Penny Post June 1-7

Penny Post
Local News

This week: various election issues, neighbourhood plans, grants, Hungerford Post Office, planning matters, roadworks and consultations (but no sloths this time).

Local Events – see below
Local Activities

• Upcoming workshops & courses:
Summer handtied floral bouquet workshop Fri 9 June
• Sewing Playground’s summer workshops  Make an A-line Skirt (Sat 3 June), Learn to Sew (Sat 17 June), Reversible Child’s Pinafore Dress (Sat 1 July)
• Patisserie Masterclasses with The Vineyard’s Head Pastry Chef – Afternoon Tea 8 June, Chocolate Desserts for Beginners 22 June (6 – 9pm)

• do you like playing the game Go? A friend of ours, Warren Ballantyne, is looking for other folk to play with. If you are interested please contact him on [email protected]

• for free outdoor adventure this half term Jo from 4 Points Leisure recommends Geocaching and gives some great tips to get started.

• see the Penny Post calendar for more family activities


• David recommends Cognitive Hypnotherapy with Siobhan Nell in Ramsbury for any issues around anxiety or phobias “In my first session with Siobhan my fears quietened dramatically. I felt safe and respected and came to believe there really was hope for living in a different way. I wish I had seen her years ago. I am so much happier – and so is my wife.” Siobhan has also helped one of our sons prepare for his GCSE exams.

• we can recommend the new Natura Spa at Audley Inglewood just outside Kintbury. We went last week with a friend and had great massages and facial, and my husband also had a lovely swim, sauna and lunch at Blandy’s Bar & Bistro

• Jane in Great Bedwyn is desperate to find a reliable plumber. If you can recommend anyone please contact her on [email protected]


upstairs flat for rent (sheltered housing) in Marlborough available from 1 June. Applications are invited from residents of Marlborough and district who are over the age of 55 years and can live independently.

3-bedroom end of terrace cottage to rent in South Fawley. Lovely rural location just 5 miles from Wantage. Well behaved pets considered.

Eclipse Cleaning offers a full service end-of-tenancy cleaning service

• Property Tips from Ellie at Nye & Co: How much is my house worth?

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including: Part-time Gardener, East Garston • Part-time Parish Clerk, Froxfield • Sales and Marketing Officer, Newbury • Delivery Driver, Hungerford  • Car Park Attendants, Watermill Theatre • Chefs, East Garston • Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Chilton Foliat Primary School (closes 5 June)Cafe AssistantSummer Site Assistant, Nature Discovery Centre Thatcham • Cleaner/Housekeeper, near Hungerford •  Classical Music Sales Assistant, Hogan Music • Bar Staff, The Pheasant in Shefford Woodlands •Part-time Fitness Coach, Doubletree at Hilton Newbury • Part-time Housekeeper, Inkpen • Library Trustees, Hungerford • 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.

• The Have a Go Day at Newbury Fire Station scheduled for Sun 4 June has been postponed but there is a recruitment event in Maidenhead on Sat 10 June. Retained (on-call) fire fighters earn approx £500/mnth and are desperately needed in Hungerford, Mortimer and Pangbourne.

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!

• Claire Burdett at the The Media Marketing Co explains the recent exciting Changes at Twitter that have made this social media platform easier to use. Find out more about how it all works on her Twitter Power User workshop on Thurs 8 June

• Claire is also running an Instagram Masterclass on Thurs 22 June and a workshop on SEO (how to get top Google ranking) on Thurs 29 June

Charity Plugs

• for local Big Lunch/Great Get Together events see below

• if you know anyone who would like to meet new people in a friendly environment click here for details of Companion Hours in Newbury cafes and the Chat Mat scheme that can be used anywhere – both launched by Coffee Companions

• West Berkshire Council is looking for volunteers to help run its ‘At Home’ library service.

• Mary Wilson who volunteers at Swindon Hospital is asking for donations of magazines andtwiddlemuffs (knitted muffs with bits to fiddle with that help calm dementia patients). If you can help (or donate buttons, ribbons, zips etc for these) please contact Mary [email protected] or 01488 648466

• West Berkshire Action for Refugees need donations of children’s and adults’ summer clothes and shoes for refugees to be shipped to Greece mid-June. Click here for drop-off point details.

The Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2) grants for up to £5,000 for projects that promote biodiversity, low carbon emmissions, access to green spaces and the countryside. Application deadline: 5 June. Please contact them to discuss project ideas first on 01865 407003 or [email protected] (they will have funding for Berkshire projects soon).

• 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 (& two) Legged Friends

• PP reader Liz Bell reported seeing what looked like a wild boar cross the B4000 in Shefford Woodlands last week and others have seen similar at the stream behind Great Shefford Village Hall. I have discovered with the help of Ian at the North Wessex Downs AONB office that there have been sightings of wild boar and hybrids of wild boar/feral domestic pigs for years. See p136 of this Mammals in Wiltshire report (which includes ‘big cats’ like pumas and panthers in our countryside on p153) by the Wilts & Swindon Biological Records Centre. I am hoping to find similar data for Berkshire.

• thanks to Vicky Elliott for informing us that frog hopper nymphs are the little creatures that create Cuckoo Spit on our plants. According to the RHS it is so-named because it appears in late spring when the cuckoo can be heard.

• thank you to Roy Bailey for pointing out that it was in fact a cygnet and not a monogrammed (signet) ring that was rescued by the Swan Support Ambulance last week…

• dogs often do what they’re told but not always. Local dog behaviourist and trainer Jill Thorpe can help with problems ranging from territorial aggression to food scavanging.

