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

Campaigning for a better Henley
Previous Editions

Edition 288 - 1st December 2011
Warwickshire Village Competitions
Winner 2007 & Bronze 2009 & 2010

Harry Joseph Hall

19th December 1989 – 17th October 2011

imageOver 100 mourners attended the Robin Hood Crematorium on 21st November to express their sympathy to Harry’s family, to bear witness together their shock at Harry’s untimely and unexplained death and to draw comfort from one another as they mourned a young man whose life had been much too short.

Harry arrived in Henley at the age of thirteen and the town knew immediately that he was here. He was one of a group of youngsters who challenged every aspect of the civilised life so treasured by the residents of our town. This group of mainly boys seemed to have no boundaries, no respect for themselves or others; they had no ambition, no desire to do well in school and spent their time making life very difficult for their fellow citizens and parents. I know this because at the time I was working as the Youth Leader at The Hub Youth and Community Centre. In that capacity I eventually persuaded them to come into the club intending to encourage them to make better choices, to use their energies more productively.

It was in this environment that I began to understand Harry for what he was, an intelligent and creative lad with a huge personality and a clear leader in his group. I was a school mentor and youth leader to him and in our sessions together he demonstrated qualities that should produce a useful and constructive member of society. With Harry’s help the association of youngsters became involved in a project to build the skate park, still enjoyed by youngsters almost every day now. Harry was prepared to engage with the adults around him who enabled this group of young men and some dedicated adults to raise £35,000 and eventually build the skate area. His leadership was also crucial to the project’s success.

I know his teachers at school and the leaders at the youth club recognised that there were several important opportunities to work with Harry in order for him to change direction. However at each and every time when this occurred there was a more powerful and destructive occurrence in his life which tore him away from this chance to change. As good neighbours there were several really dedicated people in Henley who tried desperately to fill the void of family for Harry and tried so hard to create those opportunities for the change of direction we all hoped would happen for Harry.

imageProfessionals and good neighbours stand together at this sad time and ask themselves could we have done more, was there something different we could have introduced into the mix to achieve our heartfelt wishes for Harry’s future? The fact is that Harry was his own man and turned away from the courses of action presented by those who cared about him to live the life he had decided upon. His young life was filled with extraordinary and challenging occurrences most of which will never be experienced in the long lives given to most, but he remained resilient, cheerful, always ready for a joke, immensely popular amongst his peers. He had obtained a job at the recycling shop and was back in touch with his sister, showing every sign of turning things around. Our sorrow is that he never lived to fulfil his true potential.

For the professional, it makes us even more determined to use our skills to work with those young people who need that extra help to grow up, for the good neighbours they will always be on the lookout for those who need a little extra care. Harry’s legacy is many happy memories for those who were his closest friends and a steely determination within the professionals and neighbours to strive as hard as we can for the young people who need our support now and in the future.

Brian and Sue Westmacott who knew and loved Harry would like to start a fund to collect money to buy a seat in Henley Skate Park in Harry's memory.  Harry was the Chairman of the Hub Skate Park Committee and we feel this young life should be remembered by those who knew him in Henley.  We propose to have a collection box in the shop and anyone wishing to donate please do so between the hours of 9 - 2 pm.  We propose to have the fund open until the end of December.

Peter Crathorne

Henley War Memorial Trust

imageThe clubs who share the sports grounds are reporting another excellent year.

The system introduced by the Trust which means that the clubs manage their own affairs at the sports grounds is working well, the budget balanced this year and the costs are only increasing slightly.

The Trust congratulated the clubs on another impressive year of service to our community.

The Trustees agreed a strategy for resolving the dispute with Brian Yeates Associates, the providers of the Summer Music Festival and the matter has been settled. This has been achieved without using revenue and reserve funds allocated to the Sports Grounds, the Memorial Hall and the Youth Club. The outcome has created a setback for the Pavilion Refurbishment Fund.

Appreciation was expressed to those clubs who invested a substantial amount of time in this project. The Trustees have ensured that all aspects of the Trust's operation have been protected from the loss except the Pavilion Building Fund. The building project itself is undergoing a complete review starting with a viability and sustainability assessment. The report from this group is expected in May when a further decision about the Pavilion Refurbishment will be made.


imageThe Trust confirmed their strong commitment to the project to rescue the Youth and Community centre from closure. The Steering Group set up as a subcommittee of the Managing Trustees has raised almost £30,000 to ensure the centre will be able to continue to provide and improve on the existing community services for the next few years.

The Hub@Henley Youth and Community Centre is in the final stages of a community transfer from Warwickshire County Council to the Trust and if the final decisions go our way will join the Trust's portfolio of community resources.

This will prevent the centre from closing and enable the continuance of the valuable work that serves our community. If you would like to support this worthwhile project then contact Peter Crathorne.

imageThe Memorial Hall maintains its excellent record, delivering high quality provision for a wide range of users.

The management team of Duncan and Marijana Bainbridge and Brian Hammond has ensured by careful management and superb money raising events that the new heating system is now a definite plan.

The photo shows the Guild Hall Trust fashion show held in the hall in September.

The trustees expressed their thanks to this dedicated team.

There will be a lot more information about all these projects at the Annual General Meeting of the Trust which  takes place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 25th January 2011 in the Memorial Hall. This is an open meeting for all Henley Residents and everyone will be welcome. We shall be electing trustees, hearing reports of the year's successes and planning for the future.

