Our 2022 Review
With restrictions lifted from the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022 saw things getting back to normal with many events returning for the first time in 3 years. Here’s our review of the year in our great little town of Henley-on-Thames along with photos we’ve enjoyed taking.
Adam Toop’s planning application to convert Hobbs boatyard into a home for vintage boat collection was refused. Taylor Wimpey’s Lawful development for underpinning work was refused for Thames Farm.
Make Henley Shine presented their proposal to the Town Council to light up Henley bridge.
In sport, Charlotte Hodgkinson, a student at Gillotts School, won the British Junior Ice Skating Pairs Championship with her skating partner, Elliot Appleby in Sheffield. Rotary Club take difficult decision to finish running Henley Half Marathon due to aging membership.
A Slovenian Hayrack was donated by the British Slovene Society and installed on Gillotts Field to support and promote the town’s twinning with Bled in Slovenia.
Amended plans were submitted for the Premier Inn hotel on station car park and the new developer for the old Wyevale garden centre submitted a planning application for more houses.
Engineering students at The Henley College got an out of the ordinary experience when Richard Browning of Gravity Industries visited to give them a special demonstration of his pioneering Jet Suit.
The trial pedestrianisation of Market Place was taken off Town Council agenda which was put forward during the pandemic.
A pedestrian was seriously hurt after being hit by falling roof tiles in Storm Eunice in Station Road. She is making a steady recovery.
Henley Rugby Club announced they will take over the running of Henley Half Marathon from Rotary Club.
The new Town Centre Manager, Craig Buckley resigned after less than 6 months in the role.
Electric vehicle points were installed in the Kings Road and Greys Road car parks by SODC.
The Henley community came together to support the war in Ukraine – Laura Reineke organised a Play for Peace in Market Place, Phillip Radcliffe organised a Henley Hawker House in the Town Hall, Henley Gardening buddies planted yellow and blue flowers in the town’s entrance flower beds, David Eggleton set up collection points to donate specific items. Piers Burnell drove to Poland to handover some of Henley’s Ukraine donations and Gemma Birch set up MotherSisterDaughter to welcome and support Ukrainians coming to live in Henley.
The fourth Herald Community Champion Awards were won by Angela Face (Charity Champion), The Covid Mutal Aid Group (Harriet Barcella, Nikki Norris, Kellie Hinton, Jo McDonagh Hughes, Cheryl Purver and Emma Taylor won Heart of Gold Neighbour/Covid Volunteer Award, Millie and Talia from Drifters Coffee House won Customer Service Champions, Denise Williams from Gillotts School Top Teacher, Daisy Stevens was awarded the Young Sporting Superstar and the Community Champion Award went to Harriet Barcella for her work with Friends of Badgemore School and the Chiltern Centre.
Friends came together to perform at Henley Youth Festival in a friendship themed programme.
An inquest into the death of experienced cyclist, Simon Richardson took place who sustained multiple injuries after crashing into trees on 4 April 2021 on the Marlow Road near to Swiss Farm. A recorded narrative verdict was given, saying that the circumstances leading to his death were unclear.
A passionate and emotional concert for Ukraine took place at the Kenton Theatre organised by Purdy (Rebecca Poole) with performances from Nick Heyward and the amazing Prolisok Ukrainian dance company from London.
Adam Toop submitted amended proposals for new vintage boat collection riverside home at Hobbs boatyard.
Henley Adventure Golf at Mill Meadows opened in time for Easter holidays.
Ben Sleet was the first UK male and youngest European to land a backflip in a wheelchair aged just 12 at RampWorld in Cardiff.
Andrew Huyton and his sister Jessica Martin kayaked 104 miles from Cricklade back home to Henley in just five days to raise money for Autism Family Support Oxfordshire, finishing at Leander Club.
Terry Buckett MBE, former Henley Mayor and Chair of Townlands Action Group was honoured with the installation of a plaque at the hospital.
An unsightly H graffiti tag was sprayed on Henley bridge next to Regatta HQ and is still there!
The return of the May Fayre brought out the crowds on May Bank holiday.
The EA closed the Marsh Lock footbridge due to safety grounds. The Schwarzenbach family offered a temporary access on their land to solve the problem to allow walkers continued access to the towpath.
Councillor Michelle Thomas was sworn in as Henley Mayor in a ceremony at the Town Hall.
