Take a step back in time in our archive and enjoy some of the older editions of our Community News newsletter. Click on the year below to see all the editions from that year. Read the highlights on this page or click on the season’s title to see the full newsletter in PDF format.

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Winter 2017

Christmas wishes from BFOBRCA
Season’s Greetings from all the Trustees of Badger Farm & Oliver’s Battery Resident’s Community Association and all of us here at the Community Centre. With only a few weeks until Christmas, take a few minutes out to enjoy the latest edition of Community News.

Significant progress has been made over the past few months to secure the long-term future of Whiteshute Ridge as an area of pasture to the south of Badger Farm. It is being developed to allow shared public access and introduce British white cattle later in the year. Read more about it in our focus article. All are welcome to come along to our next ‘meet and greet’ on the Ridge, which we will organise after the cattle have settled in.

Highlights of our other news

  • Councillor Brian Laming and MP Steve Brine both celebrate the new health care hub which has opened at Badger Farm Surgery, right next to the Community Centre, and update us on proposed improvements to the Oliver’s Battery junction and other transport issues.
  • The Community Bookcase is now open at St. Mark’s in Oliver’s Battery every Thursday morning between 10 and 11:15. This is an informal replacement for the now defunct mobile library service. Come and have a drink at the Coffee Pop Inn and enjoy meeting people in the community while choosing some books to borrow.
  • Find out about local events being held by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council encourage us to use the Your Winchester app (Apple, Android); it  is an excellent way of recording problems and logging them with Winchester City Council. Following from the successful wildflower project this summer, Oliver’s Battery Parish Council plan to extend the wildflower areas on the Battery and they support the plan to erect some bird nesting boxes in the parish in memory of Maurice Walker, a long term resident of Oliver’s Battery and former chairman of the local RSPB group.
  • The Year 6 children at Oliver’s Battery Primary School have been busy with a trip to Calshot, engaging in a project on Rights, Respect and Responsibilities and applying to be House Captains.
  • Simon Lever celebrates the work of Colin, the grass-cutter on Whiteshute Ridge, whose grass ‘pathways’ allowing ease of access are a joy to behold.
  • At Oliver’s Battery Pre-school, as always, the children have been having lots of messy fun creating some fantastic crafts – Rainbows, Handprint leaves for our Autumn Tree, Fire Pictures and for Christmas they will be continuing the crafty theme by making their own  Crowns and Christmas Placemats ready for their Christmas Party.
  • Oliver’s Battery WI Group  provided marshalling in local roads for the Winchester Half Marathon, showing that the WI is not just about Jam & Jerusalem, but friendship, learning, support, fun and activity.
  • Badger Farm Social Club is social club for all the family hidden within the Badger Farm Community Centre, run for the community by the community. Do pop in to see what’s
    on offer and ask for a Membership Form!
  • Neighbourhood Watch give us the latest advice on cyber crime.
  • Winchester Radio is a not-for-profit FM-band radio service for Winchester and the surrounding villages, run by people living in Winchester. Anyone living in Winchester will be able to get involved from early 2018.
  • Oliver’s Battery Community Centre have two fund-raising events planned for the spring. On Saturday 16th February is the return of ‘The Little Big Band’ playing the arrangements of such legends as Duke Ellington, Glen Miller, Count Basie and many more. Jac Gehring’s Community Choir will be returning on Friday 18th May. Her enthusiastic members will again be demonstrating their choral talent with a varied programme.
  • Almost ten years ago, a small number of volunteers from Oliver’s Battery set up a new care group. Over time. that group has become the Winchester Good Neighbours. 2017 has seen over twenty-five volunteers regularly giving of their time to helping others. However, requests for neighbourly assistance are on the increase and they would be  delighted to hear from you if you are able to help for a couple of hours a month.
  • Hampshire County and Winchester City Councils are running a joint public consultation asking people who live in, work in, or visit Winchester to give their views on travelling in and around the city. he Movement Strategy will set out an agreed vision and long-term goals for traffic and transport improvements in Winchester over the next 20 to 30 years. It will provide a framework from which we can develop detailed proposals and specific target measures. You can provide your feedback online on Hantsweb.
  • Eliminate one of Christmas’ most tedious jobs! Learn how to use Microsoft Word to automatically create address labels for your Christmas cards in Ann’s Computer Corner.
  • Norma shares fascinating facts about thatching and conkers in Nature Notes. You may be aware that some words of the natural world no longer feature in the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Twenty of these words are now featured in a truly magical book called “The Lost Words”, for grandparents to read with grandchildren and share their own childhood memories and to encourage them to get outside and enjoy what our countryside still has to offer.

Autumn 2017

A woodland path through trees in autumn colours.As the summer comes to its close, look forward to Autumn with the latest edition of Community News. In this edition we shine the spotlight on two of the sporting activities that are held at the Community Centre – Rugbytots and Sports Karate. Rugbytots’ fun, structured play sessions take girls and boys aged 2-7 years on a  journey of sporting imagination with engaging and energetic coaches supporting them every step of the way whilst teaching how to catch, pass, kick, run with the ball and play as part of a team. Sport karate is the competition aspect of karate training. The students train both mentally and physically very hard to compete against other trained karate-ka. Sport karate will be showcasing at the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.

