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Henley NEWS On-line

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


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Edition 183 - 22nd November  2007
Warwickshire Village Ventures
Competition Winner 2007
Every Thursday

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


Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff


Annual General Meeting of The Court Leet

Accompanied by the Court Jurors, members of the public and many distinguished guests, Henley’s Court Leet assembled for its Annual General Meeting in the Guild Hall on the evening of Wednesday 14th November 2007. Held each year at this time, this meeting is overseen by the Steward of the Manor of Henley-in-Arden, David Lodder, who summons the various officers of the Court to present their reports on the year’s activities. He also who conducts the process of electing officers for the coming year.

Tribute to a good friend
Proceedings were opened by the Town Crier, Gordon Trinder. The Lord of the Manor, Mrs Robin Hardy Freed of Pennsylvania being absent, it fell to Honorary Burgess Derek Sharman to welcome those present on her behalf and to convey a message received from the Lord of the Manor. A tribute was paid, by Honorary Burgess Alec Halliwell, to a long standing Court officer, former High Bailiff and later Honorary Burgess Keith Ford, who passed away in October. Mr Ford had been active in every corner of Henley’s community life and would be sadly missed: Henley had lost “a gentleman”.

Among his announcement, the Steward complimented Henley resident and editor of Henley News On-Line Bill Leech on winning a County award under the Warwickshire Villages Ventures Competition 2007 for his outstanding on-line newspaper, now in its fourth year.

Court Leet

Members of the Court Leet with their Distinguished Guests at Henley’s Court Leet AGM, November 2007:

Front line from left:  The Reeve of Bromsgrove, John Rogers; the Bailiff of Bromsgrove, Denis Norton, The Chair of Henley and Beaudesert Joint Parish Council, Cllr. Sheila Roy; The Chairman of Warwickshire County Council, Cllr. John Wells; (behind)  The High Bailiff of Alcester,  David Henderson; (further behind) The Low Bailiff of Alcester, Lennox Cumberbatch;  (Front) The High Bailiff, Ray Holding; The Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon, Cllr Donna Barker; The Mayor of Whitnash, Cllr. David Clough;  Hon Burgess Alec Halliwell; The Low Bailiff, Roger Sutton.

Testing the waters
Following approval of last year’s minutes, reports were received from Ale-Taster Alistair Price, speaking for himself and for Butter-Weigher Graham Smith, and Brook-Looker Andrew Gardner, speaking on behalf of himself and his fellow Brook- Looker Barry Tulloch. They had “had fun” and these reports were more than slightly tinged with humour but conveyed the officers’ duty of preserving ancient rituals, once taken very seriously for protection of the consumer and care of the environment. The ale and butter on sale, and the River Alne were all declared to be in good health.

Education, education, education
Mrs Ann Holding, who co-ordinates a heavy programme of educational work at Henley’s Heritage Centre, reported on a busy year there, with attendance figures ten percent up on 2006, defying the general pattern of depressed tourism. The Heritage Centre was founded by the Lord of the Manor’s father, timber billionaire Joseph Hardy, who bought the title at auction in 1990. Many school parties had visited, on programmes related to their curriculum requirements and Mrs Holding said that the Centre was most fortunate to include a number of enthusiastic education professionals among its large volunteer team.

Town Flier!
The Town Crier Gordon Trinder reported on his year’s work, which had been non-stop. He had particularly enjoyed the regular task of welcoming visiting school parties coming to Henley to discover its history. He had strained his larynx in sixteen calls on Court Leet Day but had greatly enjoyed his year. His report culminated in a short account of his charity sky-dive earlier in the year, which had raise £1100 for the Shakespeare Hospice.

High Bailiff

Honorary Burgess Derek Sharman congratulates
the High Bailiff Ray Holding

Low Bailiff

Honorary Burgess Derek Sharman congratulates
the Low Bailiff Roger Sutton

Review of the Year
The High Bailiff, Ray Holding, was summoned to report on his year in office. It had, he said, been a lively, stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable year for his wife and himself. He believed and hoped that they had been positive ambassadors for Henley, maintained the Court’s traditions and raised its profile. During the year and earlier, steps had been taken to strengthen the Court’s membership, ensuring a better line of succession for future Low and High Bailiffs: five new members had joined last year, including the Low Bailiff Roger Sutton, who, with his wife Molly, had served the Court beyond the call of duty during the year. Above all, the Court had worked to improve its “connection” with the town, as represented by its many organisations and the High Bailiff felt that good progress had been made.

