Cookham community news: 'not a dragon lady' GP receptionist retires

George Roberts

COOKHAM 131833-2

Jenny Evans has retired as the receptionist at Cookham Medical Centre after working there for 35 years. Cookham Medical Centre, Lower Road, Cookham.

A receptionist who has supported thousands of Cookham residents through pain, sickness and loss has retired after 35 years of service.

Cookham Medical Centre’s long-serving lady on the front desk, 76-year-old Jenny Evans, celebrated her retirement at a farewell lunch on Thursday, August 29.

Jenny, who lives in Westwood Green, said: “I have seen a lot of people and I have seen a lot of people growing up – it’s a most peculiar thing at times, I see people now who went to my children’s birthday parties.

“I loved the feeling that you were helping people all the time.

“A receptionist is not a barrier to the doctor, you are like a gateway or a bridge. That’s what I have always thought a receptionist is, an enabler. I was not one of the dragon ladies.”

When Jenny first started at the medical centre, all the records were kept by hand, but over time almost every part of her job became computerised.

Jenny felt she was resolute in keeping up with the technology, enabling her to carry on working way past retirement age.

She said: “Gradually computers began to creep in. It was not all at once, it was just bit by bit.

“I was determined to be one of the people that knew how to do it.”

Jenny had been working on reduced hours for the last few years, but now she is officially retired she has lots of plans.

She is already involved with the Maidenhead Drama Guild and is making the costumes for this year’s pantomime.

She also volunteers at Cliveden House and plans to do even more volunteering elsewhere in the future.

Shop site to go from fishing tackle to downward dogs

A closed-down fishing shop could be transformed into a yoga studio after a planning application was submitted to the Royal Borough.

The Station Parade shop that used to be Maidenhead Bait and Tackle until it closed down 18 months ago is now the subject of a planning application submitted to the borough council on Wednesday, September 4.

If approved, the site will become a yoga studio used for classes with about eight people attending with one instructor.

The applicant, Unwind Yoga Studio, is seeking to set opening hours from 6.30am to 9.30pm on weekdays.

At weekends it hopes to open from 9am to 5pm.

The planning application also insists that ‘no loud music’ will be played inside the studio, that there will be no out of hours deliveries and that no external changes are planned for the unit.

To view the planning application in full, visit and use reference number 19/02469

TV gardener to talk year round colour

A Gardeners’ World presenter and freelance horticulturist is coming to the village to give a talk.

Nick Bailey, who is one of the faces of the BBC Two gardening programme, will give an address to the Cookham and Cookham Dean Horticultural Society at Cookham Dean Village Hall on Wednesday, September 25.

He will give a talk on his book, 365 Days of Colour, a photographed guide for gardeners trying to keep a colourful garden year-round.

Nick will give the audience tips on how to keep their garden looking good all year round.

The event will start at 7.30pm and run until 9.30pm.

Entry will cost £5 on the door, non-members are welcome.

Invite to Come and Play toddler group reunion

A village church is looking for people who attended its toddler’s group decades ago.

The 40th birthday of Cookham Rise Methodist Church’s Toddlers group, now known as Come and Play, is approaching.

As part of its anniversary celebration, the church in High Road is searching for people that attended the group 40 years ago.

Those who first attended the group are invited to a birthday celebration on Saturday, October 5 in The Wesley Hall.

All who come along will be able to enjoy tea and cake from 2pm to 4pm.

If you used to go to the group in the past and would like to come along, please call 01628 522797.

Churches to hold harvest lunches

A harvest lunch will take place for churchgoers in the village next month.

Holy Trinity Church will host its Harvest Lunch at the Holy Trinity Parish Centre, in Church Gate, on Sunday, October 6.

The meal will follow the church’s Harvest Festival Service, which starts at 11am.

Meanwhile, a harvest lunch will be held by St John the Baptist Church at Cookham Dean Village Hall, in Church Road, on Sunday, September 29.

Lots on offer at autumn fair

St John the Baptist Church will host its autumn fair in November.

On Saturday, November 9, the church will hold the fair from 10am to 1pm at Cookham Dean Village Hall, in Church Road.

A variety of stalls will be on-site and all proceeds from the event will be donated to charity.


TODAY (Thursday): Open Minds teenagers' debating group at Pizza Dreams, Station Road. 7pm. Email revdavidjoynes@

Cookham Book Club at The Old Swan Uppers, The Pound. 8pm-10pm.

Friday: Kogi fundraising dinner hosted by Steve Backshall at Crowne Plaza, Marlow. 9pm-1am. Visit for tickets.

Saturday: Vernon Brown autumn 2019 plant sale at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 8.30am-3.30pm.

Compline at Holy Trinity Church, Church Gate. 6.30pm to 6.55pm.

Monday: Cookham Bridge Club at Cookham Reach Sailing Club, Berries Road. 1.45pm and 7.30pm.

Yoga at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 10am-11.30am.

Pilates at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 6.45pm.

Tuesday: Cookham Bridge Club at Cookham Reach Sailing Club, Berries Road. 1.30pm and 7.30pm.

Badminton at Pinder Hall, Lower Road. 8pm-9pm.

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