Thursday 16 May 2024

Our usual round-up of  local news includes a family day, black belts, a new support group, the Spring Festival, dogs and cats – plus Newbury’s latest Mayor takes up his chain. See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Newbury events include Newbury Spring Festival and community cafes. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• New Mayor for Newbury

At the Town Council’s annual Mayor Making ceremony last Sunday 12 May, Councillor Andy Moore OBE was elected as Mayor of Newbury for the municipal year 2024/25.  The event was held in The Corn Exchange with over 200 guests in attendance. It was attended by members of the Council, local dignitaries, community organisations and their friends and families.

The Town Council, along with the Town Marshal and Macebearers, processed through the Market Place to the Corn Exchange to start the ceremony. Following the ceremony, a Civic Service was held at St Nicolas Church with refreshments in the Church Hall afterwards.

Outgoing Mayor, Councillor Nigel Foot shared highlights from his year as Mayor of Newbury, including raising over £2,600 for his chosen charity, West Berkshire Homeless. Councillors Elizabeth O’Keeffe and Ian Jee expressed their delight in proposing Councillor Andy Moore as the Mayor of Newbury for the municipal year 2024/25.

The new Mayor announced that he was looking forward to the year ahead in office and that his chosen charity would be West Berkshire Foodbank. After declaring his acceptance of office, Councillor Moore said, “I am honoured and humbled and will do my very best to do justice to this historic role.” Councillor Andy Moore was invested by receiving the chain and badge of office.

The Mayor also formally invested his wife, Sheila Moore, as the Lady Mayoress. And Cllr David Harman was also invested as Deputy Mayor of Newbury, and he is looking forward to supporting the Mayor over the course of the year.

See more details on Newbury Town Council’s website.

• Other news

• This Sunday 19 May sees the return of the Family Day at Victoria Park. There will be entertainment for all ages including traditional Punch & Judy shows, dancing and singing, live musical entertainment, a climbing wall, the splash park and even more. Kennet Radio will also be there too broadcasting live from the event, plus a Fire Engine and a Police car to explore. See more details here.

• Congratulations to Charlie Fox and Edward Terry for attaining their coding ‘black belts’ at Code Ninja’s Newbury. To reach the coveted black belt status at Code Ninjas, Edward and Charlie worked through nine courses of the programme, including JavaScript, Lua in Roblox, and C# in Unity. To achieve the black belt, the students then had to create their own games, which are now downloadable for the public to access and play. The popular game-building and coding destination for local children, Code Ninjas Newbury has now been running for three years on London Road, and owner Marcus Brind is delighted with this achievement seeing as there is only a small handful of black belt students in the whole country. See here for details of their May Halfterm Day Camps.

• The 45th Newbury Spring Festival is running until Saturday 25 May with upcoming hightlights including The Sheepdrove Recital, Newbury Spring Festival Chorus and Wind in the Willows and The Sheepdrove Piano Competition Final. Click here to see the full schedule of events on offer.  There is also an opportunity for under 18s to get directly involved by entering the festival’s Young Festival Critic Competition, and completely free tickets to many Newbury Spring Festival performances are offered to under 30 year olds to encourage younger generation appreciation of live music.

• If you or anyone you know is struggling with menopause, Sukey Russell-Hayward is running a free Let’s Talk Menopause support group starting on Monday 20 May. Please see here for details.

Canine Partners are holding a free Information Afternoon on Tuesday 21 May in Chieveley Hall from 2pm to 5pm. Find out about Canine Partners and watch a demonstration of how they train their dogs, hear first-hand from someone who has a life-changing assistance dog, and find out how you can help the charity.  Tea and coffee provided!

• Please note some West Berkshire Libraries services will be temporarily suspended for one week while they make improvements to their library management system. From Sunday 26 May to Saturday 1 June the library catalogue will unavailable, you will not be able to reserve books or other items, the app will be unavailable as well as some other digital services. If you need to photocopy or print anything please bring cash. No items will be due for return and no fines will be charged during this period. This will affect all WB libraries including Newbury, Thatcham, Theale, Burghfield Common, Mortimer, Lambourn, Pangbourne and Hungerford. Click here for the latest updates.