Particular mention was made of the Court Leet Day, in June. This pulled together four of the Court’s traditional re-enactments of ale tasting, butter weighing, brook looking and beating the bounds, together with a miracle play performed by students of the High School with Henley Drama society. He particularly complimented the Hayward, Laurence Marshall and his family for bringing to life the ancient ritual of Beating the Bounds - and on his fine mediaeval attire for the occasion.

The High Bailiff thanked the officers of the Court for their commitment and energetic support throughout the year and the Court’s Chaplain, Henley’s Rector Revd. John Ganjavi, thanked the High Bailiff for his year’s work on behalf of the town.

The Garden
Former High Bailiff Douglas Bridgewater gave a report on the restoration project under way in the Guild Hall gardens, announcing a fund-raising supper concert to be held on 22 March 2008, when a Ukranian choir would entertain. Work was proceeding with the long-neglected “riverside” area of the garden, starting with the removal of some lofty and light-obscuring conifers.

The Steward called the roll of Jury and instructed the Jurors to withdraw, to elect a foreman and to conduct the elections of officers. There being two departing members and two new members joining, the Court was re-elected en bloc but with some changes of duties. This was reported by the foreman as follows:

High Bailiff:
  Low Bailiff:
Mace Bearer:
Ale Tasters:
Butter Weigher:

  Ray Holding
  Roger Sutton
  Gerald Smith
  John Love
  Andrew Gardner and John Dalman
  John Rutherford
  Laurence Marshall
  John Brealey and Stephen Thirlwell

The High and Low Bailiffs were invested with their chains of office by Honorary Burgess Sharman. The High Bailiff being returned to office thanked the Jurors for their confidence and promised to continue to work for the benefit of Henley during the coming year. He particularly welcomed the two new members John Rutherford and Stephen Thirlwell.

The Town Crier Gordon Trinder was nominated by the Steward and the Chaplain John Ganjavi by the High Bailiff, who invited those present to attend the Court Leet service at St John’s church at 10.00am on Sunday 25th November.

Court Leet

The Steward David Lodder; Low Bailiff Roger Sutton; High Bailiff Ray Holding and Honorary Burgess Derek Sharman

Rotary Awards
At this stage, the two awards made by the Rotary Club were introduced and Rotary president David Snell and past president Alec Halliwell. The awards are reported below in this edition of Henley News On-Line.

50 Years on
The High Bailiff told the meeting that fifty year ago almost to the day the Guild Hall had been bequeathed to the town by Mrs Olive Nancy Barnard, Lord of the Manor from 1928 to 1974. A plaque commemorating this little-publicised event had been placed in the Hall. The High Bailiff invited Mrs Mary Halliwell to unveil this as a permanent memorial to Mrs Barnard’s gift.

And so to bed
....or to a nearby hostelry, according to inclination. The assembly was closed by the Steward and the Town Crier, who reminded those present to attend “when summoned again”. Many of the distinguished guests present commented how much they had enjoyed the splendid setting of the Guild Hall and the mixture of colourful ceremony, humour and serious business.

Ray Holding - High Bailiff

Photos by Alan Robson & John Love

Rotary Awards 2007

RotaryYouth Club Chairman, Peter Crathorne was awarded the Rotary movement’s highest accolade – A Paul Harris Fellowship - at a presentation at the Court Leet meeting last Wednesday. Named after the founder of the worldwide Rotary Movement, Paul Harris of Chicago, the award has only once been given before outside the Rotary Club in the Club’s 33 years. Peter joins a very distinguished company also honoured by Rotary which includes Bill Gates, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and Nelson Mandela.

