Friday, 04 December 2020

Turning Back the Pages

10 YEARS AGO: May 16, 2003 -POLICE launched a murder inquiry this week after a retired Henley machine operator was found dead in his burnt-out home.

10 YEARS AGO: May 16, 2003

POLICE launched a murder inquiry this week after a retired Henley machine operator was found dead in his burnt-out home. Police became suspicious when a post-mortem revealed that 69-year-old Deryk Cox had sustained head injuries which could not have been caused by the fire which gutted his house in Lowfield Road, Caversham. Neighbours tried unsuccessfully to battle through the flames after hearing an explosion at around 10.30pm on Sunday in the two-storey terrace home where Mr Cox lived alone. Firefighters later discovered his body in the sitting room.

A 78-year-old woman gave the performance of her life at the Kenton Theatre when she saw off a robber armed with an 8in knife. Doreen Cook, a former South Oxfordshire district councillor, was nearing the end of her shift in the box office of the theatre in New Street, Henley, when the man entered and asked for leaflets. She said: “I gave him the leaflets and he left but returned a short while later and walked towards the cubicle. He said he wanted to take his gran to the theatre and I told him there was nothing on. That is when he produced a knife. I grabbed my bag and the float money and pressed the panic button. The alarm was very loud and he ran off.”

25 YEARS AGO: May 13, 1988

RESIDENTS of Crisp Road, Henley, had to battle with buckets, mops and towels to prevent their homes being flooded for the second time in two years. Water rose to a depth of more than a foot after a heavy storm on Sunday evening. Drainpipes had to be smashed open to allow the flood water to run away and despite the residents’ best efforts to stem the flow, their entrance halls were soaked as water seeped under doors.

The 19th century well on Dunsden Green is having to be repaired after it was accidentally damaged. The 150ft deep well was dug in 1878 for the use of the inhabitants of Dunsden forever but has been closed off with steel plates. The wooden structure covering the well was virtually flattened when a car smashed into it and the cast iron winding mechanism was shattered. The repairs will cost £800.

A blaze which caused extensive damage to a disused house in Henley is thought to have been started deliberately. Fire broke out in the first floor of the former headmaster’s house on the old Trinity School site in Greys Hill on Wednesday evening. A group of women who were having a swimming lesson in the neighbouring Trinity trainer pool had to flee, still in their swimming costumes, to the safety of a nearby house.

50 YEARS AGO: May 17, 1963

HENLEY’S own Freedom from Hunger Campaign appeal to raise £1,000 has reached the halfway mark. On Wednesday at least £38 was raised at a bread and cheese luncheon held at the town hall. The Mayor Councillor G E F Goring-Thomas thanked Mrs Cavey, members of the Townswomen’s Guild and others who helped. The Mayor also thanked 150 to 200 people present for attending.

Four members of the recently formed Shiplake Court Young Farmers’ Club heard on Tuesday that they had won the Dytchley Challenge Cup at the Oxfordshire Show last week. Simon Stracey, John Mansfield, Christopher Eveleigh and Nigel Smith took part in a team competition for the most points in judging beef, sheep, cattle and tractor driving.

The flag day held in Henley last Saturday for the King George’s Fund for Sailors realised a total of £119 8s 1d, which in view of the inclement weather is considered an excellent result. Mrs Begg, the local organiser, wishes to express thanks to all the collectors and those who helped in other ways. This is the 14th year that Mrs Begg has acted as organiser for this flag day and she is herself deserving of the gratitude of the many people interested in the welfare of the fund.

100 YEARS AGO: May 16, 1913

ON Thursday morning an unfortunate accident befell one of Mr S Reynolds’ employees, Daniel Hughes, son of Mr F Hughes, of Duke Street, Henley. It appears that when he was in the act of starting a car belonging to Dr Windsor, it suddenly backfired and, as a result, the mechanic’s wrist was broken. After being attended to at the Hart Street surgery, he was taken to Reading Hospital.

On Wednesday, a little boy named Griffin, who was staying with friends at the Angel Inn, Remenham, was left playing in the garden. It appears that he wandered off to the Binns in Wargrave Road and walked into a shallow pond created by flood water. He was immersed up to the waist and in imminent danger of being drowned. Gyp, a dog belonging to the hostelry, barked furiously and continuously until some passers-by rescued the child.

Mrs Verner, of Harpsden, was driving in her governess car to Henley on Wednesday when the breaching of the harness became disarranged and frightened the pony, causing it to run away. Mrs Verner stuck pluckily to the reins and tried her best to get the frightened animal under control as it galloped through Henley. Beyond being somewhat exhausted by her endeavours, she was none the worse for her experience.

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