Henley NEWS On-line

Reporting Each Week on Events In and Around
Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, England

Masthead picture - The first daffodils have been seen.

Edition 145 - 1st March 2007
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Council Tax Announced for 2007/08

Councillors have set the district element of the council tax in the Stratford-on-Avon District, following a full meeting of the Council today. The Band D figure for the 2007/08 financial year will be £118.98 - the lowest in Warwickshire - an increase which equals eight pence a week from this year's figure of £114.93.

This means that all the services provided by the district council are only costing £2.29 per week for a Band D household, although actual bills received will be higher because the District Council also collects the County Council, Police and parish taxes.

The average Band D figure for Stratford-on-Avon District Council households will be £1,355.12 (this year's is £1,292.47- all figures in brackets are for 2006/7), which includes the County Council and Police Authority elements, and average town or parish council precepts.

This figure is based on the District Council's levy, plus the County Council requirements at £1,045.21 (£996.28), the police authority figure of £145.90 (£138.95), and the average town/parish council tax of £45.03 (£42.31), all for Band D.

The council tax for Stratford-on-Avon District Council residents for each of the valuation bands, including County and Police taxes but not the town and parish council precepts is:

A £     873.40 (£833.45)B £1,018.96 (£972.35)C£1,164.52 (£1,111.26)
D£1,310.09 (£1,250.16)E £1,601.22 (£1,527.97)F£1,892.35 (£1,805.79)
G£2,183.48 (£2,083.60)H£2,620.19 (£2,500.33) 

Mobile Phone Scam

On Wednesday 31 January, a member of staff's company mobile phone rang with a message saying that there was a message waiting for them. Fortunately, they did not respond and instead deleted it.

They have today received a text message from +20105996500 saying: "We currently have a message awaiting your collection. To collect your message just call 0871 872 381. The member of staff Google'd the number and it came up with many forums about this. Apparently it is an Egyptian number and charges you, if you call it, of up to £50 per minute. Even if you hang up, will still have you connected for up to 20 minutes.

Hotel Key Cards are the Key to All Your Information

Ever wondered what is on your Magnetic key card?

The answer is very disturbing:

    1. Customer's name
    2. Customer's partial home address
    3. Hotel room number
    4. Check-in date and out dates
    5. Customer's credit card number and expiration date !

When you turn them into the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner.

An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense. Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee re-issues the card to the next hotel guest.

At that time, the new guest's information is electronically overwritten on the card and the previous guest's information is erased
in the overwriting process. But until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT !

The bottom line is: Keep the cards, take them home with you, or destroy them.

NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket, and NEVER turn them into the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card (it's illegal) and you'll be sure you are not leaving a lot of valuable personal information on it that could be easily lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader.

For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket.

Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic information strip!

You can also carry along a small magnet and pass it across the magnetic strip several times, then try it in the door. It will not work. It erases everything on the card.

The Golden Days of Coaching

On Thursday 18th February, Henley and Beaudesert Civic Society enjoyed a most interesting and entertaining talk by Graham Sutherland. Being Town Crier of Warwick, Graham gave us one of the loudest and clearest talks the Society has had the pleasure of hearing. During an imaginary stagecoach journey from the Midlands to London, we learnt many large and small facts; bollards along the sides of town streets separated pedestrians from wagons, horses and coaches; one mile is 1000 roman paces (each two steps rather than the one we call a pace today); a cock horse was an extra horse harnessed to help the coach get up a steep hill; horse brasses were devised to help delivery men remember which inn they were delivering to or picking up from in a long day’s work, where the deliverer could neither read nor write. On genuine old brasses you will see pictures of a horse (The White Horse Inn), a sheaf of wheat (The Wheatsheaf), a lion (The Red Lion) or a town emblem, etc. On a coach, by the coachman’s left leg, a brass strip recorded destinations in a similar way.

The heyday of coaching was from the late 17th century to the 19th. There were the normal slow coaches and much faster transport, such as fly wagons, which could cover 40 miles a day. Coaches were forbidden by law to go faster than a trot, though many did, as time was money, even then. One recorded occasion when a coach was allowed to legally break the trot limit, was when bringing the news to London of Wellington’s defeat of Bonaparte.

