Gomm Valley Jubilee News

If you think Penn and Tylers Green should, at last, be treated as one entity, now is the time to say so

Skating on Widmer Pond on the common in January 1963. The boundary between Penn and Tylers Green goes through the middle of the pond, following the line of trees alongside Elm Road beyond. Tylers Green is on the left; Penn on the right.

FOR WELL  over 100 years an unnecessary boundary has split Penn and Tylers Green. Now, at long last, the Boundary Commission is planning to shift boundary lines in the area so that they match the reality of the 21st century.

The boundary between the old Chiltern District (which includes Penn) and the old Wycombe district (which includes Tylers Green) wobbles through the middle of our community, through gardens and properties and down the centre of roads, without any rhyme or reason, bringing administrative confusion in its wake.

For instance, because the boundary runs through the middle of Widmer Pond on the common, it would take officials and councillors from four different authorities (Wycombe district, Chiltern district, Penn parish council and Chepping Wycombe parish council) to agree on simple matters like maintenance and repair.

Before the district councils were abolished a couple of years ago, one side of a road could have its dustbins collected or its street cleaned on different days to the other side.

In a big drought a few years ago the hanging baskets at the Red Lion (in Penn) could flourish because there were no water restrictions,  while the hanging baskets at the Old Queen’s Head (in Tylers Green) had to wilt. 

Better late than never…

Of course, the people that actually live here have realised for years that Penn and Tylers Green is one community… hence every social and sporting organisation, from the WI to the football club, have the prefix Penn and Tylers Green. 

Even the Church of England – not always the fastest movers when it comes to change – placed the two parish churches and their congregations under a single vicar several years ago.

So now, at last, the Boundary Commission has got round to changing the boundaries within the new single tier local authority of Buckinghamshire Council. The commissioners want to streamline things – reducing the number of councillors from 147 to 98 for instance – but before making any recommendations on boundaries they are carrying out a public consultation to discover what the residents want.

At present the Tylers Green and Loudwater ward stretches from Curzon Avenue, at the top end of Ashley Drive as far south as the M40 through Loudwater, taking in Wycombe Marsh and Wooburn Moor.

Penn is in the Penn Wood and Old Amersham ward which stretches from Forty Green in the south to Amersham old town in the east and the outskirts of Great Missenden in the north, taking in Holmer Green and Winchmore Hill.

A population balancing act…

The additional population from the thousands of new homes that are being built in this area in places like the Gomm Valley, Hazlemere and Holmer Green will need to be taken into consideration by the boundary commissioners so they can balance up the electorates in each ward.

So if you, like me, think Penn and Tylers Green should be in the same ward, with the same councillors representing our single community, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to say so. 

The commission will take public views into consideration and come back later in the year with their ideas, which will then be subject to a further public consultation.

It’s important public views are expressed because there has been no indication from current councillors in the area they want the situation to change.

You can give on views on this link   The consultation closes on 4 April.

Plans for the Platinum Jubilee

THOSE planning street parties in the village to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are advised to organise them for the afternoon of Sunday 5 June so they don’t clash with village-wide celebrations planned for the previous couple of days.

An organising group of local people met this week to formulate events for the Jubilee weekend and plan to release details in the next few days. 

The plans include a community event on the front common, while on the morning of Sunday 5 June there will be a joint thanksgiving service also on the common, which will mark a farewell appearance by the retiring vicar of Penn and Tylers Green, the Rev Mike Bisset. Other events are in the pipeline.

Celebrating the Queen’s jubilees in the past…here the Diamond Jubilee in 2012
And here, in pre-Fun Run days, lining up for a race to celebrate the Silver Jubilee in 1977
A decorated bike parade at Tylers Green Middle School in 1977
Big Ben replicated on the front common in 2012
And how it all began: children dressed up for a Coronation Day parade on the common in 1953

Meanwhile, as part of the Queen’s green canopy campaign to plant trees to mark the anniversary, there are a number of tree-planting schemes planned in Penn and Tylers Green.

The parish council is considering planting 16 trees around the borders of the front and back common to commemorate those from the village who died in active service during the Second World War. These would complement those  memorial trees already in situ to commemorate the village dead from the First World War. 

Each of the local schools will be planting trees in their school grounds and a copper beech is to be planted on the triangle of land in front of Tylers Green Village Hall.

In Windsor, events include a picnic on the world’s longest picnic table, stretching the entire length of the Long Walk; a beacon lighting and firework display; an exhibition of cars representing each of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne and a special Jubilee facelift of every building in the town centre. 

