Issue 138

1st March
to
1st June 2018

Please click a heading or just scroll down to read the articles, click the Up arrow to return here

Front Cover by Micky Thompson

Well, you can’t say that we haven’t had a proper winter this year. Let’s hope we now have a proper Spring.

The cover picture this issue is a manipulated photograph which I hope conveys a windy day, this being the March issue. It was part of my Marlborough Open Studios Exhibition in 2016. As many of you will know, I am a member of the Hungerford Camera Club and one of this year’s tasks is to take one photograph each week of 2018 on a self-chosen topic and make a presentation to the club of the resulting fifty two images early in 2019.
Since I live close to Freemans Marsh, and really enjoy the area, that is my chosen subject. Writing this in late January I have made three visits so far, resulting in pictures of local water fowl including the secretive water rail with its lovely red long pointed beak and also winter landscapes. Who knows, maybe one or two of the pictures will make the cover of Chain next year.

Micky

Message from the Chairman of CHAIN.

Christmas is over and what an amazing display of lights we had in Hungerford,
I have heard lots of lovely comments from visitors and residents so well done Hungerford Town Council. Let us now look forward to Spring and get through all these horrible Flu and other viral bugs which are doing the rounds this winter.

Chain was busy during the Christmas period even helping out with transport on Christmas Day for the Christmas Lunch in the Methodist Hall (which I understand was a great success). Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who help so many people in and around Hungerford.

The Chairman vehicle is a great help to people in wheelchairs and is sadly underused at the moment so I hope to encourage more use within the community. If you know someone in a wheelchair who needs transport to hospital, doctors, churches or clubs please put them in touch with Chain. The Chairman can be driven by one of our drivers or Chain can train a family member or friend to drive the vehicle. If you would like any more information please contact the Chain Office on 683727.

Our Car Drivers continue to help get people to hospital and doctors appointments and our office volunteers are in the office between 9-11 every weekday morning to help book drivers for these runs.

The Handybus is busy and is looked after by Ted Angell and his team of volunteer drivers taking groups of people on shopping trips, lunches, hydrotherapy pool and trips out. If you would like to drive the Handybus then please contact the office on 683727.

Please think about volunteering for Chain if you have a few hours a week or month to spare or if you are coming up to retirement then Chain is waiting for you to volunteer and give something back to your community.

Janette Kersey

From the Editor

Hello, …….

Although the New Year was 2 months ago I still would like to wish you all the best and to say thank you for the continuing support of our advertisers and article contributors who all help to make CHAIN MAIL possible. Don’t forget to visit our website to see Micky’s cover pictures in colour and photos of Tony’s trains, and lots more information.

I joined 1pMobile a while ago and have had great service at an amazing price. 1p a minute, 1p a text, 1p a MB. The lovely people there have sent me the voucher below for all my friends (that includes you) to get a free £5 top-up when they join. Just enter
https://www.1pmobile.com/friends/ in Google or any other browser then enter this code number P170138D , order your SIM and they will do the rest. Last time I looked a landline call was 14p a minute!!!
Unwanted phone calls….Try letting them go to answer phone and then if they are personally for you pick the phone up and answer it!

I know some of you sometimes have to wait a little bit for your prescriptions but please be aware of the time it takes for the Surgery to issue them and Boots to collect and make them up. While I am on about prescriptions you may remember that I started a few years ago with Pharmacy2U (an internet company) well no longer, as for the second Christmas running they failed to dispense/deliver. So off I went to Boots who made up the prescriptions within 20 minutes. My grateful thanks.

So I was singing the praises about Broadband with EE recently, well would you believe it 3 months into an 18 month contract they like SKY previously have increased the line rental. I thought a contract was a contract WRONG. Mind you of course BT own EE and everyone with BT are having to pay line rental increases. Is it because of their TV services?

Dim witted Smart Meters! Are you getting pestered to have one fitted? Well it is not law yet and until these meters actually become “SMART” I will not have one fitted. When the day comes that they are universal in operation to ALL then and only then will I have one fitted as each year I have to change provider to get a more competitive supply quote. Even British Gas says…. “If a smart meter customer switches to another supplier, it will become a standard meter.” … “There is a risk that your new supplier’s technology won’t be able to connect with your old smart meter.” I changed to OVO last October through Martin Lewis Energy club and have just had a surprise £25 credited to my bank account, I must have missed this when I changed!

Thanks & Best Wishes David Piper

01488 683152 / 07835395901 davidhpiper117@gmail.com

Letters, articles and adverts should be sent to me by the 7th of the month preceding
publication, i.e.7th May for the issue on June 1st. But please don’t leave it until the last
minute, there might not be space. If you send something to me I try to acknowledge
within 3 days. No reply from me, then I have not got it, so please re-send.

The Mayor

Hungerford Matters

Salisbury Road Development:
Hungerford Town Council (HTC) has now received (dated 30th November 2017) an outline planning application for this development. The opportunity to take legal proceeding in the form of a Judicial Review to challenge the legality of the plans was not taken up after legal advice was taken and costs assessed. The Town Council still has the chance to challenge the development when the full detailed planning application is made to the council. We will keep you updated on the progress.

Library Update:
Negotiations are still ongoing with West Berks Council (WBC) after Executives voted to transfer Hungerford’s library building to HTC on a 99yr lease peppercorn rent agreement. HTC instructed a surveyor to carry out the building survey who has concluded that despite the building being just 10 years old there were a number of major defects to the roof and brickwork which needed to be repaired before HTC took over the lease. The building will be known as the Hungerford Hub and it is expected that the building will be handed over to the town during the new Financial year starting in April 2018. Watch this space for updates.

Neighbourhood Plan:
HTC held a town meeting on Monday 22nd January 2018 to discuss further information gathered on the why’s and wherefore’s of producing a Neighbourhood Plan (NP). Cllr Pat Wingfield from Stratfield Mortimer parish council presented detail on how they spent four years developing their plan, which was finally adopted through a parish referendum in June 2017. Stratfield Mortimer are the first parish council in West Berkshire to adopt a NP. The meeting was attended by approx. 60 residents, by a show of hands approximately 75% supported the concept. HTC will be deciding whether to go ahead with a NP at February’s Full Council Meeting on 5th February.

Precept 2018:
HTC has announced that the local precept charged to residents will NOT increase this year. This is due to a number of cost saving exercises undertaken by HTC which include re tendering for the Christmas Lights (producing a 25% saving) and the toilet cleaning contract. The council has also successfully negotiated with Hungerford Rugby Club a significant rent increase of the Triangle Field. The site is also to be used this year to generate additional revenue ideas include car boot sales and outdoor cinema events.

HTC Grant Funding:
Due to more savings in the council spending budget, HTC has been able to increase its Grants Fund for 2018 by an additional £5000. This money will increase the councils fund to nearly £23,000 money that will be available from April 2018 to the towns groups and charities. To apply for funding in 2018 please contact the Council Office.

