Henley NEWS On-line

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

Masthead picture - The daffodils are now in full bloom.

Edition 148 - 22nd March 2007
Every Thursday
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The Budget in Brief

Gordon Brown presented his eleventh Budget on Wednesday 21 March 2007. This is expected to be his last before he makes a bid to become Prime Minister.

He was upbeat about the state of the UK economy and reported a budget surplus of £11 billion over the economic cycle. This surplus, together with proposed asset sales and civil service cuts, allows him to invest further in public infrastructure projects as well as in security and defence.

The speech included the usual quick fire announcements covering tax years up to 2012. A highlight for many was the reduction in the basic rate of income tax to 20%, but this is countered by an expansion in the amount of income that is subject to national insurance. Sweeping changes are also to be made to the capital allowance and corporation tax systems.

The key elements were:

  • The basic rate of income tax to fall from 22p to 20p from April next year.
  • The main Corporation tax rate will be cut from 30p to 28p from April next year.
  • The small companies tax rate rises from 20% to 22%.
  • The top-rate income tax threshold will rise to £43,000 from April 2009.
  • The tax exemption for capital gains will rise from £8,800 to £9,200.
  • All companies will have a £50,000 Investment allowance giving them a 100% deduction of such expenditure against profits.

Sports Shed Application Registered

Warwickshire College's agents have lodged the planning application and it is now shown on the District Council's Panning website. Very few details about this much feared development are disclosed.

It is believed that the proposed Shed will be the height of two double decker buses and will be sited alongside the entrance to the sports complex which already generates so much light pollution. Numerous residents and organisations are preparing to resist this totally inappropriate industrial style building on the southern outskirts of the town. Even some members of the Warwickshire College staff have told Henley NEWS On-line confidentially that they would object if it was being built in the area where they lived.

It is to be hoped that the College will now answer the second request from Henley NEWS On-line for full details of their plans.

On environmental grounds alone, the application should be refused as the majority of the potential users would have to be bussed in. Henley already has excellent facilities and any justification of the development on amenity grounds for local residents is spurious.

Civic Society Renamed

The Annual General Meeting of the Henley and Beaudesert Civic Society was held on Thursday 15th March, when a new Constitution was adopted and the Society was renamed “The Henley and Beaudesert Society”. The current Officers of the Society were re-elected for a further year:

Vice Chairman:
 Ray Holding (High Bailiff)
Margaret Twigg
John Stott
Jonathon Dovey
Iris Birch

Following a well attended convivial AGM refreshments were served and Ray Briggs (who is a great-nephew of the subject) gave a fascinating talk on the life of Ernest Wilson, known more familiarly as “Chinese Wilson”, the famous Victorian explorer and plant-hunter.

Software: Microsoft OfficeBorn on 15th February 1876 in Chipping Camden, Ernest Wilson had a love for plants from a very early age. At sixteen he was employed as an apprentice gardener's boy at Hewitt’s nursery in Solihull, and then moved on to the Birmingham Botanic Gardens.


He studied at Birmingham Technical School in the evenings, and there received the Queen's Prize for botany. In 1897 he began work at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he won the Hooker Prize for a botanical essay. He was considering becoming a teacher of botany but at the age of 23 was offered a position with the firm of James Veitch & Sons to work as their plant collector in China.

Two French missionaries had for many years been collecting plants in China, and shipping the dried herbarium specimens back to their fellow botanists in Paris.

It was this knowledge of the vast variety of exotic flora that had inspired Sir Harry Veitch to look for a suitable collector to work in China.

Davidia involucrata, a tree of legendary beauty that was one of the first plants introduced to the west by E. H. Wilson. By PlantExplorers.com photographer J.W.Kingsley.Wilson travelled west, via the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts, where, during a brief five-day visit, he learned some of the newest techniques for shipping seeds and plants safely. While there he met the formidable Charles Sargent, who would play a significant role in Wilson's future expeditions. He continued across the continent by train, and sailed from San Francisco on May 6th 1899, reaching Hong Kong by June 3rd. An outbreak of plague meant that he was unable to take an interpreter with him on the road to Hanoi.

The entire region was affected by increasing political unrest, and although his journey up the Red River to the border between French Indochina and Yunnan province was largely uneventful, he was arrested and forced to wait several weeks in the town of Loa Chi before proceeding. Finally he was able to leave the suffocating heat and constant threat of malaria behind him, as he travelled west to Szemao to meet with Augustine Henry.

