23rd March 2006
The views expressed in the stories & articles on this site do not necessarily match the views of the editor.

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Edition 96

94% in favour of Market Cross Renovation

In last week's edition, there was an article about restoring the Market Cross and we asked readers to vote in an electronic poll. Although such polls may not be statistically accurate, they provide a good indication of the views of our readers who are a representative sample of the community.

We received over 50 votes in the poll and 94% voted in favour of renovation. Renovation appeared to mean different things to different people, from the replacement of the shaft to the building of a new replica monument. It is interesting to note that stone masons were this week carrying out renovation to St Johns. Clearly, our readers think that these monuments need to be looked after and not allowed to decay. The costs of renovation or replacement also need to be considered.

Some of the comments received from both sides were:

That would be great!

We fully support the renovation of the Market Cross.

Maybe the original should be left alone, and a new one constructed or sculpted to stand alongside the old one.

Yes it would be great to restore this piece of the town’s heritage.

Before I cast a vote, could someone please clarify whether the cross is to be renovated or replaced?

Perhaps build an entirely new cross near the old one. I don't think any attempt to renovate or restore the old cross would do it justice or look authentic.

Almost 20 years ago the idea of erecting a new 'replacement market cross' was mooted. At that time a lot of research was made into that idea, English Heritage recommended that it was left alone, I took quite a few black and white photos at that time, I do not think that it has deteriorated  much in that time. Anyway, the idea of a replacement cross would not have any significance  or meaning whatsoever, the present cross is a part of our Town's Heritage.

I support the restoration of the Cross. We need to retain as much history as possible for posterity and the Town could do with the Cross being a more imposing focal point.

Margaret Twigg, Chairman of the Civic Society, commenting on the result said: "The proposed renovation of the Market Cross, which is located in the centre of the historic High Street, falls within one of the aims of the Civic Society; which is to maintain the historic character of the town, its traditions and architecture. A sympathetic restoration of the market cross would help to increase the interest in the history of the town for both residents and visitors."

One interesting story to emerge this week was that the original head, which fell off in 1894, is now believed to be an ornament in one of the gardens in the town. Is this true? Have you seen it? Do you know where it is?

Conservatives to select candidate for District Election

Laurence Marshall

George Matheou

The Conservatives have called a meeting of their members to select their candidate to stand in the forthcoming District Council election, which has been called following the resignation of Anne Haddon. The selection meeting will take place on Tuesday 28th March at 7.30pm in the Baptist Hall.

Laurence Marshall is fifty one years of age and married with three daughters and four granddaughters. He has lived in Henley for nearly six years, up on Beaudesert Park at the north end of town. For the last twenty five years he has run his own company but recently moved into semi-retirement when the business was taken over by a leading medical product manufacturer; particularly interested in the new disposable curtain he invented to help combat MRSA in hospitals. He has thoroughly enjoyed his time in Henley in Arden & welcomes having the opportunity to put something back into the community.  

Laurence is currently serving on the Beaudesert & Henley in Arden Joint Parish Council where he sits on two sub committees. He is also actively involved with Henley in Bloom and his other interests include keep fit, playing tennis and squash, crown bowls, amateur dramatics & singing.

George Matheou joined the Joint Parish Council in June 2004. He has lived on Henley High Street with his wife Ginny for eight years, moving from Solihull. He spent 27 years in the Electricity Generation Industry and after completing a number of projects involving privatisation he left to take up a managerial position in London. George was born in Athens and by qualification is an economist and member of the British Computer Society.

George's latest project has been to mastermind the development of the JPC's website, which has been much reported in recent weeks by the Stratford Herald, Daily Express, Birmingham Post and Henley NEWS on-line.

Birmingham Post reports on Website Wars

The Birmingham Post printed a very entertaining article in its Saturday edition (18th) about the Henley Website Wars, likening it to an episode from "The Archers".

Richard McComb in a long article wrote, "It had all the hallmarks of a storyline from 'The Archers' - simmering rivalries with the parish council, an allegation of theft and a night time swoop by the village bobby...................." Read Richard McComb's complete article.

JPC apologies for Copywrite "error"

Henley News on-line has learnt that the JPC has been challenged by a copyright owner over pictures used on their original website.

