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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 219 - 30th April 2009
Warwickshire Village Ventures
Competition Winner 2007
on Thursdays

Henley's Rubbish Collections Are Rubbish

For the second time in the past month Henley's picturesque High Street is covered in black rubbish bags. I have counted between 70 and 100 bags lying on the pavements, some of which have been there for 4 days, some of which are split open encouraging vermin and under the new SDC collection arrangements will not be removed for at least another week.

This new SDC collection routine means that most residents who live on the High Street do not have access to Grey/Green/Blue bins and have to continue with black sacks which are now only collected every fortnight (a schedule which our local councillors told us last year would not happen).

The 2 week collection for black sack household rubbish has been quietly introduced through the 'back door', hidden within the new green approach which many of us do support.


The above photos taken today, Wednesday 22nd, show the extent of the rubbish and my own feeling as to what should happen to our misleading councillors.

Alan Robson reporting & graphics


In fairness to Stratford District Council, I would like to point out that when alerted to the problem of black bags along the High Street, they have reacted swiftly and efficiently to collect them.

On Tuesday April 14th, Parish Councillor George Mattheou contacted the SDC offices about this problem and on April 21st, I did so. We both received very helpful responses over the telephone and the bags were picked up first thing next morning in both cases. There is naturally some confusion amongst residents regarding the new regulations but I am assured we will get assistance during this transition period.

David Hadley - Chief Correspondent

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


Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff

The 23rd April is St George’s Day; it is the day the English ‘fly the flag’. But did you know that on the same day 445 years ago, the 23rd April 1564, William Shakespeare was born in Stratford upon Avon?  Incidentally he ‘fixed it’ to die on the same day 52 years later!  And to add to the trilogy of facts, the ‘Bard’ was christened, married and finally laid to rest in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford – what a story!

A story that last weekend saw the town of Stratford play host to an international gathering of actors, ambassadors and patrons of the Arts; they had travelled to Stratford, some from as far away as South Korea and China, to join in the Birthday Celebrations.


Henley was represented at the celebrations by both the High Bailiff, Roger Sutton, and the Low Bailiff, John Rutherford. They were invited by the President of The Shakespeare Trust, Sir Donald Sinden CBE, and the Mayor of Stratford, Cllr Joyce Taylor, to join them in celebrating the Bard’s Birthday.

photoThe High Bailiff and Low Bailiff were not alone in representing Henley, the players and actors from Henley Amateur Drama Society had also been invited to join the Stratford Theatre Groups whose task it was to entertain the public by ‘acting out’ scenes from Shakespeare’s plays on the very streets of the town - all part of the ‘razzmatazz’ and ‘rich tapestry’ of the Birthday Bash!  And celebrate they did! First, by attending on the Friday evening the ‘Beating of the Retreat’ by the band of The Royal Engineers in the newly opened Bancroft Gardens, and then, on the Saturday, by joining the Birthday Parade for the unfurling of the Shakespearian Banners and Birthday Luncheon.

The parade started at 10.30 am from the Birthplace Trust in Henley Street. It was led by the brassy sounds of the Band of the Royal Engineers and in glorious sunshine it slowly wound its way through the town to Holy Trinity Church to lay flowers on Shakespeare’s tomb. The parade stopped on route for the guests to either unfurl their national flag or a banner representing a Shakespearian play. The High Bailiff and the Low Bailiff had the responsibility of unfurling two banners, ‘The Rape of Lucrece’ and ‘Measure for Measure’.

A true measure of the day was the size of the crowd lining the route; a measure of the popularity and affection held for this ‘famous son of Stratford’. Another testimony to his fame could be seen in the many floral tributes laid out on the floor at the foot of the dramatist’s tomb in Holy Trinity Church.

photoTributes were also paid to the works of the Bard by the speakers at the luncheon held in the Birthday Pavilion in Avonbank Gardens. Listening to these tributes were the High and Low Bailiffs of Henley and their consorts, Molly and Ann; County Councillor George Atkinson and his wife, Pamela; Past High Bailiffs, Dr Douglas Bridgewater and Duncan Bainbridge, and their wives, Susan and Marijana. During the luncheon the theatre critic, Michael Billington, was presented with The Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award for his 30 years of service to the theatre by Professor Kate McLuskie of the Shakespeare Institute. In thanking the Institute for the award Michael mentioned that he was a son of Leamington and that the love of theatre had been in his blood from an early age. He had as a schoolboy cycled the many miles from Leamington to Stratford and back solely to see the stage performances of the Shakespearian greats like Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir Michael Redgrave, Sir John Gielgud and Sir Alec Guinness. So, as a son of the theatre, it was no wonder that he had made a career in it initially as an actor/producer and then as a theatre critic!