Henry had information on where a specimen of the now almost legendary “Handkerchief Tree”, Davidia involucrata, was growing, and it took Wilson 10 days to travel upriver to find the one tree he had come halfway around the world to see, only to find that it had been cut down to make beams for a new house. As he tried to make the most of it, he investigated the local flora and found Actinidia deliciosa, now known throughout the world as 'Kiwi Fruit'. Barely a month later, however, Wilson did find a magnificent grove of Davidia and was able to collect a large quantity of the seed.

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 4.0In subsequent years he became a collector for Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, and made expeditions to China in 1907, 1908, and 1910, as well as to Japan (1911-1915) where he collected 63 named forms cherry trees. He returned to Asia 1917-1918, exploring in Korea and Formosa. During one of his last expeditions he was severely injured in an avalanche and retained a limp for the rest of his life. Upon return to the Arnold Arboretum in 1919 he was appointed Associate Director. Despite his disabilities, three years later he set off for a 2-year expedition through Australia, New Zealand, India, Central and South America, and East Africa. Eventually In 1927 he became Keeper of the Arnold Arboretum.

[FMP-field: image]Upon his semi-retirement he became enamoured of the motor car and it was this that resulted in his untimely death in a motor accident when both he and his wife were killed in 1930.

All in all, Wilson collected thirty-five cases full of tubers, corms, bulbs and rhizomes, and dried herbarium specimens representing some 906 plant species along with the seed of over 300 plant species. The descendants of many of the plants introduced to western cultivation from his first expedition can be found throughout gardens in the UK. However, despite Wilson’s original discovery, the credit for introducing the Handkerchief Tree to Europe must go to Père Paul Guillaume Farges who returned to France in 1897 with thirty-seven seeds, one of which finally grew.

A Wilson Memorial Garden has been established on the outskirts of Chipping Camden (opened in 1984) in order to celebrate his considerable achievements. The garden, open every day free of charge, is planted exclusively with Wilson introductions.

The first meeting of the new programme of the Society is on Thursday 19th April when there will be a talk by Michael Miles entitled “The “Baron” of Packwood House”. New members and visitors are very welcome.


Again we have had another successful year with a range of activities. We have been forced to change the venue for holding our meetings due to new legislation; because of the lack of disabled access the fire station room unfortunately was no longer deemed suitable, and since April our meetings have been held in the Baptist Church Rooms.

During the year we have had a varied and interesting selection of speakers. Roy Palmer started the year with a fascinating insight into the folklore of Warwickshire. We had a particularly moving talk by Paul Oppenheimer who shared his experiences during the Holocaust. We also had a fascinating illustrated talk on local monumental finds, and another highlighting Anthony Eden’s local connections. Our Christmas party was a great success; I would like to express my thanks to the refreshment sub committee for the excellent food, and John Rutherford for organising the drinks. The scheduled entertainment “Comic Potential” were unable to attend, but we were lucky that Jill Fraser stood in at the last minute. She amused us with anecdotes of her work as a television presenter, and how she came to write her recently published book. The New Year started well with an interesting story of the Leigh family by Mairi MacDonald. Meetings have been well attended, and we have welcomed many visitors and several new members over the past year.

We have had three very successful outside events; an outing to Rockingham Castle on a glorious sunny day in June, a guided visit and lunch at the Quaker meeting House in Warwick, and in August we had a fascinating guided walk along the river Alne to explore the work being done by the Environment Agency.

Having withdrawn our membership from the Civic Trust several items in the constitution which was agreed in 2002 are no longer appropriate and a proposed revised constitution is enclosed with this report. Adoption of the amended constitution and the name of the Society are to be voted for at the A.G.M.

Whilst we are not politically active, one of our objectives is to safeguard the character of Henley, and the committee has been keeping a watchful eye on the heritage of the town on members’ behalf. Not only do we keep up links with the Heritage centre and the Court Leet, we also liaise with the Joint Parish Council, and have a committee member responsible for reading Council meeting reports. Re-development of the railway station, the positioning of the proposed extension to the Warwickshire college sports hall, the poor state of the mile stone have been on our agenda. We continued the saga with One Stop regarding their garish sign, and made numerous more requests; this has paid off as it in January the sign was replaced with new smaller less obtrusive garish sign which is more in keeping on the historic high street. We try and support local organisations and have sent a small donation to Henley in Bloom, the Heritage centre, and the Guild Hall garden scheme.

