News & Views

Penny Post
Penny Post Weekly Newsletter Oct 5-12 2017
Local News  

Visit the Local News section of PP website for this week’s Local News including Hungerford rugby club, award-winning pubs, policing in Thatcham, M4 closures and possible solutions for an ugly building.

Local Events – see below
Local Activities

• Guide to Local Courses includes a wide variety of art, craft, cookery, music, drama, dance, language, IT, fitness, sport, adventure, dog training and wellbeing workshops and courses.

• One-day workshops at Newbury College on Sat 14 Oct:
Batik for Beginners,10am-3pm, £58. Complete a tie dye tablecloth and decorative fabric square.
North Indian Cuisine,10am-2pm, £45. Cook tasty dishes from scratch with authentic spices.
Needle Felting,10am-1pm, £36. Learn basic skills required to make your own needle felted animals.

• Autumn weather is as good as the summer’s and Ignition Tennis is running half-term tennis camps for 5-9 year olds and 10-16 year olds at Chieveley, Hungerford, Malmesbury and Park House (Newbury).
• Hogan Academy is running a Jam Club for budding rock-band players (of all ages and experience) and Vocal Retreat for singers who want to learn theatrical, West End vocal techniques.
• Holiday Courses at the Watermill Theatre including Stage Combat Workshop Mon 23 Oct (8-11 years and 12-16 years), Comedy Improvisation Workshop Tues 24 Oct (8-11 years and 12-16 years) and Theatre Academy Thurs 26 Oct (16-25 years). Click here for more information.

For more local events and activities see the PP website calendar.


• Isobel from Ramsbury recommends The Wheatsheaf in Chilton Foliat: “By some distance the best fish dish I have ever eaten – quite superb…”

• Yvonne and Jeremy recommend Hogan Music: “I’m overwhelmed that you went to so much trouble for us – I shall take great pleasure in recommending you to others…”

• My husband Brian recommends the newly re-opened and re-furbished Blackbird in Bagnor, just round the corner from the Watermill Theatre and so ideal for pre- or post-theatre drinks or meals. “What a transformation! I haven’t eaten there yet but have heard good reports.”

Special Offers

There are still several special offers available in celebration of our recent 500th issue.

Items wanted

• A 4m x 8m marquee for OxJAM Newbury, a gig in aid of OXFAM, 2-6pm Sun 29 Oct. If you can help please contact Angie on 07879 627 219.
• Two tabby kittens. Please reply to this email or call Penny or Brian on 01488 648 534.


Wanted – to rent
Two (or more) bedroom home to rent in Hungerford/Marlborough area with a garden with a dog-friendly landlord. Please contact Sally asap on

Wanted – to buy
• Cash buyer looking for a three- or four-bedroom detached family home with some garden, parking and within walking distance of Hungerford town centre. Pre-war (1930s) period and style ideally, although a modern house will be considered. Price range £700-850,000. Email or call 01672 514 820.

Available – to rent
• Hungerford: a newly built, immaculately presented, detached three-bedroom house situated a short walk from the town centre. £995pcm. Available now. Contact Nye & Co
• Kintbury: a three-bedroom semi-detached house, with parking close to the village centre and railway line. £1,150pcm. Available end of October. Contact Nye & Co.
• Hungerford: a newly refurbished two-bedroom end-of-terrace house with car port and rear courtyard. £850pcm. Available Now. Contact Nye & Co.
• Hungerford: A two-storey maisonette situated close to Hungerford High Street with two bedrooms and residents’ parking. Available early November. £750pcm. Contact Nye & Co.
• Hungerford: A smartly presented two-bedroom flat with parking. Recently refurbished. Available now. £750pcm. Contact Nye & Co.
• Hungerford: A three-bed detached house with garage which will be decorated throughout. Available November £1,150pcm. Contact Nye & Co.
• Hungerford: recently refurbished house with one double bedroom, occasional bedroom/study, residents’ parking. See Nina Clark Lettings for more details
• Kintbury: a double-bedroom annexe to let on the outskirts of Kintbury, available by the night or for longer periods. For more details, please click here.
• Hungerford: a three-bedroom family house with garage. See Nina Clark Lettings for more details

Available – for sale
• HungerfordHopgrass Open Barn £595,000 with Nye & Co.
• Hungerford: A four-bedroom house in Bourne Grove, guide price £415,000 with Brearley & Rich.

