Future EventsContents
29th October 2004
The views expressed in the stories & articles on this site do not necessarily match the views of the editor.

Weather forecast

Heart Start

Heritage Centre

Rotary Club

Business Club

Local directory

Henley Ices

Golf Club

Lord of the Manor to preside

at Court Leet AGM

Steward of the Manor, David Lodder, has announced that the LORD OF THE MANOR, Mrs Robin Hardy-Freed, will be flying in from Pittsburgh, USA to preside at the Annual General Meeting of the Court Leet and Court Baron in the Guild Hall on Wednesday 10th November at 7.30 pm.

The Steward has been instructed by the Lord of the Manor to ensure that all those eligible are registered as jurors before the AGM. All residents in the parishes of Henley-in-Arden and Beaudesert who have lived in either parish for more than 2 years are entitled to become jurors. All residents are invited and encouraged to attend the AGM.

At the Annual General Meeting, the Officers of the Court each report on their duties for previous year. Then the Jurors elect all the Officers of the Court for the following twelve months.

The Court is recognised as a legally constituted court. Its powers are limited to the making of presentments. The Court sees itself as the defender of the traditions of HENLEY. The present High Bailiff, Brian Jackson is expected to seek re-election for another year. Nominations for new members of the Court are now being sought. If you, or anyone you know, wishes to become a member of the Court Leet, you should email the Steward of the Manor, who will send out the nomination papers.

The Court Leet, which was founded in 1222, will this year for the first time use the latest technology so that residents can register on-line as jurors. All readers of Henley NEWS on-line are urged to register on the Court Leet Electoral Roll by clicking on the button on the left and completing the simple form. It takes less than 10 seconds!

Elected Officers of the Court Leet

High BailiffLow Bailiff
Ale Tasters (2)Brook Lookers (2)
Mace BearerButter Weigher
ConstableAffearors (Tax Collectors) (2)

Drama 50th Year

Henley-in-Arden Drama Society's next show is going to be extra special, it is the 50th Anniversary of HADS!!! The show will be performed in October Tuesday 26th - Friday 29th  There is a special price of £3 for the Tuesday night production the others are prices at £5 each. The curtain is up at 7.30.

Saturday 30th October is the night of the much anticipated "Gala Party Night" this starts at 6.30 and will contain short extracts from past and current work, as music, disco, it's sure to be a memorable night. Also to be noted is that there will be a special 50th anniversary edition of the programme available for this event. It's not to be missed!

The show it's self is called "play on" a very funny play about an amateur drama group rehearsing and putting on a play, an appropriate story line for this special year.

Click on poster to go large

Late Breaking NEWS

The Friday October 29th performance by the Henley Drama Society of 'Play On!' was played to a full house with approximatley 100 people attending.

Strong performances were given by all the cast, particularly Ray Evans as Henry with his uncontrollable moustache. The entire performance was throughly entertaining. Friday's performance was definately the most entertaining of the four nights.

Anyone attending tonight's (Saturday 30th) celebration of 50 years of HADS will be treated to a highly entertaining excert from 'Play On!', along with performances of comedy and dance and other things, with the highlight being billed as Henley's first ever indoor firework display!

At the last report, just over a hundred tickets had been sold. However, the house full notice was yet to go up, with plans to try and 'squeeze in a few more', so no one will miss out on what plans to be a night for Henley to remember!

Ian Smedley



Flying Officer Donald G Campbell served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the second war and for some time was based at Honiley. He and some of his colleagues used to cycle across to Henley where they “adopted” the Blue Bell, then hosted by Mr & Mrs Norman Swainston, as their favourite hostelry. Before their eventual departure, Don Campbell presented to the Guildhall a fine bench seat, which can be seen in the Guildhall Garden. The story of these young men is recorded in a display of pictures at Henley-in-Arden Heritage Centre.

On Friday 15 October, one of Don Campbell’s granddaughters was married to an Englishman at Broadway and the family took the opportunity to re-visit old haunts. Ten members of the family accompanied by eighteen friends came to Henley, where they visited the Heritage Centre and Guildhall and, of course, the Blue Bell! Now 79, F/O Campbell looked to be in very good shape, which he puts down to regular golf and tennis. If he is 79 now, he was barely 20 at the end of the war and much younger when he joined. It makes you think.

Report from Ray Holding, Henley-in-Arden Heritage Centre
23 October 2004

Property Report

Peter Cornford, partner at John Earle & Son Estate Agents in the High Street, reports of the current property scene.

