Friday, 21 September 2018

Around the WI

BENSON

BENSON

YVONNE welcomed all visitors to our first meeting of 2016.

We had enjoyed a varied and interesting programme during last year and our January meeting did not disappoint.

After discussing forthcoming events, members were invited to take part in indoor adult sports.

Thanks to the enterprising hard work of one of our members, nine different challenges had been set up inside the village hall.



For those members not wishing to participate in such energetic pursuits, more sedentary games were available.

Delicious refreshments were then served and the meeting finished by 9.30pm.

We meet on the third Wednesday of the month at Benson village hall at 7.30pm.

Our next meeting will be on February 17 when we will be welcoming Sam Mallet who will give a talk called “Waking up the garden”.

If you would like to join us, please contact Lin on (01491) 836800.



COCKPOLE GREEN

ON Wednesday, January 20 president Adrienne Rance welcomed guest Sue Edgell and speaker Peter Hague to the first meeting of 2016.

Peter gave a fascinating illustrated talk about West Wycombe Park and the  Dashwoods.

West Wycombe Park is administered by the National Trust, although the furnishings and paintings are owned by the Dashwood family who still live there.

The house, built between 1730 and 1790, is of the Palladian style influenced by the 2nd Baronet Dashwood.

He inherited the title when he was 16 years old and the estate was run on his behalf by his guardian, the Earl of Westmorland.

The earl sent the young boy on a world tour and Italy was one of the places that influenced him, hence the house was built in an Italian style.

From the south aspect it overlooks a lake and parkland, with a music temple on the island in the lake.

The west portico was built in 1770 and was the last part to be added to the house and is now used as the main entrance.

It looks over St Lawrence Church, originally the estate church, but now the church of West Wycombe. It also overlooks the family mausoleum and the River Wye, which flows into the lake.

The east portico was built in 1750 and includes a statue of Bacchus (god of wine).

The south colonnade is decorated with frescos and looks up the hill on top of which is Imperator Dashwoodus Rex, a soldier on a horse made from fibreglass. This was erected by the 11th baronet and was reputedly paid for with a case of champagne.

Nearby is the statue of the sleeping Aphrodite.

In 1752, artist William Hannan painted a picture of the lake with the house in the background and included the 60-tonne frigate on which the 2nd baronet amused his guests by firing cannons on to the shore where cannons fired back. Evidently only one person was ever injured in this activity.

On the island, the music temple was dedicated to Venus, the 2nd baronet’s favourite goddess. He also had a parlour built on the island. During the Victorian era both buildings fell into neglect and they were not rebuilt and refurbished until the Eighties by the 11th  baronet.

The first baronet was Sir Francis Dashwood (1658-1724). He was made baronet in 1702 and became sole owner of West Wycombe Estate in 1706, when he bought out his brother’s half- share.

Sir Francis amassed his wealth when he was a governor in India, working for the British East India company.

He was known as one of the nabobs on his return to the UK, the title being derived from the Urdu word “nawab”, meaning administrator of an Indian state.

The 2nd baronet Sir Francis (1708-1781) loved wine, women and song and this is evident by the statue of Bacchus and the Venus temple.

He used to travel to the Hell Fire Club in London but after a while established a club for his friends at Medmenham Abbey.

The abbey, then part of the Duffield estate, had been closed by Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries. It was a building of ill- repute! Members entered secretly, men dressed as monks and the women as nuns.

The statues of Harpocrates and Angerona, the god and goddess of silence, stood by the entrance.

A story of one member’s attempt at reforming the club led to the Earl of Sandwich being convinced he had been accosted by the devil. The reformer was subsequently banned from the club but it closed down anyway in the 1770s.

The English harvest failed in 1749 and 1750 and the 2nd baronet took pity on his tenants, so he set them to excavate chalk from Wycombe Hill to make a road down to High Wycombe. An obelisk commemorating the road-building effort still stands.

The excavations became the Hell Fire Caves, which are still owned and administered by the current baronet.

Sir John Dashwood, 10th Baronet (1869-1966) was just 13 years old when he succeeded to the title.

Facing punishing new taxes, he asked the National Trust to take over the running of the house in 1934.

Sir John did not like the house but his wife, Lady Helen, did. They had three children, Maud, Francis (who became the 11th Baronet) and one other.

Sir John served with the Argyll and Sunderland Highlanders in the Second World War and was promoted to major in the tank regiment.

