Category Archives: Uncategorized

Council confirms cash for ‘sensitive’ weed control.

News from Buckinghamshire County Council

PR 10419
21 February 2019
APPROVED for Immediate Release

Council confirms cash for ‘sensitive’ weed control.

Plans for a purge on unsightly and damaging weeds has been confirmed by the full County Council as part of their overall budget plans agreed today (February 21).

After years of neglect, the £500,000 funding will help tackle weeds that damage pavements and drainage systems specifically in main towns and villages. It will also help address residents’ concerns about how unsightly it makes local communities look.

Cabinet Member for Transportation, Mark Shaw said the programme will be carried out sensitivity and in accordance with all current best practice.

“Over the years, I’ve been bombarded with complaints about our failure to adequately control damaging weed growth, so I’m delighted we’ve been able to set aside funding for this year to help get on top of the problem.

“But it’s not simply about making local areas look tidier, it’s much more about preventing the damage weeds and their roots do, so we can avoid costly repairs further down the line.

Mark added, “To make it absolutely clear, we will not be destroying our natural verges or vegetation that clearly supports wildlife and insects. This is all about targeted control of those weeds that we often see growing between kerb edges and pavements or out of road drains. The type of weeds that do real damage to tarmac, paving slabs and pipes.

“I can assure people we will be extremely sensitive in our approach.”

The work is expected to start later in the year and will be confined to selected areas in towns and villages only.

For further information please contact: Aidan Shutter, on 01296 382444 or out of hours on 07825430978 


Road closure

Coombe Lane from :

Burnham Road junction to Downley Road junction of Main Road Naphill

Closed on Monday 24 july at 19:00hr  (7pm)


Tuesday morning 25 July at 09:00hr  (9am)

Great Kingshill Pre-School Opening

NEW PRE-SCHOOL.  Opening September 2017.
Waiting list and Admissions are now open…
Great Kingshill C of E Combined School will be opening a pre-school class from September 2017. The purpose built nursery facility will be welcoming any child who turns 3 before 31st August 2017, who will be eligible for a 15 hours funded place.
The school will be holding an information session for interested parents on Friday 19th May 2017 at 10:00. All are welcome.
For enquiries please e-mail:

Valley Friends November: Forty Years Catching Smugglers

From Joan Steel

On Friday 5th November, Malcolm Nelson gave a very interesting and humorous talk about his career as one of Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Officers.  He described it as 40 years of excitement, comedy, tragedy, and unusual happenings, while meeting and working with amazing people.  On retirement, Malcolm said he felt a great sense of achievement.  He is now enjoying lecturing to holidaymakers on cruise liners.

Malcolm outlined what makes a good Customs Officer.  It is mainly experience gained on the job, but initially training programmes have to be attended.  Malcolm joined the trainees at the Waterguard Training Centre in Southend.  He learned that Customs Officers have to have inquiring minds, they have to cope with a range of communication techniques, and that catching smugglers is a quite scientific operation.  The trainees are warned never to trust anyone in a suit, but also never to under estimate them.  After training, Malcolm was issued with his Commission.  He worked in a team led by an Alpha 1 Officer who had a balance sheet and sat at a desk.  Drug smugglers often work in teams, and amazingly 80% of all drugs entering Britain come via Heathrow, the reason being that the turnaround time there can be  as low as 30 minutes, and “time is money”.  Detection information teams look at passenger lists and track those who are travelling from countries where drugs are more commonplace, eg Bolivia, Islamabad, Mombasa, the Caribbean etc.  The officers ask some passengers where they bought their tickets, and find out what are the present trends in drugs.  They look at luggage and get tarmac officers to feel for double skins on cases where things can be hidden.   The smell of drugs can be disguised, but 30-35%o of sniffer dogs on the team will find them; the dog can also sniff money and swallowed drugs.

Women who travel alone can be suspect, as often their only reason to travel is to smuggle. This type of passenger will always lie when detected.  The experienced smuggler will always act calmly and sometimes is too calm which raises suspicion.  Some drugs are carried under wigs, and amazingly some wigs are sewn to the scalp which are very difficult to detect.  Finding out is what experience tells you, then look at trends and profiles.  Some businessmen may be carrying many clothes in their luggage but look shabby, which arouses suspicion and ‘expats’ look like out of date holidaymakers – they just don’t know what they should look like, so again something is not quite right.  Malcolm told us many other Interesting stories and ways that smugglers disguise what they are carrying, like the lady carrying a very heavy case which was full of stitched up bananas.  Malcolm has written a book about his experiences, copies of which were on sale for £10.  Malcolm was thanked and applauded for a very interesting evening.

On December 2nd we have an evening of entertainment by the Aca-Holics Barbershop Quartet.

With Best Wishes to you all for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Valley Friends: AGM & 50th Anniversary Report

From Joan Steel

Our AGM and 50th Anniversary was on 7th October.  Jill welcomed everyone to the meeting, and following the general notices gave the Leaders Report, in which she recalled highlights of our busy and interesting year, sharing enjoyable evening meetings and occasions including Carnival Day.  We made masks and entered the parade as masked Venetian ladies with a gondola cleverly made by Doreen and helpers. Doreen gave the treasurers report, saying that the annual membership fee would remain at £30, and visitors at £3 per evening.  We are to still support the South Bucks Hospice and the HW Multiple Sclerosis Society as well as the charities of some speakers.  Members of the committee gave their reports and Jill thanked them for their loyalty and hard work.  Jill asked everyone to encourage friends and neighbours to join us and outlined our varied future programme. On our behalf, Heather presented Jill with a book of poems and a beautiful bouquet as special tokens of our gratitude to Jill for her 26 years of outstanding leadership, loyalty and friendship during fifty years.  This year was tinged with sadness at the recent death of our oldest member Marjory Jenkins who was aged 95; also of Mervyn Wallen the husband of Margaret, one of our founding members.  Margaret is now at Avondale care home in Aylesbury.

All the committee members were willing to serve and were voted in for another year.  A really beautiful bouquet was given to Joan in recognition of her being founder member.  A Tribute to Jill was read on behalf of us all to salute our fantastic leader, who is again willing to continue her good work for another year.

Having completed the AGM, we commenced our 50th year golden celebrations with a delicious dinner served handsomely on tables decorated in gold to match the other decor in the hall.  Jill had prepared an interesting Quiz for us that tested our memories of the correct dates of  VF talks or occasions in the past.  We all had a gift of gold-wrapped chocolates, and throughout the evening a quartet of brass instrument players, all ladies, played suitable music which brought back pleasant memories.  Finally we sang Happy Birthday and cut the pretty cake.  It was a really happy and memorable occasion, and we give  thanks all round to everyone who made it possible.

Membership subscriptions are due at the next meeting on November 4th.  The speaker will be Malcolm Nelson talking on “40 Years of Catching Smugglers”.  All welcome.