Village News

Josh is jumping for joy!

17 year old Josh Allen, of Blewbury, has been awarded a prestigious Royal Aero Club Trust bursary to enable him to further develop his skydiving skills.  The bursary has been awarded under the Royal Aero Club Trust Flying for Youth Scheme.

Josh, who is mid-way through an electrical engineering apprenticeship with a company in Wallingford and also attends the Training Centre at Culham Science Centre, is a keen member of the London Parachute School, near Wallingford.  He spends as much time as possible undertaking coached skydiving jumps, works as a volunteer at the parachute school, and intends to use the bursary to obtain a Formation Skydiving 1 qualification.  Royal Aero Club Trust bursaries are the subject of keen competition and he has done very well to obtain this award.

The photograph shows Josh shortly after leaving an aircraft at the Parachute School.

Village Hall Refurb: Please complete our questionnaire

Included in the September Blewbury Bulletin is a short questionnaire which can be completed in hard copy and returned by 23 September to the Post Office or April Cottage, Heather Way, or online via the ‘Venues’ drop-down menu on this website (select ‘Village Hall Refurbishment’ for instructions).

Please do complete this – it will only take a few minutes – as we need more evidence of support for the hall and its refurbishment to strengthen our funding applications.

In parallel with this, the architects are making some design changes which we can discuss with the builders with a view to achieving a firm, affordable price. Armed with this and strong evidence of support from the village, we will give ourselves the best possible chance of success in our funding applications, which we will resume with a vengeance in the autumn. In the meantime, the village continues to raise money. We are expecting a substantial Gift Aid tax refund from the personal donations given so far, Blewsing has donated £250 from its recent concert, and other upcoming events, including Blewfest and November’s Definitive Rat Pack Concert, are raising money for the project. Thank you for your continuing support.  Steve White

Blewbury Youth Brass end-of-tour concert on 30th August

Our fabulous youth band will be giving an end of tour concert on Wednesday 30th August in Didcot Civic Hall. This promises to be a spectacular event and features many of the best and most enthusiastic young players in the local area.

Blewbury Youth Brass is one of four bands run by Blewbury Brass Band. The band is committed to raising the next generation of young players and, to this end, we offer lessons and run a Beginner Band, a Learner Band and Youth Brass. Players of all ages are abilities are welcome to join our bands. The band regularly runs recruiting events to ensure that we are bring a steady stream of young players into the band.  This includes offering weekly lessons to the year 4 children of Blewbury School. Blewbury Youth Brass which was formed in August last year, has attracted young players from across the county wishing to play in a vibrant, youth band with the opportunity to travel abroad.

The band has been working hard all year in preparation for its tour to Germany which is centred around the town of Boppard. We have rehearsed 2-3 times per term and have undertaken two-day holiday rehearsals in preparation for the tour. We have selected an exciting and challenging programme including bandstand favourites, marches, show tunes, pop songs and solos: something for all to enjoy!

MD Judith Atkins said, ‘The band is really looking forward to the tour and the concert. At each rehearsal, they just get better and better. Our soloists could rival those in the best bands in the area and our youngest players are learning so much. We are lucky to have attracted players from Cholsey Silver Band, Yarnton, Abbey Brass and Wantage. We even have one child from Norfolk who has travelled down to play with us!’

Tour staff have looked for sponsorship opportunities to bring down the cost for players. Tour Leader, Ian Barlow, said, ‘We thank everyone who has supported the tour so far; Blewfest, The Tony Loy Trust, Baggs Tree Buskers, Waitrose and all other sponsors who have donated generously. The children also took part in a sponsored month of practice which raised over £1000.’ Sponsorship money is being used to fund educational excursions on the tour and additional costs not covered by the players’ payments including printing costs and hire of the concert venue.

The concert will take place at Didcot Civic Hall on Wednesday 30th August at 7:30pm. Tickets are £8 (adults), £6 (seniors) and £1 (children) and are available from Judith 07732 197592 or on the door (subject to availability). We expect this to be a popular event so order tickets today!

For further details, please contact Judith Atkins 07732 197592

BlewFest 2017

Saturday 9 Sept 2017, 12.30pm – 10.30pm @ Blewbury School Playing Field

We are busy making plans to bring you another great line up of local Live Music. Confirmed already are The Nomarks, Lightspill, The Outside, Craig McLearie, The Voodoo Penguins, Blewbury Brass Band, Blewbury Choir, Al Jenkins, Matt Wood “FREEBASS”, Who Stoned Who, BYOC Band and George Long. Please visit for the latest information.

