Penny Post May 25 – 31

Penny Post
Local News  
This week’s Local News includes Neighbourhood plans, local hustings, S106s, roadsigns, consultations, grants and museum awards.
Local Events – see below
Local Activities

• Upcoming workshops & courses:
Summer handtied floral bouquet workshop
• Sewing Playground’s summer workshops
• Patisserie Masterclasses with The Vineyard’s Head Pastry Chef – Afternoon Tea 8 June, Chocolate Desserts for Beginners 22 June (6 – 9pm)
• Marlborough Floral Club meets the first Thursday of the month and welcomes new members

• See the Penny Post calendar for some great family activities over half term.


• Christina Smith, Chair of Trustees, Community at 67 recommends Green Machine Computers who refurbished their computers and also run brilliant apprenticeship programmes: ‘a wonderful example of how a social enterprise should operate.’

• Mrs Moon of Hungerford recommends Nye & Co‘The best estate agents we’ve used.’

Quizzes & Competitions

• Our short and sweet May Quiz is about fitness and the prize is one month’s membership at the fab new Seeds 2 Glory Fitness Studio just south of Hungerford. Please email with your answers by midnight on Monday 29 May.

Click here for details of Round 3 of the North Wessex Downs AONB Photography Competition with the theme of Spring in the North Wessex Downs. Entries must be in by the end of May.

• If you’re unsure for whom you should be voting at the general election, this online quiz might help.


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

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

• Property Tips from Jon at Brearley & Rich Estate Agents: How much to offer on a property?

Special Offers

• 10% discount on this month’s matching wines from The Naked Grape in Hungerford.

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including: Part-time Gardener, East Garston • Part-time Parish Clerk, Froxfield • Sales & Marketing Officer, Arlington Arts (closes 31 May) • Car Park Attendants, Watermill Theatre • Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Chilton Foliat Primary School • Cafe AssistantSummer Site Assistant, Nature Discovery Centre Thatcham •  Classical Music Sales Assistant, Hogan Music • Bar Staff, The Pheasant in Shefford Woodlands • Part-time Fitness Coach, Doubletree at Hilton Newbury • Delivery Driver, Hungerford  • Part-time Housekeeper, Inkpen • Van Driver, near Ramsbury • Waiter/Waitress, Chilton Foliat • 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.

• retained (on-call) fire fighters earn approx £500/month and are desperately needed in Hungerford, Lambourn, Mortimer and Pangbourne. Have a Go Day at Newbury Fire Station Sun 4 June

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 local networking I can recommend the Wantage & District Business Business Club who rotate their monthly meetings in Letcombe Regis, Milton Hill, Ardington & East Hanney
• free Carbon Trust Workshop for local businesses on Weds 31 May to find out how they can reduce their energy bills
• for expert social media training with The Media Marketing Co grab a place on these great workshops: Twitter Power User Thurs 8 June.

Charity Plugs

• do you want to organise a Big Lunch/Great Get Together in your street/village? It’s not difficult to plan – you choose a date (suggested between 16 & 18 June) and ask everyone to bring their own food.

• 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 and twiddlemuffs (knitted muffs with bits to fiddle with that help calm dementia patients). If you can help (or donated buttons, ribbons, zips etc for the twiddlemuffs) please contact Mary 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) gives grants for up to £5,000 to projects that promote biodiversity, support Oxfordshire’s Low Carbon Agenda or improve access to green spaces and the countryside. Application deadline: 5 June. They encourage people to contact them to discuss project ideas prior to submission; 01865 407003 or (they will have funding for Berkshire projects soon).

• please support the Aldbourne 5k Fun Run on Sun 11 June in aid of St Michael’s Primary School.

• a reminder that it’s the last few days of the fund-raising Ramsbury Week in aid of Ramsbury Pre-School

• Libby Pannet-Smith asks us to pass on her thanks to all PP readers who responded to her appeal for trainers for the mental health patients she works with in Swindon. “It has been so positive – I have received numerous donations and it has already enabled some people to access our gym facilities as part of their rehabilitation.” If you would like to donate good condition trainers or plimsoles please reply to this or contact Libby on

• 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

• I am not sure how many legs they have, or if they are friend or foe – but click here to see what lurks inside those globs of spittle that appear on plants like parsley

• Crofton Beam Engines had a visit from the Swan Support Ambulance this week who were looking for a signet that had been reported as separated from its parents. Their Site Manager, Becks, got to meet one of the signets that they had rescued earlier.

• for reasons that escape me, my husband has become briefly obsessed with how and why sloths can hold their breath for so long underwater. These fancies come and go. You can read more here.

Seasonal Snippets
• this week’s recipe is Twice Baked Cheddar Soufflé with Asparagus and Wild Garlic Cream from Masterchef Semi Finalist Ollie Hunter at The Wheatsheaf in Chilton Foliat.

• our gastropod wars are well under way so this week’s gardening tip: how to beat slugs without using pellets – because pellets are toxic to all wildlife and our peripatetic chickens…

• if you’re unwell or feeling low, gardening can be very therapeutic but you have to adapt your techniques to match your energy levels. A friend of ours who is on sick leave at the moment shares her techniques on how to carry on gardening

• to watch the police and fire services reports at Monday’s Neighbourhood Watch Meeting in Newbury, plus an interesting talk on Cybercrime from Thames Valley Police Covert Operations please visit the video section of our facebook page

• see this week’s Local News for usual slices of life including consultations, grants, getting lost in Chaddleworth, local hustings and museum awards.

• the pre-general election Candidate Question Time on Thurs 1 June hosted by Hungerford Chamber of Commerce.

• congratulations to Great Shefford & Chaddleworth Primary Schools for their Good OFSTED report which came out today.

• some years ago my husband asked me why our sons were making such a noise. He misunderstood my answer to the extent that he briefly thought class war had broken out in East Garston (it hadn’t). He’s recently turned this mix-up into a song, Shouting at the Rich Boys.

See below for upcoming local events!


Local Events

See PP Calendar for more

Open Studios 2017, throughout May at numerous venues in West Berkshire and North Hampshire.

Wiltshire at War Exhibition – Keeping the Home Fires Burning  18 May – 25 June at Crofton Beam Engines.

Fri 26 May

Chaddleworth House Walled Garden Open Day 1 – 4pm Chaddleworth House. Enjoy a stroll around this lovely garden. Refreshments available. Free Admission; Donations to local charities
Andreas & Rune Danish Folk Duo live at The Wheatsheaf, Chilton Foliat – expect more excellent music and great bar food

Bank Holiday Weekend

Sat 27 May
Wantage Farmer’s Market 8.30am – 1pm Wantage Marketplace
Free Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dyspraxia Advice 10am – 12noon Hungerford Library
Tour of Local Village Churches starts 10am in Hungerford with pub lunch en route (click link for contacts to request a lift) Cost £15.
Beer & Music Festival The Ibex Inn, Chaddleworth. Live music from 3.30pm inc The Mini Band, The Sidekickz & Jersey Bones, In aid of Air Ambulance street food, range of beers
Victoria Park Family Day 10am – 3pm Victoria Park, Newbury. Lots of family fun inc bouncy castle, skate board & BMX demos and Grand Opening of the newly refurbished Tennis Courts at 11:30am by Jonathan Overend, BBC Radio 5 Live Presenter.

Sat to Mon
Steaming Weekend at Crofton Beam Engines open 10.30am – 4.30pm Sat – Mon

Sun 28 May
Berkshire Country Fayre, Englefield Estate. Traditional country entertainment inc dog show, tractors, birds of prey

Mon 29 May 
Ramsbury Country Fair, Hilldrop Farm – fun for all the family from magic show to pig racing. In aid of Ramsbury Pre-school.
Ring-Out Music & Art Installation 1pm, 4pm, 6pm & 9.30pm Newbury Market Place. Experience this thrilling kinetic sculpture that will transform the market place – free entry.
BBQ & Live Music Summer Party 12noon onwards The Queen’s Arms, East Garston Delicious BBQ lunch followed by live music from Ctrl Alt INDIE Adults £15 Children £7.50

Thurs 1 June

Pre-General Election Candidate Question Time 7.30pm Hungerford Town Hall. Doors open at 6.45pm. Cash bar, free entry, retiring collection.

Lots more on the PP calendar: Pied Piper Indoor Theatre, Summer Crafts at Thatcham Library, Messy Museum Days, British Red Cross Garden Lecture & Stalls Day

Coming Soon…

Ollie Johnson Memorial 5 Mile Run Sun 4 June Kintbury supporting Kintbury St. Marys School and Newbury AC Ollie Johnson Fund
Aldbourne 5k Fun Run on Sun 11 June in aid of St Michael’s Primary School
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 & more


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