Life in Henley-in-Arden
Warwickshire, England

Each year, Henley-in-Arden has many community events and Henley's photographers record them and produce reports and slideshows for publication in Henley NEWS On-line.



The Henley-in-Arden Branch of the Royal British Legion recreated the World War 1 VAD Hospital in the original building - the Memorial Hall, Station Road, with the help of a great many residents. In addition, the town organised many other events as part of the commemoration.

How Henley celebrated

the Diamond Jubilee

Click Here to read the Special Report



On Friday 5th August 2011, The Lord-Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Martin Dunne, officially opened the new Riverland Garden of the Guild Hall.

The invited audience included the High Bailiff, Mr John Rutherford, and the Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr Roger Hubbocks., together with supporters of the Garden Project.

Event - Slideshow

photoAUSTY WOOD BLUEBELLS - Easter 2011

Thanks to John and Janet Haimes, hundreds of Warwickshire families visited Austy Wood over the Easter weekend to see probably the best ever display of bulebells in the event's 25 years.

This year, the charities to benefit from the entrance fees were the Shakespeare Hospice and Rotary Shelter Box.

Event - Slideshow

photoCOURT LEET DINNER - April 2011

The annual Court Leet Dinner took place in the Guild Hall on Thursday with the High Bailiff, John Rutherford presiding. The guest speaker, pictured right with the High Bailiff, was Mr J D David, a Freeman of the City of London, Town Crier and Past Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London.

The catering was provided to the usual very high standard by Sue Dalby. Photos by Alan Robson.

Event - Slideshow

photoJAZZ IN THE GARDEN 2010 - July 2010

On Saturday 17th July 2010, the 17th annual ‘Jazz in the Garden’ took place in the Guild Hall garden, organised by Marijana and Duncan Bainbridge in aid of the Memorial Hall.

The music as usual was provided by the “Ad Hoc Jazz Band” and the event was sponsored by John Earle - Estate Agents, Lodders - Solicitors and Henley NEWS Online.

Event - Slideshow

photoCOURT LEET DAY 2010 - June 2010

On Saturday 12th June 2010, the annual Court Leet Day celebrated many of the medieval traditions of the town - ale, fish and flesh tasting, butter and bread weighing, brook-looking and the beating of the manorial bounds.

The official tasks completed, lunch was taken in the Guild Hall Gardens. It was here in the gardens that the public could picnic on purchases of tea, coffee, cakes and soft drinks from the refreshment tent run by the ladies of Henley WI.

Event - Slideshow

photo65th VE DAY ANNIVERSARY PARADE - May 2010

On Sunday 9th May 2010, there was an open air ‘Drum Head’ service lead by the Rector, John Ganjavi, at St Nicholas Church to commemorate the 65th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day.

The Shirley Pipe Band led the Royal British Legion, Veterans, The Court Leet, local Councillors, Cubs and Scouts from the Memorial Hall to church. On the return, the salute was taken by Captain Tim Carpender-Balmer of the Royal Regiment of Fusilliers.

Event - Slideshow


A dinner was held in the Memorial Hall to mark its centenary. During the last 100 years, it has been at the centre of the town’s social and cultural life, except during the First World War, when it served as a hospital to treat wounded soldiers and it established an excellent reputation.

The evening was organised by Duncan and Marijana Bainbridge who have managed the hall for many years. The audience were treated to an outstanding programme of operatic and musical entertainment by the New Zealand star Amelia Whiteman.

Event - Slideshow


One of the largest parades Henley had ever seen processed through the town for a service of dedication to a supplementary war memorial in St John’s parish church.

Dr Douglas Bridgewater, an expert on the history of the First World War, had established that the names of 11 heroes were not included on the original war memorial in the church. A new plaque was dedicated by the Rector, John Ganjavi.

Parade - Slideshow

photoCOURT LEET - TOWN DINNER - September 2009

This annual event is one of the most popular and is now in its fifth year.

The High Bailiff Roger Sutton had invited members of the community who were involved with the town's societies, clubs and voluntary organisations.

Over 100 residents and their guests attended the evening with catering supplied by Sue Dalby.

Town Dinner - Slideshow


photoThe hall was opened in 1909 and has been the home to HADS for some time, regularly hosting its productions. This play was researched and written by Ray Evans (whose reputation precedes him) and was a rare treat.

