Village News

Could you help mend Blewbury’s broken milestone?

October 18, 2018

Some time ago, Blewbury’s Grade 2-listed milestone at the west end of the village, opposite Savages, was broken in half by vandals. (The photo shows it in its heyday.)

A couple of attempts have been made to get it fixed but, through a combination of illnesses and lack of time, the project has never been completed. The Bulletin has established that the various interested parties (OCC, the Vale, the Milestone Society and Savages, who have very kindly been looking after the two broken pieces for all this time) are more than happy for someone else to take up the reins and try to get our little piece of local history finally repaired and restored.

Could that some-one be you? With public funds so stretched, it would mean raising a bit of money (a stonemason’s estimate from a year ago suggests it would cost about £400, and we have over £100 already pledged) and liaising with the repairers, OCC Highways and the Vale’s Conservation departments. If you think this might be something you could take on, please contact the editor at editor@blewbury.co.ukor on 01235 851055

Blewbury’s social media app

September 3, 2018

Blewbury has just become the first village in the UK to launch its own social network! It allows all the village’s interest groups to interact with the community through a single, easy-to-use, smartphone app.

Selected local groups, such as the Blewbury Bulletin, Parish Council, BVS, Blewbury Players, Blewbury School, Sustainable Blewbury and others can now publish pictures, videos, articles and links into a news feed.

There’s also a community feed open for anyone to post into – e.g. items for freecycling, babysitter requests, etc  – and anyone can comment, share or like posts as you might on Facebook.

Other features include an events list, a local businesses directory, with more to come. The app can also be used for other things in future – such as local promotions, fundraising and campaigning.

Simply search for ‘Blewbury’ in the Apple/Android app store, download the app, create a profile, and you’re ready to go.

In answer to the question ‘why do this when we have Facebook?’, the app’s administrator, Matt Phillips, says “many people have stopped using Facebook altogether, while recent changes to its algorithm mean unpaid posts on pages (such as the BVS) will typically reach just 5-10% of people who ‘like’ that page”.

“There are house rules”, says Matt. “The app needs to be a safe public space, so be civil. No anonymous profiles: please sign up using your real names. Respect others’ privacy when posting photos (as you would on any social network). Note the app is rated 17+ but kids won’t be blocked and I hope parents will sign them up. Finally, please, no commercial services posts – I hope more businesses will join the directory.

“I’d appreciate it if you could download the app, play around with it, and encourage others to do so. It will only become properly useful when it has a good number of people using it. Any feedback, questions or suggestions for how it could be improved, I’d love to hear from you.”

Matt can be contacted at blewburycommunity@gmail.com or on 07972 219515

App download links

For iPhone:
https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1426438362

For Android:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.disciplemedia.blewbury

[Please note: Exciting as this new venture sounds, it is not in any way connected with the Blewbury Bulletin. Please direct all comments and enquiries to Matt Phillips, using the contact details above.]

Goalmouth Glory: Project completed!

October 15, 2018

The Tony Loy Trust is delighted to announce that the new all-weather surface for the Tickers Folly Field practice goal is now in place and it is great to see it being used.  The very first user is in the photo above!

Since the goal was installed, the ground in front of it has been reduced to  bare earth and this has made the facility unusable for a large part of the year. The Trust, in partnership with the Blewbury Parish Council and the Blewbury Village Society, have been fundraising so that our footballers can use the goal mouth all year round.

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated. It is never too late to donate – especially if you are enjoying using it!  Donate to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/goalmouthgloryblewbury

Village Hall Refurbishment

September 24, 2018

I reported in the summer Bulletin that we were working with a builder to see if we could achieve our preferred scheme at a cost we could afford. The answer is we can’t.

It has proved impossible to build a small extension to provide us with a bigger kitchen and post office, while restoring the storage adjacent to the Main Hall, within our budget. We were able to reduce the costs to close to our target but we were left with too many uncertainties and risks to be confident that the scheme could be delivered to time and cost. A survey of the flat roofs has also confirmed that there is nothing we can reasonably defer to contain the costs of the scheme.

We will therefore refurbish the hall within its current footprint by:

  • Rewiring and installing new heating, lighting and ventilation in all areas
  • Refurbishing the toilets, kitchen and post office
  • Replacing fixtures, fittings and signage throughout
  • Replacing ceilings and floors, doors and windows
  • Replacing and insulating the flat roofs and insulating the Main Hall loft
  • Renewing the internal and external décor

Although we will lose additional capacity, the hall will be brought up to modern standards and be more pleasant, comfortable and efficient to use. The aim still is to make it fit for another generation. This revised approach will remove a lot of the risks from the project and give us confidence that it can be delivered. The price will still not be cheap and we still need to raise more money but we would expect to reach the target quicker. We are in the process of appointing a project manager and the work which, given the availability of funds, we will phase, will then be re-tendered. We’ll give you details of the revised scheme, price and timing as they become firm.

Thanks again for your patience. If you have any comments or questions about this revised approach please let me know.

Steve White

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 prefer to donate online, our JustGiving page is now up and running at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Resound.

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

Oxford-Cambridge Expressway – Further Update

October 20, 2018

Further to our update in last month’s Bulletin, the Parish Council has received an update from Highways England clarifying the different maps used in the press release announcement of the preferred route for the proposed new motorway between Oxford and Cambridge. Above is a map of the ‘preferred corridor’, which is the area chosen to develop the new road. Blewbury is not included in this map, which ultimately means the village is NOT being assessed as part of the route options for the new road link.

The intention is for the new road to connect to the existing network at some point in the areas identified as ‘common corridor’ on the map below:

Highways England has told us that the common corridor will be subject to a ‘separate package of interventions and upgrades to the existing network’ that will connect to the new road link. That is, the common corridor (which includes Blewbury), is the area under consideration for connections to existing infrastructure. We have been told that this area may narrow further as routes are subject to further analysis.

Public consultation on the full plan is planned for autumn 2019. On 23rd October representatives from the PC will attend a meeting of the Expressway Action Group, which is campaigning against the road and its wider effects (including houses and supporting infrastructure) – the changes this proposed road will affect all of us living in Oxfordshire. We will report on this meeting in the next Bulletin.

Anyone who wishes to contact Lynne McWilliam, Stakeholder Manager of the Oxford-Cambridge expressway, directly can email her on

OxfordToCambridgeExpressway@highwaysengland.co.uk

Oxford-Cambridge Expressway Update

October 7, 2018

On 12th September the Government announced its chosen ‘corridor B’ for the proposed motorway between Oxford and Cambridge.

The other routes, corridor A (via Thame and Aylesbury) and corridors C1, C2 and C3 (via Bicester and NE to Milton Keynes) were rejected. According to the Expressway Action Group (EAG), corridor B2 has also been rejected by the Government, leaving a choice of B1 (west of Oxford, following the A34) and B3 (south of Oxford through the green belt and roughly following the River Thame).

Will Blewbury be directly affected?

Above is the map issued by Highways England and the Dept of Transport to illustrate its press release accompanying the announcement. Note that the southern boundary of the area under consideration for the Expressway appears to hug the southern outskirts of Didcot. (Link to pdf of map here)

However the map above is marked ‘indicative only’, and another map on Highways England’s site shows a common corridor south of the two possible routes (outlined in orange and green) that most definitely includes Blewbury, and stretches south to junction 13 of the M4.

(Link to detailed pdf here – map on page 19)

While it seems most likely that the new road will make best use of an upgraded A34, a major new road east of Didcot cannot be discounted. The Parish Council has made several calls to the Dept of Transport and to Highways England but, as the Bulletin went to press, had not heard back with clarification on which map should be used. We will issue a stop press as soon as this is confirmed, and a course of action will be proposed in the next Bulletin. Please also see the PC section of the Blewbury website for updates over the next month.

Even if Blewbury is outside the marked common corridor boundary, the village will undoubtedly feel the impact of this major infrastructure development. The housing promised along the Expressway corridor – 300,000 more homes and up to 900,000 more residents – will transform the county in years to come.

The EAG is providing a co-ordinated response on behalf of many villages and towns affected, and making the collective voice of those opposed to the new motorway heard. If you would like to hear directly from the EAG please contact peter@peterrutt.com, who will put you on the email list for updates.

What’s next?

Highways England will now start a year-long study of potential routes within the two corridors. They will release a shortlist of 5-6 routes in Autumn 2019; these will be put to public consultation. According to the EAG, consultation will be a series of open meetings across the counties affected, at which residents, businesses and environmental groups can put their views to Highways. The EAG believes that the consultation will be led by Highways officers rather than by local councils.

Blewbury Parish Council

September 2018

 

Sustainable Blewbury

25th Anniversary Celebration! Sunday, 30th September 2018, Blewbury School, 12 noon – 4 pm

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. It will be more than an exhibition the Blewbury Wagon will be there, there will be a barbecue and bar run by the school, demonstrations of apple juicing, pond dipping, and other activities for children including an exhibition of their school sustainability projects. For more information please see the separate flyer in this Bulletin.

