Village News

Village Hall Refurb: The Final Push!

February 17, 2017

Thank you to everyone who completed the questionnaire. We received 208 responses. The main points are:

  • The hall’s facilities are highly valued and 99.5% strongly agree or agree that the hall is indispensable to the welfare of the community
  • 98% strongly agree or agree that the hall needs to be refurbished to make it fit for purpose
  • 5% expect to use the hall after refurbishment as much as now, while 58.5% expect to use it more
  • All the key aspects of the proposed refurbishment attract significant support, ranging from 58% to 88%.

We’ll put a full analysis of the results on the website; they will give strong support to our funding applications. Our plan now is to have one last big push to raise all the money we need over the next year. We’ll build whatever we can afford in about a year’s time. If we don’t raise all the money, we’ll have to make some compromises but we don’t want the project to drag on indefinitely.

One final shot at £25,000

On fundraising, we have received another contribution of £200 from the Badminton Club, we have applied for £5000 from the Oxfordshire Community Foundation and, like last year, we have submitted the project for an Aviva Community Award of up to £25,000. The finalists are selected by a public vote from 24 October to 21 November. To vote, you’ll need to register on the Aviva Community Fund website https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/ (if you registered last year, I think your registration will still work) then click on the ‘Vote’ button for our project – Blewbury Village Hall Refurbishment. Each registered user gets 10 votes all of which can be used to support the refurbishment of the hall.

Last year we fell just short of reaching the final and we’ll need everybody in the village and all your friends and relatives to vote. Please do help us get to the final for these awards.

Thank you for your continuing support. Steve White

It’s Official: Savages is the Business!

November 13, 2017

Savages has beaten off four other nominees to win Best Established Business at Didcot First’s 2017 Business & Community Awards.

Commenting on the award, which recognises and rewards excellence amongst local businesses, community groups and young enterprise, the Blewbury-based company told the Bulletin that it is ‘delighted’.

‘We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to everyone at Didcot First for giving their time to organise these awards and a fantastic evening. We would also like to say a huge thank you to all the hard working members of our team and the local community for their valued custom and support over the years who have enabled us to receive this honour and make Savages what it is today.’

Picture shows (l to r) Richard Savage, Jane Cranston (High Sheriff of Oxfordshire), Emily Savage, Glyn Hall (President, Didcot Chamber of Commerce, who sponsored and presented the award)

Zak Hits the Big Time

November 12, 2017

Blewbury’s Zak Corderoy, 18, has just completed his rookie year on his ZX6R , coming second in the TSGB Elite 600 Championship.

We are excited for 2018 as Zak will be entering into the BSB paddock to compete in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class as he will be racing against Europe’s fastest.

As Zak put it in a recent Facebook post: “All in all a real good season, finishing the last full season in Thundersport 2nd in the elites on my little stocker ain’t so bad, we’ve had some stiff competition throughout the year and we’ve fought hard, and haven’t given up. This year has been a massive learning curve on the 600 and we’ve done very well as a team and next year is looking very exciting.”

Everyone at Zak Corderoy Racing would like to thank family, friends and sponsors for their continued support.

Oxford-Cambridge Expressway

November 20, 2017

At the November Parish Council meeting councillors discussed a proposed expressway between Oxford and Cambridge currently under consideration by the National Infrastructure Commission and Highways England.

One of the possible routes for the road would leave the A34 south of Abingdon and run through green belt and AONB, potentially quite close to Blewbury.

We were assured at the meeting by our County Councillor – who didn’t have as much information as we would have liked as this seems to be a ‘higher level’ infrastructure project – that the road is still in the conceptual planning stage, and that we will be consulted in due course.

However, instead of waiting for the preferred route to be presented to us, Blewbury PC has decided to find out as much as possible about the routes under consideration. We have also joined an action group of parish councils who are building a case against an expressway through south Oxfordshire’s green belt and AONB. The Expressway Action Group (EAG) is particularly keen to hear from anyone with contacts in the BBC’s wildlife or Countryfile team – please contact the Parish Clerk if you can help.

In the meantime, we have agreed the following statement of support for the EAG, and will keep you updated as soon as we have more information: ‘Blewbury Parish Council agrees to support the Expressway Action Group in its campaign against any plan to build the Oxford Cambridge Expressway through rural areas of South Oxfordshire.’

