Issue 132

1st September
1st December 2016

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

Front Cover by Micky Thompson

Hoping for an Indian summer stretching to nearly November, the picture this issue is of the traditional donkey rides at the seaside. With the Euro still looking quite expensive and with more and more people opting for a British summer holiday, when the weather is kind there is nothing better.

Making full use of retirement has seen us this year taking short breaks in Norfolk, the donkey rides were taken on Yarmouth beach, and also trips to Wales and Cornwall. Lots of photo opportunities, some of which may find their way into the annual Hungerford Camera club exhibition which this year is being held over the weekend of October 15th and 16th in the Hungerford Corn Exchange. If you are one of those people who come every year don’t forget to make a diary note, and if you have not been before it is quite a show and well worth a visit.

So here is hoping for lots of Autumn sunshine. I noticed a Punch and Judy show when last in Weymouth so maybe the traditional British summer holiday will continue to gain popularity.

Message from the Chairman of CHAIN.

Chain is going to be 40 years old next year and I am looking for ideas on how we should celebrate. Let me have your ideas by email or drop them into the Chain Office.

The Chain office is manned by two volunteers each weekday between 9.00 – 11.00 and it is these marvellous ladies and gents who match up the requests for transport with the drivers and therefore make Chain work. We have a shortage of volunteers due to ill health, holidays and retirement so if you feel you have a couple of hours a week free please let Deanne know in the Chain Office, on 01488 683807

June Tubb who has been a Trustee of Chain, organized the office and been a volunteer in the office for many years is retiring and we all wish her well and thank her for all she has done for Chain.

The Trustees of Chain will be having a Tea Party for all our volunteers, the Office staff, Car , Chairman and Handybus Drivers and all our ‘Links’ who deliver Chain Mail. This will be held in The Croft Hall on Wednesday 5th October between 2.00-4.00pm and we look forward to meeting you all and thanking you all for your volunteering.

Chain is not all about journeys. We also hold monthly Pub Lunches and bimonthly Croft Hall Lunches, if you would like to join either of these groups please let the Chain Office know and they will contact the organizers.

If you would like to volunteer for Chain as a Car, Chairman or Handybus Driver than please contact the Chain Office for application forms. We give training where required and you can choose how many hours a month you drive.

Hope you enjoy the rest of the summer and the autumn months and that the weather is kind to us all.

Janette Kersey


Hello, …….
The Save our Library campaign still goes on. How the West Berks Council can even consider closing this vibrant library is beyond belief, please see page 8 for the latest update. I would like to record here my grateful thanks on behalf of the FOHL to Hungerford Town Council for their continued support unlike our so-called West Berks local representatives!

I am reminded that over the years I have highlighted amongst many things the rip off of our local petrol stations charging far more than Newbury, I am happy to say that for months now they have been only a penny a litre more and sometimes the same. I also notice that the situation in Boots is continually improving so thank you to all the staff, and Tesco too, if you ask the staff they certainly do try to help but are often hampered by Head Office dictate!

I read that the government are asking older people to downsize to help pay for their care, if this is the case then the stamp duty should be abolished on that type of sale. If we take steps to help them with our care then they should contribute too.

So Vodafone have removed line rental charges on their Fibre Broadband services, I have always felt that the BT monopoly on line rental is a diabolical rip off. When I had a TV rental business as the television got older we reduced the rental. BT just keep increasing and increasing this iniquitous charge, it is about time other companies stepped in and created a lower rate?

This next paragraph is dear to my heart and I say, “Give to Hungerford’s CHAIN what you one day may well be in need of”. Go on Volunteer today and be proud.

I see that like so many volunteer organisations CHAIN are urgently seeking people to help in the office, just one two hour morning session a week would really be appreciated. Car drivers are also needed and just one volunteer drive a week would be a help, of course you can also do more and the people that need you do really appreciate your time. Petrol expenses are given at 45p a mile these days. Drivers are also needed for the specially equipped estate car that carries a wheelchair. I heard that to become one our Handybus drivers carries its own reward when you help up to eleven people a time to enjoy a trip out. Ted has an article on page 26. Kathy Bossom (& Tyrell ) are not to be outdone either as they appeal for help in distributing this wonderful local charity magazine ( I blow my own trumpet here) Kathy appeals on page 27. Of course CHAIN MAIL wouldn’t be wonderful without all the article contributors who fill our pages each issue, and just none of this would be possible without our advertisers who make the issues free, and most of them have been doing so for many many years, so thank you all!

Am I right in thinking that ALL our Utilities should be UK owned and to let other countries have a stake in vital electric supplies (for example) could just be really asking for trouble and could bring our country to its knees?

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 November for the issue on Dec1st. 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

New Term

As this edition is published, our students will be preparing to return to school. Some will be entering the education system for the first time and will be welcomed into the bustling environment at the Primary school. Others will be returning to John O’Gaunt’s where Head Alan Henderson has been overseeing a major transformation there adopting Academy Status. Interestingly, I understand that under the auspices of Excalibur, the links will be looking westward to St John’s in Marlborough.

The vision is to rebuild the senior level of education through a mutual exchange of facilities and teachers. Full details of this positive move will emerge in time, but it is hoped to be the first step in recovering 6th Form education at J O’G after its suspension 2 years ago.

It has been said that Hungerford is the town for Antiques and with that also came the view that our population was heavily weighted to the senior citizen. It is therefore refreshing to learn from new statistics that there are more residents under 35 years than over that age. As we build more housing this trend is likely to be maintained and the number of young students will increase exponentially. With this change comes the need to provide suitable opportunities for them to enjoy their leisure time in our locality. Currently there are many clubs and associations offering a range of activities but there is precious little for the mid-teens to expend their energy outside those confines.

I see the role of our Council to address this issue and seek to provide some other options but with limited funds, we need to be sure that we meet a demand rather than guess what the younger population would like. To this end, and working with J O’G, we are to conduct a survey that will hopefully shine a light on this issue. However, as readers of this publication are more likely to be parents /grandparents than the teens; this where you could help by asking around in your family and let me know what you have discovered where the Council could look to fill the gaps in our amenities.

It may also throw up some ideas that could be used to attract some commercial enterprise to fill some of the empty shops and provide a service aimed at this younger sector.

Martin Crane Mayor of Hungerford

Chain’s Page

CHAIN Handybus

2016 is going to be a year of considerable change for CHAIN’s provision of a community minibus. However, one thing that will not change is its name; it will still be known as ‘the Handybus’. The services the bus provides will also remain the same but the way the bus is sourced and funded will be very different.

We are already dealing with changes as a result of West Berkshire Council’s decision to remove the facility to use bus passes on Handybus journeys. This means that those passengers who used to use bus passes are now asked to make a financial contribution for their journey. CHAIN would like to thank all our passengers and drivers for helping to make this a very smooth change.

