Issue 121

1st December
1st March 2014

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

Front Cover by Micky Thompson


A bit of fun for Christmas.

I was walking home from work past the War Memorial in Bridge Street in January 2010 when I came across this marvellous snow bear that had just been finished. The next morning, as I walked past, it had been destroyed. It is such a shame that some people take delight in destruction. Still thanks to the camera, the moment was preserved.

Talking of preserving things, with Christmas coming ever closer, check the batteries in your camera, if you are using the flash it uses up battery power a lot quicker, and those precious moments won’t come again.

Keep warm and have a very happy Christmas.
Micky Thompson


Message from the Chairman of CHAIN

Here we are nearly in December with lots of events to look forward to including the Switch on of the Christmas Lights on Sunday 1st December, which no-one will want to miss. Then we have the Mayor’s Carol Service on Sunday 15th December and the famous Victorian Extravaganza on Friday 13th December. These events are all part of Hungerford’s run up to Christmas and are not to be missed.

We have two new blocks of flats open on the old Priory site, Lindley Lodge and Redwood House, which should be fully occupied by the time you read this.

Chain continues to help many people get to surgery and hospital appointments and without our wonderful volunteers we would never manage to help so many people. If you would like to help and have any spare time then please contact the Chain Office 683727 or myself 683302. We need car drivers, Handybus Drivers and Chairman Vehicle Drivers, so whatever you would like to do just let us know, it could be as little as a couple of hours a month or as much as you can offer.

Hopefully we will have a mild winter but if we have any snow or ice, please be careful and if you have any bad potholes please report them to the Town Council on 686195.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.
Best Wishes, Janette Kerse


ello May you all enjoy a happy Christmas and New year.

Just over seven years ago I volunteered to become part of, but not the Editor to start up again this magazine after Bob Bennet had to retire, and I inherited from him our publisher, Aubrey at Mayprint. This is Aubrey’s last print for us as he looks forward to retirement and golf (wife permitting) at Christmas. Thank you Aubrey for all your good work over the years.

On the word of thanks I would like to make public, my thanks to Brian Davis of Chilton Foliat, who as webmaster for the old Hungerford website has helped me and CHAIN over the years. Brian and his wife Elizabeth are true Unsung Heroes for Hungerford. Brian tells me as he retires he hopes to play even more golf (Elizabeth permitting ) of course!

It was Brian, who through time and patience with me has been my mentor in setting up CHAIN’s website, which we have not called simply CHAIN, but Hungerford Info as it is full of information and links for things in our community. It is still being added to, but if you have any suggestions/additions please e-mail me. It’s not a flashy site but one with simple standard side indexes, that I know will be easy to find your way around with often only a ‘click’.

This leads me to thank all of my wonderful article contributors and the advertisers who enable me to produce up to 48 pages of CHAIN MAIL at no cost to you or to CHAIN. Thank you all so much.

Even if you are not into trains do visit our web site and click on ‘Steam’ . In the photo gallery there are masses of steam engines taken by our local chap Tony Bartlett. Some of the pdf slideshows do take a little while to load, be patient for some wonderful photos.

If you are in touch with friends that have moved away do let them know about our new website. Go to Google and type in that’s us.

I apologise for the poor listing of What’s On, but Margaret Wilson was unwell and I sent out over 30 e-mails to various organisations in Hungerford and received back just 3 events. What is wrong with you all, are your events so oversubscribed with people that you don’t need the free publicity? Think of it another way, in that if you publicise, lots of people could have a lot more enjoyment locally attending your functions!

Thanks & regards, David Piper 01488-683152

Letters, articles and adverts should be sent to me by the 7th of the month preceding
publication, i.e.7th February for the issue on March1st. but 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.

Hungerford Mayor

Food for Festive Thought

There was a time, not so long ago that having strawberries at Christmas was considered as a great luxury. This was the time when Canary Wharf was not the financial centre of the UK but an unloading facility for tomatoes fresh from the Canary Islands.
Today our supermarkets have made it possible that we can buy any fruit or vegetable at any time of the year and have taken away the seasonality of the food we place on the table. The transportation of these products undoubtedly ensures the freshness if not the substance of these delights but as the producers seems to be further and further away , the air miles equivalent mounts up considerably per item. European farmers have responded by growing increasing number of crops under glass and using fossil fuels to create an artificial climate to extend the growing season.
However recognising that some products will only be available overseas, the Fairtrade route is one that is to be fully supported. The aim is to ensure that the profits go to the farmers and not just to the international conglomerates and thus the growers no longer have to rely on the “man from Del Monte” to say YES.

Undoubtedly there is a need to find ways of producing food cheaper and more valued than the throwaway culture that has prevailed for so long. In Hungerford, we have long been advocating a more sustainable means of food production through the Hungerford Environment Action Team [HEAT], and maximising the use of allotments for self-growing. Both these activities have become extremely popular not just for the produce but for the added social exchanges that result from such likeminded people working together.
There is another aspect of food supplies that has hit the headlines recently and that is the emergence of Food Banks where donations of food are distributed to needy families here in the UK. These have proliferated following the economic downturn and Hungerford operates one from the Methodist Church that works in conjunction with the main distribution centre in Newbury.

Christmas-tide is sometimes seen as a time of plenty and indulgence but there remain many who have little or no means of celebrating this Festive Season and perhaps you might consider contributing something for them through this Food bank, after all, Christmas is a time for giving.

Festive Fun and Flutter

Our Christmas Lights are to be switched on by Lt Col. Stefan Crossfield REME on Sunday 1st December at 6pm with music and singing starting at 5pm.. Be sure to mark your diaries. The Grand Prize Draw tickets are on sale NOW all around town –see Notice Board for details and all proceeds go towards keeping our lights shining.
The Town Carol Concert (hosted by myself) is on Sunday 22nd December, 6:30pm at St Lawrence Church. Everyone welcome.

Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy New Year
Cllr Martin Crane
Town Mayor of Hungerford

Hungerford Area Bus Services


I do hope you found the map of services useful. Unfortunately a minor misprint crept in – the service from Marlborough to Swindon is 48 not 43 as printed. Also service 47 (Lambourn to Swindon via Ashbury) has been withdrawn and replaced by Service 90 (Hungerford to Lambourn) which has been extended. As mentioned timetables can be obtained (free) from the Hungerford Town Council office in the Library building as well as the Library itself.

