2002 Golden Jubilee in Alresford

Just over 15 years ago Alresford celebrated the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, 50 years as the reigning monarch, with a procession up West Street and some entertainment in Broad Street. Prominent in this, on the Stage and dressed in Union Jacks, was George Hollingbery and his wife Janette: I’m sure you will recognise George in the photos below, despite – or maybe because of – the unconventional attire.

More important, Maddie Attenborough spent the day taking photos of Alresford people attending the celebrations, and published them later on a CD, copies of which were later sold in aid of the St John’s Centenary Appeal. A copy of this CD was recently passed to the Alresford Museum, and extracts are presented below, to see whether you can spot anyone you know – or even yourself, looking younger and slimmer!

2000 pics

2000 v 0

2000 pics v2

2000 pics v3

2000 pics v4

2000 pics v6

2000 pics v5

2000 pics v7

These collages are much cropped versions of most of the pics on Maddie’s CD, so if you see a pic of yourself and wish to see a full copy of the image let us know! I can see several Alresford Pigs, and a couple of my neighbours, but the award for the best float/display has to go once again to the Alresford Surgery team!




The Alresford Men’s Shed is open!

The Alresford Men’s Shed physically opened its doors at Unit 1, The Dean, to accept Membership registration forms on Tuesday 23 January, 6 weeks ago. Lots of people came to have a look round, and 17 Membership forms were completed on the day! All were impressed by the transformation of the bare factory rooms into a workshop equipped with work benches, large work and rest areas, and storage rooms. The array of tools available in the workshop is impressive, clipped onto wall boards: most are new, purchased by the Shed using their start-up funding, but since the opening there have been several donations of larger items, such as a chop saw, bench vices, a pillar drill, several electric saws, vacuum extractors etc. We now have a BIG sign outside, for the short-sighted, and anyone else that wants to find us, opposite Valdean Caravan Park.


Two days later, Peter Tudor, a Shed Trustee, completed the first ‘Community’ project in the Shed, by repairing the seat cushions of six chairs from St John’s Church. This was a straightforward task of replacing the hardboard underneath the foam of the seat cushion with a slightly stronger sheet of plywood. Peter says that there are several more chairs that need this sort of attention in the Alresford Church, so more seats will follow! The picture shows Peter with the first six seat cushions, plus also some of the tools positioned behind the workbenches.

P1010174 Peter Tudor.JPG

The Alresford Men’s Shed is delighted to accept donations of tools that are surplus to requirements from anyone. Membership is open to all, so please come along to meet the people and see the facilities available. More important, you will be able to visualise what you might be able to do in the Shed, and see some projects on-going. Volunteers are repairing restaurant tables, drawer handles, chair backs, and even making shelves for storage areas. If you have some repair jobs, or something you want building, why not drop in and see what we can do for you? Maybe we could help you to up-cycle some old furniture, for sale to the ‘trendy people’ of Alresford…..

DSCN6820 small

Opening hours:

Monday and Thursday morning

Tuesday and Thursday afternoon


1980s Taste of Alresford – 3: Fish dishes

……………………..From residents of the time


taste of alreThe following are descriptions by Alresford families of their houses/homes, and their lives in the early 1980s, provided to the charity recipe book ‘A Taste of Alresford’, published by Sally March, on behalf of Oxfam. There have already been several extracts from this book published in stories on this website. Most are listed under the “Taste of Alresford” tag, but they include stories about the Hobby Horse, Beresford House, The Cricketer’s Pub and the Golf Course, Fulling Mill, and Anderson’s green-grocers.

The introduction to the book was written by John Arlott, which is also featured in one story, and his life here in the old Sun Inn is described in another AlresfordMemories story.

The authors and their recipes for Fish dishes are as follows – all written in the early 1980s: TO GET THE RECIPES YOU NEED TO BUY THE BOOK!


Isabel Sanderson, Country-woman and Historian

…….Also authoress of the “Dwellings in Alresford” booklets.

