Village News

Blewbury Film supports the Village Hall!

Blewbury Film is pleased to announce that our screening for the 9th August will be “Sully”.

Clint Eastwood’s film tells the story about Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the heroic pilot who landed his passenger jet on New York’s Hudson River two minutes after both engines failed moments after take-off. This is Clint Eastwood’s 35th Film – not bad for an 86 year old cowboy – and shows that he has not lost his talent for drama, action and absorbing cinematic fluency.

Tom Hanks, in another splendid lead role performance, plays Sully, the stoic pilot faced with a tough job – both during and after the infamous crash landing. To Eastwood, Sully is one of those heroes who keep their narrowed eyes trained on the horizon and who are somehow simultaneously unassuming and completely authoritative. Eastwood has cast and directed Hanks perfectly in the role. Tom Hanks even seems to give his own crow’s feet a little extra “Eastwoodian” crinkle.

This is a film best watched with your feet firmly planted on terra firma but shows the human experience behind this fateful flight as faced by passengers, crew and onlookers in a breathtakingly realistic and plausible way.

Telegraph –“Sully, the superb drama suits Hanks and Eastwood down to the ground”


Sully (12A)

Directed by Clint Eastwood         Starring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney.

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, 9th August Doors Open: 7:30pm
Price: £5 / head Tickets available at the Post Office from 30th June

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:


Bridge Club

The Abingdon Cafe Bridge event is being held on 19th October this year. There are 5 venues with lunch provided in the one at which you are playing at the time. It starts at 10am and finishes at 4pm, and is friendly, social bridge for players of all standards. There are prizes for winners, and for those less experienced. Why not give it a try? The cost is £60 per pair with the surplus going to Parkinsons UK. For further information and to register email Kevin Carter on

As the summer is well and truly upon us we hope that members will still come along to play at the club regularly and escape the evening heat of the garden! Michael Allen 851870


One thing you can always say about our weather, it is never dull!

This last month it has ranged from cold and rainy to extremely windy and now we are in a heatwave to rival 1976! Watering has been a chore, but just think what it does to tone the upper arms!

The high winds had a detrimental effect on our cunning idea of planting seedlings through holes in black membrane, to retain moisture and discourage pests; the wind picked up any loose edges and thrashed our poor sweetcorn seedlings almost to death! Fortunately a kind neighbour gave us some more that we have now planted out, this time in bare earth. Another casualty of the weather seems to be the first early potatoes, which look very lacklustre and despite a few flowers on their haulms, don’t appear to have much underneath the soil. In contrast, the second earlies are looking bushy and healthy, thus proving perhaps the old adage that it is better to wait for Spring to get into gear before planting frost-tender vegetables. Also, something ate all the French bean seedlings before they were barely out of the ground! Sometimes you just can’t win….

On the plus side, the runner beans have finally established themselves and are romping up the poles, and this spell of fine weather with be just what they need. And the potatoes that we did dig were absolutely delicious, with lots more to come.

It looks like a very good year for soft fruits, with the gooseberry bushes groaning under the fruit and the strawberries are also plentiful and sweet. Coming along rapidly are blackcurrants, redcurrants and Tayberries, and at home I am waiting with anticipation for the cherries to ripen! They are swathed in fleece to stop the birds plundering them before I get a chance.

It is the VPA Village Show in a couple of weeks so it is an anxious time to see if there will be enough ripe fruit and vegetables to show. If you haven’t entered it before, it is great fun, and very exciting to go round after the judging and see if you have any Best in Show and First prizes!

Some of you will know that I am leaving for Canada at the end of August, so this is my last article; it will cease to exist unless a volunteer steps up! Angela Hoy (

Editor’s note: Angela has been writing her Notes from the Allotment column for the Bulletin for as long as I’ve been editing it – that is, since September 2011. As with all our regular contributors, the editorial team owes her a great debt of gratitude, and we wish her all the very best for her new life in Canada. Thanks Angela!

Bell Ringing News from Blewbury Tower

You may have noticed that apart from our normal Friday and Sunday ringing there was a quarter peal of spliced surprise major rung on May 30th for the visitation of the Archdeacon.

We also rang as part of BBC Music Event on 15th June, which, according to the BBC, was well supported globally and hopefully will help to kindle interest in bell ringing and encourage more people to learn the art.

