News: April-May 2013

Below are selected items from recent newsletters and emailings. Members of the society receive the full newsletter and other regular updates by email ahead of them appearing on this website

Highclere’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations – a Photographic Record

Cast your minds back 11 very wet and wintry months to June 2012. Preparations for the village’s celebrations were well under way. The Picnic Party in Crowshott Paddock and the Flower Festival in Church were very special occasions, enjoyed by all who attended them (despite the torrential rain at the party)! To commemorate these occasions, there are two framed collages of photographs hanging in the village hall. Please take a few moments to look when you are next in the hall. A very big thank you goes to Highclere Society member, Lisa Cameron, for taking all these wonderful photographs.

Highclere Bells

Highclere PCC has issued an appeal for help in funding the cost of required maintenance and repairs to the bells in Highclere Church. A ring of six bells was installed in the church in 1871 and a further two bells were added in 1929, making an Octave. A recent inspection of the bells has identified that routine maintenance is required and some faults need attention. The cost of the works is just over £6,600. The PCC have allocated some funds towards the cost and donations have been made but £3,000 is still needed to meet the total bill.

The Highclere Society committee members voted unanimously to make a donation of £500 towards this cost as the bells are regarded as an asset to the village, bringing pleasure to all the residents of Highclere and wedding couples, not just churchgoers. (If you would like to make an individual donation, please contact Jo Walsh on 01635 255013.) The Greenham Trust will match all donations made so we have effectively closed the gap by £1000!

Highclere Society Auction – Signed Reading FC Football Shirt

The auction sale of the signed Reading FC football shirt was a great success and raised £110 for the Society’s chosen charity, the Reading Urology Research Fund. Many thanks to all those members who placed a bid and a special thanks to Christine Leah for her winning bid of £110.

Highclere Society Spring Golf Day

This years’ spring golf tournament was at Newbury & Crookham Golf Club on the 19th April. A re-run of the abandoned match there last September. Nineteen players turned up, the weather was chilly with a bit of sun but thankfully no rain. The scores were not as high as previous matches but that reflects the difficulty of the course, which was in good condition. Patrick Hedgeland, joined us for lunch to present the prizes.

The overall winner this year was Roland Gardner with 37 points an excellent round of golf, especially on the back 9, 25 points scored .James Hirst also scored 37 points but lost on the count back. Prizes also went to Roland Gardner for the longest drive and Graham Falconer for nearest the pin. Special prizes were awarded to Terry Watt and Mike Lambert.

The next Golf Society day will be in the autumn of 2013.

Sunday 30th June 2013 – Highclere Society Summer Barbecue

Preparations for the Highclere Society Summer Barbecue, which will be held on Sunday 30th June, are now underway! Many thanks to Nigel and Janet Taylor who have kindly agreed to host the BBQ this year. Final details of this event will be provided in future newsletters, but tickets can now be reserved by sending an email to Please do not send money until requested). A two-course BBQ lunch will be provided, and a vegetarian option will be available for those who pre-book it, and there will be a cash bar. As in previous years, there will be a raffle at the event to raise money for the Society’s chosen charity. In these recession-hit times, the price of tickets has been kept at the same level as for our last BBQ in 2010 - £15 for members, £17 for non-members, £5 for children aged 5 to 16 yrs and under 5’s are free!

Hampshire Broadband Update

Information and updates about the Broadband Programme has appeared in the newsletter on several occasions and the most recent development is that Hampshire CC has appointed BT as its commercial partner in the three year rollout of the programme. Work will start immediately on the project and the first premises will be connected to the super-fast broadband connection by the end of 2013. More than 57,000 business and residential premises in hard to reach areas of Hampshire are set to benefit by the end of 2015, representing 90% of all premises. Everyone will be able to access at least 2Mbps. Hampshire County Council still need people to sign up to the campaign. Evidence of high demand will help the programme funding go further, increasing the number of locations to benefit. If you haven’t already done so, please register your interest with HCC, please go to

Patrick Hedgeland

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