The Henley Society celebrated their 60th anniversary on Sunday at Remenham Club by the river in the sunshine.
The Society has grown over the last year to 500+ members after a membership drive last February. A book was published by The Society in January, The First 60 Years’ – written by the current Chairman, Geoff Luckett, which traces The Society through the decades from the founding in 1961 to the present day.
The Henley Society was founded in 1961 when a major planning application was approved by Henley Borough Council which would have involved the demolition of the historic Catherine Wheel hotel and its replacement with a row of 1960’s style shops!
The Mayor, Councillor Michelle Thomas officially opened the event with a speech saying, “I’ve looked up the purpose of a society. It says the purpose of the society is the collective body of persons composing of a community; anybody of persons connected by some type and these collective persons are all of you and the tie is our wonderful unique town of Henley-on-Thames. Your Chair, Geoff Luckett gifted me a copy of The First 60 years, a very engaging and thought provoking book of the Society’s achievement and beliefs. What I found most striking in this book was that the aims of the Society is practically unchanged since the development of the County Council’s map in 1963. I am pleased that we have The Henley Society on our side and I can assure you that they work very hard for the benefit of preserving our wonderful heritage and surroundings. I think Geoff and the current Committee can be particularly congratulated on the recent boost of the number of members the Society now enjoys. Any Society is nothing without the support of its members so please join me a toast to the Committee and all the members, enjoy your party and here’s to the next 60 years and beyond.”
Members and guests enjoyed a barbecue and live music entertainment from Barry Owen and the Main Attraction.
Geoff Luckett said afterwards, “We thought the format was unique and wanted a special event to mark the occasion. We sold 200 tickets and we have received many good comments from visitors -all requesting that we do something similar next year. Calnans of Watlington were the excellent caterers and we are extremely grateful to Remenham Club for allowing us to use their beautiful club and grounds – and to the Mayor for gracing us with her presence and opening the ‘show’.”