There is much now being reported in the papers, television and radio about the current "softness" of the residential property market. At John Earle and Son we have been advising clients and potential clients, since July onwards, that the market is heading to soften this autumn, as the confidence of potential buyers was likely to be affected by Interest Rate rises, coupled with Council Tax and other increases.

At the Bank of England's meeting at the beginning of October, it was agreed unanimously not to increase interest rates - We feel that if the Bank Rate is not moved in November and there is an indication rates may start to ease downwards, then the property market has already reached a low point. As we move forward, the number of buyers will increase with sensibly priced, unusual different properties starting to sell again and prices will then harden. As a firm, we are experiencing this already with some of our interesting and individual auction properties.

White Swan reopens

The White Swan has reopened after a very expensive refit and modernisation. Roger and Heather Parker have been restoring the 16th century hostelry "to its former glory".

A 'Sports Bar' with pool tables and a juke box, has been opened on the north side of the coaching entrance to cater for the younger generation. The flower shop has been relocated to the rear in one of the former stables.The main hotel will see a quality restaurant opening next month and seven bedrooms by early next year.

Henley NEWS on-line congratulates Roger and Heather on the restoration, which was badly needed, and wishes them great success. The White Swan is now firmly back on the Henley social scene.

Parish Clerk's award

Hayley Syratt, Clerk to the Joint Parish Council, has recently been awarded the AQA Certificate in Local Council Administration.

The Chairman of Parish Council, presented the certificate to Hayley and John Love, Henley NEWS on-line's roving photographer, was on hand to record the event.

Hayley provides Henley NEWS on-line with reports and press releases, which regularly appear on our pages. She also answers our many questions swiftly so that our reports are accurate.

We wish to congratulate her on her well deserved award and thank her for enthusiastic support of Henley NEWS on-line.

Well done Hayley!

JPC calls for "correctness"

A motion, proposed by Cllr Sara Hingley and seconded by Cllr Stephen Thirwell, will be considered by the JPC at their meeting on 1st November: "That this council writes to Mr. Bill Leech editor of Henley NEWS on-line to request him to contact the clerk for verification of the facts regarding the JPC before publication, as we would like correct information published."

As our article above about Hayley, Clerk to the JPC, indicates we already have a very close dialogue with Hayley and endeavour to check out facts before publication. We rely on numerous sources for our reports and attempt to reflect all shades of opinion, particularly those in favour of improving employment opportunities in the town.

In the interests of political balance, the JPC has been invited to write an article to set the record straight. Henley NEWS on-line has also suggested a weekly commentary from each of the JPC councillors in turn.

County councillor George Atkinson has told Henley NEWS on-line he regards "the preservation of freedom of speech as paramount."

We have been promised a more detailed response from County councillor Atkinson immediately after the JPC meeting has taken pl ace.. Watch this space for further developments on the "correctness" debate.

If you want an independent parish electronic news service, ask your parish councillor to vote against the motion and you should cast your vote in our first electronic test of opinion below.

Town Opinion Poll - Pre-vetting by Joint Parish Council

Do you support the JPC's motion to pre-vet
Henley NEWS on-line

The results so far:-

Yes   -  I SUPPORT the JPC motion
No    -   I DO NOT SUPPORT the JPC motion

Cast your vote NOW at:


Emails to the Editor

"As printed in the JPC newsletter, Hayley is not in her office on Fridays, so she cannot respond until Monday. As I'm sure you are aware, no-one wants to vet your news, we just want to ensure that what you print regarding the JPC is accurate."

"All the JPC has to do is arrange for news to break during Hayley's office hours!"

The lost 'Right of Way'

Henley NEWS on-line's recent reports about the planning application to erect an extension kitchen in Back Lane have brought a responses from both the JPC and Stratford District.

The story so far......

Concern was expressed by the members of the Court Leet that this extension together with another previously approved by Stratford District Council will be built over an ancient right of way.

The Steward to the Court Leet, David Lodder, asked for the Court’s records to be searched to establish if Back Lane was a Right of Way. Derek Sharman, Honorary Burgess and former High Bailiff, was quickly able to establish that there had been a similar development in recent times. The Court Leet’s records show:-

On 25th October 1819 at a meeting of the Court Leet and Court Baron, the Jurors made several "presentments" to the Court including:-

"They also present William Findon, Butcher, for a nuisance in erecting, putting up or continuing a building part of his shop at the front of his house in his own occupation and they order him to remove the same within one Month under the penalty of Ten pounds."