Travelling by coach was a smelly, uncomfortable and sometimes risky business. Passengers would look forward to a long stop at the scheduled inn, when time would be spent over a big, meal. As the railways generated competition in the 1820s, stops became much shorter, perhaps allowing time for a quick visit to the privy and the purchase of a sandwich to eat en route. When the coachman called “3 minutes”, he really did mean that the coach would leave in 3 minutes, no matter what.

In the reign of Charles II, the postal service was started as a legal monopoly, as the king needed to be able to keep tabs on who was sending what mail to whom and thereby be aware of any political intrigue. Post Boys (actually men) were very poorly paid. Tollgate keepers had to open the tollgate in advance for mail coaches and would suffer prosecution if they held up the mail by making the coach wait whilst they opened the gate.

A coach was a very expensive mode of transport; it is reckoned that it cost the equivalent of £30,000 pa to run a coach and four. The working life of a coach horse would be around 3 years and it was not until John Palmer came up with the idea in 1748, that mail coaches started to split the journey between Bath and London into stages where the horses were changed every 10 miles, thereby speeding the journey somewhat; the Stagecoach had been invented. For those interested in technical data, a horse produces 45 lb of dung per day, making 10 million tons per year in London at the height of horse drawn transport. That kept 1500 horses employed, just removing the dung!

Questions from the floor were followed by tea, coffee and general chat. Next meeting is on 15th March at the Baptist Church Hall. Beginning at 7:30pm with the AGM to be followed at about 8pm by a free glass of wine and a talk by Ray Briggs on CHINESE WILSON Explorer – Collector. Visitors welcome; entry £3.

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The Manor of Henley-in-Arden

Court Leet and Court Baron

Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff

Court Leet Ball

The High Bailiff and Ann Holding welcomed over 100 guest last Saturday to the Court Leet Ball at the Memorial Hall. Guests were announced on arrival by the Town Crier, Gordon Trinder, in his full dress uniform.

Raffle prizes were provided by many local organisations, businesses and members of the Court. The catering, which was greatly appreciated, was provided by Herons'  Nest of Wootton Wawen. Photographs of the event were taken by Alan Robson and Bill Leech.


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

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

John Garner's Business Column

A new type of solicitor?

John GarnerLast week I said we’d be featuring the work of some local businesses who are members of the Henley based Warwickshire Business Club. I’m now going to introduce you to a lawyer who is pretty unusual.

Andrew Woolley worked as a solicitor in Northampton and Leamington Spa before striking out on his own in 1996. He wanted to do things differently from the way law firms usually do. A refreshing change, you might say, in a business sector not renowned for its innovation and entrepreneurial flair (his words, not mine!).

You could say that his practice, Woolley & Co, operates from Stratford, but that’s only partly correct because it’s a virtual practice. It has done away with plush offices and favours legal experts who can work effectively from home using today’s technology to communicate with both staff and clients.

Clients can be given their own access codes so they can look at pertinent documents via the firm’s website. They can have documents copied or amended and sent to them instantly rather than waiting for days for the post to arrive before filling in a form and sending it back through the mail.

They can also arrange meetings at a venue of their choosing at a time to suit themselves rather than having to take time out of work to visit what can often be an intimidating legal office. And they have access to their lawyer via email throughout the working day and often via mobile phone outside normal working hours.

Other solicitors raised an eyebrow and questioned whether this way of working is safe. Andrew claims his systems are up to military standard, which makes them a lot more secure than most solicitors’ offices.

“It’s a case of being innovative and entrepreneurial, looking at the best way to conduct our business rather than following methods which haven’t changed for decades,” says Andrew. “Times have moved on, lawyers should too.”

Andrew claims that these efficiencies mean his business can manage with fewer staff and resources (I notice you can pay his fees on line too!) although I should imagine that his spend on technology outweighs a lot of this saving. Is all this reflected in lower client fees…? You’ll have to ask him yourself.

Woolley & Co are certainly an interesting outfit and you can find out more on their websites at: www.family-lawfirm.co.uk and www.business-lawfirm.co.uk .

Andrew can be contacted on 01789 267377 and at info@business-lawfirm.co.uk .

