Henley NEWS Online

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

Campaigning for a better Henley

Edition 238 - 28th January 2010
Warwickshire Village Competitions
Winner 2007 & Gold 2009
on Thursdays


Una Milicent Heler


photoUna Heler, one of Henley’s oldest inhabitants, died last Friday in Warwick Hospital after a fall in her home a few days earlier. She was a familiar sight in the town, where in recent years she was a frail figure with poor eyesight, indomitable to the end. Few people were aware of her history, which she rarely talked about, but she told me of it when I spent some hours with her in the last two months of her life.

She was born at Grange Farm, Wootton Wawen, on 9 September 1912. Una was educated at Stratford High School for Girls. Having been born into an old Warwickshire farming family, it is not surprising that she then went on a three year course in Poultry Husbandry at the Midland Agricultural College. This was located in Nottingham and has now been absorbed by the University there. Shortly after leaving, she returned to the College as a member of staff and subsequently served on the staff of the Cheshire School of Agriculture and the Durham School of Agriculture.

After five years in Durham, Una joined the Womens’ Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in June 1940, having been inspired to do so by Churchill’s speech offering nothing but “blood, toil, tears and sweat”. Throughout her service in the WAAF, Una seemed to find herself in the right places at the right time. She trained as a Radar Operator and was stationed at Burnham on Crouch during the Battle of Britain. Her job was “to plot all German planes coming across the Channel. As I looked at the radar screen and saw German planes massing on the other side, day after day, I realised that our fighter planes would be hopelessly outnumbered and that there would be many casualties”.

Una was commissioned in 1942 and her first posting was to RAF Honiley, then home to a squadron of Beaufighters. When 255 Squadron moved to North Africa, Una was posted to the Air Ministry in London, a place she had never visited before. She worked for two years in Whitehall, initially in Fighter Operations and later in the highly secret Directorate of Operations (Special Operations). The latter had been formed to combat Germany’s long range weapons, the V-1 Flying Bomb and the V-2 Rocket. Her work there was at the Chiefs of Staff and Prime Minister level.

photoIn November 1944, Una was posted to the Air Defence Division, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) for intelligence duties. The offices were in the stable block of the Palace of Versailles. The unit moved to Rheims in the spring of 1945 and was there when the Armistice was signed by Admiral Jodl on 8 May 1945. In June 1945 she became Personal Assistant to Air Commodore H W Mermagen CBE, AFC and moved to Frankfurt. During her time there, Una was present at the farewell party given by General Eisenhower when he returned to the USA. In August 1945 it was announced in an Air Ministry Bulletin to the media that Flight Officer Una M Heler was to be the first WAAF officer to be posted to the British Air Command in Berlin. While there, she visited Hitler’s bunker. Una returned to the UK in the spring of 1946 and continued to hold important positions until she was demobbed in May 1947.

While her time in the WAAF was the most colourful part of her career, Una spent most of it in the advertising and marketing field in and around London. She began as an advertising executive with Van Houten Ltd in 1947 and went on to important positions with advertising agencies, the Milton Group of Companies and Harrison Gibsons, then a major furniture retailer. Una became a member of the Women’s Advertising Club of London and sat on its Executive Committee. From 1977 to 1981 she represented it on the Standing Committee of the Advisory Council to the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service.

On retiring from business in 1981, Una moved back to Henley where she lived for the rest of her life. Her funeral and subsequent burial will be at St Peter’s Parish Church, Wootton Wawen at 2.30 pm on Wednesday, 3 February. Una is survived by her sister, Mrs Norah Edwards.

Dr Douglas Bridgewater

Henley NEWS Poll on the Treatment of Curtain Shop


On Monday 8th December 2009, during the Public Participation Session prior to the Joint Parish Council meeting, Mr Miah, joint owner of Bespoke Curtains and Blinds of Henley, addressed the Council about the signage at his shop in the High Street.

Mr Miah said: "We don't want to alienate ourselves from the community. That is the main reason I am here tonight. From the moment we opened in May we have had a problem with signage. We are dwarfed by Somerfield and One Stop. Their frontages are 24ft and we are just 12ft. We changed the colour of the shop to make it a bit more prominent to get it noticed. Every other business in that unit has not succeeded because it is a very small shop front. It is distressing for us to find out about the opposition to the colour of the shop. We are more than happy to change the colour if you are unhappy. If we haven't got you on board with us we are fighting a losing battle."

photoCllr Carsina Goodman, pictured right, stood firm in her opposition to the shop despite Mr Miah's pleas. She said: "You are right opposite listed buildings. It would have been nice if you had come before the council to ask what you could do."

Mr Miah said he had outlined to Stratford District Council what they had wanted to do and his landlord had also agreed to the plans. "If your landlord is telling you it is fine, the person you pay the rent to, you think it must be fine," he added.

This was still not explanation enough for Cllr Mrs Goodman who retorted: "You have put awful things outside”, in reference to the choice of signage which incorporates a cut-out curtain around the shop window.

Cllr David Hadley said he would rather have a shop than an empty shop. Cllr Hadley continued that younger proprietors were coming into the town and there had been a whole stream of criticism as a result, from the choice of umbrellas at the Bluebell pub to the frontage of Studio 34. "The job of the Parish Council is to compromise. "I much prefer a purple shop to an empty shop".

Cllr George Matheou said the Parish Council should not be in the business of telling local shops how to market themselves and Cllr Bill Leech said that the frontage of One Stop, Somerfield and the fish and chip shop were far less in keeping with the conservation area.

photoAll councillors agreed that a meeting should be set up with representatives from the planning department and conservation department at the district council.

It was agreed that the representatives would be Parish Council Chairman Cllr Les Goodman, pictured left, and Cllr Roger Hubbocks.

Once the proprietor of Bespoke Curtains and Blinds had retired from the meeting, Cllr Mrs Carsina Goodman chose a slightly different way to sum up the discussion: "If you don't like it, clear off."

On 4th January 2010, Mr Miah met with an officer from Stratford District Council’s conservation department to discuss the best way forward. What should have been a “closed meeting” at his shop in High Street was interrupted by two members of the parish council, he said.

“It is not what you say that matters but the manner in which you say it.”

William Carlos Williams (American Poet, 1883-1963)

Cllr Carsina Goodman and Cllr Chris Milsom told him they were there representing the parish council. But Mr Miah said they had not been invited and their behaviour was less than acceptable. He said Cllr Mrs Goodman had continually interrupted him as he tried to talk to the conservation officer and had begun shouting and making some very unpleasant comments out in the street. He said there were customers and other members of the public around and it had been extremely embarrassing. In the end he and the council officer had had to go inside the shop and shut the door on them.

Mr Miah continued: “I feel we are being ousted out of the town. There is no fight left in us. We are actively looking for new premises either in Leamington or we will consider other buildings in the High Street in Henley, which are not listed.”

According to Mr Miah, Cllr Mrs Goodman went so far as to say it was her town and he was not welcome here.

On Monday 18th January 2010, during the Public Participation Session prior to the Joint Parish Council meeting, Ms Linda Meredith, joint owner of Bespoke Curtains and Blinds of Henley, confirmed that the reports which had appeared in The Stratford Herald were totally correct and that she and Mr Zak Miah felt intimidated at the bullying and intimidating attitude of Cllr Mrs Goodman. Following Ms Meredith's statement, Mrs Sue Osborne a very long standing resident of Henley addressed the meeting. Sue Osborne said:

I was very disturbed to read the article in this week's Stratford Herald about the Purple Shop.

Having just heard Linda Meredith's statement, I presume that we can all accept that the Stratford Herald reports are accurate. There are two points that I would like to raise, and I trust that the Parish Council will respond to my queries at the next council meeting.

Firstly, the Parish Plan of 2004, section 7.4(b) states "it (the Parish Council) will seek to encourage and attract business and employment to the town and to support the facilities which make the town an attractive location for businesses, including those in the retail sector." Also, the Strategic Planning document for the implementation of the Parish Plan 2004 states "We shall support and encourage local business".

