Armed Forces Day - Lest We Forget
This photograph was taken on the Somme
Battlefield by our correspondent in June 2009.
Travelling by car through the quiet
countryside of Northern France towards the Valley of the Somme it was
hard to imagine the stark sights and sounds of the surrounding
battlefields during 1916. For it was in 1916 that my Great Uncle lost
his life in the Great War.
Coming from a small mining town in the
County of Durham, Harry joined the Durham Light Infantry and France, in
those days, must have seemed like the other side of the world. For him
and his pals the thought of swapping the coal dust and mineshafts for
adventure in a foreign land must have been overwhelming
………. to begin with.
The names of the towns such as Loos,
Beaumont Hamel, Bapaume and Albert must be forever in the memory of
those who fought in and around the Battle of the Somme.
Small towns, not that much changed I
imagine. I can’t imagine, however, what went on there. To quote a
German Officer Friedrich Steinbrecher: “Somme. The whole history
of the World cannot contain a more ghastly word.”
Most memorable was a visit to the Thiepval
Memorial which commemorates 72,000 British and South African men who
fell on the Somme between July 1915 and March 1918 and who have no
Just outside Bapaume, at a place called
Bancourt, there is a small British Cemetery, just one of the many that
are scattered around the Pas de Calais. Bancourt, looked after and
cared for by the French, is an immaculate memorial to almost 2,500
soldiers who died, most of them during the winter of 1916-1917.
I found the grave of my great uncle Harry.
Harry Barker, aged 30, died 5th October 1916; I am almost certain to be
the first family member to visit in almost a century. Reading the
history of the Somme, he most likely would have seen action during the
last phase of the Battle of the Somme, killed at the Battle of Ancre.
As I sat amongst the roses and flowers
thinking of what to write in the book of remembrance, I was struck by
the silence of my surroundings, far from, as the poet John Masefield
wrote, “the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant
things, advanced across ‘No Man’s Land’ to begin the
Battle of the Somme.”
Later this year when we commemorate
Armistice Day, I will remember Bancourt, the final resting place of
Harry, an ordinary Christian lad from the colliery, who joined the 11th
Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, fought for his country, but, like so
many, never came back.
Carol Robson reporting
St John's Church Fete
Despite a short shower of rain at the
beginning and end of the day the St John's annual summer fete was a
bigger success than ever this year. The opening hours were extended for
the first time and this proved popular.
Gordon Trinder, the Town Crier, announced
the opening of the fete at 11.00am and over 350 visitors came in
steadily throughout the day.
The next generation of bell ringers trying out the bells
Which duck did you say was the winner ?
Naming the bear
The barbeque was a sell out, as were the
home-made cakes and produce stalls. The raffle, which was largely
stocked with prizes generously donated by local shops and businesses,
proved a popular attraction. Young children enjoyed the bouncy castle
while parents and grandparents had a go on various games and sideshows
or simply enjoyed a cup of tea and a cake.
first ever belfry tours were well attended, with about 40 people
climbing the spiral staircase to learn the mysteries of bell ringing
and to look at the bells themselves. Some possible new recruits were
also found, so you will know who to blame if the ringing doesn’t
sound quite as it should while they ‘learn the ropes!’
The highlight of the day was the duck race
held at 2.30pm. Phil Bonson undertook the release of over 700 ducks
(plastic not real!) which raced on the River Alne under the bridge in
Beaudesert Lane. The winning duck was No 722, just beating No 22 by a
short beak in a close finish.
The fete raised just over £2,500 for
much needed church funds. Many thanks to all those who attended and the
helpers who put so much time and effort into making the fete such a
The next event in the church’s busy
social calendar will be a Strawberry Tea on Thursday 23rd July at Alne
House, Beaudesert Lane. See the Henley NEWS On-line Notice Board below for more details.
Barbara Colclough reporting
Photos by Penny Stott
Flood Protection and Sand Bags
Duncan Bainbridge delivers sand bags in July 2007
I have only been in Henley since the
beginning of the month and don't know much about the place except its
proximity to Birmingham's NEC where I have spent much time at trade
shows and exhibitions.
I was therefore very pleased to receive a copy of the Henley Focus
through my letterbox and I was quickly drawn to the advert from the
Beaudesert and Henley Joint Parish Council asking for volunteers to
help distribute sandbags the next time it floods in Henley.
The reason for my interest is that after the floods of 2007 I set up a
flood protection company to see if we can relieve some of the misery
that flooding causes to homes and commercial properties. I am a
telecoms professional by trade but watching the news reports of the
2007 floods and seeing the fruitless antics of people deploying
sandbags I wondered why this great invention I had seen on Tomorrow's
World was not being used universally.
Of course in this Internet age you can find out anything so I tracked
down the inventor, found out who he had sold out to (inventors often do
not make good businessmen) and then spent over a year persuading them
that we could advance their business. Revetment was formed
during 2008 whilst we negotiated and secured a reseller agreement with
Floodguards Systems and we are now their agents in the UK.
