Henley NEWS Online

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

Campaigning for a better Henley

Edition 235 - 10th DECEMBER 2009
Warwickshire Village Competitions
Winner 2007 & Gold 2009
on Thursdays

Christmas According to Christians in Henley


Dear Friends,

photoDo you remember the turn of the Millennium – the changing of centuries from the 20th to the 21st? Was it really 10 years ago? I remember the High School Hall being decked with greenery as we gathered to celebrate the significant moment in history. And yet there was nothing significant about it – just a number. The hype, leading up the new Millennium, threatened us with all kinds of disasters – the Millennium Bug was going to bring all computers – and the world – to a standstill…but nothing happened. Significant moments do happen, but they don’t happen so neatly or to order.

The most significant moment in all history took place when Jesus Christ was born; we’re not sure exactly where or exactly when, but Jesus’ arrival on earth was truly world-changing. Even people who are not religious concede that Jesus turned the course of history. History is full of important moments when discoveries have been made or things invented, or natural calamities have shaken us or political eras have started, but Jesus has changed billions of people’s understanding of life, death and beyond because he changed our understanding of God. Over the centuries, Jesus’ story has been manipulated and abused by evil people who have used religion to spread fear, hatred and misery, but Jesus’ own thorough goodness keeps shining through…and he makes each one of us feel good about ourselves.

In that significant moment so many years ago, Jesus stepped out of eternity to spend time with us and to help us realise that life, with all its joys and sorrows, is good. When sometimes all the odds are stacked up against us, and we are tempted to think that life is worthless and without purpose, Jesus arrives and turns our despair into dancing. At Christmas we remember that significant arrival years ago; but we also say ‘Come to my heart, Lord Jesus; there is room in my heart for thee’.

Wishing you a good Advent & Christmas!

John Ganjavi

MAYBE - A Poem for Advent

Maybe it is in the waiting for God, not in the wandering from store to store, that we find our way.
Maybe it is in the friendship of God, not in the frenzy of the crowds, that we are led to the manger.
Maybe it is in the steadfast love of God, and not in the pile of stuff under the tree, that we find
what we have been searching for all our lives.
Maybe, just maybe, God of Advent, this year will be different. Maybe, just maybe, we will
let you lead us to Bethlehem.

Thom M. Shuman (from Candles and Conifers by Ruth Burgess. Wild Goose publications 2005)


20th Dec
8 am Holy Communion
photo10 am Holy Communion
6.30 pm 9 Lessons & Carols by Candlelight

24th Dec
5 pm Candlelit Children’s Service
11 pm Midnight Communion

25th Dec
8 am Holy Communion
10 am Family Communion

John Pudney - Religious Affairs Correspondent

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


Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff



The season of good will is upon us. I have been asked by the ‘Henley Combined Charities’ to play Father Christmas and visit a number of needy people in the town to wish them ‘A Merry Christmas’ and to leave each person a small monetary gift to help them over the festive season. You may be pleased to know that there are no bankers on the list this year!

‘Merry Christmas and a more prosperous 2010’.

Roger Sutton - High Bailiff
Photo Alan Robson

Johnsons grand ‘Firework Finale’





Johnsons are to end their special centenary year with a “Firework Finale” to be held at their depot on Liveridge Hill, Henley-in-Arden on Saturday 19th December.

In addition to Fireworks there will be a host of attractions including funfair rides, live music, games, seasonal treats, food and mulled wine.

Tickets for adults are £3.00 and concessions £2.00, which can be purchased in advance by visiting their offices or calling 01564 797051 or visitors can pay on entry.

Gates open at 4.30pm, lighting the bonfire at 5.00pm & fireworks at 6.30pm. Parking is free at their depot or a free shuttle bus will be available from opposite the Three Tuns in Henley High Street.

All proceeds from this event will go to Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance – Johnsons' chosen charity for their special year.

Johnsons set a fund raising target of £10,000 and to date have raised over £12,000 from a gala dinner, family fun day and numerous events put on by the staff, together with general donations and they hope that this last event will swell the funds considerably.

Lost & Found

FOUND:  WEDDING/BIRTHDAY card from JOHN & PADDY GULLIVER, including contents, found in pouring rain on Henley High Street, may be collected from Henley Ice Cream parlour, 152 High Street, Henley in Arden.  Contents and 'to whom' must be verified on collection.
Please call 01564 795172 if you know who these people are.  Many thanks.

Cindy Brittan - Henley Ice Cream Limited

St John's Quiz Night

photo14 teams from in and around the town joined in friendly rivalry on Saturday night to become the Quiz Night Champions. The teams included the W.I., Henley-in-Bloom, 2 teams from St. John’s Choir, Missions and Charities Group (St. John’s), Town Improvement Committee, Alcester Male Voice Choir (their team captain comes from Henley), Henley Allotment and Garden Club, Henley Drama Society, as well as groups of families and friends.

The teams faced questions from Quizmaster Diane Bayley on History, Geography, Art, Literature, General Knowledge, T.V. and Film while Margrit Johnson vetted the answers and kept the score. Everyone had time to relax at half-time with a Ploughman’s Supper and an interval quiz.

