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

New Whitchurch Event

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is to hold the very first Whitchurch Beer Festival on Friday 24th & Saturday 25th November. The venue will be the Town's newest entry in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, Longmeadow Sports and Social Club (see the story below).

John Buckley is organising the event and says that there will be a good selection of beers and ciders (around 12) from far and wide. There will be 3 sessions, 7 - 11pm on Friday and 11am - 3pm and 6 - 11pm on Saturday - families are particularly welcome at the lunchtime session.

Good food will be available at all sessions. For those outside Whitchurch, the event is well served by public transport, the railway station is a 15 min walk away, the Andover - Basingstoke bus service (Route 76) stops less than �mile away and the Whitchurch - Basingstoke (Route 86) stops outside the Club!!

More details for John on 892650 or  him.

BEER FESTIVAL NEWS Tickets are now available

As previously announced, Whitchurch's first Beer Festival will take place on 24 & 25th November in Longmeadow Sports and Social Club. Over a dozen traditional ales and ciders will be on offer, providing the opportunity to taste a wide variety. There will be bitters, milds, stouts, porters and specialty ales, all served direct from the cask. All those attending will be able to vote for their best beer and an award will be made to the winning brewery. Good food will also be provided at each of the sessions and advice on beer tasting will be available. Advance tickets are now available:

  Friday 7 - 11pm �3  
  Saturday 11am - 3pm �2 Families welcome
  Saturday 6 - 11pm �4  

Contact John Buckley on 892650
E-mail: [email protected]

Whitchurch's First Dark Evening

Belly Dancers on the Meadow by candlelightA musical evening heralding the long Winter evenings was held in the meadow on Friday. The inclement weather of late held off and a happy group were entertained by many of Whitchurch's musician aged from 4 to getting on for 74. The relatively warm weather was due in part to plenty of cloud which meant that Basingstoke Astronomical group's telescope could only be admired as no astronomical bodies were visible.

In addition to the music there was a fortune teller and the opportunity to find out what your name really means. The evening finished with a colourful and enthusiastic display of belly dancing by Yallah to a very different type of music to that normally heard in Whitchurch.

Organiser Graham Burgess was very encouraged by the response to this first event and says there will be other similar events in the future.

�2,200 Raised for Physio Equipment

Ian Clacy, with his son Dom and the garage's MOT Tester, Kevin Cleaver, were all well up in the field of 18,000 competitors in the country's largest (and the second largest in the world) 10 mile event last Sunday. Despite being thoroughly soaked in the downpour which occurred during the Great South Run, the trio completed the 10 miles and so far have collected �2,200 in promised sponsorship for physio equipment for the Whitchurch Surgery.

Their times (and positions) were: Kevin 1hr 11mins 17secs (599th), Dom 1hr 13mins 3secs(797th) and Ian 1hr 22mins 30secs (2,624th).

Ian says it's not too late to contribute, as some have already done, after the event.




Footpath 18 ~ The River Test Walk

From Hugh James, Mayor of Whitchurch.

"The Town Council is aware of the concern in Whitchurch over aspects of the recent temporary closure of the footpath between the Fulling Mill and All Hallows Church, along the bank of the River Test.  The Town Council has no powers or jurisdiction over the footpath, but has played an active role behind the scenes in attempting to negotiate with the landowners, to both determine, and where necessary, attempt to influence, their plans for the footpath.  Also, in an attempt to show how important this path is to the people of Whitchurch, the Council recently organized a census of people using the footpath on an unadvertised Sunday during the summer.  My thanks go to the Whitchurch Ramblers, for playing a large part in conducting the census, and to the 157 people who gave their time in filling in the questionnaires, when they walked the path that day.  It was obvious from this exercise how much the path, and its views of the river, mean to local people."

"However the final say in approving work on the riverbank is given by the Environment Agency, and protection of the path is the responsibility of Hampshire County Council�s Rights of Way Department.  Environment Agency Plans show that the proposed work will be undertaken in three phases.  Phase I and II which cover about 300 metres of path, from the Church end, are to be carried out this Autumn/Winter.  Phase III will take place in Autumn/Winter 2007 along the final 200 metres at the Fulling Mill end.  The plans show the removal of the present barbed wire fence, and its replacement with a post and rail fence.  The footpath is to be 1� metres wide with 50cms of cut edging each side.  A further 1 metre of uncut �marginal vegetation� will then be left between the cut edging and the river.  The river bank will be reinforced with hazel faggots along its length.  A note on the plan states the material for planting can come from �local strands of emergent or wetland vegetation�.  The final phase also allows for a wheelchair/pushchair ramp to be created from the path onto the bridge."

New Youth Service Opens

A new service offering advice, guidance and support service for young people aged 13-19 is now open for business every Thursday from 2pm until 4.30 at The Cottage (alongside the Methodist Church).

The service is called Connexions and Martin Redstall will be there to offer confidential advice to young people on education & training, careers, housing, health, relationships, drugs and alcohol and generally anything else that is causing concern.

For full details of the services offered check out www.connexions-southcentral.org, text 07766413219 or phone 01256 819576.

Time Capsule

A Time Capsule is to be inserted into the foundations of the new Community Hall. Its contents will be decided by the town's residents and is aimed to give future generations an insight into Whitchurch life at the beginning of the 21st century.

Whitchurch Primary and Testbourne Community Schools have been given acid free paper for the children to record their hopes/dreams. For older residents, the Town hall will be open from 9.30 - 11am on 4th and 11th November for any contributions. Harriet Titcomb is trying to think about inanimate objects to put in as well and would welcome any suggestions. So far suggestions have included a computer mouse, a welcome package, a copy of the new Welcome to Whitchurch brochure and a credit card. The Time capsule resembles a long slim shoebox so objects need to be small. If you can't get along on one of the Saturday sessions, you can drop your ideas into the Town Hall letterbox (marked "Time Capsule").

So that future residents don't miss the opportunity to have this glimpse of past, there will be a plaque on the wall indicating where the capsule is buried.

Gill Nethercott hall Moves on

A sunny Thursday 9th saw another stage in the building of the new Community Hall. A formal Topping Out ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of the major structural work.

Dignitaries from Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke and Dean District Council joined representatives of the Town Council and the Whitchurch Association to mark the occasion (as seen above left). Tradition dictates that a tree or a branch is placed on the highest part of the structure at the ceremony, but all present claimed to be unable to achieve this physical feat. However, Cllr Patricia West, Chair of Hampshire County Council, presented Whitchurch's Mayor, Hugh James, with a mulberry tree to mark the occasion.

Later those present were able to climb the scaffolding to view the roof from close up and Whitchurch from a commanding height.

More pictures are here

Charity Shop Protest

A request to change the use of the premises now used by local charities such as the Scouts and Alzheimer's Society as a shop into offices has caused a flurry of objections. The shop has been used for several years on a rotational basis and for many of them is an essential source of revenue.

In addition to providing support to charities, the shop is a good local source of books, bric-a-brac and children's clothes and so attracts shoppers to the Town centre. These are essential to the life of a small rural town such as Whitchurch. Dealers from the area regularly visit to view the stock which is replaced every 2 or 3 weeks, bringing welcome visitors to the town.

Details of the application are here. Julie would like to hear from you on 892819 if you would like to join the 77 (to date) who have sent written objections to Basingstoke Council's Planning Department or drop in at the shop for more details.

First Beerfest Success

Whitchurch's first Beerfest, held in the Longmeadow Sports and Social Centre on 24th and 25th November attracted lively crowds to the evening sessions. Enthusiastic devotees of real ale from the Town and around sampled a dozen beers from Hampshire's smallest breweries. Typical of the very tasty and different brews from around the county was Stumpy's Hop a Doodle Doo, so called because the brewer has a wooden leg and the brewery was once a chicken shed.

Organiser, John Buckley of the , pronounced the event a success as all the beers lasted (but only just) until the last pint was poured, he was also very pleased that he had been able to source all the beers from micro-breweries in Hampshire. The smiling faces in the picture below show that those attending enjoyed the event, which John says could well be repeated next year in the Autumn, probably with the addition of selected local sausage and potato dishes to add yet another new event to the Whitchurch calendar. There are more pictures here