Village News

Update on the Vale Local Plan

June 9, 2016

The independent  inspector’s report of the Vale’s Local Plan is quite encouraging for Blewbury as it might put a stop to major development in the AONB.

The interim report of his findings has been published and in particular the examiner refers to two sites around Harwell and Didcot (which includes Blewbury) and says

The Plan envisages that housing allocation sites 12 and 13, which are located within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), would be developed for around 550 and 850 dwellings respectively. This would be major development, which the Framework indicates should be refused except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated it is in the public interest…….. I conclude that modification of the plan to delete sites 12 and 13 is thus necessary. This would be a reduction of 1400 planned houses but more importantly set a precedent for future incursions into the AONB.

In appendix 1 he states that the Five Year Housing Land Supply Outcome assuming deletion of housing allocation sites 12 and 13 from the plan still exceeds requirement.

His interim results can still be challenged but they are encouraging. They cannot , unfortunately, be applied retrospectively.

The full pdf document can be found here.


Blewbury events to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday

June 25, 2016

Thanks to sponsorship by the Blueberry and a special grant for events directly related to the Queen’s 90th Birthday from VWHDC we were able to produce the colourful insert which listed all the events of the two weekends which you found in your June Bulletin.

The first weekend of our special events was celebrated successfully by a good cross section of the village. It started with a successful peal of Lincolnshire Surprise Major by the bellringers which was dedicated to the Queen and a lovely mellow sound could be heard throughout Blewbury on the morning of Saturday 11th – 5088 changes – quite an achievement and congratulations to the bellringers.

Family Day started at noon and the fun began. The Bar by Blewbury Junior Cricket Club, a barbecue by Blewbury School and a hog roast which sold out by Coopers of Aston Tirrold. Cream teas by the WI, Ice creams by the PTA, Preschool made us all glitter with tattoos. Many societies were represented including the tennis club, badminton club, junior football, the Garden Market. There were lot of stalls with very good quality goods, a fairground roundabout and two bouncy castles. The afternoon started with a Dog Show to rival Crufts which had a record number of entries and people were standing 2 deep around the ringside and it was hugely entertaining. This was followed by Betty Bloom Dance who were beautiful and a display by Cando Martial Arts. The finale was the village Tug of War heats – all encouraged by a very noisy crowd. Ian Bacon complete with megaphone kept the whole thing flowing well with a very amusing commentary. Winners of all events listed separately.

Most people who were still on their feet after a busy afternoon came to the Summer Dance at Hall Barn. The evening stayed (mainly) dry but the Disco was great and at least 120 of us enjoyed our picnics with friends in the garden and then dancing the night away in the Barn.

On Sunday 12th the Boules competition took place and was enjoyed by both competitors and spectators.

Special thanks to:

Steve of Foremost Roofing Services for transporting chairs to the field – and back again.

Simon Barlow’s driver Kevin for transporting all the tables, large gazebos and the barbecues to and from the field. Without help with transport this event could not take place.

Everybody who helped in any way with Family day, the Dance and the Boules Competition.

Deirdre and Malcolm Cochrane for allowing us to hold the Summer Dance at Hall Barn.

Everybody who came along and supported any event


Scarecrows – We had 15 very good and entries and a wide interpretation of the theme ‘Royals’ The Judges worked independently and had a very difficult job to decide but their unanimous decision was as follows. We want to thank everybody who took part this year and hope they had a lot of fun


Category Winners
Adult Category 1st Sally Begley The Royal Dog Watch The Dilley Cup
2nd Sue Huart The Heir and Spare
Family Category 1st Goyder Children The Blueberry Blue Bloods Family Cup
2nd Doherty Family Game of Thrones
Group Category 1st Blewbury Pre-School Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace Group Cup
2nd Blewbury W I Queen’s Winnings

Dog Show – Judge Mrs Ceri McEwan from Hastings.       47 dogs took part with 121 entries

Best in Show      Heather Helmsley with Gabriella

Reserve Best in Show Amelia Dubuisson with Kiffie

Best Oldie           Amelia Dubuisson with Kiffie

Best Child Handler Noah Cameron with Monty

Best Puppy         Izzy Marcham with Rosie

Dog Most like his Owner Monty with Adam Cameron

Tug of War Competition –           Winners of the  Bob Daley Cup — Blewbury Dads ‘B’ Team

Boules Competition                       Winners Matt and Mike Duckett

Congratulations to all winners and special thanks to everybody who took part.

Sorry we couldn’t get the Red Arrows – we did try but they were busy somewhere else with the Queen!

The BVS thanks the Blewbury Bulletin for Sponsoring Family Day.

Reports on Happy & Glorious and the Curry Lunch and all the other Summer Events in the next Bulletin.

Cricket: The scent of victory

June 7, 2016

A scintillating spell of fast bowling from Scott Harris rushed Blew Wallies to a lightning victory over Horley on June 4.