The champion team, pictured right with Quizmaster Diane Bayley, was the Alcester Male Voice Choir, who won by only one point from the runners-up, the Missions and Charities Team from St. John’s Church.

Just over £400 was raised for church funds and thanks must go to everyone who took part and especially to those who helped before and after the event.

How well do you know your Shakespeare? One of the quizzes faced by the teams is printed below. Answers next time.


The answer to each question is the name of one of Shakespeare’s plays

1. Who were the bride and groom?
2. When did he propose?
3. What did she reply?
4. From whom was the ring obtained?
5. Who were the chief guests?
6. Who were the bridegroom’s friends?
7. Who prepared the wedding breakfast?
8. Where did they live after marriage?
9. What was the honeymoon like?
10. How would you describe their first quarrel?
11. What was their married life like?
12. What was the bridegroom’s chief occupation?
13. In return she gave him….
14. What did their friends say?

Diane Bayley reporting

Villages Urged To Make Their Views Known

WRCCVillages across Warwickshire are being urged to safeguard the future of their rural communities by making known their views on key issues.

Warwickshire Rural Community Council point out that many rural communities fail to take an active part in consultations or campaigns aimed at bringing out change for good, and believe that with better input from local villages, much more could be done to improve the quality of rural life.

Now they have launched a new plan to strengthen the voice of rural Warwickshire and are asking each and every local community group to play their part by joining a new, free register of supporters.

WRCC Chief Executive Kay Wilson said, "We are an independent charity working to improve rural life for thousands of people across the county in whatever way we can, whether it's helping with the rescue of community buildings, setting up development projects, supporting affordable housing or planning for the future with regard to matters such as climate change.

"In order to effectively lobby local authorities, funding organisations and government agencies to take account of rural communities, we need to know exactly what villages up and down Warwickshire think about a range of key issues. That's why we are launching this new free register of supporters, which will provide us with a means of communicating with Warwickshire's rural dwellers and finding out what they have to say.

"It's a new idea and we hope it will be successful because it's free and simple to join and the process of consultation is extremely easy. Basically we will send out emails or letters asking people what they think and then we will use the statistical and analytical information to make representations to the relevant decision makers."

The process is expected to be particularly relevant to issues such as planning, community development projects and housing, and also to the introduction of climate change measures. WRCC's Senior Field Office Linda Ridgley said, "The government has already set national targets for a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2010, and 60% by 2050 - and these could have a disproportionate effect on rural communities, seriously affecting their future viability. We want to work on behalf of rural communities to ensure they can ensure a sustainable future and to do that we need information from those who will be affected."

To join the register of supporters, go to www.ruralwarwickshire.org.uk

Henley & Beaudesert Society November Meeting

Guarding the Queen

photoLt Col Gerald Lesinski, Master of The Lord Leycester Hospital, gave a highly entertaining talk about guarding the Queen. He explained that this talk was created because people were asking him more questions about his own life than about the Lord Leycester Hospital.

Gerald gave a brief history of the Guards including the reason why the oldest regiment, the Coldstream Guards, are not the 1st regiment. The Coldstream Guards were created by Cromwell under General Monck in 1650 but it surrendered to the Monarch in 1661; however as the Monarch already had the Grenadiers, the Coldstream guards became the second senior regiment. Even today their motto is “second to none”, and when on parade they stand on the extreme left of the line.

How to identify the different regiments:

Guards Regiments:
Grenadier - Buttons evenly spaced - Badge: is a grenade
Coldstream - Buttons in pairs - Badge: Star order of the garter
Scots - Buttons in threes - Badge is a thistle
Irish - Buttons in fours - Badge is a shamrock
Welsh - Buttons in fives - Badge is a leek

Cavalry (Mounted):
Lifeguards - Scarlet Tunic, White plume in helmet
Blues & Royals - Dark Blue Tunic, Red plume in helmet

They types of instruments and regalia worn by the military bands were explained along with the difference between officers and the soldiers and state-dress. However in winter all the guards wear the same Grey Single breasted Coats while the Officers wear Double-breasted Coats.

The Guards look after Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and Windsor Castle. Guards are inspected seven times before they are allowed to take their place on parade. Gerald recounted his own first experience of this, he was ‘jailed’ since one button had slipped and was not the correct way round. He also described a prank during the changing of the guards when the symbolic key to Buckingham Palace was replaced with a string of sausages. Gerald recounted many other very amusing incidents that either had happened to him or that he had heard. What does a guardsman actually wear under his grey coat? Why was the King wearing a bearskin whilst hoeing his onions?

Despite the very entertaining tales, Gerald explained that the Household cavalry and the Guards Regiments are first and foremost operational soldiers. They serve today in Iraq and Afghanistan and he was attending funerals of soldiers from his old regiment in the coming week. He stated that they were capable of responding to any threat and that Guards had stopped some 32 people who had broken into the various palaces in the past year. Britain is the only nation where the army in the capital city are not clearly visible in tanks but are instead dressed up as a tourist attraction.

