Dunsden view

March/April NDP news

NDP news for late March 2021

“These old buildings (and their surroundings), do not belong to us… they have belonged to our forefathers and they will belong to our descendants unless we play them false. They are not in any sense our property to do with as we like. We are only trustees for those who come after us”
William Morris: inaugural meeting of SPAB

Welcome to the second edition of the NDP Newsletter – we hope you enjoyed last month’s and managed to identify the birds! Thank you for the positive feedback you’ve given us!

This month we’re focusing on the Character of the Parish – as the NDP team are working with consultants to prepare a Character Assessment to highlight important buildings and other features of the Parish – such as trees, traditional walls, hedgerows and views. This will help to ensure that any new buildings are in keeping with the character of their surroundings.

What’s your favourite building or feature of the parish?

We would love to know what your favourite aspect of the parish is – such as a favourite building, tree or old wall.

Please POST A PICTURE on our NDP Facebook Page or on the Twitter account (details below). One part of the NDP is a register of all the structures and natural features in the parish that are valued (including listed buildings). We want to add those things that are not already officially recognised, so when you post the picture, tell us why you think it should be included. We look forward to seeing your entries.

Thank you.

Your March challenge…

How much do you know about these wonderful local features? Find out more from this quick quiz on the Parish’s buildings (answers at the bottom of the page):

  1. How many listed buildings or structures are there in the parish?
    (a) 12               (b) 21                  (c) 32              (d) 39
  1. When was the Conservation Area in Sonning Eye designated?
    (a) 1981         (b) 1953            (c) 1977        (d) 1897
  1. Which famous poet was on the school board of the village school at Dunsden Green (now the Village Hall)?
  1. What century does the Crown Inn at Playhatch date from?
    (a) 16th          (b) 17th             (c) 18th         (d) 19th
  1. How many arches are there on the Grade II Listed Bridge across the Thames into the Parish?
    (a) 5                  (b) 10                       (c) 11        (d) 7

Members of the NDP team

Suzanne Abraham, Richard Berkley, David Breeze, Howard Crews, Ian Dick, Nick Marks, Robin Page, John Plumer, Deborah Simmons, David Woodward (Chair).

Find out more

Twitter: Eye&DunsdenNDP · Facebook: Eye & Dunsden Neighbourhood Plan
Parish Website: www.eyedunsden.org – register for updates
To know more or get involved, please contact David Woodward: plan@eyedunsden.org

ANSWERS: 1. (c) 32 (including the bridge); 2. (a); 3. World War 1 Poet Wilfred Owen: 4. (a); 5. (c)

A window for Wilfred

A chance to be part of a unique artistic project in Dunsden

Dunsden Owen Association has great pride in announcing that it has launched a crowdfunding campaign for the creation of a stunning new stained glass window in Dunsden church which will commemorate Wilfred Owen’s time in the parish.

Find out more below or go straight to our appeal page now: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/stained-glass-window-for-wilfred-owen

Who was Wilfred?

Wilfred Owen changed poetry with his urgent, real desire to tell us how war really was. Many of us still remember his verses learnt at school. ‘Bent double, like old beggars under sacks…’ He died at the age of just 25, killed in France exactly one week before the First World War was declared to be over.

We would like to dedicate a stained glass window to him, in the church where he spent crucial months of his life, learning so much about himself – his commitment to justice and fairness, and to poetry.

Owen in Dunsden

Wilfred was just 18 when he arrived here in 1911 to assist the vicar, full of hope that he could fulfil his vocation to be a churchman. He soon became enmeshed in village life, visiting the sick, helping to run the school and presenting lantern slide shows in the mission hall on the village green.

But a tragic accident and the grinding local poverty he saw all around him caused Wilfred to question his faith and eventually to leave the parish.

From the many letters he wrote to his mother back home in Shropshire, we read of a young man who broke down in confusion, before finding his path as a leader, a communicator, and a great poet. The first soundings of his distinctive voice can be found in the poems he wrote at Dunsden.

The Glaziers’ Company in London has selected our brief as the subject of their next Stevens Competition; we will have designed for us a stained glass reflection of Wilfred Owen’s time in Dunsden, for a window overlooking the grassy, snowdrop-filled churchyard where his parents and sister are both buried. 