Highlights of our other news

  • BFOBRCA reports that during the year they have nearly completed the change-over to LED lighting and that the work has started on the toilet refurbishments at the Community Centre. The Centre is now 30 years old and work needs to be done to bring it up to modern standards; future improvements being looked at include a redesign of the boiler configuration and improvements to the kitchen. Badger Farm Pre-School were chosen by Sainsbury’s as their charity of the year. This meant Sainsbury’s working with the Pre-School on various activities and projects throughout the year and their first mission was to help tidy and supply new planters for the garden. Jan stepped down as Editor of Community News at the beginning of the year and Berenice Kenny has been welcomed to this role.
  • Your local churches invite you to celebrate with them this year’s Harvest. On Saturday 30th September we are holding a Harvest Party at St Luke’s, and on Sunday 8th October a Family Harvest Event at St Mark’s. A little later in the year all the local uniform groups will be parading for the Remembrance Sunday Service in St Luke’s at 10.15, to include the 11.00 silence. You would be most welcome at any of these gatherings; look out for details.
  • Since the Oliver’s Battery WI Group last article, the group have enjoyed a colourful and informative demonstration by Barbi Colson on flower arranging. As is traditional in the summer, they had an evening visit to a Hampshire garden, The Deane House in Sparsholt. In the autumn, Mr Alan Jones will talk on the ‘History, Mystery and Therapy of Hypnosis’ at St Peter’s Primary School at 7.45pm.
  • Could you spare a couple of hours a week to help at Badger Farm Toddlers? They are looking for volunteers to assist in the kitchen making refreshments, washing up and clearing away at the end of the session. It’s an ideal opportunity to make new friends and spend a couple of enjoyable hours.
  • With the pressures of SATs testing and transition to secondary and concerns over the wellbeing of young children, Oliver’s Battery Primary School has implemented a course of mindfulness for the current Year 6 children. This term Year 4 (have been taking part in the Fiver Challenge, run by Young Enterprise. The class were given £5 and were tasked to make as much profit as possible. Year 6 took on the challenge of raising money for The NSPCC. As part of this, they had to design and set up a big work out. The children raised a grand total of £364.55. The school are also in need of volunteers to help in looking after our grounds including: pond work, clearance, working on the allotments, scrub bashing, coppicing and cutting grass in the wild flower meadow. If you have any interests in these areas, please do get in contact with the school.
  • Stanmore School‘s inaugural careers day for Year 6 pupils was a resounding success. The children met professionals from lots of different types of employment and had the chance to quiz everyone about their choice of career and what they liked most about it. During June, the whole school took part in a writing project based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Lots of imaginative, fantastic pieces of writing appeared and in a fun activity linked to the project everyone came together on the back field for a shipwrecked banquet. As the new term begins, the school are looking forward to their annual Book Week which begins on Monday 16th October 2017. This will include a Book Fair, a dressing up day and a visit from Peter Bently. He has written fantastic picture books and is an enormously entertaining speaker. It should be great fun!
  • Membership for the Badger Farm Social Club is now half price! “We are a social club for all the family hidden within the Badger Farm Community Centre, run for the Community by the community. We always welcome new members from the local area and have lots on offer for you to enjoy. So do come in and see what we have to offer!”
  • In our new Local Interest section you can Get to know our local House Martins and read about the successful open day held by the Badger Farm Art Group.
  • Our MP, Steve Brine, thanks to his constituents for re-electing him as our MP back on 8th June. He will be working in the Department of Health as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, picking up the role of Minister for Public Health, Primary Care and Prevention. He is so pleased this will also allow him to also be the Cancer Minister. It was a pleasure to officially cut the ribbon at the opening of the new children’s play area behind Elder Close in Badger Farm. Many congratulations to the Parish Council for making it happen – and making a difference.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council are delighted to announce that the Central Kick About play area is now open and being used enthusiastically in all weathers! The contractors worked very hard to make sure that CKA was open in time for the school summer holidays and the children are certainly enjoying it. Their new website is up and running, but is still very much a work in progress. The parish council is concerned that the Royal Mail does not plan to replace the post box stolen from Elder Close during recent building work. If you feel strongly about losing this local amenity, please contact the Royal Mail sorting office in Winnall to register your complaint.
  • Come and join the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust this autumn to find out more about our wonderful British wildlife and unfortunately for some, such as bumblebees, the difficulties they are currently facing. Indoor meetings are held in the Bushfield Room at Badger Farm Community Centre. Non–members are always very welcome.
  • Charity status has been granted to the Oliver’s Battery Community Centre. This is a great endorsement of the project to replace St Mark’s Church hall with a modern community centre for use by the residents of the parish. St Mark’s Parochial Church Council has indicated recently that the current building has only a few more years of useful life remaining, but even this projection could be overtaken by another major roof leak or the failure of the heating system, for which funds are no longer available. More fund-raising events are being planned for the autumn and beyond including a Quiz and supper, an evening of community carols with mince pies and wine and the return of the popular ‘Little Big Band’ playing the arrangements of jazz greats such as Count Basie and Glen Miller.
  • Our local councillors report that new gates will be installed on Whiteshute Ridge and fencing will be erected during October/November. The vegetation survey and condition assessment of Whiteshute Ridge has now been completed so that the council can accurately judge the improvements to the area in the forthcoming years. Everyone will be no doubt be pleased that the appeals against the proposed developments of Pitt Vale and development at Otterbourne have failed so this threat has now been put back, at least at present. Your councillors worked very hard for this outcome and will keep a watching brief going forward.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council reports on a number of community events including The Annual Parish Meeting in May, attended by over 60 residents, which included an informative and interesting talk on the Saxon Execution Cemetery discovered on Oliver’s Battery. There was also a presentation on the work of the Ramblers and a report on the footpaths in our parish. In June, a Great Get Together was held at the recreation ground to officially “launch” the new play equipment for younger children and to join with communities around the country in honouring the memory of Jo Cox. Tesco, whose Bags of Help initiative helped finance the cost of the new equipment, supported the event. The name of the ship, Stormchaser, was chosen by children at Oliver’s Battery School. Families attending had an enjoyable afternoon picnicking together, whilst the children used the play equipment and played games in the warm sunshine. The monthly film nights at the School and social gatherings at the South Winchester Golf Club have also continued during the last quarter.
  • Ann’s Computer Corner analyses the anatomy of a phishing email, showing you the warning signals you should be aware of if you receive a suspicious email.
  • Nature Notes shares that residents were heartbroken by the early cutting of the fields around Texas Drive while skylarks were still singing above. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is a criminal offence to destroy active skylarks’ nests but the Law has no teeth without hard evidence. Brexit is a unique opportunity for Government to respond to the needs of the UK environment. Michael Gove is the new Secretary for the Environment, an unpopular move in many quarters but his eleven page speech to the WWF makes interesting reading.
  • Neighbourhood Watch highlight the fact that there are only two Neighbourhood Watch schemes in Badger Farm but a few more in Oliver’s Battery. This means that most of us are not getting the benefit of regular news bulletins, crime incident reports, Hampshire Alert messages and crime prevention advice which are sent out to Coordinators across Winchester. The article shares some advice on how, when and who to report a crime to plus some useful links to further information.

Summer 2017

Seagulls flying in formation above a beach at dawnThis quarter, we highlight some aspects of the Community Centre, including the rooms for hire, the pre-school’s new garden and the Badger Farm Social Club.

Badger Farm & Oliver’s Battery Residents’ Community Association will hold their Annual General Meeting on 26 July. All local residents are invited to attend.

Highlights of our other news

  • Find out more about some of the clubs and activities that take place at the Community Centre. This quarter, among others, get an insight into the Badger Farm Art Group. Find upcoming events by Winchester Horticultural Society and our local Wildlife Trust.
  • Our local MP Steve Brine tells us what is was like during the terrorist attack in Westminster in March. We see him addressing pupils from our local secondary school, Kings’, in parliament earlier that day.
  • In further political news, we hear from County Councillor Jan Warwick, who was elected to represent Downlands in the local elections in May, and from Max Priesmann who ran as the Green Party candidate at these elections.
  • Five cartoon childrenOliver’s Battery Pre-school launch their new logo. They have been celebrating St George’s day and are planning their exciting annual trip to Adventure Wonderland.
  • The children at Oliver’s Battery Primary School enjoyed an exciting Easter Egg hunt and are looking forward to Sports Day and Science Day later in the summer. The school is holding open days on 29 September and 17 November.
  • Stanmore School were delighted to host the launch of author Ali Sparkes‘ new novel “Thunderstruck”. Many of the children in Year 3 were brave enough to sample some French snails at Brasserie Blanc, as part of their French topic.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council have received some fabulous designs for the redevelopment of the Central Play Area. They hope to have it completed this coming summer. Local residents had the chance to chat to the Wildlife Trust about what to expect with the ongoing plans to introduce cattle on Whiteshute Ridge.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council have completed work on new play equipment for younger children. They await the results of a new feasibility study for changes to the problematic junction of Oliver’s Battery Road South and Badger Farm Road. They have carried out an Ease of Access Survey of footpaths in Oliver’s Battery.
  • There is discussion on the proposed replacement for St. Mark’s from both the parish council and the Oliver’s Battery Community Centre Charity.
  • Our local vicar, Mike Gardner, shares details of some fund-raising events coming up in the summer. Members of the church are opening their gardens once again over the summer months and would love to have you join them for tea and cake. Mike notes that he will start his 20th year in the parish in June. Congratulations, Mike!
  • Oliver’s Battery Countryside Group have held some very successful work parties in the wildlife area. They are always happy to welcome new members.
  • In her Computer Corner, Ann talks about browser extensions and shares some of her favourites.
  • “The answer lies in the soil”. Nature Notes brings us the news that soil harbours the very beneficial bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae which has anti-depressant properties and also improves cognitive function. There is also a word of warning on why we should protect this precious resource.

Spring 2017

A bird sitting on a branch of spring blossom.Our headline news is that, after 10 years at the helm, our own Jan Dawkins has stepped down from her role as the Editor. The hard work will now be done by our new editor, Berenice Kenny, who takes the opportunity to introduce herself.

