Monthly Archives: January 2020

Post Office News February 2020

January 31, 2020

Maggie & I are both unavailable for a short while, I have arranged for Frances to come in to cover, but she’s from Pangbourne PO, and still has to do her usual days there!

Opening hours over the affected period (Thursday 30th January to Friday 7th February) will be as follows:

  • Thursday 30th & Friday 31st – 8.30am to 3pm
  • Saturday 1st & Monday 3rd – Closed
  • Tuesday 4th – 8.30am through to 3pm
  • Wednesday 5th – 8.30am to 12 noon
  • Thursday 6th & Friday 7th – 8.30am through to 3pm
  • Saturday 8th onwards – as usual!

The Royal Mail collection will be at 12 noon-ish, so anything handed in after that will go the following day.

While the Village Hall is being refurbished, we have no loo nearby, so you may find a ‘Back in 10 minutes’ note on the door, and a chair!

Interesting ‘video games’ stamps on sale now, and ‘visions of the universe’ are out mid February.

Love from Karen & Maggie 

Sustainable Blewbury

Our first Repair Cafe

Saturday 29th February, 2 to 4 pm, in the Melland Room, Blewbury Clubhouse

You will be able to get something fixed, save money, help save the planet, and have a cup of coffee and home-made cake all at the same time. If it’s worn out, torn or has just stopped working, don’t throw it away – bring it to our Repair Cafe and we’ll try to fix it. We hope to have volunteers who can sharpen tools and knives, do electrical and mechanical repairs, help with sewing and upcycling clothes, fix bikes, and stick things back together. All repairs are free, but a donation to cover expenses would be appreciated. More details in the next Bulletin.

The mind-blowing truth about our food – a talk by Anthony Simpson

Monday 9th March, 8.00 pm, in Blewbury Manor Barn

Anthony gave us an excellent talk on electric cars a year ago. In this talk on food he will look at the surprising range of impacts of our food choices: Is food responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transport? Is our diet sustainable in a net-zero carbon world? Do we need to eat animal produce for protein and calcium? Do we grow enough food to feed the world? Local food is much better, isn’t it? All this and more!

Tickets £6 including a drink and nibbles, on sale in February at the Post Office.

Love Food Hate Waste

Saturday 14th March, 10 am to 12 noon, in the Melland Room, Blewbury Clubhouse

Would you like to save food, save money and help the planet? Love Food Hate Waste is a workshop put on by Blewbury Climate Action with the help of the WI that can help you do all that. A free event with ideas on how to use all the food you buy, avoid waste, and have a free lunch afterwards! Save the date. More in the next Bulletin.

HP Envy 5020 inkjet printer – has never been unpacked. Richard Bird 850258
Samsung Solo-Sensor Microwave, 750 W, black finish (23 litres capacity) 5 years old, rarely used, PAT tested 13 March 2019. Jo Lakeland 850490
Solid timber adjustable bookshelf H 200cm (approx) x W 122cm x D 22cm. Splits into 2 units for transport. Chris Whatmore 851055
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 bi-monthly Newsletter, email us at or phone 01235 850558.


Blewbury Local History Group

Despite the fact that WW2 finished 75 years ago this year, wartime memories are still vivid, which we realised when we had a query from Canada recently about a plane crash here in 1941.

The group has a wonderful account of the crash from an evacuee who was a schoolboy here, and we would be delighted to hear from anyone else who has information about it. Maybe your parents or grandparents have recollections? History isn’t just old bones in the ground or kings and queens, fascinating as that can be, it’s also everyday life and death for all of us.

Our meetings range over all sorts of topics and visitors are always welcome.

Next meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 11th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane.

Contacts: Mark at or Audrey 850427 or

Blewshed News

We welcomed expert Didcot and District Woodturners Club members Mick Curran and Trevor Cox, to December’s club meeting and enjoyed a spellbinding show of master craftsmen demonstrating and explaining their art.

Beneath a shower of wood shavings, Mick produced a wonderful variety of beautiful items, that included attractive Christmas tree decorations. Several members of the audience were inspired to have a go themselves so the Shed woodturning lathe is going to be busy. Trevor gave us some invaluable woodturning tips and showed members how to sharpen their tools properly.

Following on from our community project to carve and replace missing oak bosses for the church ceiling, the Project Resound team noted that a circular boss that used to guide one of the bell ropes was also missing. Mike Wrottesley has turned a new one which will be fitted above from the bell-ringing chamber now the Project Resound scaffolding has been taken down.