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.

Newbury Town Council’s latest newsletter for May 2024 highlights Newbury in Bloom (reminder that entries close Sunday 26 May) and the Victoria Park Family Day on Sunday 19 May from 12 noon to 4pm.

• HomeStart West Berkshire supports many local families and always in need of funds. Please support their Bingo Night on Wednesnday 22 May at Newbury & Thatcham Hockey Club in Thatcham. Please see details here for how to book.

The Fair Close Centre run by Age UK Newbury requests donations for their Jumble Sale on Saturday 18 May. Please pop them into the Centre on Newtown Road RG14 7BH which is open Monday to Friday. Or contact them on 01635 40488 or hello@fairclosecentre.org to arrange collection. To learn more about Fair Close Centre activities, events and services visit fairclosecentre.org.

• Quick reminder about Open Studios flagship exhibition INSIGHT 2024 featuringwork by over one local hundred artists at The Base, Greenham until Monday 27 May. Plus many working studios of local artists to visit across Newbury, Thatcham, Stockcross, Woolton Hill, Hungerford, Kintbury Holt, Bucklebury, Bradfield and Brimpton, Lambourn, East Ilsley and Wilton. There is also an exhibition of three artists at West Berkshire Museum open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am – 4pm and a Trio of Talents exhibit drawing, printing, ceramics, sculpture, woodwork and textiles every weekend in May at the Bowls Pavilion at Stockcross House.

• The Northcroft Lido is now back open for the season and available for bookings. They are running family sessions so that people can enjoy both the outdoor pool and the flumes and splash pad too. Click here for times and how to book.

• Sound Newbury facebook page promotes live gigs in the local area – see here for the line-up over this long Easter weekend. And get in touch with the facebook page if your event isn’t included.

• The Volunteer Centre West Berkshire is offering a range of courses for volunteers, trustees, and anyone in the charity sector. Too see what courses they’re offering and to book a place, click 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.

• If you need to let off steam about Newbury’s current roadworks, join the Newbury Happening Now facebook group. See West Berkshire Council’s list of roads prioritised for improving here.

• 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.

• For support and advice with any flooding issues in Newbury please join the Newbury Flood and Drainage Action Facebook Group.

• Have your say

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

Draft Domestic Abuse Strategy 2023-2027  Deadline 19 May.
Theale Village: Proposed 20mph Speed Limit  Deadline 6 June.

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

• Latest local newsletters

• Newbury Town Council.
• Hamstead Hornet (the March 2024 issue has just been published)


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.

• The Corn Exchange café bar on Thursday mornings between 10.30am and 12.30pm hosts Coffee Companions to meet new people and have a chat.

• Loose Ends drop-in centre at Newbury Cricket Ground welcome volunteers to join its friendly team. They offer hot meals and a safe and friendly environment for vulnerable people. More details and how to apply can be found here.

• Roadworks seem to be ongoing across the town…For up to date news and discussion it’s worth joining the Newbury.Happening now facebook group and its Newbury Traffic Live Updates chat group (on facebook messenger).

• Printer ink cartridges can be recycled at the Waterside Youth Centre, which will help them raise money to fund local youth activities. You can find the donation box next to the blue reception desk. – 01635 018500.

• Northcroft Lido swimming timetable is published here.

• Wash Common Library is open 2pm to 4pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am to 12pm Friday and Saturdays. Contact

• For the low-down on the local live music scene follow Sound Newbury’s facebook page.

• Donations of second-hand bikes welcome at the Community Furniture Project in Newbury where they refurbish the bikes and sell them at affordable prices to people in need. Call 01635 43933.

• Newbury Market welcomes small business interested in having a pitch in the Market Place get in contact with them at towncouncil@newbury.gov.uk or call 07399 122964 to find out more.

• Newbury Town Council Saturday Surgery between 10 am and noon any week at the steps of the Town Hall.

• Newbury’s two friendly community cafés on Wednesdays: Educafe Community Café in Newbury Library 11am to 2pm and Speen Community Café at The Starting Gate Pub 2pm to 5pm.

