Issue 131

1st June
1st September 2018

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

Front Cover by Micky Thompson

Looking through my picture files for a suitable summer cover picture I found this image of fuchsia hanging in front of a red glazed ceramic pot in my garden taken last July. To see it in colour, it is on the Chain web site. As I write this in early May the weather is definitely looking up, with the family cat stretched out on the patio in the sunshine. Fishing on the river has started with good hatches of fly and gold finches flitting over Freemans Marsh and even a few early swallows about. Yes, it has been a long old Winter, roll on Summer.

Issue 131


Message from the Chairman of CHAIN

The sun seems to have arrived today so let hope for a nice warm spell. It was lovely to see the town decorated for Hocktide and for the Queens’s birthday; Rod had the flags up and there were some good window displays. Congratulations to Ellie Dickins on becoming Constable and well done to Susan Hofgartner for her busy two year term in office.

Plans are going ahead for the new Handybus and I must thank Ted Angell for all his hard work on making this happen. We have had a flurry of new drivers so I have been busy doing DBS checks, but more are always welcome so either contact the Chain Office 683727 or myself on 683302 (

The West Berkshire Council cuts are having an impact on Chain as the Handybus users can no longer use their Bus Passes for journeys on the Handybus and your co-ordinators will have a list of the proposed charges.

The Chain AGM will be held in the Magistrates Room, Town Hall, Hungerford on Monday 20th June at 7.30pm so please come along and find out what Chain does for the community.

I must say congratulations to Hungerford Town Football Club on winning the Playoff Final against Leamington on Monday 2nd May which means they are promoted to the Southern League for the first time in their history.

I will be holding a Cream Tea for all our volunteers during June and your Co-ordinators will be in touch with details. Chain could not continue doing the work it does without it marvelous volunteers so thank you all very much.

Janette Kersey



Please forgive me but this is the first magazine since my dear Sylvia passed away, so thank you for all the kind messages. In her memory I am very proud to sponsor the painting competition, see FOHL on the left index. Sylvia was my proof reader for all these past years and she used to sit down on a Sunday morning with a red pen; guess whose page always had the most corrections? A lovely neighbour has taken up the challenge to keep Sylvia’s standard up.

As a lot of you know Sylvia was our Librarian for over 20 years and was devastated to know of the destruction and havoc that West Berks Council was going to introduce. I implore you to support the Friends of Hungerford & Lambourn Libraries in their continuing efforts to keep all of our facilities at Hungerford going. For those of you thinking that you might get a book out, DVD or whatever, get along there and do it, book in to use the computers etc. Also young couples who might be starting a family in the future, go and register now ready for your children to be able to learn and read at our local library. Don’t be complacent, go and join up now, Lisa and her team are waiting for you. If you don’t …It could be……….

Still on about West Berks Council and (current) Hungerford representatives I was astounded to learn that they do not live in the Town (or close area) and not even in Berkshire. It makes me wonder how they are really able to represent us! Come re-election time there are two local people that I think will do use proud as replacement representatives. One used to be a Town Councillor and one is a recent joiner, so watch this space as they say.

That lovely couple from Chilton Foliat are back in the harness for HADCAF and our centre pages again print the packed programme. Well done you two.

Please remember that I would love to have an article to publish in CHAIN MAIL either as a one off , or a series, any subject you like as long as it is ‘’printable’’ and no worse than how the Old Codger used to be. Our page is approx 450 words. There might be a student at JOG perhaps, or you might like to describe a holiday or hobby.

Would you support a local lottery for good causes? Please see Lottery ? in the near left hand index.

Just a little reminder that Tony Bartlett our local photographer gives me masses of local photos as well as his steam ones and they are up on our website. See if you can spot yourself in the Photo Galleries.

Do you need volunteers to fill some gaps in your organisation? If so please contact me and I will print up for free.

Thanks & Best Wishes David Piper 01488 683152

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

After I had recovered from the shock and surprise of taking up the Mayoral Chain last year, I am now looking at yet another in this role. I regard this as an enormous honour to be trusted with leading a team at a time when the challenges ahead are likely to be even greater than for the past few years. I am sincerely heartened that at last we have a full team of 15 Councillors in whom I have the fullest confidence and that together we can demonstrate to our residents and others alike that Hungerford is a town that fights for its values and services.

As a Council, we recognised several years ago when the global banking crisis hit, that there was bound to be a tsunami of financial restrictions ahead. At that time our average Precept request was seeking a 1% increase, and I recall vividly that when it was suggested we raise it by 1.5%, Cllr Gwynneth Bullock was horrified. However the real impact of the budget cuts enforced upon WBC flowed down; the withdrawal of support for the Youth Centre and the H1 bus route were just the beginning. It became necessary to raise our Precept request by much larger percentages. The normal measure of the impact of such increases upon our resident was to look at the increase in Band D housing Council Tax. But this became irrelevant when central Government held an enforced cap on Council Tax.

This has enabled us to absorb some of the increases in overall costs and prepare for significant cuts in WBC services and staff. When WBC support for public toilets was stopped they remained open as your Council now funds this cost at £17K p.a. This year, with the reduction in Central Government funding to WBC, we have seen huge proposed cuts to normal services and Hungerford has risen to the challenge. The “transitional funding” provides only a small window of opportunity to adjust how such services can be maintained.

Nick Carter, CEO of WBC, has written to all Parishes/towns seeking support for further Devolution of responsibilities. The dramatic surge of volunteers to form the Friends of Hungerford Library, gives me confidence that we can work with WBC to bring this about to the future benefit to the town. But there is a big difference between accepting responsibility and then being dumped on without sufficient financial resources. Just watch this space and if I may paraphrase JFK, it may be a case of’ Not what Hungerford can do for you, but what you can do for Hungerford’.

Martin Crane
Mayor of Hungerford



Also on this page…..CAMBURN…….Chain AGM …….Befriending……..BEFRIEND


Subject: LOST CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS at Dickens Hopgood & Chidley

In an attempt to find the owner of some important documents which a member of the public found on the pavement between Barclays Bank and the antique shop in the High Street and has handed to us.
Would you please put a notice in the next issue of the Chain magazine to publicise that we are holding :-
2 x Birth Certificates
Marriage Certificate

Thank you
Carolyn Atkinson


If you and your parents or guardians have lived in Hungerford for the past three years and you are going on to further education or an apprenticeship,
you can apply for financial help from the







The Clerk to the Trustees, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford


The Chain AGM

will be held in the Magistrates Room, Town Hall,
Hungerford on Monday 20th June at 7.30pm so please
come along and find out what
CHAIN does for the community.