John Garner

The Nigel Hastilow Column

Tone takes yet another wrong turn

Nigel HastilowFrom: nigelhastilow@tiscali.co.uk
To: 10 Downing Street [mailto:pmreply@petitions.pm.gov.uk]
Subject: Re: E-petition: Response from the Prime Minister

Hi Tony (or should that be Yo Blair?).

Thanks for your e-mail on congestion charging. It must be hard writing to all 1.8 million of us who signed the Number Ten petition against your plan. You didn’t say if you agreed with the Minister who said your advisor Benjamin Wegg-Prosser was a prat for allowing us to sign this internet petition and demonstrate the strength of feeling on the issue.

But the fact that you have sent us all a long reply suggests you – or your advisers – are taking it seriously enough to be at worried about it. After all, it’s not every day that the Prime Minister finds his in-box swamped with 1.8 million signatures to an e-petition. Just as it isn’t every day people like me find our in-boxes displaying an e-mail from the Prime Minister (though in some cases it was diverted to the Junk Mail folder – can’t think why).

We all know the West Midlands will be subjected to the congestion charge experiment before anyone else despite overwhelming opposition to the idea. We know the local councils and Centro – a majority of these run by the alleged-opposition Conservative Party – are pressing ahead with their bid to become your guinea pig. That’s despite the risk outlined by the Chambers of Commerce that a charging zone in the West Midlands could have a devastating effect on jobs and the local economy. And despite the fact that – whatever the apologists say to the contrary – the charge may well be as much as £1.30 per mile for commuters.

In your e-mail you say, Tony, that “this is not about imposing ‘stealth taxes’ or introducing ‘Big Brother’ surveillance”. That’s an interesting claim. You suggest the overall cost to the motorist would be neutral. But nobody believes you. Taxes only ever go up. A congestion charge will not bring cuts in other motoring taxes. And how you can deny the “Big Brother” aspect is beyond me. After all, the idea is that every car will have to be fitted with a satellite tracking device. Drivers would be charged for every mile they travel. So every trip by every car will be tracked and recorded. Big Brother really will be watching you.

You say there are no plans for a national scheme, you’re just “working with some local authorities that are interested in establishing local schemes to help address local congestion problems”. Yes but you tell these local authorities they won’t get any money for public transport unless they agree to impose a congestion charge first. You claim “funds raised from these local schemes will be used to improve transport in those areas” – but that’s the wrong way round. Sounds like blackmail to me.

What should happen is that first you give us a viable public transport system (and that doesn’t just mean more buses nobody wants). Then, in say 15 years’ time, come back and ask us if we’d be willing to try a congestion charge experiment. If public transport was good enough, nobody would object. But it isn’t and it won’t be for the foreseeable future, so don’t try to kid us otherwise. You say we could build more motorways but that this costs £30 million a mile, as if that were a lot of money. But given that you are about to squander £6 billion on the London Olympics, I reckon you can afford to spend the same amount building 200 miles of new motorway.

In your bid to calm down those of us who can see only the evils of a congestion charge, you insist it would be “ten years or more before any national scheme was technologically, never mind politically, feasible”. Is that supposed to be some sort of reassurance? Just because it’s ten years away doesn’t mean the blight won’t start now.

And anyway, that’s the national scheme. What about your experiment in the West Midlands?

The chances are that our fanatical local councils – run, as they are, not by elected politicians but by politically-correct officials – will want to impose local charges long before that. Indeed, even by your own account, Tony, they will have to do so, if they are to prove the success of the scheme, before it is imposed nationwide. Still, why bother to enter into this debate at all? Let’s face it, you’re a lame-duck Prime Minister on your way out.

By the time any congestion charges are imposed on the West Midlands, you will be long gone and your assurances therefore count for nothing. Of course we are facing another stealth tax. Gordon Brown will be only too happy to impose it along with all the other ones he has slipped through when he thought nobody was looking.

You, Tony, will be on the lecture circuit of the United States, flogging your memoirs and exploiting your “special relationship” for all it’s worth. Your assurances count for nothing.

Still, thanks for the e-mail. Have a long retirement – it can’t come too soon.

Nigel Hastilow      

Grumpy Old Man Comments



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  

Burn wood if you can.

