Members of The Henley Society joined together for breakfast at The Catherine Wheel on Hart Street yesterday (Tuesday) to celebrate 60 years to the day that the Society was formed and to unveil a plaque on the outside of the building. The Henley Society was formed after a number of Henley residents got together to object to the demolition of the hotel in 1962.
In 1961 a major planning application was approved by the then Henley Borough Council which would have involved the demolition of the hotel and it being replaced by a row of shops.
Henley Mayor, Councillor Michelle Thomas was joined by Nora Scanlon to unveil the plaque with Chair of The Henley Society, Geoff Luckett as it was her idea.
The Mayor said, “It’s such a pleasure to be here with you this morning and thank you so much for your kind invitation. I wanted to build on what I said to you all in the summer at Music on the Lawn at Remenham Club. The Henley Society celebrating 60 years – what a huge achievement. By all of the committee and all of you here today supporting Henley with your membership is invaluable. You get your fingers and opinions into everything that is going on in Henley and I can assure you that the Council sit up and listen when The Henley Society speaks. Congratulations on this milestone and here’s to the next 60 years and beyond.”
Chair of The Henley Society, Geoff Luckett said, “Today isn’t really about us. We’re here to remember those Henley residents who on this very day in 1961 met in the Town Hall and formed The Henley Society. On the card on the tables, there is a list of 29 people that were elected to some sort of office of The Henley Society. How they ever managed to get decisions made at a meeting I have no idea. There are some very famous trade names on there including the Waldens and Tomlins. We have still got a connection with this group because one of the members on there Mr William P Moon has a daughter called Sandra who is and has been our Treasury for over 30 years. We’re here today to remember those people who saved this very building from a bulldozer. This building was first mentioned in 1499 – that makes it 300 years old than Henley bridge.”