Masterhead Picture

Henley NEWS On-line

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

We remember our local firefighters from Alcester and Stratford who perished so tragically last Friday night.

Edition 181 - 8th November  2007
Warwickshire Village Ventures
Competition Winner 2007
Every Thursday

4 Local Firefighters die in Atherstone on Stour blaze

Fire FightersFour local firefighters from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue died at the major warehouse blaze at Atherstone on Stour last Friday. They were Ian Reid, aged 44, Darren Yates-Badley, aged 24; Ashley Stephens, aged 20; and John Averis, aged 27.

A guard of honour, formed by memebers of all emergency services, lined the road as the bodies of the last three fire fighters were taken from the scene on Tuesday evening. All heads were bowed as a mark of respect as the vehicles passed. Standard bearers from Warwickshire Fire & Rescue led the procession which included out-riders from Warwickshire Police. All work on the site came to a stand-still and a minute's silence was held.

Ashley Stephens and Darren Yates-Badley were both based at Alcester Fire Station

Ian Reid has worked as a firefighter in Warwickshire for the past four years, based at Rugby and Stratford stations. John Averis was based at Stratford Fire Station.

More than 80 firefighters, ambulance crews and police were called to the vegetable warehouse south of Stratford. The fire, on Atherstone Industrial Estate, is believed to have started just after 18.00hrs. Fire crews from Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire and the West Midlands were called to the fire, which they were tackling through the night.

William Brown, Warwickshire County Council's Chief Fire Officer, said: "We are deeply shocked by tonight's tragedy. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of our fire fighters. The fire service has a strong family tradition - it is a close bond which allows us to do our work, often in difficult and sometimes in dangerous circumstances. The fire fighters tonight were heroically doing their job.

"More than 80 fire fighters were in attendance and have been working tirelessly into the early hours of the morning. Our thanks go to our colleagues in the emergency service, the police, ambulance and of course our cross-boarder fire fighters, who have worked with us and supported us through this terrible night."

Fire at AtherstoneIn attendance were: 16 fire engines. 2 hydraulic pumps 2 high volume pumping units 3 water carriers 1 breathing apparatus unit.

Chief Supt Mason Brown has confirmed that the location of the fire remains a crime scene and police officers were working closely with the fire and rescue services. He said the fire was being treated as unexplained and appealed for anyone who was in the vicinity of the warehouse on Friday evening, and who has any information which may be helpful, to contact the police.

The search and rescue phase is being coordinated by Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue, under the leadership of Assistant County Officer Jon Hall, in conjunction with Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service. Mr Hall explained that nine specialist teams from the nationally resourced Urban Search and Rescue Team will be working on the site, with the fire officers, and conducting an inch by inch search of the building. The teams have come from West Midlands, Buckinghamshire, Hereford and Worcester, Hampshire and London.

The teams are using specialist equipment including cameras and diggers. The building is being monitored closely by structural engineers, working with the Health and Safety Executive, who will be carrying out constant structure and stress assessments to ensure the safety of the teams working inside.

A Firefighter's Prayer

When I am called to duty, God
Whenever flames may rage,
Give me the strength to save some life
Whatever be its age,

Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late
Or save an older person from
The horror of that fate

Enable me to be alert and
Hear the weakest shout
And quickly and efficiently
To put the fire out

I want to fill my calling and
To give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbour and
Protect his property

And if according to my fate
I am to lose my life,
Please bless with your protecting hand
My children and my wife.

Flag at half mast

A book of condolences has been opened and a fund established for those who wish to make a contribution to go directly to the families of the firefighters involved.

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


Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff

High Bailiff

Through their respective Courts Leet, Henley-in-Arden and Alcester have a close affinity and a spirit of mutual support and it is with intense sorrow that we note the consequences of the serious fire at Atherstone Industrial Estate last Friday night. Through the medium of Henley News On-Line we send our heartfelt condolences to those families of the valiant firefighters who lost their lives in the blaze. It’s on such occasions that the majority of us cease to take the Fire, Rescue and other emergency services for granted and each us in our own way pays tribute to the men and women who routinely put their lives on the line for the safety of others.

Bonfire night is notorious for giving rise to accidents involving fire and many people who were present at the excellent bonfire and firework spectacular mounted on Saturday by Henley’s Scout troop must have been reflecting on the Atherstone tragedy. However, the event was a great success and lit up the sky in vivid fashion. All was carefully managed by Scout Leader John Johnson and his team. A vast crowd attended, including the High Bailiff and Ann Holding. The hot dogs were first class and the beer, from a bar provided by the Nag’s Head, was at exactly the right temperature. The Court’s ale tasters would have approved.

During the last week the High and Low Bailiffs attended Bromsgrove’s Autumn Court, held at Bromsgrove School. This marked the beginning of the year of office of the new Bailiff, Denis Norton and the Reeve, John Rogers. Both will be present at our own AGM next Wednesday, 14th November, along with other distinguished guests.

