Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Your letters...

Final word on that field (probably)

Final word on that field (probably)

Sir, — Here’s my version of that field harvested. I see no reason why this shouldn’t become a regular feature.

“What the field behind Upper Thames Rowing Club looks like this week” fairly falls from the tongue.

Circulation of your paper could easily increase by two or three copies. — Yours faithfully,

Steve Allender


Editor’s comment: “I have enjoyed all the pictures sent in by readers of the field at different times but think we have probably exhausted the subject now. I always welcome submitted photos of things that interest readers so please keep them coming, albeit showing something else.”

Sir — Wow, what an evening! The Last Night of the Proms concert at St Mary’s Church in Henley was magnificent.

Our Mayor, Stefan Gawrysiak, organised this wonderful show, with the proceeds going to his chosen charities, Sue Ryder, Headway, Riverside Counselling, Age UK and the Chiltern Centre for disabled children.

The Henley Symphony Orchestra played moving music in the first half and Britannia (Julie Huntington) and Queen Victoria and others entertained us in the second, accompanied by the live broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall with much waving of flags and joyous singing. It was a busy evening and the audience was extremely generous with the raffle and giving extra for the drinks.

Thank you so much, everyone. I am sure all the Mayor’s charities will have benefited greatly.

We will all remember this wonderful evening for a very long time. — Yours faithfully,

Susan Phillips

Headway volunteer, Swiss Farm Park, Henley


is just grim

Sir, - Given the volume of noise surrounding the road closures for Challenge Henley for one day on Sunday, I wonder how many people noticed the quiet and discreet arrival of two anonymous signs in New Street at the end of last week, calmly announcing the closure of said road from Monday at 9.30am for two weeks.

It would appear the anonymous contractors have remained true to their word. As I am writing this, it is 9.31am on Monday and King?s Road is at a standstill.

When I spoke to the council on Friday they were equally surprised by the short notice given for what is a significant redesign of the town?s traffic flow ("flow" being used in the most ironic sense judging by the articulated lorry that?s currently stationary outside our house).

My open question to those who were involved in the planning and approval of this re-routing is: What planning was done and what impact assessment was carried out?

Based on the casual appearance of the two metal signs and the ensuing traffic chaos, it would appear very little.

Here?s hoping there?s little need for any emergency service vehicles to have to battle through this traffic over the coming weeks.

It is now 9.41am and, thankfully, the lorry has moved forward a few feet, giving the driver a change of scenery at least. Eleven minutes of the diversion done, one week, six days, 23 hours and 49 minutes to go. Grim doesn?t begin to describe it. - Yours


W Craven

King?s Road, Henley

So residents matter less

Sir, - New Street is closed for three weeks and once more there is traffic chaos in and around Henley.

Obviously a collapsed sewer has to have a permanent repair.

I note that "the work was delayed to avoid the time of the regatta" and no doubt other summer events were considered. That means, however, that it has coincided with the start of a new term for schools.

As someone who takes grandchildren to and from school, this is creating another major headache.

It seems that the needs and well-being of Henley residents and those who work in the town come well behind those of visitors, their entertainment and commercial interests. - Yours faithfully,

W Bennell

Deanfield Road, Henley

Terrible planning

Sir, - I missed the road closures over the weekend for the few visiting triathletes who seem to think they help our town by closing so many roads.

However, Oxfordshire County Council has surpassed itself this week by closing New Street and the access through Greys Road car park.

For people who are in and out of the town centre all day, a virtually impossible bottleneck has been created. Each time I want to leave King?s Road car park to go south, I can only join the diverted traffic from Fair Mile on to King?s Road, only to then crawl around Gravel Hill and Deanfield Avenue to Greys Road. What brilliant planning.

It must be the same bright spark who has caused years of continual crawling traffic each morning for traffic coming up the Reading Road, when my two-mile trip from Harpsden to Henley regularly takes 15 to 20 minutes.

