Henley NEWS On-line


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

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Edition 176 - 4th October  2007
Every Thursday
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“Woodman, Woodman Spare That Tree”

Thankfully, that is what a Stratford District Council Planning Committee agreed in confirming a tree preservation order on the Mulberry Tree in the Court Leet Garden.

Being in a conservation area, the law requires that any felling or work to trees requires planning permission, the reason for the TPO was a reaction to a request to accommodate a restructuring of the gardens. Convenience is hardly a valid reason to fell a tree in a conservation area, otherwise a flood of requests would be considered reasonable, from garden sheds to garages.

Conservation areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve. Landscape features, including trees, also contribute to the special character of a conservation area. That is why so many residents and the Parish Council objected to the Court Leet’s planning application to fell the tree.

In its edition of 20th September, Henley News On-line raised a number of issues criticising those wanting to preserve the tree. I do not wish to labour through all the points, but deal with the following as an example of the inaccuracies in its statements:

  • It is claimed £18,000 has been collected for the construction of the Knot Garden. It is, however, only an element of the cost in the restructuring of the gardens, which includes the long-neglected area in Beaudesert Lane.
  • All professional opinion confirms that the tree is in good condition, is mature and exhibits strong vitality with good fruiting. The Head of Arboriculture at Warwickshire College, Moreton Morrell was aware the intention was to remove the tree and to replace it with a medieval knot garden, but states “no arboricultural reason exists why the tree should be removed and that it justifies a preservation order.”
  • It is claimed that many residents and organisations support the removal of the Mulberry. If the minutes of a Town Improvement Committee meeting on 8th August are correct, it is perhaps no wonder, for they were told it is “already in poor condition”. That is not so.
  • It is claimed that a petition with 287 signatures was collected outside Somerfield, supporting the TPO. That is not so – only 3 were collected at Somerfield. The visit was to get a signature from a member of staff, however 2 other residents became interested and when the purpose was explained, readily agreed to support it. One, incidentally, is the mother of, perhaps, the senior office holder in the Court Leet.
  • In addition to the Parish Councillors in the public area, there were residents concerned to save the Mulberry. They do not have the grand titles cited in 20th September article but are active in the community and contribute to it. Between them, they average 48 years as residents, which I imagine is well above those opposing the TPO.
  • To say the matter can be brought back in 2 years is wrong. No time limit exists on a TPO.

In closing, I give an extract of a letter from a resident that reflects the majority of opinion.

“I learn some very sad news in Henley. It has been decided by some 8 to10 people in this Town that our Mulberry Tree in the Guildhall Garden is to be felled. This, I think, is criminal”.

George Atkinson

Guild Hall Garden Project.  
There will be a Coffee Morning in the Guild Hall from 10.30 am to 12.00 noon on Saturday, 3 November.  The present position of the project will be explained and the latest plans will be on display.

Sponsor for Xmas Lights

Henley NEWS On-line has received the following enquiry from a former resident. Do any of our readers know who is organising the lights this year?

Hi there
I wonder if you could point me in the right direction for who is dealing with the Christmas lights this year?  I notice Westmacotts are putting on a dinner to raise some money for them and wanted to know more about how much cash needed to be raised to fund them.
Many thanks.

With reference to your item in this week’s Henley News On-line, the Christmas Lights in Henley are organised by the following:

Beaudesert & Henley Christmas Lights Working Party

Please be kind enough to pass this information to you correspondent.
Les Goodman - Chairman & Treasurer
  - 01564793439

email: lgoodman@gotadsl.co.uk

Social Housing Debate Continues

Dear Editor,
I have been given some information which I would like to share with your readers. It appears the JPC has recently carried out an appraisal on the social housing needs of Henley and a total of 27 properties are required to fulfil the shortfall of properties for local people. So why are eleven social properties being built behind the Black Swan and another sixty seven being proposed on the market site? And who are they for?  

I can only assume the JPC and District Council are bowing to pressure put on them by the government because of the growing immigration population around this area. We know Stratford, Leamington, Warwick are  having problems with the immigrants i.e. muggings burglary etc., so why not Henley. They have got to live somewhere:

  • We have plenty of factories, asparagus and strawberry farms so plenty of work for them.
  • We have an excellent doctors surgery, where if you want to see your own doctor you only have to wait a week.
  • We have an excellent supermarket large enough to accommodate another 78 families.
  • We have regular public transport (one bus an hour) to take them to the social security office. We have rich pickings for them to help themselves to (an elderly population who are quite capable of fighting them off with their shopping trolleys when their purses  are under threat).
  • We have our anti social youths which the new element will soon deal with.
  • We have our hobby bobbies to keep them in line as long as they don’t misbehave at inconvenient times.