We expect to receive our new Handybus sometime in the last three months of 2016. The purchase of the new bus is made through the Department for Transport Community Minibus fund. It will be very similar to our current bus but passenger access will be easier. It was in December 2014 that we first became aware of the fund and debated at great length whether it was appropriate for CHAIN to apply. Given the climate of considerable uncertainty about West Berkshire funding (they fund our current bus), we decided that an application should be made to ensure the continued provision of a community minibus in Hungerford. Events in the last six months concerning West Berkshire local authority spending have proved how wise that decision was.

CHAIN will take on a considerable greater financial and legal burden. This is because the bus will be owned by CHAIN for the community rather than owned by or leased through the local authority. CHAIN believes that it is important that the benefit of a community minibus continues despite local authority cuts and therefore the burden should be carried by CHAIN. Firstly, we are very grateful for the award of new bus through the Department for Transport Fund. Secondly, we are very grateful for a grant awarded by Hungerford Town Council (matched funded by Greenham Common Trust) that will provide ‘pump priming’ funding for our first year of operation as we get the grips with the challenges all this presents!

The new bus will continue to operate the same/similar services. For example:
Regular weekly Wednesday morning shopping trips into Hungerford
Monthly shopping trips to Newbury
A weekly therapy trip to Swindon Hydropool
Various monthly and bi-monthly trips for CHAIN lunches
A number of social and transport trips for local organisations
As now, the Handybus will also be shared with Kintbury Voluntary Group who also
complete a number of regular weekly and monthly shopping trips.

All the CHAIN trips are arranged through a network of CHAIN organisers.

If you are interested in any of the regular journeys, please make contact with Ted Angell 01488 682610 and he will be able to provide you with the details of the appropriate organiser.

We schedule the bus trips each quarter and drivers come from our hard working volunteer team.

The bus is generally busy during Monday to Friday but is often free at weekends, so we are able to schedule one off trips for suitable local organisations but it helps if we get good notice of any requirements. Not only does the bus have to be free but we also have to find a driver!

We welcome applications for volunteer drivers (see contact above). A category ‘D1’ is needed on your driving licence. We then complete checks, training and assessment. Local organisations, who might like to use the bus, would find it very helpful if one of their members is trained as a driver.

Ted Angell

Lower down on this page

..Deliveries…….Office Help ….Drivers wanted

Chain Special Appeals

Newbury Weekly News Christmas Parcels for the over 80s.

CHAIN will, once again, be supporting Newbury Weekly News Christmas Parcels for the over 80s. If you live in Hungerford or Hungerford Newtown and have celebrated your 80th birthday this year, or will do so before the end of the year, and you would like to receive a parcel, please contact the co-ordinators on either of the telephone numbers given below. Similarly, if you know of anyone who is now 80 years old or will be by year end, let us know.

Finally, if you know of anyone over 80 but for whatever reason is no longer with us, again give us a call. We really need to keep our list up to date so that nobody misses out.

Ted and Daphne Angell
Hungerford Over 80s Parcel Co-ordinators for CHAIN
and the Newbury Weekly News

01488 682610 Mobile 077998 86597

Are you able to help deliver Chainmail?

We need more deliverers to help the team. At present, the following rounds are being covered by existing deliverers on top of their own rounds. Can you help?

1) Clarke’s Gardens & Lewington Mews (31 drops)
2) Fairfield Close (16 drops)
3) Cold Harbour Rd (46 drops)
4) Charnham Street from The Bear to the garage (46 drops)
5) Priory Rd nos 51 to 103 & 36 to 84 (59 drops – could be split)
*6) Everland Road & Station Yard Business Park (12 dr ops)
*7) High Street West between railway bridge & canal (47 drops including some
outside staircases)
*8) High Street East between railway bridge & canal (28 drops)
*9) Tealgate, Swangate, Herongate (16 drops)
*Starred rounds would ideally be able to deliver during the working day)

The magazine comes out 4 times a year. The next issue will arrive around Thursday 17th November and should be delivered by 1st December.

Please contact us as below if you are interested in any of the above rounds.

Kathy and Tyrell Bossom. Crown Needlework, 115 High Street, Hungerford,
RG17 0LU
01488 684011 (day & evening)


  Help in the Office please

If you have a couple of hours to spare can
you help once a week or even once a fortnight?

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

Do you have a couple of hours to spare?

Chain are in need of Volunteer drivers

Please call 01488 683727

Rob Chicken

Last year I stood for District Councillor in the local elections. This was the first time I had ever stood for any election, so no surprises that I didn’t get in. But I did achieve over 500 votes which I think was not bad for a first timer.

Anyway, following on from that someone suggested that I should join the Town Council in Hungerford instead. This is a non-political Council, where members a normally co-opted rather than elected. So last September, I volunteered and was voted in by the other members. As well as sitting on the main council, I have joined two sub-committees – ‘Environment and Planning’, and ‘Highways and Transport’ commonly known as E&P, and H&T. I also volunteered to represent the Town Council on the Youth Club Management Committee, and have recently become Chairman of that committee.

I have to say, I am thoroughly enjoying the experience. I have always felt that I would prefer to be in a position of seeing the bigger picture, and contributing to the decisions needed. But, the subjects we discuss in the Town Council are wide ranging, and are all to do with a town I have lived in for almost 30 years, and know well. So I have discovered that I enjoy getting involved with the pigeon problems in the High Street, the debates about the allotments and so on. This is all about helping people live their lives with the minimum frustrations caused by the environment they live in, and I believe the other town councillors also seem to share a similar approach.

The big issue for the Town currently is new houses, how many should be built, and where should they be sited? West Berkshire is under pressure from the Government to build more houses, and Hungerford is seen as an obvious place. The current proposal is to build to the south of the Town behind the John O’Gaunt School, but there are arguments against. Firstly, this area is currently farmland, and in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and as such should not be built on. Secondly, all the major roads for commuting are to the north of the town. More houses will cause more traffic through the town centre. There are other points which are also relevant from both sides and all of these have now been submitted to the government for a decision and we are currently awaiting the result.

The Youth Club is doing well. Since the Town Council took over this building there has been a problem managing it, because it adjoins the John O’Gaunt School and was originally part of it. We are now working towards separating the electrics, central heating etc. so that it will become totally independent. We have also separated the Youth Club Management Committee from the ‘Youth Club’ to make it easier to run the building and let it out to other groups. The big issue for us at the moment is that the John O’Gaunt School is becoming an Academy, and the Youth Club building is part of the building which will be managed under that. We have been told that the Youth Club will continue to exist under a new lease, but we are still awaiting confirmation of that.

The work continues . . .RC

Bits 1

Also on this page……..PPG Special ……Arts&Craft…..Family……..Food Fest

 This year enjoy a
Spectacular Fireworks Display
locally in Hungerford

on Sunday 30th October 2016 from 5pm within the grounds of John O Gaunt School.

Tickets are available in advance, at a
discounted rate, (£15 for a family of 4, £6 an adult, £3 a child) from Crown Needlework from Monday 12th September or you can purchase tickets at full price on the door.

The event opens with side stalls including BBQ, bar, tombola, followed by judging of the free Guy Fawkes Competition at 5.10pm, bonfire lighting at 5.30pm
and Fireworks from 6.30pm.

All money raised will go towards the school. Event is being organised
by John O Gaunt PSA and Hungerford Rotary.

Hungerford Surgery and PPG

Special Event (Patient Participation Group)
23rd September 2 til 4 pm at the Surgery
Building Communities Together

Do come along to this free information event, there you will find representatives from

Your Surgery and our PPG
Our Cancer Support Group plus Sue Ryder
Help for Carers
Help for Victim Abuse
Family Wellbeing

If you have any questions please contact

David Piper on 01488 683152 or

Arts & Crafts Weekend

Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 October

After the success of last year’s event, East Garston Meeting will be hosting another Arts & Crafts Weekend 2 – 6pm Sat 8 Oct and 1 – 4pm Sun 9 Oct. On both days a Mosaic artist will invite visitors to help decorate an item for the Peace Garden. Free entry.

Enquiries: 01488 208407

A Family Wellbeing Centre

We are your specialist Family Wellbeing Centre
“Everyone Matters”
“Be the best you can be”

We will welcome you and your children with friendship, listen to and share your stories, developing your sense of belonging to our community.

We will build relationships with you and your children where partnership is valued and there is time for the individual.
We will value and nurture everyone in our safe, stimulating and inclusive environment.
We will provide support, energy and challenges so that each individual is empowered to fulfil their potential to learn in exciting, interesting and reflective ways.
We will ensure that everyone feels proud of their achievements.

Why not come along, meet someone new, acquire a new skill, share your parenting stories, access useful information and maybe receive help from our skilled workers.

Alongside our specialist courses we run regular sessions in both Hungerford and Lambourn. With Bumps and Babes and Breastfeeding support on Tuesdays and Family Play and Learn on Wednesdays and Thursdays with access to the Health visiting team at most of our sessions. If you would like to find out more about this or our specialist Early Years courses why not call us on 01635 682628 or email and follow us on Facebook @hungerfordandareachildrenscentre

Our next BOOST course in Hungerford (supporting Mothers with low self-confidence and low self-esteem) is starting on 15th September every Thursday excluding school holidays for 11 weeks. Crèche available for under 5’s.
The Croft Hall, The Croft, Hungerford. RG17 0HY

Calling ALL Event Organisers

Secretaries or whoever,
If you would like your event added to the What’s On pages for Free, and also
put on our website What’s On (which can have much more data) FREE
please e-mail me by August 1st at………

You can of course e-mail me at any time to have your event added to What’s On
on our website and also on
Hungerford’s Townsite



With over 50 stalls, sizzling street food and the buzz of live cooking demonstrations, this year’s Hungerford Food Festival 10.30am – 4pm Sunday 2 October promises to be another inspiring celebration of local and seasonal fayre.

This year’s demonstrator chefs will include best-selling What’s for Dinner? cookbook author and head of the Honesty Food Group, Romilla Arber; Head Chef of Blandys@Inglewood Gert Pienaar and Masterchef semi-finalist Ollie Hunter from The Wheatsheaf in Chilton Foliat.

As usual there will be plenty for local foodies to do. This year’s Hungerford Cook-Off will have categories for local chefs and cooks, as well as the general public, and will be judged by local food writer Carole Elgueta and Sue Jones from the Michelin starred Harrow in Little Bedwyn. The challenge is on to find the best local recipes using the best local ingredients! Gardeners are also invited to enter the pumpkin competition. More details on how to enter our competitions can be found on

Local and award-winning food and drink producers will offer a tempting array of fresh produce, local meat & game, pies, beer, cider and wine, rapeseed oil, apple juice, honey, cakes, fudge, artisan bread and preserves with many offering free tasters and samples. And there will be plenty to feast on from Simple Franks burritos and crepes, The Merry Kitchen’s sausage rolls & pasties and T.H.Burrough’s burgers to Mrs B’s saucy salads, Foxglove Flock roast lamb, Noi Thai Food and Isidro’s Asian street food.

Hungerford Food Festival is proud to be part of British Food Fortnight and is kindly sponsored by Doves Farm, Audley Inglewood and Cobbs Farmshop.

Entry only £1 for adults (U16s free). For more information please visit or contact

Will you be alone on Christmas Day?
Would you like to join our Christmas Lunch as a helper or guest?

To register your interest, please phone Catherine (Village Agent) 07717 133021; email or leave a note at the CHAIN Office.

Please contact us by 21st October, so we can decide if we have enough people to go ahead. Please also let us know if you would need transport to be able to attend.

Venue: Hungerford Methodist Church Hall, Bridge Street RG17 0EH
This is a joint venture to benefit our community between the Village Agents and Hungerford Methodist Church.

Tickets will be priced to cover costs (this is not a fundraising event).
If any organisations or individuals can offer a donation to help us reduce costs, we would be very grateful – please contact us as above.


Bits 2

Arts Festival 2016

On behalf of the organisers of HADCAF 2016, I would like to thank all who contributed to the Festival’s success by taking part, supporting, attending or helping at the numerous events. There were so many highlights: Maureen Lipman’s hilarious monologues, Jacqui Dankworth’s exquisite voice….a thrilling (and chilling) staging of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde….Steph Richardson’s jazzy soirée….the Villiers Quartet’s lyrical recital….the Reading Community Gospel Choir’s fabulous singing….our beautiful countryside, explored on river, marsh and meadow walks…. If you missed anything you can see photographs (courtesy of Tony Bartlett) on the Festival website:

All in all a great Festival, made possible by grants from the Town Council, the Town and Manor of Hungerford, Greenham Common Trust and West Berkshire Council, and through the generosity of many local sponsors to whom we are immensely grateful. We are also indebted to the staff of Newbury Building Society for managing the Festival box office, to the Hungerford Club for hosting planning meetings, and to the very helpful Trustees and staff of our various venues.

We hope you enjoyed the programme and look forward to seeing you again next year. If you have any suggestions or would like to be involved in planning and helping the 2017 programme, do please come to the AGM on November 3rd in The Croft Hall (John Newton Room) at 7.30pm. You will made most welcome!

Brian Davis, Chairman HADCAF 2016

Ransomware Sherriff’s

(Ransomware – malware that locks your computer)
There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s cracking down on ransomware from all bandits that lock away your files and demand money for you to get them back. Its name is

Created by The Dutch National Police, Europol, Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab, this website gives you the knowledge and tools to fight and defend against ransomware without having to pay the criminals. Not only does this website help with its Crypto Sheriff that asks for 2 infected files and an email or website that is seen in the ransom demand, then will give you a solution if there is one out there. It also gives prevention advice on how to avoid ransomware attacks altogether.

This website is a shining example of what the internet should be used for and the fact it’s free to use is even better. If you have ransomware worries or think you’ve had an attack yourself head on over too this website, or bring it in to Green Machine Computers Ltd at 6 Whittonditch works SN8 2XB and we can take a look for you, you can call us on 01672 520133.

Please contact us if you need some advice on 01672 520133

   A new U3A Group in Hungerford?

Do you have an enquiring mind? Would you like to find out more? Or do you have a specialism that you could share?

The U3A is a self-help learning organisation for people who have completed their career or finished raising a family. It means there is time to enrich life with new skills and experiences, pursue interests, form new friendships and enjoy a sense of belonging to a vibrant community.

The U3A is different from most other adult learning organisations. Rather than paying people to teach, we encourage members to share their knowledge and talents with other members. This self-help self-funded model empowers us to create opportunities to learn in the way that suits each person best. There are no qualifications needed and none given.

As a result, members contribute to a wide range of engaging and stimulating interest groups in an atmosphere of mutual support and companionship. Because they reflect the individual wishes of their members, all U3As are different – but they all deliver a life-enhancing experience.

So why not join the other 366,000 members in 997 U3As in the UK?

Find out more about a new U3A Group in Hungerford on the 15th September 2016 at 2pmat The Magistrates Room, Town Hall, Hungerford RG17 0LZ
and begin to Learn, Laugh and Live!

Hungerford Surgery

Hungerford Surgery Newsletter – August 2016

Minor Injuries
At the Surgery we not only have a high number of patients who book to see a GP or Nurse and then DNA (do not arrive) but also patients book inappropriately with us instead of going to Minor Injuries. We do not Suture, Glue wounds or deal with sprains or fractures so it is much quicker for these to be dealt with at Minor Injuries or A&E and if patients come to us we will then send them on to the appropriate place. We will, of course, never turn someone away who needs urgent treatment and I am sure patients will understand if we do have an emergency in the Surgery they will be kept waiting.

Routine and Urgent Appointments
Our waiting time for routine appointments is 2-3 weeks but there are always urgent on the day slots available. We along with many other Surgeries are finding it very difficult to recruit a replacement GP and have been constantly trying for the last year.

Surgery List Sizes

As you will have seen in the press the government are trying to tidy up Surgery List Sizes so will be writing to patients who haven’t been seen for more than 5 years to check they are still living at the same address and if they receive no reply they could remove you from your GP list. So please reply to any letters that you receive promptly and also let us know of any Change of Address or Telephone Number.

Flu Clinics
It will be Flu Clinic time shortly so below is a list of our Saturday Morning Flu Clinics:-
SATURDAY 1ST OCTOBER – 9.00-11.30am
SATURDAY 8TH OCTOBER – 9.00-11.30am
SATURDAY 15TH OCTOBER – 9.00-11.30am
SATURDAY 22ND OCTOBER – 9.00-11.30am
These Clinics DO NOT require appointments or phone calls just turn up on the morning if you are Over 65 or in one of the At Risk Groups. JK

Virtual Museum

Turnpike Trusts         

It is 150 years since the local turnpike trusts were abandoned. They had had significant influence on the improvement of roads across the country over the previous 150 years.

How did the turnpike system work? By the 17th century, roads throughout England were in a very poor state. In theory parishioners had to give three or four days free work for the maintenance of high roads which passed through their parish. In practice, no-one likes to work for nothing, and maintenance was skimped.

By the turn of the 18th century a solution to the problem was found. Groups of landowners financed the improvement of roads in return for the right to charge each user. For each stretch of road an Act of Parliament was required to authorise these turnpike trusts. Between 1708-1750 more than 400 Road Acts were passed. There were over 5,000 turnpike tollhouses. However, the turnpike system was unpopular. Most people saw little improvement in the quality of the roads, resented the frequent halts, and above all, hated paying the tolls!

Hungerford lay at an important junction of four roads:
The Speenhamland to Marlborough Turnpike Act was first passed in 1726, but little seems to have been done to improve the road until a renewal act was obtained in 1744. The tollhouse near Halfway (about one mile east of the Kintbury crossroads) was only demolished c1962-64.

The Besselsleigh to Hungerford Turnpike covered the road north from Hungerford towards Oxford (now the A338) passing through Wantage, before joining the Swindon to Oxford road (now A420) near the village of Bessels Leigh before reaching the outskirts of Oxford. The Hungerford tollhouse was on Eddington Hill, as the road rises up the hill out of Eddington village.

The Hungerford to Leckford Sousley Water Turnpike managed the road between Hungerford and Collingbourne Ducis.

The Swindon to Hungerford Turnpike, covered the route north-west to Swindon.

After 150 years, the end of Turnpikes came in the 1880s. Rail transport had replaced horse-drawn coaches, and toll gates were perceived as an impediment to free trade.

The Local Government Act of 1888 gave responsibility for maintaining main roads to county councils and county borough councils.

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.

We are a Happy bunch here in Hungerford but could we make it even better if during our meanderings we were to acknowledge our brothers and sisters by greeting EVERYONE? Maybe a smile or maybe a short verbal greeting such as Good Morning or Good Day. Just an idea but over to you folks now!

But now for a grouse. Traffic problems in the town well known but do we really have to put up with massive trucks hindering local traffic. A danger to all. Possibly even worse are private vehicles speeding in built up areas especially the High Street and endangering pedestrians on designated crossings. Come on Thames Valley Police, please do something!

Now there are many local citizens who deserve accolades for one reason or another. Amongst the many I would like to mention the following: Martin Crane (our local mayor), Rod Desmeules (our local Jack of all Trades), Brian Talmage ( Decorator and Gardener par excellence), David Piper (of Chain Mail renown) and many many more too numerous to record this time around but deserving of mention in future editions.

One final pat on the back for what must be the smallest coffee shop in the United Kingdom. You know the one I mean, right next door to the butchers. Personally I think they should feature in the Guinness book of records! Well done to the owners and the best of trading.

That’s all folks for the time being, hope you have enjoyed reading. So bye for now and God bless to you all. Bye for now.

The Grouser

Gardening by Stacy


Hungerford library has a new club to add to the activities it offers. The Gardening club meets on the 2nd Friday of the month: we are a group of people with a keen interest in gardening, some of us experienced and some just starting out. We soon discovered that although we all live locally the conditions in our gardens vary greatly as does the soil types. This led to us recently all testing our soil. It seemed a sensible first task to carry out, as when gardening it should be the first step you take.

Soil falls into 3 categories – acid, neutral or alkaline- which are measure on a pH scale. A neutral soil has a pH of 7, while above 7 is alkaline and below is acid. You may see these described as calcareous (- pH7 ) and ericaceous (+ pH 7). It is important to know where your soil fits on this scale as it will determine which plants will thrive in your garden. It may sound complicated but you needn’t have a chemistry degree to do a soil test. Nowadays a simple kit can be purchased from the local garden centre which will help you with this task. But it is best not to test your soil if you have applied fertiliser or organic matter recently as you will not get a true reading.

So once you know the soil’s pH you can choose what you want to grow. The ideal soil is pH 6.5 -at this level most plants will grow quite happily. Anything either side of pH 6.1- 7 will struggle to make some nutrients available to plants or can encourage soil borne disease and so they will eventually fail to thrive. It is possible to change a soil’s pH – e.g. by adding lime to an acid soil -but this is a temporary measure as it will leach away.

Unless your soil is severely to the left or right of the scale you will still have a good range of beautiful plants you can grow. On the acidic side there are Camellias, Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Heathers to name but a few. If you haven’t got acid soil you can of course grow those plants in tubs or raised beds provided you fill them with ericaceous compost. If you are on the other end you have a chalky soil as many people in Hungerford (but not all!) do, then choose Buddleia, Lavender, Geranium and Dianthus. Chalk soils tend however to be quite shallow and very free draining so lose moisture quickly and lack nutrients so it is best to prepare the site first by digging in organic matter.

There are of course other factors which should be considered when choosing plants, including the aspect of the site (north/south facing etc) and whether dry or boggy.


Royal British Legion

Poppy Appeal and other British Legion news

Armed Forces Day was held on 2nd July. This coincided 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. Those who fell from the local area had their names read in memoriam.

The Poppy Appeal total is now £26,876.97. The Poppy Picnic was held on the 17h July. It is hoped to make this an annual event. The Poppy Appeal thank you evening is being held on Friday 16th September starting at 7.30pm. Di will be sending invitations to all collectors in the near future. Any new collectors will be most welcome.

The membership renewal season will soon be upon us. Existing members will be receiving their Branch renewal letter soon. Please pay this by pay point or by credit card on the phone number on the letter. You will then be sent your Branch membership card, again by post. Please then take the card to the Club to pay their fee. If you have any problems please phone me.

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 email

Derek Loft

Hungerford Library / HUB

West Berkshire Council will have received the results of the Needs Assessment by the beginning of September and will be making decisions about the future development of the library service in West Berkshire in due course.

The library has been very busy this summer with children taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge. If you started one of the challenges and haven’t yet finished, you have until the end of September. The theme this year was ‘The Big Friendly Read’ celebrating 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl. Children were required to read 6 books and make three visits to the library over the summer. It was lovely to see them all take part in the challenge and our weekly craft activities.

We have started a new Gardening club which meets on the second Friday of the month, 5:30-6:30. It is free so if you are interested in gardening or looking for a new hobby, come along.

We are also hoping to start two other monthly groups:
Touch to See is a book club predominantly for blind or partially sighted people but is open to anyone. We are also looking for volunteers to help with this group. This group is still in the planning stage, so if you’d like more information contact the library or Maria on 01635 299771 email: A starting date has not yet been confirmed.
The other group is a Reminiscence Group aimed at those suffering with dementia and their carers. It will be a place to meet and chat. This will take place on the last Tuesday of the month, 11:00am-12:00 and the first session will be on Tuesday 27 September.

We continue to offer several other 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 1:30, 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

Save our library campaign
– update

By the time you read this, the Needs Assessment carried out by Red Quadrant on behalf of West Berkshire Council (WBC) will have reached its conclusion. We would like to thank the huge numbers that turned out on the 8Th July to support our cause and have their say on the future model of Hungerford Library. We were thrilled to have Red Quadrant’s time fully utilised by multiple user groups – your passion and enthusiasm was very evident and I’m sure this will go a long way when any decision made on this vital community resource.

The Friends of Hungerford Library (FoHL) are thrilled that a decision has finally been made by WBC to publish Red Quadrant’s Needs Assessment in full rather than an edited version. We are much more optimistic following this report because the decision will now be made by full council and not just the executive committee. FoHL believe the decision made by Hilary Cole (Portfolio Holder WBC) will go some way to rebuilding the trust between all parties concerned.

FoHL have been kept busy with the Library‘s children’s competition ‘We love our library – do you?’ We had tremendous support from local schools and received hundreds of entries. Thank you all so much. Although all winners in our eyes, our judges had the unenviable task of picking a winner and runner-up from each age category. The winners each received a £25 book token and the runners-up a £10 book token. The prizes were kindly donated by David Piper in memory of his late partner Sylvia Laker who was a supervisor at Hungerford Library for twenty years. FoHL also have to thank the judges for their time which very much appreciated.

Here are the names of our deserving winners:
Age 3-5: Winner Lucas Green Runner-up Alexander Bellman
Age 6-8: Winner Ruby Clements Runner-up Oliver Carroll
Age 6-12: Winner Johnathon Pannett-Smith Runner-up Ellie Keen
Age 13-16: Winner Charlotte Morris Runner-up Sophie Pannett-Smith

FoHL are continuing to work hard to secure our vital resource for future generations to enjoy. We will need to call on your help again when faced with a second consultation following the Needs Assessment but in the meanwhile will keep you up to date with any news or developments as they happen. Together I am sure we can SAVE OUR LIBRARY!

The Friends of Hungerford Library

Steam by Tony Bartlett

Steam railways update

So this is what all the fuss was about – newly restored to full working order
Flying Scotsman on the Common by the Downgate for one of two unexpected sightings at Hungerford in May. It worked Cathedrals Expresses to Salisbury enthusiastically viewed by many observers both young and old who would not normally be enticed to the track-side.
Even for hardened enthusiasts this was probably the highlight of a disappointing quarter characterised by cancellations in the aftermath of the West Coast Railways operating restrictions. Plans were also affected when the available stock of mainline steam locomotives proved unable to keep up with the demand from tour operators.

The British Pullman made one of its regular distinguished appearances with its reserved locomotive Tornado, and the steam shortage brought two visitors from the northern pool to provide a welcome LMS complexion to our steam specials. Firstly Jubilee Class 6 no. 45699 Galatea in LMS maroon livery was seen at Reading working the Cotswolds Venturer, and later in July Royal Scot Class 7 no. 46115 Scots Guardsman worked the season’s first West Somerset Steam Express (WSSE) through Hungerford, its green livery blending in too well with its rural surroundings.

As a rider to these sightings and for those of us who saw the ill-judged recent BBC TV series on ‘train-spotting’, we should count ourselves lucky that we have more than just the sight of a Black Five passing backwards at walking pace to get genuinely excited about!

In the light of experience so far this year, you would have to say that the rest of the 2016 programme looks extremely ambitious. WSSEs have been reduced to just one each in August and September but otherwise there is a full programme of Cathedrals Expresses, including a 4-day break to Cornwall, and a diverse choice of destinations from the smaller operators. The excursion to the Severn Valley Railway looks very attractive but, as with most of the programme, local residents have to travel considerable distances to get on board – not an excuse which can be used for the early September Cathex to South Devon making a rare (and hopefully worthwhile) station stop at Hungerford for our convenience.

Late substitutions of motive power may continue to occur but the situation should improve when LMS Pacific no. 46201 Princess Elizabeth makes a welcome return after overhaul.

Tony Bartlett



Pacificists in Action – Exhibition for UN International Day of Peace

A major touring exhibition about Quaker peace and relief work will be on show in East Garston from Wednesday 21 September, UN International Day of Peace, until Sunday 25 September at the Quaker Meeting House opposite East Garston Village Hall, RG 17 7EY.

