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Masthead picture - Crest of the Court Leet

Edition 131 - 16th  November 2006
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Court Leet Annual General Meeting 2006

A full house of guests, jurors and members of the public attended the Annual General Meeting of Henley’s ancient Court Leet at the Guildhall on Wednesday 8th November. Present, and following the proceedings with keen interest, were the High Sheriff of the county, the Bailiff of Bromsgrove, the High Bailiff of Alcester, the Bailiff of Warwick, the Mayor of Warwick, the Deputy Mayor of Stratford and their respective consorts.

Honorary Burgess Derek Sharman reported that the Lord of the Manor, Mrs Robin Hardy Freed, sent greetings but regretted that she and her husband were unable to be present at the Court. Steward David Lodder opened by calling for a minute’s silence in respect for three members of the Court who had passed away during the year – former Honorary Burgess Norman Welch, Former High Bailiff Charles Welham and court member Stan Collins.

The Court then received the reports of some of its officers. Ale Taster John Dalman reported that the Ale Tasters had fulfilled their duties at Henley’s licensed houses and had, in the main, ascertained that all was well for the town’s drinkers. Brook-Looker Sharon Enstone gave an upbeat report on the state of the River Alne and Oldberrow Brook, commenting on the good effects of engineering work done under the auspices of the Environmental Agency.

Reporting on the Heritage Centre’s year, Ann Holding, the Education Co-ordinator, said that 1,100 schoolchildren visiting in the year was proof of the Centre’s commitment to its aims as an educational trust. School bookings for 2007 were already being placed. A total of over 4,000 visitors had crossed the Centre’s threshold between Easter and end October. In spite of some losses during the year the team of stewards had gained a further 16 members. Mrs Holding thanked the stewards and the other, less visible helpers for their vital and enthusiastic work for the Centre and asked the Steward to assure the Lord of the Manor that the Centre continued in excellent health.

Retiring High Bailiff Douglas Bridgewater gave an overview of his year in office, which included the production of an new issue of the Henley Directory and the launch of a project to restore the Guildhall Garden. He was particularly grateful for the support given on financial matters by Affeeror John Brealey. Dr Bridgewater and his wife Susan had been guests of Joseph Hardy of Pennsylvania, former Lord of the Manor, benefactor of the town and father of the present Lord of the Manor, at his annual gathering in June, at Nemacolin Woodlands. Spirits were high and news of Henley was well received.

Low Bailiff Ray Holding paid tribute to the High Bailiff and his wife, saying that they had shown a great talent for making the difficult look easy and working for the town in a vigorous and innovative way. The High Bailiff had served the Court and the town for a total of six years – three as Low Bailiff and three as High Bailff – and it was right to let him go. The Low Bailiff noted also the work done by Dr Bridgewater on “Henley’s Heroes” – the war dead and missing - and looked forward to the eventual publication of his work in that field.

At the election of officers there were four resignations during the year, for reasons of business and other commitments. The High Bailiff thanked Brook-Looker Richard Butler, Mace Bearer Brian Brinkworth, Hayward Phillip Tillman and Ale Taster Ray Evans for their support while in office.

There were five new nominations, greatly welcomed by the Court, and the final outcome of the elections yielded the Court for 2006/7 as follows:

 High Bailiff
Low Bailiff
Mace Bearer
Brook Lookers
Ale Tasters
Butter Weigher
Ray Holding
Roger Sutton
Sharon Enstone
John Love
John Brealey and Gerald Smithbarry Tulloch and Andrew Gardner
Alistair Price and John Dalman
Graham Smith
Laurence Marshall

The new High Bailiff Ray Holding thanked the Court, the Jurors and the town for their confidence and promised that he and his wife Ann would work to raise the Court’s profile and to preserve the town’s traditions and ceremonies. He was particularly pleased that five new members had come forward to take part in the year’s programme of events. This programme already existed in draft and would be made public very shortly.

The Rector of Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden, Rev. John Ganjavi, was nominated as Chaplain to the Court, and Gordon Trinder was nominated as Town Crier. The High Bailiff invited those present to join him at the Court Leet’s Church Service at 10.00am on Sunday, 26th November, in St John’s Church, Henley.

