Weekly Newsletter

Penny Post
Penny Post Weekly Newsletter Dec 7-14 2017
Local News  

This week’s Local News includes social-mobility league tables, M4 closures, budget consultations, Boxford’s mosaic up for an award and local Citizens Advice under threat.

Local Events – see below
Local Activities

• The Penny Post 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.

• Our Guide to January Courses is coming this week – please reply to this ASAP if you run a course you’d like to be included. Courses starting in January include  eight-week Mindfulness coursesSpanish for complete beginners or intermediary, and discover the joy of Ballroom & Latin Dance


• Ana-Paula Ortis recommends Wise Bookkeeping Services“Aliz is the best bookkeeper ever. Thank you for your continuous support.”
• Una Parkes recommends Brearley & Rich Estate Agents“I can’t recommend them highly enough…”

Special Offers

• Smart Blinds in Thatcham has a special offer for Penny Post readers: any shutters ordered from now until 31 Jan 2018 qualify for a 10% discount (off already very keen prices). Quote ‘Penny‘ at the time of making your appointment. Click here for contact details and more information.
• Two special offers from local tennis-coaching specialists Ignition Tennis: an early-bird sign up discount(valid until 22 Dec); and a ‘refer a friend’ offer.
• If you book a meal at The Swan in Great Shefford during December you’ll receive a 25% discount for a meal in January.
• Calling all guitarists: use Hogan Music’s expert restringing service in December and you get a free guitar accessory (there’s a choice of several available).


Click here for the Penny Post 2017 Quiz – 20 questions on the year that’s about to end with a wonderful prize from the Queens Arms in East Garston for the winner.


• For sale due to move: Victorian mahogany dining table seats 10 with 6 Georgian chairs (one with carver). £ 250. 01488 681314.
• Miele rotary/roller iron B890 hardly used and in immaculate condition. Offers over £300 (nearly £1,000 new). Please contact dpuxley@welfordpark.co.uk

 Property Available to Rent

Yattendon: A unique opportunity to rent this superb four-bedroom, four-reception room house in the centre of the village. Click here for more information.
Hungerford: Three-bed, newly decorated, detached house with garage in a sought-after close in Hungerford. Available now £1,150pcm. Contact Nye & Co
Hungerford: Two-bed end-of-terrace house which has been refurbished throughout. Car port and garage. Available now. £825pcm. Contact Nye & Co
Hungerford: A well presented two-bedroom house with garage in the popular Charnham Park development. £900pcm. Contact Nina Clark Lettings.
Ramsbury: A lovely two-bedroom character cottage situated in the heart of the village. £895pcm. Contact Nina Clark Lettings.

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including:
Customer Service Advisor, Marlborough • Chef, Froxfield • Front of House Supervisor,  Newbury • Care Assistant, Froxfield • Swimming Instructor, Hungerford • Full-time Gardener, near Lambourn • Duty Manager for Leisure Centre , Hungerford • Carer for disabled teenager, Hungerford  • Homecare Staff, throughout the area • A range of catering and hospitality career opportunities, Chilton Foliat • Volunteer AONB Ambassadors, throughout the area • Volunteer Co-responders, throughout the area.

• Hungerford Town Council now has just one vacancy for a Town Councillor. Please contact claire.barnes@hungerford-tc.gov.uk.

Local Businesses 

Animals & Agriculture • Automotive • Business Consultants • Family Life •  Food & Drink •  Health, Beauty & Wellbeing • House & Garden • Legal & Finance • IT, Media & Web • Visual & Performing Arts • Retailers • Travel & Tourism • Tuition & Training

Please support the businesses which support Penny Post!

• Welcome to Cook & Butcher on Thatcham Broadway, supplying top quality local meat, English cheese and deli range
Four-legged Friend

• Pat Murphy’s tip last week at the Ladbroke Winter Carnival was an an each-way prospect and so matters proved, Whisper being narrowly beaten into second place by Total Recall. More to come in due course.

• Sometime it’s hard working at home when your office (or at least your lap) turns into a sick bay. Thanks to Barry for sharing this more dramatic inter-species respect

• Suspected case of Alabama Skin rot in South Wilts – if you find any unexplained sores on your dog’s skin or tongue it is worth getting the vet to check. Thanks to Jill Thorpe from Develop Your Dog for sharing.

Charity Plugs

• West Berkshire Homeless is running a training session for volunteers to help run the shelter at the Newbury Salvation Army Hall until end Feb. If you can help please contact Erica Gassor on erica.gassor@googlemail.com on 07799 492 235.

• Great Shefford Parish Council will need to raise £80,000 towards the cost of its flood defences. There’ll be an open meeting at either the school or the village hall (TBC – check with Ray in the Shop as to which) in Shefford at 7pm on Tues 12 Dec.

• If you know of an elderly person in the Hungerford area who finds it difficult yo get to the shops or order online, Berkshire Age UK has just launched its Easy Shop service in the town. Click here for more information.

• Volunteer Centre West Berks now has a useful Big List of all the local volunteer opportunities. To apply fill out this form using the reference number from the list.

• See this week’s Local News for a round of applause for just some of those 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).


• Have you seen our sparkly 2017 advent calendar! Have a peek for a variety of local treats, tips, good causes and funnies.