The luncheon celebrations were brought to a conclusion by the response to the ‘Worldwide Appreciation of Shakespeare’ from HE Madam Fu Ying, Ambassador of China. She had the opportunity of studying the works of Shakespeare at school and found it a rewarding experience. She had even quoted from Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ during cross-border talks between North Korea and America – ‘To be or not to be? That is the question’.  However, she was concerned that Chinese literature/books were not so ready available in England as English books were in China because China had some notable writers worthy of a place in worldwide literature. She hoped her concerns over Chinese literature would be addressed in the same way that the 2008 Olympic Games had done for the opening up of China to the rest of the World.

The World came again to Stratford on the Sunday morning when the guests paraded from the Town Hall, led on this occasion by the City of Coventry Band, to Divine Service in Holy Trinity Church to hear the Shakespeare Sermon preached by the Revd The Lord Griffiths of Burry Port. The service itself was a true festival of Shakespearian music and song, verse and prose played out by children and actors alike.  In his sermon the Lord Griffiths drew a parallel with the passion people had for their religious conviction and the conviction people displayed in their love of Shakespeare.

After the service, the parade made its way back via the Court Yard Theatre, where on Saturday night the guests had attended the special birthday performance of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ and then on past the construction site of the emerging New Theatre. Here the parade turned up a crowded Sheep Street to the steps of the Town Hall.

It was from the steps of the Town Hall that the final act of the morning was acted out by the Mayor of Stratford when she thanked the band and all her guests for joining the 445th Birthday Celebrations of William Shakespeare, Son of Stratford!

Roger Sutton - High Bailiff

photoCourt Leet Consorts’ Supper

The Court Leet Consorts’ and their guests would like to extend a thank you to The White Swan Hotel, The High Street, Henley in Arden, for their kindness and support for this event.

The staff prepared a delightful dining room which was much appreciated and Antonio prepared and cooked, salmon in lemon butter, seasonal vegetables and desserts, enjoyed by everyone.

The High Bailiff’s Consort, Molly Sutton, would like to offer a special thank you to Linda Jackson, the land lady, who helped in so many ways to make the evening enjoyable.

Molly Sutton.

Guild Hall Garden Project


Douglas Bridgewater and Duncan Bainbridge discuss the first steps of the project with the contractors

photophotoNo-one walking along Beaudesert Lane in the last week can have failed to notice that work has begun on the makeover of the Riverland. In accordance with planning permission that was recently granted after almost three years of negotiations, most of the trees on the site have now been cleared. Work will shortly begin on levelling the site to meet the requirements of the Environment Agency followed by laying the foundations (reinforced to meet Planning Department requirements) of the brick wall which will separate the garden from Beaudesert Lane.

The wall will be interspersed with iron gates and panels of matching iron railings which will maintain a view of the garden for passers by. An archway will be created in the wall of the existing Guild Hall Garden with an iron gate providing access between the two gardens. The erection of the wall and railings along Beaudesert Lane will complete Phase I of the project which will have cost some £25,000. Malcolm Wright (left) of Henley Metal Products contemplates progress on the railings and gates.

Work on Phase II, which will cost as much again, will begin as soon as funds are available. It is hoped that the greater part of these will be obtained by grants from a number of charitable trusts: an application for a grant to the National Lottery has been unsuccessful as their funds are largely dedicated to the 2012 Olympics. Phase II will see the laying of a paved area surrounding a large lawn: the paved area will be bounded by beds of shrubs and flowers with a sensory garden for the visually impaired. Yew hedges will form the northern and eastern boundaries of the garden. More trees will be planted in the garden than have been cleared from the site. Seating will be provided enabling townspeople and visitors to rest and enjoy the garden. The garden will create an admirable auditorium for open-air dramatic and musical events.

A plan of the garden can be seen in the Guild Hall.

Douglas Bridgewater reporting

New £20,000 Shelter for Henley Station

A new "passenger waiting facility" (shelter) at Henley station has been delivered through the Warwickshire Quality Rail Partnership and the Rail industry. The new Anti Vandal shelter will provide passengers with a modern and improved waiting facility.


Cllr Martin Heatley, Warwickshire County Council's Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: “The County Council is committed to providing rail users with better station facilities. The role of London Midland is crucial in delivering improvements at Henley Station and it would not be possible without their willingness to take on management and long term maintenance of new facilities.”

London Midland managing director Steve Banaghan said the new shelter was a welcome addition to Henley. Our picture above shows the new structure on the Birmingham platform.

The southbound platform remains the only platform on the Shakespeare Line with no seating. Consequently, students waiting to travel to Stratford have to sit on the paving slabs amongst the bird droppings and other health hazards.

