Clubs & Societies

Sustainable Blewbury

November 28, 2019

Thermal imagingget your home imaged for free

In January we will be thermally imaging homes of all sorts, old, new and not so new, in Blewbury. Seeing where heat is leaking out can help can make your home more comfortable, save money and help towards saving the planet by reducing your carbon footprint. Contact us at or phone Eric at 07935 232 296 to be on our list or to get more information.

We need more helpers. It’s interesting work and no experience is needed to help take the images. If you want to delve deeper, you can also help us to write reports. Just contact us as above.

The Adventures of a Wildlife Cameraman

A talk by Sean Morris, Monday 27th January, Melland Room, Blewbury Clubhouse

Sean says: “For 40 years, I travelled the world, filming animals and plants for TV, often in remote and exotic locations. In 1968, seven biologists from Oxford University, united by the thrill of filming animals and plants, started a small company called Oxford Scientific Films (OSF). OSF soon became the world’s leading independent wildlife film company, and invented many of the specialist techniques now commonly used to create today’s block-buster wildlife series. The talk will be about how a handful of folk based near Woodstock achieved that, and about the fun and excitement we had while capturing some of nature’s most fascinating stories on film.”

Tickets £4, on sale in January at the Post Office. Doors open 7.30 pm; drinks will be available from the bar.

2 wooden wine racks, 1 black plastic compost bin and lid, 1 water butt and lid (used but still viable) Lyn Blackie 850795
Large, sturdy metal Christmas tree holder Mark Vaughn 07479 290296
Green wooden square holder for real Christmas tree (stump sits in water reservoir) Jo Lakeland 850490
Liatorp IKEA square coffee table, glass topped with 4 display spaces plus shelf 93x93x50cm Luisa Baldini 07435 252411
To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (

To find out more about Sustainable Blewbury go to
Getting involved is fun and can contribute to the village and its environment. To participate, or to receive
our free Newsletter, email
us at or phone 01235 850372.

Blewbury Local History Group

We frequently receive queries about previous village residents, which is always a pleasure because nearly always we find the family or the house remembered. Last month there was a question about Irene Mawer who we had very little information on. However, thanks to several people in the village we now have quite a lot of information, and we are very grateful to them. Irene lived for a time at Highclere/Highcleve now called Cotterills, with a lady called Doris Balfour; Doris later lived at Forge Cottage. There seems to have been some connection with Eileen Crowe and a car hire or taxi firm at 3, Berry Lane. Any more information would be welcome and we will certainly keep in touch with the person who made the first enquiry.

At our November meeting we expanded on the possibility of their being a tannery sited on Eastbrook House land at some point. A villager of extended years recalled their being an ancient fallen down cob wall along the path at the bottom of the gardens there. It ran alongside what was the East field. The base of that wall was constructed of cow horns and as a small boy he used to remove them (for purpose unknown). A tannery would need water and there isn’t any there so we are discounting that possibility. The wall is now gone but the horns may remain.

We also heard about the discovery of an Iron Age site in East Hagbourne opposite the school dating from 700-500 BC. This led to a discussion on village layout and the fact that Blewbury’s did not change for around 1,400 years.

Visitors are always welcome at our meetings. Our next meeting, Tuesday Dec. 10th, will be our Christmas one, with a glass of wine and a mince pie, at 8 o’clock in the History room at the rear of Robinsons in Parsonage Lane. For more information contact Audrey on 850427 or Mark at

Bell ringing news from Blewbury Tower

November 26, 2019

It’s been an exciting month. Although the bells are still silent the new window is in place and is stunning!

There has been a slight delay meaning that we will not be able to ring the bells for Advent Sunday, however all will be back to normal well before Christmas. In the meantime, we have continued to enjoy Steventon’s hospitality on a Friday evening for our practice night.

The social side of bell ringing has continued with our Branch Quiz held at Brightwell Cum Sotwell. Blewbury came a creditable joint 3rd against other tower teams in the local area! The quiz master was our own Anne Hales. It was a farewell for Anne as she and her husband are moving to Cheshire. Anne has been Blewbury Chairman for the past four years, and she will be greatly missed for her ringing, commitment and humour. We all wish her and her husband well for the future.

Blewbury Film Update

We are now pleased to announce our latest donation of £1,500 to the Village Hall Refurbishment Fund which is just in time for the works to begin.

This has been our fifth year of Blewbury Film and we’ve now had over 25 BlewTube screenings. With your help, and including our latest donation, we have raised over £2,000 for the Village Hall Refurbishment Fund – well done everybody and thank you for your support!

