Extras – December 2017


There were 52 members and 3 visitors at the meeting held on 1st November who were welcomed by the Chairman, David Cowling.  The Secretary, Tony Brazier, said how much everyone had enjoyed the Mystery Trip the previous week and gave details of the forthcoming visit to The Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Friday 1st December. He also gave a reminder about the Christmas Lunch to be held at BCOT on Thursday 14th December, with an arrival time of 11.45, which will be a four course meal with drinks and coffee.  The Welfare Officer, Christine Broadbent, then gave her up-to-date report and welcomed back a number of members who had not been for a while.

The speaker this month was Ryland Lee from the Hampshire and IOW Air Ambulance.  The first Air Ambulance was introduced in Cornwall in the 1980’s and since then the service has spread across the country with our local one starting in July 2007 based at Thruxton.  Anywhere in the Hampshire can be reached within 15 minutes and the Isle of Wight in 20 minutes.  A member of the team is based at the ambulance control room in order to monitor and prioritise calls that require their services.  A Critical Care team comprising of a doctor, paramedic and specialist nurse can take off within 4 minutes during the day and 8 minutes at night to give pre-hospital critical care to any patient suffering from major trauma.  At a cost of £9000 per day the charity depends on its volunteers to help collect donations from the public by giving talks and attending events.  After answering questions Ryland had a variety of items to sell which helped raise over £100 towards ensuring that this the vital service can continue.

The next meeting is on 6th December when we will be having a Christmas buffet with musical entertainment from Gary Miles.  The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at Brookvale Village Hall from 10 am to 12 noon and all retired Civil Servants and their partners are welcome.  Next year’s programme is now available obtainable from the Secretary Tony Brazier on 07715 640171 or at bjmapbr@ntlworld.com and if you would like to join us on any of our trips please contact Kate Lambeth on 01256 328791.

Basingstoke & District Disability Forum

Basingstoke & District Disability Forum continue to host Basingstoke Disability ConneXions on the first Tuesday of the month in the Basingstoke Discovery Centre and would like to invite along anyone affected by disability including friends, families and carers. No need to book, just pop in and see us between 12:30-2:30pm in the Community Room on the following dates:

Tuesday 5th December – disability access issues

Tuesday 2nd January – NHS health passports

Tuesday 6th February – Mindfulness for well being

Tuesday 6th March – disability information and awareness

We are looking for volunteers to help us to run these events and to take this service out to a wider community – if you are interested in getting involved please get in touch with Amanda at info@bddf.org.uk or telephone 01256 423869.


The Society’s first meeting this month, on Wednesday 6 December, will take us across the North Sea as Alan Norris presents  A view from the window – the railways of Sweden. Alan’s talk will include a brief history of Swedish railways, a look at the current scene and some recent developments on an expanding network.

Our second meeting, on Wednesday 20 December, is our annual buffet and film show (this year we will delight in The Great St Trinian’s Train Robbery). This meeting is for members and their partners only – do join us for the coming year! We will resume our regular meetings on Wednesday 10 January with a presentation about Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive, the Prince of Wales, now under construction.

Our meetings are held at 7.45pm at The Wote Street Club in New Road in Basingstoke town centre. Non-members are welcome to attend at a cost of just £2.50. More information about Society membership and our future meetings can be found on our website at www.bdrs70d.com or telephone 01256 331002.


As we had no fundraising event of our own to occupy us this month, ten of us toddled off to Andover to support their Lions Club’s Pink Pig Race and Giraffe Sprint in aid of the Children’s Hospice. The Lions performed admirably.  Alas, the same cannot be said of the electrically powered Pigs and Giraffes which were subject to a torrent of encouragement (abuse) as they raced (juddered) towards the winning post. It was a really good fun evening and I’m sure the Hospice benefited accordingly.

World Sight Day (WSD): This United Nations and Lions Clubs International supported day is always the second Thursday of October. 45 million people across the world are blind, very many through preventable or curable conditions. This has been a central concern of  Lions Clubs since their birth in 1917. Here in Basingstoke we are lucky to have Ann Vicars, who is very well versed in the subject, to organize our awareness and advice stall in Festival Place on the day. We are also very lucky to have marvelous support from all the opticians in the town and from organisations like Helping Hands for the Blind, the Macular Disease Society and others. It is amazing how many people stop by the stall on the day with questions which can either be answered on the spot, referred to the appropriate Society or the helpful Council services.