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

Market Site Redevelopment - Update

Henley NEWS On-line has received copies of many letters of objection sent to the District Council. A check of the letters on the Planning Dept's website shows all letters against and not one letter in support of the proposal. The standard response received from the District Council was as follows:

Application(s) reference: 07/02794/FUL

Proposed : Erection of 65 residential units, 1,250 square metres of open space, landscaping, car parking and access

At : Henley-in-Arden Auction Sales Ltd, Warwick Road, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire

For : Taylor Wimpey/South Warwickshire Housing Association

Thank you for your recent communication concerning this proposal.

The comments you have made will be carefully considered and taken into account before a decision is made. Please note that all comments received will be a matter of public record and will be posted on our web-site at Access to the internet to view the working file can be provided at our main office: Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford upon Avon.

Should the application be placed before an Area Planning Committee for decision, all comments received will be scrutinised by Councillors before arriving at their decision. I shall write again and let you know if and when a committee meeting will happen.

I shall write to you again in due course to inform you of the decision on the application. If you require further information, please contact the case officer Tony Horton on Tel: 01789 260313 or e-mail:

Yours faithfully

Liz Nicholson
Planning Manager (Applications and Committee)

One email we received this week shows that we are not alone with this type of problem. Our reader from Shirley wrote:

As an ex-Henley resident now living in Shirley, the proposed market site development seems to me totally unjustified. We in Shirley are having the same problem with the proposed 'Parkgate' development. NOBODY wants it but its coming.

Unfortunately, we now live in a world were the public's views are completely disregarded. I wish you well in your efforts to have this unnecessary development terminated.

South Warwickshire Housing Association and the developers Taylor Wimpey have made no comment following the rejection by the District Council's Cabinet of their application for a £2 million grant to subsidise the project. Clearly, the whole project must no be in doubt unless some other Government Agency steps in with the money.

Discussions in the town this week has centred on what type of development should be supported. One idea, which has gained significant support, suggests that a Waitrose mini-supermarket and about 20 social housing units should be considered. This would bring jobs and trade back to the town and it would certainly be inline with the planning "bible". If this were to go ahead, an area should be set aside to preserve the market tradition by erecting some permanent market stalls.

The Warwickshire Rural Community Council has already suggested to Henley NEWS On-line, "You might like to think about working on your own Masterplan for the site. Setting out what you as a community would like to see there and what benefits should accrue to the town." Please send your views about how the site should be developed to Henley NEWS On-line. If there is sufficient interest, we will then encourage a competition to design a new scheme, which Henley wants and can be proud of.

Finally, it is likely that the planning application will come before the West Area Planning Committee shortly. If this is the case, residents will need to attend the District Council's offices and speak again in the public forum before the District Planning meeting. The campaign is not yet won!

Dear Editor,

I have been following the heated debate over the development of the Henley market site and, as an outsider, I have chosen not to take sides regarding the type of housing proposed. However, as a local resident of 40 years I am as concerned as anyone about the huge change in the character of Henley-in-Arden that is about to be forced upon our community by those who have sacrificed 800 years of tradition for the sake of building a few houses – of whatever type – merely in the interests of self-profit.

This morning, Saturday November 3, I visited the market. The remarkably mild weather meant that many extra visitors were present at the horse sales. Old friends greeted each other, potential buyers had time to appraise the animals on offer and a leisurely, open-air breakfast was being enjoyed by those who had risen early. Not much had changed, when you come to think of it, in eight centuries.

‘Sentimental twaddle,’ I hear some readers say. I can think of at least two national organisations that wouldn’t agree: the CPRE and the National Trust. Think about it. We are about to lose our age-old tradition – and privileges – as a market town. Has Henley forgotten that, less than five years ago, John Prescott was busy trying to persuade ancient towns like Evesham to forego their market status so that government housing policies could run riot regardless of precedent?

Well, Henley, you’ve handed it to the developers on a plate. To paraphrase an old saying: ‘Henley-in-Arden is dead. Vive Henleyhull.’

John Alcock - Wootton Wawen

Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Joint Parish Council Meeting Press Release

At the Joint Parish Council Meeting on Monday 5th November 2007 Members discussed five planning applications received and sixteen items of correspondence and other matters for consideration, as well as its normal procedural business before the meeting concluded. Amongst the items discussed were the following:

1. Market Site
Following the Special Meeting of the Joint Parish Council on 29th October 2007 to discuss the proposal to erect 65 residential units for social housing on the market site, Members considered the response. They treated it as an application that was still “live” although they understood that the Stratford District Council Executive had refused to grant £2million to the developers to assist the development.

The response of the Joint Parish Council was robust in that it considered the planning application the most contentious presented to the community in many years. Members made it clear that they supported the community in its opposition to the proposal and recommended refusal for the following reasons:

  • It was contrary to Stratford District Council’s Local Plan 2006-2011 which remained in force notwithstanding the housing moratorium introduced in June 2007. That plan earmarked the development for mixed use, including at the most no more than 25 dwellings.
  • They were concerned as to the adverse impact on the street scene, creating in design terms an “institutional barracks”, and also the siting of a single open space area which could exacerbate current difficulties with anti-social behaviour.
  • The proposal was unbalanced, being the only 100% social/affordable housing scheme of any size, and smacked of a social engineering experiment which should be resisted.
  • The scheme was not needed as the Housing Needs Survey, conducted in July 2006 by Warwickshire Rural Housing Association in partnership with the Joint Parish Council, indicated a requirement of only 18 units locally.
  • The report that analysed the flood risk used a mathematical model that was highly questionable, and could not be relied upon. It concluded that the site does not lie within the 1 in 100 years flood risk zone, even though the area has been flooded twice in the last nine years!
  • No account had been taken of parking issues for Warwick Road residents, or consideration given to the removal of street parking on the High Street.
  • Traffic assessment was missing, even though indications are that traffic could increase at the Warwick Road/High Street junction by around 15%. The accident and safety audit was also missing.
  • The danger caused by the new entrance to Warwick Road opposite the pedestrian access for children attending Henley High School.