I did allude to a few services that had special merits and would like to expand on these.

Scenic Routes Service 3 from Hungerford to Newbury commences from the library bus stop and then calls at the High Street bus stop (opposite Barclays Bank) before calling at the stop also in the High Street near the bottom of Tarrants Hill before proceeding via Priory Road, Bulpit Lane, Priory Avenue, Priory Road then past John O’Gaunt School and to Inkpen Road. Drivers will pick up and set down anywhere on this route if hailed. This service runs close to the Southern Ridgeway [Walbury and Inkpen Hills (including Combe Gibbet)]. After serving Lower and Upper Green Inkpen the bus continues to Kintbury, Hamstead Marshall and Enbourne before arriving at Newbury bus station.

Service 20 from Hungerford to Marlborough is a charming rural route. By travelling out on the 10.50 (mon-fri), 10.45 (sat) from the Hungerford Town Hall bus stop (outside Rayner Opticians), Froxfield, Little Bedwyn, Great Bedwyn and Savernake Forest are passed. Return buses from Marlborough are at 14.10, 15.38 and 16.40 (mon-fri) and 14.10 (sat)(from the same stop you arrived at) and pass through Shalbourne and Ham, also near the Southern Ridgeway as is service 3 mentioned above.

Service 90 from Hungerford to Lambourn serves both the Lambourn Valley Road (Great Shefford, East Garston and Eastbury) as well as Ermine Street (Shefford Woodlands, Woodlands St Mary and Lambourn Woodlands).
Service 46 from Hungerford to Swindon serves Chilton Foliat, Ramsbury, Albourne, Baydon (most), Foxhill (most) and Liddington. Baydon is the highest village in Wiltshire and there are wonderful views to be had.

Fast Routes to Newbury (approx. journey time 20 minutes)
X20 (Tues only). From the Town Hall bus stop, this service proceeds to the Bath Road (A4), then calls at Denford Lodge, Kintbury crossroads, Elcot turn, Halfway (opposite the cottages as well as the stop about 100 yards past the pub) and Speen.
222 (Thurs only). This service departs from the Town Hall and follows the same route as the X20 (above). Barnes coaches operate this service for Wiltshire Council.

As mentioned in the last issue a bus is an ideal way to visit pubs and nearly all the villages mentioned have one as follows: Albourne, Blue Boar and Crown; Baydon, Red Lion; Chilton Foliat, Wheatsheaf; Eastbury, Plough; East Garston, Queens Arms; Enbourne, Craven Arms; Foxhill, Shepherds Rest; Froxfield, Pelican; Great Bedwyn, Cross Keys and Three Tuns; Great Shefford, Swan; Halfway, Halfway; Ham, Crown & Anchor; Hamstead Marshall,

White Hart; Inkpen (Lower Green), Swan; Inkpen (Upper Green), Crown & Garter; Kintbury, Blue Ball, Dundas Arms and Prince of Wales; Lambourn Woodlands, Hare; Liddington, Village Inn; Ramsbury, Bell and Crown & Anchor; Shalbourne, Plough; Shefford Woodlands, Pheasant; Speen, Hare & Hounds. Lovers of cask-conditioned beer (real ale) will be pleased to know that all the pubs sell this product.

Bus passes are valid on all the above services. Most people of pensionable age or have a disability qualify. For eligibility conditions, see page 178 of the West Berkshire Travel Guide obtainable as stated in the first paragraph above.

Paul Frances



More tails from the zoo.

To say each day was different when working in public relations at the zoo would be an understatement. I never knew who would be contacting us for animals to be used in advertisements, films, or television, including Blue Peter. We regularly had production companies there filming – some were for programmes like This Is Your Life – one day we had Eamonn Andrews dressed up as a keeper to surprise an unsuspecting celebrity, another day it could be an elephant’s tea party with Kate Adie reporting on it, or a company filming an advert for Smith’s Crisps. I used to be amazed at the amount of production vehicles that would arrive for this type of advert including the catering caravan. They would often spend a couple of days filming all round the zoo and then when the actual 30 second advert went out on TV there could often only be about 3 seconds actually at the zoo.

However, one day I had a real surprise when we had a request from a local pub which had just had a complete re-furbishment. They asked if our camel could be guest of honour and perform the opening ceremony! Now Penny, a Bactrian camel, was one of our stars. She regularly attended school fetes and made a special appearance at The Lord Mayor’s Show one year and also at the Royal Tournament. Fortunately she was well behaved and didn’t spit like so many of her species. Normally she would be transported in a special horsebox, but as the pub was only a few hundred yards away from the zoo we thought it would be fun to actually walk her there. So on the day itself Penny was dressed up in her luxurious velvet cloak complete with her name embroidered in gold, and we (‘we’ being her keeper Dave and myself) set off walking in convoy down the main road. Needless to say there was a lot of interest with smiling drivers slowing up to look and wave. The ‘piece de resistance’ though was when we held up the traffic and walked Penny over a zebra crossing.

At the pub our arrival was greeted with great enthusiasm and a bucket with ‘lager’ printed on the outside was given to her which she drank with gusto The managing director of the brewery was persuaded to have a short ride on her which naturally caused much amusement amongst the pub staff, and the waiting newspaper photographers jostled for position to get the best angle.

Just in case you wondered if we had a tipsy camel to walk home – no there was only water in her bucket!

Bits 1

Also on this page…Freedom Awards …..iTis ?…Carers Appeal ….Childhood?

Hungerford Town Band Christmas Concert

  Corn Exchange Hungerford 7.30pm 14th December


Hungerford Town Freedom Awards ..

The Town Council will be inviting you for nominations in the New Year .

Before you know it will be the New Year and the Editor of CHAIN MAIL would like to bring to your attention a few very worthy names for consideration in 2014.

Elizabeth Davis of HADCAF also an ex Editor of CHAIN MAIL
Brian Davis of Hungerford Website, webmaster extraordinaire
Margaret Wilson of Town Diary, and a Hungerford Town Councillor
David Liddiard, a retired Hungerford Town Councillor
Beryl Fowler, HADCAF stalwart and ex Town Clerk

The awardees for the last 2 years were:

2012, Gwynneth Bullock, Rod Desmeules, Betty Grant, Robin Tubb, Kathleen Walker

2013, John Hollister, Jack Williams, Bill Acworth

Hungerford-itis: a condition or an illness?

