Issue 133

1st December
1st March 2017

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

Front Cover by Micky Thompson



Well, It’s been Christmas in Tesco since nearly mid-Summer but it is now nearly finally upon us. The Christmas decoration on the front cover was photographed in one of the National Trust properties last December. It’s worth checking out the ones within striking distance as they do make an effort over the Christmas period to put on a good show, often taking the house back to a Christmas of yesteryear and arranging children’s activities, if you have young ones to amuse it is worth a thought.

On the photo front, do make sure that your batteries are fully charged and there is plenty of space on your memory card and in all the excitement don’t forget to actually use it. These will be the precious memories of tomorrow. Happy Christmas

Message from the Chairman of CHAIN.

Chain is going to be 40 years old on the 16th May 2017 and I would like to hear some ideas on how this event should be celebrated. The Trustees will be discussing ideas but if anyone has any please let me know on 683302 or

Thank you to all those who came to the Croft Hall Tea Party for Chain volunteers lit was a lovely afternoon and it was so nice to see Jean who was a volunteer for many years and is now a resident in Brendoncare. We shall be holding another event in the New Year to show the new Handybus to everyone (hopefully this will arrive by the end of the year).

Christmas is just around the corner and we have the Switch On of our fantastic Christmas lights on Sunday 27th November at 6.00pm and then we have the Victorian Extravaganza on Friday 9th December. These two events are the start of Christmas for me and many people in Hungerford and also further afield. Please turnout to support these events and help start Christmas in Hungerford.

The Chairman vehicle is available for use by families with a family trained driver or with a Chain driver please contact the office on 683727 to book. If you are interested in becoming a Chairman driver please contact the Chain office or myself. We are also always looking for volunteers to drive the Handybus and also car drivers.

Chain would not have continued for nearly 40 years without our marvellous volunteers and I would like to publically thank June Tubb for her many years of work in the office as a volunteer and as a Trustee.

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Janette Kersey


Hello, …….

The Lights are on and the Bridge Street dirty white elephant nearly gone, Greg updates us please see Interesting Bits 1. Next we need that other building in the High street tidying up; I am sure if it had a lick of paint its marketing appeal would greatly improve. Then please get those filthy pigeons eradicated.

There is space devoted this time that is really really urgent. You and the Friends of Hungerford Library forced West Berks Council into having a survey done regarding the closure of 8 of our Libraries—well done all of you. But let’s not be complacent about this as they have skewed the report that we see and have issued 3 options (that were not recommended by Red Quadrant the survey people) . NONE of the options are acceptable in my opinion:
Option A is the closest but to have just one paid staff member to run our library is ludicrous and just not viable. Where oh where do West Berks Council think that enough able volunteers will appear from? Do they not realise that Hungerford already suffers from a vast lack of them? We pay our Council Tax for services and that includes a Library amongst many others. Let them look inwards to overpaid senior personnel and the mushroom of quangos (jobsworths) within the West Berks Council umbrella.

The Friends held a public meeting the other week and our non-existent West Berks District Councillors again failed to attend to look after your interests: has anybody seen them recently, are they still alive, do they really represent Hungerford? Roll on the next elections can’t wait to vote for some local people that will look after us!!

Would Event organisers please drop me an e-mail to say why they don’t contact Margaret Wilson (or myself) regarding publicising their events (for Free). Are Margaret and myself doing something wrong, is the web version of “What’s On” out of date, old hat, do you not want a free line entry in this magazine? This next quarters’ events are the poorest we have ever had. Do you really get enough people to your events?

Is your organisation needing volunteers? If so let me know and I can do an article in the next issue.

Chain of course is always needing help and we are extremely grateful to those that have come forward in this past year, but please make a New Year’s resolution and come and join us.
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 February for the issue on March1st. But don’t leave it until the last
minute, there might not be space. If you send something to me I try to acknowledge
within 3 days. No reply from me, then I have not got it, so please re-send.

Hungerford Mayor


A4 a few miles west of Marlborough is a sign for a pub called “WHO’D A THOUGHT IT” perhaps an apt description of 2016. A year of turbulent politics mixed with Olympic success at Rio; a year when Sterling falls in value but the Stock Market recovers.

In a world of burgeoning uncertainty, it gives little comfort to know that we can be certain that in a period now known as perma-austerity, services will be cut and we see prices rise .Despite central government hailing our economic growth as the highest in western Europe, it continues to enforce swingeing cuts in funding to Local Authorities. In our case, West Berks Council has had little option to sever funds for many longstanding services and amenities.

As a Town Council we have sought to step in and support some of these; the H1 bus route, the Youth Centre, Public toilets, our CCTV coverage to name but a few. We shall be fighting with the “Friends” to maintain a viable and meaningful library service which embraces so much more than merely lending books. It has become a vital social, economic and learning hub for the town and surrounding area. It is for this reason I hope that WBC will continue to support the centre with professional librarians. At the time of writing, this looks likely but only if 50% of the workload is shouldered by volunteers.

Hungerford is fortunate in having a large and vibrant voluntary sector epitomised by CHAIN itself. But we recognise that residents have busy personal lives and that ‘spare’ time is in short supply. We are also lucky to have the stalwart organisation in the Town and Manor which continues to supplement funding for many local clubs, including the Youth Centre, and other activities. Our Rotary Club also extend help across many aspects of our town from funds raised by their volunteer members.

Yet there is a desperate need to expand our volunteer base if we are to maintain many of our activities and amenities. The Library is a classic example where there will be a huge demand for support where the larger the number of volunteers, the less time demand there will be on individuals. A thought worth bearing in mind when making those resolutions for 2017.

And that pub? Do not be surprised if it changes its name to “NOW YOU KNOW “

Have a great Christmas and the energy to face the New Year with confidence.

Cllr Martin Crane


Chain’s Page

CHAIN Handybus Update………...

It is amazing to realise that it is three years ago that CHAIN first became concerned about the future of West Berkshire Council’s support for the Hungerford Handybus. CHAIN was aware that the lease for the current minibus would expire in January 2017 and was unable to get any assurances, at that time, from West Berkshire Council representatives about any future support after this date. In December 2014 it appeared that there was a strong possibility that Hungerford would lose the services of the community Handybus and the vital service this gave for those who were less mobile or socially isolated would disappear. The CHAIN team determined that this was something that CHAIN could not allow to happen.

It is now two years since CHAIN became aware of a Department for Transport (DfT) fund for the provision of community buses to community groups. So with a big ‘gulp’ we put in a bid for a bus to the DfT Fund. One of the consequences of this is that CHAIN would be completely responsible for all funding of the bus with no support from West Berkshire Council. This would place a considerable financial and administrative burden on CHAIN but one that was considered worthwhile to avoid the loss of the service to Hungerford – and to Kintbury who also use the bus.

In March 2015 we were very pleased to learn that our bid was successful and the long process of the agreeing the supplier, the specification and manufacturer began. This seems to have gone on forever! But we now know that our bus has left the manufacturer and is with the coachbuilder. It is difficult to get a specific delivery date but it is ‘hoped’ that our new bus will arrive at the end of this calendar year. Given the delays so far, we are sufficiently realistic to expect that there might be further delays but of a relatively minor length. West Berkshire Council has been supportive in this change over. They will ensure that we have no interruption in our ability to provide our Handybus service even if the delivery is delayed beyond the end of the current lease for our existing vehicle.

And, now two years later, circumstances have shown that our decision to make a bid to the DfT was the right one. What a relief! We now know that West Berkshire Council is proposing that all the costs for the provision of the various Handybuses will be passed on to the community groups concerned from 1st April 2017. So we will start this new ‘era’ with a brand new bus – albeit with all the responsibilities that come with it. Quite onerous for a service that is delivered by unpaid volunteers.

One of the advantages of this change is that we may get a little more flexibility in the ways the community can make use of the bus. For more about this, see future editions of ‘CHAIN MAIL’.

Happy Christmas!
Ted Angell

Ring Christmas Bells   

    Ring Christmas Bells     

As I write this I’m looking forward to ringing ‘half muffled’ bells on Remembrance Sunday. Only muffling the clapper on one side creates a haunting echo effect as the clapper blows are alternately loud and soft.

I consider it an immense honour to be able to ‘ring in’ such an important day in this way. But quick on the heels of the reverent and sombre Remembrance Sunday comes the joy and light of the festive season. To this end, we’re all enjoying the challenge of learning to ring Hand Bells with the aspiration of performing at the Mayor’s Carol Service on Sunday 18th December at 6.30pm. However, it all depends on how well we progress. Hand bells are very different to Church Bells and being good at one certainly does not guarantee success at the other.

We will also be ringing at the following times, so do listen out if you love the bells as much as we do;

Sunday 27th November 5.30 to 6.30pm – Advent Carol Service ‘Darkness into Light’
Sunday 4th December 9.30 – 10.00am – Christingle Service
Sunday 18th December 5.30 -6.30pm – Mayors Carol Service
Saturday 24th December 4.00-4.30pm – Crib Service
11.00-11.30pm – Christmas Midnight Communion
Sunday 25th December 9.30 -10.00am – Christmas Morning Service
Sunday 1st January 5.30-6.30pm – Carols by Candlelight

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a very
Happy New Year from the St Lawrence Bell Ringers

Bits 1

Also on this page……..Foodbank…….Computer………U3A……..W.I.

Bridge Street update…

With fingers crossed (and everything else!) we hope to commence work on the redevelopment of 6 Bridge Street in the next few weeks. The building will need to be dismantled by hand very carefully and it is planned to erect the necessary scaffold and supports by the end of December so that work on the demolition can commence early in the new year.
Once again we wish to apologise in advance for the inevitable inconvenience that will occur but we are working with contractors who are committed to keeping these problems to a minimum.

The Penguins are about to be evicted!!
Kind regards, Greg & Rachel Furr
Furr & Co Ltd. Goldsmiths, Jewellers & Designers,
7 Bridge Street, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0EH 01488 686226


WEST BERKSHIRE FOODBANK 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 from 08.30 to 18.30
(not Bank Holidays)

Green Machine’s tips and tricks What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of virus that is taking off recently due to its ease of creation. When you get infected with ransomware, all of your computers documents get encrypted. Meaning that you can’t access them! The only way that the virus lets you get to them is if you pay a large fee, normally around the £500 mark but it can be even more!
Now I know this can be scary when its all of your documents on the line, and it’s easy to panic when this happens because this in essence is taking your documents hostage, but the best thing you can do when this sort of thing strikes is follow 2 easy steps.
1. Turn Off the computer, this means that the virus cannot spread and if it hasn’t already, save some of your files from encryption.
2. Take your computer/laptop to a trusted computer repair company, they will know what to do and you need to make sure that they know what they are doing.
There are many ways that the encryption works, and it’s almost impossible to break it, but the way they remove or hide the original files can sometimes be ‘undone’ as such. As much as you can try though you may never get those files back. Which is why it’s all ways so important to backup as if this happens you can just use the backup files after your computer is rebuilt. Check out last week’s/yesterdays/last month’s Tips and Tricks for more information on backups.

Call us now if you need help with your IT on 01672520133

Hungerford & District University of the Third Age (U3A)

Are you recently – or indeed long – retired, or winding down from full-time employment and looking for new interests? Or to take up again those you’ve never had the time to pursue?
If you are in this so-called ‘third age’ and would like to learn some ‘new tricks’ – then read on, because this exciting new venture is for you.
The University of the Third Age is all about bringing like-minded people together in small interest groups to explore learning opportunities in almost every subject you can think of, from Aromatherapy to Zoology!
There are over 900 U3As in the UK with more than 380,000 members. No qualifications are required to join the U3A, and none are given.Each one is run on a ‘self-help’ basis with individual groups deciding how to go about exploring something new, and sharing their valuable life experience and skills. There is no pressure to impose a formal learning pattern – it’s all about establishing an informal, enjoyable way to learn with and from each other about a topic of mutual interest.
Following the inaugural meeting in November, a range of interest groups have been convened, and it is hoped that many more will be identified as further suggestions for topics are put forward and taken up.
For further information please visit the website: or contact Jeff Riggs on 01488 686344 or email

There is also a national website:

Hungerford WI is coming to the end of yet another busy year.

We have had some very interesting and entertaining talks, from being an Airline Captain to how to look after your plants and shrubs, and we have seen the skill of making dolls house furniture to name but a few. Our monthly competitions make for lots of fun and we even have our own little troupe of entertainers that keep us amused at their antics. We were also involved in HADCAF week by cooking breakfasts for the early morning walkers, this was greatly appreciated and not a pot of jam in sight!

We are a very friendly group so why don’t you pop down for a visit and see what we are all about. We meet on the first Wednesday each month at 7.30pm at The Croft Hall. We look forward to meeting you.

Many thanks Dorothy Bamford Committee member

Bits 2

Also on this page…..NWN Parcels …..R.B.L.…..Extravaganza……..Mulching


Hungerford’s 2017 Town Show is Mack and Mabel, a musical about silent movies with songs by the composer of Hello Dolly!

It tells the story of Mack Sennet, a big-shot director of comic silent films, and Mabel, a waitress who became his greatest star. The score includes the songs, ‘I won’t send roses’, ‘
Tap Your Troubles Away’ and ‘Time Heals Everything.’

This fast-paced Hollywood spectacular includes a cast of both adults and children, big dance numbers, slapstick comedy and catchy songs. With nods to Charlie Chaplin, the Keystone Kops and custard pies, it perfectly evokes the romance and comedy of this lost era in movie-making.

Performances are from the 15th- 18th February 2017 in the John O’Gaunt School hall.
For information about tickets visit:


Newbury Weekly News Christmas Parcels for the over 80s is now in its 120th year!

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.

Parcels are due to be delivered on, or around 10th December 2016.

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. Ideally we need to know as soon as possible but certainly no later than 1st December 2016.

There are many Hungerford organisations who contribute to the delivery including CHAIN who lead the delivery process. The Rotary Club undertake the fund raising and John O’Gaunt School, the Trustees of the Croft Hall in Hungerford, Hungerford Tuesday Club, the Town and Manor of Hungerford and the Royal British Legion all play a part in the process.

Ted and Daphne Angell
Co-ordinators Over 80’s Christmas Parcels for CHAIN and Newbury Weekly News

Home Telephone 01488 682610 Mobile 077998 86597 Email: tedangell.ta@gmail


Royal British Legion (Hungerford) Branch

As I write this news letter from The Royal British Legion, early November, the Poppy Appeal is in full swing. Last year’s Appeal total was in excess of £27000. Thank you Hungerford. So far this year we have banked nearly £8000. More news in the next edition of Chain Mail.
If any ex-service personal 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 Victorian Extravaganza

Grand opening 5.00pm Parade 7.15pm Firework Finale 9.00pm

The Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza heralds the arrival of Christmas in the town and as though by magic Bridge Street, The Wharf and the High Street are transformed into a wonderland of delights for kids of all ages including:

A Scottish pipe band, Victorian horse bus, ‘Professor Crump’ entertainer, One man band, Penny Farthing, Horse drawn Father Christmas sleigh, Stilt walkers, Big wheel, The Abingdon brass band, Clown workshop, Punch and Judy shows, Fire eater, Helter Skelter and many more rides including a huge carousel sited in Tesco’s car park.

Come along early to avoid disappointment – there is plenty of free parking available.

The fireworks are best seen from the Wharf area or The Croft green just off the High Street.

Call 07468 480229 for more information


Please click to visit our website


Hungerford Surgery


This year we held 4 Saturday Flu Clinics and unfortunately uptake was low so we will be reviewing how they are run next year. We are very grateful to our PPG Members who helped to ensure all clinics ran smoothly “THANK YOU”.

If you are due a flu vaccination (over 65 or in any of the ‘at Risk Groups’) please contact the Surgery on 682507 to make an appointment (it only takes a few minutes!)

Please use our ONLINE SERVICES to book appointments to suit you, pick up a registration form from Reception or download a form from the website Also bring in some form of photo ID.
(The Patient2Practice website has now stopped)

Please note there is great demand for GP/Nurse appointments, 46 GP Appointments and 52 Nurse Appointments were WASTED in October 2016 as patients did not turn up for their appointments. PLEASE HELP US TO HELP YOU!

Since my last report we have been pleased to welcome Sukhi Sanghera as our Practice Manager.


The Chairman of the PPG adds this footnote,

I am a Diabetic and attend the very special Eye photo sessions each year, would you believe that there were NINE diabetics that failed to show up the other day for their check.

To me it is such a vital check on my well being not least the early warning for any loss of sight problems.

The same goes for the special checks that Nikki does for Diabetics once a year, hers helps to prevent amputations, now think on that!!!!

David Piper


Virtual Museum

The Free Grammar School

Did you know that Hungerford had its own Grammar School?

Teaching children in classes in “Grammar” schools started under Edward VI in the 16th century. In 1628, John Lucas had bequeathed £10 “towards the setting up of a school in Hungerford or Sandon, provided it be built or set up within these ten years.”

It was in 1635 that Rev Thomas Sheaff DD, the Rector of Welford, gave half an acre of land in “Church Field” (now the site of Croft Hall) for the Constable and feoffees of Hungerford to erect a free school house, appoint a schoolmaster and pay his stipend.

The original foundation deed has survived, and clearly gives the date as 29 Sep 1635. The deeds record that “The master of the school shall be elected by the Vicar, Constable, Burgesses and Churchwardens, the Vicar, while he lives, and the Constable, each having a double voice. The school master might be deposed if he became vicious in his life or conversation, or notoriously negligent, or a heretic, of should fall into any notorious crime or fault.”

The first schoolmaster was probably “John Smith schoolmaster” whose son was baptised in 1633/34. There is a list of schoolmasters with lots of information about them on the Virtual Museum website.

A new schoolroom was built in 1782, funded by a legacy of Mr “Trusty” Capps, whose memorial is in St Lawrence Church.

The school had taught “Grammar and Classics”, but the Grammar School Act of 1840 allowed other subjects to be taught, and this led to Grammar Schools increasing in popularity.
However, in 1866 (exactly 150 years ago), the school had its regular inspection and it was given a very bad report. Of the boys tested, none was of the expected standard; neither the Master, John Hives, nor his assistant had any teaching qualifications and “there was not even a blackboard in the premises”!

There were many better schools in Hungerford, and the Grammar School went into further decline and closed in 1884, the site being sold in 1898 and re-developed as Church House (Croft Hall) in 1900.

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

Hugh Pihlens


Rainbows Pre-School

Rainbows Pre-School & Little Rainbows
– Supporting Hungerford Library

The start of a new school year often feels a little poignant for nursery and pre-school staff as we say goodbye to our pre-schoolers who leave us to head for “big school”. But we are reassured by the knowledge that we’ve helped to give them an exceptional start to their early year’s education.

As Early Years Education providers, we certainly recognise the valuable service provided by a local library to the community at large and especially to young children – we’ve yet to meet a toddler who doesn’t love books and story time!


To show our support for our library here in Hungerford, but also as part of our program of “life experience outings”, we recently took a group of our older children from Rainbows Pre-School and Little Rainbows to visit the library where they had a wonderful time looking through all the books before making their selections.

It was a good opportunity to explain to them, in their terms, how libraries work and what an important role libraries are likely to play in their future education.


The photographs show that they all had a great time!

For more information about Little Rainbows at Herongate, Rainbows Pre-School and Rainbows Club at Priory Road please contact the office on 01488 686843, look at the web site, or e-mail to
Michele Murphy Childcare Manager, Rainbows Childcare Manager



Gardening by Stacy


Winter is the traditional season to plant trees in the garden. Deciduous trees can be ordered for delivery in the winter while they are dormant. They usually arrive bare rooted, although nowadays it is also possible to buy container grown plants which makes it possible to plant at almost any time of the year ( although best to avoid when the ground is frozen or during excessive heat).

The importance of trees to the environment cannot be stressed enough. They provide habitat for wildlife, can improve air quality, provide oxygen and are beautiful specimens.
Trees can also be productive, providing fruit after attractive Spring blossom. There are many varieties of apple, pear, plum or cherries to choose from but why not explore something a little more exotic such as a nectarine or apricot. These used to be grown in the hothouses of grand estates but modern dwarf cultivars can be grown against a sunny wall or in a pot. Or perhaps you’d fancy a Medlar? This rarely found tree was grown here from Roman times but lost popularity around the 18th century. The fruit is eaten once it has been frosted and takes of apple sauce.

If fruit is not appealing- no pun intended- there are plenty of decorative trees to choose from, which suit all sizes of gardens.

Rowan trees (Sorbus) provide a dappled shade, casting decorative shadows on the ground and in addition Sorbus pseudohupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’ has delightful candy pink berries after its white spring flowers. It will reach a height of 8m and spread of 6m eventually.

A tree which I use often in my designs is Pyrus calleyana Chanticleer. This ornamental Pear tree has often been used in avenues of European cities but it has merits for the domestic garden. Although deciduous, it is the last to lose it leaves in autumn and the first to come into leaf in spring, so is great for providing screening for most of the year. It grows in a very tidy pyramid shape, is fairly quick growing and will reach a height of 12m.

However most modern garden are quite small, yet it is possible to still have a tree as a feature. The Judas tree Cercis siliquatrum is deciduous but has a long season of interest. It is often multi stemmed so provides an attractive winter silhouette. It then produces deep pink pea-like flowers on the bare branches in spring. The leaves are heart shaped and take on a rich red/purple colour in the autumn.

If you’d rather have an evergreen Arbutus unedo, the Strawberry tree looks very exotic but with its glossy green leaves it is tough as old boots and will grow anywhere. It is in fact from the Ericacae family but will actually grow in alkaline soil. Like Figs, it works on a 2 year cycle so will have flowers and fruits on the tree at the same time. The fruit is edible and tastes of figs rather than strawberries! If you feel particularly adventurous, it can be make a brandy like liqueur. What’s not to like?!

Nature Notes by Hawkeye

Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve

Titchfield Haven NNR is only an hour away by car and it is the best nature reserve in the south. It is well worth a visit especially as there is a cafe and shop on site. Strangely car parking is free.!? I visit this site regularly and enjoy watching the waders and wild fowl from the hides.

There is also a viewing platform over the shop where one can indulge in a spot of sea watching. A good pair of binoculars is essential and a telescope is really useful.
On a bright day you can pick out several landmarks on the Isle of Wight. However the speciality of this area is the large flock of Brent Geese. They always spend the winter here. Strangely, there are always a few geese around the harbour and if you want you can feed the ducks here. But this is similar to feeding the ducks on the Kennet canal.

After paying the entrance fee it is worth walking along the sea wall. There are always birdwatchers about and they will happily point out what they have seen. A member of Kennet U3A pointed out a Sanderling to me and showed it me in his telescope. Whoever said it is a small world was not joking because this gentleman lives only 10 miles from me !

From now until March it is almost certain that 60 different bird species can be seen on this reserve and the sea beside it – in a day. Although it will take at least a morning to walk around the reserve and visit all the hides. On my last visit on October 20th butterflies and dragon flies were flying. Nobody had told them they should be hibernating! A speckled wood and a red admiral butterfly were enjoying the sunshine whilst I thought I saw two scarlet darter dragon flies. However I’m very rusty on my dragon and damsel flies. The owner of the reserve, Hampshire County Council, has sanctioned vast improvements to the site. The hides are first class and it is now quite a good place to take photographs of winter visitors.

A flock of Golden Plover flew into the scrape in front of the meon shore hide just as I sat down and opened the window. Friendly birders said they were the first of the winter visitors and should “hang around for the rest of the season”. Happily they waded near some Green Plovers which are spectacular when the light catches them. They deserve their country name “peewit” when they fly. I suspect this is a flight call because I’ve never heard them calling on the ground. Some country folk know these birds as lapwings but the scientific name is vanellus vanellus and they are on the red list. Common Snipe are guaranteed on this scrape and make an excellent photograph. One of the birders said he only visits this hide and spends several hours photographing the numerous birds.

He pointed out a Water Rail and a Little Stint which, apparently, is a rarity in this country.
The Stint showed well but the Water Rail darted back into the reeds. Water Rails are normally secretive birds. One never expects to see them in Spring, but with patience, one can see them here in the Autumn and Winter. They are resident in the U.K. and. according to the RSPB, on the green list.

If anybody is interested in visiting the site I suggest they google Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve for all the details.

Richard Barker


Hungerford Library / HUB

The public consultation has a few days to go, the closing date is 11 December so please complete the form on line at or come into the library for a paper copy. This is your chance to express your views on the future development of the library service in West Berkshire.

We’ll be doing Christmas crafts every Saturday morning in December 10:30-11:30. Children under 8 years old must be supervised by an adult. There will be a small charge for this activity.

The Touch to See Bookgroup will meet on the 6 December at 11:00. This book club is aimed at the visually impaired but is open to anyone with a love of art, nature and history. It is a fantastic experience to listen to a book at the same time as exploring the raised illustrations.

We have also started holding regular Family History sessions, run by a volunteer from the Berkshire Family History Society. Our next session will be on Saturday 28 January. Please contact the library to book an appointment or just drop in.

The Reminiscence Group is proving to be very popular. It is aimed at those suffering with dementia and their carers, but it is open to anyone who enjoys meeting and chatting over a cup of tea. This group meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 11:00.