The Parish Council were exasperated at the District Council’s total disregard of all consultations which covered the Parish Appraisal, the Parish Plan, the Village Design Statement and the Housing Needs Survey. They had serious concerns over the consultation process and recommended refusal because the proposal was totally out of keeping, particularly as it is adjacent to the conservation area and nearby listed buildings.

Aside from the response, Members were also concerned to know how it was that so much time ( and presumably expense) had been spent on a proposal when it appeared that a significant grant, a pivitol element of the finance, had not been agreed by the Executive.

2. Area Planning Meeting 25th October 2007 – Warwickshire College Application
Members had concerns over the clarity of decisions made at the Area Planning Meeting on 25th October 2007 concerning the Warwickshire College application for a new sports hall and fitness studio, and improved changing and administration facilities. Support of the Joint Parish Council for this proposal had been conditional upon demolition of the existing hall and withdrawal of the existing consent for a second all weather pitch. In addition a resident had made the reasonable request that translucent panels on the south facing elevation of the building be changed to prevent a wall of light. Members understood that the applicant was sympathetic to these proposals and yet the Committee failed to address any of these issues. They agreed to write to the Chief Executive and Head of Planning at Stratford District Council expressing their dissatisfaction with the process and asking for an explanation.

The next meeting of the Joint Parish Council is scheduled for Monday 19th November 2007. Meetings take place in the Baptist Church Hall, High Street, Henley-in-Arden from 7.15pm and, as with all meetings of the Council, members of the public are welcome to attend.

Nigel Hastilow Quits in Migrant Row

Nigel HastilowNigel Hastilow, who writes a weekly column in Henley NEWS On-line, has stepped down after a row over his comments, in a newspaper, that Enoch Powell was "right" on immigration. This week we publish 'That Article' in full as Nigel's column this week (see below).

Nigel, who was candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis, made the decision after meeting party chairman Caroline Spelman. His comments were criticised by senior Tories David Davis and George Osborne. Labour minister Hazel Blears accused the Tories of "dithering" over whether to sack Mr Hastilow before he resigned. The communities secretary said: "David Cameron has still not condemned Mr Hastilow's words, and he must do so without further dithering."

Earlier, Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain said the comments showed the Tories' "racist underbelly". But the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) said Mr Hastilow had simply been expressing views held by "millions" of voters. Mike Nattrass, who represents the West Midlands area for the party, said: "It is important that this debate on immigration is taken further so we can have an open and honest discussion on this issue."

Enoch Powell was sacked from the Conservative shadow cabinet after a controversial speech in 1968 against uncontrolled immigration.

Nigel made the comments in a column for the Express and Star newspaper in Wolverhampton - where Mr Powell had been the MP at the time of his 1968 speech. The Parliamentary candidate, a former editor of the Birmingham Post, wrote: "When you ask most people in the Black Country what the single biggest problem facing the country is, most say immigration."Many insist: 'Enoch Powell was right'. Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South-West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 'rivers of blood' speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably. He was right. It has changed dramatically."

Following his meeting with Mrs Spelman he said he was "very sorry" if his remarks had undermined "the progress David Cameron has made on the issue of migration".

They made me an offer I had to refuse

Amazing how powerful some names can be. Last Friday I mentioned Enoch Powell and suddenly all hell broke loose.

In an article supporting Tory leader David Cameron's remarks on how uncontrolled immigration would change the country, I mentioned that many people say "Enoch was right". I have discovered that this is enough, still, 39 years after the controversial speech which undid him politically, to cause outrage.

A Sunday newspaper put it on the front page and said I was an embarrassment to Cameron. It quoted various people calling for me to be sacked as Conservative parliamentary candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis. The story was duly followed up by the BBC on Sunday. It must have been an exceedingly quiet news day for this piece of flammed-up nonsense from one Sunday paper to be turned into the scandal of the day. But that's what happened. I was having lunch with my wife, sister and brother-in-law when Councillor Mary Docker called to say she'd had “The Observer” on wanting to know if I was going to be sacked.

Mary, a Sandwell councillor and chairman of the Halesowen and Rowley Regis Conservatives, was a star. She supported me and said she agreed with what I'd said. Indeed, she said all I was doing was expressing the views of the people who live in my constituency. That was a good thing for a politician to do so no, she would not be asking for me to resign.

