Clubs & Societies

Blewbury Croquet Club

The season is now in full swing and various home and outside tournaments have been played with mixed results.

We lost to Oxford University in the Southern Federation League, this usually happens because the Uni students play well above their handicaps! Unfortunately we were knocked out in the first round of the Longman Cup by Harwell. During the afternoon the Radio Oxford Saturday Sport programme did a live broadcast from the match.

On the plus side half the Berkshire team in the Inter-Counties match was made up of Blewbury club members. (Blewbury was in Berkshire when the Croquet Association was formed, and so is still counted as such). The match is played over four days and the Berkshire team came third and so won promotion to the First Division.

The local round of the All England Golf Croquet Handicap competition was won by David Seed who will go on to play in the Area Final. The Ladies Golf Croquet Doubles tournament was won by Marion Allin and Eileen Taylor.

By the time you read this you may have seen club members playing on the beautiful lawn at Hall Barn during the Open Gardens afternoon. We play a fun version of the game for the Roger Cambray Shield, in memory of Roger, a founder member of the club.

For details about the club, and our club events, please see our website www.blewburycroquetclub.org.uk. Or contact June Wolff 01235 851567, june@wolff.co.uk.

Cricket: The scent of victory

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.

Cricket: Feeling the pressure

Blew Wallies lost ground in the Division 3 promotion race on June 11 after being beaten at home by Cublington. The away side’s winning margin was 58 runs.

At around the midway point of Cublington’s innings, however, Blew Wallies had looked in a promising position, with three wickets from the in-form Scott Harris having helped to reduce the visitors to 105-5. Yet a defiant and at times flamboyant 103 from Kit Gordon-Stuart ensured Cublington reached 194 when they were all out in the 44th over. The batsman’s effort was all the more impressive because he had previously averaged only four in his four Cherwell League innings to date this season.

In reply, only Russell Brown (41) and Harris (26) mustered any real threat to the opposition’s total. By the time captain Colin Allen made 17 batting at No 9, the game was up, and a weakened 1st XI were dismissed for 136 in the 36th over. The 2nds had a week off, but also slipped down the Division 9(S) table due to other results.

In mitigation, it ought to be said that having a sufficient number of players to field two teams every Saturday is becoming hard to achieve. Anyone in the Blewbury area interested in playing even the odd game this season is strongly urged to get in touch. You’d be most welcome whether you’re 13 or 53 or, indeed, almost any age. Check out www.blewwallies.co.uk for details.

BLEWBURY WI NEWS

I love May, one of my favourite months, the warmer weather, the return of the house martins, the lilac is out, and the grass needs cutting!

All that, and two long bank holidays to enjoy without elaborate cooking or shopping to do!  Simply marvellous!

  • Wednesday 4th May, Lyn’s walk, meet at Blewbury Village Hall, 9.15 am, (everyone welcome) for a walk around Highmoor Cross near Greys Court, & lunch at Rising Sun pub, some cars needed!
  • Tuesday 17th, trip to Braemore House
  • Wednesday 18th; trip to London to see “Wicked”
  • Monday 23rd; Oxfordshire WI Quiz night
  • Wednesday 25th, cookery demo at Denman
  • Wednesday 25th Main meeting, Vale Room, 7.30pm, Talk on the “Rather Odd Men Who Have, Over The Years, Become Prime Minister” (visitors welcome)

For more details of any of our events, the date of the next Coffee morning, Scrabble or Mah Jong session, or if you wish to join us, please ring Karen on 850219 or visit our webpage, http://blewburywi.wordpress.com where you will find more information.  Love from Karen

LOCAL HISTORY GROUP – ADVANCE NOTICE

On June 30th we are planning for a talk by Mark Palethorpe about the eve of the Battle of the Somme, 100 years ago.

If you have any mementoes of your father/grandfather dating from that time, please let Mark know and we would be pleased to either display them that evening, or to find out from you the story attached to the item. You can contact either Mark or Audrey (850427). The next ordinary meeting is on May 10th in the history room, Parsonage Lane at 8pm.

