Extras – September 2019

Extras that did not make it into the printed magazine for Sept 2019.



Basingstoke Civil Service Retirement Fellowship

The Chairman, David Cowling, welcomed 40 members and 3 visitors to the meeting on Wednesday 7 August and gave apologies for those unable to attend. The Secretary, Tony Brazier gave details of the forthcoming trips and asked that those going on the River Trip and Mystery Trip complete and return their lunch choices. He also gave out a list of possible trips for next year and asked that people indicated which ones they would be interested in going on. From this the committee would prepare the 2020 programme.
The speaker this month was Paul Whittle who gave a talk about the life and times of “The Lady with the Lamp”. This was of course Florence Nightingale who was born on 12 May 1820 into a wealthy and well-connected British family at the Villa Colombaia, in Florence, Italy, and was named after the city of her birth. Florence’s older sister Parthenope had similarly been named. The family moved back to England in 1821, to the family’s homes at Embley, Hampshire and Lea Hurst, Derbyshire. She underwent the first of several experiences that she believed were calls from God in February 1837 which prompted a strong desire to devote her life to the service of others. She worked hard to educate herself in the art and science of nursing, despite opposition from her family and the restrictive social code for affluent young English women. In 1853 she took the post of superintendent at the Institute for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen in Upper Harley Street but it is her time at Scutari during the Crimean War for which she is best known. Her forcefulness gave rise to a great change in the care of wounded soldiers and to improvements in nurse training and hospital care here at home. She suffered from bad health for most of her life but lived to 90 years old dying on 13 August 1910.

The group’s next outing is a Thames trip from Abingdon to Oxford, with lunch at the Duke of Monmouth, on Thursday 12 September. Then on Friday 11 October it is the Mystery Trip which includes elevenses, lunch and afternoon tea.

The next meeting is on 4 September when the speaker is Alan Copland on Eccentric London (part 2). The 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

Diverse and more unusual subjects for our meetings this month. At 7.45pm on Wednesday 11 September Ian Bull will present The Royal Arsenal Railway – Standard Gauge. Following his absorbing talk on the narrow gauge railways of the Royal Arsenal, Ian returns to complete the picture with the history of the standard gauge lines at Woolwich, featuring some of the smallest and also the largest and heaviest equipment seen on Britain’s railways.

The following meeting at 7.45pm on Wednesday 25 September will take us back to the early days of diesel traction on Britain’s railways. Mark Walker from the Ivatt Diesel Re-Creation Society will present The LMS 10000 Project. Mark will explain the proposals to construct a replica of the pioneer London Midland and Scottish Railway’s first express diesel locomotive.

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 at a cost of just £3. For more information about the Society, membership and our programme of meetings in 2019 and 2020 take a look at our website at bdrs70d.com or telephone 01256 331002.


Basingstoke Lions Club

Our main fundraiser for the month was the “The Moscow Drug Club” at QMC. They gave us a superb performance. As a group of talented musicians they are beyond reproach and the voice of their leader sends tingles down the spine. When the performance was over and we were clearing the tables I had the opportunity to talk to a few of the audience who were lingering over their drinks. They had clearly really enjoyed it and several groups were seeing them for the 2nd and 3rd times. So if the opportunity to see them comes around again, they are definitely good value.

Our next planned event was supposed to be Ali Mac’s Rhythm and Blues band on 21st September at the Royal British Legion Club in Old Basing. Unfortunately the group had to cancel due to the hospitalization one of its members. We’ve rebooked them for 5th October. Tickets are available from Tony Bamberger, tony.bamberger@hotmail.co.uk telephone 01256 850254, Maurice Hockley email: mauricehockley@hotmail.com or telephone 01256 421867, Toucan Travel at Chineham or direct from our website www.basingstokelions.org.uk .

On the assumption that I will not drop off my perch in the meantime, the fundraiser thereafter will be our notorious Quiz Night at the Cliddesden Millenium Hall on 9th November. If you fancy your chances email me philipjhwilson@btinternet.com You need a team of 3 or 4 and a short pithy team name. Visit our website www.basingstokelions.org.uk to see the full format of the evening. It’s the best £5 worth of fun and frustration you’ll have all year!

A week later, on 16th November, the Heritage Light Orchestra will play a concert of music associated with places on the route of the Orient Express for us at QMC. These concerts are specially designed for us and feature local musicians and singers. They’re well worth supporting.

Another date for your diaries is 10th October when we will again celebrate World Sight Day in the Malls. This is your annual opportunity to speak to someone who may be able to advise you or point you towards the right people to approach on sight related matters, and to donate your unwanted spectacles for recycling to the 3rd world. No doubt Lennie the Basingstoke Lion will be in attendance. He/she (never worked that one out) manages to appear pretty much everywhere, most recently at the Hook Fete.

On the Welfare front the demand for white goods for families without the means to replace broken appliances continues unabated. We normally obtain expertly recycled goods from the Community Furniture Project. But demand for cookers recently exceeded supply and we had to resort to a new purchase.

We have had a request to assist with equipment for a young girl suffering multiple disabilities. We will help, but cannot meet her needs on our own. We are currently trying to recruit other local Lions Clubs to her cause. We’ll let you know how we get on in due course.

We also had a very interesting talk from two members of the Basingstoke Rape and Crisis team (BRASSAC) and have set aside funds to assist them when needed.
Regrettably I have to end on a sad note. Our previous District Governor, Ken Staniforth, lost his battle with cancer. In my monthly report in December 2017 I wrote “VDG Ken Staniforth attended our last business meeting. He’s always a welcome guest …………..” He was great company and continued his dedication and enthusiasm for helping others through Lionism to the end. His spirit lives on!


Basingstoke Music and Arts Festival

Full details are available in the BMAF 2020 syllabus available now as a FREE printed booklet. If you prefer, you can download as a PDF, or view on-line at the BMAF website: http://basingstokemusicandarts.org.uk . For details of the individual competition categories, click on the ‘Sections’ TAB.
To request a copy of the BMAF 2020 syllabus, please email jeanfilkin@hotmail.co.uk the BMAF secretary.


Probus Visits the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

What a day to remember! It had been over a year since booking our place but a party of 29 consisting of members and their wives/partners of the Probus Club had a wonderful experience as they were present at the Commandant’s Parade at the world famous Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst.

The day was one to remember of history, pageantry and military precision. The proceedings took place in and around the Old College building and on the parade ground outside. Around 2,000 guests were housed in two large stands completely under canvas. Between them was the dais for the salute to be taken by the Commandant as he reviewed the parade of the Officer Cadets, some third of whom were at the end of 12 month’s training before commissioning as an officer in today’s army.

Since 1947, over 4,800 young people from 120 different countries have trained alongside British Officer Cadets, reinforcing the ties between the British Army and the Armies of our friends and allies. At this Parade, of four top awards two were for Overseas Officer Cadets – from Ukraine and USA.

Many of the tutors are NCOs who bring real army experience and were visible on parade in charge of the various sections as they marched past the saluting dais of the Reviewing Officer. The band of the Parachute Regiment provided a varied programme of music throughout the Parade.

The Commandant and his party inspected the Parade and the Sovereign’s Platoon presented Arms following which they trooped the Sovereign’s Banner. The Parade marched past in slow and quick time and then in review order.

At the end of the Parade the Adjutant who had been on horseback throughout the proceedings most impressively rode his horse across the parade ground and up the steps and through the large doorway of the Old College a tradition started in the nineteenth century.

This had been a full day revealing many aspects of the history and tradition that lies behind the training of an officer in today’s army. The discipline and skill shown on the parade ground left an abiding memory.


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