Monday, 17 January 2022

Review of the year part two: Remembering loved

Review of the year part two: Remembering loved

A COUPLE with a successful restaurant have stepped in to save a village pub less than half a mile away.

Liam and Ryan Simpson-Trotman, who opened Orwells in Shiplake Row in 2010, have bought the Plowden Arms on the A4155 Reading road at Shiplake Cross.

The pub, which dates back to the 17th century, has been closed since January 2019 and villagers had been concerned about its future.

THE owners of a Henley cattery fear they will struggle to serve their regular customers this summer because people from further afield are taking all their spaces.

Carole and Nick Gorvin, who run the Cat’s Whiskers Hotel off Fair Mile, say there is a growing shortage of places nationally because so many catteries have shut in the past two-and-a-half years.

This is partly down to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic but also because inspection standards were tightened in January 2019.

A FATHER has become the talk of his family and friends after appearing in a photograph which seems to show the Queen almost hitting him in her Range Rover.

But Rob Allen, who was snapped walking with his four-month-old daughter Agatha at the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show, says this is an optical illusion and he was not in danger of being run over by Her Majesty.

The 40-year-old, who lives in Middle Assendon with his wife Lisa, didn’t spot a Press Association photographer taking the picture so was shocked to find it in a national newspaper.

A PAINTER from Pishill has reproduced the most expensive painting ever sold.

Jeffery Courtney was commissioned to make a copy of the Salvator Mundi, which is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and dated 1499–1510.

The original painting was sold for $450.3million (£325.2million) in November 2017 by Christie’s in New York, setting a new record.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a “gentle soul” who was killed in a suspected hit and run crash.

Kam Hulait, of Greys Road, Henley, was found dead with severe injuries in Wyfold Lane, Peppard Common.

Police believe the
46-year-old walking when he was struck by a vehicle whose driver then sped off.

News of Mr Hulait’s death has stunned residents living near the “top shops” at the junction of King James Way and Greys Road in Henley, where he would sit on the low brick wall outside and chat to passers-by.

A HENLEY town councillor has been praised for rescuing a cat which got trapped in the engine of its owner’s car.

David Eggleton freed Millie by quickly removing a number of moving parts under the bonnet of Roger Bailey’s Peugeot 406, which the animal had climbed inside for warmth.

A RESTAURATEUR has avoided prison after being caught with more than 40,000 indecent images of children.

Paul Burrows, 57, a former executive chef at the Highwayman Inn in Exlade Street, near Checkendon, was living at the pub when he was arrested following a police raid in October 2019.

The officers, who were acting on a tip-off, found he had downloaded more than 8,200 “category A” photographs, which depict the most serious levels of abuse, and more than 36,200 in the lesser categories B and C.

AN adventurer and broadcaster who lives near Henley is urging the Government to take drastic action to limit rising global temperatures.

Ben Fogle, who lives in Fawley, wants the town’s MP John Howell to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, which would commit the UK to doing all it can to prevent an increase of more than 1.5C.

BROKEN steps leading to St Mary’s Church in Henley have been repaired by artist Clive Hemsley.

Rector Jeremy Tayler and churchwarden Robin Hartley said the church couldn’t repair the steps as it didn’t own them.

Mr Hemsley, 70, decided to repair the steps himself to prevent any accidents after he was asked by a member of the church to get involved.

THE parents of a teenage murder victim have called for an end to knife crime.

Stewart and Amanda Stephens spoke out after two teenagers were found guilty of murdering their 13-year-old son Oliver in Emmer Green.

Oliver, known as Olly, was stabbed twice in the chest and back with a knife after being lured to the Bugs Bottom fields between Hunters Chase and Gravel Hill on January 3.

ATHLETES from Leander Club in Henley have won Great Britain’s only rowing medal to date at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Harry Leask, Angus Groom, Tom Barras and Jack Beaumont claimed silver in the men’s quadruple sculls on the city’s Sea Forest Waterway.

This came on an otherwise disappointing day as three other British crews finished fourth in their finals.

A BRIDE became the third generation of her family to be married in Henley. Cara Wrightson, 29, followed the example of her mother and grandmother when she wed Howard Long at the town hall after arriving in a horse-drawn carriage with her father.

The couple, who are both teachers, met about seven years ago and she proposed to him. About 100 guests attended the ceremony, which was followed by a reception at the Eyot Centre, off Wargrave Road.

A MAN discovered a rare fungus in his garden that looks and smells like rotting flesh.

Terry Driscoll, who lives in Caversham with his partner Stephanie Slann, found the red organism growing in their lawn.

The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. later confirmed it as a rare red cage fungus (clathrus ruber), also known as the lattice stinkhorn because of its design and putrid smell.

THOUSANDS of visitors descended on Henley when it hosted its first royal regatta in two years.