I would like the Parish Council to comment on how this objective sits with Mr. Miah's assertion that they "are being ousted out of the town".

Secondly, Mr. Miah states that a councillor said that "it was her town and he was not welcome here."

Please will the Parish Council explain what is meant by "her town". Is this the unanimous opinion of the Parish Council, in which case the phrase should have been "our town", or is it the opinion of one individual? If the latter, was the councillor speaking on behalf of the Parish Council, or as a private resident?

The phrase "he was not welcome here" is completely abhorrent and incomprehensible. Please will the Parish Council explain why Mr Miah is not welcome here. When I first read this article, my initial thought was that this was a regrettable example of racial discrimination.

At the conclusion of the statement, Mrs Osborne received loud applause from the residents who were in the audience.
At the JPC meeting on 18th January 2010, while discussing the gritting and clearing of snow from the pavements, one councillor lamented that there is "no community spirit in Henley".
Well, what do they want? When someone tries, the JPC stops them. Perhaps they should add the following to their list of objectives. "The JPC will actively foster and encourage a sense of community in the town."

JPC Chairman Les Goodman said this matter would be put on the agenda for the next Council meeting on the 1st February 2010.

The February Edition of the Warwickshire Life magazine has an excellent article "Henley-in-Arden Shakes off its old fashioned image".

Stratford Herald Reports

photoPhilippa Mingins, News Editor of The Stratford Herald and a resident of Henley, has been regularly reporting on events connected with the Curtain Shop. Her complete articles can be downloaded below:


10th December 2009

Purple Shop Has Henley Councillors Seeing Red

14th January 2010

Controversial ‘Purple Shop’ To Close

21st January 2010

Opposition to shop racially motivated?


Henley NEWS Online is grateful to the Editor of The Stratford Herald to allow us to reproduce their reports.

Council Complaints Procedure

Several readers have asked for details of the JPC Complaints Procedure.

All parish councillors by law have to agree to a Code of Conduct and one of the most important principles is the obligation to "Treat others with respect".

Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007 No.1159


In October 2009, the JPC published its Complaints Procedure, which provides only for complaints about the Council's procedures and administration. Its complaints procedure does not include complaints about its councillors.




Before the meeting

  1. The complainant should be asked to put the complaint about the Council's procedures or administration in writing to the Clerk.
  2. If the complainant does not wish to put the complaint to the Clerk, they may be advised to direct it to the Chairman of the Council.
  3. The Clerk shall acknowledge the receipt of the complaint and advise the complainant when the matter will be considered by the Council or by the Committee established for the purposes of hearing complaints.
  4. The complainant shall be invited to attend the relevant meeting and bring with them such representative as they wish.
  5. Seven clear working days prior to the meetings, the complainant shall provide the council with copies of any documentation or other evidence which they wish to refer to at the meeting. The Council shall similarly provide the complainant with copies of any documentation it wishes to bring to the meeting.

At the meeting

  1. The Council shall consider whether the circumstances of the meeting warrant the exclusion of the public and the press. Any decision on a complaint shall be announced at the council meeting in public.
  2. The Chairman to introduce everyone.
  3. The Chairman to explain procedure.
  4. Complainant (or representative) to outline the complaint.
  5. Members to ask any question of the complainant.
  6. If relevant, the Clerk to explain the Council's position.
  7. Members to ask any questions of the Clerk.
  8. Clerk and Complainant asked to leave room while Members decide whether or not the grounds for the complaint have been made clear. Both parties may be invited back to seek clarification if necessary.
  9. Clerk and complainant return to receive decision or to be advised when a decision will be made.

After the meeting

  1. Decision must be confirmed in writing within seven working days together with details of any action to be taken.

Approved by the JPC on 5th October 2009

The JPC Complaints Procedure omits to mention that members of the public should complain to the STANDARDS AND ETHICS COMMITTEE of Stratford District Council if the complaint is about the conduct of a Councillor. This Standards and Ethics Committee was established as a requirement under the Local Government Act 2000. Its principal role is to promote and maintain high standards of conduct for members of the District, Town and Parish councils. When the JPC adopted its Complaints Procedure in October 2009, Cllr Bill Leech asked for the SDC Standards and Ethics Committee to be mentioned in the document but this was rejected by a majority vote, as it was considered that it might confuse people.

Download SDC Complaints Procedure      Download SDC Complaint Form

Residents Turn to Henley NEWS Online

During the last 10 days, many readers of Henley NEWS Online have contacted the Editor to express their concerns about the actions of certain members of the JPC. One of the most respected members of our community has asked HNOL to organise an electronic poll.


This is a vote on the treatment of the curtain shop, not the signage.

We will conduct a poll on the signage in the next issue.

Do you approve of the
JPC's conduct
over the Curtain Shop?

Please vote now by clicking on one of the links on the right

VOTE NOW - Click below



Multiple voting will be disallowed

Your vote is most important for democracy in Henley. Please vote now by clicking on one of the links above. Neither your name nor your email address will ever be disclosed. Dr Douglas Bridgewater, former High Bailiff, has agreed to be the independent scrutineer.

Provisional Results to date





The final results will be subject to confirmation by the independent scrutineer when the poll closes.

Responses to the Poll

NOT APPROVING of the Conduct of the JPC

Sounds like this council behaviour is totally out of order. I fully support any small business trying to survive on a High Street alongside National  brands like Somerfield and although the shop frontage MAY offend some people that is all very subjective. Leave the shopkeeper alone to run his business and stop pestering the poor chap.
It’s an English trait to support the underdog so in one sense its good FREE publicity for the shop. I would not have known about its location were it not for this stupid battle.

Mr Miah has been treated in a very shoddy manner & certain members of the JPC should apologise forthwith. Also I don't feel the signage is a problem.

I think the treatment the Curtain shop has received is atrocious. We should welcome new business in Henley with open arms.

I am against the JPC and can see nothing wrong with the colour or signage of the blind shop, why does the JPC allow the One Stop Shop and the Fish and Chip to have much more garish colour frontages and do not say any thing. The Curtain shop is a small shop and I have asked my visitors when we go to Henley if they can see any thing wrong with the shop and and they all say no, it does not stand out, so why doesn't certain members of the JPC leave this small business alone or would they prefer to have an empty shop?

I'm sorry but the points made by the councillor are unjust. Why are you picking on a small business in such an economically uncertain time? This shop does not stand out in it's present decor and what they have done is not offensive, the fish & chip shop on the other hand is 70's seaside tat! But nice chips!

We have some beautiful buildings and unfortunately some that do not ‘fit’ the surrounding Somerfields & One Stop for example, there have been many people who tried to occupy the building in question which I fully agree is dwarfed by these frontages, so to get the edge from a commercial perspective then it has to stand out – Good luck to them on their venture and I wish them every success!!

As for the comments of the Cllr’s in question and in particular Mrs Goodman, I hope that the fellow members will concur that this type of behaviour does in no way reflect the feelings of the JPC. I respect the amount of work Mrs Goodman has done for the community but feel that to call Henley “Her Town” is both arrogant and completely out of line.

A public apology must be the ‘minimum’ requirement, and Mrs Goodman needs to understand that in the position as a JOINT PARISH COUNCILLER she must refrain from using this position to voice her very personal opinions, as it fundamentally harms the objectives and credibility of the individuals within the Council who are there to help and not hinder the commercial growth of OUR town.

Absolutely against. I find the treatment against the Curtain Shop totally unbelievable. In this day and age the JPC should be doing everything to attract new businesses to the High Street – not force them out. Innovative advertising and displays should be applauded not victimised. The town should be welcoming these new and diverse businesses, the thought of having just the “usual High St” stores would remove any identity from Henley. Give me purple painted curtain shops/Studio 34/artshops anytime instead of Starbucks/Boots and Next.

