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Henley NEWS On-line

Reporting On The Events In And Around
Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, England

Campaigning for a better Henley

Edition 218 - 16th April 2009
Warwickshire Village Ventures
Competition Winner 2007
on Thursdays

Annual Court Leet Dinner


On Tuesday the 7th April, the Henley Court Leet and Court Baron held its Annual Dinner in The Guild Hall. The Town Crier, Gordon Trinder, called for grace which was said by the Rev John Ganjavi, Chaplain to the Court, and sixty-eight people sat down to a five course meal prepared by Sue Dalby Catering. Diners enjoyed such delights as Baron Soup, Henley & Beaudesert Carbonade of Beef in ‘Three Tuns’ ale and De Montfort Tarte au Citron.

While across in the restaurant of ‘The White Swan’ the High Bailiff’s Lady, Molly Sutton, together with the Ladies of the Court entertained their guests and visiting consorts to a two course meal. The meal was followed by a talk from two Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholars.

photoAfter the High Bailiff, Roger Sutton, had introduced his honoured guests to the body of the Court, he called upon the Court’s Ale Tasters, Andrew Gardner, and Barry Tulloch, to taste the wines they had selected for the dinner, and to give their ‘honest opinion’ as to their ‘quality and quaffability’. Andrew Gardner declared the red wine, ‘to have maturity, a fine bouquet, a touch of strawberry, a hint of cherry, with a good sensation on the palate’. Barry Tulloch tasting the white wine, declared it to be ‘a Barbara Streisand; ageing well, with a good body, possibly a little hippy,’ but a good nose!’

The High Bailiff’s honoured guests included Michael Coker, former Warwickshire County Coroner; Cllr Vincent Seaman, Chairman of Stratford District Council; Cllr Joyce Taylor, the Mayor of Stratford and her Consort Nat Taylor; Cllr Ann Mellor the Mayor of Warwick; John Rogers, the Bailiff of Bromsgrove and his Reeve Simon Cupitt; Andy Mills, the High Bailiff of Alcester; Cllr Sheila Roy, the Chair of Beaudesert & Henley JPC, and David Burman, Chairman of the Tanworth Felons.

At the conclusion of the meal Gordon Trinder, Toastmaster and Town Crier, banging his gavel brought all to order and called upon John Rutherford, the Low Bailiff, to propose the ‘Loyal Toast’. David Lodder, Steward to the Court, was asked to propose the toast to the Lord of the Manor, Mrs Robin Hardy-Freed, who he hoped would visit the town some time this year. The steward ended his response on a serious note mentioning how important it was to keep alive the traditions of the town laid down over the years by the families and personalities that had made Henley their home. He paid a special tribute to the work of the Heritage Centre, under the leadership of Ray Holding and his ‘volunteer army of stewards’, who year in and year out looked after the running of Joseph Hardy House.

photoHonorary Burgess Derek Sharman had the responsibility of calling the Court to toast their visitors and in particular to introduce the guest speaker, Michael Coker. Derek had known and worked with Michael during his years as a local JP. In concluding his address Derek was keen to stress the need for people to take up the Obama Theme of ‘It is not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country’.

In response Michael began his talk by explaining that he was ‘unaccustomed to speaking in public without a fee’ drawing the first of many peals of laughter from what became an attentive audience. Michael gave a very enlightening talk about his work as a coroner; you go to the body, not the body comes to you. He did recall on a one time visit to Henley that he had succumbed to treating himself to a Henley Ice Cream, carefully hiding himself away from public view, before attending a hearing at Henley Court.

In concluding his talk he paid tribute to some of the fine traditions retained by the town’s societies, the Court Leet being such a society, through its re-enactments each year of the traditions of ale, butter, bread, fish and flesh tasting and declaring them fit for consumption.

It was the responsibility of the High Bailiff to thank Michael for proposing the toast to the Court and calling for the town to support the Leet and their endeavours to preserve, not only the traditions of the town, but their work in maintaining the Guild Hall and improving the Guild Hall Gardens for the next generation of ‘Henmen and Henwomen’.

photoThe High Bailiff thanked Sue Dalby and her team for preparing and serving such a delicious meal. He thanked the team of people from within the Court who had helped to make the evening a success. Thanks also went to two sponsors: ’The Thirsty Earth’ table water was supplied courtesy of Alistair Price’s company Harrogate Spa Water and the flowers by courtesy of ‘The Lemon Tree’ florists of Henley.