Peter Crathorne, Chairman of the Trustees

JPC criticised by Stratford District Council

Monitoring Officer says "Simply reinforce the perceptions that the Parish Council is Dysfunctional"

imageStratford District Council's Standards & Ethics Committee has failed to sort out the "Dysfunctional" Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Joint Parish Council and will wash its hands of this authority. The District Council has attempted to sort out the problems of factionalism in the JPC but with no result in sight they are pulling out.

In August 2010, a complaint (SEC019) was lodged by the parish clerk, Mrs Jenny Walsh, against Cllr Bill Leech. After an investigation lasting almost 6 months and costing around £10,000, he was found guilty on one minor matter. All the rest of the allegations were rejected. He had to serve a two week suspension and the Ethics committee asked for the whole parish council, including the clerk, to agree to professional mediation.

Liam Nevin, the District Council's Monitoring Officer, who was not at the meeting, had reported that mediation was not possible because of the large number of councillors declining to participate, along with the parish clerk. Cllr Leech had supported mediation. In a letter to the parish clerk and the chairman of the Joint Parish Council, Cllr Roger Hubbocks, the Monitoring Officer had said: "I am dismayed by the manner in which the matter has been addressed and which I fear will simply reinforce the perceptions expressed by the sub-committee that the Parish Council is Dysfunctional."

Mr Nevin asked the committee to close the case and the committee agreed with his recommendation.

Mrs Walsh told the press that the Henley Joint Parish Council has made no proposals to change the way it operates!

Cllr Leech said: "I do not believe I have ever done anything wrong. I have challenged the excessive and unnecessary expenditure by the parish council. Let's hope that a new, fully functional and inclusive council will be elected next May.

Respected Resident Comments

Dear Editor,

I cannot believe the pomposity and disdain with which certain members of our local parish council are treating their positions. This includes the Chairman Cllr Roger Hubbocks, the previous Chairman Cllr Len Goodman and the parish clerk Mrs Jenny Walsh. She in particular has it seems been nothing but a real trouble maker since taking the position. She is after all only a clerk

Roll on May and hopefully the residents of Henley will see sense and elect people who put the residents first and not themselves. I would insist these councillors contribute towards the £10,000 they have wasted on our behalf.

Peter Knight - Resident of Henley

Henley Police Station - Lease For Sale

imageA long-term lease for Henley's Police Station will shortly be advertised. This property has been considered by a group of councillors as a possible location for the library and larger JPC offices.

Four other Warwickshire police stations at Coleshill, Alcester, Warwick and Wellesbourne along with the force’s former headquarters, a 55-acre estate at Leek Wootton, will be offered for sale.

It is expected disposal terms for all the properties will be agreed shortly after the Christmas period. Henley NEWS has been told that there is interest in the lease being acquired for a quality private hotel.

JPC objects to advertising for new councillors

imageIn the same way as it is said "turkeys don't vote for Christmas", it appears the JPC does not go for competitive elections. The parish clerk, Mrs Jenny Walsh, has asked without it being discussed by the council for the banner below to be "removed from your website forthwith".

Presumably, this dysfunctional council would prefer to co-opt their friends rather than have an election. The average age of JPC councillors is around 70 years. The average age of the residents is probably around 40 years.

Henley NEWS ran a similar campaign four years ago, which resulted in 2 new parish councillors.

Stratford District Council approves the 'Become a Councillor' Advert

Stratford District Council has emailed Henley NEWS advising that: "The District Council has received correspondence regarding this and has responded accordingly.
"There isn’t anything within electoral legislation regarding this concern, but the District Council does regard this as good practice to invite people to be a Councillor (above the statutory notices) and the District Council usually holds an open evening for all prospective candidates."


Thinking of becoming a

Parish Councillor?

Election for a new Parish Council in May 2012




There are 12 people in Henley wanting to change the way the Parish Council is run.

Are you one of them?          Contact: Mike Willmott

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden

Visit the Henley-in-Arden Town Website at:

This website is sponsored by the Henley War Memorial Trust
and receives no money from public funds


Walk in the Steps of Shakespeare

imageOn Saturday 26th November 2011, the Churches Conservation Trust unveiled two new information boards by Jo Cross (regional development officer) and Laura Samuels (project manager) at Billesley.

One of the boards gives information about the church. The other shows the site of the deserted village, which was abandoned during the 15th century due to poor harvests and the plague. These form “part of a guided trail around the Warwickshire villages of Billesley, Wilmcote and Aston Cantlow called, “Walk in the steps of Shakespeare”, which was created in collaboration with Aston Cantlow and District History Society.

The ceremony was followed by a cream tea in the Great Hall at The Barceló Billesley Manor Hotel. During the afternoon, Diabolus Musica, a group of musicians and singers dressed in mediaeval costume and using replicas of authentic instruments, entertained the assembled company.

This event was the final stage of a two year project to raise the profile of the church and research the Shakspeare connection, which was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

All Saints rises from a lovely wooded churchyard in the hamlet of Billesley near Stratford-upon-Avon. From its approach through an avenue of limes it looks like a Georgian country church – but its origins go back 1,000 years.

imageThe church served the thriving village of Billesley for centuries, but by 1428 only four parishioners were left, and the church’s north aisle was demolished. Tradition has it that William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway here in 1582, and that his granddaughter’s wedding also took place at Billesley. Sadly no parish registers survive from this time to prove it.