That should, you would have thought, have started a "deluge" of sales
orders for this incredibly simple and effective solution that is 100%
effective at preventing water entry though building apertures - doors,
windows and air bricks. What we hadn't counted on was human nature, the
obfuscation of government departments (Defra and the Environment
Agency) and the rather odd attitudes within the British insurance
Back in 2000, the Environment Agency (EA) instigated a test procedure
through the British Standards Institute to have a kite mark
accreditation to allow consumers to judge which of the 40 odd products
available for protecting building apertures were fit for purpose. Only
seven companies went through the exercise and gained the PAS1188
certificate. Details of these can be found on the National Flood Forum
and the EA's web sites.
The EA started some pilot installations of these products after the
Carlisle floods and have done numerous others in Leeds and
Scotland to prove their worth. After many years they have now decided
they do have a place in their overall solution for providing flood
defences across the UK so they are now offering grants to residential
property owners to purchase these. This scheme is administered through
the local councils across the UK but because it is a new procedure the
£5m available will only be on a trial basis over the next two
Oddly within this grant scheme there is no recommendation to the local
councils to use BSI approved products as this may be seen as being
anti-competitive. So why did the EA sponsor and promote this scheme at
great expense to the tax payer in the first place?
£5m will, by the way, protect about a thousand homes over
this two year period. The latest Met Office forecast predicts the
number of homes at risk of flooding will rise to 5.2 million with over
400,000 having a serious risk of flooding. Clearly, more money needs to
be focused on addressing this situation and that is where the ABI
(Association of British Insurers) enters the fray.
Back Lane in July 2007
After the 2007 floods insurers incurred
claims totalling over £3 billion. A massive sum of money. They
believed the government wasn't allocating enough money to the EA to
tackle this growing problem and they considered withdrawing cheap flood
insurance cover for households and commercial properties in flood
zones. This was addressed in the "Statement of Principles" which saw
the ABI agreeing to maintain reasonably priced cover for existing
customers and the government agreeing to increase its spending over the
However this has led to a problem that even the ABI realises may be distorting the market because we now come to human nature.
One woman I spoke to after her hotel was flooded resulting in a claim
of £1m was not interested in our solutions because "I have still
got insurance cover" so she will flood again.
I have never been the victim of flooding but I have seen the aftermath.
Aside from the human misery of losing your personal possessions and
probably having to move out of your home for a year or more it is
a fact that we are not just discussing water here. If it is an overflow
from a river then it will carry silt: a fine muddy film that gets into
everything. If you are unlucky enough to suffer surface water flooding
then you could have raw sewage floating around your house. Sand bags
add to the problem here too because you will have to dispose of them in
an environmentally secure way afterwards and they are even heavier when
they are saturated.
The excellent report from Sir Michael Pitt that investigated the 2007
floods highlights some key areas. Some quotes from people that suffered
greatly from this flooding are enlightening...
- A study by Norwich Union of 1,500
UK residents living in areas hit by the summer 2007 floods
revealed that people had done little or nothing to reduce the risk of
future damage. Some 83 per cent of people living in Gloucester,
Tewkesbury, Hull, Sheffield and Rotherham believe that there is nothing
they can do to protect their homes from flooding, and 95 per cent have
not taken any measures that could help to prevent (or
significantly reduce) the stress and emotional trauma of future
- Some 46 per cent of people surveyed
said that they had chosen not to make any changes to their
property because they “wanted their home put back exactly as
it was before”. Others (46 per cent) said that they did not
think it was their responsibility to make changes – that
this lay with their local authority or with the Government.
- These findings are especially
alarming as the survey was undertaken in severely flood-hit areas
not long after the event. And evidence shows that public
awareness diminishes greatly following a year or so without any
flooding - highlighting how difficult it is to get people to
change their behaviour.
A professor from a northern university has
also concluded that property owners will flood three times before they
will take any action. Add to this that affordable flood cover is still
available and you can see the challenges we face.
Which all goes to prove that selling, even when you have one of the
best products available, is not as easy as some people believe.
It costs about £4,500, on average, to protect a home from
flooding and between £50,000 and £60,000 to repair it after
it has flooded. So when it floods again, as surely it will, and the ABI
complains again about claims rising to several more billions they and
the flood victims will only have themselves to blame.
Waiting for the government to act is a leap of faith. Attitudes will
only change when the insurance sector takes a tough stance and premiums
start to rise as they will once they have more detailed flood maps.
So I will volunteer to help shift some sand bags when the next floods
arrive because nothing much will happen until all of these issues are
addressed, but be assured I will be asking if you want a solution that
really does work because sand bags don't.