Editor’s note: 

The schematic above is taken from the Government’s Strategic Study Stage 3 report, published in November last year. A version of it also appears in the the National Infrastructure Commission’s latest report, published on November 17 2017, which can be accessed here

Various local bodies have interpreted this schematic in different ways: for the views of the Council for the Protection of Rural England, click here. For the views of the Vale of White Horse District Council, click here and read pages 28-34.

Robert Long: Our ‘Unsung Hero’ now ‘Sung’!

November 19, 2017

There was a very happy ceremony including a lunch at the Beacon in Wantage when many volunteers from all over the Vale were presented with certificates by Reg Waite, Chair of the Vale District Council, recording their work for the community.

There was an astonishing range of achievements, including community shops, cricket  and youth clubs, council work. In fact, think of almost anything people might do at a local level to improve life in some way and there was someone there.  Blewbury was represented by Robert Long for his 30+ years with the Bulletin, first helping Roger Cambray and then editing it for nearly 20 years.  Also at the ceremony was Rosemary Tilden who is one of the longest serving people who do the  task of putting the Bulletin together every month.

Robert (and Audrey) wish to thank the Parish Council and  all who nominated Robert for this award. They have happy memories of the collating evenings and the chat that goes on there. It’s where, to quote one of the collaters, “You get a better class of insults”. They would like to record their thanks to all the people who help with the Bulletin, the contributers, editorial staff, collaters and the distributers who go out in all weathers to deliver it to you through the door. Long may it continue!

Annual Village Leaves Clearance

November 15, 2017

Sunday 3rd December 2 to 4 pm

This is an annual event, organised by Sustainable Blewbury with support from the BVS and Parish Council, and sponsored by The Blueberry.

We all use the footpaths: joggers, dog walkers, pub goers, people going to the Garage or Savages, etc. If everyone who uses the footpaths helps out we can clear them of slippery leaves very quickly. Last year we had a lovely afternoon, with lots of families and individuals enjoying themselves. There will be an activity for children at the school beforehand, and afterwards volunteers will enjoy coffee, tea or juice with fresh, home-baked cakes at the Blueberry. If you would like to contribute a cake, please contact Lesley Ogden at logden@blewbury.net

Meet at the Playclose at 2 pm. Bring a rake or leaf shovel and wheelbarrow if you have them.

Thanks to Bernard Mattimore for the photo

New uses for the Clubhouse

August 24, 2017

The running of the Clubhouse at the Recreation Ground is about to revert to the Parish Council.

The Clubhouse is a substantial village facility with a community  room (7.2m by 8.5m), toilets, showers, a kitchen unit, bar and WiFi. It has good car parking with motion sensor lighting which is useful in the winter.  The decline in the popularity of team sports and competition from other venues have meant that the building has not been used as fully as it could be.

The Council is anxious that this facility should be well used by the community and would like to hear from any individual or society with new and imaginative ideas.  One possibility could be to make some of the space available to local start-up enterprises, home-workers and commuters who sometimes work from home on a regular or ad hoc basis. Whilst we are seeking new opportunities for the community to use the building it is still a functioning sports facility and is available for hire by any sports teams or activity groups.

So that we can hear about and discuss in detail any possible options we would ask anyone with ideas (however off the wall) to email blewburypc@gmail.com or to come along to an informal drop-in session on Tuesday 19 September at the Melland Room, Blewbury Clubhouse between 7.30pm and 9.00pm.  This will be an opportunity to view the building, see what it has to offer and to ask questions.

Any use of the building should not offer competition to the village hall or existing community services, should contribute to the running costs of the building and be of benefit to the community and its residents.

POST OFFICE NEWS

Karen is away from 4th November, so Maggie will be in the Post Office. There may be a couple of afternoons that she won’t be able to cover, but she will put a notice on the door!

The Christmas stamps will be on sale from mid-November, the last recommended posting dates for airmail start in early December, but we know that Royal Mail workers are threatening strike action in November & December, so post extra early. Royal Mail are cutting the pay of posties and cutting 40% off their pensions, and when they are on strike we will not be accepting any post as we are not covered on our insurance for it.

In the run up to our busiest time of the year, please remember that our official LAT, (Last Acceptance Time) is 4.30pm or 11.30am on our half days, (although the official time given is 9.30am on half days). This is the time that our postman calls to collect, not the time we close! Please fill out the customs labels for parcels going outside the EU and put an airmail sticker on everything outside the UK, we will not have time to stick your stamps on for you!