In November Ray Holding was appointed High Bailiff and becomes President of the Society, making a vacancy on the committee, Derek Williams was co-opted to fill the vacancy.

My thanks go to the committee who have guided me and supported me during the year. Jonathon for his excellent bookwork and accounts, Iris for her efficient secretarial work, despite not having a computer, to Pam Kearsley for her excellent work as programme secretary, John Stott for his news reports, Bob Currie for being responsible for opening and closing up the Baptist Church Rooms, Dawn for organising the refreshments at meetings, and John Rutherford who has taken over from Ray in keeping us up to date with member’s names and numbers. Finally many thanks to members who have given votes of thanks, helped with the refreshments, moved furniture, helped with publicity and advertising, and to everyone for supporting the society.

Margaret Twigg

"There's a lot more to come" says Mat Jackson

Henley-in-Arden's Mat Jackson has said "There‚s a lot more to come" after dazzling in his first run against notable Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship stars such as Jason Plato and Colin Turkington.

Mat was on track in his family-run Jacksons M.Sport team BMW at the spectacular Rockingham venue for the BTCC‚s annual season launch and promptly set the seventh fastest time outright in official testing, only eight tenths of a second off the top time set by Italian superstar Fabrizio Giovanardi in the works Vauxhall Vectra.

Mat, last year's SEAT Cupra Champion, says: "There's a lot more to come in terms of speed and time from me and the car. We were nowhere near our maximum pace and had the wrong gear ratios in the car meaning we were continually 10kms slower than we should be at the end of the straights. We were at third in the times when we stopped running so inevitable we slipped down the order during the afternoon as my best time had been set whilst filming a few laps for Maxim magazine. There was no point in keeping pushing knowing that we had the wrong gear settings. What was encouraging is that I was matching the times of all the manufactures teams at our first test. I'm very encouraged with what our team have achieved so far and there‚s still more than a fortnight before the first round at Brands Hatch (31st March-1st April)."

After winning last year‚s SEAT title Mat has stepped up to the BTCC for 2007 with the very same BMW 320si E90 driven by Andy Priaulx to last year's World Touring Car title.

At Rockingham‚s media day Mat‚s car was besieged by photographers as he along with four models from top men‚s magazine Maxim unveiled the car's 2007 livery. So impressed with Mat's results are Maxim that they have become his media partner for 2007 adding to support from Solihull-based Whale Tankers and BMW dealership Nick Whale. Maxim even filmed inside from Mat's car and footage will soon be up on Maxim's website www.maximmag.co.uk.

Mat adds: "There were hundreds of media there and even after the photoshoot we had journalists and photographers coming up throughout the whole day wanting interviews and pictures. It was a great way to really get our season going and with a bit more testing of the car planned I‚m confident we'll be challenging for podium results from the first round."

Mat's arrival in the BTCC will be shown live during the year on Sunday afternoons on ITV1 and one of ITV‚s digital. Freeview channel Men & Motors will also show highlights of the BTCC and all races will also be shown live on subscriber sports channel Setanta Sports. TV times will become available soon.

Successful First Year

Martin Emm has told Henley NEWS On-line that the new HENLEY TYRES in Mayswood Road, Wootton Wawen (01564 797 533) has had a successful first year's trading. The business was set up in May 2006.

Many local businesses such as Westmacott / Sue Dalby Catering support them by showing their leaflet in their shop window.

Henley Tyres competes well with national companies such as Kwikfit, National Tyres etc.

Congratulations to Henley Tyres and please support them. It is all our interests to see new businesses in Henley prosper.

If you are starting a new business or have an established business in Henley please tell Henley NEWS On-line about it.

St Mary's Traditional Irish Folk Evening

St Mary's will be holding a wine, beer and song evening at the Memorial Hall on Sat 31st March 2007 to raise funds for St Mary`s Catholic Primary School.

There is a desperate need for a covered walkway between classrooms and the event will raise money for this purpose.

A local traditional Irish folk band called Dark Island will be playing plus Irish dancers, a buffet, all for the price of £10.00 per person.

