Monday, 02 August 2021

Your letters

Thwarting ambition

Thwarting ambition

Sir, — I was amused and saddened to read your article on the Henley Town Team (Standard, October 23).

I served as the town centre manager of Fleet in Hampshire for four years, during which time the town went from being unparished with district councillors taking a lead through to the formation of a town council, and your article, in many ways, reflects my own experiences.

I am sure Henley Town Council has the best interests of the town at heart but the Mayor is most definitely not the best person to chair, or even necessarily to be a member of, any town team.

Town councils are limited in what they can achieve and both the district council and the county council, along with other statutory bodies, transport organisations and businesses also have a huge impact on the town and its development.

The role of a town team is to bring a wider group of interested individuals and organisations together to complement the work of the town council and other organisations.

Henley Town Council is already adequately represented, as shown by the Town Team’s last minutes, which are posted on the town council’s website, with one councillor attending and one offering his apologies.

These are in addition to the town clerk and the town centre manager, who are both funded by the town council.Although the Town Team has a rather idiotic and unachievable objective of making Henley the best town in the world — the best town (however that is defined) within 20 miles might be achievable — I feel it is incredibly encouraging that such a group exists.I suspect that most of the members voluntarily give of their time and expertise with most, if not all, of the £24,000 in funding referred to being used to pay for the town centre manager.

However, Henley Town Council is considering cutting the greater portion of this funding, which would mean there would no longer be a town centre manager.This, along with the desire of the Mayor and the members of one sub-committee to control the group will probably mean its demise. —Yours faithfully,

Paul Doughty

Lower Shiplake

Now Marlow is better

Sir, — I have lived in Henley all my life (I am 38) and love the town.

I work in Marlow and if you had asked me a couple of years ago which town I preferred I would always say, without hesitation, “Henley, of course”.

The architecture in Henley is prettier and more interesting. The choice of quality housing for sale is better than in Marlow.

I don’t have children but I’m told the schools are also very good, especially those in Shiplake and Caversham.

But when it comes to shopping and meeting up with my friends in the evening, I now prefer Marlow. I never used to but I do now.

Marlow is leaving Henley for dead as far as retail is concerned. It has so much more to offer than our town. The White Company, India Jane, Whistles, Jigsaw and now the upmarket interiors chain Oka have chosen Marlow to have stores.

My sister drives over to Marlow to get her dog bathed at the latest must-go pooch parlour in the town. It’s the new hot-spot for dog owners. For dining out we go to Cote or Bills in Marlow and rarely eat out in Henley. Marlow just seems to have a much younger, fresher feel to it. You have a choice of three decent car parks, all with easy access to everything that the town has to offer.

The car parking facilities in Henley are poor given the size of the town. The traffic — well, don’t get me started on that one.

I feel sorry for those who live on the Shiplake side of the town and the poor souls coming back into the town over the bridge between 5.30pm and 7pm. The queuing is a real pain after a long day at work.

I feel Henley only now comes alive during the royal regatta and festival. The rest of the year it feels like it is in sleep mode.

There must be a reason why empty retail units in Marlow are being filled. I am sure the likes of Oka will have looked at Henley but have opted for Marlow. I would love to know why.

I do not know of any town in this country the size of Henley that does not have a Marks & Spencer Simply Food store, for goodness’ sake. We are lagging behind and need to encourage those retail companies to open here. This would breathe new life into the town.

Recently, I was looking at property for sale in Marlow and found it’s slightly cheaper than in Henley. — Yours faithfully,

Suzanne Martell

Friday Street,


Delivering on healthcare

Sir, — In response to your correspondents, it might be a handy slogan to say that Townlands Hospital is a hospital without beds but it is simply not true. There are up to 14 beds associated with the hospital — eight permanent, the rest hired on demand. Beds associated with the old hospital have been saved by working with the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, not by throwing stones at it. The beds are located on the same site as the hospital, on the same campus, as part of the same medical village. Yes, they form part of the adjacent care home where the beds are likely to be co-located but precisely why does that matter? The important point is not where these beds are located but that there is excellent medical cover and good social care available for them. While much of the discussion has been about where the beds should go, I have been questioning the robustness of the provision of social care under the ambulatory care model.