From anti-slavery campaigns to humanitarian relief during the Irish famine and war zones around the world, Quakers have been putting their pacifist beliefs into action for centuries.

Quaker organizations staffed ambulance trains in France in the First World War and organized relief work in Europe in its aftermath. The men and women involved were often conscientious objectors who were nonetheless willing to risk their lives on the front line to save others. Unarmed and unpaid, many received the Croix de Guerre for bravery, including Harry Locke, grandfather of an East Garston Quaker. Some paid the ultimate price.

In the Second World War, teams of relief workers served in Europe and China and at home helped in hospitals and evacuation centres. In 1947 the Quakers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their dedicated work for people of all backgrounds in and after the war.

The exhibition describes all of this and more with factual accounts, images, human stories, interviews and documentary footage.

“Witnessing to non-violence” is a central aspect of Quaker beliefs. It has led to initiatives to establish offices in Geneva and New York to support and influence efforts of the UN and other international agencies. Programmes to help schools find creative ways of dealing with conflicts are one of many current activities.

This touring exhibition was conceived and produced by the Institute of Humanitarian and Conflict Response at University of Manchester in co-operation with the Quaker Service Memorial Trust.

Visitors to the exhibition are also invited to support the Knit for Peace charity by knitting squares to be sewn into clothes for people in need around the world. Needles, wool and instruction will be provided!

Opening times:
11am – 6pm on Weds 21 September
2 – 7pm on Thurs 22 & Fri 23 September
10am – 6pm on Sat 24 September
1 – 4pm on Sun 25 September
Or by appointment on 01488 208407. Free entry.

Film Night: Beyond Forgiving – Friday 23 September

On Friday 23 September at 7.30pm East Garston Quakers will be showing award-winning documentary film ‘Beyond Forgiving’ in East Garston Village Hall. This short film is about understanding and forgiveness in the wake of tragedy and loss in post-Apartheid South Africa. After the film there will be Q and A session with the executive producer, Howard Grace from Newbury. Free entry. All welcome.


HAHA by Belinda

An Allotment in Hungerford.……….

As a plot holder I should be used to thinking ahead but thinking about Christmas seems wrong. However, it’s my turn to cook the Christmas meal this year. It won’t be a veggie roast but whatever I cook it seems it will include parsnips for the first time in several years. Yay! I hope I’m not speaking too soon. However, Brussels sprouts may not be on the menu as our plants are the weakest we’ve ever grown!

2016 started pretty badly with the unknown future of the Marsh Lane site – this continues to be an issue, but we remain hopeful for some sort of extension, at least temporary, preferably for more than a year at a time…
The next problem we faced was the huge amount of slugs and snails decimating our seedlings as they emerged and eating potatoes and rhubarb. Things gradually improved with the arrival of toads, frogs and so many thrushes that enjoyed helping us out with our mollusc problem. Rather unexpectedly we’ve had a very productive year so far with lots of lovely home-grown fruit and veg: strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, beans and plenty more to come.

As I write this we are beginning to think about the Horticultural show in 2 weeks time. It takes a bit of planning but it’s such a fun event I’m glad that HAHA are involved in it again. It’s always interesting to see what other growers produce in Hungerford and it’s great for people to see what we achieve on the allotments. Will we manage to improve on the 300 entries that we saw last year? We may need to call in additional judges if we do!

In October we will have our usual stand at the Hungerford Food Festival. Do come and visit us! The display of vegetables generously provided by our plotholders is always a delight, with some unusual items that you won’t find in the supermarket. I’m sure we’ll have some tasty morsels for you to try and perhaps you’ll be encouraged to grow your own at home or join us on the allotments (wherever we may be).

Growing your own food definitely encourages creativity; we’ve found so many different ways of cooking with potatoes, onions, courgette and garlic! This year I have pickled fresh garlic cloves in red wine vinegar which should spice up some tapas dishes! Last year’s spicy toasted pumpkin seeds were such a tasty snack I will certainly be trying a few more versions of them this year and I’ll try to save some of our sunflower seeds if I get to them before the birds.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and I hope I’ll still have a plot to write about next year!

Our allotment life is recorded through my blogs: and

You can contact Hungerford Allotment Holders Association on 0754 118 7274

Visit Marsh Lane Allotments on Facebook and Twitter.



Hungerford Football by Ron Tarry

……….The club have completed a busy programme of pre-season friendly matches as we prepare for a momentous season in the Vanarama National League South, the highest level at which we have ever competed, indeed the highest level ever reached by a West Berkshire club. We have had 7 wins against local sides, drew at Swindon Supermarine, losing only to a Reading XI on their training ground and a Bristol City XI at Bulpit Lane. The results are irrelevant, however, providing new players have been moulded into the team and that everyone is fit and raring to start this new venture.

We shall be visiting many new clubs and our opponents include teams like Margate, Bath City, and Oxford City, so there are plenty of attractive games to tempt new faces to Bulpit Lane and we are hoping to see bigger crowds to cheer on the team.

We shall also be fielding a Hungerford Swifts side and a Swifts Reserves side, all young local lads who pay to play, so there is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the game, even if they do not aspire to play at the first- team level.

The clubhouse and bar is open at all home games and a tea bar, serving a variety of refreshments is also available for spectators.

Come along and join us as we make this huge leap forward. We may be the smallest club in the league, but every supporter counts.

Ron Tarry. President. Hungerford Town Football Club.

Hungerford Town Band by Tim Crouter

Hungerford Town Band is nearing the end of its busy summer period and have been encouraged by audience comments wherever they have performed, and now turn to preparation for their exciting Autumn/Christmas schedule.

Firstly on Sunday 30th October at 7pm in Hungerford Corn Exchange they will give their annual ‘Poppy’ concert. All the proceeds from the event will go towards the Hungerford Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. If you’ve not been to a band concert recently you will have the opportunity to join in with singing and flag waving as the band’s second half will be in the style of ‘The Last Night Of The Proms’. This will include familiar music from the pens of Sir Henry Wood, Sir Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst and others.

Then comes the band’s busiest time of year performing carols and other seasonal music for Christmas shoppers and other festive occasions. This will include performing at the Victorian Extravaganza and our own Christmas Concert on Saturday 10th December at 7.30pm an Hungerford’s Corn Exchange. Everyone is welcome for a musical celebration of Christmas.

Finally there is always the opportunity to either return to playing or to learn to play a brass instrument. If you require any further information please contact Musical director Tim Crouter via the band’s website

Health by Liz

Spice up your Health

Many herbs and spices have health enhancing properties but there are some that deserve more attention than others, and one in particular is turmeric. Liz Chandler from Natures Corner tells us what is so special about this autumnal coloured spice.

Turmeric is a perennial herb of the ginger family that is extensively cultivated in India, China and Indonesia. Its key active constituent is curcumin, which is found within the root of the plant and is the part that is responsible for its vibrant yellow colour.

Studies have shown that the curcumins can inhibit the compounds involved in the inflammatory response. This makes it very useful for inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, eczema and psoriasis (both inflammatory skin problems). For joint stiffness and pain, the combination of turmeric and glucosamine can give considerable relief to the sufferer.

Turmeric is also cardio protective and has been shown to reduce platelets from clumping together, which in turn improves circulation and may help to prevent cardiovascular disease. For this reason, high doses should not be taken with anti-platelet or anti-coagulant drugs.

For those of you that watch TV the programme ‘The Food Hospital’ demonstrated the healing powers of turmeric, when curcumin was visually shown to inhibit and destroy bowels cancer cells in a petri dish. Studies have, indeed, shown that curcumin effectively inhibits metastasis (uncontrolled spread) of melanoma (skin cancer) cells. This effect is likely to be due to its antioxidant activity in the body. The protective effects of turmeric occur at all steps of cancer formation: initiation, promotion and progression.

For those of us working with natural herbs and remedies, the wonderful healing properties of turmeric are readily accepted and many studies confirm turmeric to be anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, liver protective, cardio-protective and a digestive tonic. We must emphasize, however, that treating serious illness such as cancer should be undertaken in consultation with qualified practitioners and cancer specialists.

Herbs and spices have many effects – some calmative, some stimulating, some condition specific and some holistic. The benefits of curcumin are vast and diverse, but one thing is certain, turmeric can certainly spice up your health.

For information please email or telephone 01635 33007

Jack Williams

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

David Piper rings to remind me he will need an article for Chain Mail so the time has come to put my thinking cap on and write for the interest of my friends in the Town.

Let’s go back to pre 1974 – on Boxing Day the M4 opened and suddenly the A4 was transformed, the traffic almost disappeared certainly the very large number of HGV goods lorries. Before the M4 the old Bath Road was on the main route to London consequently the motor trade in Hungerford flourished.

If I start in the west there used to be a single petrol pump operating (almost buried in a hedge) adjacent to the Sun Public House and Alf Middleton would appear and serve petrol (more on this site later).

Next was Stradlings local branch garage run by Mr Stevens and whose son Ted managed Lambourn Water Works and he later graduated to Hungerford water works, following his father again into serving with Hungerford Fire Brigade.

Digressing from the A4 the pre-war personnel in the Brigade were amazingly interesting local personalities such as Doug Wilmot, Harry Giles, Vic Caswell, Con Wilkins and Tom Buckland, but when I joined the Brigade in 1951 only young Ted Stephens remained, a whole article could be written on my service in the Fire Brigade, (but we will keep that for another time). Just as a starter I joined the Brigade in 1951 in time for both Margaret and myself to have the benefit of two guards of honour at the Church door. First the Guides as Margaret was a lieutenant (a job she cherished), then the Fireman, this then extended to a trip around the whole town with a fire bell announcing our approach.

Back to the A4, Norman’s Garage (now Texaco) was then using the old Foundry Buildings and with a wooden bridge leading to the petrol pumps. There were splendid men, Reg Tilley was the foreman and that great character John Ferguson who lived at 1 Atherton Crescent, John was a fine motor mechanic and owned a very old motorbike which was tuned to perfection. John loved to coast along on the A4 waiting for a challenge from a young motor cyclist. He would then open the throttle on his bike, his cap firmly in place and on backwards. Great days they were.

Kennet Motor works (Co-op petrol station) was much smaller then but producing two excellent motor mechanics, Tommy Bell and Charlie Wills. They later set up their own workshop adjacent to that great town landmark the gasometer (rear of Ratnams), now a long disappeared.
Past the Bear Hotel stood a new imposing building white walled with glass showroom which was Stradlings with a large petrol and diesel pump forecourt, a garage which I became familiar with in the 1970s.

The disappearance of the Chilton factory and ultimately the appearance of houses (Cherry Grove & Chilton Way) was quite distressing for many devoted factory employees. For a while after the factory had closed ( 2 years to be exact) I transferred at the request of the Ward family to saving and making some sense of the Hungerford Service Station (formerly Stradlings). I had excellent motor engineers such as John Taylor, Ray Willoughby and one of our towns favourite engineer Bernie White. The garage opened 24 hrs 7 days a week and the diesel sales were the largest on the A4.

Then in 1974 along came the M4 and forecourt sales dropped dramatically. I well remember Christmas Eve 1974 when I closed the doors for the final time, I was personally involved together with my two teenage sons, a great relief but also a little sad. Hungerford Service Station closed its Mercedes Service contract, the Ford agency was transferred to Peter Stirland, after breakfast at the Home Café the business was transferred to BMW with Peter Knowland of Farringdon. This concluded a very very hectic two year period of my life and saw Hungerford’s A4 road return to normality.

It would be an error to detail garages and not detail the pubs from my start date of the post war years, the Sun Inn, the Bear Hotel probably had the greatest claim to historical fame and certainly the stopping place for William of Orange before he accepted the English Throne. Do you remember the story? The great march down the High street of 1000’s of Dutch soldiers, where did they stop? The Red Lion and the Lamb, both adjacent to Falkner Square were all very active in my younger years.

To conclude, to my shame I was involved (with others) in the sad story of the demolition of the Manor House (Card shop & Thornton’s) in the High Street and the introduction of a petrol station there.


Hungerford PPG

   New Cancer Support Group    

We felt that there was a gap in the support for cancer patients, families and friends in Hungerford. As a result we decided to form a group to help people in the town and surrounding villages.

With advice from the Macmillan Cancer Charity we have formed a new group with the intention of having monthly afternoon meetings at the Bear Hotel, Hungerford. We envisage people coming along to share their experiences, gain knowledge from each other, provide a sympathetic ear. Where necessary putting people in touch with the appropriate services.

We hope to have speakers at the meetings we are also open to other ideas for the future.
Our first meeting will be on the 27th September at 2pm in the Riverside Suite where our speaker will be Helen Relph from the Newbury Cancer Support Group. She will give us a brief talk on how her support group runs. We will follow this by a discussion session.

We would like people to come along who have been affected by cancer and hopefully benefit from the opportunity to share their feelings. This may also be a chance for people to express the support they need or needed.

Tea & Coffee will be provided.
We look forward to meeting you.

Jenny Knight 01488 644671 & Yvonne Gillies 07888399134

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

This has been a wonderfully positive term for our school, firstly with our Year 6 girls’ football team reaching the regional finals followed by a very successful, long awaited, Ofsted inspection resulting in the School reaching a “Good” rating on every measure we were inspected on.

The PTA has had another great year of fundraising, enabling us to purchase over £10,000 worth of extras to give the Children the best experiences at the school, partake in more inter-school events and get the most out of school trips.

Requests from the school staff came in thick and fast and we were able to give Foundation money to spend on much needed play equipment, much of it for their outside playground. We supported the ever-increasing range of sports available at the school with a set of new large gym mats so a whole class can now safely participate in indoor sports simultaneously. We also topped up and replaced playground equipment for the very successful playground zones used during break times, encouraging exercise, imaginative play and creativity.