Further information from St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Fiona Hickey

Charity Wine Tasting on Wednesday March 28th

Wine tasting’s can be a bit intimidating but whether you are a wine buff or just an enthusiastic ‘drinker’ this Charity evening is not to be missed.

Presented by Jayne Bridges, a well known wine-taster, whose face may be familiar from ‘Mrs Bridges Boozers’ (a series of wine programmes for Carlton TV) her style is informative but informal.

Over the past ten years she has also hosted over 950 wine tasting’s for ASDA, so she should have got the hang of it by now.

The White Swan Hotel in Henley-in-Arden has recently changed hands and the new owner, Steve Bennett, is launching a new dedicated TV Channel called Vinappris on Sky on March 19th.

All the wine and the buffet supper is being donated so all the monies raised will go directly to The Shakespeare Hospice.

Tickets are available from The White Swan, The Shakespeare Hospice (01789 266 852) or by emailing Drinks-marketing.com

From Belsen to Buckingham Palace

Members of the Henley and Beaudesert Society will be saddened to hear of the passing of Paul Oppenheimer who told his incredible story to the Society last October. As a tribute to this gallant gentleman, Henley NEWS On-line is reprinting the report of a truly moving evening.

‘They never asked me if I was in Belsen.’ Mr Paul Oppenheimer MBE explained as he related his remarkable story to the Henley and Beaudesert Civic Society’s October meeting.

In a calm but captivating style Mr Oppenheimer told the story of his early life in Nazi Germany and Holland. Despite his parents being non practicing Jews they still suffered Nazi oppression in Berlin. So, in 1936 his mother brought him, aged seven, and his younger brother Rudi to stay with relatives in England. His father remained in Berlin for a while but soon managed to get a company transfer to Amsterdam where the family reassembled, now including Mr Oppenheimer’s sister, Eve, born in London. Relating the happy days of his childhood in Holland, Mr Oppenheimer mentioned skating on the frozen canals and playing football in the street with non Jewish children without regard to religious affiliation.

On the 10th May 1940, when he was 11 years old the Germans invaded Holland and persecution resumed, gradually at first by classifying pure Arian Germans as citizens and everyone else as subjects without rights. Further classifications divided out Jews on the criterion of having two Jewish grandparents. Identity cards were mandatory and those of Jews carried a ‘J’ beside the photograph. A progressive series of restrictions over subsequent months resulted in all Jews being concentrated in south east Amsterdam wearing yellow stars on the left breast of all items of clothing. They were, were banned from parks, restaurants, hotels and public transport and eventually even from owning bicycles. They were under curfew from 8pm to 6am with no access to radios. During this time, Mr Oppenheimer learned about Judaism for the first time in his life, since all Jews had to attend a Jewish school. Classmates gradually disappeared without warning as deportations to transit camps in Poland began and in June 1943, the family was given 30 minutes notice to depart their home and bring with them food for 3 days plus blankets and towels. Life in the camp was hard labour digging potatoes, the family was split, living in separate male and female barracks . Mr Oppenheimer still has documents relating to this time, one of them recording his weekly bath at 3pm on Fridays.

Every Monday the names of those who had to leave the camp that day were called out. All others had to stay in barracks and knew only that an eastbound train carried the 1000 named people away in cattle trucks. Most of these were killed within a week at Auschwitz , only about 1% surviving. The Oppenheimers realised that their stay in the camp was unusually long. The reason, unknown to them at the time, was the British nationality of Eve, which classified the family as exchange Jews who were retained for possible exchange for German prisoners of war.

After 7 months in the transit camp, all exchange Jews were taken to Belsen (left), a much worse camp with guards with machine guns. Exchange Jews lived in an area for privileged prisoners, were not shaved and kept their civil clothing, in contrast to others who wore striped prison uniform.

The 4000 people in this special area were counted every day, which often required them to stand in the yard for many hours, sometimes all day, whatever the weather.Food was meager consisting of turnip soup for lunch and a thick slice of bread in the evening. By the winter of ‘44/’45 they were in poor health looking like “starving skeletons”. Typhus broke out and they spent hours every day searching for and killing the body lice which were the agents by which Typhus was transmitted. In January ‘45 Mrs Oppenhiemer contracted Typhus and died a few days later, leaving Eve aged 8 alone in the female barracks where an orthodox Jew kindly looked after her. Two months later his father also died of typhus within 1 month of liberation. Camp inmates were dying at the rate of 600 per day.

