Monthly Archives: February 2017

Village Hall Refurb: Getting back on track

We have now received a quantity surveyor’s report which confirms that we can make substantial savings in the cost of the project.

We will have to make compromises in a number of areas but we should be able to retain most of what we want within a budget of £500,000 – a new post office, new storage alongside the Main Hall, new toilets and storage around the Vale Room, new insulation, lighting and heating and modern décor, both inside and outside. We may not be able to increase the size of the kitchen, although it will be completely modernised; we may delay upgrading the flat roofs, as they are currently performing adequately; and we will simplify specifications wherever we can, while ensuring good quality. Before we can get back on track, we will need to incorporate these changes into a revised design and validate the cost with the market. We will then decide the timescale, including whether we phase the work. We will then go flat out to raise all the money we need. If we can’t, we won’t move the post office and we’ll do without the new Main Hall storage.

As far as funding is concerned we have recently received a number of generous contributions. The Bridge Club has donated £2735, on top of the £6000 they have already given, the BVS have contributed their year-end surplus, a further £1500, and the Ben Waters’ concert, organised by Gay O’Nolan, raised £3005. This means that we have raised a total of £74,000 through personal donations and fundraising and, with more fundraising events planned, we are on course to raise over £100,000 in this way. We are all very grateful for everybody’s hard work and generosity. Taking account of grants previously approved and the contribution from the Parish Council, the challenge remains to raise a further £200,000 of grants.

Thank you for your patience and continuing support. I hope I can report more progress when we Bulletin resumes after the summer break.

Steve White

Blewbury School is on top of the world!

Blewbury Church of England Primary School is the first school in the world to be awarded the prestigious British Council International Award six times in a row. This is a remarkable achievement for a small village primary school in rural Oxfordshire, and it is having a big impact on a wide range of school activities.

The news has already travelled far and wide, and we are currently receiving requests from schools around Europe to visit and set up partnership arrangements. From February 29th – March 3rd, for example, nine teachers and twenty four pupils from Finland, Germany and Spain, will spend the week in the School as part of an Erasmus Plus Programme. The programme for the week will, on Wednesday 1st March, include the School’s third Global Partnership Network Event, where UK teachers can visit Blewbury to learn about developing a global emphasis in their own schools. (Teachers interested in this programme can see more at http://www.blewbury.oxon.sch.uk/about-us/global-understanding)

The full programme for this special international week will allow the visitors to take part in a range of workshops. Much of the time they will be working together with Blewbury School teachers and pupils to create art, music, drama, dance and film, all with the purpose of exploring the international project theme – ‘Communication, Cooperation and Collaboration for All Together’. A major  aim of these workshops is to allow them to develop ideas that they can go on to use in the future in their own schools throughout Europe.

Head Teacher Marion Mills, who is working to secure a seventh British Council International award for the school in 2018 is passionate about the need to expose children to global issues and for them to experience cultures other than their own. Ms Mills says: “Young people today live in a global village and we want to offer them a rich experience to help them understand the challenges that face them in their future lives. Our children and teachers gain a great deal from receiving visiting teachers and pupils. They can also travel themselves, so that they can explore other cultures more deeply. We are very proud that this work has received recognition, and even prouder of the children and families in our community who support us year on year with these highly successful programmes” Head teacher Marion Mills has been recognised for her outstanding contribution by the British Council.

School Governor Roger Murphy, a former Professor of Education at Nottingham University commented, “It is a great honour for a small village school like ours to be attracting such international acclaim. The governors are delighted that Blewbury Primary School has received such high commendation. We are keen to share this innovative work with the many visitors who want to come to see it in action, so they can understand the truly positive impact this work has on the children, not just in school but in their lives and their approach to the community they live within.”

Happy 100th!

Born in Swansea, South Wales, on March 8th 1917, Glennys moved to Blewbury in the mid 1980s with her husband Frederick (Mick) Bungey.

Mick himself, who hailed originally from Ireland but who had spent most of his life in the West Country, took some persuading to make the move, but for Glennys it was an opportunity to be closer to her brother Malcolm who at that time was living in Bracknell. On discovering that one of the Dibleys tenants was emigrating to New Zealand, they set about selling their house in Cornwall and before long had moved into the bungalow that Glennys still calls home after 31 years. She and Mick, along with Stan Cole and Philip Randall, were instrumental in the move to change the status of Dibleys residents from renters to owners, a process that was completed in 1988 with all the properties being bought by their tenants. With the security of home ownership and the reassurance of centrally managed maintenance, heating and other services, she recalls that Mick often referred to Dibleys as their ‘haven’. She still feels that way about it today, and hopes that all those residents younger than her (i.e. everyone!) ‘will be as happy here as I have been’.