Farewell to Bill and Jean

SAD TO report that the  deaths have occurred, within a week of each other, of Bill and Jean Clarke, aged 90 and 89 respectively, who lived for many years in The Lawns, Tylers Green, where they raised their family. They were instrumental in setting up the first residents’ association in the village in the early 1960s.

Hundreds of new residents arrived in Tylers Green in the late 1950s and 60s when houses on the Deer Park Estate (Ashley Drive, The Chase, The Lawns, King’s Ride area) were completed and Bill and Jean worked hard with others to organise that mass of new arrivals into a community.

Bill worked in the printing and paper industry and provided the paper for the Deer Park Residents’ Association newsletter, which then progressed into the Penn and Tylers Green Residents’ Association bulletin which further developed into the Village Voice magazine we have today.

Their many friends in the village and beyond will remember them fondly.

What happens when Taylor Wimpey and the local authority tie themselves in knots…

AS HOUSING developers Taylor Wimpey begin a public consultation over plans to build in the Gomm Valley, between Cock Lane and Hammersley Lane, Tylers Green, residents will want to ensure there is no repeat of the farcical situation that’s emerged at another Taylor Wimpey site two or three miles away

Residents in and around the  former US air base in Daws Hill, High Wycombe were keen to ensure open spaces and play areas were maintained and kept available, just as residents by the Gomm Valley will want to see open areas and nature sites maintained and untouched.

Pine Trees estate in High Wycombe. Picture: Taylor Wimpey

People who snapped up homes on the new  Daws Hill estate, now called Pine Trees, say they did so on the firm understanding that Taylor Wimpey would pay a hefty sum to the council who would maintain the open spaces and play area. But it didn’t happen.

There’s a lot of blaming and counter-blaming between Buckinghamshire Council and Taylor Wimpey as to why it didn’t happen, but the current position is that the residents still have a fenced-off park and play-area five years after the development was completed and are now being told they may have to bear the cost of the maintenance themselves. 

They presented a petition to Parliament to try and change the law so that councils should be forced to maintain such open spaces following contributions from developers and a Government response is expected soon.  Meanwhile local MP Steve Baker is trying to find a solution. 

Gomm Valley residents beware.

Taylor Wimpey is holding public consultations over its proposed Gomm Valley development on 21 and 22 January.  You can register to get involved or find out more information on a website they have set up

Wrong day. Wrong question. Wrong subject.

BEACONSFIELD  MP Joy Morrissey had an impossible job this week – trying to divert attention away from the Downing Street party-gate affair at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Joy Morrissey. Picture: Facebook

As soon as Boris  had apologised and was bombarded by a torrent of criticism from opposition MPs, Ms Morrissey got to her feet and for a moment it seemed she was going to fire a well-aimed knife into the prime-ministerial back.  But no.

“Will my Right Honourable Friend join me in paying tribute to the volunteers who tirelessly work to preserve that precious green space (the Colne Valley Regional Park) and will he work with me to create better protections for that park moving forward?” she asked, somewhat feebly.  Boris, of course, certainly would.

Nonetheless, it seemed a strange subject to pick to try and change the subject.  Most of those tireless volunteers are already furious with the Prime Minister for allowing HS2 to plough its way through the middle of the regional park, devastating the peace and quiet and wildlife the tireless volunteers are trying to preserve.

HS2 ploughing its way through the middle of the Colne Valley Regional Park. Picture: Keith Hoffmeister, Chiltern Society


Fun Run date – This year’s Penn 7 and Fun Run will take place on Father’s Day, Sunday 19 June on Tylers Green Common. The event was cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

Moving on – Local neighbourhood policeman PC Russ Hawkins left the Chepping Wye team this week to join Thames Valley Police’s rural crime unit.

Infections fall – New cases of Covid are continuing to fall in the area. There were 3,385 new cases reported in Buckinghamshire in the week to yesterday (14 January) compared with 5,427 the week before. Local hospitals are maintaining visitor restrictions but Covid linked  admissions are steady and much lower than this time last year. 

Tree dies – One of the American oaks on the front common has developed honey fungus to such an extent that permission is now being sought to fell it.

Pothole warning – Local MP Steve Baker told MPs there were so many “jarring potholes” on roads in this area, several were dangerous to motorcycles.  Transport minister Robert Courts told him the Government was providing a budget for a three year maintenance and pothole repair programme “which I am sure will bring results in Wycombe.”

Reported crime down – Reported crime has fallen locally since the start of the pandemic, official police figures show. The latest statistics for the month of November show that in the area that includes Penn 97 crimes were reported in 2019, 112 in 2020 and 93 in 2021.  In the area that includes Tylers Green 87 crimes were reported in November 2019, 94 in 2020 and 71 last November.

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