In continuing his reply, the High Bailiff backed the sentiments of Hon Burgess Derek Sharman’s Obama analogy, ‘It is not what Henley can do for you, but what can you do for Henley’. He recalled that over the centuries many people had made the town their home and had invested a great deal of their money, time and energy into creating what is a very pleasant place to live.  He believed that the Guild Hall and the Court Leet should continue its role to be at the heart of community life and as the High Bailiff he felt it was an honour to head the Court and help it to prompt the town of Henley.

The evening was brought to a close with the drawing of the raffle, organized by the Town Crier and Low Bailiff, in aid of the Guild Hall Charitable Trust.

Roger Sutton
High Bailiff

Beaudesert and Henley Annual Parish Assemblies

The total attendance at the Joint Annual Parish Assemblies, which took place last night, represented about 1% of the population of Henley-in-Arden and Beaudesert. It was however admirably supported by the High Bailiff, members of Warwickshire County Council, Stratford District Council and Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Joint Parish Council and Peter Crathorne.

This year it had been decided to break with tradition and stage what historically has always been two individual meetings at the same time. I am not sure whose decision this was and I can only suggest that those townspeople who attended would be the best judges of whether it was a successful initiative or not.


Joint Chairmen Eric Roy - Beaudesert (centre) & Bill Leech - Henley (right)

The Joint Chairmen, with their attendant minute takers, took their places and the meeting began with a presentation by John Stott on How to Make Henley Greener. It was interesting and thought provoking and made a difficult subject very relevant and inspiring. We are all exhorted to think about the energy we use (and waste) and how by helping to cut green house gases we will also save ourselves some money.

The new High Bailiff, Roger Sutton, began by thanking the previous High Bailiff for all the work he had carried out whilst he was in office, especially at the time of the great flood. Although the history of the Court Leet is as old as the town itself the work it does continues to have great relevance to the future of the town and its members are proud to serve the community and support all its activities. In response to a question from the floor, the High Bailiff agreed to investigate the possibility of the Guild Hall and its garden being more accessible to the townspeople of Beaudesert and Henley (to whom it belongs and as it was in the recent past). Dr Bridgewater tabled plans of how the Guild Hall Garden will look when the current work is completed.


The speakers (left to right) District Councillors Stephen Thirlwell and Laurence Marshall, John Stott - Guest Speaker,
County Councillor George Atkinson, Peter Crathorne - TIC Chairman, Parish Councillor Sheila Roy - Chairman JPC

Peter Crathorne began by thanking Brian Twigg, the previous Chair of the Town Improvement Committee, for his excellent chairmanship of the TIC over some difficult periods. He outlined his plan for the future, confirmed his commitment to the project but was realistic in understanding how difficult it would be to achieve all of the goals in a short time-scale

The Chairman of the JPC, Mrs Sheila Roy, thanked all the members of the JPC for the long hours they spend working for the town, especially on the various sub-committees which are an essential and integral part of the JPC. She continued by thanking the Parish Clerk, who now works on a full-time basis, for her help over the past few months. In response to a question from the floor, in particular relating to the apparent high increase in the Precept and whether it had been prudent to employ a Parish Clerk on a full-time basis as the cost of the salary would have contributed to increase in Precept, Cllr Mrs Roy responded that the Clerk’s workload was very high and it had become apparent that a lot of important matters were not being dealt with in a timely manner because of lack of time by the Clerk. Cllr Mrs Roy also confirmed that the current Maintenance Contract would not be renewed and they would appoint a maintenance “man” to carry out much needed repairs in the town which was looking a little neglected.

Cllrs Stephen Thirlwell and Laurence Marshall both spoke with their usual eloquence of their continuing commitment and support of the town through Stratford District Council and of how they see their role developing in order to help the town to improve in the next few years.

George Atkinson acknowledged the kind words of many of the previous speakers and said that he would be sad to retire from the County Council but said that he felt very proud that he had helped to play a big part in making the town a better place to be. Cllr Atkinson has been involved with local councils for a long period of time and would continue as District Councillor for Tanworth-in-Arden so he would still very much take an interest in what was happening locally.

David Hadley (proposed by Bill Leech and seconded by Peter Crathorne and agreed unanimously) was voted as the 2010 Chairman of the Henley-in-Arden Parish Assembly.

Margaret Twigg (proposed by David Hadley and seconded by John Love and agreed unanimously) was voted a 2010 Vice Chair of the Henley-in-Arden Parish Assembly.

There were no nominations for either the Chair or Vice Chair of the Beaudesert Parish Assembly.

There was a question from the floor about the amount of money paid for the sports facilities in the town. If the Sports facilities could be improved it would encourage other members of the town to use the site. Cllr Mrs Roy responded by saying that all requests to the JPC for grants were considered and met if possible; Cllr Thirlwell confirmed that SDC may be able to help to find additional funding from third parties.