He has written: "At the top of the Henley Parish Council main page is a slide-show of pretty images of Henley. All the images in that slide show had been taken from my website, as were most of the thumbnails down the left side of the screen, and some of the images in the "places to visit" section.

"Those images had all been used without my knowledge, and without my permission.

"I received a lengthy apology from Hayley Syratt, the Clerk of the Council."

The Editor Comments
We published pictures of the JPC's development website in our edition of Jan 27th because we were enraged, like the copyright owner mentioned above, that the JPC was intending to use our work without our permission. To date, we have not received an apology, only a visit from the Police.

Prescott to rule on Johnsons Expansion

PLANS by Johnson's Coaches to expand its facilities at Liveridge Hill on to green belt land have been referred to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister because it is in conflict with both the Stratford district local plan and with policies restricting development of the green belt. The ODPM will now decide whether to refer the issue back to Stratford District Council for a final decision or hold a public inquiry.

Local councillors have backed the proposals - even though they contravene planning policies - because of the company's importance to the area for jobs and transport services. Support for the company's proposals has come from the Joint Parish Council and from both the west area planning committee and the planning and regulation committee of Stratford District Council - against the recommendations of council officials.

Planning officials on local authorities invariably reject applications that fly in the face of planning policy. But in this case the elected representatives consider that the economic imperatives override planning considerations.  Johnson's wants to extend on to green belt land adjoining its depot at Liveridge Hill to accommodate 58 customer car parking spaces and 20 coach parking spaces. It plans to landscape the site.

The company, which is Henley's largest employer and employs 132 full-time and 81 part-time staff, says its proposal would protect existing jobs and con tribute to meeting local employment demands within Henley and the surrounding rural area. Henley has lost around 500 jobs in the last 7 years.

George Atkinson told Henley NEWS on-line: "I'm very pleased that, despite officers' recommendation to refuse, two committees of Stratford District Council considered the application was justified, and supported the retention of Johnson's 'in Henley as well as the work Opportunities it provides."

JPC object to Development at old Abrasive Site

The Joint Parish Council at their meeting on Monday (20th) considered the planning application for the redevelopment of the Old Abrasive Developments site to the north of the town behind Millfield Court by Revelan Estates (Henley) Ltd to provide mixed use offices and 37 dwellings.

The JPC raised several points of objection to the application. They felt the town was already awash with vacant office space, the application would aggravate the acute parking problem in the town as there was not enough parking provision on the site, the access road was narrow and dangerous and the design of the buildings was poor and the density to intense for the setting. Members resolved to object and empowered Cllr Doyle and Goodman to formulate a response based on all the comments made during the meeting.

Traffic Light concerns

Since our article in last week's Henley NEWS on-line about an accident waiting to happen at the traffic lights outside John Dukes in the High Street, we have received comments from readers two are printed below.

I haven’t had a problem that I recall with the set by the Bakery, I have however, had a few near misses and seen several incidents of cars going through on red at the set by John Dukes.  I can’t be certain whether or not the cars were mainly travelling north or south but I’m pretty sure that on every occasion there have been cars parked either on the zigzag lines or near the crossing.

The first time I nearly got run over (a couple of months after the crossing first came into being), there was a car parked on the zigzag lines and I did on that occasion contact the police and express my concerns.

Ruth McCormack

If I am truthful I have never seen someone go through a red light at these lights. However, I don't dispute the readers report, I am just curious to hear what remedy they suggest.

Is the problem a lack of visibility of the lights? A lack of warning signs? Speeding drivers? Should a flashing 30 sign go up at each approach?

I also think it would be worth investigating a possible time delay on the Birmingham-Stratford lights (as the there is on the Reddicth-Warwick lights) to make turning right less of a hazard.

K Portman

Please send your reports to editor@henleynews.co.uk

Cook Fails to Find Southern Continent

Henley and Beaudesert Civic Society’s AGM and meeting on 16th March was notable for several reasons. Firstly, the chair, Margaret Twigg, completed the formal meeting in 15 minutes, much to everyone’s satisfaction. (Download a copy of the Chairman's report) Secondly, Ray Holding gave a short presentation about the proposed  extension to the Guildhall garden. Lastly, following cancellation at very short notice by the expected speaker, Brian Twigg stood in with a delightful account of the life of James Cook, illustrated in a most unusual way by using slides of postage stamps from his collection.

