Archive for the ‘Tourist activities’ Category

The Community Centre and Parking!

The name proposed for the settlement on the South side of the River Arle was originally “Newmarket” – as the Bishops of the time, planned the town as a marketplace, where people would visit to trade and buy goods. That was Bishop De Lucy, I believe. But the people who established the new settlement mainly came from the village on the north bank, now called Old Alresford. They therefore felt that a better name would be “New Alresford”, and adopted that instead. Action by popular demand, even in the C11th! It was almost democracy.

The town has thrived on its large market, in Broad Street, still maintained today by the Town Trust. But the traders and restaurants and shopkeepers of Alresford have perpetuated the approach, and Alresford today is known as a good place to go to, to visit and buy things, where visitors are welcomed, and parking is free.

Indeed the old statutes of the Bailiffs and Burgesses that ran the town until 1890 have been passed down to the NATT, the Town Trust, who own the rights to the parking and activities in the market area, ie Broad Street. So if parking fees were ever introduced, any revenues generated would probably go to the Town Trust.

The modern view

In 2018 the whole idea seems to be turning itself on its head. The traders in the town continue to rely on visitors arriving, these days, in their cars. There are shops to provide services to many sections of society, and with parking available they can ensure a short walk to the destination, short enough to carry possibly heavy shopping back to the car. Many OAPs rely on this for groceries, meat and fish, producing heavy shopping bags. Ladies in high heels can visit the boutiques and dress shops, and then have a coffee nearby. The car parks at the station and at Perins are well used, and no distance.

Surprisingly the car park at the ARC, up Pound Hill, is really not well used, and has many spaces during the week. The town plan, driven by the NATC, is investing millions in a new car park in the Dean, knocking down three factories, but the spaces will probably be mostly used by the residents of the new McCarthy and Stone retirement flats that are probably financing the whole thing. Meanwhile all the traders in the town park their cars in the spaces they would like their potential customers to use, in the town centre. When the Traffic Warden arrives they miraculously shift their cars to the station car park or similar.

Even more recent events

I hesitate to be too biased in commenting about controversial things, but I don’t drive an SUV, and my car easily fits into a standard parking place.

Driving around any town, you see spaces marked out with white lines, identified as disabled spaces. You know that this is near a place where disabled people have to alight safely, and you do not block these spaces, unless you are sitting in the car, able to move it if the space is needed. These are not legally designated disabled bays: but it is requesting your co-operation as a responsible member of society.

So we come to the two spaces marked as disabled outside the Community Centre. These are useful to the town, as they are also outside the banks that remain, and drivers can use them for 5 minutes while visiting the bank, particularly if they leave the car supervised. They are “Drop-off” points.

The Community Centre is one of the jewels of Alresford. It provides a meeting point, and a rest centre, for residents visiting the shops, and the parking spaces provide a pick up point for shopping bags, once the shopping is finished. This can be seen every Friday morning, when the town Minibus brings around 30 OAPs and mobility-challenged people into town for a weekly shop. They visit the Banks, Tesco, the Pet Shop, the butchers and the chemists. Plus the greengrocers, the library and the card shops/gift shops. The more affluent visit Heidi’s and the Age Concern charity shop. It is unlikely many of them visit Fitique – maybe the session times don’t match.

The Chamber of Commerce

It then appears that leading members of the Chamber of Commerce, the successors of course to the Bailiffs and Burgesses that ran the town until the 1890s, but the various Acts of Parliament took away their powers, took exception to the Town Minibus that reserved two disabled spaces on a Friday morning, for at most 4 hours. They felt this was preventing custom for their businesses, and say many businesses agreed. Which ones do not benefit, one wonders, from the 30 OAPs that come in in those four hours to spend their money? Four hours, two spaces, with a parking max time of two hours – that means four cars could have driven into town and spent their money, contrasted with the 30 pensioners who did come.

It is my opinion that the benefit resulting from four SUVs, spending their money in sessions in Fitique or the various boutiques and coffee shops, would not meet the benefit to the town’s shops from the 30 OAPs. But if it takes 30 cars to come into town, to deliver these pensioners, separately, and block the roads while discharging and collecting them, then I am prepared to arrange it.

The NATC and HCC response

It seems that HCC has been quick to respond, and is circulating suggestions that it should start to charge for parking in the town, covering all parking spaces. Worse still for the traders, they would propose a residents parking pass system that would charge peanuts for residents to park in the town, and block the parking spaces that seem so important to the Chamber of Commerce, that they are prepared to go to the extreme of proposing banning the town minibus from the town centre.

Overall, the town is descending into selfish, suicidal madness!

Nick Denbow

  • Any opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author alone.
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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!

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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!

 

 

Photos of local villages

Old Alresford

A collection of photos of Old Alresford is available in the FlickR album on webpage www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/albums/72157678155397343. This includes pics from the Old Alresford Village Fair in June 2017, as well as a few from 1988. The 2017 pics are summarised below.

Old Alresford Village Fair 2017

Itchen Abbas

I wanted to take some pics of the Edward Grey cottage site in Itchen Abbas, so went for a walk round the area, including the Church and the village school, which I had never found before, while my wife enjoyed some Zumba in the Village Hall. These pics are in the album on www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/albums/72157685001511695 These photos were taken April 7 this year.

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Winchester

There’s another little place near Alresford, called Winchester. Many trips there produced various pics, some better than others! The architectural photos, taken in January 2017, were inspired by the “Look Up!” book about the history of all the buildings, which was a Christmas present. I must add some older ones from the previous few years next.

The web album reference is www.flickr.com/photos/83468450@N03/albums/72157682047854913/with/34766840213/

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Pigs Duck Race photos

The 2017 Alresford Pigs Duck Race was held last Sunday thanks to the generosity of George and Janette Hollingbery and family, at the Weir House in Old Alresford. It was a scorching day, so as ever the Pigs worked hard to gather lots of Gazebos to provide as much shelter as possible on the lawn by the river.

The whole event was basically a great big party, with entertainment from the Alresford Ukulele Band, the Duck Racing, Tombola and Scalextrics car racing stands, plus a Bouncy Castle for the kids. And a bar for the Dads, because it was Father’s Day after all.

It was a lot of work, but a good way to thank the Community for their support to the Pigs Charity over the last two years. You can see the Pigs at work in the photos below, but this was of course before the bar opened……

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Being Father’s Day, the kids were still working….

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But the lawn looked pretty full up with Gazebos for shelter

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and chairs everywhere.

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The Ukulele Band started up, with help….

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Although the Dads were going strong

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And the audience liked it

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Some people did the 10k run, and then had a beer, , which was maybe a bit too much on a hot day…..

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The rest enjoyed themselves, and the band, and the ice cream.

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Placing a bet for the first time is a big thing, so you need help from an older sister, or friend.

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But you have to make your own decision.

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That decision is a bit more difficult the older you get….

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But it doesn’t look like the bookies know much about it all

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Well, the Ducks have set off, in a crowd.

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Most seem to be wanting to go backwards…

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But one has been seen going forwards, backwards.

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There they go.

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Even if you don’t care about the races, it is still a good day…..

If you know someone who might qualify for help from the local community funds donated to the Alresford Pigs, please contact us and tell us about them. We support those in the Community who need help, that the community would wish to support. We have been operating for over 40 years, and raise over £10,000 a year, which is all used to help the community.

 

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.

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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!