Village News

POST OFFICE NEWS

August 23, 2016

We will be closed for the Bank Holiday on Monday 29th August, allowances normally paid out on that day, will be available in accounts on the Friday before.

We have some gorgeous Capability Brown commemorative stamps on sale at the moment, and maybe some of the Beatrix Potter ones, if they haven’t all gone by now! There will be some on sale in September commemorating the Great Fire of London, and we hear a rumour of some Agatha Christie ones too!

Kind people have handed in a camera, with pictures of 2 children up at Tickers Folly, and a camera with a broken back screen (we think someone had put it in the rubbish) but was found in the road, with a memory card still left inside! Also handed in, a small teddy comforter and a child’s shape toy, we also have a pair of ladies prescription sunglasses, several sets of keys, one with one of the gas/electic cupboard keys, probably from Dibleys?

Love from Karen & Angela

BELL RINGING NEWS FROM BLEWBURY TOWER

One blink and the summer is fast disappearing and by the time you read this we will be at the end of August!!

The summer has been an enjoyable one for the bell ringers, with several weddings in Blewbury to ring for and outing arranged by our local branch of the Oxford Guild of bell ringers. We rang at five towers in Berkshire and Hampshire, starting in Goodworth Clatford and ending in Highclere, with a pub lunch and afternoon tea included. The day ended with the annual branch BBQ, enjoyed by all who attended. Outings are always good fun and not only for ringers, often their families come along and enjoy exploring the lovely villages that we visit. It is surprising how much bells can vary in different towers, and ringing elsewhere certainly makes the Blewbury ringers appreciate our very well maintained bells.

It would be great to have more ringers in Blewbury. So if you are looking for a new hobby that has a good mix of physical, mental and social, then please come up the tower and join us for a ‘taster’ evening on Tuesday, 4th October any time between 7.30 and 9.00pm. You will have a chance to see the bells, have a brief go and can ask the ringers what it’s all about over a cup of tea (or coffee!) and a biscuit.

Hope to see you then. If you would like more information please contact Chris Cook on 07786635062

NOTES FROM THE ALLOTMENT

It seems ages since I wrote the last episode and much has happened in that time; I feel we have had a decent bit of summer now, although this has necessitated a lot of hand watering – but I’m not complaining!

I ended up with a decent crop of (prize winning!) onions which was very pleasing, as well as good crops from the broad bean and field bean trial; interestingly the field beans cropped twice as much weight as the broad beans, smaller and a slightly different taste but perfectly edible. I used some of them for pea and bean hummus, delicious! Runner beans are finally getting into their stride and although there are not very many there are plenty enough for me. Also a pleasant surprise was the potatoes, which have produced some decent size tubers, although a few of them have annoying holes in them – I just have to cut them out.

Winter crops are going to be sparse; leeks are coming on slowly, and out of the brassica seedlings I only have three Brussels sprouts left … but that will be enough if they reach maturity. However, my spinach beet has gone to seed and little spinach plants are popping up all over the allotment, so that will help with winter supplies.

On the soft fruit side, I ended up with a good crop of gooseberries thanks to the bird netting, a few strawberries (but lots more at home) and a fair few summer raspberries. Hopefully there will be a good crop of autumn ones, which are just starting. I also had a good quantity of tayberries. The little transplanted pear tree is still looking healthy, although it lost all of its baby pears; only to be expected.

Compost corner: Our Master Composter team was invited by BBOWT to man a stand in their wildlife area at the recent Country File Live event held at Blenheim Palace. It was an amazing event, loads of animals, interesting exhibits and presumably lots of celebs, but I didn’t see any! Our little team had 528 conversations about composting over the four days, so hopefully we have encouraged a few more people to take up this worthy gardening pursuit. Questions ranged from whether rhubarb leaves (poisonous) can be composted (yes) to what sort of animal poo can be composted (only vegetarian animals!).

Autumn is now just around the corner…   Angela Hoy (angela.hoy@sky.com)

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

WINNERS OF COMPETITIONS

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 www.blewwallies.co.uk 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 (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