Issue 111

1st June
1st Sept 2011

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

Front Cover by Micky Thompson

Our cover pic especially commissioned by the Editor and taken by that Master of the lens & shutter, Hungerford’s very own, Micky Thompson. Cricketers would know why we have this cover photo as this issue of CHAIN MAIL is number 111 .

I am pleased to tell you that Micky, during HADCAF, has his OPEN STUDIO, for one weekend only, which is the 2nd and 3rd July from 10am until 6.15pm on both days at 8 Cherry Grove, Hungerford, which is about five minutes’ walk from the Town Hall.


The theme for this year’s exhibition is ‘abstracted nude’.


Message from the Chairman of CHAIN

This quarter I want to write about what Chain does in the community. We provide transport to doctors’ and Hospital appointments and ask clients to make a donation towards the cost. Our drivers get paid 40p per mile and they always collect their clients and escort them to the appropriate clinic, stay with them and then take them back home.

Chain also runs the Handybus which is owned by West Berkshire Council. Gary Moore organises our team of drivers who take people on shopping trips, to the Hydrotherapy Pool and trips to other clubs, Chain Lunches and Pub Lunches.

We also own a Chairman Vehicle which will hold someone in a wheelchair plus a couple of passengers. The Chairman can be booked through the Office and we will either provide a driver or train a family member to drive the vehicle themselves.

The Chain Office is open Monday – Friday between 9 – 11am and the volunteers who man the office are there to help you with any bookings or other queries.

Chain also organises Chain lunches in the Croft Hall bi-monthly and Amanda Goodwin with her team of helpers dish up a lovely hot meal to about 30 people every other month. Please contact the office or look out for notices if you are interested in coming to one of the lunches.

Monthly Pub Lunches are organised by Alan Pollitt and the office can give you details or look out for notices in our notice board under the railway bridge.

Of course we mustn’t forget Chain Mail which is produced quarterly and delivered to all houses in Hungerford. Our thanks go to David Piper who is the Editor and has continued to increase the quality of Chain Mail which has many varied and interesting articles, Kathy and Tyrrell Bossom organise the delivery of Chain Mail and our street Links deliver them each quarter.

I hope this gives you all a flavour of what Chain does in the community. It is run as a charity by Trustees whose names and contact numbers are available on the notice board.

If you feel able to volunteer as a driver or to join the volunteers in the office and have a few hours to spare then please contact the office on 683727 or myself on 683302.

Janette Kersey


I know, we are banging that old drum again for Volunteers, but then that is how CHAIN survives. It is a few lovely people in Hungerford who give up just ‘some’ of their time to help others. It’s a sad fact of life that we ‘need’ organisations like CHAIN, so that we can help others, it’s a sad fact of life that most of our volunteers are getting older, and the older we get the less we can do, and sadly, some do die in CHAIN’s harness, so to speak, and we do miss them sorely. So come on you newly retired people help to prop up us oldies and VOLUNTEER. You only live once! Please see ‘An Appeal’ on the left.

HADCAF is here again, and what an amazing line up of events! Please see the centre four pages for a brief overview of events. It is just amazing all the things that go on in our Town, there are probably many more that a lot of us don’t get to hear about, as some Publicity Officers don’t bother to get it put up on to Hungerford’s web pages called ‘What’s On’ and the regular ‘Weekly Events’ section.
CHAIN MAIL actively supports these pages, and then I download and re-print them at the back of CHAIN MAIL, I must say that it is getting a squeeze because of the amount of activities, and I will probably have to devote more paper space in forthcoming issues. So if you can’t see it in ‘What’s On’ then look at HADCAF events as well.

Well Anthony has handed over to the new Mayor (see ‘The Mayor’ on the left) who now takes up the various challenges that Hungerford throws up. I was thinking the other day how I shall remember Anthony, other than his different flavoured CHAIN MAIL jottings. Two spring to mind,:- that during his ‘time’ he saw the end to the process of the Canal Footbridge. And the other one with never flagging pressure to Network Rail, the possible end to the ‘Pigeon Poo’ underneath the Railway Bridge. Some more netting and a massive amount of new gutter spikes have been fitted to stop the damn things landing, because we all know that as they landed they ‘squatted’!
I am sure there’s more, but my brain is failing me.

Only two letters this time both writing with thanks for CHAIN MAIL’s help in basically printing their appeals for VOLUNTEERS, one very important one to the lovely people who help to get this mag through your letter box. The other one from a lovely young lady (I’ve now met her, cause I joined the Bruce Trust) who is still after more of us to help her at Great Bedwyn. They are a great bunch of people out there in the ‘West’!

Did you enjoy all the Bank Holidays and The Wedding (cor that Pippa), 29th August for the next Bank Holiday, still for us oldies it always feels like a month of Sundays doesn’t it?

Thanks & Regards, David Piper.

Tel: 01488-683152
Letters, articles and adverts should be sent to me by the 7th of the month proceeding publication, i.e.7th August for the Sept issue on Sept 1st.
If you send something to me I try to acknowledge within 3 day

Hungerford Mayor

I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute a piece for this edition of the CHAIN publication so soon after taking office as Mayor of Hungerford.