HTC Action Plan:
HTC has developed an Action plan for Hungerford. Over 30 projects and ideas to improve Hungerford are included. These plans enable the council to prioritise actions and help in planning future funding to enable these projects to be achieved. Some examples of these plans include improvements to the Croft Activity Centre, introduction of a town suggestion scheme, coach parking in the town and improvements in leisure and infrastructure facilities. The action plan will be published on HTC website as soon as its finalized.

K.K.

Chain’s Page

Please scroll down for more items……………..

Volunteers Needed

CHAIN HANDYBUS UPDATE The Handybus undertakes a number of regular shopping trips on a weekly and monthly basis. We are very pleased with the success of these trips and they run mainly fully or almost fully loaded. This includes our weekly Wednesday morning Hungerford ‘Market’ run which brings people into the centre of Hungerford. So for these trips, organisers are mainly having to operate ‘waiting lists’. We do want to assist as many people as possible but can’t go beyond the capacity of the bus!

The focus of the shopping trips is to assist those who are less mobile or are not able to access normal services. If you are interested in any of these trips, please telephone Ted Angell on 01488 682610 for further details. He will be able to put you in touch with an appropriate organiser but you may need to wait a bit before you can get a seat. Our weekly trip to the Swindon Hydrotherapy Pool is now busier as well but we can probably find a seat or two for additional passengers whose medical advisers have suggested that such therapy will be beneficial.

Handybus Drivers We want to add to our great team of volunteer drivers to help share the load. Drivers will normally undertake 2 or 3 trips a month. The majority of trips are of up to a half day in duration. You need to have a category ‘D1’ on your driving licence and each driver completes a period of training and assessment. The work is good fun and the efforts of our team are very much appreciated by our passengers. If you would like to just ‘try the bus out’ (under supervision) without any initial commitment, Ted Angell can arrange this. CHAIN Handybus Co-ordinator 682610 077998 86597 tedangell.ta@gmail.com If you would like to volunteer but not drive, we are looking for passenger assistants who would assist the driver and passengers during trips.


Help for the Tuesday Club

We need drivers to help with our club

Please contact Sheila at sheilabamford1@hotmail.co.uk

 


The Engineman’s Rest Cafe

Experienced cook required for mainly weekends, bank holidays, functions and some weekdays as required. Items to include jacket potatoes, pies, quiche, sandwiches, salads, homemade soups, cakes, tray bakes and scones.
Also BBQ work at steaming weekends (18 days a year) Hours to be discussed.
Please contact Sarah Bibby, the caterer for more information through www.croftonbeamengines.org/contact-us


Crofton Beam Engines Update

It’s a busy time for Crofton Beam Engines since we found out that we’ve been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to support our £855k project, to conserve the building and develop visitor facilities and activities.
As part of the project we are currently recruiting new volunteers for an exciting range of roles. These include:
• 1920s Garden Volunteers
• Marketing Volunteers
• Oral History and Virtual Archive Volunteers
• Front of House Volunteers

Knowledge of the steam or the canal is not essential but a willingness to give new things a try is. There are lots more opportunities to volunteer at Crofton, so get in touch to find out more. Email: crofton@katrust.org.uk
Website: www.croftonbeamengines.org.uk
Facebook: @croftonbeamengines Twitter: @croftonbeamengs


Newbury Weekly News Christmas Parcels for the over 80s.

At 8.00 am on a cold 9th December 2017, 300 NWN Christmas parcels for the Hungerford and Kintbury area were delivered to the Croft Hall. By 10.00 am, the parcels had been counted and allocated and the Croft Hall was empty. All the parcels were on their way to be delivered to those who were entitled to receive them.

This speedy and very successful process can only be achieved by the hard work of all those CHAIN and other volunteers who help – by making the Hall available, laying out the tables and sorting and delivering the parcels that day.

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone for their tremendous efforts!

Ted and Daphne Angell
CHAIN Hungerford Co-ordinators for the NWN Christmas Parcels for the over 80s.


WEST BERKSHIRE FOODBANK supports local people in crisis. Clients are referred to the Foodbank by Agencies who are helping them, or by phoning the Crisis helpline below. They are given food equivalent to three meals a day for three days, and may be referred more than once if needed.

THANK YOU to everyone who has given longlife, tinned or dried food and other essentials such as soap, toothbrushes & toilet rolls. Donations may be left at our collection points in the Churches, the Library, and the Co-op.

If your workplace or community group is interested in hosting a collection point,
please contact info@westberks.foodbank.org.uk or jennifer.bartter@btinternet.com

Crisis Foodline
Crisis Food need ? Call 01635 760560.
Open Weekdays (not Bank Holidays) from 08.30 to 18.30


Attention please we need your help
If you have a couple of hours to spare can
you help once a week or even once a fortnight?

Chain office is open 9am to 11am Mon-Fri. We are looking for
volunteers to answer the phone and arrange for drivers take
people to their appointments. Please call 01488 683727

Caring

Hungerford and Surrounds , CANCER SUPPORT GROUP
for people living or affected by cancer, and /or their carers and loved ones,
past and present.

We are a friendly and welcoming group . If you haven’t been before you will be warmly welcomed whether you want to share experiences , listen , seek information or meet people .
We also have free tea/coffee and cake and meet on the last Tuesday of the month
at the Riverside suite at the Bear hotel, Hungerford.

You may contact Jenny Knight 01488 644671 or
Yvonne Gillies 07888399134 email ygillies@btinternet.com

Bits 1

Also on this page….Hungerford PTA ……..Bell Ringing….Poppy Update ……

Hungerford Scouts & the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race

If you are out & about over the Easter weekend watching the Devizes to Westminster canoe race, come along the towpath to the Croft Field to see the Hungerford Checkpoint in action.

Operated for many years by 1st Hungerford Scout Group, the checkpoint records the safe passage of all canoeists. Any entrants who
are too slow on this end of the 125-mile journey are
not permitted to continue onto the more challenging River Thames.

The checkpoint is open on Good Friday & Easter Saturday (30th & 31st March), and also supplies tea, coffee, cakes etc to canoeists, support teams and spectators.

1st Hungerford Scout Group welcomes boys and girls from age 6 as Beavers, from 8 years as Cubs, and from 10.5 years as Scouts.
If you would like to know more about Scouting for your child, or how you could become involved as an adult helper, please contact Group Scout Leader, Matt Head 1sthungerfordscouts@gmail.com

 

Ringing Remembers –

A Tribute to Bell ringers who died in the First World War

On 11 November 1918 the ringing of church bells erupted spontaneously across the country, as an outpouring of relief that the first World War had finally come to an end. Just after the war, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers wrote to all bell towers to compile the Roll of Honour, tragically this identified that 1400 bell ringers lost their lives as a result of that war.

