Sunday, 29 November 2020

Turning Back the Pages

10 YEARS AGO: September 5, 2003: THREE companies and a 400-year-old listed barn have been destroyed in Henley’s second major fire in three weeks.

10 YEARS AGO: September 5, 2003

THREE companies and a 400-year-old listed barn have been destroyed in Henley’s second major fire in three weeks. Henley Beetles, the Hamyard bric-a-brac shop and Tamdrew Builders were gutted when a fire broke out at the barn in Reading Road on Saturday night. The fire comes just three weeks after Henley Sports Shop in Duke Street was engulfed along with flats and other shops.

Henley rowers Katherine Grainger and Cath Bishop struck gold at the world rowing championships in Milan after surging from fourth place to first in the women’s pairs event. Their victory compensated for the defeat of Olympic champions Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell who finished out of the medals.

For the first time there is to be a rabbit section at the Henley Show, which takes place at Hambleden on Saturday, September 13. Organisers hope the 200 bunnies — from lops to fancy breeds — will help make the show a thumping success. The section will be accepted as a qualifying event for a major rabbit championships later in the season. Other attractions will include a sheep show and the Warwick Girls’ Marching Band.

25 YEARS AGO: September 2, 1988

AN historic thatched cottage in Gallowstree Common belonging to TV sports commentator Nigel Starmer-Smith was extensively damaged by fire on Tuesday night. Mr Starmer-Smith, a commentator on BBC television and editor of Rugby World magazine, was at home with his family when the blaze broke out in the upstairs of the cottage. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Firemen took just over three hours to get the blaze under control.

Wild and violent dogs terrorised golfers at Huntercombe this week after attacking three people. One club member was bitten and the nine-year-old son of the club’s resident professional was also attacked. A third man had to beat off a dog with one of his clubs. Police officers, including a marksman, have spent days searching the course for the dogs which have gone to ground.

A safety officer has condemned a dangerous slide at Henley’s Mill Meadows by saying it should be dismantled as soon as possible. The slide in the play area is a firm favourite with visiting toddlers but it no longer conforms with safety standards and has a number of hidden dangers. On Wednesday, members of the town council’s general purposes committee decided the slide should be taken out of commission and boarded up.

50 YEARS AGO: September 6, 1963

THE third annual Wargrave gymkhana was held last Sunday and in spite of the very wet weather it was well attended with about 50 competitors and a considerable number of spectators. The gymkhana was held in aid of the Olympic Games and International Equestrian Fund, to which the profit of £11 is being sent. Susan Hives won the championship rosette and the Wargrave Challenge Cup.

Three 14-year-old cadets, Able Seamen Keith Emerson, John Handley and Philip Cooke, together with Lt Roger Bacon RNR, from Cheltenham sea cadet corps, arrived at Henley sea cadet corps headquarters on Wednesday evening after completing 391 miles of a 500-mile march which started at Cheltenham on August 24 and is scheduled to finish there today.

A number of members from Goring Red Cross detachment, two residents from Shiplake’s Andrew Duncan House with the warden, Mrs Lampson, the Henley divisional president, Mrs Goodson, and local residents attended a special fairground service at Wallingford Road, Goring, by kind permission of Messrs. G & R Pettigrove on Sunday last. The service was held in the dodgem pavilion because of the rain and was conducted by Graham Stokes.

100 YEARS AGO: September 5, 1913

A YOUTH named John Dunkley, whose parents reside at Gravel Hill, Henley, met with a rather serious accident on Sunday morning while cycling down White Hill. As he was passing Park Place lodge, a dog ran in front of his machine and Dunkley, in trying to avoid the animal, ran into the bank and fell heavily to the ground. The lad was afterwards conveyed on a wheelbarrow to the Hart Street surgery where it was found that he was severely cut about the face.

As a pony belonging to baker Mr G Middleton, of Newtown, Henley, was standing outside Mr Lee’s stores and the post office, a number of engineers came trotting along towards the town on their horses. This startled the pony, which trotted off towards the town. One of the engineers galloped off to try to stop it but only frightened it further and the animal eventually collided with a furniture van belonging to a Mr Gilder. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

One of the most pleasant days associated with the Caversham and Reading Veterans’ Association was celebrated on Saturday, when the committee chartered the steam launch Britannia to convey them and their friends to the Temple Island in Henley. The weather was ideal for such an occasion, with the result that nearly 100 ladies and gentlemen participated in the outing.

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