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

Campaigning for a better Henley
Previous Editions

Edition 290 - 12th January 2012
Warwickshire Village Competitions
Winner 2007 & Bronze 2009 & 2010

Parish Council Tax to rise by 5% in 2012/13

imageAt its meeting on Monday 19th December the Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Joint Parish Council approved its budget for 2012/13, shown below right.

The Parish Council Tax (Precept) will rise by 5%. Total Income will be £79,095 (£75,900) and the forecast Total Expenditure will be £82,900 (£84,450). This expenditure figure may be understated as explained below.

imageFor the second year running, the JPC's piggy bank will have to be raided for £3,465 (£9,050) to keep the increase down to 5%. This figure may also be understated. (The figures in brackets are for the previous year).

Salaries and Training costs again dominate the expenditure at £27,500 (£26,300) having risen by a massive 11% over the last two years. Expenditure on repairs and maintenance has now fallen by 35% over the same period. The strategy seems to be to spend more on admin and less on looking after the town.

The Joint Parish Council is one of only two medium sized parish councils in the SDC area to hold 2 council meetings each month.

Henley is the only parish council in the survey to employ a full time clerk. The average hours worked by parish clerks in the survey was only 15.25 hours per week, whereas Henley's clerk is employed for around 37 hours. According to Cllr George Matheou, about 50% of the parish clerk's time has been spent during the last four years co-ordinating complaints against Henley NEWS, often formulating these complaints using the Standards Board regime, which Eric Pickles, Minister for Local Government, accurately criticised as, "fuelling petty complaints and malicious vendettas - most of which would be dismissed but not before reputations were damaged and taxpayer money was wasted. Frivolous allegations undermined local democracy and discouraged people from running for public office."

imageFortunately, the new Localism Bill, which has recently passed in to law, abolished the Standards Board but not before the JPC's complaints last year cost SDC council taxpayers an additional £10,000 and resulted in the JPC being officially declared "dysfunctional". The vast majority of these complaints were thrown out.

Missing from the expenditure budget are the rent and rates for the parish office, the relocation costs for the parish office to move out of the Heritage Centre and the election expenses for the parish council election in May 2012. These items could add more than £5,000 to next year's expenditure. In addition, there maybe pension contributions of £4,500. In total the piggy bank may have to be raided by more than £13,000, not the declared £3,465. Alternatively, the precept could have been increased by around 20% to save any raid on reserves.

According to the BBC, the government has said that any local authority in England wanting to raise council tax by more than 3.5% next year must consult the public in a referendum.

In the 2010 Parish Council Survey, Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Joint Parish Council had the highest precept for medium sized parish councils in the SDC area by a considerable margin. Parish Council Survey 2010

The Conservatives on Stratford-on-Avon District Council are proposing a council tax cut of one per cent in the year from April 2012 to the end of March 2013. However, the district council element of the council tax represents only about 8.5 per cent of the total bill, with the Warwickshire Police share amounting to about 11 per cent and Warwickshire County Council about 76 per cent. A county council spokesman said that at this stage the authority was planning no increase in council tax but no reduction either.

This data was collected from Freedom of Information Act enquiries to all the parish councils in the Stratford District Council area.

Was a £5,000 Grant for new JPC Website Wasted?


OLD Website


NEW Website

In February 2006, the High Bailiff of the time, Dr Douglas Bridgewater, commenting on the first JPC website said, "I am unhappy about the attempt to make it an umbrella site for all the other websites in the town. I think also in a number of ways it falls rather flat. I think what is required is consultation rather than confrontation. I think co-operation rather than dictation. I am concerned that the Parish Council is in some danger of adopting a closed unilateral approach."

During the same period, Nigel Hastilow wrote in Henley NEWS:

"The town does not need a plethora of web-sites all trying to do the same thing, or something similar. On the other hand, why waste taxpayers’ money on something when a more than adequate option – Henley News – already exists? It’s daft, wasteful and disgraceful."

Five years has elapsed, but the JPC Ruling Group still has taken no notice of these criticisms and gone ahead with the development of a new website without any consultation on its design or content with either all the parish councillors or the other websites in the town. Some of our regular readers have already commented on this latest attempt:

"The thought of the JPC having spent £5k on this brings tears to your eyes. They could have given it to the High School as a project and achieved a better result for free.”

"Shame the video, whilst a better attempt than before, is out of date with the wrong High Bailiff and JPC Chairman - a bit of a vanity project for the participants, including Atkinson. The links have not been completed so it gives the appearance of being incomplete and amateurish. It is obviously not going to be a current news source or a compelling view for the objectives and relevance of the JPC."

A Detailed Appraisal of the new JPC website

imageWhy has the JPC launched a new website which is unfinished, inaccurate, and out of date? And who wrote the home page? Henley-in-Arden is mentioned SIX times in one sentence – appalling English and in the case of the “Henley-in-Arden banks” quite wrong; they are national banks which have a branch in Henley.

And why the reference to the three markets which are “ . . still held Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday”? Out of date and inaccurate.

In the first section of the businesses, Arts and Crafts, there are five notes to “(insert picture)”. Unfinished.
In the third section, Business Services, why are 9 of the 12 entries placed on the far right of the page with half the text missing?
The fashion section is a complete mess. Collections closed last year, and half the text is lost off the page, Margaret Dolphin closed several years ago, Margaret and Pamela are half lost off the page, and where are the other dress and shoe shops?
I could go on with nitty-picky comments, but it would take all day.
Henley already has an excellent electronic newsletter which is published fortnightly and sends out interim news flashes AT NO COST to advertisers, readers or council tax payers. There is also a superb Town Website sponsored by the War Memorial Trust, again AT NO COST to advertisers, readers or council taxpayers.

The JPC could have spent £5,000 more wisely

If the JPC really received a £5,000 grant for communications, they could have spent it more wisely by ensuring that everyone with internet access is signed up to Henley News. This free newsletter could then have been used for all their communications. Another opportunity wasted.

As a parish councillor, I would have expected to have been consulted about this considerable investment. I also know of at least one other parish councillor who was not consulted.

Sue Osborne

Sue Osborne has been a resident for over 40 years and is an independent parish councillor.

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.


Disgraceful attack on Peter Crathorne

A one man personal rant by Conservative District Cllr George Matheou

imageIn a recent article in the Stratford Herald about the Sixties Music Festival, (the event organised by the Henley Sports Pavilion Building Fund that took place in September), the information given was a travesty of the truth.

The Stratford Herald revealed that the story came from a one man personal rant by Conservative District Cllr George Matheou, which masquerades as an e-mail newspaper - Henley Times. No attempt to contact Henley War Memorial Trust was made. The Trust wishes to set the record straight regarding the range of inaccurate reporting caused by George Matheou. The amounts of money quoted are wrong, the article creates the impression that payment has only just been made when the matter was settled before the end of November. It was not the Trust who prevented payment to the Artists. The story suggests we had an option to cancel but does not reveal that to do so would have cost the Trust nearly as much as the eventual loss sustained. The delay in settling the bill was caused by some inconsistencies in the invoices, not an inability to pay.

The Trust’s financial stability was not affected by the disappointing loss as they had assured themselves that the worst case risk to their reserves would not damage the underlying security of the Trust before embarking on the project.

imageNo mention was made of the wonderful afternoon enjoyed by over 400 attendees many of whom took the time to contact the Trust to say it was the best event in Henley for a long time and when was the next one? Indeed the Trust wonders why the chairman of the Parish Council was not quoted in the article repeating his very enthusiastic support for the event both before and after. In the photo left, he can be seen enjoying himself at the festival with Cllr Mike Perry and Cllr Stephen Thirlwell. The chairman also knew of the measures the Trust had taken to ensure its financial security before the event was booked. The Trust would have hoped that he could have restored some balance by making sure this was mentioned.