A Befriending Project

We lost a vital service when Age UK stopped their befriending service, and figures show an alarming number of older people are suffering from the effects of loneliness.

West Berkshire Volunteer Centre have just launched a new Befriending Project – aimed at supporting socially isolated people in our community, aged over 50. If you suffer from loneliness, or wish to volunteer to help with this project, please contact the Newbury-based Centre: Tel: 01635 49004.

Aims to help local people aged 50 and over, who are at risk of becoming socially isolated. For details of how to become a befriender please contact …………..

Jacqui Letcome, project co-ordinator on
01635 49004 or
Catherine Wooliston (Local Village Agent) on 07840 921873.

Bits 1

Computer Tips & Tricks

by GreenMachine Backups!

What is a backup? Backup is like pressing the save button on all of your documents. Everyone should backup regularly, as good as computers are they do fail, meaning you could lose everything! There are two main ways that you can back up your documents, locally to a secondary portable hard drive or to the internet based cloud.

There are pros and cons to each so let me explain: Local backup, is having a portable hard drive and manually copying all your data on to it, plugging it in weekly/monthly, dependent on use. This can be an expensive initial purchase and ensure you get one big enough to hold your Data.

Cloud backup is internet based, having all your documents in a folder named “Cloud”, that synchronises with the internet. Meaning that all you would need to do in the event of computer failure is download their application and then login, download all your files! You will need an internet connection to download them, this could take some time depending on how many files you have.

Things to Google when looking for these two things are ‘Portable Hard Drive’ for local backups and ‘Cloud Storage’ for cloud backups.

Please contact us if you need some advice on 01672 520133 or

West Berkshire Foodbank

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

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

If your workplace or community group is interested in hosting a collection point, please contact or


Royal British Legion (Hungerford) Branch

Poppy Appeal and other British Legion news

Hello again. Three months have passed since I last wrote about events within the Royal British Legion. In my last notes I made no mention of a reception for the four recipients of the Legion d’Honneur. At that time there were no plans for it. An idea from our President was discussed and acted upon. The result was the Town of Hungerford and their twins from Ligueil coming together to honour these men. A remarkable day!

The Poppy Appeal total is now £26639.47. It is hoped the Poppy Picnic will go ahead in mid July; further details will be in the local press as soon as they are available.

Armed Forces Day will be held on 2nd July, starting at midday. This will coincide with the Legion Beer Festival. The date was chosen to be as near as possible to the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, the first day of which saw 60,000 casualties. Some of those who fell were from the local area. A contingent from our friends at 6th Bat REME are joining us.

Looking further ahead our Band Concert will be held on 30th October starting at 7pm (tickets £6), and on 5th November we welcome back The Apollo Big Band to the Legion Club (tickets £10 to include Ploughman’s Supper). Tickets for both these events will be available from the end of September.

If any ex-service personnel or their dependants are seeking help from the Legion, main contact is now made by phone using 0808 802 8080, (free from UK landlines and main mobile networks). Access can also be made via email (go to and follow the links).

Any further information about the ‘Legion’ can be obtained by calling 07799 660584 or

Derek Loft

Bits 2

The Referendum

The referendum on our continuing membership of the European Union is on 23rd June. Both sides have concentrated on economic and political questions, but there are other considerations too. What of the peace and security found in working together with our European neighbours?

Hungerford Churches Together have arranged an evening to discuss the theme “A Christian View of Europe”; this is on Monday 13th June at 7.30 pm in the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. The speaker is Canon Angela Tilby, a distinguished writer and broadcaster who is currently Diocesan Canon at Christ Church, Oxford. She was a producer for religious broadcasting with the BBC for 22 years, and writes regularly for the Church Times.

This meeting offers a chance to think about the deeper questions affecting our relationship with Europe with whom we are closely linked through centuries of shared Christian heritage. It is open to all.

Hungerford Harey 8

The Hungerford Hares are pleased to announce the return of the
Hungerford Harey 8 for 2016

When: 19th June 10.30am 2016
Where: Hungerford Rugby Club, The Triangle Field, Priory Road, RG17 0AN
Distance: Approx 8 Miles, Multiterrain.

The start and finish will be at the Hungerford Rugby Club. The route takes runners around a loop of the triangle field before heading out towards the common. There, runners will be directed on a course taking in the beautiful Port Down Common before descending gently towards Templeton/Trinity Stud. It then follows a circular route around footpaths providing stunning views of Combe and of the countryside. The runners will then return via the common back to the Rugby Club.
There will be a special memento for the finishers and unique ‘trophies’ for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Male and Female, and the winners for the following age categories; M40, F35, M50, F45, M60, F55.
Prior to the main race there will be a children’s Fun Run (0.5 and 1 mile distance) at the Triangle field (Rugby Club) starting at 10am, entries are taken on the day with medals provided to all who participate!
After the event, presentations will take place at 12 midday and there will be a BBQ at the clubhouse plus other refreshments (tea/coffee/cakes etc) for the well deserved runners and their spectators!
Regrettably, the course is unsuitable for wheelchair athletes. Race under UK Athletics rules. Licence number TRA/26-16. Minimum age 18 years on race day.
The race is part of Run West Berks, a series of four races taking place in May and June 2016. See for more information.
How to Enter: At Runnersworld or via postal entry. Entries on the day close at 10.15

Hungerford Surgery

We are very grateful for the support we are receiving from our patients and PPG (Patient Participation Group) during this difficult time. We have been advertising for a new Doctor since last summer and have interviewed some candidates but they have not proved right for the Surgery. We are continuing to work hard to recruit a new doctor to the practice and will keep you informed.

The four partners are all doing extra appointments to help the situation but we are aware that some patients are sometimes unable to book the appointment they require at a time they would like. There is a shortage of Locums available in the area but we are continuing our efforts to try to find someone to help out in the short term.