A simple re-timing of the lights would save all the resultant pollution of so much standing traffic. - Yours faithfully,

David Tate

Joint managing director, Davis Tate, Bell Street, Henley

I feel like moving

Sir, - As a resident of Remenham Hill and putting up with traffic throughout the year, I have a fairly high tolerance level towards expected delays, but the closure of New Street is an absolute joke.

There was absolutely no preparation or signage about businesses still being open for business.

Basically, it looks like organised chaos and I will not be going into town during the day as I can just guess how bad it is going to be - bad for business and very bad for the town. I almost want to move away from the area given the continual disruption. - Yours faithfully,

Paul Sadler

Remenham Hill

Businesses are suffering

Sir, - At least when Wargrave Road was shut it was during the summer holidays, traffic was at its lowest and alternative routes ran smoothly.

So who was the bright spark who decided to close New Street at what is probably the busiest time of year - schools and colleges going back and people returning to work after their holidays.

Total and utter chaos in Henley - total stupidity!

It took me over an hour to get from the King?s Road car park to Henley Bridge on Monday evening.

Is there anything more that Oxfordshire County Council can do to drive people away from our town and cause businesses to suffer?

I know that sewer repairs are important but you cannot just close a main road in this way. We will have to endure this for at least two weeks - it?s crazy!

There must be better alternatives - what about temporarily reversing traffic up Bell Street for starters?

Footfall in the town was down on Monday and I anticipate there will be a similar trend throughout the period of the closure.

Businesses are suffering already, with more closing, so why do we have to make things worse? What compensation am I or any other business affected by this going to get? None!

Perhaps we can start to concentrate on the real issues affecting Henley rather than how clean our pavements should be! - Yours


Laurence Morris

Laurence Menswear, Duke Street, Henley

Bumbling management

Sir, - No sooner is the chaos caused by the cycle racing in Henley ended, than chaos descends again due to the closure of New Street.

One of the cardinal rules of traffic management is that two major lines of traffic should never have to cross each other.

What do our bumbling traffic managers do? They have all the traffic coming into Henley from Fair Mile and Marlow crossing all the traffic leaving Henley at the roundabout leading into King?s Road. Result: Northfield End, Marlow Road, King?s Road and Bell Street all blocked, not to mention Gravel Hill etc.

To add insult to injury, the traffic lights leading on to Henley Bridge still operate to allow the non-existent traffic from Thames Side access to the bridge.

May I offer a simple solution? Reverse the traffic flow in Bell Street so that Bell Street, Market Place and King?s Road become a large roundabout.

Temporary traffic lights might need to be installed. - Yours faithfully,

Dr A I Tiffin

Northfield End, Henley

My simple solution

Sir, - The closure of New Street for sewerage repairs was planned months ago, so why did Oxfordshire County Council not foresee the major effect on Henley?s through traffic from Fair Mile?

How long is Henley expected to live with the resulting chaos?

A simple solution would appear to be changing the direction of flow along Bell Street from north to south from Fair Mile.

Why did the county council not take steps to make a traffic order accordingly? - Yours faithfully,

Valerie Alasia

Makins Road, Henley

Ridiculous organisation

Sir, - Last Sunday we were to attend a friend?s wedding and arranged to drop the kids off with my sister in Abingdon in the morning.

Yes, we knew that Challenge Henley was taking place and that there would be some disruption and the journey would take a little longer.

But, my goodness, we were not prepared for the total northbound blockade of the town.

Okay, Fair Mile was closed but the diversion was along Marlow Road - how was that going to work? Turn off at Fawley and go cross-

country to Watlington? No, the B480 was closed.

Presumably, they were thinking people should go all the way to Marlow and use the M40, which would add hours.

Plan B: Go back into Henley, go up Gravel Hill and then take the B481. No, Gravel Hill (and the B481) were closed.

Plan C: Take Greys Road to Sonning Common and cut across to the A4074. You guessed it, Greys Road was closed.

