Penny Post Weekly Newsletter Aug 3 – 10

Penny Post
Local News  

This week includes affordable homes, progress in the Tull Way flood defences, various trains (including bi-modes and The Flying Scotsman), some thoughts on pub closures and three away fixtures for our local football teams.

Local Events – see below


Local Activities

Local Courses & Classes Guide – August  including
• free mindfulness taster session 10.30-11.30am Fri 18 Aug at Newbury Wellbeing Centre
• Sport in Mind’s badminton in Hungerford & table tennis in Thatcham for anyone with mental-health issues
• Seeds 2 Glory Boot Camp – drop-in sessions all summer for adults and families
• Chance to dance in the Crossing Lines spectacular outdoor event in Newbury on 12 Aug
• Stockfest workshops including origami, charicature drawing and nature writing

Guide to Kids’ Activities this Summer Holiday including
• Big Butterfly Count Fri 4 Aug at Riverside Community Centre or do it at home until Sun 6 Aug
• Summer music activities at Hogan Academy in Newbury
• Real Macaron Bake with Me in Newbury every Tuesday,
• 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

• 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



• Sarah recommends The Lambourn Valley Dental Practice“I’m so pleased with the results of my teeth-whitening in advance of my wedding…”

• Paul Marriott recommends Green Machine Computers“Their IT advice was spot on…”  (They helped us with a Windows problem recently too.)



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


• Wanted: small office space to rent between Hungerford and Newbury for expanding local Spanish school to host classes. To start sometime between Sept and Nov. Please contact Angela on [email protected]

• To rent: lovely three-bedroom cottage in the centre of East Garston.

• To rent: a three bedroom property, easy walking distance to town centre. Parking for two cars. Available through Nina Clark lettings. For more information, please click here.

• To rent: a large new-build family house, quite location.  Three double bedrooms, two with ensuite shower rooms. Available through Nina Clark lettings. 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

• 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:
Full-time Bar and Waiting Staff, Shefford Woodlands • Senior Dispenser, Lambourn • 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 • HousekeeperAssistant Housekeeper and Car Parking Assistant at the Watermill Theatre • Freelance Digital Marketing Manager, Hungerford • Volunteer Ambassadors for North Wessex Down AONB • Cleaner, East Garston • Receptionistand Mechanics, Technicians and HGV Drivers, Lambourn Woodlands • Nursing and Domiciliary Care Staff, Letcombe Regis • Commis ChefFront of House StaffHousekeeper and Night Porter, all in Hungerford.

• To learn about the work of the Police and specialist roles within the Force visit the Thames Valley Police Open Day at Sulhamstead Police Training Centre (between Aldermaston and Theale) this Sat 5 Aug. There will be lots of family fun including dog and horse displays, the chance to Become a Detective for a Day and also to learn about Neighbourhood Watch.

Local Businesses 

Animals & Agriculture • Automotive • 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!

• Young Enterprise West Berkshire (YEWB) is looking for local professionals to advise young entrepreneurs from local schools. Full support and training provided. Click here for more details.

• 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 Fri 11 Aug. 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

• 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.

• Ladies Who Brunch Thurs 10 Aug at the Halfway Inn. Meet at 10.30am for bubbles and two-course brunch. The cost is £16, with £1 going to charity together with raffle proceeds.  Newcomers welcome.  Book with Lanie [email protected] or 01488 658 168.

• 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

• Don’t forget to check your cabbages, Brussels sprouts etc for butterfly eggs otherwise the hungry caterpillar will win the battle for your brassica.

• I have never achieved cabbages as big as Belinda and Jamie’s on Marsh Lane Allotments!

• 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-legged Friends

• Thanks to Alistair and Kathy in Lambourn for letting us know about the rescue donkeys they look after – click here for their blog and how you can help a donkey

• Our tabby Nimbus has not returned and we have resigned ourselves to the fact that we probably won’t see him again. Now the debate in the family is whether to get kittens and how ‘Uncle’ Marmite will react. Brian asks if you know anyone with male tabby kittens…(please reply to this)

• Stephanie Lambourn is very grateful to Zen Dog Whisperer Ken Stronach for convincing her terriers they don’t need to try to kill passing cars nor create a barking frenzy when anyone comes to the door.

Seasonal Snippets

• We had great success with Dany’s French Fruit Tart recipe last weekend. We had four filial sous-chefs at home who managed the pastry in the pan technique (baked blind – doesn’t need any weights). With a layer of custard/greek yoghurt, fresh strawberries/blueberries/tinned pineapple and apricot jam glaze, the results were très yummy.

• Said sons have also contributed this week’s recipe: Raspberry and Nutella Pancakes and would love to you to comment with your favourite pancake filling suggestions

• Thanks to Sustainable Wantage’s August newsletter for sharing the Eat the Seasons website which has lots of recipes for produce in season this month from artichokes and peaches to crab and venison. They have also set up a Wantage Streetbank facebook page for anyone who wants to share stuff in the Wantage area.

• If you think that Neymar, HS2 and West Berkshire Council’s budget have nothing in common, my husband’s recent post might (or might not) convince you otherwise.

• A couple of months ago I made nettle beer. We now have seven bottles of what can only be described as nettle liqueur…The yeast didn’t all dissolve and it spent too long in the buckets as I didn’t have time to bottle it. So now it is flat and sweet (I had added malt syrup as well as sugar) but still tastes very alcoholic. Surprisingly good but even I can’t drink seven bottles so local brewer Roy Bailey has advised I turn it back into beer by adding more yeast. To be continued…

• See this week’s Local News for usual slices of life including a roundabout decision in Newbury, the imminent closure of Marlborough police station, various council initiatives and the testing of the bi-mode trains.

• If you’re going to the Edinburgh Fringe, do go to see the Newbury Youth Theatre’sThe Glorious Invention of Emmanuel Stork at the Quaker Meeting House (venue 40) – this got rave reviews from its performance at the Corn Exchange last weekend. Also worth seeing is The Interview from the Newbury Dramatic Society at the Surgeons’ Hall (click here for a review from last year’s first run). Both plays run from Mon 7 to Sat 12 August.

• 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.

• Due to limited time and funds we’re having a ‘staycation’ this summer. I feel slightly jealous when friends disappear to foreign parts but honestly it’s so lovely here in the summer I can’t complain. I just dream of having more time in retirement – like our 67 year old friends Moyra and Dave who have just left for Scotland on their huge motorbikes!

• With the holiday season now upon us, another chance to read a story by my husband about a trip to France involving an ulterior motive that does not work out as planned – Coming of Age.

See below for a selection of upcoming local events.

 Local Events

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 5 Aug

Wantage Farmers Market 8.30am-1pm.
More on PP Calendar including live music at Newbury Market, Dancing through the Decades at Hungerford Football Club

Sun 6 Aug

Cheese and Chilli Festival Lydiard Park, Swindon.
More on PP Calendar inc Thatcham Car Boot Sale and Trindledown Monthly Barn Sale.

Sat 12 Aug

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 Newbury Classic Vehicle Show

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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