Archive for September, 2012

Winchester Civic Day Sept 18th

September 18, 2012

Today it was the turn of the Mayor & Mayoress of Winchester, Councillor Frank Pearson and Mrs Anne Pearson, to hold their Civic Day.

We met at Winchester’s Abbey House, together with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and other Civic heads from across Hampshire and, after a short speech of welcome from the Mayor, we then proceeded to the world renowned Winchester College.

 

William of Wykeham

William of Wykeham

 

Opened in 1393 by the Bishop of Winchester, William of Wykeham, the College still has some of the original stained-glass windows that were in the chapel when it was built at the end of the 14th century. Many famous and influential people have been pupils of the College over the past centuries.

Almshouses at St Cross.

Almshouses at St Cross.

Leaving the college we were taken, in a 1964 AEC Renown bus, to St. Cross Hospital for lunch. In this case the word hospital relates to hospitality and, founded between 1132 and 1136 this is now Britain’s oldest charitable institution. A tradition of St. Cross is the Wayfarer’s Dole, a drink of beer and a piece of bread, which is given to all who request it at the Porter’s Gate. Also to be found here is the magnificent Norman Church, the building of which was begun in 1135 and finished nearly 200 years later.

Meerkat at Marwell

Meerkat at Marwell

It was then back on the bus for the short journey to Marwell Wildlife Park for a short guided tour to see some of the more than 180 animals and birds that can be found around this 140 acre parkland.

Then it was back to Havant’s Public Service Plaza, where Elaine had an important planning meeting.

Family Games Sept 15th

September 15, 2012
Another opening of another show!

Another opening of another show!

From Havant, Elaine & I travelled to Mill Road in Waterlooville in order to open the Family Games community event which was promoted by Portsmouth City Council and Guinness Hermitage Housing Association.

We were greeted by Councillor Ray Bastin, dressed as Arnold the Ringmaster, who acted as our escort as we worked our way around the many stalls and exhibits.

A lovely bouquet.

A lovely bouquet.

Several organisations were represented at the Games including the Havant Disability group, Action for Children and Waterlooville Learning Disability Services, together with the local Police and Havant Borough Council Waste Department with their recycling exhibition. There were also demonstrations of Martial Arts, Dancing and Sword Fencing and games and a bouncy castle for the younger visitors.

This year saw the day blessed with lovely weather, unlike last year’s wind and rain.

Havant Town Fair Sept 15th

September 15, 2012

This morning, in lovely sunny and warm weather, St. Faith’s Church played host to the Havant Town Fair. When Elaine & I arrived, we were met by the recently ordained Assistant Curate, Rev. Pat Mann in the absence of the holidaying Rev. Canon Peter Jones.

The Official Opening

The Official Opening

The opening was scheduled for 11 o’clock and a large crowd of people were waiting for the official opening speech before descending on the many stalls, both within the Church grounds and inside the Church. There were even some stalls outside the church on the West Street pavement.

5 Minutes later!

5 Minutes later!

A number of pupils from Warblington School, dressed as cowboys and cowgirls, were there as reporters and photographers, asking what people thought of this annual event, and finding out how much it was being enjoyed.

This was a very popular and well attended event which included performances by Dynamo Youth Theatre and live music from The Alternatives.

Havant Academy Sept 14th

September 14, 2012

This morning Elaine & I, together with the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Paul Buckley and his wife Jackie, attended the official opening of the new science department at Havant Academy.

Cutting the ribbon

Cutting the ribbon

After a short welcoming speech from one of the senior pupils, and in front of invited guests from other schools and colleges, I was invited to cut the ribbon to mark the opening.

We were all then able to watch some of the students conducting experiments to test soil acidity.

Soil testing

Soil testing

The new science facility is part of a major scheme to upgrade many of the areas of the school, including a very impressive dining area.

With bright colours, and new work areas, the new part of the school is a very welcoming place, and should see the pupils looking forward to working there.

Charity Concert Sept 13th

September 14, 2012

The Mayor of Eastleigh held this charity concert at The Point, Eastleigh which, in order to help boost the money raised for charity, was given free of charge.

The Singers from Barton Peveril College

The Singers from Barton Peveril College

The concert was in two halve, with the first being presented by students from Barton Peveril College who first sang, either solo or in duets, songs from several musicals, and followed this with extracts from West Side Story, which they had performed earlier in the year.

After a short interval, the second half comprised various styles of music performed by the Showcase Performance Orchestra, led by Alex Pope. This very versatile orchestra is made up, mainly, of young, and very versatile, performers.

For one, very special number, they were joined by professional singer Emma Scott-Copeland with a beautiful rendition of “Time to Say Goodbye.”

The supported charities are Countess Mountbatten House and Wildern Opportunity Group.

Fareham Civic Day Sept 12th

September 12, 2012

Today we were invited, along with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and other Mayors and Chairmen from across Hampshire, to the annual Fareham Civic Day.

About to throw the clay into the mould

About to throw the clay into the mould

We gathered in the Mayor’s Parlour in the Fareham Civic Office before leaving for a tour of the very interesting Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum in Swanwick. Here we were given a guided tour of the country’s last steam driven brickworks and shown how to make a brick by hand, as well as seeing some of the machinery in action.

One of the steam engines

One of the steam engines

Also to be found at the brickworks are the Hampshire Narrow Gauge Railway Trust and the South Hants Historic Steam and Engineering Society, both with working steam engines.

View from the bridge simulator

View from the bridge simulator

From Bursledon we were taken to Fareham College for lunch, before travelling the short distance to HMS Collingwood.

At Collingwood we were taken to the ship’s bridge simulator and then on to the indoor shooting range, where we were able to try our hand at firing a simulated Browning pistol.

National Windsurfing Festival Sept 9th

September 9, 2012

Held once again alongside the “Inn on the Beach” in the centre of Hayling Island’s Blue Flag beach, the National Windsurfing Festival attracted a large number of participants, both expert and novice alike.

After a couple of sunny but relatively calm days, today saw sunshine and wind, making the water much better for those either windsurfing or kitesurfing.

On the beach and on the water

On the beach and on the water

Elaine & I arrived just before 3 o’clock and we were shown around the area where taster sessions were being held. For the princely sum of £5 any novice could get an hour and a half session with instruction, wetsuit and board, plus the obligatory water!

We were privileged to be introduced to Peter Chilvers, who invented windsurfing, or sailboarding, on Hayling way back in 1958.

I was then asked to give a short speech and hand out some of the awards to the winners of the several categories of competition.

Hayling Bandstand Marathon Sept 9th

September 9, 2012

After leaving Havant Hockey Club, we went to Eaststoke Corner on Hayling Island for the Hayling Bandstand Marathon.

Part of a national Bandstand Marathon Event, with another in Waterlooville being opened by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Paul Buckley, this event was arranged to coincide with the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Chloe from Hourglass

Chloe from Hourglass

We had a little time to spare before the event started so, having first obtained agreement from the organisers, we went to Beachlands for a quick look at the Classic Car event being held there.

Getting back to Eaststoke, we were able to hear three of the acts before having to leave for the third, or was it fourth?, event of the day.

The three acts that we heard were all very different. First there was Hourglass, a duo featuring Chloe and Matt, with some of their own songs followed by another duo, Avril and Alan playing some ballads and folk music. Then there was the Huggers, a Ukelele Band from the Hayling University of the Third Age.

Panic Attack - Avril and Alan

Panic Attack – Avril and Alan

The Ukelele Band

The Ukelele Band

The next act, which we had to miss, was a Street Dance Troupe.

Havant Hockey Club Sept 9th

September 9, 2012

Today began with a visit to Havant Hockey Club, based at Havant College, to see their new all-weather pitch.

Unfortunately, due to other commitments, we were only able to stay to watch the first match which was Havant versus a Havant mixed veterans team.

Before the first game

Before the first game
© Tristan Beard Photography

Several other games were taking place during the day, and two members of the Team GB women’s hockey team came for the official opening of the pitch at 2 o’clock. In the past several members of the club have gone on to play for their country.

The pitch itself looks extremely professional and is a credit to the the club. I was able to speak to some of the younger members of the club, the youngest being 7 years old, and they all enjoy the game. The junior section has about 175 members ranging from the age of 6, up to 18, and is very active.

The Havant Hockey Club also offers coaching in several Primary schools in and around the Borough.

Multicultural Festival Sept 8th

September 8, 2012

After opening the new Headway shop, we met up with the Samba band which was going to open the Havant Multicultural Festival in Havant Park.

On the way!

On the way!

We entered the Park behind a large banner and we were followed by the Samba band playing quite loud music, and getting a lot of attention from passers-by.