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including:
Administration Assistant, Hungerford • Exam Invigilators, Hungerford • Minibus Driver, Hungerford • Christmas Card Shop Manager, Hungerford • KS 1 Teacher, Hungerford • Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Hungerford (closes 9 Oct)Support Workers, WIltshire • Carer for disabled teenager, Hungerford • Pharmacy Technician, Ramsbury (Closes 6 Oct)Second Chef, Froxfield • Care Assistant, Froxfield • Wine-merchant Staff, Hungerford •PA/Administrator, Hungerford (Closes 6 Oct) • Riding Assistant, Hungerford Newtown •Community Governors, Hungerford • Teaching Assistants, Hungerford • Sous Chef, Hungerford • Native Spanish Speaker to help teach language courses, Wickham • Minibus Driver, Kintbury • Head Waiter or Waitress, Chilton Foliat • Bar Staff, Hungerford • Apple Pressers and Delivery Drivers, near Hungerford • Maintenance/Handyperson, Hungerford •Assistant Restaurant Manager and Food and Beverage Team Member, both Chilton Foliat •Homecare Staff, throughout the area • Marquee Riggers, throughout the area  • A range of catering and hospitality career opportunities, Chilton Foliat • Night Porter, Hungerford • Front of House Staff, Hungerford • Volunteer AONB Ambassadors, throughout the area.

• West Berkshire Work and Careers Fair, 1-6pm Wed 11 Oct Newbury College

• Are you looking for work or training in Hungerford? If so, there’s a great opportunity to meet the major local employers at the Hungerford Trade Showcase on Friday 13 Oct from 3.30 to 6pm at John O’Gaunt School, Hungerford. Entry is free.

Local Businesses 

Animals & AgricultureAutomotive • Family Life •  Food & Drink •  Health, Beauty & Wellbeing • House & Garden • Legal & Professional • IT, Media & Web • Visual & Performing Arts • Retailers • Travel & Tourism • Tuition & Training

Please support the businesses which support Penny Post!


To celebrate our 500th issue last month, we have no fewer than three quizzes, all of which are still running:

• PP Local Quiz. First prize: Meal for two and a room for the night at The Pheasant.Runner-up prize: local produce hamper.

• PP Local Photo Quiz. First prize: Two Premier Enclosure tickets to Newbury Racecourse. Runner-up prize: local produce hamper.

• PP Website Quiz. First prize: Spa day for two at Natura Spa at Audley Inglewood. Runner-up prize: local produce hamper.

For more details on how to book tickets for this memorable Steam Dreams experience please click here.

Charity Plugs

• Do come along to our fundraising Ghana Party on Tues 17 Oct for a fun evening of African music, food, games and a short film about Action Through Enterprises work in Ghana. Tickets £15 from Fare Wise Travel on Hungerford High St or from

• Ever wonder how people with sight problems negotiate all the stuff that is often found on pavements? Find out for yourself by taking the blindfold test at the Pavements are for Peopleevent in Newbury Marketplace 10am-4pm Fri 6 Oct.

• Lions of Newbury need volunteers 20/28 Oct and 4/5Nov to help make this year’s fireworks on Sat 4 Nov at Newbury Racecourse happen. There are 16 members of Lions, half of whom are over 70, so they really need support. Volunteers get food and family ticket to event. Please contact if you can help.

• If your group needs a computer enter the FREE laptop/PC for a local voluntary group offer from Green Machine Computers – deadline Mon 16 Oct.

• Important Suicide Prevention advice session for employers Weds 11 Oct at Shaw House conference centre in Newbury. Did you know that suicide accounts for over three times more deaths per year than road accidents?

• Enter the 3/5/10km Step Up 4 Good Greenham Run on Sun 15 Oct to raise money for good local causes.

• See this week’s Local News for a list of just some of the people who’ve raised money for good causes recently (if you know of any person or organisation that deserves a mention in this way, let us know).

Four Legged Friends

• PP reader Jill is a puppy walker (click link for role & how to apply) for Guide Dogs for the Blind and she recommends it to anyone who loves dogs. The responsibility is to socialise the puppy until it is about 1 year old. Jill will be with her guide dog puppy in training Finn at Sainsbury’s 12 – 1pm Sun 8 Oct raising funds

• Dogs Unite Berkshire – lots of canine fun at Snelsmore Common on Sun 8 Oct in aid of Guide Dogs.

• Did you know that you can hire a horsebox from ND Services in Lambourn Woodlands? They are also experts in horsebox recovery, repair and servicing.


• Got a teenager itching to drive? Our son recommends the Drive Start day for 15-19 year olds Thurs 26 Oct at Madjeski Stadium

The second chapter of Dave Saunders’ Harley ride round California includes the casino madness of Reno and spectacular lasso skills at a cattle ranch in Graeagle.

