ELEVEN Henley businesses are looking for new premises following an announcement that Waldens of Henley plans to redevelop its town centre site for flats and offices. Waldens has owned and worked from the site off Greys Road for more than 100 years. Some tenants expressed anger this week at their forced move. Ata Hosseini, who set up his pizza delivery business two months ago, said: “I have spent £45,000 setting up the unit which hasn’t even opened yet. When I moved in I didn’t know of Waldens’ plan. I don’t know what’s going to happen now.”
Disaster was narrowly averted after a curtain caught fire at Crazies Hall, Crazies Hill. Two engines attended an emergency call to the historic Georgian-style house on Monday afternoon. Workmen using a blow-torch while refurbishing windows accidentally set the curtain alight. No one was hurt and firefighters quickly controlled the flames.
There was standing room only as 40 people filled Kidmore End hall to hear the parish council vote unanimously to oppose a plan for a gypsy caravan site in the village. The application for a 10- or 12 -berth site in a field led to more than 150 protest letters to South Oxfordshire District Council.
25 Years Ago
MYSTERY surrounds the price in a planned sale of the former Smith Hospital in Henley’s Fair Mile. Last year, the property was sold by the Oxfordshire Regional Health Authority for a figure thought to be around Â£650,000 but rumours have been rife that the value could now be up to Â£1.5million. Satnam Investments, a Cheltenham company that specialises in property development and investments, would not comment.
Parents were put on alert in Sonning Common this week after a man approached an eight-year-old boy and tried to entice him into his car. The boy was riding his bike along Woodlands Road at about 1.30pm on Tuesday when a man in a beige Ford Escort stopped and talked to him. The man asked the boy to get into the car and when he refused, attempted to grab the handlebars of his bike.
An 82-year-old man, who is partially disabled, was thrown to the ground and robbed by two men at his home in Pishill on Thursday last week. The raiders forced their way into the isolated farmhouse and pushed the man to the ground before threatening him and taking his wallet, diary and Â£120. They then drove off in an old white car, leaving the manfor several hours before he was discovered by a relative.
50 Years Ago
April 23, 1965
THERE was an unexpected diversion at the annual parochial meeting of St Mary’s Church in Henley on Wednesday evening when one of those present registered a protest against the presence of any practising Masons on the church council. Sir Geoffrey Fairbrother said: “I wish to go on record as protesting against the presence on the church council of any practising Masons because Masonry is anti-Christ.”
Five-year-old Nigel Porter, of Gainsborough Road, Henley, was taken to Battle Hospital, Reading, on Tuesday evening after receiving burns to his right arm and thigh from an open fire. At the time he was wearing a dressing gown. On Thursday a hospital spokesman described Nigel’s condition as “satisfactory”.
Driftwood, a houseboat moored off Lion Meadows, Henley, was reported to be sinking on Tuesday evening and Henley firemen were called to pump water from the craft. The occupants of a nearby boat, John Kenwyn, noticed that the boat, which is owned by Mrs Smallwood, was sinking.
100 Years Ago
April 23, 1915
A MOTOR car driven by Lt Gerald Williamson, of London â?? the other occupants being Capt and Mrs Naylor and the chauffeur â?? was proceeding along Marlow Road in the direction of Hambleden on Sunday when it struck the milk cart in front while overtaking. Before Mr Williamson could pull up, the car swerved and ran through the iron fence skirting the deer park and dropped into the brook, dragging with it the milk cart and the horse attached. All persons involved were very lucky to escape with nothing more than shock.
Pte C W Rowe, who is serving with other Henley Territorials with the British Expeditionary Force in France, writes as follows: “It was on Thursday night that we had our real baptism of fire. We were engaged in digging a reserve line of trenches about 200 yards away from the German lines. Bullets were continually going by us and the Germans were constantly sending up flares. These flares reminded us very much of the fireworks at the regatta, although on a larger scale, and they lit up the ground for many yards round.” Â
The casualty list issued early in the week contained the name of Capt P F Harrison, son of Mr and Mrs R H C Harrison, of Shiplake Court, reported wounded in the Persian Gulf.