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Clubs & Societies

Sustainable Blewbury

May 31, 2021

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Sustainable Blewbury home heating group

For many of us, heating our homes is the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint. Lower-carbon solutions such as heat pumps are available, but each home is different, and it can be a challenge to find what’s most suitable and affordable in each case. We’ve formed a new group within Sustainable Blewbury to improve our own knowledge and help others to find out what could work for them.

Seven people came to the first (virtual) meeting of the group on 4th May, bringing a lively mix of knowledge and experience – we learned quickly that we all have unanswered questions and none of our homes are perfect! Ideas came forward about installing underfloor heating in old houses, insulation, air source and ground source heat pumps and more. We plan three main activities: (1) to arrange outside speakers with specific experience; (2) to collect information, especially personal practical experiences that complement the official and commercial literature; (3) to share the information and help anyone to find ways to make their heating more sustainable. Anyone is welcome to bring information, ideas and questions – no knowledge or commitment is required. Please contact Neville Hargreaves: for more information.

Blewbury Garden Market

We are off to a flying start this year, with several record-breaking Saturday morning sessions (9.15 to 11.15 am) and with a big boost from the Blewbury Bread Company. The main interest so far is mainly plants and seedlings, but we expect to get more produce as the season progresses. We also have ample supplies of local honey and jam.

If you have surplus produce, fruit, vegetable or flower seedlings, or preserves or baked goods, bring them along at 9.00 am on a Saturday and we can try to sell them (you keep 90% of the price). If you would like to volunteer to help on the stall (in a COVID-safe way), please contact either Eric (850558 or 07935 232 296) or John (850372).

A pair of retro/ vintage wood case Japanese Lafayette SK-300 decoretteV 25w 8 ohm audio speakers Nick Forder 01235 850744
5ft Airsprung king size bed with 4 drawers underneath. Comes from spare bedroom so not used much. Susanne Booth 85085607504 070324
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 (

Getting involved in Sustainable Blewbury can contribute to the village and its environment. To participate, or to

receive our free bi-monthly Newsletter, email or phone 850372.

Bridge Club

It seems my comments about a cautious approach to a return to F2F bridge last month may have been quite prescient, given the surge in cases of the ‘Indian Variant’. Ongoing monitoring of the national and international situation is the key.

It also seems that any bridge movement of players around a room with the intention of holding some sort of meaningful duplicate bridge session will not be in accordance with the current ‘Rule of Six’ Regulations. Even if not a legally enforceable provision, this could still provide difficulties in providing insurance cover for club officials and officers in the event that we went ahead with bridge sessions, even with the use of protection such as plastic screens, disciplined movement in the room, etc.

So, we will wait to see what change to the Regulations might be announced later in June.  Michael Allen 851870

Blewbury WI News

By the time you read this, we hope to have had our “May Social “ meeting (with wine) outside the Melland Room on the 26th May from 7pm (though this will have been cancelled in the event of bad weather).

Provided the “Roadmap out of Lockdown” doesn’t change we will for the first time in 18 months have a real live meeting indoors in the Melland Room on Wednesday 23rd June, also a Social. Our meetings will continue to be at the Melland Room for the next few months, including 25th August, which will be our annual Garden Party (outside if possible). The coffee mornings will continue at Style Acre, the next one being on 9th June.

Lyn’s Walk

Unfortunately the May walk had to be cancelled but the next one is on June 1st, leaving the Village Hall Car Park at 9.30am. It will be a field walk unless too muddy in which case Lyn has an alternative planned. Bring your own refreshment and/or cash/card in case we find somewhere for coffee en route.

