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Friday, November 26, 2021

q at the heart of your community q

Victory in fight for Harper’s Law Police officer’s widow is successful in her campaign for stiffer sentences

EMERGENCY workers will re- ceive greater protection from violent criminals after the Government confirmed ‘Harp- er’s Law’ would be added to the statute book. The law – named after PC An- drew Harper, who was killed in the line of duty in August 2019 when responding to reports of a quad bike theft in Stanford Ding- ley – will introduce mandatory life sentences for anyone convict- ed of killing an emergency work- er while committing a crime. The move follows an unwa- vering campaign by PC Harper’s widow Lissie, who he had mar- ried just 28 days before he died. Henry Long, Jessie Cole and Al- bert Bowers each received custo-

life sentences for murder, with a whole-life order being the starting point if the victim is a police officer. The law will be introduced as soon as possible through an amend- ment to the Police, Crime, Sentenc- ing and Courts Bill, which is likely to become law early next year. Mrs Harper said she was “de- lighted” that Harper’s Law would soon be written into the statute books. She said: “Emergency services workers require extra protection – I know all too well how they are put at risk and into the depths of dan- ger on a regular basis on behalf of society. n Continued on page 3

By JONATHAN ASHBY @jonathana_nwn

dial sentences of between 13 and 16 years in prison for PC Harp- er’s manslaughter. An appeal by the Attorney General to increase their time be- hind bars was rejected. The move extends mandato- ry life sentences to anyone who commits the manslaughter of an emergency worker on duty – in- cluding police, prison officers, firefighters and paramedics – while carrying out another crime unless there are truly exception- al circumstances. Courts must already impose

Lissie and PC Andrew Harper

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Friday, November 26, 2021

Newbury & Thatcham Advertiser


Real ale festival gets the go-ahead But strict conditions will control excessive noise and bad behaviour

Pupils’ Pelican boost Pupils in Speenhamland Primary School’s new outdoor area

By NIKI HINMAN @newburytoday

“I am not convinced that the additional conditions im- posed will make much differ- ence and I am also surprised that it did not seem to unduly concern the council that their own enforcement was woe- fully inadequate on this occa- sion. “I do note though that or- ganisers have gone to a lot of effort in rebutting the issues raised and I believe that they will likely now be more fo- cussed on reducing noise lev- els in the the future. “I accept that there was in- sufficient evidence before the committee to demonstrate any risk to children, although I be- lieve that the potential is there nonetheless based on the be- haviour I witnessed. “Should anything untoward occur in future, I believe the council’s judgement may be called into question, given this is an event dedicated to the consumption of alcohol. “Nevertheless, I accept the council’s decisions on all points.” West Berkshire’s licensing

The Newbury Real Ale Fes- tival will run again – after win- ning a battle to get its licence renewed. But it has stricter condi- tions and will get a ticking off from West Berkshire Council for being too loud. The conditions are that the licence holder has to commu- nicate better with those living within a one-mile radius of the Northcroft Park event. And it must provide a manned phone line while the event is in progress and take action to resolve reported mat- ters. Sara Dutfield from the festi- val said: “The Newbury Real Ale Festival would like to thank the licensing committee for a thorough, objective and evidence-based review. “We look forward to wel- coming everyone to event on Saturday, September 10, 2022.” Newbury Business Improve- ment District chief executive

THE first phase of a new building project at Speen- hamland School in New- bury is now complete. The Pelican Building has been transformed into an “inspiring learning environ- ment” for Early Years chil- dren. The £250k project was fund- ed by West Berkshire Council and has provided two new classrooms, an outdoor learn- ing zone, plus accessible toi- lets and hoists for children with physical disabilities. Now the council will expand the Keevill Unit, an existing teaching space for children with physical difficulties. The council’s executive member for children, young people and education Domi- nic Boeck (Con, Aldermaston) said: “We are delighted with the transformation at the school.

“Now the Pelican Building is up and running, the chil- dren can have their lessons there while we refurbish the Keevill Unit. Once that work is completed, there will be ample room for all children to learn and access whatever equipment they need.” Speenhamland School headteacher Julie Lewry said: “The Pelican Building is a fab- ulous learning environment for our Early Years children.” The news also prompted a celebratory video message from CBeebies Mr Tumble. He said: “Hello there! It’s me, Mr Tumble. I hear that you have a brand new build- ing at the school – woo hoo! I hope you have many happy times in it, and I’m sending you all my very best wishes. Bye bye everyone!” Watch the video at https://