Between the wars he rose to become assistant marshall of the diplomatic service and spent time at Buckingham Palace.

During his time in the British embassy in Ankara, he was involved in exposing the spy for the Nazis codenamed Cicero, a Kosovan who was being paid in counterfeit  sterling.

Sir John was succeeded as the 11th baronet by Francis (1925-2000).

He served the country in the war, even though he initially failed his medical and fainted at the sight of blood!

Prior to his father’s death he set about restoring the Hell Fire Caves.

He succeeded to the title of 11th baronet on July 9, 1966. He had three daughters, Emily, Georgina and Helen, and a son, Edward.

He held the office of High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in 1967. He researched his family’s history and wrote a book called The Dashwoods of West Wycombe, which was published in 1987.

The 12th baronet is Sir Edward John Francis Dashwood, who was born on September 25, 1964 and succeeded to the title on the death of his father in March 2000.

He was educated at Eton before graduating from Reading University with a BSc.

Since 2003, he has lived at West Wycombe Park with his wife, Lady Lucinda Dashwood, and they have one daughter, Victoria Lucinda, and two sons, George Francis and Robert Edward.

Members learned that several period dramas were filmed at West Wycombe Park. They include Cranford, The Importance of Being Ernest, Downton Abbey (in a small way) and Little Dorrit. Paloma Faith also had a photocall there and the popular Meercats TV advert and the Inspector Foyle drama series were shot there too.

Members then found bargains at the bring and buy table and this was followed by an excellent tea, served by a team of chosen tea hostesses.The next meeting will be held at Crazies Hill village hall on Wednesday, February 17 at 2.30pm, when the guest speaker, former local resident Angela Hodgeson, will give a talk about china revival and ceramic restoration.

Interested? Please call Selina Avent on 0118 940 3426 as you would be most welcome.



HAMBLEDEN

MARGARET SPRATLEY opened the January meeting, welcoming all members and then introducing the evening’s speaker, Chris Morley JP. Chris presented various case studies which were discussed within different groups.

This gave everyone a fascinating insight into the intricacies of the role of a JP and, in particular, the complexities of sentencing.

The evening’s business featured a discussion about a proposed visit to Denman College and various future events, including another drama production, the forthcoming snowdrop walk and the latest book club meeting.

Members all voted on this year’s national federation resolutions. The results will be announced at February’s meeting.

Teas were kindly provided by Teresa Russ, Catherine Binsdale and Suzie Livesay.

There will be a WI stall at the Hambleden covered market on Saturday, February 13 with information about our programme for this year.

Various existing members will be on hand to answer questions and provide more information about the group. Alternatively, call either Helen (07889 539605) or Jo (07803 505665) if you are interested in coming along to a meeting or simply want to learn more about the WI.



HARPSDEN

THERE was good news for president Pat Eades to give out at the January meeting when she announced that five new members had joined that day and a welcome was given to a visitor, who will hopefully join next month.

Birthday greetings were given to Marion Brockway and Audrey Fox and Pat also wished herself a happy  birthday. She informed members that discussions were taking place at the Oxfordshire federation regarding the possibility of amalgamating the Witheridge Group with the South Chiltern Group, the former having five WI members and the latter three. She will take the feelings of the meeting back to the federation.

Stoke Row WI had given notice of their outing to Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire to see the display of snowdrops. The cost is £40.

There was also news that the Sue Ryder hospice at Nettlebed holds coffee mornings every Friday. It is also producing a cake and biscuits recipe book and has appealed for favourite recipes for inclusion.

Pat outlined various activities in News & Views, namely that subscriptions of £38.50 are now due, the annual meeting of the Oxfordshire federation will be on March 23, when the national chairman will be present, and there are weekend and day visits to Denman College available.

An outing to Breamore House and Countryside Museum will be taking place on May 17. This house overlooks the Avon Valley. The cost of the trip is £29.

Also in News & Views was a photograph of the twiddle muffs which had been given to the Huntercombe Hall care home and another of the pennant which Harpsden WI had made for use at Tackley headquarters.

Pat gave information regarding the 75th birthday celebrations of Harpsden WI on September 14, when the speaker will be BBC Radio Berkshire presenter Andrew Peach. The celebrations will include a lunch at Henley Golf Club.

The afternoon was then given over to enjoying a variety of indoor games and the chance to circulate and talk to friends and new members.