On 10th April, 2500 exchange Jews were evacuated from Belsen, allied forces being only 20 miles away. They had no food and had to evacuate the train during allied air attacks which they watched whilst lying in nearby fields. From these same fields they scavenged leaves and grass. After two weeks on the train the SS guards disappeared and the train was liberated by Russian Cossacks with whom they couldn’t communicate to explain who they were. When eventually freed they went out hunting for food initially from fields but later aided by the Cossacks they helped themselves from local shops. Mr Oppenhiemer returned to the train one day with a wheelbarrow full of tubes of cheese paste.

Next day, he and his brother showed the spots symptomatic of typhus and they were taken to a Russian army hospital for four weeks. The brothers were then taken to an American camp in Leipzig. As a result of becoming obsessed with food they had forgotten all about their sister who they had last seen on the train some four weeks previously. Just as they were leaving the camp to return to Holland they saw their sister on an incoming vehicle and felt really embarrassed that they had forgotten about her. If they had left a few minutes earlier they may never have seen her again.

They contacted their uncle, who took Eve to England but Rudi and Paul had to stay in a Jewish Orphanage for some months until they got visas. The children aged 17,14 and 9 started a new life in England and didn’t talk about their concentration camp experience for over forty years. For the last 10 years Mr Oppenheimer has been relating his story to schools. He does this so such events should not happen again, reminding us of the quote, ’He who does not learn from history will repeat it!’

Mr Oppenheimer continued with a synopsis of his life in England, studying for a degree, marrying, working for BSA and Lucas and culminating in being awarded the MBE for services to British industry. A reporter interviewing him about his MBE asked him about Belsen. This led Mr Oppenheimer to realise that people ought to know more about it. Up to this time, none of his work colleagues knew about his experiences at the hands of the Nazis and when asked why not, he said, ‘They never asked me if I was in Belsen.’

John Stott - Reporting
John Love - Photo of Mr Oppenheimer

Earth Hour - 7.30pm to 8.30pm - Sat March 31, 2007

Earth hour is a fabulous opportunity for you and your family to do something about climate change. On one night, in one hour, more will be done, more will be demonstrated, and more will be learned than through a hundred 'talk-fests' and YOU can help to make it happen.

It sounds simple but it is very dramatic. At 7.30 pm on March 31st, we will be encouraging companies, government departments, individuals and families
to turn off their lights for just one hour. If we meet our objectives during the first Earth Hour, the savings in green house gas emissions will be the
equivalent of taking 75,000 medium sized cars off the road for one whole year! Now that has to be something worth doing! The facts are alarmingly clear.

The climate is changing! The ten hottest years on record have occurred since 1990. In fact 2005 was the hottest year since record keeping began.(Australian Bureau of Meteorology). Almost 70% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions come from energy production. More than 95% of the Great Barrier Reef will have been destroyed by 2050 if carbon dioxide emissions aren't reduced.

One million species worldwide are facing extinction due to climate change. But not everyone listens to facts. EARTH HOUR is your opportunity to demonstrate how a simple change in our way of life could help to save the planet.

Households: Most of us use unnecessary electricity. Appliances on standby, old style light bulbs, lights left on when we're not using them. Earth Hour will help us all to realise just how simply we can make a dramatic impact upon global warming (and our own power bills) and see it in action

Companies: We want companies to be involved. If every company in Australia turned off the lights when the buildings weren't in use and combined it with energy saving technology, we would save between 2 and 4 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses every year. Earth Hour will show companies just how easy that is.

Power companies: We will be asking power companies to provide special deals for companies and households to switch to Green Power.

To make it an annual event: Out of the 8,766 hours in a year, let us give one back to the earth.

What you can do: Sign up to Earth Hour and pledge to turn off your lights on March 31st from 7.30 to 8.30pm by logging on to www.earthhour.org

You will receive all the info that you need to make it a great success (and cut your own energy bills in the long term) Pledging is free.

Get off standby: Turn off all the electronic equipment and appliances in your home that are not being used or are on standby. Computers, televisions, stereo equipment, phone chargers, DVD or video equipment - you can find out more about this from WWF at wwf.org.au

Another thing you can do before the event is switch to Green Power: Contact your electricity provider today. If all Australians switched to Green Power the saving in CO 2 emissions would be the equivalent of what is pumped out of 40 million cars! That's like taking every car in Australia off the road four times over.