The five-day rowing event didn’t take place last summer because of the coronavirus pandemic and earlier this year there were concerns that it would be held without spectators at Dorney Lake, near Eton.

However, following a series of announcements by the Government, it was able to proceed on the usual reach of the River Thames five weeks after the usual July date.

There were no public enclosures on Lion Meadow to allow the stewards’ enclosure to be enlarged, creating more space for social distancing, and spectators had to bring proof of a recent negative covid test, full vaccination or natural immunity.

The dress code in the stewards’ enclosure was also revised to allow women to wear trousers and jumpsuits, although few appeared to be taking advantage of this.

A WOMAN is urging people to keep following the coronavirus rules after her father died despite being fully vaccinated.

David Allum, of Lawson Road, Henley, suffered a fatal cardiac arrest just four days after testing positive for covid-19 and about a week after first showing symptoms.

The 58-year-old, who was a service manager at the Hofmann’s Lotus dealership in Newtown Road, was in good health before he became ill.

FOUR teenage girls from Shiplake College made history at this year’s Henley Royal Regatta.

Nicole Dunn, Mary Oaks, Mia Vickerman and Isabelle Blake-Hurworth won the Diamond Jubilee Challenge Cup for women’s quadruple sculls.

The girls’ victory was the first time the independent school has won a final at Henley and the first time it had entered a female crew.

THE family of a man who died in an accident swam 84 miles for charity in his memory.

Brad Visser, 38, suffered a severe brain injury when he fell off his electric skateboard near the family’s home in Main Street, Stoke Row, in 2019 and died in hospital 10 days later.

To mark the second anniversary of his death, his widow Annie and their children Ozzie, 10, and Chloe, nine, are raising money for Headway, a brain injury charity that would have helped Brad had he survived.

AN environmental campaigner from Henley who was arrested at a demonstration nearly two years ago has finally been cleared.

Police have told Ed Atkinson that they will not be taking any action against him and have agreed to delete their records of the incident.

Mr Atkinson, 59, of Queen Street, was arrested while taking part in the Extinction Rebellion demonstrations in London in October 2019. He sat in the road to help block Whitehall but claims the Metropolitan Police officers acted unlawfully.

“I still have no regrets and I stand by what I did,” he said. “It feels like I have closure now.”

A BUSINESS owner from Henley wants to bring more attention to the south side of the town.

Eva Rickett and her husband Graham run Henley Scan, restoring images and footage from old media, such as photographs, slides, negatives, videos, camcorder tapes and 8mm cine films.

Mrs Rickett has come up with the name “Southside Henley” to make it easier for people to find them.

A COUPLE have told how a man waged a race hate campaign against them and their family.

Michael Read and Heidi Price, from Woodcote, said they felt “alienated” by the abuse, which included a “Christmas” card sent to them with a picture of a smiling monkey on the front with the word “selfie” and a message inside made from newspaper headline clippings which read: “Be off with u.”

They were speaking after Bryan Olliver, 48, of Bensgrove Close, Woodcote, was convicted of malicious communication following a trial at Oxford Magistrates’ Court.

A HENLEY Hawks player collapsed and died after his side’s first match of the new rugby season.

David Hyde, 29, who was a lock, complained of being “in pain” after the game at Dry Leas on Saturday and was taken to the club’s physio room.

His condition deteriorated quickly and he was taken by air ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where he died overnight.

A YOUNG woman feared she was going to die when blood clots appeared on her lungs after she had the coronavirus jab. Imogen Allen, 22, from Woodcote, also contracted covid-19 while in hospital receiving treatment and almost needed emergency heart surgery.

She may have to be on medication for the rest of her life to help her breathe.

PUBS, breweries and farms in the Henley area have been affected by the nationwide carbon dioxide shortage.

Rises in wholesale prices of natural gas caused the temporary closure of two large fertiliser plants which create CO2 as a by-product.

As a result, deliveries of “dry ice”, which is vital to the meat and drinks industries, are now taking three weeks longer than usual.

The family-run Loddon Brewery in Dunsden Green, which sells beer to pubs and has its own shop, may have to close its tap room. Dan Hearn, who helps run the business with his parents Chris and Vanessa and brother Luke, said they were concerned.

A SUSPECTED cannabis factory was discovered inside a disused Henley hotel.

Police went to the Imperial Hotel in Station Road on Sunday after a tip-off that there was a smell of “cooking” and the sound of movement inside.

Thames Valley Police said they responded to reports of “suspicious activity” and that a quantity of cannabis was recovered.

HENLEY’S Olympic and Paralympic athletes were warmly welcomed back to the town on Saturday.

Hundreds of people cheered the Team GB rowers as they were paraded through the town centre on an open-top bus.

