News: Christmas 2017

The Chairman and Committee wish all members a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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

Highclere Society AGM

The 2017 AGM was held at Highclere Village Hall on the 23rd November. The turnout was good, considering the weather, members coming to hear what the committee had to say and enjoy a glass or two of wine.

This year the Society celebrated its 21st year. The Society's year was busy with the usual events, wine tasting evening, golf days and the summer BBQ plus the 20th anniversary celebrations.

On the environmental front our planning sub-committee were kept busy reviewing each Highclere application and objecting where necessary.

A cheque for £957 was presented to Jerry Dixon Director of Newbury Samaritans.

The Chair and the committee were re-elected.

As always, we will be holding a number of events to raise funds for this year's joint charities, Loose Ends and Arthritis Research, and we hope we can rely on your support.

Society's New Computer System

To improve our effectiveness, the Society has adopted a web-based computer system - PaySubsOnline - to support its administration. Every Committee member can now assist Patrick with the work he had previously taken completely on himself.

The system was designed to allow members to pay subscriptions, book and pay for courses and events and more, directly through their own website. It has a large client base both in sports clubs and membership societies across the UK. We have implemented it without member access, as a fairly simple subscription management system with e-mailing capability. We hope to add event management soon, and online access for members at some future date.

The main difference that members will see, is in our emails. The system allows us to communicate with members much more quickly and easily and all Committee members can send emails via this system.

For example, this Newsletter came from Martin Osgood - Highclere Society (mail*AT* Compare this with, say Patrick's recent e-mail which came from Patrick Hedgeland - Highclere Society ( Only the name is different; the rest points at the Society's mailbox on the PaySubsOnline mail server.

Two important points to note:

  1. If one of our e-mails gets caught by your spam filter (it shouldn't) please add it to your Safe Senders list. You should not need to do this more than once.
  2. If you reply to an e-mail, it won't vanish into the system. Rather, it has been set up so that a reply is routed to the sender's personal e-mail. Any subsequent conversation can then occur easily outside the system as before.

Finally, Colin Wall is our system administrator and membership secretary, and your point of contact should you have any pressing questions about the new system.

The Village Christmas Walk

The Christmas Walk is on Wednesday 27 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 local 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. Well-behaved dogs are most welcome but they must be on a lead. Approximately halfway round there will be a pit stop for mulled wine and mince pies and a collection in aid of The Rosemary Cancer Appeal.

Annual Wine Quiz

For those that have never been, the tasting quiz takes the form of "Call my bluff" with three 'expert' judges offering their differing opinions on the details of each wine. You taste the wine and each table votes which judge is right and guesses the price of a bottle. A prize will go to the highest scoring table. It is a challenge for wine buffs and good fun for the rest of us.

After tasting four whites and four reds we all have a generous ploughman's supper with the chance to taste some more of the wines. All for the price of £12 a ticket. The profits this year will be split between our two charities, Loose Ends Newbury and Arthritis Research UK.

Initial bookings will be taken for members as space is limited and it is difficult to judge demand. If you would like to bring guests at £15 per head, let us know and we will confirm nearer the date if space looks to be available.

Either book a group table of any size (six is optimal) or book individually and we will make up tables to help you meet new people. Please be in place ready to start by 8pm sharp.

To book, please send an email to Patrick email naming all members. We do not issue tickets so please say if you require a confirmation email. At the same time, make the payment of £12 per ticket as it is only booked once paid

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