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. Fridays at 2:00. Children under 8 must be supervised by an adult.

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 5:00, 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

A huge thank you to everyone that turned out to support us at our second public meeting on 9th November. We hoped that public support would remain high and you didn’t disappoint us with your support. You are now I’m sure, fully aware that West Berkshire Council (WBC)have a statutory duty to provide a comprehensive library service under the public library and museums act 1964.

We know many of you took the time to talk to visiting consultants Red Quadrant. They visited Hungerford library as part of the ‘Needs Assessment Report’ conducted through the summer, on behalf of WBC That report is now complete and the findings have been presented to the council’s executives. Following this completion, WBC opened a 2nd public consultation, we again have the opportunity to comment and determine the future of our library service. This consultation is running now and will close on the 11th December 2016. I know we’ve already been down this road but please take this opportunity to have your say. Every single consultation form we send in will count. This could be the difference between a library model we actually want and one that simply doesn’t meet the needs of our community.

Consultants Red Quadrant state in their report that WBC should make every effort to maintain the current network of library branches, making minimal changes to the service if that isn’t possible. They should have a network of libraries that is accessible to residents and meet the various needs of the community it serves.

The Friends of Hungerford Library studied the Red Quadrant report in detail; we’ve been unable to locate any of the recommendations that appear in the 2nd consultation document. We would be interested to know how West Berkshire council reached the list of options that are being presented to us.

Remembering WBC’s statutory duty, ‘The Friends’ are somewhat confused! Why would you consult on options that, by WBC’s own admission, could leave them open to the possibility of a legal challenge? We would like to know why WBC’s legal department are allowing these options to be consulted on? We are not aware of WBC having a large pot of public money somewhere that they could risk losing, should someone decide to legally challenge the recommendations being consulted on.

So here are the three options being consulted on. We believe the options do not provide us with a comprehensive service, or meet the needs of our community.

In all of the options listed:
Option A Eight branch libraries/one mobile remain open. Wash Common closed. Newbury Library run by employed staff. Seven branch libraries run by one employed staff member assisted by volunteers.

Option B Eight branch libraries/one mobile remain open. Wash Common closed. Newbury Library run by employed staff. Two ‘Hub’ libraries run by one member of staff, assisted by volunteers. Five ‘spoke’ libraries run by volunteers, supported by the ‘Hub’

Option C
Eight branch libraries/one mobile remain open. Wash Common closed. Newbury Library (Hub) run by employed staff. Seven libraries (Spoke) run by volunteers, supported by the ‘Hub’

In our opinion, Option A is the only real option on the consultation form, but this option still falls very short of the service we feel is needed. `It’s simply unfair to ask a single member of paid staff to co-ordinate the volunteers and manage the library solely. What happens when that member of staff is poorly or on holiday? Do volunteers really want to become key holders and hold that level of responsibility?

A financial contribution of £150K is also being sought from parish/town councils along with a service level agreement with Friends groups to manage the day to day running of the library. Again we are unsure how this figure was reached and what justification there is for it; we know that town/parish councils would struggle to find this amount of money when budgets are already set.

We think it’s great that so many of you have said you’d be willing to volunteer. However we know that sometimes the Red Cross shop in town often has to close because they don’t have enough volunteers, also Chain office have felt the shortage of the regular support from the community at times.

Nationally 8000 professional library staff have lost their jobs and over 15,000 volunteers are currently in the library service.

Volunteering is not a professional, sustainable or reliable way of running our library service long term. If at any time we fail to meet the volunteer numbers required our library could be at risk of closure.

The jobs of the employed staff have been in jeopardy for months, and they feel they are being undervalued. Thus undermining their training and the professional service they provide us.

The consultation document can now be completed on-line through WBC or by paper copy; these are available on request at the library. We now need as many consultations to be completed as possible. The form itself is fairly complex, and we appreciate that some members of our community would value some support in filling these in. Members of ‘The Friends’ will be on-hand to help in the library on Wednesday mornings from 11am – 1pm and again on Friday mornings from 10am – 12pm until the end of the consultation period.

The ‘Friends’ have alternative ideas for moving forward; we firmly believe that West Berkshire Council should continue to employ the library staff, but could also rent the building to Hungerford Town Council. Having control of the building could allow flexibility with opening times, and the ability to rent out library space to other groups when the library is closed. This would generate an income, and allow other community activities to take place, such as workshops, art exhibitions, craft fairs, bake sales etc. The ‘Friends’ could also seek to become a charity, allowing us to apply for grants and get match funding.

When the consultation ends WBC will be formatting the findings from all of the completed consultations forms and presenting their recommendations to full council on the 2nd March 2017. This is the date that the future of West Berkshire’s libraries will be determined.

Please, please fill these consultations in and help those that need it to do so too. This really is our last chance to protect this vital community asset for future generations to enjoy.

Good luck.
The Friends of Hungerford Library

Steam by Tony Bartlett

Steam railways update

As forecast previously the programme of steam specials for the last quarter turned out to be over-ambitious. The situation was well illustrated by neither of the ‘two-train’ Saturdays in September actually happening, due to the cutback of West Somerset Steam Expresses. Furthermore the Cathedrals Express on 3rd Sept picked up from here with diesel haulage, although local personality Bruce Mayhew reported that steam appeared later on the way to South Devon, and that overall the day had passed off very well and convivially. While on the subject of old timers (i.e. steam trains!) Bruce’s near High St neighbour, actor Nick Lumley made a recent professional appearance in a ‘murder mystery’ event on the ex-Orient Express train, which itself was to be seen in Hungerford as a British Pullman luxury diner to Bristol on 7th Sept hauled by LNER Pacific no. 60163 Tornado.

Also as forecast, the availability of Pacific no (4)6201 Princess Elizabeth after overhaul had a considerable impact; both in relieving the shortage of steam power and also through its spectacular performances while working no less than six excursion trains through our area recently, mostly on Cathedrals Expresses. The loco seems to be able to lift its exhaust well clear of the train without needing ugly smoke-deflectors which degrade the graceful lines of engines like Flying Scotsman.

