National sporting honour for Tylers Green’s ‘Mr Table Tennis’

THE world of table tennis has paid a remarkable tribute to Ron Hedley of Old Kiln Road, Tylers Green by selecting him as one of four people in the country for a Pride of Table Tennis Award.

In a citation, Table Tennis England said: “Thousands of players in Buckinghamshire have benefitted from Ron’s commitment and organisational skills.

“In 2018 Ron was diagnosed with prostate cancer, however this has not stopped him organising Bucks teams and county championships divisions. 

“He even raised over £7,000 for prostate cancer research through walking 28 miles and organising a cricket match. He has dedicated a lifetime to table tennis to ensure the enjoyment of others.”

Ron, who has also managed the Buckinghamshire over-60s Cricket Club, said: “I have hundreds of people to thank for this.  Most of my table tennis work has been done over 43 years running the county teams and it’s because of all the players who have represented the county, and still do, that I have enjoyed being part of the sport.”

What’s in a name?

CONGRATULATIONS too to Earl Howe, who lives in Penn House in Penn Street, who was awarded the second highest honour in the country in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List last week.

His elevation to Knight Grand Cross for his services to Parliament and politics comes as he completes 30 years as a front bench spokesman for Conservative Party, the longest continuously serving frontbencher. At present he is deputy leader of the House of Lords.

As Frederick Curzon he began his career in banking until the death of his second cousin, the sixth Earl Howe, in 1984 meant he inherited the title and with it an opportunity to follow a political career as well as running the Penn estate and its accompanying farmland. 

His title could lead to confusion however, as he can’t be called Sir Earl Howe. Those who know about these things say Earl Howe  is precedent although Sir Frederick is a good enough back-up.

His wife Elizabeth, the current Lord Lieutenant to Buckinghamshire, retains her Countess Howe title although I suppose, as the wives of Sirs are Ladies and she is already a Lady (as well as a Countess), she could become Lady Lady Howe. It’s all rather baffling.

In any event, to his friends, Earl Howe will simply remain Freddie. 

From the Welsh mountains to the Chiltern valleys…

Sarah Green MP. Picture: Liberal Democrat Party

WHAT IS it with Penn and strong minded Welsh women?  Dame Cheryl Gillan, who was the Penn MP for 29 years, was a former Welsh Secretary, born in Llandaff.

Now Chesham and Amersham constituency voters (which includes Penn) have elected Sarah Green, a fluent Welsh speaker, born in Corwen in North Wales.

She attended Aberystwyth University, worked as a Parliamentary researcher in 2006 and went on to form her own communications company Green and Ginger.  In her election blurb  she described herself as a entrepreneur and independent minded businesswoman.

All well and good but she is soon going have to learn to deal with the wolves of Westminster.   They are already on the prowl.  The political blogger Guido Fawkes has  been looking into her business career and says her company, Green and Ginger Communications, has a capitalisation of just £1.

He further declares that she is the only employee and her business is entirely derived from Liberal Democrat Party contacts. The company website has just two endorsements, he says –  both from Lib Dem connected organisations – and seven followers on social media. 

“Sarah is misleading the electorate by misrepresenting herself as the next Deborah Meaden,” says Fawkes, aka the right-wing journalist Paul Staines.

Welcome to the rough old world of real politics Sarah.

Coronavirus update

NEW coronavirus cases have steadily increased in Buckinghamshire over the past two weeks, although the numbers in our immediate area of Penn, Tylers Green and Hazlemere remain low, in single figures. 

There were 263 new cases in the county in the week to Friday, 11 June. In the week to last Friday, the 18th, the number was 317, still well below the national average. 

There is no sign of a big increase  in the number of Covid patients entering hospitals in Bucks. Unofficial figures show there have been no Covid deaths in Penn,Tylers Green and Hazlemere since March and in the county as a whole the numbers remain in single figures.

The Adams Park mass vaccination centre in High Wycombe closes on Thursday after administering over 50,000 jabs since January. Vaccinations are available at various pharmacies and other venues.