‘When I was seven, we moved from a farm in Suffolk to Abbotstone Farm, some 2.5 miles from Alresford, and here, with a sister and four brothers, I was brought up. The farmhouse was my home – apart from spells of teaching in Kent and Yorkshire – until 1956. A large rambling farmhouse; a weeping ash tree on the front lawn whose long, trailing branches formed a shadowy green ‘tent’ where many meals were eaten in Summer; a large, walled-in garden where much fruit and vegetables were grown; and a stream that flowed through the farm buildings where we used to paddle and bathe, and where John used to ‘tickle’ trout. Long and tiring days for little legs in the harvest field. All of us at various times used to take the horse and carts to and from the men in the fields, loading sheaves of corn, and unloading at the stack being built in a corner of the field. Masses of food and tea, picnic fashion, where everyone, – men, women, children and often dogs – congregated at the stack for tea. Such was my upbringing.

In 1956, mother and I left the farmhouse and came to live in one of the farm cottages where we made a garden – still a source of much interest and hard work. Later, I started my researches into the history of the surrounding countryside and its dwellings. For the past ten years my researches have been confined to the old market town of New Alresford, and these have been published in a series called ‘Dwellings in Alresford’.

[Editor’s note: and what a fantastic legacy Isabel left in her series of ten volumes, each covering up to 10 dwellings, intricately researched and illustrated, with careful line drawings. I can honestly say Isabel’s collection was one of the things that sparked my interest in photographing the houses of Alresford, which also led to this website]

Recipe: Smoked Haddock – The Abbotstone Way


Sandra Hart, Andersons (Fish) shop, 8 West St

Andersons – poultry and game, fishmonger and greengrocer. Some years ago the shop changed hands, but Alresford was so accustomed to ‘Andersons’ that the present tenant, Mr Phillip Gay, reverted to the old name. They stock a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, including exotic cumquats and mangoes, lychees and limes. Even better the watercress is fresh from its ‘bed’, the cream from its farm and the trout from Mr Gay’s own ‘stew’. There is local game, hare and rabbit, partridge, pheasant and pigeon, teal and mallard.

The building still belongs to Mrs Rita Blundell of Ropley, the grand-daughter of Mr and Mrs Henry Batchelor, who came to Alresford in 1915 and lived over the shop. Their daughter, Mrs Cecil Turner, later managed Crook’s Restaurant, which is now the greengrocery side of the present shop, and her husband ran the other side, called ‘Eureka Fish’ (try saying it to yourself). After the Second World War, rations and regulations made the catering so difficult that the Turners changed the Restaurant into a greengrocers.

Recipes: Herring Pie, and Seasoned Fish Rolls


Isabel Liddiard, Copper Coin, 33 Grange Road

Mrs Liddiard has two sons, both of whom are competitive fishermen. They occasionally bring pike home. Pike is a rather dry, and very bony fish, ‘but as pheasant is to chicken, so is pike to cod’. Her two recipes, therefore, are for boned and flaked fish.

[My son Nick (www.catchafish.net) even aged 8 or 9, also used to bring pike home in the 1980s, after fishing trips to the Arle. He told us they were protecting the other fish in the river, and helping the trout fishermen, by removing these big predators. Some were almost as big as he was!]

Recipes: Pike and Prawn au Gratin, and Pike Fish Cakes


Mrs Mimi Gedye, c/o Derek Gedye, 5 Broad St

Mr Gedye’s electrical shop is a family business, established over 20 years ago. They sell and repair all domestic appliances, and Mr Gedye’s son, Simon, is an expert on television, video and hi-fi equipment.

Recipe: Salmon Mousse


Elizabeth Gore-Langton, Pleasant House, West St

Mrs Gore-Langton’s recipe comes from her home in Orkney. The house was named ‘Skaill’ from the Norse ‘skali’, meaning a hall.

Recipe: Skaill Scallops


Joy Brown, 31 Broad Street

Mr Brown is a dental surgeon, President of the Alresford Conservative Association and Chairman of the town’s Twinning Association with Brique Bec in Normandy. He and his wife, Joy, live in one of the lovely Georgian houses in Broad Street, where they cultivate not only a large flower and vegetable garden, but also a vineyard. He writes:

A small walled garden in the centre of a country town in Hampshire proved to bean ideal situation for the planting of fifty vines. The climate is not always the most suitable for wine production in England, and after careful selection, a Huxel Rebe vine grafted to anti Phylloxera was chosen.

After 12 years the vines have become well established and last year’s vendange produced 200lbs of grapes. They require the minimum of care and attention and seem to thrive on chalky soil. Careful pruning in January, a cold and thankless task for which few volunteers ever appear, is generally undertaken in freezing conditions, and a double guyot system of training ensures a neat looking vineyard throughout the year.

An early or late Spring, wet or dry, seems to make little difference, but a hot Summer with plenty of sunshine, extending well into September or October is essential to produce an acceptable and attractive wine. Vines will find their own moisture supply, some roots penetrating to a depth of forty feet, but sun, and plenty of it, makes all the difference.

The grapes must ripen sufficiently to produce a high sugar content and thus a satisfactory level of alcohol. The vendange usually takes place in early November and, contrary to public opinion, treading the grapes is not normally done, although it was a most efficient method of crushing the grapes to break the skin prior to the normal pressing.

The use of a small hand press produces the ‘must’ which is taken to the cellar in demi-johns, and a hock type yeast soon produces a violent fermentation. The wine is racked off and if necessary treated to reduce acidity. ‘Chaptilising’ the wine is optional but is a good excuse for frequent visits to the cellar for the purpose of testing and tasting. A small corking machine simplifies the bottling process, and as a final touch, a well-designed label with the alcohol content, year of growth and name and address of the Vigneron adds a touch of professionalism to the hobby.

Recipe: Salmon Fish Pie


John Wootten, The Bodega, Broad Street

The Inyanga mountains are in Zimbabwe on the Mozambique border, and are very like the Scottish Highlands, clear and cool after the hot plains with fast running streams where trout are found. Bright yellow patches of wattle brighten the dark firs and bare hillsides.

However Alresford trout are just as fresh and firm, and this dish would enhance a wedding buffet. Terrines or pates cannot only be prepared 2 or 3 days in advance, but their flavour improves with keeping.

Chef and cookery writer John Wootten and his wife Helen lived for some time in Salisbury Rhodesia (now called Harare in Zimbabwe, hence the name of Inyanga Trout. Another favourite from Mozambique, often served in Zimbabwe, is Piri-Piri, a very hot fish dish which John some rimes cooks for the Bodega restaurant.

This pretty wine bar, in a Queen Anne setting in Broad Street, offers a good cross section of wines, from house wines to vintage clarets and German, French, Italian and Portuguese whites. A favourite is the Chateau Haut Batailley 1976.

Light meals are served in the bar, while conferences, weddings and private functions may be held in the Seville Suite.

Recipe: Terrine of Trout and Salmon


Julie Henman, Alresford Young Farmers’ Club

The aims of the YFC are partly to educate and partly to do a certain amount for the community by organising numerous fund-raising events. And, of course, it is largely a social club.

Education in the form of farm visits and talks includes – animal diseases, applying Rentokil on rodents, calf-rearing, First Aid (courtesy of the Red Cross) fly-fishing and the life of a private investigator! The club secretary is Jane Gray.

Recipe: Smoked Trout Cakes and Herb-baked Trout


Mrs Elizabeth Davis (nee Stiles), J S Stiles (Ironmongers) Ltd, 11 Broad Street

‘Stiles’ is an old-established County ironmongers, with a wide frontage in an attractive setting in Broad Street. They sell everything for the kitchen and garden – pots and pans, seeds and fertilisers, paint and wallpaper, and all that a handyman needs. Next door there is a china and glass department. They are noted for their wide range of stock, but also for their friendly helpfulness. In rooms above the shop, old exposed beams can still be seen, blackened and burnt in the Great Fire of 1689.

