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Monthly Archives: February 2024

Contributions needed for Blewbury art project

February 21, 2024

Readers of the Bulletin will know we have funding for a village art project, which (for various reasons, including Covid) was stalled… But we are now confident something exciting is going to happen, because David Harber is designing a beautiful armillary sphere to be installed in the Playclose.

To make this an artwork unique to Blewbury, the base will contain a time capsule created by the school, and the bands of the sphere will be engraved with words, phrases and quotes that paint a picture of what makes our village a special place to live. To do this we need your help. Please tell us what you think makes Blewbury unique – it could be words that conjure the special nature of our chalk streams and downland flora and fauna, our sense of community, our unique theatre, the authors or artists who have lived and worked here, our cob walls, our connection to the past, present and future, our pubs… or none of the above! The area for engraving is limited so please be pithy and original, and we’ll choose the very best submissions to immortalise on the sphere.

Send your entries to by Friday 29th March – we can’t wait to hear from you!

It’s the 2024 Duck Race!

The ducks, like most of us, cannot believe where the time has gone and that it’s time for them to take to the water on the Playclose for the annual Duck Race on Easter Sunday, 31st March.

The first of five heats will start at 12.00 noon. The first three ducks across the line in the final race will win for their owners £50, £20 and £10 respectively, and all proceeds will go to St Michael’s Tower and Bell Maintenance Fund. The Bell Ringers are very appreciative of the support given to this annual event, and hope that everyone will enjoy the socialising and springtime fun. Fingers crossed for good weather although the ducks are happy in any weather!

This event is open to everyone, and racing ducks are available for £1.25 each.  They are obtainable from Blewbury Post Office or contact Gill Loyd on 01235 850459 or Chris Cook on 07786 635062.

Always popular, so please be sure to buy your racers early, as they will all be sold before the race day, and don’t forget to come along, bring your family and friends, and cheer for your ducks on the day. If you enjoy this sort of fun, why not meet the ringers in St Michael’s one Friday night to see what else we do when we are not racing ducks? You will be most welcome.

Father Jason Honoured

Blewbury’s rector, the Revd Jason St John Nicolle, has been made an honorary canon of Christ Church Cathedral. The award, in recognition of distinguished service to the church, was presented during a service in Oxford.

Fr Jason (3rd from right in photo) was ordained in 2004 and has spent all his time in local ministry. In 2008 he moved to the Churn benefice after his curacy in Kidlington, serving Blewbury and six other neighbouring parishes.

The awards recognise the dedication of lay and ordained people to the Diocese of Oxford and the wider church across a variety of areas of ministry and mission. This includes roles supporting theological education in the worldwide Anglican Communion, the deaf and hard of hearing in the diocese, and community organising and church growth.

Speaking on his installation as honorary canon, Fr Jason said: “It is a great honour. It comes with a great sense of responsibility. I look forward to the role. God’s holy spirit does not limit itself to the work of the church. I think God is calling our church to evolve and that’s exciting. The heart of my life is helping the church to cherish the best of the past together with an openness to the future and holding these two things together.”

Blewbury Players

February 27, 2024

Friends Evening  – A night of Blewbury films This will be held in the Village Hall on Friday 26 April.

We will show all the short films from the recent Song for Europe, which were hilarious and people said they’d like to see again, as well as films from previous revues and live and on-line shows.  It’s sure to be an evening of fun and nostalgia.  The evening, which is free to our Friends of Blewbury Players, will include wine and gossip.  Roger Colebrook, our Friends Secretary, will be contacting our Friends about tickets.

To become a Friend and get priority booking for Blewbury Players’ productions, an annual entertainment and newsletters, please contact of Friends’ Secretary, Roger Colebrook, at Subscription is £15 and is renewable on 1st May 2024.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle – 17-20 July 2024. With our casting almost complete, we are now hoping to encourage some more volunteers in non-acting roles… We are particularly looking for people who are interested in sound and costumes/sewing. Please just call 01235 850537 or e-mail for a friendly response and more information with no pressure to commit to anything outside your comfort zone!

