Archive for September, 2014

Emsworth Pet Show – 20th September

September 24, 2014

I lived in fear of this in case a child brought a pet spider – fortunately no!

There were dogs, cats, bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, a fish, a tortoise in the show.

Very difficult to choose winners in most categories. Fortunately this was not my task – I only assisted. I presented 1st, 2nd and 3rd awards where possible and the overall best in show was a rather elderly golden retriever. Most of the children I think were quite knowledgeable about their pets which was good to see.

Also there was a barn owl and a kestrel (not pets) on show and it was possible, for a donation, to handle the barn owl. What an experience they are so beautifully soft and utterly adorable.


Opening of the new Poundworld store in Havant – 18th September

September 24, 2014

The first Poundworld along the South Coast is in Havant! I arrived to find a whole crowd of waiting people; many had been trying to get in all the previous week as staff at the store were getting the shop ready to open. The Manager, Kim, along with the Area Manager and the Regional Manager of Poundworld were there to welcome everybody into the new outlet. This has brought 30 brand new jobs into the Borough of Havant almost all of whom come from within the Borough. I feel that this will truly enhance the Meridian Centre and create a lot more footfall.

The store is laid out beautifully with wide aisles making it very easy for parents with pushchairs or those in wheelchairs to manoeuvre. Good luck to the new venture and thank you for choosing Havant for your first shop along the South Coast.


Park Community School Launch of Synthetic Turf Pitch and Tour – 17th September

September 24, 2014

This afternoon I had the pleasure to attend the cutting of the ribbon, by the manager of Portsmouth Football Club, officially opening the new synthetic turf pitch at Park Community School.

Having taught an evening class at Park Community School many years ago, I couldn’t help wondering where on earth the classroom would have been as there have been so many changes, there was not a landmark to be seen. After the opening speeches we had a tour of the school and one of the members of staff showed me from upstairs where my classroom would have been – it doesn’t seem possible that so much could have been done over the years to change a school so much. It is now a fantastic environment for the youngsters, bright cheerful and conducive to learning. All new ergonomically designed furniture really brings the school into the 21st Century.


Opening of the Community Room at Tesco, Havant – 15th September

September 24, 2014

Tesco pic

Fourth time lucky! This morning we arrived to find that the room was truly ready and Liz and her team welcomed me and others attending the opening. I had the pleasure of cutting the ribbon and talking to members of organisations who had applied to and been awarded various sums of money from Tesco for their projects. One of these was St Thomas Mores Primary Catholic School and four pupils from there received the cheque.


Guide Dogs for the Blind Assembly at Bosmere Junior School – 12th September

September 24, 2014

I was invited to attend an Assembly in the afternoon where the children were told about the work that the Guide Dogs for the Blind do for their handlers/owners. We had the pleasure of sitting with and talking to a blind lady from Havant who brought her rather lovely, very large Labrador dog along. He was lovely and enjoyed, or seemed to, being petted and adored by all. Bosmere School takes part in a walk to raise funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind each year and hopefully the visit will have encouraged many to take part in the walk this year.

Bosmere Junior School’s support for this began in 1972 when a pupil who was going to do a walk asked if the school would support her with many others taking part to raise funds. They are now in their 42nd year of this support!


Opening of the Resident Participation Centre at Sharps Road, West Leigh – 12th September

September 24, 2014

I went along to open this with the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth – we both cut the ribbon. The enthusiasm of those leading this enterprise is striking and if effort alone is anything to go by it will surely be a fantastic success. There is already a strong gardening group which has worked on the garden around the premises. Other groups are in the process of being established and there are plans for many activities. Hopefully the centre will encourage people who do not otherwise go out much to socialise with other residents.

We had tea, coffee and refreshments which were very nice. Good Luck!


Portsmouth High School Awards Evening – 11th September

September 24, 2014

This was also attended by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and some other local Mayors. I would like to congratulate all the pupils on the excellent results achieved by them across the years. It was a particular pleasure for me as one of my granddaughters, Jessica is a pupil and has just finished her GCSE’s so I was able to see her presented with her certificate as well as all the other pupils. After the presentations, we had the opportunity to mix and talk to the youngsters and staff. A very pleasant evening.


Visit to Emsworth Stroke Club – 11th September

September 24, 2014

Emsworth Stroke Club 2

We were welcomed warmly on arrival by Gillian Knight who explained what the club aims to do. There are varying abilities after stroke within this club, some like to talk while others spend their time doing creative activities. It was fascinating to go round and listen to what they wanted to say and see their artistic creations and watch them playing scrabble, dominoes and other games. Every week they have a raffle and they all go away with prizes. I went away with a bag of fruit – an excellent prize. I was also presented with a lovely bouquet of flowers by Myrtle. Thank you for a lovely afternoon.

