Monthly Archives: May 2020

And the winner is…

May 21, 2020

In May, readers were invited to choose their three favourite lockdown-themed cartoons from a collection of 25, all drawn by Elphin Lloyd-Jones, that were posted on the Blewbury website.

For a chance to win a bottle of bubbly, they were also asked to suggest a topic, or a situation, that could be illustrated in a new cartoon. The results are now in!

The highest scorer among the existing cartoons was No 9 (‘Over reacting’), shown below.

Just one point behind, in equal second place, were 11 (‘Coping Mechanism’) and 12 (‘A Grave Situation’), followed by seven runners-up. A selection from all 100 cartoons produced by Elphin during the lockdown period can be viewed in his Gallery on this website.

The winning suggestion for a new cartoon, featuring the differing reactions of dogs and cats to seeing more of their owners, came from Lydia Wanstall, and is shown as the main illustration above.

Elphin would like to congratulate Lydia and thank everyone who took part – especially Kevin Aubrey, who sent in his entry from New Jersey, USA, despite the fact that his location put him out of the running for the grand prize! (Kevin’s explanation was that he was ‘bored’.)

Blewbury School Announces Phased Re-Opening

May 25, 2020

Blewbury School, like other schools around the country, has been busy facing the challenges of Covid-19 during the period since late March.

Although formally closed since the start of the lockdown period the school has remained busy providing learning and practical support for all pupils, including a small minority who have continued to come into school as they were children of key workers or met other government criteria.

A temporary Emergency Advisory Committee (EAC) of governors has been put in place to ensure that the school’s Covid-19 contingency plans are being satisfactorily executed, and that all the children have been receiving adequate learning support. It has been a priority for the EAC and the staff to ensure that all of the children are safe and happy and that all of the statutory provisions for the most vulnerable pupils are in place. The EAC has been impressed by the agility and commitment of the staff, and the amazing support from parents and carers all of which has ensured that the children continue to thrive. The EAC has expressed its thanks to everyone involved for this response.

As the Bulletin goes to press the situation is that the school is intending to start a phased return of pupils to the school from Wednesday 3rd June. This will involve the first stage in a process of phased reopening, following government guidance and Public Health England recommendations. The first children to return will be from reception and years 1 & 6. They will be kept exclusively in their own special group of no more than 15 children, and each group will have one teacher and one teaching assistant allocated to it to ensure appropriate social distancing, and other safety measures, throughout the school day. There will continue to be separate arrangements for key worker children from other year groups, building upon the experience of the last few weeks.

Further information, as well as any updates on the phased reopening arrangements, as well as the minutes of recent governor meetings, are available on the school website (www.blewbury.oxon.sch.uk) . Any questions about what is happening in the school may also be addressed to Miss Becky Costello (head.3248@blewbury.oxon.sch.uk) and/or Kevin Moyes

Coronavirus in Blewbury

May 15, 2020

Here are the main Coronavirus-related news items notified so far; there are more inside the  recent issues of the Blewbury Bulletin. Information affecting the wider area can be found on the Local Government news page on this website.

THIS WEEK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Blewbury Post Office is open again following the refurbishment.

Opening times are Monday to Fridays, mornings only, 8.30am to 12noon, with a 10 minute break at approximately 10.30am.

• Information on Church activities

St. Michael’s Church is now open for private prayer at the following times:
Wednesdays: 10am – 12 noon  and Saturdays: 3pm – 5pm
A steward will be on duty. Please note that social distancing must be maintained.

Regular Sunday Services, evening prayer (Compline) and groups are continuing online and by telephone.  The clergy are available if people have questions, would like to talk, or would like to ask for prayer for themselves or someone they care about.

For full details, click here to view/download a PDF file containing the latest information from the Churn Benefice.

OLDER STORIES

  • Recycling centres open on 18 May for essential use

Oxfordshire County Council will re-open Household Waste Recycling Centres on 18 May, for essential use. Essential use means waste that cannot be stored at home, or would cause harm to health if stored.

There will be new site rules to ensure social distancing and the safety of residents and site staff. This includes reducing opening hours to 8am – 4pm to allow for cleaning, limiting the number and size of vehicles coming in and contactless payments only.

Queues are likely, so if it can wait, please do. If it’s waste that can be disposed of legally and responsibly in another way, such as weekly kerbside collections or district council collection services, please do that.

Full information about the changes to recycling centre rules can be found on their website – www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/wastereopenquestions

• Bulky waste collection service reopens

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have reopened their paid-for bulky waste collection service for large household items and are also issuing a warning about fly-tipping while other outlets for domestic waste remain closed.

The bulky waste collection service was temporarily stopped to allow the councils’ waste contractor, Biffa, to prioritise the important kerbside household collections while members of their waste collection crews were off sick or self-isolating. Biffa has now built up sufficient resilience in its workforce and can now provide the paid-for service again. The situation is being regularly monitored and residents should be aware that if staffing levels fall the service may need to be suspended again.

