Clubs & Societies

What did you in the big lockdown, Granny?

April 24, 2020
  •  Blewbury Local History Group

Here we are in a situation dreamed up by a sci-fi writer that none of us could even dream of. Some people liken it to WW2, or the Spanish flu of 1918, but it only bears some similarity to those and is almost certainly affecting more of the world than anything before. We are all part of an historic time, so we should record it. That means all of us, not just academic professors or politicians but us, in Blewbury and around. We, the History Group, are suggesting that everyone should record our new everyday lives. What about random acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity? Funny things that have happened? lf you have time to write about your life daily, keep a diary. Shopping, meeting new people, glove wearing, keeping 2 metres apart, missing the family, the pub, football. The list is nearly endless, and if we don’t record it now it could be lost. Please send contributions to us, see below, any time, any length, and we plan to have an exhibition of a selection of items when we come out of lockdown and maybe a booklet as a permanent reminder.

Contact Audrey on 850427 or or Mark at

  • For anyone interested in the gravestones around St Michael’s (there have been some Facebook posts on the subject recently) there’s a complete list of all the inscriptions, compiled in 1939, on our website at

Sustainable Blewbury


Blewbury Garden Market

It doesn’t seem feasible to run our Saturday morning stall in the usual way while adhering to the current Covid-19 safety rules, but if and when things relax we hope to resume later in the summer.

Thermal imaging

This year we imaged 13 houses, including four that we couldn’t do last year due to exceptionally warm weather. We hope residents will use our images to improve their insulation – the climate emergency has not gone away of course.

Hedge laying

For your daily exercise, come to see the hedge, the community orchard in blossom, and the wildflower meadow. Or walk up Blewburton Hill – reduced car use has roughly halved air pollution, so you can now see Oxford clearly.

During the winter the very sparse hedge along the western side of Tickers Folly Field (along the footpath up to the Chalk Pit) was laid where possible and more trees and bushes planted in the gaps. The community orchard trees are now mulched with rotted leaves provided by Alex Musson.

Wildlife corridor

The aim is to plant trees and restore hedges from above the Chalk Pit along the track to Cow Lane and Woodway, and so create a corridor for wildlife. In 2017 we planted 100 trees from the Woodland Trust near the Chalk Pit. In 2018 Beeswax Farming restored a substantial hedge along part of the route. This year Karen Forman obtained another grant of trees from the Woodland Trust, and in March Sustainable Blewbury (in particular John Ogden, Alex Musson and Sean Morris) replaced parts of the Beeswax hedge that had died due to two very dry summers and tidied up existing plants. As a result there is now a substantial run of healthy hedge along the track. Beeswax are also going to plant wildflowers in one of their fields this autumn, after the current cereal crop is harvested.



Wooden pallets in good condition. 8 small, 3 medium, 2 large. Take as many as you want. 8 dumpy bulk bags in good condition, no tears. Others available with minor damage. Take as many as you want. Wendy Carless 07966088953
Silentnight king size (150cm x 200cm) 2000 pocket memory mattress, 4 and half years old and unmarked as it has always been covered. Jeff Dawson 850773


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email us at or phone 01235 850558

Blewbury Climate Action

It will be some time before anyone can take action as a group but individual actions are still possible, and still important.

Some ideas follow. One thing most of us have at the moment is time, to read more about the climate and our environment, and to decide what we personally can do under current restrictions.

Are Plastic bags all bad … or is it us who use them badly?

This is an example of how the media go for a short snappy phrase because a complex message doesn’t have the same impact. The trouble is that it can then produce incorrect results. The plastic carrier bag has become a symbol for the problems caused by plastic pollution. But according to the family of the man who created it, Sten Gustaf Thulin, his design was meant to help the planet and he’d be shocked and upset to see what it’s become. Watch the video at is an international environmental organisation working since 2009 to address the climate crisis. Its stated goal is to “end the use of fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy by building a global, grassroots movement of ordinary people”. The 350 in the name is the 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 thought to be the safe upper limit for a stable climate. On April 5th 2020 the weekly average at the Mauna Loa observatory was 416 ppm. At the moment one campaign on the website is “Community Care is Greater Than the Coronavirus: it is in these uncertain times that we realise the fragility of the interwoven systems we all depend on to survive.” It then goes on to suggest what we (individually or as a community) might be able to do to stop the climate crisis while at the same time supporting what the authorities are doing to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lighter reading

Some suggestions of books that have got me thinking (all are still available in print online or as e-books):

  • “How bad are bananas?”, by Mike Berners-Lee, Profile books, 2010. The carbon footprint of everything from a pint of tap water (0.14g CO2e, 1000 times less than bottled water!) … to having a child that lives for 80 years (373 tonnes CO2e on average). It helped me to make decisions about what to eat, what to buy or not buy.
  • “Wilding” by Isabella Tree, Picador 2018. The return to nature of a Sussex Farm. A big seller that won awards, probably best read in small doses rather than all at once. I do now understand why wilding is important.
  • “The Future we choose”, Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, Manilla Press, 2020. She was the UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change and he was senior political strategist for the Paris Agreement (COP 21). Read this one before COP 26 in Glasgow next year.

There are more books, links to videos and TED talks on the BCA website:
Email with your suggestions of more books etc that interested or influenced you, or post your ideas and comments on If you do this I will add them to the Reading and Links page of the BCA website. Jo Lakeland

Blewbury and Upton Village Produce Association

– Your Local Village Gardening Club

First, on behalf of the Committee, we hope everyone is well and avoiding Covid-19. Secondly, we would like to THANK EVERYONE, everywhere, keeping the country running which enables the rest of us to seek medical help and keep shopping at the supermarkets.

THANK YOU to those who are emptying our bins regularly and those teachers helping workers’ children to go to school while their parents work to save lives and the Police who protect us daily.

THANK YOU to every other person that we don’t really hear about who is working behind the scenes to keep us all safe.

In the last Bulletin we hadn’t decided about the Summer Show scheduled for July, but the decision has now been made to postpone the Show until next year. We did consider holding an autumn show but felt that everyone would have too many other things to worry about rather than a show. So the Schedule printed for this year will be used for the Summer Show on the 3rd July 2021.

Life on the allotment has been a bit traumatic. I have had a bad back for ten years and just over three weeks ago I set it off again and was unable to get treatment at the chiropractor. I began with loads of pain killers from the doctor but now just take them occasionally if it gets really painful. Unfortunately, at the moment, I can’t bend but can manage to do things by standing up straight. I managed to plant my early potatoes by digging a trench with a special hoe I have and dropping the potatoes in place without trying to damage the shoots, then covering them with soil. Hopefully I’ll be able to do the late spuds in a couple of weeks the proper way! All the seedlings are doing well in the greenhouse including broad beans, peas, sweetcorn, beetroot, borlotti beans – all will need hardening off and then planting out, hopefully my back will be well enough to get them in the ground in a couple of weeks.

The hens are doing well and have been treated to a new permanent dust bath instead of digging in the actual run. They now have a bright blue children’s plastic sand pit which I’ve put in a shelter. They’re definitely enjoying it and usually there’s two at a time sharing it, although Borlotti seems to enjoy sun bathing in it on her own. At least they will now have a dry dust bath all year round. They didn’t like the very windy weather we had recently as it ruffled their feathers but despite the mixed weather they have been laying well.

DID YOU KNOW? If your potatoes happen to have caught the sunlight and turned green, you can still derive benefit from them by boiling them up and using the water, when cooled, as an effective insect repellent for spraying on plants.

Happy Gardening and Keep Well  Eileen

Romeo and Juliet

In light of the coronavirus pandemic and with regret the Trustees of the Blewbury Players have reluctantly concluded that we cannot produce a show this summer.

Thank you for your support so far.  We have reached this decision with sad hearts but retain our confidence in this production and very much hope to see it performed next year. Lots of work had already been done, cast and production crew assembled and director and designer creating exciting plans. Director, Chris Staines, has said that “It is hugely disappointing that we need to stall our plans, but I can see that it is the sensible thing to do. I do hope we are all able to pick up where we left off in due course”. Stay well. The Trustees

(Thank you to Sarah Salter for providing an amusing reflection on the practicalities of Romeo and Juliet with social distancing!)

Bridge Club Quiz


Nominate your opening lead on each of the hands above. Email your answers to


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

Bridge Club Suspended

Members were informed on Wednesday 11th March that all club sessions were to be suspended forthwith and indefinitely due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

It was clear at that time that the threat from the virus would increase very rapidly and be of considerable risk for many bridge players – most being in the defined ‘at risk’ category. The risk is enhanced for duplicate bridge players because of the way we all handle cards, boards and bidding boxes. Social distancing is also impossible in our current playing circumstances at the school. Lessons for learners have also been suspended.

It may, regrettably, be many months before we are able to resume play. Do, please, keep an eye on the website for further information, or email the Chairman. For those with an insatiable appetite for the game, may I recommend on-line bridge? The EBU has a guide to suitable sites on their website. I would also recommend Bridge Base Online. Michael Allen 851870

Blewbury Table Tennis Club

September 25, 2019

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.

History Group – What my DNA test told me

February 24, 2017

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