Newbury Real Ale Festival

Melissa Hughes said: “We are excited that a sensible and ap- propriate decision has been made. “Events like the real ale festival support the town cen- tre and help develop a strong sense of place and community. “It is a great outcome for the town and we are looking forward to the event in 2022.” But the decision was met with a muted response from those objecting to the licence

being renewed for the one-day event. Local resident Andrew Wyper had lodged the objec- tion to the festival licence, claiming excessive noise and bad behaviour. “I am happy that the com- mittee has taken seriously the concerns raised in respect of public nuisance caused by ex- cess noise levels,” he said. n Continued on page 2 n Continued from front page

£120k lifeline for Corn Exchange NEWBURY’S Corn Ex- change has been awarded a grant of £120,000 in the lat- est round of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund. More than £100m has been given to 925 cultural organisa- tions across the country in the latest round of support from the government fund, admin- istered by Arts Council Eng- land, the Culture Secretary announced last week. YOUR LOCAL FAMILY BUSINESS We offer delivery / collection service






The third round of funding will support organisations from all corners of the sector as they deal with ongoing re- opening challenges, ensuring they can thrive in the future. The grant will support the arts centre with its overhead costs while it recovers from the impact of the pandemic and the reduction in earned income while audiences are slower to return to attending indoor events. It will also enable the Corn Exchange to present a digital version of its pantomime, Cin- derella , to allow those who are unable to come to the theatre to watch it from the comfort of their home. Corn Exchange director Katy Griffiths said the fund- ing will make a significant im- pact this winter. “We are immensely grate- ful for the funding we have received via the Culture Recovery Fund,” she said. “Alongside the support we’ve received directly from our lo- cal community, it has made a huge difference and means we’ve been able to continue working with artists and prac- titioners in order to provide inspiring creative opportuni- ties for all ages in spite of the








The Corn Exchange enormous challenges of the last 18 months. “With our annual panto- mime Cinderella in rehears- als and preparations for the lantern procession well un- der way too, it feels a timely moment to celebrate the joy that cultural engagement can bring to us all.” Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Culture is for everyone and should there- fore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from. “The Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting lo- cal economies and inspiring people.” More than £1.2bn has al- ready been awarded from the Culture Recovery Fund, sup- porting around 5,000 individ-

ual organisations and sites across the country, ranging from local museums to West End theatres, grassroots mu- sic venues to festivals and organisations in the cultural and heritage supply-chains. Arts Council England chief executive Darren Henley said the investment from the Gov- ernment on an unprecedented scale means that theatres, gal- leries, music venues, muse- ums and arts centres can car- ry on bringing visitors back to the high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boost- ing community pride and pro- moting good health. Other local cultural organ- isations to receive funding are: Black & White Music Ltd £35,585, Cirque Berserk Lim- ited £124,680, Henley Festival £220,346, Reading Rep £59,000 and Hampshire Cultural Trust £240,000 (which manag- es 23 arts and museums attrac- tions across Hampshire).


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Newbury & Thatcham Advertiser

Friday, November 26, 2021


Driving duo put Pudsey on map Driving instructor and ex-student take part in national challenge

Rainbow runners zip through town IF you thought you caught a glimpse of George, Zippy and Bungle racing around Newbury recently, you wer- en’t mistaken. often you see George, Zippy and Bungle running a 10k.”

She said the trio – which also included Newbury men George Brooksmith as George and Danny Stevens as Bungle – devised their own route for the event, starting and ending at the pub to much applause. “We were very grateful to the people that stopped us to make donations and people in the cars also stopped to give us money,” Miss Parkin said. “People kept talking to us as we went and were donating money.” So far the run has raised £600, with more than £1,195 raised in total for the defibril- lator. Miss Parkin, whose next event is the London Land- marks Half Marathon, said she was keen to do something to help buy something so im- portant.

Lee-Sian Black is no stranger to jumping spi- ders - she owns 11 - but the newest member to join the household apparently went missing in the post for a while before finally arriv- ing safely at its new home. Mrs Black said: “The spider was coming from a breeder in Norwich and was due to arrive some time dur- ing Tuesday morning.” However, the mother-of- two was alarmed when she received a text message from the postal service tell- ing her that her new pet had been delivered and signed for. “I was really worried,” she said. “The spiders are sent special delivery and put in boxes with heat packs to keep them safe. “They are very fragile creatures and would not survive long in the wrong conditions.” Mrs Black, who lives by The Downgate pub in Hun- gerford, said she started knocking on neighbours’ doors, but no one had tak- en in the tiny eight-legged creature. Mrs Black put out a plea on a Hungerford Facebook page, which someone at Three fundraisers donned costumes of the colourful characters – from 1970s chil- dren’s TV show Rainbow – at the weekend in a bid to raise cash of a defibrillator. Donna Parkin, 47, from Thatcham, came up with the idea to boost the fundraising efforts of the Old London Ap- prentice pub. The pub is raising money to buy a defibrillator after land- lady Caroline Amor rushed to the aid of a customer who had collapsed, giving him CPR be- fore paramedics arrived. Luckily, the man was OK, but it kickstarted the fund- raising effort to purchase the life-saving piece of kit. “I have run marathons be- fore that were easier than that,” Miss Parkin said after- wards. “It was so hot. “I had bought the costume for a fancy dress competition and so I said I would do a 10km “That protection is what Harper’s Law will provide and I am delighted that it will soon become a reality. “It’s been a long journey and a lot of hardwork. I know Andrew would be proud to see Harper’s Law reach this important milestone. “I would also like to thank my incredible Harper’s Law team, as well as the public for their unstinting support for such an important cam-

