Issue 124

1st September
1st December 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

Wow! Didn’t we have some hot weather. I know it’s the British preoccupation to talk about such things but it really was exceptional. The cover picture this issue is of a busy bee doing what bees do best, pollinating a rose. If you can see it in colour on the Chain section of it really is worth a look.

Talking of busy bees, I am learning what retired people have been telling me for years, how did we ever find the time to go to work. With all the fine sunshine the camera has been working overtime, and for me, working on the digital images and printing has started to take up a serious amount of time. The best of my, and all the other camera club member’s prints, will be on display at the Annual Hungerford Camera Club Exhibition.

Make a diary note, Saturday 11th October and

Sunday 12th October in the Hungerford Corn Exchange.

We have lots of new members and it promises to be a really good show.

I hope to see you there.

Message from the Chairman of CHAIN

Hope you have all had a good summer and enjoyed the lovely weather. It has been a busy summer with HADCAF being as good as ever and lots of enjoyable fetes.  Our thanks must go to all the HADCAF committee and the volunteers who help at the events. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful arts festival each year and for a small town it is amazing that we have three weeks of fantastic events.

The town has looked wonderful with all of Rod’s flower displays,which he looks after so well and the flags flying, very proud of our town. The Carnival was reinstated this year and it was lovely to see the stalls in the High Street being well supported.

Chain had a Tea Party to thank all their volunteers at Herongate Leisure Centre in June and I would like to thank Richard Curtis for letting us use the room, it was a lovely afternoon.

The AGM was well supported and the Trustees have been re-elected. We needed some new volunteers for our Handybus team and have been lucky to find some very good replacements who will be coming on board during the next few months.

Hungerford has always been very community minded and Chain have been so lucky over the years to have lots of wonderful volunteers and I hope that the town will continue to provide us with more volunteers to help the most vulnerable people of our town.

If you can spare a few hours a week or month to either drive your own car, the Handybus or our Chairman vehicle or to work in the office, then please contact the office 683727 (9-11am) or myself on 683302.

If you would like to go to the Chain lunches or the Pub lunches then please contact the office for details.

Best Wishes,  Janette Kersey



Please remember that the What’s On Diary pages are available through our website, and indeed most of those that appear there, are from Margaret Wilson and myself. So if you have an event that wants posting up, please e-mail me with details.

DO IT AND AVOID DATE CLASHES…and have more people attend your event!
This is the modern version of Ivy Wells’ Town Diary started many many years ago..
The above applies to all clubs & social organisations in the area.

So finally I am going to change my telephone and internet provider, having been with BT for over 50 years. Due to updating 2 Apple Ipads, we overstepped our10gb allowance and immediately BT charged, even though our average was less than 6gb! So we paid up and moved to unlimited (extra of course), but this meant our telephone and Broadband were now on two separate contracts, one in April and the other in December, what a pain. Then last winter they started charging for answer phone, so I said don’t bother, then they said a month later, “oh do register and we will give it for free!” Called them a few weeks later  and they said oh yes but we will have to start another new contract period!!!

I have chosen Gmail for e-mail, and  for internet I am choosing Plusnet (my friend Derek has had good service from them for years). Hopefully I will still have the same telephone number. Then with an independent e-mail address I should be able to move providers and take advantage of all the sickening cheap offers that new people get but the old faithful ones never do, just like Banks and their savers.

I suppose you are wondering why I am sounding off, well The Old Codger is away and forgot to send copy (tut). Actually he too is going to change and his new e-mail address is

My thanks as ever to all the people who deliver this to your door and the many faithful advertisers who also make CHAIN MAIL possible.

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 November for the  issue on December 1st. 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

In my first submission to this esteemed organ I would like to begin by thanking my predecessor Martin Crane for all of his hard work in the service of the town as its Mayor for the past three years.

The trouble is that when someone has done a job so well for so long people will expect the successor to maintain that high standard. He is a tough act to follow.

CHAIN I believe, illustrates just one of the many reasons why ours is such a special place in which to live. I never cease to be amazed at the generosity of so many Hungerfordians with their free time, be it helping out in schools, Christmas tree lights, sports such as football, cricket and rugby and, dare I say it, Town Council to name but a few. Without the engagement of so many of you these events would simply never happen. Imagine how much duller our lives would be; no Christmas lights, carnival, Victorian Extravaganza or Tutti Day just to name a few, and how little recreational activity would be on offer to our children – both big and small. These events take place because people actually care.

One of the town’s great success stories in recent years has been the setting up of the Hungerford Youth and Community Centre. So successful has it been that it is now become the largest of its kind in the whole of the West Berkshire region.

Recently, though, some key volunteers who organise the running of the Centre have had to step down. Though we have managed to recently fill the role of Treasurer, the post of Chair, made vacant by Denise Gaines’s resignation remains unoccupied.

Denise, who is known by many of you, is a great supporter of the town and has done a fantastic job with the Centre over the past few years. As I mentioned at the top of this piece, it is not easy to follow in the footsteps of someone who has been so successful but if there is anyone reading this who feels that they have the time to help please contact Claire or Alison at the Town Council office – 01488 686195.

Planning Consultation

Just a reminder to all that West Berkshire Council have published their planning proposals across the region and that a public consultation is now underway – closing on Friday 12th September.

I urge you all to tackle the less-than-friendly West Berks website, to study the proposals and make your voices heard.

The link can be found under and is (not surprisingly) top of the most requested services.

Cllr Dennis Bennyworth
Town Mayor

For Hungerford Town Council please visit our website at        

Chain’s Page

  Please click to visit our website    

CHAIN is helping in our community.

We provide transport to Doctors, Dentists, Chiropodists, Hospital appointments, and more. We ask clients to make a donation towards the cost (at least 40p per mile please). Our drivers collect their clients (from home) and escort them to the appropriate clinic, stay with them and then take them back home. Please contact the office on 683727 open 9 to 11am Monday to Friday

CHAIN own a ‘’Chairman Vehicle’’ (currently a Vauxhall Combo estate), 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. We ask clients to make a donation towards the cost (at least 40p per mile please).

CHAIN runs the HANDYBUS which is owned by West Berkshire Council.
Our team of drivers take people on shopping trips, Hungerford Market day and to Newbury etc., to the Hydrotherapy Pool in Swindon, and trips to other clubs, also to the CHAIN Lunches in Croft Hall and the CHAIN Pub Lunches.

CHAIN organise Lunches in the Croft Hall bi-monthly, and with a 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 in our notice board under the railway bridge, if you are interested in coming contact must be made to the Organiser. This information can be found in CHAIN MAIL.

There are organised monthly CHAIN Pub Lunches , the office can give you details, or look out for notices in our notice board under the railway bridge. We use the Handybus and give you a door to door service! Contact must be made to the Organiser

The CHAIN Office is open Monday – Friday 9 – 11am and the volunteers who man the office are there to help you with any bookings or other queries. 01488 683727

CHAIN produce a quarterly magazine (free) called CHAIN MAIL, packed with lots of useful (and useless) information! CHAIN MAIL is delivered to all houses in Hungerford and close area. Yet another dedicated band of CHAIN volunteers do the deliveries, please look on the back page for Distribution Details.

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

CHAIN always need volunteers, as car drivers, for our special wheelchair vehicle and the Handybus, or as a volunteer in the office. So if you have a few hours to spare then please contact the office on 683727 open 9 to 11am Monday to Friday, or click ‘Contacts’ for a full list.

Thank you


CHAIN was established in 1977 and has grown into an effective group of volunteers that cares and gives a variety of help to those in need. Membership is open to all Hungerford residents interested in furthering its objectives.
All CHAIN volunteers are automatically recorded as members.
In 2003 CHAIN was awarded one of the first QUEEN’S GOLDEN JUBILEE AWARDS for voluntary service in the community.

The group’s prime objective is to undertake voluntary work and related activities for the benefit of people who are sick or disabled or who are otherwise in need – be they young, middle aged or elderly – living in the town or rural district of Hungerford. As an extension of their primary aim, CHAIN offers advice and guidance to people willing to undertake voluntary service and assists them with the provision of voluntary work by putting them in touch with individuals or with voluntary or statutory organisations seeking help.

A small committee is elected at an annual meeting (open to all Hungerford residents) overseeing the policy and day-to-day management.


Also on this page……..John O’Gaunt ……..

The Hungerford Literary Festival 17 – 22 October

Kate Adie will launch this year’s Hungerford Literary Festival on 17th October. For the next few days there will be seventeen events in the town.
Rachel Joyce on her follow-up to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Charles Spencer on Charles I, Sir Michael Howard and Stephen Cooper on the Great War, Ned Boulting and Max Leonard on cycling, Jim Lawless on doing the things you never thought you could, Piers Torday on his children’s books, Jans Ondaatje Rolls on The Bloomsbury Cookbook, Jonathan Smith introducing the film of his book Summer in February, Simon Cooper on the life of a chalkstream, plus a literary quiz, a writing workshop, bibliotherapy sessions, book valuations, a children’s writing competition and plenty more…

To be kept up to date join
The Hungerford Bookshop’s mailing list (
visit the website at

News from John O’Gaunt School

John O’Gaunt School is pleased to announce that it has received grant funding from Hungerford Town Council and Greenham Common Trust to set up an alumni support group for the school with the help of the charity Future First.

There are various ways that alumni can support their old school: by offering career advice, mentoring and work experience for current students; or by volunteering at school events and fundraising.

If you went to John O’Gaunt and would like to register as an alumnus who would like to support the school, please contact Penny Locke on

Date for the Diary
John O’Gaunt Gala Auction Night
7.30pm Saturday 15th November
Fundraising auction with guest auctioneers plus variety performances by students.

Tickets (inc three course meal) available from the school office 01488 682400 or from Crown Needlework on 01488 684011. Cash Bar.

MC for the night will be Nigel Morgan.

The event is being organised by John O’Gaunt PSA who
raise funds for equipment and resources required by the school.


Bits 1

Also on this page……..Roger Day ………..Freemasonry………Bells…..

I’m sure you will enjoy this. A reminder that one word in the English language that can be a noun, verb, adjective, adverb and preposition.

This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is ‘UP.’ It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.

At other times, this little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.
We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it soaks UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now . . . my time is UP!

Ancient Mariner


Hungerford in the Great War

Then and Now

These photographs show the same location (the Bear hotel car park) but are separated by almost hundred years in time. The original image was made by Albert Parsons and shows Private Ernest C. Brown from the Army Service Corps astride a 1912 Zenith Gradua motorcycle fitted with a 770cc JAP engine. The machine is probably undergoing repair as it is missing the drive belt to its rear wheel.

For more Great War images of Hungerford please look
out for Roger Day’s new book ‘The Western Kennet
Valley in the Great War’ due out on 23rd September 2014

Telephone 01488 682377 or


Hungerford Lodge of Freemasons

Seeking to dispel the myth that Freemasonry is all rolled up trousers and funny handshakes, the Hungerford Lodge has recently embraced the Internet and social media. Our website has information that seeks to answer all frequently asked questions. The site includes videos and leaflets as well as pointers to other sources of information.

Long-time CHAIN supporter, the Hungerford Lodge of Freemasons was founded in 1925. Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry.

The values of Freemasonry are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Freemasons are taught to practise charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole – both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals. The Hungerford Lodge raises money for charity and distributes it through its Benevolent Association which is a registered charity.

Nationally, Freemasons are the second largest donor to good causes, only beaten by the National Lottery. Uniquely, however we do not undertake any external fundraising – all money donated comes from our own efforts. Over the last five years, the Hungerford Lodge has donated £25,000 to various local and national non-Masonic charities.
We meet six times a year (third Tuesday in October, November, February, March and April and second Tuesday in December) in the Town Hall and are always looking for new members.

Further information is available at
or you can email our secretary at


Bell Ringing at St Lawrence

On 10 July 2014, a peal (lasting 2 hours and 43 minutes) was rung at Hungerford by a visiting band from The Society of Royal Cumberland Youths. This ringing society was founded in London in 1747 and has always attracted some of the best ringers of the day.

It welcomed its first female member in 1896, at a time when bell ringing was regarded as a male-only pursuit and women were excluded from ringing societies.

In order to be proposed for membership, individuals must already be peal ringers. Although The Cumberlands ring regularly at many London churches, the society also arranges peals at other locations in order to provide opportunities for ringers to challenge themselves and improve. We therefore anticipated some fine ringing that afternoon in Hungerford, and were not disappointed.

On 3 August, immediately following the Service of Remembrance and National Reflection, held in Hungerford Corn Exchange, with a packed congregation, to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the first World War, the Hungerford band rang a quarter peal on half-muffled bells. The composition rung was specifically chosen as it was composed by Sgt A P Wakley, a ringer from Burton-on-Trent, whilst he was serving in the trenches in World
War I.






Kenya is going through a tough period, so maybe it is timely to recount a couple of positive events that happened in recent months, both involving Hungerford.

Sammy Natembeya Wafubwa may not be a name that Hungerford residents immediately recognise. However, Sammy’s face, regularly smiling, is a feature of the High Street and surrounding areas. His exertions result in a town centre where the litter so carelessly jettisoned is speedily cleared up. Locals brushing-up their Swahili are prone to exchange greetings with Sammy, sometimes causing confused glances from passers-by wondering if they have heard correctly. However, behind the welcome we have given Sammy lies a heart-warming story; he came to England about 12 years ago but was unable to bring his wife and two daughters here to join him due to obstructionism by the British Immigration Authorities in Nairobi.

Eventually, about a year ago and after significant cost to Sammy, but with the assistance of the community here and in West Berkshire, the relevant Tribunal met to review his Appeal against the Immigration Authorities. As a result, the Appeal was granted and Sammy’s wife Caroline and his two daughters Diana [16] and Caren [10] have joined him. Caroline is now using her caring skills and is employed locally in helping the elderly; the children are receiving excellent reports on their English and mathematics studies from their respective schools in Newbury.

A second event is in Northern Kenya and is a follow-up to the report carried in the Newbury Weekly News in 2011. At that time, funds raised here were used to support an initiative at a Girls Nomadic Boarding School in Kalacha, an oasis community in the centre of the Chalbi Desert, about 50 miles south of the Ethiopian Border. Here girls must board rather than travel daily to school through hostile territory, from wherever their families may be grazing their livestock. Particularly in times of drought, the distances become enormous as grazers travel further and further afield in search of fodder. In 2010, drought and other circumstances meant the number of boarders exceeded facilities to such an extent that 300 extra mattresses were needed to avoid the girls having either to double-up or to sleep on the bare floors. US$3,000 was raised and, with the assistance of the British Army in transporting the mattresses part of the 400 miles to the school, the problem was solved.

This year the school reported that there was a serious deficiency in the availability of text books from which the students might learn English, mathematics and other basic lessons. Again US$ 5,000 was raised from this country and, after finding competitive sources for the actual books, transport savings were achieved by using the lorries returning empty to Kalacha after they had brought the area’s agricultural products to market in the South.

Both the operations involved about 4 months of planning, fund-raising, sourcing and delivery. They could not have been done without the generosity of donors and assistance of professionals in Kenya.

Who knows what the next problem might be, but anyone who thinks they might like to get involved can contact me on

Anthony Buckwell

Hungerford Surgery

Flu Immunisation Campaign 2014/15

The importance of a seasonal flu vaccination cannot be underestimated and you are entitled to a free flu jab if you fit into one of the following ‘at risk’ groups:
Aged 65 and over / Aged between 6 months and 65 years of age and in a clinical risk group / All pregnant women / Frontline health and social care workers / Those in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay facilities / Those whom are the main carer of an older or disabled person

Our four ‘Flu Saturday’s’ will take place at the surgery in October and we ask that you attend as follows:
Sat 4th Oct patients with the surname   A – D
Sat 11th Oct patients with the surname E – L
Sat 18th Oct patients with the surname M – R
Sat 25th Oct patients with the surname S – Z

Please note: We will not
be sending letters of invitation to those patients aged over 65’s years old this year. There is no need to book an appointment on a ‘Flu Saturday’ so pop these dates in your diary and turn up and be jabbed. Patients in all other ‘at risk’ groups should receive a letter of invitation.

“You can never get an appointment at the Surgery”

This is feedback that we sometimes get from patients, especially via social media, and one which obviously gives us cause for concern. We are aware that we don’t always meet the expectations of all of our patients all of the time but we are constantly striving to do our best for patients in and around the Hungerford area and despite an ever increasing demand on our health services our waiting times and availability of appointments compare extremely well with the average for GP surgeries in England, indeed in the West Berkshire area.

During July 2014 our team of doctors and nurses saw an average of 120 patients per day / 600 patients per week and over 20,000 patients have been seen at this Surgery so far this year. Our doctors also carry out 30 to 40 home visits each week and we are also seeing increasing demand in all other areas including our website with 50,000 visitors in the last 12 months and our administration team now handles over 400 telephone calls per day / 2000 calls per week from patients with a wide variety of needs.

We recognise there is always room for improvement. We aren’t always able to offer patients the exact appointment at the exact time they are looking for and patients sometimes have to wait a little longer than they or we would like for their appointment to start, but we do offer an average of 26 ‘urgent’ appointment slots every week day (more on Mondays and Fridays) and the average waiting time for any patient coming to the Surgery is under 4 minutes.

It would help enormously if the 112 patients who didn’t turn up for their appointment in July could have called us to cancel because that would have given our doctors and nurses an additional 30 hours in which to see patients!

Facts and figures are useful but what matters most is your individual experience as patients. If you feel that you consistently have to wait too long to get an appointment I would urge you to contact me and I will do my best to address any concerns you have.

Mike Hall Practice Manager

Virtual Museum

Police, and the new Police Station, 1864

Our Police Station in Park Street opened 150 years ago. Prior to the Victorian period law and order in Hungerford were largely the responsibility of the Constable and Bailiffs of what we now call the Town and Manor. In 1829, Sir Robert Peel’s Metropolitan Police Act brought an organised police force to London, and “Peelers” and “Bobbies” came to patrol the streets. By 1839 many rural large towns also had police forces.

The Berkshire Constabulary was formed in 1856. Hungerford was part of the South Western District. The first recorded officer-in-charge at Hungerford was Sgt John Barnes. Sergeants were paid 23/- per week; Constables 17/- to 21/-. Police officers were permitted, in addition to carrying a staff and handcuffs, to carry a small cutlass! The cutlass remained in being until 1902, when they all had to be handed in.

The new police station in Park Street was built in 1864, and is still used today. The architect was Joseph Morris of Friar Street, Reading, and it was built by Richard Nicholls Hoskins of Hungerford. It consisted of a station office, two cells and living quarters for the officer-in-charge.

The police murders of 1876: On the night of 11th December 1876, a notorious incident occurred at Hungerford when two police officers were murdered whilst on duty (see the Virtual Museum for more).

Life in the police force: In 1879 a typical day’s duty was 7am to 1pm and 7pm to 11pm, and included walking a distance of 14 miles. In 1889 all officers had to attend church each Sunday, duty permitting, to “exert a great influence by setting a good example”.
Berkshire Constabulary joined Thames Valley Constabulary on 1st April 1968 – and later the Thames Valley Police.

In 1987 the interior of the police station was completely redesigned, but the exterior is little changed over the past 150 years.

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

Hugh Pihlens

First Impressions 

As it is now nearly two years since we moved to Hungerford I thought instead of my usual ‘tails from the zoo’ I would write about our first impressions. Things went well from day one. On the day itself the sun shone and the removal team were fantastic; and to top it all it was fish & chip van day! From then onwards we were overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of everyone. Our neighbours have been so welcoming and to shop in such a friendly place is an absolute pleasure.

When we were travelling up from Dorset and house-hunting we would park our car, get out, and feel as though we had ‘come home’ although neither of us had any connections with this area. The whole ‘feel’ of the town and the goodwill of the residents seems to pervade everything.

Originally our first stop was the library to find out any information that was available and what a welcome we received from all the staff, especially after we informed them of our impending move. They said please come back to the library when we were settled and this we certainly did. I think they see so much of us now they wonder if they said the right thing as we belong to most of the groups they organise and help out generally.

To have such a lovely town is great, but to also have it surrounded by the common, the marsh, two rivers and a canal is almost unbelievable. There really can’t be many other towns with all these natural amenities.

The effort that the volunteers make to put up the Christmas lights is totally over and beyond anything we have ever known. The High street becomes quite magical at that time of year and topped with the Victorian Extravaganza it is such a memorable evening. The smell of the steam engines plus the hot chestnuts is so reminiscent of my childhood days,
many years ago spent in Kent, where steam engines were still being used on the roads.

All this plus of course Tutti Day, Hadcaf and many other events too numerous to mention, make Hungerford a truly special place and we feel so privileged to live here.
Long may it stay that way.

Gardening by Stacy


Visitors to the town often remark how friendly Hungerford is, and this was very much in evidence when I recently designed and replanted the Hungerford Surgery gardens. So many stopped to ask me initially what I was going to be planting, then asking me to identify a certain plant or ask me general questions about the design.

Designing a planting scheme for a public space has its constraints of course. However I wanted the garden at the surgery, which is mainly at the front of the building, to be attractive and welcoming- but I wanted it to be more than this. The word which was my inspiration was “Well-being”.

I decided to incorporate plants which have an association with medicine and, in addition, plants which are beneficial to the environment. So amongst the planting you will find varieties which attract beneficial insects and birds. These include Bergenia (an early Spring-flowering plant for pollinating insects), Campanulas, Geraniums, Penstemons and Verbena bonariensis for bees, Hemerocallis for hover flies, Viburnum opulus compactum ( Guelder Rose) produces red berries for the birds and so on.

Plants have long been used historically as medicine and continue to do so. For example the Digitalis (Foxglove) is a source of Digitoxin, a heart stimulant (it is however extremely toxic so please do not self-medicate by taking this or any of the other plants mentioned in this article).
I chose a Sambucus nigra “Gerda”- a compact version of the black Elder- as it is a very versatile plant. It has been used for medicinal purposes, as a cosmetic and also for culinary purpose. The tall ornamental blue grass outside the waiting room windows is Helictotrichon (also known as Avens). This is an ornamental Oat- oats have been used as a cosmetic, to make a cream for eczema and to help lower cholesterol. The Echinacea which grows in the central triangular bed is well-known as an alternative treatment for colds. In the centre of this bed is an ornamental willow Salix Hakuro-Nishiki, which not only provides a stunning centrepiece but also alludes to Willow being used for pain relief.

There are two separate varieties of Mahonia growing in the garden. One- Mahonia Soft Caress- is a fairly new development with, as the name suggests, none of the prickly leaves usually associated with this plant. It is compact and evergreen, yellow flowers August to October followed by blue berries which can be eaten by the birds. The second- Mahonia “Cabaret” is also new and flowers late autumn to winter with orange buds/yellow flowers and blue/grey berries. Interestingly research is being carried out on its constituent Berberine as a possible treatment for MRSA and Type 2 diabetes.

I have also considered the effect that colour can have on mood. The planting schemes have areas of lavender, blues, pinks and whites to promote calmness and tranquillity and in contrast, yellows, oranges and reds to stimulate the senses, be warm and uplifting.

Stacy Tuttle

Nature Notes by Hawkeye

Wild Flowers

In my opinion the Summer is the best time of year to be out walking in the Hungerford area. The wild flowers are stunning and a sight not to be missed. As a keen birdwatcher I have to say there are less and less birds to watch but more and more wild flowers; and they don’t move about to prevent identification or enjoyment!

In July all the Thistles should be flowering as should the Docks, Meadow Sweet and RoseBay Willow Herb. White and Red Clover will replace the Buttercups in the Marshes. And the Water Buttercups and Kingcups may still be lingering on.

Even that dreaded Stinging Nettle will flower in July and continue flowering into October. It is said that Nettles only grow on fertile soil and only the hairs on the top of the leaf sting. The flowers are clusters of greenish brown bracts, almost nondescript, appearing in the leaf axil. [Next time you see a nettle think of the word “dioecious”, it means the plants are either male or female.]

I suspect there will be over 100 wild flowers along the Towpath from the Wharf to the Swing Bridge. Not all the flowers will be blooming but it is worth the effort to make that circular walk along the Towpath, through the Churchyard and down the alley way to the High Street.

A circular walk over the Marshes would also be beneficial. Again there are over 100 wildflowers to enjoy in the Summer. Some are very easy to identify but others require a Field Guide. I take a Pocket Guide with me on every ramble.

Along the water ways Monkey Musk appears to be thriving this year. It had died out in several places but has suddenly reappeared. Perhaps the seeds had settled in the river bed and the mild winter has helped them germinate. I know this yellow flowered plant as Monkey Musk and it is a member of the Minulus family but some people say Musk and Monkey are two separate species.

Several colourful flowers can be seen along the road verges this time of the year. The Gypsy Rose (Field Scabious) and Meadow Cranes-Bill are particularly attractive and start flowering in July but alas I think they finish in August. They seem to tone in well with Knapweed and form a contrast to the yellow flowers such as Lady Bedstraw, Toadflax, Ragwort, Golden Rod and Mullein. All Summer flowers.