I agree with the views expressed regarding the conduct of the JPC and one individual in particular.

Sadly the treatment of the Curtain shop is just yet another example of our existing JPC's incompetence. I do not not believe they have singled out this shop ,as they seem to treat many organisations and individuals in Henley with the same level of arrogance and contempt.

It seems that Councillor C Goodman is presenting her personal opinion as that of the whole community, it is not. We should do everything we possibly can to encourage new business into the town and Mr Miah has shown considerable initiative in trying to stand out amongst the large retail units on either side of him. If we do not encourage this sort of initiative we shall end up living in a 'museum'. If Cllr Goodman doesn't like it she can clear off.

I was appalled when I read the article in the Herald.  I can see the shop frontage from my living room window, and I have always thought how interesting and characterful it looks . .. much nicer than Somerfield and One-Stop.  However, I hoped that the JPC comments in the various meetings had been taken out of context (as is often the case with any reporting); it seems that this is a forlorn hope!

I do not approve. The shop has been treated shabbily by individuals who have got above themselves.

If it is as reported then I do not approve of our council ganging up on someone who is trying to start a business in Henley ( Mr Miah also runs a club in the Church Hall to help Henley residents).
I do not approve of 2 councillors gatecrashing a private meeting that is trying to resolve the issue.
I do not approve of the bullying and tone.
I do not approve of Carsina’s comment that it is “my town”
I do not approve of Carsina’s comment “if you don’t like it clear off”
I would like the Council to rapidly investigate these incidents, if they are true I believe the councillor should apologise and resign as she is obviously not fit for public office. If the council agrees with her I would like them to put it to the public vote and resign if it goes against them.

I would like the council to apologise on behalf of the residents of Henley (if they still feel that they represent us).

If the reports of the councillors behaviour are correct it is reprehensible and she is not fit for public office.  Personally I find the purple a bit garish but it is growing on me and as a small business myself I know the problems.  Let’s give the curtain shop a chance and maybe other small businesses will be encouraged to come and make our High St ‘destination’ for more than an ice cream on a sunny Sunday afternoon!

I think the behaviour of JPC is out of order. In today's times we should be promoting Entrepreneurship and also who wants to contribute and cares about Henley.

"Community cannot for long feed on itself; it can only flourish with the coming of others from beyond, their unknown and undiscovered brothers."

I so incensed by the whole thing this poor guy is trying to make a living.  I would understand if the sign could u seen as causing offence to people on the grounds of racial, sexual and religious views but it's a friggin board advertising curtains!!! Who is it offending people with curtain phobias!!

I really don't care if u publish my name the whole thing is so stupid. The joint parish council need to pull themselves together!

It sounds like Cllr Carsina Goodman from the JPC has completely disregarded the model code of conduct for Parish councils.  As a Henley resident I am embarrassed by her actions and the JPC for standing by her.

Without the input of new ideas, including advertising media the town will die. Henley will stop attracting the hard working professional people that spend their disposable income in the local stores, restaurants and bars. The result of course is an economic down turn for Henley and an increase in local unemployment.
I believe that Mr Miah is been treated unfairly, as if he really wanted his store to stand out in a distasteful fashion then he could have covered it with neon lighting and glow in the dark paint. But no; he has chosen a colour that is fashionable and stands out from his neighbouring stores. He has also asked the people that matter on the exterior design, is this a case sour grape because they weren’t asked.  
The local councillors that have raised this as a negative issue are simply resisting change and change is always inevitable! Standing in the way of tasteful development and commercial progress is only something that will damage Henley.
If the local councillors really what a town full of charity shops and country outfitters I suggest their relocation maybe in order and more beneficial to Henley?

Very poor conduct by the JPC.
There is a great saying that the shop owner should use "I don't know what I don't know".
Does the JPC realise empty offices and shops are the first sign of blight in a town?
So many people get heritage mixed up with stagnation. Most of the buildings they are trying to preserve have had numerous additions to them in Edwardian, Georgian and Victorian times and not all of them sympathetic.
Heritage is not about stagnation but adapting the new with the old. A shade of purple is hardly offensive in the grand scheme of things.

I heard Carsina Goodman make her “clear off” comment and couldn’t believe my ears!   The Herald article was spot on.
As my taxes go towards funding the JPC I feel strongly that all their activities should be fully transparent to the residents of Henley. Why aren’t they?  Why does the JPC always seem to have a hidden agenda?    It’s our town!

I am against the attitude shown by Mrs Goodman.  If it is true, she should rather be representing the council as a whole rather than individual sentiments.

I strongly disapprove of Cllr Mrs Goodman  behaviour, once again she was totally out of order. I like to add that I was treated by her in a similar arrogant and unpleasant manner some 18 years ago when we had just moved to Henley.  
She certainly does NOT own this town, she obviously is upsetting local residents and spoiling the community spirit in here.
She should resign from the Parish Council.
Perhaps we should take a leaf from her book and say  "We don't like you, clear off"

Live & let Live. Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. A couple of well known phrases for our representatives to learn & act upon.

Cllr Goodman: a wonderful example of pompous self importance unrepresentative of the residents, motivated by small-minded meddling. I think the Curtain Shop looks just great.

I do not approve of the JPC's conduct, particularly Cllr Carsina Goodman, and I find Somerfield's colour scheme far more offensive.

I can see nothing wrong with look of the curtain shop.
I think the JPC should be encouraging shops like the Curtain shop , the more variety of businesses we can attract to Henley-in-Arden the better it is for those of who live here. It appears that one or two members of the JPC have a lot to learn about how to treat people, let alone showing simple good manners!!

It does seem as though the whole procedure has become very personal; this cannot endear the PC to the residents.

Whilst I am a reader of the News I don’t live in the town. It’s tough in the current climate but surely everything we can do to help a small business to win has to be done, ultimately it adds value to the town and the community. Good luck!

I believe the treatment of the proprietors of the Curtain Shop has been outrageous and I think Councillor Mrs Goodman should offer her resignation – she is not the sort of representative I want to see on my local council. Shame on her.

I'm sure we would all like to be treated fairly.....But most importantly Equally, I would expect a better response from someone in her position!!!

It sounds like she has not only abused of her authority, but has a personnel problem with Mr Miah.

What absolutely disgusting and despicable behaviour by someone appointed as a councillor !!!!!!!! I don't think Mrs Goodman has a problem with the colour of the shop. I think she has a problem with the colour of Mr. Miah. This is a down right case of racism Mrs Goodman needs to get a life !!!!!!!

I most certainly deplore the behaviour of some of certain members of the JPC over this matter and thank Henley News for bringing it to my attention.
It appears that some people believe that they can dictate what happens in Henley based on their personal taste and preferences. Where were they when Taylor Wimpey were looking to bulldoze the market and replace it with three storey social housing units? They were completely out of keeping with Henley on a massive scale?
I applaud the Curtain Shop. Indeed this matter has raised their profile in a positive way so far as I am concerned for I now know they are there and will look to do business with them in the future.
So far as other commercial enterprises are concerned; The Bluebell - superb food and beer and great attention to detail. I love the garden umbrellas.  Do the JPC simply have something against the colour purple? Colour discrimination on a bizarre scale. Don't tell the JPC but I have purple decor in one of my bedrooms, including blinds. Should I now change it?  Will we be seeing some of the JPC on a new series of "Changing Rooms"? Might I suggest that they change....with the times. So far as the ladies attire shops are concerned either side of the pedestrian crossing. Good for you. I hope we see more new business in keeping with their quality and modern tastes in Henley.  I wish you all great success.

I was shocked to read the remarks of Councillor Goodman. They were absolutely un-called for, this is not how people, who are trying to bring business to Henley should be treated. I personally feel that the shop looks great and some colour on the High Street is not a bad thing.
This councillor must surely go as these comments are totally unacceptable.

I think there are other issues missing in how the business frontage has come about. However this does not excuse the behaviour of certain members of this Joint Parish Council.

