Village News

Blewbury man in world-record fundraiser attempt

March 23, 2018

I wanted a challenge…I thought of the cause. 12 HOURS of BURPEES is the challenge. Blewbury Pre-school Playgroup and Blewbury Village Hall are the causes.

The two facilities have proved vital in both my family and professional life. They are a vital part of the community and I want to show my appreciation for both by raising some funds.

The CAUSE: Both facilities are vital to the village of Blewbury. They are the heart and soul for events and for families. The pre-school has seen generations of Blewburians pass through its doors and I want it to be able to do the same for many more.

The Village Hall already has a refurbishment plan in place and I want to do what I can to improve this facility for the whole village to use for the future.

The HOW: On the 29th April I will be doing 12 HOURS of BURPEES. I will attempt to set a new world record of over 4546, chest to floor burpees. The world record is a secondary goal. The first goal is to do as many as I can within the 12 hours to raise funds for the two great causes above.

To donate, please go to my JustGiving page at Dave Whitlock

Blewbury’s 500 Words Winner

March 3, 2018

In the last Bulletin I was delighted to report that some Class 6 pupils would be writing stories for the BBC 500 words competition, and the Editor kindly agreed to publish the winning entry from the School – thank you Chris.

This proved much harder than expected with all 31 class members submitting a story to be judged, attaining a standard that was simply incredible! We had joint runners-up in Gabriel Reeves and Beatrice Elsmore-Wickens (Beatrice read her story to the class in a manner which would put most BBC presenters to shame), but the winner, with a beautifully crafted piece entitled “Open your eyes”, was Imansa Kokkuhannadige. You can read Imansa’s story below.

Congratulations to all. The entries will be submitted to BBC Radio 2 for them to judge, so good luck Class 6 and thank you.

Michael Evans, Parent Governor

Open Your Eyes by Imansa Kokkuhannadige

It’s all Melinda Russell’s fault! I wouldn’t be like this. I’ve heard what people say, that I look half dead! I can’t see anyone but I recognise their voice. Mum and dad have barely left, my little brother, James, came with gran and granddad and so have my best friends Ruby, Gemma and Ariana. Anyone who has visited has either sobbed while holding my lifeless hand or telling me what’s going on and how much they love me. I’ve been unconscious for 3 months (or so I’ve heard). But it feels a lot longer. You don’t know how it is! It’s almost time.

Now like I said it’s Melinda’s fault. My friends and I were going up and down the slide. But when I was just about to go down, I heard the footsteps of the bully (Melinda). She told me to move but I stayed put. She said if I didn’t move she’d push me. No movement from me.

Unfortunately, she stayed true to her word. Down I fell. I became half dead when I hit my head on the rocks. (They hadn’t been moved by the infants.)

One of my visitors was Melinda, she cried and sobbed and told me how sorry she was, she also told me that from then on she would be nice.

Remember when I said it was almost time, well the doctors think I would probably never wake up again so, so their taking the life support off. They’ve given me an hour.

It’s been 30 minutes. Mum said.

Everyone here is waiting and hoping that I will open my eyes and they’ll have tears of joy rather than sadness. But I’ve tried, I really have, to wake up. I’ll stay forever still. Everybody is sobbing and crying, telling me how much they love me, saying how much they will miss me and how great I am. I bet the bed will be sopping wet (and me to!). Oh, it’s terrible, if I were able to I would be crying too.

Someone’s on me. It’s my sweet little brother James! “Cami, please open your eyes, I want you to hug me, I want you to tell Mum and Dad not to cry, that it’s going to be all right”. Oh James I wish I could, but I can’t.

“James, sweetie, get off your sister”. Mum mumbled as she stroked my hair.

Oh no. It has been an hour! The doctors have come, to take off the life support!

“Camilla! No!”

Everyone is sobbing and crying even more! I think it’s time. Here is my last thought, even if no-one sees or hears it.

I’m Camilla Godwin, no, wait, yes!

“Camilla’s eyes are open!”

“Camilla is alive”

My eyes are open and alive!

Oxford-Cambridge Expressway

November 20, 2017

Highways England will announce a decision on the preferred route for the proposed expressway by summer 2018.

The Expressway Action Group (EAG), which is campaigning against the proposed southern route – through greenbelt and the AONB in south Oxfordshire, and potentially affecting numerous villages including Blewbury – is pressing for a full consultation before the preferred route is announced.

The EAG is looking, in particular, for any environmental / wildlife evidence we can supply. We have submitted the landscape character assessment commissioned as part of our Neighbourhood Development Plan, but if anyone has specialist experience in this field and can help further please contact Peter Rutt, EAG co-ordinator, on 07889 390031, or email

Landowners and others who support a new motorway through south Oxfordshire argue that upgrading or improving the A34 is impractical or impossible. In order to challenge this claim, the EAG wants to commission and submit a report from a recognised roads engineer showing evidence that the A34 improvement is both possible and worthwhile. Again, if anyone has experience in this field and can help, please contact Peter Rutt.

It will be much easier to rebut the argument for a southern expressway before the preferred route is announced – please help now, if you can.

Parish Council

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 Campaign to Protect Rural England, click here. For the views of the Vale of White Horse District Council, click here and read pages 28-34.

Bell Ringing News from Blewbury Tower

April 1, 2018

Congratulations to Eden Bramhill who rang his first quarter peal on March 3rd, hopefully the first of many.

We hope to see as many of you as possible on Easter Sunday for the annual Duck Race. If you haven’t already bought your tickets they are available at Blewbury Post Office or contact either Gill Loyd 01235 850459 or Chris Cook 07786 635062.

Friday 8pm-9.30pm is practice night and you are very welcome to come and join us.  Sometimes we ring a little earlier usually to support learners this will be the case on April 20th when we are hosting the Branch learners and ringing will start at 7.30pm. Quarter Peals are also rung at different times, listen out on April 23rd  when we hope to ring a quarter peal to celebrate St George’s day as well as the birthday of Gill Loyd our treasurer.


Blewbury Film is pleased to announce I, Daniel Blake as our spring BlewTube screening for the 9th May.

I, Daniel Blake is Ken Loach’s latest Palme d’Or-winning film about the friendship between an out-of-work carpenter and a young single mother forced to navigate the vagaries of the British welfare system. The film is a protest cry for common humanity in the face of the welfare web and is sure to leave everyone moved.

Daniel, a 59 year widower, who should have been eligible for Employment and Support Allowance until the authorities shunted him onto Jobseeker’s Allowance, forms a friendship with mother-of-two Katie who has been re-housed hundreds of miles from family and friends after spending two years in a hostel. Daniel takes Katie under his wing and together they resolve to make the best of a bleak situation and do battle with the relentlessly complex, amazingly uncaring welfare system. This story packs a hefty punch both personally and politically!

With this film’s win, Ken Loach joins the ranks of only a few directors ever to have won the coveted Palme D’Or at Cannes Film Festival more than once. Together with his long time script writing partner Paul Laverty, they have created a gut-wrenching, funny and incredibly moving film.

“A quietly fearsome piece of drama.”

The Guardian “★★★★★”    The Telegraph “★★★★”

I, Daniel Blake (15)

Directed by  Ken Loach  with Screen Play by Paul Laverty

Starring: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires

Please keep emailing us on to get more details, to let us know what you thought of our last show and with your film suggestions for future events.

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

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)

So, if you are you interested in a local, fun, social film night, come along, try it out and give us your ideas. Like us on Facebook or 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:


Blewbury WI News

Cilla is away, so you have me this month! As I write, the snow is melting, the daffs are looking hopeful, there are buds on the lilacs, my hyacinths & bluebells are popping up in the garden, and the Blewbury WI are about to have their annual meeting.

We say goodbye & thank you to Joanna, Liz & Marilyn who are retiring from the committee this time, and we will hopefully have some new committee members for the coming year, to help steer us towards trying new & exciting experiences! I know we have calligraphy, weaving and mosaic workshops planned for later this year, along with our usual walks, coffee, craft, scrabble, films, science lectures, lunch & theatre outings! Someone recently told me that the WI was for “old” ladies, I just told her we had great fun at our Bollywood dance workshop, and we are hoping to go to the Bombay Sapphire Gin distillery later this year!

We also say goodbye to Lyn Page, a former President, who is moving away, we shall all miss her very much, but send her our best wishes in her new home!

  • Tuesday 3rd April, Lyn’s walk, meet at Blewbury Village hall, 9.30 am, (everyone welcome) money for coffee/lunch
  • Wednesday 11th; coffee at Style Acre Tearooms, 10.30am
  • Wednesday 18th, Lunch out
  • Thursday 19th; Singin’ in the Rain, Abingdon
  • Wednesday 25th Main meeting, Vale Room, 7.30pm, with Wine & soft drinks if preferred!

For more details of any of our events, the date of the next Coffee morning, Scrabble or Mah Jong session, or if you wish to join us, please ring Karen on 850219 or visit our webpage, where you will find more information.  Love from Karen

Sustainable Blewbury

Sustainable Blewbury AGM: Monday, 23 April at Winding Way Cottage, South Street, 8.00 pm

We will summarise our activities in the past year, elect officers, and follow this with an informal discussion and refreshments. If you are interested in what Sustainable Blewbury does, please do join us. Everyone very welcome.

25th Anniversary Celebration!

Blewbury Environment Group was founded in 1993 by Blewbury Village Society. It evolved into SB around 2009, so 2018 is our 25th anniversary year. We are planning a celebration in September, and by next month we should be able to give you some details of the event.