The competition was for a Christmas card and the joint winners were Patricia Williams and Pam Hails, with Judith Young the runner-up. The next meeting was to be a lunch at Henley Golf Club on February 10.

The annual meeting will take place at Harpsden village hall on March 9, commencing at 2.30pm. New committee members are required for the coming year. The competition will be for a fridge magnet.

At the meeting on April 13 the speaker will be Frances Benton talking about “A passion for pearls”.

The programme for the WI year commencing after the annual meeting will feature such diverse subjects as wills, Hercule Poirot, MasterChef and the Falkland Islands.

Do come along and join the WI to hear these fascinating talks.



MILL GREEN, WARGRAVE

A VERY enjoyable Christmas dinner catered by Nikki Alston was held in the Sansom Room on Wednesday, December 2 and there were several new members present.

The members’ social meeting on January 6 was most enjoyable with a light supper with wine and soft drinks followed by picture charades from films, books and TV.

Forthcoming events are as follows:

March 2: Unfortunately, the speaker scheduled has had to cancel. If anyone would like to look at the miniature royal coach models they are welcome to do so at his home. A new speaker is to be announced very soon. The programme for the rest of the year will be published in the March edition of   Wargrave News.

Mill Green, Wargrave WI always welcomes visitors and new members. Our meetings are usually held in the Hannen Room, Mill Green, on the first Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm unless otherwise stated.



PEPPARD

OUR first meeting of the year got off to a good start with a fascinating talk and slide show by Tony King entitled “If Dickens had a camera”.

Most of the slides were taken by Fox Talbot, who had a studio in Reading and brought to life Dickens’s London at a time of great change.

A delicious tea was provided by Sylvia Robinson and Veronica Townsend with a lovely spring arrangement of flowers by Kathie Anderson.



ROSEHILL

PRESIDENT Margaret Pyle welcomed all members and visitors to our first meeting of 2016 by wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

She thanked June Fisher for the table flowers — a lovely display of alstroemeria. She also thanked Margaret Seal for the birthday buttonholes.

She went on to say that the record of the December meeting was available for all to see.

She also said that there were some free samples available of a cream that is supposed to make one look years younger — a bit late for most of those present!

Doris Goddard reported that she had almost made her target of 350 emergency packs for the Royal Berkshire Hospital and hoped to continue sending them in 2016.

Doris gave out the birthday buttonholes as Margaret Seal was unable to attend.

The various clubs are hoping to make a good start this year. The Book Club, Knit and Natter and Scrabble group all met in January but the cinema club did not as there were no suitable films being shown.

It was was hoped to take a local walk depending on the weather.

Phyllis Clinton was asked about Margaret Slade and she replied that she was back home but with live-in carers and still in a rather depressed state — let’s hope she will make a recovery soon.

Secretary Mary Robinson drew our attention to several courses and outings advertised in the January issue of Berkshire News, especially the forthcoming spring annual council meeting which will be held at the Hexagon in Reading on Wednesday, April 13.

She also said that nominations for the committee would be needed before the annual meeting in March.

Then Margaret introduced our speaker, Alan Copeland, whose talk on “The changing face of Reading” was extremely interesting and well received.

It was mainly a video film made and narrated by Doug Noyes of what happened when the IDR was built.

It certainly jogged a few memories of what the Oxford Road area had looked like before the demolition. Some said afterwards that it was quite sad to see the lovely old buildings disappearing.

Alan said that he now had an archive of Doug Noyes’s photographs (about 6,000 in all) and had other films of different parts of Reading.

Thank you, Alan, for an excellent talk.

Finally, we had tea and biscuits before the raffle was drawn.

Brenda Strong was pleased to announce that just over £20 had been made on the bring and buy stall — thank you to all who contributed.

We meet at St Barnabas’s Church Hall in Emmer Green at 2pm on the first Wednesday of the month and would be pleased to welcome any visitors.



SHIPLAKE

JOAN JOLLEY, the president, welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the new year on January 20.

She reported that there was one new member and that it was Russ Morgan’s birthday.

Joan then explained that Shiplake WI had been asked to consider if it would join the Witheridge Group for the yearly group meetings. Members agreed with this proposal.

Subscriptions were due so the treasurer Rosemary Appleby collected them and handed out the membership books.

The completed forms for selecting the resolution for the national federation’s annual meeting were handed in and items of interest in News & Views and in our newsletter were noted.