Then the Conservative Party press office came on to me, closely followed by Caroline Spelman herself. Caroline, the Chairman of the party, didn't mince her words. She was not happy. My political career was on the line. I was summoned to meet her on Sunday at 2pm. I turned the phone off and tried to enjoy a fireworks display with, among others, another senior Conservative. They said they agreed with everything I'd said; they were just very glad it was me saying it, not them.

I didn't sleep much on Saturday night and by 4am I was checking out "The Observer's” front page via the internet. There I was in all my embarrassing glory. I had made no mention of race. I said Powell was right to warn that unlimited immigration would change the country dramatically. But “The Observer” injected race into the article in such a way as to imply that I was a racist who endorsed Enoch Powell's racism. Not true but, as some journalists say, never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

I am still stunned that “The Observer” and the BBC considered this a story at all. It's not as if I'm a big-wig or that I said anything particularly controversial. Still, the story had legs and by breakfast time it was on the telly where Labour Cabinet Minister Peter Hain offered up the ideal sound bite for the story to run and run. I had, he claimed, exposed the racist underbelly of the Conservative Party.

Utter nonsense but a good quote to keep the story going. Along with the news that I was about to be carpeted by the party chairman. Then various members of the Shadow Cabinet condemned me in public as well so that by the time I arrived at Caroline Spelman’s home in Dorridge, near Solihull, I was pretty sure I was a condemned man. Caroline herself was charming. She explained how sensitive the immigration issue was and how dangerous it was for the party to be considered racist. She said that an experienced journalist like me must realise the risks involved in evoking the name Enoch Powell. The Tories strived so hard to avoid being called “the nasty party” any more and raising the spectre of “rivers of blood” was really too much.

I explained I had not written about race but about numbers. That immigration was a problem because Britain could not accommodate more and more people from overseas. Then she cut to the chase. My political career would survive if I signed a press release drawn up by the party’s chief spin doctor, Andy Coulson. It included this sentence: “Although I did not – and do not – support Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ comments, I accept that some of the wording of my column was incredibly stupid.” It went on to talk about the importance of choosing one’s language with care and apologising for any upset.

I was also required to submit any future articles for the Express & Star (or anywhere else) to the Conservative campaign headquarters before submitting them to the editor. It was this, even more than the “incredibly stupid” line, that I couldn’t stomach. If I’d agreed to this I could have stayed on as the candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis.

I was sorely tempted. You don’t lightly throw away all those years working for the party and an opportunity to become an MP. But I felt that if I were to agree to these demands I would lose not just my honour and integrity but my credibility as both a journalist and politician. That’s why I resigned. We agreed the licence I have as a journalist to speak freely is not compatible with a politician’s responsibility to stay “on message”.

Caroline was decent enough to say on the BBC last night that it was the honourable thing to do. I am surprised the Conservative Party is so intimidated by the BBC and "The Observer” that it must toe the metropolitan line at all costs. But that’s apparently how politics works these days as I have discovered the hard way.

What has kept me going, though, and gratified me is the enormous number of messages of support I have received from the constituency, the Black Country, Britain and, indeed, from around the world. I truly believe that if this country is to have a brighter future, we must accept the need, and embrace the right of everyone who lives here, to be free to express their concerns.

Without it destroying their political careers as it seems to have done mine.

Nigel Hastilow

Dear Editor,

I followed the main political story over the weekend of the sad demise of Mr Nigel Hastilow and I am totally against this sort of political bullying. Mr Hastilow gave his opinion, whether you agree with his views or not at least he is honest enough to state them.

What are the conservatives playing at? They are so busy cloning the labour party they have lost sight that the voters want some honesty, how are we supposed to be able to evaluate their politics if we are not hearing what they truly believe.

In Henley we have had much the same situation, we read that Mr Lawrence Marshall was in favour of the social housing policy for the market site and yet when public opinion was so obviously against the proposal and his seat was being threatened he changed corners.

Now I wager a bet that if Mr Hastilow had been on the Stratford Council and if he was in agreement with the development I don’t think he would have changed sides he would have stood his ground. I believe that politicians should be able to speak of their beliefs and policies, then the electorate can decide and vote accordingly.

Had this been the case in the past maybe the conservatives would have stood a chance in the last several elections and we wouldn’t have ended up with fairy Blairy and a chancellor who has almost bankrupted this Country with his borrow now pay back later policies.

I think Mr Hastilow should return to Henley and stand as an independent if Martin Bell can do it, why not Mr Hastilow?

Denise Tristram

District Councillor Laurence Marshall Replies

I would just like to respond to Denise Tristam’s comments:-
As a District Councillor for the Henley Ward, my position on social/affordable housing remains unaltered and I am 100% committed to encouraging future developments to include provision of affordable and social housing to meet local needs.

One of the reasons I do not support this particular application is that the provision outstrips the identified local need many times over. This position remains entirely consistent with the position I gave in my election address in May of this year and with any statements I have given to the press or to Henley News On-line.
Laurence Marshall

The Late PC John Harris

Lake DistrictPCSO Tristan Jelfs has told Henley NEWS On-line that over £500 was collected by NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH and members of the communities in Henley and Claverdon areas and also from Warwickshire Police Colleagues in memory of the late PC John Harris, who was our local policeman for many years. The money collected has been donated to The Lake District Search & Mountain Rescue Association. Their treasurer Richard Longman has written to acknowledge the donation and say that all money donated will be shared equally between the 12 member teams right operating across the Lake District.