A Debt of Honour

photoDear Editor,

Is anyone else in Henley outraged at the treatment of Gurkha servicemen by our gutless government?

I read in today's Times of Joanna Lumley's campaign to support the right of these men and their families to settle in Britain and immediately signed her petition, on line.

I am appalled by the reaction of this government:

  1. It has lost control of our borders
  2. It allows known terrorists to preach violence and sedition from their mosques, while claiming all the benefits at their disposal.
  3. It seems content to accept known criminals as residents.
  4. It allows anyone who claims to be a political refugee to claim every benefit available, without making any contributions.

I could go on!  However, Gurkha soldiers, who fought and died for this country during WW2 and continue to serve in our armed forces, are denied the right to live here.  Where is the justice?

If anyone else wishes to join Joanna Lumley's campaign please do so, on line at

Best wishes
Ann Emery

Late Breaking News - Wednesday

Gordon Brown's government has suffered a surprise defeat in the Commons on its policy of restricting the right of former Gurkhas to settle in the UK. MPs voted by 267 to 246 in favour of a Lib Dem motion that all Gurkhas be offered an equal right of residence. Tory leader David Cameron backed the Lib Dem motion to scrap rules which leader Nick Clegg called "shameful". Mr Brown's first significant defeat as PM came despite last minute concessions being offered to rebel Labour MPs.


Henley-In-Arden High School Trust Status

Notice is given in accordance with section 19(3) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 that Henley-in-Arden High School Governing Body intends to make a prescribed alteration to Henley-in-Arden High School/Community School, Stratford Road, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire B95 6AF.

The proposed alteration is to Change the School Category from Community to Foundation and acquire a Foundation established otherwise than under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 from 01 January 2010.

The main objectives of the Trust will be to foster and strengthen collaboration with our Trust partners in order to continue to drive forward the opportunities, standards and achievements of our own students. Furthermore, we wish to support student well-being and to provide a coherent framework for lifelong learning within our community.

Our partners will include four local primary schools: Claverdon Primary School, Henley-in-Arden Primary School, Lapworth Primary School and Wootton Wawen Primary School. Other educational partners will include River House School. Our post-16 partners are Stratford-upon-Avon College and Coventry University. Our Business partners are Warwick Hospital and the school is negotiating with an arts based business partner to support our Performing Arts specialism. This Notice is an extract from the complete proposal. Copies of the complete proposal can be obtained from: The Headteacher's PA, Henley-in-Arden High School, Stratford Road, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire B95 6AF Tel No 01564 792364.

Within four weeks from the date of publication of this proposal, any person may object to or make comments on the proposal by sending them to The Chair of Governors, Henley-in-Arden High School, Stratford Road, Henley-In-Arden, Warwickshire B95 6AF

Publication Date: 30 April 2009


Henley-in-Arden High School is seeking to become a Trust School in January 2010. This will enable the school to work more closely with a number of educational and business partners. We hope that this will enable the school to improve the opportunities, standards and achievements of our students. Furthermore, we wish to support student well-being and to provide a coherent framework for lifelong learning within our community.

As part of this process the school must publish a formal notice of its intention to alter the status of Henley from a Community School to a Foundation School, with the intention of acquiring a Charitable Trust.

The publication of the school’s formal notice signifies the start of a month long consultation process with the local community. Any person wishing to make any comments regarding the proposal should address these by letter to the Chair of Governors at Henley High School.

Henley and Beaudesert Society April meeting

photoThis month’s speaker was Jean Draycott who gave a talk about the restoration of Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens located on the North East edge of Birmingham. The restoration is being carried out by a trust which was formed in 1985, following the discovery of the gardens in 1983 by planning inspectors employed by West Midlands County Council. The hall is now owned separately from the gardens and dates from 1599 when it was an Elizabethan manor house.

Over time its various owners, notably John Bridgman the first and second, extended the house and particularly the gardens until the latter reached 8 acres. The gardens somehow escaped the type of landscaping that occurred in many other large houses so the garden is a rare example of formal English garden design. The gardens as found in 1983 were in a dilapidated state but the planning inspectors realised their importance.

The trust aims to restore the gardens as near as possible to the period 1680 - 1740 and distinguish between restoration and recreation. The Trust only uses plants that were available to the gardeners of England up to 1740. Henry Beighton’s South Prospect of the Hall and Gardens drawn in 1726 forms an important reference.

