Future EventsContents
4th February 2005
The views expressed in the stories & articles on this site do not necessarily match the views of the editor.
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Congratulations Henley High

This Wednesday, writes John West - Henley High Headteacher, we received the very welcome news that our latest Arts Bid has been successful and that Henley High School will also be a Specialist Arts College as from September 2005.

With this will come considerable capital resources by way of an extra £70,000 per year, plus a capital fund of £100,000 to look at enhancing our facilities. We will be looking to enhance academic learning throughout the curriculum and use this to help us to increase the achievement levels throughout all subject areas and also provide learning opportunities within the community.

The Governors are delighted that the fruits of their hard work have at last been realised and that the raising of £50,000 in order to put in the bid was a considerable achievement in its own right, but it will bring financial rewards way above the money that was collected. In due course we will be writing to all our sponsors and also eventually asking for the pledge money to come into school, but at the moment we can savour our success and begin to plan for the September launch.

Many, many thanks to all of you who have helped press for this status and who have given both the financial as well as moral support. I know that it will mean a lot to many of our students, although sadly the Year 11’s, who have worked towards this goal will not see the fruits of their labour. Nevertheless they have bequeathed to future generations and we hope that we will develop the specialism in a way that will benefit all our students.

John West
Henley High Headteacher

The mid-Winter Property Market

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

Through late autumn and up to Christmas, the property market became substantially quieter and reports from the major lenders have indicated prices have eased down very slightly over the last few months. Because of this, the buying public understandably are cautious, but I feel that over the next two months, as February moves into March-April, buyers will become slightly restless and, if there is some relatively positive economic news, or a firm indication that interest rates have reached the peak, or may even fall by a quarter of a point, then buyers will accept that sensibly-priced properties will not fall in value and demand will pick up, resulting in prices growing a few per cent across the whole year.

Because of the current nervousness in the property market, there is a shortage of interesting property coming for sale and, if this remains the case, it is a further reason why prices will become firm and then start to grow in a modest manner. Demand for the interesting and unusual houses and cottages, as we come into spring-time, might well start to exceed sensibly-prices stock for sale.

History of Henley

Jonathan Dovey, who is Treasurer of the Henley Civic Society, has prepared a series of features for Henley NEWS on-line about the History of Henley.

Jonathan has lived in Henley for the past 23 years. He attended Henley J & I school before going to Stratford Grammar (King Edward VI).

He studied History at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and is currently working for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust as Shop Manager at Mary Arden's House.

He has produced a thesis on Peter de Montfort, Lord of Beaudesert and reguarly gives talks to local history groups on Peter de Montfort and the history of the Court Leet. He has helped to archive the Heritage Centre.

Jonathan's first article about Henley's Forgotten Market Hall appears below.

Each article will all be able to be downloaded as a pdf file to build in to a unique and authoritative record of Henley in Arden.

Henley’s Forgotten Market Hall

Did you know that there was once a Market Hall on the north side of the Market Cross?

Henley was a planned market town created in the 13th century. As with many such planned towns the single street axis was swollen into a cigar shape in order to accommodate the market. However infilling took place as market holders left their stalls out and these became permanent structures. The Market place was also a legitimate place to build public buildings like a church, Market Cross or Hall.

Although markets were often held in churchyards, Beaudesert held its 1141 market in the castle. Henley’s Market Charter for 1221 saw the creation of a specifically built market town for the De Montfort family. This small market town was relatively successful, as by the late 13th century we know that Henley had 69 burgesses.

The original Market Hall would have been built soon after 1221. Market Halls had an undercroft that gave some of the traders’ protection from the elements. The upper storey of the Market Hall was where merchant law was administered before the bailiff. The hall stored the standard weights and measures including the borough steelyard. It was also the meeting place for the Manorial Court or Court Leet.

The Guild of Henley was founded in the late 14th century and received substantial money from its benefactors. This wealth was used to build the present Church and Guildhall in c.1450. The King seized the Guild in 1546 and the Guild Hall was subsequently sold. In 1623 it was in the tenure of William Smith, a tanner. The Court Leet continued to use the Market Hall as their meeting place until it was taken down in c.1793, for in 1610 the court records state “no inhabitant shall license or give leave to any players to play within the Town Hall”.

The Court Leet was held at the Swan Inn during the 19th century. In 1915, Mr. Fieldhouse restored the Guildhall in which the meetings of the Court Leet are still held.

Jonathan Dovey
Part of the 'History of Henley' series

Download Jonathan's article as a pdf

Next production
Henley Drama Society

"It could be any one of us" by Alan Ayckbourn, Henley Memorial Hall on Wednesday 16th - Saturday 19th February at 7.30 p.m. Tickets £5

Auditions for Henley Drama Society's Production in June 2005, "Wind in the Willows" - Outdoor production. Auditions at Henley-in-Arden Memorial Hall on Monday 28th February and Wednesday March 2nd at 7.30 p.m.

