Letters to the Editor

Quill and Ink Bottle

The Editor welcomes correspondence on any topic which has been in Wendover News or may be of interest to its readers.  Please write to us at Florence Nightingale Hospice Shop, First Floor, 19 High Street, Wendover HP22 6DX or email us at the usual address: editor@wendovernews.co.uk or telephone 01296 624270 or speak to us in the town.  Letters may be edited and may or may not be published at the Editor's discretion.

We'd love to hear from you.

Wendover Police Station History

D E Manderfield, Wendover  |  Submitted: May 18th 2016
I was posted to Wendover Police Station January 1956, prior to this having been serving with the Coldstream Guards in London. The Police Station then was a large shed situated behind the two Police houses at 101 and 103 Aylesbury Road. One might say having seen the fine Police Stations in London it was a bit of a shock.

Wendover at this time was serviced by an Inspector, two Sergeants and about ten Constables. There were an additional Constables at Aston Clinton, Butlers Cross, Stoke Mandeville Great Missenden, Prestwood and The Lee. In May 1959, we moved into the new Station at the corner of Lionel Avenue. The old Police Station, the shed, was taken down and re-erected at Amersham to double the size of their existing premises near the old Brazil's Pork Pie factory. They soon had a new place in King George Road.

At its peak, the Wendover Police Station had 18 Constables, two Sergeants, two Detective Constables and an Inspector. Wendover additionally took responsibility of policing Holmer Green with its resident Constable.

In 1968, Thames Valley Police was formed from the forces of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Reading Borough and Oxford City. From then on so called progress!

Doug Manderfield, sometime Sergeant 504

Tour de France in Town?

Sean Meier, Wendover  |  Submitted: May 18th 2016
Dear Wendover News,

Couldn't help noticing the new bike racks at the station. Must have missed the announcement that Wendover was hosting a stage of the Tour de France and they needed to store the bikes for the night.

Regards, Sean Meier

Cleaning for the Queen - The Wendover Evening WI

Marilyn Storer, President, Wendover Evening WI, Wendover  |  Submitted: May 18th 2016
23rd April 2016 saw Wendover Evening WI members, armed with bags and grabbers, "cleaning" the streets of Wendover in support of the Country Life "Clean for the Queen" campaign. When this was proposed at our meeting there was some opposition because members had seen the good work done by our normal street cleaner.

As expected we found very little litter. The exception was cigarette ends. Despite bins being provided to hold them, the butts were scattered all around the ground. We could not understand this thoughtless and anti-social behaviour until someone suggested that people think that cigarette ends will soon biodegrade. Could I use Wendover News to advise such people that this process will take about 12 years. Hopefully knowing this will have a positive impact on our otherwise very clean streets.

Marilyn Storer
President, Wendover Evening WI

175 More Houses in Wendover?

Jim Wilding, Wendover  |  Submitted: May 18th 2016
Well, the objections, some 350, to the World’s End/Halton Lane area Outline Planning Application 16/01017/AOP are in. We now await AVDC’s decision on 17th June. The initial objection stage was, I believe, initiated by residents of the most directly affected, western area, of the community, but, quite rightly, the main emphasis of the objections was the lack of infrastructure to cope with the current population let alone another 175 houses on the extreme outskirts of the village.

AVDC’s decision will not be the end of the matter. In the event of refusal, no doubt CEG will appeal using its expertise and money. Should the application be approved there must be channels for the community to appeal. This anticipated next phase needs to have leadership with knowledge, expertise and time. But by whom? The Parish Councils? Local District Councillors? The Wendover Society? A local resident, or residents, with the necessary expertise, experience, time and energy?

Wendover and Weston Turville need to prepare for either eventuality with urgency as, by the time this is published, decision day will be about three weeks away.