This Butchers shop was one of the shops situated in part of the Guild Hall where the library currently stands. The records show that later at the same meeting and most importantly:-

"They also present William Findon for an encroachment on the Lord's Waste at the South or Lower end of the Back Lane."

At the next meeting in May 1820, the Court Leet records show:-

"William Findon hath forfeited his Ten Pounds for not complying with the order previously made."

185 years later, history repeats itself almost identically. Will the modern day planners allow a structure to be built on this ancient right of way? The planning applications are numbered 04/02759/SUL and 04/02839/LBC.

Stratford District Council Press Office has made the following statement to Henley NEWS on-line.
Unfortunately, we can't make any comment at this stage as we are still in the process of assessing the various planning issues revolving around this case, including the right of way, so it would be premature to say anything until a decision has been reached. However, although the council can't make an official comment, it might be worth trying one of the local ward members who might be prepared to speak about it.

The JPC has told Henley NEWS on-line:

While we do not object to the planning application, we have grave concerns about the infringement on this ancient right of way.

However, we understand there may be some question of a well used path at the rear of the property as well as the side. Both the rear and side are not currently a recognised 'Right of Way' but we are aware that a resident has applied to the County Council in the light of the planning application for it to be registered as such. This process can take up to 6 months to complete. In the mean time the latest planning application is likely to be refused pending the outcome of the right of way application.

What was considered a 'Right of Way' by the Court Leet in 1820, appears not to be one now! Could it be that when the responsibility for planning was transferred from the Court Leet, who had done an excellent job for six hundred years, the records were lost?

Hopefully, the Right of Way status will be quickly restored to Back Lane.

Grant for Skate Park

A Grant of £5,000 was announced on Monday 27th September, to build a small Skate Park in Henley. The money comes from The Warwickshire Community Development Fund. The Sk8 CRU fund now stands at £12,775. In the light of progress with fund raising the design has been modified. This means we only now require a further £17,225 to make a start on the building work.

Very soon a leaflet containing a questionnaire and an opportunity for every resident in Henley to make a donation will be delivered to every house in Henley. The members of the SK8 CRU look forward to a sympathetic response. The support of Henley people is essential for this project to succeed.

Henley SK8 CRU AGM @ The Hub
Wednesday November 24th. 7:00 pm
Everyone welcome!!

Peter's Illustrated Response
Last week will published a critical article by "Name withheld by request" about the younger generation and the fundraising for SK8 CRU. This week, we are please to publish Peter Crathorne's illustrated response.

Golf Club

Golf Hotel planning application

Henley Golf & Country Club has submitted to Stratford-on-Avon County Council a planning application to build a 40 bedroom Dormy House. The new single-story building, built in the style of the clubhouse will provide accommodation only with meals being served in the clubhouse. It is to be built on the tennis courts, which are never used due to the excellent facilities at the tennis club in Henley. Graham Wright, Chief Executive of the Golf Club, commented 'The Golf Club needs the additional facilities to enable it to create a sustainable business for the future. Whilst this is important to the club this is also important to the Henley-in-Arden economy as the golf club buys a good deal of its supplies and services locally. In addition it is a major employer with the majority of its employees being local people. The new jobs created should be attractive to residence of the town and create further opportunities for the supply of goods and services."

Graham hopes that the continued investment at the golf club, which shows the owner's commitment to the town, will be welcomed by the community.

The Joint Parish Council after considering this application sent No Recommendation back to Stratford District Council. Warwickshire Highways has approved the scheme so it now all rests with the planners at Stratford. We have received the following response from the Clerk to the JPC.

Objection. We have reservations about this application, as it takes up a great deal of the greenbelt and is against greenbelt policy.

Bomber Ops in WW2

For over two hours, members of the Henley and Beaudesert Civic Society were taken in detail through a bomber mission to Oslo Fjord in 1944 by John Whitely DFC, the pilot of a Lancaster bomber on the mission.

John Whitely went on to tell a fascinating story of his reunion with the crew of a U-boat destroyed in the raid and how the former foes had become the best of comrades with regular reunions in the 1990's.

Ray Holding, Vice-Chairman of the Civic Society, thanked John Whitely for an outstanding talk which was appreciated by the forty members present.

The next Civic Society event will be on Thursday 18th November 2004 with a talk on the History of Gas entitled The Intelligent Pig.

Remembrance Day - November 11th
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

We will remember them.

On Thursday 11th November, there will be the Royal British Legion Silent Tribute. Details from Les Goodman (Tel 793439).

On Sunday 14th November, there will be the customary church parade, form up at the Memorial Hall at 10:15 am.