No. 6201 gained its 4-prefix when passing into British Railways ownership in 1948. Lizzie as the loco is affectionately known (with respect ma’am) was built in 1933 to a design by William Stanier, who had graduated from the GWR to become Chief Mechanical Engineer at the LMS in 1932. His mandate to update motive power on the LMS allowed him to build a Pacific (4-6-2) locomotive based on GWR practice which he could not have done had he stayed at Swindon. Princess Royal Class locos were put to work on the railway’s premier express trains, notably on the West Coast main line, and no. 6201 became famous for setting record times for the non-stop Euston to Glasgow run in 1936 at a time when competition between the LMS and the LNER for Anglo-Scottish business was hotting up. It’s celebrity was such that when Triang needed a prototype express passenger loco for their new range of plastic model railways in the 1950s, it was Lizzie they chose and not Flying Scotsman, a fact I was reminded of when seeing one of those model trainsets in ‘Below Stairs’ recently as a £40 antique. Stewart Hofgartner was surprised to be told that the real thing had passed through Hungerford the week before!

The GWR itself featured in the sightings for the last quarter when a Castle class loco, which Stanier would have been very familiar with, worked a Vintage Trains’ excursion across the Vale of White Horse on 8th Oct. – the first one in our area since 2014.
See Tornado in Hungerford on 1st Dec and Princess Elizabeth on 17th Dec

Tony Bartlett


HAHA by Belinda

An Allotment in Hungerford………..

So it’s time to look back over the year. What were our hits and misses during 2016?
* A bed of giant sunflowers can easily turn into a row of 5 when slugs are around!
* Our Lark sweetcorn stayed safe from the family of magpies and was the sweetest we’ve ever tasted.
* Potatoes in bags need a lot of watering and can be slug/snail homes.
* We’ve successfully grown Tender and True parsnips this year!
* Black Indigo Rose tomatoes look fabulous but red Aviditas are tastier.
* We need to learn about growing peppers…
* Courgettes and summer squashes can feed workmates for weeks after we can barely face another one!
* Jack-of-all-Trades and Jack-Be-Little pumpkins provide plenty of edible Halloween decorations for family and friends.
* We’ve got home-made French bean chutney to have with our Christmas snacks!

The HAHA/RBL show in August had to be one of the highlights. We were very pleased when the horticultural judge commented on the high quality of the vegetables particularly considering the poor start to the year. Rows of seeds were planted and re-planted as slugs and weather took their toll, causing much despondency amongst plotholders. In the end it was worth the effort, with Hungerford growers, bakers, crafters and cooks producing over 400 exhibits!

The Hungerford Food Festival was another success and the HAHA stand drew interest from many of the visitors. There was much discussion on the future of the Marsh Lane site (sadly still unconfirmed as having any future as I write this) and gardeners and vegetable growers from Newbury, Kintbury and further afield were interested to see photos showing the progression of the site since it opened in 2009. Plotholder, Kerry’s delicious (show winning) scones and elderflower cordial were a bonus while we talked about what we grow, how we nurture and protect them from pests and how the harvests are used in our kitchens. And we gained at least one new plotholder by the end of the busy day.

Thanks to the HAHA Committee who continue to work so hard to try to resolve the lease issues or to find an alternative site. The politics and administration tried to get in the way of us making the most of our time on the allotments but the draw to the site is just too strong, aah, to be so close to nature. Seeds and young plants need watering, weeds need pulling, grass needs cutting and, best of all, vegetables need harvesting. Whether it’s a lovely sunny day or a rainy cool one there’s always something that can be done on the plot and it’s bound to be more interesting than paperwork!
Merry Christmas and hope to see you here next year!


You can contact HAHA on 0754 118 7274
Our Marsh Lane allotment life is recorded online through my blogs:
on Facebook and Twitter


Hungerford Football by Ron Tarry

This has been an exciting start to the new season, our first in the National League South, the highest we have ever been, the second tier of Non-League football, only two divisions from the football league, where we are lying in 10th place, just above the half-way mark, and for one glorious day we were at the top of the league after winning our first two games. We are meeting many new teams, sometimes travelling a long way to away games. Back in September we were away to Margate on the Saturday and away to Truro on the following Tuesday, as far east, and then as far west as it is possible to travel in our league. We are, therefore, holding our own as far as playing results are concerned, but we have a great deal of work to do on the ground to meet the new grading standards required, work which must be done by the end of March, placing a huge financial burden on the club.
Perhaps our best league result so far was our draw at Maidenhead at the end of October, the Magpies being unbeaten at home and 7 points clear at the top table, but although we have reached the semi-final of the Berks. & Bucks. Senior Cup after wins at Didcot and Wantage, after winning at Basingstoke in the F.A. Cup, we lost disappointingly to Leiston despite leading 1-0 with only 15 minutes to go.

The Swifts, our team of young local lads who play in the North Berks. League are unbeaten and top of Division 2 of that league, so why not come and support them.? Unless there is a clash with the first team, they play their home games at Bulpit Lane, entrance is free, and the clubhouse and bar are open for players and supporters.

There is plenty of opportunity to watch, or support football in the town, whether you aspire to first-team football or enjoy the younger, local players.

Ron Tarry. President Hungerford Town Football Club

Hungerford Town Band by Tim Crouter

Following their highly successful Poppy Concert Hungerford Town Band is now putting all their efforts into Christmas.

A hectic schedule once again approaches with the highlight being their Christmas Concert on Saturday 10th December at 7.30pm in Hungerford Corn Exchange. Tickets are £7.00 each to include light refreshments. A great festive evening is assured and the opportunity to sing some carols should not be missed.

With the 25th Anniversary of Hungerford’s amazing street fair, the Victorian Extravaganza on Friday 9th December, the band is looking forward to being involved from 5.30pm. The Training Band will begin the performance, to be followed by the Senior Band. Situated outside of Kaleidoscope in the High street why not stop to listen and say hello.

The Town’s Carol Service, hosted by the Mayor, is another major appearance for the band. Held on Sunday 18th December in St. Lawrence’s Church the band will play before during and after the service.

In March the Band will once again represent the Town in the Regional Championship of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. This year the set work is an old classic from the 1940’s from the pen of the New Zealand born composer Sir Dean Goffin entitled Rhapsody in Brass. If you wish to come along to a rehearsal in the New Year to see how we are progressing, please contact us via the band website

Finally we will be entertaining shoppers in both Hungerford and Newbury and encourage listeners to choose a favourite carol. Hungerford Town Band would like to wish all their loyal supporters a very Merry Christmas and happy and successful 2017.

If you require any further information about the band including learnin

Health by Liz

Cacao versus Cocoa
Chocolate is the nation’s favourite treat but does it really grow on trees? Liz Chandler from Natures Corner takes us through the chocolate process from start to finish and reveals some interesting facts about the more nutritious alternative called cacao.