Unfortunately this type of behaviour has occurred with other organisation in the past.

From what has been reported, when Mr Miah met with an officer from Stratford District Council’s conservation department on the 4th January 2010 to discuss the best way forward, Cllr Carsina Goodman and Cllr Chris Milsom told him they were there representing the parish council?

If this is the case then surely their comments brings the whole JPC into disrepute

I like the frontage. It is so much better than Somerfield and On Stop.

I think this is an outrage that this is even a topic of conversation. A small business comes into Henley - we should give it all the support that is needed. The butchers next door is blue - did anyone complain about that?? Next is One Stop which is red - did anyone complain about that??

The more shops, with more diversity, in Henley, the better. An apology is in order. Let's hope the Curtain Shop thrives.

Disgraceful!!  It sounds like a personal vendetta. Get real Carsina – this is 2010.  Too much time on your hands, maybe you should do some voluntary work.

As I sit at my desk at work looking out of the window I see Lemon Tree Flowers with its purple, black and cream coloured frontage and I see the curtain shop with its – well, purple, black and cream coloured frontage.  I think the colour scheme suits Henley High Street well; it is in keeping with the conservation area.  As far as I am aware Lemon Tree Flower shop has not encountered such overbearing criticism from the JPC over its signage. The only conclusion to be drawn is that there is another reason for the bullying that the curtain shop has received from the JPC.  The JPC needs to explain what their reasons are to the residents of Henley.  

Absolutely hilarious actions by Cllr Goodman. She’s made a fool of herself and exposed just how commercially naive and out of touch she is; I will be amazed if she is still in post next year.
I own a small business that I’m on the verge of re-locating to Henley to fill one of the numerous empty offices. In doing so my team will spend their money in the town and hopefully contribute (in some small way) to the economy of the place.
That’s how things work you see and most people, whether in business or not, realize this. Businesses like the curtain shop, and the Bluebell and the saucy underwear shop (which I would love to hear Cllr Goodman’s thoughts on… “what, the ladies of Henley wandering around in attractive undergarments, whatever next!? We must ban the wearing of all non-functional underwear immediately”), whilst not to every resident’s taste all bring money to the town and give it life.
I’ve lived in Henley for number of years and love the place for all it’s charm and originality (isn’t that the reason why we all pay over the odds to live here!?) but fear that without supporting good local business the very residents who seek to suppress these ventures will end up living in a ghost town. I applaud the work of the Councilors (with the obvious exception), Henley in Bloom, the Churches etc, they all work very hard to improve Henley and that’s one of the things we all like about living here. It’s a shame when someone in a post of this kind just doesn’t ‘get it’.
Cllr Goodman, give the guys at the shop a fair go. If there’s massive public feeling about the color, ask them to change it, I’m sure they would. But do not say that you represent the towns people (your clearly do not). If the reporting is accurate you are not in any way representative of the people I have come to know in Henley in any way, shape or fashion.
My sincerest thanks to those Councilors who have shown such good judgment and continue to work hard behind the scenes, the people at the churches who volunteer tirelessly, Henley in Bloom (especially the chap who drives the little fire engine!) and all the other good soles who contribute to the town.
Right, I’m off to buy some sausages from the butchers and then I think I’ll treat myself to a pint of ale under those funny umbrellas at the Bluebell.

As a resident of Henley in Arden I am appalled at how the JPC is treating Mr Miah, owner of the Curtain Shop.  Cllr Mrs Goodman, in particular, should be ashamed of herself as if the reports are true she is undoubtedly bullying Mr Miah and her behaviour towards him appears to be nothing short of abusive and appears to be discriminative.  It makes me feel ashamed to be part of a town that behaves like this and only hope that Mrs Osbourne has convinced Mr Miah that Cllr Mrs Goodman is not a representative of how people behave in Henley and is not representative of the general mood towards him and his business.
With regards to the issue of the colour of the frontage of the shop, which seems to have been the catalyst for this outrageous string of events, I actually like it. I can fully understand why Mr Miah as tried to make his business ‘stand out from the crowd’ to help him attract new business.  In these very difficult economic times we should be supporting businesses, particularly small businesses that have been extremely hard hit by the financial crisis where banks are now reluctant to loan money and support small businesses.  Now it seems that in Henley we are also saying that they cannot do what they can to attract new customers.
Is the JPC going to say to Sudio 54 (once again love the frontages of the shops) and also to S-U (pink frontage) that they either change their frontages or move?  May be they would prefer Henley in Arden to become a bit of a ghost town which is exactly what is happening to Stratford Town Centre.  The most unattractive frontages in Henley are undoubtedly Somerfield and One-Stop however I think sensible people understand that shops of this nature are very much needed in Henley and subsequently corporate branding has to be applied.
As a tax payer quite frankly I think there are far more important local issues that the JPC should be addressing as opposed to all this nonsense over the colour of a shop frontage which has led to such a distasteful and disgraceful episode of events.  A public apology is required or alternatively Cllr Mrs Goodman should resign.

Having lived in Henley for 40 years I have always been proud of the fact that we have a warm, friendly and welcoming town as well as a beautiful High Street. For the first time, because of the behaviuor of Mrs Goodman I feel ashamed of our community.

What is the point of having a substantial amount of money in the JPC budget to promote trade and tourism if we have councillors driving business away with immature rantings in public to existing traders.

Disgraceful! The JPC must take firm action to avoid similar behaviour in the future.  

The Curtain Shop frontage is no worse than their neighbours, if the JPC concentrated on sorting out the illegal parking outside the shops frontage we may yet avert the accident that is waiting to happen.
It would surely be a welcome thought that a retail business could be successful, and thrive in these premises, following the decline of a number of others.    I see nothing offensive at all on the fascia of this small shop.   One Stop and Somerfield are also opposite listed buildings and are arguably necessary 'blots on the landscape'.   

I seem to remember another purple shop nearby, the Purple Antiques Shop?  

A wonderful example of individuality amongst independent retailers may be found in the delightful medieval towns of Berkhamsted, Bridgnorth, Bury St Edmunds, and many, many others.  For such a small market town, Henley's High Street offers a generous and diverse array of retail opportunities, giving the shopper choice and variety.   This is a bonus for both residents and visitors, and helps to support  the prosperity of the area.   What is the alternative?   Rows of bland, characterless  charity and chain stores?   Think on councillors, and appreciate what you have here.

The author Susan Hill, when she lived in Warwickshire, wrote of Henley: ' ........ It has a long, wide and singularly handsome High Street, lined with an assortment of extremely good-looking smallish, lowish houses ........ blending delightfully together...... Henley thrives - a busy, friendly place with a heterogeneous mixture of residents who work locally ........'

Henley in Arden is a lovely town, there is no doubt of that, but it is not the only one of its kind, and whilst the townspeople should be proud of its heritage, to display such a smug exclusivity does the town no favour.

There's a faint whiff of 'Hyacinth 'Bucket' syndrome here. This woman's attitude is amusingly snobbish, laughably outdated and, more worryingly, an indirect spectacular own goal for the JPC!

The 'Purple Shop' is a vibrant, energetic and non-threatening addition to a high street famed for its 'character': of course the irony being Mrs Goodman's behaviour (she fails the definition for being labelled 'Counsellor') and comments have led her to become a 'character' whereas Zac and Linda, have 'character. I admire anyone who set's up in business for themselves. It takes guts. But to succeed it also takes differentiation and ingenuity - and that's what is on display at 106A High Street.  I'm wondering how she'd react if Lidl came to town - though I have a sneaky suspicion Waitrose might just slip under her (no doubt upturned) nose.