Highlights of our other news

  • Read about the many clubs and activities that take place at the Community Centre. This quarter, among others, there are reports from the Women’s Institute and the Oliver’s Battery Countryside Group. Find upcoming events by Winchester Horticultural Society and our local Wildlife Trust.
  • In news from our local schools, Oliver’s Battery Primary School embrace the ethos of Forest Schools, enabling the children to make the most of their wonderful outdoor space. At Oliver’s Battery Pre-School the children are enjoying their new Spring topic of Growth. Their newly themed Gruffalo corner is a big hit! The children at Stanmore Primary School had a brilliant time celebrating Maths day by dressing up as dominoes, clocks, calculators, shapes, sums and numbers. Dancers from Years 3-6 prepare for their performance in the Junior Rock Challenge.
  • Winchester Action on Climate Change shares the dates of some upcoming open meetings. Following on from last year’s initiative with the City Council to improve walking routes in the city centre, at Easter they will be working to improve walking routes through Stanmore. They welcome any local residents who would like to take part.
  • In January, Badger Farm Parish Council invited local residents to a meeting to get ideas on what new play equipment would be appealing at the Central Play Area. They now report that they have been able to put out tenders for the work needed. Oliver’s Battery Parish Council are also improving the play equipment at the recreation ground with their “Vikings and the Saxon Noble King” project. They also report that the Oliver’s Battery Film Group’s first meeting was a very successful showing of “Far from the madding crowd”. Any residents who are interested in serving the Parish Council should contact the Clerk.
  • Our local councillors continue to work on the future management of the Whiteshute Ridge. They have commissioned extended ecological surveys to take place in June. A Cattle “Meet and Greet” will take place in March. Among other planning issues mentioned, they share that details of the Deloitte’s December presentation on the future of Bushfield Camp are now available.
  • St Mark’s church is hosting the new Oliver’s Battery Book Case where you can borrow, read and return any of the donated books whenever St Mark’s is open. Everyone is invited to the Easter Challenge Party on Saturday 22 April at St Luke’s.
  • Steve Brine, MP, discusses his ongoing commitment to the NHS and shares the discussions at his third ASKtheNHS meeting. He welcomes the Government’s new measures to transform the way we approach and deal with mental health. In February he met with Winchester’s business community, giving them a detailed report on the labour market and an update on the Government’s approach to Brexit as well as addressing many local issues.
  • Ann’s Computer Corner discusses the prevalence of misinformation on the internet today. The good news is that there are websites that can help you determine the truth for yourself.
  • Nature Notes paints a picture of the many birds that visited our parishes during recent months. The rare redwing was seen eating berries in gardens in Badger Farm! There are reports of “a barn owl quartering our fields, a red kite over Millers Lane and a mistle thrush enjoying the fruits of a local garden”. Norma recommends Graham Hoyland’s book “Walking Though Spring”.

With Best Wishes to you for the new Spring Season, from everyone here at Badger Farm Community Centre.

“And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”– Percy Bysshe Shelley


Winter 2016

Our headline article once again features the plans to graze cattle on Whiteshute Ridge. There was an excellent response to the public engagement event held in October, and you can read about the results of this meeting, find out about the proposed conservation management day and get contact details for more information.

Highlights of our other news

  • Read about the many clubs and activities that take place at the Community Centre. This quarter, among others, there is information about the Badger Farm Art Group, a new singing group and details of upcoming winter events for the Wildlife Trust and the Winchester Horticultural Society.
  • News from our local schools include a short report on the “Batty Evening” held at Oliver’s Battery Primary School. Stanmore Primary School’s children enjoyed a chocolate workshop and a trip to Butser Ancient Farm. At Oliver’s battery Pre-School the children have been transforming their “home corner” into a jungle adventure. It’s also great to read that our own Badger Farm Pre-School Playgroup have been chosen by Sainsbury’s as their Charity of the Year!
  • Winchester Action on Climate Change share some energy-efficient cooking tips.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council invite you to a meeting on 9th January 2017 at 6.30pm to find out your ideas on what new play equipment would be appealing at the Central Play Area. Oliver’s Battery Parish Council share some interesting information on the ongoing quest for improvements at the junction of Oliver’s Battery Road South and Badger Farm Road.
  • Among many great new ideas to develop a sense of community, the Oliver’s Battery Plan Team will be holding a Film Night at Oliver’s Battery Primary School on 27th January at 7.30pm. If it is successful, this may be the first of more such evenings, so do go along and support it!
  • Our local councillors share details of proposed Parliamentary boundary changes and news on Bushfield Camp. On a lighter note, they highlight the Christmas in Winchester website.
  • Neighbourhood Watch highlights the elevated number of incidents of theft from motor vehicles in the local area in the last few months. Many of the targeted cars were unlocked, so Neighbourhood Watch give some useful tips on how to minimise the risk of your car being added to these numbers.
  • Nature Notes shares news about vandalism to local trees. The declining number of hedgehogs is a national concern and you can read tips to encourage hedgehogs back to your garden.
  • In Ann’s Computer Corner you can read how to decorate your computer’s desktop for Christmas.

Autumn 2016

Early Morning in Autumn

This autumn’s edition of Community News is now available. This quarter, our front cover discusses the plans for the future of Whiteshute Ridge. We are inviting all residents to an event at the Community Centre on 10 October to meet the Landscape and Open Spaces Team and members of the Parish Council to find out more.

After 10 years in post as our hard working Editor of this popular publication, Jan has decided to step down. We are now looking for a suitable replacement and Community News has all the details of how to apply for this position.

Highlights of our other news

  • The joint BFOBRCA Chairs report that the Community Centre has had a good year this year. They highlight current and future improvements to the Centre.
  • Susmita Bhattacharya, author and winner of the Winchester Writers’ Festival Memoir Prize 2016, is holding a creative writing workshop at the Community Centre on 24 September.
  • Winchester Local Group Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust gives details of forthcoming events, among which is the intriguing talk on “Explaining the Humps and Bumps in St Cross Meadows” in November.
  • Oliver’s Battery Community Centre is a charity for those residents who are determined the potential closure of the St Mark’s building shall not be the end of our community. They report on the church’s 60th anniversary celebrations in July and their ideas for the future.
  • The Oliver’s Battery Plan team share with us the results of the consultations they have had with local residents. They will be using this information to create an action plan detailing the proposals for how the community develops over the next ten years. They invite us all to a Community Barn Dance on Saturday 8th October at Kings’ School.
  • Oliver’s Battery Primary School had  many exciting events in the summer term with Sports Day, the Summer Fair, various musical concerts and school trips. There have been many sporting activities too and the children qualified for the Hampshire Games, representing North Winchester and Eastleigh. Sports being played at the games included Hockey, Football, Basketball, Rugby, Netball and Golf.
  • The Oliver’s Battery WI Cake Sale was a resounding success. Their summer meetings included trips to Mapledurham House in Oxfordshire and the Master’s Garden of the Hospital of St Crosse in Winchester, both of which were very successful.
  • Now that the new playground at Davis is complete, Badger Farm Parish Council report that they are  focused on redeveloping the Central Play area. A public meeting was held in August to ascertain the community’s needs and opinions on funding for this. They request that care is taken when parking in congested areas to avoid this becoming an issue and they highlight the increase in car thefts in Winchester.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council are meeting with local and county councillors to raise concerns regarding the junction of Oliver’s Battery Road South and Badger Farm Road. They are concerned about anti-social behaviour in the Recreation Ground, particularly the broken glass that appears to have been deliberately left on the play equipment. They have recently purchased a Speed Limit Reminder sign to monitor traffic flows and speeds in the parish.
  • As well as the Whiteshute Ridge project and the community day organised by St. Mark’s, our local councillors raise the issue of the poor quality of verges and grass cutting in open spaces in Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery. They share plans for the new Leisure Centre, which will include 12 court sports hall, a hydrotherapy centre and a 50-metre community swimming pool. They also report that the Pitt Vale planning application for 350 houses by Linden Homes was turned down by the City Council Planning Control Committee.
  • Winchester Horticultural Society will be holding three talks this autumn on Unusual Plants, Apples and Planting for Winter.
  • Families have been able to experience life at Oliver’s Battery Pre-school with a Welcome Walk in September, Nativity entertainment at Christmas, Easter Egg Hunt, Spring Fayre, Obstacle Course, Sports Day and trip to Adventure Wonderland last month. The staff and committee were lucky enough to win a Mayor’s Community Award this year, which recognised the incredible work which goes on ‘behind the scenes’.
  • As the new school year starts, Stanmore Primary School share some of the highlights of last term, including their Bunnynapped! day, a taste of France with Brasserie Blanc, the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations  and Year 2’s new allotment. If you have any small trowels or garden forks that are surplus to requirements they would be delighted to take them off your hands!
  • Our MP, Steve Brine, shares his thoughts on the rejection of the planning application for Pitt Vale and on the wider issues regarding the provision of new housing. Regarding Brexit, he “will be keeping a cool-head as always, pressing Ministers on key areas of negotiation as we seek, not only a soft landing on the other side of Brexit, but a new deal for our country that makes a great success of it.”
  • Badger Farm Pre-School Playgroup ended the summer term with some exciting events starting with our annual outing to Moors Valley Country Park and share some lovely photos of the day with us.
  • Sadly, Victoria Smith’s retirement means that the Jo Jingles Music, Singing & Movement class will no longer be held at Badger Farm.
  • Ann’s Computer Corner asks “Are you a shortcut ninja?” and introduces you to the world of keyboard shortcuts.
  • The Parish of St Luke with St Mark had a wonderful weekend of celebration for the 60th Birthday of St Mark’s Church inviting back past curates and members to join with us as well as enjoying a fun afternoon with the wider community of Oliver’s Battery. The church is fast becoming ‘not fit for purpose’ but there is growing support for the ‘Oliver’s Battery Community Centre’ charity’s plans to build a new building on the site which would continue to serve both the Church and Community activities.
  • In Nature Notes, Norma makes us aware that Hampshire County Council Countryside Department does not have the staff to do regular cutting of overgrowing vegetation on pavements and footpaths and asks if we would be interested in joining a band of local volunteers led by the parish council doing the occasional cut back while enjoying fresh air meeting new people. Norma would love to hear from you if you hear owls or if you have a hedgehog in your garden.