Besides all the great music we have a bar stocking more real ales and ciders than ever before and the Posh Pimms & Fizz Bar. There will be a BBQ in the day and a chilli/curry supper.

We are very lucky to be able to keep this event FREE ENTRY and this is only possible due to the generosity of our community and sponsors. This year we are raising money for the Blewbury Village Hall Refurbishment Fund and Blewbury School, so put the date in your diaries and more information will follow in the September Bulletin.

Downland Dance News

Ballet classes in East Hagbourne and Abingdon, following the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus six days a week. Minimum starting age 3plus with no upper age limit.

The summer term has now ended but classes for adults and advanced students are continuing throughout July and August.

This year, as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, we are holding a few master classes. Adam Harris, formerly of Downland Dance, now with The Croatian National Theatre Company, will give a class in August. A soloist from The Royal Ballet is scheduled to teach a master class in early September. We are still negotiating a class with a dancer from another company for some time in the summer. To fit in these extras we are starting the autumn term a week later this year on Monday September 11th. For further details please contact Principal Mrs. Judy Harris on 01235 554060 or  Anita Rendel


Blewbury WI News

Hello everyone. Summer is here at last! Long hot sunny days and warm balmy evenings. More ways to relax — join us at the following events taking place in July and August. All new members would be made very welcome.

  • Monday, 3rd July   Coffee at Style Acre.  30 am.
  • Tuesday, 4th July   Lyn’s Walk.   Meet at the Village Hall for 10am start.
  • Friday, 7th July   Craft Evening at Liz’s.      Ring first.
  • Monday, 10th July   Boat trip at Henley. Date & time to be confirmed.
  • Monday, 10th July   Scrabble at Graeme’s.  30pm.  Ring first.
  • Wednesday, 26th July  WI Monthly Meeting.  Vale Room 7.30pm. Speaker, Barbara Hudson.  Retirement & Beyond, Internet Dating & The Novel.
  • Friday, 28th July  Talking Science Lecture  RAL Harwell  30pm.  Black Holes – Science, Fact, Fiction or Fantasy.  Prof. Chris Done.  (Postponed from June)


  • Monday, 7th August  Coffee at Style Acre.  30am.
  • Monday, 7th August   Scrabble at Susan’s  30pm.
  • Monday, 21st August  Tour of BMW Mini Car Plant at Cowley.  Date to be confirmed
  • Wednesday, 23rd August  WI Summer Social in the Melland Room.  3pm – 7.30pm. Bring & Share.
  • There is no “Lyn’s Walk” in August.
  • No Craft Evening at Liz’s in August.

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, where you will find more  information.       Love from Cilla.


– Your Local Village Gardening Club



Our Annual Summer Show is open to the public at 2.30pm to view the displays of home grown fruit, vegetables and flowers, cookery, handicraft, photography and other categories. Presentation of trophies to the prize winners takes place while you can enjoy homemade refreshments. AN ART EXHIBITION BY LOCAL ARTISTS WILL ALSO TAKE PLACE.


Kew Gardens is a botanical garden and houses the “largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world”. Founded in 1840, from the exotic garden at Kew Park, its living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants.

We are planning a coach trip to Kew Gardens with pick up points at The Blueberry in Blewbury at 08.45am and the Village Hall in Upton at 09.00am.

The Kew Garden Ticket and Coach = £28.50 per person

Tickets, with full details of the trip, can be booked through Karen or Angela at Blewbury Post Office or Margaret Maytham in Upton (01235 850126).

DID YOU KNOW ? Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) wrote: “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.” Happy Gardening Eileen

Sustainable Blewbury

Community Orchard Opening, Village Picnic and Barbecue: This event, on 11 June, was a great success. We were very glad to see so many people enjoying themselves at our picnic to celebrate the opening of the Mike Edmunds Community Orchard and seeing how the orchard fits in to Tickers Folly Field.

We’d like to thank Blewbury Learner Band for playing so well, the Blewbury Primary School PTA for running their excellent barbecue, the Pre-school for joining in with their kite flying by the children, and everyone who helped out in various ways. It all contributed to a wonderful village atmosphere.

Results of the welly wanging (done for glory, not the prizes!):
Age 10 or under – Hamish Inglis, 22.1m; Age 11–18 – Ben Lott, 29.4m; Adult female – Katy Jane Whitlock: 25.8m
Adult male – Eric Barton, 52.9m. (Guinness world record for men is 63.98m.)

Blewbury Garden Market: Now running (our 8th year!) at Blewbury Garage – every Saturday morning from 9.30 to 11.30 am, with fresh garden fruit and veg, plants, flowers, home-baked bread and cakes, preserves and Blewbury honey. We need more people bringing us things to sell (before 9.30). And we’d love more volunteers to help run the stall – email or talk to us at the Garage if you’d like to join in!