• Fair Close Centre on Newtown Road in Newbury provides a vital social hub and meals on wheels for over 65s, many of whom live on their own. Please support them here. Goodness knows we might all need their services in years to come.

• Local charity Eight Bells is seeking enthusiastic volunteers to support them with food collections from local supermarkets. For more information and to register your interest please call 07387 962220 or email coordinator@eightbellsnewbury.co.uk.

 The Community Larder at the Waterside Centre is open every Tuesday afternoon, 2pm to 4pm to provide members with surplus food, discounts for local businesses, access to other services and support, as well as a friendly community environment.

• Dignity in Dying local West Berkshire group meets in Newbury Library.

Newbury Library offers free IT support sessions including filling out online forms, how to Zoom, downloading e-magazines or sorting out pictures. Bookable 30- or 60-minute sessions. To find out more or book a slot, email rav.gopal@westberks.gov.uk.

• West Berkshire Library’s friendly At Home service delivers books in person on a three-weekly basis, free of charge if you can’t get into your local branch. Contact the At Home service on 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

Until Sat 25 May Newbury Spring Festival, various locations.

Until Mon 27 May Open Studios, across West Berks & North Hants.

Until Mon 2 Jun 80th Anniversary D-Day, West Berks Museum.

 Every WedEducafe 11am to 2pm, Newbury Library.

 Every WedSpeen Community Cafe, 2pm to 5pm The Starting Gate.

Sat 18 May Plant and Jumble Sale, East Woodhay Village Hall.

• Sun 19 May Victoria Park Family Day, Victoria Park.

• Sat 25 May CommuniTEA, Basecamp, off canal towpath.

• Sun 26 May CommuniTEA, Basecamp, off canal towpath.

• Sun 26 May Art on the Park, Victoria Park.

Mon 27 May Newbury Pride Family Craft Morning, West Berkshire Museum.

Wed 29 May Bill Clinic at Educafe in Newbury Library.

Sun 2 June Wantage Silver Band & Cold Ash Brass Concert, St Nichols Church, Newbury.

Sat 29 June D-Day Anniversary Convoy, from Basingstoke, through Newbury, ends at Hungerford.

Sun 30 June Summer Fayre, Carboot & Cars, Mary Hare School, Newbury.

Mon 8 July Newbury Antiques Fair, Newbury Racecourse.

 Regular events

• A wide range of activities for over 55 year olds is offered by The Corn Exchange in its Ageing Creatively programme.

Community Kitchen Garden meets every Thursday from 10am to 12:30pm. Drop-in to get involved with the planting and maintenance of flowers, fruit and vegetables, learn new skills and meet new people inside the beautiful walled garden of Shaw House. To learn more contact Amy on 07553 810133 or amy.bosley1@westberks.gov.uk.

• Ukulele group workshops for all levels with the UTeam in Wash Common. Call 07963 647087 to enquire.

• Salsa in Newbury courses for beginners and level 2/3 on Wednesday evenings at Newbury British Legion.

 Regular youth activities at the Waterside Centre in central Newbury.

• Wash Common Library hosts Knit & Knatter, 3pm on third Monday/mth and Rhymetime for Toddlers every Thurs at 3pm, Book Club on 2nd Thursday/month (contact Julia  07901 633333).

 Thatcham & Newbury Town Ladies and Girls FC Wildcats programme for girls aged 5 to 11 to get involved in football, promoting skill development, health, confidence and friendship. 6 to 7pm every Wednesday at Lower Way playing fields in Thatcham. Email thatcham.newbury.girls.fc.fdo@gmail.com to get involved.

• Newbury Park Run at Greenham Common at 9am every Saturday morning. Folks of all ages welcome to run/walk/jog the 5km. They also have volunteering opportunities. See details here.

 Newbury Women Football Club always welcomes new players. For more details click here or contact newburywomenfc@gmail.com.

• ACE Space on St Nicholas Road hosts live acoustic performances. Join their Facebook group or follow them on Twitter.

• Newbury Community Larder every Tuesday 2pm to 4pm at the Waterside Centre (down the canal from Costa Coffee on Northbrook Street). For more details please contact waterside@berkshireyouth.co.uk or call 01635 018500.

