Henley NEWS On-line

Reporting each week on Events in and around
Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire


Masthead picture - Johnsons Christmas Greetings

Edition 135 - 14th December 2006
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A man is in custody awaiting questioning in connection with the death of a woman in Ullenhall near Henley in Arden.

The body of a woman was found by police officers at a house in Gentleman's Lane, Ullenhall at 13:00, Wednesday December 13.

The woman had suffered multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Home Office pathologist Professor Helen Whitwell carried out the post mortem Wednesday evening. The woman, aged 51, died from multiple stab wounds. She has not yet been formally identified.

An 80 year old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. He is in custody at Leamington Spa awaiting questioning.

Update at 14 December 2006 16:45

A woman whose death is being investigated by detectives from south Warwickshire CID has been formally identified as Lorraine Ann MACK, aged 51, from Gentleman's Lane, Ullenhall near Henley in Arden.

Her body was found by police officers at 13:00 on Wednesday December 13.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

This afternoon, Thursday December 14, magistrates at Stratford upon Avon issued a warrant of further detention giving police a further 30 hours to question an 80 year old man arrested at the scene.

Stratford Bridge Design B gets Council Go Ahead

Warwickshire County Council yesterday agreed that the competition winning design B for a new bridge for Stratford upon Avon should be taken further and a more detailed design developed.

Members of the county council’s Cabinet recently moved that the decision on whether to go ahead with the bridge should be made following a debate by all councillors, and yesterday the vast majority of members voted that detailed work on the bridge design should go ahead – a vote in favour with 31 for and ten against.

Rotary ClubHenley Rotary gets its man

The Rotary Club of Henley in Arden makes awards annually to individuals in its Rotary area who are non-Rotarians, who over a number of years, have made outstanding contributions to their community and without who’s quiet and dedicated service many of our “taken for granted institutions” would not exist.

Awards are normally presented as a surprise at the Court Leet elections in November, but try as they might the club could not get this year’s awardee for Henley to be present on the night. But in the true tradition of the Mounties the Rotary Club got its man on Monday this week at its special Christmas event when President Alan James surprised his guest Roy Edwards by presenting him with the award.

Making the presentation President Alan said Rotary’s Henley members reported that as far back as most could remember Roy had taken part in many of the Towns activities, usually as treasurer. He had counted and accounted for money from them at Town Improvement Committees, Church Fetes, Church Bazaars, Town Carnivals, Alternative Regattas, Probus Club events, and countless Henley Amateur Dramatic Society performances. Indeed almost any event that needed a competent treasurer and the books keeping straight without fuss calls on Roy Edwards. Almost as a sideline he supports not only his local church but one in Smallheath, Birmingham as well. The Rotary Club of Henley in Arden whose Rotary motto was “Service above Self” was proud to recognise this dedication to service.

Johnsons Awards For Success

Johnsons Coaches, Henley's coach and bus operator, hit the jackpot yet again, at the Industry Excellence Awards held recently at the National Motorcycle Museum, when they walked away with the prestigious Bus Operator of the year award.

In the last twelve months, the company has now secured four major awards. The other three being Coach Operator of the year 2005, best UK holiday programme and best Day Excursion programme both for 2006.

John Johnson, Director, Johnsons Coach and Bus said. "This award is a big tribute to our bus team. We started running services in the Cotswolds, South Warwickshire and South Birmingham areas in 2000 and this part of the operation has grown ever since.

Bus operations now account for some 21% of our turnover and its growing. It’s a challenging market and we work hard to ensure that the same high standards through this part of our operation as they do for the coach business. The effort we put in has now been recognised by our own industry which is a tremendous tribute."

Johnsons now run some 20 buses operating on 16 different routes, including the Stratford upon Avon Park and ride service and more routes will be coming on stream in the New Year.

John Earl's Report on "More Successful Land Sales"

On Tuesday 5th December, Richard Abbey of John Earle & Son conducted the latest land and property auction at Henley Golf and Country Club. The firm usually holds its last property auction in November but because of the firm’s successes with land sales earlier in the year, Trustees of two land holdings in Langley and Bearley near Stratford on Avon requested that their two land interests be offered for sale by public auction before the end of the year.

As the photographs show, both areas have become very neglected and the auctioneers were a little dubious as to the strength of interest because of their condition and the time of year. The auction room had about 100 people in attendance and Mr Abbey firstly offered the 9.87 acres at Langley. He sought an opening bid of £40,000, immediately the bidding commenced at £20,000, went up in £5,000 increments to £90,000 then two bidders competed with increments of £2,000 to £108,000 and finally it was sold for £110,000 to a near neighbour at a remarkable £11,145.00 per acre. On top of the purchase price, the auctioneer indicated a considerable sum of money per acre would need to be spent to bring the land back into production, hedges cut and laid and gateways and fences replaced.

Richard Abbey then offered 12.93 acres at Bearley, with a long frontage to Ash Lane a narrow cul-de-sac highway that runs downs behind the old rectory. Again the photographs show the land is neglected and beginning to revert to scrub. Mr Abbey was offered an opening bid of £40,000 and after 68 bids from various sides of the room, the gavel finally came down at £158,000. This equates to £12,219.64 per acre.

Mr Abbey then offered a third Lot being a 1950s detached house at Bretforton with outline Planning Consent for two detached replacement dwellings. Two bidders pushed the price up to £325,000 which was slightly under the reserve and the auctioneers report they are in negotiation with one of the under bidders and are hopeful of concluding a sale shortly.

Peter Cornford, the principal of the practice, was not just pleased with the auction on 5th December but the results throughout 2007, as very few properties failed to meet or exceed their reserve prices. This very high percentage success rate, he believes, is not just down to the good advertising and presentation in (local papers) but also indicating during the marketing campaign, realistic price guides and only offering properties for auction that the firm expects to appeal to a wide market thus generating wide interest and strong competition in the sale room. John Earle & Son’s first auction for the 2007 season is scheduled for 20th March 2007.

Henley NEWS On-line Christmas Greetings

Please remember to send your Christmas Greetings to Henley NEWS On-line.

As in previous years, we are inviting all our readers in the town, the UK or Overseas, to send a Christmas Greeting, which will be published in our Christmas Edition on Thursday 21st December.

Last year, Christmas Greetings were published from the High Bailiff, JPC, County Council, District Council, our MP, Warwickshire Police, and many businesses, clubs, socities and readers at home and abroad.

Please can you send your contibution by Saturday 16th December 2006 to:


There is no charge but may we suggest a contribution to our chosen charity the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

Air Ambulance web site

Rotarians Become Enzo's Friends

The presentation of £500 was made to Helen King and Kate Whiting representing the local charity Enzo's Friends, the children's Burns Club associated with the West MIdland Regional Burns Unit.


The charity helps badly-burned children cope with living with their burn scars through a programme of trips, parties, family events and a "Back to School" scheme.


Helen King gave an excellent talk on the work of the charity and, after answering questions, expressed her thanks to the members of the club for their generous support.

Civic Society Meeting and Party

The members of Henley and Beaudesert Civic Society were delightfully entertained during their Christmas Party on 7th Dec by anecdotes from Jill Frazer, the television reporter and presenter, who kindly came to the rescue when the intended entertainers had to cancel due to illness.

Jill related events that lead her to writing the recently published book “More Tea, less Vicar”. Purchasing the old vicarage in Aston Cantlow brought with it some unexpected expectations from the village; for example, hosting the village fete and being host for the 50 or so village carol singers which Jill agreed to do, then discovering that the carol singers needed an audience so the party was for 100! Could she help with the family service? Well yes she would but then found that helping meant doing the service, and writing a mini play each month for the children to perform! Could you do something for the children at the village fete? Jill’s idea to get the children to make a magazine which the children then sold in the village was a success and was repeated for several years. Some of the characters in the book are based on patients that Jill looked after when she was a nurse. These included a French lady who had been sucked into some rubbish and whom Jill had to clean. This involved denitting and removing 67 hairpins.