CHAIN epitomises the great voluntary spirit that abounds in the Hungerford area that distinguishes the town from those cloned towns in other parts of the country where there is more of an expectation to receive rather than to give.

As a relatively newcomer to Hungerford, I recognise that stepping into those large footprints of previous Mayors will take some doing but I do aspire to match those achievements of the past. The historical links with John O’Gaunt and the role that the Town and Manor has played over the years have ensured that Hungerford remains a Market Town –with a difference. It is indeed a town to be proud, of in a beautiful setting with many fascinating places of interest. However sometimes it takes a new set of eyes to recognise where things could be improved that familiarity obscures. Where for example are the finger signposts seen in other towns on the tourist trail to show off those attractions? And don’t you really think our main thoroughfare deserves better street furniture than we have at present especially those motorway standard street lights?

We are all aware of the budget cuts happening all around us but with the help of our District Councillors, your council will strive to reduce the negative impact upon our town. No town council can make the progress sought without the support of its inhabitants. The Town Plan 2010+ is currently being ‘refreshed’ and soon every household will have the chance to voice their opinions of what needs to be addressed to make Hungerford an even better place to live and to visit. I would encourage everyone, and I mean everyone in each household, not just Mum or Dad, to make their views known when completing this survey.

Often it is the little things that can make a huge difference. I was reminded of this when a resident came into the council office this week to suggest that there should be a notice at the railway station giving the phone numbers of a taxi service He had not only directed an alighting passenger with suitcases to the taxi rank but upon realising the required destination was just a short walk away, had carried the bags there himself. Now that is what I call a real Welcome to Hungerford that would leave the visitor with a pleasant memory of the town and a wish to return.

Good communication can only be achieved if it is a genuine two way process and whilst I am seeking to broaden our delivery with a better Website and other means, I hope that just as that kindly resident did, you will feel free to raise your issue or idea direct with your council.

Martin Crane O.B.E.
Mayor of Hungerford

Chain’s Page

PLEASE, (urgently).

Are you recently retired (or part-time) and find that you need
to occupy just some of your time, then we really need you.

To take Hungerford people to the Doctors, Dentists,
Chiropodists and Hospitals etc.

We need you (well about 10 of you actually) to give us
a few hours a month (or more).

We can give you in return, a small mileage allowance that will
more than cover the latest petrol increases.

We also give you the choice of car journeys,
you only do the ones you want!

To see more of Volunteering for CHAIN

near the top left, you will see ‘’Volunteering’’ , click here and you will find an
awful lot more information, and a downloadable form to start Volunteering!

So please don’t delay, and at least ten of you. Volunteer!

To drive your Car, please call         Janette Kersey 683302
our Wheelchair vehicle, call          David Piper 683152,
for the Handy bus please call     Gary Moore 683988

There is nothing to stop you from volunteering for all three!!

Give to Hungerford people what you yourself might need one day.

Thank you

Bits 1

Also on this page…..Living Paintings……..Mystery Object………Tuesday Club..

……Thankyou from us

Hungerford Town Band

 18th June 3pm. Childrey Manor Fete

30th July 2pm. Hungerford Care Home Fete

31st July 2pm. Chestnut Walk Fete

28th August 3pm. John Coles Park Bandstand, Chippenham

See also HADCAF events to hear us playing

Living Paintings

Living Paintings is a national charity that asks: Can someone be moved by a Van Gogh without seeing it? Can a child get to know the Very Hungry Caterpillar without catching sight of him? Can a person be inspired by great sculpture and architecture without looking at it? They believe the answer is ‘Yes’. They have developed a system that makes experiencing the visual world possible for blind and partially sighted adults and children. They make special versions of pictures with raised surfaces that come to life when fingers feel them. Sound recordings direct the fingers, telling the stories of the pictures and describing their features. Famous voices such as Joanna Lumley OBE, Sir Terry Wogan, and even HRH Prince Charles have loaned their voices to the inspiring commentaries.

For adults these raised images are placed in Albums and include titles such as British Birds and their Habit, The Impressionists, and A City Tour of Edinburgh, New Albums for 2011 will include The History of the Teddy Bear, British Wild Flowers and Britain’s Nature. For Children there is a huge range of books, educational and topical packs available.

Camilla Oldland, Director says “People receive these special tactile books and packs from our FREE postal library service. Our catalogue is extensive and covers fun and informative topics designed for all ages”

If you would like further information about this free service please call 01635 299771, email:   or    visit


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Mystery Object

Last issue’s mystery object was:-

This is a late 19th Century maroon release. Originally mounted on a boat or small ship and set with an explosive flare (maroon), it would be triggered by pulling one of the three wires connected, and send a controlled jet of flames to the object or area required.

Size: base 10.5″ x 1.75″ and total 3″ tall.




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Tuesday Club

If you enjoy meeting other people and wish to get out of the house for a while, why not come along and join us at our meetings on the second Tuesday of every month at the Corn Exchange Hungerford at 2pm.
You will be picked up from home if wished and taken back afterwards.

We also provide monthly outings for those who are able to get onto a Coach, whilst we are able to cater for the more disabled with our own tail lift vehicle. Holidays can also be arranged along with monthly Pub Lunches.