Spread the word — Once you have signed up for Earth Hour, spread the word at work, tell your boss, mention it at school, at your local sports club or society group, you can even run it past your neighbours!

Make it an event: Get out and into the park for an hour; take binoculars and look at the stars; sit and talk; explore your backyard by torchlight; have fun with sparklers; or just go for a stroll. Do something non-electric as a family - pretend you are camping; have a candlelit dinner!

For more info on Earth Hour check out www.earthhour.org


Molly Corfield, Henley-in-Arden

Jigsaws, who does them?

My wife and I, along with friends often spend an evening having a take out and doing a jigsaw. But once done, who wants to do a jigsaw again. So I have a couple of suggestions here.

Who wants to swap a few jigsaws? If there are a few jigsaw puzzlers out there maybe we could swap and help charity at the same time…

If we had a pool of puzzles we could get a ‘new’ one for a nominal sum. When done we could swap for another. Maybe bring one back get £1, take another one £2. Net profit for a charity £1. These sums could be changed to increase revenue.

For this suggestion to work, we need:

  • a good supply of puzzles
  • somewhere to store them
  • a charity to support
  • a few volunteers to administer
  • a supply of new puzzles every so often

Suggestions please….


Andy Langford

Birmingham Housewife in the Artic Circle for Charity

Intrepid Midlands adventurer Kay White is back in her beloved Artic leading a dog sledding trek across the frozen waste to raise £10,000 for Birmingham charity Cure Leukaemia who are based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

She, Alex Black of Football First and John Woodhull MD of Woodhull Roofing of Solihull, are in the same hostile region which last week claimed the lives of 2 Scotsmen. The main danger lies in the fact that weather conditions can change in minutes from being benign to 100 mph blizzards which completely disorientate travellers.

When Kay and her chums return they are having a party at the brand new Cotton Club in the Arcadian Centre to talk about their journey and also launch the rest of Kay’s 2007 trekking programme to Kilimanjaro in July and Everest Base Camp in October. Last year she raised £100,000 for the charity through her treks. She will be supported at the party by some of her celebrity fund raising friends at Cure Leukaemia including cricketers Ashley Giles, Dougie Brown and footballer Geoff Thomas.

If you would like to welcome her back and hear more about trekking with Kay in 2007 come along to the Cotton Club on March 29th at 6.00pm.

Tickets are £15 from Hayley Dunn at Cure Leukaemia (phone 0121-627-5858) or email Hayley.cure-leukaemia@fsmail.netThe price includes a free drink, food and entertainment as well as a questions and answers session with Kay.

If you wish to join Kay at the Cotton Club and hear about her adventures tickets cost £15.00 per person to include a complimentary drink, entertainment and canapés. Or if you would be interested in joining Kay on any of her treks please contact:

Hayley Dunn on 0121 627 5858 or email Hayley@cure-leukaemia@fsmail.net
You can also support / sponsor Kay online at www.justgiving.com/kay-white

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The Manor of Henley-in-Arden

Court Leet and Court Baron

Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff

How many of you have noticed the elaborate chimneys on the Guild Hall? They are the inspiration for a knot garden which it is planned to install later this year in the present Guild Hall garden. The knot garden has been designed by Geoffrey Smith, a notable landscape architect who has been responsible for some of the recent developments in the garden of the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick.

Any sharp-eyed individual who has been in the Guild Hall itself recently may have noticed the grandfather clock now has a blank face. Its dial and works have been removed for repair and will shortly be back in place. The clock will then be going again after resting for a number of years. The dial has the words “Isaac Court Henley in Arden” painted on it and its presence in the Guild Hall is entirely appropriate. Isaac Court worked as a clockmaker in Henley and in Solihull between 1743 and 1801 and served as High Bailiff towards the end of the eighteenth century. The clock was presented to the Guild Hall Trust by E D Goodrich in 1964. It is one of a number of items which have been presented to the Trust over the years. Another item, presented by R L Newcombe in 1934, occupies a prominent position on one of the beams in the Guild Hall: it is the jet from the town’s old horse-drawn fire engine.