Those that discover Hungerford are awed by the rich seam of voluntary work that exists below the surface of the town; typified by HADCAF, the town’s Youth Community initiatives, CHAIN and many other lower profile but nevertheless invaluable contributors to the common weal. Hungerford, when acting in concert, self-evidently can punch above its weight.

After this initial discovery, the observer digs deeper and may then question why the town also appears to be blighted on so many issues and initiatives by a degree of factionalism which seems inconsistent with an absence of overreaching political and sociological divisions within our community. Can one attribute it to mis-perceptions or self-importance of individuals or institutions? Relevant components include but are not limited to The Town Council [but this does not operate on overtly political lines], the Chamber of Commerce [but this is numerically healthy for the size of community], and The Town & Manor which demonstrably funds a variety of local causes.

Local initiatives which one would expect to attract widespread support [I mention “attracting inwards investment” and education as two examples] are so often blunted by a failure of people to come together but, I suggest, due to antipathy rather than apathy…..I call it Hungerford-itis. I ask: is it simply a condition we must continue to suffer because there is no cure, or a surmountable illness for which we should do more in future than just keep on taking anti-inflammatories?

Maybe we lack a benevolent dictator who will seize the initiative and coerce inhabitants? Perish the thought. Perhaps we just need to find an efficient conductor to mount the podium and produce the best and balanced performance from each component of our “orchestra”…..if so, please will that man or woman come forward.

The Editor will forward any and all replies!

Do you look after a friend or relative who needs      your help?                 

Do you give that help without payment? Click to visit our website

If so…… you are a carer

Berkshire Carers Service is an information, advice and support service for people of all ages who provide unpaid care to a member of their family, partner, friend or neighbour. This could be owing to physical or mental illness, disability or addiction and take the form of practical help or emotional support.

Carers may experience financial worries, emotional and physical stress, isolation and loneliness. Berkshire Carers Service provides information about benefits; information about health and social care services; emotional support; finding services; form filling; meeting other carers; planning a break and for an emergency and how to juggle working and caring.

We also publish a quarterly newsletter. All our services are free to carers.

For more information ring our free helpline on 0800 988 5462 or email   You can also register on our website, which is a useful source of information about caring in Berkshire:



Childhood Ways (cont)

Into the summer house to see what it procured
Ah! Some false teeth from great uncles jaws
Some more from Aunt Annie, Good! We had two sets
Chatter, chatter, chatter went our castanet’s.
(All artefacts from elderly relations was dumped in the summer house)

Chickens to feed, new laid eggs to be got
Hutches to be cleaned out, this was our lot
Into the chicken run without any shoes
Toes got pecked, Never mind ,only one more bruise

At Christmas time so ecstatic were we,
We’d all go up the garden to chose the tree
Father, from London, decorations would buy
“You mustn’t touch them” my mother would sigh.

A pianist, our neighbour happened to be
I’d climb up and perch in the cherry tree
Marvelling at this wonderful sound
In my own little world, till I fell to the ground.

An old pair of pram wheels-our latest obsession
“ The Chariot” we called them, our treasured possession
I’d push Richard along the bumpy road
Then one hard push, Oh dear! I’ve lost my load to be cont:



Bits 2

Also on this page……..Mulching………..Freedom………

We are delighted to announce that The Tally Ho pub in Hungerford Newtown has now re-opened. With a new bar, new kitchen and new loos (including disabled), total redecoration and new furniture, the pub looks marvellous. We think that it will quickly return to being a really valuable local asset – but not just for us – for all the passing motorists as well, including those from the M4.

As a community pub we are passionate in supporting other local businesses. We are fortunate in having some excellent small-scale food producers in the surrounding countryside and wherever possible we will offer fresh locally-sourced produce with the name of the supplier featured in the menu. Dishes will be home-made with monthly menu changes that reflect availability of seasonal produce.

We have some more original food ideas coming, so watch this space!

A range of cask ales, many from local brewers, will be maintained to a high standard and supported by a variety of bottled ales and lagers. A decent selection of wines and spirits will be available. We aim to achieve and keep the Cask Marque standard for beer husbandry and be recognised by CAMRA as a server of quality ales.

Information and directions can be found on
For table reservations, please call us on 01488 682312.

We look forward enormously to welcoming you all back to our great new local. Cheers!

The Tally Ho, Hungerford Newtown, RG17 0PP


  Hungerford 41 Club  

(ex-Round Tablers) will be doing Xmas tree mulching outside the Town Hall,

10:00 – 1:00 Sunday 5th January with proceeds from all donations going to local charities.

Jim of Broadmead Estate Services Ltd,
Orwell House, High Street, Hungerford.
01488 686004


Hungerford Town Freedom Awards ..

The Town Council will be inviting you for nominations in the New Year .

Before you know it will be the New Year and the Editor of CHAIN MAIL would like to bring to your attention a few very worthy names for consideration in 2014.

Elizabeth Davis of HADCAF also an ex Editor of CHAIN MAIL
Brian Davis of Hungerford Website, webmaster extraordinaire
Margaret Wilson of Town Diary, and a Hungerford Town Councillor
David Liddiard, a retired Hungerford Town Councillor
Beryl Fowler, HADCAF stalwart and ex Town Clerk

The awardees for the last 2 years were:

2012, Gwynneth Bullock, Rod Desmeules, Betty Grant, Robin Tubb, Kathleen Walker
2013, John Hollister, Jack Williams, Bill Acworth

Hungerford Surgery

Christmas and New Year Opening Hours at Hungerford Surgery

Please order your repeat Prescriptions in good time for Christmas &New Year ,
we are unable to guarantee requests received after these dates

19th , 20th, 23rd, 24th Dec Normal opening hours
27th, 30th, 31st Dec Normal opening hours
Thurs 2nd , 3rd Jan Normal opening hours

Seasonal Flu Jabs
Don’t forget to contact the surgery if you haven’t yet had a flu jab and are aged 65 and over or are aged between 6 months and 65 years old and in a clinical risk group.

New Shingles Vaccination
A new shingles vaccine has been developed and is available on the NHS as part of a catch-up programme. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus). You don’t “catch” shingles – it comes on when there’s a reactivation of chickenpox virus that’s already in your body.

Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles and it is estimated that around one in five people who have had chickenpox (usually in childhood) go on to develop shingles.

Anyone aged 70 on September 1 2013 (born between 2/9/42 and 1/9/43) is eligible for the new shingles vaccine on the NHS.

If you were aged 79 on September 1 2013 (born between 2/9/33 and 1/9/34), you will also be able to have the shingles vaccine on the NHS as part of a catch-up programme.

If you were aged 71 to 78 on September 1 2013, your next opportunity to have the shingles vaccine will be when you reach the age of 79. The reason the shingles vaccination programme is being staggered this way, is that it would be impractical to vaccinate everyone in their 70s in a single year.

Anyone aged 80 and over on September 1 2013 will not be able to have the shingles vaccination on the NHS because it seems to be less effective as you get older.

However, there may be some people aged 79 on September 1 2013 who will have turned 80 by the time they attend for vaccination, and they remain entitled to receive the vaccine.

Demand for the vaccine has already been high and has led to a temporary shortage of supply across the UK but we are working hard to secure adequate supplies for our patients.

If you are eligible please contact the surgery on 01488 682507
to make an appointment.

Mike Hall Practice Manager

Virtual Museum

Hungerford’s Victorian Letterboxes 

Rowland Hill started the Penny Post in 1840, and issued the Penny Black and the Two Pence Blue stamps.

Initially all post was handled through Post Offices alone, but by 1852 pillar boxes were introduced in large towns. It was soon apparent that smaller letter boxes were needed to meet the growing demand from the public. An innovative design of an iron wall box was made by Smith & Hawkes in Birmingham. They cost only a quarter of the price of pillar boxes, and went into production in 1858.

There were many early design faults. As rainwater was finding its way through the open mouth, a small pediment and hood were added over the aperture. Adjustments were made to the crown and cipher; a small door pull was added; the hood was enlarged; a collection plate was added (to show the next collection); the aperture was made wider; and the keyhole was given a cover. In 1881 the contract for making wall boxes passed to W.T. Allen & Company.

By 1905 there were 12 wall boxes in and around Hungerford. Only three now remain:
The oldest is at Charnham House, Charnham Street, a box made by Smith & Hawkes of Birmingham. It is a “Number 2 (small) improved” wall box of 1861 design. The door has a door pull, and the collection plate is below the aperture.

The wall box at the Police Station in Park Street is by W.T. Allen & Co. It is a “Small ‘C’ size” wall box, which dates it from after 1881. The royal cipher and crown is at the top; the words ‘POST OFFICE’ are on the hood; the collection plate is mounted on the door in a beading rather than a recess, and there is provision for a ‘NEXT COLLECTION’ tablet in the top right-hand corner of the plate.

In 1899 a Sub Office was opened in Eddington, and a wall box was placed outside. This also started its life as a “Small ‘C’ size” wall box by W.T. Allen. However, it was modified in situ c1960 to give it a wider aperture for larger letters.

Victorian boxes, all marked clearly with VR (Victoria Regina), are now listed due to the efforts of the Pillar Box Society.

For more on this or any other aspect of Hungerford’s fascinating history, visit the Hungerford Virtual Museum –

Hugh Pihlens

The Old Codger

The Old Codger’s Column…….

There was a nice councillor who responded to most of my ‘Town’ moans last issue, well it’s three months on and I can’t see any movement! Can I really moan after 6 months?

So please remember I type this with one finger three weeks before you see it, and things may very well have moved on regarding John O’Gaunt School and the joining (moving) of the Primary School up next door to JO’G.

There is no doubt that we need more Primary places, but if the school moves up there, what are a lot of young mums to do when they have infants at the Nursery in The Croft and youngsters at the Primary? I am sure that one or more of their children are going to be ‘Late’ So am I advocating that the Nursery should move up there as well? Well why not, when Hungerford becomes bigger we could site the University up there as well. What a campus that would be, but…….. Yes, the but is, what happens to the massive traffic snarl up in Priory Road. Will parking be banned in the road, or will it be parking one side and single direction traffic flow only going all the way out to the Common. Or will a new road have to be built off of the Salisbury Road, just past Kennedy Meadows to access the campus from the ‘back side’ as it were? Now that’s food for thought isn’t it.

Of course if the above were to happen Sovereign could build a new ‘Old Folks ‘home on the site of the old Primary School, which would then enable them to get into Town again instead of being stuck out at Redwood.

Did you see Sovereign’s advert for Redwood 7th of November in the NWN saying ‘Easy Access to the Town’ ? Who do they think they are kidding, the Chain Handy bus can hardly get up Coldharbour some times, and the Town Bus no way. So really think about this one before planning people go too far with the redevelopment of the Fairfields site, or is it too late?

Just going back, if the Nursery moved up to JO’G as well that would release a wonderful nearly new building. Now I wonder what good use that could be put to, a larger Doctors Surgery to cope with all the influx of people?

I think it was the Mayor / Town Council talking/thinking of replacing the horrible sodium (amber) High Street lighting with something old fashioned looking. What a brilliant idea, it would blend so well with our railway bridge.

Has any visitor asked yet ‘Where do the Steam trains go from’?

Is it about time that the toilets in the BMW garage were made to read TOILETS and not CUSTOMER SERVICES!

There is another truly local website that I commend to you for happenings along the Valley to the north of us, just enter that into Google.

Please contact me, through my e-mail

Bye Bye & keep saf

Gardening by Stacy


In an age when Low Maintenance gardening is very popular, ground cover planting has an important role to play. If you choose to plant shrubs for ease of maintenance, low growing plants add seasonal interest and create a tiered effect to the layout.

One of the most popular ground cover plants is the hardy Geranium. It gives a traditional, cottage garden style to low maintenance planting. There are so many varieties to choose from to suit different sites or aspects. Geraniums can be scented, grown in sun or shade depending on the variety and sometimes evergreen. Geranium Brookside grows to a height of 60cm, produces the most intense lavender blue flowers throughout the Summer and is ideal for a sunny spot. But if you are looking for something smaller and daintier, try G. cinereum Ballerina which only grows to 15cm and has pink flowers with purple veining over silvery foliage. For shade there is Geranium Lily Lovell with its deep purple flowers in late Spring into Summer.

If Geraniums are not your thing there are many other options. Dianthus deltoids-the Maiden Pink- will provide a mat of colour over a long period coupled with evergreen foliage; Bergenia Abendglut has deep pink flowers in Spring followed by maroon leaves in the Autumn/Winter. Couple it with Liriope muscari with its evergreen grassy leaves and amazing purple flower spikes in Autumn, plus Hosta White Feather- a fairly new introduction. This Hosta has pure white leaves when they emerge in the Spring which gradually develop green veining as the season progresses. It will also grow in sun or shade. If you are worried about slugs attacking your Hostas, try one with larger, tougher leaves such as H. Sum and Substance.

For a contemporary style, look no further than Heucheras which are grown for their semi evergreen foliage in a number of rainbow shades as their names suggest e.g. H. Chocolate Ruffles, H. Amber Waves, H. Plum Pudding. They grow well with grasses such as Hachonechloa and Ajuga. I recently discovered Ajuga pyramidalis crispa Metallica- a large name for a dainty but exquisite plant with silvered bronze crinkled leaves and blue flowers in early summer.



Wheatberry Salad with Roasted Squash


This warm salad works well on its own as a vegetarian main course, or alongside meat.
400g wheatberries (wheat grain – or use spelt, farro or barley)
1 large or 2 small butternut squash, peeled & diced olive oil
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves small knob of butter 4 leeks, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 200g mushrooms, sliced
4 shredded sage leaves, 100ml veg stock
2 small or 1 large carrot, peeled & grated, large handful chopped parsley
Method, Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the wheatberries and cookf or 45 mins or so, until tender but still chewy. Toss the diced squash in enough oil to coat, with half the thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 mins, until tender. Heat the butter and 2 tbsp oil in a large pan. Fry the leeks for 5 mins. Add the garlic and fry for 2 mins. Add the mushrooms, the rest of the thyme and the sage. Season. Fry until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates. Add 100ml veg stock. Stir for 2 mins. Drain the wheatberries and toss into the mix with the squash, grated carrot and parsley. Check the seasoning and serve.

HEAT activities

Monthly Walks: 1st Sunday of the month, 10am, Town Hall steps
Green Drinks: Last Thursday of the month, 8pm, The Plume of Feathers Inn
Look out for our stall at the December Extravaganza, where we’ll be selling the 1st branded Hungerford Apple Juice.

We’ll be holding another Swap Shop in the Spring. Check the website ( and Facebook page (Hungerford Environmental Action Team – HEAT) for the date and our latest news

Get involved

If you’d like to get more involved with HEAT we’d love to hear from you. Even if you only have a few hours to spare sporadically, there are a variety of things to do, from computer work to helping run events. Email:

Hungerford Library

 Hungerford Library News

We are continuing to offer our very popular IT Lessons for beginners of any age.

The course consists of a series of 6 one hour, weekly sessions. Each session is 1:1 and is 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.

Our RhymeTime sessions are on Wednesday mornings at 11:00 for children under 4.
We have several groups that meet regularly. Perhaps one will appeal to you!
Craft and Chat takes place every Friday morning from 10-12. Come along to this free session and bring your knitting or other crafts, enjoy a chat and a cup of tea while sharing your interests with others.

Art Group meets twice a month on (second and fourth) Tuesday 3:30-5:30. 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.

The monthly Book Group meets the first Tuesday of the month and our Creative Writing group meets on the third Tuesday of the month from 5:30 until 7:00. Several of our groups are proving to be very popular and at certain times the library can be very busy; this may mean that some of the areas of the library are not easily accessible. Every effort is made to avoid this happening, but if you find you are unable to reach the books you want, please let one of our staff know so we can help. The popularity of the groups reflects the benefit we are providing to the community and, although we regret the inconvenience to other customers, we feel that the benefits far outweigh this temporary inconvenience.

WiFi is on its way! We are currently having WiFi installed and will be able to offer this facility free of charge very soon.

All of our sessions are FREE. If you are interested any other these activities please contact Hungerford Library on 01488 682660,

Do you find it difficult to visit you local library because of age, disability or other special circumstances? You might benefit from our At Home library service where a library volunteer will choose and deliver books or audiobooks to your home. Contact the At Home Library Service on 01635 519827 or email


Steam by Tony Bartlett

Steam trains at Hungerford – you are more likely to see a steam traction engine on the High St than you are to see a steam-hauled train going over the bridge! My only mainline steam experience for the last quarter was to see Vintage Trains’ immaculate Castle class loco hauling their ‘Cotswold Explorer’ across the Vale of White Horse, giving me possibly a last authentic-looking steam photograph there before the electrification wires go up.

The best chance of seeing something similar locally in the next quarter is to go down to Andover for the ‘Salisbury Christmas Diner’ just 2 days before Christmas. Otherwise this might be a better time to visit the Didcot Railway Centre, or the Mid Hants Railway at Alresford to sample one of their festive offerings, typically involving mince pies and a steam train ride, with possibly a jolly old codger in a bright red suit!

The last few years can, in retrospect, be seen as a ‘golden era’ for steam on the Berks & Hants line. There seems to be no current prospect of steam services restarting so this might provide us with an opportunity to consider the railway which passes through our town in a different light, namely as part of a modern national transport network.
Most of us at some time or another will have used the local services to towns up and down the Kennet Valley, and a smaller ‘hard core’ of us use the railway for commuting to work. By being on these trains, or possibly just going about our business around town or on the Common or the Marsh, we may be aware that other trains use the route through here, and it is quite a logical step , if rather unfashionable, to be interested in these as well.

A brief historical perspective – the railway at Hungerford developed during the 19thcentury from initially being the terminus of a branch line from Reading, to a through route to Devizes and ultimately a nationally important direct route to the South West. Long distance HST expresses still run to Devon and Cornwall, although most pass through here non-stop, whereas Hungerford is very much at the outer limit of local passenger services centred on London – a legacy of the Network South East division of British Railways. The rise of long-distance commuting has tended to blur this distinction but the fact is that it is much easier to travel eastwards from here on the train than to go any distance to the west.

Freight traffic on the railways has contracted and rationalised considerably since the days of steam, but the continuing demand for high quality stone from the Mendips quarries ensures that there are regular heavy freight trains passing through to many distribution points in the South East – taking large numbers of HGV journeys off the A4 and M4.