By HINNA AAMANI @hinnaa_nwn

A NEWBURY driving in- structor is putting Pudsey on the map in a nationwide driving challenge for Chil- dren in Need. Using Strava, a GPS track- ing app that records running and cycling routes, instruc- tors up and down the country have been driving individual stretches of their regions to create a country-sized Pudsey Bear. The Big Learner Relay is a nationwide annual charity project, whereby driving in- structors from Scotland down to Devon take to the wheel for charity. Raising money for Chil- dren in Need, Newbury-based instructor Peter Skelton and former driving student Grace Armstrong, 19, have driven from Newbury to Basingstoke, creating a part of the iconic yellow bear’s leg. Not only did they take on the challenge, but they did it in style, sporting onesies picked out by Miss Armstrong. Mr Skelton, who has been an instructor for almost 18 years, explained that the initi- ative, which was to have been a convoy of cars taking part in a relay drive, now looks a little bit different, post-pandemic. He said: “It used to be a full-

George Brooksmith, Danny Ste- vens and Donna Parkin are set for their fundraising run run in it. Someone said we should get George and Bungle to do it too; so we did. “I thought we had to do something difficult. It had to be worth sponsoring. “Everyone runs, but it’s not paign. “Those who believed that the right thing is worth do- ing despite the hurdles and challenges that we needed to be overcome.” PC Harper, 28, died af- ter his foot was caught in a crane strap attached to the back of a car driven by Long. He was dragged for more than a mile along country roads as the trio fled the scene of a quad bike theft. Long, from College Piece,

“None of us ever knowwhen we might need one,” she said. You can help support the fundraiser at www.justgiv- i ng . c om/ c r owd f und i ng / george-brooksmith-1 Victory in fight for Harper’s Law n Continued from front Mortimer, admitted PC

on relay; it goes on every year, but not last year because of Covid. “We called it the Big Learn- er Relay. “It used to be a convoy of cars, but now it’s individual instructors using Strava. “I was asked, six years ago, to be the lead car for Newbury to Swindon with 20 other in- structors in the area.” Mr Skelton called the chal- lenge “rewarding” and said that it was great that, as an industry, driving instructors were doing their bit for char- ity. Grace Armstrong and Peter Skelton

Ms Armstrong drove the hour and half journey with Mr Skelton and said that it was nice to be a part of the chal- lenge. She added that they had to drive the route twice to get the perfect outline on Strava. Miss Armstrong, who passed her driving test in Au- gust this year, said: “[Peter] asked me and I said yes be- cause it was a good cause.” The progress of the project can be tracked online, where a live map shows the outline being built across the country:

Harper’s manslaughter, while Cole and Bowers – from Paices Hill, Aldermas- ton, and Windmill Corner, Mortimer Common, respec- tively – were both convicted of manslaughter after a trial. Home Secretary Priti Pa- tel, said: “It is with thanks to the dedication of Lissie and his family that I am proud to be able to honour Andrew’s life by introducing Harper’s Law.”

Jumping spider’s long trip to new home REGAL jumping spider Una had a longer journey than expected before ar- riving at her Hungerford home after a trip in a post office van.

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Lee-Sian Black with Una the jumping spider

jump around 10cms,” she said. “You can see which direc- tion they are going to jump and when they are about to because they lift their two front legs.” The spiders are native to Central and South America, but Mrs Black said hers are all bred in this country. Una is about 10mm and even at full growth will only get to 20mm. “I keep them in small, but tall perspex enclosures on a bookshelf in the sitting room,” Mrs Black said.

photographer husband said he wanted to practice more micro-photography during lockdown and that a spider would be a good subject. “I told him he could get a spider, but not to expect me to look after it,” she added. “I didn’t think spiders were my thing.” But when the first spider, Lucas, arrived, Mrs Black was hooked. But if the small spiders jump, surely she might lose them? “They leave a sort of bun- gee cord on your skin and

Hungerford Post Office spot- ted. “Basically, because of Covid the postie had to sign for the package herself be- fore bringing it to the door. “Once she’d signed for it she realised she had the wrong address, but she need- ed to continue with her de- liveries in Lambourn before she could bring it to me. “In the meantime, the sys- tem sent me the message to say it had been delivered.” Mrs Black said she had no interest in spiders until her