One constituent had written about the perilous state of the paving surface in Brook End Drive to Station Road. Cllr Atkinson agreed to refer this matter to the relevant County Council.

The Editor of Henley News on Line was asked if his sometime critical remarks on the work of the JPC could be construed as counter productive and confusing. In support of the Editor, John Latham responded by saying that in a democracy everyone was entitled to an opinion and sometimes it was beneficial to create debate which in turn encouraged free-thinking and a new way forward.

The meeting closed at 10.00pm.

In Conclusion

I must add that the following is my personal opinion – and I am sure that the historians and traditionalists amongst us will shoot me down in flames – but surely in these days of economy in all matters there is nonsense in two people sitting down in the same room, each to conduct his own meeting without regard for the other?

Has no-one ever heard that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts? Can we not celebrate, after centuries of living side by side, that we have not only survived but we have both grown and in all other matters we are seen as just one town.

Evidence of our new-found maturity could see us convening a joint Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Parish Assembly in 2010 with Chair and Vice Chair being nominated on alternate years by Henley-in-Arden and Beaudesert.

Gerrie Bruce - Secretary, Henley Annual Assembly 2009

Democracy in Henley

One of the most democratic of institutions in our town is the annual joint Assembly of Henley and Beaudesert. It is an opportunity for ordinary citizens to go along and listen to the people who administer the community on our behalf and ask questions and get clarification of issues raised in their reports.

I attended the Assembly last night, listened to the speakers and then asked one or two questions. The first question I thought would be of interest to most people attending. It asked that if the District Council was £2 million in the red in the middle of one of the worst economic downturns since the Thirties, how is it that the Parish Council had caused a huge increase in its Precept requirements from the District Council by making an arbitrary decision to increase the post of Parish Clerk from part-time to full time? The response from the chair of the Parish Council was less than convincing and made no mention of whether or not the salary was affordable but it wasn’t helped by the constant interruptions from a lady parish councillor and supporters behind me who were interrupting and shouting “Rubbish”.

What on earth is it all about if such behaviour can be condoned by the chairs of the meeting or even felt appropriate by the people orchestrating the interruption? What is their version of democracy in our green and pleasant community that many of us work so hard to maintain? Can they explain because I am at a loss to understand them, their motives or their behaviour?

John Latham - Former High Bailiff

HADS Memorial to The Hall - A Triumph

Last week we were treated to a home grown production in celebration of the Centenary of the Memorial Hall, Henley. The hall was opened in 1909 and has been the home to HADS for some time, regularly hosting its productions. This play was researched and written by Ray Evans (whose reputation precedes him) and was a rare treat.


Covering the actual events that took place 100 years ago when the hall was first opened, the play presented a factual account of the time. There were, however, one or two dramatic changes to bring the story to life, presenting a little bit of ‘what might have happened’ if all had not proceeded so smoothly.  As a result it was a masterly adaptation telling the story with humour and reality rolled into one.


If you have been following Ray’s articles over the last few weeks in Henley NEWS On-line, you will realise what a major undertaking it was, not only to do the research but also to write the play, cast it and then direct the whole masterpiece. He is to be commended, the writing and production were excellent.

He was ably supported by the whole HADS company and the show was much enjoyed by all who saw it. It is a shame if you missed it.

Tony Capps - Drama Correspondent

Travel in Style on the new X20

In their centenary year Johnsons Coach & Bus Travel recently commenced operating the X20 bus service which runs along the A3400 between Birmingham and Stratford Upon Avon. By coincidence this is exactly the same route operated by the company in the 1920s when they first started transporting fare paying passengers. The route is now very busy and to cope with the demand the company have just taken delivery of three brand new Double Deck vehicles to operate solely on this service. These new vehicles complete an investment programme for the year of just under £1,000,000.


Photo John Love

Pete Johnson, Operations Director of Johnson’s Coach & Bus, said “We are extremely proud to have been awarded this important route which provides a vital link for residents between Birmingham & Stratford. We made the decision to invest in new Double Decker vehicles to offer both a more comfortable service and to encourage passengers to use it in the knowledge that more seats will be available. The lower deck is “low floor” with no steps which will suit those with any walking difficulties; other passengers can go upstairs and enjoy the views! The purchase completes our investment programme for this year which has also included two state of the art Scania touring coaches”

The X20 operates 7 days a week and timetables are available from tourist information centres and local libraries or Clicking here

News from Rotary International

logo As their contribution to the Stroke and Health Awareness Day, Henley Rotarians will be offering free blood pressure tests at the Baptist Church Hall in the High Street on Saturday 18th April.

