Covid restrictions have moved the goalposts again as far as reopening the Village Hall goes.
Current restrictions do not allow us to open the hall for community use and therefore we will not be opening as planned. The Parish Council confirmed that the Melland Room will also have to close under current restrictions.
Discussions continue with Woodlands Medical Practice as providing a medical service is one of the notable exceptions. The Post Office remains open and Karen will keep everybody informed of opening hours via Facebook and Stop Press.
The second lockdown has moved the goalposts on the scheduled reopening, and our planned timescales have gone out of the window.
The good news is that the refurbishment work is finished. and we’ve resurfaced Heather Way and the car park and upgraded the drainage to prevent the regular flooding in front of the Post Office. For a sneak preview, do take a look at the gallery of photos of the refurbished Hall in the ‘Venues’ section of the village website.
Blewbury Village Hall Management Committee
Quite a few Blewbury residents have moved house within the village numerous times. However, whether any of them have relocated as many times as our Post Office must be in doubt.
Will there be further twists to this tale of exploration around Blewbury? Who knows? If you can add further details or indeed corrections to this account the Local History Group would be pleased to hear from you.It isn’t known exactly when the Blewbury Post Office first opened, but it was certainly operating in Carramores, on Church Road, by 1887, and we have a photograph of the earl 1900s (top) to illustrate that. If you look closely at the front of Carramores today you can still see the bits of metal protruding where the Post Office sign used to be displayed. In 1914 it moved to Upstone’s Shop (see below) in Treble House Terrace on London Road, where no doubt it benefitted from more passing trade.
Upstone’s Shop and Blewbury Post Office in Treble House Terrace in the 1920s
In 1924 it then moved to Fir Tree Cottage, on the other side of London Road, where a new purpose built extension had been created for it by Jesse Dunsden, and the village telephone exchange was located in the Dunsden’s living room! After Jesse Dunsden retired in 1943 it then crossed London Road again to take up residence in Laurel Bank where it was run by George & Rose Smith. George was a relative of Jesse Dunsden and Rose was an Upstone, and together they were the parents of Derek Smith, whose book A Blewbury Life is the source of much of the information in this article.
Then in 1968 the Post Office moved to Old Wheelwrights for 24 years with Ann Edwards and then Marion Armstrong in charge. After 74 years of trading and crossing the London Road, the next move, in 1992, was to Prior’s Village Shop, in Chestnuts in Church End. With the eventual closure of Prior’s Shop the Post Office moved to the Village Hall, where it has lived ever since October 18th 2001.
Roger Murphy on behalf of the Blewbury Local History Group