Future EventsimageContents

      19th November 2004

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imageFor the last fifteen years, there has been a Christmas Tree in the High Street, but this year we have to find an alternative site at the last minute.

This is because one of our retail premises where the Christmas Tree has been situated has stated quite categorically that he is not having the Christmas Tree outside his kitchen shop, because it will stop him parking on the Lord's Waste.

It really is good to know that not everybody has this sort of Christmas spirit.

A report by Les Goodman

New Weather Service

Weather forecastOne of our readers has suggested an improved weather service which we have now linked to at the top of the left hand column. It can provide an hour by hour forecast for B95. We have suggested to The Weather Channel that they refer to Henley-in-Arden for the B95 Post Code not Aston Cantlow.

Community Primary School Fayre

imageOn Friday 3rd December from 5.30 to 7.30 pm at the School in Arden Road, there will be a Christmas Fayre, which will include a special visit from Father Christmas at 6pm plus tombola, raffle, festive music from the school orchestra, mulled wine and mince pies!

Everyone is welcome and we very much hope to see you there.

A report by Yvonne Rogers

Our JPC page updated

Thanks to Hayley Syratt, Clerk to the JPC, we have been able to develop a very informative page about the Joint Parish Council. You can now find out the role and duties of the JPC. The names and responsibilites of all our councillors. If you want to become a coucillor, all the details are now on this webpage. The page will always be accessable from the foot of this page.

Remembrance Day

Thursday 11th November
imageThe Two Minute Silence on Thursday was attended by 50 School children from St. Mary's Roman Catholic School and the County Primary School and were joined by over 150 adults who all stood in the High Street outside St. John's Church and stopped the traffic for two minutes silence, together with the playing of the Last Post and Reveille.

Afterwards a short church service was held in St. John's Church when 3 of the school children read poems.

Sunday 14th November
The Remembrance Day Parade took place on Sunday 14th November with the Court Leet, members of the Parish Council and representatives of the Fire Service, Scouts and Cubs joining the Henley and District Royal British Legion. The parade left the Memorial Hall at 10.30a.m to arrive at St. John's Church in time for the Remembrance Service.

The church was full to capacity with people having to share hymn books as there were not enough for all those attending. The sermon given by Rev Ganjavi was very thought provoking.

A report by Les Goodman

Golf Hotel Planning debate continues

The Stratford Herald reports in this weeks edition on the JPC's decision to not recommend the Henley Golf Club's planning application. It writes:

Councillors oppose Henley hotel scheme
COUNCILLORS in Henley have given the thumbs down to plans for a new 40-bedroom hotel facility at the town's golf and country club this week, writes Duncan Smith.

The plans—which some believe could attract vital economic benefits to the town—were turned down on the basis thai they contravened district planning policy.

At the Beaudesert and Henley Joint Parish Council's meeting on Monday night councillors objected to the plans. saying: "We have reservations about this application because it takes up a great deal of the green 'belt, and is against the 'green belt policy."

Councillors were presented with additional information from Crocketts Holdings Ltd with regard to their planning application at Henley Golf and Country Club. Birmingham Road, for a 40 bedroom dormy house and associated parking along with Warwickshire County Council's response to strategic planning consultation on the same application. The county council had concluded that the development was contrary to the general provision of the Warwickshire Structure Plan and would recommend refusal of the application.

But the chief executive of Henley Golf Club, Graham Wright believes that the parish council were mistaken in choosing to oppose the plans.

He told the Herald: "The club is sensitive to the parish council's concern about the green belt. Golf clubs are, however, permitted use of green belt land. Indeed the club currently manages approximately 193 acres of green belt land and since the current owners took control have planted several thousand trees indigenous to the Arden Forest, created 4.5 acres of wild flowers and protected the natural habitat."

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 club buys a good deal of its supplies and services locally. In addition it is a major employer, mainly of local people. The new jobs created should be attractive to residents of the town and create further opportunities for the supply of goods and services."

