Community Yearbook 2020

Thursday, 16 January, 2020

Newbury Weekly News

Newbury Weekly News

‘Celebrating a year in the life of our community in 2019 through the pages of the Newbury Weekly News’ Yearbook

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Newbury Weekly News

Thursday, 16 January, 2020

Narrow escape as sign crashes down

Sheltering the homeless

A NEWBURY business- woman described the horrifying moment an old pub sign came crashing down “like a guillotine” and missed one of her clients by inches. The old Clock Tower Inn, in the Broadway, closed in 2009 – but the sign was still there. The drama took place as shoppers walked by. Steph Williams, who runs the vegan VARA Tattoo Studio, witnessed the incident and said the sign had fallen from its metal frame before hitting the street 15 feet below. She said: “I was counting my blessings that nobody was underneath it when it came down. “It would have sliced straight through someone. “I was stood outside and my client was walking towards me. Just by pure luck she stopped to put her phone in her pocket and then it

From a series taken at Greenham Common Peace Camp during the mid-1980s

with office space to assist homeless people on a one-to-

PEOPLEmade some noise for Thatcham’s Community Orchard at a wassailing event. The wassailing tradition involves a ceremony of singing and drinking the health of the trees, normally performed on Twelfth Night, to help them thrive. The term wassail comes from the old Norse‘ ves heil’ meaning ‘be you healthy’. Around 100 people gathered to sing and make noise to scare off evil spirits from the trees, accompanied by the Kennet Morris Men. The proceedings were over- seen by wassail queen Erin Carpenter, aged seven, and king Edgar Ash, aged four, who were selected by mayor A FORMER Newbury snooker club was transformed into a night shelter for rough sleepers across the district. West Berkshire Homeless ran the shelter, located at 1 West Street. The shelter, which was open between 6pm and 8am, accommodated up to 20 individuals, with separate washing, showering, toileting and sleeping areas for men and women, and served light meals. It also provided the charity

Peace Camp r evisited

one basis and a secure storage area for clients’ personal possessions.

AN exhibition of photographs of the Greenham peace camps – Common People – went on show for three months at the Control Tower. Lin Wilkinson wrote: “The black-and-white photographs, by Wendy Carrig, now an established freelance photogra- pher, were taken on film in 1985, when she was a photography student, and have now been digitally scanned and printed. Alongside them is a panel of the photographer’s contact prints, always key to understanding the processes of selection and contextual approach. “The history of the Greenham peace women, who campaigned against the siting of US cruise missiles on the base, is now part of the narrative of the Cold War, included in academic histories, but here the photographer focuses on the domestic life of the women, their day-to-day existence, rather than on the protests they carried out. Of the 17 photographs on show, only one, Keep Death Off the Road , of placard-carrying figures shot in harsh, contre-jour light, shows a protest. Carrig, recently nominated as one of the Royal Photographic Society’s #Hundred Heroines, has an acute eye, and a strong, yet pleasingly- oblique sense of composition, which lends the photographs a sense of informality. What appears candid, however, is the result of creative intent and control. Here we see the daily life of the women; cooking, folding up bedclothes, sitting round fires, sheltering under tarpaulins, and making music. Several of the photographs were shot in hard frost, with ice and snow on the ground, so that what comes across is the bitter cold, the discomfort, and the grit the women showed, their determination to be witnesses and active opponents of nuclear weapons and the masculine realpolitik of the Cold War.”

It was the second time in as many years that West Berk- shire Homeless, established in February 2017, operated a night shelter for the district’ s

homeless community. The charity provided a lifeline to many rough

sleepers when it opened one at the Salvation Army hall, in Northcroft Lane, in December 2017.

crashed to the ground. “It can’t have missed her by more than eight inches. “There were lots of other people walking around. “Everyone just stopped and looked at each other saying ‘oh my god’.”

Mrs Williams said she wanted to highlight the danger of poorly-maintained signs. “The sign was in a very poor condition and the metal frame was broken,” she said. “The wooden sign was rotting and just fell.”

Wassailers make a racket

Many Clouds memorial GRAND National-winning horse Many Clouds , who the people of Lambourn took to their hearts, was commemorated with a decorative iron bench. It was officially declared open by Chris ‘CJ’ Jerdin, the groom who cared for him at trainer Oliver Sherwood’s Rhonehurst yard. Mr Jerdin cut a ribbon at the specially- prepared site at the corner of Newbury Street and Station Road on Friday. Many Clouds , who won the 2015 Grand National, collapsed and died moments after beating Thistlecrack in a thrilling finish at Cheltenham in January 2017.

of Thatcham Jan Cover. The event was organised by the Berkshire, Bucking- hamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust in conjunction with Thatcham Community Orchard.

