Archive for the ‘Local clubs and activities’ Category

Alresford Men’s Shed launches!

Heard about Men’s Sheds? It’s the idea that started in Australia*, where ‘Guys’ get together to share skills and launch into doing the things they’ve always wanted to, like repairing broken furniture, making a corner cabinet, re-wiring a lamp – alongside other people who have done it before, and can give a helping hand.

It also gives a social interface away from the home, where you can talk as much as you want, or walk away if it’s a hassle. The idea may be to give your wife some free time, and get out of the house. Beware, there may be some wives getting away from their husbands too, to get those nagging jobs done themselves, with some different advice.

Part of the SHED objective is to provide a Community service, in return for a donation, where little elderly ladies (of Alresford), and others, can get their walkers repaired, and their lamps rewired, or chairs glued.

OK, Commercial over, what about the Alresford Shed?

Alresford Men’s Shed is about to start up! Come and hear the launch plans, the facilities available, not now, maybe not next week, but certainly the ALRESFORD SHED will be OPEN after Christmas! Come and find a use for all the Christmas presents that you might get, particularly if someone else knows what they do.

The Alresford Shed launch meeting is on Thursday 14 December at the ARC, 11am. DO COME ALONG TO HEAR SOME GREAT NEWS and take the opportunity to chat to your fellow potential “Shedders”. Be at the start of it all. Stay till 2ish.

If you do intend coming please let us know as we are planning to provide a simple Ploughman’s Lunch with drinks. Just reply by commenting on this post on the website, see the box below: it will not appear publicly, but the message will get noted, and you added to the list for future info, if you wish.

Find out how to be a part of it

The Alresford Men’s Shed Membership application form will be available for completion on the spot, on 14 December. Or take one away, and visit us at the “SHED” next year.

There are as yet few rules, but there will be more, for basic health and safety.

All are welcome, there are many “Men’s Sheds” that have both male and female members. Bring your own projects, or come and help with others.

There will be an annual membership fee, and maybe an attendance fee to cover tea and coffee and electricity for the microwave and fridge. We don’t believe anyone can work properly without sustenance!

What has happened so far?

Alresford Men’s Shed has applied for Registered Charity status, and start-up funding has been donated by Hampshire County Council and Alresford Pigs Association. Already neighbouring SHEDs are offering us free spare tools and benches and whatever.

Come and listen to what could be created!

*Background: Australia is a country where guys are guys, and that means they need to have a comfortable place to go where they can do their own thing, and do things, and maybe talk a bit. Search for “Mens sheds” on Google (no apostrophe), or go to menssheds.org.uk: this site is English – beware, there are a lot of Irish Shed websites!

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Community Volunteers – can you help?

For those recently retired, or anyone wishing to volunteer to help the less able-bodied in Alresford, the Giles Group of Alresford is seeking help for one or two days a month, assisting people at their meetings or on their Minibus outings. The group (www.gilesgroup.org.uk) organises a monthly talk in the Community Centre, and a monthly outing in the town Minibus, for old, infirm or otherwise disabled/lonely people in the town.

The current organisers are also getting old, and need some help in shepherding the visitors onto the Minibus, handing out teas, organising tables and chairs, fastening seat belts etc. The meetings are held on the second Monday in the month, in the afternoon, and the Minibus trips, to a garden centre, or a market, or a café on the coast (in the good weather) are on the third Monday in the month, again in the afternoon.

The Giles Group has around 35 members, with maybe 30 attending the meetings regularly, and 13 is the minibus capacity for the outings. Volunteer drivers are already available driving the bus, both to collect people for the meeting in the Community Centre, and on the outings.

If you would be able to help, please come along and see what we do, what help is needed, and how such events can be so useful for the Community. Or call Nick on 734824, with any questions!  Thankyou

Bluebell trail at Hinton Ampner

The Bluebell trail through the woods in the National Trust Hinton Ampner Estate, south of Hinton Ampner House, offer a delightful walk in Springtime. The Trust shop can provide maps of the walk, some 4 miles long, and certainly this year the bluebells have been showing themselves off very well.

Pictures below are from 22nd April 2017.DSCN5682

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And here is a copy of the map:

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You might also see:

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Even if you are only driving to Winchester shopping, or on the 64 bus, just look to the left just after joining the A31 dual carriageway: at the top of the first rise the woods on the left of the road are carpeted with bluebells too!

Pilates classes with Brenda Clarke

Brenda Clarke has been teaching exercise in Alresford and the local area since the mid 1990’s, and Pilates for the past ten years:  she is a fully qualified Level Three Instructor and a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals. Brenda explains the background as follows:

“Joseph Pilates developed his regime in the 1920’s. He had been a sickly child and having turned to athletics and exercise, found his health improved dramatically with the methods he had developed. 