Mr Wright added that the building would be sites so there would be no light spillage lo Henley and, by being single storey, it would blend into its environment. But the council stands by it's decision parish clerk Hayley Syratt said "The council is very aware Henley needs a good "hotel, but this application is in breach of the district council's planning policy and therefore cannot be suitable. "We have to give reasonable response, and that's what we've done."

Planning officers are currently finalising the findings of the public consultation over these plans before deciding whether they go before a district council plan committee to be voted on.

Do you think the JPC were correct to reject the planning application? Vote now using our on-line poll.

Town Opinion Poll - Golf Club Planning Application

Do you support the JPC's decision NOT to recommend this planning application?

The results will be published in next week's edition.

Cast your vote NOW at:

AGM of Henley Court Leet
From our Court Correspondent, John Latham Esq.

A packed Guild Hall, in the presence of the Lord of the Manor from America, saw High Bailiff Brian Jackson elected for a second year of office on Wednesday 10th November.

Robin Hardy Freed, who lives in Pennsylvania USA, was visiting her Lordship for the first time in 4 years received a warm welcome and was enthusiastically applauded when she concluded her opening remarks by presenting a donation to the court towards the running of the Henley Heritage Centre, Joseph Hardy House, which is named in honour of her father.

The Annual General Meeting began with a fine tribute to former High Bailiff Alan Butler who had recently died. This was followed by reports from Officers of the Court on their various areas of responsibility. Brooklooker Richard Butler gave an upbeat report on the state of the river. Ale Taster Ray Evans implied that his duties had been pursued with particular enthusiasm and diligence.

The Custodian of the Heritage Centre Ray Holding gave positive details of the development of the Centre as a tourist and educational attraction. He stated that there had been a record number of visitors in 2004. Nearly 4,500 people had enjoyed the new displays and been warmly received by a large and willing band of stewards without whose help it they would be lost.

High Bailiff Brian Jackson and Low Bailiff John Dalman, who was sadly retiring because of health problems, gave reports of their year of office. The Chaplain to the Court gave thanks on behalf of the town for all the hard work and duties the High Bailiff had carried out the past year.

The election of officers for the coming year resulted in the following appointments:

High BailiffBrian Jackson
Low BailiffDouglas Bridgewater
Mace BearerBrian Brinkworth
ConstableJohn Love
Ale TastersRay Evans & John Brealy
Butter WeigherGerald Smith
BrooklookersRay Holding & Richard Butler
AffearorsAlistair Price & John Dalman
HaywardPhillip Tillman

The final ceremony of the evening saw Henley Rotary President Clive Jolliffe stepping forward to present the Rotary Annual Community Award to Madge Smith. At the age of 84,she was still running her School of Dance which had been such great influence on the lives of so many families in the town for the last 40 years.

In the great tradition of Court Leet, a memorable evening was closed by Town Crier and a call for support of “The Queen and The Lord of the Manor.”

Heritage Centre reports success

The Henley-in-Arden Heritage Centre is one of the town's outstanding achievements due to the continued generosity of the Lord of the Manor and her father Joe Hardy, the loyal members of the community who act as stewards and the outstanding leadership of Ray & Ann Holding.

Ray & Ann took over the administration in January 2003 from Derek & Rosemary Sharman, who had established the Heritage Centre in 1997. Ray & Ann would the first to recognise the great work done by Derek & Rosemary. Ray & Ann have continued the development programme and Ray's report to the AGM of the Court Leet appears below.

The Guild Hall, Henley-in-Arden

Heritage Centre Report, 2004

imageAnother year gone and 4,419 more visitors through the door. I am once again delighted to report that the Heritage Centre has had another excellent year, becoming steadily more significant as a tourist attraction and as a unique depository of local history.

During the winter of 2003/4 we had to commission some serious building work and the need to protect our displays gave us the excuse and the opportunity to review them. This kept a good many of us – stewards and other helpers – off the street right through the winter. However, visitors’ comments suggest that we got at least some of it right.