Town Council put forward a proposal to look at the future use of their West Street store into either a workshop/studio space, residential long let or offices. Henley Town Council appointed new Town Centre Manager, Laurie-Jane Cann.
Filming for The Boys in the Boat, directed by George Clooney took place at Upper Thames Rowing Club and on the Henley Reach of the River Thames.
Schools in Henley celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with special lunches, picnics, events, activities and a visit from Henley Mayor who delivered commemorative coins and tree saplings for every primary school child as a gift from Henley Town Council.
Committed charity fundraiser, Carolyn Molyneux sadly passed away after she lost her battle with cancer. She played a big part in the Living Advent Calendar.
Henley Music School launched a premises appeal to refurbish Trinity Hall on Harpsden Road.
Brian Wright was prosecuted for panning for gold in Snowdonia and was ordered by a court to pay £3000 in the first case of its kind.
Henley Mayor kicked off the Jubilee celebrations with the lighting of the beacon at Makins Recreation Ground. Street parties were enjoyed around Henley.
Bell Bookshop and Henley Florist Shop & School shared the window competition crown.
Artist, Clive Helmsley was devastated after being ordered to demolish his art studio in Rotherfield Peppard.
A gas leak in Duke Street caused chaos with the road being closed for 5 days.
An unattended bonfire caused damage at Waterman’s allotments on the Reading Road.
Records tumbled at Henley Women’s regatta and 2022 saw the biggest ever entry for Henley Royal Regatta.
The Herald printed first special Royal Regatta limited edition thanks to European Consumer Claims.
A new community hub organised by MotherSisterDaughter opened its doors for Ukrainian guests at Trinity Hall.
Olivia Harrison announced she would make a rare public appearance at Literary Festival.
Leander Club crews won four trophies on finals day at Henley Royal Regatta. Volunteers joined Sir Steve and Warrior on Waste (Lynne Lambourne) for Regatta river clean-up.
Henley Festival celebrated 40th anniversary with star-studded line-up of The Script, Craig David, Tom Jones, Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra and Katherine Jenkins and Jack Savoretti.
River & Rowing Museum announced it will close for 6 months from September to repair roof.
The Trad Boat Festival returned to its July weekend in the sunshine. Thousands came to see the beautiful steam boats, Dunkirk Little Ships, canoes, skiffs, amphibious cars, vintage aircraft and entertainment on the banks of Fawley Meadows.
Hobbs of Henley’s planning application to provide an accessible walkway for people with mobility issues to get access to their moorings next to Red Lion Lawn on Thameside was approved by SODC despite being recommended refusal by Henley Town Council and The Henley Society even after amended plans were submitted.
Four churches in Henley teamed up to open a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) debt counselling service for people in Henley who are struggling financially.
Henley town was awarded Plastic Free Community status by marine conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), in recognition of the work it has done to start reducing the impact of single-use plastic on the environment.
Matthew Breckon from Surrey broke the Club to Pub swim course record on Saturday evening in 17:06, beating the previous record by 6 secs held by Richard Stannard from Maidenhead who Matthew beat by just 1 second this year.
The Chilterns Conservation Board objected to new Highlands Farm site proposed in revised Neighbourhood Plan.
Katie Crowhurst an A Level student at The Henley College won the Commonwealth para-triathlon gold in Birmingham.
Conservative Leader and Prime Minister candidate, Rishi Sunak (now PM) brought his campaign Ready For Rishi to Henley Town Hall for a hustings for Henley Conservative members.
London 2012 Queen stuntman, Gary Connery was jailed for 18 months for an assault in Satwell, Oxfordshire.
Julie Maxx, mother of severely disabled son, Tyler was “absolutely appalled” to find Tyler with serious burns and bruising to his body when she went to visit him at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
SODC refused planning application for Premier Inn hotel on the Station car park.
Wilkins of Henley, were awarded the top accolade of The Royal Warrant for removals and storage. They are one of only two removal and storage companies to be awarded this special warrant by Her Majesty the Queen.
Mel & Colin Roberson celebrated 25 Years at The Saracen’s Head pub.
The 50 Million year old puddingstone in Gravel Hill got its own special plaque.
Positive discussions took place to reopen Friday Street Slipway with EA, Town Council and Sorbon Estates.
TV Explorer Ben Fogle opened Rupert House Forest School on the Fairmile.