It was rapidly becoming apparent that if we tried to get to Abingdon (or anywhere north of Henley) that day, we might get to the wedding in time for a slice of cake.

Plan D: Rapid beseeching call to unsuspecting family in Henley to inform them kids would be round for the day in five minutes!

I am not against these type of events. I have taken part in the excellently organised British Heart Foundation London to Brighton ride twice and I love to cycle.

But the choice of route and the organisation of diversions just seems ridiculous.

Does this event really bring enough to our town to warrant so much difficulty to so many? (The wedding was great by the way.) - Yours faithfully,

Jon Blundell

Blandy Road, Henley

No evidence of benefit

Sir, - What a surprise - yet again, despite Just Racing?s promises, there were an insufficient number of marshals at the Challenge Henley event and the ones that were present were insufficiently trained to be able to help local residents.

Walking around town on Sunday morning, there was no marshal at the Northfield End roundabouts, too few marshals at the turnaround point and no marshals for Lambridge Wood Road, Pearce?s Orchard or other accesses to Fair Mile.

The turning point was chaotic as the two marshals did not seem to be able to cope with telling some of the cyclists that they needed to turn around and do another circuit.

A number of drivers were seen who had not waited for a motorcycle-led convoy and cyclists were riding on a crowded pavement.

Ringing the telephone number provided yielded a message to look at Just Racing?s website.

The centre of Henley, which is normally reasonably busy on a Sunday morning, was empty, so where is the economic benefit to the town if the regular Sunday visitors avoid the town for the day? - Yours faithfully,

David Sarson

Lambridge Wood Road, Henley

My happy memories

Sir, - On Sunday a dream of mine came true: I completed the Henley half... and enjoyed every minute.

As a resident of Henley, I was so proud to show off my town and community to the other participants who came from as far as Asia and America to share in this


As I sit here with sore legs, I reflect... why triathlon, why Challenge Henley?

The answer is clear to me: I chose the Henley half for the same reason I chose to move to Henley. Over a year ago I had my first trip to Henley and it was that night I knew that this town would be a wonderful place to make great memories with my boyfriend, friends, family and, now, fellow triathletes.

That was what Sunday was about - making memories.

But there are a few things that make me question this belief and, more importantly, puzzle me as to the resistance that other Henley residents have had to Challenge Henley and the organisers, Just Racing UK.

As we have all read in the Henley Standard for weeks now, the route would block merchants, affect shop sales, interrupt residents? plans etc.

I truly seek to understand the magnitude of this resistance and ask: what else could the race organisers or we the athletes do differently next time? In my opinion, Just Racing has done a great job at listening to residents and using their feedback to make Challenge Henley work for both residents and athletes.

The cycle route this year was changed and more motorcycle escorts were available.

So, what else could we do differently next time? Maybe the answer is that Just Racing has done a great job.

What else could we do as athletes? Share our memories? Maybe that?s the point, maybe Henley residents are not aware of what Sunday?s event means to us as competitors.

To me, it was the best day of my life - both physically and emotionally.

On Monday night, as I sat with my boyfriend and we recounted moments in the race, both funny and tough, we made memories, in Henley, just as we had planned.

A few years ago this would have not been possible as we were big-city, bright-lights folk but in Henley, a beautiful community with wonderful, helpful residents, I feel everything is possible.

For me, completing the race was an accomplishment to be proud of and I am able to relive those moments as I drive along Fair Mile to work every day or tackle Howe Hill next weekend. I was proud to be a resident of Henley.

Someone once told me that Henley has a sporting spirit and I agree. I hope that spirit includes triathlon, where memories can continue to be made in the backdrop of an amazing community and beautiful scenery.

So come on, fellow Challenge Henley and Henley half competitors, share your memories? it can?t hurt. - Yours faithfully,

Meaghan Moore


One positive of triathlon

Sir, - The advantage of being unable to use local roads on Sunday, except with a pe-arranged escort for the Challenge Henley event, is that potholes in the area have been speedily filled in.