Joyce Vernon gave details of the February walk and the planned visit to the medical museum at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

She asked if any members would be interested in a guided walk around the Oxford Colleges.

Joan then gave a reminder that the Grace Phillips Memorial Salver would be presented at the March meeting. This year the subject of the competition is to create some images from recollections of the WI centenary year, expressed in any medium.

The speaker was Christine Brewster who has been a full- time basketmaker for the last 15 years.

She explained how willow was grown and stored. The bolts of willow that she prefers come from Somerset and she uses up to two bolts a week in different lengths and colours.

She showed us some beautiful examples of lovely shaped baskets and an example of a traditional eel trap and explained the difference between brown willow and stripped willow.

Christine then demonstrated that baskets could be made with a variety of other materials including recycled plastic bags, food wrappers and newspapers — the colour supplements were most useful.

Another way of basket- making was the coiled method using raffia, electric cables or washing lines. These needed to be stitched or tied together and Christine had some wonderful examples that had been completed with multi-coloured cable ties.

Then we were shown some amazing crocheted bags which were made using old video tapes, string and fishing lines. Next we saw some baskets in East Indies style, which were in free patterns, and others that were plaited in hexagonal designs which are familiar in the Far East.

These are very strong and look like copies of shaker pots and Japanese rice baskets.

Finally. Christine showed us some small, very pretty baskets made from telephone wire, which were very light and delicate and were greatly coveted by many members.

The talk was very interesting, entertaining and enjoyed by all. The vote of thanks was given by Irene Crawford.

After an excellent tea, the winner of the Associated Country Women of the World flower competition was announced as Joyce Vernon. The winner of the competition for a favourite basket was Ursula Davies.

The speaker at the February meeting will be Frances Banton who will be talking about “A passion for pearls”. Visitors are always welcome.



SONNING COMMON

OUR members were very happy to meet up again after our Christmas celebrations which already seemed a long time ago.

Sue Frayling-Cork, our president, welcomed everyone and wished them a happy new year. It was nice to see some new faces and hopefully they will become new members. They would be very welcome.

Our programme was for a social evening with a fish and chip supper and we were all very much looking forward to our supper arriving.

There was a lot of information given to members by the president and members of the committee. This included a reminder to complete, if willing, a survey with regard to organ donation. Details of the online survey and a few hard copies were distributed.

Our treasurer’s report confirmed that our finances were in order and she was working on the end of year accounts.  

Anne Croxson informed members that the fund-raising team had raised £933 during 2015. A bursary of £50 will be sent to the Oxfordshire federation for the Bursary Memorial Fund in memory of Elizabeth Tyler.

Our president spoke about the campaign called Custody, Not Care. She had written to our local MP John Howell and John Bercow MP to investigate how the funds allocated by the Government were being spent and where.

She had received a reply from Mr Howell but felt that the situation was still far from clear. So far, she had not received a letter from Mr  Bercow. She and Carol Townhill were still trying to obtain information.

Carole Willliams reported on our January evening Christmas dinner held at the Shoulder of Mutton at Playhatch when 18 members enjoyed an excellent meal.

The hosts of the inn had left the beautiful sparkling lights and Christmas decorations up for us, provided crackers and made us so very welcome.

We had our own room and were able to relax and chat among ourselves with lots of laughter too! It was a happy and chatty evening.

Jane Handley had made a fantastic basket of gifts which she kindly donated. Jane and the landlady had put a lucky ticket under one of our seats and at the end of the meal we were all told to look and see if we were the lucky winner.

Mairwen West was sitting on the lucky seat and she was delighted. Thanks were given to Jane for her organisation of the evening and for the lucky ticket prize.

Sue Hedges, our secretary, wished everyone a Happy New Year and reminded them to complete the resolution slips from the November edition of WI Life.

Sue outlined that the annual meeting would take place in March. Nomination slips for new committee members were available.

Sue Hedges reported on the members’ day to be held in the village hall on March 23.

The morning session will be a talk on keeping fit as we age and the opportunity to do some seated exercise followed by a talk on nutrition. In the afternoon it will be crafts with demonstrations and the opportunity to make a small garden structure or a stitched picture.

Members must register their interest as soon as possible so that planning for the day can be confirmed.

Details of trips were available in the sideroom to be booked during coffee time.

On the information table were details of a local boy called Charlie, for whom we sent a donation towards his cancer treatment fund. Our best wishes were sent to Charlie and his family.

