Hungerford Area Weekly News sections – 2022 archive

To see the current Hungerford Area Weekly News section, please click here.

Please note that this section is presented as an archive of past columns and is not updated (except by the addition of the previous post every week). Some web links may no longer be active (usually indicated by a score-through), for instance when draft parish council minutes are replaced by adopted ones or when a consultation has closed.

Click here for the archive for 2024 (from January)

Click here for the archive for July to December 2023

Click here for the archive for January to June 2023

Thursday 15 December 2022

This week we look at a pause for the Festival, warm spaces, positives ay the Youth Centre, the Extravaganza, Santa’s run and a (temporary) pool closure. We also look at a letter of support and a house-damaging crash on the High Street; and take a look back at some of the stories we’ve covered in the area over the last 12 months (many of which are unfinished business). There’s also a reminder about  the public consultation on the town’s place-making strategy. And, as ever, there’s our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

 Hungerford High Street is closed due to a serious accident that occured on Tuesday 13 December. Luckily no one was hurt but the vehicle hit buildings with such force that structural damage has been caused and residents have been evacuated. See here for more details and the response from the community.

 Hungerford’s Christmas angels are getting ready to fly. Look out for angels around the town between now & Christmas Day. The angels have been bagged before they set off to protect them from the weather and are biodegradable in compostable cellophane. If you find a knitted angel in Hungerford in December, please make it welcome – feel free to take it home to be part of your Christmas decorations, as a free gift from Hungerford’s churches.

• British Red Cross shops (Hungerford) is asking for more donations, due to a surge of sales, and are particularly looking for warm women’s clothing and accessories.

Don’t forget Hungerford Rotary Club is back with the Santa Fun Run on Sunday 18 December at 10am. Join a 5K run around the area to blow away the cobwebs before the upcoming festivities. Book online at www.santasfunrun.net

•  Warm spaces update for the Christmas period: Hungerford Methodist Church is open Christmas Day & New Year’s Day from 11.30am to 2.30pm for coffee chat, mince pies, hotdogs and pigs in blankets (their Christmas Service is at 10.30am). St Lawrence’s Church is closed Tues 27 Dec, reopens Tues 3rd Jan; United Reformed Church is closed Weds 28 Dec, reopens Weds 4 Jan; Our Lady of Lourdes Church is opening every Saturday in January from 10am to 11.45am. Hungerford Library is closed for the week after Christmas and re-opens Tues 3 Jan.

• At the Hungerford Summer Festival‘s recent AGM, the decision was taken to moth-ball the event until new volunteers step forward to resurrect the festival. Originally called HADCAF, the festival has run for 30 years but several key members of the current committee have to step down for personal reasons. Read here for more details.

The latest Autumn newsletter from Hungerford Youth & Community Centre has lots of positives to report. The youth nights and holiday clubs continue to grow and 2023 promises to be another successful year. The Years 5, 7 and 8 Youth Club Nights will be joined by a Year 9 offering, but that provision is dependent on finding some more volunteers. Volunteers are at the heart of this whole enterprise and currently Thursday nights and Saturday mornings are where shortages are being felt in particular. However there are also lots of opportunities to volunteer at holiday clubs, days away or if you have a special skill or talent that you would like to share with the young people at the centre HYCC would love to hear from you. Whether you are looking to book a space at HYCC, volunteer or help raise much needed funds, check out their website.

• The Town & Manor of Hungerford are keen to remind folk that if you’re a Hungerford resident you are entitled to a 25% discount on room hire at the Town Hall.  If you’re looking to hold a dinner or similar event, there are a range of rooms which can be hired for weddings, parties and business meetings. Please contact Tara Adamson at admin@townandmanor.co.uk.

• Congratulations to Hungerford Chamber of Commerce for the successful Victorian Extravaganza on Friday night – with Christmas horse carriage, Santa’s Grotto. The Victorian Costume Competition winners were Lady Kizzy for Best Adult, Lois and Hugh Pihlens for Best Couple and Fiona Hobson for Best Woman. Please visit the Extravaganza’s facebook page to see photos and videos of the night.

• Quick reminder the swimming pool at the Hungerford Leisure Centre is closed for refurbishment. If you pay for swims by direct debit then your January payment will be reduced to take this closure into account. Other facilities, including the gym and the classes, will continue as normal. In fact Hungerford Leisure Centre is offering a three-day pass to try something new and make new connections. Click here for more information on the Centre, including opening times and to make bookings for those sessions that require them.

Quick reminder about Warm Spaces in Hungerford where everyone is welcome. Every Sunday, The Methodist Church Hall is open from 12-4pm at the  (through the alleyway to the left of the church) for board games, time to chat, free hot drinks & snacks. St Lawrence’s Church is open every Tuesday from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. United Reformed Church in the High Street is open every Wednesday 10am to 12pm. mOur Lady of Lourdes in Priory Road is open the first Saturday of the month from 10am to 11.45am.

 Hungerford Youth and Community Centre is pleased to be offering a winter holiday youth club from 21 to 23 December with lots of activities for young people to enjoy, sport in mind, Christmas crafts and baking, Christmas movie day with Christmas cookie and Christmas lunch on the 23rd. All free for all young people in receipt of Free School Meals or £8 per child per day non FSMCard payments accepted/paypal or cash. Please complete consent form here.

Jim Smith from Broadmead Estates will be offering his Christmas Tree chipping service as usual on Saturday 8 January in front of Hungerford Town Hall on Sunday 9 January 10am – 1pm by donation to local charities. Proceeds will be split between Hungerford Youth Centre & Hungerford CHAIN.

The cost of living support hub on West Berkshire Council website explains the different types of support available if you are struggling with rising living costs and are concerned about paying your household bills. You can also click here to read this article we’ve recently published about the Hub and what help and support you can expect from it.

• Do you know anyone who goes that extra mile? Please nominate them for the West Berks Community Champion Awards. The categories are Community Group of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, The Pat Eastop Junior Citizen of the Year Award and Volunteer of the Year. The deadline is Monday 2 January 2022.

The NHS vaccination service is now in Hungerford Hub and Library from 9am to 5pm every Monday until Christmas. It is a walk-in only service and only the Autumn booster vaccination will be available. For queries and to book at other locations please go to www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination or call 119.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Click here for the latest diary from Richard Hawthorne, Head Teacher at John O’Gaunt School.

Christmas

Sun 18 Dec Santa Fun Run hosted by Hungerford Rotary.

Christmas Eve Dog Walk starting at 11am from at The Downgate Pub

Christmas Day coffee chat, mince pies etc Hungerford Methodist Church 11.30am to 2.30pm.

Have your say

If you live in, work in or visit Hungerford or Thatcham, West Berkshire Council wants to hear from you. It is looking for public input in developing place-making strategies for Hungerford and Thatcham town centres with the aim of enhancing their vitality and economic prosperity whilst retaining each town’s unique economic, environmental and historical character. Click here to take the survey and have your voice heard. The submissions for the survey will close on Monday 9 January.

Crash bang

Concerns about traffic damaging buildings in Hungerford has recently been concentrated on the problematic 90º junction of Park Street and the High Street. Earlier this week, however there was a much more shocking and spectacular prang in which a car travelling, it would safe to assume, at rather more than 30mph lost control and crashed into buildings near Atherton Crescent, causing potentially severe structural damage. You can read our report on the incident here.

A letter of support

There’s been a certain amount of comment about the recent removal of Claire Rowles from all the committees that she sat on. The background to this is long and slightly tangled. I’ve referred to this several times over the last couple of years but am not going to produce a summary here (maybe later). The matter was covered in detail at the recent Hungerford Town Council meeting, our report of which you can read here. This also includes links to a couple of my related articles. My only other comment is that Claire Rowles is an exceeding effective (and well-liked) ward member: and that, after all, is what she was elected to be.

Council Leader Lynne Doherty’s actions received a resounding message of support from Amanda Mackinnon of Burghfield in a letter published in this week’s NWN. She refers to the “misogynist trope” that successful women can’t work together and stresses that Lynne Doherty has done much to encourage women into politics. I agree with her on this. The fact that both Lynne Doherty and Claire Rowles are women has nothing to do with anything that I can see and I have no criticism of the Leader’s attempts to see more female councillors. The writer did not refer (though the following letter, from Denise Gaines, did) to the accusation that the spat will discourage women from standing for election. I don’t think this unedifying incident will encourage anyone, regardless of their gender.

I find more questionable the statement that the lack of information about why these changes had been made amounted to a respect for Claire Rowles’ privacy. It could rather be seen as a kind of general but unspecified accusation against her which casts doubt on whether or not, given she has been stripped of her roles at HQ, she is a fit person to represent the residents of Hungerford and Kintbury. All in all, it leaves a bit of a cloud of uncertainty hanging over her: rather if, say, an organisation threatened to take someone to court over an unpaid bill but for several years did nothing about it.

The writer also says that “few will be familiar with what has gone on behind the scenes” which (rightly) implies that things have been going on there. However, there’s no reason why she should remain in the dark on this as her husband is Ross Mackinnon, one of Lynne Doherty’s colleagues on the Executive. From what she says in her first paragraph, it seems she’s planning to stand in the May 2023 elections. In the interests of full disclosure, I’d add that Denise Gaines, who wrote the other letter I referred to, is also standing, being a prospective Lib Dem candidate for Hungerford and Kintbury. If both are elected, there will therefore be two more female councillors. Whether Claire Rowles will be among that cohort remains to be seen.

A look back…

This will be the last news update of 2022: normal service will be resumed on 5 January 2023.

Over the last year we’ve published a large number of stories about this area. Some have been referred to many, many times: that’s not because we feel the need to re-cycle copy or go over old ground but because the issues themselves have not gone away, have re-surfaced or have, like a mutating virus, acquired new features which need considering.

At the foot of this post you’ll see a link to our archive section (which may in turn link to another one). Searching for any or part of the phrases mentioned in bold below will take you to the often multiple references to these issues. Many of these still have a lot of life left in them and so expect further coverage in 2023.

The two main things that tend to crop up are planning and flooding and/or sewage. These are the kind of things that normally we don’t think about at all: when they’re directly affecting us, however, it’s almost impossible to think about anything else. We’ve lost count of the number of times these have cropped up in our coverage (a few of the major ones are referred to below). Whenever we cover them, and indeed other stories, we try to present as many points of view as possible, explain the issues and provide links for further information.

Matters such as speeding, rights of way, dog mess,, jubilee and coronation festivities and defibrillators are, amongst a host of other things, dealt with by town and parish councils. We provide information on their activities and link to  the most recently available minutes, and provide a summary of these if they are reasonably recent.

We’ll be continuing to cover as many aspects of life in this area as we can in 2023 and beyond, seeking always to inform, explain, comment and (where appropriate) entertain. If there’s anything you’d like to see covered, or if you have anything to say about anything we’ve covered already, please email brian@pennypost.org.uk.

Here’s a brief summary, in no particular order, of some of the recurring stories in this area in 2022. It by no means refers to all the issues we’ve written about.

  • Pigeons. Hungerford has lots of these; too many, some think. Various attempts have been made to control them, none particularly successful.
  • Lancaster Park. This development (formerly known as Salisbury Road) to the south of Hungerford is now mainly complete. There have been some issues, including a PR gaffe and a wrongly-sized roundabout, but these appear to have been resolved. Tensions always exists when the developers of a controversial project move in with their spades and diggers.
  • Placemaking strategy (also known as the town-centre strategy) for Hungerford. Click here for more information. The survey remains live until 9 January 2023.
  • Chestnut Walk. The re-development of the former care home in Hungerford is a story we’ve been covering very closely for some time. The main issue is whether the designs incorporated the exemplar environmental and sustainable features that the climate emergency demands. Initially, they didn’t: now it seems they should but we need to wait and see. More news expected on this in January.
  • Ofsted inspection at Inkpen Primary School. This was conducted at the end of the summer 2022 term in what many see as unnatural circumstances and resulted in the school dropping a couple of grades. We’ve taken a look at how these inspections work, what they tell us (or not) and the effect this has had on the school.
  • Notrees Care Home in Kintbury. There had been plans to close this and we looked at the pros and cons. We were eventually delighted to report that, following a consultation, WBC’s portfolio holder Joanne Stewart changed her mind and plans are in place to upgrade it. Proof that taking part in consultations can be worth it.
  • Hungerford’s neighbourhood development plan (NDP) , also known as Hungerford 2036, is reaching its final stages and we’ve been covering this since it started several years ago.
  • CIL charges. One local resident has fallen foul of the system in a big way – we’ve been covering the story for several years and will continue to do so.
  • Lorries in Hungerford. particularly at the junction of the High Street and Park Street. Massive vehicles turning from one to the other is causing a good deal of concern, and often damage, to nearby properties. This is one of the many things in Hungerford Town Council’s in-tray although, like the pigeons, it’s a tricky one to solve and needs to be addressed in conjunction with WBC.
  • Penny Post Hungerford. At the start of each month, normally on the first Tuesday, we produce an e-newsletter which includes as much information about life in the town as we can lay our hands on (and there’s a lot). Links to these are provided in the archive sections below.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Please click here to find out more.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 16 Dec Arts for Hungerford film night: Top Gun

New Years Day coffee chat, refreshments at Hungerford Methodist Church 11.30am to 2.30pm

Sun 8 Jan Charity Christmas Tree Chipping

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning, first Saturday each month. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club There are application forms at Hungerford  Youth & Community Centre (next to the Leisure Centre) or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the HYCC’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

Kintbury Bridge Club meets every Thursday afternoon in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. The cost is £2 per week. For more information please contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

The Crown & Garter in Inkpen hosts a pub quiz every Wednesday at 7.30pm. The winning team or person will receive a prize. To take part: £1 per person or £5 per team. For more information, call the pub on 01488 668325.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page. One regular group is the English Language Café at Hungerford Library on the first Friday of the month from 5pm to 6.30pm. For more information, please contact the library on 01488 682660 hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found here. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 5 December) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a new logo; the PC’s FB page; the defibrillaror; maintenance and repairs; the resignation of the Clerk; financial matters; and planning matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning maters; the Upper Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; road signage; speeding; financial matters; the community wildlife project; and the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 September and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 8 December 2022

This week we look forward to the Extravaganza and a carol concert, welcome a new mental-health support group and consider music, pets and warm spaces. We also offer a few highlights from the recently puclidhed Penny Post Hungerford newsletter and highlight the opening of the public consultation on the town’s place-making strategy. And, as ever, there’s our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

Our December Hungerford newsletter includes latest news from Hungerford Town Council, Town & Manor of Hungerford, local clubs and organisations. Please note the swimming pool will be closed from Mon 12 Dec (not Mon 12 Jan)

• The swimming pool at the Hungerford Leisure Centre will be closed for refurbishment and maintenance work from Monday 12 December until early in the new year (exact date to be confirmed). If you pay for swims by direct debit then your January payment will be reduced to take this closure into account. Other facilities, including the gym and the classes, will continue as normal.  Click here for more information on the Centre, including opening times and to make bookings for those sessions that require them.

Hungerford has many independent shops and businesses to be proud of – and supported as they play a vital role in the local community. Latest news includes the right cilver coin for your Christmas pud from Hungerford Coin & Stamp Centre, 50% discount for carers from West Berkshire Injury Clinic, useful advice from Hungerford Legal & Financial Centre, locally made artisan gifts from The Curve, Christmas Italian style at Mio Fiore and lots more.

Quick reminder about the Victorian Extravaganza on Friday night – there will be Christmas horse carriage rides from 5pm picking up near Hungerford Printing Company halfway between The Plume and Below Stairs. Cost is £3 per person (cash or card). There is also a new Santa’s Grotto at the entrance to Fare Wise Travel under the railway bridge. The Victorian Costume Competition will be judged at 6pm on the Town Hall steps and the parade starts at 7.30pm. The organisers, Hungerford Chamber of Commerce thank all the event donors and have made the difficult decision that due to the cost of living crisis and the extra energy costs businesses are facing at the moment not to include fireworks this year as they have shot up in price. For more information including parking and road closure please visit hungerfordextravaganza.com

Last week Penny interviewed Emma and James Taylor about their new Check In Tribe mental health support group which has its first meet-up this Saturday 10 December from 10am to 12pm at the new Terrace View Cafe and Bar, upstairs at Herongate Club, offering a safe space for anyone to attend, grab a cup of tea or coffee and, within a group, check in with themselves. Click here to listen (from 9 minutes). The meet-up offers a chance to share thoughts, worries, experiences, knowledge and wisdom or just to take it all in and feel part of the Tribe. The group events will be an opportunity to share the tools we all use day to day to live our best lives and deal with the struggles that inevitably come our way.  All welcome.

Instead of lunch in the Church Hall on Christmas Day, this year the Methodists are planning to deliver some Christmas treats and chat by phone, to make Christmas Day special for those who are alone or in difficulty. See more details here. Please contact them by Saturday 10 December if you would like to take part as a helper or guest.

Sunday 11 December is a date to remember for Hungerford residents, when The Mayor’s Christmas Carol Concert will take place at 6pm at St. Lawrence’s Church, accompanied by Hungerford Town Band. Everyone is invited. 

• Latest news from Healthwatch West Berkshire includes what to do if you are worried your child has scarlet fever or Strep A and new Urgent Treatment Centre at Great Western Hospital. Click here for full details.

The Crown & Garter in Inkpen is now hosting a pub quiz every Wednesday at 7.30pm, with a bar snack menu available for those that want a bite whilst taking part. So why not come along and enjoy a bit of healthy competition and a few drinks with your friends? The winning team or person will receive a prize! To take part: £1 per person or £5 per team. For more information, call the pub on 01488 668325.

Why not make Music with Mummy part of your New Year. Beat away those grey skies with singing, dancing, instruments and lots of fun. Everybody is welcome, so spread the word to mums, dads, grandparents, carers and anyone else who has the pleasure of looking after a little one. Classes will be held at Hungerford Youth and Community Centre and will start on Wednesday 11 January. If you are interested then please fill out the registration form.

Hungerford Leisure Centre are offering a three-day pass to try something new and make new connections. Get access to the following: free use of their facilities for three days, fully equipped gym, free fitness support and advice and instructor led fitness classes.

On Sunday 11 December at 2pm, there will be a fundraising concert for CAP with ukelele group ‘DeMugPugs’ (Devizes, Marlborough & Pewsey Ukulele Groups) at Hungerford Methodist Church. Tickets £5 including tea & cake in the interval. Proceeds to support the CAP (Christians Against Poverty) Life Skills programme in Hungerford.

Bibliotheraphy is the art of prescribing fiction to cure life’s ailments and if right now you could do with some of this, pop into Hungerford Bookshop on Wednesday 14 December for a 10 miniute appointment with professional bibliotherapist Ella Berthoud or pick up a signed copy of her books, The Novel Cure and Fiction Prescriptions.

Girlguiding empowers girls to be themselves, have fun and achieve their goals and at its heart are 80,000 volunteers. If you are thinking about volunteering, why not make that happen? There is a very active Guides group in Hungerford. Register today

• After making the tough decision of cancelling the Christmas Fayre and Dog Show this year, the National Animal Welfare Trust Berkshire  has decided to host a Virtual Christmas Pet Show instead. This event will be starting on 5 December and the winner of each class will be announced on the 15th December.  There is a fee of £3 per class entry (paid via Paypal) and there is a prize up for grabs for the winner of each category. This show is open to ALL animals, whether they’re fluffy, scaley, feathered or bald.

• Quick reminder if you or any families you know have children who would like to play rugby but you are worried about the cost. Hungerford Rugby Club Juniors section has been running a ‘Play for All’ scheme for some years that covers all kit and even, where needed, annual subs, and means that up to eight children can play rugby at no cost this season. Anyone interested in the ‘Play for All’ initiative can contact Lou Evans in complete confidence at sec.hrfcjuniors@gmail.com

Don’t forget Hungerford Rotary Club is back with the Santa Fun Run on Sunday 18 December at 10am. Join a 5K run around the area to blow away the cobwebs before the upcoming festivities. Book online at www.santasfunrun.net

Quick reminder about Warm Spaces in Hungerford where everyone is welcome. Every Sunday, The Methodist Church Hall is open from 12-4pm at the  (through the alleyway to the left of the church) for board games, time to chat, free hot drinks & snacks. St Lawrence’s Church is open every Tuesday from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. United Reformed Church in the High Street is open every Wednesday 10am to 12pm. mOur Lady of Lourdes in Priory Road is open the first Saturday of the month from 10am to 11.45am.

 Hungerford Youth and Community Centre is pleased to be offering a winter holiday youth club from 21 to 23 December with lots of activities for young people to enjoy, sport in mind, Christmas crafts and baking, Christmas movie day with Christmas cookie and Christmas lunch on the 23rd. All free for all young people in receipt of Free School Meals or £8 per child per day non FSMCard payments accepted/paypal or cash. Please complete consent form here.

A new pet shop called The Pet Box has opened in Kintbury on Church Street next to Cookies and the corner shop. The entrepreneur is called Adam and it has long been his dream to open his own pet shop in memory of his grandfather who had one in the 1960s. Adam is local to Kintbury and has worked in pet stores for 10 years.

Also in Kintbury, a small Bridge Club meets every Thursday afternoon in the Coronation Hall and welcomes anyone who would like to play relaxed, social bridge; we have players of varied ability and experience, so come a long and give it a try. The cost is £2 per week. For more information please contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com

• Hungerford Town Football Club Crusaders Bar & Members Lounge will be showing every England game during the World Cup. Drinks and food available from the snack shack.

The cost of living support hub on West Berkshire Council website explains the different types of support available if you are struggling with rising living costs and are concerned about paying your household bills. You can also click here to read this article we’ve recently published about the Hub and what help and support you can expect from it.

• Do you know anyone who goes that extra mile? Please nominate them for the West Berks Community Champion Awards. The categories are Community Group of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, The Pat Eastop Junior Citizen of the Year Award and Volunteer of the Year. The deadline is Monday 2 January 2022.

The NHS vaccination service is now in Hungerford Hub and Library from 9am to 5pm every Monday until Christmas. It is a walk-in only service and only the Autumn booster vaccination will be available. For queries and to book at other locations please go to www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination or call 119.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• Here is information about more support available to get you through the Cost of Living crisis, including tips on how to reduce your home energy bills. And please watch out for any scams that ask you to click to apply for energy rebates – they all happen automatically.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Click here for the latest diary from Richard Hawthorne, Head Teacher at John O’Gaunt School.

Christmas

Fri 9 Dec Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza.

• Sun 11 Dec Mayor’s Carol Service St Lawrence’s Church, Hungerford

Sun 11 Dec Kintbury Food & Artisan Fayre 10am to 2pm, Kintbury Jubilee Centre.

Sun 18 Dec Santa Fun Run hosted by Hungerford Rotary.

Hungerford’s newsletter

The start of each month sees the publication of Penny Post Hungerford, which provides the best coverage of life in the town. As ever, if features a wide range of articles and reports on a wide range of local organisations and events, all sliced, diced and, we like to think, perfectly cooked and served up. The highlights this month include a particular;y busy Town Council meeting, the launch of the place-making consultation, news from the retailers and the Town and Manor, the launch of a new mental-health support group and a dementia choir, a report on a historical talk, a Headteacher’s diary and a preview of the Extravaganza.

If you didn’t receive the newsletter, click here to read it.

Making the place

the public survey for the Hungerford and Thatcham place-making strategies will run from Monday 5 December 2022 to Monday 9 January 2023. You can click here to take part.

The consultation covers both Hungerford and Thatcham: you can reply to either parts or to both, as you decide. The survey takes about 10 minutes. The more responses are received, the more relevant the conclusions will be and the greater the chances of securing funding for the towns from the government and other bodies.

You don’t need to live in or work in the towns (or even in West Berkshire) to contribute. If you visit either place, even occasionally, your views are important.

Please pass the survey on to as many others as you can, particularly young people and those who may not regularly be online. Paper copies will be available from Thatcham Town Council, Hungerford Town Council, Thatcham Library and Hungerford Hub and Library.

Your feedback will be taken into consideration and used to develop the final placemaking strategies, which WBC aims to complete by the beginning of March 2023. Once the strategies have been finalised, WBC will work with Hungerford and Thatcham Town Councils, business, residents, community groups, and other stakeholders to take the proposals forward. You’ll be able to view the final strategies and keep up to date with progress on WBC’s town centres’ webpage.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Please click here to find out more.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 11 Dec Ukelele Concert for CAP Lifeskills, Hungerford Methodist Church

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning, first Saturday each month. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

 

Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club There are application forms at Hungerford  Youth & Community Centre (next to the Leisure Centre) or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the HYCC’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page. One regular group is the English Language Café at Hungerford Library on the first Friday of the month from 5pm to 6.30pm. For more information, please contact the library on 01488 682660 hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found here. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 5 December) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a new logo; the PC’s FB page; the defibrillaror; maintenance and repairs; the resignation of the Clerk; financial matters; and planning matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 October and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning maters; the Upper Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; road signage; speeding; financial matters; the community wildlife project; and the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 September and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 1 December 2022

This week we cover warm spaces, late-night shopping, youth volunteers, an AGM and a support group. We also look forward to forthcoming Extravaganza and consider some further implications of the recent Ofsted report for Inkpen Primary School. And, as ever, there’s our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

Hungerford Rugby Club Juniors section has been running a ‘Play for All’ scheme for some years to help meet the needs of struggling families with rugby-loving youngsters. This helping hand initiative has just received a massive boost from a new sponsorship deal with Barlow’s Woodyard, which serves Berkshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, and Allsop LLP, the UK and overseas independent property consultancy. The ‘Play for All’ scheme covers all kit and even, where needed, annual subs, and means that up to eight children can play rugby at no cost this season. Anyone interested in the ‘Play for All’ initiative can contact Lou Evans in complete confidence at sec.hrfcjuniors@gmail.com

Hungerford Youth and Community Centre is looking for volunteers to join their team on Tuesday evenings at the additional needs youth session ICE . If you would like to make a difference in your community and join a fun, nurturing team then please email youth worker Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org

Emma and James Taylor from Hungerford are launching the Check In Tribe support group which offers a safe space for anyone to attend, grab a cup of tea or coffee and, within a group, check in with themselves. It will be a chance to share thoughts, worries, experiences, knowledge and wisdom or just to take it all in and feel part of the Tribe. The group events will be an opportunity to share the tools we all use day to day to live our best lives and deal with the struggles that inevitably come our way. The first meet-up is on Saturday 10 December from 10am to 12pm at the new Terrace View Cafe and Bar, upstairs at Herongate Club. All welcome.

• The swimming pool at the Hungerford Leisure Centre will be closed for refurbishment and maintenance work from Monday 12 December (not 12 January as I wrongly had it previously) until early in the new year (exact date to be confirmed). If you pay for swims by direct debit then your January payment will be reduced to take this closure into account. Other facilities, including the gym and the classes, will continue as normal.  Click here for more information on the Centre, including opening times and to make bookings for those sessions that require them.

Late night shopping event with a difference at Hungerford Bookshop this Saturday 3 December between 6pm and 9pm for some after hours shopping to tick those presents off your list. 10% off all books, games, cards and wrapping paper. Plus glasses of fizz and a prize draw. You can also visit the wonderful pre-loved clothing pop-up behind them.

Don’t forget Hungerford Rotary Club is back with the Santa Fun Run on Sunday 18 December at 10am. Join a 5K run around the area to blow away the cobwebs before the upcoming festivities. Book online at www.santasfunrun.net

Quick reminder about Warm Spaces in Hungerford where everyone is welcome. Every Sunday, The Methodist Church Hall is open from 12-4pm at the  (through the alleyway to the left of the church) for board games, time to chat, free hot drinks & snacks. St Lawrence’s Church is open every Tuesday from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. United Reformed Church in the High Street is open every Wednesday 10am to 12pm. mOur Lady of Lourdes in Priory Road is open the first Saturday of the month from 10am to 11.45am.

Hungerford Environmental Action Team thanks everyone who helped with hedge planting last Saturday 26 November with invaluable help from Rob Starr from Town & Manor. Over 4oo native hedge saplings including hawthorne, hazel and holly were planted with protection from grazing cows. If you would like to help maintain any of the saplings that have been planted over the past two years please email heat_hungerford@yahoo.com

 Hungerford Youth and Community Centre is pleased to be offering a winter holiday youth club from 21 to 23 December with lots of activities for young people to enjoy, sport in mind, Christmas crafts and baking, Christmas movie day with Christmas cookie and Christmas lunch on the 23rd. All free for all young people in receipt of Free School Meals or £8 per child per day non FSMCard payments accepted/paypal or cash. Please complete consent form here.

• Hungerford Town Football Club Crusaders Bar & Members Lounge will be showing every England game during the World Cup. Drinks and food available from the snack shack.

The new cost of living support hub on West Berkshire Council website explains the different types of support available if you are struggling with rising living costs and are concerned about paying your household bills.

• Hungerford Summer Festival is holding its AGM on Tuesday 6 December at 7pm in the John Newton Room at The Croft Hall. All are welcome to review the achievements of 2022 and look forward to 2023. For more details please contact Caroline Lumley on c.lumley@btinternet.com

• There will be dredging work on the Kennet & Avon Canal between Marsh Lock and Hungerford Lock until Friday 16 December. The dredgings will be unloaded below Marsh Lock and lorries will take it away along Marsh Lane between 8am and 6pm. The work is being done on behalf of the Canal and River Trust by Land & Water Services. Any questions can be directed to Tom Puttock on tom.puttock@land-water.co.uk.

• Do you know anyone who goes that extra mile? Please nominate them for the West Berks Community Champion Awards. The categories are Community Group of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, The Pat Eastop Junior Citizen of the Year Award and Volunteer of the Year. The deadline is Monday 2 January 2022.