John Alexander reporting
0844 8044 046
Our "Highly Acclaimed" CCTV
Stratford-on-Avon District Council's Highly Acclaimed CCTV system
has received the British Standard Accreditation, recognising good
management and practice for the third year running; making the District
Council’s CCTV system one of only a limited number provided by
Councils to this standard.
Stratford-on-Avon District has one of the
lowest crime rates in the county; however District residents are still
concerned about crime and anti-social behaviour. That is why one
of the District Council's aims from the Corporate Strategy is a
District where everyone shares in an improved quality of life with a
priority of Fear of Crime and anti-social behaviour is reduced.
Residents have said that they want a low level of crime and the
District Council has said that it will improve CCTV coverage and work
with partners to reduce crime levels.
There are 90 cameras, installed at
strategically positioned locations in Stratford, Shipston, Alcester,
Southam, Bidford, Wellesbourne and Studley recording real time footage
24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is then fed via optical fibre
cabling back to the 24-hour monitoring centre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
British Standard 7958 is based on 120
criteria including effective evidential tape management, effective and
regular staff audits and improved accountability.
Stratford District Council Press Office
Residents in Henley would probably describe the CCTV installation as "Highly Shambolic" rather than "Highly Acclaimed".
They would like to know when the column outside the police station will be removed. Then, they will have something to acclaim
Wellesbourne Wings & Wheels 2009
Special Photo Report by Clive Hanley
To have one Avro Vulcan Bomber in action with its four Rolls Royce Olympus engines running is a remarkable achievement. However to have Vulcan XM655 on the ground AND Vulcan XH558 displaying in the air at the same time is nothing short of a miracle.
Wellesbourne airfield’s Wings & Wheels event this year was special – very special. It was XM655’s 25th Anniversary based at Wellesbourne that gave rise to a number of tributes being paid to the achievements of the 655MaPS (Maintenance & Preservation Society). The first tributes took place on Saturday whilst the support team were preparing. Firstly a deHavilland Venom flew low over the runway followed in the afternoon by the Rolls Royce owned Spitfire being piloted by Bill Perrin. Both planes were en route to display at RAF Kemble but treated the team to a brief but welcome sight.
On the Sunday with Squadron Leader David Thomas at the controls of XM655 on the Wellesbourne runway a formation flyover by the crack RAF Red Arrows team was an amazing sight. But...... the pièce de resistance was yet to come.
The only airworthy Vulcan bomber in the world -XH558- had been displaying at an airshow in Holland over the previous two days and it was a well kept secret that it might be able to make a pass over Wellesbourne on its way to display at Kemble airshow. Sure enough after the 2nd Vulcan XM655 taxi run in the afternoon Vulcan XH558 appeared on the horizon piloted by Falklands veteran Martin Withers and made several low passes over the airfield culminating in a steep climb with its engines ripping the air as it headed away towards Kemble. The sight and sound of 8 Olympus engines was simply awesome. To finish off the tributes to XM655 on Sunday the support team were treated to further fly-overs by the Venom and the Spitfire as they headed away from Kemble back to their respective bases.
The wheels element of the day was a line up of old and not so old vehicles on which their enthusiastic owners had clearly spent many hundreds of hours in the preparation and polishing, and in some cases major restoration, of their prize possessions. Awards to the proud winners were made by the crew members of Vulcan XM655.
The only down side to the day was the appalling British weather that we all know and love – NOT! In typical perfect timing the rain began to fall 10 minutes before the Vulcan display.
Further details and photos can be viewed here...
Clive Hanley reporting & photos
The MP's Lament - Time for Change
I want a floating duck house
I want to clear my moat
I need to mend my tennis court
That's why I need your vote.
I have to build a portico
My swimming pool needs mending
My lovely plants need horse manure
And the Aga needs much tending.
A chandelier is vital
Mock tudor beams are great
My hanging baskets have won awards
And I'm due a tax rebate.
I must have a glitter toilet seat
My baby grand needs tuning
Maltesers help me stay awake
And my orchard now needs pruning.
I could have said the rules were wrong
And often thought I should
But sod it,
It was easier to milk it all I could.
The public really have to see
That the rules are full of flaws
And by conning silly taxpayers
We were never breaking laws.
The Speaker of the house has gone
Our sacrificial beast
But the public still are braying
For our corpses at the feast.
What do the public expect of us?
Those vote-wielding ingrates!
They really show no gratitude
To be financing our estates.
The message is so very clear
(We're simply learning late)
That the British way to living well
Is to screw the bloody state.
Henmen Recruitment Drive
Henmen is a group promoting social
interaction between retired and/or widowed men who live in Henley and
the surrounding district. As well as support for using IT, advice
sessions for financial, health and personal matters, there’s even
the opportunity to brush up on cookery lessons if you want. In
addition, there are occasional trips out and a Christmas lunch.
The group meets at the Hub at Henley
and the club re opens on Thursday 17th September meeting from 10.00am
until about 1.00pm. If you are interested please contact either Danny
Jones 794883 or Owen Greenock 793759.
