Hungerford Area Weekly News sections – 2024 archive (From January)

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 July to December 2023

Click here for the archive for January to June 2023

Click here for the archive for 2022

Thursday 9 May 2024

Our usual round-up of local news includes markets, blooms, yoga, talent and art – plus a link to the latest Penny Post Hungerford, the Town Hall’s refurbishment and a look at the plans for some proposed new homes in Station Road. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include plant/cake sale, food, artisan & antiques markets.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Penny Post Hungerford

The May Penny Post Hungerford was published earlier this week and as ever provides the best and most comprehensive round-up of life in the town. Click here to read it if you didn’t receive it.

If you have anything you’d like to contribute to the June 2024 edition, please email penny@pennypost.org.uk by the end of this month.

• Hungerford’s homes

On 11 April, we reported that Archel, the new owners of the site at Station Road in Hungerford, had recently submitted a planning application which was expected to be validated “within the next few weeks”. This has now happened and you can see the details here. This is for the  “erection of 44 residential dwellings, alongside associated access works (including formation of new access from Station Road), parking, landscaping, open space, drainage and other associated works.”

Proposals to develop the site to the south of the railway station in Hungerford have been in the air for many years. In 2023, proposals (put forward by the then owners Churchill Retirement) met with opposition from Hungerford Town Council and, more importantly, West Berkshire Council’s planners. Churchill then sold the site to Archel who came up with plans that many felt were more in line with what the town needed. A presentation was made to HTC’s Planning Committee on 11 March (the minutes for which you can read here) by whom both the proposals and the courtesy in offering HTC early sight of the project seemed to have been well received.

Now that the matter has been validated, it will be discussed at the next available meeting of the HTC planning committee which will then express its opinions. The matter will be decided in due course by WBC’s planners. If the matter is called in (which happens if a ward member or an officer requests this or if there are more than ten objections and the officers are minded to approve it) then it will come before the Western Area Planning Committee for a decision.

If you want to make any comments, for or against the scheme, use the above link to WBC’s planning portal.

The scheme certainly seems to me to be a vast improvement on the previous one, which was for a high-end retirement complex. The trick, as ever, will to ensure that all the desirable aspects such as the housing tenure and the sustainable features and enshrined in the approval (if it is approved) and, as importantly, are then enforced. Although not responsible for this, Hungerford Town Council will be keeping a close eye on how things go.

The developers would be wise to continue to regard HTC as a constructive friend during the process. HTC has form in raising development issues which it felt to be contrary to the interests of the town. With Bewley Homes at Lancaster Park and Sovereign Housing with Chestnut Walk, HTC (working with the ward members) opposed aspects of the emerging schemes and in both cases emerged victorious.

It must be admitted that (still) nothing has been built at Chestnut Walk but this is hardly HTC’s fault. indeed, it raises the matter with WBC and Sovereign at every opportunity, as does Penny Post.

• Town Hall refurbishment

The Hungerford Town Hall is, to the best of my knowledge, the only one in the country that’s privately owned. The Town and Manor, which owns it, enjoys a similarly unique status, the only survival of the organisations that once existed in every town to regulate fairs and markets and to safeguard rights and liberties of the towns they represented. These had often been granted or sold by local medieval landlords when in a particularly generous or impecunious mood. One of the roles of such bodies was to ensure that any cases of seller’s remorse did not result in their being lost again.

In every other town in the land, these time-honoured responsibilities and functions became subsumed into the new municipal structure that grew up in Victorian times. Due to various historical accidents, the Town and Manor of Hungerford uniquely survived, its main role now being as a local landowning charity. As mentioned, one of the things that it owns is the Town Hall.

One important aspect of this is that the building is maintained at no cost to the taxpayer. The Town and Manor has decided that it needs to embark on some improvements to help maintain and upgrade the building and this it will need to fund itself.

One such planning application for “internal and external alterations for the purposes of improvement and upgrades to the Town Hall” has been lodged and has recently been validated by West Berkshire Council. You can click here to see the details of this and to make any comments.

• Other news

Hungerford is known as a market town and never more so than on the second Sunday of the month. This Sunday 12 May pop into the Antique & Collectors’ Fair in the Town Hall 9am to 3.30pm: plus the Hungerford Food & Artisan Market at the Croft Field 10am to 1pm. At 11.30am there will be two live cooking demonstrations – crispy fried Peipa Tofu and humous with a twist – while you are entertained by live music from Scampy. Please bring your own reusable cup to secure 50p off all hot drinks, any used foil and IT tech for recycling and any plants, seeds or produce to share.

• There are a few places available on the Beginners Yoga class at Audley Inglewood starting on Wednesday 29 May at 4.15pm. The six week course costs £63 and can be booked by anyone in the local community (you don’t have to be a member of the Audley Club). The instructor will take you through a combination of soft flowing movements, yoga poses, directed breathing and relaxation exercises. This combination works on the body and mind, improving strength and flexibility, building a heightened sense of positivity, and rejuvenating your whole being.

• The Town & Manor of Hungerford is keen to remind residents that if you are looking for a fantastic venue, everyone is welcome to hire the Town Hall Complex. It has many rooms that you can hire or the whole building. Whether it be a party, wedding, a business event or an evening class, get in touch for a tour, by calling 01488 686555 or email clerk@townandmanor.co.uk. Alternatively, head to their webpage where you’ll find an online form you can fill in here.

Hungerford Town Council invites entries of all sizes to its 2024 Hungerford in Bloom Competition.  Prizes and certificates will be awarded to 1st,  2nd and 3rd places in each category and the Margaret Wilson Cup will be awarded for the overall most Eco-Friendly Garden. This year there is a new category of ‘Newcomer’ for gardeners who have not previously entered any Hungerford in Bloom Competitions. To enter, download a copy of the entry form from their website,  email admin@hungerford-tc.gov.uk, phone 01488 686195 or collect a paper copy from Hungerford Library.Deadlines for entries is Monday 21 June and Judging day is Saturday, 6 July.

• Hungerford Town Council is delighted to announce that the first Hungerford’s Got Talent show will be held on Saturday 6 July  from 11am onwards at John O’Gaunt School. Performers up to the age of 16 years are invited to enter the competition by completing an application form, either online here, or by paper copy available throughout the town. The entry deadline is Monday 10 June. This is an inclusive event, to benefit children and young people and help with increasing confidence and learning new skills. For more details, and the event posters designed by talented pupils from Hungerford Primary School – see here.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Bowls Club will be participating in The Big Bowls Weekend on Saturday 25 May and everyone is encouraged to rock up and give it a go. Call Elaine Stephens on 01672 871585 for further info.

• If you know someone who finds it difficult to visit the library, through age, disability or other special circumstances, they may be able to come to you. Contact West Berks Libraries’  ‘At Home’ service by phoning 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk

• Quick reminder to drive carefully on the Common and leave no litter now that cows are in residence. Please see the Town & Manor facebook page for reports of a lame cow that possibly has broken glass in her hoof.

• Have you visited any local artists’ Open Studios yet? See the venues map here of artists’ open studios, including in Hungerford, Kintbury Holt, Newbury, Stockcross, Woolton Hill, Thatcham, Bucklebury, Bradfield and Brimpton, Lambourn, East Ilsley and Wilton.

Quick reminder about the Kintbury Charity Plant & Cake Sale this Saturday 11 May 10am to 2pm. All details are on the poster.

• Step back in time for a nostalgic journey at Audley Inglewood‘s Classic Cars Show on Tuesday 14 May from 1pm. Witness the elegance and charm of vintage automobiles as they take center stage in a display of timeless beauty. Delicious food and refreshing beverages available before and after the show at Blandy’s Bistro. To book please call 01488 687 010 or email InglewoodReception@audleyvillages.co.uk

• Hungerford’s precious swifts are on their way back and they will need somewhere to nest and plenty of insects to eat. We have lost over 60% of this incredible species since 2000 due to their nesting holes being blocked by building renovation, drop in insect food and climate change which is increasing the number of storms that occur during the migration season. So please, if you would like to help swifts, follow Swift Town Hungerford on facebook here and email HEAT for advice whether your house is suitable for swift boxes on heat_hungerford@yahoo.com

• Phoebe Smith, adventurer, multi award-winning travel writer, chart-topping WanderWoman podcast host, presenter  & photographer, will be discussing her new book Wayfarer on Wednesday 22 May at 7pm at The Croft. Skilfully weaving together her own story with those of countless travellers past and present, Phoebe describes the transformative power of walking Britain’s ancient pilgrim paths. Tickets can be sourced here.

Hungerford Bowls Club is holding a Big Bowls Open Day on Saturday 25 May from noon and is looking for new recruits to get involved for friendly games or competition events. Contact for more information on 01672 871585 or email hungerfordbowls@gmail.com.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choicescollectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Sat 11 May Bugeye + Who ate all the Crayons Croft Hall.

• Sat 11 May Kintbury Charity Plant & Cake Sale, Kintbury.

• Sun 12 May Hungerford Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field

• Sun 12 May Antique & Collectors Fair, Hungerford Town Hall

• Tues 14 May Classic Cars Show Audley Inglewood nr Kintbury.

• Tues 14 May Dementia Cafe Grand Launch   The Bear Hotel

• Thur 16 May Vanessa Beaumont The Other Side of Paradise The Crown & Anchor, Ham.

Fri 17 May Joey Page Hungerford Comedy Club.

• Sat 18 May Barn Dance Inkpen Village Hall

• Sat 18 May Charity Bring n Buy Plant Sale The Croft Hall.

• Wed 22 May Wayfarer – Phoebe Smith The Croft Hall.

• Fri 24 May Film Night Evil Does Not Exist The Croft Hall.

• Sat 25 May Beer and Music Festival Hungerford Town Football Club

• Sat 1 Jun George Stacey The Plume Hungerford.

• Sat 1 Jun Sandra’s Quiz Night  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wed 1 to 1.30pm. Book with kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

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

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

Walking Football with Hungerford Town Walking Football for over 50s. New members always welcome to train most Mondays from 7-8pm at John o’Gaunt School’s artificial pitch.

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 7 May 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the county councillor; highways and traffic; planning matters; rights of way; and financial matters.
You can also click here to download the minutes of the annual parish assembly on 25 April.
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 4 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; reports from the Chair, the Clerk and the ward members; street lighting, road signs; a possible pedestrian crossing; financial matters; and planning matters.
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 Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 March 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. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 12 March 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 19 February 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 2 May 2024

Our usual round-up of local news includes litter, cows, a BBQ, rivers, plants and cars – plus a look at a local example of how finishing touches can take such a long time. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include live music and May Day celebrations.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Finishing touches

When a housing development is completed and the residents moved in there still remains some work to do. This can prove contentious.

Aside from the inevitable snagging and teething problems with properties that need to be sorted there are also the common parts. These are areas like open spaces, playgrounds and paths as well as the roads (which are a separate and more technical issue). Like the stairwells and external walls in a block of flats, these belong to everyone and no one. Normally a management company exists to look after these. Tensions can sometimes arise as to what work is done and how this charged.

First, however, it’s necessary for two things happen. The first is that all the work on matters such as landscaping needs to be done according the planning permission and signed off (discharged) by the planning authority. The second is that a maintenance schedule needs to be agreed detailing what needs to be looked after.

The next step is normally that the developer will transfer these responsibilities, and the resulting income, to a property management company. (which may or may not have any local representation). These agreements can in turn be sold on to other firms so that it’s quite easy for the organisation responsible to lose any local connection. Such companies can also go bust. Many problems would be solved were the local council to be given first refusal on any external common parts, if for no other reasons than that it’s contactable and not going to go anywhere. That’s not, however, the way the system works (though it tends to with the roads which are generally adopted by the highways authority, providing they’re built to the right standard). Even if it did, these two tasks would have to be accomplished first.

One might think that after having acquired the land, got the permission and built the houses – each of which stages can take several years – finishing these aspects of the job off would be simple. Even if the developer lacks the in-house landscaping skills, there are plenty of reputable firms who can as part of the deal supply a future maintenance plan. As for the overall maintenance schedule, that’s something the surely no one will know better than the developers. They will, after all, have built all the physical items.

The sooner they get this done, the sooner that can wind up operations in that town and move on. The residents want this to be sorted quickly. The planning authority likewise wants to tick off another box and have all the conditions of the site discharged. Everyone’s interests would seem to be aligned towards getting this done as quickly and neatly as possible.

And yet it so often isn’t. Heels are dragged; misunderstandings flare up between residents the developers and the councils and old grievances are re-ignited ; trees are planted at the wrong time, or in the wrong place, or not at all; confusions and uncertainties arise over matters such as streetlights or flood mitigation measures which can be too late to put right to everyone’s satisfaction; and there’s the mounting concern that the residents will be left to foot the bill for work not done properly prior to handover or as a result of a poorly drafted management agreement. My experience of any building work is that the last five percent – which involves the clearing up and the finishing touches – often takes about twenty percent of the time. It seems that this applies on a macro level as well.

I’m not saying that all of these problems have surfaced with the last knockings at Lancaster Park in Hungerford but enough of them have to give residents some grounds for concern. Fortunately, they have two things in their favour: a well run WhatsApp’ group to which almost all the residents belong; and an efficient and tenacious town council which is used to locking horns with any organisation that fails to make good on its promises for the town. I understand that there will be some further discussions about unfinished work on the common parts there and we’ll provide an update when available. It’s unfortunate that these two groups need to press for this work to happen (and, in the first case, need to be set up at all) but clearly it’s necessary that they do.

• Other news

• Huge congratulations to 12 year old John O’Gaunt student Millie Blackwell whose 30-day litter pick challenge in aid of Great Ormond St. Hospital has now been completed (watch Penny’s short video interview with Millie here). She has exceeded her target but donations are still appreciated here should you want to contribute.

Town & Manor of Hungerford is pleased to have the wonderful cows back on the common, so please drivers to be aware. These are young cows who haven’t seen moving bits of metal on wheels before so please do not expect them to move immediately or understand that vehicles can be dangerous to them.  Please take notice of the signs and ensure that no livestock is harmed, or cars damaged, this year. Please also do not leave any litter on the common – this can be very dangerous to the cows. Please see the Town & Manor facebook page for reports of a lame cow that possibly has broken glass in her hoof.

• Audley Inglewood invites local residents to an unforgettable afternoon at its terrace-opening barbecue with live music on Thursday 9 May. Experience the ultimate summer kickoff as they unveil their lovely terrace with delicious lunch and the sensational Kitty Mazinsky. To book please call 01488 687 010 or email InglewoodReception@audleyvillages.co.uk.

• The popular annual Open Studios season starts this Saturday 4 May with their flagship exhibition INSIGHT 2024 featuring over one local hundred artists at The Base, Greenham until Monday 27 May 2024. This is where traditionally the public begin their open studios experience before enjoying the opportunity of visiting artists at work in their own studios across West Berkshire and North Hampshire. See the venues map of artists’ open studios, including in Hungerford, Kintbury Holt, Newbury, Stockcross, Woolton Hill, Thatcham, Bucklebury, Bradfield and Brimpton, Lambourn, East Ilsley and Wilton.

• Hungerford Town Hall was pleased to host a Berkshire Local Nature Recovery Strategy workshop last Tuesday which featured talks about inspiring local projects by ARK (Action for the River Kennet) and the Town & Manor’s new Wetland project that they hope will be kicking off later this year. If you missed the meeting, there is still time to participate in the strategy planning by completing the survey here by Tues 7 May.

• Our rivers are in trouble and ARK is asking for your help by joining the The Rivers Trust #BigRiverWatch this Bank Holiday weekend between Friday 3 and Monday 6 May. By reporting what you see in your local river, you’ll be contributing to the citizen science survey and help paint a big picture of the health of our rivers in the UK and Ireland. The more that we know about them, the better we can restore our vital waterways and demand action for rivers. Search for ‘Big River Watch’ in your app store or click here, to download and get started.

Quick reminder of request for plant or cake donations for the Kintbury Charity Plant & Cake Sale on Saturday 11 May 10am-2pm? Please drop off plants and outdoor items to Kate from 1st May and edibles to Jane preferably a day or two before the Sale, whose contact details are on the poster.  All proceeds go to local charitable groups.

• Step back in time for a nostalgic journey at Audley Inglewood‘s Classic Cars Show on Tuesday 14 May from 1pm. Witness the elegance and charm of vintage automobiles as they take center stage in a display of timeless beauty. Delicious food and refreshing beverages available before and after the show at Blandy’s Bistro. To book please call 01488 687 010 or email InglewoodReception@audleyvillages.co.uk

• Hungerford’s precious swifts are on their way back  and they will need somewhere to nest and plenty of insects to eat. We have lost over 60% of this incredible species since 2000 due to their nesting holes being blocked by building renovation, drop in insect food and climate change which is increasing the number of storms that occur during the migration season. So please, if you would like to help swifts, follow Swift Town Hungerford on facebook here and email HEAT for advice whether your house is suitable for swift boxes on heat_hungerford@yahoo.com

• Phoebe Smith, adventurer, multi award-winning travel writer, chart-topping WanderWoman podcast host, presenter  & photographer, will be discussing her new book Wayfarer on Wednesday 22 May at 7pm at The Croft. Skilfully weaving together her own story with those of countless travellers past and present, Phoebe describes the transformative power of walking Britain’s ancient pilgrim paths. Tickets can be sourced here.

Hungerford Town Juniors football Club is currently looking for sponsorship for its Junior Competition. Click online here for all the details.

• A quick reminder that every Wednesday from 1pm to 1.30pm you can enjoy a Wellbeing Session at Hungerford Library for free. Call Kate on 07706 357801 or email her on kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org to book and treat yourself as spring arrives.

Hungerford Bowls Club is holding a Big Bowls Open Day on Saturday 25 May from noon and is looking for new recruits to get involved for friendly games or competition events. Contact for more information on 01672 871585 or email hungerfordbowls@gmail.com.

• Hungerford Food Community invites local residents to contribute family WWII recipes and any stories of cooking during the war for their 80th D-Day Commemoration Cook-In. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com if you would like to contribute.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choicescollectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Sat 4 May Rizen The Railway Tavern, Hungerford.

• Sat 4 May Motown Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

• Sun 5 May Harriet Jane Music Three Swans Hotel.

• Sun 5 May Kintbury St Mary’s PTFA May Day Celebration St Mary’s Church, Kintbury

• Mon 6 May Shalbourne Mayday Fair Shalbourne Sports Field

• Mon 6 May Classic Vehicle Show Hungerford Rugby Club.

• Mon 6 May BYO Picnic Borough Arms

• Thu 9 May Terrace Opening, Audley Inglewood, near Kintbury

• Sat 11 May Bigeye + Who ate all the Crayons Croft Hall.

• Sat 11 May Kintbury Charity Plant & Cake Sale, Kintbury.

• Sun 12 May Hungerford Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field

• Sun 12 May Antique & Collectors Fair, Hungerford Town Hall

• Tues 14 May Classic Cars Show Audley Inglewood nr Kintbury.

• Tues 14 May Dementia Cafe Grand Launch   The Bear Hotel

Fri 17 May Joey Page Hungerford Comedy Club.

• Sat 18 May Barn Dance Inkpen Village Hall

• Sat 18 May Charity Bring n Buy Plant Sale The Croft Hall.

• Wed 22 May Wayfarer – Phoebe Smith The Croft Hall.

• Fri 24 May Film Night Evil Does Not Exist The Croft Hall.

• Sat 1 Jun Sandra’s Quiz Night  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wed 1 to 1.30pm. Book with kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

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

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

Walking Football with Hungerford Town Walking Football for over 50s. New members always welcome to train most Mondays from 7-8pm at John o’Gaunt School’s artificial pitch.

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 2 April 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the county councillor; highways and traffic; planning matters; rights of way; and financial matters.
You can also click here to download the minutes of the annual parish assembly on 25 April.
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 18 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; speeding; a new logo; the defibrillator; D-Day; the best-kept village; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), 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 12 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: The phone box; planning matters; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; speeding; the wildlife group; financial matters; and the Village Hall.
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 7 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Clerk’s report; housing; street lighting; dog waste; speeding; KPC’s grants progress; repairs and maintenance; financial matters; and planning matters.
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 19 February 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 25 April 2024

Our usual round-up of local news includes litter, cows, wellbeing, football and swifts – plus a look at two reactions to the recent decision by WBC to approve a drinks licence at Hungerford Park. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include open garden and plant sale.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Hungerford’s licensing

The Licensing Sub-Committee of West Berkshire District Council met on 16 April 2024 and “resolved to approve Application 23636 in respect of premises known as Hungerford Park Estate, Hungerford Park, West Berkshire, RG17 0UU subject to a number of conditions.” These conditions ran to nearly 3,000 words.

The Mayor Hungerford, Helen Simpson issued the following statement after the decision:

“Members of Hungerford Town Council (HTC) planning committee are extremely disappointed that West Berkshire Council licensing department has decided to grant a licence to Hungerford Park Estate following a recent hearing.

“HTC’s planning committee felt that due consideration had not been given to public safety in the licence application, one of the four objectives of Licensing law. There are many more walkers and cyclists on the narrow winding Inkpen Road than when WBC Highways department decided that the southern access posed significant risks to public safety due to poor visibility, exacerbated over the last ten years due to the success in encouraging even more walkers and cyclists to the area. [Refer 13/02003/PACOU – refused).

“HTC also felt the sensitivity of an AONB landscape was not adequately considered. Light pollution, noise and vehicle traffic will dramatically impact the beautiful countryside and environment. HTC is saddened that Hungerford Park Estates immediate neighbours will now suffer this intrusion seven days a week.

“Should Hungerford Park Estate require a change of use application to enable full use of the licence, HTC, (as a statutory consultee) will of course consider this carefully.”

The Town and Manor of Hungerford had also opposed the application and the Constable, Julie Lloyd, had the following to say:

“We are all very disappointed that the WBC Licensing Committee have decided to grant this licence and put economic activity above environmental concerns. However, we will carefully monitor the situation created by the grant of this licence, to continue to try and protect the wonderful natural resource that is Hungerford Portdown Common, the cattle that graze it and the people that use it.”

• Other news

• Congratulations to 12 year old John O’Gaunt student Millie Blackwell who is picking litter every day this month in Hungerford and surrounding villages in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. Her last day of this amazing commitment will be Tuesday 30 April so please help her reach her fund-raising target here.

• Take advantage of the free health checks at Hungerford Library this Friday 26 April from 12am to 5pm, for adults aged 30 to 74, who haven’t had a health check within the last five years or been diagnosed with certain health conditions. Contact the Library for more details on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk. Walk-ins are welcome but booking recommended to avoid waiting.

Town & Manor of Hungerford  is excited to announce that over the coming weeks and months the wonderful cows arrive back on to the common, so advise drivers to be aware. These are young cows who haven’t seen moving bits of metal on wheels before so please do not expect them to move immediately or understand that vehicles can be dangerous to them.  Please take notice of the signs and ensure that no livestock is harmed, or cars damaged, this year.

• A quick reminder that every Wednesday from 1pm to 1.30pm you can enjoy a Wellbeing Session at Hungerford Library for free. Call Kate on 07706 357801 or email her on kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org to book and treat yourself as spring arrives.

Hungerford Town Walking Football Club recently played their first away friendly tournament in Salisbury. They hold training sessions most Mondays from 7-8pm at John o’Gaunt School on the artificial pitch and are always on the lookout for new walking footballers who want to get fit or enjoy playing football whilst they still can. Training is open to all adults with official matches for the over 50s. Help spread the word.

• Hungerford’s precious swifts are on their way back  and they will need somewhere to nest and plenty of insects to eat. We have lost over 60% of this incredible species since 2000 due to their nesting holes being blocked by building renovation, drop in insect food and climate change which is increasing the number of storms that occur during the migration season. So please, if you would like to help swifts, follow Swift Town Hungerford on facebook here and email HEAT for advice whether your house is suitable for swift boxes on heat_hungerford@yahoo.com

Business volunteers are urgently requested to support Year 10 students at John O’Gaunt School by running Health & Safety in the Workplace and Interview Techniques sessions, on Wednesday 1 May and to answer ‘Guess My Job’ questions on Thursday 2 May. For more details please see here or contact Shany Middleton at Education Business Partnership on Shanym@ebp.org.uk

• Phoebe Smith, adventurer, multi award-winning travel writer, chart-topping WanderWoman podcast host, presenter  & photographer, will be discussing her new book Wayfarer on Wednesday 22 May at 7pm at The Croft. Skilfully weaving together her own story with those of countless travellers past and present, Phoebe describes the transformative power of walking Britain’s ancient pilgrim paths. Tickets can be sourced here.

Inkpen carpet bowls club have kindly offered to share their carpet bowls with the Hungerford Hub & Library for an evening and will teach you how to play. Tickets are £5 in the library or £6 online here. There will be a bar available on the night and players are welcome to invite friends and supporters along.

Hungerford Town Juniors football Club is currently looking for sponsorship for its Junior Competition. Click online here for all the details.

Richard Garvie has created an online meeting at 7pm on Friday 26 April for concerned residents to discuss the issue of sewage in West Berkshire, and to discuss what action could and should be taken to protect public health and put pressure on Thames Water, West Berkshire Council and the Government.

• Fancy a bargain on fabric and yarn? Marion Scott-Baker, awarded Singer Sewing hero for 2023 for her work in bringing stitching to local communities, is running a Wool and Fabric Bargain Sale in Newbury’s Kennet Centre on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April 10am to 4pm. The big fabric shows offer good prices but they are expensive to get to and park, so Marion likes to bring the show discounts to our local community by inviting the traders to Newbury. The net proceeds of the sale will go to West Berkshire Mencap. See here for more details.

Do you have any plants or cakes to donate to the Kintbury Charity Plant & Cake Sale on Saturday 11 May 10am-2pm? Please drop off plants and outdoor items to Kate from 1st May and edibles to Jane preferably a day or two before the Sale, whose contact details are on the poster. Weather permitting, other stalls will include Kintbury Quilters; glass items and tea towels; locally made recycled horse brass jewellery. Local Ukraine support groups (HUGS and BUGS) will answer your questions about their joint collections of Aid. And the North Wessex Downs NL will again have a table detailing their local initiatives. All proceeds go to local charitable groups.

• There’s only a few weeks to go before the Kintbury five-mile Run on Sunday 12 May. Don’t forget to get your entries in to get fit for spring and raise money for Kintbury St. Mary’s Primary School. Entry forms online here.

• The next Police and Crime Commissioner election is 2 May. PCCs are elected by the public to ensure the policing needs of communities are met. PCCs set police budgets, priorities and appoint the Chief Constable. Registering to vote takes just five minutes at gov.uk/register-to-vote. To decide who to vote for, see our local Thames Valley candidates’ manifestos here.

Hungerford Bowls Club is holding a Big Bowls Open Day on Saturday 25 May from noon and is looking for new recruits to get involved for friendly games or competition events. Contact for more information on 01672 871585 or email hungerfordbowls@gmail.com.

Action for the River Kennet is looking for volunteers who can make a long-term commitment to about two hours a month every month to be a riverfly monitor at sites in Hungerford and Shalbourne and just to the east of Marlborough. Full training and kit is provided. To find out more visit online here and contact anna@riverkennet.org to express your interest.

Latest news from Hungerford shops and independent businesses includes discount stamp prices from Hungerford Coin & Stamp Centre, seasonal veg from Cobbs, bookkeeping support from John Shatford and the benefits of chiropractic for athletes from Hungerford Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Health Centre.

• Our swifts will be returning late April or early May so please contact HEAT Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team if you would like help installing a swift box before they arrive. For more information about Swift Town Hungerford please see here.

• Hungerford Food Community invites local residents to contribute family WWII recipes and any stories of cooking during the war for their 80th D-Day Commemoration Cook-In. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com if you would like to contribute.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choicescollectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 26 Apr Stop The Sewage Action Meeting Online

• Sat 27 Apr Open Garden & Plant Sale  Sanham Green Cottage

• Sat 4 May Motown Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

Sat 4 May Murder Mystery evening at Audley Inglewood.

• Mon 6 May Classic Vehicle Show Hungerford Rugby Club.

• Sat 11 May Bigeye + Who ate all the Crayons Croft Hall

• Sun 12 May Hungerford Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field

• Sun 12 May Antique & Collectors Fair, Hungerford Town Hall

Fri 17 May Joey Page Hungerford Comedy Club.

• Sat 18 May Barn Dance Inkpen Village Hall

• Wed 22 May Wayfarer – Phoebe Smith   The Croft

• Sat 18 May Charity Bring n Buy Plant Sale Croft Hall Hungerford.

• Sat 1 Jun Sandra’s Quiz Night  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wed 1 to 1.30pm. Book with kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

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

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 2 April 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the county councillor; highways and traffic; planning matters; rights of way; and financial matters.
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 18 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; speeding; a new logo; the defibrillator; D-Day; the best-kept village; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), 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 12 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: The phone box; planning matters; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; speeding; the wildlife group; financial matters; and the Village Hall.
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 7 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Clerk’s report; housing; street lighting; dog waste; speeding; KPC’s grants progress; repairs and maintenance; financial matters; and planning matters.
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 19 February 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 18 April 2024

Our usual round-up of local news includes business volunteers, health checks, car parks, elections and bowls – plus a licensing application up for consideration, some proposed bollards and an update on the EV charge points. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include antiques and nature recovery.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Hungerford’s drinks

WBC’s Licensing Sub-committee recently looked at an application by Hungerford Park for “a range of licensable activity taking place on Hungerford Park, all contained within the one premises licence.” You can read the agenda for the meeting here, which also includes links to all the letters of representation that were received, including from Hungerford Town Council and the Hungerford Town and Manor.

Such decisions must be arrived at within five working days, which means sometime before Tuesday 23 April. The WBC website will then be updated to reflect this. Given the fact that both the applicant and one of the objectors ensured that they had specialist advice for this hearing, it seems likely that whichever way the decision goes there may be an appeal.

• Bollards

As most Hungerford residents will be aware, New Year’s Eve witnessed a severe ram-raid attack the Coin and Stamp Centre in Hungerford High Street. This resulted in the almost complete destruction of the front of the shop, significant damage to the neighbouring house and the theft of the shop’s safe and a number of valuable items. Fortunately, the Centre had recently taken a lease on the next-door premises and was thus able to continue trading.

The shop’s owner, Nigel Montgomery, has reasonably enough decided that he wants to take steps to prevent this happening again and so has submitted a planning application for bollards to be positioned on the pavement. This has yet to be validated by WBC and the details will be available on WBC’s website when this has happened (which normally takes a week or so). Anyone will then be able to comment. We’ll supply the link to this when available.

“I’m hoping for a “yes”, and as soon as possible,” he told Penny Post on 18 April. “We see this as a necessary step to protect our business and to ensure that we can continue to keep trading in the High Street.” He pointed out that other such protective devices existed elsewhere in Hungerford.

• Nature recovery

Berkshire’s six councils, led by Windsor and Maidenhead, want your help in developing the Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Berkshire through workshops and a county-wide survey.

There’s an event at the Corn Exchange, Hungerford Town Hall on Tuesday 23 April from noon to 3pm, where you’ll have the opportunity to delve deeper into the project, learn how to support local nature initiatives, and share your valuable insights. Register your interest on EventBrite as spaces are limited. There will also be an online session on Tuesday, 30 April via Zoom for those who cannot attend in person. If you can’t make it on the day, complete the survey online.  Share your thoughts, ideas, and priorities until Tuesday 7 May.

For details of how the strategy will work and why it is important that local residents get involved, listen to Penny’s interview here (from 00:40),with Rosie Street, Berkshire’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy Manager.

• EV charge points

Mortimer Life has reported that “25 roadside electric vehicle chargers will be installed in Burghfield Common from next week as part of West Berkshire Council’s roll out of grant-funded street-light powered chargers. The locations won’t, initially at least, be reserved for electric vehicles.  There’s information of how it all works here.

The news will also be of interest to residents of Hungerford, where eight chargers have been installed at various locations on the High Street. These, like the ones planned at Burghfield, did not include the bays being designated only for EVs. As a result, I understand that usage has been low.

At at a time when the majority of people still have fossil-fuel cars, designating bays just for EVs is going to be divisive. There’ll be the problem of enforcement and could result in angry neighbourly exchanges involving notes glued to windscreens. It’s impossible for WBC or anyone else to be sure that the EV bays are in every case outside a house with an EV car. The result may therefore be an expensive and under-used service that risks making the whole EV issue into even more of a polarised one than it is already.

Homeowners who have EVs but who need to rely on on-street parking have other options, even if no EV charge points are provided. A cable can be run from the house to car. Having these loose on the ground or strung up from first-floor windows dangling over tree branches are not great ideas but one can get weighted mats such as are used at events. These can get nicked, of course, and may in any case trigger insurance liability. That’s a risk each person will need to assess for themselves. Better still are the Kerbo-type systems which create a secure channel across the pavement, although these require approval from (and perhaps installation by) the council.

Given the problems of getting on-street parking EV points provided and used, councils should perhaps be concentrating on charge points in public car parks or ones used by schools and leisure centres. Here, allocating EV-only bays would be easier and the benefits would be more widely felt. Even that is fraught with problems. Hungerford Town Council has been trying for four years to get some installed in at least one of the WBC car parks in the town. Attempts to get one in Station Road were scuppered by the inability of getting a wayleave agreement with the landowner and attention is now turning to the car park near the Library. Other communities may be experiencing similar problems.

Homeowners who have EVs but who need to rely on on-street parking have other options, even if no EV charge points are provided. A cable can be run from the house to car. Having these loose on the ground or strung up from first-floor windows dangling over tree branches are not great ideas: however, one can get weighted mats for the cables such as are used at events. These can get nicked, of course, and may in any case trigger insurance liability. That’s a risk each person will need to assess for themselves. Better still are the Kerbo-type systems which create a secure channel across the pavement, although these require approval from (and perhaps installation by) the council, probably for a fee.

Given the problems of getting on-street parking EV points provided and used, councils should perhaps be concentrating on charge points in public car parks or ones used by schools and leisure centres. Here, allocating EV-only bays would be easier and the benefits would be more widely felt. However, several communities (again including Hungerford) have reported long delays in getting these installed

I put these issues to Stuart Gourley, WBC’s portfolio holder for the Environment, on 18 April. He said the WBC was aware of the nuances and challenges involved in getting EVs for those in towns who rely on on-street parking and said that were looking at a “blended approach” to the use of the bays, perhaps with different regulations applying at different times of the day or the week. The Kerbo approach was, he added, currently being trialled. I suggested that for WBC to install these for free would produce the desired the result for those who needed it but at a fraction of the cost of an EV charge point that might only rarely get used through being in the wrong place. He didn’t commit himself to this but said that it was “a discussion to be had.”

As regards chargers in public car parks, he confirmed that WBC had recently signed an agreement with a supplier and that this should be producing results soon. He also confirmed that the charge points in Hungerford, which he recognised had been an issue for some time, was pretty much at the top of the list. One issue that remains to be resolved here is the DNO (distribution network operators’) agreement for getting them hooked up to the grid.

Another complicating issue is that of government funding. Whitehall is fond of giving councils money, or inviting them to bid for it, in a way which reflects its own particular policy preferences although these may not be what the authorities most need at the time. Money for EV chargers may be available, therefore, but only for providing on-street parking and perhaps only on particular kind of roads. If the money is to be used, it needs to be spent on that and nothing else. This can create the impression that the council has no clear list of policies or priorities. In fact, it’s often a case of use it or lose it.

• Other news

Business volunteers are urgently requested to support Year 10 students at John O’Gaunt School by running Health & Safety in the Workplace and Interview Techniques sessions, on Wednesday 1 May and to answer ‘Guess My Job’ questions on Thursday 2 May. For more details please see here or contact Shany Middleton at Education Business Partnership on Shanym@ebp.org.uk

West Berks Family Hub (Hungerford) is offering a five week course on Growing Resilient Parents, every Friday from 26 April from 9.30am to 11.30am at Hungerford Nursery School at The Croft. For more information or to book call Marie Beasley on 01488 682628 or email mbeasley@hungerfordnurserry.w-berks.sch.uk.

• An extra date has been added to the free health checks at Hungerford Library on Friday 26 April from 12am to 5pm, for adults aged 30 to 74, who haven’t had a health check within the last five years or been diagnosed with certain health conditions. Contact the Library for more details, by phone 01488 682660 or email hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk. Walk-ins are welcome but booking recommended to avoid waiting.

West Berkshire Council says there are currently issues affecting the pay-on-foot payment option at five of their car parks, including Station Rd Hungerford, which means payments can only be taken by phone. To check the status of the car parks and find alternative parking options go online here.

• Expect to see a lot of classic cars on the road this Sunday 21 April as it’s the annual Drive It Day to raise awareness of motoring history. To see some beautiful vehicles close up, as well as steam engine history, pop along to the Drive It Day at Crofton Beam Engines where the main car park will be dedicated to cars who are taking part in Drive-It-Day. There will be Drive-It Day plaques for sale on the day, if you haven’t already got yours. Some Crofton volunteers will display their classic cars including a fabulous Stanley Steam Car. There will be offering light refreshments available.  Since 2021 Drive It Day has raised over £100,000 for the NSPCC’s Childline to help support vulnerable children and young people.

• Quick reminder about the Hungerford crime meeting on Thursday 25 April. This will be an opportunity for you to raise any concerns you have about crime in and around Hungerford with Laura Farris MP and Thames Valley Police, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at the Herongate Club. If you would like to attend, register here or contact laura.farris.mp@parliament.uk or 01635 551070.

Inkpen carpet bowls club have kindly offered to share their carpet bowls with the Hungerford Hub & Library for an evening and will teach you how to play. Tickets are £5 in the library or £6 online here. There will be a bar available on the night and players are welcome to invite friends and supporters along.

Hungerford Town Juniors football Club is currently looking for sponsorship for its Junior Competition. Click online here for all the details.

Richard Garvie has created an online meeting to discuss the issue of sewage in West Berkshire, and to discuss what action could and should be taken by the Council to protect public health and put pressure on Thames Water, West Berkshire Council and the Government.

• Fancy a bargain on fabric and yarn? Marion Scott-Baker, awarded Singer Sewing hero for 2023 for her work in bringing stitching to local communities, is running a Wool and Fabric Bargain Sale in Newbury’s Kennet Centre on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April 10am to 4pm. The big fabric shows offer good prices but they are expensive to get to and park, so Marion likes to bring the show discounts to our local community by inviting the traders to Newbury. The net proceeds of the sale will go to West Berkshire Mencap. See here for more details.

• There’s only a few weeks to go before the Kintbury five-mile Run. Don’t forget to get your entries in to get fit for spring and raise money for Kintbury St. Mary’s Primary School. Entry forms online here.

• The next Police and Crime Commissioner election is 2 May. PCCs are elected by the public to ensure the policing needs of communities are met. PCCs set police budgets, priorities and appoint the Chief Constable. Registering to vote takes just five minutes at gov.uk/register-to-vote. To decide who to vote for, see our local Thames Valley candidates’ manifestos here.

• Quick reminder about dual author event Fizz and Fiction with Georgina Moore & former St Barts pupil Becky Hunter at the Hungerford Bookshop on Wednesday 24 April. ‘Bring Your Book Group’ discount tickets are available so if three people come from your book group, simply enter the promo code BOOKGROUP when you check-out on Eventbrite and get 50% off your ticket for this event.

Hungerford Bowls Club is holding a Big Bowls Open Day on Saturday 25 May from noon and is looking for new recruits to get involved for friendly games or competition events. Contact for more information on 01672 871585 or email hungerfordbowls@gmail.com.

Action for the River Kennet is looking for volunteers who can make a long-term commitment to about two hours a month every month to be a riverfly monitor at sites in Hungerford and Shalbourne and just to the east of Marlborough. Full training and kit is provided. To find out more visit online here and contact anna@riverkennet.org to express your interest.

Latest news from Hungerford shops and independent businesses includes discount stamp prices from Hungerford Coin & Stamp Centre, seasonal veg from Cobbs, bookkeeping support from John Shatford and the benefits of chiropractic for athletes from Hungerford Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Health Centre.

• Our swifts will be returning late April or early May so please contact HEAT Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team if you would like help installing a swift box before they arrive. For more information about Swift Town Hungerford please see here.

• Hungerford Food Community invites local residents to contribute family WWII recipes and any stories of cooking during the war for their 80th D-Day Commemoration Cook-In. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com if you would like to contribute.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 19 Apr Poor Things Croft Hall

Sun 21 Apr Antiques and Collectors’ Fair, Hungerford.

• Tue 23 Apr Berkshire Nature Recovery Community Engagement Event, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Wed 24 Apr H.E.A.T meeting Hungerford Library

• Wed 24 Apr Fizz & Fiction Hungerford Bookshop

• Thur 25 Apr Richard Bellin Oil Painting The Croft

• Fri 26 Apr Stop The Sewage Action Meeting Online

• Thu 25 Apr Crime Meeting Herongate Club

• Sat 27 Apr Open Garden & Plant Sale  Sanham Green Cottage

• Sat 4 May Motown Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

Sat 4 May Murder Mystery evening at Audley Inglewood.

• Mon 6 May Classic Vehicle Show Hungerford Rugby Club.

• Sat 11 May Bigeye + Who ate all the Crayons Croft Hall

Fri 17 May Joey Page Hungerford Comedy Club.

• Sat 18 May Barn Dance Inkpen Village Hall

• Sat 18 May Charity Bring n Buy Plant Sale Croft Hall Hungerford.

• Sat 1 Jun Sandra’s Quiz Night  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wed 1 to 1.30pm. Book with kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

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

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 2 April 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the county councillor; highways and traffic; planning matters; rights of way; and financial matters.
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 18 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; speeding; a new logo; the defibrillator; D-Day; the best-kept village; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), 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 12 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: The phone box; planning matters; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; speeding; the wildlife group; financial matters; and the Village Hall.
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 7 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Clerk’s report; housing; street lighting; dog waste; speeding; KPC’s grants progress; repairs and maintenance; financial matters; and planning matters.
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 19 February 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 11 April 2024

Our usual round-up of local news includes a run, a talk, letter, bowls and fizz – plus the latest on the Station Road application in Hungerford , the return of the food markets and the PCC elections. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include bingo and dolls.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Hungerford’s Food Market

The return of the open-air for markets in Hungerford are a sure sign that spring is back. The first one of 2024 is ths Sunday 14 April from 10am to 1pm in the Croft Field.

Visitors will find more than 30 local stalls offering bread, honey, pies, cheese, eggs, meat, oil, cakes, produce, preserves, sustainable gifts and lots more. It is a great opportunity to meet local producers and shop sustainably. Free entry.

Bring a reusable cup to get 50p off hot drinks, aluminium and foil for recycling and any unneeded IT tech for data wiping and recycling. With live music from Scampy buskers, street food, and a seed/plant/produce share table, a live cooking demonstration at 11.30am about how to use wild greens and also health and wellness advice throughout the morning there is something for everyone. Entry is free and dogs are welcome on leads.

The annual Constable’s Parade is also on Sunday 14 April so en route to the market you can enjoy some traditional Hungerford pageantry as the parade leaves the Town Hall at 11am led by Hungerford Town Band and heads down to St Lawrence’s Church for the Constable’s Service for the community of Hungerford.

There is plenty of parking within five minutes walk of The Croft. If you are a blue badge holder please contact 07768 981658 to reserve a parking space on site.

Hungerford Food Community is looking for a few more people to join their meet and great team and market set-up crew. If you’d like to get involved please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com.

For more information, click here.

• Station Road

On 14 March, we reported that SP Broadway (SPB), on behalf of Archel Homes, was engaging in local consultations about the Station Road site which has been awaiting development for some time. This was briefly touted as a site  for a high-end retirement complex, a scheme which found no favour with the Town Council, local residents or, most importantly, WBC. The site has since changed hands and Archel (which my Mac’s spellchecker insists I should spell “Rachel”) now plans a development of about 45 new homes (including 13 affordable ones). You can see the details of the project as its currently envisaged by clicking here, though note that the consultation which is referred to has now closed.

We mentioned in March that one of the steps SPB took was to engage with a nearby pub about its lease and with Hungerford Town Council about the scheme in general. This simple but rarely employed approach doesn’t eliminate opposition from these quarters bit makes it less likely. It also reduces the risk of misunderstanding (which can be the root cause of some objections).

SPB told Penny Post on 11 April that the planning application had just been submitted and is expected to be validated within the next two weeks or so. It seems that the proposals are virtually identical to that on the the above-mentioned website and the spokesperson added that “we’re very grateful for all the comments we’ve received from members of the public and stakeholders during the consultation period.”

Once the application’s on the WBC site, we’ll publish the link in this column. It will then go before the next available meeting of HTC’s planning committee for its comments.

• Why it matters who the next PCC is

Police and Crime Commissioners are elected by the public to ensure the policing needs of communities are met. PCCs set police budgets, priorities and appoint the Chief Constable. The next PCC election is 2 May and the deadline to register to vote is 16 April. Registering to vote takes just five minutes at gov.uk/register-to-vote. To decide who to vote for, see our local Thames Valley candidates’ manifestos here.

Nigel Lynn, Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) and Chief Executive of West Berkshire Council, said: “This election is your opportunity to influence how your police service works. The PCC’s job is to make sure that crime in our area is tackled effectively and according to our local priorities. They’re elected by you, to be your voice and to hold the police force to account.”

• Other news

• There’s only five weeks to go before the Kintbury five-mile Run. Don’t forget to get your entries in to get fit for Spring and raise money for Kintbury St. Mary’s Primary School. Entry forms online here.

• Hungerford Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Healthcare, based at The Croft Hall, invites you to a free talk on Health and Wellness covering a wide range of topics from posture to nurtrition next Wednesday 17 April at 7pm in The Croft Hall. See more details here.

• Millie and her Mum are doing a 30-day litter pick largely in Hungerford, but also in Lambourn, Chilton Foliat, Marlborough and Kintbury.  They are hoping to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital, which has recently saved the life of a friend’s son. If you would like to sponsor her, please donate here to support research into children’s health, support for families and provide life saving medical equipment.

Latest news, book recommendations and upcoming author events from Hungerford Bookshop.

Hungerford Bowls Club are holding a Big Bowls Open Day on Saturday 25 May from 12 noon and is looking for new recruits to get involved for friendly games or competition events. Contact for more information on 01672 871585 or email hungerfordbowls@gmail.com.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet is looking for volunteers, who can make a long-term commitment to about 2 hours a month every month to be a riverfly monitor at sites in Hungerford and Shalbourne and just to the east of Marlborough,. Full training and kit provided. To find out more visit online here and contact anna@riverkennet.org to express your interest.

Laura Farris MP is keen to promote the Hungerford Crime Meeting she is holding on Thursday 25 April. This will be an opportunity for you to raise any concerns you have about crime in and around Hungerford, and will be held from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at the Herongate Club. If you would like to attend, register here or contact her office via email at laura.farris.mp@parliament.uk or by calling 01635 551070.

Latest news from Hungerford shops and independent businesses includes discount stamp prices from Hungerford Coin & Stamp Centre, seasonal veg from Cobbs, bookkeeping support from John Shatford and the benefits of chiropractic for athletes from Hungerford Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Health Centre.

• Tickets are on sale for the dual author event Fizz and Fiction at the Hungerford Bookshop on Wednesday 24 April.

• Our swifts will be returning late April/early May so please contact HEAT Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team if you would like help installing a swift box before they arrive. For more information about Swift Town Hungerford please see here.

• Hungerford Food Community invites local residents to contribute family WWII recipes and any stories of cooking during the war for their 80th D-Day Commemoration Cook-In. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com if you would like to contribute.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 12 Apr Bingo Hungerford Football Club

• Sat 13 Apr Annual Plant Sale, Shalbourne

• Sat 13 Apr Broken Dolls  Railway Tavern

• Sun 14 Apr Hungerford Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field Centre

• Sun 14 Apr Constable’s Parade & Service Town Hall to St Lawrence’s Church.

• Sun 14 Apr Overnight Ghost Hunt Borough Arms

• Fri 19 Apr Poor Things Croft Hall

• Sat 20 Apr Primark Shopping Trip  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club.

Sun 21 Apr Antiques and Collectors’ Fair, Hungerford.

• Tue 23 Apr Berkshire Nature Recovery Community Engagement Event, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Wed 24 Apr H.E.A.T meeting Hungerford Library

• Wed 24 Apr Fizz & Fiction  Hungerford Bookshop

• Thu 25 Apr Crime Meeting Herongate Club

• Sat 27 Apr Open Garden & Plant Sale  Sanham Green Cottage

• Sat 4 May Motown Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

Sat 4 May Murder Mystery evening at Audley Inglewood.

• Mon 6 May Classic Vehicle Show Hungerford Rugby Club.

• Sat 18 May Barn Dance Inkpen Village Hall

• Sat 18 May Charity Bring n Buy Plant Sale Croft Hall Hungerford.

• Sat 1 Jun Sandra’s Quiz Night  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wed 1 to 1.30pm. Book with kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

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

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 2 April 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the county councillor; highways and traffic; planning matters; rights of way; and financial matters.
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 18 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; speeding; a new logo; the defibrillator; D-Day; the best-kept village; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), 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 12 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: The phone box; planning matters; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; speeding; the wildlife group; financial matters; and the Village Hall.
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 7 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Clerk’s report; housing; street lighting; dog waste; speeding; KPC’s grants progress; repairs and maintenance; financial matters; and planning matters.
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 19 February 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Our usual round-up of local news includes a clean-up, a river monitor, drinks, hares and parking charges – plus an apology for a broken link, flood grants, a familiar item at the Town Council meeting, Hungerford’s newsletter and Hocktide. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include CommuniTEA and Tutti Day.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• News from the High Street

Apologies to those who weren’t able to access our April news from independent Hungerford shops and businesses from April’s Penny Post Hungerford. The issue has been resolved and you can now browse here updates from Inklings, Fare Wise Travel, M&P Hardware, Hungerford Bookshop, Coin & Stamp Cente, Hungerford Legal & Financial Centre, Amore Italian Restaurant, Hungerford Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Healthcare, West Berkshire Injury Clinic, Howards Pet Care, Hungerford Town Hall, Cobbs Farmshop, Jon Shatford Business Support, Berkshire Trout…

• Hungerford’s newsletter

This week saw the publication – a day later than usual because of Easter – of Penny Post Hungerford and you can read it here if you didn’t get it. Any submissions for the May 2024 edition need to be sent to penny@pennypost.org.uk by the end of this month.

As ever, the main story concerned a review of the work done by Hungerford Town Council over the previous month, many aspects of which were discussed at the Full Council meeting on 2 April. One of these matters was, unsurprisingly, our old friend Chestnut Walk. One of the ward members, Dennis Benneyworth, managed to extract from Sovereign the news that the tendering exercise for the project is about to start. His ward colleague and housing portfolio holder Denise Gaines confirmed that this process would take thirteen weeks. Even then, however, the consideration of the tenders and an announcement of the decision (which could include not proceeding at all) were in Sovereign’s hands alone. Despite being the planning authority, the housing authority and the landowner, it appears that WBC has no influence over this part of the process at all.

One HTC councillor at the meeting, whose exasperation was matched by several of his co-members, wondered if the Town Council should get someone from Sovereign to come to the next meeting and explain what was going on and why everything had taken so long. Denise Gaines, however, ruefully suggested that until the results of the tender process are known it was unlikely that any useful information would be forthcoming. I also feel that an officer from WBC ought also to be there – it is meant to be a joint venture, after all – as most of the statements on the subject I’ve seen for either organisation involves their blaming or saying that they’re waiting for a response from the other now. Trying to get two sufficiently senior spokespeople from these two bodies in the same place at the same time seems about as likely as winning the lottery. So the waiting goes on.

• Flood grants

West Berkshire Council would like to remind everyone that many of the grants have timescales for applications to be made. One has now closed (business recovery grant) with others closing this month including Community Recovery Grant (upto £500) which closes at 5pm on Friday 12 April 2024 and Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant Scheme (up to £5,000) closing on Tuesday 30 April 2024. The details of the grants are available on  Flood Grants – West Berkshire Council.

WBC has received a number of applications already but would like to ensure all who wish to apply have had the opportunity to do so – “so please do share this information within your community.” Any queries relating to these grants should be sent to floodgrants@westberks.gov.uk.

• Hocktide

Hocktide is the undoubted highlight of Hungerford’s calendar, but if you are new to Hungerford this centuries-old tradition (upheld now only by the Town and Manor of Hungerford) of ale tasting, Hocktide Jury, Tithing Men, Shoeing the Colts, Anchovies on Toast and Court Leet takes a bit of explaining. See our introduction to Hocktide and this year’s schedule.

If you would like to contribute to the tree decorations on the High Street to celebrate Hocktide, please contact asap Fiona Hobson on Fiona.Hobson@townandmanor.co.uk.

On Tutti Day Tuesday 9 April Hungerford URC welcomes everyone to the church between 10am and 12pm to celebrate the Hocktide festivities with Tuttiday Crafts as well as a chance to meet the Tuttimen and Orangeman. You can also enjoy a free concert by Hungerford Town Band at 7.30pm in the Town Hall.

• Other news

The Town and Manor is keen to remind all residents to join in the Annual Common Clear Up this Sunday 7 April. Meet at The Downgate Car Park at 10am to help make the common safe for when the cows arrive back in mid-April.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet is looking for volunteers, who can make a long-term commitment to about 2 hours a month every month to be a riverfly monitor at sites in Hungerford and Shalbourne and just to the east of Marlborough,. Full training and kit provided. To find out more visit online here and contact anna@riverkennet.org to express your interest.

• From Monday 1 April parking permits in Hungerford increased (and no, it’s not an April Fool joke) after the recent West Berks parking fee consultation. If you live in Hungerford, your parking permit will go up from £30 to £40 and if you have a blue badge, you will no longer get a free permit and will have to pay £20.  Regardless of where you live, next year you will have to pay an extra 50% for any additional cars. So if you live in Hungerford additional vehicles will be £60.

• A quick reminder that there’s lots of free drop-in activities at Hungerford Library over the Easter holidays – children’s craft on Tuesday mornings & Friday afternoons, Rhymetime on Wednesdays for pre-school children & their grown-ups, and Lego Club on the first Saturday each month. For any further information phone 01488 682660 or email hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk . Children under 8 years old must be accompanied.

Get into shape for the spring with Hungerford Hares Running Club‘s eight week Beginners Course which starts on Tuesday 9 April at the Rugby Club, Hungerford at 7.20pm.

• Hungerford Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Healthcare, based at The Croft Hall, invites you to a free talk on Health and Wellness covering a wide range of topics from posture to nurtrition on Wednesday 17 April at 7pm in The Croft Hall. See more details here.

• Hungerford Methodist Church reminds everyone that Sunday CommuniTEA will be back serving free hot drinks and food on Sunday 7 April,  from 12pm to 3.30pm.

• Earlybird tickets (offering some great savings) are now on sale for the Newbury Show on 21 and 22 September and there are also sponsorship opportunities still available. See more here.

Canine Partners is looking for volunteers in West Berkshire to be puppy parents (full-time) or Foster Parents (holiday cover) to itspuppies-in-training who will go on to become life-changing assistance dogs for physically disabled people. If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining this wonderful community of volunteers, please get in touch here.

Laura Farris MP is keen to promote the Hungerford Crime Meeting she is holding on Thursday 25 April. This will be an opportunity for you to raise any concerns you have about crime in and around Hungerford, and will be held from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at the Herongate Club. If you would like to attend, register here or contact her office via email at laura.farris.mp@parliament.uk or by calling 01635 551070.

• Harry Poernig from Hungerford is doing the Tough Mudder challenge in aid of MIND on Saturday 6 April. Please support him here.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford Tesco is holding an Easter Colouring Competition for children. Pop into the store to pick up the colouring sheets and return by Friday 12 April.

Latest news from Hungerford shops and independent businesses includes Easter treats from Inklings, discount stamp prices from Hungerford Coin & Stamp Centre, seasonal veg from Cobbs, bookkeeping support from John Shatford and the benefits of chiropractic for athletes from Hungerford Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Health Centre.

• Tickets are on sale for the dual author event Fizz and Fiction at the Hungerford Bookshop on Wednesday 24 April.

• Our swifts will be returning late April/early May so please contact HEAT Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team if you would like help installing a swift box before they arrive. For more information about Swift Town Hungerford please see here.

Hungerford Town Council is planning a weekend event to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. The three-day event will start on Friday 28 June with a Big Band Dance, Saturday 29 June will feature a Vehicle Convoy and Armed Forces Day parade and unveiling of the D-Day 80 Anniversary commemorative stone on Hungerford Common. The weekend will culminate on Sunday 30 June with a military-themed showground event at the Triangle field.

• Hungerford Food Community is also inviting local residents to contribute family WWII recipes and any stories of cooking during the war for their 80th D-Day Commemoration Cook-In. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com if you would like to contribute.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Sun 7 Apr CommuniTea Hungerford Methodist Church

Tue 9 Apr Tutti Day Activities & Hocktide Lunch, Town Hall & High Street.

• Fri 12 Apr Bingo Hungerford Football Club

• Sat 13 Apr Annual Plant Sale, Shalbourne

• Sun 14 Apr Hungerford Food & Artisan Market, Croft Field Centre

• Fri 19 Apr Poor Things Croft Hall

• Sat 20 Apr Primark Shopping Trip  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club

• Tue 23 Apr Berkshire Nature Recovery Community Engagement Event, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Wed 24 Apr H.E.A.T meeting Hungerford Library

• Thu 25 Apr Crime Meeting Herongate Club

• Sat 4 May Motown Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

Sat 4 May Murder Mystery evening at Audley Inglewood.

• Mon 6 May Classic Vehicle Show Hungerford Rugby Club.

• Sat 18 May Charity Bring n Buy Plant Sale Croft Hall Hungerford.

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wed 1 to 1.30pm. Book with kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

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

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 2 April 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a report from the county councillor; highways and traffic; planning matters; rights of way; and financial matters.
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 18 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; speeding; a new logo; the defibrillator; D-Day; the best-kept village; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), 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 12 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: The phone box; planning matters; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; speeding; the wildlife group; financial matters; and the Village Hall.
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 7 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: the Clerk’s report; housing; street lighting; dog waste; speeding; KPC’s grants progress; repairs and maintenance; financial matters; and planning matters.
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 19 February and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: matters arising; parish communications; a draft questionnaire; ditch clearance; repairs and maintenance; a successful members’ bid; and financial matters.
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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 28 March 2024

Our usual round-up of local news includes memories wanted, tickets, hares, eggs, fizz, fiction and swifts – plus the very last call for comments on Hungerford’s neighbourhood plan. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include Easter disco and Easter egg hunt.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Last chance on Hungerford’s neighbourhood plan

As mentioned previously, the Hungerford Neighbourhood Plan has now reached the important pre-submission (Regulation 14) stage and your views are needed.

When the NDP is adopted, it becomes as much part of the local plan as if WBC had written it itself. It is therefore the result of close co-operation between the planning authority and the local community. The last word is important: without demonstrable community engagement, the plan risks failing at the inspection stage. Hungerford’s plan could not possibly be accused of this shortcoming but the process of engagement continues. A very important stage has been reached and you are invited to have your say.

Note that you can comment on the proposals even if you do not live in Hungerford.

You can read more in this separate post which also provides links to the NDP documents and the consultation form. Please provide your comments by 5pm on Friday 29 March 2024.

• Hungerford’s newsletter

The next Penny Post Hungerford e-newsletter will be published on Wednesday 3 April and will, as ever, provide the best round-up of what’s going on in the town. If there’s anything you’d like to contribute to this, please email penny@pennypost.org.uk as soon as possible.

• Other news

• The Town and Manor needs your help. It has been busy uploading information about the Hocktide celebrations to its website but there are lots of gaps. They would be very grateful for any photos, anecdotes or memorabilia of Tutti Day and Hocktide that you would be willing to share particularly between about 1980 and 2009. You can see what’s been uploaded so far at townandmanor.co.uk/hocktide. If you can help, please contact Tara on clerk@townandmanor.co.uk or 01488 686555.

• There are a few tickets still available for the historic Hocktide Luncheon on Tutti Day Tuesday 9 April. Grab your tickets from the Town and Manor website or from Crown Needlework, 115 High Street, Hungerford (01488) 684011 and come and celebrate one of Hungerford’s greatest traditions. See the full Hocktide schedule here.

• Earlybird tickets (offering some great savings) are now on sale for the Newbury Show on 21 and 22 September and there are also sponsorship opportunities still available. See more here.

Get into shape for the spring with Hungerford Hares Running Club‘s eight week Beginners Course which starts on Tuesday 9 April at the Rugby Club, Hungerford at 7.20pm.

Cobbs at Hungerford is holding a special screening of the documentary “Six Inches Of Soil” on Saturday 20 April. It is an inspiring film about British farmers who are standing up to the industrial food system. Tickets are £5 and all proceeds will be donated to HEAT (Hungerford Environmental Action Team – HEAT).  After the screening, there will be a Q&A with a local panel of experts. You can pre-order a delicious food menu online, and refreshments will be available on the night. To book click here.

Hungerford Town Football Club was proud to have Elis Watts on its team last weekend. Elis was the hat trick hero with his first senior match ball in the 6-1 away win at Harrow Borough .

• Hop along to St Lawrence’s Church, Hungerford at 10am on Easter Monday 1 April for a fun filled Easter Egg Hunt.

Canine Partners is looking for volunteers in West Berkshire to be puppy parents (full-time) or Foster Parents (holiday cover) to its  puppies-in-training who will go on to become life-changing assistance dogs for physically disabled people. If you or anyone you know would be interested in joining this wonderful community of volunteers, please get in touch here.

Laura Farris MP is keen to promote the Hungerford Crime Meeting she is holding on Thursday 25 April. This will be an opportunity for you to raise any concerns you have about crime in and around Hungerford, and will be held from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at the Herongate Club. If you would like to attend, register here or contact her office via email at laura.farris.mp@parliament.uk or by calling 01635 551070.

• Harry Poernig from Hungerford is doing the Tough Mudder challenge in aid of MIND on Saturday 6 April. Please support him here.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford Tesco is holding an Easter Colouring Competition for children. Pop into the store to pick up the colouring sheets and return by Friday 12 April.

Latest news from Hungerford shops and independent businesses includes Easter treats from Inklings, discount stamp prices from Hungerford Coin & Stamp Centre, seasonal veg from Cobbs, bookkeeping support from John Shatford and the benefits of chiropractic for athletes from Hungerford Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Health Centre.

• Tickets are on sale for the dual author event Fizz and Fiction at the Hungerford Bookshop on Wednesday 24 April.

• Our swifts will be returning late April/early May so please contact HEAT Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team if you would like help installing a swift box before they arrive. For more information about Swift Town Hungerford please see here.

Hungerford Town Council is planning a weekend event to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. The three-day event will start on Friday 28 June with a Big Band Dance, Saturday 29 June will feature a Vehicle Convoy and Armed Forces Day parade and unveiling of the D-Day 80 Anniversary commemorative stone on Hungerford Common. The weekend will culminate on Sunday 30 June with a military-themed showground event at the Triangle field.

• Hungerford Food Community is also inviting local residents to contribute family WWII recipes and any stories of cooking during the war for their 80th D-Day Commemoration Cook-In. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com if you would like to contribute.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

Fri 29 Mar Hungerford’s Comedy Club Night Croft Hall.

Sun 31 Mar Easter Disco/Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

• Sun 31 Mar Easter Treasure Hunt Tally Ho Pub

Tue 9 Apr Tutti Day & Hocktide Lunch, Town Hall & High Street.

• Fri 19 Apr Poor Things Croft Hall

• Sat 20 Apr Six Inches of Soil Regenerative Farming documentary, Cobbs Farmshop.

• Sat 20 Apr Primark Shopping Trip  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club

• Tue 23 Apr Berkshire Nature Recovery Community Engagement Event, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Thu 25 Apr Crime Meeting Herongate Club

• Sat 4 May Motown Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

Sat 4 May Murder Mystery evening at Audley Inglewood.

• Mon 6 May Classic Vehicle Show Hungerford Rugby Club.

• Sat 18 May Charity Bring n Buy Plant Sale Croft Hall Hungerford.

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wed 1 to 1.30pm. Book with kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

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

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 4 March 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: a councillor co-option; speeding; a new logo; the defibrillator; D-Day; the best-kept village; planning matters; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), 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 12 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: The phone box; planning matters; the Parish Steward; highways and footpaths; speeding; the wildlife group; financial matters; and the Village Hall.
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 19 February and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: matters arising; parish communications; a draft questionnaire; ditch clearance; repairs and maintenance; a successful members’ bid; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas 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 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: reports from the Chair and a ward member; the budget; the precept (which will increase by 5%); financial matters; and planning matters.
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 11 January 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.

• 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 21 March 2024

Migration update: our website migration to a dedicated server in the UK is scheduled for 11am on Monday 25 March so the website and emails might be down for a couple of hours. Hopefully after that all the problems we’ve recently had will be solved. It will double our hosting costs but should be money well spent if the website doesn’t crash any more. Huge thanks to those who’ve donated recently to help us keep the show on the road. If you are considering making a donation, please see here for the options.

Our usual round-up of local news includes colouring, swifts, D-Day, Hocktide and the Foodbank – plus a look back at Suzanne Taylor’s leaving do, another successful Town Meeting and a conversation with Sovereign Housing. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include bingo and communal lunch.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• A fond farewell

On 20 March, we went to Suzanne Taylor’s leaving do at the Hungerford Nursery School. You can read about her achievements in this separate post. The large room was packed, mainly with former and current parents and colleagues. When she choked up a bit towards the end of her speech, few could have blamed her. The most amazing cakes as well: really, really special. I don’t know what the presents were in the boxes but they were all richly deserved.

Vice Chair of Governors Daphne Angell thanked Suzanne, on behalf of the whole governing body, for all she has done and continues to do to support and promote top quality early education. “Suzanne cares deeply about all the children and their families and she turns her passion into action for example her belief in the importance of outdoor learning led to the regular trips for nursery children to Boxford woods. Suzanne uses any change as a positive, sees challenges as opportunities. I have been amazed by her determination and what this has achieved.”

I chatted for a while to Heather Codling, WBC’s Executive Member for Education. I asked if she could explain the logic for why maintained nursery schools such as this – consistently graded as “outstanding” and providing vital early-years intervention – have been the target of a long attack by the government. The main results of this seem to be promises (or threats) of reforms which never materialise and a series of short-term funding settlements which would drive most commercial businesses to despair and bankruptcy. The Whitehall negativity persists although no one I’ve ever spoken to has agreed with it (in that respect, it’s perhaps like HS2). Heather Codling said it was a bit of a mystery to her as well. I asked that she would tell me if she could learn what the rationale was. She promised to do so.

• Hungerford’s neighbourhood plan

As mentioned previously, the Hungerford Neighbourhood Plan has now reached the important pre-submission (Regulation 14) stage and your views are needed.

When the NDP is adopted, it becomes as much part of the local plan as if WBC had written it itself. It is therefore the result of close co-operation between the planning authority and the local community. The last word is important: without demonstrable community engagement, the plan risks failing at the inspection stage. Hungerford’s plan could not possibly be accused of this shortcoming but the process of engagement continues. A very important stage has been reached and you are invited to have your say.

Note that you can comment on the proposals even if you do not live in Hungerford.

You can read more in this separate post which also provides links to the NDP documents and the consultation form.

• Hungerford’s meeting

Hungerford’s Annual Town Meeting took place on 20 March and was very successful and well attended, with an estimated 130 people in attendance at various times. The groups who took stands included the Town Council, the town’s NDP, The Chamber of Commerce, Hungerford Legal & Financial Centre, the Youth and Community Centre, the Police, First Responders, Smarten Up Hungerford, Sovereign (regarding which see the following section), HEAT, HAHA, the Town and Manor, the Primary School, the Rugby Club, the Hungerford Theatre Company, the Foodbank, Hungerford Food Community and the Twinning Association.

In her opening address, the Mayor welcomed everyone to the event and thanked “Claire, Sharon, Wendy and Hayley for organising the refreshments and setting up the room this evening.” We’ll have the full text in a separate post which we’ll publish soon and link to here.

• Chestnut Walk

We attended the above two events in Hungerford on the evening of 20 March. Chestnut Walk (which, as most of you will be aware, is the non-performing joint venture between WBC and Sovereign to redevelop the former care home near the football ground) cropped up in both.

At Suzanne Taylor’s leaving do, my conversation with Denise Gaines, one of Hungerford’s ward members and the executive member for housing, followed its usual pattern: I said “Chestnut Walk?” and she rolled her eyes and shook her head. She seems to be finding the matter just as frustrating as did her Conservative predecessor Howard Woollaston. Whenever I discussed it with him during his tenure I was increasingly greeted with the same reaction.

There then followed a short stroll through the gentle gloaming to the Corn Exchange where the Hungerford Town Meeting was just starting. About twenty-five local groups had stands around the room, including Sovereign. After about an hour, I could resist no longer.

“Hello,” I said to the woman on the stand. “I’m sure that you’re in the wrong department or whatever, but I couldn’t walk past without asking what’s happening at Chestnut Walk.”

She told me that she’s got some facts about this before the event. This seemed a point in her favour. I hadn’t, it seemed, been the first to ask.

We chatted for a bit during which I didn’t particularly hold back. However, this wasn’t her responsibility so it would have been unfair of me to press her too hard just because she was there and wearing the uniform. None the less, she was there and was wearing the uniform…

I asked if the problem was that Sovereign was now too big, having recently made acquisitions to the extent that it owns over 60,000 homes across most of southern England. Was an eight-home development in little Hungerford even on its radar any more? “We’re going to get even bigger,” she told me, a pending deal likely to add a further 20,000 properties. She suggested that the larger the portfolio, the greater the borrowing possibility and so the more the work that could be done.

I suggested that this hadn’t filtered down to this project: indeed, that there was an inverse relationship between the Sovereign’s size and the speed with which the Chestnut Walk scheme was advancing. Might the joint venture perhaps sell the whole thing to a company which could realise it? To this serious suggestion I received, fairly enough, only a non-committal reply.

She also stressed the fact that she understood that the current logjam was at WBC’s end. I said I’d heard this several times, from each party. Whoever you speak to, the ball is always in the other one’s court. The venture seemed to be “joint” in name only. There was no sign of any joint commitment, joint timetable or even a joint statement.

She was polite, friendly and doubtless as informative as she could be. The other people from the Sovereign team I spoke to were likewise. Ditto with the people I talk to about this at WBC. That’s the trouble – when dealing with such bodies, individually, most of them are delightful.

They are not the problem. Some grotesque over-complication has intruded itself into this project which I, and other interested parties, and perhaps Sovereign and WBC themselves, seem incapable of understanding and, in the latter case, of solving. We’re talking about the simple matter of eight homes for which there are no land-ownership, planning or local-objection issues to overcome. The planning authority (also the landowner) and the area’s main social-housing provider have been in a JV to sort this since 2017. What could have gone wrong? How come nothing has happened?

“Please pass these thoughts on to whoever might make a difference,” I said. Perhaps keen to be rid of me, she assured me that she would. “The Chestnut Walk situation is becoming embarrassing,” I concluded.

Two minutes later, I thought about going back and qualifying my last remark. “What I meant to say,” I might have said, “was that it actually became embarrassing about two years ago. Now it’s a real reputational problem for both parties, and the JV.” However, I didn’t. Enough had been said already. Instead, I went over and talked to WBC’s Jon Winstanley about the district’s potholes. Although this is a never-ending problem, at least here the issue was recognised and something was happening to fix it.

Hopefully, my comments about Chestnut Walk will filter back up through the Sovereign food chain and produce some action. On past evidence, I’m not holding my breath. However, to you delightful people on the Sovereign stand in Hungerford on 20 March, I have this final thing to say – prove me wrong…

• Other news

• Mike Gilbert reports on another sucessful Hungerford Repair Cafe in The Croft Hall last Saturday and tells the story of 59 year old Michele who can now sit up properly.

• Harry Poernig from Hungerford is doing the Tough Mudder challenge in aid of MIND on Saturday 6 April. Please support him here.

What does Hungerford mean to you? Share your thoughts with Hungerford Poetry Festival  by email to poemforhungerford@gmail.com or on a postcard available in the Library and Hungerford Bookshop, or by commenting on facebook here. Your contribution will be incorporated into a poem to be written by local author Nicola Chester and will be painted as a mural in the library.

Hungerford Tesco is holding an Easter Colouring Competition for children. There are three age groups, 3  to 5 years, 6 to 8 years and 9 to 11 years with each winning entry being displayed and a prize for each. Pop into the store to pick up the colouring sheets and return by Friday 12 April.

Healthwatch West Berkshire is seeking your input on your health priorities. As they construct their new 2024/2025 workplan, your participation is important when determining which projects to include. Take a few moments to complete this survey here by Saturday 23 March.

Latest news from Hungerford shops and independent businesses includes Easter treats from Inklings, discount stamp prices from Hungerford Coin & Stamp Centre, seasonal veg from Cobbs, bookkeeping support from John Shatford and the benefits of chiropractic for athletes from Hungerford Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Health Centre.

• Tickets are on sale for the dual author event Fizz and Fiction at the Hungerford Bookshop on 24 April.

• Quick reminder about preparing for the return of our swifts. Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team (HEAT) is keen to hear from anyone who had swifts nesting on their building last year: or if you would like have a swift box installed this spring, please contact HEAT. Swifts will be returning late April/early May and we want to make sure there are enough nesting sites for them.

• It’s that time of year and Town & Manor of Hungerford are excited that tickets are now on sale for the historic Hocktide Luncheon which is taking place on Tuesday 9 April. Grab your tickets from the Town and Manor website or from Crown Needlework, 115 High Street, Hungerford (01488) 684011 and come and celebrate one of Hungerford’s greatest traditions.

Hungerford Town Council is planning a weekend event to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. The three-day event will start on Friday 28 June with a Big Band Dance, Saturday 29 June will feature a Vehicle Convoy and Armed Forces Day parade and unveiling of the D-Day 80 Anniversary commemorative stone on Hungerford Common. The weekend will culminate on Sunday 30 June with a military-themed showground event at the Triangle field.

• Time to get into shape for the spring? Hungerford Hares Running Club‘s new Beginners Course starts on Tuesday 9 April at the Rugby Club, Hungerford at 7.20pm. The programme is led by England Athletics-qualified run leaders who will take you from minimal running ability to running for 30 minutes over the course of eight weeks.

Hungerford Food Community invite you to learn/share veggie recipes and enjoy a fun cooking morning and communal lunch. Book your free place at their Spring Cook-In & Community Lunch on Saturday 23 March in the Croft Hall here. Donations welcome on the day to cover costs.

• Hungerford Food Community is also inviting local residents to contribute family WWII recipes and any stories of cooking during the war for their 80th D-Day Commemoration Cook-In. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com if you would like to contribute.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

Click here for information on how to become a volunteer flood warden in Hungerford.

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 22 Mar Bingo Kintbury St Mary School

Sat 23 Mar Spring Cook-In & Communal Lunch, Croft Hall

Sat 23 Mar Come and Sing Rossini St Mary’s Kintbury.

Fri 29 Mar Hungerford’s Comedy Club Night Croft Hall.

Sun 31 Mar Easter Disco/Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

• Sun 31 Mar Easter Treasure Hunt Tally Ho Pub

Tue 9 Apr Tutti Day & Hocktide Lunch, Town Hall & High Street.

Sat 20 Apr Six Inches of Soil regenerative farming documentary, Cobbs Farmshop.

• Sat 20 Apr Primark Shopping Trip  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club

• Sat 20 Apr Berkshire Nature Recovery Community Engagement Event, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Sat 4 May Motown Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

Sat 4 May Murder Mystery evening at Audley Inglewood.

• Mon 6 May Classic Vehicle Show Hungerford Rugby Club.

• Sat 18 May Charity Bring n Buy Plant Sale Croft Hall Hungerford.

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wed 1 to 1.30pm. Book with kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

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

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 4 March 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 19 February and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: matters arising; parish communications; a draft questionnaire; ditch clearance; repairs and maintenance; a successful members’ bid; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas 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 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: reports from the Chair and a ward member; the budget; the precept (which will increase by 5%); financial matters; and planning matters.
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 Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 January 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. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January 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 Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 January 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 14 March 2024

Gremlin update: we have started the process of migrating our whole website, emails and hosting to a new UK-based company – so, fingers crossed this goes smoothly next week but please bear with us if there any hiccups. Thanks again to those who have already helped cover our extra costs, including Joan from Newbury who says “I’ve learned so much from following your weekly bulletins over the years and I have at last arranged for a small monthly donation. Thank you so much for all you do.” This kind of feedback means the world to us. If you are considering making us a donation, please see here for the options.

Our usual round-up of local news includes retail news, funny money, poems, repairs and swifts – plus keeping the wheels on the bus, a look at at a proposed new housing scheme near the station, reminders about the Town Meeting and the NDP consultation and the latest diary update from a local head teacher. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include repair cafe and village market.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Keeping the wheels on the bus

CHAIN, Hungerford’s volunteer-run community transport organisation, is fundraising to replace their current minibus with a lighter vehicle that can be driven by a wider group of volunteers.

One of the Handybus drivers, Keith Mayes, raised over £2,200 by completing the London Marathon last year. This year he is participating in ‘Ride London-Essex’ – a 100 mile cycle ride to be completed in a maximum of eight hours. To support him please donate via his JustGiving page here, or drop cash/cheque payable to CHAIN marked ‘donation to CHAIN 100 miles’ into their office (on Church Street behind Cooper and Cooper; go into the car park by Merlin House and the CHAIN office is located on the far right down some steps) or if you would prefer to make a BACS payment to the CHAIN bank account please ring Ted Angell on 077998 86597 for the bank details.

• Hungerford’s latest homes

Proposals to develop the site to the south of the railway station in Hungerford have been in the air for many years. In 2023, proposals (put forward by the then owners Churchill Retirement) met with opposition from Hungerford Town Council and, more importantly, West Berkshire Council’s planners. The site has since changed hands and the new proprietors, Archel, are shortly to submit plans for the development of about 45 new homes (including 13 affordable ones). You can see the details of the project as its currently envisaged by clicking here, though note that the consultation which is referred to has now closed.

As well as this consultation exercise (which also included hand-delivered letters to several hundred neighbouring properties), Archel seems to have pulled off two successful PR coups. The first was to grant a new lease to the Railway Tavern (the uncertainty about the pub’s future was one of the reasons WBC didn’t go for Churchill’s plans). The second was to ask to present its proposals to a meeting of HTC’s Planning Committee earlier this week. Although this doesn’t prevent any objections from either of these two sources it makes it less likely. Viewed together, this approach paints the picture of a developer which genuinely wants to work with the community and its representatives before submitting an application. The same approach was taken by Archel last year in its proposals at Pound Street in Newbury.

It’s often said that Hungerford needs more small homes, particularly affordable ones, that run-down areas should be renovated and that brownfield sites rather than greenfield ones should be used where available. This proposal seems to address all of these concerns to an extent that the application by their predecessors for some high-end retirement homes clearly did not. It looks like a good start to me. The first key test will be seeing how many of these find their way into the application. This is expected to be lodged within the next month or so. As soon as it’s on the WBC site we’ll circulate the link so you can judge for yourself and make any comments, for or against the proposal.

If all proceeds reasonably quickly, it’s entirely possible that these will be completed before work has even started at the ill-fated Chestnut Walk site in the town, even though this has been vacant for nearly eight years. If the Station Road scheme does indeed overtake Chestnut Walk it will be shockingly embarrassing for WBC and Sovereign Housing, whose joint venture to develop the former care home has accomplished precisely nothing. Perhaps Archel might want to take this project on as well? It certainly seems that someone else needs to.

• The plan and the meeting

We’ve mentioned before about two important matters in Hungerford: the Town Meeting from 6.30pm on Wednesday 20 March at the Corn Exchange; and the Regulation 14 consultation on the town’s neighbourhood development plan (NDP) about which you can read more here.

It’s worth conflating these two matters here as, if you’ve yet to make your comments on the NDP, the Town Meeting will be the ideal opportunity to clear up any questions you may have as members of the NDP Steering Group will be on hand for that purpose.

It’s also worth stressing that you don’t need to be a resident of Hungerford to take part in the consultation.

The meeting is, of course, about more than the NDP. As in previous years it will follow an exhibition-style format and will give people the opportunity to meet representatives from a number of local organisations including the Chamber of Commerce, the D-Day Team, the Youth and Community Centre, the community markets, the Primary School, HAHA, Smarten Up Hungerford, Sovereign Housing, HEAT, the Hungerford NDP, The Huingerford Town and Manor, the local police team, the Rugby Club and the Hungerford Food Community. Representatives from West Berkshire Council will also be there.

• A head teacher writes

You can click here to read the latest monthly diary from Richard Hawthorne, the Head of John O’Gaunt in Hungerford. This time round he looks at energy levels, mock exams, class assessments, GCSE options, parental engagement and feedback, recruitment and retention and the 2024-25 timetable.

The diary is cumulative and dates back to when he first took up the role in June 2020, in the full blast of the pandemic: what a first day that must have been. Flicking through the articles, you get a pretty good impression of some of the matters that have dominated his professional life and it paints an effective picture of just how many balls a head teacher (and their staff) have to juggle. There are several recurring themes, as a search of the collected diary entries reveals. “Exam”, for instance, is mentioned 99 times, “Covid” 79 times and – encouragingly – “positive” 43 times. The word “student” seems to be in gold-medal position, however, cropping up on 409 occasions. This is as it should be for they are, after all, what it’s all about.

• Other news

Latest news from Hungerford shops and independent businesses includes Easter treats from Inklings, discount stamp prices from Hungerford Coin & Stamp Centre, seasonal veg from Cobbs, bookkeeping support from John Shatford and the benefits of chiropractic for athletes from Hungerford Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Health Centre.

• Would you like to do something funny for money this Friday 15 March in aid of Comic Relief? Garston Gallopers are doing it with bells on at Herongate Club and invite everyone to have a go at morris dancing with them from 7pm for some fun in aid of this good cause or to donate via their justgiving page here. The bar upstairs at Herongate will be open.

• Have you spotted the poems displayed in various shops and businesses around town? They’re all part of the Hungerford Poetry Trail that will continue until Saturday 16 March. To take part, pick-up a list of shops and businesses involved from the library or Hungerford Bookshop. Return your sheet with answers on each poem back to the library to be entered into a prize-draw to win a poetry anthology courtesy of Hungerford Bookshop. See here for details.
Hungerford Poetry Festival also invites residents to contribute to a community poem by sharing what Hungerford means to you – just one word, a phrase or even a verse – by email to poemforhungerford@gmail.com or on a postcard available in the Library and Hungerford Bookshop, or by commenting on facebook here. The poem will be written by local author Nicola Chester and will be painted as a mural in the library.

• A heads up for everyone that the next Hungerford Repair Café will be this Saturday 16 March, from 10am to 12.30pm in the Croft Hall. Take along your broken electrical goods, toys and furniture, and remember tools can be sharpened and clothing mended. Repairs and refreshments are free but donations from grateful members of the public help cover costs. For more information, including dates for 2024, click here.

• For anyone interested in local history, especially in the Newbury area, Hungerford Bookshop are hosting a chat with Ruth D’Alessandro on Thursday 21 March about her book Calling Sergeant Crockford. Ruth writes the true story about her Mother, a woman police sergeant at the top of her game, stationed in Newbury in the 1960s. Book here.

• Quick reminder about preparing for the return of our swifts. Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team (HEAT) is keen to hear from anyone who had swifts nesting on their building last year  – or if you would like have a swift box installed this spring, please contact HEAT. Swifts will be returning late April/early May and we want to make sure there are enough nesting sites for them.

To celebrate World Book Day, Laura Farris MP launched a short story competition in conjunction with Hungerford Bookshop. Congratulations to the winners Gracie Williams and Tulullah Martin – their winning stories can be read here.

• It’s that time of year and Town & Manor of Hungerford are excited that tickets are now on sale for the historic Hocktide Luncheon which is taking place on Tuesday 9 April. Grab your tickets from the Town and Manor website or from Crown Needlework, 115 High Street, Hungerford (01488) 684011 and come and celebrate one of Hungerford’s greatest traditions.

Hungerford Town Council is planning a weekend event to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. The three-day event will start on Friday 28 June with a Big Band Dance, Saturday 29 June will feature a Vehicle Convoy and Armed Forces Day parade and unveiling of the D-Day 80 Anniversary commemorative stone on Hungerford Common. The weekend will culminate on Sunday 30 June with a military-themed showground event at the Triangle field.

• Time to get into shape for the spring? Hungerford Hares Running Club‘s new Beginners Course starts on Tuesday 9 April at the Rugby Club, Hungerford at 7.20pm. The programme is led by England Athletics-qualified run leaders who will take you from minimal running ability to running for 30 minutes over the course of eight weeks.

Hungerford Food Community invite you to learn/share veggie recipes and enjoy a fun cooking morning and communal lunch. Book your free place at their Spring Cook-In & Community Lunch on Saturday 23 March in the Croft Hall here. Donations welcome on the day to cover costs.

• Hungerford Food Community is also inviting local residents to contribute family WWII recipes and any stories of cooking during the war for their 80th D-Day Commemoration Cook-In. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com if you would like to contribute.

Dog walkers on Freeman’s Marsh are reminded that the ground nesting birds season started on 1 March. Please read the signs placed at all the entrances to the Marsh, and should you wish to let your dog off the lead, please only do so where permitted, and please ensure your dog is under control at all times. And this is not only to protect the birds. Last year there were a number of episodes where dogs chased cattle, causing them to stampede and become not only exhausted but also highly dangerous for anyone – including dogs and people – which get in their way. The cows will be back on the Common soon so be sure to treat them with the respect they deserve.

Inkpen Village Market returns with their first market of 2024 on Sunday 17 March at Inkpen Village Hall. With all your favourite stalls and some new ones too including Audley Club at Inglewood with their lovely manager Kate Duncan explaining about their membership deals and lovely gym, pool and spa facility. See details here.

• Would you like to volunteer your business expertise to help Education Business Partnership prepare our local young people? Please see here for more details.

Click here for information on how to become a volunteer flood warden in Hungerford.

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

• Hungerford Nursery School’s Shoal of Friends needs new trustees from March 2024 but the commitment isn’t too onerous. Please see here for details.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

Fri 15 Mar From Prisoner to Prison Chaplain talk with Jonathan Aitken St Lawrence’s Church.

• Fri 15 MarDo Something Funny for Money, Herongate Club

• Sun 16 Mar Repair Cafe, The Croft Hungerford

• Sun 17 Mar Inkpen Village Market, Inkpen

• Sun 17 Mar Easter Bingo, Royal British Legion Hungerford.

Wed 20 Mar Hungerford Town Meeting, Hungerford

• Fri 22 Mar Bingo Kintbury St Mary School

Sat 23 Mar Spring Cook-In & Communal Lunch, Croft Hall

Sat 23 Mar Come and Sing Rossini St Mary’s Kintbury.

Fri 29 Mar Hungerford’s Comedy Club Night Croft Hall.

Sun 31 Mar Easter Disco/Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

Tue 9 Apr Tutti Day & Hocktide Lunch, Town Hall & High Street.

• Sat 4 May Motown Party Hungerford Royal British Legion.

Sat 4 May Murder Mystery evening at Audley Inglewood.

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wed 1 to 1.30pm. Book with kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

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

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 4 March 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 19 February and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: matters arising; parish communications; a draft questionnaire; ditch clearance; repairs and maintenance; a successful members’ bid; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas 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 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: reports from the Chair and a ward member; the budget; the precept (which will increase by 5%); financial matters; and planning matters.
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 Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 January 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. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January 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 Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 January 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 7 March 2024

Gremlin alert: some people have recently had problems loading our web pages. We believe we’re close to solving this but you may find, if you return to this page later, that it’s unavailable. Please accept our apologies and try again in a bit. The solution involves upgrading our website server which we have put off as it costs more money. But the time has come when we have no choice. So, as we’ve said before, any small monthly donation you can make towards this cost would be very much appreciated. See here for ways to donate. And thanks again to those who have already done so.

Our usual round-up of local news includes hares, repairs, antiques, dogs and 1940s recipes – plus a look at our latest Hungerford newsletter, discussions at Lancaster Park, the Hungerford Town Meeting, the NDP consultation and Shalbourne’s winery. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include a quiz and an antiques fair.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Hungerford’s newsletter

The most recent Penny Post Hungerford was published this week and, as ever, provides the best round-up of what’s going on in the town. If you didn’t receive it you can click here to read it.

As well as the usual wide range of information about local groups, retailers, events and jobs, there were also three matters of particular and immediate importance. Information on all of these can be found in the Hungerford Town Council Update for February/March 2024 but I’ve also provided more information about these in the sections below.

• Lancaster Park

There have recently been a few snagging and teething problems with the Lancaster Park development. This is referred to in the Mayor’s report and you can also see statements from the Mayor and Bewley Homes in the 29 February column of Penny Post’s Hungerford Area Weekly News. At the meeting, Stella Coulthurst (who is both an HTC Councillor and a resident of Lancaster Park) gave a summary of the meetings which had taken place in February.

You can read more details of these here (scroll down to “Bewley Homes”).

The upshot is that all the outstanding matters have now been fully discussed between HTC, the ward members, Bewley and local residents. Our report concluded by saying that “HTC and the three ward members will continue to monitor the situation closely (as will Penny Post). It will do its best to ensure that all the planning conditions are only discharged if they adhere as closely as is practicable to what was specified; that all snagging problems in the properties are addressed; and the eventual responsibilities and structure of the management company are arranged to provide the maximum protection and security for the residents. Further updates on progress will be provided when available.”

• The Town Meeting

This will take place on Wednesday 20 March at the Corn Exchange. Refreshments will be available from 6.30 and the event itself will start at 7pm.

As in previous years this will follow an exhibition-style format and will give people the opportunity to meet representatives from a number of local organisations including the Chamber of Commerce, the D-Day Team, the Youth and Community Centre, the community markets, the Primary School, HAHA, Smarten Up Hungerford, Sovereign Housing, HEAT, the Hungerford NDP, The Huingerford Town and Manor, the local police team, the Rugby Club and the Hungerford Food Community. Representatives from West Berkshire Council will also be there.

There are still a few spaces left for any organisations that want to take part: please email claire.barnes@hungerford-tc.gov.uk as soon as possible if you’re interested.

• Hungerford’s neighbourhood plan

As mentioned previously, the Hungerford Neighbourhood Plan has now reached the important pre-submission (Regulation 14) stage and your views are needed.

When the NDP is adopted, it becomes as much part of the local plan as if WBC had written it itself. It is therefore the result of close co-operation between the planning authority and the local community. The last word is important: without demonstrable community engagement, the plan risks failing at the inspection stage. Hungerford’s plan could not possibly be accused of this shortcoming but the process of engagement continues. A very important stage has been reached and you are invited to have your say.

Note that you can comment on the proposals even if you do not live in Hungerford.

You can read more in this separate post which also provides links to the NDP documents and the consultation form.

• Shalbourne’s winery

I’ve been contacted by two people who have concerns about application PL/2023/10755 at Carvers Hill Farm, Carvers Hill, Shalbourne, SN8 3PS for “Demolition of existing agricultural buildings. Construction of new buildings for the production of wine with ancillary wine tasting and events facilities and storage, with associated access, landscaping and drainage.”

You can see the relevant documents by clicking here and then entering the reference number PL/2023/10755 in the keyword search box.

I know something of this application and the general direction of travel at the winery, partly because we’ve often visited and picked vegetables in the wonderful Shalbourne Community Growers market garden nearby. Due to some unexpected web-hosting problems this week, I’ve not, however, been able to find out enough about the details of this application to express an opinion on it or to suggest any particular problems. All I can suggest is that you have a look at the application on the Wiltshire Council planning portal (see details above) and perhaps see what neighbours, the parish council or your county councillor thinks about it.

Although the official consultation deadline has passed the matter has yet to be decided (10 April is the projected date) so any comments, in favour or against, should still be able to be considered. If more than ten people object (or if the County Councillor has decided to call it in) the matter will go to a planning committee. if not, the officers will decide. Any decision can be the subject of an appeal.

• Other news

• Time to get into shape for the spring? Hungerford Hares Running Club are very pleased to announce that a new Beginners Course starts on Tuesday 9 April at the Rugby Club, Hungerford at 7.20pm. The programme is led by England Athletics-qualified run leaders who will take you from minimal running ability to running for 30 minutes over the course of eight weeks.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford Town and Manor are launching a new monthly Antiques and Collectors Fairs in Hungerford Town Hall, starting this Sunday 10 March from 9am – 3.30pm.  Sellers from 6.30am and Trade from 8am.   Free entry.   For further information please contact Gerry White on 07747 106539 or gerrywhite60@gmail.com.

The Friend’s of St Lawrence’s Church Hungerford are pleased to announce the opportunity to meet a controversial visitor to the town. Rev Jonathan Aitken will be talking about his life on Friday 15 March, in the Croft Hall from 7.30pm to 9.15pm and will be bringing an ex-prisoner colleague with him. Tickets are available here and profits from the evening will be donated to the fund for the Church refurbishments.

• A heads up for everyone that the next Hungerford Repair Café will be on Saturday 16 March, from 10am to 12.30pm in the Croft Hall. Take along your broken electrical goods, toys and furniture, and remember tools can be sharpened and clothing mended. Repairs and refreshments are free but donations from grateful members of the public help cover costs. For more information, including dates for 2024, click here.

Hungerford Food Community invite you to learn/share veggie recipes and enjoy a fun cooking morning and communal lunch. Book your free place at their Spring Cook-In & Community Lunch on Saturday 23 March in the Croft Hall here. Donations welcome on the day to cover costs.

• Hungerford Food Community is also inviting local residents to contribute family WWII recipes and any stories of cooking during the war for their 80th D-Day Commemoration Cook-In on Sunday 30 June. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com

• Hungerford’s Churches last Lent Lunches, consisting of soup, bread & cheese take place on Friday 15 March 12.30pm – Hungerford URC and on Friday 22 March 12.30pm, Methodist Church.

• A quick reminder that nominations for the BBC Radio Berkshire Make a Difference Awards close on Sunday 10 March. They are particularly keen to get more nominations in the Green, Bravery and Animal categories, so if you know a person or group who deserves some recognition click here to nominate.

Dog walkers on Freeman’s Marsh are reminded that the ground nesting birds season started on 1 March. Please read the signs placed at all the entrances to the Marsh, and should you wish to let your dog off the lead, please only do so where permitted, and please ensure your dog is under control at all times. And this is not only to protect the birds. Last year there were a number of episodes where dogs chased cattle, causing them to stampede and become not only exhausted but also highly dangerous for anyone – including dogs and people – which get in their way. The cows will be back on the Common soon so be sure to treat them with the respect they deserve.

Inkpen Village Market returns with their first market of 2024 on Sunday 17 March at Inkpen Village Hall. With all your favourite stalls and some new ones too including Audley Club at Inglewood with their lovely manager Kate Duncan explaining about their membership deals and lovely gym, pool and spa facility. See details here.

• Artist Bethany Perry has recently moved to Hungerford and is reaching out to enquire about interest in art classes and creative gatherings. If you, a friend, or family member could benefit from exploring their creativity through art contact her here.

• Quick reminder about West Berkshire Council and Veolia’s free soil conditioner (compost) giveaway. On Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 March, between 10am and 4pm, you can swing by the Padworth Waste Management Facility and grab some locally produced soil conditioner. No appointment is needed, just bring along an ID card and your own bags or boxes to carry the conditioner. Click here for details.

• It is only 10 weeks to go before Kintbury’s 5 mile run. The picturesque route takes you along quiet roads and through some stunning countryside not normally accessible to the public and hopefully after all the recent downpours everything will be lush and green. Enter here ,

Kintbury  St Mary’s School PTA is inviting everyone to enjoy their Annual World Book Day Scarecrow Trail this week until Sunday 10 March. Get your trail map from the school office or Kintbury Corner Stores and whatsmore, if you guess the correct anagram from the purple tickets you could win a chocolate treat.

• A quick reminder that Bee Jacks Tomb Foundation charity quiz night at Hungerford British Legion on Friday 15 March at 7:30pm start. Tickets are £20 per person including food. To book call 07795 154808 or email btf1968@hotmail.com 

• Don’t forget to check out the new Wellbeing Sessions run by Get Berkshire Active, every Wednesday at Hungerford Library from 1pm to 1.30pm. To book a place please email kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

• Would you like to help inspire the future workforce? Education Business Partnership helps prepare our local young people for the world of work, and to do this EBP relies on the support of local businesses and professionals. If you would like to volunteer your expertise please see here for more details.

Made plans yet for Mothering Sunday? Why not book Mothering Sunday lunch at Cobbs on Sunday 10 March? or at Blandy’s in Audley Inglewood, Kintbury?

• Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team (HEAT) is keen to hear from anyone who usually has swifts nesting on their home in the summer months. If you live in Hungerford High Street and would like have a swift box, installed  contact HEAT. Swifts will be returning late April/early May and we want to make sure there are enough nesting sites for them.

Click here for information on how to become a volunteer flood warden in Hungerford.

• Hungerford Nursery is  offering a new Cooking And Nutrition (CAN) course for parents/carers with children aged one to four years.  It costs just £2.50 per week and booking is essential on 01488 682628, whatsapp 07771 70191 or mbeasley@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk. See more details here.

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

• Hungerford Nursery School’s Shoal of Friends needs new trustees from March 2024 but the commitment isn’t too onerous. Please see here for details.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

• Opus2 Chamber Choir invites singers familiar with Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle to perform the piece with professional soloists on Saturday 23 March at St Mary’s Kintbury. See more details here.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Cancer Support Group‘s last meeting will be on  Thursday 16 November from 2pm to 4pm in the Hungerford Hub (the library space).  If you have any questions please contact Yvonne on Ygillies@btinternet.com

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 8 March The Great Escaper  The Croft Hall

Fri 8 Mar DnB Night Hungerford Football Club.

• Sat 9 Mar  Shuffle Play Borough Arms

Sat 9 Mar Family Quiz  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club.

Sun 10 Mar Mother’s Day Sunday lunch at Blandys (four-course meal and a complimentary drink £39.50).

Sun 10 Mar Antiques and Collectors’ Fair, Corn Exchange.

Fri 15 Mar From Prisoner to Prison Chaplain talk with Jonathan Aitken St Lawrence’s Church.

• Fri 15 Mar Bingo Hungerford Town Football Club

• Sun 16 Mar Repair Cafe  The Croft Hungerford

• Sun 17 Mar Inkpen Village Market, Inkpen

• Sun 17 Mar Easter Bingo  Royal British Legion Hungerford.

Wed 20 Mar Hungerford Town Meeting, Hungerford

Sat 23 Mar Spring Cook-In & Communal Lunch, Croft Hall

Sat 23 Mar Come and Sing Rossini St Mary’s Kintbury.

Fri 29 Mar Hungerford’s Comedy Club Night Croft Hall.

Sun 31 Mar Easter Disco/Party Royal British Legion Hungerford Club.

Sat 4 May Murder Mystery evening at Audley Inglewood.

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wednesday 1 to 1.30pm

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

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 4 March 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 19 February and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: matters arising; parish communications; a draft questionnaire; ditch clearance; repairs and maintenance; a successful members’ bid; and financial matters.
To see the dates, agendas 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 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: reports from the Chair and a ward member; the budget; the precept (which will increase by 5%); financial matters; and planning matters.
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 Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 January 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. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January 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 Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 January 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 29 February 2024

Our usual round-up of local news includes smartening-up, wellbeing, music, mothering and cooking – plus Hungerford’s forthcoming town meeting, an important consultation of the town’s neighbourhood plan which needs your comments and progress at Lancaster Park. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include an author event and a Haydn quartet.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Hungerford’s meeting

The 2024 Hungerford Town Meeting will take place at 7pm (with refreshments from 6.30pm) on Wednesday 20 March at the Corn Exchange.

As in previous years, this will follow an exhibition-stye format with locals groups having stalls and being available to explain their work. Representatives from West Berkshire Council will also be present. The event will provide an opportunity to talk to the Hungerford Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group about the Regulation 14 consultation: see below for more information.

The organisations that have said they want to attend include the Chamber of Commerce, the D-Day Team, the Youth and Community Centre, the community markets, Smarten Up Hungerford, Sovereign Housing, HEAT, the Hungerford NDP, The Huingerford Town and Manor, the local police team, the Rugby Club and the Hungerford Food Community.

Any local organisations that which to have a stand at the event should contact claire.barnes@hungerford-tc.gov.uk as soon as possible to ensure you get a space.

• Hungerford’s Neighbourhood Plan

As mentioned last week, the Hungerford Neighbourhood Plan has now reached the important pre-submission (Regulation 14) stage and your views are needed.

When the NDP is adopted, it becomes as much part of the local plan as if WBC had written it itself. It is therefore the result of close co-operation between the planning authority and the local community. The last word is important: without demonstrable community engagement, the plan risks failing at the inspection stage. Hungerford’s plan could not possibly be accused of this shortcoming but the process of engagement continues. A very important stage has been reached and you are invited to have your say.

Note that you can comment on the proposals even if you do not live in Hungerford.

You can read more in this separate post which also provides links to the NDP documents and the consultation form.

• Lancaster Park

No building development is ever free of snagging problems, usually identified in the first few months after occupation. The Lancaster Park development in Hungerford is no exception. There have also been concerns about the landscaping work that was done, several of the plants having since died. All these and other matters (including ensuring the streets can be adopted by WBC) need to be sorted out before the future upkeep and maintenance of the common parts is handed over to the management company.

In order to address these, a meeting was arranged on 23 February involving Hungerford’s Mayor Helen Simpson, HTC Councillor and Lancaster Park resident Stella Coulthurst and representatives from Bewley Homes. “The meeting proved to be positive,” Helen Simpson told Penny Post afterwards, “with reassurances that the planting will be complete by the end of March. A more robust maintenance contract will be shared soon for comment. We look forward to continued progress and remain committed to ensuring the landscape plan is achieved. 

Chloe Willman, Head of Customer Services at Bewley Homes, added that the developers “welcomed the opportunity to meet the Mayor of Hungerford and Councillor Coulthurst, who gave us their insight and feedback. Our meeting covered a number of key points regarding the overall delivery of the landscaping and its completion for this year. We discussed how we will be undertaking weekly monitoring of the site to ensure we meet our agreed programme of delivery. This will be communicated to residents.

“We also reviewed key landscaping documents and explained how we will ensure the management company provides a seamless transition in the future to the resident management company.”

We’ll check back in a month or so and see how things are going.

• Other news

• Smarten Up Hungerford  continues to execute some good work cleaning up the environment. Most recently, alongside one of the Town and Manor’s Trustees, they helped clear all the rubbish from behind the fence on the lay-by opposite Dobbies. Five sacks were filled in total – well done everyone.

• The Honesty Group are looking to book some comedians in the local area to do bi-weekly shows at their pubs on Thursdays. If you know of anyone who is in the Berkshire/Hampshire area who would be up for doing this at the Crown & Garter and The Hartley Arms please send an email to marketing@honestygroup.co.uk

• The Honesty Group will also be hosting a screening of @6inchesofsoil at Honesty Group Cookery School  on Thursday 14 March,  at 6.30pm, in an effort to bring community together and provoke thought about soil regeneration and sustainable management. This is a free event with food and drinks provided. You can book your tickets here.  

• London Haydn Quartet are coming to Hungerford Primary School the Friday 1 March followed by a concert for all at Hungerford Arts Centre at The Croft Hall. Described by BBC Music Magazine as “players of faultless intonation, unanimity and blend’. Providing music for all. Tickets here free for under 18’s.

Bee Jacks Tomb Foundation  are hosting another charity quiz night at Hungerford British legion on Friday the 15 March at 7:30pm start. Tickets are £20 per person including food. To book  call  07795 154808 or email btf1968@hotmail.com 

• A quick reminder that if you have a car, some spare time and would like to make a difference in your local community that Volunteer Driver Service Berkshire are looking for your help. You receive 45p per mile starting from your door and schedules will be organised around your availability and preferences. Please email info@volunteerdriverservice.org.uk to find out more.

• Please don’t forget that Kintbury Pre School is looking for donations to fundraise  of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing in good condition, plus paired shoes. The Bags2school collection   will occur on Monday 4 March, so please drop down  bags  to the school on any week day between 9am and 3pm.

• A quick reminder to  bookworms and book clubs that you are invited to an evening with Veronica Henry on Tuesday 5 March from 6pm to 8pm at White Coco in Hungerford High Street.

• Hungerford’s Churches are offering a series of Lent Lunches, consisting  of soup, bread & cheese. Friday 1 March 12.30pm, Our Lady of Lourdes; Friday 15 March 12.30pm – Hungerford URC; Friday 22 March 12.30pm, Methodist Church.

• Don’t forget to check out the new Wellbeing Sessions run by Get Berkshire Active, every Wednesday at Hungerford Library from 1pm to 1.30pm. To book a place please email kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

• Quick reminder that BBC Radio Berkshire is asking the people of Hungerford to nominate anyone who they think has really made a difference in the community this year. There’s more detail on all the categories here  and if you’ve got any questions you email faye.harland@bbc.co.uk

• Get involved with the upcoming poetry festival in Hungerford, take the opportunity to join award-winning local writer, Nicola Chester, for a Walking-Writing Poetry Workshop with some fun, accessible and enjoyable writing exercises open to all  (14 years and over) on Saturday 2 March.  To book tickets contact Hungerford Library 01488 682660; hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Would you like to help inspire the future workforce? Education Business Partnership helps prepare our local young people for the world of work, and to do this EBP relies on the support of local businesses and professionals. If you would like to volunteer your expertise please see here for more details.

Made plans yet for Mothering Sunday? Why not book Mothering Sunday lunch at Cobbs on Sunday 10 March? or at Blandy’s in Audley Ingleowwd, Kintbury?

• Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team (HEAT) is keen to hear from anyone who usually has swifts nesting on their home in the summer months. If you live in Hungerford High Street and would like have a swift box, installed  contact HEAT.

Click here for information on how to become a volunteer flood warden in Hungerford.

• Hungerford Nursery is  offering a new Cooking And Nutrition (CAN) course for parents/carers with children aged one to four years.  It costs just £2.50 per week and booking is essential on 01488 682628, whatsapp 07771 70191 or mbeasley@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk. See more details here.

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

• Wintery words and vibrant verse – the latest recommendations from the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

• Hungerford Nursery School’s Shoal of Friends needs new trustees from March 2024 but the commitment isn’t too onerous. Please see here for details.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

• Opus2 Chamber Choir invites singers familiar with Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle to perform the piece with professional soloists on Saturday 23 March at St Mary’s Kintbury. See more details here.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Cancer Support Group‘s last meeting will be on  Thursday 16 November from 2pm to 4pm in the Hungerford Hub (the library space).  If you have any questions please contact Yvonne on Ygillies@btinternet.com

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 1 Mar An Evening with Psychic Darren Higgins Hungerford Football Club.

Fri 1 Mar London Haydn Quartet Hungerford.

Fri 1 Mar to Sun 10 Mar Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea at Blandy’s, £29.95

• Sat 2 Mar Performance Poetry Joelle Taylor & Josie Alford Croft Hall.

• Wed 6 Mar Bryony Gordon discusses Mad Woman Hungerford Bookshop.

• Thu 7 Mar Open Poetry Mic Night Hungerford Library.

Thu 7 Mar Scintillating Swifts talk, Chilton Foliat.

Fri 8 Mar DnB Night Hungerford Football Club.

Sat 9 Mar Family Quiz  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club.

Sun 10 Mar Mother’s Day Sunday lunch at Blandys (four-course meal and a complimentary drink £39.50).

Sun 10 Mar Antiques and Collectors’ Fair, Corn Exchange.

Fri 15 Mar From Prisoner to Prison Chaplain talk with Jonathan Aitken St Lawrence’s Church.

• Sun 17 Mar Easter Bingo  Royal British Legion Hungerford.

Wed 20 Mar Hungerford Town Meeting, Hungerford (see separate section above).

Sat 23 Mar Come and Sing Rossini St Mary’s Kintbury.

Fri 29 Mar Hungerford’s Comedy Club Night Croft Hall.

Sun 31 Mar  Easter Disco/Party Royal British Legion Hungerford Club.

Sat 4 May Murder Mystery evening at Audley Inglewood.

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wednesday 1 to 1.30pm

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

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 February 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 February and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: reports from the Chair and a ward member; the budget; the precept (which will increase by 5%); financial matters; and planning matters.
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 31 January and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: ditch clearance; financial matters; the precept (£15,000) and the budget’ and grant applications.
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 15 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Thames Water, the 40mph zone; the SID project; a new logo; the defibrillator; the councillor vacancy; the Parish Steward; the precept (£13,000) and the budget; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes 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 11 January 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 Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 January 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 22 February 2024

Our usual round-up of local news includes fundraising, bookworms, lunches, wellbeing and swifts – plus Hungerford’s forthcoming town meeting, an important milestone reached with the neighbourhood plan and the future of WH Smith in the High Street. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include swing, jazz and hydrogen.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Hungerford’s meeting

The 2024 Hungerford Town Meeting will take place at 7pm (with refreshments from 6.30pm) on Wednesday 20 March at the Corn Exchange.

As in previous years, this will follow an exhibition-stye format with locals groups having stalls and being available to explain their work. Representatives for West Berkshire Council will also be present. The event will provide an opportunity to talk to the Hungerford Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group about the Regulation 14 consultation: see below for more information.

Any local organisations that which to have a stand at the event should contact claire.barnes@hungerford-tc.gov.uk.

• Have your say

As mentioned last week, the Hungerford Neighbourhood Plan has now reached the important pre-submission (Regulation 14) stage and your views are needed.

“The Neighbourhood Plan is a document that defines planning and land-use policies relating to Hungerford parish,” a statement from the Hungerford NDP Steering Group explains. “It sets out, in development terms, how land should be used within the parish, as well as planning policies to influence development proposals. The Plan must undergo a rigorous process, including a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), a series of consultations, independent examination, and finally a referendum. If successful, it will form part of the development Plan for West Berkshire and will be used to help determine the outcome of planning applications in Hungerford Parish.”

When the NDP is adopted, it becomes as much part of the local plan as if WBC had written it itself. It is therefore the result of close co-operation between the planning authority and the local community. The last word is important: without demonstrable community engagement, the plan risks failing at the inspection stage. Hungerford’s plan could not possibly be accused of this shortcoming but the process of engagement continues. A very important stage has been reached and all residents – and anyone who visits or works in the town – are invited to have their say.

You can read more in this separate post which also provides links to the NDP documents and the consultation form.

• WH Smith in Hungerford

rumours have been flying around that the WHS in the High Street is to be sold, perhaps heralding the closure of WHS store and the Post Office. Many will remember the struggle to keep the PO open in 2016 and 2017, something which Hungerford Town Council achieved by ensuring that an outreach service was established, so providing evidence when WHS took the shop over that there was a need for the service. HTC would not want to go through this again.

Fortunately, the change of ownership seems merely to be to be with eh landlords and the lease which WHS enjoys will remain unaffected. A spokesperson for WHS told me on 21 February that “I can confirm that we have no intention of closing our store in Hungerford.”  I have asked how long the remaining lease is and will share this when I receive a response.

• Other news

• Perhaps unsurprisingly, after the downpours that have effected so many lives in the UK this winter, Hungerford is looking for volunteer flood wardens to help raise awareness of any flood risks in their community. Learn more here.

• Kintbury preschool is looking for donations to fundraise via the Bag2School project . Bags of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing in good condition, plus paired shoes will be given to the company for cash which will be used to support the school and its activities. They have a Bags2school collection on Monday 4 March, so please drop down as many bags as you like to the school on any week day between 9am and 3pm.

•  KOTB Angling Club   are  in need of second hand tackle luggage nets for a growing number of youngsters if you would like to donate anything please visit www.kotb.org.uk

Calling all bookworms and book clubs. As part of their White Coco Book Club, you are invited to an evening with Veronica Henry on Tuesday 5 March from 6pm to 8pm at White Coco in Hungerford High Street. Enjoy a glass of fizz and an exclusive reading & book signing of Ronnie’s brand new novel, The Secret Beach. Numbers are limited, so  RSVP at info@whitecoco.co.uk to confirm your attendance.

• The Christian festival of Lent has begun and as a result Hungerford Churches are offering a series of Lent Lunches, consisting  of soup, bread & cheese. Here are venues and dates: Friday 1 March 12.30pm, Our Lady of Lourdes; Friday 15 March 12.30pm – Hungerford URC; Friday 22 March 12.30pm, Methodist Church.

• Don’t forget to check out the new Wellbeing Sessions run by Get Berkshire Active, every Wednesday at Hungerford Library from 1pm to 1.30pm. To book a place please email kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

• Quick reminder that BBC Radio Berkshire is asking the people of Hungerford to nominate anyone who they think has really made a difference in the community this year. There’s more detail on all the categories here  and if you’ve got any questions you email faye.harland@bbc.co.uk

• Get involved with the upcoming poetry festival in Hungerford, take the opportunity to join award-winning local writer, Nicola Chester, for a Walking-Writing Poetry Workshop with some fun, accessible and enjoyable writing exercises open to all  (14 years and over) on Saturday 2 March.  To book tickets contact Hungerford Library 01488 682660; hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Would you like to help inspire the future workforce? Education Business Partnership helps prepare our local young people for the world of work, and to do this EBP relies on the support of local businesses and professionals. If you would like to volunteer your expertise please see here for more details.

Made plans yet for Mothering Sunday? Why not book Mothering Sunday lunch at Cobbs on Sunday 10 March? or at Blandy’s in Audley Ingleowwd, Kintbury?

• Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team (HEAT) is keen to hear from anyone who usually has swifts nesting on their home in the summer months. If you live in Hungerford High Street and would like have a swift box, installed  contact HEAT.

Click here for information on how to become a volunteer flood warden in Hungerford.

• Hungerford Nursery is  offering a new Cooking And Nutrition (CAN) course for parents/carers with children aged one to four years.  It costs just £2.50 per week and booking is essential on 01488 682628, whatsapp 07771 70191 or mbeasley@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk. See more details here.

Lasso the Moon dance party is back in Bedwyn village hall 7.30pm to midnight Saturday 24 February for Part II with three talented, local DJs. Book your £10 tickets here. You can also follow the organisers, Little Red Poncho Events on facebook.

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

• Wintery words and vibrant verse – the latest recommendations from the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

• Hungerford Nursery School’s Shoal of Friends needs new trustees from March 2024 but the commitment isn’t too onerous. Please see here for details.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

• Opus2 Chamber Choir invites singers familiar with Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle to perform the piece with professional soloists on Saturday 23 March at St Mary’s Kintbury. You will rehearse for the day, are fed lunch and perform that piece in a concert in the evening.  Rehearsals start at 10am with a light lunch provided at 1pm. See more details here.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Cancer Support Group‘s last meeting will be on  Thursday 16 November from 2pm to 4pm in the Hungerford Hub (the library space).  If you have any questions please contact Yvonne on Ygillies@btinternet.com

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Sat 24 Feb Kitty Mazinsky sings vintage swing and jazz Croft Hall.

• Sat Feb 24 Pie and Quiz Night The Tutti Pole.

• Sat 24 Feb Karaoke Borough Arms

• Wed 28 Feb HEAT meeting  Hungerford Library.

Wed 28 Feb Hydrogen Fuel Information Day, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Fri 1 Mar An Evening with Psychic Darren Higgins Hungerford Football Club.

• Fri 1 Mar London Haydn Quartet Hungerford.

Fri 1 Mar to Sun 10 Mar Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea at Blandy’s, £29.95

• Sat 2 Mar Performance Poetry Joelle Taylor & Josie Alford Croft Hall.

• Wed 6 Mar Bryony Gordon discusses Mad Woman Hungerford Bookshop.

• Thu 7 Mar Open Poetry Mic Night Hungerford Library.

Fri 8 Mar DnB Night Hungerford Football Club.

Sat 9 Mar Family Quiz  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club.

Sun 10 Mar Mother’s Day Sunday lunch at Blandys (four-course meal and a complimentary drink £39.50).

Sun 10 Mar Antiques and Collectors’ Fair, Corn Exchange.

Fri 15 Mar From Prisoner to Prison Chaplain talk with Jonathan Aitken St Lawrence’s Church.

Sat 23 Mar Come and Sing Rossini St Mary’s Kintbury.

Fri 29 Mar Hungerford’s Comedy Club Night Croft Hall.

Sun 31 Mar  Easter Disco/Party Royal British Legion Hungerford Club.

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wednesday 1 to 1.30pm

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

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 February 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 31 January and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: ditch clearance; financial matters; the precept (£15,000) and the budget’ and grant applications.
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 15 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Thames Water, the 40mph zone; the SID project; a new logo; the defibrillator; the councillor vacancy; the Parish Steward; the precept (£13,000) and the budget; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes 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 11 January 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 Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 January 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 Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 January 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.

• 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 15 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes creative writing, lent, bridge, kids, friends, wardens and jazz – plus a new monthly market in Hungerford, an important milestone with Hungerford’s NDP and the latest on the changes at the Co-op (but not much change at Chestnut Walk). See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include pie & quiz, Oliver! and Jack and the Beanstalk.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Hungerford’s Co-op

The store in the High Street will cease to be a Co-op at the end of April. The good news, however, is that will be taken over by an as-yet un-named food retailer.

“Co-op regularly reviews all of its sites and it is only after careful consideration that the decision has been taken to sell Queen Anne House and our convenience store in Hungerford,” a spokesperson confirmed on 14 February. “We’re aware of the importance of the building to the community and, alongside working to secure a new opportunity for the future of the building, our priority has been to safeguard local jobs. Contracts for the sale of the site have now been exchanged. Colleagues will transfer to the store’s new operator. We would like to thank the community for their support of our High Street store over the years.”

The Queen Anne House referred to is to the left of the store as viewed from the High Street and was for many years the subject of a campaign by Hungerford Town Council on account of its rapidly deteriorating condition which was in some people’s view verging on the actively dangerous. This pressure paid off and work started in April 2022. It has now been restored to a far more elegant state though is currently un-tenanted. What plans the new owners have for it are uncertain.

The sale also includes the slightly surreal flat above the Co-op store. Its peculiar feature is that it can’t currently be accessed save through the windows as the staircase was removed some time ago to create the space where the shop’s tills current are. It will be interesting what happens with this. At present, it’s not much use for anything except as an owl sanctuary.

Speculation also continues as to the identity off the purchaser. Asda has been mentioned, though perhaps only isbecause it has already acquired 132 of Co-op stores and attached fuel forecourts (including the one on the A4 in Hungerford on 12 January 2024). Whoever the buyer is, hopefully the assurances that it will sell food will prove to be true – it doesn’t do for a place the size of Hungerford and its surrounding villages to have only one supermarket.

• The Hungerford Neighbourhood Plan

After many years’ work, the Hungerford Neighbourhood Plan has now reached the important pre-submission (Regulation 14) stage and your views are needed. Please click here for links to the documents and how you can make your views known. You need to have done this by 5pm on Friday 29 March 2024.

• Chestnut Walk

Here we go again…

A statement received from Sovereign on 12 February said that “Sovereign and West Berkshire Council will be in a position to make a comment once contractors are appointed on the development. We will be in touch with you when the time comes.” This moves matters on very slightly from where we were last week as it suggests that a joint statement might emerge. This will be more useful than separate ones which, as I mentioned before, are often variations on the theme of “we’re waiting for the other lot to let us know what’s happening.”

I replied, saying that I looked forward to receiving this but that the response left open the question of why the project has been so badly delayed up until now and could anyone explain why this was. To this question I have not received a reply.

I’ve also recently heard from Denise Gaines – who as one of the Hungerford ward members and the Executive member for Housing is particularly involved in this – who tells me that a meeting with Sovereign planned for last week had to be cancelled and a new date is being organised. She said that she was “as anxious as the other residents of Hungerford to see this monstrous eyesore [the old care home] removed and new dwellings being constructed in its place.”

Better news next week, perhaps…

• A new market

The Hungerford Town and Manor, which already runs the Wednesday outdoor and indoor markets in the High Street and the Corn Exchange, will be adding another event from Sunday 10 March – the monthly Hungerford Antiques and Collectors’ Fair, which will be open from 9am to 3.30pm. Each will feature around 35 dealers whose wares will include china, painting, jewellery, watches and rugs. These will take place on the second Sunday of every month (except from April and November, when it will be on the third Sunday).

For more information and to book a stand, contact Gerry White on 07747 106 539 or gerrywhite60@gmail.com or Tara Adamson on 07880 311731 or clerk@townandmanor.co.uk.

• Other news

• Looking for ways to entertain the kids? Why not  join KOTB Angling Club  on the bankside for a day’s fishing? They are  in need of second hand tackle luggage nets for a growing number of youngsters if you would like to donate anything please visit www.kotb.org.uk All youngsters welcome.

•  Shalbourne Stores & Post Office is hosting a Bridge afternoon in the village hall. Any ability welcome but please book a table of four. With prizes, afternoon tea and a raffle donations ro go to Prospect Hospice  and Shalbourne Community.

• The Christian festival of Lent has begun and as a result Hungerford Churches are offering a series of Lent Lunches. Each church will host a lunch of soup, bread & cheese; everyone is welcome to attend any, or all, as they are able.  Cash donations are invited for Noreen’s Kids, supporting disabled children and their families in Romania. Unfortunately, St Lawrence’s Church, Hungerford are unable to host a lunch this year due to the ongoing building work, but here are the other venues and dates: Friday 1 March 12.30pm, Our Lady of Lourdes; Friday 15 March 12.30pm – Hungerford URC; Friday 22 March 12.30pm, Methodist Church

West Berkshire Libraries is delighted to announce new Wellbeing Sessions run by Get Berkshire Active, which are starting at Hungerford Library on Wednesday 21 February. These chair-based exercises will take place every week, 1 to 1.30pm. Sessions are free but you do need to book in advance. For more information about these sessions or to book a place please email kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

• Quick reminder that Faye Harland from BBC Radio Berkshire is asking the people of Hungerford to nominate anyone who they think has really made a difference in the community this year, There’s more detail on all the categories here  and if you’ve got any questions you email faye.harland@bbc.co.uk

Local author Millie Stone is running a six week Creative Writing Course in Hungerford on Thursday mornings starting on 22 February. Writers of any genre or level of experience are welcome. See here for details and how to book your place.

• Get involved with the upcoming poetry festival in Hungerford, take the opportunity to join award-winning local writer, Nicola Chester, for a Walking-Writing Poetry Workshop with some fun, accessible and enjoyable writing exercises open to all  (14 years and over) on Saturday 2 March.  To book tickets contact Hungerford Library 01488 682660; hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Would you like to help inspire the future workforce? Education Business Partnership helps prepare our local young people for the world of work, and to do this EBP relies on the support of local businesses and professionals. If you would like to volunteer your expertise please see here for more details.

Made plans yet for Mothering Sunday? Why not book Mothering Sunday lunch at Cobbs on Sunday 10 March? or at Blandy’s in Audley Ingleowwd, Kintbury?

• Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team (HEAT) is keen to hear from anyone who usually has swifts nesting on their home in the summer months. If you live in Hungerford High Street and would like have a swift box, installed  contact HEAT.

Click here for information on how to become a volunteer flood warden in Hungerford.

• Hungerford Nursery is  offering a new Cooking And Nutrition (CAN) course for parents/carers with children aged one to four years.  It costs just £2.50 per week and booking is essential on 01488 682628, whatsapp 07771 70191 or mbeasley@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk. See more details here.

Lasso the Moon dance party is back in Bedwyn village hall 7.30pm to midnight Saturday 24 February for Part II with three talented, local DJs. Book your £10 tickets here. You can also follow the organisers, Little Red Poncho Events on facebook.

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

• Wintery words and vibrant verse – the latest recommendations from the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

• Hungerford Nursery School’s Shoal of Friends needs new trustees from March 2024 but the commitment isn’t too onerous. Please see here for details.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

• Quick reminder that the deadline is Saturday 17 February for submitting poems to an exhibition of poetry by local residents as part of the Hungerford Poetry Festival from 2 to 16 March at Hungerford Library. Poems can be on any subject, perhaps celebrating Hungerford and community, the library, our local countryside. Please send your poems by email to hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk, by post to the library at Church Street, Hungerford RG17 OJG, or drop them off at any West Berkshire library.

• Opus2 Chamber Choir invites singers familiar with Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle to perform the piece with professional soloists on Saturday 23 March at St Mary’s Kintbury. You will rehearse for the day, are fed lunch and perform that piece in a concert in the evening.  Rehearsals start at 10am with a light lunch provided at 1pm. See more details here.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

Click here for the latest newsletter form the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Cancer Support Group‘s last meeting will be on  Thursday 16 November from 2pm to 4pm in the Hungerford Hub (the library space).  If you have any questions please contact Yvonne on Ygillies@btinternet.com

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 16 Feb Hungerford Town Show: Oliver!, John O’Gaunt School Hall.

• Fri 16 Feb Jack & The Beanstalk Panto  Kintbury Coronation Hall.

• Sat 17 Feb Hungerford Town Show: Oliver!, John O’Gaunt School Hall

• Sat 17 Feb Jack & The Beanstalk Panto  Kintbury Coronation Hall.

• Sat 24 Feb Kitty Mazinsky sings vintage swing and jazz Croft Hall.

• Sat Feb 24 Pie and Quiz Night The Tutti Pole.

• Wed 28 Feb HEAT meeting  Hungerford Library.

Wed 28 Feb Hydrogen Fuel Information Day, Hungerford Town Hall.

• Fri 1 Mar An Evening with Psychic Darren Higgins Hungerford Football Club.

• Fri 1 Mar London Haydn Quartet Hungerford.

Fri 1 Mar to Sun 10 Mar Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea at Blandy’s, £29.95

• Sat 2 Mar Performance Poetry Joelle Taylor & Josie Alford Croft Hall.

• Wed 6 Mar Bryony Gordon discusses Mad Woman Hungerford Bookshop.

• Thu 7 Mar Open Poetry Mic Night Hungerford Library.

Fri 8 Mar DnB Night Hungerford Football Club.

Sat 9 Mar Family Quiz  Royal British Legion Hungerford Club.

Sun 10 Mar Mother’s Day Sunday lunch at Blandys (four-course meal and a complimentary drink £39.50).

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wednesday 1 to 1.30pm

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

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 February 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Thames Water, the 40mph zone; the SID project; a new logo; the defibrillator; the councillor vacancy; the Parish Steward; the precept (£13,000) and the budget; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes 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 11 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: local councillor’s report; Police report; road and traffic issues; Village Green plaques; planning matters; highways; financial matters; and the precept (£10,000) and the budget.
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 9 January 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 Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 December 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 16 August 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 8 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: wellbeing, swifts, poetry, freedom and rugby – plus a look at the recent Penny Post Hungerford newsletter, a suggestion for how to solve the log-jam at Chestnut Walk, a poetry festival and the latest news from the Town Centre Strategy Steering Group. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include: live music, Oliver! and Jack and the Beanstalk.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Chestnut Walk

This page wouldn’t be complete without a reference to Chestnut Walk, would it?

The long-awaited re-development of the former care home in Hungerford seems as far away as ever, work now not predicted to start until early 2025. As ward member Dennis Benneyworth observed at the recent Hungerford Town Council meeting, if matters had gone to plan on this, eight families would recently have been celebrating the third Christmas in their new homes.

The project is a joint venture between WBC and Sovereign Housing. Alarmingly, my recent communications with both bodies suggested that each was waiting for the other to take the initiative. Further prompting produced a statement from Sovereign on 6 February saying that “The development is currently at the ‘tender’ stage. Once contractors have been appointed, we’ll be in a position to give firmer timeframes.”

I knew that. What I didn’t know but would like to was why matters had taken so long and what confidence local residents can have in the joint venture given how badly off course this scheme has gone. The proposal to close the care home was first mooted in 2015 , so ten years will have elapsed before anything is even started. I put these points to Sovereign and await a response.

I feel that the time has now come for WBC to pull out of this arrangement which has promised much and delivered nothing. Many accept that the social-housing crisis cannot be solved by the private sector or the government: so, local councils need to step in. Planning permission is in place and WBC owns the land. WBC should appoint a project manager and crack on itself. If this works – and nothing could be worse than the current impasse – this could provide a blueprint for future projects. It’s high time WBC built some homes. This seems like a good place and time to start.

Currently we are in the surreal position of a development that everyone apart from the developers want to see got on with. Usually, it’s the other way round.

• The town-centre strategy

At the 5 February meeting of Hungerford Town Council James Cole, the Chair of the Hungerford Town-centre Strategy Steering Group (TCSSG) provided a report of the most recent developments. You can see more on this, and the background to to this WBC initiative, in this separate post.

Both the Mayor and James Cole stressed that the TCSSG was entirely reactive with regard to the matters it was considering, these having already been identified in the extensive consultation that took place during the first stage of the TCS project in 2022-23. The six which had received the most support (see list in the 2 January 2024 update) are the ones currently being considered.

The TCSSG would not be making decisions, only recommendations: although it has decided to drop the bottom four for the present, concentrate on the top two and press WBC for some answers in respect of these. There are no done deals involved in the process and the issues surrounding all of the ideas will be looked at carefully by the TCSSG.

Any recommendations which were made would be sent to HTC and other represented bodies like the Chamber of Commerce and the Town and Manor for consideration and these will be given publicity for people to comment before any decision is taken.

Even then, the problem of finance will need to be overcome. The chance of a bid being successful are greatly increased if it can be demonstrated that (a) the basic idea has popular support; and (b) serious work has since gone into looking at the details. Point (a) is what the original consultation has identified; point (b) is what the TCSSG is considering.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the TCSs for Hungerford, Thatcham and Newbury were WBC initiatives. Hungerford had to fight quite hard to ensure that it had a strong and effective voice in the future discussions. This included the TCSSG Chair being from the town and not, as was originally proposed, from WBC. This model has now been adopted for the two other TCSs.

All the projects should be regarded as long-term. In addition, any which ends up being adopted by WBC will then be funded by WBC and subject to WBC’s own consultation process. Any such projects will, however, come from the same pot of ideas already produced by the consultation.

The minutes of TCSSG meetings can be seen here. As mentioned above, any recommendations will be given wide publicity before anything is set in stone. If you would like to communicate with the TCSSG, please email Cllr.james.cole@hungerford-tc.gov.uk.

• Hungerford’s poetry

Hungerford Library will be holding an exhibition of poetry by local residents as part of the Hungerford Poetry Festival which will take place from 2 to 16 March.

If you enjoy writing poetry, you are invited you to contribute to the festival by writing your own poem, which may be displayed in the exhibition. Poems can be on any subject, perhaps celebrating Hungerford and the community, the library, our local countryside or any theme of your choice. Please send your poems by email to hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk, by post to the library at Church Street, Hungerford RG17 0JG, or drop them off at any West Berkshire library before Saturday 17 February.

Alongside the exhibition, there will also be a walking-writing poetry workshop with award winning local author Nicola Chester, poetry performances from Joelle Taylor and Josie Alford on Saturday 2 March, and a night of poetry and comedy with Clare Ferguson-Walker on Saturday 16 March. There’s also an opportunity for you get involved by performing your own poetry at the open-mic night in The Hub on Thursday 7 March.

• Hungerford’s newsletter

As happens at the start of every month, Penny Post Hungerford is published, providing the best guide to what’s going on in the town. You can click here to read it if you didn’t get it.

• Other news

West Berkshire Libraries are delighted to tell you about new Wellbeing Sessions run by Get Berkshire Active, which are starting at Hungerford Library on Wednesday 21 February. These chair-based exercises will take place every week, 1-1.30pm. Sessions are free but you do need to book in advance. For more information about these sessions or to book a place please email kate.wiggins@getberkshireactive.org or ring 07706 357801.

Faye Harland from BBC Radio Berkshire is asking the people of Hungerford to nominate anyone who they think has really made a difference this year, by their actions in the town. The BBC’s Make a Difference Awards are in September but you’ve only got until 11pm on Sunday 10 March to make a nomination. There’s more detail on all the categories here  and if you’ve got any questions you can or email faye.harland@bbc.co.uk.

Local author Millie Stone is running a six week Creative Writing Course in Hungerford on Thursday mornings starting on 22 February. Writers of any genre or level of experience are welcome. See here for details and how to book your place.

• With the upcoming poetry festival in Hungerford, take the opportunity to join award-winning local writer, Nicola Chester, for a Walking-Writing Poetry Workshop with some fun, accessible and enjoyable writing exercises open to all  (14 years and over) on Saturday 2 March. Nicola Chester is a Guardian Country Diarist, a columnist for Countryfile Magazine and the RSPB, and wrote Nature Notes for the Newbury Weekly News for 20 years. She is also an award-winning author of On Gallows Down, has contributed to several anthologies, and is School Librarian and Writer in Residence at John O’Gaunt School. In her spare time she writes poetry. To book tickets contact Hungerford Library 01488 682660; hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

Made plans yet for Mothering Sunday? Why not book Mothering Sunday lunch at Cobbs on Sunday 10 March?

• Hungerford’s Environmental Action Team ( HEAT) is keen to hear from anyone who usually has swifts nesting on their home in the summer months. If you live in Hungerford High Street and would like have a swift box, installed  contact HEAT.

• The Community of Hungerford Theatre Company is pleased to be bringing back the first Hungerford Town Show since 2020 with a production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! This year’s production, directed by Hoffi Robinson runs from Wednesday 14 to Saturday 17 February in John O’Gaunt School Hall. Tickets are available from Crown Needlework opposite the Town Hall or from hungerfordtheatre.com.

Click here for information on how to become a volunteer flood warden in Hungerford.

• Hungerford Rugby Club is pleased to be hosting a two day Girls Rugby Camp over half term on Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 February. The cost is £40 for a full day 9.30am to 4pm. See here for the itinerary and sign up form. If you need any help with cost please contact Rob Cox on robcox999@gmail.com.

• Hungerford Nursery is pleased to be offering a new Cooking And Nutrition (CAN) course for parents/carers with children aged 1 to 4 years.  The six week course starts 9.30am Wednesday 21 February and covers how to cook & shop on a budget, look at food portions, cook an easy recipe to take home, keeping your family safe in the kitchen and healthy lifestyles. It costs just £2.50 per week and booking is essential with Marie Beasley on 01488 682628, whatsapp 07771 70191 or mbeasley@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk. See more details here.

• After a fantastic night of dancing last October, Lasso the Moon dance party is back in Bedwyn village hall 7.30pm to midnight Saturday 24 February for Part II with three talented, local DJs – DJ Soundy getting the party started with funky, electronic tunes, DJ Jay with breakbeats to get you strutting your stuff on the dance floor and DJ Silver returning with euphoric dance tunes old and new to lift your spirits and make you smile.  Lasso is an inclusive event for those who want to dance all night without a long drive home…Book your £10 tickets here. You can also follow the organisers, Little Red Poncho Events on facebook.

Hungerford Jazz Forum welcomes new musicians on the last Friday of the month at the British Legion. They now showcase local bands and performers by offering a 30 minute set around 9pm. Please see more details on their facebook page here.

• Wintery words and vibrant verse – the latest recommendations from the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Don’t forget that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

• Hungerford Nursery School’s Shoal of Friends needs new trustees from March 2024 but the commitment isn’t too onerous. Please see here for details.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

• Quick reminder that the deadline is Saturday 17 February for submitting poems to an exhibition of poetry by local residents as part of the Hungerford Poetry Festival from 2 to 16 March at Hungerford Library. Poems can be on any subject, perhaps celebrating Hungerford and community, the library, our local countryside. Please send your poems by email to hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk, by post to the library at Church Street, Hungerford RG17 OJG, or drop them off at any West Berkshire library.

• Opus2 Chamber Choir invites singers familiar with Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle to perform the piece with professional soloists on Saturday 23 March at St Mary’s Kintbury. You will rehearse for the day, are fed lunch and perform that piece in a concert in the evening.  Rehearsals start at 10am with a light lunch provided at 1pm. See more details here.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Cancer Support Group‘s last meeting will be on  Thursday 16 November from 2pm to 4pm in the Hungerford Hub (the library space).  If you have any questions please contact Yvonne on Ygillies@btinternet.com

Hungerford Scout group needs at least four new volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 9 Feb Bingo Hungerford Town Football Club

• Sat 10 Feb Kaleidoscope for Special Needs Children Hungerford Methodist Church.

• Sat 10 Feb Sean Blake Concert  Borough Arms Hungerford.

• Mon 12 & Tue 13 Feb Girls Rugby Camp Hungerford RFC.

• Wed 14 Feb Rhymetime for preschoolers Hungerford Library.

Wed 14 Feb Hungerford Town Show: Oliver!, John O’Gaunt School Hall

• Thu 15 Feb Hungerford Town Show: Oliver!, John O’Gaunt School Hall.

• Thu 15 Feb Jack & The Beanstalk Panto  Kintbury Coronation Hall.

• Fri 16 Feb Hungerford Town Show: Oliver!, John O’Gaunt School Hall.

• Fri 16 Feb Jack & The Beanstalk Panto  Kintbury Coronation Hall.

• Sat 17 Feb Hungerford Town Show: Oliver!, John O’Gaunt School Hall

• Sat 17 Feb Jack & The Beanstalk Panto  Kintbury Coronation Hall.

• Sat 24 Feb Kitty Mazinsky sings vintage swing and jazz Croft Hall.

• Wed 28 Feb HEAT meeting  Hungerford Library.

• Fri 1 March An Evening with Psychic Darren Higgins Hungerford Football Club.

• Wed 6 March Bryony Gordon discusses Mad Woman Hungerford Bookshop.

• Thu 7 March Open Poetry Mic Night Hungerford Library.

• Regular Events

• Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am to noon.

Wellbeing Sessions at Hungerford Library every Wednesday 1 to 1.30pm

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

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 February 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 15 January and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Thames Water, the 40mph zone; the SID project; a new logo; the defibrillator; the councillor vacancy; the Parish Steward; the precept (£13,000) and the budget; and planning matters.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes 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 11 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: local councillor’s report; Police report; road and traffic issues; Village Green plaques; planning matters; highways; financial matters; and the precept (£10,000) and the budget.
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 9 January 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 Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 December 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 16 August 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.


You might also be interested in…

Thursday 1 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: a show, scouts, trustees, sustainability and freedom – plus (yet another) article about Chestnut Walk, the latest on the future of the Boots pharmacy, a fundraiser at the Rugby Club and Froxfield stuck in the queue. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include: a rugby camp, Oliver! and a book talk.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Chestnut Walk

Yes, I’m writing about this again. For the few readers of this column who’re unaware of what I’m on about, this concerns the unpardonable and unfathomable delay (now getting on for seven years) in redeveloping the former care home in Hungerford into eight badly needed social-rent homes. The joint venture between Sovereign and WBC has so far been unable to come up with any start date which remains fixed and each change only moves it further away. The latest announcement is that work is unlikely to start before early 2025.

On 1 February I spoke to Sovereign’s press department to ask the simple question “why is this taking so long?” There must be a reason for this: the trouble is that no one seems to know what it is. Nor, at present, do I  – but as soon as I’ve heard back from them you’ll be the first to know.

• Boots the Chemist

Following the granting of planning permission for the conversion of the first floor of the building Boots occupies in Hungerford High Street and the fact that the lease expires later this year, concerns have been expressed as to whether the pharmacy will remain. Without the first floor (used for toilets and storage) the store as currently configured is probably not viable, while the long-term intentions of the landlords are unclear. There is no other pharmacy in the town and the Surgery does not have the space to create one. As with the Post Office (which nearly closed about six years ago, a threat that prompt action by Hungerford Town Council to set up an outreach service prevented), there’s no law that says that a town the size of Hungerford has to have a pharmacy.

A spokesperson for Boots told Penny Post on 31 January that discussions with the landlord were progressing but was unable to comment on how these were going, what deadline had been set for their conclusion or whether any other properties in the town were being considered as a plan B. I was reassured that Boots wished to remain in the town and was advised that there should be more to report in a couple of months. I suggested that this would leave about six months before the lease falls in, scarcely long enough for any new property, or pharmacy provider, to be found.

Hungerford TC was able to set up an outreach Post Office but an outreach pharmacy is a rather different matter. It’s important to stress that, not being the landlord, HTC has no direct influence in the matter. All it can do is press Boots HQ for a speedy resolution and, if the worst comes to the worst, help publicise information about what other local pharmacy services are available. We’re not at that stage yet: but the clock ticks on…

• A rugby fundraiser

Hungerford Rugby Club is asking for the community’s support for the Matt Ratana Foundation. As you may be aware, police Sergeant Matt Ratana was shot and killed on duty by a handcuffed prisoner just three months before he had been due to retire.  (See this BBC programme on the tragedy).

HRFC is hosting a Quiz Night at the club on Friday 9 February with a great raffle.  All proceeds from the quiz and raffle will go to the Matt Ratana Foundation. Tickets are £5 and can be booked here.

HRFC is also supporting the foundation’s fundraising walk from Reading to Bristol along the canal on Sunday 18 February. A number of HRFC club members will be walking with the Matt Ratana charity walkers for the last mile of their first leg of the walk (Reading to Hungerford), preparing a hot meal/snack station and hosting the walkers overnight at the club.  The charity walkers’ full journey takes them from Thames Valley Police (Reading) to Ding Crusaders (Bristol) via Hungerford RFC, Bradford on Avon RFC and Keynsham RFC in support of the Matt Ratana Foundation.

The walk will be followed by the BBC and everyone is invited to please join the welcome party for the walkers who are expected to arrive around 6pm on Sunday 18 February. HRFC would like to demonstrate the community spirit of Hungerford and make the walkers feel as welcome as possible.

For more details please contact Steve Mills President Hungerford RFC on stevemills36@hotmail.com or 07584 392946.

• Froxfield stuck in the queue

The most recent (20 January) edition of Froxfield News reports that “although the official go-ahead has been given for the 40mph speed limit to be introduced to the eastern end of the village, the paperwork on the change is stalled with Wiltshire Council’s legal team. The Council must publicly advertise the proposed change and fulfil some necessary legal steps but there is a big backlog of instructions according to the Wiltshire roads engineers.

“We hope the notice will be issued shortly — and anyone can comment on the proposed changes during the 28-day period of public consultation. Froxfield Parish Council trusts no serious objections will be received and the speed limit change from 50mph to 40mph could then be implemented swiftly.

“We have also agreed to install a Speed Indicator Device at the same time, to help reinforce the ‘slow down’ message to motorists and the change of speed limit.”

• Other news

West Berkshire Libraries are offering Craft & Chat mornings at Hungerford Library, every Friday from 10am-12pm. Drop in and bring your knitting, sewing, colouring or any other craft with you to join our friendly group for a chat. Refreshments available, donations welcome. For more information phone 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk

• The Community of Hungerford Theatre Company is pleased to be bringing back the first Hungerford Town Show since 2020 with a production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! This is a fitting choice as Oliver! was the first Town Show directed by David Clayton, who led the company for more than 30 years. This year’s production, directed by Hoffi Robinson, runs from Wednesday 14 to Saturday 17 February in John O’Gaunt School Hall. Tickets are available from Crown Needlework opposite the Town Hall or from hungerfordtheatre.com.

• Hungerford Rugby Club is pleased to be hosting a two day Girls Rugby Camp over halfterm on Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 February. The cost is £40 for a full day 9.30am to 4pm. See here for the itinerary and sign up form. If you need any help with cost please contact Rob Cox on robcox999@gmail.com.

• Volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts come from all backgrounds and skill sets.  The Scout group needs at least four new volunteers to join the team that enables their 6 to 8 year olds to explore, have fun and go on adventures. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• And for cosy books to enjoy this winter, here are five reading recommendations from the bookshop.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

• West Berkshire Council has announced the winners of the Community Champion Awards: Gillian Hornzee (Volunteer of the Year), Susan Cocker (Lifetime Achievement Award), Speen Community Café (Community Group of the Year) and Thrishathi Srinivasan (The Pat Eastop MBE Junior Citizen of the Year Award). Many congratulations to all the winners who will receive their awards at a ceremony at Shaw House on 5 February, and thank you for all your hard work in the community.

Hungerford Rugby Club and Thatcham Rugby Club are collaborating to promote girls rugby. They are looking for girls of all ages to join their teams. Please get in touch with the club if you think your daughter might be interested and join one of the training sessions. They are also running a Girls Rugby Camp in February halfterm.

• Can you help Hungerford Nursery School? Its Shoal of Friends fundraising charity is in desperate need of new trustees from March 2024 but the commitment isn’t too onerous. Please see here for details.

The Green Hub on West Berkshire Council’s website is focused on helping people make more sustainable choices collectively along our journey to Net Zero, whether you live, work or learn in West Berkshire or are a business owner or visitor. The information covers energy efficiencytaking climate actioncommunity work and sustainable business.

• Quick reminder that the deadline is Saturday 17 February for submitting poems to an exhibition of poetry by local residents as part of the Hungerford Poetry Festival from 2 to 16 March at Hungerford Library. Poems can be on any subject, perhaps celebrating Hungerford and community, the library, our local countryside. Please send your poems by email to hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk, by post to the library at Church Street, Hungerford RG17 OJG, or drop them off at any West Berkshire library.

• Opus2 Chamber Choir invites singers familiar with Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle to perform the piece with professional soloists on Saturday 23 March at St Mary’s Kintbury. You will rehearse for the day, are fed lunch and perform that piece in a concert in the evening.  Rehearsals start at 10am with a light lunch provided at 1pm. See more details here.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Cancer Support Group‘s last meeting will be on  Thursday 16 November from 2pm to 4pm in the Hungerford Hub (the library space).  If you have any questions please contact Yvonne on Ygillies@btinternet.com

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 2 Feb Pokemon Card Swap Hungerford Hub & Library.

• Tue 6 Feb  Jazz Dance Taster Class Hungerford Hub & Library.

• Wed 7 Feb  Journalist Gavin Esler in conversation: Britain is Better Than This, Croft Hall.

• Sat 10 Feb Kaleidoscope for Special Needs Children Hungerford Methodist Church.

• Sat 10 Feb Sean Blake Concert  Borough Arms Hungerford.

• Mon 12 & Tue 13 Feb Girls Rugby Camp Hungerford RFC.

Wed 14 Feb Hungerford Town Show: Oliver!, John O’Gaunt School Hall

• Thu 15 Feb Hungerford Town Show: Oliver!, John O’Gaunt School Hall

• Thu 15 Feb Jack & The Beanstalk Panto  Kintbury Coronation Hall.

• Fri 16 Feb Hungerford Town Show: Oliver!, John O’Gaunt School Hall

• Fri 16 Feb Jack & The Beanstalk Panto  Kintbury Coronation Hall.

• Sat 17 Feb Hungerford Town Show: Oliver!, John O’Gaunt School Hall

• Sat 17 Feb Jack & The Beanstalk Panto  Kintbury Coronation Hall.

• Fri 28 Feb HEAT meeting  Hungerford Library.

• Regular Events

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

Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry. All welcome.

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 2 January 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: local councillor’s report; Police report; road and traffic issues; Village Green plaques; planning matters; highways; financial matters; and the precept (£10,000) and the budget.
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 9 January 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 Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 December 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 Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 September 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. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 August 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.


You might also be interested in…

Thursday 25 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: repairs, a leisure offer, early birds at the Show, sandbags, snowdrops and better than this – plus two possible bollards, Chestnut Walk goes through the looking glass and Chilton Foliat’s HGVs. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include: quiz night and heat pump information event.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Bollards

There are currently two issues in Hungerford both of which can, or so the business owners hope, be dealt with by some judiciously positioned bollards. One is at the corner of the High Street and Park Street: here HGVs frequently find that there’s not quite enough room on the road, so making them smash into the two properties (The Plume and Nye and Co). The other is outside the Coin and Stamp Centre further up the High Street which was subjected to a damaging ram-raid attack on New Year’s Eve.

Fluey Hall, landlord of the Plume, told me on 25 January that this latest incident is the tenth in the last two years: there may well have been others that were unnoticed or more minor. He pointed out that the crossing is frequently used, often by parents with young children.

West Berkshire Council’s Highways department has appeared to rule out bollards in the former location, citing problems with drainage and a possible risk to the building (even more of a risk than it runs at present). It has also suggested that a bollard, by being moved into the firing line, would then become a maintenance problem for WBC.

I only party accept this argument as the same could be said of any mitigation measure, including a flood defence scheme. Moreover, attrition to WBC’s assets is already taking place, for the saddle stones are being damaged every time a heavy vehicle rides up on to them. There surely other traffic-calming measures that could be looked at. This problem isn’t going to go away and could result in a serious injury.

One is left wondering how planning permission was ever granted for the industrial units between the railway and the canal given the likely size of the lorries and this choke-point access. I understand that, as this leads to a protected employment area, there can’t be any weight restrictions on the vehicles. Timings could be specified (if they aren’t already) but these would need to be enforced. At least HTC already has a CCTV camera in place there.

There doesn’t seem any easy solution to this, short of Tesco agreeing to give up half its car park and permitting a through road to the industrial units which is where the HGVs come from. I can’t see either the supermarket offering this, nor WBC agreeing to it.

Bollards outside the Coin and Stamp Centre are currently the subject of discussions involving the business owners, WBC and Hungerford Town Council. One concern is the potential loss of at least one parking space. There’s also the question of just how formidable these would need to be to deter any further attacks.

Presumably WBC’s concern about the item becoming a maintenance issue would also apply here. So too would the point that, to protect its residents and the property of business-rate payers, such measures are needed. It is only the local highways authority that can do this so it’s not a question of these businesses wanting WBC to pay for something they could do themselves.

• Chestnut Walk through the looking glass

As I’ve mentioned before, anyone seeing this as a headline might assume that this was the prelude to an announcement –finally – of some good news on this project. Could it be, I hear you ask, that after the best part of seven years this much needed social-housing scheme in Hungerford, a partnership between WBC and Sovereign Housing, is finally about to get going?

Sadly not. Indeed, the news I have is even more disappointing now than in December.

Then, I wrote that, far from starting in 2023 (as had been planned), September 2024 was the likely start date. It now seems that spades won’t be in the ground before early 2025: indeed, the tenders are only now being put out for the builders. Why all this wasn’t done ages ago is completely baffling to me.

In one of the most famous exchanges in Alice Through the Looking Glass, the Red Queen explains to an exhausted Alice why they’ve run hard only to end up in the same place. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place,” the Queen explains. “If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” At least they ended up in the same place. It’s impossible to escape the conclusion that Hungerford’s looking-glass project is actually going backwards, despite all the running that so many have put in.

The problem, which seems to affecting the similar project at Phoenix Court in Newbury, is mainly financial. It currently seems impossible to build a home that will be used for social rent (and so not attract the large price tag of a commercial property) and achieve appropriate environmental standards without everyone involved losing money. And this, mind you, is where one of the partners already owns the land. Were that needed to be bought at the stratospheric values that land commands when there’s the possibility of development, the whole thing becomes even more unviable. The only homes that are profitable are large and thus expensive ones. These are not the kind of dwellings that this or many other districts badly need.

We’re often reminded that there are two (at least) crises affecting the country: housing and climate change. The problems attending this development expose both. And they cannot be solved, for the reasons outlined above, by private developers, housing associations or local councils, on their own or even in partnership. National crises call for national action. The ball thus seems to be in the government’s court on these matters – if, that is, it’s at all serious about addressing them.

• Chilton Foliat’s HGVs

The following was taken from the 9 January meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council. This shows not only the poor state of municipal finances but also the inconveniences that can attend communities which are right on the edge of a district.

An interesting point is the reference to Wiltshire Council ‘s proposal that a Freedom of Information Act enquiry be made to WBC about S106 payments in Membury, This seems to suggest that Wiltshire doesn’t trust WBC to provide this information voluntarily.

“HGV issues on the B4001: installation of “Unsuitable for HGV” signage at the northern end of the B4001(Stag Hill) in West Berkshire.

“West Berkshire Council agreed to do this with Wiltshire Council and the Parish Council contributing £5,000 to the estimated £20,000 costs. However, in November, WBC informed Wiltshire that it is unable to proceed with this scheme due to current and ongoing budget restrictions within the whole of WBC. Furthermore, it will not be possible to fund these works or any part of these works and are unlikely to do so in the immediate future. It was noted that this is extremely disappointing after taking three years work to get the scheme drawn up.

“WBC suggested that Wiltshire Council and the Parish Council consider formally banning HGVs along this route via a permanent TRO (traffic regulation order) which WBC would support. Councillor Campbell sought permission to request a TRO – approved by all.

“Wiltshire Council suggested that the PC make a FoI ( freedom of Information) request on what S106 contributions the Membury Business Park developers have paid to WBC in the last five years and what this has been used for. Councillor Campbell to investigate this – approved by all. It was agreed that the PC contact the respective MP’s for Wiltshire and West Berkshire at a later stage, following the TRO request and FOI investigations.”

Snowdrop season

Small and hardy, harbingers of spring, snowdrops bring hope of warmth and longer days to come. Here is our guide to local snowdrop sites, including the glorious Welford Park which is open Wednesday to Sunday from 31 January to 3 March.

Snowdrops can often be found in graveyards because monks first brought them to this country from Europe in the late 16th century and planted them in monastery gardens. It took them about 200 years to become a wild plant and our common wild snowdrop is called Galanthus nivalis.

Victorians also planted them extensively on graves as a symbol of eternal life. And snowdrops planted in ‘holy ground’ or graveyards have been undisturbed and able to flourish ever since.

Did you know snowdrop bulbs are a source of the alkaloid Galanthamine, which can help manage Alzheimer’s?

Please note that bees much prefer the single flower varieties (as they find it hard to extract the pollen from double flower varieties) – so do bear that in mind if you are buying snowdrops for your garden.

• Other news

Hungerford Repair Cafe last Saturday 20 January was another big success with over 50 visitors bringing items to be repaired including a 65 year old doll with huge sentimental value. The next Repair Cafe will be on Saturday 16 March where you will also be able to bring aluminium and foil for recycling.  See here for more details and the rest of the dates for 2024. If you would like to volunteer as a repairer or meeter and greeter, please contact organiser Mike Gilbert on infogilbert9@gmail.com.

• There is still time to take advantage of the January membership offer at Hungerford Leisure Centre – £1 joining fee (normally £15) until 31 January.

• Volunteers with 1st Hungerford Scouts come from all backgrounds and skill sets.  The Scout group needs at least 4 new volunteers to join the team that enables their 6 to 8 year olds to explore, have fun and go on adventures. No previous experience is necessary and free training is provided. If you would like to find out more please contact becky.eytle@berkshirescouts.org.uk

• Hungerford Bookshop has had to move the date of its event for Gavin Esler’s Britain is Better Than This talk and book signing for  to Wednesday 7 Feb (from Wednesday 17 January). Please note the time is at 6.30pm (slightly earlier than most of their events). “We have tried to contact everyone that bought a ticket,” the Bookshop’s co-owner Emma Milne White said, “but if we have missed you do get in touch. It should be a very interesting evening – we hope many of you can make it.” Click here for more information.

West Berkshire Council will not be collecting sandbags resulting from the recent floods. The Council will, however, accept them at its Padworth and Newbury Household Waste Recycling Centres as follows: sand to Area 1 Soil and Hardcore Bin and empty bags to the Energy Recovery Bin in Area 2 (Padworth) or Area 3 (Newbury).

• And for cosy books to enjoy this winter, here are five reading recommendations from the bookshop.

• Local businesses, please note that Super Early Bird trade stand prices for Newbury Show 2024 are available until 31 January. For the latest news, sponsorship opportunities, ticket offers and stall-holder bookings, please click here.

• In the wake of Dame Esther Rantzen’s decision to join Dignitas, there has been a notable surge in both political and public interest surrounding the subject of assisted dying. More information is available from our local Dignity in Dying group that is run by Sara Fenton from Hungerford.

• Everyone is welcome at the Wednesday coffee mornings at the United Reformed Church 10am to 12pm in the Memorial Room (through the blue gates). Free entry.

• Quick reminder that Hungerford Town Council invites nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The deadline is 5pm on Friday 28 June and the form is available online or hard copies can be picked up from the Council office in the library building. The Awards will be announced in September 2024.

• The increased £7,500 government grant and zero VAT installation makes the option of a Heat Pump to heat your home well worth considering. But is it an option that would suit you and your home? At HEAT’s next monthly meeting, Mr Beanland, Director the national Heat Pump Federation trade association, will answer questions about this option and whether a Heat Pump is for you. This will follow a short HEAT Annual General Meeting at 7pm on Wednesday 31 January in the very cosily heat pump-heated Hungerford Hub & Library. See here for more details.
• Did you know that if someone is unable to get to one of West Berkshire Library’s Branches, their friendly At Home service delivers books in person on a three-weekly basis, free of charge? Whether it be because of personal circumstances, age, disability or for some other reason, please ring the At Home service on 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk.

Hungerford Rugby Club and Thatcham Rugby Club are collaborating to promote girls rugby. They are looking for girls of all ages to join their teams.  Please get in touch with the club if you think your daughter might be interested and join one of the training sessions.

• Quick reminder that community groups that bring entertainment, knowledge or skills to the community of Hungerford can apply for grants from the Hungerford Summer Festival committee which is winding up. Please see here for how to apply by 31 January.

• Can you help Hungerford Nursery School? Its Shoal of Friends fundraising charity is in desperate need of new trustees from March 2024 but the commitment isn’t too onerous. Please see here for details.

• Quick reminder about coping with winter weather – advice about flooding and how to stay safe in icy conditions and how to thaw frozen condensate pipe from your boiler.

• Codie Tracey requests help from Hungerford residents to participate in her uni research project about the impact of green spaces on community interaction and mental well-being in the rural area of Hungerford. To participate, please complete this short survey here (the park in the survey refers to the one near the football club).

Town & Manor of Hungerford is already preparing for Hocktide and wants to remind local groups that they also hand out grants to projects and organisations that benefit the town of Hungerford. For details about eligibility criteria and how to apply can be attained by emailing admin@townandmanor.co.uk.

Hungerford Library will be holding an exhibition of poetry by local residents as part of the Hungerford Poetry Festival which will take place from 2 to 16 March. Poems can be on any subject, perhaps celebrating Hungerford and community, the library, our local countryside. Please send your poems by email to hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk, by post to the library at Church Street, Hungerford RG17 OJG, or drop them off at any West Berkshire library before Saturday 17 February.

Empty sweet and cracker tubs are being collected for the Tub2Pub scheme that raises money for Macmillan cancer. Tubs can be taken to The Bear Hotel in Hungerford, part of the Greene King chain that organises the scheme.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Cancer Support Group‘s last meeting will be on  Thursday 16 November from 2pm to 4pm in the Hungerford Hub (the library space).  If you have any questions please contact Yvonne on Ygillies@btinternet.com

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Sat 27 Jan Quiz Night Royal British Legion Hungerford Club.

• Mon 29 Jan Women’s Wellness ‘Deep Rest & Relaxation’ Hungerford Town Hall.

• Wed 31 Jan Heat Pump advice event, Hungerford Hub & Library.

• Tue 6 Feb Jazz Dance Taster Class Hungerford Hub & Library.

• Wed 7 Feb  Journalist Gavin Esler in conversation: Britain is Better Than This, Croft Hall.

• Sat 10 Feb Kaleidoscope for Special Needs Children Hungerford Methodist Church.

• Thu 15 – Sat 17 Feb Jack & The Beanstalk Panto  Kintbury Coronation Hall.

Tue 13 Feb Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group  Hungerford Surgery.

Fri 1 March An Evening with Psychic Darren Higgins Hungerford Football Club.

Wed 6 March Bryony Gordon discusses Mad Woman Hungerford Bookshop.

Thu 7 March Open Poetry Mic Night Hungerford Library.

Fri 15 March From Prisoner to Prison Chaplain talk with Jonathan Aitken St Lawrence’s Church.

• Sat 23 March Come and Sing Rossini St Mary’s Kintbury.

• Fri 29 March Hungerford’s Comedy Club Night Croft Hall.

• Regular Events

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

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 2 January 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 January 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 Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 December 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 Shalbourne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 November 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 25 September 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. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 August 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.


You might also be interested in…

Thursday 18 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: freedom, rugby, entertainment, a repair café, grants and crackers – plus a look back at the successful cook-in event, social housing news (though not featuring Chestnut Walk) and further problems on the trains. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include: repair café and a comedy night.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• Hungerford Repair Cafe returns this Saturday 20 January in the Croft Hall from 10am to 12.30pm. Bring along an item to get fixed by the talented team of volunteer electricians, woodworkers, sewers and DIY experts. This time you can also bring any aluminium or foil for recycling. There is a cafe area and lovely refreshments while you wait. See here for more details and the rest of the dates for 2024. If you would like to volunteer as a repairer or meeter and greeter, please contact organiser Mike Gilbert on infogilbert9@gmail.com.

• Take advantage of the January membership offer at Hungerford Leisure Centre – £1 joining fee (normally £15) until 31 January.

• As we usher in the new year, Hungerford Town Council welcomes nominations for the Award of Freedom of the Town 2024. The Award is intended to promote good citizenship by recognising as role models those in our midst who by their actions and demeanour have demonstrated exceptionally loyal service to the benefit of the town. Nominations for this year’s awards should be received by the Town Clerk no later than 5pm on Friday 28 June and forms are available online or from the Council office in the library building. Nominations will be judged by a small panel comprising of the Town Clerk, Mayor and five non-councillors who have themselves provided longstanding service to the town. Their decision will be presented to the Full Council for ratification. The Awards will be announced in September 2024. Click here to nominate.

• The Pang Valley Flood Protection Exhibition this Saturday 20 January, from 1pm to 6pm at the Hampstead Norreys Village Hall offers free support and advice for anyone with flooding issues. Discover local projects, meet experts from the Pang Valley Flood Forum, West Berkshire Council, Project Groundwater, Environment Agency and Thames Water. Innovative flood protection devices will be in action and as well as the ‘Floodmobile’, a flood house on wheels equipped with around 50 different property flood protection measures. Full details here.

Hungerford Bookshop has had to move the date of its event for Gavin Esler’s talk and book signing for Britain is Better Than This to Wednesday 7 Feb (it was originally going to be Wednesday 17 January). Please note the time is at 6.30pm (slightly earlier than most of their events). “We have tried to contact everyone that bought a ticket ,” the Bookshop’s co-owner Emma Milne White said, “but if we have missed you do get in touch. It should be a very interesting evening – we hope many of you can make it.” Click here for more information.

• The increased £7,500 government grant and zero VAT installation makes the option of a Heat Pump to heat your home well worth considering. But is it an option that would suit you and your home? At HEAT’s next monthly meeting, Mr Beanland, Director the national Heat Pump Federation trade association, will answer questions about this option and whether a Heat Pump is for you. This will follow a short HEAT Annual General Meeting at 7pm on Wednesday 31 January in the very cosily heat pump-heated Hungerford Hub & Library. See here for more details.

Hungerford Rugby Club and Thatcham Rugby Club are collaborating to promote girls rugby. They are looking for girls of all ages to join their teams.  Please get in touch with the club if you think your daughter might be interested and join one of the training sessions.

• Quick reminder that community groups that bring entertainment, knowledge or skills to the community of Hungerford can apply for grants from the Hungerford Summer Festival committee which is winding up. Please see here for how to apply by 31 January.

• Can you help Hungerford Nursery School? Its Shoal of Friends fundraising charity is in desperate need of new trustees from March 2024 but the commitment isn’t too onerous. Please see here for details.

• Quick reminder about coping with winter weather – advice about flooding and how to stay safe in icy conditions and how to thaw frozen condensate pipe from your boiler.

• Codie Tracey requests help from Hungerford residents to participate in her uni research project about the impact of green spaces on community interaction and mental well-being in the rural area of Hungerford. To participate, please complete this short survey here (the park in the survey refers to the one near the football club).

Town & Manor of Hungerford is already preparing for Hocktide and wants to remind local groups that they also hand out grants to projects and organisations that benefit the town of Hungerford. For details about eligibility criteria and how to apply can be attained by emailing admin@townandmanor.co.uk.

• There’s a new Women’s Wellness Event coming to Hungerford on Monday 29 January, which is looking for massage therapists, reflexologists, or reiki healers wanting to collaborate or email lucywalford@yahoo.co.uk

Hungerford Library will be holding an exhibition of poetry by local residents as part of the Hungerford Poetry Festival which will take place from 2 to 16 March. Poems can be on any subject, perhaps celebrating Hungerford and community, the library, our local countryside. Please send your poems by email to hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk, by post to the library at Church Street, Hungerford RG17 OJG, or drop them off at any West Berkshire library before Saturday 17 February.

Empty sweet and cracker tubs are being collected for the Tub2Pub scheme that raises money for Macmillan cancer. Tubs can be taken to The Bear Hotel in Hungerford, part of the Greene King chain that organises the scheme.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

• Cooking up a storm

Hungerford Food Community’s winter cook-in last Saturday 13 January in the Croft Hall was a huge success with over 30 local people cooking up a feast of lasagne, risotto, filo pie, spring rolls, pumpkin dahl and more. The aim of the cook-ins is to reduce food waste, promote the use of locally produced food, encourage people to cook more from scratch and introduce them to tasty vegetarian recipes.

“It is wonderful to bring people together in this way and we all learn recipes and cooking tips from each other. It really doesn’t matter if you aren’t confident with cooking, you are guided all the way,” explains Penny from the committee. “We are very grateful to local suppliers Mushroom Culture for providing dry oyster mushrooms and 10 Green Bottles for donating local milk, butter and cream from Berkeley Farm Dairy and to Shalbourne Community Shop for contributing loaves of bread that were just past their sell by date but still perfectly good for making croutons and bread and butter pudding.”

If you would like to participate in the next cook-in in the spring, or find out about helping with other cooking sessions at Hungerford Primary School and Foodbank, please contact hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com for more details.

• Long-term homes

Back in March 2023, West Berkshire Council launched a £6m scheme (£2.5m of which came from the government) to purchase 27 homes in Calcot, Thatcham, Newbury and Hungerford which would, initially, be used “as part of WBC’s ongoing support for Ukrainian and Afghan families settling in the district.” In a welcome example of a project started by one administration being continued by another without repetition, hesitation or deviation, in June 2023 the new Lib Dem team decided to extend this.

The current scheme is now a £9m one, with £3.6m coming from Whitehall with WBC (as a condition of the grant) match-funding it to the tune of £5.4m. This money will probably be borrowed from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) but I understand that WBC is also seeing if this can be funded from Section 106 contributions from developers. (Given that these are often expressly paid in order to compensate the district for social housing which developers have been unwilling to build as part of their obligations, I would imagine that this should be reasonably simple to organise. Each one is, however, a separate legal agreement which can be very specific about what the funds can be used for. WBC needs to be sure that this expenditure will satisfy all the conditions.)

The key aspect of this scheme is that it satisfies two objectives. Not only does it enable WBC to provide accommodation to people settling in the district but also, in the longer term, boosts its own social-housing stock. “Essentially, this is allowing us to increase the supply of affordable housing in the district,” a spokesperson told me on 18 January. This will be accomplished without putting “additional pressures on homes which are advertised through our choice-based lettings scheme to applicants on the Housing Register.”

WBC is therefore using grants from Whitehall and cheap(-ish) money from the PWLB to boost its housing supply, albeit with this first being used to discharge its obligations to help re-settle families. The first dwellings have now been purchased. The project also includes the refurbishment of West Point House in Newbury.

The Council could still borrow PWLB money, or use S106 payments, or the results of any commercial-property disinvestment to purchase homes for its own use and may yet decide to do this. Many would argiue that for WBC to buy such properties, or build its own, is long overdue. Under this scheme, the government is footing 40% of the bill but demanding that the properties first be used for resettling Ukrainian and Afghan families. 

What’s less clear is when these dwellings will pass from their use under the various government resettlement schemes and into the the general pool of WBC’s housing stock. The WBC spokesperson told me that there was “no timeframe” for this: as the various migration schemes diminish (see p123 of the agenda pack for the June 2023 WBC Executive meeting for details of which schemes will be included) then these will be allocated to the general housing need. It was suggested that this would be in the “medium to long term.”

Many residents of Hungerford will have seen the phrases “social housing” and “West Berkshire Council” and perhaps thought that this article was going to be announcing a final, definite, non-negotiable starting date for the seven-year saga of the redevelopment of the Chestnut Walk site. I’m afraid that it isn’t…

• More pain on the trains

The indefatigable Bedwyn Train Passenger Group sent out its latest newsletter this week and you can read the main points of this in this separate post.

Two of the issues that are covered are all too familiar: the next wave of strikes; and the indifferent service levels on the Bedwyn to Newbury stretch of line. In fairness to GWR, there’s some good news as well. There’s also some encouraging news about the appointment of a travel co-ordinator at Newbury to help at times of disruption and replacement buses and news of a new return service from west of Bedwyn. The BTPG also passes on a request for passengers to treat GWR staff with respect, something that didn’t happen in one incident at Newbury shortly before Christmas.

The Bedwyn Train Passenger Group has been campaigning for improved rail services from Bedwyn, Hungerford, Kintbury and Newbury since 2006. If you use these stations, we recommend subscribing to the BTPG newsletters by emailing info@bedwyntrains.org.uk.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Cancer Support Group‘s last meeting will be on  Thursday 16 November from 2pm to 4pm in the Hungerford Hub (the library space).  If you have any questions please contact Yvonne on Ygillies@btinternet.com

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 19 Jan Laura Lexx and Jacob Hussey Hungerford Comedy Club

Sat 20 Jan Hungerford Repair Cafe, Croft Hall

• Wed 24 Jan Talking Bollocks with Lis Allen, Croft Hall

• Thu 25 Jan Pie & Quiz Night Hungerford Town Football Club

• Mon 29 Jan Women’s Wellness ‘Deep Rest & Relaxation’ Hungerford Town Hall

• Wed 31 Jan Heat Pump advice event, Hungerford Hub & Library

• Wed 7 Feb  Journalist Gavin Esler in conversation: Britain is Better Than This, Croft Hall

• Sat 10 Feb Kaleidoscope for Special Needs Children Hungerford Methodist Church

Tues 13 Feb Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group  Hungerford Surgery

Thu 7 March Open Poetry Mic Night Hungerford Library

• Regular Events

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

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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. If the link is scored through this may be because draft minutes have been replaced by approved ones and the drafts file deleted. If so, please follow the links provided to the council’s website.

• 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 2 January 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; reports from the Chair, the Clerk and the ward members; the village fete; grant applications; the budget; a possible KPC logo; financial matters; and planning matters.
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 16 November 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 Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 November 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 Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 September 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. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 August 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.


You might also be interested in…

Thursday 11 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: poetry, a newsletter, marshlands, trustees and singing – plus a look at the Hungerford Youth Council and two issues for Sovereign Housing to deal with. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include: community cook-in.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• January’s Penny Post Hungerford e-newsletter was published on 9 January: click here to read it if you didn’t receive it.

Hungerford Library will be holding an exhibition of poetry by local residents as part of the Hungerford Poetry Festival which will take place from 2 to 16 March. Poems can be on any subject, perhaps celebrating Hungerford and community, the library, our local countryside. Please send your poems by email to hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk, by post to the library at Church Street, Hungerford RG17 OJG, or drop them off at any West Berkshire library before Saturday 17 February.

The Town & Manor of Hungerford advise that Freemans Marsh and Hungerford Marsh are doing what they should do; holding river water as part of the flood plain for the River Dun, Shalbourne Brook and the numerous springs that feed them. Even with the huge amount of water held in these local water meadows,  still some homes are flooding. Be cautious in these marshlands, as some of the floods are deep and fast flowing with a thick layer of mud under the water.

• Can you help Hungerford Nursery School? Their Shoal of Friends fundraising charity is in desperate need of new trustees from March 2024 but the commitment isn’t too onerous. Please see here for details.

• Hungerford Summer Festival committee is closing and distributing their remaining funds as grants to community groups that bring entertainment, knowledge or skills to the community of Hungerford. Please see here for how to apply by 31 January.

• There is lots of support and information around the flooding situaton (see below). The Met Office also has tips on staying safe in icy conditions.

• Codie Tracey requests help from Hungerford residents to participate in her uni research project about the impact of green spaces on community interaction and mental well-being in the rural area of Hungerford. To participate, please complete this short survey here (the park in the survey refers to the one near the football club).

Hungerford Memory Singers singalongs will start on Monday 15 January 10.30am to noon at the British Legion. Cost £2.50 includes light refreshments. To book a space, please contact Olivia Simmonds on 07989 388827 or dementia.choir@gmail.com.

Empty sweet and cracker tubs are being collected for the Tub2Pub scheme that raises money for Macmillan cancer. Tubs can be taken to The Bear Hotel in Hungerford, part of the Greene King chain that organises the scheme.

In his latest diary entry, Richard Hawthorne of John O’Gaunt School reflects on cognitive overload, data overload, light over darkness, less is more, a Christmas party, adaptive teaching and Ruth Perry.

• Do you have any tins or jars at the back of the cupboard that aren’t getting used? Or produce that needs using up? Hungerford Food Community is accepting donations for their Winter Cook-In on Saturday 13 January in The Croft Hall. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com or text 07768 981658. To join them on the day to cook or eat, book your free ticket here. All welcome.

Hungerford Methodist Church is raising funds for the Life Skills Course run by CAP – Christians Against Poverty UK to bring hope and practical support to those struggling with the pressures of life in a poverty crisis in Hungerford. You can donate to their Good Exchange grant appeal here and you can join their sponsored Wise Walk around all Hungerford’s church plus St Cassian’s in Kintbury on Saturday 6 January.

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

• Hungerford’s youth council

The idea of a youth council in the town has been mooted for some time and it was finally established a couple of years ago. Since then it has experienced, as is the way of these things, various changes of membership. A number of projects were identified and one, installing football goals in the Smitham Bridge playing area, was accomplished. Since then, its work has slightly stalled. Ideas have never been the problem: what perhaps has been is the need to reconcile the members’ expectations of quick fixes with the rather longer timescales over which any such schemes operate in the real world.

According to British Youth Councils, the national umbrella organisation, youth councils exist “to empower young people aged 25 and under to influence and inform the decisions that affect their lives. We support young people to get involved in their communities and democracy locally, nationally and internationally, making a difference as volunteers, campaigners, decision-makers and leaders.” The specific aspiration for Hungerford was to provide a voice for young people in the town. Being involved also provides a useful insight into how decisions at this level are taken, how to come up with projects that address a clear need or solve a specific problem and how to work with different organisations to accomplish them – useful life skills to acquire at any age.

As well as the already completed football-goals project, other ideas that the Hungerford Youth Club has identified include a mural on the alleyway leading up to the Primary School from the High Street, indoor cricket facilities and a chess club. Projects which youth councils have got involved in other parts of the country include adding their weight to pressing Southern Water to stop sewage dumping (in Portsmouth), a Pack to School appeal to provide families in need with school equipment (in Hackney) and improving local bus services (in Angus). More similar stories can found here on X.

It might also be the case that such projects can better be developed through other organisations, perhaps ones like schools, youth clubs or sports clubs to which the young people already belong. Setting up new organisations is always challenging and if their stated goals aren’t realised quite quickly, those involved can become disheartened. This particularly applies to young people, few of whom understand or are tolerant of the delays such projects often encounter. The Youth Council, and HTC, are to be congratulated for getting the ball rolling and coming up with a number of ideas. How and under what structure these are developed is perhaps the next decision that needs to be taken.

Anyone who wants to find out more about or get involved in Hungerford’s Youth Council’s work should in the first instance contact claire.barnes@hungerford-tc.gov.uk.

• Sovereign – garages and an old chestnut

Sovereign Housing owns and manages a number of properties in Hungerford. Over the last few years, there have been a number of maintenance issues reported. It seems that residents or tenants complaining is not always enough: other people or organisations like the ward members or the Town Council also need to get involved until eventually a critical mass of communications is received and action happens. This is a criticism that can be levied at a number of organisations, not just Sovereign. As a general rule, the larger the body, the more people need to contact it about a problem before the matter registers on the corporate radar.

Hungerford Town Council is well used to writing such letters and has recently fired off another one about the appalling state of repair of some of Sovereign’s garages in Park Way and Priory Avenue. The problems include leaks, flooding, damaged doors and broken gutters. Time will tell if this has proved sufficient.

Any mentions of “Sovereign” and “Hungerford” in the same paragraph inevitably call to mind the re-development of the former care home at Chestnut Walk, a seven-year-long fiasco of delay and obfuscation. This is that rarest of development issues which everyone, including neighbours, those of housing waiting lists and the town council, wants to see proceeded with. The only organisation which seems reluctant to get moving is the joint-venture company established by WBC and Sovereign. The latest delay was announced in December 2023. Rather than work having already started, as had been promised, the first spade in the ground will now not be seen until September of this year. The current situation, of a derelict eyesore of a site that doesn’t provide the badly needed homes, benefits no one. Quite what the reason for the latest delay is remains unclear. HTC will, however, continue to press the joint venture for an improved start date. Watch this space.

• Flood support

The flooding situation is probably going to last for a few weeks. As the ground is already saturated with water it will take a while for surface water to drain away. Here is a video statement about the West Berkshire Council’s response to flooding by Stuart Gourley, Executive Portfolio Holder for Climate Action, Recycling & Biodiversity. This short video from the Environment Agency explains what groundwater flooding is. Please see here a range of support and advice for affected communities:

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Cancer Support Group‘s last meeting will be on  Thursday 16 November from 2pm to 4pm in the Hungerford Hub (the library space).  If you have any questions please contact Yvonne on Ygillies@btinternet.com

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Fri 12 Jan Bingo  Hungerford Town Football Club

• Sat 13 Jan Winter Community Cook-In, Croft Hall

• Wed 17 Jan Gavin Esler in Conversation: Britain is Better Than This, Croft Hall

• Fri 19 Jan Laura Lexx and Jacob Hussey Hungerford Comedy Club

• Sat 27 Jan Eric Linton & Band  Arts For Hungerford

• Regular Events

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

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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 here. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 2 January 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; reports from the Chair, the Clerk and the ward members; the village fete; grant applications; the budget; a possible KPC logo; financial matters; and planning matters.
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 16 November 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 Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 November 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 Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 September 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. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 August 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.


You might also be interested in…

Thursday 4 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: chipping, a look back at a lunch, collections, cooking and singing – plus a look at the ram-raid at the Coin and Stamp Centre, a report on the Town Council’s latest meeting, a high-water alert and funding for community groups. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Hungerford events include: fundraising walk, Christmas tree chipping & community cook-in.  See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• Congratulations to Catherine, Hilary and their supporters who pulled off another successful Christmas Day Lunch at Hungerford Methodist Church Hall. The day was very much enjoyed by residents who would otherwise have been alone, some who find it challenging to get out and many who just would like to share company on this day with other ‘older’ people. Hilary and her team cooked a traditional lunch in the hall’s kitchen, which was also used during the pandemic to create meals driven by team of helpers to residents around the town. Catherine organised a day to decorate the hall and brought together helpers, some of whom drove guests from and back to their homes, serve the guests and help with the washing up.

The event is always free for guests and paid for by donations and contributions from the people of Hungerford, including the turkey gifted by Christian Alba Butcher in Hungerford.

• Bring your Christmas tree down to the High Street this Sunday 7 January as Jim Smith from Broadmead Estates will once again be Christmas tree chipping from 10am to 2pm outside the Town Hall. All proceeds will be going to Hungerford Youth Centre and Hungerford CHAIN and Jim matches all donations made.

Hungerford Memory Singers were delighted to raise £1,000 for Dementia UK at their inaugural pre-Christmas concert. Their 2024 singalongs will start on Monday 15 January 10.30am to noon at the British Legion. Cost £2.50 includes light refreshments. To book a space, please contact Olivia Simmonds on 07989 388827 or dementia.choir@gmail.com

Empty sweet and cracker tubs are being collected for the Tub2Pub scheme that raises money for Macmillan cancer. Tubs can be taken to The Bear Hotel in Hungerford, part of the Greene King chain that organises the scheme.

• West Berkshire Libraries are offering new online support for students: secondary students can sign up to a fun, interactive way of learning via Brillder, an exciting online resource, and a free 12 week Library Code Clubstarts from Monday 8 January for 9 – 11 years to learn to code at home with Scratch.

• Do you have any tins or jars at the back of the cupboard that aren’t getting used? Or produce that needs using up? Hungerford Food Community is accepting donations for their Winter Cook-In on Saturday 13 January in The Croft Hall. Please email hungerfordfoodcommunity@gmail.com or text 07768 981658. To join them on the day to cook or eat, book your free ticket here. All welcome.

Hungerford Methodist Church is raising funds for the Life Skills Course run by CAP – Christians Against Poverty UK to bring hope and practical support to those struggling with the pressures of life in a poverty crisis in Hungerford. You can donate to their Good Exchange grant appeal here and you can join their sponsored Wise Walk around all Hungerford’s church plus St Cassian’s in Kintbury on Saturday 6 January.

• Our local hospitals are under extra pressure during the Junior Doctor strike until Tuesday 9 January. For latest updates and advice please follow Great Western Hospital’s facebook page and Reading’s Royal Berkshire Hospital’s facebook page here.

• Hungerford residents are invited to participate in an exciting research project about the impact of green spaces on community interaction and mental well-being in the rural area of Hungerford. To participate, please complete this short survey here (the park in the survey refers to the one near the football club).

• The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon and West Berkshire Foodbank is very grateful for financial donations via their website westberks.foodbank.org.uk and for donations of electrical items such as slow cookers, air fryers, heated blankets or room heaters which can be dropped off at the Community Furniture Project on Bone Lane, in Newbury.

• Hungerford’s meeting

Hungerford Town Council’s most recent meeting took place on 2 January and you can read our usual summary of this in this post. This includes reports from the Mayor, the ward members and the committees, the removal of the contraflow in the High Street after over a year, a summary of the latest meeting of the town-centre strategy steering group and the latest on the neighbourhood development plan.

Our monthly Penny Post Hungerford newsletter, which is normally published the day after the HTC meeting, will follow early next week. if there’s anything that you’d like to see included in this, please email penny@pennypost.org.uk as by the end of this week.

• Crash, bang

Having had one high-profile smash in December 2022 which resulted in a contraflow for over a year, Hungerford High Street suffered another on New Year’s Eve. This was not, unlike the first, the result of some disorganised driving but a carefully planned ram-raid operation involving at least nine people and five vehicles. The frontage of the Coin and Stamp Centre was completely destroyed and the robbers got away with the shop’s safe.

The destruction was not limited to the shop. Nick and Caroline Lumley, who live in the adjoining house now have a hole in their living room wall. He described it as “a terrifying incident.”

So severe was the damage that the building needed to be braced and it’s currently still uncertain if it’s been structurally compromised, whether the pavement will need to be cordoned off and how long any repairs will take. However the Centre, which also has premises next door, hopes to be open again on 15 January.

In her report to the Hungerford Town Council meeting on 2 January, the town’s Mayor Helen Simpson said that she was “devastated to read the news of one of our small independent family businesses (Hungerford Coin and Stamp Centre) being raided in the early hours of new year’s eve. This was a devastating attack to both the business and the building. Obviously this is a live police investigation and the family has asked for privacy at this time. HTC wish to extend our sympathies and hope the perpetrators are caught and punished swiftly.”

The last remark calls to mind the dismal aftermath of the accident just up the road in December 2022. Despite there being plentiful evidence for a prosecution, due to an administrative blunder by the Police (not the local team), the six-month window for proceeding with this was missed. Assuming those responsible for the ram raid are caught, it’s to be hoped that the Thames Valley Police won’t make this mistake again.

Anyone with information can contact the police by calling 101 or reporting online (see the “Police report” section of the latest Town Council update), quoting reference 432 305 82642.

• Festival funding available for local community groups

The final meeting of The Hungerford Summer Festival, (formerly HADCAF), was held in December, where it was officially wound up after 30 wonderful years of bringing drama, music, art, walks, talks and workshops to Hungerford and surrounding areas. Now, with their residual funds, the Festival is able to offer financial support to community groups who are continuing to work in these areas.

If you run a group bringing entertainment, knowledge or skills to the Community, please feel welcome to apply by sending a proposal, describing the purpose of your group and how and why, you would like the Festival’s donation. Applications by 31 January 2024 to hungerfordfest@gmail.com

• Water meadows and flood plains

The Town & Manor reports that the water levels in the River Kennet and River Dun around Hungerford are about as high as River Keeper, Rob Knight-Starr, has ever seen them. The water meadows, including Freeman’s Marsh, are doing what they should be doing: allowing the flood waters to flow across the land away from the river channels and soak in slowly. Whilst this is great for the plants and animals of this Site of Special Scientific Interest, it does make walking very muddy, so take care!

Elsewhere on the Town and Manor estate at Undy’s Meadow, where the ancient channel of the River Kennet was reconnected to its floodplain, this historic restoration has led to huge amounts of river water spreading across the water meadow so mitigating flooding further down the river towards Newbury, Thatcham and beyond.

Allowing rivers to flood properly across their floodplains allows fast flowing flood water to become ‘slow water’, taking much longer to move downstream and having the chance to filter deep into the ground to the bedrock below. The Rivers Trust UK talks a lot about ‘slow water’ and how we desperately need to rethink how we manage our rivers and their drainage basins to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

• Have your say

Have your say on current consultations being run by West Berkshire Council:

Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

• Latest local newsletters

Community notices

Have your say on current consulations by West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council. Parish and town councils also run consultations from time to time: see the appropriate website/s below under Council contacts.

Latest news on the train service between Bedwyn and Newbury from Bedwyn Train Passenger Group which constantly campaigns for improvements.

• Hungerford Nursery School is regularly fundraising, Please click here for how to support them.

Hungerford Cancer Support Group‘s last meeting will be on  Thursday 16 November from 2pm to 4pm in the Hungerford Hub (the library space).  If you have any questions please contact Yvonne on Ygillies@btinternet.com

• Hungerford Library welcomes volunteers. Contact cultureandlibrariesvolunteers@westberks.gov.uk or call 01635 519 533.

• Hungerford Hub & Library ask if you shop online to please sign up to their Give As You Live page: it doesn’t cost you a penny but raises money for them.

• Kintbury Jubilee Centre is home to a wide range of clubs and activities . Follow their facebook page for latest news.

Lunch for seniors and vulnerable adults can be booked at Redwood House at ldavies@fairclosecentre.org or 01635 40488.

Redwood House needs volunteers to collect them from The Fair Close Centre in Newbury and help serve them: please see here for more details.

Home-Start West Berkshire needs volunteers to help families in need. Full training provided. For more information visit home-startwestberks.org.uk, call 01635 760 310 or email office@home-startwb.org.uk

West Berks Foodbank’s collection point is open every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm in the Methodist Church Hall, or call 0808 208 2138 (Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm except bank holidays).

Hungerford Youth Club is looking for volunteers. Please contact youth@hungerfordyc.org.uk.

Dog-walking services for elderly or seriously ill residents are provided by the Cinnamon Trust charity on 01736 757 900

Hungerford Fire Station welcomes new on-call firefighters (a paid position).

Inkpen Village Hall offers a wide range of activities. See details here.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Click here for details of events coming up in the next month or so at the Hungerford Bookshop.

• Sat 13 Jan Winter Community Cook-In, Croft Hall

• Fri 19 Jan Laura Lexx and Jacob Hussey Hungerford Comedy Club

Wed 24 Jan Talking Bollocks with Lis Allen, Croft Hall

• Sat 27 Jan Errol Linton & Band Croft Hall

• Wed 7 Feb Gavin Esler in Conversation: Britain is Better Than This, Croft Hall

• Regular Events

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

Hungerford Memory Singers dementia choir offers monthly singing for those living with dementia and their carers at the Hungerford British Legion.

•  20 minute dementia-friendly service at Hungerford Methodist Church every 2nd Thur/month. Accessible to all. Call Karen on 07444 851606 for further enquiries.

Chronic Pain Recovery Support Group 5pm to 6.30pm second Tue/month at Hungerford Surgery. Contact Maria on maplecoachingltd@gmail.com or 07761 987015.

Writing Club at Froxfield Village Hall. Whether you want a quiet place to write, want to chat with other writers, or are looking for ideas please email dunwriters@gmail.com for details. All welcome.

• Sunday CommuniTEA, family films, coffee mornings at the Methodist Church Hall on Bridge Street, plus Church @ Costa. See details here.

Weekly club runs with Hungerford Hares.

• Hungerford Youth Club runs sessions during the week for different age groups, young carers and home education children. More information here. Volunteers always welcome.

• Hungerford weekly market every Wednesday on the High Street from 8am to about 2pm plus indoor market in the Town Hall from 9am to 3pm with lots of antique, bric-a-brac and craft stalls. Free entry. See more here.

• 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.

• Hungerford Library runs regular events for people of all ages. See here for details or contact the library on 01488 682660 or hungerfordlibrary@westberks.gov.uk.

• Kintbury Bridge Club meets Thursday afternoons in the Coronation Hall for relaxed, social bridge for all abilities. £2 per week. Contact Chris Doyle on 07738 756181 or kintburybridgeclub@gmail.com.


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 here. Penny Post’s most recent summary of Hungerford Town Council’s work (including notes from the meeting of 2 January 2024) can be seen here.

• The most recent meeting of Kintbury Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 December and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; reports from the Chair, the Clerk and the ward members; the village fete; grant applications; the budget; a possible KPC logo; financial matters; and planning matters.
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 16 November 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 Chilton Foliat Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 14 November 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 Froxfield Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 September 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. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Inkpen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 16 August 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: see the following separate sections: Lambourn ValleyNewbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and Downlands; Burghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.


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