Penn and Tylers Green prepares for slow return to ‘normality’

Coronavirus update

  • Tylers Green Middle School has confirmed it will reopen to all pupils on 8 March using the systems it put in place last November, including staggered start and finish times for year groups; separate toilet blocks and zoned areas of the playground for year groups; ensuring adequate ventilation in classrooms and minimising outside visitors to school. The school will spend the next week preparing pupils for the return while continuing with remote learning.
  • Sir William Ramsay secondary school in Rose Avenue is also planning to reopen on 8 March but there will be a staggered return for year groups throughout the week to allow for mass lateral flow testing. Students will have their first test prior to returning and a second on the first day back.
  • Penn Fest has confirmed it will proceed with its weekend festival at Penn Street on 23/24 July as planned. 
  • Discussions are taking place on whether to go ahead with Hazlemere Fete this year, which is normally held in August. 
  • Penn and Tylers Green FC first team has abandoned the remainder of this season’s fixtures in line with this week’s decision by the Football Association to curtail the season for clubs playing in steps three to six of league soccer.
  • Although the number of new coronavirus cases continue to fall in the region, there has been a surprising rise in our immediate area. In the seven days to 4pm yesterday there were 195 new cases in Wycombe compared to 212 the week before; in the Chiltern area 52 compared to 71 and in the South Bucks area 39 compared to 70. However, in Penn, Tylers Green and Hazlemere there were 26 confirmed new cases in the seven days to last Saturday, compared to 20 the previous week. 
  • The council and health authorities in Buckinghamshire yesterday lifted the “Major Incident” categorisation imposed in December following a reduction in the number of Covid patients in the county’s hospitals. The position is no longer considered a crisis situation. 

Lost in a sea of confusion

IT WAS, perhaps,  hardly surprising there was confusion over the HP10 postcode area this week (see Wednesday and Thursday’s blog) when you realise just how big it is.

It stretches from Gravelly Way in the east  curving round to near Handy Cross, south of the motorway in the west and taking in Wooburn and Hedsor in the south…11.7 square miles containing a population of nearly 19,000.

If that sounds illogical it’s nothing compared to the geographical idiots at Google. If you Google Tylers Green Village Hall, for instance,  the search engine tells you it’s a village hall in Loudwater. Tylers Green First and Middle Schools are schools in Loudwater. Tylers Green Methodist Church however, is “a church in Penn”.  The Village Shop on the Green, which is actually in Penn, is described as a “store in Loudwater” as, indeed, is the King’s Ride supermarket in Tylers Green.

I once asked Google if they could be a little more accurate in their geographical references because their directions bamboozle innumerable delivery drivers, cab drivers etc, but I wish I hadn’t bothered.

“Your business pin marker exists within the locality for Loudwater.  Since all the service area business located around your area captures the same locality as their address, this is why your business also, have captured that location because it is falling under Loudwater,” came the reply.

Which goes to show that not only are Google’s geography skills badly wanting, its plain English skills are even worse.

Clamping down

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE Council is planning to take tougher action against the increasing number of  people who persistently breach parking rules, evade fines or abuse the disabled person’s blue badge scheme.

Under the plans announced last week the council’s traffic wardens will have greater powers to remove offending vehicles to a car pound. To get their vehicle back offenders would have to pay a parking fine plus £150 removal fee plus £12 a day for each day the vehicle is impounded. If the vehicle isn’t collected within 35 days it will be scrapped or auctioned. 

It is intended the new rules will also apply to those who fraudulently use the pay and display system in council car parks and those whose parking causes serious obstruction to emergency services and other road users. A public consultation on the plans closes next Friday, 5 March.  You can comment on

Vicarage tea

A COUPLE of lovely memories from parishoners following last week’s funeral of the Rev Nigel Stowe, the Penn Street vicar for 25 years.  Sue and Brian Rogers recall the instructions Nigel wrote on the large teapots in the church centre, declaring how many teabags to put in, how much milk etc (milk was put into the teapot before the tea was poured!). 

“Woe betide you if you used too many teabags!  The result was what we called ‘vicarage tea’, which the less polite referred to as ‘cat’s pee’ ,” wrote Brian

Nigel didn’t like anything to be thrown away they recall. Said Sue:  “I happened to look behind the curtain by the organ in Holy Trinity and found what I can only describe as a display of ‘vacuum cleaners through the ages’, each one covered with instructions in his handwriting such as “press here to start”, ‘change bag when full” and ‘detach bag here’.”

