Day dedicated to Mr. William Dent Robinson for his 105th birthday and to celebrate the arrival of Louis, Churchwarden Sue Lay’s first grandchild. We also rang out the old year and rang in the new, something that hasn’t happened for several years in Blewbury.

We have welcomed a returning ringer and a young man has started to learn to ring, a great start to the New Year. If there are any young people who are looking for a new skill maybe as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s scheme or Queen’s scout award you would be very welcome to try bell ringing. You can start to learn later in life so maybe a belated New Year’s resolution? Come and see what it’s all about… Fridays 8-9.30pm we look forward to seeing you.

Notes from the Allotments

Not much happening up at the allotment at the moment! It’s a bit wild and windy during winter, and the very wet heavy soil is not conducive to digging… The supply of Brussels sprouts and leeks is diminishing and there is precious little else up there to make me want to visit. I have some perpetual spinach seedlings but they are keeping low to the ground and there are not many leaves worth picking. I expect they will perk up when the weather does. The fruit patch is looking very bedraggled, with so far unpruned autumn raspberries looking skeletal and forlorn, the little pear tree completely leafless (but still alive!) and the tayberry extending its long fingers everywhere, escaping its restraints despite my best efforts. The rhubarb is making a few tentative peeks above ground, but it’s not in a hurry to leave the safety of the soil yet.

I decided not to plant any broad beans over winter at the Allotment, but instead sowed a packet of good old Aquadulce in a large growbag in my little cold greenhouse at home. They all germinated and, being protected from marauding mice, have been growing strongly for the last few weeks, so to avoid them getting too leggy in the relative warmth of the greenhouse, I turfed them all out into my raised beds in the vegetable patch. I initially protected them with some fleece, but recent strong winds caused the fleece to fall on the beans, which bent the 6 inch long stems, so I’ve removed it and they will have to fend for themselves.

I’ve also sown onions and garlic at home and am hoping for an early crop. I have to say, I do like the convenience of just popping down the garden for fresh vegetables, rather than cycling up to the allotment! Last season’s leek seedlings, the 30 or so which did not make it up to the allotment, have been planted out in the garden as well as I didn’t want to throw them into the compost; maybe they will also provide me with an early crop, they are looking healthy but spindly at the moment.

I shall not be around for next month’s edition, but will be looking forward to March when hopefully it will be more pleasant to contemplate returning to the allotment.  Angela Hoy (