Summer 2016

Our front cover story focuses on the Oliver’s Battery Questionnaire, featuring a Word Cloud giving a visual representation of the main positives of living in Oliver’s Battery. We also invite you to attend our Annual General Meeting on 27 July.

Summer 2016 Edition of Community News Highlights of our other news

  • Our Trustees have been busy. Stanley Judd wins a Community Award and Liz Lindsay compled the London Marathon in a personal best time.
  • A new singing group and a new Latin Line beginners’ class are starting up at the Community Centre.
  • Details of this year’s Seniors’ Holiday Week at St Luke’s Church Centre.
  • Do your bit for charity. Sign up for a Charity Golf Day to be held in aid of BrendonCare or Afternoon Tea with May Martin, judge on the Great British Sewing Bee, in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.
  • Oliver’s Battery Community Centre Charity is hosting a Family Fun Day on 23 July to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of St Mark’s.
  • How Oliver’s Battery Primary School is “moving from strength to strength” following its “Good” Ofsted rating.
  • You can now follow Stanmore Primary School on Twitter. You may catch news about the day the school was taken over by superheroes or when children’s author Ali Sparkes, who is the school’s Patron of Reading, ran two writing workshops.
  • The Winchester Embroiderers’ Guild’s open day.
  • The Oliver’s Battery Parish Council talk about the recreation ground, development on Pitt Vale, dog fouling and distraction burglaries. They will be holding a 60th Anniversary Barn Dance later in the year.
  • Our local Councillors discuss the Whiteshute Ridge project and Pitt Vale. There is local interest in a kerb-side glass collection and the need for an improved bus service in Oliver’s Battery.
  • Steve Brine, reports on his work with Open Doors, the Oliver’s Battery Parish Plan and his campaign for a dedicated Children’s Emergency Department in Southampton.
  • Oliver’s Battery Pre-School also received a Community Award. The children took part in a sponsored Obstacle Course.
  • On 8 August, Badger Farm Parish Council are holding an Extra-Ordinary meeting. They will discuss further developments of both Davis Kickabout and the Central play areas.
  • St Mark’s church is heading into a summer of celebrations.
  • Ann’s Computer Corner looks at how to safely download software.
  • Nature is in the news with an introduction to the tawny owl and an invitation to spend time in the Oliver’s Battery Wildlife Area.

Spring 2016

Spring flowers in a decorated pot

  • We bid a fond farewell to the Winchester Country Market, who had been a regular fixture every Friday morning at the Community Centre for over 20 years. A few tears were shed but the children from Badger Farm Pre-School raised the mood and a few smiles when they came in to sing and wish the traders well for the future.
  • Badger Farm Toddlers were delighted back in November last year to receive a very generous grant from County Councillor Phil Bailey for £130.00. They have used the funds to purchase much needed art and craft materials for the children to use.
  • The children of Oliver’s Battery Primary School thought it would be a nice idea to send letters and home-made Christmas cards to those affected by the floods in Cumbria, in the hope that they could lift people’s spirits and show their appreciation for the support given. You can read some of the responses they received in return.
  • Topics for the spring meetings of the Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust at the Community Centre are In Search of the Endangered Ethiopian Wolf and Looking out for Wonderful Whales and Delightful Dolphins.
  • Oliver’s Battery WI started with a demonstration of Tai Chi and Chi Kung as a possible exercise to try. There are some superb speakers booked for the rest of the year. As well as speakers, the summer outing is being planned to Mapledurham House. By popular demand, the Annual Oliver’s Battery WI Plant Sale with Coffee and Cakes for Sale will take place as usual on the first Bank Holiday in May.
  • The newly founded charity, Oliver’s Battery Community Centre Limited, is up and running with plans to build a new community centre. It will provide a place for new clubs, societies and groups to base their activities, and a place where young and old can meet socially – especially those who don’t get out as much as they would like. It will also give existing user groups a secure future.
  • At Stanmore Primary School, Year 1 children had a big surprise one morning when they arrived into class to find their class rabbit had had seven babies! The annual Year 5 residential trip to the Out of Town Centre in Beaulieu was brilliant fun! In addition to mucking out the animals and making sure they had all been fed (before breakfast!) the children traced the source of a river, built survival shelters in the New Forest, toasted marshmallows round the camp fire and enjoyed the Top Gear experience at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.
  • On Monday 11th January Community First launched their new Volunteer Wessex website. The website has a really local feel, giving local organisations and volunteers across Winchester, Havant and East Hampshire the chance to advertise for help and find opportunities where they live. Community First helps other organisations find, recruit and support potential volunteers, but they also offer the same support and guidance to the potential volunteer.
  • The transfer of ownership of the Battery open space alongside St Mark’s Hall to the Parish Council from Hampshire County Council to Oliver’s Battery Parish Council was finally
    completed in December 2015. Now that the Parish Council owns the open space, we are planning the design of an interpretation board, to be placed at a suitable location on the Battery, to give an overview of the history of the site. In particular, the discovery of the grave of a Saxon chief and a bronze bowl during excavations in the 1930’s will feature. Increased use of the recreation ground, following the installation of the MUGA and new children’s play equipment, had led to a deterioration to the surface of the section of Texas Drive leading to the car park. In January work was undertaken to repair and improve the access to our highly valued recreation ground.
  • At Winchester City Council in January the Liberal Democrats tabled a motion at full Council to terminate the current Silver Hill Project due to ongoing delays and changes to the proposal. However, the scheme to replace the River Park Leisure Centre with one in Bar End is welcomed. There has been no more movement on Pitt Vale. The city planners are awaiting further information from Hampshire County Council and clarification on some points from Linden Homes.
  • Rev’d. Mike, Vicar of St Luke’s and St Mark’s, sends his Easter blessings.
  • In Tracy’s Feel-good Tips, you can learn the best way to get off the dieting roller coaster.
  • Our MP, Steve Brine, discusses legal highs: the concern felt by many constituents about these, the closure of a legal-high shop in Stockbridge Road and the new law, the Psychoactive Substances Act, which makes its return extremely difficult.
  • The “home corner” at Oliver’s Battery pre-school was transformed into a Chinese restaurant as the children explored the topic of the Chinese New Year. The children created lanterns, learnt about the Lion Dance and sampled some Chinese food.
  • The Oliver’s Battery Plan Questionnaire Response Rate hits 73%! Read all about the questionnaire, the analysis and action phases and what will happen next.
  • 8 February was Clean Your Computer Day and Ann’s Computer Corner shares some good ways of tidying up your computer.
  • It was a dreary drizzly day for the Big Garden Birdwatch with a disappointing count probably having something to do with the mild temperature. Read more in Nature Notes from Oliver’s Battery.