One of our aims this year was to make it easier to relate the displays to the sort of things which schoolchildren have to study, like how and why a settlement develops, how people lived and worked, social life and life in wartime. Once again, the comments of visiting schools suggest that we also got some of that right! Recently, we have undertaken to help a group of history undergraduates with a project, and we are striving to avoid turning the Centre into a college!

imageBy Easter, we had finished all the planned display work: it’s easier to do when the Centre is closed. Among this year’s additions were a replica of the famous Anderson bomb shelter (a great success with schools), some audio records of conversations with some long standing Henley residents, including Miss Florence Beard who in July celebrated 100 years of life in Henley, some wonderful 18th and 19th century clothes and a lot of interesting documents and pictures telling of Henley’s past.

We continue to pursue the Time Team with a view to getting some of the finds for display at Joseph Hardy House. The wheels grind slowly but we have made some progress this year and time now seems to be the only obstacle. English Heritage has given consent for us to remove from the Mount the one remaining piece of the castle stonework on the site, for exhibition at the Centre. It weighs half a ton and moving it in is one of the thirty or forty tasks which we want to complete while the Centre is closed. Also, Warwick Museum, which has custody of all the small finds has agreed to release a selection of them to us. Henley is, after all, their proper resting-place.

imagePeople from at least 19 countries have visited us this year and some interesting individuals have called in. One of our displays tells the story of Flying Officer Donald Campbell, a Canadian in the Air Force during the second war and stationed in the UK. Together with his comrades in arms he visited Henley on leaves and adopted the Blue Bell as the “hostelry of choice”. Before he left he presented the Guildhall with a fine garden bench seat. In October, one of his granddaughters married an Englishman at Broadway, so, with ten family and eighteen friends, Don Campbell turned up again - sixty years on – to renew his acquaintance with Henley.

On another day in October an Australian lady visited us and found in our reading room, by accident, a 1901 family group of her ancestors including her great-grandfather, Mr William Washington Richards, born 1838 and the company secretary of Henley’s Constitution Water Company in the late 1800’s.

We have again entertained a good number of lively adult groups, including local history societies and U3A groups. Perhaps the most exhausting were the energetic ladies of Ullenhall WI, who arrived for coffee at 10.30, did the Heritage Centre, went for lunch, did a one-hour guided Town Walk, the Guildhall and the two Anglican churches. And didn't want to go home at 5pm!

As always the comments in our Visitors Book are the barometer of how we are doing. Among this year’s observations are these:

"A little gem of history – so much packed into one small place"
"Kept the kids quiet for over an hour – fantastic!"
"Enthusiastic staff: excellently explained"
"A lovely way to record the town’s history: very intimate"
"Very interesting: I liked the bomb and the war stuff"
"Nothing like this in Oz!"
"Very interesting , not boring at all. Kids loved the bomb, the school room and castle, thank you. Stewards most pleasant."
"What a nice surprise!"
"Lovely place and friendly people."

Behind every confused and struggling man there is a woman who knows what needs doing. Apart from managing all our group visits - adults and schools - with the help of her own team, Ann acts as my invaluable sounding-board and life-support.

imageThe life-blood of the Centre remains its indomitable team of volunteers who bring the place to life for our many visitors. They include our rota stewards and reserves and also helpers on display design, restoration and installation, administration and school and adult groups visits. It would be impossible to overstate the importance of what they all do so willingly for the town. The team now includes several who joined during this year and who have rapidly made themselves indispensable.

I am sure all of us here would wish to record our grateful thanks to this vast and willing body of enthusiasm!

To close: this year we entertained a small working party from a Nottinghamshire town seeking to create a local history museum and wanting to find out what’s involved. This meeting reminded us, once again, just how extraordinarily fortunate we have been here, and how thankful we remain for the support and patronage of the Lord of the Manor and her family.

Raymond Holding
Trustee and Administrator
Henley-in-Arden Heritage Centre

Brook Lookers' Report

At the recent Court Leet AGM, the Brook Lookers, Ray Holding and Richard Butler, presented their report on the watercourses in the Manor of Henley-in-Arden. Henley NEWS on-line has been given a copy of the report which is reproduced below.