Theobroma cacao is the most well known species of the genus Theobroma, and is native to the tropical forests of Central and South America. The generic name is derived from the Greek words theos, meaning “god,” and broma, meaning “food” and translates to “food of the gods.”

The cacao beans that form the basis of chocolate are actually seeds from the fruit of the cacao tree, and grow inside a pod-like fruit and are covered with white pulp. To make chocolate, the farmers crack open the pods, scoop out the seeds, and then ferment and dry them. The beans are shipped to factories, where manufacturers inspect, clean, roast and grind them into a paste called chocolate liquor. Further processing includes pressing, rolling, mixing with sugar and other ingredients, followed by heating and cooling.

Cacao is the raw ingredient used to make chocolate. It contains abundant nutrients with antioxidant properties that protect our cells from damage and is an excellent source of magnesium, which helps with relaxation, while maintaining focus and generally provides a feel-good factor. It is also rich in iron, chromium, zinc and sulphur. Many of these nutrients are lost in the manufacturing process that turns the raw cacao bean into the cocoa bean and finally chocolate. Cacao is bitter to taste, which is why sugar is added to commercial chocolate bars. This is especially a requirement for milk chocolate, to prevent the rancidity of the dairy solids. It is the sugar (and not the cacao), that is so addictive.

Cacao is available in many forms, including bars, nibs, powder, butter and paste and it inspires food creativity. As a simply idea, sprinkle cacao nibs and goji berries on top of cereal for a great start to any working day or mix with pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries for a delicious snack.

So next time you need your ‘chocolate fix’, choose cacao and give both your taste buds and your health a treat.

Why not try this Raw Chocolate Mousse?
Serves 2
1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 avocado, 1 tsp water, 2 heaped tbsp. raw cacao powder, 2 tbsp agave syrup and raspberries to serve. Melt the coconut oil in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of hot water, then transfer to a blender with the avocado flesh and water and whizz until very smooth. Add the cacao powder and agave syrup and whizz again until completely smooth. Taste and add more agave if required. Put the mousse into 2 ramekins and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

For information please email or telephone 01635 33007.

Jack Williams

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

The years roll by. Next birthday (Nov2) I shall reach 88. As always I give serious thought to Chain readers and what might interest them. The thoughts I have are obviously concerned with the past, unavoidable maybe, but when I think of my many interests list herewith. The Fire Brigade, Town Council, Cricket and Football Clubs, Trustees of Town and Manor, Governor John O Gaunt School, The Croft Hall, The Methodist Chrch and the Royal British Legion. Mostly now in the past but I chair a charity concerned with the Fire Brigade, President of Hungerford Royal British Legion, and we both continue as members of Hungerford Methodist Church. I watch eagerly to see any changes, generally I approve but, just occasionally I turn to my wife Margaret and say “What are they doing”?

We will all be thinking of Remembrance Weekend and it will have already occurred by the time that you read this. If so, I hope that you were with me at the Bridge Street War Memorial at 11am to observe the last post and the 2 minutes of silence. I hope, also that you may have visited the war memorial recreation ground, and walked along the Avenue of Remembrance, notice the 28 trees for lives lost in period 39-45 and as you leave given just a thought to the Hungerford Tragedy Memorial which you cannot miss.

Until my 10th birthday, we lived with my ageing grandmother, Jane Liddiard, my mother was the youngest of her 11 children, and 4 sons and 4 sons-in law were involved in the 1914-18 war. One son, Harold was killed in the Somme and also one son-in-law John at the same time. The surviving family visited my grandmother regularly (she had been a widow since 1926) and they were always expected to accompany Grandma Jane to a service at Chilton Foliat Methodist church. They have all passed on but I remember so very well, my uncle Jack saying to me ( his last years were in a Nursing Home at Marlborough) “Do you know my boy, there is nothing to look forward to”. Quite soon after, he died. If you know someone when lonely, do make a point of visiting them.

Our parade will as always be lead by our wonderful Town Band, how I enjoy listening to them and the rendering of the Last Post is really so moving! Our friends from the REME will attend but please remember that after the Bridge St Remembrance, I shall visit the Sarsen Stone at the Avenue of Remembrance. One name comes back to me each year, a Town Council Clerk . John Laithwaite has a commemorative seat in that avenue. John was in the RAF, an excellent town clerk, a good footballer and was a true friend. Please also spare a though for dear Beryl Fowler, a town clerk for many years but now almost housebound.
This year sees the anniversary of the Town Council and as I served for 45 years I still feel a great kinship with that body. Well done, Martin Crane, keep the councillors working for the benefit of all of Hungerford.

Just a brief mention of my parents. Father was a great friend, had a great gift which missed me, he played the Church organ at Chilton Foliat for 50 years. He never let them down and attended by cycling to church no matter what weather.

Finally as a footnote, I do not know how my fellow townspeople feel about Europe, my own quite firm attitude is one on disappointment that we should leave, so much of our history is tied to the continent, that to claim that we wish to withdraw seems wrong.


Hungerford PPG

Hungerford Surgery Patient Participation Group

The PPG continues with the purpose of contributing to the continuous improvement of services and fostering improved communication between the practice and its patients. Indeed, it is currently considering how best to seek the patient voice in shaping the provision the surgery makes in the future.

In October, members of the PPG attended the flu clinics. A number of patients commented that they had not received a letter notifying them of the dates. Please remember that these are always held each Saturday in October from 9-11.30 a.m. If you are eligible and wish to receive a reminder, please give the surgery your mobile number.

If you missed the Flu Clinics and would still like a ‘’jab’’ please contact the Surgery before the end of January.

The cancer support group held its inaugural meeting on 27 September followed by a second meeting on 25 October when there was speaker from Healthwatch, a watchdog for health and social services in our area. Look out for details of the next meeting. You might just get this CHAIN MAIL early when there is another meeting on the 29th November 2-4pm at the Riverside Suite, The Bear Hotel where Yvonne and Jenny look forward to meeting you, and there will be a guest speaker.

Recently, we have formed a link with The Reading and West Berkshire Carers’ Hub which provides information, advice and guidance on carers’ benefits and grants, carers’ breaks and free access to local leisure, health and well-being facilities amongst other things. It also signposts people to other organisations. The PPG is looking into the possibility of supporting the setting up of a carers’ support group in Hungerford as there are many carers in our community who would benefit from support.