Winter 2015

A wooden bandstand in a snow-covered park

  • Oliver’s Battery Pre-School celebrates a staff graduation with three members of staff achieving qualifications in childcare. Richard Barton, a parent and pre-school Trustee and his father-in-law, Alex McWhirter, completed a sponsored bicycle ride around the New Forest. The sporting pair completed the 50 mile route which finished at the pre-school and raised almost £300 for a new building for the pre-school.
  • Please remember that our old email address, bfobrca@binternet.com is now obsolete and no longer in use. The new email address is enquiries@bfobrca.org. Make sure you use this when getting in touch!
  • Winchester City Council is working in partnership with Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) to deliver the Great Waste project which will run until March 2016. The Great Waste aims to challenge the way people see waste, encourage people to reduce their waste and encourage people to recycle more.
  • At the Oliver’s Battery WI recent Knit and Natter Group we were discussing why people joined the WI – a workplace WI for some and a chance to meet local people. We discussed the recent film Suffragette as well as catching up on family news. Overall it was decided that staying as a member was very different as you discover so much about the depth there is, especially the campaigning side and the many facets of the WI.
  • At the Wildlife Trusts Christmas Social you can share your own favourite top ten wildlife photos and/or sightings over a glass of mulled wine or soft drink and mince pies etc.
  • Oliver’s Battery Primary School were pleased to welcome Lianne Evans, Warrant Officer First Class Weapons Engineer on HMS Defender as part of our focus on British Values. She met with the Reception children and talked about being on a ship. They gave her a teddy to take with her. Teddy will then be emailing the children about experiences on board ship. Lianne also met with the Year 5 and Year 6 children to talk about life on board and her role in the Royal Navy.
  • Twenty children in Years 1 and 2 at Stanmore Primary School had a real treat earlier in the term when they were invited to Pilgrims School to see Chloe Inkpen in action. Chloe is the daughter of award winning author and illustrator Mick Inkpen, creator of the brilliant Kipper, Wibbly Pig, Threadbear and Penguin Small. Chloe now collaborates with her father on their picture book series about a little girl called Zoe and her big scruffy dog called Beans. Chloe’s talk about her books was very entertaining with lots of audience participation, hand actions, helping with drawings and making interesting noises!
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council discuss your responsibilities if you find Japanese Knotweed on your property.
  • The Oliver’s Battery Plan Questionnaire will be sent out in January so that it is not lost among all your Christmas cards! Getting a high response rate is so important so that the results really do reflect the views of the whole community.
  • Our local councillors are happy to see the reintroduction of evening buses along the number 5 route recently, something they have campaigned for over the last few months since the County Council funding was cut. The fight continues against new development at Pitt Vale.
  • In her feel-good tips Tracy reminds us that the festive season can be an uplifting time of year – stooping in the loft and extracting boxes of decorations, climbing ladders and carrying extra loads. As well as last minute garden cleanups, tree pruning, planting and bedding down for the winter. It is therefore really helpful to have the right kind of flexibility, strength and know-how to distribute loads.
  • Incredible Edible Winchester are a small group of enthusiastic gardeners, cooks and composters who love eating seasonal food and hate waste. We are keen to encourage other people to join in our fun and share the social, health and environmental benefits that growing plants provides. We all learn from each other about how to grow interesting and unusual food plants and then we share recipes.
  • MP Steve Brine discussed prison reform. It’s not about letting offenders out, throwing open the prison doors, but it is about slowing down the rate they are coming in. He believes it’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do and it will save us a fortune. He predicts this is going to be a big area of social reform in the next five years and is actively discussing ideas with Justice Secretary, Michael Gove.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council has been very busy over the last few months with much time taken up with planning issues. As you will probably be aware now there are No Permitted Development rights anywhere on Badger Farm. Although the Government has tried reducing planning red tape in some areas this does NOT apply to Badger Farm. Your Parish Councillors and City Councillors had a meeting with Winchester City Council Planning officials to confirm this position and check the facts. They were assured that the Planning Department take these matters very seriously and will enforce the local regulations. If you are told by a prospective builder that you do not need planning permission for a conservatory or extension to your home they are incorrect, you need planning permission for all such work. If you are unsure whether building works in your area have permission you can find out on the WCC Planning Portal or simply contact a Parish Councillor. The safest way to proceed is to check with WCC before you engage a builder or start any work.
  • In her Computer Corner, Ann is curling up with a good book on her smartphone and shares how you can do the same.
  • Nature Notes tell us that farming is now agribusiness, the large fields of monoculture providing little room for wildlife, and increasing planning applications for new housing on green field sites is worrying. However, there are two significant areas important for biodiversity and we have both in our two parishes, a network of hedgerows and a patchwork of domestic gardens.

Autumn 2015


  • It’s been another hugely successful year for the Badger Farm Pre-School. They have been providing a very professional and popular service to pre-school children of the local community since the early days of the Community Centre. Staff have seen children grow to adults and parents who in turn bring their own children to the group. It’s also been a good year for the Community Association. Increased bookings have enabled us to carry out some essential maintenance including redecoration of the Battery Hall and the outside of the building.
  • Get ahead with your Christmas shopping! Winchester Country Market will hold their Christmas Fayre at the end of October with a lovely range of arts and crafts and the usual selection of pickles, jams, marmalades, delicious homemade cakes, cookies plus Christmas cake. All homemade, home produced and hand crafted to help make your Christmas special.
  • It was a very busy and enjoyable summer for members of Oliver’s Battery WI, celebrating the Centenary well and truly at Buckingham Palace. They are now looking forward to some interesting speakers on Preventing Alzheimers Disease, the Changi Quilts and the History of St Cross.
  • Oliver’s Battery Primary School pupil Owen M reports that “Oliver’s Battery Sports Day 2015 was an amazing success! Everyone participated as much as always and made it a great event. Key Stage 1 – This year, R,1 and 2 put on a brilliant show for us all to enjoy and treasure. They participated well and took on all the challenges no matter how hard they were! Key Stage 2 – Now for Key Stage 2, they persevered well and did the best they could to put an end to another fantastic Sport’s Day at Oliver’s Battery School with a series of challenges,
    including the yearly Year 6 doughnut race, one lap of the running track and a half!”
  • With the shorter days, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will be holding some of their evening meetings at the Community Centre with talks on The New Forest Non-Native Plants Project, The Wildlife and Flora of Bandhavgarh and Conservation and Wildlife at Titchfield Haven.
  • At Stanmore Primary School author Helena Pielichaty had all the children in the school hall roaring with laughter when she read an extract from one of her Girls FC books in which a statue loses a vital part of his anatomy due to a badly aimed football. At the end of the summer term the children in the school council arranged for an assault course to be built on the back field. Using items kindly loaned by the Territorial Army, the children paid 50p in aid of Save the Children to wriggle through camouflage nets, leap in and out of tyres, run along benches and aim bean bags at soldier targets.
  • The outline planning application by Linden Homes for the development of 350 homes on land at Pitt Vale bordering the village of Pitt has been the focus of Oliver’s Battery Parish Council’s attention. The new children’s play equipment at the recreation ground continues to be well used but it has recently been subject to an act of vandalism.
  • Here at Oliver’s Battery Plan, we are right in the middle of writing the Community Survey. It’s taking rather longer than we had thought – it’s even more challenging than we had anticipated! However, we will be getting it out to residents as soon as possible. A copy will be delivered to every household, together with instructions on how to fill it in and how to return it. The more people who send back their copies of the Survey, the better, so make sure you get yours filled in and returned.
  • Our local councillors discuss Pitt Vale, New Ward Boundaries, Estate Management, Badger Farm Road and Badger Farm Planning Permission.
  • Our MP, Steve Brine, would be honoured to hear from you if you have views, and especially personal experiences, related to the Assisted Dying Bill. Regarding the proposed development at Pitt Vale he “sometimes wonder which version of NO our circling developers do not understand but it only serves to stiffen our resolve.”
  • At Oliver’s Battery Pre-School the little ones had a jam-packed summer term with sponsored obstacle course, sports day and annual outing to name a few. They also took
    part in an educational walk around Oliver’s Battery, visiting the shops, church and ending up at the play park.
  • Living Streets is the national charity that works to make streets safer and more attractive so that people find walking more enjoyable and do more of it, which benefits their health and the environment. Living Streets is promoting walking in schools, communities and workplaces across Hampshire. At the start of the Autumn term 2015, Oliver’s Battery Primary School will take positive steps to improve walking rates by joining the exciting Living Streets Walk once a Week (WoW) scheme. This rewards children for walking to school at least once a week
    with collectable pin badges. Later in the month, Oliver’s Battery Primary School pupils will also carry out a school route audit to identify any barriers to walking that may exist locally. Living Streets would like to hear the views of parents and will be running a street audit with adults in the area too.
  • In her Computer Corner, Ann chats with the “Windows’ Technical Department” and finds out how these scammers try to trick you to get access to your computer.
  • In Natures Notes you can learn that in prolonged dry weather blackbirds will take slow worms because their preferred diet of earthworms becomes unavailable. Earthworms tunnel deep into the ground to find more favourable conditions and will, if necessary estivate by secreting a protective layer of mucous then rolling themselves into a ball coming to life again when conditions improve.

