Thursday, 17 June 2021

Councillor seeks to resurrect village ‘voice’

A NEW group is being set up to replace the Sonning Common Society.

A NEW group is being set up to replace the Sonning Common Society.

The society folded in October after 50 years of trying to protect the village as it has developed.

Chairman Mark Richards and committee members Judy Pitson, Rosemary Dunstan and Leigh Rawlings are working with parish councillor Dirk Jones to establish the new group.

Mr Jones said he wanted to maintain the “voice of Sonning Common”.

He said: “The society has been an institution in Sonning Common for years so it is rather a shame that it has gone. I’ve lived in the village for about 40 years and after all that time I thought it was time I did something about it.

“We are trying to get something together with some of the old members, and some new ones, and modernise it a bit.

“This is for everybody in Sonning Common, although we have lots of elderly people in the village who don’t use things like the internet or texts and need to be looked after.

“Sonning Common has always been a very proud place and we should carry on standing up and having a voice.”

Mr Jones said he would like to hold meetings every three months and continue the society’s activities as well as developing new projects and ideas.

Mrs Dunstan, manager of the village library, has volunteered to continue producing the society’s village guide, which will still be available in shops along with postcards and leaflets.

The society’s work on a new village sign will also continue but there will be no more organised talks or walks or distribution of newsletters.

The society was formed in 1965 by residents concerned about a huge development. Mr Richards said: “Since its formation the society has seen the village grow from small beginnings to the vibrant community it is today.

“The society worked hard over the years pursuing its aims of protecting and enhancing the village environment under the guidance of our founder and late president, Sibella Bonham Carter, and our late, long-serving secretary Ken Crush.

“It was unanimously felt that other groups are now fulfilling these aims and that the time has come to close.”

Anyone interested in helping should call Cllr Jones on 0118 972 2165 or email

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