• Crushco’s record players, headphones & audio equipment, • Andresa’s pamper treatments & gifts • Gift Voucher to Learn to Dance in a Day • Recommended books at 10% discount for PP readers from Hungerford BookshopEating Out in December
Moat pubs and restaurants in the area have a range of extra menus and events over the festive period, including:
• The Queens Arms in East Garston.
• Blandy’s at Inglewood, Kintbury.
• The Swan in Great Shefford (fully booked for Christmas Day).
• The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.
• The Wheatsheaf in Chilton Foliat.
• The Crown & Garter in Inkpen.
• The Bell at Ramsbury.
• The Pheasant in Shefford Woodlands.
• The Bear in Hungerford.
Tipples and Edibles
• Festive discounts on tipples from The Naked Grape including wine, champagne, port, whiskey and gin.
• Order the Honesty Bakery Christmas selection from their coffee shops in Kingsclere, Inkpen, Lambourn and Hungerford (Barr’s Yard on the A4).
to homemade Christmas goodies from Baking Around,
• Artisan Sicilian products, including oil, wine, cheese and pesto from Gastro Nicks.
• Local turkey, beef and the best sausages we’ve ever tasted from Cook & Butcher; local gammon from Welford Park; delicious Rooksnest Beef
Christmas Community Spirit
• Please donate a gift shoebox for local families in refuge fleeing domestic violence Wiltshire’s HVDV (Helping Victims of Domestic Violence) and Berkshire Women’s Aid…read more
• Real Christmas Trees for Charity available in Swindon – all proceeds to Action Through Enterprise Ghana and Brighter Futures Radiotherapy Appeal.
• Hungerford Cards for Good Causes pop-up shop has extended opening until noon Weds 13 Dec at the United Reformed Church (near Barclays).
Seasonal Snippets

• This week’s recipe is glittery millionaire’s shortbread from Milly at Clean Slate Catering.

• SorryPenny Post is a bit late this week. About an hour ago we had a call from our son Adam who was on a train from Newbury to Hungerford (or so he thought). He called to say it hadn’t stopped at Hungerford. We were hoping the next stop might be Bedwyn or Pewsey. it wasn’t. It was Taunton. Much of the intervening time has been spent in various phone calls and web searches working out how he can get back from Taunton to Newbury or Reading tonight. The short answer is that he can’t. We charge £0.40 a mile to the boys for this kind of thing but this is by far the longest yet.

• If the skies are clear, December’s long nights provide the best star-gazing. Here are some things to look out for this month.

• It’s also the season when Xmas lights are being put up (we didn’t get round to taking some of ours down) so here are 10 Tips for a Green & Safe Christmas from Greenwire Solar

• Many of you will be aware that a stunning Roman mosaic was uncovered in Boxford earlier this year – click here for more. It’s recently been announced that this has been nominated for the Research project of the Year (2018) in the Current Archaeology Awards. You can vote for it (by 5 Feb 2018) by clicking here (the project’s official name is Bellerophon in Boxford: a mythological mosaic revealed). 

• Residents of Hungerford might be interested in a recent press release from CALA Homes, one of the developers of the Salisbury Road site. (See also this week’s Local News.)

• The Public Protection Partnership has launched a new grant scheme to help local communities in West Berkshire address community safety and to help prevent crime using the proceeds of crime.

• See this week’s Local News for our regular trawl (using, of course, non-dredging nets) through the stories, newspapers and websites in the area (and sometimes a bit beyond it), including a missing headline, some burrowing bees, a portly bowler, NatWest Bank, the Didcot to Southampton railway and local free parking.

• With another round of funding cuts looming, another chance to share my husband’s slightly disturbing view of how local councils might be raising money in five years time: The Reflective Instruments Inspector.

• Observation of the week: “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” (Winston Churchill)

See below for a selection of upcoming local events.

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Local Events

There’s a wide range of events and activities on the PP website calendar this week. Events in red listed below are Christmassy!  Click here for all the Christmas events on our calendar 
Beauty and the Beast at the Newbury Corn Exchange is running until Sun 7 Jan has had great reviews already.
Peter Pan is at the Swindon Wyvern until 31 Dec.
…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

Fri 8 Dec

Hungerford Christmas Extravaganza stalls from 5pm, parade at 7pm, fireworks at 9pm
Christmas at Hampstead Norreys Community Shop.
…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

Sat 9 Dec

Lots of festive fun on the PP Calendar including: Make natural decorations at the Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham, Christmas Cartoons in Hungerford, Christmas Crafts & Cafe at St Mary’s Church Great Shefford, Festive Swindon Artisan Market, Hungerford Town Band Christmas Concert, Marlborough Choral Society Christmas Concert.
A Christmas Cracker Cello Concert, 3-4.30pm East Garston Village Hall. Family friendly, inspirational music with virtuoso Phil Daish-Handy.
…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

Sun 10 Dec

Lots of festive fun on the PP Calendar inc: Wild Christmas Tree Sale at the Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham, Hungerford Santa Fun Run, Thatcham Carol Service, Newbury Lantern Procession
…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

New Year’s Eve

Enjoy champagne and canapes at Blandy’s in the stately setting of Audley Inglewood.
Hollywood Party at the Queen’s Arms.
…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

• Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk if you’re involved in organising a Christmas events in the area which you would like to see promoted in Penny Post.

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