Whitchurch's Old News - What happened in Whitchurch in April 2006

It's the Rambling Season again

Whitchurch Ramblers' programme of Wednesday evening walks starts on the 5th April with a gentle 2� mile walk from the normal start point, Bell Street car park, to Tufton.

Full details of all the Ramblers' activities can be found on their website here

CLean Up Whitchurch!

New Whitchurch residents Paula, Mike, Isabella & Eleanor Stead have spotted that the Town needs a clean up. They are organising a resident-led event to supplement the work done by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council(BDBC) last month, which concentrated on the most visible areas around the centre of the town.

To date they have identified several large items of rubbish such as a burnt out car; a phone call the BDBC had it very quickly removed and the areas under the railway arches have also been cleaned up by Council staff. But lots of the roadsides and pathways away from the centre have collected rubbish over the Winter which needs removing if Whitchurch is to be more obviously the place we all want to live in.

Mike is organising a Community Litter Pick on Sunday 23rd April between 1 and 4pm. He's lined up support on the day from BDBC and the Police and divided the town up into a number of areas and already has a small team volunteers to organise teams in some of them.

All that is needed now is volunteers to do the work. No experience is required, gloves, litter pickers and bags will be provided by BDBC, as will high visibility vest for those working on roadsides. John from BDBC will be on hand all day to handle any items you're not sure about and give advice where required. He will also pick up all the filled bags at the end of the day whilst the workers retire to the White Hart for refreshments.

Community Police Constable Paula Osmond will be on hand supporting those working on roadsides and Tesco and the White Hart are providing spot prizes for some lucky participants. So just turn up at Bell Street Car Park at 1pm on 23rd April ready to do an hour or two of rewarding work to make Whitchurch a more attractive place to live in and visit. Children are most welcome but those under 13 should be accompanied by an adult; Mike is looking to organise some activities for the younger ones, ideas will be gratefully received. If you are willing to lead a team or need any more information, contact Mike on 077899 71749.

If you find any large items of litter, BDBC are very happy to remove it, just phone 844844.

Ladies Self Defence Classes Begin

Self Defence class for ladies over 16 will start at Testbourne Community Centre on 24th March at 6.30. Classes will be taught by a Karate Black belt with 25 years experience. The class aims to boost confidence by learning to defend yourself. More information is available from Ken on 892580 or 07704 424189.

Collectors REquired

Each year new housing developments mean that there are more houses in Whitchurch but at the same time the organisers of the Christian Aid Week collections lose a few collectors for a variety of reasons. They have now reached the stage at which it is possible that they may not be able to visit every home this year unless a few more volunteer collectors step forward. So if you would like to join the band of over forty helpers and are able to give 2-3 hours of your time then Pauline Rutter (892803) or John Deveson (893241) would be delighted to hear from you.


Another new specialist shop has opened in the town centre. Glass-Foolery which specialises in fused glass and bead jewellery is alongside the Town Hall opened on 1 April (and is not a joke!!). The opening hours mean that it should be possible to visit at a time time suitable to all with evening and Sunday opening.

Based on the shop there are also evening and whole day courses in making fused glass jewellery, bead jewellery making, using Silver Art Clay and making textile evening bags and book covers. Also on display in the eye-catching interior is a range of original artwork and textiles. For more about Glass-Foolery, including pictures of the items available and opening times, visit the shop's website here.

Annual Town Assembly

On 11th April, the Annual Town Assembly took place in the Parish Hall. Only a small audience was present to here reports on the activities in the Town over the previous 12 months from the Mayor, the Borough and County Councillors, the Police, Barry Jackman on the Youth Project, the Trustees of the Town Hall, the Millennium Green, the Welfare Trust and the Parish Hall.

The highlight of the evening was the Mayor, Cllr Irene Clark's reading of the explanation from Hampshire County Council of why changing a light fitting can take over over 12 months (and still not happen)!

In addition to the reports, Nicky Hutchins, the Manager of Basingstoke's Community Warden Scheme, explained what the Town's Wardens would offer to the community when they start work in May.


A ten week course on the Microsoft Office spreadsheet programme, Excel, will be start on Friday April 21 and run from 9.45 � 11.45am in the Community Suite. Anyone of any age interested in developing their computer skills and learning how to use spreadsheets please book with the community office 892261.

Litter Pick

On St George's Day around 25 of Whitchurch's citizens, of all ages, new to the town and of longer standing were organised by the Steads in the Town's First Litter Pick. Support was there aplenty in the form of Community Constable Paula Osmond, John from Basingstoke & Dean (together with his family!), the White Hart and Tesco.

A short meeting at Bell Street saw the citizenry equipped with gloves, waste bags, pickers and, for those working on the road side, high visibility vests. Mike Stead quickly briefed all the volunteers and the 5 team leaders and then all were off.

Rubbish of all kinds was found from cigarette ends, through bicycles to a half buried fridge. In the 2 hours of picking, not everything could be removed but John will be returning during the week to remove all the large items discovered.

The afternoon ended in well earned refreshments at the White Hart where spot prizes, kindly donated by Andy of the White Hart and Tesco, were distributed.

Many thanks to the Steads, all the volunteers and the supporters.

Before and after: Mike briefs the volunteers and the first load of rubbish ready to be driven away


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