Newsletter - April 2008

I am delighted to announce that Highclere Society now has an independent website. Members can access the new site immediately.

It will be linked from soon to replace the existing pages. Meanwhile the old style Highclere Society pages will stay on for a short period. HS will continue its commitment to pay 75% of the cost of Highclere Village site and indeed hope to update that also soon.

Our thanks go to David Skyrme who kindly produce this great new site with the latest software technology and will fund and run it for us.

The Red House

Good news, the agents have confirmed that the Red house has been let. Rumour has it to a popular local catering family but I have no facts.

Update July 2008: The Red House has now reopened!

Recent Events

Highclere Society Golf Day

Nineteen players turned up at Donnington Grove Golf Club on the 31st March for the first of this year Society Golf days. The best turnout since this event started. The weather was very good, bright and no wind, ideal for golf. After coffee and bacon rolls the matches started at 10.30am. Donnington Grove is a challenging course, in very good condition; by the buzz in the bar at the 19th hole everyone had enjoyed the day.

The day was completed by a late lunch; Patrick Hedgeland joined the players to present the prizes. The overall winner was Mike Williams with 35 points. Prizes were also awarded to Russ Castle nearest the pin, Ian Briggs longest drive, Ben Briggs nearest the pin with two shots on a par four, special prizes to John Parsons and Barry Wall.

Our thanks go to Clive Sanders, a member of Donnington Grove for organising the day and to Ian Briggs for promoting all our Golf days.

Coming Events for Members

Non members are welcome at most events but advanced booking is essential and numbers are limited. As non members pay extra it is often better to join the Society. Email patrickhedgeland* (substitute @ for *) for information.

June 22nd - Highclere Society Summer Fizzz

Our traditional annual lunchtime party will be held in Erica Harman's garden, for a second time by popular demand. Please put the date in your diary. Full details of the new format etc will appear in the next newsletter.

June 29th - Cricket

We are participating again this year in a cricket match against our friends at East Woodhay Cricket Club. Interested players please call John Stinson 253632. More spectator details in May.

Highclere Society Golf Day - 6th October

James Hirst has booked West Berks GC. It is the usual format of coffee, bacon roll, morning round of golf, lunch etc. Depending on numbers, prizes and wine the price will be around £40.

Please contact Ian Briggs on 253 995 if you would like to join us.

Other HS activities

Circular walks around Highclere

We have started a project to document circular walks from Highclere. The plan is to include notes on local history and wildlife etc on each route. A leaflet asking for your favourite walks is available on this site. See the walks page.

We need your help in mapping these walks so if you would be interested in helping please contact Jill Williams 253965, Sue Roberts 255101, or Pam Brown 250836.

Development in Pantings Lane

HS have been given a small window of opportunity by Rivar to move wild English bluebells from this development site. Anyone willing to give an hour or so of their time to join a working party, please contact Sue Roberts on 01635 255 101 or sue.msrassociates* (substitute @ for *).

Likewise, if you know of a site where the English Bluebell is thriving elsewhere in the parish, again please contact Sue. They are best transplanted where others are known to be growing. It is important that they are kept a good distance away from Spanish bluebells.

Greener Society

Don't forget to keep filling the collection box at the entrance path to Westridge Studio, Andover Road. We pass them on to local charities for recycling so please continue to drop off:

A343 Closure near Penwood crossroads

Our main road currently has traffic lights but may also be closed at times for major sewerage improvements for sometime. I do not have a time scale but any work that improves sewers for people locally has to be good news despite temporary hold ups!

Aldern Bridge closure

Whilst on roads Aldern Bridge, which is the narrow bridge at the far end of the road from Burghclere to Greenham just before joining the A339 Newbury - Basingstoke Road, is expected to be closed from the start of June to end September so that a new bridge can be built.

Latest - the dates for closure are from 9th June for 18 weeks.

News from Other Groups

Kingsclere History Walk - 11th May

Contact Norman Powers, 254154 of East Woodhay History Society for details of this guided walk around Kingsclere on 11th. May.

Ashmansworth Parish Councillor Alan Cox writes

"Many of you will have heard of the plans by Tesco to build a 'mega shed' larger than the infamous T5 as their main distribution centre for the whole of the south of England. Although the main impact might be on Andover, the impact on the roads especially A303, A34 and M3 all of which are already overloaded, would be appalling.

Horace Mitchell our local councillor at Basingstoke and responsible for transportation policy has been discussing this with Hampshire County Council and they are firmly of the opinion that no such lorry should be allowed to use the A343. This is good news for us, although we are not sure how they could totally enforce it for suppliers' vehicles (as opposed to Tesco's own ones, which can be told what to do).

More details on website,"

Patrick Hedgeland

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