Monthly Archives: July 2017

Josh is jumping for joy!

July 7, 2017

17 year old Josh Allen, of Blewbury, has been awarded a prestigious Royal Aero Club Trust bursary to enable him to further develop his skydiving skills.  The bursary has been awarded under the Royal Aero Club Trust Flying for Youth Scheme.

Josh, who is mid-way through an electrical engineering apprenticeship with a company in Wallingford and also attends the Training Centre at Culham Science Centre, is a keen member of the London Parachute School, near Wallingford.  He spends as much time as possible undertaking coached skydiving jumps, works as a volunteer at the parachute school, and intends to use the bursary to obtain a Formation Skydiving 1 qualification.  Royal Aero Club Trust bursaries are the subject of keen competition and he has done very well to obtain this award.

The photograph shows Josh shortly after leaving an aircraft at the Parachute School.

Downland Dance News

July 14, 2017

Ballet classes in East Hagbourne and Abingdon, following the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus six days a week. Minimum starting age 3plus with no upper age limit.

The summer term has now ended but classes for adults and advanced students are continuing throughout July and August.

This year, as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, we are holding a few master classes. Adam Harris, formerly of Downland Dance, now with The Croatian National Theatre Company, will give a class in August. A soloist from The Royal Ballet is scheduled to teach a master class in early September. We are still negotiating a class with a dancer from another company for some time in the summer. To fit in these extras we are starting the autumn term a week later this year on Monday September 11th. For further details please contact Principal Mrs. Judy Harris on 01235 554060 or  Anita Rendel


Sustainable Blewbury

Community Orchard Opening, Village Picnic and Barbecue: This event, on 11 June, was a great success. We were very glad to see so many people enjoying themselves at our picnic to celebrate the opening of the Mike Edmunds Community Orchard and seeing how the orchard fits in to Tickers Folly Field.

We’d like to thank Blewbury Learner Band for playing so well, the Blewbury Primary School PTA for running their excellent barbecue, the Pre-school for joining in with their kite flying by the children, and everyone who helped out in various ways. It all contributed to a wonderful village atmosphere.

Results of the welly wanging (done for glory, not the prizes!):
Age 10 or under – Hamish Inglis, 22.1m; Age 11–18 – Ben Lott, 29.4m; Adult female – Katy Jane Whitlock: 25.8m
Adult male – Eric Barton, 52.9m. (Guinness world record for men is 63.98m.)

Blewbury Garden Market: Now running (our 8th year!) at Blewbury Garage – every Saturday morning from 9.30 to 11.30 am, with fresh garden fruit and veg, plants, flowers, home-baked bread and cakes, preserves and Blewbury honey. We need more people bringing us things to sell (before 9.30). And we’d love more volunteers to help run the stall – email or talk to us at the Garage if you’d like to join in!

Community Orchard vandalism: There has been some minor vandalism at the orchard – mainly pulling out the long stakes, the ones supporting the protective netting rather than the trees themselves. In a couple of cases these stakes have been broken off, leaving a very sharp, potentially dangerous shard sticking out of the ground. We have replaced the missing stakes. And at one point a very few dog owners seemed to enjoy dropping their poo bags on to the trees, but this disgusting habit seems to have fallen out of favour – to the great relief of those who had to retrieve them! But by and large, people appear to have welcomed the orchard for what it is, a benefit for the whole community.

Angela’s departure: We will be very sorry to say goodbye to Angela Hoy when she leaves Blewbury at the end of August, but we wish her well as she moves to Vancouver to join her daughter. Very soon after Angela’s arrival half a dozen years ago we wondered how we had managed without her. Her interest in our food-related and environmental activities meant that she was soon running our Garden Market and annual apple juicing sessions, as well as helping with our Permaculture project and numerous events and activities over the years. She also had masses of new ideas she persuaded us to try. She trained to be a Master Composter and qualified gardener, and wrote her Notes from the Allotment for the Bulletin. We will miss you Angela, but hope you enjoy your new life in Vancouver. From your many friends in Sustainable Blewbury.



6 wooden storage trays for apples. They are 57cm square and  stackable.

Melanie Longhurst

07867 500031
TV table with 2 smoked glass shelves and wooden top, finished in grey. W 700mm x D 445mm x H 440mm.

Alan Cooper


Victorian wardrobe with drawer, 6’ x 3’9” x 1’4”

2 glass-fronted bookcases, each 2’9” x 1’7” x 10”

Malcolm Wright

Leather swivel executive office chair. One arm is a bit wonky (fixable I think) but otherwise AOK.

Chris Whatmore

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



One thing you can always say about our weather, it is never dull!

This last month it has ranged from cold and rainy to extremely windy and now we are in a heatwave to rival 1976! Watering has been a chore, but just think what it does to tone the upper arms!

The high winds had a detrimental effect on our cunning idea of planting seedlings through holes in black membrane, to retain moisture and discourage pests; the wind picked up any loose edges and thrashed our poor sweetcorn seedlings almost to death! Fortunately a kind neighbour gave us some more that we have now planted out, this time in bare earth. Another casualty of the weather seems to be the first early potatoes, which look very lacklustre and despite a few flowers on their haulms, don’t appear to have much underneath the soil. In contrast, the second earlies are looking bushy and healthy, thus proving perhaps the old adage that it is better to wait for Spring to get into gear before planting frost-tender vegetables. Also, something ate all the French bean seedlings before they were barely out of the ground! Sometimes you just can’t win….

On the plus side, the runner beans have finally established themselves and are romping up the poles, and this spell of fine weather with be just what they need. And the potatoes that we did dig were absolutely delicious, with lots more to come.

It looks like a very good year for soft fruits, with the gooseberry bushes groaning under the fruit and the strawberries are also plentiful and sweet. Coming along rapidly are blackcurrants, redcurrants and Tayberries, and at home I am waiting with anticipation for the cherries to ripen! They are swathed in fleece to stop the birds plundering them before I get a chance.

It is the VPA Village Show in a couple of weeks so it is an anxious time to see if there will be enough ripe fruit and vegetables to show. If you haven’t entered it before, it is great fun, and very exciting to go round after the judging and see if you have any Best in Show and First prizes!

Some of you will know that I am leaving for Canada at the end of August, so this is my last article; it will cease to exist unless a volunteer steps up! Angela Hoy (

Editor’s note: Angela has been writing her Notes from the Allotment column for the Bulletin for as long as I’ve been editing it – that is, since September 2011. As with all our regular contributors, the editorial team owes her a great debt of gratitude, and we wish her all the very best for her new life in Canada. Thanks Angela!