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

The Arsenal Soccer School at Warks College

Warwickshire College are pleased to announce that as from the 1st March 2007 Simply Soccer in association with The Arsenal Soccer Schools will be operating in Warwickshire.

They will be operating The Arsenal Soccer Schools for boys and girls aged from 6 – 14. The soccer schools will include after school clubs and holiday clubs throughout the County

As would be expected from one of Europe’s top clubs they will provide premium yet fun coaching in a friendly, safe environment .In addition any children that attend will enter into The Arsenal Soccer Singles 1 v 1 and Soccer Doubles 2 v 2 challenge with the winners going through to the regional finals with an opportunity to play in the National Finals on the pitch at The Emirates Stadium on 7th May 2007. The children who attend our soccer schools will also be able to take part in Arsenal’s brand new soccer skills internet based initiative to further help them to develop (www.skillsxtra.com) We only use the highest quality coaches all are FA qualified, have undergone child protection programmes and have full CRB checks.

The first Arsenal Soccer Schools in Warwickshire will be held during the school Easter holidays at Stratford Town Football Club, Stratford Upon Avon and The Warwickshire College Henley in Arden. The Henley in Arden Soccer Schools are both two day s in duration and will be held on Wednesday 4th - Thursday 5th April and Tuesday 10th – Wednesday 11th April. All children are welcome regardless of ability or which team they support and all will receive a certificate and a gift for attending. Places are strictly limited to ensure quality of coaching so applications will be taken on a first come first served basis.

For more information please contact Neil Evans, Director of Football, 07968 231222 or email naepro41@aol.com

John Garner's Business Column

The personal travel business

John GarnerWhenever we mention flying these days someone reminds us of its contribution to global warming.    You can’t travel anywhere without producing carbon dioxide no matter what form of motorised transport you use, but opinions do seem to vary as to which mode of transport has the greatest CO2 impact, depending whether your allegiance is to an airline or a motor manufacturer.   Of course, whether CO2 actually does cause global warming is still unproven – but let’s not pursue that argument here.

You’d think this criticism of flying would have hit the leisure travel business hard – but it seems not. 

Talking to Stephen Hall of Carrick Travel the other day I learned that we are becoming more adventurous and travelling greater distances in our appetite to see as much of our ever shrinking world as possible before some of it disappears for ever.  

The "Tailor-Made" holiday is an ever increasing sector of the travelling market and is a high priority for customers who have a busy lifestyle.  People are more and more "doing what they want to do and not what they are told to do" and they demand a personalized itinerary.   Australasia and Latin America are particularly popular nowadays with many travellers often visiting other destinations as stop-overs on the way.   Certainly people in the UK are becoming more adventurous.

It doesn't have to be flying though.  Cruising is also very popular with more and more ships departing from the UK and ports such as Southampton, Harwich, Dover and even Falmouth.  

Carrick Travel is a local company which has been in business for 30 years offering a personal service.   They used to have an office in Henley. They relocated some time ago and now have offices in Stratford, Leamington, Kenilworth, Coventry, Bourton on the Water and Chipping Norton.  They also have a corporate travel division, a group travel division, a golf and sports travel operation and a department specialising in Australasia.

They reckon that, between them, their staff have over 275 years of service during which time they have travelled some 500,000 miles.   I won't try and work out how much CO2 they've generated in that time – that would be unfair to the travel industry! 

Further information can be found at: www.carricktravel.com .

Incidentally, I've no idea how much CO2 is generated by a cruise liner.   If anyone out there knows, please write to the Editor.

John Garner

The Nigel Hastilow Column

Carbon footprints (in the sand)

Nigel HastilowAs we’re all being urged to go green, reduce our carbon footprints and save the planet, I thought I’d better see how much it was likely to cost. Some people think each of us is responsible for six tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions a year. Others claim it’s 12 tonnes. Either way, they think it’s far too much. According to carbonfootprint.dom it’s five tonnes on average but based on my profligate lifestyle I’m guilty of seven tonnes all by myself.

But don’t be alarmed. All I need to do is turn off the CD player and the TV instead of leaving them on stand-by, fit energy-efficient light-bulbs, turn the central heating down one degree and avoid going to work twice a week.

Alas, if you seriously want to reduce your carbon footprint, you’re going to have to pay for it. All the big energy-savers cost money – and it takes so long to get your money back the ice caps will have melted long before your investment brings in any financial return.