On 11 November 2018, 100 years since Armistice, bells will again ring out in unison from churches and cathedrals in villages, towns and cities across the country. The vast majority of the UK’s 5,000 ringable towers are expected to take part in the event, ringing more sombre music in the morning, then joyously in the afternoon and again shortly after 7pm, as a chain of 1,000 beacons are lit throughout the UK. Big Ben will also strike at 11am to mark the centenary. The centenary will also be commemorated with the recruitment of 1,400 new bell ringers in honour of the same number who lost their lives during the First World War. The campaign to recruit bell ringers, ‘Ringing Remembers’, will keep this traditional British art alive in memory of the 1,400 who lost their lives – linking together past, present and future as a fitting tribute to the heroic men and women who sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today.

If you would like to learn to ring the bells, and represent one of the fallen on this historic occasion and going forwards, please contact Mark Robins, mdrobins@hotmail.com or 07759680054, or visit us in St Lawrence’s tower on any Wednesday night from 7.30 – 9pm.

We will remember them!


Poppy Appeal and other British Legion news

Our apologies for not giving an update in the last edition of Chain Mail , as at the copy deadline is right in the middle of the Poppy Appeal fortnight the copy date passed us by.

Thank you again to the people of Hungerford, the Poppy Appeal amount now stands at £26,299. Our thanks go to you all and especially to those who volunteered their time to stand at our collection points. We will be holding some more events in the year, watch for local notices and here in Chain Mail.

The Poppy Thank You evening will be on 14th September starting at 7.30pm. Please come along and meet ourselves and collectors old and new.

The Band Concert will take place on the 14th October starting at 7.00pm, in the Corn Exchange. Tickets are £7 and will be available from mid September.

On November 3rd we will have an evening of music designed to embarrass our children and grandchildren- that’s right we show the younger generation how to enjoy themselves. The Sagalouts will be entertaining us at the Legion Club. Again tickets will be on sale from mid September.

If any ex-service personell or their dependants are seeking help from the Legion the first contact is now made by phone using 0808 802 8080, (free from UK landlines and main mobile networks). Access can also be made via email (go to http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/helpline and follow the links).
Any further information about the ‘Legion’ can be obtained by calling 07799 660584 or email derekloft@yahoo.co.uk

Derek and Di Lof

Roger Day

Unique wartime glider crate recovered from a Thatcham garden

During July 2017 the ‘Valley at War Trust ‘
recovered an almost complete glider crate
from a back garden in Thatcham. The
group was tipped off about its existence by
Mr Roger Snelling, a long-time resident of
the town, who had heard on the grapevine
that the property was being sold and was
worried that the crate would be destroyed.

Glider crates originally held sections of American Waco CG4A
gliders (five crates per glider) which were transported as deck cargo across the Atlantic during WW2 from their manufacturing base in the USA to Britain. Most arrived at either Liverpool or Greenock and were then sent by road for final assembly to Crookham Common (just to the east of Greenham Common). The assembled gliders were then sent to airfields all over the UK.

The gliders were famously used to carry fully armed troops into Normandy on D-Day, June 6th 1944, and on that momentous occasion hundreds left from the area’s airfields at Ramsbury, Membury, Welford, Greenham Common and Aldermaston.

Meanwhile, back at Crookham Common hundreds of empty glider crates were beginning to clutter the area and a shantytown started to appear as US servicemen based there turned some of them into living accommodation or workshops. Painted on the Thatcham glider crate’s interior, and hidden for more than 70 years by its post-war lining, was an impressive series of silhouettes of carpenter’s tools, which the Trust has been able to positive match with those used by the US Army during WW2. The Thatcham crate is about the size of a small garage and probably contained the fuselage, which was the glider’s single largest component. Its size therefore makes it an ideal subject for conversion into a workshop. The Trust is therefore of the opinion that the silhouettes prove beyond any reasonable doubt that after the glider was removed the crate it became a carpenter’s workshop.

The glider crate has now been put into storage and over the coming months the Trust plan to restore it to its former glory. Once completed the crate will form part of an exhibition planned for a proposed new museum to be built at Membury near Hungerford on a site owned by Philip Walker. This site, which lies on the southern edge of the old flying field, has a significant WW2 pedigree, as it once formed part of the US 6th Tactical Air Depot.

Roger Day

Surgery

The Croft, Hungerford RG17 0HY 01488 682507 www.hungerfordsurgery.co.uk

The Surgery has been and continues to be very busy during the winter period so please bear with us if you have slightly longer than usual to wait for your next routine appointment”

We have two retirements happening this year, Janette Kersey at the end of March after more than 26 years and Dr Alex Anderson at the end of June after 12 years. We wish them both a long and happy retirement.

If you are traveling abroad please make sure you are up to date with all necessary vaccinations. Either complete our online Travel Questionnaire or pop into reception and fill one in for all family members who are traveling. One of our Travel Nurses will contact you within 7-10 Working days to discuss your needs and the length of your appointment. Please try to complete your forms at least 6-8 weeks before your departure date.

Childhood immunisations are very important so please check your child’s Red Book and make sure they are up to date with all recommended immunisations if in doubt please speak to your Health Visitor or one of our team. JK

Hungerford Surgery Patient Participation Group

The PPG continues with the purpose of contributing to the continuous improvement of services and fostering improved communication between the Hungerford Surgery and its patients.

In recent months, members have been pleased to hear that a number of staff positions have been filled. As a result, the surgery is now fully staffed and this has led to the wait for a routine appointment falling to approximately one week on average. Of course, we can all help to make this service even more efficient by ensuring we cancel any unwanted appointments. To make this easier, the surgery has introduced a cancellation line on 01488 682507, option 5. Please take the time to call if you no longer need your booked appointment because it will mean another patient can benefit from it.

Museum

                     

Hungerford’s Annual Fairs

Hungerford has grown for centuries as a market town, and it has held very many regular markets and fairs. One such was the annual sheep fair.

It is hard to overstate the importance of sheep to the British economy until quite modern times. In 1500 the human population of England was no more than 3 million – but there were 8 million sheep!

Wool was needed for everything from blankets to clothes, and only the very rich could afford such expensive alternatives such as linen or silk. There are many large and important “wool” churches – largely paid for by the wool and cloth trade – including St. Nicholas’ in Newbury.

One of the largest sheep fairs in the country was held at East Ilsley, where up to 80,000 sheep could be brought to market on a single day, from as far away as the Salisbury Plain.
At the Hungerford Sheep Fair in 1872 there had been 1,300 sheep; in 1873, 3,500 sheep, but in 1874 there was “an exceptional Sheep Fair on the Downs on 17 Aug” with 6,600 sheep – a remarkable increase. In 1875 there were about 5,000 sheep penned.

The Sep 1881 edition of the Parish Magazine states: “Our annual Sheep fair was held on the Downs on Wednesday August 17. The supply was unusually good, and the number of sheep brought to the Fair being not much short of seven thousand. Most of the sheep were of excellent quality and fetched better prices than at previous fairs. Lambs sold at 30s to 40s per head; one lot at 48s. Sheep generally fetched 40s to 50s per head.”