Making the presentation the President of the Rotary Club of Henley in Arden, David Snell said that although the club knew of his outstanding work as Chair of Governors at Henley High and his work for the Heritage Centre and Heart Start he was being recognised for his efforts to provide interests for the young people of the Town at the Youth Centre and through the Skate Park.


Peter Crathorne - Youth Club Chairman


Dennis Keyte of Wootton Wawen

The Rotary Vocational award given for outstanding but quiet work for his community went to Dennis Keyte of Wootton Wawen, not only for his work over a number of years with the local allotment association and the Stratford Beekeepers association, but particularly for his contribution to Wootton Footpaths Group which he founded in 1970 and which continues monthly to provide a source of exercise and interest not only to Wootton but also to the district.

Henley’s Temporary Library Sets Opening Date

LibraryPreparations for the opening of Henley’s temporary library service in the Heritage Centre, 150 High Street, are well advanced and the opening date has been set for Friday 23rd November. The hours of opening will be:

Tuesdays and Fridays: 9.30am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 6.00pm
Saturdays: 9.30am to 12.30pm

The existing Henley team of Paula Marlow, Sarah Smith and Georgia Isom will run the library as usual.

There will be a limited service of fiction paperbacks, large print books and younger children’s books but customers will be able to request anything free of charge. Arrangements can be made for sending over special collections for individual readers, for example, talking books.

There will be no fax machine and no public computers. The library will be contactable via a mobile number: 07518150006. It is hoped that the existing telephone number (792965) will be automatically diverted to this new number. The library will not be contactable by the Heritage Centre’s own number.

Both the Library service and the Trustees of the Heritage Centre are delighted that this arrangement can be made to keep the service alive while the library’s normal “home” is repaired after the flood damage of July.

Be Aware of New Car - Jacking Scheme

CrimeYou walk across the car park, unlock your car and get inside. Then you lock all your doors, start the engine and shift or put into reverse. You look into the rear-view mirror to back out of your parking space and You notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window.

So, you shift the gear stick back into park or neutral, unlock your doors and jump out of your car to remove that paper or whatever it is that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car that is when the carjackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off!! Your engine was running, you would have left your purse in the car and they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.


Just drive away and remove the paper later! It is stuck to your Window and be thankful that you read this email. I hope you will forward this to friends and family especially to women! A purse contains all identification, and you certainly do NOT want someone getting your home address. They already HAVE your keys!!!

I have been sent this warning and asked that it be distributed widely to alert everyone -


Intelligence Bureau of a Major Scottish Police Force

Last Land and Property Auction of the 2007 Season.

Auction SaleRichard Abbey, Partner and Auctioneer of John Earle & Son, convened the firm’s last land and property auction on Tuesday 13th November at Henley Golf & Country Club, Beaudesert, Henley-in-Arden.

Prior to the evening, the firm’s agency staff had concluded binding sales on three of the seven Lots originally listed, these being a substantial house known as Fields End, lying just to north of Henley in Arden, 2 improved cottages owned by the National Trust on the former Coughton Court Estate and 3.5 acres of pastureland & stables just south of Snitterfield.

Blounts Hole Farm was not offered, as negotiations were ongoing and a sale has now been concluded, substantially in excess of the guide price.

In the room, Mr Abbey firstly offered the ground floor flat in 18 Warwick Road, Stratford-upon-Avon and after a low start at just £100,000 finally brought the gavel down at £200,000. The final Lot to be offered was The Firs, Bradnocks Marsh Lane, lying between Hampton in Arden and Balsall Common. Although the bidding was close to the reserve, a sale was not concluded but negotiations are continuing with interested parties.

Peter Cornford, from John Earle & Son, concluded after the sale that the firm, during 2007, had experienced, on behalf of their clients, a very successful year. A total of 61 Lots were marketed for auction, of which only 8 were not actually sold in the room or shortly after. He was particularly pleased with such a substantial success rate for the firm’s clients and was very praiseworthy of all the staff and thanked them for their professionalism, enthusiasm and perseverance, particularly this autumn when selling conditions had become a little more nervous after the Northern Rock debacle. He believes that, with the likelihood of interest rates being reduced by the Bank of England early next year, confidence will generally return to the specialist property and land market with people probably looking back in March 2008 saying that “prices now have already moved on from their weak position in November and December of last year.”