What a pity they were not using our lane, which would have had to be resurfaced. - Yours faithfully,

Diana Jackson


Thanks for hosting race

Sir, - I?d just like to say thank you to Henley for hosting the Challenge Henley triathlon at the weekend.

It was my first time visiting Henley and we found it to be a perfect venue and a lovely place for a short break - so nice in fact that we are planning a return visit shortly.

The spectators were excellent and everyone so friendly - that really made the difference as 140 miles is a long way to race.

For me, the organisation was excellent and the race went smoothly.

I hope Henley will be welcoming back the race next year, when a little bit more sunshine wouldn?t go amiss! - Yours faithfully,

Les Kennedy


Try parking professionals

Sir, - It is a pity for all the paying public left in chaos at last year?s Henley Show that chairman Mike Cannon did not pay heed to Stuart Gray?s advice.

Should the same situation happen again tomorrow, or next year, can I suggest Mr Cannon?s team contact a professional car parking company? They may prove to be more reliable than volunteers from a hunt. - Yours


Archie Billington

St Mark?s Road, Henley

Leave safety to drivers

Sir, - Your readers may be aware of EU proposals to introduce a hi-tech device into cars to prevent them breaking the speed limit.

The intelligent speed adaption technology would be able to detect the road speed limit and apply a car?s brakes automatically if the limit was exceeded.

Ostensibly, the European Commission?s mobility and transport department justifies its proposals as a safety measure to reduce the number of road incidents each year.

However, this policy shows a disgraceful disregard for British motorists? freedoms.

Britain has the best road safety record in Europe and we won?t allow it to be compromised by such interference.

In fact, it would be dangerous to deny motorists ultimate control of their vehicles.

So not only would this suggestion be costly, it would also be counter-

productive so far as road safety is concerned.

Motoring organisations all agree that it is far better to leave car and van drivers in complete control so they can respond to circumstances on the road.

When the commission presents this to the European Parliament, rest assured that the Conservative MEPs will not accept it. - Yours


Richard Ashworth

MEP for South-East England and leader of the Conservatives in the European


Invest in

air shuttle

Sir, - Criticism of a project, to be useful, needs to be accompanied by a viable alternative.

There is such an alternative to HS2 which would achieve David Cameron?s objectives of moving people and businesses more quickly northwards at speed while improving the attraction of cities in the Midlands and North.

The first element is to spend some of the huge sums saved by not going ahead with HS2 on improving the attraction of those cities for people to work and start businesses in.

The second element, which recognises that HS2 construction would rely on the most expensive factors of production, that is land and labour, would be to take the whole project to the skies: namely, a triple air shuttle.

Using Luton or Stansted, fed by heliport-based helicopter shuttles from central London, passengers and freight would fly to and from Birmingham/Manchester/Leeds.

More helicopters, or perhaps buses or taxis, would take passengers on, to and from the city centres. The Luton/Standsted catchment area would mean many passengers would arrive by car.

The scheme would be cheap. Existing planes, staff and airport facilities could be used. The only serious costs would be heliports and


The London to Birmingham speed would in all probability be as quick as HS2, the cost to travellers might well be less and £80 billion would not be spent gouging a path through some of Britain?s most attractive country with the inevitable loss of votes to the political perpetrators.

And for those who argue for modernity, I suggest air is far superior to rail. The last mainline was cut in 1899 but we still talk of new runways and airports.

Finally, in view of the fact that few ministers appear to have much experience of business, I would suggest employing Sir Richard Branson to head the whole project. - Yours faithfully,

Councillor David Silvester

Henley Town Council, Luker Avenue, Henley

Shops missing the message

Sir, - I was particularly pleased that Henley Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak has taken the initiative to appeal to businesses in helping keep the town clean (Standard, September 6).

But I find it shameful that the appeal had to be made in the first instance.

When I walk around the town centre I?m frequently disappointed by litter almost immediately on the pavement in front of some shops, a wide scattering of cigarette butts, spilled coffee stains/soft drinks on the pavement and a significant distribution of chewing gum.

