Village News

Honouring the Fallen

November 22, 2016

The Remembrance Day service took place at St Michaels at 10.45am on Sunday the 13th November 2016, led by the Reverend Louise Butler.

Afterwards the congregation walked to the memorial stone at the junction of London Road and Nottingham Fee. Members of the Royal British Legion were in attendance and musicians from the Blewbury Brass Band played both at the church and at the memorial stone. Following the Last Post, attendees observed the traditional two-minute silence.

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Thanks to Jim Gooding for the photographs.

Zak Corderoy: Blewbury’s Biking Champion!

October 24, 2016

Congratulations to 17 year old Zak Corderoy for winning the 2016 Aprilia RRV450gp championship.

The year didn’t start well, crashing out in the first race at Brands Hatch and breaking both wrists. But he came back with determination, and it went down to the last round at Cadwell Park where he was crowned champ.

We would like to say a big thank you to family, friends, the Tony Loy Trust and California Superbike School for their support this year.

Dawn Corderoy

Downland Dance – Tribute to the Late Tracey Harris

November 21, 2016

Earlier this year two students from Elmhurst School for Dance performed a ‘pas de deux’ from The Nutcracker in Sobell House for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors. The initiative came from Jim, Tracey’s husband, who is on the Board of Governors at the school.

Elmhurst has an outreach programme whereby their dancers visit hospices around the UK and give brief performances. Jim felt he wanted to make this available to Sobell House as a way of repaying the love and kindness shown to Tracey when she was on the ward.
This particular performance was choreographed by Errol Pickford, a teacher at Elmhurst and former Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet. The photograph shows Jim, flanked by the two soloists. Anita Rendel

Community Orchard – News from the Coggers

After months of planning and consulting, we are almost ready to start planting!

The first 20 or so trees have been ordered, stakes, labels, tree guards and posts have all been specified and planting will take place in December. It will take a few years for the trees to become established and to bear fruit, but you should then be able to pick a Warwickshire Drooper for your breakfast (it’s a plum) or a Reverend Wilks for your supper (it’s a cooking apple).

A number of people have kindly volunteered to help with the planting. If you would like to add your name to the list then please contact John Ogden (jogden@blewbury.net). For those who can help it would be very useful if they could bring along a spade and perhaps a large board or groundsheet – and a wheelbarrow could be useful to help with mulching around the trees. The weekend of the 3rd December is one possible start date but we will be in email contact with all volunteer COGGERS before then.  John Ogden

 

SHEILA PAINE AT THE PITT RIVERS

September 28, 2016

The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford is mounting an exhibition of photographs taken in Central Asia and the Middle East by Blewbury’s very own Sheila Paine.

The exhibition, in the Museum’s Long Gallery, runs from November 1st 2016 to April 30th 2017 and will feature people and landscapes that caught Sheila’s eye over many years of travelling in that part of the world. The images range from individual portraits such as the Yemeni woman printed in the Bulletin, through to beautiful local architecture and a shot of Soviet armoured forces in Afghanistan.

VILLAGE WALK – BLEWBURY’S REMARKABLE WOMEN

September 27, 2016

Blewbury has no shortage of notable people, but the History Group thought it was time to talk about some less well known women who have achieved remarkable things.

On Sunday October 9th we shall take a walk round the village pointing out the houses that some of them lived in and talking about their lives and achievements. Audrey will have the able assistance of Jane Gibson to bring the characters to life. Come along and be inspired by the achievements that deserve to be celebrated. The walk starts at the Village Hall at 10.15.am and should take about two hours. We have to limit the number of people so please contact Audrey either at audrey.long@waitrose.com or at 850427 with your name and how many will be coming.

 

The Style Acre Tea Room needs your help!

The Style Acre Tea Room at Savages in Blewbury is looking for volunteers to join our friendly team.

Our tea room provides work experience for people with learning disabilities, helping them develop important work skills. Our volunteers play a vital role in helping us keep the tea room running, serving customers and preparing food.

It offers an opportunity to meet new people, in a friendly but fast paced environment. Current volunteers call it a ‘rewarding experience’, as they see the effect of their help, as the people we support learn new skills and increase confidence thanks to their help.

