Village News


A smiley Hello to everyone. April is just around the corner, promising some longer sunny days, lots of lovely Spring flowers and Happy Easter celebrations. Below is a list of the events that Blewbury WI is holding during April, to which all new Members are welcome.

  • Monday, 3rd April 2017 Coffee at Style Acre with Karen. 10.30am.
  • Wednesday, 5th April 2017 Lyn’s Walk.   Meet at the Village Hall at 9.30am. We will be starting our walk from COTHILL near Abingdon. Transport arranged on the    It might be a bit muddy so stout footwear is advised. A pair of binoculars will be useful and don’t forget pennies for coffee. Please ring Lyn the day before. 850795
  • Friday, 7th April 2017 Talking Science RAL Lecture, Harwell. 1.30pm.  Exploring the Deep. Ocean versus Space.  Russell Arnott.
  • Monday, 10th April 2017 Scrabble at Judy’s 7.30pm. Please call first.
  • Wednesday, 26th April 2017 WI monthly meeting in the Vale Room. 7.30pm.   Linda Benton.

Mah Jong is suspended during the Summer months in favour of Croquet.

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, htpp:// where you will find more information.       Love from Cilla.


Following the very enjoyable talk by Tony Hadland at our last meeting, we couldn’t claim to be experts on DNA, but we all know a great deal more than we did before. There will be more talks in the future on a variety of subjects. We are continuing with collecting old photos and writings about the village. In particular we would love to hear from people with memories or pictures of family members who served in WWI and returned from it. Do visit our updated & revised website for the latest news If you are interested, then contact either Audrey Long on 850427 or Mark Palethorpe via email

Our next meeting is at 8pm on Tuesday April 11th in the History Room, Parsonage Lane. This will be our AGM and we also have a large historic album of Victorian photographs of the village and its people to study which was kindly given to the Group to preserve.

Bridge Club

Due to the delay in carrying out the Village Hall Refurbishment Works, we may re-locate back to the Vale Room from Tuesday 4th April. All being well, this will be confirmed nearer the date. In the meantime we will be playing at the venues previously notified.

There will also be Novices evenings, also expected to be in the Vale Room, on Fridays 7th and 28th April. Only one session in March, on Friday 24th, is due to be played and will be in the Melland Room.

Our Wessex League team finished all their matches before Christmas and are now awaiting the results of the three remaining fixtures in the Division to see our final finishing position. However, it does seem certain that we will be in the middle of the table, without the possibility now of promotion, but also safe from relegation. Well done to the Captain and all who took part. Michael Allen 851870


Royal Mail are putting their postage rates up from Monday 27th March, 1p on first & second (standard size) & 2p on large first class large letter, 1p on second class large letter, everything else goes up too, including parcels, BUT customers can now see when their parcel has been delivered (for free) by going to “”. The postie will scan the 2D icon on the parcel as he/she delivers it, (hopefully!)

David Bowie special stamps are on sale at the moment, with iconic racehorses on sale later in April.

Royal Mail have also introduced a new 3rd class stamp, cost 35p, with a delivery aim of anything up to 3 weeks. They are only on sale 1/4/17, but are valid all year.

We are collecting the “Active Kids” vouchers available in Sainsbury’s, for Karen’s girly guides, so if you have a few and don’t know anyone who is collecting them, please bring them in!

We have bagged up small amounts of “layers pellets” for better feeding of the local ducks, (far better than giving them bread) for a 20p donation to the village hall fund.

We are expecting “Duck Race” tickets very soon, they sell out quickly!

We will be closed on Good Friday & Easter Monday, allowances paid on those days will be paid early, usually the working day before, (open on the Saturday morning). Anyone who needs emergency top up of gas or electric, ring my mobile 07825154842 and I can pop round to PO! Love from Karen & Angela



The bells of Blewbury Tower rang out on Thursday March 9th for a double celebration, marking two special birthdays in the village.

As featured in last month’s bulletin, Glennys Bungey was 100 years old on 8th March, and a band of regular Blewbury ringers (pictured) assembled to ring a quarter peal in her honour. The ringing also marked the 70th birthday of one of our own ringers, Chris Cook, a much valued member of the band – in ringing and social activities alike.

Also, please come along to the Playclose on Easter Sunday at 12 noon to cheer on your intrepid ducks in our annual Duck Race – details are on the front page.  Happy Easter from the bell ringers.

Photo (courtesy of Bernard Mattimore) shows the ringers for the quarter peal attempt at Blewbury Tower on March 9th 2017 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Glennys Bungey and the 70th birthday of Chris Cook.


I think we can safely say that Spring has sprung, and Blewbury is looking delightful with a riot of colour from the masses of daffodils, primroses and very shortly bluebells in bloom. Enthusiasm has also risen after the dark days of winter, and patches of allotments are newly dug and planted.

On my allotment we have planted the first early potatoes, a little too soon but their sprouts were already three inches long so they couldn’t wait; but just in case of a late frost we have re-covered the area with black cloth which should keep them toasty warm while they get their roots down. In our haste, we forgot to fertilise the area but that will be remedied in the next day or so and watered in. There are second earlies and main crop potatoes still chitting in the cold greenhouse which we will get round to planting in the next month or so.