Post Office Ltd are treating all postmasters very badly at the moment and cutting our pay, so we are definitely not doing any unpaid overtime whatsoever. The union is undertaking to take them to court for various reasons.

Please take extra care in the Village Hall car park, particularly on “Doctor Days”, Tuesdays & Thursdays. It is extremely busy at school drop off & pick up times, and we have seen some very dangerous driving and plenty of near misses! Please drive slowly & carefully, thank you! All very gloomy I’m afraid. Love from Karen & Maggie

DARK ROADS AND INVISIBLE CHILDREN ON BIKES – NOT A GOOD COMBINATION
I have noticed several youngsters on bikes & scooters around the village recently, riding dangerously, in the dark, with no lights or high viz etc, one zig zagged down the middle of Westbrook Street, deliberately blocking the road. Thankfully I was driving slowly at the time, and saw him just in time not to run him over.
Please check your kids are safely equipped, particularly on dark evenings, and know how to ride safely.  Karen

Sustainable Blewbury

‘Climate Change: Growing Elephant, Shrinking Room’ – a talk by Prof. Eric Eisenhandler: Blewbury Manor Barn, Monday 30th October at 8pm, tickets £6 (including a glass of wine) from the Post Office.

There’s been a lot in the news about climate change, especially extreme weather. But the stories don’t often explain much and can be misleading. And in the UK, politicians are consumed by shorter term issues like Brexit.

Eric’s talk will explain climate change and its effects. Then he’ll cover renewable energy, including progress in dealing with intermittent energy sources (wind and solar), and summarise the UK situation. Discussion at the end.

Apple juicing sessions: There’s still one more session for turning your surplus apples into some of the best juice you’ve ever tasted: Sun. 5 Nov. 11am–1pm at Manor Stable. Bring (washed) apples, and clean glass screw-top wine bottles if you want to pasteurise your juice or plastic containers to freeze it. Cut out bad bits but no need to core the apples. Please arrive before noon if you want to pasteurise. Cost: £1 per pressing (large basket of apples); pasteurising 30p per bottle (keeps for up to a year). And bring the family too – children very welcome.

You can also hire our kit to use at home. For more information contact us at  info@sustainable-blewbury.org.uk.

Blewbury Garden Market EXTRA: Our Saturday morning stall at the Garage has finished for the year – many thanks to our enthusiastic producers and helpers for another good season. But don’t despair – at the Post Office we will have bread and cakes on Saturday mornings, and jam and occasional produce all week.

Village leaf clearance: Sunday 3rd December, from 2–4pm. We’re repeating last year’s leaf-clearing event, which was fun for everyone young and old, and cleared our lovely footpaths! And once again volunteers will have a reward: coffee or tea with fresh, home-baked cakes at the Blueberry. More details in the next issue.

Thermal imaging: Every winter we borrow a thermal imaging camera in order to help anyone who wants to improve their home’s insulation. It’s a double win, for the climate and for your bills. We also can check the effectiveness of any improvements that you have made. We’ll have the camera during January – contact us at info@sustainable-blewbury.org.uk or phone 850558 if you are interested in having this done. This service is free.

BLEWBURY FREECYCLE

FREE ITEMS TO A GOOD HOME

E-MAIL TEL NO.

2 grey plastic Tesco buckets, barely used

Spear and Jackson secateurs

Garden mattock

Pair of paddle-type leaf collectors

Electric hedge trimmer Bosch AHS 4-16

Electric chainsaw Husquavana 1200EL, purchased from Wests

Various artists materials e.g. Pastels, turpentine, paper, etc. Please contact me to see what there is.

Melanie Longhurst melanie_longhurst@hotmail.com 07867 500031
Child’s wooden rocking chair. Cute. Can be dismantled.

Jane Gibson

sjane.gibson@btinternet.com

850689
Black 330 litre Blackwall compost bin.

Emma Chorlton

emmachrltn31@hotmail.com

07841 035254

Two black metal curtain poles with twirly finials – one approximately 160cm long, the other slightly shorter.

New white WC seat (still in box)

Lydia Inglis

lydandmuz@gmail.com

07801 932393
To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (lydandmuz@gmail.com)

To find out more about Sustainable Blewbury, go to www.sustainable-blewbury.org.uk. If you’d like to get involved in what we do, or to receive our free Newsletter, contact us at info@sustainable-blewbury.org.uk.