See also the advert on the Henley Notice Board below.
Johnsons Gearing up for Charity Fun Day
part of our Centenary celebrations we are organising a charity fun day
for the autumn. Plans are well advanced and visitors will be able to
enjoy a variety of attractions which guarantees a great afternoon out
for all the family. The event takes place on Sunday 20th September and
is being held at the Johnsons depot on Liveridge Hill.
All proceeds from the event will go towards the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance service.
Johnsons have set a target of raising some £10,000 from
fundraising during their centenary year and have already collected over
£6,000 for the charity This has come from
individual fundraising events arranged by the staff, the charity dinner
and from some enterprising bus drivers who have been carrying
collection tins around with them in the cabs of
See also the advert on the Henley Notice Board below.
For information about how your organisation,
community group or business can get involved please contact Victoria on
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victoria Johnson reporting
Your Local Hospice Needs Your Help Now!
Do you have some free time?
to use your IT and admin skills to help us? Could you help us at our
fundraising events? Could you organise an event with the support of the
Why not join us for an informal chat on 10th
July at 10am. or 2pm at the Hospice, Church Lane, Shottery or ring
Linda, Community Fundraiser, for more information on 01789 416950.
The Shakespeare Hospice - for everyone touched by a life limiting illness: the highest standards of care, provided locally.
Linda Bister reporting
Big 10 Moonlit Walk Raises Money for Hospice
what a night! We're thrilled that over 400 ladies (and 1 man!)
took part in our 1st ever Moonlit Walk - a true 10th Birthday
Shefali from BBC Midlands Today started the
walk at 10pm on Saturday 20th June and after walking 10km around
Stratford everyone was awarded their medal by Stratford's Mayor Cllr
We'd like to thank all those who made the
night possible, especially our army of volunteers. With an
astounding £40,000 likely to be raised through sponsorship, a
true 'Girls Night Out' to remember in every way.
The Fundraising Team
The Shakespeare Hospice
Is Our Natural Wisdom Being Lost?
last I had my case packed, the feeder bus to Johnson's depot arrived
and I was installed in seat no13 ready for my journey to Winchester. In
the days before my holiday, I had been sickened and disappointed by the
abuse of the expenses system by our MPs. People of any party whose word
I felt I could believe seemed no longer to be trusted!
My arrival in Winchester was highlighted by
the magnificent statue of King Alfred, known more commonly for burning
some cakes! Next day, a guided walk around Winchester made me realise
that not onlywas Winchester once the capital of Saxon England, but
King Alfred was a man of vision who cared for his people. He wanted to
stop the fighting which was making life impossible. He wanted to offer
the marauding Vikings the farmland they so dearly wanted ON THE
CONDITION that they had to show they would also meet Alfred halfway;
they became Christians. So the foundation of our country was laid and
became the entity we know as England.
Winchester Cathedral houses the remains of
several Saxon Kings who would meet on a regular basis in an effort to
establish what they had built on. My overall feeling was that we could
do with their wisdom and sense of vision which was not entirely down to
Next day I was to fulfil a lifelong ambition
to see Stonehenge. This remarkable collection of huge dressed stones
could only instill in one a sense of wonder as to how these huge stones
were transported, some from Wales. Moreover the big question was why?
The monument is surrounded by burial mounds
and it was felt by some that this was a place where people came to
revere their dead. Also the astronomical theory cannot be ignored and
it may have been used to track the movement of the sun and moon and the
stars. It was a wonder that anything remains of Stonehenge due to
destructive tendencies of people breaking the huge stones to build
their own diminutive piles. Also the attempts by archaeologists,
notably Inigo Jones and John Aubrey. Aubrey took a major part in the
survey of Stonehenge to the extent that 56 postholes are called the
Aubrey holes. The most important and accurate survey of Stonehenge was
by John Wood in 1740.
As I reluctantly moved away from this most
majestic if somewhat broken monument, I reflected on the people who
built it. We might never know the reason for its existence but one
thing is certain: those people had a sense of reverence for God's
creation and perhaps that exists in those of us who are in awe of those
ancient builders and raised stones the world over.
Then we visited Jane Austen's hose in the
very small village of Chawton. It was like stepping into another world
of peace and calm, a truly archetypal English village complete with
Well, I arrived back to a political
situation of mythical and legendary proportions. The Dark Brooding
Leader had failed to ensure the Valiant Queen's place at the feast. Her
loyal warriors voiced their displeasure in no uncertain manner. Next
day, the Prince of Darkness had assembled loyal supporters of the Dark
Brooding Leader who voiced the achievements of the said Leader but it
was not the cup of nectar he had hoped for, the Prince of Darkness
could only offer the poisoned chalice even if he wished otherwise.