In 1692, Bernard Whalley rebuilt the church to create a fashionable classical addition to his Billesley estate. He installed a gallery for his staff complete with a butler’s boxed seat. Whalley’s own pew had a fine classical fireplace. His body lies, with his wife Lucy, in a sealed vault beneath the sanctuary floor.

Some remains of the early church survive, in particular the two spectacular 12th century stone carvings, which you can see on the east wall of the vestry. One, a richly decorated tympanum, shows a soldier in a kilt, a snake, a dragon and a bird, all surrounded by wonderfully twisted foliage. The other is part of a stone cross on which is a carved figure of Christ holding the hand of another person.

The Barceló Billesley Manor Hotel is a 16th Century Elizabethan country house with a 100 year old listed Topiary Garden. The hotel is surrounded by 11 acres of Warwickshire countryside and is just three miles from Stratford-upon-Avon and 12 miles from Warwick. It is within a stone's throw of All Saints and the staff act as custodians, opening and closing the church every day.

Download our brochure about the deserted village of Billesley and this event

The Churches Conservation Trust is the national charity protecting historic churches at risk. The Trust has saved over 340 beautiful buildings which attract more than 2 million visitors a year. With help and support these churches are kept open and in use – living once again at the heart of their communities.

War Memorial at Warwickshire College

imageAt this year's Remembrance Day service, the Rector Rev John Ganjavi, said during his sermon that the community respected the names on the Town’s war memorials but we did not know about these brave young men from Henley and the surrounding area who had died, especially during the First World War.

Dr Douglas Bridgewater, a former High Bailiff and an expert on the history of the First World War, was in the congregation and during the following week he visited the Arden House War Memorial in the grounds of Warwickshire College with Mr Dennis Cox, Chairman of the British Legion. Dr Bridgewater told Dennis Cox about the history behind some of the names on it.

Following this visit, Douglas offered to provide Henley NEWS with a booklet about all the pupils of Arden House School who died in the First World War.

Arden House was a boys preparatory school during the two world wars and when Warwickshire College acquired the estate, they agreed to take over caring for the memorial.

Download the booklet

Twinning Meeting

Heritage Centre, Thursday 15th December at 8pm.

imageI’ve had some more correspondence with Jean Christophe Bisson in Montfort sur Risle. He had a meeting with the secondary school there who are very interested in establishing links with our high school, in some form or other. He also spoke to the president of the local football team who are also keen on organising tours to the UK and vice-versa.
It is therefore time to decide how we want to proceed with the Twinning. To this end, I have scheduled a meeting for Thursday 15th December at 8pm in the Heritage Centre. Ray Holding from the Heritage Centre has kindly offered the use of the meeting room they have there – but space is limited.
There are several confirmed attendees already, so if you are interested in coming to the meeting, I’d be most grateful if you could let me know in advance.

Simon Watkins  07977 482879

Twinning Italian/Greek Style

Some years ago a small rural town in Italy twinned with a similar town in Greece.

The Mayor of the Greek town visited the Italian town. When he saw the palatial mansion belonging to the Italian mayor he wondered how he could afford such a house. The Italian said, "You see that bridge over there? The EU gave us a grant to build a two-lane bridge, but by building a single lane bridge with traffic lights at either end this house could be built."

The following year the Italian visited the Greek town. He was simply amazed at the Greek Mayor's house, gold taps, marble floors, it was marvelous. When he asked how this could be afforded the Greek said; "You see that bridge over there?"
The Italian replied: "No."

Submitted by Dan Wild - out of Town reader

MP impressed with pond improvements


imageOn Friday 25th November, Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi (Conservative) visited Henley-in-Arden to inspect the progress made on the Parish Pool.

In 2011 a Big Lottery grant of £10,000  was made to Henley Wildlife Society for a pond dipping platform to be built alongside the pool by Warwickshire Wildlife.

Due to the dry summer and autumn the pool suffered by a shortage of water, so the the Wildlife Society arranged to have the pool replenished by the local Fire Brigade through the good offices of fire chief Richard Butler who used it as an exercise for his men last Tuesday night. The Wildlife Society much appreciated this service to the community.

Those present on Friday were: Nadhim Zahawi MP, District Councillors George Matheou and Stephen Thirlwell, Parish Council Chairman Roger Hubbocks, Julie Turner from Warwickshire Wildlife, David Evason Henley Wildlife Society and a representative from Big Lottery.

Nadim told Henley NEWS: "The Big Lottery fund is a great supporter of Big Society projects such as the Henley pond. It was fantastic to meet those that have been involved and hear about how the pond is being used and will be used in the future. The hard work of everyone involved should be celebrated.”

The project is now complete with the exception of the information board which will be erected shortly.
John Love, Treasurer of Henley Wildlife - photographs and report

Henley and Beaudesert Society November Meeting

That’s the Way to do it

imageAs the title might suggest, we were hugely entertained by Quentin Greatorex as he expounded on the history of Punch and Judy before treating us to a typical performance.

Punch and Judy effectively began in this country in 1662, in the early liberating days of the Restoration after the constraints of the Cromwell era. Indeed no less a person than Samuel Pepys recorded seeing a ‘Pollicinella’ show and King Charles was so intrigued that he asked a puppeteer to come and play to him at court. However there is strong evidence that puppets go back to the 14th century and probably emanated from Italy. Originally puppets tended to be controlled by strings before moving on to the more familiar glove puppets typified by Punch and Judy.

