Weekly Newsletter

Penny Post
Penny Post Weekly Newsletter Dec 14-21 2017
Local News  

This week’s Local News includes bunds, hampers, cats, tyres, lawfare, green bins, homeless charities, train services and budget consultations.

Local Events – see below
Local Activities

• Finally – our Guide to January Courses is here! Whatever your New Year’s resolution, you should find it satisfied here – this new Guide includes CPD (professional training) and young family fun as well as arts, crafts, cookery, fitness, wellbeing, yoga, languages, IT and much more. If you run a course or class that you would like to see featured in this guide, please contact us by clicking here.


• Mrs VA, Newbury recommends Bluebird Carers: “They make my Mum laugh more than she has laughed for years. She can no longer leave the house and so relies on carers to keep her company. It is a delight and reassurance to know Mum has such nice people looking after her.” 

• Kitty Bell from Great Shefford recommends Smart Blinds: “A first-class services from start to finish – thank you!”

Special Offers

• The Lambourn Valley Dental Practice can help you get your teeth white as snow by offering you 20% off their Classic Teeth Whitening service until the end of December 2017.
• 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).


Penny Post 2017 Quiz – answer 20 questions about 2017 to win a meal and room for two at the lovely Queens Arms in East Garston

 Property Available to Rent

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.
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

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including:
Customer Service Advisor, Marlborough • Chef, Froxfield • 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.

Friendly & organised student looking for holiday work. Flat rate of £9 per hourr for any work. Available 28/29 Dec and 4-7 Jan. Please contact Tom Shaw Stewart (21 years) at tshawstewart@gmail.com 01488 648 829 or 07780 588 542.

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 Orange Key Design Studios in Hungerford, which offers an architectural and structural engineering service for a wide range of commercial and residential projects.
Road & Travel News

• Good news about the M4: after successfully lifting into position all six central reservation beams between J12 and 13, the remaining three weekend closures have now been cancelled (15-18 Dec, 12-15 Jan and 19-22 Jan 2018). The scheme will still require occasional full overnight road closures, the dates for which will be advertised in advance.

• Connect bus timetable for Newbury, Thatcham and West Berkshire over Christmas and New Year.

• Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without news of rail disruptions and, in the new year, the looming issue of fare rises. It’s not all bad, though, for users of GWR at least: there are some impending timetable improvements from January and, later in the year, the arrival of the bi-mode trains which have enabled the continuation of direct rail links between Bedwyn and Paddington. Click here for some useful information from the Bedwyn Rail Passenger Group which, along with local town and parish councils, was largely responsible for saving this service.

• As mentioned in this week’s Local News, a recent report claims that rail companies are misleading passengers by selling tickets for services over the holiday period that are not in fact running.

• All professional lorry, coach and bus drivers are required to have continual CPC skill and knowledge training. This Driver CPC Training is provided locally by Cate at CAE Logisitics based in Lambourn.

Charity Plugs

• From Marlborough News Online: Home Start Kennet is looking for trustees to support the amazing work this charity does to support young families who are struggling in the Marlborough/Pewsey/Devizes area.

• If you or anyone you know finds it difficult to get to the shops or order groceries online, Berkshire Age UK has the solution. Their Easy Shop Service (recently launched in this area) enables you to phone your food order to BAUK who will place the order with the supermarket of your choice and deliver it to your home. It’s “a very useful service” according to Frank from East Garston. To find out more, click here.

• Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for the 2017 Berkshire Community Champions Award – including Volunteer of the Year Bob Lyon from Frilsham.

• 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 hats-off to just some of those who’ve raised money for or otherwise supported good causes recently. (If you know of any person or organisation that deserves a mention in this way, let us know.)


• Lots of local treats, tips, good causes and funnies in our sparkly 2017 advent calendar

Gift Ideas
• Crushco’s record players, headphones and audio equipment • Andresa’s pamper treatments and gifts • Gift Voucher to Learn to Dance in a Day • Recommended books at 10% discount for PP readers from Hungerford Bookshop • Gifts for the Festival Lover in your tribe.
• if Santa is thinking about bringing a new bike for your child, here are some top tips on choosing a bikefrom local cycle trainer Caroline Lane.

