Gomm Valley Jubilee News St Margaret's inquiry

Taylor Wimpey plan 600 new homes on Penn and Tylers Green’s doorstep

Pictures from the Jubilee celebrations are featured below

HOUSEBUILDERS Taylor Wimpey propose building 600 houses in the Gomm Valley, between Cock Lane and Hammersley Lane.

This is fewer than the 1,000 homes proposed by a previous developer and fewer than the 800 homes the company itself envisaged when it first bought the land last year.

However, it is still more than the 450 homes a Government planning inspector thought would be desirable a few years ago.

In a legal notice published to alert land-owners in the valley, Taylor Wimpey says it will take a two pronged approach:

  • Phase one will  involve submitting a full planning application for 110 houses on land running north of the railway line between Hammersley Lane and Gomm Road, parallel with the A40. Access will be from Hammersley Lane, near the railway bridge, and Gomm Road.
  • Phase two involves submitting an outline planning application for “up to” 489 homes on the west (Cock Lane) side of the valley, leaving the side of the valley by Hammersley Lane as open space. It includes the provision of a one form entry primary school, a nursery pre-school and a 200 square metre indoor facility, which could be used for sporting or community  activities.

The development will range from one bedroom flats to five bedroom detached houses. The company said earlier this year that nearly half of the homes it envisaged would fall under the “affordable” category. 

It’s understood the company is taking a two pronged approach because it feels phase one will be given the go-ahead without much fuss and it can begin early construction.

The plans for phase two, which includes the bulk of the valley up to Tylers Green, may get a bumpy ride however. Residents groups, environmentalists and Tylers Green Middle School in Cock Lane are likely to object.

There are fears that intensive development in the valley will lead to a big increase in through traffic in Penn and Tylers Green and the eventual full-length widening of Cock Lane.

The valley is the last undeveloped dry valley in the Wycombe area and contains a nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Even though these areas will remain untouched under the proposals, environmentalists fear the proximity of development will diminish and degrade them.

The planning applications are due to be submitted to Buckinghamshire Council in the next few weeks.

After a two year gap, Penn 7 and Fun Run is back

THE PENN 7 and Fun Run, the village’s biggest charity fund-raising day,  returns on Father’s Day, 19 June, after a two year break because of the coronavirus pandemic.

All the action, as usual, is on the front common with the seven mile Penn Seven starting at 11am; and the 3.7 mile fun run to Hazlemere and back starting at 2.30.  In between, starting at 12.40, are the mini-marathons for five to seven year olds, with every child getting a medal.

In addition there’s live music throughout the day, a food village serving gourmet burgers, wood fired pizzas and vegan street food, a bar and fun for children with a bouncy castle, jungle run, beat the goalie and face painting.

All the proceeds this year are going to the Buckinghamshire branch of the mental health charity Mind.

You can enter the Penn Seven and Fun Run on the day but it’s cheaper and easier if you enter online beforehand via the run’s stylish website on

The more helpers the better, so if you are able to spend a a short time acting as a race marshal or helper on the common please email Neville Parnell on

Slipping down the rich list

OUR LOCAL billionaire, Peter Kelly, dropped five places in the Sunday Times Rich List, even though the paper said his wealth had increased by £30 million in the past 12 months.

Mr Kelly, who lives  in Manor Road, is now the 168th richest person in Britain and worth £1.065 billion, according to the paper.

That puts him one place behind Lord Rothschild and two places behind Lord Alan Sugar.

Mr Kelly, 64, is a businessman who worked as a salesman for Xerox and then formed a recruitment company before founding the computer company Softcat in 1993, working out of his garden shed.

Now, Softcat, in Marlow, is one of the country’s top IT companies with Mr Kelly a majority shareholder. 

He is currently putting his financial muscle behind the scheme to convert Rayners, the former Penn School in Church Road, Penn, into a luxury hotel and restaurant.

Vicar committed ‘unspeakable acts’ claims report

THE REPORT  of the investigation into former Tylers Green vicar Michael Hall may make disturbing reading when it is published by the Diocese of Oxford.

The investigation continues to take evidence, anonymously, from people who had dealings with the Rev Hall during his tenure at St Margaret’s between 1981 and 2000. 

Now, details of court papers released by the late vicar himself have come to light in which it was claimed the vicar had “committed acts so unspeakable they could never be made public.”

The Rev Hall had sued Earl Howe, who at the time was patron of the parish, for libel, slander and defamation after the earl had asked him to resign in 1988. The case was settled privately two days before it was due to be heard in the High Court with both sides agreeing to what today are called non-disclosure agreements.

But in 1993 the vicar broke the agreement and showed the court papers to the Bucks Free Press.  In its 10 June edition the paper reported:

“The earl said Mr Hall had committed acts so unspeakable they could never be made public. He asked Mr Hall to have a psychiatric examination, paving the way for him to leave the church on a disability pension.” 

Mr Hall told the Free Press that as part of the out-of-court settlement, Earl Howe withdrew the allegations.

Now, 30 years later, the Bishop of Buckingham, the Rt Rev. Dr Alan Wilson, has apologised to people in the parish who suffered  abuse or distress at the hands of Mr Hall, saying: “I am in no doubt that what happened was wrong.” (See 7 April blog).

The inquiry is taking evidence for the next few weeks and a ‘Lessons Learned’ safeguarding review will be published by the diocese later in the year.

Increasing pressure on GP surgeries and hospitals

GP SURGERIES in the area are busier now than they were in the pandemic.

Junior Health Minister Maria Caulfield said that surgeries in Buckinghamshire handled nearly 11,000 appointments per working day during March, compared to 10,300 a day in March last year.

She told Wycombe MP Steve Baker that between November and March the Government provided extra cash to enable surgeries in the Wycombe area to offer nearly 8,000 additional appointments. 

Yet the length of time to see or speak to a GP locally remains frustratingly longer than pre-pandemic. 

In the current issue of Village Voice, Penn Surgery’s Dr Faye Boundy, says: “We are working hard to keep up with demand for appointments. At times this is challenging, and we appreciate your patience.”

Meanwhile, pressure in local hospitals continues. The Bucks NHS Trust board was told that in March just 30 per cent of patients were in and out of hospital emergency departments in less than four hours, with 6.9 per cent waiting 12 hours. The position slightly improved in April. 

A helping hand

ABOUT half of the 1,300 Ukranian refugees who are paired up with hosts in Buckinghamshire – mainly in the Beaconsfield area – have now arrived and are settling in.  

Meanwhile here, four friends from Tylers Green Middle School, Katy Bishop, Holly Dale, Oscar Huffelmann and Reece Mitchell, pictured above, decided off their own bat they wanted to help and baked cakes and sorted out old books to sell from a stall they set up in Ashley Drive recreation ground. 

They raised £150.61 which they donated to the Red Cross Ukranian appeal. 

Dennis was no menace 

DENNIS Waterman, the actor who died last month aged 74, was a good friend to Penn and Tylers Green when he lived in the area with this then wife Rula Lenska in the 1980s. 

The popular TV star supported many local charity events and went out of his way to chat to people and find time for autographs. Locals found he wasn’t much removed from the Jack the Lad character he often portrayed on screen.

He even put together a team of fellow celebrities who played Penn and Tylers Green Football Club in a game at French Meadows as part of the village effort to raise money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital appeal.  His team included another well known local actor, Warren Clarke and World Cup hero Martin Peters.

In the programme he described himself as “One of the finest actors in the business and, as a footballer, one of the finest actors in the business.”  

Local news in brief

Jubilee honours -Mary Coker, of Glebelands, Tylers Green, who founded with her late husband Frank,  the Penn and Tylers Green Open Gardens event in aid of Village Care, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the community in the village. Mary is a long time supporter of many village events, including the Village Show, and also chairs the Holmer Green Stroke Club.

Actress Pauline Quirke, who lives in Beacon Hill, Penn, was awarded an MBE for her services to young people, the entertainment industry and charity.

Legion threatened – The Hazlemere branch of the Royal British Legion, which includes Penn and Tylers Green,  says it will cease to exist unless people come forward  to help on its committee.  Contact Sarah Elizabeth on if you can help.

Head leaves – Mrs Vanessa Pinkney is stepping down as head of Tylers Green Middle School next month after eight years.  The deputy head, Mr Sam Issacs, will become acting head teacher from September.

Crime increase Latest statistics show an increase in reported crime in the area. In March there were 105 crimes reported in the Chepping Wye area, which includes Tylers Green, compared to 73 for February. In the Chalfont area, which includes Penn, 98 crimes were reported in March compared with 89 in February. 

Stepping down – Tony Hurst is retiring as chairman of Penn and Tylers Green Football Club after 15 years. The club’s annual general meeting is on 16 June.

New cemetery The new Penn Road  cemetery near Hazlemere Crossroads will open for burials in mid-June. Families inquiring about burials there should email

Re-elected -Councillor Katrina Wood was re-elected chairwoman of Chepping Wycombe Parish Council, which includes Tylers  Green, at the annual general meeting.

Residents chair – Madalyn Roker was re-elected chairwoman of the Penn and Tylers Green Residents’ Society at its annual general meeting.

Remembering NigelHoly Trinity, Penn Street, was full for a memorial service for the Rev Nigel Stowe, the late vicar there for 26 years. A memorial bench in the churchyard was dedicated after the service.

Farm plans – Nick and Katharine Aldridge, the owners of Bottom Farm in Beacon Hill, Penn have applied for planning permission to convert a steel framed barn into a house and extend the Grade 2 listed farmhouse itself.

Pub closes The Squirrel pub in Penn Street will be closed for about five weeks after 5 June for a major refurbishment. The pub’s owners have appointed a manager with restaurant experience to run the pub when the refurbishment is complete. Meanwhile the former licensee, Alex van Someren is set to take over at the Horse and Jockey in Tylers Green, initially on a temporary basis.

UPDATE – Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Beacon lighting

Picture : Adrian Cooper
Royal British Legion standard bearers at the beacon lighting ceremony. Picture: Buffy Cheesman Von Fluegalhorn on the Penn, Tylers Green and Hazlemere Facebook page.
Tylers Green First School choir sing their new school song. Picture: Ken Allen
Picture: Lee-Ann Taylor on the Penn and Tylers Green Residents’ Society Facebook page

AROUND 800 people attended a beacon lighting ceremony on Tylers Green back common on Thursday 2 June.  Lady Howe, of Penn House, who, as the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, is the Queen’s representative in the county,  lit the beacon and also received a specially made Penn Tile from the children of Tylers Green First School to pass onto the Queen as a gift. The lighting was preceded with music and song from local groups, schools and choirs. 

Fun Friday

From one old queen to another: The Old Queen’s Head in Tylers Green was all dressed up for a party
The older generation enjoyed a tea dance in Tylers Green Village Hall. Picture: Jan Carey
TV presenter Mercy Muroki dresses for the occasion at the Royal Standard of England. GB News presented its Jubilee programmes live from the pub, which it described as the oldest freehouse in England.
RAF Halton pays its own tribute

Jubilee bash on the common

Hundreds enjoyed a spectacular gig on Tylers Green front common on Saturday 4 June to round off a busy day. In the afternoon family events included a pantomime horse race, fun stalls and cup cake competition.

A finale and a farewell

Picture: Holy Trinity, Penn and St Margaret’s Tylers Green

The Rev Mike Bisset, the vicar of Penn and Tylers Green, hosted a Jubilee celebration service on the front common, jointly organised with Tylers Green Methodist Church on Sunday 5 June. This was Mike’s final service before retirement after 19 years and the congregation of around 150 gave him and his wife Ali a standing ovation. Earl Howe, the patron of the parish, said Mike was the first vicar of both Penn and Tylers Green and said he had been “the right man at the right time”.

A moment of history

Picture: The Royal Standard of England, Forty Green

You often see political activist Nigel Farage photographed in a pub. You often see him with a pint in his hand.  But you very rarely see Mr Farage in a pub WITHOUT  a pint.Which makes this picture of the politician with landlord Matthew O’Keefe in the Royal Standard of England a rare sight indeed. 

Don’t throw laptops in the bin

This is all that was left of a laptop which had been thrown into a recycling bin in this area and then burst into flames once it was crushed inside the refuse collection lorry.  The lorry was damaged but no-one was hurt. The council is urging people not to put electrical items in the bins but recycle them separately.

What’s on this month

For details of Jubilee events, please see the previous blog

10 June – Comedy night at Penn and Tylers Green Football Club

11 June – Manor Farm Schools, Rose Avenue – fete and Jubilee celebration. 2pm to 5pm.

12 June – Penn and Tylers Green Open Gardens in aid of Village Care. Tickets from the village hall from 1pm

19 June – Penn Seven and Super Fun Run. From 11am, Tylers Green Common.

25 June – Charity cycle ride in aid of Chilterns Samaritans. for details see

25 June – Penn and Tylers Green Sports and Social Club beer festival

25 June – Race night at Hazlemere Community Centre

2/3 July – Bucks Country Show at Penn House, Penn Street

2 July    – Penn and Tylers Green Village Show at Tylers Green Village Hall. 

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This blog will be updated during June with news and pictures from local Jubilee events. The next scheduled blog is on 1 July.