Groom CJ Jerdin at the Many Clouds memorial

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Newbury Weekly News

Thursday, 16 January, 2020

Shoppers’ traffic chaos AN investigation was held into how roadworks

NWN moves next door

Humphries leaps up world rankings

THE Newbury Weekly News moved – to offices next door. The newspaper, which cele- brated its 152nd anniversary in January, set up shop in its new home in Faraday Road. The move was only the third company’s printing press, the previous offices were too big and no longer suitable for what the company needed. NWN chief executive James Gurney said it was a “new chapter ” in the paper’s history. He said: “It’s exciting to be in in the paper’s history. After the sale of the

an office where we are all closer to each other and there’s more of an atmosphere in a purpose- built office that’ s much nicer to work in.” The NWN ’s new home was previously occupied by Skoda. The new office is still known as Newspaper House, but there is a new postcode– RG14 2AD. Plans to demolish the NWN ’s old headquarters and replace it with flats are yet to be

LUKE Humphries was crowned Best Newcomer at the 2019 PDC Annual Awards Dinner, held at The Dorch- ester in London. The 23-year-old from Newbury was rewarded for his

brought Newbury town centre to a standstill. Legal action was threatened after utility workers abandoned their post, leaving shoppers to their fate as the situation spiralled out of control. Some motorists were gridlocked for hours and abandoned their cars as temporary three-way traffic lights – and the roadworks themselves – remained unmanned near the Parkway Shopping centre at the junction with London Road. Huge jams and tailbacks began to spread outwards soon after 11am and continued for hours. All the while, more traffic poured in and became stuck, adding to the misery. Railway ’s vital role NEWBURY Town Council unveiled a blue plaque outside the railway station. The plaque commemorates the role of the former Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway in conveying service personnel and military materi- als from the Midlands and the north of England to Southamp- ton in preparation for the D- Day landings on June 6, 1944. The Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway consti- tuted the transport link for the vital supply of personnel. At its peak, it had 120 train movements a day and to accommodate the traffic, the line between Didcot and two miles south of Newbury was doubled.

sensational run to the quarter-finals of the World Champi- onship at Alexandra Palace.

couple of cars behind me.” Another posted: “The impact on town centre businesses will be catastrophic, but they won’t receive compensation.” Many blamed West Berkshire Council and Jeff Brooks (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) criti- cised the official response. However, the council blamed the utility company Scottish and Southern Energy for causing the chaos.

Drivers said the traffic lights appeared to have been manned before 11am, but, as the chaos began, the operators vanished. One fed-up motorist posted on ’s Facebook page: “Have been stuck in the Parkway car park for 1.5 hours and count- ing, and have moved about 20m. Starting to lose my sense of humour. Road rage a back on camera after CCTV was reinstated in Newbury town centre. Town centre crime had not been recorded on CCTV cameras for more than two years after West Berkshire Council stopped funding them, with no replacement system. But, following a collaboration between Newbury Business Improvement District (BID) and Kennet Shopping, the cameras were back in action and monitored locally for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Funding was secured for three years with financial contributions from Thames Valley Police, West Berkshire Council, Newbury Town

determined by West Berkshire Council.

Ollie’s England call FORMER St Bartholomew’s student Ollie Hassell-Collins was selected for the under- 20s Six Nations Championships. The 19-year-old, who plays for London Irish, represented England for both the Six Nations and the World Rugby under-20 Championship in Argentina. Hassell-Collins was one of 32 players to make the elite squad for the Six Nations opener against Ireland. The youngster said:“ I was a bit shocked at first, but after a while, it hit me and it’s exciting and now I can ’t wait to join the camp. “I haven’t played for England since representing the under-18s, so I do feel some nerves in that sense, but when I’m on the pitch I’ll relish every opportunity I get.” Televised Performance of the Year award for his win over Cross and the Young Player of the Year award. Humphries bea t the likes of world number 17 Stephen Bunting and r eigning World Youth champion Dimitri Van den Bergh. But the former Trinity School pupil took the headlines for eliminating Rob Cross in the last 16 to end his r eign as world champion. Humphries was e ventually beaten by finalist Michael Smith, but he said: “To beat the reigning world champion at Alexandra Palace was unreal and my goal is to car ry on my development and contin ue to make a name for myself.” Humphries jumped fr om 90th in the world to 57th. He was also nomina ted for the

CCTV switched back on SAY cheese! You’re now

Council and the Kennet Shopping centre.

Newbury BID chief executive Russell Downing said:“ The project took longer than hoped and was very frustrat- ing with a number of delays, but remains a great example of partnership working ulti- mately to achieve our goal of reinstating CCTV coverage.” The CCTV cameras – vital in deterring criminals and reducing crime – were switched off on April 1, 2016. The 22 cameras in the town were until then funded by West Berkshire Council. But in April 2017, the district council voted in favour of cutting its funding towards the service, as part of its wider plan to save £17.5m.

Vodafone boost for town

But the company said the reshuffle was good news for Newbury and that a net gain of up to 600 staf would be based in the town. Vodafone spokesman Simon Gordon said:“All new services will be developed in Newbury. This is very much us committing our future to Newbury. “This is us saying despite the uncertainty out there we are continuing to invest in the UK. Newbury is very much the heart of the technology investment going forward.”

