Monthly Archives: April 2017

End of an era as Freda hangs up her cassock

A special Choral Evensong was held on Sunday 26th March to mark the retirement of Freda Chapman as Choir Mistress of St Michael’s Church after more than 30 years.

The Church was full of well-wishers and past and present choir members and Freda was very pleased that most of her family were able to be there especially as it was also Mothering Sunday. Over the years, Freda has encouraged many young choristers to fulfil their singing talents.

A collection had been made from the congregation and the choir and the photo shows Father Jason presenting Freda with a certificate from the Royal College of Church Music in appreciation of her years of service, a large bouquet of flowers and a cheque. Freda had chosen her favourite hymns and it was a lovely service and an appropriate tribute to her long service.

Freda is also, of course, our ‘poet in residence’ at the Blewbury Bulletin.

Photo: Bernard Mattimore

Rolling Stones collaborator to play Blewbury Village Hall

Ben Waters, one of the UK’s leading boogie-woogie pianists, is appearing at Blewbury Village Hall on May 6th. The following is taken from a write-up at the Crooked Billet, where he appeared last year:

Ben Waters has established himself as one of the Crooked Billet’s favourite music nights. His boogie-woogie band gets the flattest of feet stomping. Each of the Rolling Stones – Mick, Keith, Ronnie, Charlie & Bill Wyman – all recently collaborated on Ben’s album Boogie 4 Stu. This collaboration was instrumental in the Stones reforming & touring again. Ben’s recent appearance on “Later… With Jools Holland” (with Charlie Watts playing drums) has helped catapult his live following, and he is now a favourite on the festival circuit – Barbados Rhythm & Jazz Festival, Henley Festival, Glastonbury & many more. Exceptional boogie piano, quite simply one of the most talented guys around. If you haven’t experienced him live, I can’t recommend him enough; always a foot-stomping resounding triumph, leaving the audience wanting encores.

All profits from this event go to the Village Hall Refurbishment Fund.


Friday 5th May, Blewbury Parish Church, 7.30pm

The ever ebullient Ian will be conducting theme-based tunes, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Moon River and Proud Mary, along with the odd balloon and broomstick! There will also be a Raffle and Refreshments.

Tickets: £8 adults, £6 seniors, £1 under 16s, available on the door or by calling 07732 197592, emailing or from any band member.


Spring has sprung and Blewbury Film is getting ready for your summer screenings.

We are very pleased to be able to announce our Early Summer Screening for the 14th June will be “The Angel’s Share”. This heartwarming comedy about a group of unemployed petty criminals in Glasgow tells a story inspired by Whisky Galore.  The unruly group teams up on an inspired adventure in a film plot with flavours of Ocean’s Eleven. This is definitely a film for comedy lovers, for whisky connoisseurs and for admirers of great Scottish scenery – it’s Scotland’s answer to “The Full Monty” – pithy, raw and hilarious! This realistic, humanistic and bracingly optimistic film was directed by the brilliant Ken Loach (just think of Kes in 1969!) in his eighth decade and based on a screen play by Paul Laverty.

Telegraph –“Ken Loach’s whisky-heist comedy finds the director on fine, funny and Cannes-winning form!”

The Angel’s Share (15)

Directed by  Ken Loach

Starring: Paul Brannigan, Siobhan Reilly, John Henshaw, Roger Allam

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, 14th June Doors Open: 7:30pm
Price: £5 / head Tickets available at the Post Office from 31st March

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:


Our Members’ Talks which took place at Blewbury Manor Barn in March were enjoyed by everyone who attended. Thank you to the Manor for the use of the Barn with its lovely big settees in front of the great log burner. Our next event is:



Over 100 places to shop for plants

Carol Klein will share expert advice in the Live Theatre plus live interviews and book signings.

BBC Gardeners’ World Live present much-loved features every year, plus a host of new features to keep the Show fresh and exciting.

COST:  £23.50 per Gardeners’ World ticket.  Travel arrangements and cost to be advised

Ticket includes entry to the BBC Good Food Show

Don’t miss out on a great day – Please order your ticket by 15th May through:

Karen at Blewbury Post Office or Margaret Maytham at Upton – 01235 850126

DID YOU KNOW?  James Boswell (1740-95) wrote: “In an orchard there should be enough to eat, enough to lay up, enough to be stolen and enough to rot on the ground.”  Happy Gardening.  Eileen


Sustainable Blewbury

Annual General Meeting and new projects – Thursday 6th April, 7.00pm, Blewbury School Hall: We will be showing our new projects for the school children as well as presenting some of our other work. We are setting up bird nesting boxes equipped with small video cameras, and also camera traps for seeing wildlife such as deer, muntjacs, foxes, etc. around the village. We’re also working on the school’s Biodome and gardens for the children to grow fruit and vegetables. We will end the evening with a short Annual General Meeting.