The paceman took 7 for 11, including a hat-trick that turned into a four-wicket maiden (followed up by a wicket maiden), as the home side were blasted out for 43 in only 12.1 overs. Harris has been in top form all season, but this performance was red-hot, with all but one of his victims (who was caught in the slips by Mark Carey) bowled or lbw. His new-ball partner, the county teenager Tom Gould, played Morne Morkel to Harris’s Dale Steyn, taking 3-36. Blewbury & Wallingford 1sts wasted little time in chasing down their target, with Carey (22) the only man to fall as Blew Wallies breezed to a nine-wicket win in the ninth over. The Division 3 game was done and dusted by 2.30pm, as Blew Wallies move up to 2nd in the table.

Several of the 1st XI came back to Boham’s Road to watch the 2nds making a game of a low-scoring encounter with a largely youthful Challow & Childrey 3rds in Division 9(S). Having been put into bat on a sluggish surface, Blew Wallies made 113-6 off 45 overs. Stuart Edwards carried his bat for 45, while Ian Saunders produced two stunning strokes (a lofted off-drive and a clubbing pull) in his 24 before falling as he tried to break the bowlers’ stranglehold. Joe Harris, a left-arm spinner who turned it both ways, was all but impossible to play, and bowled 14 overs for only 15 runs. Blew Wallies’ skipper Mark Cox showed touches of his class with a delicate late cut and a sumptuous backfoot square drive off the pacy teenager Fergus Fishburn, but was run out before he really got going. The final total felt at least 30 runs shy of being competitive.

With Neil Smith as canny as ever and 14-year-old Ollie Mew running in purposefully and hitting the pitch hard, Blew Wallies made life difficult for the opposition’s openers, though. The breakthrough came when the astute Roger Podbery mistimed first-change off-spinner Richard Clayton’s long-hop straight to Jack Vincent at mid-wicket. The 13-year-old made no mistake. As Clayton found his range and Smith plugged away, 28-1 became 45-5 and Blew Wallies could sense the unlikeliest of wins. Yet the experienced pair of Philip Cox and Gary Rees slowly closed the door on this potential great escape, with what became a match-winning partnership of 72. Still, the 2nds deserve plenty of credit for keeping the result in the balance for as long as they did.

Cricket: Feeling the pressure

June 15, 2016

Blew Wallies lost ground in the Division 3 promotion race on June 11 after being beaten at home by Cublington. The away side’s winning margin was 58 runs.

At around the midway point of Cublington’s innings, however, Blew Wallies had looked in a promising position, with three wickets from the in-form Scott Harris having helped to reduce the visitors to 105-5. Yet a defiant and at times flamboyant 103 from Kit Gordon-Stuart ensured Cublington reached 194 when they were all out in the 44th over. The batsman’s effort was all the more impressive because he had previously averaged only four in his four Cherwell League innings to date this season.

In reply, only Russell Brown (41) and Harris (26) mustered any real threat to the opposition’s total. By the time captain Colin Allen made 17 batting at No 9, the game was up, and a weakened 1st XI were dismissed for 136 in the 36th over. The 2nds had a week off, but also slipped down the Division 9(S) table due to other results.

In mitigation, it ought to be said that having a sufficient number of players to field two teams every Saturday is becoming hard to achieve. Anyone in the Blewbury area interested in playing even the odd game this season is strongly urged to get in touch. You’d be most welcome whether you’re 13 or 53 or, indeed, almost any age. Check out for details.

Downland Villages Transport Group

May 23, 2016

Meeting with Oxfordshire County Council

Parish Transport Representatives were invited to a meeting on Subsidised Services with Alexandra Bailey, Fleet Manager at Oxfordshire County Council. At the meeting, it was confirmed that bus subsidies are still to end on 20th July, and bus companies have to give the council 56 days notice of change of service, so by the time you read this we should all know more about what is likely to happen to our buses.

Both the meeting and discussions with Thames Travel have confirmed that there are two possibilities for income that could help keep the 94/95 buses running, the first being the transfer of St Birinus and DGS pupils onto the 94/95 buses, and the second getting section 106 funding from developers of some new housing in the area. While we do not yet know (at the time of writing) the results of the negotiations in these areas, we believe that things are more positive than had been feared early in the process.

We have been asked by Thames Travel for a summary of the results from the transport surveys that have been carried out in Blewbury, Upton, East Hagbourne, West Hagbourne and the Astons, so we are in the process of completing this summary.

We are also discussing with the Oxfordshire County Council the possibility of running some form of community-commissioned Friday service to Wallingford on the route served by the 131. We will try to keep you up to date, by Stop Press if necessary. Maranda St. John Nicolle and Jo Lakeland, for the Downland Villages Transport Group.

A community orchard for Blewbury

Last month we announced that the village has been awarded a grant to create an orchard on Tickers Folly Field.

