Sunday, 28 April 2013


Paul Drewett has been a stallholder at Hungerford Arcade for many years and deals mainly in model ships, yachts and aeroplanes which sit on or hang from the old oak beams around the square in the centre of the building.  When you are in Rafters Cafe', you can actually look down on the aeroplanes which is an amazing sight.  Below there are photographs of Paul putting the planes in place.  I hope you like them.

On Left: Lovely Ship's Figurehead


April 23rd St. George's Day, the Patron Saint of England.  
st george flag 3
St. George's Day is celebrated by wearing a red rose in the lapel and the English Flag (the Cross of St. George) proudly flying from many buildings, including Hungerford Arcade.

St. George was a Roman soldier who, so the story says, killed a dragon!  He has been around for a long time and was first written about in England in the 6th or 7th century!

In 1222 The Synod of Oxford declared St. George's Day a feast day in the kingdom of England. Edward III (1327–1377) put his Order of the Garter (founded c. 1348) under the banner of St. George.This order is still the foremost order of knighthood in England and St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle was built by Edward IV and Henry VII in honour of the order. The badge of the Order shows Saint George on horseback slaying the dragon. Froissart observed the English invoking St. George as a battle cry on several occasions during the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453). Certain English soldiers displayed the pennon of St George.

In his play Henry V, William Shakespeare famously invokes the Saint at Harfleur prior to the battle of Agincourt (1415): 

"Follow your spirit, and upon this charge Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'" 

At Agincourt many believed they saw him fighting on the English side.

St George's Day was first officially celebrated in England as a holiday in 1399  and was a major feast and national holiday on a par with Christmas from the early 15th century. The Cross of St George was flown in 1497 by John Cabot on his voyage to discover  Newfoundland and later by Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh. In 1620 it was the flag that was flown by the Mayflower when the Pilgrim Fathers arrived in Plymouth Massachusetts.

Incidentally, for all of you who have forgotten, William Shakespeare died on 23rd April 1616.
From Left: Pauline Hawkins, Alex Rogers (Manager), Liz Browne


Hungerford Arcade Owner Adrian Gilmour with customers Caron Miller-Osborne and Jenai Laignel with baby Ada Laignel

Saturday, 27 April 2013


Just a reminder that we have Barnaby and his antique French fairground organ outside the Arcade tomorrow. Sunday, 28th April! Also the Thames Valley Farmers Market with all their wonderful fresh home-grown food will be there!

Do come along and have a great day out!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


I would like to introduce you to Theresa Hing, a stallholder at Hungerford Arcade.

We are very proud to announce that Theresa will be taking part in the West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios 2013.

Below, Theresa will tell you about herself and her beautiful jewellery which she designs and makes herself!


You can pick up a leaflet from many places in the region or look on the Open Studios website at  for more 

My name is Therese Hing.  I live in the beautiful Lambourn valley in West Berkshire and my studio looks out onto ancient thatched cottages and undulating countryside where I can see cows and sheep grazing. I first started making jewellery some 20 years ago but  in 2009 I followed my dream of working with metal and my new studio was soon filled with tools. I now make a range of silver jewellery using traditional silversmithing techniques and the more silver I can use, the better. I find the creative processes involved with making a piece of jewellery very stimulating and  especially love stone setting and unusual shaped cabochons.

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by fossil rocks and crystals so creating jewellery with them seemed a natural progression. I love the process of manipulating metal to form something of beauty. Each piece is original - designed and handcrafted in my studio in rural Berkshire using standard silver 925 and sometimes fine silver and gold. I use semi-precious Gemstones, freshwater Pearls, Coral, ceramic beads, silver beads, Amber or beautiful Lampwork beads from British artists in my pieces.

I love to work with silver, adding surface texture and using free-form elements to embellish the work.  Precious and semi-precious gemstones, fossil cabochons and silver elements, all mixed with semi-precious beads to create unusual and wearable pieces.

I am currently exploring different ways to create shapes in silver and copper by fold forming and anticlastic/synclastic  methods.

I  also make custom orders of any of my pieces, rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces.  So, if anyone sees a design they like but would prefer different colours/stones or even just a different size, all they have to do is email me with their wishes and I reply by return.

I can also repeat designs although they will be slightly different as everything is made by hand and stones may differ slightly being natural materials.

I am currently exploring different ways of working with silver  to produce new and  exciting designs which will find their way into my shop during the coming months

I am now also a member of The Guild of Jewellery Designers. 

