Are you frazzled? Even though October is supposed to be the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness, sometimes keeping up with the frantic pace of life wears us out! It was fantastic to speak to Ruby Wax for our Talking Point interview in this issue. Her words of sanity have helped me to keep a bit more mindful and reassess my priorities so that my much-needed energy is not frittered away on worrying. Since my daughter broke her leg (poor brave girl!) and I’ve had several important life deadlines looming, this little bit of mental hygiene has really helped me stay positive. I hope you enjoy Ruby’s book (and show) as much as I did, as well as this edition.
First up, an event to help you save your pennies! Henley, Twyford and District NCT Nearly New Sale will take place on Saturday, 10th October, at the Christchurch Centre in Henley. The sale takes place from 10.30am to 12pm wth many bargains to be had. Check the group’s Facebook page.
Organist Byron Jones will return to Henley Town Hall for the first concert of the new season, on Sunday, October 11th at 3pm. The Henley and District Organ Trust are delighted to welcome this popular artist, affectionately known as The Welsh Wizard of the keyboard! Born in Risca South Wales,he now resides in Bristol and has played for professional singers like Donald Peers , Bert Weedon, Ann Shelton and Dorothy Squires. Once again this will be in aid of The Oxfordshire Air Ambulance. For tickets and more info, call Gordon on 01491 57471.
Sailing ahead, now. Henley Offshore Group’s new-season winter talks start on Monday, 12th October, at Henley Golf Club in Harpsden. The presenter will be Tom Sowerby from the Bisham Abbey Sailing and Navigation School who will talk about Using Electronics Safely in Navigation and First Aid Afloat. Tom grew up around boats and started sailing when he was eight. He joined Bisham Abbey Sailing and Navigation School in 2002 and has won the RYA Inland Waterways Instructor of the Year for his coaching. Bisham Abbey Sailing is based within Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, located on the banks of the River Thames just outside Marlow. Established in 1991 the school is a RYA-recognised training centre run by Roy and Jan May.
Nostalgia, eh? It ain’t what it used to be! Sorry, that’s an old joke (but aren’t the best ones?) Anyway, do you have some old postcards, letters or an old stamp album from your schooldays? If so, Henley Philatelic Society want to hear from you. See how collecting has changed, the enjoyment you can get from the research, and seeing other displays and the wide range of subjects now covered in philately. Visitors are always welcome and, if wanted, advice is willingly given while you chat over a cup of coffee during the evening. The society meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at Bix Village Hall at 7.45pm (September to June inclusive). The next dates are October 14th when David Stotter will give a talk and display; A Postcard from Tangier. Then, on October 28th it will be Bob Galland on Exhibiting GB Surface Printed Postage Stamps. For more details, call 01491 681739 or visit www.henleyphilatelic.co.uk
Now, to cacti. The Reading branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society welcome Dr John Hughes for an illustrated talk entitled ‘Echeveria’. These popular succulents from Central America are widely grown and loved for their varying leaf colours. The talk is on Saturday, 17th October, 7.15pm, at Chapel Hall, Loddon Bridge Road, Woodley (RG5 4BG). Non-members are welcome. A token entry fee of £2 includes tea/coffee and biscuits together with a ticket for the raffle. See the website www.reading.bcss.org.uk . For encouragement and any questions, call Alice Vanden Bon on 0118 9775273.
Gebel Silsila: on the Trail of Egypt’s Temple Builders is the topic of a talk by Dr Sarah Doherty on 17th October at 2pm. The Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society always have fascinating topics and this one will explore the ancient site of Gebel el Silsila, known to the ancients as Khenu or Kheny, which is famous for Egypt’s largest series of sandstone quarries. You can hear news of fresh discoveries, including a recently revealed temple, several stone-built camps, tons of ceramics and more! Head to the Oakwood Centre in Headley Road, Woodley (RG5 4JZ). Members go free, and visitors are welcome for a £3 donation.
Now there’s an autumn nip in the air, but it’s a gorgeous time of year to enjoy an autumnal walk. On that note, make a date with your walking boots for Sunday, October 18th, when Reading Outdoor Group will go on a 6.5-mile day walk from Shiplake. If you are interested in finding out more, visit www.readingoutdoorgroup.org.uk or call the membership secretary on 0118 9616506. Reading Outdoor Group is a long-established outdoor activity group that welcomes new members of all ages from the surrounding areas. Events are arranged and led by members and the range of activities is varied including walking, cycling, weekends away and social events.
Stoke Row Market returns this month, on October 17th to be precise. After a break over the summer months, the Nuffield Church Fundraising Committee say: “We hope to see you all back in October and look forward to seeing old friends!”
South Oxfordshire Archaeology Group are holding a series of lectures through the autumn and winter worth sharing. The lectures are held generally on the last Thursday of the month at Goring Heath Parish Hall, Whitchurch Hill and start at 7.45pm. The next lecture is on Thursday October 22nd and is by Dr Alex Smith (University of Reading), titled New Light on the Romano-British Countryside: Current results of the Roman Rural Settlement Project. Non-members are welcome. For further details of lectures, visit www.soagarch.org.uk
Do you know about the work done by Wyfold Riding for the Disabled? This independent charity provides horse-riding facilities for people with physical or mental disabilities and recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. On Saturday 14th November, the Aliquando Choir will be putting on a concert in aid of Wyfold RDA. This will take place at St Mary’s Church in Henley at 7.30pm. The choir, with the help of some international soloists and musicians will be performing Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. This will be an inspiring and popular evening and is Wyfold’s main fundraising event of the year. Gill Rushworth got in touch with us to say: “We’re very grateful and excited to be Aliquando’s chosen charity for this concert.” For more information, please visit www.aliquando.co.uk
Trinity Concert Band are preparing for their autumn concert at Reading University’s Great Hall (RG1 5AQ) on Saturday, 3rd October, at 7.30pm. The concert theme is Music of Our Time and features music by living composers. The programme will include John Williams’ Midway March, from the 1976 film, a new composition based on the famous tune Men of Harlech, a medley of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best tunes, a foot tapping Sea Songs arrangement of well-known shanties, and New London Pictures a composition by the British composer Nigel Hess who is famous for many TV themes. Guest soloist Jay Bevan will play a performance of the Clarinet Sonatina by Joseph Horovitz. Tickets are £10 up to 24 hours before the concert and £12 on the door. Children under 16 years are free when accompanied by a paying visitor. Tickets can be purchased from the box office on 0845 226 3047 or visit www.trinityband.co.uk
You have until the end of the month to fill a shoebox with Christmas gifts for people living in poverty in Eastern Europe. The Link to Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal sees boxes containing gifts delivered to families and the elderly in Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. Family shoeboxes should include a gift for everyone in the family (mother, father, and children) as well as basics, such as toothpaste, soap and shampoo. Boxes for the elderly can contain not only toiletries, but warm gloves, scarves, slippers and a little luxury such as a lavender bag or candle. Leaflets containing a list of recommended items are available from local organisers John and Margaret Willemsen on 01235 798875 or from the Cornerstone Coffee Shop, Savile Way, Grove. Details can also be found on the Link to Hope website, www.linktohope.co.uk . Completed shoeboxes should be handed in to John and Margaret or dropped off at the Cornerstone Coffee Shop by Friday 30th.
Steventon Choral Society is supporting the worthy Voices for Hospices Charity in aid of Sobell House on the 10th. They are putting on a concert entitled A Gala Evening at 7.30pm in Steventon Village Hall. Tickets cost £10 (accompanied children free) to include interval refreshments and can be obtained from Trish Napper on 01235 848292, Caroline Miller on 01235 834015 or Steventon Post Office.
Congratulations to two friends who have walked 50km from Runnymeade to Henley to raise money for Blue Skye Thinking. Hilary Lamb and Karen Poolman took on the endurance challenge, along with thousands more, along the Thames. Blue Skye Thinking was set up by Sally and Andrew Hall in memory of their son, Skye, from Abingdon who died last year from side-effects of his treatment for medulloblastoma, an aggressive and cancerous brain tumour. Hilary said: “I’ve known Skye’s family for a long time through our shared interest of Oxford Operatic Society. I think the work the charity is doing, and the money raised, is wonderful so I wanted to do something to contribute to this. I also feel extremely fortunate that, when my own son had meningitis as a baby he, thankfully, made a full recovery. Remembering what my husband and I went through at that time only increases the sympathy I have for families like Skye’s.” The duo hope to raise £600. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Karen-Poolman1/
I love hearing about readers who give so much time and energy to local causes close to their hearts. Hazel Pattison’s inventive knitted tortoises will be on sale at a charity craft fair in Benson Parish Hall, 10.30am-4pm on Saturday 31st October, where you’ll also find cards, cakes, greetings cards, wood-turning and more goodies. Hazel and Bill have involvement with many charities to help families affected by learning disabilities in Henley and Wallingford. Read more about their story in this issue!
And, while we’re on craft fairs, here’s another one. Henley Craft and Gift Market takes place on Saturday, October 10th, from 10am to 4pm, at Henley Town Hall.
Learn all about creepy, slimy and slithery things at Halloween-themed sessions organised by Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust. Haunted Habitats is on at the trust’s Sutton Courtenay Environmental Education Centre on Tuesday 27th, Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th from 10am until 3pm, and will feature both indoor and outdoor activities. Sessions are suitable for children aged five and over and a donation of £4 per child is requested.
And finally, a huge thank you to the youngsters who entered the World Map competition in our September education special! We had more than 100 entries, which will make a lovely map of all the comments from children in our January education follow-up. One entry came from Hugo, aged three, who lives in Brightwell and would most like to visit... “Africa because they have lions, giraffes and hedgehogs!”” We like your style, Hugo, and hope you enjoy your prize (and our hedgehog special)! Thank you everyone who entered – what a lovely response.
Have a wonderful month, readers!
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA