Town & Manor of Hungerford News: January/February 2020

Hungerford Town & Manor

Managing the trees

Nobody likes to see mature trees felled but this is sometimes necessary when trees are diseased, damaged or have simply outgrown their location. Attention to the health of trees is especially important when they are in public areas or next to roads. For this reason the Town and Manor of Hungerford carries out an annual survey of all the trees on the Common, Freeman’s Marsh and in the Croft. This year’s survey has found extensive basal bark damage in a large Norway maple and a worrying amount of ash dieback disease. 

On Freeman’s Marsh, widespread evidence of ash dieback has been found in Westbrook Down, south of the railway line. Here it will be necessary to fell the entire copse of about thirty trees at the eastern end together with a further six at the western. In line with Town and Manor policy of always planting at least as many trees as it is forced to fell, here the replanting will include field maple and English oak together with native shrubs such as Guelder rose, holly, crab apple and spindle.

The maple is at the Three Ways junction on the Common and will be felled during the week of 3 February, as will a nearby Black Poplar which has become too large.

The site will be immediately replanted with disease-resistant elms as part of the charity’s initiative to replace trees lost to Dutch Elm Disease in the early 1970s. A large ash alongside the Inkpen Road will be felled at the same time.

The contractors will aim to minimize disruption to traffic but please be patient as they carry out this essential work.

The responsibilities of the Town and Manor

The Town and Manor of Hungerford is a unique institution, the only such body in England to have survived (in other places, the functions and assets of these organisations have been assumed by local councils). Some reflections on its past, and its present, role can be found here.

Many aspects of the Town and Manor, including its ownership of the Town Hall, make it look like another tier of local government (which it is not) and as a result many people are unsure of what aspects of local life it is responsible for. These are some of the main things that the Town and Manor does, all at no cost to the local residents:

• Hungerford Common (including maintenance, the cows,  the paths, the trees and event licences).
• Freeman’s Marsh (including maintenance, the cows, the paths and the trees).
• The trees in the High Street from the Canal Bridge to junction of Atherton Road (maintenance).
• The Croft (including grass cutting, trees, posts and event licences).
• The Town Hall (including bookings and maintenance).
• River Kennet and River Dun (including weed cutting, debris clearance and bank maintenance).
• Hocktide (all aspects of the festival).

For any problems, issues or enquiries relating to any of these matters, please contact Jed Ramsay on

Wednesday indoor market returns

Wednesday is market day in Hungerford, when cars give way to shoppers, traders and stalls filled with fresh fruit, vegetable, fish, meat, flowers, clothes, fabric, collectables and more.

In early October 2019, it was decided to extend the market into the nearby Town Hall. This proved popular and so, after a break period when many of the traders were away, we are relaunching the indoor market on Wednesdays from 19 February.

The indoor market proved popular in Hungerford with a wide variety of stalls including pies, antiques, clothing, crepes, crafts, jewellery and our very own apple juice and cider.  The market will run the same days as our street market and we would very much like to see you there.

We offer free stalls for charities and competitive rates for any new stall holders wishing to join.

Please contact Nick Lumley for more information on 07734 837921


Parking on in the High Street

Please observe the ‘No Parking after midnight’ signs put up on Tuesday afternoons in some bays on the Town Hall side of the High Street.

Some traders set up very early in the morning but can’t do this if vehicles are parked there. 

Events at the Town Hall

There are a number of events taking place in the Town Hall including markets (see above), concerts, craft fairs, flea markets and the meetings of various clubs and societies. You can keep up to date with what’s going on here and on the Penny Post Calendar.

February’s events include:

Thursday evenings: Camera Club.
Fri 7 Feb: Church on the Rock Café.
Sun 8 Feb: Friends of Hungerford Primary School Jumble Sale, 11am to 2pm.
Sun 9 Feb: Flea and Antique Market.
Tue 11 Feb: Hungerford Bookshop Event (Miss Austen, the new novel from Gill Hornby),  7:30pm.
Sun 23 Feb: Flea and Antique Market .
Wed 26 Feb: Historical Association.
Sat 29 Feb: Hunger 4 Antiques.

The Town and Manor’s donations

As in past years, in 2019 the Town and Manor made a number of donations to local groups and charities. A full list of these follows:

Hungerford Bowls Club: £500.
Morley Lunches: £720.
Hungerford Hub: £500.
Hungerford Town Band: £750.
Hungerford Cricket Club: £700.
Hungerford Summer Festival: £1,350.
Hungerford Community & Youth Centre: £,3000.
Hungerford Nursery: £300.
Hungerford & Camburn Educational Foundations: £112.50.
Hungerford Food Festival: £608.33.
Christmas Extravaganza: £1,400.
Newbury Weekly News Over 80s Parcel Fund: £500.
Rotary Club (Santa Fun Run): £100.
Hungerford Theatre Group: £813.

Applications for donations for 2020 are welcomed. Please contact Jed Ramsay or visit the Town and Manor’s website.  

Town Hall hire

If you want to hire the Town Hall or part of it for any event, please contact Jed Ramsay on

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