Saturday, 28 November 2020

Turning Back the Pages

Ten years ago: VANDALS are systematically wrecking Henley Bowls Club.

10 YEARS AGO: January 24, 2003

VANDALS are systematically wrecking Henley Bowls Club. In the past three weeks, benches have been torn up, cement has been poured on the green, bottles have been smashed and pots and trees uprooted. Windows have been broken and bikes ridden over the sodden green following the floods. Youths have also been seen kicking footballs on to the roof and clambering on to the building to retrieve them. The club fears it will become a “no-go” area at night with members and guests too scared to attend evening events. A review of security at Mill Meadows is to be carried out following reports that a gang from Twyford is targeting the club.

A written guarantee that Townlands Hospital will not be closed has been called for by Henley councillors. The Oxfordshire NHS Primary Care Trust is also being asked to attend a council meeting to answer questions. The council heard that the hospital’s emergency casualty facilities had been closed on some days recently due to staff shortages.

George Harrison’s widow Olivia has said she supports the idea of a memorial to her husband in Henley. The town council has proposed a flower bed and plaque near the entrance to the late musician’s home at Friar Park. Speaking through her solicitor, Mrs Harrison said she would like a memorial near the river, which she said the former Beatle loved.

25 YEARS AGO: January 22, 1988

THE maternity unit at Townlands Hospital in Henley has won a last-minute reprieve. A decision on its closure, expected at Tuesday’s meeting of West Berkshire Health Authority, was deferred for a month after members called for more information. The move came after two hours of debate on the future of the eight-bed unit and the two other maternity units under threat — one at Newbury and the other at Wokingham. The decision means there will be a delay in re-opening 28 beds at the Royal Berkshire Hospital that were closed in October.

A novel use was found for a car jack when a deer got stuck in some railings in Henley. Residents of Paradise Road were disturbed by the creature’s cries after its hind legs became trapped on Tuesday morning. Police officers and a vet were called out and then a resident produced the jack, which was used to prize the railings apart. The deer, a young male, is thought to have been trapped for about five hours before anyone noticed its plight.

Competitors at this year’s Henley Royal Regatta received an extra incentive with the announcement yesterday that the prizes are to be presented by the Princess Royal. It is not the first visit for Princess Anne, who attended the regatta in the Queen’s jubilee year, 1977. She will arrive at about 2.30pm on finals day.

50 YEARS AGO: January 25, 1963

TUESDAY night in Henley was the coldest for many years with 30 degrees of frost being registered. The Thames had ice patches, quite often with a seagull or two on them. During the cold spell, foxes have been coming into town and carrying off cats while wild rabbits have invaded gardens to eat rose bushes.

On Wednesday, Henley firemen were called to reinforce the Berkshire and Reading Fire Service at a blaze which had broken out at 11 Victoria Road, Wargrave, but their services were not required. Bingo players at Trinity Hall watched a fiercely burning shed at the rear of 121 Reading Road, Henley, later that day. The efforts of firemen were hampered in the first instance by water from the tender freezing in the hose but once a supply had been established the flames were quickly subdued.

After the normal business of the annual meeting of Henley and District Agricultural Association on Thursday last week, members considered the question of amalgamation with one or more similar shows in the area. Brigadier H P Crosland reported on a meeting held at Reading and letters from three members were read out before those present expressed their views and a ballot was taken. Five voted against any amalgamation and two for while seven others voted for further exploration of the matter.

100 YEARS AGO: January 24, 1913

HOW a pheasant accompanied a flock of sheep the greater part of the way on their last melancholy mission to Reading market from Kidmore End was noted on Monday. The bird had covered five miles when its presence was noticed at Caversham. Shunning the curiosity of the public, the bird flew away.

The annual meeting of the Borough of Henley Allotments Association was held at the town hall. The association wanted to ensure that the working men of the town should be able to acquire allotments on the best possible terms and conditions and that the allotments were improved so far as control, management and cultivation were concerned.

The annual dance and whist drive promoted by members of Henley Ladies’ Hockey Club was held in the town hall on Wednesday last. The evening passed off most successfully, the company present numbering 140. Dancing took place in the large hall, where the stage had been prettily decorated with hothouse plants and evergreens.

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