The NHS Health Check is your chance to get your free midlife MOT. For adults in England aged 40-74 without a pre-existing condition, it checks your circulatory and vascular health and what your risk of getting a disabling vascular disease is. Please ring the Surgery to book your appointment. Pre DM Health Screening is another test which we offer through our Nursing Team; please contact the Surgery for more details.

The Nursing Team also deal with Travel, Cytology, Ear Syringing, Immunisations and Chronic Disease Management We would like to welcome Nurse Jo Derczynska to our Nursing team which now looks as follows:-
Sister Averil Chadwick – Lead Nurse, Diabetes, Started 2014
Nurse Katie Halls – Respiratory (Asthma & COPD), Started 2014
Nikki Tuttle – Phlebotomist, NHS Health Checks, Started 2004
Aldene Fowkes and Penny Saich are continuing to help us out with Bank hours
Our Administration/Reception team is as follows: Started
Steve Hodgson – Practice Manager 2015
Sian Robinson – Office Manager 2009
Janette Kersey – Patient Services Manager 1991
Theresa Baggott – Summariser/Receptionist 1989
Jo Ulry – Receptionist/Admin 2009
Sharon Stone – Receptionist/Admin 2009
Liz O’Donnell – Medical Secretary/Receptionist 2014
Kay Walker – Receptionist/Admin 2015
Debbie Savin – Receptionist/Admin 2015
Michelle Whiting – Receptionist/Admin 2015
Sonya Westbury – Receptionist/Admin 2016
Helen Cleary – Receptionist/Medical Secretary 2016

Janette Kersey Patient Services Manager

Please call the surgery if you are
unable to attend ANY appointment

Virtual Museum


It is 50 years since the present railway bridge across the High Street was installed in 1966. Many of you may remember it.

When Brunel opened his Great Western Railway from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, in 1841, the coaching trade along the Great West Road, which had brought such prosperity to Hungerford for 60 years, rapidly declined.

It was felt that there was an urgent need for Hungerford to have its own railway links. Various schemes were proposed, but the successful one was the Berks and Hants Railway, from Reading through Newbury to Hungerford, which received Royal Assent in 1845. The line was completed in December 1847, when our terminus station was opened.

Fifteen years later, in 1862, the line was extended westwards to Devizes (the Berks & Hants Extension Railway), and this soon linked with other lines at Devizes (and later Westbury).

The first High Street railway bridge dated from 1862.
The original track was of Brunel’s preferred “broad” gauge (7′ 0¼” = 2140mm), but despite this giving great stability and comfort, other railways had adopted the narrower “standard” gauge (4′ 8½” = 1435mm).

It was not until 1874 that the single track line (from Hungerford to Holt Junction) was changed from broad gauge to standard gauge. Amazingly the line was fully closed for five days only!

The line west of Hungerford was still single track, and increasing traffic necessitated upgrading it to a double track, work carried out in1898. Our second High Street railway bridge was installed at this time.

During the 1930s, a large amount of local watercress (mostly from beds at Ramsbury and Shalbourne) transported to London and other cities. During the Second World War there were many “troop specials”, but in 1970, all goods traffic ceased at Hungerford.

In November 1971, a major derailment of a stone train travelling east through the town caused major damage to the signal box and station. Both lines were blocked, and ballast strewn across the station, but remarkably, no-one was injured.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Extension Railway through the town, our third (1966) railway bridge was redecorated in GWR colours.

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

Hugh Pihlens

Grouser’s Article

Greetings and Salutations to the good folk of Hungerford and district.

My name is Grouser following in the footsteps of my predecessor Grumpy although I must confess that my writings will contain more of the good news emanating in the streets and houses of our beloved town! But I shall not ignore some of the indiscretions flowing from our business community and local government where I think they have failed us. That then is the task I have set myself so if you are sitting comfortably let us begin.

A HUGE welcome to the new vicar of St Lawrence’s Parish Church the Rev Mike Saunders and his wife Alison. Over 300 people crammed into the Church for Mike’s induction by the Bishop of Reading and Mike is making plans for a similar number to attend his Sunday services!! Wishing you and Ali all the very best.

Now Hungerford Town Football Club have excelled themselves with promotion to a much higher league with an impressive win over rivals Leamington. Here’s hoping that in the not too distant future we see some local faces in the team.

How nice it is to see some really lovely shops at “the other” end of High Street. I am thinking especially of Styles the florist but there are many others too numerous to mention. What a shame it is that parking is so limited from the junction of the A4 (The Bear Hotel) to the canal bridge.

Finally a pat on the back for the only butcher in town; well worth a visit and you can get high quality fruit and vegetables there too!

I am limited for space so more thumbs up in the next issue including some individuals whose hard work has an impressive effect on our town!

Just before I go, reading in the last CHAIN MAIL about Tesco, they do seem to be listening but the local staff are hampered by the powers that be and also staff shortages which often mean that the product is not on the shelf for you. Do go and see a supervisor, they can help sometimes!

Boots have been still struggling to improve but they have started: Hungerford’s Surgery PPG (Patient Participation Group) are liaising with them to ensure continual improvements, be patient and smile.

More good news next issue, I hope you enjoyed my comments.

Bye for now.
The Grouser

Ed’s note, Welcome to ‘’The Grouser’’ I had to take my pen to some comments I do apologise.


Nature Notes by Hawkeye

Ravens in my garden

It was the week before my birthday, April 20th. I drew the bedroom curtains at about 9 am. It appeared to be a sunny day. As usual I looked over the garden to see what birds were about.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a huge black bird underneath one of my apple trees. It was not a rook. It was not a crow. And it certainly was not a jackdaw. It had to be a raven.

Bird watching is like playing detectives. As Sherlock Holmes famously said, “eliminate the impossible and whatever is left, however improbable, is the truth.” This bird must have been a raven; it was nearly the same size as a buzzard, at least 50% bigger than a rook or crow. The beak was straight, black and huge. Adult rooks have a notoriously grey base to their beaks and crows have a straight black beak, not at all decurved at the end. Also rooks have a round crown and crows have a flat head. This bird had a huge head and a lot of feathers on its chin.

When it flew off it gave a guttural flight call. Naturally I rushed to my bird books and proved it was a raven. But why choose my garden.

