• Donnington Grove

Annete Louise Henry

Annete was one of seven children of John Henry who owned Colthrop Mill. One daughter, Evelyn, set-up and ran a Sunday school at Colthrop.

Within the village itself there was a growing need for a community hall and thus the idea of a village hall was instigated in 1903 by Miss Annete Louise Henry. Plans were made to erect a venue to accommodate 200 people at concerts and other entertainment events. Within a few years £350 had been raised.

The Parish Hall was built by Mr. W. Child of Thatcham and was opened on 10th April 1907 by Mrs Benyon, wife of the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire. Annete became the first female member of parish council having been co-opted in October 1912. She also served the British Red Cross as a cook during 1917 to 1919. As if this wasn’t enough Annete was also a manager of council school, now called Francis Baily School.

She was a liberal who decorated her fathers house in bold and bright colours when Harold Stranger came to hold meeting. Her father had other ideas and overnight changed all decorations to conservative colours. In 1935, Annete was awarded a MBE for her work in public service.

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