John Earle & Son’s first land and property auction for 2008, with a number of Lots already penciled in, is provisionally planned for 25th March 2008 to include various parcels of land and properties for improvement and renovation.

David Wilson Homes Supports Henley

New HomesHousebuilder David Wilson Mercia is supporting Henley in Arden this winter with a donation of £250 to the Christmas lights fund. The money will be put towards the upkeep of the Christmas lights which are managed by the Henley and Beaudesert Christmas Lights Working Party.

David Wilson Mercia is currently building a range of one-, two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom executive apartments and houses on a brownfield site at the north end of the High Street behind Millfield Court.  The development, which has been named Henley Point, will launch next week (Wednesday 28th November) from Henley Golf Club.

Chris Ashmore Sales Director for David Wilson Mercia commented, “Henley Point is a very special development of just 34 executive homes located moments from the High Street. Properties here are sure to appeal to a range of homebuyers from couples and young professionals to growing families due to its quiet and peaceful situation with views across to the Mount. We felt it was crucial to ensure the lights remain a feature along the High Street this year and for years to come, since it is something that the future residents of Henley Point will certainly want to enjoy.”

The first of the homes will be ready to move into in February 2008.  Interest parties are invited to attend the launch at Henley Golf Club from 4pm to 8pm on 28th November.  For details call 01676 525 484.

Henley High School's production of 'Oliver'

PosterOliver! by Lionel Bart has been chosen because it combines all the art subjects within the school, the show involves singing, acting and dancing with the set being designed by members of the Art department.

Auditions began in September and the response was great, all those who attended were given a part which has resulted in the cast crossing all year groups.

Rehearsals have been taking place after school and as the performance date draws nearer the schedule has involved some weekend rehearsals too.

The school has attempted to utilise all its facilities in this production. The lights, set, costume, make-up and sound equipment are used in an attempt to match the standards of a professional production.

Performances will take place on three nights: Wednesday 21st November, Thursday 22nd November and Friday 23rd November at 7.30pm in the School Hall.

Ticket prices are £5.00 for adults and £3.00 for all concessions. Tickets can be purchased from the school (01564 792364) or, alternatively, on the door subject to availability.

So to finish “consider yourself one of us” and have a “fine life” by coming to see us on one of the performance nights, then “be back soon” if you really like the show.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Matt McCarthy - Director

First graduates from Young Masters Golf Academy

GolfersPictured below are the first graduates from The Haven Pastures Young Masters Golf Academy. Pictured from left to right are Elliot, George R, Joe. Front - George B, Will and Chris.

All have successfully passed the 'Cadet Level' of the Young Masters Golf Programme and have now progressed onto the Bronze Level. Young Masters Golf is a structured yet fun way for children to learn the game. Each child receives an informative folder which compliments each aspect of the course and each week they receive not only technical instruction but also information on golf rules and etiquette, this provides a complete grounding in the game.

Haven Pastures PGA Head Professional, Neil Evans, said "I have thoroughly enjoyed working with this first group at Haven Pastures, they have all done remarkably well and have really earned their Cadet Level certificate. The YMG programme is a fantastic way for children to learn the game, it’s fun, exciting yet very informative. I look forward to continuing to work with this group of children and to welcoming other groups to YMG at Haven Pastures".

Following the success of the first group we will be starting new groups on Saturday and Sunday mornings at Haven Pastures from the beginning of January. All groups are strictly limited in size and applications will be taken on a first come first served basis. If you would like to enrol your child/children onto the new courses please contact Neil Evans on 07968 231222 (

One of the parents said, "The first level of YMG has shown Chris the basics of golf, in a fun but structured way, and taken him to a level where he can play the game. He can now competently play 2 or 3 holes of the full course, or the shorter 9 hole par 3 course at Henley Golf Club. It’s a great way of getting him away from the play station for some fresh air and some quality Dads and Lads time. I would recommend the course to everyone with children".

