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.

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 or complete our volunteering page online https:/www./

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.

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.