Throughout the year Lions Clubs across the country collect redundant pairs of spectacles which are forwarded for cleaning, grading and distribution to the world’s poorest people. We collected 1500 on WSD making our total since April over 3000. Thank you everyone.

Welfare: We spent £700 to replenish our stock of “Message in a Bottle” packs. This scheme encourages people at risk to keep their medical/ medicine details in one of our special bottles in their fridge so that in the event of an incident requiring emergency service attendance the team can react accordingly. It is a free service and packs can be obtained from GPs surgeries and chemists.


December will see us out and about collecting at various retail outlets as usual and we will be doing a “Sausage Sizzle” at Bunnings on 16th December.

  • 10/02/2018 Moscow Drug Club at QMC – very entertaining.
  • 03/03/2018 Swimathon at Town Centre Pool – great fun but exhausting.
  • 17/03/2018 Murder Mystery at St Leonards Oakley – who knows?
  • Details of each event can be found on our website www.basingstokelions.org.uk

LIONS CLUB MEMBERSHIP: Put your contact details on the “Contact Us” page of our website and someone will get in touch.

Chineham Library

Christmas is approaching fast, so do come and enjoy some Christmas themed displays and activities. Our highlights are the Christmas storytime on the 22nd December at 3pm, and the Pickwick Papers evening on the 7th December at 7.30 pm. Storytime will be very exciting and features Father Christmas and his elf, with all children welcome to attend. For the Pickwick Papers evening you will need to buy tickets costing £7, including refreshments, in advance. The Dickens event last year was greatly enjoyed.

During December many children’s activities such as storytimes and rhymetimes will have Christmas touches. They will continue as normal during the holiday period, as will the monthly craft sessions. These are scheduled for the 2nd December and the 6th January, between 10am and 12pm. The Chatterbooks group meets on the 7th December from 3.45 – 4.45pm. Code Club finishes on the 9th December and will resume again in January. Please let us know if your child would be interested in joining this.

The Crime Reading group will meet on the 9th December from 10.30 – 11.30am, and the CHIPPS group on the 13th December from 9.30 – 10.30am. The Craft and Create group for adults interested in colouring and crafts meet on the 6th and 20th December, from 2 – 4pm.  Age Concern, who provide computer training for the over 50s, finish for Christmas on the 13th December and return on the 10th   January. Sessions can be booked through the area office on 01256 423874.

 In the New Year the Library is hoping to start a new reading group and possibly a creative writing group. How about taking up a new interest for 2018? Please let us know if you would be interested. 

Chineham Library team would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

Christmas rubbish and recycling

Christmas can mean extra rubbish, for example wrapping paper can’t be recycled. Therefore, extra sacks will be collected in the first collection Christmas. As normal there will be no limit on how much residents can recycle.

This year unless adverse weather affects bin rounds, collections should return to normal from Monday 15 January 2018.

Normal collection Revised collection
Friday 22 December Normal collection
Monday 25 December Wednesday 27 December
Tuesday 26 December Thursday 28 December
Wednesday 27 December Friday 29 December 
Thursday 28 December  Saturday 30 December 
Friday 29 December  Tuesday 2 January 
Monday 1 January  Wednesday 3 January 
Tuesday 2 January  Thursday 4 January 
Wednesday 3 January  Friday 5 January 
Thursday 4 January Saturday 6 January
Friday 5 January Monday 8 January
Monday 8 January Tuesday 9 January
Tuesday 9 January Wednesday 10 January
Wednesday 10 January Thursday 11 January
Thursday 11 January Friday 12 January
Friday 12 January Saturday 13 January

To check the day your bin is collected www.basingstoke.gov.uk/bincollections  or call 01256 844844

More bottles this Christmas?
Let the council know if you need a free second glass collection box for extra bottles over Christmas or residents are able to get a glass bin as an alternative to a box if they often have lots of bottles and jars to recycle. The red 140 litre bins can be ordered for £25.63 online at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/glassbin.

