Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal 2020

Owing to the ongoing Covid 19 Pandemic, there will not be any house to house collections this year. However, from the 22nd October there will be a collection box and poppies available at the George and Dragon here in the village, in Blewbury at Savages, the Garage, the Post Office, the Blueberry, the Red Lion and also at the Horse and Harrow in West Hagbourne.

I am also trying to arrange to set up a table somewhere in the village so that villagers can purchase a Poppy from myself or one of the other collectors, this will depend on current restrictions and also the weather. I will provide further details nearer the time.

Helen Weston


HUGS – Creating a cleaner, greener, healthier future

We’d like to tell you about a new sustainability group called HUGS, the Hagbournes and Upton Group for Sustainability.

We formed in lockdown having had the time to appreciate nature more as well as to think about the future.

We also took part in the Climate Coalition’s ‘The Time is Now’ campaign to ask MPs for a greener recovery from Covid-19.  This is an economic recovery that works to tackle both the climate crisis and the dramatic decline in our UK wildlife.

HUGS has 3 main aims:

  1. To work with other groups in the area to ensure plans and policies for our communities are compatible with achieving a healthy, nature-rich, low-carbon future
  2. To help nature by supporting existing conservation work around our 3 villages, and also starting new projects that promote greater biodiversity
  3. To share information about how we can all live more sustainably – whether in our homes, our gardens or our lifestyles. And to develop projects that help us live more sustainably together (e.g. a local pop-up refill station to reduce plastic use).

To find out more read our first blog at

If you’d like information about our events and meetings, send us an email at

Kieron and the HUGS team!

Village Tea Party

Saturday, 5th September was to have been the date of the Village Fete but current circumstances mean we can’t hold this in its traditional format. However, the government’s restrictions do allow certain events to take place and many people long for something to look forward to in a summer when so much has been cancelled. So instead of the fete, we are planning a grand village tea party on 5th September, open to Upton residents and their invited guests.
Reserved tables will be set up outside the village hall, one per family or group, and delicious sandwiches, cakes and tea will be served up to all. There will be a small number of stalls (preserves, raffle, tombola etc) and, with music playing the scene will be set for a jolly afternoon. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we will erect the village marquee to provide shelter.
We are likely to be restricted to 30 people at a time so if there’s enough interest we will arrange a couple of sittings. Pre-booking will be essential so we can cater for the right numbers. We are of course very aware of social distancing and other safety measures which will be carefully observed.
The cost will be £10 per head, with children at half price. Tickets must be booked through Jessie (851206), Frankie (851404), Gloria (850683) or Paul (851251). Don’t forget that they must be booked in advance and that numbers are limited!

Paul Batho

Christian Aid Donation

Thanks largely to some keen gardeners in Upton, I was able to send £260 to Christian Aid. Nothing like as much as we have managed from the house to house collections, but still a worthwhile amount. Thank you for your custom.

Malcolm Wright


Bulky waste collection

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have reopened their paid-for bulky waste collection service for large household items. More information on the respective web sites.

Upton Parish Council and UVHAT Need Your Help

It has been wonderful to witness the village coming together during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly whilst we are in the “lock-down” phase. It is a great reminder why Upton is such a lovely place to live. From the great WhatsApp help group set up by Sarah Carter which is helping get supplies and prescriptions to those who are vulnerable or can’t get out to the wonderful applause from doorsteps in thanks for NHS and health workers who continuing to work so hard, some of course who live in the village.

Following a meeting between Upton Parish Council and UVHAT (Upton Village Hall Amenities Trust) we wondered if there is more we can do in the future as we move through different phases which might be useful to villagers. For example a food bank, a session from experts on how to navigate Government financial support you may require, setting up a temporary crèche facility in the hall to help mums and dads. Obviously anything we come up with will have to work in line with Government guidance at that time however I think we all recognise it will take the country some time to get back to a “new normal”.

So if you are interested in joining a small steering group to brainstorm some ideas which we can then get the village’s view on what may or may not be useful please contact and she will set up a conference call.

Thank you.

Upton Parish Council and UVHAT Trustees


Carol Singing in Upton

We will be carol singing door-to-door in Upton on Tuesday 17th December, from 6pm – this will be festive, friendly and fun! We will be singing hopefully recognisable traditional carols – if you would like to take part in singing please email me at: I suggest a get-together to agree and run through the music on Sunday 8th December at 5pm. Please also let me know if you particularly would like a visit from the carol singers on the 17th, so we can plan which houses we visit! Mince pies or mulled wine for particularly excellent singing will be appreciated!!

John Haworth

United Charities Offer Goodwill for Christmas

Christmas is coming and The United Charities can share some goodwill this season

Do you know anyone who might need some help this Christmas? Anyone having difficulty making ends meet or who knows of someone in need, be they an elderly neighbour or a struggling young family, someone on pension or universal credit – please contact us. All applications are treated in confidence and are discretionary. As well as small monetary gifts, we are able to help in other circumstances such as assisting with transport costs for frequent hospital visits, breaks for carers, items to help cope with disabilities and many other instances where people are having difficulties paying for essential items such as school uniforms as well as unexpected events. Amounts will vary depending on levels of need.

Remember we cannot help if we don’t know.

For self-referrals or nominations, contact the Clerk: Sarah Donne

Upton Village Fete

Everyone’s welcome to the village fete which this year will be at the recreation ground on Saturday, 7th September starting at 1.00pm.

As ever, it will be a ‘proper’ village fete with plants, books, home-made produce and ‘White Elephant’ for sale, a barbeque, pizzas and magnificent tea and cakes, a raffle, tombola and a special fun zone for kids. Carl will provide some amazing magic and there will be a dog show, vintage car display and lots of other attractions to keep you amused. And if it all gets too much, visit Kenny’s bar for a refreshing pint while you listen to melodies from Blewbury Brass Band!

Would you be able to contribute a cake for the teas? If so Rosemary de Wilde (850345) would love to hear from you. Jacqui Reid is organising the raffle and would appreciate donations for prizes – she is on 07973 818171. Judy and Ian Robertson are organising the book stall and would welcome donations in advance so they can sort the books into order – if you give them a call on 850179 they can collect or arrange delivery to their house. Liz Evans (07715 477868) is running the kids’ zone and she’s especially looking for jam jars filled with sweets, mini toys, hair clips pens and stationery She’d also love unused boxed toys, lego and new cuddly toys for prizes.

White elephant contributions can be taken to the village hall on the Friday evening before the fete between 4pm and 8pm.

If you’d like to keep really up to date, the Facebook page is @Uptonvillagefete. Looking forward to seeing you all on 7th – and tell your friends to come too!

Paul Batho

London to Brighton Cycle Ride with Carl and Jane

Jane and I went up to East Croydon on Saturday and stayed in the nosiest hotel in the whole of Europe, after about 3 hours kip we got up at 4:15am up and set off, riding 5.5 miles to the start line at Clapham Common for a 6 am start, which was delayed by about 10 minutes, we finally set off in the bright sunshine and a little wind.

I was riding the 43 old BSA Tour De France road bike that I recently restored, the ride was the first time for me but the second time for the bike, the previous owner Alan Davies rode the event 15 years ago. Jane was riding her super light Carbon Trak Madone bike, and we agreed to ride at our own pace and meet at the end, so once over the start line I didn’t see Jane again until the finish line.

I was a bit concerned about riding the old bike, I didn’t really know how it was going to perform,  I hadn’t done a lot of training and I’m used to riding my much lighter Trek Madone with more and better gears I should have been better prepared.

Anyway the bike was comfortable to ride for the first 5 miles or so, then I hit a bump and the seat post slipped into the seat tube, so I fixed that and set off again then after about two miles it did it again, then again after another two miles. The problem was I couldn’t tighten up the nut enough without it is affecting the brake cable hanger which kept moving and tightening the brakes against the rear wheel.  I gave up and rode the bike with the saddle down until I got to a feed stop area that had a bike mechanic. They very helpfully sorted out the problem, and after a cheese sarnie and a cuppa I was on my way again.

Then after another 5 miles I hit a dip in the road and down it went again, but I was quite close to another feed stop ( there were lots of them on this event), this time I suggested that we make shim out of a drinks can to see if we could get that to stop the post slipping, after a bit of hunting around the side of the road I found a flattened Red Bull drinks can, the mechanic cut a couple of strips from it, fed them into the seat tube with the seat post tightened up and I was on my way again. Would it work?

After About 10 miles of riding it started to rain, and it kept raining for the rest of the ride to Brighton, first it was just light drizzle, but then it got worse, and then it poured and everyone got soaked and the riding was a bit more hazardous, the bike was performing well, the saddle seemed to be behaving itself and it was a comfortable machine to ride, even though it weighs a ton, and has old fashioned gears and not enough of them.

I managed to get up the hills at Woodmanstern, Chipstead, Nuffield got up all the hills except Ditchling, then the roads flattened out a bit or rolling lanes then riding was easier and relaxed and lot of banter and chats with other riders. I met a woman who was riding her uncles’ old bike, it was an old Raleigh with the same frame as mine just different branding.  She challenged me to race up the next hill and off we went, she was winning but I finally caught up and only just pipped her to the top.

The rest of the ride was uneventful the wind and the rain became more unpleasant and by the time I got to Ditchling I was feeling a bit despondent, and I didn’t even bother to try and cycle up the hill, though I was walking up it faster than some of those riding, one young lad was riding up doing a wheelie, most impressive. Once at the top I stopped to take photos, though there wasn’t much to see because of the low cloud then it was downhill all the way to Brighton and to the finish line, and an attack of cramp and a medal.

Jane had got there and hour and a half earlier!

It was mostly a good day out on the bike, in fact almost any day out on a bike is better than not being on one, the event was well organised, and the event crew were brilliant, just wish the weather had been better. My longest ride of the year so far, just over 59 miles.

Jane and I manged to raise about £250.00 each, Jane’s company will match her donation pound for pound so not a bad day’s fundraising so just over £750.00 in total.

Thanks very much to all of you who have supported us. The links below show how much has been raised, please note they are still open if you would like to add to the sum. We also have some cash donations which will be paid in separately.

Carl and Jane , Finches, Stream Road, Upton.