Emsworth Stroke Club 1

Reception and Beating Retreat to mark the retirement of Dame Mary Fagan DCVO JP – 9th September

September 24, 2014

New Image

I was pleased to be invited to attend a prestigious ceremony honouring Dame Mary for her 20 years of service to Hampshire as the Lord Lieutenant. The ceremony was a Beating Retreat by the Band of the Scots Guard held in front of the Great Hall in Winchester.

This is a time honoured ceremony and was used to mark Dame Mary’s retreat after her 20 years of service. The Scots Guards marched and played military music and it was an incredible spectacle. Only we British can do this so well!

New Image 2


Presentation of the Flag of Gibraltar to Havant Borough Council – 9th September

September 9, 2014

Gibraltar Flag

This morning I was presented with the Flag of Gibraltar by a local resident Mr Rodney Pereira on behalf of Mr Albert Poggio OBE, Director of Gibraltar House and United Kingdom representative who gave this to the Borough as a gift.

This will held here in perpetuity and flown tomorrow from the flagpole outside the Public Service Plaza, on 10th September – Gibraltar Day.

Gibraltar Flag 2

Opening of The Jade Garden at Queen’s Parade, Waterlooville – 7th September

September 9, 2014

Jade Garden 3

Today I was invited to open a new Chinese restaurant at Queens Parade.

I was able to take part in the bringing to life of a new Chinese Lion. The Chinese community chose to do this at the opening of the new Jade Garden Restaurant.

The old Lion wad dying and to bring a new Lion into being there is the ritual of ‘enlivening the new lion’.

I was greatly honoured to have the privilege of painting the eyes on the new blue Lion which is the action that brings the Lion to life. This is quite a considerable ritual and is accompanied by fire crackers, the decorating of the Lion with bay leaves, the arrangement of fruit as a good luck symbol and many other intricacies.

The arrangement of fruit and lettuce leaves says ‘Good Luck’ in Chinese characters.

After the ritual we were treated to sumptuous Chinese cuisine and can thoroughly recommend The Jade Garden.

Grateful thanks to Mr Albert Choi, his family, the owners and the staff of the Jade Garden.

Jade Garden 2

Billy’s Lake Open Day – 6th September

September 9, 2014

What an oasis of calm and beauty on the fringes of Wecock Farm! Local people organised through the Acorn Centre to take charge of this beautiful piece of land and water . They have cleaned it up and made it a lovely spot to fish and generally enjoy the countryside. Youngsters are being taught how to fish and care for their catch after it has been caught, returning it to the water. The youngsters from about the age of 9 upwards are enthusiastic about keeping this area clean and well cared for after they have made such an effort to get it to this stage.

I was leant a young man Ashley, who looked after me and guided me through the area staying with me and lending an arm to help me round. Thank you very much Ashley without you it would have been much more difficult and less enjoyable.

Ann Waters, her husband and John Welford are amongst the adults driving the project and I congratulate them on their achievements both with the clean up and the teaching/training and the instilling of enthusiasm into the youngsters to create this haven. I strongly recommend that you go and take a look!

Dynamo Youth Theatre – 5th September

September 9, 2014

The leavers of the Dynamo Youth Theatre group put on a production of ‘The Foreigner’ at the Spring in Havant. A very talented group of 18 -19 year olds performed this comedy to great effect. We laughed almost from beginning to end. Each one of the students portrayed their part so well one tends to forget that they are not professional!

I wish them all luck in their future university life or careers and hope that they manage to keep their acting talents progressing or it will be a loss to society.

National Watersports Festival – 5th September

September 9, 2014

Going over the bridge to Hayling Island we noticed how calm the sea was – not a movement!

On arrival at the beach I was taken aback by how much this event has grown over the years, I was taken round by Allan Cross the Event Organiser and introduced to many people from the various trades and sports ranging from windsurfing to the latest and fastest growing craze of paddle boarding. These boards can be blow up and can be packed away into a large bag making it possible for many more people to partake of this sport. Had I been younger and more agile, I would have stayed to take part in one of the taster sessions – it looked such fun! I was introduced to many present and past champions in the various water sports. Havant is very lucky to have this event within our Borough; it is now the biggest and best water sports festival of it’s kind in the UK and year by year it grows. The event generates a lot of income and puts Havant well and truly on the map. I can only say a big thank-you to Allan Cross, who puts an enormous amount of effort into this attraction that is enjoyed by so many locals and visitors.

Afternoon Tea and Talk on The Battle of Trafalgar – 3rd September

September 9, 2014

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Mike Cheshire MBE, gave us an informative and entertaining talk on the Battle of Trafalgar. Those that attended will understand how the period was brought to life by his description, sound effects and enthusiasm for the subject. I want to thank Mike for giving this talk which raised funds for my charities. I also had a ‘name the teddy’ competition which was won by one of our officers who in her free time had come along to support the event. My thanks to all those who attended and arranged the afternoon. Watch this space for the next one. Mike has promised to do another in the New Year!