The following week I was talking to a friend at Sheepdrove Organic Farm and she told me that there were several ravens on the farm. They seem to like the Lambourn downs and now we have a community of them. I suspect they breed in our area of outstanding natural beauty.

Primroses and Bluebells
The primroses of spring are stunning this year. It appears to me that there is an exceptional number around this year. Perhaps it is due to the mild winter.

For some strange reason they have appeared in my garden and taken over large areas of gravel. Strangely, I planted some cowslips and they died but now a clump of primroses have taken over that spot. Weird but wonderful because the soil is so bad.

Bluebells are flowering in our woods again as I write. However a friend tells me that all is not well in our woods. Apparently Spanish bluebells have taken over or hybridised with our English variety. Indeed my friend who is a trained botanist says they may even produce pink and white “sports”. It all seems a bit too technical and far fetched to me.

All I want to do is enjoy the carpet of blue flowers in our woods in mid spring. We are very lucky because they are so many wild flowers within a short car ride of our houses..


Hungerford Library / HUB

West Berkshire Council has just appointed a contractor to perform an independent Needs Assessment, which may take 2-3 months. Once the results are available decisions will be made about the future development of the library service in West Berkshire.

The Summer Reading Challenge will soon be here and we will be visiting schools in July to tell the children about it. The theme this year is ‘The Big Friendly Read’ celebrating 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl. Children are encouraged to read 6 books and make three visits to the library over the summer. They don’t have to read Roald Dahl books, but it is a great opportunity to try something by this great storyteller.

Volunteers needed:
To help us give the best encouragement to the children visiting the library we are looking for volunteers to help with the Summer Reading Challenge. Volunteers would enrol the children to the Challenge, give out materials and discuss the books they have read or help them choose new books.

We are also looking for IT volunteers to help run our 1:1 IT sessions. If you have experience in using PCs, laptops, tablets or iPads and can spare an hour a week to help see below.

If you are interested in volunteering for either of these roles please contact our volunteer coordinator, Gemma Taylor, or the library for further information.

We offer several FREE courses and events at the library:
Word-play Club – Explore and have fun playing word games. For adults and children over 8. Fridays at 3:45.
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 Groups – We have 2 book groups. One meets on the first Friday of the month at 5:30, and the other meets on the third Friday at 5:30.

If you are interested in any of these activities please contact Hungerford Library on 01488 682660,

Lisa Richardson

Friends of Hungerford Library

The Friends of Hungerford Library (FOHL)

Save our library campaign – update Please click to e-mail us

As you may know, the Friends of Hungerford Library have been working hard over the past few months to keep the campaign strong and visible to West Berkshire Council. We have also been liaising with Lambourn library’s support group and will continue to do so as long as our libraries are under threat of closure.

The current situation is that the tender for the needs assessment
is complete and a consultant chosen; we understand the assessment will take around three months to complete.

WBC will meet again with town and parish councils, as well as support groups, to discuss community involvement with the needs assessment. We also hope to meet with the consultants in order to fully inform them on the role the libraries play within our communities and the consequences of the planned closures, especially for the young, the elderly and vulnerable.

We are especially concerned that children – a large library user group – should have their opinions heard, so we are organizing a competition; we will be inviting them through local schools to tell us what they like about their library. Their input is invited through paintings, stories and poems; the results will be on display in our libraries for the community to share.

Look out for them over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile we hope you will continue to support our campaign. Using your library is now more important than ever – keep coming to the groups, borrow books, use computer time or maybe just pop in and say hello to the wonderful staff who, despite the insecurity surrounding them, always greet you with a warm welcome.

Friends of Hungerford
Lambourn Librarie

Steam by Tony Bartlett

As anticipated last time, the principle mainline steam train operator West Coast Railway Co (WCRC) was placed under prohibition by the rail regulator (ORR), causing disruption to the early season programme of steam specials. Three Cathedrals Expresses were cancelled during March before the ORR relaxed its ban and allowed WCRC to start up again under strict scrutiny. While this was going on we were fortunate to have an evening visit from the LNER Pacific Tornado on the returning Devon Belle (operated by the UK arm of German Railways and not affected by the WCRC ban). The train was running so well at a quiet time of day that it passed more than 10 minutes early and caught out a number of people unable to track its progress on-line.

Clearly all concerned had worked hard to ensure that WCRC would be able to operate the prestigious 9-day Great Britain rail tour, and it duly came through Hungerford on 26th April on the first leg of the tour to Penzance. After a number of changes to plan, the working was eventually rostered to LMS celebrity 4-6-0 Royal Scot, which still carries on its nameplate a reference to its promotional tour of the USA and Canada in 1933. The locomotive only re-appeared on the main line at the end of 2015 after extensive restoration and made a memorable sight travelling on our Berks & Hants line where it would have been an exotic stranger in ‘steam days’.

Another Scotsman remains in the news. After its ‘inaugural’ run between Kings Cross and York – an event marred by over-enthusiastic behaviour by line-siders – Flying Scotsman has been on display at York and also working turns on the preserved North York Moors railway, apparently proving its fitness for its planned programme of mainline steam excursions. It is due to be in the South in late May and early June, but so far it is not clear whether it will be making an appearance at Hungerford. It is scheduled for is a (sunny) evening sighting as it crosses the Vale of White Horse on 8th June on the direct route back from the Cambrian Coast, but let’s hope one of its other trips passes our way!

After no. 60103 goes back to base at York for the rest of the season we have much to look forward to with the usual sprinkling of one-off workings like the Cathedrals Expresses and multiple trips like the West Somerset Steam Expresses to Minehead – always assuming that WCRC can provide the resources needed to operate these trains under the stringent working conditions imposed on them by the ORR. As it looks now, there is the enticing prospect of two steam trains working through here on two Saturdays at the height of the season (3rd/17th September). Let’s hope they are not hoping to do this on weekends when our line gets extra traffic diverted from the GW main line!

Plans for steam locomotive usage are necessarily flexible given the stresses of mainline operation, but I would expect to see Mayflower again this year, Royal Scot on a return visit, at least one of the several Bulleid Pacifics, and Tornado again on a British Pullman.

Tony Bartlett

Roger Day

Following the publication of my article ‘Motoring Memories’ in the March/June 2016 edition of Chain Mail, in which I asked for stories and information about local AA patrolmen, I’m pleased to report that I’ve had a wonderful response. As a result I now have a very thorough understanding of their daily routine and working practices throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s – I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took the time and trouble to make contact.