CAMPANILE APPLICATION
The owners of Spring Cottage thank many people in the village who reacted very encouragingly to the idea of a campanile. We particularly appreciate the offer from the Church bell ringers to lay the bricks for the tower, from the Parish Council whom The Clerk predicts will be delighted with the improvement a campanile will bring to the village, from the Flying Squad who commented how it would improve the appearance of Greater Didcot, from two somewhat more mature village members who want to bungee jump from the top when it is finished. Other residents have asked if they can build one too – “Of course you can”, we say, “as long as ours remains the tallest.”

CRICKET WITH THE BLEW WALLIES

Whether you’re inspired by the T20 World Cup or simply the arrival of BST, there’s no better time to get into cricket.

Blewbury & Wallingford CC are rebranding with a new nickname, the Blew Wallies, for the 2016 season, and the club welcomes new recruits of all ages. We run two Cherwell League XIs on Saturdays, two midweek T20 outfits and junior teams at U11 (an 8-a-side development team) and U15 levels. Our clubhouse at the Boham’s Road ground is excellent, and we are also investing significantly in our net facilities. Practice sessions for juniors on Friday evenings throughout the summer have proved hugely popular. Please call Colin Allen on 07939 318948 for more information about the senior sides and Keith Vincent on 07812 696433 regarding the juniors.

♫EWS FROM THE BLEWBURY BRASS BAND

Blewbury Brass Band is entering its busy summer season and both the Main and Learner Bands have been working hard rehearsing new music for our concerts and fete programme.

The Learner Band recently entertained shoppers in Didcot with a performance outside the Cornerstone. We played a lively programme of pop tunes, marches, spirituals and more and were treated to a fine display by some of our young soloists. We were joined by Dawkes Music and our Main Band musical director Ian Barlow, of brassinclass.com, who encouraged local youngsters to try an instrument. This proved very popular and will hopefully have attracted a few new players.

On Saturday 23rd April, both bands can be heard at our annual Spring Concert in Blewbury Village Hall at 7pm. This year, the concert falls on St George’s Day so we are playing music with an English theme including Floral Dance, the Standard of St George, Eleanor Rigby, the Vicar of Dibley and many more popular pieces. Tickets are available on the door priced £7 (adults), £5 (seniors), £1 (children).

This year, for the first time, the band will be competing at The Oxfordshire and District Brass Band Association Festival in Woodstock on Sunday 24th April. The band has developed and progressed over the last few years and the festival gives us a great opportunity to show other bands in the area what we have achieved. Our young players are competing in many of the junior sections and some of our experienced adult players will be representing the main band in the duet, quintet and ensemble classes. Hopefully, we should have a trophy or two by the end of the day.

If you would like to see the band, please come to our concert, or come and support us at Brightwalton fete on 1st May, at Wallingford Castle Gardens on 29th May and at Ticker’s Folly, Blewbury on 11th June. For more details, please visit our website on blewburybrassband.org.uk.

For details about joining the band, please visit our website: www.BlewburyBrassBand.org.uk

or contact Julian Gallop (chairman@blewburybrassband.org.uk, 07984 046731).

For tickets for any of the events please contact Lindsay Lott 07749050886.   Lindsay Lott

Village Hall Refurbishment

We have started the detailed design and have recruited a team of key users and experts to ensure that we specify exactly what we want before we seek prices from builders.

We have received a grant of £7,500 from the Vale of White Horse District Council and the Beer Festival raised an excellent £2,000 towards the refurbishment. With the support of the Parish Council, we now have over £200,000 in donations and pledges towards our target of around £500,000 including fees and VAT. We are grateful to everyone for all their support and efforts so far. A number of applications for further grants have also been submitted and we await their outcomes.

We are preparing a pamphlet for distribution to every household in the village summarising where we are with the project and inviting personal donations. We’ll link this with a re-launch of the project pages on the Village website. We are also producing a promotional film to support the campaign. We will be looking for volunteers to appear in this. Let me know if you are interested or have any ideas or proposals to raise money.  Steve White

BLEWBURY’S SECRET SUFFRAGETTE?

In one corner of the Blewbury’s old cemetery in Boham’s Road are two fairly ordinary graves, which are the main reminder that the village has of two women, Gladys Hazel and Dr Gertrude Austin, who retired to Blewbury in the 1930s and lived in a newly built bungalow in Westbrook Street, with Gladys’s school age nephew, Peter Waterfield.