There were also two annual statute or hiring fairs in the Market Place, held on the Wednesdays either side of old Michaelmas Day [10th or 11th October], which marked the end of the farming year. Traditionally it was when houses and land changed hands, and farm workers, domestic servants and some craftsmen were hired for the coming year. They would attend the “Mop” Fair dressed in their Sunday best clothes and carrying an item signifying their trade. A servant with no particular skills would carry a mop head – hence the phrase Mop Fair. Employers would move amongst them discussing experience and terms. Once agreement was reached the employer would give the employee a small token of money and the employee would remove the item signifying their trade and wear bright ribbons to indicate they had been hired. They would then spend the token amongst the stalls set up at the fair which would be selling food and drink and offering games to play.

For much more on this or any other aspect of Hungerford’s fascinating history, visit the Hungerford Virtual Museum – www.hungerfordvirtualmuseum.co.uk .

Hugh Pihlens

 


Grumpy

Dear Mr Editor

CHAINMAIL evidently remains a force to be reckoned with. Congratulations. Since our 2017 campaign to reduce helicopter intrusions was echoed by the National Press, there has been a noticeable reduction in the late night visitations. Of course, this may be more to do with the constrictions of MOD budgets and the pilots’ wages than as a result of our efforts.

After this success in the skies, I think we should now turn our efforts towards grounding the pigeon population and helping the Council’s efforts to this end. Help will obviously be welcome; I note that the pigeons are now more than happy to roost on the heads of the rather grotesque plastic hawks that have been erected on houses in the High Street as a deterrent. A very recent count of the pigeon population roosting under the GWR bridge revealed at least 60. Why has not Network Rail been prevailed upon to replace the netting it has traditionally accepted as necessary; surely a properly formulated insurance claim against the lorries that have got stuck and stripped-off the very effective netting once installed there would mean there is no cost to Network Rail or to the ratepayer and no more lodgings for the unwelcome pigeons?

Talking of ratepayers. How very gratifying to see that, during 2017, the local charity The Town & Manor of Hungerford saved at least £17,000 to local residents by awarding its donations to local deserving causes. Just as West Berks is immensely indebted to Greenham Common Trust for its contribution to good causes, so Hungerford is lucky to have, in the Town and Manor, a discerning but independent source of financial support as well as a provider, at no cost to inhabitants and users, of extensive open, green spaces both to the East and West of the township. Such tangible financial assistance is doubly rewarded when, as with the Hungerford Youth and Community Centre, the volunteers and supporters are then inspired to train, practise their skills and then bravely participate in a local Dragon’s Den-style competition by open debate and indeed win a prize of nearly £25,000 to add to their other sustained efforts made throughout the year.

On a personal note, Grumpy was overjoyed by the amazing turnout of over 250 for Margaret Williams’s Thanksgiving Service at St Lawrence church this January. Margaret was an exemplar of the aphorism that “behind every great man……..” as indeed Jack would be the first to confirm.

Just to show that his glass is not always half full, Grumpy hopes that 2018 will see drivers resolving to make an effort to be more courteous to each other. Whether one is driving through the narrows at the Downgate Inn, or battling along the main street in Kintbury, there seems to be a marked reluctance for anyone coming in the other direction to thank one for giving way! The minimal display of an acknowledgement makes one feel better while failure results in an immediate surge towards grumpiness/road-rage.

Pip Pip

Grumpy

Stacy

Give Purple the Green light

All the dedicated followers of fashion will know that every year the Pantone Colour Institute names its colour of the year which influences design on all levels. 2018’s colour is Ultra Violet (tone 18-3838 if you are interested).

Pantone describes Ultra Violet as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade” which “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future”. Very apt when, faced with a hectic, stressful world we are turning more and more to mindfulness and looking at ways to protect the future of our world. Their Verdure colour palette combines crushed berry purples with bright green and eggshell blue which makes for a striking planting scheme.
I’ve picked out a selection of plants on the purple theme for a variety of situations. Why not add some of these suggestions to your border if you want to go with the flow?

For ground cover to suppress weeds in shade or to cover a bank there is Vinca minor Atropurpurea, a plant with trailing stems and plum coloured flowers in spring and summer. Although more compact than its cousin Vinca major, it can spread quite a bit so only choose it if you have a space to cover.

If scent appeals to you, there are several purple Phlox but I favour Phlox paniculata Blue Evening with its lilac flowers with a deep purple centre. Growing to around 80cm tall it does well in sun or part shade and is also attractive to beneficial insects.

One of the early flowerers is Lathyrus vernus, a low growing Spring flowering perennial. It has a lovely show of flowers tinged with lilac, pink and deeper purple at a height of approximately 40cm. It will disappear once the warmer weather appears (although it will come back the following spring). Place it behind a later developing perennial such as Salvia x sylvestris Rose Queen to avoid gaps in the border. This perennial flowers from mid summer through to autumn and produces blush pink flowers held on rigid red/purple stems.

Amongst my favourite plants is the Baptisia. It looks thoroughly exotic and yet in the right position (a sunny well drained spot) it grows well. A new variety, Baptisia Purple Smoke, has dusky lilac purple blooms borne on deep purple, almost black stems. These colours are contrasted beautifully with lime green leaves. Its flowering period is late spring to early summer and reaches a height of 1.25m.

For a plant which grows happily in sun and will flower from early summer right through to autumn once it is established, there is nothing better than the Penstemon. P. Pensham Plum Jerkum is certainly a favourite with its plum purple flowers. In addition bees love this plant!
However if flowers are just not your thing, there are some beautiful purple ornamental grasses such as Festuca amethystina- a low growing grass with grey green leaves and purple flowering spikes, which looks fabulous planted in swaying swathes- or Panicum virgatum Purple Breeze, the switch grass, growing to a height of 1m with its green leaves which turn purple as the season progresses.

Baptisia Purple Smoke

Happy gardening, Stacy Tuttle

 

Nature

NATURE NOTES

A Walk around West Shefford Marshes

Park the car in Church Street in Great Shefford. Walk down the lane by the avenue of Lime trees until you meet the Lambourn Valley Way. Turn left and head west until you meet Maidencout farm; after the slight diversion turn left and walk along the farm drive which is a by way. At the footpath sign turn left and head east. Keep walking until you rejoin the lane by the church. Stiles and walkers’ gates have been built here by West Berkshire Ramblers and they make the walk dog friendly.

West Shefford Marshes is similar to Hungerford marshes and was a haven for wild life.
Until recently it was a private nature reserve but now the new owners use it as a shoot.

Over 200 different birds have been seen there in the last 20 years. It used to be the home of several rare wild flowers such as the southern marsh orchid. However aconites and snowdrops can be seen here especially in January. The walk could be combined with a visit to Welford Park where the snowdrops always give pleasure.

There used to be a rabbit warren by the church in Shefford, just below the old Nissan hut. Rabbits used to play in the sun in the daytime and once I witnessed a stoat chase after a rabbit for several minutes. Stoats are very similar to weasels but have a black tip on their tail. They belong to the same family as minks and pole cats. Strangely there is supposed to be a family of pole cats in this area and mink used to regularly visit this village. Strangely I also witnessed a stoat chase a rabbit on Hungerford Marshes.

At one stage the marshes were considered to be part of an important wild life corridor. West Berkshire Council had a drive on conservation but I suspect this has been forgotten about because of their austerity policy.

The marshes border a quintessential English chalk stream which is supposed to be protected by English and European Law. In the past SSSI status (Triple “S” I) was only granted to environmentally sensitive areas of great importance by Natural England. The Europeans granting SAC status (Special Area of Conservation) meant that grants could be obtained to enhance the site.

West Shefford Marshes are unique because they mark the start of the middle reaches of the river Lambourn. The river dries up in winter to the west and flows all year round to the east.

Lowland chalk streams are very rare in the UK and in my view this marsh area is the best site for a wild flower meadow in Berkshire especially as it lies in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Pretty colourful flowers such as marsh marigold and rose bay willow herb thrive here. This area has flowers that bloom all through the year.

Maybe I am only an amateur naturalist but wild flower meadows such as the planned section of Hungerford Common really enthuse me. Over time insects such as butterflies thrive on flowers; birds and mammals visit the area and suddenly an oasis of wildlife is created.

Conversely it saddens me to think that children will never experience snipe drumming, woodcock roding and water rail squealing.

Common and Jack Snipe used to visit West Shefford Marshes every winter. It was hoped that they would breed there and their drumming displays would be enjoyed by everyone in spring. A Water Rail used the area as part of its territory. Sadly there only 1,0000 water rails holding territories in the UK.

The marshes was considered to be an oasis in the Lambourn Downs which forms part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The North Wessex Downs was supposed to be an area of gentle rolling hills giving extensive views over open countryside. Interestingly I will always remember being mildly chastised for suggesting a hedge should be planted next to the footpaths to keep dogs out and provide a rich habitat for birds and voles etc.

This theory reminded me of Cranbourne Chase and made me reflect that a chase is defined as an unenclosed nature reserve.

Richard Barker

Library

Hungerford Library News

Thank you for your continued support of the library in Hungerford. When you have visited, you will meet our excellent team of volunteers who are here to both support the staff and help you get the best possible service from your library. The volunteers have been trained to help you to use the self-service kiosk to save you having to wait. To use this facility you need to have your library card and 4 digit PIN. If you don’t know what your PIN is, please ask at the desk. Please be aware that at lunch times we provide a limited service as there are only volunteers here to help you.
We appreciate the help our lovely volunteers provide and we are happy to take on more to fill gaps in the timetable. If you have any time available and would like to help us, please let us know. You can email our Volunteer officer at
volunteerinyourlibrary@westberks.gov.uk or pop in and see us here.

We continue to offer several FREE courses and events at the library:

The English Conversation Group meets every Wednesday from 2-3pm. Its purpose is provide a friendly environment for non-English speakers to gain confidence. It is not a class. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this group please let them know. If you have experience in this area and you think you might be able to help, please come along or contact the library.

Art Group meets every Tuesday, 2-4pm. If you are interested in art and would like to share your skill or learn something new come along. It is not teacher led, but it is a good opportunity to enjoy your hobby in the company of others.

RhymeTime sessions are on Wednesday mornings at 11:00, during term time, for children under 4.

Craft and Chat takes place every Friday morning from 10-12. Come along to this free session and bring your knitting, crochet or other crafts, enjoy a chat and a cup of tea while sharing your interests with others.

Word-play Club – for lovers of Scrabble, Boggle, Bookchase, Upwords and other word games. We also have other board games such as chess, snakes and ladders, etc. For adults and children. Fridays at 2:00. Children under 8 must be supervised by an adult.

Book Group –Our book group meets on the third Friday of the month at 5:30.

Gardening Group- this group meets on the 2nd Friday of the month at 5:30 to swap hints and tips, share plants, seeds or cuttings and meet other people who love gardening.

IT Lessons for beginners of any age. Six weekly 1:1 sessions tailored for the needs of the individual student. Don’t be afraid if you know nothing about computers! Our excellent volunteers will take you through whatever you would like to know. Please contact the library on 01488 682660 for further information or to book a place.

If you are interested in any of these activities please contact Hungerford Library on
01488 682660, hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk

S.T.

 


The Friends of Hungerford Library (FOHL)

The Hungerford library saga still rumbles on and for fear of repeating myself. We are still waiting for decisions from WBC and HTC.

So where are we to date 28th Jan 2018. Well the library is still functioning as it should be, apart from a few days of no staffing. The public have stepped up to the plate and are using our library more and more, so it looks good for its future, and The Friends of Hungerford Library ( FoHL) wish to thank the public for their support.

We are still working to getting some of the funding for our part of the running of the library, but although things are in place we are unable to push then forward until the powers that be make some vital decisions.

As I write It is our understanding that Hungerford Town Council (HTC) will be in negotiations with West Berks Council. (WBC) this week to push forward the handover of the library to HTC and the Trust and Friends.

All this is hampered by the news in the local press over the last few weeks saying there is a problem with the building structure and build, which has been highlighted in a structural survey commissioned by HTC. It appears there are issues with the quality of some of the building work on the building.

A poor survey report of a 10year old building is quite concerning, so HTC will need to sort out with WBC the rectification of the faults before they take on the building with a full repairing lease.

No doubt there will be an agreement, but this problem is stretching the acquisition of the library for the town.

Peter Harries, Chair The Friends

Steam

Steam railways update
Late 2017 turned out to be a barren period for mainline steam on our line. The best I could manage was a last minute decision on a bright December morning to travel down to Whitchurch for The Sherborne Christmas Carol excursion from London Victoria – with the prospect of seeing Britannia Pacific no. 70013 Oliver Cromwell from the national collection of preserved steam locos. In Hampshire the sun was rather less in evidence, so I was able to get a wider, ‘wrong side’ (away from the sun) view of the train from the opposite platform. As can be seen I was nearly caught out by the high speed – in steam haulage terms – of the train as it swept round the bend. The resulting picture has the loco very much ‘in your face’, but captures the excitement of the occasion as well as any still image is able to.
If you are interested in being able to take this type of photograph there are notes on how to go about the task in the Steam Special section of the CHAIN web-site.

Looking ahead to the first half of 2018, it seems likely that we shall continue to be disappointed by the lack of steam on our line, with Basingstoke – Salisbury and Didcot – Swindon taking the most of the steam excursions travelling west from the London area. The former is an ex-Southern Railways line which escaped their third-rail electrification programme, and seems similarly destined to be free of overhead electrification in the near future. Now that work on improved clearances has been completed to make it suitable for diversions, this route through Basingstoke, Whitchurch, Andover and Salisbury is likely to be used in preference to our line during work on electrification through to Newbury.

The first daylight steam train anywhere in our area in likely to be the usual St. David’s Day Cathedrals Express to Cardiff on 1st March, but this is will probably require a trip to the GW main line through Swindon – providing an ‘opportunity’ to see steam at work ‘under the wires’ which should be in place by then. The British Pullman to Bath, running again on 16th May, usually uses our line since it is more about the journey (and the on-board service) than arriving as quickly as possible. It will only become clear later which routing will be used, as is the case for other planned Minehead and South Devon excursions, which would otherwise need to take the Great Way Round to reach their destination!