I shall think back to King Alfred and his
vision. It is my belief that our nation has an inbuilt wisdom which
brings us through the most devastating crises, the wisdom that built
Stonehenge and formed the English nation.
Irene Robinson - Senior Correspondent
For the most Comprehensive Information
Visit the Henley-in-Arden Town Website at:
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Henley-in-Arden Tennis Club juniors
enjoyed a wonderful day at the Aegon Championships at Edgbaston last
week. Coach Neil Supperstone, girlfriend Lucy and several parents
helped out. After a session in the play zone, they were able to watch
Sharapova on Centre Court.
Two days later they were enjoying playing in
a tournament of their own. Henley held their first Junior Championships
on Sunday and competition was keen to win the new perpetual shields
which the club had bought, as well as medals to keep.
Winner - Alex Evans
Runner up - Heath Parker
Winner - Grace Turner
Runner up - Max Beishon
Winner - Oliver Richardson
Runner up - Chris Silk
Henley are holding the finals of their adult
tournament on Sunday 28 June, and the public are invited to play tennis
free from 12.30 and meet the members for a fun day.
Jane Palmer reporting
New Courses for September in Our Area
Adult and Community Learning (part of
Warwickshire County Council) are offering new and exciting courses for
adults in the Henley area. All courses are half price for people 60 +
years and concessions are available for people on certain benefits.
Work with top, award winning photographer Christopher Bradbury to make
the most of your digital camera. Come and learn new skills and
techniques. Six week course starting Thursday 10th September 1.30 to
4pm - £52.50 (£26.25)
Propagate in a Pot
Lets go potty in the garden! Learn how to successfully choose and grow
plants, including flowers, shrubs, vegetables and herbs in containers.
Six week course starting Monday 14th September 1pm to 3pm - £42
Jazz Workshop at Henley High School
Dust down your instruments! A chance for people with some musical
experience to explore and improvise with jazz. Basic knowledge of your
instrument, common scales and chords required. Experienced singers also
welcome! Ten week course starting Thursday 17th September 7.30 to 9.30
Why not request your own course? If a
group of you would like to do the same course, let us know and we will
try to arrange a tutor and venue to suit you.
For more information or to book a place contact Lynne Marcel on 01926 413608 or email: email@example.com
Lynne Marcel reporting
Cross Channel Sailing Invitation
people from Warwickshire are being invited to experience the sailing
trip of a lifetime during their half term holiday this year (24th
– 31st Oct 2009). The trip, which is limited to 20 places, is
open to young people aged between 16 &19 and is being organised by Warwickshire Clubs for Young People (WCYP) in partnership with Warwickshire County Council’s Youth Service and the James Myatt Trust.
The experience is designed to develop the
young people's personal and social skills, enable them to experience
new environments and meet new people. They will sail in two tall ships
from Hamble near Southampton and, weather permitting, visit the Isle of
Wight, the Channel Islands and the north coast of France. Young people
taking part will be charged a small contribution towards costs.
Rob Sabin, County Director at Warwickshire
Clubs for Young People, said: “At WCYP we’ve always said
that exercise through participation in sport is a wonderful way to get
fit, meet new friends and gain confidence. But many young people,
especially those from less privileged backgrounds, miss out on the
opportunity to take part. So we are especially excited about this new
partnership with the James Myatt Trust and our continued partnership
with Warwickshire’s Youth Service.”
“By making sport and activities
accessible for young people, we help them to overcome barriers to
learning and social inclusion and address the issues that lead to poor
health, discrimination and disaffection. And it works! Meeting together
to enjoy sport and leisure has a very positive impact on young
people’s mental, physical and social well-being.”
If you are interested in this opportunity please apply as soon as
possible by contacting Rob Sabin on 01926 425191 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dave Jones on 01926 498088 or e-mail at email@example.com
Pirates descend on Henley Primary
Henley Primary School was visited by
some mysterious guests last week! The school ran a special PIRATE
themed week as a focus for all activities. The children engaged in work
about pirates in the past and in the present day. Older children also
had the opportunity to meet author Luke Templar, whose recent novel
‘Stormy Cliff’ was available to purchase.
The whole school, including the Reception Class above, dressed up as pirates, including staff!
Elaine Field reporting
Enjoy what the Churches are doing in July
THE CHURCH ARMY COMES TO HENLEY
Warwick Gates has a Community Church based in their Community Centre. Church Army Captain Roger Horsley, who works there, is coming to Henley this month to tell the congregation at St. John’s about his work. The Church Army is one of the charities supported by members of St. John’s who give regularly to its work. Church Army Evangelists work at the coal face of human need and Roger “breaks the human isolation and encourages a sense of belonging among the population of Warwick Gates”. Come and hear more about his work on Sunday 5th July at the 8 and 10 am services at St. John’s.
Thank you so much to all those who gave so generously to Christian Aid. We collected £2,395.20 and as £1,354.92 of that was accompanied with a gift aid declaration, this year Henley will have raised £2,772.05 for some of the world’s poorest communities. A special thank you to all our collectors.
