Extras – January 2020


Basingstoke Civil Service Retirement Fellowship

There were 48 members at the Christmas buffet held on Wednesday 4th December who enjoyed a variety of Christmas fayre and were entertained by the magic of Simon Williams. Crackers to decorate the tables were kindly donated by Tesco and a bumper number of raffle prizes, including a donation from Storck UK, meant that everyone became a winner.

2020 will be the group’s 50th anniversary year and the programme of speakers has already been arranged. January sees the welcome return of Barbara Cummings who this time is telling us about her cycle ride round America; in February Allen Purkiss is speaking on the Thrills and Spills of traffic policing; March is the AGM with a presentation from Connect to Support Hampshire followed by lunch at the Conservative Club; in April Mike Brooks tells us about Amdram; in May Terri Reid is giving a talk on Facing the Future (1940 – post war); in June we have a presentation from Sainsburys; in July a talk from Able Community Care; in August Steve Herra returns to give us a history of the Cunard line; in September Suzy Butress gives a talk on Wild Birds; in October Dianne Mannering says “Send us some Women”; in November we hear about the work of the RNLI and in December we have our Christmas buffet with Fiona Birchall telling us the Christmas Story.

The group’s next outing is on Thursday 23rd January which is to the Theatre Royal, Windsor for a matinee performance of The Cat and the Canary. Further trips throughout the year are planned to Bletchley Park, Dorney Court, Hatfield House, Newbury Races, Afternoon Tea at BCOT, a Thames Cruise, Hever Castle, Countryfile Live, Osborne House, Bicester Village and the ever popular Mystery trip.
The next meeting is on 8th January and after that he group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at Brookvale Village Hall from 10am to 12noon and all retired Civil Servants, their relatives and friends are welcome. Further details about the group and information about our trips can be obtained by contacting csrfbasingstoke@gmail.com.

Basingstoke and District Railway Society

Our programme for the new year starts at 7.45pm on Wednesday 8 January 2020 with Secret Siberia, a suitably wintery topic for a January evening. Paul Whittle will describe an epic rail journey across this vast region. He will also take a brief look at the activities of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society and at the Kyoto Railway Museum in Japan.

The second meeting of the month, at 7.45pm on Wednesday 22 January, is the Society AGM to be followed this year by another selection of Railway Postcards presented by Society member John Hollands.

Our meetings are held at The Wote Street Club in New Road in Basingstoke town centre. We welcome new members to the Society and are always pleased to see non-members at our meetings. We have a very varied programme for 2020 embracing historical interest, modern rail issues, steam and modern traction and British and foreign locations. Something for everyone with an interest in railways. Why not join us? More information about the Society, membership and our programme of meetings can be found on our website at www.bdrs70d.com or telephone 01256 331002.

The Dragonfly Project Seeks to Raise Domestic Violence and Abuse Awareness Across Hampshire

Domestic Violence and Abuse is an issue which affects all communities. One in four women and one in six men are affected by domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime. Currently, the UK government ‘Domestic Violence Bill 2017-2019’ is being reviewed by the Public Bill Committee, and if successful, will bring about significant change in support for those affected and prosecution of offenders nationwide. This bill will introduce the first statutory definition of domestic violence and abuse, including economic abuse, and controlling and coercive non-physical abuse.
The YOU Trust started The Dragonfly Project in 2016 in Dorset, with the aim of raising awareness of Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) and the services available with a specific focus on targeting isolated people and communities. Since the start of the project in Dorset, the team has successfully trained over 900 members of the community to become champions for the Dragonfly Project, increasing referrals for support by 25%.
This year, the project is expanding to Hampshire, covering Basingstoke, Winchester, Andover, Eastleigh, New Forest, and the Isle of Wight. Across Hampshire you will start to see the Dragonfly Project emblem appearing in shop windows, pubs, community support services, salons, and more, providing you with the key contact details of who to call if you are in need of support. Additionally, if you see the Dragonfly sticker or badge, this indicates that the person wearing this is a Champion for the Dragonfly Project, and has received the necessary training to provide you with advice and guidance to access specialist DVA support.
If you are interested in getting involved and can attend training to become a Champion for the Dragonfly Project, please contact the team. Training is run in group sessions of 6-20 people and can be organised at the group’s preferred location.
If you have any enquiries regarding the project, services, or are in need of support contact The Dragonfly Project on 0800 916 9878.

Linguatastic Language School

Happy 2020 everybody!

Did you know that in Italy, people like to exchange gifts at New Year? Different gifts have different meanings. Honey for example, signifies sweetness and peace; gold and other precious metals are believed to bring prosperity and lamps are to illuminate the year.

Another tradition in Italy is to wear red underwear on 31st December. Red is considered a lucky colour which brings “allegria” (cheerfulness) and consequently good fortune. Italians also give the gift of red underwear, to wish great fortune and a rich and satisfying year ahead.

Of course, food is extremely important to Italians, and New Year customs vary from region to region, but sweet bread or cake is served in most parts of Italy, symbolising prosperity and hope for the new year. Lentils are also considered very lucky. And pork with fatty sausages signifies fattening wallets.

On 6th January, it’s Epiphany, another important festival in Italy. It is when “La Befana” comes to visit. The name “La Befana” comes from the word “Epifania”. Legend has it that on the way to visit Baby Jesus with their gifts, the Three Magi stopped at the door of an old woman to ask directions and to rest a bit. They explained what they were doing and asked her if she would like to accompany them, but she declined. The Magi departed, but while she was sweeping her floor, La Befana changed her mind. She gathered some sweets as a gift and ran out after them, but they were long gone. So, she set off by herself following the star and leaving sweets at every child’s door hoping to find Baby Jesus. To this day, she continues her search, broom in hand, handkerchief on her head, leaving sweets and toys along the way!

Probus Looks to the Future

It’s been another successful calendar year for the Probus Club of Basingstoke. You know the one, just for retired male managers; but it’s not all male domination as their social events involve the ladies. Just like their black tie Christmas dinner held at the Test Valley golf club where fifty people had an enjoyable night accompanied by 60s and 70s music and dancing.

President Richard Wood is confident that the future looks rosy with several trips in the pipe line which wives and friends can attend. The world famous Morgan car factory in Malvern will be an attraction not just for car buffs but maybe a spot of shopping and taking in the local medicinal waters will add something to the day. And what about a visit to Highgrove House where their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall allow garden tours with expert guides. Or a visit to Bletchley Park that played such an important role in WW2 with the cracking of the German Enigma code and was the birthplace of modern information technology.

Richard waxed lyrical about the monthly business style meetings where guest speakers entertain members with a diverse range of subjects. January has retired radio reporter Alan Jones, who will give examples of weird and wonderful and downright crazy stories, from nudists to royalty, dangerous animals and nervous bishops, giving truth to what can happen and go wrong when there is a live microphone.

February has member Stephen Thair, who had a private pilot’s licence, discussing Birds and Planes with shared names and features and some exotic species from his time working in the tropics.

March has author Mel Rees with amusing observations about his family and the national scene all in a very non politically correct style which guarantees laughter throughout his presentation.

Richard continued “We welcome new members, irrespective of how many years they have been retired. Contact our secretary Jonathan Ratcliff on 07501 271547 if you would like to come along for a taster meeting.”


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