Whitchurch's Old News - What happened in Whitchurch in February 2007

Free advice on Inheritance tax

With the increase in house price values, inheritance tax could have an effect on an increasing number of people. The Whitchurch branch of Newbury Building Society is holding an Inheritance Tax open day in the branch on Saturday 17th February between 10am & 4pm.

It's free!

Childbirth Trust Meetings in Whitchurch

The National Childbirth Trust is here to support parents during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and postnatally including all aspects of supporting one another with babies and preschool children.

Michelle Toogood-Johnson is the new area rep for the trust and will be organising morning/afternoon coffee meetings at houses in Whitchurch on a weekly basis as well as holding family days at the weekends and social nights for mums and dads, plus events such as Easter and Christmas activities for preschool children and trips to the zoo and farm.

Everyone is welcome to come along, from pregnant bumps to parents of up to school-aged children and anyone caring for babies or preschool children - to meet for social events or support from other parents in the area.

Please contact Michelle on 01256 895244 for further information or to find the next coffee event

Gardeners Meet Again

Brit Bromley cutting her 90th birthday cakeBrit Bromley, Whitchurch Gardeners Association's second oldest member, celebrated her 90th birthday with members and family on Saturday in the Harvest Home. The group held a similar event for the oldest member, Brit's husband Ernie, a year ago.

Brit has been a keen supporter of the group for many years and her name appears on the cup for winning the culinary section of the annual produce show more than anyone else's. The group has made a booking for 9 years time to celebrate Ernie's 100th!






Charity Scam

Leaflets have been put through letterboxes in Whitchurch from and organisation called Orellana Ltd. It proclaims that "the company" collects clothes for "People in the third world" and the notices are asking for donations to be left out in plastic bags for collection on Monday.

This company has been the subject of many complaints and the BBC has conducted an investigation into the company's activities. Details are at www.northlancing.com/Comments/Comments%20page.htm. The company was struck off the Companies' Register last year.

Community Pubs Week

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is running its 5th Community Pubs Week Campaign between 17th and 24th February. The aim is to support Britain's pubs which are closing through lack of local support (at least 26 pubs are closing each month).

Jane Acott of the Harvest Home is organising, amongst other events, "All Pool Together" a pool competition between teams from the seven local pubs with pool tables and is donating a barrel of beer to the winning team. Funds raised from entry fees will go to the winning team's chosen charity.

The competition will take place in the Harvest Home on the evenings of 17th and 24th February. More details of the competition are here.

Please support All Pool Together and other Community Pubs Week events. Like all local businesses and activities we need to use them or we'll loose them!

Christmas in Whitchurch 2007 is ON

A meeting of the town�s retailers in the White Hart on Thursday 15th reviewed CIW 2006 and decided that it was a success. But the team are not sitting on their laurels (or Christmas trees) and there were several suggestions for improvements, including one or more late night shop opening sessions and the earlier running of the Craft Market; already several more businesses have requested Christmas Trees.

Those present were shown the Welcome to Whitchurch brochure that will be made available to newcomers by Redwoods and Brockenhurst�s and discussed how it could be made available to all residents. They were also given an opportunity to comment how any future grant funding should be spent in improving the town centre. The comments will be added to those already collected from the Town Council and the Whitchurch Association Committee for discussion with Borough and County councils.

CIW has been organised by a small team led by Stewart Parrington and the meeting supported the idea of strengthening the team to provide greater voice for the town�s retailers and allow other events to be organised for the benefit of all in Whitchurch. More information on the proposals, with the possible name 'Working 4 Whitchurch', will be provided to retailers shortly.

Whitchurch in The Snow

Whitchurch Silk Mill in the Snow

Just to be seasonal, here is picture of a bit of the town in the snow. The picture is by Katya Popova and there are lots more on show on the Reeves-Hall's website.

Music in Whitchurch

Acoustic musicians in action at the Harvest HomeMusic is a live and well in Whitchurch! From weekly karaoke at the Railway Hotel, through live bands at the White Hart and the Harvest Home, to weekly meetings of groups like Ladies Singing for Fun and the All Hallows' Bellringers.

