News & Views

Penny Post
Penny Post Newsletter 11 – 18 January 2018

In this week’s PP: Special Offer for PP readers from Smart Blinds & Shutters in Thatcham, recommendations for LJSmith Accountants and Spanish lessons with Angela Quiroga, South Indian Fish Curry recipe, clothes appeal for refugees, how to walk like a penguin – plus the usual local news, jobs and events!

Local News

Visit the Local News section of PP website for this week’s Local news including a knacker’s yard, a threatened pub, a village green, fly tipping statistics and a restored organ.

Hungerford January newsletter – for latest news from Town Council, Town & Manor, independent businesses on the high street, fire safety advice in wake of Fairfield Road electrical fire, and Nick Lumley’s experience in Paddington 2!

Local Events – see below

Local Activities

• Something for everyone in our Guide to January Courses, (FYI Zumba classes at 9.30am on Weds morning are now at Marlborough Youth Centre instead of Froxfield)
Latest classes at The Wellbeing Centre in Newbury include Qi Gong, Mindfulness, Write Now for Wellbeing, Free Your Voice and a wide range of pre- and post- natal support
Adult education courses starting at St John’s in Marlborough NEXT WEEK include: Upholstery; Spanish, Japanese & French Improvers; Greek, Italian & French Beginners and starting 25 Jan a lovely three week Beautiful Flowers for the Home course
• Plus fab adult workshops at St John’s in Marlborough: Restorative Yoga & Yoga Nidra Fusion Thurs 18 Jan 7-9pm, Enhancing wellbeing for 2018 Sat 20 Jan 9:30am-1:30pm, Face Yoga Sat 20 Jan 2-4pm

Coming up in February: Winter Top Fruit Tree Pruning workshops in Hungerford on Sat 3 or Sun 4 Feb


• Terry recommends Spanish lessons with Angela Quiroga in Kintbury: “Angela is very supportive and great at building confidence. Often sessions are based around a theme and you learn a lot about Latin American culture.” Angela has a few spaces in a new beginners class starting soon on Monday mornings

• Jez Prout recommends LJSmith Accountants in Hungerford because they “maximised the profitability of my business, minimised my tax liability and streamlined my day to day accounting overheads, offering a level of personal service that is highly unusual and something that I am very grateful for.”


We have extended the deadline of the Penny Post 2017 Quiz to give you the weekend to finish it off. We have not received a 100% correct entry yet, so give it your best shot and you might win a meal, bottle of house wine and room for two at the lovely Queens Arms in East Garston.
New deadline: 10pm Sun 14 Jan

Special Offers

SPECIAL OFFER for Penny Post readers: order shutters from Smart Blinds & Shutters in Thatcham before 31 Jan 2018 to get 10% discount if you quote ‘Penny’. Elegant & insulating, shutters are now trending in the UK. See here for more on shutters and contact Adam and his team on 01635 866600 or to discuss the requirements of your home.

Montagues Hair Design at the top of Hungerford High St is offering a complimentary Olaplex treatment with any hair service during January! Quote ‘Promo 05’ when you call 01488 681088 to book

• One week left of Benchmark Furniture’s Winter Sale so why not visit their gorgeous showroom nr Kintbury this weekend. They are open 10am – 4pm Saturdays and 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.

• Special offers to kick-start your New Years fitness resolutions:
– join the Hungerford Leisure Centre now and pay nothing till February
– Littlecote House Hotel Leisure Club – one month’s free membership.
– sign up for Nightingale Fitness‘s FREE January Slamstart daily 15 minute exercise programme that you do at home in your own time

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including:

Front of House and Waitstaff, Chilton Foliat • Delivery Driver/Administrator, Newbury • Store Manager, Ramsbury • Handyperson, Brightwalton • Customer Services Co-ordinator, Kintbury • Pastoral Support Assistant, Hungerford • Part-time Cleaner, Hungerford  Swimming Instructor, Hungerford • Duty Manager, Hungerford • Facilities Officer, 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.

• Interested in teaching? In collaboration with Bristol and Bath Spa Universities, Excalibur Teaching School Alliance offers School Direct Teacher Training through a partnership of primary & secondary schools in West Berks, Wilts & Bristol. They are now accepting applications for their PGCE courses in both primary & secondary teaching. To find out more, book a slot at their next Train to Teach information event 9am – 12noon Thurs 18 Jan at St John’s Marlborough

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 Tapioca Tidy Decluttering Service. The organisation of your home can get out of control for a variety of reasons and if you suffer a bereavement, go through a divorce, change job, have a baby or move house, life can become even more challenging and that is when Tapioca Tidy’s support is invaluable.

Charity Plugs

West Berks Action for Refugees are collecting the following for refugees living rough in Calais: good small tents, sleeping bags, Men’s winter jackets and coats (S/M), Hats, Walking boots (39-43), new underwear/socks (S/M), emergency blankets and any dried fruit and nuts left over from Christmas. Please drop donations off by 31 JAN to Claire (The Firs Cottage, Post Office Rd, Inkpen RG17 9PU) or ring her on 07717 644991 to arrange collection.

