Village News

History Group – What my DNA test told me

The next Blewbury Local History Group meeting includes a talk by Tony Hadland with the title shown above.

The availability of DNA tests has given rise to people questioning where their ancestors originated from and many other groups have been fascinated by Tony’s talk so we thought we would give the village a chance to hear it too. We are holding it in the History room, March 14th 8pm start, and SPACE IS LIMITED TO A MAXIMUM OF 20 PEOPLE.  If you wish to attend the meeting then we ask that you make contact with either of the people shown below and wait for confirmation of a ticket. There is no charge.

The response to our request for information on village cellars was excellent, many thanks to those who contacted us. You might also like to take a look at the group’s website which has many interesting pages on the village history. WWW.BLHG.ORG.UK .

For tickets contact either Audrey Long on 850427 or Mark Palethorpe via email



Blewbury and Wallingford Cricket Club are holding indoor winter nets sessions every Sunday afternoon 1 to 3 pm at Moulsford School until early April.

Sessions are open to adults and juniors alike. Session costs cost £3 per player per session. If interested in coming along contact Keith Vincent, junior coordinator 01235 851353.



Bridge Club

The club has settled in to its new routine of alternative venues while the Vale Room is being refurbished.

Locations for the next month or so are as follows:

Thursday March 2, 16, 30 – the Melland Room

Thursday March 9, 23 and April 6 – Aston Tirrold Village Hall

Tuesday March 7, 14, 21, 28, and April 4 – Melland Room.

Friday Novices’ evenings should be in the Melland Room during March but will be confirmed on the website.

Directions to Aston Tirrold Village Hall – from Blewbury take the first turning left to Aston Tirrold off the A417 (travelling towards Streatley). Carry on down and past the United Reformed Church on your right. At the next ‘Give Way’ junction turn left and the Village Hall is a few metres along on your left.

The session on Tuesday 21st March will also be used as qualification for the annual Berks and Bucks Waller Bowl final which this year will be held on Sunday May 7th. Michael Allen.   851870

Bell ringing news from Blewbury Tower

It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of February, looking forward to spring.

Spring arrived early in the Tower this year, Gill and Richard have done an amazing job of spring cleaning, plus a coat of paint and new curtains; the spiders however, are most disgruntled at being disturbed!

The bells like the seasons are never still for long, ringing for Sunday services continues as does practice night. In addition, we have welcomed one group of ringers who rang a quarter peal on a Saturday morning and the following week we hosted a dedicated learning morning for Stedman Triples which was very much appreciated by those who were increasing their knowledge of the method and were very grateful to those experienced ringers who came to share their expertise.

Spring heralds in the social side of ringing and by the time this goes to print we will have had an outing to other towers interspersed with lunch, tea and dinner stops! It won’t be long before those intrepid ducks are making their way to the Playclose for their annual fund raising race, watch this space next month for more details.

As always you are very welcome to join us on a Friday night 8-9.30pm.


Village Hall: Refurbishment Work Begins

Good news. We have appointed Knowles and Son (Oxford) Ltd as our builders for the project and work will be starting on phase 1 in the week beginning 30 January.

This includes a new post office, refurbished kitchen, toilets and Vale Room and insulating and rendering the front and side elevations. We are expecting the work to take around 16 weeks. During this time, the builders will aim to keep the main hall, current post office and surgery in operation but there could be times when they have close. In this event, the builders will do their best to give us good notice and the Hall Management Committee will notify users. The builders will also take over an area of the car park in front of the Vale Room, which will restrict parking, particularly during school pick-up and drop-off times, and affect access to the school from the car park. The Hall Management Committee is discussing the implications of this with the school. We’ll provide more information and answer questions at the Village Hall AGM at 7.30 on 26 January in the school.

With phase 1 getting under way, we are turning our attention to phase 2. The aim is to do this at the same time next year, raising the further £200,000 we need over the next 12 months. This is a big challenge but we’re going for it. We’ll be making a number of applications for grants and we will need to continue to organise fundraising events and keep up the flow of individual donations (we’ve had 40 so far). All contributions make a difference and are welcome. You can find out how to donate at, including online via Virgin Money Giving. If you have any fundraising ideas do let us know and let’s finish the job.

Steve White

Happy 105th birthday!

On Christmas Day William (Bill) Dent-Robinson celebrated his 105th birthday.

Originally from Cumbria, William came south to go to Reading University and in 1933 took up a teaching post at Didcot Co-educational Secondary School where he met his future wife, Winifred, who taught Mathematics. In 1936 he joined the newly built St Birinus Secondary Modern School for Boys and is the sole surviving member of the original staff. He has lived in the village for 70 years.

During the Second World War, William served in the Royal Air Force. He undertook wireless interception and intelligence work near the front line in Europe and took part in the D-Day landings. In 1946 he returned to St Birinus as Head of the Geography Department. He was acting Headmaster for a year and for two decades was Deputy Headmaster. He retired in 1973. There are a huge number of his ex-pupils who live in and around Blewbury who remember ‘Robbie’ with great affection and hold him in very high regard.


On the evening of Saturday 11th March (time tbc) there will be a performance of Schumann’s Piano Quintet Op 44.

The London-based string quartet St. Paul’s Quartet ( will be joined by Charlotte Brennand on the piano. The quartet will treat us to another piece from their repertoire too, followed by drinks.
Limited Tickets at £20 from or 01235 851301.

On Saturday April 29th Charlotte will be joined by Clarinettist Catriona Scott in a lovely programme of mainly English music by Finzi, Howells, James Francis-Brown and Messager.

On Thursday June 22nd there will be a performance by the Millbrook Ensemble. More details to follow!

Attention all Cricketers!

Blewbury and Wallingford Cricket Club are holding indoor winter nets sessions every Sunday afternoon 1 to 3 pm at Moulsford School until early April.

Sessions are open to adults and juniors alike. Session costs cost £3 per player per session. If interested in coming along contact Keith Vincent, junior coordinator 01235 851353

Do you have a cellar in your house?

Some members of the History Group have recently discovered that there are cellars in the village.

Of course the pubs have cellars but in view of the level of the water table here, we found the idea of below ground storage places surprising. Does your house have an underground, or partially underground cellar? If it does, we would very much like to record it, and even better have a look at it. We promise not to nick any of your vintage port stored there, or even the stuff you put there 20 years ago and have forgotten about. The site might be a record of earlier water levels which would be interesting.

Contact either Mark Palethorpe( or Audrey Long on 850427.  (Our next meeting is February  14th at 8pm at Robinsons.)

Blewbury Film Supports the Village Hall

Happy New Year to all our Blewbury Film Supporters! We are very happy to announce our Spring Screening for the 29th March will be “A United Kingdom”.

This incredible film tells the story of a true-life romance between an English office clerk and the future king of Botswana. David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike star in this beautifully shot, crowd-pleasing, film about post-war history that could be filed under “stranger than fiction”.

Rosamund Pike is Ruth Williams, a clerk from Blackheath, South London, working in Lloyds of London in 1947, who is swept off her feet by handsome law student Seretse Khama (Oyelowo). Ruth doesn’t know that Seretse is an African king in waiting, leader-to-be of the Bamangwato people of Bechuanaland (later Botswana), the British protectorate to which he is due to return on completion of his studies.

Handsomely shot on locations in the UK and Botswana by Sam McCurdy, A United Kingdom contrasts sweeping exteriors with the battle between an entrenched establishment and an emerging republic.

Guardian – “Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo in fine romance” – «««« –

A United Kingdom (12A)

Directed by Amma Asante

Starring: David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike

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, 29th March Doors Open: 7:30pm
Price: £5 / head Tickets available at the Post Office from 27th January

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: