Penny Post April 27 – May 4

Penny Post

Local News

Visit the Local News section of PP website for this week’s Local News including planning issues, undemocratic pigeons, Hungerford Post Office, police horses and the A34.

Local Events – see below
Thank You

We are very grateful to the subscribers who have recently made us donations. We will always keep PP subscription free but the reality is that bills need to be paid (even The Guardian these days asks for financial contributions to ‘safeguard the quality of their journalism’). If you would like to make us a donation to supplement our modest advertising revenue please click here. Another way to support us is to add a friend to our mailing list (with their permission of course). Many thanks!

Local Activities

• upcoming workshops & courses:
Beginners Spanish 10 week course starts Thursday 4 May in Wickham near Newbury
Make a Personalised Fabric Baby Book Gift Fri 5 May in Hungerford with Sewing Playground
Weekend Nutrition Course  6/7 May Newbury (29/30 April fully booked)
Everybody Sing! Workshop Sat 6 May Stockcross
Make a Silver Bangle Sat 6 May Stargazey Workshops,Swindon
Calm Quiet Space Mindfulness 6 Week Course Weds 17 May – 18 June in Great Bedwyn

• free weekly Sunday cycle rides with trainer Ricardo Defazio. Meet 12noon for 12.30pm start from Seeds 2 Glory Fitness Studio,The Courtyard, Stype  RG17 0RE (where The Core used to be, next to The Pink Door). Ricardo also runs World Cycle Adventures and invites you to join a 45 mile round trip cycle to Stonehenge on Sun 4 June.

• free Leisure Open Weekend 10am – 6pm this Sat 29 & Sun 30 April at Audley Inglewood Health Club nr Kintbury. You are invited to use the pool, sauna & gym & book a 30 minute session with personal trainer for free. You can also book wonderful massage, hair & beauty treatments at the onsite Natura Spa (Sat only)


• Dave Brown recommends Donnington Grove in Newbury “Outstanding ! Service good and perfect venue for a great wedding, thank you…”

• Jez Prout recommends LJ Smith Accounts in Hungerford for “maximising the profitability of my business and providing a level of personal service and attention to my needs that is highly unusual…” 



• a friend of ours is looking to rent a 2 or 3 bedroom house in Hungerford starting asap. If you have a property available please contact Jane Price on

three-bedroom South Fawley Cottage to rent from May. £1,200 pcm. Lovely rural location just 5 miles south of Wantage.

• Click here for a range of properties to rent and for sale in Hungerford.

See the Property News section of Penny Post for a range of property-related articles.

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including: PT Housekeeper, Inkpen • Van driver, near Ramsbury • Part-time Clerk to Ramsbury Parish Council (closes 2 May)  • Waiter/Waitress, Chilton Foliat • Stockperson, Lambourn  • Library Trustees, Hungerford • Waiter/Front of House Supervisor, Inkpen • Full-time Care Assistants, West Berkshire •  Occupational Therapist, West Berkshire • Massage Therapist, West Berkshire • Cleaners, West Berkshire • Charity Shop Volunteers, Hungerford • Homecare Assistants, throughout West Berkshire

• interested in becoming a fire fighter? Retained (on-call) fire fighters earn approx £500/mnth and are desperately needed in rural areas (Lambourn fire engine can only be crewed 18% of the time). Find out more at the Lambourn Fire Station Have a Go Day 10am – 2.30pm Sat 6 May

• if you are looking for career inspiration follow Careers Tutor on facebook as they post interesting information about different careers – this week: air traffic controllers, engineers, weed sommeliers & chocolatiers!

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!

• for expert social media training with The Media Marketing Co grab a place on these workshops at Audley Inglewood nr Kintbury: Mastering Facebook Thurs 4 May, Facebook Power User Thurs 11 May, Twitter Power User Thurs 8 June
Charity Plugs

• two great events in aid of West Berks MENCAP on Sat 6 May: 10am – 3pm Growing4All Open Day with plants for sale grown by adults with learning difficulties and a 4 – 6pm Zumbathon at Nuffield Health Newbury

• if you want to raise money for your local group, enter the Newbury Rotary Sponsored Walk on  Sunday 7 May. Or you can do it for a donation to Rotary which supports lots of good causes.

• Bluebird Care Newbury is giving another £250 community grant to a local group that supports elderly people. Click here for how to apply – deadline 17 May.

• leading business education charity Young Enterprise is delighted to receive funding by Greenham Common Trust to work with five schools in West Berks: Theale Green, Little Heath, Park House, Willink and Newbury College. To help them raise the balance required please make a donation at The Good Exchange and your donation will be matched by GCT. See for how they help young people gain key employability skills for life.

• see this week’s Local News for a list of just some of the people who’ve helped to raise money for good causes recently.

Four Legged Friends

• Thames Valley Mounted Police visited Hungerford this week and I found out what it takes to become a mounted police officer and why grumpy Trojan makes a great police horse… see video here

Life and Death on the Riverbank – we love our cats and we love where we live but it is very stressful at this time of year especially when the moorhens seem to have chicks of different sizes and the little ones get left behind…(don’t worry – the only death in the video link is of a rat).

• these riparian dramas call to mind a chat we had with Gavin from BBOWT last year about those even more crafty predators, mink who, unlike cats, can swim. This led my husband to write A Life of Crime, (which starts with mink and water voles and ends with the Harrods’ January Sale and five defaced Bay City Rollers’ passport photos…)

• of course our cats do go after birds too, which is heartbreaking. We try to keep the cats in at night, much to their disgust, and these RSPB feeding tips for cat owners help as well.

• new Dog Training for Working Breeds course with Jill at Develop Your Dog starts 1.30 – 4pm Weds 3 May in Marlborough. Small, relaxed fortnightly classes starting with good manners and basic commands. Contact Jill on 07901 651 663 or

• see this week’s Local News for the latest on the seeming never-ending saga of the Hungerford pigeons who have, in my husband’s view, now ‘crossed the line.’

Seasonal Snippets
• this week’s recipe: White Chocolate & Rhubarb Swiss Roll recipe from best-selling cookbook author Romilla Arber at Honesty Cookery School. Rhubarb is abundant at the moment so why not try some of my savoury rhubarb recipe ideas (where rhubarb is a substitute for lime)

• rhubarb re-appears every year with little effort required on your part but if you have a bolted stem in the middle which hinders growth, PP reader & local gardener Forbes Stevenson has a handy tip

• parents and children invited to the JoG Community Book Club  5 – 6pm next Thurs 4 May at John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford to discuss The Wolf Wilder

What’s in your camping toolbox? Are you prepared for an emergency? Top tips from camping experts Jo & Richard Rigden from 4PointsLeisure

• Bee-keeping in April – thanks to Jan Doyle for explaining why bees start to swarm in April and how they are coping with the variable weather this month

• congratulations to Thatcham’s Tornadoes Kings Juniors who shone in finals of the British Wheelchair Basketball Junior League season

• would you like a stall at Newbury Carnival Fete in Victoria Park from 12 – 6pm on Sunday 16 July? Handmade stalls, local businesses & charities and trade stalls welcome. At the last event in 2015 the carnival attracted over 10,000 people to the event and we hope for a similar footfall this year. Please contact our Fete Manager, Michelle for more information.

• we have a 1.6L Ford Focus available for spares or repair. Drives fine and bodywork OK but no exhaust or MOT. Offers accepted. Please reply to this.

• see this week’s Local News for the usual mix including roadworks, an Italian pop-up, old fivers warning, council elections and a question of papal density.

• still time to enter Britain’s Best Village 2017 with Penelope Keith – deadline 14 May.

See below for upcoming local events!




For more see the calendar

Thu 27 & Fri 28 April 

The Empty Nesters’ Club! 7.45pm Corn Exchange. This John Godber play is a great one for mums and dads.

Sat 29 April 

Leisure Open Weekend 10am – 6pm Audley Inglewood Health Club. You are invited to use the pool, sauna & gym & book 30 minute session with personal trainer for free. You can also book wonderful massage, hair & beauty treatments at the onsite Natura Spa (Sat only)
Discover Magnetics 9am – 3pm The Wellbeing Centre, Newbury Book a free 30 minute magnetic massage.
Free Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia help 10am – 12noon Hungerford Library with local Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher for any concerns about a child or loved one who struggles at school, college, university or work. Or visit to request a free 30 minute no-obligation telephone chat.
More on PP Calendar: Piglets Antique Fair in Hungerford Town Hall, Woolton Hill Village Market, Crofton Beam Steaming Weekend

Sun 30 April

The Constable’s Parade and Service, Hungerford Great community event. Parade starts 10.45am at the Town Hall
Leisure Open Weekend 10am – 6pm Audley Inglewood Health Club. You are invited to use the pool, sauna & gym & book 30 minute session with personal trainer for free.
Brightwalton Village Fete 1 – 4pm Brightwalton Playing Field (next to Village Hall)

Bank Holiday Monday 1 May

Crafty Craft Race – come watch the antics on the canal from Kintbury (starting at 8.30am) to Newbury with fete all day in Viccy Park
Shalbourne May Day Fete 12pm- 4pm Free entry – Hungerford Town Band, dog show & lots more!

Tues 2 May

Swindon Ladies Who Latte 10am – 12noon The Dofo Coffee House, Swindon
East Garston Film Night: Theeb 7.30pm East Garston Village Hall
Monthly Craft Night 7 – 9.30pmThe Mix, Wantage

Coming Soon…

Sat 6 May WB MENCAP’s Growing4All Open Day near Kingsclere & Zumbathon in Nebwury
Sun 7 May Spring Country Show 11am – 5pm Lambourn Woodlands. Vintage tractors, rare breeds, heavy horses & lots more
Sat 14 May Soprano Susan Bullock Cabaret Evening 7.30pm Combe Manor nr Hungerford. Featuring classics by Gershwin and a live interview on the night with Radio 3. This will be a highlight of Newbury Spring Festival
Sat 14 May Ramsbury Race Night in aid of ATE Ghana
Wed 17 – Sat 20 May Ian Sanderson Fabric Warehouse Sale nr Newbury




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