Amongst the anecdotes, was the remark by her daughter about the source of the Avon. Jill had spent most of day at Naseby trying unsuccessfully to find and film the source for a TV program she was doing. Somewhat dispirited she left to collect her daughter from school. Then a phone call from a lady who knew all about the source of the Avon put Jill into better spirits. She excitedly told her daughter who replied “That’s really boring, its just some water coming out of the ground”. Another tale recalled the making of a program about a family of Cotswold stonemasons, where the filming of buildings had to be rescheduled due to thick fog; she got lost going to the quarry, tried to phone the quarry and swore as she dropped the phone into a muddy puddle. Picking up the phone expecting it to be broken she was surprised to hear the quarryman say “Are you having a bad day?”

The amusing tales continued in replies to several questions. Margaret Twigg presented Jill with flowers and announced that food was served. Later, Ray Holding thanked the Committee and helpers for all the work they had done in preparing such a good party, enjoyed by around 45 people.

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The Manor of Henley-in-Arden

Court Leet and Court Baron

Court Circular

The High Bailiff and his wife Ann were guests of the Baptist Church’s Fellowship Hour for their Christmas Lunch on Thursday 7th December, at the Baptist Church Hall, where they were immediately made to feel welcome. A splendid lunch was followed by some light-hearted entertainment in which the church’s administrator Gordon Trinder, together with Pat Willams and others excelled as comedy actors.

On the evening of the same day the High Bailiff and Ann attended the Christmas party of the Henley Civic Society, of which the High Bailiff is President. Reported elsewhere in this issue of News on-Line, a thoroughly enjoyable evening was enhanced by Jill Frazer’s engaging talk about her experiences of village life.

On Monday and Tuesday 11th and 12th December the High Bailiff and Ann distributed Christmas gifts from Henley United Charities.

On Wednesday 13th December, the High Bailiff accompanied by the Low Bailiff and Town Crier, attended the awards presentations at the Annual Christmas Turkey Show and Sale. The winning turkey, bred at Umberslade Farms Ltd was knocked down to Mr Cedric Stiles for £280; the proceeds of the sale go as a donation to Cancer Research locally.
Immediately forthcoming events in the High Bailiff’s diary include an informal Christmas gathering of the Court’s jurors at the Guildhall on Thursday 14th December. This is followed on Saturday 16th December by the judging of the High Street’s shop and office window decorations and presentation of awards..

Invitations for the Court Leet Ball on February 24th will be out immediately in the New Year. Enquiries to the High Bailiff, on Henley 792512.

To view the Court Leet website, go to www.henley-in-arden.org/court-leet

Rotary Club's Christmas Collection

The Henley-in-Arden Rotary Club will be in the High Street on Saturday morning (16th) collecting for their charities.

Alan James, Rotary President, toid Henley NEWS On-line:

"This year we have teamed up with Henley Golf and Country Club, who will be adding to the Christmas spirit by providing mulled wine and hot mince pies alongside our traditional barrel organ outside One Stop. We look forward to seeing all our friends during the course of Saturday morning."

To Read Previous Editions Back to 29th October 2004       Click Here

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John Garner's Business Column

How much money have you got?

John GarnerYou’ll have heard the expression “Cash is King” I’m sure. In my view that’s exactly right. As long as you’ve got cash in the bank you’ll survive another day, whether you’re making a profit or not. But if a business runs out of cash it’s likely to go under even if it’s making a profit.

Of course, it’s not just about today, it’s about predicting how much cash you’ll have for as far ahead as possible when you’ve taken into account all the money you expect to receive and all the payments you’ll be making.

Has your bank manager ever asked you for a cash flow projection? I’ll bet he has if you’ve ever asked him for an overdraft. It helps him to see how easy it’ll be for you to pay back the money you want to borrow.

It’s not difficult to do, but you do need to think carefully about your incomes and outgoings, make an informed guess about when your customers will pay you and when you’ll pay your suppliers and your overheads.