• For a reliable taxi services for wheelchair users, Charlie in Hungerford recommends Four Oaks Cars (which can also transport large groups and bicycles).

Seasonal Snippets

• For our recipe this week we recommend, from the Honesty Cookery School, chicken breasts braised in Marsala on cabbage.

• There’s a bit more night sky around now than this time last month. The Newbury Astronomical Society picks out a few highlights for you.

• Thanks to PP reader Bob Brewer for his report on the recent Boxford Mosaic Archaeological Dig and why it is considered the most important mosaic find in the last 50 years in Britain

• In Healthwatch West Berkshire’s October newsletter: grants for local voluntary groups, health event info and news about West Berks Disability Alliance.

• In Sustainable Wantage’s October newsletter: workshops at The Mix, appeal for broken crockery and hama beads, apple press for rent, crocus bulb planting, seasonal recipes.

• Latest news from Transition Marlborough: rail/bus links, speed limits, AGM on Weds 11 Oct.

• During National Libraries Week, 9-14 Oct, West Berks library members who have lost their library card can get a free replacement and overdue fines will be cleared for anyone visiting any West Berkshire library on Fri 13 or Sat 14 Oct. Lambourn Library invites you to a public meeting (see Weds 11 Oct) below/ Theale Library is celebrating a Re-Launch Day on Fri 13 Oct with children’s author Holly Webb.

• See this week’s Local News for our usual Thursday prowl through the thickets of local (and sometimes not so local) current affairs, including a badly-timed local greengrocer’s holiday, social-media freedom for teenagers, West Berkshire’s second scariest building, proof that not all footballers are idiots and the end of the world (or perhaps not).

• My husband Brian has claimed to have recruited another occasional correspondent forPenny Post, though I’m not certain that he hasn’t written the article himself and pocketed the fee (except that there is no fee). Anyway, please extend a warm welcome to Professor Sebastian Bryson-Bragg who here explains all about the ‘third mood’.

•  An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a pub. The barman says, “this is a joke, right?”

See below for a selection of upcoming local events.


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Local Events

17th Thatcham Festival 7-20 Oct offers 70 unmissable events with truly something for everyone!

Hungerford Literary Festival Fri 13-Sun 15 Oct

Wantage Literary Festival Sat 21-Sat 28 Oct

Fri 6 Oct

Pavements are for People Awareness Event 10am-4pm Newbury Marketplace.
…plus more on the PP website calendar.

Sat 7 Oct

Thatcham Festival Leisure & Craft Fair 10am-3pm Broadway Green and St Mary’s Thatcham. Free entry. Rock Choir at 11am.
Thatcham Community Mural 10am-2pm Broadway Green – creative fun with illustrator Simon Jardine.
Autumn Craft & Gift Fair 10am-3pm, The Old Chapel Textile Centre, Greenham Business Park.
Churchyard Tour with Dr Nick Young starts 11am & 1pm St Mary’s Church, Thatcham.
Dinner & Dance with New Orleans Jazz Band The Fallen Heroes 7.30pm Great Shefford Village Hall. In aid of Great Shefford Pre-School. Great chance to hear this group that have played at Strictly and private functions for the Queen.
…plus more on the PP website calendar.

Sun 8 Oct 

Hungerford Food Festival 10.30am-4pm Hungerford Town Hall. Additional public parking from 11.30am is available at The Croft Centre RG17 0HY.
…plus more on the PP website calendar.

Weds 11 Oct

Lambourn Library Public Meeting 7.30pm Memorial Hall. With guest speaker Nicola Chester, Author-in-residence and Librarian at John O’Gaunt School. All welcome to approve new constitution and thank vital volunteers. Refreshments provided. More details from Sue Cocker 01488 71357.
…plus more on the PP website calendar.

Fri 13 Oct

Hungerford Trade Showcase 3 – 6pm John O’Gaunt School. Looking for work or training opportunities in Hungerford? This is a chance to meet the major employers in Hungerford.
Cocktail & Casino Night Fri 13 Oct Wickham Village Hall.
…plus more on the PP website calendar.

Coming Soon 

Ghana Party 7pm Tues 17 Oct Croft Hall, Hungerford.
Lambourn Wine Circle starts Thurs 19 Oct for 8 weeks. If you love tasting some super wines from new regions and being part of a fun group please contact Brian Davis on 01488 670468 or
…plus more on the PP website calendar.


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