Punch and Judy shows in their modern form date from 1827 when three men, including an Italian named Purchini, met and in the subsequent year produced and published the first scripts. And to obtain payment for the shows an interesting character called a ‘Bottler’ would go round the audience and collect their money. The Victorian period saw the peak popularity of Punch and Judy shows with them being very much an entertainment for adults, whereas nowadays they are geared towards a more juvenile clientele. Audience cries of ‘Oh yes we do’ and ‘It’s behind you’ are more modern phenomena with the Victorians not really going in for audience participation.

Our speaker then shared with us some of the tricks of the trade, in particular how Mr Punch obtains his distinctive voice. This is done by the performer putting a small metal piece in his mouth called a swazzle and speaking through it. Sometimes Punch’s words can be a bit indistinct and for this reason the other character will usually repeat the words in a normal voice. Interestingly ‘Judy’ was originally ‘Joan’ and referred to as Joany, but because of the distorted effect of speaking through a swazzle Joany comes out as Judy and so the name has stuck.

In the second half, Quentin resplendent in a multi coloured waistcoat, gave us an actual Punch and Judy show. All the familiar characters were there including of course Punch with a big stick, and Judy together with her baby. Joey the clown and the policeman made appearances as also did the crocodile and the ghost. The dog and sausage machine provoked much mirth with the former being processed through the latter; perhaps this is where a modern ‘hot dog’ gets its name from. Being a grown up audience we saw the sketch with a hangman and scaffold. However judging by the enthusiastic audience response, we were still very much childlike in spirit.

The talk was followed by the usual refreshments and chat. Next month, the Society Christmas party is on Thursday 8th December at the Baptist church hall and will include a highly amusing talk by the ‘Whistleblower’, Simon Topman. (This will be a different talk from the very successful one given recently at the Town Dinner.) Tickets in advance from Pat Kench on 795419.

Andrew Yarwood reporting

Parishioners delight at Christmas bazaar Result

imageOrganisers of the St Johns Church Christmas Bazaar were delighted when they learnt that just over £2000 had been raised on the day, Saturday 26th November, for church funds.

Visitors were able  buy goods from some 21 stands as well enjoy light refreshments and lunch.

A spokesman said, "The amount raised has set a record for this event; we are absolutely delighted. Times are hard and we appreciate the support we have had from our own parishioners and the people of Henley in these very difficult times."

Rob Kingscott reporting



Henley-in-Arden Flower Club Open Show


imageMembers, visitors and guests of Henley-in-Arden Flower Club enjoyed a spectacular evening on the 8th November when Michael Bowyer provided a floral demonstration entitled ‘Flowers for the Festive Season’. Michael’s demonstration gave attendees ideas and inspiration for decorating their own homes this Christmas as well as sharing tips on a range of floral techniques.

Michael is a previous silver medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show and in 2009 was a member of the NAFAS gold medal winning team. He has designed flower festivals in many cathedrals including the Flower Festival at Salisbury Cathedral in June of this year. So it came as no surprise that guests enjoyed a wonderful evening.

President of the Henley-in-Arden Flower Club Annette Walker commented that there were ‘not enough words to summarise the wonderful arrangements that Michael had created’. The flowers and foliage were stunning and varied and provided ideas which addressed a broad range of tastes and styles.

Michael has demonstrated all over the world including Canada, New Zealand and Barbados and his designs included inspiration and plant material from many of these countries. His name might be familiar as he appeared as a judge on the BBC series The Great British Village Show presented by Alan Titchmarsh.

The Flower Club has a range of workshops and demonstrations organised for 2012. This includes a demonstration by Tan Strong, who recently worked with Kirsty Alsopp on Handmade Britain, in June which promises to be a real treat. The club meets on the second Tuesday in each month at the Memorial Hall. Visitors are always welcome and additional information on club events are available from Paula Pugh on 07974640994.

Paula Pugh reporting

COOLSPORTZ Launches Christmas Sports Camp

Parents stuck for time getting everything sorted for Christmas are being given a lifeline from local children’s sports and exercise specialists, Coolsportz, which will be running its regular school holiday programme.

The Henley in Arden based sports activity company will be running their Multi Sports Camp with plenty of activities planned to keep kids aged 4 to 14 active and entertained through the holiday.

The Camp held at Warwickshire College in Henley in Arden is OFSTED REGISTERED and therefore accepts childcare vouchers. Sessions will be running all week from Mon 19th – Fri 23rd December 2011 and children can attend half day morning or afternoon sessions or full day sessions (full day only for 5 – 14yrs). It is based on a fun multi-sports programme offering tennis, football, unihoc, parachute games, extreme dodgeball and much more. All children who attend will also have the chance to explore their creative side with art and craft workshops.

Coolsportz camps provide a fun, structured programme giving children the chance to improve hand eye co-ordination, footwook, balance and speed. Additionally, children can develop their cognitive, leadership and teamworking skills as well as the chance to make new friends.

Coach Neil Supperstone, who will be running the Camp, says: “Coolsportz camps provide children with a brilliant chance to have fun while taking part in different sports that help boost their fitness levels. Sessions are held in fantastic indoor and outdoor facilities, so the camps will be run no matter what the great British weather throws at us.”