Put it all on a spreadsheet, dates along the top and a list of customers and suppliers down the side. How far ahead you want to go depends on your business but you should at least be able to forecast 3 months ahead. Start with the amount you’ve got in the account today and work out how much you’ll have this time next week (having added expected income and subtracted expected expenditure); repeat this as far ahead as you can. If you see the amount in your bank go negative at some future date you’ll know there’s a problem looming.

This will enable you to manage your cash flow. To avoid it going negative you may need to encourage anyone who owes you money to pay you as rapidly as possible whilst delaying paying your bills as long as you can.

So let me ask all those of you reading this article (assuming anyone actually does read it), how much money have you got in your business bank account today? Do you know? When did you last check your cash position? If you don’t use internet banking you can do it over the phone but the internet is much better because you can see all your income and outgoings right there in front of you. It’s the first job I do each morning.

I’ve kept just to the basics here, for lots more information see:


John Garner

The Nigel Hastilow Column

Emission impossible - it's just not that bad

Nigel HastilowHey, guess what?

The terrible, planet-destroying devil-on-wheels the motor car isn’t that much of an evil, after all.

Despite the ever-rising demand for green taxes to cut carbon emissions, existing legislation is already doing more than Chancellor Gordon Brown could ever do.

The emissions figures for the past decade, as revealed in documents supposedly charting the need for congestion charging, show the environmentalists are on very thin ice, as it were, when they demand more taxes on motorists.

The chart below shows carbon emissions from motor vehicles over the past decade. Admittedly, emissions from HGVs is up from 6.3 million tonnes to 7.6 million.

Even so, look what’s happened to cars in the graphic above – the peak is past. The number of cars on the road may continue to rise but they’re cleaner than ever before. This won’t stop Gordon slapping extra tax on petrol nor will it stop the fanatics imposing their “roads for the rich” policy of congestion charging on us.

But please note the Eddington report envisages a charge of £1.28 a mile – not far off the £1.30 predicted months ago by those of us who warned of what was round the corner – even though the highway engineers and Stalinist planners imposing their policies on the rest of us claimed it was an exaggeration if not a downright lie.

How green is Brown?

It is sheer genius really – double the rate of tax and pretend you’re saving the planet. Chancellor Gordon Brown’s wheeze is nothing more than a bid to make money out of cheap flights – but could it doom Birmingham Airport’s expansion plans?

The “green tax” on flying – like the “green tax” on petrol – is nothing of the sort. Doubling the air passenger duty from a fiver to a tenner won’t stop us jetting off to Malaga for the weekend when the airline’s only charging us a penny each way. The Chancellor’s “holiday tax” doubles to £40 for long-haul flights and really takes off if you go business class. As a way of trying to save the planet, it’s as useful as those signs some hotels stick in their bathrooms urging us not to ask for clean towels on the grounds that living with unwashed ones will save water and somehow feed Africa’s starving millions.

We won’t be downed by Gordon’s very pale greenery any more than we will be by the curious cleric the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, who claims it’s sinful to fly. The tax is a sign of the times, however. If Gordon Brown is serious about reducing Britain’s contribution to global warming, he will have to go much further when he becomes Prime Minister.

There is no need for these green taxes, of course, because Britain only accounts for two per cent of all man-made greenhouse gases. In the global scheme of things, flights from British airports account for 0.12 per cent of greenhouse gases. And whatever we cut will be offset tenfold by China and India anyway. But fashion’s fashion and this decade’s colour is undoubtedly green. Which means the Chancellor has a perfect excuse to squeeze more money out of travellers. So if the aim is to stop us flying he will have to become much more Draconian. There is even talk of giving everyone a carbon allowance which would force us to travel greenly or stay at home.

All of this raises a big question about the future of our regional airport. It wants to treble in size in the next 25 years, catering for 33 million passengers instead of 9.4 million. Next year Birmingham Airport is submitting its planning application to lengthen its main runway across the A45 so it can take long-haul jets. Then it wants to build another runway and an extra terminal building. This is alleged to be vital to the economy of the entire region. Birmingham Airport, a semi-commercial operation, claims it’s the only show in town.

It may be right – Wolverhampton’s little airport is not going to join the big boys and Coventry’s cut-price landing strip is still a bone of contention. Whether that means we should welcome the expansion of an airport at the centre of an already-congested motorway network, close to vast acres of housing and in the green belt is another question. Manchester, Luton, Nottingham East Midlands, even Heathrow are all in striking distance. If we want to travel the world, is Birmingham really the only answer?

When the expansion plans come under scrutiny, the issue will be whether they are a realistic necessity in the face of massive extra demand. Or whether they are actually ridiculously optimistic 20th century projections which have no place in the modern, 21st century green age.

Michael O’Leary, the boss of Ryanair, might be expected to be a fan. Yet last year he not only predicted British Airways would pull out but added: "I think the expansion plans at Birmingham Airport are effectively a waste of money.” At the time, British Airways said: "I would say to Mr O'Leary that we have no plans to pull out of Birmingham International Airport. And the airport itself said the claims were the product of "an entrepreneur with a vivid imagination".

Last month BA announced it was pulling out of Birmingham. Maybe we should pay more attention to Mr O’Leary in future.

If our political masters are serious about using taxes to make jetting away on holiday too expensive for most of us, expansion of Birmingham will indeed be a waste of money. There may still be business travellers but as one third of the airport’s customers are on package tours and thousands more are on cheapo flights to Lanzarote and Prague, there really wouldn’t be much point in trebling its capacity.

It’s a dilemma. If our Prime Minister-in-waiting is serious about the need to reduce carbon emissions and save the planet, he will bring an immediate halt to any idea that the number of air miles we all notch up should treble in 25 years. If Gordon Brown’s green taxes are anything other than another excuse to squeeze a bit more money out of us all, then he will need results which means we’re all destined to holiday at home in future.

If he’s not serious then perhaps Birmingham Airport may have to expand. But if he truly believes he can save the planet by grounding us all, Birmingham’s plans could be a very embarrassing test case: How green is Brown?

Nigel Hastilow      

Dep PM's Definition of Park & Ride

"Park one Jag and ride in the other."

As recently told to the Editor by William Hague MP.

Grumpy Old Man Comments

Lets us judge (or not) !

I assume everyone has read (or heard) about the Bishop of Southwark.
He woke up in the morning with a black eye and other injury’s and without his possessions, including church documents, phone, etc. he conducted a service without his miter as a bump on his head was too painful. This was following a reception at the Irish Embassy. Now I’ve been to a few of these receptions and wine & snacks are free flowing, but restraint is always the word of the day.
Initially it was reported as a mugging, but then witnesses added some details, the following is from the Telegraph.

They say he ended up in Crucifix Lane, a largely deserted street next to railway arches near his cathedral, at 9.30pm where he clambered into a stranger's Mercedes and started throwing toys on to the road.

Paul Sumpter, the car's owner, was playing pool in Suchard Bar when he heard his vehicle alarm go off.

He ran outside and saw Mr Butler, dressed in his robes and a smart black over coat, sitting in the back seat throwing out the toys.

Mr Sumpter said to him: "What are doing in my car?"
Mr Butler replied: "I'm the Bishop of Southwark, it's what I do."

Mr Sumpter and a friend then dragged him out of the car and, in the fracas, the bishop accidentally fell to the pavement.

Mr Butler, a father of two, sat on the kerb while onlookers offered to call an ambulance. The bishop was then said to have stood up and staggered into a railway arch.

But what does it say in the New Testament? Who so ever is without sin can cast the first stone. Why should we judge this man? After all he is human (even though he is a clergyman) and who except a small minority has never drunk just a little too much? Or done something we should not have.

Let us all support this chap who (for what ever reason) got himself into a little trouble. Yes a mistake was made, if the story is true, but haven’t we all made a mistake at least once?  He is still a compassionate member of society who has helped many people over the years. Or we could all pass judgment and point the finger and carry on life as though nothing has happened.

Grumpy Old Man

For the most Comprehensive Information about Henley-in-Arden

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

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet  

How about helping the planet have a Happy Christmas? Turn off all lights and nonessentials whenever you can. This might include waiting until nearer Christmas day before putting on Christmas lights or burning Christmas lights for fewer hours per day. Every bit of energy saved helps the planet (and your pocket).