Many features of the garden reflect the wealth of its builders. The walled parts are three bricks thick (which added to the cost of restoration) and the lawned holly walk is 170 yards long and originally required cutting manually by scythe and shears. The restoration of the walk was done by taking 300 cuttings from the remaining overgrown trees before they were removed. The holly maze was similarly restored. It is similar to that at Hampton Court and currently a volunteer clips it by hand! The layout of the parterre garden was revealed by excavations. Even today its maintenance is labour intensive because the gaps between the bushes are too small to walk through. For access it needs a scaffold and planks on which the gardeners have to kneel. The carving on the gable end of the music room originally cost £15 9s 3d but £45,000 to restore! Exotic fruit was grown in the greenhouse. The pineapples were used for show at table and hired out to neighbours for the same purpose! 35 varieties of apple are grown giving fruit from July to December. Many other details of the garden and its restoration were mentioned.

In her vote of thanks, Molly Sutton mentioned her own experience of the dilapidated garden in 1985 and the ‘amazing improvement’ she saw on a recent revisit. The society has a guided visit to the gardens and also to Sarehole Mill on May 7th. Some places are still available for £15 (non members welcome) – contact Lesley Eastwood 793646.

John Stott reporting

St George's Day Celebrations


Outgoing County Councillor George Atkinson (second left) and District Councillors Laurence Marshall (first left) & Stephen Thirlwell (third left) are joined by residents of Henley-in-Arden in the distribution of flags to commemorate St George's Day.

'St Georges Day is a Day for England and so we will be encouraging participation by distributing flags throughout the Henley County Division which includes Wootton Wawen, Tanworth in Arden, Ullenhall, Earlswood and Henley-in- Arden itself' commented Cllr Laurence Marshall who continued, 'In my view the day should be a National Holiday so that we can all embrace our Englishness.'

The Henley and Wootton Wawen Conservative Association held their annual St George's Day lunch at the Bulls Head in Wootton Wawen on Sunday 26th April.

Laurence Marshall reporting

Henley On-line Info Page

As a regular reader have you ever wished you could have immediate access to all the information pages now on the web about Henley and the local area? Henley NEWS On-line has created such a page, which can be book marked or even used as your browser Home Page.


The background picture will be regularly changed and it is hoped that readers will send us suitable photos. (The width must be a minimum 1400 pixels.)

A poster of one of the most important forthcoming events will be displayed along with buttons to many important information pages on the web including the latest weather forecasts, train arrivals and departures at Henley Station, X20 Bus Timetable and The Henley Notice Board.  An external links button gives quick access to related websites. Finally, there is a link to a website monitoring the cheapest fuel prices in the area. The message here seems to be - Go North not South for the cheapest fuel. View this new page

Please be patient as some of the pages take 30 seconds to load the first time.

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden

Visit the Henley-in-Arden Town Website at:

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


Stratford Herald Congratulates HADS

photoPhilippa Prankard's complimentary review of the recent HADS production appeared in The Stratford Herald.

The Stratford Herald was deeply impressed by the opening performances at the Memorial Hall in Henley 100 years ago—and it appears both Henley Drama Society and the Herald were channelling the spirits of their forerunners on Friday night at the Memorial Hall's anniversary show.

A Very Public Hall, penned by the society's own Ray Evans, was not only highly entertaining, historically informative and downright hilarious, it was acted out by a cast head and shoulders above all the other amateur dramatic groups in the area.

The play follows events during the two weeks in which the new Memorial Hall opened and staged its inaugural performance on 4th January 1909. Whilst based on factual events, Mr Evans has dramatic licence by creating a clash of egos between the main characters—Keble Howard and Oscar Aschce.

It would be wrong to single out any particular cast member for praise as everyone showed a naturalness and ease in their performance rarely seen in the amateur arena.  Having said that, no thorough review of the play would be complete if Eunice Bagshaw and Tracy Humphreys were not commended for one of the most side splitting scenes in the production as Fannie and Minnie the Cultural Luddites. Phil Bonson, Phil Walker and Rosie Hammond must be congratulated for embracing the egos and eccentricities of Oscar Asche, Keble Howard and Lily Brayton.

Whilst there must be an extra special mention for Sheena Ison who showed remarkable range in her acting from portraying the meek and dowdy Mary Dunn to the wild and fiery Kate.

The costumes were superb, the music between scenes enhanced the atmosphere and whilst the cast had a real advantage when it came to the scenery—acting in the very place where the play was set—they used the space to great effect, entering from the back of the room, through a trap door and even sitting in the audience.

It's easy to see why the Society is treading the boards of the Memorial Hall 100 years on.

With acknowledgement to Philippa Prankard & The Stratford Herald

A Dalek on Ben Nevis

photoClimbers and walkers on Britain's highest mountain couldn't have believed their eyes last weekend when, on the cloud and snow covered summit, a dalek appeared out of the gloom!