Joseph went on to share his techniques and philosophies such that Pilates soon became widely recognised for providing people with the ability to improve not only their body’s health but also their mind and spirit.

My classes are set in a friendly environment, and comprise a wide variety of mat based exercises to improve bodily strength, flexibility and posture. 

Pilates is suitable for people of all ages and abilities, I provide my clients with variations of each exercise, allowing them to work at a level which best suits their goals.”

Pilates will improve your Strength, Flexibility and Posture. 

Typical Schedule for 2018 Pilates classes

Monday 9.00 am 10.00 am Bighton Village Hall
Monday

Monday

10.15 am

12.15pm

11.15 am

1.15 pm

Bighton Village Hall

Bighton Village Hall

Monday 1.30 pm 2.30 pm Bighton Village Hall
Monday 8.00 pm 9.00 pm Bishops Sutton Village Hall
Tuesday 9.00 am 10.00 am Bighton Village Hall
Tuesday 10.15 am 11.15 am Bighton Village Hall
Tuesday 1.30 pm 2.30 pm Ropley Pavilion
Wednesday 9.00 pm 10.00 pm Old Alresford Village Hall
Wednesday 10.15 pm 11.15 pm Old Alresford Village Hall
Wednesday 3.50 pm 4.50 pm Sun Hill Infants School

These school term-time courses run in blocks of six or seven weeks and are suitable for people of all ages and ability.

 

For more information or to book a place in one of the above classes please contact Brenda on 07752 636665 or by email [brenda.pilates@outlook.com].

Shopping Trips using the Town Minibus

The NATT (New Alresford Town Trust) is an independent charity in Alresford that runs the Town Minibus, which is shortly (in March) to be replaced with a new bus, based on a Mercedes Sprinter. This vehicle will still have a tail lift to allow access for disabled passengers and wheelchairs, but will have a side entry with much smaller steps to climb up, when compared to the current vehicle.

Several Alresford residents have been asking about the shopping trips organised in the NATT Minibus. The schedule for these trips is published every month in the yellow “Whats On” leaflet, although sometimes this seems out of date. Basically the shopping trips normally follow the schedule described here:

Standard schedule for trips

First Tuesday in the month: 0845 start, for Sainsburys in Alton.

Second Wednesday in the month: 0845 start, for Tesco in Winnall.

Third Wednesday in the month: 1300 start, for Sainsburys in Alton.

Fourth Wednesday in the month: 0900 start, to Central Winchester.

Every Friday, several trips to and from Alresford Community Centre, starting from 0830 throughout the morning.

Second and fourth Saturdays in the month: 0830 start, on a trip to Petersfield.

How it works

The Minibus collects passengers from outside their houses, starting from the garage in Meryon Road, so people in the town centre will be picked up later than those in the outskirts, in general. So the start times quoted above are for the first pick-ups near the garage, other passengers will be picked up maybe up to 30 minutes later. The bus also returns passengers, with their shopping, to directly outside their homes. Each round-trip is chargeable, the minimal fare is just to cover the fuel and running costs of the Minibus. The drivers are all community volunteers.

To add your name to the list for any trip, subject to a seat being available, please contact Pam Stevens on 01962 734861, a few days before the required bus trip.

Pam would also be delighted to hear from anyone interested in acting as a volunteer driver, spending half a day taking one of these shopping trips out, maybe just once a month! New volunteer drivers are always welcome, for these and other Community trips.

Pigs Events for 2017

For 2017 there are several events being scheduled by the Alresford Pigs Association.

The Duck Race

Kithener-Pig-vectorMost important perhaps is the Duck Race, which is only held every two years. This is held in the beautiful grounds of the Weir House, thanks to the generous support of the Hollingberry family. The Race Day is to be on Father’s Day, Sunday June 18th, with races starting probably at around 12 noon.

Why not enter your own (plastic) duck? Contact the Pigs to hire a duck, paint it in your own colours, and give it the name you want to see win.

The Alresford Show

The Pigs help man the show, in terms of car parking, manning the gates, providing safety stewards, etc: the helpers come from many local sports clubs, school PTAs, playschool and toddler group organisers etc. To have your organisation included, and benefit from the funds provided to support these helper organisations, once again, contact the Pigs. The actual show date is Saturday 2nd September.

Summer evening drives for OAPs

Throughout the “Summer”, in other words during the months of June and July, the Alresford Pigs organise evening trips on the town Minibus, usually visiting a local beauty spot and a pub for a drink. Previous trips have gone into the New Forest and to the coast, for example at Bosham, or Portsmouth, or the Hamble.