This has nothing at all to do with government policy but with the views of clinicians and of the NHS. As your readers will know, I have been lobbying government for the full integration of social care with the NHS.

The papers prepared by the commissioning group show the involvement I have had with the project. The paper prepared for the board meeting in July references me on pages 2, 13, 14 and 15 while that prepared for the September board meeting references me on pages 3, 4, 14, 15 and 16.

This is not Henley’s hospital but a hospital for a large part of southern Oxfordshire, the majority of which supports and is grateful for what we have achieved. How do I know this? I asked them.

It is a much more helpful form of politics for a politician to engage with a problem and try to solve it, so delivering a 21st century healthcare service rather than simply oppose it. Would I do this again? With the success of this campaign, you can bet your life, literally, that I would. — Yours faithfully,

John Howell MP

House of Commons

Don’t move surgeries

Sir, — Please, Henley doctors, don’t move from your beautiful, well-designed surgeries to Townlands Hospital.The Bell surgery has a very pleasant, comfortable waiting area and the buildings are well landscaped.The superfluous second floor of the new hospital building is a regrettable and expensive error and a storey less would have been more in scale with its surroundings.

If this muddled thinking is typical of NHS administration, no wonder it is in financial difficulties. — Yours faithfully,Geoff FreerHenleyDon’t blame the pilotsSir, — I write with reference to John Howell’s parliamentary comment “I do not know whether the pilots do it deliberately but they certainly seem to” when referring to aircraft noise over Henley (Standard, October 23).

When an aircraft enters a banked turn it loses lift. In order to maintain that lift the pilot has to make control surface adjustments to the stabilizer/elevatorst. The pilot also has to make changes to the aileron and rudder controls in order to maintain what is known as a “balanced turn”. This effectively alters the line of gravity on the aircraft and the most obvious effect to the passenger is that it stops the tea or coffee in your cup from spilling over. All of these control changes are essential for the correct and safe operation of the aircraft. These control changes do, however, come at a cost — they increase the drag on the aircraft and the only way to overcome the increased drag is to apply more power.

So John Howell is correct, pilots do increase the power and therefore the noise, but purely for the safe operation of the aircraft and not, as his Commons speech suggested, to cause deliberate inconvenience to the residents of Henley. Yet another example of an MP making a derogatory comment on a subject which he clearly knows little to nothing about. — Yours faithfully,

David Gealy

Retired BA captain,

Baskerville Lane,


Nuisance of aircraft noise

Sir, — I have recently moved into Henley from a country area six miles away on the edge of the Chilterns. I am frankly appalled by the aircraft noise that is almost continuous throughout the day and particularly at the weekend. I was therefore very interested — and surprised — to read in last week’s Henley Standard that many other people are concerned about this, particularly regarding the commercial aircraft, although Sunday afternoons seem to be more light planes “playing”. I read that our MP has taken up the cause and I sincerely hope that something can be done to alleviate this nuisance. — Yours faithfully,

Judy Mitchell

Newtown Gardens,


Stop this moaning

Sir, — Here we go again with the moaners whinging about aircraft noise (Standard, October 23).

Believe it or not, the planes aren’t just flying over Henley but many, many other towns and villages as well.

For goodness’ sake give it a rest — this moaning has been going on for years. If you are that upset about the noise why don’t you just go and live somewhere else? Oh no, silly me, everything has to be as Henley wants it to be. John Howell should have more important things to do than raise this issue. Look at the bigger picture, Mr Howell, the country is going to pot while your lot sit and watch. — Yours faithfully,

Mrs Hadley

Leaver Road,


Doppler effect explained

Sir, — With regard to John Howell’s comments about aircraft doing “handbrake turns” over Henley “with all the attendant noise that brings” (Standard, October 23), maybe the explanation below will help him understand the difference in sound level as the pilots do their turn.