According to long standing custom, Town Crier Gordon Trinder closed the meeting with his usual style and gusto.

Click Here to View Slide Show

The photos for this slide show were taken by John Love, Alan Robson and Alec Halliwell.

Grumpy Old Man Comments

Well Done Court Leet

I’ve just come home after being present at my first Court Leet Annual General Meeting.

This tradition has been going on since 1400 and fallen asleep (in reality 1477) with a small break of 100 years or so. But let me say it is spectacular! If you have not been there before,register as a juror and go, I’m sure Bill will add a link again for you all to become Jurors next year.

Everything is very formal but fun as well. John Dalman’s report on his year in office as Ale Taster was so funny he deserves a medal. Every speech was started by addressing the High and Low Bailiff, past High Bailiff’s, Honored Guests, Court Members, Ladies and Gentlemen etc, but it formed part of the drama and tradition of the event.

The jurors were sworn in, we had to leave the room and congregate in the church down stairs, and then vote on the nominations. Then we had to proceed upstairs again where the results were announced.

The new Court Leet, with their newly acquired robes, was photographed and a glass of wine was distributed along with sausage rolls, smoked salmon sandwiches and crisps, to all present. I must say the second glass of wine was better than the first.

Even though the proceedings were very formal and old fashioned, I actually enjoyed the pomp and circumstance of it all. Long live tradition! (Being old I want to keep other old things going).

But one comment, where are the young inhabitance of Henley? I’m 40 ish (very ish) and there were only approx 3 people younger than me……. How can I be the Grumpy Old Man if I’m one of the youngest people at events? So can I suggest, all you 30 ish people get off your backside (I would say Arse but I can’t in this PC age) and join in the local community events, support the Court Leet and put yourself forward for office……….

Also will the new Court Leet advertise events so we all can witness tradition, I know my children love the town cryer and the 10 (or so) others dressed in formal robes doing stuff (Ale Tasting, Butter Weighing etc) around the town.

The one comment that stood out this evening is ‘why does the town cryer dress up like a pirate’. Only a child could come up with that !

Well done Court Leet, well done Mr Steward, well done Henley !


Grumpy Old Man

Rotary Club Community Award

Presenting the Rotary Award for Outstanding Service to the Community at the Court Leet Annual meeting on the 8th November President Alan James said that this year they had broken with tradition and made a joint award to a husband and wife team.

He reminded the gathering that Rotary`s awards was not confined to Henley but covered the surrounding Parishes In their enquires for nominations from Ullenhall Rotary had been impressed by the great contribution that David and Catherine Waller had made to the Village. Not only had David chaired the Village Hall committee for a number of years he had driven through a major refurbishment resulting in a new car park , a playground , new toilets and kitchen: raising both the money and doing a fair bit of the labour himself. His great support in all this was Catherine who tackled the secretarial and administrative work as well as finding time to help run the W.I. As a “bye the bye” David found time to serve on the Parish Council and act as a Community Voluntary driver.

President Alan said he was delighted to ask the Honorary Burgess, Derek Sharman to present the Rotary Bowl to Catherine and David on Rotary`s behalf.

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9 November 2006 11:20

Burglars forced a ground floor kitchen window at a house Brook End Drive, Henley In Arden and stole a computer, a stereo and 400 cigarettes after making an untidy search of the premises.

Two pillow cases are also missing from the house, which police believe the offenders used to carry the property away in.

The break-in, yesterday (Wednesday 8 November) was took place some time between 11am and just before midnight.

Police would like to hear form anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area yesterday, or anyone who knows anything about the burglary. Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Christopher Taylor at Stratford Police Station on 01789 414111, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


4 Year Vision by New Head at Henley High

At the recent Governors meeting Mr. Wright, the head, outlined a vision for the future.

These comprehensive and far reaching proposals covered every aspect of the school. The building will be revamped and reorganized, the curriculum will be personalized to more closely match the needs of the pupils, there will be a new reporting system, improved ICT, extra opportunities for the Gifted and Talented.

The process will be completed in full consultation with parents, pupils and the local community. New and ambitious targets will be set for academic performance. To achieve these, the budget will be reviewed and the school will actively seeking additional funding from government, local authority and private sources. Mr. Wright commented,” The school has achieved a great deal in the last ten years, it has proved it can perform at the highest level. This plan will mean that even better results will be obtained.”