For instance, you’re supposed to chuck out all your old kitchen appliances and replace them with machines carrying the Energy Saving Recommended logo. I reckon a new fridge, freezer, dishwasher and washing machine would probably cost about £1,250. That would reduce our energy bills by £45 a year, taking 27 years to get your money back. Mind you, it’s not that easy to get shot of an old fridge these days because they’re terribly unfriendly to the environment being chock full of ozone-depleting gases.

Still, let’s not despair. We’re also told to fit double glazing to the windows. The National Energy Foundation reckons it would save as much as £80 to £100 a year. Snag is it would cost about £400 a window to install, if you did eight at one time, making the cost £3,200. It may be mildly eco-friendly but it’s not terribly bank manager-friendly.

Another wheeze is to spend £2,500 on a new condensing boiler for the central heating. This saves us £200 a year which means pay-back takes a mere 12 years or so. There are some more cost-effective measures: cavity wall insulation costs £400 and saves about £150 a year; loft insulation costs £250 and saves £200 a year; a jacket round the hot water tank costs £20 and saves about the same in a year.

Even so, for an investment of £7,620 we would have to feel pretty pleased with ourselves. We won’t get our money back in a hurry but at least we would be doing our bit to save the planet. Alas that’s not the end of it. To make a real difference we’ve got to start thinking about our travel plans as well. The car is an evil, dirty, filthy little machine, the spawn of Satan, and to be treated with the contempt it deserves. Or at least it’s to be left at home twice a week.

That is easier said than done. Can you actually get to work on public transport whether you want to or not? Do you need a car during the course of your busy day? Can you cycle to the office instead? Or jog?

Maybe we must all become home-workers if we are to save the planet. Except then they’ll be heating and lighting offices and factories for us while we’re wasting more energy heating and lighting our own homes. Still, using the car is not entirely forbidden even if the Energy Savings Trust says 22 per cent of this country’s CO2 emissions are caused by road transport. Apparently we should simply drive more carefully to conserve fuel.

All we need to do is avoid idling the engine, make sure our tyres are properly inflated, select the right gear, use the air conditioner sparingly, use the cruise control and get the car regularly serviced. Oh and don’t drive aggressively and stick to the speed limits. It’s all pretty easy, isn’t it? Tootle along at 28 mph smiling at everyone, smug in the knowledge that you, too, are a fully paid-up eco-warrior. And by skipping two days at work we’re saving lots of travel money – assuming we don’t get sacked of course.

Then there is that other big issue – going on holiday. It’s our holidaymaking which really kills the planet, allegedly. According to the National Energy Foundation each of us is responsible for 116 kilogrammes of CO2 emissions on a 400-mile flight. On that basis, a return trip to Spain might account for about half a tonne of CO2 per passenger. Go by train and it would be worth just 10 kilos per hundred miles.

Somehow, though, I still don’t believe saving the planet can be this simple. Who seriously thinks buying a new fridge, a few expensive light-bulbs and a wet week in Aberdovey will somehow compensate for the filth chucked into the atmosphere by the People’s Republic of China? Global warming may be an issue that affects us all – but it’s not one that many of us can affect, no matter what the eco-preachers tell us.

And I regret to say that as you read this I am sunning myself on a beach half way round the world. Whoops, sorry.

Nigel Hastilow      

Grumpy Old Man Comments

Red Nose Day

Red Nose day has happened,  another 2 year wait until the next one!

Well the UK has yet again stumped up another £40,236,142 (so far), fantastic we all say. Another pat on the back and we can all get on with our life for another year. Or at least until Children in need etc.

But let us put something into perspective : as of July 2006 the UK population was 60,609,153.

So what you are all saying. But red nose day, which does such great work both in the UK and Africa raised approx 30p per person in the UK per year.  Now I know the very young don’t contribute and cash, not many under 2 year old babies have the income, and many less fortunate people just don’t have the cash to donate.  So let me have some artistic licence here and round up the amount per person per year to £1 or even £2. hey not much eh?

I know all the schools and nurseries do lots of fund raising, along with adults from clubs, pubs teams etc. And many of us pay again on the night over the phone. So there must be many people out there who just don’t donate at all !

Yes I know £40 million is great, but on average £1 - £2 per person per year sounds not quite as good.

Please keep giving, not only cash but time can also help


Grumpy Old Man

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