Clubs & Societies

Blewbury Local History Group

At our Christmas meeting on Dec 13th we shall be discussing a joint project with the Royal British Legion amongst other things.

The darker nights allow for a little more research to be done, for things to be turned up (or out) and we are pleased that our request that people might donate things of interest to the society has borne fruit. So the members present should have items to sort through for preservation in the records. As it’s Christmas then a tipple is usually in order too. Everyone is welcome.

The next meeting is on Dec. 13th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane. For more details please contact Audrey ( or Mark (

Downland Dance – Tribute to the Late Tracey Harris

Earlier this year two students from Elmhurst School for Dance performed a ‘pas de deux’ from The Nutcracker in Sobell House for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors. The initiative came from Jim, Tracey’s husband, who is on the Board of Governors at the school.

Elmhurst has an outreach programme whereby their dancers visit hospices around the UK and give brief performances. Jim felt he wanted to make this available to Sobell House as a way of repaying the love and kindness shown to Tracey when she was on the ward.
This particular performance was choreographed by Errol Pickford, a teacher at Elmhurst and former Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet. The photograph shows Jim, flanked by the two soloists. Anita Rendel

Bridge Club

The Christmas Party will be held in the Village Hall on Sunday 11th December – 5 for 5.30 pm.

Military Bridge as usual. Please make sure that you enter on the list on the Vale Room noticeboard the food that you are volunteering to bring along. All reasonable expenses reimbursed.

As Tuesday 27th December is a Bank Holiday it may be that there will be no bridge on that night unless sufficient players indicate their intention to come along. Please keep an eye on the website to find out whether it is cancelled that night. And, I notice that I have not included Thursday 22nd on the calendar in error – there will be bridge that night as long a sufficient turn up to play!

Finally, a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all members, friends and relatives. Michael Allen 851870

Community Orchard – News from the Coggers

After months of planning and consulting, we are almost ready to start planting!

The first 20 or so trees have been ordered, stakes, labels, tree guards and posts have all been specified and planting will take place in December. It will take a few years for the trees to become established and to bear fruit, but you should then be able to pick a Warwickshire Drooper for your breakfast (it’s a plum) or a Reverend Wilks for your supper (it’s a cooking apple).

A number of people have kindly volunteered to help with the planting. If you would like to add your name to the list then please contact John Ogden ( For those who can help it would be very useful if they could bring along a spade and perhaps a large board or groundsheet – and a wheelbarrow could be useful to help with mulching around the trees. The weekend of the 3rd December is one possible start date but we will be in email contact with all volunteer COGGERS before then.  John Ogden




Last Sunday was a perfect day for putting the allotment to bed, bright sunshine, clear sky, a slight breeze and not at all cold, so I made an early start and managed to do three and a half hours before giving up and going home for lunch.

During that time I dug over two sections, spread some leaf mould and covered one section with black cloth; then emptied both compost bins (and refilled them with new weeds) and had enough reasonable (if a bit twiggy) compost to cover the other section.

Although we have had a considerable amount of rain in the past couple of days, the earth was perfect for digging, with the weeds easy to remove. I gathered up all the beanpoles and netting and stacked them neatly in the corner, and secured some spare netting around the remaining brassicas. Some of the runner bean roots had large stubby roots, so I left them there to break down and release their nitrogen. The remains of the sweetcorn plants which were too fibrous to compost were added to the bonfire pile on the other side of the stream – but it is not going to be lit as there are probably little creatures hibernating in its depths.

I had intended to cut down the autumn raspberries today but ran out of steam, so merely removed a couple that that had strayed onto the path; a job for another day. At this time of year I normally sow some broad beans at the allotment, but I’ve decided to follow Monty’s example and put some in the grow bags in my cold greenhouse at home so they will not be eaten by mice. I should be able to plant out some strong seedlings in early spring.

Compost corner: the leafmould bays need to be cleared before the next leaves arrive in a couple of weeks, so please do take some! The left hand one is nearly empty, but the right hand one is still full and ready to go; it has some apple pomace dug into it so might be on the acidic side until that has all broken down, but it’s good stuff!

I am advised by the Vale that there will not be a compost giveaway this autumn, but there will definitely be one next Spring. Angela Hoy (

Blewbury Brass Band Thanksgiving Concert Saturday 26th November

Blewbury Brass Band will be holding a spectacular Thanksgiving Concert on Saturday 26th November at 7:30pm in Blewbury Village Hall.

The concert will feature our Main Band and our Learner Band and will include a traditional Sousa march, film and show favourites, beautiful cornet and horn solos and a Mexican classic! Musical Director, Ian Barlow said, ‘The standard of the band improves with every concert and this promises to be our best yet. I have thrown out some challenges to the band in ‘Mack and Mabel’ and ‘Wild West’ and it has responded with great enthusiasm. We are all very excited about the concert and would like to see a sell-out audience.’

The band is also getting baking and we will be serving American-style savoury and sweet snacks (available from 7pm), so please come hungry! There will also be a licensed bar and raffle. Tickets are available from Savages, Blewbury Post Office, Hagbourne Community Shop and Post Office, and on the door. Adults £7, Seniors £5, Children £1. For details, please go to or contact Judith

Please Support Blewbury Youth Brass Tour to Germany Summer 2017

BYB held its first rehearsal on Sunday 1st October in preparation for its tour to Germany next August. We are looking for sponsors to support the tour. So far, Waitrose have included us in their ‘Community Matters’ scheme and we have received a generous donation from The Baggs Tree Buskers of Harwell.