Pam Ford gave the vote of thanks and hoped that he would return soon to speak again on his own experiences as a Colonel. The meeting finished with refreshments and the usual friendly chat.

Comment on High School Trust Status

photoPeter Crathorne writes in response to Henley High School’s article in the last edition.

I am the former chairman of governors and resigned my post and position as a governor after a decision in principle to seek Trust Status was taken by the Governing Body in July 2008. There are a number of concerns which may not be immediately apparent as you read the article by the present chairman of governors; I commend these areas of disquiet to you.

My major objection to the course of action now to be taken by the school is in the second paragraph. “Once this happens a charitable trust linked to the school will own the land, buildings and assets of the school.” (Value? Circa £3m.) Trustees appointed by the school and its partners, on activation, will take possession from the present owners of the school. That’s us, the residents of Warwickshire through our County Council. It’s this organisation, our elected councillors, who take all the major decisions concerning Henley High. If we didn’t like those decisions we could demand our elected councillors did something about it. When the trust takes over, faceless, unelected, self appointed persons with no accountability to the community by election will be making every important judgment that will affect our local school. Who will we challenge then? The Governors of Henley High may say the community will be consulted, but the track record so far does not give confidence. Particularly as you read the article, they are offering consultation after the decision has already been made (3rd December).

The school claims that new opportunities will open up to raise extra finance for the school. I am not sure they have any experience of the tough real world of grant applying where I know from experience, as the chairman of Henley War Memorial Trust, finance is very thinly spread. In any case the State School System funded by the Government, through a democratic process in the longer term means that every school will get a fair portion of what seems to be an ever decreasing pot. The Foundation and Trust Status school is based on "let’s grab a bigger share of the available pot and leave other schools behind in the funding race". I cannot believe that a “beggar my neighbour” process can be anything but damaging for national and local education standards. While Henley might benefit in the short term, what cost must be paid by the wider educational community? I am sad that the current Governing Body, representing as it should the parents and local community, has decided to change to a corner shop school opting out of the larger educational establishment which may contribute to what I fear will be a declining education provision for the wider area. I hope the governors will even now change their minds and the residents of Henley will be able to welcome them back as our school. The lure of extra finance is too great a price to pay.

Peter Crathorne is writing in a personal capacity.

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HADS Next Production - The Three Musketeers


HADS are pleased to announce their next production ‘The Three Musketeers’.  This is the classic tale given the Pantomime treatment, and will be presented from Wednesday 16th December until Saturday 19th in the Memorial Hall, Henley. 

There will be a Matinee performance on the Saturday afternoon at 2.30pm (the evening performance for Saturday will be at 8pm rather than the usual 7.30pm).
The seating for this show will be at tables and you are encouraged to bring your own food and drink to enjoy.
Tickets are priced at £8 and £4 for children (under 16). They are available on the box office (tel: 01564 795463) or online

Our Website has been redeveloped recently and you will notice the changes.  All your old account information is still valid.  It is now easier to buy tickets, the process having been much simplified.  As usual, if anyone has any problems at all in this respect please do not hesitate to contact us using the information on the website.

We hope to see you at the production.
Tony Capps HADS

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

Isitfair Campaign Reports a Success and a Warning

logoIt looks as though the request sent out to you all re Hesletine and council tax has paid off. Many people have responded and written to their MPs. One MPs response included the following - 'Caroline Spelman MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, met recently with representatives of the Isitfair group. She has informed me that this session proved to be extremely informative and productive’.

There was an Opposition debate on 8th December which included COUNCIL TAX.

Isitfair says 3% rise in council tax is unacceptable. So this Government thinks a 3% rise in council tax is OK.

Three percent is unacceptable for anyone this year when many are receiving no rise in their income whatsoever. The rise in state pensions does not cover this amount and the low paid will struggle to pay any rise. I know that the immediate response from the Government will be 'council tax benefit is available to those in need' - but it is not. 

The threshold for pension credit has been raised to £10,000 and opens the gateway for thousands to receive benefits of all kinds.  The threshold for council tax benefit has remained the same £16,000. 

Sir Michael Lyons, in his inquiry which has been almost ignored by Government, said that this ceiling should be raised to £50,000 and eventually disappear - and that income should be the only criterion for assessing entitlement to council tax benefit. The Government should insist that there be no rises this year on a tax that has been continually inflated by their own stealth. They should also ensure that Government grant is distributed fairly to help all councils in these straightened times.

As all averages, they do not often tell the full story.  4% sounds very good but many councils will receive much less and many councils will receive much more than that figure,  depending on where you live. How can that be fair? There are rich and poor wherever you live in this country and the present system of grants is not fair.

The committee of Isitfair wish you all a good Christmas and a less fraught New Year. 

Christine Melsom - Isitfair

Isitfair - The Nationwide Campaign Calling For The Reform Of The Council Tax System. Please visit www.isitfair.co.uk

Henley Rotarians Collect for Cumbria

logoHenley Rotarians will be making their annual charity street collection in the High Street on Saturday 19th December.

