Monthly Archives: August 2019

A Milestone in Local Conservation

August 26, 2019

Almost two years after being broken in half by a person or persons unknown, Blewbury’s historic Grade II listed milestone, now fully restored, has been returned to its rightful place at the western end of the village.

Marking the distance from Reading to the east (15 miles) and Wantage to the west (9 miles), the near quarter-tonne triangular milestone from the old Harwell & Streatley Turnpike has languished in Savages’ car park while an affordable solution for its repair and return was explored. Responding to a social media post and an article in the November 2018 Bulletin, stonemason Ryan Morris, from Aston Upthorpe, volunteered his services free of charge and has restored the stone to the required conservation standards.

Howard Ward, who wrote the articles, has nothing but praise for Ryan’s work, and for the help and cooperation of the Milestone Society, Savages and local highways and conservation officers. “It was a complete pleasure watching a skilled stonemason at work”, says Howard, “He made everything he did look so easy. In fact, the whole team effort, involving experts in their various fields, has been a joy to see.”

Special thanks are due to four other people involved in the project, as well as the stonemason himself:

Emily Karau, the Conservation and Design Officer for South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, was one of the first people to respond to the appeal for help and, although being subject to quite a long spell of illness, managed to keep her eye on the Milestone over and above of her normal work.

Derek Turner, of the Milestone Society, provided chapter and verse on regulations, as well as information on what the Milestone Society expected when repairing, repositioning and replacing the Blewbury Milestone.

Richard Savage gave sanctuary to the broken milestone while awaiting repair: “I don’t know what would have happened if Richard had not given his permission for it to be kept and restored on his property,” says Howard.

And finally, Mark Francis of OCC Highways was responsible for the Milestone’s journeys to and from the Highways Depot, and arranged the crane and crew for removing it from Savages to its original position alongside the A417.

Asked how he felt to see his appeal finally achieving a result, Howard said “I am simply happy that the milestone is back home.”

Parish Council Notes July – August 2019

August 30, 2019

Notes of the Parish Council meeting held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 10 July 2018 in the Vale Room, Blewbury Village Hall.

Present:  Chris Lakeland (Chair), Jane Gibson, Miriam Jacobs, Charlotte Cameron, Mark Shayler, Michael Penington, Vaughan Humphries. Also present Elizabeth Cooper (Clerk), David Hollick (Lengthman), Lydia Inglis (Chair of Advisory Committee on Planning and Future Infrastructure Development), County Councillor Mike Fox Davies and District Councillor Hayleigh Gascoigne. Apologies were received from David Lomas and Mark Blythe.

Detailed reports were received from both the District and County Councillors.  The PC is grateful to both for their support and interest in our community.  Each took away some questions to answer and asked to kept informed of any way in which they could support the Council.  The Council was pleased that the barbecue at Tickers Folly Field is being well used.

A payments meeting was held on 14 August which was attended by Chris Lakeland (Chair), Vaughan Humphries and Jane Gibson.  Also in attendance was Elizabeth Cooper, Clerk.  Apologies were received from Mark Blythe, Mark Shayler, Miriam Jacobs, Charlotte Cameron, Michael Penington and David Lomas.  All payments were agreed.

Planning Applications

All Blewbury planning applications, decisions  and Parish Council responses, including items under consideration, can be found in the ‘Parish’ section of the Blewbury website (, which is updated once a week. Links are also provided to the main Vale Planning site, where full details can be obtained. 

Responses from the Parish Council: 

P19/V1589/FUL Greenlea, Bessels Lea Road – Variation of condition 8 (Hedgerow).

Blewbury objects and comments:  Blewbury PC objects to the removal of condition 8 and the erection of close boarded fencing.  The existing conditions state that hedgerow/trees along the east and west boundary of the site shall be retained and properly maintained. Any hedgerow shrub or tree which is removed or dies within 5 years of the completion of the development shall be replaced during the next planting season by a shrub/tree of a species and size which shall first have been agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Reason: To protect the hedgerow/trees in the interest of visual amenity (Policy CP44 of the adopted Local Plan 2031 part 1 and Saved Policy DC6 of the adopted Local Plan 2011).

P19/V1563/HH   44 Bridus Mead Blewbury. – Single storey rear extension (overall height of extension and roof pitch increased).  BPC has no objection.

P19/V1421/FUL    Blewbury Methodist Church, Chapel Lane Blewbury.

Proposed conversion of existing chapel (Class D1) to a single dwelling (Class C3) including demolition of existing single storey rear extension and construction of new rear extension and alterations to front railings and provision of bin and cycle storage and off-street parking provision.