Military service

In 1913 Owen left the parish and, after a period teaching in France, he enlisted in the Artists Rifles. He was subsequently given the rank
of Second Lieutenant in the Manchester Regiment. Whilst leading his men
Wilfred suffered severe shell shock when he was catapulted into the air by a mortar blast and lay unconscious for days next to the bodies of his comrades.

Owen was sent to a hospital near Edinburgh to recover, where he met the poet Siegfried Sassoon who acted as his mentor and published Owen’s poetry in the hospital magazine.

Owen insisted on being returned to the front line. On 1 October, 1918 he led his men in attacks near the village of Joncourt. For his conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty he was awarded the Military Cross.

A final attack

On 4 November, 1918, Owen was told to lead his men in an attack on the Sambre-Oise canal near the village of Ors in northern France. According to his biographer “Through the hurricane [of enemy machine gun fire] the small figure of Wilfred Owen walked backwards and forwards, between his men, patting them on the shoulder, saying ‘Well done’ and ‘You’re doing well, my boy” before “at the water’s edge, giving a hand with some duckboards, he was hit and killed”, He lies buried in Ors with his men. We are proud to have forged links with Ors and to have been part of their annual commemoration of Wilfred Owen’s life.

On the 11 November, 1918, bells rang out across England to celebrate the signing of the Armistice marking the end of the conflict dubbed ‘the war to end all wars’. The bell of Wilfred Owen’s mother’s door rang too, heralding the arrival of a telegram with the news of his tragic death.

By the 1960s, Owen had won recognition as perhaps Britain’s greatest twentieth century war poet. His best known poems include ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, ‘Futility’, ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ and ‘Strange Meeting’.
In Dunsden he wrote ‘Deep Under Turfy Grass’ in response to a tragic accident at Dunsden Green which killed Alice Allen and her four year old daughter Hilda. It is said to be one of the few early works which foretell his mature style.

Owen’s voluminous correspondence with his mother, Susan, was recovered from her garden shed in Emmer Green by his biographer. Owen lies buried in Ors, France, close to where he was killed.

Be part of this appeal by going to our Crowdfunder and help us create a window that will be admired by generations to come. The names of donors will be recorded in a special book to be kept in the church

Neighbourhood Plan progress

February 2021: Sub-committees set-up and reports received

Progress continues to be made on the preparation of the Eye & Dunsden Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP). Following October’s informal meeting, a steering group (SG) of nine residents from across the parish was set up. 

Monthly meetings started in November 2019, initially in person at The Flowing Spring and in recent months as you would expect, these have taken place virtually via Zoom – but still continue to be productive and move a wide range of matters forward.

Evidence gathering

The first stage of the process is “evidence gathering” so the SG produced a short, focused questionnaire which was delivered to each household in the parish as well as being available on-line. Thank you to those of you who completed it – the information was insightful and has proved useful in helping to identify the aspects of the parish which are important to the residents so that the SG can ensure these are kept in mind as the plan takes shape. The SG are also working with a number of experts to assist in gathering evidence relating to factors such as the landscape and the ecology of the area.

The first draft of the landscape character assessment was reviewed by the SG at last month’s meeting and has since been discussed with Liz Allen CMLI who is a landscape architect and who prepared the report. Liz provided her expertise for the Shiplake NDP in 2019. This report helps identify aspects such as valued landscapes and recreational sites within the parish to assist the SG in seeking to protect these where possible.

Some members of the SG met with Sharon Brentall of Bluestone Planning, the consultants who will be drafting the NDP, to discuss the timeline for the project as well as to clarify further areas that the SG can – and should – be focusing on. Sharon has also been involved with other local NDPs so is familiar with the area. To help her understand our parish even more, she took the time to undertake a walking tour with David Woodward, who is the chairman of the SG. A further tour is planned.

Sub-groups

As more evidence is gathered, the SG is setting up a number of smaller sub-groups focusing on specific areas such as the character of the parish, the landscape, transport and the environment & ecology of the area. If you are interested in being involved with any of these sub-groups – or joining the SG – please can you contact plan@eyedunsden.org identifying which sub-group you are interested in together with details of particular skills or knowledge (if any) which will benefit the sub-group.

It is anticipated that you will need to commit a couple of hours each month to assist, which hopefully is a worthwhile time investment to help shape the future of the parish.The SG are currently looking at ways in which the information and evidence gathered can be shared with local residents as well as ways in which local businesses can be involved in the plan. 

At present this is impacted by the government COVID guidelines however the SG are hopeful that some face-to-face meetings can take place in the months ahead. If you are interested in finding out more about the work that has been done by the SG, the minutes of the meetings are available here where you will also be able to access further resources relating to NDPs.

Government eases restrictions on village halls

Our fine refurbished village hall, with offers users two separate halls, a garden and terrace, may be able to partly re-open sometime in the next few weeks or months.

The Government has published new guidance on halls on which the Trustees are currently taking advice. Gatherings of up to 30 people are to be allowed, including meetings, but anti-Covid measures including cleaning will need to be in place. So far exercise classes are not allowed.

It may also be possible to re-open the hall for viewings shortly. Before lockdown the hall was very well-booked most weekends in spring and summer and is particularly popular for weddings and other family functions.

Two events in the autumn and winter currently remain in the diary. A comedy night in October and the return of popular music duo Ninebarrow in December.

For more details please contact the hall’s acting bookings manager, Gilly Lea.

 

Gladman return at SODC local plan inquiry

Gladman tell Government Inspector that 550 houses could be built in Playhatch and a further 240 next to Emmer Green

Detailed submissions have been made to the Examination in Public of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan and will be heard in public via YouTube when the Inquiry opens online from July 15th. These submission have been made in spite of the fact that the Local Plan makes no mention of these sites. Gladman seek to justify their inclusion by challenging the methodology used by SODC in completing their plan.
Reading Borough Council have also submitted evidence to the Inspector in favour of the construction of a new Thames bridge in Eye & Dunsden with a request that a site for a park and ride scheme should be protected in Eye & Dunsden south of the A4155 Henley Road and close to Reading. They reject the need for major housing developments in Eye & Dunsden and challenge the density of 70 houses per hectare which is proposed by SODC.
Full information about the Local Plan can be seen on the SODC website

Complete the NDP questionnaire

Please have your say by returning our NDP questionnaire

Every house in the parish should now have received a copy of our Neighbourhood Development Plan questionnaire. It will help the volunteers behind the plan shape the future of our parish. Please either post back your return or complete the simple questionnaire online at this address.

Corona Virus eases but village hall remains closed

The village hall remains closed but a number of exciting events are proposed in the autumn including a comedy night and the return of award-winning duo Ninebarrow.

Parish council meetings

The annual parish meeting is postponed because of the pandemic.  Current parish council meetings are being held by Skype. Contact the parish clerk Mandy Sermon, clerk@eyedunsden.org for full details and to attend.

Latest news from Eye & Dunsden: Gladman result on 26 October

September 30: be a scythe master

Become an Austrian scythe expert with Clive Leeke

Dunsden Community Orchard is proud to host a special workshop by Clive Leeke of www.austrianscythes.co.uk.
He will demonstrate how easy it is to use this alternative scythe design. Starts at 2pm. Take part and help to cut the orchard grass at the same time. Free workshop, donations welcome. Facilities available thanks to the village hall.

11 October: time for a Fitness MOT?

A free session for over-60s at Dunsden village hall

Are you a racing machine or a puffing billy? Take part in this fun, free fitness test with the enthusiastic GOActive team from SODC. Begins at 9.30am. Book your place with Simone.Passeri@southandvale.gov.uk or call 07717 326661.

October 20: quiz night is back!

Popular quiz night returns, thanks to Beth & John

Bring a team or join one on the night and take part in a fun and brain-teasing evening. Tickets just £12 including fish & chip supper from buytickets.at/dunsden or in Binfield Heath Stores. Doors open at 7pm.

