Extras – August 2020

Basingstoke Civil Service Retirement Fellowship

After our meeting with the AGM on 4th March members were looking forward to a trip on Wednesday 25th March to Dorney Court where we were to have an exclusive guided tour of this Tudor Manor House which is rarely open to the public.  Sadly, due to the Coronavirus outbreak this did not take place along with planned visits to Hatfield House, Newbury Races, Hever Castle and Afternoon Tea at BCOT.  Countryfile Live at Windsor Great Park in August has been cancelled as has the visit to Osborne House in September.   It remains to be seen whether the Mystery Trip in October, a visit to Bicester Village Shopping Outlet in November and Christmas Lunch at BCOT in December will be able to go ahead but we will have to wait and see.  None of the monthly meetings have taken place since March and there again it remains to be seen as to what will happen.

In the mean-time members have been kept in touch with the group by means of a monthly newsletter as well as a telephone call from a member of the committee which has been much appreciated.  For most people whether they be isolating or shielding the lack of socialising has been the thing they miss most so they are all keen to see things get back to normal as soon as possible. The following comments from some of the members give some idea of the different ways that people have coped.

 “I should have been sailing from Tilbury, then via the Kiel Canal to Wiser, Germany, then on to Ronne, Denmark, Kariskrona, Sweden, sailing through the Baltic Sea, to Gdansk, Poland, finally returning to Tilbury via the Kiel Canal.  Robbie Burns wrote about the ‘best laid plans of mice and men’ going pear shaped. Well not in those words exactly, but that was what he meant.  So instead sat in the garden with a ‘cuppa’ and the cat and went outside to clap the NHS on Thursday evenings at 8pm while thanking God for all who work to save lives.”

 “The garden came in to its own, the birds using our nest boxes and building their nest for the new arrivals.  We had white caps and black birds, beautiful songs between them. I enjoyed phoning some of our members once a month, they cheered me up.  We miss the days out with the club and on our own or with the family and are ready and hopeful to get back to some sort of normal, if slowly, in the near future.”

“I used to go swimming and missed the exercise so what shall I do?  Go for a walk was the answer and although I miss the companionship of my swimming pals I have been able to enjoy new pleasures. The sunrise over the fields, with eerie morning mist some days, the wild life, the wild flowers (17 different ones noted one day), the freshness of the air and the singing of the birds.  I am sure I feel better than ever.”

“Garden never looked better, a lot of work put in because I couldn’t go for a swim or play bowls. Oh! and brown as a berry.”

“On V.E. day we joined our neighbours and all had a picnic on our drive. Umbrella up as very hot day, table and chairs out and picnic hamper which I must admit I have never used before, and of course Union Jack flags and bunting up. It was a lovely afternoon and everyone at a safe distance.”

When things return to normal the group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at Brookvale Village Hall from 10am to 12 noon. Further details can be obtained from csrfbasingstoke@gmail.com

Basingstoke and Deane Rotary Club

We’ve been joined by Bill Lenihan. He got talking to Ann Vicars at our World Sight Day stall in the Malls and she persuaded him to join us at a dinner meeting at The Hatch. It was the usual rowdy, good-humored affair and he was pretty much sold on us. Ann finished him off with her usual rack and steam hammer approach and he has just volunteered to take on our most important role, Chairman of Fundraising. Whoopee!!

But life is full of ups and downs and Barry Morgan (Mr. Fixit) has felt obliged to stand down due to ill health after

23 years as a Lion. (The one is not a direct result of the other!!!) At one time or another he has voluntarily taken on nearly every role in the Club, and always delivered. But one of the nice things about our departing members is that they all opt for the umbilical cord of our distribution list. So, when they get the minutes and recognize that we have a problem they often weigh in by helping to organize and take part in activities such as Easter Egg raffles, tinshakes etc. There is an old saying that no good deed goes unpunished. So it actually pays to recruit masochistic members. On which subject I hope to have further good news next month.

The value of the Fleet Club’s IT renovation project cannot be overstated. One of our volunteers had the good fortune to deliver a particularly large screen and keyboard to a family with a disabled child. The reaction was apparently an absolute joy to behold – the sort of outcome that really makes you feel it’s all worthwhile.

We also became aware that one of the charities which we have helped in the past was running into a short-term funding shortfall to operate its foodbank. We stepped in with a loan of £1000 to cover 2 days operating costs.

The Basingstoke Voluntary Association (BVA) organized bunches of flowers to be delivered to carers. They needed drivers to deliver them. Quiz question: “Which member of the Club made the deliveries to a village just outside Basingstoke? Hint: a character once played by Doris Day – no! not Calamity Jane, (however appropriate that might be), the other sharpshooter!” But during the deliveries our one was spotted “loitering” on a corner causing several motorists to slow down in a suggestive manner. (Cop speak!).

Stop Press: We just received a very nice thank you letter from the CEO of our local NHS Trust in respect of the additional hand creams we supplied to the hospital. Isn’t that nice!

You too can help to make a difference to the lives of others by joining us via www.basingstokelions.org.uk

Philip Wilson

Odiham and District Cottage Hospital

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