Sadly, Jim Blond who was a ringer for many years at Blewbury and East Hagbourne passed away on 15th June. Apart from many significant personal ringing achievements, Jim did much to pass on his significant skills to new ringers and also promote the art of ringing locally. His name is recorded on several of the peal boards displayed in the ringing chamber, and we hope to ring a quarter peal in his memory and to celebrate his life during the next few weeks.

Andrew (one of our bell ringers) and Karen get married on 6th August, and it is also a significant birthday for Andrew – both very good reasons for celebratory ringing. We will be ringing before and after the wedding ceremony as well as for normal Sunday service that morning.

There is also the possibility of a peal (ringing for about 3hrs) at Blewbury during the summer. The likely date (to be confirmed) will be August 23rd starting at 10.00am

We hope that you will enjoy hearing the bells and that everyone has a very enjoyable summer, fingers crossed that the good weather continues! Chris Cook

End of an era as Freda hangs up her cassock

A special Choral Evensong was held on Sunday 26th March to mark the retirement of Freda Chapman as Choir Mistress of St Michael’s Church after more than 30 years.

The Church was full of well-wishers and past and present choir members and Freda was very pleased that most of her family were able to be there especially as it was also Mothering Sunday. Over the years, Freda has encouraged many young choristers to fulfil their singing talents.

A collection had been made from the congregation and the choir and the photo shows Father Jason presenting Freda with a certificate from the Royal College of Church Music in appreciation of her years of service, a large bouquet of flowers and a cheque. Freda had chosen her favourite hymns and it was a lovely service and an appropriate tribute to her long service.

Freda is also, of course, our ‘poet in residence’ at the Blewbury Bulletin.

Photo: Bernard Mattimore

Community Orchard Opening, Village Picnic and Barbecue

Sunday 11th June, Tickers Folly Field, from 12 noon

Sustainable Blewbury, with support from Blewbury Primary School PTA and the Pre-school, are celebrating the opening of Blewbury’s Community Orchard with a party – a village picnic and barbecue. There will be music from Blewbury Learner Brass Band and a range of activities for all ages.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy the PTA barbecue or bring their own picnic. We will have a real ale bar (the ‘Wagon Inn’, backed by the Blewbury Wagon) serving local beers, apple juice and soft drinks. There will also be a stall selling cake using orchard and garden fruits such as apples, plums and berries.

Some of the activities planned include:

  • Pre-school annual sponsored kite flying and picnic
  • Tug of war
  • Welly wanging
  • Story teller
  • Pond dipping
  • Information about the orchard, local environment and other Sustainable Blewbury activities

So come along, party in the orchard and make it a great village event!

Blewbury School: Habitats and SATs

This term is proving to be a busy one throughout Blewbury School, with all the classes undertaking different tasks whilst keeping a common theme – Habitats.

In Key Stage 1, Class One have been dashing all over the place with a trip to Farmer Gows activity farm in Faringdon, learning about the different animals and their behaviour. They have had an outing to release their frogs back into the wild having watched them emerge and grow from spawn, and next week are off to visit the farrier in East Hagbourne. After each trip, they report on what they have seen and produce some wonderful work.

Class Two have been looking at “mini-beasts”, or slugs, snails and stick insects to you and me, and will be moving to bigger animals and their surroundings later this term.

Class Three have made bug hotels from wood, bark and bamboo which has definitely been a hit with them, although the squeamish amongst us probably won’t be checking in anytime soon!

Meanwhile, in Key Stage 2, Class Four have been studying how various species adapt to their habitats and how they evolve to adjust to their conditions and environment. They have been studying the life cycle of butterflies and ladybirds and some flowers, whilst also learning about food chains and the water cycle.

Class Five have been studying the classification of living things and have had a go at pond dipping in the newly refurbished pond (thank you Gus Mills) to learn about aquatic life, particularly looking at how animals adapt to their surroundings and can camouflage themselves.

And Class Six… well, Class Six have been taking their SATs, the National Curriculum Assessments which all pupils must undertake. These comprise of four key areas, Maths, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling, and are certainly no pushover, so, for those of you who are wondering, here are a couple of questions from previous papers….