However, the most amazing discovery came from a completely different and unexpected source. Over the past few years I have been actively collecting items of motoring memorabilia and have picked up several choice items with an AA theme. During the process I’ve made friends with a fellow collector who lives in North Wales. A few weeks ago he sent me a photograph of an item he had purchased as part of a job-lot that belonged to the grandson of an ex-patrolman from Chippenham.

The item in question was a map of a type usually found attached to doors of AA telephone boxes. However, this was not any old map, but one that had originally graced the inside of the Association’s box at Savernake. He asked me if I was interested in the item and we quickly agreed a price. The map, which is about 24” X 18” and printed on thick card, is dated October 1956 and shows the exact location of the Savernake box with distances in miles to principal towns throughout southern England and the Midlands.

The date of the map is significant as it coincides with a new style of box that was being introduced all over Britain at that time to replace the Association’s older designs. The new box at Savernake sat in exactly the same location as its predecessor, but unfortunately it didn’t last too long, as it was damaged by fire sometime during the early 1960s. Every few years patrolmen were expected to repaint their boxes and often used blow lamps to burn off the old layers. Unfortunately during this process the wooden box at Savernake caught fire and was totally destroyed! I feel there’s a very strong possibility the map was salvaged from the ashes shortly after the fire and is the reason why this incredibly rare and unique artefact has survived into the 21st century.

If any reader has other stories concerning local AA (or RAC) patrols please make contact with Roger as he would be delighted to hear from you. 01488 682377 or

HAHA by Belinda

An Allotment in Hungerford………..

Time is moving on in the final official year at Marsh Lane. Quite a few plotholders gave up last year so there are a lot of empty plots, which is sad after 7 years of being such a thriving site. It’s noticeable that certain allotment jobs are on hold – things like sorting out and replacing strawberry and raspberry plants.

HAHA and HTC are investigating alternative sites so we still hope for a Council-owned allotment site in Hungerford. Progress is slow with so many parties involved but we’ll carry on enjoying Marsh Lane while we can. It’s discouraging but there are still plenty of us who continue to grow our usual vegetables and, by the time you’re reading this, we should have harvested lots of beans, strawberries, carrots, potatoes and salad.

Each year we like to attempt to grow at least one ‘special item’. One of the good things about growing your own is that you can select items or varieties that aren’t available in the shops. This is often because the variety is more difficult to grow on a commercial scale or would not withstand the travelling time from field to shop. This year we are going to grow loofahs (the bath-things). They grow like cucumbers (not under the sea as a lot of people think!) and are dried out at the end of the season to become the back scrubber that I remember from my younger days – well, that’s the plan!
We also have three tomato plants and three bell pepper plants in the greenhouse. Rather than sowing seeds we bought grafted plants. Grafted means that a less hardy, but perhaps more tasty, variety is attached to the root of a reliable and hardy variety. They have been found to provide a more abundant crop. I really hope this is the case, particularly with the peppers, as we have only eaten about 4 home-grown peppers since starting on the allotment! We intend to use the cordon method we saw on Beechgrove Garden, so hope we will have more peppers than we’ll know what to do with this year ;

National Allotments Week starts on 8th August 2016. Look out for information of any events we’ll be holding. Also, in August the HAHA / RBL Horticultural Show is on the 20th – why not come along and see all our lovely produce or maybe win some in the auction!

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:



Hungerford Football by Ron Tarry

After some ups and downs in a season of fluctuating fortunes for a number of clubs, we finally made it into the play-offs, where clubs finishing 2nd to 5th in the league play off against each other for one promotion place. We could have finished 2nd, but a goalless draw at Leamington on the last day of the season saw the home side finish 5th whilst we were 4th, thus missing the opportunity of a home draw in the play-offs. In the end, it did not matter, for we went to third placed Hitchin and won 3-2, after being two goals down with 30 minutes to go: a marvelous performance. Amazingly, Leamington equalized in injury time at second placed Redditch in the other play-off semi-final and, after extra time, went on to win 3-1 on penalties.

All against the odds, we therefore had a home draw with Leamington in the play-off final on May 2nd and in front of a crowd of well over 1300 we came back from a goal down at half-time to win 2-1 and gain promotion to the National League South, the second tier of non-league football, where we shall meet teams like Bath City and Oxford City next season.

This was an incredible result due not only to the players, but all those who had worked so hard behind the scenes throughout the season.

The Hungerford Swifts, a team of local lads, are 3rd. in their division of the North Berks League and could also gain promotion, whilst the Swifts Reserves have won their league. It could therefore be a season of triple promotions, but whatever happens, it has been an amazing season of unprecedented success, the best in our history, of which the town can be justly proud.

Ron Tarry. President. Hungerford Town Football Club.

Hungerford Town Band by Tim Crouter

Hungerford Town Band are pleased to report another busy period of upcoming performances and concerts. An impressive performance at the National Brass Band Championships in March resulted in 8th place and we are now in a great position to push for promotion to the next league.

Events include traditional bandstand concerts in Victoria Park, Newbury on 22nd May, Eastrop Park, Basingstoke on 26th June and John Coles Park, Chippenham on 21st August. These are all on Sunday afternoons from 3pm to 5pm.

There is an open air Concert for Lambourn Festival on Thursday 11th August at 7pm.

We will also have afternoon performances at Snap Farm (Aldbourne Chase) for their Open Farm Day on 5th June, Childrey Manor Fete on 18th June and Lambourn Sports Club fete on 13th August.

Our main Summer Festival Concert (part of the HADCAF Festival) will be on Sunday 10th July at 7pm in Hungerford Town Hall. Entrance to the concert is free with a retiring collection in aid of band funds.

A Concert date for your diary is Sunday 30th October at 7pm in Hungerford Town Hall. This will include a “Last Night of the Proms” second half and more details will follow in the next issue. As usual all the proceeds will go to Hungerford Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Finally our successful Training Band is currently actively recruiting so if you know of anyone who is learning a brass instrument or used to play one, come and join us, contact me on 01488 680674 or via our new website
Tim Crouter Musical Director

Health by Liz

Natures Corner

The Power of Plants

From pomegranate to turmeric, there are hundreds of remarkably common herbs, roots, flowers, berries and plants that serve all kinds of important medicinal and health purposes. They may be anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antiseptic, expectorant, antibacterial, detoxifying, fever reducing, antihistamine, pain relieving or simply insect repelling, and can often be found in the wild and sometimes in our own gardens. Liz Chandler from Natures Corner takes a peep at the plant world and reveals a few of its wonders.