Illustration by use of stamps reinforced the point that Cook is one of the few British people who have appeared on the stamps of most countries of the world. Brian told of Cook’s early career, in which he became captain of a merchant ship at the relatively young age of 27. Surprisingly, he then volunteered for the Royal Navy as an able seaman, but his experience on merchant ships facilitated his promotion to mate (effectively second in command) of HMS Eagle within a month. Within a couple of years he had his own command, HMS Pembroke, which was active in Canadian waters against the French. Here, Cook’s talent for charting unknown waters was first recognised and lead to his being chosen to take a specially prepared ship, the Endeavour, on a scientific mission to the Pacific. After visiting Tahiti, to observe the transit of Venus for the purpose of establishing the distance to the sun, Cook had secret orders to search Westwards between the latitudes of 35 and 40 degrees south for ‘the Continent or land of great extent’. The hypothesis was that such land must exist in order to maintain a balance with the mass of Europe and Asia. Otherwise the world would topple over! Cook found the east coast of New Zealand and explored and charted the whole coast so thoroughly that his chart was not improved upon until 200 years later. Cook’s first major voyage of three years duration included a survey of parts of Australia and in total he charted 5000 miles of coastline. However, Australia and New Zealand were not large enough to be the looked-for great continent.

Failure to find the Southern Continent, quickly lead to another expedition to explore more southerly latitudes. This also lasted three years and, although many discoveries were made, the Southern Continent was still not found.

Lastly, Cook volunteered to lead an expedition to find the north west passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He was to search from the Pacific side. During the voyage he over wintered in Hawaii, where the islanders mistook him for a god who, according to legend, was expected to arrive at this time of year on a floating island covered with trees. This lead initially to an overwhelming welcome, but eventually the burden of the demands of the ‘Gods’ and shortage of food, produced ill feeling in the Hawaiians. Although Cook managed to leave without problems, he was soon forced to return following heavy weather damage. Thieving by the islanders became a problem and when Discovery’s cutter was stolen, Cook and a party of marines became involved in a confrontation during which Cook was clubbed to death.

Cook ranks with Columbus, Magellan and Vasco da Gama as a great nautical explorer. He showed that if the fabled Southern Continent existed, it was within the pack-ice of the Southern Arctic Circle, but more important was his charting of the world's largest ocean, which opened the way for trade. He did this with care for his men, very few of whom became ill, and with respect for the local people he encountered and whose customs he was careful to respect.

John Stott

Henley & Claverdon Guys for Arctic Endurance Race

Two local guys Darren Ariss from Claverdon and Tommy Dalman from Henley are entered into the Polar Challenge. This is a race from Resolution Bay in Canada to the North Pole a distance of 400 miles pulling sledges through arguably the most hostile environment in the world.

Darren's and Tommy's training regime has been grueling spending many hours a day preparing for this unique event and readers will probably have seen them pulling tyres around the South Warwickshire countryside. Over the last few days competitors have learnt a huge variety of skills, from how to melt snow for food and water, to cold weather injury management and Arctic camping. Many of the competitors had never across country skied before entering the race, but after only a few days training have learnt all of the basics and are successfully pulling pulks with weight over considerable distances.

The teams will complete the infamous ice break drill - where they will fall through the ice in a lake while being instructed on how to get out safely, and quickly warm themselves to avoid hypothermia. Teams complete this training as additional safety - for the majority of the race they will ski on frozen sea ice, and though unlikely, there is a very small possibility that they may come across thin sections.

Teams will receive instruction on Polar Bear Safety Drills - 80% of the world's population of these awesome animals live in the Arctic, and approximately 65% of racers encounter inquisitive bears. Though they are an incredible sight, competitors are trained to warn the bears off quickly and efficiently to avoid any danger.

The teams will receive a week of training on arrival in the Arctic at the beginning of April - allowing them to adjust and acclimatize to Arctic conditions before the race start. During this they will ski over 65 miles to the startline pulling fully laden pulks weighing around 120lb each - a gentle warm up for the race itself.

Watch out for the race start in a few weeks time, the live race area watched by thousands internationally will be available - daily updates of all the teams' progress on the race with a positions map, diaries, images, videos and press section.