Charity Trustees are the people who serve on the governing body of a charity. They may be known as trustees, directors, board members, governors or committee members. Charity trustees are responsible for the general control and management of the administration of a charity.

The Charity Commission

The article reports that the parish council claim they are trustees. They are NOT and NEVER have been trustees. As the Charity Commission's definition (right) shows, a trustee can only be a person, not a corporate body like a parish council. The Trust deed offers the parish council a chance to nominate one of their number as a trustee. All trustees are individuals and appointed by the Trust itself.

The minutes of the JPC Council meeting of 5th December 2011 state: "The Officer (parish clerk) asked Cllr Leech, why, if the Council and he were both Trustees in equal status, was he privy to information ....". Clearly, the parish clerk was incorrect to maintain that the JPC was a Trustee and she was advised that she was wrong at the meeting but councillors chose to follow her advice.

One of the reasons the parish council gives for its actions is that it could be liable to prosecution as a trustee. This malevolent and malicious innuendo that the Trust could be liable to prosecution creates the impression that the Trust has  been behaving illegally. This is mischievous and the Trust is waiting for the Parish Council to produce their evidence to support this outrageous suggestion.

Beyond all this, most Henley organisations have been working hard to demonstrate the true image of Henley as a wonderful town to live in and visit. One misinformed and misguided individual, who should know better, has spread his personal rant across the media to damage our town's reputation. Such stupid comments can damage the trade in the Town and even house prices.


imageCouncillor Matheou issued his Henley Times to the Stratford Herald and 86 other persons and media without checking the accuracy of his reporting with the Trust. If you read his Henley Times (not recommended) you could be forgiven for concluding that his personal statements have greater credibility than one person’s misguided version of events. This poor publicity for our town would have been avoided if the Herald Reporter who wrote the article and the editor who approved it had kept to good journalistic practice and given the Trust an opportunity to comment. This reverse for Henley would have not taken place if Matheou was not so driven by his own personal feelings about some of the trustees. The Trust should be provided with a public apology from both Matheou and the Stratford Herald. The incorrect advice from the parish clerk should also be reviewed.


Unfortunately many may believe the damage has already been done. It should be noted that until the appearance of this wildly inaccurate and damaging article in the Herald. It had been decided by the Trustees not to engage in public comment, having taken the view that such a step would further damage Henley’s reputation. Unfortunately, Matheou's Henley Times forced a change of mind. In the same edition of the Henley Times, there was also an inaccurate article about the Guild Hall Trust and the library.

Henley Residents Comment

Support and admiration for Peter Crathorne's work

As President of the Henley War Memorial Trust, I write in support of Peter Crathorne. Peter has been subjected to completely unwarranted criticism by the Parish Clerk and the JPC. Not only was the criticism uncalled for it was factually incorrect, the JPC is not a trustee of the HWMT.

In the years which I have known Peter, I have always found him to be an open and honest communicator and I can say, without hesitation, that the residents of Henley in Arden are very lucky that he is willing to dedicate himself to the role of Chairman of the HWMT. We are doubly fortunate that his wife, Jan, is also willing to devote so much of her time and energy to supporting the Trust and I sincerely hope that the vitriolic attack by the Parish Clerk will not lead to either Peter or Jan stepping down from their roles.

The Parish Clerk seems incapable of learning from experience. During the Standards & Ethics hearing on 27th May 2011, she was told by the Panel, in the strongest terms, that many of the issues relating to her complaints against Cllr Leech were due to her own “provocative attitude”; nothing has changed and this latest incident must be regarded as an extremely provocative act by her.

John Tristram, High Bailiff and President of the Henley War Memorial Trust

As Treasurer of the Henley War Memorial Trust it has been my privilege to work closely with Peter Crathorne for the past two years. I am constantly impressed by his dedication and commitment to the people of Henley and the energy which he expends in supporting a number of local causes.  His Chairmanship of the Trust has seen it develop into a professional organisation and I am alarmed at the uninformed and vindictive criticism he has been receiving from people who should know better.   I can think of no-one who works harder for Henley without any thought of personal gain.
John Garner, Treasurer of the Henley War Memorial Trust

In a recent letter written to our Chairman of the War Memorial Trust, it states that the council believe that “communications between all Trustees on all matters was no longer effective”.  

I write to reassure you that this is most definitely not the case.  Every aspect of the trust’s activities is reported in full to every meeting.  Opportunities are given for questions to be asked about all the reports we receive.  The meetings are conducted in a friendly atmosphere and we vote on every decision.   The minutes of our meetings will show this.

Annette Walker, Trustee of Henley War Memorial Trust

I was shocked and dismayed by the contents of recent articles criticising the Henley War Memorial Trust in general and Mr Peter Crathorne in particular. It appears that there is some sort of personal vendetta against Peter which is utterly disgraceful. In my personal opinion, members of Henley Cricket Club were involved in the planning, organisation and running of the Sixties Music Festival and I can say that our contribution paled into insignificance compared to the immense amount of hard work and dedication that Peter personally put into making the event even happen.

I would also go as far as to say the fact the event was a success from both a logistical point of view and of the obvious opinion of those attending, who had a marvelous day’s entertainment. The failure was only in terms of securing a larger attendance and as I was present when verbal undertakings were made by the Promoters, I am in a position to state that it was THEY that failed completely to deliver their promises.

If blame has to be laid at anyone’s door then it should certainly NOT be at Peter Crathorne’s, who in my opinion has done far more for the residents of Henley than any elected official.

Andy Thompson, Treasurer of Henley Cricket Club

I moved to Henley in Arden 3 years ago and in a very short time discovered why Henley is such a great and appealing place to live - the large number of activities available for people of all ages to get involved in, at very little cost.  A village which enables people old and new, couples or singles to integrate and make new friends with just a little effort on any individual's part, that "effort" merely entailing logging on to Henley News to see the myriad of opportunities available in the village then picking up the phone to the appropriate organiser to register an interest and discover where and when they can attend.  For my own part, some 2 years ago I saw a plea for someone to teach some of our Silver Senior gentlemen to cook and as cooking is one of my greatest pleasures rang Peter Crathorne and offered my services, since then along with Jane Portman we have had the pleasure of teaching these gentlemen how to cook simple, cheap and easy nutritious meals.  Which brings me to the reason for actually bothering to write this letter:
I am absolutely steaming at the attacks our pathetic, self-agrandising Parish Councillors have had the nerve to make on PETER CRATHORNE, this man does more for Henley-in-Arden than the whole of the Parish Council put together - FOR ACTUALLY NO RECOMPENSE AT ALL - how much does it cost us to keep these moaning, hypocritical individuals in their overblown "jobs", what contribution do they make to the improvement in the life of  the young and old, the sick and infirm of the area? - very little, and yet they dare to attack one of the most positive individuals I personally  have ever met in my life - George Matheou look in the mirror, it would be interesting to know what you see looking back at you. How about listing the good you do for people in Henley alongside the good Peter Crathorne does.  

Shame on you George Matheou. With no excuses or apologies, it is from my heart, which members of the JPC don't seem to have.
Wendy Willmott
, Helper with Hub @ Henley Seniors

To the JPC Chairman,

The saddest thing about the parish clerk's letter is that it breaks a promise you made to me when you took office that you wanted to get everyone in the town working together again – the divisions of the previous couple of years should be a thing of the past. On that basis you have certainly not heard anything from me since that conversation. I felt you should be given a chance to get the friendships and community spirit which used to be a hallmark of our town back to the fore.

This cannot happen if you allow your parish clerk to send such a disgracefully inflammatory and inaccurate letter. The Trustees of HWMT work just as hard to manage the interests within our organisation as the JPC does in managing the rest of the town and in our Chairman Peter Crathorne we have someone who is more hardworking and passionate in the cause than most. This must be recognised and respected by the JPC.

If you allow this witch hunt of Peter and HWMT Trustees to gather momentum, it will undermine all the bridge-building that you have tried to do in the past months of your chairmanship of the JPC. This letter is written as much in sadness at the missed opportunities as it is in anger at the gross inaccuracies in the clerk’s letter.

John Latham, President of Henley Cricket Club and Trustee of the Henley War Memorial Trust

If you have a comment on this affair, please send it to


Technical Shortcomings of Henley Times

George Matheou is always very keen to tell everyone that he is a member of the British Computer Society but Henley Times lacks many of the best practices expected of blogs. This latest edition again demonstrates a total lack of any design skills or the ability to produce a respectable looking Word document.


George’s latest rant was circulated in a massive 6.79MB Word file, which could have been reduced by optimisation to a fraction of this size. As many of his recipients are charged for their internet on a usage basis, it would have been considerate to optimise the file before broadcasting it. This is a simple task and second nature to any computer professional.

All such blogs should contain an “unsubscribe” facility to stop future editions being forced on unwilling readers. No such facility was been provided. To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Henley Times, send an email to: advising him that you wish to be removed from the circulation list for Henley Times. Being keen on all legal aspects of IT, Matheou should recognise that he has to stop sending his nuisance emails to unwanted recipients.

If the presentation and English were improved, it may not be so easily dismissed as second rate product. As it is now it's a perfect example of 'how not to'.


Thinking of becoming a

Parish Councillor?

Election for a new Parish Council in May 2012




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

Are you one of them?         Contact: Mike Willmott

Bringing fresh ideas and economy to our dysfunctional parish council

Henley Independents

A collection of individuals working together to deliver a new and better Joint Parish Council


imageMike Willmott, a resident of Henley-in-Arden, this week announced the formation of Henley Independents - a collection of individuals working together to deliver a new and better Joint Parish Council for Henley and Beaudesert. Mr Willmott will be serving as chairman for Henley Independents and has already mobilised a strong team of people behind him, both men and women of all ages.

Mr Willmott said “The Stratford Herald has been at the forefront of highlighting the malaise within the current Joint Parish Council. These issues are well documented and I don’t think going over these again will serve any benefit. I do however believe that the people of Henley and Beaudesert deserve an inclusive and representative Joint Parish Council that both represents ALL the residents of the town, and works for the benefit of the town itself”.

He continued, “Therefore, we have formed Henley Independents as a collection of individuals from a variety of backgrounds who will be working together to contest the Parish Council elections on May 3rd. 12 candidates will be standing under the Henley Independents umbrella with the aim of forming a majority on the Joint Parish Council. We have an outstanding range of candidates who will bring their considerable experience and expertise to the table – these are people who want to make a difference to the way Henley is run and are simply not in it for their own personal gain.

“For Henley Independents to succeed we will need to generate support from the residents of the town – simply put, we need as many votes as possible on May 3rd. We already have strong support from a large, and growing, number of residents, but we still need more and will be working hard to develop and promote our campaign over the coming months.

“We will be providing further details about Henley Independents in the Spring, but in the meantime, anyone interested in supporting us in any way whatsoever can register their support at:

Registered with The Electoral Commission (PP1725)

War Memorial Trust Reports Record Fund Raising

Safeguarding Henley's cultural, leisure and sporting legacy

The annual Town Dinner in the Memorial Hall with the new seating and electrics. New heating will shortly be installed

imageIn his annual report Peter Crathorne,  chairman of  Henley War Memorial Trust, stated that funds of just over £44,000 had been raised during the calendar year 2011. This amount had never been exceeded since the trust was formed in 1947.

He paid tribute to those exceptionally generous donors who had ensured that the Trust had, amongst other commitments, sufficient funds to purchase land it had used for many years under lease that had been offered for sale on the open market. Without this positive outcome Henley and Wootton Scouts, Henley Shooting Club and Henley Forest Football Club would have had their activities severely curtailed if not closed all together. The photo right shows part of the land in use by the juniors.

imageThis terrific total was less than was planned because one of the biggest events in Henley’s recent history, the Sixties Music Festival, incurred quite large losses. This was a huge disappointment since all the advice the Trust had received, including from a local pop concert expert, indicated that a large profit was all but guaranteed. Peter Crathorne says that report assures the Trust members that although this loss was a shock the risk of losing funds was considered by the trust before the event was booked. The Trust’s financial stability was not affected as they had assured themselves that the worst case risk to their reserves would not damage the underlying security of the Trust before embarking on the project.

Focusing on our Young People

imagePeter Crathorne declared that another outstanding success was that the Hub@ Henley Youth and Community Centre is to be transferred by lease to the Henley War Memorial Trust.  The trust with the massive support of residents and businesses was the only organisation stepping forward to campaign to save the centre which otherwise would have been closed by Warwickshire County Council, leaving the Surestart Centre, baby clinics, family counselling, the club for the elderly, the computer training courses and probably the youth club with nowhere to meet. 

The campaign has focused on residents making pledges, business sponsorship and identifying potential local authority and private trust grants. Using its experience and knowhow the Trust has overcome serious opposition to rescue the Centre for the town. 

The chairman thanked the Beaudesert and Henley Parish Council for their financial support last year. Without this, he said, the significant work undertaken to support young people’s participation in sport and the Scouts may be at risk.

Peter Crathorne concluded by stating that this had been a momentous year and local residents, who are all Trust members by virtue of living in the town, are invited to celebrate this at the Annual General Meeting to be held on Wednesday 25th January 2012 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.

The Trust’s only aim is to safeguard Henley's cultural, leisure and sporting legacy.


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

Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff


imageOn the 21st December 2012 the High Bailiff, assisted by the Low Bailiff, Fred Dowling and Gordon Trinder, the Town Crier had the pleasant duty of opening two new businesses in Henley.

The first was AIR Aesthetics Clinic, located at 121 High Street, which offers a range of non-surgical beauty treatments and is run by Dr Claire Oliver. It is good to see a new venture adding to the variety of services provided by businesses in Henley. Although this is a new business, Claire will be known to many of you and we wish her every success.

The new studio is very impressive and, whilst the High Bailiff is no expert on beauty treatments, a full description of the services offered by AIR is available on their website or phone Claire on 0845 519 5377 or just call in.

imageThe second new venture is BELLA DIVA Hair & Beauty, which has opened at 159 High Street, run by another familiar face, Sarah Almousawy. Her studio offers hair styling and much more.

Sarah is a previous winner of Warwickshire Life’s Best Colour Artist and has more than 20 years experience in hair treatments. She specialises in Colour Correction, Organic Colour, Hair-up (having worked with celebrity hair-dresser Patrick Cameron).

For more information on all the services offered by Sarah and her team she can be contacted on 01564 898469 or by email:

The Court Leet is pleased to be able to support Henley businesses in this way, they are the life-blood of the High Street and we wish these two ventures every success.

On Boxing Day, the Court Leet played host to a group of guests from the Three Ways House Hotel, Mickleton. The group of approximately 40 people visited Henley with Peter Henderson, the proprietor of the hotel and Mo Sutherland, a Warwickshire ‘Blue Badge Guide’, who is the wife of Graham Sutherland the Warwick Town Crier. They were welcomed to the Guild Hall by John Tristram, High Bailiff, Fred Dowling Low Bailiff, Gordon Trinder, Town Crier and Dawn Leech, Chamberlain of the Court.

Dawn gave a talk on the history of the Guild Hall, after which the High Bailiff explained the origins of the Court Leet and its current role and responsibilities. The visitors were then treated to warming ‘Winter Pimms’ provided by Peter Henderson, who thanked the Court Leet for turning out on Boxing Day and for their hospitality. The guests then had a tour of Henley before returning to the Three Ways House Hotel for lunch.


