Village News

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.

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 (jogden@blewbury.net). 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 events@blewbury.oxon.sch.uk

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!!

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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!!

SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANCIENT BUILDINGS

May 1, 2016

– AT WORK IN BLEWBURY

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

 

PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY BETWEEN WOODWAY (WHITE SHOOT FARM) AND BOHAMS ROAD

March 22, 2016

The PC was extremely pleased that Beeswax Farming has created a Permissive Pathway across its land between the top of Cow Lane and Rubble Pit Lane.

They responded positively to our request and we are grateful to them. However a Permissive Path is made at the discretion of the landowner and in order to ensure that we retain a public right of way the PC intends to submit an application to make the track from the top of Woodway to Bohams Road a Bridleway/footpath. This will take a considerable amount of time but we are starting to collect evidence in support of this application now.

We would like all users – dog walkers, walkers, cyclists, horse riders etc – to fill in the evidence form which could be obtained from the Post Office or downloaded here. Guidance on how to complete the form can be downloaded here.

To see which area will be covered by this application, you can consult this map.  Please identify the stretch of the path for which you can provide evidence and mark it on the map.

Please return the signed hard copy of the form and the map to Jane Gibson – 5 Westbrook Green or the Clerk, 83 Dibleys. Remember that you can provide evidence not only of your own use but that of others using Question 12 on the evidence form.

The more evidence we can provide the better and we must be able to cover a period of 20 years or more. Both current and historic evidence will be most useful.

Image above and maps:
© Crown Copyright and Ordnance Survey Rights
Parish Council PSMA OS Licence No.100041147

BLEWBURY’S SECRET SUFFRAGETTE?

March 21, 2016

In one corner of the Blewbury’s old cemetery in Boham’s Road are two fairly ordinary graves, which are the main reminder that the village has of two women, Gladys Hazel and Dr Gertrude Austin, who retired to Blewbury in the 1930s and lived in a newly built bungalow in Westbrook Street, with Gladys’s school age nephew, Peter Waterfield.

They lived there for over twenty years during which time Peter grew up, went to Oxford University, married the daughter of the Vicar of Didcot, and then left the village to pursue a career as a school teacher and head teacher. Peter, now in his 90s, lives in Cornwall. Just last year, to his amazement, he came across an old manuscript which turned out to be his Aunt Gladys’s memoirs. These memoirs reveal that, in her earlier life, she had been a very active, militant Suffragette. She was born in 1880 and had become a school teacher in Birmingham, when she was invited to a tea party, which was addressed by Emmeline Pankhurst sometime around 1908. Fairly soon after that she became heavily involved in the Suffragette movement, working in their offices in Birmingham, Leicester and Bristol over a period of several years. Passive campaigning led to more militant activity. On one occasion for example, she describes stepping into the middle of a road to obstruct a troop of mounted police during a visit to Birmingham by Asquith. The cavalcade was forced to part either side of her to great cheers and laughter from the assembled crowd. She calls it her “first taste of heady power” and writes: “I was immensely exhilarated”. Not all acts of defiance were as enjoyable. During the time she was in Holloway Prison, Gladys took part in a hunger strike and was force fed. In her memoirs she describes the occasion when the now famous Emily Wilding Davison attempted suicide in Holloway, trying to end the suffering and force feeding of others. “My cell door was open and a warden hurried to me calling: ‘Come quick!’ I followed her out to the gallery. And there was Emily Davison. She was sitting with her feet hanging down over the stairway her face closed and set. The warden said, ‘Speak to her and stop her doing it.’ I felt suddenly full of [emotion] and in a sort of rage and I said, ‘Why? She’ll be well out of it.’ And I turned away. I heard her fall and saw her lying across the steps as they hustled me into my cell.” Earlier in 1912 she had been involved in a demonstration in New Bond Street in London. She was arrested after smashing several windows of Asprey’s store, but while being led away by a burly policeman still managed according to his account in court to ‘break two more windows’. So this quiet old lady living in Westbrook Street from 1939-1959 had quite a colourful past campaigning for women’s rights, and it seems that no-one living in Blewbury at the time knew anything of her past. Her nephew has very fond memories of his time in the village, and is collaborating with the Local History Group to ensure that his aunt’s exploits on behalf of such an important cause are not forgotten. Anyone else with relevant information about Gladys and Gertrude is encouraged to contact the group. Roger and Elizabeth Murphy

Recognition for Pat Mattimore

December 9, 2015

Congratulations to Pat Mattimore who in recognition of her efforts organising various village events including the Blewbury Festival, recently received a Community Volunteer award from the Vale of White Horse District Council’s chairman Mike Babcock.

We would like to thank her and her team of volunteers for helping to make Blewbury a special place to live!

If you know of someone who could be nominated next year, please contact the Parish Council Clerk.

Thanks to Bernard Mattimore for the photo

‘Wagon’ Book Launch

October 29, 2015

A new publication, Wagon, compiled by Peter Cockrell, is now available for sale. For those who weren’t at the launch this book is highly recommended!

Containing fascinating detail, excellent photographs and illustrations, it records how a derelict farm wagon was spotted in East Hagbourne in the 1960’s by Ron Freeborn. Years later he drew it to the attention of Blewbury to fill a theatrical need. The story records its history since then over the last forty or so years. Now skillfully restored it was finally installed in its splendid home earlier this year.

This dedicated and comprehensive research by Peter Cockrell is also enhanced by other excellent contributions. These reflect the traditional agricultural background of Blewbury and other local villages in days gone by. The Blewbury Wagon is now a remarkable symbol and addition to Blewbury’s history!

Pres Wells