Just like humans, plants have organic compounds without which they wouldn’t be able to sustain life. The very compounds that protect plants from attack from insects, mites, bacteria, fungi and viruses, may also have a beneficial and protective effect on us, as we ingest them. They help prevent damage to cells throughout our bodies, regulate inflammatory responses and protect our genetic code, DNA. Compounds found in plants as diverse as turmeric root, grape skins and seeds, broccoli, leafy vegetables, garlic, carrots and many other herbs and spices, have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Hundreds of thousands of phytonutrients have been identified across our vegetable, fruit and herb crops. Many of them have multi-target functions, unlike most synthetically-manufactured drugs. Well researched phytonutrients include:

• Carotenoids: these provide the yellow, orange and red colours in fruits and vegetables, such as beta-carotene in carrots (antioxidant), lutein in marigolds (helpful against macular degeneration and cataracts) and lycopene in tomatoes (protective against heart disease).
• Curcuminoids: found in turmeric root, a powerful antioxidant, immune modulator and anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective agent.
• Resveratrol: a phytonutrient found in red grape skin and red wine, linked to reduced levels of heart disease.
Glucosinolates: from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale that help reduce high blood pressure.

Natural ripening of fruits and vegetables is vital for them to provide a full complement of phytonutrients and this can easily be detected through taste. If the flavour is full, the fruit or vegetable will be high in phytonutrients.

‘The Power of Plants’ is a fascinating subject, and if you would like to learn more, Natures Corner is hosting a talk by Sebastian Pole, Ayurvedic practitioner and Herbal Director at Pukka Herbs, at Arlington Arts on Tuesday 31st May at 7pm.

For information and tickets please email or telephone 01635 33007

Our Community

Our Police

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

Over the last month the team have been carrying out speed enforcements across the area. We have been in Kintbury, Hamstead Marshall, Shefford and East Garston.
Over the next month most of our villages have their annual parish meetings. We are hoping to have someone from the team attending each meeting for any questions and to provide an update.

Rural Crime
Since the last update there has been a significant drop in rural crime offences in the area. There are three incidents of note:
Overnight on the 2nd March -An outbuilding at a farm in Inkpen was broken into and tools taken.
Overnight on the 17th March a large amount of Diesel was siphoned from Lorries in Lambourn. Enquiries are still on-going and anyone with information should contact us.
Overnight on the 24th March a garage was broken into belonging to a property on the Baydon Road Wickham. The alarm was activated and the offenders have made off in a vehicle.

Other Crime
During the weekend of the 14th March there were several vehicles targeted in Kintbury that were parked near the station/Dundas Arms. In all instances the vehicles were entered and the ignition barrel tampered with in what was believed to be an attempt to steal the vehicles. Over the same weekend a vehicle which had been left on the A4 overnight near to the Hamstead Marshall crossroads was stolen. This vehicle was later found near to Brimpton.
Overnight the 17th-18th March four vans were entered in the Hungerford area and power tools were taken. The vans were parked in Park Way, Atherton Road and Priory Avenue. If anyone has any information regarding these incidents please contact 101 and ask to speak with someone from the Hungerford team.

Local CID at Newbury are currently investigating an attempted burglary dwelling to a property in Newbury Street Lambourn. The burglary has occurred between 27/03/16 and 28/03/16 – 22.00-08.00. A sash window to the rear of the address has been damaged. No entry is believed to have been gained and nothing believed to be stolen. Any Information please contacts DC 6705 Parsons at Newbury CID.

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:

Jack Williams

Fond & Distant Memories ………………………… Jack Williams

On page 32 of the spring Chain Mail was one of Hugh Pihlens nostalgic photographs of the Hungerford Laundry. This provided so much nostalgia but in particular one incident which I believe is shared with only Derek McCarthy. The whole town was motivated by the Laundry whistle during the working week, it signalled the start of the working day, the lunch break at midday, and the closure of the day at 5p.m. It was so obviously the centre of the total yard activity, and there was activity from the level crossing gates to the High Street.

The Berkshire County Council had a yard at the eastern end and notable characters worked there. Harry Sharp was the area manager and the County Surveyor for the area now called West Berkshire. John Luthwaite was the clerk, a great friend as he was also clerk to the Parish Council, and a very good footballer, he has a dedicated seat in the Avenue of Remembrance.

The west signal box on the railway dominated the area and its attendant level crossing gates; Brian Liddiard’s dad who was also my Uncle Fred, together with Harry Bennett were signalmen who come to mind. Jack Scarlett was foreman, Harry Martin the yard foreman, and we must never forget Fred Farr who daily wheeled his small dustcart into the High Street. There was a period when the Scouts moved from the back of Croft Hall to occupy sheds behind the signal box. Also there was a private house occupied by the Rosier family and a young Brian Liddiard had a vehicle body repair shop there for a time; I remember it well after a small shunt in Priory Avenue in the early 60’s!

I well remember the arrival of Somerfield as I was Mayor at the time and opened the store on January 1st 2000. There was a plaque which has now disappeared.

When my parents and family lived at 8 Broad View, the tall houses close to the British Legion HQ, our next door neighbour was Fred Mead the Laundry engineer. This fact led me to undertake a unique task I believe in 1944. Fred asked me to help him in cleaning the laundry boiler!!! Gosh what a job. Fred shut down the boiler on Christmas Eve, left the safety lid open and on the morning of Boxing Day I came to join him at the laundry. I changed into a bathing costume and was lowered into the boiler interior with a wandering electric lead light. The whole atmosphere was ”Jungle like” and whilst the fire had long gone out the fire box that ran through the boiler was still very hot. Armed with a large scraper and many buckets I was continually scraping and passing the buckets of lime scale out all day to ”Chips” Bill Hayes for dumping. This intense activity lasted all day and only someone of my slender build could have managed the job. As I recollect my reward was £3 and this was fair pay for a 16 year old lad in 1944. This is the memory I share with Derek and I would like to say that Hugh Pihlens book a ”Pictorial History of Hungerford” is a wonderful source for further articles. So if Hugh is agreeable I can find an association for articles as a school boy, a scout, a fireman, a Trustee of Town & Manor for 32 years, Trustee of other buildings and of course a Town Councillor for 45 years. Let’s see what happens.

