Monthly Archives: September 2017

Special thanks from Blewbury Pre-school Playgroup

September 11, 2017

We would like to thank the Tony Loy Trust for their very generous gift towards the creation of a new outdoor play area at Pre-School.

This includes a large safety surface and new physical play equipment which will encourage children to enjoy climbing, balancing, jumping and running to develop their large motor skills and improve their confidence with their new found skills and abilities. Thank you so much Sheila, Francesca, Maria and Steve. The photo above shows some of the children playing on our fantastic new equipment.

We have now drawn the winners of our Super Raffle, you know who you are! We would like to our express a huge thanks to all of you who bought tickets and all who very generously donated prizes. We raised a grand total of £2,000 which will be used for new books, learning materials & toys for the children of Blewbury Pre-School. Our fantastic donors of prizes were David & Sophie Harber, Chris Lakeland, Abi Barclay-Watt, The Red Lion, Laithwaites Wine, Emma Barnett, Beauty Essentials, Fraser’s Retail Ltd, Savages, Matt Pepper, South Moreton Boxing Club, Ben Morgan, Kathy Edmunds, Indigo Rye, TWC, The Blueberry, Ed Vaizey, Ashbrook Lets, Kate Pierce-Williams, The Eyston Arms, Sue & Paul Bibby, Wine-Man and not forgetting Elphin Lloyd-Jones for designing and printing all our wonderful tickets.

Finally, we have been having some other building work happening at Pre-School over the Summer – the new mezzanine is nearly complete and we look forward to inviting you all to our grand opening in the near future. Thank you to the Malthus Trust, for supporting the adaptation of our lovely building enabling us to continue offering a fantastic start to the pre-school education of Blewbury’s children.


September 22, 2017

We are having some new equipment installed on 26th September, so we are expecting to be closed between 9am & 11.30am! We will also be CLOSED on Wednesday 25th October.

The last Christmas posting dates for SURFACE mail to the Far East, Australia & New Zealand are 27th September, and mid-October for the Americas, Canada & Asia, late October for Europe & BFPOs. We have lots of leaflets, or information is available on the Royal Mail website.

New “Star Wars” stamps on sale 11th October.

New £10 notes have started to come in, and the old style “round pound” coins cease to be legal tender on October 15th, we will still take them if you find any lurking in a jar!

Please note that we do not accept post after our official LAT, (Last Acceptance Time). This is 4.30pm or 11.30am on our half days, although the official time given is 9.30am on half days, and is the time that our postman calls to collect, not the time we close!

The last 15 minutes of every day is very busy for us, we do like to leave on time, at 12 noon or 5pm, we don’t get paid any overtime whatsoever, so please don’t come in at the last minute with eleventy billion parcels!

Love from Karen & Maggie


VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION – Your Local Village Gardening Club

Well, another growing season is almost at an end and I expect many of us are harvesting and freezing, bottling or drying our produce to be able to enjoy it during the coming winter months. One of the opportunities available to anyone who has a surplus of apples is to convert them into apple juice with the help of Sustainable Blewbury. On SUNDAY 22ND OCTOBER (1pm – 3pm) we will be joining Sustainable Blewbury with our annual PLANT AND CAKE SALE at the RED LION, BLEWBURY. We look forward to seeing you there.

Really pleased to hear that the visit to Kew Gardens in August was very well supported and that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the wonders of this amazing place. I was in Scotland at the time and part of my trip was a visit to Cape Wrath (how many of you have heard it mentioned in the shipping forecast on Radio 4?). It was amazing, but I’m sure the coach to Kew was a lot smoother than the bumpy ride to the Cape Wrath lighthouse!

It’s also the time of year for having our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and this takes place at 7pm onwards on WEDNESDAY 1ST NOVEMBER in the VALE ROOM at BLEWBURY VILLAGE HALL (includes wine and nibbles). Look forward to seeing you there.

For the last four years the VPA has had a very successful and enjoyable ANNUAL SOCIAL and this year will be no exception. The Social is booked for SATURDAY 2ND DECEMBER (7PM – 10pm) at UPTON VILLAGE HALL. This year will be “A London Evening” with food, quizes, games and lots of fun. Watch this space for more details.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the above events.

