Archive for March, 2013

WI Spring Meeting March 19th

March 19, 2013

This morning Elaine & I went to Portsmouth’s Guildhall for the Spring Council Meeting of the Hampshire Federation of Women’s institutes.

The Top Table.

The Top Table.

The Hampshire WI’s have about 8000 members, and over 1000 of them were at a packed Guildhall.

After the Chairman’s welcome and the minutes of last year’s meeting, the audience were introduced to the Board of Trustees and the WI advisors. This was followed by the Chairman’s address and the Treasurers report.

Next came a talk by highly acclaimed Chef, Peter Lien from the WI’s Denman Cookery School which is set in the picturesque village of Marcham, in Oxfordshire.

Various members then gave brief overviews of their different roles and, after a short break their was a talk by another Chef, this time ex-Gurkha Pemba Lama, whose recipe book on Nepalese cooking has recently been published.

Unfortunately, due to other commitmentswe were unable to stay for the afternoon session, so we missed hearing the guest speaker, Clarrisa Dickson-Wright of Two Fat Ladies fame.

Nurture the Network March 15th

March 15, 2013

After the cakes I went to a meeting organised by Tri-Synergy Marketing where I was joined by Elaine.

This was a chance for company directors or spokespeople to get together and exchange views and ideas.

About 30 senior people were there for the introduction by Tina Webb, the Managing director of Tri-Synergy, after which I gave a short welcomig talk, before all of those present introduced themselves and indicated who they were representing.

With Tina Webb and Mike Holding.

With Tina Webb and Mike Holding.

After a break for lunch we retook our seats to hear a short presentation on local firm Dunham-Bush given by the UK Managing Director, Mike Holding.

After Tina’s closing address, I thanked everyone for coming and invited them to consider joining the Civic Day planned for April 16th.

Red Nose Day March 15th

March 15, 2013
Ready to Judge.

Ready to Judge.

At lunchtime today I was asked to judge a bake-off in aid of this year’s Children in Need appeal.

As can be seen in the accompanying photos, there was a wide range of very artistic cakes and biscuits which made it very difficult to pick the winner. After a great deal of consideration, and having to choose between a giant cup cake and a teapot, I decided on the cup cake, as it followed the theme of Red Nose day.

The winning entry.

The Winning entry.

The cakes were then auctioned, with the money raised going to the charity.

I then went downstairs where members of the Adult Services team were having a sale of cakes, brownies and my favourite, bread pudding. Guess which I bought!

One of the male (?) team members was dressed as a lady. It was only the hairy arms which gave the game away!!

With the Lady (?)

With the Lady (?)

Emsworth Stroke Club March 14th

March 14, 2013

Straight from Woodcroft Primary School we went to visit the Emsworth Stroke Club who meet in the Emsworth Centre in South Street.

We were met by the Chairman, Gillian Knight, who has been involved with the club since her mother suffered a stroke almost 30 years ago. The club was started in April 1983, so will shortly be celebrating its 30th anniversary.

After being introduced to some of the helpers, we were able to meet and talk to some of the club members who had suffered a stroke. There were groups playing double 9 dominoes, Scrabble and other games.

Tea and biscuits were served at 3 o’clock, when we were able to speak to more people, and then we joined in the excercise class.

Woodcroft Primary School March 14th

March 14, 2013

Today Elaine & I went to Woodcroft Primary School to help celebrate their achievement in moving from an Ofsted report of inadequate in July 2011 to one of good in January of this year. This is quite a remarkable achievement.

Woodcroft is part of a confederation of two schools, the other being Mill Hill in Waterlooville. The overall Executive Head is Mrs. Diane Lawry, with Woodcroft’s Headteacher being John Webster.

This was a fun day for the pupils, with many parents coming in to the school to join in and have lunch with the pupils.

With our guide.

With our guide.

With the Executive Head, Headteacher and pupils.

With the Executive Head, Headteacher and pupils.

We were given an excellent tour of the school by Mason, one of the older pupils, and were shown all of the classrooms and provided with a very good and knowledgeable commentary on each of the year groups.

In the playground there were two bouncy castles, representatives from Pompey in the Community and the Police brought one of their patrol cars, with pupils enjoying getting in and working the lights and siren.

There were a lot of smiling faces from pupils and staff, and the whole school is to be congratulated on their fine achievement.

Cosham Rotary March 12th

March 13, 2013

On a cold but dry evening, Elaine and I went to the Blue Lagoon at Hilsea as guests of the Rotary Club of Cosham.

We were met by the President, Jon Jefferis and we were both made to feel very much at home. As I am a member of the Rotary Club of Waterlooville, and Elaine is a member of the Inner Wheel Club, there were several people there that we knew, including Pat Cullimore, who organised the Classic Car Run for several years before handing over the reins this year.

After the meal I was asked to draw the raffle before giving a talk on the Mayoral year so far. Luckily there were only a couple of questions for me to answer, but the high point of the evening came when I was presented with a cheque for £100 towards this years Mayor’s Charity Appeal.

Heritage Trail March 11th

March 12, 2013

Following on from last year’s launch of the Havant Timeline, this event marked the unveiling of the Havant Heritage Trail an information kiosk at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre.