Safeguarding Adults course provides an understanding of safeguarding and your role in identifying and working with the statutory bodies when dealing with vulnerable adults. Thurs 18 Jan at Healthwatch West Berkshire. Cost £25.

Brighter Berkshire, launched in 2017 to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health issues, invites you to their End of Year and What Next networking event 6 – 8pm Thurs 18 Jan

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 heartfelt round of applause 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, do let us know).


• For Sale Halford’s Roof Box £50 o.n.o.

 Cold-weather car-care tips from Elite Garage Services in Newbury

 It was so foggy last night – really tricky driving on the windy bottom road to Newbury that doesn’t have cats eyes. I asked Cliff at Four Oaks Cars Taxi Service for some fog driving tips: watch your speed and distance from vehicle in front of you, make sure your screen wash is always full and if you use your fog lights (a low, wide beam separate from main headlights) do remember to switch them off when the fog has gone. I normally just dip my headlights as full beam reflects the fog and makes visibility worse. OK, I admit it – I need to establish where the fog lights actually are on our new car.

 Request from Gill at Thatcham’s hedgehog rescue charity to please wipe any spilled anti-freeze off the ground. One drop that fails to go into your car, followed by rain, makes a puddle of sweet tasting lethal liquid that will readily be drunk by cats, dogs and wildlife.

Four Legged Friends

 We are gradually letting our kittens outdoors to let off steam – otherwise they’re crashing around at 4.30am knocking glasses of water over our heads. They also eat virtually anything, including sprouts, pancake batter, walnuts and – a real delicacy, this – the food left on cutlery in the dishwasher. Today they’ve been practicing climbing trees and discovering that it’s easier to go up than down…

 My aunt lives off the Andover Road in Newbury and is surprised she has had no birds feeding off her balcony this winter. Anyone else experiencing this?

Seasonal Snippets

• Tasty and warming South Indian Fish (or vegetarian) curry recipe from PP reader Nicola Wood

• Still plentiful in the hedgerows are rosehips, famous for their contribution of Vitamin C to the WWII war effort. I was going to make rosehip syrup (which still contains a good amount of Vit C after cooking) but discovered they are surprisingly good to eat raw once you have removed the seeds (which are only good for making itching powder…).

• Seasonal advice about how to walk safely on ice (like a penguin!) from Mike Samuels at CPR First Aid Training• Every week local coach and language lover Lis Allen talks for 5 minutes on her Talking Bollocks facebook page about a specific word. This week’s word is the adjective heuristic (enabling a person to discover something for themselves). Click here and scroll down a bit to find the video. If you want to explore how well you communicate with others, do attend one of Lis’s upcoming events (Talking Bollocks for men and Vagina Dialogues for women) below.

• Please help Save the White Hart in Hamstead Marshall. This is a genuinely viable pub that is under serious risk of being converted into housing. The campaigners need at least 180 objections by next Thurs 18 Jan – please click here for how to help.

• What might 2018 have in store for the the economy? Local financial experts Butler Toll Asset Management have a few suggestions here.

• We’re always looking for ways to use less plastic so it was great to discover this week 1.that Honesty Coffee shops in Lambourn, Hungerford, Kingsclere and Inkpen do take-away lunches not wrapped in plastic, 2. this petition to stop supermarket produce packaging and 3. this website

• If you run a local village hall and like to book affordable, quality entertainment we recommend Multistory Theatre who are coming back to East Garston Village Hall with Pericles – All at Sea on Fri 19 Jan. You don’t have to pay them upfront. They accept audience donations after the show.

• See this week’s Local News for our regular abseil through the stories, newspapers and websites in the area (and sometimes a bit beyond it), including local pollution levels, appealing to HM Planning Inspectorate, flood defences, Paddington Bear, how to avoid having empty shops in your town and a riddle (which is a lot simpler than it looks at first glance).

• A round-up of Switch on to Swindon stories from people who love living and working in Swindon.

• My husband Brian has delved back into his childhood for a tale of a mysterious octagonal room which was, or which might have been, at the top of his old school – click here to read Ghosts.

• Looking forward to summer, Jo and Richard at 4Points Leisure preview the Glamping Trends for 2018!

Please 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 including: Board Games Night in Hungerford Fri 12 Jan, Egyptology Lecture 13 Jan, Astronomy for beginners 17 Jan and lots more

Weds 17 Jan

Vagina Dialogues 7.30pm DoubleTree by Hilton Newbury. An entertaining seminar for females over 14 who are non-judgmental, curious, have an open mind – and want to make a difference in the world.

Fri 19 Jan

Pericles – All At Sea 7.30pm East Garston Village Hall. Multistory Theatre spin a moving modern twist on Shakespeare’s tale. Free entry. Make a donation after the show.

Coming Soon

Talking Bollocks 7.30pm Fri 26 Jan, Hungerford Town Hall. For men only. Would you like to create a better relationship with the women in your life? Would you like to understand yourself better? Do you want to have a fun, thought-provoking and inspiring night out? Here are some great testimonials from men who have been before.

Thrilling Author Talk 7.30pm Fri 26 Jan Croft Hall, Hungerford. Author Gerald Seymour talks to local writer Jon Stock about A Damned Serious Business – The Sunday Times’ Thriller of the Month.

…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

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