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Monthly Archives: June 2024

Blewbury School rated ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’

June 19, 2024

Blewbury School is delighted with the outcomes from its recent Ofsted inspection, which gave the School an overall grade of ‘Good’ with its Early Years provision being graded as ‘Outstanding’.

The now published Ofsted report recognises the School’s ‘high ambitions’ and how children work hard, behave well and achieve well. It states that leaders ‘have high aspirations for pupils. They share the same inclusive vision and keep pupils at the heart of decision-making’. Inspectors also praised the School’s focus on reading, and how it ‘provides well for pupils’ wider development’ with a range of experiences such as pupil leadership opportunities, trips and clubs.

The ‘Outstanding’ Early Years provision is highlighted, with the report stating that ‘children get off to an excellent start. The early years curriculum prepares children well for the next stage of their education. Children cooperate extremely well with each other and happily share resources with friends.’

Headteacher, Jo Reeder, said: ‘We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the inspection. The first sentence of the report ‘pupils are proud of their inclusive and caring school’ absolutely reflects our ethos. I am incredibly proud of the staff team for their hard work and dedication; and am grateful to governors, parents, carers and wider community for supporting the School on its improvement journey. I am delighted with the way pupils articulated and showed our values to the inspectors, who particularly commented to us on how respectful and tolerant they were of each other’s views and differences.’ 

The successful inspection outcome marks an important milestone for our School which joined multi-academy trust Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) in January 2020 following a previous inspection that was not so positive. The School has since undergone a transformation with new leadership and support from ODST.

Anne Dellar, ODST Chief Executive said: ‘Ofsted inspections are rigorous and to be graded ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ for Early Years education is a remarkable achievement. Children really are getting the best possible start at Blewbury. I’m extremely proud of the School leaders, staff and children, who make it such a happy and inclusive environment in which to learn. Blewbury strives for excellence and ODST will continue to support the school through this next exciting chapter.’

The School governors, led by Ann Parham, have also congratulated the School for this huge commendation for its work.

In the photo: Headteacher Jo Reeder (left) & Chair of Governors Ann Parham with four jubilant House Captains

Blewbury Players present The Caucasian Chalk Circle

June 20, 2024

Box office IS NOW OPEN online at

You can also order picnics!
Did you know?
> We open the garden and the bar one hour before the performances.
> We welcome you to enjoy a drink and maybe a picnic (bring your own, or order when booking tickets) on the lawn before moving through to our open-air auditorium with seating 200+ each performance. The seating is tiered from row C upwards.
> Each year up to 100 local people contribute in so many ways to create a wonderful summer event. Why not add it to your summer calendar?
> Performances start at 8pm (plus 3pm matinee on 20 June) and tickets are Adults £15, Child £8 (under 18)
This play is full of action, humour, music and emotion. A wonderful story performed by a gang of actors – in a new translation. This production has 24 plus actors, 66 characters, multiple costumes and props, short scenes, changing locations and musical moments, we tell a universal story. Grusha, a maid, flees with abandoned baby Michael and faces many challenges to protect him. This is a story as old as Solomon, of motherhood and maternal love. What makes a good mother: a mother by blood or mother by nurture? Is Azdak a drunk or genius – judge or villain? Who will he protect – the landowners or the people? The Caucasian Chalk Circle welcomes the audience into a world of huge characters, big emotions, and the eternal question of who has the right to claim ownership – who should own what?
Directed by Erica Harley. This adaptation provides an alternative and more accessible version than the more traditional text. Described as a masterpiece of 20th century drama.
Front of House roles. Fancy joining the front of House Team? Please call David Long on 01235 851574 or 07484 360169 or @
For updates on events refer to, Facebook or Instagram. You can contact us at

Thanks from SID!

Thanks to the village of Blewbury for making me so welcome. My neighbours have cut back trees and the community speedwatch team downloaded my data.

I am pleased to say that traffic speeds have dropped since I was switched on. Along Bessels Way the number of vehicles speeding has dropped from 34 percent to 21 percent. On London Road a drop from 16 percent to 8 percent has been measured.

Thank you for your support. Enjoy your summer and drive safely.


Farewell to our Lengthman

June 8, 2024

Last month the Parish Council gathered to celebrate David Hollick, who has retired as Blewbury’s Lengthman after ten years of service.

David was an exceptional Lengthman who quietly got on with the job of maintaining the village footpaths and green spaces, looking after the cemetery, cutting hedges and chopping felled trees, emptying bins, maintaining all the PC’s machinery and so, so much more. We are very grateful to him. We’re delighted that Iain Wood has taken over the reins as the new Lengthman; he has had an excellent start in the job.

Pictured (l-r): Evi Holroyd (Clubhouse and Village Hall Bookings Administrator), Lydia Inglis, Anne Millman, Liz Cooper (Clerk), Dermot Mathias, David Hollick, Iain Wood, Sheila Austin, Jane Gibson, Julia Saunders, Andrew Calder, Mark Shayler.

Prof Emma Smith – Shakespeare’s ‘Romance Plays’

June 4, 2024

Prof. Emma Smith in Blewbury for talk on Shakespeare’s ‘Romance Plays’

In a great coup for Blewbury’s newly-formed Shakespeare group (now officially known as The Motley Crew!) Emma Smith, of Hertford College, Oxford, has agreed to give a talk on Shakespeare’s late works Pericles, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline and The Tempest, often collectively known as the ‘Romance Plays’. Professor Smith is among the best-known names in contemporary Shakespeare scholarship: a world-leading authority on the First Folio, a regular guest on Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time on Radio 4, and the author or co-author of multiple studies of the Poet and his work. She’s well known because she’s not only a great scholar but also a great speaker, so her appearance at 8pm on Monday September 30th in Blewbury Village Hall is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for all local residents who are remotely interested in Shakespeare. Our thanks go to Motley Crew member Sarah Salter for making it happen!

Tickets are a bargain at £7.50, including a glass of refreshment, and are on sale at the Post Office or can be reserved by email at You can also use this address to join the Motley Crew mailing list.


Blewbury Village Society

This year’s Beer Festival was a huge success!

Thank you to everyone who made it: the sun was shining, and you were clearly in need of hydration as the kegs were almost emptied and the gin bar was drained! Thank you to all our fantastic performers, and to the PTA and Pre-School for running the food and soft drinks/cakes stalls. Most of all, a massive thank you to everyone who helped and supported and made the event happen. Profits will go to the UNICEF Ukraine appeal, Blewbury Pre-School and the BVS, which will help us to continue to put on the many other village events that run on a break-even basis throughout the year.

Summer Dance – Saturday 22nd June – The annual Summer Dance will be held on the evening of Saturday 22nd June in the wonderful gardens of Ashbrook House on Westbrook Street. Local band McFunky are back by popular demand after their fantastic performances in previous years. This is a great evening to get together with your village friends and beyond, to enjoy “bring your own” food and drink in beautiful surroundings, listen and dance to great live music. Gates open at 7:30pm; dancing until midnight. Bring your own picnic and drinks (no bar). Gazebo set-up at 4–5pm; collect by 11am on Sunday. Tickets are £15.00. They can be bought in advance from Blewbury Post Office, via email to or at the gate on the night. See also the separate advert on page 4 of the printed Bulletin.

Blewbury Garden Market, Saturdays, 9:15–11:00 – The BGM is back for its 15th year on Saturday mornings at the garage forecourt. It is a community venture, giving local people an opportunity to sell excess home-grown or home-made produce and plants, to promote local food and reduce waste. We welcome all types of produce for sale, including fresh fruit and vegetables, cut flowers, seedlings, bedding plants and perennials, free-range eggs and home cooking – such as jams and chutneys, bread, cakes and biscuits. Producers set their own prices for their sale items; the BGM takes a 10% levy to cover costs. See for more information.

BVS marquee for hire – The BVS has purchased a marquee that we would like to make available for other groups, societies and individuals in the village. It measures 12m × 6m and has sides if needed. If you were at the Beer Festival, or have supported the Fireworks or Summer Dance you may have seen it in action. We would ask for a small donation to cover ongoing maintenance, and you’ll need to put it up and take it down yourself. If you are interested, please email and let us know what the event is and dates.

Thank you to the outgoing BVS Chair – The BVS committee would like to thank Caroline Pettigrew for her hard work, great leadership, tact and patience during her seven years on the committee (four as Chair).

Blewbury Women’s Institute

Blewbury WI generally meet on the 4th Wednesday of the month in the Vale room. An interesting speaker plus a little light refreshment, what’s not to like?

Most of all we are a group of friends and support each other at all times. Just look at our packed calendar below – join in as much or as little as suits you.

Our next meeting will be Wednesday 26 June “Dragons and Rescue Dogs – my inspiration to write books” – intriguing!  Debi Evans will give us an Illustrated talk.  Her books are full of history and loved by children and adults.  Rolo, her real life rescue Jack Russell, makes things happen in history, magical!

There is a fantastic new element to the benefits of being a WI member. At no extra cost to members, National WI offer a range of online courses at the “Learning Hub” which will give you the freedom and control to learn anywhere, empowering women to further their ‘learning journey’. Courses are generally 1 hour long and held on Zoom. At the time of writing there were 50 courses coming up and over 60 on ‘catch up’ – they are available for a week after the live course. Topics range from history, travel, craft and well-being to exercise classes, art and business skills.

If you’d like to come to Blewbury WI with someone else or find out more, ring our Secretary, Joy, on 850543 or email  New members can join at any time and pay a ‘pro-rata’ rate for the rest of the year.

Calendar of events

Monday afternoons2.30pmMah JongSharon
Wednesday 29 May2.30pmAfternoon ScrabbleJudy
June date to be advised7pmEvening ScrabbleJoy
Thursday 6 June10amWalkJane
Friday 7 June7pmCraft eveningKaren
Monday 10 June10.30amCoffee morningTrish
Thursday 13 June2.30pmRummikubSusanne
Tuesday 18 June2.30pmAfternoon ScrabbleJane
Wednesday 26 June7.30pmMain meetingJoy
Friday 28 June7pmBook ClubKaren

Blewbury Wine Tasting

Do you love tasting new and interesting wines, presented by enthusiastic and entertaining experts? The Blewbury Wine Tasting group usually meets on the 3rd Friday each month, in the Village Hall and always welcomes new people.

At each event, you can discover new wines, learn more about familiar ones and enjoy sharing the experience with other enthusiasts – no prior knowledge is of wine is necessary.

There is no membership, you can just come to the tastings that are of interest to you. We normally charge £22 per person, and typically taste 7-9 wines over a couple of hours, in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. You are welcome to bring small plates of food to accompany the wines.

Our tastings are run by either someone from Grape Minds, the Wallingford wine shop, or Tim Syrad who runs his own wine tours, tastings and sales business. Why not book a place and come along to give it a try? We would be delighted to see you! To make a booking or to find out more email

Sustainable Blewbury

Nature Reserve. This remains closed while the birds are nesting, except for guided bird-watching walks. The next is on Sat 8 June leaving the village hall at 0930 lasting 1.5 to 2 hours.

Reserve your place by emailing the secretary (address below). There are only three places left. During the first two walks, we have seen or heard 28 species of birds, thanks to the help of Martin Latham.

Repair café, Sun 30 June, 2 to 4pm, Village Hall Bring your household items including clothing, electrical, and gardening articles for mending, tools for sharpening and bikes for fixing for free. Refreshments available. Donations welcome to cover costs. Thanks to all our volunteers who come to do the fixing!

Preserving pan, diameter 36cms, depth 17cms.Anita Rendel850131
Round, wooden garden table, 5ft. Heavy, sturdy table in reasonable condition. Painted in cuprinol ‘stone’.Rose Buckel01235 850401
·  2 walking poles·  30 Dick Francis paperbacks.  Dick Francis was a resident of Blewbury, and these crime novels were set in our local racing stables.Alison Clark

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 receive occasional newsletters, email

Repair Café

There is a Sustainable Blewbury Repair Cafe on Sunday 30th June, 2 to 4pm.

Do make use of our bike repairers. They are very good, and completely free on the Sunday. If you need something complicated done, you will need to pay for the replacement parts.  Jo Lakeland