The Doppler effect, as it is known, is observed because the distance between the source of sound and the observer is changing. If the source and the observer are approaching, then the distance is decreasing and if the source and the observer are receding, then the distance is increasing. The source of sound always emits the same frequency. Therefore, for the same period of time, the same number of waves must fit between the source and the observer. If the distance is large, then the waves can be spread apart but if the distance is small, the waves must be compressed into the smaller distance. For these reasons, if the source is moving towards the observer, the observer perceives sound waves reaching him or her at a more frequent rate (high pitch). If the source is moving away from the observer, the observer perceives sound waves reaching him or her at a less frequent rate (low pitch). It is important to note that the effect does not result because of an actual change in the frequency of the source. The source puts out the same frequency, the observer only perceives a different frequency because of the relative motion between them. The Doppler effect is a shift in the apparent or observed frequency and not a shift in the actual frequency at which the source vibrates. This is why the aircraft sudenly sound louder as they do their “handbreak turn”, the source of the engines’ sound being at a changing distance and direction.

Mr Howell added: “Something needs to be done about older aircraft because when the big 747s come in they are powered in such a way — I do not know whether the pilots do it deliberately but they certainly seem to — that it creates an enormous noise.” I’m surprised that a pilot has not come forth and explained to Mr Howell that pilots coming into Heathrow do not have any say in their altitude, speed or direction of travel, they are told by air traffic control what to do and when to do it. The new jet engines coming on line have larger fans on their engines which rotate at a slower speed but give the same or more thrust, so lower the engine noise generated. — Yours faithfully,

Ernie Povey

Shiplake Cross

Concentrate on our issues

Sir, — I wonder if John Howell’s constituents are aware of his extraordinary concern about Israel? He asks many, many more parliamentary questions on Israel than on any local affairs.His latest question to the minister on October 20 concerning 100 Palestinian rioters was a typical example.

We are all fully aware he is a very keen member of Friends of Israel but a little more attention to local affairs would be appreciated.In Goring alone, we have several issues of concern and I well remember in the days of Michael Heseltine and Boris Johnson as our MPs serious attention was given to our problems.

Mr Howell might be seeking a foreign affairs brief for his own benefit but as our MP his prime purpose should be our issues. — Yours faithfully,

Bill Jackson


Ideal site for development

Sir, — I have just read that the owner of Thames Farm has another chance to obtain planning permission for development (Standard, October 16).

Why is this chance not being grabbed? Thames Farm appears to be a redundant field of little landscape merit yet has been under discussion for years.I have heard all the ridiculous local “nimby” arguments, namely that the field separates villages — what villages? I am only aware of Shiplake and the hamlet of Harpsden.

Claims that road would be a death trap etc... it is all nonsense. It is just that the locals are scared that their million pound-plus houses might be adversely affected or there might be a queue in the post office — hardly sound planning reasons.

Local Conservative councillors seem to be trying to play the neighbourhood plan card as if allowing housing on Thames Farm would adversely affect it.

It is clear that more housing numbers are coming down the line regardless of the neighbourhood plan sites, so if this site (which according to the recent High Court judgement is now very suitable) mops some up that has to be great news.

If Thames Farm is developed, the “villages” will not suddenly merge into one enormous village. The road will not become a death trap. In fact, a crossing and pavements will probably calm the road. People will always want to cross the road to access the river or the station, so it is high time a formal crossing point was established. I have frequently seen pedestrians trying to walk along the verges while negotiating vegetation.South Oxfordshire District Council should stop putting forward these ludicrously weak nimby arguments for political reasons. This has nothing to do with sound planning. The council is Conservative-led and I assume Shiplake comprises almost entirely Conservative voters.

When a perfectly suitable site is available for housing (and Thames Farm appears to tick all the boxes if you ignore all the ridiculously obstructive policies) houses should and must be built.