Timber is a renewable resource so if you can use it for part of your heating the heat is almost carbon neutral and your carbon footprint is reduced. To burn well, wood needs a bed of ash on which to burn. Grates designed for burning coal drop the wood ash through the slots and the wood fire does not burn so well. This problem can be overcome by placing a steel plate (any thickness will do) on the grate so that it covers most of the slots

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

John Stott

District Council Information

Planning Applications - Search on-line at Stratford District Council
Select 'APPLICATION SEARCH' from menu on left. On the next page,
enter the Parish as 'Henley' and put in the date range the last two months and press 'Search'


Stratford on Avon District Council Website


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. Bilking is obtaining fuel from a garage and leaving without paying for it.

Prior to 14th February 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Henley Road, Outhill. They then removed a door panel and reached through to manipulate the latch. They have then removed a large amount of electrical equipment.
Incident number 198 of 14th February 07 refers.

Prior to 14th February 07 unknown offender/s approached a property in Ullenhall. They have then gained entry and stolen a TV and DVD player from within.
Incident number 331 of 14th February 07 refers.

At approximately 0830 hours on 20th February 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Shutt Lane, Earlswood. They have then forced a window and stolen a handbag and laptop computer.
Incident number 89 of 20th February 07 refers.

At 1140 hours on 23rd February 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Broad Lane, Tanworth in Arden. They then gained entry by using bodily pressure to force the front/porch door. They have then conducted an untidy search of the property.
Incident number 239 of 23rd February 07 refers.

At approximately 1530 hours on 23rd February 07 offender/s approached a property on Arden Road, Henley in Arden. They have then gained entry through a rear window.
Incident number 363 of 23rd February 07 refers.

Between 1800 hours on 14th February and 0730 hours on 15th February 07 unknown offender/s approached a coal yard in Bear Lane, Henley in Arden. They then gained entry by cutting through the wire mesh fence and forced a central padlock from the door. No entry gained.
Incident number 124 of 15th February 07 refers.

Between 1730 hours on 20th February and 1030 hours on 21st February 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Grimshaw Hill, Ullenhall. They have then used an instrument to create two holes in fibreglass door. No entry gained.
Incident number 178 of 21st February 07 refers.

Between 2000 hours on 20th February and 0800 hours on 21st February 07 unknown offender/s have stolen a motor vehicle from High Street, Henley in Arden.
Incident number 90 of 21st February 07 refers.

Between 1800 hours on 19th February and 1100 hours on 21st February 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Rushbrook Lane, Tanworth in Arden. They then entered an adjacent field and attempted to force the hitch lock on a sheep trailer.
Incident number 509 of 21st February 07 refers.

Between 1900 hours and 2000 hours on 21st February 07 unknown offender/s approached a black Audi A4 parked on public house car park in Preston Bagot, Henley in Arden. They have then smashed rear near side window and stolen black leather briefcase and Toshiba laptop computer from rear seat.
Incident number 586 of 21st February 07 refers.

Between 1830 hours on 19th February and 0830 hours on 20th February 07 unknown offender/s approached a vehicle parked on Riverside Gardens, Henley in Arden. They have then stolen the front two and rear windscreen wiper blades.
Incident number 86 of 20th February 07 refers.

Between 0815 hours and 1100 hours on 20th February 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Curlieu Lane, Norton Lindsey. They have then stolen a cream caravan from the driveway.
Incident number 215 of 20th February 07 refers.

Prior to 22nd February 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Danzey Green, Tanworth in Arden. They have then attempted to steal a small digger from the side of the property.
Incident number 544 of 22nd February 07 refers.

At approximately 1100 hours on 26th February 07 unknown offender/s approached a motor vehicle parked on Henley Road, Ullenhall. They have then stolen the front registration plate.
Incident number 332 of 26th February 07 refers.

During the evening of 26th February 07 unknown offender/s approached a yard in Bearley. They have then forced the lock to the gate and stolen a quantity of scrap metal.
Incident number 325 of 27th February 07 refers.

Henley In Arden Police will be holding a ‘drop in’ facility at Henley Police Station for you to come and discuss any issues or problems, within the community, with your local policing team!

