PARKING problems are pushing shoppers out of Henley and leaving tills silent in the run-up to Christmas, according to independent stores. Clothes shops and electrical stores are among the worst hit by slow trade in the festive season, while supermarkets and gift shops are doing a roaring trade. Chris Leavy, owner of Ashworths menswear in Market Place, blamed the lack of shoppers on limited parking and suggested enforcing a one-hour limit in the King’s Road car park.
Teenagers may miss out on the final instalment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy if South Oxfordshire District Council upgrades the film’s rating to a 15. The council has threatened to change the certificate of the The Return of the King from 12a in January following a complaint from a viewer.
A pub landlord is campaigning for speeding restrictions along a stretch of road that has been the site of two fatal accidents in the last three months. Simon Till, 24, who runs the Crown in Huntercombe, is organising a special meeting of local residents to discuss the speed problem on Gangsdown Hill. Four people, including a six-year-old boy, have been killed on the road since September.
25 YEARS AGO: December 23, 1988
A PRIVATE health club in Remenham has been ordered to shut down — before it has even opened for business. Planners moved to stop the unauthorised use of a property called Whitewoods, off Remenham Hill, on the same day that the club’s operators were planning an open evening to show off the facilities to the public. The council refused planning permission for the health club in September.
Plans to redevelop the centre of Henley look almost certain to be withdrawn. A major re-think has been called for by landowners Waitrose and South Oxfordshire District Council following public outcry against the scheme. A meeting between the council and the supermarket was called on Wednesday in response to protests by town councillors, traders and many local residents.
Henley has a world sporting champion. Powerlifter Mark Cullimore took the world and European junior titles after five gruelling days of competition in Luxembourg last week. The 23-year-old returned to Henley to a hero’s welcome from fiancée Helen O’Connor and his mother Mavis, who lives in Bell Street. He beat off competitors from 25 countries to take the world title and help Britain win the team event for the first time.
50 YEARS AGO: December 27, 1963
FOR Henley, the year 1963 was one of progress and steady growth. Many changes took place for the good of the town but others, such as the staggering increase in rates, were not so enthusiastically welcomed. Henley’s new £17,000 youth centre in Deanfield Avenue began to be used, although it is to be officially opened in January, and for the first time a Labour member of the town council was elected Mayor.
What can be termed a “Christmas as usual” was arranged in the town and district this year with churches, hospitals and other institutions modelling their plans on those of previous years. The churches held their usual festival services, with celebrations of midnight mass at St Mary’s, Holy Trinity and Remenham Church attracting the usual large congregations.
Henley’s popular thrift club has just concluded another very successful year, a membership of 309 paying in during the 47 weeks a total of £7,377, which is £48 more than in the previous year. Since the club was founded in 1932 it has handled savings to a total of £96,376.
100 YEARS AGO: December 26, 1913
ON Thursday, December 18, the Henley Men’s Institute payed a visit to the Nettlebed village hall to play a games tournament, when a very pleasant time was spent. The games resulted in a draw, each institute totalling 22½ points, a remarkable result considering the number of games that were played.
The annual Christmas match for prizes, given by supporters of Henley Working Men’s Fishing Club, was held on December 21. The best show of the season was brought to the scales. Mr Hooper’s catch consisted of four fish, the largest one a fine specimen of 10lb 9¼oz, which enabled him to win a turkey.
A match has just been concluded with the War Office Rifle Club resulting in a defeat for the Henley “A” team. The conditions were 10 shots deliberate per man.