As well as these staples, there are variously oil trains to Theale, diverted services like car trains and freightliners – much of which travels overnight – and engineering trains involved in maintaining our heavily-used tracks. See my slideshow on the Chain website for recent pictures and descriptions of some of these varied workings.

Looking ahead, rail usage is expanding and electrification of commuter services is under way – with Hungerford just off the edge of the new system, to the relief of some concerned about the environmental impact and the anguish of others whose journeys will be affected!

Tony Bartlett

Please enjoy larger photo’s below

Roger Day

A Wartime Tragedy at Membury

April 25th 2014 will mark the 70th anniversary of a tragic wartime accident that took place near the northern edge of Membury airfield just a few hundred yards west of Rooksnest House. At the beginning of the month a group of navigators from the 436th Troop Carrier Group (TCG) were reassigned to the 442nd TCG at Fulbeck. On 25th April they returned to Membury in order to retrieve records and personal effects, but shortly after taking off on the return flight the plane crashed killing all 14 passengers.

The aircraft, a C-47 from the 303rd Troop Carrier Squadron (TCS) of the 442nd TCG, was piloted by 1st Lt. Howard Winand who had instructions to return to Fulbeck via Greenham Common. At just after 7pm he took-off on runway 350 and immediately banked left and climbed to an altitude of between 600 and 700 feet. He was now heading south and as he reached the southern boundary of Membury airfield made a 180 degree turn to the left and descended to about 100 feet. By now the plane was heading north and making for the 436th TGC Officers Club and squadron accommodation areas. As it got closer the aircraft appeared to make a slow right turn which steadily increased until it was banking at an angle in excess of 45 degrees. Unfortunately its right wing tip hit some trees causing a loss of control and pitching it into the ground.

Shortly afterwards Captain Edward Mack from the medical corps arrived on the scene in an 82nd TCS ambulance. In his report he stated that the bodies were within a 25 yard radius of the blazing plane and that some were on fire. He found two that were still breathing and a third with some signs of life and whisked them quickly off to hospital in the ambulance. Sadly two died on the way whilst the third lived for about 20 hours before succumbing to his injuries.

The committee set up to investigate the crash concluded in its report that as no mechanical failure of the aircraft occurred the accident was entirely the result of pilot error. With one exception all those killed were from the 303rd TCS.

With the exception of Capt. Levitsky, all were interred on Saturday, 29 April 1944 at Brookwood American Cemetery near Bagshot, England. A contingent of 303rd TCS members, including Col. Charles M. Smith, 442nd TCG Commander and Major Robert G. Whittington, Jr., 303rd TCS Commander, attended the funeral service. Levitsky, who was jewish, was buried two days earlier at the same cemetery (The remains of some were later moved to the American Cemetery at Madingley near Cambridge). The following day a memorial service was held in Fulbeck’s base chapel led by Group Chaplain Robert Tindall.

The above has been taken from the book ‘Membury at War’ by Roger Day

Telephone 01488 682377 or email

HAHA by Belinda

An Allotment in Hungerford…………

As I type it is very blustery outside – well and truly autumn; time for clearing and preparing the allotment for next year.
First the clearing: We add what we can to our compost bins on the plot but some plant parts will take too long to degrade (e.g. sprout stalks) so we put them in the Council green bins. It’s worth sorting out the compost bins and mixing up the contents before a mouse chooses it as a warm winter home!

Then the preparation: We have manure to spread on some of the plot to help replenish nutrients and add organic matter back to the soil. We intend to dig over the whole plot (or most of it) so that a cold winter can deal with any bugs or diseases which are moved to the top of the soil rather than staying protected in the ground. We haven’t finished with potatoes, carrots, leeks, cabbages or, of course, sprouts yet, so those areas of the plot will have to wait till spring.

We work to a 4-year crop rotation on our main plot. As it’s divided into four quarters it’s pretty straightforward; legumes (peas and beans) follow root crops and onions; root crops follow potatoes; potatoes follow brassicas (cabbages and sprouts); brassicas follow legumes.

We planted three different types of squash which clearly liked the 2013 Summer; growing a couple of them up a trellis was a good space-saver. The parsnips have failed for a second year, which is most disappointing, so we need to see where we’re going wrong with those – there are plenty of successful parsnip growers on site so we won’t be short of ideas I’m sure!

There are still a few things to plant: Over-Wintering broad beans means that we get a crop about 3 weeks earlier than spring planted ones – it doesn’t seem like a big deal but when those first beans are served up it definitely seems worth it! I also want to plant some garlic – traditionally it’s planted on the shortest day and harvested on the longest day.
Looking back over the year it’s been a good one on the allotment site. The open day on a sunny September day went really well; it was a pleasure to see our lovely site being enjoyed by the visitors and we’re looking forward to arranging something for next year.

We have a short waiting list now that we have the two-year extension to the lease and members of the HAHA committee are helping the Council with the job of finding a site for us, should the worst happen and we need to re-locate in 2016.

Here’s to a happy and productive 2014!

If you fancy the idea of growing your own contact HAHA on 0754 118 7274

Our Marsh Lane allotment life is recorded online through my blogs:

Health by Liz

Word of Mouth

Although overall oral healthcare is better than it was 20 years ago, the number of adults in the UK having regular checkups is falling. Currently a staggering 19 out of 20 people will suffer from gum disease at some point in their life. Liz Chandler from Natures Corner provides some oral health guidance on toothpastes, mouthwashes and natural remedies.

Conventional toothpastes from chemists and supermarkets usually contain alcohol and sodium lauryl sulphate, both of which can exacerbate any mouth irritation or dry mouth, (which sometimes results from certain medications). They may also contain synthetic colours and flavours. There is a good choice of natural toothpastes available in independent health stores, with ingredients such as aloe vera, propolis, myrrh, tea tree, fennel, clove and cinnamon. These toothpastes have effective antimicrobial and antibacterial action, excellent cleaning properties and many are certified organic. Look out for Betaine which stimulates saliva production to aid dental health and to counteract the symptoms of Dry Mouth Syndrome.