Community Orchard vandalism: There has been some minor vandalism at the orchard – mainly pulling out the long stakes, the ones supporting the protective netting rather than the trees themselves. In a couple of cases these stakes have been broken off, leaving a very sharp, potentially dangerous shard sticking out of the ground. We have replaced the missing stakes. And at one point a very few dog owners seemed to enjoy dropping their poo bags on to the trees, but this disgusting habit seems to have fallen out of favour – to the great relief of those who had to retrieve them! But by and large, people appear to have welcomed the orchard for what it is, a benefit for the whole community.

Angela’s departure: We will be very sorry to say goodbye to Angela Hoy when she leaves Blewbury at the end of August, but we wish her well as she moves to Vancouver to join her daughter. Very soon after Angela’s arrival half a dozen years ago we wondered how we had managed without her. Her interest in our food-related and environmental activities meant that she was soon running our Garden Market and annual apple juicing sessions, as well as helping with our Permaculture project and numerous events and activities over the years. She also had masses of new ideas she persuaded us to try. She trained to be a Master Composter and qualified gardener, and wrote her Notes from the Allotment for the Bulletin. We will miss you Angela, but hope you enjoy your new life in Vancouver. From your many friends in Sustainable Blewbury.



6 wooden storage trays for apples. They are 57cm square and  stackable.

Melanie Longhurst

07867 500031
TV table with 2 smoked glass shelves and wooden top, finished in grey. W 700mm x D 445mm x H 440mm.

Alan Cooper


Victorian wardrobe with drawer, 6’ x 3’9” x 1’4”

2 glass-fronted bookcases, each 2’9” x 1’7” x 10”

Malcolm Wright

Leather swivel executive office chair. One arm is a bit wonky (fixable I think) but otherwise AOK.

Chris Whatmore

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

To find out more about Sustainable Blewbury, go to If you’d like to get involved in what we do, or to receive our free Newsletter, contact us at


Bridge Club

The Abingdon Cafe Bridge event is being held on 19th October this year. There are 5 venues with lunch provided in the one at which you are playing at the time. It starts at 10am and finishes at 4pm, and is friendly, social bridge for players of all standards. There are prizes for winners, and for those less experienced. Why not give it a try? The cost is £60 per pair with the surplus going to Parkinsons UK. For further information and to register email Kevin Carter on

As the summer is well and truly upon us we hope that members will still come along to play at the club regularly and escape the evening heat of the garden! Michael Allen 851870


One thing you can always say about our weather, it is never dull!

This last month it has ranged from cold and rainy to extremely windy and now we are in a heatwave to rival 1976! Watering has been a chore, but just think what it does to tone the upper arms!

The high winds had a detrimental effect on our cunning idea of planting seedlings through holes in black membrane, to retain moisture and discourage pests; the wind picked up any loose edges and thrashed our poor sweetcorn seedlings almost to death! Fortunately a kind neighbour gave us some more that we have now planted out, this time in bare earth. Another casualty of the weather seems to be the first early potatoes, which look very lacklustre and despite a few flowers on their haulms, don’t appear to have much underneath the soil. In contrast, the second earlies are looking bushy and healthy, thus proving perhaps the old adage that it is better to wait for Spring to get into gear before planting frost-tender vegetables. Also, something ate all the French bean seedlings before they were barely out of the ground! Sometimes you just can’t win….

On the plus side, the runner beans have finally established themselves and are romping up the poles, and this spell of fine weather with be just what they need. And the potatoes that we did dig were absolutely delicious, with lots more to come.

It looks like a very good year for soft fruits, with the gooseberry bushes groaning under the fruit and the strawberries are also plentiful and sweet. Coming along rapidly are blackcurrants, redcurrants and Tayberries, and at home I am waiting with anticipation for the cherries to ripen! They are swathed in fleece to stop the birds plundering them before I get a chance.

It is the VPA Village Show in a couple of weeks so it is an anxious time to see if there will be enough ripe fruit and vegetables to show. If you haven’t entered it before, it is great fun, and very exciting to go round after the judging and see if you have any Best in Show and First prizes!

Some of you will know that I am leaving for Canada at the end of August, so this is my last article; it will cease to exist unless a volunteer steps up! Angela Hoy (

Editor’s note: Angela has been writing her Notes from the Allotment column for the Bulletin for as long as I’ve been editing it – that is, since September 2011. As with all our regular contributors, the editorial team owes her a great debt of gratitude, and we wish her all the very best for her new life in Canada. Thanks Angela!