Ed’s note….£3 was a fortune, because in 1959 when I started as an apprentice in London my pay was 5p an hour!!! Well actually a shilling and a ha’penny.


Hungerford PPG

Hungerford Surgery Patient Participation Group 

The PPG continues to meet on alternate months with the purpose of contributing to the continuous improvement of services and fostering improved communication between the practice and its patients. The PPG members are all patients of the surgery and have the opportunity to have a say and take action to improve the way health services are delivered in our community.

An issue we continue to monitor is the large number of patients who fail to notify the surgery that they will not be attending appointments. This results in others having to wait longer than necessary to get one. In January over 25 hours, February 25 hours , and March over 17 hours of appointments were wasted that equals 90 LOST because of this. If you cannot attend your appointment or no longer need one, please contact the surgery and let them know. Also ensure the surgery has your mobile number so they can remind you of your upcoming appointment.

Anne Maddison, a member of the PPG, recently hosted a meeting with a representative from NHS Healthwatch (Jo Karasinski) and a Boots Regional Manager (Emma Sperling), to discuss the progress being made at Boots, Hungerford, in addressing issues raised by patients of the Hungerford Surgery. Several of these issues related to service received in the Pharmacy. Emma announced that a permanent Pharmacist called Caitlyn Beattie has now been recruited to the Hungerford Store – great news, which should ensure much more consistency. A new Store Manager has also been appointed, as Judith Mears has had to move to Norfolk due to family reasons. The new manager is called Wendy Allen – she will be a familiar face to those of you who shop at Boots in Northbrook Street, Newbury, as Wendy was the Assistant Manager there for three years. Wendy brings a wealth of Customer Service and Management experience to Hungerford, as prior to joining Boots, she was Deputy Practice Manager at Falkland Surgery, Newbury, and she has also spent nine years, monitoring the emergency alarm call system operated by Sovereign Housing.
The new DDS Delivery Service is for existing DDS patients only. It is hoped to offer this service to new DDS patients in the near future.

At the request of Hungerford Surgery, Boots Pharmacy will give priority to serving the Community Nurses, who are collecting prescriptions on a patient’s behalf. These nurses are operating to a very tight schedule, and need to get to their patients with the medication, as quickly as possible. These prescriptions are often for ‘end of life’ patients.

Remember, you can ask a member of staff at Boots to order any product that is not stocked in the Hungerford store, and for those aged over 60, there is the added bonus of earning 10 points per £1.00 earned on the Boots Advantage Card for the over 60’s, is on Boots own brand products only.
A s stated in the last issue of Chain Mail – if you do experience a problem in Boots Hungerford, please ask to speak to the Store Manager, and allow her the opportunity to put things right for you.

If you have suggestions of what you would like your PPG group to discuss at future meetings, please e mail: or leave a message at the surgery.

Hungerford Primary School

As a result of the 2012 Olympic legacy and the Sport Premium money invested in all Primary schools, there is currently a unique opportunity to engage a new generation of children into a life-long love of movement and we are working together at Hungerford Primary School to create a passion for sport among our young children.

In addition to lessons where we develop agility, balance and control alongside teamwork and self-perseverance within Gymnastics, Dance and playing sports, we provide a wide range of sports clubs after school which are always well attended. These clubs include netball, hockey, rugby, athletics, tennis, cricket, Streetcheer, Kinetic Kidz, Dodgeball and football…

As a direct result, we regularly enter local competitions and have won several medals in a range of sports including athletics, orienteering, archery, 10-pin bowling and Alternative Olympics. But our biggest success this year has been our Year 6 Girls’ football team of nine girls who have won every tournament possible, both indoor and out. They are crowned Berkshire County Champions and finished in the top 5 at the South-West Regional finals last month.

Many of our former pupils have also continued their initial love of sport and have gone onto represent England in Women’s cricket and Women’s football, and there are County champions in athletics too.

We recently received a set of 30 new tracksuits generously sponsored by Quality Services which the children now wear to each sporting event, and this has helped to both raise the profile of sport within our school and has led to a renewed sense of comradery and pride. We also have a new netball and athletics kit sponsored by Smallbrownrobot Productions Limited which will be worn for the first time next weekend.

In the coming weeks, all 400 children will ‘Try Something New’ on a day when more than 40 people from local clubs give their time for free to enable the children to experience new sports such as Taekwondo, Karate, Archery, Golf and Kwik Cricket. Please contact the school if you’d like to be involved in this day – we are always looking to extend local links within the community. Indeed, we recently ran over 100miles as a whole school and raised £290 for Sport Relief!

Looking forward, we hope to offer an even more diverse range of opportunities for our young children at Hungerford Primary School to enable them to find a love for physical activity and we hope to forge closer links with existing clubs within the community. If you’d like to get involved and lead a sport at our school, or are in a position to sponsor a project or would just like to know more about sport at our school, please visit our website at for more information.

Mrs Jenny East PE Coordinator

Please contact the PTA on


Jo’G School

         Testing –

Are we getting it right for our young people?

In a week when parents removed their children from primary school for a day to avoid sitting SAT tests at the age of 6 or 7, and a week when GCSE students up and down the country started their 8-9 week long GCSE exams in earnest, I did begin to wonder if we were getting it right with testing.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that young people should be challenged and tested to assess the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout their time at school. The world works in such a way that success is often judged by how well someone can answer a series of questions in an exam, and in many careers, progression is only assured by successfully passing a number of exams. But is it totally necessary for 6 year olds?