Responding to the call from Rotary's District 1190 (Cumbria), the club will be contributing a major proportion of the money raised directly to Rotary clubs in the flood-stricken areas of the Lake District, helping the many who have lost everything in homes devastated by the unprecedented rainfall.

It's incredible to think that 12 inches fell in one day. "We know about floods in Henley", commented club President David Brain, "but the scale of this disaster is almost beyond belief. Please be generous when you see us on the High Street. Rotarians up in Cumbria have been working round the clock and really living up to our motto of "Service Above Self". They need our support."

Henley High School Remembrance Evening

logoWhat a wonderful, moving performance the pupils of Henley High School put on for their Remembrance Evening. The actors portrayed what it was like for an ordinary family, possibly even a Henley family, to cope with living through the war. What it would be like to have a husband, father, brother, uncle going off to fight and perhaps never coming back. Extremely sensitively done, it was pleasing to see the old and young of the Town working together. The Henley & District British Legion joined in the performance by parading their Standard.

The next spectacular performance put on by the pupils was The Wiz. What a lively, colourful, energetic performance that was, involving pupils from every year. I attended on the last night to a packed house and was amazed at the high standard that the students produced yet again. I thought the four leading characters performed like true professionals and would have done themselves credit on any West End stage in London. Thanks must go to Mr Matt McCarthy as Director and all behind the scene helpers, set design, music (teachers), costumes, lighting and parents who acted as Taxis to the rehearsals.

The next performance that the Townspeople are invited to is a ‘Carols by Candlelight’ to be held at the school  on 15th December. Wrap up well!

Henley High School has also recently produced two young rugby players who deserve credit. Will Silk (scrum half) got through trials and will represent District and Fred Styles (outside centre) got through trials and will represent County. Well done lads. Both play regularly at Claverdon Rugby Club which has a thriving Junior and Mini Section and meets every Sunday Morning (11 – 12.30 p.m.). For further information, email the Chairman, Brian@Westmacotts.net

Sue Westmacott - Community Governor

Homeless Shed

There are so many "small minded people" in this world that all seem to think they know best for the rest of the community. My suggestion would be to remind anyone you speak to in any government position that they are public servants there for the benefit of the public at large.
We still live in a democracy and open debate along with freedom of speech are still sacrosanct in this country. I further suggest the JPC are asked to explain their position and to justify it in public

John Alexander

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Passport application

This was actually taken from a passport application and copied by a member of staff.

Dear Minister,

photo I'm in the process of renewing my passport but I am at a total loss to understand or believe the hoops I am being asked to jump through.

How is it that Bert Smith of TV Rentals Basingstoke has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a satellite dish from them back in 1994 and yet the Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date?

How come that nice West African immigrant chappy who comes round every Thursday night with his DVD rentals van can tell me every film or video I have had out since he started his business up eleven years ago, yet you still want me to remind you of my last three jobs, two of which were with contractors working for the government?

How come the TV detector van can tell if my TV is on, what channel I am watching and whether I have paid my licence or not, and yet if I win the government run lottery they have no idea I have won or where I am and will keep the bloody money to themselves if I fail to claim in good time. Do you people do this by hand?

You have my birth date on numerous files you hold on me including the one with all the income tax forms I've filed for the past 30-odd years. It's on my health insurance card, my driving licence, on the last four passports I've had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I've had to fill out before being allowed off the planes and boats over the last 30 years and all those insufferable census forms that are done every ten years and the electoral registration forms I have to complete, by law, every time our lords and masters are up for re-election.

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, I was born in Maidenhead on the 4th of March 1957, my mother's name is Mary, her maiden name was Reynolds, my father's name is Robert and I'd be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and the day I die!

I apologise Minister. I'm obviously not myself this morning. But between you and me, I have simply had enough! You mail the application to my house then you ask me for my address. What is going on? Do you have a gang of Neanderthals working there? Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don't want to activate the Fifth Reich for God's sake! I just want to go and park my weary backside on a sunny, sandy beach for a couple of weeks well-earned rest away from all this crap.

Well, I have to go now because I have to go to back to Salisbury and get another copy of my birth certificate because you lost the last one. AND to the tune of 60 quid! What a racket THAT is!! Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day? But nooooo, that'd be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You'd rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some tosser to confirm that it's really me on the damn picture - you know... the one where we're not allowed to smile in case we look as if we are enjoying the process! Hey, you know why we can't smile? 'Cause we're totally jacked off!

I served in the armed forces for more than 25 years including over ten years at the Ministry of Defence in London. I have had security clearances which allowed me to sit in the Cabinet Office, five seats away from the Prime Minister while he was being briefed on the first Gulf War and I have been doing volunteer work for the British Red Cross ever since I left the Services. However, I have to get someone 'important' to verify who I am - you know, someone like my doctor... who, before he got his medical degree 6 months ago WAS LIVING IN PAKISTAN...

Yours sincerely,

An Irate British Citizen

photoFrom Our Youngest Correspondent

Henley Primary goes to war!