Friday, November 26, 2021

Newbury & Thatcham Advertiser


Christmas lights up the town Thousands flock into Newbury for start of festive season

By HINNA AAMANI @hinnaa_nwn

Mayor Billy Drummond led the celebrations

THINGS are looking mer- ry and bright this season as the Newbury Christ- mas lights switch-on kicked off the festivities. Newbury BID (Business Improvement District) put on a non-stop show from 10am until 9pm on Saturday, with thousands of people popping into town to get in on the festive cheer. From pop-up choirs to art workshops, the town was packed out with entertain- ment. Santa’s grotto was open in Parkway, while Disney prin- cesses graced the grounds of Barry Forkin-Toomers in Bartholomew Street – even the Grinch came along. And stiltwalking candy canes took to the streets, handing out sweets to boys and girls, while the Ken- net Shopping centre held a teddy bear hunt, colouring competition and a make- your-own Christmas card activity. Newbury BID chief exec- utive Melissa Hughes said: “It’s so nice to see so many families out enjoying them- selves and having a great time. “We know it was really hard having [last] Christ- mas with so much being cancelled and we wanted to make sure that we gave people the opportunity to celebrate this year, to come into Newbury and be enter-

Thousands of people attended the Christmas lights switch-on in Newbury

with Disney hits, before wel- coming Santa himself and Newburymayor Billy Drum- mond to the stage. And then the countdown began to the lights switch- on itself. Performer Michaela Hef- fer said: “Being able to get together with everybody and seeing all the work that’s been put into it, just to go back out and entertain everyone with fellow enter- tainers, it felt really great.” Volunteer Valarie Jerome said: “This is a real boost for local businesses and residents alike. Kids like it, adults like it; it’s been a lot of fun today. “To not have that last year really put a damper on everything so this has really raised the mood of every- body.”

tained. “There’s plenty of space for people; it’s a great at- mosphere out there today.” She added that she had been out with the mirror men and the candy cane stilt walkers. “Everyone just wants their photo taken with them. It’s such a great at- traction and because we didn’t announce that they were going to be around people have just stumbled across them which is nice because it’s added that sur- prise factor,” she said. As the sun set, the Market Place was transformed into a magical market where vis- itors could have a go on the Christmassy carousel, grab a warm bite to eat from the food stalls and buy light-up toys for the big switch-on

finale. Volunteer Eddie Webb from Newbury Rotary Club said: “We are helping out the BID and Visit Newbury which we are pleased to do. “It feels really good to be out again, which so many of us haven’t done toomuch for the last year. It’s great to be out. “It seems to be going real- ly well, there has been lots of people here, lots of fami- lies all having a nice time.” The evening saw a varie- ty of musical entertainers from Newbury’s teen pop soloist Olivia McBeth, who kicked off the fun with an Amy Winehouse classic, to covers band Juliette Duo. The star sisters Queen Elsa and Princess Ana paid a visit all the way fromAren- delle to entertain children

Joseph and Teddie Morley meet Father Christmas in Parkway

Sofia decorates cookies at the Wa- terside Centre

Harmony Acapella Choir in Bartholomew Street

A family run business since 1902


The crowd gathers in the town centre

The Grinch and princess at Barry Forkin-Toomers

There was plen- ty of entertain- ment in the town centre as the Christ- mas lights were switched on

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Newbury & Thatcham Advertiser

Friday, November 26, 2021


Calls to cut speed limit in Cold Ash Residents’ concerns lead to proposal to make ‘dangerous’ stretch of road 30mph

£2m boost for hospital West Berkshire Community Hospital

I don’t see this as a dangerous stretch of road, or a danger to anyone else. What benefit will this bring if it’s cut down to 30 from 40?

By HINNA AAMANI @hinnaa_nwn

THE West Berkshire Com- munity Hospital has been given a cash boost for a new building with diagnostic fa- cilities. The Newbury and That- cham Hospital Building Trust has helped donate a total of £2m to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for the construction of the new building in That- cham. West Berkshire Communi- ty Hospital and Thatcham Ro- tarian trustee Dr Rob Tayton said that the plan is for the construction of a new build- ing close to the hospital. It is hoped that the building will house two MRI scanners and a new PET CT scanner. The donations were made with the help of Greenham Trust, the Peter Baker Foun- dation and the Storey Chari- table Trust. He said this would mean that people from West Berk- shire will not have to travel to distant hospitals to get scans. Dr Tayton said the trust is “very supportive” of the plan

to make the community hospi- tal a diagnostic hub for West Berkshire. He added: “The Hospital Building Trust and, indeed, all the patients in the area were very grateful for the do- nations from all the trusts. “They had already contrib- uted a considerable amount of money to The Rosemary Appeal which resulted in the building of the renal dialysis unit and the cancer unit at the hospital three years ago. ” Dr Tayton added: “We are all very proud to have one of the most modern community hospitals in the UK in West Berkshire with marvellous facilities for all the patients.” The facilities provided at the hospital include outpa- tients facilities, in-patient facilities for rehabilitation and palliative care, X-rays, physiotherapy, renal dialysis and provision of cancer care, including chemotherapy. It is hoped that building will start soon and will be op- erational by June 2022.

