Emma Deals an Ace With New Henley Playing Cards

After months of secrecy, the Henley-on-Thames playing cards are ready to be dealt and will be launched at the Old Fire Station Gallery this weekend (11-12 March).

The launch event will see each card super-sized and exhibited for all to see and is open between 10.00-4.00pm.

The idea for each card to feature a different landmark, calendar event or local business was dreamt up by Emma Sweet who lives just outside Henley in Knowl Hill but works in the town. Emma said “Since floating the idea on Facebook back in October, the response was overwhelming. So many businesses wanted to feature on a card and within two weeks there was a waiting list. It just goes to show how much is going on in the town.”

“If you visit Henley for the first time, it’s hard to find the best and quirky things that go on that make it the vibrant and popular town it is. Playing cards is a relaxed and fun way to spend time and it’s something we all enjoy doing. These cards have the added bonus that you’ll find all the best places and events that go on too.”

On Saturday John Ryeland of Watermans Road, joins the launch party at 11.30am to entertain with some magic card tricks and Fi Harding from Rotherfield Road, has been busy organising the Henley Youth Choir who are putting on a special performance at 2.30pm.

Emma continued “The whole town is really behind the cards and everyone is very excited for the launch. The Henley branch of the Women’s Institute have knitted two beautiful post-box toppers and the one in Market Place is quite a feat of engineering! 25p from every pack sold from the launch events on Saturday and Sunday will be donated to the WI so they’re able to buy more materials for future projects. The post-box toppers are a lovely addition to the town so it’s great to able to support more of them appearing in the future.”

Alison Engleby, of Simmons Road and Louise Sadler of Valley Road spent hours working on the woolly creations. Alison said “When Emma asked if we would make some playing card-themed toppers, we were taken aback. It’s great that people notice them and we enjoy doing them as it keeps our fingers nimble and it’s an enjoyable hobby. It’s the first time we’ve been approached for a specific project since we started creating them at the end of last year and it’s great to work together, especially as Henley is the first town to get a set of its own playing cards like this.”

Three of the four kings joined Emma at the Angel on the Bridge (which features on the king of spades card) on Monday for a game with the new cards. Jeweller, David Rodger Sharp who is the King of Diamonds in the pack said “It was great to see all of the cards. I’d only seen my own so to see the whole pack and how they all fit together was really something. I think Henley is going to be very proud that we’re the first town to have its own deck of cards.”

Justin Whelan who captains the Pirate Pizza barge in the warmer months has the King of Hearts and said “I was surprised when Emma approached me to see if I wanted a card. I love sailing between Henley and Marlow but to know Pirate Pizza is very much part of the fabric of Henley is very touching. I’m sure we’ll have a game of cards onboard once we’ve sold all of the pizzas!”

Several places have already confirmed they’ll be selling the cards including Henley Town Council at the Visitors Information Centre in the Town Hall, The Angel on the Bridge, the shop at Regatta Headquarters, Hobbs of Henley, the Henley Larder, Hof’s and the River and Rowing Museum when they re-open this Spring. More places are expected to sell them too. The cards will also be available to buy online from www.acehenley.co.uk and can be posted to anyone who doesn’t live in Henley. Emma confirmed there’s already been interest to purchase them from people living in Germany, Australia and America.



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