Archive for October, 2012

Drowsy Chaperone Oct 27th

October 28, 2012

We arrived at the Hayling Community Centre to find that the auditorium was laid out with tables and chairs rather than rows of seats.

A meal was served and then the action began.

This muscal, put on by the Hayling Musical Society, ran on Broadway in 2006, and in the West End in 2007 with Elaine Paige as the chaperone. It won several

With the Director

With the Director

awards in America, and had a number of nominations for the Olivier Awards for the West End production.

It is based on the reminiscences of a man sitting in his lounge playing the record of his favourite show, which then takes place around him.

With the oldest cast member at 91!

With the oldest cast member at 91!

This was a very well staged, directed and acted show, and regularly had the audience in fits of laughter

The casting was very good, with the characters well portrayed, and the frozen tableaus, when the narrator paused his music, were extremely well done.

Quiz Night Oct 26th

October 27, 2012

This was the first Quiz Night to be held at the newly refurbished Public Service Plaza.

Some of the teams

Some of the teams

With 14 teams of six in the Council Chamber this 8 round quiz was raising money for my 4 chosen charities.

During the mid-quiz break all those there enjoyed an excellent, self-serve, ploughmans prepared by the ladies from Fresh Catering.

The quiz was won by the Mad Hatters, who seem to make a habit of winning, and the booby prize went to the Smarties, obviously an inappropriate name, from Hayling Island. They did make up for it by claiming several raffle prizes, though!

Everyone enjoyed the evening, and although I don’t yet know how much, money was raised for good causes.

Make A Difference Day Oct 26th

October 26, 2012

This morning Elaine & I were invited to attend Make a Difference Day at the Pastoral Centre alongside Havant Methodist Church in Petersfield Road, Havant.

The event, called Opening Doors – The V Team, was part of a national campaign to encourage local people to get involved in the community by volunteeringtheir time and skills.

Listening to Nikki Graham

Listening to Nikki Graham

The meeting began with a short introduction by Janet Duggan, the Volunteer Centre Co-ordinator, after which I gave a short speech of welcome.

Helen Freeman of Community First HEH (Hampshire & East Hants) spoke on the definition of volunteering, and this was followed by Tim Gillmore telling of his experiences after being made redundant on several occasions, and how much he enjoys working on flower beds around the Borough.

What can you do?

What can you do?

Then came Debbie Dawkins of Groundwork Southern talking about the Friends of Hermitage Stream and Nikki Graham from the Wheatsheaf Trust talking on Skills & Opprtunity.

The closing remarks from Janet Duggan and Beverley Jones the Chairman of Community First HEH were followed by a buffet lunch.

The volunteers meet at the Pastoral Centre fortnightly on Fridays, with the next meeting being on November 9th.

The First Poppy Oct 25th

October 25, 2012
The First Poppy

The First Poppy

After the school assembly we went back to the Public Service Plaza where I had the honour of purchasing the first Poppy for this years Poppy Appeal.

The Havant Branch of the Royal British Legion was represented by the Poppy Appeal organiser, Olive Rush, along with the Chairman, Dave Argue, and the President, last year’s Mayor, Councillor Ken Smith.

Hart Plain Infants Oct 25th

October 25, 2012

This morning Elaine & I attended a special assembly at Hart Plain Infants School to mark the school’s 50th anniversary. Also there were several past teachers, members of the governors and teaching assistants.

The Assembly

The Assembly

The assembly was introduced by the Headteacher, Ruth Kenny, before we were entertained to some excellent singing by the children.

The Cake

The Cake

After the assembly we were treated to a hot drink and a choice of cakes. There was also a special birthday cake for all to enjoy.

We then looked round the school and, with the aid of old photographs, were able to see the many changes since the school was opened in 1962.

Calendar Girls Oct 24th

October 25, 2012

Put on by Hayling Island Amateur Dramatic Society, this production of Calendar Girls is one of over 500 being played across the country in order to break the record for the most productions in one year. £40 from each performance will go to Leukaemia Research.

The story is based on the true-life efforts of a branch of the Women’s Institute to raise funds for a new sofa in a hospital family room after the death of the husband of one of the WI members.

With the cast and director

With the cast and director

This was a hugely entertaining performance, taking place before a sell-out audience at the Station Theatre, and one which was rich in both humour and heartache.

Very well acted, with some very natural performances, and well directed, this is one of those stories which will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.

HIADS have also produced their very own calendar, the proceeds of which will be going to the Rowan’s Hospice in Purbrook.


Tree Planting Oct 23rd

October 23, 2012

This morning, in the company of Nigel Atkinson, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Elaine & I were at Bidbury Mead in Lower Bedhampton to take part in the planting of a semi-mature Oak tree to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Time Capsule

The Time Capsule

Organised by the Friends of Bidbury Mead, the opportunity was also taken for the children from Bidbury Junior School to fill and bury, beneath the tree, a time capsule filled with various writings and artifacts for someone to find at some time in the future. The capsule was donated and sealed by Southern Water.

The Oak Tree

The Oak Tree

When the tree was lowered into place, I had the honour of shovelling in the first spadeful of earth, before asking Nigel Atkinson to accept the tree on behalf of the Queen.

In due course a plaque, presented and engraved by Edwards of Bedhampton, will be located at the base of the tree.

Family Church Oct 21st

October 22, 2012

Portsmouth’s Guildhall was the venue for the 15th birthday celebrations of the Family Church.

There was a welcome for the almost 1,000 people packing the Guildhall from Pastor Andy Elmes who, with his wife Gina, had the idea for the Family Church all those years ago.

The first meeting took place at Buckland community Centre with about 12 people in the congregation. There are now about 1,400 regular attendees at 7 locations, 6 in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant area, and 1 in Makati in the Philippines.