Unbeknown to the shop owners or managers, it sends out a message to the community, potential customers and tourists.

That message is: "We don?t care about our dirty shop front and hence, although we want your money, we don?t care about you, the customer".

How shop owners could miss this message is striking!

I congratulate those few shop owners/managers who tidy up in front of their shops and hope that South Oxfordshire District Council continues to review its responsibilities.

You would think it would be basic common sense for those shop owners to be conscious of this in the first instance and, throughout the day, to check the front of their premises and quickly tidy up accordingly.

It takes only a couple of minutes, if that long.

It?s bad enough that in addition to this, many customers have to engage with some staff who are lacking in a bit of bonhomie. To all sides: Expecting a clean town is asking very little. - Yours faithfully,

Herb Brathwaite

Western Road, Henley

Memories spoiled

Sir, - I had the most upsetting experience last week in Crazies Hill.

My husband and I visited "The Common" for many of our 62 years of marriage to pick blackberries and picnic, enjoying its quiet peace and beauty.

Now, at 85, he is too ill to take me so my daughter took me last week. I am over 80 and she is over 60.

We had just parked off the road when we saw some notices pushed into the ground warning: "Beware - tractors turning".

An elderly lady in a beige car drew up and came across to ask: "Do you have permission to park here?"

We said we thought it was common land. She replied that it wasn?t and asked "Where do you come from?" before adding: "We don?t want car tracks left here".

Her attitude was so hostile.

It was a hot, dry day and we were not driving across the green and it would have been more dangerous to park on the road with passing traffic and tractors.

I can remember 70 years ago when this area was just a tip with piles of bricks and rubble where children played. We always thought it was council-owned.

So many happy memories have been spoiled and I don?t think we will ever go again but perhaps that?s what they want!

My husband was born in Warren Row and went to school in Crazies Hill for nine years and me in Wargrave. How local can you get?

People in small villages are so territorial now and would rather have lots of "Keep off" notices everywhere than share a little open space.

I hope this woman went home smug and satisfied with her "that told them" attitude.

She should have a proper official notice put up instead of half a dozen home-made ones.

I would like to know who does own "The Common" and from when and what rights of way the general public have there. - Yours faithfully,

Greta Edwards

Beware of burglars

Sir, - I do not wish to scare anyone but after being burgled recently I would like to share some advice.

After purchasing our property two years ago and renovating it extensively, including new multi-point locking windows and doors, security alarm, sensor lights etc, we thought that our property was secure.

However, recently I woke up to find our conservatory door wide open. On searching the property, I couldn?t find my handbag, my partner?s wallet or my one-year-old Range Rover that was parked on our pebbled drive.

Needless to say we felt sick... and the long process of insurance claims etc


However, the real reason for me writing to you is to alert residents of Henley and the surrounding area to the alarming truth about standard Euro locks, which are fitted to millions of homes.

These locks are supposed to be considered safe for insurance purposes and are still being fitted in properties to this day.

These locks break easily and "lock snapping" is a crimewave that is spreading across the country.

Ironically, we have since been asked to break into a neighbour?s house who had locked themselves out and as a result we experienced for ourselves how easy it is to snap the locks.

There are many "anti-snapping" locks available now via the internet or shops and replacing your locks will be incredibly easy for anyone armed with a screwdriver.

Other tips would be... if you have an alarm, set it! Obviously being in the house isn?t enough to deter people.

Most importantly, take your handbag and car keys to bed!

I think we can all agree that if a burglar wanted to break into a property, they will find a way but let?s all make it as difficult for them as possible shall we? - Yours faithfully,



Shameful inaction

Sir, - It is a great shame that John Howell MP does not feel the same way about punishing the UK- and US- backed al-Qaeda rebels in Syria, who have slaughtered 1,000 Christians since 2011.

Under the Nuremberg standard, military aggression against another sovereign country is not only a war crime but would aid and embolden the al-Qaeda "rebels" who continue to slaughter and behead Jews, Christians and minority populations as well as stone educated women to death throughout Iraq and Libya.