But that's exactly what happened when ex-Henley man Bob Johnson took his homemade Dalek up there to enjoy the view!  Bob is a brother of Peter and John Johnson, from our local bus and coach company, and having made this full scale Dalek 3 years ago for the London Marathon Bob decided to take it for a 'walk' to the top of Ben Nevis!

Bob added, "We had to carry him most of the way due to the rocky path and the very high winds. Normally I would be inside it trying to walk or run but it wouldn't look very good if I fell over!"

Pictured here from left to right are Nicky (Bob's wife), Bob, the Dalek of course and another helper Craig O'Donnell.

When asked why he did it Bob only remarked, "Well we just wanted to see if it could be done and, if so, raise some money for "The Children's Trust"; we've reached about £1,000 so far. It was good training too because both Nicky and I have marathons later in April and May."

John Johnson reporting

Hotel Key Cards and Identity Theft

Destroy your old hotel keys cards to be safe after reading this....

photoEver wonder what is on your magnetic key card?


a. Customer's name
b. Customer's partial home address
c. Hotel room number
d. Check-in date and out dates
e. Customer's credit card number and expiration date!

When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner. An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense.

Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee reissues the card to the next hotel guest.  At that time the new guest's information is electronically 'overwritten' on the card and the previous guest's information is erased in the overwriting process.

But until the card is rewritten for the next guest it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!

Keep the cards, take them home with you or destroy them. NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket and NEVER turn them into the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card (it's illegal) and you'll be sure you are not leaving a lot of valuable personal information on it that could easily be lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader.

For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up, especially through the electronic information strip!

If you have a small magnet pass it across the magnetic strip several times. Then try it in the door, it will not work. It erases everything on the card.

David Hadley reporting

England Rugby Player Joins Warks College Staff

photoA member an award-winning England rugby team who hopes to increase the uptake of women’s rugby has joined Warwickshire College’s sports teaching staff.

Heather Fisher has been employed to teach on the Sport National Diploma BTEC courses run at the Warwickshire College.

Heather, a Wasps player whose usual position is back row, was part of the team which won the IRB Rugby World Cup Sevens Plate in Dubai earlier this year with a 12-0 victory over Canada, in front of a crowd of 50,000 people. England had progressed to the plate final after beating Spain 12-7 in the semi-finals and after being knocked out of the cup competition in a 17-10 quarter final defeat to Australia.

In the run up to the Dubai competition England won the San Diego, London, Dubai, Amsterdam, European Sevens and Home Nations Cup and Heather scored the winning try in the sudden death final in San Diego.

Heather has also competed for England in the bob sleigh.

She said: “Rugby is a really growing sport, especially women’s rugby, so I hope to get involved in increasing the number of students playing.”

Henley in Arden Tennis Club Open Day

Henley in Arden Tennis Club held a very successful Open Day on Saturday. This was a very structured event with children attending the busy morning session where they learnt a mixture of co-ordination, footwork and balance skills and helped to develop an understanding and knowledge of the game of tennis.


The sessions were run by Head Coach Sarah Baker 07970 252750 and Development Coach Neil Supperstone 07912 522162.  Fellow Coaches Chris Kirby and Rob West were in support and were ably assisted by tennis assistants Georgie Mackey and Matt Williams.  All the coaches and assistants at Henley are qualified.

photoIn the second part of the session adults were invited to play with members and coaches in taster sessions and were introduced to the advantages of joining the club which is Club Mark accredited.

Judy Wilde, Chairman of Henley, and Neil’s girlfriend Lucy Webster were on hand making teas and coffee and explaining what a friendly club Henley represents.

At the same time the club, whose mini Red, Orange and Green teams are currently in 5th position in the county recorded match results, held the final of their competition in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon Junior Tournament. This is a national tournament with the winner representing Henley in the county heats.

Chris Cardwell and Jake Evans, pictured right, played a very competitive match with Chris eventually winning in the 3rd set. 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.

Jane Palmer reporting

Positive Start to First Property Auction of the Year

John Earle's first auction of 2009 was conducted, as usual, at the Henley Golf & Country Club, Henley-in-Arden. Richard Abbey presided as always and after introducing the Solicitors to the very full auction room firstly offered for sale ‘The Pleck’, a small parcel of land on the Alcester Road in Wythall. Bidding started at £4,000 and sold, after spirited competition from all sides of the room, for a very credible £11,500.

photoA little way up the road, number 184 was offered next. Over 46 separate viewers had inspected the property and after a slow start the property was withdrawn at £205,000. However, prior to leaving the room the contract was signed at a figure in excess of this.

The final Lot to be offered was some 13 acres of pastureland at Redhill Road, Forhill to the west of Wythall. There was a cautious start from the room, the opening bid being £60,000. The gavel finally came down at £110,000 well in excess of the pre-auction guide price.

