Village News

Village Hall Refurbishment

November 23, 2018

Following the decision to refurbish the hall within its current footprint, we have dispensed with the services of our architects and appointed Ridge as our project manager, building surveyor and cost engineer.

We have provided them with a detailed brief setting out our requirements and standards and have asked them to develop a specification within our budget and to be pragmatic. We have discussed this with them and they have visited the hall.  All the drawings and documents from the previous scheme have been transferred to them.

A key question will be whether any of the enhancements in the previous scheme can be retained, within the space constraints of the existing building. These include moving the Vale Room toilets to outside the Vale Room, increasing the size of the surgery waiting room and whether there is any scope for additional storage. It will all depend on cost. We are awaiting Ridge’s initial proposals but as soon as we have agreed a viable and affordable scheme we’ll let the village know exactly what is proposed.

Steve White    

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.]

CAROL CONCERT 2018 – LAST CALL

November 30, 2018

The Village Carol Concert at St Michael’s Church will be on WEDNESDAY 19th DECEMBER. 8pm

Everybody is welcome to come and join in the singing of traditional Christmas Carols and listen to the choirs, orchestra and the brass band and hear a few festive readings. The concert starts promptly at 8pm but come earlier if you want a seat!

Musicians:  players of all standards are invited to join our orchestra so please contact Lindy Farrell on 01235 413631 (lindyfarrell@btinternet.com) to let her know you’d like to take part. All players should come along on the evening at 7.15pm with music stand and instrument ready to rehearse at 7.30pm.

The Go Active Gold Community Spirit Award

November 29, 2018

The Go Active Gold Community Spirit Award in The Vale of White Horse was awarded to Blewbury at a recent event and the certificate below presented to the chair of the Parish Council.

Well done Blewbury and the residents who regularly take part. Thanks go to the instructor Jo Cassells, all the other organisers of this very worthwhile scheme, the bulletin and the clubhouse. There are hopes that other sports and courses will become available soon.

Here is a summary of what was said at the event.

Village: Blewbury

More about the Village:

Blewbury Village has been one of our new villages for 2018. We have set up a few activities in the village which have been well attended by residents.

The Nordic walking Event saw a great number of participants take part and enjoyed a scenic walk around the local countryside. The local Blewbury Bulletin has always been accommodating, regularly promoting our sessions and we have had a positive relationship with Blewbury Clubhouse which has enabled us to run our two very successful Chair Yoga and Senior Circuits classes.

Link to Go Active video

https://youtu.be/t4xGuflR0D4

POST OFFICE CHRISTMAS NEWS

November 30, 2018

We have had warnings from our head office of the latest scams to con people.

One is when someone alleging to be from your bank, building society, tax office, police or other law enforcement agency, saying that you owe them money, and telling you to buy gift cards, iTunes vouchers or to buy Euro or other currency, and either give them the codes over the phone or they will send a courier/taxi to collect it. Another scam is allegedly from your bank telling you that your bank card will be collected by courier, and it’s been corrupted and they need to send another one. Another scam is someone calling to tell you that you are a suspect in a police investigation, and need to withdraw a large amount of money to avoid going to court! Please warn your family and protect any vulnerable people from these horrible people!

Christmas opening hours

We will be closing at lunchtime on Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve, and closed on Saturday 29th December. Otherwise we are open as usual in the run up the big day! Payments for tax credits, child benefits and other allowances will be paid into accounts on the previous working day if your payment day is on a  bank holiday! Emergency top ups for gas/electric may call my mobile 07825 154842. Don’t get cold please!

Last posting dates

Postal  services to Libya & Somali are suspended, while postal services to Canada are disrupted at the moment by strike action. We recommend extra early posting! Here are the last recommended posting dates:

  • 26th November – operational BFPO’s • 4th December – Africa & Middle East • 7th, Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East, Eastern Europe • 8th – Caribbean, Central & South America • 10th – Greece, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand • 14th – Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland & USA , static BFPO’s • 15th – Finland & Sweden • 17th – Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland • 18th – 2nd class inland, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg • 20th – 1st class inland & Parcelforce 48 • 21st – Parcelforce 24 • 22nd – Special Delivery.

Santa’s post box is up and running (Father Christmas, Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ). All letters to this address should be sent by 7th December, and you will need a stamp!

General info/Reminders

All non-EU parcels need a customs label on, all international airmail items need a blue airmail sticker on, all parcels & recorded items need the senders address on them, please do this BEFORE you get to the counter, the people behind you will appreciate that, we do not have time to stick all your stamps on for you, nor do we wrap or address your parcels unless you have a valid reason! Please don’t moan at us about the price of stamps, we know!

We have had a broken HTC phone handed in, and some money, if either of these could be yours, please pop in and give a description/ amount to claim them!

We have several ‘elf on a shelf’ ready for adoption, (in hiding for obvious reasons), lots of Christmas cards, paper, sticky tape & packaging supplies! Love from Karen & Maggie 

BLEWBURY LOCAL HISTORY GROUP

Thanks to all those who came on the village walk on November 11th. It was a very successful event, and we all learned something new about the men who served in WWI.

At our next meeting we shall be making arrangements for the speaker we have invited in February to talk about her suffragette aunt, Gladys Hazel. Going further back in time, we shall be discussing the latest metal-detecting finds in the village. What’s the oldest metal or pottery find in your garden? Come along for some expert advice. Last meeting before Christmas, wine and mince-pies on offer.

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

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

Sustainable Blewbury

Autumn village leaves clear-up – Sunday 2nd December, 2–4 pm

Every autumn we clear slippery leaves from our lovely footpaths and make it a fun event for all the family. A great way to do your bit to help keep Blewbury beautiful. (Let us know If you can take a few bags of leaves to compost.)

Meet at the Playclose at 2 pm. Bring rakes, barrows and leaf scoops if you have them, or borrow ours.
Afterwards there’s free tea/coffee/juice and home-made cake for volunteers at The Blueberry, from 3.45 pm.

In case of bad weather on 2nd December this will be postponed to Sunday 9th December and publicised widely.

Thermal imaging – February 2019

  • Would you like a warmer home and lower heating bills? Thermal imaging can find where your heat is escaping.
  • If you have already improved your insulation, would you like us to check that it’s effective?

To have your home thermally imaged by Sustainable Blewbury volunteers in February, email us at info@sustainable-blewbury.org.uk or phone Jo Lakeland (850490). This service is FREE, so it’s best to book soon.

Community orchard news

Earlier this year we had the misfortune to have four trees uprooted and stolen from the orchard. We have now received three of the replacement trees, and planted them on 18th November. The last tree, a Windsor pear, is being specially grafted for us and will be available next March or April when we will be back to a full complement.

Green drinks – Monday 3rd December, from 7.30 pm at The Blueberry

What are ‘green drinks’? Not crème de menthe or a kale smoothie, but a chance to talk over a drink, ask questions or tell us what you think about green topics: anything from issues in and around Blewbury to climate change, biodiversity, or what SB does. Everyone welcome, completely informal, no agenda, just come and chat.

BLEWBURY FREECYCLE

FREE ITEMS TO A GOOD HOME

E-MAIL TEL NO.
Plum Tamarin double wooden children’s swing + slide for ages 36 months to 7/8 years, with extra Plum baby swing seat for 12 months to 25 kg.

Jo Lakeland

jolakeland.48@gmail.com

01235 850490
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 850372.

BLEWBURY WI NEWS

Hello to everyone. Autumn has gone, Winter is here. Short days, long, cold nights. But at Blewbury WI we have lots of events during December, and we would love some new Members to join us. All would be made welcome at the following events.

  • Monday, 3rd Mah Jong at Graeme’s.  2.30pm.  Please ring beforehand.
  • Wednesday, 5th Lyn’s Walk. Meet at Village Hall  9am.  For a different walk to Didcot. Bring pennies for coffee and your bus pass if you have one. The walk will be possible even if it has rained in the days before.
  • Wednesday, 5th Scrabble at Rosemary’s. 7.30pm.  Please ring beforehand.
  • Friday, 7th Craft Evening at Liz’s. 7pm. Please ring beforehand.
  • Wednesday, 12th Blewbury WI Christmas Lunch at The Blueberry.
  • Friday, 14th Talking Science lecture at RAL Harwell. “The star of Bethlehem – an astronomer’s view.” Dr. Barry Kellett. 1.30pm.
  • Monday, 17th Mince pies and coffee at Maggie’s.  10.30am.  Raffle.
  • Mah Jong is held every Monday at 2.30pm.

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. 

 

BLEWBURY AND UPTON VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION

 Your Local Village Gardening Club

Well, we’ve almost reached the end of 2018!! The VPA Committee held its Annual General Meeting on the 7th November. The Members of the Committee conducted the business and all agreed to continue to run the VPA for another year, with Eileen and Karen swapping jobs – Eileen is now Chair and Karen is Show Secretary.  Thank you to all of you who attended the meeting and thank you to Richard Roslyn for a very interesting update, with some beautiful pictures, on his work in the garden at Blewbury Manor.

Tickets are still available for our ANNUAL SOCIAL which takes place on SATURDAY 8th DECEMBER (7PM – 10pm) at UPTON VILLAGE HALL.  The theme this year is “France”– with delicious home-made food – I promise it’s not frogs legs and snails!! (Dietary requirements catered for – please let us know when buying your tickets). We have quizzes, games and lots of fun planned. Tickets have been held at last year’s price of £9 per person. Contact Karen at Blewbury Post Office or ring Margaret Maytham in Upton on 01235 850126 or contact Eileen on 01235 510095.

Our programme for 2019 is being finalised and we have some interesting visits planned.  Details will be in the next Blewbury Bulletin.

DID YOU KNOW ? James Boswell (1740-95) wrote “In an orchard there should be enough to eat, enough to lay up, enough to be stolen and enough to rot on the ground.” And George Bernard Shaw (1856 -1950) wrote “Be like the sun and meadow, which are not in the least concerned about the coming winter.” Happy Gardening Eileen