With household waste recycling centres still closed, along with charity shops and their donation banks, there are fewer places to dispose of unwanted items that do not fit into kerbside collections.

The councils have issued a warning to anybody tempted to fly-tip – this includes leaving rubbish next to litter bins – that they will investigate and prosecute anyone found to be responsible.

  • Croquet Club open

Following the Government announcements in May, Blewbury Croquet Club has  reopened to its members on a restricted basis, following strict precautions – on both social distancing and cleaning – as guided by the English Croquet Association. For now, no visitors are allowed on our premises, but we sincerely hope to be able to open our gates to prospective new members again before too long.

See our website www.blewburycroquetclub.org.uk for details, or contact David Long, Club Secretary, on 07484 360169

• Please stay away from Trim Trail on Tickers Folly Field

Unfortunately there are some visitors still using the Trim Trail equipment at Tickers Folly field. None of the equipment should be used for the foreseeable future. Please be aware that the virus can remain on surfaces and be contagious for many hours.

Please protect yourself and others by not coming into contact with any shared surfaces. This includes, but is not limited to, all community play and fitness equipment.

Should you have any contact, thoroughly wash your hands directly you get home.

Chris Lakeland, Chairman Blewbury Parish Council
Email: BlewburyPCChair@gmail.com

• From the Parish Council:

In the current circumstances, when the vast majority of children in the village are being home schooled and taking exercise breaks in their gardens, the Parish Council asks residents to be considerate and not light bonfires.

BLEWBURY GOOD NEIGHBOURS

We continue to organise shopping and prescription collections, run errands, and organise phone call rotas, or help with computers and communications. If you need help with any of those things, call Karen on 07825 154842 or Lydia on 07801 932393. To register as a volunteer, join the Facebook group Blewbury Good Neighbours; we’d love the group to continue, as we know that everyone needs a helping hand sometimes! Thank you to our wonderful volunteers, you are all amazing!

PARISH COUNCIL

The April Parish Council meeting (April 8th) and the Annual Parish Meeting (April 22nd) will proceed as required by law, but in a highly restricted form. More details on page 18.

BLEWBURY FLYING SQUAD

Following Government advice on social distancing and non-emergency hospital visits, and taking into account the fact that many of our drivers are themselves members of at-risk groups, the Flying Squad service is regretfully suspended until further notice.

VILLAGE HALL AGM

In view of the current restriction on public gatherings the AGM will be held as soon as possible after the reopening of the Hall following refurbishment, subject to government guidelines prevailing at the time.

BELL RINGING

Ringing at St Michael’s is still suspended. Hopefully when ringing is allowed to recommence we will send a powerful message of joy, hope and relief once the crisis has passed.

BULLETIN STOP PRESS SERVICE

If you would like to receive urgent village news and information by email, you can sign up to the Bulletin Stop Press service on the home page of this website. Powered by MailChimp®, all emails are blind copied so no addresses are shared.

Please note that the Bulletin’s coronavirus coverage does not, and will not, include advice on the virus itself, or on how individuals should respond to it. For the latest, most reliable information on these health-related issues, we recommend tuning in regularly to national and local broadcast news, or visiting the following websites (web addresses shortened for convenience):

Public Health Englandhttps://bit.ly/2WmUEUv

Department of Health and Social Carehttps://bit.ly/2WthCci

Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK Government responsehttps://bit.ly/3aWAV1U

Please note that information on these sites is frequently updated, so should be checked regularly for the latest advice.

Bridge Club

May 29, 2020

Having ceased physical play over two months ago, members have been finding other ways to satisfy their need for some mental challenges. Some are playing with a regular partner on the internet on sites such as Bridge Base Online, where the EBU runs regular daily sessions of 12 boards at 12 noon, 2.00, 3.30, 7.30 and 9pm. There are also occasional Oxfordshire County events on this website, too.

In order to maintain some form of cohesive club activity, Blewbury Bridge Club has set up regular sessions of 20 boards, playing against the computer, on a site called Funbridge at 7.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. It was felt this would appeal to the widest cross-section of the membership. However, support has been a bit patchy and so it would be good if more members could take up the option of some bridge stimulation in these sessions. Contact the Chairman for further information on how to join the site and find the dedicated Blewbury sessions, where you can test your skills against the other Blewbury members who take part. A Novices session of 15 boards has also been set up at 7.30pm on Friday evenings on the same site. This is proving quite popular.

It would seem unlikely that the club will re-convene physically again before the autumn – let us hope that the recent news concerning a vaccine possibly being available in September proves correct. Otherwise, we are probably looking at a long delay before we can meet again. Michael Allen  851870