After the sale Richard Abbey commented that it is nice to start the auction season with 100% success, clients pleased with the figures and the public generally keen to compete for interesting and unusual pieces of property and land.

Mr Abbey is now looking forward to the firm’s next Auction on 19th May 2009 which includes a small house at Bretforton near Evesham, a small cottage with 1.5 acres between Lower Binton and Welford-on-Avon and 261 acres of arable and pastureland that includes a large grain store on Rouncil Lane lying to the west of Kenilworth.

Angela Day reporting

Mat Wins on Chevrolet Debut at Thruxton

photoHenley's racer Mat Jackson triumphed in his first outing in a Chevrolet Lacetti at round two of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Thruxton on Sunday. The 27-year-old only secured a deal to race for the RML squad three days before the event, having sat out the first BTCC round last month, yet stormed to victory in the final of the day’s three races. Overall he racked up a tally of 22 points despite having only driven the car in a brief shakedown before the event.

“Mega, just mega!” was Mat’s reaction after leading race three from start to finish and setting the fastest race lap. “To come back to the BTCC with RML and do a deal just three days before and reward them with a win is phenomenal. The team has been fantastic, a really great bunch of guys, and there was no doubt that the Lacetti had the pace from the word go.”

Having started the encounter from the front row of the grid, he stormed past pole sitter Paul O’Neill as the lights went out. Withstanding early pressure from Adam Jones he steadily built a lead until another competitor crashed and the safety car was brought out and bunched the pack up. However, Mat expertly controlled the restart to maintain his advantage and take the chequered flag.

“It might have looked easy but it never is!” said Mat, who is backed by Oxfordshire-based traffic information consultancy PCC UK Ltd. “But having sat at home and watched the first round on the television, there was no way I was going to let this victory go.”

The podium celebration rounded off what had been a successful first outing with RML, with Mat scoring three points in race one by finishing eighth and picking up two more points in the second encounter with a ninth-placed finish. It was the lottery draw for the final race of the day that gave him the front row grid position and he used it to maximum advantage. He now lies in eighth place in the overall drivers’ championship and sixth in the independents’ category.

“The next goal is to make it to Donington Park,” said Mat, who is still seeking a title sponsor for his championship campaign. “Last year I finished the championship second overall and winning here at Thruxton just makes me more determined to go one better.”

The next round takes place at Donington Park on 17 May.

Save Our Bees, Our Hedges and Our Orchards

photoWhen a child living in a Worcestershire village, I first fell in love with hedges. They were not merely there to mark boundary lines, they were little worlds. The house we lived in had a large garden surrounded by a hawthorn hedge which had been cut and layered. Birds nested there and many a nest of blackbirds and robins gave me so much delight. The mother birds must have been used to me because they never flew away. I saw little chicks emerge and fly away to build their own nests.

Hedges along roads and around fields seemed to have been planted on banks. Spring heralded the lesser celandine, then sweet violets, some pink or mauve, occasionally white. The age of a hedge can be calculated by the number of species of trees. Some must have been about 200 years old or more. Crab apple trees were common and also elder trees. Brambles grew in profusion with their delicate pale pink flowers, later to bear luscious blackberries which according to country lore must be gathered before October 1st. I was to discover that hedges sheltered bumble bee dens - and in the winter hibernating hedgehogs. My friend the Farmer's widow laughed when I thought a tramp was sleeping against the hedge "No my love, it be a hedgehog" - when I checked, yes it was.

When my sister emigrated to Australia in May, many years ago, the hedgerows were white with May blossom. I wondered how she could leave all this abundance. If I were to define this country's landscape it would be hedges blossoming in May. We children used to eat hawthorn leaves naming it 'bread and cheese" - what wonderful imaginations children have. We also used to pull the yellow cow-slip flowers and suck the nectar away. It would not really be wise to do that nowadays. it grieves me to see the branches of hedges torn away by hedge trimming machinery, some never seem to recover. It is sad that farmers or councils cannot afford to spend time caring for this precious heritage.

In the news this week we hear of whole colonies of bees dying of some unknown disease, worldwide except Australia. This is of great concern because unless blossoms and flowers are pollinated our food source will diminish. In America bees are transported to the crops and trees that need pollinating. When I lived in Cumbria I saw bee hives being transported to the moors to gather the nectar from the heather. There is nothing to beat the rich taste and jelly like texture of heather honey.

Now we hear of the diminishing number of orchards. As a child I would walk through an apple orchard. The sweet fresh perfume of apple blossom is unforgettable. Also there was a droning background noise, bees pollinating the blossom. We are being encouraged to plant fruit trees. Urban gardens, free of chemical sprays, can be an enormous help to wild life.  Insects will flourish and birds will thrive if only people will not trim their privet hedges until after the white heady aroma of blossom has attracted butterflies; what a help that would be.