If you would like to make a donation or would like more information about the tour, please see our website or Facebook page

Sustainable Blewbury

“Old Houses, Warm Houses”, Wednesday 16th November at 8.00 pm, Blewbury Manor Barn:  A talk by Marianne Suhr, Historic Buildings Surveyor.

Marianne, who lives in Blewbury and is the author of ‘Old House Eco Handbook’, will guide homeowners through a variety of options to prepare for the winter months. She will discuss windows and doors, roofs and walls, and techniques for retrofitting older buildings whilst retaining historic fabric. She will focus on the recent renovation of Meers Parcel in Blewbury as an example. Tickets £6, including a glass of wine, available from Blewbury Post Office or on the door (if not sold out). All profits go to Blewbury Pre-school.

Apple juicing, Sunday 6 November, Manor Stable, 12–2 pm: Our last 2016 session for making delicious juice, good for a year. Bring your apples and screw-top glass wine-type bottles. Our equipment can also be hired: please contact For full details please see

Blewbury Garden Market Extra: Our Saturday stall at the Garage has now closed for the year – many thanks to our suppliers and purchasers for making it a success. During the coming months there will be bread and cake on sale at the Post Office on Saturday mornings from 9.30 am, and preserves and occasional produce all week. Please bring us anything you’d like to sell.

Thermal imaging of houses: We will be doing this again in January. If you would like your house imaged to check insulation, or re-imaged to check improvements, please email us at

Community Orchard: Plans for the Tickers Folly orchard are well advanced. We’ve selected a variety of apples, pears, plums, cherries – and a few surprises! Once the trees are mature there should be fruit ripening throughout the season. Planting starts in November, a few at a time, and each tree will be protected against deer and rabbits. We’ll be calling on the services of the many people who have volunteered to help – be warned! If you have questions or would like to help, please contact John Ogden – Note that the entire cost of the project is covered by a grant, so there is no cost to the village – and the fruit will be available to everybody!

Tabletop sale: If you would be interested in another sale please contact



HP Laserjet 3015 Black & White printer in working order

Jane Buss

 Electric Flymo  mower  – 12″ cut – useful for .edges and small areas

June Smith

Woodworking machine. Planer/thicknesser, 10“ width. Model ‘Kity 636’. Needs new electric starter switch

Richard Figgins

To freecycle your item please send a short description, email & phone number to Lydia Inglis (

We welcome new members. If you would like to become involved in Sustainable Blewbury, or to receive our free Newsletter, please contact us at:


Hi All. The Holiday Season is over and we can look forward to Autumn events such as Halloween and Bonfire night. Also Blewbury WI have some interesting events during November, to which any new members would be very welcome to join us.

  • Tuesday, November 1st 2016 Lyn’s Walk. Meet at the Village Hall at 9.30. We will be walking locally but the route is not quite settled yet. Coffee stop at some point but venue also not confirmed.
  • Tuesday, November 8th 2016 Scrabble at Susan’s. 7.30pm.
  • Wednesday, November 9th 2016 Coffee at Style Acre with Joan. 10.30am.
  • Friday, November 11th 2016 Craft Evening at Liz’s 7.00pm.
  • Wednesday, November 23rd 2016 WI monthly meeting at the Vale Room 7.30pm. Make Something for Christmas. Craft evening.
  • Wednesday, November 30th 2016 Visit to Basildon Park 12.30pm. Christmas Decorations.

The date for the restart of Mah Jong will be announced later.

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

Without saying how many days are left to Christmas, it’s hard to imagine that we are almost at the end of another year. Weatherwise, although 2016 began a little cold and wet we have had a pretty good summer and an exceptional autumn. Now it’s just a question of putting the garden and allotments to bed for the forthcoming winter.

Our next event is the VPA Annual General Meeting. Taking place on Wednesday 2nd November at 7.00pm in the Vale Room, Blewbury Village Hall, everyone is invited. We commence with a complimentary glass of wine and nibbles, continue with a short meeting at 7.30pm and conclude with a quirky quiz.

The final event for this year is our Annual Social which takes place on Saturday 3rd December at Upton Village Hall – it will be a Mexican Evening! Food, Drink and Fun & Games. Tickets are £9 per head and will be on sale from the 1st November at Blewbury Post Office and from Maggie Maytham at Upton.

DID YOU KNOW? The leaves of the laurel tree were made into wreaths and crowns in Roman times for military heroes and poets, hence the title ‘poet laureate’, meaning ‘the wreathed or crowned poet’. Traditionally, laurels were planted near houses to ward off witches and protect the house from lightning. Happy Gardening  Eileen



There are times when we feel overcome with papers, letters, books, photos. And things.

Even though Blewbury is quite a small village we do seem to generate a lot of records, so we are going to have a real attempt to collect all the stuff we have accumulated over the years and make it more accessible. For example, how many of us know that the Village Hall in 1926 might have been built next to the Load of Mischief? And what were the fashions in the 1930s and 40s? All information somewhere amongst our records. Our next meeting will be a sort-out of some of the boxes here; should be fun, provided we don’t get too sidetracked by interesting items as we do it. We hope all our regular members will come and help, and newcomers are always welcome.

The next meeting is on Nov. 8th at 8pm in the History Room, Parsonage Lane. Simply turn up, or to find out more, contact Audrey Long, 850427/ or Mark Palethorpe