Saturday, 17 November 2018

Events disrupted in poor weather

SNOW and freezing conditions caused widespread disruption across the Henley area at the weekend.

SNOW and freezing conditions caused widespread disruption across the Henley area at the weekend.

Public events and sports fixtures were cancelled as temperatures plummeted below zero.

Snow started falling on Friday night and had settled on roads and pavements by Saturday morning.

Henley Rugby Club?s home match against Worthing Raiders on Saturday was called off.

Hawks president Graham Horner said: ?We had a National League referee down at about 9.30am to look at the state of the pitch. He said it was completely unplayable ? the lines wouldn?t have been visible and there was no way we could have cleared it in time.?

A pre-match lunch and raffle at Dry Leas went ahead as planned and about 120 people attended.

The National League Division 2 South clash, which was set to decide this season?s championship, will now be played on May 4.

Mr Horner said: ?We were very much prepared for the match and felt we were in a position to do well.?

The match between Woodcote and Stoke Row FC on Saturday against Marlow was called off, as was Goring FC?s home match against Burghfield Athletic on Sunday. The second Henley and Wargrave Boat Show went ahead on Saturday and Sunday but fewer people visited than last year.

Jonathan Hobbs, owner of Hobbs of Henley, which co-hosted the event, said: ?The weather could not have been worse for a start-of- season event.

?We took a few bookings but we just didn?t have the numbers that we were expecting.

?Our landing stage was under water, which made it very difficult for people to get on to boats, and the cold put off people who perhaps wanted to come.

?Last year there were people queuing to take launches and river trips but this time there was no one. If you?re selling boats, you can sit down and talk with customers in a nice, warm office but everything we do is outdoors.?

Guy Girling, co-director of Val Wyatt in Willow Lane, Wargrave, had a better experience.

One customer bought a £30,000 Interboat 19 while another returned this week to purchase a £250,000 Jetten yacht.

Mr Girling said: ?The snow obviously put a dampener on things ? we only had about 150 visitors compared with more than 200 last year.

?However, the number of enquiries remained the same because serious clients are going to come out even if it?s cold. I would certainly compare this show admirably with the last one even though the weather wasn?t with us.? Kidmore End Pre-School?s annual Easter egg hunt on Sunday, which raises thousands of pounds for the school every year, was called off on Saturday.

Organiser Nicky Liddon-Horncastle and her volunteers put up posters around the village and warned parents by email and text message.

On the morning, three families who had not heard the news turned up at the sports field off The Hamlet in Gallowtree Common so the waiting organisers gave them Easter eggs.

Mrs Liddon-Horncastle said: ?We stayed up there for an hour just in case anyone didn?t know it wasn?t happening. It was bitterly cold. We?ll be deciding a new date when the weather improves because it?s such a popular event.? A second-hand bike sale at Sonning Common Health Centre was also postponed.

The event, staged by the organisers of the On Your Bike charity ride, was due to take place in the clinic?s car park on Saturday.

Organiser Penny Snowden said: ?About 10 sellers had set up by 10 o?clock but they were frozen and shivering within minutes. Once it started snowing again, we realised it was hopeless.

?It?s deeply frustrating but we will reschedule the sale for after the Easter holidays.?

Greys Court near Rotherfield Greys was closed on Saturday because of ice on the driveway. The National Trust property and its grounds re-opened on Sunday and more than 200 people visited. Manager Jane Greenhaf said: ?The drive was like a skating rink, so we felt it wasn?t safe to open. We took the decision at about 8am and got the message out immediately on Facebook, Twitter and our website.

?We were surprised at the numbers on Sunday but I suppose people had been stuck indoors for so long that they wanted to get out.?

Events that did go ahead included a nearly new sale organised by the Henley and district branch of the National Childbirth Trust.

Bargain hunters queued in the snow at the door of the Christ Church Centre in Reading Road on Saturday and in total there were more than 200 visitors.

About £1,700 was raised from the sale of baby clothes, toys and equipment.

Volunteer Lorna Stanley, a mother-of-two from Twyford, said: ?When we saw the weather forecast our hearts sank and we didn?t think we would break even but we are delighted with the amount we raised. I got my boy a pair of Calvin Klein jeans for £3, which I was delighted with.?

About 200 children took part in an Easter egg and treasure hunt in Wargrave on Saturday. Each child received an Easter egg on completion of one of three courses set out by Wargrave scouts.

Organiser and cub leader John Wheals said: ?It is a great community event and everyone really enjoyed themselves.?

The weather is expected to improve over the Easter weekend, reaching 6C by bank holiday Monday.

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