To further encourage active children and parents to park away from the school there will be some new scooter sheds erected for the new school year.

The school made reading, spelling and literacy a priority this year so we have funded an online spelling programme, Spellodrome, to make learning their spellings more interesting and fun. We have also invested in extra books for most Year-groups and some phonic listening stations for Yr1 to enable the children to read along with audiobooks.

We instigated a reading challenge to encourage all the KS2 children to read at home five times a week and complete their reading journals. Each time they did they were entered into a raffle with the winner being given a Kindle Fire tablet at the end of term. Their names were also put on a leaderboard of KS2 classes in the school hall as motivation. Many of the children will also complete the summer reading challenge offered through the library.

Maths resources have also been provided which are used by many other schools but were outside the school budget for next year.

The choir represented the school in county events on two occasions and we assisted them with transport costs, similarly with Yr6 when they participated in the national singing event at the O2 arena. We benefitted every year-group during their school trips with extra workshops/experiences which many of the parents may not have afforded.

We also contributed to less academic subjects, buying resources for Art Day and the art club, and continued recorder lessons for year 4. Also food for the the Yr6 leavers BBQ and Sports Day.

We would like to say a massive “Thank You” to all the volunteers who make our events possible, the school Staff, led so successfully by Gerry Heaton, and all the families who attend our events.
They really do make a huge difference to school life!

Debbie Padgen, PTA secretary

Please contact the PTA on


   Olympics and drugs cheats       

As the Olympics get into full flow, I enjoy to watch as many sports as I possibly can, especially those which I wouldn’t normally take the time to. As a sports fanatic, I will pretty much watch anything, but I do draw the line with certain sports. In 2012 my family and I went to watch water polo in the Olympic Park in London. We saw two games in the sweltering heat of the arena surrounded by fanatical Hungarian and Croatian fans, but I have to say, I just couldn’t get excited by it and left pretty disappointed. That’s not to say I couldn’t appreciate the years of hard work which the athletes put themselves through to reach the pinnacle of their sporting lives. I just found it a bit dull.

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching sports like shooting, table tennis, gymnastics, diving and swimming. Unfortunately I have been reminded on too many occasions that some athletes who have previously served bans for drugs offences, are now allowed to compete, and win medals. This cannot be right. I am of the opinion that if you have knowingly taken drugs to gain an advantage over your opponents, you do not deserve to line up against them again at the biggest sporting event in the world. What about all those athletes who have missed out on a medal because of drug cheats in the past? It’s all very well being awarded the medal in retrospect, but what else have they missed out on? How might their lives have been different if they had won an Olympic gold medal, rather than a silver, or a bronze rather than coming fourth? What sponsorship deals or publicity opportunities have they missed out on? I’m not suggesting that money or publicity is why these athletes get up early to train every day and put themselves and their families through months and years of heartache, but if they’ve lost out because of a drugs cheat, then cheats should be banned for life. They know what they’re doing!

When Ed Ling won his bronze medal for shooting in Rio, he was asked how he managed to move from 21st position in 2012 Olympics to the bronze medal this year. His answer was short, “4 years of hard work…it’s no secret…” What a great answer.

As students up and down the country wait anxiously to receive their exam results, I just hope that after years of hard work, they are rewarded with the results they deserve.

Alan Henderson Headmaster

Blasts from the Past

From the Parish Magazine dated May 1877.
“A very successful Concert was given on Wednesday, April 11, at the Corn Exchange, by the Newbury Musical Society, for the benefit of the Hungerford Working Men’s Hall. The Concert was well attended, and the audience highly appreciated the musical talent exhibited on the occasion. One cannot but regret that Hungerford is not prepared to offer such a treat to our Newbury neighbours in return for their kindness. The proceeds of the Concert amounted to £11 9s 6d, including 5s 4d for Programmes sold in the Hall. The expenses were £10 5s 3d, leaving a balance in favour of the Working Men’s Hall of £1 10s 1d, a very acceptable addition to the funds.”
From the Parish Magazine dated May 1889.

“Our Churches were beautifully decorated at Easter with Primroses, Daffodils, Hyacinths, and other Spring flowers from the conservatory as well as from the fields and copses. The services were well attended, and the number of communicants was larger than on any former occasion.” Note;- From the details shown of the collection on Easter Day, this was three times larger than normal with 322 coins being given The normal number was around 120.
From the Parish Magazine dated May 1890.

“All who are interested in the matter must have observed with regret that the Sunday evening services at the Parish Church are not so well attended as they might be. While the lower part of the Church is generally well filled, the middle of the Church is often comparatively empty. This no doubt may be accounted for by the fact that many who attend the Parish Church in the morning prefer the evening service at St Saviour’s, or the afternoon service at the Parish Church; and some perhaps stay at home. But there is no doubt that it is largely due to the operation of he pew system. Any one who retains the exclusive use of a pew without occupying it at all services certainly does an injustice to his fellow parishioners. The Church is already free and open in the afternoon. Would it be unreasonable to ask the holders of prescriptive right pews to co-operate with the Churchwardens in throwing the Church open to all comers on Sunday evenings.”

More from the Archives next month. Fred Bailey

More Bits

Also on this page……..Lunch………..Anywhere?………FoodBank……..Greetings

We are all annoyed when receiving intrusive nuisance calls, especially the elderly and vulnerable, on our mobile phones. Approximately 85% of all landline numbers are registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), making it illegal for companies to cold call, but only 3% of mobile numbers are registered.

If we wish, we can now text “TPS”, on our mobiles, with our email address, which is used only for verification purposes, to 78070. A text will be received from “TPS” confirming that the number has been added to its database. Mobile telephone users should notice a gradual reduction in those wretched unsolicited sales and marketing calls after a few days of registering, although it can take up to 28 days for the service to become fully effective. We should then see an end, hopefully, and stamp out the rogue callers. It is already illegal for companies to send unsolicited text messages.


Ladies Lunch Club

The Marlborough and Hungerford Ladies Lunch Club are looking to increase our membership. An excellent lunch plus after launch speaker is held monthly October to June on the second Monday of the month—in a central Hungerford location.

For anyone interested please contact Kathleen for further details on 01488-684861



The Police have just alerted all the residents of The Croft, by letter, that, following a recent incident, to be very vigilant.

The situation occurs when a knock on the door by two brigands asking to check the back garden for a lost ball, damage to windows etc. When allowed to enter one checks the back garden whilst the other enters the house and searches for jewellery and other valuables.

Thames Valley Police have provided a telephone number – 0800 555111 to report, anonymously, to Crime Stoppers.



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

THANK YOU to everyone who has given longlife, tinned or dried food and other essentials such as soap, toothbrushes & toilet rolls. Donations may be left at our collection points in the Churches, the Library, and now also the Co-op.
If your workplace or community group is interested in hosting a collection point, please contact or

Crisis Foodline
Crisis Food need ?
Call 01635 760560 Open Weekdays (not Bank Holidays) from 10:0