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

John Stott

Henley Crime Report
This crime summary is a look at the crimes of public interest that occurred on the Henley, Snitterfield and Tanworth policing area over the last 14 days. We do not as normal practice include crimes of shoplifting, bilking, domestic violence or fraud.

Prior to 1800 hours on 12th December 06 unknown offender/s approached a property on Springbrook Lane, Earlswood. They then gained entry by forcing the front door. Once inside offender/s have stolen three television sets and a large quantity of jewellery.
Incident number 441 of 12th December 06 refers.

Between 0900 hours on 9th December and 1900 hours on 10th December 06 unknown offender/s approached a farm site on Stratford Road, Wootton Wawen. They then gained entry by cropping the padlock on workshop doors. Once inside they have stolen a red Peugeot moped.
Incident number 515 of 10th December 06 refers.

Overnight between 10th and 11th December 06 unknown offender/s approached the garage to a property on Stratford Road, Wootton Wawen. They then gained entry, possibly via a window at rear of garage.
Incident number 153 of 11th December 06 refers.

Between 1700 hours on 23rd November and 0900 hours on 28th November 06 unknown offender/s have stolen a motor vehicle from a driveway on Penn Lane, Tanworth in Arden.
Incident number 283 of 1st December 06 refers.

Between 1800 hours on 1st December 06 and 1030 hours on 2nd December 06 unknown offender/s approached a property on Broad Lane, Tanworth in Arden and removed two outdoor display lights.
Incident number 279 of 2nd December 06 refers.

Between 0030 hours and 1000 hours on 2nd December 06 unknown offender/s smashed two ornamental lanterns on a driveway to a property on Broad Lane, Tanworth in Arden.
Incident number 372 of 4th December 06 refers.

Prior to 3rd December 06 unknown offender/s approached a property on Broad Lane, Tanworth in Arden. They then ripped the outside lights from the front gates.
Incident number 392 of 3rd December 06 refers.

Between 1800 hours on 3rd December and 0745 hours on 4th December 06 unknown offender/s have smashed a stone planter on High Street, Henley in Arden.
Incident number 316 of 4th December 06 refers.

Prior to 4th December 06 unknown offender/s have caused damage to a motor vehicle parked on High Street, Henley in Arden.
Incident number 174 of 4th December 06 refers.

At approximately 0240 hours on 9th December 06 unknown offender/s approached a motor vehicle parked on driveway of property on Mount Road, Henley in Arden. They then threw a lump of concrete at the windscreen causing it to smash.
Incident number 88 of 9th December 06 refers.

Between 0830 hours on 25th November and 0930 hours on 27th November 06 unknown offender/s have stolen a Royal Mail post box which was attached to a lamp post. Box was old style with ‘GR’ on it.
Incident number 290 of 27th November 06 refers.

Between 1600 hours on 29th November and 1000 hours on 30th November 06 unknown offender/s approached a motor vehicle parked on The Green, Tanworth in Arden. They then gained entry by punching the front near side door skin. An Armani coat and Marc Jacob sunglasses were stolen from within.
Incident number 155 of 30th November 06 refers.

Between 1510 hours and 1550 hours on 2nd December 06 unknown offender/s approached a red Vauxhall Astra parked on Pennyford Lane, Wootton Wawen. They then gained entry by forcing the front near side window. Once inside they have stolen a black handbag from under the front seat.
Incident number 497 of 2nd December 06 refers.

Prior to 4th December 06 unknown offender/s have gained entry to a motor vehicle parked on Malthouse Lane, Earlswood and stolen the Sat Nav system.
Incident number 142 of 4th December 06 refers.

Between 1415 hours and 1545 hours on 4th December 06 unknown offender/s have entered insecure female changing rooms at a college on Stratford Road, Henley in Arden and stolen cash from a purse.
Incident number 522 of 4th December 06 refers.

Between 1900 hours and 2200 hours on 6th December 06 unknown offender/s approached a white Mercedes Sprinter van parked on driveway to a property on Shutt Lane, Earlswood. They gained entry by forcing the near side door. A Swiss army knife was taken from the glove box.
Incident number 712 of 6th December 06 refers.