VODAFONE revealed its Newbury HQ would receive a staffing and multi-million pound boost through a company restructure, which would also see some staf move away from the town. The telecoms giant is to invest £10m in its HQ to create a “technology and digital nerve centre of the

future in Newbury”. A number of staff in

consumer and digital roles in Newbury will be relocated to London.



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Newbury Weekly News

Thursday, 16 January, 2020

Gin distillery’s a tonic

The Base set to buzz THE Base arts centre slipped into commission up at Greenham Park, with the opening of the Natural History touring international showcase exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018. The new arts hub’s Honesty Café attracted a steady flow of visitors, tempted by its offering of pastries and bakes, bowls of chilli and curry. While a programme of workshops and demos was set to begin in the upstairs education and workshop space, nine artists studios were occupied. The plan was to run around five high- quality exhibitions a year and an exciting ‘name’ was still to be announced for the summer. The exhibition ran until April, when the local Open Studios taster Insight moved in. Practical classes began in March, with figure drawing, oil painting, bookbinding, printing and knitting. Some of the workshops were inspired by the exhibitions, and used them as a stimulus, like the writing sessions with poet and artist Becci Louise, family creation workshops school sessions for children and wildlife and conservation talks. Newbury has long been crying out for a dedicated visual arts space. While not in the town centre, the purpose-built Base, owned by Greenham Trust and under the management of the Corn Exchange, went a long way to filling that gap. Go to www,

THE old smoking yard at The Newbury pub in Bartholomew Street was transformed into the town’s first-ever gin distillery. The creative force behind the hand- crafted 137 Gin, called Lumber’s Bartholomew, which was already being sold in shops and bars throughout the country, was entrepreneur and publican at The Newbury, Pete Lumber. What started out as an idea after a lunch meeting with a friend at the tail-end of 2017 became a fully- fledged operation, formally recog- nised and listed in the Gin Guide . Within months of starting up, Lumber’s Bartholomew was being stocked at the Michelin-star restaurant The Blackbird at Bagnor. It can also be found at both Henry & Joe’s restaurant and the King Charles Tavern pub in Cheap Street, Newbury, the Harrow at Little Bedwyn, independent Newbury- based retailer Inn at Home and Grapesmith in Hungerford. But Mr Lumber has big plans to make it available across the country

Prior’s aims high at Abbey Road AN emotional documentary detailing the extraordinary journey to the Abbey Road studios made by pupils at Prior’ s Court School was released. Aim High for Autism: Let Me Shine at Abbey Road was premiered at the Corn Exchange in Newbury – and there was barely a dry eye in the house. Among the audience were parents, glowing with pride as they watched their children perform with obvious joy. Prior’s Court School in Hermitage, one of the country’s leading providers of education and care for children with severe autism, recorded the song Let Me Shine to help raise awareness of the condition. Millions watched the video on the school’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Super Saturday shock NEWBURY Racecourse said it was “very disappointed” after one of its biggest meeting of the year was cancelled following an equine influenza outbreak. Three horses tested positive for the virus and meetings in Huntingdon, Doncaster, Ffos Las and Chelmsford, were cancelled before the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) took the decision to suspend all racing. As a result, Newbury was forced to abandon its Super Saturday meeting, featuring the Betfair Hurdle and the Denman Chase, which were run the following week at Ascot. Newbury Racecourse head of communications Harriet Collins said:“We were obviously very disappointed to lose the fixture, which is our second largest across the jumps calendar. “We would have welcomed over 7,000 racing enthusiasts with some fantastic racing on the cards.

and hopes that it will put Newbury “on the gin map”. He started a gin club – where people can sign-up for free online to receive emails on all the latest offers. The distillery also converts into a

private dining room which can accommodate 16 people.

Royal approval As well as gin-tasting experiences, Mr Lumber also created a tasting menu of dishes to complement the gins. THE DUCHESS of Gloucester opened the Greenham Trust Wing at West Berkshire Community Hospital after one of the most successful fundraising appeals in recent memory. Funded solely through donations to The Rosemary Appeal, the Greenham Trust Wing cost more than £5.3m to build. The new wing comprises the Enborne Unit, which provides a renal dialysis service, the Rosemary Centre, which delivers care to patients requiring chemotherapy, and the Sue Ryder day therapy centre, which offers palliative, neurological and bereavement support. The Duchess was given a tour of the building and met with patients and staf , hearing about how the new facilities have already transformed care for local people by bringing treatment closer to home.

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Newbury Weekly News

Thursday, 16 January, 2020

Pupils protest at climate change

Radford helps Windies triumph

WEST Indies cricket chiefs praised former Berkshire star Toby Radford for the part he played in England’s crushing series defeat in the Caribbean.