• Speen Community Café at The Starting Gate in Speen on Wednesdays between 2pm to 5pm. Drop in for a chat or a cuppa, knitting and craft activities. You don’t have to live in Speen to join in. Follow them on facebook here.

• Educafe’s Community Cafe at Newbury Library every Wednesday between 11am and 2pm. If you would like to pop along for a friendly chat or to volunteer in the cafe please see their website for more details.

• Berkshire Youth‘s Waterside Centre in Newbury hosts various clubs and activities for local children and can provide volunteering opportunities for adults too.

 The Base, Greenham organise many art-focused events for people of all ages to let their creative sides go wild.


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 Newbury Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 March and you can download the minutes here. Note that many matters are delegated to committees.
To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shaw-cum-Donnington Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; trees; dog bins; ANPR cameras at the David Wilson Homes site; financial matters; planning matters; road safety; repairs and maintenance; the annual parish meeting (1 May); D-Day; and the Donnington Village Fete.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chieveley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 April and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here to download the meeting schedule. To see the agendas and minutes please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Greenham Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 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 Enborne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 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 Speen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 24 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Boxford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 November 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 Hamstead Marshall Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click hereTo see minutes, please click here.

• Newbury area council contacts

Parishes: Newbury Town CouncilGreenham Parish CouncilChieveley Parish CouncilEnborne Parish CouncilBoxford Parish CouncilSpeen Parish Council,  Shaw-cum-Donnington Parish Council, and Hamstead Marshall 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; Lambourn ValleyThatcham 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 studios, the lido, a newsletter, bingo and music – plus fifty years of twinning, the Spring Festival and three roundabouts (magic or otherwise). See also below for community notices and news from your local council.

Upcoming Newbury events include Newbury Spring Festival and community cafes. See below for details, plus regular events and group activities.

• Newbury Spring Festival

• The 45th Newbury Spring Festival starts this Saturday 11 May and continues with a jam-packed schedule until Saturday 25 May, bringing top international musicians to join local artists from the Newbury area to treat local residents to two weeks of world-class performance at affordable ticket prices. Click here to see the full schedule of events on offer.

There is also an opportunity for under 18s to get directly involved by entering the festival’s Young Festival Critic Competition,

And completely free tickets to many Newbury Spring Festival performances are offered to under 30 year olds to encourage younger generation appreciation of live music.

• Newbury celebrates 50 years of twinning with Bagnols sur Cèze in France

Twenty people from Newbury, including the Mayor of Newbury Councillor Nigel Foot and his wife Councillor Sarah Slack, the Mayoress, visited the South of France to celebrate 50 years of twinning with the town of Bagnols sur Cèze during the first week of May.

The trip included a visit to the Cocalière Caves – more than a kilometre of stunning limestone stalactites and stalagmites reflected in underwater lakes – and a fascinating museum at a disused coal mine, a thirteen-course banquet lunch of regional cooking and unlimited wine, an official celebration of twinning at the Town Hall in Bagnols, a visit to an art gallery with works of art by Matisse, Rodin and Picasso and a dinner dance with guests from six other European towns: Eeklo in Belgium, Braunfels in Germany, Carcaixent in Spain and Feltre in Italy (all twinned with Newbury), as well as Kiskunfélegyháza in Hungary and Zamosc in Poland.

Before heartfelt goodbyes on the Sunday, there was a glorious picnic in a meadow under a shaded arbour with delicious dishes home made by the twinning hosts, including a basket full of freshly picked cherries.

For upcoming twinning events and how to get involved with the organisation please see here. No language requirements are involved, just the interest in meeting new friends here and abroad.

• Newbury’s roundabouts

Last week (see below) I mentioned that a number of developments in south Newbury might result in the town getting a magic roundabout, similar to that which Swindon is so proud of. A statement from WBC suggests that there will in fact be three changes to the ones that are generally known as the Swan, the Tesco and the Burger King roundabouts.

How magic, in the Swindon sense, these will be is more doubtful. The one that’s going to merge the Tesco roundabout with the Newtown Road one immediately to the east might be slightly magic, on whatever scale such things are judged. One this that seems certain is that there will be a certain amount of disruption. When the work will in each case start depends on the progress of the planning applications and the subsequent developments. I append the statement from WBC in full so you can start preparing alternative routes in good time.

