Clubs & Societies


November 22, 2017

Hello to Everyone. December is almost upon us! We will all be busy with card writing, present buying and Christmas festivities. But, all new members will be very welcome to join us at the following events in December and January 2018.  I would like to wish all the Bulletin readers a joyous Christmas time and a happy, healthy 2018.

  • Friday, 1st December – Craft Evening at Liz’s     Please phone first.
  • Tuesday, 5th December – Lyn’s Walk. Leave the Village Hall at 10am. For a local walk/stroll, weather dependent.
  • Wednesday, 6th December – Scrabble at Graeme’s. 7.30pm. Please phone first.
  • Friday, 8th December – Talking Science lecture at RAL Harwell. 30pm. Building a time machine: The engineering of the James Webb Space Telescope and its Mid-InfraRed Instrument.  Paul Eccleston.
  • Monday, 11th – WI Christmas Lunch at the Red Lion. 12.30pm.
  • Monday, 18th – Coffee and mince pies at Maggie’s. 10.30am.
  • MahJong – every Monday, 2.30pm. (except 25th)


  • Tuesday, 9th January – Coffee at Style Acre.  30am.
  • Tuesday, 9th January – Scrabble at Rosemary’s. 30pm.  Please phone first.
  • Wednesday, 24th – WI monthly meeting in the Vale Room. Speaker Neil Stewart – Beating about the Bush in Africa.  7.30pm.
  • Friday, 26th – Talking Science lecture at RAL Harwell. 1.30pm.  Last Day of the Dinosaurs.  Professor Phil Manning.
  • MahJong – every Monday, 2.30pm.(except January 1st )

A reminder that there will not be a “Lyn’s Walk “ in January because of the New Year’s Day walk to Aldworth.

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

Well, it’s almost the end of another year!! The VPA Committee was disappointed that no-one attended our Annual General Meeting on the 1st November. The Members of the Committee conducted the business and all agreed to continue to run the VPA for another year. However, we do need the support of the Blewbury and Upton villagers – remember as residents you are automatically members of the VPA and there is no subscription!

Tickets are still available for our ANNUAL SOCIAL which takes place on SATURDAY 2ND DECEMBER (7PM – 10pm) at UPTON VILLAGE HALL. Delicious home made food (dietary requirements catered for), quizzes, games and fun. We have some special entertainment!! Tickets have been held at last year’s price of £9 per person. Contact Karen at Blewbury Post Office or ring Margaret Maytham in Upton on 01235 850126 or contact Eileen on 01235 510095.

Our full programme for 2018 will be circulated in the Blewbury Bulletin and in the Upton News (online) but in the meantime, please pop the following dates in your 2018 diary.

16th June – Visit to West Green House Gardens, Hartley Witney, Hampshire

7th July – Annual Summer Show, Blewbury Village Hall

11th August – Visit to Royal Horticultural Gardens, Wisley, Surrey

2nd November – Annual General Meeting, Vale Room, Blewbury Village Hall

8th December – Annual Social, Upton Village Hall

On behalf of the Committee Members of the VPA, may I wish you Season’s Greetings and very best wishes for the coming New Year.

And finally, DID YOU KNOW? George Bernard Shaw wrote: “Be like the sun and meadow, which are not in the least concerned about the coming winter.” Happy Gardening Eileen


What did the Romans do for us?

Well, they left quite lot of coins and artefacts in the fields around Blewbury. Nothing like a horde, but interesting and slightly puzzling. We have been looking at some of the latest finds from metal-detecting, but also finding out about a less-than-glorious war veteran who lived here for a time in the early 1900s. No, he’s not from a local family but an outsider. We have also been putting the Blewbury Walks book together so it will be on sale at the Post Office by the time you get your Bulletin. As you can see, we cover a wide range of subjects and if you want to know more about what we do, contact Mark or Audrey 850427 or

Next meeting is our Christmas meeting, wine and mince pies, Tuesday, Dec. 12th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane.

Bridge Club

A reminder that the Christmas Party will be held in the Village Hall on Sunday 10th December, 5 for 5.30pm. We will play friendly and relaxed Military Bridge with a break half-way for food (please bring some and put your planned contribution on the list in the Vale Room during club sessions) and the presentation of cups.

Our Wessex League team have completed all but one of their matches with a mix of wins and losses. Currently scoring above 50% of average it is hoped that this can be maintained in the last match in order to secure our ongoing position in Division 3.