The trips are on Tuesday evenings, and typically are between about 6pm and 10pm: there is no charge. This year there will be the new town Minibus, so will be in even more comfort! Parties are typically organised by local Groups, like via organisers at Makins Court, Ellingham Close and the Giles Group. Once again, contact the Pigs to be included in the list of potential passengers.

Pigs Outings Dates for 2017:

Giles Group, via Jeanne Nicholls: 20 June, 18 July

Ellingham Close, via Una Yeates: 13 June, 11 July

Makins Court: 27 June, 25 July, via Christine Richardson

Bramble Hill, via Joan Wimbleton: 6 June, 4 July

Christmas trees

For 2017, the Christmas trees are scheduled for erection on Saturday 25th November 2017. To book a tree, again please use the standard Pigs contact numbers or visit the Pigs website. The date for the removal of the trees in 2018 will probably be Saturday 6th January! (That’s not funny, its my birthday…..)

The big Christmas tree in Broad Street will be put in place on 22nd November….. it comes down on 2nd January 2018. (Sounds like a long way ahead)

Arrival of Father Christmas!

Santa has woken up and set a date: its going to be 13th December. See you in Broad Street!

Local People Helping Local People

If you think that the Alresford Pigs, which is a local charity established to help people in the local area who are in difficulties of any form, could possibly help you personally with a problem, then use the contact information below and ask for someone to contact you.

Contact the Pigs:

The website is www.alresfordpigs.org

There is a special website for the Duck Race

Phone us: to leave a message dial 01962 658961

Email us: secretary@alresfordpigs.org

Trips on the Alison MacGregor

It was the longest day of the year, 20 June, when the Alresford Giles Group monthly outing went out on the Alison MacGregor launch, from Hythe, for a trip around the Solent, which in this case meant around the docks in Southampton and up the River Itchen for a look round there. Despite the rain all morning, which made two with faint hearts drop out, the weather was marvellous, and no-one got wet, even from the spray. The Giles Group (www.GilesGroup.org.uk) is just one of several organisations in Alresford who take advantage of this charity run boat trip, and the Thursday Lunch Club and Ellingham residents have also organised similar trips, using the Town Minibus, which is just the right size, as the Alison MacGregor can only take 12 passengers.

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The Alresford Town Minibus set off early to meet the boat by 2pm, and after a little messing about in the Marina we managed to find a toilet with disabled access, in the Marina Restaurant: many thanks to them for opening up for us specially! Then we set off out of the lock gates, although since the tide was in there was not much change in water level. This made the trip all the better, as we could see more on the docksides – which mainly was taken up with thousands of cars, Minis and Range Rovers, being exported in big car transporters.

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Some of the car transporters being loaded

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Cars awaiting export on Southampton Docks, and a new Hovercraft, which was later that week announced as the latest vessel to be purchased for the Portsmouth to IOW run.

You have to wonder how leaving the EU will affect the traffic in and out of the port – but there were a lot of JCB excavators as well, and JCB were one of the companies supporting the ‘Out’ campaign. Other notable items being prepared for export shipping were several large wind turbine blades, which the skipper described as ‘the last ones made on the Isle of Wight’, as production had been transferred to Norway – or maybe it was Sweden.

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View of the port from Hythe

The commentary from the skipper describing the passing sights was really useful in understanding what we could see: whether it was related to the history of the port, or the old ships now being restored and used for pleasure trips, or the new docks for the large cruise liners – filled that day with yet another car transporter. Apparently these big ships with their multiple decks of cars get unloaded and loaded up again within 24 hours! The new cruise ship embarkation building has the old Calshot Spit light vessel on the rear of the dock: other old restored vessels were also moored around the harbour, and still offer pleasure trips – one example is the Shieldhall sludge boat from Glasgow, now cleaned – and fumigated!

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Everyone enjoyed the trip, and, as a result of all that fresh air, all fell asleep on the Minibus on the way back, except for the driver: we arrived back home in time for tea, well refreshed by an afternoon on the water!

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The Hythe Marina, where the Alison MacGregor is berthed.

Postscript:

This story about the Giles Group trip on the Alison MacGregor around Southampton Docks and Hythe had an interesting follow up! Just as we were returning to Hythe Marina, a very smart “Superyacht” was seen moving up Southampton Water into the Port area, between two tugs.

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The picture I took of this Superyacht, called the “Lady A”, was spotted on FlickR by Charl van Rooy, Editor of the SuperYacht Times: he has now supplied links to two stories that his magazine has published, explaining that this yacht, which is owned by Lord Sugar, had probably just emerged from a 9-month refit and repaint at Burgess Marine, a shipyard in Portchester.

The links are

Obviously when the Lady A passed our launch, it was on a delivery journey after this refit, so that Lord Sugar could collect it, in its new colour scheme. The 55 metre yacht was originally built in 1986.