The black cloth is going to be used on any uncultivated patches until ready to be put into use; it works wonderfully well at keeping weeds down and makes the earth much easier to dig. I’m all for that!

We’ve ordered a fruit cage, which hopefully will be delivered and erected before the gooseberries are plundered. It should also cover the raspberries. Before it does arrive, however, I have a job to do which involves digging up the (already sprouting) raspberries so that I can remove the infestation of couch grass from between the plants.

The little transplanted pear tree has survived the winter and has large buds forming all over it, hurrah!

At home I have tomato seedlings doing well on the kitchen windowsill, and am about to sow some nasturtiums and French marigolds as companion plants, to outwit the aphids. I saw a warning recently about commercially supplied bulbs being treated with neonicotinoids which can harm our bees; to avoid this possibility, you could buy summer bulbs from Garden Organic (previously the Henry Doubleday Institute) which guarantee their bulbs are not contaminated with this nasty pesticide, just go to their website.

I am informed there will be another free Compost Giveaway on May 13th at Crowmarsh Gifford car park, courtesy of Agrivert, so do take your sacks and bins along and fill up with some good stuff for your garden or allotment. More details next month.  Angela Hoy (


Neighbourhood Development Plan: Blewbury votes ‘Yes’!

The voting in the Blewbury Neighbourhood Plan referendum was as follows:

Total votes cast: 562
‘Yes’ votes: 531
‘No’ votes: 31
Turnout: 42.9%

This means that the village’s answer to the question ‘Do you want the Vale of White Horse District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Blewbury to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’ was a resounding ‘Yes’.

Congratulations to everyone on the Neighbourhood Plan team and everyone who helped achieve this successful outcome.

Main Photo: The team and supporters drink a toast to the result. (Thanks to Bernard Mattimore)

Photo below: The official announcement



Following recent advertisements, the Charity is pleased to announce that Sarah Donne has been appointed as Clerk to the Trustees. Correspondence should be addressed to her at Godwins, Bridus Way, Blewbury, OX11 9NW or emailed to

Information about the Trustees

It is 25 years since Audrey Long was elected as a trustee in 1992, making her the longest-serving. Mark Palethorpe and Ann Dendy were elected in 2009, followed by Louise Brimacombe (Aston) in 2010, Jackie Maguire and Sheila Loy (Chair) in 2012 and Liz Hardy (Upton) in 2014.


Your Local Village Gardening Club

Well, it doesn’t seem possible I’m writing for the March issue of the Blewbury Bulletin and Upton News already!! Where is the time going? In the meantime we have three of our Committee members giving 20 minute talks on keeping chickens on allotments, how to produce top class compost and growing and propogating snowdrops. The talks take place at Blewbury Manor Barn at 7.30pm on THURSDAY 2nd MARCH.

When I drive through Blewbury I always have a quick glance at the allotments – they do look a bit sad at the moment. My allotments (2) in Didcot are ready and waiting for the broad beans and peas which are germinating in the greenhouse. Given the weather I can’t do much more – hopefully March will be a warmer month. The planting plans are ready for this years veggies. Can’t wait to get everything up and running.

Don’t forget the VPA has a selection of tools available for all residents in Blewbury and Upton to use for a donation. You will find the list on the back of the programme which is enclosed with this copy of the Blewbury Bulletin. We also have a projector which can be hired for a £5 donation. Contact details are on the programme.

Don’t forget to put the two dates of our outings in your diary and full details will be issued in the Blewbury Bulletin and Upton News prior to the event.



DID YOU KNOW? The first garden gnomes were introduced to the UK in 1847 by Sir Charles Isham, who brought back 21 terracotta figures from Germany and placed them in the gardens of his home, Lamport in Northamptonshire. Only one of the original batch of gnomes survives. Lampy, as he is known, is on display at Lamport Hall and is insured for one millions pounds!  Happy Gardening,  Eileen


Hi All, March is almost here. With all the Spring bulbs shooting through and primroses and snowdrops in full flower, and the days gradually getting longer, we will soon be out in the garden looking forward to Spring. The Wi events for March are listed below and any new members would be very welcome to join us.

  • Tuesday, 7th Lyn’s Walk. An urban walk to the North of Didcot starting at Didcot Parkway at 10.30 am. Catch the 10.14 bus from The Blueberry (10.08 from Upton). Don’t forget your bus passes and pennies for coffee, hopefully.
  • Wednesday, 8th Coffee at Style Acre. 10.30 am.
  • Wednesday, 8th Scrabble at Bernardine’s. 7.30 pm.
  • Wednesday, 22nd Monthly meeting, AGM, and Social Evening at the Manor Barn, 7.30 pm.
  • Friday, 24th RAL Harwell Lecture, 1.30 pm. Discovering the Universe from beneath the surface — Emma Meehan.
  • Mah Jong sessions are held every Monday afternoon at 2.30 pm.

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, htpp:// where you will find more information. Love from Cilla.