Summer 2015

Picture of sunbeds under beach umbrellas

  • There was an amazing response to the Playground Survey with far more returns than expected. Your council’s next step is to discover what grants are available. They will keep us all informed as matters progress.
  • Winchester Country Market are having a Summer Saturday Market at St Mark’s Church Hall in May.
  • Oliver’s Battery School share their School Charter.
  • Sing Winchester, a friendly, informal, productive singing group, are giving a concert in St Lawrence Church, The Square, Winchester in aid of the Oliver’s Battery Pre-School charity who need funds to build new premises for the children.
  • More than 150 people were at the highly successful Launch Meeting of the Oliver’s Battery Plan. Expectations are now high and a momentum is building. The next major Event will be the Community Survey, distributed in July. This will provide demonstrable statistical evidence on the issues that concern the community, what we value and want to preserve, and what we want to develop in our Plan. News of the plan can be found on the Oliver’s Battery Parish Council website and on their Facebook page.
  • Neighbourhood Watch share helpful details of specific areas where Trading Standards offer direct support to the public.
  • PC Simon Wright says that his policing bones would suggest that we are in for a period of financial scams! From April 2015 the rules surrounding pension funds changed
    and there are now more choices than ever before about how you can access your pension pot. Fraudsters are likely to take advantage of these new rules by trying to persuade people to cash in their pension – either the whole lot or a large sum – and hand the money over to them ‘to invest’. Of course, it’s not just your pension money that the crooks are after. Rogue traders specifically target those who they consider to be vulnerable within our communities.
  • Oliver’s Battery WI were delighted to see so many people turn up for the Annual Plant and Cake Sale. The year ahead looks very bright with many events to celebrate the Centenary of the WI, culminating in a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, an Annual Meeting at the Royal Albert Hall in the company of Her Majesty the Queen and the Princess Royal, both WI members, and then in Hampshire a family Celebration at Hilliers Arboretum.
  • Following the successful North Winchester bus survey, Winchester SALT is running another bus survey in partnership with the Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery Residents Community Association (BFOBRCA). We’re concerned to ensure that bus and other sustainable transport options remain viable across Winchester, that residents can get around locally with ease and do
    not become isolated, and that Winchester’s public amenities are accessible via all modes of transport. If you live in Oliver’s Battery, Badger Farm, Stanmore or The Valley, please take 5 minutes to complete this survey.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council share that at the launch meeting of the Oliver’s Battery Plan, Focus Groups fed back their findings – our beautiful countryside, the
    sense of space, quiet and friendliness were all positives, while concerns were expressed about traffic, transport and community facilities. There was a strong concern at the
    prospect of further housing developments and their impact on the countryside, traffic and schools. Above all, there was a desire to develop and build on the sense of community we have here in Oliver’s Battery.
  • Following the General Election, Steve Brine was once again elected as Winchester’s MP. He says, “Quite what this new Parliament will bring for me is yet to be written but I will go on championing some of my long-standing causes (breast cancer, park homes, cycling and reducing re-offending) as well as playing my part in the new Government. I look forward to receiving your continued input on the issues of the day and suggestions for ventures new.”
  • Stanmore Primary School pupils had a real treat when award winning BBC radio reporter Jo Palmer came into school to share stories about her job and offer excellent tips on writing for broadcast to Year 6 pupils.
  • Oliver’s Battery Pre-School’s summer term is full of events including a sponsored obstacle course, a Bake-Off competition, the pre-school sports day and the eagerly awaited outing to the Adventure Wonderland.
  • Ann’s Computer Corner looks ahead to the upcoming Windows 10 release and asks if Microsoft have learnt their lessons from the failures in Windows 8.
  • In July St Mark’s Church is 59 years old and St Luke’s 54 years – both are in need of a little TLC, it is more than mid-life crisis, some major decisions need to be made and some major fund raising undertaken. It is important to keep a church presence in each of communities as a focus, a resource, a safe place, a spiritual haven, an outward expression of an inward need of hope and reassurance.
  • Great excitement, a reader of Nature Notes recently observed a red kite being buzzed by a crow over her garden in Compton Way. Although kites are known as scavengers they do take small mammals and birds and fledglings are at risk now. Until a few days ago the Texas Drive fields were a golden blaze of dandelion flowers but now their erect stems are adorned with the perfect globes of translucent seed heads each containing dozens of winged seeds.

Spring 2015

Golden Crocuses

  • Something’s stirring up in Oliver’s Battery, and it’s not just the snowdrops! It’s the Focus Group Discussions for the Oliver’s Battery Community Plan – the very first consultation exercise taking place in the run up to the public Launch Meeting of the Plan. The findings from all the groups, analysed by our market researcher, will be presented to the public at the Launch Meeting.
  • Winchester Country Market can help you in every way with Easter cards, gifts, cakes and jams plus fresh cut flowers and vegetables in season. They are holding a Taster Day where you will have the opportunity to taste and sample a wide range of homemade jams, marmalades’, pickles, cookies and other produce.
  • With the warmer weather most of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s upcoming meetings will be outdoors, but they will be meeting in the Community Centre in March when John Durnell, the Trust’s Head of Estate and Enterprise, will give an insight into the ever growing importance of the Trust’s nature reserves in the face of current increasing pressures and a look into the future prospects for the wildlife on our doorstep.
  • Give your input into the future of the two play areas in Badger Farm by completing the questionnaire in this edition of Community News.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council discuss bus passes, path maintenance and the Parish Lengthsman.
  • Oliver’s Battery WI are to hold a plant sale in May and a Craft Dabble Day in March. Members are enjoying the Book Group and the Knit & Natter sessions and are looking forward to a trip to Arundel later in the summer.
  • Our local councillors continue to be concerned about the Oliver’s Battery Road South/Badger Farm Road junction, following the accident in the autumn and are consulting actively with local residents and the highways department at the County Council. With the news that the local Hospitals Trust looks to be pushing forward with its plans for a new hospital near junction 7 on the M3 they have been out actively campaigning in the area. Local residents have again fought off the phone companies who applied to the Council once again to increase the height of the phone mast on Ridgeway from its current 10m to a proposed 15m.
  • Everyone is invited to celebrate the first day of spring at Oliver’s Battery Wildlife Area (next to the playground and recreation field) when the beautiful new signs will
    be unveiled.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council also discuss the safety of the junction of Badger Farm Road with Oliver’s Battery Road South. The Parish Council is currently in discussions with HCC regarding the transfer of ownership of the Battery open space to the Parish Council. The majority of the open space is a scheduled monument registered with English Heritage.
  • MP Steve Brine has made huge progress on the key issue of rail services. On-train wi-fi is now live, parking (car and bike) capacity at Winchester Station has been increased by some 20% thanks, partly, to the new decked car park, we have for the first time a footbridge with disabled access and we’ve confirmation that Winchester will be staffed until 11pm each night. Steve is am now inside Government as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Police Minister.
  • Geoff Sharman, Chairman, Oliver’s Battery Community Centre Project Group, looks back at improvements made to Oliver’s Battery over the years. He explains the background of and the future steps needed for a proposed new project to replace St Mark’s Church and Hall with an improved building which could support expanded community use.
  • Oliver’s Battery Pre-School celebrated Christmas with a Nativity and a visit from Father Christmas. The new term sees the children looking at the topic of growth: baby animals, plants, human growth and even comparing feet! They have also been exploring the Chinese culture around the time of Chinese New Year.
  • Can Noah save the day or will global warming consign Winchester to a watery end…? is the question pupils at Stanmore Primary School have been asking in preparation for their performance for Rock Challenge. Year 3 and 4 enjoyed an action packed day out in Winchester, exploring the Cathedral and City Museum for Anglo-Saxon information while Year 2 children devised their very own pantomime, based on the classic tale, Cinderella.
  • In Ann’s Computer Corner, Ann discusses how you can create digital Memory Books to both capture and stimulate memories for family members with dementia.
  • In Nature Notes, Norma had the best count of birds for years, thirteen species, for the Big Garden Birdwatch. In early January an Oliver’s Battery reader had a lone fieldfare eating apples on his tree and wonders if it’s the same bird that has visited for the past few winters. Another reader recently spotted a red kite over her house in Badger Farm which is great news.


Winter 2014

Christmas lights in The Square, Winchester

Christmas lights in The Square, Winchester.
©David Spender, released under the Creative Commons License.