Well, I could write lots more about these wonderful ecosystems such as stone walls, lime stone outcrops and the incredible lime stone pavements, a truly remarkable natural phenomenon. Can I appeal to readers of this scrawl?  When next you go to the garden centre forget Japanese Maple and the like but buy a fruit tree. If your garden is small you can buy dwarf root stocks. We must help the bees and if we do that we will help ourselves.

Irene Robinson - Senior Correspondent

David Hadley's Column

Old men may walk slow BUT think FAST

An elderly man in Queensland had owned a large property for several years. He had a dam in one of the lower paddocks where he had planted mango and avocado trees. The dam had been fixed up for swimming when it was built and he also had some picnic tables placed there in the shade of the fruit trees.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the dam to look it over as he hadn't been there for a while. He grabbed a ten litre bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the dam he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his dam. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end.

One of the women shouted to him, 'We're not coming out until you leave!'

The old man frowned, 'I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the dam naked.'

Holding the bucket up he said, 'I'm here to feed the crocodile.'

Moral: Old men may walk slow, but they can still think fast.                          Click here to view

Regular readers of Henley NEWS On-line may recall that whilst on holiday recently, I met a charming man named Preston Baggott. Well, Preston has sent me a fantastic photograph of Bald Eagles near his home on Vancouver Island and I thought it might be of interest to bird lovers who never get to see an eagle in such circumstances. They are so hungry at this time of the year that the locals feed them.


David Hadley - Chief Correspondent

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

John Garner's Business Column

The Budget small print

John GarnerWith all Gordon Brown’s budgets (and I include last week’s at it was mostly his doing) you need to look carefully at the small print. There’s lots of it but here are a couple of changes that affect small businesses in case you missed them.

Taxation of business travel:
Changes are being made to the capital allowance treatment of cars: the rules that restrict the amount of capital allowances for cars costing more than £12,000 will be abolished. In essence, cars with CO2 emissions of 160g/km or below will be subject to 20% writing down allowance, those with CO2 emissions above 160g/km will only attract 10%. So you’ll be worse off if you have a more expensive car.

Don’t forget that if you pay an employee a mileage rate for use of his own car in excess of 40p (for the first 10,000 miles he does in the tax year) or 25p (for any mileage over that) the employee is liable to pay tax on the difference (you’ll need to put this information on his P11D return). Conversely, if you pay less than that the employee can reclaim tax on the difference; I wonder how many people actually do that. These rates have not changed for several years in spite of the variations in car running costs. Note also that there is also a rate of 24p per mile for motor bikes and 20p per mile for push bikes! Yes, really!

Where a company car is provided for the employee’s private use the taxable benefit is based on the vehicle’s CO2 emissions and these limits are gradually being reduced so the tax due will become greater each year. So you’re likely to become gradually worse off.

With effect from 1st May the turnover threshold for compulsory registration will be £68,000; a rise of only £1,000. This is in spite of proposals to increase this level significantly.  Your relevant turnover is worked out by looking at the turnover for the past 12 months on a rolling basis. The threshold for voluntary deregistration is now £66,000.

Remember that the current rate of 15% will revert to 17.5% again on 1st Jan 2010. Apart from the inconvenience to businesses in changing these rates back again the government has also had to legislate to prevent tax avoidance schemes which exploit the change in rate.  Another good way to make work for civil servants.

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

Are you in favour of Nuclear Energy for Electricity Generation?

This is a topic that some people feel very strongly about – some in favour, some against. I am definitely in favour because it is the electricity source with the lowest CO2 emissions as shown in the independent assessments below.


Of all the low carbon electricity sources it is the only one that readily provides electricity in bulk from a small amount of land. To provide the wind equivalent of a small Nuclear power station (1000 megawatts) requires 700 wind turbines spread over a land area of about 15 miles by 15 miles. Don’t get me wrong I’m not against wind, we need that as well as nuclear and all the other low carbon technologies that can be deployed. However, for technical reasons there is a limit to the % of our electricity that wind can provide and Nuclear can and should play its part in making up the remaining % as a very low carbon source.

