Friday, 04 December 2020

Turning Back The Pages

10 YEARS AGO: November 21, 2003 AN armed gang has struck again. On Friday, exactly a week after hitting the One Stop Shop in Sonning Common where a nine-year-old girl was held hostage, the trio burst into the post office in Whitehouse Road, Woodcote

10 YEARS AGO: November 21, 2003

AN armed gang has struck again. On Friday, exactly a week after hitting the One Stop Shop in Sonning Common where a nine-year-old girl was held hostage, the trio burst into the post office in Whitehouse Road, Woodcote. They fled empty-handed after a staff member refused to hand over cash despite a gun being held to the head of a 23-year-old customer.

A single father whose daughter is “too bright” for her local school is suing the county council to pay for private education. Dr Tim Saunders, from Sonning Common, says the education system has failed his 14-year-old daughter. Now he is taking the case to the High Court to demand that Oxfordshire County Council pays for the cost of her education, which could amount to between £15,000 and £20,000 a year.

Town councillors in Henley have refused to accept an apology for absence from a colleague. Members of the finance and administration committee said Councillor Nigel Spencer-Jones had failed to turn up to every meeting since the council was elected in May. Councillor Dave Smewing said: “Can we reject the apology because I would like to know why and I don’t think we should accept it until we do?”

25 YEARS AGO: November 18, 1998

HENLEY’S central post office was evacuated on Tuesday after staff received a hoax bomb threat. A woman with a foreign accent telephoned the Reading Road office and told a member of staff: “There’s a bomb on the premises.” Counter staff cleared the premises and police isolated the building. After an extensive search by a police sniffer dog, members of staff were allowed back in.

Wargrave residents have been given the go-ahead to take legal action against Thames Water over their complaints about the village sewage works. Solicitors acting for villagers have been instructed to pursue a private prosecution against the water authority, which has failed to meet government requirements on levels of effluent flowing into the River Loddon.

Students from The Henley College joined thousands of others across the country for Wednesday’s day of action against the Government’s White Paper on student loans and benefit cuts. Only 10 per cent of local students attended classes after a 61-1 motion was carried by the college’s students’ association to support measures proposed by the affiliated National Union of Students.

50 YEARS AGO: November 22, 1963

TWO women were killed and the husband of one of them was badly injured when a car ran into a group of people waiting for a bus at the Bix end of Fair Mile in Henley on Friday afternoon. A woman who jumped back when she saw a “black blob” approaching from the Oxford direction and a child aged two in the arms of the injured man escaped injury.

Henley’s League of Hospital Friends saw the culmination of several months of effort on Thursday last week when a splendid dayroom for the use of walking patients was officially opened at Townlands Hospital by the Mayor, Councillor R H Brackston. This represents the biggest achievement so far registered by the League, which raised about £2,000 towards the cost of the building in which there is a pleasant sitting room away from the hospital wards for patients.

The better than usual weather experienced on Poppy Day this year was of great help to the street sellers on November 9 and to the house-to-house collectors on the two previous evenings. All the loyal and valiant past helpers and a few kind volunteers rallied round and brought the total collection to a higher figure than for many years, with Henley and outlining districts realising £493 12s.

100 YEARS AGO: November 21, 1913

ALTHOUGH it is a considerable time since a public political meeting was held in Henley, the people of the town showed on Tuesday that they have by no means lost interest in politics and that they are as staunch as ever in their support of the Conservative Party. The town hall was filled to its utmost and Mr Valentine Fleming MP, who presided, must have been reminded of those crowded and enthusiastic gatherings which he addressed in the same building during his two election campaigns in 2010.

Woodclyffe Hall in Wargrave was thronged with Territorials and civilians on Wednesday evening, the occasion being a smoking concert organised by D Company of the 4th Battalion, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, in conjunction with leading residents of Wargrave.

Mr Valentine Fleming MP opened a new village hall at Checkendon on Saturday evening in the presence of a large and influential company. In the course of an appropriate speech, he said that such institutions were of great value to any locality and played an important part in rural life as a means of political education, especially at a time when legislation was proposed affecting rural society.

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