A small team of health professionals will be on hand to carry out the tests and offer helpful advice. Strokes are the leading cause of severe adult disability and the third biggest killer in the UK.  Everyone will be welcome to come along, have the test and then enjoy a cup of coffee.

Henley Rotary Club Responds to Italian Earthquake

Disaster relief charity ShelterBox, a Global Rotary Club Project, has responded to the earthquake that struck central Italy in the early hours of 6 April by sending immediate assistance to the thousands of people left homeless by the disaster.

As soon as reports came through of the tragic earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, striking central Italy as residents slept in the early hours of 6 April, UK disaster relief charity ShelterBox mobilised its volunteers and staff to get aid to the devastated region.

With initial reports indicating that more than 17,000 people have been left homeless ShelterBox responded and within 12 hours of the earthquake striking had a representative on the ground in Italy and enough shelter for 2500 people on its way.


Henley Rotary Club responded immediately to the appeal for ShelterBoxes and has already sent funds (£500) to cover the costs of a new box. Each ShelterBox contains a 10-person tent, blankets, water purification and cooking equipment, basic tools, a stove and other essential equipment. Every ShelterBox is individually numbered and can be tracked by donors.

Mike Redman - President Henley Rotary


Working closely with Rotary Italy, the Shelterbox Response Team (SRT) working in Italy identified the district of Pettino as in dire need of shelter. Two hundred shelterboxes arrived via road from the UK on 9 April and immediately 120 were allocated for Pettino where the residents had wasted no time in organising themselves.

photoPettino resident and father of two, Ivan De Paolis, said that after the quake they saw many large camps being set up with up to 2,000 people in them. Some in shock, some depressed, they seem to spend their day queuing for food with many people not knowing each other. Ivan and his family and friends decided they wanted to stick together and help each other. Drawing on the resources of the residents of Pettino they identified suitable land, brought in earth-moving equipment, constructed a kitchen area and brought in water and electricity. Through a friend Assergi and local Rotarian Gianni Jandolo they became aware of the Shelterbox team and their equipment and within hours work was underway constructing a camp for more than 200 people. SRTs and local volunteers worked into the night under hastily constructed floodlights and car headlamps erecting tents. Work continued early the next morning with the help of volunteers from Assergi as many people from Pettino attended the State Funeral for the victims of the earthquake.

The camp was visited by Deputy Mayor Roberto Riga who was impressed at the speed at which the camp had been assembled and the quality of the Shelterbox tents. His heartfelt thanks were echoed by the residents of Pettino. A further 96 boxes have been issued to people from Pettino who will erect their tents in their gardens.

SRT volunteer John Diksa, a Rotarian from Grenoble, said “to think that less than two days ago this place was an uncleared development site is quite incredible. We’ve all worked hard and pulled together to build what will be a camp with a real community spirit. The People of Pettino have been very hospitable and share what little they have us. I think we have shown what can be achieved with a little teamwork.”

Cricket Club Centenary Dinner

photoMore than 100 guests joined Guest of Honour Dennis Amiss, pictured right, at the Centenary Dinner of Henley-in-Arden Cricket Club held at the Golf and Country Club last Saturday.

Many of the great and the good of the town joined in the celebrations and enjoyed speeches from the former England and Warwickshire batsman as well from the chairman of the TIC, Peter Crathorne and former player Roger Sparrow, who talked about some of the highlights of the 100 years of history attached to the club.

Apart from current High Bailiff Roger Sutton there were 3 former High Bailiffs and an Honorary Burgess of the town in attendance.

Thanks to some lively bidding from enthusiastic guests in the auction £2,500 was raised for club funds. A signed cricket bat from Freddie Flintoff fetched a club record auction price of £1,100.

John Latham reporting

£500 Raised By Youth Club At Their Charity Meal

photoOn Friday 3rd April 32 residents gathered at “The Hub”, the home of the youth club, to enjoy a meal prepared by the young members of the youth club. The supper was arranged as part of their money raising campaign for Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

The young people have set themselves the target of raising £1,000 entirely by their own endeavours by July this year. Some twenty members of the club were chefs, waiters, greeters and entertainers for the evening. The food was excellent and Bingo Bobby and Cheerful Charley provided a charming entertainment with their bingo game and amusing raffle presentation.

At the end, while we were all congratulating ourselves at the success of the evening, it was Charley who brought us “down to earth”; saying thank you to all who had attended he reminded us that we had just about raised enough money for one “take off“ for the helicopter. On this night the supportive residents of Henley had witnessed the very best of the young people in the town.

Long may it continue!