Andy Langford

Two Ladies in Ullenhall Celebrate 100 Years

Kerry Hant, the activities coordinator at Mockley Manor, has told Henley NEWS On-line about some exciting events at this Ullenhall care home.

Two ladies have very special birthdays this month, the first lady is 102 on the 15th and the second lady is 100 on the 30th.

Another event is a Christmas Fete on the 8th of December and she is inviting readers to join in at Forde Hall Lane, Ullenhall. If any readers would like to donate anything to their Christmas raffle they would be most grateful.

Annual Winter Exhibition - The Gallery Upstairs

20th November to 1st December.  Opening Times: 10 – 5.30, Tuesday to Saturday

PictureThis is a group exhibition of contemporary paintings, ceramics, glass and jewellery by over 45 artists in the Gallery Upstairs and Torquil. The picture right is ‘My Dim Sum’ pastel by Libby January.

Torquil has been restored and refurbished after devastation by the floods in July and now has a renewed feeling of ‘gallery space’ with sanded antique floorboards and fresh paint on the walls.

Taking part are several artists from Warwickshire and the Midlands including farmer and printmaker, Bill Yardley; painters Joy and Malcolm Wilcox from Stratford (who will be exhibiting recent paintings inspired by painting trips to Spain and Greece), Nigel Fletcher with paintings of Provencal landscapes; Jill Jeffrey with landscapes and still life work and Clive Sheridan with a conceptual and literary approach to collage. We also have Claire Seneviratne and Andy Palin – ceramicists from Warwick and Jayne Lucas, Reg Moon and Carey Moon, resident potters at Torquil. Penny Gildea, one of the jewellers taking part, uses enamel for her beautiful jewellery and lives in Stratford.

Established in the Midlands as an important centre for exhibiting British contemporary art and craft, the gallery likes to promote the work of young people ‘setting out’ alongside well established artists and makers. It overlooks a cobbled courtyard which was once an Elizabethan coaching inn and has an ancient yew arch leading to the garden (open in the summer for sculpture and outdoor ceramics).

Entrance to the gallery is free, via Torquil on Henley’ tree-lined High Street.

Children in need - BBC visit Johnsons

Children in NeedAn off the cuff comment made by Johnsons Coach & Bus employee, Christine Bridges, resulted in some £500 being raised in just one hour for BBC children in need!

Chris, who works in the traffic office controlling the bus fleet threw down the challenge to her immediate colleagues and before she new where she was the idea had been seized upon by the whole company.

Chris said “I passed a random comment challenging my colleagues to sponsor me for Children in Need if I sang one song. The end result was an impromptu concert in our conference room lasting over an hour. BBC Coventry and Warwickshire turned up and I ended up singing live on the Bob Brolly show. I do like to sing, but I’ve never done anything like this before but everyone seemed to enjoy it. I am delighted with the result and although I was a little apprehensive the end result for this worthwhile charity was well worth a few nerves. Most of my sponsors have agreed to gift aid the money pledged so the £500 raised will increase significantly”.

Wildlife Society Visits The Galapagos Islands

WildlifeOn Tuesday evening last, the Henley-in-Arden Wildlife Socoety were entertained by members John & Penny Stott with their digital photographic talk of their visit to the Galapagos Islands last year.

Over 40 attended despite a nasty damp night and thoroughly enjoyed the programme.

David Evason,chairman, thanked John and Penny for the excellent evenings entertainment.

John Love - Reporting

Tai Chi – First Class In Henley

Tai ChiWalking out into the cold, fresh air after my first experience of this exercise class, I was sure I was at least an inch taller, my breathing was steadier and I was a calmer person. I did not believe those who said, ”Come along, you will enjoy the gentle, person centred exercises and feel much better afterwards.”

I had no idea what to expect. Like many, I had seen examples of the exercise on the television but I thought I would look awkward, even silly but no; Debbie, our leader, embued the whole session with the sense that everyone, whatever age, or physical condition could feel a sense of achievement through gentle activity. There was no single standard, everyone could move comfortably to the extent of their own ability.