Murder Mystery Evening, January 2019: tbc

Ninebarrow to return

Brilliant musical duo last played to capacity crowd

Saturday, March 23, 2019 from 7.15pm. Sure-fire crowd pleasers, Ninebarrow have a keen national following following their frequent radio appearances. Tickets £13 from buytickets.at/dunsden or in Binfield Heath Stores.

Planning matters

Gladman inquiry closes

The public inquiry into 245 houses proposed by speculators Gladman has now closed with a result expected at the end of October. There was much closely argued debate about the significance of the Oxfordshire Growth Deal for 100,000 new houses in the county before 2031. It was also claimed that the recently selected corridor for the new Oxford-Cambridge Expressway was of significance. The parish council fully supports CAGE’s opposition to the scheme which it considers to be wholly inappropriate for a parish of 150 houses. If you are concerned about this proposal you are urged to attend the inquiry at Henley Rugby Club from 10am.

SODC consider land between Playhatch and Caversham Park Village as a potential new site for massive housing development

SODC has added land at Playhatch, Palmer’s Riding Stables and Reading Golf Club into a study of possible sites for future housing. CAGE has strongly objected. A further announcement is expected in December. See www.cagedunsden.org for more.

Successful kick-off for Dunsden Owen Association talks series

The first in a series of four illustrated talks and discussions to commemorate the centenary of the end of WW1 was a great success. All are welcome at the next talk about the Indian contribution to WW1. It promises to be fascinating. Entrance on the door is just £4 including refreshments. For more see www.owenindunsden.org

Indian Soldiers in the Great War – Inderpal Dhanjal – Tuesday 11 September

Inderpal leads the Legacy of Valour Society (legacyofvalour.org) which is a national community-based initiative which tells the story of the Indian contribution to the first world war. Over 1.5 million Indian service personnel served during 1914–18, with 11 being awarded military crosses.

Tunnelling for victory in WW1 – Robin Sanderson and Richard Crompton – Tuesday 9 October

Descendants of WW1 tunnellers tell the remarkable story of their relatives’ remarkable contribution to the British war effort.

The Society of Friends and pacifism in WW1 – Ruth Tod, Henley Quakers – Tuesday 13 November

‘War…involves the surrender of the Christian ideal and the denial of human brotherhood.’ Quakers in the First World War, and their response to conflict today.

Classes at Dunsden hall

The following classes are currently available, more details from Bookings Manager, Jo Summerland dunsdenvillagehallbooking@gmail.com

  • Mindfulness: Mondays, 7.30 to 8.30pm
  • Mindfulness: Fridays, 9.45 to 11.15am
  • Pilates: Wednesdays, 7 to 9pm
  • Pilates: Thursdays, 6.30 to 7.30pm
  • WAT Dance: Every other Wednesday, 8 to 9pm
  • Ashtanga Yoga: Mondays, 7.30 to 8.45pm
  • Vinyasa Flow Yoga: Tuesdays, 7.45 to 9pm
  • Yoga & Meditation: Wednesdays, 6.30 to 8pm
  • Hatha Yoga: Thursdays, 7.30 to 9.30pm
  • Yoga for Health: Fridays, 9.45 to 11.45am

 

Summer news from E&D

The Dunsden News · June 2018

For Eye & Dunsden including Sonning Eye, Playhatch, Dunsden, plus Binfield Heath & surrounding areas

Events

Don’t miss 1 July: visit the beautiful gardens of Coppid Hall, Binfield Heath

Thanks to the generosity of Jemma and Tristan Phillimore, the lovely gardens at Coppid Hall, Binfield Heath RG9 4JR will be open to the public on Sunday 1 July, from 1.30 to 5.30pm.