I would feel happier using a site such as Thames Farm rather than a school playing field.As a teacher, I have considered moving to the Shiplake area many times but it is now a haven for those that can afford an average price of more than £950,000.

To the district council, I say please stop protecting these very wealthy voters and start to fairly address the housing crisis that we and future generations are faced with. Think about the whole community, not an elite pockets of voters.Shiplake has a suitable site and should take its share of housing.

As a country we can no longer afford to protect a few to the detriment of many. — Yours faithfully,

Rose Magill

Llanvair Drive,


Time to agree settlement

Sir, — I write in response to the recent High Court judgement overruling the Government inspector’s decision regarding development at Thames Farm.

I agree with Dieter Hinke, former chairman of the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan, that South Oxfordshire District Council should now negotiate a settlement.

If this submission for development had been sensibly and logically discussed and a number of houses accepted, the area would not now be facing the possibility of having another 110 houses.

The site is in the parish of Harpsden, not Shiplake, and has many advantages and amenities.

It would be close to a station for commuters to London and Reading and bus services are available to travel to Reading and other villages. Buses are not available at other sites, such as Highlands Farm.

Nearby in the village of Shiplake is a shop and a post office.The site is a short distance from a major supermarket with free parking and residents would have easy access to the only petrol station in Henley, so avoiding causing congestion in the town centre.

Traffic problems have been the issue as the site would exit on to the Reading road. There is a development of four houses taking place just past Shiplake Cross, where the exit is on a bend, whereas the Thames Farm exit would be on a straight piece of road, which begs the question where is an accident most likely to occur? Shiplake village is not part of any neighbourhood plan and Thames Farm is not in the parish which claims to be two villages with one parish council.

Shiplake has not been allocated housing by the government.The village is fortunate in this respect and perhaps should play its part in helping the housing shortage by supporting some development at Thames Farm. — Yours faithfully,

Odette Moss


Thoughtless drivers

Sir, — Writing about parking at the Bell and Hart Surgeries, in Henley, Janet Waters says: “It is tempting to pop into town after an appointment” (Standard, October 23).

What (or a more appropriate word to that effect)? “Tempting” is not the word. Contempt would be more accurate — contempt for the disabled, those with young children and the elderly.

Those who use the very limited parking space for anything other than an appointment should be ashamed. Not that they will be until a costly deterrent can be devised. — Yours faithfully,

Peta Bird

Mill End,


Metres are robbing me

Sir, — Could you please appeal to Oxfordshire County Council to utilise the excess parking payments we all have to regularly make to update the parking metres so that they do accept “new” 5p and 10p pieces? I often have to pay for longer than an hour because the machines will only accept 20p pieces. It may seem trivial but it all adds up and is really quite irritating. — Yours faithfully,

Julia Cooke

Bell Street,


Danger not resolved

Sir, — With reference to the letter from Richard Janes about traffic in Wargrave high street (Standard, October 16), the following is a version of an article by me that appeared in the Wargrave News two years ago.

“You would have thought that taking my car in for service from my house in Braybrooke Road to Wargrave Motors in the High Street would have been an uneventful, routine and day-to-day chore. Not so.

“I drove my car to the garage and walked back home. It was raining so naturally enough I had an umbrella.“On the narrow part of High Street near Braybrooke Road the wing mirror of a large white van hit the umbrella, almost knocking it out of my hand and missing my head by a matter of inches.“Can nothing be done to prevent the excess speed of vehicles as they head towards the A4? Is there not a case for a lower speed limit?

“Would sleeping policemen be out of the question, especially considering the approach to the pedestrian lights where a pupil from the Piggott School has been knocked down? “Later in the day I was walking back to the garage and paused near the post box in High Street to sort out some letters for posting.

