East Woodhay Society

The local society for the residents of the wonderful area of Woolton Hill and the local hamlets within East Woodhay

Newsletter February 2014

East Woodhay Society Newsletter for February 2014

 East Woodhay  Society Events

 Curry Evening Quiz at The Rampant Cat

The Curry Evening Quiz on Saturday the 18th January at the Rampart Cat was a roaring success.  There was a good atmosphere at the pub, and the food was excellent.  Had space allowed, we could easily have sold many more tickets. Although it was not intended as a fund-raiser, it made a profit of £108, which will be donated at the end of the financial year to the Ark Cancer Centre Charity. Base on the feedback we will hold another one sometime in the future.

Friday 7th & 21st March – Walking for Health

Our next two regular walks under the heading “Walking for Health” are on Friday 7th & Friday 21st March at 10.30am from the Surgery in Trade Street RG20 9UL. The walks last about an hour and will be at a gentle pace. Please wear clothes and shoes suitable for walking in the weather. There is no need to book, just turn up on the day and register.

We are pleased to say that the previous walks have attracted a good turnout. Walks will be held on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. These walks are free and available to both members and non-members.

Saturday 12th April – Race Night at Woolton Hill Church Hall

Our next event will be a Race Night on the 12th April (the weekend before Easter). Last year this event sold out very quickly and we anticipate the same again this year. So, to avoid disappointment, please book early and come along and have a great day at the races. Tickets £10 (members) & £12 (non-members), to include a fish & chip supper are available from either John Angle on 253889 or Elizabeth Gillespie on 253203. All sponsorship money and profits will be donated to the Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

Monday 5th May – Crafty Craft Race

We are now in the early stages of planning our entry for this year’s Crafty Craft Race. As in previous years, we will field an all-female team, so if you think you can help us retain our unbeaten record please let us know. We give more details on this event next month.

Other Events

Saturday 1st March – Spring my Leeks

The Highclere Branch of North-West Hampshire Conservatives is organising St David’s Day entertainment for your enjoyment.  Songs, Music Poetry with International Performers at Highclere Village Hall starting at 7.30pm for 8.00pm. For tickets, which cost £12.50 to include supper, please contact Diana on 254677 or 253264.

Thursday 6th March – Highclere Film Club


Thursday 6th March is Ladies Night!  Come along and enjoy a girlie night out with the showing of the acclaimed romantic comedy ‘Once’, a glass Prosecco and a selection of homemade cupcakes. Both sexes are welcome of course!

Coming Soon: Philomena, Blue Jasmine, plus the ever popular Dinner and Movie night.  For more information emailhighclerefilmclub@yahoo.co.uk or visit http://www.highclerefilmclub..co.uk

Saturday 8th March – Andover Bird Spotting Challenge


The North-West division of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is organising a bird spotting challenge at 10.30am. Join Mike Wildish and Mervyn Grist for a 2 mile walk in the Charlton – Penton Valley to see how many species can be spotted.  If numbers permit, the group will be split into two teams for a light-hearted competition.  Park and meet by the Foxcotte Road entrance to Charlton Lakes Park.  Please take binoculars if you have some and wear something substantial on your feet!  No dogs permitted.  For more information, please contact Mervyn Grist on 01264 358737 or by email to mervyn@dmgrist1.plus.com.  There is a suggested donation of £2.

Saturday 9th March – England –v- Wales – Six Nations Rugby at the Red House, Highclere

England’s penultimate match.  Complimentary nibbles will be served at half time.  Please call Simon at the pub on 01635 255531 for details of the opening times for these dates.

Friday 14th March – Shackleton Evening – Woolton Hill Church Hall at 7.30pm

An illustrated talk by explorer Lee Farmer FRGS celebrating the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antartic Expedition 1914. There will be a bar and fundraising auction. The entry fee, suggested donation, of £10 per person.

The auction, see below, includes some very special items, which are likely to create very strong interest.

  1. Toni and Guy Hair Salon Blow Dry (£30)
  2. Waitrose Pamper Gift Set (£30)
  3. South with the Endurance Book: Sir Ernest Shackleton’s trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914-1917. A Shackleton DVD & a book about Shackleton’s Whisky. (£20)
  4. Bottle of Shackleton’s Whisky Mackinlays Rare Old 47.3%. In February 2007, after almost a century entombed in thick ice beneath Shackleton’s expedition hut in Antarctica, three crates of this long lost whisky were discovered. (£100)
  5. ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent —2 tickets to attend the show at Fountain Studio’s in Wembley–(date to be confirmed approx. June). (£50)
  6. A framed photo by local photographer Simon Ball –Looking towards Pilot Hill. (£50)
  7. A framed print of an original watercolour of St Thomas’s Church by Jane Vince (£30)
  8. A House of Commons Bottle of Wine donated by Sir George Young. (£10)
  9. Apple Mac Mini 1.25GHz Model M9686LL/B Manufactured 2005 .(£50)
  10. A print of Highclere Castle by Ronald Sichel and signed by the Earl & Countess of Carnarvon. (£40)
  11. Shackleton Bundle: Endurance Book: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage to the Antartic & South (DVD) photographed by Frank Hurley. (£15).
  12. Shackleton Bundle: South with James Cracknell (DVD), Shackleton (DVD), Endurance by Alfred Lansing (See above for details) & a picture of Sir Ernest Shackleton.  (£20)
  13. Two books: Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey and Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey written and signed by The Countess of Carnarvon.  (£10 each)

The minimum bid is shown after each item. If you are unable to make the evening on the 14th March but would like to make a bid for any of the above items please email Bridget Wheeler on bridget.ultimate@btopenworld.com with the auction number and your bid.  If you would like more information please go to http://www.livingstonesproject.co.uk/events/silent-auction/ .

Saturday 15th March – England –v- Italy – Six Nations Rugby at the Red House, Highclere

England’s final match.  Complimentary nibbles will be served at half time.  Please call Simon at the pub on 01635 255531 for details of the opening times for these dates.

Saturday 22nd March – Oxford Classic Jazz at Highclere Village Hall


The Highclere Village Hall Management Committee presents Oxford Classic Jazz, a quartet of musicians singing and playing a variety of instruments including a saxophone, a tuba, a double bass and a banjo ….. to name a few!  Their irresistible swinging rhythm will get your toes tapping!  So go along and enjoy the music and feel free to grasp a partner and dance to their joyful style of pre-war jazz. The evening starts at 7.30pm.  Tickets are £12.50 and are available from Molly on 01635 253264 and Mary on 01635 254264 or via email to averilbreakspear@btinternet.com or marymcquillen@icloud.com

A single course chili supper will be served during the evening – please advise of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For more information about the group, please see www.classicjazz.co.uk

Sunday 23rd March – Concert at Highclere Church

Janet Coxwell, Andy Smets and friends are performing at Highclere Church on Sunday 23rd March at 7.00pm, followed by a drinks reception at Highclere Farm.

Tickets cost £12.50 and are available from Jo Walsh on 01635 255013 orJo@highclerefarm.co.uk  All proceeds will be donated to St Michael and All Angels’ Church.

The above concert programme includes Faure’s Requiem and you are invited to come earlier to a new feature “come and sing”!  Just bring your own score, pay £5 and be prepared to do a quick rehearsal between 5.30pm and 6.30pm.

Saturday 29th March – Jumble Sale in aid of St Michaels and All Angels’ Church at Highclere Village Hall

There will be a jumble sale in aid of Highclere Church in the village hall from 2.00pm on 29th March.  Items for sale can be left at the hall on the morning of the sale or please call Molly on 01635 253264, Mo on 01635 250770 or Mary 01635 254264 to arrange collection.

Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th April – Newbury Market Square Quilters Quilt Exhibition

The Newbury Market Square Quilters are holding a Quilt Exhibition at St Nicholas Junior School, Link Road, Newbury RG14 7LU. Entry £3 (husbands and children free).  The event is open both days from 10am until 4pm.  Come along and see a fantastic display of quilts. The event also includes refreshments, craft sales table, trade stands, raffle, demonstrations and textiles by Newbury Embroiderers’ Guild. For more details contact Jenny Saady on 07792 251 005.

Friday 18th, Saturday 19th & Monday 21st  April – Easter Art Exhibition at The Furze Bush, Ball Hill.

Jane Little and Jane Vince are organising an Easter Art Exhibition at The Furze Bush on Friday 18th & Saturday 19th April between 10am & 8pm and on Monday 21st April between 10am & 6pm. The exhibition includes an affordable sale of original oil, watercolour and acrylic paintings and limited edition prints and cards.

Bring a friend, come and browse, enjoy a drink or coffee.

Saturday 26th April – Craft Fair at St George’s Hall, Andover Road, Wash Common

Come and meet Christine, Quarterfinalist from TV’s Great British Bake Off 2013, who is going to open the Craft Fair at St George’s Hall on Saturday 26th April 2014 at 10am.  She will stay all day for questions and photos.  The fair is from 10am until 3.30.pm with 50p admission for adults and children free.  There will be 18 stalls plus demonstrations, raffle, refreshments and light lunches.

Short Mat Bowling at Highclere Village Hall

New bowlers are sought for the Short Mat Bowling Club which meets every Tuesday evening from September to May at 7.45pm in Highclere Village Hall. Please join the bowlers for a good, social evening.  All bowling equipment is provided although flat-soled shoes are appreciated.