Fish and chips from our local shop were delivered and the smell was mouth-wateringly wonderful, as most of us had not eaten at home and were very hungry!

The supper was washed down with cups of tea and coffee and members enjoyed catching up with their friends at our first meeting of the year.

Each member had been asked to bring a photograph of herself as a child. These were displayed and we were all challenged to recognise them.

The joint winners, guessing the most names, were Lesley Davis and Sue Green. Some faces were easily recognisable but others were extremely  difficult to identify.

After clearing away the debris of our supper, the business continued.

Sue Frayling-Cork gave an update on the progress at Townlands Hospital. Jane Handley told us that the committee had been busy working on the “green heart” campaign and members were advised that they would receive a handmade green heart badge made by Di Soden in their February News & Views and would they like to wear it on February 14 (Valentine’s Day) and to our February meeting.

The green heart message is to highlight emission levels in our environment, particularly while “love is in the air” and to spread the word that we want our loved ones to benefit from a clean, green environment.

Jane also made a request for members to give her their unwanted Christmas and greetings cards as she would be recycling them to raise funds. Jane, with the help of her husband, has already started this project and samples of their creative work were shown.

Sue Frayling-Cork read out a letter from the Oxfordshire federation with regard to the future of the Witheridge Group. The idea is that the group could amalgamate with the South Chilton Group. Opinions were taken, discussion ensued and a vote was taken.

The result was an overwhelming vote for staying as the Witheridge Group. Sue will take this decision to the next presidents’ group meeting and will keep us informed of developments.

Gill Hayward then gave a fund-raising committee report. She has taken over the chair of this committee following Alison Bishop’s resignation.

Alison was again thanked for her exceptional contribution over the last few years and Gill said that she would be a hard act to follow.

From the £933 raised by the committee during 2015, it was agreed that donations to local community projects be made at our February 3 coffee morning in the village hall and everyone was welcome to attend and bring friends.

A donation will be made to Sonning Common Village Gardeners, the local First Responders, Greenshoots and Sonning Common youth club Club SC. A representative from each cause will be at the event to receive their donation.

Our monthly village coffee mornings have been a great success and are open to all and we love to see members from other WIs too. They take place from 10.30am to noon at Sonning Common village hall. Dates are published in the miscellaneous section of the Henley Standard’s listings page and in the Sonning Common Village Magazine and reminders are in our monthly bulletins.

A request for books and craft items was made to refresh our sales tables. Wendy Dean and Rose Prynn were welcomed as new members of the fund-raising committee and we are very pleased to have them on board.

The raffle followed and the prizes were allocated. An additional prize of a beautifully knitted clown was won by Chris Marsh who successfully guessed his name was Sparky.

The flower of the month competition results were: 1st Jenny Ward; 2nd Ann Chivers; 3rd Sue Frayling-Cork; 4th Sue Hedges.

Alison Bishop was thanked for organising the “guess who” photo competition.

Our next meeting will be held at Sonning Common village hall on February 18 at 7.30pm.

It will include a talk on what Denman College has to offer by Jane Probitts, national federation officer and chair of the craft committee.



STOKE ROW

WE had a splendid turnout in January, despite the freezing weather.

At least two new members signed up and were welcomed by our president Penny Noble and all the other members during the meeting.

We heard from a delightful Alison, who owns the bookshop in Wallingford. Her talk was lively and enthusiastic and much appreciated as she spoke about the shop (and all of its extras), which she clearly enjoys spearheading.

As we have a book group of our own, this particularly appealed to some of our members.

Dates for meetings of the craft group and book group, the swim, snowdrop walk and trips were given out.

Alison judged some unusual bookmarks for our competition and the winner was a gecko!

For the flower of the month competition members had brought along hellebores — about the only striking flowers in bloom at the moment. It will probably be all daffodils and snowdrops next month. As it is our 60th anniversary in February, we are going travelling through time in music to listen to the top of the pops during those years. It should be fun and bring back some memories perhaps of our misspent youth!

We discussed the proposal for our WI to join in with an additional three local WIs to make a larger group for some occasions and we agreed this sounded a good idea.

Our meeting ended with the refreshments, a raffle and a reminder to wear our diamonds for our diamond anniversary next month.



WATLINGTON

FOR our January meeting we had an excellent local speaker, Jane Few Brown, who gave us a very humorous talk on her train journey from Vladivostok to Moscow in 2013.