A memorial bench is to be placed in the grounds of Warwickshire Police HQ at Leek Wootton.

You can find out more about LDSAMRA at their website:

The Local Policing Team would like to express their thanks for the kind words people have said about John and thank those who have donated in John's memory.

A New Music Venue Opens at White Swan

Folk ClubThe White Swan in Henley High Street hosts a new folk club which aims to provide a venue for good musicians, singers and lovers of good live music. The first night will be an open session that offers singers and musicians the opportunity to perform to an appreciative audience.

The club will be held on the third Wednesday of every month beginning on Wednesday 21st November (although - because of Christmas - the December session will be on Wednesday 12th December).

The club will be hosted by a group of local musicians and singers who are inviting others to join them. Whether you are a performer or you just enjoy listening to good music all will be welcome, a nominal £1.00 entrance will be charged for the open session.

If you would like more information please contact Barry or Barbara Jukes on 0121 706 1905 or see to Ian at the White Swan.

Good News for Henley's Bookworms

Passage FloodedTrustees of the Joseph Hardy Educational Charitable Trust, which owns and operates the Heritage Centre, have reached agreement with County Library authorities to enable the library to continue providing its much valued service to the town while its own permanent “home”, at the Guild Hall, is repaired.

The service came to a halt following the July floods (pictured right) and the library has been since been seeking a temporary home. Trustee and Heritage Centre Curator Ray Holding said that residents - particularly those who were nearby on the day of the July floods – will recall the surging torrent of water which swept past and into the Guild Hall and St John’s church. Library staff were quick to rescue books, but the flooring and floor coverings were damaged. Drying out is just about complete and repairs will commence as soon as the work required is properly defined.

Some time during mid-November, a reduced library lending service will commence at the Heritage Centre, 150 High Street. A licence has been signed authorising the use of the entrance hall of the building as a temporary premises for the library: this will be renewed month by month up to Easter 2008, when the Heritage Centre itself re-opens, depending on progress with the repairs. Divisional Librarian Tanya Butchers, who led the discussions, expressed her delight that the library should be up and running again very shortly. Look for notices at the Heritage Centre, on the Library door and in local periodicals.

Ghost Train at Henley!

Were you close to the railway station in Henley during the evening of 1st November around 7.30pm or 9.00pm? You may have heard a steam train passing through the station. No it wasn't a late running Ghost Train from Halloween night but a first trial run on the mainline for a restored ex GWR 0-6-0 Hawksworth pannier tank locomotive no. 9466 owned by Welshman Dennis Howells.

9466 at Shirley

A very happy locomotive owner Dennis Howells chats away to a ghost while at Stratford.

The route from Tyseley to Stratford upon Avon provides a good testing run for steam locomotives on the big railway but finding a suitable path in the timetable that avoids disruption to scheduled services can be difficult. This meant that the trip was a complete night time excursion.

9466 at Stratford

GWR 0-6-0PT no 9466 stands at Stratford upon Avon ready to depart for the return run to Shirley.

The brilliantly polished locomotive performed without fault and after its return to the sheds was kept in light steam at Tyseley Locomotive Works ready for its next trip on Saturday 3rd November when it hauled another excursion from Tyseley, this time in daylight, around some unfamiliar, freight only, tracks in the West Midlands to Ironbridge Power Station and back.

The loco will remain at Tyseley ready for the traditional End of Year Mince pie Special around the West Midlands on Saturday 29th December when it will pass through Henley once again en route to Stratford upon Avon.

Further details of the December excursion can be found here...

More photos of last Thursday evenings excursion can be seen at...

Clive Hanley - Report and © Photos

Mat Jackson Stars in 'Top Gear' Programme

Mat JacksonHenley-in-Arden’s Mat Jackson is one of the stars of hit BBC TV motoring show Top Gear in the coming weeks. The programme needed a handful of top-line racing drivers for a whacky race in motorhomes against presenters James May and Richard Hammond.

So who better to call on than Mat and several fellow drivers from Britain’s top motor racing series the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship! After filming the race in the summer the final edited piece is soon to be shown during the show’s regular slot from 8pm-9pm on either Sunday November 11th or 18th. “What an opportunity and what an experience,” says Mat. “I’ve been told not to give too much away but I can say that the viewers are in for a lot of laughs. The whole Top Gear crew were great to work with. I hope I can do more with them in the future.”

On top of his Top Gear appearance, Mat is also just two weeks away from attending the BTCC’s prestigious annual awards ceremony, this year being held on London’s Park Lane. There he will receive his trophy for finishing a close second in the BTCC’s Independent Drivers’ Championship. Mat was new in the BTCC in 2007 but during the season has earned thousands of new fans. The highlights were a breakthrough race win at Oulton Park in June and then a second victory in the championship’s very last round at Thruxton which was watched by more than 1.5 million people on ITV1.