There is no joining fee but play each evening costs £2 per person, which includes tea and biscuits.  Bowler Ray Gibson describes the sessions as “relaxed exercise but good fun, just turn up and you will be welcome”.  Please call 253812 if you require any further information.

“Wonderful British Villages” – Photo Competition

Allied Westminster has launched a photo competition – ‘Wonderful British Villages’. , which is themed around what is wonderful about rural British Village Life, whether that is about the community or simply a beautiful scene. The competition is exclusively for rural British Villages.

The theme is open to some interpretation but photos must have part of the Village included (e.g. Village green/park, Village Shop, Village Hall, a Village scene or scenery, Village activity etc). Click http://bit.ly/1dsgqK1 to send in your photo of a Wonderfull British Village.

1st prize is a new iPad Air with a £300 cash prize for their choice of ‘Nominated Village Hall’ plus two runners up will receive Kindle Paperwhites with £150 cash prizes for their choice of ‘Nominated Village Hall’

The competition started on the 19th November 2013 and closes at midnight on the 31st May 2014.

At the moment the highest number of votes is 175, so with a bit of organisation and a good photograph someone could help boost the funds required to improve the Woolton Hill Church Hall.

Saturday 21st June – The Watermill comes to Highclere Village Hall

An exciting new production ‘Hard-Boiled’ is coming to Highclere Village Hall on Saturday 21st June at 7.30 pm.  The Watermill Theatre’s on tour company promise a fabulous evening and invite you to step into the farcical world of gangsters, private eyes and femme fatales.   There you will meet wise-cracking Private Investigator Dan Spick who is the toughest, grumpiest and sharpest guy in town and he’s got a case to solve but this case is different and has more twists than a Chinese burn- who knows what’s around the next corner?  Tickets cost £10 and are available from Molly on 01635 253264 and Mary on 01635 254264 or via email to averilbreakspear@btinternet.com or marymcquillen@icloud.com.

Police Report

This is the crime summary for the month of January 2014 for the parishes of:

Ashmansworth, East Woodhay, Highclere, Burghclere, Newtown, Litchfield, Ecchinswell & Sydmonton.

Total Crimes reported –  11

House Burglary – 2

Criminal Damage – 2

Thefts from sheds and outbuildings – 1

Theft from Vehicles – 4

Other Theft – 1

Other Crime – 1

The community Policing priorities for this area are:-

Prevent thefts from garages, sheds and outbuildings (including theft of metal)

  • An attempt was made to enter a garage in spring lane, Burghclere. No entry gained and no items stolen.
  • A padlock was cut from a gate in Litchfield, it is possible this was preparation to enter farm buildings however no further entry was gained and no items taken.

Reduce anti-social behaviour across the beat area

  • We have had no reports of anti-social behaviour across the beat for the whole of January!

Reduce speeding across the beat

  • The safety camera van is continually being deployed across the beat area.

Other incidents of note

  • In the early hours of New Year’s Day, a male walking from Burghclere to Newtown was assaulted by an unknown male. The victim was not badly hurt. The male spoke with a foreign accent and was keen to find his way to Tesco. The victim was able to break away from his assailant and get home safely.
  • On New Year’s Day a burglary was reported on the Ox drove, Burghclere. No entry was made to the property but windows had been smashed in attempt to gain access. There was blood left at the scene.
  • Police wish to speak with the male in the link in relation to the Burglary. http://www.hampshire.police.uk/internet/news-and-appeals/2014/january/160114-burghclere-att-burg-44140000673
  • A vehicle parked in a compound in Mount Road, near to Woolton Hill was targeted twice by thieves in two weeks. Both times, wheels were taken from the vehicle.
  • A fog light was removed from a vehicle parked in Penwood Heights.
  • Catalytic converters and connecting pipes have been removed from two vehicles in the Wash Water area.
  • Rolls of fencing were taken from an address in Old Burghclere.
  • An attempt was made to steal oil from a domestic tank in Harwood Rise, Woolton Hill.
  • Persons unknown entered a property in Newtown, stole several items in a tidy search but left other valuables untouched.

We have had a month of wind and rain which has caused some significant travel disruption across the country. Fortunately we have escaped major disruption in the Highclere/Burghclere area. However, we have had several trees down, roads blocked, a lot of standing water and flooding in Featherbed Lane, Bishops Green. Thank you to all those who have assisted in the removal of trees, assisted with broken down vehicles and other weather related issues.

This month has seen a change in Beat Officer for the area. Matt is on secondment to Headquarters, so we welcome Richard Baldwin to the beat. Richard has over 12 years’ experience as an officer and has been the beat officer for Overton for the past 9 years.

Oil Thefts: We are in the season when Oil thefts begin to be reported. Please take the time to check your tanks now, see what level the oil is sitting at, checks should be carried out as regularly as possible.