For further information please visit or to book your place on the Coolsportz Christmas Camp please contact Neil Supperstone on 07912 664426 or email Book and pay before Mon 12th December and receive a 10% discount.

Lucy-Jane Webster reporting

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Advertisement Feature for the benefit of the Guild Hall Trust

Part Ex - Makes Moving To Farriers Cross a Breeze

imagelogoAre you desperately trying to sell your current house so you can finally move into the home of your dreams? Then Taylor Wimpey Midlands has the perfect solution for you at its Farriers Cross development in Henley in Arden.

The house builders’ Part Exchange* scheme has been designed to help those who would love to move but can’t because they still have a house to sell. Taylor Wimpey will act as the cash buyer on your current property, leaving you free to move into a new home at Farriers Cross as soon as it’s built!

Anne Wallace, regional sales and marketing director for Taylor Wimpey Midlands, explains more: “Part exchange provides a fantastic solution to your home sale problems, so if you think you’re destined to be stuck in your current home forever then don’t despair! Come along to Farriers Cross, take a look at the stunning homes on offer and speak to our experienced sales team to find out how we can help get you moving. If you discover we can help then the whole valuation process can take place within days – meaning you could be selling your home to us and moving into a new one sooner than you think!”

Under the scheme, Taylor Wimpey buys your current home at an agreed price, saving you the stress and expense of finding the right buyer. With no need to instruct estate agents, you’ll also be saving money on fees, leaving you with spare cash to spend on the more exciting things like furnishing your new home. And with no chain to maintain, your move can be arranged so you’re in the property in next to no time.

Easy Mover Eases Those Moving Woes

Finding your dream home is often the easy part of house buying, however if you have a home you can’t sell the whole process can be made a lot harder. Just like with part exchange, the leading house builder’s Easymover* scheme is designed to help those who are struggling to sell their current home. Once you’ve reserved your plot, Taylor Wimpey, with the help of pre-selected estate agents, will help you find a buyer usually within four weeks of going on the market. Everything’s arranged for you, the bill is picked up and you pay no moving costs**.

Anne adds: “If part exchange isn’t for you then our Easymover scheme is a fantastic way to take the stress and expense out of selling your old home. Not only will we market your home for you, we’ll pay your agents’ fees which can save you thousands – perfect for this time of year as it leaves more money to spend on Christmas!”

Stunning Homes Delightfully Located

Farriers Cross is set in the heart of Henley In Arden, a charming village steeped in history and surrounded by stunning Warwickshire countryside. The High Street offers designer shops, refreshments and an array of gastro bars and coffee shops. Being a conservation area the town lists over 150 buildings as being of special architectural or historic interest. Close by is Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare, and the delightful towns of Warwick, Kenilworth and Leamington Spa.

Currently available at Farriers Cross is a range of two bedroom coach houses, priced from £174,995, and three, four and five bedroom homes, priced from £239,995. For further information visit Farriers Cross, open Thursday to Monday from 10am – 5pm, call 0845 026 5159. Alternatively log onto:

Rachel Tillman reporting

Contamination levels in recycling reduce

SDCStratford-on-Avon District Council’s drive to reduce contamination levels in recycling is paying off with the release of the most recent contamination figures for October.


In September, the District Council launched a campaign to help reduce the amount of non-recyclable material in recycling bins with the aim of improving the quality of material collected, minimising environmental impact and keeping landfill tax down. From recently released figures the message appears to be working.

As part of the campaign during September residents with non-recycled material in their blue-lidded bins, received information in the form of ‘warning’ stickers. Following this, residents are being asked to remove non-recyclable materials before their bins will be emptied.

Cllr Mike Brain, Technical Services Portfolio says: “Stratford District residents have shown they are great at recycling as we've almost reached a 60 per cent recycling rate. But it is extremely important that we give a clear message to residents about what should and shouldn’t be placed in their blue-lidded recycling bin.

“These recent figures show that the levels of contamination are reducing and that’s down to the diligence of our residents – it’s thanks to them that our recycling figures are the best in Warwickshire and it shows what we can achieve by all working together.”

Henley Primary visited by the fire service

imageChildren from the Year One class were visited by Warwickshire Fire Service recently to relay an important message about fire safety.

The children were taught about the dangers of playing with matches, the difference between a good fire and a bad fire, what to do if their clothes were on fire and what to do if their house caught fire.

At the end of the session, they also made their class teacher dress in the fire uniform. This was to help the children to remember what the items of clothing were called.

They found the whole afternoon very interesting and especially liked seeing their teacher dressed in the fire uniform – she was not so impressed!

Elaine Field reporting

Taxpayers fund trade unions £113 million pa

imageA devastating new report by the Tax Payers Alliance reveals the value of direct grants and paid time off that trade unions receive from taxpayers. In the run up to the disruptive strikes on November 30th we expose the staggering £113 million of your money that the unions raked in over the last financial year.

There are now at least the equivalent of 2,840 full time staff working on trade union activities or duties at taxpayers’ expense. Taxpayers shouldn’t be funding staff to work for trade unions, providing them with a huge activist base to support strikes and freeing up resources for political campaigns.

It is yet another burden on hard pressed families, diverting money they expect to be spent on frontline services. The trade unions should pay for this staff time themselves.

St Mary’s says NO to strike action!

Many teachers’ unions have balloted about the proposed strike action on Wednesday 30th November. There are several schools in the local area that are closing on this day, however St Mary’s, Henley will remain open.