Please e-mail Alan Robson for more details: Alanrobson3@aol.com

Rotary Theatre event

Michael Red
man of Henley-in-Arden Rotary Club reports that the Rotary Club's evening at the Priory Theatre, Kenilworth is nearly sold out, with only ten tickets remaining, for this special performance of the classical comedy "HAY FEVER" by Noel Coward on Valentines Night, Monday 14th February.

The proceeds from this event will provide another Rotary Shelter Box for the Tsunami victims. Our picture shows one of the first camps set up in Srilanka.

Tickets are only £10 each.

Please support this worthwhile cause and

also have an enjoyable evening at the theatre.

Contact Rotarian Mike Redman for tickets on 01926 843060 or email wellsider@aol.com 

Mike Redman is waiting for your call or email.

It’s time to speak for England

Nigel Hastilow, who lives in Henley in Arden, has published a new book called "The Last of England".

Nigel was editor of The Birmingham Post from 1993 – 2000. He has worked for the Institute of Directors and still works for the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He was Conservative candidate for Birmingham Edgbaston in 2001 and a member of Stratford District Council for two years. He is a director of HMG and an all-purpose pundit, writing magazine and newspaper columns and appearing from time to time on Radio 5 Live.

His latest book says England is disappearing beneath the waves of New Labour political correctness.  Tony Blair’s New Establishment has undermined all the country’s traditions and institutions to the point where England is virtually unrecognisable.  Is there any hope that this green and pleasant land can be preserved or have we, indeed, seen “the last of England”?  This is the question at the heart of journalist Nigel Hastilow’s book, “The Last of England”.

The book comes after TV historian Dr David Starkey launched his TV series on the Monarchy with the warning that England "is now the country that dare not speak its name".  In England we have this dreadful inhibition about talking about ourselves. England is a historic country which has shaped the world we are in. It is arguably the very origins of modernity. That is something we should celebrate, not be ashamed of."

In a series of essays, former Conservative Parliamentary candidate Nigel Hastilow looks at England today and asks: How did it come to this?  Hastilow examines England’s uniqueness and highlights some of the reasons why we should celebrate the nation.  And he looks at the forces at work over the last 50 years which have come close to destroying England’s sense of nationhood and the threats the country faces over the next few decades.

One conclusion is that a New Labour “New Establishment” has taken over all the influential institutions in England today and is systematically subverting the country’s traditional values. The decline of the education system, the growth of the drugs culture, the marginalisation of the Church of England, even the demise of imperial measurements, have all been encouraged by the New Establishment and played their part in undermining England and the English. Hastilow argues that the New Establishment is behind the constant attempts to undermine the Monarchy; the plans to abolish hunting and other English liberties; the constant demands for State interference in every aspect of life; and – of course – plans to divide England into regions and have them subsumed by a European super-state.

With over 50 per cent of households now dependent on the State for their income, plans to concrete over the South East of England, a population explosion under way and the threatened imposition of an EU constitution, we may already have seen “The Last of England”.

Hastilow says: “We have to fight to protect and preserve what is best about England before it disappears completely. I fear it may already be too late but if Tony Blair gets in again, all we hold dear will certainly be lost irretrievably.

“ As much as anything else, this book is a plea to people not to re-elect Labour for a third term.”

“ The Last of England” is published by HMG at £5.99

First 'Crime Update'

In a recent edition of Henley NEWS on-line, we reported that the Joint Parish Council had been told by the Police that a fortnightly news update on the crime in Henley and surrounding areas would be produced and circulated.

CCTV in the High Street

One of our sources has reported that a contract has been signed to install 3 CCTV cameras in the High Street.

The JPC have been asked to confirm details.

Bakery Tea Room a success

Lisa Hughes of The Henley Bakery, has told Henley NEWS on-line that the new tea room has been a great success.

"We have had many more visitors than we expected during the first few weeks and we are now making plans to expand with a patio area in the summer" said Lisa.

The lunch menu includes soup, quiches, the Bakery's full range of sandwiches and cakes.

Competition Entry

Henley NEWS on-line has been entered in the Village Ventures 2004-2005 Competition by the Warwickshire Rural Community Council.

The Village Ventures Competition celebrates and rewards voluntary efforts to improve community life and the environment in Warwickshire's small towns and villages. It runs on a two year cycle and offers cash prizes from a fund of £2,000.

The WRCC has run a Village Ventures for over a dozen years. The present version is funded from donations from Warwickshire County Council, Stratford and Warwick District Councils and Rugby and North Warwickshire Borough Councils.