They lived there for over twenty years during which time Peter grew up, went to Oxford University, married the daughter of the Vicar of Didcot, and then left the village to pursue a career as a school teacher and head teacher. Peter, now in his 90s, lives in Cornwall. Just last year, to his amazement, he came across an old manuscript which turned out to be his Aunt Gladys’s memoirs. These memoirs reveal that, in her earlier life, she had been a very active, militant Suffragette. She was born in 1880 and had become a school teacher in Birmingham, when she was invited to a tea party, which was addressed by Emmeline Pankhurst sometime around 1908. Fairly soon after that she became heavily involved in the Suffragette movement, working in their offices in Birmingham, Leicester and Bristol over a period of several years. Passive campaigning led to more militant activity. On one occasion for example, she describes stepping into the middle of a road to obstruct a troop of mounted police during a visit to Birmingham by Asquith. The cavalcade was forced to part either side of her to great cheers and laughter from the assembled crowd. She calls it her “first taste of heady power” and writes: “I was immensely exhilarated”. Not all acts of defiance were as enjoyable. During the time she was in Holloway Prison, Gladys took part in a hunger strike and was force fed. In her memoirs she describes the occasion when the now famous Emily Wilding Davison attempted suicide in Holloway, trying to end the suffering and force feeding of others. “My cell door was open and a warden hurried to me calling: ‘Come quick!’ I followed her out to the gallery. And there was Emily Davison. She was sitting with her feet hanging down over the stairway her face closed and set. The warden said, ‘Speak to her and stop her doing it.’ I felt suddenly full of [emotion] and in a sort of rage and I said, ‘Why? She’ll be well out of it.’ And I turned away. I heard her fall and saw her lying across the steps as they hustled me into my cell.” Earlier in 1912 she had been involved in a demonstration in New Bond Street in London. She was arrested after smashing several windows of Asprey’s store, but while being led away by a burly policeman still managed according to his account in court to ‘break two more windows’. So this quiet old lady living in Westbrook Street from 1939-1959 had quite a colourful past campaigning for women’s rights, and it seems that no-one living in Blewbury at the time knew anything of her past. Her nephew has very fond memories of his time in the village, and is collaborating with the Local History Group to ensure that his aunt’s exploits on behalf of such an important cause are not forgotten. Anyone else with relevant information about Gladys and Gertrude is encouraged to contact the group. Roger and Elizabeth Murphy

VPA Events for 2016

The VPA is organising a series of garden visits and other events during 2016. Full details of costs for the outings will be issued in the Blewbury Bulletin and on the Upton News Website prior to the event and you will need to register four weeks before the event.

If you are interested in visiting any of these gardens listed below, registration will be available at the Blewbury Post Office or contact:   Margaret Maytham on 01235 850126 or Eileen Bracken on 01235 510095 You can also contact us on our e-mail address:   vpa.in.bl.up@gmail.com     We will advise transport arrangements when we have numbers.

SATURDAY 16th APRIL (day visit)
BATSFORD ARBORETUM, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos.
Is home to a unique collection of some of the world’s most beautiful and rare trees, shrubs and bamboos.

SATURDAY 4th JUNE (day visit to two gardens)
HIDCOTE MANOR GARDEN, Chipping Campden, Glos. (Morning visit)
Is one of England’s great Arts and Crafts gardens. Created by Major Lawrence Johnston with outstanding herbaceous borders
KIFTSGATE COURT GARDEN, Chipping Campden, Glos. (Afternoon visit)
Three generations of women gardeners have designed, planted and sustained this garden, with spectacular views of Malvern Hills
SUNDAY 4th SEPTEMBER (day visit)

LOSELEY PARK, near Guildford, Surrey
The garden is part of the grounds of Loseley Park and Includes a walled garden largely based on a design by Gertrude Jekyll

EVENTS

SAT. 9th JULY ANNUAL SUMMER SHOW at BLEWBURY VILLAGE HALL   2.30pm – 4.00pm
SUN. 23rd OCT PLANT SALE AT THE RED LION PUB, BLEWBURY 1.00pm – 3.00pm with Sustainable Blewbury’s Apple Day
WED. 2nd NOV ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – The Vale Room 7.00pm                                                    
SAT. 3rd DEC XMAS SOCIAL at UPTON VILLAGE HALL – 7.00pm