Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Turning Back the Pages

Ten years ago: THE worst floods in more than 50 years hit the area this week, causing disruption for commuters, businesses and householders.

10 YEARS AGO: January 10, 2003

THE worst floods in more than 50 years hit the area this week, causing disruption for commuters, businesses and householders. Homes near the Thames were flooded with the worst hit in Shiplake, Wargrave, Medmenham, Goring and Caversham. Hotels and businesses along the river reported losses. Some, like the Mill at Sonning and the River and Rowing Museum in Henley, were cut off and forced to close.

Actress Emily Mortimer was elegance personified as she glided down the aisle escorted by her father, Rumpole author Sir John Mortimer. Prior to the wedding, the 31-year-old was reported to have feared being outshone by her 80-year-old father and 18-year-old supermodel sister. But she had no need to worry as she stole the hearts of family, friends and locals who had gathered at St Mary’s Church in Turville.

A man who wanted to visit the cinema on his own was told the back rows were reserved — for couples. David Bowman, 27, of Ancastle Green, Henley, was desperate to see Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers but when he went to the Regal in Henley to book a seat, he was told he would only be allowed to sit in the front rows of the cinema which have an odd number of seats.

25 YEARS AGO: January 8, 1988

A BLACK labrador called Brooke escaped unscathed after plunging more than 13ft down a hole. Brooke went missing after falling into a disused well on the Nettlebed Estate on Sunday morning. Her owner, Mike Neville, spent hours looking for her but she wasn’t found until two days later when gamekeeper Cecil Chilcott heard the sound of barking coming from underground.

A driving lesson ended disastrously when a car burst into flames after crashing in Henley. Nicholas Alliston had been teaching his friend Patrick Kirby to drive when the crash occurred on New Year’s Day. The Ford Cortina left the road at the Assendon turn-off on Fair Mile and ended up partially on top of a parked car. The two teenagers climbed out seconds before their car was engulfed in flames.

A Hurley man has won a prize in a national photographic competition — without taking a photograph. Brian Webb, Hurley’s lock-keeper, arranged the camera settings for his wife, Shirley, to press the button and the picture came out so well that it won second prize in the competition run by ColourCare, a photographic processing company.

50 YEARS AGO: January 11, 1963

SNOW clearance, which at the height of activity was estimated to be costing Oxfordshire County Council £1,000 an hour, was proceeding in Henley all this week. Workmen dealt with the roads, shifting the high banks of snow by the roadside and chipping the icy layers from pathways. Expenditure on snow clearing this winter will cost ratepayers dear and those in Henley borough will have to carry their share of the burden.

The Rev Francis Michael Ambrose Payne became the 50th rector of Henley since 1204 when he was instituted and inducted “to the cure-of-souls and the benefice of the parish of Henley-on-Thames” at St Mary’s Church on Wednesday. The institution was performed by the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev Dr Harry Carpenter, and the induction was conducted by the Archdeacon of Oxford, the Ven C Witton-Davies.

This year’s All Ages Ball, which is held annually to raise funds for the Thamesfield Youth Association, took place on Saturday at Phyllis Court Club in Henley. The ballroom looked very gay with enormous bunches of balloons hung amid the decorations. In spite of the appalling weather, all the tickets had been sold and there was the usual lively crowd of young people and their parents.

100 YEARS AGO: January 10, 1913

THE annual winter treat given to the senior scholars attending the parish church Sunday schools took place at the town hall on Wednesday. Upwards of 300 children were entertained at tea. The good things on the tables were provided by the respective presidents, including the rector (Canon Maul), Miss Giles, Mrs George Smith, Mrs Neighbour, Mrs Hawker, Mrs A E Hobbs, Mrs Lewis (Caversham), Miss Paley, Mrs Fry, Miss Williams Freeman, Miss Turnour, Miss Mackenzie and Miss J BaumGartner.

For some years the annual ball arranged in connection with the Peppard Farmers’ Harriers has been one of the most enjoyable winter functions in Henley and neighbourhood, but that which took place on Friday last surpassed all its predecessors for enjoyment and enthusiasm. Mr T G Chandler (the Master), Mrs Chandler and Miss Chandler had been to great pains to see that every possible arrangement was made for the comfort and enjoyment of the company.

A meeting of the Henley and District Horticultular Mutual Improvement Society was held on Monday, when, unfortunately, owing to the weather and various other causes, the attendance was not as good as usual. The lecturer for the evening was Mr Hall (Shiplake Court) who congratulated members on starting an association and wished it success.

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