Read our newsletter at sustainable-blewbury.org.uk/newsletter_latest.pdf
Thermal imaging of houses: Get your home thermally imaged for free in January – Seeing where heat is leaking out can help you make your home more comfortable, save you money and reduce your carbon footprint by showing what can be done to improve your insulation. Sustainable Blewbury volunteers have imaged and provided short reports on well over 200 homes in Blewbury since 2009. To be on our list, or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Eric at 07935 232296. (We need more helpers. It’s interesting work and little experience is needed to help take the images. Just contact us as above.)
Annual footpath leaf clearing – DIY this year! A big thank you to all the public-spirited people who have been taking part in the Great Blewbury Rake-Off by clearing leaves from our footpaths. By pure coincidence we started during the Vale’s Recycling Week, so the brown bin men took away many of the bags piled up around the village.
It is hard work once the leaves have got soggy, and they were under water in Watts Lane one weekend. Well done! Most of the leaves have now been cleared, but do feel free to tackle any patches left behind. If you do this please bag up the leaves, stack them at the road end of the footpath, and post where you have left them on BVS Facebook so that people who want leaves for mulching know they are there. (Or, if you do not use Facebook, email me at email@example.com so that I can post them). The Parish Council will clear any bags remaining, but we want to give you the opportunity to help yourself to some leaves before they do so. Thank you again, from SB/the BVS/BPC who (with volunteers) arrange the leaf clearing in a more normal year. (I think leaf clearing may officially become the Great Blewbury Rake Off from next year!) Thank you for helping to keep Blewbury beautiful! Jo Lakeland
Hedge-laying progress: We have now laid the hedge along the southern border of Blewbury allotments. This has had a transformative effect on the allotment plots alongside the hedge, allowing in much more light and probably adding up to a metre of extra useable ground. We were originally asked to lay 80 metres of hedge and, with some stakes and binders cut from the hazel growing along the road boundary we have extended this to over 100 metres. The small length of hedge remaining has been cut down to the same size. We welcome suggestions for further hedges to be laid. John Ogden
|BLEWBURY FREECYCLE FREE ITEMS TO A GOOD HOME
|Unused wall-mounted CD and MP3 player, some talking books, unused… A donation to Oxfam would be welcome.
||Peter Saunders firstname.lastname@example.org
|Blue and red wooden Thomas the Tank Engine train bed, to suit single mattress. Free to a good home, but donation to Preschool appreciated.
||Marianne Suhr email@example.com
|Large free standing embroidery frame 60 cm wide
|If you have any items to freecycle please email a short description (using ‘freecycle’ as your subject), and include your email and phone number. Lydia Inglis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Getting involved in Sustainable Blewbury can contribute to the village and its environment. To participate, or to receive our free bi-monthly Newsletter, email email@example.com or phone 850372.
Hello again to everyone. This will be the final WI News for 2020, and we can only hope that by the next issue of the Bulletin in February 2021, and good news from the Vaccine front, we will have said goodbye to the dratted Covid-19 and the miserable 2020.
Lyn’s Walk. Wednesday, January 13th
Lyn will be having (unusually) a Walk in January 2021. Meet at the Village Hall at 9.15 am to give us time to get to Asda for 9.30 am. We will be travelling to Asda’s car park in Didcot. It will be an urban walk as the state of paths is unsure. The Walk will be guided by my two friends who often walk with us. We have arranged this as there is plenty of parking so it is possible for us to travel individually if you don’t want to car share. Also with two leaders we can be divided into socially acceptable groups if needs be and this will keep us legal. Coffee at Costa is possible once we finish. I only need to know in advance that you are coming if you need a lift.
Blewbury WI Committee Members have made up a number of “goody bags” – “A Christmas Meeting in a Bag” – to be delivered by a dedicated group of Christmas Elves to every member in Blewbury & Upton. A huge task, but undertaken with the Christmas Spirit. We are keeping our fingers crossed that a February meeting will be allowed to take place in the new Village Hall. May I wish you all as Happy a Christmas as possible and a wonderful 2021.
For more details please contact our Secretary, Joy Boness 01235 850543 or visit our web page, http://blewburywi.wordpress.com where you will find more information. Love from Cilla.
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
1066 or 1914-18 are dates we all know but when did you last chat in a room full of people, hug a friend, or visit a pub or a cinema on a whim? How has your life been different in 2020 from before?
We hope that some of us have been keeping diaries either in words or pictures or sounds. Let people in the future know what life was like during this pandemic. The group would like to keep records of peoples lives during this strange period so if you’ve been recording it in some way please let us know; you can send anonymous items if you would prefer. For example I’ve noticed neighbourliness, a couple of unexpected acts of kindness, lovely birdsong which might have simply passed by in normal times. Contact any of us listed below.
Next meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 8th at 8pm by Zoom. Contacts: Audrey 850427 or firstname.lastname@example.org and Mary, email@example.com and Roger Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Your village gardening club
If you’re reading this before the 12th December you still have time to enter our BANKSIAN MEDAL COMPETITION. Details are available at Blewbury Post Office, through Maggie in Upton on 01235 850126 or send me an email on email@example.com and I’ll send you the details.
I can’t believe we’ve almost reached the end of 2020 and what a year. A wet, wet spring and a hot, hot summer, with windy storms in between. I won’t mention the stressful months caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. My allotment site was kept open whilst conforming to strict coronavirus rules. My allotments are my ‘green gym’. I don’t know how far I walked each day carrying two 2-gallon watering cans backwards and forwards from the trough! At the end of the season most of what I planted survived. Surprisingly the main crop potatoes (Cara) were superb and I’m now enjoying lovely baked jacket potatoes with plenty of butter. But the sweetcorn was a disaster – I don’t know why – I kept them watered and weed-free, they produced cobs but dried out and died for no apparent reason.
The hens did really well despite the hot summer. Their inner run is enclosed and keeps surprisingly cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It also gives them a dry run in the wet weather. I did have to take Holly (she’s nearly 7 years old!) to the vet recently. She had lost feathers around her face. She was given a complete overhaul and guess what – the vet decided it was her hormones, given her age. However, since then all the hens (Shallot, Pumpkin and Bortlotti) have received lots of tonics for their feathers, bones and general health. They all look in fine form and are still laying well. They’ve also had lots of treats including water melon!!
Just a reminder that we have cancelled our annual social which was due in December. Even if the lockdown-2 is lifted at the beginning of December it is unlikely that we will be allowed large gatherings and I’m sure, like me, you would rather stay safe. Maybe we can plan an Easter Social in 2021.
DID YOU KNOW? Battersea Park in London was once the site of a giant asparagus field, with over 260 acres set aside for its cultivation. HAPPY GARDENING – KEEP WELL AND SAFE. Eileen
Congratulations to Hilary Strang and Jane Boszormenyi who were the top ranked Blewbury pair, nationally, in the recent Thursday night Children in Need Simultaneous Pairs charity event. Well done to them.
It has been agreed to suspend the £5 membership fee for the new playing year which commenced on November 1st. All club competitions have also been suspended – while face-to-face bridge is not possible all Tuesday and Thursday evening sessions will be played as Match-pointed Pairs on Bridge Base Online. Please contact the Chairman if you would like to take part and are not already registered. Club Funbridge sessions will also continue to run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and on Fridays for novices, over extended hours of 10.30am to 10.30pm for maximum flexibility.
There will also, unfortunately, be no Bridge Club Christmas Party this year. However, the Wessex League has re-commenced, also on line. Blewbury has lost its first match in Division 3 to Wantage. Michael Allen 851870
Our AGM was held by Zoom this year, on Tuesday 17th November. As well as approving the Accounts for 2019 and re-electing the committee (with one change), we agreed not to increase our subscriptions; as a thank you to members who paid full fees for this year’s reduced season.
2021 fees will therefore remain at £150 for individual adult membership, £35 for under-25s, or £270 for family membership (any number of people living at the same address). We also have a “Distant Member” rate of £80 per person, for members living more than 30 miles away.
And we’re currently running a winter offer: if you join us at any time before the start of next season, your initial subscription will last through this winter as well as all next membership year – i.e. until end-March 2022. We normally keep our courts open for play throughout the winter, unless waterlogged or covered by snow/heavy frost. Although now closed during lockdown, we expect to be allowed to open them again at the same time as other such outdoor sports facilities (e.g. tennis and golf).
The Blewbury Table Tennis Club is now just over one year old and we are very pleased with everything that has been achieved in that time.
Over the last fifteen months we have held regular Tuesday evening club sessions and over 70 different individuals aged from 6-90 years of age have participated in our club sessions. In the early days we played on tables generously loaned by four families in the village. With generous support from the Tony Loy Trust and the Vale of the Wight Horse Active Communities Fund we now have four top quality Cornilleau Table Tennis tables, which are a joy to use both because of the quality of the playing surface but also because they are so easy to fold up and wheel around when they are not in use.
As well as our regular Tuesday evening club sessions, we have also now established a regular Tuesday afternoon After-School Table Tennis Club at Blewbury School, and both clubs have benefited from specialist coaching from a fully qualified Level 3 Coach, who visits us every now and then. On top of all that we have recently, almost seamlessly, been able temporarily to move the sessions for both Clubs from the Village Hall to Blewbury School Hall.
Sadly like so many other groups we are now suspending all Club activities as a response to the Coronavirus situation. We are however looking forward to being able to welcome new members to both of our Clubs once we start up again in the refurbished Village Hall – hopefully very soon! Roger Murphy, Club Chair
Our weekly Club Sessions are every Tuesday from 6-8pm in the Blewbury Village Hall. These are open to players of all standards, and we welcome visitors. We have four tables, bats & balls and can provide coaching if required.
We would love to welcome some additional players this winter. Our aim is to have fun and be as inclusive as possible for anyone who would like to give it a try.
Any first visit to the Club is free. After that our weekly playing fees are £3 for Adults and £1 for those 18 and under.
From Tuesday 5th November we will be launching a Blewbury School After-School KS2 Table Tennis Club. This will meet each week during term time from 3:15 – 4:15pm. Blewbury School pupils can sign up now at the School Office.
The next Blewbury Local History Group meeting includes a talk by Tony Hadland with the title shown above.
The availability of DNA tests has given rise to people questioning where their ancestors originated from and many other groups have been fascinated by Tony’s talk so we thought we would give the village a chance to hear it too. We are holding it in the History room, March 14th 8pm start, and SPACE IS LIMITED TO A MAXIMUM OF 20 PEOPLE. If you wish to attend the meeting then we ask that you make contact with either of the people shown below and wait for confirmation of a ticket. There is no charge.
The response to our request for information on village cellars was excellent, many thanks to those who contacted us. You might also like to take a look at the group’s website which has many interesting pages on the village history. WWW.BLHG.ORG.UK .
For tickets contact either Audrey Long on 850427 or Mark Palethorpe via email firstname.lastname@example.org