At the town hall, there were speeches on the steps from Mayor Sarah Miller and Leander captain Jack Beaumont.

IT’S good to be back — that was the verdict of Henley Festival organisers as the star-spangled show returned. Up to 6,000 people attended each of the five nights of the riverside musical extravaganza with headliners including James Blunt, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Sara Cox amd Kathy Sledge as well as a return visit by Madness.

The line-up was almost identical to the one for last year’s festival, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A DEVELOPER has warned that Henley is in danger of becoming a “Disneyesque retirement and tourist location” if more affordable housing is not built.

Alan Pontin said younger people who help keep the town’s businesses going could not afford to live here.

He blamed the shortage of affordable homes on a “virtual embargo on housing development in the last 30 years of the last century”.

RESIDENTS are trying to stop a 15m high 5G phone mast being erected outside their homes.

CK Hutchison Networks has applied to South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, for permission to install the mast on the pavement outside Swiss Farm in Marlow Road, Henley.

The company says the design of the mast would minimise the visual impact on the street scene but residents of Marlow Road say the mast would be an eyesore.

THE women behind the AstraZeneca vaccine were given a standing ovation at the Henley Literary Festival.

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert and Dr Catherine Green, the scientists whose work at an academic lab in Oxford led to the development of the covid-19 jab, gave a talk at Phyllis Court Club.

They were introduced by festival director Harriet Reed-Ryan who said: “Without these two, we wouldn’t have a festival.”

TWO sisters have been volunteering to help administer covid booster jabs at the Hart Surgery in Henley.

Alice and Imi Lowe are the daughters of Jo Lowe, who is a healthcare assistant at the surgery off York Road. Alice, 25, and Imi, 21, immediately agreed when their mother asked them to help out.

A MAN feared he would die when his scull was sliced in half in a collision with a boat that was on the wrong side of the river.

Clive Scott-Hopkins, 84, was pushed underneath the motorboat that hit him and had to fight his way back up to the surface.

Mr Scott-Hopkins, who is a member of Upper Thames Rowing Club, said: “I was only saved because a narrowboat, which was also on the wrong side of the river, was following just behind and saw what had happened.”

A TOTAL of 262 people took part in this year’s Henley half marathon.

The 36th annual event returned on Sunday after being cancelled last year due to the coronavirus
pandemic.

Another 125 runners took part in the accompanying Henley Standard 10km race in unseasonably dry and warm conditions.

TRADERS in Henley are bouncing back after the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of empty shops in the town centre is now 15, including two units at the new Gardiner Place development, off Market Place.

With a total of about 172 retailers, it means the shop vacancy rate is now less than nine per cent, compared with the national rate of almost 16 per cent, and many new businesses have opened since covid restrictions were eased in May.

A GIRL who dreams of being a vet has built a glass “mansion” for her pet hamster.

Roxi Pell, 11, has owned Coco since June and keeps him in a 5ft long container on top of a chest of drawers in her bedroom at home in Harpsden Road, Henley.

She felt that many of the cages sold online were too small for the Roborovski, or robo dwarf, hamster even though he is only about two inches long and weighs less than an ounce.

MEMBERS of Phyllis Court Club in Henley are unhappy with the way it is being run. They claim that standards at the private club, off Marlow Road, have “deteriorated” but the management refuses to acknowledge this.

More than 100 members have raised concerns about the decision-making of the club’s council and chief executive, saying they should focus on improving the quality of services and facilities.

THE redevelopment of a cottage in Harpsden has won a design award.

Jacqueline and Henry Gummer extended and updated Cherry Tree House in Gillotts Lane to create a modern, sustainable home.

The five-bedroom property has been named best modern building in this year’s Chilterns Design Awards, which celebrate projects which enhance the character and beauty of the area.

A GRANDFATHER who fought off masked robbers after being hit on the head with a crowbar has been honoured for his bravery.

Sami Barsoum, 71, from Lower Assendon, who still has a scar from the attack, said: “I don’t really feel that brave. It’s nice to be recognised but deep down I feel like I just did what I had to do.”

The retired exchange bureau manager was speaking after being presented with a High Sheriff’s award more than three years after the £50,000 armed robbery in London.

A VOLUNTEER at Greys Court has won his campaign to have defibrillators provided at all National Trust properties with more than 40,000 visitors a year.

Padmakar Agrawal, from Caversham, addressed the trust’s annual meeting where members voted in favour of his motion by a majority of almost 4,000.

It was only the second time in six years that a motion has been passed against the recommendation of the trustees.

A GROUP of four people were asked to leave a show at the Kenton Theatre in Henley after one of them spoke a racist slur.

Comedian Pierre Novellie, a South African, who was performing as part of the Comedy Network show at the New Street theatre, asked the quartet where they were from.