To mark her 100th birthday, her nephew organised a ‘proper English tea party’ here in the village, which was attended by many old friends and family including her brother Malcolm, who was 91 last month, and her great-great-nephew, Edward, who at Christmas reached the grand old age of two!

Photo shows Glennys, seated, centre, enjoying a recent family visit at Dibleys.

UNITED CHARITIES OF THE ANCIENT PARISH OF BLEWBURY

Following recent advertisements, the Charity is pleased to announce that Sarah Donne has been appointed as Clerk to the Trustees. Correspondence should be addressed to her at Godwins, Bridus Way, Blewbury, OX11 9NW or emailed to sarahdonne@btinternet.com

Information about the Trustees

It is 25 years since Audrey Long was elected as a trustee in 1992, making her the longest-serving. Mark Palethorpe and Ann Dendy were elected in 2009, followed by Louise Brimacombe (Aston) in 2010, Jackie Maguire and Sheila Loy (Chair) in 2012 and Liz Hardy (Upton) in 2014.

BLEWBURY AND UPTON VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION

Your Local Village Gardening Club

Well, it doesn’t seem possible I’m writing for the March issue of the Blewbury Bulletin and Upton News already!! Where is the time going? In the meantime we have three of our Committee members giving 20 minute talks on keeping chickens on allotments, how to produce top class compost and growing and propogating snowdrops. The talks take place at Blewbury Manor Barn at 7.30pm on THURSDAY 2nd MARCH.

When I drive through Blewbury I always have a quick glance at the allotments – they do look a bit sad at the moment. My allotments (2) in Didcot are ready and waiting for the broad beans and peas which are germinating in the greenhouse. Given the weather I can’t do much more – hopefully March will be a warmer month. The planting plans are ready for this years veggies. Can’t wait to get everything up and running.

Don’t forget the VPA has a selection of tools available for all residents in Blewbury and Upton to use for a donation. You will find the list on the back of the programme which is enclosed with this copy of the Blewbury Bulletin. We also have a projector which can be hired for a £5 donation. Contact details are on the programme.

Don’t forget to put the two dates of our outings in your diary and full details will be issued in the Blewbury Bulletin and Upton News prior to the event.

SATURDAY 17th JUNE (day visit) – TRIP TO GARDENERS’ WORLD LIVE AT THE NEC BIRMINGHAM

SATURDAY 12th AUGUST (day visit) – DAY VISIT TO KEW GARDENS, LONDON

DID YOU KNOW? The first garden gnomes were introduced to the UK in 1847 by Sir Charles Isham, who brought back 21 terracotta figures from Germany and placed them in the gardens of his home, Lamport in Northamptonshire. Only one of the original batch of gnomes survives. Lampy, as he is known, is on display at Lamport Hall and is insured for one millions pounds!  Happy Gardening,  Eileen

BLEWBURY WI NEWS

Hi All, March is almost here. With all the Spring bulbs shooting through and primroses and snowdrops in full flower, and the days gradually getting longer, we will soon be out in the garden looking forward to Spring. The Wi events for March are listed below and any new members would be very welcome to join us.

  • Tuesday, 7th Lyn’s Walk. An urban walk to the North of Didcot starting at Didcot Parkway at 10.30 am. Catch the 10.14 bus from The Blueberry (10.08 from Upton). Don’t forget your bus passes and pennies for coffee, hopefully.
  • Wednesday, 8th Coffee at Style Acre. 10.30 am.
  • Wednesday, 8th Scrabble at Bernardine’s. 7.30 pm.
  • Wednesday, 22nd Monthly meeting, AGM, and Social Evening at the Manor Barn, 7.30 pm.
  • Friday, 24th RAL Harwell Lecture, 1.30 pm. Discovering the Universe from beneath the surface — Emma Meehan.
  • Mah Jong sessions are held every Monday afternoon at 2.30 pm.

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://blewburywi.wordpress.com where you will find more information. Love from Cilla.

Sustainable Blewbury

Tree planting: With the new Community Orchard planted, Sustainable Blewbury is starting another tree-planting project on a triangle of land adjacent to the Chalk Pit.

In recent years, volunteers have transformed the Chalk Pit and Rubble Pit Lane into habitats that are now a Local Wildlife Site. Our new plan is to connect up wildlife corridors running east – this is the first step. We’ve been awarded 100 saplings by the Woodland Trust, including rowan, silver birch, hawthorn, hazel, dogwood and wild cherry. They will provide berries for birds and beautiful blossom for everyone to enjoy. The land is owned by Beeswax Farming, who have been very supportive and given permission to plant the trees. Now we need you! Planting will start the weekend of 11–12 March; we may also need help to prepare the site. If you are interested, please contact John Ogden, jogden@blewbury.net or 850372.

