The Henley Society membership drive, which began in early February, has brought in over 200 members thanks to the hard work of members and the Executive Committee. The distribution of over 3000 letters and membership application forms resulted in an 85% increase in membership.
How in keeping with the ethos of The Henley Society that the 200th applicant should be none other than Mr. Norman Topsom.
It will be recalled that Norman had a life-long railway career, has had a train named after him and was awarded the MBE in 2005 honouring his 53-year career on the railways, and for his community work, including time spent in Henley at St Mary’s Church, and keeping young men on the right track at the YMCA.
Norman, an amateur historian, has spent retirement researching Henley and his many postings to the Henley Past and Present Facebook page are well-written, eagerly awaited and well received. When The Henley Society is able to restart (non-virtual) talks, they will be inviting Norman to address the members on the many facets of his life in and around Henley.
Chairman of the Society Geoff Luckett said “We are delighted by the response to our invitation, which has clearly struck a chord with many Henley residents. The Society, founded in 1961, seeks to maintain the best of Henley including its historic centre, its fine approaches and trees, the conservation of the town its waterfront and setting, and keeping an appropriate balance between housing and the provision of employment, shopping and leisure facilities. In short to maintain the best of Henley and improve the rest.”