News: October-November 2015

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.

Westridge Studio

The Studio has been bequeathed to the Parish by Dorothy-Rose Gribble. It was “DR's” wish that the Studio be used as an Arts and Community venue. It has parking, a garden and will be refurbished internally making it an attractive venue. The Parish Council would be interested to hear from arts and community groups and anyone who would like to participate in the project. For more information please email parishclerk*AT*

'The Armoury'

Observant members of the Highclere Society will have noticed that 'The Armoury' sign on the front of Highclere Village Hall has been replaced with a new one. It is hoped that this new sign will better reflect the history of the hall that has been known as 'The Armoury' since about 1904 when it was first used for drills and training by N Company of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. In 1911 under a re-structuring of the Territorial Force (forerunner to the Territorial Army) the Highclere Company became part of the 9th Cyclist Battalion which was employed on Coastal Defences in the south of England at the outset of the first world war. All Cyclist Battalions were disbanded in 1920 and there is no record of the hall being used by the Territorial Army after this date. In 1942 Mr Godfrey Arkwright, the owner of the hall and a local benefactor who lived in Crowshott, gave the hall to Highclere Parish Council - "to be used in perpetuity under the name of 'The Armoury' for the recreation, entertainment, benefit and enjoyment of the inhabitants of the Parish of Highclere and the adjoining district and for no other purpose whatsoever".

Highclere Society Golf Day

This year’s autumn golf tournament was at Test Valley Golf Club on the 19th October. It was a very good day for playing golf, no rain or wind. 12 players competed in the event and there was plenty of good golf to remember. The overall winner was Mike Durkin with 38 points, a very good score, this must be his favourite course as he won here in 2012 Prizes also went to Nick Haste for the longest drive and Mike Palmer for nearest the pin. Special prize was awarded to Graham Falconer. The next Golf Society day will be in the Spring of 2016.

Village Hall News

As you will be aware, the History Group displayed details of all of the local men who fell during WW1 - in our notice board in the village hall. This display is going to stay until after November of this year but we are working on our next idea, which will be a “commemoration” of the relationship that The Queen and the Royal Household have with Highclere – obviously most of this revolves around Highclere Castle but there have been occasions when there have been visits to the church etc. Does anyone have any private photos of those occasions that they would loan to us for the display or any particular occurrences that they were involved in that they would share with us?

Ron Snipp would be most grateful to hear from members either by e-mail to rgs*AT* or by calling on 01635 254026.


Annual General Meeting: 4th Nov

The Society's AGM will take place on Wednesday 4th November in the Dunlop Room. The Dunlop Room is a separate room with its own entrance at the village end of the Church.

The existing committee are all offering themselves for re-election. However, any member, backed by a sponsor and seconded, is very welcome to put themselves forward as a candidate for committee membership via email to patrickhedgeland*AT*

If there are more applicants than places, there will be a vote on the night. The AGM will start at 8.00pm sharp and last for about 30 minutes including very brief officers’ reports. A cheque will then be presented to Ataxia, this year’s chosen charity. At the end of the formal AGM there will be an opportunity to ask questions or just socialise with other members and take full advantage of the free bar.

History of Highclere Castle

On Wednesday 28th October at 7.30 pm in Highclere Church - Lady Carnarvon will give a talk on the History of Highclere Castle through the Ages. Her talk will trace its history from the eighth century through to the present day with original photographs projected on screen. The evening will include wine and canapés and tickets are £15 per head and are available from Heather Snipp, tel:254026 or email: heather*AT* The proceeds will go to Highclere Church. Book early before it is advertised on the Castle Website to avoid disappointment!

East Woodhay Society - AGM & Wine Quiz

On Saturday 14th November at Woolton Hill Church Hall. The Wine Quiz will start at 7.30pm, so if you have not yet bought your tickets, please call John Angle on 253889 or send an email to eastwoodhaysociety*AT* Tickets for this event normally sell out very quickly and cost £10 for members and £12 for non-members. Prior to the quiz the AGM starts at 7.00pm. Please come along and be rewarded with a glass of wine. At the AGM we will be presenting a cheque to the Ark Cancer Centre Charity and deciding on which charity to support for the coming year. So if you have a charity in mind, please let us know. On the night we will put forward a short list of three for members to choose from.

Highclere Wassail

Once again Highclere Village Hall Management Committee is holding a Wassail evening, this year on Friday 4th December. Tickets are £15 each and are available from Mary McQuillen on 01635 254264. Please advise of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. The evening starts at 7.00 pm and the meal will be served at 7.30 pm prompt! The highlight of the evening apart from the opportunity to sing a few carols and other songs, will be the “acts” performed by talented locals. The Committee members are always keen to hear from anyone who would like to perform for a few minutes during the evening. If this is you, please speak to Mary or send an email to cmike.jenkins*AT* giving brief details of your act.

Highclere Christmas Carol Singers

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 event 6.30pm venue to be advised and will finish at around 9.00 pm 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.

The Village Christmas Walk

The annual Christmas Walk is on Sunday 27th December 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 surrounding areas. 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.

Patrick Hedgeland

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