The new cost of living support hub on West Berkshire Council website explains the different types of support available if you are struggling with rising living costs and are concerned about paying your household bills.

Chilton Foliat Primary School has a vacancy for a EYFS and KS1 class teacher at Chilton Foliat Primary School. See here for details.

The NHS vaccination service is now in Hungerford Hub and Library from 9am – 5pm every Monday until Christmas. From 21 November, this will be a walk-in only service and only the Autumn booster vaccination will be available. For queries and to book at other locations please go to www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination or call 119.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• Here is information about more support available to get you through the Cost of Living crisis, including tips on how to reduce your home energy bills. And please watch out for any scams that ask you to click to apply for energy rebates – they all happen automatically.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Click here for the latest diary from Richard Hawthorne, Head Teacher at John O’Gaunt School.

Christmas

Instead of lunch in the Church Hall on Christmas Day, this year the Methodists are planning to deliver some Christmas treats and chat by phone, to make Christmas Day special for those who are alone or in difficulty. See more details here. Please contact them by 10 December if you would like to take part as a helper or guest.

Sat 3 Dec Christmas Fair, 11am to 3pm at Audley Inglewood.

Sat 3 Dec Christmas shopping evening at Hungerford Bookshop.

Sat 3 Dec Cantemus Christmas concert, Shalbourne.

Sun 4 Dec Inkspots Christmas Treasure Trail at Inkpen Primary, 10 til noon: includes games and festive crafting in aid of the pre-school.

Sun 4 Dec Winter Craft Fair at the British Legion from 11 am to 4pm. Stalls will include a variety of Christmas gift options, with  a selection of handmade crafts on offer. Entry is 50p per adult, with under 14s free. Sellers must set up by 10am and will be charged £5 per stall.

Wed 7 Dec Free Christmas party for under 4s to celebrate Music with Mummy returning to Hungerford on Wednesday 7 December from 10.30am to 11.00am. With singing, dancing and lots of Christmas fun at the Hungerford Youth and Community Centre. Bring your Teddy Bear along. If you are interested then please fill out the registration form or email alimusicwithmummy@gmail

Fri 9 Dec Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza.

• Sun 11 Dec Mayor’s Carol Service St Lawrence’s Church, Hungerford

Sun 11 Dec Kintbury Food & Artisan Fayre 10am to 2pm, Kintbury Jubilee Centre.

Sun 18 Dec Santa Fun Run hosted by Hungerford Rotary.

Life after the inspection

I mentioned last week (see the Across the area section in This week with Brian) about a few things that I’ve learned of Ofsted’s school-inspection system: if true, these seem to if not undermine then at least to put some question marks next to some of their conclusions. Few people in the district will be feeling this more keenly than the staff and Inkpen Primary School whose most recent inspection (during a heatwave at the end of the summer 2022 term when the old Head was on the point of retiring) resulted on the school being knocked down a couple of grades to “inadequate.”

The concern the school has is that any parent choosing a place for their child would, on seeing this headline ranking, immediately cross Inkpen Primary off their list. I’d suggest, however, that a more positive reaction is possible.

Firstly, partly as a result of the grading, Inkpen School has secured extra funding and extra support of various kinds from West Berkshire Council. Indeed, it’s probably true to say that this is currently the best supported and best monitored primary school in the district.

Secondly, even the briefest reading of the report (click here for this and previous ones) reveals a lot of positives. The areas for which the school was marked down seem to be specific and mainly procedural – and are being addressed. If the school were an unhappy place, the staff de-motivated and the children unruly, these would be far harder problems to fix. The report suggests no such systemic issues exist.

Thirdly, were I a parent faced with such a choice, I may well feel happier sending my child to a school which had recently been inspected – albeit at a time in the school year that could hardly be called representative – and some improvements identified rather than to one which proudly called itself “outstanding” or “good” but which might now be anything but. When you consider that some schools go for 15 years without an inspection and that 80% of the “outstanding” establishments inspected in 2021 ended up being downgraded, it’s easy to see that comparisons are often not that useful. The longer ago the last full inspection took place (this is clearly displayed on Ofsted’s site), the more any grading should be regarded as purely hypothetical. Indeed, any grading which is more than a few years old is perhaps not worth bothering with at all, particularly if there’s been a change of Head Teacher since then. Comparing the ranks of two or more schools is, therefore, largely pointless unless they were all last inspected at more or less the same time.

Perhaps a better way is not to worry about the grades too much but to talk to parents of kids already there, in particular ones at the top end of the school so you can establish if they seem to have had a good time and are leaving with the right kind of life skills. Also, talk to the Head. True, they’re going to give you the best possible spin on everything  – but at least you’ll be able to look them in the eye and ask questions and at least what they have to say will be up to date. Ofsted reports don’t offer the first of these, except through the eyes of the inspectors. More worryingly, most don’t offer the second either. In this busy world, we rely on rankings and league tables a lot: too much, perhaps. A lot of the time the Ofsted ones could be describing a school that, due the time that’s elapsed since the last inspection, in many ways no longer exists.

Extravaganza time

Hungerord Chamber of Commerce is busy putting the finishing touches to plans for the Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza on Friday 9 December. The event is funded by donations from local businesses and grants from Greenham Trust, Hungerford Town Council and Hungerford Town & Manor. “Due to the cost of living crisis and the extra energy costs businesses are facing at the moment,” explains Chamber Chair Karen Salmon, “the committee has decided not to include fireworks this year as they have shot up (excuse the pun) in price. But there will be plenty of other festive entertainment in this 30th Extravaganza, including a new Santa’s grotto, Christmas horse-drawn carriage rides and the return of more steam engines. And we are very excited to see everyone dressed up on the night for our Victorian Costume competition.”

Whether you’re in a chimney sweep outfit or glad rags, go to the Town Hall steps for judging at 6pm. The categories are: Best Couple, Best Adult, Best Family and Best Child. Prizes will be donated by Hungerford Legal & Financial Centre and all entrants will be invited to join the Parade at 7.30pm which this year promises to be more spectacular than ever.

Festivities will kick off at 5pm with a Christmas street fair of stalls, Santa’s grotto, Victorian carol singers, steam engines, Christmas fairy on stilts, festive food and drinks, big wheel and fairground rides and games for the little ones. 

For more information including parking and road closure please visit hungerfordextravaganza.com

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Please click here to find out more.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 3 Dec The Trembling Wilburys (Travelling Wilburys tribute band), The Croft Hall

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning, first Saturday each month. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club There are application forms at Hungerford  Youth & Community Centre (next to the Leisure Centre) or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the HYCC’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page. One regular group is the English Language Café at Hungerford Library on the first Friday of the month from 5pm to 6.30pm. For more information, please contact the library on 01488 682660 hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 7 November) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning maters; the Upper Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; road signage; speeding; financial matters; the community wildlife project; and the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 September and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 24 November 2022

This week we cover the Christmas lights, a repair café, dredging the Kintbury Players and last call for the skatepark consultation. We also explain some changes at Redwood House (and issue an appeal for volunteers) and provide a reminder about the ongoing town-centre strategy. And, as ever, there’s our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

Hungerford Environmental Action Team would love some help with hedge planting this Saturday 26 November. Meet at 9:30am at Marsh Lane Gate, RG17 OQN. FREE cakes and breakfast baps will be provided. Following the planting of  Lockdown Wood on Town and Manor of Hungerford land, they are planting 420 Woodland Trust new hedge saplings alongside and they could really use your help. You will need a spade or fork, sturdy shoes and gloves (preferably waterproof). Please bring your own drinks.

• Hungerford Town Council invite everyone to the Hungerford Christmas Lights Switch On on Sunday 27 November with entertainment from 4pm and the lights switch on at 5pm. Performers include The Hungerford Town Band, Hungerford Primary School Choir, Abby Cleary and Hungerford Community Theatre.

Kintbury Players present The Don Henry Show (sponsored by Dentifix) at Coronation Hall on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 November. Donald Henry, seasoned comic broadcaster and his crew are in Kintbury to record their last radio series before the Christmas break, but all is not well. Don has a reputation for tight fistedness and the rest of cast are expecting a pay rise… Inspired by the classic broadcasts of the Jack Benny show in 1940s America, this is a series of comedy vignettes set firmly on this side of the Atlantic.

• Hungerford Repair Café opened its doors again last Saturday 19 November in the Croft Hall to help visitors with their broken or worn items in an enjoyable and social setting. There were a variety of things to mend including a teddy bear that had lost an ear, a coffee grinder and a sewing machine. Volunteer fixers helped to repair over 80% of the items brought in, keeping about 83 kg of waste out of landfill or other recycling facilities. One visitor commented “Wonderful, thank you so much, everyone is so helpful.” The next Repair Café will be held on Saturday 28 January 2023 in the Croft Hall in Hungerford.

Quick reminder from Citizen’s Advice on how to shop savvy and stay safe online this Black Friday (25 November) and Cyber Monday (28 November). Remember, if an offer is too good to be true, it’s probably not true…

• Do you know anyone who goes that extra mile? Please nominate them for the West Berks Community Champion Awards. The categories are Community Group of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, The Pat Eastop Junior Citizen of the Year Award and Volunteer of the Year. The deadline is Monday 2 January 2022.

The new cost of living support hub on West Berkshire Council website explains the different types of support available if you are struggling with rising living costs and are concerned about paying your household bills.

 Chilton Foliat Primary School is holding a Christmas Fair from 3.20pm on Friday 2 December to raise funds for the school and are looking for any unwanted teddies/soft toys to donate for a teddy tombola stall or any children’s books in good used condition that you could donate for a book. Please contact Rachel Gear on Facebook.

 Hungerford Youth and Community Centre is pleased to be offering a winter holiday youth club from 21 to 23 December with lots of activities for young people to enjoy, sport in mind, Christmas crafts and baking, Christmas movie day with Christmas cookie and Christmas lunch on the 23rd. All free for all young people in receipt of Free School Meals or £8 per child per day non FSMCard payments accepted/paypal or cash. Please complete consent form here.

• Hungerford Town Football Club Crusaders Bar & Members Lounge will be showing every England game during the World Cup. Drinks and food available from the snack shack.

The new cost of living support hub on West Berkshire Council website explains the different types of support available if you are struggling with rising living costs and are concerned about paying your household bills.

• Hungerford Chamber of Commerce is busying finalising plans for the 30th Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza on Friday 9 December. Quick reminder that there will be a Victorian costume competition so get your fancy dress out!

• Hungerford Summer Festival are holding their AGM on Tuesday 6 December at 7pm in the John Newton Room at The Croft Hall. All are welcome to review the achievements of 2022 and look forward to 2023. For more details please contact Caroline Lumley on c.lumley@btinternet.com

• Local javelin thrower and Olympic hopeful Ben East is looking for sponsorship to help cover the cost of his travel, training equipment, sport clothing, physiotherapy. This will have a big impact on Ben’s ability to train and compete in the next season and beyond. For more information please contact Ben’s Mum Jenny on 07759 922 038 or jen.east@hotmail.co.uk.

• There will be dredging work on the Kennet & Avon Canal between Marsh Lock and Hungerford Lock until Friday 16 December. The dredgings will be unloaded below Marsh Lock and lorries will take it away along Marsh Lane between 8am and 6pm. The work is being done on behalf of the Canal and River Trust by Land & Water Services. Any questions can be directed to Tom Puttock on tom.puttock@land-water.co.uk.

A new skate park is planned to replace the existing one, hopefully next year subject to funding. This is a very exciting project for the town and will be a modern facility suitable for bikes, skateboards and scooters and for users of all ages and abilities. Please click here to view the new designs and submit your feedback by 1 December 2022.

Chilton Foliat Primary School has a vacancy for a EYFS and KS1 class teacher at Chilton Foliat Primary School. See here for details.

The NHS vaccination service is now in Hungerford Hub and Library from 9am – 5pm every Monday until Christmas. From 21 November, this will be a walk-in only service and only the Autumn booster vaccination will be available. For queries and to book at other locations please go to www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination or call 119.

Festive news from Hungerford Bookshop includes a chance to meet presenter Robin Ince from The Infinite Monkey Cage and a Christmas shopping event with a difference on Saturday 3 December. See here for details.

• Quick reminder about  warm spaces where everyone is welcome to spend time and enjoy free refreshments in Hungerford and surrounding areas.  See here for details.

Hungerford Town Council has two councillors vacancies. Councillors are elected for a period of four years: the last one was in May 2019 so the next is due in May 2023. If you are passionate about local issues email to admin@hungerford.tc.gov.uk or phone Claire Barnes on 01488 656195.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• Here is information about more support available to get you through the Cost of Living crisis, including tips on how to reduce your home energy bills. And please watch out for any scams that ask you to click to apply for energy rebates – they all happen automatically.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Click here for the latest diary from Richard Hawthorne, Head Teacher at John O’Gaunt School.

Christmas

Instead of lunch in the Church Hall on Christmas Day, this year the Methodists are planning to deliver some Christmas treats and chat by phone, to make Christmas Day special for those who are alone or in difficulty. See more details here. Please contact them by 10 December if you would like to take part as a helper or guest.

Sun 27 Nov Christmas Lights Switch-on at 5pm, entertainment from 4pm.

Sat 3 Dec Christmas Fair, 11am to 3pm at Audley Inglewood.

Sat 3 Dec Christmas shopping evening at Hungerford Bookshop.

Sat 3 Dec Cantemus Christmas concert, Shalbourne.

Sun 4 Dec Winter Craft Fair at the British Legion from 11 am to 4pm. Stalls will include a variety of Christmas gift options, with  a selection of handmade crafts on offer. Entry is 50p per adult, with under 14s free. Sellers must set up by 10am and will be charged £5 per stall.

Wed 7 Dec Free Christmas party for under 4s to celebrate Music with Mummy returning to Hungerford on Wednesday 7 December from 10.30am to 11.00am. With singing, dancing and lots of Christmas fun at the Hungerford Youth and Community Centre. Bring your Teddy Bear along. If you are interested then please fill out the registration form or email alimusicwithmummy@gmail

Fri 9 Dec Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza.

• Sun 11 Dec Mayor’s Carol Service St Lawrence’s Church, Hungerford

Sun 11 Dec Kintbury Food & Artisan Fayre 10am to 2pm, Kintbury Jubilee Centre.

Sun 18 Dec Santa Fun Run hosted by Hungerford Rotary.

Café volunteers

Since the cafeteria at Redwood House closed earlier this year, The Fair Close Centre kitchen in Newbury has come forward to fill the gap and make sure that the elderly residents get a nutritious hot lunch during the week. From Monday to Thursday they drive the prepared meals in special containers to be served from the kitchen at Redwood House.

“We are delighted to be offering this service of bringing outstanding value nutritious two-course hot lunches to the residents of Redwood House,” explains Fair Close CEO James Wilcox. “We are currently serving 20 diners each day and we have the capacity to go up to 30. This is aimed at over sixties be they residents at Redwood House or member of the wider community. But we just need some volunteer help with serving and clearing tables. Many of the residents are lonely and isolated so this is an important contact for them during their day. So we are looking for volunteers with an empathy for vulnerable older people taking delight in good food and the company of others.”

Two volunteers with are needed to support the lunchtime service Monday to Thursday for approximately two and a half hours hours from 11.30am until 2pm. Tasks include receiving hot food delivered from Fair Close Centre, probing hot food and keeping a temperature log, placing trays into the Bain Marie, checking in customers & taking payment (many are on account), clearing tables and serving tea & coffee, using the commercial dish washer and leaving the restaurant space clean and tidy

All volunteers will be DBS checked and required to complete online Level 1 Food Hygiene. The volunteer team receive support and safeguarding training from Fair Close management. If you can help or would like to find out more please contact Louise on 07496 587904.

A town-centre strategy for Hungerford

As mentioned last week, in 2021, West Berkshire Council conduced what it termed a “masterplan” for Newbury town centre which produced a high level of engagement and a number of useful results, many of which are being acted upon. The word “masterplan” was perhaps unfortunate, as this is a term with a specific meaning in planning terms. This exercise was not a planning one but rather a means of identifying issues and suggesting solutions. These might include a large number of interventions, some quite light-touch, ranging from marketing support to better signposting.

A similar exercise, now rebranded a place-making strategy”, is now under way in Hungerford and you can read more here (similar work is also being done in Thatcham as part of the same project).

As the above-mentioned article stresses, when the time comes for the consultation it’s important that as many people as possible have their say. The more engagement there has been, the more any funding bodies, including government departments, will be encouraged to make grants available to support the projects or interventions which the exercise has identified.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Please click here to find out more.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 26 Nov Otis Cannelloni at The Hungerford Comedy Club The Croft Hall.

• Sat 3 Dec The Trembling Wilburys (Travelling Wilburys tribute band), The Croft Hall

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning, first Saturday each month. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club There are application forms at Hungerford  Youth & Community Centre (next to the Leisure Centre) or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the HYCC’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page. One regular group is the English Language Café at Hungerford Library on the first Friday of the month from 5pm to 6.30pm. For more information, please contact the library on 01488 682660 hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 7 November) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning maters; the Upper Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; road signage; speeding; financial matters; the community wildlife project; and the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 September and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 17 November 2022

This week we cover dredging, mental health, lantern-making, the skate-park consultation, a quiz night, warm spaces and two councillor vacancies. We also take a closer look at HAHA caught in the crossfire, the next steps at Chestnut Walk and the perennial problem of the town’s pigeons. And, as ever, there’s our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• Several hundred people witnessed a very emotional and respectful Remembrance Day service at the Hungerford’s War Memorial on Sunday 13 November. The High Street was lined with onlookers as The Parade from the Town Hall was led by Hungerford RBL President Lt Col Miles Cook, a recently retired Royal Marine Officer, who was born and brought up in Hungerford. See here for full story and photo gallery from Lee Sainsbury.

• Hungerford’s next Repair Café is this Saturday 19 November from 10am – 12:30pm in the Croft Hall in Hungerford. They will help fix your broken electrical goods, repair toys and furniture, sharpen tools and help mend clothing. Repairs and refreshments are free as we rely solely on donations from grateful members of the public to help cover our costs. If you would like to volunteer to help as a fixer or in any other capacity, please contact us using the details on our web page

• Hungerford Chamber of Commerce is busying finalising plans for the 30th Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza on Friday 9 December. If you fancy carrying a lantern in the festive parade, drop into the lantern-making workshop this Sunday 20 November from 2pm to 6pm at The Croft Field Centre. All materials will be provided – all you have to do is dress for mess.

• Hungerford Summer Festival are holding their AGM on Tuesday 6 December at 7pm in the John Newton Room at The Croft Hall. All are welcome to review the achievements of 2022 and look forward to 2023. For more details please contact Caroline Lumley on c.lumley@btinternet.com

The Christmas shopping season is upon us and with current economic and environmental news foremost in many minds it makes sense to shop local in 2022. Shopping local reduces carbon footprint and supports community businesses and high streets. Hungerford high street is certainly worth a visit with a wonderful selection of shops, cafes and restaurants. Among them is the success story that is the Curve Gift Shop. Celebrating its one year anniversary this November, the Curve Gift Shop is located off the foyer of the Hungerford Library building known as the Hungerford Hub and has actually raised £1,800 for the hub in its first year of trading. See more here.

• Local javelin thrower and Olympic hopeful Ben East is looking for sponsorship to help cover the cost of his travel, training equipment, sport clothing, physiotherapy. This will have a big impact on Ben’s ability to train and compete in the next season and beyond. For more information please contact Ben’s Mum Jenny on 07759 922 038 or jen.east@hotmail.co.uk.

Instead of lunch in the Church Hall on Christmas Day, this year the Methodists are planning to deliver some Christmas treats and chat by phone, to make Christmas Day special for those who are alone or in difficulty. See more details here. Please contact them by 10 December if you would like to take part as a helper or guest.

• There will be dredging work on the Kennet & Avon Canal between Marsh Lock and Hungerford Lock between Tuesday 22 November and Friday 16 December. The dredgings will be unloaded below Marsh Lock and lorries will take it away along Marsh Lane between 8am and 6pm. The work is being done on behalf of the Canal and River Trust by Land & Water Services. Any questions can be directed to Tom Puttock on tom.puttock@land-water.co.uk.

A new skate park is planned to replace the existing one, hopefully next year subject to funding. This is a very exciting project for the town and will be a modern facility suitable for bikes, skateboards and scooters and for users of all ages and abilities. Please click here to view the new designs and submit your feedback by 1 December 2022.

Hungerford Surgery is keen to highlight a new resource for young people with a mental health concern. Time to Talk West Berkshire offer online SilverCloud modules for young people to promote self-management, covering various topics such as stress, low mood, anxiety, body image.They also have online modules for parents – providing advice on how to support children and teenagers struggling with anxiety. Everyone using the programme will have an individual Time-to-Talk Supporter for guidance – who will support them through the programme and check in with them regularly.Individuals can sign up to this service themselves, using the link online here.

• After the success of their “HEAT your home without costing the earth” Home Energy show in September, Hungerford Environmental Action Team is hosting a free Heat-pump information vvening on Tuesday 22 November at 7pm in Hungerford Hub & Library. Most of us are very familiar with central heating systems with radiators in our rooms, usually with a gas or oil-burning boiler providing the heat source. The problem with this approach is the “burning” part – by burning fossil fuel, homes release a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which adds to global heating. We’ve had Air Source Heat Pumps in our homes all our lives in the form of a fridge and now this technology is being adapted to heat homes. For more details please see here.
• Hungerford Town Football Club has its last Pie, Chips and Quiz Night before Christmas on Thursday 24 November at 7pm. Teams up to 6 persons at £10 per person, Book early to avoid disappointment on 01488 760088.

Kintbury Players present The Don Henry Show (sponsored by Dentifix) with performances at 7.30pm from Thursday 24 to Saturday 26 November at Coronation Hall in Kintbury. Donald Henry, seasoned comic broadcaster and his crew are in Kintbury to record their last radio series before the Christmas break, but all is not well. Don has a reputation for tight fistedness and the rest of cast are expecting a pay rise… Inspired by the classic broadcasts of the Jack Benny show in 1940s America, this is a series of comedy vignettes set firmly on this side of the Atlantic.

Chilton Foliat Primary School has a vacancy for a EYFS and KS1 class teacher at Chilton Foliat Primary School. See here for details.

The NHS vaccination service is now inHungerford Hub and Library from 9am – 5pm every Monday until Christmas. From 21 November, this will be a walk-in only service and only the Autumn booster vaccination will be available. For queries and to book at other locations please go to www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination or call 119.

Festive news from Hungerford Bookshop includes a chance to meet presenter Robin Ince from The Infinite Monkey Cage and a Christmas shopping event with a difference on Saturday 3 December. See here for details.

Quick reminder there will be free bus travel starting in West Berkshire (and the return journey if going beyond the West Berkshire border) all day on several allocated days in November and December. As well as being able to get around West Berkshire, free bus travel is available to Reading, Basingstoke and Swindon. For more information click here. As part of this scheme West Berks Council is offering a Free Christmas Shopper Bus Service for villages, including Hungerford Newtown, that don’t have a public bus service on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas, starting Saturday 19 November. To book your seat and request a shopping destination of your choice, please contact 01635 551111 or email transport@westberks.gov.uk. See here for more details.

There is a lot of hype these days around Black Friday (25 November) and Cyber Monday (28 November). When it comes to shopping online, it’s tempting to grab a ‘good deal’ but it is also a great opportunity for scammers to take advantage of customers looking for a bargain. Please see these reminders from Citizen’s Advice on how to shop savvy and stay safe online. Remember, if an offer is too good to be true, it’s probably not true…

• Volunteers are requested to help plant hedge saplings at Lockdown Wood  on Saturday 26 November meeting at 9.30 am at Marsh Lane Gate. Please bring your own hot drinks, bacon and halloumi butties will be provided. Please wear boots and  gloves (preferably water-proof). The next planting date for new hedge saplings is planned for Saturday 26 November meeting at Marsh Lane Gate again at 9.30 am. For more details please contact

• Quick reminder about Hungerford Churches’s warm spaces where everyone is welcome to meet and spend time. This is the current schedule: St Lawrence’s Church every Tuesday 2.30 to 3.30pm, United Reformed Church in the High Street every Wednesday 10am to noon, Our Lady of Lourdes in Priory Road 1st Saturday monthly 10 to 11.45am, Methodist Church in Bridge Street every Sunday noon to 4pm. Each church would love to hear from anyone who is able to help serve refreshments, chat etc. Hungerford Library also welcomes anyone looking for a warm place with a friendly smile to visit. See here for other Warm Spaces in our local area.

Hungerford Town Council has two councillors vacancies. Councillors are elected for a period of four years: the last one was in May 2019 so the next is due in May 2023. If you are passionate about local issues email to admin@hungerford.tc.gov.uk or phone Claire Barnes on 01488 656195.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• Here is information about more support available to get you through the Cost of Living crisis, including tips on how to reduce your home energy bills. And please watch out for any scams that ask you to click to apply for energy rebates – they all happen automatically.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Click here for the latest diary from Richard Hawthorne, Head Teacher at John O’Gaunt School.

Christmas

Sat 20 Nov Winter Craft Fair at the British Legion from 11 am to 4pm. Stalls will include a variety of Christmas gift options, with  a selection of handmade crafts on offer. Entry is 50p per adult, with under 14s free. Sellers must set up by 10am and will be charged £5 per stall.

Sun 27 Nov Christmas Lights Switch-on at 5pm, entertainment from 4pm.

Sat 3 Dec Christmas Fair, 11am to 3pm at Audley Inglewood.

Sat 3 Dec Christmas shopping evening at Hungerford Bookshop

Sun 4 Dec Winter Craft Fair at the British Legion from 11 am to 4pm. Stalls will include a variety of Christmas gift options, with  a selection of handmade crafts on offer. Entry is 50p per adult, with under 14s free. Sellers must set up by 10am and will be charged £5 per stall.

Wed 7 Dec Free Christmas party for under 4 yrs to celebrate Music with Mummy returning to Hungerford on Wednesday 7 December from 10.30am to 11.00am. With singing, dancing and lots of Christmas fun at the Hungerford Youth and Community Centre. Bring your Teddy Bear along. If you are interested then please fill out the registration form or email alimusicwithmummy@gmail

Fri 9 Dec Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza.

• Sun 11 Dec Mayor’s Carol Service St Lawrence’s Church, Hungerford

Sun 11 Dec Kintbury Food & Artisan Fayre 10am to 2pm, Kintbury Jubilee Centre.

Sun 18 Dec Hungerford Rotary Santa Fun Run.

An allotment lease, no laughs at HAHA and an emerging plan

For some years, the Hungerford Allotment Holders Association (HAHA) has been at the mercy of plans by the landowners, Norgate Homes, to develop a separate nearby site in Hungerford which it also owns. HAHA, and HTC, have always wanted to have a long lease on the Marsh Lane site but this has, doubtless for reasons of leverage, not been offered. There was, however, a 10-year lease on the table until it was withdrawn last month. HTC has expressed its disappointment at this development. There’s even a possibility that HAHA will have to vacate the site by the end of the year although there are hopes that, once again, some compromise can be found.

The timing of the withdrawal of the lease offer is almost certainly connected with the announcement by Hungerford’s neighbourhood development plan (H2036) team that Norgate’s other site in the town was not to be included in the plan. It’s worth stressing that although HTC is involved in the NDP, this is run by a separate team. Moreover, it needs to base its recommendations on sound planning considerations: were it not to do so, the plans would be rejected by WBC. The Norgate site (HUNG7) would not provide Hungerford’s new-home requirement, whereas the one at Salisbury Road, would. Were both to be accepted, the plan would possibly fail at referendum, as many residents might be unwilling to support a plan that allowed for about twice as many homes as the town is currently required to provide.

This might, however, be about to change. WBC’s own emerging local plan has been considerably delayed and will not now be published until 1 December. There will then follow a Regulation 19 consultation of up to seven weeks, the results of which will then need to be carefully considered before the district’s plan is sent to the Planning Inspector for examination. The new local plan may provide different housing targets for Hungerford, in which case H2036 will need to revise its current proposals. The new(-ish) government may also revise its own housing numbers, in which case WBC and Hungerford’s NDP will need to be adjusted. Several uncertainties thus await.

The H2036 team has therefore decided to put this pause to good use by conducting a second call for sites (see paragraph below for more) so as to be sure that its work reflects current realities. As a result, it may be that the recommended sites will change again. Whatever is decided will be done for sound planning reasons which can stand scrutiny by WBC, by the Planning Inspectorate (which considers neighbourhood development plans as well as as district’s local plans) and by the electorate come referendum time. It therefore needs to be in the best interestsof the town as a whole. It also needs also to demonstrate that it has been conducted as part of a community-wide exercise rather than just reflecting the needs of, or pressure from, any one interest group.

Regarding the call for sites, iIf you have already submitted details of potential sites to West Berkshire Council HELAA and there has been no change you do not need to duplicate any entries. If you haven’t, and you have a site you would like H2036 to consider, please confirm your interest by completing the application form and emailing it to claire.barnes@hungerford-tc.gov.uk ahead of our deadline of 30 December 2022. Please click here for more information and to download the form.

Pigeons

This has long been an emotive and divisive topic in the town. They cause mess and (as the Town and Manor found out last year when the Town Hall flooded as a result of pigeon droppings) damage. Retailers, who need to clean their thresholds, offer tissues to customers who’ve been dive-bombed in the streets and on occasions usher the birds out of their shops. may find their patience and tolerance is stating to wear thin. Others oppose any population control measures, particularly including culls.  The problem is that no one method has so far worked.