Camera-trap wildlife videos

Last year we bought two video camera traps for Blewbury Primary School, to record wildlife in and around the village. When they detect motion, they automatically take a short video clip: colour in daylight, black and white at night. We have put links to some of the results on a map of Blewbury. A trial version of this is on our website, at The map currently has videos from three locations. Each star has one or more clips of one type of animal. Click on a star to see what it shows, and then click on ‘More info’ to see the video (note that the videos are stored on YouTube).




·   Humax PVR-9200T hard disk video recorder

·   Records TV from an aerial (Freeview)

·   Standard resolution (not HD)

·   Connected to TV via a SCART cable, not HDMI

·   Good condition, with all cables and manual

Eric Eisenhandler 07935 232296
To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (

To find out more about Sustainable Blewbury, go to SB has a substantial programme of activities in and around the village and we urgently need more volunteers in all areas.
Getting involved is fun and can make a very positive contribution to village life and the local environment.
If you’d like to get involved in what we do, or to receive our free Newsletter, email
us at or phone John Ogden at 01235 850372.

Post Office News

Royal Mail are putting their prices up on Monday 26th March: 2p  on a standard size 1st or 2nd class stamp, 3p on a large size, 5p up for a small parcel. Any stamp that says 1st or 2nd on them will just revalue themselves, but any for Europe or the rest of the world will need extra pennies put on them!

Post Office Ltd have warned us of scammers pretending to be from TalkTalk or similar companies, who try to gain access to your computer and/or your bank accounts, and scam people out of large sums of money, please do not ever give out your bank details or pin number to anyone on the phone, and please do not give anyone permission  to “remotely access” your computer (unless they are your family or a professional who you know!) If you get one of these calls, please ring 101 to report it!

We can accept cash withdrawals & deposits & cheque deposits for almost all banks now, just a few are lagging behind on the depositing side. No need to battle the potholes & car parks in town!

We have a few DUCK RACE tickets left, £1.25 each. You don’t need to be in the village on Easter Sunday, just leave your contact number and Gill & Richard will keep your prize money safe till you return!

We will be Closed on Good Friday 30th March, Saturday 31st, (my niece is 18!) & Easter Sunday 1st & Monday 2nd. I will be around, so for emergency top-up for gas & electric, please ring my mobile 07825 154842! We will also be closed on Friday afternoon 20th April & Saturday 21st, unless I can arrange for Maggie to cover. I have a “Girly Guide” activity weekend and I shall be whizzing down a zip line etc hoping not to break anything!

Please be aware that there are naughty people around the area at the moment, so please lock all outbuildings & sheds, and report any suspicious vans, cars or people to 101 or 999!  Love from Karen & Maggie

Blewbury & Upton Village Produce Association

– Your Local Village Gardening Club

What can I say? We’re two thirds through March as I write this and has the weather improved since February? No!! Then it was raining stair rods, blowing a gale and the weather gauge was showing 3.9 degrees centigrade!! Now we’ve had the Beast from the East – TWICE!! and Storm Emma from the West, with temperatures down to minus 6 degrees centigrade!! At least in February I could sit and watch the winter Olympics!! Now I’m just watching my broad beans and pea plants growing all spindly in the greenhouse as it’s too dodgy to try and put them in the freezing ground!! The only consolation is that at least the potatoes are still chitting nicely in the cool of the spare bedroom!!   !!! Have you ever seen so many exclamation marks !!!

GOOD NEWS!! The Summer Show Schedule is now available the Blewbury post office or you can receive it online by emailing Eileen on or ring Margaret in Upton on 01235 850126.

MORE GOOD NEWS!! Full details of our trip to West Green House Gardens at Hartley Witney in Hampshire will be available in next month’s Blewbury Bulletin and Upton News – the date is SATURDAY 16th JUNE – so please put it in your diary – with any luck we might have a bit of sunshine!!

DID YOU KNOW ? Gertrude Jekyll said “Some of the most delightful of all gardens are the little strips in front of roadside cottages. They have a simple and tender charm that one may look for in vain in gardens of greater pretension.” AND: Vita Sackville-West said “The more one gardens, the more one learns; and the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows. I suppose the whole of life is like that.”

Happy Gardening – weather permitting!!! Eileen


Blewbury Local History Group

We often receive emails from people who have relatives who used to live in the village.

That opening sentence has been used often, and just lately has been so true. Many families have stories which are surprising and worth telling and saving. Recently we had a request about a Blewbury man where the story started in Wandsworth Workhouse. From there, using local records, we traced back to Upton, then to a labourer in Blewbury, then via Reading Gaol to a railway on the Isle of Wight. On the way we came across illegitimate children, queries about other children, odd marriages. And that’s just 80 years of one family.

We are still hoping to hear from people about their grandparents’ memories of WWI; if you have any photos, stories, we would love to hear them before November 2018.

Contacts:Mark or Audrey 850427 or

Next meeting is Tuesday, April 10th  at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane.