Archive for December, 2012

Charity Ball Dec 22nd

December 23, 2012

Once again Lakeside Holiday Camp played host to the Mayor of Havant’s Annual Charity Ball.

An enjoyable evening.

An enjoyable evening.

About 200 people were there for what proved to be an excellent evening, with good food and a very enjoyable cabaret, with songs from the musicals being performed by the resident team of entertainers.

This year, as well as the raffle, we had an auction which was conducted by television’s John Cameron (Cash in the Attic and Put your Money Where Your Mouth Is). The 5 Lots were all donated with ASDA providing a 24″ television, Travelplanners giving us a trip for 2 on the British Pullman, Champneys donating a pamper day, again for 2 people, and Goodwood weighing in with two tickets for each of the Festival of Speed and the Revival. The auction of these 5 items raised £950, all of which goes to my charities.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, with dancing after the cabaret and then plenty of time for talking to friends.

Living Waters Dec 21st

December 21, 2012

From the Beacon Food Bank we went to the Living Waters Church in Wecock where a very similar thing was taking place.

Helping hands

Helping hands

Whereas The Beacon Food Bank has been running for several years, the Living Waters food bank has only been in existence this year, and this was the first Christmas when hampers have been distributed to families in the Wecock area.

The two organisations have been working together in order that they can spread their resources as widely as possible.

When we arrived at the church, a choir from Waterlooville Baptist Church were singing carols, and members of both the Police and the Community Safety Officers from Hampshire County Council were there to help.

Like the Beacon Food Bank, the Living Waters Church also provides a year round service to those in need.

Beacon Food Bank Dec 21st

December 21, 2012

This morning Elaine & I visited the Portsdown Community Church at The Beacon in the Meridian Centre in order to see the packing of food hampers to be given to those families most in need of help and support over the festive period.

Lending a hand

Lending a hand

We were able to watch the hampers being packed and also to lend a hand for about an hour or so.

The area was covered with cartons being filled and presents being wrapped, with support from a lot of people from all around the area.

Those in need are referred from many different agencies, including Havant Borough Council, Children’s Services, MIND and many other organisations.

When we left, the hampers were being made ready for distribution during the afternoon, and it was expected the around 80 would be sent out.

The hampers are not just distributed at this time of year, it is an all-year-round service.

Who? Dec 19th

December 19, 2012

This evening we went to Cowplain Community School to see their production of Doctor Who – The Panto.

Written by James Toogood and directed and choreographed entirely by senior pupils of the school, this was an excellent evening’s entertainment.

The script was originally written by James in Year 9 and he has since reworked his original into a longer piece.

The main characters and chorus were all from Year 7, and the standard of their performances were very good. Several members of staff joined in the fun, and it was obvious that everyone was really enjoying being on stage.

The backing band were also excellent, being directed by Sue Dobbyn, and the evening was rounded of with competetive Carol singing, but I am not sure if the audience outdid the cast or if it was the other way round,

Altogether, very enjoyable fun.

Question Time Dec 19th

December 19, 2012

Today we were in London as guests of Havant MP, David Willetts, at Prime Minister’s Question Time.

Victoria Tower

Victoria Tower

After going through the security checks, we were met by David’s PA, Annie, who looked after us until David came along.

We then went out onto the very cold Terrace overlooking the River Thames, where we were able to talk to our Meon Valley MP, George Hollingbery.

David then took us into the Central Lobby where we watched the Speaker process into the Commons for the morning session.

Question Time began at midday, with a number of clashes between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition! None of them, however were too overheated.

The Jubilee Window

The Jubilee Window

I was very pleased that Elaine & I were there to hear David Cameron announce that there was, after all this time, going to be a medal for the veterans of the Arctic convoys. He also announced a Campaign clasp for members of RAF Bomber Command. I believe that both of these are long overdue.

We were also able to look at the stained glass window that was made to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.


Hart Plain Junior School Dec 18th

December 18, 2012

For our last visit of the day, we went to Hart Plain Junior School for their Christmas Carol Service.



This was a carol service with a difference, with the school Choir accompanied on guitar by their music teacher, and the Havant Clarinet and Saxophone Choir 2 playing several numbers.

There were several excellent readings by children from the school and there was also a group of six children playing guitar.

As normal, the audience were asked to join in with the carol singing along with the HCSC2.

The evening was brought to a close with everyone joining in with a rousing rendition of Rudolp the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Christmas Cards Dec 18th

December 18, 2012

After visiting Hart Plain Infant School, we went to the Mayor’s Parlour in the Plaza to meet with the two winners in the competition to design a Christmas Card for the Mayor and Mayoress to send out for the festive season.

The competition had been open to all of the Primary schools in Havant Borough, with the winners coming from Bidbury Juniors and Bosmere Juniors.

Both of the winners, Kayleigh and Victoria, received a gift token from WH Smith, and the two schools also received something to go towards school funds.

About 150 of each card was printed and, with a greeting from the Mayor and Mayoress inside, they were sent out right across Hampshire.

A large number of entries was received, and the standard was very high, making the task of picking the winners very difficult.


Hart Plain Infants Dec 18th

December 18, 2012

This afternoon Elaine & I were invited to visit Hart Plain Infant School to see two Christmas plays.

We first saw Year R who put on their very first Nativity play. Unfortunately a number of children were off school with the bug that is going around at the moment, so some of the children had to step into unfamiliar roles. Despite this they did very well, and they all enjoyed performing to their parents and grandparents.

We then saw the combined Years 1 and 2 put on their play which was entitled It’s a Baby. Again, several pupils were away and others had to fill in for them.

For this play there was a small group of children playing instruments while the others were singing.

In both groups there were lots of excellent costumes, many of them made by the parents, with plenty of different animals, some shepherds and a good number of wise men.

Well done to all those involved.

Springfield Care Home Dec 17th

December 17, 2012

Our third visit of the day was to the Christmas Party for residents of the Springfield Care Home and their families.

When we arrived the party had been going for about an hour, and was in full swing with the large dining room crowded and with a lot of talk taking place.

There were a large number of staff there to ensure that everybody had sufficient to eat and drink, and all of the residents, the oldest being 102 years of age, were really enjoying themselves.

A raffle was held, and there was entertainment from a vocalist with people joining in with some of the singing.

An enjoyable way to end the day.

Waterlooville Grotto Dec 17th

December 17, 2012

From the Acorn Centre we went to CLIX furniture store at the Southern end of the Waterlooville precinct, where the events team from the Waterlooville Forum had taken over part of the shop to construct and decorate a very good Christmas Grotto.

Santa and his Helpers!

Santa and his Helpers!

With very little time in which to find premises in which to establish the Grotto, the team were very grateful to the owner of CLIX who allowed them to convert part of his shop. Not only that, he also encouraged members of his staff to construct Santa’s sleigh.

While we were there several children brought their parents in to see Santa.

The Grotto will be open until December 24th from 10 am until 4 pm a short walk past Lloyds Bank.

Lunch Club Dec 17th

December 17, 2012

Our first visit of the day was to the Acorn Centre in Wecock for the annual Over 50’s Lunch Club Christmas Dinner.

Dinner & Dance!

Dinner & Dance!

A very nice traditional dinner had been prepared with help from Highbury students with learning difficulties who come to the centre to gain confidence when working with unfamiliar people. The students not only helped to prepare the food, thay also helped to serve it as well.

After dinner there was entertainment provided by children from Woodcroft Primary School, who not only sang for us, they also asked some of us to dance with them!

Everybody was given a gift, and had a very enjoyable couple of hours.

Carol Service Dec 16th

December 16, 2012

This afternoon saw us at Havant Rotary’s 9th Annual Service of Lessons and Carols, where we were greeted by the Club President, Chris Heath.

Held at St. Faith’s Church in Havant, this is always a Service with a varied content.

As usual there were a number of Carols sung by the whole congregation, several choir pieces and six readings, of which mine, taken from the Old Testament book of Isiah, was the first.

The Service finished in the traditional way, with mulled wine and mince pies.

Carols & Readings Dec 14th

December 14, 2012

The annual Festival of Carols and Readings, given by the East Hampshire Federation of the Townswomen’s Guild, took place this afternoon at Fareham’s St.John the Evangelist Church.

Along with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, the Mayor of Gosport and the Deputy Mayor and Consort from Fareham, we were welcomed by the Chairman, Mrs. Fay Goble and by Reverend Peter Hall, the Vicar of St. John’s.

The Townswomen’s Guild Choir, under the direction of ex-Havant Mayoress Beryl Francis, sang carols both alone and with the large congrgation. Beryl also accompanied the choir on the piano, and the organ was played by Derek Fry.

There were several readings, both biblical and non-biblical, followed by the Chairman’s Christmas message and a blessing from Reverend Hall and, finally, the Townswomen’s Guild National Anthem, “I am a Small Part of the World”.

A hot drink and biscuits were served in the church hall, along with the chance to meet up with old friends.

Jane Austen Dec 13th

December 14, 2012

As Elaine was busy at a planning meeting, I went to the Christmas meeting of the friends of the Havant museum on my own.

Rosemary Culley, the membership secretary of the Jane Austen Society, was the guest speaker, and gave an interesting talk, with slides, on the life of Jane Austen and other members of her, rather large, family.

Mention was made of the various places connected with the Austen family, many of them well known, including Downe, Ashe, Steventon and, of course, Chawton. There was also the fact that Jane’s brother Sir Francis Austen, lived in Widley at Portsdown Lodge, which later became Boundary Oak School.

The family is also linked with the reputedly much haunted Wymering Manor, and Sir Francis Austen is buried nearby in the graveyard of St Peter & St Paul Church.

Don’t Drink & Drive Dec 13th

December 13, 2012

Our next visit today was to the Waterlooville Police Station.

The Posters

The Posters

The local Police had asked pupils of Junior schools in the area to design a poster to highlight the dangers of drinking and driving.

Elaine & I had been asked to choose the winner and two runners’ up, which we did about two weeks ago.

Winners with First Bus & PC James

Winners with First Bus & PC James

The three designs were then printed as A4 posters and the winners were invited to the Police station, along with their parents, to collect a framed copy of their design and a bag of goodies. They were also given a tour of the Police station.

This competition was sponsored by First Bus,who were represented by two members of their regional team, and the posters will be displayed on buses around the Portsmouth, Havant and Waterlooville area.