More details of these and other steam trains in our wider area are available on the CHAIN web-site – see the Steam Special section – together with Reminders when details of the routes and timings are published and Sighting reports for selected trains after the event.

Tony Bartlett

HAHA

An Allotment in Hungerford………..

Here we go again – starting year nine for us at Marsh Lane, amazing! What a huge difference being an allotment holder has made to our lives:
We get lots of fresh air and exercise in all weathers – I figure it’s like owning a dog, the allotment can be quite demanding especially if we get a dry Summer. We eat fresh vegetables much more regularly; we don’t buy bagged salads and end up throwing lots away – any uneaten salad returns to the plot to go into our compost bins, to make next year’s growing medium.

I cook a bit more – well, I should say, when I do cook it’s a bit more adventurous as I try to find recipes to use the veg that we’ve harvested. I have delicious soups or salads for work lunches, rather than buying sandwiches.

I write my blog and take masses of photos so have a lovely record of the allotment over the years and my interest in photography has increased as a result.

Most of all we’ve made some great friends and have a much more sociable social life. Our allotment holders are such a mixed bunch but we’re all thrown together with Marsh Lane at the heart. Whether we’re discussing weeds, vegetables, wildlife, politics or nonsense it’s always fun when we have a get-together.

We’re so glad we made the decision to sign up for a plot, although we had no idea what we were taking on at the time. Saying that, as usual we are now thinking about how much work lies ahead. Our poor plots are looking very weedy, soggy and unloved because we didn’t do the planned Autumn clear-up. So we’re looking forward to an early Spring with plenty of warm sunny days…

We’ve welcomed a few new plotholders to the site recently so we hope they will enjoy growing their own as much as we do. There’s always plenty of help and advice for newcomers so they shouldn’t feel overwhelmed when wondering what to do with their new parcel of land.
At the moment (January) the plot is mostly providing us with leeks and carrots – with the occasional swede and parsnip added to the diet. Last year was our most successful year for growing swede but the parsnips were still a bit dodgy and we have to cut out quite a lot of canker – maybe the soaking weather didn’t help.

In 2018 HAHA intends to hold another plant sale and open day, so look out for the adverts and posters. I was really pleased that I bought some flower seedlings last year so I had a lovely colourful display on the plot.

You can follow our successes and failures through my blog plot7marshlane.blogspot.co.uk and see some of the wildlife who visit: plot7wildlife.blogspot.co.uk/

Belinda

Contact HAHA on 0754 118 7274

www.haha-hungerford.org.uk

Hungerford Football Club……….

After the sudden departure of long-term manager Bobby Wilkinson, several players expressed the wish to leave the club and join him at Wealdstone, and it was decided to allow them to do so for the sake of team spirit rather than attempt to retain unhappy players. The appointment of Jon Boardman and Ian Herring as joint managers was welcomed by everyone and was soon made permanent. Unfortunately we were then hit by an unprecedented series of injuries, two of which proved to be serious problems. Scott Rees suffered a serious hand injury at work which has put him out of action ever since, although he has now signed dual forms for Hartley Wintney and hopes to build up his match fitness playing for the Hampshire club. Then there was a cruciate ligament injury which will keep Callum Willmoth out for the rest of the season, and he is still awaiting an operation. Jon Boardman and Matt Partridge have also undergone operations, stretching the playing squad so much that we were forced for a time to use academy players for some, or all of the substitutes.

Not surprisingly, results suffered and four 1-0 defeats in succession saw us slip down the league table to 17th. place, perilously close to relegation, but the spirit remained good and eventually a 1-1 draw at high-flying Chelmsford , and a 1-0 win over league leaders Dartford stopped the rot. Since then a double over near-neighbours Chippenham over Christmas has seen us climb back to 14th. place, still too close for comfort. But although we lost 2-1 at home to Oxford City, we had a good win by a similar score-line at play-off hopefuls Hemel Hempstead and remain in 14th.place.

It should be remembered that we are competing in a league much higher than ever before in the club’s history, several divisions above other local clubs who have been our traditional opponents.

Ron Tarry. President Hungerford Town Football Club.

Town Band

Hungerford Town Band SPRING 2018

Hungerford Town Band has just completed a very busy and highly successful Christmas period. The support from shoppers and concert attendees was tremendous and we would like to thank everyone for their praise, encouragement and financial contribution to the band.

We are now busy with preparations for the qualifying round of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. Our competition is to be held at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre on Sunday 18th of March. The Test Piece is by Jonathan Bates and is called “Ex Terra Lucem”. It is based on the motto of the Lancashire Town of St. Helens. The three movements are contrasting and there is a beautiful slow section based on the musical style of Sir Arthur Bliss.

If you fancy popping along to a rehearsal to hear how we are getting on please contact Musical Director Tim Crouter via the band web site www.hungerfordtownband.org.uk .
Turning to community matters the band will be performing a free concert for the people of Hungerford on Tuesday 10th April at 7.30pm in the Town Hall for Tutti Day. Then on Sunday 15th April the band will have the honour of leading The Constable of the Town and Manor to church for Constable’s Sunday.

In addition to the regular events this spring our Annual Concert will be held in Hungerford Town Hall on Saturday 21st April at 7.30pm. Entrance will be £6.00 and tickets will shortly be available from Crown Needlework and from band members. Entry will also be on the door and light refreshments will be included.

Meanwhile if anyone is interested in learning to play or wish to resume playing after a break please contact Tim Crouter via the website or by phoning 01488 680874.

Tim Crouter

Health by Liz

Cannabis Oil

The number of people taking cannabis oil has doubled over the last year, which is testament to its restoring effect on both our physical and emotional health. Liz Chandler from Natures Corner, reveals the facts about this remarkable oil and casts aside its unnecessary ‘stigma’.

The very name Cannabis is marred by confusion and controversy, but, in fact, understanding the truth is quite simple. Both hemp and marijuana come from the plant species Cannabis sativa L.. However, these two plants look quite different, with hemp being tall and skinny and marijuana, generally shorter and like a bush. Cannabis contains hundreds of compounds, 80 of which are categorised as cannabinoids. A derivative from marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (known as THC for obvious reason) and this is the euphoria-producing property that we associate with Cannabis and is NOT present in hemp. However, present in both plants is Cannabidiol (CBD) which is largely known for its muscle relaxant properties.

Hemp derived CBD
Cannabinoids are known to provide the body with relief
Extremely low or no THC levels with high CBD
Non- psychoactive
100% legal

Marijuana derived CBD
Various cannabinoids provide relief
High THC levels in combination with low or high CBD
A wide variety of cannabis strains with varying cannabinoids
Not legal

CBD can lock onto receptors in our nervous system, skin and digestive tract, in the endocannabinoid system in our own bodies. The endocannabinoid system plays a part in controlling our mood, cognition, movement, appetite, immune response and sleep. We have some fantastic testimonials from customers telling us how CBD oil has helped with migraines, neurological pain and anxiety. CBD is available in an oral tincture, vapour or balm.