The problem isn’t HTC’s responsibility to deal with, although it has got involved in the matter and perhaps cannot bow extricate itself. The Public Protection Partnership deals with “environmental health, licensing and trading standards across Bracknell Forest Council and West Berkshire Council” and so, if the matters becomes a hazard to public health (as many claim it is), it will need to get involved. However, the PPP is not responsible for pest-control matters. Its role of PPP is that of enforcement: and the control of pests (including pigeons) rests with property owners, although the PPP is able to provide advice. Advice has in the past been offered and various measures introduced. The situation thus has plenty of possibilities for buck-passing.

However, as a glance at the top of the High Street building will confirm, virtually every roof is different and any given one might demand a quite different solution from its neighbours. Also, if some property owners do nothing then the efforts of the others are to some extent negated – if there are still a sufficient number of places for them to roost then they will remain the pests that many see them to be.

On 16 November, HTC issued a statement to clarity its position on the matter.

“HTC has been proactive instructing a pest control company to report on where improvements can be made to pigeon-proof properties in the town. This involves non-lethal methods such as installing netting, spikes and gel pots to discourage pigeons from roosting and breeding, keeping numbers under control and our buildings and footways free of mess.

“Contrary to some posts on social media, no cull has been instructed. We wish to encourage all property owners to take action to ensure their properties do not become a breeding ground. We would ask everyone to be vigilant and dispose of all food waste properly and not to feed the pigeons in the High Street. To be successful, we all need to work together.”

Walking the walk

As we’ve reported in this column on many occasions, the re-development of the former care home in Chestnut Walk (which closed in 2017) is being run as a joint venture between WBC and Sovereign Housing. This will also involve the re-development of Phoenix Court in Newbury, for which approval has recently been granted. This has been proceeding with agonising slowness: now, however, it appears that the end might be in sight.

WBC has, as mentioned before, recognised the need to use these as exemplar developments, not only for the benefit of the eventual tenants but also to demonstrate that it is leading from the front in dealing with the climate emergency. This policy is to be welcomed. I understand that final discussions are currently taking place between the partners. It’s expected that a definite announcement as to the specifications of the construction, including the various sustainable features, will be made in January. As soon as we have the details of this we’ll be covering it here.

The matter raises, once again, the question of the best way that badly-needed affordable and social-rent homes can be provided for the district given that the private sector appears to be unable to accomplish this. A joint venture between the council and a major local housing association has some benefits although it appears that speed of action is not one of them. Something more streamlined is needed to avoid five-year delays like this. Indeed, we’ll probably be into the sixth year at Chestnut Walk before a spade is put in the ground and perhaps the seventh before the first tenants move in.

A town-centre strategy for Hungerford

Last year, West Berkshire Council conduced what it termed a “masterplan” for Newbury town centre which produced a high level of engagement and a number of useful results, many of which are being acted upon. The word “masterplan” was perhaps unfortunate, as this is a term with a specific meaning in planning terms. This exercise was not a planning one but rather a means of identifying issues and suggesting solutions. These might include a large number of interventions, some quite light-touch, ranging from marketing support to better signposting.

A similar exercise, now rebranded a place-making strategy”, is now under way in Hungerford and you can read more here (similar work is also being done in Thatcham as part of the same project). The same consultants who created the Newbury will be working on both of these.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Please click here to find out more.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Tue 22 Nov Heat Pump information evening, Hungerford Hub & Library

Sat 26 Nov Otis Cannelloni at The Hungerford Comedy Club The Croft Hall.

• Sat 3 Dec The Trembling Wilburys (Travelling Wilburys tribute band), The Croft Hall

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning, first Saturday each month. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club There are application forms at Hungerford  Youth & Community Centre (next to the Leisure Centre) or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the HYCC’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page. One regular group is the English Language Café at Hungerford Library on the first Friday of the month from 5pm to 6.30pm. For more information, please contact the library on 01488 682660 hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 7 November) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning maters; the Upper Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; road signage; speeding; financial matters; the community wildlife project; and the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 September and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 10 November 2022

This week we look at another accolade at the Nursery, heat pumps, a charity dance, warm spaces and a repair café. We also congratulate the Hub on hosing a couple of recent informative events, offer a link to the latest Penny Post Hungerford e-newsletter in case you missed it and consider some arboreal work that’s being done in the Savernake. We also draw your attention to Hungerford’s on-going place-making strategy which will offer an opportunity to provide evidence to support funding bids. And, as ever, there’s our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

•  Hungerford Nursery School has been awarded yet another accolade, on this occasion for its learning outside the classroom provision.

• A new seesaw is being installed at the Bulpit Lane playpark. Following installation, a new surface is being laid this week.  It is advised that the seesaw is not used until this work is completed.

• There will be a brief Remembrance Service on Friday 11 November at the War Memorial and St Lawrence Church bells will be ringing from 11.15 to about noon, half-muffled as befitting the occasion. They will be ringing a sequence of changes composed by a ringer while serving in the trenches. Sgt AP Wakley of the North Staffordshire Regiment. On Sunday the High Street will be closed from 10.30am to 11.45am for the Remembrance Parade that starts at the Town Hall and goes down to the War Memorial for the full Remembrance Service and wreath laying. Anyone is welcome to lay a wreath.

• Quick reminder about the Charity Dance Night this Friday 11 November in The Croft Hall. Come and enjoy music from The 41 Degrees (a fantastic 18 piece Big Band), dancing, drinks and nibbles (welcome drinks and nibbles included in ticket price!) Tickets just £8 – see how to book here in aid of Action Through Enterprise, a locally based charity in Ramsbury and Hungerford that is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary of supporting communities in remote upper north west Ghana.

Latest news from the independent shops and businesses in town includes clarification from Hungerford Coin & Stamp Centre on which stamps will be valid from January 2023, lovely range of Christmas cards and gifts at Inklings, white burgundy recommendation from GrapeSmith at Barr’s Yard and hedeghog houses at Howard’s Pet Care. Our local shops need our support – we don’t want to lose any more from the High Street.

Great news for bus users. Following on from successful free bus travel last Christmas, this Easter and for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, bus journeys starting in West Berkshire, and the return journey if going beyond the West Berkshire border, will be free all day on several allocated days in November and December. As well as being able to get around West Berkshire, free bus travel is available to Reading, Basingstoke and Swindon. For more information click here. As part of this scheme West Berks Council is offering a Free Christmas Shopper Bus Service for villages, including Hungerford Newtown, that don’t have a public bus service on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas, starting Saturday 19 November. To book your seat and request a shopping destination of your choice, please contact 01635 551111 or email transport@westberks.gov.uk. See here for more details.

• After the success of their “HEAT your home without costing the earth” Home Energy show in September, Hungerford Environmental Action Team is hosting a free Heat-pump information vvening on Tuesday 22 November at 7pm in Hungerford Hub & Library. Most of us are very familiar with central heating systems with radiators in our rooms, usually with a gas or oil-burning boiler providing the heat source. The problem with this approach is the “burning” part – by burning fossil fuel, homes release a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which adds to global heating. We’ve had Air Source Heat Pumps in our homes all our lives in the form of a fridge and now this technology is being adapted to heat homes. For more details please see here.

• Volunteers are requested to help plant hedge saplings at Lockdown Wood  on Saturday 26 November meeting at 9.30 am at Marsh Lane Gate. Please bring your own hot drinks, snacks will be provided. Please wear boots and  gloves (preferably water-proof). The next planting date for new hedge saplings is planned for Saturday 26 November meeting at Marsh Lane Gate again at 9.30 am. For more details please contact

• Quick reminder about Hungerford Churches’s warm spaces where everyone is welcome to meet and spend time. This is the current schedule: St Lawrence’s Church every Tuesday 2.30 to 3.30pm, United Reformed Church in the High Street every Wednesday 10am to noon, Our Lady of Lourdes in Priory Road 1st Saturday monthly 10 to 11.45am, Methodist Church in Bridge Street every Sunday noon to 4pm. Each church would love to hear from anyone who is able to help serve refreshments, chat etc. Hungerford Library also welcomes anyone looking for a warm place with a friendly smile to visit. See here for other Warm Spaces in our local area.

Hungerford Town Council has two councillors vacancies. Councillors are elected for a period of four years: the last one was in May 2019 so the next is due in May 2023. If you are passionate about local issues email to admin@hungerford.tc.gov.uk or phone Claire Barnes on 01488 656195.

• The next Hungerford Repair Cafe is on Saturday 19 November in The Croft Hall – a great opportunity to get your stuff fixed by clever volunteers.

So week two into the new food waste collection scheme and we forgot that the food caddy was collected weekly so we didn’t put it out…hope you did better than us. Luckily we have a home compost as well so a lot can go into that.  Quick reminder that you don’t have to put your food waste in the green bags (it can go straight in the caddy which is easy to rinse out) and the lovefoodhatewaste.com website has great ideas about how you can reduce food waste.

• Do you know anyone who would like an opportunity to practise speaking English? They are very welcome at the new English Language Café at Hungerford Library on the first Friday of the month from 5pm to 6.30pm. For more information, please contact the library on 01488 682660 hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• Here is information about more support available to get you through the Cost of Living crisis, including tips on how to reduce your home energy bills. And please watch out for any scams that ask you to click to apply for energy rebates – they all happen automatically.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Click here for the latest diary from Richard Hawthorne, Head Teacher at John O’Gaunt School.

Christmas

Sat 20 Nov Winter Craft Fair at the British Legion from 11 am to 4pm. Stalls will include a variety of Christmas gift options, with  a selection of handmade crafts on offer. Entry is 50p per adult, with under 14s free. Sellers must set up by 10am and will be charged £5 per stall.

Sun 27 Nov Christmas Lights Switch-on at 5pm, entertainment from 4pm.

Sat 3 Nov Christmas Fair, 11am to 3pm at Audley Inglewood.

Sat 3 Dec Christmas shopping evening at Hungerford Bookshop

Sat 4 Dec Winter Craft Fair at the British Legion from 11 am to 4pm. Stalls will include a variety of Christmas gift options, with  a selection of handmade crafts on offer. Entry is 50p per adult, with under 14s free. Sellers must set up by 10am and will be charged £5 per stall.

Wed 7 Dec Free Christmas party for under 4 yrs to celebrate Music with Mummy returning to Hungerford on Wednesday 7 December from 10.30am to 11.00am. With singing, dancing and lots of Christmas fun at the Hungerford Youth and Community Centre. Bring your Teddy Bear along. If you are interested then please fill out the registration form or email alimusicwithmummy@gmail

Fri 9 Dec Hungerford Victorian Extravaganza.

Sun 18 Dec Santa Fun Run organised by Hungerford Rotary.

Three cheers for the Hub

In these challenging times, it’s very good that we be exposed to new ideas. Many long-held economic, political and environmental certainties now need to be challenged. Arriving at new solutions, or at least being aware of what the possible alternatives are even if we do not agree with them, is a vital part of this process. Sometimes these might challenge or threaten what we hold to be true. All the more reason, perhaps, to test our resolve by exposing ourselves to differing opinions.

How refreshing, therefore, that the excellent Hungerford Hub recently hosted two events from the controversial group Just Stop Oil, the second of which was given by its founder, Roger Hallam. Not everyone agrees with JSO’s views. Some deny that the events should have been allowed to take place at all. The latter objection seems specious to me. After all, if the content is as self-evidently wrong as some pretend, surely the speakers will condemn themselves out of their own mouths? There are a number of events that take place every day with which I don’t agree. My solution is not to attend them. In any event, whatever my reaction, the issue that’s being discussed isn’t going to go away just because I choose to ignore it.

The Hungerford Hub was set up as a means of providing the town with an independent venue for its library, following the draconian cuts proposed in the the mid-2010s. It has been a great success and the Trustees are to be praised for this. It’s a place which provides more than just a library service to people in and around Hungerford but also somewhere where a wide range of events and activities take place which are of interest and/or of importance to the local community. Climate-change is of interest, and certainly of importance, to us all. JSO is in the news. Our views of the organisation are often received through the very imperfect filter of the national media or the government. How excellent, therefore, for local people to have had the opportunity to listen to members of the organisation first-hand, not once but twice, and then decide for themselves.

The Hungerford Hub is to be congratulated for enabling such events to happen. Hopefully this policy of mixing challenging events with milder ones will continue. There is, and should be, something for everyone there. I trust that nothing will happen which will cause this excellent and inclusive organisation – which exists to serve everyone in the town – to decide only to host events which avoid discussing inconvenient truths, controversial issues or ones which refrain from examining why other people’s views on important matters might differ from our own. I’m sure we can rely on that.

If you weren’t able to make either of the two talks, click here to see an article that links to the first talk on 26 October (which also includes a reference to an excellent video by Stephen Fry on the subject, which I thoroughly advise watching); and click here to see a video of the second one on 5 November given by Roger Hallam.

If you want to contact the Hungerford Hub in order to express your views about what kind of events it should be holding, click here to visit the Hub’s web page.

Penny Post Hungerford

Each month, as many of you in the town know, we publish a newsletter covering as many aspects of life in Hungerford as we can. 8 November was the publication for the most recent issue and, as usual, it’s packed with news, features, reports from local organisations, environmental updates, jobs, property and much else besides.

If you didn’t receive it, you can click here to read it.

A town-centre strategy for Hungerford

Last year, West Berkshire Council conduced what it termed a “masterplan” for Newbury town centre which produced a high level of engagement and a number of useful results, many of which are being acted upon. The word “masterplan” was perhaps unfortunate, as this is a term with a specific meaning in planning terms. This exercise was not a planning one but rather a means of identifying issues and suggesting solutions. These might include a large number of interventions, some quite light-touch, ranging from marketing support to better signposting.

A similar exercise, now rebranded a place-making strategy”, is now under way in Hungerford and you can read more here (similar work is also being done in Thatcham as part of the same project). The same consultants who worked on the Newbury will be working on both of these.

Hang on – surely WBC and the respective town councils and groups like the chambers of commerce know what needs improving in their towns? Isn’t it just a question of writing a wish list, looking around for some grants and then cracking on?

Not quite. It’s true that the bodies mentioned probably have a pretty good idea of the main issues. It’s also true that there are plenty of grant providers, both governmental and private, which can fund this kind of regeneration work. However, all will require a solid evidence-base for what’s being proposed. One of the main pieces of evidence required will be proof that the work has included a strong level of community engagement.

This makes sense, as otherwise the projects could turn into municipal vanity projects (and there are already enough of those around the country). Convening meetings and consultations, collating and analysing the results, identifying possibly solutions and gathering all the material together in a way which will be clear to residents and councils and evidentially acceptable to anyone minded to grant money is a task that is probably beyond the time or experience of local councils at any level, most of whom are over-worked enough as it is. There’s also much to be said for coming to the project with experience of similar ones but also a fresh eye as regards the particular issues of that town. So, this is where the consultants come in.

There’s another aspect to the matter of community engagement. It isn’t just a case of hitting a bare minimum of responses that might be acceptable. The more engagement there is – and this can generally best be measured by the number of people who respond to the main consultation – the more prospective grant donors will see that the plans truly enjoy local support and thus the keener they’ll be to support them.

In antiquity, people would make sacrifices to their gods: the more meat was thrown on the fire, the more likely the gods were to do what was asked of them. I wouldn’t want to stretch the comparison between the Ancient Greek deities and 21st-century grant providers too far. However, have specific ways by which they like to be approached by supplicants; both are attributed with transformative powers. No fires or meat are required these days, of course, which also makes the process more environmentally acceptable.

Work in the forest

Many thanks to Froxfield Parish Council which has shared with me an email  from the Forestry Commission under the heading “Upcoming forestry works in Savernake Forest.” Please see the Marlborough Area Weekly News column for the full story.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Please click here to find out more.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 11 Nov Charity Dance Night, The Croft Hall.

• Sat 12 Nov Shalbourne Craft and Gift Fair, Shalbourne Village Hall 10am to 4pm

• Sat 12 Nov Music Quiz, British Legion. All welcome.

Tue 22 Nov Heat Pump information evening, Hungerford Hub & Library

Sat 26 Nov Otis Cannelloni at The Hungerford Comedy Club The Croft Hall.

• Sat 3 Dec The Trembling Wilburys (Travelling Wilburys tribute band), The Croft Hall

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning, first Saturday each month. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club There are application forms at Hungerford  Youth & Community Centre (next to the Leisure Centre) or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the HYCC’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 7 November) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning maters; the Upper Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; road signage; speeding; financial matters; the community wildlife project; and the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 September and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 3 November 2022

This week we look at historical talk, jigsaws, firework noise, real-world caring and the Town and Manor’s cost of living grant. We also remind you for any contributions for next week’s Penny Post Hungerford monthly, e-newsletter and offer a couple of suggestions for solving the lorry problem in Park Street. We also take a close look at the recent disappointing Ofsted inspection at Inkpen Primary School and suggest that this might be better news than it seems at first glance. And, as ever, there’s our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• Hungerford Neighbourhood Policing Team is holding a Catalytic Converter Theft Awareness Event this Friday 4 November from 10am to 12pm in Tesco Car Park. In the meantime here is some advice on how to protect your vehicle from this annoying crime.

John O’Gaunt School recently opened its doors to business leaders and professionals in an innovative and exciting ‘Real World’ Careers Day for Y11 students. Leaders from a diverse and heady range of professions, generously gave their time in a variety of activities to inspire students and give them a valuable insight into the world of employment, careers opportunities, and expectations.

• It was an unusual meeting of Hungerford Historical Association on 26 October. The Corn Exchange in Hungerford Town Hall doesn’t normally have a full-sized canon at it entrance, nor does it normally have 18th Century grog and ships biscuits served to visitors. However, that is what greeted HHA members and visitors when Captain Thomas Masterman Hardy (AKA Harry Wrightson) spoke about life in H.M. Navy 200 plus years ago.

• Volunteers are requested to help with maintenance of the saplings at Lockdown Wood this Saturday 5 November meeting at 9.30 am at Marsh Lane Gate. Please bring your own hot drinks, snacks will be provided. Please wear boots and bring loppers, secateurs, gloves (preferably water-proof). The next planting date for new hedge saplings is planned for Saturday 26 November meeting at Marsh Lane Gate again at 9.30 am. For more details please contact

• In response to the cost of living crisis and the falling temperatures, Hungerford Churches are opening as designated warm spaces where everyone is welcome to meet and spend time. This is the current schedule: St Lawrence’s Church every Tuesday 2.30 to 3.30pm, United Reformed Church in the High Street every Wednesday 10am to noon, Our Lady of Lourdes in Priory Road 1st Saturday monthly 10 to 11.45am, Methodist Church in Bridge Street every Sunday noon to 4pm. Each church would love to hear from anyone who is able to help serve refreshments, chat etc. Hungerford Library also welcomes anyone looking for a warm place with a friendly smile to visit. See here for other Warm Spaces in our local area.

• On Saturday 6 November from 10am to 3pm there will be a sale of books and paintings and jigsaws at Shalbourne Village Hall in aid of Village Hall Funds. For further information contact 07564 342730.

Hungerford Town Council has two councillors vacancies. Councillors are elected for a period of four years: the last one was in May 2019 so the next is due in May 2023. If you are passionate about local issues email to admin@hungerford.tc.gov.uk or phone Claire Barnes on 01488 656195.

• The next Hungerford Repair Cafe is on Saturday 19 November in The Croft Hall – a great opportunity to get your stuff fixed by clever volunteers.

• After the success of their “HEAT your home without costing the earth” Home Energy show in September, Hungerford Environmental Action Team is hosting a free Heat Pump Information Evening on Tuesday 22 November in Hungerford Hub & Library. Most of us are very familiar with central heating systems with radiators in our rooms, usually with a gas or oil-burning boiler providing the heat source. The problem with this approach is the “burning” part – by burning fossil fuel, homes release a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which adds to global heating. We’ve had Air Source Heat Pumps in our homes all our lives in the form of a fridge and now this technology is being adapted to heat homes.
• This bonfire night, Classic FM, in partnership with the RSPCA, are doing a special radio programme on to help animals cope with firework noise. They will be playing classical music help calm and settle anxious pets on Friday 4 November and Saturday 5 November from 5 to 9pm.

We were surprised when we put out our new food caddy out this week by how full it was (largely apples, it must be said). By putting all food waste in a separate container, it becomes easier to see what foods you tend to throw away and to adjust shopping, cooking or consumption accordingly. The lovefoodhatewaste.com website has great ideas about how you can reduce food waste.  See here for a reminder of how the new collection works and why it is being introduced. You can put your caddy out every week and you don’t have to put your food waste in the green bags (it can go straight in the caddy which is easy to rinse out).

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is hosting the Kintbury’s Food and Artisan Fayre, with locally produced food, drinks and crafts and gifts for all the family, on Sunday 6 November from 10am. Free entry – see here for details.
• Local Ghana charity Action Through Enterprise invites you to their Charity Dance Night in the Croft Hall on Friday 11 November. Come and enjoy music from The 41 Degrees (a fantastic 18 piece Big Band), dancing, drinks and nibbles (welcome drinks and nibbles included in ticket price!) ATE is a locally based charity in Ramsbury and Hungerford that is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary of supporting communities in remote upper north west Ghana.

• Do you know anyone who would like an opportunity to practise speaking English? They are very welcome at the new English Language Café at Hungerford Library on the first Friday of the month from 5pm to 6.30pm. For more information, please contact the library on 01488 682660 hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Looking for some inspiration for the Christmas Season? Then check out the craft fairs at The Royal British Legion in Hungerford on Sunday November 20 and  Sunday December 4 from 10am for sellers and 11am to 4pm for viewers.. There will be a variety of stalls, including Handmade Crafts. Homemade Pies and Wreaths. entry is 50p, with under 14s free.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• Here is information about more support available to get you through the Cost of Living crisis, including tips on how to reduce your home energy bills. And please watch out for any scams that ask you to click to apply for energy rebates – they all happen automatically.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Click here for the latest diary from Richard Hawthorne, Head Teacher at John O’Gaunt School.

An inspector calls

I’ve never run or worked in a school but I imagine that, for those who do, few phrases strike more a chill that “we’re having an Ofsted inspection.” Even staff at places like the Hungerford Nursery School – which has never had anything other than an “outstanding” rating and so might have good reason to be confident each time – must view these with some foreboding. After all, when you’re at the top there’s only one way to go. There are plenty of stories of Michelin-decorated chefs who’ve driven themselves nearly insane with the pressure of not losing a star. A drop in a grade for any organisation can look like a disaster, though it could be the result of an unpeeled fava bean or an uncompleted piece of compliance paperwork.

Inspections are stressful at the best of times. There are some circumstances which might make them even more so. If the school is small, many staff may be doing more than one job and so dealing with several different issues during the visits. If the inspection is on the last couple of days of a term when staff and pupils alike are demob happy, if the Head is unable to be present for the second day of the visit or if the Head is on the point of retiring anyway, then circumstances are starting to look far from ideal. If you then add in something unfortunate, like the visit happening during two of the hottest days on record, it’s easy to see how the inspection could be more fractious and less useful than might be.

All of this perfectly describes the circumstances of the inspection at Inkpen Primary School on 19 and 20 July 2022 which resulted in the recent report downgrading it from “Good” to “Inadequate” – two rungs of the ladder. You can read the full report here.

West Berkshire Council said it was “extremely disappointed both by the outcome of the inspection and the way in which it was conducted” and feels that “the exceptional circumstances precluded a fair and objective assessment of the school being made.” It certainly seems that the inspection was conducted in a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances. Ofsted might argue that if all visits were conducted on ideal days for the school then the exercise would be largely pointless.

In fact, all this might not be quite such bad news for the school as it might appear.

The “Inadequate” grade might lead one to believe that all aspects of the school were so judged. This is not the case. Only one of the five areas (Leadership and Management) was regarded as inadequate: but, because safeguarding was involved, this had the effect of dragging the whole rating down. Even these safeguarding issues are perhaps not as serious as they might appear, being seemingly more concerned with failures in record keeping than with any actual harm, danger or neglect. In other areas, the school seems to be doing well. The pupils “enjoy learning” there and there is a “caring environment” and “warm and positive relationships” between pupils and staff. The pupils are “well mannered” and bullying is rare.

True, there are some downsides as well as the safeguarding, particularly concerning pupils with special needs, with staff training and with the teaching of certain subjects. The governing body was also felt to be “inexperienced” and so not able offer the constructive criticism that they need to. A mixed bag. Many other schools will have a similar range of judgements across all aspects of life there.

The “Inadequate” grade has some advantages. Schools that are marked in this way aren’t just left to sulk on the naughty step but are given extra support and funds from the government and the LEA. This has already started to happen, as has interaction with parents. A new Head is also in place which in such circumstances can make all the difference. Moreover, not only the Heads but also staff and parents now have a very recent and detailed assessment of what works and what does not.

Armed with this, with the fresh energy that follows the appointment of any new leader and focussed support from the LEA and the local ward members, Inkpen Primary School might actually be in a good place at the moment. In fact, the more I’ve looked into this, the more I feel that if I had children in reception (those days are long past), I might be more inclined to send them to this school than I would have been before the report was produced.

This is not to belittle the negative parts of the report. Ofsted inspectors are not idiots and they clearly saw a couple of things that spooked them. These have been identified, support is being offered and changes are being made. Isn’t that exactly how the system is meant to work?

WBC understandably remains unhappy with the “Inadequate” rating and has launched a stage 3 appeal against this, not only on the grounds of the circumstances of the inspection but also because it feels that the safeguarding concerns “have been misread, with key evidence taken out of context.” WBC has, however, been keen to stress that it is working with the school and the governors to address the content of the report as it stands.

I spoke to Ofsted on 2 November to ask if the timing of the inspection – at the end of term and with a partly-absent and about-to-retire head – was either common or ideal. A spokesperson said they couldn’t comment on this but pointed out that inspections can happen on any day when the school is open. They also drew my attention to the School Inspection Handbook which details the regulations which inspectors have to follow. Nor were they able to comment on how long an appeal might take. As to the chance of success, the Times Educational Supplement suggested (admittedly back in 2017) that although about 37% of appeals saw a complaint at least partially upheld, in virtually no cases was the grade itself changed.

All the more reason, therefore, for prospective parents to look beyond the stark headline of the overall ranking and study the report itself (Inkpen’s is only six pages). If you have any concerns, raise these with the Head. At lease we’re now all aware what Ofsted feels these concerns are, which we weren’t before, and know that all concerned are seeking to address them.

Red lorry, yellow lorry

There’s an article on p21 of this week’s NWN about the problem of lorries turning left off the High Street and into Park Street in Hungerford. The matter has been discussed several times by Hungerford Town Council, including at the most recent meeting of its Highways and Transport Committee. The article’s headline describes the lorries as “giant” but that’s a tad unfair – they’re just normal-sized lorries, that’s to say very big: too big, certainly, to make this turn with any comfort, particularly if there are any other vehicles on or near the junction. I go to Hungerford most days and when I see a pantechnicon indicating left as it goes under the railway bridge I tend to watch what happens next with a kind of morbid fascination. The day will come – and many are surprised that it hasn’t come already – when something really serious is going to happen there.

As anyone familiar with Hungerford will know, there’s a much simpler route through to the industrial park which is the lorries’ destination. This, however, involves driving the wrong way through the Tesco’s car park. It’s an option that some drivers take. This is an even more exciting prospect for an observer although nerve-wracking for anyone using the car park at the time, including, I imagine, for the lorry driver.

One obvious solution would be regularise this occasional infraction and reverse the one-way system in the car park to anti-clockwise. Tesco HQ might say that it can’t have lorries driving through its car park. My retort is that this happens anyway, and against the flow of the traffic. It should be possible to find measures to keep the lorries down to 5 or 10mph: we’re only talking about 50 yards or so. Perhaps the Town and Manor’s Bellman or a deputy could be on standby and walk in front to the lorry, ringing a bell, waving a red flag and crying “voyez, voyez!” A shame we don’t still use canals for this purpose as the Kennet and Avon runs quite close to the industrial units.

Aside from that, I’m rather out of ideas on this one. Hungerford isn’t the only place with this problem. Vehicles have grown a lot faster than have the town-centre junctions they often have to navigate.

Hungerford’s newsletter

The start of the month sees the publication of our Penny Post Hungerford e-newsletter. Tuesday 8 November is the publication date this month and the newsletter will include, as ever, a summary of the previous evening’s Hungerford Town Council meeting.

If there’s anything you’d like to see included in this, please email penny@pennypost.org.uk as soon as possible.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 5 Nov Hungerford Town Band concert, St Lawrence’s Church in aid of the church and the poppy appeal

Sat 5 Nov Saturday evening music, The Retreat, Elcot Park

Sun 6 Nov Kintbury Food & Artizan Fayre

Fri 11 Nov Charity Dance Night, Croft Hall Hungerford

Tue 22 Nov Heat Pump information evening, Hungerford Hub & Library

Sat 26 Nov Otis Cannelloni at The Hungerford Comedy Club The Croft Hall.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning, first Saturday each month. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club There are application forms at Hungerford  Youth & Community Centre (next to the Leisure Centre) or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the HYCC’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 7 November) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning maters; the Upper Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; road signage; speeding; financial matters; the community wildlife project; and the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 22 September and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 27 October 2022

This week we welcome a new Constable, appeal for volunteers, look back at a talk in the Library and celebrate tavern life. We also take a look at where matters are with regard to the social-rent housing planned for Chestnut Walk, in particular whether the best possible standards for sustainability have been achieved, and congratulate the Hungerford Youth and Community Centre for not one but two anniversaries. We also have  our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

The Town and Manor of Hungerford has a new Constable after outgoing Constable Peter Joseph had taken the difficult decision to step down from the role due to ill health. “It has been an honour to have had this opportunity and I am immensely proud to have taken on the role of Constable and to serve the wonderful community of Hungerford. I love what the Town and Manor of Hungerford stands for and the benefits it brings to the whole community, I am very sad to be leaving, a big thanks to everyone who helped me during my tenure.” As a result, the Hocktide Jury was recalled this week to appoint a new Constable. Julie Lloyd was sworn into the role and says “I am sorry to be taking over in such circumstances, however Peter’s health must come first. I am honoured to be appointed as Constable and look forward to continuing the excellent work of previous Constables and the existing Trustees.”
Hungerford Theatre Company are looking for some willing volunteers to help this Saturday 29 October from 10am with organising and making the best use of their storage facilities by cataloguing the good and disposing of the bad. They need people happy to shift objects/set and others to drive the broken down objects that are no longer usable to West Berks Recycling Centre.

