Friday, 06 August 2021

Pothole repair was a waste of money

Hurrah ! Can we assume that the Henley Standard & People Power have been a major factor in this glorious

Hurrah ! Can we assume that the Henley Standard & People Power have been a major factor in this glorious victory over poor administration, political malingering & financial sculdugery, or shall we wait for the proof to be carved in tarmac ?

Dear Sir or Madam, You may like to included this photo in the Henley Standard this week. It is of 6 girls who danced to the ‘Time Warp’ in the gala at the henley youth festival on Saturday night.The photo shows the girls just before they performed.In the picture from left to right, Claudia Dunn, Sophie Berry, Demmi Cookson (top), Aoife Rossenmeir, Ciara Rossenmeir and Jessica Whittingham. The girls are from Rupert House, Vally Road and Shiplake. And have danced together for the last couple of years. This is Sophie Berry’s last HYF before she goes off to live in Austraila so they were all delighted to get through to the gala on Saturday night. Many Thanks, Tom Berry

This is great news. Lorraine at Hot Gossip was the catalyst which allowed this Youth Group - who do not want to be associated with the Youth Centre - to start. And it is great that they have the confidence, courage and committment to spread their wings.

Ther Youth of our Town are the future, and they should get all the encouragement possible to try out various events and functions. They know best what they want, and it is up to the older generations to help and support their initiatives - such as this. And I hope they get good weather for their Family Day. Who knows where it will end? The first step is the hardest. Or, as Confucius put it, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. David NS

Ode to magic moments

Sir, — I wrote this poem in 1966. It is about those “magic moments” that we sometime experience and never forget. It’s called Swyncombe Hill. — Yours faithfully,

High upon that voluptuous hill we climbed And in the green lush grass we lay Taking in all that God could give on that most glorious day, The warmth of the sun and blue of the sky, The heady scent of the sweet grasses wafted on the breeze, The plaintive bleating of newly born lambs And tuneful singing of little birds in the sighing trees, The chirping of the cheerful crickets and the Buzzing of bees on the scattered perfumed flowers at our feet, The waving corn in the meadow below, where the church tower peeps through the trees; We hugged-the mother earth as the skylark ascended into the cloudless blue heaven above It was good to be alive, We drank it all in, Happy just to be, And together, We breathed life in, We felt the very pulse of life On that most glorious day.

David M Page


Sir, — The football shirts of the Piggott School, Wargrave — blue with a single, wide yellow band (unusual) — are very similar to those of Boca Juniors of Buenos Aires, arguably the most famous team in Argentina.

Is there an interesting story here that we should know about? — Yours faithfully,

Paul Willson


Editor’s comment: “The kit is used for football and rugby — or at least it was. Gillian Maloney, from the Piggott School, kindly sent me this photograph of last year’s year seven students in the kit and says: ‘We have not got a connection with Argentina. In fact they recently changed the kit’.”

Sir, — Thank you very much to everyone who organises the Henley Youth Festival.

I love it and it has been one of the best parts of every year since I first entered the festival when I was five.

Every year since then, I have danced with friends, sung in the Music Makers and played the cello with my friend Lucy. We were the Cello Chicks. It is such fun. When I am older I want to be a dancer.

This summer I am moving to Australia because my dad is designing Perth airport — he is an architect.

When my mum told me we were moving, the first thing I said was “What about the Henley Youth Festival? I will have to come back for it.”

I am really thankful to all the people who organise the festival. It has been a brilliant experience for me and a big part of my life.

I am excited about going to Australia but am worried about missing all my friends... and the festival.

The photograph shows me and my friends just about to dance the Time Warp at this year’s festival gala on the Saturday night. — Yours faithfully.

Sophie Berry, aged 10

Sir, — I was pleased to read about Oxfordshire County Council’s extra £250,000 funding for pothole repairs (Standard, March 22), which is commendable.

However, I have seen with my own eyes that much of this spend is going to waste if my experiences are representative of the work that is being performed.

On Thursday afternoon last week, I was in a queue of cars on the Shiplake-to-Henley section of the A4155, caused by an ongoing repair that was being done to a pothole.

While in the queue, I observed a man (who appeared to be working alone) pour some sand-coloured grit into the hole and then spend a scant few moments treading it in. He then brought out a bag of what appeared to be cold-lay surfacing material to pour it on top.

It was then my turn to proceed, so I drove on, thinking “good for the council”. After an early trip to Caversham on the following morning, I passed the same spot.

I was very disappointed at what I saw, so much so that I decided to park nearby and walk back along the verge to take this picture.

As you can see, almost all the material that had been put into the pothole had already been ejected to the side of the road, less than 24 hours after it had been “repaired”! I have reported this to county councillor David Nimmo Smith, asking him to inform the relevant department as a matter of urgency as I feel that public money is being wasted when spent in this way. — Yours faithfully,

Mark Davies

Valley Road, Henley

Sir, — Hurrah for Oxfordshire County Council’s pledge to mend potholes.

Can we assume that the Standard and people power have been a major factor in this glorious victory over poor administration, and political malingering or shall we wait for the proof to be carved in Tarmac? — Yours faithfully,

Nick Jones

Albert Road, Henley

Sir, — With reference to Oxfordshire County Council’s pledge to mend potholes, I think the council needs to fill the holes in their heads before tackling anything else but it’s nice to see that they are doing something. — Yours faithfully,

Paul Hanson


Sir, — Britain is in the grip of a winter’s storm with sub-zero temperatures, heavy snow and drifting and with roads closed, torrential rain and flooding during almost the coldest March on record.

The North Sea oil reserves are running out and wholesale gas prices have hit the highest rate ever. What do we do? Close coal-fired Didcot Power Station without any alternative power source being built or even planned. Very sensible! — Yours faithfully,

Mark P Hatt

South Stoke Road, Woodcote

Sir, — The petition demanding that South Oxfordshire District Council permits the proposed sign at the Kenton Theatre implies that whoever is not in favour of the sign is obviously against the theatre.

This could not be further from the truth as the Kenton is one of Henley’s great treasures, much loved and supported by everyone.

But that does not mean that local planning guidance and national legislation regarding historic buildings and conservation areas can be put aside.

These exist to keep historic market towns like Henley attractive for us locals and tourists alike, now and in the future. Internally illuminated projecting signs are a 20th century invention, which do not sit well on historic façades.

If the listed Kenton was allowed to have one, a precedent would be set and there might be no way to stop every business in the town from demanding the same, turning Henley into yet another unattractive shopping centre.

The trustees of the Kenton should have looked at the district council’s shop front design guide before putting their application in, or even just looked diagonally across the street where they could not have failed to see the large and flamboyant hanging sign at the Rose & Crown pub on its iron bracket, well illuminated from above. Such a traditional hanging sign, located high between the first floor windows of the Kenton, would ensure that nobody missed the theatre.

It could have easily been up by now as there would have been no controversy over getting the necessary consent quickly.

Why not amend the application in line with planning guidance to achieve results instead of stirring things up in the Standard and collecting signatures? — Yours faithfully,

Ruth Gibson

Vicarage Road, Henley

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