Everyone knows Ragwort is poisonous, if fed to animals but I was told it was a notifiable plant. It had to be removed from the verges by the Council when “notified” to them. I know the seeds are spread by the wind and they always appear in my garden in July but the notification story is new to me and I have not verified the hypothesis.

I have always thought Golden Rod was a garden escapee and not a true wild flower but it appears in my new Field Guide.

Finally I think it is too late to look for Orchids on the Marshes but there was a Southern Marsh Orchid by the footbridge near Marsh Lock on the 8th of July.


Hungerford Library

WiFi is free to library members.

The members of our Craft and Chat group have been busy giving new life to our garden by knitting and crocheting mushrooms, birds, dragonflies, flowers and event gnomes as part of their yarn-bombing project. Do come in and see it before the summer ends.

The children’s Summer Reading Challenge has been a great success again this year. Make sure you finish reading 6 books by the end of September to collect your certificate and rewards. This year we also had the adult reading challenge ‘Grown-up2’ for parents and carers of children doing the reading challenge. Finish your books to have your name entered into the prize draw.

Dates for your diary:
Saturday 18 October 11:00 – Hungerford Literary Festival, children’s writing competition presentation.

We offer several FREE courses and events at the library:

IT Lessons for beginners of any age. Six weekly 1:1 sessions tailored for the needs of the individual student. Don’t be afraid if you know nothing about computers! Our excellent volunteers will take you through whatever you would like to know. Please contact the library on 01488 682660 for further information or to book a place.
RhymeTime sessions are on Wednesday mornings at 11:00 for children under 4.
Craft and Chat takes place every Friday morning from 10-12. Come along to this free session and bring your knitting or other crafts, enjoy a chat and a cup of tea while sharing your interests with others.
Art Group meets every Tuesday, 2-4pm. If you are interested in art and would like to share your skill or learn something new come along. It is not teacher led, but it is a good opportunity to enjoy your hobby in the company of others.
Book Group meets first Friday of the month at 5:30.
Creative Writing Group meets third Friday of the month.
If you are interested in any of these activities please contact Hungerford Library on 01488 682660,

We have regular half term activities for children and other events for grown-ups too! Check our website or watch for posters in the window.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Library Services please contact the library. We are particularly interested in volunteers for our At Home service providing a valuable link to readers unable to get to their own branch. 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

Check out our on-line services for access to audiobooks, ebooks and emagazines, as well as ordering and renewing books.

Steam by Tony Bartlett

N.B. more details and illustrations of trains reported on in this article can be found in the Steam Special section of this web-site on the Sightings page wherever a reference of the form Sighting: dd/mm/yyyy is quoted.

At the time of writing (early August) the fine dry summer weather continues, and so at the height of the season for excursion trains we have the prospect of restrictions on the use of steam locomotives. This year the situation is made worse by a shortage of these old and expensive-to-maintain machines at a time when the market for their services is increasing.

Nevertheless, there were six steam-hauled specials in the previous quarter, the highlight of which must be when the British Pullman was routed through Hungerford both out and back for its trip to Bath and Bristol. I opted to see the big green loco ‘Clan Line’ with its immaculate rake of chocolate and cream Pullman cars on the climb to Savernake, by good luck passing one of the Bruce boats in a classic canal-side ‘meet’ (Sighting: 14/05/2014). The sun was still shining brightly when the returning train was looped on the Common later that day.

To the north of here, West Country class ‘Braunton’ was again active, taking the Welsh Borders across the Vale of White Horse on its circular journey (Sighting 17/05/2014), and I saw the heritage diesel-hauled One Zulu 48 (1Z48) on its outbound journey to Plymouth (Sighting: 10/05/2014) – perhaps a mistake as the evening return was steam-hauled by a highly adorned Castle Class loco.

On the southern section there have been a couple of Cathedrals Expresses capably hauled by stand-in loco Black Five (LMS Class 5MT) no. 44932 (Sighting: 29/05/2014 and 01/06/2014) and just recently BR Standard 7 (Britannia Class) no. 70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ has returned after maintenance. It made a fine sight storming through Andover station paired with a Class 47 diesel (Sighting: 24/07/2014). Checking my 1954 copy of the Ian Allan abc part 4 (the pioneering trainspotter’s companion for boys when it was an honourable thing to do to record the numbers of locomotives seen) confirms my memory of seeing this loco at work in East Anglia, along with no. 70012 ‘John of Gaunt’ (sic), sadly no longer with us. It would have made a fine exhibit in the pub car park or on the school forecourt!

The upturn in the market for steam specials means that there are two opportunities to pick up one locally, although the Devon Belle on the 25th August will have passed by the time the CM magazine has been distributed. On the 16th October there is a Cathedrals Express to Ely starting at Newbury and presumably travelling eastwards from there – it’s possible that the empty train might travel through Hungerford on its way to picking up at Newbury. Otherwise a Cathex to Bath should be travelling through here on the 16th December, and with good luck the British Pullman to Bristol might make a return visit on the 24th September – on perhaps what is their preferred route.
Looking at the edited schedule for the period up to the New Year, there are 28 entries overall, about half of which are ‘within area’, the rest needing travel to Salisbury, Westbury or Basingstoke.

As usual it is busier up to mid October and then picks up again in the run up to Christmas with shopping and carol concert specials. Both BR 7 locos – ‘Britannia’ and ‘Oliver Cromwell’ are due to be in action, as are the three Bulleid Pacifics, A4 no. 60019 ‘Bittern’ (which is coming to the end of its 7 year boiler certificate), and a GWR Castle and a King, although availability may change nearer the date of operation.

Tony Bartlett

HAHA by Belinda

An Allotment in Hungerford..……….

Harvesting your home-grown veggies is the best part of having an allotment. It’s lovely to meet plotholders popping down to the site to pick fresh produce for their dinners. As vegetarians, we take great pleasure in making up a whole meal with home-grown. The record (set in 2012) will be hard to beat. Nine pickings on one plate – a delicious salad with home-made coleslaw:

Potato, Onion, Cabbage, Carrot, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Sweet Pepper, Spring Onions

Sadly this year hasn’t provided such rich pickings due to our inaction in the Spring. We began to feel like we’d lost control, but we managed to get our spuds in and filled the raised bed with salad, beets, florence fennel (and slug pellets!). So, we’ve still had some fresh vegetables and kindly fellow plotholders have helped fill some gaps on our plates!

I’ll take the opportunity to write about what has grown well – weeds! Some can be beneficial, rather than having bare earth, so don’t despair if areas of your plot look a mess. They can provide ground-cover, prevent water evaporation and pull up nutrients from deep in the soil. Some young leaves can even be eaten along with your vegetables.

Annual weeds such as deadnettle, groundsel, spurge and fat hen can help hide new shoots from predatory insects and birds but should always be pulled before they flower. Remember the mantra “one year’s weeds equal seven years’ seeds” and those seeds will remain in the ground for years just waiting for the right conditions to burst into life.

Perennial weeds such as couch grass, bindweed, thistle and docks are more of a problem and need to be controlled. They not only self-seed but also spread through the tiniest remnant of root, runner or rhizome left on the ground. These need to be pulled or dug out (if you don’t want to resort to chemicals); if not entirely removed the weed will be back sooner than you think! We’ve seen couch grass grow through a potato! It’s very tough!

Try not to let any weeds overcrowd your vegetables – they will invariably grow faster than your crops and steal the goodness and water for themselves. Slugs love to hide amongst the damp foliage, emerging at night to decimate the veg. We find grass edges are a real haven for slugs and snails but the toads know that too – be careful to check for friendly wildlife before starting to strim your borders.

We still don’t have the peace of mind and growing potential that a permanent allotment site offers, but we’ve started planning for next year and are desperately hoping it won’t be our last season at the lovely Marsh Lane site. Time will tell…


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

Natures Corner Matcha – more than just a cuppa.

Whether at work or at home, the afternoon slump can be something that most of us experience from time to time. Liz Chandler from Natures Corner looks at one way to combat fatigue, that is both energising and calming at the same time.

Matcha is a superhero among teas. It is 100% natural, organic ground green tea leaves – essentially a concentrated green tea. It boosts metabolism by 30-40%, raises energy and is equivalent to 15 cups of regular green tea. In addition to these benefits it gives an antioxidant blast, containing more antioxidants per gram than some of nature’s superfoods like gojiberries, blueberries and spinach.

It is grown under shade to increase its chlorophyll content – that’s the bright green nutrient that contains 2 special amino acids theophylline and L-theanine. These work together with Matcha’s natural caffeine to give our bodies a gentle and sustained energy release lasting 4-6 hours. It won’t give you an initial rush and then a crash like coffee. This dynamic amino acid combination also reduces stress and helps you remain calm and focused.

Research has established that green tea promotes the metabolism and burning of fat and may act protectively against cardiovascular disease.

Matcha is drunk as a fine powder diffused in liquid. It is versatile and can be added to water, milk, fruit juice or smoothies. Here are a couple of favourite recipes:
• Matcha Latte put a quarter teaspoon of Matcha into a mug. Quarter fill the mug with hot water and top with hot foamy milk. Add honey to taste and whisk for a couple of seconds.
Matcha Fruit Smoothie Blend together half a teaspoon of Matcha, half an apple, quarter celery stick, 2 sprigs of mint, half a banana and half a pear.
Of course, Matcha can simply be made as a tea with hot water.
Matcha really is more than just a cuppa. It’s simply an excellent way to look after our body and mind.

For more advice please call 01635 33007.

Our Community


The Hungerford and Lambourn Neighbourhood Team covers the areas of Hungerford, Lambourn and Kintbury.

Hungerford Neighbourhood Team has had a busy month, which is not unusual for this time of year. The weather has been beautiful but sometimes it can increase crime.

Overnight between the 12th and 13th July a large number of vehicles in Bulpit Lane, Priory Avenue, Orchard Park Close, Fairview Road, Priory Road and Park Way, Hungerford were damaged after offenders unscrewed the aerials and either stole the aerial or left it on the ground nearby. Luckily, many of the car owners located their aerials but we are still keen to hear from anyone with any information that may assist us in our enquires. The following weekend, windscreen wipers on cars parked in Priory Road were pulled up, it can appear humorous to some people but unfortunately it can cause permanent damage, which is not funny. Cars in Fairview Road were also damaged by a tool of some sorts, scratching the paint work on the body work. The three incidents could be linked. We will be patrolling the area to attempt to deter any further problems and provide a high visible presence in the area.

PCSO Joanna KING and PC Claire DREWITT had a wonderful time at Kintbury Village Fete. It was a lovely warm evening and the majority of the local residents enjoyed sitting on the grass enjoying the wonderful food and drink they had on offer.

Around 12:15pm on the 10th July on Hungerford Common a man exposed himself and was seen touching himself inappropriately. It is believed the man was walking in the direction of Park Street. The offender is white, of slim build, in his early fifties and scruffy looking. He was wearing a black polo shirt, jeans and trainers.

Around 2.21am on the 16th July a social club in Church Way, Hungerford was broken into. The offenders gained entry by forcing the front door. A number of internal doors were kicked in and money was stolen from the safe. The offenders (at least two males) were seen to head off in a silver Subaru estate car towards Salisbury Road.

On Saturday 12th July a rave site was located by officers at Seven Barrows, Lambourn. A number of officers were deployed to the scene and we successfully closed down the illegal party. One male was arrested and his vehicle and sound equipment was seized by the police.
3 males from Bristol were reported for fish poaching and fishing without a rod licence on the River Kennet in Hungerford on the 7th July. The environment Agency are investigating the case.
A drugs warrant has been executed in Freemans Close, Hungerford this month. A male and female were both arrested for cannabis possession and the male was issued an adult police caution.

The male and female arrested last month after the drugs warrant at Priory Close, Hungerford have been charged with cultivation of cannabis by the police. The female has been found guilty at court and issued £100 Fine and £20 court fees. The case was withdrawn against the male. We are really cracking down on Drugs within Hungerford and Lambourn and we urge anyone with information to contact Hungerford Neighbourhood Team on 101. Your report will be confidential.

Regular patrols are still ongoing at Combe Gibbet which have definitely decreased the number of theft from vehicles. It is a brilliant viewing spot for us too.

Thames Valley Police are recruiting Special Constables. We would love you to come and join us here in Hungerford. If this is something you would like to know more about then please visit

We have made time to continue to patrol our rural communities. Only yesterday we managed to save a sheep after it escaped from a field on the Lambourn Downs. After chasing it down the road, PC Frost managed to safely reunite the animal with his other sheep friends.
PSCO Adam Burson is moving temporarily to Newbury Neighbourhood team for a few months. Lambourn and the surrounding villages will be covered by the rest of the Hungerford Team in his absence.

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

Fond & Distant Memories

Time marches on and the older you get it seems to quicken. At present so many dear old friends are passing on and this makes you aware of the normal allotted span. Margaret and I are to speak at the Historical Association meeting on the 24th September the Corn Exchange (Town Hall) , and we are determined that this will be the last time we will perform in public. Having entered public service in 1951 the time has come to retire, but our final talk will be on “Hungerford Remembered”, not as an historical document, but a nostalgic trip into the town of the past which we both remember so very well in our span of 85 years.

Take quite briefly the High Street now, plenty of hairdressers, but small grocers have disappeared. Think of Mrs Barnes on Charnham Street opposite the Lamb pub, Thorns, Gingells, Spackmans and Alexanders in the High street, Elliots at the top of the Town. One High Street butcher remains, but remember Quenbys, Top and Bottom Mills, Pratts, Elcombes. In addition may I pose the question, where are all the milking herds? I will name a few but none are operational today. Undy’s Farm ,the Northern edge of town awoke as Joe Hart brought his cows to the Dairy, add Claude Priest at New Hayward, the Prosperous Herd, Harvey’s at Denford, White’s Dairy at Church Street, Alf Macklin’s herd on the Common and John Pike delivering on his bike. So many changes, so many businesses have disappeared. Hope this article will be enough to get you reminiscing.

I am giving you 21 initials so that you can play the game of identifying the company or the site .I hope it will test your knowledge of our dear town. Two were burnt down, and in total they represent the loss of over 1000 jobs, with very little to replace this loss in spite of the availability of the Charnham Street meadow site.

Answers below the advert on this page
1.VF ,     2. GY ,         3.WY ,     4. MH ,     5. GS,          6. CF,         7. HC ,
8. L,        9. JM,         10. BB,   11. ME,    12. BRFS, 13. MH,       14.BRC,
15. RC, 16. GWRS, 17.L,       18 .BTY,   19.OBC,     20. BCCD, 21. W

In my lifetime our Town has always enjoyed it’s parades , carnivals, fairs and it’s bands, and I share memories of all its events .Our Town Band is excellent at present and Tim Crouter says he has top players on all instruments. I have always enjoyed their music and on the solemn occasions such as Remembrance Day or when we shall witness the commemorating of WW1, they are superb. Back during the 1939- 45 War there was only our 1866 Squadron ATC Band and what stirring music they produced .A pre-college (18) group of young men with only bugles and drums, but how they could stir the blood when they paraded through the Town.

Fairs in the High Street (in the past I believe they were Hiring Fairs) were thrilling. Mr Edwards, who claimed he was born in the High Street, had two highlights for me. One was the Noah’s Ark and the other was the Swingboats Later, after the war, we revived the Carnivals and Fairs in 1953 and for many years it was my happy task to arrange the Carnival Queen competitions, not a beauty contest, (although they were all incredibly attractive), but a test to see who could sell the most Carnival Queen tickets.

Winners were paraded on James’s newest and smartest lorry which as I remember Art Tarry or a Mr Read usually drove. Harry Dodson, then at Leverton Gardens provided wonderful flower displays for the lorry and. Margaret’s dad, Bill Cox, spent all day making sure everything was safe and secure. What a grand chap he was! With the Magistrate’s chair from the Town Hall, this all presented a great picture because the Queen and her attendants all received new dresses as part of their prize.

Sometimes I still think “weren’t they the good old days”, anyway see you in September when we do our final talk.

Jack Williams

Grumpy’s Jottings

Reader feedback [or lack of it] indicated I was too meek in my grumpinesses expressed in your last edition, or could it be that Hungerford is becoming more apathetic?

Are residents as irritated as much as me by the littering of our town’s lamp and telegraph posts by fly-posting for local events, lost dogs and cats, etc? I do not object to the publicity in itself for what may be a good cause [but often is just publicising a commercial event for which surely it would be proper to pay to advertise]. What sticks in my craw is that the posters often remain affixed for weeks if not months after the event has occurred or the lost pet should have been recovered [or worse]. The Local Authority will, just like the Police, state that the pursuit of the law-breaker [and that is what the offence constitutes] is not worth the effort. I suggest residents just tear them down and put them in the bin.

Then there are the users of the district’s highways who seem not to appreciate that there is a sign to acknowledge or thank people for “giving way”. Of course, the driver/rider has to take a hand off the wheel or handlebars which may be difficult if it is grasping a mobile telephone, cigarette, can/bottle etc. But more often than not there is no such impediment, just a lack of good manners. I do not need to be ageist or sexist but road users will be aware of who are the major culprits.

I read recently that Italy is the only country left in Europe where courtesy is still an instinct rather than something acquired as a class indicator…..and after a few days spent in Spain, as well as what I observe in Hungerford , I see what is meant. Children simply do not think of waiting for their elders to pass through a doorway or other confined space; they [like their elders] have seemingly not heard of expressing thanks when one stops to allow them to pass first. Nowadays, the offending party is probably not just unconscious of their lack of courtesy or manners; of course so many are probably incapable of thinking beyond concentrating on the conversation with someone on their mobile.

I am further discombobulated by the increase in the PDAs [public displays of affection]; well I will not even go there………. but should we really have to navigate pavements clogged with necking, spooning, or otherwise entwined youths? Once upon a time, holding hands was sufficient.

’nuff said                                       Grumpy


Are you a ‘Mood Hoover’?

When was the last time you read a good book? I don’t mean snatched a 3 minute glimpse before you dozed off, with tomorrow’s work, what’s in the fridge for packed lunch and whether you remembered to put the bins out to avoid the ‘pyjama dash’ at 5.30am in your head! I mean, when did you really read?

For me, reading is my most selfish pleasure. It requires silence, no phone, no iPad, no TV, no music; it means banishing my very patient children and highly supportive husband for a solid half hour of uninterrupted, but much needed, solitude. Such time is hardly sympathetic to the stresses and strains of modern working families, so gadget rich and time poor.

Ignoring the familiar ping as an email lands is a tricky thing, like Pavlov’s dog I salivate at the sound – do I answer it and look super-efficient, or wait and emit a healthy glow of work life balance and calm? It’s always the first. A fellow Head said to me he never answers a weekend email until Sunday evening. Is he mad or brilliant? I’ll let you decide.

In a fast paced world of immediate gratification, reading requires patience and calm. It is the antidote to modern living, where cost and quick solutions appear all. Reading a good book can remove you from normality and place you firmly in the world of your choosing. A really good book cannot be put down, wraps you in its arms and mops at the brow of the ordinary, easing your mundane burden; bliss.

