Archive for October, 2014

Acorn Centre event celebrating their 10th Anniversary – 3rd October

October 9, 2014

I dashed from Havant to Hart Plain for the above. They had kindly waited to open their evening officially until I arrived. I had the strange experience of welcoming everybody when they had arrived before me! I was welcomed by Ann Waters and yet again by Ashley Bowden who I had met a few weeks ago and we sat down to a lovely cream tea.

The evening got underway when Ann gave a potted history of the last 10 years explaining how the centre had really begun from very small beginnings. They have an incredibly keen and loyal band of volunteers who do a marvellous job at the centre and at Billy’s Lake; Ann went on to talk about how a group had started to clear up Billy’s Lake and take possession and responsibility for this beautiful reclaimed area. I was asked to talk about my experience at the open day and I had great pleasure in re-living my experience of that lovely day.

Several past Mayor’s, who had been involved with the Acorn Centre over the last 10 years also attended the celebration and many photographs were taken.


Havant Literary Festival – Opening Ceremony – 3rd October

October 9, 2014

On Friday afternoon I performed the official opening of the Havant Literary Festival at the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre where the 3 winners of the poetry competition were awarded their prizes.

These poems were thought provoking and were excellent – I would like to congratulate the writers on their work. Unfortunately I was only able to stay a very short time as I had a follow on engagement at the other end of the Borough. Nonetheless, this was a grand start to the festival and a shame I couldn’t do the trail which followed on. I am sure many of you will have taken part in some of the activities that are on offer during the festival. Congratulations to the organisers and sponsor!


JDRF South ‘Walk for a Cure’ – 28th September

October 7, 2014

This was a sponsored walk to raise funds to support research into a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

This is a terrible disease which can affect anyone often children of a very young age. It affects ther auto-immune system and damages the pancreas stopping it from producing insulin. These children and adults have to learn how to manage their lives in a completely different way.

The walk started in the area at Funlands on Haying and the route took the walkers to Eastoke and back. Adults and children were able to take part in a fancy dress competition and I was asked to chose the winners. The organiser of the event was Mark Wheeler who has a son, Morgan, who was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at the age of 2. It was an extremely well organised event – when we arriving we could hear the Denmead Brass Band playing to welcome everyone on a lovely bright sunny morning. Well done to all those taking part and to Mark for organising the event. I hope it raised lots of money for the charity.


2nd Anniversary Celebrations for Food Fiend Experience – 27th September

October 7, 2014

Food Fiend

Continuing the food theme…

This is a small local business on Hayling Island. Kathy Fitchett formed this company due to her passion for food! She runs it from her home giving people a special dining experience and/or hands-on cookery classes. The’ special dining experience’ offers a small intimate dinner party in her home, the cookery classes are given in her own kitchen which is designed to be ideal for this purpose. Kathy’s family and friends are very supportive of her enterprise and those invited this afternoon had the wonderful experience of sampling some of her cooking – she had been busy preparing super foods for us to taste. This was particularly a vegetarian feast of curries, followed by three puds to die for! With all of this food she had taken into consideration the natural benefits of certain foods!

I wish Kathy every success in furthering her business and thank her for my lovely experience.


‘A Thought for Food’ Local Market – 27th September

October 7, 2014

As part of the Emsworth British Food fortnight I attended this experience. Every stall was enticing and amazing to think that this is all local produce – I ran out of money! Lovely items such as hand made pork pies, cheeses, cider, sausages, venison, and oodles more on sale – foodie heaven! I was shown around by Giles from The Bluebell who was an excellent host and provided me with a coffee and a chair to have a rest when I had been all around the stalls.


Campaign to Protect Rural England Countryside Awards 2014 – 26th September

October 7, 2014

I was pleased to be invited to attend celebrations for those working to enhance and protect Hampshire’s countryside. Brook Meadow Conservation Group in Emsworth won the Community and Voluntary category – well done and congratulations. The Oaks Crematorium in Havant were finalists in the Green Buildings Category again congratulations.

The evening began with a tour around all the stands that were showing contributions following on from this we had an official welcome and introduction and then the results of the children’s countryside poetry competition were announced. I can’t tell you how impressed I was with all the poems that were read out; very deep and thought provoking and incredible that children of the various age groups were able to produce such work. The schools involved should be very proud along with the parents and I really hope that all participating entries are published – they deserve it!


Coffee Morning held in aid of Macmillan – 26th September

October 7, 2014

This morning I went to two coffee mornings held to raise money for this charity. The first one was held at the Waterloo Special School and was run by the children. As well as lashings of lovely cakes it was great to be able to talk to some of the parents who had experienced great difficulties getting their children into this school and were now facing the probability that their children would have to return to mainstream schools when they reach the age of 11. I wish them luck in finding the right educational facilities for their children in the future.

I moved on to The Woodman Pub in Purbrook who hosted the second Macmillan Coffee Morning that I attended. Yet more cakes – my diet is going to pot! I had the opportunity to meet and chat to other supporters of this charity and to take part in a raffle to raise more funds and even won a prize. Thank you to Amanda and her staff for putting on this event and hope it raised lots of money for the charity.


Launch of Oyster film at the Brookfield Hotel – 25th September

October 7, 2014

This event was run by the Emsworth Museum.

A young local company of filmmakers Millstream Productions made a documentary film about the Emsworth Oyster industry; its near demise and the struggle to revive the business against many odds. Fishermen of many generations were interviewed telling the history of their occupation. Linda Newell, Local Historian and Manager of the Emsworth Museum was also interviewed and gave an informative account. Many of the local fishermen were present at the showing and it was fascinating to talk to them all along with officials from Chichester Harbour Conservancy. A film is being produced by local schoolchildren and will be launched in November this year. I look forward to being invited to attend.

Hosted at the Brookfield Hotel, who as usual, gave amazing help and support to the evening and the staff did a wonderful job.


Opening of Boots Opticians in The Meridian Centre, Havant – 25th September

October 7, 2014

Boots invited me to open their new brand new optician store in Havant not only is it offering ophthalmic services but also audio. So now along with their original store in West Street they can now offer a ‘one health’ facility to local people encompassing pharmacy, with optician and hearing care services. What fun we had trying on different spectacles!

I cut the ribbon and then was treated to glass a glass of bucks fizz. Congratulations Boots and your team of dedicated professionals and good news – this brings new jobs to Havant.

Visit to 3 Platoon (Hayling Island) B Company Army Cadet Force – 24th September

October 7, 2014

I was invited by one of my cadets Corporal Sam Brum to visit his platoon.

On arrival I was asked if I would like to inspect the platoon. They were all very smart and enthusiastic. These youngsters ranged from the age of about 9 – 17 some of whom had only joined a few weeks before. They broke into two groups and did different aspects of map and compass reading.

You are never too old to learn and I finally learned how to use a compass!

It was a very enjoyable visit hosted by Sam and his colleagues along with their detachment of officers.

Thank you for a lovely and informative evening.