“All parts of the Sandleford Park development are now all in the process of being approved at outline planning stage. There will be further detailed planning applications in due course. From detailed traffic modelling, what has already been agreed are highway improvements including along the A339 to accommodate additional traffic from Sandleford Park along with measures to better manage traffic flows coming into Newbury from the south.

“There are three sets of improvements costing some £12 million overall will be funded by Sandleford Park and are as follows:

  • A339/B4640 Swan roundabout improvements. These include measures to encourage more traffic from the A339 to route towards the A34 instead of passing through Newbury town centre. They include visual message signing to divert traffic to the A34 during congestion and the reduction of the A339 to one lane northbound from the roundabout to south of the household waste recycling centre. This enables safety improvements fronting St Gabriel’s School and the provision of a pedestrian crossing. These works will be completed by the developers early within the development.
  • A339/A343 St Johns Road roundabout improvements. These include measures to increase the capacity of this junction by mainly widening the A339 to the north of the roundabout to three lanes. These measures assist in keeping traffic queues clear of the A339 / Cheap Street traffic signal junction and the A339 / B3421 roundabout to the north.  These works will be completed by the developers early within the development.
  • A339/Pinchington Lane/Monks Lane/Newtown Road roundabouts. This is a major proposal to replace both roundabouts with traffic signal junctions with significant improvements to pedestrian and cycle infrastructure around these junctions. There is a separate Council scheme to widen Pinchington Lane to the roundabout near Tesco. This proposed traffic signal junction along with the existing traffic signal junction at A339/Highwood Copse would allow the highway authority to control the rate of traffic flows into the town centre that would assist in preventing junctions within the town centre from being overwhelmed.  These works will be completed later by the developers by completion of the housing development.

“All of the above schemes will need to be subject to a more detailed design process. Recent additional traffic modelling has shown that the improvements can accommodate the recently approved Aldi store and 85 dwellings at Newbury College.”

• Other news

Newbury Town Council’s latest newsletter for May 2024 highlights Newbury in Bloom (reminder that entries close Sunday 26 May) and the Victoria Park Family Day on Sunday 19 May from 12 noon to 4pm.

• HomeStart West Berkshire supports many local families and always in need of funds. Please support their Bingo Night on Wednesnday 22 May at Newbury & Thatcham Hockey Club in Thatcham. Please see details here for how to book.

The Fair Close Centre run by Age UK Newbury requests donations for their Jumble Sale on Saturday 18 May. Please pop them into the Centre on Newtown Road RG14 7BH which is open Monday to Friday. Or contact them on 01635 40488 or hello@fairclosecentre.org to arrange collection. To learn more about Fair Close Centre activities, events and services visit fairclosecentre.org.

• Quick reminder about Open Studios flagship exhibition INSIGHT 2024 featuringwork by over one local hundred artists at The Base, Greenham until Monday 27 May. Plus many working studios of local artists to visit across Newbury, Thatcham, Stockcross, Woolton Hill, Hungerford, Kintbury Holt, Bucklebury, Bradfield and Brimpton, Lambourn, East Ilsley and Wilton. There is also an exhibition of three artists at West Berkshire Museum open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am – 4pm and a Trio of Talents exhibit drawing, printing, ceramics, sculpture, woodwork and textiles every weekend in May at the Bowls Pavilion at Stockcross House.

• The Northcroft Lido is now back open for the season and available for bookings. They are running family sessions so that people can enjoy both the outdoor pool and the flumes and splash pad too. Click here for times and how to book.

• Sound Newbury facebook page promotes live gigs in the local area – see here for the line-up over this long Easter weekend. And get in touch with the facebook page if your event isn’t included.

• The Volunteer Centre West Berkshire is offering a range of courses for volunteers, trustees, and anyone in the charity sector. Too see what courses they’re offering and to book a place, click 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.

• If you need to let off steam about Newbury’s current roadworks, join the Newbury Happening Now facebook group. See West Berkshire Council’s list of roads prioritised for improving here.

• 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.