Blewbury PC objects – This application contravenes Para 3 and 4 of policy P2 of Blewbury’s adopted plan which states that development should:

  1. preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the village (or area of the village) and its landscape setting, as described in the Village Character Assessment and the Landscape Character Assessment and subsequent updates commissioned by Blewbury Parish Council;
  2.   protect heritage assets and their settings;

Although this development is not a designated heritage asset, the building is recognised as a building of interest and as such contributes to the character and in particularly streetscape of this part of the conservation area. The removal and subsequent resiting of the wall, fence and pillars will irreversibly alter the historic appearance of this corner of the village, contrary to para 189 of the NPPF. Contrary to the Conservation Officers opinion (as comment of 13 July), the resiting of the railings, removed without planning permission, does not retain the sense of enclosure and symmetry that has historically been established at the front of this Methodist Church.  

Blewbury PC objects on the grounds of non-compliance with compliance condition 10 of the approved application which requires the applicant to undertake the works following an agreed mitigation strategy to protect a maternity colony of protected Natterers bats. The amended plans for the current application make compliance with this condition impossible, as the proposals now include the insertion of roof lights within 4 metres of the roost entrance and the insertion of a mezzanine floor within 3 metres.

P19/V1734/HH    Kerran, London Road, Blewbury- Demolition of conservatory & erection of orangery

BPC has no objection.

P19/V1696/LB     Cottrills, London Road, Blewbury – Repaint exterior & window frames

BPC has no objection.

P19/V1666/AG   Mobile home 1 Eastfield Farm, Woodway Road, BlewburyPortal frame building – forestry, horticulture, nursery.  BPC has no objection.

P19/V1688/AG   P19/V1689/AG Mobile home 1 Eastfield Farm, Woodway Road, Blewbury.

Portal frame building – hay storage. Portal frame building – cattle housing.

Blewbury PC has responded with the following comment:  Blewbury PC’s initial response to P19/V1666 was ‘council held no strong views’. Subsequent applications V1688 and V1689, adjacent to V1666, result in a very substantial development and council are of the opinion that further clarification of the expansion is needed and possibly formal planning applications. This is particularly relevant as the development is within 200 metres of existing houses, not >400 metres as stated in the notification.

Decisions by District Council

P19/V1248/LB Ashbrook House, Westbrook Street. Permission granted

P19/V1206/HH Hidden Cottage, Westbrook Street. Permission granted

P19/V1229/HH Yew Tree, London Road. Permission granted 

Enquiries regarding planning in the parish may be sent to

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 11th September 2019 in the Vale Room, Village Hall, Blewbury.

need to contact your parish councillors?

Mark Blythe, The Manor, Berry Lane Chris Lakeland, 4 Westbrook Green
Charlotte Cameron, Gatehouse Studio, London Rd David Lomas, Mandalay, Westbrook Street
Jane Gibson 5 Westbrook Green Michael Penington, Cleve Cottage, Chapel Lane
Vaughan Humphries, 3 Cossicle Mead Mark Shayler 2 Eastfields
Miriam Jacobs, Tudor Cottage, London Rd Elizabeth Cooper (Clerk) 07968 772935

You can also email the part-time Parish Clerk at


Blewbury School

August 27, 2019


Following its poor OFSTED outcome last Spring, much has been happening at Blewbury School to give it a fresh start and a bright future. Bulletin readers who are interested to learn more might like to access the Blewbury School Governors’ Annual Report, which will be available on the Blewbury School website ( at the start of term (Wednesday 4th September).

The Governors are aware there is still a lot to do to address ongoing concerns, but improvements are being seen, with some having already been recognised by external experts. The Governors want the community to know they are committed to ensuring that every child in our School achieves their full potential. They do not shy away from recognising the many and significant failings identified by OFSTED, but rest assured they are addressing them – not least those matters raised by parents such as concerns over behaviour. In fact this latter matter is one seeing many positive signs of significant improvement. In addition to the School Improvement Plan, each governor has a clear monitoring role, the Headteacher and staff have clear objectives in place and the Interim Executive Board are robustly holding them to account for progress. Based on this, governors are confident that rapid progress will continue from September which we should all view as the first chapter in the school’s journey. The Governors are very much focused on looking forward not back.

One of the biggest developments that has occurred in the last few months is that, as a consequence of the OFSTED outcome, the School is being compulsorily converted into an Academy. The Regional Schools Commissioner has decided that the school should join the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) by the end of 2019. It is hoped that this move will bring many advantages to the School. ODST is a large well respected and established multi-academy trust, which already includes 33 infant, primary, junior, and middle schools. Blewbury School will become part of the ODST Southern Area Hub, which also includes Grove, the Hendreds, Northbourne (Didcot), South Moreton and Fir Trees (Wallingford) Schools. Anyone interested in learning more about this ODST development is invited to attend a Community Session at Blewbury School on Monday 23rd September at 7:30pm. This session will be attended by a Parent Governor and a Headteacher from another ODST school. Please send any questions you may have in advance (by September 13th) to  the Chair of the IEB .

