Monthly Archives: May 2017

Blewbury School: Habitats and SATs

This term is proving to be a busy one throughout Blewbury School, with all the classes undertaking different tasks whilst keeping a common theme – Habitats.

In Key Stage 1, Class One have been dashing all over the place with a trip to Farmer Gows activity farm in Faringdon, learning about the different animals and their behaviour. They have had an outing to release their frogs back into the wild having watched them emerge and grow from spawn, and next week are off to visit the farrier in East Hagbourne. After each trip, they report on what they have seen and produce some wonderful work.

Class Two have been looking at “mini-beasts”, or slugs, snails and stick insects to you and me, and will be moving to bigger animals and their surroundings later this term.

Class Three have made bug hotels from wood, bark and bamboo which has definitely been a hit with them, although the squeamish amongst us probably won’t be checking in anytime soon!

Meanwhile, in Key Stage 2, Class Four have been studying how various species adapt to their habitats and how they evolve to adjust to their conditions and environment. They have been studying the life cycle of butterflies and ladybirds and some flowers, whilst also learning about food chains and the water cycle.

Class Five have been studying the classification of living things and have had a go at pond dipping in the newly refurbished pond (thank you Gus Mills) to learn about aquatic life, particularly looking at how animals adapt to their surroundings and can camouflage themselves.

And Class Six… well, Class Six have been taking their SATs, the National Curriculum Assessments which all pupils must undertake. These comprise of four key areas, Maths, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling, and are certainly no pushover, so, for those of you who are wondering, here are a couple of questions from previous papers….

“Identify the missing number. 12.5 ÷ ? = 7.5 ÷ 1.5”. Or how about this one: “how many vertices does a square based pyramid have?” Don’t worry if you are struggling to answer the questions because you would be in good company. Schools Minister Nick Gibb was asked this SATs question live on the radio. In the sentence “I went to the cinema after eating my dinner” – is “after” a preposition or subordinating conjunction?” Unfortunately, Mr Gibb chose the incorrect answer, which is why all the teachers at Blewbury School begin preparation well in advance of the tests so our children get a deep understanding of numbers, grammar and English, whilst maintaining the balance between achieving successful SATs results and imparting a well-rounded, experience-rich education!

My final words must be a resounding “good luck” to Class 3 who are just about to start their SATs as I write – aged 7!

Michael Evans Class 6 Link Governor

PS – the answers (to save you Googling them) are 2.5, 5 and subordinating conjunction.

The photo, courtesy of Eric Eisenhandler, shows images captured by video camera traps purchased for the school by Sustainable Blewbury.

Bridge Club

Please note that there will be no bridge on Thursday 8th June due to the Hall and Vale Room being required for the election. Neither of the other two of our recent alternative venues is available that night.

Friday evening Novices sessions have now ceased for the summer and are expected to re-commence in September.

The Handicap Pairs competition finishes on Tuesday 20th June. We shall thereafter be playing match pointed pairs on the middle Tuesday of the last 4 months of the playing year as part of the ladder competition.

Michael Allen.  851870

BlewSing and Guests – Summer Concert

Saturday June 24th –  St Michael’s Church Blewbury

We are delighted to announce that BLEWSING and guests will be performing their Summer Concert at St Michael’s Church Blewbury on Saturday June 24th at 8 p.m. The programme will be light and varied and we do hope you will come and join us. Tickets are £10 each, with a complimentary glass of fruit juice/ wine and are available from Blewbury Post Office and Choir members from June 1st.

Bell Ringing News from Blewbury Tower

Wow another month flies by and we head towards midsummer! It seems to be the year for significant birthdays amongst the bell ringers and such events are always a good reason for more ringing. A Bob Minor Quarter Peal was rung to celebrate Christine Kowalczuk’s birthday and Ellen Bramhill’s wedding anniversary.

You may remember last month seeing that a six-week intensive bell ringing course was being planned for the end of May into June and we are pleased to be hosting one of the taster sessions and two of the training sessions.

In addition to our normal practice night and service ringing we will be ringing for two other events during the next month: these are The Visitation of the Bishop and other clergy at the end of May and then on June 15th there is a BBC Music event and nationally all towers have been requested to take part and ring at 7.00pm.

As always we would be delighted if you wanted to come and join us for a Friday evening practice 8-9.30pm

Notes from the Allotments

At last, an appreciable amount of rain, although I’m not sure how far down it went as I haven’t been digging since it happened, but the soil has really hardened up since my last report. It is very heavy work carrying full watering cans from the tanks at the allotment, and to do everything takes about 20 cans….

The potatoes did catch a bit of frost, despite being earthed up, and the tops look a bit poorly but they will recover. The good thing is that the fruit had set on the gooseberries and the little pear tree, so there should be a reasonable harvest, although I did notice quite a few miniature gooseberries on the ground under the bushes….

Because of the drought (can we officially call it that?), everything is being really slow growing, and even germinating; still nothing from the climbing peas so I might cut my losses and plant the runner beans there as it has already been dug over and fertilised; they are doing well in their root trainers in the greenhouse and will just need hardening off before planting out at the end of the month.

One very evident sign of the lack of water has been an abrupt stop in the rhubarb harvest; everybody’s seem to be suffering, with the long stems falling over in seeming exhaustion, what a shame! Still, a good drink should revive them as there is about another month to go before we are advised to stop picking. One crop that does not seem to be affected is the raspberries, all growing vigorously and with flowers about to open, hurrah!

I am chronically short of time this year so have taken advantage of plug plants for the brassicas, which arrived yesterday; I’ve temporarily put them in small pots with some compost to let them recover from their journey before planting out. I’m growing cabbage, red cabbage (a first for me), sprouts and cauliflower. I’ve also bought some leek seedlings which are already about 10 inches tall, but they need to thicken up a bit before exposing them to the allotment, so in a large nursery pot for a little while.

In the raised bed, a magnificent crop of radishes has come up – but nothing else! Where are the carrots and parsnips? We shall wait and see!   Angela Hoy (

Blewbury Film Supports the Village Hall!

Our Early Summer Screening for the 14th June will be “The Angel’s Share” but unfortunately all tickets have now all sold out – demand for this film has proved very high.

This heartwarming comedy about a group of unemployed petty criminals in Glasgow tells a story inspired by Whisky Galore and it’s been called 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.

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

Please note: This screening is now all sold out and there will be no tickets available on the door.  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:



Your Local Village Gardening Club


Ticket includes entry to the BBC Good Food Show  COST: £23.50 per Gardeners’ World ticket. Travel arrangements and cost to be advised. 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


Do you want to enter your fruit, vegetables, flowers, cookery, photography and many other categories in the ANNUAL SUMMER SHOW ON 8TH JULY 2017. The Schedule is available at: Blewbury Post Office or Margaret Maytham in Upton (01235 850126) or Eileen Bracken 01235 510095

or email:  or visit the VPA Website:

DID YOU KNOW?  Charlemagne (747-814) wrote: “Herbs are the friend of the physician and the pride of cooks.”

Also – Did you know?  “To make one and a half pounds of Lavender Oil, you’ll need to harvest almost a quarter of a ton of flowers!”  Happy Gardening, Eileen


Hello again.

May is almost here, with all the beautiful trees in blossom and colourful spring flowers blooming. We can look forward to warm , sunny days and sitting in the garden. We would love to welcome any new Members to join us at the following May events.

  • Tuesday 2nd May 2017   Lyn’s Walk.   A local walk, mostly on paths. We will leave the Village Hall at 10.00am.
  • Tuesday 9th May 2017   Coffee at Style Acre with Cilla. 10.30am.
  • Wednesday 10th May 2017   Visit to Chalgrove Manor.
  • Friday 12th May 2017   Craft Evening at Liz’s.
  • Tuesday 16th May 2017   Scrabble at Susan’s   30pm.
  • Friday 19th May 2017   Talking Science Lecture at RAL Harwell: To Catch a Monopole. Dr Tom Whyntie. 1.30pm.
  • Wednesday 24th May 2017   Monthly WI Meeting at the Vale Room   00pm. Speaker Bruce Duncan. The Loan Soldier.

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, where you will find more information.       Love from Cilla.

Sustainable Blewbury

‘Emulating Nature’s Genius (sustainable engineering solutions)’ – a talk by Prof. George Jeronimidis, Monday 15 May, 8.00pm, Blewbury Manor Barn:

Studying how nature solves its engineering and materials problems provides inspiration for solving our own problems. Spider silk, a fly’s eye, a pine cone opening and closing, shark skin, a lotus leaf, a gecko’s foot … all were inspirations for engineers … but inspirations for what? Tickets from the Post Office, £6, including a glass of wine. All profits donated to the Village Hall refurbishment.

Blewbury Garden Market: Reopens (for our 8th year!) on Blewbury Service Station forecourt on Saturday 20th May from 9.30 to 11.30 am, with fresh produce, plants and seedlings, flowers, home-baked bread and cakes, free-range eggs, preserves and honey, all locally produced. We’d love more volunteers to help man the stall, please contact if you’d like to join in!

Community Orchard – news: All the trees appear to have taken successfully. Even the weakest looking have buds and some, especially Morello cherries, are bursting out of their protective netting. In the wildflower area, the cowslips are also looking good this year. However, the unusually dry April weather has been a concern, so the Community Orchard Group (COG) organised a watering session, along with liquid seaweed fertiliser. Many thanks to the Mussons for water supply access and to members of the Hedge Laying Group who helped. We are always looking for more volunteers to join the COG. If you’re interested email John Ogden (

We will be erecting a signboard in the orchard, and we expect it to be installed in good time for the Orchard Picnic day (see below). The whole village is warmly welcome to come along and help us to celebrate!

Community Orchard – grand opening and village picnic, Sunday 11 June, Tickers Folly Field, from 12 noon: Bring your own picnic. Brass band, licensed bar with local beer and soft drinks, and a cake stall. There will be fun activities for kids and more … full details in the June Bulletin.



Folding child’s high chair, metal with plastic covering. Large freestanding wooden tapestry frame.

Ann Dendy


60cm freestanding electric cooker

c.10 sq m of limestone tiles in opus pattern

Ian Davies

07974 236219
A pair of bookcase glass doors 17″x 28″ and a board with frame suitable for attaching posters with blutac (not pins). 33.25″ x 21.25″

Brenda Hopkins

Child’s ”smarTrike” 3 wheeled orange bike, complete with all accessories and original box. For children from 10 months to over 36 months. Jo Lakeland 850490
To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (

To find out more about Sustainable Blewbury, go to If you’d like to get involved in what we do, or to receive our free Newsletter, contact us at



Well, the meeting last month covered bits of Blewbury history from pre-Roman times up to the late 20th century.

Enough to keep us busy for years. We did not have time to look at the photographs mentioned last month but hope to view them in our May meeting. We keep on getting snippets about WWI casualties, like what is the connection between the Roberts brothers from Tottenham, named on a memorial in the old cemetery, and the Roberts who lived in Westbrook Street? Any information gladly received; contact either Audrey Long on 850427 or Mark Palethorpe via email Our next meeting is on May 9th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane.