Lambourn Area Weekly News – 2024 archive

To see the current Lambourn 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 2022 archive

Click here for the 2023 archive

Thursday 23 May 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes wildlife, a skatepark, a closure, prizes and hearts of steel – plus work just about to start on the Shefford flood scheme and Lambourn’s NDP prepares to enter the home straight.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include Wessex & Hardy theatre and Five Bells tasting menu. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities. 

• Shefford’s flood scheme

I’m delighted to report that after years of painfully slow progress, work on this scheme is now just about to begin. A statement received from the Environment Agency on 23 May confirms that “The enabling works for the permanent Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Scheme will begin on Tuesday 28 May 2024. Over the next month the priority is setting up the site compound and mobilising equipment.”

The spokesperson also provided the following information which might be of use to residents:

• Into the home straight

The Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan (LNDP) is now nearing the end of its long journey. The most recent meeting of the LNDP steering group reviewed what was still left to do and incorporated what the Chair Sue Cocker described as the “very useful input” from the recent public sessions across the parish.

The next stage will be preparing and publishing the final draft of the plan which will then be open for public consultation as part of what’s known as Regulation 14. This is the last public stage for which the LNDP will be responsible. Once any changes resulting from the Regulation 14 have been incorporated, the document will be submitted to WBC which will assume responsibility for it from then on.

WBC will then organise the final consultation (Regulation 16) after which the plan will be sent for independent examination. The final stage will be a referendum of all the residents of the parish to determine if the plan is adopted (“made” is the official term). Following a formal ratification by WBC’s Full Council it then gets slotted into the Council’s local plan and becomes as much a part of this as if WBC had written it itself.

How long these last stages will take is to a large extent beyond the LNDP steering group’s control. However, I understand that the current hope is that the referendum will take place before the spring of 2025.

• Other news

Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue needs your help. They are currently seeing record numbers of patients, including several from Great Shefford. If you have any old towels, tea towels or face cloths skulking in the back of the airing cupboard they would be gratefully received. Also, if you would like to donate, tins of dog food, kitchen roll and bin bags that would be very much appreciated. If you can help, please just drop them by the bug hotel on the green in Hawthorne Way, Great Shefford and they will be collected.

• Next Tuesday 28 May at 7pm all Racing Industry employees are invited to come and share your mental health concerns at the next meeting of Walk Back Talking at 4 Newbury Street. Everyone is welcome.

• If you’re an unpaid carer to someone living with Dementia or Alzheimer’s and would like to share your views and experiences of support you receive from the local health and social care services, join Healthwatch West Berkshire next Thursday 29 May at the Lambourn Junction Friendship Cafe.

Lambourn Parish Council have announced that works to resurface the entrance drive into the Old Cricket Field car park are currently due to take place during the week commencing Monday 3 June, weather permitting. The work is expected to take 2-4 days and the entrance to the car park will be fenced off while the work is carried out to prevent vehicle access.

• Due to vandalism Lambourn Parish Council are informing residents that the skatepark quarter pipe closest to the car park, is temporarily out of action. For more information click here.

Lambourn Parish Council also wants to highlight that Newbury Road, Eastbury will be closed from Wednesday 5  to Friday 7 June .  The extent of the closure is detailed in 3 phases here.

Lambourn School PTA are looking for prizes for their summer raffle. If there are any generous local businesses that would be kind enough to donate something please send them a message on Facebook. All proceeds go directly towards resources and experiences for the children of Lambourn School.

West Berkshire Council is still assisting the local community through the Household Support Fund until autumn 2024. This could help if you’re struggling to afford energy and water bills, food or other essential items. They also offer food vouchers to families during the school holidays. Don’t suffer in silence, reach out for assistance if they need it.You can find out more by following this link.

Jim Carter is returning to Great Shefford to give a talk on his book, Hearts of Steel on Friday 7 June. Jim has a great interest in military history, including the lives of men listed on the village war memorial, and has spent two years researching his great grandfather’s experiences. Thanks go to Miranda and Dominic for hosting this event in the Manor House Barn. Bring along your drink and nibbles and any donations for the evening will support our parish churches. Please RSVP to Denise Herrington on 07867 934387.

Following the amazing success of Great Shefford Under Fives Coffee & Craft event in February half term, they will be running another activity morning on Wednesday 29 May from 10am to 12pm, in Great Shefford Village Hall. It will be an Olympic-themed craft morning, with lots of fun for the kids & plenty of tea, coffee & cake for the grown ups. Entry is £3 per child or £5 per family, and all the money raised goes to support the Great Shefford Under Fives. N.B. There is no Baby & Toddler group on Monday 27 May as it is a bank holiday, so this is the perfect alternative.

• Don’t forget that the next Lambourn Wellbeing Walk will be on Monday 10 June. Meet at St Michael’s Church at 11.30am and enjoy gathering for a drink and refreshments afterwards.

• Date for the diary: Sunday 7 July to visit Ashbrook in Great Shefford under the National Gardens Scheme. An entrance fee of £4 allows the opportunity to enjoy the garden whilst enjoying refreshments. All money raised will be donated to caring and gardening charities. Contact Jackie Frith on 07584 598189.

• As the weather warms up we get into the swarming season for honey bees. If you see a swarm of honeybees please do not try to move them on by squirting them with a hose or throwing things at them.They may sound scary when there is such a large amount of them but, they are quite placid. They gorge themselves on honey before leaving the hive and are just resting while looking for a new home. Please don’t kill them, just call your local swarm collector who will remove them. See more details here.

• Lambourn Parish Council informs residents that Transport for the South East (TfSE), the Sub-national Transport Body bringing together a partnership of primarily 16 local authorities across the south east of England to determine the investment needed in our transport system to connect people and places and support economic growth, are asking people to take part in the ‘Your Voices’ survey and submit views on the future transport needs of the region. To partake click here. Open until until Sunday 2 June.

Your West Berkshire is a new magazine bringing you news and events from West Berkshire Council. It’s a good opportunity to find out more about some of things they are doing for the community. They will be sharing news, events and stories about their work and the services which they provide. You can read it online here.

• A reminder for those of you with felines in the family, that from Monday 10 June, your cat must be microchipped. This new law cites that if you do not microchip and register your cat on a database by the time they are twenty weeks old, you can be fined up to £500. See full details here.

• This is the season of annual parish meetings – which must by law take place between 1 March and 1 June every year – which provide the opportunity for the parish or town council to explain what it has accomplished over the past year, set out its goals for the year to come and to answer any questions for residents. Lambourn’s Annual Parish Meeting took place on 15 May 2024 and you can click here to read the full text of the report provided by LPC’s Chair, Vicky Rieunier.

• If you know someone who finds it difficult to visit Lambourn library, through age, disability or other special circumstances, the library may be able to visit them. Contact West Berks Libraries’  ‘At Home’ service by phoning 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk  You can also help secure the future of the library by becoming a member. There is no obligation and no charge, just spend 5 minutes completing the on-line membership application here and select Lambourn Library in the drop down section.

The Five Bells in Wickham invites you to their special supper evening Five Bells Tasting Menu on Thursday 30 May.

• Quick reminder that Great Shefford Allotments has a few plots available for people within a five-mile radius of Great Shefford and still plenty of time to get planting. If you’re interested in knowing more, please contact Paul Akers, on 07977 585 971 or r1paul2002@yahoo.co.uk.

• On Friday 31 May, Lambourn will be treated to a new play by Ann Davidson about Thomas Hardy. With traditional music and costume, tickets cost £10 and can be accessed via 07785 or by email paul_strickland@mail.com.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• If you are aged 55 and over and interested in trying out something creative in the comfort of your own home why not sign up for the Ageing Creatively Home Artists Lambourn scheme? You collect your creative project bags at the beginning of the month from Lambourn Library or request a delivery to your home. Book through Corn Exchange Newbury website 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 to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen any time. If you’d like to get involved in any way contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Waterregarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Thu 30 May Newbury Dramatic Society presents Wessex & Hardy, St Mary’s Church, Fawley.

• Thu 30 May Five Bells Tasting Menu, The Five Bells, Wickham.

• Tue 4 Jun Asteroid City, East Garston Village Hall.

Fri 7 Jun Hearts of Steel Book Talk, Manor House Farm, Great Shefford.

• Mon 10 Jun Reptile Handling Brightwalton Village Hall

• Sat 15 Jun Baydon Open Gardens Aldbourne Rd, Baydon

• Sat 29 Jun Lambourn Festi-hall Lambourn Sports Centre

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

Lambourn Friendship Cafe  last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free social meet up although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Brightwalton Youth Club’s Summer Term details here with free fruit, tuck shop, games and craft activities. Email brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for further information.

Pilates classes at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their website for dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

Bingo in Great Shefford, second Saturday of the month in the Social Club: eyes down 7.30.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 May and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and the Deputy; a councillor co-option; committee membership; general power of competence (see separate section); planning matters; street-lighting; flooding; the annual parish assembly (15 May); speeding; litter; parking; D-day; repairs and maintenance; waste bins; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 May and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: possible new play equipment; the East Garston Eco Group; the resignation of the Chair; planning matters; financial matters; reports from the Chair and the Clerk; the Jubilee Meadow; speeding; and repairs and maintenance.
The annual parish meeting took place on 18 April and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Baydon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 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.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March 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 and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council, Baydon Parish Counciland Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.
• Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 16 May 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes world-class piano, crime, transport, a fundraiser, bells and bees – plus farewell to the last phone box and the Lambourn Chair’s address at the recent Annual Parish meeting.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include piano recitals at Sheepdrove and Shefford disco. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities. 

• Farewell to the phone box

Over the last few years a number of organisations including Lambourn Parish Council, Penny Post and Lambourn.org have supported the campaign to save Lambourn’s last remaining phone box and explored the regulatory issues. After a number of confusing communications from BT, petitions and deep-dives into the strange world of telecom regulations, the phone box has recently been removed.

Here is a summary of the situation from LPC’s Full Council minutes on 6th September 2023:

“Councillor Rieunier reported that this is the last working telephone phone box in the valley and that it has been under threat of removal for a number of years. Lambourn Parish Council, Lambourn CIC, Penny Post, Howard Woollaston, Laura Farris and the parishioners of Lambourn have all been actively involved in trying to stop the closure.

“It is now understood that nobody has been able to save the phone box because it is sited on private land. Phone boxes on private land are not subject to consultation for adoption to enable it to be retained. Another option would be to list it, but it’s a newer model that is not suitable for listing. Sadly, as far as can be determined, we are not in a position to be able to save the phone box in its current location. Therefore, LPC can take no further action and will have to consider the matter closed.

“However, where LPC might be able to help is by acting as a lifeline: One of the reasons cited for saving the phone box was to enable calls to be made in difficult circumstances, for example, in the case of domestic abuse where a mobile phone is being monitored. Councillor Rieunier proposed, and Councillor Noll seconded that, during office opening hours, LPC offer the use of the office phone to make free, confidential lifeline calls. The Clerk has confirmed they agree with this.”

• Lambourn’s meeting

This is the season of annual parish meetings – which must by law take place between 1 March and 1 June every year – which provide the opportunity for the parish tr town council to explain what it has accomplished over the past year, set out its goals for the year to come and to answer any questions for residents.

Lambourn’s took place on 15 May 2024 and you can click here to read the full text of the report provided by LPC’s Chair, Vicky Rieunier.

• Other news

• Quick reminder about the world-class piano performances at Sheepdrove as part of this year’s Newbury Spring Festival. This Friday 17 May The Sheepdrove Recital: Mozart and Chopin with Mikhail Kazakevich will feature feature two works by Mozart before focussing on five of the 18 Chopin Polonaises. Then on Sunday 19 May The Sheepdrove Piano Competition Final brings the best international piano students drawn from all the major UK conservatoires to Berkshire and a chance to cast your vote for the audience prize.

• Hungerford Neighbourhood Policing Team will be in Lambourn Market Square this Saturday 18 May from 1pm to 1.30pm.  Come along to discuss any crime related issues that are causing you concern. The team will also be offering crime prevention advice.

• Lucy Bartholomew’s 8 year old daughter Pippa set herself a challenge to walk 50 miles in May to raise money for Crohn’s & Colitis UK having lost her Nanny last year with the disease. She has reached her target but has chosen to carry on walking until the end of the month! If this is a charity close to your heart or you’re able to donate even a £1 please click here.

• Lambourn Parish Council informs residents that Transport for the South East (TfSE), the Sub-national Transport Body bringing together a partnership of primarily 16 local authorities across the south east of England to determine the investment needed in our transport system to connect people and places and support economic growth, are asking people to take part in the ‘Your Voices’ survey and submit views on the future transport needs of the region. To partake click here. Open until until Sunday 2 June.

Your West Berkshire is a new magazine bringing you news and events from West Berkshire Council. It’s a good opportunity to find out more about some of things they are doing for the community. They will be sharing news, events and stories about their work and the services which they provide. You can read it online here.

• A reminder for those of you with felines in the family, that from Monday 10 June, your cat must be microchipped. This new law cites that if you do not microchip and register your cat on a database by the time they are twenty weeks old, you can be fined up to £500. See full details here.

• If you know someone who finds it difficult to visit Lambourn library, through age, disability or other special circumstances, the library may be able to visit them. Contact West Berks Libraries’  ‘At Home’ service by phoning 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk  You can also help secure the future of the library by becoming a member. There is no obligation and no charge, just spend 5 minutes completing the on-line membership application here and select Lambourn Library in the drop down section.

The Five Bells in Wickham invites you to their special supper evening Five Bells Tasting Menu on Thursday 30 May.

• If you would like to learn more about bees, sign up for the Free Bee Walk at Sheepdrove Organic Farm just outside Lambourn on Monday 20 May. See here for how to register.

• Quick reminder that Great Shefford Allotments has a few plots available for people within a five-mile radius of Great Shefford and still plenty of time to get planting. If you’re interested in knowing more, please contact Paul Akers, on 07977 585 971 or r1paul2002@yahoo.co.uk.

• On Friday 31 May, Lambourn will be treated to a new play by Ann Davidson about Thomas Hardy. With traditional music and costume, tickets cost £10 and can be accessed via 07785 or by email paul_strickland@mail.com.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• If you are aged 55 and over and interested in trying out something creative in the comfort of your own home why not sign up for the Ageing Creatively Home Artists Lambourn scheme? You collect your creative project bags at the beginning of the month from Lambourn Library or request a delivery to your home. Book through Corn Exchange Newbury website 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 to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen any time. If you’d like to get involved in any way contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Waterregarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 17 May The Sheepdrove Recital: Mozart & Chopin (part of Newbury Spring Festival), Sheepdrove.

• Sat 18 May ’80s disco (free entry), 7.30pm Great Shefford Village Hall.

• Sun 19 May Sheepdrove Piano Competition Final (part of Newbury Spring Festival), Sheepdrove.

• Thu 30 May Newbury Dramatic Society presents Wessex & Hardy, St Mary’s Church, Fawley.

• Tue 4 Jun Asteroid City, East Garston Village Hall.

• Mon 10 Jun Reptile Handling Brightwalton Village Hall

• Sat 15 Jun Baydon Open Gardens Aldbourne Rd, Baydon

• Sat 29 Jun Lambourn Festi-hall Lambourn Sports Centre

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

Lambourn Friendship Cafe  last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free social meet up although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Brightwalton Youth Club’s Summer Term details here with free fruit, tuck shop, games and craft activities. Email brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for further information.

Pilates classes at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their website for dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

Bingo in Great Shefford, second Saturday of the month in the Social Club: eyes down 7.30.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 May and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and the Deputy; a councillor co-option; committee membership; general power of competence (see separate section); planning matters; street-lighting; flooding; the annual parish assembly (15 May); speeding; litter; parking; D-day; repairs and maintenance; waste bins; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Baydon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 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.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 March and you can download the minutes here. The annual parish meeting took place on 18 April and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March 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 and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council, Baydon Parish Counciland Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.
• Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 9 May 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes funds, five bells, plants, bees and the Library – plus the latest on the Shefford flood scheme, a festival programme, a newsletter from a ward member, a meeting for the MP and general competence for Lambourn Parish Council.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include music at Sheepdrove and Shefford disco. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Newbury Spring Festival comes to Sheepdrove

Newbury Spring Festival is about to start this Saturday 11 May and we are lucky that three performances during the jam-packed fortnight will be held at Sheepdrove. Recitals take place in The Oak Room, a contemporary long barn, constructed with the curved timbers of a traditional cruck frame. Set within scenic gardens and naturalistic grounds that include an aromatic herb garden, the venue is well worth a visit and has full disability access.

Sunday 12 May Sound Beginnings: Thumbelina. Sound Beginnings concerts are an entertainaing and informal introduction to classical music, with the venue space, programme, and length of recital tailored to welcome all so that young and old (and everyone in between) can enjoy high-quality live music together. The Story of Thumbelina combines Grieg’s music played by pianists Elena Zozina and Mikhail Kazakevich with lively narration by opera singer Richard Morris. Please feel free to bring a picnic to enjoy in the gardens and grounds.

Friday 17 May The Sheepdrove Recital: Mozart & Chopin. Mikhail Kazakevich will feature feature two works by Mozart before focussing on five of the 18 Chopin Polonaises.

Sunday 19 May Sheepdrove Piano Competition Final. Bringing the best international piano students drawn from all the major UK conservatoires to Berkshire – and a chance to cast your vote for the audience prize.

• A ward member writes

Click here for the latest regular update from Lambourn’s ward member Howard Woollaston. This month he looks and flooding and sewage (of course), The Asphalt plant at Membury Industrial Estate, members’ bids, the parish’s neighbourhood development plan and local casework.

One the matters he covered was a visit to Laura Farris MP to Lambourn to discuss sewage problems. He mentioned that she’d said she had arranged a meeting with the minister which would take place soon. I was therefore expecting that she’d mention this on her FB page – and, sure enough…

• An MP writes

“Yesterday [8 May] I met the Flooding Minister, Robbie Moore MP, and representatives from the Environment Agency to discuss flooding in Lambourn. The meeting was held at the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs following a separate meeting with the Secretary of State about Thames Water’s environmental performance.

“I made it clear to the EA that I consider them to have fallen short in their duty as a regulator. The Minister and I set out a series of actions that we expect from the EA, not least engaging a hydrology engineer to undertake an assessment of the water flows between Upper Lambourn and the main village. This was requested by the Parish Council when we met last week.

“We have also asked the EA for details on their monitoring levels and how they will put pressure on Thames Water to carry out urgent improvement works.”

This is obviously great. However, one explanation of why the EA seems unable to do its job is because it’s been starved of funds by this government. A call to her boss Mr Sunak might therefore form a useful part of her response to the problem.

• Shefford’s flood defence scheme

The following information was received from the Environment Agency regarding this project on 9 May:

“This is to let you know that we are now making plans to remove the temporary pump from the Great Shefford Stream on the Wantage Road.

“As you know, we installed the temporary pump and pipes early in January 2024 to reduce the risk of flooding from the Great Shefford Stream.  We operated the pump until about three weeks ago and turned it off when it was no longer required. The high water levels in this stream are influenced by the groundwater – which causes groundwater-fed, fluvial flooding especially at this time of year.

“We’ve been keeping a close eye on the groundwater levels around Great Shefford and specifically in the Wantage Road area. Our Operations team have determined that based on the current conditions as well as the fact that the groundwater levels are now dropping, the pump is no longer necessary. The pump has been off for three weeks. During this time the weather conditions, whilst improved since January/February/March, have at been at-times unsettled with sometimes heavy rain. Over this period, we have had no reports of flooding or concerns about the current levels from the local flood warden or other residents.

“It’s important that this kit is removed as we need to start mobilising (setting up) the construction site to start building the permanent flood alleviation scheme at the end of May – and the pump and pipework will be in the way. We’ll provide a newsletter with construction information at the end of May / beginning of June, so please look out for an update then.”

• General competence

The draft minutes of the 8 May meeting of Lambourn Parish Council, which you can download here, included the following item:

  • “To establish whether Lambourn Parish Council is eligible to exercise the “General Power of Competence” based on the criteria of the Clerk’s qualifications and the electoral mandate.
  • Resolved: Cllr Rieunier Proposed and Cllr Middleton Seconded that Lambourn Parish Council was eligible to adopt the General Power of Competence. All agreed.”

The minutes go on to explain that “the General Power of Competence (GPC) is a Statutory Instrument of Law; it gives Local Councils the power to do anything that an individual may generally do and is found under Statutory Instrument 2012 No 965 of the Localism Act 2011- Sections 1-8.” This doesn’t mean (or I don’t think it does) that a qualified PC can get married to another one, or change its name to something completely different, or emigrate. It can, however, set up a company, run a shop or Post Office and lend or invest money.

These can be very useful to a community if some emergency needs to be addressed. An example was in Hungerford about six years ago when the Town Council (which had GPC) was able to run an outreach PO service to fill the gap between the departure of Martins and the arrival of WHS in the High Street. Were this not to have happened, it’s probable that the town’s service would not have survived.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that Lambourn PC has declared General Power of Competence,” LPC’s Chair Vicky Rieunier told me on 9 May. “We have no immediate plans to use of any of these powers but, as the Hungerford example shows, they’re very useful to have should the need arise.”

• Other news

The Wheelwright Arms thanks everyone for their support of its successful Family Funday, which raised a massive £745.53 for the Air Ambulance. Well done guys.

• If you know someone who finds it difficult to visit Lambourn library, through age, disability or other special circumstances, the library may be able to visit them. Contact West Berks Libraries’  ‘At Home’ service by phoning 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk  You can also help secure the future of the library by becoming a member. There is no obligation and no charge, just spend 5 minutes completing the on-line membership application here and select Lambourn Library in the drop down section.

Melanie Martin, from The Plant Swap Station at 8 Bockhampton Rd currently has a lot of house plants filling the top two shelves. There is also a shelf of garden plants, herbs and perennial flowers, and a seed tin and a bag of teasel. So please help yourself but don’t leave un-potted plants.

The Five Bells in Wickham has two special supper evenings to chose between this month. Their Italian Night on Thursday 16 May or their Five Bells Tasting Menu on Thursday 30 May. Which will you chose?

Home-Start West Berkshire is looking for compassionate individuals to join their team of volunteers. If you’ve been wanting to give back, connect with families, please register for this training course that starts on Monday 13 May. As a volunteer with Home-Start West Berkshire, you’ll have the chance to support families in need, provide invaluable emotional support, and make lifelong connections. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or just have a passion for helping others contact office@home-startwb.org.uk or call 01635 760310 to reserve your spot.

• If you would like to learn more about bees, sign up for the Free Bee Walk at Sheepdrove Organic Farm just outside Lambourn on Monday 20 May. See here for how to register.

• Quick reminder that Great Shefford Allotments has a few plots available for people within a five-mile radius of Great Shefford and still plenty of time to get planting. If you’re interested in knowing more, please contact Paul Akers, on 07977 585 971 or r1paul2002@yahoo.co.uk.

• On Friday 31 May, Lambourn will be treated to a new play by Ann Davidson about Thomas Hardy. With traditional music and costume, tickets cost £10 and can be accessed via 07785 or by email paul_strickland@mail.com.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• If you are aged 55 and over and interested in trying out something creative in the comfort of your own home why not sign up for the Ageing Creatively Home Artists Lambourn scheme? You collect your creative project bags at the beginning of the month from Lambourn Library or request a delivery to your home. Book through Corn Exchange Newbury website 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 to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen any time. If you’d like to get involved in any way contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Waterregarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 12 May Sound Beginnings: Thumbelina (part of Newbury Spring Festival), Sheepdrove.

• Fri 17 May The Sheepdrove Recital: Mozart & Chopin (part of Newbury Spring Festival), Sheepdrove.

• Sat 18 May ’80s disco (free entry), 7.30pm Great Shefford Village Hall.

• Sun 19 May Sheepdrove Piano Competition Final (part of Newbury Spring Festival), Sheepdrove.

• Thu 30 May Newbury Dramatic Society presents Wessex & Hardy, St Mary’s Church Fawley

• Tue 4 Jun Asteroid City, East Garston Village Hall.

• Mon 10 Jun Reptile Handling Brightwalton Village Hall

• Sat 15 Jun Baydon Open Gardens Aldbourne Rd, Baydon

• Sat 29 Jun Lambourn Festi-hall Lambourn Sports Centre

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

Lambourn Friendship Cafe  last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free social meet up although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Brightwalton Youth Club’s Summer Term details here with free fruit, tuck shop, games and craft activities. Email brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for further information.