This journey was full of adventure which she recounted in a humorous and informative way and illustrated with photos taken along the way. Her talk was very much appreciated by everyone and Eleanor Holden gave the vote of thanks.

In March it will be our annual meeting so we will have no speaker. A new programme of events will be given out and we will vote for the president and committee for 2016/2017.

The meeting will be held in the town hall on Wednesday, March 9 at 7.30pm. For more information about our WI, please call Kath Gomm on (01491) 612939.



WHITCHURCH HILL

NINETEEN members joined president Frances for the first meeting of the New Year.

We were treated to an interesting talk on tai chi by Karen Pounds before being encouraged to take part in some gentle exercises and shown how to improve posture and circulation.

We all enjoyed the experience and a number of members feel encouraged to go further and participate on a regular basis — we all stood taller and felt better for it. A good start to the New Year.

The competition for “something Oriental” was won by Heather Baker, with Joyce Brannan second and president Frances third. The flower of the month winner was Liz Gibson and the raffle was won by Sheila Morland.

The next meeting on February 16 will feature a talk on “English courtrooms” by Graham Loxton Best and we will be persuading members to put their names forward to join the committee ready for our annual meeting in March.

Our programme for 2016/17 will include talks including “The history of Reading Abbey”, “Hedgehogs and how we can help them to survive”, “A passion for pearls” and a variety of other subjects as well as outings and a demonstration of baking skills on March 1 when we look forward to a tasting session too.

Meetings take place at Goring Heath Parish Hall, opposite St John’s Church on the B471, on the third Tuesday of the month from 10am.

We have a wide variety of activities, so come along and find out what we do. For more information, please call 0118 984 1696.



WOODCOTE

WE met for our first meeting of the New Year on January 20, a sunny but cold winter’s day.

Shirley Bryant wished everyone a Happy New Year.

The birthday girls were Carole Shelley-Allen and Jenny Gough.

We have plenty of outings organised for the coming year for our homes and gardens trips. These include skittles, visits to Portsmouth and Chartwell and maybe a Midsomer Murders tour.

The tea ladies were Sylvia Parr, Jo Seymour and Audrey Hawthorne who gave us a lovely tea.

Our speaker was John Rogers who spoke to us about “Skye, off the beaten track“ and showed us some wonderful photographs. I think those of us who haven’t been will be heading off to this beautiful island.

The competition for best island view was won by Gillian Seymour and the bloom of the month winner was Patricia Jessup.

We meet on the third Wednesday of the month at Woodcote village hall. Please come and join in — we would love to see you.



GREYS

OUR president Val Mundy welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2016.

Members were asked to select the WI resolution they wished to go forward to the national federation for its annual meeting in June. The final selection would be discussed and voted on at our May meeting.

Treasurer Doreen Howells collected subscriptions and members were reminded to order their 2017 calendars.

Committee member Merryl Roberts circulated details of the programme for 2016/17, which she had put together after discussion with the committee, and explained the difficulties for a small WI to fund speakers.

Members were asked for suggestions to raise funds. She also needs ideas for the summer outing. She was thanked for arranging an interesting programme despite funding constraints.

Val introduced our speaker, Sue Nickson, who had kindly stepped in at short notice when the speaker from the Island Donkey Farm had to cancel.

Sue’s book

In Common Memory
tells the history of Peppard and Kingwood Commons from 1939-2014 through the voices of villagers — “folk who experienced it and who are still here to talk about it”. Tales of the hard lives of post-war women living in the huts of the old US army hospital on Kingwood are told by a few of their many children, whom Sue has managed to track down.

An idyllic childhood, “the freedom of the common as their playground”, came up again and again.

Among others, she told us about Patrick, an idiosyncratic character who was respected and cared for by his neighbours.

She brought us up to date reminding us of the problems of fly-tipping and how volunteers keep the paths clear for the walkers who use them to keep fit and the children of Peppard Primary School (founded 1871) who play on the common just as their grandparents did.

Sue is delighted that the Greening Lamborn Trust has agreed to pay for the cost of printing, which means she can donate more of the proceeds to the Peppard Relief in Need Charity.

In Common Memory (£11.99) is available from Sue at suenickson@chilternantiques.com

Merryl thanked her for telling us about the people she had spoken to for her book and for coming to our rescue at short notice.

Join us at Greys Village Hall at 2.30pm on February 17 to hear about “The Brunner family at Greys” and bring a photo of yourself as a child.



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