• For support and advice with any flooding issues in Newbury please join the Newbury Flood and Drainage Action Facebook Group.

• Have your say

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

Proposed nominations for the Local List of Heritage Assets (March 2024) Deadline 12 May.
Draft Domestic Abuse Strategy 2023-2027  Deadline 19 May.
Theale Village: Proposed 20mph Speed Limit  Deadline 6 June.

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

• Latest local newsletters

• Newbury Town Council.
• Hamstead Hornet (the March 2024 issue has just been published)


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.

• The Corn Exchange café bar on Thursday mornings between 10.30am and 12.30pm hosts Coffee Companions to meet new people and have a chat.

• Loose Ends drop-in centre at Newbury Cricket Ground welcome volunteers to join its friendly team. They offer hot meals and a safe and friendly environment for vulnerable people. More details and how to apply can be found here.

• Roadworks seem to be ongoing across the town…For up to date news and discussion it’s worth joining the Newbury.Happening now facebook group and its Newbury Traffic Live Updates chat group (on facebook messenger).

• Printer ink cartridges can be recycled at the Waterside Youth Centre, which will help them raise money to fund local youth activities. You can find the donation box next to the blue reception desk. – 01635 018500.

• Northcroft Lido swimming timetable is published here.

• Wash Common Library is open 2pm to 4pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am to 12pm Friday and Saturdays. Contact

• For the low-down on the local live music scene follow Sound Newbury’s facebook page.

• Donations of second-hand bikes welcome at the Community Furniture Project in Newbury where they refurbish the bikes and sell them at affordable prices to people in need. Call 01635 43933.

• Newbury Market welcomes small business interested in having a pitch in the Market Place get in contact with them at towncouncil@newbury.gov.uk or call 07399 122964 to find out more.

• Newbury Town Council Saturday Surgery between 10 am and noon any week at the steps of the Town Hall.

• Newbury’s two friendly community cafés on Wednesdays: Educafe Community Café in Newbury Library 11am to 2pm and Speen Community Café at The Starting Gate Pub 2pm to 5pm.

• Fair Close Centre on Newtown Road in Newbury provides a vital social hub and meals on wheels for over 65s, many of whom live on their own. Please support them here. Goodness knows we might all need their services in years to come.

• Local charity Eight Bells is seeking enthusiastic volunteers to support them with food collections from local supermarkets. For more information and to register your interest please call 07387 962220 or email coordinator@eightbellsnewbury.co.uk.

 The Community Larder at the Waterside Centre is open every Tuesday afternoon, 2pm to 4pm to provide members with surplus food, discounts for local businesses, access to other services and support, as well as a friendly community environment.

• Dignity in Dying local West Berkshire group meets in Newbury Library.

Newbury Library offers free IT support sessions including filling out online forms, how to Zoom, downloading e-magazines or sorting out pictures. Bookable 30- or 60-minute sessions. To find out more or book a slot, email rav.gopal@westberks.gov.uk.

• West Berkshire Library’s friendly At Home service delivers books in person on a three-weekly basis, free of charge if you can’t get into your local branch. Contact the At Home service on 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk.


Local events and activities

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

• Dates for the diary

Until 27 May Open Studios, across West Berks & North Hants.

• Every WedEducafe 11am to 2pm, Newbury Library

 Every WedSpeen Community Cafe, 2pm to 5pm The Starting Gate.

Sat 11 to 25 May Newbury Spring Festival, various locations.

Sat 18 May Plant and Jumble Sale, East Woodhay Village Hall.

• Sun 19 May Victoria Park Family Day, Victoria Park.

• Sat 25 May CommuniTEA, Basecamp, off canal towpath.

• Sun 26 May CommuniTEA, Basecamp, off canal towpath.

• Sun 26 May Art on the Park, Victoria Park.

Wed 29 May Bill Clinic at Educafe in Newbury Library.

Sun 2 June Wantage Silver Band & Cold Ash Brass Concert, St Nichols Church, Newbury.

Sun 30 June Summer Fayre, Carboot & Cars, Mary Hare School, Newbury.

Mon 8 July Newbury Antiques Fair, Newbury Racecourse.

 Regular events

• A wide range of activities for over 55 year olds is offered by The Corn Exchange in its Ageing Creatively programme.

Community Kitchen Garden meets every Thursday from 10am to 12:30pm. Drop-in to get involved with the planting and maintenance of flowers, fruit and vegetables, learn new skills and meet new people inside the beautiful walled garden of Shaw House. To learn more contact Amy on 07553 810133 or amy.bosley1@westberks.gov.uk.

• Ukulele group workshops for all levels with the UTeam in Wash Common. Call 07963 647087 to enquire.

• Salsa in Newbury courses for beginners and level 2/3 on Wednesday evenings at Newbury British Legion.

 Regular youth activities at the Waterside Centre in central Newbury.

• Wash Common Library hosts Knit & Knatter, 3pm on third Monday/mth and Rhymetime for Toddlers every Thurs at 3pm, Book Club on 2nd Thursday/month (contact Julia  07901 633333).

 Thatcham & Newbury Town Ladies and Girls FC Wildcats programme for girls aged 5 to 11 to get involved in football, promoting skill development, health, confidence and friendship. 6 to 7pm every Wednesday at Lower Way playing fields in Thatcham. Email thatcham.newbury.girls.fc.fdo@gmail.com to get involved.

• Newbury Park Run at Greenham Common at 9am every Saturday morning. Folks of all ages welcome to run/walk/jog the 5km. They also have volunteering opportunities. See details here.

 Newbury Women Football Club always welcomes new players. For more details click here or contact newburywomenfc@gmail.com.

• ACE Space on St Nicholas Road hosts live acoustic performances. Join their Facebook group or follow them on Twitter.

• Newbury Community Larder every Tuesday 2pm to 4pm at the Waterside Centre (down the canal from Costa Coffee on Northbrook Street). For more details please contact waterside@berkshireyouth.co.uk or call 01635 018500.

• Speen Community Café at The Starting Gate in Speen on Wednesdays between 2pm to 5pm. Drop in for a chat or a cuppa, knitting and craft activities. You don’t have to live in Speen to join in. Follow them on facebook here.

• Educafe’s Community Cafe at Newbury Library every Wednesday between 11am and 2pm. If you would like to pop along for a friendly chat or to volunteer in the cafe please see their website for more details.

• Berkshire Youth‘s Waterside Centre in Newbury hosts various clubs and activities for local children and can provide volunteering opportunities for adults too.

 The Base, Greenham organise many art-focused events for people of all ages to let their creative sides go wild.


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 Newbury Town Council for which minutes are available took place on 18 March and you can download the minutes here. Note that many matters are delegated to committees.
To see the dates of future Town Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas and minutes please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Shaw-cum-Donnington Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 17 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; trees; dog bins; ANPR cameras at the David Wilson Homes site; financial matters; planning matters; road safety; repairs and maintenance; the annual parish meeting (1 May); D-Day; and the Donnington Village Fete.
To see the dates, agendas and minutes for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Chieveley Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 9 April and you can read the minutes here. Items covered included: matters arising; planning matters; financial matters; the neighbourhood development plan; the burial ground; the Newbury Showground; D-Day; the parish assembly (1 May); reports from the Clerk and from councillors; speeding; and dog bins
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here to download the meeting schedule. To see the agendas and minutes please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Greenham Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 13 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 Enborne Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 4 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 Speen Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 24 January and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates and agendas for future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here.

• The most recent meeting of Boxford Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 7 November 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 Hamstead Marshall Parish Council for which minutes are available took place on 21 July and you can read the minutes here.
To see the dates of future Parish Council meetings (including any committees), please click here. To see the agendas, please click hereTo see minutes, please click here.

• Newbury area council contacts

Parishes: Newbury Town CouncilGreenham Parish CouncilChieveley Parish CouncilEnborne Parish CouncilBoxford Parish CouncilSpeen Parish Council,  Shaw-cum-Donnington Parish Council, and Hamstead Marshall 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; Lambourn ValleyThatcham 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.


Archive

To see earlier Newbury & Surrounding Area Weekly News columns please click here.

Sign up to the free weekly

Penny Post
e-newsletter 

 

For: local positive news, events, jobs, recipes, special offers, recommendations & more.

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