THATCHAM Town Council is asking West Berkshire Council to consider a speed reduction on Cold Ash Hill, taking the limit down from 40mph for the safety of driv- ers. People in the area have raised concerns with That- cham councillors over the speed limit on the stretch of Cold Ash Hill beginning at the roundabout where the road meets Heath Lane. Specific concerns were raised over exiting Southend while cars were travelling at around 40mph. Pulling out of that junction has been deemed “dangerous” and calls have been made to re- duce the speed at this stretch of road down to 30mph. Lee Dillon (Lib Dem, North East) said: “The reason why we are asking West Berkshire Council to take action is that’s what our residents are telling us they want to see happening.

He said: “The money could be better spent elsewhere.” Mr Crumly also comment- ed, from personal experience driving up Cold Ash Hill, that there was “no weight” to the request. He said: “I know that road well, Cold Ash Hill, I’ve gone up that road thousands of times. “I don’t see this as a danger- ous stretch of road, or a dan- ger to anyone else. “What benefit will this bring if it’s cut down to 30 from 40?” Despite Mr Crumly’s com- ments, councillors went ahead to support the request and Mr Dillon will be taking it further with West Berkshire Council.

Councillors are looking into reducing speed on Cold Ash Hill

“They are asking us to take action. As councillors we should be taking on their con- cerns and giving solutions.” Mr Dillon raised these worries in a Thatcham Town Council planning and high- ways meeting in October, but was met with some scepti- cism.

The matter was discussed again in another planning and highways meeting in early No- vember where council mem- bers discussed the need for such a request. Richard Crumly (Con, That- cham Central) opposed the move, drawing upon the costs that they will incur.




Thatcham Santa Fun Run (52909304)

Santas are under starters orders again SANTAS will be sprinting again this year as That- cham Rotary Club’s San- ta Fun Run comes back to town. tions. “It will be great to see a larg- er amount of Santas again. “It creates a nice atmos- phere, people enjoying them- selves, dressed up. Mr Champion said: “Small charities have had a hard time, their fundraising events have not been able to take place.

Fetch the Santa hats and running shoes for the fami- ly friendly festive 5km run, which returns on Sunday, De- cember 5. Beginning at Thatcham Broadway, the runners will assemble at 10.45am ready for an 11am start. Coronavirus measures have been put in place and the race will be staggered, with all runners assembled into groups in order to keep safety a top priority. Rotarian Bob Champion said: “It’s exciting to have the event back. “We believe we can do it in a way which is safe and we are asking people to take precau-

“This is an opportunity for people to raise money for their own charities. “To help with this, we are offering to give back the entry fee, to help them help their charities.” McCarthy Stone has agreed to sponsor this year’s run with three members of staff, based at the new retirement home in Thatcham, taking part in the race. Santa suits can be collected prior to the event. This year there will be no sign up on the day – all regis- trations must be in advance on the Thatcham Rotary web- site at www.thatchamrotary.

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“The community enjoy it and we raise money for char- ity.” With 2019 seeing around 160 runners take on the challenge, Mr Champion is optimistic about the event’s return this year, noting that there once was a total of 200 Santas tak- ing part. Thatcham Rotary is encour- aging participants to consid- er raising sponsorship for a charity or good cause they wish to support. If participants let the team know how much they raise, their entry fee of £10 will be added to the amount they raised.

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Friday, November 26, 2021

Newbury & Thatcham Advertiser


‘Early diagnosis saved my life’ Mother recovers after emergency operation to remove tumour on her pancreas

By NIKI HINMAN @newburytoday

and hoped it was just a growth,” she said. “It was scary because in myself I felt fine.The jaun- dice had become unbearably itchy, but I thought it was al- lergies from the pollen.” She was referred to the Churchill Hospital. Lucki- ly, they were able to operate and she underwent an emer- gency procedure to remove the tumour. She said: “I had an eight- hour operation and, despite being wired up to drips and goodness what else, I was back up on my feet the fol- lowing day after surgery. “I can’t express how grateful I feel to be alive. I was amazed by the speed and amount of planning that went on behind the scenes to get me into surgery. “I feel so very fortunate to be one of the very few people to receive an early diagnosis and able to have surgery for pancreatic cancer. “I now want to encourage as many people as possible to get help or advice if they are worried about pain in the stomach coupled with continual acid reflux.” A spokesman for Pancre- atic Cancer UK said: “This case really stresses the im- portance of early diagnosis.” Mrs French is now rais- ing money for the charity as part of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Visit her fundraising page at https:// For advice about pancre- atic cancer, contact the free support line 0808 801 0707.