Hedge laying: In late January we coppiced hazel for stakes and binders from Juniper Valley and then began laying the hedge alongside the cemetery in Bohams Road. It has been quite a difficult task as there was a lot of top-heavy growth – but it’s now complete and should regrow as a thicker and healthier hedge. Thanks to Carole and Anthony Allen for access to Juniper Valley and to Collin Craig for carting all the stakes and binders to the village. If you’re interested in helping please contact Alex Musson, ahmusson@gmail.com.

Willow weaving: The next of Lawrence Graham’s willow weaving workshops is on Saturday 24th April from 10am to 4pm, this time teaching basket making. The cost is £40. If you’d like to take part please contact Kathy Edmunds, kathy_edmunds@btopenworld.com or 850337. Be warned – this is very popular and some places are already booked, but apply anyway and if full you’ll be put on a waiting list for the next one.

Dates for your diary:

  • Sustainable Blewbury AGM and new projectsThursday, 6 April, 7.30pm, School Hall. We will be showing you our new projects for the school children and other developments in the village.
  • Talk by Prof. George Jeronimidis on Biomimetics for sustainability – Mid-May, Manor Barn. How did shark skin help Airbus A380s take off? How do lotus leaves help to keep tall buildings clean? Event details soon.
  • Community Orchard village picnic and grand opening – Sunday, 11th June, Tickers Folly Field. Details

BLEWBURY FREECYCLE

FREE ITEMS TO A GOOD HOME

E-MAIL TEL NO.
Length of ACTIS foil membrane for insulation (roof or wall) 5m x 1.6m

Lydia Inglis

lydandmuz@gmail.com

07801 932393
Tefal electric steamer only used twice.

Norma Banks

colin_norma@btinternet.com

851054
Desk top computer stand, black, with drawer. Height 4”, Width 28”, Depth 14” anne@annemillman.co.uk
To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (lydandmuz@gmail.com)

We welcome new members. If you would like to become involved in Sustainable Blewbury, or to receive our free Newsletter, please contact us at: info@sustainable-blewbury.org.uk

 

POST OFFICE NEWS

The builders should have started “phase 1” of the Village Hall refurbishment plan by the time you all read this.

I have had a letter saying that Post Office Ltd have given the fund almost £10k to help with the Post Office part of it, a big thank you to Steve & Jane! If you have an idea for a fundraising event (for phase 2) please let us know andwe will put it to our fundraising team!

Please take extra care parking at the Village Hall, particularly during school drop off (between 8.30am & 9am) at pick up time (2.45pm to 4pm), and taking extra care in the entrance road (Heather Way) as parents are parking along here, making it a single roadway, & often driving/parking on the pavement, making it very dangerous for other parents & children.

We have Windsor Castle stamps on sale now, and David Bowie ones in March. We still have a few special 50p’s, Beatrix Potter commemorative ones, & Squirrel Nutkin, so cute! (known in the trade as BU, bright & uncirculated!) Royal Mail often put their prices up in early April, (first Thursday of the financial year), so if you want to stock up, at current prices, we have plenty in stock! Any marked 1st or 2nd are automatically revalued at the new price, still a better interest rate than many banks! (approx. 2%)        Love from Karen & Angela

History Group – What my DNA test told me

The next Blewbury Local History Group meeting includes a talk by Tony Hadland with the title shown above.

The availability of DNA tests has given rise to people questioning where their ancestors originated from and many other groups have been fascinated by Tony’s talk so we thought we would give the village a chance to hear it too. We are holding it in the History room, March 14th 8pm start, and SPACE IS LIMITED TO A MAXIMUM OF 20 PEOPLE.  If you wish to attend the meeting then we ask that you make contact with either of the people shown below and wait for confirmation of a ticket. There is no charge.

The response to our request for information on village cellars was excellent, many thanks to those who contacted us. You might also like to take a look at the group’s website which has many interesting pages on the village history. WWW.BLHG.ORG.UK .

For tickets contact either Audrey Long on 850427 or Mark Palethorpe via email markpalethorpe@talktalk.net

 

ATTENTION ALL CRICKETERS!

Blewbury and Wallingford Cricket Club are holding indoor winter nets sessions every Sunday afternoon 1 to 3 pm at Moulsford School until early April.

Sessions are open to adults and juniors alike. Session costs cost £3 per player per session. If interested in coming along contact Keith Vincent, junior coordinator 01235 851353.