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Blewbury Post Office

The Blewbury Post Office will be open again from Monday 28th, Mondays to Fridays.

VPA in Danger of Closing

Following a recent Committee Meeting of the Village Produce Association
this Notice is issued to all the residents of the Blewbury and Upton Villages.
An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Blewbury and Upton
Village Produce Association will be held on TUESDAY 18th
JANUARY 2022 at
7pm in the VALE ROOM, BLEWBURY VILLAGE HALL
Notice is hereby given that the current Committee Members propose
to resign en-block at this meeting, therefore the purpose of the EGM
will be to confirm whether any persons attending the meeting would
be prepared to form a new Committee and continue the VPA.
Please be advised that if a Committee cannot be formed, then the
Village Produce Association will be formally closed at the
Extraordinary General Meeting.

Free Film Ticket

Churn Churches Action Group

With the approach of COP26, climate change is attracting

large amounts of media and public attention. As one part

of our local response we are organising a free showing of a

very powerful documentary film which has already won

many awards throughout the world.

The showing will take place in the Vale Room – Blewbury Village Hall

on Wednesday 13th October at 7.15pm

It tells the story of Kisilu, a Kenyan farmer who starts to

use his camera to capture the impact of climate change on

his family and village. A violent storm brings him into

contact with a Norwegian filmmaker, and soon he becomes

a community leader and activist on the global stage.

To reserve your free seat please email valerie.ahs@gmail.com

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

Driverless minibus trial at Milton Park

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

Digging with VPA.

There is still time to Create a Flowered Bonnet, Hat, Crown or Tiara and enter the VPA Spring Competition on Saturday 10th April. For details Contact Blewbury Post Office or Maggie Maytham in Upton (850126) or email   vpa.in.bl.up@gmail.com  or call Eileen on 0777 518 5322

I’m sure everyone has been getting to grips with the weeds, cutting the grass and planning what is going into the veggie plot this year. Here’s some food for thought on how to go about preparing your vegetable plot.

Five reasons not to dig – 1 Digging encourages soil-living creatures like worms to do the spadework for you. 2 It reduces the loss of moisture.  3 It protects the soil structure. 4 It prevents weed seeds being brought to the surface. 5 It’s easier on the back.

Five Reasons to dig – 1 Digging breaks up heavily compacted soil, allowing it to breathe. 2 It kills surface weeds. 3  It exposes pests to predators and the cold. 4 If you don’t, you’ll need a lot more mulch to grow potatoes as you will not be ‘earthing up’. 5 It’s good exercise for those who want it.

I’ve actually tried a semi-no-dig method this year. I’ve hoed the plots and have gone down about four inches.  This has loosened the soil and weeded it at the same time I can then go a bit deeper when I start planting, I hope this works –watch this space!

We are hoping that the VPA will be able to hold the Summer Show this year on the 10th JULY – it will depend on what Covid restrictions are still in place.   We will keep you informed through the Bulletin.

DID YOU KNOW –Peppers contain up to five times as much vitamin C as oranges. The highest levels are found when the peppers are in the early green stage of ripening.

Eileen

 

HUGS – Wildflowers and a Garden Competition.

Wildflowers in the Overflow Cemetery

We’re getting ready to sow wildflower seeds along the eastern edge of the overflow cemetery. Upton Parish Council, the landowner, has given the go-ahead for us to carry out a trial sowing this year. We’ve raked out moss and scuffed up the grass (which tends to throttle wildflowers), and we’ll be scattering seed soon.

The mix we’re using contains flowers and grasses including oxeye daisies, field scabious and black medick.

Don’t expect too much in the first year though. In spite of all the preparation the soil will probably still be too fertile for wildflowers to do well. Fingers crossed that’ll come in successive years.

The grass won’t be cut again until the flowers have bloomed and produced seeds.

If the experiment is successful we’ll look at extending the sowing area next year, and maybe planting a hedge to give the space some definition and character.

Chilton Road Closure

As well as giving traffic-free access to the Hagbourne track and beyond, the closure of Chilton Road is proving to be a great wildlife haven. Badgers are active in the hedge, and there are increasing numbers of bird species to be seen. Yellowhammer, reed bunting and firecrest have all put in appearances in the last few weeks. You can check the full list of species on iRecord (www.brc.ac.uk/irecord) – search for ‘Chilton Road survey’.

We’ll be liaising with Wild Oxfordshire and Sustrans to look at how we can make the hedgerow and verges even better wildlife habitats.

Wildlife Garden Competition

We’re launching our search for the most wildlife-friendly gardens in the area on 1st May! The competition is part of our project to support the local owl population.

Our website has ideas and inspiration for wildlife gardening at www.hugsustainability.org/wildlifegardening

Kieron

 

 

 

REAL “Old World Wines” at the Virtual Wine Club

Having taken a few months off, it was great to host another virtual wine club in March. With record numbers joining for this month’s meeting, the feeling was clearly shared amongst our members as well! This month we were trying wines, which in the main, were new to most members. With the support of Strictly Wine, we were given a tour of wines from countries that could really be described as “old world”!  Wines had been selected from countries that had been making wine for over 2000 years and in some cases, using methods that had not changed much over that time either!

We tried white wines from Turkey (Kayra Narince 2018); Croatia (Jako Vino Stina “Cuvee white” 2019);  Cyprus (Kyperounda “Petritis” 2019) and Georgia (Vachnadziani Qvevri Rkatsiteli 2014). All were very good and more than stood up as an alternative to some of the more well known grapes and wines we might normally pick. If you have never tried an “orange” wine, then the Georian wine was lovely (note, orange wine is very much like marmite – you’ll either love or hate them but definitely worth a try!)  All the wines could easily by paired well with some traditional foods, sea foods, creamy pasta’s etc – www.strictlywine.co.uk offer some great suggestions for each one.

The reds again, gave us some wonderful examples of grape varieties that would not normally be classified as main stream! We had wines from Lebanon (Chateau Oumsiyat Desir 2018), Armenia (ArmAs Karmrahyut Reserve 2013), Greece and Republic of North Macedonia (Tikves).The Lebanon wine was a great if you wanted an alternative to a Gamay, lovely slightly chilled and with some warm weather coming, would go down well with the first BBQ of the year! If a rich Australian red is your go to wine, then maybe try the Armenian, which had a little more ageing that brought out some amazing deep fruit flavours. There were wines for all tastes, sausage casseroles, classic BBQ’s and fine steaks!

Next wine club night is on the 21st April. If you are interested to know just a little more about wine (with a large serving of some great social fun), then please take a look at our web site www.uptonwineclub.co.uk or contact our chairman, ian.langley@yahoo.co.uk.

Ian

 

Blewbury Post Office News

We are still open Monday to Friday mornings 8.30am until 12 noon, there are rumours about us closing, but not to our knowledge. Two potential new members of staff are about to embark on their training, so hopefully we will be able to open in the afternoons and on Saturday mornings very soon. Maggie is working full time in Hagbourne, as Steve has had a nasty accident and is off work until December.

We have beautiful Rupert stamps out now, glorious Bugs in early October, and we are expecting the Christmas stamps in shortly, they will be on sale in early November. The basic rate for Europe is now £1.45 and for the rest of the world £1.70

Anyone with a Post Office card account, will be receiving letters that this service is closing, just fill out the form, and have your pension and allowances paid into a bank account, you can still get your money out at the post office, (and pay in cash or cheques very easily)

Royal Mail have reported an increase of 40% in mail since March, there are still delays to the service, and we ask that ALL mail is processed by 11.30 am every day, we still have people rushing in at closing time, when we are struggling to clean and cash up.

We rely on sales from the shop to support paying for staff, Post Office Ltd do not pay for them, I have to pay them from my allowance, (which is a pittance I can tell you), we have heard from the High Court that POL have once again asked for a delay in court case No 4, (the one that decides if we are actually employed by POL, or still classed as ‘agents’ with no sick pay, no pension or rights) POL have lost the last 3 cases decidedly, and have little hope of winning this one either! They still take tax and national insurance out of my ‘remuneration’ as they call it!

So please help us by buying a few cards or something, when you are next in! Christmas stock is on its way! Trying hard to stock up with more recyclable goods, with less glitter and plastic!

Karen and Maggie