Village News

Bridge Club

February 23, 2018

The heat for entry to Berks and Bucks’ Waller Bowl, their County Club Pairs Final, will be held in the normal Blewbury Club session on Tuesday 20th March. There is no additional charge for the heat and those wishing to attempt qualification can indicate their interest on the night. The final is on Sunday 13th May at Windsor.

The Friday night Novices’ sessions continue and are very useful for those wanting a relaxed evening of bridge without too much time pressure and the added benefit of an experienced player on hand whose advice may be sought if required – a good learning opportunity! Please contact Tina Hollick on to register your interest and to be informed of the dates when play is to take place (not all Fridays!). Michael Allen 851870

Sustainable Blewbury

February 1, 2018

Restoring England’s threatened chalk streams:

Paul St. Pierre of the Environment Agency will talk about work done to restore chalkland rivers, with particular reference to the Kennet and Lambourn valleys, and also relevant to Blewbury’s Mill Brook. Chalk streams are a unique and rare habitat, typified by crystal clear waters and abundant wildlife. Southern England has the highest concentration of these rivers in the world. However, in recent decades they have deteriorated due to man’s involvement and climate change. Hear how we are restoring these natural wonders back to their full glory! Monday 5 March in Manor Barn, 8.00 pm. Tickets £6.00 (including wine & nibbles) from the Post Office, or on the door if not sold out. Profits will be donated to Water Aid.

Tropical forests, people and climate change: A talk by Dr. Catherine Long (who grew up in Blewbury) on her work supporting local communities and indigenous peoples in Africa and Latin America to secure their rights to control and manage forests – and to engage in global debates on climate change and other issues that affect their lives directly. This includes deforestation and its causes, along with some success stories about community and indigenous managed forests, as well as recent information about biofuels and wood pellets that affects the UK directly. Monday, 26 March in Manor Barn, 8.00 pm. Tickets £6.00 (including wine & nibbles) from the Post Office, or on the door if not sold out. Profits will be donated to a charity of Catherine’s choice.

Leaves for mulching: We have quite a few bags of leaves from the footpath leaf clearing in December. If anyone would like some of them for turning into leaf mould please contact us – see below.




·   6′ x 8′ greenhouse, free to anyone who will take it away.  Comes with a potting table.

·   Tall thin cupboard, 60 cm wide, not pretty, suitable for garage storage.

Vanessa Fox

Cisco SPA112 2-port telephone adapter. Connects ordinary phones to an Internet phone service – reduces phone bills.

Paul Wolff


·   2 burner ceramic electric hob suitable for kitchenette etc 50x29cm

·   Cooker hood (lights, extractor/filter) 60 x 52 x 32cm plus chimney 50 x 22 x 18 cm, cream coloured

Ellen Bramhill


Two good bikes, recently serviced but both outgrown:

1. 20″ Raleigh Konekt Mo-Jo unisex child’s bike. 138cm long from front of front wheel to back of the back wheel. Red and black.

2. 20″ Dawes girls’ bike. 140cm long from front of front wheel to back of the back wheel. Powder blue with white/yellow writing.

Lydia Inglis

07801 932393
To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (

To find out more about Sustainable Blewbury, go to SB has a substantial programme of activities in and around the village and we urgently need more volunteers in all areas.
Getting involved is fun and can make a very positive contribution to village life and the local environment.
If you’d like to get involved in what we do, or to receive our free Newsletter, email
us at or phone John Ogden at 01235 850372.

Blewbury WI news

Hello Everyone. Hoping 2018 will be a very good year for all of us. Any new WI members will very welcome to join us at the following February events.

  • Tuesday, 6th Lyn’s Walk. Meet at Village Hall at 9.30am. The route will be local but weather dependent, so no definite choice until nearer the day. Expect a coffee stop, probably at the end.
  • Tuesday, 6th Scrabble at Susan’s 7.30pm. Please ring first.
  • Monday, 12th Coffee at Style Acre. 10.30am.
  • Friday, 16th Talking Science Lecture, RAL Harwell. “A science rapper’s guide to the Solar System” Jon Chase.
  • Wednesday, 28th WI monthly Meeting in The Vale Room. Speaker, Dr. Valerie Calderbank.  “A Tour of the Universe.”
  • Friday, 2nd Craft Evening at Liz’s. 7pm. Please ring first.
  • Mah Jong. Every Monday at 2.30.