Although I was the only man, I was made welcome. Throughout the session quiet and clear explanation was given of each movement, what it was designed to achieve and how the detail of the body positions could ensure effectiveness. Above all, I noticed it developed deeper and more controlled breathing.

You know, despite my initial misgivings, I enjoyed the session very much, I will go again and I hope my insight will encourage others to give it a go.

For further information contact Debbie wild (07773318830)

Or just come along. The class meets at the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane (parking’s easy) on Thursdays at 11.00am and the session lasts an hour. The cost is £5, but you don’t have to pay per term – just pay when you go. For more details see the poster below.

Peter Crathorne.

Protect your Employees or get Fined

SDCStratford-on-Avon District Council has once again been successfully enforcing the message that ignoring health and safety procedures in the workplace could land offenders in court following another recent successful prosecution.

Haven Pastures was found guilty of being in contravention of section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, that “places a duty on the employers to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their employees” at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on 15 November. The golf club in Henley-in-Arden was fined £5,000, and a further sum of £5,000 was awarded to the District Council to cover costs.

The local company’s failure to comply with Health and Safety legislation led to one of their employees suffering a fracture, deep lacerations, nerve and tendon damage to his hand while in the process of carrying out maintenance to a piece of green-keeping machinery on which no training had been given. Workplace accidents must be reported to the Incident Contact Centre as soon as possible and no later than 10 days after they have happened. However, the Council’s Public Protection Team at the District Council was not informed until 7 weeks later.

Following the investigation of the company, it was found that they were poorly managed in terms of Health and Safety with various contraventions of the law taking place.

"The Court has demonstrated that ignorance is no excuse for disregarding health and safety law.” Says Councillor Simon Jackson, Executive Portfolio Holder for the Environment. “All employers have a responsibility to manage health and safety in the workplace and serious accidents like this illustrate what can go wrong when the law is ignored. It is so important for incidents to be reported to prevent more serious accidents from occurring, ignorance of legislation can lead to needless accidents to employees and cost businesses thousands as a consequence.”

ATAC at Charingworth Manor




ATAC - Action Taken Against Cancer recently held a Sunday luncheon event at Charingworth Manor, near Chipping Campden.

Frank Vegnuti, president of the Anglo Italian Society based in Rowington generously presented a cheque for £500 to ATAC.

The photograph shows ATAC  committee members:

Linda Williams, Pat Harrison, Pam Bonati with Frank Vegnuti presenting the cheque to Virginia Haynes accompanied by Shirley Bronwhill.


Patricia Phillips

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

Wellie Wednesday at Henley Primary School

Primary SchoolThe Reception class at Henley Primary School take part in a Wellie Wednesday session each week.

This involves them working outside for part of the morning, usually on the field and the playground. The work they undertake is linked to work they are doing in the classroom.

This week the children had a list of objects they needed to find outside that contained holes – see photo right.

They then carried out further work when they returned to the classroom, by making observational drawings of things containing holes and writing their own list of holey objects.

The same concept is also carried out in Year One but is renamed Fun Friday.

Elaine Field - Assistant Headteacher

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Henley Forest FC

Match Report          Knowle (Division One)

Cup/League            BCFA Saturday Vase

Date                      17 November 07

Final Score            4-0 Knowle

Man of the Match  Jon Grandfield

Henley FC

Jon Grandfield & Ben Adshead both go for ball.

To expect a result against a team top of Division One, having won every game this season other than one was perhaps a little too ambitious.

An exciting game and for the first 25 minutes Forest were on top, Knowle perhaps giving us a little too much respect. Gradually Knowle settled down and got to grips with the game, passing the ball well and with pace. Half time, Knowle were 3-0 up as a result of good finishing and a couple of sloppy moments of marking from Forest.

Second half Forest came out fired up, looked much better and gave a far better game, restricting the lead from Knowle to just one other goal. At 90 minutes the final score of 4-0 to Knowle does not really reflect the performance on the day, Forest certainly made them work for the result and provided great opposition.

John Colby, Forests Manager said “I’m really pleased with the performance of the entire squad, we were up against a great team, top of Division One and having conceded only 6 goals so far this season – my lads did well, they handled the game exceptionally and I am very proud of their effort on the day. My man of the match for 90 minutes of immense effort & top quality performance goes to my Captain Jon Grandfield – a great quality player, who certainly made an impression”

Next Fixture: Away to meet Littlleton for our first time of meeting in the Mid Com. 1st December 2pm Kick Off  

Karen Parsons

Grumpy Old Man Comments

GOMGone but not Forgotten.

Walking the dog across the field at the back of Brook End Drive for the past few weeks has been shorter than normal. But now the travellers have departed, I can walk round the whole field.

But to my dismay I found remnants of the unofficial camp site as my photo shows.

How can anyone leave such a mess? Everything you would expect from people without respect, bottles, clothes, household waste and as for the toilet paper enough said about that!

I have a few concerns now:

  • Who clears up this mess ? the council? Another waste of my council tax. The owners of the field? Where are they. The travellers ? that's a joke.
  • Will they come back next year?

Do the owners care, or will they use it as an excuse to apply for planning permission. If we build houses the travellers can't come can hear the debate now.

Does anyone know how we can stop this thing happening?

Grumpy Old Man

The Nigel Hastilow Column

Tomorrow's England - coming soon

Nigel HastilowMy new book, "Tomorrow's England", is being re-printed to take into account recent events. If you'd like a copy, please e-mail me ( and I will send you one hot off the press as soon as they're ready(£9.95 plus postage).

Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

Whatever happened to freedom of speech? The question keeps cropping up in the hundreds of the e-mails I’ve received in the past few days.

Last weekend I resigned as Conservative parliamentary candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis after a furore over what I said about immigration on these pages last Friday. My mistake was to invoke the name of Enoch Powell which, despite what I actually wrote, immediately branded me a racist. It also defined the media’s reaction to my article.

Yet to the Great British Voter, I struck a chord by saying the unsayable. This is an extraordinary position to be in. All I have done is express in plain English what I believe the vast majority of people now think, which is that we must call a halt to unlimited immigration. Since I resigned, the e-mails have come in thick and fast. There are too many to count and far too many for me to reply to in person. But when you’re under siege it’s very heartening to find you still have friends. A few – very few – have been rude, insulting or gloating. The vast majority are expressions of support and encouragement. They have come not just from the Black Country or Britain but from Italy, Dubai, America, Cyprus, Australia – all over the world. Some tell personal stories about the lives and concerns of the writers. My correspondents say how disappointed they are with Britain today. Some say that is why they have emigrated; others say that is why they are about to emigrate.

An ex-colleague I haven’t spoken to for several years is one such. He had been contemplating a move to France. After what’s happened to me, he says he is now definitely going. This is a terrible state of affairs. These people are not right-wing nutters or racist loonies. They are ordinary men and women who are exhausted and exasperated by the way their views are ignored, their opinions are not articulated, their hopes and fears are disregarded. And many of them ask what has happened free speech. Of course we don’t have the freedom to say whatever we wish – various laws limit our ability to say just whatever we want.

But there are more insidious ways of curtailing free speech than invoking the full fury of the law. They include intimidation and fear. It is not racist to say this country cannot cope with more and more immigration. Yet the risk of being branded a racist is so great it is career suicide to say so. My own experience makes that obvious. I am no racist. And while the media have not quite branded me one (for fear of the libel laws, I expect) they have come as close as makes no difference.

And plenty of web-sites have messages describing me as racist. It is not a pleasant situation to be in. Actually it’s terrible. It is frightening, intimidating and waring to find yourself singled out for vilification for expressing in public views you know full well most people express in private every day of the week. Because this is what happens, we don’t need laws to keep us in line. Fear and intimidation do that for us.

That is how political correctness works. Mine is an extreme example. Yet it applies in many areas of our lives. Some of what goes on around us is so patently absurd it makes us scream inwardly. But any public expression of that disgust puts our lives and livelihoods at risk so it’s best to keep schtum. Lie low, put up with it and say nothing. It’s just easier that way.

When I was up for selection as a Conservative candidate in Halesowen and Rowley Regis I said I would always express my opinions even if they didn’t accord exactly with party policy. I said I believed in the importance of freedom of speech even within the apparent confines of a political party. I also said – and would still maintain – that one of the reasons why most people are cynical about politics these days is because politicians are seen as slippery, insincere, equivocating and only in it for what they can get.

My argument was that a candidate who spoke his mind would be welcomed by the voters as a rare commodity. It is clear that I was right. The e-mails and calls I have had over the past few days have overwhelmingly proved the case. They express real anger that even a political pigmy like me is not allowed to raise one of the most pressing issues of our time without being vilified and hounded out.

I failed to appreciate that the constraints on freedom of speech are greater than I feared. They include the deliberate twisting and downright nastiness of the political process itself. There’s also the fact that a political party can’t win if its members are not all rowing in the same direction. But above all the constant self-censorship needed to protect oneself from the wrath of the PC police.

That’s why politicians dare not risk saying what they believe. And why I am clearly incapable of being a successful politician.

Nigel Hastilow

For the most Comprehensive Information about Henley-in-Arden

Visit Henley-in-Arden's Gateway Website at

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Put a lid on it!
Use a lid when you're cooking with saucepans. Putting the lid on allows you to turn down the heat  so you'll also save money with every meal. An added bonus is reduced condensation and dampness in your home. It's  good for the environment too because it reduces the amount of climate changing CO2 that is created by cooking.

On Monday, the Prime Minister declared the need to achieve more in combating climate change and announced various measures. Our local initiative supports these measures and aims to minimise Henley's contribution to climate change. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who wishes to join us and help promote this important activity. Call Margaret 792138 or John 792251.

John Stott

Alerts from Trading Standards

HSBC Bogus Email

Email users are warned to beware of a bogus 'phishing' email that purports to come from the HSBC bank. The email, entitled  'HSBC Bank UK : Compulsory Security Upgrade' states that the banks security department is 'carrying out a compulsory update on all information on our Internet banking system. You are required to follow the update process' and 'failure to do so will lead to immediate account suspension for security reasons.' The email directs recipients to a link entitled 'SECURE UPDATE PROCESS'. Unfortunately this link is actually to a bogus website.

Recipients are advised to delete the email and not to click on the link. Clicking on the link may expose your computer to viruses and malware, and any passwords or other information you provide may be used to steal your money, or for ID theft.

Bogus Council Callers

Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service are warning residents to be on their guard against unexpected telephone calls from someone falsely claiming to be from Warwickshire County Council.

Trading Standards Officers have received several complaints from residents who have received such calls. In some cases the caller, after claiming to be phoning from ‘Warwickshire County Council’ or ‘Warwick Council’ for research purposes, has asked the resident how old they are and whether they live alone.

Some residents have reported being phoned four or five times. When challenged, or asked which department or service they represent the caller then hangs up.

Trading Standards Officers believe the phone calls may be marketing related but advise householders to be cautious and to follow their advice.

Advice on dealing with unexpected callers

  • Don’t provide any personal or financial information to callers you don’t know and trust.
  • Challenge caller’s claims – ask for their name and their company name and if you wish to speak to them, phone them back via a publicly listed telephone number.
  • If you don’t wish to speak to them, put the phone down.
  • To reduce the number of unwanted telephone sales calls you receive register with the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707.
  • If the caller is persistent, seek advice from your phone provider (e.g. BT).
  • If you are receiving abusive, threatening or obscene calls, malicious or otherwise distressing to you, then report them to the police.

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


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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 Nightingale Close, Great Alne, B49 6PE. Email:

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.

Tuesday 4th December – an evening of Miscellany at the Memorial Hall at 7.30 p.m.

11th December - Annual General Meeting and Christmas Dinner at Henley Golf Club at 7.00 p.m.

Tuesday 18th December is our AGM and Christmas Social.

HENLEY AND BEAUDESERT SOCIETY Thursday 13th December 7.30 p.m. (NOT 8.00 p.m.) Christmas Party and entertainment by The Shakespeare Mummers. Tickets - Members £6, Non-Members - £8 includes a light buffet supper and a glass of wine. Contact Iris Birch 792955.

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

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
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