The next ‘police surgeries’ will be held on:

Wednesday 7th March between 11 am – 1 pm
Wednesday 21st March between 11 am – 1 pm
Wednesday 4th April between 11 am – 1 pm

If you did have information regarding the displayed incidents, but for whatever reason do not wish to contact the police directly, then you can ring 0800 555 111 and give the information to the Crimestoppers Charity. Crimestoppers will then pass the information to the Police without revealing any details of the caller. You may also receive a reward.

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

'Milk Bottle' Scam

A member of Mid-Warwickshire NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH Association has alerted the service to a disturbing telephone call received by an elderly lady living in Whitnash. The caller falsely claimed to be from British Telecom and alleged that she owed BT a large amount of money and that if it were not paid - by placing it in a milk bottle outside her door - she would have the 'phone line cut off, with a further hugely inflated cost for re-connection. The lady and her family saw through the scam and the Police are to be informed.

Drugs Awareness Scam

Businesses and organisations are warned to beware of a potential scam targeting local companies. A Warwick company reported receiving a call from someone calling herself Haley, who claimed that the business had previously agreed to sponsor a drugs awareness campaign. When the business challenged her she hung up. Some 'rogue' publishers are known to cold call businesses in the hope that they will pay for advertising in drugs awareness booklets and similar publications. These booklets are not normally produced for any genuine organisation or charity and usually have small (or none existent) print runs, making them essentially worthless to advertise in. The rogue publishers hope that by falsely claiming that the business has already agreed to take an advert that they will pay up without a challenge.

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

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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.

Christine Sheen is coming to our meeting on Tuesday 6th March to demonstrate the “Magic of the Keyboard”. Christine is well known in Warwickshire as the Musical Director of the Park Street Players. Visitors are welcome to join in the fun from 7.30 p.m. in the Memorial Hall.

13th March in the Memorial Hall at 7.30 p.m. “Love is in the Air” by Catherine Gledhill. Competition: “A Spring Basket”.

Thursday 15th March 7.30 p.m. in the Baptist Church Hall. AGM followed by Ray Briggs giving a talk on “Chinese Wilson – Explorer and Collector”.

Members have their meetings in the Baptist Church Hall from 7.45 p.m. on the third Tuesday monthly. Celia Davies will give an illustrated talk about “Insects in the Garden” on Tuesday 20th March and visitors are welcome for only £1.

Our Annual General Meeting is on Tuesday 27th March, 7.30 p.m. for 8.00 p.m. in the Village Hall, Ullenhall. The meeting will be followed by cheese and wine. New members always welcome to join our friendly club with a lively programme of speakers, visits and holidays.

We are holding an Easter Bonnet Competition at the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane on 31st March at 2.00 p.m. There are four classes: 0-4 years; 5-11 years; 12-15yrs and OAP’s. Entrance is free and prizes will be presented to the winners.

HENLEY-IN-ARDEN DRAMA SOCIETY present Alan Ayckbourn’s “How the Other Half Loves” in the Memorial Hall from Wednesday 4th until Saturday 7th April. Tickets available from www.hads.org.uk or the Vanity Box. One of Ayckbourn’s masterpieces, it is definitely not to be missed.

Are holding an Easter Bonnet Competition at The Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane on March 31st at 2pm.
There are four classes: 0-4 yrs, 5-11 yrs, 12-15 yrs and OAPs. Entrance is free and prizes will be presented to the winners.

Volunteers are needed to assist in providing meals for the elderly in Henley and district. Deliverers are required to distribute meals on Tuesdays or Thursdays and kitchen helpers for Lunch Club at Dell Court on Tuesdays. Can you spare a couple of hours a month to help? If so, please telephone Peta on 01789 298236.

WINTER GARDEN PARTY with entertainment by Malcolm Stent is being held in the Memorial Hall on Saturday 24th March at 7.30 p.m. for supper at 8.00 p.m. Come in your gardening gear! The evening is being held in aid of the Guild Hall Garden Project. SOLD OUT.

Open to members (juniors and adults) of any standard. Full time coach. 7 courts open throughout the year mean that there is always a court available. No need to book. Club and American Tournaments held during summer months. League matches summer and winter. For details of membership please contact Judith Mathias 01564 792378
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.
Please tell all your friends about The Henley Diary. 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

From our own Correspondents

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