THERESA HING  -  Artisan & Contemporary silver JEWELLERY
studio 01488 648608
Showcase: Unit 126, Hungerford Arcade,
Hungerford, Berkshire

Hallmarked Sterling Silver

Garnet and Silver Earrings

Labradorite Sterling Silver

Green Prehnite Sterling Silver

Monday, 22 April 2013


Frances is on the left with her lovely red bag
What a wonderful, fascinating day our two jewellery valuers had at the Arcade on Saturday, 20th April.

Among the many items of jewellery Frances Jones valued, there was a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring which, when the lady brought it in, said she had no idea at all what its value was, but did not think it would be too much.  Frances examined the ring carefully and then told the lady how much it was worth!  The lady was so surprised, she had to sit down!  

Adrian Jefferies also had an interesting day!  A lady brought in a stunning ring which she said was an heirloom.  The ring had a large cultured pearl, surrounded by diamonds which were .1ct each.  There were 15 or 16 of these diamonds, mounted in a circle around the Pearl.  On the shoulders of this 18ct gold ring were square cut sapphires (unfortunately, two were missing).  In all, this was a gorgeous ring and Adrian valued it at £750.  Unfortunately, we were not able to take photographs this ring, but there are photographs of Adrian and Frances taken during the valuations.

Adrian getting down to business!

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came along to the valuation on such a beautiful sunny, warm day and helped to raise money for our sponsored charity, Walking With the Wounded.  Thank you!

Sunday, 21 April 2013


Hungerford Arcade is very proud to announce that Diccon Dadey, metal art sculptor, and stallholder at the Arcade, will be taking part in the West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios 2013. You will remember Diccon from a few weeks ago when he held a fantastic forge day at Hungerford Arcade. 


Diccon will be opening his studio to the public from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm on Tuesdays throughout May and on selected Saturdays.

You can pick up a leaflet from many places in the region or look on the Open Studios website at  for more  information. You can also contact Diccon directly on: 07800 965548 or visit his website

This is the 25th year of this amazing event! 

Here is another photograph of one of Diccon's stunning sculptures.

Friday, 19 April 2013


Don't forget its jewellery valuation day at Hungerford Arcade tomorrow with Frances Jones and Adrian Jefferies.  So, gather up all your gems and heirlooms and come on down to the valuation.  You may get a BIG surprise!  Frances and Adrian also buy, if you want to sell.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


This a very personal farewell to Group Captain Samuel Cuthbert Rexford-Welch by his very dear friend, Peter Grayson.

Epilogue for Group Captain Samuel Cuthbert Rexford-Welch, died on 26th February 2013

First of all, a bit of early history: Rex was born on 27th November 1915 and raised in Streatham London, an only child, the last in line of a medical dynasty. He was educated at Epsom College where he developed a life-long aversion to cold baths and overcooked green vegetables and went up to Cambridge in 1935 as a medical student to ultimately specialize in Surgery. I visited his college, Jesus two years ago and was shown a group picture of the school of 1935 with Rex standing on the back row, a handsome young fellow. He was delighted to learn I had been and commented that sadly many of his contemporaries never survived the war which was soon to follow. While in Streatham he was a keen ice skater, enjoyed ice dancing and played ice hockey for Streatham. He went to Switzerland for winter sports with the university and even went down the Cresta run on a bobsleigh demonstrating a life- long taste for adventure. During these earlier years of his life he travelled extensively mainly around Europe and no doubt developed his taste for foreign adventure.

He rose to the rank of Group Captain over a long and distinguished career in the service of his country with the RAF, initially as a medical officer in WW2 and then as a specialist in radiological protection in the cold war period when we were developing our nuclear deterrent. He served in this country, Burma, Australia, Christmas Island, Peru and USA where he was involved with the space programme and got to know many of the Astronauts. In later years he used to regale us with anecdotes about his fascinating experiences including encounters with Field Marshall Slim in Burma, Winston Churchill in the 1950’s, who invited him to take over the editing from 1954 to 1958 of the three volume work “ Royal Air Force Medical Services”, and US presidents Kennedy and Johnson whilst on the space programme.

Rex married after the war and he and his wife once appeared in an advert for Nescafe while sat in his Lagonda but they were sadly divorced in the late 1960’s and he never remarried.

