After a glorious summer, the nights are now drawing in so curl up with the Autumn 2018 edition of Community News.
On our front cover we celebrate Colin who works hard to keep Whiteshute Ridge both natural and beautiful.
Exciting news, we have now have a Facebook page dedicated to Community News. It’s new so stay with us while we get a handle on how best to run it. If you have any suggestions or feedback, feel free to message us on there.
Chairman’s Report – AGM 2018
The Centre had a fairly good year with key improvements continuing. This year we refurbished the toilets and updated the office furniture. We are next hoping to replace the 30-year-old heating boiler. Next year’s project will be the refurbishment of the kitchen which is another major undertaking so if hirers would like to see any changes please let us know.
Bookings were good this year with Hampshire Sinfonia, On Fire Fitness, Integr8 Dance and Winchester Tigers (part of Tae Kwon-Do) joining as new regulars. Unfortunately, we have lost Whiteshute Bridge after many years.
Berenice Cottrell is continuing as Editor of Community News and has made quite a few positive changes to the former layout. Our thanks to all the volunteers who distribute the publication for us in all weathers. Caretaker Merv quietly celebrated his 70th birthday this year. Stan Judd is stepping down as Trustee this year and not standing for re-election. Thanks go to all the Trustees for giving up their time to ensure the continued successful running of the Centre.
The future is looking very bright and positive for the Community Centre and I would like to thank everybody who has used us during this past year. We hope to go from strength to strength. Thanks also go finally to Jan who mans the office daily and is always on hand to provide help and support.
News from our Local Schools
- On Friday 20 July 2018 Badger Farm Pre-School said a very warm-hearted farewell to the children who have been in their care and who are now moving on to ‘big school’ in September. This is always a very bitter-sweet day for the staff who are immensely fond and proud of all the children and are totally dedicated, caring, professional and considerate in all aspects of the day to day running of the group.
Parish and Government News
- Following increased anti-social behaviour in Oliver’s Battery, the Parish Council has agreed that the gate to the car park should be locked overnight on a more regular basis. On 25 July 2018, the Right Worshipful Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Frank Pearson, visited Oliver’s Battery to unveil the new interpretation board on Oliver Cromwell’s Battery. The board sets out the history of the site, highlights some of the important archaeological artefacts found there and clarifies the site’s connection with Oliver Cromwell.
- Oliver’s Battery Community Centre has received the news that The Parochial Church Council of St Luke and St Mark has withdrawn its support for the project to replace the aging St Mark’s church and hall with a modern community centre. This means that they no longer have the land on which to build the facility so over the next few months, the Management Team will be looking at the options for the future of the charity.
- MP Steve Brine kicked off his summer tour in Oliver’s Battery, discussing many issues that have been raised in the Parish Plan, ranging from safety improvements at the junction of Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm Road to improved public transport links and the need to protect open space and the landscape setting of Oliver’s Battery. Over one in three children are now overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. Steve’s new childhood obesity plan is all about tackling this issue and has an ambitious new target to halve childhood obesity by 2030.
- Our City Councillors Eleanor Bell and Brian Laming report that the two consultation sessions on the proposed Bushfield Camp site were very well attended and gave everyone the chance to look at what may be considered for the development of the site. The Hampshire CC Strategic Transport Survey is due to be published shortly and a major concern is the junction of Oliver’s Battery Road and Badger Farm Road. This is becoming more important as proposed work on the M3 smart motorway upgrade followed by work to Junction 9 will undoubtedly cause far more traffic on Badger Farm Road. Work is about to start on the access to Whiteshute Ridge to make the ground around the gates better able to take the winter conditions and hopefully not let them get so muddy. Whilst last winter was unusual in the heavy amount of rain, the prepared ground should be able to cope with it.
News from Local Organisations and Clubs
- Badger Farm Community Centre is looking to set up a community inspired cake gathering aimed particularly at the over 65’s in the community and we need your help! Launching in January 2019 – the Badger Farm Chatty Café scheme will be open from 1-3pm on the 3rd Monday of every month and aims to provide somewhere to go for those that may feel isolated or lonely in the community. A place to find a friendly face and the kettle on and hopefully a slice of delicious cake. We hope to set up a steering group meeting in the Community Centre on the 22nd October at 1pm to get the ball rolling so if this is something you think you could be part of then please contact us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!
- The Art Group at Badger Farm has had another wonderfully productive year. They remain a very dedicated and friendly group who are interested in each other’s work and sharing techniques, along with a cup of tea and a biscuit! If you are free on Thursday afternoons then please come along. The cost is £7.50 a session, pay as you go. Your first session is free.
- Oliver’s Battery WI announced a newly elected Committee following elections in May; huge thanks to outgoing members who have given their time and energy providing entertainment and hospitality during the year. They have a full programme of monthly talks organised up to June 2019 and along the way outings (this year to Wisely), fund raising events; most recently £176.00 was raised in aid of Breast Cancer at a Strawberry Afternoon Tea.
- Trustee Simon Lever recently had the honour of meeting a truly amazing 100+ year old former teacher of English and music. She is noted for her incredibly positive attitude. A positive attitude is more than a ‘glass half full’. It is a state of mind. Not always easy, but when engaging with an individual, understanding who the person really is; the positive persona can shine through and be built upon by pursuing a gentle conversation about their positive experiences.
- Genealogy was transformed by the internet. Information that once took cross-country trips to record offices or churches to find can now be accessed with a few clicks. It’s probably why genealogy is now one of the most popular online activities. In Ann’s Computer Corner you can find out how to start tracing your own family tree online.
- Winchester Horticultural Society Autumn events include talks from Kevin Hobbs, Director of Hilliers Nurseries, who will offer his advice on what to plant to achieve stunning
colour in the Autumn; Tim Woodland who, after years of working with and marketing a wide variety of plant bulbs, will share some of his experiences and wildlife photographer Brian Pettit who will delight with some of his wonderful images of wildlife in the New Forest.
- ‘Whiteshute Ridge affords such special scenery all year round. The spectacular display of autumnal colours as the leaves gradually turn a myriad gold, yellow and red and all shades between is awe inspiring. Autumn offers more colour than could be imagined.’ Enjoy the rest of Simon Lever’s ‘A Walk around Whiteshute Ridge’ in Community News.
- Oliver’s Battery Countryside Group have been busy cutting back hazel and field maples and clearing many brambles that were overtaking the paths through the wildlife area. ‘Phase 2’ of the wild flower project on the Battery is well under way. We extended the two areas either side of the Oliver’s Battery sign and a good variety of flowers have grown with pink Ragged Robin the first to flower. One of the highlights this spring was a visit by the Vicar of St. Mark’s and St. Luke’s, Mr Jolly the donkey and the parishioners who processed from St. Mark’s to the Wildlife Area on Palm Sunday.
- At the height of this hot, dry summer Norma (Nature Notes) has been saving every drop of kitchen water for the garden and is shocked by how much we usually waste down the plughole. Remember the summer of 1976? We had months of drought starting the previous winter and continuing through the spring into summer. There was a hosepipe ban, many areas had long periods without water with the provision of standpipes in the streets and in August the Government passed The Drought Act. A slogan ‘Save water, bath with a friend’ was seen in many places! Back in the present, while at Alnwick Garden, Norma spotted a white chaffinch. The bird was white all over apart from its distinctive wing bars. At first glance it could have been mistaken for a snow bunting but that bird is larger and heavier and would have been out of place here. Many birds have some white feathers where they shouldn’t be, a condition known as leucism in which there is partial loss of pigmentation.
- In their meetings this autumn, Winchester Local Group Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust will be looking at ‘Ancient and Veteran – Trees of the New Forest’, ‘Ladybirds’, ‘Ode to Autumn’ and ‘Birds and Mammals of Estonia’.