The High Bailiff was privileged to open the new Show Home on the Taylor Wimpey ‘Farriers Cross’ development. Accompanied by Fred Dowling the Low Bailiff and Gordon Trinder, Town Crier. The official opening took place in glorious sun-shine on Saturday 7th January. Anne Wallace, Sales Director says that sales have been very strong and there is pressure to complete the development as soon as possible to meet the demand for houses on this prestige site.

John Tristram - High Bailiff 

War Memorial Trust to run the HUB@HENLEY


Henley's most important charity, the Henley War Memorial Trust, which is responsible for the Memorial Hall and the Memorial Playing Fields has been chosen by Warwickshire County Council to run Henley's Youth Club - the Hub @ Henley.

Our photo above shows supporters in May 2011 at the start of the campaign. The enlargement below shows that Cllr Carsina Goodman, Cllr Mike Perry and JPC Chairman Roger Hubbocks did not show their support for the campaign. To his credit, Cllr Chris Milsom broke ranks with the ruling group and showed his support.


Peter Crathorne, Chairman of the War Memorial Trust, said, "I have just heard that The Hub@ Henley Youth and Community Centre is to be transferred to the Henley War Memorial Trust. Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to achieve this. We will be starting the hard work of making our centre a great success immediately after Christmas.
The campaign has focused on residents making pledges, business sponsorship and identifying potential local authority and private trust grants. Further fundraising, applying for grants etc, is now possible.  Pledges, grants and donations now total £34,000 to be collected over three years, £27,000 in the first year; almost £5,000 in sponsorship mainly from local businesses and there will be more to come from further contacts being made. In the New Year we will be getting in touch with all our supporters who have made pledges asking them to convert these into cash.  We will be launching applications to a variety of funding agencies and trusts for further funds."                                  

If this project is to be a success, then everyone in the town and in particular its principal organisations have to be totally supportive.  Using its experience and knowhow the Trust has overcome serious opposition to rescue the Centre for the town.  There is an even greater challenge awaiting everyone to ensure its long term future. Thanks to all who have given support." 

Graham Gooch - Guest Speaker at Cricket Dinner

imageHenley Cricket Club are delighted to be welcoming speaker Graham Gooch to speak at their annual Captain’s Supper at Henley Golf and Country Club on Friday 24 February 2012.  With President  John Latham as the MC it promises to be a memorable and enjoyable evening.

“Goochie” remains England’s highest Test Runs Scorer and is also the current England Batting Coach. He can truly be described as a legend in the game. He will also be bringing some unique memorabilia for auction.
Following the first team’s promotion as Champions to the Premier Division of  the Cotswold Hills League, the club are faced with the uphill task of raising much needed funds to improve the facilities and ensure the team have a successful 2012 campaign so don’t miss this opportunity to  support your local club. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for local businesses.
For tickets and further details contact the club’s Treasurer Andy Thompson on 07967 139247

Henmen Christmas Lunch


imageHub @ Henley Seniors (used to be HENMEN) took their annual Christmas lunch at the Hub. Working in its splendid new kitchen Wendy Willmott, Owen Greenock and Tony Wedgebury prepared a terrific feast which was thoroughly enjoyed by the members and their guests and would have graced any 5 star restaurant.

The members provided their own entertainment which included a song from Gilbert and Sullivan by 92 year old Stan Williamson, some engaging adventure stories from World War two delivered by Jim Syratt and many toasts presented by Peter Crathorne which ensured the wine flowed freely. The meal was served by Peter and John Garner beautifully dressed in their DJs as waiters. The club expressed their thanks to Wendy, who had worked so hard to produce a wonderful meal, with flowers at the conclusion of the event.

The meal proved to be an instant celebration, as their club which had been under threat of closure by Warwickshire County Council was saved on the same day as Henley War Memorial Trust announced their rescue of this doomed establishment had been successful.

Audition Notice - Let's be having you

posterHi Folks,

Happy New Year - time to shake off the Christmas tree needles!

We have secured the wonderful Guild Hall in Henley for our next production - Henley Market - The Musical which goes out on Thursday 26th, Friday 27th and Saturday 28th of April 2012.

Please refer to the poster on The Notice board below for more details and, if they are not included on the emailing list above, please contact those who you know will be interested, as we need a cast of twenty plus people to make this one work.

The show is a combination of subtle, localised humour and great music so there is something FOR EVERYONE.

Look forward to seeing you all again.

Ray Evans - Producer/Director

MP to open new community library

imageThe Friends of the Library have announced that Nadhim Zahawi MP will officially open the new community library in the Methodist Church Hall on Friday 20th April 2012 at 10:30 a.m. Parish, County and District Councillors have been invited and the South Warwickshire Conservatives are contributing for refreshments.

Henley NEWS is pleased to report that its recruitment campaign in May 2010 was very successful and according to Sue Osborne accounted for half of the volunteers. Sue was a founder member of the Friends of the Library and is now responsible for producing the rota.

Henley NEWS, which now has a regular circulation of 3,500, is always pleased to assist Henley based organisations promote new opportunities to its readers.

Santa's Grotto at Henley Fire & Rescue

imageOn Saturday 17th December 2011 the Firefighters of Warwickshire Fire & Rescue’s Henley-in-Arden retained fire station held their annual Santa’s Grotto children’s event in aid of the Firefighter’s Charity (previously The Firefighter’s Benevolent Fund).

The popular event welcomed over 70 kids from near and far to come and explore the station and fire engine, meet Father Christmas in his grotto and win items donated by dozens of local businesses and individuals in the tombola while their parents and guardians nibbled on mince pies and sipped a cup of tea or coffee, all hosted by the dedicated crew of Henley’s appliance 39P1.

There was much fun and excitement, oh and the kids had a good time too!

The crew would like to extend their gratitude to all these generous local contributors who raised £360;

imageHenley Ice Cream, Naya Indian Restaurant, Bella Capelli Barbers, Bigwoods Estate Agency, John Dukes Stationery, The Co-Op, RS Mills Butchers, One Stop, Lemon Tree Flowers, The White Swan, MPA Financial Management Services, John Earle Estate Agents, Thai Cottage Restaurant, Abacus Kitchens, La Dolce Piazza, NFU Mutual, Professional Golfing Association, Bradstock Bourne Financial Consultants, Secantor Management Consultants, United Business Centres (Managers of Forward House), The Black Swan, Curry Republic, Sans Oriental Restaurant, Shirlee, Torquil - The Gallery Upstairs, Westmacotts Sandwiches, The Bluebell, Ironing Maidens, Sue Dalby Catering, Matricardi’s, The Three Tuns, The Royal China Chinese Takeaway, Seaspray, Tissington Opticians, Henley Pharmacy, The Nags Head, Arden Tandoori, Henley Golf Club, Henley Beauty Salon (Golf & Country Club), Allens Caravans Wootton Wawen, Wootton Wawen Stores, Burman Butchers Claverdon, The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-on-Avon, Aloe Vera Forever Living Products, Caroline Kiely, Carsina Goodman, David & Marian Stevens, Sue Harriman, Janet Masters, Premal Spiegel, Jenny & Mia Pointon and to everyone who came along and helped.


Henley’s appliance 39P1

Have a safe 2012 from;

Watch Commander Richard Butler, Crew Commanders Kate Stevens & Nick Ross, Firefighters Tony Matthews, Mark Taylor, John Blakey, Nick Pointon, Christian Paine, Natalie Ross, Paul Duxbury, new recruits Justin Halpin & Simon Birch, and last but by no means least, Margaret Ross.

Henley Fire Station, Station Road, Henley-in-Arden.