Darren's and Tommy's progress can be monitored by logging on to our progress can be monitored through the link to www.polar-challenge

Tax is always Taxing

Just imagine standing at your bedroom window and throwing £70,000 out to be carried away by the wind!  Such a thought may be quite inconceivable to most people reading this article, and yet this is more or less what many people in Henley are quite unwittingly, planning to do.  But please just hold on a minute, before you rush out into the streets and start fixing nets to your neighbours’ bedroom windows, let me explain a little more.

For many people living in Henley the combined value of the husband’s and wife’s estates significantly exceeds the single person’s inheritance tax allowance.  Tax is payable at 40% on the portion that exceeds the allowance.  A husband and wife have two of these allowances but transfers between them are tax free.

It is common for a married couple to write a will in which everything is left to the spouse.  When they do this they do not utilise one of their allowances, which is currently £275,000 (shortly to rise to £285,000).  When you think that a detached house in Henley can easily be worth £450,000 then you can see that one allowance will not cover the whole amount, and the tax liability in such a case could be in the region of £70,000.  Who would want to leave such a tax bill for their family to pay?  I am still waiting to meet that person.

Can anything be done about it?  In most cases the answer is YES!  Consult Henley’s experts at Cullingworth & Co. For anyone who would like to know more we shall be holding Inheritance Tax Surgeries in the week commencing 3rd April 2006. For a free, private consultation please contact Bob Cullingworth (01564 795755).  Evening appointments are available.

Bob Cullingworth F.C.A.

Is your company prepared?

Local businesses and the voluntary sector in Warwickshire are being urged to prepare for disaster this week, as a new website is launched.

To mark Business Continuity Awareness Week 2006, Warwickshire County Councils Emergency Planning Unit in partnership with other local authorities including North Warwickshire Borough Council, Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, Warwick District Council, and Stratford District Council are this week 13-19 March, launching a series of pages on its website which explain what business continuity is all about, why it’s important and also offer a range of resources to get businesses started. People can access the web pages at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/bcm

Disasters can strike at any time. Each year one in five organisations suffer a major disruption from incidents such a fires, floods, power failure, product recall or even terrorism. Of those affected 80 percent never re-open or close down within 18 months. This can be dramatically reduced through having effective business continuity plans in place. The national picture shows that less than 50 percent of businesses are thought to have adequate continuity plans, particularly small and medium sized companies.

Over the coming weeks the unit will also be running a number of free breakfast seminars, where companies in Warwickshire have the opportunity to hear from industry experts and learn how they can prepare to respond and survive the impacts of disasters and business interruptions. Details on these events are also available from the website. In addition a leaflet introducing business continuity and further advice has been produced. This will be targeted at businesses and the voluntary sector in Warwickshire and will be distributed over the next few weeks.

Jeremy Lee, Manager of the Emergency Planning Unit says: “Advising businesses and the voluntary sector about the importance of developing comprehensive business continuity plans is not only critical to them individually but is also critical to the entire community as they are part of the infrastructure of any society.”

Henley Goes Greener

Buy some low energy light bulbs, especially for places where the light is on for a long time. Low energy bulbs use about a quarter of the power of ordinary bulbs and last 10 times as long. They are more expensive to buy but because they last longer and use much less power they save you money --- about £10 per year for a lamp used for four hours a day.

For more information about The Henley Goes Greener project, click here.

John Stott

Latest JPC Agenda & Minutes

The latest Agenda and Minutes for the Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Joint Parish Council can be viewed on the Henley Gateway Website "This is Henley-in-Arden" at www.henley-in-arden.org

Click here to view the Parish Plan 2004

Click here to read the JPC pages

Alerts from Trading Standards

And always remember - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

Simon Cripwell
Senior Information Officer
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board



Saturday 8th April

2.00pm & 4.30pm 

Come and see how the Centre will look this year including the refurbished display of wartime memorabilia and greatly expanded archives of pictures and documents.   Free admission!  Free coffee & cake!!  Bring your friends.  

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. All diary dates for the next Tricia's Henley Diary Dates should be sent to Tricia. Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS on-line should be sent to the editor@henleynews.co.uk at any time.