DID YOU KNOW ? The peach is native to China and it is thought to have reached the Mediterranean region in roughly 2000 BC via the Silk Road. Happy Gardening Eileen

Sustainable Blewbury

Apple juicing sessions: It’s been a very good year for apples, and it would be a pity to waste what you can’t eat. We have three more sessions for making some of the tastiest apple juice you’ve ever had, from your own apples:

  • Sun. 8 Oct., 2–4pm, Manor stable
  • Sun. 22 Oct., 12–3pm, Red Lion garden
  • Sun. 5 Nov., 11am–1pm, Manor stable

Please bring your (washed) apples and clean glass (screw-top) wine or drink bottles if you want to pasteurise your juice. If you want to freeze it, bring clean plastic containers. Cut out any bad bits but no need to core the apples. Cost: £1 per pressing (large basket of apples), pasteurising 30p per bottle (keeps for up to a year).

Our equipment is also available to hire: £10 per day in Blewbury and Upton, £15 elsewhere. For details and bookings contact:

Blewbury Garden Market: Every Saturday morning from 9.30 to 11.30 am, with fresh local garden fruit and veg, plants, flowers, home-baked bread and cakes, preserves and Blewbury honey. Why not bring us your surplus produce to sell for you (before 9.30 please) and at the same time see what else is available, including many items not available in shops. Note that our last session at the garage this year will be on Saturday, 14th October.

We will again have Garden Market Extra running through the autumn, winter and early spring at the Post Office, with bread and cakes on Saturday mornings, and jam and occasional produce all week.

Dates for your diaries:

A talk by Prof. Eric Eisenhandler – ‘Climate Change: Growing Elephant, Shrinking Room’ at Blewbury Manor barn on Monday 30th October at 8pm, tickets £6 (including a glass of wine) from the Post Office. The talk will discuss up to date information about climate change and the improving outlook for renewable energy.

Village Leaf Clearance – Do you remember last year’s very enjoyable leaf-clearing event? It was fun for everyone, older or younger! We are repeating it on Sunday 3rd December from 2–4pm. More details nearer the day.



Miele vacuum cleaner.  Old but still working well.

Steve Russell

Several metres of water pipe insulation.

Peter Saunders


• 3-tier in/pending/out trays (A4, black). Trays can be separated.

• Brita Maxtra water filter cartridges, box of 6

• Approx 100 see-through A4 document wallets for ring binders

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


Hello again. October is almost here! The trees are showing off their lovely Autumn colours and Harvest time fast approaching. The only drawback is the evenings are drawing in to an earlier lighting up time. Following is a list of Blewbury WI events that are being held in October, and we would love to welcome all new members to join us.

  1. Monday 2nd Coffee at Style Acre with Karen. 10.30am.
  2. Tuesday 3rd Lyn’s Walk. Leave Blewbury Village Hall at 9.30am and walk to East Hagbourne and follow the newly opened Poet’s Trail round the village. There will probably be a coffee stop at the Fleur.
  3. Wednesday 4th Scrabble at Cilla’s. 7.30pm. Please phone first 851966
  4. Friday 6th Craft evening at Karen’s. 7pm – 9pm. Please phone first.
  5. Friday 13th RAL Talking Science lecture at Harwell 1.30pm. A is for Arsenic: the poisons of Agatha Christie. Dr. Kathryn Harkup.
  6. Wednesday 25th October. WI monthly meeting in The Village Hall at 7.30pm. Speaker, Tony King. A respected speaker to the WI.
  7. Friday 27th Abingdon Operatic Society at Abingdon School. Sister Act. 7.20pm.
  8. Mah Jong will restart shortly. Date to be decided.

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.



After a well attended September meeting with many interesting topics covered, we are looking forward to October’s meeting.

We continue to get questions sent to us from outside the village concerning family history, locations questions or enquiries about such things as the early history of the London Road. Many stimulating topics arise at each meeting and perhaps we could tempt you to come along and throw in your `Threepenny worth’. As well as the extensive library of books relating to the Parish we can utilise the records and photographs to answer most questions but just occasionally those present are stumped.

