IT’S the end of an era for a shop that used nuts, bolts and metal strips to build bridges that spanned the world. The Meccano Everything shop in Henley has been established as the Meccano centre of the world for more than three decades.
10 Years Ago: February 7, 2003
IT’S the end of an era for a shop that used nuts, bolts and metal strips to build bridges that spanned the world. The Meccano Everything shop in Henley has been established as the Meccano centre of the world for more than three decades. Since he and his wife, Elizabeth, first set up shop at 165 Reading Road in 1970, Geoff Wright had built up a successful mail order business. But due to failing trade he has decided to close the shop and concentrate on the mail order side.
Henley Town Council has put a block on all “non-essential” capital spending following a row over selling off investments. It also agreed to liquidate £65,000 of investments to make up the £100,000 needed to cover immediate running costs, including wages. The decision was made after members expressed fears over the continued liquidation of its investments to meet budget deficits. Until now the council had used its investment fund raised from the sale of Tesco in Reading Road to keep the precept down.
Stoke Row residents have called on Oxfordshire County Council to clear grit and debris from a bend where a crowded minibus overturned. The bus was travelling down Witheridge Hill when it crashed on the sharp corner that has become increasingly dangerous due to a build-up of debris washed down from the surrounding woodland. No one was injured.
25 Years Ago: February 5th, 1988
THE crisis in the National Health Service took a cruel turn this week when a combination of staff illness and shortages forced the closure of a ward at Henley’s Townlands Hospital. The situation has become so desperately acute that more beds could be lost. To overcome the bleak outlook, the hospital is prepared to consider almost any measure that will attract an injection of qualified and unqualified staff. It says that it will even look at job sharing.
A controversial plan to increase the dumping of industrial waste on the edge of Ewelme was approved this week despite strong opposition from local people, two parish councils and the district council. The joint application by Halls and Grundon involves the diversion of a footpath and will mean the extension of dumping to include waste from shops, offices and factories on a site covering 21.6 hectares. There has been dumping at Ewelme Quarry for the past 25 years.
Fury has greeted reluctance by Oxfordshire County Council to introduce safety measures on the main road outside Shiplake College. Locals have campaigned for years to tackle speeding and overtaking on the A4155 Henley to Reading Road. Two people have been killed and other accidents have occurred.
50 Years Ago: February 8th, 1963LAST Saturday was a rare occasion for the 1st Henley Guides, being the day on which one of their number received the Queen’s guide badge from Miss Christie Miller, assistant county commissioner. The recipient, 15-year-old Lesley Milman, who is a pupil at Henley Grammar School, was the first member of the company to qualify for this award since the last war. To gain it she has to be a first-class guide, which itself calls for a number of qualifications.
Objections to providing old people’s dwellings were voiced at Tuesday’s meeting of Henley Town Council. But other members supported a housing committee recommendation to go ahead with the provision of accommodation at the Harpsden Road end of the existing development at Waterman’s Estate. The committee stated that the minister of housing had no objection to the acceptance by the council of the tender of £20,147 submitted for the construction.
The speed limit for various classes of motor vehicles is to be increased. For goods vehicles the limit is raised from 30mph to 40mph except on roads in built-up areas where a 30mph limit is in force. For motor cars towing caravans the limit has also been increased from 30mph to 40mph. Motor tractors complying with certain structural requirements will be permitted to travel at 30mph instead of 20mph.
100 Years Ago: February 7, 1913
THE whole of England is mourning the terrible fate which befell Captain Scott and his comrades. In Henley, there is a deeper feeling and sympathy because, although Captain Scott was not a Henley man, his mother, son and sisters live in the town and, previous to starting his expedition to the South Pole, Capt Scott was often here, his sterling qualities winning him many friends. He was often seen to be enjoying a game of golf on the Henley links. On this account, people in Henley were keenly interested in him.
There was a pleasing little ceremony at Henley town hall when Mr W G Bayley was presented with a handsome gold watch in recognition of his many years’ service as conductor of the Henley Choral Society. There was a large attendance and Miss Heathfield, who made the presentation on behalf of the society, admirably voiced the feelings of affection and esteem with which Mr Bayley is regarded by all the members.
The seventh annual meeting of Henley Fire Brigade was held. During the past year, 20 drills had been held and one parade attended. For the first six months of the year no fire call was recorded but the latter six months produced seven fire calls, including a small fire at Leander Club, a blazing motor bus at Northfield End and a stackyard in full blaze at Fawley Court.