For many of us, the health benefits of CBD are significant, particularly with
chronic illness and now we know that taking CBD won’t cause a ‘high’, it
is well worth a visit to Natures Corner, to find out more about this versatile plant.

Natures Corner Northbrook Street Newbury 01635 33007 email info@naturescorner.co.uk

PPG

The PPG continues to liaise with Boots pharmacy in Hungerford. It has been concerned to hear local people commenting recently on the level of service not being as it was. Staff at Boots have been made aware of these concerns and have explained that, at the time of writing, they do not have a full quota of staff including a permanent pharmacist. The PPG will continue the dialogue with the pharmacy.

The PPG group continues to promote a couple of local support groups – the Cancer Support Group which meets at The Bear in Hungerford from 2-4p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month and the Carers’ Support Group which meets at the Tri-Service Station in Church Street, Hungerford from 10-12 noon on the third Tuesday of the month.

If you have suggestions of what you would like your PPG group to discuss at future meetings or have questions or comments about this article, please e mail: chairhungerfordppg@gmail.com or leave a message at the surgery.

HD

Primary School

Also on this page….Hungerford PTA ……..Bell Ringing….Poppy Update ……

Hungerford Scouts & the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race

If you are out & about over the Easter weekend watching the Devizes to Westminster canoe race, come along the towpath to the Croft Field to see the Hungerford Checkpoint in action.

Operated for many years by 1st Hungerford Scout Group, the checkpoint records the safe passage of all canoeists. Any entrants who
are too slow on this end of the 125-mile journey are
not permitted to continue onto the more challenging River Thames.

The checkpoint is open on Good Friday & Easter Saturday (30th & 31st March), and also supplies tea, coffee, cakes etc to canoeists, support teams and spectators.

1st Hungerford Scout Group welcomes boys and girls from age 6 as Beavers, from 8 years as Cubs, and from 10.5 years as Scouts.
If you would like to know more about Scouting for your child, or how you could become involved as an adult helper, please contact Group Scout Leader, Matt Head 1sthungerfordscouts@gmail.com


Hungerford Primary School PTA


The fundraising has been fabulous so far, this school year, the students have enjoyed the disco and designed some lovely Christmas cards. The Christmas extravaganza was also a roaring success, enjoyed by the visitors to our tombola, and January saw our annual Jumble sale bring in an amazing amount of donations and bargain hunters leave with their bags full!

The PTA have funded some wonderful school activities and events so far including. ‘The Power of One’ – anti bullying show, updates the school’s website, School Art Day and various school trips.

We are raising funds this year to develop the outside areas and we are looking to introduce lots of new editions all around the site. We are running a Prize Bingo night on Saturday 10th March 2018, bring your own drink, snacks (no nuts), and your trusty bingo dabber pen if you have one. Entrance only £2, £1 per game, and a lovely raffle on the night. Arrival from 7pm – EYES DOWN for the first game 7.30pm. We will also be running a Sponsored fun run/activity course in the summer term for all the students to get involved with.

Finally…can you help our local school, the PTA have teamed up with “Give as you Live” so everyone can sign up and raise free funds when they shop online. If you would like any more information on how to sign up and support us through www.GiveAsYouLive.com or any events please get in touch with us

Hungerford.Primary.PTA@gmail.com


Ringing Remembers –

A Tribute to Bell ringers who died in the First World War

On 11 November 1918 the ringing of church bells erupted spontaneously across the country, as an outpouring of relief that the first World War had finally come to an end. Just after the war, the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers wrote to all bell towers to compile the Roll of Honour, tragically this identified that 1400 bell ringers lost their lives as a result of that war.

On 11 November 2018, 100 years since Armistice, bells will again ring out in unison from churches and cathedrals in villages, towns and cities across the country. The vast majority of the UK’s 5,000 ringable towers are expected to take part in the event, ringing more sombre music in the morning, then joyously in the afternoon and again shortly after 7pm, as a chain of 1,000 beacons are lit throughout the UK. Big Ben will also strike at 11am to mark the centenary. The centenary will also be commemorated with the recruitment of 1,400 new bell ringers in honour of the same number who lost their lives during the First World War. The campaign to recruit bell ringers, ‘Ringing Remembers’, will keep this traditional British art alive in memory of the 1,400 who lost their lives – linking together past, present and future as a fitting tribute to the heroic men and women who sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today.

If you would like to learn to ring the bells, and represent one of the fallen on this historic occasion and going forwards, please contact Mark Robins, mdrobins@hotmail.com or 07759680054, or visit us in St Lawrence’s tower on any Wednesday night from 7.30 – 9pm.

We will remember them!


Poppy Appeal and other British Legion news

Our apologies for not giving an update in the last edition of Chain Mail , as at the copy deadline is right in the middle of the Poppy Appeal fortnight the copy date passed us by.

Thank you again to the people of Hungerford, the Poppy Appeal amount now stands at £26,299. Our thanks go to you all and especially to those who volunteered their time to stand at our collection points. We will be holding some more events in the year, watch for local notices and here in Chain Mail.

The Poppy Thank You evening will be on 14th September starting at 7.30pm. Please come along and meet ourselves and collectors old and new.

The Band Concert will take place on the 14th October starting at 7.00pm, in the Corn Exchange. Tickets are £7 and will be available from mid September.

On November 3rd we will have an evening of music designed to embarrass our children and grandchildren- that’s right we show the younger generation how to enjoy themselves. The Sagalouts will be entertaining us at the Legion Club. Again tickets will be on sale from mid September.

If any ex-service personell or their dependants are seeking help from the Legion the first contact is now made by phone using 0808 802 8080, (free from UK landlines and main mobile networks). Access can also be made via email (go to http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/helpline and follow the links).
Any further information about the ‘Legion’ can be obtained by calling 07799 660584 or email derekloft@yahoo.co.uk

Derek and Di Loft

Royal British Legion

A Sailors Diary

Extract from the diary of a sailor.

During 1940/ 41 Gerry Leading Stoker Gerry Thompson (my Father) served in the Royal Navy on the North Atlantic Convoys. This is the last entry he in his diary on his last trip while serving on HMS Antelope, and before transferring to HMS Veronica, also on convoy duty. It gives a flavour of lower deck life in the North Atlantic. He survived the war.