Judges are drawn from a wide range of disciplines to match the variety of entries that are received.

Tricia's Henley Diary Dates

The following diary dates have been notified to Tricia Hammond at 132 High Street or electronically to p_hammond@tiscali.co.uk:

The Memorial Hall Committee is organising a NOT QUITE VALENTINE’S NIGHT SUPPER DANCE on Saturday 5th February 2005. Dancing to the Likely Lads. It should be a good night! In aid of Memorial Hall Funds. For more information ‘phone Duncan or Marijana Bainbridge 01564 793539 or 794987
Henley-in-Arden Flower CLub Tuesday February 8th Memorial Hall 7.30 “Romance with Flowers” Carol Chapman. Competition: ‘Valentines Day’
Henley-in-Arden Methodist Church Pancake Supper on Shrove Tuesday 8th February at 7.30pm

The Rotary Club of Henley-in-Arden has launched a special Tsunami appeal by hiring the Priory Theatre on Valentines Night, Monday 14th February.  All 120 seats!  Contact Mike Redman for tickets on 01926 843060 or email wellsider@aol.com

Henley Wildlife Society Tuesday 15th February 7.45pm Baptist Church Hall. Learn ” Where to watch Wildlife Down the River Severn” from Brian Draper MBE who always gives a lively talk with slides. Visitors £1
Henley-in-Arden Dramatic Society (HADS) February 16th to 19th
Don’t miss “It Could Be Any One Of Us” by Alan Ayckbourn 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall Tickets from Vanity Box-1st night £3 - £5 Details: 792773
Henley & Beaudesert Civic Society Thursday 17th February 8.00pm in the Fire Station. Dr. Robert Bearman returns to talk about Marie Corelli - Stratford’s Eccentric Novelist
Fashion Show - Henley College-Friday 11th March in aid of Comic Relief.
Details later. Can you offer help, i.e. lighting etc., Lorraine Benton 797800
Easter Bonnet Parade - Saturday 26th March. The High Bailiff is intending to hold an Easter Bonnet Parade for ladies of all ages on Easter Saturday Morning.  There will also be a competition for the best dressed shop window. Full information will be given next month and through posters around the town.
Rotary/Bridge Supper Evening 8th April-Claverdon Church Centre.
In aid of Hope & Homes for Children. £40 for table of four. Details shortly.
Art in Henley will be holding their Spring Members Exhibition on Sat/Sun 9th/10th April in the Memorial Hall Refreshments available. Please come along & support this new society in the town Interested in membership? Contact Colin Fisher 01564 792715

Bell ringing!! Who would like to ‘have a go’ at ringing a Church Bell? ‘Have a Go’ on any Thursday evening at 7.45pm in St. John’s Church, for £1.00 donation to the High Bailiff’s Flood Relief Fund. Henley ringers will match all contributions.

THE WARWICKSHIRE BUSINESS CLUB holds their monthly lunchtime meeting on third Thursday of each month from 11.30am to 2.15pm at the Henley Golf Club. There is a one hour networking session followed by a quality lunch and a informative speaker on a business topic.
THE ROTARY CLUB of Henley-in-Arden meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm. New members are always welcome. Please call: Robin Freeman on 01789 765411 or email robinf@ribi.org
Items for future Newsletters to Tricia Hammond by email or by post to 132 High St marked ‘Tricia’s Diary’. Please tell all your friends about Tricia's Diary.

From our own Correspondents

Henley NEWS on-line is looking for additional correspondents to send in stories and pictures. 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.

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 formats 'Publisher" or 'Serif'. 'Microsoft Word' is preferred format. Please send to editor@henleyinarden.plus.com

We are delighted to publish the growing list of our correspondents:

AgriculturalDavid Burman
PropertyPeter Cornford
RotaryDavid Morehen
Civic SocietyBrian Twigg
Henley History ColumnJonathan Dovey
Henley in BloomRichard Aldridge
British LegionLes Goodman
Wild Life SocietyJohn Love
Warwickshire CollegeHilary Wright
Price Harry Road areaHelen Knight
Riverside Drive areaWendy Cowdrill
Tricia's DiaryTricia Hammond
Warwickshire County CouncilGeorge Atkinson
Stratford District CouncilStephen Thirlwell
Joint Parish CouncilHayley Syratt
Heart StartPeter Crathorne
The HubPeter Crathorne
Heritage CentreRay Holding
Memorial HallMarijana Bainbridge
Primary SchoolYvonne Rogers
Chief PhotographerJohn Love
Proof ReaderDawn Leech
Out of Town 
Malvern, WorcsDan Wild
CanadaAnne Elliott

Without their support, Henley NEWS on-line would cease.

We are always looking for more correspondents and more stories.

Bill Leech - Editor

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

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