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Henley NEWS On-line

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

Campaigning for a better Henley

Edition 223 - 25th June 2009
Warwickshire Village Ventures
Competition Winner 2007
on Thursdays

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 known grave.

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.

photoThe 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 great success.

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 industry.

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 years!

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 coming years.

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 similar events.
  • 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

photoStratford-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

posterAs 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 their vehicles.

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 01564 797073
or email

Victoria Johnson reporting

Your Local Hospice Needs Your Help Now!

Do you have some free time?

hospiceWant 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 Fundraising Team?

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

photoWow, 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 celebration.  

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 Jenny Fradgely.  

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?

photoAt 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 money.

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 teashop.

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

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Tennis Juniors


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.

Results were…

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.


Beginners Photography
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 (£21)

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 £70 (£35)

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:

Lynne Marcel reporting

Cross Channel Sailing Invitation

photoYoung 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 or Dave Jones on 01926 498088 or e-mail at

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

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.

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

photoRob 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

photoOn 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

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John Garner's Business Column

Teaching Mathematics

John GarnerTeaching 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 government contractor.

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

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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 business-as-usual scenario.

‘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 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 at . Some of their projects bring significant health and social benefits as well as the offsets. The links below will take you directly to the projects.


Cambodia stoves
Replacing the traditional (inefficient) Lao stove with a version delivering measurable gains in efficiency.

Mani micro-hydro
Overcoming the high cost of water-powered renewable power plants in China, the Mani Hydro Power Station runs off the Yinhe River, Sichuan Province.

Mulan wind
The Mulan wind farm generates emission reductions by reducing the amount of electricity that would have been generated by conventional fossil fuels.

Nahar biomass
Renewable biomass is used to generate clean electricity for both domestic and industrial users, meeting the growing demand in India.

Orb solar
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

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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.

On Saturday 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 Town Website

From our own Correspondents

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

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Editorial Team
Proof ReaderJohn Garner
Chief Correspondent
Senior CorrespondentIrene Robinson
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Memorial Hall
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Green Henley
ClaverdonClive Hanley
Chief Photographer
Court Leet & HADSAlan Robson
Claverdon & RailwayClive Hanley

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

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