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Monthly Archives: May 2021

Blewbury School’s new Head

May 20, 2021

Blewbury School is delighted to announce Miss Jo Reeder as its permanent new Head of School, who will join the School from September 2021.

Jo Reeder will for her first year be working alongside Miss Lisa Austin who will continue as the School’s 0.5 Executive Headteacher. There was a lot of interest in this position and Jo Reeder emerged as the successful candidate from a strong field of a large number of applicants. Everyone involved in the process was delighted when Jo accepted the post and confirmed her availability to start in it in September.

Jo herself has said that she is thrilled with this new opportunity to work with Lisa Austin and the rest of the School’s staff. She already lives nearby in Wantage, where she completed her ownsecondary education at King Alfred’s School. She is currently Deputy Headteacher at St Philip and St James’s Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School in Oxford. Prior to moving to that school in 2015 she was a class teacher at Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Church of England Primary School, so she is very familiar with the local area.

Jo states that she sees the School as being on an exciting journey, and when she visited it recently could already seethe fruits of the hard work the staff have put in during this difficult time. She is keen to support the staff to further this when she joins them. She also comments that the School is set in beautiful surroundings and she is aware of the strong community spirit that surrounds it. She is looking forward to drawing on what the local area has to offer.

She is passionate about teaching and her ambition is for Blewbury School to flourish. She enjoys baking, music and going to the theatre, and in lockdown she took up yoga and building giant Lego models.

Jo will be visiting the School and the village before she starts in September and we will I am sure all look forward to welcoming her and wishing her every success in her new position.

Roger Murphy, Blewbury School Community Governor

Restoring an old Blewbury map

May 2, 2021

In 1943 John Hone, who was a lieutenant at the Army School of Survey in Hampsted Norreys, hand drew and illustrated a rather fine map of Blewbury Village.

Individuals whose families have been in the village for a long time may well have a copy of the map, and the Blewbury History Group knows of several – one of which is hung in the waiting room of the Doctor’s Surgery in the Village Hall. The copies are not however all identical. The one printed here for example is a different version to many, because it shows the old Orchard Rood house to the left of Westbrook Street just opposite the Wool Shop. It is likely that John Hone gave this version of his map to the two women who lived in Orchard Rood in the 1940s, and we suspect added in their house for them (There is more information about those two women in another article in this issue of the Bulletin.)

An original version of this map was given to the Local History Group, a couple of years ago, by Jeni Whittaker, who is a great-niece of Gladys Hazel, who was one of the two occupants of Orchard Rood, and it has recently been lovingly restored by Elphin Lloyd-Jones. This exciting development means that the group is now able to print a further limited edition of copies of the map and make them available to people who would like one.

Because of the size of the handwriting on the map we think that it looks at its best in its original 50 x 36 cm size or bigger, but it is possible to also print it in smaller and larger sizes if anyone prefers that. Examples of this map will be on view around the village at venues such as the Post Office and Style Acre, and orders for copies can be placed either at the Post Office or via Mary Gaines, 9 Westbrook Green ( or 07730-438598)

Printed on 50×36 cms  Card. (Sample in the Post Office)                                         £15

Printed on 50×36 cms  Laminated Foamboard (Sample in the Post Office).       £30

Printed on 50×36 cms  Card and Framed (Sample in Style Acre)                           £65

Prices for other sizes available on request through Mary Gaines

Roger Murphy on behalf of the Blewbury Local History Group