Stargazing Live in Henley-in Arden                                  12-14 January 2018

Stargazing Live – Henley in Arden 12-14 January.


Despite the unfavourable weather for astronomical observations 100 people of all ages visited the Stargazing Live event organized by the Stratford upon Avon Astronomical Society at the Golf Club in Henley-in-Arden. There were introductory talks on Astronomy, displays of the solar system, a computer based model of the sky at night and games with the purpose of showing the size of the solar system and the vastness of space. A large number of different types of astronomical telescopes and large binoculars were on display and members of the Society were available to explain the equipment to the public. The Society wishes to thank all the visitors and Nadhim Zahawi MP for supporting the event, the local media for reporting on it and the Henley Golf Club for making available its excellent facilities


George Matheou

Stargazing Live Co-ordinator

For the Stratford upon Avon Astronomical Society.


Barclays Bank closes its Henley Branch

Another set-back in the economy

of Henley and Beaudesert

<< New text box >>

The 15th century Market Cross in danger from the Parish Council!


In 2010/11 major conservation work was undertaken to keep the 15th century Market Cross monument safe and in good order. This was a town wide project and many organizations were involved such as the then Parish Council, the Beaudesert and Henley Civic Society, English Heritage, the County Archeologist and of course the generous people of Beaudesert and Henley. The design of the existing Market Cross area was undertaken by Mr Ray Holding, the curator of Heritage Centre. A conservation company from Bristol undertook the necessary work. We were advised that no drilling or digging should be done close to the monument. I personally passed this information to the Parish Council on several occasions in the presence of all the Parish Councillors including Cllr Bill Leech.

I was comfortable with the advice given to us because it was in harmony with the definition of a scheduled monument which our Market Cross is i.e. it is a nationally important archeological site and as such it is protected by law. No works should be carried out close to the monument which may disturb the ground. Furthermore, the monument is protected by law from any reckless or deliberate damage.

What the existing Parish Council has done with the digging and installation of a large flag pole only 27 inches from the monument is in fact an incomprehensible and reckless act which has caused some damage to the monument. Now, the Council wish to dig again to the other site of the monument to put in a Christmas Tree. This will be yet another irresponsible and reckless behaviour which could possibly bring down the whole monument. This must be not being allowed to happen.


Photographic evidence of the damage to the Market Cross

I have been looking after the 15th century Market Cross for a decade now purely on a voluntary basis. I am familiar with its condition. All cracks and gaps on the monument and steps were filled during the conservation work. There were no gaps prior to the installation of the large flag pole next to the monument. There are now. These are unmistakable signs of disturbing the ground and creating movements. For a scheduled monument, which is protected by law that was an illegal act which resulted in damaging the monument.  










Unmistable signs of disturbing the ground and creating movements



Broken pieces from the column and conservation fillings found on the ground of the Market Cross. Umistakable signs of ground movement which affected the monument.



Damage to the column of the Market Cross consistent with stress cause by disturbing the ground.


Any work on or close to an important historic monument should be carried out by a conservation specialist. A Drive and Landscaping contractor clearly has not the knowledge for such an important task.

Even though I have been caring and cleaning the Market Cross for decade or so, the Parish Council never informed me about their plans. Indeed, another local organisation which has been looking after the Welcome Signs for some 20 years faced the same treatment. The signs were relocated without any word to anyone. We are not merely facing poor communication or bad manners. We are facing an unacceptable behaviour inconsistent with the most basic rules of local democracy.


My only interest on this matter is the safety of our Market Cross monument. It may not look like the Colosseum or the Parthenon but it is our own monument it is our own history and our own heritage. 


Why does the Parish Council want to risk damaging the Market Cross? I have no idea and I do not understand such a destructive behaviour.  I know of no other Parish Council in the District that would behave in such a manner. Perhaps, they wish to keep the Christmas Lights volunteers out of that area, or they do not wish George Matheou to look after the Market Cross. If this is the case, they only have to ask Mr Matheou who will be glad to pass this job to the District or Parish Council. Perhaps, there is something else, like one particular Councillor suffers from “I can do everything that I want syndrome” and if anyone disagrees, I can send out hundreds of emails explaining how good and reasonable I am and how dreadful everyone else is. Could people be so callable?


The same Councillor has to answer some specific questions in 2017 about 'hacking' which is a criminal offence, accusing the Police for raiding his house, his behavour towards previous Parish Clerks and the fact that he is the most expensive Parish Councillor in the history of Henley-in-Arden. The people of Beaudesert and Henley will not be mislead again.









TESCO cyber-raid raises serious questions over security and whether we are managing the Internet effectively


£2.5 were siphoned from 9,000 Tesco Bank accounts and transferred to cyber-criminals whose identities and locations remain a mystery. This was by no means the largest on-line theft. An attempt has been made recently to steal £763m ($951m) from Bangladesh’s central bank. This was done by hackers breaking into the SWIFT network, the international financial transfer information system. Although some of the transactions were stopped $63 million has not been recovered. The effect of this was for SWIFT to ask the banks to update their software! The computer security industry is worth £30 billion, but it has not stopped cybercrime.