Between 2030 hours on 9th December and 1000 hours on 10th December 06 unknown offender/s approached a silver Ford Mondeo parked on Fieldhouse Close, Henley in Arden. They have then smashed the off side rear window and stolen a large bag containing Christmas presents.
Incident number 252 of 10th December 06 refers.

Between 1800 hours on 11th December and 1000 hours on 12th December 06 unknown offender/s approached a motor vehicle parked on Bearley Road, Aston Cantlow. They have then stolen the rear outside break light fitting.
Incident number 243 of 12th December 06 refers.

If you have any information or have witnessed the above incidents, please can you contact Alcester Police on 01789 762207.  Thank you.


Alerts from Trading Standards

Top Tips for Trouble-Free Christmas Shopping

With just weeks to go before Christmas Day Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service has some timely advice to help Warwickshire’s Christmas Shoppers.

Every year the Trading Standards’ phone lines are lit up like Christmas trees with people seeking advice on their rights.

Typical problems include:

    • Toys found to be faulty when opened on Christmas day.
    • Items found cheaper at another shop after a purchase has been made.
    • Toys that come apart when first used.
    • Items not delivered in time for Christmas.
    • Shops refusing to give refunds or exchange items which were unsuitable.

In many cases consumers can take some simple steps to avoid these problems. Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service has issued the following advice to reduce the risk of Christmas purchases going wrong.

Here are our ‘HAPPY CHRISTMAS’ Tips

Have a budget and stick to it to avoid unpleasant shocks in the New Year. If you using a credit or store card, know how much you are paying for credit and what the APR is.

Avoid unnecessary arguments when shopping by remembering these simple rules:

    • Shops do not have to give you a refund or exchange if you change your mind, unless agreed in advance.
    • Shops do not have to give a refund or exchange if the items you have bought do not fit, unless agreed in advance.
    • Pricing mistakes do happen and the shop can refuse the sale if there is a pricing error.
    • Purchases should be checked before wrapping them and any problems or faults reported immediately.
    • You should shop around before you buy to ensure you get the best price.
    • Counterfeit goods should be avoided. They can be unsafe, faulty or just poor quality. Main brand goods are not normally distributed through car boot sales. To buy genuine known brand goods we advise you to buy at reputable and established retailers.
    • Have your proof of age card with you. This will avoid embarrassing refusals in shops if you look younger than you are when buying age restricted products such as alcohol and liqueurs.
    • Remember to keep the proof of purchase e.g. receipt in case you need to return an item.
    • If you are buying on the Internet make sure you print off and keep a copy of your order details. Check that the company you are buying from is in the UK for legal protections to apply. If you use your credit card for purchases over £100 you have another chance of redress if things go wrong.
    • Second-hand items should be checked thoroughly. Check for signs of visible damage and to make sure all parts are included. Check whether there are relevant instructions. If you are buying privately you will not necessarily have a right to your money back if the goods are faulty so inspect them thoroughly.
    • Toys should be purchased from reputable established businesses.
    • Make sure toys have a CE mark. Also check for age suitability labelling and try to examine the product before purchase to ensure that it is suitably robust.
    • Avoid identity fraud by keeping credit card slips and debit card receipts safe. A shredder could make an ideal Christmas present!
    • Specify a ‘must have by’ date if you are ordering goods for delivery by Christmas. This will enable you to cancel the order and get your money back to buy something else if the company is unable to fulfil the order. Do not just rely on a ‘normal delivery time’.

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
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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.

Saturday 15th December in the Memorial Hall at 7.30 p.m. “Christmas Crackers” with mulled wine and mince pies. Tickets £7 from John Love at the Vanity Box or on-line at www.hads.org.uk

The meeting on Tuesday 19th December is the AGM followed by our Christmas Party. Visitors are welcome to come along to the Baptist Church Hall at 7.45 p.m. if they are thinking of joining in the New Year and wish to learn more about the society.

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.

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 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.
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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