Peter Crathorne reporting

A Trip Down Ullenhall's Memory Lane

photoA successful slideshow and archive day was held in the Village Hall on Saturday 4th April. It was a chance to find out about the history of Ullenhall and look at items from the past such as the inscribed prize-winners cups from Ullenhall School, old tiles from Barrells Hall and an old bottle labeled ‘Allcott’s Table Water, Ullenhall’. This business was run by Mr Allcott, baker and grocer, who had the premises now known as ‘The Old Bakery’ in the first half of the 20th Century.

The Village Books were also on display and proved very popular. A DVD of photos was shown four times during the day: these included Fetes that were held on the Vicarage lawn, interior views of Barrells Hall as it used to be and the redevelopment of St Mary’s Close. It would have been nice to have seen a few more faces both old and new; however it was an enjoyable day.

It was lovely to see several former residents and thank you to all who came.

Sarah and Tom Ashton reporting

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden

Visit the Henley-in-Arden Gateway Website at:

This website is sponsored by the TIC and receives no money from public funds


Top Sats Results at Claverdon Primary

photoClaverdon Primary School came out top of the SATS results for Warwickshire released this week with its Year 6 pupils gaining the highest aggregated attainment scores in English, Maths and Science.

Also this term’s OFSTED report concluded that the school is outstanding for the overall outcomes for its pupils.

The school offers a broad and balanced educational experience and last year’s Year 6, whose work is reflected in these SATS results, were an excellent and able group.

Headteacher Kate Gover commented, “At Claverdon we track and monitor pupil progress to ensure that all pupils achieve to the best of their ability. We do not ‘teach to the test’ but offer a challenging, engaging curriculum. We always have high expectations of our pupils and they never let themselves down!”

Our picture shows our pupils with some very original Easter Eggs.

Martin Head - Governor reporting

Let’s Go and Run for Fun for Cure Leukaemia!

photoThe good people of Henley have been great supporters of the Cure Leukaemia Run in Sutton Park for the last 5 years. Whether as runners or stewards, they have got up at the crack of dawn on a sunny Sunday morning in May to do their bit for a charity, which started fundraising in 2004 and has so far raised £3.5 million and built a Haematology Research Centre which is doing world – class clinical research to find a cure for leukaemia.

This year the Run is on May 17th. It is a fun day with 3 runs – a 10K at 10 am, a 5K at 11.30 and a 1K for under- 8’s at 12 noon. There are sideshows, music and a Smooth 105.7 road show with DJ Tammy Gooding throughout the morning.

Your support as a runner or helper is vital for an event which is a key part of our fundraising and has raised between £20,000 and £30,000 each year.

Visit to download an entry form, sponsorship form see a map of the course and any other general information You can also email or phone 0121 627 5858 for any specific information you might need.

Do something special in the Spring – help us bring new hope to leukaemia patients by supporting clinical research in Birmingham, which is having an impact across the globe.

John Latham

Prize Draw Scams! A warning !

Readers may be interested to hear about my recent experience, but to avoid embarrassment, I need to remain anonymous.

Prize Draw scams are often responded to by the elderly, in this case, my mother. A letter is received, promising a very large cheque when they deliver your next order. So, you send them a cheque or charge your credit card for something you don’t really want. £10 here and £40 there. It can easily add up to £400 or £500 a month (far more than my mother could afford), with the participant enticed by the promise of a very large (non-existent) prize. If you’re used to dealing with honest people, the letters are VERY convincing. Once someone responds to one letter, that person’s name will be put on the criminals’ ‘suckers’ list. Then 10 letters a day becomes 15 and then 20 letters, nearly all from abroad, beyond the reach of English Law. Ordinary post (bills, personal letters) get mislaid amongst the overwhelming number of letters.

Signs of a scam addict include receiving loads of junk mail, having a house full of cheap-looking goods, such as jewellery and health products and becoming secretive when discussing finances with family. These all applied to my mother.

The participant still believes that one day a cheque WILL arrive in the post and it can become very addictive. Trying to get my mother to stop was almost impossible, then I wondered if Trading Standards might be able to help. They came up trumps, not only with advice and an information pack, but with a long visit to my mother, gradually persuading her that the money she was sending was indeed going to criminals and that there are NO prizes. She has now stopped sending money.

A good result, thanks to Trading Standards.

Henley Tennis Club Easter Fun Day

Tennis ClubThis Easter do you fancy having a go at something different? If so why not come along to Henley Tennis Club for our Easter Fun Day?

The day run for both children and adults will give you a chance to have a go at playing tennis with the help of the qualified coaches. You will also be lucky enough to have a go on our new Astro Turf court surface.

The Fun Day is being held at Henley in Arden Tennis Club on Sat 18th April with four to eighteen year olds playing from 10 -12pm and adults from 12 - 2pm.