Eating Out in December
Still time to book your festive meals and events at:
• 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.
• Honesty Bakery Christmas selection from their coffee shops in Kingsclere, Inkpen, Lambourn and Hungerford (Barr’s Yard on the A4).
• Homemade Christmas goodies from Baking Around delivered to your door.
• Artisan Sicilian products, including oil, wine, cheese and pesto from Gastro Nicks.
• Local gammon from Welford Park; delicious locally raised Rooksnest Beef
• Newbury Market will be full of festive cheer in December with choirs and Market Traders taking part in a ‘Best Dressed Stall’ competition on Thurs 14, Sat 16, Thurs 21 and Sat 23 Dec.

Thoughts about Christmas 
• 10 Tips for a Mindful Christmas from Sheila Bond at Living Well Mindfulness
• 12 Rules of Engagement for a Successful Christmas (especially useful if you have belligerent siblings…)

Seasonal Snippets

• Thanks to PP reader Nicola Wood for contributing this nutritious and also deliciously naughty Chocolate Rye Biscuits recipe.• Great news for cheese lovers (which includes our family), according to the Lambourn Valley Dental Practice’s latest e-newsletter: cheese is great for teeth as it helps to return the mouth to its natural alkaline/acid balance after a meal and reduces the chances of developing tooth decay. Hence cheeseboards after the main meal. The same can be said for sugar-free chewing gum (although it may not be such great table etiquette – when did you last see a sugar-free chewing gum board?).

•  Check out these gorgeous silver birch pots made by Chris at Oneday Woodcraft. They are proving very popular and Chris is looking for silver birch trees with 3″-5″ diameter trunks (trees approx 3-4 metre high – for example from a woodland that needs thinning) that he can hand carve into these beautiful pots. Chris needs the wood fresh, cut between now and the end of January and in long lengths. If you know a tree surgeon or land owner who might be able to help please contact Chris on chris@onedaywoodcraft.co.uk.

• Did you see Newbury’s lovely Festival of Light Lantern Procession on Sunday? Click here for a short video and an appeal from the Corn Exchange who organise these outdoor events for a £5 donation (that will be matched by the Arts Council) – to help them continue to put on these fantastic community experiences.

• And here’s another festive video of the Hungerford Christmas Extravaganza from last Friday.

• We’ve been asked by a reader to send out a reminder about picking up dog poo which can carry harmful infections like Toxocariasis which can cause serious illness and even blindness – it’s got worse around Hungerford.

• See this week’s Local News for our regular guided walk through the stories, newspapers and websites in the area (and sometimes a bit beyond it), including free parking, walking distances, green bin debates, camouflaged cats, CILs and S106s, YouTube twits and street naming.

• Rural crime update from Thames Valley Police

• My husband Brian claims to have received (I seem to write this phrase rather a lot) some important Christmas and New Year Information from some council or another: unfortunately it didn’t say which council and we can’t recognise any of the place names. Have a look at this Important Christmas and New Year Information here – perhaps you know where this rather alarming part of Britain is…

• Observation of the week: “I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.” (Steven Wright.)

See below for a selection of upcoming local events.

PS: If you know anyone else who might also enjoy this week’s Penny Post, please click here to forward it them.
Local Events

There’s a wide range of events and activities on the PP website calendar

• Click here for all the Christmas events on our calendar including Twigs pop-up Christmas shop at Swindon’s Brunel Centre, Zoots Special Christmas Concert at Shush in Wantage, artisan markets and carol services.
• Other activities and events on the PP website calendar include writers groups, quizzes, Nature Memories Café, art groups, fitness, classes and concerts.

Pantos: 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.

Sat 16 Dec

Christmas Indoor Antiques & Flea Market 10am-4pm Hungerford Town Hall

Sat 30 Dec

Ghana Gig  7pm East Garston Village Hall – enjoy an African meal and games and a local band, all in aid of Action Through Enterprise (based in Ramsbury) which supports families living in poverty in Upper West Ghana.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve at Blandy’s – enjoy champagne and canapes at in the stately setting of Audley Inglewood.
Hollywood Party at the Queen’s Arms, East Garston.
New Year’s Party at Donnington Grove – enjoy a sumptuous four course meal and dance the night away before welcoming 2018. £65 per person.

…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

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


Leave a comment