His results are all the more remarkable considering his BMW is run by his family’s Jacksons MSport team who are new to the BTCC and who operate on only a fraction of the budget of factory teams such as Vauxhall and SEAT. In recent days Mat has received glowing reports in specialist magazine titles Autosport and Motorsport News who ranked him fourth and sixth overall in their end of season reviews.

“I was pretty happy with those rankings. Let’s just hope I move up the charts in 2008!” adds Mat. “We are already receiving loads of messages of support for 2008’s BTCC even though it doesn’t start for another five months (Brands Hatch March 29th-30th)! We were learning all the time in 2007 so will be in much better shape heading into the news season.”

Thinking of becoming a Parish Councillor

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

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

Primary SchoolHenley Primary

Chinese dragons in Henley

Chinese dragons enthralled the children at Henley Primary School this week.

Chinese Dragons

A company called ‘Long Feng’ came into school to work with the children on Chinese stories and dance. They demonstrated the dances and story telling before giving the children an opportunity to perform. The children were especially excited at wearing the costumes! (See children above)

Elaine Field - Assistant Headteacher

District Council takes action over Island Café

SDCStratford-on-Avon District Council has successfully compulsorily purchased the former Island Café, No. 44 Guild Street, Stratford-upon-Avon.  
Since ceasing trading in 1996, the former Island Café has deteriorated and the District Council has moved to improve the vista of one of the most prominent approach roads into this historic town.  
The District Council's pursuit of serving a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) on the property was mounted only after unsatisfactory negotiations with the former owner, Mr. Jedynak.  
The Secretary of State upheld the CPO, and informed the District Council of its support in March 2007.  
"There has been mounting public support for the improvement of the former Island Café, which in recent years has become an eyesore for visitors and residents alike," says Councillor Lynda Organ, Resources Portfolio Holder.  "The successful Compulsory Purchase Order has meant that the District Council can seek a future use of the building that will safeguard this sensitive site, enhancing neighbouring properties and businesses, and the entrance route to the town." 

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden

Visit Henley-in-Arden's Gateway Website at:



Subscribe to Henley NEWS on-line

Henley Forest FC


Cup/League             League

Date                       03 November 07

Final Score             4-1 Shipston Excelsior

Man of the Match    Tom Wale

Henley Forrest FC

Centre Mid – Ben Saunders

Henley have not been experiencing the best run of football however the two previous weeks wins provided confidence ahead of this game to anticipate a decent result against a team which had yet to win a game this season.

Very sloppy marking provided Shipston the opportunity to get one past the goalkeeper on the 18th minute. Less than a minute later they popped in another. Henley were not in the game at all, very disappointing play and again 5 minutes ahead of the half time whistle, sloppy marking allowed Shipston’s Pete Robinson to make the score 3-0 in their favour.

Henley definitely had a shake up at half time and the managers talk clearly reinforced his dissatisfaction – initially they came out playing the better with top Goal scorer Sam Churchley managing to claw back a goal for Henley on the 55th minute of play. However it was Shipstons fourth goal in the dying minutes that put the lid on a very poor performance from Forest.

John Colby, Forests Manager was immensely disappointed “we allowed a team that had not won a game this season to get the better of us; sloppy play & lack of concentration gave them the opportunity to get one over on forest. I feel let down by a number of players and we seriously need to improve for future games unless we want to finish bottom of the table and that’s not my plan”.

Colby awarded his man of the match to Mid-fielder Tom Wale who battled throughout the entire 90 minutes and gave a commendable performance. “Well done Tom”.

Next Fixture: Henley Forest v Earlswood Town Res 10th November 2pm Kick Off.

Karen Parsons

Grumpy Old Man Comments

A moment to take stock.GOM

Difficult this week to claim anything to grumble about. But there are many things to make us all stop and think about the world we live in.

Last week 4 fire-fighters left home and went to work as normal, but they were never to return.

This has made me think of all the jobs people do to keep us safe while putting themselves in danger. To name a few, fire-fighters, policemen (and women), ambulance crews, lifeboat crews, all the armed services.

Difficult really as it comes so close to remberance day.

So I would like to finish by saying I have a poppy and I wear it with pride. Not just for the armed services, but all the services that help to protect our way of life.

My special thoughts to the four families who are missing loved ones this week.


Grumpy Old Man

The Nigel Hastilow Column

That article in full

Nigel Hastilow The woman on the doorstep speaks in sorrow, not anger. Her daughter has split up from her husband and is now a single parent with two young children. They all live with granny because the daughter and her kids have been refused a council house. And, according to granny, that’s because all the available accommodation has gone to immigrants.

The house is full. Granny looks a bit worn down by her new lodgers. The novelty of having the little ones to stay is clearly wearing off. The family seems resigned to the fact that nobody will do anything to help. They have more or less given up complaining about the way we roll out the red carpet for foreigners while leaving the locals to fend for themselves.

When you ask most people in the Black Country what the single biggest problem facing the country is, most people say immigration. Many insist: “Enoch Powell was right”. Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 “rivers of blood” speech warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably.

He was right. It has changed dramatically. But his speech was political suicide. Enoch’s successors in Parliament are desperate to avoid ever mentioning the issue. It’s too controversial and far too dangerous. Nobody wants to be labelled a racist. Immigration is the issue that dare not speak its name in public.

