Coronation lunch in the village hall Monday 8th May

Forty or more villagers celebrated the coronation at a lunch in the village hall on Monday 8th May. The team of  Stella, Trish, Sue, Val, Beth and daughters, and Jane prepared a four-course lunch, served with Prosecco. The king was toasted, and a great time had by all.

A raffle, raising funds for Macmillan, allowed almost all to go home with a prize.

Pictures by Geoff Watts

The team

Road closures

Hamstead level crossing will be closed from 23.00 15th May 2023 to 05.00 16th May 2023.

The A4 is being closed each night, from 7pm until 5am, between Stockcross and Kintbury, until 26th May.

The March 2023 issue of the Hamstead Hornet can be seen here.

Garden Society summer meeting

Enborne and Hamstead Marshall Garden Society's summer meeting will be held in the garden of Linden Lea in North End, courtesy of Gillian Pocock, on Wednesday 5th July.

Arrangements are already in full swing for the society's annual show on  Saturday 2nd September.

Local election results

The local elections of 4th May 2023 saw the end of 18 years of Conservative rule in West Berkshire, and the election of two new ward councillors for Hungerford and Kintbury, which includes Hamstead Marshall.

Dennis Benneyworth, who has represented the village for the Conservative party since 2019, was re-elected. The other two former councillors, James Cole and Claire Rowles did not stand, but their replacement candidates nominated from the Conservative party were beaten by two Liberal Democrats, Denise Gaines and Tony Vickers. Votes cast within the ward were as below.

 Denise Gaines Lib Dem 2036 Elected
 Tony Vickers Lib Dem 1704 Elected
 Dennis Benneyworth Con 1572 Elected
 Julian Swift-Hook Lib Dem 1509 Not elected
 Peter Tompkins Con 1380 Not elected
 Ben Podger Con 1356 Not elected
 Trish Whitham Green 829 Not elected

Denise Gaines has lived in Hungerford for the last 26 years and formerly served as a district councillor for the town. Tony Vickers has lived locally for 42 years and represented Kintbury for 17 of them.

West Berkshire Council now has the Lib Dem party in the driving seat for the first time in 20 years, with 29 councillors. The Conservatives have 11, Greens 2 and Labour 1. The new leader of the council is Lee Dillon.

Sluice at Hamstead Mill
The towpath west of Hamstead Lock

"Craven Country" copies available

Craven Country, the first and only history of Hamstead Marshall,  was first published in 1996. A second edition (in colour) of 100 copies came out in 2012.

Both have been long out of print, and second-hand copies appear only rarely. However, Berkshire Family History Society's Newbury Branch is selling off its library, and one second-hand copy of each edition is currently on offer. £10 each.

Contact the website if interested.

White Hart on the market

The White Hart is being offered by Colliers for sale at £895,000. Leasehold is offered as an alternative. Details can be seen here. Features are described as

  • country inn in a delightful rural setting
  • 9 letting bedrooms
  • 3-bedroom owners' flat
  • attractive garden, currently closed

The pub has been closed since before Christmas.

What’s on in the village

Sat 13th 10.00-13.00: Community market in the village hall. Sue’s cakes and savouries, bread from Hetherton’s, Lanie’s preserves, refreshments and more. Stalls available: for details contact Lanie Allen 07775 804143.
Thu 18th 20.00: Parish assembly and council meeting in the village hall. All parishioners welcome. Agenda posted on PC site a few days before.
Thu 2nd 19.00: Circle of Friends at the village hall. Women’s group meeting monthly for chat, tea and a talk. £5 to include refreshments. Contact is Sue Watts 07884 004418.
Sat 10th 10.00-13.00: Community market in the village hall. Sue’s cakes and savouries, bread from Hetherton’s, Lanie’s preserves, refreshments and more. Stalls available: for details contact Lanie Allen 07775 804143.
Wed 5th: Garden Society summer meeting at Linden Lea, North End.
Sat 2nd: Garden Society annual show details tba.

Pilates in the village hall continues on Tuesday mornings, 09.30 to 10.30. To enquire or join, contact Jenny Carter 07919 173839.
Ladies who Brunch contact is Lanie Allen 07775 804143.
Circle of Friends contact is Sue Watts 07884 004418.
The mobile library will stop at Ash Tree Grove from 10.40 until 11.10 on Thursdays 18th May, 8th and 29th June, 20th July, 10th and 31st August and 21st September.