• thanks to Sustainable Wantage for sharing the winners in the first annual Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards – very cute

Green Fingers

• my June gardening tips – how to get the most out of your basil plants and sprout peas plus an update on frost damaged beans

• thanks to Joan C for sharing the slug trap recipe that works wonders in her garden (even deterring the blighters from her hostas): how to beat slugs without using pellets

Wantage Plant & Seedling Swap & Sale. Sat 3 June 10am – 12.30pm The Mix, Mill St, Wantage. Sustainable Wantage will be selling veg & flower plants and seedlings and invite you to bring your own to swap and share.

HAHA Hungerford Allotments Plant Sale Sat 3 June 10am – 12pm Fairfields Allotments (near Primary School). In aid of Air Ambulance.

Seasonal Snippets

• calling all midsummer stargazers – click here for the June Guide to the Night Sky.

• elderflowers make one of the scents of summer and here’s a simple recipe to bottle this as delicious elderflower cordial.

• a couple of local fete organisers have asked me if I know where they can borrow/rent an ice cream bike and a coconut shy – if you can help please reply to this

• there are plenty of walks, cycle route and horse riding in the North Wessex Downs – this great interactive map helps you find them!

• a new Honesty Coffee Shop has just opened at the lovely Barrs Yard Artisan Collective on the A4 just outside Hungerford that boasts fine art, ladies fashion, a florist and wine merchant as well as Garden Art which sells antique & contemporary outdoor art & furniture (we got our patio table from there last year)

Healthwatch West Berks, our local consumer champions for health & social services, have recently released their ‘Enter & View’ Report on 3 pharmacies in Newbury, Thatcham & Lambourn – click here for details

• lots in the Sustainable Wantage June newsletter including a talk on local drought and flood issues

• West Berkshire Muslim Centre invites you to celebrate Iftar (the evening meal that breaks the fast of Ramadan) at 9pm on Sat 10 June at The Riverside Community Centre, Newbury (the event has been rescheduled form Sun 11 June at the request of local families.) Free entry – all welcome. Please RSVP to Mamun on 07886 249365.

• see this week’s Local News for usual slices of life ranging from printing errors to a radical Brexit solution and from From Peter Pan to Fireman Sam…

• some highlights of Ramsbury Country Fair last Bank Holiday Monday in aid of Ramsbury Pre-School – very impressive for a first time event and it was great to catch up with my old school friend Rebecca Fosset who ran the pig racing. (If you like the video please do click the YouTube subscribe button)

• how many Young Farmers do you reckon can fit in a Mini Metro? The Shefford YFC team at the Berkshire Country Fayre last Sunday show how it is done! (If you like the video please do click the YouTube subscribe button).

• please click here for Costing the Uncostable, my husband’s contribution not so much to the political debate as to what we can reasonably expect from our political leaders, particularly when they start to quote figures at us (as happens).

See below for upcoming local events!

[email protected]

PS: If you know anyone else who might also enjoy this week’s Penny Post, please click here to forward it them!

Local Events
Sat 3 June

Hampstead Norreys Freefest – something for everyone inc arts & crafts, skate ramps, music
Wantage Plant & Seedling Swap & Sale. 10am – 12.30pm The Mix, Mill St, Wantage. Sustainable Wantage will be selling veg & flower plants and seedlings and invite you to bring your own to swap and share
HAHA Hungerford Allotments Plant Sale 10am – 12pm Fairfields Allotments (near Primary School). In aid of Air Ambulance.

Lots more on the PP calendar:]including Egyptology lecture, May Cool Crafts and Dressmaking workshop.

Sun 4 June

Hampstead Norreys Freefest – something for everyone inc arts & crafts, skate ramps, music
Watermill Summer Fair 12 – 4pm Watermill Theatre, Newbury. Entry £1. Theme is 1967 in celebration of their 50th anniversary!
Ollie Johnson Memorial 5 Mile Run Sun 4 June Kintbury supporting Kintbury St. Marys School and Newbury AC Ollie Johnson Fund

Mon 5 June

Newbury Hustings 7 – 9pm Mon 5 June at St George’s Church, Andover Rd, Newbury.

Tues 6 June

Valley Film Society, East Garston Village Hall, 7.30: The Lady in the Van
Chieveley Cinema Film Night, Chieveley Village Hall, 7.30: A United Kingdom.

Sat 10 June

St Lawrence’s Church Summer Fete 10am – 2pm Croft Field Hungerford
Madagascar: A Musical Adventure Jr 2 – 3.30pm Herongate Leisure. Production by Hungerford Theatre Company
More on the PP calendar: DIY Pallet Workshop in Wantage, cancer support group in Hungerford

Sun 11 June

Aldbourne 5k Fun Run in aid of St Michael’s Primary School
LEAF Open Farm Sunday – Stroud Farm (b4000) noon to 4pm

Coming Soon…

Big Lunch/ Community Get Togethers 

Fri 16 June 12.30pm onwards Big BBQ at Hungerford Care Home – all welcome. Entertainment with Julie Hunt from 2pm
Sat 17 June Swindon Civic Day offers  ‘Open Doors’ at four of Swindon’s treasured heritage assets: Milton Road Baths, the Railway Village Museum, The Baker’s Arms.and a big get together at the Central Community Centre
Sat 17 June East Garston’s Big BBQ from 5pm at the Village Hall
Sat 17 June Newbury’s Big Conversation 12 – 2pm Newbury Baptist Church. Please bring food to share for lunch and join in the conversation – what is good about Newbury…and what could be better?

Sun 18 June Enjoy a sumptuous Father’s Day Lunch at Blandy’s in the stately setting of Inglewood nr Kintbury

Watermill Touring Production: Nesting opens Weds 21 June in East Garston Village Hall – click here for full tour dates in Aldworth, Padworth, Bradfield, Aldbourne, Shrivenham, Cold Ash, Brill, Hungerford, Hampstead Morreys, Eastbury, Uffington, Ashampstead and more…


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