A rare chance to visit a private garden which is not usually open to the public. Don’t miss highlights including fine views from the terrace to the valley below, some spectacular spherical water features, a lake and arboretum, a potager and a full size yew tree maze. Entrance costs £4, and a lavish afternoon tea (said to rival Mary Berry!) will also be provided for just £4. Children under five go free, and a family ticket will be available for £12. Children’s teas £2. All proceeds to the Dunsden Village Hall. Sorry no dogs. To help with numbers on the day, please pre-book via Buytickets.at/dunsden

More classes added at Dunsden hall

After a smashing success at the hall’s re-opening celebration, the number of classes and other bookings at the hall has rocketed. The following range of classes is now available, with full details at www.dunsdenvillagehall.co.uk/regularactivities

  • Mindfulness: Mondays, 10 to 11am & 7.30 to 8.30pm
  • Stretch & Smile with Pauline: Mondays, 10 to 11.15am
  • Go Active Gold Keep Fit/Senior Circuits: Mondays, 11.30am to 12.30pm
  • Ashtanga Yoga: Mondays, 7.30 to 8.45pm
  • Vinyasa Flow Yoga: Tuesdays, 7.45 to 9pm
  • Step Dance: Wednesdays, 3.50 to 4.50pm
  • Slow Flow Yoga & Meditation: Wednesdays, 6.30 to 8pm
  • Pilates (Improvers): Wednesdays, 7 to 8pm and 8 to 9pm
  • WAT Country Dance: Every other Wednesday, 8 to 10pm
  • Tai Chi: Thursdays, 9.30 to 10.45am
  • Pilates: Thursdays, 7 to 8pm
  • Hatha Yoga: Thursdays, 7.30 to 9pm
  • Yoga 4 Health: Fridays, 10 to 11.30am
  • Pilates (Beginners, bad backs, over 65s): Fridays,
    4.30 to 5.45pm

Local news

Midsummer Music at Holmwood

Sunday June 17, 5.30–9pm. Bring a picnic and enjoy an evening of classical and modern music in the beautiful surroundings of Holmwood, Binfield Heath. Tickets £25 from www.binfieldheath.org.uk or in Binfield Heath Stores.

An invitation to a series of Dunsden Owen Association talks to celebrate the centenary of the end of WW1

All are welcome at a fascinating series of illustrated talks to be followed by questions and refreshments. £4 on the door. More details shortly available at www.owenindunsden.org

Prof. Suzanna Rose – Tuesday 10 July
From Shellshock to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder – a look at responses to traumatic events over the centuries, including WWI shellshock, WWII battle fatigue and leading on to the formulation of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in the 1980s.

Inderpal Dhanjal – Tuesday 11 September
Indian Soldiers in the Great War – Inderpal leads the Legacy of Valour Society (legacyofvalour.org) which is a national community-based initiative which tells the story of the Indian contribution to the first world war. Over 1.5 million Indian service personnel served during 1914–18, being awarded 11 military crosses.

Robin Sanderson and Richard Crompton – Tuesday 9 October
Tunnelling for victory in WW1 Descendants of WW1 tunnellers tell the remarkable story of their relatives’ remarkable contribution to the British war effort.

TBA – Tuesday 13 November
The Society of Friends and pacifism in WW1 – War…involves the surrender of the Christian ideal and the denial of human brotherhood.’ Quakers in the First World War, and their response to conflict today.

70th Binfield Heath Flower Show

The Binfield Heath Flower and Dog Show is 70 this year. The show, the biggest annual event in the village, takes place on Bank Holiday Saturday, August 25th. www.binfieldheathflowershow.com

Dunsden Community Orchard

The orchard by Dunsden Green is planted with a carefully selected range of historic fruit trees, some available for sponsorship: orchard.blogspirit.com. Look out for details of an upcoming apple day.

 

SODC looks again at the possibility of mass housing development in Eye & Dunsden

Following doubts raised about the viability of housing at Chalgrove airfield, SODC is to re-examine the possibility of mass housing developments in a number of sites throughout the district, including several close to Reading in both Eye & Dunsden and Kidmore End parishes. A consultation timetable for this important reversal of the local plan process has also been announced. Local residents are recommended to follow this process as it could have major implications for the area.

The SODC news release includes the following statement:

“The council intends to reassess each of the main housing sites currently proposed in the Plan, along with previously-considered locations and some additional sites that have more recently been put forward by developers:

Additional sites submitted by developers: land at Emmer Green, Reading, Reading Golf Club, Playhatch at Reading, land off Thame Road, North Weston.”