Recipe: Trout with Cream and Chives


Jo Gilbertson, 4 Pound Hill

Mr and Mrs Glenn Gilbertson are both dental surgeons. Their surgery at the bottom of Pound Hill was an old cottage and there are still small rooms and narrow staircases leading off narrow corridors. [This would not have been a problem for Jo, not so sure about how Glenn managed – Ed]

Recipe: Celery and Seafood Pancakes


The recipes on offer in Part 4 will introduce Meat, Poultry and Game courses


1980s Taste of Alresford – 2: Soup Dishes

…………………..Stories from residents at the time


taste of alreThe following are descriptions by Alresford families of their houses/homes, and their lives in the early 1980s, provided to the charity recipe book ‘A Taste of Alresford’ published by Sally March, on behalf of Oxfam. There have already been several extracts from this book published in stories on this website. Most are listed under the “Taste of Alresford” tag, they include stories about the Hobby Horse, Beresford House, The Cricketer’s Pub and the Golf Course, Fulling Mill, and Anderson’s green-grocers.

The introduction to the book was written by John Arlott, which is also featured in one story, and his life here in the old Sun Inn is described in another AlresfordMemories story.

The authors and their recipe subjects for Soup dishes are as follows – all written in the early 1980s: TO GET THE RECIPES YOU NEED TO BUY THE BOOK!


John [and Betty] Bevan, The Manor Farm, Old Alresford.

‘The Alresford and District Annual Agricultural Show’

‘The entries in all classes are numerous, and the Show and Dinner are expected to be a great success’ proclaimed the advertisement in ‘The Hampshire Chronicle’ in December 1909. With such optimism, the Alresford and District Annual Agricultural Show began. Seventy five years later, despite two World Wars and epidemics of foot and mouth disease, the Show is the major event in the Alresford year, held nowadays at Tichborne Park.

Cattle and horses, sheep, goats and pigs, cereal and produce are shown, and there are more than a hundred Trade and Exhibition stands. The Horticultural tent bulges with fat onions and enormous dahlias, and visitors to the Rural Craft Tent are fascinated by displays of antique-style lace, pottery and painting, hand-turned wood and home-spun wool. But for most of us, the Show is especially a social occasion – meeting and greeting, and a spot of liquid refreshment, plus fun for all ages with Punch And Judy and the Perins school band.

The present Chairman is Mr John Bevan of Manor Farm, whose father, Mr J A Bevan, was President of the Show in 1958.

Recipe: Cold Watercress Soup


Betty [and John] Bevan, The Manor Farm, Old Alresford.

The Manor Farm illustrates Alresford agriculture very well. Besides the 450 acres of mixed farming, Mr Bevan has 3 acres of watercress, and 4 large ‘stews’ od trout, with 5000-6000 fish in each. His father, Mr J A Bevan, sent off the first consignment of watercress from Alresford railway station.

Today it is harvested all the year round: lorries take it to Hurn Airport, from where it is flown in refrigerated containers to London, the Midlands and the North. ‘Watercress is reckoned to be a sure fire cure for a hangover’.

Farm stock includes 100 dairy cattle, 40 calves and 25 in-calf heifers. They grow winter wheat and barley, some for malting, (for beer) and some for seed.

Recipe: Royal Watercress Soup


Terry and Sara McTurk, The Old School House Restaurant, 60 West Street.

The ‘Old School House’ is the original home of Perins Free Grammar School (Perins Community School). In 1774, Robert Boyes, Master of Perin’s Grammar School, wrote*: ‘The school was founded in 1698 by Christopher Perin ‘for educating 19 poor men’s sons in the Latin tongue, writing accounts etc. Every scholar was to pay one shilling a year for his admission, and one shilling a year towards providing rods and brooms to be used in the school. The School House is a plain strong building standing at the bottom of West Street, The school itself is in a large, very lofty room adjoining the dwelling house (occupied by the schoolmaster).

Today this building is the home of the Chef-Proprietors, Terry and Sara McTurk, who, with 25 years combined catering experience behind them,were delighted to discover the Old School House and to have such a good reception accorded to their style of cooking.

*‘The History of Alresford’ by A J Robertson.

Recipe: Cream of Parsley Soup.


Joan Riley, The Nythe House, Old Alresford.

Dr and Mrs Riley have lived in Alresford for over 30 years. Their home is an old Victorian house on the Old Alresford side of the big pond. Dr Riley is a partner in the Alresford Group Surgery in Station Road.