“A car tooted. I looked up wondering what the problem was only to realise that I was. I was being tooted by the driver to move so that she could park on the pavement! “Such was my surprise that my immediate reaction was to move on. I now wished that I had stood my ground but I was probably suffering from shock. Why is the pavement in High Street regarded by so many as a legitimate parking lot? It is a rare occurrence indeed not to see a car parked on the pavement. All of which begs the question why is it allowed to continue? “None of these problems is new and I simply ask that they be addressed before a serious incident occurs.”

You will not be surprised that nothing has been done since then and that I have heard from no one. — Yours faithfully,

Tony Elliott


Stick to what you know

Sir, — I see you are still publishing the illogical and obtuse rantings of David Silvester in spite of the fact that on a previous occasion you gave him a platform, his neo-Fascist, homophobic invective brought scorn and mockery to our town on a national level.

He has now taken to dipping his poisonous toe in the pool that is rugby football, more specifically the Henley Hawks.

To the credit of all concerned, the Hawks play in the third level of national rugby. In football parlance that is like watching Sheffield United or Coventry City each week, not (well, not yet anyway) Henley Town Football Club. Hence his arcane admission price comparisons are meaningless.

On the occasion of his visit, the Hawks played Hartpury College who were, and still are, top of the league.

With its burgeoning reputation, the college is able to draw the very cream of young athletes from across the South and South-West. Many of these students train or play rugby up to five times a week. At the moment they are the best team in the league and good luck to them.

If Mr Silvester followed the results from last Saturday he would have seen that they won again by another 50 points.After seven games played, the Hawks lie in 11th place in the league, having played five of the top six teams already — a creditable performance at a much higher level this season. So why were they so soundly beaten at Dry Leas? I don’t know but perhaps it has something to do with David Cameron’s endorsement of gay marriage, Mr Silvester. What do you think?If anyone took this man seriously he would be dangerous. As it is, everyone I speak to regards him as a bitter and bumbling buffoon. He clearly has too much time on his hands so here’s a suggestion: why don’t you get yourself a little part-time job — ideally abroad? — Yours faithfully,

Steve Edwards

Shiplake Bottom,

Peppard Common

Reconsider fields ban

Sir, — During the 30 years I have lived in Deanfield Road, the Henley College playing fields have been used by the local community on an informal basis, out of college hours, without any major incident. My children used the field and tennis courts (before the tennis club took them over) and spent their summer holidays playing there daily. We arranged games on the field with friends and family at weekends and took our children there to learn to ride their bikes. Local children and youths use the pitches for informal games of football, rugby practice etc. Mothers’ groups have play picnics and parents and grandparents play cricket, rounders etc. Others jog around the field or do fitness training.

The college uses the field for the equivalent of six months of the year and it will be a great shame to see this valuable amenity under-used and wasted for the other six months as now announced by the college.

This is at a time when we see daily reports that children and adults are not getting enough exercise and the nation’s health is suffering.

Recently I saw locked-out grandparents lift their grandchildren over the gates and proceed to play ball from either side as they could not get on to the field. Last weekend I saw a father playing cricket with his young son in the road at the end of Tilebarn Close, again locked out. A very elderly lady who used to walk down and sit on the tennis club steps to watch games is now deprived of this little pleasure.

Quite intimidating notices have been posted on the footpath that runs through the main college grounds from Deanfield Avenue to Gravel Hill. This short cut has been used by locals for the 30 years I have been here with no problems.

The local community puts up with much daily inconvenience from the college including rubbish (Tilebarn Close is presently covered in shredded rubbish along one verge), inconsiderate parking, dangerous driving and noise. We have also experienced hostile responses when trying to address these issues direct with students. In my view the college has not been very helpful or taken these complaints seriously when approached.