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.


Thank you for being patient with me, I am slowly getting better, but at the moment we are open in the mornings only, except Mondays, when Maggie will do the afternoon session too.

We have new “Game Of Thrones” stamps on sale, I have never watched an episode of this, and have no clue what they are about!

I am still seeing people walk or cycle around the village with no lights or high viz, in dark clothing; also people driving while on their phones? Love from Karen and Maggie 


1918 was a historic year in many ways.

One was the end of WWII, and to remember that, the group is trying to find as much as possible about the men who served in some way in the forces. Already we know quite a lot, but we are sure there are people who have some stories about grandparents which are not permanently recorded. Please talk to a member of the history group so these stories are not lost. 1918 was also the year women first got the vote in this country, so if you’ve got a grandmother or father who remembers anyone locally who was connected with the suffrage movement do tell us. Contact either Mark or Audrey 850427 or

Next meeting is Tuesday, Feb.13th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane.


Your Local Village Gardening Club

As my last newsletter gave everyone the dates of our forthcoming meeting and events, in this newsletter I would like to highlight our Annual Summer Show.

Our Show for 2018 is to be held on Saturday 7th July and will take place in the Blewbury Village Hall. Anyone, no matter where they live, can enter. In fact, a couple of years ago we had an entry from Canada!! The VPA committee prepare the Show Schedule which gives details of the fruit, vegetables, roses, cut flowers, container plants, cookery, handicraft, informal floral art and photography which anyone can enter into the Show. Especially important is the Children’s Section which allows youngsters, in different age categories, to display their skills in gardening, cooking, together with arts and crafts. There are trophies and certificates to win.

Bring your entries on the Saturday morning between 8.30am & 11.00am and then judging takes place between 11.15am & 1.00pm. The Show is open to the public between 2.30pm & 4.00pm when the prize giving takes place.

We would love to see more people entering the Show – it really isn’t difficult. If you have some lovely fruit, vegetables or flowers – give it a go! If you enjoy photography – give it a go! If you enjoy cooking – give it a go! If your hobby is handicraft – give it a go! Just take a look at the Show Schedule to see what the Classes are for each Section – it’s so simple! The Show Schedule will be available at the end of February from Blewbury post office or you can receive it online by emailing Eileen on or ring Margaret in Upton on 01235 850126.

We are looking forward to a bumper crop of entries this year!!

DID YOU KNOW ? Broad beans should not be eaten in the evening because they are difficult to digest and have been known to cause nightmares. In the Middle Ages it was thought that the souls of the dead lived inside the humble broad bean because it disturbed people’s sleep. The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras would not eat broad beans under any circumstances, so convinced was he that they were possessed by evil spirits.

Happy Gardening Eileen

Bridge Club

The delayed Christmas Party was held on Sunday 14th January and was well attended. The food was excellent and everyone seemed to have a good time. We may consider holding it in January again, as it seemed to be popular.

The Wessex League team have finished all their matches and presently lie in 3rd place in the Division. Whether or not we are promoted will depend on the completion of other matches, and particularly that between the leading two teams, Witney and Wallingford C. We await developments.

Our normal club events continue on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the Vale Room, with Novices evenings on some Fridays.

Happy New Year! Michael Allen  851870


We hope that you enjoyed hearing the bells over the festive season and in particular the Quarter Peal rung on Boxing day. We rang out the old year and rang in the new and now we are almost half way through January!

2018 will see the centenary of the end of World War One. It is known that at least 1400 bell ringers lost their lives in that conflict and there is a nationwide campaign to recruit at least 1400 new ringers before Armistice Day 11/11/18. Blewbury is ‘doing its bit’ we have four new younger ringers; three have been ringing for a while and are doing incredibly well and our newest recruit started 12/1/18.

Ringing is a social activity and by the time this goes to press we will have had an outing where all the bells in the Benefice were rung on the same day. More about this next month. As always visitors are always welcome to our practice evenings on a Friday 8 – 9.30pm.

News from Blewbury School

January 29, 2018

With Christmas a distant memory, and discarded wrapping paper finally out of the house, it is back to business for the pupils at Blewbury School.

