News: November 2014

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

AGM and Talk

The 2014 AGM was held in the village hall on 6th November. The turnout was very good with around 40 members coming to hear what the committee had to say and enjoy a glass or two of wine. Once again, the Society’s year was busy with the wine tasting evening, golf days and the summer BBQ. The Society’s History Group has prepared a montage of the Highclere World War 1 local heroes, which can be seen in the village hall, and the village’s milestones have been cleaned and restored by Christine Leah and Martin Osgood.

A cheque for £738 was presented to Karen Bennett, representing the charity Anna’s Challenges. The Chair and the committee were re-elected and Nick Spencer was introduced as the Society’s new treasurer. Honorary Society member John Parsons spoke passionately about Ataxia UK, the Society’s chosen charity for the forthcoming year. As always, we will be holding a number of events to raise funds for this charity and we hope we can rely on your support. Following the AGM, Chris Boulton, CEO of the Greenham Common Trust, gave an interesting and informative talk about the past, the present and the future of Greenham Common and the work of the Greenham Common Trust

Highclere Christmas Carol Singers

Wednesday 17th December 2014

Do you enjoy singing Christmas Carols? If so, why not join the Highclere Christmas Carol Singers as they go round the village singing carols in aid of Cancer Research. New faces will be very welcome, irrespective of age and singing ability. The singers will assemble at 10 Arkwright Close, Highclere (off Tubbs Lane) between 6pm and 6.30pm for a glass of mulled wine and mince pies, before going round the village singing carols. The event will finish at around 9.00pm at the Red House where members of the East Woodhay Silver Band will join the singers for a final round of Carols. If you wish to join the group, or need further information, please let me know by email at m_j.osgood*AT* or phone 01635 250756. Carol sheets will be provided, but if you join them please take a torch and a day-glow jacket if you have one.

The Annual Village Christmas Walk

Celebrating 30 years of waist disposal!

30 years ago this Christmas, a small band of parents, pressganged children and dogs set off on the day after Boxing Day to walk from Coombe Gibbet to the Axe and Compasses at East End, taking hip flasks and mince pies to sustain them along the way. Since then, on the same day at the same time each year; the 27th of December at 10.30 am, a walk has taken place to help lighten the burden of the turkey and Christmas pudding and escape from over indulgence for some fresh air. The few, now, have become many, as the walk is open to anyone who wants to take part. New friendships have been made along the way, old ones rekindled. The first parents have become grandparents and the original children parents themselves, so the walk has always been a family event for all generations, the young and the ageing. Over the years the route has been varied to cover different parts of East Woodhay, Highclere and the surrounding parishes but lasts no longer than 2 hours and always starts and finishes at a pub. The hip flasks have also been replaced by the distribution of free mulled wine or soft drinks and mince pies at a half way stop where a collection is made for a local charity. In the last 10 years over £5,500 has been raised for charity from the walk.

This year, the 30th Village Christmas Walk is meeting at 10.30 am at the Highclere Red House for a prompt 11am start, returning to the pub by 1pm. The route will meander through Highclere and, by kind permission of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, through Highclere Park. Everyone is welcome; there is no need to book, just turn up. Sturdy waterproof footwear is recommended but not pushchairs or wheelchairs as the walk can be muddy in places and there are stiles. Dogs are also very welcome, but MUST be kept on leads at all times without exception. The charity collection this year will be for Anna's Challenges, a charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for children with Cystic Fibrosis in Basingstoke and surrounding areas.

The walk is organised and run by a local lunch club ‘Los Jubilados’ in association with the Highclere Society and the East Woodhay Society. If you would like further details of the walk, please contact Ian on 01635 253995, John on 01635 253889 or Clive on 01635 25483.

Annual Wine Tasting Quiz

The Society's Annual wine tasting quiz start at 8pm sharp in Highclere Village Hall. At this annual light-hearted wine tasting quiz, we will blind taste eight wines. Spittoons are provided, so you can remain sober if you wish! After a taste of each wine, a panel of experts will give their differing opinion on each wine. Then it is your turn to decide who is right. There will be a table prize for the highest quiz score of the evening. A light bread and cheese supper will be available after the quiz to soak up any remaining wine. The profits from the evening will be provided to your chosen charity for 2015 Ataxia UK (Progressive Neurological Condition) The cost is £11. Book your place now by email to patrickhedgeland*AT*

Highclere Society History Group

The Highclere Society History Group has displayed a “tribute” to the men of Highclere who fell in WWI, on the history board in Highclere Village Hall. There are 17 names on the memorial to them in the church and the members of the history group have found details on each man, showing where they fell and in which cemetery they are buried. Please do take the opportunity whenever possible to take a look at this most interesting display.

Highclere Society Welcome Packs

Many of you may be aware that one of the services provided by the Highclere Society is the provision of Welcome Packs to new residents in the village. The packs contain information about the Highclere Society, details of many local organisations and clubs, local services and community information.

We would like to extend our thanks to Ann Harwood who has, for many years, compiled, maintained and distributed these packs. But the time has come for Ann to handover this responsibility, which now rests with Jennifer Boulton. So, if you are a member of a club or organisation and you would like to be included in the pack, then please send an email to jmboulton*AT* giving as much detail as possible. And, if you hear of new residents moving into the village, then please let Jennifer know so that she can arrange to deliver a welcome pack.

Harvest Supper 2015: ‘A Year in Highclere’

Highclere resident Kevin Pearson is seeking your help NOW for an event he is organising next October. He writes:

“A village is all about the sum of its parts and Highclere, with its famous Castle, farmland, Church, local pubs, village hall, local businesses, and many residents, is no exception. For the ‘Harvest Supper’ in 2015, we hope to show a compilation of photographs and videos of just what a ‘Year in Highclere’ is all about!

We are looking for volunteer photographers to help us record what they think are the important (and maybe not so important!) highlights of their year. There will be many categories, i.e. the Church, family, pets, social (the many groups and organisations within the village), the weather, the garden, the home, commerce, politics (the General Election), and, most importantly, agriculture.

The finished film show will be presented at a special ‘Harvest Supper - A Year in Highclere’ in October 2015. With the majority of people having a camera/phone at their fingertips these days, it will be easy to get a broad view of what YOU consider to be the important events in your life, and the life of the village, over the next 12 months. We hope to cover all aspects of life in an English village. If you are interested in helping us record a ‘Year in Highclere’ please contact Kevin Pearson on (01635) 253975 and start compiling a visual record of our lovely village today. Make sure you are part of this important record.”

Patrick Hedgeland

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