My First Day at St Mary’s

imageAs soon as my mum and I walked onto the playground, Charlotte and Ellen came running up to me. I was a little nervous about what the class and the teacher was going to be like, however I have only heard good comments about them, which is a good thing. We all lined up and I said goodbye to my Mum and the last words she said was “Good Luck, I love you.”

Walking into class was probably the most exciting thing because everyone welcomed me and I felt happy again. I was extremely pleased when I was told that I had to sit by Ellen for the week because I partly already knew her. Mr Irvine came up to me and discussed the mental maths work that we had to do in our ‘rough books.’ Afterwards was maths, now I really enjoyed that, I did an entire page which was excellent and then learned that I had got a house point which was even better.

Suddenly, it was break time! The morning had gone so quick. I suppose the saying is true then – ‘time goes fast when you’re having fun.’ Charlotte, Ellen, Lily, Melissa and myself all played catch which I really enjoyed.

Mr Irvine is my second male teacher and both of them are funny, kind, bubbly plus more. I also liked the fact that everyone introduced themselves to me and they are all nice, kind people.

Afterwards, we were doing guided writing and we were talking about short and long sentences. I did a whole paragraph and at the end of that lesson, Mr Irvine gave me a green card! Next was finding facts about Neil Armstrong. I liked that lesson because I found out a lot of facts about him that I didn’t even know. The thing I still want to find out about is where exactly in the world is Ohio!

Lunchtime……. What I like about this school because it is much smaller than my old school we get to go for lunch straight away whereas at my old school we had to wait for ages.

After lunch it was children’s reading time and I am reading ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Do Days.’ That day I read 11 pages. This is the 3rd Wimpy Kid book I have read and I really enjoy them. I have really enjoyed today at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and I can’t wait to go there tomorrow! It has been great.

Sophie Cox aged 10 reporting

Record Breaking Open Day at St Mary’s

imageSt. Mary’s Catholic Primary School had the highest ever turn out for its Open Day on Monday 14th November. We had visits from local councillors, prospective parents and members of the community. The children in Year 6 were given the responsibility of showing people around the school and did an exceptional job of showing the community all the changes that have occurred within the school since the change in headship from September 2011.

imageWe have received many cards of praise about the children and their outstanding manners and thanking us for our hospitality.

Anyone who missed Open Day but would like to have a look round the school is invited to telephone the school on 01564 792316 to make an appointment. Applications for places in our Reception class for 2012 need to be sent to the local authority by 16th January 2012.

Jacqui Le Maitre, Executive Head teacher at St Mary’s, pictured top right and Kathryn pictured with Hattie, who will be starting at St Mary’s in 2012, pictured bottom left.

Rachel Saltmarsh reporting

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden

Visit the Henley-in-Arden Town Website at:

This website is sponsored by the Henley War Memorial Trust
and receives no money from public funds


Anglo-Italian Society Birthday Party


Franco and Barbara admire the birthday cake.

The Anglo-Italian Society
held a special birthday party for the president, Commandatore Franco Vegnuti, who was for many years the Italian Consul in Birmingham and the founder of the Anglo-Italian Society. Franco and his wife Barbara have lived for many years in Rowington.

60 members met at The Crown Inn Italy in Claverdon, which has recently been acquired by Massimo Bertoli. The inn is being developed with the theme of a local taste of Italy. All the members remarked on the outstanding quality of the menu. (01926 842210


Heartstart Resucitated

imageFriends of Heartstart, the organisation founded to support the Henley-in-Arden First Responder team, are delighted that a new and reinvigorated team of Community First Responders has been set up. At their AGM 7.30pm, on 12th December 2011 at the Hub@Henley Youth and Community Centre situated at Henley School (used to be the High School) grounds they will be welcoming the new volunteers, changing the constitution and name to mark the new team's name and welcoming all in Henley who would support this excellent life saving venture.

For a number of years this vital group has struggled for volunteers. John Pudney and his team have breathed new life into the scheme and are offering new volunteers top notch training, a specially marked car for the volunteers to travel to emergencies, continuous training and support from the West Midland Ambulance Service and the opportunity for everyone to gain life saving skills and to deliver to Henley and the surrounding district an essential service that will save lives.

All Henley Residents are warmly invited to this important meeting.

For further details please e-mail: or Contact John Pudney 797949

Residents facing eviction urged to seek help

imageThe economic recession is taking its toll on residents in the Stratford upon Avon area, with a growing number of people facing court proceedings and eviction from their homes as a result of getting into arrears with rent or mortgage payments.

In 2010/11, of the 243 housing cases listed, only 50% of defendants actually attended their hearing at Stratford County Court. Sue Green, Manager at Stratford upon Avon and District Citizen’s Advice Bureau [CAB] elaborates: “Unfortunately, non-attendance at court increases the likelihood of households being evicted and we fear this will get worse now that Stratford County Court has closed and people are having to travel to Leamington for their hearing”.

But residents with problems can access help. As a result of support from the District Council, the Town Trust and a number of social landlords, the CAB in Stratford now employs Heather Fellows, a Housing and Money Advice Caseworker. She is able to attend court hearings and can offer free advice and support to residents before, during and after a court session, including representing those with arrears before the Judge. Last year 72 households facing eviction were represented.

