Weekly Newsletter

Penny Post
Penny Post Weekly Newsletter Nov 30-Dec 6 2017
Local News

this week includes some local implications of the budget, West Berkshire Council’s planning priorities, Hungerford’s lights, Newbury’s eyesore, Marlborough’s homelessness, Great Shefford’s flood relief, Wantage’s action strategy and Thatcham’s defibrillator. 

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 soon – please reply to this if you run a course you’d like to be included.


• Anna recommends The Wheatsheaf‘s bespoke Sunday lunches: “The most delicious traditional Sunday lunch I have ever eaten. What beef used to taste like before supermarkets, and all served to us in our own private room. Thank you Lauren and Ollie: the ambience and culinary skill at your place are to die for.” 

• Marc Allen Estate Agents recommends AM Electrics“A professional and reliable electrical company that we have used for many years.”

Special Offers

• There are few better gifts than books and no better place to buy them than Hungerford Bookshop which is offering Penny Post readers a 10% discount on all books from their Christmas recommended list bought between now and Christmas. Either visit their website and enter the promo code pennypostxmas when prompted or visit the shop and quote ‘Penny Post’ at the counter. We’ve made a short-list from their long-list which you can see here.
• Book your Christmas Meal at The Swan in Great Shefford any time in December and get 25% discount on a meal in January. Book you Christmas Day Feast at The Swan and you will be entered in a prize draw for a £100 gift voucher.
• Don’t miss the festive discounts on tipples from The Naked Grape including wine, champagne, port, whiskey and gin.
• The superb Michelin-starred Harrow at Little Bedwyn has a special seafood tasting menu available 1-23 December for only £50 (their tasting menus are normally £60). Pre-booking essential.
• 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).


• 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
• Smallish desk available for a small donation to Penny Post. Please reply to this.

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: 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.
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:
Chef, Froxfield • Front of House Supervisor, Corn Exchange Newbury • Care Assistant, Froxfield • Swimming Instructor, Hungerford • Full-time Gardener, near Lambourn • Part-time Management Accountant, near Lambourn • Duty Manager for Leisure Centre , Hungerford •  Technical Support Co-ordinator, 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 has two vacancies for a Town Councillor. Please contact claire.barnes@hungerford-tc.gov.uk.

Local Businesses

Animals & AgricultureAutomotive • 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 Life’s Work, a specialist life/work coaching business in Hungerford which can help with all aspects of your work – finding it, keeping it, improving it and leaving it.

• All local businesses invited to the Hungerford Chamber of Commerce Christmas Social 6-8pm Thurs 7 Dec in the Magistrate’s Room of Hungerford Town Hall (you don’t have to be a member of the Chamber).


Carers Rights Day was last week, on Fri 24 Nov. The day may have passed but the issue has not. Here are some useful links:
West Berkshire CarersSwindon CarersCarers in WiltshireMarlborough News Online: Does Your Employer Care?Working for Carers who estimate that one in eight employees are caring for someone outside work.
Be Free YC supports young 8-25 year-old carers in South Oxfordshire (it reckons every classroom in the country has an average of two children who care for a family member).

Four-legged Friends

• I don’t know whether race horses – which seem quite aloof and serious creatures to me – really qualify as ‘friends’: I suppose they do if you’ve backed them and they win. A couple of racing points none the less. The most important event in the local racing calendar: the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival (formerly The Hennessy) at Newbury Racecourse is this Fri 1 and Sat 2 Dec, two days of some of the best jump racing around and with a festive atmosphere to match. If you are going, arrive in good time: if you aren’t, allow some extra time for any journeys around Newbury, particularly along the A4.