This was the first time that the Festival has been held in the park, the last few times has been in the library or church hall, and there were a large number of stalls representing the truly multicultural image of the Borough.

The Samba Band

The Samba Band

Indian Dancing

Indian Dancing

With beautiful weather, and coming at the end of the Olympic and Paralympic meetings, the Festival reflected a wonderful mix of people and cultures, with food, music and dance from several different countries. There was the samba band and a steel drum band, Indian dancing followed by Morris dancing, and a variety of different foods to be had.

This was an excellent event, well organised by the Havant Multicultural Forum, and I hope to be there next year.

Headway Havant Sept 8th

September 8, 2012

For the second Saturday in a row, Elaine & I were asked to open a new Headway charity shop in the Borough.

This time the new shop is situated in Market Parade in Havant.

Getting ready to cut the ribbon!

Getting ready to cut the ribbon!

As I wrote last week, Headway is a charity which supports those people who, for one reason or another, have suffered from some form of brain injury. This is particularly relevant to me, as my older brother died from a brain injury when he was 7 years old.

Once again, after the ribbon cutting, everyone coming into the shop was offered a soft drink and cakes.

Out of Focus Sept 7th

September 8, 2012

This week, at the Spring Arts & Heritage Centre in Havant, Dynamo Youth Theatre put on their annual leavers production.

This years play was a very funny comedy, entitled “Out of Focus”, which revolved around the overbooking of the church hall, with the eventual result being that all of the groups became involved in putting on a pantomime.

The Cast

The Cast

The performance was directed by Callum West, a past member of Dynamo, and the characters were very well portrayed by the very talented cast members.

Dynamo Youth Theatre are to be congratulated on the array of local talent that they nurture from a very young age, right through to those moving on to work or University.

Undine Sept 4th

September 5, 2012

Hayling’s Station Theatre was the setting for the World Premier of the new musical, “For the Love of Undine”.

This new musical was written by father and son team Chris & Alex Poulton from Purbrook and features a very strong cast with some excellent singing.

Among the cast are Belinda Evans, one of the finalists in “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?”, playing Undine and Alistair Merry, a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, playing Frederick.

There were also strong performances from Ian Wilson-Pope and Melanie Lodge as Hans and Fasolt, Undine’s parents. Both of them have appeared with national Opera companies.

Also in the cast were South Downe Musical Society’s Jane Peglar and Portsmouth Cathedral Lay Clerk and Chorister, Adrian Green, playing Frederick’s brother, Klaus.

The music was provided by a small orchestra under the direction of co-author Alex Poulton, and the water nymph dancers were from Island Dance Fusion.

With some of the cast

With some of the cast

With some of the cast

With some of the cast

With Undine and Frederick

With Undine and Frederick

SDAS AGM Sept 3rd

September 3, 2012

This evening Elaine & I went to the AGM of the Southern Domestic Abuse Service.

The team

The team

Until recently known as Havant Women’s Aid, SDAS now covers not only the Havant area, but the whole of East Hampshire as well. It also, as is indicated in the new name, works with male victims of domestic abuse.

The well attended meeting was introduced by the Chairman, Wendy Osgood, who then gave her Annual Report. This was followed by the Treasurer’s Report.

An extremely interesting and well produced video tracing the historyof the organisation was next on the agenda, after which the new service was introduced.

The launch cake

The launch cake

There was a beautiful cake for the launch of the SDAS, and the evening finished with a buffet and the chance to talk to many of the volunteers present.

Rowan’s Fete Sept 2nd

September 2, 2012

This afternoon we attended the Rowan’s Fete, which had been postponed from the 22nd of July, due to the bad weather conditions at that time.

Opening the fete

Opening the fete

Although the weather today was cloudy and damp, a large number of people were on hand to visit the many stalls around the field at Purbrook Heath, and to watch the varied entertainment that took place in the central arena.

The Ukelele Orchestra

The Ukelele Orchestra

Amongst the events taking place were Judo demonstrations, singing by the Pitchpipers choral group, the Portsmouth Ukelele Orchestra and a light-hearted dog show.

During the official opening of the Fete, the past Mayor of Havant, Councillor Ken Smith, presented a cheque for £10,000 to Ruth White, the Chief Executive of the Rowan’s. The Rowan’s was one of two main charities from Ken’s year as Mayor, the other being the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.