Bart’s and a further 20 from St Gabriel’s walked out of their lessons at 11am and marched towards Newbury Town Hall. Many held homemade placards aloft, while chants such as “pollution is not the solution”, “the oceans are rising and so are we” and “march now –

PUPILS from two Newbury schools walked out of their lessons as part of a global protest against climate change. St Bartholomew’s and St Gabriel’s students joined forces in the‘ Schools 4 Climate Action’ strike, to condemn

Chief selector Courtney Brown and director of cricket, Jimmy Adams led the way with personal messages to the assistant coach/batting coach. Thrilled by two massive victories, Radford said: “It was a great day for a wonderful group of guys and for West Indian cricket. “They’ve all worked very hard to achieve this huge series win against one of the top teams in the world. I’m delighted for them. ” During his playing days, Radford played for Berkshire, Newbury, Hungerford, Thatcham and East Woodhay, and attended Speenhamland, Park House and St Bart’s schools. He also played professionally for Middlesex and Sussex and later was head coach at Middlesex and Glamorgan. Blues lose at last NEWBURY Blues’ 19-game winning streak in South West 1 East came to an end as they lost 26-24 at Marlborough. But, despite the defeat, Newbury maintained a 15-point lead at the top, with just six games to go. Head coach Paul Archer said:“It was a fantastic game of rugby and certainly a great one for the spectators because the game easily matched the intensity and skill of the league above. “It was great for us to be tested in those conditions and although we were on the wrong end of the result, performance-wise, we were pretty good.” Blues converted a penalty with minutes remaining to take a 24-23 lead, but Marlborough hit back to win with a last-minute penalty. “It was a game of fine margins and it came down to one conversion,” said Archer.

VC heroes honoured STORIES behind Thatcham ’s three Victoria Cross winners were revealed in the Broadway. An information panel marking the warned his comrades not to assist him because of the intense fire. Second Lieutenant Buller Turner was posthumously awarded his VC, aged 22, for driving back

the lack of world- wide action being taken in combatting the ecological crisis. The movement was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish pupil

or swim later” could be heard ringing around the Market Place as the passionate cohort gathered. The head girl at St Bart’s, Emily Carr, then addressed the young demonstrators.

feats of Second Lieutenant Alexander Buller Turner, Lieutenant Colonel Victor Buller Turner and Lance Corporal William House was unveiled at a ceremony. The Victoria Cross is awarded for most conspicuous bravery, a daring act of valour or self sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. William John House rushed into “very hot” enemy fire to pick up a wounded sergeant during the Battle of Mosilikatse Nek in the Second Boer War in 1900. As House endeavoured to bring his wounded comrade back, he was severely wounded, but

German troops during the Battle of Loos in the First World War. Twenty-seven years later, Alexander’s younger brother Lieutenant Colonel Victor Buller Turner was awarded the VC for actions at the Second Battle of El Alamein in the Second World War. Despite receiving a head wound, his isolated Rifle Brigade unit repulsed 90 enemy tanks for 13- and-a-half hours. The panel was unveiled by Thatcham mayor Jan Cover, the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire James Puxley and Lt Col James Gayner MBE, Commanding Officer of 7th Battalion The Rifles.

Greta Thunberg, who gave up going to school on Fridays to campaign outside the Swedish parliament against climate change. Despite pressure from teachers to stay in school, more than 80 students from St

The 18-year-old called for radical environmental changes in the agricul- tural industry and a reduction in the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.

Snow brings district to a standstill

HEAVY snowfall transformed West Berkshire into a winter wonderland. Almost all of the district’ s schools were forced to close and many businesses also shut. Some people took advantage of a day off by going sledging with family and friends, walking the dog or having snowball fights, while others opted for a duvet day. While the snow made for a stunning sight, it also caused huge disruption. Some motorists abandoned their cars as roads around Newbury became too treacherous to drive on. Trains were also delayed due to the adverse conditions, some areas experienced power cuts and many rural villages were isolated. However, there was no shortage of

Man pushed into canal POLICE appealed for witnesses after two teenage boys pushed a 60-year-old man into the canal in Newbury. The victim was standing on the it to his car. Two boys then approached the victim and pushed him into the canal before running away from the scene towards Camp Hopson. The offenders are described as being in their mid to late teens. The victim was not injured during the incident. towpath close to the Camp Hopson department store. He had lifted his boat from the canal and was preparing to move

community spirit, with neighbours rallying round to help clear driveways and collect shopping. West Berkshire Community Hospital appealed to people to help get staff to and from work safely and kind-hearted strangers, most with 4x4s, responded.

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Newbury Weekly News

Thursday, 16 January, 2020

Companies’ gender pay gap TWO of West

AWE Aldermaston has also reported a gender pay gap of 15 per cent. A company’s median pay gap is the difference in pay between the middle- ranking woman and the middle-ranking man. Since 2010, UK compa- nies with more than 250 employees have been required to reveal their percentage of female employees and the dif er- ence in pay between women and men. Vodafone’s median pay

gap figure is a slight decrease from 2017, when the company reported a 24.3 per cent dif erence between the two genders. Both companies employ a smaller proportion of female employees which, when relative to the workforce as a whole, is one of the main reasons behind the greater gender pay gap at both organisations. Of the 17,000 employees at Vodafone in the UK, 35 per cent are women.