So how is it that something so pleasurable, has come to be, for some, such a chore? How are we to pass on the gift of reading (proven to have a positive influence on grades – the more you read the better the outcome), to the touchpad generation?

The brutal truth is, children only read if they have grown up being read to and where books are part of their home. In my family there were bed time favourites – ‘The Tiger who Came to Tea’, ‘We’re Going on a Bearhunt – the lines of which are engraved on my heart for the hours spent with bath warm children and their well-thumbed teddies reciting, ’We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it …we have to go through it!’ their delighted squeals and eyes alive with the magic of familiarity.

As our children get older we have to keep up with them, read a book they have read, take an interest, and make an adventure out of the library or a visit to a bookshop. Reading must never be used as a punishment, ‘That’s it, no TV; you will have to read a book!’ My daughter loves to read but my sons do not, much to my disgust. We have built in ‘no tech time’, just an hour, where the board games and books are favoured, and once my 12 year old and I just lay on beanbags and sang along to music at the top of our lungs. We talk about the books we are reading and share good titles, anything to establish the joy of a good book. My husband has an aversion to E books and the dreaded ‘K’ word is forbidden in our house, but does it really matter? If your child reads, they read. They don’t have to get a kick from the turn of a page because we old people do!

Our children’s love of reading needs nurturing like the children themselves. Remember that. They are not born with the desire to do so, it needs to be fed and watered as they do. Show them how to do it next time you have the chance, I dare you; turn off your phone, politely excuse yourself from the TV and lie down and read – you may find they curl up next to you.

Sarah Brinkley

Blasts from the Past

From the Parish Magazine dated January 1880.

“Many of our readers will be interested in perusing the following extract from a Leading Article in the Times of December 20th, on the life of the “Bishop of Oxford”.

“For his work in the Church, Samuel Wilberforce sacrificed much that many count dearer than houses, lands, titles, and honours. He had to take his scholarship second hand. He would gladly, and with success, have either ranged discursively in the wide field of knowledge or concentrated his powers on some one section. For tree, shrub, and flowers, for bird and beast, for creeping things, for all life and beauty, he felt as a priest of nature bound to give intelligence to the mute utterness of creation. He entered at least with eagerness into the great questions comprised in modern biology. He would be equally at home passing from picture to picture, with some hospitable connoisseur, and conversing with dowagers in the drawing room on the wits, beauties, and other celebrities of the time. He had two rules – to attend as well as to never forget, and to express his moaning that it should never be forgotten. Of course, this was a continual hand-to-hand warfare with dullness and perversity. One of his devotional entries describes well the aim of his life.

He wished to be a fire, warm towards heaven, cool towards earth, moving to and fro. He had, indeed, to be a fire, to beat time and space. To the many, and he had to deal with the many, he could bestow but few words, or few lines. After days economically divided between long and scattered engagements, or even while travelling or while delayed at a station, he had to write notes at a pace reckoned by seconds of time. They might not guide much or warm much, these flakes and scintillations from the furnace, but they quickened. People felt the instantaneous presence of a great activity, not without its kindliness, rebuking their sluggish ways. The Church of England still feels the fire and the impulse. The Bishop of Winchester has his followers, more or less qualified for the part. Some think that both they and the Church are being run off their legs, and that a quieter pace, less locomotion, less furnace-heat, suits the English nature better. The answer is that those who are of this opinion, and are careful not to overwork themselves and their neighbours, must make up their minds to be beaten by those whose rule is to do all they can. Whatever Samuel Wilberforce had to do, he did it with all his might; and one lesson of his premature and sudden grave is that he would have wasted his pains had he tried to spare himself for a green old age.”

What the Parishioners of Hungerford felt when they saw this article in the Magazine of 1880, I cannot imagine as it was Wilberforce when he became Bishop of Oxford in 1845 described the church of St Lawrence Hungerford as being “inconvenient and un-ecclesiastical”, and during his time as Bishop of Oxford, he refused to hold the service of confirmation in St Lawrence’s, and candidates had to attend other Churches in the area to receive the Sacrament. He was created Bishop of Winchester in 1870.

More about “Soapy Sam” Wilberforce in the next issue.

Fred Bailey

Legal Spot

Marriage and cohabitation

I recently had to advise a client on the legal pros and cons of getting married. Which for me was very much a first – I have advised hundreds of people over the years as regards the pros and cons of divorce, but never before as regards proceeding in the opposite/original direction as it were. Hmmm, I thought, interesting, where do I start?

In the end after giving the matter a lot of thought and doing much more research than I thought I might need to, I duly sent the client a letter and I now await the outcome, whatever it may be (perhaps a wedding invitation?) – and in the meantime he has kindly indicated that I may pass on a few legal points in this article:

1 Very different consequences as regards property and finance – a spouse has an automatic right to share occupation of the matrimonial home regardless of who owns it, and an automatic right to seek financial support and when if the marriage comes to an end. People who just live together don’t have these rights.

2 Different tax entitlements on a death – a widow or widower will always qualify for Inheritance Tax relief on anything he or she inherits either under a will or on an intestacy. There is also an automatic right to inherit what in most cases will be the larger part of the deceased’s estate (at least £250,000, more and maybe the entire estate depending on whether there are any surviving children or parents) where the deceased died intestate i.e. without having previously made a Will. Once again these rights do not extend to cohabitees.

3 Pensions – most pension schemes will include a widow or widower’s benefit – some will (or can) provide for surviving non-married partners but this isn’t always the case.

In other respects, and this surprised me to some extent, the position isn’t much different:

4 The rules relating to joint ownership of property don’t depend in any way on whether the parties are married or not – whether under a joint tenancy or a tenancy in common (the difference will have to be explained elsewhere) they operate in the same way in relation to cohabitees and indeed to everyone else

5 On death, a spouse doesn’t have any greater entitlement to claim against the estate of the deceased husband or wife if there isn’t adequate provision in his/her will or on an intestacy – the basis for any claim under the Provision for Family and Dependents Act 1975 is the same and applies equally to a former cohabitee

6 No difference as regards liability for the other partner’s debts

There is of course a lot more that could be said about things that are the same or different whether the parties are married or not – this is all I have space for, but now that I know more than I did before I can provide further info if requested!

David Small Solicitor
Crown Passage, 23 High Street, Hungerford, Berkshire
Tel 01488 680701 Mobile 071 3094759