Saturday 21st January 2012

Session times: 09:45 - 12:15 & 13:45 - 15:30

Henley-in-Arden Memorial Hall, Station Road,

Rotary Christmas Concert with MYJO


imageFor the second year running Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra (MYJO) and Henley Rotary joined in partnership to put on a fabulous Christmas show in the Memorial Hall on December 19th. There were 200 people at the sell-out concert which raised £2,800 for local Rotary charities and MYJO's young musicians education fund.

A duet that brought the house down was sung by Katy and Tom, MYJO's young vocalists. "Baby its Cold Outside"

It certainly wasn't cold inside as the audience got to their feet to applaud.

Rotary President Hans Wegedt presents Stratford Samaritans chairman Phil Cazeley with a cheque in support of the great work the Samaritans do in our community

John Latham reporting

The Bells of Henley-in-Arden


My interest started 2 years ago when; my daughter Zoe and her friend Samantha paid to go up the tower of St John the Baptist, at the Christmas Fare. Mike (one of the very experienced ringers) showed them around, showed them the bells and encouraged them to start ringing. Now as a Dad I’d often wondered what it would be like but, had never done anything about it, so when Zoe started, I volunteered to take her. I had a go and the rest is history as they say. Mike and Joe had so much patience while teaching the three of us the basics.

At the time, the average age of the Henley band was around 75, so 2 teenage girls and a 40 something bloke reduced the average. Since 2 more youngsters have started, and unfortunately two experienced ringers have passed away, so the average age has plummeted. The 2 beginners and 3 inexperienced ringers have had an effect on the tunes you can hear, so if it sounds not quite perfect on a Thursday and Sunday, please bear with us, we are trying - honest.

Currently the band consists of three of us, who have rung for nearly 2 years, three beginners, and five more experienced ringers (however one is pregnant & one has hurt his hand). We can’t all get there every Sunday so occasionally Sunday is quiet. This leads me on to the next point: if you have ever fancied a go please feel free to have a try on a Thursday evening, we ring at 7:30. One advantage to ringing is, if there is a wedding and the bride and groom want the bells, we charge and get £10 each. The youngsters love this bit. The balance helps pay for any repairs.

If you are a teenager and want to start there is, once a month on the first Saturday, a Warwickshire bell ringing club. Kids In Charge is run for the children so they can experience different towers and different bells, at the same time as having fun, and giving their parents a morning of relative peace. Details can be found at . There is even a picture of Zoe & Sam on this website, see if you can find it.

Change ringing started in England in the 17th century, it is different from other bell ringing (carillon machines strike many bells with hammers, and are played by one player) as each bell is rung individually and the order can be changed, therefore giving tunes. I use the word tune loosely as there isn’t too much you can do with six notes, but when they are struck in time, they do sound good. The number of bells in any tower varies from three to sixteen, however six and eight are more common. Next time you are driving around the country, take a look at the towers, they are all different.

Now for some Henley Facts

The bells, in Henley, range in weight from 552lbs to 1320lbs (250Kg to 599Kg in new money). Four of them were cast in 1707 (ish) and the other two in 1727 (ish), so as you can see they are around 400 years old. They were re-hung in 1991.

There are three bells at St Nicholas, but the wooden frame they are on is rotten and they cannot be rung. This is sad as two of them are probably the oldest bells in Warwickshire. They were cast in 1370 (ish). You can find more Click here

Andy Langford reporting


Annual Concert at Prestigious Venue

Tickets now on sale with optional coach travel from Henley

For their 38th annual concert, the 80 strong Alcester Male Voice choir, which includes several men from Henley and   surrounding area,  have chosen the prestigious and recently refurbished Town Hall, Birmingham to stage the event on Saturday 31st March next.
Choir founder, conductor and artistic director Judith Land,  has put together an exciting and challenging programme which is specifically designed to appeal to concert goers of all ages and of wide musical tastes.
Judith explains "Our annual concert is an  opportunity to  show the choir at its very best and in a wonderful setting. The programme I have put together demonstrates  the versatility and the talent of  its  members who are all totally dedicated and spend many, many  hours rehearsing for this event. This concert is also the start of our new season when our new repertoire is launched ready for our regular programme of local concerts   throughout the region, which   raise  thousands of pounds for  charity. This years programme includes Cantilena, African Trilogy, Bright Eyes, Nella Fantasia, Lord of the Dance, Cabaret, Gloria and many more."
The concert will be entertaining and sharing the platform with the choir will be the world famous Orchestra of the Swan, under their conductor David Curtis, together with Cecelia Wickham-Anderson from the well known Birmingham group Black Voices, Sarah Westwood (African Drummer) and Director of Drum Voices, Andrew Fletcher (organ) and Alcester performers Vic Butler (trumpet), Elliott Rooney (piano) and two dancers from Rutleigh/Norris Ballet School.
Tickets are now on sale and start at just £12.50 through to £20. In addition coaches have been arranged with the choir's sponsors, Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel, and for just £10 per person return those who wish can travel in comfort to the concert without the worry of driving and parking in Birmingham. There are  seven local coach boarding points including Henley. (Coach reservations to be made with the choir only).
For more information,  tickets and coach travel,  call the AMVC ticket office 02476 971929 or download a booking form from
The Alcester Male voice choir has the reputation of being one of the finest in the region and as well as holding regular local concerts    has completed  many successful European tours , as well as appearing  at many venues throughout the UK including Symphony Hall, The Royal Albert Hall and St Davids Hall in Cardiff.

Rob Kingscott reporting

Air Ambulance Shop in Stratford Opens


The Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon and former patients were joined by the helicopter that saved their lives to open a new shop raising funds for the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance (WNAA). Cllr Bill Dowling was assisted in his official duties by WNAA paramedic Jane Cresswell and also by eight-year-old Hope-Tilli Dew and little sister Holli. Hope-Tilli was rescued by WNAA after she was seriously injured in a dog attack in Claverdon in 2006.

It is the third WNAA charity shop in the county and enjoyed a healthy first day trading on Monday 19 December with Christmas shoppers eager to snap up a seasonal bargain.. Those queuing to enter were treated to a fly past by WNAA helicopter and mince pieces and mulled wine at the shop thanks to the support of the Arden Hotel.

The Stratford shop is the tenth shop to be opened in just over a year by WNAA and sister service Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance (DLRAA). Emma Vithlani, WNAA Retail and Trading Manager, said: “We had an ambitious target to have opened ten charity shops from scratch by 2012 and we made it! It’s been a huge challenge but one that has already been of great benefit to the charity. Stratford is a wonderful place to have a shop as we have so many supporters here. We know we can count on them to help us. Anyone interested in volunteering should come and find out more. Even if they have just two hours to spare a week we would love to see them. And Christmas is a great time to have a sort out and clear some space in your wardrobe so bring in your old party dresses, books, toys and general bric a brac.”

One volunteer already on the books for the charity is Bill Hazzledine. The 63 year-old has been hard at work with paintbrush in the days leading up to the opening. He said: “The Air Ambulance came out to help my wife when she collapsed at home last December. Unfortunately there was nothing they could do to help her but I was so grateful of their support. When I saw the new shop was opening it seemed right to get involved in this way.”

Henley and District now has an Air Ambulance volunteers team. If your organisation would like a presentation about the work of the Air Ambulance, please contact the organiser Bill Leech on 07899 792792 or

St Mary’s Dough Making Visit to La Dolce Piazza


imageClass One from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, visited the Henley based Italian restaurant La Dolce Piazza last week. The restaurant which reopened in the summer kindly welcomed the class with their class teacher Mrs Price as the visit ties in nicely with the topic work the children are doing this term on food.

We walked to the restaurant in the morning and after thorough hand washing, hygiene and health and safety instructions, the owner Jamal Al-Hamati showed the children how to make dough.