195,000. are expected next year an increase of 50,000, but with that in mind it has been reported that 200,000. Brits are leaving this country every year to live in Australia (first choice) New Zealand and of course France and Spain, so according to these figures we should be reducing our population by 5,000 per annum. Therefore we should not need more housing, but of course the people leaving have got properties to sell so why doesn’t the government buy these properties and utilize them for the immigrants.

We shouldn’t be concerned that it’s the doctors, nurses, teachers, dentists and skilled workmen that are leaving us. After all we don’t need them and moreover we can’t afford them. But what does concern me is that we quarantine any animal that comes into our country for six months to ensure the safety of our wild life. Yet people can walk into this country without even having a medical (try to do that in Australia, New Zealand, or America) it’s no wonder that diseases which we would rather not talk about are on the increase and of course this is putting more financial strain on the health service so maybe we do need the doctors and nurses after all.  

It’s only my opinion but we seem to be losing the people we should be trying to keep and replacing them with people we shouldn’t really want but then what do I know I’m just a housewife!

A Concerned Resident

Driver Required

Local businessman is seeking a driver for 1 or 2 days per week. Henley resident would be ideal and the hours would be flexible but during normal office hours.

For further information contact the editor who will put you in touch: editor@henleynews.co.uk

HADS Presents Fawlty Towers

HADS (Henley-in-Arden Drama Society) are proud to present three episodes of the much loved television comedy Fawlty Towers, which will run in the Memorial Hall, Henley-in-Arden, from Wednesday October 24th until Saturday October 27th. Doors will open at 7pm, with curtain up at 7.30pm.

The Saturday evening will be one of our popular Supper Evenings, with the seating arranged in tables rather than the more formal rows.

Tickets are bound to be in demand for this, so make sure you book early.

Tickets will be priced at £5 for the Wednesday, £6 for Thursday and Friday, and £12 for Saturday (which will include the supper - why not bring some wine to enjoy with it).

The episodes we are presenting are:

    * The Hotel Inspectors
    * Communication problems
    * Waldorf Salad

We look forward to seeing you there. Tickets can be booked online here or from the Vanity Box in the High Street.

Tony Capps

Thinking of standing for the JPC

Election of 12 Councillors on 1st May 2008 Information on the Henley Gateway website


"Birmingham's Back to Backs" Full of Secrets

In her vote of thanks,” Inspiring” was how Eunice Williams described Derek Clark’s talk to the September meeting of the Henley and Beaudesert Society. Derek, a conservation architect, entertained the house with his story about the restoration of these unique properties.

The “back to backs” are one of the few remaining examples of tens of thousands of such properties. Their characteristic is a rear party wall, so dwellings are back to back as well as side by side. The back houses looked onto a courtyard which contained a washhouse and ‘shared facilities’. The front or street houses accessed the ‘facilities’ via a passageway between a pair of houses. The particular group of eleven houses built between 1802 and 1831 were converted to shops in the early 1900’s. During this process original features were covered up or removed and thrown into the cellars which were completely full and inaccessible at the time of renovation. Removing false panels and clearing prior to restoration revealed many original features and items providing invaluable evidence to facilitate restoration of truly authentic details. Individual properties have been restored to represent different periods during their lifetime. Three properties are holiday lets.

The recent use of the properties entirely as shops lead to there being little maintenance of upper floors and Derek’s pictures of the state of dilapidation in some areas were unbelievable. One lintel and widow frame was so rotten that only the glass was preventing complete collapse. One wall had moved 5 inches out of line and needed immediate support to prevent the issuing of a demolition order.

The restoration was funded by the Birmingham Conservation Trust, National Trust and Lottery funding. To get such funding a business plan is needed. One of Derek’s secrets was that the plan estimated 15,000 visitors for the first year but the actual number turned out to be 50,000.

The shops were still open during Derek’s initial surveys. Four of the properties were linked to form a large tailors shop. In the upper floors, amongst buckets collecting drips of rainwater were £400 suits and 7 pairs of white breeches. Derek couldn’t resist asking, so another secret was revealed – the shop had an order for 400 pairs of whites for the Household Cavalry.

During the 1800’s, the imposition of a wallpaper tax lead to decoration of walls by means of stenciling. In one of the dwellings a small area of stenciled wall was found. An expert from the Victoria and Albert museum declared this to be one of only 4 known examples. Bizarrely, it was preserved and protected in situ and covered up so it’s still there in house no. 3 for no one to see – definitely another secret!

During the restoration, two sisters who once lived in one of the houses during the ‘50s came and asked if they could look around. Whilst in one of the upstairs rooms another secret was revealed. One of them lifted a loose floorboard and retrieved a doll belonging to her sister. She had hidden it there 40 years ago.

