Wednesday, 02 December 2020

Turning Back the Pages

Ten years ago: Mature ginko trees which were destined to line the north side of Falaise Square in Henley have been sold to Italy.

10 YEARS AGO: February 28, 2003

THERE were calls this week for a public inquiry into the handling of last month’s flooding. They came from two local MPs and Shiplake district councillor Edward Rudge, who accused the authorities of a “scandalous failure” to warn and deal with the floods effectively and then of “whitewashing the whole incident”. Major concerns centre around the alleged failure of the Environment Agency’s early warning system and whether the new Jubilee River flood prevention scheme at Maidenhead made matters worse in upstream Thames reaches at Medmenham, Hambleden, Henley, Wargrave and Shiplake.

Mature ginko trees which were destined to line the north side of Falaise Square in Henley have been sold to Italy. This is the latest setback in the troubled redevelopment of the Market Place, which is due to be completed by Sunday, March 23. At a town council meeting on Tuesday, town clerk Colin Barlow refused to predict a definite completion date, saying: “I came without my crystal ball.”

Henley town councillors have finally put an end to the argument surrounding George Harrison’s memorial garden. They decided to rename Red Lion Lawn by Henley Bridge the George Harrison Garden and to redesign it as a memorial to him. The decision comes after months of deliberations about where the garden should be.

25 YEARS AGO: February 26, 1988

AN invasion of ants and cockroaches at Henley Day Centre will force it to close for half a day next week. The temporary closure comes after the warden found traces of the insects in the main kitchen area where meals are prepared. An environmental health officer from South Oxfordshire District Council was called and he found evidence of ants, and possibly of cockroaches, in the serving and utility area and the larder.

Pupils at Gillotts School in Henley who live in Watlington, Northend and Assendon will soon have to find new ways of getting there following moves by Oxfordshire County Council to drop concessionary places on school buses. About 30 children will have their places withdrawn from April 25 following the revision of school bus routes. The changes have angered parents of the children involved and a petition opposing the revision was presented to the council’s schools sub-committee on Thursday.

A householder who built a bungalow-type building on the riverside near Wargrave to replace a dilapidated “shanty” must pull it down, the Department of the Environment has said. The building, measuring 25ft by 15ft and containing a bed-sitting room, kitchen and shower/toilet with an open verandah in front, was put up by Mr A C M Harding, from London, without planning permission.

50 YEARS AGO: March 1, 1963

TWO appeals against refusal of planning permission for two different projects envisaging the provision of a public house in Greys Road, Henley, have been dismissed by the minister of housing and local government following the submission of a report by his inspector, Mr S T Bramble, who held a local inquiry in December. Both appeals were against decisions by Oxfordshire County Council to refuse applications for the conversion into a public house of Wootton Manor and the erection of a public house and a car park at Ridgeway.

Mr E J Robins took the chair at the Old Henleiensians Rugby Football Club’s dinner held at the Little White Hart on Friday last. He expressed regret that the president, Mr C C Stanley, was unable to attend owing to illness. Mr Robins proposed a toast to the Queen. The toast to the club was proposed by the Mayor of Henley, Councillor G E F Goring-Thomas, in the hope that the club would continue to prosper.

After saying that for some years it had been possible only to do the necessary things, the chairman of the Salisbury Club, Mr F Gilbride, went on to say that the committee hoped to do something to improve the comfort of members. This was at the annual meeting of the club, which was held on Tuesday last, when there was a good attendance of members.

100 YEARS AGO: February 28, 1913

AT 2.30am the fire brigade received a call to No 7 Friday Street, occupied by Mr A Downs, baker and confectioner. Members of the brigade arrived at the scene with a hose reel to find the bakehouse at the rear of the premises in full blaze. Using a single line of hose, they quickly brought the outbreak into subjugation but not before considerable damage had been done to the stock with the benches, bins and other fittings being quite destroyed. The cause of fire is unknown.

At Henley Borough Police Court on Wednesday, a young man named Victor Archambault, said to be Canadian, was charged with refusing to complete his allotted task of work while an inmate of the casual ward at Henley Workhouse. Mr E Knight, labour master, said the prisoner performed a quarter of the task set him and refused to complete it. A sentence of 14 days’ imprisonment was passed.

An organ recital which afforded much pleasure to a large audience was given by Miss Gladys Watts, ARCO at Henley Congregational Church, on Thursday evening last week. Miss Watt’s contributions included selections from the works of Bach, Lemare, Guilmant, Gounod and Dr Spark and the programme was supplemented by vocal solos admirably rendered by Miss Florence Hatton and Mr H Monk and violin solos well executed by Mr Arthur Brown.

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