The Guild Hall, Henley-in-Arden

Brook-Lookers’ Report, 2004

The Court’s Brook-Lookers, Messrs Richard Butler and Ray Holding conducted their survey of the River Alne and Oldberrow Brook on Friday 17th September 2004. In summary, both waterways can be said to be in good general order and flowing freely, with one exception as detailed in this report.

imageWe entered Oldberrow Brook where it passes beneath the Glenhurst Road bridge and followed it downstream to its junction with the Alne.

On this stretch, we found a large tree or part of a tree jammed across the brook opposite Jackson’s Garage. Rubbish was collecting behind this obstruction and even the resident ducks complained to us that they were having difficulty finding a way through. There was a good deal of litter on the southern bank of the brook at this point also: it is customary to blame this on the High School’s pupils but it could just as easily have come from the Market. In either case, apart from periodic tidy-up tasks, there is no obvious solution and the problem will re-occur. We inspected the junction of the two streams and found all well there. Entering the Alne beneath the Warwick Road bridge we followed it either in the water or on the bank for the full length of the town, emerging at the Millfield Court bridge.

The water was deep in places and the Court’s waders were fully tested: happily they passed this test. However, waders when treated without due caution can be hazardous and can induce a condition known to medical science as Brook-Looker’s Warm Foot as the older Brook-Looker discovered when taken short in the shrubbery.

imageOn the stretch alongside Prince Harry Road, some generous person had furnished the river with four plastic garden chairs (all in sound condition), a broken cast iron and timber garden seat and a broken Black-and-Decker “workmate” bench. These, together with sundry branches, some of which were quite large, were removed from the waterway.

We found no evidence of serious obstruction on the Alne although this was no doubt helped by the high water and fast current induced by recent heavy rain.

Subsequent to our inspection, we referred the fallen tree to an officer at the Environmental Agency, who later passed the matter back to us for the attention of the local (District) council. It was therefore reported to the Parish Council Clerk by e-mail on 1st October, for referral to the District. We regarded this obstruction as potentially troublesome, in the light of previous flooding experiences on Warwick Road, in the event of torrential rainfall.

The four chairs were passed to the Sport and Social Club for the comfort of cricket spectators and the other hardware was taken to the Burton Farm landfill site.

Richard Butler  &  Raymond Holding
Brook-Lookers to the Court

Alne comes from a Celtic name Alwen, meaning bright or shining. The Ancient Britons believed that it had some magical or religious meaning.

imageSchool Report

Peter Crathorne, Chairman of the Henley School Govenors, reports on the Application to achieve Arts College Status and thanks the School's many supporters.

Governors ask Government to Review Arts Status Application System
In early July 2004, the school was disappointed to learn that it had not been successful in its application to achieve Arts College Status for September 2004. The school resubmitted an adjusted bid in October and are confident that they will gain the go-ahead from DFES in early January.

The Chairman of Governors decision to approach the local M.P. regarding the application procedures, illustrated the strength of the school’s disappointment. He received a very sympathetic hearing from James Plaskitt who has taken our concerns directly to the Secretary of State for Education. The Vice Chairman stated, “ As Governors, we believe the system set out by the Government makes it more difficult for modest sized schools to be successful.”

What will Henley High School Arts college mean for the community?
Within the school, there are plans to improve the provision within the Performing Arts subjects of Dance, Drama and Music. The vital dimension however, is the concern for the way in which these developments will help improve achievement and attainment in pupils across all curriculum areas. They feel that the stimulus of extra resources will indeed help the school to obtain improved results in all areas.

The community dimension is also crucial to the bid. One third of the resources will be directed to community use to provide opportunities for people throughout the local area to learn and enjoy the arts. The original bid sought to establish an Orchestra for the 7 – 11 year age range. This would encourage talented musicians. The school is developing dance expertise through partnership with Studley High School. Some money will be directed towards new buildings and refurbishment. In the original plan the school looked at the provision of a Dance Studio and associated changing facilities, together with the upgrading of the Hall for performances and provision of music practice rooms. Doing this in the most practical way is a challenge and would account for more money than that provided by the Specialist Schools Initiative. Nevertheless it is important that the school does establish a vision for the future. Henley High school is a valuable resource for our town when the project unfolds there will be increased opportunities for all ages through participation and enjoyment of the Performing Arts.Arts Money – Brilliant Community Support Generates £50,000

