News: November/December 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

Consultation on Little Penwood

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council are consulting on the future of Little Penwood. They are drawing up a 20-year management plan and have listed several options for this area of woodland:

You can see the whole draft plan and have your say by visiting The Little Penwod Management Plan page of the council's website. The consultation closes on Friday 3rd January

Highclere Society History Group Meeting

At last month’s History Group meeting, Dulcie Martin, who lives locally, very kindly allowed the History Group to see a family book dating back to nineteenth century which had mentions of local places including Highclere Castle. It contained many photographs and various Christmas, birthday and other occasion cards. The History Group were fascinated by the contents and were very grateful to be given the opportunity to see the book. If you have some local historical information that you could share with the history Group, please contact Ron Snipp by email to rgs*at* See also the history group page.

Walks Leaflets

Over the last few years, the Society has published and distributed three leaflets detailing walks around the countryside surrounding Highclere and the committee would be very pleased to receive feedback about the walks and the leaflets. If you were able to get out and about to follow one, two or all three of the walks during the summer, then please send your comments to Patrick Hedgeland. If you would like a copy of the walks leaflets, they are now available to download from the Society’s website or from any committee member.

“No Cold Calling Zone” for Highclere

Highclere has now been established as a no cold calling zone! Thanks must go to Ron Snipp and his group of co-ordinators for their hard work in making this happen.

The Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators canvassed 252 homes and 223 residents confirmed that they wanted the zone (88.5%) - 7 were indifferent and 22 did not respond (some houses being empty). Anyone who either has not responded to their leaflet or perhaps thrown it away not realising what it was, can still register by returning the completed tear off section of the leaflet to their co-ordinator or by sending an e-mail to confirming that they are in favour of the scheme and including their full address.

Road signs have been erected at the entrances to the village and all 252 properties included in the scheme will receive a Residents Information Pack which includes stickers advising that they do not buy at the door, a booklet on home safety and a booklet of approved local tradesmen/businesses. The zone will only work if residents enforce the “say no” to callers theme and these packs carry full instructions regarding this.

The Highclere Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) area extends from Seven Stones Bridge on the Andover Road through to the junction of Andover Road and Hollington Lane (just past the Red House Pub), Hollington Lane to Ashdown House (formerly Windy Ridge), Westridge, Tubbs Lane, Pantings Lane, Mount Road to the bridge just past Lumbergs/Highclere Business Centre, Church Lane up to the Highclere Castle Estate gates and all roads encompassed by these roads. Anyone not covered by this area is free to set-up their own zone and should in the first instance, contact their own NHW co-ordinator or Trading Standards for advice.

A new NHW co-ordinator is needed for Church Lane, Highclere, as the current co-ordinator wishes to retire. It is only a small area of 13 properties. If you are interested in becoming the co-ordinator for Church Lane, please contact Ron Snipp by email (see contacts.

Summer Barbecue

summer bbq

The Highclere Society Summer Barbecue returned with a bang on Sunday June 30th. Over 120 Society members, frineds and guests enjoyed the sunshine, the food and drink and the fantastic view afforded from Janet and Nigel Taylor’s garden. Many thanks go to Nigel and Janet Taylor for hosting the event. The weather was glorious and the entrance drink of Pimms went down really well.

The BBQ was provided by Gary Lemon of Thames Valley Meats and he and his team did a tremendous job in feeding those attending.

The lawn was resplendent with the new gazebos and seating for all, as we enjoyed the sunshine, the glorious views and music supplied by Steve Smart. The children were kept occupied with various games.

The donated raffles prizes, from local businesses and sourced by Christine Leah, were superb and raised £467. In addition, a pair of Henley tickets, generously provided by a member, was auctioned for £50. The whole sum of £517 has been donated to the "Reading Urology Research Fund” charity.

These events do not just happen, so our thanks go to the committee, also the many helpers who came forward over three days to erect gazebos and tents, deliver furniture, prepare food, decorate tables etc. Not forgetting those who helped dismantle!

Highclere Film Club

Highclere Film Club have published their programme for the new Autumn Season:

Doors open at 7.30pm and the film starts at 8.00pm. Admission prices are £4 for members and £6 for non-members (unless otherwise stated). Join the members of the film club for a fun, luxury film experience in your local village hall. Also coming soon is “Chick Flick night with Prosecco and cupcakes”! More details to follow.

Village Agent

Sarah Garland is the newly appointed ‘Village Agent’ volunteer for the Highclere, East Woodhay and Ashmansworth area. She is part of a Hampshire County Council’s funded programme aimed at reaching out to older people in rural areas and the idea behind Village Agents like Sarah is to signpost people over the age of 55 to a variety of services that will enable them to live independently in their own homes for longer.

Sarah, who is a volunteer for Age Concern Hampshire, the organisation which coordinates the programme, said:

“The Village Agents are well respected volunteers who operate in rural areas of the County, identified by Age Concern Hampshire and Hampshire County Council, where there are older people who might need information and support. My voluntary role is not to compete against other agencies already in place, but signpost where there is a need. I have lots of resources and contacts and have undergone training by Age Concern Hampshire. I will also receive training from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and will be able to carry out Free Basic Home Fire Safety checks for older people.”

Sarah can provide information about many issues including:

If you want to chat to Sarah and put any of these things to the test she can be contacted direct on 07806 659449 or Alternatively if you cannot reach Sarah then call free to 0800 328 7154 where your message will be dealt with in Age Concern Hampshire and your details passed on to Sarah.

Scottish & Southern Energy – Power Cuts

For several years now, Highclere resident and Society member Kevin Pearson has been in discussion with Scottish & Southern Energy about the problem of power cuts that we have experienced in the village. As a result of Kevin’s efforts, SSE installed “flock-offs” (bird scarers) on cables in vulnerable areas, which appeared to help the situation, and SSE also agreed to spend a considerable sum of money carrying out improvements in the sub-stations where most of the faults occur. SSE has now reported that “all the work has now been completed on the local sub-stations and when any problems occur, the switching is now automatic to re-set”. This will mean that we do not have to wait for engineers to correct the fault, it can be done remotely. So we should see an improvement in our service. This applies to the immediate area and covers our neighbouring villages.

A big thank you to Kevin for his efforts in tackling this issue. His commitment and perseverance will make Highclere a lighter and brighter place to live!

Thanks again

Patrick Hedgeland

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