We were invited, along with all the other Councillors, to a tour of the facilities at the centre and to hear The Spring’s vision for the future which was presented by the new Director, Sophie Fullerlove.

Two of the Heritage Trail boards.

Two of the Heritage Trail boards.

After that there were short speeches from Sophie and myself, before having the opportunity to spend some time looking at the display boards which have a lot of information on 34 historical sites around the Havant area, including the very rare cypher of Edward VIII on the old Post Office across the road from The Spring.

Another of the Heritage Trail boards.

Another of the Heritage Trail boards.

Further details can be found at:

Also on exhibition until the 28th of March is a large collection of postal covers signed by many theatrical and other stars, including Spike Milligan, Alec Guinness, Judi Dench and Patrick Stewart. Altogether there are 43 covers to look at.

Civic Service March 10th.

March 10, 2013

This afternoon saw the Annual Chairman’s Civic Service of East Hants District Council being held at the Church of the Good Shepherd at Four Marks, near Alton.

The Chairman, Councillor Pat Seward, played host to several Mayors and Chairmen from across Hampshire and the Mayor of the Borough of Waverley.

The Church of the Good Shepherd.

The Church of the Good Shepherd.

The Church of the Good Shepherd is quite a modern church, having been built in 1953 and then restored in 1996, with the current Vicar being Howard Wright who has been at the Church since the year 2000, and who led today’s Service.

The window.

The window.

The Hymns were all chosen by Councillor Seward, and there were two readings, the first being Psalm 23 and the second being taken from the Book of Jeremiah , Chapter 18 Verses 1 – 10.

The Service was followed by refreshments in the Church Hall.

HISC March 8th.

March 9, 2013

The annual Commodore’s Dinner at the Hayling Island Sailing Club was held last night.

With around a hundred or so people in attendance, the atmosphere was one of friendly chatter and talk of yachts and dinghies.

A very nicely prepared and presented meal, by a very accomplished chef, helped to make this an event that was an absolute pleasure for Elaine and I to attend.

There were a few speeches, more talk and then a very pleasant evening came to an end.

The club is holding an open day on the 6th of May, and this might give me the opportunity to go out in a sailing boat for the first time!


Flowers March 4th.

March 5, 2013

Last night Elaine and I went to the Southbourne Village Hall to spend the evening with the Emsworth & District Flower Society.

This was the second time that we had been to one of their meetings, and the main attraction was a demonstration of flower arranging.

Presenting the cup.

Presenting the cup.

Before the demonstration Elaine was asked to present two awards to members of the Society. The Chairman, Elma Eckett, then presented a cheque to a representative of the local branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. This was the charity of the society for the past year, and the cheque was for £1618. A wonderful sum to raise for a very worthwhile cause.

One of the flower arrangements.

One of the flower arrangements.

The demonstration of flower arranging was well worth waiting for, and some wonderful displays were created with little apparent effort, and using simple things in which to create them, such as cardboard tubes and baked bean cans!

Tree Planting March 3rd

March 3, 2013

This morning Elaine & I went to St. James Church in Emsworth for the 10 o’clock Family Service.

The reason for this was to attend the planting of a tree to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

With Dame Mary.

With Dame Mary.

Before the service I met the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, and had the pleasure of escorting her into the Church.

The service was very well attended and, half way through, three children were baptised.

Planting the tree.

Planting the tree.

After the service was over, members of the congregation gathered outside to wath Dame Mary, ably assisted by some of the younger members of the church, as she officially planted the tree.

After the planting ceremony, it was into the church hall for a warming cup of tea or coffee!

Eastleigh Charity Ball March 2nd.

March 3, 2013

Along with other Mayors and Chairmen from across Hampshire, we went to the Botleigh Grange Hotel for the Mayor of Eastleigh’s Masked Charity Ball.

In similar fashion to our own Christmas Charity Ball, the evening was dedicated to raising funds for Rupert Kyrle’s main charities, Wildern Opportunity Group, who support children with special needs, and Countess Mountbatten House, which specialises in palliative care.

There was a silent auction and a tombola with all of the many prizes being donated by local companies and individuals, and there was also a very good magician going from table to table.

A very nice evening and a convivial way to raise money for charity.

Sports Awards Feb 28th.

March 1, 2013

The 33rd Annual Sports Awards, organised by the Havant Borough Sports Association, were held at Park Community School in Havant.

After an introduction by the HSBA Chairman, John Hogg, I was asked to present plaques and certificates to the runners-up in the various award categories, of which there were 16.

The next part of the programme was a talk by the guest speaker, Peter Hull, MBE. Peter, who was born with no legs, and arms that ended at the elbow, is living proof that you should never give up. He started swimming at the age of 5, won many competitions, and was a member of the British team in the Seoul Paralympics, where he achieved 4 fourth places. Four years later, in Barcelona, he achieved 3 Gold medals, all in world record time! Peter has completed 12 full marathons. Having retired from swimming, he has now taken up wheelchair rugby!! Peter is currently County Development Officer for Disability Sport at Hampshire County Council.

After this very moving and inspirational talk, I presented plaques, certificates and cups to the winners of the 16 categories, before handing over for the award to the HBSA Sports Person of the Year.

I am sure that among the winners and runners-up, we will see several go on to a career in sport and, who knows, maybe to become Olympians and Paralympians of the future.