Covering the actual events that took place 100 years ago when the hall was first opened, the play presented a factual account of the time. There were, however, one or two dramatic changes to bring the story to life, presenting a little bit of ‘what might have happened’ if all had not proceeded so smoothly.  As a result it was a masterly adaptation telling the story with humour and reality rolled into one.

Reports of this event appeared in Edition 218  and Edition 219 of Henley News On-line


Xmas LightsOn a cold but thankfully dry evening last Saturday, the townspeople of Henley turned out in force to support the organisers and to celebrate their success in completing the project. Some 300 to 400 people gathered at the Market Cross to hear Councillor Les Goodman start the proceedings by thanking everyone who helped him to realise his dream.

The Carol Service was led by our Town Crier, Gordon Trinder, accompanied by the excellent Alcester Silver Band and the enthusiastic singing of the families gathered at the scene. This was indeed a family occasion and young and old joined together in singing 6 of our favourite carols. Mulled wine and mince pies were generously provided by the Henley and District Royal British Legion and Henley Ex Services Social Fund, and were gratefully received by the enthusiastic residents. Even Father Christmas made an appearance and found many youngsters open mouthed at meeting him so early in the season. The Market Cross itself looked splendid, having been specially dressed for the occasion by Gordon Trinder.

A full report of this event appeared in Edition 209 of Henley News On-line

DAD'S ARMY by HADS - November 2008

PhotoOn the 40th anniversary year of Dad’s Army, the iconic TV series. Henley-in-Arden Drama Society added their tribute recently by producing 3 episodes of the comedy, ‘The Man and the Hour’ (the very first episode made), ‘Deadly Attachment’ (the one with the U-Boat captain and crew and ‘that’ line), and ‘Mum’s Army’ (which introduced us to some of the ladies of the area).

The characterisations were excellent and were similar enough to the original to keep the magic of that, but not too much that is resulted in excessive caricature. Captain Mainwaring (Phil Walker) and his cohort, Sergeant Wilson (Alan Harrison) played their parts with aplomb, and a honed sense of comic timing. Pike (Rob Ison), Corporal Jack Jones (Ray Evans – who also directed), Walker (Rod Hinton), Frazer (Rod Fox), and Godfrey (Brian Castle) complete the main members of the platoon alongside Alan Nicholls, who played the ARP Warden Hodges. There were many other members of the cast (too many to list here) and they all took on their parts with enthusiasm, no matter how small it was.

A full report of this event appeared in Edition 207 of Henley News On-line


PhotoOn Friday 20th July, 100 mm (four inches) fell in a short period across the counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucester and Oxfordshire. The Environment Agency issued 16 severe flood warnings, stretching from Lincolnshire to the Midlands and the Welsh borders. Keith Groves, Head of Forecasting at the Met Office, said: "We are talking about a major rainfall event. When you get such heavy rainfall in such a short time then there is a greater risk of flooding."

Warwickshire Police quickly issued warnings that Henley and Wootton Wawen were particularly affected. Badly affected were properties in the High Street, Back Lane and Beaudesert Lane. The flooding reached its peak at around 7 pm. By the next morning, the level River Alne had fallen by around 4 ft and was back to normal level.

A full report of this event appeared in Edition 166 of Henley News On-line


photoAt Henley station just after 11.00 am on 8th July 2007, there were many residents, including lots of children, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Shakespeare Express.

Dead on time, a faint whistle in the distance and then the immaculate ex-Great Western Railway locomotive Rood Ashton Hall, originally built in 1929, whiffled gently into the station, tender first, pulling eight carriages.

A full report of this event appeared in a special supplement of Henley News On-line


photoThe sun smiled on Henley for a day with a difference for Henley’s Court Leet – the combination of four traditional rituals into a single programme. The Union flag fluttered from the Guild Hall flagpole, recently restored to life by the Court's Low Bailiff, Roger Sutton.

The day’s events started with an admonitory address from High Bailiff Ray Holding, delivered from the staircase of the old Guild Hall and aimed at the officers of the Court Leet gathered below. He charged them to do their respective duties – Ale Tasting, Butter Weighing, Brook Looking and Beating the Bounds.

A full report of this event appeared in Edition 160 of Henley News On-line


photoThe High Bailiff invited civic leaders from the County, District, Parish, and neighbouring towns together with the leaders of the Town`s organisations to join the Court Leet at morning service in St. John's Church last Sunday.