Nuclear has an excellent safety record. What about Chernoble I hear you say? Well, this is the only catastrophic nuclear accident in 50 years of commercial nuclear power but it killed only a tiny fraction of the number of people killed on the UK’s roads in one year. Mining coal for electricity generation has killed thousands of miners both in mine accidents and by lung disease due to dust. Safety is a relative thing. Nuclear is very safe compared to many other risks in life. The risks of not using it to help minimise climate change are greater than the risk of using it.

photoWhat about nuclear waste? The media are responsible for making this appear to be a big problem when it is not. All the nuclear waste currently requiring disposal arising from 60 years of nuclear activity in the UK could fit in a couple of large B&Q stores like the one in Redditch. If shared out amongst the current UK population this amounts to about 1gallon each. I’m not for one minute suggesting that you should have your gallon at home but it can be stored safely in a very small space. Compare this to the 3.5 housefuls of CO2 currently emitted by using the UK average annual household electricity consumption (3300kWhrs). If this had to be stored beside your home, after 50 years there would be a village of 175 storage buildings surrounding the home. Make no mistake, this CO2 should be stored; it is far more dangerous and damaging than nuclear waste because it is estimated to kill or seriously damage the life of 1 person somewhere in the world. This 1 person will suffer climate change driven death, homelessness or starvation, mostly but not exclusively in the poorer countries of the world. The 24 million households in the UK means 24 million victims of climate change just through using fossil fired electricity.

The good news is that, belatedly, the government has realised that as our existing nuclear stations close due to life expiry they should be replaced with new ones. 11 sites have been nominated for new stations. Various commercial organisations are forming consortia to build them. Electricité de France bought the UK Nuclear operator British Energy. E-on has teamed up with RWE of Germany to buy sites and a third consortium consisting of Scottish and Southern Energy and the Spanish Company Iberdrola is doing likewise.

John Stott - Make Henley Greener

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Stratford District Council

Laurence Marshall
Laurence Marshall
S Thirlwell
Stephen Thirlwell

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:

May Day Bank Holiday 4th May 10.30am to 12 noon in and around Church Hall. Homemade cakes, paperbacks, bric-a-brac, gifts and cards, Raffle, As New Clothes, plants, refreshments. In aid of Church Funds and Church Charities. Enquiries to 794308.

Our meeting on Tuesday 5th May from 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall is Resolution evening with Margaret Anderson leading the discussion about honeybees. We should learn quite a lot about these fascinating insects which are so important in the food chain. Light refreshments will be served during Social Time.

On Thursday 7th May there will be a visit to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens and Sarehole Mill. The cost is £15 for the day by coach which includes two guided tours. To book or for further information please contact Lesley Eastwood on 793646.

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.

Tuesday 12th May, 7.30pm at the Memorial Hall when our speaker is Anna Steven – ‘New Expressions’. Competition: ‘Vibrance’.

16th May, 7.30pm by Peter Summers (Emeritus Organist at Holy Trinity, Stratford). Tickets available from Dukes Printers, High Street, or reserved by phone on 792439.  £8 (£3 under 16).

During the week of 10th – 16th your envelope will be collected from your door by an authorised volunteer. If you miss your collector envelopes can be dropped off at any of the churches or 279 High Street. We are a little short of volunteers this year so if you’d be willing to collect from a few houses during this week please call Lucy Lunt on 794873. Thank you so much for your support.

On 17th May at 6.30pm we welcome the Circuit to worship in Henley to dedicate the Easter Offerings. Sunday services all at 11.00am are: 3rd – Mr. Trevor Hassall; 10th – Revd. E. Brian Mason (Sacrament); 17th – Mr. Eric Fuller; 24th – Revd. Caroline Homan; 31st – Revd. Kenyon Wright. The Baby Group meets every Monday 10.30am.

Wendy Conway is the speaker on Tuesday 19th May from 7.45pm in the Baptist Church Hall and will be showing beautiful photographs/slides of British Wildlife. Visitors are welcome to join us for her presentation ‘Waiting for the Light’ – cost only £2.

Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 19th May 6.30 – 8.00pm 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 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. Further information contact John Johnson on 792073.

15th – 21st June. Please be extra aware. Anyone interested in becoming a co-ordinator for Henley please contact Annette Walker on 792837. The next meeting is 21st May at Henley Police Station.

Saturday 20th June. This year it’s bigger, better and much more fun for all the family, starting at 11.00am – 3.30pm.  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.

On Saturday 27th June at 7.30pm. Tickets £10 (£3 under 16) available as above.
Proceeds from both concerts in aid of Church Charities and St. Nicholas Organ Fund – a church with many associations by people of Henley and beyond.

Saturday 18th July in the Guild Hall Garden. The Ad Hoc Jazz Band, dancing, picnics, strawberries and fizz. Details from either Duncan or Marijana Bainbridge on 793539 day or 794987 evening. In aid of Memorial Hall Funds.

Celebrating 100 years of the Memorial Hall on Saturday 24th October. Details from either Duncan or Marijana Bainbridge on 793539 day or 794987 evening.

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

Details of all the local cinemas, theatres and exhibitions can be found on The Henley Town 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 2.15pm. 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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