Read the full Chairman's November Newsletter


Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Services working in partnership with other organisations has made a significant impact on arson reduction because in the year to 31st. March 2005 property fires declined by 15%, deliberate vehicle fires by the same amount and , what are classed as small fires, by 33%. However there is still much to be done because over the same period in an average week arson resulted 40/50 emergency calls which for the 12 months in question meant the Fire Service responded to 2956 incidents, those started deliberately amounted to 2036 of them. This represents almost 70% of all fires being attributable to Arson.

Nationally in an average week arson accounts for:-

3,500 deliberately started fires.
50 injuries
2 deaths
and costs to society of £55million.

What a waste, what a cost and paid for by YOU.

Do help to stamp out the scandal of arson. Report any incident you have suspicions about because that is the only way to do it!

County Cllr. George Atkinson.

World War 2 Land Girls follow up.

Last week we published a story about WW2 Land Girls.

This week we publish further information from Avis Lee.

I would say Dr. Farr. There was a hostel in Cherry Orchard where the Land Girls were billeted. Later it housed Italian and German prisoners of war. I remember a Land Girl delivered our milk for a while during the war.  

Avis Lee

Fortnightly rubbish collections

SDCRefuse could be collected fortnightly instead of weekly in Stratford district after council chiefs agreed to a shake-up of its waste management service.

Members of the Executive Committee at Stratford District Council have put their stamp of approval on a list of suggestions on how rubbish will be collected from 2008 onwards.

As well as a proposal to scrap weekly collections and replace them with a fortnightly service, another option on the table is to end the current arrangement with outside contractors. Instead the district council's refuse collection, recycling and street cleaning services would be brought back "in-house". This would cost £25,000 a year and would be met with cash out of the district council's reserve funds.

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John Garner's Business Column

Training selection

John GarnerLast week we talked about different methods of training, but how do you get the right type of training for your needs?

Firstly you must ensure you know what you want from this training. Ask yourself:

•What sort of people are you intending to train?
•What is their education level?
•What do you want to train them to do?
•What is their current level of knowledge in this area?
•How much are you prepared to spend?

There are a number of simple tests you can apply to any training course offered to you. These apply whatever the methods of training proposed whether traditional courses or e-learning “packages” which can be purchased as a stand alone product.

With every training course offered there should be some basic data made available to you; look at this carefully and see if it corresponds to your requirements.

    1. Is the subject matter clearly stated?
    2. Does it say who the course is aimed at and are there any prerequisites for the candidates?
    3. What type of course is it? If traditional, when and where is it held and, if appropriate, is accommodation provided? If E-learning, what equipment is required for it to be used and can you provide it?
    4. Does it clearly state the course Objectives? By which I mean, does it say that upon completion of this course the candidates will be able to do something specific that they couldn’t do before. This is a killer – if it’s not totally clear then the least you should do is ask the course purveyors to rectify the omission. Don’t confuse this with a statement of the course Aims: aims are general statements, objectives must be specific.
    5. What does it cost? Make sure you understand the cost structure (eg is it a one-off payment or is there an on-going commitment of some sort?) and ensure there are no hidden extras.

If you satisfy yourself that you know the answers to all these questions then you have a good chance of things working out. Of course, the next question is: how will you know afterwards if the training has been effective and successful? We’ll look briefly at evaluating training next week.

For some useful help try www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/training/

John Garner

The Nigel Hastilow Column

Runaway victory for terrorism

Nigel HastilowIs it right that we in Britain should celebrate the Democrats’ victory in the US mid-term elections just because it’s one in the eye for George W Bush?

Can we really believe MI5’s boss Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller when she claims the not-so-secret service knows of 30 terror plots threatening the UK and is keeping 1,600 people under surveillance?

If, as she claims, the threat is "serious" and "growing" then that’s because of the foolish invasion of Iraq. Nevertheless, is her claim part of a concerted campaign to raise the white flag and run away from this middle-eastern adventure? Her claims are probably no more trustworthy than those of her close colleagues and employees who claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction capable of being deployed at 45 minutes’ notice.