More information on what can and can’t be recycled is available on the council’s website at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/recycle  or by calling the council on 01256 844844.

Thinking of getting a real Christmas tree this year?
Don’t forget to recycle it after Christmas at one of the drop-off points across the borough from Wednesday 3 January until Sunday 28 January 2018. For more information visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/recycle

St Bedes’s Christmas Services

Church Services at St. Bede’s Church, Basingstoke for Christmas.
Sunday 24th Dec.
5.30 pm Carols
6.00 pm Vigil Mass
9.30 pm Carols
10.00 pm Mass during the Night

Monday 25th – Christmas Day
8.00 am Dawn Mass
10.00 am Mass during the day.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

The articles on Communities living alongside Test and Itchen rivers in line for National Lottery support can be found here.

December Events at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre

Hearing Impaired Reading Group
Friday 1 December / 2pm – 4pm / FREE
An opportunity to meet people in a similar situation round a shared interest

Discover Board Games
Saturday 2, 16 & 30 December / 10am – 1pm / Ages 3+ / FREE

Disability Signpost Service
Tuesday 5 December / 10am – 12noon
Drop-in for information on topics including transport, benefits, housing and more.

Basingstoke Disability Connections
Tuesday 5 December / 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Informal get-together for people affected by disability.

Memory Box Project
Friday 8 & 22 December / 10.30am – 12.30pm
The memory box project is an exciting reminiscence project open to all. Drop in and share some stories around the interesting objects on display.

Young Embroiders Club
Saturday 9 December / 9.30am – 12.30pm / Ages 5-16 / £5 per session
Learn new skills and meet new friends

Saturday 9 December / 2pm – 3pm / Ages 8-11 / FREE
Are you a Bookaholic?
Do you enjoy sharing ideas, making new friends and exploring new subjects?
Join Chatterbooks a book group aimed for 8-11 year olds.
Books, activities, quizzes and lots more.
Sign up at the Information Desk in the library.

Children’s Crafts
Saturday 9 & 23 December / from 10am / Ages 3+ / FREE

Board in the Library
Saturdays / 11am – 4pm / FREE
Wednesday 13 & 27 December / 2pm – 6pm / FREE
A variety of new and traditional board games available on request.

A Christmas Cracker
Wednesday 13 December / 7.30pm – 8.30pm / £5
Performed by Jonathan Jones
A Christmas Cracker’ – a miscellany of poetry and prose for the festive season, including ‘The Nursery School Nativity’ by Joyce Grenfell, poetry by John Betjamin, Ogden Nash and T. S. Eliot, and a reading from ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ by Betty Smith, interspersed with the origins of Christmas traditions.
John’s performance will be followed by a visit from the Yateley Village Mummers at 8.30pm and free refreshments.

Wonderful Wordsmiths
Wednesday 13 December / 4pm – 5pm / Ages 8 – 13 / FREE
Gain confidence in your writing and meet like-minded people in this friendly group

Crime Fiction Reading Group
Saturday 16 December / 2pm / FREE
Meet others who share your enjoyment of this genre

Saturday 16 December/ 11am – 4pm / FREE
Experience a new level of social gaming with your Nintendo and other gaming consoles.

Family Chess Coaching
Saturday 16 December / 10am – 1pm (drop-in) / Free
David Graham and members of the Basingstoke Junior Chess Club will be visiting to offer hints, tips and guidance for complete beginners as well as to those with some knowledge and experience.

Visually Impaired Reading Group
Monday 18 December / 10am – 12 noon / FREE
An opportunity to meet people in a similar situation round a shared interest

Creative Writing
Wednesday 20 December / 2pm – 4pm / £1
New members are welcome at this supportive group for writers of all genres and ability
Note: This is the usual Wednesday Group

Poetry Group 
Wednesday 20 December / 10.30am – 12.00 noon / £1
Read and share poetry with other like-minded people

Last chance to see The Vyne’s rooftop walkway

This article can be found here.

100,000 visitors flock to rooftop walkway in just seven months….