However, local doctors’ surgeries are struggling as they try to catch up on non-Covid related conditions.  Penn Surgery said this week it was dealing with a “tsunami” of new inquiries and reported illnesses – up to 60 per cent higher than the average before the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Government’s latest pause on easing Covid restrictions has thrown local theatres into confusion.

Wycombe Swan is hoping to resume performances with a David Bowie tribute show on 4 July and Aylesbury Waterside is hoping to resume shows from 26 June but both are asking customers to keep an eye on their websites for details. Windsor Theatre Royal is still planning to reopen with Sir Ian McKellen in Hamlet from tomorrow (21 June), but with a greatly restricted audience. 

Local cinemas are open with extra precautions, as is the Hollywood Bowl in High Wycombe, which is providing free gloves for customers to wear. Penn Festival said this week it was all systems go for the PennFest at Penn Street  on 23 and 24 July.

Same old mess

IN THEIR attempt to even out the number of electors in each parliamentary constituency the Boundary Commissioners are proposing some drastic changes in this area.

They are proposing to ditch the Beaconsfield constituency altogether and incorporate Beaconsfield town into the Chesham and Amersham constituency.  In addition, they recommend plucking Hazlemere from the Wycombe constituency and placing that in Chesham and Amersham too.

They propose two new constituencies –  one called Marlow and South Bucks, which would incorporate Bourne End; and a separate Princes Risborough constituency, where thousands of new homes are planned in the near future. 

Sadly, it’s the same old mess in Penn and Tylers Green where it’s proposed keeping Penn in Chesham and Amersham and Tylers Green in Wycombe.

This, of course, takes no account at all  of the reality on the ground.  

Penn and Tylers Green is one, single community and has been for years.  But we have a ridiculous boundary that separates the two former separate villages by wriggling through various gardens, the middle of the village pond and down the centre of some roads.

The boundary was drawn up by some Victorian bureaucrat 150 years ago simply to ensure that working-class Tylers Green couldn’t possibly be in the same administrative area as middle and upper class Penn.  Incredibly, it hasn’t changed since.

There is another review of boundaries beginning later this year, this time undertaken by the Local Government Boundary Commission, not the Parliamentary one. It will look at changing local ward boundaries to take account of the new Buckinghamshire Council unitary authority and hopefully the commissioners will recognise  and recommend that Penn and Tylers Green should be in a single ward (although don’t hold your breath).

Of course, it would be sensible to complete the local boundary review before agreeing the national Parliamentary one… but common sense never seems to play any part in these things. 

Community notices

Art exhibition – To mark the 250th anniversary of the death of Thomas Gray an art exhibition is being held in St Giles Church, Stoke Poges next week (Monday to Saturday 10am to 3pm) to mark his celebrated poem Elegy in a Country Churchyard. It features a facsimile of William Blake’s illustrations of Gray’s Elegy, sent by the University of California. 

School fete – Curzon School fete in Penn Street is being held on Saturday 3 July from noon. UPDATE…now postponed until 11 September.

Classic cars – Hazlemere Golf Club is hosting a classic car event next Sunday, 27 June from noon to 6pm

Cricket fixture – Penn and Tylers Green Cricket Club’s first XI play The Lee CC at French Meadow next Saturday, 26 June, starting at 1pm

Memory corner…

JANET Garrett (nee Perfect) has been in touch to say how pleased she is that Rayners (the former Penn School and before that home of the Rose family) has received protected status. 

It’s hardly surprising: her great-grandfather, grandfather and father all worked there.

Great grandfather George Perfect was a woodman to the Rose family. Grandfather Frederick Perfect was the estate gamekeeper and her father William Henry Perfect was part time handyman/gardener who continued working at Rayners until he was 80.

Janet, who lives in High Wycombe, writes : “I hope the developer treats the site with sympathy and in keeping with Penn village.”  She’s kindly sent us these photographs from the family album…

Grandfather William Perfect with his wife Lucy (nee Beale)
Father William Perfect (born 1895) in the First World War. He was badly wounded in the war.
William again with his wife Hilda (nee Dean) on his 80th birthday
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