While in Peru in the late 1960’s with an RAF contingent to monitor French Nuclear tests, Rex met David and Betty Fuller and family ( David was air attaché for Peru and Bolivia) and forged a close friendship based on the world of antiques. Rex delighted to stay with the Fullers at Lineham . After his retirement at the age of 70 in 1985 Rex and Betty were regulars at auctions and antique fairs and Rex took a keen interest in Betty’s antique business. He often moaned that she didn’t charge enough!. Rex developed a particular taste in horology , amassed an impressive collection of timepieces and became a skilled clock maker and repairer. Yet another dimension of this remarkable man.

Rex loved the natural world and took the opportunity to explore its wonders wherever his travels took him, from the Burmese and Amazon jungles, bat caves in Texas, camping out and observing grizzly bears catching salmon in Alaska, or diving off Christmas Island in the Pacific.
He observed and in some cases captured end even cooked and ate wild creatures including snakes and alligators ( a bit like chicken) and he was once bitten by his pet cobra in Singapore. The contents of his cottage bore witness to his travels with exhibits such as jars of pickled snakes, a rattlesnake’s rattle, scorpions, terrapins, animal skins, skeletons and moths and beetles.

He loved his acres at Plastow Green Farm and he rebuilt the cottage in the 1960’s with the help of a then Ship inn regular and close friend Gerry “ the poacher” Townsend. He was even known to go poaching with Gerry!

He demonstrated the extreme of bravery by trapping a gang of burglars at his cottage and detained them at the end of a Samurai sword, but was very distressed by the loss of valuable family heirlooms and the mess left behind; they got off with community service and the defending solicitor tried to brand him as an eccentric crazed old man.

He enjoyed his garden in which he pottered and had a fine collection of cacti in his greenhouse. He was also an enthusiastic beekeeper. Rex has always loved animals, particularly dogs and and he has kept pet rats for many years. One particular “ good rat” as Rex would say delighted in running in and out of holes in an old sweater as Rex sat in his chair, and unwary visitors would be invited to allow the rat to run over them!

Apart from his love of nature, Rex had a great passion for motor sports and officiated as a medical officer at Silverstone as well racing himself; he built a collection of vintage cars the crown jewel being his 1907 Itala which he recovered from a farmyard in 1953, restored and used it occasionally to travel to work at the AWE, Aldermaston. Sir William Penney once summoned him to the office and requested a tour of the site in the Itala. Rex’s friend , David Ayres subsequently acquired and restored afresh the car and successfully completed the Peking Paris rally among others. The floral tribute depicts the car.

He had holidayed at Sennen cove in Cornwall for many years and developed many friendships with the locals, so he bought a coastguard cottage there and had many happy times.

So how would we describe him? Fiercely independent, sharply conscious of status yet greatly valuing his many friends from all walks of life and colleagues, at times crusty and cutting, charming (especially with the ladies), eccentric with a taste for the unusual including foods, brave and tough with an iron constitution, a sharp wit and mischevious sense of humour, a brilliant and enquiring mind with a wide range of interest and learning; that’s what made him so fascinating as a person.

I’m sure everyone here has their own particular memories of Rex, mine is of Rex propping up the corner of the bar in the Ship Inn in Ashford Hill, pipe and pint of beer in hand and holding court, or gardening in his slippers, sunbathing in his loincloth or even less!, and eating unusual meals ( he liked Tricking things up as he put it and once added grass to a dish of prawns he was preparing with my son’s wife.)

Sadly, in 2009 Rex had a bad accident which ultimately resulted in his loss of mobility but he was able to continue living a home with the help of a dedicated band of friends and carers and he was touchingly grateful for all their many kindnesses, including lifting him out of his wheelchair into a car. He ultimately expired at the grand old age of 97.

How did he live so long? The answer probably lies in the genes allied to an iron constitution , but I am sure his life-long habits of modesty in eating and drinking played a part. (we’ll conveniently forget about his pipe-smoking).

Rex passed away peacefully in his sleep on 27th February 2013 and with him went a whole chunk of history of the 20th century.

And so we bid our fond farewells to a wonderful friend and character.
Peter Grayson



Group Captain Samuel Rexford-Welch (fondly known as Rex), sadly passed away in February 2013, aged 97!  Rex was a great English eccentric and a very close friend of the owners of Hungerford Arcade for over 40 years!

Rex was a Cambridge University graduate whose RAF career began as a medical officer in the far east.  He later became a specialist in radiological protection, witnessing nuclear tests on Christmas Island and in the US.  Rex went on to work in the US on the space programme, meeting Presidents and astronauts!

