Monthly Archives: January 2017

Village Hall: Refurbishment Work Begins

Good news. We have appointed Knowles and Son (Oxford) Ltd as our builders for the project and work will be starting on phase 1 in the week beginning 30 January.

This includes a new post office, refurbished kitchen, toilets and Vale Room and insulating and rendering the front and side elevations. We are expecting the work to take around 16 weeks. During this time, the builders will aim to keep the main hall, current post office and surgery in operation but there could be times when they have close. In this event, the builders will do their best to give us good notice and the Hall Management Committee will notify users. The builders will also take over an area of the car park in front of the Vale Room, which will restrict parking, particularly during school pick-up and drop-off times, and affect access to the school from the car park. The Hall Management Committee is discussing the implications of this with the school. We’ll provide more information and answer questions at the Village Hall AGM at 7.30 on 26 January in the school.

With phase 1 getting under way, we are turning our attention to phase 2. The aim is to do this at the same time next year, raising the further £200,000 we need over the next 12 months. This is a big challenge but we’re going for it. We’ll be making a number of applications for grants and we will need to continue to organise fundraising events and keep up the flow of individual donations (we’ve had 40 so far). All contributions make a difference and are welcome. You can find out how to donate at, including online via Virgin Money Giving. If you have any fundraising ideas do let us know and let’s finish the job.

Steve White


On the evening of Saturday 11th March (time tbc) there will be a performance of Schumann’s Piano Quintet Op 44.

The London-based string quartet St. Paul’s Quartet ( will be joined by Charlotte Brennand on the piano. The quartet will treat us to another piece from their repertoire too, followed by drinks.
Limited Tickets at £20 from or 01235 851301.

On Saturday April 29th Charlotte will be joined by Clarinettist Catriona Scott in a lovely programme of mainly English music by Finzi, Howells, James Francis-Brown and Messager.

On Thursday June 22nd there will be a performance by the Millbrook Ensemble. More details to follow!

Do you have a cellar in your house?

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.)

Blewbury Film Supports the Village Hall

Happy New Year to all our Blewbury Film Supporters! We are very happy to announce our Spring Screening for the 29th March will be “A United Kingdom”.

This incredible film tells the story of a true-life romance between an English office clerk and the future king of Botswana. David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike star in this beautifully shot, crowd-pleasing, film about post-war history that could be filed under “stranger than fiction”.

Rosamund Pike is Ruth Williams, a clerk from Blackheath, South London, working in Lloyds of London in 1947, who is swept off her feet by handsome law student Seretse Khama (Oyelowo). Ruth doesn’t know that Seretse is an African king in waiting, leader-to-be of the Bamangwato people of Bechuanaland (later Botswana), the British protectorate to which he is due to return on completion of his studies.

Handsomely shot on locations in the UK and Botswana by Sam McCurdy, A United Kingdom contrasts sweeping exteriors with the battle between an entrenched establishment and an emerging republic.

Guardian – “Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo in fine romance” – «««« –

A United Kingdom (12A)

Directed by Amma Asante

Starring: David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike

Please keep emailing us on to get more details, to let us know what you thought of our last show and with your film suggestions for future events.

Location: The Melland Room Date: Wednesday, 29th March Doors Open: 7:30pm
Price: £5 / head Tickets available at the Post Office from 27th January

Please note: Tickets will only be available on the door if any remain unsold at the Post Office – on the door sales cannot be guaranteed. Please make sure you get your tickets early to avoid disappointment. No refunds.

Licensed Bar and Ice Creams available (No BYO please)

So, if you are you interested in a local, fun, social film night, come along, try it out and give us your ideas. Like us on Facebook or email us and we’ll add you to our Mailing List and keep you informed of future events.

In association with the Blewbury Players. Profits to the Village Hall refurb.

Contact Paul Sanders or Peter Willison for more information and / or with your ideas:

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.

Bridge Club

We now know definitely that we will be vacating the Vale Room at the end of January – our last playing night there will be Thursday 26th January. We will be playing in the Melland Room at Blewbury Clubhouse, on the right off Bohams Road (opposite Savages), on the following dates after that and in February:

Tuesday 31st January

Tuesdays 14, 21 and 28 February

Thursday 2, 16 February.

The Friday Novices will also be playing there on February 3, 10, 17, 24, subject to sufficient numbers being available. As usual, Tina and David Hollick will co-ordinate this and let people know as necessary. Please email them if you wish to play on a Friday Novices night.  Michael Allen. 851870