Blewbury Table Tennis Club

August 28, 2019

The Blewbury Table Tennis Club has had a break from normal Tuesday evening club sessions during August. These 6-9pm Tuesday evening sessions will resume again in the Blewbury Village Hall every week starting from Tuesday 3rd September.

Everyone of whatever standard of play is welcome to come along, and if you have never been before your first visit is free! After that the normal weekly fees are £3 for those over 18 years of age and £1 for those 18 and under. We have bats, tables and balls, so all you need to do is get yourself along to the Village Hall anytime between 6-9pm. People tend to come and go during the evening, and our approach is to offer accessible drop-in opportunities for people to come along to have some fun!

During August we have been fortunate to be able to run four table tennis coaching sessions. These were all led by Gary Morgan, who is a Level 3 professional coach. Participation in these workshops was heavily subsidised for Under 25s by the Tony Loy Trust and we are very grateful for that generous support. In September we are planning to launch a Blewbury School Key Stage 2 After-School Table Tennis Club.  Roger Murphy


Blewbury app

August 27, 2019


It’s been a year since the Blewbury app launched and it currently has 500+ registered users – a mix of current & former residents, people from neighbouring villages and others with connections to the village. While the app largely self-manages, and we add new people every week, overall usage is unfortunately declining. To improve, it needs greater attention than I’m able to give and I’m looking for help in two areas.

First, I’m looking for someone to help with editorial, a point person to work with the Bulletin team and the village’s clubs and societies to get more content in the news feed and update the events list. The team at the Bulletin have been supportive but are too busy to take this on too. Currently I rely on those already in the habit of publishing to the app, but I believe others will post more often if the audience is there. The community self-moderates and doesn’t need policing; this is about getting content into the app, not deleting posts.

Secondly, I need someone to help with technical support; working with the team at Disciple (who host the app) to address any technical issues, and support people with simple things like password resets and logins. I currently do very little of this but my expectation is, if more people use the app more often, this will be required.

I will remain involved (not least as my company currently pays for the app’s running costs, and is responsible for data-compliance) – I’m just in need of some extra help. My guess is that each role need only take up to a few hours each week, as & when you can. Both roles are technically simple and you will get help from myself and others. The platform is simple to use with basic training.

This may appeal to anyone interested in media and marketing (practical experience like this can look good on CVs) or anyone in our community open to taking on something new. While I expect many others also want the app to succeed, I’m aware people are incredibly busy, and the community-minded are often called on to support other projects and take on more – which is why I have split this into two roles. I’m also aware that people may not want to be saddled with a job ‘forever’ so I’m only looking for an initial commitment until the end of the year. If you’re interested or have any questions, please email me at Thanks so much. Matt Phillips


Bridge Club

Advance notice that the Annual General Meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 8th October in the Vale Room in advance of a shortened Tuesday bridge session. Do please make every effort to attend.

Friday evening Novices sessions are due to re-commence on 13th September. If you are not already on the email circulation list for this and wish to attend do please contact Tina Hollick in order to be notified of when Novices sessions will be held.

The club team will also be recommencing matches in Division 2 of the Wessex League in the autumn. Contact Dermot Paddon if you are interested in playing and not already on his list of potential players.

A Blue Pointed Swiss Pairs event is to be held at Wallingford Bridge Club on Sunday 22nd September; details of how to enter are on the Wallingford and Blewbury Bridge Clubs’ websites. A charity bridge and afternoon tea event is also due to be held on Thursday 10th October at North Moreton Village Hall. Again – further details on the club website. Michael Allen  851870

Post Office News

Thanks to everyone for being very patient while I was poorly. Thankfully I am much improved, and the Post Office is back to its normal opening hours, which are 8.30am – 12 noon Monday to Friday, 9.30 – 12 on Saturdays, plus afternoons 2.30pm to 5 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday!

We have more pretty stamps in stock, currently available are British landscapes, there are some Elton John ones on sale soon, and British Navy ships available late September!

We have lots of lovely “Kitty’s eggs” on sale, all profits go to the pre-school, and lots of local honey too!