“It’s never too late for us to help, but it’s always easier to resolve housing issues if we get to see people at the earliest opportunity,” explains Heather. “It’s key that tenants and home owners react to any communications from their lender or landlord and try to reach a new re-payment agreement, which we are happy to check for affordability. Finally, attending a court hearing always improves the chances of achieving a more positive outcome.”

Anyone needing help with rent or mortgage payment arrears is encouraged to contact the local CAB on 0844 855 2322. Telephone line opening times are published on the CAB website:

Steve Johnson reporting

Simplified Economics Lesson


When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed - Is this man truly a genius?

imageAn economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equaliser.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on how socialism works. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for pounds - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. It could not be any simpler than that.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read and all are applicable to this experiment:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Richard Stait reporting

Defeat for lions in friendly against Old Yards

Saturday 26th November 2011


Try scorer – Scott Conduit


Prop Chris Lowe tries to outrun the opposition

Claverdon hosted Old Yards in a friendly but with so many 1st team players unavailable it was decided to play an A side against an Old Yards side who played in the league above. With a lot of the players playing out of position, the home side more than held their own in the first half and went ahead with a try from captain Scott Conduit. Old Yards replied with a try of their own to leave the scores level at 5-5 at half time.

Old Yards made the most of the slope and wind in the second half and managed to score a further 3 tries to win the game 24-5.

5-24 Full Time

Claverdon are back in league action this weekend when they host Birmingham Civil Service for what will be a very tough game. All support will be welcome.

Match report by Tom Johnson
Photos by Will Barnes

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imageMake Henley Greener
Our Award Winning Column
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Not another graph !!

I make no apologies because this graph shows several important things. The green line shows that since 2004 the UK has been an importer of gas.

imageThe blue line shows that the reason we now import gas is declining UK production. The red line shows how much gas we use and that there has been a slow decline since 2004, but not as much as the decline in production. The red line and blue line together show that we now import about half of our gas and that this percentage is going to continue to increase. Importing so much gas is bad for the UK economy and it makes the UK vulnerable to world gas prices, which are continuing to rise as demand outstrips supply.

We can’t do anything about the blue line because North Sea gas is now fully exploited – we're not going to find any more gas fields. We can do something about the future shape of the red line by cutting gas use. The majority of the gas is used in heating our homes and making electricity. The amounts of gas and electricity used can be reduced by insulating our homes, turning thermostats down and turning electrical equipment off as soon as we’ve finished using it. Reducing gas consumption this way saves you money and helps with the UK balance of payments. It also reduces Carbon pollution. That’s three wins: help your pocket, help the UK economy and help reduce climate change by taking steps to reduce gas consumption.

Free loft insulation
I have two rolls of 170 mm (top up) loft insulation available free of charge to first claimant. Total area 16.5 sq m call 01564 792251.

John Stott

Latest Scams

Broadband Scam in Alcester

imagePlease be aware that there have been a number of incidents where residents in Alcester have been pressurised on the doorstep by two Asian men who said they were calling about Broadband. These incidents have left householders very shaken. Please report any similar incident to the Police.  01789 444816

NHW has a card which can be displayed on front doors which clearly states, WE DO NOT BUY" FROM CALLERS AT THE DOOR" and householders can refer to that if they feel under pressure.  If you want one of these cards please email me. Please also remember never to let cold callers into your house.

Steve Johnson

Postal Scam - Don't ring 0906  6611911 (a Premium rate number)

A card is posted through your door  from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they  were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact the m on 0906  6611911 (a Premium rate number).

DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize .

If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will have been billed £315 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these  details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655.

Lloyds Bank Customers


Lloyds TSB customers are warned to beware of a 'phishing' email that falsely claims to have been issued by Lloyds TSB. The bank has confirmed that this is a malevolent email.

The link will take you to a fake bank website from which your personal or financial details could be stolen. It is very convincing at first sight because it follows the bank's corporate style.

If you think an email is genuine, contact the bank using a publicly listed email address, telephone number or website.

Always type the web address directly into your browser.

For more information on all scams, visit Trading Standards at:

John Garner's Business Column

John GarnerPresenteeism

Pardon? Easy – it’s the opposite of absenteeism!

According to a recent survey (yes, another one) only a little more than half of employees in the UK used up their full holiday entitlement last year. By a simple deduction that means just under half of them didn’t take all their holiday.

Maybe that’s not too surprising now that the minimum holiday entitlement is now 28 working days a year (plus or including bank holidays according to the employment contract). Some organisations, notably the Civil Service, have much more generous terms than that. But remember, nowadays holidays not taken cannot legally be carried over to the following holiday year.

It seems quite normal for some employees to be checking their e-mail while on holiday. Some will work from their sickbeds, rushing back to the office before they are properly recovered. In the present economic climate it is easy to imagine why employees may not want to be seen to be absent for any reason, however legitimate.

A recent report by The Work Foundation argued that the cost of presenteeism “could match or account for one-and-a-half times more working time lost than the estimated £13bn annual cost of sickness absence.” It also argued that “sickness presence was a much more prevalent malaise than sickness absence and could prompt higher levels of the latter, as well as simply being a drain on productivity and competitiveness.”

The problem for many employers is not that they are making unreasonable demands on their employees but that employees are willingly taking on an unreasonable workload. 

So what can employers do?

Employers have a legal duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of their employees.  This extends to ensuring that employees are not working excessive hours and are suitably rested.  So employers need to encourage employees to take their statutory annual leave entitlement - though this may be difficult for a small business under pressure in these hard times.