  • Wishing you a Merry Christmas, we suggested ways to celebrate Christmas in Winchester. Stock up at the Christmas and Farmers’ markets. See Santa at the Watercress Line Santa Special or the Santa Fun Run. Enjoy the seasonal tours and the Live Nativity. Attend a Christmas service at the Cathedral or your local church. There’s something for everyone here at Christmas.
  • Oliver’s Battery WI won the Littleton & Harestock Show WI Competition for the first time in their 14 years.
  • The Community Agents Project looked for volunteers to help older people to stay informed, safe and independent in their homes.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council welcomed four new members. They report that the picnic table on Whiteshute Ridge had been very badly vandalized, that the road works should be completed and that the idea to turn Whiteshute Ridge into a nature reserve is taking shape.
  • Neighbourhood Watch make suggestions for home security precautions you can take in the winter months.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council discuss their idea to create a Parish Plan and give details of what this will involve.
  • Our local councillors covered a range of issues including a need to increase road safety at the exit from Oliver’s Battery Road South onto Badger Farm Road. They raised their to be concerns about the future of the Hospital. The local bus services were again under threat with Oliver’s Battery No. 2 service to be cut to only three days a week. They continued to look at ways to improve the range of wildlife and increase the variety of plant species on Whiteshute Ridge. They assessed the effectiveness of the Leaf Sweeping and Estate Management contractors and they monitored the proposed Pitt Vale scheme.
  • Mel Andrews, PR Ambassador from Sainsbury’s visited Badger Farm PreSchool Playgroup to help present their order of Active Kids equipment to the children.
  • MP Steve Brine explained his position on the West Lothian Question and highlights some of his ongoing work is Parliament. Like the local councillors, he also discusses our local NHS and development at Pitt Vale.
  • Oliver’s Battery Pre-School explored Harvest, learning about the process of growing and gathering crops, and are now preparing for Christmas.
  • Winchester became the first city in Hampshire to launch a Dementia Friendly High Street. Everyone enjoyed a fantastic performance from ‘Singing for Wellbeing’ – a local singing group operating under ‘Winchester Live at Home scheme’ at The United Church.
  • Stanmore Primary School celebrated their annual Book Week with children dressing up as their favourite characters and with visits from author Ali Sparkes and poet James Carter. Years 3/4 visited Marwell Zoo, Year 5 visited Winchester Science Centre and a dragon visited Year 2!
  • Amanda Whatley, NHS Blood and Transplant‘s Donor Relations Co-ordinator in Hampshire highlighted the need for blood donors as the weather gets colder.
  • Ann’s Computer Corner shares ways that the internet can get you in the spirit of the season.
  • In Nature Notes we learned the three main hunting techniques of the buzzard and read about a bright yellow hairy caterpillar with a tuft of red tail hair!

Autumn 2014

  • Our lead story was the BFOBRCA Chairman’s Report to the Annual General Meeting for 2014. Trustee Rachel Skinner reported on improvements to the Community Centre and the development of the new website. She thanked the Badger Farm Social Club for their continued support and also our hardworking and committed staff; Jan Dawkins, Merv Hall and Barbara Angel, who ensure the smooth running of the Centre both front of house and behind the scenes.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council explained the background to their idea to let cattle graze on Whiteshute Ridge for part of each year. On other matters, they requested that people be gentle with the swings in the Davis play area to help extend their life and that dog owners clean up after their dogs. Simon Fletcher  was welcomed as our newest Councillor
  • Liz Lindsay stepped down as the organiser of the Badger Farm Parent and Toddlers group.
  • Oliver’s Battery Pre-school had fun at Adventure Wonderland in Bournemouth and rounded off the year with the much-loved teddy bears’ picnic.
  • The newest Badger Farm Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator shared her thoughts on setting up a new Neighbourhood Watch area, how she found the process and the response she got from the residents in her road.
  • View of Winchester Cathedral from Whiteshute Ridge

    Whiteshute Ridge. © Copyright Jim Champion and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

    Our local councillors reported on progress on the Whiteshute Ridge Project, maintenance on Badger Farm and the City Dog Warden. They shared their concerns over suggested changes by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the proposed development at Pitt Vale. In good news, the new play area in Oliver’s Battery is a great hit with the children as it was particularly well designed and built.

  • The first meeting of the Heart to Heart Winchester Cardiomyopathy Support Group was to take place in the Community Centre in October.
  • MP Steve Brine highlights his Ask the … series, a series of open meetings to debate some of the key local, national and international issues of the day. His Summer Tour included a Supermarket Surgery at Badger Farm Sainsbury’s and he appeared on South Today speaking about Linden Homes’ attempt to force 500 houses on the Pitt Vale site.
  • Ann’s Computer Corner explored the history of computer viruses and explained how to safeguard your computer.
  • Stanmore Primary School spent a week focusing on different aspects of the Great War. To raise money for Wells for India pupils devised their own sponsored event, everything from cycle rides, swims, netball throwing, skipping, keepy uppies, walking up St Catherine’s Hill to surviving on limited water for a day – you name it they thought of it!
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council reported on improvements to the recreation ground with the new  younger children’s play equipment, a new map board and the plan to replace the temporary footpath from the car park to the Multi-use Games Area with a permanent one. The fete held on 7 June was a great success and enjoyed by many families and members of our local community.
  • Nature Notes educated us on  the markings on birds’ eggs and shared that a local resident had recently seen a Greater Butterfly Orchid growing in the Yew Hill Butterfly Reserve.

Summer 2014

  • Our new website was launched!
  • Stanmore Primary School pupils were absolutely delighted to win two prizes in their very first attempt at Global Rock Challenge at Southampton Guildhall. They also experienced success in Winchester Area Schools Tag Rugby competition and  the Stanmore Memorial Garden was officially opened by MP Steve Brine. The school had achieved an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’ throughout.
  • Oliver’s Battery Pre-school had a fundraising frenzy with their Ollie Bee’s Brilliant Bake-Off, a sponsored obstacle course and in July, a choir concert held at St Lawrence’s Church in Winchester in aid of the pre-school.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council welcomes Viv Brooks as the new Parish Clerk and encourages potential new councillors to attend one of their meetings.
  • Rev’d. Mike Gardner, vicar of St Luke’s Stanmore with St Mark’s Oliver’s Battery, talked about the importance of communities.
  • Badger Farm Bridge Club celebrated their 30th anniversary.
  • Skylark class at Oliver’s Battery Primary School introduced themselves in a poem. Owl class told us how they carried out many experiments in our Brainiacs Project. Woodpecker class went to see James and the Giant Peach at the Mayflower and to Kings for a multiskills Dance competition as well as becoming Eco-warriors, focusing on energy and our environment.
  • Steve Brine discussed how the thriving small business sector in Winchester stimulates job creation in Winchester. He also met Kris Hallenga who, with a terminal diagnosis with breast cancer, now runs a brilliant charity called CoppaFeel which teaches young people to be breast aware. Alongside this she is on a mission to bring cancer education to the school syllabus and her rethinkcancer.com website is making quite a splash.
  • NHS Blood and Transplant asked Badger Farm & Oliver’s Battery residents to think about those less fortunate than themselves and give blood. “Summer is an important time to give, as blood stocks are often more vulnerable when people go away or are busy getting out and about as the weather improves.“
  • Ann’s Computer Corner educated us on strong passwords.
  • The local councillors reminded us of the Hampshire County Council consultation regarding non-commercial bus routes. They raised the issues of the flooding at Pitt roundabout and the problem of unoccupied houses with the City Council and asked the neighbourhood police team to visit Badger Farm to see the extent of careless parking which is upsetting residents.
  • Nature Notes identify the birds that can be heard everywhere in the Oliver’s Battery countryside: “the whitethroat singing his scratchy repertoire out of sight in the bushes, the blackcap’s melodic tones and the exuberant shouting of the song thrush. Many goldfinches … sit on telephone wires in my road issuing their liquid twittering song “.