A packed church heard departures from the traditional service when the Rector, who is of course also Chaplain to the Court, interviewed the Chairman of the Parish Council and District Councillor Stephen Thirwell and the High Bailiff about their respective roles in the Town.

Civic Service 2007 - Slideshow


photoA full house of guests, jurors and members of the public attended the Annual General Meeting of Henley’s ancient Court Leet at the Guildhall on Wednesday 8th November. Present, and following the proceedings with keen interest, were the High Sheriff of the county, the Bailiff of Bromsgrove, the High Bailiff of Alcester, the Bailiff of Warwick, the Mayor of Warwick, the Deputy Mayor of Stratford and their respective consorts.

The new High Bailiff Ray Holding thanked the Court, the Jurors and the town for their confidence and promised that he and his wife Ann would work to raise the Court’s profile and to preserve the town’s traditions and ceremonies. He was particularly pleased that five new members had come forward to take part in the year’s programme of events.

A full report of this event appeared in Edition 131 of Henley News On-line


On Thursday August 17th, over twenty intrepid members of the Henley and Beaudesert Civic Society braved the adverse weather to meet at the Medical Centre. The occasion was an evening walk along the River Alne to look at the work done by the Environment Agency to improve the river and maintain the flood protection barriers in the town.

CrayfishThe walk was ably led by Steve Novak the Flood Defence Engineer responsible for the River Alne. He explained how the Alne is home to several species of fish, including brown trout and bullheads, while the river also supports many colonies of the native white-clawed crayfish a protected species. It was therefore important in carrying out maintenance to make sure that the impact on protected species was kept to a minimum.

Steve explained how gravel and vegetated build-ups were removed to allow an easier flow of water. It was explained that the last time the river was realigned was in 1981 when two flood relief channels were made together with localised flood banks. It was those banks that now needed repair and he showed us the way in which metal baskets of stones were used to repair the erosion that had taken place.

Fish PassA feature of the work was the modification of the three weirs to incorporate fish passes to allow easier fish movement along the river. The work on the weirs incorporated stone work with small gaps to increase the number of hiding places for the crayfish.

Answering many questions, Steve emphasised the need to co-ordinate things with the other interested agencies that have an overriding say in how things are done; e.g. the timing of the work so as not to interfere with periods of fish spawning. At the same time the Agency had taken into account the comments of local people providing better access to the river side walk from Prince Harry Rd., and locating benches in desirable positions.

Steve was thanked by the Chairman, Margaret Twigg, for a most informative and enjoyable evening.

Jazz in the GardenJAZZ IN THE GARDEN - July 2006

This annual event is one of the most popular and is now in its tenth year.

This year's Jazz in the Garden, organised by Marijana and Duncan Bainbridge, took place in the Guild Hall garden on Saturday 1st July 2006.

Over 100 residents and their guests picnicked on a warm evening listening to the Ad Hoc Jazz Band.

Jazz in the Garden - Slideshow

Normandy MarketNORMANDY MARKET - July 2006

Organised in partnership with Beaudesert & Henley Joint Parish Council, Le Marche de France set up their stalls along the High Street on Friday 30th June and Saturday 1st July.

The market consisted of over twenty four genuine traders from Normandy with a truly enormous selection of French cheeses from Normandy and many other regions of France along with wonderful sausages and salamis. Of course, there was a bread stall, with its wonderful varieties of bread.

Normandy Market - Slideshow

Church FeteANNUAL CHURCH FETE - June 2006

Over 200 people attended the ST JOHN'S CHURCH FETE on Saturday 24th June 2006 and £1,500 was raised for Church funds.

The duck race on the river Alne is always a firm favourite and the children also loved the coconut shy, skittles and the face painting.

Everyone enjoyed tea and home made cakes and the opportunity to buy such cakes,bric-a-brac, books and plants and to chance their luck on the raffle and tombola.

Church Fete 2006 - Slideshow

Douglas & Sue BridgewaterHENLEY'S HIDDEN GARDENS - June 2006

Organised by the High Bailiff and the Court Leet, the Open Day took place on Sunday 18th June 2006. It was a huge success, with a constant stream of visitors to all the gardens. Over 300 visitors came from Coventry, Leamington, Stratford, Handsworth, Sutton Coldfield and Tanworth - but mostly from Henley.

The gardens looked absolutely lovely, while the scarecrows outside each property gave Henley a slightly dissolute look and attracted much attention. Over £2,500 was raised for the Guild Hall Garden Project.

The Hidden Gardens of Henley - Slideshow