Berkshire’ s biggest employers have a pay gap in favour of men. Vodafone UK– whose headquarters are in Newbury – revealed its hourly median pay for a male employee is more than a fifth (21.8 per cent) greater than that for a female. This was higher than the national median average of 17.1 per cent, as published by the Office for National Statistics.

Killing it... PAUL Hart’s Watermill Ensemble made a welcome return to the Bagnor playhouse with a thrilling, innovative production of Macbeth . Hart’s assured imaginative direction was bold and brave. The cast was gender-blind. Gone are the three witches, replaced with the voices of ethereal spirits and fallen soldiers and there is a dark humour entwined throughout this gritty story of ambition, greed and murder. Robin Strapp wrote: “ Katie Lias’ foreboding set evokes a war-torn and burnt-out hotel, where there are three doors, each numbered 6 – a true hell on earth and the flickering outdoor sign confirms this. Louise Rhoades Brown’s video projections create tree branches and dramatic rivulets of blood flowing down the set and Tom White’s atmospheric lighting vividly evokes the mood. “The Watermill’s trademark highly-talented actor/musicians add a nuanced commentary to the action, with a song list of classic hits including the Rolling Stones’ Paint it Black and Roy Orbison’s In Dreams, all beautifully arranged by musical director Maimuna Memon. “Billy Postlethwaite is most impressive as Macbeth, a confident professional soldier who becomes entrapped as the witches’ prophesies start to come true. His scheming, assertive wife Lady Macbeth, a striking sultry performance by Emma McDonald, drives the action forward, her ambition challenging her husband’s doubts about killing King Duncan. This is a powerful, spirited production that will refresh and challenge your preconcep- tions of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.” The production returned to The Wat rmill in the autumn after a successful UK tour as a Midsummer Night’s Dream Picture: Pamela Raith

Travellers wreak havoc in park DOZENS of travellers broke into Victoria Park and left a trail of

Racing’s £22.8m boost to economy

to create circular skid-mark patterns. The pitch, which was only laid in September in time for the start of the new football season, sustained significant damage. Residents took to social media to vent their anger, with some describing the damage as “disgusting”. Newbury MP Richard Benyon said he was “appalled” by the “ illegal

devastation in their wake. More than 20 caravans gained unauthorised access to the park by cutting through the gate locking bar at St Mary’s Road. Residents in nearby properties overlooking the park watched in despair as some members of the group recklessly performed ‘donut’ manoeu- vres around the park’s football pitch THE suspect substance found on the bed of the River Lambourn at East Garston was confirmed as potentially deadly asbestos. The revelation came following tests carried out by the Environment Agency, which worked to repair damage caused by illegal dredging. Conservationists were horrified to discover the damage following the illicit operation that could devastate wildlife in the highly-protected chalk stream in East Garston. Environment Agency spokesman Peter O’Connor said:“Tests have confirmed the substance is white asbestos, which is quite a common form of asbestos in farm buildings. “We’ve also done some tests on the surrounding soil, but these have thankfully proved negative.

incursion” into Victoria Park, which he described as the heart of Newbury. Asbestos discovered in river

A REPORT revealed that the Lambourn horseracing industry contributes more than £22.6m a year to the local economy and is responsible for one in three jobs in the area. Some of the country’s Henderson and Grand National winner Oliver Sherwood, have yards in Lambourn. The report, conducted by SQW and commissioned by Jockey Club Estates and West Berkshire Council, acknowledged Lambourn as the second biggest horseracing training centre in the country. It reveals that the number of horses using Lambourn’s public gallops has risen dramat - leading trainers, including Nicky

ically over the past 13 years, from 367 in 2006 to around 800 in 2019. As a result, the report, entitled ‘Horse Racing in Lambourn Valley, the industry’s social and economic impacts’, also identified roads, traffic and safety of horses as ongoing challenges. The report said there had been a growth in housing

and the number of horses using the gallops, but highlighted the fact that road capacity had not increased in that time. It acknowledged that “although interventions such as horse crossings and horse walks have sought to compensate”, “traffic and safety remain topics of great concern to trainers”.

“The asbestos will be removed safely now we know exactly what it is.” Action for the River Kennet (ARK) spokeswoman Charlotte Hitchmough said: “We just can’t understand why anyone would do such a thing.”

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Newbury Weekly News

Thursday, 16 January, 2020

Life sentence for Theale murderer

mum term of 21 years. During the attack, Sinclair strangled mother-of-two Miss Dembrey before inflict- ing fatal stab wounds to her heart and neck. Miss Dembrey’s family said in a statement that her loss was irreplaceable. Her sister Rebecca said: “I had hoped one day she would realise she was worth so much more. “She was bright and bubbly; full of sass... when she entered a room, everyone knew about it.” “It’s the biggest appeal that’s ever gone out in this area and to raise all that money in two-and-a- half years is fantastic really. “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the public.” The new units at the community hospital were opened by the Duchess of Gloucester in February. Mrs Webster was nomi- nated in recognition of the high level of pastoral care she has created within the school and how she has led it from ‘requires improvement’ to a recently-awarded ‘good’ Ofsted grade.

A MAN who strangled and stabbed his girl- friend was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of her murder. Mark Sinclair admitted killing 28-year-old Kylie Dembrey, his partner of 12 years, at their home in Blossom Lane, Theale, on murdering her, instead claiming manslaughter on the grounds of dimin- ished responsibility. But jurors took just three hours to unanimously convict the 31-year-old of September 6, 2018. However, he denied PEOPLE who have worked to make Thatcham a better place were honoured for their achievements. Gold civic awards were handed to The Rosemary Appeal and Thatcham Park Primary School headteacher Alison Webster. Civic awards are presented to people or groups who have done something outstanding in Thatcham over the past municipal year. The Rosemary Appeal was nominated in recognition of its significant contribution to the community by securing funding and

Hockey aces on the up NEWBURY & Thatchammen ’s first-team captain Mark Ferguson told of his pride after his side secured promotion fromMiddlesex, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Regional 2. Going into the game with West Hampstead, Newbury knew a win would guarantee them promotion and they emerged 4-2 winners. Top scorer Luke Barrington scored a brace, while Alex Jordan and Christian Randall were also on the scoresheet. Ferguson said:“ Since we lost to Oxford, who were close behind us in the league, we have played four matches which were all must-win games. “When the pressure has risen, the team has performed better and better, which shows how good a team spirit we have developed.” . . . and so are Blues! NEWBURY Blues head coach Paul Archer admitted that his side are‘far from done’ after they secured promotion to South West Premier. Blues won 31-12 against Old Centralians to ensure their return to the South West Premier at the first time of asking. And Archer said:“Over the season as a whole, it’s been a process for us, but we had a brilliant start because we scored 140 points in the first couple of games. “It gave us the belief to go forward and although we knew we’d be up there, we didn ’t know how well it would go. “We need to keep everyone’s feet on the floor because our goal is to stay in level five, but we’ re far from done– we need to keep going from here.”

Praying for wonder drug A DESPERATE West Berkshire couple were praying that a Tilly takes about 40 different tablets a day to control her condition–

Mark Sinclair

many of which are for her pancreas, which cannot correctly digest food. Mrs Green said:“ They’re calling it [Orkambi] a wonder drug, which would stop the clock and halt the damage that is done to their lungs. “This could give her a normal life. She could hold down a job, have a family. It would be life-changing.”

‘wonder drug’ which would revo- lutionise life for their daughter with cystic fibrosis (CF) could be made available in England. Bradfield parents Nikki and Ross Green hoped the drug Orkambi would be made available on the NHS to improve the quality of life of their daughter, Tilly, 11. Tributes to Katrina TRIBUTES were paid to a co-founder of a Newbury company. Katrina Harvey (nee Rostrup) was a founder at recruitment firm Amberjack, based in Kings Road West. Amberjack said that she died following a short illness. In a statement, the company’ s managing director Sophie Meaney said: “It is shockingly hard to comprehend that someone so full of life and vitality is no longer with us. “Those of you who knew and worked with Katrina will share in our shock and sadness that such a wonderful, vibrant, passionate friend and advocate of our business is no longer with us. “She was not only our colleague but our very dear friend.”

murder at Reading Crown Court.

He was sentenced to life behind bars with a mini-

Gold awards for unsung heroes

public support for new units at West Berkshire Community Hospital. The team behind the appeal raised more than £5m to build and fit out providing facilities for the local community, including day therapy, chemotherapy, renal dialysis, IV therapies and CT scans. Rosemary Appeal trustee Dr Rob Tayton said: “They don’t give out many civic awards and it’s a great honour to be receiving it. “We have been backed strongly by the community. renal dialysis and cancer care units,

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Newbury Weekly News

Thursday, 16 January, 2020

New chef at Vineyard THE Vineyard appointed a new executive chef.

Multi-coloured mayhem at JOG THE third annual John O’Gaunt School Colour Mile was a sell-out. The event was started in 2017 by English teacher Kelly Delaney. Participants were liberally show - ered in brightly-coloured powder at stages along the route, making the event a riot of dif erent hues. The vivid neon colouring is safe and participants get a pair of sunglasses, a white T-shirt and a medal. Town mayor Helen Simpson, who took part, posted:“Huge fun and great community spirit. Well done JOG PSA. Brilliant efort.”

