Clubs & Societies

Blewbury WI News

August 26, 2017

Hello again. September is upon us. The end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn with the nights drawing in. Perhaps we will get an Indian summer to make up for all the recent rain? All our WI events for September are listed below and we would be pleased to welcome any new Members.

  • Friday, 1st  Craft evening at Liz’s  7pm. Please phone first.
  • Monday, 4th WI lunch at The Waterfront Café, Benson. 12 midday.
  • Tuesday, 5th Scrabble at Judy’s 7.30pm. Please phone first.
  • Wednesday, 6th Lyn’s Walk. Meet at Blewbury Village Hall 9.30am. A circular walk ( some have done it before) from East Ilsley – a little longer than usual – 5 miles. We will have a good lunch at The Swan, East Ilsley at the end. PAULA & JAN –if you are both coming we’ll meet you at The Swan at 10am.
  • Wednesday, 6th Coffee at Style Acre 10.30am. With Cilla.
  • Friday, 8th Talking Science at RHL Harwell 1.30pm. “ Dangerous Worlds” – Dr. Elizabeth Tasker.
  • Saturday, 9th WI Teas and Cake Stall at Blewbury’s Blewfest.
  • Wednesday, 27th WI Monthly meeting in the Vale Room, Blewbury Village Hall. 7.30pm. Speaker, Melanie King – Tea/Coffee/ Chocolate-Beverages that changed a Nation.

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.


A new season is just about to start and the first thing to begin is some archaeology digs. Dave Carless has a 2017-2018 plan and we will be hearing about that, and how much we can contribute. We shall also be planning a series of talks for the Winter and Spring; if you know of a speaker who would talk about something either of local history or archaeology please let us know. We want to encourage an interest in history, which is not just “Hitler and the Henrys” as someone said recently on TV, but our families, our houses, the ordinary everyday world that is not so ordinary when you look more carefully.

Contact either Mark or Audrey at 850427 or

Next meeting is September 12th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane.

Bridge Club

Advance notice that the Annual General Meeting will once again be held this year at 7pm before a Thursday night session – on Thursday 5th October in the Vale Room. We hope to get as much bridge in as possible afterwards.

Autumn is, of course, within sight, and so also is the start of the new Wessex League season. Dermot Paddon is once again Team Captain, and so if anyone would like to take part who has not already been approached please let him know. Also, in September, the Friday night Novices sessions will re-commence. Another reminder to let Tina Hollick know if you would like to attend – she can then keep you informed about playing dates, etc. She can be contacted on Michael Allen  851870


The ring to celebrate Jim Blond’s life took place on July 12th. Jim’s family came to listen and we all enjoyed a strawberry and cream tea afterwards, sharing memories of Jim. He would be thrilled that his daughter and grandson have decided to give bell ringing a try, and have been coming to Friday evening practices.

The damp weather since mid-July hasn’t dampened the bells, although there was a moment when we wondered whether we would have the tenor bell to ring as the clapper (the bit that strikes the bell) sheared off. Swift action by Peter Corderoy in contacting Whites of Appleton and the clapper was replaced within the week. The tenor is ringing beautifully and has a very resonant sound.

Saturday 22nd July was the Branch outing ringing at five different towers in Wiltshire interspersed with lunch and tea and then rounding off with the annual Branch BBQ, a very enjoyable day indeed.

August 6th saw big celebrations: Andrew’s birthday and his wedding to Karen. Andrew rang before the service and there was more ringing afterwards, a very enjoyable afternoon. Many congratulations to Andrew and Karen.


As many of you know Angela Hoy has left the village to move to Vancouver and that is a real loss to the village.

Not only did she write the allotment notes, but she worked at the Post Office with Karen, she baked amazing granary loaves, helped run the veggie stall on a Saturday morning, and probably did loads more I should think. So I am afraid you have me writing the allotment notes from now on!!!

It’s been a funny old summer. Back in April/May it was very dry and I spent a lot of time trying to get crops to germinate. I am always the optimist and plant things way too early. They normally get hammered by a late frost but this year with a bit of judicious watering and a fleece covering, they mainly survived. Also, because it was hot and dry, the slug and snail populations were very low, so the normal mass attack by the slimy critters didn’t occur this spring. The nasty slug killer Metaldehyde is a common chemical pellet to kill the beasties, but this is very toxic to birds, and who knows what effect they have on humans (not good I suspect). So an alternative is Ferric Phosphate, (sold as Sluggo). It’s harmless to birds and humans!! (Although kills/discourages the slugs etc). Also, as it breaks down, the released phosphorus can act as a fertilizer.