Finally, on behalf of the Committee, may we wish all bridge players, together with their families and friends, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Michael Allen.  851870


Bell ringing, as has been said before, encompasses many things – a skill, a hobby, a challenge and social but to name a few – and our activities this month have covered many of these.

We started November with a quarter peal rung on the evening of November 1st to celebrate Dick Street’s significant birthday and the arrival of Richard and Gill Loyd’s first granddaughter.

November 4th saw some of the bell ringers travel to Oxford to ring at 5 different Oxford towers some with 10 bells which was a new experience for some, the day concluded with an Indian meal enjoyed by all those who took part.

November 11th was The Branch Social, a barn dance held in Harwell Village Hall and a good time was had by all those who attended.

November 12th Remembrance Sunday heard the bells rung half muffled in memory of all those who had lost their lives or been injured in 1st & 2nd World Wars and in conflicts since.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is being performed in Blewbury Church at the end of November and the beginning of December, so there will be some changes to our normal ringing pattern of Friday and Sundays. There will be no ringing for Sunday morning services on 26th November and 3rd December and no Friday evening practice on 1st December. There will however be ringing for the choral evensong on the evening of 3rd December, do listen out for the bells. You are most welcome to come and see what ringing is all about any Friday evening 8 – 9.30 pm.


With winter nearly here it is not the best time to be digging the allotment as the soils are glutinous. Digging wet soil acts to compact the soil even more, so hopefully, you will have dug your allotment over in October.

I have completed mine and my new raised beds made this a fairly easy and enjoyable task. One of the allotment owners has a no dig policy, with the idea that the worms will do the business of redistributing the soils and matter and the worm holes will provide drainage. This is also a well-established farming practice, as it is thought that if you plough soils you disrupt or destroy their structure. Also by ploughing or digging you expose the soils to the oxygen in the air. This mineralises the organic nitrogen into highly soluble ammonia and nitrate and this can then get flushed away into our streams when it rains. This means you lose the essential nitrogen required for plants to grow. Hence farmers have to put fertilisers or compost back onto the soils to replace this natural nitrogen. A bit on the daft side from a farming perspective as nitrogen fertiliser is expensive.

As part of the cleaning up on the allotment I have a mountain of dead plant remains and quite a few woody weeds, which were growing up amongst the sweetcorn and the asparagus bed. Getting rid of these weeds is not straightforward as they have lots of seeds so you don’t want to distribute these over the allotment. Also many of the plant remains such as cabbage stalks and sweetcorn material are thick and woody, so composing these is not so straightforward. So it’s best to chop these up, not an easy task without the proper tools. I have a garden shredder at home so I am taking back the woody plants and shredding these to add to the compost or just dig back into the soils as direct compost. The weeds are best to burn, to avoid spreading the seeds everywhere. Having a small fire on the allotment is a bit of an annual ritual and generally results in a lot of smoke, not much fire, and you inhaling lungful’s of smoke!! The wind always seems to change direction, to give you a full frontal blast of bonfire smoke. Not good for your lungs and asthma, or for the environment really, but it does mark the passing of an allotment year. There are still many jobs to do on the allotment and it’s a good time to prune the soft fruit. Soft-fruit crops are excellent to grow on an allotment and being perennial, they are easy to maintain once established. Pruning is not that straightforward as different varieties need different approaches. Generally you remove the dead canes in the autumn and trim back to say 5 strong canes in the spring. Raspberries and other soft fruits are great to grow on the allotment even if many get eaten before you get them home. On the Blewbury allotments, one allotment owner has about 100 productive raspberry canes and almost none were picked this year. So this proved to be a great magnet for kids to snaffle a few. I would have been worried but with such a mass of fruit unpicked it seemed reasonable for a few to get eaten in this way.  Paul Whitehead

Annual Village Leaves Clearance

November 15, 2017

Sunday 3rd December 2 to 4 pm

This is an annual event, organised by Sustainable Blewbury with support from the BVS and Parish Council, and sponsored by The Blueberry.

We all use the footpaths: joggers, dog walkers, pub goers, people going to the Garage or Savages, etc. If everyone who uses the footpaths helps out we can clear them of slippery leaves very quickly. Last year we had a lovely afternoon, with lots of families and individuals enjoying themselves. There will be an activity for children at the school beforehand, and afterwards volunteers will enjoy coffee, tea or juice with fresh, home-baked cakes at the Blueberry. If you would like to contribute a cake, please contact Lesley Ogden at

Meet at the Playclose at 2 pm. Bring a rake or leaf shovel and wheelbarrow if you have them.

Thanks to Bernard Mattimore for the photo


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