If your reading these comments Mrs Goodman - and I hope you are - I suggest you revisit the frontage at 106A High Street - and take a good look at the two multi million pound behemoth outposts either side of it. And ask yourself, is the 'Purple' an issue because it's not in keeping with the historical memories of your childhood (in which case let's have a go at the Purple signage of the Police station, the maroon frontage of Hunters Estate Agents and The Blue Bell's Blue, Maroon and Purple stripes) or, is it, as I very much fear, because you can't do anything about Somerfield and One Stop so think you'll focus on someone who's - 'different': new to Henley, not lived here all his life - and therefore easier to 'bully', after all - "How dare he not consult ME! I've lived here all my life!"

Bluntly, you've underestimated Henley and it's very much alive community spirit. The Purple Shop is a minnow in a large market town and the fact is we like it. And Studio 34, And the new Lingerie shop. And the Deli. We like these boutique's. Because they 'have' character'. Unlike yourself. So please, go. Resign. Seriously. The fact is - your an analogue official in a digital age and bad for future business.

I find the treatment, by the council against the Curtain Shop totally unbelievable.

It seems that Councillor C Goodman is presenting her personal opinion as that of the whole community and I for one do not agree with her.

She certainly does not own this town she is simply a councillor who is supposed to represent our opinion not her own

Henley needs more shops to bring more people here otherwise it will die like so many small markets towns.

Mrs Goodman needs to realize she has out grown the wonderful village of Henley. She needs to hang her parish boots up and stop meddling in other peoples business. Who are good people trying to make a living. There's a book she should read called stop thinking start living. It might make her a less spiteful person.

Having been born here and now bringing up my own children here it's the first time there has been a decent array of shops to spend the day walking around,then stopping for a cake and coffee and also lunch. Why on earth would you of spent the day strolling round just One-stop and somerfield before. Our family love the signage. I mean what good business would paint there shop to blend in!!!!

We should be thanking the newer shops of Henley for bringing back the life to Henley.

I think the Curtain Shop looks really great. It has better signage than lots of the other shop fronts in Henley.

The curtain shop looks like it is being picked on for being creative. In these difficult economic times, the way in which the JPC has acted seems very unfair.

The JPC should remember they are elected to represent the town not personal views. In this enlightened time they have treated Mr Miah disgracefully and should make a public apology for what appears to amount to a personal attack.

I was most saddened to hear of the plight of the curtain trader in Henley; I empathise with this trader having been on the receiving end of unfair treatment from Henley in Arden Parish council myself.

This appalling behaviour is tantamount to harassment and bullying. I was amazed at the ignorance of the Parish Councils' views that purple is not in keeping with an historic town due to listed buildings being opposite the shop; purple is a most historic colour. For hundreds of years purple has been associated with Royalty, Power and Nobility. Throughout history purple has been worn by Kings and Queens and is known as a 'Royal colour'; part of the reason for this is that the colour was very expensive to manufacture and only the rich could afford to wear it. Purple even goes as far back as the Roman Sumptuary Laws where it stated that only the Emperor could wear purple. Purple is a historic colour dating back thousands of years; so I would like the Parish Council to explain how can it not be in keeping with a historic town. I would consider the colour purple to be far more fitting for a medieval town than a gaudy plastic sign such as can be found outside Somerfield or Onestop.

As to the comments that this town belongs to a certain person, as far as I am aware, this person does not own this town and we are still a free country; this kind of attitude is most concerning. I think the residents of Henley need clarification as to whether this is just one persons opinion or the entire Parish Councils' opinion. If it is not the Parish Councils opinion then what are they going to do about it. The residents of Henley need to decide whether they actually want people with such appalling views to hold such positions of power or whether they want Councillors who actually want to provide help and support to the community and truly have peoples best interests at heart.

The role of a Parish Council is to provide help and support to residents and business within their area and not to make life as difficult as possible just because they can. The Parish Council should be helping business to get through one of the worst recessions in history and not making life as difficult as possible and causing small businesses to go out of business. I would consider the Parish Council to be in breach of their duty of care and in breach of the Code of Conduct; they are most certainly in breach of the guidance provided by the Government through the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) in ensuring that businesses are not overburdened.

It is high time that the people of Henley in Arden stand together to ensure that only the correct, responsible people are placed in such a positions of power, to make sure that residents and businesses are given support and not hinderance and that we have a Parish Council that truly has the best interests of its residents and businesses at heart. The time, and money that is being thrown at this ridiculous scenario could be better spent supporting business within the area rather than ruining them, or even reducing the Council Tax bill that we are currently having to pay to fund it, especially at a time when people are struggling or may have suffered redundancies because of a recession.

This behaviour is wrong. This poor trader stands to lose his business and his dreams, can we really afford to do nothing and let this appalling behaviour continue.....

Mrs Goodman, resign now. enough said !

All the JPC should resign and allow the residents of Henley to have the first contested election in living memory. As Cromwell said in 1653, "You have sat here too long for the good you do. In the name of God, go!”

I do not approve of the treatment against the curtain shop. If the issue is exclusively the exterior décor of the shop, why is there no action against SO U, which is PINK, or the horrid and common exterior of One Shop? The curtain shop adds personality to the High Street and it should stay!
A glorious example of small minded and bigoted thinking from one of our supposed "leaders".
This councilor should be removed from office if this is her idea of acceptable behaviour.

I think the Councillor in question should resign, she has no dignity. I think the "Curtain Shop" blends in very well in the High

Are we not trying to eradicate bullying from our schools and society? What a prime example of bullying to our children by a person with such a prominent position in the town. Let the shop remain, leave the owner be to run his business - we have been following this issue carefully in the Stratford Herald. May be the JPC should focus on more important issues in the town.
The over reacting Queen of Hearts [ "Off with her head!"]  is well represented as is the rest of the pack.  All it needs now is for Alice to stand up and say  "You are nothing but a pack of cards" and the nightmare is complete.

The residents of Henley should wake up and take note that Lewis Carrolls book was for children and act accordingly.    

Even if the facts reported are only 50% true, the councillors in question have acted in a deplorable manner, and should question themselves and their conduct. All new business’s (as long as they are moral & legal) should be encouraged to move to Henley. Since moving  here 14 years ago, many business’s have closed.  Estate agents, public houses, restaurants, 2 factories and numerous retail outlets, have all gone.  So the JPC should think of how they can convince Mr Miah and his business to stay. Though its interesting to read all the views opposing various members of the JPC, we must remember the last ‘election’ didn’t happen as there were only 12 people willing to stand. Maybe if there was less apathy among the residents of Henley, and others stood for election, we wouldn’t be in this position now. Maybe we are all to blame.
As for the argument about born in Henley or moved to Henley. Where one is born is down to where your parents live, but if you choose to live somewhere, it’s because you like it !

Whatever our own feelings concerning the shop front there are planning procedures and licensing rules to protect listed buildings and towns. The parish council are able to bring their concerns through such meetings and discussions. Parish councillors, especially ones that no one has ever voted for, should not behave in such an unprofessional manner. But this is a councillor who has previous form since she once described all allotment holders as being illiterate. Any councillor that behaves in such a manner, totally disregarding the code of conduct during meetings and in the street should have been reprimanded a long time ago. No wonder politicians at all levels are held in such low regard.

The concentration of power in the Goodman family causes me great concern. The views of Henley residents who do not agree with either of them are greatly disadvantaged. Behaviour towards Mr Miah is disgraceful and I greatly appreciate his efforts to make his shop unit look appealing and inviting - as have the Blue Bell pub, the new cafe 34, the new lingerie shop etc. We have to move into this century and attract and keep visitors interested in the town. Collections of fossils and their ideas should go. Can we have a JPC that reflects the town and ALL its residents?

The Parish council need to resign now. It is time for a re-election due to the bullying and incompetence of this Parish Council. They can stand for re-election if they want to, but it will be up to the people to vote them in if they deserve it. This time the people of Henley need to be properly informed of when and where an election will take place and not allow the Parish council to post a small note on some obscure lampost telling people of an election. This time the people of Henley need to be made aware of an election and given the chance to vote. These people can not be trusted in such a position of power; they have consistently proved this time and time again.