Now a Community Orchard Group (the COG!) has been set up to develop plans so that planting can begin this winter. The COG has already agreed that the orchard must respect the great feeling of open space under the Downs which is so important at TFF and that the trees should add to the appearance and amenity of the field. It will be a community orchard for all to enjoy so if you have views about which trees should be included, if you have a story to tell about Blewbury’s orchard traditions, or if you’d simply like to get involved please contact John Ogden ( Someone from the COG will be on hand at Sustainable Blewbury’s stand during the Family Fun Day on 11th June to answer questions and to hear your ideas. Volunteer – become a COGGER!

News from Blewbury School

With half term almost upon us it has been a busy few weeks at Blewbury School. Years 2 and 6 have been sitting their SATs (if that is the correct diction) and the school as a whole have been making their way through the National Curriculum with some gusto. The day seldom stops at 3:15 as there are after school clubs on every day with topics ranging from Construction, Art and Maths to tennis lessons and even the odd game of cricket. Very civilised indeed.

Which brings me nicely to the role of the School in the wider community, as even after the clubs have finished there are still meetings to attend and events to plan.

One such event is the upcoming “Music For All” Event at 19:00 on Thursday 16th June with Blewbury’s own Richard Blackford. For those who have not had the pleasure of experiencing Richard’s work he is a world renowned conductor and writer, who has composed four operas, two musicals, much concert music and the scores to over two hundred films. Blewbury School are very proud to have Richard front the event and talk about his experiences and works. The evening will also offer live music from pupils, some information about the role that music plays in the school, and a Q&A with Richard. We do expect the evening to be very popular as it is open to all, not just parents with children at the School, so book your places in advance, through emailing

On a completely different tack, highlighting the diversity of events at Blewbury, don’t miss the Fun Run and Tough Kid Challenge on 26th June on the School Field. The fun run starts at 10:30 and the Tough Kid Challenge at 12:00 noon. Do come and join us or at least look out for the competitors on their route around the Village and cheer them on their way. All are welcome and the School will provide a BBQ, smoothies and a bar (for grown-ups!) on the day.

With so much going on you can be sure that the half term break will be well earned!  Mike Evans, Parent Governor

It’s official: John Wiggins broke TWO rowing records!

April 1, 2016

In 1976, the Bulletin reported that John Wiggins, son of Roy and Meta, rowed in the winning Oxford crew in the Boat Race of that year.

A former pupil of Wallingford School, and then in his first year at Keble College, John was No. 7 in the Oxford boat, which not only won the race but set what was then a record time of 16 minutes and 58 seconds over the classic 4 mile (6.8 km) course from Putney to Mortlake. As the Bulletin’s front-page article put it at the time, CONGRATULATIONS JOHN!!


Now, 40 years later, that article has helped prove that John should be recognised for another “officially amazing” achievement: according to the Guinness Book of Records, he was then, and remains now, the youngest person ever to have rowed in a winning Boat Race crew. On the certificate held by John in the main picture, the full citation reads: “The youngest rower to win the University Boat Race is Austin John Wiggins (UK, b. 20th July 1957) who won the race at age 18 years, 212 days, in London, UK on 20th March 1976”.

So once again, the Bulletin is proud to say CONGRATULATIONS JOHN!!


May 1, 2016


The SPAB Fellows have been back in Blewbury helping with various projects around the village. They are part way through a six month travelling bursary scheme with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, working right across the UK learning about conservative repair of old buildings, in line with the teachings of the great William Morris. The 2016 group are Heather and Tom, Stonemasons from Scotland and Wales, Lizzie, a glazier from York and Peter, a Scottish roofer. They have been helping to remove the cement pointing to the Almshouse, and repoint in lime mortar, a project led by Michal Wolf. By the time this goes to press, they will also have rethatched a section of Curtoys Lane cob wall. These projects will be continued by the SPAB Scholars, a group of architects and engineers, who are due to visit Blewbury the last week in May.     Marianne Suhr



I love May, one of my favourite months, the warmer weather, the return of the house martins, the lilac is out, and the grass needs cutting!

All that, and two long bank holidays to enjoy without elaborate cooking or shopping to do!  Simply marvellous!

  • Wednesday 4th May, Lyn’s walk, meet at Blewbury Village Hall, 9.15 am, (everyone welcome) for a walk around Highmoor Cross near Greys Court, & lunch at Rising Sun pub, some cars needed!
  • Tuesday 17th, trip to Braemore House
  • Wednesday 18th; trip to London to see “Wicked”
  • Monday 23rd; Oxfordshire WI Quiz night
  • Wednesday 25th, cookery demo at Denman
  • Wednesday 25th Main meeting, Vale Room, 7.30pm, Talk on the “Rather Odd Men Who Have, Over The Years, Become Prime Minister” (visitors welcome)

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