Archive for January, 2013

Basingstoke Jan 31st.

January 31, 2013

Today Elaine & I went to the College of Technology in Basingstoke for a lunch to support the Mayor of Basingstoke & Deane’s charity appeal.

On arrival we were greeted by the sight of the College being evacuated! This was an excellent way to start our visit, but it turned out that someone had pushed the wrong button trying to get out of a closed door.

Soap Bird

Soap Bird

Once in the restaurant, we saw a beautifully carved bird on the reception desk. This was an example of carving in soap!

This was also a chance for the catering students of the College to hone their skills in preparing, cooking and serving what was a very nice meal.

Several of the Mayor’s Charities were represented at the lunch, and the bird was auctioned to one of their members for £35!

Jubilee Roundel Jan 29th.

January 29, 2013

This afternoon Elaine & I were at the Great Hall in Winchester to see the unveiling of a specially commisioned bronze roundel marking the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Bronze Jubilee Roundel.

The Bronze Jubilee Roundel.

The roundel, designed and sculpted by Hampshire’s Vivien Mallock, depicts the Queen’s head within the Hampshire Rose.

In company with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, and other Mayors from across Hampshire, we were amongst those introduced to His Royal Highness, the Earl of Wessex who then, after short speeches from the Leader of Hampshire County Council, Ken Thornber, and the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, gave a brief speech and proceeded to unveil the roundel.

Space for Peace Jan 27th.

January 28, 2013

Later in the evening, after the Holocaust service in Havant, we joined several other Civic leaders in Winchester Cathedral for the annual Space for Peace service.

Organised by Proffesor June Boyce-Tillman from the University of Winchester, this was the fifth year that the event has been held.

Unusually, all of the pews had been removed from the Cathedral, leaving a very large space, with different groups and choirs performing in different areas of the Cathedral.

Imam & Rabbi in the Cathedral

Imam & Rabbi in the Cathedral

The short Service was introduced by the Dean of the Cathedral, with three candles being lit, the first by a Muslim Imam, Kasim Sumra, the second by children from St. Bede’s School in Basingstoke and the third by Rabbi Mark Solomon who is the Interfaith consultant for Liberal Judaism.

There were several choirs, both children and adults, and a string septet. Also a group of artists, using matchsticks, created intricate patterns on some of the headstones where the pews would normally be.

Holocaust Service Jan 27th.

January 27, 2013

This afternoon’s Holocaust Memorial Day Service took place at Havant’s Eastern Road cemetery in chilly, but fine, weather.

Some of those attending.

Some of those attending.

Around 140 people from all walks of life were there to hear readings by Councillor Leah Turner, who led the service, myself and Elaine, both of us reading poems, and Reverend Pennie Payne from St. Mary’s Church on Hayling Island, who herself has Jewish antecedents.  Following this Ben Ayres, representing the Roma Gipsy community spoke about the suffering of the Gipsies during World War II.

Josh Whatsize, the National Youth Champion for the Holocaust Memorial day Trust the read a very moving poem, written by a 14 year old girl from Liverpool, entitled ‘What if it Were Me?’ about bullying and discrimination.

Also there were members of the Black and Gay communities, several Freemasons, also victims of the Nazis, and pupils from Oaklands RC School who are going to be making a monument with the over 1 million buttons which they have collected to highlight the suffering still going on in the world today.

Positive for Youth Jan 25th.

January 26, 2013

The first ever Positive for Youth Awards took place at the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant. This was the result of a coming together of three organisations, the Legacy Project, Music Fusion and Yservices to form the Legacy Partnership.

Positive for Youth is the title of a White Paper which was published by Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, in December 2011, and tonights presentation was a direct result of this.

The evening began with an introduction by the two MC’s, Laz and Matty, after which I gave a short welcoming speech. This was folowed by a series of presentations by some of the young people who had taken part in activities organised by the Legacy Partnership.

Tim Loughton then gave a very inspiring talk about why he had introduced his White Paper, and how the good done by the vast majority of today’s youth is overshadowed by the media’s preference to concentrate on the minority who cause problems.

Tim was then asked to present awards to six of the young people who had achieved success in various projects.

After photographs were taken, the evening concluded with people mingling and chatting.

Robinson Crusoe Jan 23rd.

January 24, 2013

Once again the Station Theatre played host to the Hayling Island Amateur Dramatic Society, this time with their pantomime – ‘Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates’.

HIADS, as usual, achieved the high standards for which they are well known and they were certainly not let down by the younger members of the cast, who helped to provide some excellent singing and dancing.

With the cast.

With the cast.

Directed by Malcolm Bain, sitting next to me and obviously enjoying the show, this was a very colourful production with a great set which was designed and built by the company.

The many young people in the audience were obviously enjoying the evening, and willingly joined in with the cries of ‘Behind you!’ and the singing of the traditional Panto song.

All in all a very enjoyable evening provided by HIADS 245th production.

Energie Fitness Hug-off Jan 21st

January 21, 2013

Early this afternoon,Elaine & I went to Energie Fitness in North Street, Havant, to take part in their charity hug-off.

This was a contest between Mr. Unfit (The husband of the manageress, Angie Rose) and the club mascot, Miss-Fit.

With the rivals!

With the rivals!

All of the money raised from the £2 a go hugs is going towards the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at Southampton General Hospital which is due to be opened this summer, and which will treat young Cancer sufferers, between the ages of 16 and 24, from an area comprising Hampshire, Dorset, South Wiltshire, West Sussex, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Isles.

