Village News


September 22, 2017

When I first arrived in Blewbury I met Jag Cook in the Red Lion and he pretty much sold me on the idea of allotment — a chance to grow some fresh veggies and get some serious exercise at the same time. What could be better I thought. Better than going to a gym or flogging around the streets.

A full size allotment is 250 square metres and is traditionally measured in poles, an old measurement dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. 10 poles is the accepted size of an allotment, about the size of a doubles tennis court. It seemed like a big area to me so Chris Gimblett and I agreed to share. He, being a bit on the brainy side, thought we should take a totally innovative mathematical approach—i.e. covering the allotment with black plastic and then planting through it in some geometric planting pattern. An older allotment holder was highly scornful, scoffing at our pathetic attempts. He was right of course, as the back plastic disintegrated and those powerful weeds said thank you very much for providing perfect damp weed growing conditions, with a few struggling cabbage plants for competition. So we gave up on that idea. After years of digging, fighting the weeds, lack of time etc, we discovered that you need to put in a consistent effort — a few hours a week, not leaving it for 4 weeks and then hoping a blast of action will restore control.

So with Chris having left the village, I reverted to a half allotment and this year decided on a new raised bed strategy, converting my 5 poles to 8 raised beds about 2 m by 4 m—so all very manageable. Of course, as they were raised beds I needed extra soil and a local farmer duly obliged. Unfortunately he couldn’t put it on my allotment but put it on an adjacent allotment. Ah fine you might think, but the adjacent allotment holder was not too amused to have 10 tons of soil dumped on his recently dug allotment!!! Needless to say the pressure was on to move it. So I drafted in the whole family to move this soil. This was met with some derision and laughter, but a few brave souls helped me move 10 tons of wet soil. It took ages to move it and restore my neighbour’s allotment. But at least I had some half-filled raised beds. Now I needed manure and Matt Napper kindly supplied 2 large loads of manure. Again a family moving event, although I am seriously straining relations on this front now!!!. So summer arrived and we planted up—amazingly it has been the most productive summer of veg so far in 35. Whether it was the raised beds and ability to keep on top of weeds, or the magnificent manure from Matt, or the g-kids around to help plant things (and scoff all the raspberries) or the weather, which was dry initially (so few slugs) and then warmish with rain showers, I don’t know. Probably some combination, but I feel I have turned a corner. After 35 years it is about time really. So now, it’s the end of summer, time to clear up this year’s allotment. However, I feel another experiment coming on—shall I plant some autumn and winter veg.??, will warmer winters driven by climate change allow the winter veg to survive?? Will the family help dig the allotment over? Doubtful!!  All exciting stuff – so watch this space!! Paul Whitehead

Blewbury Film

August 26, 2017

Blewbury Film is pleased to announce its autumn screening for the 11th October will be The Dish, a true story which is, well, too funny not to show. The Dish won Australian Best Screen Play, Best Music Score and Best Male Actor (Sam Neill) and Best Supporting Actor (Roy Billing) in 2001 plus an ARIA music award. No wonder it has been billed as one of the most popular Australian comedies of all time!

It’s July 1969. Apollo 11’s astronauts will walk on the moon and a huge satellite dish outside the sheep-farming town of Parkes, Australia has been chosen to beam the live footage around the globe for this historic event. The whole world is depending on Cliff Buxton (Sam Neill), the reticent, pipe-smoking chief scientist, and his team of laid-back boffins, who are responsible for the operations of the gigantic radio telescope dish nestled in a remote New South Wales sheep farming community. As NASA prepared for lift-off of Apollo 11, the first manned voyage to the moon, and the American astronauts prepared to make their giant leap for mankind, Buxton and his eccentric crew were more than happy to help out in their own way, whilst the out-back town of Parkes stumbled to make their own small steps to help out too. (This was Houston’s other problem but one we never knew anything about.) The astounding Australian situation comedy of The Dish, coupled with the drama of the Apollo 11 moon landing, makes for an absolutely brilliant and must-see film.

“A brilliant and inspired Australian comedy”


The Dish (PG)

Directed by Rob Sitch

Starring: Sam Neill, Roy Billing, Genevieve Mooy.

Please keep emailing us on to get more details, to let us know what you thought of our last show and with your film suggestions for future events.

Location: The Melland Room Date: Wednesday, 11th October Doors Open: 7:30pm
Price: £5 / head Tickets available at the Post Office from 25th August

Please note: Tickets will only be available on the door if any remain unsold at the Post Office – on the door sales cannot be guaranteed. Please make sure you get your tickets early to avoid disappointment. No refunds.