With reference to the treatment of the Curtain Shop owners I’d like to add two recent headlines from previous issues of the Henley NEWS On-Line:

JPC Rejects CCTV Request from Henley Society – 11 June 2009
JPC Rejects working with Allotment Association – 6 Aug 2009

It seems to me that there may be an ongoing pattern happening here.  Who on earth do these people think they represent? Maybe they should seek the views of the residents rather than express their personal views.  Let them be assured that their behaviour does NOT represent my approach.

APPROVING of the Conduct of the JPC

So far NO Comments in support of the JPC's conduct have been received

Download a summary of these Responses

The above report has been prepared with the help of over 100 correspondents

Watch the NEW TOWN VIDEO on the Town Website

Burns' Night Supper - A Great Success


photoThe Memorial Hall was crowded on Monday for a traditional Burns’ Night organised by the Guild Hall Garden Committee. The Hall itself was colourfully decorated with a Scottish theme and many of those present were wearing a tartan. The proceedings were opened by Douglas Bridgewater in his capacity as Chairman for the evening. In welcoming those present he stated that the Committee had three objectives in mind – to honour Robert Burns, to ensure that a good time was had by all and to raise money for the Guild Hall Garden Project.

Sue Dalby presented the diners with a menu with a decidedly Scottish flavour:

Feathered Fowlie soup wi’ sippets
Haggis wi’ champit tatties and bashed neeps
Tighnabruach Rabbit Stew
Caledonian Cream Pudding

The Haggis, carried by Sue Dalby and preceded by a magnificently attired piper (Bob Carruthers), was paraded through the Hall and presented to Barr Breckenridge who was waiting for it on the stage. There he addressed the Haggis with all due reverence, before slicing into it with a knife and leading all present in a toast to it with a wee dram donated by Richard Ackland. This spectacular and traditional ceremony was much appreciated.

While coffee was being served, Lindsay Shaw held an auction of five items which had generously been donated. Some spirited bidding for them realised a total of £560. This was followed by a toast to The Immortal Memory proposed by Barr Breckenbridge, who gave an entertaining outline of the life and works of the poet. Three of the assembled company, Richard Wallace, Nick McKenzie and Robin Cathcart, then regaled us with readings from Burns’ works.

John Latham proposed the toast to The Lasses in his inimitable style, followed by an amusing response from Kate Smith on behalf of the Lasses.

The evening ended with a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne and all left feeling that the evening’s objectives had been achieved. Over £3,000 was raised for the Guild Hall Garden Project. The event was a notable first for the town.

Photos by Bill Leech

Challenging Times for the Trust in Need of Change

AGM for Henley War Memorial Trust.

logoSet up in 1947 by the town and funded by subscription with the majority of residents contributing, the trust was devised to create a permanent memorial to those who had given their lives in the Second World War.

It was conceived as a beacon of hope to a town that shared with the remainder of the country a severe battering during the bloodiest of wars. Few with the foresight to invest in this precious fund creating sports and cultural opportunities could have realised that 63 years later the vision was still as strong as ever. This is quite remarkable given the massive changes in technology, expectations and society that have occurred during those six decades. The question that exercises the Trust now, given the ever-increasing rapidity of change, is how relevant is its objectives and how appropriate is its operation and does it have the continuing support of the town?

In the beginning, the name Town Improvement Committee as the managing trustees of this town’s valuable resources must have looked exactly right. Today it does seem somewhat irrelevant to the new challenges. It is expected that the AGM, held on 27th January will be the meeting that begins to address some of these fundamental issues. It will be raising such questions as “Do we need to revise the vision? Should the managers be changing the way the Trust operates? Is the title Town Improvement Committee somewhat dated describing an ambition that can never be delivered in this generation by one single group of people?”

The Trust and the residents of Henley have a duty to consider these questions in order to mark out a future which will do justice to those who have gone before. If you feel like I do then contact me and join the debate. You can support the Trust by donations contact by telephone or e-mail (see below).

I hope you enjoyed the quiz set by the trust and many thanks to those who entered the competition. The winners have been notified. They were Duncan and Marijana Bainbridge, David Millington and Derek and Jill Healing. If you took on the challenge just for fun the answers can be found at THIS LINK.

Peter Crathorne - Chairman of the TIC (Managing Trustees of Henley War Memorial Trust)

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Tennis Coach of the Year at the WALTAS

photoHenley in Arden Tennis Club were delighted to attend the WLTA awards last Friday and hear that their coach Neil Supperstone had won the prestigious “Coach of the Year” award.

Since joining the club, Neil has been an energetic, honest, friendly diligent member of the coaching team.

As an honorary member of the club, he plays and supports members, and helps with training sessions, organises Open days and with girlfriend Lucy regularly runs adult and child tournaments, all in his own time. He constantly strives to attract new members and is well liked in every age group.

Neil runs regular sessions at the club for all abilities and can be contacted on 07912 664426

Jane Palmer reporting

Haiti Earthquake: Henley Rotarians Act

logoHenley Rotarians have made an instant response to the appeal from the Rotary ShelterBox charity by providing the £500 needed for a ShelterBox to go out to devastated Haiti.

On day one of the crisis an emergency team from the charity was on the ground and already 1,900 boxes are in the country and being deployed, providing shelter for nearly 20,000 people who have lost their homes.

Each box not only contains a tent for 10 people but basic bedding, water purification and tools for survival. The Haiti earthquake is not only the biggest disaster that the ShelterBox teams has faced but the most difficult to cope with logistically. "It's a horrendous situation but one Rotarians everywhere are helping to overcome," said Henley President David Brain. "We here in Henley are aiming to raise enough in the next few days to fund another box and we've already had donations from local people anxious to help. We're so grateful for their support."


Do You Want To Help?
There's no more direct and instant way of helping to provide relief for the people of Haiti than by contributing to our Rotary ShelterBox appeal. If you would like to do so please send your cheque, made out to The Rotary Club of Henley-in-Arden, to our Treasurer David Snell, Orchard Cottage, Alcester Road, Wootton Wawen, B95 6BQ. Thank you.

Download Henley Rotary Club calendar

Be Welcomed by the Local Churches in February


The Churches in Henley will be combining for a series of meetings on Thursday evenings during LENT. Details will be announced during the early part of February. Look out for posters and notices in the Churches and on their notice boards to keep up to date with developments. All will be welcome.

22nd February to 7th March. 165 million cups of tea are drunk everyday in the UK alone. This year’s campaign focus is on getting a fairer deal for the people who grow and pick the tea we drink. Come and find out more and join in The Big Brew “Swap your Cuppa” events outside St John’s on Thursday 25th February 2-4 pm and Friday 26th February 9.30-12 noon.

Ash Wednesday 17th February begins Lent 2010 and on the first Sunday 21st February a representative from CORD (Christian Outreach Relief and Development), a charity based in Leamington Spa, will speak at St John’s Church about the project the congregation are supporting as a special Lent Self-Denial Appeal. £2,367 will provide a gravity water scheme for a village in Burundi, bringing much needed clean drinking water and preventing hours spent everyday fetching water especially by children who then miss school. Anyone in the town wishing to contribute to this appeal can put their donation in an envelope marked CORD Lent Appeal and deliver to the Rectory or put through the door at 114 High Street. (Cheques payable to Henley-in-Arden PCC Group). Anyone wishing to hear more about this project is most welcome to come to St. John’s Church at 10.00 am on Sunday 21st February.

Sunday Services all at 10.30 am are: 7th - Revd Robert J. Powell (Sacrament); 14th – Mrs. Marguerite Kendrick; 21st – Mr. John Griffin; 28th – Miss Lillian Fitton. The Baby and Toddler Group meet every Monday morning from 10.30 am.

John Pudney - Religious Affairs Correspondent

Henley and Beaudesert Society January Meeting

An Audience with the King


In an enthusiastic talk, Richard Abbey and Dave Fuszard told the Society the history of King Edward I.