• This year’s Hungerford Christmas Fair is on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October. All proceeds from the door and raffle will go to Dementia UK and 10% of all sales will go to Amref Health Africa.  You can also buy Christmas cards in aid of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and there will be many new stalls to browse this year. See more details here.

• Earlier this month, The Retreat, Elcot Park between Hungerford and Newbury won the Best Hotel Interior Renovation Award. You can see for yourself how gorgeous the hotel now is if you pop along to their free Saturday evening music session with our favourite Scampy duo from 6pm to 8pm at The Atlas Room or their monthly farmers market this Sunday from 10am to 2pm in The Courtyard.

•  Celebrate 10 years of Tavern Life on Monday 31 October with a Halloween Party at the Railway Tavern. Dress up and dance the night away with Halloween Cocktails and Spooky Shots. Prizes for the best dressed .

How concerned are you about climate change? Just Stop Oil believes we should halt all future fossil fuel licenses in the UK.  Find out more at Just Stop Oil Newbury’s free talk in Hungerford Library on Tuesday 1 November with Roger Hallam (one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion).

Quick reminder about the new kerbside food waste collection starting next week (see here for a reminder of how it works and why it is being introduced). Over 100 local primary school children submitted name suggestions for the new food waste collection vehicles and the winners to look out for are: The Hungry Recycler, Composter Clemmie, Sir Andy Curry, Betty Banana, Food Feaster 2.0, Garbage Gobbler, Pikachew and Eva Egg Shell.

• Have you heard of the ‘HallowClean’? It’s a week long initiative set by Tidy Up Britain to help keep or communities clean and tidy. The idea of the HallowClean is that you dress up in your scariest costume and go litter picking with your friends. Kind of like trick or treating but the real treat is a cleaner environment. You can even post #HallowClean with pictures in your costumes to let people know what you’re doing and maybe even more of your friends will want to get involved. Happy HallowClean.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is hosting the Kintbury’s Food and Artisan Fayre, with locally produced food, drinks and crafts and gifts for all the family, on Sunday 6 November from 10am. Free entry – see here for details.
• Local Ghana charity Action Through Enterprise invites you to their Charity Dance Night in the Croft Hall on Friday 11 November to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

• Do you know anyone who would like an opportunity to practise speaking English? They are very welcome at the new English Language Café at Hungerford Library on the first Friday of the month from 5pm to 6.30pm. For more information, please contact the library on 01488 682660 hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Looking for some inspiration for the Christmas Season? Then check out the craft fairs at The Royal British Legion in Hungerford on Sunday November 20 and  Sunday December 4 from 10am for sellers and 11am to 4pm for viewers.. There will be a variety of stalls, including Handmade Crafts. Homemade Pies and Wreaths. entry is 50p, with under 14s free.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• Here is information about more support available to get you through the Cost of Living crisis, including tips on how to reduce your home energy bills. And please watch out for any scams that ask you to click to apply for energy rebates – they all happen automatically.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Click here for the latest diary from Richard Hawthorne, Head Teacher at John O’Gaunt School.

Chestnut Walk

I mentioned last week (see below) about the long-delayed development at Chestnut Walk in Hungerford, one of two social-housing schemes (the other bering Phoenix Court in Newbury) being developed as part of a joint venture between WBC and Sovereign Housing.

The first Chestnut Walk application was widely criticised for not being ambitious enough with regard to its sustainable features. WBC eventually accepted that it needed to go further. However, at the time of writing there’s no confirmation of what changes are proposed.

One of the arguments WBC used for delaying Chestnut Walk was so that it be developed jointly with Phoenix Court, once permission for that had been granted (which has now happened) and the projects could then benefit from economies of scale. This therefore assumes that very similar materials and building methods would be used in each case. if so, the specifications for Phoenix Court should be a reasonable guide to what’s proposed in Hungerford.

Based on this, a few questions have emerged which I’ve passed to the Housing portfoliomholder and a representative from Sovereign. These include why heat pumps are only proposed for the hot water and not the heating; what the proposed energy consumption of the homes is as measured in KWh; and who will operate, and thus set the energy price for, the communal EV charge points. I’ve been promised answers to these in the next week or so. Further questions may need to be asked once the specifics for Chestnut Walk have been released.

All this is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, Hungerford Town councillors and others rightly complained about the lack of ambition in 2021 and this will have been to no purpose unless improvements resulted. Secondly, it’s going to be a lot easier for WBC to encourage us all to do what we can to help make the transition of a low- or zero-carbon district if WBC is seen to be leading from the front. Thirdly, these social-rent homes are badly needed and they need to get built and in a way that minimises the running costs for the tenants. Finally, there’s a climate emergency. That’s enough reasons, I think…

10 years (and one year) of HYCC

Congratulations to Hungerford Youth and Community centre on its 10th anniversary of being self-funded; and for its past year of success with the youth club since the recruitment of Harriet Lamb as Director last summer and Dion Gale as Youth Worker in December. Since then, HYCC has gone from strength to strength making such a big difference to the young people of Hungerford, providing a space for them to socialise, have fun and learn new skills.

The HYCC invites everyone to celebrate with them in style on Saturday 12 November.

Throughout the day there will be lots going on with youth worker Dion and his team, food and drink will be available. A synthetic ice rink will be on the outside court, with music lights and a snow machine. Skate hire and skating aids are all included in the ticket price which can be booked here. Youth club attendees can request a discount code for 50% off for their ice skating ticket and if a young person is in receipt of free school meals, a discount code can be requested for a FREE ticket.

HYCC is also extremely grateful to its funders and its team of volunteers. If you would like to get involved, Penny highly recommends the experience. This are a great team which provides an invaluable service for local young people. See more here.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 28 Oct Hoftoberfest Hungerford Town Football Club

Sat 29 Oct Halloween Supper, The Retreat, Elcot Park.

Sat 29 Oct Evening of Piano Music in aid of Noreen’s Kids charity, 6.30pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Hungerford. Book with Anita Campbell on 01488 683501.

Sun 30 Oct Halloween Party, Hungerford British Legion

Sat 5 Nov Hungerford Town Band concert, St Lawrence’s Church in aid of the church and the poppy appeal

Sun 6 Nov Kintbury Food & Artizan Fayre

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning, first Saturday each month. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club for Year 5s is on Wednesdays from 6pm till 7.30pm. There is a £1 entry fee for the session which includes dodge ball, football, crafts, Xbox, table tennis, multi sports and more to explore. There are forms at the centre or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the youth & community centre’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 3 October) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning maters; the Upper Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; road signage; speeding; financial matters; the community wildlife project; and the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

 

Thursday 20 October 2022

This week we look at a cook-in, a spooky supper, an artisan fayre and issue a shout-out for thespians. We also take a look at the recurring, divisive and seemingly insoluble problem of Hungerford’s pigeon population and explain whose this responsibility this really is; and consider how West Berkshire Council seems, at the second time of asking, to have used the right definition of “value” with regard to the long-delayed development at Chestnut Walk. We also have  our usual round-up of other local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

Click here (and scroll down to Across the area) for news of West Berkshire Council’s Library Service, new food recycling arrangements, a service of thanksgiving, political invective, a paint-recycling initiative and the cost of living hub.

How concerned are you about climate change? Just Stop Oil believes we should halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.  Find out more at Just Stop Oil Newbury free talks in Hungerford Library on Tuesday 1 November with Roger Hallam (one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion). 

• There are a few places available at the free Hungerford Community Cook-In and Meal this Sunday 23 October at the Croft Hall organised by the Hungerford Food Community group in conjunction with Down to Earth from Wantage. It will be Greek-themed and you will learn delicious recipes using ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away by supermarkets. Join in the cooking anytime after 3pm and/or join for the meal at 5.30pm. The event is free but you need to book here.

• Congratulations to Hungerford Youth and Community centre for their 10th anniversary of being self-funded. They invite everyone to celebrate with them on Saturday 12 November. Throughout the day there will be lots going on with youth worker Dion and his team, food and drink will be available and…a synthetic ice rink will be on their outside court, with music lights and a snow machine! Skate hire and skating aids are all included in the ticket price which can be booked here. Youth club attendees can request a discount code for 50% off for their ice skating ticket and if a young person is in receipt of free school meals, a discount code can be requested for a FREE ticket.

• Next Thursday 27 October the Countess of Carnarvon will be talking about her new book The Earl and the Pharaoh in The Croft Hall. See here for more details and how to book with Hungerford Bookshop. Tickets cost £7 which includes a glass of wine and a discount on the book.

• An Evening of Piano Music with Christopher Burrows in aid of Noreen’s Kids charity can be enjoyed on Saturday 29 October at 6.30pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Hungerford. The charity has been supporting sick children and their families in Romania since 2000. Tickets are £15 per person and include canapés and a glass of wine.Contact Anita Campbell on 01488 683501 or Anita Dunn on 01488 681605 for tickets.

• On Saturday 29 October Hungerford Bookshop is teaming up with the beautiful boutique hotel, The Retreat, Elcot Park between Hungerford and Newbury, to host a Halloween Supper featuring horror author A.J. West talking about his book The Spirit Engineer over a delicious two-course meal. There’s rumour of a halloween cocktail too. Tickets are £40 (£35 to members) and include dinner and canapes, plus a signed copy of the book. To book email reservations@retreatelcotpark.com or call 01635 800520

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is hosting the Kintbury’s Food and Artisan Fayre, with locally produced food, drinks and crafts and gifts for all the family, on Sunday 6 November from 10am. Free entry – see here for details.

• Do you know anyone who would like an opportunity to practise speaking English? They are very welcome at the new English Language Café at Hungerford Library on the first Friday of the month from 5pm to 6.30pm. For more information, please contact the library on 01488 682660 hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Calling local thespians – Hungerford Theatre Company is auditioning for their upcoming productions of The Vicar of Dibley, Moana Jr and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

• This year’s Hungerford Christmas Fair is on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October. All proceeds from the door and raffle will go to Dementia UK and 10% of all sales will go to Amref Health Africa.  You can also buy Christmas cards in aid of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and there will be many new stalls to browse this year. See more details here.

• Following its postponement earlier this month, the Annual Open Forum by the Town & Manor of Hungerford will be taking place at the Corn Exchange in the Town Hall from 7pm on Friday 21 October. The  Trustees will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and there will also be a chance to learn more about the Town and Manor’s work, including the latest updates on the Constable’s Hungerford Fund.

• Hungerford Youth & Community Centre is holding an exciting graffiti competition & workshop for ages 10 to 18 years. Entry deadline is Saturday 22 October. Eight young people will be selected from the entries to take part in the workshop with grafitti artist Mark Peachy, where they will help to the finalize the design and take part in creating the mural. See more details here.

• Looking for some inspiration for the Christmas Season? Then check out the craft fairs at The Royal British Legion in Hungerford on Sunday November 20 and  Sunday December 4 from 10am for sellers and 11am to 4pm for viewers.. There will be a variety of stalls, including Handmade Crafts. Homemade Pies and Wreaths. entry is 50p, with under 14s free.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• Here is information about more support available to get you through the Cost of Living crisis, including tips on how to reduce your home energy bills. And please watch out for any scams that ask you to click to apply for energy rebates – they all happen automatically.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Click here for the latest diary from Richard Hawthorne, Head Teacher at John O’Gaunt School.

Pigeon power

One of the problems with being a council which has acquired a reputation for getting things done is that it is sometimes asked to sort out something which is not in fact its responsibility. The town’s pigeon problem is a good example of this. Dealing with such matters is in fact the remit of the PPP – this is not the Pigeon Persecution Party but the Public Protection Partnership which deals with “environmental health, licensing and trading standards across Bracknell Forest Council and West Berkshire Council.” However, due to increased public pressure, the matter has intruded into Hungerford Town Council’s work. It’s not something that I suspect it particularly welcomes.

Most recently, HTC has commissioned a report from a pest-control company which contains a number of solutions, all of which involve non-lethal control methods. This will be considered by HTC at its Highways and Transport Committee meeting on 31 October. A statement will be issued thereafter. I understand that this may contain some ways that HTC and the PPP can help property owners or tenants pigeon-proof their properties. One of the things that makes Hungerford’s High Street so attractive is that almost every building has a different type of roof from its neighbour. This does, however, make anti-avian measures hard: a method that works well for one building may not for another, so eliminating any economies of scale. However, many other towns have similarly varied roofscapes and few seem to have this level of infestation. Why Hungerford does remains a mystery. Could it be that pigeons are fond of antiques?

HTC asked me to say that it wants to stress that it has no particular hatred of pigeons but merely wishes that most of them would move elsewhere. No solution to the problem has proved either successful or universally popular. In such cases, organisations often say that “inaction is not an option.” Inaction is, however, an option for HTC given that, as mentioned above, pigeons are not HTC’s pigeon. However, now that it’s got involved it seems to be struck with the issue. If you have any suggestions as to what should or should not be done, please email townclerk@hungerford-tc.gov.uk. This will be a more certain way of communicating your views to HTC than by publishing them on social media.

On 20 October I saw a Freedom of Information Act request sent to HTC which asked 32 questions about the Town Council’s pigeon policy. As most of these relate to past or possibly contemplated lethal control measures, and as HTC has said (see above) that it is not planning any of these, the points raised are unlikely to have any effect on future plans. None the less, they all need to be answered. This takes officers’ time, which must be paid for, and so reduces the money HTC has to spend on other matters, such as grants to local organisations: unless, of course, the PPP does the decent thing and offers to cover the costs.

Chestnut Walk

As we’ve mentioned several times (see the archive section of this column, the link to which is at the foot of the page), the re-development of the former care home in Hungerford into affordable homes has been delayed by over a year.

This was mainly because that the original plans were branded as “unambitious” in terms of their environmental and sustainable features. Also, the the joint venture between WBC and Sovereign Housing wished to wait for a approval to be granted for a similar scheme at the Phoenix Centre in Newbury so the two developments could proceed in tandem and benefit from economies of scale. This approval was granted last month. The next stage will therefore be to see exactly what is proposed for Chestnut Walk and if those who had previously opposed the plans feel that the new proposals represent a serious improvement.

WBC appears to have accepted two things from this. The first is that the original proposal was indeed unambitious and that it needed to do better if it were to lead from the front and by example with regard to the climate emergency. The second, which is a direct consequence of the first, is that the return it gets from the land (which it owns) may be less than it was hoping, as the construction costs need to be deducted from the price that the joint venture pays. These have increased in any case, while the introduction of more sustainable features will erode the profits still further. Indeed, there may be no profits at all.

One might argue that this represents a shocking waste of money and that WBC is failing in its duty to maximise the value of any assets that it sells. This seems to me to be the wrong way of looking at it.

It all depends how you interpret “maximising value”. I’m not sure when this national obligation was drafted but it was for a long time probably translated as “maximising profits”. Most people now accept that value can, and should, be measured in other ways. Value is also created by building good homes which require less maintenance and have partly self-sufficient energy sources. The less money is spent on building the homes (and therefore, let’s assume) the worse they are by these measures, the more profit WBC will be make. Conversely, the better the homes, the lower the profit. Going for the latter seems to be the right thing to do. Belatedly therefore, and thanks to pressure applied by Hungerford Town Council and the ward members, the right result may yet be accomplished. Let’s have a look at the details, though, and see if everyone agrees.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 21 Oct Film Night: Operation Mincemeat, Croft Hall.

Fri 21 Oct Town & Manor’s Annual Open Forum, Town Hall

Sun 23 Oct Community Cook-In & Meal, Croft Hall

Fri 28 Oct Hoftoberfest Hungerford Town Football Club

Sun 30 Oct Halloween Party, Hungerford British Legion

Sun 30 Oct Family Halloween Party the British Legion

Sat 5 Nov Hungerford Town Band concert, St Lawrence’s Church in aid of the church and the poppy appeal

Sun 6 Nov Kintbury Food & Artizan Fayre

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning, first Saturday each month. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club for Year 5s is on Wednesdays from 6pm till 7.30pm. There is a £1 entry fee for the session which includes dodge ball, football, crafts, Xbox, table tennis, multi sports and more to explore. There are forms at the centre or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the youth & community centre’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 3 October) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning maters; the Upper Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; road signage; speeding; financial matters; the community wildlife project; and the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

 

Thursday 13 October 2022

This week we look a green milestone for the Hub, a cook-in, a fair, a call for thespians and an open forum. We also take a look at the recent Freedom of the Town awards (one of the recipients being someone called Penny Locke): plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• Congratulations to Hungerford Hub for reaching another green milestone in its bid to become more sustainable – with the support of HEAT (Hungerford Environmental Action Team). Read here about the energy saving measures they have taken to make this versatile public building more efficient.

How concerned are you about climate change? Just Stop Oil believes we should halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.  Find out more at Just Stop Oil Newbury’s two free talks in Hungerford Library on Monday 19 October with Maria Wood, and on Tuesday 1 November with Roger Hallam (one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion). 

Hungerford Youth and Community Centre are offering an amazing opportunity for 10-15 year olds starting on Thursday 20 October from 5.30pm till 6.30pm to raise the bar with Oxford Powersports. A four week  fully funded course powerlifting course,  to which absolute beginners are welcome. This is  a great way to keep your mind and body fit and active. Please complete this form to apply.

• If you enjoy cooking and chatting (or just eating good food!) book your free place at the next Hungerford Community Cook-In, where people come together to learn how to make delicious dishes from ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and enjoy a meal together is on Sunday 23 October in the Croft Hall. Places can be booked online here.

Noreen’s Kids charity cares for children and young people who are living with AIDS and severe disabilities in one of the poorest parts of Romania. They are having a fundraising classical piano concert with performer Christopher Burrows on Saturday 29 October at 6.30pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Hungerford. Tickets are £15 to include a glass of wine and canapés. For tickets contact Anna and Robin Dunn on 01488 681605 or anna@noreenskids.org or Anita Campbell on 01488 683501

• Do you know anyone who would like an opportunity to practise speaking English? They are very welcome at the new English Language Café at Hungerford Library on the first Friday of the month from 5pm to 6.30pm. For more information, please contact the library on 01488 682660 hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Calling local thespians – Hungerford Theatre Company is auditioning for their upcoming productions of The Vicar of Dibley, Moana Jr and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

• This year’s Hungerford Christmas Fair is on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October. All proceeds from the door and raffle will go to Dementia UK and 10% of all sales will go to Amref Health Africa.  You can also buy Christmas cards in aid of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and there will be many new stalls to browse this year. See more details here.

• Following its postponement earlier this month, the Annual Open Forum by the Town & Manor of Hungerford will be taking place at the Corn Exchange in the Town Hall from 7pm on Friday 21 October. The  Trustees will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and there will also be a chance to learn more about the Town and Manor’s work, including the latest updates on the Constable’s Hungerford Fund.

• Hungerford Youth & Community Centre is holding an exciting graffiti competition & workshop for ages 10 to 18 years. Entry deadline is Saturday 22 October. Eight young people will be selected from the entries to take part in the workshop with grafitti artist Mark Peachy, where they will help to the finalize the design and take part in creating the mural. See more details here.

• Looking for some inspiration for the Christmas Season? Then check out the craft fairs at The Royal British Legion in Hungerford on Sunday November 20 and  Sunday December 4 from 10am for sellers and 11am to 4pm for viewers.. There will be a variety of stalls, including Handmade Crafts. Homemade Pies and Wreaths. entry is 50p, with under 14s free.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• Here is information about more support available to get you through the Cost of Living crisis, including tips on how to reduce your home energy bills. And please watch out for any scams that ask you to click to apply for energy rebates – they all happen automatically.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Click here for the latest diary from Richard Hawthorne, Head Teacher at John O’Gaunt School.

Freedom of the Town

Hungerford’s 2022 Freedom of the Town ceremony took place on Sunday 9 October in Hungerford Town Hall.  This year’s awardees were Martin Crane, Penny Locke (yes, that Penny Locke) and Jennifer Bartter and in attendance were many previous awardees as well as trustees of The Town & Manor.

Deputy Lieutenant Sarah Scrope presented the freedom medals and certifcates and Mayor Helen Simpson paid tribute to the community of Hungerford saying that “volunteers are increasingly becoming harder and harder to recruit. Without the immense efforts from this army of dedicated people, our communities would be so much poorer. I cannot imagine how Hungerford would be without their care, kindness and compassion.

More, and more families will need support as they struggle to pay their rising household bills, sometimes needing to choose between keeping warm or feeding their families. A very gloomy prospect, but one which I know will be eased by the many volunteer groups, organisations and individuals (just like those being awarded today) who will rally, signpost, mentor and support those within our community most in need.”

Hungerford Town Council would like to thank Alex from Leverton Framers for his help with making up the three frames and mounts at very short notice on the Friday before the ceremony, following a last-minute amendment to the wording to read ‘God save the King’. The certificates certainly looked extremely smart…

You can read more here.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 21 Oct Film Night: Operation Mincemeat, Croft Hall.

Fri 21 Oct Town & Manor’s Annual Open Forum, Town Hall

Sun 30 Oct Family Halloween Party the British Legion

Sat 5 Nov Hungerford Town Band concert, St Lawrence’s Church in aid of the church and the poppy appeal

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning, first Saturday each month. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club for Year 5s is on Wednesdays from 6pm till 7.30pm. There is a £1 entry fee for the session which includes dodge ball, football, crafts, Xbox, table tennis, multi sports and more to explore. There are forms at the centre or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the youth & community centre’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 3 October) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 27 September and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning maters; the Upper Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; road signage; speeding; financial matters; the community wildlife project; and the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 September and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 6 October 2022

This week we look a couple of school open days, a temporary closure, craft fairs, football and a cook-in. We also take a look at an extractor fan at the Rugby Club, flick through our latest Penny Post Hungerford e-newsletter and reflect on a guess-my-job session at John O’Gaunt School: plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• There’s lots going on at Royal British Legion in October. This Saturday 8 October at 8.30pm there is a Quiz Night which costs £1 pp to enter and on Saturday 15 October at 7.30 there is a Games Night, with fun to be had from 7pm playing darts, crib, dominoes, pool and table bowls. See details on their facebook page here.

• Hungerford Primary School Open Day is on Tuesday 11 October and John O’Gaunt School’s Open Evening (4.30 to 7pm), is one Wednesday 12 October.

Cobbs Farmshop offers lots of seasonal fun this month. including pumpkin picking, Halloween Create and Play and an outdoor screening of Hocus Pocus.

• Following its postponement earlier this month, the Annual Open Forum by the Town & Manor of Hungerford will be taking place at the Corn Exchange in the Town Hall from 7pm on Friday 21 October. The  Trustees will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and there will also be a chance to learn more about the Town and Manor’s work, including the latest updates on the Constable’s Hungerford Fund.

• You have probably received your new food waste caddies by now. We have spoken to the team behind the scheme and lay to rest some of the concerns about the planned new weekly collection of food waste by West Berkshire Council. See more details here.

• On the first Saturday each month, there will be a Lego Club at Hungerford Library in the morning. Children under eight years old are welcome, but must be accompanied.

• Hungerford Town Juniors Football Club is offering a two-day autumn school programmer both boys and girls from ages six to 14 spanning Monday 24 October and Tuesday 25 October from 9am to 3.30 pm. To register complete this form, where you will see all the sessions and all the costs.

• Looking for some inspiration for the Christmas Season? Then check out the craft fairs at The Royal British Legion in Hungerford on Sunday November 20 and  Sunday December 4 from 10am for sellers and 11am to 4pm for viewers.. There will be a variety of stalls, including Handmade Crafts. Homemade Pies and Wreaths. entry is 50p, with under 14s free.

The Downgate Pub will be closed for kitchen refurbishment until Saturday 15 October when they will re-open (still for drinks only). For their latest news, follow them on facebook here.

Arts for Hungerford presents the film Operation Mincemeat on Friday 21 October at 7.30pm at The Croft Hall. On Saturday 22 October, also at 7.30, the culture continues with a music concert featuring award-winning violinist Kamila Byelowskawith and Olga Paliy on piano. For tickets apply here.

Hungerford Primary School warmly invites local families to its Open Day on Thursday 11 October. There will be talks and tours starting at 9.15am, 10.30am, 1.30pm and 5pm. Please book with the school office on 01488 682230 or office@hungerford.w-berks.sch.uk

• If you are looking for the solution to rising energy bills, put Saturday 24 September in your diary as it is the date of Hungerford’s first Home Energy Show in the Town Hall.

•  Over 50s swimming lanes have restarted on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

•  If you have had a noisy experience at the lovely new Italian restaurant Mio Fiore on the High Street, the owners would like to reassure you that they have now installed acoustic ceiling tiles to reduce sound levels in the restaurant. Not surprised it’s busy given the delicious lunch we recently enjoyed there.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

Just Stop Oil is demanding that the UK government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK. To find out more, pop along to Just Stop Oil Newbury’s two free talks in Hungerford Library on Monday 19 October with Maria Wood, and on Tuesday 1 November with Roger Hallam (one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion).

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• The next Hungerford Community Cook-In, where people come together to learn how to make delicious dishes from ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and enjoy a meal together is on Sunday 23 October in the Croft Hall and free tickets can be booked online here.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Hungerford’s newsletter

This week the October Penny Post Hungerford was published providing, as ever the best round-up of what’s gone, what’s going on and what will be going on in the town. Click here to read it if you didn’t get it. News from the Town Council, the Town and Manor, the retailers, the schools, voluntary groups and the usual wide range of features, news and events are all there.

If you want to submit anything for publication for the November edition, please email penny@pennypost.org.uk before the end of October.

A fan at the Rugby Club

As mentioned in the most recent Hungerford Town Council Update, the meeting of the Full Council on 3 October considered some changes which had been made to the club house at the Triangle Field by the Hungerford Rugby Club (HRFC). These are on the northern end of the building (which is owned by HTC but leased to HRFC). The discussion at the meeting was on two main themes: whether the renovations, principally an extractor fan on the outside of the building, were appropriate and safe; and whether the necessary permissions had been granted by HTC for the work.

On 6 October I spoke to representatives of both organisations to try to establish what the situation was. I’m pleased to report than one result of this will be that HRFC and HTC will be meeting early next week to discuss the matter. This will also be discussed at the meeting of HTC’s Recreation and Amenities Committee on 17 October. Once both of those have happened then the situation should be clearer and we’ll be able to say more.

Guess my job

On 5 October I was invited to take part in this event at John O’Gaunt School. It was run by the Education Business Partnership which “each year supports over 1,700 students with work-experience placements and over 20,000 students with developing work-related skills by participating in careers-inspiration activities.”

I and about 10 other local business representatives were sat at desks in the hall and were for about five minutes quizzed by groups of year 11 students as to what we did. We then told them (if they hadn’t guessed) and then spent another five minutes talking to them about this and answering any questions. Then the group was replaced by another one. This went on for a couple of hours.

I can only speak for myself but the time flew by. Few people dry up when they’re given some chocolate biscuits and asked to talk about themselves, over and over again. The problem was rather to avoid talking too much and also knowing how to make all the writing that I do each day seem both positive and interesting. For many of the pupils, writing would mainly be associated with essays and so something akin to a punishment.

One of the things I suggested was that writing is, like playing the trumpet or speaking Danish, something you’re bound to bad at to start with and so probably not something you enjoy. You do it more, you learn from your mistakes and you get better. Most of them seemed to take this in and were reassured by the idea of improvement. It’s easy to think that, because we can all write sentences, that being good or bad at writing is both innate and immutable, like being tall or having brown eyes. If this idea bears any fruit with even a few of them then my morning, and theirs, will not have been wasted. I was certainly impressed with the seriousness with which most of the pupils took the exercise so hope that this will happen. With mock GCSEs coming up, followed by the real things in the summer, reinforcing the connection between effort and results seemed relevant.

Another thing I told them was not to trust any one source of information, particularly if they were going to take action as a result (including sharing it with others), but to try to check it. I explained that this was what we always try to do at Penny Post. It doesn’t, I said, have to be that time-consuming and is a very useful skill to develop.

There were several nods at this which suggested this has been covered in school. These days, I said, we are of course bombarded with posts, tweets and all the rest which may or may not contain any facts, many of which are, like a virus, designed to replicate and to infect its recipients.

I gave an example of a particularly bonkers story to one group. “Supposing,” I asked, “you read that someone had said that injecting yourself with bleach would prevent Covid. What would you think about that?”

“Crazy,” one of the pupils said. “What a crazy thing. Who said that?”

“The previous President of the United States of America.”

“Wow,” she said. “What was he on?”

I think we’d all like to know the answer to that.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Tue 11 Oct Open Day, Hungerford Primary School.

Wed 12 Oct Open evening (4.30 to 7pm), John O’Gaunt School.

Fri 21 Oct Operation Mincemeat, Croft Hall.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club for Year 5s is on Wednesdays from 6pm till 7.30pm. There is a £1 entry fee for the session which includes dodge ball, football, crafts, Xbox, table tennis, multi sports and more to explore. There are forms at the centre or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the youth & community centre’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

Many councils do not hold meetings in August and many postponed their September meeting following the Queen’s death. 

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 3 October) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 August and you can read the minutes here.  Items covered included: councillor vacancies; a report from ward members Dennis Benneyworth and James Cole; speeding; signs; planning matters; financial matters; the cemetery; and repairs and maintenance work across the parish.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member Stuart Wheeler; a report from the police; dog fouling; planning matters; tree planting; financial matters; and speeding.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Upper and Lower Recreation Grounds; the Parish Steward; pavements; speeding; signage; the Environmental Action Plan; financial matters; a review of the jubilee events; and a dispute about the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 29 September 2022

This week we look back at a home-energy event and forward to a market, a meeting and a newsletter. We also go underground at West Woodhay to look at a slightly unusual planning application (that isn’t strictly speaking a planning application) and look at how a decision elsewhere in the district should now enable the long-delayed Chestnut Walk site to be built to proper environmental standards. We also have our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

This Friday 30 September, Fiona Hobson is pleased to be holding her annual Macmillan coffee morning in person again (after two years on zoom) at the United Reform Church between 10am and noon. There will be coffee, tea, cake and a stonking raffle. See here for details.  Toolstation is also having a coffee morning on Friday to raise funds for this worthy charity. If you are unable to pop into their premises in Charnham Park you can donate here.

• Would you like to be involved in the decision making in Hungerford? Hungerford Town Council currently has a vacancy for a Town Councillor. If you are interested and want to find out more, speak to one of the Councillors, contact the Clerk, or come along to a meeting. The next Full Council meeting is on Monday 3 October at 7pm in the library. No previous council experience is necessary, and training is available

• Many residential streets in Hungerford have problems with hedges overhanging pavements obscuring roadsigns and forcing pedestrians to walk in the road, and also cars parking on pavements narrowing the roadways and making it difficult for residents to park near their own homes.  Mark Townsend from the British Legion says “when bingo finishes at The British Legion you have to try to avoid getting squashed as you step out into the road to avoid the hedges and cars parked on the pavement on Atherton Hill. In addition, a lot of the pedestrian footfall during the week is parents pushing pushchairs and older people. I have tried several times to contact West Berks streetcare and highways departments to no avail. It is very frustrating.”

Hungerford Town Council has no authority in these issues but they is putting pressure on WBC and urges residents to keep reporting the problem en masse at West Berkshire Council’s report a problem page.

• Our sympathies are with the visitor who lost her small sheltie, Rebel, in Hungerford. He was sadly found dead by a train driver and the owner is understandably upset but very grateful to the support of the people of Hungerford who did everything possible to find her dog.  This facebook group shares some lovely photos of him.

Kennet Accordian Orchestra invite you to their charity afternoon performance at St Lawrence’s Church this Saturday 1 October from 3pm to 5 pm. Tickets £7.50 from Nigel Pasby 07595 380810 or email nigelpasby@gmail.com. All profits will be donated to St. Lawrence’s Church and Lambourn Riding for the Disabled Association

• The last Hungerford Food & Artisan market of 2022 will be this Sunday 2 October from 10am to 1pm at the Croft Field and will include free apple pressing so everyone is invited to bring their surplus apples and pears (and clean bottles) to make delicious juice. There will also be a pasta cooking demonstration at 11am, lots of stalls and delicious Thai curry and local bacon butties to enjoy. See more details on their website here (which also includes low energy cooking tips).

• If you would like to help pick apples at Picket Mead orchard, please meet Penny at Hungerford Garden Centre car park at 3pm on Saturday 1 October. If you have apples that need picking, please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure.  See here for more information on how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

• If you are on means-tested benefits or know someone who is please encourage them to apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant if they haven’t done so already by emailing constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. Payments will begin from Saturday 1 October.

• “If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year,” Fatih Birol, International Energy Agency in May 2021. But our government has just signed off 130 new oil licenses which will lock us into fossil fuel dependency for decades to come. Just Stop Oil is asking the UK government to immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK. To find out more, pop along to JSO Newbury’s two free talks in Hungerford Library on Monday 19 October with Maria Wood, and on Tuesday 1 November with Roger Hallam (one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion).

• The world’s longest, non-stop relay ever attempted will be passing through Hungerford and Kintbury on Friday 7 October. The Running Out of Time relay in the name of climate action will start in Glasgow, home of COP26 last year, on 30 September and finish in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on 6 November for the start of COP27, the next UN summit of world leaders discussing the climate crisis. Runners, cyclists and sailors will carry a baton containing a climate message that’ll be delivered to world leaders urging more support to help people tackle the climate crisis where they live. Keith MacIntosh is running Stage 139 leaving The Bell, Ramsbury at 8am aiming to pass through Hungerford about 8.45am and arrive at Kintbury Corner Stores at 9.40am.

• As the nights draw in, book a free Safe and Well visit from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service. A Safe and Well Visit is a free service that is provided to eligible residents relating to health and wellbeing, as well as fire risk reduction.  The team will show you their Service ID cards before entering your home. They will wear face coverings for the duration of their visit. For full information click here.

John O’Gaunt School warmly welcomes local families to their Open Evening (4.30 to 7pm) on Wednesday 12 October with the Head’s addresses at 4.45pm and 5.45pm. You can also book Open Morning tours of the school on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 October between 9am and 11am.  Please contact the school office on 01488 682400 or jogoffice@excalibur.org.uk

Shalbourne & District Gardening Club meets monthly in Shalbourne Village Hall on the first Tuesday of every month except January and August. All welcome – free to members, visitors £3.

• The next Hungerford Community Cook-In, where people come together to learn how to make delicious dishes from ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and enjoy a meal together is on Sunday 23 October in the Croft Hall and free tickets can be booked online here.

• Date for the diary: Hungerford Town Band are in concert on Saturday 5 November at 7.30pm in St. Lawrence’s Church. Tickets are £8 pp on the door and all proceeds will be shared between the church and The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Home energy event

Hungerford’s first Home Energy Show in the Town Hall last Saturday was a big success with over 500 people attended to discover how to heat their homes without costing the earth. Many people travelled from the other side of Newbury as they hadn’t seen this kind of event before. So well done to Hungerford Environmental Action Team for their timely initiative. Through the informative talks on everything from stopping draughts to using low-carbon heat pumps and discussions with knowledgeable specialist contractors and independent experts and advisors, visitors found out about practical steps they can take to keep their energy bills under control while minimising climate-damaging carbon emissions from burning gas and oil for heating.

If you missed the event, the videos of the speaker sessions are available on HEAT’s youtube channel and exhibitor details will all be published through the hungerfordenvironmentalactionteam.com website as soon as they are available. For specific queries please email heat_hungerford@yahoo.com.

Chestnut Walk inches closer

Speaking of home energy, many will remember that plans last year to re-develop the former care home near the football ground were widely criticised for lacking environmental ambition, given the declared climate emergency. To WBC’s credit, it took the blows on the chin and agreed that something better was needed. The proposal was in fact a joint venture between it and Sovereign Housing: but, as many (including Penny Post) were quick to point out, it’s WBC that’s exhorting us to do our bit to make homes as efficient and sustainable as possible and so it’s WBC that should be leading by example when the opportunity arose to be involved in application.

For reasons of economies of scale, it was decided that work on Chestnut Walk would not start until another application by the joint venture, for “18 new homes composed of one and two bed dwellings, all with associated access, parking, amenity and landscaping on land adjacent to Phoenix Centre, Newtown Road, Newbury” had passed through the planning system. See the 22 September Newbury Area Weekly News column (Affordable Homes) for more on this.

This has now happened, having been approved at the Western Area Planning Committee on 21 September. It’s therefore to be hoped that details will be provided very soon as to how the plans for Chestnut Walk will be improved. The Phoenix Court plans include include good insulation, air-source heat pumps and EV charge points. It’s to be expected that Chestnut Walk’s standards will match these and also include solar panels: these may be (and should be) included in the Newbury application but are currently only being discussed as a condition.

All applications where the planning authority is an applicant need to go to committee but I’m not sure if that will apply in this case as the applicant is a joint venture of which WBC is only one party. If it doesn’t, I imagine that at least one of the ward members will call it in as a precaution. This would be prudent, not only to ensure that the best exemplar standards had been specified but also to avoid any later accusation that the matter had been allowed to slip past proper scrutiny on a technicality. In any case, if the new plans are as ambitious as I’m assured they will be then I imagine that WBC will want to give the matter as much publicity as possible, not least to encourage other landowners and developers to follow its lead.

Going underground in West Woodhay

A planning application at Lake House was considered at Western Area Planning Committee last week. In many ways it’s an odd one. Its area will be about twice the footprint of the house but it’s regarded as a minor variation to an existing plan. Some of the things the application is asking for have already been done. Most of it will be invisible. Much of the discussion at the committee was concerned with the kind of light bulbs that will be used. It may be a stepping stone towards something yet bigger. Finally, it wasn’t not really an application for determination at all but a means of establishing WBC’s view on it at a forthcoming appeal.

We took a closer look at this slightly perplexing and partially subterranean beast. You can read more about the application and the various issues it throws up by clicking here.

Hungerford’s meeting and newsletter

The next meeting of Hungerford Town Council will take place in the Library at 7pm on Monday 3 October and you can see the agenda here. As usual, I shall be there, notebook ready and pencil sharpened and will summarise this meeting, and other matters with which HTC has been occupied, in the September/October 2022 Hungerford Town Council update which will be published the following day. You can see the August/September 2022 HTC update by clicking here.

This will as ever be one of the main stories in the Penny Post Hungerford e-newsletter which will be published on Tuesday 4 October. If you’re a usual contributor then you should have received the monthly email reminding you about submitting anything. Anyone else is also free to email penny@pennypost.org.uk if there’s anything you feel should be included. Please send this as soon as possible.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sun 2 Oct Hungerford Food & Artisan Market with Apple Pressing, Croft Field

Thu 6 Oct Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis with Max Hastings, Herongate.

Wed 12 Oct Open evening (4.30 to 7pm), John O’Gaunt School.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

•  Over 50s swimming lanes on Tuesdays and Fridays at Hungerford Leisure Centre. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club for Year 5s is on Wednesdays from 6pm till 7.30pm. There is a £1 entry fee for the session which includes dodge ball, football, crafts, Xbox, table tennis, multi sports and more to explore. There are forms at the centre or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the youth & community centre’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note that many parish and town councils do not hold meetings in August. In addition, meetings which were scheduled to have taken place during the period of mourning following the death of the Queen (8 to 19 September) would have been cancelled or postponed.

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 5 September) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 August and you can read the minutes here.  Items covered included: councillor vacancies; a report from ward members Dennis Benneyworth and James Cole; speeding; signs; planning matters; financial matters; the cemetery; and repairs and maintenance work across the parish.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 26 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member Stuart Wheeler; a report from the police; dog fouling; planning matters; tree planting; financial matters; and speeding.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Upper and Lower Recreation Grounds; the Parish Steward; pavements; speeding; signage; the Environmental Action Plan; financial matters; a review of the jubilee events; and a dispute about the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 22 September 2022

This week we look at a home-energy event, over-50s swimming sessions, a cancellation, a forthcoming market and the Constable’s Fund: plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• If you are looking for the solution to rising energy bills, put Saturday 24 September in your diary as it is the date of Hungerford’s first Home Energy Show in the Town Hall. Organised by Hungerford Environment Action Team, this free all-day event will help you to heat your home without costing the earth. Entry is totally free and speaker talks start at 10.30am. With rising energy prices now is the perfect time to look into easy, low-cost ways to improve your home energy efficiency. See more below.

•  Over 50s swimming lanes have restarted on Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am at Hungerford Leisure Centre – a great way to keep fit as winter approaches. They also offer aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

•  If you have had a noisy experience at the lovely new Italian restaurant Mio Fiore on the High Street, the owners would like to reassure you that they have now installed acoustic ceiling tiles to reduce sound levels in the restaurant. Not surprised it’s busy given the delicious lunch we recently enjoyed there.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford residents who receive means-tested benefits can apply for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• The Constable’s Hungerford Fund has reached £21,500 so far, so if you can help them reach their goal of £25,000 please donate here on the Good Exchange.

• Our sympathies are with the lady who lost her dog when visiting Hungerford last Sunday. The small male sheltie was last seen heading out of Hungerford along Priory Road past the Rugby Club then up to A338 where he diverted off the main road near Doves Farm opposite the Pink Door salon at Stype and ran into the fields. He is very nervous of people, more likely to come to your dogs. Please contact 07914 766345 if you have any sightings of him.

• “If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year,” observed Fatih Birol, International Energy Agency in May 2021. But our government has just signed off 130 new oil licenses which will lock us into fossil fuel dependency for decades to come. Just Stop Oil is demanding that the UK government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK. To find out more, pop along to Just Stop Oil Newbury’s two free talks in Hungerford Library on Monday 19 October with Maria Wood, and on Tuesday 1 November with Roger Hallam (one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion).

Hungerford Bookshop‘s crime author talk on Monday 26 September has unfortunately been cancelled due to unexpected unavailability of one of the speakers. Their next event is author and illustrator Sam Usher, who grew up in Hungerford, visiting and decorating the bookshop after school at 3.20pm on Wednesday 28 September. Tickets are free but need to be booked here. Quick reminder that the book of the month is The Echo Chamber, a satiric helter skelter, poised somewhere between farce, absurdity and oblivion. Penny Post readers get a discount for online and in-person purchases: see the link for details.

Hungerford Football Club‘s Quiz night is back Thursday 29 September with pie, chips and quiz. It’s a popular evening so book at 01488 760088 or partnerships@hungerfordtown.com

• The last normal opening day of Wilton Windmill in 2022 is this Sunday 25 September. There may be further events for volunteers (of which they are always are grateful for more…). See here for more details or contact secretary@wiltonwindmill.co.uk to go their mailing list.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• The next and final Hungerford Food & Artisan market of 2022 will be on Sunday 2 October from 10am to 1pm and will include apple pressing: so everyone is invited to bring their surplus apples and pears.

• The next Hungerford Community Cook-In, where people come together to learn how to make delicious dishes from ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and enjoy a meal together is on Sunday 23 October in the Croft Hall and free tickets can be booked online here.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Hungerford’s heat

Saturday 24 September will see a major event take place in the Corn Exchange in Hungerford High Street – the Home Energy Show, organised by the Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT). This will run from 10.30am to 4pm and entry is free.

The event will feature specialists from a variety of disciplines and sectors, all of whom are expert in the business of stopping heat escaping from your home. They will be able to offer advice about building fabrics, heating systems, heat recovery ventilation, emerging technologies and renewables, heat pump technologies, solar panels, biomass an conventional heating systems. Help and advice will also be available for people who are having problems paying their current energy bills.

For more information on the event, please click here.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 23 Sept Hungerford Comedy Club  The Croft Hall.

Sat 24 Sept Hungerford Home Energy Show, Hungerford Town Hall.

Wed 28 Sept Hungerford Historical Association talk on Shaw House’s history.

Wed 28 Sept Children’s Author & Illustrator Sam Usher, Hungerford Bookshop

Sun 2 Oct Hungerford Food & Artisan Market with Apple Pressing, Croft Field

Thu 6 Oct Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis with Max Hastings, Herongate.

Wed 12 Oct Open evening (4.30 to 7pm), John O’Gaunt School.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Hungerford Rugby Club runs Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club for Year 5s is on Wednesdays from 6pm till 7.30pm. There is a £1 entry fee for the session which includes dodge ball, football, crafts, Xbox, table tennis, multi sports and more to explore. There are forms at the centre or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the youth & community centre’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note that many parish and town councils do not hold meetings in August. In addition, meetings which were scheduled to have taken place during the period of mourning following the death of the Queen (8 to 19 September) would have been cancelled or postponed.

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 5 September) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 August and you can read the minutes here.  Items covered included: councillor vacancies; a report from ward members Dennis Benneyworth and James Cole; speeding; signs; planning matters; financial matters; the cemetery; and repairs and maintenance work across the parish.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member Stuart Wheeler; a report from the police; dog fouling; planning matters; tree planting; financial matters; and speeding.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Upper and Lower Recreation Grounds; the Parish Steward; pavements; speeding; signage; the Environmental Action Plan; financial matters; a review of the jubilee events; and a dispute about the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

 

Thursday 15 September 2022

This week we look at local mourning for the Queen, the Constable’s Fund to help with the cost-of-living crisis, a reduced-price book and a postponed café. We also look at the penultimate monthly Sunday market of 2022 which took place last weekend and the work of the Hungerford Food Community group: plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

Note: due to the period of mourning which will end after the Queen’s funeral on Monday 19 September, a number of events and activities may be postponed or cancelled, perhaps at short notice. We have highlighted those that we are aware of but you are advised to check in advance with the organisers.

This week’s news

Books of Condolence are available to sign in Hungerford Library and in the foyer of Hungerford Town Hall from 9am to 6pm until the day after the funeral. The Town & Manor of Hungerford have also displayed two vases of red roses, symbolising the House of Lancaster and signifying Hungerford’s links with the Royal Family. Floral tributes from the public can also be left on the Town Hall steps.

Hungerford Leisure Centre will be closed on Monday 19 September in respect of the Queen’s funeral.

• Local residents are eligible for the Town & Manor Constable’s Cost of Living grant if they live in Hungerford with a postcode that begins “RG17 0”) and are receiving means-tested welfare benefits. Payments will begin from October 1st. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford RG17 0NF. Proof of eligibility will be required. The duration and frequency of the payments will depend entirely on the amount raised in the fund.

• The Constable’s Hungerford Fund has reached £21,163 so far, so if you can help them reach their goal of £25,000 please donate here on the Good Exchange.

• “If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year,” observed Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency in May 2021. This is the message being spread by the climate group Just Stop Oil (which is lobbying for no new oil or gas extraction rather than switching off existing supply lines). Just Stop Oil Newbury is hosting two free talks in Hungerford Library, on Monday 19 October with Maria Wood, and on Tuesday 1 November with Roger Hallam (one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion).

• Next Wednesday 21 September there will be a Community Response to the Cost of Living Crisis meeting in Newbury. The aim of the meeting at St John’s Church is to coordinate the community response to the looming crisis and develop a network of support hubs across the district. These hubs will provide a warm and comfortable space for residents who are unable to heat their homes as the price of domestic energy spirals, and signpost people to where they can get more support. The meeting will be chaired by a member of the local church community. All welcome. Please book your free place here.

• If you are looking for the solution to rising energy bills, put Saturday 24 September in your diary as it is the date of Hungerford’s first Home Energy Show in the Town Hall. Organised by Hungerford Environment Action Team, this free all-day event will help you to heat your home without costing the earth. Entry is totally free and speaker talks start at 10.30am. With rising energy prices now is the perfect time to look into easy, low-cost ways to improve your home energy efficiency.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford Bookshop‘s book of the month is The Echo Chamber, a satiric helter skelter, poised somewhere between farce, absurdity and oblivion. Penny Post readers get a discount for online and in-person purchases: see the link for details.

• If you’re looking for some new fitness classes check out the aerobics, stretch, indoor cycling, stretch and leg burns & turns courses available at Hungerford Leisure Centre. Book via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 683303.

Hungerford Repair Cafe originally scheduled on Saturday 1 October is being postponed to November due to availability of volunteer fixers. If you would like to help, please get in touch at infogilbert9@gmail.com or for more information, please visit repaircafe.org/hungerford-repair-cafe.

• Local charity Eight Bells has an opportunity for Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Hungerford Food Community

Hungerford Heritage Festival and Food & Artisan Market on Sunday 11 September was a big success with over 40 local food and artisan stalls and the chance to have a go at rural traditions including cow milking and butter making. There were also demonstrations of heritage cooking techniques such as preserving fruit and vegetables without a freezer and how to make Scottish tablet fudge from a old family recipe, a Town & Manor of Hungerford display of apples and pears from their historic Picket Mead orchard, a local game keeper’s talk about local deer populations and the benefits of eating venison, and WWII apple cake and bread and butter pudding samples and recipes shared by the daughter of Joyce Moss who wrote her memoirs of being evacuated to Kintbury during the blitz. Garston Gallopers displayed their traditional Morris Dancing and the Hants and Berks Ferret Club showed off their very cute four legged friends.

Visitors appreciated the Book of Condolence for the Queen and the one minute silence and the buskers’ rendition of our new national anthem. For photos of the day please see their facebook page or page 21 of this week’s Newbury Weekly News.

The next and final Hungerford Food & Artisan market of 2022 will be on Sunday 2 October from 10am to 1pm and will include apple pressing: so everyone is invited to bring their surplus apples and pears.

These monthly markets are organised by Hungerford Food Community (HFC) which also organises a range of events and workshops to encourage more people in the community to cook and grow their own. “We believe that cooking is good for your soul, your health and your bank balance and it doesn’t have to be fancy or ‘foodie’,” explains Penny, one of the committee.

Later this month, HFC will be demonstrating low energy cooking techniques and recipes at the Home Energy Show on Saturday 24 September in the Town Hall. Next month they will be cooking soup with senior citizens at the Tuesday Club and apple pressing with Guides, Scouts and Hungerford Youth Club. They also run Bags of Taste cooking courses for Hungerford and Lambourn residents on a budget and invite applications for funding of cookery equipment and supplies from the proceeds of their markets. In previous years they have funded ovens for Hungerford Primary School and Hungerford Nursery School and donated cash to West Berkshire FoodBank.

HFC is also are very keen to reduce food waste in the town and support residents feeling the cost of living pinch. They host free Community Cook-Ins where people come together to learn how to make delicious dishes from ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and enjoy a meal together. The next one is on Sunday 23 October in the Croft Hall and free tickets can be booked online here.

If you would like to volunteer with HFC, donate surplus produce or cupboard staples, or request cooking equipment or workshops for your organisation, please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

Note: following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September, some events over the following few days may be cancelled or postponed. Please check with the organisers.

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 17 Sept Arts for Hungerford Blues & Soul Night: Kyla Brox Band The Croft Hall.

Fri 23 Sept Hungerford Comedy Club  The Croft Hall.

Sat 24 Sept Hungerford Home Energy Show, Hungerford Town Hall.

Sat 24 Sept Two crime writers in one evening, Hungerford Town Hall.

Wed 28 Sept Hungerford Historical Association talk on Shaw House’s history.

Thu 6 Oct Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis with Max Hastings, Herongate.

Wed 12 Oct Open evening (4.30 to 7pm), John O’Gaunt School.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Hungerford Rugby Club is starting Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds starting in September. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh  at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• Hungerford Youth Club for Year 5s is on Wednesdays from 6pm till 7.30pm. There is a £1 entry fee for the session which includes dodge ball, football, crafts, Xbox, table tennis, multi sports and more to explore. There are forms at the centre or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the youth & community centre’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 5 September) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 August and you can read the minutes here.  Items covered included: councillor vacancies; a report from ward members Dennis Benneyworth and James Cole; speeding; signs; planning matters; financial matters; the cemetery; and repairs and maintenance work across the parish.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member Stuart Wheeler; a report from the police; dog fouling; planning matters; tree planting; financial matters; and speeding.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Upper and Lower Recreation Grounds; the Parish Steward; pavements; speeding; signage; the Environmental Action Plan; financial matters; a review of the jubilee events; and a dispute about the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Friday 9 September 2022

This week we look at local mourning for the Queen, rugby, comedy, special-needs kids and fame of a sort, as well as drawing your attention to our most recent Penny Post Hungerford newsletter which pulls together all the main issues, events and activities in the town: plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• Hungerford Mayor Helen Simpson sends her condolences to the Royal family at this sad time. Town flags will be at half mast until 8am on the morning after the Queen’s funeral, except Proclamation Day when they will be raised from 11am until 1pm the following day. The Mayor will be sharing the words of the Proclamation of the new King at 4pm on Sunday 11 September for local residents on the Town Hall steps. For more details see Hungerford Town Council’s facebook page.

• A Book of Condolence for residents to sign is now in the foyer of Hungerford Town Hall from 9am to 6pm until the day after the funeral. The Town & Manor of Hungerford have also displayed two vases of red roses, symbolising the House of Lancaster and signifying Hungerford’s links with the Royal Family. Floral tributes from the public can also be left on the Town Hall steps.

Hungerford Comedy Club will soon be back on Friday 23 September at 8pm in The Croft Hall welcoming new faces and old friends. The new season kicks off with a headline act that has just had two shows at Edinburgh. Doors open at 7:30pm (with a limited cash bar). ickets available at hungerfordcomedyclub.org.uk.

• Well, it’s fame of a sort:, I suppose “After Brian from Penny Post pointed out that for a long while I had recommended nothing but books written by women,” Emma Milne-White from the Hungerford Bookshop wrote, “I picked-up a copy of The Echo Chamber.” You can read more about what she thought of this in the most recent book of the month column that our excellent local bookshop produces for us every 4.2 weeks. As a special thank-you to me for for pointing this out, Penny Post readers also get a discount for online and in-person purchases: see the link for details.

• A new group for special needs children is starting on Saturday 10 September from 2 to 4pm called Kaleidoscope, where they can enjoy being themselves in a safe space. There is no need to book, just turn up at The Old School House, Methodist Church on Bridge Street or call Dieter on 07843 053738.

Hungerford Rugby Club is starting Mixed Ability Rugby sessions for 12 to 17 year olds starting in September. These inclusive sessions are designed for youngsters with or without learning disabilities to have fun and make friends. Contact Jo or Josh  at Hungerfordtigers@gmail.com for more information.

• If you are looking for the solution to rising energy bills, put Saturday 24 September in your diary as it is the date of Hungerford’s first Home Energy Show in the Town Hall. Organised by Hungerford Environment Action Team, this free all-day event will help you to heat your home without costing the earth. Entry is totally free and speaker talks start at 10.30am. With rising energy prices now is the perfect time to look into easy, low-cost ways to improve your home energy efficiency.

• The Constable’s Hungerford Fund has now raised nearly £18,000 of its £23,000 target. This fund is aimed at easing hardship with a series of £100 grants to residents in need. For full details on how you can donate or make a claim, click here.

• Hungerford Youth Club for Year 5s is on Wednesdays from 6pm till 7.30pm. There is a £1 entry fee for the session which includes dodge ball, football, crafts, Xbox, table tennis, multi sports and more to explore. There are forms at the centre or simply complete an online form. There are several sessions during the week for different age groups and more volunteers are always welcome. See the youth & community centre’s facebook page for more details.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training is on Saturdays from 9.30am to 10.30am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome. See more.

• Local charity Eight Bells is currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Hungerford’s newsletter

This week saw the publication of the September 2022 Penny Post Hungerford e-newsletter. Click here to read it if you didn’t get it. Items covered this week included…

  • Our usual updates from Hungerford Town Council and the Town and Manor of Hungerford
  • News, tips and offers from many of the High Street’s businesses.
  • Details of Hungerford Town Council’s recent grant award ceremony, including a list of all the recipients and a summary of what each grant will be used for.
  • News from local organisations including HEAT, St Lawrence’s Church and the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Congratulations to a fast bowler, a javelin thrower, a tutti pole and a prize-winning sunflower.
  • Events, activities, property and jobs.
  • A reflection on uniqueness.

If you want to see anything included in the October 2022 edition, email penny@pennypost.org.uk before the end of September.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

Note: following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September, some events over the following few days may be cancelled or postponed. Please check with the organisers.

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sun 11 Sept Hungerford Heritage Festival and Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field Centre.

Sat 17 Sept Arts for Hungerford Blues & Soul: Kyla Brox Band.

Sat 24 Sept Hungerford Home Energy Show, Hungerford Town Hall.

Sat 24 Sept Two crime writers in one evening, Hungerford Town Hall.

Wed 28 Sept Hungerford Historical Association talk on Shaw House’s history.

Thu 6 Oct Abyss: The Cuban Missile Crisis with Max Hastings, Herongate.

Wed 12 Oct Open evening (4.30 to 7pm), John O’Gaunt School.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 5 September) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 August and you can read the minutes here.  Items covered included: councillor vacancies; a report from ward members Dennis Benneyworth and James Cole; speeding; signs; planning matters; financial matters; the cemetery; and repairs and maintenance work across the parish.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member Stuart Wheeler; a report from the police; dog fouling; planning matters; tree planting; financial matters; and speeding.
To see the dates, agenda and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Upper and Lower Recreation Grounds; the Parish Steward; pavements; speeding; signage; the Environmental Action Plan; financial matters; a review of the jubilee events; and a dispute about the defibrillator.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 1 September 2022

We didn’t do a news update for 1 September 2022 as were having a week off. However, the 25 August section below will include much information that’s still relevant, including regarding community organisations and recurring events (please email penny@pennypost.org.uk if you would like information about your organisation to be included here).

Many of the news items that we covered last week also remain relevant as they relate to issues that are still active or to events that are yet to take place. The normal service of updating these will resume on 8 September.

Before then, on Tuesday 6 September, we’ll be publishing our monthly Penny Post Hungerford e-newsletter which will, as ever provide the best round-up of what’e going on in the town. Please email penny@pennypost.org.uk if there is anything you’d like to have included in this or if you’d like to subscribe to it (which is free). Penny Post Hungerford will include – as well as the usual wide range of articles about the town – a report on Hungerford Town Council’s work in August and its plans for September: many of these matters will have been discussed at the Full Council meeting on Monday 5 September, the agenda for which you can see here. As ever, members of the public are welcome to attend. We shall also be visiting and reporting on the annual grant awards ceremony on Saturday 3 September. You can click here to see a full list of the recipients.

A reminder also about the campaign regarding unfair CIL charges, which we wholeheartedly support: see Collection and enforcement in last week’s column below.

Thursday 25 August 2022

This week we look forward to a beer festival, pick up some holiday ideas, celebrate results day at John O’Gaunt and congratulate a local fast bowler for an unplayable spell. We’ve also got the latest on a long-running dispute involving CIL payments and enforcement, the full list of Hungerford Town Council’s grant awards for 2022 and coverage of West Berkshire Council’s plans for a new vision for the town’s High Street: plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• When this year’s Freedom of the Town awards were announced did you think of other people who merit this recognition? It’s not too early to make your nominations for 2023 on the Hungerford Town Council website here or you can download the form here to print off and return to the council office.. We have several people in mind.

• Don’t miss Hungerford Club‘s Bank Holiday Hungerford Beer Festival which will feature 12 different ales, craft lager, three ciders and entertainment and BBQ all weekend – from noon to 8pm on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August and noon to 6pm on Monday 29 August.

• As the summer holidays finally come to an end, be sure to be buoyed up by the prospect of some great gigs and films being hosted by Arts for Hungerford. For the full schedule, prices and booking details, please see their Eventbrite page here.

Hungerford Football Juniors are kicking off the new season with particular attention on emerging talent. Under 6 training starts on Saturday 3 September from 9.30 am to 10.30 am at Hungerford Primary School Field. Boys and girls are both welcome, and with the legacy of the Lionesses earlier in the year, there are sure to be some enthusiastic footballers keen to learn new skills. See more.

• And still with sport, congratulations to Hungerford’s Lauren Bell who took a remarkable four wickets for 10 runs in her almost unplayable 20-ball spell for Southern Brave in their 10-wicket win over Trant Rockets in the women’s Hundred on 25 August.

• The Constable’s Hungerford Fund has now raised over £14,000 of its £23,000 target. As the cost of living crisis threatens the lives of many families in the town, this fund is aimed at easing hardship with a series of £100 grants. For full details on how you can donate or make a claim, click here.

• If you are looking for the solution to rising energy bills, put Saturday 24 September in your diary as it is the date of Hungerford’s first Home Energy Show in the Town Hall. Organised by Hungerford Environment Action Team, this free all-day event will help you to heat your home without costing the earth and Citizen’s Advice will be there to help you with energy bill payments.

Good news that many West Berks bus routes now offer an all day Connect Group Bus Ticket for up to 4 people (any combination of adults and children) for £10 (urban fare) or £15 (rural fare). These tickets can be bought from the bus driver or via the Newbury & District app on your phone (which also shows in real time where each bus is on its journey so you know how long you have to wait).

• If you have any new injuries or unresolved aches and pains, Hungerford Chiropractic & Physio Healthcare is offering £50 off an assessment, treatment and detailed rehab plan for PP readers in August. See here for details.

• Quick reminder about the hosepipe ban that was introduced this week as whatever rain we now have still isn’t enough to replenish the low water levels in reservoirs and rivers. You can still use mains water to fill watering cans and buckets, and gardeners say this is a more efficient way to the water the garden so please make every drop count. There are exemptions for Blue Badge holders, or those on Thames Water’s Priority Register with restricted mobility, who find carrying a bucket or watering can difficult. And while the temporary ban does not cover businesses, Thames Water is asking businesses across its area to be mindful of the drought and to use water wisely, for example, by not washing commercial vehicles or turning off water features on their properties. See more details here.

• If you are looking for office space convenient to Hungerford, Undy’s Cottage on the A4 next to Herongate Club has a private first floor office space in Hungerford for £93.50/week.

• If you have been meaning to join Herongate Club at Charnham Park, now is the time to do it as it is celebrating its new charity status by offering No Joining Fee memberships until the end of August. See here for details or contact the club 01488 682000 or info@herongate.club to book a tour of their gym, pool, sauna, steam room and squash court facilities.

• For summer holiday ideas see our Summer Fun Guide, including Kintbury Summer Drama Week for 7 to 14 year olds from 30 August to 2 September; Cobbs Farm’s double decker bus cafe and free ‘beach’ area; free craft fun at Hungerford Library: free Tuesday craft session from 10.30am to noon where children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult, and Wednesday Rhymetime from 10am to 11am, for pre-schoolers and their parents (older siblings welcome too).

• Do you have a friendly nature? The ability to chat with people easily? Good listening skills and knowledge of your local area? Local charity Eight Bells is currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Results day

“There was,” a statement from John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford said on 25 August, “much to celebrate this morning  as Year 11 students collected their summer examination results. From the many success stories, it is clear that the resilience and talent of John O’Gaunt students has shone through once again.”

As the excellent monthly diary by the school’s head Teacher Richard Hawthorne makes plain, these students have conducted the last two years of their education in the most unenviable of circumstances. “They have coped with everything from lockdowns and school closures, illness, uncertainty, regular disruptions to their learning and the return of normal exams,” Richard Hawthorne said in the statement. “To see the collective and individual success stories from today’s results not only highlights their grit and determination but says an awful lot more about their talents than examination results alone can show.”  He added, “They really are a special group of young people and we are extremely proud of every one of them.”

He added that “none of today’s achievements would have been possible without the unrelenting effort from all those who have supported these incredible students. I am extremely proud of the entire JOG community.”

Congratulations from us to, to students at JoG and everywhere else in this difficult time. May the rest of your education be conducted in less fraught circumstances.

A high-street vision

West Berkshire Council has recently announced that it is seeking “to develop 10-year town centre place-making strategy and delivery plans for Hungerford in consultation with residents and key stakeholders.” The 10 years refers not to the length of time this will exercise will take but the time period that it will look ahead to. The schedule for the work is itself more compact, a completion date of 31 March 2023 having been specified. I understand that the consultants have been appointed though not yet officially announced. This is expected to be publicly confirmed in the next week or so.

A similar project for Newbury was produced last year by Hemingway Design and one for Hungerford is being planned to be finalised by 31 March 2023. You can find out more on all these projects on this page of WBC’s website. You can also click here to see this summary by WBC which was referred to in the most recent meeting of Thatcham Town Council (TTC) – a similar scheme for Thatcham is also kicking off at the same time but due to be completed three months earlier.

Hungerford’s project has four stated ambitions:

  • Managing the transition of the retail sector and supporting economic diversification into future uses in keeping with its heritage and location.
  • Promoting the town’s unique offer in the visitor and tourism economy, recognising its location in the North Wessex Downs AONB and reputation as a regional draw for the antique trade.
  • Enhancing the town centre’s role as a destination to support business development.
  • Creating a more sustainable environment and user experience.

The area covered by the project is essentially the High Street and Bridge Street, roughly from The Bear in the north to Atherton Crescent in the south.

Thatcham’s vision is looking more at economic and business development whereas Hungerford’s is looking more to attract visitors from outside and to support the town-centre retailers. For this reason, the projects excludes the industrial and commercial units by the railway line and canal, in Smitham Bridge Road and in Charnham Park. On reflection, this seems sensible as a plan that tries to do too much can end up accomplishing nothing well. These may yet prove to be part of a separate exercise in the future.

As soon as we have more information how local residents can have their say in the process we’ll let you know.

Splashing the cash

Hungerford Town Council (HTC) has recently written out cheques totalling over £21,000 to 30 different organisations and individuals which are either based in the town or which provide services which benefits some or all of its residents. Many of these organisations rely exclusively on grants from HTC and others in order to survive.

The 2022 awards ceremony will take place on Saturday 3 September at the Croft Hall Field (this is an invitation-only event). You can click here to see a list of the organisations which have benefitted from this round of funding (over £21,000 in all) and a brief summary of what the grant will be used for.

Collection and enforcement

If you owe an organisation money it will send you invoices and reminder letters, phrased in progressively heavier terms. If still unpaid the matter may end up in court although in most cases the threat of this happening is enough to get people to cough up. We’ve all experienced this at one time or another.

It appears that West Berkshire Council may have hit upon a different way of securing any debt it is owed – putting a charge on the person’s property. That is certainly what one Kintbury resident believed happened as a result of a disputed CIL invoice (which was paid some time ago). I’m no expert but believed that a charge could only be levied on a property as a result of a court order or with the owner’s consent, neither of which applied here. The owner has since spent some time trying to establish if the charge has been removed. They since learned that is no charge on the property now, but not whether there ever was one.

An alternative view was provided by spokesperson for WBC who said in June 2022 that that they “completely disagreed with the Council’s portrayal in the media over this case.” and that “CIL process has been subject to internal audits that concluded that the process had been applied consistently” and that the “Council has been consistent in the application of interest and charges.”

Assuming the Kintbury resident is correct (and there seems to be evidence to support it), councils being able to collect sums owing in this way represents a complete game changer for them. Where, one might ask, will it end?  Think of it – you’re a couple of weeks late on paying your council tax and discover that your home is going to get put up for auction to the debt. Not settling your £50 green-bin charge or a parking ticket might just cost you your garage. As every household in the district owes WBC money at some point, it’s reasonable to ask what WBC’s policy on this is and what debt-collection measures it either might resort to, or has ruled out.

There are, of course, other ways that a debt can be enforced. To take the example of CIL again, two cases in the district (the above-mentioned one in Kintbury and another in Upper Lambourn) have displayed collection and enforcement measures that differed in almost every respect (including with regard to interest payments). Indeed, despite numerous threats over the last couple of years, the Upper Lambourn case has still not come to court. Why not? To have two different approaches is, at best, confusingly inconsistent: it gets worse, though, as it’s recently been suggested to me that there is a third, which involved the person being let off the charge altogether. Quite a range of enforcement options.

Earlier this year, one of the Kintbury ward members, Claire Rowles, tried  to get council officers to release documents which might have explained the different approaches in the first two cases. This attempt was defeated at the Full Council meeting on 17 March 2022 which culminated in a voting debacle that touched on black farce. Much the same epithet could be used to describe not only the way CIL payments have been handled but also, perhaps, the way that the debts relating to them are enforced. More questions need to be asked: whether they will be, or answers provided, before the elections next May remains to be seen.

There’s a petition on Change.org concerning this exact subject which you can see and sign here. It calls upon West Berkshire Council to “ensure that it charges the correct amounts of money due to it for any and all services for which it levies charges and will reimburse any resident or service user who has been charged in error or has been charged where no charge should have been levied.”

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

Monthly meet-ups for home schoolers at Hungerford Library 10am – noon Saturday 17 September,  Saturday 15 October and Saturday 19 November.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Newbury Building Society is donating employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• 27 to 29 Aug Bank Holiday Beer Festival, Hungerford Club at The Croft.

Sun 28 Aug Hungerford Antique & Flea Market, Town Hall.

Sun 28 Aug  Shalbourne Classic Car Show

Wed 31 Aug  Author Robert Harris in conversation, Herongate Club.

Sat 3 Sept  Arts for Hungerford Latin Rhythms: De Fuego Spanish guitar duo.

Sun 4 Sept Adam Winslet’s Jazz Picnic

Sun 11 Sept Hungerford Heritage Festival and Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field Centre.

Sat 17 Sept Arts for Hungerford Blues & Soul: Kyla Brox Band.

Sat 24 Sept Hungerford Home Energy Show, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 8 August) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 August and you can read the minutes here.  Items covered included: councillor vacancies; a report from ward members Dennis Benneyworth and James Cole; speeding; signs; planning matters; financial matters; the cemetery; and repairs and maintenance work across the parish.  To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member Stuart Wheeler; a report from the police; dog fouling; planning matters; tree planting; financial matters; and speeding.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Upper and Lower Recreation Grounds; the Parish Steward; pavements; speeding; signage; the Environmental Action Plan; financial matters; a review of the jubilee events; and a dispute about the defibrillator. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 18 August 2022

This week we look at  three freedoms, the Constable’s fund, colourful planters and a car show: plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• Helen Simpson Mayor of Hungerford, has named three individuals who will be honoured with the Freedom of the Town 2022. Recognised for their unstinting devotion to voluntary endeavours in the community, Martin Crane OBE, Jennifer Bartter and our own Penny Locke will receive their award in a ceremony in the Town Hall, at a date yet to be confirmed. Martin is well known from his role as Mayor for five years and all that entails, Jennifet has received many accolades for her involvement in the town’s food bank and Penny is being commended for her work with the school, food festival and markets. Have a great day the three of you, and soak up the appreciation that these awards reflect, for your often thankless endeavours.

Church Way in Hungerford  is currently closed and will be reopened on 24  August 2022. This emergency closure is to enable Thames Water fix a leak. WBC does not currently know the extent of the closure, nor whether blu-light access will be possible, nor the diversion routes: please follow the signs for this. This emergency closure Residential access will be maintained throughout. A plan of the closure can be found here. All enquiries should be directed to: KCD on 0800 316 9800

• A new monthly group for home schoolers is starting this Saturday 20 August at Hungerford Library. Families who are home schooling are invited to meet with other families from 10.30am to noon. See more in West Berkshire Libraries August news.

• The Constable’s Hungerford Fund is pleased to announce that it has amassed £13,138 of its £23,000 target. As the cost of living crisis threatens the lives of many families in the town, this fund is aimed at easing hardship with a series of £100 grants. For full details on how you can donate or make a claim, click here.

• Cobbs Farm’s pick-your-own sunflower field is open seven days a week from 10am until 3pm. When you arrive at Cobbs, please pop into the farm shop before visiting our flower fields. Entry is £10 and allows you and a group of up to 4 people to pick 5 stems each. Please pay in the farm shop and collect your snips from there. Please note that dogs are not allowed onto the farm due to the wildlife and other edible crops growing. See more details here.

• If you have any new injuries or unresolved aches and pains, Hungerford Chiropractic & Physio Healthcare is offering £50 off an assessment, treatment and detailed rehab plan for PP readers in August. See here for details.

• Congratulations to the Smarten Up Hungerford team who have done a superb job with colourful planters throughout the town. See Forbes Stevenson’s photo gallery on facebook here.

• Sad news that the High Street has now lost Kitchenmonger, a second much-loved retailer after Martin & The Magpie florists closed a few months ago. Hungerford is well known for the independent shops on the high street which set it apart from other towns so let’s make sure to support the ones we have left.

• Hungerford Town Council is planning an internal renovation of the Croft Field Community Centre and invites local companies to quote on the renovation by Thursday 25 August.

Hungerford Club on the Croft is gearing up for their annual Bank Holiday Hungerford Beer Festival which will feature 12 different ales, craft lager, three ciders and entertainment and BBQ all weekend – from noon to 8pm on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August and noon to 6pm on Monday 29 August.

• This week’s long-awaited downpour was substantial but not substantial enough to raise our extremely low river and reservoir levels caused by the driest July since 1885. As a result, Thames Water will be implementing a hosepipe ban from Wednesday 24 August. You can still use mains water to fill watering cans and buckets, and gardeners say this is a more efficient way to the water the garden so please make every drop count. There are exemptions for Blue Badge holders, or those on Thames Water’s Priority Register with restricted mobility, who find carrying a bucket or watering can difficult. And while the temporary ban does not cover businesses, Thames Water is asking businesses across its area to be mindful of the drought and to use water wisely, for example, by not washing commercial vehicles or turning off water features on their properties. See more details here.

• This Bank Holiday Sunday 28 August Hungerford Antique & Vintage Market will be at the Town Hall from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Sunday 28 August. New sellers of antiques, collectables or vintage items are encouraged. For further details, please click here.

Shalbourne Classic Car Show will be at Shalbourne Sports Field from 11 to 4pm with a bar, barbecue, stalls, children’s activities and cream teas. Entry fee of £5.

• If you are looking for the solution to rising energy bills, put Saturday 24 September in your diary as it is the date of Hungerford’s first Home Energy Show in the Town Hall. Organised by Hungerford Environment Action Team, this free all-day event will help you to heat your home without costing the earth.

Shalbourne Gliding Club just south of Hungerford has an Open Day on Sunday 21 August where you can just turn up between 10am and 4pm for a trial flight at the discounted price of £40. They offer a fun and affordable flying experience. See their website for more details.

• Girls can enjoy free girls’ rugby at Hungerford Rugby Club every Sunday in August. See here for more details or contact Rob Cox on memsec.hrfc@gmail.com. These sessions are for girls in years 6 – 9 (as of Sept 2022) and all abilities are very welcome including total beginners.

• If you are looking for office space convenient to Hungerford, Undy’s Cottage on the A4 next to Herongate Club has a private first floor office space in Hungerford for £93.50/week.

• If you have been meaning to join Herongate Club at Charnham Park, now is the time to do it as it is celebrating its new charity status by offering No Joining Fee memberships until the end of August. See here for details or contact the club 01488 682000 or info@herongate.club to book a tour of their gym, pool, sauna, steam room and squash court facilities.

• Hungerford Youth and Community Centre provides a much needed service to the town’s youth and is asking for your support via the West Berkshire Lottery. Please buy your £1 tickets here and make a note that there will be a special draw for a £1,000 Curry’s eGift card on Saturday 27 August.

• In celebration of Newbury Building Society’s 165th birthday the society is donating 165 days of employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford, Newbury and Thatcham. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• For summer holiday ideas see our Summer Fun Guide, including Kintbury Summer Drama Week for 7 to 14 year olds from 30 August to 2 September; Cobbs Farm’s double decker bus cafe and free ‘beach’ area; free craft fun at Hungerford Library: free Tuesday craft session from 10.30am to noon where children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult, and Wednesday Rhymetime from 10am to 11am, for pre-schoolers and their parents (older siblings welcome too).

• Do you have a friendly nature? The ability to chat with people easily? Good listening skills and knowledge of your local area? Local charity Eight Bells is currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

• On a similar note, Hungerford Youth Club is also looking for volunteers to help bring fun activities to local kids and teens. If you would be interested in volunteering yourself, or would like to know more information, contact Youth Worker Dion youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk. They are asking for donations of old scooters, helmets and football goalie gloves. If you have anything to donate, get in contact with them through their FaceBook page.

• Donations of unwanted gardening tools are requested for a new well-being allotment group. If you can help please contact Tina Hill on harkangel@live.com or 07572 944395.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• 27 to 29 Aug Bank Holiday Beer Festival, Hungerford Club at The Croft.

• Wed 31 Aug
 Robert Harris in conversation, Herongate Club.

• Sat 3 Sept  Arts for Hungerford Latin Rhythms: De Fuego Spanish guitar duo.

• Sun 11 Sept
 Hungerford Heritage Festival and Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field Centre.

• Sat 17 Sept 
Arts for Hungerford Blues & Soul: Kyla Brox Band.

• Sat 24 Sept 
Hungerford Home Energy Show, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 8 August) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member Stuart Wheeler; a report from the police; dog fouling; planning matters; tree planting; financial matters; and speeding.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Upper and Lower Recreation Grounds; the Parish Steward; pavements; speeding; signage; the Environmental Action Plan; financial matters; a review of the jubilee events; and a dispute about the defibrillator. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from ward member James Cole; speeding; the members’ bid; planning matters; financial matters; Lawrence’s Field; and the Cemetery extension. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 11 August 2022

This week we look at  forthcoming events and markets and draw your attention to the latest penny Post Hungerford e-newsletter: plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• If you missed our August Hungerford PP please see it here see it here.

• Hungerford Town & Manor is pleased to report that after just one week of fundraising for the Constable’s Hungerford Fund to help local residents with the cost of living crisis, more than £4,000 has already been raised through public donations. This figure has been matched by the Town and Manor, and when Gift Aid of 25% is added, the fund currently stands at more than £9,100. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. If you’d like to contribute to the cause, you can donate online at thegoodexchange.com/project/19668. All Hungerford residents who receive means-tested welfare benefits are invited to apply for one-off £100 grants here.

• Hungerford Town Council is planning an internal renovation of the Croft Field Community Centre and invites local companies to quote on the renovation by Thursday 25 August.

The Royal British Legion apologies but their car boot sale on Sunday 14 August has been cancelled.

• Hungerford’s Antique & Vintage Market will be appearing at the Town Hall from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Sunday 28 August. New sellers of antiques, collectables or vintage items are encouraged. For further details, please click here.

• Attention all stargazers: the peak of the Perseids meteor shower over the UK will be this Friday night, into the small hours of Saturday morning. With the warm weather we’ve been having, there’s a good chance of great viewing conditions, unobstructed by clouds or rain. However it will be competing with the light of a full moon, which may affect visibility. The best place to view the showers are wide open spaces, away from the light pollution of towns and urban areas. Keep a look out after dark on Friday 12 August, for a chance to see some falling stars!

• If you are looking for the solution to rising energy bills, put Saturday 24 September in your diary as it is the date of Hungerford’s first Home Energy Show in the Town Hall. Organised by Hungerford Environment Action Team, this free all-day event will help you to heat your home without costing the earth.

Shalbourne Gliding Club just south of Hungerford has an Open Day on Satuday 21 August where you can just turn up between 10am and 4pm for a trial flight at the discounted price of £40. Their offer a fun and affordable flying experience. See their website for more details.

• Girls can enjoy free girls’ rugby at Hungerford Rugby Club every Sunday in August. See here for more details or contact Rob Cox on memsec.hrfc@gmail.com. These sessions are for girls in years 6 – 9 (as of Sept 2022) and all abilities are very welcome including total beginners.

• If you are looking for office space convenient to Hungerford, Undy’s Cottage on the A4 next to Herongate Club has a private first floor office space in Hungerford for £93.50/week.

• A new monthly group for home schoolers is starting soon at Hungerford Library. Families who are home schooling are invited to meet with other families and share ideas on Saturdays 20 August, 17 September, 15 October and 19 November, 10.30am-noon. See more in West Berkshire Libraries August news.

• If you have been meaning to join Herongate Club at Charnham Park, now is the time to do it as they are celebrating their new charity status by offering No Joining Fee memberships during July and August. See here for details or contact the club 01488 682000 or info@herongate.club to book a tour of their gym, pool, sauna, steam room and squash court facilities.

• The pop-up Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Croft Field will now be closed on Tuesdays. The vaccination centre will be open on Friday 5, Saturday 6, Saturday 13 and Friday 19 August. Eligible patients should book in for their jab using the NHS website.

• Hungerford Youth and Community Centre provides a much needed service to the town’s youth and is asking for your support via the West Berkshire Lottery. Please buy your £1 tickets here and make a note that there will be a special draw for a £1,000 Curry’s eGift card on Saturday 27 August.

• In celebration of Newbury Building Society’s 165th birthday the society is donating 165 days of employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford, Newbury, Thatcham, Basingstoke and Didcot. In line with their Green Community work, they would particularly like to hear from organisations with sustainability or environment focused projects from litter picking to planting community gardens. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• For summer holiday ideas see our Summer Fun Guide, including Kintbury Summer Drama Week for 7 to 14 year olds from 30 August to 2 September; Cobbs Farm’s double decker bus cafe and free ‘beach’ area; free craft fun at Hungerford Library: free Tuesday craft session from 10.30am to noon where children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult, and Wednesday Rhymetime from 10am to 11am, for pre-schoolers and their parents (older siblings welcome too).

• Do you have a friendly nature? The ability to chat with people easily? Good listening skills and knowledge of your local area? Local charity Eight Bells is currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Hungerford’s newsletter

As ever at the start of the month, we produce Penny Post Hungerford, the best guide to life in the town. You can click here to read it if you didn’t get it. What have we got for you this month?

  • The latest from Hungerford Town Council, including speeding, bike parking, some contract decisions for some of the Council’s projects and the 3G pitch east John O’Gaunt.
  • The latest from the Town and Manor, including the Constable’s Fund, a look back at three recent events, the Wednesday market and a kingfisher.
  • The latest news, offers, suggestions, events and tips from a wide range of the town’s retailers.
  • News from the Youth and Community Centre, HEAT, the leisure Centre and Arts for Hungerford.
  • The latest diary from John O’Gaunt Head Richard Hawthorne.
  • Summer reading suggestions from the Hungerford Bookshop.
  • Summer activities for adults and children.
  • Events, jobs and property.
  • And, to finish with, some wise words from Steve Martin.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

• On a similar note, Hungerford Youth Club is also looking for volunteers to help bring fun activities to local kids and teens. If you would be interested in volunteering yourself, or would like to know more information, contact Youth Worker Dion youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk. They are asking for donations of old scooters, helmets and football goalie gloves. If you have anything to donate, get in contact with them through their FaceBook page.

• Donations of unwanted gardening tools are requested for a new well-being allotment group. If you can help please contact Tina Hill on harkangel@live.com or 07572 944395.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 13 Aug Free Stuff Rummage, 18 Atherton Crescent, Hungerford.

Sat 13 Aug Music, Real Ale Proper Cider & Sausage Festival at The Plume, Hungerford High Street

• 27 to 29 Aug Bank Holiday Beer Festival, Hungerford Club at The Croft.

• Wed 31 Aug
 Robert Harris in conversation, Herongate Club.

• Sat 3 Sept  Arts for Hungerford Latin Rhythms: De Fuego Spanish guitar duo.

• Sun 11 Sept
 Hungerford Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field Centre.

• Sat 17 Sept 
Arts for Hungerford Blues & Soul: Kyla Brox Band.

• Sat 24 Sept 
Hungerford Home Energy Show, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

Hungerford Juniors Lionesses invite girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) to football training on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm . For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 4 July) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member Stuart Wheeler; a report from the police; dog fouling; planning matters; tree planting; financial matters; and speeding.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Upper and Lower Recreation Grounds; the Parish Steward; pavements; speeding; signage; the Environmental Action Plan; financial matters; a review of the jubilee events; and a dispute about the defibrillator. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 4 August 2022

This week we look at a new fund from the Town and Manor, issue a final shout-out for any contributions to August’s Penny Post Hungerford and look forward to a market and a beer festival –  plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• Hungerford’s Antique & Vintage Market will be appearing at the Town Hall from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Sunday 28 August. New sellers of antiques, collectables or vintage items are encouraged. For further details, please click here.

• Hungerford Juniors Football Club are looking for the next Ellen White or Farah Williams to become Hungerford Lionnesses. Girls in years 7 or 8 (in Sept 2022) are invited to train with Hungerford Juniors Lionesses on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7:15pm at Hungerford Primary School. For more details please contact Michelle Tallack on shellitallack@gmail.com.

• In the meantime, local girls can enjoy free girls’ rugby sessions every Sunday this month starting this Sunday 7 August. See here for more details or contact Rob Cox on memsec.hrfc@gmail.com. These sessions are for girls in years 6 – 9 (as of Sept 2022) and all abilities are very welcome including total beginners.

Hungerford Food & Artisan Market will be back from 10am to 1pm this Sunday 7 August at The Croft Field. With over 30 stalls, live music, street food, the chance to swap plans, produce and seeds and even a live cooking demo, this exuberant market is a feast for your senses.

• The Royal British Legion would like to remind residents that their car park is private for use by their members, visitors and paying resident permit holders only. It is not a public car park…

• If you are looking for office space convenient to Hungerford, Undy’s Cottage on the A4 next to Herongate Club has a private first floor office space in Hungerford for £93.50/week.

Hungerford Club’s Bank Holiday Beer Festival will feature 12 different ales, craft lager, three ciders and entertainment and BBQ all weekend – from noon to 8pm on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August and noon to 6pm on Monday 29 August. More details coming soon on their facebook page.

West Bekrshire Libraries August news includes a new monthly group for home schoolers at Hungerford Library. Adults and children who are home schooling are invited to meet with other families and share ideas on Saturdays 20 August, 17 September, 15 October and 19 November, 10.30am-noon.

• Adam Winslet invites you to A Jazz Picnic from 12 to 4.30pm on Sunday 4 September. With a variety of performers, the cost is £16.76 and promises to be a wonderful way to enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon. See more here.

• The pop-up Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Croft Field will now be closed on Tuesdays. The vaccination centre will be open on Friday 5, Saturday 6, Saturday 13 and Friday 19 August. Eligible patients should book in for their jab using the NHS website.

• Hungerford Youth and Community Centre provides a much needed service to the town’s youth and is asking for your support via the West Berkshire Lottery. Please buy your £1 tickets here and make a note that there will be a special draw for a £1,000 Curry’s eGift card on Saturday 27 August.

• In celebration of Newbury Building Society’s 165th birthday the society is donating 165 days of employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford, Newbury, Thatcham, Basingstoke and Didcot. In line with their Green Community work, they would particularly like to hear from organisations with sustainability or environment focused projects from litter picking to planting community gardens. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• For summer holiday ideas see our Summer Fun Guide, including Cobbs Farm’s double decker bus cafe and free ‘beach’ area and free craft fun at Hungerford Library: free Tuesday craft session from 10.30am to noon where children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult, and Wednesday Rhymetime from 10am to 11am, for pre-schoolers and their parents (older siblings welcome too).

• Do you have a friendly nature? The ability to chat with people easily? Good listening skills and knowledge of your local area? Local charity Eight Bells is currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• If you have been meaning to join Herongate Club at Charnham Park, now is the time to do it as they are celebrating their new charity status by offering No Joining Fee memberships during July and August. See here for details or contact the club 01488 682000 or info@herongate.club to book a tour of their gym, pool, sauna, steam room and squash court facilities.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

The Constable’s Fund

The Town and Manor of Hungerford has launched The Constable’s Hungerford Fund in response to the cost of living crisis. The Town and Manor is “inviting those in the town who can afford to ride out the crisis to donate into the fund to directly help those that can’t. For every £1,000 raised by the public, the Town and Manor will match that with a further £1,000 of funding, up to a limit of £10,000. In parallel with the fundraising, The Town and Manor also invites the less well-off households in town to apply for a grant of £100.”

For more information on how to donate, please visit The Good Exchange website. Households can apply now by sending an email to constablesfund@townandmanor.co.uk or by post to The Constable’s Fund, The Town Hall, High Street, Hungerford. RG17 0NF. Once approved, payments will be from 1 October 2022.

Penny Post Hungerford

The August 2022 edition of this will be published on Tuesday 9 August and will, as ever, provide the best round-up of life in the town. We have already contacted all the many organisations which regularly contribute but if there’s anything you’d like to see included in this please email penny@pennypost.org.uk as soon as possible.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

• On a similar note, Hungerford Youth Club is also looking for volunteers to help bring fun activities to local kids and teens. If you would be interested in volunteering yourself, or would like to know more information, contact Youth Worker Dion youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk. They are asking for donations of old scooters, helmets and football goalie gloves. If you have anything to donate, get in contact with them through their FaceBook page.

• Donations of unwanted gardening tools are requested for a new well-being allotment group. If you can help please contact Tina Hill on harkangel@live.com or 07572 944395.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sun 7 Aug Hungerford Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field.

Sat 13 Aug Free Stuff Rummage, 18 Atherton Crescent, Hungerford.

Sat 13 Aug Music, Real Ale Proper Cider & Sausage Festival at The Plume, Hungerford High Street

Sun 14 Aug Car Boot Sale, Hungerford British Legion.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 4 July) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member Stuart Wheeler; a report from the police; dog fouling; planning matters; tree planting; financial matters; and speeding.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Upper and Lower Recreation Grounds; the Parish Steward; pavements; speeding; signage; the Environmental Action Plan; financial matters; a review of the jubilee events; and a dispute about the defibrillator. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 28 July 2022

This week we have the latest on the new 3G pitch and John O’Gaunt, a new landlord, a non-league burger and a home-grown play–  plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• Hungerford Primary School’s Year 6 leavers disco was a huge success on Friday 22 July, organised by parents Tina Hill and Carol Fox. All the children had a great time with magic mirror photos, a disco and award ceremony with personalised certificates and medals to celebrate their time at Hungerford Primary School. The organisers would like to thank John O’Gaunt School for the use of their hall, all the parent volunteers on the evening including Suzy’s face painting, Tescos, Michael Harden Photography, Hungerford Bookshop, Jon Shatford Bookkeeping, Hungerford Leisure Centre, Cosy Cafe, Glyn Cox, Christian Alba Butcher’s, Jim the Bike Guy and John O’Gaunt PSA for the tuck shop. See photos of the evening here. Year 6 finished on a high and we wish them good luck in their next chapter of starting secondary school.

• We are looking forward to seeing Hungerford Theatre Community’s new summer musical, On Mother Kelly’s Doorstep especially as this romantic comedy is written by their very own Hoffi Robinson and her husband Sam. The show runs until Saturday 30 July. Get your tickets online here or from Crown Needlework opposite Hungerford Town Hall.

• Hungerford Youth and Community Centre provides a much needed service to the town’s youth and is asking for your support via the West Berkshire Lottery. This vibrant group helps young people connect with each other in real time and to move away from the digital environment. They offer sporting activities, popular youth clubs in term time and holidays trips or away days are also a popular offering, and classes for disabled and special needs children represent the Centre’s real commitment to diversity and inclusivity.  As one of the beneficiaries of the West Berkshire Lottery, they are hopeful that whilst not offering as much prize money as the National Lottery, that supporters will be happy to pay £1 in the hope of winning £25,000. Please buy your tickets here.

• There is still time to have your say on West Berkshire Council’s Bus Improvement Plan. It is vital they hear from passengers and potential passengers to ensure they are meeting needs. Please take the survey before midnight this Sunday 31 July.

Hungerford Town Football Club were excited this week to not only have a visit from James Kirkland from Soccer AM, but to be the subject of a YouTube video in the pursuit of the greatest non-league burger. The light-hearted film touched on the culinary and of course on all things soccer, as Oxford United played Hungerford Town giving some much appreciated publicity to Hungerford’s much loved club. See video here

• Congratulations to Geordie Taylor for temporarily re-opening The Downgate Pub until Arkells brewery can find a new landlord. Previously known for running Hungerford Self-Isolation Network during lockdown, Geordie pulled pints for Lauren for the last year so is a familiar face behind the bar. The pub is now open Wednesdays to Sundays, from noon to 8pm but with no food unfortunately while the kitchen is closed.

• In celebration of Newbury Building Society’s 165th birthday the society is donating 165 days of employee volunteering time to worthwhile causes in and around their branch towns including Hungerford, Newbury, Thatcham, Basingstoke and Didcot. In line with their Green Community work, they would particularly like to hear from organisations with sustainability or environment focused projects from litter picking to planting community gardens. If your organisation needs volunteers, or you know a group that does, please apply here.

• Author, comedian and anaesthetist (not a common combination) Ed Patrick will be stopping in Hungerford on Tuesday 2 August en route to the Edinburgh Fringe to discuss his new book Catch Your Breath. Patrick, described by Matt Lucas as “brilliantly funny”, will be joined by comedian Alex Farrow to entertain and unearth the touching and humorous tales of his experiences as an anaesthetist working in the NHS. Join them at The Three Swans at 7pm for this fascinating evening hosted by Hungerford Bookshop.

• Well done to the students of St Mary’s Primary School in Kintbury, for organising a fundraiser for Newbury Soup KitchenBy baking cakes, making bracelets, selling drinks and then organising a sponsored 17km wild walk from Kintbury to Combe Gibbet. The walk took place on Saturday 9 July and raised over £1,000. The students are now planning to visit the charity to hand over the final cheque themselves, but until then you can still add to their total by visiting their JustGiving page. Well done to all the students that took part. Read more information on Newbury Today here.

Holiday Craft Fun this summer at Hungerford Library offers something fun to entertain your kids during the holidays. The free Tuesday craft session runs from 10.30am to noon where children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. The Wednesday Rhymetime session from 10am to 11am, whilst designed for pre-schoolers and their parents, the organisers are also happy to accommodate older siblings.

• For more summer holiday ideas see our Summer Fun Guide, including Cobbs Farm’s double decker bus cafe and free ‘beach’ area.

• The next Hungerford Food & Artisan Market on Sunday 7 August at The Croft Field Centre will have over 30 local stalls, live music, street food, foil recycling, produce/plant & seed swap and a bee demonstration from Tudor Thatch Honey. Entry is free and well behaved dogs are welcome on leads. See more here.

• Tina Hill is having a Free Stuff Rummage on Saturday 13 August from noon to 4pm at 18 Atherton Crescent. They have lots of new and used clothes, toys, books, party items to give away in exchange for a donation.

• There will be a Car Boot Sale on Sunday 14 August at the Royal British Legion in Hungerford. Sellers are invited to attend from 10am and will be charged £5 per stall, whilst buyers will be charged only 50p and will be allowed in from 11am. A bar and barbecue will be available to tempt your tastebuds during your shopping, on what is predicted to be another sun-filled day.

• If you are looking for office space convenient to Hungerford, Undy’s Cottage on the A4 next to Herongate Club has a private first floor office space in Hungerford for £93.50/week.

See here for more Hungerford Bookshop events to look forward to later this summer. We are so pleased they are back in full swing with their events now post-lockdown.

Hungerford Town Juniors Football Club is planning to offer two days of summer activities between 15 and 20 August. Open to both boys and girls aged 6 to 14 years, the school will run from 9am to 3.30pm. See how to register your interest here or email fdo.htjfc@gmail.com

• Do you have a friendly nature? The ability to chat with people easily? Good listening skills and knowledge of your local area? Local charity Eight Bells is currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

Covid Cases are unfortunately rising again all around the country. However, if you still haven’t got your vaccine or are behind on your booster, The Croft Field Centre will be holding vaccination days on select days throughout July and August. Eligible patients should book in for their jab using the NHS website.

• If you have been meaning to join Herongate Club at Charnham Park, now is the time to do it as they are celebrating their new charity status by offering No Joining Fee memberships during July and August. See here for details or contact the club 01488 682000 or info@herongate.club to book a tour of their gym, pool, sauna, steam room and squash court facilities.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Not kicking off

What could be less controversial than a new football pitch? Well, quite a few things, certainly in West Berkshire. As we’ve reported many times, the botched and premature closure of the Faraday Road ground in the Newbury and the controversy surrounding its replacement (if indeed it is a replacement) at Monks Lane has now been running for over four years.

No such problems in Hungerford, however, for which portfolio holder Howard Woollaston must be very grateful. The proposal is that the the existing artificial pitch, which is coming to the end of its life, will be replaced by the 3G one which will, as well as benefitting John O’Gaunt School and Hungerford Town FC, also be available for community use: indeed, this is a precondition of the grants from the sporting bodies that are contributing to the estimated £600,000 cost. WBC, the town council, the football club and the school all appear completely united in supporting the project: and that, sadly, is not a sentence one gets to read every day, certainly not in these parts. You can read the statement from WBC here.

I spoke to Hungerford’s Mayor Helen Simpson about this on 28 July. “I agree with all the positive sentiments that the other parties have expressed,” she told me. “We’ve been working on this project for a long time and are delighted that West Berkshire Council has seen the potential of the site and decided to support it. HTC has always been keen to develop initiatives that help young people in the town and so this will help make Hungerford an even better place than it is already. It will be huge asset to the school, the Football Club and, indeed, the whole community. I can’t wait to see the first match on it, hopefully some time next year.”

Tendering for the Centre

As mentioned last week, Hungerford Town Council invites companies to submit a quotation for the internal renovation of the Croft Field  Community Centre. Click here to see the tender invitation document and the plans. The completed form should be emailed to townclerk@hungerford-tc.gov.uk by 5pm on 25 August 2022.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

• On a similar note, Hungerford Youth Club is also looking for volunteers to help bring fun activities to local kids and teens. If you would be interested in volunteering yourself, or would like to know more information, contact Youth Worker Dion youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk. They are asking for donations of old scooters, helmets and football goalie gloves. If you have anything to donate, get in contact with them through their FaceBook page.

• Donations of unwanted gardening tools are requested for a new well-being allotment group. If you can help please contact Tina Hill on harkangel@live.com or 07572 944395.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 30 Jul Hungerford Craft and Gift Market, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Sun 31 Jul Farmer’s Market The Retreat, Elcot Park.

Sun 7 Aug Hungerford Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field.

Sat 13 Aug Music, Real Ale Proper Cider & Sausage Festival at The Plume, Hungerford High Street

Sun 14 Aug Car Boot Sale, Hungerford British Legion

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 4 July) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the ward member Stuart Wheeler; a report from the police; dog fouling; planning matters; tree planting; financial matters; and speeding.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 July and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Upper and Lower Recreation Grounds; the Parish Steward; pavements; speeding; signage; the Environmental Action Plan; financial matters; a review of the jubilee events; and a dispute about the defibrillator. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 23 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 21 July 2022

This week we look at Mother Kelly’s doorstep, an amusing anaesthetist, a centre tender and a £1.4m offer –  plus our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• Hungerford Theatre Community is very excited about thitseir summer musical, On Mother Kelly’s Doorstep  especially as this romantic comedy is written by their very own Hoffi Robinson and her husband Sam. “I first heard this music when the theatre company did a Victorian Music Hall back in 2008,” explains Hoffi. “I enjoyed the humour in it and recognised the themes of class, love and marriage. So I started writing the story of a young man who pretends to be rich to impress a woman he has loved since they were both children. I revisited this project last year, joined forces with Sam, rewrote the script and I’m very excited to see it on stage. There are lots of songs you might recognise: Daisy, Daisy, Oh, I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside, Henry the Eighth, Has Anbody Here Seen Kelly, Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” The show runs from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 July. Get your tickets online here or from Crown Needlework opposite Hungerford Town Hall.

• We mentioned last week about an impending announcement on the subject of the new 3G pitch at John O’Gaunt School. We understand that all the main points have been agreed but that the details need to be run past all the interested parties before WBC can issue a statement. One for next week, we hope…

• If you are looking for office space convenient to Hungerford, Undy’s Cottage on the A4 next to Herongate Club has a private first floor office space in Hungerford for £93.50/week.

• Author, comedian and anaesthetist (not a common combination) Ed Patrick will be stopping in Hungerford on Tuesday 2 August en route to the Edinburgh Fringe to discuss his new book Catch Your Breath. Patrick, described by Matt Lucas as, “brilliantly funny”, will be joined by comedian Alex Farrow to entertain and unearth the touching and humorous tales of his experiences as an anaesthetist working in the NHS. Join them at The Three Swans at 7pm for this fascinating evening hosted by Hungerford Bookshop.

See here for more Hungerford Bookshop events to look forward to later this summer. We are so pleased they are back in full swing with their events now post-lockdown.

• Do you need respite care for a loved one with dementia? Brendoncare in Froxfield are offering dementia respite care at three weeks for the price of two  at a time of your chosing if the booking is confirmed and paid by 29 July.

Hungerford Town Juniors Football Club is planning to offer two days of summer activities between 15 and 20 August. Open to both boys and girls aged 6 to 14 years, the school will run from 9am to 3.30pm. See how to register your interest here or email fdo.htjfc@gmail.com

• Due to this week’s heatwave, the meeting about English conversation sessions for Ukrainian guests living in the Hungerford area has been postponed to next Tuesday 26 July at 7pm at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street (the entrance is through the door marked School to the left of the Church). If you would like to help but can’t make the meeting, please contact Rachel Barker on rachel@rbarker.co.uk 

• We were sorry to hear that Lauren is leaving The Downgate Pub and wish her all the best for her next venture.

• The last free Art for Wellbeing class at Kintbury Coronation Hall before the summer break will be on Friday 29 July as part of the Corn Exchange’s Link to Thrive programme for mental health. You can drop in on a weekly basis to learn new art techniques in a relaxed, friendly and sociable atmosphere under the guidance of professional artists and illustrators. See details here for how to self-refer or be referred to the classes by your GP or Social Prescriber.

• Do you have a friendly nature? The ability to chat with people easily? Good listening skills and knowledge of your local area? Local charity Eight Bells is currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

Covid Cases are unfortunately rising again all around the country, however if you still haven’t got your vaccine or are behind on your booster, The Croft Field Centre will be holding vaccination days on select days throughout July and August. Eligible patients should book in for their jab using the NHS website.

• If you have been meaning to join Herongate Club at Charnham Park, now is the time to do it as they are celebrating their new charity status by offering No Joining Fee memberships during July and August. See here for details or contact the club 01488 682000 or info@herongate.club to book a tour of their gym, pool, sauna, steam room and squash court facilities.

• West Berkshire Council has extended its Bus Improvement Plan survey deadline. It is vital they hear from passengers and potential passengers to ensure they are meeting needs. If you would like your views heard regarding Berkshires bus services, then take the survey before midnight on Sunday 31 July.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Cars or homes?

In March 2018, permission was granted for the construction of “30 apartments and associated parking, landscaping and amenity space together with a coffee shop” on the Oakes Bros site near Hungerford railway station. You can see the various documents here. The site had previously been used as a car park and was retained as such until late 2020, the closure seeming to be the prelude for development. This didn’t happen. The owners had previously sought to sell on the rights but this didn’t happen either. Recently, it was announced that the land would be sold by auction. This was first planned for June but the auction either was cancelled or failed to achieve the reserve. The matter certainly wan’t that well publicised, WBC and HTC only hearing about it a few days before through the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group. The auction has now been re-scheduled for 6 October and you can see the details here. £1.4m is the price currently being sought.

One thing that confuses me is whether the planning approval has expired. Work must have started within three years of the permission and the work doesn’t need to be on a particularly large scale – “a spade in the ground” is the colloquial phrase. Putting up a fence or taking down a shed is enough and so the closure of the car park in 2020 may well have accomplished this. It would be amazing if the owners would have overlooked this. However, it seems odd that this isn’t mentioned in the prospectus, the only reference I can see being to its having “residential development potential.”

Who might want to buy it? Well, you might, of course. So too might Network Rail (or whatever it’s called this year), GWR, WBC or HTC, although the latter won’t be able to afford it unless it gets lucky with a lottery ticket. Apparently the existing car parks near the station are starting to fill up again so there might be merit in any of the first three buying it for this purpose. Were GWR to do so, that might encourage it to restore a decent train service to the town.

For WBC, however, this seems to represent an opportunity that’s bang in line with its aspiration to become a home builder. For that you need suitable land; and it doesn’t get any better than a site in a thriving town and near a station and which already has planning permission (even if lapsed). Opportunities like this don’t come up that often. I understand that one objection is that the council doesn’t currently have a property company. It does, however, have a property portfolio: so assuming this is a fair price, it could surely buy it and sort out the details later. The trouble with municipal life seems to be that there are always compelling reasons, hallowed by process and precedent, as to why something can’t be done now, or this year, or at all.

The sale also raises the question as to what Hungerford more badly needs, homes or car-parking spaces. A combination of both, perhaps. A rational and relevant decision is more likely to come if WBC is the owner than a railway company or, worse still, a speculator who’s going to deposit the site in their land bank. If houses are built it would also be another opportunity for WBC to create an exemplar development in terms of sustainability, of the kind that is hopefully going to be provided elsewhere in the town at Chestnut Walk (more news on which when we have it).

Tendering for the Centre

Hungerford Town Council invites companies to submit a quotation for the internal renovation of the Croft Field  Community Centre. Click here to see the tender invitation document and the plans. The completed form should be emailed to townclerk@hungerford-tc.gov.uk by 5pm on 25 August 2022.

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

• On a similar note, Hungerford Youth Club is also looking for volunteers to help bring fun activities to local kids and teens. If you would be interested in volunteering yourself, or would like to know more information, contact Youth Worker Dion youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk. They are asking for donations of old scooters, helmets and football goalie gloves. If you have anything to donate, get in contact with them through their FaceBook page.

• Donations of unwanted gardening tools are requested for a new well-being allotment group. If you can help please contact Tina Hill on harkangel@live.com or 07572 944395.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 23 Jul Open-air Cinema: Mamma Mia, Cobbs Farm.

Sat 30 Jul Hungerford Craft and Gift Market, Hungerford Town Hall.

Sun 7 Aug Hungerford Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 4 July) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council took place on 22 June and you can download the minutes here.   To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council took place on 21 June and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council took place on 23 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council took place on 10 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 14 July 2022

This week we have a slight and probably not significant pause in the announcement about the new 3G pitch in Hungerford and we look back at another successful repair café in town. There’s also a change of tack at Notrees, proving that consultations are worth responding to. We also have our usual round-up of local news, including some progress on the proposed 3G pitch, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• It was with a heavy heart that Hungerford Carnival Committee announced on Tuesday that it would be cancelling this year’s carnival on Sunday 17 July due to the extreme weather conditions forecast by the Met Office. As the Carnival Committee explained, “we are very sorry but unfortunately the decision was taken out of our hands. We appreciate all the hard work that had already gone into the preparations and it has also cost us lots of time and money for it to be cancelled and we really didn’t want to make the call. However, after speaking directly with the local emergency services and with the Amber warning of heatwave (which includes loss of life with temps up to 40 degrees) we felt we had no choice but to try and help keep people safe and not to put anymore pressure on our already struggling emergency services.”

• Fortunately the Fun Day on Saturday 16 July is still going ahead from 2pm on the Triangle Field/Rugby Club on Priory Road, because the temperature is not expected to be as severe as Sunday.

• If you would like to help offer English conversation and language sessions for Ukrainian guests living in the Hungerford area, please contact Rachel Barker on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or pop along to a meeting next Tues 19 July at 7pm at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street (the entrance is through the door marked School to the left of the Church).

Hungerford Repair Café had another successful morning last Saturday 9 July in the Croft Hall, helping 45 visitors to fix their broken items. The aim is to help the community learn how to repair their own things in an enjoyable and sociable setting. There were a variety of things to fix including a tyre inflator, some items of clothing and a stereo all in need of some TLC. The volunteers helped to mend 73% of the items brought in, and were able to advise the owners about how to fix or obtain spare parts for a further 13% of them. In this way we saved about 77 Kg of waste going into landfill or other recycling facilities. The café served tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits to volunteers and visitors alike. The next Repair Café will be held on Saturday 1 October in the Croft Hall.

• Hungerford Theatre Community are very excited about their summer muscial, On Mother Kelly’s Doorstep – especially as it is written by their very own Hoffi Robinson and her husband Sam. This romantic comedy incorporates many music hall favourites so don’t miss this chance for a great sing along. Get your tickets online here or from Crown Needlework opposite Hungerford Town Hall.

• Hungerford Food Community’s first Down to Earth Community Cook-In last Saturday was a great success with nearly 20 people cooking a delicious Middle Eastern feast from ingredients that would be wasted by supermarkets and to enjoy a communal meal. to find out when the next cooking event will be please contact hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com

• Brendoncare in Froxfield are offering dementia respite care at three weeks for the price of two  at a time of your chosing if the booking is confirmed and paid by 29 July.

• We were sorry to hear that Lauren is leaving The Downgate Pub and wish her all the best for her next venture.

• The last free Art for Wellbeing class at Kintbury Coronation Hall before the summer break will be on Friday 29 July as part of the Corn Exchange’s Link to Thrive programme for mental health. You can drop in on a weekly basis to learn new art techniques in a relaxed, friendly and sociable atmosphere under the guidance of professional artists and illustrators. See details here for how to self-refer or be referred to the classes by your GP or Social Prescriber.

• Do you have a friendly nature? The ability to chat with people easily? Good listening skills and knowledge of your local area? Local charity Eight Bells is currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

Covid Cases are unfortunately rising again all around the country, however if you still haven’t got your vaccine or are behind on your booster, The Croft Field Centre will be holding vaccination days on select days throughout July and August. Eligible patients should book in for their jab using the NHS website.

• As noted last week, Herongate Club is celebrating having achieved charity status by offering No Joining Fee memberships during July and August. See here for details or contact the club 01488 682000 or info@herongate.club to book a tour of their gym, pool, sauna, steam room and squash court facilities.

• If you missed Hungerford Environmental Action Team’s recent Home Energy talks on how to save money on heating your home, they can all be watched on YouTube here.

• West Berkshire Council has extended its Bus Improvement Plan survey deadline. It is vital they hear from passengers and potential passengers to ensure they are meeting needs. If you would like your views heard regarding Berkshires bus services, then take the survey before midnight on Sunday 31 July.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

Click here for the latest news from the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group about the continuing threat to direct rail services from Bedwyn, Hungerford and Kintbury to London. The strike may have taken this off the agenda but, as “normal” service resumes, the struggle goes on…

• For more information on a renewable energy generation scheme involving group-buying for solar panels and battery storage, click here or call 0800 048 8113. Many thanks to Froxfield Parish Council for pointing this out to us. Note that this is only available to residents of Wiltshire and Swindon.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

A 3G pause

As mentioned last week, it has long been the ambition of both Hungerford Town Council and John O’Gaunt School to make better use of the ATP pitch at the school and to make this available for wide community use. You can see the application details here. As WBC and not HTC owns the essential strip of land, it is running project.

It was hoped that an announcement would have been made this week concerning the details of the project. I understand that matters such as the respective financial contributions to the project have been sorted out: what has not are the precise details of matters such as the extent of community access. This is an important consideration for the sports funding bodies that will providing grants and WBC is being understandably cautious about announcing anything until it is certain that nothing has been agreed which might compromise this. Hopefully this will have been resolved within the next few working days.

The statement, when finally issued, should also have a timetable for construction. It may be that, despite having been formally started after the Monks Lane project in Newbury, it may be realised sooner. It also seems likely that the Hungerford pitch will proceed without local opposition, legal action, drawn-out commercial discussions and all the other problems which have bedevilled Monks Lane. Hungerford’s 3G project involves seizing an opportunity rather than trying to fix a problem which had been allowed to become toxic. It also is benefitting from having the Town Council and other community groups behind the project. The same cannot be said for the situation with either of the two problematic pitches in Newbury.

Notrees’ consultation reprieve 

We’ve mentioned in the past about the consultation which took place earlier in the summer about the proposal to close the Notrees care home in Kintbury. WBC claimed in its statement in April that closure is being considered “due to a reduced need for the type of care provided, the challenges presented by the rural location, particularly with staff recruitment and retention, and the size and condition of the building” and suggested that more emphasis needed to be placed on providing facilities which catered for those with dementia, the implication being that this was something Notrees was unable to provide.

I spoke to portfolio holder Joanne Stewart about this several times during and just after the consultation period and she assured me that it wasn’t just a box-ticking exercise: the views of residents and the wider community would, she assured me, be influential.I confess that I was sceptical. I was aware that opposition to the closure existed, having spoken to several people (including a representative from Kintbury Parish Council) but thought it possible that a decision had already been taken, the consultation being merely a formality.

Seems I was wrong. In a recent statement, Joanne Stewart thanked all those who had responded, including “a well thought-through proposal from the Registered Manager and her team.” She went on to say that “the feedback was clear that the service is very valued by the residents, their families and the local community and that its closure would have a significant detrimental impact. Responses demonstrated that the local community sees Notrees as playing an important role in the life of their community.

“Consequently, I am pleased to be able to announce tonight that officers in Adult Social Care will update their recommendation, and propose that we do not proceed with the closure, but instead undertake further work to explore ways to make the service viable in the longer-term.”

Kintbuy Parish Council, which had strenuously opposed the planned closure, is certainly pleased at this outcome. “We are delighted that the proposal to close Notrees Care Home has been reviewed and a decision made to put forward an alternative proposal in September which will see the Home caring for people from the community for many years to come,” a councillor toldPenny Post on 14 July. “The staff of Notrees are to be applauded for their approach to the original proposal and their efforts in coming up with an alternative, viable proposal that has helped trigger this change of heart. If approved in September it is a wonderful outcome for all involved.”

I don’t pretend to know anything much about the pros and cons of retaining this facility. What this does seem to show, however, is that it is worth replying to consultations. Anyone can make a wrong decision: to check this by asking people and then admitting that in the light of this you’ve changed your mind is a good thing and not too often seen, at any level of government. Maybe there’s hope for democracy yet…

Community notices

Hungerford Nursery School, like many nurseries, have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Please make donations to their fundraiser page.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

• On a similar note, Hungerford Youth Club is also looking for volunteers to help bring fun activities to local kids and teens. If you would be interested in volunteering yourself, or would like to know more information, contact Youth Worker Dion youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk. They are asking for donations of old scooters, helmets and football goalie gloves. If you have anything to donate, get in contact with them through their FaceBook page.

• Donations of unwanted gardening tools are requested for a new well-being allotment group. If you can help please contact Tina Hill on harkangel@live.com or 07572 944395.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Sat 23 Jul Open-air Cinema: Mamma Mia, Cobbs Farm Shop.

Sat 30 Jul Hungerford Craft and Gift Market, Hungerford Corn Exchange.

Sun 7 Aug Hungerford Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 4 July) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council took place on 23 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can download the minutes here.   To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council took place on 10 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 7 July 2022

This week we draw your attention to the Summer festival and our July Penny Post Hungerford newsletter (taking the time to reflect on a few immortal quotes from Yogi Berra). We also have our usual round-up of local news, including some progress on the proposed 3G pitch, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• See our July Hungerford newsletter

• This week the 30th Hungerford Summer Festival continues in full swing until Sunday 10 July with a whole range of exciting events – from music, drama, art, workshops, craft, cooking, wine, walks and talks, animals, horticulture, sport and more – taking place at the Croft Field, mostly happening in the glorious marquee. Click here to book your tickets now. The prices are subsdised and many events are totally free.

• On that note, there is till time to submit your entry of the festival’s Mayor’s Portrait competition. Artist of all ages across the area are welcome to use their artistic medium of choice, whether it be paints, pastels, charcoal, or college, to create a portrait of incumbent mayor Helen Simpson. See here for how to enter in time for the judging on Saturday 9 July. Winning entries will be framed and publicly exhibited, as well as receive a trophy.

• Hungerford Food Community invites you to a Down to Earth Community Cook-In this Saturday 9 July from 3pm at The Croft Field Centre. What, I hear you ask, is a community cook-in? It’s a chance to learn tasty new recipes, using ingredients that would be wasted by supermarkets and to enjoy a communal meal. Cooking prep is from 3pm and the meal from 5.30pm. Please bring your own drinks. Tickets are free but need to be pre-booked here.

• Hungerford Town Council has opened nominations for the Freedom of the Town Awards 2022. These recognise good citizenship and role models within our community and who’s actions demonstrate ‘exceptional loyalty’ to the town. If you know someone who’s commitment to community needs to be recognised, then you have until Monday 11 July to fill in the form and hand it in or email to the Town Clerk. For more information visit their page, or email at townclerk@hungerford-tc.gov.uk.

• Do you have a friendly nature? The ability to chat with people easily? Good listening skills and knowledge of your local area? Local charity Eight Bells is currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. Please click here to find out more.

• Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Hungerford in Bloom. The judging took place last Saturday 2 July and it was a very high standard in competition across all categories. See winners and photos here.

Hungerford Nursery School has just celebrated its 80th birthday with a party and Fun Run. The day managed to raise an amazing £1,576.89, which will go towards the nursery. Read the full summary of the days events here. Like many nurseries, they have greatly suffered from cuts to funding, and so raising money is vital in order to stay afloat and maintain a high quality level of care. Although the fun run itself has now passed, you can still make donations to their fundraiser page.

• The last talk in this year’s series of Well Read Mind series for mental health and wellbeing is What seems to be the problem? with Dr Laura Marshall-Andrews on compassion and care in the NHS. On Tuesday 12 July at Hungerford Hub & Library. Thanks to grant funding, the event costs only £3 – please book here.

Covid Cases are unfortunately rising again all around the country, however if you still haven’t got your vaccine or are behind on your booster, The Croft Field Centre will be holding vaccination days on select days throughout July and August. Eligible patients should book in for their jab using the NHS website.

• As noted last week, Herongate Club is celebrating having achieved charity status by offering No Joining Fee memberships during July and August. See here for details or contact the club 01488 682000 or info@herongate.club to book a tour of their gym, pool, sauna, steam room and squash court facilities.

• As mentioned previously, Hungerford Surgery is delighted to announce that Dr Harriet Plumridge (MRCGP) will be joining the practice as a salaried GP in September 2022. Dr Plumridge has been looking after patients at Hungerford,as a locum GP, since December 2021 and will continue to do so until September. She will then take on those patients currently registered with Dr Rachel Rowe and be working full days on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

• If you missed Hungerford Environmental Action Team’s recent Home Energy talks on how to save money on heating your home, they can all be watched on YouTube here.

• West Berkshire Council has extended its Bus Improvement Plan survey deadline. It is vital they hear from passengers and potential passengers to ensure they are meeting needs. If you would like your views heard regarding Berkshires bus services, then take the survey before midnight on Sunday 31 July.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

Click here for the latest news from the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group about the continuing threat to direct rail services from Bedwyn, Hungerford and Kintbury to London. The strike may have taken this off the agenda but, as “normal” service resumes, the struggle goes on…

• For more information on a renewable energy generation scheme involving group-buying for solar panels and battery storage, click here or call 0800 048 8113. Many thanks to Froxfield Parish Council for pointing this out to us. Note that this is only available to residents of Wiltshire and Swindon.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Penny Post Hungerford

The start of the month can only mean one thing: the publication of Penny Post Hungerford, the best guide to what’s going on in the town. As usual, July’s edition – which can read here if you don’t receive it – is packed with information. This month’s issue includes…

  • The latest news from the Town Council, the Town and Manor and the town’s retailers.
  • Updates from the schools (including a report on Hungerford Nursery School’s recent 80th birthday party).
  • The regular diary from JoG’s Head Teacher Richard Hawthorne.
  • The latest from several groups in the town including HEAT, the Historical Association and the Rugby Club.
  • The book of the month from the Bookshop.
  • A big hats off to the winners of Hungerford in Bloom.
  • Offers, events, property and jobs.

It concludes as ever, with our thought for the month. This time round it’s a typically wonderful piece of mangled English by the American baseball player and coach Yogi Berra which none the less contains a useful truth. (As well as the gem we have here, the man is also credited with saying “when you come to a fork in the road, take it”, “the future ain’t what it used to be”, “it’s déja vu all over again”, “if the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be” and “I never said most of the things I said.”)

A 3G to be

It has long been the ambition of both Hungerford Town Council and John O’Gaunt School to make better use of the ATP pitch at the school and to make this available for wide community use. You can see the application details here. The official planning-speak descriptions of applications will never rival the grandeur and majesty of the King James Bible, but here it is:

“Refurbishment of an Artificial Turf Pitch (ATP) (8,123 sq. metres) with associated features including: extended 3G football turf pitch (7,420 sq. metres); 4.5m high ball stop fencing with entrance gates to form an enclosure around FTP perimeter; 1.2m high and 2m high pitch barriers with entrance gates internally within fenced FTP enclosure; 1.2m high barrier along pedestrian access; 2.6m high maintenance equipment storage container (15 sq metres) within fenced FTP enclosure; six 15m high LED floodlights around FTP perimeter; hard-standing areas for pedestrian access and circulation, portable goals storage, as well as vehicular access (688 sq metres).”

There has recently been some discussion on the precise details of the land ownership issues between the various interested parties and I understand these are all but resolved. The next hurdle will be for WBC to agree what it will need to contribute to the cost of the project, some funding already having been secured by the Excalibur Academy (which runs the school) and from the FA and other bodies. All these matters are likely to be agreed very soon and an official announcement about what happens next will follow.

Community notices

• Free Art for Wellbeing classes at Kintbury Coronation Hall on Fridays as part of the Corn Exchange’s Link to Thrive programme for mental health. You can drop in on a weekly basis to learn new art techniques in a relaxed, friendly and sociable atmosphere under the guidance of professional artists and illustrators. See details here for how to self-refer or be referred to the classes by your GP or Social Prescriber.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

• On a similar note, Hungerford Youth Club is also looking for volunteers to help bring fun activities to local kids and teens. If you would be interested in volunteering yourself, or would like to know more information, contact Youth Worker Dion youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk. They are asking for donations of old scooters, helmets and football goalie gloves. If you have anything to donate, get in contact with them through their FaceBook page.

• Donations of unwanted gardening tools are requested for a new well-being allotment group. If you can help please contact Tina Hill on harkangel@live.com or 07572 944395.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

On now Hungerford Summer Festival,  mostly taking place at the Croft Hall marquee. Until Sunday 10 July.

Sun 10 July Hungerford Artisan Market, at the Croft Field, between 10am to 1pm.

Sat 16 & Sun 17 Jul Hungerford Carnival Weekend various events all around the town.

Sat 23 Jul Open-air Cinema: Mamma Mia, at Cobbs Farm Shop, 7pm to 11:30pm.

Sat 30 Jul Hungerford Craft and Gift Market, Hungerford Corn Exchange, from 10am to 4pm.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 4 July) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council took place on 23 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the minutes here.  To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can download the minutes here.   To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council took place on 10 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 30 June 2022

This week we have the latest on the Chestnut Walk development, ring the curtain up on the summer festival and highlight some children’s fun. We also have our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• This weekend kicks-off the much anticipated 30th Hungerford Summer Festival. From 1 to 10 July, there will be a whole range of exciting events taking place at the Croft Field, mostly happening in the glorious marquee. This year’s programme offers everything you could want for your summer entertainment – music, drama, art, workshops, craft, cooking, wine, walks and talks, animals, horticulture, sport and more. Tickets are going fast so click here to book yours and check out the range of fun shows, workshops and activities on offer.

• On that note, the festival is launching its very first Mayor’s Portrait competition. Artist of all ages across the area are welcome to use their artistic mediumof choice, whether it be paints, pastels, charcoal, or college, to create a portrait of incumbent mayor Helen Simpson. You can also book a place on the portrait workshop on Monday 4 July, as part of the Festival line-up. See here for how to enter by Friday 8 July for judging on the Saturday 9 July. Winning entries will be framed and publicly exhibited, as well as receive a trophy.

• This Saturday 2 July offers lots of children’s fun at The Croft. Arts for Hungerford’s Children’s Art Festival has free fun workshops and classes for storytelling, mural painting, illustrating, drumming and more on the Croft Green from 11am and 3pm. At The Croft Field Centre (next to Hungerford Nursery School) Hungerford Summer Festival is hosting two ZooLab workshops at 10:30 and 11:30 – book tickets here. Hungerford Primary School Choir will also be performing at 2:30pm in the Croft Field marquee (no booking required).

Herongate Club is pleased to annouce they have acheived charity status and to celebrate they are offering no joining fee memberships during July and August. See here for details or contact the club 01488 682000 or info@herongate.club to book a tour of their gym, pool, sauna, steam room and squash court facilities.

• Latest update from David Whitely on the canal swing bridge replacement in Hungerford: on Monday the steelwork was offloaded at Canal Wharf onto a Canal Trust boat to be floated 250 metres upstream to the bridge site just past St Lawrence’s Church. By Thursday construction was well underway but we are told that completion will take about a further five weeks. Apparently the original bearing that the bridge sat on is still serviceable but it was the use of Douglas Fir for the previous bridge that led to its downfall.

• This weekend will be the judging for the Hungerford in Bloom competition. Good luck to all the entrants, we can’t wait to see what kind of fantastic floral creations will take home the winning titles.

• All welcome to celebrate this Saturday at West Berkshire’s first Pride march starting at Victoria Park in Newbury at 1pm. Visit the Newbury Pride website or FaceBook page for more information about the event or read more in our article here. A new exhibit ‘Hope and Pride’ is also launching at West Berkshire Museum on Saturday and running for the rest of 2022, looking at the history of Pride in the UK, as well as contributions from our local LGBTQIA+ community. See here for museum opening times.

• This is your last chance to contribute your input to the West Berkshire Bus Improvement Plan. If you would like your views heard regarding Berkshires bus routes, then take the survey issued by West Berkshire Council before midnight on Sunday 3 July.

• As mentioned last week, following well-documented reports of staffing challenges at Hungerford Surgery (a problem that is shared by a large number of other surgeries in the area), we were delighted to have received this statement earlier this week from the Practice Manager: “Hungerford Surgery is delighted to announce that Dr Harriet Plumridge (MRCGP) will be joining the practice as a salaried GP in September 2022. Dr Plumridge has been looking after patients at Hungerford, as a locum GP, since December 2021 and will continue to do so until September. She will then take on those patients currently registered with Dr Rachel Rowe and be working three full days per week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Click here to see the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Hub and Library, check out what they’ve been up to this month, as well as upcoming events.

• There are two talks left in this year’s series of Well Read Mind talks and workshops for mental health and wellbeing. They cover brain power, trusting your gut and Dr Laura Marshall-Andrews memoir of compassion and care in the NHS. Thanks to grant funding, each event costs only £3. Please see here for full schedule organised by Hungerford Hub & Library, in partnership with Hungerford Bookshop. The next one will take place on Tuesday 5 July, focusing on how diet and nutrition affect your mood.

Hungerford Environmental Action Team invites you to an interesting range of free eco events this July as part of Hungerford Summer Festival, including talks on nature sustainable food and cooking.

• If you missed Hungerford Environmental Action Team’s recent Home Energy talks on how to save money on heating your home, they can all be watched on YouTube here.

• West Berkshire Council’s June Business news includes recruitment support for employers, low carbon workspace grants to save on energy bills, online networking and an appeal to eco-conscious independent cafes, restaurants and pubs to be part of a sustainable eateries campaign. Click here to read more.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

Click here for the latest news from the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group about the continuing threat to direct rail services from Bedwyn, Hungerford and Kintbury to London. The strike may have taken the off the agenda but, when “normal” service eventually resumes, the struggle goes on…

• For more information on a renewable energy generation scheme involving group-buying for solar panels and battery storage, visit www.solartogether.co.uk/wiltshire or call 0800 048 8113. Many thanks to Froxfield Parish Council for pointing this out to us. Note that this is only available to residents of Wiltshire and Swindon.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Froxfield Parish Council held its annual electors’ meeting on 23 May and you can click here to read the Chair’s address and news from the villages societies.

Chestnut Walk

As mentioned last week (see below), the plans for re-developing this former care home in Hungerford ran into significant opposition from HTC and the ward members last year on grounds of the lack of ambition regarding sustainability. The matter was eventually referred to WBC’s Housing Board to make recommendations to the joint venture between WBC and Sovereign Housing which is developing the scheme. This happened six and a half months ago so this seemed like a good moment to find out where matters now stood.

A joint venture being involved, a combined statement has proved challenging to obtain. However, various conversations this week have established two things. The first is that, as the housing portfolio holder Howard Woollaston told me, the plan “is to exceed the current building requirements” with regard to sustainable and environmentally-beneficial features. I understand, but have yet to have this officially confirmed, that this is likely to include aspects such as ground-source heat pumps, solar panels and EV charge points. A more detailed application (“reserved matters”) should be made soon in which, it is hoped, these features will be enshrined.

The second point is that the joint venture is also concerned with a similar but rather larger empty site at Phoenix Court in Newbury and the proposal is that these be developed at the same time. Given the increase in building costs and the fact that the extra costs of the expected new features might reduce or eliminate any profitability, it makes sense to exploit any economies of scale. An application for Phoenix Court has yet to be made but this should happen in the next month or so. I imagine that the joint venture will take care to ensure that the lessons of the Hungerford application have been learned as otherwise there could be a further delay which, on this occasion, might have a political dimension. All being well, the spades should be in the respective grounds by early next year.

If WBC is depressed about fact that the two developments might not break even because of the extra features, I can offer three notes of encouragement. The first is that this is the right thing to be doing, given the climate emergency, and will also help protect the tenants from energy price hikes. A profitable or successful venture can no longer be so described in purely financial terms. The second is a PR one: it will now be much easier for WBC to encourage others, including perhaps even other developers, to take environmentally responsible actions if it can show that it has done so itself. Thirdly, I don’t know how the maintenance costs of conventional heating systems such as oil-fired boilers compare to the sustainable ones proposed but I’m pretty sure they’ll be a lot higher. As the landlord, WBC and/or Sovereign will be responsible for these. They’ve therefore have reduced their overheads, set a good example and done the right thing. What’s not to like?

The only thing that’s perhaps not to like is the glacial timescale so far. The care home closed in 2017 and it’ll be at least mid 2023 before these badly-needed homes are available. Does everything have to take this long?

Community notices

• Free Art for Wellbeing classes at Kintbury Coronation Hall on Fridays as part of the Corn Exchange’s Link to Thrive programme for mental health. You can drop in on a weekly basis to learn new art techniques in a relaxed, friendly and sociable atmosphere under the guidance of professional artists and illustrators. See details here for how to self-refer or be referred to the classes by your GP or Social Prescriber.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

• Local charity Eight Bells is currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. To express your interest in the position complete their Volunteer Form here or email cs@eightbellsnewbury.co.uk

• On a similar note, Hungerford Youth Club is also looking for volunteers to help bring fun activities to local kids and teens. If you would be interested in volunteering yourself, or would like to know more information, contact Youth Worker Dion youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk. They are asking for donations of old scooters, helmets and football goalie gloves. If you have anything to donate, get in contact with them through their FaceBook page.

• Donations of unwanted gardening tools are requested for a new well-being allotment group. If you can help please contact Tina Hill on harkangel@live.com or 07572 944395.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

Fri 1 July Hungerford Comedy Club, at the Hungerford Rugby Club, from 7:30pm.

Fri 1 July Hungerford Summer Festival, 10 days of fun events, mostly taking place at the Croft Hall marquee until Sunday 10 July.

Sat 2 July Children’s Art Festival, at The Croft Field, between 11am to 3pm.

Sun 10 July Hungerford Artisan Market, at the Croft Field, between 10am to 1pm.

Sat 16 & Sun 17 Jul Hungerford Carnival Weekend various events all around the town.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 6 June) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council took place on 23 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of a Chair and Deputy; formal matters; speeding; the best-kept village competition; parking in Church Lane; a blocked drain; the tree survey; grass cutting; community payback; a possible new logo; repairs and maintenance around the parish; planning matters; and financial matters. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and Deputy; formal matters; cherry trees; the conservation area appraisal; the History Group; financial matters; and village communications. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can download the minutes here.  Items covered included: the election of the Chair and Deputy; formal matters; committee reports; village maintenance matters; planning matters; and financial matters. The annual Parish assembly took place on 21 April and you can download the minutes here. This included reports of the year’s activities from the Parish Council and various community groups. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council took place on 10 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of a Chair and Deputy; formal matters; power-supply problems; planning matters; the Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Stewards; the Community Area Transport Group; financial matters; the Environmental Management Plan; and a public forum regarding the Recreation Ground and car park. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 23 June 2022

This week we look forward to an announcement about the Chestnut Walk development, celebrate an appointment at the Surgery and remind you about the a couple of local festivals . We also have our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• This Friday 24 June , the popular community Educafé Community Café, which meets every Wednesday in Newbury Library, will be coming to Hungerford Library from 12pm to 2.30pm. They offer arts and crafts, games and puzzles, activities for parents with babies, IT support, a befriending service, English conversation, and lots more, tea/coffee and cake – all for free. See more details here.

• Also to look forward to this weekend is the English Wine & Food Festival, hosted this year by Cobbs Farmshop. Pop in on Saturday 25 or Sunday 26 June to see many English artisan food producers and English wines to try. Get your tickets here.

• Following well-documented reports of staffing challenges at Hungerford Surgery (a problem that is shared by a large number of other surgeries in the area), we were delighted to have received this statement earlier this week from the Practice Manager: “Hungerford Surgery is delighted to announce that Dr Harriet Plumridge (MRCGP) will be joining the practice as a salaried GP in September 2022. Dr Plumridge has been looking after patients at Hungerford, as a locum GP, since December 2021 and will continue to do so until September. She will then take on those patients currently registered with Dr Rachel Rowe and be working three full days per week on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

Tickets are going fast for the amazing range of events hosted by the 30th Hungerford Summer Festival from 1 to 10 July, mostly happening in the glorious marquee in The Croft Field (so the audience has a choice of outdoor/indoor seating). This year’s programme offers everything you could want for your summer entertainment – music, drama, art, workshops, craft, cooking, wine, walks and talks, animals, horticulture, sport and more. Click here to book your tickets.

• Calling artists of all ages. This year marks Hungerford Summer Festival’s very first Mayor’s Portrait competition. See here for how to enter by 8 July.

• You may be aware already of the railway strikes that are taking place this weekend, which will impact a lot of travel routes across Berkshire. A full list of details and affected routes can be found hereBerkshire Live also have a survey on how the strikes will be affecting you, which can be completed via the same link. It is also worth noting that any fares affected will be refunded in full. A full timetable of the strikes is also available here on the GWR site.

• The wonderful North Wessex Downs Walking Festival finishes this Sunday 26 June so click here if you want to book place on one of the last remaining walks.

• More congratulations to former Hungerford fast bowler Lauren Bell for being selected for her second England Women Test squad. Only 13 players have been selected for the LV= Insurance Test against South Africa this time rather than the 17 there were in the Ashes. So that debut cap is getting closer.

• Many thanks to Frances Lofthouse for her report of Hungerford’s first Eco Conference at St Lawrence’s Church last Saturday 18 June. Dr Mike Morecroft presented serious facts about our future not being what it used to be, with rising sea levels and melting icesheets now a reality. But the day ended on a very positive note with the belief that we can all do something to mitigate the impact of climate change.

• Thanks also to David Whiteley for sending in these photos of the broken canal swing bridge near St Lawrence’s finally being removed this week in preparation for a replacement. The bridge was closed in April because, after a long period of being difficult to use, it finally broke its back. The Canal Trust has now started the replacement of the bridge. It will be several weeks before this work is complete but as you can imagine, for many walkers who use the bridge to access Freeman’s Marsh, this cannot come too soon.

• There is a new reason to celebrate this summer, as this July will see West Berkshire’s first Pride march. Originally planned for 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic, Newbury Pride will be West Berkshire’s very first Pride celebration of its kind. It will take place on Saturday 2 July, starting at Victoria Park at 1pm. The march will be a celebration of LGBTQIA+ identify, individuality and community and everyone from all identities are welcome to join in and support our friends and neighbours. Visit the Newbury Pride website or FaceBook page for more information about the event or read more in our article here.

• On the day of the Pride march, a new exhibit ‘Hope and Pride’ will open at West Berkshire Museum. Running for the rest of 2022, the exhibition will take a look at the history of Pride in the UK, as well as contributions from our local LGBTQIA+ community. Come along to learn something new about the incredible people in our diverse community. See here for museum opening times.

• More local hosts are needed for people escaping the war in Ukraine. According to the Newbury Today, there currently around 170 hosts in West Berkshire, but a total of 390 Ukrainians have applied for visas to stay in the area – with 228 refugees having already arrived. With more still to arrive, there is a real struggle to find enough hosts to meet the demand. If you could consider hosting a Ukrainian refugee or family, please get in contact with the local support group or visit westberks.gov.uk/homesforukraine.

Hungerford Environmental Action Team invites you to an interesting range of free eco events this summer covering home energy, electric vehicles, sustainable food and cooking.

• Quick reminder that scammers are taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to defraud people who are under financial pressure. Our local Citizens Advice West Berkshire office has seen recent cases where clients have lost thousands of pounds to investment scams and fake energy rebate scams from energy companies or local authorities. See here for how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught. Above all don’t feel ashamed, this is what the scammers rely on so you don’t warn others. Penny got caught once. You need to tell family, friends and report it to protect others.

• There are three talks left in this year’s series of Well Read Mind talks and workshops for mental health and wellbeing. They cover brain power, trusting your gut and Dr Laura Marshall-Andrews memoir of compassion and care in the NHS. Thanks to grant funding, each event costs only £3. Please see here for full schedule organised by Hungerford Hub & Library, in partnership with Hungerford Bookshop.

• If you missed Hungerford Environmental Action Team’s recent Home Energy talks on how to save money on heating your home, they can all be watched on YouTube here.

• West Berkshire Council’s June Business news includes recruitment support for employers, low carbon workspace grants to save on energy bills, online networking and an appeal to eco-conscious independent cafes, restaurants and pubs to be part of a sustainable eateries campaign. Click here to read more.

• Click here for the latest newsletter from the Hungerford Arcade.

Click here for the latest news from the Bedwyn Train Passenger Group about the continuing threat to direct rail services from Bedwyn, Hungerford and Kintbury to London. The strike may have taken the off the agenda but, when “normal” service eventually resumes, the struggle goes on…

• For more information on a renewable energy generation scheme involving group-buying for solar panels and battery storage, visit www.solartogether.co.uk/wiltshire or call 0800 048 8113. Many thanks to Froxfield Parish Council for pointing this out to us. Note that this is only available to residents of Wiltshire and Swindon.

• If you would are interested in hosting Ukrainian guests, please join the Hungerford Support Group for Ukraine or contact Rachel on rachel@rbarker.co.uk or 07887 531376.

• Click here for the latest Inkpen and Combe Bulletin.

Froxfield Parish Council held its annual electors’ meeting on 23 May and you can click here to read the Chair’s address and news from the villages societies.

Chestnut Walk

It’s now been over six months since this application was, as a result of a questions raised at WBC’s Executive in December 2021, referred to the Housing Board. The main point here is that Hungerford Town Council and the ward members felt that the plans (by a joint venture between WBC and Sovereign) to re-develop the former care-home site in Hungerford into eight social-rent homes demonstrated a lack of ambition with regard to sustainable features in the light of the climate emergency; indeed, might have been contrary to WBC’s own policy on the matter.

There’s been a change of portfolio holder since then, Howard Woollaston replacing Hilary Cole, but I understand that that the matter is inching its way towards the top of the to-do list. I believe that the point has been accepted that the aspirations should have been higher and hopefully this will be remedied. This operates not only on the obvious environmental level but also on a political/PR one: WBC’s exhortations to its residents, businesses and developers to do what they can to reduce their carbon footprints would carry a lot more weight were WBC to be seen to be doing this itself when it is the application (or co-applicant in this case). It may be that the scheme with these extra features makes little or no profit for WBC. However, the merits of a social-housing development cannot only be expressed in financial terms, the more so during a climate emergency. A good case could be made for defending why the development failed to be be profitable (if that proves to be the case). However, it’s likely that the delay has caused extra costs and that the balance sheet would look a bit healthier if the right and best thing had been done from the outset.

Were this to have happened, the homes might by now have been built. Residents who need the social housing this scheme will provide will wonder how much longer they will have to wait. The former care home closed five years ago and the only thing of note that has happened three since was an arson attack a few weeks ago: not a great legacy so far.

Hopefully there’ll be some more positive news soon, coupled with some definite and fairly immediate plans for actually doing something. We’ve contacted both Sovereign and WBC this week and will try to get a joint statement for next week.

Community notices

• Free Art for Wellbeing classes at Kintbury Coronation Hall on Fridays as part of the Corn Exchange’s Link to Thrive programme for mental health. You can drop in on a weekly basis to learn new art techniques in a relaxed, friendly and sociable atmosphere under the guidance of professional artists and illustrators. See details here for how to self-refer or be referred to the classes by your GP or Social Prescriber.

• Local charity Eight Bells are currently looking to recruit Community Navigator Volunteers in Hungerford to provide community support, with a focus on looking after mental health and reduce social isolation. Volunteers will be fully trained and by giving as little as two hours a week you could make a huge difference in someone’s life. To express your interest in the position complete their Volunteer Form here or email cs@eightbellsnewbury.co.uk

• On a similar note, Hungerford Youth Club is also looking for volunteers to help bring fun activities to local kids and teens. If you would be interested in volunteering yourself, or would like to know more information, contact Youth Worker Dion youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk. They are asking for donations of old scooters, helmets and football goalie gloves. If you have anything to donate, get in contact with them through their FaceBook page.

• Donations of unwanted gardening tools are requested for a new well-being allotment group. If you can help please contact Tina Hill on harkangel@live.com or 07572 944395.

Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers to help run clubs and summer reading challenges. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519533.

• Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) has some fun and practical volunteering opportunities over the next couple of months. If you would like to get involved please contact HEAT_Hungerford@yahoo.com

• Hungerford PPG (Patient Participation Group) strongly encourages elderly residents to make a doctor appointment if they are not feeling 100%.

• Volunteering with Hungerford Youth Club is lots of fun. Please contact Dion on youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

• Hungerford CHAIN needs volunteer Handybus drivers.

• Please buy West Berkshire Lottery tickets to support the Hungerford Hub not-for-profit community asset which houses Hungerford Library. You can also win prize money for yourself of course.

• Elderly or seriously ill residents can get help walking their dog from the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757900 or volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk. The charity is looking for more volunteer walkers across the area.

• Hungerford Fire Station is seeking new recruits to become on-call firefighters. If you fancy a new career and a challenge, see here for more.

• Latest news from Inkpen Village Hall includes a wide range of activities on offer.

Local events and activities

For more information on events and activities across the Penny Post area, see the website calendar.

• Dates for the diary

• Coming soon: Hungerford Summer Festival Fri 1 to Sat 10 July.

Sat 25 June Jubilee Picnic & Opera Evening, The Croft Hall.

Sat 25 & Sun 26 June English Wine & Food Festival, the Cobbs Farm shop, Hungerford.

Thurs 30 June Summer Reading Celebration, Hungerford Bookshop, from 6:30pm.

Fri 1 July Hungerford Comedy Club, at the Hungerford Rugby Club, from 7:30pm.

Sat 2 July Newbury Pride March, meeting at Victoria Park, 1pm.

Sat 16 & Sun 17 Jul Hungerford Carnival Weekend various events all around the town.

• Regular Events

• Hungerford Historical Association hosts fascinating monthly talks and non-members are welcome. See details here.

• Hungerford General Carers Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library on the fourth Monday of each month generally from 10am to noon. See here for more information.

• Hungerford Cancer Support Group at Hungerford Hub and Library every third Thursday of the month between 2 and 4pm. New members are always welcome and more details can be found here.

• Hungerford market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm: fruit, veg, meat, cheese, bread, fish, honey, olives, plants, cakes and bric-a-brac.

• Kintbury Netball Club for adults of all abilities 7-8pm Wednesdays at the Kintbury Jubilee Centre. Contact Caitlin on kintburynetballclub@gmail.com or join the KJC Netball facebook group.

• The Crafty Girls every first Wednesday of the month from 7pm to 9pm in the Hungerford Hub. This sociable group supplements their chat with a bit of craft. Please see here for more.

 Hungerford Library has several events for people of all ages. See further details on the West Berkshire Library Facebook page.

The Curve Gift Shop at Hungerford Hub sells art and craft by local artisans with 15% of sales going to the upkeep of Hungerford Library. Open 10am to 4pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and 10am – 12noon Saturdays.

• Hungerford Nursery School Seedlings weekly drop-in group on Wednesday lunch-times for families with one to three-year-olds. Please see here for details.

• French conversation sessions with Hungerford Twinning Association at Hungerford Library on the last Saturday of the month between 10.30am and 12pm. All abilities welcome to drop in for a chat and a coffee.

• Love Lotte Barre Fitness classes for the best workout: £45/month (plus free taster).

Hungerford Theatre Company’s Players group (for over 21s) at Hungerford Hub every Friday 7pm to 10pm. All welcome.

News from your local council

Note: “the most recent meeting” refers to the most recent one for which minutes (in some cases draft) or some other summary is available. Other meetings may have taken place since. Some councils publish minutes more promptly than do others.

• Information on Hungerford Town Council can be found in the section above. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 6 June) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council took place on 23 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of a Chair and Deputy; formal matters; speeding; the best-kept village competition; parking in Church Lane; a blocked drain; the tree survey; grass cutting; community payback; a possible new logo; repairs and maintenance around the parish; planning matters; and financial matters. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and Deputy; formal matters; cherry trees; the conservation area appraisal; the History Group; financial matters; and village communications. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council took place on 19 May and you can download the minutes here.  Items covered included: the election of the Chair and Deputy; formal matters; committee reports; village maintenance matters; planning matters; and financial matters. The annual Parish assembly took place on 21 April and you can download the minutes here. This included reports of the year’s activities from the Parish Council and various community groups. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council took place on 10 May and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of a Chair and Deputy; formal matters; power-supply problems; planning matters; the Recreation Ground; Popham Close; the Parish Stewards; the Community Area Transport Group; financial matters; the Environmental Management Plan; and a public forum regarding the Recreation Ground and car park. To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council took place on 5 May and you can read the minutes here. To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click here.

• Hungerford area council contacts

Parishes: Hungerford Town CouncilKintbury Parish CouncilShalbourne Parish CouncilHam Parish Council,  Chilton Foliat Parish CouncilFroxfield Parish Council and Inkpen Parish Council.

West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsTheale area; Wantage area; Marlborough area; Swindon area.

News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

You might also be interested in…

Thursday 16 June 2022

This week we look at the climate-emergency-related matters of Hungerford’s EV charge points and the revised plans for the Chestnut Walk development, both of which appear to be running late, and also look at the consultation on the possible closure of the Notrees care home in Kintbury and what the next moves might be. We also have our usual round-up of local news, local events and activities and news from your local councils.

This week’s news

• This Friday, the popular community Educafé, which meets every Wednesday in Newbury Library, will be coming to Hungerford Library. They offer arts and crafts, games and puzzles, activities for parents with babies, IT support, a befriending service, English conversation, and lots more, tea/coffee and cake – all for free. Taking place Friday 17 and 24 June from 12pm to 2.30pm. See more details he