If you supported Christian Aid week, your money may have helped Children First in Jamaica. Located in the heart of Spanish Town, its programmes benefit vulnerable youth from the surrounding communities which are plagued by gang violence, low literacy rates, unemployment and substance abuse. It offers social, educational and skills training programmes to needy youth and also aims to empower their parents/guardians to overcome poverty and enhance family life through life skills and parent programmes, as well as small business projects.
HENLEY METHODIST CHURCH
Sunday Services all at 11.00 a.m. are: 5th – Mr. John Parkes; 12th – Revd. Arthur Kent (Sacrament); 19th – Mrs. Lesley Sergeant; 26th Mr. David Loader. The Baby Group meet every Monday 10.30 am.
Click here to read the latest Parish Church Newsletter
John Pudney - Religious Affairs Correspondent
New Head Chef at The Bluebell
Round, who trained under Raymond Blanc at the renowned Michelin star
restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, has been appointed new
head chef at the award-winning Bluebell in Henley-in-Arden. His new
role coincides with the launch of a vibrant new Spring/Summer menu and
the introduction of a private dining area adjacent to the venue’s
popular garden terrace.
Rob joins the Bluebell after an impressive
career as head chef with leading Midlands venues including the highly
acclaimed Boot at Lapworth, The Cross in Kenilworth and The Baraset
Barn, Stratford-upon-Avon. Inspired by his Italian background Rob has
created an innovative new menu which he describes as “a fusion of
Anglo Italian dishes”. They include poached and grilled spring
chicken with a confit chicken ravioli and a wild mushroom sauce or his
take on the traditional British Beef Wellington, which is fast becoming
the Bluebell’s signature dish and is served with white truffle
spinach and crispy potatoes. Rob’s luxurious puddings include
café crema with a Tia Maria espresso granita and a coffee and
fennel seed biscotti and sticky toffee bread and butter pudding with
hot toffee sauce.
Leigh and Duncan Taylor, owners of the
Bluebell which last year won the prestigious Newcomer of the Year Award
as well as ‘Dining pub of the Year’ Coventry &
Warwickshire Food & Drink 2008 Awards, said: “We have known
Rob for some time and are absolutely delighted to now be in a position
to welcome him to the team. We are constantly looking at new ways
to improve the standards of our food, service and ambience and are
confident that the new dining area will be a popular alternative for
groups of up to 12 seeking an intimate and ‘all occasion’
private dining facility.”
Created by Ellis Taylor Design Ltd, the
opulent and distinctive setting features bronze leather padded walls
with sunken gold lion heads and peacock feather drapes.
An evening with the birds
On Tuesday 16th June Henley Wildlife Society
made a visit to the new RSPB nature reserve at Middleton Lakes. Twenty
five people enjoyed the beautiful summer’s evening having a
stroll through part of the reserve accompanied by two volunteers who
told of the many birds and animals that already frequent the site and
about those they are planning to attract in the future.
By one lake the society members watched as
swans, grebe, moorhen, coots, black headed gulls, terns, herons and
lapwings settled down for the night. They were shown where otters have
been seen and where to wait for sightings of kingfishers.
The RSPB is in the process of planting
50,000 special reeds in an attempt to encourage visiting bitterns into
nesting there. These reeds will cover nearly 40 acres, said to be the
minimum a bittern will consider inhabiting! Different lakes are being
altered to have different depths and different habitats. The reserve
land was previously just under 400 acres of gravel quarry.
The visit was both interesting and enjoyable; a place to visit again sometime.
The next outdoor meeting takes place on 21st July; meet at the Market Cross at 6:30 pm.
Penny Stott reporting
John Garner's Business Column
Teaching Maths In 1970
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.
What is his profit?
Teaching Maths In 1980
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is 80% of the price.
What is his profit?
Teaching Maths In 1990
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is £80.
How much was his profit?
Teaching Maths In 2000
A logger sells a truckload of timber for £100.
His cost of production is £80 and his profit is £20.
Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
Teaching Maths In 2005
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and
inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the
preservation of our woodlands. Your assignment: Discuss how the birds
and squirrels might feel as the logger cut down their homes just for a
measly profit of £20.
Teaching Maths In 2009
A logger is arrested for trying to cut down a tree in case it may be
offensive to Muslims or other religious groups not consulted in the
felling licence. He is also fined £100 as his chainsaw is in
breach of Health and Safety legislation as it deemed too dangerous and
could cut something. He has used the chainsaw for over 20 years without
incident however he does not have the correct certificate of competence
and is therefore considered to be a recidivist and habitual criminal.
His DNA is sampled and his details circulated throughout all government
agencies. He protests and is taken to court and fined another
£100 because he is such an easy target. When he is released he
returns to find Gypsies have cut down half his wood to build a camp on
his land. He tries to throw them off but is arrested, prosecuted for
harassing an ethnic minority, imprisoned and fined a further
£100. While he is in gaol the Gypsies cut down the rest of his
wood and sell it on the black market for £100 cash. They also
have a leaving BBQ of squirrel and pheasant and depart leaving behind
several tonnes of rubbish and asbestos sheeting. The forester on
release is warned that failure to clear the fly tipped rubbish
immediately at his own cost is an offence. He complains and is arrested
for environmental pollution, breach of the peace and invoiced
£12,000 plus VAT for safe disposal costs by a regulated
Your assignment: How many times is the
logger going to have to be arrested and fined before he realises that
he is never going to make £20 profit by hard work, give up, sign
on the dole and live off the state for the rest of his life?
Teaching Maths In 2010
A logger doesn't sell a lorry load of timber because he can't get a
loan to buy a new lorry because his bank has spent all his and their
money on a derivative of securitised debt related to sub-prime
mortgages in Alabama and lost the lot with only some government money
left to pay a few million pound bonuses to their senior directors and
the traders who made the biggest losses.
The logger struggles to pay the £1,200
road tax on his old lorry; however, as it was built in the 1970s it no
longer meets the emissions regulations and he is forced to scrap it.
Some Bulgarian loggers buy the lorry from
the scrap merchant and put it back on the road. They undercut everyone
on price for haulage and send their cash back home, while claiming
unemployment benefit for themselves and their relatives. If questioned
they speak no English and it is easier to deport them at the
government's expense. Following their holiday back home they return to
the UK with different names and start again. The logger protests,
is accused of being a bigoted racist and as his name is still on the
side of his old lorry, he is forced to pay £1,500 registration
fees as a gang master.
The Government borrows more money to pay
more to the bankers as bonuses are not cheap. The parliamentarians feel
they are missing out and claim the difference on expenses and
allowances. You do the maths.
John Garner - Business Correspondent
To Read Previous Editions Back to 29th October 2004 Click Here
Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet
‘Which?’ tests carbon offsetting.
Offsetting is a way of eliminating
CO2 emissions by putting money into projects that prevent or absorb
greenhouse gas emissions. For example, if you have emitted a ton by
flying or driving or 10 tons of CO2 by heating and powering your home
for a year, you can purchase an offset for the appropriate tonnage at
the going rate which varies between about £8 and £20 per
ton (more details later). The money is pooled with money from other
purchasers and used to fund the projects. These are many and varied
such as supplying fuel efficient stoves in Africa, Nepal and elsewhere,
building wind farms in China instead of coal fired power stations, and
hydro and biomass electricity projects. The reason that most of the
offset projects are overseas is that it makes them cheaper to implement
for a given amount of emissions reduction. The criterion for an offset
to be valid is that the emissions reduction for the project must be
proved by verification. The declared reduction must be less than the
‘Which?’ has recently reviewed
carbon offsetting companies. In the past there have been concerns about
the validity of some carbon offsets but this has now been addressed by
a government quality assurance scheme (QAS). To qualify, the offsetting
scheme must meet certain standards of transparency, quality and most
importantly verification ie proof that the amount of CO2 offset
purchased is genuine. QAS offsets only accept what are known as Kyoto
compliant projects. These are very robustly verified so there can be
little doubt that the emissions reduction is real. However, there are
other verified schemes which tend to be cheaper partly because the
verification is less detailed. This does not mean to say that the
offset is less effective, it just means that the levels of proof are
not so detailed so there is a small chance that sometimes the offset
will not be as complete as claimed. However, I believe that this risk
can be mitigated by choosing an offsetter with good transparency on the
projects, good transparency of the means of verification and good
transparency of their financial data. The two leading verification
schemes for non-Kyoto offsets are the Gold Standard and the Voluntary
Carbon Standard (VCS).
The price of offsets amongst the companies
that came out well in the ‘Which?’ report is between
£8.60/ton and £12.50/ton. The best with a very easy to use
website is PURE www.puretrust.org.uk investing in the following Kyoto compliant projects at £12.60/ton (for taxpayers who gift aid):-
- Malavalli, India - crop waste power plant
- Shimenping, China - run-of-river hydropower station
- CAMIL Itaqui, Brazil - crop waste power plant
- Itacoatiara, Brazil - renewable energy & forest preservation
- Ningxia, China – wind farm
- Aleo Manali, India – small hydropower plant
- Tejona, Costa Rica – wind farm
For Gold standard and VCS quality offsets I
suggest Climatecare at £8.63/ton. You can see project details and
in some cases the project validation reports on their excellent website
. Some of their projects bring significant health and social benefits
as well as the offsets. The links below will take you directly to the
Replacing the traditional (inefficient) Lao stove with a version delivering measurable gains in efficiency.
