Tuesday, 01 December 2020

Turning Back the Pages

10 YEARS AGO: May 23, 2003 DETECTIVES investigating the murder of a retired Henley machine operator have put up a £10,000 reward for information leading them to his killer.

10 YEARS AGO: May 23, 2003

DETECTIVES investigating the murder of a retired Henley machine operator have put up a £10,000 reward for information leading them to his killer. Grandfather Deryk Cox, 69, was killed by blows to the head before his house in Lowfield Road, Caversham, was set on fire. The attack, nearly two weeks ago, horrified and baffled neighbours. Police say petrol was probably used to start the fire and believe the killer may have been burned on the arms or face.

Doctors in Henley are upset that they are being blamed for cutbacks in emergency services at Townlands Hospital. They fear that staff shortages could jeopardise the long-term future of the hospital. The Henley Practitioners Consortium, which covers the Bell and Hart surgeries, hit back at claims that their new GP service was one of the reasons for the reduced services at the minor injuries unit. Dr Terence Dudeney, chairman of the consortium, said: “It was becoming increasingly common for us to be told at short notice that there were no trained nurses for minor surgeries so the department would have to be closed for several hours at a time and sometimes overnight.”

Councillors fear there may be an “escalating” drugs problem in Sonning Common after signs indicating where marijuana can be obtained were found daubed in the Baskerville Road play area.

25 YEARS AGO: May 20, 1988

TWO relief workers who played a major part in cementing the Henley-Borama friendship link have been killed in a terrorist attack in Sudan. Chris and Clare Rolfe and their children Thomas, three, and Louise, one, died after a gun and grenade attack on Khartoum hotel where they were having dinner on Sunday night. One explosion ripped a hole in the Acropole Hotel’s roof garden dining room, killing the Rolfes, a waiter and a Sudanese man.

South Oxfordshire District Council has been urged to buy and renovate two houses in Henley which are standing empty. John Howard has asked it to consider making compulsory purchase orders on the properties in Havelock Terrace. He made the request after councillors approved the spending of £22,500 on renovating a derelict, one-bedroomed house in the same street.

People living on Rod Eyot island in Henley are seeking cast-iron assurances over what they regard as their basic rights. They have been served notice to quit an area of the baths site in Wargrave Road, where several of them have car parking spaces and facilities for refuse collection and mail delivery. The residents say they will be “cut off” from the rest of the town if they are denied their basic needs.

50 YEARS AGO: May 24, 1963

COUNCILLOR R H Brackston became the youngest person in living memory to become Mayor of Henley when he was elected at the annual meeting of the town council on Monday. The 33-year-old is also the first Mayor to be elected as the official representative of a political party. The occasion was witnessed by a full attendance of council members and a large gathering of the public. The proposition was made by Councillor C T Luker.

At a sherry party organised by Henley Rotary Club for the Red Cross carnival committee at the town hall on Thursday last week, Rosemary Ann Budd, a young mother, of Simmons Road, Henley, was chosen out of 19 contestants to reign as Henley’s Carnival Queen on Monday, June 3. Before an attendance of about 100, the Mayor Councillor G E F Goring- Thomas presented Mrs Budd with a silver rose bowl and bouquet of flowers.

The ancient Christian custom of blessing the fields and crops of the parish was revived after 30 years at Shiplake on Sunday last, when the vicar, the Rev John Overton, and choir led an ever-increasing column of worshippers through the lanes and paths in the vicinity of the church. Some 150 people, including children, took part in the procession, which was watched by many more.

100 YEARS AGO: May 23, 1913

TWO robins have chosen Caversham Police Court as their nesting place. The birds are extremely tame and are fed daily by Insp Page. The nest contains five young birds, which are waxing exceedingly fat on the dainty morsels to which the inspector treats their parents. The robins may be seen frequently on the windowsill taking the crumbs thrown to them by the officer.

That we are fast approaching the summer end and Henley Royal Regatta is evidenced by the commencement of the work of piling and booming the course, which has been put in hand this week. For some time past, workmen have been engaged in improving Lion Meadows at the spot where the regatta enclosure is situated each year, a work which the regatta stewards are to be heartily congratulated on putting in hand.

Master William H Bowyer continues to make very gratifying progress in the musical career upon which he has embarked and the many admirers of his skill as a pianist will be glad to know that he acquitted himself with great distinction on the occasion of his appearance at the Trinity College of Music students’ orchestra concert at the Queen’s Hall, London. His rendering of a difficult work was very favourably reviewed by the critics.

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