Village News


October 28, 2018

Hello to everyone. Autumn has arrived, showing off its beautiful colours on all the trees. But, then we shall be sweeping up the leaves when they decide to fall?

Bonfire night will soon be here and we will see a wonderful firework display and some of our WI ladies will be serving hot baked potatoes and mulled wine. Below is a list of our November events and we would love to welcome any new Members to join us.

  • Friday, 2nd Craft evening at Liz’s. 7pm. Please ring beforehand.
  • Monday, 5th Mah Jong at Judy’s.  2.30pm. Please ring beforehand.
  • Tuesday, 6th Lyn’s Walk. Meet at the Village Hall at 9am. Destination will depend on the state of the paths, but will probably be around Blewbury. Coffee possible.
  • Tuesday, 6th Coffee morning at Sharon’s. 10.30am.
  • Wednesday, 7th Scrabble at Judy’s. 7.30pm. Please ring beforehand.
  • Friday, 16th Talking Science Lecture at RAL Harwell. 1.30pm.  Speaker  Dr. Kathryn Harkup – “B is for Belladonna “
  • Wednesday, 28th WI monthly meeting.  7.30pm. In the Vale Room.  Craft Evening.

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.

Bridge Club

The AGM was held on 4th October ahead of a shortened bridge session. All Officers and Committee members were re-elected unopposed.

Attendance has increased during the 2017-2018 year in comparison with the previous year, but there is no guarantee that similar levels of attendance will be maintained in future. So Ken Angus’ offer to form a sub-committee to look at ways of recruiting new members is very welcome – anyone who has any suggestions or would like to contribute to this initiative should contact Ken directly.

The current playing year ends on 30th October and a new year’s competitions will commence. Subscriptions will be due on 1st November and a new calendar with list of members and contact details will be available. For the 2018-2019 year we have a new competition, thanks to the generosity of Richard Bird, who has presented the Bird Salver to the club for the best handicap pair on Thursday evenings over a minimum of 15 qualifying events.

This year’s Children in Need Simultaneous Pairs competition is to be held at the normal Thursday club session on 15th November. Please make every effort to come along and contribute to this very worthwhile cause. It is hoped that participants will agree to a contribution of at least £5 each on the night – all of which will be donated to Children in Need. Michael Allen 851870

Village Hall Refurbishment

September 24, 2018

I reported in the summer Bulletin that we were working with a builder to see if we could achieve our preferred scheme at a cost we could afford. The answer is we can’t.

It has proved impossible to build a small extension to provide us with a bigger kitchen and post office, while restoring the storage adjacent to the Main Hall, within our budget. We were able to reduce the costs to close to our target but we were left with too many uncertainties and risks to be confident that the scheme could be delivered to time and cost. A survey of the flat roofs has also confirmed that there is nothing we can reasonably defer to contain the costs of the scheme.

We will therefore refurbish the hall within its current footprint by:

  • Rewiring and installing new heating, lighting and ventilation in all areas
  • Refurbishing the toilets, kitchen and post office
  • Replacing fixtures, fittings and signage throughout
  • Replacing ceilings and floors, doors and windows
  • Replacing and insulating the flat roofs and insulating the Main Hall loft
  • Renewing the internal and external décor

Although we will lose additional capacity, the hall will be brought up to modern standards and be more pleasant, comfortable and efficient to use. The aim still is to make it fit for another generation. This revised approach will remove a lot of the risks from the project and give us confidence that it can be delivered. The price will still not be cheap and we still need to raise more money but we would expect to reach the target quicker. We are in the process of appointing a project manager and the work which, given the availability of funds, we will phase, will then be re-tendered. We’ll give you details of the revised scheme, price and timing as they become firm.

Thanks again for your patience. If you have any comments or questions about this revised approach please let me know.

Steve White

Project Resound: New glass for our ancient church

June 28, 2018

Thank you to all who came to our project launch in June! We were so pleased to hear your comments and support for the artwork and design. For those who were not there, here is an update:

We are commissioning a significant contemporary work of art in the form of a stained glass window to be installed in the west tower of St Michael’s church, with a bell theme. There has been no new stained glass in the church since 1908, and so this will be a legacy of our time for years to come. When the sound of the bells ripples across the village everyone knows that this is marking a wedding, a funeral, a royal occasion, visiting bell ringers or the weekly church services. And so it has been for centuries. It is symbolic of many community events. The design of the windows and artist impressions of the installation are shown in this downloadable leaflet and we hope you like it!

How you can help to make it happen

To complete this project we need to raise £75,000.  Everyone in Blewbury will have been touched by the sound of bells and/or by the associated Church events at some point. Therefore, in addition to grants that we will apply for, we are asking for personal donations. You can donate any amount, large or small, as one person, as a couple or as a family. By donating to the window fund your name can be recorded in a book, which will contain the story of the Stained Glass Window from concept to installation. This will become an historical document and a record of who was connected to Blewbury in 2018/19.

If you have a dedication for your donation, please let us know so that this can also be recorded in the book. You might wish to donate in memory of someone; to mark a wedding, funeral, christening or confirmation in St Michael’s; to celebrate an anniversary of some kind; because you love art; because you care for our medieval church; or just because you enjoy living in the village of Blewbury!