OUR PARISH CHURCH AGM will be on Wednesday  26th April  in St. John’s Church at 7.30pm. Everyone welcome to hear  what we have achieved and what we hope to do.  As usual there will be time for your questions and comments

HENLEY-in-ARDEN WI  Mr. George Hook is coming to tell us about “Mother of Pearl” at our meeting on  Tuesday 4th April from 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.  Visitors welcome to see the various items made by  his firm.

HENLEY & BEAUDESERT CIVIC SOCIETY meet on Thursday 6th April at 8.00pm at the Baptist Church Hall (please note) & the subject is‘Folk Lore of Warwickshire’  

HENLEY-in-ARDEN FLOWER CLUB  will meet on Tuesday 11th April in the Memorial Hall at 7.30pm for ‘Transparency’ with Sara Horne. Competition:  ‘Sunshine & Showers’

HENLEY WILDLIFE SOCIETY  meet in the Baptist Church Hall from 7.45pm on Tuesday 18th April to see slides of ‘Trinidad & Tobago’ with Rosemary Morris as our speaker.    Visitors welcome £1.00

HENLEY DRAMA SOCIETY proudly announce their hilarious production of ‘THE ODD COUPLE’ (The Female Version) A stage play by Neil Simon based on the movie starring Jack Lemmon & Walter Matthau in the Memorial Hall from 12th to 15th April.  Tickets & more information:   www.hads.org.uk

PETTICOAT LANE SALE  in and around our Church Hall, Beaudesert Lane on Monday 1st May from 10.30 - 12.00 noon.   Home-made cakes, Plants, Bric-a-Brac, Refreshments & many other stalls.   All in aid of St. Basil’s Centre for Young Homeless in Birmingham & Church Funds .

Rotary Annual Charity Walk. Walk starts at 9am on Sunday 14th May, last entry leaves 1 pm. Distance 10 miles on the eastern side of Henley. Further details from Rotarian Alan James on 01564 778831.

Henley-in-Arden Evergreen Club. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month in the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane at 2.15 p.m. The Club has around 80 members and organises a varied programme together with various outings. If you are interested in joining, please contact Gordon Trinder.

Garden Open Day - Sunday 18th June 2006 There has been a good response from people willing to include their garden in the above. We should like gardens in the town to be more fully represented - there must be many little gems hidden behind the High St. Contact Sue Bridgewater on 793633 or Marijana Bainbridge on 794987 if you would like to be involved.

There are still vacancies in some areas of Henley-in-Arden for NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH Co-ordinator's. If you are aware that  you are not covered in your area or are willing to be a co-ordinator. Please contact Annette Walker on 792837
Business ClubTHE 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. Full details are at www.swbc.co.uk

Rotary ClubTHE 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

The Henley-in-Arden Bridge Club plays Duplicate Bridge of intermediate standard on Tuesday evenings at the the White Swan Hotel and usually find time for a tipple, which may or may not improve our play!!. Play commences at 7.15 promptly. There are normally 5 - 8 tables and the club does not issue master points.

For further information please contact the Secretary - Christine Whitehouse on 01564 792993.

Events for future Tricia's Henley Diary Dates should be sent 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.

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@henleynews.co.uk

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

AgriculturalDavid Burman
Court LeetDouglas Bridgewater
PropertyPeter Cornford
RotaryMike Redman
Civic SocietyBrian Twigg
Henley History ColumnJonathan Dovey
Henley in BloomRichard Aldridge
British LegionLes Goodman
Wild Life SocietyJohn Love
Warwickshire CollegeHilary Wright
Prince Harry Road areaHelen Knight
Riverside Gardens areaWendy Cowdrill
Tricia's DiaryTricia Hammond
Out of Town 
Malvern, WorcsDan Wild
CanadaAnne Elliott
Warwickshire CountyGeorge Atkinson
Stratford DistrictStephen Thirlwell
Joint Parish CouncilHayley Syratt
Heart StartPeter Crathorne
The HubJames Kirby
The Gourmet WalkersDL & MM
Heritage CentreRay Holding
Memorial HallMarijana Bainbridge
Medical CentreLinda Jennings
Chief ReporterJohn Latham
Chief PhotographerJohn Love
Proof ReaderDawn Leech
AustraliaPaul Jackson
Previous Editions

We are always looking for more correspondents and more stories.

Bill Leech - Editor

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