Monday, 23 November 2020

Turning Back the Pages

Ten Years Ago

Ten Years Ago

A SAVAGE mugging turned a dream holiday in Sicily into a nightmare for a Henley couple. Charles and Veronica Hawtrey were on the second day of their holiday in Palermo when the robbery happened. Two men on a speeding moped knocked Mrs Hawtrey down and ripped her bag from her shoulder. Now back home in New Street, she said: “It all happened in a split second. I heard this enormous screech and revving behind me, then I felt this whack in my back. I think the guy on the front of the bike leant into me with either the handlebars or his body.”

Plans for a temporary ice rink in Henley town centre have skidded to a halt for the second year running. Organisers of the Henley Festival, which runs the Extra! event in the winter, have cooled on the idea because they can’t find a major sponsor for the rink, which would cost up to £60,000.

A quick-thinking neighbour raise the alarm when a roof fire swept through cottages in Christmas Common on Saturday. Some 30 firefighters  took two-and-a-half hours to tackle the blaze, which started shortly before 11am. Felicity Bazell, who lives two doors from the now gutted Park Cottages, discovered the fire and called 999.

Twenty Five Years Ago

A QUESTION mark hangs over the future of Henley Youth Centre as the town council plans to develop the facilities and possibly combine it with the day centre. Deputy Mayor Tony Lane says the council hopes to arrange a meeting with the trustees, who currently administer the Deanfield Avenue building.

Residents of Crazies Hill have lost their fight against a nine-hole golf course in the village. It comes after a two-year battle by local farmer Peter Hearn for the course on his land at Hennerton Farm. His plans were given the go-ahead by a Department of the Environment inspector last week despite protests from residents concered about the effect the development will have on the rural roads.

The gardens at Hearns House, Gallowstree Common, consisted of brambles and nettles 20 years ago. Today, colourful rhododendrons and a variety of unusual plants have taken their place. The transformation will be on show on Sunday as part of this year’s National Gardens Scheme. Sadly, January’s storms have had their effect on the two-acre garden. The garden is backed on to by a sprawling forest and when the winds blew hundreds of trees fell, with many branches tumbling into the garden.

Fifty Years Ago

A FIRE which broke out at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Henley on Tuesday is believed to have resulted from sacrilege. It was later discovered that an almsbox used for candle money had been broken open and nearby were spent matches and a cigarette end. Mr R W Piggott, of Western Avenue, was walking home from his work along Vicarage Road when his attention was caught by a woman shouting that there was a fire in the church. He dashed into the building and quelled the fire with an old raincoat he was carrying.

Himself the Duke of Firthe is an imposing name but then Himself, a four-year-old Scottish terrier owned and bred by Peggy Leonard, of Hop Gardens, Henley, is rather an unusual dog. He is to appear on BBC1 on May 30 in The World of Wooster, a comedy series based on the PG Wodehouse novels and starring Ian Carmichael and Dennis Price.

The firm of Plint & Partners, which started work some nine years ago at Wargrave, has achieved something of an international reputation in the field of engineering education. The company’s products include such devices as supersonic wind tunnels, apparatus for the testing of engines and equipment for research in a wide range of engineering problems.

A Hundred Years Ago

MR F G Brakspear, second son of the late Mr G E Brakspear, of the firm of Messrs W H Brakspear & Sons, has come over from Vancouver Island to join, as a petty officer, the motor cycle section of the Royal Naval Air Service. Mr Brakspear had intended travelling on the ill-fated Lusitania but fortunately at the last moment he changed his mind and came on the Adriatic.

Trooper J Purton, of Henley, who is with the C Squadron, QOOH, at the front, has written the following letter to his mother, dated May 5: “We have come out of the trenches all safe and sound; we were relieved on Monday and then had to walk 15 miles to our horses; we were walking for five hours and were absolutely footsore when we got back. We were in the trenches for five days and had the worst experience since we have been in them. We did not have any more casualties but the other regiments in our brigade lost a good many; one poor fellow in the 6th DGs had both his feet blown off.”

Her Majesty Queen Alexandra, accompanied by HRH the Princess Victoria, honoured Sir Frank and Lady Crisp with a visit to Friar Park on May 7. Her Majesty was sufficiently interested in the attractions to repeat the visit a week later.

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