Elysian Residences submitted a planning application to redevelop The Smith Centre on the Fairmile for 100-110 1, 2 and 3 bedded retirement homes.
Henley Show returned with all the popular attractions but due to the heatwave all the horse-riding events were cancelled. A new sky high motorbike display wowed the crowds.
Henley remembered the Queen with a few hundred watching the funeral on big screen in Market Place thanks to a donation from a Henley resident.
Henley Mermaids succeeded in their second attempt to swim the Bristol Channel and became the first all-female relay team to do it in 12 hours 18 mins and 10 secs swimming 46.376 kms.
The riverside and a flotilla of boats lit up the Henley Reach of the Thames for the first Henley Illuminated Boat Parade organised by Chris Taylor. The Best in Parade was won by Bell Surgery’s Dr Chris Langley’s boat; Scarlet Lady which was lit up in the shape of a crown entitled ‘Very Regal’.
The Examiner’s report recommended approval of new housing sites (Highlands Farm and Chiltern Centre site) for the revised Neighbourhood Plan.
Laurie-Jane Cann steps down as Town Centre Manager due to health issues.
Regatta for the Disabled returns with a splash after 3 year break.
Henley Literary Festival sees biggest ever ticket sales with many sold out events for big names including Olivia Harrison who shared her special memories of George and her love of Friar Park.
Henley Rugby Club run their first Henley Half Marathon with Emma Langston Davis winning for the second time after giving birth to her daughter who she was pregnant with last year.
Westbourne Homes Ltd won their appeal against the decision by SODC to build 11 homes on land off the Reading Road in Lower Shiplake (known as Crossways) next to the Thames Farm site as SODC did not provide evidence in time to show their five-year land supply.
Henley College open their new T Level Health teaching facility.
Restaurant and hotel, Crockers closed its doors and Planet Organic opened in the former Superdrug shop on Market Place.
Naughty Mutt Nice’s boo-ti-ful window was judged to be the most spook-tacular Halloween window.
Simon Spearing, Kenton Theatre Manager announced he will be leaving the role.
Russell Brand joined Henley Mermaids to protest against river pollution after their last swim of swimming the River Thames this year.
World Cup fever hit Sacred Heart School with the pupils being allowed to watch England’s opening game against Iran.
Henley town came out to remember the fallen at the Remembrance service.
The Henley College became an England Rugby Partner.
The Phillimore fountain outside St Mary’s Church is restored thanks to The Henley Society, the Phillimore Foundation and the Henley in Bloom Town Council Committee.
A clear majority of residents voted ‘yes’ in the referendum to the revised Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan.
The spirit of Christmas kicked off at the annual Christmas Festival with Johnny Pratt from St Mary’s School switching on the large Invesco Christmas tree. Businesses complained about quality of small Christmas trees and overhead Christmas lights.
Henley Town Council applied for planning consent to hang banners from the Town Hall.
Town Council announced Paul Carey as new Town Centre Manager and will start in January 2023. Town Clerk stated Council will address poor Christmas light displays. At the Planning Committee a proposal to spend £5,500 on movable speed indicator devices was put forward.
Residents enjoyed Christmas events including the Mayor’s Christmas party and families took part in the Santa on the Run raising £600 for the Mayor’s charities. Councillor Sarah Miller released a second Christmas song and dedicated it to singer Matt Richardson who has been diagnosed with throat cancer. The Living Advent Calendar was back after 3 years and raised a record breaking £8557 for local charities.
Joules on Duke Street and Sage & Squash on Bell Street closed their doors and M&Co on Bell Street announced their closure after company goes into administration.
Three new plaques were unveiled in December. One for Henley Mermaids’ record breaking Bristol Channel swim on Red Lion Lawn. Another heritage plaque detailing the history of the Red Lion Hotel outside The Relais Henley hotel and The Henley Society unveiled a plaque on The Catherine Wheel to celebrate 60 years of the forming of the society after a campaign to save the building from redevelopment.
A new set of Henley playing cards is being produced by Emma Sweet and the Herald takes 10♥.
Another gas leak in Duke Street caused chaos for another 5 days!
St Mary’s Church clock is taken away for restoration after not working for a number of months.
SODC refused planning for 55 homes on the Old Wyevale garden centre site.
A lady died at Bistro at the Boathouse restaurant after heart attack.
The EA were given notice by the Schwarzenbach family to close their temporary diversion of the Marsh Lock footbridge.