Putting on a brave, if false, face

MEANWHILE over at the other Holy Trinity, in Penn, the Rev Mike Bisset has received a new biography recording the extraordinary life of Major Teddy Wynyard, who is buried in the churchyard.  

Teddy Wynyard, a Victorian hero. Picture: Wikipedia

Major Wynyard served in India and Burma in the 1880s, being awarded a Distinguished Service Order and then an OBE for his service in the First World War. He was also awarded a Royal Humane Society medal when he dived into a frozen lake to try and save someone in Switzerland.

But it was a sporting life that would be impossible to repeat today which marks him out. He played cricket for England  and captained the MCC  on tours to New Zealand, West Indies, North America, Egypt and South Africa in the early 1900s. He was still playing in 1923 on a tour of Canada where, at the age of 62, he led the bowling averages even though he bowled underarm.

In addition to all that however,  he played football, winning an FA Cup medal with Old Carthusians in the 1881 cup final at the Oval, played hockey for Hampshire and was the European tobogganing champion in 1894.

But perhaps his most famous exploit was when, as an instructor at the Royal Military College in Sandhurst in 1899, he invited W.G.Grace to lead a team in a game against his regiment. Sadly, just before the game the legendary WG said he was unable to come but Wynyard, realising no-one present had actually ever met Grace, donned a cunning disguise, including false beard and  knocked out a few runs without anyone being any the wiser they were watching an impersonator.

A clean slate…or is it?

THE search is on to find areas of land in Buckinghamshire where houses, shops, offices and factories can be built in future without the need to build on green fields and other undeveloped sites.

Buckinghamshire Council is in the first stages of a new local plan which will determine where new homes and commercial property will be built by 2040.

It is appealing to landowners, landlords and others to let them know of any “brownfield” sites – land previously used for development – or empty shops or commercial premises that could be converted into sites for new homes. It wants to draw up a list at the end of March.

Meantime everyone waits with bated breadth to see whether this new-found urge to save undeveloped land has come too late to save the Gomm Valley, between Cock Lane and Hammersley Lane, Tylers Green.  Talks about the plan to build 1,000 homes plus a new school, shops and workshops are still ongoing, with an outline planning application expected late Spring.

Local news

E-scooters for the village? – Councillors are considering whether to introduce council e-scooters into the area with possible parking locations outside Kings Ride and Rose Avenue shops, the Wheeler Avenue/Church Road junction; the Coppice Farm Road/Hazlemere Road junction and Hazlemere Crossroads.

Break-ins – Two burglaries occurred within half an hour at houses in Oaktree Close and Old Kiln Road, Tyers Green shortly after midnight last Sunday. The thief stole car keys at the Oaktree Close address and made off with a car on the driveway. Nothing was taken in the other break-in. A 43 year old man from Holmer Green has been arrested and is helping police with inquiries. 

New alarm – Tylers Green First School is trying to raise funds to equip the school with a wi-fi alarm system. 

Tesco arrivesTesco opened its new Express store next to the Three Horseshoes pub at Hazlemere Crossroads yesterday,

Manager sought – Penn and Tylers Green Football Club’s senior women’s team is looking for a manager/head coach for next season and to help develop the girls and women’s section of the club as part of a five year project. 

Regional news

Curtain up – Aylesbury Waterside theatre has suspended productions until Sunday 16 May in line with the latest Government guidelines.  A similar announcement from Wycombe Swan is expected soon. They had both hoped to reopen on 3 April. The Elgiva at Chesham is planning to reopen on 17 May and is working on a performance schedule.

Dog thefts down – Thames Valley Police Chief Constable John Campbell told a live audience on Facebook last night that dog thefts in the area have not increased in recent years, despite a public perception they have. In 2018 a total 80 dogs were reported missing to the police.  Last year the figure was 40.  He also insisted the police do not take sides in HS2 protests. “We are there to enforce the law,” he said.

Golf wreckers – Two motocross bike riders and a quad bike rider caused “significant” damage to the greens at Henley Golf Course during a two hour rampage.  Police are investigating. 

This blog is being updated weekly during lockdown. Next update due Friday 5 March.