Penny Post Weekly Newsletter Aug 10-17

Penny Post
Local News  

Visit the Local News section of PP website for this week’s Local News including latest on Hungerford Library and Post Office, waste-centre charges, the proposed Great Shefford knacker’s yard, bus changes in Marlborough, a mixed bag of awareness days and two shamed politicians.

Local Events – see below
Local Activities

Local Courses & Classes Guide – August  including
• Seeds 2 Glory Boot Camp – drop-in sessions all summer for adults and families
• Stockfest workshops including origami, charicature drawing and nature writing

Guide to Kids’ Activities this Summer Holiday including
• Matt Ward Summer Karate Camp every Weds in Swindon and Thurs in Lambourn,
• Ignition Tennis Camps in Chieveley, Hungerford and Newbury
• Bikeability courses for 10+yrs in Newbury and Thatcham
• STFC Football in Swindon, Wantage, Lambourn and Marlborough
• Summer music activities at Hogan Academy in Newbury: Sound Mixing Fri 11 Aug, Jam Club/Rock School Mon to Fri next week (can highly recommend – our boys love it)  Uke Workshop Mon 21 Aug,Singing Workshop Tues 22 , Live Sound Weds 23, DJ Workshop Thurs 24 – plus Funk ‘n Groove, World Drumming, Guitar maintenance

• Plenty of local walks and cycle tracks – see this interactive North Wessex Downs map and Nordic Walk with Ashley mainly in Wilts and 3JFitness Nordic Walking in Thatcham/Reading area


• Carolyn Gibson recommends The Queens Arms in East Garston: “One of the best pubs I’ve been to – outstanding in every way…”

• Mrs M from Ball Hill recommends Greenwire Solar: “I would recommend them to anyone. They know their business and provide sound advice…”


• Outdoor party games for loan (inc Hooplah, Deck quoits and a set of wooden nine-pins with 3 balls) by Lambourn Festival Committee

• For Sale: Olympus Sport Mini stepper Hardly used. £30.


• To rent: a three-bedroom family house with garage in Hungerford. Available through Nina Clark. For more information, please click here.

• To rent: a newly-refurbished three-bed semi-detached house in Froxfield with lovely rural views and driveway parking. Available now. Unfurnished. Available through Nye & Co. For more information, please click here.

• To rent: a spacious two-bed first-floor maisonette a moment’s walk from Hungerford High Street. £725pcm. Available early September. Available through Nye & Co. For more information, please click here.

• To rent: recently refurbished house in Hungerford, one double bedroom, occasional bedroom/study, residents parking. Available through Nina Clark. For more information, please click here.

• To rent: a one-bedroom flat in Aldbourne, large sitting room, fully fitted kitchen and garden.  Pets considered. Available through Nina Clark. For more information, please click here.

• To rent: a newly built, immaculately presented, detached three-bedroom house situated a short walk from Hungerford town centre. Available through Nye & Co. For more information, please click here.

• To rent: a two-bedroom first-floor flat situated a short walk from the town centre. Available through Nye & Co. For more information, please click here.

• To rent: a double-bedroom annexe to let on the outskirts of Kintbury, available by the night or for longer periods. For more information, please click here.

Special Offers

• A friend of ours in Wantage is selling high quality, unbreakable Zillerate sports sunglasses on Amazon for £15.99  (£10 off).

• Cut and Blow Dry Special at Montagues in Hungerford – book in August to get 10 complimentary foils to add a flash of colour and frame your face!  Call 01488 681 088 and quote promo code PROMO01 to book with Hannah or Kelly on the promotional days (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays). £30 per appointment.

