HAILSTONES the size of £2 coins rained down on Henley during a massive thunderstorm in the early hours of Sunday. Such an intense storm has not been seen in the town for 30 years, according to amateur meteorologist Nicholas Verge, from Middle Assendon. He watched the storm, which came from the south and struck Henley between 1am and 2am.
More than 1,600 homes and businesses in Henley and Shiplake were blacked out on Tuesday — by a squirrel. The rodent caused a transformer to “trip out” at 12.11pm and power was not restored until 90 minutes later. A Southern Electric spokesman said: “The squirrel would have had to get into the transformer, which is a small one mounted on a pole, and touch what we call the buzz bars. Sadly, it did not survive the experience.”
Henley Town Council has broken rules by carrying out unauthorised works on trees protected by preservation orders. The trees in Station Road have been pollarded as part of the renovation of the green space outside the former Invesco Perpetual building but South Oxfordshire District Council says permission should have been sought before work went ahead.
25 Years Ago
May 4, 1990
DEATH threats have caused George Harrison’s £5million Friar Park estate to be put on full security alert. Ds Bob Harrington, head of Henley CID, said threatening letters had been sent to the 46-year-old former Beatle and his wife, Olivia, 42. “We are taking these letters very, very seriously,” he said. “I do feel sorry for the man. He is a recluse and just wants to be left alone.”
Henley’s first ever parish poll is expected to confirm a resounding vote of no confidence in the Regal town centre development when it takes place at the end of the month. However, the poll, costing more than £1,000, comes too late to have any bearing on the controversial scheme.
Residents of Crazies Hill and Wargrave fear they could be losing vital fire cover if a controversial plan to close Wargrave fire station goes ahead. Berkshire county councillors want to close stations in Wargrave and Sonning to build a new station at a more central site. At a heated meeting last week, residents slammed the council’s decision, saying they would have to wait longer for emergency calls to be answered.
50 Years Ago
May 7, 1965
ON Thursday next there will be a contested election in Henley’s north ward but no contest in the south ward, where there are two candidates so they will secure an unopposed return. North ward polling will take place at the town hall and there are four candidates for the two vacancies.
Further reference to the ban on parking of unlighted vehicles at the sides of the town hall was made at Tuesday’s meeting of the town council. A number of suggestions was made, including one which would allow the parking of unlighted vehicles in the centre of town to bring Henley into line with a number of other places in the area.
Mr Norman S J Francis, of 114 Greys Hill, Henley, retired on April 29 after 46 years’ service with the Post Office. Apart from two years’ service as a postman in Barnet and five years’ army service, Mr Francis has served at Henley post office continuously since June 1919 when he commenced as a boy messenger. He was awarded the Imperial Service Medal in recognition of his meritorious services, which was presented to him by headpostmaster Mr J N Hulme at a ceremony at the post office on Saturday last. Mr Francis also received a gift from his colleagues.
100 Years Ago
May 7, 1915
L COL Schofield, who succeeded to the command of the 1st/4th Battalion, Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, before they left for France, has resigned. It will be remembered that a fortnight or so ago Mrs Schofield made an appeal for comforts for men of the battalion. Mrs Ovey, of Hernes, Henley, wife of Major Ovey, who is second in command, has taken over the management of the fund for sending comforts to the battalion.
On Sunday evening as Mr S J Bendall, of Shiplake Rise, was motoring from Reading, his attention was attracted by a bicycle in the roadway at Hampstead Hill. On alighting, he saw a young man lying unconscious close to the hedge. Having a full party in his car, Mr Bendall motored home and then returned for the cyclist whom he conveyed to the infirmary, where it was found he had suffered a fit.
In connection with the Henley Junior YMCA, a monster paper chase took place on Saturday last in which some 20 members took part. Sarney and Parker, the “hares”, went at good speed and got well away before doubling back towards Henley. Great excitement prevailed at headquarters at about 4.30pm when the “hounds” arrived back.