The children then kneaded their own dough, rolled it out and then chose imagefrom the lovely display of toppings. The pizzas were then cooked by Mr and Mrs Al-Hamati and the pupils were lucky enough to stay for lunch and eat the pizzas fresh. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the visit and agreed the pizzas were delicious.

Since returning to school Mrs Price has recreated an Italian restaurant as a role play area within the classroom.

The children are really enjoying re-enacting their experiences from La Dolce Piazza. The visit and current topic has developed cross curricular activities within numeracy, science, geography and literacy.

Rachael Perry reporting

On your marks

imageEntries are already open for the ever popular 5 mile Knowle Fun Run which is on Sunday 13th May and in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, Crossroads Care (Birmingham & Solihull), Dorridge & Knowle Scout groups and local causes this year.

Already hundreds of runners have made their New Year's resolution to run in Solihull's biggest fundraising event of its kind. Why not join them.? Our photo shows last year's start.

More details and entry online at

Heritage Centre blossoms despite sluggish tourism

imageAgainst a background of a sluggish tourism market interest in Henley’s Heritage Centre continues to blossom. Whilst visitor numbers were slightly down on the previous twelve months the Centre continues to attract visitors from all over the world. The Trustees have spent time cultivating the large educational market and that work is now beginning to pay dividends. The Centre experienced a large increase in school visits and discussions are currently ongoing with several schools in the general midlands area in the hope that Heritage Centre visits will become a feature of their school calendars.

Ray Holding, who runs the Centre said, "We are unique and are able to offer visitors a fascinating snapshot into what life was like in a typical market town over the centuries. We constantly strive to bring in new exhibits and the last twelve months have seen the addition of several artefacts including an original framed photograph of Henley's horse-drawn fire engine dated 1919 and a fragment of Hitler’s desk "rescued” from the Berlin Chancellery in 1945 by a late Henley resident. Schools have found the Heritage Centre an invaluable addition to the curriculum in bringing to life both general and social history subjects with the emphasis on seeing and touching rather than learning it all from text books: it’s learning outside the classroom.”

The Centre has now closed its doors until the spring but planning is underway to include a special exhibition for the Queen’s Jubilee, from 1st April.

Rob Kingscott reporting

For Late Breaking News - Follow Henley NEWS on image
Advertisement Feature for the benefit of the Guild Hall Trust

High Bailiff opens first show home



On Saturday 7th January, the first show home at Farriers Cross was unveiled by the High Bailiff of the Henley in Arden Court Leet. A large number of visitors were treated to canapés and bubbly whilst having the chance to look around the fantastic four bedroom detached Malbury, which has been styled by professional interior designers and is designed to showcase the spacious, high quality homes on offer at the development.

Anne Wallace, regional sales and marketing director for Taylor Wimpey Midlands, said: “We’re very excited about the launch of our new show home at Farriers Cross. As it can often be difficult for people to visualise their home from floor plans alone, having a fully decorated show home decked out with carpets, curtains and light fittings, will hopefully help people envisage how their new abode could potentially look.

“So if you’re looking to make the move or perhaps just need some style inspiration, why not visit Farriers Cross? – you may be surprised by what you can afford.”

The spectacular four bedroom Malbury, priced from £349,995, features a generous living room, kitchen, dining room, study, utility and cloakroom on the ground floor. The master bedroom, with en suite, three further bedrooms and a modern main bathroom occupy the first floor. This incredible home is completed by a private rear garden, single garage and allocated parking.

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 on to:

Rachel Tillman 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


Nigel Hastilow’s The Smoking Gun.

imageI read with interest the promotion on Henley News and was curious to find out more. Nigel Hastilow has journalism and political experience, who better to write a political novel?

Fortunately it is available from Kindle e-books, who allow a substantial sample to be downloaded before a commitment to buy is required.  For those unfamiliar, Kindle is a free download on to Windows and Apple computers and  an App for smart phones and tablets. The facility to down load a sample is really valuable, as one cannot stand in a book shop and read forty pages.

Having downloaded the sample onto my Kindle I devoured it and that immediately downloaded the remainder of the book to continue reading (the e-book is only £2.88). It’s a bit of a page turner.

The novel has flaws: local readers may find character’s names pretentious and readers outside Warwickshire may be baffled.  But the former journalist Charles Dickens was not adverse to extravagantly naming some of his characters. 

The plot is imaginative and original.  There are a few stereotypes, but there are stereotypes in politics.

The main point is that it is a fun read, very enjoyable and excellent value.  Anyone tired of the shenanigans of the JPC and its critics will enjoy a little contrasting light relief.

Dan Wild, Malvern

Flower Club Christmas Lunch and AGM

imageMembers of the Henley in Arden Flower Club enjoyed their Christmas lunch and AGM at the Henley Golf Club this month. Diana Haines and Margaret Owen who arrange the Club's demonstrations provided a humorous account of the year's events.

Chairman, Paula Pugh, was able to confirm to members that although Club expenses are rising, the cost of membership for the following year would not increase from its current level of £16 for 7 workshops and demonstrations. It was agreed that the membership fee continues to represent excellent value for money. Paula thanked committee members for their hard work over the year which generated additional income for the Club.

imageThe President, Annette Walker pictured left, who would generally give out awards and trophies on behalf of the Club, was in fact the recipient of the top award for the Club’s monthly flower arrangement competition. Other winners included Club members Lola Phillips and Margaret Blakemore.

The Club is looking forward to a packed programme of events in 2012 including a demonstration from Tan Strong who recently appeared on the Channel 4 programme ‘Kirsty’s Handmade Britain’. Chairman Paula Pugh said that ‘visitors are very welcome to attend this event which will be held on the 12th June in The Memorial Hall, starting at 7.30 pm.'  However she advised visitors to come early, as these events are well attended, or to reserve tickets in advance by calling her on 07974640994. Tickets for this event are £8.

Next year starts with wine, nibbles and a workshop on the 10th January. Materials will be provided so visitors and guests are encouraged to book a place in advance, again by calling Paula, to ensure everyone can be accommodated. Tickets for the workshop for non-members are priced at £5. All Club events which include demonstrations and workshops are held in The Memorial Hall, Station Road, Henley in Arden starting at 7.30pm.

Paula Pugh reporting

Our French Connection

Montfort-sur-Risle, Normandy


Thurstan, or Toustain I, de Montfort (1120 to 1170), who built the castle on Beaudesert Mount in about 1140 was a son of Hugh IV de Montfort, who in turn was a grandson of Hugh II de Montfort (1020 to 1088) through his daughter, Alice de Gand. Hugh II was one of the cohorts of William the Conqueror. He had his base at the settlement of Monfort-sur-Risle, in Normandy, where there remains the ruin of his vast castle built about 1085 and a piece of its wall shown in the picture above.

Beaudesert, which seems to have been called Donnelie - according to Domesday “an enclosure half a league long and as wide”, was probably part of the lands held in Preston Bagot by the Count of Meulan.

Separate from this, the lands now including Henley fell within Wootton Wawen, which was one of many manors held by Robert de Tonei, later known as Robert de Stafford (1036 to 1088), another Norman nobleman of the same vintage. The Conqueror rewarded his supporters well!

So Thurstan was Beaudesert’s first Norman lord of the Manor, from whom descended a series of lords of Beaudesert, notably Peter de Montfort III, famous as a casualty at the Battle of Evesham. The two separate settlements became progressively linked through the 13th century and thereafter.

This long-ago link between Beaudesert and Montfort-sur-Risle is the rationale for the notion of twinning, or something like it. The natives of Montfort regard themselves emphatically as Norman, not French. We are in dialogue with the town’s very active Association of Culture and Heritage, which we first contacted in 2006.

Ray Holding

If you are interested in this informal twinning, please contact Simon Watkins 07977 482879

Job Opportunities in Wootton Wawen

imageWootton Wawen is not usually known as a hub of high-technology and is the rather surprising location for the headquarters of Centralis, one of the UK’s leading specialist IT consultancies.  
The company lists many household names among its customers, including Standard Life, Centrica and Surrey County Council. Set up in 1996, the company has expanded considerably in recent years, opening a London office and growing sales by more than 20% per annum for the last four years.
The offices in Upper Wawensmoor are home to sales, marketing, consultancy and a service desk team providing support and managed services. The company’s founders chose the site having worked previously for British Gas in Solihull.  Founder and MD, Ewen Anderson commented “The pace of change in IT and the need to keep up to date with the latest technology mean that we work in a highly dynamic environment.  The contrast with the rural setting and the steel and glass of our London offices could not be greater."
As part of its expansion the company is currently recruiting both project office staff and service desk analysts.  Prince 2 experience is required for the project office role, while service desk staff need strong skills in Microsoft and related technologies.
Anyone interested should contact Centralis by phone (01564 795911) or by email to

Tennis Club Sparkle Tournament Success

The last tournament of what has been a busy year for Henley in Arden Tennis Club, took place on the evening of Thursday 15th December. Fourteen players, who were matched up, took part in the very enjoyable doubles tournament. Karen Foort and Mike Baldwin eventually won; they proved to be a very successful partnership. Players got into the Christmas spirit by adding a bit of sparkle with tinsel and Santa hats.

The club endeavours to hold social tournaments on a monthly basis as well as a full programme of competitive tennis for junior and adults.

For more information please contact Judith Mathias on 01564 792378

Appearances can be Deceptive

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President's outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge.

"We'd like to see the President," the man said softly, "He'll be busy all day" the secretary snapped, "We'll wait" the lady replied. For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't, the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the President, even though it was a chore she always regretted.

"May be if you see them for a few minutes, they'll leave" she said to him. He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them and he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The President, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple..

The lady told him "We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard, he was happy here, but about a year ago he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus". The President wasn't touched, he was shocked. "Madam" he said, gruffly "We can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did this place would look like a cemetery."

"Oh no" the lady explained quickly, "We don't want to erect a statue, we thought we would like to give a building to Harvard." The President rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed "A building!, do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have spent over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard." For a moment the lady was silent. The President was pleased, maybe now he could get rid of them now. The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don't we just start our own?" Her husband nodded. The President's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment.

Mr and Mrs Leland Stanford got up and walked away, travelling to Palo Alto, California, where they established the university that bears their name -- Stanford University -- as a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.


You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

A TRUE STORY by Malcolm Forbes

A worrying thought for 2012 !

    10 years ago Bob Hope died

            5 years ago Johnny Cash died

                   A couple of months ago Steve Jobs died

                           A few weeks ago Jimmy Saville died

Now we have no Hope, no Cash, no Jobs and nobody left to Fix It

Let's hope nothing happens to Ed Balls!

Burns Night at Claverdon Rugby Club

Just a reminder to all that on Saturday 21st January, Claverdon Rugby Club will be hosting a traditional Burns Night supper with catering by Sue Mc Dalby of Henley. The menu for the evening has just been announced and is as follows;

Feathered Fowlie wi sippets

Haggiswarm reeking wi Champit Tatties and Bashed Neeps

Maw Broon's Lamb Stew wi a tattie scone

Cranachan wia shortie

A tassie of coffee.

A few tables are still available and can be booked by contacting Lindsay Shaw on 01564 795474. For further details plaease call Lindsay or have a look at our poster in the "what's on " section of this site.

logoAlcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team
Community Newsletter


Incident Overview
Below are the incidents recorded for the Alcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team for December 2011:


Crime in Your Area
Burglary Dwellings are comparable with last month and last year and remain low.  Burglary Other incidents are comparable with last month and last year and also remain low, however five incidents have been recorded in Henley, the first at a shop on the high street where two male offenders have entered and made their way to the insecure office located on the first floor, once within they have taken a purse containing cash and various bank/store cards, currently enquiries are on going. Two incidents have been recorded at the same property located on Castle Close, Henley, where unknown offenders have climbed over the rear fence and once within the garden have removed the padlock to a shed by force and stolen a number of power tools from within. The rear doors to a restaurant on Henley High Street were forced by unknown offender/s, once within they have taken approximately £200 worth of alcohol. On Camp Lane, Henley, unknown offender/s have forced entry to a compound and subsequently to a storage container, once within they have taken a generator and whacker compactor. In Claverdon the Ardencote Manor Hotel and Country Club was broken into and a safe removed from within containing various items including jewellery and mobile phones, a quantity of alcohol was also taken. 

Criminal Damage is comparable with last month and last year and remains low, however three incidents have been recorded in Henley. All three were recorded on the same evening and on the High Street, these include a smashed widow to a property, damage to the signage of one of the pubs and a windscreen wiper being forcibly removed from a parked vehicle, currently enquiries are on going. 

Anti Social Behaviour has fallen slightly when compared to last month, but significantly when compared to last year. One incident was recorded in New Road, Henley, where passengers became abusive to a taxi driver and had to be advised accordingly. 

Theft from Motor Vehicles is comparable with last month and last year and remains low, however an  incident has been recorded in Preston Bagot where fuel was siphoned from a vehicle by unknown person/s. 

Theft of Vehicles is comparable with last month and last year and remains low, however in Wootton Wawen on the Stratford Road a silver Subaru was taken by smashing the glass to gain entry, once within offender/s have managed to start the vehicle without the keys. The vehicle was later recovered parked up in Bidford with extensive damage.

Violence has continued to fall and remains low with some minor incidents being recorded in Henley, all have been dealt with appropriately by officers.

If you have any information or have witnessed the above incidents,
please can you contact Alcester Police on 01789 762207. 

Further information can be found at: The Safer NEIGHBOURHOODs - Alcester Area

Tristan Jelfs PCSO 6065
Alcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team
Mobile: 07795231857
Voicemail: 16065

Keep your bags safe!

A woman visited the toilet in John Lewis at Blue Water and hung her handbag on the back of the toilet door. As she carried on about her business, a hand suddenly appeared over the top of the stall and grabbed her bag clean off the hook!!!

She immediately reported the incident to the head of security, who in turn informed the manager of the store. A couple of days later she had a call from the head of security to say her bag had been found without her purse. So she arranged a convenient time to go and meet the manager to collect her things.

On arriving at the John Lewis store at the agreed time, the manager was not expecting her & neither was the head of security. No one from the store had actually called her as the bag had still not been found.

When the lady got home, her house had been burgled with no sign of forced entry. The Police believe the robbers had used her Driving Licence for the address and her keys to let themselves in!

This is real - it isn't just a scaremongering story. Many will be so shocked at how complex bag snatching crime has become.

Please be extra vigilant ladies AND gents (with your man bags) there are a lot of desperate criminals out there!

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

Looking backwards and forwards

2011 will be remembered as the year when, for the first time ever, all governments represented at the United Nations (over 190) committed to cutting carbon pollution and to working towards a legal framework for the cuts. An agreed "road map" will guide countries towards a legal deal by 2015, and it will come into affect after 2020. This is later than ideal but nonetheless it is a significant step towards avoiding the most serious effects of Climate Change. The days of the climate change denyers must now imagebe coming to an end. The evidence that climate change is real and that it is caused by humans burning coal, oil and gas is overwhelming and the agreement by all the worlds’ governments to take action is a recognition of the true situation. All the world’s governments includes China, the USA, India and the EU. So, are governments trying to save the planet? Not really; the concept of saving the planet is rather vague and Earth will continue to orbit the sun irrespective of what humans do. The planet does not need saving; it is humans and the other life upon which we depend, that this agreement aims to preserve and protect from self-destruction. Looking back, 2011 will be seen as the year when the need to act to decarbonise our energy sources was universally accepted and there was no more time to be wasted by denial that humans are causing climate change.

