Monthly Archives: June 2018

Project Resound: New glass for our ancient church

June 28, 2018

Thank you to all who came to our project launch in June! We were so pleased to hear your comments and support for the artwork and design. For those who were not there, here is an update:

We are commissioning a significant contemporary work of art in the form of a stained glass window to be installed in the west tower of St Michael’s church, with a bell theme. There has been no new stained glass in the church since 1908, and so this will be a legacy of our time for years to come. When the sound of the bells ripples across the village everyone knows that this is marking a wedding, a funeral, a royal occasion, visiting bell ringers or the weekly church services. And so it has been for centuries. It is symbolic of many community events. The design of the windows and artist impressions of the installation are shown in this downloadable leaflet and we hope you like it!

How you can help to make it happen

To complete this project we need to raise £75,000.  Everyone in Blewbury will have been touched by the sound of bells and/or by the associated Church events at some point. Therefore, in addition to grants that we will apply for, we are asking for personal donations. You can donate any amount, large or small, as one person, as a couple or as a family. By donating to the window fund your name can be recorded in a book, which will contain the story of the Stained Glass Window from concept to installation. This will become an historical document and a record of who was connected to Blewbury in 2018/19.

If you have a dedication for your donation, please let us know so that this can also be recorded in the book. You might wish to donate in memory of someone; to mark a wedding, funeral, christening or confirmation in St Michael’s; to celebrate an anniversary of some kind; because you love art; because you care for our medieval church; or just because you enjoy living in the village of Blewbury!

If you would like to know more about the artwork and the stained glass medium, any member of the project team will be pleased to discuss this with you. Thank you.

Richard & Gill Loyd, Christine Kowalczuk, Jason St John Nicolle, Susan Lay, Mark Phillips, Jackie Maguire

At last! B4016 potholes to be fixed in August

June 14, 2018

The B4016 is to be closed on August 20th for approximately four days in order to carry out ‘structural patching’ to the many deep potholes that have been plaguing local drivers since the winter. The affected stretch will be between the Sheencroft turning to the Astons and East Hagbourne war memorial (see map).

Note that the suggested diversion is shown as going through Harwell village, as the map does not show the new link road between Great Western Park and the A417.


Blewbury Pre-School Playgroup News

June 29, 2018

Blewbury Pre-school Playgroup would like to say a huge congratulations and heart-felt thank you to David Whitlock for raising much needed funds for us whilst setting his new world record doing 12 hours of burpees.

On 19 June he presented Blewbury Pre-school with a cheque for £1,699.25 . We are overwhelmed by his generosity, and frankly amazed by his stamina to do that many burpees!

Fundraising remains vital to our continued existence. As you may have seen in the national news recently, there remains a significant gap between what it costs to have a child at a pre-school and what the Government gives pre-schools per child. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supports our fundraising. We are so very grateful for the ongoing support from the local community, as we really could not continue without this help. Thank you!

Blewbury Pre-school still has some spaces available for children joining in September. If your child is between two and a half and four years of age, please pop in and pick up an application form from the Pre-school, or email us at

Harber @ Harwell: Where art meets science!

Blewbury’s Chelsea Flower Show award-winning sculptor David Harber was joined by Ed Vaizey, MP for Wantage and Didcot, and other dignitaries at Harwell Campus at the formal unveiling of his Mantle sculpture, located outside the Campus HQ building, the former RAF Headquarters at Harwell, Oxfordshire.

The intricate sculpture fuses together science and art, with names connected to Harwell’s rich scientific heritage and multiple world firsts etched onto bronze petals in commemoration of the important work undertaken over the last 70 years. Names include:

  • British physicist Sir John Cockroft, first Director of the Atomic Energy Research Authority at Harwell in 1945 and joint winner (with Ernest Walton) of the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics for splitting the atomic nucleus
  • The Dekatron Computer, the oldest original working digital computer in the world built at Harwell Campus
  • Joan Maie Freeman, the first woman to be awarded the British Institute of Physics’ Rutherford Medal for work on beta-radioactivity of complex nuclei

Director and Partner of the Harwell Campus Partnership, Angus Horner said: “David is a wonderful artist and friend of the Campus. He shares our passion for using art to engage people in the sciences. This beautiful sculpture is the start of a long-term initiative that will bring art onto the Campus as a powerful way to communicate the past, present and future of Harwell’s story.”