That was a lie for political purposes. No doubt Dame Eliza’s rare public pronouncement is another.

Meanwhile, everyone seems to be celebrating the Republicans’ mid-term election defeat as a humiliation for George W Bush and his imperialist foreign policy. There is no doubt our liberal intelligentsia has done a fantastic job in painting the American President as a dumb, warmongering, self-interested idiot who is swaggering around the world like a cowboy at the OK Corral. Equally, there are few people left outside Tony Blair’s Cabinet who would argue that invading Iraq and ousting Saddam Hussein was a good idea.

Even so, it is dangerous and wrong to celebrate the Republicans’ defeat in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The election result won’t make any difference to anyone in Britain – but it may result in an earlier withdrawal from Iraq (retreat? escape?) than the President would otherwise have sanctioned. The problem with our attitude to the election results – and by “our” I suppose I mean the reaction of the pundits and commentators who form our opinions – is that it allows us to indulge in our racist, anti-redneck agenda. Organisations like the BBC loathe and despise American Republicans. God-fearing, family-values crusaders against gay marriage, abortion-on-demand and in favour of lower taxes and less State interference are the new Taliban for our liberal elite.

It follows that any defeat for their figurehead in the White House is a victory over what may be termed “traditional American values”. These are, of course, values which the world’s only superpower is trying to export, often at the point of a gun, to lesser nations. It isn’t such a bad thing if some of these principles are instilled into countries which have, in effect, never known the benefits of democracy. But that’s not a view shared by our liberal elite. More to the point, the United States is still our closest ally, the country with which we have most in common and from which we can learn the most.

The European Union takes an antagonistic approach towards the US as a matter of principle. Europe’s leaders think they are running a rival superpower and want their influence to extend beyond America’s. We in Britain should take a more realistic view of both our own size and influence and the EU’s. The latter is still only a collection of sovereign nation states – when the French or Italians feel their national interest is best served by going it alone, they go it alone. Our European “community” is only union of sovereign states – America, on the other hand, is a nation created through a union of more-or-less-willing subservient states. So the EU will never be a superpower to rival the USA.

Yet our leaders either resent George W Bush’s global reach and influence – or they recognise, like Tony Blair did, the limit of their own power and cling on to the President’s coat-tails. Unfortunately Mr Blair’s approach has led us deep into the mire of Iraq and it is hard to imagine how we can escape with any honour. This chaos is the reason for Mr Bush’s mid-term disaster. Yet in his misguided way he was only doing what we would all wish him to do – taking the war on terror to the home of the terrorist.

What we are seeing is a backlash not against the policy itself but against the failure of the policy to bring a clean, clear-cut victory. A quick invasion followed by a short, sharp exit strategy would have boosted his ratings and allowed the Republicans to keep control of Congress. Instead, the voters of America have handed a propaganda coup to Al Qaeda. The election result will be portrayed in the Moslem world as a victory for terrorism, a sign that Americans lack the stomach for a fight, and as a personal defeat for the President himself.

All of this is both true and regrettable. It is a serious blow to Mr Bush personally. His credibility has taken a hammering which will blight his last two years in office. The terrorists can point to the result as a sign the voters of America are losing the will for the fight in Iraq and if, as seems quite likely, it prompts a swifter retreat, it will undoubtedly be a victory for Al Qaeda and the “insurgents”.

The Balkanisation of Iraq into three separate states is now only months away. Three separate entities will emerge: one for Kurds, one for Shi’ites and a third for Sunnis. Alleged revelations about the terrorist threat on the home front from Dame Eliza will increase the clamour for an early retreat. It’s a plot to soften up public opinion.

Could it be that Gordon Brown wants to make a sharp exit as soon as he becomes Prime Minister and Dame Eliza is softening us up on his behalf? Probably Mr Brown has looked at the United States and doesn’t like what he sees happening to George W.

The difficulty for people like our Chancellor is that no matter how much Britain’s liberal intelligentsia may enjoy the sight of the Republicans getting their come-uppance, the down-side of their gloating is victory for terror. And that is not a message any democracy should be sending out around the world.