Apple juicing Sundays at Blewbury Manor stable

Remaining dates:    • 7 October 2–4 pm   • 21 October   2–4 pm • 4 November 11am–1 pm (if needed)

Please bring washed apples (cores are ok but remove bad bits) and clean glass (screw-top) wine or drink bottles.

Cost: £1 per pressing (large basket or bucket of apples), pasteurising 30p per bottle. If you wish to pasteurise your juice (so it will last for up to a year) please arrive early in the session as it takes quite a while.

Hire: Too many apples for our sessions? Hire our equipment for 24 hours for just £10 in Blewbury and Upton, £15 elsewhere. For bookings or more information contact us at info@sustainable-blewbury.org.uk.

‘Adventures at the top and bottom of the world – some personal perspectives’: a talk by Mark Blythe

Monday 15 October, 8.00pm in Blewbury Manor Barn. Mark has ski-toured in both the Arctic and Antarctica. He will cover what it’s like to visit, live in and explore high latitudes, the history of humans in these areas, and some environmental points. Tickets £6 (including a glass of wine) at the Post Office, or on the door (if not sold out)

BLEWBURY FREECYCLE

FREE ITEMS TO A GOOD HOME

E-MAIL TEL NO.
Replacement Ink-jet cartridges (replaces Cannon PGI – 550XL & 551XL) – large and small black, and small yellow.

Alan Cooper

agc.mc1@gmail.com

851725

Rather scruffy but very serviceable sack trolley. Useful for sacks in upright configuration, also for many heavy items in horizontal mode.

Metal folding artist’s easel.

Melanie Longhurst

nlonghurst@btinternet.com

07867 500031

Henry vacuum cleaner – has seen long service but still in working order.

Various paving slabs, enough to provide a base for a small (8′ x 6′) shed.

Vanessa Fox

vanessafox3.vf@gmail.com

850701
Pale yellow comfortable upholstered two seater sofa in good condition.

Catie Flye

catieflye@aol.com

850616
To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (lydandmuz@gmail.com)

Go to www.sustainable-blewbury.org.uk to find out more about Sustainable Blewbury.
Getting involved is fun and can contribute to the village and its environment. To participate, or to receive
our free monthly Newsletter, email
us at info@sustainable-blewbury.org.uk or phone 01235 850558.

 

Blewbury Local History Group

First, a quick reminder that if you have any stories, memories, from relatives and friends about the first World War, then do let us know so we can include them in the walk we are doing on November 4 to remember those villagers who served in the war. In our October meeting we shall be putting together details about our walk on November 4th.

We are planning to have an interactive meeting in November on “Things I have found in the garden or on village walks” by which we mean odd bits of stone or pottery or the occasional coin. If you think you have something of unusual interest then do contact either Mark or Audrey and either come along to the meeting or let us borrow the item for the meeting.

Our meetings are very informal and new members are always welcome.

Next meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 9th  at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane.

Contacts: Mark at  markpalethorpe@talktalk.net or Audrey 850427 or audreyrosettalong@gmail.com.

 

Blewbury WI News

Hello to everyone.  The time of the year already, when the leaves are falling, the days are shortening and the nights are getting colder. But Blewbury WI have some good events  and outings in October and if anyone out there is thinking of joining us as new Members, you will be made most welcome.

  • Tuesday, 2nd Lyn’s Walk. Meet at the Village Hall at 9am. Destination undecided but we will be walking from Blewbury. Bring bus passes and pennies for coffee. (Note change of day and date.)
  • Friday, 5th Craft evening at Liz’s 7pm.  Please ring beforehand.
  • Monday, 8th Scrabble at Judy’s  7.30pm. Please ring beforehand.
  • Wednesday 10th Coffee at Style Acre. 10.30am.
  • Thursday, 11th Lunch at Kingswell. 12.30pm. Car rota being arranged.
  • Friday, 19th Talking Science Lecture at RAL Harwell. “How the Universe will end.” Professor Brad Gibson.  1.30pm.
  • Wednesday, 24th October. WI monthly meeting. Vale Room. 7.30pm.  Speaker, Cyril Mannion. “From Routine to Abnormal in the blink of an eye.”

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, http://blewburywi.wordpress.com where you will find more information.       Love from Cilla.