Buses to Gladman inquiry and hall events update

Hall tea party reminder

A reminder Dunsden Village Hall has its grand re-opening on May 5. There is an exhibition of wildlife photography by Bill Pound, poetry readings and music. All are welcome after the official opening ceremony for teas and tours from 4 to 6pm. RSVP to Susan Summerland.

Gladman buses

The Campaign Against Gladman in Eye & Dunsden (CAGE) is providing free buses for those who wish to go to the first day of the public inquiry on Tuesday 1 May. Pick-up from Sonning Common Village Hall at 9am and from Emmer Green, opposite Budgens, at 9.15. The bus returns after lunch, as the inquiry schedule permits. Further information from Mandy Sermon, Parish Clerk

Late news: concert in hall tonight

Kate Howden sings for us tonight. Here she is on YouTube. Don’t miss!

Spring news from E&D

The Dunsden News · April 2018

For Eye & Dunsden including Sonning Eye, Playhatch, Dunsden, plus Binfield Heath & surrounding areas

Events

Book now for Kate Howden ‘rooted in people, place & nature’: 28 April

Kate Howden is a singer-songwriter & multi-instrumentalist. She plays Guitar, Mandolin, Bodhran and Cajon. Her experience of writing, performing and recording spans over 16 years as part of acoustic duo howdenjones.co.uk. She returns to Dunsden on April 28 with her captivating blend of songs, tunes and stories in an evening to remember. Buytickets.at/dunsden

Re-opening of Dunsden Hall, 5 May

The new Dunsden hall will be officially re-opened by the Chairman of SODC on 5 May. A bust of Wilfred Owen will be unveiled. From 4 to 6pm you will be welcome to tour the building. Teas will be available.

Stunning wildlife photography by Bill Pound will be on show until Sunday at 5pm. From exercise classes to family celebrations and arts events, come along and find out how much our new hall offers!

All Ages Community Tea, 13 May

Join 1st Shiplake Scout Group for their event at Dunsden Village Hall from 3–5pm. More information from Ernie on 0118 940 3919.

Annual parish meeting & parish council AGM

Tuesday May 15 at 7.30pm · www.eyedunsden.org

Village hall AGM

Tuesday June 5 at 7.30pm · all welcome

Local news

Buy raffle tickets for hall, win prizes!

Don’t forget your raffle tickets from Binfield Heath Stores or committee members. Win champagne, a day at Nirvana Spa or dinner and a night at the French Horn amongst many others. Call 969 3633 for tickets.

Gladman inquiry at Henley Rugby Club from 1 to 4 May

A crowd-funding appeal (tinyurl.com/helpdunsden) has raised enough to pay for a barrister to represent local opponents to the building of 245 houses close to Dunsden. Please support the campaign and the inquiry. More at www.cagedunsden.org.

Rubbish tours at Bicester

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to your non-recyleable waste, the answer is that it is taken to Bicester for conversion to electricity. The state-of-the-art facility even offers a visitor centre for the curious. Find out more at www.viridor.co.uk

Live Well Social Services Directory

Live Well Oxfordshire brings together over 2,000 care services and activities in an online directory – from residential care homes and care services that help people stay living at home, to transport services to get them out and about and new hobbies to enjoy. Details: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/livewell

Local artists exhibit

Work by Dunsden’s Nacera Guerin and three other local artists is to be shown at Henley Old Fire Station. ‘La liberté d’Expression’ runs from April 19 to 24 and again at the Henley Arts Trail from 5 to 7 May. More including details of poetry & story-telling evenings at tinyurl.com/naceragu

River Litter Pick: Sunday May 6

Plastic waste of all kinds bobs and swirls in the Thames and where the water is quiet, accumulates in quantity. It is ultimately slowly broken down into tiny particles which are ingested by marine life and perhaps then eaten by us. By 2050 there will be more plastic by weight in the ocean than fish. So why not clean-up the river? A gallant band from Shiplake have pledged to do just that. Shiplake Outloars (shiplake.outloars.club/river-thames-clean-2018 will be taking to the water at 11am on 6 May to clean-up the river between Shiplake and Sonning. A group from Sonning is planning to set off from the bridge at the same time, with the aim of meeting them halfway. If you have a boat, why not join them?

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