One of the great things about the warm spring was the rapid growth of asparagus. It came hurtling up in early/mid May and was growing so fast that it outran the asparagus beetle, a beautiful orange and grey armour plated beastie. The beetle seems to appear as if by magic, but picking the asparagus after 2 or 3 days of rapid growth, meant I could get to the asparagus before the beetle. It was such a delicious veggie treat.

One of the great things about an allotment is taking your kids or grandkids down. They normally ravage the raspberries, or any berries, but they learn a lot. I was teaching Elliot (aged 4) to plant broad beans, and he was dabbling around with the dibber when I said ‘put your back into it Elliot, they need to be deeper than that’. He then had a good dig and planted 2 rows perfectly. The funny thing was he was down on the beach in Cornwall about 3 weeks later. His Dad was digging a hole in  the sand in a rather lack lustre way and Elliot said ‘ Oh Dad, put your back into it ’—which had his parents rolling around on the sand in laughter, startled by the turn of phrase in a 4 year old. So I recommend you take your kids down there for a bit of alternative education. Paul Whitehead

Downland Dance News

July 14, 2017

Ballet classes in East Hagbourne and Abingdon, following the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus six days a week. Minimum starting age 3plus with no upper age limit.

The summer term has now ended but classes for adults and advanced students are continuing throughout July and August.

This year, as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, we are holding a few master classes. Adam Harris, formerly of Downland Dance, now with The Croatian National Theatre Company, will give a class in August. A soloist from The Royal Ballet is scheduled to teach a master class in early September. We are still negotiating a class with a dancer from another company for some time in the summer. To fit in these extras we are starting the autumn term a week later this year on Monday September 11th. For further details please contact Principal Mrs. Judy Harris on 01235 554060 or  Anita Rendel


Sustainable Blewbury

Community Orchard Opening, Village Picnic and Barbecue: This event, on 11 June, was a great success. We were very glad to see so many people enjoying themselves at our picnic to celebrate the opening of the Mike Edmunds Community Orchard and seeing how the orchard fits in to Tickers Folly Field.

We’d like to thank Blewbury Learner Band for playing so well, the Blewbury Primary School PTA for running their excellent barbecue, the Pre-school for joining in with their kite flying by the children, and everyone who helped out in various ways. It all contributed to a wonderful village atmosphere.

Results of the welly wanging (done for glory, not the prizes!):
Age 10 or under – Hamish Inglis, 22.1m; Age 11–18 – Ben Lott, 29.4m; Adult female – Katy Jane Whitlock: 25.8m
Adult male – Eric Barton, 52.9m. (Guinness world record for men is 63.98m.)

Blewbury Garden Market: Now running (our 8th year!) at Blewbury Garage – every Saturday morning from 9.30 to 11.30 am, with fresh garden fruit and veg, plants, flowers, home-baked bread and cakes, preserves and Blewbury honey. We need more people bringing us things to sell (before 9.30). And 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!

Community Orchard vandalism: There has been some minor vandalism at the orchard – mainly pulling out the long stakes, the ones supporting the protective netting rather than the trees themselves. In a couple of cases these stakes have been broken off, leaving a very sharp, potentially dangerous shard sticking out of the ground. We have replaced the missing stakes. And at one point a very few dog owners seemed to enjoy dropping their poo bags on to the trees, but this disgusting habit seems to have fallen out of favour – to the great relief of those who had to retrieve them! But by and large, people appear to have welcomed the orchard for what it is, a benefit for the whole community.

Angela’s departure: We will be very sorry to say goodbye to Angela Hoy when she leaves Blewbury at the end of August, but we wish her well as she moves to Vancouver to join her daughter. Very soon after Angela’s arrival half a dozen years ago we wondered how we had managed without her. Her interest in our food-related and environmental activities meant that she was soon running our Garden Market and annual apple juicing sessions, as well as helping with our Permaculture project and numerous events and activities over the years. She also had masses of new ideas she persuaded us to try. She trained to be a Master Composter and qualified gardener, and wrote her Notes from the Allotment for the Bulletin. We will miss you Angela, but hope you enjoy your new life in Vancouver. From your many friends in Sustainable Blewbury.