The same duty applies to employees who are ill: their condition could be made worse if they are actually working from their sick beds rather than being allowed to, or taking the opportunity to, recover. 

Maintain a dialogue with your employees. Monitor their holidays and remind them when the end of the holiday year is approaching. Make sure that their work is covered by someone else, as far as possible, while they are away.

When they are off sick enquire occasionally how they are, and use that as an opportunity to remind them that you are not expecting them to do any work. Have a chat with them when they return and satisfy yourself that they are fit to return. If you have serious doubts you can seek further medical advice from an occupational health practitioner.

John Garner - Business Correspondent

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Nadhim Zahawi is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Stratford upon Avon and he has said, "I am extremely keen on hearing your views so please feel free to contact me."

Get in Touch with Nadhim


Many residents find it difficult to know to which of the three levels of local government to refer their questions.

To assist residents Henley NEWS provides a service enabling a question to be sent to the elected representatives on the County, District and Parish councils simultaneously.

Click on the link below to send your enquiry.


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'Ask Your Councillor' - Out of Date Yellow Lines

Dear Councillor,

It is now over 7 months since the market closed, some of the houses have been built and most of the remainder are well on their way.

Surely progress should have been made on removing the out of date, single yellow lines, in the immediate area ?
Stephen Hunter - Brook End Drive.

Dear Mr Hunter,
Just to let you know a traffic regulation order has now been raised for the removal of the single yellow lines in Arden Road, Price Harry Road, Harris Close, Fieldhouse Close, Riverside Close, Glenhurst Road and Brookend Drive.  The only double yellow lines will be on the corner of Prince Harry Road - this is to prevent vehicles parking on the bend with the Warwick Road junction.
The traffic regulation order will be advertised in December/early January and will then go to the Stratford Area Committee at the March meeting in order for the regulation order to be ratified.  The work to remove the lines will take place in May/June 20212.
Cllr Mike Perry
Telephone: 01564 829214
Mobile: 07973 719326


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Henley NEWS

Henley Diary Dates

Articles and news stories for HENLEY NEWS should be sent to the at any time. Future diary dates should be notified to Margrit Johnson at:

The Switch On of the Henley Christmas Lights will take place on Saturday 3rd December 2011. Starting with a Carol Service at 5.00pm and the SWITCH ON at 5.30pm. Mulled Wine & Mince Pies will be provided by Henley & District Ex Services Social Fund. A Garden Fayre in the Guild Hall Gardens will follow the Switch On.

SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER in the Church Hall at 7.30pm. Teams of 4, £6.00 per person to include a Ploughman's. Cash bar and raffle. Contact Barbara Warmington 793640 for tickets.

Steve Haywood, The Crowman, is coming on Tuesday December 6th to entertain us in the Memorial Hall from 7.30pm. Visitors are welcome to join and view his work.

Saturday 10th December, from 2.00 pm stalls for home made cakes, hand crafts, bric-a-brac. Please do call in! On Tuesday 13th at 1.30 pm our Christmas Concert with pupils of the High School, followed by mince pies. All are invited to come a long to enjoy some seasonal items.

informal Annual Meeting followed by the Christmas Social and Quiz is on Tuesday December 20th in the Baptist Church Hall from 7.45pm. Come and join the fun!

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
logoRotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, is an organisation of more than 55,000 men and women who, as members of over 1,850 Rotary clubs, volunteer their time, talents, professional skills and energy to improving the lives of people in their local communities and others around the world. The Henley-in-Arden Club meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm. New members are always welcome.
Please email Rotarian Michael Redman
imageAre 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 £5.00. 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 Paula Pugh on 015647 42781
2011 Programme

imageThe 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
This is an exciting opportunity to make your mark on what has been a vibrant and successful scout troop. In order for it to continue to provide young people with diverse opportunities we urgently need the support of our local community. Please come forward and find out more about how you can get involved. For more information please contact Simon Cossey on: 07979 240174
Meetings are held on the Second Tuesday each month at 7.30 pm at the Memorial Hall. Secretary Mrs Annette Walker 01564 792837.  Meeting programme
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
Thursdays, 11am at the Baptist Church Hall, High Street. 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.
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.
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.

The Wednesday Club provides a friendly environment where people with visual problems can meet together and enjoy good company, interesting speakers, outings and a delicious tea together.  The Club meets on alternate Wednesday afternoons and welcomes new members. For further information please phone: 0121-705-3926, 01564-792724, 01564-794209 or 01564-792138.

Details about tourist attractions and neighbouring villages can be found on The Henley Town Website

From our own Correspondents

Henley NewsHENLEY NEWS 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

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

Court Leet
Make Henley Greener
Rotary Club
The Henley Society
Henley History
Henley in Bloom
Wild Life Society
Warwickshire College
Henley Diary
Flower Club Paula Pugh
Editorial Team
Proof ReaderJohn Garner
EditorBill Leech
Ullenhall Gardening ClubPenny Stott
WCC Trading Standards
Heritage Centre
Memorial Hall
Henley High School
C of E Primary School Elaine Field
St Mary's Primary School
Drama - HADS
LibrarySue Osborne
Court Leet & HADSAlan Robson
Claverdon & RailwayClive Hanley

Special Correspondents

Henley-in-Arden Church of England Primary School

Our team of Newshounds



Bill Leech - Editor

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