….in support of £5.4 million project to save former Tudor power house

More than 100,000 visitors have experienced the drama of The Vyne’s rooftop walkway since it opened in March this year. The walkway is the highlight of the mansion’s ambitious £5.4m project to save its roof.

From this fully accessible and lofty vantage point, members of the public are treated to a once-in-a-lifetime view of the conservation work as it unfolds in front of them.

“This is a fantastic achievement,” remarked Stuart Maughan, The Vyne’s General Manager. “People have voted with their feet in support of this huge project to save The Vyne. It’s wonderful to be able to share with them this unique ‘behind the scenes’ view into one of the National Trust’s biggest conservation projects of recent years.”

The Grade I listed National Trust property boasts an illustrious history. In October 1535 Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn came to The Vyne on a visit believed to have changed the course of the Reformation. Today, urgent repairs are underway following a violent storm in December 2013 that caused water to leak into the house.

After meticulous surveys and planning, contractors started building the scaffolding around the house in October 2016 using 41 miles of scaffold poles. The very first visitors set foot on the walkway on 13 March as the conservation work began. Seven months later, visitors to the walkway have topped 100,000.

Friends Lucy Fisher and Steph Mathias (image in Dropbox folder) were named official joint 100,000th visitors to the rooftop walkway. They each ‘tagged’ (drew on) a clay tile destined for the new roof – something available to all The Vyne’s visitors for a suggested donation of £5 – and were treated to a cream tea.

It’s not only large numbers of visitors the walkway is attracting; “The feedback we have received from visitors has been amazing,” says Stuart. “People keep coming back to see how the conservation work is progressing. Our visitors are as intrigued as we are to see the latest developments.”

Visitor Experience & Fundraising Manager Hollie Ryan adds: “People can see how precise and careful the work is and they want to get behind the project; they want to help. Many people have done this by becoming rooftop volunteers, welcoming our visitors on to the walkway. The project has been so successful though that we’re desperately in need of more volunteers. If anyone is interested, we’d love to hear from them.”

Leaving their own mark on The Vyne, visitors have been writing messages and drawing pictures on tiles destined for the new roof for a suggested donation of £5 a tile. This daily activity called ‘Tag-a-Tile’ has seen more than 9,600 tiles sponsored so far, raising a staggering £47,918.

“This is a simple thing that anyone can do and these tagged tiles will be a part of The Vyne for centuries to come,” explains Hollie.

Visitors can make their donations go even further thanks to Greenham Trust – a charity that will match fund donations up to the value of £50,000.

The rooftop walkway and Tag-a-Tile activity is available daily until 31 January. Once the new roof has been finished, it will take around three months for the scaffold to be taken down but much of the house will remain open throughout.

More to see……

Inside the house

Inside the house The Vyne is telling the fascinating story of King Henry VIII’s visit to The Vyne with Anne Boleyn in 1535. The eerily beautiful chapel ‘soundscape’ transports visitors back to a 16th-century Mass as Henry would have heard it, whilst elsewhere they’ll find animated tapestries depicting Tudor courtly life. Other show rooms reveal how Victorian owner Wiggett Chute saved The Vyne from dereliction.

At Christmas

Father Christmas and Friends family trail PLUS rooftop walkway, 1 December – 2 January 2018, £1 per trail, walkway open 10am – 3pm (last entry 2.30pm), closed 24 & 25 December

Father Christmas is visiting The Vyne a little early this year. He needs to check that he can still park his sleigh on the roof, despite our huge roof project scaffold. Follow the trail around the property to find his festive helpers, then ascend our exciting rooftop walkway to see if Father Christmas has made a safe landing.

To find out more about The Vyne visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-vyne or call 01256 883858.

Probus hears about a life changing rail journey

“Two first class tickets to Shanghai please” was how Liz Barron and her husband Tony requested the ticket office clerk as they set out on the first stage of an epic train journey from Barry in South Wales to Shanghai. Liz told the Probus Club of Basingstoke about how her grandfather Leslie Pardoe had set out on this journey 100 years before, a 21 years old bachelor, to start a new job as a deputy surveyor in this Chinese city.