Smart, sustainable engineering from plants and animals – a talk by Prof. George Jeronimidis, Monday 15 May, 8.00pm, Blewbury Manor Barn: Studying how nature solves its engineering and materials problems has provided inspiration for solving our own problems. But just how did shark skin inspire the designers of the Airbus A380s, to take just one example. Ticket details soon.
Tree planting and start of a ‘wildlife corridor’: We were 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. On 11th March they were planted by enthusiastic volunteers on a triangle of land on the downs near the Chalk Pit. This is the start of a project to make a continuous ‘corridor’ for wildlife, made up of trees and hedge bushes across to the Cow Lane footpath and eventually to Woodway Road.

Blewbury Garden Market will restart on the Garage forecourt in mid-May on Saturday mornings, selling locally grown plants, seedlings, as well as eggs, cakes and bread. We’d love more volunteers to help man the stall, please contact if you’d like to join in!

Community orchard grand opening and village picnic, Sunday 11 June, Tickers Folly Field – Watch this space.

Stag Minstrel dark wood headboard to fit 4ft 6in bed. Good condition

Julie Hetherington

Garden Swing and cover

Mark Vaughan

Glass shelves, 2 x 82cm long x 16.5cm deep; 2 x 88cm long x 14cm deep. With brackets.

Lydia Inglis

07801 932393
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:


A smiley Hello to everyone. April is just around the corner, promising some longer sunny days, lots of lovely Spring flowers and Happy Easter celebrations. Below is a list of the events that Blewbury WI is holding during April, to which all new Members are welcome.

  • Monday, 3rd April 2017 Coffee at Style Acre with Karen. 10.30am.
  • Wednesday, 5th April 2017 Lyn’s Walk.   Meet at the Village Hall at 9.30am. We will be starting our walk from COTHILL near Abingdon. Transport arranged on the    It might be a bit muddy so stout footwear is advised. A pair of binoculars will be useful and don’t forget pennies for coffee. Please ring Lyn the day before. 850795
  • Friday, 7th April 2017 Talking Science RAL Lecture, Harwell. 1.30pm.  Exploring the Deep. Ocean versus Space.  Russell Arnott.
  • Monday, 10th April 2017 Scrabble at Judy’s 7.30pm. Please call first.
  • Wednesday, 26th April 2017 WI monthly meeting in the Vale Room. 7.30pm.   Linda Benton.

Mah Jong is suspended during the Summer months in favour of Croquet.

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.


Following the very enjoyable talk by Tony Hadland at our last meeting, we couldn’t claim to be experts on DNA, but we all know a great deal more than we did before. There will be more talks in the future on a variety of subjects. We are continuing with collecting old photos and writings about the village. In particular we would love to hear from people with memories or pictures of family members who served in WWI and returned from it. Do visit our updated & revised website for the latest news If you are interested, then contact either Audrey Long on 850427 or Mark Palethorpe via email

Our next meeting is at 8pm on Tuesday April 11th in the History Room, Parsonage Lane. This will be our AGM and we also have a large historic album of Victorian photographs of the village and its people to study which was kindly given to the Group to preserve.

Bridge Club

Due to the delay in carrying out the Village Hall Refurbishment Works, we may re-locate back to the Vale Room from Tuesday 4th April. All being well, this will be confirmed nearer the date. In the meantime we will be playing at the venues previously notified.

There will also be Novices evenings, also expected to be in the Vale Room, on Fridays 7th and 28th April. Only one session in March, on Friday 24th, is due to be played and will be in the Melland Room.

Our Wessex League team finished all their matches before Christmas and are now awaiting the results of the three remaining fixtures in the Division to see our final finishing position. However, it does seem certain that we will be in the middle of the table, without the possibility now of promotion, but also safe from relegation. Well done to the Captain and all who took part. Michael Allen 851870


Royal Mail are putting their postage rates up from Monday 27th March, 1p on first & second (standard size) & 2p on large first class large letter, 1p on second class large letter, everything else goes up too, including parcels, BUT customers can now see when their parcel has been delivered (for free) by going to “”. The postie will scan the 2D icon on the parcel as he/she delivers it, (hopefully!)

David Bowie special stamps are on sale at the moment, with iconic racehorses on sale later in April.

Royal Mail have also introduced a new 3rd class stamp, cost 35p, with a delivery aim of anything up to 3 weeks. They are only on sale 1/4/17, but are valid all year.

We are collecting the “Active Kids” vouchers available in Sainsbury’s, for Karen’s girly guides, so if you have a few and don’t know anyone who is collecting them, please bring them in!

We have bagged up small amounts of “layers pellets” for better feeding of the local ducks, (far better than giving them bread) for a 20p donation to the village hall fund.

We are expecting “Duck Race” tickets very soon, they sell out quickly!

We will be closed on Good Friday & Easter Monday, allowances paid on those days will be paid early, usually the working day before, (open on the Saturday morning). Anyone who needs emergency top up of gas or electric, ring my mobile 07825154842 and I can pop round to PO! Love from Karen & Angela