Tanya dances off with leading award Tanya Allen with her award UK and beyond.

HELEN French, 60, was told the acid reflux she was experiencing was ‘probably gallstones and nothing sinister’ when she visited her doctor ear- lier this year. The mother-of-two, who lives in Manor Park, New- bury, said her symptoms were only taken seriously by her surgery after she started presenting with jaundice, which caused her skin and eyes to turn yellow. She underwent emer- gency surgery at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital in July to remove her pancreas and the tumour. Pancreatic Cancer UK said Mrs French’s case is ‘exceptionally rare’ as only 10 per cent of people diag- nosed with the deadly dis- ease can be operated on. “I first went to my GP about heartburn, acid reflux and feeling full in April 2021. I was prescribed some medi- cation and told it was prob- ably gallstones and nothing sinister,” she said. Mrs French’s story comes as a poll carried out by the charity found that almost a quarter of people would wait three months or more before going to a GP with symp- toms of the disease. The average survival rate across Europe is just five per cent, with one per cent living for 10 years or more after diagnosis.

THE principal of a Thatcham dance studio netted an honour at the 2021 Dance School of the Year Awards in recognition of her services to the art. Tanya Allen heads the Allenova School of Dancing, a studio that has been teaching children ballet since 1985. The Dance School of the Year Awards were set up by dancer and business figure Anne Walker MBE to promote the art across the THE animal warden team at the Public Protection Partner- ship (PPP) has scooped a gold award from the RSPCA for its stray dog provision. Services for West Berkshire Council, Wokingham Borough Council and Bracknell Forest are provided by a dedicated in- house animal warden team, sup- ported by external out-of-hours partners. The team has scooped the RSP- CA’s Golden Paw Print award, which recognises good practice from local authorities, hous- ing providers and contingency planners in relation to animal

At a ceremony in Exeter on Oc- tober 29, Mrs Allen was present- ed with the International Dance Teachers Association Special Award for Artistic Endeavour. This related to her work with the school, teaching young danc- ers from West Berkshire and else- where. Mrs Allen said: “It was an amaz- ing evening – just like being at the Oscars!”

Helen French (left)

Symptoms include bloat- ing, light stool colour, itch- ing and dark urine. The grandmother-of-two had not told her family about her symptoms, but on her 60th birthday her daughters realised some- thing was wrong when her usually hearty appetite was missing. “My grown-up children had taken me to a fantastic Michelin-star restaurant to celebrate,” the business an- alyst said. “I found I could hardly eat a thing, which made me feel absolutely terrible. I started to feel so unwell, I couldn’t eat the meal and was sick.” Daughter Laura Verney, 30, said: “We were so wor- ried about her. We encour- aged her to go back to the doctors the following week.” Mrs French did go back to her doctor and was waiting for a referral when, a few

weeks later, her skin started to change colour. Mrs Verney had invited the family around to meet her newborn baby when they noticed Mrs French was looking unwell. She said: “At first we thought mum looked well, she was looking slim and tanned, but closer up we re- alised her skin was sallow and the whites of her eyes had turned yellow. We sent her upstairs to call 111.” Mrs French said: “I in- itially thought I had just caught the sun, but as each day went on I become more yellow. I looked like Marge Simpson.” The next day, at the Great Western Hospital in Swin- don, she underwent blood tests and a CT scan, which revealed a mass on her pan- creas. “I didn’t want to believe it was cancer to begin with

Animal wardens strike gold welfare.

Bracknell Forest Council’s exec- utive member for culture, delivery and public protection John Harri- son said: “It is important that this award not only measures the qual- ity of care provided when a stray dog is picked up, but the work that we do in promoting responsible dog ownership, reminding owners to make sure their dog is micro- chipped, tagged and that details are up to date.” For more information on the animal warden provision, visit https://publ icprotectionpart- nership. org .uk/envi ronmen- tal-health/animal-warden/

Be prepared – and help take pressure off NHS LOCAL NHS services in West Berkshire, Woking- ham and Reading have launched a public infor- mation campaign to help reduce pressure on ser- vices over winter.