In UK, Cybercrime is defined as unauthorized access to computers and other programmable devices such as mobile telephones. Although this type of crime is becoming a priority issue for our Police and Government, bearing in mind that there is a report on Cybercrime practically every week in the media, we must assume that our existing system for identifying and prosecuting hackers is not effective.  As I have been in Computing for many years I am examining this subject with great professional interest. First, we need to demystify the subject. Hacking for example is equivalent to someone breaking into your business or your homes with the aim to steal. Consequently, hackers are thieves and should be treated as such by the law and the Police. Where there is evidence of “hacking” the Police should act without hesitation. Second, research is required in the issues below to establish viable solutions:

  • Is our existing organisation for managing cybercrime in UK working? A highly centralized organisation based on Action Fraud does not seem to provide the required management and speed for action.

  • Do we need an FBI type organisation which specializes in cybercrime?

  • Should we establish a definition and rules of ownership of the Internet?

  • Should we establish an effective tracing system of all on-line transactions.

  • Organizations that have been hacked must report this to the Police. Criminals will not be pursued if their crimes are kept secret.

  • Every country must accept responsibility and investigate any on-line criminal activities within its borders.

  • Cybercriminals must be prosecuted by the Police without exception. After all, thieves are prosecuted and all hackers are thieves.

  • Rules must be established on what constitutes misuse of the internet such as hate mail, false reporting, infringement of privacy etc.

  • The Press Commission which currently focuses on newspapers should be expanded to include the publication of material on the internet.

 The above will provide the beginning of a process for managing the internet which at present is out of control.


I agree entirely with the statement made by Alan Sugar the business magnate who started the Amstrad computers and now produces The Apprentice on BBC TV. 


'Editors who have been involved in hacking should go to prison'.  


The Computer Misused Act which is part of the Criminal Act specifies clearly that this should be the case.






The greatest Briton – Winston Churchill




I suppose most of us for various reasons respect and admire someone. In my case, I became interesting in identifying people that I admire during an intensive leadership course at Balliol College Oxford. At the time I was not quite clear on the difference between management and leadership. Having listened to a number of discussions and having reflected on this matter I came to the conclusion that for leadership I admired two different people, Queen Elizabeth I and Winston Churchill. Both of my chosen heroes had some common characteristics. First, they had difficult beginnings. Second, they had a clear vision on what they wished to achieve. Third, they believed in the rightness of their cause and had total determination to achieve what they considered to be the right thing for the country. They gave everything they had in the cause they pursued. Duty, Honour, Country, were of vital importance to them. My first choice is Winston Churchill simply because he is more contemporary to us than Queen Elizabeth I.


I do believe that Churchill is the greatest Briton. It was appropriate for the country to honour him again on the 30th January on the 50th anniversary of his death.

Oxford is one of my favoured cities. I love the architecture of the colleges. I recall my room at Balliol (Staircase 21) was comfortable but spartan. I could see from my window the entrance to the Randolf Hotel. Also, I liked the market almost in the centre of the city and the variety of different shops. The Museums are a must to visit.  When I go to Oxford often I take the opportunity to visit Bladon to pay my respects to Winston Churchill by his grave. Blenheim Palace where Churchill was born is also a delightful place to visit.

Thank you Winston Churchill, Prime Minister, for everything that you did for Britain, Europe and the World.  We shall never forget you.




A persistent complaint among residents is the reprehensible habit of a few dog owners who exercise their dogs on foot paths and allow their dogs not  to foul the foot paths..

The High Street is a regular source of distress for residents, mothers with pushchairs and toddlers, and those with sight difficulties. How can we take a pride in showing our historic High Street to friends and visitors when instead of “look at that  interesting building” is replaced by “mind where you put your feet”!

Another particular foot path regularly fouled is the route used by many young children walking to the two primary schools; Beaudesert Lane, the path through to Meadow Road and Arden Road. Those of us who like dogs and appreciate their companionship send a heartfelt plea to dog owners, please keep your dogs on a short lead when walking on foot paths so that you have control, and should the dog go inappropriately, always have the necessary bags to clear up. Anyone able to identify an owner not clearing up, please notify the Parish Clerk as there are bye-laws which allow prosecution and a substantial fine.




LEARN MORE ABOUT US on our website,





Henley Community Library
The Old Schoolroom
Henley-in-Arden Methodist Church
115 High Street
Henley in Arden
B95 5AU                            

Tel. 01564 794885 during opening hours

Email: henley.community.library@gmail.com


              Opening Hours


Opening hours




09.00 - 19.00






09.00 - 19.00


09.00 - 13.00




Support your local Library








Support your local businesses

Local jobs depend on it
















Editor: George Matheou


Copyright: George Matheou