If any of this should interest you please
The Chairman, John Hollister on 01488 682037

..or e-mail



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Thankyou from us

This is just a little thank you to the, Greenham Common Trust, Hungerford Town Council, West Berks Council for their grants to CHAIN, and a great big thank you to the other people who make donations to us, and have collections dedicated to CHAIN.

These donations and Grants help CHAIN to keep helping the people of Hungerford, to help them when they ask for our help. Thank you

All the volunteers are unpaid but we do have the expense upkeep of an office and the rather costly upkeep of our special wheelchair vehicle, because it is a multi driver vehicle the Insurance is over £750 a year, and as the vehicle is getting old the Road tax is in the higher bracket, £165, and we have just had to have 2 new tyres, a clutch and new front discs and pads, the costs certainly mount up.

So Thank you for your donations and Grants

Bits 2

Also on this page……..Town Plan………Chain Lunches…….Tongue in Cheek…

Have you visited the Community Café yet?

What’s that? The Community Café is a new coffee morning where local community groups and charities can hold a sale table or advertise their events
Where’s that? At the Methodist Church Hall, in Bridge Street (go through the alleyway beside the Church and follow the path to the hall and riverside garden)
When’s that? On the second Saturday of every month, from 10am to 1pm. The next cafes will be held on Saturdays 11th June, 9th July, 13th August and 10th September.
How can I find out more? Phone 01488 685077 or email

The Community Café started on 12th March this year. At our two mornings so far we have been pleased to host tables supporting Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land, Friends of St Lawrence’s Church, Comic Relief, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Newbury Family Counselling Service.

Everyone is welcome to come along and share a cup of tea or coffee and browse the stalls. If you would like to book a table for your group, please contact us as above.


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Hungerford Town Plan – Five Year Refresh

It is now five years since the publication and adoption of Hungerford’s Town Plan, formerly known as 2010+ Town Plan. The original is the consolidation of the wishes, views and concerns of the people of the town, drawn up following an exhaustive consultation process with residents, businesses and local volunteer groups. It forms a key part in local government decision making and is a reference document for West Berks Council.

Over the five years it has been in existence, it has been referred to and consulted many times when the wishes of the town’s people are needed. Many of it’s policies and actions have been fulfilled, proving the value and importance that such a document can have. To ensure it remains relevant, representative and up to date, it is now time to carry out a five year refresh and a public meeting was recently held to engage support and brief the forum on what it is all about.

An impressive amount of support was forthcoming and the Town Plan Steering Committee is now working on updating the resident survey questionnaire, to remove outdated and completed subjects, and add in new ones as derived at the public meeting. The survey will then be distributed to households and can be returned by pre-paid envelope or handed in to a collection point.

Please ensure your town plan continues to represent your views by completing the questionnaire when it arrives and handing it in. The Town Plan Refresh will then be published and distributed later in the year.

Mark Robins
Town Plan SG Secretary



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Chain Lunches

CHAIN PUB Lunches 1st Monday in Month (not Bank Holidays) Alan Pollitt 682606

CROFT HALL Lunches, 3rd Thursday of each alternate month.
Jan. 20th, March 17th, May 19th, July 21st, Sept. 15th, Nov 17th Amanda Goodwin 682547




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Tongue in Cheek

So how topical is this……………British health cuts....
Medical practitioners on the proposed cuts to the British National Health Service.

The professionals have weighed in with their thoughts on the health care proposals with:-

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.

The Gastroenterologists had a sort of a gut feeling about it, but the neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

The Obstetricians felt they were all labouring under a misconception.

Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted.

Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!” while the Paediatricians said, “Oh, Grow up!”


The Old Codger

I wrote the above way before the voting. So now we know.
I didn’t want an AV, I didn’t want somebody else to change MY choice, if MY choice is not first past the post then that’s tough! Now I am not that clever with figures, but, with far less than HALF the population voting, how come the millions of LIB DEMs couldn’t swing the result to YES? Did a lot of them not bother because of their leader, or were they worried that people if not voting Conservative would vote overwhelmingly for Labour? I would love to know what you all thought!

Do you remember back in my December column that we had recently had our house done under the West Berks scheme for loft & cavity wall insulation for £198 the lot? Well in the last twelve months we used just under 15% LESS gas than that of the proceeding twelve months. So did we actually spend any less money, NO of course we didn’t, early in December SOUTHERN GAS stuffed up the cost by a whopping 47% . Just how disgusting is that?

Can somebody really explain to me just HOW when a housing developer is made to give an open area for FREE (but the people who originally bought houses there would have PAID for the FREE), that this OPEN SPACE can then be hi-jacked by the West Berks Council with the premise of building affordable (to BUY) housing for our local youngsters (which was commendable), but is then overridden to RENT only. I say SHAME that you have NOT helped our LOCAL young people one iota to join the Housing ladder. All their money is going in RENT. When are you actually going to do such a scheme? Might it be when you knock Fairfields down?

And the previous remark leads me on to this, I can’t discover the facts about the comment of ‘When the Priory is re-built’ then the lovely folks in Fairfields will be moved out of town, and the Fairfields site will then be sold off! If this is more than a rumour, do they not realise just how far that is OUT of town and just how difficult it will be for them to then get down into town to shop! It would be really great if CHAIN MAIL could have something helpful to publish in the next issue with the FACTS.

I see that the dirty white elephant has not gone away. The progress of getting something positive and final done about that derelict building in Bridge Street is just not happening, is it? Can somebody please progress it and get rid of this eyesore! Perhaps the New Mayor would take up the challenge?

Please contact me, as always, through David’s e-mail,
or to CHAIN Office…..address on outside back page and title your words/thoughts as ……. Old Codger column please ……. Bye Bye & keep safe.

Gardening by Stacy


Like so many this April, I was riveted to coverage of the Royal Wedding. But, beautiful as the bride was, my eyes were scanning Westminster Abbey for glimpses of the flowers. It is rather unfortunate that my attention, when watching an event or a period film, is distracted by the greenery in the background. That Polygonum baldscuanicum (Mile- a minute) would not be growing in Lizzie Bennet’s garden as it wasn’t introduced in this country until 1883- some might wish it had remained in its native Tajikistan! I have at least learned to keeo these observations to myself now, unlike the well-known story of the two elderly ladies at a screening of Ken Russell’s film Women in Love. During the famous nude wrestling scene on the Persian rug in front of the fire, one lady turned to her companion and said- “Nice carpet!”

But back to the wedding. Being a natural gardening kind of girl, the floral arrangements were right up my aisle, so to speak. The avenue of Field Maples- Acer campestre- were a triumph of (perhaps unexpected) simplicity, combined with the expected Wow factor. This Maple is the only native Acer in this country where it is found from the north to the south of England. A deciduous tree, although it is fast growing, it is most often seen in hedgerows (not fields as the Latin name implies). Of course it can be grown as a specimen, where you will benefit most from its glorious amber/yellow Autumn leaf colouring.

The dainty, understated white bridal bouquet, full of beauty and innocence, was elegance itself. Myrtle (Myrtus communis ) which formed the backdrop to the arrangement is an evergreen shrub, which has lost popularity. However in a sunny sheltered spot it looks magnificent with its glossy fragrant leaves, white flowers in summer, followed by dark berries. There is also a variegated form (Myrtus communis “Variegata”) which has a silver edge to its leaves and a pink tinge to the flowers. The Myrtle was combined with Lily of the valley and white Hyacinths and Sweet Williams for scent.

However it was the displays at the altar which really impressed me. Having recently completed a Healing Garden which harmonised with the client’s interior colour scheme of whites, creams and lime greens, I was pleased to see this feature in the arrangements at the church. Here there was my favourite Hydrangea- Hydrangea Annabelle, with its cream to lime green pompom flower heads and bright green foliage and Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum x hybridum). Solomon’s Seal looks lovely in a woodland planting with Corydalis flexuosa and Adiantum ferns. I grow a variegated form Polygonatum odoratum variegatum under my plum tree where the white edged leaves shine forth in the slightly gloomy space. This colour scheme is harmonious which is fabulous for nuptials but for my Healing Garden, we introduced accents of red with, among others, Echinacea Tomato Soup, Achillea millefolium Red Velvet and Cotoneaster frigidus Cornubia. Red, a difficult colour to use in gardens, is carefully positioned for effect without overpowering the planting proving that traditional plants can be used with a contemporary twist.

Stacy Tuttle

Nature Notes by Hawkeye


We should hear cuckoos by St George’s Day, April 23rd. But I did not hear one until April 29th , the day of the Royal Wedding.

They are summer visitors from Africa and very easy to identify.

A dove – sized bird with blue grey upper parts and white barred under parts. I think they look a little bit like a Kestrel or Sparrowhawk because they have a sleek body, long tail and pointed wings. However they droop their wings when perching which raptors don’t.

The sexes are almost identical but the young are brown and the female does not sing cuckoo. It makes a bubbling sound.

However I once saw a Brown Cuckoo in April which must have been an adult and I suspect a female. Also I once saw a Cuckoo in the New Forest in December which I thought was too lazy to fly home and our winter was warm enough for it to stay – “overwinter” as the twitchers say.

Unfortunately our European Cuckoo is on the RSPB’s red list. This is a list of birds in need of help. The population level has fallen so low that it may become extinct. It is well known that the female lays its eggs in other birds’ nests. Thus they are called “brood parasites”.

Research has shown they prefer the nests of Reed Warblers, Meadow Pipits and
Dunnocks. So they do not stay where these birds are not nesting. It could be said they are an indicator species. If we are lucky we could have several birds on the common and on the marshes.

However I doubt it as the dog walkers have ruined these habitats. They insist they have the right to let their dogs roam free in the nesting season. Perhaps it is ignorance that so many times polite notices on the BBOWT reserve have been torn down. But it is particularly galling that dogs are let off their leads as soon as the Swing Bridge on the canal has been crossed.

There is a country rhyme which goes something like this:-

In April I open my bill;
In May I sing night and day;
In June I change my tune;
In July I prepare to fly;
And in August away I must.

Lets hope our children and grandchildren will be taught this rhyme and be able to enjoy this bird as much as we have.



Dear Editor,

I would like to say a huge thank you for the publicity for volunteers in March’s CHAIN MAIL. It has certainly been a fair recruiting success although we are still able to take on more volunteers please, if any other readers are interested in joining us as team leaders, engineers, cleaners or crew for day trips.