This year we have had some great films; highlights include Death of Stalin, Manchester By The Sea, The Favourite and Darkest Hour.  Our audiences have given us great feedback on these films but we have noticed that recent numbers have been down and because BlewTube finances are marginal, we have only just been breaking even.  We don’t want to run at a loss because this means we cannot raise money for good community causes or for future Blewbury Film events. So we are going to take a pause in BlewTube screenings whilst the Village Hall Refurbishment progresses which will allow us to review the future of BlewTube.  We would therefore like your feedback, good or bad, on how BlewTube is running. We would like to know:

  • Film choice – are we getting this right? Should we have more blockbusters or more niche productions?
  • Location – what do you think about our location for Blewbury Film?
  • Ticket Price – stay at £5 or is it time to up our prices so we are not so marginal?
  • What would encourage you to attend BlewTube more regularly?
  • What should we do with future surplus funds? Are there any good village causes you would like us to support?
  • Would you like to help out with Blewbury Film as we move forward?
  • Anything else you would like to tell us?

Let us know what you think on or talk to either Peter or Paul if you see them. Your feedback will not be made public so feel free to say what you think. Thank you again for all your support.  Without our helpers and audience we could not have had such an enjoyable first five years or have raised as much money for the village hall. We look forward to future screenings and to seeing you all again soon.  – Peter and Paul,   Blewbury Film

In association with the Blewbury Players. Profits to the Village Hall refurb.


– Your Local Village Gardening Club

Our Annual General Meeting took place on 6th November and this is an extract from the annual report:

“At a Committee meeting in October the members seriously considered closing the Village Produce Association. The general consensus was that people’s attitude to gardening and gardening clubs has changed over the years and rather than ‘growing your own’ people rely on the quick fire method of a trip to the garden centre and buying ‘ready made’ plants for the garden. It’s accepted that people have less time to spend in the garden given the numerous activities available for families these days. However, it was agreed that the Annual Show still appears to be a popular event and therefore, the committee agreed to continue to run the Show and thus the VPA will remain operating for the foreseeable future. We will also continue to have a selection of garden tools available for use by residents for a donation. Details of the tools and who to contact will be displayed at Blewbury Post Office and on Maggie’s notice board at Toad Hall, Upton.”

We hope that residents of both Blewbury and Upton will continue to support the Annual Summer Show and the date for next year’s event is the 4th July – so please pop the date in your diary. Show Schedules will be available after the New Year to give everyone plenty of time to plan what they want to exhibit. I have been asked to continue our Monthly News in the Blewbury Bulletin and Upton News and hopefully we will have outings next year which will be advertised together with any other VPA news. Also, I’ll keep you posted via my aimless ramblings about my allotment on New Road, Didcot. Did you know I have hens?  Yes, they have got names – I’ll let you know what they are next month.

To end 2019 our ANNUAL SOCIAL takes place on SATURDAY 7thth DECEMBER – 7.00pm at UPTON VILLAGE HALL.  Our theme this year is “Around the World with the VPA ”. Food, quizzes and indoor games are the order of the evening with great fun for a family night out.  Full details and tickets available at Blewbury Post Office, or you can telephone and book your ticket with Margaret Maytham – 01235 850126 or Eileen Bracken – 01235 510095.    Please advise of any dietary requirements you may have, at the time of booking your ticket.

Tickets will need to be booked by Tuesday 1st December at the latest.

Bridge Club

I am pleased to be able to report that we WILL be playing bridge on the evening of Thursday December 12th, Election night.

The Election Officer has kindly allowed us to use the Vale Room and kitchen, provided no-one enters the main hall other than through the main entrance for the purpose of casting a vote.

The Christmas Party will be held on Sunday 8th December, 5 for 5.30pm in the Village Hall. Help in setting up would be appreciated from 4.30. Once again, members are requested to bring some food along and to indicate what they are planning to bring on the notice which is now on display on the Vale Room noticeboard. We shall, once again, be playing Military Bridge, and it is hoped that as many as possible will attend in order to support this fun evening. We usually finish by about 9pm.

Congratulations to Malcolm Cochrane and Mike Brown who, at the time of writing, were 17th nationally out of about 1,500 pairs on the Thursday night Children in Need Simultaneous Pairs event. Michael Allen 851870

WI News

Christmas just around the corner. So much to do! Following is a list of our planned events for December and we would happily welcome any new Members to come and join us.

  • Wednesday, 4th    Scrabble at Susan’s. 7.30pm. Please ring beforehand.
  • Wednesday, 4th Lyn’s Walk. Come and walk the river (without getting your feet wet) on the other side of the tracks in Didcot. Catch the 9.10am bus, at the Blueberry, to Didcot Parkway. Bring money for coffee and your bus pass if you have one.
  • Friday, 6th Craft evening at Liz’s. 7pm. Please bring a bottle & nibbles.
  • Friday, 6th Talking Science Lecture at RAL Harwell. 1.30pm. Energy and climate change. Sarah James. STFC. Energy Research Unit.
  • Monday, 9th WI Christmas Lunch at Hadden Hill Golf Club.  12.30pm.
  • Monday, 16th Mah Jong at Sharon’s 2.30pm. Please ring beforehand.
  • Wednesday, 18th Coffee & Mince pies & Raffle at Maggie’s. 10.30am.
  • Monday, 30th Mah Jong  at Cilla’s. 2.30pm

For more details of any of our events, or if you wish to join us, please ring Cilla on 851966 or visit our web page, where you will find more information.