In consideration of these points, I would ask the college in a spirit of give and take to reconsider this policy of closing off the field and be a real part of the community by welcoming and encouraging those who enjoy using the field to make full use of this valuable local asset rather than shutting them out. — Yours faithfully,

John Loader

Deanfield Road,


How to upset residents

Sir — I think it is very unfortunate that the principal of The Henley College has written a letter that will surely offend and antagonise many local residents and dog owners in particular. Of course allowing a dog to foul a public space is highly irresponsible, but there are many open spaces in Henley where dogs are allowed and where both adults and children walk, exercise and play without many problems. Mrs Davis appears to have little understanding of, or sympathy with, the problems caused by a few of the nearly 2,000 students attending the college. While she does acknowledge that litter “can be an issue”, she is apparently unaware that both noise and extremely inconsiderate parking by some students are also major problems for people living in the roads near the college. The playing fields do appear to be extremely under- used — since the start of half term I have walked along the paths around these fields and have not seen anything happening there at all, apart from a group of “young people” (not necessarily college students, obviously) sitting there one day this week, which resulted in a large amount of litter scattered around the field the following morning. The same was the case throughout the summer holidays.

I believe the suggestion that if “the community respects the privacy” of the playing fields this will somehow “stop vandalism” is completely wrong. On the contrary, the presence of more adults (with or without dogs) in and around the playing fields would surely help to discourage antisocial behaviour, whether this be failing to pick up dog mess, dropping litter (or even setting fire to benches!)

Would it not be better to make it possible for local residents to enjoy the playing fields and at the same time have some sort of Neighbourhood Watch arrangement so that anyone seeing a problem could report it?

Maybe there could even be permits issued (for local residents only) so that lanyards could be worn and students would not be alarmed by their presence.

Lastly, I note that Mrs Davis is, for some reason, thanking those who have in the past used the college premises as “informal recreational facilities”. This being the case, I would be very interested to know what is the legal position on this, i.e. to whom does the college land actually belong and what precedents and/or rights of way, if any, exist? — Yours faithfully,

Ann Shankland

Paradise Road,


Unwarranted criticism

Sir, — Your correspondent Steve Ludlow should be ashamed of himself and he owes poor Elizabeth Hodgkin an apology.

This former mayor volunteers hours of her time to create beautiful, floral displays for the town. Thank you indeed!Mr Ludlow should speak to her as I am sure she would welcome helpful comments. Why not deposit £25 towards this wonderful idea of new benches at Station Park? What about fund-raising?

Nicholas Road should be not be brought into this equation. How hurtful towards the residents. What a bigoted individual. Henley has been my home town for 68 years and is nothing like Disney, — Yours faithfully,

Heather Allwright

Wood Lane,

Sonning Common

No gnomes here, Steve

Sir, — Steve Ludlow has obviously never visited Nicholas Road. I have lived here for six years and have yet to see any plastic garden gnomes in the neighbourhood.At least up here we breathe beautiful fresh air, which does not make our brains become deranged from car fumes and river mist.

If I do spot the odd garden gnome I’ll direct them down to play on the floral engine. — Yours faithfully,

Minnie Wilson

Nicholas Road,


Forgotten crash victim

Sir, — You have reported on the deaths of two crew from RAF Benson in the a helicopter crash in Afghanisatn (Standard, October 16 and 23) but little has been mentioned of the other three that died in the crash, although some papers mentioned that one was a French contractor.

The contractor was in fact Gordon Emin, 45, who lived next door to me for many years when he was much younger. His father was the chef at the French Horn in Sonning and Gordon, together with his three siblings, attended Highdown School in Emmer Green.

His mother was a Scot and the children had dual nationality, resulting in three of them being called up for National Service in France.Gordon ignored the requests initially but subsequently went to France and joined up but didn’t tell his parents that he had signed up for service with the French Foreign Legion, which of course was not for 18 months, which was the norm for National Service. It was some months later that they discovered this. He served for a little over 15 years, retiring with the rank of lieutenant.