At the moment there is still about £400,000 needed to ensure that the unit is up and running at the scheduled time, so all the donations will be going to a good cause.

Girl’s Brigade Jan 19th

January 19, 2013

This morning, along with the Lord mayor of Portsmouth and the Mayor & Mayoress of Fareham, we went to the CityMuseum in Portsmouth to the opening of an exhibition to mark 120 years of the Girl’s Brigade.



Girl's Life Brigade Banner

Girl’s Life Brigade Banner

Founded in Dublin in 1893, the modern Girl’s Brigade came about following the amalgamation of the Girl’s Brigade of Ireland, the Girls’ Guildry of Scotland (formed in 1900), and the Girls’ Life Brigade of England (formed in 1902).

A Christian organisation, the Brigade takes girls from 4 to 18, although they can stay on after this as Leaders as long as they have passed the required training.

The local District, Solent, has 11 groups in Portsmouth, Fareham, Havant, Waterlooville, Portchester, Hayling Island and Emsworth.

The exhibition features items such as uniforms, badges, banners, a camp fire song book and musical instuments.

Masonic Centre Jan 12th

January 12, 2013

This afternoon we visited the newly refurbished Purbrook Centre Members Club in Stakes Road.

Once the Purbrook Methodist Church, the building was taken over by them Freemasons to be used as both a meeting place for various Masonic lodges, and as a venue that can be used by local groups.

With Directors

With Directors

There are several rooms that can be used, including a large hall with a raised stage and a parquet floor which has been stripped and treated and is suitable for various functions and dance classes.

While we were there, we met several of the Directors of the centre and other Masons, together with people from the local area who had come to see what had been done to a building that had been empty for quite some time.

Emsworth Loyalty Card Jan 12th

January 12, 2013

This morning Elaine & I were in a very wet and windy Emsworth to help launch the Emsworth Loyalty Card.

When we arrived in The Square two flautists were playing under the shelter of a gazebo and various people were gathered around trying to keep out of the worst of the weather.

With the Loyalty Card the idea is to get the card stamped ten times in at least four of the many participating shops and businesses, after which the card will be entered into a monthly draw for £25 plus a prize donated by one of the participants.

There are currently over 30 participating shops and businesses, ranging from pubs to dentists, and dry cleaners to vets, with many other categories in between.

Perhaps, one day, we might attend a function in Emsworth in the dry, but I am not holding my breath!

Cross Way House Care Home Jan 11th

January 11, 2013

Having been at Padnell Junior School, we were unable to be at the Care Home in time for the official ribbon cutting.

Outside Cross Ways House Care Home

Outside Cross Ways House Care Home

We did, however, arrive shortly after at what was, not very long ago, Havant War Memorial Hospital in Cross Way, Havant.

After being introduced to the owners of the parent company, Brookvale Healthcare, we were given a tour of the very impressive facilties, and the opportunity to talk to several of the residents and staff.

With 24 en suite rooms, the Care Home has a large residents lounge and around the walls can be found framed photographs of the 12 sets of Nursery Rhyme tiles that were removed for restoration when the Hospital closed.

Brookvale have several Care Homes, offering different levels of care, in the Havant and Waterlooville area, meaning that residents can move between homes as their needs change, while remaining within the same group and staying in the local area.

Padnell Juniors Jan 11th

January 11, 2013

Today marked the 50th anniversary of the opening of Padnell Junior School in Cowplain.

When Elaine & I arrived all of the classes were undertaking different projects relating to life in the ’60’s, with many of the children and staff dressed in typical costumes of the period. Some of the class projects were based on Andy Warhol paintings, while others had designed clothes, LP record covers and other relevant things.

This brings back memories!

This brings back memories!

There were displays of old school photographs in the hall, with pictures and albums dating back through the years to the very first day, together with appropriate newspaper cuttings.

Also in the hall were two 1960’s Lambretta scooters.

After a lot of hand-shaking with children from the various classes, we left for our next engagement.


Dynamo Youth Theatre Jan 9th

January 10, 2013

Written by Andrew Bowker and John Gleadall several years ago, and first performed 10 years back, One Pride…One People tells the story of life in the Portsea area of Portsmouth between the end of the First World War and 1926.

Very well staged and directed, this is a very moving story and the cast perform admirably with some very good ensemble work and some excellent solo singing performances.

The large cast of around 60 performers use the stage at the Spring Arts & Heritage Centre very well, with a backdrop of Portsmouth’s Guildhall.

This is a musical drama which is well worth seeing, and I defy anyone to come out with dry eyes.

On at the Spring until Saturday, there will also be one performance at the King’s Theatre on Wednesday, April 10th at 7.30.

Parkinson’s Jan 8th

January 8, 2013

This afternoon Elaine & I went to our first function of the New Year when, together with last year’s Mayor and Mayoress, Ken & Hazel Smith, we attended a New Year’s party given by the Hayling Island Parkinson’s Support Group.

This was held in St. Mary’s Church Hall and was attended by about 30 people, both sufferers and their carers together with other volunteers.

We were greeted on arrival by Marianne Randle and introduced to several other people before sitting with Ken & Hazel and participating in a game of ‘Pass the Parcel’ and three different types of quiz, along with some other games.

An excellent buffet was provided for all those who came along, and the afternoon’s entertainment finished around 3.40.