Blewbury Local History Group

October 31, 2019

All of us are history in the making, which is what I was thinking at our recent meeting.

First, at our October meeting we were pleased to welcome some new members and covered many subjects in the discussions. We highlighted an error in the well circulated `100 years of Blewbury’ photograph book involving The Sawyers Arms, touched on the possibility of Eastbrook House having a tannery in its grounds, answered queries on a vicar of Blewbury in 1496 who has (possibly) a relative of the same surname alive today and many other points amongst the myriad of input from all the members. Copies of Berkshire Old and New were also given out.

We also plan to re-produce an A3 map of the village drawn in 1943 which is rather fanciful. It’s very similar to the one you can see in the Doctors Surgery waiting room in the village but with one very subtle difference. We believe only two copies of the map exist, drawn as gifts, with the copy the History Group owns being a very personal copy given to Gladys Hazel of Suffragette fame. It is hoped we can publicise this more in the December Bulletin (published end of November) making it an ideal Christmas present for those of you who leave gift purchases later than some.

Our next meeting is on November 12th at 8 pm in our dedicated room to the rear of Robinsons on Parsonage Lane. All are welcome. Contact Audrey on 850427 or Mark at

Sustainable Blewbury



Recently looking for spring bulbs, I told the stallholder that I only wanted daffodil bulbs, no tulips. ‘Muntjacs’ he said. He told me that they don’t eat daffodils because they are poisonous. I am puzzled about our muntjacs.  They are fearless, quite large and look you straight in the eye. I have always understood that they are escaped Chinese Muntjac Muntiacus reevesi   but these deer are quite small, eighteen inches in height, from Woburn in Bedfordshire.  A characteristic of these deer is the white tail which only shows clearly when they are in full flight, and this is true of our deer. But  there is another  escapee, the Siberian Roe Capreolus pygargus, larger which may have crossbred with the Chinese deer. Our muntjac could be the result. These are just my thoughts.  Maybe there are no longer any pure genetic forms.

This is the time of year for finding Hawk moth larvae preparing to settle for winter  in a chrysalis. They are amazingly large and ugly. They are found in gardens under their food plants. Bernardine Shirley-Smith

Our last public apple juicing session this year will be on 27 October – note the earlier time. |
Apple juicing27 October, 11 am to 1 pm at Blewbury Manor

You can also hire our equipment at low cost. Please contact or ring Eric at 07935 232296 for more information and bookings.

Annual leaves clearanceSunday 24 November, 2 to 4 pm

Meet at the Playclose to help us clear slippery fallen leaves from our footpaths. Wear gloves and bring leaf rakes or grabbers and barrows if you have them. If not we will have a few tools you can borrow. Fun for all the family, and there will be FREE tea/coffee/juice with homemade cake at The Blueberry pub from 3.45 as a reward!

Tree planting and community wood

Sustainable Blewbury is aiming to plant trees wherever possible, including helping people to plant on their own land. We are also discussing the possibility of establishing a Blewbury community woodland. If you are interested or want to join in, please contact John Ogden at

Thermal imagingGet your home imaged for free in January

This winter we will again be offering our free service to thermally image homes in Blewbury. Thermal images can help reduce your carbon footprint, make your home more comfortable, and save money. Contact us at or phone Eric at 07935 232 296 to be on our list or to get more information. Would you like to help? It’s interesting work and no experience is needed to help take the images. If you know or want to learn about writing reports that would also be useful. For either just contact us as above.

Large, sturdy metal Christmas tree holder Mark Vaughn 07479 290296
·  Cat carrier basket, hardly used               · 1 litre HG protective coating for floor tiles Chris Whatmore 851055
To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (

To find out more about Sustainable Blewbury go to
Getting involved is fun and can contribute to the village and its environment. To participate, or to receive
our free monthly Newsletter, email
us at or phone 01235 850372.

Blewbury Croquet Club

The lawns are now in use again after the autumn treatments.

The 2019 AGM was held at the Melland Room on 15th October at which it was agreed that the club is in a good shape financially with well kept lawns. Paul Wolff, Chairman, thanked the committee and all the members who had helped with various maintenance and other jobs without which the club could not function nearly as well.

The club trophies were given out by Coral Richards, President. The Player of the Year was awarded to Peter Allan who not only won the Association Croquet (AC) Prebendal Manor Trophy, the local round of the AC All England Handicap competition but also won the Greek Open Championship, held in Corfu! As a result of all this his handicap dropped during the course of the year from 16 to 9.

Paul also presented the past Chairman, Deirdre Cochrane, with some flowers and thanked for all her work as Chairman for many years before she had to step down last year.

Last, but not least, the afternoon finished with tea and cakes.

For more details please contact David Long, secretary, 07484 360169,