In the meantime, millions of innocent refugees flood out of the region seeking to escape the chaos and carnage and the UK and US does nothing to help them! - Yours faithfully,

Richard Creed

Simmons Road, Henley

Motion didn?t call for war

Sir, - As you correctly reported (Standard, September 6), what I was not asked to vote on when Parliament was recalled was should we go to war with Syria or take military action?

If you want confirmation of this, I would refer you to the detailed wording of the resolution rather than the comments in the press. That vote would have come at a later date when a number of things have happened. First, the UN inspectors have got to report. Second, there has to be a lot more action at the UN itself. Lastly, there would have had to have been another vote in Parliament.

What the Government was doing was seeking a resolution of the UN Security Council.

It would condemn the use of chemical weapons by Assad, authorise member states to protect civilians in Syria from the use of chemical weapons and refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.

It was also urging all parties in Syria to attend a peace conference in Geneva.

Finally, it is increasing humanitarian assistance. UK funding for Syria to date totals £348?million, the second largest.

The use of chemical weapons was a sickening development. It breaks a universal taboo that has lasted almost 100 years.

But we are war-weary as a nation and we no longer trust our own intelligence data.

The balanced motion presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister struck the right note. It was not a call to war or to military action. It was a call to allow a process to be completed and evaluated. - Yours faithfully,

John Howell MP

House of Commons

What young superstars

Sir, - Forget X Factor, Britain?s Got Talent, The Voice and any other reality TV show, the real young talent was to be found at the Kenton Theatre this week in the form of Masquerade?s stunning production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

It was delightful to see a show featuring mostly very young people all bursting with talent.

I saw Jesus Christ Superstar, starring Mel C and Chris Moyles, at the 02 last year, and the tickets cost £118 each. I can honestly say that I enjoyed Masquerade?s production just as much, a snip at only £15.00 a ticket.

Disappointingly though, there were only a handful of people there, no more than a couple of dozen. Come on, people of Henley, we are all so lucky to have such a gorgeous little theatre on our doorstep, so show it - and the local amateur theatre groups - your support! - Yours faithfully,

Caroline Cassells

Norman Avenue, Henley

Fantastic production

Sir, - I would like to praise the Masquerade Youth Theatre for another stunning musical performance.

Having witnessed a remarkable production of Les Misérables last year, I eagerly awaited to be let into the Kenton Theatre to see this year?s production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

Taking my seat, I was immediately taken by the size of the set. It is a huge work of art and makes you wonder how it all fits into our tiny theatre but it does.

Many of the youngsters were also in Les Mis and they exuded professionalism, confidence and talent.

Yes, as a first night, it was a bit rough around the edges but with only a day-and-a-half to put the set in and practise with it, they were remarkable. The crucifixion finale is awe-inspiring with no half measures.

Everybody needs to see these kids performing and support them. They are fantastic.

Go see it - if you can get in tonight (Friday) or tomorrow that is! - Yours faithfully,

Herbert Roberts


Publicise food bank

Sir, - After learning from BBC News about Henley having a food bank, I am wondering why this has not made front page news in the Henley Standard.

Is it a case of affluent Henley not wanting to acknowledge that there is such a problem in Henley?

I think you need to do an in-depth article on this, asking why there is such a problem in an affluent town and what the town council and others are going to do to try to sort out this awful


Information on the food bank itself, how to donate and how it works would also be very useful.

A lot of people I have spoken to were unaware that Henley is going to have a food bank. - Yours faithfully,

Mrs J Hadley

Leaver Road, Henley

Editor?s comment: "We reported on August 9 that the Light House food bank was being set up by Nomad, a youth and community group based at the d:two centre in Market Place, with a £5,000 grant from the Santander Foundation community plus fund.

The project is designed to support individuals and families facing ?financially challenging circumstances?.

Nomad says it will set up procedures for collecting food and household items, receive referrals, make deliveries and develop a bank of volunteers.

Food donations can be taken to Nomad at the d:two centre. For more information or referrals, call (01491) 635734 or email foodbank@nomad"

My evidence of aliens...

Sir, - It was quite a startling surprise which met me on Saturday evening on Stoke Row sports field, even if it sounds a little strange!

Each night I take the early evening air to help with a skin condition and, being a keen amateur astronomer, it gives me the time to observe the wonders of the night sky.

Although much is to be understood from nebula to molecular pulsar clouds, what I glimpsed that evening set me in little doubt as to the

existence of extra-terrestrial intelligence.

What appeared to be a shooting star (common at this time of year as our orbit passes through a dust cloud streaming behind the Perseid meteor) rapidly grew brighter and changed trajectory low over the woods until it lit the tree canopy in a pulsing orange light.

It slowed to a hover barely 10ft off the sports pitch before flashing and ascending skyward out of view with a low humming noise. I keep a log of similar unexplained sightings from the past 12 years in my star log but nothing quite as convincing as this.

As I had only drunk a small green tea that evening and prefer not to take alcohol as it does not agree with my constitution, I am quite sure my eyes did not deceive me!

Do any other readers recollect seeing something of this nature at 11.34pm on Saturday? I would be interested to hear of any similar sightings and perhaps start a Henley Amateur Astrologer (and UFO enthusiast!) Society if there?s enough interest. - Yours faithfully,

William Parsons

Stoke Row

Wonderfully welcoming

Sir, - I would like to reiterate Margaret Daley?s comments about Townlands Hospital in Henley (Standard, August 30). My husband had a very bad accident earlier this summer. He spent one month in the intensive care unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford followed by one month at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

He then arrived at the Townlands rehabilitation unit where he spent 10 very happy days being extremely well cared for by wonderful and devoted staff.

The atmosphere was warm, welcoming, friendly and very professional.

The staff took the time to talk to me regarding his homecoming and eased the whole process. Such a very special place and I congratulate you all.

If I may, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our valued local friends who helped us through this gruelling time and it was so wonderful that they could pop into a local hospital and encourage his recovery. - Yours faithfully,

Minnie Wilson

Nicholas Road, Henley

Rewarding experience

Sir, - I would like to thank all those involved in putting on this year?s Henley Regatta for the Disabled, our fourth.

A big thanks to all who attended and enthusiastically took part in the activities - it was heartwarming to see so many people enjoying


As John Howell MP said on opening the event, the river is for everyone - able-bodied or not - and we proved this by providing boat trips for some 300 people of all abilities.

Thank you also to our sponsors and supporters without whom we could not achieve success.

Lastly, a very big thanks to the team who organised the event, Simon and Pat Davis, Lucy Walton, Michael Pooley, Deon Melck, Carolyn Molyneaux, Viv Lowery and Robert Fordham, most of whom are founding members of the organisation. Without their tireless work, the regatta would not take place.

See you all on August 30 next year. - Yours faithfully,

Ian Tritton

Chairman, Henley Regatta for the Disabled

What a magnificent night of music

Sir - Wow, what an evening! The Last Night of the Proms concert at St Mary?s Church in Henley was magnificent.

Our Mayor, Stefan Gawrysiak, organised this wonderful show, with the proceeds going to his chosen charities, Sue Ryder, Headway, Riverside Counselling, Age UK and the Chiltern Centre for disabled children.

The Henley Symphony Orchestra played moving music in the first half and Britannia (Julie Huntington) and Queen Victoria and others entertained us in the second, accompanied by the live broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall with much waving of flags and joyous singing. It was a busy evening and the audience was extremely generous with the raffle and giving extra for the drinks.

Thank you so much, everyone. I am sure all the Mayor?s charities will have benefited greatly.

We will all remember this wonderful evening for a very long time. - Yours faithfully,

Susan Phillips

Headway volunteer, Swiss Farm Park, Henley

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