Weekly Newsletter

Penny Post
Penny Post March 29-April 4 2018


In this week’s Penny Post: recommendations for Smartblinds in Thatcham and Vici Language Academy in Newbury; special offers from Zen Dog Whispering and Wise Bookkeeping tax returns; haybox meringue recipe; all about Easter; Newbury Building Society community grant; the return of master gardener Bob Davison; Hilly’s top tips on planting early potatoes – plus the usual local news, jobs, events and property.

Local News  

Visit the Local News section of PP website for this week’s Local News including West Berkshire’s voting arrangements, pot-hole repairs, the Knacker’s Yard goes to number 10, a chat with the police and Lambourn’s reduced Open Day.

Local Events – see below

Local Activities

Penny Post Spring Guide to Local Courses (FYI St John’s Adult Education have been experiencing problems with their website so we’ve replaced their links)


• What to do in the Easter Holidays – including bottle feeding lambs, Bunnies & Bonnets Fun Run and Paddington 2.

• All About Easter Eggs their history and the unusual types available this year

• Enjoy mini simnel cakes, hot cross buns and Easter cookies at Honesty Group Coffee Shops in LambournKingsclereInkpenOverton and Hungerford this Easter (Overton & Hungerford closed Easter Sunday only). Their tearooms at Houghton Lodge Gardens near Stockbridge re-open on Easter Sunday so grab a free brownie there when buying a hot drink between 1 and 6 April.

• If your kids are getting plenty of chocolate why not give them a book with bunny wrapping this Easter from Hungerford Bookshop (Open Good Friday: 10-4, Saturday: 9-5, Easter Sunday: Closed, Easter Monday: 11-3)

• To find a church services near you this Easter visit achurchnearyou.com.


• Arun Bernard-Weston from Marlborough recommends Smart Blinds“Thrilled with the service we received – excellent quality and competitive prices. Highly recommended.” 

• Liliana Valente from Thatcham recommends Vici Language Academy: “Thanks to them my English has improved and I’m a lot more confirdent. I would highly recommend them.”


• Still time to enter our March Quiz by 31 March to win a neck and shoulder massage at Orchid Thai Therapy in Newbury.

Special Offer

• Hungerford Leisure Centre, Northbrook Leisure Centre in Newbury and The Lambourn Centre are offering a 14-day pass with unlimited access for just £15 – click here

• Ken Stronach at Zen Dog Whispering is offering a 10% discount to Penny’s post readers on any of his dog behavioural packages including Rebalance Day and Skype Coaching Course. His record is impressive, often succeeding with dogs where conventional trainers have no luck.

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including:

Barber/Manager, Lambourn • Chef de Partie, Chilton Foliat • Housekeeper/Cook, Marlborough/Hungerford area • Sales Administrator, Hungerford • Administrative Assistant, Membury • Part-time Bar Staff, Hungerford • Assistant Gardener, near Hungerford • Cleaner/Ironer and Serving Staff, Wickham • A range of caring, housekeeping and catering positions, Froxfield • Estimator/Purchasing Person, Newbury • Marketing Officer, Newbury • EYFS Class Teacher /SENCOand Teaching Assistant, Chilton Foliat • Marquee Riggers, throughout the area • Homecare Staff, throughout the area • A range of catering and hospitality career opportunities, Chilton Foliat.

Volunteering is good for the soul (and the CV). Click here for local opportunities from trustee of Time to Talk youth counselling service to Citizen Advisors in Swindon.


For Rent
• Hungerford: Two-bedroom ground-floor flat in Eddington with parking. Available Now. Contact Nye & Co
• Hungerford: Large two-bed maisonette on the High Street. Available mid April. £850pcm. Contact Nye & Co
• Hungerford: Three-bed semi-detached house with garage. Available early May. £1,050pcm. Contact Nye & Co

For Sale
• Pewsey: charming double-fronted three-bedroom thatched cottage. Guide Price £395,000. Contact Brearley & Rich
• Burbage: newly-built five-bedroom detached house. Guide price £524,995. Contact Brearley & Rich

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 The VICI Language Academy in Newbury town centre that offers excellent coaching in over 11 languages to students between two and 88 years old!  Flexible online and corporate tuition also available.

• Tax return help for sole traders – last chance to get the special price of £69.95 with Wise Bookkeeping to file your 2017/18 tax return. Please visit wise-bookkeeping.co.uk to get your return over and done with (rather than leaving it to a last minute panic in January). Existing clients pay only £54.95.

Charity Plugs

• Newbury Building Society offers Community Grants up to £500 twice a year in May and November to promote and encourage sporting and arts activities, education and development and the environment. Click here for application details.

• Thanks to all who came to our Earth Hour Party last weekend with your local food dishes and donations in aid of Action Through Enterprise (see our haybox meringue recipe below!)


• To pupils at Mary Hare School whose short film has been nominated for the 2018 Charity Film Awards. You can click here to watch the film and to vote.

• To John O’Gaunt student Phoebe Digweed who recently won the title of National Judo Champion in the girls’ Year 8 and 9 Under 48kg group.

• To three students from Newbury College’s professional cookery course who took part in a live ‘cook off’ at the final of The Country Range Student Chef Challenge earlier this month and were awarded third prize overall.

• To Thatcham Town FC who defeated Northwich 3-2, and 4-2 on aggregate, to reach the final of the FA Vase at Wembley on Sunday 20 May.

• To George Gordon of Burbage who has been named Local Hero of the Year as a result of over 2o years’ work raising money through the Burbage Christmas Tree Sale and Market.

• See this week’s Local News for a clink of the glass for 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

• March Gardening tips from local expert Bob Davidson, including some useful tasks to be getting on with with borders, lawns and vegetable patches.

• More wise advice here on planting early potatoes from another local expert, our neighbour Hilary Reem – on soil compaction, blight avoidance and Babylonian lunar planting schedules

• Six top paddock-maintenance tips here from a third local expert, Jim Smith from Broadmead estate Services.

Four Legged Friends

• Ken Stronach at Zen Dog Whispering is offering a 10% discount to Penny’s post readers on any of his dog behavioural packages including Rebalance Day and Skype Coaching Course. His record is impressive, often succeeding with dogs where conventional trainers have no luck.

• Request from a local rescue charity to resist the temptation to buy your children a rabbit at Easter – if you really think you can look after one, please adopt, not shop.

• Reminder about the dangerous mink in our local rivers and canals, threatening our fragile water vole population. Could you take a mink trap on your property?

• Fancy a cat on a stick? Need to know about a baby rhino’s milk consumption? Have to cost puffin or toucan crossings? Want to visit a duck derby? If so, this week’s Local News could have been written just for you (non animal-related stories also available).

Seasonal Snippets

• This week’s recipe is haybox meringues – a novel idea we came up with for our Earth Party last weekend! Can’t say the recipe is perfected yet but it was an interesting experiment and the results were deeelicious.

• See this week’s Local News for our midweek hitch-hike through the stories, newspapers and websites in the area (and sometimes a bit beyond it) including the cost of painting (and un-painting) white lines, ball tampering, the Russian police, the shortest day and a one-off April fool.

• Sadly, Lambourn Open Day tomorrow has been virtually cancelled due to wet conditions (only Nicky Henderson’s yard and Oaksey House will be open) Please do still support their brilliant silent auction which is open until 1pm Friday.

• Lots of interesting stuff to browse and buy at Barrs Yard Artisan Collective on the A4 in Hungerford

• At this time of the year, the lives of many families become dominated by the imminent GCSEs, A-levels or finals. This (probably fairly reliable) reminiscence from my husband Brian gives one rather important bit of advice about taking exams, and one he did not himself heed: You May Now Turn Over the Paper.

Please see below for a selection of upcoming local events.

Local Events

Below is a selection of upcoming local events. For more, please visit:
PP website Calendar •  Local Markets •  Easter Holiday activities

Fri 30 Mar

• Lambourn Open Day  DUE TO WET WEATHER only Nicky Henderson’s yard and Oaksey House will be open in the morning. Afternoon events cancelled. Entrance charge will be £5 per person. If you have prepaid tickets you will be given £5 and a free programme for each ticket already bought.
…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

Sat 31 Mar to Mon 2 Apr

• Easter Steaming Weekend & Children’s Story Trail Crofton Beam Engines 10am-4.30pm.
…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

Tues 3 Apr

• Hungerford Town Council Full Meeting, 7pm Hungerford Corn Exchange Complex.
• Valley Film Society, 7.30pm East Garston Village Hall: Les Choristes.
…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

Sun 8 Apr

• Hungerford community litter pick, Sun 8 April, 10am Town Hall steps.
…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

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.
• The Box Film Festival Sat 2 June Corn Exchange, Newbury. Entry deadline 31 April for short fictional films (under 15 mins) filmed completely in UK in last 12 months.
• Garstonbury Sat 14 July family friendly festival for all ages and tastes in music.

…plus more on the PP website Calendar.

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