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

River Footpath - Have your say

A poll of Whitchurch residents will take place in the Town Centre on Sunday 2 July to obtain their views on the Test Riverside path, number 18 on local maps.

The survey is instigated by Hampshire County Council to assess how many people use the footpath and to ask a few questions regarding their use of footpaths in general.

More information is available from the .

Sun shines on Dog Day

Competitors with owners line up for judgingThe Millennium Meadow's second Dog Day took place on Saturday and glorious weather rewarded all those who turned out. The new electrics were put to good use for the first time and all could hear what was happening thanks to the Meadow's newly acquired megaphone. Richard Adams kindly opened the event and Roy Dykes judged "to the satisfaction of all" (so Graham Burgess claims!).

Those attending, including the Town's new Mayor and Mayoress, made good use of the picnic tables enjoying their own food and barbecued sausages (as opposed to hot dogs!).

Activities in the Meadow continue through the Summer, details can be found on the events page.

Jive Dancing in Whitchurch

Weekly classes in Modern Jive* are now being help in Testbourne Community Centre (details here) for all levels of experience from complete beginners to experts. Once you have mastered (or rediscovered) the art, there are monthly social freestyle sessions in Testbourne Sports Hall.

* For the younger reader, Modern Jive is a form of Ceroc, Le Roc, French Jive and a taste of simple dance varieties. Modern Jive is a partnered dance whereby the man and the lady rarely lose contact with each other and can be modified to almost any modern music or beat.


After suffering from Motor Neurone Disease for over 2 years Gill Nethercott died on Thursday 6th. Gill was a highly enthusiastic member of the community with a wide range of interests including gardening, amateur dramatics and politics.

There are at least 2 lasting memorials to her; she introduced the Mayor's trophy for the best floral display by a business in the town, it will be awarded next month and the new Community Hall is to be called the The Gill Nethercott Centre.

A long time campaigner, Gill started the town's Neighbourhood Watch scheme and then in 1990 became a member of Whitchurch Town Council. From there she started the process that has led to the building of the Community Hall. The �community profile� identified what sort of facilities existed and what local people needed. It fed into developments at Testbourne School as well as the Borough Council�s building programme.

As a Town Councillor, Gill was closely involved in the acquisition of land for a cemetery extension and the Queen�s Golden Jubilee memorial. She chaired the committee that acquired land in Winchester Road, securing the future of the allotments and enabling creation of the Millennium Meadow. She was the first lady to be Mayor of Whitchurch, her projects included getting the Town Design Statement work under way and the �Town Health Check� which has led to many initiatives to improve the local environment. Her campaigns included the successful retention of the Post Office.

Gill was elected to Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council in 1994  and for several years was Chair of the Borough Development Control Committee.

In October 2004 Gill learned that she had Motor Neurone Disease. This  disease for which there is currently no cure affects the nerves that tell your muscles what to do. As the nerves become damaged, the muscles they control weaken and waste. Gill continued with her Council duties while confined to a wheel chair until March of this year. She leaves her husband, Paul, and son Mark. Her family cared for her through her dreadful illness with support from neighbours and friends.

For information about Motor Neurone Disease visit www.mndassociation.org

Friends of Whitchurch Silk Mill seek committee Volunteers

The Friends of Whitchurch Silk Mill are looking for volunteer committee members to replace key members due to retire in October; a Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary and Events Member are required. The committee is responsible for managing the affairs of the Friends which includes membership, co-ordination of the volunteer programme and organising visits/events to provide revenue for a support fund. The fund is used to support projects identified by the Silk Mill management. If you would like to help please contact Ian Marshall by phone 01264 772385 or email if you would like further information or indeed wish to volunteer for any of the posts. Ian Marshall (01264 772385) or .

Supper, Strawberries and Song

On Saturday, 8th July, the Village Centre at St Mary Bourne was alive with the sound of music at a supper given by the ladies choir "Singing for Fun". The lively evening of music with a programme of songs from the shows interspersed the buffet meal with some upbeat music. The choir items included many favourites such as �Cabaret� from �Cabaret�, �Consider Yourself� from �Oliver�, �All that Jazz� from �Chicago�, �Empty Chairs at Empty Tables� from �Les Miserables�, �Moon River � from �Breakfast at Tiffany�s�, �Maria� from �The Sound of Music� and �Ascot Gavotte� from �My Fair Lady�. There were some solos and duets in the middle of the evening sung by Linda Cowley, Pauline McDonald, Diane Ward, Alison Willis (the choir�s musical director) and Chris Milne, accompanied by Gillian Anderson, the accompanist for the evening.

A donation from the proceeds goes to the Countess of Brecknock Hospice, Andover in memory of the choir�s chairman, choir member and friend Rose Eastman who sadly passed away in May.

Community Hall Moves On

Girder work in placeThose passing the Silk Mill on Winchester Road may have noticed the crane and the top of the structure emerging above the trees behind the No entry signs.

Here is a photo taken on site to show the entrance in the right foreground with the main structure to the left and behind, an artist's impression is here. The work is believed to be on schedule for the opening in January 2007.

More details about the Hall are here.




Team Collect Award

On 13th July Stewart Parrington with 2 of his team collected the South East Rural Towns' Partnership award for the best project in the Social and Community Section judged in 2006 on behalf of all those who made the town's Christmas in Whitchurch 2005 a resounding success.

The judges praised the project for the speed with which it was implemented, the large number of groups involved and their commitment.

The picture shows Stewart with the award and (l to r) judge Leane Marr, Phil Cooper, John Buckley and judge Julian Owen.



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