Most conventional mouthwashes contain alcohol, synthetic colours and flavours and saccharin, all of which can cause toxic overload. So for healthy gums, and to combat bad breath, plaque and fight bacteria, consider an alcohol free mouthwash with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, witch hazel, echinacea and tea tree. As an alternative to saccharin, consider xylitol as a natural sweetener; a tooth friendly natural sugar found in corn, wheat, beech or birch wood.

Fluoride is an ingredient in toothpastes that arouses different points of view. Water fluoridation can cause dental fluorosis (tiny white streaks or specks in the enamel of the tooth). These spots are permanent and may darken in time. Some manufacturers offer a choice of ‘fluoride free’ or ‘with fluoride’, so this is very much about individual choice.

To enhance healthy gums and teeth there are a number of nutrients that can be helpful. Coenzyme Q10 is particularly important for the prevention and treatment of gum disease and gingivitis. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is indispensable for healthy gums, so supplementation is important if deficiency is a possibility (smoking depletes vitamin C). Folic acid and calcium are also supportive for oral health.

So for those of us keen to look after our teeth and gums, natural toothpastes, mouthwashes and nutrient support can go a long way to a dazzling smile and the added confidence that comes with it.

For further advice call into Natures Corner or contact us on 01635 33007,

Our Community


Hungerford Neighbourhood Team has welcomed PCSO Adam BURSON to our team. Adam will be looking after the Lambourn Area so please drop him an email if you want him to pop round and say hello. Failing that, you should see him in the area. His email address is

We have also welcomed PCSO Mark DURHAM into the team whilst he is training with PCSO KING. Mark is a temporary officer in the area and will be seen conducting High Visibility patrols in the Hungerford, Kintbury and Lambourn Area.

The team has had a busy month with the crops being cut. We have seen an increase in rural crime and the offenders have often used fields and byways to plan their routes. We are working closely with farms and large estates in the area. The staff working on the land are calling the police promptly and passing on really helpful information. On 20th October 2013, the prompt call from a gamekeeper assisted police in arresting two males from Mid Glamorgan for Hare Coursing Offences in Kintbury. It transpired that we actually caught them before they committed any offences but we at least prevented it, disrupted their activity, and hopefully will not return to potentially commit crime.

On the 30th October, a group of males were disturbed attempting to break into a barn at Hampstead Marshall and made off in a burgundy Landrover. Later on that evening, a landrover was stolen from an address in West Woodhay and found burnt out in the Hampshire Area.

A number of domestic and agricultural vehicles have been targeted across the area for diesel and red diesel thefts. Batteries have also been stolen from tractors and diggers. These types of offences are common at this time of year but we have reduced the incidents by running late night patrols in isolated and rural locations. We also try to visit vulnerable property and offer target-hardening advice. If you would like a visit from one of the team to offer any crime prevention advice then please drop us an email at

6 Bags of Horse Feed along with a MiniMoto were stolen between 15th-16th Oct on Ermine Street on the B4000.

A male was arrested for outraging public decency in Bodman Close in Lambourn on the 24th October. The male has been interviewed and charged and is currently on Police bail awaiting court.

The team has had a busy month with partnership and agency work. Throughout October we held two open days to meet the public, one in Lambourn and one in Hungerford. It was two enjoyable days and hopefully helped many members of the community that popped by to see us. We held a Crime Prevention evening on the 30th Oct in Inkpen.

We discussed securing oil tanks and rave information in the surrounding area in the spring and summer season.

We have also worked alongside trading standards for two days in October. This was helping to crack down on rouge traders and door-to-door sellers. This is an ongoing problem nationwide and we are visiting workers at residential properties and the occupants of those properties to ensure that licenses are held and all in order. This can really affect the vulnerable people. Anyone with information regarding rouge traders are urged to contact the police on 101.

We also conducted licensing checks in the pubs on 1st November. We checked the documents with the licensees present and took the opportunity to check the premises for drugs. Swabs for drug use have been taken from surfaces and are currently being tested by officers.

PCSO Lee Bremner has been the PCSO for Lambourn for the last 6 years but for a change she is now working in Hungerford. Please email Lee at if you have any information to pass on to her.
We are looking forward to working the Victorian Extravaganza on Friday 13th December in Hungerford. I’m sure we will see many of you there.

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 101 but if your call is an emergency then dial 999.

You can also contact us via email:

This e-mail address should not 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:



Jack Williams

Memories recalled….…………………..JACK WILLIAMS

As Margaret and I left Tesco very recently I received a timely reminder from David Piper that another article is due. Quite incredibly the Harvest season is past, the nights draw in and 2013 has only two months left.

It has been a busy summer, and gardening still gives me great pleasure. I thought my results were reasonable until I saw the standards achieved by allotment holders at Marsh Lane site at the British Legion Horticultural Show!!

I have given talks at Inkpen Village Hall, at Chilton Foliat Parish Church and maybe I’ve gone too far by agreeing to give a talk on “Hungerford Remembered” to the Historical Association in Sep. 2014!!

To return to my earlier themes and to Eddington, firstly Folly Farm as I remember it in the summers of 1943, 1944 and 1945. The two brothers, John and Dick King were a pleasure to work for. The farm part of the Chilton Estate was quite small and one man, “Carter” Franklin was an important lynchpin, as apart from one tractor the work was carried out by “horse” power.

I well remember Violet a black mare, plus Duke and Captain and moving wagons full of sheaves from around the fields to the rickyard at the farm for winter threshing .Peter Norman and I worked with the small team of professionals for those three summers as schoolboys, and I well remember taking a bottle of beer to Carter Franklin on VJ Day August 1945 when WWII finally ended.

St Saviour’s Cemetery is very familiar, so many old friends are there, and especially as both our parents are buried there, as sadly was our oldest grandson Ben, who died of leukaemia aged just ten years old.

In the Forties we often attended evensong at St Saviour’s Church and we recall the quite famous marble “Portal Angel” outside the main door.

The village itself is interesting, with George Willis’s plumbing business and he was senior fireman in the town during the war years. There was Normans Garage on the Bath Road and the wooden forecourt over the millstream which led to the petrol pumps and the workshop .This was all on the site of the famous Cottrell’s Iron Foundry. Also Barr’s Yard and Bill Barr, who was an early riser, and would start his large saw very early in the morning!! Then there was Oscar Brunow’s caravan site (where the garden centre is), the Lady of the Lions, with very real animals that could frequently be heard, indeed small lions came to the Cricket Club Ball in 1949 when it was held in the Corn Exchange. Also there were the Middleton brothers and their carpenters shop, later to be J.T. Gibbs yard, the Egg Depot, and before my time, Miss Winkworth’s shop on the corner of Oxford Street. The Eddington grocery shop with a post office was owned by the Jesset family and their fame as bakers led to them providing bread for troops stationed on the Common during WWI.