6 wooden storage trays for apples. They are 57cm square and  stackable.

Melanie Longhurst

07867 500031
TV table with 2 smoked glass shelves and wooden top, finished in grey. W 700mm x D 445mm x H 440mm.

Alan Cooper


Victorian wardrobe with drawer, 6’ x 3’9” x 1’4”

2 glass-fronted bookcases, each 2’9” x 1’7” x 10”

Malcolm Wright

Leather swivel executive office chair. One arm is a bit wonky (fixable I think) but otherwise AOK.

Chris Whatmore

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


Community Orchard Opening, Village Picnic and Barbecue

June 1, 2017

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!


May 3, 2017

Hello again.

May is almost here, with all the beautiful trees in blossom and colourful spring flowers blooming. We can look forward to warm , sunny days and sitting in the garden. We would love to welcome any new Members to join us at the following May events.

  • Tuesday 2nd May 2017   Lyn’s Walk.   A local walk, mostly on paths. We will leave the Village Hall at 10.00am.
  • Tuesday 9th May 2017   Coffee at Style Acre with Cilla. 10.30am.
  • Wednesday 10th May 2017   Visit to Chalgrove Manor.
  • Friday 12th May 2017   Craft Evening at Liz’s.
  • Tuesday 16th May 2017   Scrabble at Susan’s   30pm.
  • Friday 19th May 2017   Talking Science Lecture at RAL Harwell: To Catch a Monopole. Dr Tom Whyntie. 1.30pm.
  • Wednesday 24th May 2017   Monthly WI Meeting at the Vale Room   00pm. Speaker Bruce Duncan. The Loan Soldier.

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.

Sustainable Blewbury

‘Emulating Nature’s Genius (sustainable engineering solutions)’ – a talk by Prof. George Jeronimidis, Monday 15 May, 8.00pm, Blewbury Manor Barn:

Studying how nature solves its engineering and materials problems provides inspiration for solving our own problems. Spider silk, a fly’s eye, a pine cone opening and closing, shark skin, a lotus leaf, a gecko’s foot … all were inspirations for engineers … but inspirations for what? Tickets from the Post Office, £6, including a glass of wine. All profits donated to the Village Hall refurbishment.

Blewbury Garden Market: Reopens (for our 8th year!) on Blewbury Service Station forecourt on Saturday 20th May from 9.30 to 11.30 am, with fresh produce, plants and seedlings, flowers, home-baked bread and cakes, free-range eggs, preserves and honey, all locally produced. We’d love more volunteers to help man the stall, please contact if you’d like to join in!

Community Orchard – news: All the trees appear to have taken successfully. Even the weakest looking have buds and some, especially Morello cherries, are bursting out of their protective netting. In the wildflower area, the cowslips are also looking good this year. However, the unusually dry April weather has been a concern, so the Community Orchard Group (COG) organised a watering session, along with liquid seaweed fertiliser. Many thanks to the Mussons for water supply access and to members of the Hedge Laying Group who helped. We are always looking for more volunteers to join the COG. If you’re interested email John Ogden (

We will be erecting a signboard in the orchard, and we expect it to be installed in good time for the Orchard Picnic day (see below). The whole village is warmly welcome to come along and help us to celebrate!

Community Orchard – grand opening and village picnic, Sunday 11 June, Tickers Folly Field, from 12 noon: Bring your own picnic. Brass band, licensed bar with local beer and soft drinks, and a cake stall. There will be fun activities for kids and more … full details in the June Bulletin.



Folding child’s high chair, metal with plastic covering. Large freestanding wooden tapestry frame.

Ann Dendy


60cm freestanding electric cooker

c.10 sq m of limestone tiles in opus pattern

Ian Davies

07974 236219
A pair of bookcase glass doors 17″x 28″ and a board with frame suitable for attaching posters with blutac (not pins). 33.25″ x 21.25″

Brenda Hopkins

Child’s ”smarTrike” 3 wheeled orange bike, complete with all accessories and original box. For children from 10 months to over 36 months. Jo Lakeland 850490
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