Spring 2014

  • We kicked-off with a long bulletin from Badger Farm Parish Council which included news that their long standing Clerk is leaving soon and so they were looking for a new Clerk. Recent bad weather had caused problems: the winds damaged quite a number of fences, trees and shrubs, and the rain caused some problems with water penetration on walls. There had been strangers in the area asking for money in exchange for odd jobs and some trouble with Charity bags: some are not by recognised organisations; others are not being collected, or are being picked up by the wrong people. Scheduled road works were due to start in BAdger Farm later in the year and there was a proposal to enforce a 20mph speed limit on some City Central roads.
  • Brownies reported on the fun things they do every week, including Activities, Arts and Crafts, Earning Badges, Special Events and Day Trips and Activity Holidays and Sleepovers.
  • Dementia Friendly Hampshire introduces dementia friendly communities “where the community at large is inclusive of people with dementia and understands how to help them. In action, this means creating a community which has the confidence to engage with people who have dementia and the skills to interact in a useful way – with understanding and patience.”
  • Neighbourhood Watch reminded us “If you see or hear something suspicious please report it to the police on Tel: 101 giving as much detail as possible and as soon as possible.”
  • Our local councillors highlighted the problems resulting from the wettest winter in many years. They reported that the City Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee has set up an Informal Scrutiny Group to examine all the options for a new leisure centre.
  • Our local vicar talked about the discipline of Lent and shared details of a study course aimed to help us understand the fresh direction that Bishop Tim of Winchester wants us to go as we “live the mission of Jesus”
  • Oliver’s Battery WI planned visits to the theatre to see War Horse, to Bletchley Park, to see the snowdrops at Welford Park near Newbury and a visit to Swanage in early July by coach, repeating the very successful visit to Weymouth last year.
  • Squirrel class at Oliver’s Battery Primary School had been very busy earning about different traditional stories and how to be expert writers. Hedgehog class went out to tally the vehicles on Badger Farm Road.
  • Year 1/2 children at St Peter’s Catholic Primary School were also studying local traffic and went out and about on our school road; looking at that road with their safety heads on. Their year 3 and 4 children found out about the Anglo Saxons in Winchester in a workshop where the children were “monks” finding out about life in Anglo-Saxon times, even trying their hand at illuminated letters with “gold” paint.
  • Steve Brine focused on health with his Health Check Survey, as well as champion Royal Hampshire County Hospital, opening the impressive new Outpatients Department, the state-of-the-art new scanning department and the new birthing rooms in Florence Portal House. He saluted the work of our Street Pastors at the brilliant Unity Service in Winchester Cathedral to celebrate ten years of the Winchester Basics Bank.
  • Stanmore Primary School’s pond was given a make-over Their year 5 children spent an action packed few days at the Out of Town Centre in Beaulieu. The children fed and mucked out the animals, built survival shelters in the forest, had a close encounter with a huge owl, made rafts whilst studying the speed and flow of a river, found out that Victorian children were “seen but not heard,” and of course discovered that they could cope living away from home for a whole week.
  • Birds are the focus of Nature Notes. Did you know that has been illegal to take the eggs of most wild birds since the Protection of Birds’ Act 1954 and it is illegal to possess or control any wild birds’ eggs since then under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981?


Winter 2013

A photo of the sunset from Oliver's Battery, Winchester

  • The Warm up Winchester Campaign is designed to promote ECO funding in the Winchester District to get people access to heating systems and insulation at low or no cost.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council talks about planning for winter. The Oliver’s Battery Parish Magazine has been well received; in future editions they are to keen to provide some information about the links that Oliver’s Battery had during World War 1, in conjunction with the 100 years commemoration in 2014. Plans to improve St. Mark’s Parish Hall are under discussion.
  • There is a Spotlight on Badger Farm Community Centre.
  • The Local Councillors discuss the night bus, the proposed road closures in Badger Farm and Oliver’s Battery for improvement works and the plans for a new Leisure Centre in Winchester.
  • The Badger Farm Social Club’s Chairman’s Annual Report.
  • MP Steve Brine shares the latest news on the Pitt Manor development and the local road improvements required as a result of this. He attended the 9th birthday of The Battery Club for senior citizens at St Mark’s Hall.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council report on storms in the area, on the installation of water meters, road improvements in the parish and the ongoing idea of having cattle on the Ridge.

Autumn 2013

  • The BFOBRCA Chairman’s Annual Report.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council report on continuing vandalism in the area.
  • Steve Brine MP held a a special supermarket surgery at Sainsbury’s in Badger Farm. He then went on to meet the BFOBRCA team and look at the Community Centre’s issues. He looks at the implications of the Pitt Manor development and at the “Get Britain Cycling” report.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council share news of the official opening of the tennis court and of the conservation area. The launched a photo page on their website to share photographs taken in Oliver’s Battery.
  • City Councillors Brian Laming and Lynda Bannister report that the planning application to build houses behind the shops at Oliver’s Battery has been rejected but that the Community Centre is having some of its lighting upgraded to a modern low energy system which will save a lot of money as well as being much better for the environment.
  • County Councillor Phil Bailey has an update on the progress of the Bushfield Camp Village Green application and discusses the concern raised recently about proposals to start drilling for shale gas (fracking) in the south of England.

Summer 2013

  • An appreciation of our caretaker Merv as he celebrates his 65th birthday.
  • A brief word from new County Councillor Phil Bailey who shares details of how to get in touch with him.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council held a a barbeque and picnic in July to celebrate the formal opening of the tennis court and Multi-Use Games Area.
  • MP Steve Brine talks about the newly setup Winchester Autism Group, about his highlights from the Queen’s Speech and about chairing a big Parliamentary inquiry into breast cancer, its causes and effects.
  • City Councillors Brian Laming and Lynda Bannister welcome Phil Bailey as the new County Councillor for Downlands division and thank Charlotte Bailey for all the help and support she has given to us locally and to wish her a happy ‘retirement’. They discuss the  tree management scheme for Badger Farm, the consultation about proposals for new homes and facilities in Stanmore and dog fouling.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council mention how pretty the area is in spring. They are also are looking into the possibility of introducing Highland cattle onto designated (and controlled) areas of the Ridge during the winter months.

Spring 2013

  • In News from Oliver’s Battery, retiring Chairman Terry Morris shares his thoughts on what living in Oliver’s Battery means to so many people.
  • City Councillors Brian Laming and Lynda Bannister learn about the land management in Shawford Down. They give updates on the City’s tree reduction plan for Badger Farm, the proposed Housing Development to the south of Oliver’s Battery and the recent prolonged power failure in Oliver’s Battery.
  • Badger Farm Social Club held a very successful children’s Christmas Party.
  • Our MP Steve Brine was briefed by representatives of Oliver’s Battery Pre-School on plans to replace its ageing and unsuitable building with something modern and fit for purpose.


Winter 2012

  • The cost of vandalism on the Central and Davis kick about areas.
  • City Councillors Brian Laming and Lynda Bannister report on work on the footpath that runs from the Ridgeway down behind Wheatland Close to Silverwood Close, No 2 and No 5 bus routes, the proposed new housing development on Oliver’s Battery and the very good selection of local shops in Oliver’s Battery.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council looks back at the events of the year, remembering the Jubilee Celebrations, which included the Party on the Green and the Garden Party, and that the sun also shone on us for the Fete in September. There is news on the new tennis court and Chairman Terry Morris announced that he was stepping down from the council.
  • Steve Brine, MP, reports on the economy, the first birthday of a local business and the plan to enlarge the premises of St Peter’s Catholic Primary School.
  • Badger Farm Social Club doubled their membership numbers and reduced the price of beer by 10p a pint! They report on the support they receive from Sainsbury’s, on improvements to the garden and their planned celebrations for Christmas and New Year, he visited  Oliver’s Battery Primary School and met with the Chair of Oliver’s Battery Parish Council to hear of plans for the future of communal life in the village.
  • County Councillor Charlotte Bailey discusses the new library at the Carroll Centre in Stanmore, the new Hockley Viaduct cycle and pedestrian route and the Parish Lengthsman.
  • Badger Farm Parish Council report on the challenges of maintaining Whiteshute Ridge and some possible solutions.

Autumn 2012

  • “A summer of sport”, with news of the Sainsbury’s-sponsored new kit for the  Badger Farm Social Club football team, the successes of the men’s and women’s darts teams and details of the upcoming games for the Badger Farm Social Club Cricket team.
  • Badger Farm Social Club hosted a charity event organised by the Winchester Hog Roast Company in aid of Breast Cancer UK
  • Badger Farm Parish Council announced their new website.
  • The Chairman’s annual report.
  • Oliver’s Battery Parish Council unveiled a new sign as you enter the battery as well as a bench in memory of late Councillor David Spender.
  • City Councillors Brian Laming and Lynda Bannister report on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the upcoming Oliver’s Battery Fete, tree-thinning and footpath clearing and the No 2 bus service.
  • Local MP Steve Brine had updates about a special ‘street surgery’ he held in Oliver’s Battery, the chronic shortage of primary school places in Winchester and a public meeting to discuss Britain’s overseas aid programme.