We have a busy season ahead giving over 500 more disabled, disadvantaged and elderly people, along with their carers, holidays aboard the boats. Fingers crossed this wonderful weather continues.

With best wishes, Rebecca Bruce 01264 356451

Ed’s comment…..Always a pleasure to support Local Charities & Clubs if possible…..


Many thanks to everyone who responded to our appeal in the last issue. We are now in the healthy position of every round being taken care of (including Lancaster Square which has been vacant for a year or more), plus a band of 10 reserves who will cover rounds for holidays, illness etc.
We still believe that that there are people who are not receiving a copy regularly. If you know of anyone, or you have picked this issue up around the town, then please get in touch with us.
Talking of around the town, did you know that you can pick a copy from a number of outlets?………John O’Gaunt Leisure Centre – Priory Rd……The Library – Church St ….CHAIN office – Church St…Newbury Building Society – High St….
and from me ..
Kathy Bossom. at Crown Needlework, 115 High Street, Hungerford, Berks
RG17 0LU 01488 684011 (day & evening)

GLORIANA…………part 4


On 1st May 2011 Gloriana left Hungerford for a short trip to Kintbury, returning for a couple of days for Hocktide before setting off for London and the east of England. Gloriana’s website,, will be up and running again. This time last year she was on the Shropshire Canal.

Friday 28th May 2010: Soon after midday, we had moored seventy feet short of the winding hole at the bottom of the Audlem flight, having established that, with a big festival set to take over the town for the weekend, there would be little available mooring closer to the centre.

The approach to Audlem has some truly lovely countryside; the canal is on an embankment, and has an aqueduct which carries the cut over the infant River Weaver which is about four or five foot wide. We had risen at about eight o’clock and Elanor was soon out with Jac (Granma) taking Caspar for his constitutional. We would have been on our way soon after breakfasting, but another boat took the lock, at my invitation, before us, and Elanor had a good time helping them through – so much so in fact that she ran on to the next lock to help them through that. In the meantime a second boat came through and she helped them! So by about ten, we were on our way, her (little) ladyship earning her tiller girl’s badge by steering Gloriana for ten minutes or so.

Soon after lunch, Thule and her butty moored upstream of us and we met Ken and Mary Nelson. Thule is a heritage boat with a beautiful boatman’s cabin (one of the things on my wish-list), and my request of Ken to allow Elanor to have a look inside resulted in her not only being shown some magic, but in her leaving for home with a cord dragonfly which she’d made under Ken’s watchful instruction. Ken is a member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers and travels around the country attending shows, demonstrating his impressive ability with rope and cord.

On Sunday we had a very relaxed morning, a little shopping, reading the paper, enjoying coffee and croissant. Soon after midday we said goodbye to Ken and Mary and set off up the Audlem flight of fifteen locks – we were to complete all but two by the middle of the afternoon. The weather was fair and the flight not at all busy – no more than four boats passed us on their way down before we moored for the night just above lock No3. We had agreed to meet Roger and Judy thereabouts on the following morning and, for a change, managed to get a near-perfect satellite signal enabling us to watch Lewis on ITV in HD.

And so ended our second year away from Hungerford: we had now run the engine for 1200 hours covering an estimated 3000+ miles. Since leaving Hungerford we had used 1680 litres of diesel; 403 kg of LPG; and just over a ton of coal (though we’ve also probably used at least as much wood); I hadn’t, for that year kept a tally of the chocolate biscuit consumption.

Nick Furr

Health by Liz

Magnesium – Tension Tamer

Here, in the U.K. we have a magnesium crisis, with 7 out of 10 people likely to have a deficiency.

Liz Chandler of Natures Corner looks at the consequences to our health and some simply solutions.

If you look around at a room of people, you will see
‘ restless legs’ syndrome on display – people repeatedly bouncing a leg. This is a symptom of magnesium deficiency and although not a serious problem in the short term, it can be implicated in the development of several disease states, including asthma, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and pre-menstrual symptoms. Being on the look out for early stage symptoms may help to prevent the onset of the more serious consequences.

Other warning signs are:-
physical and mental fatigue
muscle cramps
persistent under-eye twitch tension in the upper back, shoulders and neck
headaches pre-menstrual fluid retention and/or breast tenderness
poor sleep hyperactivity

Magnesium is a mineral and is present in all tissues, including bone, and helps to release energy from food, assists bone and tooth formation and muscle function. It is found in chlorophyll, (the green pigment in plants), and so it follows that green leafy vegetables contain plenty. Grains and nuts are also a rich source, so a diet including a good variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can be helpful.

Improving magnesium levels through supplementation is fairly straight forward. However, sometimes better results can be achieved by using a magnesium spray directly on the skin. This transdermal process gives optimal absorption, bypassing the digestive system. By applying magnesium oil either topically or in a soak (Epsom salts), it can be absorbed by our bodies completely naturally and five times faster than if taken orally. Magnesium is a natural relaxant, reducing muscle spasms and over-excited nerves and also eases discomfort from muscle and joint pain.

Other benefits include:-
absorption of calcium
strengthening the immune system
relief from skin disorders
better cellular production and storage of energy
heart health

Magnesium is the central and most basic nutrient mineral responsible for immune response, cerebral function and energy levels. A magnesium rich body will be more potent and sport a tougher immune system, more easily fighting infection.

For further support, advice and information please call into Natures Corner,
or tel. 01635 33007 or email

Our Community

Neighbourhood Police Team

Our current two priorities in Hungerford are Hare Coursing and Drugs.

We held a Consultation Day in Hungerford on Wednesday 27th April. 12 people attended to inform us of what their current priority is. We will be consulting again on Saturday 28th May from 0900-1300 at Tesco’s Car Park in Hungerford. We are looking to consult with members of the community and the surrounding Villages to be able to assess whether these priorities are still current or to establish if there are any other priorities which need to replace the existing ones. We are asking as many people as possible to come down and see the Neighbourhood Team.

Hungerford Neighbourhood Team have worked alongside the Education Welfare Department at West Berkshire Council this month. We assist the officers on home visits to try and reduce poor attendance in schools around our area.
During the Month of April we ran a joint partnership operation with the West Berkshire Licensing Department. We tested all licensed premises in our area which included shops and Public Houses. All the premises tested in our area passed and no sales to underage persons were given.

On Wednesday 20th April at 12:20pm a male was found in possession of Cannabis on Priory Road in Hungerford. The male was arrested and interviewed in relation to the offence. The Hungerford male has been charged with possession of a drug and he is on police bail to attend court .

A resident in Bourne Vale has become the victim of car crime this month after quite unique equipment was stolen out of the car. This occurred at some time over the weekend of Friday 15th April. We would like to remind people to please secure your vehicles. DON’T BECOME AN EASY TARGET!

Also overnight on the 15th April, the allotments on the High Street had some items stolen. Flowers had been taken from the plots and it appeared that this was an act of mindless vandalism. The people who own the plots spend a lot of their time and money on their hobby so we would be very interested if anyone had any information that we could use for our investigations.
The Thames Valley Police Number is 0845 8 505 505.

Our Crime level this month has been very low in comparison to this time last year.
ASB is still fairly low but with the nicer weather on its way we may find a rise in noise complaints or Criminal damage. A reminder to anyone who is suffering with Anti-social behaviour, we are really keen to know what’s happening in your area. Pleas contact Thames Valley Police and we will do our best to resolve the problem.

Community Messaging is a free service which provides information to subscribers about crime and police activity in their area via phone or email. It also includes information on what we and our partner services are doing to bring offenders to justice or combat anti-social behaviour.

Community Messaging continued……..
More information can be obtained via our website, and you can sign up by following this link:

Contact us
If you want any advice or would like to contact the neighbourhood team you can call us on the police non emergency number 0845 8 505505 but if your call is an emergency then dial 999.
You can also contact us via email: – please note this email address cannot be used to contact Thames Valley Police to report crimes or for any urgent matters.

If you have information about crime or Anti Social Behaviour in your area but you do not want to speak to the police,
please call the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555111.

To view information on your neighbourhood team you can visit the force website at:

In Living Memory………… Scout Camps.

Two of my grandsons are on a Scout Camp this week at Youlbury, the headquarters camp site at Boars Hill near to Oxford. I noticed the “luggage” they had, tightly rolled sleeping bag, lightweight tents, packets of food etc. and although filled, a not too big a rucksack.

It was coincidental that on the day they went I was talking with my long time school friend and boy scout contemporary Colin, when we started to reminisce about the camp we attended in 1951, 60 years ago; Yes! it was to Youlbury.

Previous to this camp we had had one night Patrol camps, and a weekend Troop camp, For these we would meet at the H.Q. get from the store a heavy ex army canvas ridge tent, two canvas sheets, for making shelters, a shovel, mallet, axe, canvas water buckets, dixies, ropes and cordage etc. .This, along with our personal kit bags, which contained a ground sheet and two woollen blankets ( don’t forget your blanket pins!) as well as a change of clothes and washing tackle. All was loaded on to the trek cart, which first we had to assemble.

We would then trundle the cart from the old Scout H.Q. in Croft meadow, through Upper Eddington to Leverton, and a nice shady little paddock not far from the river.
Now the cart moved quite well along levels if it was well balanced when it was being loaded, and the long “T” handle was augmented with ropes attached to the sides of its body for pulling, but a slight incline meant that more hands were needed on the ropes, now it was going downhill that caused anxiety in the Scoutmaster. The idea was to swivel the cart at the top of a hill, its body to the fore of the handle, those holding it, steering and holding it back, those on the ropes being right at the back acting as brake, but sometimes they didn’t! I recall the banks at the roadside being met with force, with lots of shouting and laughter, but the cart, load and boys survived. We had good times.

Now for the week we had at Youlbury in 1951. Three patrols of six boys and two Scouters,and the Friday evening meeting was given over to getting all of the equipment out of the stores, and laid out on the floor of the H.Q, Ridge tents, latrine canvas, shelter canvas, and flag pole all being very heavy, the trek cart was made into its “flatpack” mode, (handle out ,sides and ends off, wheels off, pins and washers in their little box) and our kit bags stacked up ready.

Saturday, Bob Lewington arrived with his lorry, he had done a coal round earlier. We soon got to loading, putting the heavy items on first, leaving a space in the middle for our kit bags on which we had to sit, our legs in any space that was left. Once on the move we soon started singing, I will leave you to guess where the S.M. rode.

At the entrance to the site the lorry could go no further, so it was trek cart transport to our allotted pitch, and a week with no communication with home until we saw Bob again on the next Saturday afternoon.

Well Colin and I enjoyed it, and we were fortunate in being able to continue in Scouting for very many years.


Staying cool in hot weather –

Tips to keep you cool when it’s very hot

We all look forward to ‘a good summer’ even though we’re quite often disappointed. But there are occasions when very high temperatures and humidity can present a risk to health, and older people can be particularly susceptible to heat-related illness.
John Prendergast… provides a few helpful tips on how to protect yourself from the heat, how to recognise heat-related illness and what to do when someone shows signs of it.

Who is most at risk? A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people in extreme heat are: …..Older people, especially those over 75…..Babies and young children…People with serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems….People with mobility problems e.g. people with Parkinson’s disease or those who have had a stroke. People on certain medications, including those that affect sweating or temperature control

Tips for coping …The following advice applies to everybody when it comes to keeping cool and comfortable and reducing health risks:…Shut windows and pull down shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when cooler…Avoid the heat; stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm if you’re vulnerable to the effect of heat. It’s very important to use sun screen of at least factor 15…..Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside windows….Have cool baths or showers and splash yourself with cool water…Drink cold drinks regularly even if you are not thirsty, such as water and fruit juice. Limit drinks with caffeine and avoid alcohol as it can make dehydration worse….Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need….Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool…..Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat if you go outdoors…..Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves….Eat normally but try to have more cold foods, particularly salads and fruit as they contain a lot of water.

Dehydration and overheating….Extreme heat and humidity can cause you to dehydrate and your body to overheat. Watch out for certain signs: particularly for muscle cramps in your arms, legs or stomach, mild confusion, weakness or sleep problems. If you have any of these, rest in a cool place and drink plenty of liquids. Seek medical advice if your symptoms persist or worsen.

Further information……If you live alone consider asking a friend or relative to visit or phone to check you are not having difficulties during periods of extreme heat….If you know a neighbour lives alone, check they are OK……If you have breathing problems or a heart condition your symptoms might get worse when it’s very hot.

Contact your GP for advice.
For further advice about heat-related illness call NHS direct on 0845 4647.

John can be contacted on 01635 36953 or

Increase your Happiness – Free !

According to studies there are 5 Ways to Wellbeing :
Connect – with people around you, your community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them.
Be active – step outside, go for a walk. Exercising makes you feel good. Find something you enjoy doing that suits your mobility and fitness.
Take notice – be curious, notice beauty, the unusual, the changing seasons.
Keep learning –try something new. Learning increases confidence as well as being fun.
Give –do something nice for a friend or stranger, thank someone, smile, volunteer your time.

More about happiness at

So, it’s not about money and possessions….hmm. Although sufficient funds can obviously make life more comfortable, it appears they’re not the root of our happiness. That means instead of thinking, “If I won the lottery…”, we can do things to increase our happiness now.

We are well equipped to be happy folk in Hungerford with a good community spirit, beautiful countryside, access to the Marsh and Common and numerous clubs & social groups.
There’s lots of opportunity to learn more about our area and its nature with a whole host of events this summer organised by HADCAF, the Town and Manor (Freeman’s Marsh), HEAT and others. These include walks and talks, local craft workshops and growing / cooking / eating local food events.

If you’re interested in any aspect of the outdoors be it nature, walking, foraging, food growing or wildlife gardening check out the town web site and get a low cost happiness fix.

For What’s on in Hungerford

HADCAF programs from Newbury Building Society or the library.

HEAT web site

So next time you feel grumpy when a bill arrives, get yourself some free happiness; go for a walk, smile at a stranger and although the bill won’t go away at least you’ll feel a lot better

HEAT Guided Walks 1st Sunday of every month, meet Town Hall steps 10am

HEAT Community Allotment – just turn up and join in, no experience necessary. Tues evenings 7pm Marsh Lane site Plot 72.

Green Drinks 1st Thurs of each month 8pm The Plume of Feathers – meet and chat
Foraged Food Cookery Demo at the Farmers Market Sun 26 June with Simon Keith

HEAT Woodland Skills Walk with Simon Keith Sun 3 July meet 10am Town Hall steps
Local Seasonal Food Supper, Tues 2 Aug, The Plume of Feathers


Blasts from the Past

From the Parish Magazine dated May 1878.

“ The Annual Meeting of the Hungerford Institute was held on April 13th, when the Treasurer presented a very favourable balance sheet, shewing a balance in hand of £17. Mr Pennyfeather was elected Secretary in the room of Mr Ranson who has left the Town. The other Officers and Committee were re-elected with the addition of Mr Adnams to the Committee in place of Mr Pennyfeather. It was agreed that smoking should not be allowed in the lower room until after seven o’clock; and that all annual subscriptions should date from April 1, and all quarterly subscriptions from quarter-day. A cordial vote of thanks was passed to Mr Ranson for his valuable services to the Institute as Secretary. The balance in hand was devoted to the reduction of the debt on the billiard table.”