Diary Extract

Saturday 22nd January 1941
Very rough all day. Sweeping on the way to L. Foyle, accompanied by HMS Anthony. This has been a damned uncomfortable trip up to now, though uneventful.
Sunday 26th January
Weather and seas eased right down during night. Arrived Lough Foyle 0800, no oilers waited for daylight and proceeded up river to Londonderry. Saw Ginger Hicks Ch. Sto. (Chief Stoker) on HMS Anthony which came alongside. Left L Foyle 1600. 20 Knots to meet convoy
Monday 17th January
Rough again. Steep seas. Warmer. Convoy delayed due to bad weather. Terrific crash at 2100. Mast snapped. No one hurt.
Tuesday 28th January
Seas eased slightly. Found convoy during forenoon. About 40 ships and HMS Pegasus. Lots of wild buzzes about when we get in. Most optimistic say tomorrow. I think about Friday – very slow convoy.
Wednesday 29th January
Awakened at 0300 by gunfire. Immediately alarm gong s sounded. Dashed to action stations. One of the convoy sunk. We hit U-boat on surface by gunfire and saw it’s stern hanging in air before submerging. I had morning watch – 4 to 8a.m. Dashing about all the watch firing guns and dropping depth charges – hectic watch below. Apparently, several U-boats working in unison. Three more of convoy sunk whilst I was on watch. When I came up at 0800 we were picking up survivors – apparently a lot are lost. We are supposed to have got at least 2 U-boats between us and the Anthony. Amazing they don’t have a go at us. Ship crammed with survivors. A heap down our mess. Two destroyers coming to relieve us. Dropped more depth charges in afternoon and cruised around for a while but couldn’t hang about long because of leaving convoy unprotected.
Thursday 30th January
Blew up rough in night. Standing by all night for another attack. Confirmed report about getting two U-boats. Four of convoy were sunk and two damaged. Hope to make Harbour tomorrow.
Friday 31st January
Weather eased down. Very flat. Uneventful night and day, several planes with us. Left convoy 1700.

Last entry in diary
Roger Thompson 20 Jan 2018

 


Afternoon in Bequia

Rain falling on the fingers of broad green banana leaves,
Soft warm silky rain, warm falling,
Tree frogs start their evening calling
Gecko runs up balcony for cover in the eaves,
Along the balcony, up under the eaves.
Warm rain drumming on the shingles,
Warm rain driving across the bay in sheaves.

Now wind dropping.
Three Frigate Birds wings flapping
Working across the bay. Air still,
Easy gliding gone.
Now wings flapping, no gliding, no updraft from the hill,
Air still.

Now sun warm, soon to be setting,
Colours brighter, rain-cleared air
Brightest over turquoise sea sparkling.
Rainbow resting on De Reef, arching over headland to Lowe Bay.
Double arch: double rainbow colours: double magic.
Waves slowly on the now deserted beach, slow rolling,
Rhythm slow, setting evening pace.

Now Caribbean sunset magic
Silhouetting swaying masts against the setting sun.
Dust settles and mosquitoes buzz.
Water Taxis, busy still, buzz across darkening bay,
Finding fares to keep them busy…Yachties off to Macs’.
Willie and friends start calling gentle, whistling quiet.
“Smallie put pot for the fish stew on the fire!”
Life’s good. Easy in the Islands!

Roger Thompson

Town & Manor

Town and Manor of Hungerford and Liberty of Sanden Fee

(Regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners No. 238379)
Town Hall High Street Hungerford Berkshire RG17 0NF
admin@townandmanor.co.uk (01488) 686555

Town & Manor Helping the Community of Hungerford

The Town & Manor is an ancient charity based in Hungerford who own and manage a 400+ acre estate which includes Hungerford Common, the Town Hall and 5 miles of fishing on the Rivers Kennet and Dun. The charity aims to generate a surplus each year and to use the funds to maintain the historic buildings and traditions of Hungerford. It also supports other local charities through donations. In 2017 the charity donated to 14 organisations totalling over £17k. Many of these donations were matched funded by Greenham Common Trust via their Good Exchange platform – bringing additional funds into Hungerford.


Arts for Hungerford                                                     £ 500
Berkshire Vision                                                         £ 300
Cambourn Trust                                                          £ 500
Hungerford & District Community Arts Festival      £ 1,000
Hungerford Allotment Holders Association             £ 1,349
Hungerford Cricket Club                                            £ 500
Hungerford Town Band                                              £1,700
Hungerford Town Council – Christmas Lights          £ 1,000
Hungerford Xmas Extravaganza                               £ 1,395
Hungerford Youth & Community Centre                   £ 5,000
John O’Gaunt School – Floodlights                           £ 1,000
Morley Lunches                                                           £ 705
Newbury Weekly News – Christmas Parcel Fund    £ 400
St Lawrence’s Church                                                 £1,000
                                       Grand Total        £17,349

The Constable for Hungerford Town & Manor, Ellie Dickins, said, “This is a vital part of the work of the Town & Manor and I’m delighted to see the positive effects that our work can have on the local community. We welcome applications for donations from any group or project that benefits Hungerford and I hope 2018 will see another great year.”

Charlie Barr from the Hungerford Youth & Community Centre
said, “Over the past few years, support from the Town and Manor of Hungerford has been vital to the Hungerford Youth and Community Centre. The Centre and its youth services would not be here today if it weren’t for this help. Hungerford is very fortunate to be home to a charity which takes such an active and intelligent interest in supporting local groups and projects.

The grant we received this year played a key role in entering the Greenham Trust’s Pitch to the panel competition and enabled us to win £24,000 to replace the old and defunct kitchen. It paid for the upkeep of our website, necessary in this age of the internet, and also for a few hours of maintenance from a professional: some jobs are a little bit beyond our volunteers! All in all, it has been a great year for the Youth Centre, its future is looking strong and bright. It is thanks, in no small part, to the Town and Manor of Hungerford that our Centre is alive and well today.”

Brian Davis, Chair of the Hungerford Arts Festival said, “Thanks to the generous and much appreciated donation from the Town and Manor of Hungerford, the town’s Arts Festival organisers were able to use the Corn Exchange for the broadcast of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’, and the Town Hall for two Digital Photography workshops and an illustrated talk by the Assistant Puppetry Director of the National Theatre’s War Horse. In addition the Festival programme is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of the ever-popular themed walks around Eddington and Freemans Marshes, led by knowledgeable members of the Town and Manor wildlife team. “

Geoff Greenland, Chair of the Hungerford Allotment Holders Association said, “The donations for Marsh Lane has enabled us to improve the availability and quality of the water used by the 70+ plot holders for plant irrigation. The donations for Fairfields will improve the current rain water harvesting system so as to increase storage capacity fourfold. The scheme is eco-friendly and will reflect current best practice in rainwater harvesting. The benefit will be that the 24 plot holders will no longer have to bring water from home during times of drought in order to keep their plants alive and healthy.”

Nigel Perrin, Treasurer of the Hungerford Extravaganza said, “The Hungerford Christmas Extravaganza is a much loved event and attended by around 10,000 people each year but costs in the region of £20,000 and without the help of a generous donation from the Town and Manor of Hungerford this year the event might not have happened at all. Many local businesses and individuals donate every year to make the event happen and help towards the costs for event Insurance, medical cover, crowd control barriers, marshalling and fireworks.”

For further details contact Jed Ramsay, CEO at the Town and Manor of Hungerford,
01488 686555 / 07557 440424