04:25PM, Thursday 18 July 2019
'He genuinely loved having a restaurant'
The popular former owner of a Cookham restaurant has died aged 77.
Alfonso Baena died on Thursday, July 4, after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for many years.
He is survived by his wife Maria and daughter Vanessa.
After moving to the UK from Spain, Alfonso settled in Cookham and set up the restaurant Alfonso’s, in Station Parade, with his wife, father and brother in 1984.
Alfonso and Maria worked at the front of house and quickly became popular with the Cookham community.
Alfonso’s daughter Vanessa said: “The restaurant was his life, he genuinely loved having a restaurant and seeing people, being with people and making them happy.
“People wouldn’t just go for the food, they'd go to see Mum and Dad, he was a big character.
“We’d get postcards, we’d get Christmas presents, I have never come across another place where you had that relationship with the customers.”
Known for its fine Mediterranean food, in the 1980’s Alfonso’s was often fully booked, with television stars and singers dining there.
Towards the end of his life, Alfonso was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
He would often walk out of the house on his own, but because he was so well known in the community someone would always recognise him and drive him back home before he ever left the village.
Friends are invited to attend Alfonso’s funeral today (Thursday) at Chilterns Crematorium in Amersham at 2.45pm.
Vanessa has also invited people to donate towards Alzheimer’s Research UK bit.ly/2ShfPTV
New play equipment for Holy Trinity School
Children will have the chance to enjoy new play equipment at a school in the village.
Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School, in School Lane, will build a new set of play apparatus after the Royal Borough approved its planning application.
The new timber play equipment will consist of a playhouse, extra-large sandpit and children’s activity centre.
It will also feature a ‘mud kitchen’ – a small wooden table with sink-like bowls in the surface, and a ‘heron’s nest’, a small climbing apparatus where children can balance on wooden beams and clamber on a rope net.
The plans had also won the support of the parish council’s planning committee.
The application was submitted on Tuesday, May 28 and approved on Monday, June 15.
It is not clear when work will start on the new equipment, but the school has three years to complete it under the conditions of the planning permission, which will expire after that.
Garden light causes shed to catch fire
Fire crews were in the village in the early hours of Sunday morning when a wooden shed caught fire after a garden light had heated it up.
One crew from Maidenhead Fire Station was in the High Street at about 1.30am and spent two hours at the scene, putting out the blaze and ensuring it had not spread to anywhere else.
The fire had started on a shed at the bottom of someone’s garden.
The blaze itself was caused by an electrical light fitting.
The light had been turned to face the shed – which then went up in flames.
Minimal damage was caused and no one was harmed in the incident.
Quintessential English garden party and band
A fundraising summer garden party is set to feature jazz and barbershop entertainment.
The Cookhams Fundraising Group for Thames Hospice will host Garden Party on a Summers Day on Sunday, July 21 from 12.30pm to 4.30pm.
The party will take place in a private garden in Hurley.
The afternoon will start off with a two-course lunch before the jazz and barbershop performances begin.
Partygoers will also be able to sit by the stream and stroll through the woodlands in the gardens.
To purchase a ticket, which costs £25, and find out the address, call Roger Barker on 01628624481.
All proceeds will go to Thames Hospice.
Actor publishes second novel
The second novel by Cookham-based author, actor and playwright Richard James is now on sale in the village.
The Devil in the Dock can now be bought from The Little Bookshop in High Street.
It is the second in his Bowman of the Yard series of Victorian detective stories, which follows the investigations of Inspector George Bowman of Scotland Yard.
His first novel, The Head in the Ice, is also available for purchase. The novels are part of a four-book series.
Extensions on council agenda
A series of applications will be considered at the parish council’s planning committee meeting next week.
The Cookham Parish Council Planning Meeting will take place at Cookham Library in High Road at 7.30pm on Tuesday, July 23.
The applications to be considered by the panel include a number of home extensions in the parish as well as several tree works.
Joseph-themed holiday club
Tickets are still on sale for an ancient Egyptian-themed children’s holiday club.
Pyramid Rock will take place at Holy Trinity Church and Parish Centre in Church Gate from Monday, July 29 to Friday, August 2.
The children will learn about the story of Joseph and take part in drama, crafts and games.
Tickets are on sale from The Stationery Depot in Station Hill. Children must be registered before buying a ticket.
TODAY (Thursday): Open Minds Teenagers Debating Group at Pizza Dreams, Lower Road. 7pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join in.
Cookham Book Club at The Old Swan Uppers, The Pound. 8pm-9.30pm. Non-members should email email@example.com to register.
Friday: Gilbert and Sullivan Cheese and Wine evening at Cookham Dean Village Hall. 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15 from Marion Elly 01628482637.
Sunday: Toddlers Diddy Disco at Cookham Rise Methodist Church. 7am-8am.
Compline at Holy Trinity Church, Church Gate. 6.30pm.
Monday: Pilates at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 6.45pm-8.45pm.
Tuesday: Cookham Parish Council Planning Meeting at Cookham Library and Parish Council, High Road. 7.30pm.
Wednesday: WWG Badminton at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 7.30pm-9.30pm.