The Eddington Mill is no longer operational, although when I did a sponsored walk for leukaemia research a few years ago they did set the Mill in motion much to the delight of all the walkers.

I was chairman of the Town Council’s Churchyard Committee in 1978 when we signed a deed of gift, passing the St Saviour’s churchyard to the Town Council as a public cemetery. Finally, before I leave Eddington, as a town fireman I must remind you all of the disastrous fire in July 1874 when seven cottages were totally destroyed .It is too terrible to contemplate and there was criticism that the attendance of the Fire Brigade was too slow, but remember they had to catch the horses to pull the fire engine before they could leave the fire station!!

Jack Williams

Blasts from the Past


The Editor of the Bridge, Iris Lloyd, has passed to me a copy of the “Hungerford and District Times” from October 1990, which was given to her by the printers of the Bridge, and I have selected some items which I feel may be of interest to you all. I trust you agree.
The front page contains details of the new Burbage by-pass, which by-passes the village on the A330/A346 road between Swindon and Salisbury, which from the report was long awaited. Two photographs also appear on the front page, one of the former England Cricketer Fred Trueman, who was guest speaker at the Cricket Club dinner held at the John O Gaunt School, and also a picture of new road lights being installed outside the Total Garage on the A4. The price of un-leaded petrol was 51.6p per litre. An interesting advertisement announced the forth-coming arrival at 128 High Street of Arosa Body Clinics, who gave Swedish Massage, along with Bust Lifts, Face Lifts, Excess Fluid elimination and Cellulite Treatment.
On page two appears a two column article about the Town & Manor, and an appeal from Hungerford Theatre Club, for singers to participate in the forthcoming production of Oliver. Also there is a map showing 23 shops in the High Street and Charnham Street, 17 of which are antique shops. Further on in the paper there is a report on the West Berks. Conservative Assoc. Cheese and Wine evening at Meadowview Squash Club at which it appears. most of the prizes on the Tombola, were claimed by the Young Conservatives, who sent a delegation. Mrs Gwyneth Bullock, is stated to have been present running one of the stalls.

In the “where to eat” section, The Wheatsheaf at Chilton Foliat was under fairly new management, and was offering a three course Sunday lunch for £4.95, a head, and “Behind the Green Door” in Church Street was advertising a Beaujolais day with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at varying prices. This later reverted to its original name of the “Angel”, which has now closed.
In the property section, an immaculate Tudor style detached house in Hungerford with four bedrooms, double garage, etc. etc. was on offer for £130,000, and on the sports page Hungerford Town Football Club was recorded for one win and two losses, and were in 10th place in the Vauxhall League Division Two South. It must be said however that the losses were to the top and fifth placed clubs in the League.

More from the usual past next month. Fred Bailey

Legal Spot

When is a company insolvent?

In the current economic climate, directors must be careful to check the solvency position of their company, says Rupert Wright, a corporate services lawyer with Charles Lucas & Marshall.

In the event a company later goes into liquidation, a liquidator can argue that a dividend payment made to a shareholder of the company could constitute an unlawful dividend which they could recover.

Also, if a director’s loan is repaid at the time the company was insolvent, this could constitute an unlawful preference and the liquidator might be entitled to recover this, depending upon the solvency position of the company.

Under the Insolvency Act, a company is deemed to be unable to pay its debts if the company is unable to pay its debts as and when they fall due – and also if the value of the company’s assets is less than the amount of its liabilities, taking into account its contingent and prospective liabilities.

The first factor is the so called cashflow test and the second consideration is the balance sheet test. A recent Supreme Court decision which related to Eurosail UK concerned the interpretation of what constitutes balance sheet insolvency and the treatment of contingent and prospective liabilities.

Eurosail was set up in 2007 by Lehman Brothers which purchased a portfolio involving sub-prime mortgage loans secured on UK residential property.

As a result of the collapse of the swap agreements with Lehmans and the accounting standards to which Eurosail’s accounts were prepared, there was a deficit shown on its balance sheet. The question was, whether this balance sheet reflected the commercial outcome for creditors.

The liquidators applied to the Court for a ruling as to whether Eurosail could be considered to be unable to pay its debts and be placed into liquidation – notwithstanding that the principal amounts under the loan were not yet due and payable.

The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s Decision that the values on the balance sheet must involve consideration of the relevant facts of the case, including when the prospective liability fell due. Therefore, they did not consider Eurosail could be considered to be insolvent.

This case shows the importance of the commercial context and reality of a company’s financial position in making an assessment as to whether a company is balance sheet insolvent.

For further information contact Rupert Wright on 01635 521212 or

Church Bells


Saturday, 10th August saw the 90th birthday of Hungerford’s senior ringer, Brenda Abrahams. The ensuing party, attended by around seventy of Brenda’s extended family plus ringers and other friends, was held within earshot of the church so the quarter peal rung in her honour could be enjoyed by Brenda and her guests. The band, having rejoined the party, is pictured with Brenda below.

Brenda learned to ring at Hungerford in the 1970s and continues to ring at weekly practices and for Sunday services. During the war, Brenda served in the Wrens at Stanmore Park, an overflow site for Bletchley Park. Brenda’s job was to set up the famous Bombe machines which were used to crack the German Enigma codes. She tells interesting tales of the noise and smell of hot oil as these early computers worked away in rows, night and day. Consequently, the birthday cake had an image of an Enigma coding machine on it, which we felt obliged to keep secret by eating it!

Another cause for celebration was the recent attainment of the Gold Award for Tower Maintenance, awarded by the Towers & Belfries Committee of Oxford Guild of Church Bell Ringers. This covers such aspects as cleanliness in the ringing chamber and belfry, compliance with health and safety requirements and the condition of the bell mechanics. The Gold award denotes that the highest standards have been met. Our Steeple Keeper, Dave Thorpe, is to be congratulated for his hard work in securing this award, particularly as the Tower scored 100% in every category.