Henley-in-Arden Tennis Club is a seven court club based on the Stratford road in Henley-in-Arden. The club, recognised by ‘Clubmark’, has an excellent coaching and playing programme for both juniors and adults whatever your standard.

All equipment will be available if needed, just come appropriately dressed to have a go. Refreshments will also be available.

For further information or to find out more information about the club please visit or call Neil Supperstone on 07912 66 44 26.

FREE Fitness Sessions Offer to Teenagers

photoTeenagers are being invited to get fit for FREE for the summer at the Warwickshire College gym.

A 10 week free course of instructor-led fitness sessions designed for 15-19yr olds is being run at the Pavilion Gym, starting on 26 April. The classes are run after school time on Tuesdays from 3.45 – 4.45pm

Teeangers who want to take part in the scheme, being run under the umbrella of “Sports Unlimited”, must sign up for the full 10-week course and they are urged to get in touch soon as there are a limited number of places available. They should be in full time education.

Helen Pennells, Leisure and Fitness Manager said “this is a great opportunity for youngsters in the local area to get involved in some sort of exercise and it wont cost them anything”

To register for the course call (01564) 797819

For more information contact Helen Pennells on (01564) 797809 or email

Edstone Hall Gardener from 1970 Sought

photoI wonder if you would be kind enough to allow me to ask readers of your magazine for help?

I am looking to contact someone who worked at Edstone Hall in 1969/1970. Do they recall the gardener-handyman, Fred, who lived in a caravan on site or a Geoffrey John Randall, who may have worked there but lived in Stratford?

Caroline Wetton

HNOL will pass on any information from readers to Caroline.

David Hadley Reports


photoGeorge Phillips, an elderly man, from Meridian, Mississippi, was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?"  He said "No," but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me. Then the police dispatcher said "All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available."

George said, "Okay." He hung up the phone and counted to 30. Then he phoned the police again. "Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I just shot them." and he hung up.

Within five minutes, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic and an Ambulance showed up at the Phillips' residence and caught the burglars red-handed.  One of the Policemen said to George, "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

(True Story) I LOVE IT!

Don't mess with old people - Live well, laugh often, love much!!!

Grumpy Old Woman Comments

GOMMother's Day; I wonder who thought that one up. Probably a Stationer, a Florist or a Restaurateur on a day with time on his hands. In any event, I can't say I blame them but I do blame us for falling into the 'consumerism' trap. There are many ways of telling Mums that we love them, that we appreciate all the mounds of washing they collect from a bedroom which looks like a tip and for cooking those never ending meals for years on end!
UK Minister for International Development, Hilary Benn, asked consumers to buy flowers flown in from Kenya, a country which transports 700 tonnes of these each week, adding grossly to carbon emissions and, likely as not, to pollution of the lake in which they are grown. European hot house flowers also add CO2 to the atmosphere but a sapling would soak it up, so why not plant an indigenous tree instead or a shrub for the garde?  As for cards sold at rip-off prices, a message written on one of those charity cards which come through the letter-box in exchange for a bob or two in return would be appreciated just as much!
This is a challenge with which we shall all be faced in the coming years. Do we buy Bangladeshi rice and support farmers there or Californian rice which needs huge quantities of water and energy to grow? Are we putting South American farmers out of business by buying locally and do we help or hurt Kenyan flower workers by suggesting that they change tack?
The fact is, there is only one question we should be asking ourselves. Are we destroying this planet's life support system by making wrong choices?  And if we are, then there's only one answer!

Grumpy Old Woman

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

John Garner's Business Column

John GarnerGovernment help with business rates?

Note the question mark!

If you own any commercial property subject to business rates you’ve probably had a letter from the council telling you that you can now defer 60% of the increase in your business rates. The letter I received says “This is to give flexibility to help manage rate bills in the current economic climate.”

This was apparently a last minute decision by Alistair Darling to help alleviate the problem he has caused by allowing an increase in business rates at just the time when many businesses can’t afford the rates at all, let alone an increase. Only it’s almost completely pointless.

The rates have increased by around 5% for the new fiscal year. This is now being limited to 2% and now businesses can spread the remaining 3% over the next 2 years. They’ll still have to find the money then of course – and one might ask what will happen if the economic climate hasn’t improved in a year to two?  Will next year’s rates be deferred as well?  And remember, it’s only the increase we’re talking about.

Not yet though. At the moment you still have to continue paying at the full 2009-10 rate but in July the local rating authority will write to you offering you the option of deferring 60% of the increase. So it won’t actually be 60% of the increase, it’ll be 60% of 8 months worth of increase (effectively about 40% of the total increase) – or so it appears to me.

