Village News

The Style Acre Tea Room needs your help!

September 27, 2016

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.

Update on the Vale Local Plan

June 9, 2016

The independent  inspector’s report of the Vale’s Local Plan is quite encouraging for Blewbury as it might put a stop to major development in the AONB.

The interim report of his findings has been published and in particular the examiner refers to two sites around Harwell and Didcot (which includes Blewbury) and says

The Plan envisages that housing allocation sites 12 and 13, which are located within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), would be developed for around 550 and 850 dwellings respectively. This would be major development, which the Framework indicates should be refused except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated it is in the public interest…….. I conclude that modification of the plan to delete sites 12 and 13 is thus necessary. This would be a reduction of 1400 planned houses but more importantly set a precedent for future incursions into the AONB.

In appendix 1 he states that the Five Year Housing Land Supply Outcome assuming deletion of housing allocation sites 12 and 13 from the plan still exceeds requirement.

His interim results can still be challenged but they are encouraging. They cannot , unfortunately, be applied retrospectively.

The full pdf document can be found here.

 

Blewbury events to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday

June 25, 2016

Thanks to sponsorship by the Blueberry and a special grant for events directly related to the Queen’s 90th Birthday from VWHDC we were able to produce the colourful insert which listed all the events of the two weekends which you found in your June Bulletin.

The first weekend of our special events was celebrated successfully by a good cross section of the village. It started with a successful peal of Lincolnshire Surprise Major by the bellringers which was dedicated to the Queen and a lovely mellow sound could be heard throughout Blewbury on the morning of Saturday 11th – 5088 changes – quite an achievement and congratulations to the bellringers.

Family Day started at noon and the fun began. The Bar by Blewbury Junior Cricket Club, a barbecue by Blewbury School and a hog roast which sold out by Coopers of Aston Tirrold. Cream teas by the WI, Ice creams by the PTA, Preschool made us all glitter with tattoos. Many societies were represented including the tennis club, badminton club, junior football, the Garden Market. There were lot of stalls with very good quality goods, a fairground roundabout and two bouncy castles. The afternoon started with a Dog Show to rival Crufts which had a record number of entries and people were standing 2 deep around the ringside and it was hugely entertaining. This was followed by Betty Bloom Dance who were beautiful and a display by Cando Martial Arts. The finale was the village Tug of War heats – all encouraged by a very noisy crowd. Ian Bacon complete with megaphone kept the whole thing flowing well with a very amusing commentary. Winners of all events listed separately.

Most people who were still on their feet after a busy afternoon came to the Summer Dance at Hall Barn. The evening stayed (mainly) dry but the Disco was great and at least 120 of us enjoyed our picnics with friends in the garden and then dancing the night away in the Barn.

On Sunday 12th the Boules competition took place and was enjoyed by both competitors and spectators.

Special thanks to:

Steve of Foremost Roofing Services for transporting chairs to the field – and back again.

Simon Barlow’s driver Kevin for transporting all the tables, large gazebos and the barbecues to and from the field. Without help with transport this event could not take place.

Everybody who helped in any way with Family day, the Dance and the Boules Competition.

Deirdre and Malcolm Cochrane for allowing us to hold the Summer Dance at Hall Barn.

Everybody who came along and supported any event

WINNERS OF COMPETITIONS

Scarecrows – We had 15 very good and entries and a wide interpretation of the theme ‘Royals’ The Judges worked independently and had a very difficult job to decide but their unanimous decision was as follows. We want to thank everybody who took part this year and hope they had a lot of fun

 

Category Winners
Adult Category 1st Sally Begley The Royal Dog Watch The Dilley Cup
2nd Sue Huart The Heir and Spare
Family Category 1st Goyder Children The Blueberry Blue Bloods Family Cup
2nd Doherty Family Game of Thrones
Group Category 1st Blewbury Pre-School Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace Group Cup
2nd Blewbury W I Queen’s Winnings

Dog Show – Judge Mrs Ceri McEwan from Hastings.       47 dogs took part with 121 entries

Best in Show      Heather Helmsley with Gabriella

Reserve Best in Show Amelia Dubuisson with Kiffie

Best Oldie           Amelia Dubuisson with Kiffie

Best Child Handler Noah Cameron with Monty

Best Puppy         Izzy Marcham with Rosie

Dog Most like his Owner Monty with Adam Cameron

Tug of War Competition –           Winners of the  Bob Daley Cup — Blewbury Dads ‘B’ Team

Boules Competition                       Winners Matt and Mike Duckett

Congratulations to all winners and special thanks to everybody who took part.

Sorry we couldn’t get the Red Arrows – we did try but they were busy somewhere else with the Queen!

The BVS thanks the Blewbury Bulletin for Sponsoring Family Day.

Reports on Happy & Glorious and the Curry Lunch and all the other Summer Events in the next Bulletin.

Cricket: The scent of victory

June 7, 2016

A scintillating spell of fast bowling from Scott Harris rushed Blew Wallies to a lightning victory over Horley on June 4.

The paceman took 7 for 11, including a hat-trick that turned into a four-wicket maiden (followed up by a wicket maiden), as the home side were blasted out for 43 in only 12.1 overs. Harris has been in top form all season, but this performance was red-hot, with all but one of his victims (who was caught in the slips by Mark Carey) bowled or lbw. His new-ball partner, the county teenager Tom Gould, played Morne Morkel to Harris’s Dale Steyn, taking 3-36. Blewbury & Wallingford 1sts wasted little time in chasing down their target, with Carey (22) the only man to fall as Blew Wallies breezed to a nine-wicket win in the ninth over. The Division 3 game was done and dusted by 2.30pm, as Blew Wallies move up to 2nd in the table.

Several of the 1st XI came back to Boham’s Road to watch the 2nds making a game of a low-scoring encounter with a largely youthful Challow & Childrey 3rds in Division 9(S). Having been put into bat on a sluggish surface, Blew Wallies made 113-6 off 45 overs. Stuart Edwards carried his bat for 45, while Ian Saunders produced two stunning strokes (a lofted off-drive and a clubbing pull) in his 24 before falling as he tried to break the bowlers’ stranglehold. Joe Harris, a left-arm spinner who turned it both ways, was all but impossible to play, and bowled 14 overs for only 15 runs. Blew Wallies’ skipper Mark Cox showed touches of his class with a delicate late cut and a sumptuous backfoot square drive off the pacy teenager Fergus Fishburn, but was run out before he really got going. The final total felt at least 30 runs shy of being competitive.

With Neil Smith as canny as ever and 14-year-old Ollie Mew running in purposefully and hitting the pitch hard, Blew Wallies made life difficult for the opposition’s openers, though. The breakthrough came when the astute Roger Podbery mistimed first-change off-spinner Richard Clayton’s long-hop straight to Jack Vincent at mid-wicket. The 13-year-old made no mistake. As Clayton found his range and Smith plugged away, 28-1 became 45-5 and Blew Wallies could sense the unlikeliest of wins. Yet the experienced pair of Philip Cox and Gary Rees slowly closed the door on this potential great escape, with what became a match-winning partnership of 72. Still, the 2nds deserve plenty of credit for keeping the result in the balance for as long as they did.

A community orchard for Blewbury

May 23, 2016

Last month we announced that the village has been awarded a grant to create an orchard on Tickers Folly Field.

Now a Community Orchard Group (the COG!) has been set up to develop plans so that planting can begin this winter. The COG has already agreed that the orchard must respect the great feeling of open space under the Downs which is so important at TFF and that the trees should add to the appearance and amenity of the field. It will be a community orchard for all to enjoy so if you have views about which trees should be included, if you have a story to tell about Blewbury’s orchard traditions, or if you’d simply like to get involved please contact John Ogden (jogden@blewbury.net). Someone from the COG will be on hand at Sustainable Blewbury’s stand during the Family Fun Day on 11th June to answer questions and to hear your ideas. Volunteer – become a COGGER!

It’s official: John Wiggins broke TWO rowing records!

April 1, 2016

In 1976, the Bulletin reported that John Wiggins, son of Roy and Meta, rowed in the winning Oxford crew in the Boat Race of that year.

A former pupil of Wallingford School, and then in his first year at Keble College, John was No. 7 in the Oxford boat, which not only won the race but set what was then a record time of 16 minutes and 58 seconds over the classic 4 mile (6.8 km) course from Putney to Mortlake. As the Bulletin’s front-page article put it at the time, CONGRATULATIONS JOHN!!

D96F28940464408E8442728D310521F5

Now, 40 years later, that article has helped prove that John should be recognised for another “officially amazing” achievement: according to the Guinness Book of Records, he was then, and remains now, the youngest person ever to have rowed in a winning Boat Race crew. On the certificate held by John in the main picture, the full citation reads: “The youngest rower to win the University Boat Race is Austin John Wiggins (UK, b. 20th July 1957) who won the race at age 18 years, 212 days, in London, UK on 20th March 1976”.

So once again, the Bulletin is proud to say CONGRATULATIONS JOHN!!

SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANCIENT BUILDINGS

May 1, 2016

– AT WORK IN BLEWBURY

The SPAB Fellows have been back in Blewbury helping with various projects around the village. They are part way through a six month travelling bursary scheme with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, working right across the UK learning about conservative repair of old buildings, in line with the teachings of the great William Morris. The 2016 group are Heather and Tom, Stonemasons from Scotland and Wales, Lizzie, a glazier from York and Peter, a Scottish roofer. They have been helping to remove the cement pointing to the Almshouse, and repoint in lime mortar, a project led by Michal Wolf. By the time this goes to press, they will also have rethatched a section of Curtoys Lane cob wall. These projects will be continued by the SPAB Scholars, a group of architects and engineers, who are due to visit Blewbury the last week in May.     Marianne Suhr