Invitation from Johnsons Coach Travel

The Directors and Staff of Johnsons Coach Travel extend an invitation to all readers of Henley NEWS on-line to attend our annual holiday show on Saturday October 30th next. The venue is Henley High School and the times are 9.00am to 4.30pm. The show launches the 2005 holiday programme and represents the first opportunity for customers to reserve their holidays for next year. There is a wide choice of holidays in the UK, Europe, and Worldwide. For next year, there are several new additions, including for the first time self catering holidays in Cyprus and UK based walking holidays. Traditional coach holidays in the UK and Europe still feature strongly, but two long haul destinations are also planned for The Canadian Rockies and Thailand.

As well as booking holidays, visitors will be able to meet staff, representatives from resorts and hotels, watch slide shows, as well as take part in a charity raffle and a grand prize draw with the opportunity to win a holiday or short break for two. There is on site parking and Johnsons will be providing free coach shuttle services from many parts of the South and West Midlands.

For details, call 01564 797000 or email

Rob Kingscott
Sales & Marketing Manager
Johnsons Coach & Bus Travel

Invite from Solihull Choral Society

2004 marked the 10th anniversary of Solihull Choral Society which, under Andrew Fletcher’s direction, has enriched the musical and cultural life of Solihull since 1994.

The original core of the choir was made up of members of the former Margaret Wharam Choir. Margaret, who played a huge part in the musical life of Solihull for over 40 years, had decided to retire as conductor of her choir in the spring of 1994 after a performance of Handel’s Messiah.

Regrettably, illness overtook her and her death in January of that year robbed her of this final achievement. Andrew Fletcher directed the performance of Messiah in April 1994 as a tribute to Margaret’s lifetime contribution to music. Her wish had been that the choir should not continue in her name and so Solihull Choral Society was born.

Over the past 10 years, the choir has developed to the point where our aim is to promote concerts, using professional soloists and orchestras, of the standard achieved by the best in Birmingham – a high standard indeed. Repertoire is carefully chosen and rehearsed to extend the choir’s capabilities and whether performing Bach or Britten, Faure or Finzi, Rossini or Rutter, we hope to delight our audience with our musicality. The Society recently performed Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in a highly acclaimed concert in March 2004.

Plans for the next 5 years are well advanced and include baroque masterpieces, 20th century English and French concerts, and the premiere of a work by Peter Maxwell Davies jointly commissioned by the Society as part of an initiative by Making Music.

We very much appreciate the loyal support of our audience but typically ticket sales cover only 50% of the cost of promoting concerts. Please assist us by spreading the word and if you would like to join us as a singing member or patron, please contact us through our website vote@henleyinarden.plus.com

Saturday 20 November 2004 - Handel's "Messiah"
Solihull School Chapel at 7.30pm
Tickets: £12.00 (Concessions £10, Under 18s £5)

For Tickets Call: Geoff Taylor (Business Manager) 0121-707-2963

Photos of Henley in the Snow?

Do you have any photos of Henley in the snow?

Henley NEWS on-line is preparing its Christmas edition and the editor is seeking colour pictures of Henley in snow.

Please contact:

From our own Correspondents

British LegionHenley NEWS on-line is looking for additional correspondents to send in stories and pictures. We already receive reports from eyewitnesses as the 'Cops & Robbers' story above demonstrates. David Burman has agreed to become the agricultural correspondent. We are now looking for a volunteer to write a regular feature "Let's eat in Henley" about all the restaurants and pubs in and around Henley.

We now have most of the significant organisations in the town represented on the website. Recent additions include: Lions Club, Henley High School, Drama Society and regular press releases from the Joint Parish Council. Henley Bridge Club will soon be linked up. The Primary School PTA will soon be providing a regular page of news and features.

Why don't you become one of our correspondents and send in stories about your area, your club, your school or events you have witnessed. Please always try to include a photo.

Letters, articles, pictures to the Editor are always welcome. Please do not use the following file 'Publisher" or 'Serif'. 'Word' is preferred. Please send to Henley NEWS on-line

Technical Note: The vast majority of readers view our pages at a screen width of 800 pixels or greater.

British Legion

Sports clubs


Henley-in-Arden Roll of Honour
British Legion
Dr. Douglas Bridgewater is researching the gallant men of Henley-in-Arden who gave their lives in the two World Wars. He has already established that the Town's war memorials are incomplete. Special report

Sports & Leisure

Sports clubs




History of Henley


EU, National & Local
James Plaskitt MP
imageCllr George Atkinson

Anne Haddon

Stephen Thirlwell


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