Local Jobs

See the Penny Post website for local jobs including:
Chef, Wickham • Hair Stylist, Kintbury • Part-time Bookkeeper, Hungerford • Part-time Audio Secretary, near Bedwyn • Boatmasters, Hungerford • Full-time Bar and Waiting Staff, Shefford Woodlands • Chef de PartieSous ChefBar Team LeaderAssistant Restaurant ManagerBar SupervisorLeisure Team MemberRestaurant SupervisorFood and Beverage Team Member and Kitchen Porter, all with Bourne Leisure • Gardener/ Groundsman/ Maintenance Person, Wantage • Music Sales Assistant for RSK, Welford • Housekeeper, Assistant Housekeeper and Car Parking Assistant at the Watermill Theatre • Freelance Digital Marketing Manager, Hungerford • Volunteer Ambassadors for North Wessex Down AONB • Cleaner, East Garston • Receptionist and Mechanics, Technicians and HGV Drivers, Lambourn Woodlands • Nursing and Domiciliary Care Staff, Letcombe Regis • Commis Chef, Front of House Staff,Housekeeper and Night Porter, all in Hungerford.

Local Businesses 

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

Please support the businesses which support Penny Post!

• A welcome to the recently-reopened Swan in Great Shefford which has regular special foodie evenings during the week including steak, pizza and curry nights (see link for details), which have received rave reviews. We had an excellent Sunday roast there last weekend. Well worth a visit.

• And speaking of re-awakened swans, we’re off to the re-opening evening of The Three Swans in Hungerford this evening. More news on that to follow.


• Enter our Railway Quiz to win a family ticket (worth £60) to see The Flying Scotsman at Didcot Railway Centre over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Entry deadline: Tues 15 Aug.

• Enter our Hungerford-themed Penny Post August Quiz  to win a meal for two and a bottle of wine at The Three Swans Hotel which re-opens tomorrow. Entry deadline: Fri 25 Aug.

• Arts for Hungerford Literary Festival invites you to enter its adult writing competition with the chance to win £50 of book tokens and children’s writing competition to win £25 of book tokens.Entry deadlines: Mon 14 Aug.

• Lambourn Festival Photography Competition – see link for categories. Entry deadline: Wed 23 Aug.

• Summer in the North Wessex Downs Photo competition to win a hamper of local produce. Entry deadline: Thurs 31 Aug.

Charity Plugs

• Roy Bailey is raising funds to erect a memorial plaque for his uncle, 37322 Private Frederick Percy Clark, who was killed near Saint Quentin on the Western Front, while serving with the 8th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment. He was just 24 and has no known grave. If you would like to support this appeal Roy would be very grateful.

• Do you love our local landscape? Volunteer ambassadors requested by the North Wessex Downs AONB to help others appreciate our precious chalk downlands

• 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 (if you know of any person or organisation that deserves a mention in this way, let us know).

Green Fingers

• I have to admit I find this harvest time of year very stressful. Cucumbers (see recipe below) are easy but raspberries?? You have to pick every day to stop them going mouldy on the vine. And it takes so loooong. It’s ridiculous to garden all year and then not feel you have time to reap the benefits. I hope Sheila from Living Well Mindfulness will have some advice!

• Apples are starting to drop. If you have surplus ripe early varieties of apple – Beauty of Bath, Discovery etc, My Apple Juice will juice them for you (call Richard on 01672 520639). If you’ve got unripe apples dropping, Richard gives tips here on how to compost them.

• Why not enter your prize-winning produce in the Lambourn Village Show on Sat 12 Aug or the  Hungerford Horticultural show on Sat 19 Aug.

Four- (and two-) legged Friends

• Local dog with allergies that cause itchy skin – anyone else have similar experience and can offer advice?

• Jill Thorpe at Develop Your Dog is starting new fortnightly gundog training courses in September 07901 651 663.

• Our Brahma Sylvie has sour crop again. If you have a chicken with a distended, hot crop (and she might also be taking big gulps), pick her up and tip her upside down, massage the crop and the gunk should come out. It’s a bit of a knack but there are several videos on youtube that show you how to do it.

• Grazing land is available between Hungerford and Kintbury. For more information, please click here.

Four-wheeled Friends

• Lambourn Festival Car Treasure Hunt Sun 13 Aug 2.30pm Lambourn British Legion. Enjoy a drive through the countryside (max 15 miles) answering quiz questions. £5 entry per car.

• Stockfest Classic Car Show Sun 20 Aug (with vintage craft fair and live music). Classic cars need to arrive and park between 11am-12noon (no need to book).

• Milly highly recommends local taxi service Four Oaks Cars (especially as she left her laptop behind in his car and Cliff kindly dropped it brought back to her).

• Drivers urgently needed to take young carers from across West Berkshire to and from Newbury on Monday evenings. This could be in your own car or in West Berkshire’s Young Carers nine-seater mini bus. Please click here if you can help.

Seasonal Snippets

• My Dad always used to say that August was the wettest month of the year but I didn’t believe him until this week when a Baydon farmer told me he has been measuring rainfall for 50 years and guess what? August is the wettest month averaging 4.9 inches. What do you think is the second wettest month?

• Cucumber plants love the wet and warmth of August. Ours is still inching across our conservatory. Friends simply grow theirs along the ground. Here is a great cucumber gazpacho recipe from Dany in France to use them up!

• Not sure which tent to buy? Camping expert Jo Rigden waxes lyrical about a modular, attachable super tent.

• Thanks to neighbour Mary gave us a Giant Puffball mushroom in exchange for two large courgettes. Here are some recipe ideas for Giant Puffballs.

•  Tennis fans might be aware of how Johanna Konta uses mindfulness to stay focussed on court. Sheila from Living Well Mindfulness explains how you can achieve success under pressure. Her next free mindfulness taster session 10.30-11.30am Fri 18 Aug at Newbury Wellbeing Centre.

• The first West Somerset Steam Express of the season from Paddington to Minehead is coming our way this Saturday 12 August.  LNER A4 Pacific 60009 Union of South Africa will stop at Theale 09.32 (to take on water) Newbury at 10.19 and pass through Hungerford about 10.30 and Bedwyn 10.39. For full schedule click here.

• The Thamesdown X20 shopper bus from Marlborough to Newbury (picking up at Froxfield and Hungerford) is changing from Tuesday to Friday starting next week. Click here for the new schedule (the service will now be run by Tourist Coaches rather than Thamesdown).

• See this week’s Local News for usual slices of life including awareness days, pet chipping, reflections on giving offence, the tallest sunflowers and the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima.

• Welcome a chat? Check out the ‘Companion Hours‘ every week in certain cafes in Newbury and Thatcham. This great scheme uses ‘Chat Mats’ and is run by the new Coffee Companions organisation.

• Our sons are away this week and it’s bliss to have the house to ourselves. Last week though I was suffering from anticipated Empty-nest Syndrome (since replaced by anticipated Full-nest Friction Syndrome). I think what I actually find difficult is change…

See below for a selection of upcoming local events.


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Local Events

(For more, please click here to visit the Calendar)

Stockfest 17 – 16-25 Aug over 20 events including Wild Writing Workshop Fri 18 Aug. Many are family friendly and free.

Lambourn Carnival – something for everyone throughout August.

Sat 12 Aug

Wantage Farmers Market 8.30am-1pm.
Crossing Lines 9.30pm Goldwell Park. One of Newbury’s most spectacular outdoor events yet!
Mapleduram at War – a re-enactor’s paradise at the location of An Eagle Has Landed.
More on PP Calendar including live music at Newbury Market.
Thatcham Family Fete 10am-4pm, Moors Playing Field.

Sun 13 Aug

Lambourn Festival Car Treasure Hunt starts 2.30pm Lambourn British Legion. Enjoy a drive through the countryside (max 15 miles) answering quiz questions. Great idea! £5 entry per car.
More on PP Calendar including Thatcham Car Boot Sale .

Thurs 17 Aug

Mozart’s Last Year with Kennet Opera 7.30 Sutton Hall, Stockcross. Be prepared for the comic, sacred and magical. Seating is at tables, so bring along your drinks and make believe you’re at a Vienna cafe. Part of StockFest17.

Fri 18 Aug

Stockfest Rock ‘n’ Blues with Chicago 9 8pm Sutton Hall, Stockcross. Killer guitar licks, screaming harmonica, a thumping back beat and savage vocals.

Coming Soon

Memorial Service in remembrance of the Hungerford Tragedy, 10am Sun 20 Aug at St Lawrence’s Church.
The Pheasant’s Summer Party 4pm-late, Sun 27 Aug. Live music, magician, DJ, hog roast – and four bars.
Visit the Flying Scotsman at Didcot Railway Centre – Sat 26-Mon 28 Aug.


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