The team is currently looking for help on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday, although we would be delighted with help any day of the week. If you feel you can support us please contact our Volunteer Officer, Chris via email: cburrows@styleacre.org.uk or telephone: 01491 827593.

Goodbye to the Mobile Library

On Monday 5th September the Mobile Library paid its last visit to Blewbury and a group of us gathered to say thanks and farewell to Kate Ball, our very friendly and helpful librarian.

We will all miss her – she was very special and seemed to know which books we would enjoy. Although we all look very cheerful we were, in fact, very sad that this service has been discontinued. It has been a valuable village amenity for more than 40 years and will be a great loss. Kate has given details of the Home Library Service to people who would find it difficult to get to Didcot Library. Kate is taking this opportunity to do some travelling and we wish her Bon Voyage! PM

An invite from Blewbury Bell Ringers

Looking for a new hobby this autumn?

Wanting to meet new people in Blewbury and the surrounding villages? Like doing something with gentle physical and mental exercise in a fun and social environment? Enjoy doing something worthwhile for the village community? If any of these apply, then bellringing could be for you! A recent BBC news item highlighted the modern day challenges of attracting people to take up this rewarding pastime (visit goo.gl/vbsu4w). Blewbury is no exception to this and although we currently have an enthusiastic team, we really do need to encourage more people to learn to ring and help us to maintain the tradition of village bellringing for the future.

Come to a taster evening on Tuesday 4th October and meet some of the ringers, see up close how a bell works, have an assisted go at ringing a bell and enjoy a chat over a cuppa. Come along anytime between 7.30 – 9.00pm to St Michaels church on 4th October. If you are unable to make it on 4th, you will be welcome to join us on any Friday practice evening. For further information contact Richard Loyd 07767 463285 or Chris Cook 07786 635062

Blewbury Footpaths

One of the joys of living in Blewbury is the ability to navigate the village and its environs through the network of footpaths, bridleways and byways, commonly known as public rights of way.

Gone are the days when the paths were kept clear by flocks of sheep and labourers who worked for local landowners. In these times the maintenance of footpaths has to be planned and paid for.

The Parish Council regularly receives complaints/comments about the state of the footpaths and we act where we can. However we would like to clarify some rights and responsibilities.

The duty to maintain public rights of way rests with the Highway Authority, in our case Oxfordshire County Council through their Countryside Access Team. The Oxfordshire Parish Guide to Countryside Access reads as follows: ‘the County Council has a duty to maintain the surface of rights of way. It must be recognised that they are essentially countryside paths, usually with an earth surface, and so, depending on the type of soil, some mud should be expected, particularly during winter months. The County Council will seek to maintain rights of way in a condition suitable for their use by the public, i.e. a footpath in a condition for use by walkers. In this it is assumed that the user will wear appropriate clothing and footwear (for example walking boots, or wellingtons in the winter’.

Parish Councils have a right to maintain public rights of way and Blewbury, in common with many other villages, has undertaken the maintenance of footpaths within the built area of the village. This work is carried out by our lengthman, with the assistance of volunteers and Council members on some occasions, and paid for through the parish precept element of the council tax. The amount of time and money we have available for this work is finite.

Responsibility for vegetation along the side of footpaths and roads in the village lies with the residents whose boundary lies along the public right of way. Many of our residents keep these boundaries well trimmed back – others are not so conscientious.

At the moment OCC has limited resources as does the PC. Grass cutting by the local authority has been reduced to a minimum and the PC is reviewing how to continue the previous level of maintenance as parishioners have complained about unkempt undergrowth.

It would be most beneficial if all residents would pay attention to the land, paths, pavements and verges outside their homes. Clearing leaves, cutting grass or just clearing litter from a small area would help enormously. Two Village Clear Up days a year are scheduled and organised between Sustainable Blewbury and the Parish Council – more volunteers to clear leaves and occasionally help spread gravel on these days would be very helpful. We are well aware that many parishioners already do their bit to maintain and improve the village and that pressures on people’s time have never been greater. But most of us love what Blewbury is – a charming, vibrant village. It will not stay that way if we don’t collectively make an effort to maintain the features that make our village unique.