Overcoming the high cost of water-powered renewable power plants in
China, the Mani Hydro Power Station runs off the Yinhe River, Sichuan
The Mulan wind farm generates emission reductions by reducing the
amount of electricity that would have been generated by conventional
Renewable biomass is used to generate clean electricity for both
domestic and industrial users, meeting the growing demand in India.
Powering homes and businesses through solar hot water and electric installations.
A final comment. Some offsetters use the
money to plant trees to absorb CO2. This is OK but I feel that it is
better to stop the emission of greenhouse gases rather than to capture
it over time after it has been released.
John Stott - Make Henley Greener
Stratford District Council
Henley Diary Dates
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HENLEY & DISTRICT ROYAL BRITISH
LEGION & HENLEY EX SERVICES SOCIAL FUND
Holding a coffee
morning and cake stall in the Guild Hall on Saturday 27th June to
celebrate Armed Forces Day. All proceeds will go towards the new
Memorial to be erected in St John’s Church.
CANOLDIR MALE VOICE CHOIR
27th June at 7.30 pm. Tickets £10 (£3 under 16) available
as above. Proceeds in aid of Church Charities and St Nicholas Organ Fund
– a church with many associations by people of Henley and beyond.
1st HENLEY AND WOOTTON SCOUTS OPEN EVENING 1st JULY 6.30-8.00 pm
Come along to the Scout Hut, Henley Sports & Social Club, and see
what you can get involved with at your local beavers, cubs and scouts
group. We are holding a fun open evening where parents and young people
can get together in mixed teams to complete games with an adventure and
outdoors theme. Sideshows and BBQ.
Henley Flower Club will be with us for our meeting on Tuesday 7th July
from 7.30 p.m. in the Memorial Hall. Visitors are welcome to join us as
we learn how to make the most of our flowers at home. We will be
visiting Jinny Ring Craft Centre on 4th August for lunch and a browse
round. There are a few places left on the outing if anyone would like
to join us. Please contact any WI member for details.
JAZZ IN THE GARDEN
Saturday 18th July in the Guild Hall Garden. Jazz, fizz, strawberries
and fireworks. Bring your own picnic and have a great evening all for
just £10.00 in aid of Memorial Hall Funds. Tickets from either
Duncan or Marijana Bainbridge on 793539 day or 794987 evening.
Sponsored by Lodders and John Earle and Son.
G & S IN TANWORTH – “PATIENCE”
17th and 18th July at 8.00 pm. Tickets will be on sale in The Bell on
Monday 29th June 10-12 noon, £9.50 includes the programme. For
ticket availability after 29th June call Judith Allen 01527 550499.
Other enquiries to Wendy Dillon on 742464.
HENLEY WILDLIFE SOCIETY
Our second outdoor meeting is on Tuesday 21st July when we hope to
visit Ufton Fields. Please come to the Market Cross at 6.30 pm and
contact David Evason or Bob Riley if you need transport.
STRAWBERRY TEA on Thursday 23rd July
at Alne House, Beaudesert Lane from 2.00 to 4.30 pm. Tickets £5
to include strawberries and cream, homemade cake and tea or coffee.
Raffle and Card Stall. Tickets from Barbara Warmington Tel: 793640.
Proceeds to St. John’s Church.
HENLEY FLOWER CLUB
25th July Competition and Show Day. 2.00 – 5.00 pm entitled
“Literally”. Prize giving by the High Bailiff at 4.30 pm.
HENLEY AND BEAUDESERT SOCIETY will be
serving tea and cake in the Guildhall and/or Guildhall Gardens on Bank
Holiday Monday 31st August between 2.30 and 4.30 pm to raise money for
an information plaque for the Market Cross.
HADS, with the kind permission of Great Ormond Street Children’s
Hospital, are to perform Peter Pan, “A Fantasy in Five
Acts”, based on the children’s book by May Byron and
adapted for an outdoor arena by the writer. From Wednesday the 19th to
Saturday the 22nd of August 2009 in the Guild Hall garden.
Celebrating 100 years of the Memorial Hall on Saturday 24th October.
Details from either Duncan or Marijana Bainbridge on 793539 day or
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
HENLEY IN ARDEN TENNIS CLUB
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
HENLEY-IN-ARDEN EVERGREEN CLUB
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
HENLEY-IN-ARDEN FLOWER CLUB
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
HENLEY BADMINTON CLUB
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
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
HENLEY-in-ARDEN BOWLS CLUB
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
WARWICKSHIRE BUSINESS CLUB
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 www.swbc.co.uk
WOOTTON WAWEN FOOTPATHS GROUP
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.
THE PROBUS CLUB OF BEAUDESERT
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 OF FREEMASONS
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.
WRVS LUNCH CLUB
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.
HENLEY-in-ARDEN BRIDGE CLUB
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
Details about tourist attractions and neighbouring villages can be found on The Henley Town Website
From our own Correspondents
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