The original King Edward I was of course a warrior king who reigned from 1272 until 1307. However the King Edward I that our speakers had come to talk about was the Great Western railway engine No 6024. The King class engines were built for Great Western between 1927-30 at a time when there was considerable competition between the major railway companies for the fastest and most powerful engines.

King Edward I was itself built at Swindon in 1930 at an amazingly modest cost of only £7,500. It weighed in at 130 tons and could achieve a maximum speed of 105 mph. Pictures of it in its handsome dark green livery epitomised all the romantic splendour associated with the nostalgic age of steam locomotives. King Edward I ran for over thirty years, mostly in the West Country, regularly hauling prestige passenger services such as the "Cornish Riviera Express”.

Eventually in 1962 more efficient diesel locomotives replaced steam and King Edward I was withdrawn from service having covered 1,570,000 miles. The engine then found its way to Barry Island for scrap where it languished in the company of several other engines for many years. In 1973 the King Preservation Society bought No 6024 for around £4,000 with the purpose of restoring it to its mainline condition.

photoIn 1974 No 6024 was moved to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton Road. The Society, which had renamed itself the 6024 Preservation Society, made slow but steady progress towards the restoration of the locomotive, working in the open air for the first twelve years. Eventually in 1989 No 6024 moved again under its own power and amidst considerable public interest and media coverage was re-commissioned. It was then transferred to Tyseley where it completed its mainline test runs and in 1990 it resumed its mainline career hauling revenue earning passenger trains.

The locomotive quickly became a favourite mainline star taking trains to a wide variety destinations including the "William Shakespeare Express" from Stratford to London Paddington, its first appearance there for almost thirty years.

Every seven years the engine has to have a major overhaul. Modifications have included fitting of dual-braking equipment (air and vacuum), to increase flexibility in the use of passenger stock, and the reduction of its chimney, safety valves and cab-roof heights to permit it to fit within the standard loading gauge.

The 6024 Preservation Society is a registered charity relying on the help of committed volunteers and we are grateful to them for keeping a portion of our industrial heritage so alive and well.

Andrew Yarwood reporting
Photo Clive Hanley

Older Men of Henley Top Speeding Survey

Most high rates for speeding involve males aged 17-40, but in Henley-in-Arden it is males aged 51 and over who top the speeding convictions for speeding at 22.34% for that age group. These speeding offences were committed nationally.

Research by

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


Air Ambulance 'Heroes Run'

photoWarwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA) is hosting its first 'Air Ambulance Heroes Run' at Stoneleigh Park, Nr Coventry, on Sunday 23rd May. This flagship event is taking place to raise funds to keep the helicopter and crew flying and celebrate the life saving work of the doctors and paramedics who are real life heroes to many people.
You can run or walk the 5km course and bring your whole family along if you like as both adults and children can enter. Entry is £10 for those aged 16 and over and £5 for under 16s. By getting sponsored for taking part WNAA can raise even more money.
It will start at 11am and there will be medals for all finishers plus trophies for the winners. For extra fun there is OPTIONAL fancy dress where entrants can dress up as their favourite Superhero!  
Subject to missions the helicopter and crew will be on site to meet people.

It would be great for us all to support our local life savers and I would be grateful if you could pass on the poster below so that anyone who would like to take part, and get fitter in the process, can consider getting involved.

On-line entry will open from the 5th February at but people can e-mail their interest to if they are keen to enter asap! Hard copies of the event flyer (A5/A4/A3) are available if you think you could help with publicity maybe on work noticeboards, at your local gym, shops or pub etc.  
There will be an Inter-Parish competition for all the parishes served by WNAA. Ask your Parish Clerk for more details about your parish's entry and put the name of your parish on the entry form. The winning parish will be the one that raises the most funds for taking part from entry fees and sponsorship and will receive a visit to the WNAA base (up to 5 people) to meet the helicopter and crew.
Jayne Farquharson
Events Manager

The editor writes - None of us know when we might need the air ambulance. You might be out on the Mount walking your dog, as I was in November 2003, and have an accident. I was very grateful that they rescued me and took me to Redditch in 3 minutes. Please support them.

New Postage Stamps won't Stick

stampA new postage stamp with a picture of the Prime Minister Gordon Brown has not been sticking to envelopes. This has enraged the Prime Minister who demanded a full investigation.

After a month of testing and spending £1.1million, a special commission presented the following findings:

  1. The stamp is in perfect order.
  2. There is nothing wrong with the adhesive.
  3. People are spitting on the wrong side of the stamp.

Report by Regular Non-PC Reader

High Bailiff welcomes a New Business to Henley

The Beauty Boutique

photoThe High Bailiff has welcomed ‘The Beauty Boutique’, which has acquired the third floor at 129 High Street, Henley. Catherine Binks, owner of the Beauty Boutique, is offering a full range of body care products based on twenty years of experience in the business.

Cathy offers clients of both gender Swedish and Thai body or Indian head massages, manicure and pedicure, full facials, waxing and fake bake tanning treatments. All treatments are tailored to meet with individual needs. Needs carefully prepared and uniquely applied by Cathy in her beauty boutique at Honey’s Lingerie at 129 High Street. Cathy is available by appointment six days a week from 10.00 am until late.

So, next time you are on the High Street and you want to ‘feel fabulous, look fabulous and be fabulous’, pop up to meet Cathy and book a personal appointment. Appointments can also be made by ringing 01564 794428 or by ringing Cathy’s mobile 07528 085735.

Stop Press. Watch out for Cathy’s monthly promotions and you may be able to grab one of her fabulous pamper packages offered at special discounted prices.

Valentine Pamper Package. Treat your loved one to a Mini-Facial and a Full Body Massage with a complimentary glass of champagne and chocolates! All for just £65!

NB Gift Vouchers available.

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Security Alert Levels

Following the recent terror alert the English have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorised from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666. The Scots raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards". They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the frontline in the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability.

It's not only the French who are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout loudly and excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose".

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Americans meanwhile are carrying out pre-emptive strikes on all of their allies, just in case.

New Zealand has also raised its security levels - from "baaa" to "BAAAA!". Due to continuing defence cutbacks (the air force being a squadron of spotty teenagers flying paper airplanes and the navy some toy boats in the Prime Minister's bath). New Zealand only has one more level of escalation which is "Shit, I hope Australia will come and rescue us". In the event of invasion New Zealanders will be asked to gather together in a strategic defensive position called "Bondi".

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No Worries" to "She'll be right, mate". Three more escalation levels remain: "Crikey!'; "I think we'll need to cancel the Barbie this weekend" and "The Barbie is cancelled". So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

It's a Snow Problem!

Snow may have caused disruption across much of the UK but Henley-in-Arden Tennis Club is doing its best not to let it dampen its hopes.

Many sessions have been moved indoors to the fabulous new sports hall at Warwickshire College which is based opposite the tennis club on the Stratford Road.


Pictured above are some of the children who can't wait to get back into action and the two coaches Sarah Baker and Neil Supperstone. The club caters for all children and adults from 4 years and upwards. To come and join the fun please contact Neil Supperstone on 07912 66 44 26 or email Please visit to find out about all of the sessions the club runs.

Jane Palmer reporting

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Our Phone Box - What Shall We Do With It?

photoAs residents of Henley we are now the proud owners of a red telephone box by the bus shelter at the southern end of the town. It was offered by BT for only £1. In Britain there are more than 12,500 of these red telephone boxes, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1924. As yet, the JPC has not decided what to do with it.

In the meantime they will repair the broken windows, cost about £100. They are considering putting a lock on it, cost around £100. Moving it to a new location would cost about £500 according to the South Walsham Parish Council in Norfolk who have recently moved one (pictured right).

Our councillors have decided not to spend a lot of money on it until they have decided what to do with it. Do you have any suggestions? Write to:  and we will pass them on the the JPC.