During the evening’s celebrations there was plenty of music and singing, and dancing from different groups.

Also there was Philip Cameron, from the charity Stella’s Voice. This charity was set up to help orphans in Moldova who were being trafficked and used as sex slaves, with many of them dying at a very young age. Stella, herself, died at 19.

Seaferers Service 21.10.2012

October 21, 2012

This morning, appropriately on Trafalgar Day, we were at Portsmouth’s historic Anglican Cathedral for the annual Seafarers Service.



Meeting at the Royal Naval Yacht Club in Pembroke Road, Elaine went to the Cathedral while I joined the Lord Mayor and others in processing behind a Naval Cadet band.

The service was led by the Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend David Brindley, with readings by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Jonas, and Ian ward, the Vice Chairman of the Sailors’ Society. The address was given by reverend David Potterton, the Chaplain to the Sailors’ Society.

Mayor's Cadet AB Harry Woodman MTC

Mayor’s Cadet AB Harry Woodman MTC

Following the service we processed to the Nelson Monument in Grand Parade where wreaths were laid, with the closing ceremony being followed by a march past of naval cadet units and their band.

Black History Month Oct 20th

October 20, 2012

For the first time, Black History Month was celebrated, today, in Portsmouth, with an event that took place at Friendship House in Elm Grove. Black History Month is intended to show how multi-culturalism can work to help combat racism.

To launch the proceedings there were short speeches for a number of speakers, amongst them being the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Frank Jonas, the Chief Constable of Hampshire, Alex Marshall, David Williams, the Chief Executive of Portsmouth City Council and Marie Costa from the African Women’s Forum. Also speaking was Jayanti Shah, representing Positive Message Ltd. I was also asked to say a few words.

The speeches took place in a packed room, with an audience representative of several different cultures.

There were several activities during the afternoon, with African drumming and dancing being very well received. Food was served while this was going on and there were also a number of stalls around the room, with displays from Victim Support, Disability Forum, the Gambian Society and Hampshire Constabulary as well as several others.
The event was closed with a short address from Waterlooville’s Chief Inspector Alison Heydari.

National Heroes Day Oct 19th

October 19, 2012

Sunday is National Heroes Day, and today staff at the Public Service Plaza were encouraged to dress up as their heroes and make a donation the the Help for Heroes Charity.

Some of the Heroes

Some of the Heroes

There was also a cake sale with cakes made and donated by some of the people around the offices. This resulted in quite a lot of donations which helped to swell the amount raised.

Several members of staff dressed as their favourite hero, with Chief Executive, Sandy Hopkins, amongst them and dressed as Queen Guinevere, but the winner was judged to be Greg Emerson who was dressed as an American Combat Soldier.

Southdowns All-Weather Pitch Oct 19th

October 19, 2012

This morning Elaine & I were at South Downs College for the official opening of the new all-weather sport’s facility.

Cutting the ribbon

Cutting the ribbon

This very impressive multi-use facility has been established by South Downs in partnership with Havant Borough Council, Hampshire County Council and local community groups.

The College use the pitch from 9am until 6pm Monday to Friday during term time and in the evenings, and Saturday mornings, it is open to other community sports clubs.

While we were there we saw a march past by the Uniform Services students and after the cutting of the ribbon there were demonstrations of coaching in various sports such as football, netball and golf.

With the Maasai

With the Maasai

Although curtailed by the wet weather, we then watched a demonstration by a group of Maasai Warriors in their colourful costumes.

We then went back to the College where we saw the impressive restaurant and the new cake shop.

Trafalgar Night Dinner Oct 18th

October 19, 2012

This year’s annual Trafalgar Night Dinner, organised by the Southern Branch of the National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association, was held at the RNA Club in Waterlooville.

We were greeted by Lt-Cdr Tony Crisp and introduced to some of the other guests, including the guest speaker, Commodore John Clink, OBE, RN and his wife who have lived in the local area for many years.

After the first course, the traditional Trooping of the Baron of Beef was performed by cadets from TS Active, MTC. An uncommanded rifle drill was performed during this.

After dinner we were treated to a very interesting and amusing account of Admiral Lord Nelson and his various battles and paramours.

This was a very interesting evening.

Medal Parade Oct 16th

October 17, 2012
Band of the Parachute Regiment

Band of the Parachute Regiment

This morning we were in Emsworth, where I had the pleasure and privilege of presenting Campaign and Jubilee Medals to the soldiers of 58 “Eyres” Battery, 12 Regiment, Royal Artillery.

The Battery, based on Thorney Island, had only returned from Afghanistan last Friday, and many of them had family there to see the presentations.

In general the weather was bright, although there was a heavy shower about half way through pinning on the medals.

Presenting the medals

Presenting the medals

The troops were led into the centre of Emsworth behind the band of the Parachute Regiment, to the delight of the waiting crowds. After they formed up in front of the dais I gave a short speech of welcome, and then Elaine & I were asked to present the medals and talk to each of the men and women receiving them.

At the finish of the presentation, and when the troops had marched off, we went to Thorney Island for a Curry lunch, and to meet some of the families.

I count myself very fortunate to have been invited to participate in two medal ceremonies in my first 6 months as Mayor.

Frontline Reception Oct 16th

October 16, 2012

Tonight we attended a reception, hosted by the leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, given to recognise some of those people who work mainly in the background of public life.

Among them are many who work in schools, but are not teaching staff, such as Cleaners, Administration Officers, Site Managers. Lunchtime Supervisors, Literacy Support Assistants and others who are not generally given credit for the work that they do.

There were also many others who deserve to be recognised, like Trading Standards Officers, Emergency Helicopter Coordinator & Administrative Assistant and more.

Representing the Borough of Havant were a number of people from Purbrook Infant and Junior Schools.