Recipe: Iced Carrot and Orange Soup.


Elinor Gush, The Fulling Mill, Old Alresford.

When Mr and Mrs Bryan Gush bought and restored the derelict Fulling Mill standing astride the lovely River Alre, they little realised that in 30-odd years it would attract so many visitors from all over the world.

In the 13th century, the English wool staple was at Winchester, where wool was sorted and graded. The Fulling Mill probably dates from then, soon after Bishop de Lucy had his Great Weir, and where the River Alre now runs purposefully along its new path.  The Mill was built above the water, with a smooth slope down into it, where woollen cloth could be washed and laid out to be dressed with powdered chalk (there being no Fuller’s earth in the district). It was then trodden or beaten to rid it of excess oil, and to shrink and concentrate the loosely woven cloth. The industry declined when the staple was moved to ‘English’ Calais, sometime before 1452.

The Old Mill, almost surrounded by running water, has the most beautiful garden, designed and cared for by Mr and Mrs Gush. They have also developed a small nursery, alongside the river, near where the old open swimming pool used to be. By selling its produce to passing visitors, they have raised £27,000 for charity since 1974.

Recipe: A Simplified Bortsch


Country Fare, Craft Gallery, 11 East Street.

Where would you find drunken sailors in Alresford? As skittles in Country Fare Where would you find a silver deck chair? In the jewellery case at Country Fare. Where would you find a hunter on an elephant? As a teapot. Or a six foot high tulip? As a lamp. Where do you find the smartest people in town? In Country Fare

Country Fare displays and sells original crafts from the British Isles.

Recipe: Juan’s Gazpacho.


Mike and Peewee Burchett, The Cricketer’s Arms, Tichborne Down.

The Cricketer’s Arms takes its name from an earlier pub, but Mike Burchett, its Landlord, is a well-known local cricketer, having captained Winchester and played for Tichborne and the famous ‘Hampshire Hogs’.

The pub was purpose built in the 1920’s, with a clubroom attached to it for the use of the neighbouring Golf Club. The first tenant, Mr W Boniface, was in fact the Club’s Professional.

Today Mike and Peewee welcome guests to the comfort of a Lounge bar, where families may sample a wide menu; to a public bar, and a poolroom-cum-children’s room. In the garden are tables, children’s swings and a trampoline. There are toilet facilities for the physically handicapped, and French windows with a ramp for wheelchairs.

The Cricketer’s Arms is very much a family pub, with good bar food and a friendly welcome to Alresford residents and visitors from further afield.

Recipe: Stilton and Celery Soup.

In Part 3 the recipes provided will introduce various fish courses.

1980s Taste of Alresford – 1: Starter dishes

……From residents of the time

taste of alre

A well used copy of the 1985 Oxfam recipe book

The following are descriptions by Alresford families of their houses/homes, and their lives in the early 1980s, provided to the charity recipe book published by Sally March, on behalf of Oxfam. There have already been several extracts from this book published in stories on this website. Most are listed under the “Taste of Alresford” tag: they include stories about the Hobby Horse, Beresford House, The Cricketer’s Pub and the Golf Course, Fulling Mill, and Anderson’s green-grocers.

The introduction to the book was written by John Arlott, which is also featured in one story, and his life here in the old Sun Inn is described in another AlresfordMemories story.

The authors and their recipe subjects for Starters are as follows – all written in the early 1980s: TO GET THE RECIPES YOU NEED TO BUY THE BOOK!


Marjorie Fuller, Villa Kedros, 11 Dover Close

“Mrs Fuller is secretary of the Alresford branch of the Townswomen’s Guild, whose aim is to “Advance the education of women”, and to encourage them to contribute to their own community. Joining TG is a very good way of making friends. There are handicrafts and cookery classes, play-readings and outings, interesting and educational talks.”

Recipe provided: Jellied Hors D’Oeuvres


Kitchen Elegance, 34 West Street

Kitchen Elegance specialises in planning, designing and installing fitted kitchens. They are agents for Commodore Kitchens and AEG Kitchen and Laundry Appliances.

Recipe provided: Cheesy Fish Starter


Glenys Brundish, 2 Shepherd’s Down

Glenys Brundish’s husband Keith is manager of the Alresford branch of Barclays Bank.

Recipe provided: Mixed Fish Patés


Sue Clark, Studley House, Rosebery Road

Mrs Clark is a Research Nursing Sister at Alresford surgery looking into blood pressure. She is married to one of the Group Surgery doctors.

Recipe provided: Fish Paté


Ann Wadman, Chestnut House, Dorian Grove

Mrs Wadman is secretary of the Alresford Art Society, which welcomes anyone who is interested to talks on all aspects of the visual arts. Painting, enamelling, book binding and calligraphy are some of the subjects in this present season. Outings to places of interest and theatres are arranged regularly. The society meets on the first Friday of each month.

Recipe provided: Chicken Liver Paté


Jo Newbury, The Globe Inn, the Soke

Recipe provided: Stilton Paté


Hampshire Watercress Ltd

Mr Raymond Isaac began growing watercress on one acre of land in the 1940s. Today his company, Hampshire Watercress Ltd, with its trade name Vitacress, cultivates more then 50 acres, and is the biggest grower in the UK and possibly the world. They supply most major supermarkets.

Watercress has long been regarded as a natural source of important nutrients, and contains vitamins A and B and Riboflavin, plus mineral salts such as calcium and iron. It is ideal for diets, having only 4 calories per ounce.

If bought as a bunch, wash thoroughly and trim as required, shake off excess water and put in a closed polythene bag, or a container from which air has been excluded. Keep it, and pre-packed cress, in a refrigerator.

             Recipes provided: Tangy Starter, Slimmer’s Special, Stuffed Tomatoes,                 and Egg and Watercress Mousse


Jill Shackleton, 24 Arle Gardens

Jill Shackleton is Clerk to New Alresford Parish Council. As its only paid officer she is secretary and archivist, keeping all plans, deeds records, letters, writings etc, and carrying out all functions and duties imposed by statute, regulation or order.

The council’s duties are to provide public open spaces, recreational facilities, street lighting, bus shelters, litter bins, and seats, and to make byelaws. Possibly its most important role, however, is to bring local matters to the notice of the District Council and the Hampshire County Council.

Recipe provided: Stuffed Mushrooms


Jane Long, Linnets Cottage, Tichborne Down

Alresford Golf Club (the course is opposite her cottage) was founded in 1890 on downland owned by Sir Joseph Tichborne (of the family of the Greta Tichborne Inheritance case fame), the course was grazed by sheep until 1907.Charles Marks, of Woking Golf Club, was then employed as the first professional greenkeeper, but unfortunately he fell out with Sir Joseph and only stayed for two years.

golf club railway carriage

Thatched and wood clad, this was the Golf course Clubhouse, based round a railway carriage: picture from alresfordheritage.co.uk, and “The History of Alresford Golf Club” by ER Hedges, 1990.

A room at the ‘Cricketer’s’ served as a clubhouse at first (no ladies permitted of course); later, in 1953, a retired railway carriage was placed by the first tee, and used for 16 years. The present Clubhouse on the Cheriton road now serves a membership of over 400 and is a social and sporting centre.

Recipes provided: Mushrooms Provencales, and also Savoury Toasts


June Gregory, Grasshoppers, Grange Road

June Gregory has worked hard for Oxfam for many years. Her husband Peter is a partner in a firm of Solicitors whose offices in Broad Street were formerly part of the Old George [Inn]. This In was owned by Winchester College and built for them in about 1420. Twenty years later, in 1439, it was burnt down in one of Alresford’s Great Fires, and not rebuilt until a lease was granted in 1460.

In 424 it was referred to as the ‘St George’. Presumably it was then known colloquially as ‘the Old George’ and that gradually became its proper name.

The Inn was sold by the college to a brewery in 1914. It was then closed on 1st September 1927, after more than 500 years of innkeeping.

Recipe provided: Mushroom Savouries (‘Mock Snails’)


Vasanti Rogers, Chalk Hill, New Farm Road

Born of Indian parents in the city of Lucknow, where she spent her childhood, Vasanti studied Manipuri dance at the Vidyodaya School in Madras and was a student at Wellesley Collegeand Columbia University in the USA. She teaches yoga in Alresford and Winchester.

Vasanti is part-owner, with her husband Tom, of the antique shop ‘Rogers of Alresford’. They deal in English pottery, furniture and works of art. They also exhibit at major antiques fairs.

Recipe provided: Indian Spiced Meatballs (Kofra Balls)

Part 2 of 1980s Alresford, covering people who gave recipes for Soups, will follow!




Alresford Ladies support the Men’s Shed!

There has been a lot of progress in the first few weeks of this year, now that the Alresford Men’s Shed has been able to commence creating the workshop area in 1 The Dean, our first Shed location – look out for our signboard outside the building soon, under the ‘Lorem’ sign. After clearing the rooms, half a dozen work benches have been built, and racking for tools erected.

The website, www.alresfordmensshed.org.uk has gone live.

Support from the Alresford Ladies Group

While our search for grants from major donors continues, we are delighted that the Alresford Ladies Group has voted to donate half their Charity giving for 2018 to the Men’s Shed!

Some sceptics might say that the Ladies want to find somewhere to send their menfolk, to get them out of the house, more reasonable people suggest it might be a way of telling the same menfolk to do those repairs, down at the Shed, where someone competent will suggest how to do it! This could be very true, but actually the Shed is expecting to attract Ladies as Members as well, and they will get the same help and support as the male Shed Members. So we look forward to having some of the Alresford Ladies join up too.

The Shed is buying and collecting donated tools, to equip the benches: so please sort the shed or the garage out and locate anything surplus to your needs. We are also looking for projects/jobs that we can do for individuals, or the community more widely, in the very near future – so line up any jobs that you would like us to consider doing for you. Repairing chair legs, rewiring table lamps, covering up scratches – anything is possible. There will be a charge for any materials used, but the labour is free – of course donations to our costs are welcomed.

Equal Opportunities

The Alresford Men’s Shed welcomes men and women as full members of our workshop: all will get the benefit of the experience and advice of other members, if needed, and the members equally will benefit from the experience of all!


1996 Bell Hotel Fire

News topics from the 1996 papers

The following two items appeared in the local newspapers found in the time capsule placed in the Methodist Chapel in the Dean, during its renovation for the Alresford Youth Association in 1996.

Bell Hotel Fire

In the issue of the Hampshire Chronicle that was placed in the Methodist Chapel time capsule that was re-created in 1996, there was a news item about a recent fire in the Bell Hotel. The newspaper was dated 8 March 1996 – it said

“Four people who were asleep in the Bell Hotel in Alresford, on Sunday night, had a lucky escape. Carl May, son of the Manager, woke up to the smell of smoke just before 0230 and raised the alarm. Hotel manager Courtney May, Carl, and two guests who were in the hotel at the time made their way to safety.

The first fire fighters on the scene were from Alresford, followed by those from Winchester. “When we arrived we could see fire coming out of the roof, it had obviously been burning for some time,” said Winchester sub-officer Kevin Oxlade. “It was a very serious fire.”

bell hotel fire 1

Efforts were originally made on preventing the flames spreading to nearby buildings. It took about four hours for six units plus a turntable ladder, and 40 firefighters from Alresford, Winchester, Twyford and Alton to get the blaze under control. Damping down operations continued for most of the morning. Fire investigators attended the scene on Monday: the cause of the fire was thought to have been an electrical fault

The roof, top floor, and the first floor where the guest bedrooms were located suffered the most damage.”

bell hotel fire 2

The scene the next morning

The hotel was owned by Phoenix Inns at the time. The building is Grade II listed, recorded as a coaching inn dating from 1756. Additional reporting by the Winchester Extra is included above.

Creamfields – Boomtown gets go-ahead

Also in a front page feature in the Hampshire Chronicle of 8 March 1996, the Winchester City Council gave the go-ahead for the music festival at Cheesefoot Head, stating the assumption that it would be likely to attract 50,000 people.