One of them, a woman, replied, “Well, three of us are Aussies and one of us is a P***”, indicating a man who was part of the group. During the interval, staff asked the group to leave.

A GIANT pumpkin grown to raise money for the Poppy Appeal has vanished.

Binmen are suspected to have taken the 60lb specimen and another smaller fruit from David Young’s front garden in Ashford Avenue, Sonning Common.

The 63-year-old had intended to auction the pumpkin or offer it as a raffle prize at the New Inn pub in Kidmore End on Remembrance Sunday.

AN ice rink is the new Henley town manager’s top choice for next year’s Christmas Festival.

Craig Buckby plans to start looking into the possibility of having the winter attraction in the New Year.

The 58-year-old, who has replaced Helen Barnett, said he would work with traders, key stakeholders and the community to make sure they get what the want at the 31st annual event in November next year.

THE family of an elderly woman who died five days after falling out of bed at a nursing home have criticised the business’s management. An inquest heard that 93-year-old Evelyn Jackson had been considered by the Abbeycrest care home in Sonning Common a “low” risk of falling out of bed so there were no railings to stop it happening.

Assistant coroner Sonia Hayes recorded a verdict of accidental death but said she would write to the home to express her concern about the risk assessment.

MORE than 1,000 people attended the Remembrance Sunday service in Henley.

The ceremony in Market Place was led by Rev Jeremy Tayler, the rector of Henley with Remenham. It was attended by the Mayor Sarah Miller, fellow town councillors and other civic dignitaries.

More than 30 groups and organisations laid wreaths on the town hall steps and a list of names of the fallen was played over the loudspeakers.

THE Henley Art School is to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jo Harris, 46, who founded the school five years ago, has given notice on the lease of The Studio, off Hart Street, and will leave in the spring. She will then continue teaching privately.

Miss Harris decided to cut her losses as she is £12,000 in debt, having taken out a loan to try to keep the school running.

FRIDAY Street in Henley is the town’s worst road for illegal parking.

A total of 39 offences was recorded there in the first two-and-a-half weeks after the return of civil enforcement. The vast majority were for vehicles parked in a restricted street during proscribed hours.

TWO entrepreneurs believe their plan to build modular houses could help address the affordable housing crisis and climate emergency.

Giles Lovegrove, an architect, and Dave Wallace, who is a business owner, have set up Plan B Housing to create homes which can be extended as the owner’s circumstances change. The pair have earmarked three sites near Woodcote for pilot schemes.

THE son of a former England rugby international and TV commentator has released a single about his father’s fight with dementia.

Charlie Starmer-Smith wrote Spotlight during the coronavirus lockdown last winter when his only contact with his father Nigel was through a window at the nursing home near Oxford where he is being cared for.

THOUSANDS of people attended the Henley Christmas Festival on Friday.

The atmosphere was jolly, especially as last year’s celebration was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Sarah Miller switched on the lights on the 30ft Nordmann fir tree in Market Place with eight-year-old Alice Vernon, who won a competition to design the Mayor’s official Christmas card.

HENLEY Bridge is set to be lit up again.

A small group of business people called Make Henley Shine has drawn up plans to attach 470 LED nodes to the Grade I listed structure, which was built in 1786.

The group is to launch a crowdfunding appeal in the new year to raise up to £150,000 to finance the “arts project” for 10 years.

MINOR breaches of planning rules will no longer be enforced by South Oxfordshire District Council.

The council has brought in a new policy because officers do not have time to deal with the backlog of cases which has built up during the covid pandemic.

A MAN from Sonning Common is stuck in isolation after being in South Africa when the new coronavirus variant was discovered.

Alex Clarke was visiting his parents in Cape Town when the Omicron variant spread but was unable to get a flight back to Heathrow in time to isolate at home so is stuck in a four-star hotel in Hounslow.

A SLIPWAY in Henley that was filled in with concrete by a developer has been reinstated.

Henley Town Council carried out the work after experiencing long delays in trying to persuade Sorbon Estates to do it.

The company levelled off the access to the river in Thames Side at the bottom of Friday Street without permission in summer last year.

THE Harrods café in Henley has closed down and a chemist is to follow suit.

H Café in Market Place shut suddenly this week after two years of trading and is now boarded up.

Superdrug, which is a few doors away, will close next month after four years. It is believed to have been facing a substantial rent rise.

MARY BERRY will be seen on television on Christmas night giving a bible reading at her favourite church.

She was filmed at St James Church in Bix, which she attends regularly with her husband Paul Hunnings.

A CHARITY which provides life-saving defibrillators across the Henley area has been saved from the brink of closure.

Millie’s Dream has received a grant of £7,000 from the Wates Foundation, which means it can continue and founder Sarah Roberts has now launched a fundraising drive to safeguard its long-term future.

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