For instance, the Barley Mow used to be the last building in the village heading East and this is the junction where Pilgrims Way runs parallel with London Road. Which is the original route through the village?

Come along to the October 10th meeting at 8pm in the History Room at the rear of Robinsons (just off South Street at the entrance to Parsonage Farm) and join in. Contact Mark Palethorpe ( or Audrey Long 850427 for details.


We hope that many of you heard the Peal of Morville Delight Major (with 5088 changes in the order of the bells) rung in 3hr 5min on 23rd August to celebrate the life of Jim Blond who, during his life, contributed so much to bell ringing. The Peal was beautiful to listen to and was an inspiration to those of us who are still trying to improve our ringing. Thank you to Colin Turner and his band of ringers.

Our learners are making fantastic progress, we are very fortunate in Blewbury to have teenagers wanting to learn and continue the tradition of bell ringing not forgetting the experienced ringers who are teaching them. As an aside it has reduced the average age of bell ringers at Blewbury considerably!

We continue to ring for Sunday service and practice night is Friday 8-9.30pm, a warm welcome awaits anyone who would like to come and see what ringing is all about.


The Annual General Meeting of the Club will be held on Thursday 5th October at 7pm in the Vale Room.

It is intended to play bridge afterwards – hopefully about 18 boards. The names of any proposals for new Officers or Committee Members, or suggestions for items to be discussed, should be notified to the Chairman or Secretary beforehand, the former to include Proposer and Seconder. Refreshments will be provided.
October sees the completion of all remaining annual competitions. They will all re-commence in November.
Michael Allen. 851870


When I first arrived in Blewbury I met Jag Cook in the Red Lion and he pretty much sold me on the idea of allotment — a chance to grow some fresh veggies and get some serious exercise at the same time. What could be better I thought. Better than going to a gym or flogging around the streets.

A full size allotment is 250 square metres and is traditionally measured in poles, an old measurement dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. 10 poles is the accepted size of an allotment, about the size of a doubles tennis court. It seemed like a big area to me so Chris Gimblett and I agreed to share. He, being a bit on the brainy side, thought we should take a totally innovative mathematical approach—i.e. covering the allotment with black plastic and then planting through it in some geometric planting pattern. An older allotment holder was highly scornful, scoffing at our pathetic attempts. He was right of course, as the back plastic disintegrated and those powerful weeds said thank you very much for providing perfect damp weed growing conditions, with a few struggling cabbage plants for competition. So we gave up on that idea. After years of digging, fighting the weeds, lack of time etc, we discovered that you need to put in a consistent effort — a few hours a week, not leaving it for 4 weeks and then hoping a blast of action will restore control.

So with Chris having left the village, I reverted to a half allotment and this year decided on a new raised bed strategy, converting my 5 poles to 8 raised beds about 2 m by 4 m—so all very manageable. Of course, as they were raised beds I needed extra soil and a local farmer duly obliged. Unfortunately he couldn’t put it on my allotment but put it on an adjacent allotment. Ah fine you might think, but the adjacent allotment holder was not too amused to have 10 tons of soil dumped on his recently dug allotment!!! Needless to say the pressure was on to move it. So I drafted in the whole family to move this soil. This was met with some derision and laughter, but a few brave souls helped me move 10 tons of wet soil. It took ages to move it and restore my neighbour’s allotment. But at least I had some half-filled raised beds. Now I needed manure and Matt Napper kindly supplied 2 large loads of manure. Again a family moving event, although I am seriously straining relations on this front now!!!. So summer arrived and we planted up—amazingly it has been the most productive summer of veg so far in 35. Whether it was the raised beds and ability to keep on top of weeds, or the magnificent manure from Matt, or the g-kids around to help plant things (and scoff all the raspberries) or the weather, which was dry initially (so few slugs) and then warmish with rain showers, I don’t know. Probably some combination, but I feel I have turned a corner. After 35 years it is about time really. So now, it’s the end of summer, time to clear up this year’s allotment. However, I feel another experiment coming on—shall I plant some autumn and winter veg.??, will warmer winters driven by climate change allow the winter veg to survive?? Will the family help dig the allotment over? Doubtful!!  All exciting stuff – so watch this space!! Paul Whitehead