Lights on at Blewbury Tennis Club

Blewbury Tennis Club has installed court lighting at the club. By using the latest high tech, low spill, LED components, extended play and coaching can now take place for people of all ages and abilities all year round.
To celebrate this special occasion, British renowned tennis player, Tim Henman OBE will be the guest of honour for the big Switch On.
Everyone is invited to join in the fun on Tuesday 5th October 6-8pm so do join us if you can although booking is essential via https://buytickets.at/styleacre/555273 We’re delighted to be hosting this event in partnership with Style Acre, a local charity supporting 250 people with learning disabilities and autism across Oxfordshire. The occasion will be celebrated with musical accompaniment from Blewbury Brass Band, drinks, refreshments and a raffle. And if you fancy a spot of tennis, bring your racket along and stay for our club social from 8-10pm.This project has been made possible through support from the LTA, which provided both a grant and a loan for the project, National Tennis Association, the club’s coaching partners, Vale of the White Horse District Council, whose funding contributed towards the project and of course Luminance Pro who supplied and installed the lighting.
Rosemary de Wilde

Environmental News – Garden Funding Reaches Target

Really excellent news on the funding front this month – we’ve now raised over £7K for the nature garden.
Huge thanks to the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment which provided half our total with support from Grundon Waste Management Limited.
And a massive thank you to our County Councillor, Sally Povolotsky, who approved an application for £2.5K from her Councillor Priority Fund.
Here’s why Sally selected the project:
‘Supporting Upton Nature Garden is one of the wonderful legacy projects that I am proud to assist with a donation from my Councillor Priority Funding. The great outdoors, nature recovery, ‘green’ therapy as well as biodiversity net gain is at the core of my agenda, and I am over the moon that I could help the team.
Sally Povolotsky – Hendreds & Harwell Division Elected Member
(Oxfordshire County Council)
Thanks also to the generosity and support of local donors, Sherfield Flooring and Strictly Wine, and the many villagers and local organisations who have pledged time, plants, logs or support in kind.
We’re getting cracking later in September. Look for the signs on the garden fence (or visit nature-garden.co.uk) for more details.
Green refills – reduce plastic
We create 2.4 million tonnes of plastic waste in the UK each year. But less than half gets recycled.
The good news is there’s an easy way to cut down on plastic waste – by refilling your own containers with cleaning products.
Better still, you’ll be able to do this in the comfort of your own village hall later this month. Honorary villager Frankie Jacklin has kindly agreed to run a refill station for the village as part of the national Great Big Green Week event – a celebration of nature and efforts to combat climate change.
You can fill up on washing-up liquid, laundry detergent, cleaning products, hand soap and other essential (plastic-free) products. Cash or credit card payments welcome.
All you need to do is bring your empty bottles to the village hall meeting room on Thursday 23rd September, 5.30 to 7.30pm.
Overflow cemetery
We had a great time mowing the hay in the overflow earlier this month.
The next job is to take out the grass thatch and reduce the soil fertility to make it suitable for wildflowers. We had a go at doing this with a reasonably powerful garden rotovator but it’s clearly a job for a bigger machine.
A compact tractor and rotovator would make short work of the area – do you have one or know someone who does? Please get in touch if you’d be willing to lend us your horsepower!
Kieron

Upton Nature Garden

Exciting finds on the nature garden site next to the village hall last month: a pyramidal orchid, several field voles, and a slow worm!
We’re aiming to prepare the ground in September ahead of planting in October and November.
We haven’t been given the final grant figure for the garden by Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment yet, but we know there’s going to be a shortfall in the amount of funding we receive for shrubs and plants. So we need your help! Could you donate any of the following native species:
Foxgloves (digitalis purpurea); honeysuckle (lonicera periclymen); ivy (hedera helix); sweet briar rose (rosa rubignosa); wild privet (ligustrum vulgare); spurge laurel (daphne laureola); guelder rose (viburnum opulus); spindle (euonymus europaeus); barberry (berberis); juniper (juniperus communis); dogwood (cornus sanguinea); holly (ilex aquifolium).
We’d prefer smaller plants – ones grown from cuttings or seeds of your own stock would be ideal – because these can adapt and establish themselves to the conditions in the nature garden more easily than mature plants.
We’d also like your logs or stumps to provide high-spec homes for insect families. If you’re planning to fell a tree, please call Brian or Kieron, or email us at support@nature-garden.co.uk
Kieron

St Mary’s Churchyard

Passers-by will have noticed that the churchyard has appeared in need of a trim at some times during this summer. This was the result of an experimental policy to allow the growth of grasses and wild flowers to encourage the insect population, as is being done elsewhere in the village.
At its meeting in June, the PCC reviewed the position in the light of comments received from villagers. It was decided that the parts of the churchyard fronting Church Street and the lane which runs down to the fields on the south side would be regularly cut as before, while the area to the rear (north) of the church, and on the east side, should be allowed to grow during the summer and cut back later in the year. The areas of longer grass will have paths cut through them to allow access for people to enjoy what we hope will become an area containing a variety of attractive meadow flowers growing in the grass.
The cemetery (the separate area surrounded by railings to the east of the church) will be regularly cut throughout the season as this is in active use and graves are regularly visited. As ever, we are grateful to Roy Locke for his great work in keeping these areas cut and tidy.
The currently unused cemetery extension to the rear of the existing cemetery is owned by the Parish Council which has its own plans for managing this area as a wildflower meadow.
We hope these policies meet with the approval of Upton residents but as ever, we would welcome comments and feedback.
Paul Batho

Upton Village Fete

The village fete is on! Keep the date free and come along to the village hall and recreation ground at 1:00pm on 4th September to enjoy some old-fashioned fun and frolics just like we used to back in 2019!
Some of the confirmed attractions include:
A fun dog show. No need to pre-book, just turn up with your dog on the day for the chance to win a prize.
Gymnastic display by local children in the ring, from 1:30
A dazzling display of local classic cars and vintage bikes
A barbeque, pizzas, teas and home-made cakes on the village hall terrace
Music from the Wantage Silver Band
Lucky programme prize
A range of stalls including second-hand books, plants, home-made preserves, Fair Trade produce, tombola, wine club and ice cream
A special children’s area with a coconut shy, lucky dip and other fun things to do
We look forward to seeing you on the day. Volunteers are always needed so if you’d like to help, please contact one of the committee members.
Brian and Giulia Rippon, Jessie West, Gloria Hancock, Paul Batho, Jacqui Reid, Ben Shaw.
Cakes Needed
Brian and I will be organising the Cake Stall at this year’s fete. We are seeking cake and biscuit donations – in the past we have had an amazing response and the resulting mouth-watering spread is always popular. We’ll be looking to sell whole cakes as well as slices to be sold alongside the teas/coffee. Cakes, traybakes, muffins, fairy cakes, cookies and biscuits all welcome.
Please bring offerings to the Village Hall from 11.30am onwards on the day, or beforehand you can drop off at Autumn Leaves in the High Street (immediately opposite Church Street).
If you are able to help out on the day, please contact either Giulia (giulia@rippon.net 07789 777381) or Brian Rippon (brian@rippon.net 07768 224467).

‘Drop In’ – Back in Business

Drop In
The village Drop In is up and running again on alternate Thursdays at 3.00pm The aim is to meet at people’s houses, although we are not in the village hall as in the past we very much want this to be open to all villagers. Please come along if you want to have a nice friendly chat over a cup of tea or coffee. Please email me at richmondbinov@gmail.com if you’re interested and to find out the venue for the meetings which this month are on the 1st, 15th and 29th.
Richard Burrow

Progress on Upton Nature Garden

Thanks to everyone who’s shown enthusiasm for the plan to create a wildlife-friendly space beside the village hall. We’re delighted that Upton Parish Council has formally approved the nature garden project.

Continue Reading Progress on Upton Nature Garden

Don’t become a victim of scams

Every year, Citizens Advice runs Scams Awareness Fortnight with the Consumer Protection Partnership.

‘Which’ guest explains what they’ve learnt about scams over the past year.

Driverless minibus trial at Milton Park

Staff working at Milton Park near Didcot will soon benefit from an automated driving public transport service

Village Drop In Meetings

The village Drop In is restarting on Thursday May 20th at 3.00pm at Margaret Maytham’s house (Toad Hall at the junction between Church Street and Stream Road). The aim is to meet every Thursday, or possibly alternate Thursdays thereafter at people’s houses.

Although we are not in the village hall as in the past we very much want this to be open to all villagers. Please come along if you want to have a nice friendly chat over a cup of tea or coffee. Please email me at richmondbinov@gmail.com if you’re interested.

Richard Burrow