Licensed Bar and Ice Creams available (No BYO please)

So, if you are you interested in a local, fun, social film night, come along, try it out and give us your ideas. Like us on Facebook or email us and we’ll add you to our Mailing List and keep you informed of future events.

In association with the Blewbury Players. Profits to the Village Hall refurb.

Contact Paul Sanders or Peter Willison for more information and / or with your ideas:


We will be closed for the Bank Holiday on Monday 28th August: any allowances paid on that day will be available on the Friday before.

Pretty new stamps include “Landmark Buildings” and “Classic Childrens Toys”, while sometime in September  we will have “Ladybird Books”.

We will also continue to accept any old style £5 notes, and we have until October for the old £1 coins!

Sadly, this is the month that our lovely Angela flies away to a new life in Canada, I thank her for her hard work & dedication to our village life, (and for coming to work in the post office too of course). I wish her every success, and hope we get to see her in the future!

I also have to say farewell to our lovely Parish Clerk, Elaine, she has been vital in keeping the village post office open, so farewell Elaine & Henrike, best wishes!

I have managed to coax Maggie from Upton to come back to work on Mondays so I can have a day off, and to cover for my holidays! Love from Karen & Angela

Josh is jumping for joy!

July 7, 2017

17 year old Josh Allen, of Blewbury, has been awarded a prestigious Royal Aero Club Trust bursary to enable him to further develop his skydiving skills.  The bursary has been awarded under the Royal Aero Club Trust Flying for Youth Scheme.

Josh, who is mid-way through an electrical engineering apprenticeship with a company in Wallingford and also attends the Training Centre at Culham Science Centre, is a keen member of the London Parachute School, near Wallingford.  He spends as much time as possible undertaking coached skydiving jumps, works as a volunteer at the parachute school, and intends to use the bursary to obtain a Formation Skydiving 1 qualification.  Royal Aero Club Trust bursaries are the subject of keen competition and he has done very well to obtain this award.

The photograph shows Josh shortly after leaving an aircraft at the Parachute School.


August 26, 2017

Your Local Village Gardening Club

Our Annual Show in July proved very successful with a large number of entries in all the different sections. We had a large number of new exhibitors, including entrants from Didcot and Harwell. Our Show is open to anyone and is not restricted to Blewbury and Upton. We managed to win the Inter-Society Competition by one point! Thank you once again to everyone who entered and a special thanks to the Blewbury Play Group who always provide a lovely entry from the children.

I am on holiday and writing this from Thurso in Scotland (not far from John O’Groats!), so I’m not sure how everyone got on with the trip to Kew Gardens on the 12th August – I hope those who went enjoyed themselves.

Our Programme continues:

Sunday 22nd October (1pm – 3pm) – Cake and Plant Sale at Red Lion, Blewbury together with Sustainable Blewbury’s apple pressing day.

Wednesday 1st November (7pm onwards) – Annual General Meeting at the Vale Room, Blewbury Village Hall (includes wine and nibbles).

Saturday 2nd December (7pm – ?) – VPA Annual Social at Upton Village Hall. This year will be a “London Evening” with food, quizes, games and fun. More details next month.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the above events.

DID YOU KNOW ? Although not recommended, did you know that carving a notch in a tree will remain the same distance from the ground as the tree grows? True fact! Happy Gardening Eileen

Sustainable Blewbury

Apple juicing sessions: We have five more sessions for making some of the tastiest apple juice you’ve ever had from your own apples:

  • Sunday, 10 September, 11am–1pm, Blewbury School
  • Sunday, 24 September, 2–4pm, Manor Stable
  • Sunday, 8 October, 2–4pm, Manor Stable
  • Sunday, 22 October, 12–3pm, Red Lion
  • Sunday, 5 November, 11am–1pm, Manor Stable

Please bring your (washed) apples and clean glass (screw-top) wine or drink bottles.
Cost: £1 per pressing (large basket of apples), pasteurising 30p per bottle (keeps for up to a year).

Our equipment is also available to hire: £10 in Blewbury and Upton, £15 elsewhere. For details and bookings contact:

Blewbury Garden Market: Every Saturday morning from 9.30 to 11.30 am, with fresh garden fruit and veg, plants, flowers, home-baked bread and cakes, preserves and Blewbury honey. We need more people bringing us things to sell (before 9.30) and more people to come and buy the things on sale, many of which are not in shops.