Panto in 2025!! – The rumours were true …

And for January 2025, we are planning another Blewbury pantomime – Oh yes we are!! Written and to be directed by Andy Jarvis. We’ll audition in September and rehearse from November, with a break for Christmas and New Year, with performances in the last week of January.  Not to be missed.

Blewbury Village Society

BVS Comedy Night, Saturday 16th March

The legendary Blewbury Comedy Night returns to the Village Hall on Saturday 16th March. Tickets have now sold out, but you can get on the waiting list via the box office website at Please email us at with any returns.

Egg Rolling, Sunday 31st March

The annual Easter Egg Rolling is back on Easter Sunday, 31st March, at 3 pm. This event is open to everyone – bring your decorated eggs to the chalk pits (head up the footpath on the village side of Tickers Folly Field and you’ll find us!) Prizes for the best decorated eggs and longest rolls (see advert on page 8, designed by Elphin Lloyd-Jones).

BVS and Parish Council AGM, Wednesday 15th May

The combined BVS and Parish Council AGM will be held on Wednesday 15th May at 7 pm in the Village Hall. All are welcome to hear about the astonishing amount of activity taking place in Blewbury, and contribute to future events.

Blewbury Beer Festival, Saturday 18th May

Join us for good beer, good food and good vibes at Blewbury Village Hall on 18th May, from 2 pm, for a day filled with great beer! Enjoy a variety of local brews (and/or wine, cider, gin and soft drinks, as preferred) while supporting Blewbury Preschool and the BVS. There will also be a chance to grab some tasty food and groove to live music all afternoon and evening. We hope to see you there!

Save the date for the Summer Dance: Saturday 22nd June

The annual Summer Dance will take place on Saturday 22nd June at Ashbrook House and we are delighted to announce that McFunky will be performing again. Put the date in your diary – details in the April Bulletin.

BVS committee

The BVS committee is a team of volunteers who help to run events for the village, and we are always grateful to hear your ideas and for any offers of help. If you have an event that you would like to make happen, or if you would just like to support one of our regular calendar events, please contact us at

Sustainable Blewbury

Rewilding: does it make sense?  A talk in the Clubhouse (Melland Room) on Monday 11 March, 8pm.

Come and hear Jon Davies from Nature Positive and Blewbury resident James Morgan talk on the why, what and how of Rewilding. Topics discussed will be reversing the tide of biodiversity loss and our food security. Tickets £6 (includes a drink) from the Post Office in advance or on the door.

Blewbury Spring Clean Our big litter clean is on Sat 16 March, 2 to 4pm, during the week of the Great British Spring Clean. Even though Blewbury is almost litter-free, the ditches to the east of Bessels Way and west of Savages are bad. Sign-in and collect litter-pickers, high-viz jackets and strong rubbish bags from Twin Trees, Bessels Lea Road (adults only) or Ticker’s Folly (children accompanied by an adult) at 2pm. Please bring your own gloves and suitable footwear. If you can’t make this time but could do another time on the weekend, ring Jane Kinniburgh 01235 850341 or email the address below.

Nature Reserve Our next volunteering morning is Sat 9 March, 10am to noon. There will still be more hedging to plant. We are expecting 300 whips from Thames Water!

1.2 litre capacity slow cooker. Excellent condition and working order, cookery book included.Julie Hetherington

01235 850564

07985 010959

Britax Eclipse child’s car seat suitable for 9 months to 4 years, with user’s guide.Paula or Tony Sibley

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

If you want to know more about Sustainable Blewbury and become a supporter who receives occasional newsletters, email

Blewbury Women’s Institute

Our March meeting is our Annual Meeting – please note – for Members only.  We will confirm our coming year’s committee and elect the incoming President (sometimes the current President is voted in!). Also some fun and games in social time.

For those who have thought about joining, it’s darn good value at less than 93p a week!  This entitles you to come free to 11 monthly meetings plus all of the other regular jollies we put on.

We are going on a canal boat trip in late April, watch this space for news on that. So, you see we are quite a busy lot. You do as much or as little as you like.

Come as a visitor in April – no commitment – see if you fancy it.  If you’d like to join any of the regular events listed below contact our Secretary Joy, on 850543 or email Come along to a meeting (April onwards) or to find out more just contact Joy.

Calendar of events

Monday afternoons2.30pmMah JongSharon
Friday 1 March7pmCraft eveningKaren
Tuesday 5 March9.35am busLyn’s WalkLyn
Tuesday 5 March7pmEvening ScrabbleJoy
Wednesday 13 March10.30amCoffee morningTrish
Thursday 14 March2.30pmAfternoon ScrabbleGraeme

Blewshed News

DIY for beginners: Following on from the first two DIY for beginners classes on drilling and sawing, the next module, by popular request from our DIY students, will be on simple DIY home plumbing jobs.

Problems that can often be fixed quickly and quite easily without having to get outside help. The sessions are open to anyone, but priority will be given to those who have attended before. Date to be announced soon.

Community Projects:  Progress with the cricket club mower has moved on rapidly; two of the cutters have been sharpened and one of the three units reassembled. Dick Street is confident he and his team of engineers will complete the job well in time for the forthcoming season.

BlewShed products: These will be available soon and ready to go on sale at the village garden produce stall and Savages in the next couple of months.

Meetings: Club night attendees enjoyed an interesting presentation of metal detector finds by BlewShed member and detectorist Robert Keyes. His collection of military relics from included musket balls and cannonballs from the English civil war and WW2 cap badges, bullets and other items from Savernake Forest. His star find was a William the Conqueror penny. Our next club night meeting will be about how to sharpen tools, and Mike Magnay will demonstrate a new system for sharpening wood plane irons.  Date: Tuesday 12th March 7.30pm. All welcome, you don’t need to be a member – come and have a go at sharpening your own tools. You’ll get plenty of guidance.

Donation thanks: A big thank you to Jo Lakeland who recently donated her late husband Chris’s set of auger bits. These will be in regular use and a nice reminder of Chris, who was a great supporter of BlewShed being established when he was Chair of Blewbury Parish Council.

Outdoor storage space needed:  with membership increasing rapidly and materials for Shed projects stocking up, we are in urgent need of somewhere to store things outdoors as the Shed indoor space is very limited. If you have, or know of, an unwanted shed, storage box or panels that could be assembled into one please let us know. You can leave a message on the website or pop in when we’re open.

Opening times and membership: BlewShed opening times: Tuesday and Saturday afternoons 1.30-4.00 pm and Thursday afternoons 2.00-4pm for electronics sessions, non-dusty work and a chat. BlewShed annual individual membership subs are £25, or £37.50 for a family, which includes expert advice from members and use of a well-equipped metal, wood and electronic workshop.

Everyone is welcome to club night meetings on the second Tuesday of the month. We look forward to seeing you.

Mike Wrottesley, BlewShed secretary           



On January 21st there was a short dedication service of the Methodist War Memorial under the new lychgate led by our local Methodist minister, Rev. Bruce Thompson.

It was attended by local Methodists and Blewbury Residents, including Rev. Louise Butler and Les Faulkner, representing the Blewbury branch of the British Legion. It was particularly nice to see Dick Street at the ceremony because the list of Blewbury residents who were killed in World War I includes an ancestor of his, Private Charlie Street.

Jo Lakeland, for the Blewbury Methodists


Having spent lots of hours searching for a house to rent in Blewbury, ReST’s core group has decided to spend some of our funds to support a refugee family arriving soon in Didcot.

A Didcot-based group with similar aims to ReST has found a suitable house and are currently being paired up with a family by the Home Office. While it’s disappointing not to have found a house in Blewbury, ReST hopes everyone who kindly helped us raise funds will be pleased to know we’re providing much-needed support to a refugee family close by.

On a separate note, pledges for a new almshouse in Blewbury have reached the magnificent total of £125,000, but we need at least £500,000 to proceed to buy a house in the village for a future family in need. To those who have pledged money – thank you so much for your patience! We will update you on our next steps as soon as we can.