Liz and husband Tony wanted to recreate this journey exactly and it had been in the planning for almost a year to ensure that they were able to stay in the same cities and hotels as Leslie had experienced on this 6000 miles adventure.

The route took them first to London and thence across the Channel to Ostend, with stopovers in Brussels, Cologne, Berlin, Warsaw, Minsk and Moscow. Then four days and nights on the Trans Siberian railway continuing on the Trans Manchurian railway to China.

The only change to the route was that her grandfather had taken a three days ferry from Dailen across the East China Sea to Shanghai but the service no longer operates so they completed the final leg by train which had a stop in Beijing. Their journey took 24 days while her grandfather had taken 15 days because they wanted to do some sight-seeing knowing that it was unlikely they would pass this way again.

Leslie Pardoe lived in Shanghai for 27 years, meeting there and marrying Liz’s grandmother, Margaret. Liz’s father, John, was the youngest of their four children. The family left Shanghai when the Japanese took over the city in 1940 and they escaped back to England via Canada.

Leslie Pardoe had travelled first class for £10 7s 3d but it cost Liz and Tony £25,000 to replicate this transit.

See www.probusbasingstoke.wordpress.com

St. Michael’s Hospice and St. Michael’s Home Care Winter Update

This article can be found here.

Support Real Change this winter to help those sleeping rough

“Everything felt safe, very safe” – the verdict of one of the rough sleepers who stayed at the Night Light shelter in Basingstoke last winter. It’s an opinion shared by most of the guests who found a hot meal, a warm bed and the friendly welcome of somebody who cares.

The shelter, held in churches in the town centre area for the first time last year, was one of the beneficiaries of the Real Change not Loose Change campaign and it made a real difference to the lives of the local homeless community.

Generous donations of money, time through volunteering, food and equipment from local people had a positive impact. Ultimately, 32 people who might have found themselves regularly sleeping on the streets were encouraged to find secure accommodation after visiting the night shelter.

In addition, some of the funds raised have allowed the town’s Camrose Day Centre to open for a third day and it recently acquired a new shower room for homeless visitors.

While so many people have been helped, it is estimated that between 15 to 25 people are still sleeping rough on the borough’s streets today, highlighting the need to provide ongoing support.

As part of this effort, the Social Inclusion Partnership – which includes a range of specialist, voluntary, statutory, faith and community groups – has launched Real Change 2017 and is asking residents and businesses to help in the effort to provide much-needed shelter and vital support to people sleeping rough on the borough’s streets.

Through a crowdfunding site, the Social Inclusion Partnership hopes to raise just over £16,000 to fund this year’s Night Light winter shelter to open for seven days a week from December to February, extend the third day of opening trial at the Camrose Day Centre and provide safe storage for people sleeping rough to keep their personal possessions in.

Volunteers are needed to work at the winter shelter and Camrose Day Centre and there are many more opportunities to give time and items to support homeless services, groups and organisations in the borough.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Chair of the Social Inclusion Partnership Cllr Terri Reid said: “The generous response from local people to last year’s Real Change not Loose Change campaign was overwhelming and made a huge difference to the lives of many people sleeping rough.

“Sadly, people are still sleeping rough on the borough’s streets and as the weather turns colder, we are determined to set the ball rolling once again to provide essential support to those who are most in need.

“By working together we can make a real difference. I encourage everyone to support this joint effort in any way they can to help improve the lives of more people who have, for whatever reason, found themselves in this desperate position. Everyone, from businesses to residents, can show their support by donating time, money or items, however small, as an alternative to giving directly to people on the streets.”

You can support Real Change by:

  • Calling Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 or visiting http://streetlink.org.uk/ if you are worried about someone sleeping rough
  • Support local homelessness charities and services as an alternative to giving money directly to people on the streets
  • Donate at www.spacehive.com/real-change-basingstoke-2017 to help raise funds for the Night Light winter shelter, a continuation of the third day of opening at the Camrose Day Centre and safe storage for people sleeping rough to keep their personal possessions in.

Full details of all of the opportunities to volunteer and donate and more information about the Social Inclusion Partnership and the Real Change not Loose Change campaign are available at www.basingstoke.gov.uk/real-change


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