Surely we should be encouraging our youngest children to be inquisitive and creative, to solve problems through play not sums; to discover a ‘love of learning’ which will inspire them to want to find out more, and in so doing will help improve their spelling and grammar. I have read many of the arguments about how the tests will raise standards and enable schools to identify areas of student underperformance and therefore help teachers to intervene as appropriate. We are often reminded as a profession that we are not as good as we could be and that we should look to other countries around the world and aspire to be more like them. According to a study published in 2015 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain ranks 20th out of 76 countries for standards of education. Asia dominates the top 5 spots, with Finland in 6th place the highest performing European country. So maybe we should aspire to be more like Finland? Having had a quick look at the Finnish education system, I discovered a couple of very interesting things: In Finland children do not start compulsory education until they are 7 years old. Before that they can attend pre-school (although this is not mandatory) where they are not expected to learn how to read. They are encouraged to take part in group activities and learn how to learn. There is no mandatory testing in Finland. Despite no compulsory testing at 6 years old, Finnish children still leave school with some of the best qualifications in the world. Food for thought I think.

In secondary schools, students are beginning their GCSE exams. These ‘new and improved’ tougher GCSEs have been introduced as part of the drive to improve standards and provide a truly rigorous test for our young people. I know for a fact that teachers and students are working harder than ever before to get ready for these exams. Back in my day (early 1990s) there was certainly no such thing as lunchtime revision sessions, afterschool revision and catch up sessions, Easter holidays revision timetable in school or weekend catch up classes. Nor was there email for me to send a past exam question to my teacher in the evening so they can mark it before lesson the next day.
This is a tough time for our young people, and I wish everyone, young or ‘old’ who is sitting tests or exams in the coming weeks, every success.

Alan Henderson Headmaster

Blasts from the Past

From the Parish magazine dated September 1875.

“On Monday August 2, (Bank Holiday) the members of Court John O’Gaunt of the Ancient Order of Foresters held a most successful demonstration and fete, the latter being held in Hungerford Park which G.S. Willes Esq., most kindly placed at their disposal. Early in the morning the strains of the Lambourne brass band resounded cheerfully as “bold Robin Hood and his merry men all” mustered in front of their Court-house, the John O’Gaunt, and headed by a handsome banner and gay with costumes and regalia, a long procession wended its way to the Parish Church to attend divine service. The Vicar preached a sermon from the text “Bear ye one another’s burdens”. After service, the Park was entered, not only by the Foresters and their friends, but by a large number of visitors from the neighbourhood. The first proceeding of the day was a Cricket match, which occupied the greater part of the day, eleven Foresters and eleven of the Town meeting for a friendly contest. After an interesting game the latter were victorious. There was an interval for dinner, for which Host Annetts catered in a large marquee. During the afternoon Athletic Sports were the principal centre of interest, and fairly good “fields” started for the various events”.

From the Parish magazine dated September 1889.
“The Dedication Festival of the Parish Church, in connection with the re-opening of the Chancel, was held on Thursday August 8, under very favourable circumstances. The repairs to the Chancel effected by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners consist of a new lead roof, and a ceiling of pitch pine panelled in accordance with the ceiling of the rest of the Church; a new East Window with beautiful tracery has been filled with tinted Cathedral glass; the plaster has been removed from the walls so as to shew the masonry; the floor of the Chancel has been re-arranged and laid with Minton tiles of a tasteful pattern; a new Altar rail with polished brass standards has been provided, and new seats for the officiating clergy. On the same day two new stained glass windows were unveiled. The subject of the first window is the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. Our Lord appears in Glory between Moses and Elijah, attended by the three chosen Apostles – St Peter, St James and St John. The subject of the second window is our Lord as Healer. In the central light He is depicted in the act of giving sight to the blind; in the right hand division He is healing the sick of the palsy; and on the other side He is shown cleansing the leper. Below is the legend “J.B.A. Dominus illuminato mea, 1889”. The windows are the work of Messrs. Lavers and Westlake. The treatment chosen is quasi fifteenth century, the first window being composed of single groups under sparkling canopies of white, and the second window under one canopy extending throughout the three lights and combining the whole into one picture. The Tea, which was held in a field adjoining the Church Croft kindly lent by Mrs Wooldridge, was very successful — 472 tickets being sold. It is proposed to hold the Tea in future years at the Dedication Festival of the Parish Church and St Saviours alternately”.
The second window was a dedicated to the Vicar Rev. J B Anstice who had re-gained his sight after a long illness.

More from the Archives next month. Fred Bailey

Legal Spot

LEGAL SPOT      Stamp Duty Land Tax – Changes April 2016

On 1 April 2016, the Government introduced amendments to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) which were aimed at predominantly raising increased taxes from Buy to Let landlords. They have done this by charging an additional 3% on top of the current stamp duty level of the property that is being purchased. This higher rate only applies to residential property with a value of £40,000 or more, and does not include commercial property.

The crux of working out whether or not your purchase of a new property is affected by the higher rate SDLT is whether or not it is an additional property for you.

If you complete the sale of your main residence and simultaneously complete the purchase of your new main residence then the higher rates of SDLT will not apply. If you have sold your main residence within three years prior to completing the purchase of your new home, then the higher rate of SDLT is not payable.

If you purchase a property which is to be your only or main residence but have not sold your existing home, then you will have to pay the higher rate of SDLT. However, you will be able to reclaim this higher rate (not all of your SDLT) if you sell your existing residence within three years of completing the purchase of the new residence. This needs to be within the time limit, which is currently three months from completion of the sale, or 12 months from the filing date of the SDLT Return for the purchase, whichever comes later.

Other than purchasing or already owning another property (such as a Buy to Let) there are other occasions when you could find yourself having an interest in another property:-

• You wholly or jointly own with another person a property anywhere in the world.
• You have inherited a share or all of a property on its owner’s death in the last 3 years.
• You have a beneficial interest in a property e.g. where you have provided a child with money to assist with the purchase of a dwelling and you own a share in that property.
• You have an interest in a property for life – i.e. you have a right to occupy a property for life after the owner has died or a right to income from the property.
• Your minor child is the absolute beneficiary of a trust which owns a property.
• Your spouse or civil partner owns a property. As a married couple all property owned by either of you is treated as being jointly owned. Please note other provisions apply if you and your spouse or civil partner are legally separated or separated in circumstances where the separation is likely to be permanent.

This is a very brief overview of when the higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax will apply for purchases and we would be happy to provide individual advice on your specific circumstances.

Dickins Hopgood Chidley LLP, The Old School House, 42 High Street, Hungerford, Berkshire RG17 0NF

T: 01488 683555 E: