Village News

Sustainable Blewbury

October 20, 2017

‘Climate Change: Growing Elephant, Shrinking Room’ – a talk by Prof. Eric Eisenhandler: Blewbury Manor Barn, Monday 30th October at 8pm, tickets £6 (including a glass of wine) from the Post Office.

There’s been a lot in the news about climate change, especially extreme weather. But the stories don’t often explain much and can be misleading. And in the UK, politicians are consumed by shorter term issues like Brexit.

Eric’s talk will explain climate change and its effects. Then he’ll cover renewable energy, including progress in dealing with intermittent energy sources (wind and solar), and summarise the UK situation. Discussion at the end.

Apple juicing sessions: There’s still one more session for turning your surplus apples into some of the best juice you’ve ever tasted: Sun. 5 Nov. 11am–1pm at Manor Stable. Bring (washed) apples, and clean glass screw-top wine bottles if you want to pasteurise your juice or plastic containers to freeze it. Cut out bad bits but no need to core the apples. Please arrive before noon if you want to pasteurise. Cost: £1 per pressing (large basket of apples); pasteurising 30p per bottle (keeps for up to a year). And bring the family too – children very welcome.

You can also hire our kit to use at home. For more information contact us at

Blewbury Garden Market EXTRA: Our Saturday morning stall at the Garage has finished for the year – many thanks to our enthusiastic producers and helpers for another good season. But don’t despair – at the Post Office we will have bread and cakes on Saturday mornings, and jam and occasional produce all week.

Village leaf clearance: Sunday 3rd December, from 2–4pm. We’re repeating last year’s leaf-clearing event, which was fun for everyone young and old, and cleared our lovely footpaths! And once again volunteers will have a reward: coffee or tea with fresh, home-baked cakes at the Blueberry. More details in the next issue.

Thermal imaging: Every winter we borrow a thermal imaging camera in order to help anyone who wants to improve their home’s insulation. It’s a double win, for the climate and for your bills. We also can check the effectiveness of any improvements that you have made. We’ll have the camera during January – contact us at or phone 850558 if you are interested in having this done. This service is free.




2 grey plastic Tesco buckets, barely used

Spear and Jackson secateurs

Garden mattock

Pair of paddle-type leaf collectors

Electric hedge trimmer Bosch AHS 4-16

Electric chainsaw Husquavana 1200EL, purchased from Wests

Various artists materials e.g. Pastels, turpentine, paper, etc. Please contact me to see what there is.

Melanie Longhurst 07867 500031
Child’s wooden rocking chair. Cute. Can be dismantled.

Jane Gibson

Black 330 litre Blackwall compost bin.

Emma Chorlton

07841 035254

Two black metal curtain poles with twirly finials – one approximately 160cm long, the other slightly shorter.

New white WC seat (still in box)

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 If you’d like to get involved in what we do, or to receive our free Newsletter, contact us at


At our October meeting we were so enthralled by the latest historical finds from round the village that we never did get time to collate the Walks books, so that will be top of the agenda at our next meeting.

We will also discuss how we can have closer links with other local history groups. Harwell for example is having a series of talks for a year starting on November 15th in the Cherry Hall, details available from Audrey. But a member of our own group will be giving a talk in Wallingford next month about the archaeological finds in Blewbury, see the details below, or

Our next meeting is Tuesday November 14th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane. If you want to know more about what we do, contact either Mark or Audrey 850427 or

Talk: ‘Blewbury – A Saxon Surprise in a Test Pit and a Roman Religious Site on the Downs’

Dave Carless and Lindsey Bedford will be giving a talk in Wallingford on Wednesday 8th November, about findings from two volunteer digs in Blewbury in 2015/16. The two projects led to the discovery of an early Saxon sunken featured building in a back garden through test pitting, and the investigation of crop marks on the Berkshire Downs which English Heritage recorded as a possible Romano-British temple. The sunken building, being cut into chalk, was well preserved and yielded some lovely finds and the possible Roman site delivered its own surprise in the form of a deep shaft.

The meeting is at St. Mary’s Church, Wallingford, starting at 7.45pm for 8.00pm. Parking is available nearby in the Waitrose car park (free at that time of the evening). There is a charge of £4.

Blewbury WI


Hello to everyone. Autumn has arrived. Very beautiful but will keep us very busy with all the fallen leaves to sweep up and the garden to put to bed. But we can look forward to bonfires and fireworks to keep us entertained and the following list of WI November events will keep us happily occupied. All new members will be made very welcome to join us.

  • Wednesday, 1st Lyn’s Walk. Leave the Village Hall at 10am for a local walk which will probably finish up at Style Acre.
  • Wednesday, 1st Scrabble at Lin Page’s. 7.30pm. Please ring first.
  • Friday, 3rd Craft Evening at Liz’s. 7pm. Please ring first.
  • Monday, 6th Mah Jong at Steve’s. 2.30pm. Please ring first.
  • Wednesday, 8th Coffee at Style Acre with Trish. 10.30am.
  • Wednesday, 22nd WI monthly meeting. Craft evening making Christmas items. Vale Room 7.30pm.
  • Friday, 24th Talking Science Lecture at RAL Harwell. 1.30pm. Pressing FIRE on the most powerful laser in the world. Dr. Ceri Brenner.

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


 Your Local Village Gardening Club

It’s reminder time for everyone – our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING takes place on WEDNESDAY 1ST NOVEMBER in the VALE ROOM at BLEWBURY VILLAGE HALL. It commences at 7.00pm for 7.30pm which gives you time to have a complimentary glass of wine and some nibbles. Look forward to seeing you there.

Tickets are now available for our ANNUAL SOCIAL which takes place on SATURDAY 2ND DECEMBER (7PM – 10pm) at UPTON VILLAGE HALL. This year will be “A London Evening” with delicious home made food (those with special dietary requirements will be catered for), quizzes, games and lots of fun and we have some very special entertainment!! Tickets have been held at last year’s price of £9 per person. Tickets are available from Karen at Blewbury Post Office or ring Margaret Maytham in Upton on 01235 850126 or contact Eileen on 01235 510095.

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

We are in the process of planning our programme of events and visits for 2018 and this will be available soon. We are planning a visit to West Green House Gardens in Hartley Witney and a trip to Wisley – the details will be announced in the new year. Our Annual Summer Show will take place in July and we are re-arranging the classes for the Children’s Section to try and encourage more of them to take part. Full details will be available at the beginning of 2018.

DID YOU KNOW ? Thrushes love the berries of the rowan tree and distribute the seeds in their droppings. The rowan used to be carried on ships to ward off storms and was also planted on graves to stop the dead returning to haunt the living!! Happy Gardening Eileen


The issue of slugs is ever present and I was at Blewfest enjoying the music (wasn’t George Long amazing – where did he get that voice from) when inevitably there was a mini cloudburst.

So I was sheltering in the beer tent, funnily enough, when a girl tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘slugs’ to me. I recognised her as the owner of an adjacent allotment which absolutely immaculate and very productive, in fact makes mine look like a scraggy mess. I have watched her allotment go from nothing to near perfection over the past two years. So she said that Slugo, the non-poisonous slug pellets, were good but she had a better solution, namely frogs. She has a small pond in her garden in Cossicle Mead and she collects frog spawn and grows frogs. She then put them on her allotment where they spend the summer eating all the slugs. Amazing and brilliant plan I thought. So I have decided to accumulate a few old sinks or washing up bowls, plant one in each of my eight raised beds and grow frogs to control the slug population. So if you have any spare washing bowls save them for me!!

There are still lots of veggies on people’s allotment and my leeks have been great this year so I carefully picked mine and took them home last week. My son who had come back home for the weekend saw them and said ‘great Dad — fresh veg from the allotment, perfect’, and nabbed the whole lot and disappeared back to Bristol to cook leek soup. So there go my leeks I thought, but how amazing that a veggie hating ex-teenager now has turned into an allotment veggie leek lover. What more could you want for from your kids.

Well it’s coming to the end of the summer so time to clear the allotment and hunker down for winter. Also, time to pick the fruit on your apple or pear trees. I have two small trees, each of which has two varieties which were grafted together. Unfortunately this year there was almost no fruit, which I can only account for a frost in late spring or a bit of overzealous pruning last year. Other apple trees on the allotments seem to have done well however, with five trees planted by Mike Edmunds producing amazing quantities of fruit. These were varieties of eating apples and cookers, available to anyone on the allotments to pick. Mike was one of the most generous of people and he had a Blewbury allotment for over forty years. He passed away in 2015 and is greatly missed.

Bridge Club

The AGM was held on Thursday 5th October ahead of a shortened session of bridge.

Susan Tilbrook and Steve Quinn resigned as Committee members and thanks go to them for their contributions in the past – particularly to Susan for all her hard work collecting subscriptions and maintaining the membership lists. Also for acting as lead co-ordinator at the Christmas parties. Sarah Donne and Mick Moore were elected to the Committee and our thanks go to them. All Officers and other Committee members were re-elected unopposed.

After some discussion about the £1 additional table money which has been charged as a contribution to the Village Hall Refurbishment Fund it was overwhelmingly agreed that this should continue.

Cupholders are asked to return their cups to the Treasurer, Colin Field, no later than the end of the month.

A heat of the Children in Need Simultaneous Pairs will be held in the club on Thursday 16th November. It is hoped that as many members as possible will turn out to play that evening and to be as generous as possible with their contributions to this worthwhile charity – all funds raised on the evening, including what would normally be a contribution to the EBU for Pay to Play, will go to Children in Need. Anna Gudge, who organises the hands and the results, normally appears at the BBC event on the Friday evening to present a large cheque! Over £70,000 was raised by bridge clubs last year and now Anna’s organisation, ECatsBridge, is an official partner of Children in Need in recognition of the large sums raised in the past by the bridge-playing community.

Finally, it is with great sadness that I have to report the recent death of Gillian Hewitt-Taylor who was a keen supporter of the club over many years, a committee member, and contributor in many ways to the successful running of Blewbury Bridge Club. Our thoughts are with her many friends and family at this sad time.

Michael Allen  851870

Police and Crime Plan 2017-21

The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley has published a new Police and Crime Plan detailing the five strategic priorities for policing and crime for the next five years.

Click here to view or download a PDF containing the key points of the new Plan.



September 22, 2017

We hope that many of you heard the Peal of Morville Delight Major (with 5088 changes in the order of the bells) rung in 3hr 5min on 23rd August to celebrate the life of Jim Blond who, during his life, contributed so much to bell ringing. The Peal was beautiful to listen to and was an inspiration to those of us who are still trying to improve our ringing. Thank you to Colin Turner and his band of ringers.

Our learners are making fantastic progress, we are very fortunate in Blewbury to have teenagers wanting to learn and continue the tradition of bell ringing not forgetting the experienced ringers who are teaching them. As an aside it has reduced the average age of bell ringers at Blewbury considerably!

We continue to ring for Sunday service and practice night is Friday 8-9.30pm, a warm welcome awaits anyone who would like to come and see what ringing is all about.

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.

Downland Dance News

July 14, 2017

Ballet classes in East Hagbourne and Abingdon, following the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus six days a week. Minimum starting age 3plus with no upper age limit.

The summer term has now ended but classes for adults and advanced students are continuing throughout July and August.

This year, as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, we are holding a few master classes. Adam Harris, formerly of Downland Dance, now with The Croatian National Theatre Company, will give a class in August. A soloist from The Royal Ballet is scheduled to teach a master class in early September. We are still negotiating a class with a dancer from another company for some time in the summer. To fit in these extras we are starting the autumn term a week later this year on Monday September 11th. For further details please contact Principal Mrs. Judy Harris on 01235 554060 or  Anita Rendel