Pilates classes at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their website for dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

Bingo in Great Shefford, second Saturday of the month in the Social Club: eyes down 7.30.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 May and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the election of the Chair and the Deputy; a councillor co-option; committee membership; general power of competence (see separate section); planning matters; street-lighting; flooding; the annual parish assembly (15 May); speeding; litter; parking; D-day; repairs and maintenance; waste bins; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Baydon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: actions from the previous meeting; the Chair’s report; speeding; the litter pick; more defibrillators needed; the Clerk’s report; thefts of items from graves; repairs and maintenance; planning matters; financial matters; and the WW1 memorial clock.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 March and you can download the minutes here. The annual parish meeting took place on 18 April and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; dog-waste; a report form a ward member; the war memorial; planning matters; financial matters; and the parish assembly (22 May).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Chaddleworth and Great Shefford School’s PTFA; planning matters; financial matters; the village website; village maintenance; flooding; litter; and sports provision.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council, Baydon Parish Counciland Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.
• Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 2 May 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes a labyrinth, an orchard, a horse track, music and the Library – plus the importance of ranunculus in the river, the latest on the NDP and a look at the latest communiqué from Thames Water.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include labyrinth day and family fun day. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

From our ranunculus correspondent

I’ve written the word “ranunculus” several times recently. If I’d been asked to define the word a couple of weeks ago in a Call My Bluff kind of way, I may have plumped for an archaic 18th-century term of opprobrium. I can, for instance, imagine some passage in Swift or Boswell in which someone is described as “a most ranunculus and fractious knave.” It seemed like one of those words whose meaning you can immediately guess despite never having heard it before. How wrong I was.

Thanks to the Eastbury Village wardens,, I now now that it means nothing of the sort. Also known as water crowfoot, ranunculus is a river plant that roots in the gravel on the bed of chalk streams, forming long strands that grow underwater and flow with the current. There’s often plenty of it in the stretch of the river Lambourn that runs past our house. I just didn’t know what it was called, merely referring to it rather disparagingly as “river weed”. One is always learning…

I referred last week to the Environment Agency’s (EA’s) cutting of this in Eastbury after prompting by the Village Wardens. The good news is that the water levels have failed by about 30cm which has been enough to keep most of the water off the roads and so help break the vicious cycle of pollution and flooding to which I referred. I also understand that some kind of regular work plan by the EA is now being worked on which should help avoid such problems in the future. It’s worth noting that the decrease in the river levels have co-incided with a drop in groundwater so both factors are probably responsible in reducing the river level.

Ranunculus is an important part of the riparian ecology ands so, as mentioned last week, needs to be managed only by those qualified to do so. The term “river weed” is thus doubly misleading as it suggests that the river would in all cases be better off without it: a kind of aquatic bindweed. In fact, it belongs there. The question arises as to what has caused it to require extra intervention now. Could the sewage in the river be a factor here? Does this encourage its growth or inhibit it?

Having put this question to Charlotte Hitchmough of Action for the River Kennet, the answer seems to be both: first one, then the other. Initially, sewage will cause ranunculus to grow, perhaps excessively. Then, another aspect of sewage pollution kicks in which encourages the growth of algae to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. Sewage thus causes at first too much ranunculus and then not enough.

This therefore introduces another aspect of the vicious circle: more sewage in the river = more ranunculus = higher river levels = more water on roads = more infiltration into the sewerage system = more sewage overflowing into river: and so it repeats. Careful management is thus needed to take out enough vegetation to break the cycle but not so much as to damage the river further.

Other measures also need to be looked at, one of which moves the focus from the EA to Thames Water. An idea being looked at is to seal up the manholes in Eastbury’s Back Street and TW does have this job budgeted for, and scheduled for 2024. However, these exist as safety valves for the sewerage system so sealing them could cause an extra flood risk for some properties (if residents don’t already have property level flood protection, they might want to consider it). As ever, any solutions applied upstream have implications for people downstream.

Indeed, no one kind of intervention in this, or almost anything else, leads to perfect results for all. One thing that is certainly worth striving for is to stop the river system and sewerage system from overflowing into each other, with disastrous results for both. This the recent ranunculus management appears to be accomplishing. Hats off again to the Village Wardens who managed to get this matter onto the EA’s radar.

• Lambourn.org’s petition

Congratulations to Lambourn.org, the latest in a long line of organisations which has been pressing Thames Water for a solution to the local sewage problem – lord knows how many times I’ve typed that phrase recently. Its petition attracted well over 1,000 signatures and you can read more on Lambourn.org’s excellent website here.

It’s good that TW replied, and fairly quickly, but the letter (which is reproduced in full on the above site) seems once again to have been written more with an eye on PR than H2O. Although a notch up from the one sent in early March (very poorly received in these parts) which placed most of the blame on “sewer abuse”, here the attack has shifted to another target: the recent high rainfall and thus high groundwater levels. Seven of the letter’s 15 paragraphs are wholly or partly concerned with this issue. Yes, we all know it’s been wet. Such wet seasons can be expected again. A sewerage system which relies on low groundwater levels is clearly not up to the job.

The letter also refers to a number of measures that have been taken including filtration units, tankers and clean-ups (which, in Eastbuty at least, seem to have involved sloshing an alarming amount of disinfectant onto the road some of which would have ended up in the river). These are, however, remedial and reactive measures and thus proofs of failure.

True, there are some promises of more proactive work and time will tell if these are indeed implemented and have the desired effect. The letter also mentioned that “we will continue to work with the newly formed Sewage Action Group for the Lambourn Upper Valley (SAGLUV), to provide regular updates and receive feedback which we can implement to support future incidents.” I’m sure we can rely on SAGLUV to keep TW focussed on the task.

Such petitions are one way, and a good one, of keeping TW aware of the level of feeling in the area. If future ones are promoted by Lambourn.org we recommend that you sign it. It will also be worth studying any response that follows. This one is an improvement on its predecessor but the communications still have some way to go. Much the same can be said of the sewerage repairs.

• Lambourn’s NDP

The Lambourn NDP Steering Group has said that it was “pleased with the level of considered engagement by parishioners, some taking the trouble to visit the event from out of area as it were (ie, residents of Lambourn who were unable to come to the Memorial Hall visited Upper Lambourn’s exhibition) We have gathered useful feedback and insights, including confirmation of support for the proposed preferred site for housing allocation, LAM 2, Land at Wantage Road and Northfields.”

Further information about occasions when public engagement in the project is required will be given wide publicity, including in Penny Post.

• Other news

• Lambourn is adapting to the fact that it no longer has its own bookmakers in the village. Ladbrokes ceased trading in The Broadway on Sunday 21 April and as of Monday 29 April, the familiar Red and White sign has been removed from the building. It is not entirely unexpected given the proliferation of online gambling, but many will miss the camaraderie experienced on big race days like the Cheltenham Festival and The Grand National. As yet there is no information about what will happen to the building, but it will certainly hold some legendary stories of Lambourn’s horse racing tradition in its brickwork.

• Quick reminder that the annual Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show in Woodlands St Mary has been rescheduled from Sunday 5 May to Sunday 7 July due to current ground conditions at the event site. See more details on their facebook page here.

• Our rivers are in trouble and ARK – Action for the River Kennet 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.

Lambourn Parish Council is glad to announce that all tree works at the Old Cricket Field have been completed and the horse track is fully reopened.

• East Garston Quakers have created a new grass labyrinth in their peaceful garden, inviting all to come and share it at their first ever World Labyrinth Day celebration this Saturday 4 May. The Quakers are also requesting donations of flowering plants to plant round the edge of the labyrinth.

• If you would like to learn more about bees, sign up for the Free Bee Walk at Sheepdrove Organic Farm just outside Lambourn on Monday 20 May. See here for how to register.

• Gill Rixon reports on behalf of Lambourn Community Orchard, that the young apple tree whips gifted by West Berks Council, are having a really hard time. They were so small when they went in the ground that they have been consistently nibbled by deer. By contrast, the 2 to 3 year old trees that were planted are romping away. This week, she will be hanging some old CDs on the smallest trees to dangle and scare the deer away. For more details, see the Lambourn Community Orchard facebook group.

• Everything is growing well and the ground is drying up nicely at the Great Shefford Allotments predicting a bumper growing year. There are still plots available for people within a 5 mile radius of Great Shefford and  still plenty of time to get planting. If you’re interested in knowing more, please contact Paul Akers, on 07977 585 971 or r1paul2002@yahoo.co.uk.

• On Friday 31 May, Lambourn will be treated to a new play by Ann Davidson about Thomas Hardy. With traditional music and costume, tickets cost £10 and can be accessed via 07785 or by email paul_strickland@mail.com.

• Given the dilapidation of the highways after the incessant rainfall and accompanying sewage issues Lambourn Parish Council is keen to direct residents to West Berks Council’s latest news on road repairs and maintenance in the parish. Click here for details.

• Lambourn Library is a great community resource and provides so much more than books. There are internet access terminals, children’s reading groups, free wifi, colour and black/white copying, free document scanning to email, colour printing and much more. E-resources include services such as free access to ancestry search and online catalogues. You can help secure the future of the library by becoming a member. There is no obligation and no charge, just spend 5 minutes completing the on-line membership application here and select Lambourn Library in the drop down section.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• If you are aged 55 and over and interested in trying out something creative in the comfort of your own home why not sign up for the Ageing Creatively Home Artists Lambourn scheme? You collect your creative project bags at the beginning of the month from Lambourn Library or request a delivery to your home. Book through Corn Exchange Newbury website 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 to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen any time. If you’d like to get involved in any way contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Waterregarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 4 May World Labyrinth Day, East Garston

• Sun 5 May Family Funday Wheelwright Arms

• Tue 7 May All Quiet On The Western Front, East Garston Village Hall.

• Sat 18 May ’80s disco (free entry), 7.30pm Great Shefford Village Hall.

• Thu 30 May Newbury Dramatic Society presents Wessex & Hardy, St Mary’s Church Fawley

• Tue 4 Jun Asteroid City, East Garston Village Hall.

• Mon 10 Jun Reptile Handling Brightwalton Village Hall

• Sat 15 Jun Baydon Open Gardens Aldbourne Rd, Baydon

• Sat 29 Jun Lambourn Festi-hall Lambourn Sports Centre

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

Lambourn Friendship Cafe  last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free social meet up although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Brightwalton Youth Club’s Summer Term details here with free fruit, tuck shop, games and craft activities. Email brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for further information.

Pilates classes at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their website for dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

Bingo in Great Shefford, second Saturday of the month in the Social Club: eyes down 7.30.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: Thames Water; planning matters; streetlights; speeding; litter; parking; the Racing Committee; a leaking roof; the proposed 20mph limit; repairs and maintenance; the Library; D-Day; a new councillor; financial objectives; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Baydon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: actions from the previous meeting; the Chair’s report; speeding; the litter pick; more defibrillators needed; the Clerk’s report; thefts of items from graves; repairs and maintenance; planning matters; financial matters; and the WW1 memorial clock.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; possible new play equipment; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; and the Chair’s resignation.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; dog-waste; a report form a ward member; the war memorial; planning matters; financial matters; and the parish assembly (22 May).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Chaddleworth and Great Shefford School’s PTFA; planning matters; financial matters; the village website; village maintenance; flooding; litter; and sports provision.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council, Baydon Parish Counciland Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.
• Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 25 April 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes a boot sale, a consultation, a run, a sale and a labyrinth – plus a look at the latest work by our local flood and sewage pressure group, a simple and effective solution in Eastbury, Shefford’s flood scheme on the radio and an update on this project from the Environment Agency.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include book sale and race night. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• SAGLUV’s latest news

The Sewage Action Group for the Lambourn Upper Valley has not been idle. Indeed, earlier this week I received a very detailed report. You can download this in full by clicking here to visit the relevant page of the East Garston PC website.

The main headlines from this are as follows.

  • Firstly, “it has become even clearer that we are dealing with two separate sewage networks at the upper end of the valley.” As a result SAGLUV will now operate in two divisions. One will deal with the Lambourn and Upper Lambourn (LUL) network, and the other with the Eastbury, East Garston and Great Shefford (EEGS) network. The report that followed was mainly about the EEGS one.
  • A further meeting was held with Thames Water (TW) on 19 April, described as “a highly focussed, three hour session, which covered many details of the complex technical challenges specific to each village in the EEGS area.”
  • A number of projects involving re-lining and manhole sealing across the three villages were confirmed as having received funding by TW (nearly 550 metres of the former and 13 of the latter in all).
  • Some “complex engineering issues have been highlighted as a result of call-outs” over the last few months.
  • This part of the Vvalley is a priority area for TW at regional and corporate levels and it was agreed that SAGLUV and TW will continue with regular progress review meetings throughout 2024.
  • The primary intention for TW, in all of the villages, “is to stop the sewage pipes being inundated with water (from groundwater sources, either direct from springs, or via the river channel). The TW strategy is to re-line pipes, seal leaks at other points, and deal with flows from private connections, in order to stop/reduce infiltration. A reduction of the infiltration volumes, to the point where the pumping stations are not over-whelmed, will solve the majority of problems.”
  • There then followed a detailed list of key points for each village which can’t easily or usefully be summarised. Please download the report for more information.
  • The document ends with a section on water-pollution monitoring, which is being conducted in association with Action for the River Kennet (ARK). “The influence of sewage pollution upon the chalk stream ecology of the River Lambourn,” the section concludes, “is of key interest to SAGLUV, both in itself, and as a tool to demonstrate the impacts of TW network inundation.’

These seem like very promising results from an organisation which has only been active for six weeks.

• A simple solution with immediate results

Much has been written about the serious sewage discharge issues in the villages of the upper Lambourn valley and the work that SAGLUV and others are doing to address these.  A recent example in Eastbury has demonstrated clearly that such issues can be alleviated via relatively simple actions with immediate and significant effect, if there is sufficient understanding of the system.

No one in the area needs reminding that due to high groundwater, the Lambourn’s river levels have been extraordinarily high since January. Another factor also comes into play at this time of year. Springtime weather accelerates the growth of the native Ranunculus in the riverbed which slows the water flow. In locations where the river is restricted, such as through the centre of Eastbury, this flow obstruction results in spill-over on to the roads and exacerbates flooding in properties.

This is bad enough: however, a nasty extra consequence results from the presence of water on the road. Large volumes of this surface flood water leak into the sewer network, via manholes on the road, overwhelming the sewerage system. Raw sewage is thus unable to make its way to its planned destination, and instead discharges onto the roads, via other manholes at locations further downstream. Lakes of water contaminated with raw sewage accumulate onto the road surfaces (as witnessed, for example, at Eastbury Newtown for three solid months). This foul water then drains into the river Lambourn while sewage residue remains on to the road, as sediment. Thames Water performs “clean-up” operations at these sites by splashing toxic disinfectant over the road, which then makes its way into the river (a far worse pollution event).

All in all, this vicious cycle of events is an unmitigated disaster, both for people and for the river ecology.

For this particular set of circumstances, at this time of year, under these conditions, selective removal of Ranunculus from within the river channel is a powerful tool and always has been. River levels drop considerably, the road is no longer covered with water, the manholes are no longer leaking flood water into the sewer pipes and the pumping station can just about cope and the filthy stinking mayhem further along in the village abates. Sounds simple enough, eh?

Selected cutting of Ranunculus is, however, no simple task. Any work in the river requires the relative permissions. With high river flow rates, getting into the river to cut the vegetation can be extremely hazardous. Eastbury Village Wardens, with appropriate training, have been taking responsibility for weed-cutting for the past decade, organising voluntary work parties and planning the cutting events according to EA guidelines. A key issue here however is that due to pertaining extreme flood conditions only a professional team of weed-cutters could do the job during this period.

After a frustrating delay, much discussion and pleas to numerous parties, the Eastbury Village Wardens finally secured the desired action by the Environment Agency – an emergency weed-cut along the river through Eastbury. This began on the morning of 23 April. By the afternoon, river levels in the middle of the village had dropped sufficiently to stop flooding on to the back road. By the evening, all raw sewage discharges at the eastern end of the village had stopped (although not all toilet functions were fully restored).

Two major lessons can be drawn from this sequence. Raw sewage discharges are a direct result of flood water entering the sewer network. The source of the water that overwhelms the sewer pumping capacity is primarily from two or three manhole covers at one location in Eastbury village, with flood water leaking in from the road surface (other sources may come via underground infiltration points, and perhaps residential pumping activity). If you stop this surface leakage into manholes, you stop the discharge of raw sewage further down the system. Secondly, it is clear that flooding onto the road at the key point in Eastbury can be eliminated by removing some of the Ranunculus that is constricting the channel.

Time will tell if the EA will respond more quickly in the future to intelligence from the Flood Wardens about the river levels and Ranunculus content. Following a decade of nil-cutting by the EA, “planned” cuts were reinstated in 2023. The situation is often balanced on a knife edge and EA weed-cutters ideally need to be on emergency notice at high risk periods (which can be predicted).

Upstream and downstream of the river’s choke-point at Eastbury, the situation is easier to manage. As we’ve previously mentioned, the upstream flood defence scheme has done exactly what it was designed to do by restricting the river’s flow and creating a temporary flood plain behind the bund. Downstream, between Eastbury and East Garston, the more meandering river has a natural flood plain of its own. It seems that this has been helped by a fallen tree near the bend in the road which is diverting more water into the fields than would otherwise be the case.

As a result of all of this, the river levels in East Garston are lower than they might otherwise be and have fallen quite a bit in the last few days. For this we have to thank two Village Wardens and a flood scheme in a neighbouring settlement, as well perhaps as a fallen tree, for none of which we have had to pay.

All of this is proof, if proof be needed, that the problems of the water systems round here are complex and inter-connected; also that if something needs to be done to alleviate them we can no longer pretend that they will be performed automatically by the agencies or companies responsible. Pretty much every bit of work TW or the EA has done here has been as a result of pressure by people like the Village Wardens or the members of SAGLUV. Sadly, we must expect that this proactive attitude will need to continue.

Shefford’s scheme (and Newbury’s Show)

Last week on 4 LEGS Radio I was delighted to interview Steve Ackrill who as many will know was and remains the prime mover behind the Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Scheme. You can listen to the programme here. He talked us through the history of the project over the last ten years (yes, that’s how long these things can take).

The aspects we covered included identifying the solution, the first engagements with WBC and the Environment Agency, setting up the GSFAA charity, raising the money and finally – by far the longest and most stressful part, and which is only recently reaching its conclusion – getting the EA to allocate the rest of the funds and formally adopt the project. The interview will be instructive for anyone from anyone in any part of the country who is seeking to get a similar project off the ground. We also touched on the Eastbury flood scheme, which has been operational (and very successful) for several years and which took a similar amount of effort.

For Shefford, the upshot is that work should start once the groundwater levels have receded a bit and should take about six months to complete.

In the last seven minutes of the 30-minute interview, Steve put on another of his hats, that of Chair of Trustees of the Newbury and District Agricultural Society (NADAS), which runs the Newbury Show. We briefly discussed the recent history of NADAS (including a change of management) and of the Show (which didn’t happen between 2020 and 2022), its successful return in 2023 and some of the things to look forward to at this year’s event on 21 and 22 September. More information on this can be found here.

• Update on the Shefford flood scheme

The following was received from the Environment Agency on 26 April 2024.

We held our engagement event on Thursday 18 April and we would like to thank the school for hosting us as well as those of you who were able to join us.

Questions about the project? Email us at GreatSheffordFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk. Concerns during construction? Email us at the above address or call us on 03708 506 506 and quote “Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Scheme, Thames Area”.

The presentation included the context, brief history and the mechanisms of flooding within the village. We also recapped the design elements and constraints for this scheme. Points to note:

  • Great Shefford Stream is a winterbourne stream – it does not flow all year round and mostly flows when groundwater levels are high.
  • Construction of the permanent scheme can only happen when the groundwater levels are low enough. This is basically during the summer and autumn period of the year. We can only start work once the groundwater levels have dropped from where they currently are.
  • The permanent scheme is a PASSIVE scheme which will not require pumping. However, some element of groundwater risk will remain even once the scheme is in place.
  • We will provide monthly updates in local media outlets and aim to post key information on the noticeboards.
  • This scheme would not have happened without the £80,000 funding raised by this community – thank you again to all those who supported the Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Association and all involved with the charity.

Our contractors, Bam Nuttall made the decision on the 23 April 2024 to delay the construction start date to the week commencing 27 May 2024. Construction sites are expensive places to run so it makes sense to wait another month before starting as this will give the groundwater levels more time to drop. The bulk of the construction will take roughly six months.

Temporary traffic lights have been in place to ensure safe working conditions during the temporary pumping operations. The detailed design of this scheme has shown that road closures and traffic management will be required during the construction of the permanent scheme. We will aim to update you with further details soon as well as keeping disruption to a minimum.

The temporary pipe is approximately 200 mm in diameter. The pipe being installed as part of the permanent scheme is 1,350 mm in diameter and will start at the offtake just upstream of the A338 culvert to the farm track, where it then changes into a rectangular culvert going under the track and finally opens up into a new channel and wetland area.

• Other news

• Congratulations to Freddie Tulloch and East Garston Amenities for organising the car boot sale last Sunday. This raised over £500 for the village. The intention is to turn this into an annual event. The bigger question, once again, is how East Garston Amenities always manages to book great weather for its events. Is there some secret website that the rest of us don’t know about? No complaints from me, particularly if this run of good timing extends to the fête on 7 July.

• The draft Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan (LNDP) is nearly ready and the LNDP Steering Group invites the community to view, question and comment on the proposals to protect the environment, and for housing site allocations. The last pop-up exhibition is at the Jockey Club Estate Office, Mandown Farm, Upper Lambourn from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday 30 April.

• East Garston Quakers welcome anyone to join their first ever World Labyrinth Day celebration on Saturday 4 May.  A labyrinth is similar to a maze and invites and encourages mindfulness and contemplation and the Quakers have created a new grass labyrinth in their peaceful garden, inviting all to come and share it. They are also requesting donations of flowering plants to plant round the edge of the labyrinth.

The Breast Screening Unit is currently in the carpark of Lambourn Surgery for 4 to 6 weeks. If you have been invited, please make sure you take the opportunity to get checked. Screening is offered from age 50-70 every 3 years. If you have not been called and think you should have been, over 70 and would still like to be screened, or would just like general advice about screening, call 0118 322 8282 where the breast screening team will be happy to help.

• Volunteers are requested to help remove plastic tree guards in Upper Lambourn on Saturday 27 April between 9am and 1pm. Dress for the weather, bring Stanley knife and gloves as well as snacks and drinks. Short walk up to the plantation. Please let Lou know if you can make it on 07919 671567 and she’ll give you directions.

• Fancy a bargain on fabric and yarn? Don’t miss the Wool and Fabric Bargain Sale in Newbury’s Kennet Centre on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April 10am to 4pm. The net proceeds of the sale will go to West Berkshire Mencap. See here for more details.

• Having put in lengthy training at Oaksey House, local ex-jockey Wayne Willis Burton competed in his wheelchair in the London Marathon at the weekend and smashed it by completing it in 6hours 40mins. He was raising funds for Spinal Research and you can still support Wayne by donating here.

• Congratulations also to Antonia Roskill who completed the London Marathon 10 years after a serious injury which required her being rescued by Thames Valley Air Ambulance. In thanks, her funds are going to TVAA and you can donate here.

Lambourn Youth Junction is excited to announce that there will be hot dogs available at this week’s Youth Club, for only 50p.

• Everything is growing well and the ground is drying up nicely at the Great Shefford Allotments predicting a bumper growing year. There are still plots available for people within a 5 mile radius of Great Shefford and  still plenty of time to get planting. If you’re interested in knowing more, please contact Paul Akers, on 07977 585 971 or r1paul2002@yahoo.co.uk.

• On Friday 31 May, Lambourn will be treated to a new play by Ann Davidson about Thomas Hardy. With traditional music and costume, tickets cost £10 and can be accessed via 07785 or by email paul_strickland@mail.com.

• Given the dilapidation of the highways after the incessant rainfall and accompanying sewage issues Lambourn Parish Council is keen to direct residents to West Berks Council’s latest news on road repairs and maintenance in the parish. Click here for details.

Newbury Fire Station are bringing along a fire engine to Brightwalton Youth Club on Monday 29 April, from 6.30 to 7.30pm. There will be an interactive fire safety talk and explanation of the firefighters roles and the equipment used. Non-Youth Club members are welcome at Brightwalton Village Hall.

• If you want to find out more about your local policing team, access key crime prevention advice, report crimes or find out about policing performance – these are all things you can do now through the new #PoliceUK app. Crimes and incidents can often go unreported because people simply don’t want to pick up the phone, but now you can report directly through the app whenever it is convenient for you. #PoliceUK is available via both the Google Play and iOS App stores, giving you greater choice of how to access what matters to you. If it’s an emergency, you should always call 999.

Lambourn Surgery reports that during March more than 30 hours of clinical appointments were wasted due to patients not attending; 33 GP appointments, 52 nurse appointments and 12 clinical pharmacist appointments. They ask that if you have an appointment and either don’t need it or can’t make it then please cancel it. This will help ensure that those who do need that appointment have the opportunity.

• If you know anyone over 16 years old looking for a new career or skills and would like to find out about earning a living growing produce, check out the free FARMStart course at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. The next course starts on Saturday 4 May and runs over four Saturdays until the middle of July. Places are limited so book soon here.

• East Garston Quaker Meeting House is hosting the Lambourn Valley’s (and possibly West Berkshire’s) first World Labyrinth Day celebration on Saturday 4 May in its peaceful garden which now has a turf laybyrinth. All are welcome and flowering plant donations are gratefully received to plant around the edge of the labyrinth. See here for more details.

• Lambourn Library is a great community resource and provides so much more than books. There are internet access terminals, children’s reading groups, free wifi, colour and black/white copying, free document scanning to email, colour printing and much more. E-resources include services such as free access to ancestry search and online catalogues. You can help secure the future of the library by becoming a member. There is no obligation and no charge, just spend 5 minutes completing the on-line membership application here and select Lambourn Library in the drop down section.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• You can support St. Michael’s Church for free when you shop online with over 8,100 retailers via easyfundraising.Tohelp preserve the ‘Cathedral of the Downs’ for generations to come you can sign up here.

• Great Shefford residents are being asked to drive really carefully on station road and river way as there are currently a lot of mama ducks and ducklings popping out of hedges and casualties are very possible.

• Quick reminder about the new ‘Living Well in The End Times’ sessions which address one of the ultimate taboos: death. If you ever wondered about planning your own funeral, writing a will, making a good end to the story of your life, or the physical process of dying, then these classes may be for you. Meetings are open to all take place on Wednesdays from 3pm to 4pm at 4 Newbury Street. Over the weeks there will be a palliative care nurse, a lawyer and an undertaker who will each be available for questions. For further information email revjulie.mintern@lambournvalley.org or call 07749 844600.

• Quick reminder about St Mary’s Church online auction of promises. Browse online here to see what’s on offer. And if you’d like to donate towards repairs of two stained glass windows in the church you can do so online here.

• If you are aged 55 and over and interested in trying out something creative in the comfort of your own home why not sign up for the Ageing Creatively Home Artists Lambourn scheme? You collect your creative project bags at the beginning of the month from Lambourn Library or request a delivery to your home. Book through Corn Exchange Newbury website 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 to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen any time. If you’d like to get involved in any way contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Waterregarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 26 Apr Stop The Sewage Action Meeting Online

• Fri 26 – Sun 28 Apr Book Sale NAWT Berkshire.

• Sat 27 Apr Race Night Great Shefford Social Club

• Sat 4 May World Labyrinth Day, East Garston

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Tues 7 May All Quiet On The Western Front  Valley Film Society, East Garston Village Hall.

• Thu 30 May Newbury Dramatic Society presents Wessex & Hardy, St Mary’s Church Fawley

• Sat 15 Jun Baydon Open Gardens Aldbourne Rd, Baydon

• Sat 29 Jun Lambourn Festi-hall Lambourn Sports Centre

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

Lambourn Friendship Cafe  last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free social meet up although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Brightwalton Youth Club’s Summer Term details here with free fruit, tuck shop, games and craft activities. Email brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for further information.

Pilates classes at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their website for dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: Thames Water; planning matters; streetlights; speeding; litter; parking; the Racing Committee; a leaking roof; the proposed 20mph limit; repairs and maintenance; the Library; D-Day; a new councillor; financial objectives; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Baydon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: actions from the previous meeting; the Chair’s report; speeding; the litter pick; more defibrillators needed; the Clerk’s report; thefts of items from graves; repairs and maintenance; planning matters; financial matters; and the WW1 memorial clock.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; possible new play equipment; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; and the Chair’s resignation.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; dog-waste; a report form a ward member; the war memorial; planning matters; financial matters; and the parish assembly (22 May).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Chaddleworth and Great Shefford School’s PTFA; planning matters; financial matters; the village website; village maintenance; flooding; litter; and sports provision.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council, Baydon Parish Counciland Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.
• Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 18 April 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes tree guards, an abandoned village, volunteers, the railway and a labyrinth day – plus the East Garston Chair’s annual address, village news, NDP consultation events and a sewage protest.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include pre-loved sale and car boot sale. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• East Garston’s meeting

This was held in the Village Hall on 18 April and, as these things do, provided an opportunity for local residents to learn more about what the Parish Council has been up to over the last twelve months and what plans it has for the next twelve. All parish and town councils are required by law to hold such a meeting every year between 1 March and 1 June, starting some time after 6pm.

The text of the PC’s summary provided by the Chair, Sue Tulloch, can be seen by clicking here.

• East Garston News

The most recent edition of this newsletter has just been published and you click here to read it.

Items covered include the car boot sale (21 April); the tennis tournament (9 June); the Church Cottage restoration talk (9 June); and some advance news about the East Garston Fête weekend (5 to 7 July).

• Sewage protest support

There was an excellent show of support in Newbury last Sunday 14 April for the Kennet Catchment River Keepers End Sewage Pollution Protest, supported by Action for the River Kennet and the Angling Trust and opened by actor and angling activist James Murray.

The speakers objected to the “totally unacceptable” 23,740 hours of untreated sewage that poured into the Kennet catchment rivers during 2023; the decades of under investment from Thames Water; the postponement of plans for sewage treatment works improvements; the “deeply concerning” water quality results; and the manholes pouring sewage down our streets and into our chalk streams. The River Kennet is a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ (SSSI), as is the Lambourn which is also designated as a ‘Special Area of Conservation’ (SAC). The Pang, the inspiration for The Wind in the Willows, flows through several SSSI areas. These are three of only 260 chalk streams in the world, and they are facing an environmental crisis.

According to ARK, there is now sewage fungus on the bank of the River Lambourn where sewage is pouring straight out of a manhole into the SSSI and SAC chalk stream. “Sewage fungus thrives in water that is polluted by sewage and consumes oxygen potentially suffocating aquatic life,” Charlotte Hitchmough from ARK explained. “Fish eggs can get smothered and therefore do not hatch. Invertebrate populations can also be affected. Your river, its wildlife and communities deserve better. Please write to your local political representatives and let them know how you feel about what is happening to your rivers.”

A number of local politicians, including Green Party candidate Steve Masters, spoke at the protest. Despite all these and other efforts, it appears that everything is being done at the speed that Thames Water can afford and that the Environment Agency is prepared to insist upon. Most would agree that this is not remotely fast enough.

One local resident, Richard Garvie, is hosting an online public meeting at 7pm on Friday 26 April 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.

• Have your say on the draft Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan

The draft Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan (LNDP) is nearly ready and the LNDP Steering Group (SG) invites the community to view, question and comment on the proposals to protect the environment, and for housing site allocations. See dates of pop-up exhibitions below.

Given the ongoing sewage situation and the constraints on development within the River Lambourn Nutrient Neutrality Zone, the Steering Group shares parishioners concerns about further development. However, to meet government requirements, housing sites have to be allocated. If the LNDP does not do so, WBC will.

Site allocation does not give developers free rein though. No building can take place until planning permission has been granted in line with policies in both WBC’s Local Plan and the LNDP, once made.

  •  Sat 20 April 10 am to 4pm: Lambourn Memorial Hall.
  •  Tue 23 April  5 to 7 pm: Woodlands St Mary Village Hall.
  •  Thu 25 April 5 to 7 pm: St. James Church, Eastbury.
  • Tue 30 April 5 to 7 pm: JCE, Mandown Farm, Upper Lambourn.

• Other news

• Volunteers are requested to help remove plastic tree guards in Upper Lambourn on Saturday 20 and 27 April between 9am and 1pm. Dress for the weather, bring Stanley knife and gloves as well as snacks and drinks. Short walk up to the plantation. Please let Lou know if you can make it on 07919 671567 and she’ll give you directions.

• Say goodbye to all your clutter or grab a bargain at the East Garston Car Boot Sale on Garstonbury Field, between East Garston and Great Shefford on Sunday 21 April. Sellers from 7.30am. Boots open at 9am. Entry £2 – please take cash.

Lambourn Surgery reports that during March more than 30 hours of clinical appointments were wasted due to patients not attending; 33 GP appointments, 52 nurse appointments and 12 clinical pharmacist appointments. They ask that if you have an appointment and either don’t need it or can’t make it then please cancel it. This will help ensure that those who do need that appointment have the opportunity.

• If you know anyone over 16 years old looking for a new career or skills and would like to find out about earning a living growing produce, check out the free FARMStart course at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. The next course starts on Saturday 4 May and runs over four Saturdays until the middle of July. Places are limited so book soon here.

• For those intrigued by local history, this week Newbury Today published a lengthy article on the village of Bockhampton of which almost all physical evidence of this once-thriving medieval community has vanished from the landscape. Yes, there is a Bockhampton Road, but otherwise nothing. The article discusses the political, social and environmental reasons for its demise.  Listed as ‘Bochentone’ in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book of 1086, a record of all the towns and villages in the kingdom of England, Bockhampton had many name iterations over the centuries, but its fate was sealed with the Parliamentary Enclosure (Inclosure) Act of 1778. Parliament also passed Enclosure Acts for Eastbury in 1776, Upper Lambourn (Uplambourn) in 1802 and Chipping Lambourn in 1803, which abolished commoners’ rights to access common land.

West Downland Benefice is getting ready to celebrate its annual meeting on Sunday 21 April. There will be coffee and a bring and share lunch, in Great Shefford Village Hall from 11.30am. Everyone welcome!

Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue is looking for volunteers to help their ambulance team with patient pick ups. They are currently seeing a huge surge in demand for the service. Although they have an ambulance for emergency call outs, pick ups usually involve volunteers to use their own vehicles, but costs for fuel are covered. Full training and OWR uniform is provided and this is a centre-based position. Please message them on facebook for more details

• With thanks to the LVR Facebook Page and LVR Website Tim Harvey has created a celebration of the former Lambourn Valley Railway. View his video here and share with anyone who might be interested in this charming slice of history.

• 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.

• East Garston Quaker Meeting House is hosting the Lambourn Valley’s (and possibly West Berkshire’s) first World Labyrinth Day celebration on Saturday 4 May in its peaceful garden which now has a turf laybyrinth. All are welcome and flowering plant donations are gratefully received to plant around the edge of the labyrinth. See here for more details.

• Lambourn Library is a great community resource and provides so much more than books. There are internet access terminals, children’s reading groups, free wifi, colour and black/white copying, free document scanning to email, colour printing and much more. E-resources include services such as free access to ancestry search and online catalogues. You can help secure the future of the library by becoming a member. There is no obligation and no charge, just spend 5 minutes completing the on-line membership application here and select Lambourn Library in the drop down section.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• You can support St. Michael’s Church for free when you shop online with over 8,100 retailers via easyfundraising.Tohelp preserve the ‘Cathedral of the Downs’ for generations to come you can sign up here.

• Great Shefford residents are being asked to drive really carefully on station road and river way as there are currently a lot of mama ducks and ducklings popping out of hedges and casualties are very possible.

• If you are having a spring wardrobe clear out, please bag up your unwanted items and drop off at Great Shefford school. The PTFA will receive a donation per kilo of recycled textiles, and would be grateful for any bags dropped off at the Great Shefford school bike shelter from Monday 22 April.

• Rev Julie Mintern, is keen to advise all residents of a new course, ‘Living Well in The End Times’ which challenges one of the ultimate taboos: death. If you ever wondered about planning your own funeral, writing a will, making a good end to the story of your life, or the physical process of dying, then these classes may be for you. Questions can be discussed in a supportive, relaxed and friendly setting. Meetings are open to all and will take place weekly from 3pm to 4pm at 4 Newbury Street. The first session is on Wednesday 24 April. Over the weeks there will bea palliative care nurse, a lawyer and an undertaker who will each be available for questions. For further information email revjulie.mintern@lambournvalley.org or call 07749 844600.

• Quick reminder about St Mary’s Church online auction of promises. Browse online here to see what’s on offer. And if you’d like to donate towards repairs of two stained glass windows in the church you can do so online here.

• If you are aged 55 and over and interested in trying out something creative in the comfort of your own home why not sign up for the Ageing Creatively Home Artists Lambourn scheme? You collect your creative project bags from Lambourn Library or request a delivery to your home. Book through Corn Exchange Newbury website 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 to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen any time. If you’d like to get involved in any way contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Water regarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 19 Apr Preloved Sale Brightwalton Primary

Sun 21 Apr East Garston Car Boot Sale, Garstonbury Field, East Garston.

• Fri 26 Apr Stop The Sewage Action Meeting Online

Sat 4 May World Labyrinth Day, East Garston

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Tues 7 May All Quiet On The Western Front  Valley Film Society, East Garston Village Hall.

• Thu 30 May Newbury Dramatic Society presents Wessex & Hardy, St Mary’s Church Fawley

• Sat 29 Jun Lambourn Festi-hall Lambourn Sports Centre

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

Lambourn Friendship Cafe  last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free social meet up although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Brightwalton Youth Club’s Summer Term details here with free fruit, tuck shop, games and craft activities. Email brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for further information.

Pilates classes at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their website for dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: Thames Water; planning matters; streetlights; speeding; litter; parking; the Racing Committee; a leaking roof; the proposed 20mph limit; repairs and maintenance; the Library; D-Day; a new councillor; financial objectives; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Baydon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: actions from the previous meeting; the Chair’s report; speeding; the litter pick; more defibrillators needed; the Clerk’s report; thefts of items from graves; repairs and maintenance; planning matters; financial matters; and the WW1 memorial clock.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; possible new play equipment; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; and the Chair’s resignation.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; dog-waste; a report form a ward member; the war memorial; planning matters; financial matters; and the parish assembly (22 May).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Chaddleworth and Great Shefford School’s PTFA; planning matters; financial matters; the village website; village maintenance; flooding; litter; and sports provision.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council, Baydon Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.
• Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 11 April 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes the Library, tree guards, river monitoring, slowing down and the Carnival – plus the draft neighbourhood development plan meetings, the recent Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter. meetings in East Garston and Great Shefford and the PCC elections.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include Parish Counil and flood scheme meetings. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• The Valley of the Racehorse

April’s Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter  includes allotment plots, refutrees, bee walks, SAGLUV and who we have to thank for picking litter along the valley road for the past twenty years or so.

• Shefford’s flood meeting

As we mentioned last week, the finishing line for Shefford’s flood defence scheme seems finally to be in sight. The project has now been formally adopted by the Environment Agency – something that for many years seemed unlikely – and the EA is holding a public engagement event on Thursday 18 April at Great Shefford School Hall. The doors will open at 5.30pm and there’ll be presentation at 6pm which will be repeated at 7pm, with the event finishing about 8pm. This will be your opportunity to find out about the construction programme and any other questions you may have.

If you would like to get in touch about the permanent scheme, please email GreatSheffordFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk.

• East Garston’s annual parish meeting

This will take place on Thursday 18 April, 7pm for 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

As well as a review of the year’s events from the Chair (including an update on the sewage problems in the parish), the event will also have a brief presentation by local photographer Paul Sievers who produces the annual Newbury Cancer Care calendar and will be showing some of his stunning images of the local area. The event will also provide an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have of the councillors.

The Village Hall’s well stocked bar will be open before and after the event.

• Have your say on the draft Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan

The draft Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan (LNDP) is nearly ready and the LNDP Steering Group (SG) invites the community to view, question and comment on the proposals to protect the environment, and for housing site allocations. See dates of pop-up exhibitions below.

Given the ongoing sewage situation and the constraints on development within the River Lambourn Nutrient Neutrality Zone, the Steering Group shares parishioners concerns about further development. However, to meet government requirements, housing sites have to be allocated. If the LNDP does not do so, WBC will.

Site allocation does not give developers free rein though. No building can take place until planning permission has been granted in line with policies in both WBC’s Local Plan and the LNDP, once made.

  •  Sat 20 April 10 am to 4pm: Lambourn Memorial Hall.
  •  Tue 23 April  5 to 7 pm: Woodlands St Mary Village Hall.
  •  Thu 25 April 5 to 7 pm: St. James Church, Eastbury.
  • Tue 30 April 5 to 7 pm: JCE, Mandown Farm, Upper Lambourn.

• 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

• Lambourn Library is a great community resource and provides so much more than books. There are internet access terminals, children’s reading groups, free wifi, colour and black/white copying, free document scanning to email, colour printing and much more. E-resources include services such as free access to ancestry search and online catalogues. You can help secure the future of the library by becoming a member. There is no obligation and no charge, just spend 5 minutes completing the on-line membership application here and select Lambourn Library in the drop down section.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• You can support St. Michael’s Church for free when you shop online with over 8,100 retailers via easyfundraising.Tohelp preserve the ‘Cathedral of the Downs’ for generations to come you can sign up here.

• Volunteers are requested to help remove plastic tree guards in Upper Lambourn on Saturday 20 and 27 April between 9am and 1pm. Dress for the weather, bring Stanley knife and gloves as well as snacks and drinks. Short walk up to the plantation. Please let Lou know if you can make it on 07919 671567 and she’ll give you directions.

Pie Night with live music from Josh Smith this Friday 12 April  at The Five Bells in Wickham.

ARK – Action for the River Kennet has been particularly busy at the moment, monitoring the impact of the rain on the River Lambourn and particularly the impact of sewage overflowing into this protected chalk stream. The latest River Lambourn water quality results are in and its volunteer WQ tester, Professor Michael Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Microbiology at UCL, describes the result of one million units of bacteria per ml as very high and very concerning for this fragile chalk stream, its wildlife and the local community of Lambourn too. You can view the interview with Prof Wilson on ITV here.

• Great Shefford residents are being asked to drive really carefully on station road and river way as there are currently a lot of mama ducks and ducklings popping out of hedges and casualties are very possible.

• If you are having a spring wardrobe clear out, please bag up your unwanted items and drop off at Great Shefford school. The PTFA will receive a donation per kilo of recycled textiles, and would be grateful for any bags dropped off at the Great Shefford school bike shelter from Monday 22 April.

• Rev Julie Mintern, is keen to advise all residents of a new course, ‘Living Well in The End Times’ which challenges one of the ultimate taboos – death. If you ever wondered about planning your own funeral, writing a will, making a good end to the story of your life, or the physical process of dying, then these classes may be for you. Questions can be discussed in a supportive, relaxed and friendly setting. Meetings are open to all and will take place weekly from 3pm to 4pm at 4 Newbury Street. The first session is on Wednesday 24 April. Over the weeks there will bea palliative care nurse, a lawyer and an undertaker who will each be available for questions. For further information email revjulie.mintern@lambournvalley.org or call 07749 844600.

• A month has passed since Shaun Reynolds lost his Whippet Willow to Alabama Rot, but her story has since helped raise an amazing £5,461 for the Alabama Rot Research Fund, he thanks anyone from the village who has donated or offered a friendly message and is thrilled to confirm that the Lambourn Sports Club has agreed to host a Whippet Racing event on Saturday 31 August to boost fundraising even further. Meanwhile Shaun received further publicity for his cause when he appeared on ITV News which you can see here.

• Now that Louise Wilkin and Lix Cox have stepped down from the Lambourn Festival and Carnival Committee after years of dedicated service, new people are needed to come forward and commit themselves to help if the village wants the Carnival to continue. The Committee is very friendly and meetings are informal. They welcome ideas for new events (and someone to put those ideas into action), and desperately need people with basic admin and/or computer experience to help with the administrative tasks. The next meetingis on Wednesday 17 April, at the Lambourn Sports Club at 7.30pm.

• Quick reminder about St Mary’s Church online auction of promises. Browse online here to see what’s on offer. And if you’d like to donate towards repairs of two stained glass windows in the church you can do so online here.

The Five Bells in Wickham invites you to celebrate Mexican food and culture on Thursday 18 April. The cuisine is incredibly diverse, with unique specialties and ingredients from each region. Head chef and owner Duncan Jones’ Mexican Night menu ranges from Yucatán’s coastal ceviche to the hearty grilled meats of the central highlands. Book your table at hello@fivebellswickham.co.uk or 01488 657300.

• Friends of Brightwalton are hosting a preloved sale to raise funds to refurbish and reinvigorate the Schools’ outdoor areas, with the installation of an outdoor learning area . You are invitedto come for an evening of shopping, a coffee and a browse on Thursday 18 April between 6pm and 9pm and Friday 19 April between 9am and 12pm.

• If you are aged 55 and over and interested in trying out something creative in the comfort of your own home why not sign up for the Ageing Creatively Home Artists Lambourn scheme? You collect your creative project bags from Lambourn Library or request a delivery to your home. Book through Corn Exchange Newbury website here.

• If you know anyone over 16 years old looking for a new career or skills and would like to find out about earning a living growing produce, check out the free FARMStart course at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. The next course starts on Saturday 4 May and runs over four Saturdays until the middle of July. Places are limited so book soon here.

• Spring is here – time to tidy the house and garage and say goodbye to all the clutter or grab a bargain at the East Garston Car Boot Sale on Garstonbury Field, between East Garston and Great Shefford on Sunday 21 April. Please take cash.

• 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 to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen any time. If you’d like to get involved in any way contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Water regarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

Thu 18 Apr East Garston Parish Council annual meeting, 7pm, Village Hall.

Thu 18 Apr Great Shefford Flood Scheme meeting, Great Shefford School.

• Thu 18 Apr Preloved Sale Brightwalton Primary

• Fri 19 Apr Preloved Sale Brightwalton Primary

Sun 21 Apr East Garston Car Boot Sale, Garstonbury Field, East Garston.

Sat 4 May World Labyrinth Day, East Garston

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Thu 30 May Newbury Dramatic Society presents Wessex & Hardy, St Mary’s Church Fawley

• Sat 29 Jun Lambourn Festi-hall Lambourn Sports Centre

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

Lambourn Friendship Cafe  last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free social meet up although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Brightwalton Youth Club’s Summer Term details here with free fruit, tuck shop, games and craft activities. Email brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for further information.

Pilates classes at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their website for dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: Thames Water; planning matters; streetlights; speeding; litter; parking; the Racing Committee; a leaking roof; the proposed 20mph limit; repairs and maintenance; the Library; D-Day; a new councillor; financial objectives; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Baydon Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 25 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: actions from the previous meeting; the Chair’s report; speeding; the litter pick; more defibrillators needed; the Clerk’s report; thefts of items from graves; repairs and maintenance; planning matters; financial matters; and the WW1 memorial clock.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; possible new play equipment; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; and the Chair’s resignation.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; dog-waste; a report form a ward member; the war memorial; planning matters; financial matters; and the parish assembly (22 May).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Chaddleworth and Great Shefford School’s PTFA; planning matters; financial matters; the village website; village maintenance; flooding; litter; and sports provision.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council, Baydon Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.
• Wiltshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes plots, a closure, an auction, Mexico and free fruit – plus Shefford’s flood alleviation meeting, SAGLUV’s consideration of a Thames Water document, a forthcoming newsletter and last call for grant applications.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include dance night and brunch. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Shefford’s flood meeting

As we mentioned last month, the finishing line for Shefford’s flood defence scheme seems finally to be in sight. The project has now been formally adopted by the Environment Agency – something that for many years seemed unlikely – and the EA is holding a public engagement event on Thursday 18 April at Great Shefford School Hall. The doors will open at 5.30pm and there’ll be presentation at 6pm which will be repeated at 7pm, with the event finishing about 8pm. This will be your opportunity to find out about the construction programme and any other questions you may have.

If you would like to get in touch about the permanent scheme, please email GreatSheffordFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Our last information is that the work is scheduled to start “in the spring” and that it will take “a few months.” The question should certainly be given a more precise answer by the time of the above-mentioned April meeting. Much depends on the weather and, in particular, the groundwater levels. These will have needed to have abated before the diggers move in. I understand that the pipes have already been bought by the EA so once the conditions are favourable there seems no reason to delay it. I imagine that they’ll want to crack on as soon as this happens as there’s no guarantee that another round of rainy weather won’t top up the aquifers again.

Huge congratulations are due to Steve Ackrill and many others who continued to press to have the project started, particular during the long pause from the EA’s end which followed the village having raised its contribution to the project way back in October 2019.

• East Garston’s annual parish meeting

This will take place on Thursday 18 April, 7pm for 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

As well as a review of the year’s events from the Chair (including an update on the sewage problems in the parish), the event will also have a brief presentation by a local photographer who’s keen to create a visual record of life in and around the village. This will also provide an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have of the councillors.

The Village Hall’s well stocked bar will be open before and after the event.

• SAGLUV

This acronym refers to the Sewage Action Group for the Lambourn Upper Valley and so far it’s doing exactly what it says on the label. The word “action” rather than “chat” – which is what such groups are, often unfairly, accused of– is key here. A week or so after its foundation it organised a meeting with two senior Thames Water staff. One of the actions was a document from TW detailing past and proposed future works in the area and this was duly received on 28 March. The next stage was for the members of the group to study it and frame a response.

A statement from the Group’s Chair, Martyn Wright, on 4 April said that “the SAGLUV Team is meeting on 5 April to agree its response to the Thames Water report of 28 March, following the meeting with the Executive Directors. We are seeing signs of increased TW action: some extra tanker activity, some blockages cleared, and some reduction of overflowing manholes. There are, however, several important matters that still need progressing.”

More news on this when we have it.

• 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.

• The Valley of the Racehorse

The next Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter will be published on Monday 8 April and will, as ever, provide the best round-up of what’s going on upper reaches of the Lambourn Valley. If there’s anything you’d like to contribute to this, please email penny@pennypost.org.uk as soon as possible.

• A new member

Lambourn Parish Council would like to extend a warm welcome to its newly co-opted member,  Jemma Marshall.  Jemma brings with her a wealth of racing experience, having ridden over 73 winners in her career.  Jemma works for Tom Ward Racing as head travelling person and is also the Chair for the National Association of Racing Staff (NARS) for Lambourn.

See the “News from your parish council” section below for a summary of and link to the meeting of Lambourn Parish Council on 3 April at which this co-option was confirmed.

• Other news

Julie Blogg reports great success at Lambourn’s Friendship Café last week. Thanks go to Claire Haydon for her help and to Angela Snelling  and Faye for the very delicious cakes and she looks forward to seeing you next month.

• There are currently eight plots available in Great Shefford Allotments. It is a great opportunity to grow enough vegetables for yourselves, family and friends, enjoy a great workout, plenty of fresh air, and the biggest bonus being that the veggies are so much tastier than supermarket produce.  If you are interested, more details (including the highly positive recent experiences of one member) can be found by clicking here.

• Baydon Road in Lambourn is currently closed between the junctions of Crowle Road and Parsonage Lane and expected to reopen on Monday 15 April. This is an emergency closure for Thames Water sewer repairs to collapsed pipework. All enquiries should be directed to Thames Water on 0800 316 9800. Please Note: There is no Blue Light access through this road closure. A plan of the closure can be found online here.

St Mary’s Church, Great Shefford has launched its first Spring online auction of promises. With lots of lovely items to bid on, browse online here to see what’s on offer. Thanks go to all the local businesses, friends and neighbours who have helped with promise donations. And if you’d like to donate towards repairs of two stained glass windows in the church you can do so online here.

The Five Bells in Wickham invites you to celebrate Mexican food and culture on Thursday 18 April. The cuisine is incredibly diverse, with unique specialties and ingredients from each region. Head chef and owner Duncan Jones’ Mexican Night menu ranges from Yucatán’s coastal ceviche to the hearty grilled meats of the central highlands. Book your table at hello@fivebellswickham.co.uk or 01488 657300.

• Check out the times and dates for Brightwalton Youth Club’s Summer Term online here with free fruit each session, tuck shop, games and craft activities. Email brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for further information.

• Friends of Brightwalton are hosting a preloved sale to raise funds to refurbish and reinvigorate the Schools’ outdoor areas, with the installation of an outdoor learning area . You are invited  to come for an evening of shopping, a coffee and a browse on Thursday 18 April between 6pm and 9pm and Friday 19 April between 9am and 12pm.   

A historical documentary has been shot in Lambourn’s St. Michael’s and All Angels Churchyard, about the pressures on local agricultural labourers when farmers brought in machines to replace them, that led to the Swing Riots in the early 1800s. The video features Lambourn resident John Carter who is buried there. Watch Paul Brodie’s film ‘Well I Never’ on youtube here.  

Denise Herrington thanks the bakers, tea makers and Great Shefford villagers for helping raise £200 towards maintaining parish churches over Easter.

• 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.

• If you are aged 55 and over and interested in trying out something creative in the comfort of your own home why not sign up for the Ageing Creatively Home Artists Lambourn scheme? You collect your creative project bags from Lambourn Library or request a delivery to your home. Book through Corn Exchange Newbury website here.

• If you know anyone over 16 years old looking for a new career or skills and would like to find out about earning a living growing produce, check out the free FARMStart course at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. The next course starts on Saturday 4 May and runs over four Saturdays until the middle of July. Places are limited so book soon here.

• The London Marathon is only weeks away and Lambourn local Wayne Burton is competing thanks to the support of Oaksey House and The Injured Jockey’s Fund. He has been training enthusiastically to push the marathon in his wheelchair, to raise funds for spinal research. To learn about his story and donate, click here .

• Spring is here – time to tidy the house and garage and say goodbye to all the clutter or grab a bargain at the East Garston Car Boot Sale on Garstonbury Field, between East Garston and Great Shefford on Sunday 21 April. Please take cash.

• Will Barker from East Garston is doing Tough Mudder on Saturday 6 April in aid of MIND. Please support him here.

• Quick reminder that subject to availability Lambourn Sports Club is offering all members the opportunity to enjoy free hall hire in March and April 2024. Please click here to see availability and book online, you will then be contacted to confirm.

• This is the best time to plant snowdrops and you can buy them now ‘in the green’ at a very good price from Shefford Snowdrops at The Malt House, Shefford RG17 7ED.

• In preparation for this summer’s activities at Lambourn Carnival, Cathy Brown  is keen for everyone to see the new schedule of categories so that everyone has time to prepare.

• 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 the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen any time. If you’d like to get involved in any way contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Water regarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 6 Apr Movie Music Clips Dancing Night Walwyn Hall.

• Thu 11 April Brightwalton Brunch Brightwalton Village Hall.

Thu 18 Apr East Garston Parish Council annual meeting, 7pm, Village Hall.

Thu 18 Apr Great Shefford Flood Scheme meeting, Great Shefford School.

• Thu 18 Apr Preloved Sale Brightwalton Primary

• Fri 19 Apr Preloved Sale Brightwalton Primary

Sun 21 Apr East Garston Car Boot Sale, Garstonbury Field, East Garston

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Thu 30 May Newbury Dramatic Society presents Wessex & Hardy, St Mary’s Church Fawley

• Sat 29 Jun Lambourn Festi-hall Lambourn Sports Centre

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

Lambourn Friendship Cafe  last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free social meet up although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 April and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: Thames Water; planning matters; streetlights; speeding; litter; parking; the Racing Committee; a leaking roof; the proposed 20mph limit; repairs and maintenance; the Library; D-Day; a new councillor; financial objectives; and financial matters.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; possible new play equipment; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; and the Chair’s resignation.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; dog-waste; a report form a ward member; the war memorial; planning matters; financial matters; and the parish assembly (22 May).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: Chaddleworth and Great Shefford School’s PTFA; planning matters; financial matters; the village website; village maintenance; flooding; litter; and sports provision.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 28 March 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes music, donations, tea, clutter, hall hire, art and  and eggs.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include Easter fun and movie night/matinee. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Sewage action

We reported earlier this month that two new groups had been set up in the Lambourn Valley. One of these, the Sewage Action Group for the Lambourn Upper Valley (SAGLUV) was the result of the Chairs of the Parish Councils of Great Shefford, East Garston and Lambourn coming together, with the two ward members and a few others, to address these issues. “Our prime objective,” a statement said, “is to secure clear sewers and a clean river; and our prime target is Thames Water.”

On 28 March, we received the following statement from the SAGLUV Chair, Martyn Wright:

“This morning’s announcement, that Thames Water has failed to secure the ongoing funding it needs, is depressing. Inevitably, it reinforces the belief that TW are struggling to fund the infrastructure improvements, and immediate mitigation work, that is needed across the whole area of their responsibility.

“We received from TW today a comprehensive report following our meeting on 21 March. The SAGLUV team will need some time to digest it before we can comment fully and respond to TW. The report contains a full update of work completed, and headlines of future planned work. However, we acknowledge the urgency of addressing the current sewage problems and will be evaluating TW’s report in that light. Further discussions will be required to ensure they effectively address the identified needs.”

• The Valley of the Racehorse

The next Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter will be published on Monday 8 April and will, as ever, provide the best round-up of what’s going on upper reaches of the Lambourn Valley. If there’s anything you’d like to contribute to this, please email penny@pennypost.org.uk as soon as possible.

• Other news

The augmented choir of St. Michael and All Angels’ Church welcome all to its 29th concert on Good Friday 29 March at 7.30pm. This year they are performing works by two composers who died 100 years ago, Fauré and Stanford. The Lambourn Good Friday Concert is a real opportunity to start your Easter weekend uplifted.

Lambourn Parish Council invites all residents to the Full Council meeting on Wednesday 3 April at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.  Agenda items include: Street lighting project, Thames Water meeting update, parking issues in Lambourn including meter installation, Gulley and ditch maintenance for flood prevention and the 80th anniversary of D-Day celebrations.

• 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.

• If you are aged 55 and over and interested in trying out something creative in the comfort of your own home why not sign up for the Ageing Creatively Home Artists Lambourn scheme? You collect your creative project bags from Lambourn Library or request a delivery to your home. Book through Corn Exchange Newbury website here.

• St Mary’s Church in Fawley is offering something different on Easter Saturday 30 March. Gather around a fire with a bowl of chilli and wait for the sun to set and the Easter celebrations to begin. The new Pascal candles, for each of the 6 parishes in the West Downland Benefice will be lit from the fire, and carried into church to celebrate the resurrection.

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 our wonderful community of volunteers, please get in touch here.

• Despite the Duck Derby being postponed, wonderful Easter tea and cakes will be available at the Great Shefford Village Hall on Saturday 30 March. Bring along your Easter bonnet, your friends and family. Any cake donations much appreciated.

• If you’re looking to entertain the kids over the Easter holidays grab a map at the village shop on The Mead and join in the Great Shefford Easter Egg Hunt in aid of new play equipment at the village school. Don’t forget to post your entries at the end of the trail and collect a scruffy Easter treat.

• The Lambourn Junction is currently requesting donations of food for local residents in need, specifically dried noodles, baked beans, tinnned spaghetti, biscuits and tinned soup. They are open on Saturday 30 March from 11 am to 1pm, closed on Easter Monday (with no deliveries) and open again on Wednesday 3 April. If you require further information please call Julie on 07840 780345.

• If you know anyone over 16 years old looking for a new career or skills and would like to find out about earning a living growing produce, check out the free FARMStart course at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. The next course starts on Saturday 4 May and runs over four Saturdays until the middle of July. Places are limited so book soon here.

• The London Marathon is just under five weeks away and Lambourn local Wayne Burton is competing thanks to the support of Oaksey House and The Injured Jockey’s Fund. He has been training enthusiastically to push the marathon in his wheelchair, to raise funds for spinal research. To learn about his story and donate, click here .

• Spring is here – time to tidy the house and garage and say goodbye to all the clutter or grab a bargain at the East Garston Car Boot Sale on Garstonbury Field, between East Garston and Great Shefford on Sunday 21 April. Please take cash.

• Don’t forget that The Gardening Swap Station is now officially open for 2024 in the porch of 8 Bockhampton Road. See the Lambourn Growers facebook group for details.

• After the vandalism of two stained glass windows in St Mary’s church porch in Great Shefford, the church has established that it can claim on insurance but has to pay the £250 excess. If you would like to make a donation to cover this cost, you can now do so online here.

• Will Barker from East Garston is doing Tough Mudder on Saturday 6 April in aid of MIND. Please support him here.

Shaun Reynolds from Lambourn is still actively raising funds in memory of his whippet Willow and you can donate to Alabama Rot Research here.

• Quick reminder that subject to availability Lambourn Sports Club is offering all members the opportunity to enjoy free hall hire in March and April 2024. Please click here to see availability and book online, you will then be contacted to confirm.

• This is the best time to plant snowdrops and you can buy them now ‘in the green’ at a very good price from Shefford Snowdrops at The Malt House, Shefford RG17 7ED.

• In preparation for this summer’s activities at Lambourn Carnival, Cathy Brown  is keen for everyone to see the new schedule of categories so that everyone has time to prepare.

• 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 the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen any time. If you’d like to get involved in any way contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Water regarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

Fri 29 Mar Easter Fun, Egg Hunt & Crafts, Trindledown, Great Shefford.

• Fri 29 Mar Lambourn Open Day CANCELLED

• Sat 30 Mar Easter Tea and Cake, Great Shefford Village Hall

• Tue 2 Apr Film Night (& matinee) The Whale, East Garston.

• Sat 6 Apr Movie Music Clips Dancing Night Walwyn Hall.

• Thu 11 April Brightwalton Brunch Brightwalton Village Hall.

Sun 21 Apr East Garston Car Boot Sale, Garstonbury Field, East Garston

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Sat 29 Jun Lambourn Festi-hall Lambourn Sports Centre

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

Lambourn Friendship Cafe  last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free social meet up although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: flooding; the Chair’s report; the street lighting project; speeding; litter;  parking; the racing community; a tree survey; the 20mph speed limit plan; Rooksnest Estates; financial matters; and grants.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; possible new play equipment; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; and the Chair’s resignation.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: speeding; dog-waste; a report form a ward member; the war memorial; planning matters; financial matters; and the parish assembly (22 May).
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 3 March and you can read the minutes here. items covered included: Chaddleworth and Great Shefford School’s PTFA; planning matters; financial matters; the village website; village maintenance; flooding; litter; and sports provision.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 21 March 2024

Gremlin 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 a cancellation, a closure, snowdrops, a whippet and stained glass – plus a look at the damaging effects of motorway run-off on the already challenged River Lambourn, the first meeting of the new sewage group produces some results and a proposed new racing yard in Lambourn.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include Lent lunch and Easter fun. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• A toxic cocktail

On 2 February, the BBC published an article about investigations by Charlotte Hitchmough from Action for the River Kennet (ARK) into the water that runs off from the M4 and ends up in the SAC and SSSI-protected River Lambourn, which it crosses at Easton. The Environment Agency (EA) doesn’t regularly monitor this pollution source but did do some testing up-and downstream of the ingress point, as did ARK.

There were, Charlotte Hitchmough explained, some “really scary pollutants in there – things like arsenic, lots of heavy metals, lots of things from oil, microplastics from tyres. We can be sure that the road is having a really negative effect on the ecology of this river.” This is one issue that can’t be laid at the door of Thames Water: Highways England (HE) is responsible for this.

I spoke to Charlotte Hitchmough about this on 20 March to see what had happened since then. Depressingly little, it appears. Despite being asked by the EA to sort the problem out, HE eventually said that it didn’t regard it as a high-priority problem and the EA decided not to push the matter. This rather makes one wonder what the purpose of a regulator is.

She also drew my attention to an excellent article published by the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and Stormwater Shepherds. This refers to “a quirk in the application of the Environmental Quality Standards Directive [which means that] no-one measures the level of these pollutants downstream of road crossings.” It also gloomily suggested that perhaps “this problem has been firmly lodged in the too-hard box for too long and no one wants to take it out.”

High time it was, for the issue is every bit as serious as that of sewage and slurry. At least with these two you can often see or smell the harmful results. With road run-off, you can’t.

CIWEM says that it will soon be publishing a report looking at the issue and suggesting a number of solutions, which will range from better management of the existing infrastructure to the creation of nature-based mitigation measures reed beds. (The matter should also be being addressed in the government’s updated National Chemical Strategy, when that finally appears). It recognises, however, that all of this comes with a huge price tag.

The problem, as we’re discovering with so many things, is that important decisions that seemed sensible or acceptable at the time are now realised to be anything but. I don’t know what environmental standards prevailed when the M4 was built in the 1970s, but I suspect that the Lambourn was seen as little more than a convenient ready-made ditch for dealing with the immediate problem of getting the water off the motorway. That’s certainly how it’s been treated since.

It’s now clear that the infrastructure was in many cases built in the wrong way. It’s as if every house in the country was designed to have its sewage outlet going into the bath and millions were built that way before it was realised that this wasn’t a great idea.

A new approach is now being promoted by the Sustainable Solutions for Water and Nature (SSWAN) – this article has more than its fair share of acronyms – which would “shift regulation towards catchment-based approaches to support cheaper, more innovative, more collaborative projects that more accurately reflect local priorities.” The precondition for this, Charlotte Hitchmough stressed, was a thorough survey of the entire water management system – natural, man-made, fresh, foul, run-off: the lot – of the catchment area.

This would involve Thames Water, the EA, the lead flood authority (WBC in this case), parish councils and local experts, and charities, pressure groups and rivers trusts such as ARK. Everyone would need to embark on the exercise in a sprit of co-operation and transparency that has not always been a feature of such discussions. The aim would have to be not to rake over past failures or broken promises but to arrive at a complete understanding of where all the water came from and where it went.

Only then can solutions be found and implemented. And this is just for one area: the exercise would need to replicated hundreds of time across the country so some common standards would need to be imposed, desired outcomes and timescales specified and a way found of sharing best practice.

In the Lambourn Valley, two groups which have recently been set up are already working towards a similar goal. These are, however, purely local initiatives and are basically adversarial to Thames Water, the EA and the government. That’s what’s needed now: but the trick will be to get everyone involved on board and pulling in the same direction.

To accomplish this will be a truly formidable undertaking. One obvious criticism would be that, certainly at the start, there would be little in the way of practical results and so the whole thing could be dismissed as a cash-hungry talking shop. A piecemeal approach would, however, be both less effective and more expensive. In the current financial climate, no government will want to pump money into a scheme that promises no positive results by the time the next election comes round. However, the increasing public disquiet about the state of our broken water-management system suggests that a real effort to find a solution could be a vote-winner. That alone might be enough to move it up the agenda.

Pressure might also come from another direction. If individuals or organisations start bringing legal claims for damage to property or health caused by the negligence of one or more of the responsible bodies, and if the ensuring press coverage was sufficiently negative and the damages sufficiently high, it would soon become clear than doing nothing was actually the more expensive option.

The politicians, company directors and regulators have had three decades of trying to grapple with these issues, without any conspicuous success. Perhaps now is the time has now come for the lawyers and accountants to emerge as the unlikely saviours.

• A water meeting

An so back to Thames water…

I mentioned last week that two new groups had been set up in the Lambourn Valley to try to deal with the immediate and longer-term consequences os the sewage problems. On 21 March, one of these (the provisionally named Sewage Action Group for the Upper Lambourn Valley, or SAGLUV) had a two-and-a-half-hour meeting with Tess Fayers, TW’s Operations Directory for the Home Counties and Richard Aylard, TW’s External Affairs ands Sustainability Director.

The discussions were described as “very useful” but one of the participants. The main problem areas across the three parishes were identified and it was agreed that work on these would be prioritised. Another ATAC unit (location TBC) and more tankers were discussed. Finally, a report from TW was promised within the next few days which would describe the current issues and work in the area and the likely solutions.

A few hours after the meeting, Chair Martyn Wright stressed that “SAGLUV hasn’t wasted any time in getting started” and pointed out that, given the seniority of the TW attendees (both of whom report to the CEO), it “had decision-makers at the table.” He also stressed that there were “robust discussions” and that TW is not – if, in recent times it ever was – “under any illusion as to the seriousness of our situation and to our absolute determination to achieve speedy resolution to the difficulties we are facing.” He added there was much work still be done but that SAGLUV was “cautiously optimistic” about the progress that had been made thus far.

This seems a pretty impressive return from a group that was only formed a week or so ago. A more detailed report will provided as soon as possible

• A possible new racing yard

The Jockey Club Estates currently has two planning applications awaiting determination, both at land adjacent To Whitehouse Farm Upper Lambourn. The details are as follows:

23/02944/RESMAJ. “Application for Approval of Reserved Matters following Outline Approval 19/03161/OUTMAJ – Outline application for two racehorse training yards. Matters to be considered: Access, Landscaping and Scale. (Layout and Appearance for Large Site (Phase A) Equestrian Works Only).”

23/02941/RESMAJ. “Approval of reserved matters following Outline Permission 19/03161/OUTMAJ – Outline application for two racehorse training yards. Matters to be considered: Access, Landscaping and Scale. Matters seeking consent: Appearance and Layout for Small Site (Phase B) Rural Worker Residential Units only.”

This is by far the most important industry in the area and needs to expand and adapt in order to survive and thrive.

There are, however, concerns. One of these relates to the implications of the removal of the ten-bed hostel from the scheme. Vicky Rieunier (writing in a personal capacity) concluded her letter by saying that she objected to the removal of the hostel because of:

  • “The impact on the community – particularly those on low income who rely on such accommodation options;
  • The lack of alternative accommodation – preserving the hostel as a vital resource for this demographic;
  • Preservation of affordable housing – racing staff are essential to the industry and providing them with affordable accommodation could contribute to its sustainability and growth.”

Hopefully a compromise can be found.

I spoke to Will Riggall from the Jockey Club Estates. He encouraged anyone who had any questions about the application to get in touch with him and he’d do his best to answer them. His details can be found here.

• Other news

Melanie Martin is pleased to announce that The Swap Station is now officially open for 2024 in the porch of 8 Bockhampton Rd. Please remember to label all plants please and assume everyone else coming to the Swap Station has never grown anything. Swap to your heart’s content and if there’s something you would like and have nothing to swap, just drop a donation in the Bear’s basket.

• After the vandalism of two stained glass windows in St Mary’s church porch in Great Shefford, the church has established that it can claim on insurance but has to pay the £250 excess. If you would like to make a donation to cover this cost, you can now do so online here.

• Will Barker from East Garston is doing Tough Mudder on Saturday 6 April in aid of MIND. Please support him here.

• Roy Bailey reports that Butts Brewery were given notice to quit some months ago by the Northfield Farm Industrial Estate in Great Shefford. The owner Chris Butt, who has been brewing organically there since 1994, has been unable to find alternative premises, so has decided to call it a day. The good news is that Chris is going to have some of his brews produced under contract by Cheddar Ales and he will deliver them back up to us here in due course.

• Trindledown’s NAWT Easter Auction is now live until Monday 25 March. Please read the auction rules  carefully before placing a bid, to avoid any confusion or disappointment. You can find the full Easter auction lots here.

• The Lambourn Valley has been overwhelmed with an exceptionally wet spring, with no immediate improvement forecast.  The mood has been understandably gloomy, and the latest casualty in the chaos is the 2024 Peter O’Sullevan Lambourn Open Day has been cancelled. The Committee explained that they “bitterly regret that they have no alternative but to cancel the event on Good Friday 29 March, due to either flooded or unusable car parks”. Given the sewage situation by the Fire Station the village is hardly looking at its best right now so at least visitors will be spared that experience. A full refund of all purchased tickets will be made. There is no need to apply, but refunds will take a while to sort out, so please be patient. The Silent Auction will still go ahead and can be accessed here. For any further info contact Mark Smyly smyly@breathemail.net.

Shaun Reynolds from Lambourn held his first fundraiser in memory of his whippet Willow at Oxford Stadium last night. Willow who lost her battle with suspected Alabama Rot recently and raised a super £391.81, taking the total to £4,361.81. The next fundraising event will be confirmed in the coming weeks . In the meantime you can donate to Alabama Rot Research here.

• Quick reminder that subject to availability Lambourn Sports Club is offering all members the opportunity to enjoy free hall hire in March and April 2024. Please click here to see availability and book online, you will then be contacted to confirm.

• For those incensed by the endless overflowing manhole covers, sewage issues and the response by Thames Water, Christian Noll has set up a petition on change.org that villagers can sign here.

The Five Bells in Wickham invites you to their Alpine Supper Club on Wednesday 27 March with a hearty seasonal menu inspired by the magic of the Alps. As they say in the Alps: ‘Essen, trinken, und gute Freunde machen das Herz glücklich!’ – Eating, drinking, and good friends make the heart happy! Due to limited availability, pre-booking is required on 01488 657300 or  hello@fivebellswickham.co.uk.

• Antonia Roskill is running the London Marathon in aid of Thames Valley Air Ambulance and has also organised a fundraising Quiz and Curry Night at The Queens Arms in East Garston on Wednesday 27 March. Book your tickets with antonia@honourandpop.co.uk or donate to her JustGiving page here.

• If you know anyone over 16 years old looking for a new career or skills and would like to find out about earning a living growing produce, check out the free FARMStart course at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. The next course starts on Saturday 4 May and runs over four Saturdays until the middle of July.

• This is the best time to plant snowdrops and you can buy them now ‘in the green’ at a very good price from Shefford Snowdrops at The Malt House, Shefford RG17 7ED.

Sign up now to take part in the Great Shefford Sports & Social Club Competitions including bar billiards, darts, pool, snooker and table bowls. They are free to enter and free to play and entry closes on Sunday 10 March. Let the games begin…

• In preparation for this summer’s activities at Lambourn Carnival, Cathy Brown  is keen for everyone to see the new schedule of categories so that everyone has time to prepare.

• 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 the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen any time. If you’d like to get involved in any way contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Water regarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 22 Mar Steve Welsh Wheelwright Arms

• Sat 23 Mar Easter Card Making, Lambourn Library

Tue 26 Mar Easter Floral Evening, Baydon School Hall

Thu 28 Mar Easter Fun, Egg Hunt & Crafts, Trindledown, Great Shefford.

Fri 29 Mar Easter Fun, Egg Hunt & Crafts, Trindledown, Great Shefford.

• Fri 29 Mar Lambourn Open Day CANCELLED

• Sat 30 Mar Easter Tea and Cake, Great Shefford Village Hall

• Tue 2 Apr Film Night (& matinee) The Whale, East Garston.

• Sat 6 Apr Movie Music Clips Dancing Night Walwyn Hall.

• Thu 11 April Brightwalton Brunch Brightwalton Village Hall.

Sun 21 Apr East Garston Car Boot Sale, Garstonbury Field, East Garston

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

Lambourn Friendship Cafe  last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free social meet up although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: flooding; the Chair’s report; the street lighting project; speeding; litter;  parking; the racing community; a tree survey; the 20mph speed limit plan; Rooksnest Estates; financial matters; and grants.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can download the minutes here.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 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 and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 2 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

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 a farewell, music, trees, hedges, supper and hall hire – plus a look at three topical watery issues, bus trips, why you got last weekend’s Valley of the Racehorse newsletter twice and a successful preview night in East Garston.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include Lent lunch and Easter fun. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Bus trips

The Lambourn Community Bus that does the weekly Wednesday round-trip to Wantage is excited to announce four upcoming day excursions a bit further afield:

Wed 27 March: Didcot Shopping, leaving Lambourn at 9am and returning at 1pm, £8.50.
Fri 17 May: Thatcham Garden Centre, leaving at 9am returning at 1pm, £8.50.
Fri 16 August: Weston Super Mare, leaving at 9am and returning at 6pm, £22.
Thu 21 November: Christmas Shopping to Southampton, leaving at 9am and returning at 6pm, £22.

To book please call Lorraine on 07796 510042 or Julie on 07840 780345. Don’t forget to support the bus with its trip every Wednesday trip to Wantage leaving at 9am and returning at 1pm.

• Dirty water

Sadly, no coverage of the Lambourn Valley can avoid the S-word, sewage still being a feature of live not only in the upper reaches but also right the way down to the SSI chalk stream’s confluence with the Kennet. There are three main matters to pick out.

  • The first is a letter which was recently sent by Thames Water to local parish councils and other groups with the request that it be distributed. This we have done: and also took the opportunity to make some comments on the communiqué and to add some statistics and other points that seemed relevant. You can read this here.
  • The second is an article about two new groups which. have recently emerged in the area to try to address the sewage and pollution problem. This quotes their general aims and ambitions and explains how these are related but also quite distinct entities. You can read this here.
  • The third is a petition that has recently been launched by Lambourn.org. “Enough is enough,” the summary starts. “The problem has not been fixed and residents of Lambourn are fed up with sewage on their streets.” You can read the full article and sign the petition here.

• The Valley’s newsletter

Last Saturday, we published the March Valley of the Racehorse newsletter, covering the area bounded by Members, Shefford Woodlands, Shefford and Upper Lambourn. We were forced to send it again on Monday as the gremlins that have been infesting our website pretty much closed the whole thing down over the weekend so no one was able to click through to any of the links. Click here to read it if you didn’t get it.

Please send any contributions for the April issue to penny@pennypost.org.uk by the end of this month.

• Cheltenham tips

There are a number of events that you can always pretty much guarantee will be successful. For example, a racing-festival preview night in this racing-friendly part of the world featuring a number of well known local racing figures taking place in a comfortable hall with a well-stocked bar and following a tried and tested format makes for an excellent start. Add to this the organiser’s well-honed skills as a raffle-prize obtainer and auctioneer and a good result is pretty much nailed on.

So it proved to be at the recent Cheltenham Preview night at East Garston Village Hall, organised and hosted by Ed James from Sporting Agenda and Wimbledon Debenture Tickets. As ever, there were some some lively discussion and opinions with the 80-odd attendees leaving, if not in all cases completely steady on their feet, then certainly a bit the wiser as to what the Festival might bring. An excellent evening once again and many thanks from the Trustees for all those who helped out on the night and donated the prizes.

As for the takings, in all the event pulled in around £1,650. Some of the proceeds will go to the Injured Jockeys’ Fund which has since its foundation in 1964 helped thousands of jockeys and their families. The rest will  towards the running and maintenance costs of the East Garston Hall and Social Club. It’s one of the best used, best equipped and best maintained village halls in the area and depends on events such as this for its continued survival.

There’s another aspect to all of this, of course: some of those who were there might make a few quid on the tips they picked up from the experts. You need some form? Two of the panelists, Jamie Snowden and Colin Brown, were joint winners of the tipsters tipping competition, both having successfully picked You Wear it Well to win at 16-1 last year.

Despite the headline, I’m afraid that I don’t have any tips for you (not that, from me, they’d be worth much). However, if you missed the East Garston event (and even if you didn’t), Chris Carter Brennan and Colin Brown offered their own thoughts and predictions on 4 LEGS Radio on 8 March. If you absorb all the wisdom form these two sets of insights, you should have been well set up for a successful Festival. And if not: well, there’s always next year…

• Other news

• Lambourn Parish Council have arranged an opportunity to say goodbye to long-term veg stallholders, Heather and Chris, on Friday 15 March on the Market Square at 12.30pm . The LPC will formally thank them for their 38 years of service and present them with a token of their thanks. Collection boxes will be available for residents’ personal contributions.

• For those incensed by the endless overflowing manhole covers, sewage issues and the response by Thames Water, Christian Noll has set up a petition on change.org that villagers can sign here.

• All welcome at a simple Lent Lunch and a chat in Great Shefford Village Hall on Friday 15 March from 12.30pm. See details from Denise Harrington here.

• Trindledown National Animal Welfare Trust Berkshire requests easter egg donations for their upcoming Easter Auction to help raise money for the centre and the animals under their care. You can either drop off at the centre or order them through their Wishlist on Amazon here.

• This Saturday 16 March, enjoy choral music from Vivaldi to James Bond in aid of The Downland Volunteer Group from Cantemus at Brightwalton Church. Email Brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for tickets and please note that The Downlands Volunteer Group are available on the night if you need transport to and/or from the concert.

• Last year, Dr Mike Pringle from the Richard Jefferies Museum in Swindon gave a talk at the Green Weekend in Eastbury Church that was so popular that Friends of Lambourn Library have invited him back.  His talk is titled A World Without Wildlife (a word coined by Jefferies 150 years ago) on Wednesday 20 March at 7.30pm. See more details and how to book here.

• Residents will have noticed Lambourn Parish Council has embarked on the final stretch of the street lighting upgrade project this week to enhance the illumination of village streets at night time.

• Lambourn Parish Council would also like to hear about any trees or hedgerows in the Parish of Lambourn which you consider to be of particular note, or contribute to the street scene. Clear identification (photos, maps or written directions, perhaps with an explanation of why the trees or hedges are special) is needed, so that they can be included in the Lambourn Development Plan. See more details here.

• Our local 4LEGS Community Radio broadcasts every Friday and also Saturday mornings. Visit 4legsradio.org.uk to listen to previous shows again or find out what’s coming up. Most of the presenters and guests are from the valley, and it’s a very friendly team. So if you’d like to get involved in any way please contact Chris Capel on 4legsradio@gmail.com. Chris is also very grateful for any financial donations which will be matched by Greenham Trust here to help cover the overheads of the studio in Eastbury.

The Five Bells in Wickham invites you to their Alpine Supper Club on Wednesday 27 March with a hearty seasonal menu inspired by the magic of the Alps. As they say in the Alps: ‘Essen, trinken, und gute Freunde machen das Herz glücklich!’ – Eating, drinking, and good friends make the heart happy! Due to limited availability, pre-booking is required on 01488 657300 or  hello@fivebellswickham.co.uk.

• Antonia Roskill is running the London Marathon in aid of Thames Valley Air Ambulance and has also organised a fundraising Quiz and Curry Night at The Queens Arms in East Garston on Wednesday 27 March. Book your tickets with antonia@honourandpop.co.uk or donate to her JustGiving page here.

• Subject to availability Lambourn Sports Club is offering all members the opportunity to enjoy free hall hire in March and April 2024. Please click here to see availability and book online, you will then be contacted to confirm.

Goose Green in Lambourn will be closed from Monday 18 March to Wednesday 20 March, between its junction with Big Lane and its junction with Walkers Lane, for Thames Water to carry out maintenance and repair works. The diversion route is expected to be via Walkers Lane, Oxford St and The Broadway, and vice versa. Residential access will be maintained throughout, and the diversion will be signed on site. A plan of the closure can be found here.

• If you know anyone over 16 years old looking for a new career or skills and would like to find out about earning a living growing produce, check out the free FARMStart course at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. The next course starts on Saturday 4 May and runs over four Saturdays until the middle of July.

• Great Shefford Ladies are excited to announce their first event for 2024 on Wednesday 27 March at 7.30pm at the Village Hall for their Seed Sowing and Seed Swap . Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a complete beginner, enjoy an evening of seed swapping and planting, with lots of opportunities to learn gardening tips.

Enjoy an Easter Floral Evening, making a choice of two floral arrangements, to support Friends of Baydon Primary Schoolon Tuesday 26 March. Tickets from school reception or email FOBS@baydon-stnicholas.wilts.sch.uk.

• This is the best time to plant snowdrops and you can buy them now ‘in the green’ at a very good price from Shefford Snowdrops at The Malt House, Shefford RG17 7ED.

•  Melanie Martin will be reopening The Plant Swap Station in her porch at 8 Bockhampton Rd soon. Check out the Lambourn Growers facebook group for any updates. As always everything growing-related is welcome. Please label plants with where (house, garden, greenhouse) the plant should go as well as its name (doesn’t need to be its Latin name, just what you call it).

Sign up now to take part in the Great Shefford Sports & Social Club Competitions including bar billiards, darts, pool, snooker and table bowls. They are free to enter and free to play and entry closes on Sunday 10 March. Let the games begin…

Great Shefford’s Easter Saturday tea and cake will still go ahead in the village hall but the traditional Duck Derby needs to be rescheduled can be rescheduled for later in the year as the river is too high and fast-flowing and the field is water-logged.

• The Lambourn Junction, in association with Age UK, is bringing the Lambourn Friendship Cafe  to the community, on the last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free service, to meet up and share time with friends, although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

Great Shefford PTA  is hoping to raise enough money to fund a First Aid skills course for children, helping them to build confidence in taking care of themselves and others in the community. The costs for training is approximately £4 per child, and they would be grateful for any donations villagers might wish to make in support of this: to make a £2 donation click here; to make a £5 donation click here; to make a £10 donation click here.

Charmaine Bushnell  is looking for some local musicians or entertainers, maybe retired or semi-retired, willing to volunteer their services to a local care home who have no funding for entertainment. Magicians, puppeteers, or singers, all are welcome. Please contact Charmaine via facebook to express an interest and learn more details.

• In preparation for this summer’s activities at Lambourn Carnival, Cathy Brown  is keen for everyone to see the new schedule of categories so that everyone has time to prepare.

• Don’t forget to check out the new health and wellbeing initiative launched by MOVEability at the Lambourn Centre on Fridays at 2pm, offering weekly seated exercise classes, with a social cuppa afterwards. Call Debbie on 0330 133 1488 or email info@moveability.org.uk.

Trindledown NAWT Berkshire, is still appealing for help to reach its goal of £20.000 to cover the cost of recent flood damage. It will be holding duck races in the near future, with some fabulous prizes, but should you want to donate directly please visit their Just Giving page 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.

Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society is busy planning for its 50th Spring Country Show on Sunday 5 May. It had to make the hard decision to cancel last year’s show due to waterlogged ground conditions and is now taking entries for vintage machinery exhibits. See here for entry form.

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 Rural Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications for funding to micro and small businesses in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

Textile, clothes and shoes recycling facility next to Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails about sewage and flooding. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Please  report any problems to Thames Water regarding flood and sewage issues. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 15 Mar Lent Lunch Great Shefford Village Hall

• Wed 20 Mar Friends of Lambourn Library talk: A World Without Wildlife by Dr Pringle from the Richard Jefferies Museum

• Wed 27 Mar Seed sowing and seed swap, Great Shefford Village Hall.

Thu 28 Mar Easter Fun, Egg Hunt & Crafts, Trindledown, Great Shefford.

Fri 29 Mar Easter Fun, Egg Hunt & Crafts, Trindledown, Great Shefford.

• Fri 29 MaLambourn Open Day

• Tue 2 Apr Film Night (& matinee) The Whale, East Garston.

• Sat 6 Apr Movie Music Clips Dancing Night Walwyn Hall.

• Thu 11 April Brightwalton Brunch Brightwalton Village Hall.

Sun 21 Apr East Garston Car Boot Sale, Garstonbury Field, East Garston

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 March and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: flooding; the Chair’s report; the street lighting project; speeding; litter;  parking; the racing community; a tree survey; the 20mph speed limit plan; Rooksnest Estates; financial matters; and grants.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; a commendation for Maureen Velvick; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; the draft budget and the precept (raised by £500 to £10,500); the millennium field; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 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 and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

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 hall hire, carnival support, seeds, Easter and growing your own – plus two distinct but related flood and pollution initiatives, poo on the news and a look in the Lambourn ward member’s in-box.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include a preview and a Lent lunch. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Three parish councils join forces

The following announcement was received from Martin Wright of the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum (EGFPF) on 7 March 2024.

“It’s well known that there are significant problems with sewage throughout the Lambourn Valley. The villages of Great Shefford, East Garston, Eastbury, Lambourn and Upper Lambourn, (for ease of description, the Upper Lambourn Valley) all suffer from sewer flooding by groundwater infiltration and all are in the catchment of the East Shefford Sewage Treatment Works. Thames Water treats this catchment as a discreet area with its own Groundwater Management Plan.

“Many people, for many years, have been trying to tackle Thames Water in an attempt to bring about some improvement. The Lambourn Valley Flood Forum has been making strong representation:however, as the name suggests, the LVFF’s main focus has been on flooding issues. It is now felt that a more concentrated and co-ordinated effort is needed to resolve sewage problems in our specific part of the Valley that ties in with TW’s East Shefford STW Management Plan.

“The Chairs of the Parish Councils of Great Shefford, East Garston, and Eastbury, Lambourn and Upper Lambourn, have come together to form a Sewage Action Group for the Upper Lambourn Valley. Our prime objective is to secure clear sewers and a clean river; and our prime target is Thames Water.

“Martyn Wright of the EGFPF has agreed to chair the group which will also be supported by the area’s District Councillors, Clive Hooker and Howard Wollaston. We will be inviting a small number of committed individuals, with specific knowledge and experience from each parish, to join the group to gather evidence of sewage problems, in order to present the strongest possible case to TW, the Environment Agency and other relevant organisations.

“There are no quick fixes and we have to be realistic in what we can, and cannot, achieve with TW in such a precarious financial state, however, we are determined to try!

“We will keep you updated, and seek your feedback, as the campaign develops.”

This is a quite distinct initiative from the one to which Howard Woollaston refers in his latest ward update (see also the section below). The latter will be looking at the whole Lambourn, from source to confluence, and seeking to gather evidence about the challenges the river faces and using this to lobby the usual suspects for action. The Sewage Action Group is exclusively concerned with the area down to Shefford. To be most effective, these groups (and other hyper-local ones which already exist or may do in the future) will share information and support each other’s work. We look forward to reporting on how both of these develop.

Finally, I’ve mentioned before that you can tell a lot about how well a state monopoly or its regulator are doing by how many pressure or lobbying groups are established. The fact that it’s now felt that there need to be two more just in the Lambourn Valley tells its own story. Both are, in their different but complementary ways, working to try to redress a decades-old failure that has recently become a increasingly pressing public concern.

• Local poo in national news

If proof were needed as to how much such groups are needed, this week our sewage problems in the valley have made both ITV News and inews.com – let’s hope such coverage puts more pressure on Thames Water to find a solution…

• Great Shefford’s flood scheme

On 7 March 2024 we received an update for the Environment Agency about this scheme.

The spokesperson confirmed that planning permission had been granted on 29 January and the details can be seen here.

During the third week of February, The Environment Agency reported that it carried out treeworks along the track. This included removing one tree which was needed to be done prior to bird-nesting season. As per the planning application, there is a full planting scheme, including new hedging, which will be in place along the farm track once the pipeline and new channel have been constructed.

The EA has also put in four new temporary boreholes in the field alongside the A338 Wantage Road. These will be useful over the next few weeks to allow the EA to closely track when the groundwater levels start to fall (which is likely to be when the plants start to grow). The construction of the permanent works will be programmed in accordingly sometime later this spring.

Please save the date for the EA’s public engagement event on Thursday 18 April 2024. This will be in the early evening in the Shefford School hall (with kind thanks to the school for hosting us). This will be your opportunity to find out about the construction programme and any other questions you may have. If you would like to get in touch about the permanent scheme, please email GreatSheffordFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk.

As for the date when the works will start, the best estimate so far is that this will happen “in the spring” and the the work will take “a few months.”. The question should certainly be given a more precise answer by the time of the above-mentioned April meeting.

Please see this separate post for a timeline of the work of the Great Shefford Flood Alleviation Association since it was first set up in 2017. Huge congratulations are due to Steve Ackrill and many others who continued to press to have the project started, particular during the long pause from the EA’s end which followed the village having raised its contribution to the project way back in October 2019. It’s not quite a done deal yet but, at last, the end seems to be in sight.

• A ward member’s in-box

The February/March ward update from Lambourn’s District Councillor Howard Woollaston can be read here: so too can all his previous updates going back to June 2020. As I’ve mentioned before, a quick scroll through the headings will reveal some recurring themes including planning issues, Membury, the B4000 and speeding.

Few things have, however, featured as regularly as has flooding and sewage. This month’s is no exception and here Howard Woollaston explains about a new evidence-gathering group covering the whole Lambourn valley which will aim to assemble a solid body of fact which can be used to lobby Thames Water, the EA, WBC and the government. As mentioned in the section above, this is distinct from, though complementary to, the Sewage Action Group which has recently been set up covering the area upstream of Shefford. It’s expected that the two will be working together as they’re both, in their different ways, seeking to achieve the same things.

Other matters covered in Howard Woollaston’s latest update include WBC’s budget, casework, highways, a reports from the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Rural England prosperity Fund.

• Other news

• Subject to availability Lambourn Sports Club  is offering all members the opportunity to enjoy free hall hire in March and April 2024. Please click here to see availability and book online, you will then be contacted to confirm.

The Lambourn Carnival & Festival  is looking for help to make 2024 a great year for this wonderful  village spectacle. The committee is looking for your support, so please attend  their first meeting this year at Lambourn Sports Club on Wednesday 13 March, at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome – the meetings are very informal and friendly. Bring your ideas, elbow grease and enthusiasm.

• All welcome at a simple Lent Lunch and a chat in Great Shefford Village Hall on Friday 15 March from 12.30pm. See details from Denise Harrington here.

• Trindledown National Animal Welfare Trust Berkshire is providing an egg-citing array of Easter fun on Thursday 28 March and Friday 29 March from 10am to 3pm, with their Easter Egg hunt and Crafts including  Easter bonnet making.

• Martyn Wright of the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum (EGFPF) reminds everyone to report any problems to Thames Water regarding flood and sewage issues. Please also contact Martyn here with your experiences (so he can pass these on through his own channels to Thames Water). This email address can also be used to subscribe to the EGFPF’s  newsletters.

Goose Green in Lambourn will be closed from Monday 18 March to Wednesday 20 March, between its junction with Big Lane and its junction with Walkers Lane, for Thames Water to carry out maintenance and repair works. The diversion route is expected to be via Walkers Lane, Oxford St and The Broadway, and vice versa. Residential access will be maintained throughout, and the diversion will be signed on site. A plan of the closure can be found here.

• If you know anyone over 16 years old looking for a new career or skills and would like to find out about earning a living growing produce, check out the free FARMStart course at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. The next course starts on Saturday 4 May and runs over four Saturdays until the middle of July.

• Great Shefford Ladies are excited to announce their first event for 2024 on Wednesday 27 March at 7.30pm at the Village Hall for their Seed Sowing and Seed Swap . Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a complete beginner, enjoy an evening of seed swapping and planting, with lots of opportunities to learn gardening tips.

Enjoy an Easter Floral Evening, making a choice of two floral arrangements, to support Friends of Baydon Primary School on Tuesday 26 March. Tickets from school reception or email FOBS@baydon-stnicholas.wilts.sch.uk.

Lambourn Youth Junction has a new mobile number which will be active during all weekly sessions and events. The phone will be checked daily throughout the week. 07518 175936 is the number to ring.

• This is the best time to plant snowdrops and you can buy them now ‘in the green’ at a very good price from Shefford Snowdrops at The Malt House, Shefford RG17 7ED.

• Daffodils are sprouting, buds are breaking and spring seems to be just around the corner. Melanie Martin’s thoughts are inevitably turning to reopening The Plant Swap Station in her porch at 8 Bockhampton Rd. Check out the Lambourn Growers facebook group for any updates. As always everything growing-related is welcome. Please remember to label plants and when doing so remember some people may be complete novices. So if you could include where (house, garden, greenhouse) the plant should go as well as it’s name (doesn’t need to be it’s Latin name, just what you call it) at the very least would be fantastic.

Sign up now to take part in the Great Shefford Sports & Social Club Competitions including bar billiards, darts, pool, snooker and table bowls. They are free to enter and free to play and entry closes on Sunday 10 March. Let the games begin…

Great Shefford’s Easter Saturday tea and cake will still go ahead in the village hall but the traditional Duck Derby needs to be rescheduled can be rescheduled for later in the year as the river is too high and fast-flowing and the field is water-logged.

• On Saturday 16 March, enjoy choral music from Vivaldi to James Bond in aid of The Downland Volunteer Group from Cantemus at Brightwalton Church. Email Brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for tickets and please note that The Downlands Volunteer Group are available on the night if you need transport to and/or from the concert.

• The Lambourn Junction, in association with Age UK, is bringing the Lambourn Friendship Cafe  to the community, on the last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free service, to meet up and share time with friends, although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

Great Shefford PTA  is  hoping to raise enough money to fund a First Aid skills course for children, helping them to build confidence in taking care of themselves and others in the community. The costs for training is approximately £4 per child, and they would be grateful for any donations villagers might wish to make in support of this: to make a £2 donation click here; to make a £5 donation click here; to make a £10 donation click here.

Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club is excited to announce that it now has a new recycling facility for clothes shoes and textiles next to the hall.

Charmaine Bushnell  is looking for some local musicians or entertainers, maybe retired or semi-retired, willing to volunteer their services to a local care home who have no funding for entertainment. Magicians, puppeteers, or singers, all are welcome. Please contact Charmaine via facebook to express an interest and learn more details.

• In preparation for this summer’s activities at Lambourn Carnival, Cathy Brown  is keen for everyone to see the new schedule of categories so that everyone has time to prepare.

• Don’t forget to check out the new health and wellbeing initiative launched by MOVEability at the Lambourn Centre on Fridays at 2pm, offering weekly seated exercise classes, with a social cuppa afterwards. Call Debbie on 0330 133 1488 or email info@moveability.org.uk.

Trindledown NAWT Berkshire, is still appealing for help to reach its goal of £20.000 to cover the cost of recent flood damage. It will be holding duck races in the near future, with some fabulous prizes, but should you want to donate directly please visit their Just Giving page here.

• 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

Lambourn Parish Council is keen to remind villagers that vehicle access to the Old Cricket Field is prohibited. Unfortunately storm and flood damage has caused an issue with the road surface, which has led to cars bottoming out. Please avoid entering the car park to stop your vehicle being damaged. Repairs are in the pipeline, but there is not a definite date at the moment.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society is busy planning for its 50th Spring Country Show on Sunday 5 May. It had to make the hard decision to cancel last year’s show due to waterlogged ground conditions and is now taking entries for vintage machinery exhibits. See here for entry form.

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 Rural Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications for funding to micro and small businesses in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

Fri 8 Mar Cheltenham Preview, East Garston.

• Fri 15 Mar Lent Lunch Great Shefford Village Hall

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 February and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: flooding; the Chair’s report; presentation of the Freedom of the Parish to Sue Cocker; planning matters; street lighting; speeding; WBC’s budget consultations; litter; policing; the Racing Committee; the annual assembly (15 May); financial matters; funding and grants; and Rooksnest Estates.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; a commendation for Maureen Velvick; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; the draft budget and the precept (raised by £500 to £10,500); the millennium field; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 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 and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 29 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes sewers, plants, ducks, roadworks and a new number – plus a retirement from the market after 38 years, help needed with a community Speedwatch programme, slugs and snowdrops not mixing well in Welford and joined-up water thoughts.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include a movie and a Cheltenham preview. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• The end of an era

• It is with deep sadness that Chris and Heather, who have been supplying fruit and veg to the citizens of Lambourn for 38 years, are calling it a day. The recent accident with their vehicle, together with Chris’ ill health, has helped them to take the difficult decision to retire. Their presence in the Market Square is legendary and we are certain that there will be many opportunities to thank them for their service and loyalty in the coming weeks.

Keep an eagle eye on posts from Lambourn Parish Council, and other interested parties, on Facebook for any further notifications. Penny Post would also like to take the opportunity to wish the couple all the very best for their future, and hope they have some wonderful adventures. It is certainly the end of an era:also, of course, potentially the start of a new one for anyone who decides they want to take on the baton. For centuries, regular outdoor markets have been vital to a town or village’s prosperity and their worth was particularly proved during the pandemic. Let’s hope that Lambourn’s will survive and grow, despite this major change.

Community Speedwatch

At Lambourn Parish Council’s Hall and Streets committee meeting on 28 February, The Chair, Steve Mead, raised several discussion points about the objectives of the scheme and how much councillor involvement there should be in what was originally conceived as a community initiative. The consensus was that a further push for community involvement should be made with the Committee to review Parish Council involvement thereafter. The Committee unanimously agreed the following actions:

  • Councillor Jones to word a release outlining the benefits of the scheme and encouraging parishioners to become involved.
  • The Deputy Clerk to disseminate the release and receive the responses.
  • Councillor Rieunier to coordinate actions arising from responses.
  • The Clerk to add speed limit lowering in the Parish to the Full Council agenda as a standing item, with a view in the first instance to canvassing opinion about where 20mph zones should be.

Anyone who would like to get involved in helping to monitor and reduce traffic speeds – something which many residents feel should be addressed – should contact Lambourn Parish Council. The Councillors cannot do all this work themselves…

• Slugs and snowdrops

The following message was posted on the Welford Park Facebook page earlier this week:

February 2024 has been one of the wettest months on record, certainly since we opened in 1998. Last year the snowdrops were magnificent and white for 5 weeks, lasting right through to March. Here we are on the 24th of February and unfortunately the Galanthus Nivalis have turned early and gone over. This is due to the very high rainfall and warm temperature for the time of year, as such we are suffering epidemic levels of slug infestation and they have simply eaten their way through the carpet in our beech wood in the last few days.

However, we can report that the Hellebores are at their best, Crocus, early Daffodils, Cyclamens, Petasites, Viburnums and Daphne are all standing tall and the River Lambourn, one of the few chalk streams on earth, is looking absolutely beautiful as so full. There is also a whole host of wildlife to be seen around the grounds as well as the Norman Church and our warm, dry tea tent serving delicious light lunches, tea and cake. The grounds of Welford Park will remain open as planned until Sunday 3 March for our visitors to enjoy everything that Welford has to offer. We look forward to welcoming you to Welford and hope you enjoy your trip.”

• All along the valley

I spoke to Nigel Foot on 28 February. He wears many hats, including being the acting Chair of the Newbury Flood Forum. Here in the Wild West of East Garston we see the flooding and sewage problems in the upper valley. They’ve been bad enough: but, further downstream, they’ve been even worse. The area of Clay Hill – between the Lambourn and the Kennet which meet close to the aptly-named Two Rivers Way – has suffered particularly badly. The recent sewage situation had turned into something approaching a major health hazard. The good news, Nigel Foot assured me, was that Thames Water was now on the case and pumping the worst of it away. As I’ve mentioned many times, though, this is not a long-term solution, merely a short-term remedy. The rains will return: will Thames Water’s infrastructure improvements be able to cope better next time round?

The fact that Thames Water turned up was I’m sure as a result of their monitoring work but probably owed more to the constant complaints and lobbying for residents, interest groups and councils. It’s both heartening and depressing to see how many groups have sprung up, even just along the Lambourn. It’s encouraging because groups like the Lambourn Flood Forum, the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum, the Eastbury Village wardens and the Newbury Flood Forum have demonstrated real pace and energy and proved to be effective advocates. It’s depressing because they are to a large extent doing the job of the the three official actors in the drama – Thames Water, the Environment Agency and the lead flood authority, West Berkshire Council.

Tempers have been breaking along the whole length of the Lambourn valley, from the river’s source in Upper Lambourn right down to where the chalk stream tumbles into the Kennet to the east of Newbury. This flows through six of WBC’s wards – Lambourn, Downlands, Hungerford & Kintbury, Speen, Newbury Central and Clay Hill – and I’m pleased to report that the members from all of these are working on a plan, in conjunction with parish and town councils and local pressure groups, to lobby the three responsible organisations (and the government) to accomplish some positive change. We wish them well.

The flood forums have been accused of being no more than talking shops. This is an accusation I’d like to refute. First, they provide a way by which the local pressure groups can directly engage with the three main players. Secondly, having representatives of TW, the EA and WBC in the same room or Zoom link at the same times gives each nowhere to hide. Thirdly, even when the water sinks, the underlying problem remains. Having organisations in place helps make sure that the matter isn’t then forgotten. No one wants to think about sewage except when it’s lapping round their door: then, they can’t think of anything else. It’s good to know that there are people who’ve decided to think about the problem even when it can’t be seen or smelled.

• Other news

• Martyn Wright of the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum (EGFPF) reported on 28 February that “the sewer is backing up through Front Street with the groundwater still creeping up and the filter unit at capacity. No doubt those usually affected already know, but be warned if you don’t. We’re chasing TW for tankers, but I’m not betting on it…” Please report any problems to Thames Water. Please also contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com with your experiences (so he can pass these on through his own channels to Thames Water). This email address can also be used to subscribe to the EGFPF’s excellent newsletters.

• The next monthly film night in East Garston Village Hall is Empire of Light starring Olivia Coleman and Michael Ward on Tuesday 5 March. You can choose between a matinee at 2.30pm with tea and cake or an evening screening at 7.30pm with fish and chips and social club bar.

Enjoy an Easter Floral Evening  , making a choice of two floral arrangements, to support Friends of Baydon Primary School on Tuesday 26 March . Tickets from school reception or email FOBS@baydo-stnicholas.wilts.sch.uk .

Lambourn Youth Junction is keen to let you know that it has a new mobile number which will be active during all weekly sessions and events. The phone will be checked daily throughout the week. 07518 175936 is the number to ring.

• Daffodils are sprouting, buds are breaking and spring seems to be just around the corner. Melanie Martin’s  thoughts are inevitably turning to reopening The Swap Station in her porch at 8 Bockhampton Rd. She hopes to re-open in the very near future, depending on the weather, and asks that you keep your eye on facebook for any updates. As always everything growing related is welcome. Please remember to label plants and when doing so remember some people may be complete novices. So if you could include where (house, garden, greenhouse) the plant should go as well as it’s name (doesn’t need to be it’s Latin name, just what you call it) at the very least would be fantastic.

Sign up now to take part in the Great Shefford Sports & Social Club Competitions including Bar Billiards, Darts, Pool, Snooker and Table Bowls. They are free to enter and free to play and entry closes on Sunday 10 March. Let the games begin…

Denise Herrington  is disappointed to say that the weather may be great for ducks but not for duck races. The river is so high and fast flowing, plus the field so waterlogged, that it will not be safe to hold the traditional Easter Saturday Duck Derby, so the ducks will not be racing. Easter Saturday tea and cake will still go ahead in the village hall and hopefully a Duck Derby can be rescheduled for later in the year.

• On Saturday 16 March, enjoy choral music from Vivaldi to James Bond in aid of The Downland Volunteer Group from Cantemus at Brightwalton Church. Email Brightwaltoncommunity@gmail.com for tickets and please note that The Downlands Volunteer Group are available on the night if you need transport to and/or from the concert.

• The Lambourn Junction, in association with Age UK, is bringing the Lambourn Friendship Cafe  to the community, on the last Thursday of every month at the Memorial Hall, from 10.30am to 12 noon. This is a free service, to meet up and share time with friends, although donations are always welcome. Call Julie Blogg 07840 780345 for any further information.

• Residents should be forewarned that roadworks will disrupt Ermin Street (B4000) from Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 February, so seeking alternative routes will be vital. For full details click here.   

Great Shefford PTA  is  hoping to raise enough money to fund a First Aid skills course for children, helping them to build confidence in taking care of themselves and others in the community. The costs for training is approximately £4 per child, and they would be grateful for any donations villagers might wish to make in support of this: to make a £2 donation click here; to make a £5 donation click here; to make a £10 donation click here.

Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club is excited to announce that it now has a new recycling facility for clothes shoes and textiles next to the hall.

Charmaine Bushnell  is looking for some local musicians or entertainers, maybe retired or semi-retired, wiling to volunteer their services to a local care home who have no funding for entertainment. Magicians, puppeteers, or singers, all are welcome. Please contact Charmaine via facebook to express an interest and learn more details.

• In preparation for this summer’s  activities at Lambourn Carnival, Cathy Brown  is keen for everyone to see the new schedule of categories so that everyone has time to prepare.

• Don’t forget to check out  the new health and wellbeing initiative launched by MOVEability at the Lambourn Centre on Fridays at 2pm , offering weekly seated exercise classes, with a social cuppa afterwards, . Call Debbie on 0330 133 1488 or email info@moveability.org.uk .

Jerry Spary from Lambourn adult Jiu jitsu club is seeking  new members, looking for tuition with high ranking instructors in  the disciplines of Jiu jitsu, Akido, Shorinji Kemp and Aiki jitsu. Call Jerry on 07738 416115 for info.

NAWT Berkshire, is still appealing for help to reach its goal of £20.000 to cover the cost of recent flood damage. It will be holding duck races in the near future, with some fabulous prizes, but should you want to donate directly please visit their Just Giving page here.

• 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

• West Berkshire Council’s contractor Volker Highways, will be undertaking essential carriageway patching on Baydon Road in Lambourn from Monday 4 to Wednesday 6 March. Works will be undertaken with a road closure and signed alternative diversion route. No on street parking will be permitted within the works and at times access to properties and businesses will be restricted or delayed as the works pass. Blue-light access will be available. The start date and duration of work may change if wet weather occurs and residents have been instructed to look at the information board on site for revised dates. Please click here for any updates relating to the works.

Lambourn Parish Council is keen to remind villagers that vehicle access to the Old Cricket Field is prohibited. Unfortunately storm and flood damage has caused an issue with the road surface, which has led to cars bottoming out. Please avoid entering the car park to stop your vehicle being damaged. Repairs are in the pipeline, but there is not a definite date at the moment.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society is busy planning for its 50th Spring Country Show on Sunday 5 May. It had to make the hard decision to cancel last year’s show due to waterlogged ground conditions and is now taking entries for vintage machinery exhibits. See here for entry form.

• The snowdrops at Welford Park are now open Wednesday to Sunday with several plant sale dates up to Sunday 3 March. It makes a lovely local day out, especially when you pop into The Five Bells round the corner in Wickham for their special Snowdrops Menu.

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 Rural Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications for funding to micro and small businesses in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

Sat 2 Mar An Evening of CribbageEast Garston Social Club & Village Hall.

• Until Sun 2 Mar Snowdrops at Welford Park.(though without the snowdrops: see section above).

Mon 4 Mar Gold Cup Lunch Lambourn Sports Club

• Tue 5 Mar Empire of Light screening East Garston Village Hall.

Wed 6 Mar Home Artists’ activities bag collection, Lambourn.

Fri 8 Mar Cheltenham Preview, East Garston.

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 February and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: flooding; the Chair’s report; presentation of the Freedom of the Parish to Sue Cocker; planning matters; street lighting; speeding; WBC’s budget consultations; litter; policing; the Racing Committee; the annual assembly (15 May); financial matters; funding and grants; and Rooksnest Estates.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; a commendation for Maureen Velvick; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; the draft budget and the precept (raised by £500 to £10,500); the millennium field; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 8 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 and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 22 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes roadworks, snowdrops, tuition, moveability and  musicians – plus a look at the next steps with the Wellbeing Centre, a message from the Carnival Committee and an assurance that your local representatives and pressure groups are not asleep at the wheel with regard to flooding and sewage.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include quiz, curry and cribbage. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Water, water

Our article about the recent, flooding problems in the Lambourn Valley has not been updated for a couple of weeks but that should not be taken to mean that all the problems have gone away.

As I write, rain is thumping down and the River Lambourn which flows past our garden seems a bit more Amazonian than it did a few days ago. More rain leads to more surface water flooding and more groundwater, all of which means more water leaking into the sewers, which means more pressure on the system; which means blocked toilets, erupting manholes and a return of the lorries to pump the excess away. As Martyn Wright of the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum observed a few weeks ago, it’s good that the tankers (or the filtration units) are being deployed but the fact that need to be there at all is proof that Thames Water is failing in its primary job – these are remedial measures, not solutions.

The government issued a flood alert on 22 February: “River levels on the Lambourn and its tributaries [down to Newbury] remain high but stable due to recent rainfall combined with high groundwater levels. Flooding of low lying land, roads is expected to continue over the coming days. Property flooding is not currently expected.”

Sewage is something, like planning applications, that people don’t tend to think about if they don’t have to. When either of these crop up near you, however, it’s often impossible to think of anything else. For those who might suspect that the matter has slipped from the minds of everyone round here, I can bring the reassuring news that a group of people including the ward members, the Parish Council chairs and various interest groups like the EGFPF are still on the case. Information is being gathered and advice taken with the aim of lobbying organisations including the government, WBC, Thames Water and the Environment Agency about finding a proper long-term solution to the problems of our sewerage system – more news on that when we have it. If not dealt with, these problems are going to get worse.

And speaking of which…

• The Wellbeing Centre

A pretty obvious statement but here it comes anyway: buildings need constant care and maintenance.

Private homes are bad enough but public ones like village halls can be vastly harder to keep in good order. These are often rented out for events and so the people using them have no responsibility for the maintenance. Funds need to be raised for repairs and that doesn’t come cheap these days. They need to be efficiently managed if they’re going to be maintained to an acceptable standard: improvements are often too expensive to realise. If under-used, all these problems increase: not only does income decline but damage such as from leaks can quickly become catastrophic. I’d suspect that the pandemic had just this effect on hundreds of such buildings across the country. To make it worse, a lot are old and may have been built to cater for a market that no longer exists. Many trustees, looking at yet another massive estimate, may ask themselves “is this really worth it?”

These issues increasingly applied to the Lambourn Wellbeing Centre near the Sports Club. A couple of years ago, the point was reached when it was clear that something had to be done. The upshot was that a new charity was formed in 2022. Its stated aim, in the slightly ponderous language of the Charity Commission website, is “to promote for the benefit of the inhabitants of Lambourn and the surrounding area the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time occupation of individuals who have need of such facilities by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disablement, financial hardship or social and economic circumstances or for the public at large in the interests of social welfare and with the object of improving the condition of life of the said inhabitants.”

(The CC also, for some reason, puts such descriptions in capitals which makes them hard to read and gives the impression the reader is being shouted at. I (or the feature on MS Word) have turned down the volume by putting them in sentence case. All part of the service.)

The first challenge was what to do with the building. Consideration was given to renovating it but the costs seemed excessive, particularly as it was not clear to what purpose it would be put. It was then offered to other groups in the village but, doubtless for the same reasons, there were no takers.

Eventually it was decided to sell it. They sale has recently been concluded and, as a result, the charity’s coffers have been swelled by about £80,000. What will happen to the site and the building are now for the new owner to determine. As for the proceeds, discussions continue as to the best way these can be spent. I understand that the aim is to “create positive change” in a way that satisfies the charity’s current objectives rather than using it to repair existing facilities in Lambourn.

Anyone who has any suggestions or wants to apply for grants is invited to get in touch. The charity is also currently having discussions with local organisations which are involved in recreation and leisure to see how they can work together. I also understand that there will be a statement from the trustees before too long. This will be publicised here.

Elsewhere in the parish, a similar decision needs at some point to be taken by the trustees of Eastbury Village Hall. In some ways their problem is simpler: the hall had fallen into such a state of despair that last year it needed to be demolished. Until the route forward is agreed, it’s impossible to say how much money this will realise. You could put a house or two there. If they were to be affordable, so much the better. This may not produce much in the way of profit but would test high for societal benefit.

Such a scheme, if successfully realised, would also provide an instructive lesson to West Berkshire Council and Sovereign Housing. A joint venture between the two has been dithering around for years about redeveloping the Chestnut Walk site in Hungerford. So far, absolutely noting has happened. Perhaps the Eastbury Village Hall trustees and Lambourn Parish Council could show them how it ought to be done?

• The Lambourn carnival

After a very successful Carnival parade and Raffle ticket sales last year,  we were delighted to be able to give small grants to several village groups: Lambourn Silver Circle (to help with days out and speakers), Lambourn Youth Junction (to help with additional equipment), Lambourn Environmental Group (to help with the next tree planting project), 4LEGS Community Radio and The Firefighters Charity.

Planning for 2024 Festival and Carnival will get underway in the spring with the first meeting at The Lambourn Sports Club on Wednesday 13th March at 7.30pm.  It’s a very friendly and informal meeting so please join us if you would like to get involved with this year’s Carnival at all! Did you know, you can be a part of the committee and still take part in the Carnival Parade itself?

For more information, click here.

• Other news

• Residents should be forewarned that roadworks will disrupt Ermin St. (B4000) from Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 February, so seeking alternative routes will be vital. For full details click here.   

Great Shefford PTA  is  hoping to raise enough money to fund a First Aid skills course for children, helping them to build confidence in taking care of themselves and others in the community. The costs for training is approximately £4 per child, and they would be grateful for any donations villagers might wish to make in support of this:

  • To make a £2 donation click here.
  • To make a £5 donation click here .
  • To make a £10 donation click here.

Woodlands St Mary Sport and Social club is excited to announce that it now has a new recycling facility for clothes shoes and textiles next to the hall.

Charmaine Bushnell  is looking for some local musicians or entertainers, maybe retired or semi-retired, wiling to volunteer their services to a local care home who have no funding for entertainment. Magicians, puppeteers, or singers, all are welcome. Please contact Charmaine via facebook to express an interest and learn more details.

The Hungerford Neighbourhood Policing Team is holding a ‘Have Your Say – Rural Communities Day’. If you would like the opportunity to have a chat with the Policing Team, they will be available on Saturday, 24 February  at the following locations: Eastbury, The Forge 1.45pm  to 2.15pm; and Lambourn, Market Place 2.30pm to 3pm. Feel free to pop along for a chat.

• A reminder that due to a combination of an accident with their lorry and Chris having an operation, the fruit and veg stall won’t be at the market  this week.

• In preparation for this summer’s  activities at Lambourn Carnival, Cathy Brown  is keen for everyone to see the new schedule of categories so that everyone has time to prepare.

• Don’t forget to check out  the new health and wellbeing initiative launched by MOVEability at the Lambourn Centre on Fridays at 2pm , offering weekly seated exercise classes, with a social cuppa afterwards, . Call Debbie on 0330 133 1488 or email info@moveability.org.uk .

Jerry Spary from Lambourn adult Jiu jitsu club is seeking  new members, looking for tuition with high ranking instructors in  the disciplines of Jiu jitsu, Akido, Shorinji Kemp and Aiki jitsu. Call Jerry on 07738 416115 for info.

NAWT Berkshire, is still appealing for help to reach its goal of £20.000 to cover the cost of recent flood damage. It will be holding duck races in the near future, with some fabulous prizes, but should you want to donate directly please visit their Just Giving page here.

• 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

• West Berkshire Council’s contractor Volker Highways, will be undertaking essential carriageway patching on Baydon Road in Lambourn from Monday 4 to Wednesday 6 March. Works will be undertaken with a road closure and signed alternative diversion route. No on street parking will be permitted within the works and at times access to properties and businesses will be restricted or delayed as the works pass. Blue-light access will be available. The start date and duration of work may change if wet weather occurs and residents have been instructed to look at the information board on site for revised dates. Please click here for any updates relating to the works.

Lambourn Parish Council is keen to remind villagers that vehicle access to the Old Cricket Field is prohibited. Unfortunately storm and flood damage has caused an issue with the road surface, which has led to cars bottoming out. Please avoid entering the car park to stop your vehicle being damaged. Repairs are in the pipeline, but there is not a definite date at the moment.

• Eastbury photographer, 4LEGS Radio presenter and purveyor of free-range Christmas trees Toby Corney is doing what he describes as a “wee walk” (looks a bit longer than that to me) in July in aid of Macmillian Cancer Care. For more information and to support him, please click here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society is busy planning for its 50th Spring Country Show on Sunday 5 May. It had to make the hard decision to cancel last year’s show due to waterlogged ground conditions and is now taking entries for vintage machinery exhibits. See here for entry form.

• The snowdrops at Welford Park are now open Wednesday to Sunday with several plant sale dates up to Sunday 3 March. It makes a lovely local day out, especially when you pop into The Five Bells round the corner in Wickham for their special Snowdrops Menu.

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 Rural Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications for funding to micro and small businesses in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 24 Feb Curry & Quiz Night  Great Shefford Village Hall.

Sat 2 Mar An Evening of Cribbage  East Garston Social Club & Village Hall.

• Until Sun 2 Mar Snowdrops at Welford Park.

Wed 6 Mar Home Artists’ activities bag collection, Lambourn.

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 February and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: flooding; the Chair’s report; presentation of the Freedom of the Parish to Sue Cocker; planning matters; street lighting; speeding; WBC’s budget consultations; litter; policing; the Racing Committee; the annual assembly (15 May); financial matters; funding and grants; and Rooksnest Estates.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; a commendation for Maureen Velvick; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; the draft budget and the precept (raised by £500 to £10,500); the millennium field; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 15 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes have your say, toys, fruit & veg, the carnival and two awards – plus a look back at a busy couple of months for Lambourn Parish Council.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include live music and a carbon-friendly workshop. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• A lull in Lambourn

Lambourn Parish Council, in common with many others, has had a number of things to deal with over the last six weeks. The major challenges were the floods and sewage issues (which affected this parish particularly badly), setting the budget and the precept and responding to WBC’s consultations about a number of potentially irritating service cuts including to rubbish bins and gully clearances. The last two points are connected: Lambourn, again in common with all other parishes, was needing to set its precept without knowing what services it might need to take on itself.

As matters turned out, WBC wisely decided to shelve most of these cuts. All would have been disruptive and divisive and may not even have saved much money. Many of these were also  things that, once having been withdrawn, would be hard to re-start.

As previously mentioned – but good news is always worth repeating – there was also a welcome result with the plans to install cameras in the car park behind Universal Stores and start charging motorists. As Howard Woollaston reported in his most recent ward update, “there will be charging for parking in the main Lambourn car park behind Universal Stores but the first hour will now be free. We can therefore all drop into the Co-op, Universal Storts, The Food Hall and the other shops without creating chaos by parking in the surrounding roads or paying £1 for the privilege. It would seem that arguments over damage that would be done to the retail trade was taken on board and sense prevailed.”

The pressure on both this and the possible cuts was applied as a results of residents, businesses, ward members and parish councils responding to the consultations. Taking five minutes to make your views known is therefore worth it.

Life may be calmer for LPC at present but it would be unwise to predict how long this will last. Parish councils are, as the pandemic clearly proved, often the first (and very effective) line of defence against unexpected challenges. If you would like to help its work, there are currently two councillor vacancies, one in Eastbury and one in Woodlands.

Two issues that will require LPC’s involvement at some point in the future concern the future of two sites, the former Royal British Legion in Lambourn and the former village hall in Eastbury. Neither of these is owned by the Parish Council but it has a strong and legitimate interest in what will happen and a role to play in discussing the options with stakeholders and communicating with WBC. I understand that progress is being made on both of these and we’ll bring more news when there’s anything definite to say or opinions that people need to express.

• Other news

The Hungerford Neighbourhood Policing Team is holding a ‘Have Your Say – Rural Communities Day’. If you would like the opportunity to have a chat with the Policing Team, they will be available on Saturday, 24 February  at the following locations: Eastbury, The Forge 1.45pm  to 2.15pm; and Lambourn, Market Place 2.30pm to 3pm. Feel free to pop along for a chat.

• An announcement of Lambourn PC’s website says that “Due to a combination of an accident with their lorry and Chris having an operation, the fruit and veg stall won’t be at the market for approximately six weeks. We look forward to seeing Chris and Heather when Chris has fully recovered.”

• In preparation for this summer’s  activities at Lambourn Carnival, Cathy Brown  is keen for everyone to see the new schedule of categories so that everyone has time to prepare.

• There is a new health and wellbeing initiative being launched in Lambourn this month. MOVEability is a Berkshire based Social Enterprise whose social impact is to combat isolation and make exercise accessible to all, regardless of age or ability. Weekly seated exercise classes, with a social cuppa afterwards, will begin at the Lambourn Centre on Friday 16 February at 2pm. You can find out more here www.moveability.org.uk , call Debbie on 0330 133 1488 or email info@moveability.org.uk .

Jerry Spary from Lambourn adult Jiu jitsu club is looking for new members. The club offers tuition with high ranking instructors in  the disciplines of Jiu jitsu, Akido, Shorinji Kemp and Aiki jitsu, now in our tenth year. Their focus is always on street wise self defence alongside the endless pursuit of perfecting martial arts in a very friendly setting.They train at the Lambourn Centre each Wednesday 6 to 8pm. Call Jerry on 07738 416115 for info.

Friends of Welford and Wickham Primary School are having their first Toy Collection at school on Monday 19 February. So maybe it’s a real incentive to have that long awaited clear-out.

Big congratulations to Sue Cocker from Lambourn and Maureen Velvick from East Garston who have recently been the recipients of several awards (and an invitation to the Palace) as a result of their magnificent community service. You can read more here.

NAWT Berkshire, is still appealing for help to reach its goal of £20.000 to cover the cost of recent flood damage. It will be holding duck races in the near future, with some fabulous prizes, but should you want to donate directly please visit their Just Giving page here.

• 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

• Still with NAWT, the charity is offering alpacas, goats and donkeys for Valentine’s sponsorship. For a one-off payment of £15, you can sponsor the animal of your choice and receive an e-card back from them on Valentine’s Day. If you are interested in sponsoring any animals, please email their fundraising officer at m.hall@nawt.org.uk or phone 01488 638584 for more information.

• West Berkshire Council’s contractor Volker Highways, will be undertaking essential carriageway patching on Baydon Road in Lambourn from Monday 4 to Wednesday 6 March. Works will be undertaken with a road closure and signed alternative diversion route. No on street parking will be permitted within the works and at times access to properties and businesses will be restricted or delayed as the works pass. Blue-light access will be available. The start date and duration of work may change if wet weather occurs and residents have been instructed to look at the information board on site for revised dates. Please click here for any updates relating to the works.

Lambourn Parish Council is keen to remind villagers that vehicle access to the Old Cricket Field is prohibited. Unfortunately storm and flood damage has caused an issue with the road surface, which has led to cars bottoming out. Please avoid entering the car park to stop your vehicle being damaged. Repairs are in the pipeline, but there is not a definite date at the moment.

• Eastbury photographer, 4LEGS Radio presenter and purveyor of free-range Christmas trees Toby Corney is doing what he describes as a “wee walk” (looks a bit longer than that to me) in July in aid of Macmillian Cancer Care. For more information and to support him, please click here.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society is busy planning for its 50th Spring Country Show on Sunday 5 May. It had to make the hard decision to cancel last year’s show due to waterlogged ground conditions and is now taking entries for vintage machinery exhibits. See here for entry form.

• The snowdrops at Welford Park are now open Wednesday to Sunday with several plant sale dates up to Sunday 3 March. It makes a lovely local day out, especially when you pop into The Five Bells round the corner in Wickham for their special Snowdrops Menu.

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 Rural Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications for funding to micro and small businesses in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

• A further reminder that the Lambourn Community Bus to Wantage is now back in operation. Keep an eye out on Lambourn Facebook page for any updates or please call Julie Blogg on 07840 780345.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA is looking for wood chipping and logs of varying size for its wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. If you can help, please email cazfarrant@btinternet.com.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 17 Feb Woodlands Country Music: Micky Dee, Woodlands St Mary Village Hall.

• Wed 21 Feb Carbon footprint-friendly workshop, Lambourn Library.

• Sat 24 Feb Curry & Quiz Night  Great Shefford Village Hall.

• Tue 20 Feb Over 40’s Lunch Memorial Hall.

• Sat 24 Feb Curry & Quiz Night  Great Shefford Village Hall.

Sat 2 Mar An Evening of Cribbage  East Garston Social Club & Village Hall.

• Sun 5 May Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 February and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: flooding; the Chair’s report; presentation of the Freedom of the Parish to Sue Cocker; planning matters; street lighting; speeding; WBC’s budget consultations; litter; policing; the Racing Committee; the annual assembly (15 May); financial matters; funding and grants; and Rooksnest Estates.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; a commendation for Maureen Velvick; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; the draft budget and the precept (raised by £500 to £10,500); the millennium field; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 8 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: raffle prizes, donkeys, food-hall boxes, a country show and a pilgrimage – plus good news on parking in Lambourn, two well-deserved awards in the valley, the latest news from the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum and a carbon-reduction workshop.  See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: quiz, curry and rugby. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Parking in Lambourn

The most recent report from Lambourn ward member Howard Woollaston includes some very welcome news for anyone who ever makes a quick trip to Lambourn’s shops.

West Berkshire Council had proposed that its car park behind Universal Stores be camera-controlled with a minimum £1 charge. Public response to the consultation has resulted in an amendment to this.

“There will be charging for parking in the main Lambourn Car Park behind Universal Stores,” Howard Wollaston explained, “but the first hour will now be free. We can therefore all drop into the Co-op, Universal Stores, The Food Hall and the other shops without creating chaos by parking in the surrounding roads or paying £1 for the privilege. It would seem that arguments over damage that would be done to the retail trade was taken on board and sense prevailed.”

Indeed. The parking arrangements there just about work at present but progress down the narrow High Street would become dangerous and delayed if, as many suspected, more people parked on the street rather than in the car park. This is particularly the case when a lorry needs to deliver to the Co-op: always an interesting and sometimes protracted spectacle for bystanders given the size of the vehicles and the narrowness of the entrance, and sometimes the uncertainty of the driver as to how these two can be reconciled. More parked cars could easily make a difficult situation impossible.

This was the result of concerted lobbying by local residents, Lambourn PC, Lambourn.org, Howard Woollaston and – dare I say it – Penny Post. it shows that a sensible case made through the official channels can produce results. Credit must also be given to WBC for recognising that this measure risked leading to yeet another example of the law of unintended consequences.

• Footprint reduction

The next Friends of Lambourn Library talk will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 February. Dr Pat Glover will be leading a Carbon Footprint-friendly workshop, at which she will explain ways in which she has managed to halve her carbon emissions. Those attending will also be able to share their experiences of sustainable living. Pat is co-founder of the East Garston Eco-Group and a member of the Hungerford Environmental Action Team. FoLL spokesperson Sue Cocker said that “the workshop promises to be both interesting and of practical benefit.”

Booking is advised. Tickets are £3.50. Contact lambournlibraryfoll@gmail.com or Penny Brewer 01488 72305 or call in to Lambourn Library.

• Water, water

The latest (9 February) email from the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum – email martynwright345@btinternet.com if you’d like to receive these – reports that, although there’s a flood warning in place, there’s probably not a great deal to worry about as far as property damage is required from the current wet weather. Groundwater, however, is more of a problem. Martyn Wright says levels have been dropping in some parts of the upper Lambourn valley but falling in others.

He also refers to the “serious discussions that are continuing with Thames Water at a very senior level.” The intention is “to get TW’s commitment to carry out the further repair work that everyone knows needs doing.” And not just a commitment, he adds: we’ve had these before. Things actually need to happen.

Finally, he draws attention to an important message about flood recovery grants. These will be available from the government via West Berkshire Council but only if the total reports in the district exceed 50. Currently, there have been about 36. If you’ve suffered from the January deluges, therefore, make sure you make your claim.

• Awards in the valley

Big congratulations to Sue Cocker from Lambourn and Maureen Velvick from East Garston who have recently been the recipients of several awards (and an invitation to the Palace) as a result of their magnificent community service. You can read more here.

• Other news

Great Shefford Sports & Social Club needs raffle prizes raffle prizes for this week’s Bingo & Raffle night. If anybody has any prizes/unwanted items they could donate please either drop prizes to the club on Friday from 5pm or Saturday from 2pm to 4pm.

NAWT Berkshire, is still appealing for help to reach its goal of £20.000 to cover the cost of recent flood damage. It will be holding duck races in the near future, with some fabulous prizes, but should you want to donate directly please visit their Just Giving page here.   

• Still with NAWT, the charity is offering alpacas, goats and donkeys for Valentine’s sponsorship. For a one-off payment of £15, you can sponsor the animal of your choice and receive an e-card back from them on Valentine’s Day. If you are interested in sponsoring any animals, please email their fundraising officer at m.hall@nawt.org.uk or phone 01488 638584 for more information.

• It will come as something of a relief to many in the Lambourn Valley, that as from Monday 29 January, the Highway Code now specifies that drivers passing horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles must do so at speeds under 10 mph and allow at least two metres of space between vehicle and animal. Check the full details here.

• West Berkshire Council’s contractor Volker Highways, will be undertaking essential carriageway patching on Baydon Road in Lambourn from Monday 4 to Wednesday 6 March. Works will be undertaken with a road closure and signed alternative diversion route. No on street parking will be permitted within the works and at times access to properties and businesses will be restricted or delayed as the works pass. Blue-light access will be available. The start date and duration of work may change if wet weather occurs and residents have been instructed to look at the information board on site for revised dates. Please click here for any updates relating to the works.

• Rev Julie Mintern would like to highlight this summer’s young person’s pilgrimage to Taize in France led by Bishop Olivia, for which financial help is available. Get in touch with Bishop Olivia if you have any questions  at bishopreading@oxford.anglican.org or explore all details here.

Lambourn Parish Council is keen to remind villagers that vehicle access to the Old Cricket Field is prohibited. Unfortunately storm and flood damage has caused an issue with the road surface, which has led to cars bottoming out. Please avoid entering the car park to stop your vehicle being damaged. Repairs are in the pipeline, but there is not a definite date at the moment.

The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

• For a romantic night in and the perfect Valentine’s gift, Lambourn Food Hall is offering Valen-Dines boxes providing all you need to create an exquisite meal for that special someone, delivered straight to your door or in store click & collect between Friday 9 to Saturday 17 February.

Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society is busy planning for its 50th Spring Country Show on Sunday 5 May. It had to make the hard decision to cancel last year’s show due to waterlogged ground conditions and is now taking entries for vintage machinery exhibits. See here for entry form.

• The snowdrops at Welford Park are now open Wednesday to Sunday with several plant sale dates up to Sunday 3 March. It makes a lovely local day out, especially when you pop into The Five Bells round the corner in Wickham for their special Snowdrops Menu.

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 Rural Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications for funding to micro and small businesses in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

• Quick reminder that the Lambourn Community Bus to Wantage is now back in operation. Keep an eye out on Lambourn Facebook page for any updates or please call Julie Blogg on 07840 780345.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA is looking for wood chipping and logs of varying size for its wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. If you can help, please email cazfarrant@btinternet.com.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Wed 14 Feb Faulty Towers Valentine’s Night Queens Lodge, East Garston.

• Wed 14 Feb Valentine’s Coffee & Craft Morning Great Shefford Village Hall

• Sat 17 Feb Woodlands Country Music: Micky Dee, Woodlands St Mary Village Hall..

• Sat 24 Feb Curry & Quiz Night  Great Shefford Village Hall.

• Tue 20 Feb Over 40’s Lunch Memorial Hall.

• Sat 24 Feb Curry & Quiz Night  Great Shefford Village Hall.

• Sun 5 MayLambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 10 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; flooding, including the meeting in East Garston with Thames Water in December; planning matters’ street lighting; speeding; WBC’s budget; councillor surgeries; the fear of crime; the former Eastbury Village Hall; finalist matters; and repairs and maintenance.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; a commendation for Maureen Velvick; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; the draft budget and the precept (raised by £500 to £10,500); the millennium field; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 1 February 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: the Junction, a country show, valen-dines, Barbie and a forest school – plus a retrospective in the valley and the latest news from the East Garston Eco Group. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: quiz, curry and rugby. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Lambourn Valley Eco Group 

The latest newsletter from the Lambourn Valley Eco Group shares sobering news that The World Economic Forum predicts the biggest global risk in 2024 is “misinformation and disinformation”. So, sharing reliable information is even more vital than ever and is what this group does for local residents concerned about climate change. You can follow LVEG on facebook or email ecoeastgarston@gmail.com to go on their mailing list.

One of the aims of the group is to help local residents halve their carbon footprint by 2030. It suggests the first step is to use the WWF Footprint calculator to estimate your current carbon footprint and if you can’t easily halve it on your own, ask local councillors and MP for help. It also loans a thermal camera, humidity meter and retrofitting books to find and fix the cold spots in your home. Email ecoeastgarston@gmail.com to borrow them, particularly during winter months when outside cold temperatures reveal better escaping heat from your home.

The group has informal monthly meet-ups on the first Sunday of the month. This Sunday 4 February, the meeting is at 4pm in East Garston. All welcome, please email ecoeastgarston@gmail.com if you can come.

The group is also running a Carbon Footprint Friendly Evening in Lambourn Library at 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 February. Find out if it’s really possible to halve our carbon footprint, as recommended by environmental scientists, and what are the barriers and co-benefits  – spoiler alert, you may end up healthier (and wealthier).

• A retrospective in East Garston

Mabberleys in East Garston – which is going through the slow process of trying to convert itself from a former racing yard into a rented office units – has recently had a retrospective planning application approved for “engineering operations in regard to the improvement of an existing access.” This refers to a road coming from the rear (eastern) part of the site which leads into the valley road about 100 yards past the junction by the Queens Arms. You can see the details of the application, including the decision notice with its usual raft of conditions, by clicking here.

One of the objection letters points out, inter alia, that “the application form dated 16/08/2021 clearly states that there would be no ‘new or altered vehicular access proposed to or from the public highway’.” Although the road would appear to be new, technically it’s not. When the buildings were turned into a yard in the 1990s, the access road was specified as a condition though this was never enforced. One could thus argue that all this latest work is doing is finally discharging a three-decades’ old obligation.

Whatever use Mabberleys is put to, some (including me) feel that access would be far better onto the valley road than into Front Street, as at present. Front Street can hardly be described as a busy thoroughfare by urban standards but the entrance is nearly on a right-angle turn and a bridge with quite poor visibility. Regular users of this part of the village include the usual number of cars, tractors and delivery lorries as well as horses and, at times of high groundwater, Thames Water’s tankers visiting the pumping station on the other side of the river Lambourn.

Many feel this provides enough volume and diversity of traffic without adding people coming into and out of Mabberleys. In any event, the access road is already there and was at one time felt by WBC to be the better alternative. Little has changed since then that I’m aware of.

The fact that this is yet another retrospective application calls to mind my suggestion a few months ago that these be charged extra. The scale of fines could range from nominal for technical or minor oversights to genuinely punitive for people who’re seriously taking the Mickey (such as in cases where permission is refused and the applicant just goes ahead and does it anyway). This is not, however, something that’s currently in the planning authority’s power to levy. Were it to be so, it would make people stop and think before deciding the short-cut the system and also provide the planning departments with much needed revenue. I’m not holding my breath for this to appear in the latest government attempt to reform the planning system: but one lives in hope…

• Other news

• Please don’t forget that The Lambourn Junction needs your help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant just by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote.

Valley Film Society welcomes all to its February film: Barbie in East Garston Village Hall next Tuesday 6 February. There is a matinee with tea and cake at 2.30pm and an evening screening at 7.30pm with bar and fish’n’chips. Entry is £6 on the door.

• If you fancy an alternative Valentine’s experience next month, there are a (very) few tables still available at the Queen’s Faulty Towers Valentines evening on Wednesday 14 February.

• For a romantic night in and the perfect Valentine’s gift, Lambourn Food Hall is offering Valen-Dines boxes providing all you need to create an exquisite meal for that special someone, delivered straight to your door or in store click & collect between Friday 9 to Saturday 17 February.

Lambourn Vintage Machinery Society is busy planning for its 50th Spring Country Show on Sunday 5 May. It had to make the hard decision to cancel last year’s show due to waterlogged ground conditions and is now taking entries for vintage machinery exhibits. See here for entry form.

• The snowdrops at Welford Park are now open Wednesday to Sunday with several plant sale dates up to Sunday 3 March. It makes a lovely local day out, especially when you pop into The Five Bells round the corner in Wickham for their special Snowdrops Menu.

• West Berkshire Council has announced the winners of the Community Champion Awards: Gillian Hornzee (Volunteer of the Year), Lambourn’s Sue 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.

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 Rural Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications for funding to micro and small businesses in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

• Quick reminder that the Lambourn Community Bus to Wantage will be back in operation on Wednesday 7 February. Keep an eye out on Lambourn Facebook page for any updates or please call Julie Blogg on 07840 780345.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA is looking for wood chipping and logs of varying size for its wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. If you can help, please email cazfarrant@btinternet.com.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum sends out topical emails. To go on the mailing list please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com. Also see our general flood and pollution advice here.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Fri 2 Feb Village Quiz Night  Brightwalton Village Hall.

• Fri 2 Feb Six Nations Rugby, Great Shefford Sports & Social Club.

• Tue 6 Feb Barbie (2.30pm & 7.30pm) East Garston Village Hall.

• Sat 24 Feb Curry & Quiz Night  Great Shefford Village Hall.

• Wed 14 Feb Faulty Towers Valentine’s Night Queens Lodge, East Garston.

• Wed 14 Feb Valentine’s Coffee & Craft Morning Great Shefford Village Hall

• Sat 17 Feb Woodlands Country Music: Micky Dee, Woodlands St Mary Village Hall..

• Tues 20 Feb Over 40’s Lunch Memorial Hall.

• Sat 24 Feb Curry & Quiz Night  Great Shefford Village Hall.

• Sun 5 MayLambourn Vintage Machinery Society Show Woodlands St Mary.

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 10 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; flooding, including the meeting in East Garston with Thames Water in December; planning matters’ street lighting; speeding; WBC’s budget; councillor surgeries; the fear of crime; the former Eastbury Village Hall; finalist matters; and repairs and maintenance.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 11 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: a presentation from the East Garston Eco Group; planning matters; the Chair’s report; a commendation for Maureen Velvick; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; the draft budget and the precept (raised by £500 to £10,500); the millennium field; and speeding.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 25 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: help for the CIC, Covid jabs, a missing tin, rural grants and libraries – plus the latest on the water in the valley and Morris dancing recruitment. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: quiz nights and Valentine’s events. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Water in the valley

The groundwater levels in the area are falling but one heavy deluge could move things back to where they were in the immediate post-Henk period earlier this month. This separate post looks at some of the issues that this has produced including the road closure (no longer in place) in Eastbury and some promised changes to Thames Water’s customer-service emails.

One of the people who has been much involved in the response is Lambourn’s ward member Howard Woollaston. Indeed, it could hardly be otherwise has he was elected to represent the residents of the parish, for most of whom this has been the dominant feature of the last few weeks. Earlier this week, he wrote to West Berkshire Councillors and others “to drive actions to address the issue of flooding and sewage on the streets of villages in the Lambourn Valley.”

“As some of you may be aware,” the letter read, “I am also Chairman of the Lambourn Valley Flood Forum which covers the whole valley from Upper Lambourn down to where the river meets the Kennet. Parts of the valley have been badly affected by flooding particularly in my ward and around Newbury. I think we are the only Councillors that cover the area but please let me know if I have missed anyone. We had an Emergency Forum meeting on last Monday (Notes from the meeting can be found here.)

“As you will see, I suggested a cross party group be created to lobby government, TW, the EA and WBC to get some action to try and prevent future flooding, in particular in the light of what appears to be climate change impact.

“My suggestion is one member for each affected ward, so it does not become a talking shop and we actually get something done. I would like to get a Teams meeting set up late next week. Would appreciate your views. We probably need some officer support to do some legwork, so I have copied [Environment Service Director] Jon [Winstanley] in for a suggestion.”

As mentioned last week, the LVFF has sometimes been accused (I think unfairly) of being just a talking shop. As I pointed out, its ambitions are limited to the area in its name and it provides a useful way for members to share information and to get representative of WBC, TW and the EA in the same room at the same time. The last meeting also recorded a splendid bull’s-eye with regard to Martyn Wright of the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum exposing a major failing in TW’s complaints system. Any new group needs to have a wider scope, taking on the business of lobbying for longer-term and larger-scale action. This is in any case only acting a suggestion made by Richard Aylard at the WBC Scrutiny Commission meeting in October that these three groups co-ordinate more closely with regard to the long-standing problems in the Northbrook Ditch in Newbury. There seems no reason why our area should not have a similar group given its own problems. It will be interesting to see what comes of this.

• Our local Morris Group needs your help

If you are looking for a new activity that’s energetic, sociable, fun, and a bit different, now is the perfect time. Garston Gallopers are holding open practises on Monday evenings, 8pm to 9.30pm, through January and February, at East Garston Village Hall, RG17 7EX, before dancing out from May onwards.

They dance to live music and their musicians are very important to them, so if you play an instrument suitable to accompany the dancing they’d love to hear from you.  They have danced in London’s Trafalgar Square, at Newbury Show, several Folk Festivals including one in Belgium, as well as Kintbury May Day & Hungerford Artisan market. In the coming year they hope to dance at local events, several festivals, and Lyme Regis day of dance.

Morris Dancing is fun and continues a local tradition where you learn a new skill, make new friends, keep fit in both body and mind, age is immaterial. We look forward to welcoming you, at no cost, to have a try.

For more information please contact squire@garstongallopers.co.uk or Jackie on 01488 648851 or Penny Brookman on 07770 827714 or just pop along to a Monday evening practice before the end of February.

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

The Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company needs your help. It operates the Lambourn Food Bank, the Youth Junction, Lambourn Lunch Club, the Environmental Group, the Community Bus and a number of other projects. However all this needs funding. Many amazing donors support the projects, however there is always a need for more. Right now you can help by nominating the Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company for a £1,000 grant just by nominating them on the movementforgood website and casting your vote. When you visit the site, search for Lambourn Junction Community Interest Company. It will not come up because CICs are not automatically listed. Just tick the Exempt From Registration box and continue. Every vote helps and increases the chance of Lambourn receiving £1,000.

Lambourn Pharmacy will be running a Covid vaccination clinic for NHS eligible patients (please check criteria before booking) from 10am to 1pm on Sunday 28 January.  Please call 01488 71464 to book. They are the only Covid vaccination service still running in West Berks so please share this information with the community.

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).

• Denise Herrington reports that last Monday between 10am and 1.45pm a small but important tin is missing from St Mary’s Church. The tin, which looks like a book, contains the church organ key and usually sits patiently with the music books next to the organ. Should anyone see the tin roaming the village on a winter adventure, please could you let Denise know on facebook or just pop it back?

• 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.

• In case you missed it, here is West Berkshire Council’s short video with Jon Winstanley and Cllr Stuart Gourley about how Great Shefford pumping and Eastbury Flood Alleviation schemes are working and what measures are being put in place to recover from flooding.

• Martyn Wright of the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum reports that the Pang Valley Flood Protection Exhibition last Saturday was very informative. If you would like details please contact Martyn on martynwright345@btinternet.com or visit the Pang Valley Flood Forum website here.

• If you fancy an alternative Valentine’s experience next month, there are a few tables still available at the Queen’s Faulty Towers Valentines evening on Wednesday 14 February.

• Quick reminder about coping with winter weatheradvice about flooding and how to stay safe in icy conditions and how to thaw frozen condensate pipe from your boiler.

• The Rural Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications and it’s aimed at providing funding to micro and small businesses located in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

• Lambourn Community Bus to Wantage will be back in operation on Wednesday 7 February. Keep an eye out on Lambourn Facebook page for any updates or please call Julie Blogg on 07840 780345.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA is currently adding equipment and resources to its wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. The PTFA is looking for wood chipping and logs of varying sizes, including larger ones, suitable to sit on and is prepared to receive donations or to buy. If you can help, please email cazfarrant@btinternet.com

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

Sat 27 Jan Pub Quiz  Great Shefford Sports & Social Club

• Fri 2 Feb Village Quiz Night  Brightwalton Village Hall

• Fri 2 Feb Six Nations Rugby, Great Shefford Sports & Social Club

• Tue 6 Feb Barbie (2.30pm & 7.30pm) East Garston Village Hall

• Wed 14 Feb Faulty Towers Valentine’s Night Queens Lodge, East Garston

• Wed 14 Feb Valentine’s Coffee & Craft Morning Great Shefford Village Hall

• Sat 17 Feb Woodlands Country Music: Micky Dee, Woodlands St Mary Village Hall

• Sat 24 Feb Curry and Quiz Night  Great Shefford Village Hall

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group 2pm to 3.15pm Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week, no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 10 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; flooding, including the meeting in East Garston with Thames Water in December; planning matters’ street lighting; speeding; WBC’s budget; councillor surgeries; the fear of crime; the former Eastbury Village Hall; finalist matters; and repairs and maintenance.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Chair’s report; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; speeding; and a farewell to the Clerk.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; village communications; maintenance and repairs; speeding; the Christmas tree;  a report from the ward member; and CIL funds.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

 

Thursday 18 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: bells, lights, buses, bin collections in Eastbury and Morris dancers – plus tributes to long-standing Lambourn parish Councillor Sue “two gongs” Cocker and a report on the recent meeting of the Lambourn Flood Forum which included a very valuable lesson for Thames Water. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: jazz and a quiz night. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Two gongs for Sue

It’s going to be a busy week in February for Sue Cocker, having been successfully nominated for and then winning not only West Berkshire Council’s Community Champion Lifetime Achievement Award but also Lambourn Parish Council’s first Honorary Freewoman of the Parish of Lambourn (click here for the policy).

“Lambourn Parish Council (LPC) is delighted to be presenting the first Freewoman of the Parish honor to Sue Cocker at the February Full Council meeting,” an LPC statement read. “This is the first such honour conferred by the Parish. Granting the Freedom of the Parish is the highest honour that the Parish Council can bestow. Although it carries no powers, rights or privileges, Sue will be able to use the title of “Honorary Freewoman of the Parish of Lambourn”. Sue will be presented with a scroll at the 7 February Full Council meeting.

Sue has also been awarded The West Berkshire Council Lifetime Achievement Award – click here for the criteria – and has been formally invited to receive this award at Shaw House on 5 February. The panel was “extremely impressed with her contribution to the community “and felt this had to be recognised.

West Berkshire haS given the award in recognition of Sue’s service to the Parish in her many capacities as a Parish Councillor, champion of the Lambourn Library, leadership of the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and work with the Woodlanders Protection Group.

These sentiments were echoed by several of those who have worked with her over the years. “Ever since I have known Sue, she has been engaged with many community groups,” Lambourn Parish Councillor Bridget Jones said. “Her commitment to these groups is unwavering and her work in improving and saving our libraries has been phenomenal. She has also sought innovative solutions to some of the trickier dilemmas that have faced both the Parish Council and other groups.”

Former LPC Peter Penfold agrees. “Over the last thirty or so years there’s has been no aspect of the work of the Council that she has not been involved with,” he said. “Most recently, her massive contribution and leadership of the local neighbourhood development Ppan process will lead to one of the most important initiatives by the Parish Council in recent years.”

“She has always taken a professional approach to all her council commitments,” Mike Billinge-Jones, another former LPC member, said. “Whenever she was assigned a planning application Sue always went the extra mile to make sure she understood all the aspects of the application. Her presentations were very informative, enabling fellow council members to make correct decisions.”

We’ve had several dealings with her over the last ten years on a wide range of matters and completely agree with these judgements – both awards are richly deserved.

• The Lambourn Valley Flood Forum

This met on 15 January and you can read a report on what was discussed from the Chair, Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston, in a special mid-month update to his regular ward news.

Such meetings provide a useful opportunity for local groups to share information and to ask questions of, and get information from, the larger organisations. A particular advantage is that everyone (including representatives from TW, the EA and WBC) are all present at the same time – something that perhaps doesn’t happen as often as it should – which reduces the possibility of buck-passing.

This meeting also highlighted some important problems with the way that Thames Water’s complaints system was working in this area. The fact that it wasn’t working very well (in particular, the way it announced that a reported problem had been fixed when it hadn’t) had been flagged up by Martyn Wright of the EGFPF . Thames Water appeared to be genuinely shocked about what he had to tell them about their own system. A senior board member attended the meeting as a result.

He offered apologies and promised prompt action. This will, once fixed, be to the benefit of anyone reporting problems in any part of the TW area which, like the Lambourn Valley, suffers from a chronic combination of groundwater and a defective sewerage system.

• Flooding in the Lambourn Valley

In this this separate post we look at flooding issues in the whole upper Lambourn valley area, including good news with regard to the Eastbury flood alleviation scheme and the lack of rain in the immediate weather forecast. There’s also some less good news about the continuing high groundwater levels which have caused domestic flooding.

It also provides information about help from the government (which will be provided in due course via WBC) and about actions you can take to help mitigate or report on the effects of the floods.

• Other news

• Fancy a go at bell-ringing this Saturday 20 January to keep this 400 year old tradition alive? No previous experience is required and it’s good exercise for both body and mind. You can have a go either in East Garston Church from 10am to 11.30am or in Lambourn Church from 11.30am to 1pm. Refreshments available in the church.

• West Berkshire Council have made a short video with Jon Winstanley and Cllr Stuart Gourley about how Great Shefford pumping and Eastbury Flood Alleviation schemes are working and what measures are being put in place to recover from flooding.

• Quick reminder about coping with winter weatheradvice about flooding and how to stay safe in icy conditions and how to thaw frozen condensate pipe from your boiler.

• Family Hub Hungerford has just launched a new Little Lambourn Lights Stay and Play group from 2pm to 3.15pm on Wednesdays at Lambourn Primary School for 0-4 yrs old and their parents/carers. The cost is £1 per family per week but there is no need to book. For more information visit their facebook page here or call 01488 682628, 07771 701911 or email sharris@hungerfordnursery.w-berks.sch.uk.

• The Rural Business Grant Scheme is now open for applications and it’s aimed at providing funding to micro and small businesses located in rural areas across West Berkshire to help facilitate growth, diversify, and support the rural economy. See details here and how to apply.

• After a site visit to examine the flood damage, West Berks Council decided to put in three communal bulk bin collection points in Eastbury due to a section of the road potentially collapsing they do not want to continually bring in their vehicles – see details here. As there is sewage in the water, it hopes to clear everything that is contaminated in the 1,100 litre bulk bins that will be provided to prevent any build-up of waste. Unfortunately, they will not be currently collecting any garden waste but will clear all excess garden waste from subscribers, including Christmas trees, once the flooding has subsided.

• 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.

• Quick reminder that Front Street in East Garston will be closed between 9.30am and 3.30pm on Monday 22 January between its junction with Footpath 7 (near the bridge) and its junction with Newbury Road for Thames Water to carry out sewer cleaning. Residential and blue light access will be maintained throughout, and the diversion will be signed on site. All enquiries should be directed to: Lanes Group on 03333 445 680 or 07860 784 633.

• Lambourn Community Bus to Wantage will be back in operation on Wednesday 7 February. Keep an eye out on Lambourn Facebook page for any updates or please call Julie Blogg on 07840 780345.

Garston Gallopers Morris dancers practise every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians always. It’s a fun way to exercise and make new friends. For more information please contact squire@garstongallopers.co.uk or Jackie on 01488 648851 or visit facebook.com/garstongallop

• If you fancy an alternative Valentine’s experience next month, book a table at the Queen’s Faulty Towers Valentines evening on Wednesday 14 February.

• Due to the closure of Uplands Lane in Upper Lambourn because of flood water, more racehorses than usual are having to use the B4000 to make their way safely to the gallops in Upper Lambourn. This may cause some delays so please make extra time for your journey and slow to a maximum of 10mph and give horse riders at least 2m space when passing.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA is currently adding equipment and resources to its wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. The PTFA is looking for wood chipping and logs of varying sizes, including larger ones, suitable to sit on and is prepared to receive donations or to buy. If you can help, please email cazfarrant@btinternet.com

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Sat 20 Jan Woodlands Country Music: John Permenter, Woodlands St Mary Village Hall

• Fri 2 Feb Village Quiz Night  Brightwalton Village Hall

• Tue 6 Feb Barbie (2.30pm & 7.30pm) East Garston Village Hall

• Wed 14 Feb Faulty Towers Valentine’s Night Queens Lodge, East Garston

• Sat 17 Feb Woodlands Country Music: Micky Dee, Woodlands St Mary Village Hall

• Sat 24 Feb Curry and Quiz Night  Great Shefford Village Hall

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

Garston Gallopers morris dancers practice every Monday evening 8pm to 9.30pm in East Garston Village Hall and welcome new dancers (no experience required) and musicians.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 10 January and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; flooding, including the meeting in East Garston with Thames Water in December; planning matters’ street lighting; speeding; WBC’s budget; councillor surgeries; the fear of crime; the former Eastbury Village Hall; finalist matters; and repairs and maintenance.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Chair’s report; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; speeding; and a farewell to the Clerk.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; village communications; maintenance and repairs; speeding; the Christmas tree;  a report from the ward member; and CIL funds.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 11 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: closures, pumping, delays, a fun run and a race night – plus flood support and information about the road closure in Eastbury. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: Christmas tree chipping and over 40s lunch. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• The January Valley of the Racehorse e-newsletter was published last week – click here to read it if you didn’t receive it.

• Due to the closure of Uplands Lane in Upper Lambourn because of flood water, more racehorses than usual are having to use the B4000 to make their way safely to the gallops in Upper Lambourn. This may cause some delays so please make extra time for your journey and slow to a maximum of 10mph and give horse riders at least 2m space when passing.

• Linda Bowden reports on the pumping situation in Great Shefford: “using one electric pump at the north end of the village (by the culvert). This is higher powered than the original plan to use four smaller ones, but will be much quieter for residents. The springs are rising rapidly at South Fawley, for those remembering 2014, there is now a large lake by the A338 where the South Fawley turn is – expect the volume water going down the side of the A338 to increase substantially once this has filled the ‘basins’ on its way down – wasn’t affecting the bottom of Buckham Hill earlier, but likely to be soon.”

• Due to a section of road surface lifting and breaking up West Berkshire Council highways have implemented an emergency road closure at the western end of Eastbury to prevent further damage to the road where the carriageway is waterlogged. The affected area is between Poughly Cottage and the Hermitage (near where the Village Hall used to be). Please respect the road closure to prevent further damage to the asphalt. See separate section below.

Lambourn Community Bus was unable to run this week due to the inclement weather and localised flooding, but hopes to be back in operation on Wednesday 17 January. Keep an eye out on Lambourn Facebook page for any updates or please call Julie Blogg on 07840 780345.

Lambourn Sports Club wants to say a very big thank you to all the people who recycled their Christmas trees last week and raised  £170 for local charities.

• Congratulations to all those that took part in the East Garston’s New Years Eve Fun Run, especially Matthew Jacobs who not only retained his title but also smashed the world record, running the five-mile fun run (up a very steep hill) in 29m 25secs. Epic effort from local boy Billy Tulloch, holding off the Dunlop brothers for second place and to Andy Collins who won the over 50’s race.  Emily Seath was the impressive ladies winner and there were some great runs from the youngsters especially Caelin Naylor (under 12y) who finished 13th. In the junior races there were wins for Poppy Symonds (under 12s), Erin Powell (7-9y) and Seb Powell who won the under 6s by over half a lap.

• 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.

• Fancy a go at bell-ringing to keep this 400 year old tradition alive? On Saturday 20 January you can have a go either in East Garston Church from 10am to 11.30am or in Lambourn Church from 11.30am to 1pm. Refreshments available in the church.

Front Street in East Garston will be closed between 9.30am and 3.30pm on Monday 22 January, the closure will be between its junction with Footpath 7 (near the bridge) and its junction with Newbury Road for Thames Water to carry out sewer cleaning. Residential and blue light access will be maintained throughout, and the diversion will be signed on site. All enquiries should be directed to: Lanes Group on 03333 445 680 or 07860 784 633.

• Lambourn RDA is hosting a Race Night in the Walwyn Hall on Saturday 27 January to raise vital funds for the charity. Tickets cost £20 per person including supper and pre- race drink. Purchase your own horse £5, or sponsor a race £25. To purchase your ticket, email funding@lambournrda.co.uk.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA is currently adding equipment and resources to its wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. The PTFA is looking for wood chipping and logs of varying sizes, including larger ones, suitable to sit on and is prepared to receive donations or to buy. If you can help, please email cazfarrant@btinternet.com

• If you see, or hear, any signs at all of sewer problems with manholes, downstairs toilets, showers and the like please report it to Thames Water online here or call 0800 316 9800.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

• 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:

• Eastbury’s closure

As a result of the flooding in the area, the road through Eastbury has been closed near the old Village Hall. Although it doesn’t look that bad to a casual observer, the carriageway has become damaged by water just below the surface and it’s possible that the road could collapse under the weight of a vehicle. Unfortunately, as the groundwater levels are so high it’s not possible for WBC’s Highways team to do any repairs, or even make a full assessment of how bad the sub-surface damage is. It could therefore be some weeks before this can be fixed.

Access through Eastbury (from, say, East Garston to Lambourn) needs therefore to be via the Eastbury shute, the B4000 and the B4001. Access is possible from the East Garson direction as far as The Plough (which is now open again after a brief closure).

There are two immediate public-service consequences of this. The first is that rubbish collections can’t take place using the normal vehicles. West Berkshire Council is looking at what the options are and will be in touch with residents in the near future.

A recent statement on the Lambourn PC website quoted WBC as saying that “a smaller vehicle will be sent out this morning (Wed 10 Jan) via East Garston to attempt food waste collections from properties prior to the road closure at that end of the village. This collection crew will provide feedback as to whether the larger recycling and garden waste vehicles should attempt any collections from these same properties.” As soon as this feedback is received and a decision taken, this will be publicised here, on the Lambourn PC website and on Lambourn.org.

Another casualty of this in the Number 4 bus which currently goes from Lambourn via the B4001, the B4000 and the A338 to Great Shefford, missing out East Garston and Eastbury completely.

Any motorist who is tempted to move the closure signs or barriers and drive through regardless is seriously advised to reconsider. Aside from the risk of injury and making a bad situation worse, I’d also imagine that no insurance claim would be entertained. When driving through any standing water in the village, please proceed at no more than walking speed. A car moving at even five mph can create bow waves which can flood neighbouring properties with a mixture of groundwater and sewage. Be aware also that during the current cold snap the water can freeze, creating black ice.

These points apply when driving anywhere in the district where there’s flooding, not just in Eastbury. All in all, please conduct all journeys in the area with the utmost caution.

• Flooding in the Lambourn Valley

In this this separate post we look at flooding issues in the whole upper Lambourn valley area, including good news with regard to the Eastbury flood alleviation scheme and the lack of rain in the immediate weather forecast. There’s also some less good news about the continuing high groundwater levels which have caused domestic flooding. See above for information about how this has affected the road through Eastbury.

It also provides information about help from the government (which will be provided in due course via WBC) and about actions you can take to help mitigate or report on the effects of the floods.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Mon 15 Jan Berkshire Youth Club Brightwalton Village Hall

• Tue 16 Jan Over 40s Lunch, Lambourn Memorial Hall

• Sat 20 Jan Woodlands Country Music: John Permenter, Woodlands St Mary Village Hall

• Fri 2 Feb Village Quiz Night  Brightwalton Village Hall

• Tue 6 Feb Barbie (2.30pm & 7.30pm) East Garston Village Hall

• Sat 17 Feb Woodlands Country Music: Micky Dee, Woodlands St Mary Village Hall

• Sat 24 Feb Curry and Quiz Night  Great Shefford Village Hall

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; street lights; no road-safety mirror; repairs and maintenance; financial matters; the 2024-25 budget; Eastbury Village Hall; Christmas decorations; planning matters; and the freedom of the parish nominations.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Chair’s report; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; speeding; and a farewell to the Clerk.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; village communications; maintenance and repairs; speeding; the Christmas tree;  a report from the ward member; and CIL funds.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Thursday 4 January 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes: tree gobbling, a clean-up, a closure, student support and winter reading – plus Shefford’s groundwater levels and storm problems with the local sewage system. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Lambourn area events include: Christmas tree chipping and over 40s lunch. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

This week’s news

• At 8.50pm on Thursday 4 December, a flood warning was issued for the upper Lambourn Valley: click here for details. Many thanks to Martyn Wright from the East Garston Flood and Pollution Forum for passing this news on.

• After the recent storms, the car park and skate park at Lambourn’s old cricket pitch need sweeping to remove the debris. Jonathan Atkinson will be there at 9.30am this Saturday 6 January and would appreciate help. Please bring a brooms and shovel.

• On Sunday 7 January from 11am to 1pm Lambourn Sports Club will be hosting a Tree Gobbler, to enable you to recycle your Christmas Tree for a small donation. Donations will be used to purchase sanitary products for free to the local community. A hot lunch will be available inside.

• Quick reminder to have your say about West Berkshire Council’s proposed budget cuts which affects services like litter bins in Lambourn. Even if you contributed to the Lambourn.org flash poll, you also need to make your comments on the WBC website (or by post) by midnight next Thursday 11 January 2024. The proposed cuts will be discussed at the Lambourn PC meeting on 10 January and district councillor Howard Woollaston will take the views of the meeting back to West Berkshire Council.

Newbury Street in Lambourn will be closed between Oxford Street and Foxbury overnight from 10pm to 5.30am between 8 and 9 January for Thames Water sewer cleaning. Residential and blue light access will be maintained throughout, and the diversion will be signed on site. All enquiries should be directed to: Lanes Group on 03333 445 680 or 07860 784 633. A plan of the closure can be found here.

• The decorations on the Upper Lambourn Cemetery memorial tree will be removed on Saturday 6 Januaryfrom 11am. If you would like to take down your loved one’s decoration, please do so either before or on Saturday. All remaining decorations will be removed and kept for next year.

• Fancy a go at bell-ringing to keep this 400 year old tradition alive? On Saturday 20 January you can have a go either in East Garston Church from 10am to 11.30am or in Lambourn Church from 11.30am to 1pm. Refreshments available in the church.

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 Club starts from Monday 8 January for 9 to 11 years to learn to code at home with Scratch.

• Next time you order from Amazon, Lambourn Valley Eco Community suggests considering the ‘pick up location’ option for instance Lambourn or Great Shefford Post Offices or the Amazon Locker at Membury. For some people, home deliveries are essential, but for others, anything which can reduce the number of van deliveries to our villages and make the roads safer for children and horses is worth considering. It is a greener option too, reducing the number of car miles (assuming you pick up your parcel en route to somewhere else and don’t make a special journey to do so).

• 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.

• Quick reminder about the Friends of Lambourn Library‘s Winter Reading Festival, aimed at 12 years to adult until the end of February with the chance to win the draw for a book token. To take part, sign up at the desk in Lambourn Library collect your “Record Card” and borrow your book(s): printed, audio or e-book.

Click here for the latest ward update from Lambourn District Councillor Howard Woollaston.

Lambourn Parish Council has issued details of road salting in the village. To find out more about the routes agreed for this winter, click here.

Chaddleworth & Shefford Schools PTFA is currently adding equipment and resources to its wonderful forest school at Chaddleworth & Shefford School. The PTFA is looking for wood chipping and logs of varying sizes, including larger ones, suitable to sit on and is prepared to receive donations or to buy. If you can help, please email cazfarrant@btinternet.com

• If you see, or hear, any signs at all of sewer problems with manholes, downstairs toilets, showers and the like please report it to Thames Water online here or call 0800 316 9800.

• Click here to read the full list of what Lambourn Parish Council hopes to achieve through the Lambourn Neighbourhood Development Plan and the feedback from the community so far. See also the separate section below.

• Flooding and groundwater in the valley

Following the torrential rains last week, the sewerage and flood-defence systems in the valley were given a severe test. See this separate article for how they coped, what the next issues might be and what action you can take to help reduce or report any future problems.

Sewage storm chaos

Heavy rain on top of already high groundwater levels has led to villages in the Lambourn Valley experiencing sewage coming out of manhole covers and into the streets – whether  it’s from the manhole cover outside Lambourn Firestation running straight down the road and into the river, the sewage ‘fountain’ in Faulke Walwyn’s Way, Upper Lambourn, or from a manhole that is polluting properties in Eastbury.  This is despite the extensive work that Thames Water undertook in Lambourn three years ago which they assured us would put an end to this.

It is important that we continue to report all issues to Thames Water (and feel free to copy in MP Laura Farris) via thameswater.co.uk/help/report-a-problem or 0800 316 9800, quoting the following Bulletin Board number for the area: Lambourn BB 469723 or East Garston BB 488067. It’s also important to take photos.

The other important thing we can do is not create blockages in the sewage pipes by flushing things like wet wipes (even the ones that claim to be flushable), cotton wool, dental floss, condoms down the loo (which should only take the three Ps: pee, poo and paper).  And also please don’t put fat, oil, grease, sitcky dough or plate scrapings down sink drain. See Thames Water’s Bin It Don’t Block It advice.

• Groundwater in Great Shefford

Government Flood Alert: Groundwater levels are gradually rising in response to recent rainfall across the area and have continued rising at our observation borehole at Northfield Farm near Great Shefford. Groundwater levels are higher than normal for this time of year and have now reached a level where communities may now be affected by flooding from groundwater within the next few days. The catchment remains sensitive to rainfall due to saturated ground and high groundwater levels. Low-lying land, gardens, roads and cellars will therefore continue to be at risk of flooding. Due to the nature of groundwater behaviour, this situation could continue for several weeks or longer.

Click here for live flood map.

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

Local groups can apply for funding from the Lambourn Carnival Committee at lambournfestival@yahoo.com or write to the committee c/o 9 Mill Lane, Lambourn.

• Lambourn Growers plant/seed swap station at the porch of 4 Bockhampton Road. Totally self-service. All local growers welcome to join the facebook group here.

If an overgrown hedge makes it hard to walk along a path, please report it here.

• Free dyslexia advice and help sessions at Lambourn Library. Contact Dyslexia Specialist Jacqui Flisher on 07787 127771. Or, to book a free 30-minute telephone or Zoom call click here and fill out the contact form.

• The Lambourn Junction supports local families in need and requests donations (food or cash). Please visit their facebook page for available timings or call Julie on 07840 780345.

 Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team is on the look out for new members to play Thursday evenings.  If you are interested, please contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Fire Station is still seeking on-call firefighters who work or live near the station and would like to help the community. See here for more information on the role (which is paid).  See here for history of Lambourn Fire Brigade.

• Lambourn Library stocks All Yours Boxes. So if you need support with period products, you can visit the library during opening hours and ask a member of staff, no questions asked. See here for library opening hours.

• Lambourn Sports Club’s ‘A’ darts team welcomes new members. Click here for details or contact team captain Luke on 07427 460695.

• Lambourn Parish Council has added a FAQ section to its website for any queries local residents may have.

 Lambourn Volunteer Group is looking for more volunteer drivers, especially in East Garston and Great Shefford, and for help with manning the phones on a rota basis. If you can help please see here for details.

• For sharing pictures and stories about local wildlife we recommend the Great Shefford Nature Watch Facebook group.

• Village Views provides further monthly information (in printed format) about events in the Valley and community groups. For more information please send an email to villageviews@newburyweb.net.

• 4LEGS Radio broadcasts on Fridays and Saturday mornings: click here for more information and how to listen in.

• For how to avoid scams and what to do if you unluckily get caught, please see important advice here from Citizen’s Advice.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

• Sun 7 Jan Christmas Tree Chipping Lambourn Sports Club

• Tue 16 Jan Over 40s Lunch, Lambourn Memorial Hall

• Tue 6 Feb Barbie (2.30pm & 7.30pm) East Garston Village Hall

• Regular events

• Lambourn Youth Junction welcomes any young people in the Valley in Years 5 to 9 at The Lambourn Centre on Monday evenings. Click here to sign up or for more information call 07749 844600, or visit their website or Facebook page.  New volunteers very welcome.

 Lambourn Library host some regular activities such as: RhymeTime (click here for the facebook group) ; Goldentime Allsorts club Art GroupBook Group and Knit and Natter.

 Lambourn Market every Friday from 8am in Lambourn Market Square.

• Lambourn Silver Circle for over 55s meets every third Wednesday in the Memorial Hall. See details here.

• The Lambourn Centre fitness classes can be booked via leisurecentre.com or ring 01488 73690.

• Lambourn Sports Club has several openings in its football team. Kit is paid for by club sponsors and you don’t pay to play. Contact Nick on 07788 140641 for further info and sign ups.

• Lamblers Walking Group welcomes all to join local walks. Please see the The Lambler’s Walking Group Facebook page for walk dates.

• Monthly Dementia Café at Lanbourn Memorial Hall, click here for further information.

Pilates classes  at The Memorial Hall, Lambourn, at 9.30am and 6pm. Book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Belinda at belindaspilatesfix@gmail.com or mobile 07833 643 696.

• Sheepdrove Yoga offers iyengar yoga and meditation classes in their wondering setting. See their websitefor dates and booking.

• Teacup Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Oaksey House, Lambourn. Contact Sharon Mooney on 01488 72176 for more details.

• East Garston Table Tennis Club every Thursday 6.30pm to 8pm in East Garston Village Hall. Contact danieloneill403@gmail.com or call 07391 137146 for further information.

 Lambourn Camera Club at Memorial Hall, Lambourn. Please click here for details or contact oliver on 07752 175909 or  contact@lambourncameraclub.com.

 Lambourn Playgroup every Monday in term time in St Michael’s Church from 10am to 11.45am. Snacks are provided. Click here for their FB group.

 East Garston Coffee Club (or O60CC) on the last Friday of the month. Small charge for refreshments. Please click here for contact information.

 Shefford Baby and Toddler Group every Monday 9.30am to 11.30am at Great Shefford Village Hall. For more details see Great Shefford Under Fives Facebook page.

• East Garston Village Hall activities, clubs and groups throughout the week.

• Seed and plant swaps organised by Lambourn Growers Facebook group in Bockhampton Road.

The Royal British Legion Club, Lambourn has now sadly closed but the FB page will continue for you “to add your memories from bygone days”.


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.

• The most recent meeting of Lambourn Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 December and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: the Chair’s report; street lights; no road-safety mirror; repairs and maintenance; financial matters; the 2024-25 budget; Eastbury Village Hall; Christmas decorations; planning matters; and the freedom of the parish nominations.
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 East Garston Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 November and you can download the minutes here. Items covered included: planning matters; the Chair’s report; the Clerk’s report; financial matters; repairs and maintenance; speeding; and a farewell to the Clerk.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Great Shefford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 6 November and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: financial matters; village communications; maintenance and repairs; speeding; the Christmas tree;  a report from the ward member; and CIL funds.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes, please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Welford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 1 November 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 and minutes, please click here.

• Lambourn Valley area council contacts

• Parishes: Lambourn Parish CouncilEast Garston Parish CouncilWelford Parish Council and Great Shefford Parish Council.
• West Berkshire Council: click here to visit the website.

News from other areas

• Penny Post area – please see the following separate sections: Hungerford area; Newbury area; Thatcham area; Compton and DownlandsBurghfield area; Wantage area; Marlborough area.
• News and views from across the area and beyond: please see the most recent Weekly News with Brian column.

Archives

Click here for the 2022 archive

Click here for the 2023 archive

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