Loving the weird and the wonderful, Rex amassed a huge collection during his long and distinguished career, which included a man trap, a pickled snake in a jar, a rattlesnake's rattle, taxidermy, including and elephant trunk, an alligator and even a monkey skeleton!  He also had a set of eight glass eyes by Dr. Coulomb of Paris together with an oak cased opticians set.

Rex had a fascination for animals and  bees.  He kept a pet rat who roamed freely around the house!  A shock for unsuspecting visitors!

Rex was no pushover, as two burglars found out when they broke into his remote cottage.  Rex caught them and held them at the point of a Samurai sword until the police arrived and took them away! 

Rex slept in an amazing bed, with 17th century oak panels and rode a red 73cc Pesaro Motobi scooter!

After his retirement at the age of 70, Rex developed a passion for horology and became an accomplished clock maker and restorer.  Rex had many beautiful time pieces including, long cased clocks, pocket watches  and even a rare 19th century Chinese rosewood mantel clock.

Through his lifetime, Rex amassed an enormous collection of photographs and slides, which were sold at auction and now reside in the USA!

Rex led a very active and extremely interesting life and had many, many friends.  He was wonderful company, with an amazing sense of humour.  He was held in high esteem and was much loved by everyone who knew him!  One thing is for sure.  Rex will never be forgotten!


We have written this obituary to Group Captain Samuel Rexford-Welch, to highlight the collector in him, of  the weird and the wonderful, which he loved.

Friday, 12 April 2013



Tutti Day used to be held throughout Great Britain, but today, Hungerford is the only place in the country which carries on this tradition!

Little has changed in the organisation of the market town of Hungerford for almost 400 years  and Tutti Day, which is the most important day in the Hungerford calendar. is held on the second Sunday after Easter which marks the end of the financial and administrative year.  The Bellman, (who is also the Town Crier, Assistant Bailiff, Beadle and Crier for the Hocktide Courts), Julian Tubb, summons the Commoners to the Court while the two Tutti-men visit every house with common rights, which is almost 100.  In the past they would have collected the 'head penny' from each householder.  Nowadays, the most they collect is a kiss from the ladies of the house and a little hospitality to help them on their way! 

Oyez! Oyez! All ye Commoners of the Town and Manor of Hungerford are requested to attend your Court House at 9 o'clock this morning on pain of being fined. God Save The Queen!" 

The whole town really looks forward to Tutti Day.  Flags fly on the buildings, windows, decorated with spring flowers and of course, there is the Tutti Pole, (photograph below)  which is carried by the Tutti-men.  Hungerford Arcade have a wonderful Tutti Day window, which has made a lot of people smile,  thanks to stallholder, Ann Parker! (photograph below).

You will see from the photographs that one of this year's Tutti-men is in fact, a woman!  She is, Fiona Hobson, from the Tutti Pole Tea Shoppe in the High Street.  This is because women can be nominated to be Tutti-men which makes it even more enjoyable as Alex Rogers, manager at Hungerford Arcade discovered when Fiona and her fellow Tutti-man, Jim Smith visited.  Alex gave Tutti-man (Fiona), a kiss and in return, received an orange! (Alex is the one in the middle of the photograph!). 

This year, Paul Lewington is the Orange Ma.  He can be recognised quite easily as he has a tall feather in his top hat and a sack or oranges over his shouider! The Orange Man leads the Tutti-men through the streets, collecting kisses from all the ladies resident in the High Street.  In return, they receive an orange! 

Much enjoyment is had visiting pubs, shops and then the banquet!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


Barnaby's Antique, French Fairground Organ will be outside Hungerford Arcade on Sunday, 28th April and will be raising money for our sponsored charity, Walking With the Wounded. The Thames Valley Farmers Market will be outside the Arcade with Barnaby and his fairground organ which you can see on their poster! The Farmers Market sell beautiful, fresh meat and produce and also cakes! It will be a wonderful day so, do please come along and have a fabulous family day out!  

Here is a little history about the French Fairground Organ and its owner, Barnaby together with a photograph!  Hope you enjoy it.

Fairground Organ

The organ was built in Paris in 1905 and has passed through a few hands during its lifetime. Its last major outing was at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee street party in Hungerford in 1977. After this it was sent to London for a complete overhaul, which took 2 years. At that time it was owned by Ron Coventry of Wash Water near Newbury. After Ron’s death in 1989 it was purchased by Peter Wyatt, the uncle of the present owner Barnaby Newton, and was passed on to Barnaby on his uncle’s death.

