Penny Post February 9 – 16

Penny Post
Local News  

Visit the Local News section of the PP website for this week’s news including library funding update,  good causes celebrated, traffic and fire-service news, Police updates for February, council contacts, the continuing sagas of Hungerford’s Post Office, the White Hart in Hamstead Marshall, Newbury and Hungerford stations, crimes, court cases and commercial claims from the 1870s, a business survey from 2017, MPs at work, sweetheart deals, award nominations, the BBC website loses count, waste war bills, Swindon’s finest two hours, a funny valentine and a twinned toilet.

Local Events – see below
Local Activities

• a new semi-personalised weekly Spanish class for complete beginners starts 7pm Weds 22nd Feb for 10 weeks. £150 pp. Only five places. In Wickham, near Stockcross
• join Ashley Sandy at Wessex Nordic Walks for a fabulous walk in the Marlborough/ Pewsey/ Ramsbury area – see Feb walk schedule here

• Halfterm activities – see events below


• for an experienced local estate agent who can help you navigate the sales chain, Una Parkes recommends Brearley & Rich “Jon’s genuine love of the area was key to securing our sale. If you are looking to sell at whatever level, I cannot recommend Jon enough”.
• for a good workout for people at a range of fitness levels, Rosalind Mitchell recommends the indoor cycling classes at Hungerford Leisure Centre: “Lots of climbing, core-strength work and sit-down sprints. The instructor also made sure we stretched properly before and afterwards A great workout – will definitely come again.”
• if you have any concerns about eyesight loss, Bonnie Hildred recommends the Macular Society which runs local support groups in Swindon, Marlborough & Newbury (thanks to Bonnie for sharing her experience of macular degeneration and the treatments that are available).

Special Offers

• Special offers from Gastro Nicks: 20% off Canella Prosecco until Sat 18 Feb; also, their Italian ‘Winter Warmer’ Special: Tuscan Olive Oil, Sicilian pasta, parmesan, spicy salami and an organic pasta sauce – reduced from £33 to £24 (while stocks last)
• FREE drum sticks & Evans drum skin !f you buy a snare drum or cymbal from Hogan Music in Newbury this month
• 50% off February membership at Hungerford Leisure Centre and no joining fee


• FOUND – New Berghaus jacket (XXL size) in clear plastic bag found on the road in East Garston last Thursday. To claim, please contact
• 3 wooden pallets in Hungerford. Free to collector. Please contact
• glass panelled door – available from East Garston in exchange for donation to Cats Protection

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including: Domestic Assistants, near Newbury • Occupational Therapist, West Berkshire • Massage Therapist, West Berkshire • Recreation Assistant, Hungerford  • Customer Services Assistants, Hungerford • Warehouse staff, Marlborough •  Charity Shop Volunteers, Hungerford • Homecare Assistants, throughout West Berkshire


House-share Rental: Large room in a shared house in Hungerford (four people in total) £275pcm plus £120 towards utility bills and cleaning. Available Now. Contact Nye & Co
For SaleFour-bedroom semi-detached house, York Road, Hungerford  £425,000 No onward chain. Available for immediate occupancy. Contact Nye & Co to arrange a viewing.

See our Property News section for a range of tips and general good advice from some local property experts.

Local Businesses

Family Life •  Food & Drink •  Health, Beauty & Wellbeing • House, Garden & Pets • Legal & Professional • IT, Media & Web • Visual & Performing Arts • Retailers • Travel & Tourism • Tuition & Training

Please support the businesses which support Penny Post!
• can anyone recommend a local company that deals with damp problems that a builder hasn’t been able to diagnose?
• The Party & Wedding Showcase 11.30am – 3pm Sun 26 Feb, The Queens Arms, East Garston. Great chance to meet local marquee suppliers, caterers, bars, dance floor to disco, wedding dresses to carriages, florist & furniture, photographer, and other essential party accessories). Free entry.
cafe business opportunity – Newbury Town Council is looking for an operator who will take on the lease of a new café currently being considered for construction in Victoria Park, Newbury.

Charity Plugs

• we’re organising a fab Colour Mile event on Sat 1 April at John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford in aid of Prospect Hospice and our PSA. Click here for details of sponsorship and stallholder opportunities
• date for the diary – Downlands Dash 10K Race Sat 25 June includes a lovely stretch along the Ridgeway. In aid of Compton Primary School.
Macular Society Support Meeting in Newbury 1.30pm Tues 21 Feb for anyone with visual impairment and their carers. Speaker on useful Orcam gadgets to help the visually-impaired.
• a new Carers Support group for the Hungerford Area is starting Tues 21 Feb and will run on the 3rd Tuesday of every month in Hungerford library
• Affordable Housing in 2017 – What is it? Who is it for? How is it developed? Sign up for a free training session with CCB Tues 21 Feb at Calcot Community Centre.

Valentine’s Treats

• if you love good food, don’t miss award-winning chef Matthew Ambrose’s mouth-watering pop-up Valentine Supper at Honesty Lambourn served with a complimentary glass of wine on Tues 14 Feb. Call 01488 71011 to book.
• show you care by ordering a delivery of Flowers for your Valentine by Kelly Louise Floral Design – or to make your own Valentine’s bouquet book your place on Kelly’s Valentine’s Floral Workshop 7pm Mon 13 Feb
• for a saucy Valentine, Angela Knight Lingerie offers Love Vouchers from £25
• treat your Valentine to a romantic, candlelit meal at the lovely Blandy’s at Inglewood (between Hungerford & Kintbury) on Tues 14 Feb. Enjoy a glass of Cremant de Limoux and a six course tasting menu for £57pp. Booking essential on 01488 687010
• The Bear is offering a three-course Valentine special Fri 10 to Tues 14 Feb for £23.99 including a glass of prosecco. Book online here or call 01488 682512
• the Crown & Garter in Inkpen has a lovely three-course Valentine’s dinner on Sat 11 Feb or Tues 14 Feb. Why not book bed and breakfast too on 01488 668325

Seasonal Snippets

• Guide to the February Night Sky from Newbury Astronomical Society. Mythical hunter Orion is shining in the south with his two hunting dogs Sirius and Procyon
• native Scot Alistair Mills shares his recent Toast to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns, considers why the poet has become so popular in West Berkshire and warns of the danger of wearing a kilt.
• if you’re a year-round salad fan and worried about the current lettuce shortage (due to bad weather in Spain), fear not as local nutritionist Kay van Beersum (who co-wrote Bear Grylls’ Fuel for Life) offers this Rainbow Salad (which includes everything but lettuce) for optimal health benefits
• see this week’s Local News for the usual mix including further library funding news, Hungerford’s Post Office, a quick skim through the first edition of the NWN, some of the things our local MPs have been up to and a handful of consultations, surveys and award nominations.
The White Hart pub in Hamstead Marshall is under threat to be converted to housing as the current owner claims it is unviable (despite a previous history of financial success). If you would like to protect this rural pub please object by 15 Feb (see link for details). According to CAMRA we are losing 27 rural pubs a week…
• with stories of changes and cuts to council services once again in the news, another chance to read The Reflective Instruments Inspector, a strange little tale by my husband which suggests where this might all end…
• seeing as it’s Valentine’s next week, I thought I’d share a quote that amused me recently “I love you more and more every day, except on the days when you are really annoying…”


Fri 10 Feb

Digging the Dirt, 7.30pm East Garston Village Hall. A moving mix of fairy tale and political commentary by MultiStory Theatre weaving stories from the early Digger movement and modern day whistle blowing. When do you speak out? And who listens if you do?
Poetry in the Bookshop 7.30pm Hungerford Bookshop. Guest poet Anita Campbell who has just published ‘Walking Through a Green Lane’ will read three of her poems from her book before handing the evening over to others. Everyone welcome to bring 1 or 2 poems.

Tues 14 Feb
Valentine events – see above
Swindon Death Cafe 7pm The Village Hotel, Whitehill Way, Swindon SN5 7DW. Back by popular demand – a chance to talk about death and dying in an informal setting.
Weds 15 – Sat 18 Feb
Mack & Mabel 7.15pm John O’Gaunt School. This year’s Hungerford Town Show is the classic Broadway musical about the slient movie pioneers and the stormy love affair between Hollywood director Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, the waitress who became one of his biggest stars.Click here to buy tickets (Saturday matinee at 2.15pm)
Sat 18 Feb
Philip Henry & Hannah Martin Sat 18 Feb ACE Space, Newbury. Come and enjoy this talented pair who have gone to great things since they were nominated Best Duo in the 2014 BBC Folk Awards
Coming Soon
Local author Nicola Cornick on her new book The Phantom Tree 7.30pm Tues 21 Feb Hungerford Bookshop
Neighbourhood Watch Meeting Mon 27 Feb, W Berks Council Office, Newbury
Cocktail & Casino Night 8pm Sat 3 Mar, John O’Gaunt School, Hungerford
Wantage Repair Cafe 10am – 1pm The Mix, Wantage
Half-term events

• Throughout half term
Holiday Club for 5 – 13 yrs at Riverside Community Centre in Newbury – Mon, Weds & Fri
Camp Adventure at Hungerford Leisure Centre for 5 – 12 yrs. Great activities all week. Book on 01488 683303
• Tues 14 Feb
Canvas painting workshop at City Arts, Newbury

• Weds 15 & Thurs 16 Feb (various times)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Corn Exchange Newbury
This timeless classic has made its way onto the stage with a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets, faithfully adapting four of Eric Carle stories: The Artist Who Painted a Blue HorseMister SeahorseThe Very Lonely Firefly and of course The Very Hungry Caterpillar.• Fri 17 Feb
DriveStart for 15 to19 yr olds 9.30am – 4.30pm, Madjeski Stadium, Reading. For more info contact 01635 519984 or To book visit:• Sat 18 Feb
Denim Day 10am – 1pm The Mix, Wantage

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Covering: Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage, Lambourn, Compton, Swindon & Theale