Mah Jong

We hope to re-start Mah Jong on Monday 7th June at 2.30 pm. Please contact Sharon Pegram in advance if you plan to attend. Telephone 01235 850412 or a note through the Door of Dragonwyke

For more information please contact our Secretary, Joy Boness on 01235 850543 or visit our web page  Jill Allen 

Blewbury & Upton Village Produce Association

– Your village gardening club


The VPA Committee has been required to give serious thought as to whether the Summer Show should go ahead in July, the main concern being the current status of Covid-19. Will it ever come to an end? Things start to look up and then another Variant appears on the horizon. A big worry now is the Indian Variant which is proving more virulent than any other so far. The Government continues discussions on lockdowns, easing, and more recently, suggestions of ending social distancing and no more masks, etc. Many decisions and arrangements will not be confirmed by the Government until the end of June. Careful consideration has been given by the VPA Committee to various problems, including the limited time left to organise the event, the entrants having only five weeks to prepare their exhibits by the 10th July and most importantly, the currently unknown safety aspects required relating to Covid-19.  It is therefore the decision of the Committee to cancel the 2021 Annual Show.

We will keep everyone updated over the coming months with regard to the future of the VPA.

A couple of Did You Know? to cheer you up:  1. Dried nasturtium seeds were ground into a powder during the Second World War as a replacement for pepper.   2. Claude Monet (1840-1926) said “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”  Eileen


May 2, 2021

In 1943 John Hone, who was an army 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

Bellringing News from Blewbury Tower

Covid restrictions have meant that ringing news continues to be sparse.

You may, however, have heard one of the bells being tolled, firstly for the Marie Curie day of reflection on 23rd March, marking a year since the first lockdown, and then on three separate occasions following the death of The Duke of Edinburgh. Our thanks go to Richard and Gill Loyd for tolling the bell on these occasions.

We are very much hoping that the government’s road map out of lockdown will continue unhindered so that we can commence ‘normal ringing’ after June 21st. The Annual Duck Race is scheduled for 4th July and will adhere to Covid guidelines. Needless to say, we are very much looking forward to being able to ring again and are pleased that during lockdown we have had enquiries from three ladies who are wishing to learn. If anyone else is interested, please contact Richard Loyd 07767 463285.


April 1, 2021

At last – we are soon going to be allowed outside to play again!

To celebrate this great transition the Blewbury Table Tennis Club will be offering free opportunities for everyone to come along to play outdoor table tennis in the Blewbury Village Hall Car Park on Tuesdays (13:00 – 14:00) and Saturdays (11:00-12:00) in the five week period from April 13th – May 15th. Do come along and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air and join in with some friendly games. All standards and ages welcome, equipment provided, coaching available if you need it.  This is a great opportunity for anyone to come along to try out this fun activity. In the past our age range has been from 5-95, but we are flexible outside those limits as well!

Then on Tuesday 18th May, all being well we should be allowed to play table tennis indoors again. The Club plans to resume weekly Tuesday sessions in the Blewbury Village Hall at a slightly earlier time than before of 17:00 – 19:00 each week. We have four superb tables and are greatly looking forward to enjoying the refurbished BVH indoor facilities. We would love to see you at these sessions. They are open to all ages and all standards of play.

Per session fees are: Adults £5, Under 19s £1.  Roger Murphy, Club Chair


Have you thought about joining your local Croquet Club? We plan to re-open from Monday 29th March (unless the Government postpones that target date), and always offer a friendly welcome to new players.

We can provide all the equipment you need, and there’s no dress code for casual play – apart from the need for flat shoes to protect our lawns. Croquet is a very Covid-safe sport anyway, but our Club has been careful to put in further measures to reduce any risks further; with appropriate social distancing and a cleaning regime as recommended by the national Croquet Association.

Our annual membership rates are unchanged this year, at only: £150 per person, £35 for under-25s, or £270 per family (any number of people living at one address). And you’re welcome to come along to try out the game a couple of times before you have to enrol, for just £5 per person per session; either by arrangement as a member’s guest, or at specific beginner sessions we’ll run if there’s enough demand. Check out our website, or contact me for more details.  David Long  (07484360169 /


December 1, 2020

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

New Table Tennis Facilities

March 30, 2020

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