Henley has been extremely supportive by raising £50,000 in the form of pledges and donations to enable the school to put in the bid for Arts Status. This support comes from a wide variety of groups and organisations, from parents and friends as well as the school’s own fund raising initiatives. The school is extremely grateful for this support and when they receive the go ahead it will bring in well over a third of a million pounds into the Henley community over the next four years. Many thanks to all the organisations who have been patient and generous in their contributions to school.(see below):




At a meeting held on 17th November, the Governors were told that the result of this application will be known at the end of January 2005.


Diary Dates

The following diary dates have been posted on the Parish Church website:

Saturday 27th November at 2:00pm in the Church Hall. All the usual goodies - home made cakes, produce, books, bric a brac, teas, etc., with Father Christmas at 2.30pm! Do come along and support this event. If you feel you can help run a stall or can provide goods to sell, please contact Daphne Jones on 01926 843515
The Parish Council is pleased to announce that it will, once again, be hosting a Christmas Lights “switch on” and Carol Service around the Market Cross on Saturday 4th December from 5:00pm accompanied by the Alcester Silver Band. We hope that you will be able to join us.
is returning again to Henley Fire Station on Saturday 11th December between 10am & 1pm. Father Christmas will be making his annual visit to see children of Henley. Come and join us for a morning of festive cheer.
Art Competition

The Joint Parish Council is running an art competition which is open to children up to 12 years old. The competition is to design the front cover of the Christmas Lights switch on carol sheet. Entries should be made on an A5 sheet of paper with the artist’s name, address, telephone no., & age written on the back. Closing date for entry is 25th November. The winner will “flick the switch” to turn on the Christmas lights in the town on 4th December

Grant Application

The Joint Parish Council invite Grant Applications from organisations or bodies within the parish, for the financial year April 2005 to March 2006. Application forms available from the Clerk, Hayley Syratt at 150 High St. Henley-in-Arden (01564 795499). Closing date 30th November 2004.

Henley-in-Arden Community Primary School Christmas Fayre

will be held on Friday 3rd December from 5.30 to 7.30pm at the School in Arden Road. & will include a special visit from Father Christmas at plus tombola, raffle, festive music from our school orchestra, mulled wine & mince pies! Everyone is welcome and we very much hope to see you there.

Court Leet

You are invited by the High Bailiff, to attend his Court Leet Service on Sunday 21st November at 6pm in St. John’s Church. Again early arrival is advised. There refreshments in the Guild Hall after this service.

Henley-in-Arden Methodist Church
Henley-in-Arden Methodist Church November Sunday services all at 11am except for Remembrance Sunday 14th which will start 5 minutes earlier. Christmas Coffee morning on Saturday 4th December with bring & buy etc.
Warwickshire College, Henley Hair & Beauty’

Warwickshire College, Henley Hair & Beauty will be open for client bookings from Monday 8th November. Please come and support our training & enjoy our wonderful new facilities. Ring now for more information or to book an appointment 01564 797830.

Henley Wildlife Society

Tuesday 16th 7.45pm in Baptist Church Hall to hear about “Jurassic Warwickshire” from Dr. J. Radley. Visitors welcome

Ace Stores - Whitley Road

imageThis is a retail general stores serving the many residents within the area of Whitley Road, Castle Road, Arden Road, Meadow Road, Mount Road and others. It is a ground floor property which is now vacant and available for occupation from 1st December.

It is a valuable facility for residents and anyone interested should contact: Alan Green of the South Warwickshire Housing Association on 01789 404417.

County councillor George Atkinson

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.

imageOver 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

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

imagePhotos 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

imageHenley NEWS on-line is looking for additional correspondents to send in stories and pictures. David Burman has become our agricultural correspondent and Peter Cornfield of John Earle will be writing a regular column on the property scene. 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 already 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

Technical Note: As the vast majority of readers view our pages at a screen width of 800 pixels or greater, our pages are designed at 800x600.

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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