Uptonogood? is Back


After a couple of years break, Uptonogood? will be back for 2019. The date will be Saturday the 15th June.

Over the past years the event has raised around £50K for the village and helped fund the Village Hall, new play area, and pump track. Other local organization’s involved with the day have also benefited including Blewbury School, Hagbourne Scouts, and Didcot Air Cadets. Uptonogood? is a celebration of mountain biking and attracts around a 1000 riders of all ages from 4 to 80!

To pull off the event requires one key ingredient however, the good folks of Upton! The routes are fully marshalled to ensure the safety of participants and this requires some 50 volunteers on the day.

If you would like to be part of this year’s event please contact Bob Lott or Mike Tibbetts on info@uptonogood.org.uk or complete our volunteering page online https:/www./uptonogood.org.uk/volunteer

Olive Prior

We are sorry to announce the death of Olive Prior, formerly of Upton, at the age of 91.  Olive and Harry Prior lived for many years at Wychwood on the corner of Newmans Close and Fieldside.  Olive was initially a lively and active member of the community who took a great interest in her fellow villagers.  Unfortunately life became more difficult for her when she was in her 80s, and following Harry’s death in 2015 Olive moved to a care home in Newbury.  Despite various health problems and failing eye sight Olive was settled and generally contented there but on 22nd March 2019 she was admitted to hospital where she died peacefully a few hours later.

Peter Gardiner

It was with great regret that we learned of Peter’s death; he had been a good neighbour, kind, obliging and convivial, when he and Juliet lived at Willows, in Stream Road, across the stream from us.

Peter, we soon found out, was another English teacher, and had actually taught a friend of ours when he was at Charterhouse.   Such are the concatenations of coincidence, even in a small village.  And his love of English Literature showed in so many ways.  He master-minded a number of Readings on a theme, and I always marvelled at the breadth of his sources;  in their new home in Goring, he spoke of a group who met to discuss poetry, even when Parkinson’s was taking its toll.   He acted with Blewbury Players, too.

Other contributions to the village were pieces of historical research in local record libraries, his civic-minded litter collection on his regular walking of the footpaths, his service as the transport representative for the village – he and Juliet rarely used their car and set a great example by using the bus to shop and even to visit the dentist, along with suggestions for planting the circuit of the Recreation Ground.

He cared for his garden in his headmasterly way: everything was strictly under control. But he had a genuine love and knowledge of plants, too.   We had many interests in common, so conversation was always easy. We even did the same crosswords – and we also agreed they were getting harder by the year. He was an impeccably courteous and convivial host, an ardent environmentalist, a much missed asset to the village community, and we in Upton who remember him send Juliet and their family our deepest sympathy in their loss.

Malcolm Wright, with some help from Margaret Maytham.

Friends of St Mary’s Good Friday Walk

The Good Friday walk, which has proved popular over the past five or so years, will take place again on Friday
(naturally!) 19th April. We will start at 2.00pm from the church and aim to
get back there by about 4.00 for some hot cross buns and tea.
Last year a goodly number of Uptonians braved the wind and rain and had a
splendid time, defying everything nature could throw at us. This year, things
can only get better!
If you could let Paul (851251) or Jessie (851206) know you’re planning to
come along that will allow us to calculate roughly how many hot cross buns
to buy. But if you’re not sure, just turn up anyway – we have never run out
Paul Batho

Thank You to the Grass Cutting Team

A very big thank you to Simon Powell, John Dickens, Derek Vockins, Diane Rabbetts, John Lightfoot, Mike Collins, Rob Traynor, Peter Head, Stuart Fraser, Bob Lott, Paul Batho, Richard Clayton, Kieron Humphrey, Nick Thackray, Mike Brown and team leader Graham de Wilde for their efforts in maintaining the Recreation Ground and several of our footpaths in good order throughout another summer. A special thanks to Graham who with help from Rob Traynor has spent many hours beavering away on manual tasks in and around the Recreation Ground and the Village Hall keeping the whole area neat and tidy and a credit to the village.

This year turned out to be a very unusual one for the cutting of the main recreation ground. Everything was going okay until the first week in June and after that it was not cut again until a few days before the village fete in early September. Since then it has not been cut. As a result of the reduced number of cuts some of the mowing group didn’t get to cut at all but a big thank you for “being there” if required. The small children’s playground was cut a few times and has been helped by the thinning of the copper beech, the removal of a large tree at the corner of Station Road and some of the trees on the bank of Station Road have also been cut back so there’s much more light in the area now which should help the grass.

Record Poppy Collection

Thank you so much for your very generous donations to this year’s Poppy Appeal. This year marked the centenary of the Armistice and the village responded by donating the magnificent sum of £690.42, the highest total we have ever collected. My grateful thanks to the collectors for braving the cold and dark weather to raise this record amount. Helen Weston Poppy Appeal Organiser.

Christmas Carols and Readings

Christmas Carols Carols, festive tales, mince pies, mulled wine….just in case you had missed it, the Christmas season is, by popular request, back for the 2018th time! And there’s no better way to get into the Christmassy mood than by coming along to the Upton Carols and Readings event in St Mary’s on Saturday, 15th December at 4.00pm. All the above, plus excellent company, will be there and we look forward to seeing as many Uptonians as possible to start the Christmas celebrations in style. The event is organised by the Friends of St Mary’s and there is no charge – just come along and enjoy the atmosphere, the carols, readings (for old and young) and refreshments.

Happy Christmas all! Paul Batho

Christmas Reading – A Boy Called Christmas

At long last! Third time lucky, we’re going ahead with a Reading of an adaptation of this children’s book. But it’s entirely suitable for anyone aged between 8 and 108, a real family show.   The story is full of surprises and magic and fun and pathos – something for everyone. Do come to listen to the cast of talented readers in the Village Hall on Saturday 1 December from 4.30 to 6.30 pm. Tickets are available from Paul Batho, Clare Lightfoot, Jessie West or Malcolm Wright at £6 each for any adult. Children at school, however, are FREE! and the price includes drinks and cakes during the interval.

If there are any profits after we’ve paid for the hire of the Hall, they will go to the Friends of St Mary’s.

Friends of St. Mary’s – Armistice Event

At 11.00 am on Monday, 11th November 1918 the guns fell silent on the Western Front and around the globe for the first time in more than four years, marking the end of what became known as the Great War. At least 10 million people were killed including more than one million in the British Army. Few communities were spared: Upton lost 12 of its young men, half of them from just two families.

We will be marking the centenary of the Armistice in St Mary’s Church on Saturday 10th November starting at 7.30pm in an event which will also include a fascinating presentation on the history of the church itself. The programme will be:

  1. Readings of poetry and prose commemorating the Great War
  2. Stories and history behind the men on Upton’s war memorial
  3. Interval and refreshments
  4. A short history of St Mary’s, presented by Fr Jason St John Nicolle

All Uptonians will be most welcome to attend. There will be no entry charge, just voluntary contributions to the cost of refreshments. The evening will conclude at about 9.00pm

Just so we have an idea of numbers for catering purposes it would be helpful if you could let Jessie (851206 – jessie@blueshapes.com) or Paul (851251 – pjsbatho@btinternet.com) know if you plan to attend.

Joie de Vin. come to the Wine Club

October’s meeting saw the very welcome return of one of our most popular speakers, Tim North from Joie de Vin.    The business specialises in importing remarkable French wine from very carefully selected small producers that are not available in UK supermarkets.

It was inspiring to hear Tim’s enthusiasm about the individual suppliers he uses, about their environmental ethics and their very conscientious craft production methods.    Tim deals directly with each supplier and so avoids the usual overheads of the bigger traders.   His selectivity really shows in the quality of the wines.   In total, Tim showed us 8 contrasting wines.   Although a couple were more expensive than the usual we tend to see at Wine Club, they were very good value for what they were!

Tim purposefully avoided wines he had showed us before and the obvious “bar menu” wines like Sauvignon Blanc, giving us a refreshing change.     We started off with a lovely crisp refreshing Domaine Salmon Imperial Sparkling Brut.  Going on to  whites, there was a classic, crisp, dry Touraine Chenin Blanc 2014 with subtle oak notes, a really delicious, well balanced 2017 Pinot Gris from the Loire and a very complex 2016 Macon white Burgundy to rival the fine wines from Cote D’Or, also at a very fair price.  For the reds, there was a soft, fruity 2017 Touraine Gamay, an intense 2017 Cotes de Roussillon partnering beautifully with the paté, a very rich, smooth 2015 Lussac Saint Emillion and for the big showstopper, a wonderful rich red 2015 Pomerol, drinkable on its own but also great with meat or cheese.

All the wines were extremely drinkable and hard to put down and they seemed to go down a storm.  I personally enjoyed them all and would recommend a look at this business www.joiedevin.co.uk if you weren’t able to come along to the meeting.     Certainly, there were a lot of order forms going in at the end of the evening at the special discounted price!

Please see more details of last night’s wine at the Upton Wine Appreciation Society website www.uptonwineclub.com or follow us on twitter at @UptonWine

Any queries about membership or coming along to a future meeting, please don’t hesitate to contact our Chairman Ian at ian.langley@yahoo.co.uk    A big welcome to our new members this month – we really hope you enjoyed the night.   It was great to see you there.

The next meeting is on 21st November 2018 at 8pm.  As always, everyone welcome!