The latest change on the music scene is the move of the fortnightly acoustic music togethers to the Harvest Home as seen on the left.

For those wanting more action there are the dance groups, country and western, all types of ballroom and belly; children are not left out with weekly Music with Mummy sessions.

If you want to learn an instrument, look at the Tuition section of the Retail Businesses' page.

Details of the groups are on the Community Groups' page and their meetings and other musical events are listed on the weekly diary and events diary pages of this site.

Whitchurch's resident blues band, Blueshog, has its own page. The Town also has a mobile disco and karaoke, details of which can be found on the retail businesses' page.

If you're involved in a musical activity that isn't already on the site, please contact .

Community Pubs Week

Why not visit one of the Town's pubs this week, they are an integral part of the community but without your support they cannot continue and many pubs are closing each month because of lack of customers.

Why not watch the rugby this weekend in any of the pubs, join in the atmosphere of a crowd - without the rain and the cold and enjoy a pint at the same time!!

You can watch 6 Nations Rugby on Saturday and Sunday at The Bell, The Harvest Home, The King's Arms, The Railway Hotel and The White Hart. Followed on Saturday by live music at the Harvest Home and Karaoke at The Railway Hotel.

Even More Music in Whitchurch

Two local young folk are organising their third modern music festival for charity in the Town. The first Twang event was held in May last year in the Kings Arms as a memorial to Alexandra van Rensburg and the funds raised went to her old school, Icknield. Though small in size, the event attracted lots of interest and raised over £1,000.

A second Twang in November was also a success, so this year Ben van Rensburg and Rob Dunlop have decided that they have outgrown their pub venue and are going much bigger. Twang 3 is to take place in Testbourne Theatre Hall on 26th May. Already, Twang regular local groups like Polyrocket have been supplemented by those from further afield (as far away as Exeter) and 15 groups are signed up. They represent a wide range of styles from 'Grindcore' to 'Soft Rock' and 'Electronica' to 'Hip Hop.'

Funds raised this year will go to Naomi House children's hospice and Ben and Rob are looking for as much financial support as possible. So if you can help in any way please contact them on 07894 744186 or 07919 071282.

There's more information on the event's website at www.myspace.com/twangfestival.

Whitchurch Annual Community Awards 2007

The first award this year went to Penny Ridley, in recognition of her extensive and tireless involvement in the Whitchurch Scout Group. Penny is a uniformed helper, and as such she sits on the Committee, but more importantly, she assists Jim White with running the twice weekly Cub meetings, which benefit so many of our local children. Penny is friendly, approachable and brings a kindly enthusiasm to everything she does.

Steve Robbins also received his award for his work with the 1st Whitchurch Scout Group. Steve has been Group Scout Leader for many years, dealing with all legal aspects of running a large Scout Group. He ensures that it runs according to Scouting rules, legal and health & safety guidelines, and gives full support to the other Leaders. Most people will know of the major achievement which was the building of the Scout Head Quarters at Bere Hill. Along with Jane Pattenden, he negotiated the Ground Lease from Eagle Star, attended planning meetings at Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, dealt with grant applications, builders, and sorted out many seemingly insurmountable problems. Everyone involved in Whitchurch Scouting is glad that Penny’s and Steve’s hard work and commitment have been recognised.

Stewart Parrington was nominated for his work in leading the Town Centre Revitalisation Team, whose major achievements have been Christmas in Whitchurch, and the implementation of work to assist town centre retailers, including a mystery shopper survey. His hard work was recognised when the project was judged the best in one of four categories, at the South East Towns Rural Partnership annual review. Stewart is also a vital member of the Millennium Meadow ground maintenance team. This small band of conscientious workers ensures the continued health and development of the site, for the benefit of the people of Whitchurch.

If you know of a local person, (no age restriction), who deserves recognition for their actions or achievements, please remember to let us know when we advertise for nominations between November and January each year.