From the Parish Magazine dated May 1880.

“ Subscribers to the Coal Club have just received their cards, and it is hoped that they will be careful to bestow them on deserving and necessitous persons. Any who wish to have cards to give away may obtain them from the Vicar, at the rate of a card for every half-a-crown of their subscriptions; and it is suggested that this is an excellent mode of doing good at a small cost, by helping the poor to help themselves. Each poor person who pays into the Club has an addition of half-a-crown at the end of the year, and those who are old or with large families have more.”

From the Parish Magazine dated May 1881.

“ The great event of this month in Hungerford will undoubtedly be the Loan Exhibition of Pictures and other works of art and objects of interest, which is to be held in the Town Hall and Corn Exchange on May 6th, 7th, and 9th. About two hundred contributors from the Town and neighbourhood, and some from a distance, have promised to send valuable contributions, and it is certain that such a collection of rare and beautiful objects has never before been brought together in Hungerford. There will be various entertainments, musical and otherwise, on each of the three days on which the Exhibition is open; and especially on the Saturday afternoon at three o’clock there will be a Grand Vocal and Instrumental Concert, at which Miss Trevenna will take the leading Soprano part, and Herr Guggenheim will give a Violin Solo. Rev. W H Bliss, E Bray, Esq., A Treherne, and other musical friends will assist.”

More form the Archives next month. Fred Bailey.


Perhaps this is not the usual introduction for an article about solicitors but, in my view, it should be.

Our training and experience means that we should be the first port of call when you have a problem. If we don’t know the answer we will know a man or woman who does so we aren’t pretending that we can answer all your questions. We aren’t pretending to be doctors or vets!

So how can we help?

Ask yourself – Are my affairs in order?

If the answer is yes – well done, but you are in the minority. More people will answer – I am not really sure. Ask a solicitor. Most solicitors will be happy to give advice but if you are worried ring first and see if your solicitor would be happy to see you about your concern and check whether or not they would charge you. The perhaps surprising answer is that we want to make sure that our clients are not worried and often it is purely a matter of putting someone’s mind at rest. If it is not, we will sort your problem out for you.

If the answer is no, I know my affairs aren’t in order – Go and see your solicitor.

Everyone knows the things they need to consult a solicitor about – conveyancing is probably the best known; wills; business affairs; all sorts of legal problems. But what about those niggling issues that make you wonder? How many people have read a story in the paper or seen one on TV and thought I wonder if that affects me?

Have you ever thought – What happens to the house if my boyfriend leaves me? What happens to the children if I die? What would happen if I can’t manage because I get dementia or have a stroke?

Ask yourself – is something worrying me? We are here to solve your problems.

MacAuley & Co,

Merlin House, Church Street, Hungerford (next to the Library) Tel: 01488 6823

Church Bells

Bell Ringing At St Lawrence – Ringing for Weddings

As the bride and groom emerge from the church the bells begin to ring. This is what we aim for but it’s not always as simple as it sounds. From the ringing chamber, music in the church can be faintly heard. In the past ringers would listen for the wedding march to gauge the right time to start, but nowadays it is not so easy to identify the end of the service as couples often choose untraditional music. There is a buzzer in the church to alert us at the right time, but this is sometimes forgotten. Having an order of service helps enormously, but often someone must run down the stairs to ascertain how the service is progressing.

We like to ring all eight bells for weddings but this is dependent on the availability of ringers. It is quite common for ringers from other towers to be enlisted for the occasion. We ring for about 20 minutes in total, with a couple of breaks in between for the ringers to change bells. Personally I always hope the wedding party is still outside the church when we have finished, as is it nice to see everyone dressed in their finest and, of course, to see the bride’s dress.

Since a wedding is a very special occasion, we want the ringing to be perfect, but sometimes things do go wrong. Once I was ringing in a church where the bells were rung from the ground floor. Some of us had never rung there before and quickly discovered that the bells could hardly be heard inside the church. Also, the organ was playing so it was extremely difficult to know if your bell was striking at the right time. At one point our frustrated conductor admonished us (rather loudly) to “Get your bells under control – we’re ringing for a wedding”. As we came out of the church the wedding guests applauded. I assumed they must have heard us being scolded and were clapping out of sympathy but I recently heard an experienced and accomplished ringer say that the only time he had received applause for wedding ringing was when it was bad. He suggested erratic ringing sounded more exuberant and so perhaps better suited the mood of the occasion.

In medieval times it was believed that the sound of bells would drive away evil spirits. Strong local men would be paid to ring the bells as loudly as possible for weddings. If there was more than one bell, they would all be rung together to ensure a fortuitous start to the marriage. Nowadays we aim to provide well-struck, even ringing for this special day but there is a tradition which is still practised in some areas of the country called “charging”.
The first blow is struck so that all the bells ring at the same time, followed by normal rounds.

We always hope the wedding party enjoy our ringing, but you can‘t please everyone. One ringer recalled an occasion where the ringing was interrupted by an agitated guest calling “Stop, stop – you’re frightening the children!”.

S Chatters