Monthly Archives: April 2017

End of an era as Freda hangs up her cassock

April 20, 2017

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


April 7, 2017

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



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



The bells of Blewbury Tower rang out on Thursday March 9th for a double celebration, marking two special birthdays in the village.

As featured in last month’s bulletin, Glennys Bungey was 100 years old on 8th March, and a band of regular Blewbury ringers (pictured) assembled to ring a quarter peal in her honour. The ringing also marked the 70th birthday of one of our own ringers, Chris Cook, a much valued member of the band – in ringing and social activities alike.

Also, please come along to the Playclose on Easter Sunday at 12 noon to cheer on your intrepid ducks in our annual Duck Race – details are on the front page.  Happy Easter from the bell ringers.

Photo (courtesy of Bernard Mattimore) shows the ringers for the quarter peal attempt at Blewbury Tower on March 9th 2017 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Glennys Bungey and the 70th birthday of Chris Cook.


I think we can safely say that Spring has sprung, and Blewbury is looking delightful with a riot of colour from the masses of daffodils, primroses and very shortly bluebells in bloom. Enthusiasm has also risen after the dark days of winter, and patches of allotments are newly dug and planted.

On my allotment we have planted the first early potatoes, a little too soon but their sprouts were already three inches long so they couldn’t wait; but just in case of a late frost we have re-covered the area with black cloth which should keep them toasty warm while they get their roots down. In our haste, we forgot to fertilise the area but that will be remedied in the next day or so and watered in. There are second earlies and main crop potatoes still chitting in the cold greenhouse which we will get round to planting in the next month or so.

The black cloth is going to be used on any uncultivated patches until ready to be put into use; it works wonderfully well at keeping weeds down and makes the earth much easier to dig. I’m all for that!

We’ve ordered a fruit cage, which hopefully will be delivered and erected before the gooseberries are plundered. It should also cover the raspberries. Before it does arrive, however, I have a job to do which involves digging up the (already sprouting) raspberries so that I can remove the infestation of couch grass from between the plants.

The little transplanted pear tree has survived the winter and has large buds forming all over it, hurrah!

At home I have tomato seedlings doing well on the kitchen windowsill, and am about to sow some nasturtiums and French marigolds as companion plants, to outwit the aphids. I saw a warning recently about commercially supplied bulbs being treated with neonicotinoids which can harm our bees; to avoid this possibility, you could buy summer bulbs from Garden Organic (previously the Henry Doubleday Institute) which guarantee their bulbs are not contaminated with this nasty pesticide, just go to their website.

I am informed there will be another free Compost Giveaway on May 13th at Crowmarsh Gifford car park, courtesy of Agrivert, so do take your sacks and bins along and fill up with some good stuff for your garden or allotment. More details next month.  Angela Hoy (