WE WANT YOUR CAR NOW! PCP CAR LOANS SETTLED AND CASH BACK!! • Contact me to value your car – even if it is still on a PCP or finance agreement. • Your car might be worth more than the finance settlement and I would personally pay you the difference directly. • Thinking of part exchanging your car against a new car? Call me first as I may be able to pay you more for your vehicle. • ALL CARS AND VANS PURCHASED with immediate payment. - Keith Utton, Director

“We will always be there to provide support and help, but would strongly encour- age the public to take the actions highlighted in this campaign to help reduce pressure and ensure every- one is able to access the health and social care sup- port they need.” Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust re- gional director Gerry Craw- ford said: “Many of our services are already under pressure, but we are doing everything we can to make sure help is always there for those who need it most. “There are lots of ways you can help – being pre- pared and knowing where to get the right support ear- ly, whether its advice from your pharmacist for a cold or bug, or self-referring to our Talking Therapies ser- vice for support with your mental health.” As part of the campaign, an online portal has been created with further infor- mation and resources for the public to utilise this win- ter – visit royalberkshire.

The new campaign, sup- ported by Berkshire West CCG, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Berk- shire Healthcare NHS Foun- dation Trust, aims to inform the public on small actions they can take which will help reduce demand on NHS services and help ensure they can access medical sup- port as quickly as possible. Clinical chairman of Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Abid Irfan said: “There is significant pressure on NHS services across Reading, Wokingham and West Berk- shire, whether that is GPs, emergency department or pharmacies. “We are all working to- gether to provide best pos- sible care we can, but by supporting this winter cam- paign you can help your lo- cal NHS services over the next few months.”

West Berkshire Community Hospital The campaign is focused around three key themes: Be prepared – taking steps to avoid needing to access healthcare services such as having a fully-stocked medicine cabinet, treating colds and minor illnesses at home, supporting vulner- able relatives and getting Covid-19 and flu vaccines. Know the right place to go – only use the emergency department in the case of life-threatening emergen- cies. Use NHS 111 Online for any urgent medical queries and self-refer to Talking

Therapies without needing to see a GP. See your GP differently – there are different ways to access your GP, including online and video appoint- ments, as well as face-to-face consultations. Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Steve McManus said: “We are already see- ing high levels of demands for our services as we head into winter, with frequently more than 400 people arriv- ing at our emergency de- partment in a single day.

All makes and models

Autos Family business established over 31 years 01635 552233 8 Boundary Road, Newbury, RG14 5RR Please call Keith Utton on


Newbury & Thatcham Advertiser

Friday, November 26, 2021


Pupils inspired by global adventurer Ultimate triathlete tells of his daring exploits around the world

Mandy Clark and Jenni Collins

Mumsnot the word A WEBSITE that aims to bring people together has been launched in West Berkshire during the Covid lockdown. Initially, Mandy Clark

By SARAH BOSLEY @newburytoday

naturally open when you work hard,” he added. “Break things into small steps – a lit- tle bit every day makes the big things happen.” One pupil, Oscar, said: “James Ketchell has inspired me to never give up on my dreams, no matter what any- one else says.” Another, Ella, added: “James has encouraged me to be more of a risk-taker, which is something I find tricky, but I will keep trying.” Brooke said she was in- spired by his stories of kind- ness from around the world. “He taught me to be kind to others because they will treat you the same way.” Mr Ketchell completed his ‘ultimate triathlon’ on Febru- ary 1, 2014 – just seven years after a serious motorcycle accident left him with bro- ken legs and the prognosis he would be unlikely to walk again. In 2019 he flew an open cockpit gyroplane around the world – setting a Guinness World Record.

A GLOBAL adventurer who has rowed, climbed and cycled his way around the world inspired pupils at Speenhamland School. James Ketchell – the only person to have ever complet- ed the ‘ultimate triathlon’ of rowing the Atlantic, climb- ing Mount Everest and then cycling around the world – shared his exciting stories of adventure and achievement with the pupils at the New- bury primary school. He visited last week, when he wowed them with his tales of rowing solo across the At- lantic, cycling around the world on a second-hand bicy- cle, as well as scaling to the top of Mount Everest, before sharing the next stages of his future adventures. Headteacher Julie Lewry said: “Having James Ketchell in to talk to all of our children was an amazing experience. “Through captivating sto-

“I have a few amazing non- mum friends, but where are all the other women, the ones who chose not to listen out for the pitter-patter of tiny feet? ” She grabbed her laptop and Mumsnot was born – a place to “create conversations and a community of people who aim to keep each other fuelled with interesting observations about life or maybe even just laughs”. And now she has joined forces with a mum from New- bury, Jenni Collins, to spread the word. The website offers a place where you can read “uplifting stories from some wonderful women” and has a growing in- ternational audience. “We are not excluding an- yone,” said Jenni. “It’s all in- clusive and everybody’s view is valid.” Visit or follow it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @themumsnot

wanted a space where people who did not have children – either by choice or by fate – would be able to connect with others. But since the coronavirus pandemic she says she realis- es it can be so much more, to so many more people. The idea came about while she was in the bath pon- dering what she’d heard on that morning’s Chris Evans’ breakfast show. “I was wondering where all the other not-mums were,” Mandy said. “I thought about doing a blog and by doing it I would find a community. “Even now, though I’m now in my 50s, I find I’m still slightly tuned in to feeling that I missed out.