Around 300 Sahta Brookhurst handmade clay roof tiles

Football goals x2 suitable for 1-7 year olds

Various lengths of stock wire fencing (bought to create a fence for a puppy & no longer needed)

Lydia Inglis

07801 932393

Working Aldis slide projector, for 35mm & 70mm slides

Coopers slide scanner, as new

6 rolls of restful green plain wallpaper

Brenda Hopkins


High backed pine Carver Chair

4-shelf folding bookcase, beech finish W57cm, D26cm, H131cm

5-shelf folding corner unit, beech finish D29cm, H162.5cm

Sue Lay


07341 667760

Kingavon 4.2kW portable calor gas cabinet heater. Used only once. Use indoors or outdoors

Weber table top charcoal grill

Nina Hutchins


Various sizes folding vegetable covers

Vegetable growing tunnel 10ftx10ft, with insect proof netting

Outdoor table tennis table

Jane Blond

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

To find out more about Sustainable Blewbury, go to If you’d like to get involved in what we do, or to receive our free Newsletter, contact us at

Blewbury WI News

Hello again. September is upon us. The end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn with the nights drawing in. Perhaps we will get an Indian summer to make up for all the recent rain? All our WI events for September are listed below and we would be pleased to welcome any new Members.

  • Friday, 1st  Craft evening at Liz’s  7pm. Please phone first.
  • Monday, 4th WI lunch at The Waterfront Café, Benson. 12 midday.
  • Tuesday, 5th Scrabble at Judy’s 7.30pm. Please phone first.
  • Wednesday, 6th Lyn’s Walk. Meet at Blewbury Village Hall 9.30am. A circular walk ( some have done it before) from East Ilsley – a little longer than usual – 5 miles. We will have a good lunch at The Swan, East Ilsley at the end. PAULA & JAN –if you are both coming we’ll meet you at The Swan at 10am.
  • Wednesday, 6th Coffee at Style Acre 10.30am. With Cilla.
  • Friday, 8th Talking Science at RHL Harwell 1.30pm. “ Dangerous Worlds” – Dr. Elizabeth Tasker.
  • Saturday, 9th WI Teas and Cake Stall at Blewbury’s Blewfest.
  • Wednesday, 27th WI Monthly meeting in the Vale Room, Blewbury Village Hall. 7.30pm. Speaker, Melanie King – Tea/Coffee/ Chocolate-Beverages that changed a Nation.

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.


A new season is just about to start and the first thing to begin is some archaeology digs. Dave Carless has a 2017-2018 plan and we will be hearing about that, and how much we can contribute. We shall also be planning a series of talks for the Winter and Spring; if you know of a speaker who would talk about something either of local history or archaeology please let us know. We want to encourage an interest in history, which is not just “Hitler and the Henrys” as someone said recently on TV, but our families, our houses, the ordinary everyday world that is not so ordinary when you look more carefully.

Contact either Mark or Audrey at 850427 or

Next meeting is September 12th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane.

Bridge Club

Advance notice that the Annual General Meeting will once again be held this year at 7pm before a Thursday night session – on Thursday 5th October in the Vale Room. We hope to get as much bridge in as possible afterwards.

Autumn is, of course, within sight, and so also is the start of the new Wessex League season. Dermot Paddon is once again Team Captain, and so if anyone would like to take part who has not already been approached please let him know. Also, in September, the Friday night Novices sessions will re-commence. Another reminder to let Tina Hollick know if you would like to attend – she can then keep you informed about playing dates, etc. She can be contacted on Michael Allen  851870


The ring to celebrate Jim Blond’s life took place on July 12th. Jim’s family came to listen and we all enjoyed a strawberry and cream tea afterwards, sharing memories of Jim. He would be thrilled that his daughter and grandson have decided to give bell ringing a try, and have been coming to Friday evening practices.

The damp weather since mid-July hasn’t dampened the bells, although there was a moment when we wondered whether we would have the tenor bell to ring as the clapper (the bit that strikes the bell) sheared off. Swift action by Peter Corderoy in contacting Whites of Appleton and the clapper was replaced within the week. The tenor is ringing beautifully and has a very resonant sound.

Saturday 22nd July was the Branch outing ringing at five different towers in Wiltshire interspersed with lunch and tea and then rounding off with the annual Branch BBQ, a very enjoyable day indeed.

August 6th saw big celebrations: Andrew’s birthday and his wedding to Karen. Andrew rang before the service and there was more ringing afterwards, a very enjoyable afternoon. Many congratulations to Andrew and Karen.