The material from the cellars produced enough spare bricks to do all the restoration work. Restoration to make the properties suitable for public access presented some unique problems with novel and secret solutions. Conventional smoke alarms would not be in character so a system of hidden pipes sucks air to central alarm detector point. Hot air generated in the roof space is sent down the chimneys to warm the buildings. Many businesses supported the restoration. Carlton television put out a request to find matching chimney pots – 395 offers were received.

The national trust operates the properties. Because of the small size of the rooms parties of eight are taken round at intervals during the day. Definitely worth a visit.

Derek answered questions various before Eunice made the vote of thanks and the meeting proceeded to tea, coffee and biscuits and the usual friendly chat.

The next meeting is on Thursday 18th Oct. 8 pm at the Baptist Church Hall. The subject – The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust by Roger Pringle – Visitors most welcome (£3 entry).

Report John Stott
Photo John Love

The Manor of Henley-in-Arden
Court Leet and Court Baron

Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff

On the evening of Wednesday 14th November 2007, the Steward will summon members of the Court, the Court’s Jurors and members of the public to attend the Court Leet’s Annual Meeting in the Guild Hall. Reports of the various officers of the Court and the annual elections for the Court officers will be held.

To register as a Juror (Voter) at the Court Leet elections - Click here

Ray Holding - High Bailiff

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

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Henley Forest FC

Match report  Chelmsley Town Reserves  

Darryl Powers’s strength holds them off the ball!

Cup/League: League

Date 29/9/07

Final Score 2-2

Man of the Match: Liam Fitzgerald

First home game in three weeks and Henley were in desperate need of getting points against third in the League table visitors Chelmsley Town Reserves.

Together sides battled throughout the first half producing chances for both yet nothing added to the score sheet. At 55 minutes Striker Tommy Wale broke the deadlock and netted the first for Forest, followed up at 75 minutes with Right-back Ryan Rose getting his second of the season. An edgy 15 minutes of play remaining, and an anxious Chelmsley Town Res brought 3 fresh players from the bench. Frustratingly for Forest the Town got one past keeper John Thorne at 80 minutes and the battling performance of Chelmsley Town got too much for Forest Defenders as one minute from the whistle they managed to equalise the score line.

The hard work of two players in particular stood out for Manager John Colby, Left Back Liam Fitzgerald and Mid-fielder and ex CTR player, Shane Hempenstall who both gave a cracking performance “Although we managed to gain one point, it should have been three, we were ahead with two goals 10 minutes to go - I’m very disappointed we failed to hold the lead”

Forest host No 2 in league, Heather St Johns on 6 October, 15:00hrs kick off.

Karen Parsons

Grumpy Old Man Comments

Something for out leaders to consider


Following the letter last week, what are we doing about the travelers in the field behind Brook End Drive? Instead of worrying about speeding signs, dog poo or drug dealing benches, can out elected leaders do something about removing the unwanted.

Now I haven’t looked closely at the field where they are, and they may be perfectly harmless BUT the perception is they are not welcome.

Now we have 2 options:

  1. either welcome the travelers, bring them into the community, educate their children at the local schools, and live happily alongside them.
  2. or we can move them on, where they become someone else’s problem.

Both of these are only treating the symptom. The root cause is what causes people to drop out of society, and effectively live outside the ‘norm’ what ever that is. This I cannot answer.

So what do we do? People will always want to live outside the ‘norm’, people will always want to avoid paying what is due to the community and live for free. As a tax payer I want to see everyone paying their way. So can the council (JPC, district or county) please get these people moved on.


Grumpy Old Man

The Nigel Hastilow Column

Frightened of the future, Gordon?

Nigel HastilowWe shouldn’t be surprised if Gordon Brown resorts to the most naked political opportunism and calls a General Election. He would do so only because he thinks he can win now but would lose at some time in the future. If he does, he will be making the most of his single greatest electoral asset – the fact that he isn’t Tony Blair.

The country is so relieved to see the back of the slimy charlatan that even the humourless Scot with the fixed grin and Socialist instincts seems a ray of sunshine by comparison*. Let’s not be fooled by the media, either. The gullible twits seem to have accepted the spin that David Cameron has one last party conference speech to determine finally whether the election is called now or not.

It’s claimed that a 2005 re-run of Cameron’s leadership-winning oration would somehow scare Brown into shelving plans for a snap election. How does that work, then? Labour spin doctors, who have spent the past few weeks fuelling election fever, suddenly turn tail and flee leaving behind a goodbye note saying they’re scared of David Cameron after all?

Would some Alastair Campbell clone whisper it in dark corners that Cameron was so stunningly good that Brown was “frit”? I don’t see it. From Labour’s point of view a Cameron conference speech will never be a success. So the election decision will have nothing to do with his performance at Blackpool.