Adventurer James Ketchell at Speenhamland school

The pupils were encouraged to recognise the school val- ues – respect, responsibility, risk-taking, resilience and re- sourcefulness – in Mr Ketchell and see how these values could help them to achieve any goal. Mr Ketchell told the chil- dren that “the hardest part is believing you can do it”. “Doors of opportunity will

ries of his adventures around the world, he encompassed our school values and taught the children about the im- portance of working hard to achieve their goals. “From Foundation stage to Year 6, all the pupils were en- thralled by the presentation and left the hall feeling truly inspired.”

plain sailing If only business was always

An effective marketing strategy in the Newbury Business Today can help you move into calmer waters. For information please call 01635 550444


Friday, November 26, 2021

Newbury & Thatcham Advertiser

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Your garden, your choice. Call now to advertise your business (01635) 886673

Step into Newbury Tools for Christmas inspiration



WITH less than a month to go to Christmas, present buying sprees are about to take off – all with the indecision, lack of parking and crowded pavements. It’s usually the men in the family who pose the biggest problem, so why not avoid all the hassle with a visit to Newbury Tools? Easy to find in Hambridge Road with ample parking, Newbury Tools is ahead of the game with a Christmas stand that offers a range of gift ideas to suit any budget. No one should be without a Stanley knife for any job professionally or DIY around the house


Inc. VAT

PENWOOD NURSERIES LTD make your garden the best part of your home BARE ROOT FRUIT, HEDGING, TREES AND ROSES IN STOCK NOW! An outstanding selection of hardy: • trees & shrubs • herbaceous perennials • roses • conifers • fruit • climbers • ferns & grasses Four miles south of Newbury. Well worth a visit 01635 254 366 The Drove, Penwood, Newbury, RG20 9EW

Simon Neale at Newbury Tools

Ref: 47-2721

for those odd jobs. Keep your knife sharp with 160 spare blades for £10.99 A tub of Wonder Wipes, 100 wipes for £6, will keep your workspace surfaces clean and the ever popular Bahco 54 piece drill bit set in a tough presentation box is £14.99. Combine this with a Makita 101 piece bit and accessory set for £19.99 you are set up for the year. Apart from a screwdriver, no worker will leave home without a multi tool – we have Olympia multi tools (240v) for £34.99 to Fein professional multi tools competitively priced at £238.80. There’s also the DeWalt 18v combi drill with 34 piece bit set, battery and charger for £179. Multiple packs of batteries represent extremely good value – £5.99 for 24 AA or AAA. Set them up for the site with correct PPE – from hard hats to toe protected boots, top to bottom – from 99p to £100. Powerful head torches which switch on and off with a wave of your hand are £32.10 or Jefferson Gecko disposable work gloves are back in stock at £17.40 for 50. One pair

can last all day and they are smart phone compatible. Children of all ages will love the Sealey Bluetooth sound bar so they can listen to their music anywhere priced at £24.60. Unique to the area, this family- run business is also a tool hire outlet offering an extensive range of hand and power tools from a three-ton digger to a wheelbarrow. With special deals over the Christmas period, why not talk to them about your Christmas DIY project? Newbury Tools has a vast amount of equipment to make the project easier. As the weather changes, bear in mind that Newbury Tools stocks de-icing salt for roads and paths. There is also a range of salt for water-softeners which comes in 10kg or 25kg bags in tablet, granular or in block form, all of which can be delivered. Knowledgeable, experienced staff will offer advice on what tools are best for which job – and whatever the job in question, Newbury Tools will have the answer. Visit or call (01635) 30804.



Get the Garden sorted this Autumn

With over 35 years experience, Kalehurst Garden Machinery is a name you can really trust.

Suppliers of plant & equipment for all construction & garden projects Local, Independent, and Family run

Come and speak to our team of experts for the best service in town.



STORAGE A wide range of compost bins and composters, as well as a wide variety of wooden garden products. SALE ONE OFF SPECIAL OFFERS BUILDINGS

We have a fully comprehensive range of wooden sheds, pine cabins and wooden furniture.

We provide high quality fencing and gates in a range of styles, at competitive rates.

FURNITURE We specialise in crafting great garden and patio furniture, perfect for your garden, whatever the requirements.


‘ get the right tool for the job’ 1 Hambridge Road Newbury RG14 5SS 01635 30804

Please call us with your requirements or alternatively drop in and discuss your needs.


HERMITAGE, Nr NEWBURY RG18 9TG T: 01635 201623 E: Website -

Telephone: 01635 862 489 111 Burys Bank Road, Crookham Common, Thatcham RG19 8DE email:


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