Surface mail deadlines for Australia, New Zealand & the Far East for Christmas Post are at the end of September & early October!! ( sorry  for the C word in August!)  There will be a “Blewbury & Upton Village Christmas Post” service this year, more details next month! Love from Karen & Maggie 

Sustainable Blewbury

August 28, 2019

Blewbury Climate Actiona new climate change initiative

We have been asked by the Parish Council to join them in doing something about climate change. The aims are to find out what Blewbury residents think about how our climate is changing, what we in Blewbury believe we should be doing to help minimise this change, and how we can help to do more. If you would like to join the group or to support the initiative in any way, please let us know by emailing Jo Lakeland

Apple juicingAlternate Sundays at Blewbury Manor

Our annual programme to turn your surplus apples into delicious, pure juice. Public sessions will be on  September 1st, 15th, 29th and October 13th from 2.00–4.00pm, and October 27th from 11.00am–1.00pm. Bring washed apples with bad bits removed and glass screw-top wine bottles. Pasteurisation will preserve your juice for about a year. Please arrive early in the session if you wish to pasteurise as it takes some time.

Charges are £1 to press a bucket or large basket of apples and 30p per bottle to pasteurise.

Hiring the equipment is available at low cost if you have a really large quantity of apples. Please contact or 07935 232296 for more information and bookings.

Blewbury Garden MarketSaturday mornings from 9.15 to 11.15 am at Blewbury Garage

We’re having an excellent year and will continue through 28th September selling fresh garden fruit and veg, a wide variety of home-made cakes, bread, jam, and Blewbury honey. Do you have surplus produce from your garden or allotment? Bring it to sell from 9.00 am; you set prices, we take only 10% commission. Sales forms are at
Need more information? Email or phone Eric at 07935 232 296.

Adjustable black rectangular piano stool that is looking for a new home. Hans Meijer
07900 896192
A3 page printer (full colour)  complete with power cable, but you might need to get a data cable from PC World or similar. Robert Long
  • 2.5 litre tin of Textured Exterior Masonry Paint, brilliant white.
  • 108 metal (brass colour) modern curtain rings, 5cm across, with little loops on the side for the hooks 
Jo Lakeland
07773 242472
  • Child car seat: Nania, 0-18kg universal car seat. Used but undamaged.
  • Group 0 Infant car seat, unbranded. Very good condition.
  • Raclet Bermudes 6 man frame tent. Over 30 years old but in a very good condition. No groundsheet. Approx 14ft wide, 17ft long (including bedroom areas) 7ft+ high at the midpoint. Includes 1 double bedroom & 1 four-man room which divides into 2 sleeping areas. Poles are labelled for easy construction. Pictures available on request.
June Wolff
Ikea Futon – metal framed, double, 58” wide. With mattress/cushion. Mark Palethorpe 851609
07813 251174
  • Very large antique corner bench, upholstered seat with studded back rest. In need of some repair. Lovely unusual piece.
  • Very old cast iron bath with feet. Would be lovely restored.
Louise Buckel
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 contribute to the village and its environment. To participate, or to receive
our free Newsletter, email
us at or phone 01235 850372.


August 27, 2019

On September 15th we will be conducting a walk around the village visiting the houses occupied by those Blewbury men who were lost in World War 2. Eight houses in total. Meet at the Red Lion carpark at 2pm, estimated time of 1 hour ending on the London Road. Information sheets will be provided with pictures of the men.

At our July meeting we discussed the level of interest those of 6th form age living in Blewbury might have in the history of the village and its occupants. Having been approached earlier this year to host a `Young Persons’ history meeting then we would like to gauge the level of interest from this particular age group. If you, or your children, think we could enthuse them with our artefacts, books, maps and knowledge then please get in contact.

Our next meeting is on Sept 10th at 8pm in the History Room at the rear of Robinsons, on Parsonage Lane off South Street. Contacts: Mark at or Audrey 850427 or

Blewbury Film – 9 October 2019

August 28, 2019

Our autumn screening for Wednesday 9th October 2019 will be the multiple award winning, high octane political drama, Darkest Hour.

It’s more than a historical drama; it is a political thriller of the highest order. Despite his leadership qualities, the issue of appeasement did not disappear when Churchill took over and not everyone was truly behind the new PM (When would that happen?  Really – I ask you!).

The cast is amazing, and some of the casting choices were just meant to be, and the performance they produce as a result makes this film a must see. Gary Oldman picked up 6 Academy Awards for his portrayal and the film won multiple awards across the board.

“A tremendous high-octane drama”

The Guardian “∗∗∗∗”    The Telegraph “∗∗∗∗”    Trawler Weekly “∗∗∗∗∗”
Darkest Hour (PG)

Director: Joe Wright.

Starring: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendels, Lily James.

Location: The Melland Room Date: Wednesday, 9th October 2019 Doors Open: 7:30pm
Price: £5 / head Tickets available at the Post Office from Saturday 31st August.

Please note: Tickets will only be available on the door if any remain unsold at the Post Office – on the door sales cannot be guaranteed.  Please make sure you get your tickets early to avoid disappointment.  No refunds.

Licensed bar and ice creams available (No BYO please).

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: