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 – or Paul (851251 – 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 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 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    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!



Upton Village Fete 2018

We could not have had a better day for the fete this year. The beautiful blue sky, the warm but not too hot sunshine with an occasional gentle breeze.

The support from the village is always amazing and this year was no exception.  Thank you everyone for the effort put into all the preparation that goes on beforehand.  The planning, making, donating and baking.  The putting up and taking down, all with a smile and never a frown.

All this however would have been to no avail without the good advertising so a special thank you to Lesley Shaw for the posters, boards and local papers, and to Frankie Jacklin for her internet updates.  This brought in so many visitors from outside the village all of which added to the feel good factor.

We also made some money!  The net profit being £2,502.93 which is divided between St Mary’s Church and the Village Hall

Jessie West

Happy Time at Pimms and Pate

What a superb lunchtime treat we had on Saturday 18th August.  Despite being a small village, when they do something in Upton they do it right!  Pimms and Pate was not to be missed.  60 people came along: folk from Crowmarsh, Cholsey, Harwell and the surrounding villages.  The organisers would like to apologise to a number of villagers who were disappointed not to be able to attend as all the tickets were sold out.   A choice of a dozen pates were on offer: all home-made, plus new potatoes, salad, pickles, etc. and as ever the sweets were to die for.  If you still had room, cheese and biscuits came next.  The weather brightened just in time for half of the diners to sit outside on the patio, the remainder were in the hall.  Very nice raffle prizes were also up to be won.

The event was presented in a very professional way.  Can I just suggest that when the next Pimms and Pate comes around you get your tickets early so as not to be disappointed.

A big thank you must go to Maggie and Celia for their hard work in organising it, plus the band of helpers and those who provided the food.   Well done and roll on the next one.

The profit made was £730 which will go towards St Mary’s kitchen and loo project.


John Lightfoot

A very happy diner.

The Village Fete – Coming Soon

1st September starting at 1.00pm on the Village Recreation Ground

The day of the fete draws nigh and there are lots of things to look forward to this year. Amongst the new attractions will be a special children’s area which will include Carl the magician, a coconut shy and lots of prizes to be won, and music will be provided courtesy of Wantage Silver Band and the Hagbourne Community Choir. There’ll be a barbeque, pizzas and of course the traditional tea and cakes a-plenty together with lots of stalls including books, preserves, a beer stall (thanks to Kenny at the George and Dragon), plants, tombola – the list goes on. There’s a bigger-than-ever classic car display and there will be a chance to demonstrate the beauty and skills of your pooch at the dog show – dogs of all shapes and sizes are most welcome!

As ever, we will be looking for help on the day in putting everything together and taking it down at the end, and there will be lots to do during the fete itself. If you would like to help, please call Paul (851251), Brian (850158) or Jessie (851206). Many hands….

Finally, would you or your company like to sponsor one of the attractions? This would be a big help in keeping the costs down and maximising the vital contribution the fete makes to the running of the village hall and the church. Sponsorship is welcomed for the band, the dog show, birds of prey, barbeque provisions or children’s prizes. Liz Evans, who’s running the kid’s stalls, would especially welcome jam jars filled with small toys, wrapped sweets, marbles, new hair bands, clips etc plus cuddly toys for the teddy tombola and (ideally!) an unopened Lego box set as a prize for the ‘guess the number of Lego pieces’ competition.

Looking forward to seeing villagers and visitors on 1st September – don’t miss the fun!

Paul Batho

Pimms, Pate & Pudding to Return

Pimms, Pate & Pudding

Those with memories stretching back five or so years will recall the delightful PP and P parties held annually at the village hall. Well, by popular demand this event is being revived on Saturday 18th August!

It will run from 12.30 until 3.30 and the cost is £12.00 for adults and £6.00 for children over 5. This will get you a glass of Pimms (or a soft drink), and a buffet lunch including a fantastic array of home-made pates. All profits will go to the Friends of St Mary’s.

We’d like bookings in advance so we can cater for the right numbers. Book now with Maggie (850126) or Celia (850684) to reserve your place.

We look forward to a jolly English summer afternoon!

Paul Batho

Blewbury Post Office Notes for June

I am away from work in late June, Maggie will be open on Saturday 23rd and Monday 25th as usual, but Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of that week will be open mornings only, as Maggie has Granny duties in the afternoons. We will be closed on Saturday 30th June.

We have Owl stamps and Royal Wedding presentation packs available now, Royal Academy stamps come out on 5th June and Dads Army on 26th June.

Tickets for the Summer Dance are now available, and the box for donations for the Didcot Food bank is still here too. We have the schedules for the VPA Summer Show and sometimes we have local eggs, rhubarb, tomato plants and other plants as available.

Don’t forget that banking facilities are available for almost all banks now, cash withdrawals and cash or cheque deposits. Royal Mail collect at 4.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and at 9.30am on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Although the posties do try to leave it to later on if they can, rushing in at closing time and expecting the postie to be waiting just for you is not going to happen. Parcelforce collect at about 3pm.

Dry cleaning is collected and returned on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays, They do a good job, and are very reasonably priced too!

Karen and Maggie