If you have any information regarding any of the incidents detailed in this update please contact us either by email or calling 101. If you see us out and about please stop us and say hello !

Richard & Abbey


Hampshire Constabulary,

Whitchurch Police Station, Dances Lane,

Whitchurch, Hampshire, RG28 7EG

External: 101

Twitter: @HighclerePolice

Email: abbey.carpenter@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

Website: www.hampshire.police.uk

Now for a Piece of Nostalgia.

I received an email from a Mr Tony May who offered to write a short series of emails about his life in East Woodhay in the 1940s and 1950s. I thought they would be of interest to members and have reproduced the first one below:-

I have penned this article in response to an inquiry I made to John regarding local knowledge of the 1940s and 50s in East Woodhay.

First, by way of introduction, I am Tony May who was born in 3 Wellington Cottages, Ball Hill in 1941 to Doris May (nee Lewington), who is still alive and Jim May.

Although like a lot of young kids at this time I did not meet my father until I was 5. During the war we lived with my Gran, Granddad, my aunt Joan, 5 years older than me and became my big sister and still is today, also we had several young girls evacuee’s  at Wellington Cottages. My memories of the war are pretty sketchy although I can remember myself and Joan being given sweets by the Americans. Also the milk being delivered in churns where the milkman would fill up your jug. Also, I will always remember the sight of my granddad shaving in the woodshed with a cut throat razor and helping my Gran feed the chickens, as well as getting veg from the garden, of which there always seemed plenty.

My other grandparents lived in a small cottage at the rear of the Chapel at Gore End. Whilst this cottage occupied a large plot of land, now a small cul-de-sac, the cottage itself was tiny. Had no electricity (candles – oil lamps) and no running water, which was obtained by means of a well. It also had a massive yew tree in the garden which often became my castle or bomber and anything else I could think of. I also often remember going to Priors garage, then next to the Furze Bush, with Granddad to collect a fully charged accumulator for the radio and leaving one to be charged. Strangely it was at Priors Garage that my father worked for many years after leaving the RAF.

Gore End Chapel was an essential part of the village life as nearly all the children attended on a Sunday morning, all hoping to pump the organ and not sing. Even when we moved to East End I would cycle to attend. This Sunday school was run by a Mr Walton and Mr Percy Newport, who incidentally also lived in Wellington Cottages. My memories of him were that whilst he was strong on discipline he was a kind and gentle man. Strange but I can remember little of Mr Walton

On the return of my father we had a short stay in Shropshire before we moved to East End in I believe about 1947 to a cottage behind the shop which overlooked the green and was owned by the Parishes. Adjacent to their shop was a Post Office, run by Kathy Watts and next door Rowley Watts Blacksmith’s. Many a happy hour spent watching him shoe horses.

I attended East End School which was an old Victorian building of 2 classrooms and was situated almost opposite what use to be the Sun pub. This school was ruled with a rod of iron by a Miss Wilkins * and Miss Thurcule* who successfully converted my natural left handedness to right, by means which could only be described as fairly painful. However, bless her, I now am truly ambidextrous. Our two classrooms were divided between juniors and seniors but we all lunched in the large classroom where Mrs Kingham and Mrs Ilot*always ensured we were well fed. Although I have to say that winter was not a very pleasant time with only pot belly stoves for heating.

East End and its surrounding land were dominated by estates of Stargroves and Turners. But notable families of East End at this time were the Ilots*, Emens*, Parfitts, Hills, Kinghams, Tillings, Watts. These, are but a few that I can remember. Ray Ilot*, although a year older than me, became my first best friend. Many the adventures we had during school holidays roving far and wide often for the whole day. The hills and the chalk pit were particular favourites. Climbing the chalk pit face was a particular passion, also sledging down really dangerous slopes on homemade toboggans.  I dread to think what the authorities would think these days. But apart from the odd bruise, graze or clip round the ear, we survived. But we did not always escape painful punishment. I remember Ray and I picking bunches of daffodils in Turners estate and selling them round the village. Which was rather stupid as Ray’s dad was a gardener at Turner’s whoops!

But in general village life was wonderful, but hard and school was pleasant. We could roam anywhere in perfect safety but occasionally we would be chased from Stargroves and Turners. We always helped with the harvest, catching rabbits for the family to eat and becoming quite expert at stacking the corn sheaves. Also just down the road was the cricket/ football ground, band hut and Social Club but more of that later.

*signifies unsure of spelling and apologies if incorrect.

East Woodhay Society

If you are an existing member and have not yet renewed your membership, we would appreciate it  if  you could do so as soon as possible. If you are not a member, but are interested in joining the society please print off a copy of the form on our website www.wooltonhill.com/ews_news and send an email to eastwoodhaysociety@wooltonhill.com. If you would like to respond to any of the items above please use the above email address.