To quote the Daily Telegraph, “if ever there was a sign that this government has no idea what it is actually like to run a business, this 11th hour debacle was it”.

Don’t worry too much though. July is a long way away yet. There’s plenty of time for the Chancellor to change his mind again.

John Garner - Business Correspondent

To download a copy of my Small Business Guide to Employment 2009  Click Here

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Warwickshire Waste Partnership says ‘Beat the Recession, Save Money on Food’.

In the current economic climate many are feeling the pinch and if your purse strings are feeling a little tight then your kitchen could be the place to make some valuable money savings! Around a third of all the food we buy in the UK ends up being thrown away and most of this is perfectly good food that could have been eaten – not just peelings and bones, so the Warwickshire Waste Partnership is supporting the Love Food Hate Waste campaign which encourages us all to get the most value from the food we buy.

In the UK we throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food each year. Most of this ends up in landfill sites which contributes to climate change because it emits methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas. Not only are the environmental implications huge but the financial ones are too – it is costing us around £10 billion each year, an average of about £400 per year for every household!

Cutting down on food waste is really easy. Love Food Hate Waste offers a whole host of practical hints, tips and recipes to help. Ainsley Harriott says “You don’t have to be a chef to know how to cut down on food waste, you just need to care about your pocket and the rest will follow.” We can all be savvy chefs and start saving money now by using our fridges and freezers to make our food last longer and go further. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Most ripe fruit can be kept in the fridge to make it last longer.
  • Your freezer really is your kitchen hero – many fresh foods can be frozen: check the label.
  • If things are approaching their “Use By” date and you won’t get round to eating them – pop them in the freezer for another day.
  • Sliced bread can be frozen and then used for breakfast toast. Whole loaves can be cut in half or into smaller chunks and frozen. Put them in poly bags or better still use the inner bags that corn flakes etc came in.
  • Grate cheese in small portions and freeze - take it out in the morning so it's defrosted itself by lunchtime ready for sandwiches.
  • To freeze tomatoes remove their stalks and freeze whole in freezer bags. They can then be used in place of canned tomatoes, in a tomato or Bolognese sauce or chilli con carne. Just put them in the pan at the point when you would add the canned tomatoes. Ideally defrost overnight in the fridge so the cooker doesn’t waste heat defrosting them and the fridge gets a hand at keeping cool so saving some electricity.

For more ideas or to pass on your own tips or recipes for making the most of food, log on to and share them with everyone.

For peelings and cores? Home composting is a great way to prevent unavoidable food waste such as peelings, cores and teabags ending up in landfill and can do wonders for the garden. Home composting is better than landfill because the decomposition process is different and creates much less methane. For more information on the food we waste go to

John Stott - Make Henley Greener

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Stratford District Council

Laurence Marshall
Laurence Marshall
S Thirlwell
Stephen Thirlwell

Pick it up and bag it!

Stratford District Council has adopted the latest law on dog fouling. All dog walkers must now pick up the mess if their dog fouls pavements, footpaths, sports fields and play areas. If they fail to do so they will face either a £75 fixed penalty charge or prosecution which could result in a fine of up to £1,000.

New signs are being erected around the district and it is intended that the law will be introduced slowly with warning letters being sent to offenders in April and May. From June onwards, however, it is the Council’s intention to fine people whenever possible.

The scheme will be operated by Sophie Peacock, the Council’s Dog Warden who says “Although most dog owners recognise their responsibilities there is a significant minority who do not seem to understand. Dog mess, apart from being very unpleasant, can cause serious disease – particularly in children. We are imploring dog owners to make sure that they always take a bag with them and that they pick up their dog’s mess. They do not have to find a ‘dog bin’, they can either put it in a normal litter bin or take it home and put it in their household waste bin. We are asking people to report offenders to us and where possible to complete witness statements so that we can issue Fixed Penalty Notices. If we work together we can clean this problem from our environment. Make no mistake, if we have to serve notices, we will do.”

The Parish of Bidford-on-Avon has gone one step further and has decided to adopt these powers locally so that they can ensure that their village is amongst the cleanest.

Elisabeth Uggerlose, Clerk to the Parish Council, says “We recognised that there is only one Dog Warden for the whole of the Stratford district and we wanted to make sure that the new law is to be well supported in our Parish. We have, therefore, adopted these powers locally and we will be using our local PCSOs to enforce them. We will be working closely with the District Council to keep our Parish free from this mess.”

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board


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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:

Thursday 16th April – Jean Draycott “Restoration of Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens”. Visitors and new members are very welcome. Further details from Pat Kench on 795419.