Village Hall Refurbishment Update

First of all, apologies for how long things are taking. After we were let down last year by Knowles, it was clear that we could not achieve our preferred scheme at a cost we could afford.

The team has therefore spent some time, with the help of our architects and a QS, in reviewing the scope, specifications and costs of the scheme, to identify opportunities for significant savings, while retaining the new extension, bigger kitchen, relocation of the post office and provision of new storage for the Main Hall. In order to test once and for all whether this is possible, we are working with the builder who gave us the next best bid from the previous tender exercise to see if they can give us a firm price within our budget. If they can, and we like the way in which they have achieved the cost reductions we need, we will commit to working with them to deliver the project.

With a firm price, an identified builder and a clearly defined scheme, we will be in as strong a position as we can be to reinvigorate our fundraising campaign, making bids to as many funders as we can identify as well as a further appeal for donations from the village. On top of the money already raised and the grants previously awarded we will need to re-apply for, we’ll be looking for another £180k. With a phased approach, we would like to make a start on work this year.

If the builders cannot produce a scheme within our budget, we will revert to a scheme without the extension and additional features, refurbishing the hall ‘as is’. This will reduce the costs, but will still require further fundraising and a full re-tender exercise. Again, though, we would aim to make a start on the ground this year.

We are grateful for everybody’s patience and for the support the village has given the scheme so far. Thank you for all the fundraising events and your donations, comments and advice. Steve White


New management of Clubhouse and Melland Room

June 28, 2018

The Blewbury Village CIC (BVCIC) has been exploring with the Parish Council a more viable way of managing The Club House and Melland Room.

We have had a proposal from two people living in the village to run the building enabling use by the community as well as developing a greater utilisation of the building and facilities to maintain the high standard of facility available.

The BVCIC will remain responsible for the overarching management of the Clubhouse but as of 1st June 2018 the day to day operational management will be carried out by David Flynn and Mike Evans who will be the main contact for  all use of the building be it regular sports clubs or one off bookings.

Dave and Mike will be offering bar and catering facilities if you require this and hope to organise events throughout the year including screen of the World Cup matches and other events.

Any queries please do contact Dave and Mike on or 07969 526084.  Directors, BVCIC

Sustainable Blewbury

June 29, 2018

25th Anniversary Celebration! Sunday, 30th September 2018, Blewbury School

Our 25th year – the BVS Environment Group began in August 1993. We’ll be celebrating with an exhibition of 25 of our successes in 25 years. We’re still planning it, but it will be more than an exhibition – the Blewbury Wagon will be there, there will be a barbeque, things for children to do, etc. More in the next Bulletin. If you have memories or photos you would like to share, particularly from before 2009, please contact Jo Lakeland at 01235 850490.

Community orchard

The orchard is doing well, despite losing two trees of the 47 recently. They are a hazelnut and a dessert plum (a rare Oxfordshire variety). We have ordered replacements, pot grown so we can plant them immediately. We will be pruning the stone-fruit trees in early July and may also need a weeding session at some stage.

Tickers Folly Field wild flowers

Part of our Downland Project is the strip of wild flowers along the back of the field. This year we’ve had two flowering Bee orchids, a Bath Asparagus flower, Pyramidal orchids, dropwort and cowslips, among others.

Blewbury Garden Market: every Saturday from 9.30 to 11.30 am, Blewbury Service Station

We buy and sell fresh, local garden fruit and veg (including some rarely seen in shops), flowers, plants and seedlings, home-made bread, cakes and preserves, and local honey and eggs. Producers please bring items to sell from 9.15 am. For more info and sales forms see

Apple juicing

Our annual apple juicing sessions will resume at the beginning of September. If you have very early apples, or too many for our sessions, the equipment is also available for hire. Contact us at




·   Box of assorted leads: 4 mm jack plugs, 13 A plugs, computer leads, 5 pin DIN etc, aerial leads, universal tv remote ….. Some electronics enthusiast must need these!

·   Omnitech 7″ (17.8 cm) digital photo frame, with remote control, mains adaptor and handbook

Jo Lakeland

01235 850490
·   Sofa – Brown, 3-seater mid-century sofa, worn and scruffy but still comfortable.  193 cm wide, 90 deep and 81 high

Eric Eisenhandler

07935 232296

·   Kingavon 4.2kW portable calor gas cabinet heater. Used only once, for use indoors or outdoors

·   Weber table top charcoal grill

·   Ladies Raleigh Activator mountain bike. Old but vgc.