McKenzie said:“I first met Tom at The Crab and Boar [in Chieveley] and loved his food. “When the opportunity arose to bring him to The Vineyard I was delighted. “He has trained under one of the best chefs and kitchen managers in the world, so has developed a disciplined approach to cooking; he also has a great, imaginative palate – a winning combo.”

The five-star hotel and spa, which in Stockcross, revealed that experienced chef Tom Scade would take over the running of its kitchen. He joined The Vineyard from The Ritz Hotel in London, where he was sous chef to John Williams MBE. The Vineyard Group managing director Andrew

Chamber delight FOUNDED by Ashmansworth composer Gerald Finzi in the 1940s, Newbury Chamber Choir are still going strong and meet once a week, on a Tuesday evening, come hail, rain or shine for roughly 40 weeks a year. Under the expert guidance of their musical director, composer Edward Lambert, the choir occasionally delve into the familiar choral repertoire, but also specialise in finding new, sometimes forgotten, gems with which to entertain and educate their devoted fans. NCC perform four or five concerts a year, usually in the wonderfully resonant surroundings of St John’s Church, although their April concert Concert Spirituel took place at St George’s Church, Wash Common. Reviewer Fiona Bennett wrote: “The audience watched with interest as the period instrumental ensemble took their seats – two violins, two violas, the organ and cello continuo and the largest member of the lute family, a very beautiful theorbo (two metres in length, with 14 strings). Edward took to the stand and we spent the following two hours marvelling at how this unauditioned choir and their conductor manage to bring us something different each and every time they perform. ...In the 18th century, London theatres closed during Lent, but the oratorio was permitted as an acceptable alternative musical ‘entertainment’. Likewise, the Parisian equivalent, Concert Spirituel was also a way of enjoying good music without breaking the Lenten rules. The choir relished the highlight of the evening, the Messe Des Morts by Jean Gilles, and had clearly put a great deal of work into this interesting and complex piece. ... The audience was entranced by this feast of French music and all the work put in by Ed, the orchestra, soloists and dedicated choristers paid off.”

A community stalwart

Conservative councillor Mr Franks as being dedicated to his community and said it would feel the loss of his “infectious energy and hands-on approach”. West Berkshire Council leader Graham Jones (Con, Lambourn), said: “Marcus has been both a great public servant and very good friend for the last 20 years. “His integrity, hard work and sheer likeability ensured he had friends across the party political divide and deep into the West Berks community.” Carolyn Warren, and a devoted grandmother and great-grandmother. One of her greatest legacies is the Newbury Spring Festival, the two-week classical music festival which she co-founded 40 years ago.

TRIBUTES were paid to a community stalwart and West Berkshire councillor who died from bowel cancer. Marcus Franks, who represented Speen ward and served on the council’s influ- ential executive committee, died at the age of 46. In addition to his council duties, Mr Franks also served two terms as president of Newbury Round Table and played a huge part in organising the popular Crafty Craft race. JEANIE, Countess of Carnarvon, the mother of the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, died at the age of 88. Highclere Castle confirmed that Lady Jean Margaret Herbert (Wallop), Countess of Carnarvon, born on April 29, 1935, died peacefully at

Runners hit the road RUNNERS put their speed and stamina to the test in the ROC Newbury 10k. The 10k race had 651 entrants great event. It’ s nice to come back to your home town and get your name shouted out along the canal path.”

He also did much for the community through his work at Sovereign Housing Association. Colleagues described

Countess of Carnarvon left a lasting legacy

and junior runners, which took the total number of entries up to 710. The first man to cross the line was reigning champion Callum O’Neill, who beat last year’s time of 33.53 by 25 seconds to finish the race in 33:28. Based at Birmingham Univer- sity, the 22-year-old said:“It’s a

The fastest woman was Stacey Morris, who finished the race in 42:20. The 28-year-old said she was spurred on to see her daughter, who is just four months old, at the finish line. Mrs Morris said she found the first 3km off-road tough, but added: “The support really helps. When people cheer for you, that’s just amazing.”

home. Born in the US, in 1956 she married the 7th Earl of Carnarvon, Henry Herbert – then Lord Porchester – who died in 2001 aged 77. She was the mother of the 8th Earl of Carnarvon George (Geordie) Herbert, Henry Herbert and


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Newbury Weekly News

Thursday, 16 January, 2020

Facelift for Discovery Centre ONE of the“ jewels in Thatcham’s crown”

Bid to boost West Berks

Through collaborative working between these companies and others, it is hoped that Newbury West Berkshire will help the district grow and prosper. One key message at the launch event was the importance of not just attracting young people to Newbury and West Berkshire, but also to retain them. Newbury BID chief executive Russell Downing said: “The retention of a young workforce in Newbury has been a problem ever since I came here and it is getting worse.” Newbury West Berkshire is non- political and independent of the council. However, the two organisations will work alongside each other to achieve similar aims.

LOCAL businesses, entrepreneurs and organisa- tions attended the official launch of Newbury West Berk- shire, a new economic develop- ment company set up to help boost the district’s economy. More than 100 people accepted an invitation to hear more about the not-for-profit company, which was formed to help raise the profile of Newbury and West Berkshire and promote it as a good place to work, live and raise a family. A number of organisations are involved, including Vodafone, Newbury Racecourse, the Newbury Weekly News , the Corn Exchange, West Berkshire Brew- ery, Roc Technologies, Greenham Trust and Newbury Business Improvement District (BID).

underwent a facelift to enable visitors to enjoy the town’s lakes. The Nature Discovery Centre, which is managed by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, officially opened its new waterfront project. The project transformed the lakeside by the centre from a muddy bank into a more accessible area for people to enjoy all year round through a new

Wila wonders net title again WILA Lighting outgunned Brights 64-31 to retain their Newbury Netball League Steiner Premier Division title. Wila knew that victory in their final game would clinch top spot– but the title was assured anyway as rivals Q Associates slipped to a surprise defeat at the hands of Jets Xtra. Brights didn’t make it easy for Wila, though, as they started well and ended the first period level at 8-8. But after that, Wila took control, with their defensive trio of Rachel Caswell, Sophie Lightowlers and Claire Beasley only allowing Brights to score four goals while they rattled up 21. Payne reigns supreme NEWBURY Athletic Club hammer thrower Charlotte Payne started the 2019 season in sensational style. Payne’s winning throw of 59.97m at Kingston was a huge personal best and launched her into the UK number one spot at under-20 level. It also placed her at number one in Europe and third in the world in the under-18 age group. Payne is now ranked the best under-20 female hammer thrower in Great Britain since 2014, despite being two years younger than most of her rival. Her performance also qualified her for the Euro- pean under-20 Championships in Sweden in July.

“we have had all weathers”, since the

here because it was tired. “We have got ramped access that we didn ’t have before.” She added that the new canopy had been tested as

canopy seating area. Centre manager Liz

project started in Novem- ber. The area was designed by Katy Bott and built by Greenham Construction.

Shearer said: “It was obvi- ous from the start that we needed to do something out

Crusaders saved AFTER several weeks of uncertainty, the future of Hungerford Town Football Club was secured. During an emergency fans forum in March, it was

announced that chairman Steve Skipworth, secretary Mike Hall and treasurer Terry Wild would be stepping down at the end of the season. But successful business- men Patrick Chambers and Carl Reader stepped in to take in the roles of chairman and vice- chairman respectively. Chambers owns a family business which develops residential park bungalows for both semi- retired and retired people. Originally born in Nottingham, the 58-year- old moved to Eastbury and

Queen’s day at the races THE Queen soaked up the

first meeting of the 2019 Flat season on what proved a sunny but chilly afternoon. Joined by her racing advisor John Warren, the Queen was greeted by Newbury Racecourse chairman Dominic Burke. She also spoke with racecourse director Lady Lloyd-Webber and her husband, world-renowned composer Lord Lloyd-Webber.

Chairman Patrick Chambers, left, and vice-chairman Carl Reader

spring sunshine on day two of the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend at Newbury Racecourse. Wearing an emerald green ensemble, she spent time chatting to jockeys Frankie Dettori and James Doyle in the parade ring. More than 7,500 racegoers were in attendance on Saturday for the

he watched his first game at Bulpit Lane when Crusaders hosted Slough Town on April 6. Meanwhile, Reader, 38, is an author and a business adviser for the Daily Express. After announcing his new

role, Chambers said: “I want to help the club become more viable. “I have had a few good meetings with Ian Herring. He is a manager with a very bright future because he is committed to the clubs.”

Race license no. 2020-39906

Newbury 10K - Sunday 24th May 2020

Market Place, Newbury, Berkshire

Roc Newbury 10K Distance: 10km multi-terrain For ages 16 and over Start time: 10.00am Entry fee: Unaffiliated – £16 - UKA affiliated £14

Pre 10K run for ages 5 – 11 years Approximate distance: 0.9km A run prior to the Roc Newbury 10K for ages 5-11 (in school years 6 or below.) Start time: 09.10 Entry fee: £4

Pre 10K run for under 16s Approximate distance: 1.5km A run prior to the 10k for ages 10-15. Start time: 09.20am Entry fee: £4


There is a competition to design the logo which will feature on the T-Shirts which will be worn by all runners. This is open to children aged 10 and under. To enter please email your design to by Feb 28th. The winner will be announced in the Newbury Weekly News in March.

Online Entries are available at Run

Roc Technologies are an award winning, fast growing IT and business services company head quartered in Newbury with offices throughout the UK. Roc delivers secure IT services and solutions to some of the worlds largest organisations in the private and public sector using process enabled digital transformation to deliver exceptional outcomes. Roc is committed to supporting local community initiatives and charitable causes as part of its core value to make a difference. For more information about Roc services and opportunities please see or call 01635 581188

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