Question:  What is the connection between the JPC’s phone box and the Australian Aborigines?  (Answer below Business Column)  


photoMake the effort to stroll past the main drag of restaurants on the High Street to the north end and you’ll find Wasabi.

Recently opened, Wasabi Sushi and Noodle Bar offers something new for Henley. Six of our family had a delightful meal there a few weeks ago (before the snows came) and we were made to feel very welcome.

After starters including vegetable tempura, edamame (fresh soya beans garnished with spring onions and salt) and seafood and chicken dishes, four of us opted for a Bento Box as the main course. New to all of us, we found it different, very tasty and enjoyable.

Sadly we were the only people there! As the saying goes “If you don’t use it, you lose it” and it would be sad if Henley were to lose a Japanese restaurant.
Please give Wasabi a try!

Jan Crathorne reporting

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John Garner's Business Column

John GarnerAnother day off?

Lord Mandelson, President of the Privy Council amongst his many other roles, has announced that there will be an additional bank holiday as part of the celebrations to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

This will involve will moving the late May Bank Holiday to Monday 4th June and adding an extra bank holiday on Tuesday 5th June to form a long weekend of celebration.

The idea of an extra bank holiday is of course not new and rears its head every few years. I seem to remember a proposal for a “Diana Day” some time ago. In 2007 The Institute for Public Policy Research advocated a Community Day which they thought might help the Prime Minister’s then goal of building a British identity.

Indeed there is an organisation calling itself “Campaign for a Community Day bank holiday” which commented on the Jubilee announcement saying, “This is the perfect opportunity to introduce a new bank holiday and there is no reason why this extra day off should not become a permanent fixture.” They are campaigning for the day to be in October of each year and cite the huge benefits which would accrue to the retail, hospitality, leisure, tourism and transport sectors – though they don’t say where all money to pay for the extra day’s leisure will come from.

And they didn’t mention the manufacturing sector – fortunately the CBI did; they reckoned the cost to the economy would be an additional £6 billion. Just the ticket when small businesses are fighting for their lives. In many sectors the ”lost” day’s work will probably get done at another time but in manufacturing it won’t (except at the additional cost of overtime payments) - and manufacturing is the lifeblood of this country.

Of course we’d all like another free day off wouldn’t we? But maybe those of us who run a small business might want to think again.

John Garner

Answer to telephone box question:   Red Ochre. The cliffs along Gulf St Vincent, South Australia, are particularly significant in Aboriginal culture.  The red ochre, taken from the cliffs, was used by local tribes for body painting and later exported to make paint in England which was used on London’s original red pillar boxes.

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Immersion Heaters and Hot Water Tanks

I discovered recently that in my sister-in-law’s home the immersion heater is left on all the time. This means that when they use hot water some electricity is used to reheat the tank. Because heat from electricity is three times more expensive than heat from gas this is bad for the pocket. It is also bad for CO2 emissions because heat from electricity emits at least twice as much CO2 as heat from gas. So immersion heaters should be regarded as the heat source of last resort.

photoThe only time that heating by immersion heater might be best is in summer and then only if you have a very old boiler that contains lots of water. With a system like this the boiler heats itself up before heating the tank then, when the tank is hot, the boiler shuts down and you have a boiler full of hot water which proceeds to cool down. In summer this heat is completely wasted. In winter the heat from the boiler usually helps to heat the house so it is not wasted.

Although many of us have the convenience of hot water tanks in our homes it turns out that storing hot water in a tank is not a smart thing to do. Few hot water tanks are sufficiently well insulated to really keep the heat in. Even our double insulated tank leaks out 1.5 kW hrs per day. Heating the tank electrically during the summer, this leaking heat was costing us over a pound a week (even if we didn’t use any hot water). We now heat water a couple of times a week and save the washing up until we have hot water available. However you use your tank and immersion heater the most important thing to do is to make sure your tank is well insulated. I suggest at least 4 inches of insulation. After all, if the recommended thickness of loft insulation is 10 inches, why should the hot water tank, which is much hotter than your home, be OK with just an inch or two?

To sum up, in winter it’s cheaper and generates less CO2 to heat water by gas. If you have a modern boiler with very little water in it heating water by gas will be best all year round, but if your boiler is ancient and contains a lot of water the immersion heater will be best in summer. Heating the water only when you need it will save money and CO2. Most important of all is to make sure your tank is very well insulated.

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

Tackling empty homes across the District

Stratford District has over 600 privately owned homes standing disused or empty across the District. If you own an empty home you will know that it is an asset at risk and it should be making you money rather than costing you money.

Stratford-on-Avon District Council is committed to tackling the issue of empty homes and has produced a strategy to direct how it achieves this called ‘From empty houses… to new homes’.

The Empty Homes strategy outlines the Council’s objectives which are:

  • to establish how many empty homes there are across the District;
  • to develop the most effective way to bring empty homes back into use and
  • to create quality, affordable housing from these empty properties for those in housing need.

Many of these homes have been empty for over 6 months; acting as a magnet for crime and anti-social behaviour including squatters, vandalism, arson and rubbish dumping, becoming eyesores and potentially devaluing neighbouring properties by up to 18%.

The Empty Homes Officer at Stratford-on-Avon District Council can provide advice and support to owners of empty properties to find a solution to bring them back into use.

Councillor Stephen Gray, Revenues and Housing Portfolio Holder, said: “We are committed to providing many types of accommodation in Stratford District in a range of ways. Empty homes are a wasted resource particularly in areas like ours where demand for housing is high. Nobody wants to have empty housing next to them especially when the owner is not taking responsibility for maintenance. In Stratford District we want to be proactive and ensure that neglected, long term empty properties are bought back to the housing market for the benefit of the local community.”

If you know of an empty home you can report it to the Empty Homes Officer at Stratford-on Avon District Council detailing any problems that may be affecting you or your community.

Please contact Carol Roberts, Empty Homes Officer at Stratford District Council on 01789 260866 or email for further information or to report an empty home.

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board

For tickets and further information call Basil Sayel on 01564 795714 or email:
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Henley Diary Dates

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

COFFEE MORNING, Bring and Buy, Home-made cakes and raffle, 10.30am – 12 noon on Saturday 30th January in the Church Hall, Beaudesert Lane, in aid of St Basil’s Centre. Please call in for a coffee when you come to shop.

COME AND EXPERIENCE A CANDLEMASS SERVICE in St Nicholas’ on 31st January at 6.00 pm. A joint service with Ullenhall Church and the other churches in Henley. All are welcome to this special occasion.

Our speaker on Tuesday 2nd February is Ann Runacres, who makes wonderful quilts and will tell us of the “History of the Amish”. Visitors are welcome to join us in the Memorial Hall from 7.30 pm.

The Annual General Meeting will be held at the Baptist Church Hall on Friday 5th February commencing at 7pm. All are welcome, so why not come along and find out about our plans for 2010.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 9th February, 7.30 pm in The Memorial Hall when our speaker is Janine Hall on “Where Rabbits Dream”. Competition “Romantic Interlude”. Visitors welcome (£5).

Meets on 16th February for Ray Charlton’s presentation “Tropical Ice” and “Kilimanjaro”. Come to the Baptist Church Hall from 7.45 pm if you would like to join us – Visitors £2.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 18th February at 8.00 pm in the Baptist Church Hall. The speaker will be David Howe on “Prime Ministers and The Midlands”. Visitors and new members are very welcome. Further details from Pat Kench on 795419.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 23rd February in Ullenhall Village Hall, 7.30 for 7.45 pm. Our speaker is the author John Trinder on “The Iris Year”. Visitors are welcome (£3).

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.
Meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm.
New members are always welcome.
Please email Robin Freeman <>
Download Henley Rotary Club calendar
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
TAI CHI in HENLEY Thursdays, 11am at the Baptist Church Hall. Age, health or fitness no barrier. £5 per session – no termly fees. For further information contact Debbie Wild on 07773 318830.    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 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 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

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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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