• On the same theme, this week we introduce a new occasional section:
Racing Tips from local trainer Pat Murphy: This weekend sees the highlight of Newbury’s national hunt season with the first running of the Ladbroke Trophy (formally the Hennessy Gold Cup). This looks, as usual, to be a very competitive race. Ireland appears to have a strong hand with favourite Total Recall and A Genie in a Bottle. Local trainers are well represented, with Mark Bradstock’s Coneygree heading the weights. The horse I like is Whisper from Nicki Henderson’s powerful stable, a solid grade-one performer with the profile for a race like this. At 8/1 he represents solid each-way prospects.

• Uncle Marmite is coming to terms with his new housemates but the kittens seem to be settling into a disturbingly abusive relationship. The boy bullies his smaller sister (her body is covered in bite scabs) but she puts up with it and washes his face. The vet just says to check the scabs aren’t weeping. We’ve never had mixed-sex kittens before. Is this normal?

• Jill Thorpe from Develop Your Dog has asked us to share this latest vet update on the Alabama Rot dog’s disease

Four Wheeled Friends

• Cliff Verrall at Four Oaks Taxi is getting booked up for the holiday but he is still available 8-10pm and after 2am on New Year’s Eve!

• Please check your tyres – there have been several local accidents where cars have skidded on and icy roads. We took our car into Kennet Tyre and MOT Centre in Charnham Lane, Hungerford this week to have two tyres changed and wheels aligned but they told us that it wasn’t worth doing the latter until the suspension components had been changed. As a result of this honesty we’ll certainly be using them again.

Charity Plugs

West Berkshire Homeless is looking for donations and volunteers to help run the shelter at the Newbury Salvation Army Hall from 1 Dec-28 Feb. If you can help please contact Erica Gassor on erica.gassor@googlemail.com on 07799 492 235.

• The Community Spirit Charity Shop on Thatcham High Street (near Army & Navy Surplus) supports a different local charity each month.They also collect milk bottle tops and used stamps which are used by local charities to raise funds.

• Great Shefford Parish Council will need to raise £80,000 towards the cost of its flood defences. See this week’s Local News for more.

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.

• 4 Legs Community Radio based in the Lambourn Valley needs your crowd-funding help to get this great resource off the ground.

• 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).


• Hot off the press – our sparkly new animated 2017 advent calendar!

• This year’s panto at the Newbury Corn Exchange is Beauty and the Beast, running from Fri 1 Dec 2017 to Sun 7 Jan 2018. Click here for more details.

• The Penny Post Christmas Special offers something for everyone, from Crushco’s record players & audio equipment, Andresa’s pamper treatments & gifts and hand-painting your own ceramic keepsakes at The Funky Teapot in Wantage to homemade Christmas goodies from Baking Around, local gammon from Welford Park, festive discounts on tipples from The Naked Grape, fabulous Christmas menus throughout December at The Queens Arms in East Garston, Blandy’s at Inglewood and The Swan in Great Shefford

•  For a different Christmas experience join local cartoonist Simon Jardine’s painted wreath workshop 10am-12pm Sat 2 Dec in Hungerford

• Newbury’s Honesty Bakery is taking orders for its wonderful Honesty Bakery Christmas selection   from their coffee shops in Kingsclere, Inkpen, Lambourn and Hungerford (Barr’s Yard on the A4).

•  For local Christmas cards, trees, wreaths and decorations please scroll down to the end of this newsletter.

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
• Would you like to join the Hungerford Christmas Lunch as a helper or a guest?…read more

Seasonal Snippets

• It’s seriously nippy now so hearty food is called for, such as this Lamb and Vegetable Pie recipe from Honesty Cookery School.

• 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

• December is quite a sugar-heavy month, so good news that Kellogs has announced plans to reduce the amount of sugar in its cereals.

• Still time for local artists to submit work to a salon style Art Exhibition 8-20 December at the Cornforth Studios in Newbury (which offers shared studio space from £55/mnth). Submit photos of up to five works per artist to Lenny 07957 908547 cornforthstudios@gmail.com by 4 Dec.