Nigel Hastilow      

For the most Comprehensive Information about Henley-in-Arden

Visit Henley-in-Arden's Gateway Website at www.henley-in-arden.org

Henley in Arden Police Surgery

Neighbour WatchThere is a 'Drop In' facility at Henley Police Station to discuss issues/problems within the community with your local policing team. The next Police Surgery will be Wednesday 29th November 2006 between 11am-1pm

If you have any information or have witnessed any incidents, contact Alcester Police Station on 01789 762207.

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet  

Tips from our readers for uses for old carpet. Put a piece or two over your compost heap to keep the heat in. Best used pile side down. If you have a boarded loft with low headroom, put old carpet on the boards. This makes it easier on the knees and also adds a little more insulation. A small piece for kneeling on whilst gardening is also a good idea or a bigger piece for lying on underneath the car. If you have to transport polished furniture or anything else that needs protection against chaffing, pieces of carpet make excellent packing.

For more information about the Make Henley Greener project, click here.

John Stott

Alerts from Trading Standards


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

Trading StandardsSimon Cripwell
Senior Information Officer
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board

Vanity Box










djb.ccwks@btinternet.com or 01926 402404

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Henley Diary Dates

The following diary dates have been notified to Diane Bayley at 6 St John's Close. All diary dates for the next Henley Diary Dates should be sent to Diane at: stjohnnews@btinternet.com. Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS on-line should be sent to the editor@henleynews.co.uk at any time.

We will welcome visitors to join us for our meeting on Tuesday 21st November from 7.45 p.m. in the Baptist Church Hall. John and Penny Stott have kindly stepped in to give us a talk on either Peru or India.

Thursday, 16th November, 8.00 p.m. in the Baptist Church Hall. “Belsen to Buckingham Palace” by Paul Oppenheimer.

Saturday 25 November, 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 fundraising event. If you can help run a stall or provide goods to sell, please contact Daphne Jones on 01926 843515.

Tuesday 28th November, 7.30 for 8.00 p.m. in Ullenhall Village Hall. Our speaker is Hazel Kaye who will be talking about “Scented Plants”.

During the run up to Christmas we will have two seasonal events. On Saturday 9th December our Christmas Coffee Morning will be, as usual from 10.00 a.m. till noon, please do call in. Then on Wednesday 13th, at 11.30 a.m we will meet for a Christmas Miscellany. Pupils from the Music Department at the High School will join us for a seasonal celebration, and I am sure we will round off the morning with some mince pies.

Our Carol Service will be on Christmas eve, but we will not hold a Christmas Day service this year.

Do you like a walk? Volunteers are needed to augment the team or act as reserves who deliver the Joint Parish Council newsletter once a quarter (next issue early January). Please contact Nora Hilliar on 794715 for more information.

Meets Friday and Sunday from September to May in the Memorial Hall. Details contact Alan Barber on 793320. Thursday evenings from 7.30 –9.30 pm at Henley Community Primary School. Details please ring Pauline Barber on 793320.

Saturday, 2 December 10.00 am to 12.00 noon. Coffee Morning in the Guild Hall in aid of the Guild Hall Garden Project. Bring your friends and learn about the progress of the Guild Hall Garden Project. A copy of the latest plans will be available.

The Guild Hall Garden Committee is also organising two more events next year which you should note in your 2007 Diary:

Saturday, 24 March 2007 – What Not to Wear Night – in the Memorial Hall, with dinner and entertainment, to follow on from the very successful Forties Evening held last year.

Saturday, 23 June 2007 – A Midsummer Night’s Ball – at Uplands House, with dinner and dancing.

Evergreen ClubMeetings 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.
meets on Monday evenings from April to September at 6.30pm and plays until it is dark. The club is situated next to the Tennis Courts at the Sports and Social club ground on the A34 just outside Henley. The Club welcome new members, whether beginners or established players. For further information contact John Townson 01564 792407.
There are still vacancies in some areas of Henley-in-Arden for NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH Co-ordinators. 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
Holds its 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 at www.swbc.co.uk
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
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 Henley Diary Dates should be sent to Diane Bayley at 6 St John's Close marked ‘Henley Diary’ email: stjohnnews@btinternet.com . Please tell all your friends about The Henley Diary.

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