John Clews from RSPB is giving us a talk about “Action for Birds” from 7.45 pm in the Baptist Church Hall on Tuesday 21st April. Come along and join us especially if you are interested in bird life. Visitors only £2.

Tuesday 28th April, 7.45 pm Ullenhall Village Hall. Our speaker is Brian Ellis “An Enthusiasm for Perennials”. Visit to RHS Malvern Spring Garden Show by coach from Henley and Ullenhall. Saturday 9th May, cost including coach and admission is only £24. Contact Diane on 01789 488209.

Saturday 16th May, 7.30 pm - An organ recital at ST JOHN’S CHURCH by Peter Summers (Organist at Holy Trinity, Stratford) and 27th June a performance at ST JOHN’S CHURCH by the Canoldir Male Voice Choir. Tickets for 16th May available from Dukes, Printers, High Street or reserved by phone on 792439. £8 (£3 under 16). Proceeds in aid of St Nicholas Organ Fund.

Tuesday 19 May, 6.30-8pm Annual General Meeting of 1st Henley and Wootton Scouts to be held on at The Scout Hut, Henley Sports and Recreation Ground, Stratford Road. To include a short slide show presented by our Scouts, Cubs and Beavers. This is your opportunity to become part of this dynamic and flourishing Scout group. In order to continue providing a diverse programme of events for our local children we need adults who can contribute their time and energy to making it happen. Please come along and find out how you can be involved. For further information contact John Johnson on 01564 792073

Saturday 20th June. This year’s CHURCH FETE will be bigger, better and much more fun for all the family, starting at 11.00 am – 3.30 pm. All the usual favourites such as toys and games, tombola, cakes, plants, produce, plus even more including BBQ, good as new clothes, glass and china etc

Saturday 18th July - The AD HOC Jazz Band,dancing, picnics strawberries and fizz.... its Jazz in the Garden! Enquiries to Duncan or Marijana Bainbridge 01564 793539 day 01564 794987 eve.
Saturday 24th October - A Gala Dinner to celebrate 100 years of the Memorial Hall. A feast prepared by SUE DALBY followed by an entertainment. Enquiries to Duncan or Marijana Bainbridge 01564 793539 day 01564 794987 eve.

Saturday 7th November  - 1st Henley and Wootton Scouts Annual Bonfire Night at The Scout Hut, Henley Sports and Social Ground. Further details nearer the time.

Details of all the local cinemas, theatres and exhibitions can be found on The Henley Gateway Website

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 pm. 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.
Are 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 Hall, 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
Welcomes players who may be interested in joining the club. Club nights are Friday and Sunday from 8.00pm in the Memorial Hall. Further details: Chairman 793320. Visitors welcome (£2).
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 A3400 just outside Henley. The Club welcomes new members, whether beginners or established players. For further information contact John Townson 01564 792407.
Jollytots meet every Tuesday morning during term time between 10am and 11.45am in the Church Hall on Beaudesert Lane, Henley.  It is open for all under 4 year olds and costs only £1.50 which includes a drink and a biscuit. There are toys, games, arts and crafts and singing. Any questions please ring Rachel on 01564 794470.
There are still vacancies in some areas of Henley-in-Arden for NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH Coordinators. If you are aware that your area is not covered or you are willing to be a coordinator, please contact Annette Walker on 792837
Holds its monthly lunchtime meeting on the 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 an informative speaker on a business topic. Full details at
Meets the last Sunday of the month at Wootton Wawen village hall at 2.15pm for a conducted walk of about 5 miles over the local and surrounding area footpaths. The Group welcomes all walkers. There is no subscription.  More details from Denis Keyte on 01564 792872.
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month. Membership consists of retired professional and business men residing in the vicinity of Henley. Visitors are most welcome and for further details please contact the secretary Andrew Yarwood on 794079.
De Montfort Lodge is the only freemasons’ lodge meeting in Henley. It was established in the town in 1930 and holds meetings in the Guild Hall. Anyone interested in freemasonry should contact John Pollard on 0121 704 5140 for further details.
The WRVS organise a lunch club for the elderly of the district at Dell Court every Tuesday at 12.30 pm at a cost of £3.10. For further details contact Christine on 01789 209210.
Plays Duplicate Bridge of intermediate standard on Tuesday evenings at the the White Swan Hotel and usually finds 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.
Each month the Henley Focus contains plenty for everyone with local business advertisements, reviews and community information. The Henley Focus could be helping you to promote your business or service to local people at affordable prices and also offers a range of design services at very reasonable rates. The publication is very happy to promote community and charity events free of charge.
Please call Karen on 01564 774748 or email for more information.

Details about tourist attractions and neighbouring villages can be found on The Henley Gateway Website

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