The solution is to stop burning coal, oil and gas and this means that energy will become a more scarce and more expensive resource. One way of managing scarcity is to use less and almost everyone can do this. So, looking forwards, will you do something to reduce your energy use and consequent carbon pollution? Will you do something to avoid damaging the lives of others? Every 10 years, the average UK resident causes sufficient carbon pollution to damage the life of one person elsewhere in the world. Damage means famine and starvation, flood and homelessness, sometimes resulting in death. Yes, our carbon pollution is killing people elsewhere in the world. If the effect was directly on our neighbours so we could see it, we wouldn’t do it. So, going forward, give a bit of your time to looking at how you can reduce your personal carbon pollution. The Internet contains lots of information. Just search using ‘ Reduce my carbon pollution ’ or call ‘Act on Energy’ at Wellesbourne 0800 9882881 for free advice on Energy saving.


imageFree insulation for lofts and cavity walls

Free home insulation from EDF energy. You do not need to be an EDF customer. Just register at:

It’s the best free offer you’ll ever get. Adding loft and wall insulation to an uninsulated home will reduce heating bills by about 40%. Savings amount to thousands of pounds over a 10 year period.

John Stott

Warnings from Trading Standards

But no more ‘Charity’ Collection Bags please

Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is thanking residents for sending them huge numbers of dubious ‘charity’ collection bags in a recent blitz on unscrupulous collectors.

Hundreds have already been sent in and Trading Standards Officers continue to receive bags full each week. Officers now have the details of around 50 different collectors operating across the County.

The collection phase of the blitz has now ended and the investigation phase is now well under way. Trading Standards Officers therefore no longer need residents to send in collection bags but would like to thank everyone who helped to get the project off to such an excellent start.

Trading Standards relies on reports from members of the public about issues of concern to consumers enabling the service to target its efforts to where they are most needed.

For more information visit our website:

Simon Cripwell, Senior Information Officer, Trading Standards Service
Warwickshire County Council

John Garner's Business Column

What’s in store in 2012?

John GarnerAre we going to see an improvement in the country’s fortunes or will we be devastated by the collapse of the Euro? Who knows? Is there any good news out there?

Well, there’s some news that parts of our manufacturing industry have been seeing an upturn lately; that’s excellent news because it’s upon manufacturing that our prosperity depends. Making things is just about the only way you can actually create wealth. You can make money in lots of ways but if you don’t create anything you’re just passing money around from one person to another.

Manufacturing means that you take some raw materials, add labour, and end up with a product that people will buy for a lot more money than it cost you to make it. A simplistic view perhaps but essentially correct. Britain has always been a manufacturing nation (we started the Industrial Revolution) and even if the Far East can now make things cheaper we still have many niche manufacturing companies that are thriving.

So far so good, but how can we make sure this is sustainable? That, as I see it, is the main challenge for our government: how can they stimulate industry without killing it? Government departments aren’t very good at talking to each other which I suppose is why, on the one hand, they offer stimulus packages and on the other slap on punitive taxes and red tape.

Here are examples of what I mean.

The Government’s new “Manufacturing Advisory Service” (MAS) was launched last week. Don’t tell me you missed it? It’s “a national programme to help small and medium manufacturing businesses to grow” and it is “now available to all manufacturing businesses across England.” That’s according to the news release.

“The programme will be delivered by the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium (MAC), and it is estimated that it will generate £1.5 billion in economic growth, 23,000 new jobs, and safeguard 50,000 other jobs.” It goes on: "The new Manufacturing Advisory Service will play a key role, providing tailored advice to businesses helping them to grow and thrive, with a specific focus on helping SMEs improve competitiveness and unlock their growth potential."

Sounds good, I love unlocking potential. You can learn more on their website at It’s a little confusing because the website says that “MAS has been a huge success since its launch in 2002.” But this one is NEW so, hey, it must be good then.

It has promise; let’s hope it succeeds.

On the downside, though, all is not rosy in the Government’s attitude to business. From April this year, HMRC plans to spot-check 20,000 companies’ business records saying that “inadequacies” could result in fines of up to £3,000. HMRC has been facing considerable criticism over these checks. We have heard how abysmal their performance has been of late (with stories of big companies doing deals with top civil servants over lunch) and it now seems their only solution is to go after small companies that can’t fight back. The usual easy target: and a company that is put out of business doesn’t help the tax revenue.

Not exactly conducive to national growth is it? One prediction for 2012 is that this one will run and run.

Even with all that news the Business Column would like to wish its readers a very Prosperous 2012.

John Garner - Business Correspondent

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Importance of paying your council tax

Stratford-on-Avon District Council officials are warning residents about the importance of paying council tax, failure to do so could result in bankruptcy proceedings being commenced.

Stratford-on-Avon District Council collects council tax on behalf of all the public services* in the Stratford District and has a tax collection rate of 99.30%; despite this the District Council is still owed more than £448,355.84 (2010/11) in unpaid council tax which it is still actively recovering.

This follows a recent case where a local couple from Southam were made bankrupt following an application made by the District Council, forcing the sale of their house to pay a number of outstanding debts including continual non-payment of council tax.

Cllr Valerie Hobbs, Enterprise, Housing & Revenues Portfolio says: “It is the District Council’s responsibility to collect council tax and we work hard to ensure that our collection rates are as high as possible and that everyone pays their fair share. Like many councils across the country we need to find savings and allowing people to not pay tax puts further strain on our finances.

“Like all businesses the District Council at any point in time is owed money. We are aware that people can fall behind with payments and are therefore anxious to offer help to spread payments. Where there are outstanding debts however we will seek to recover them in accordance with statutory provisions in line with our debt policy. We endeavour to look at all methods of debt recovery where it is cost effective to do so and in some cases we will, in fact, write off the money when it makes more sense to do so rather than continue to chase payment.

“Stratford District Council needs to ensure that it is sympathetic towards and works with those who are sincerely struggling to pay high bills, but at the same time we must crack down on the hard core of residents who are refusing to pay year on year, as that is unacceptable.”


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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:

COFFEE MORNING AND BRING AND BUY - Saturday 28th January 2012 10.30-12 noon in the Church Hall, Beaudesert Lane in aid of St. Basil's Centre for Young Homeless in Birmingham, Home-made cakes and Raffle, free entry, all welcome. This is a very worthwhile charity which St John’s supports.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 19th January in the Baptist Church Hall at 8.00 pm when David Fowler will give a talk on ‘Your Local Cheese and its History’. Visitors and new members are very welcome. Further details from Pat Kench on 795419.

HENLEY WILDLIFE SOCIETY Roger Butler will be taking us “Through Wildest Russia” on Tuesday January 17th from 7.45pm in the Baptist Church Hall. Visitors are welcome.

Tickets are now on sale for the Alcester Male Voice Choirs Annual Concert which to be held at the Town hall Birmingham, Saturday 31st March. Also appearing will be special guest artists including Orchestra of the Swan. Tickets range from £12.50 through to £20 and coach transport is available from Henley for an additional £10 return. For tickets or further information call AMVC box office 02476 971 929 or email

COMPUTING CLASSES FOR EVERYONE - SUITABLE FOR EVERY LEVEL. Course runs for 6 weeks (2 hours) and cost £52.00. For more details contact Jean Bunn 07849 810814 or email

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
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 Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane. Age, health or fitness no barrier. £5 per session – no termly fees. For further information contact Debbie Wild on 07773 318830.    Full details at:
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 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
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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

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Henley-in-Arden Church of England Primary School

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