The next two terms are busy ones for each of the classes and whilst everyone will be learning different skills, both life and academic, there remains a common theme throughout the classrooms, that of Innovation. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to see this in action and to see how each class interprets their brief in different ways. The focus is wide and varied and we see ancient civilisations under scrutiny, how we adapt to hostile environments, and how we cause our own problems as a result. There are some interesting discussions taking place in the classrooms on water and plastic pollution as a result of studying the water cycle. It is refreshing to see such young people have a grasp of the impact man has on his surroundings and be able to have well-informed conversations on such topics as water aid, sustainable development, clean water and sanitation. I was told (with a good measure of glee, I might add) that my bottle of water could contain, what once was, dinosaur wee. Followed by a very rational explanation of how this may well be the case!

On an international note, the school is delighted to welcome two trainee Spanish teachers for 7 weeks from the University of Andalucía. This has come about as a result of a trip made by Marion Mills, the School head, to Cordoba last year as part of an Erasmus Plus job shadowing opportunity, which is funded by the EU. No doubt this will lead to another injection of culture and some interesting projects for all.

Speaking of interesting projects, I am delighted to say that Class 6 will be taking part in this year’s BBC Radio 2 500 words short story competition. This is an annual competition with some wonderful prizes for both school and pupil up for grabs. The standard is high, but having seen some of the literature already written by Class Six on Myths and Legends I think that we will be in with a fighting chance. The Class Six winner is guaranteed something special already, and I must thank the Editor of the Bulletin, Chris Whatmore, as he has kindly said that he will publish the winning story in next month’s bulletin. A sure-fire stepping stone to success. May I also urge all parents to encourage their children to come up with their own 500-word entry. For those of you not aware of the competition is open to any child who is aged between 5 and 13 years old, and the winners are split into categories by age. The competition closes at 7pm on Thursday 22nd February. Amongst the many prizes is the opportunity for the winners to ride on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and take tea on the Queen’s boat. Let’s hope they are both environmentally friendly!

Michael Evans, Parent Governor

William Dent Robinson 1911 – 2017

December 14, 2017

William Dent Robinson, one of Blewbury’s oldest residents and the sole surviving member of the original staff of St Birinus School, Didcot died peacefully in his sleep at home on 4th December. He was just three weeks away from his 106th birthday.

William’s family were from Cumbria though William spent much of his childhood in Leicestershire after his father became the head of a village school there. After attending Reading University, in 1933 William joined the then co-educational Didcot Secondary School at its Manor Crescent site (now part of Didcot Girls School). It was here that he met his future wife, Winifred, who taught Mathematics. Three years later when Berkshire County Council decided to segregate the boys from the girls, William was a founder member of the staff of Didcot’s newly built St Birinus Secondary Modern School for Boys.

William took a break from teaching to serve in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He undertook wireless interception and intelligence work near the front line in Europe. He took part in the D-Day landings and in 1945 he was close by when the German Belsen concentration camp was liberated and when Field Marshal Montgomery accepted the German surrender on Luneberg Heath, North Germany on 4 May prior to VE Day. After a subsequent posting to India and Singapore, in 1946 William returned to Didcot to resume teaching at St Birinus School. He oversaw the Geography Department and was also acting Headmaster for a year and for two decades was Deputy Headmaster. In the early 1950s William oversaw and participated in one of the UK’s earliest post-war pupil exchange visits with a German school – to Bad Harzburg. He was also active in the National Union of Teachers and was a member of the local examination board for Geography before retiring in 1973, just before Didcot became part of Oxfordshire.

After that William enjoyed cycling, walking, reading, writing, doing The Times crossword and gardening at his home in Blewbury where he lived for over 75 years. He also kept a close watch on the local weather, having his own meteorological records dating back over 60 years. After his wife Winifred’s death in 1992, William was involved in the John Betjeman Society, the British Legion and the Methodist Church. Until 2016 he continued to visit family in Cumbria each Summer and still maintained close links with former pupils and teaching colleagues from St Birinus School.

William could very clearly recall the celebrations at the end of World War One and he often reflected on the many changes that had taken place over his lifetime – the jet age, space exploration and the IT revolution. As a former Geography teacher he enjoyed Google Earth and was also fascinated by satellite navigation. But he always said the most amazing thing in his lifetime was Man’s landing on the Moon!

William is survived by his son Nick and daughter-in-law Linda.