Yet everywhere you go, you hear the same story. There are simply too many people competing for the space, houses, benefits, public services and jobs this country has to offer. It’s claimed we couldn’t survive without immigrants to work in our hotels, pubs and restaurants, to pick our fruit and clean our hospitals. But that’s because we make life too easy for the five million or more people who could be working but enjoy life too much living off the state.

Why are 1.65 million people unemployed when it seems as if there’s a job for more or less anyone who wants one? Why are 2.4 million people claiming incapacity benefit when society is getting healthier? In the past some of them would have been accused of “swinging the lead”, “skiving”, “scrounging” or “cheating”. Now we’re told they need “up-skilling” and then they would be only too happy to work (but for their bad backs). We only need so many Polish waitresses because so many people who were born and bred in Britain can’t be bothered to work.

This week we have seen a slight but important shift. Immigration has come out of the closet. Even David Cameron, the most liberal Conservative leader for decades, has decided it’s safe to discuss immigration openly. This is not about race; it’s about numbers. I have been lectured on this, on separate occasions, by several Asian Britons. They argue that their families came to this country to work hard, get on, pay their taxes, earn a living. Today, far too many immigrants – they tell me – wheedle their way into Britain in order to benefit from the generosity of our welfare state. Asian Britons resent this as much as anyone.

And no wonder. Does anybody in the country really want to see our population grow by almost half a million every year so that in 24 years’ time it will have increased by almost 11 million? Do we really want to see the country devastated by another three million houses or more over the next 12 years? Up to two thirds of these houses are only needed to cater for immigrants. How on earth can we afford to meet other costs – council housing, roads, hospitals and schools – linked to this staggering increase in the population?

Do we really want increased taxes to meet the increased costs of an increasing population?

We must police our borders. Deport without debate bogus asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants. Abandon the “human rights” merry-go-round.

Tell the EU we won’t take anyone from Bulgaria or Romania or any other country which wants to “join Europe”. And get rid of the 11,000 foreigners in our jails. Alas, the Government hasn’t got a clue how many people it’s let in already. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, the MP for Redditch, humiliatingly apologised this week after claiming 800,000 migrant workers had come to Britain since 1997. Turns out the real figure is 1.1 million.

First we’re told immigrants took 30 per cent of the 2.7 million jobs created in the past decade. Then the official figure was increased to 40 per cent. Now it’s 52 per cent – making Gordon Brown’s promise of “British jobs for British workers” look pretty silly. It’s all guesswork And they Government has even less of a clue how many illegal immigrants there are. Of course it’s right that we share the international burden of caring for genuine refugees fleeing persecution and death. But we’re being exploited. Britain is seen around the world as a soft touch.

We must remember that, as the grandmother I was talking to the other day pointed out, charity begins at home.

Nigel Hastilow

To read the substantial number of messages of support, go to:

For the most Comprehensive Information about Henley-in-Arden

Visit Henley-in-Arden's Gateway Website at

Suspected Indentity Thiefs in Henley

CrimeLast Tuesday, two people were seen at 6.15am searching through someone’s rubbish on Brook End Drive. When they were spotted, they ran off.

I think it is only fair that I pass this information on to you so that we can all be on the look out. I have mentioned it to our local police.

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Best Low Energy Light Bulbs.

‘Which’ have just reported on performance of low energy light bulbs. The best performers are:-

Light BulbGeneral Electric Elegance T3 with good all round performance, its only weakness being some loss of brightness during cold conditions (below 10 deg C) so probably not the best choice for an outside light or in garages. This lamp has a spiral tube design.

Light BulbIkea Sparsam Bulb. Unfortunately not very helpful because there isn’t an Ikea near Henley. However, they look identical to the Philips Softone bulbs which we bought last year from Morrisons (Redditch). Their light is similar in colour to an ordinary bulb and they also have similar shape and size. Excellent where the appearance of the bulb is important. The Ikea ones were rated particularly good in cold conditions so I tested a Philips one out in the cold and couldn’t really see any difference in brightness compared to one which was still warm from being inside.

Light BulbOsram Duluxstar. This design has several narrow tubes in U shapes. Like the Phillips and the Ikea lamps, it offers the same colour light as ordinary bulbs but is poor in cold conditions so best used indoors. ‘Which’ says that these are cheapest at Sainsburys.

General Electric Mini Eco is another with U shaped tubes and scored almost the same as the above. It was slightly better than the Osram in the cold.

The makes that got low scores were Omicron, Homebase and B&Q mainly because of not lasting the full 8000 hrs testing.

All the best performers above cost around £2 or £3 each (possibly less if you find multipacks or shop on line) and all lasted the full 8000 hours of the test, equivalent to about 8 years normal use. Life was not significantly reduced by lots of switching on and off. Savings in electricity per 100 W equivalent bulb were calculated as about £6 per year. This is slightly less than I have previously indicated but I based my calculations on higher annual hours. Although initially more expensive than ordinary bulbs, they will pay for themselves in reduced electricity bills after a few months. The savings then start to accrue.