If he were the most brilliant orator since Cicero, they would still rubbish his achievements. If we were as coherent as John Prescott, Labour and its gullible BBC sycophants would not be any more abusive. The decision has been made. And the decision is that Gordon Brown is, indeed, frit. He knows the polls will only get worse as we all remember he has been responsible for most of the disasters of the past decade up to and including the invasion of Iraq. He and his chums are trying to wriggle out of responsibility for anything which happened under Tony Blair. But we all know who held the purse-strings and wielded the financial power.

Gordon didn’t chew those fingernails for nothing. They were gnawed to the bone as the outward sign of how eaten up he was inside that Tony should do all the swanning around in the sunshine while he had to burn the candle at both ends exercising his rigid control over every aspect of Government.

Talk about having "something of the night" about him.... He’s still the control freak he always was and all the major mistakes of the Blair years were Brown’s too. But the polls suggest we have temporarily forgotten this simple fact, relieved as we all are to see the back of Blair. We will soon grow tired of the novelty of Mr Night's moment in the sun. And as soon as we do, the questions will start piling up.

He has to seize the day because delay would court greater disaster. Mr Brown knows that for him, his party and his country, things can only get worse. Of course, there is always the possibility that the voters realise when they are being treated like idiots and turn a decision to call an election into one of the worst political blunders in history. That’s a real risk. It's not as if there is a huge clamour for the country to go to the polls. There's no need except Gordon's political need to shore up his position before the floodwaters start to rise and overwhelm him.

As a man who has spent 15 years stabbing his best friend in the back to achieve his ultimate ambition really willing to risk the danger of being a 120-day wonder? Possibly. For Gordon “Macbeth” Brown, an early election demonstrates nothing so much as fear of the longer-term future. A delayed election reveals fear of the short-term future.

Either way, by allowing all this speculation to blossom and flourish he has revealed his natural cowardice. Frightened if he does call an election; frightened if he don’t.

* "It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine" - PG Wodehouse.

Nigel Hastilow      

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

Why is Composting Good for the Planet?

Although we make compost for our garden, it puzzled me why this was said to be better than putting garden and kitchen waste to ordinary rubbish. After all, a heap at the bottom of the garden is still a heap like a landfill heap. It seemed that composting made lots of little heaps instead of having a few great big ones. Well, I recently found the answer. In a large landfill heap, there is less access for oxygen so the chemistry produces methane CH4 rather than carbon dioxide CO2. One molecule of methane contains the same amount of carbon as one molecule of carbon dioxide but has 23 times the climate change effect. So small oxygen rich heaps are better than large low oxygen heaps.

Anything made from plants (but uncooked) can be put into a compost heap so that includes paper and cardboard. These dry products help keep the chemical balance right in the heap. Ideally they should be torn up and scrunched up but it doesn’t matter if you just put them in whole. You don’t need anything to make the compost in – just a heap. Two heaps are better than one; as they say - and if you have space, three are better than two. Start a new heap each year. Compost takes about a year and is ready when the original ingredients are pretty well unrecognisable. The three heap system allows extra time for any slow to rot material to break down.

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
When you are on the Planning Dept site. 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


Alerts from Trading Standards

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

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

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board

Vanity Box

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This service is sponsored by the Henley & Beaudesert Civic Society.

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Henley Diary Dates

Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS on-line should be sent to the editor@henleynews.co.uk at any time. Future diary dates should be notified to The Rector.

HENLEY AND BEAUDESERT SOCIETY meets on the third Thursday of the month, 8.00 p.m. at the Baptist Church Hall from September to April. Visitors and new members welcome. Further details from Maggie Twigg 793373.

Saturday 20th October - Information from Marijana or Duncan Bainbridge 793539/794987.GUILD HALL GARDEN PROJECT
There will be a Coffee Morning in the Guild Hall from 10.30 am to 12.00 noon on Saturday, 3 November. The present position of the project will be explained and the latest plans will be on display.

Saturday 3rd November 2007 - Further details from John Johnson 792073.

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.

Arc you interested in gardening and flowers or just spending a pleasant evening watching a demonstrator arrange foliage and flowers? We meet on the second Tuesday each month at 7.30pm in The Memorial Hal, Station Road, Henley-in-Arden so why not come along and see for yourself. Visitors are always welcome £3.00. You do not have to be an active flower arranger to enjoy watching our demonstrators but if you do feel you would like to 'have a go' we hold occasional workshops. For further information, Contact Secretary - Annette Walker - 01564 792837

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.
Henley Cricket Club fields two teams in the Cotswold Hills League on a Saturday, and two teams in friendly fixtures on Sundays, from mid-April to mid-September. We are always on the lookout for new players, irrespective of age or ability. Anyone interested in joining our club should contact Kevin O'Brien on 01564-794903.
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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