Jim Wilding, Wendover

Feeding Red Kites

Sue Hetherington , Wendover  |  Submitted: Jun 9th 2015
I was alarmed to read a letter (Wendover News, June 2015 edition) from a pet owner asking people to think about the consequences on pets of feeding red kites. Whilst I agree with what the correspondent says, in my opinion the consequences are even worse than those stated. People should leave the red kites alone and under no circumstances be feeding them. This is why :
• Red kites are more than able to fend for themselves. They should not be treated as if they were garden birds. If there is insufficient food in an area, they will move out to where they can find food naturally. Artificial feeding is preventing their dispersal to normal densities.
• Artificially high densities cause conflicts of interests. "Urban myths" start to spread and mantras such as "there are too many kites" gain currency
• It is selfish behaviour to attract these birds to gardens by providing food. The "feeder" may live near to a neighbour who hates them and starts spreading rumours such as "the red kites ate my guinea pig/rabbit/whatever"
• Feeding the kites can be a death warrant – such as at RAF Benson. This establishment has been given a licence to shoot any red kites that are considered to put flight safety at risk – appeals to nearby villagers to stop feeding them fell on deaf ears.

Everyone who really cares about nature and our birdlife would not jeopardise the red kites in this way for their own selfish pleasures. Additionally, as the original correspondent pointed out, it is doubly selfish in that it now appears to be having a knock on detrimental effect on pets.

Many people and organisations are really worried about individuals feeding the red kites. The RSPB local Aylesbury group is one example of a concerned organisation. We appeal to all individuals who are feeding red kites to ask them to please stop it. If you live near to a property where it occurs (and it is completely obvious where this is from the flocks of circling birds) and you have a good relationship with that householder, could you consider having a quiet word with them to ask politely and gently if they could stop it?

It is time for real bird lovers to step up to speak for the red kites and stop the selfish feeding. Please feeders, just leave the birds alone. Stop feeding them from your garden.


Jassy Layfield, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jun 9th 2015
May I appeal to my neighbours not to put out meat carcasses for the red kites. On several occasions now I have had to try and stop my dog eating chicken bones which he has found in my garden, not always successfully. I can't imagine where they have come from if not dropped by birds.

Some people may not be aware that cooked bones are extremely bad for dogs, they can splinter in the stomach and cause all sorts of problems.

While not wanting to spoil the pleasure you get from seeing these birds circling, I ask you to think about whether the scraps you leave out could have consequences for other animals.

Proposals to further develop the Wendover Schools Campus Site

Mr Andrew and Mrs Sue Hetherington, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jun 8th 2015
We are writing to register our opposition to these proposals in their current form.

We are members of the local community who only heard of the proposals when in receipt of a Bucks County Council Consultation on the matter. We have responded as invited, noting that the consultation is open until 26/6/15.

In common with many local residents, we are already at the end of our tether with the gross nuisance and inconvenience caused by the site. We feel it is overdeveloped as it stands. We are unprepared to even consider agreeing to further expansion until the extensive problems are rectified.

We note that the schools say they are confident that they can cope with more pupils. This of course to us is only part of the issue. Local residents are stakeholders too and feel angry at being expected to contribute as community chargepayers to an ever diminishing quality of neighbourhood convenience and tranquility. We are also unhappy that there appears to be a lack of joined up planning which allows a big development like Princess Mary Gate to go ahead with no infrastructure provision except what can only be described as a glorified corner shop. Why should the residents of Wharf and Manor Roads area pay the price for the profits made from the Princess Mary Hospital site?

Local residents have discussed the issue amongst themselves and we have a lot of suggestions to make. We are considering forming a Residents Association and would ask that we are given a voice before any irrevocable decisions affecting us are taken.

Walking Frame Stolen 3 June 2015

Name and Address Supplied, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jun 3rd 2015
A message from a concerned reader in Wendover:

"Who was the low-life who stole a walking frame from a ninety year old lady in Vinetrees on Wednesday 3 June? You should be ashamed of yourself!"

If you have any information about this crime, please report it to Thames Valley Police on the non-emergency number, 101. If you do not wish to be identified, but have information, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.

Thank You to Voters

local election candidates, Wendover  |  Submitted: May 14th 2015
My thanks to everyone who returned me as one of your District Councillors for Wendover & Halton. It is an honour and a privilege to have been re-elected for a second term. I will continue to work with the Parish Council and other community groups to ensure that Wendover and Halton remain vibrant and retain their unique identity. I commit myself to working all year round on behalf of all members of the community no matter how they may have voted.
Cllr Steve Bowles

A sincere thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Wendover and Halton District Council elections. The hard work starts now. I’m here to represent the best interests of all, irrespective of voting habits, throughout the year and to make good on my intentions: examining how to develop a walk through Wendover and Halton on aspects of historical and natural interest; promoting local tourism; deepening the links with the RAF community; developing outdoor youth facilities, particularly promoting Halton’s ATC; developing the local environment including the repair of country pathways; and supporting village life. I’m not here to take you for granted, but to promote the community for the better. It will be a privilege to serve you.
Andrew Southam

Desmond Anning, Marc Ruggles and myself thank our neighbours for their support in voting for us in the AVDC elections on 7/5/15. We stood as UKIP candidates but missed the 3 seats by coming 4th, 5th and 6th. Sue is delighted however to be taking a seat at Wendover Parish Council and looks forward to starting there.
Sue Hetherington

St Mary's Concert

GJ, Wendover  |  Submitted: Feb 12th 2015
On the 25th January at St Mary's Church, Wendover a concert of music, poetry and prose was very much enjoyed by those fortunate enough to be present.
The concert devised by Barbara Courtney-King was on the theme 'The Seasons of England'. The six artists involved have between them performed on radio, television and the West End stage. They have sung and played music by Bach, Purcell, Monteverdi, Andrew Lloyd Webber and others.
Before the concert began the audience were able to enjoy tea and cake and the variety of cakes on offer made choice difficult. However choices were made, cake eaten, tea drank and then everyone settled down to enjoy the concert.
As to be expected the proceedings started with a celebration of Spring with a reading by Michael Cantwell of a poem entitled 'Thaw' by Edward Thomas famous for his poems on the horrors of trench warfare in WW1.
Michael, whose choice of prose and poetry for the concert could not be faulted, has acted in many West End shows including one of the most successful - 'Cats'. He played the part of Growl tiger.
The first song of the evening, 'A Brown Bird Singing' composed by Haydn Wood was sung by soprano, Jacqui Barron. She gave an excellent rendering of this long time favourite and if the quality of her performance, for she had set the bar high, could be matched by her fellow artists, the audience were in for a treat. Could they do it? Of course they could, and did.
As soon as the sound of Simon Grant's voice filled the church it became obvious as to why during his long career he had been invited to sing in many different countries. He has a powerful bass baritone voice which was a delight to listen to. He gave a particularly good rendering of 'I must go down to the seas again', a poem by John Masefield set to music by John Ireland.
Simon is also talented in other ways. He helped to provide sound effects to another poem read by Michael Cantwell, also written by Edward Thomas - 'Adlestrop'. Simon gave a very good imitation of birdsong which the poet heard and also the gentle hissing of a stationary steam locomotive. In this he was helped by Bill McGillivray.
Bill, originally from London, is a skilled guitarist and during his successful career has played for many artists including Neil Diamond, Paul McCartney, Faith Brown and many others. At St Mary's we were fortunate enough to hear Bill play and sing several original compositions. He intends to continue playing the jazz guitar for many years.
Not only is Barbara Courtney-King to be commended for the fine programme she devised she must also be congratulated on her fine singing. She has a rich mezzo soprano voice and no one could criticize her choice of songs or her performance which was excellent.
Accompanist Susie Gosling had a crucially important role to play. An unskilled accompanist can detract from a singer's performance in more ways than one but in particular by playing too loudly so that the attention of listeners can wander from the voice to the piano. This did not happen at St Mary's; Susie was the perfect accompanist.
At the conclusion of the concert it was obvious by the volume of applause that everyone had enjoyed their voyage through the seasons. we hope it will not be too long before Barbara Courtney-King will devise another concert for us to enjoy at St Mary's.
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