Because each bulb contains a few milligrams of mercury, old ones should not go into landfill. The price of a bulb contains an amount to cover costs of recycling them and manufacturers are obliged to facilitate recycling them. So far we haven’t needed throw one away so haven’t investigated local possibilities.

None of the best performers are suitable for use with dimmer switches but you can get Omicron bulbs that are. Dimmable bulbs were not tested but the Omicron bulbs that were tested performed reasonably well except for not lasting the equivalent of 8 years life.

If every household in England used just one more low energy light bulb we could close down a power station.

John Stott

Alerts from Trading Standards

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


Tradind StandardSimon Cripwell
Senior Information Officer
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board

Vanity Box
Folk at White Swan
Send us your Poster

Subscribe to Henley NEWS on-line

Henley Diary Dates

Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS on-line should be sent to the at any time. Future diary dates should be notified to Diane Bayley at 6 St Johns Close, Henley. Email:

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

November 11th is Remembrance Day and commemorates the armistice of 1918, and this year falls on a Sunday. The church service will start at 10.55 a.m. in time for the 2 minute silence when we remember especially the sacrifice so many have made on our behalf in armed conflicts of long ago, and also right now.

Tuesday 13th November at 7.30 p.m. in the Memorial Hall. Open Evening: “A Winter’s Tale” by Kevin Gunnell (£6).

Come along and visit us for only £1 and join members in the Baptist Church Hall from 7.45 p.m. on Tuesday 20th November when John and Penny Stott will be showing slides of their “Galapagos Cruise”.

Saturday 24th November in the Church Hall at 2.00 p.m. Homemade cakes, produce, books, teas, gifts, bric-a-brac, etc. with Father Christmas at 2.30 pm. If you can help run a stall or provide goods to sell, please contact Daphne Jones on 01926 843515.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 27th November, 7.30 for 8.00 p.m. at Ullenhall Village Hall. Our speaker is David Bates who will be talking about Vegetable Gardening. Visitors (£1) and new members can look forward to a warm and friendly welcome.

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. Next meeting Thursday 22nd November “The Two Treasures of Kings Norton” by Rev. Heather Flack.

Beaudesert and Henley JPC present “A Christmas Normandy Market” on Saturday 15th December. Plenty of interesting gift ideas and live street music.

Tai Chi and Chi Gung have been practiced for many years in China. These beautiful slow movements are a joy to perform. Come and join one of our friendly classes and feel immediate health benefits. Thursdays, 11.00 a.m. at the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane starting on 15th November. Everyone welcome (your age, health or fitness not barrier).
For more information and to book your place contact Debbie Wild on 07773 318830 (

Saturday, 22 March 2008 – The Guild Hall Garden Committee are presenting a concert by the Bulava Chorus, an exceptional Ukrainian Choir.  This will be held in Henley High School and will include supper.   Tickets are £15 each and can be obtained from Sue Bridgewater (793633) or Marijana Bainbridge (794987).

Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22 June 2008 – After a very successful day in 2006, Henley’s Hidden Gardens will again be open, on this occasion over two days.  If you would like your garden to be included, please contact Sue Bridgewater (793633) or Marijana Bainbridge (794987).

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 Coordinators. If you are aware that  you are not covered in your area or are willing to be a coordinator. 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
Meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm.
New members are always welcome.
Please call: Robin Freeman on 01789 765411 or email
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:

From our own Correspondents

Henley NewsHenley NEWS on-line is looking for additional correspondents to send in stories and pictures. Why don't you become one of our correspondents and send in stories about your area, your club, your school or events you have witnessed. Please always try to include a photo in jpg or png format. Letters, articles, pictures to the Editor are always welcome. Please do not use the following file formats 'Publisher" or 'Serif'. 'Microsoft Word' is the preferred format. Please send to

We are delighted to publish the growing list of our correspondents:

Court Leet
The Henley Society
Henley History
Henley in Bloom
British Legion
Wild Life Society
Warwickshire College
Prince Harry Road
Riverside Gardens
Henley Diary
Flower Club Annette Walker
PlanningMike Faulkner
Out of Town
Malvern, Worcs
Warwickshire County
Stratford District
Joint Parish Council
Heart Start
Trading Standards
Heritage Centre
Memorial Hall
Medical Centre
Henley High School
Primary School Elaine Field
Chief Photographer
Green Henley
RailwayClive Hanley
RSS Logo

To view our RSS Feed, you will need software called a Feed Reader or Aggregator.

Feed Readers you could try include:

FeedDemon (Windows)

BlogLines (Web Based)

WRCCThe Warwickshire Rural Community Council (WRCC) helps and encourages people living in rural areas to develop their communities. By aiding locally led and run projects, they also hope to strengthen social ties within Warwickshire's villages and small towns.

Henley NEWS On-line was the outright winner of the Village Ventures competition 2007.


Previous Editions

We are always looking for
more correspondents and new stories.

Bill Leech - Editor

Air Ambulance

Henley NEWS on-line is published as a Community 'Not For Profit' On-line Newsletter

The views expressed in these stories and articles do not necessary match the views of the editor. 
© Copyright Henley NEWS On-line
. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

html web counters