We continue to monitor 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. If you cannot attend your appointment or no longer need one, please contact the surgery and let them know. Please see David says below. Also ensure the surgery has your mobile number so they can remind you of your upcoming appointment.

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


Ed says..I am sure you know that our Surgery is still one Doctor short and they are all doing 4 to 6 extra appointments a day each? This problem is not helped by some inconsiderate people who fail to turn up for their appointment and what is worse can’t be bothered to tell the Surgery in time!
In October over 20 hours of appointments were wasted;
that equals 106 LOST APPOINTMENTS

Come on people let the Surgery know that you will not be attending and help others.
As the Flu season starts these waiting times will get worse………..


Hungerford Primary School

Hungerford Primary School PTA

We have started the new school year by welcoming a nearly all new PTA executive Team. Jude (Treasurer) and Debbie (Secretary) have stepped down after 3 and 4 years respectively on the top team. We would like to thank them both for all their hard work. We welcome Andrea and Mel into their new roles, along with Gemma who has stepped in to the role of vice-chair, and our fearless leader Jo has remained as chair to take us all into an exciting year ahead.

The fundraising has already made a great start, with a second-hand uniform sale and a fabulous winter disco raising over £1,500 combined. The children have designed their own Christmas cards, which are currently being produced, and with rambles and film nights in the line-up, this is set to be productive autumn term.

We are also taking part in the Victorian Extravaganza on Friday 9th December with our annual tombola, so please visit us on the night. The children have a non-uniform day and donate chocolate or bottles for the tombola prizes. The School Choir will be singing on the Town Hall steps to open the Extravaganza.

So far this academic year the PTA have assisted funding for the Yr5 and Yr6 trips to STEAM, Museum of the Great Western Railway, and the whole school art day, where the children in mixed aged groups create 3-4 projects together to take home.

We are looking forward our January jumble sale and a fantastic fete set for early July 2017, so watch this space for updates and announcements.

Finally, we always welcome the opportunity to partner with national or local companies, through Matched Funding for our volunteers or sponsorship for the school. This can be an amazing opportunity for your company to be part of something very rewarding!!

Hungerford Primary PTA Team

Please contact the PTA on

Blasts from the Past

From the Parish Magazine dated July 1880.
“A devotional Commentary on the Four Gospels has just been published, which is well worthy of the attentive study of those who would learn, mark, and inwardly digest the Holy Scriptures. It will be found very suggestive of topics for meditation, and seems admirably calculated to fulfil the design of the author, which is to encourage young people to form the delightful habit of reading daily a small portion of the Holy Scriptures, and this deliberately and with devout attention. It is the work of a well-known Clergyman in this neighbourhood and is entitled “Practical Reflections on the Holy Gospels.” The price is extremely moderate. It is to be obtained from Mrs Franklin’s Library , and elsewhere.”

“Girls Friendly Society.—The Anniversary Festival of the Newbury Deanery Branch was held at Newbury on Wednesday, June 23rd, when upwards of 180 members spent a most happy day. Proceedings commenced with Service at St Nicholas’s Church at 3 p.m. after which the members and associates adjourned to the Town Hall, where a substantial tea was provided. By kind invitation of the Rector of Newbury the party next proceeded to the Rectory grounds where they amused themselves with games, etc., a band of music adding greatly to the enjoyment of all present. In connection with this branch of the Society, Mrs Gardiner had kindly offered to members not in service three prizes for needlework, and our readers will learn with great pleasure that the first prize was gained by Elizabeth Clements of Hungerford Newtown, whose work not only surpassed all the other competitors, but was considered by the Judges to be so beautifully done that an extra five shillings was awarded her over and above the original prize offered. We are sure our readers will wish the Society every success in the various plans it adopts for benefiting its members.”

From the Parish Magazine dated July 1881.
“The Agricultural Show of the Marlborough and Pewsey Vale Society held in Hungerford Park on June 7 and 8 was most successful. The Town was prettily decorated and the Exhibition was very attractive. It is estimated that 4,000 persons were present on the first day, and 7,000 on the second. £345 was taken at the gates; more than double what has been received at any previous meeting.”

From the Parish Magazine dated July 1882.
“An excursion train to the Crystal Palace and back is advertised for Tuesday, July 4, in connection with the National Temperance Festival which is held there on that day. Fares from Hungerford –London and back, 5s; Crystal Palace and back, including admission to the Festival, 6s 6d.”

More from the Archives next issue.

Fred Bailey


Legal Spot

NHS pays out £94,000 to 90-year-old woman with dementia after a two-year battle with her son

The Sunday Times recently highlighted the need for reform to the NHS Continuing Health Care (CHC) scheme, which many people are not aware exists. Funding is not automatic even if someone is diagnosed with a particular condition such as Alzheimer’s. Don Keiller proved that his 90-year-old mother, who had assets worth less than the stipulated £23,250 and lives in a nursing home, was entitled to state support covering all her care costs.

He offers the following advice:

1. Get a lasting power of attorney (LPA), which makes it easier to apply for CHC on your relative’s behalf. Your solicitor can help you with this.
2. Ask for a ‘checklist assessment’ if your relative needs nursing or medical care at home or in a care home. If you have LPA, you have a right to attend.
3. Download and complete the checklist ( so you can compare it with the assessors’ list. If you don’t agree, say so and complain to your local PALS (
4. If your relative passes the checklist, get a continuing healthcare assessment to establish whether they have a ‘primary healthcare need’. Complete the assessment form yourself ( and compare. Attend the assessment and argue your relative’s case – take notes.
5. Make friends with the nurse in charge of your relative’s care and ask her to come to the CHC assessment to describe your relative’s medical condition.
6. Get a copy of the assessment. If you disagree with it, say why. You can lodge an appeal (
7. Prepare your case. Before the meeting, send the appeal panel a summary. Bring someone with you to take notes. Ask for a detailed report.
8. Request a review if the appeal fails ( Send all information to the panel in advance and rehearse your arguments.
9. Don’t worry about good and bad days. One of the assessment criteria is“unpredictability”. If your relative’s condition has improved or stabilised, it may be because of the skilled medical treatment being received, demonstrating that medical intervention is required.
10. If this appeal fails, ask for a transcript of the decision and complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (
11. If you talk to your MP and the press, the Ombudsman is more likely to find in your favour.

See the full story in the Sunday Times article of 2nd October 2016

LloydEvans LLP