On Tuesday 20th October, Year Five and Year Six dressed up as evacuees from The Second World War. In the morning we went into the hall and created our own mini Anderson shelters complete with back gardens. We had lots of materials to use including wire, paint, lolly pop sticks and straw.

After lunch we all went into the Year Six classroom and we had a tea dance. We had to dance with a partner, which was a lot of fun!

Then we were allowed to drink cups of tea and eat Victoria sponge cake. It was just like the tea dances in the war!

I really enjoyed the whole day and thought everyone looked wonderful in their costumes.

By Annalise Barry - Aged 10

Letters to the Editor

Flooding in Henley
photoRevetment is a locally based flood protection company that specialises in the supply of temporary and demountable flood protection devices for homes and businesses. It is our contention that the insurance industry is the key to solving the flood issues for property owners in the UK. Why they do not share the cost of preventative measures as they do with burglary is beyond me.

Yet even in the words of one of their senior executives "don't wait for government to protect you". This is even more relevant in today's economic climate. There is not enough money from government to fund the majority of the grand multi-million pound schemes they have planned and the maintenance costs of those in place is spiraling.

Most of these schemes are for long term solutions in 1, 2, 5 or 10 years time. If you don't protect yourselves you WILL flood again. Maybe a better explanation of probabilities will focus people's minds. A 1 in a 50 year flood event doesn't mean it will only happen once in your lifetime. It really means there is a 2% chance it will happen EVERY year.

You might be pleased to know that our advice is free and comes without obligations.

John Alexander www.revetment.uk.com/

Japan Comes to Henley
photoI paid my first visit to Wasabi Sushi & Noodle Bar on Wednesday night. Where were the rest of you? Just the two of us and the staff.

It did give us a great opportunity to explore the menu though. So many new names and foods to choose from.

Ronnie Miah is the owner and front of house and a great host. Thuya Aung is the head chef and hails from Burma (I think).
Great food and although they are still awaiting their alcohol licence a it is a great place to try something new.

John Alexander

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Green Bus Grant for Johnsons

Johnsons have been given the green light by the Department for Transport who will issue a grant to the company for over £280,000 to spend on electric buses.

Pete Johnson, Operations Director of Johnsons Coach & Bus, said “I must emphasise that this project is at a very early stage, we have a while to take advantage of the grant and much work to be done beforehand, including operating trials, viability studies and further discussions with interested partners including Warwickshire County Council.

The vehicles we are looking to purchase, Optare Solo EVs, look identical to those currently operating the Stratford Park & Ride except that they are battery powered, which means that they consume much less CO2 and do not emit any polluting gases. The exciting thing is that, as the technology is expensive, we now have the means to follow up a successful trial with purchases”. He went on to say “This is a challenging project for us, but we do take environmental issues very seriously and as a company are totally committed to a greener future”.

It is understood that once these vehicles come into operation, Johnsons will be one of the first bus operators to run electric vehicles on a commercial service in the UK.

Six of the Best as Unbeaten Claverdon Roar to Top


Man of the match - Conor Smith
Try Scorers - Johnson x 2, Noble x 2, Westmacott, Horswill
Conversion - Barton x 5
Penalties - Barton x 3

photoClaverdon roared to the top of the league after a fine victory over title rivals Bromyard at Ossets Hole on Saturday. Following on from the victory away at Bredon Star two weeks ago, Claverdon once again put on an impressive performance to send a clear message of intent to the rest of the league.

Johnson, Smith, Westmacott and Knight all returned to the starting line up and captain Horswill moved to the flank as Claverdon once again showed their tremendous squad strength.

The game started at a typical high tempo as both sides tried to run the ball at every opportunity. With the head to heads at two a piece between the sides in recent seasons, it was key for Claverdon to gain the early advantage and it was Barton, taking over the kicking duties from new dad Wyllie, who obliged with two early penalty kicks. 6-0 Claverdon. Shortly after Claverdon added their first try through centre Westmacott. After a good movement down the right-hand side, involving excellent interchange play from Johnson, Knight, Carruthers and Skinner, Grimsley weighted a perfect pass to Westmacott who broke the line to score just right of the posts. Barton added the conversion, 13-0 Claverdon.

Claverdon and Bromyard then exchanged penalties before Bromyard added their second penalty kick as Claverdon were penalised again for blocking from the restart; 16-6 to Claverdon. Under inspirational leadership from Horswill and Skinner, who were both having exceptional games, Claverdon begin to exert more pressure onto Bromyard. Grimsley, Williams and Skinner were dominating the lineout and Claverdon were more than holding their own in the scrum under the stewardship of Carruthers. Good runs from Noble and then Austin saw Claverdon make good ground as Bromyard struggled to cope with Claverdon's attacking prowess. Every time Bromyard tried to clear their line Wilder and Bennett gathered well and started Claverdon on another attack with their abundance of pace. Scrum-half Smith was also making an impressive return to action. Quick thinking by Smith saw him beat three Bromyard players before popping the ball to Noble who powered over, under the posts, from five metres. Barton, having an excellent game, added the conversion, 23-6 to Claverdon.