·   One wheelchair, only 4 years old – happy to loan this for free!

Nina Hutchins 01235 851249

·   Trampoline, about 12 ft diameter. Protective net needs replacing and the springs around the edge are OK but need recovering.

·   Petrol driven lawn mower, 2 years old. Good condition.

Robert Long

01235 850427
To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (

To find out more about Sustainable Blewbury, go to Getting involved is fun and can make a very positive contribution to village life and the local environment. If you’d like to get participate in what we do, or to receive our free Newsletter, email us at or phone John Ogden at 01235 850372.


Your Local Village Gardening Club

A couple of important dates for your diary:

SATURDAY 7TH JULY – VPA SUMMER SHOW. Have you collected a copy of the Schedule?? If you haven’t entered before, have a look – there is a great variety of categories – fruit, vegetables, flowers, handicraft, cookery, photography. Why not give it a go – you could be a winner!! There are a few Schedules left in Blewbury post office or you can get it online by emailing Eileen on or by ringing Margaret in Upton on 01235 850126.


Wisley was founded by businessman and RHS member George Ferguson Wilson who purchased a 60-acre site in 1878. Wisley is now a large and diverse garden covering 240 acres. In addition to numerous formal and informal decorative gardens, several glasshouses and an extensive arboretum, it includes small scale “model gardens” which are intended to show visitors what they can achieve in their own gardens, and a trials field where new cultivars are assessed.

If you are interested, the cost is £20 per person (includes entry and transport!). Book at Blewbury Post Office or for Upton residents, contact Maggie Maytham on 01235 850126, as soon as possible.  

DID YOU KNOW ? OAKS are among the slowest growing trees and usually don’t produce acorns until they are about twenty years old. MULBERRY trees have been known to live for up to 600 years. Syon House in Brentford holds the two known oldest in Britain today, both planted in 1548. Built for survival, if they are blown over in a storm they soon grow back again by raising themselves upon their branches.  Happy Gardening  Eileen

Blewbury WI News

Hello to everyone. I hope you are enjoying the lovely summer weather and, maybe looking forward to happy holidays.

There will be no Blewbury Bulletin for August 2018, so the following lists contain our future events for July and August. Any new Members will be made most welcome to join us.

JULY 2018

  • Tuesday, 3rd    Scrabble at Rosemary’s.  7:30pm.  Please ring first.
  • Tuesday, 3rd    Lyn’s Walk.  A circular walk from Aston Recreation Ground. Some may have done part of this walk before and regretfully there is no coffee shop en route. Meet at Blewbury Village Hall at 9:15am. It is a little longer than previous walks BUT it is flat. Hope to see you all whether you are WI members or not.
  • Friday, 6th    Craft evening at Liz’s.   7pm.  Please ring first.
  • Monday, 9th   Coffee at Style Acre with Karen.  10:30am.
  • Wednesday, 25th   Visit to Ashdown House, Lambourne.  2pm – 5pm.  Car rota will be arranged.
  • Wednesday, 25th  WI monthly meeting in the Main Hall at 7:30pm.  Speaker, Sue Drage.  “ Recycling with a Difference”

There are no RAL Talking Science Lectures in July and August.


  • Friday, 3rd  Craft evening at Liz’s.  7pm. Please ring first.
  • Monday, 6th  Scrabble at Graeme’s.  7:30pm. Please ring first.
  • Monday, 13th  Coffee morning at Karen’s (instead of Style Acre) 10:30am.
  • Wednesday, 22nd WI Summer Social in the Melland Room. Please bring a plate of food.

There is no Lyn’s Walk in August.

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.

Blewbury Local History Group

We recently took Henley Historical Society on a walk around the village having first introduced them to the archaeology of the area.

As with previous walks with other people they commented on the fact that they never knew how lovely the village was and how hidden it is if you only travel along the main road.  That is what history itself is like; you can stick with history of kings and queens, politics, wars all interesting, but not as alive as the stories of villages and towns and the folk who have live there. There are always more facts to find, more stories to tell, more hidden things from the past to find. History is ALIVE!

We are still hoping to hear from people about their grandparents’ memories of WW1; if you have any photos, stories, we would love to hear them before November 2018 when the end of WW1 will be remembered in the village and the Church.

Contacts:Mark or Audrey 850427 or

Next meeting is Tuesday, July 10th  at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane. (No meeting in Aug.)