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Turning Back the Pages
Published 18/11/13





10 YEARS AGO: November 14, 2003

A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl was among seven people held hostage by armed robbers in a raid on a Sonning Common shop. Three men wearing balaclavas burst into the One Stop shop and post office in Wood Lane last Friday evening brandishing a gun, baseball bat, iron bar and a knife. One raider stood guard on the door, acting as a look-out, while his accomplice went to the post office section and demanded cash from the couple behind the counter.

The Henley home of Olympic rowing star Matthew Pinsent has been targeted by thieves who broke in and stole the keys to his Mercedes CLK320 coupé before driving it away on Halloween night. The multiple gold medal winner has joined Henley police in warning homeowners of the dangers of leaving their car keys on display. The thieves also took a mobile phone, credit cards, a computer and cash.

A research project on the history of Henley has been launched as part of a national heritage campaign. The Victoria History of Oxfordshire Trust launched the project at the River and Rowing Museum on Friday as a three-year study, aiming to produce a fully researched history of the town in paperback and online.



25 YEARS AGO: November 11, 1988

HENLEY sports clubs had their knuckles rapped this week for ignoring the terms of their leases. The boxing and boys’ club, the rugby club and the rowing club were named by councillors as offenders. For years the clubs have staged private functions, commercial events and fund-raising activities on their grounds without the full approval of the town council.

Business didn’t stop when a fire broke out in the chimney at the Bottle and Glass public house in Binfield Heath on Saturday. Landlady Glen Allen was so unperturbed she thought the fire would burn itself out. However, she was very glad an appliance had been called for between the call being made and the fire service arriving, flames reached the thatch and set it alight.

Plans by Henley Town Council for a major redevelopment of leisure facilities at Mill Meadows have come in for some strong criticism from one of its own members. Councillor John Howard described a pavilion as looking like “an enlarged wig-wam”.



50 YEARS AGO: November 15, 1963

A LORRY driven by Robert Nelson, from Birmingham, was seen to be on fire as it approached the Bell Street/New Street junction in Henley on Monday morning. The driver promptly used his fire extinguisher and drove the lorry to Thames Side, where the Henley Fire Brigade soon had the flames under control. The cause was a fault in the lorry’s braking system and the fire was confined to the tyres and wheels.

Gillotts School, which has been open in its present form for three years, now has 500 pupils ranging in age from 11 to 18, the majority of them local children not selected at 11+ for the grammar school courses. However, since it opened in 1960, 12 pupils have been successful in obtaining passes at A level in the general certificate of education and 80 have gained their O level certificates. These were some of the details given in the report of headmaster Mr R W Pritchard at the school’s annual speech day.

A woman from Middle Assendon was taken to Battle Hospital in Reading with serious injuries after being trapped in her Vauxhall car following a collision with a BRS goods lorry at Eye and Dunsden on the Henley to Reading Road near the Flowing Spring public house.



100 YEARS AGO: November 14, 1913

CONSIDERABLE alarm was caused in Henley and district shortly after nine o’clock on Wednesday morning when news was received that Joyce Grove, Nettlebed, the lovely mansion of Robert Fleming, was on fire. Fears were entertained that a house on fire in such an exposed position, and with such a wind as was blowing at the time, would quickly be burned to the ground. On arrival at the spot, however, it was found that prompt measures had averted such a catastrophe and the fire was extinguished before it had damaged more than the roof.

Members of the Henley division of the Oxfordshire Constabulary were the guests of Sir Frank Crisp at the Broad Gates Hotel on Wednesday evening when they were entertained to dinner. Full justice having been done to the excellent repast provided, the remainder of the evening was devoted to the enjoyment of a long and varied musical programme.

Alderman Simmons moved that Councillor Hobbs be elected to fill the important office of Mayor during the ensuing year. He said he should like to remind members that Cllr Hobbs had been a member of the council for eight-and-a-half years and during that time he had never failed to perform his duties assiduously in every way.

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PUBLISHED 18/11/13

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