News & Views

Penny Post
Penny Post Newsletter Feb 22 – 28 2018

Wiltshire Delicatessen & Wine Merchant

In this week’s PP: a health and fitness retreat, free support for local businesses, seasonal gardening tips, the return of the River Lambourn, civic awards, volunteering opportunities, local courses and an appeal for donations: plus the usual local news, jobs, activities, events, competitions, property and much more. Also, be sure to check out the story of Penny’s life-changing trip to Ghana…

Local News  

This week’s Local News includes council mergers mooted, planning exhibitions, local plans, information overload, affordable homes and sudden double yellows.

News from Penny: Adam, Toby and I are now back from Upper West Ghana. It’s no exaggeration to say it was a life-changing experience and we feel very humbled by the people we met. We are truly grateful for everyone who helped make our trip possible to support Action Through Enterprise (ATE) based in Ramsbury. Please click here to learn about our trip (with some video, of course!).

Local Activities

• Something for everyone in our Guide to Local Courses. which covers everything from Spanish to sewing, bread-making to brass band and astronomy to zumba.

• The Wellbeing Centre in Newbury’s latest workshop schedule includes Kids YO!ga, Fit for Life and a Discover Your Wellbeing taster & talks event on Sat 10 Mar.

• A very special countryside Health & Fitness Retreat at Island Heron 16-19 Mar or 20-23 April with the lovely Joanne from Nightingale Fitness. Places for just eight ladies on each retreat so click here to contact Joanne.

• See our calendar for interesting groups you can drop into at local libraries


• Susie F recommends Laura at Pink Spaghetti PA Services“Highly recommended, whether for dealing with social media or simply helping to sort out your office.”

• A Roberts recommends Donnington Grove Hotel“The food was amazing and the staff were very friendly and helpful. A big thank you to everyone there.”


• Still time to enter our Valentine Quiz (deadline Wed 28 Feb) to win 24 hand-made Tilly’s Treat chocolates. (Thanks to PP reader and writer Angela Atkinson for contributing questions about the history of Valentine’s Day).

• Your chance to win £100 voucher at The Queen’s Arms in East Garston by entering the Brearley & Rich Estate Agent facebook competition – deadline Mon 26 Feb.


• The Dogs Trust Shop in Hillier’s Yard, Marlborough is in need of a good, working vacuum cleaner. A bagless, cylinder cleaner would be ideal for getting under clothes rails and into difficult corners. If you have an unused cleaner or are upgrading your model, please keep them in mind and contact the Manageress, Cathy McCarthy on 01672 513194.

• For any items you need or want to offer in this section please email

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including:

Part time Management Accountant, Sheepdrove •  Early Years Assistant, Inkpen • Midday Supervisory Assistant, Chilton Foliatl • Food and Beverage Assistant, Kintbury • Minibus Driver, Kintbury • Personal Care Assistants, throughout the area  • Restaurant Manager, Little Bedwyn • Bar and Waiting Staff, Shefford Woodlands • Part-time Carer, Kintbury • Administrative Assistant, near Lambourn • Detached Youth Workers, Thatcham • Hair Stylist, 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.

In this area we need more retained (paid) fire fighters – click here for details and go along to the Have a Go Day at Lambourn Fire Station on Sat 24 Feb

Hungerford Primary School is looking for a volunteer Adult Literacy Teacher  to work on a 1:1 basis with adult learners. Please contact the school office on 01488 682230 for further information.

The National Needlework Archive/Old Chapel Textile Centre at Greenham Business park is looking for volunteers to help in its new shop area, greeting visitors, stewarding and helping in the tea room. They also need a couple of people to help with events and in the office. For further details please email

Swindon’s Citizen’s Advice is looking for volunteers, particularly for administration and reception duties. If you or anyone you know might be interested in helping to support this service, which is a vital one for many people, please click here.


For Rent
• Kintbury: Annexe available for short-term rent. Click here for details.
• Hungerford: Large 2 bed maisonette on High Street. Available mid April. £850pcm. Contact Nye & Co
• Hungerford: Three/four bed detached bungalow in a popular close. Available Now. £1,350pcm. Contact Nye & Co

For Sale
• Burbage: newly-built five-bedroom detached house, ex-show home. Guide price £524,995. Contact Brearley & Rich

• Garage wanted to rent in the Hungerford area. Click here for details.
• Office space for Newbury-based charity needed from the summer. Click here for details.
• Farm cottage with barn/outbuilding wanted within 20 miles of Hungerford. Click here for details

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!

• Need help with your bookkeeping? Submit your questions to Aliz at Wise Bookkeeping on – she is doing a live #AskTheBookkeeper facebook event 8 – 8.30pm tonight to answer your questions

• Free one-to-one support for local businesses hosted by Berkshire Growth Hub at Newbury College:  HR Advice on Mon 19 Feb and Legal Advice on Weds 14 Mar – click links for how to book a slot.

• Free workshop on how to apply for R&D grants to fund your technologically innovative business ideas on Fri 2 Mar at West Berks Council Office, Newbury. Click here for more details.

Charity Plugs

• Last chance (booking deadline is noon on Friday 23 Feb) to grab your tickets for the Murder Mystery evening at Donnington Valley on Saturday 2 March in aid of the very deserving Rosemary Appeal.
• There are still people in the Newbury area who are living in tents, cars and doorways in the cold. Newbury Soup Kitchen are requesting donations of goods from their wish list to support these people as much as they can.
• If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering and, in particular, the West Berkshire Village Agent scheme, Volunteer West Berkshire is also holding an information event from 10am to 2pm on Thursday 1 March at its offices in Bolton Place off Northbrook Street.
• See this week’s Local News for three cheers 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).

Green Fingers

• Richard from My Apple Juice is offering an apple and pear tree pruning service between Marlborough and Newbury

• Some tips on how to add colour to your winter garden from Hungerford gardener Forbes Stephenson

• 200 roses and 200 lavender shrubs are to be planted in Victoria Park in Newbury from 10am on Sat 24 Feb. If you can help, do come along – please bring a spade!

• Edible Thatcham seeks new participants in its monthly gardening sessions – next one is Sun 25 Feb

• Plant Fair at Welford Park Weds 28 Feb and Thurs 1 Mar – enjoy the snowdrops while you are there.

Seasonal Snippets

• This week’s recipe is Rabbit & Prune Stew from What’s for Dinner? Second Helpings author Romilla Arber from Honesty Cookery School – their upcoming courses include Byzantine Food from Istanbul, Italian Street Food & Korean Home Cooking

• If you fancy dressing up in ’20s attire, solving a murder mystery and raising money for a great local cause on Fri 2 March, click here by noon on Friday 23 Feb (when ticket sales must close).

• From Camping to Cookies – the last blog from Jo and Richard at 4 Points Leisure whose life is now dominated by an exciting new 3D printing business, making customised cookie cutters (poo emoji-shaped cookies anyone?), glow in the dark tent pegs, coffee stencils and anything you can think of basically.

• Last week our stretch of stream started flowing. I wasn’t here to record it but here is a short video from last year’s similar rising of the mighty River Lambourn.

• Weekly Lent Lunches start in Hungerford on Sat 2 March with lunch followed at 2pm with a service to celebrate the Women’s World Day of Prayer

• There is still time to make nominations for the 2018 Newbury Civic Awards (closing date noon on Friday 9 March) to recognise the huge contribution volunteers make to the local community. For more information, click here.

• See this week’s Local News for our regular Thursday canter through the stories, newspapers and websites in the area (and sometimes a bit beyond it), including AP McCoy falling at the last, a consultation with a difference, Theale goes to the polls, two half reasons from a property owner, unexpected double yellows, some intentional aerial views of Ramsbury and an unintentional helium-powered aerial view of LA.

Please see below for a selection of upcoming local events.

Local Events

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

Snowdrops at Welford Park, open Weds to Sun until 4 March.Below is a selection of events coming up – for more, please visit the PP website Calendar

 Fri 23 Feb

Cappucino Connections 10am – 12pm Chequers Hotel, Newbury. Networking group for female entrepreneurs with nutrition talk on: Food, Focus and Fight or Flight. £5 for non-Athena Network members. No need to book.
The Slimline Shufflers, New Orleans R’n’B, 7.30pm at The Wheatsheaf in Chilton Foliat.

Sat 24 Feb

Elles Bailey and her Blues Band Croft Hall, Hungerford  – this compelling blues diva returns with opening act Lady Nade and her new album Wildfire. Buy tickets here
Mon 26 FebNeighbourhood Watch meeting, 7.30pm Mon 26 Feb, Newbury Town Council office. Including a talk by DCI Darran Hill on Stronghold, the Serious Organised Crime Unit.

MENCAP Charity Race Sat 2 Mar Newbury Racecourse
Marlborough Repair Cafe 2-4pm Sat 3 Mar Marlborough Youth Centre. Organised by Transition Marlborough.

Fri 9 Mar

Acclaimed folk trio Faustus 8pm ACE Space Newbury
The East Garston Cheltenham Preview  Tips from local trainers in aid of The Injured Jockeys Fund.

Sat 10 Mar

Fundraising quiz in Great Shefford in aid of Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Association.
Guitar workshop with fretboard legend Ace from Skunk Anansie, 1pm-3pm Newbury College.

Coming Soon

Ethos Comedy Night 8pm Fri 20 Apr ACE Space, Newbury enjoy ‘clean’ acts that don’t have to be shocking to be funny.

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