Mike Magnay has now completed the two new wooden cold frames for Blewbury school’s gardening club, and these are now installed and being used.

Shed meetings are in the old scout hut on the second Wednesday of each month, and non-members are welcome too. In addition, the Shed is open each Tuesday and Saturday afternoon from 1.30-4.30pm and all are welcome. This is a perfect opportunity to use the facilities and to bring up any potential community projects. The next Shed meeting is 7.30pm, Wednesday 11thth March when we will focus on ‘Workshop Safety’. Mike Magnay will lead the session and all are welcome to contribute.

NB. There is no club meeting in February as most of the committee are away, but the Shed will be open on Tuesdays and Saturdays as usual. Everyone is welcome, whether or not you are a member! We look forward to seeing you.

Mike Magnay, club chairman

Bell-ringing news from Blewbury Tower

It seems a long time since Christmas when we rang for Christmas services. On Boxing Day, a quarter peal was rung during the Boxing Day Walk to celebrate the completion of Project Resound, the installation of a contemporary stained-glass window dedicated to bells and bell ringing. As has become tradition, we rang out the old year and rang in 2020.

On Tuesday 7th January we welcomed the Westminster Abbey Company of Bell Ringers, who had accepted our invitation to ring a peal in the afternoon prior to the service of dedication of the new window. We hope that many of you heard the bells that afternoon they certainly sounded amazing. The church was packed in the evening for the service of dedication by Bishop Colin of Dorchester.

A big thank you to Rob Nickless for organising the outing on January 18th when all the bells in the Benefice were rung plus those at Streatley and Moulsford. Thank you also to Jo Nickless and family plus helpers who organised a fantastic lunch at North Moreton Village Hall and those who helped and organised the tea at Blewbury. The day finished with a meal at The Fleur.

As always, we are happy to welcome visitors to our regular Friday evening practices 8-9.30pm.

Croquet Club


Regrettably recent adverse weather means we’ve had to close the croquet lawns, probably for the rest of the winter.  With regular maintenance closing the lawns during March anyway, we may not reopen until the start of the new season in late March/early April – watch this space!

David Long, Secretary, Blewbury Croquet Club

Bridge Club

The club has moved temporarily to Blewbury School to allow the Village Hall to be refurbished.

It is planned to play all our sessions there for the next few months. Entry will normally be possible from 7.10pm and parking is available – please reverse park neatly and not leaving large gaps between vehicles, in order to maximise the space available.

Ken Angus has co-ordinated a marketing campaign locally, posting notices about both our Friday Novices Sessions and our teaching programme on local websites and on public noticeboards in Sports facilities and similar venues. A new series of lessons for beginners is due to commence on February 10th. Novices Sessions continue to be popular and numbers have been bolstered by some of the beginners from last year’s teaching. There is always room for more though!

We now hope to give further thought to the possibility of holding some seminars for Improvers on topics which may be of interest.  Michael Allen  851870

Blewbury and Upton Village Produce Association

– Your Local Village Gardening Club

Another year, another decade and another gardening season to look forward to.   Now is the time to look at seed catalogues in ernest to decide what to grow for the coming year.   I belong to the National Allotment Society and receive a quarterly magazine which is very interesting and a Kings Seeds catalogue, plus free insurance for the allotment.  The seed catalogue provided to NAS members by Kings is almost half the price of their normal catalogue which is very useful as I’ve noticed the cost of seeds in other catalogues and garden centres seem to have increased so much over the last few years.

The VPA is now looking forward to 2020 and the Schedule for the Summer Show being held on Saturday 4th July is about to go to the printers.   The refurbishment of the village hall has commenced and is expected to be completed by the 19th June which means we should have a newly refreshed building for the Show.  If completion is delayed,  it will take place in Blewbury School, so whatever happens it will still go ahead.

Don’t forget, If you would like an electronic copy of the Schedule, it is available now, contact the VPA via the following email address:

Update on my allotment – I’ve been flooded three times so far this winter!  Overwintering broad beans are managing to survive and overwintering onions are about six inches tall.   My hens have survived the floods with pallets in their run and plenty of perches to sit on.   I’ve spent the last few weeks digging trenches around the chickens’ run to move the water into the trench at the boundary fence.   I took the plunge nearly four years ago to have hens.   I began with two hybrids (Polly and Dolly) and a rescue hen (Holly).   Sadly, Dolly died last summer, so in September I bought three cross breeds and as they live on the allotment I named them after some of the vegetables I grow – Shallot, Pumpkin and Borlotti.  They’ve settled in really well and have been laying ever since.   More news about the hens next month.

DID YOU KNOW?  Healthy, mature APPLE TREES will bear between 100 and 200 kilos of fruit every year and dried FIGS contain about 60 per cent sugar, making them an excellent energy snack.

Happy Gardening Eileen

Blewbury WI

The following events are lined up for February and we would love any new members to come and join us in a friendly atmosphere.

  • Tuesday, 4th Lyn’s Walk.  Catch the 10am bus to East Hagbourne. We will walk the footpaths there, have coffee in The Fleur and walk home via Upton. Most of the walk will not be very muddy, but the last mile from Upton may be muddy so wear appropriate footwear and bring your pole if you need one.
  • Wednesday, 5th Scrabble at Judy’s. 7.30pm.  Please ring beforehand.
  • Friday, 7th Craft evening at Liz’s.  7pm. Please bring bottle, nibbles etc.
  • Friday, 14th Coffee morning at Cilla’s.  10.30am.
  • Friday, 21st Talking Science at R.A.L. Harwell.  1.30pm.  “ Earth’s climate evolution: 800 million years of climate change and its multiple causes.”

Dr. Colin Summerhayes, Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University.

  • Wednesday, 26th   WI Main Meeting.  7.30pm. in the Melland Room. Speaker, Richard Anderson: “What is it?” – a not-to-be missed fun talk about antiques.
  • Mah Jong. Monday afternoons at 2.30pm. At different venues. Contact Sharon for details.  (850412)

For more details of any of our events, or if you wish to join us, please ring Cilla on 851966 or visit our web page, where you will find more information.       Love from Cilla.

District Councillor update

January 23, 2020

Hello and Happy New Year! We hope that all the residents of Blewbury enjoyed a peaceful and restful Christmas break.

Due to purdah rules during the General Election at the end of 2019, we were unable to publish news relating to policy developments at the council, so that is the focus of this month’s newsletter.

Council motions

In December, the council voted to approve motions on agreeing the council’s commitment to exploring planning polices which encourage sustainability, updating the council’s equality policy and support for the voting age to be lowered to 16. In October, the council voted to adopt the Vale’s Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2), and motions were passed covering EU citizens’ rights, investments in low carbon funds, the A34 and changes to working with regional development organisations. Hayleigh spoke on LPP2 to highlight that despite our reservations about the plan, adopting it was the best option to prevent more speculative development, which we know that the villages we represent have hugely suffered from in the past.  Sarah used her maiden speech at Council to propose a motion to mitigate adverse impacts of the UK leaving the EU on the rights of non-UK EU nationals, including sending an open letter from the Leader of the Council to all the non-UK EU nationals in the Vale. The letter can be found on the Vale website and in this edition of the Blewbury Bulletin – please share the letter with any friends, family, neighbours or colleagues who might be affected.

Climate Emergency

Hayleigh is a member of the Vale’s new Climate Emergency Advisory Committee, which had its first meeting in October. The committee listened to several speakers from across the Vale and agreed recommendations to commission work to be done by officers and to establish a communications plan to engage the community. The major outcome was the committee setting target dates for a carbon neutral council by 2030 (75% by 2025) and a carbon neutral district by 2045 (75% by 2030).

Didcot Garden Town Project 

Throughout 2019, council officers have been working hard to move ideas for the Didcot Garden Town from the visionary stage to real-life project plans. As all the parishes we represent lie within the Area of Influence of the Didcot Garden Town, we are actively interested in the project and we intend to keep parish councils and residents up to date about the next steps and upcoming meetings that will support the garden town. At the time of writing, a new simplified governance structure for the project is about to be reviewed, which includes three Sounding Boards: a parish council board, a business board and a resident board. This should provide an opportunity for Blewbury residents and the parish council to provide their views on the plans for Didcot Garden Town, which we very much welcome, and we will provide further updates as this progresses.

EU Citizens in UK

Please click the link to read an open letter from the Vale of White Horse District Council to EU nationals from countries outside the UK. The letter explains what affected residents need to do to remain in the UK after the UK leaves the EU, and signposts them to further information. For data protection reasons, the council was not able to send individual copies of the letters to all affected residents, so Hayleigh and I would like to request that it is published in the Harwell News, as a way of reaching as many residents as possible.

Remember, if you have any queries or issues you’d like to raise with us, please do not hesitate to get in touch – our email addresses are and We also have a dedicated councillor Facebook Page: Cllrs Hayleigh Gascoigne & Sarah Medley.