• 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 weekly supermarket dash trip through the region’s stories, newspapers and websites, including an awkwardly stuck lorry, Swindon Council’s non-news, Marlborough’s lorries, possible green bin charges, a look at the letters page and a sledgee’s revenge.

• There aren’t a lot of songs written about the crusades, and my husband Brian assures me that his latest, King Richard is Dead, isn’t one of them: it’s more about the dangers of accepting an offer that seems too good to refuse.

• Observation of the week, from comedian Felicity Ward: “I just bought underwater headphones and it’s made me loads faster. Do you know how motivating it is swimming to the theme song from Jaws?”

See below for a selection of upcoming local events..

There’s a wide range of events and activities on the PP website calendar this week including xxx

Click here for all the Christmas events on our calendar 

Local Events
Fri 1 Dec

• Barr’s Yard Christmas Shopping Event 5pm onwards Barr’s Yard Artisan Collective, just outside Hungerford. Enjoy mulled cider and mince pies, pop-up shops and special offers to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
• First night of Beauty and the Beast Christmas panto at the Newbury Corn Exchange (continues til 7 Jan 2018).
…on the PP website calendar including Chilton Foliat School Christmas Market & Grotto, Wantage Dickensian Evening, Thatcham Lights Switch On, St Michael’s Lambourn Christmas Fair, Shalbourne Tasting & Gift Evening,  

Sat 2 Dec

• Barr’s Yard Christmas Shopping Event 9am-5pm Barr’s Yard Artisan Collective, just outside Hungerford. Enjoy mulled cider and mince pies, pop-up shops and special offers to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
• Crofton Beam Engines Winter Maintenance 10am-3pm.
• Savernake Ensemble Winter Concert 6.30-7.30pm St Michael’s Church, Axford In aid of GWH Brighter Futures Radiotherapy Appeal
• Cloudbusting: The Music of Kate Bush 8pm Sat 2 Dec Croft Hall. Tickets £15. Incredible tribute band!
Ladbrokes Winter Carnival Party at The Queens Arms, East Garston. Top DJ and dancing all night. Restaurant (booking required) and bar food.
…plus more on the PP website calendar including  Christmas Art & Craft Bazaar in Ramsbury, Yuletide Barfield HandBell Ringers in Thatcham, Painted Wreath Workshop in Hungerford

Sun 3 Dec

Hungerford Christmas Lights Switch On  outside the Town Hall. Music from 4pm. Lights switch on by author Robert Harris at 5pm.
…plus more on the PP website calendar.

Mon 4 Dec

• Pelican Cancer Christmas Fair  9.30am-5pm Mon 4 Dec The Vineyard, Newbury. £5 entry. Horris Hill School Choir singing carols.
…plus more on the PP website calendar.

Wed 6 Dec

Indoor Antiques and Flea Market, Hungerford Town Hall
…plus more on the PP website calendar.

Fri 8 Dec

Hungerford Christmas Extravaganza stalls from 5pm, parade at 7pm, fireworks at 9pm

Coming soon…

• Cello Concert, East Garston Village Hall, Sat 9 Dec
…plus more on the PP website calendar.

More About Christmas!
Wreaths & Decorations
• Christmas Floristry Workshops & Events in Hungerford, Inkpen, Kintbury, Great Shefford and Pewsey with Kelly Louise Floral Designer.
• Make natural decorations  Sat 9 Dec at the Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham.Christmas Trees
Real Christmas Trees for Charity available in Swindon – all proceeds to Action Through Enterprise Ghana and Brighter Futures Radiotherapy Appeal.
BBOWT Wild Christmas Tree Sale Sun 10 Dec Nature Discovery Centre, Thatcham.Christmas Cards
• Hungerford Cards for Good Causes pop-up shop until Sat 9 Dec United Reform Church (near Barclays).
• The popular ‘Christmas in Marlborough’ card is once again being sold at St Peter’s Church to raise funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance (from Marlborough News Online).• 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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