If you would prefer to donate online, our JustGiving page is now up and running at

If you would like to know more about the artwork and the stained glass medium, any member of the project team will be pleased to discuss this with you. Thank you.

Richard & Gill Loyd, Christine Kowalczuk, Jason St John Nicolle, Susan Lay, Mark Phillips, Jackie Maguire

Jack strikes gold in Glasgow!

August 16, 2018

On Saturday 11 August Blewbury’s very own Jack Shayler competed in the European Triathlon Union Championships in Strathclyde Country Park near Glasgow.

After the 750m swim, 20k bike ride and 5k run Jack won gold in the Under 20 Age Group and recorded the 2nd fastest time overall of 1.03.30. He has already qualified for the World Championships to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2019.

Well done Jack!

The picture shows Jack (3rd from left) with his fellow under-20 triathlon medal winners.

Blewbury Pre-School Playgroup News

June 29, 2018

Blewbury Pre-school Playgroup would like to say a huge congratulations and heart-felt thank you to David Whitlock for raising much needed funds for us whilst setting his new world record doing 12 hours of burpees.

On 19 June he presented Blewbury Pre-school with a cheque for £1,699.25 . We are overwhelmed by his generosity, and frankly amazed by his stamina to do that many burpees!

Fundraising remains vital to our continued existence. As you may have seen in the national news recently, there remains a significant gap between what it costs to have a child at a pre-school and what the Government gives pre-schools per child. We would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supports our fundraising. We are so very grateful for the ongoing support from the local community, as we really could not continue without this help. Thank you!

Blewbury Pre-school still has some spaces available for children joining in September. If your child is between two and a half and four years of age, please pop in and pick up an application form from the Pre-school, or email us at

Harber @ Harwell: Where art meets science!

Blewbury’s Chelsea Flower Show award-winning sculptor David Harber was joined by Ed Vaizey, MP for Wantage and Didcot, and other dignitaries at Harwell Campus at the formal unveiling of his Mantle sculpture, located outside the Campus HQ building, the former RAF Headquarters at Harwell, Oxfordshire.

The intricate sculpture fuses together science and art, with names connected to Harwell’s rich scientific heritage and multiple world firsts etched onto bronze petals in commemoration of the important work undertaken over the last 70 years. Names include:

  • British physicist Sir John Cockroft, first Director of the Atomic Energy Research Authority at Harwell in 1945 and joint winner (with Ernest Walton) of the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics for splitting the atomic nucleus
  • The Dekatron Computer, the oldest original working digital computer in the world built at Harwell Campus
  • Joan Maie Freeman, the first woman to be awarded the British Institute of Physics’ Rutherford Medal for work on beta-radioactivity of complex nuclei

Director and Partner of the Harwell Campus Partnership, Angus Horner said: “David is a wonderful artist and friend of the Campus. He shares our passion for using art to engage people in the sciences. This beautiful sculpture is the start of a long-term initiative that will bring art onto the Campus as a powerful way to communicate the past, present and future of Harwell’s story.”

Energy Recovery Facility at Ardley

July 18, 2018

As Parish Councillors we are sometimes offered the opportunity to join a tour of the Ardley Energy Recovery Facility operated by Viridor.

Two of your current councillors have taken advantage of this offer and found the tour and learning about the plant  interesting and worthwhile.  In Oxfordshire all the domestic waste that would have in the past gone into landfill now is taken to the Ardley facility where it is turned into electricity.  There is much controversy and concern about the construction and operation of such plants so it is helpful to go and see for oneself.  Any individual or organisation can take advantage of the free tours offered by Viridor so if interested please find more information using this link

New management of Clubhouse and Melland Room

June 28, 2018

The Blewbury Village CIC (BVCIC) has been exploring with the Parish Council a more viable way of managing The Club House and Melland Room.

We have had a proposal from two people living in the village to run the building enabling use by the community as well as developing a greater utilisation of the building and facilities to maintain the high standard of facility available.

The BVCIC will remain responsible for the overarching management of the Clubhouse but as of 1st June 2018 the day to day operational management will be carried out by David Flynn and Mike Evans who will be the main contact for  all use of the building be it regular sports clubs or one off bookings.

Dave and Mike will be offering bar and catering facilities if you require this and hope to organise events throughout the year including screen of the World Cup matches and other events.

Any queries please do contact Dave and Mike on or 07969 526084.  Directors, BVCIC

Fundraising Dave sets new world record

March 23, 2018

On April 29th, fitness trainer Dave Whitlock set a new world record by completing 4696 consecutive chest-to-floor burpees in a 12-hour fund-raising marathon at Blewbury Village Hall.

Beating the previous record of 4546 by a massive 150, Dave saw his wish of raising money for two village causes – the Village Hall itself and the Blewbury Pre-school Playgroup – come dramatically true. “Both facilities are vital to the village of Blewbury,” said Dave before the big day. “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.”

Despite the gruelling physical punishment, Dave still managed a smile for cheering supporters as he held up his new world-beating score (see picture, taken from the live Facebook feed). He also smashed what he always said was his real goal, which to raise £2,000 for his chosen causes. At the time of writing, the total collected on his JustGiving page stands at £3,175, and it’s still open for business!