“Identify the missing number. 12.5 ÷ ? = 7.5 ÷ 1.5”. Or how about this one: “how many vertices does a square based pyramid have?” Don’t worry if you are struggling to answer the questions because you would be in good company. Schools Minister Nick Gibb was asked this SATs question live on the radio. In the sentence “I went to the cinema after eating my dinner” – is “after” a preposition or subordinating conjunction?” Unfortunately, Mr Gibb chose the incorrect answer, which is why all the teachers at Blewbury School begin preparation well in advance of the tests so our children get a deep understanding of numbers, grammar and English, whilst maintaining the balance between achieving successful SATs results and imparting a well-rounded, experience-rich education!

My final words must be a resounding “good luck” to Class 3 who are just about to start their SATs as I write – aged 7!

Michael Evans Class 6 Link Governor

PS – the answers (to save you Googling them) are 2.5, 5 and subordinating conjunction.

The photo, courtesy of Eric Eisenhandler, shows images captured by video camera traps purchased for the school by Sustainable Blewbury.

Sustainable Blewbury

Community Orchard Opening, Village Picnic and Barbecue – Sunday 11 June, Tickers Folly Field, from 12 noon:
see separate article in this issue for more information.

Blewbury Garden Market: Now running (for our 8th year!) at Blewbury Garage every Saturday morning from 9.30 to 11.30 am, with fresh garden fruit and veg, bedding plants and seedlings, flowers, home-baked bread and cakes, free-range eggs, preserves and honey, all locally produced. Bring us anything you’d like to sell between 9.00 and 9.30. We’d love more volunteers to help run the stall – email or talk to us at the Garage if you’d like to join in!

Blewbury Primary School wildlife recording: We have purchased two bird-nesting boxes equipped with video cameras and two video camera traps for the school, and we will be working with the children to observe and record village wildlife. We haven’t had any nesting birds yet, but the camera traps (which work in colour during the day and infrared at night) have already recorded a variety of local fauna – badgers, foxes, muntjacs, rabbits, etc. – and their behaviour.



Pair of extending ladders, hardwood with aluminium rungs, good condition. Unextended length approx 12 ft

Brian Lewis

01235 851564
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

VPA news




Our Annual Summer Show is an opportunity for everyone in Blewbury and Upton (and surrounding villages) to take part and enter home grown fruit, vegetables and flowers, to enter cooking, handicraft, photography and to take part in many other categories. We would love to see as many young people as possible entering the competition – age groups start from 5 years old!!

Exhibitors display their entries early on Saturday morning, they are then judged during the morning and the Show is then opened to the public at 2.30pm. The winners are announced at 4.00pm.

You will find The Schedule with the Entry Form at Blewbury Post Office or you can ring Margaret Maytham in Upton on 01235 850126 or Eileen Bracken on 01235 510095 for more details.

Each year we have a special display and 2017 is no exception. This year we will be having a special exhibition of botanical illustrations by local artists, together with a variety of other paintings also painted by artists in the area.

We are grateful for the previous support and enthusiasm shown by the residents of Blewbury and Upton and we are hoping for a huge number of entries this year.

There are many new residents in Blewbury and Upton who may be reluctant to take part – do please have a go!! The Show has a long standing tradition and fosters pride and friendly competition amongst the villagers.


DID YOU KNOW? “Britain is the only country that grows apples expressly for cooking” and did you also know? “You need roughly 35 to 40 apples to make eight pints of cider”. Happy Gardening, Eileen

Blewbury WI News

Hello again. “June is bursting out all over”! Warm sunny days and all the beautiful gardens to visit in Blewbury. Below is a list of the events during June, and all new members would be very welcome to join our happy group.

  • Friday June 2nd – Craft evening at Liz’s. Call first. 7.30pm.
  • Monday June 12th – Scrabble at Babeth’s. 7.30pm.
  • Wednesday June 14th – Lyn’s Walk. We have 2 walks in mind, but, as yet, haven’t decided which one to take. Both have been walked by some before and are outside the village. Meet at Blewbury Village Hall at 9am. Both walks will involve lunch at the end of the walk.
  • Wednesday June 14th – Coffee at Style Acre. 10.30am.
  • Friday June 23rd – Talking Science lecture at RAL Harwell: Black Holes, Science, Fact, Fiction or Fantasy. Chris Done. 1.30pm.
  • Monday June 26th – visit to Manor Herb Farm. Date and time to be confirmed.
  • Wednesday June 28th – Wl monthly meeting. 7.30pm at the Vale Room. Speaker, Dr. Janice Kinroy: Oxford, Past and Present.

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.