After another overhaul and the purchase of numerous books of music and a large van to transport the organ, it was taken by Barnaby to the Knowle Hill steam rally near Maidenhead. The organ has now travelled to many events across the south of England.  The organ made another appearance outside Hungerford Arcade for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee along with two of Barnaby’s steam engines.  Fabulous!


On Saturday, 20th April 9.45 am to 3.30 pm, Hungerford Arcade is holding a Jewellery valuation day!  The valuers will be Francis Jones and Adrian Jefferies.  Valuations are free, but we would ask if you will kindly donate £1 to our sponsored charity, Walking With the Wounded.

So, scoop up those jewels and bring them along and you  never know, you may be in for a nice surprise!  Also, if you want to sell your gems, Francis and Adrian do buy.

Friday, 5 April 2013


What a wonderful lot of stallholders we have at Hungerford Arcade!  Some travelling the world to find wonderful and unusual items to sell in their units!  I would say that Adrian and Jane Jefferies are the most travelled, visiting Thailand and other destinations to find wonderful and beautiful stock!  Below is an article written by Adrian which tells the story of their recent visit to Thailand.  Hope you all enjoy it.  I did!

Tales of a Mahout’s Assistant 

The thought of getting up at 6:00 am was too much for this Mahout’s assistant so he stayed in bed while his wife (elephant mad Jane Jefferies) went off to learn how to become a Mahout. 
There are approximately 2500 elephants in Thailand, mostly redundant from the logging industry where they are no longer used. Most have found their way into trekking for tourists or as beggars in Bangkok. In Lampang; the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre has been established which provides a training school for mahouts. Another branch of this centre has recently been opened at the Anantara Resort and Spa situated in the Golden Triangle where you can see Thailand, Burma and Laos from your bedroom balcony. 
It was here that we met John Roberts, the Elephant camp co-ordinator at the Anantara. A mahout’s course lasts from one to three days, the basics being taught on day one and confidence established over the next two days. Jane opted for the one-day course as we had never been to this part of Thailand before and we 
wanted to see some of the other places of interest. 

Mae Sai (the border between Thailand and Burma). Note; a mahout’s jacket was only 150 Baht from a local stall. 

The course began at 6:30 a.m.; first you met the real mahouts, then together walk down to the grassland beside the river to find your elephant, dust her down and give her a wash and feed. Having tempted the elephant with a single banana the trainee mahout was then frisked by a slobbery trunk seeking more bananas!
Jane and Adrian Jefferies

Then it was back to camp to feed the elephants some more and have a bamboo cup of coffee and an introduction to the day. Next came the basic training. There are over 40 verbal and body language instructions an elephant can understand, in the course you are only taught about 10 of these, the most important being stop 
(How!). Mounting your elephant can be an ungainly affair and can be attempted in many ways, via the back leg, up the front leg or for the less agile from a platform. Then by a series of ear tickling from your feet and the odd word, pai (move forward) or baen (turn please) you can master the direction in which you want to go. After practising by negotiating a chicane, you take your first “drive” and steer your elephant back to the lobby for a late breakfast. You now have a few hours (a massage is a good idea) before part 2 of the training day. 

So with the Mahout’s assistant in tow carrying all the bags, camera and water it’s back to the elephant camp, feed the elephant some more and then mount your elephant to begin a 2-hour trek through the jungle via the kitchens where fruit was waiting for the elephant. (Jane’s elephant was called Lewan, a 27 year old who wasn’t renowned for her common sense). 

Elephants graze continually – and are always on the lookout for a tasty shoot, hence Lewan stopped for a quick snack sporadically throughout trek. Shouts of Pai, Pai and frantic ear tickling didn’t always have the desired effect, especially if something tasty happened to appear - scary when the identified snack was several 
feet down an embankment and you could only hold on with your knees! 

The trek wasn’t all on the level either; on one downward part Jane dismounted, let Lewan slide down the slippery slope and remounted once she was safely on level ground. The Mahout’s assistant had to follow wherever the elephants went and found it easy to fall over! 
Pictures below show Jane riding the elephant and having just re mounted the elephant without any assistance! 

Eventually after trekking through butterfly infested and wild wisteria growing jungle you came upon the river that forms the border between Thailand and Burma, where you wash your elephant before riding it back into the grasslands where she’ll spend the night. It was then back to the hotel for a bath followed by 
drink with your fellow newly trained Mahouts to discuss your experiences. 

A unique experience and well worth it. 
Contact for more details