Gordon was married to a Romanian lady and had two small children. After completing his military service, he worked in the Middle East in the security industry and since February 2013 had been a security officer and logistical administrator with the Geos Group, a French company, working in Afghanistan. Gordon’s parents reside in Brive la Gaillarde in France, as does his younger brother but his two sisters still live and work in the UK. — Yours faithfully,

Brian Warren

Highdown Hill Road,

Emmer Green

Remarkable woman

Sir, — The “mystery” woman with the dogs was Kate Ward, better known as Camberley Kate (Standard, October 23).She devoted her life to looking after strays and became famous nationally and internationally. Lord Snowdon made a film about her.Yorkshire-born Miss Ward was slightly built but wiry as she pushed her cart loaded with dogs with others walking by it on leads daily from her home into Camberley, a round trip of about four miles.

She relied on donations to maintain her large “family”. Her eccentric lifestyle is well chronicled on the internet.She lived in a small terraced house (no longer there) in London Road, near what is now the Meadows roundabout. I knew her well but was not aware she was ever in Sonning Common

.Kate died in 1979, aged 84. A remarkable woman. — Yours faithfully, Jon Marcus Lightwater, Surrey Dogs would say thanksSir, — How the memories came flooding back. The photograph Lynn Hart sent you is of Camberley Kate.

We lived in Camberley for nine or 10 years and Kate was a familiar sight around town. She lived in the area known as York Town. Her vet was the same one we used for our dogs.

When we went to the shops I would give our girls a coin to give Kate towards the upkeep of her dogs and she would hold it up to them and they would bark as if to say thank you.

Unfortunately, I am not able to pinpoint the location of the picture.

Kate died some years ago and her dogs were then rehomed or well looked after. — Yours faithfully,

Ann Chivers

Westleigh Drive,

Sonning Common

Colourful character

Sir, — Is Lynn Hart sure the picture was taken in Sonning and that the lady lived and walked the dogs there? I remember a very similar lady living and walking the dogs in the Camberley area. It is also the same cart, which she used to push sick or old dogs about while the others walked alongside. The lady I remember was named Kate Ward and lived on the A30 between Camberley and Blackwater. She used to walk the dogs into Camberley town centre collecting donations, then took the dogs into the grounds of Sandhurst Military Acadamy where they were walked in the extensive wooded area. She was a well-known character in the area and her picture sometimes appeared in The Camberley News, as I think it was called then. She also looked after our dog when we went on holiday. — Yours faithfully,

Allan Scriven


Editor’s comment: “Thank you to other readers who also identified Mrs Ward, including Penny Bolton, from Sonning Common, Bruce King, from Wallingforfd, Ian Crimp, from Pangbourne, and Chris Bidgood.”

Be careful of hedgehogs

Sir, — Every year hedgehogs die or suffer injuries due to bonfire piles not being not checked before being lit. In just the last 10 years, hedgehog numbers have fallen by 30 per cent and there are now thought to be fewer than one million left in the UK. They are disappearing from our countryside as fast as tigers are worldwide. To help prevent hedgehogs and other wildlife from suffering, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society advises not building your bonfire until the day it is going to be lit, if possible. A fence should be put up around the fire as it is being built to help keep hedgehogs away. It also helps if the fire is made on clear ground, not on top of leaf litter. — Yours faithfully,

F Jennings

Join us for remembrance

Sir, — Thank you for bringing to the notice of your readers that the traditional remembrance service will take place outside Henley town hall on Sunday, November 8 (Standard, October 23).

May I appeal to any former servicemen or women in and around Henley to join the Royal British Legion contingent that will be forming up in Greys Road car park at 10.40am. Also a reminder that medals should be worn.

I would also encourage participants to wear with pride the medals of close relatives displayed over the right breast pocket. Thank you. — Yours faithfully,

John W Green


Henley and Peppard branch, Royal British Legion,


If you go down to the woods today..

Sir, — I came across this fairy ring in the woods near Turville. Isn’t it magical? — Yours faithfully,

John Nuttgens


A-peel of mermaid

Sir, — I took this rather poor photo (the light was not good) after someone (not me) put a banana in the hand of the mermaid statue on Red Lion Lawn by the river in Henley.

It made me laugh. — Yours faithfully,

Victoria Trainer


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