Bromyard, visibly rocked by Claverdon's wave after wave of attack, briefly tried to rally and were having one of their few periods of good phase play when a massive joint tackle from Horswill and Noble saw their powerful centre spill the ball. Smith hacked the loose ball on first, followed by Johnson, who won the sprint to touch down for Claverdon's third try. Barton added a tricky conversion to make it six from six. Half-time 30-6 to Claverdon.

Claverdon almost added to Bromyard's misery immediately after the restart. Good work again from Skinner and Austin created a platform for quick ball for Smith who found Barton on the wing. Barton looked certain to score but for an exceptional tackle from the Bromyard full-back. Claverdon still looked likely to score until the Westmacott and Johnson were deemed to have crossed in midfield and Bromyard were awarded a penalty. Credit to Bromyard at this point, as despite the score line they continued to try and play rugby. Just as Bromyard were starting to put the first half behind them, fly-half Noble produced another moment of individual brilliance. Again fed by quick ball from a ruck by Smith, he jinked past five Bromyard players to score under the posts. Barton, not in keeping with his outstanding game, missed the conversion. 35-6.

It was always going to take something special to top Noble's try and that moment came from another well worked lineout. Clean ball from the forwards combined with quick hands through the three-quarters fed Westmacott who beat his man and off-loaded perfectly to Johnson who beat his man and the full-back to score just left of the posts for an excellent team try. Barton added the extras, 42-6.

Winger Wilder was unlucky not to get his name on the scoreboard after a scintillating run, following good work at the breakdown from the quality Joyce. With Skinner, Joyce is quickly establishing himself at the heart of the Claverdon pack.

After being so dominant for so long, Claverdon were always going to have to absorb pressure at some point and mid way through the second-half Bromyard showed that they are not to be written off in this league. A good fifteen minute spell saw them come away with a try after some strong scrummaging. Their centre added the extras. 42-13.

With minutes left to go and both sides seemingly happy for the game to end as was, Johnson, in tremendous form at the moment, broke the line and zigzagged through several players and looked destined to score before being tackled high. From the resultant penalty Smith found Horswill who powered over from five metres for a well deserved try to round off a near perfect day for Claverdon and one to forget for Bromyard. Final Score 49-13.

Claverdon have a break from league action this coming weekend but have a friendly game at home against Old Yardleyans Seconds, 2.15 kick off.

Report by Paul Brannon
Picture Will Barnes

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John Garner's Business Column

Shop now before the sales!

John GarnerBy the time you read this Alistair Darling will have delivered his pre-budget speech.

I’m not going to speculate what will be in it, partly because several others have done so but also because I’ll look a complete idiot if you see I’ve got it wrong when you read this article.

However, one thing which will certainly be in it is a rise in the rate of VAT. You will recall the Standard Rate was reduced from 17.5% to 15% on 1st December 2008 (representing an actual price decrease on affected goods of 2.1%). We are told this is due to go back up to 17.5% on 1st January (just in time for the January sales). This will mean an effective increase of 2.2% on current prices.

Of course, if you’re a VAT registered business it won’t matter, will it? You’ll simply adjust the rate you’re invoicing goods at and you’ll reclaim any VAT you paid out for purchases in the usual way.

I’m afraid it’s not quite that simple. Changing the VAT rate can take a great deal of work: computer systems have to be reprogrammed on New Years Eve so that sales invoicing is done correctly thereafter, purchase invoices arriving in January but dated December will have to be inputted and then manually adjusted back to 15% VAT.

If you’re a retailer or a business that deals directly with the public it’s a bigger problem. You legally have to quote prices which include VAT so it’ll mean you’ll have to change every price label in your shop, presumably just as Big Ben strikes midnight and the Champagne is opened!

When the rate went down last December this caused so much work for retailers that many left product labels at the old rate and just reprogrammed their tills to make the adjustment. This time I suspect that some will keep prices the same for a while, absorbing the increase until they can make all the adjustments. Indeed John Lewis have said they are doing this. They can no doubt afford it, many small retailers won’t be able to.

All this of course assumes the Chancellor will only raise the VAT rate back to the previous 17.5%. A price rise of 2.2% isn’t all that huge I suppose, but what if he puts it up to 19% (a 3.5% rise) or even higher as some people are forecasting?

So the message to consumers is probably: go and do your shopping before the end of December.

The message to retailers is: unless you’re prepared to absorb the increase, prepare for a much quieter January.

John Garner

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

What to get  people for Xmas ???????

This year I’m asking people to buy me some CO2. I don’t really want CO2 so what am I talking about? The thing I would like is the certificate saying that someone has bought me a CO2 offset. This funds a project that removes or prevents the emission of a declared amount of CO2. Some offsets also bring social benefits in developing countries. The nice thing about offsets is that they come in any size you want. You spend from a pound to hundreds. The more you spend, the more CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. The going rate is £8.63 per ton with Climatecare www.jpmorganclimatecare.com. This organisation came out well in Which? reports on companies selling offsets. All you need is a credit or debit card to purchase an offset from their website where you’ll also find lots of  interesting information about offsetting projects and other things too.

For a book present, consider the brilliant work called ‘Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air’. Brilliant is not my description but that of a reviewer who actually said ‘First impression brilliant, second impression absolutely brilliant’. If you want to get an overview of energy and what is going to happen in years to come, this book is truly excellent, as well as being entertaining, witty and easy to read.  It is also an absolute mine of information that would be of value to students and it is easily worth the £18 it costs from Amazon. You can look at the book for free on the author’s website www.withouthotair.com/ where there is a link to Amazon when you decide to buy.
Also available from  Amazon is ‘Carbon Detox’ by George Marshal. Excellent value at about £5.50 (inc. delivery). This looks at the issue of emissions from a more personal point of view, how to live with the effects of Climate Change and is also a really entertaining and easy read. www.amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/ 
If you are  buying electrical goods as presents, take a look at www.recyclenow.com/ but watch out for solar powered battery chargers and the like. I don’t think they are very environmentally friendly because the silicon cell will never repay its carbon debt.   Items that run off mains electricity are usually better than those that use  batteries.  If you do buy batteries, buy rechargeables! The savings soon pay for the charger.

Stop Press - DON’T MISS


on BBC Four TV, Mon 14 Dec at 10pm

John Stott - Make Henley Greener

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

Stratford District Council

Laurence Marshall
Laurence Marshall
S Thirlwell
Stephen Thirlwell

Councillor Laurence Marshall reports

Stratford District Council officially performing well

A new Government inspection regime, Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) officially announced today, Wednesday 9 December, that Stratford-on-Avon District Council is a Council which performs well. Inspectors were on site in July where they interviewed staff, Councillors, partners and looked through lots of documentary evidence. The report states that the ‘quality of services delivered by the District Council is good, satisfaction levels with the Council are good and residents like the District as a place to live.’

It goes on to say ‘Stratford-on-Avon District Council is credited for increasingly using its services to tackle inequality and issues that are important for local people. It is helping more people to recycle their waste (with recycling levels amongst the best in the country), get help with their rent and Council Tax and get housing they can afford. There is help for small businesses and tourism is starting to pick up after several years of declining visitor numbers.’

Council Tax and spending is low with investment in priority areas. The report recognises that the District Council is good at making savings and this needs to continue, and that it works with partners to improve value for money.

Cllr Les Topham, Leader of the Council, said: “This result justifies all the work and commitment the District Council and its partners do together and is the ultimate seal of approval from an independent inspection regime scrutinising everything the Council is doing. For the first time ever, people will be able to see at a glance how public services in the District are doing as a whole to deliver services and tackle the important issues currently facing our residents.”

Paul Lankester, Chief Executive of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, said: “I am pleased with the overall assessment, but we will not be complacent and we will continue to learn and strive for further improvements.

“This Council is proud to offer the lowest Council Tax in Warwickshire and we will continue to watch the public purse whilst continuing to invest in priority areas. As with any inspection regime it highlights strengths and areas for improvements from which we will learn.”

As for the Area Assessment crime levels are falling in Warwickshire, roads are safer, improved exam results, these are some of the many positive comments made in the first ever Comprehensive Area Assessment for Warwickshire.

Despite being hit hard by the recession, councils in Warwickshire have pulled together information and advice that will help people. Partners working across Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull have secured funds of over £22 million to help businesses and training for people becoming redundant.

However, the report says that partners in Warwickshire need to work better together to make sure people are as healthy as they can be. But it acknowledges that people in Warwickshire are generally healthy and live longer than in many other areas. Partners are also increasing the work they do to encourage everyone to exercise more, eat well and healthily.

Recycling and Refuse collections will change over Christmas

Christmas and New Year celebrations will alter your refuse and recycling collections this year - don’t get caught out!

The festive season sees a change in days of the grey bin, blue-lidded bin and green bin collections following Christmas Day and Boxing Day until 18 January (listed in your refuse and recycling leaflet delivered in March 2009 with Council Tax bills).

Day of Collection

Monday 21 December - Stays the same
Tuesday 22 December - Stays the same
Wednesday 23 December - Stays the same
Thursday 24 December - Stays the same
Friday 25 December collected: Tuesday 29 December

Monday 28 December collected: Wednesday 30 December
Tuesday 29 December collected: Thursday 31 December
Wednesday 30 December collected: Saturday 2 January
Thursday 31 December collected: Monday 4 January
Friday 1 January collected: Tuesday 5 January

Monday 4 January collected: Wednesday 6 January
Tuesday 5 January collected: Thursday 7 January
Wednesday 6 January collected: Friday 8 January
Thursday 7 January collected: Saturday 9 January
Friday 8 January collected: Monday 11 January
Monday 11 January collected: Tuesday 12 January
Tuesday 12 January collected: Wednesday 13 January
Wednesday 13 January collected: Thursday 14 January
Thursday 14 January collected: Friday 15 January
Friday 15 January collected: Saturday 16 January

The week commencing Monday 18 January collections will return to normal.

For more information please contact the Refuse and Recycling helpline on: 01789 260925 or visit www.stratford.gov.uk.

And remember since December you can now recycle more in your recycling bin. If you find that your blue-lidded bin is full you may put out additional recycling in a box next to your bin.

Also with all the extra food and Christmas leftovers remember this can also be put in your green bin for composting as an alternative to putting it in your grey bin, allowing you a weekly collection of kitchen waste. This can be wrapped in newspaper but not in a plastic bag.

Christmas Tree Recycling

Christmas Trees can be put in your green bin for collection. They should be cut up if necessary so that they fit in the bin with the lid closed. They can also be taken to the Warwickshire County Council Household Waste Recycling Centres in the District at Burton Farm, Wellesbourne, Shipston-on-Stour and Stockton. You can also use the County Council’s woodchipping service to shred them.

Christmas Cards can be recycled in your blue-lidded wheelie bin or taken to most supermarkets or recycling centres. The Woodland Trust is holding a Christmas Card recycling scheme at WHSmith and Marks and Spencer.

Prepare for Christmas:

  • Switch to LED Christmas lights. Using these rather than traditional Christmas lights will cost you six times less to run.
  • Choose gifts with minimal packaging to reduce waste.
  • Save and reuse wrapping where possible. Sealing presents with string or ribbon makes it easier to reuse or use recycled paper, children’s drawings, paintings or even glossy magazine paper.
  • Use Christmas cards made from recycled paper or send e-cards.
  • Use old Christmas card as present labels.
  • Take reusable bags with you when shopping – some supermarkets reward you for reusing bags.
  • Use a shopping list to ensure you only purchase what you will need for the festive season.
  • Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for help with portion sizing for Christmas Dinner and tasty tips for using leftovers.

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board

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Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS Online should be sent to the editor@henleynews.co.uk at any time. Future diary dates should be notified to Diane Bayley at 6 Nightingale Close, Great Alne, B49 6PE. Email: henleyparishnews@btinternet.com

Visitors are welcome to join us for the Group Carol Service in St. John’s Church from 3.00 pm on Sunday 13th December with the Tanworth WI Choir.

10th December – Christmas Party with entertainment.

Come along to our Annual General Meeting, which is short and informal and will be followed by Social Time and Quiz. Members are asked to bring a plate of food to the Baptist Church Hall on Tuesday 15th December from 7.45 pm.

JOHNSON’S COACHES are ending their special centenary year with a “Firework Finale” on Saturday 19th December at their depot on Liveridge Hill. There will also be children’s rides, bar, barbecue and seasonal tasties. Doors open 4.30 pm, bonfire lighting 5.00 pm, fireworks 6.30 pm. Adults £3.00, concessions £2, pay at the door or in advance from Johnsons. All proceeds to Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

BURNS NIGHT - Monday 25th January 2010 in the Memorial Hall. Haggis, whisky and a piper. A Scottish evening to remember – if you haven’t been to one before, find out what you’ve been missing! Proceeds in aid of Guild Hall Garden Project. Further details in due course.

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

The Objectives of the Club are:

  • To maintain and develop facilities for gardening and allotment sites.
  • To enable members to enjoy the activity of gardening and allotments.
  • To enable a healthy and rewarding past time enriching people's lives.
  • To preserve local green spaces for the community of Henley-in-Arden.
  • To foster an allotment and gardening spirit.
  • To create synergies and alliances with other like minded organisations.
  • To create a network where members can communicate with each other in order to exchange ideas, exchange produce and flowers, share equipment, seek advice and help.

The HAAGC is open to everyone with an interest in gardening and membership is FREE. Click Here for Application Form

Meets every Friday and Sunday evening from 8pm at the Memorial Hall, Station Road, Henley-in-Arden. The season runs from mid September to end April. A warm welcome is extended to all badminton players who may be interested in joining the club. Visitors welcome. Please contact the Chairman, Alan Barber, on 01564 793320 for further details.

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 www.swbc.co.uk
TAI CHI in HENLEY Thursdays, 11am at the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane. Age, health or fitness no barrier. £5 per session – no termly fees. For further information contact Debbie Wild on 07773 318830.    Full details at: www.swantaichi.co.uk
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 603 8577 for further details.
The WRVS organise a lunch club for the elderly of the district at Dell Court every Tuesday at 12.30pm 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 karen@henleyfocus.co.uk 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 sent 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 editor@henleynews.co.uk

We are delighted to publish the growing list of our correspondents:

Court Leet
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Henley in Bloom
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Warwickshire College
Henley Methodist ChurchJames Steele
Henley Diary
Flower Club Annette Walker
Editorial Team
Proof ReaderJohn Garner
Senior CorrespondentIrene Robinson
Warwickshire County
Stratford District Council
Heart Start
Trading Standards
Heritage Centre
Memorial Hall
Henley High School
Primary School Elaine Field
Make Henley Greener
Drama - HADS
Claverdon & RailwayClive Hanley
Chief Photographer
Court Leet & HADSAlan Robson

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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Air Ambulance

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